Monday, November 15, 2010

That uncontrollable urge...

For the most part, I have given up riding.  But every once in a while I get that urge...  It isn't something I can control.  It is a deep down part of who I am.  Last week, I got the urge.  I didn't have my saddle, so I just grabbed my bridle and slipped it on.  I led Boomer to the fence and climbed up to the top rail.  I spent a few minutes petting him and running my hands along his back and neck.  Feeling him, feeling his mood.  He was calm and happy.  I slid my leg over and was surprised at how round and flat his back was.  We walked out along the path as Charley raced ahead.  I tangled my fingers in his mane and left the reins just loose enough for Boomer to look around.  It was a breezy afternoon and I wore a sweatshirt.  The breeze lifted the smell of horse up to my nose and I breathed in deep.  We walked around the pond and I was happy.  So indescribably happy.  I was also nervous and on edge, but it was more of an awareness than fear.  I felt no fear.  I felt happy.  We walked back towards the barn and I slid off, wrapping my arms around his neck.  Thanking him.  Thanking him for being.  For allowing me to be.  

I have noticed a change in Boomer.  He seems happier.  He is calm and comes to me with his ears forward when I enter the pasture.  Just today, he pushed his nose into the halter to help me get it on- he had never done that before.  We went for another walk today.  I thought about riding, but didn't have the urge.  So, we just walked.  It was peaceful and fun.  We took our time and I held horse apples while he snacked.  Charley got muddy in the pond and ran around like a happy dog.  

I am starting to understand enjoying life just for the sake of enjoyment.  Things aren't always what you assumed they would be.  Sometimes they are better.  

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Walkin' in the woods

I recently took Boomer and Charley for a nice walk around the property.  There are supposed to be 60 acres, but I didn't go through any gates and I felt like I was on a lot more than 60 acres.  I finally turned around when I saw a fence ahead- it had a wide gate opening, but no gate.  Not sure how far all of this goes, so I will have to ask the owners if I was trespassing!  Anyway, we ended up going around the pond, which is for sure on the property.  It has a dam around the back half and the dam is lined by trees on either side.  Very pretty!  In all, we were walking for 45 minutes!

Boomer is looking good- pasture only diet and no work has put a little weight on him!

Headed away from the barn...

Charley ahead of us on the dam

Boomer stopped midstride for a horse apple snack!  
Anyone know what these are really called?

Stopping for a bite of the good stuff on the way back to the barn

Pretty boy!

Self portrait 

Artsey shot!

Charley made it into this shot!  
Gotta love the group photo!

Cheesy!  I never could get both ears up...

A 45 minute walk calls for a drink!

Here is a video of Boomer eating the horse apples!  So cute!
I embedded it from Facebook, please let me know if it isn't working and I can use YouTube.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

You know your horse is a lightweight when...

Boomer's leg is doing great.  I thought i would share a few pictures of his injury.  The vet gave him ACE to work on him and holy cow- that boy got DEEEERUNK!!!

He was leaning and wobbling and his knees would buckle a little.  His head was against the barn door and he had drool dribbling out of his mouth.  When I led him to his paddock it took FOREVER and he acted like we were walking freaking miles- not 50 feet!  He had to stop and pee on the way and then for like 20 minutes after that he just let it all hang out and would occasionally pee his pants (I know he doesn't wear pants).  Oh, it was gloriously funny!  And somehow like being in college all over again...

The vet cut off the flap of skin, exposing a triangle of flesh.  I think the cut was a little over an inch wide.  

 This shows the swelling better:

Be basically stayed in this position for 20 minutes while he woke up.  Didn't even move his ears.  

Monday, November 1, 2010

Shifting perceptions

I had a very interesting time this weekend at the Arabian Nationals horse show in Tulsa, OK.  John and I have family in Tulsa, so we were able to visit family and share in *baby excitement* for the weekend as well as see the show.  

In the past, one of my favorite things to do at shows was to window shop and look at all of the booths.  This year I was surprised to ind that there were about half as many booths as in years past.  There were whole expo centers closed down that had been full the year before.  The seating areas around one of the arenas had been lined with booths last year and was empty the whole weekend.  

I was also surprised to find that there were fewer people in general at the show.  It just wasn't busy.  It seemed like at any given time, there were only two of the three arenas in use.  The warm up arenas are usually busy, but were not this year.  I was there for the last few days of the show, but it still didn't make sense as to why things were so slow.  It was sad to see this horse show being hit by the economy, but luxury entertainment spending is the first place people cut back in hard times.  I guess I was more disappointed than surprised.  

One thing that did surprise me was how my perceptions changed on showing and the industry in general.  I used to LOVE showing and show horses.  I thought it was the epitome of riding and training.  Somehow, in the last year my thoughts have shifted.  I was unimpressed by most of what I saw and really only enjoyed myself when watching the working cow horses and cutting classes.  I think that my major shift has been that I just prefer to participate in and watch horse activities that give the horse a job. Endurance horses have a job.  It is a VERY involved sport for the rider.  Working cow events give the horse a job.  Extreme trail challenges give the horse a job.  I like that.  Dressage has shown its self to be a wonderful training tool and I LOVE what it has done for Boomer and myself, but even then I don't enjoy watching dressage competitions.  It is more 'showing off' than performance based to me. 

So, it was an interesting thing for me to realize all of this while at the show.  The excessive amounts of money spent just doesn't make sense for me and I am glad to find that I have finally outgrown wanting to be a part of that world.  I would much rather take lessons in dressage and cutting and compete in endurance and enjoy having a well rounded horse.