Collection of compositions & photos of an aspiring equine journalist

"The future belongs to those who believe in their dreams."
-Eleanor Roosevelt

Sunday, July 10, 2011

'The Noise'

After a fabulous weekend of horse shows, playing puppies and not-so-much-icing 'the knee,' I am one very tired gimpy kid. All was packed slowly today, methodically loaded in my '97 civic with 180k + miles on it. I pulled away slowly when it began...the noise. Nails on the chalkboard mixed with metal dragging across concrete, the wretched noise continues every time I put my foot on the gas. GREAT. Not so good. Before reaching the interstate, I turn around and headed back to my trusty farm family for the night. Oh me, oh my.

But like I said, we did have a deeply FABULOUS weekend! My trainer [who happens to be one of my very best friends] and her trainer [who happens to be her mother] went to a local show with SIX horses. After not a lot of sleep and a lot of packing - two horse trailers headed out on Saturday AM. In 100 degree Virginia heat and humidity, Nikki jumped more than 140 jumps, rode 4 dressage tests and only had one rail down all day long! EPIC! She won four blues, a second [with my new guy, Stew] and a third. Not bad for a twenty-something-young-lady looking to break into the professional equestrian business! Needless to say, we were more than impressed with her performance and took Sunday as a day of rest. Heck, even God himself took one day off!

Sleeping-in late, we moseyed to the lake and hung out on the dock with puppies dawned in their yellow life vests. We sunned, swam and slept. The only puppy who truly enjoyed swimming went in after fish, and upon putting a life vest on her, gave us quite a laugh: she turned around to swim back, lost her balance and rolled over while floating in the water. Her little rudder=like-tail was swirling and curling and her too-long body just kept rolling over and over again. Too funny! Later, we hung out and drank chocolate shakes with our store-bought-home-made box pizza! Excellent. What a wonderful day of rest it was.

My favorite shot of Catch 22 this weekend - He got 2nd!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

New Year, New Horse, New Knee...

The Latest Man in my Life: "Stewie"

It has been awhile. Yes, indeed.
In past few months, but I return to my desk and return to good ole blooger!

Bought myself a new toy - his name is "Catch 22" in the show ring, becuase owning a horse truly in a gamble. No sooner did I get him a leather halter with his name engraved on it, did I learn how correct the previous statement was: I tore my ACL. I was just hopping down from the farm's well-used John Deere. I landed wrong, dislocated my kneecap and well, the rest is history. Surgery this month for that mishap.

So rehab has brought me back into my parent's house - unable to work, drive, ride, or even walk my own dog. I feel like I am 13 years-old again and my mother won't let me go to the beach with my friends for a day. No really. She won't. But it is all for my good health.

So here's to a great 2011, full of fabulous blogging!

Call me stubborn, but I really wanted to fly to work the next day half-way across the country!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Buckin' Good Time

Lately life has brought me to Tennessee; the land of Dollywood, Pigeon Forge and men with bad pickup lines. But also, it has unfolded as a world of Fox hunting. Me and my crazy roommate work for TVH - walking hounds with the kennel huntsmen and riding loads of horses and jumping coops and learning to whip-in. Thus, life is good. Also, the 'ickey fatty' horse [one i previously posted pictures of] is at our barn fox hunting 1st flight with us! He is only six years old and born on the buckle, trots to the base of the jumps and stands well with the group at check points. And he can be yours! Yes, he is for sale.

So here is a tale from the newest TVH Honorary Whipper-in:
It was a bright, cold day and we were out hunting on the Knob's farm. Finally we emerged from the knee-knocker woods, a few bruises later, and came to an open field. YES, I thought to myself. But then the hounds race off into the distance, through a fence-line with snouts down and in full cry. Kick ON! Away we galloped, over a hill and down the other side...which was slipperier than expected. And my borrowed ex-prelim eventer mare begins to buck. Downhill. Buck. Canter. Buck. Canter. Bouncing me back and forth, I look up to see a coop. Crap. Well we bounced down the hill, popped over the coop and made it [to my own relief]. On the other side she threw her head to the ground and began to squeal like a piglet being squeezed. And she bucked all the way up the next hill. At that moment, my roommate looks over at me and laughs. Whoops. Guess we forgot her Regumate today.

