Thursday, October 4, 2012

a better update...

We had the fun show at the barn a few weeks ago.  The day before I set up a cross rail and then had to have someone keep putting the rails back up as Nina trotting across them and knocked them down.
It was a departure from her Mach10 style the last time I tried jumping her so we did a class at the fun show. 
OK, it is just a cross rail, but she is straight, relaxed and actually jumped.  I was very pleased with her AND with the fact that after a long break I did not look like a demented monkey clinging to her neck.

And she stood around at the ingate like an old pro. 
So now we have a project for the winter..... some serious jump schooling.  Yay!

Friday, August 24, 2012

a sort of update....

I decided last week to start jumping Nina. 
I dragged some standards out into the ring, built a crosspole with trot poles leading to it.
When I tacked her up I dug around til I found some jumping boots and put them on her.
We walked around the arena to warm up, she was happy and forward.
I asked for a trot - and she was head-bobbing lame!!!
I messed around for about half an hour walking and trying to trot and got the same thing.

She could have told me BEFORE I dragged this stuff out into the ring and spent time finding the jumping boots. 

Turns out she is shedding her frogs and getting sand stuck up in the yucky pieces as they come off.  She is also barefoot so no help from shoes. 
This will be over eventually and we will try again. 
This is about the only excitement in my life right now, hope everyone's summer is going well.

I can't wait to get internet service back in my house again.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


During the Olympics the TV is turned, by default, to whatever channel is broadcasting the competitions.
I don't have cable so I am stuck with the network broadcast of volleyball and swimming.  To be fair, they did show some track action and some crewing. .

The only equestrian action that I have seen was the end of a show jumping round, mostly of the horse's head, and 20 seconds of Ann Romney's horse circling the ring.
The cross country day of eventing pulled a crowd of 50,000+ which is more than what is going on in the stadium for the most part, but the network doesn't think anyone wants to see it.  Of course this is the same network that broadcasts Rolex with some basketball color guy admiring how pretty the horses are - repeatedly. 

A friend of mine texted me that the cross country was starting.  I texted back that I didn't have cable.  She answered that she didn't either - she was sitting in a restaurant watching it. 
I didn't even think of that!!!

For those of you who have cable (or high speed internet) enjoy whatever you can see.  For the rest of us - crewing is always fun to watch, talk about timing and rhythm!!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

sort of an update

I have not fallen off the edge of the world - I am alive and well.  I turned off my internet access to save money, intending to make use of WiFi - which is, of course, available everywhere - and have not done it.  I need to try harder, I am cut off from all the news!!!

I do have one piece of very good news.  One of my students wanted to go out to Spring Gulch, which is a cross country course at a state park, usually open for schooling. 
I really felt that 100 degrees was just tooooo friggin hot to walk around teaching a lesson and I really needed transportation.  So I took Nina.  All I wanted her to do was keep her brain in her head and walk around and let me teach off of her. 

She was a rock star!

We had a few tiny glitches.  I felt like I was chasing her around trying to tack up as she tried to keep track of what was going on from both sides of the trailer.  There were other horses and riders out schooling that day.

I also was a little nervous getting on her.  We use picnic tables - steel, set in concrete - for a mounting block and she started to rear twice.  I wasn't about to get half way on and get flung into that! She finally settled and once I was on her she was obedient, generally very calm and wonderful. 

A horse schooling near us got loose and galloped right past and she just calmly watched it go.  She climbed up and down the hills, although she stared at the first really steep climb with a 'you have to be kidding' expression on her face.  She did get stuck when we got to the top of a hill and she was staring at the view.  Not nervous, just staring. 

I was thrilled.  For once she was looking to me for guidance instead of just reverting to taking care of herself. 
That's all for now, I will try to get to a WiFi and see what you all are doing soon.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

updates, fires and horses

Some good news on the fires.  The Fort Collins fire is gradually becoming contained.  Some of the people who were evacuated over 2 weeks ago are finally being able to go up into some of the canyons, but many many homes were destroyed in these areas and it was sad to watch people waiting in line in their cars to be allowed to drive 'home.'  The ones whose homes are gone already have been told, but as they say, you have to see it for yourself.  Imagine being evacuated in an emergency, waiting for weeks and then being allowed to return to wreckage.  Long drawn out torture.

Boulder fire seems to be under control and contained up on the mountain.  Less wind and more rain would be nice.

Colorado Springs
The Colorado Springs fire is just an escalating nightmare as the fire burns its way into the northern part of the city.  The last I heard the Air Force Academy was trying to defend itself with bulldozers - good luck with that.   The north suburb has lost hundreds of homes, others look safe, but the fire changes direction all the time.  There is less smoke today so it is easier to see the area.

Horses...... Nina.
Poor Nina has not been out of her pen for 8 days.  And while I had vague hopes that 100 degrees might give her a hint to just calm down - Nope.  Actually I just didn't have any energy and was hoping.  I never did make it out to the barn yesterday, the days kept piling up.
But Nina is improving.  I don't know exactly why but her bad habits are quietly being pushed into the background. 
I hosed her off before tacking up and she was quiet until she was 90% done.  When I walked her to the round pen she started prancing and stepped on the edge of my boot - I chewed her out a bit and she settled until I closed the gate and took her lead rope off.  She did her tearing around thing for a few minutes.  I went to get my helmet and when I came back she was eager to greet me and stood quietly while I slipped her bridle on.  Then she trotted around a bit, stiff legged like she gets with worry, but only for a few minutes. 
Really not bad considering being cooped up for a week after only being ridden for a few days  and her apprehension at being ridden. 
I felt a little bad when I got on - no energy, remember - I clipped her on the butt with my boot.  She did look over her shoulder at that but did not move. 
Then I only rode her for about 10 minutes and she launched into a big swinging trot and was so nice to sit on. 