I have not forgotten it since then.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Dallas - it's not just a city

Another tall tale from the ranch out west...

We had this absolutely stunning golden palamino gelding named Dallas. Beauty is as beauty does, or so they say. Well, Dallas was special, that was for sure.

I had never met a horse that did not tie. If they don't tie, how do you get them to stay put? Well one day, the cowboys decided he needed to learn to do so. We brought him in after morning roundup, and tied him to a four foot wide post inside a small corral. That way, in case he broke his halter and got loose he would be in an enclosed area.

Clever, right?

Well... we left him there during morning ride [about 3 hours] and when I returned I did not see him. With about 10-15 guests riding behind me, I said nothing to make sure I did not alarm them. Looking over, I did note the fence he had been tied to was GONE.

After finishing my wrangling responsibilities [taking care of guests and horses] I went over to the corral where we left D-man. And there he was: still tied to the post. He had snapped it like a twig off from out of the ground, and pulled back. So he was standing, head down, still tied to a post that had four rails nailed into each side. Well, he definitely learned the 'head down' cue that day.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

My spurs go jingle-jangle...

Howdy ya'll! Upon my return from the wild, wild west I have been caught up in traveling! First off, I headed to the WEG's [World Equestrian Games] in Lexington, Kentucky for the eventing and freestyle reining. Followed by some good ole Hokie Football to re-live my collegiate life [even if only for a few days] and also spent some time riding some fantastic horses for some foxhunting & eventing friends.

But now, I have a tale from the ranch. =)

On my first real day of work, after a week of unloading hay, worming 57 horses and scooping loads after loads of poop, I was pretty relieved to get on a horse again. Domino, a 16 hh bay with a big bald face and giant white splotch on his belly, was my mount for my first ride taking guests out. Woo-hoo!

"Dominator" was what I eventually re-named him.

After heaving my saddle up onto his back, which I was convinced weighed somewhere near 1,000 lbs, and finished putting on all his tack, some starvin' wranglers made their way up for a hearty country cooked breakfast at the lodge. Upon returning to the barn, I was shocked: my horse was gone. Not tied to the post where I left him.


The other female wrangler, for whom it was her third year back at the ranch says, "Where'd your horse go?!" as she shot me a glare. Frantically, I ran to the road. No Domino. Turning, I looked up the ranch's dirt road. No Domino. Defeated, I moseyed back towards the barn, over the bridge and then, a falsh of that big bald white face popped out from the high grass. There he was. Thankfully he was down in the tall grass on the river bank just chomping away. Turd.

That was the day I learned that the Dominator liked to untie himself...and he was darn good at it.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Everyday is a winding road

I bought the cap, gown and tassel.
Invited my family and friends
And walked that very short walk to
Receive what you worked so hard
To earn the past four years.

A Diploma.
Very expensive piece of paper,
At least according to my loan statement.
Is now sitting in an expensive frame
On the floor of my bedroom. But I do
Not feel much different.

I thought I would feel
more mature,
but now I just feel...pretty much poor.

Virginia Tech has made my life richer, yes. Yet I will miss those four years dearly. Most of all, I will miss the security found with-in daily, weekly routines of class and work and roommates and weekends. But I will move on, in attempts to create a more vivid tomorrow. A brighter future for myself. I'll let ya know how it goes ;-)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Colby - "Icky Fatty"

My friend's horse who I have fallen in love with. He is a young draft cross and can certianly do dressage, or at least has the prospect to do so! Hopefully the weather will be clear and we can ride him this week - I have not ridden in about 6 months and I have to ride out west 2x a day starting May 22nd! BAH. I am going to be a sore cowgirl...

Cute little farm house on the barn property

And as promised, the Horse Judging "Dream Team" - go