Something has clicked for us and it feels like all the bad behavior and nervous resistance have moved into the category of minor obstacles to be dealt with so we can move on to fun things, instead of those issues being all there is.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

little update

cresting the canyon wall

First some weather/fire stuff.
Fort Collins is not, at this moment, under threat from the fire, but hundreds of homes nearby have been destroyed.
A brand new fire started by lightning was suddenly threatening the edge of Boulder.  A sudden evacuation notice for the closest area went out yesterday afternoon, so far the fire is being contained.
I stayed up late last night watching the horrific fire in Colorado Springs.  It seemed to come to life mid afternoon exploding, swirling and sending cyclonic fires into the sky.  It also marched down a canyon too narrow for the air support to fly into.
I was fascinated at the sheer insanity of the helicopter pilots flying over this fire while it exploded, creating its own weather and wind.
Firefighters were working to beat this fire back when it crested the side of the canyon where there was minimal fuel.  Unfortunately, as it crested a wind sprang up - 65mph and it blew through the firefighters and started an unstoppable march into a suburb called Mountain Shadows.  32,000 people evacuated almost instantly.  I-25 closed for a while for the evacuation.
The picture above does not have location identification, but all of the information coming from the ICP was discussed at a location on I25, looking toward the mountains, with the subdivision in between, burning.  If this pic is near where I think it is, the Air Force Academy is just off to the side - also evacuated.

I do have to comment that I have been watching these ICP briefings, given to press and public at all the fires and ONLY in Colorado Springs were people accusing the firefighters of not doing their job to put out the fire.  They were demanding to know NOW whose homes had burned - as you can see the area beginning to burn.  They accused the firefighters of quitting when the truth was that they were IN that burning suburb fighting the fire in the dark.
I can understand the fear and anxiety and panic as you watch an out of control fire march toward the area where you live, but this sort of finger pointing accusatory crap is totally uncalled for.
At the briefing this morning people were insisting that they wanted more information about the 'person of interest' being talked about on FB.  Questions until the Chief of Police stepped in and said there WAS NO PERSON OF INTEREST.  He had to repeat himself several times.
This crowd was demanding, rude and ready to fire the incompetent 'help' - too bad one outspoken asshat, who told the Commander that obviously nobody was in charge, couldn't take a little stroll up to the fire, hundreds of feet high, stretching as far as you can see and moving faster than you can run, and just tell everyone what to do to put out the fire.  He needs to get out of his glass cubicle more. 
Ok, only a handful, but you don't see this attitude after weeks in Fort Collins or in the  panic in Boulder.  It says something.

ok, horse update.  
I got to the barn to feed on Saturday and Sunday and expected that Nina would have lost weight, but Fawkes owner very nicely was feeding her alfalfa and she looks fine.  She also has a new best friend!

Did a lesson with Fawkes and even though it was almost 100 at 9am we made some progress.
Here's a hint.  Want to learn some new ways to deal with some evasions?  Gather up your reins in one hand, hold a bottle of water in your other and deal with it.  You will come up with some interesting cures that will shock him and straighten his game playing butt out.
We made some progress and he jumped a grid again with nice forward impulsion, sometimes too much.  I had to sit on a barrel to be able to talk.
I was so exhausted I could barely put away the jumps and did not have the energy to even get Nina out.  I was less than happy about people making fun of me for being worn out by the heat.  F--- you!  And may you enjoy this nasty bug. Still feeling crabby.
I was watching the timeline countdown to the fun show and it has been cancelled and moved to fall.  Much better for an enjoyable day.
Today it is supposed to be only 90 by noon so I am going to ride, or at least sit on my horse.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

no energy and tooooo hot

I finally got out to the barn today.  Nina was happy to see her beet pulp and allowed me to pat her neck while she ate.  I had planned to get her out to lunge or turnout or roll or something.  I did not have the energy to ride.  A bank near the barn said that it was 103 degrees.  That and nothing to eat for three days about did me in.  I was exhausted walking from my car to Nina's run.  And she showed NO interest in getting out, it was probably too hot to roll in the burning hot sand.
Just put that beet pulp right here in the shade and all will be well.   There was a little breeze so the shade wasn't bad.  I gave Fawkes some alfalfa pellets and left them both happily munching away.

Friday, June 22, 2012

All better

I really think that when you get one of these bugs you should be able to check out for 48 hours or whatever it takes instead of living through it.
I spent the last two days mostly in bed, miserable, wondering if dead was this bad. 
Tonight I dragged out to the den, wrapped in an electric blanket (in 97 degree heat) and curled up to watch Big Bang Theory while I tried to die. 
Suddenly I was thirsty and then hungry, very hungry, ready for pizza or some other greasy junk food.  Apparently the bug is gone, like flipping a switch.  I'm glad it's gone, I think I will settle for a good night's sleep and skip the pizza.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

I am so sick!

I have been dragging around for the last few days with no energy - but it has been 100 degrees so I didn't think much of it. 
Yesterday I was really tired when I left the barn and by 9pm I was puking my guts out.  I still am.  A tablespoon of water was enough to set it off.  Although I am taking tiny sips of limeade for a little while and haven't died yet.
I hurt from my head to my toes and I have lessons to teach tomorrow.  I don't usually get these bugs that go around and I am not very happy.  And it hurts!  Somebody send magikal relief!
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