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Saturday, November 24, 2012

2012 Boise Holiday Parade

The Boise Holiday Parade was today.  Got up at way-too-early in the morning, like 4:30 a.m., and got down to the staging area at 6:30 a.m.  Parade didn't start until 10:00, so there was quite a bit of waiting around to do about ten minutes of "riding" (more like keeping the horses at a very very slow walk).  It was fun, but not something I'd do again unless a) it's warm out, b) there's a lot of alcohol involved, and c) it's a fast parade! 

Here's what I did to poor Kahlua.  She was such a good sport about it.

Yes, sparkly toes and all. 

My sister, Jill, and her other half, Bill, are here visiting, and I even roped them into participating in the parade.  We had someone cancel, so we needed safety walkers to walk alongside the horses to make sure we didn't have kids getting too close to the horses, so they reluctantly agreed.  They did a great job, and seemed to have a good time doing it. 

Thanksgiving was fun.  Jaenne and Justin came over and we cooked prime rib and turkey breast, etc.  Watched the football games and hung out and didn't do much. 

Yesterday, I took Jill & Bill up to Silver City.  We drove up the Murphy side and down the Jordan Valley side.  It was a gorgeous day, and we ran into a little bit of snow up at the top, but the roads were okay.  We walked around Silver City a bit, met the caretakers, got some history on the area, and I even fell on my ass to complete the trip.  Found lots and lots of places to park the horse trailer for future rides.  Hoping the weather cooperates tomorrow so we can go ride for a while.

It was fun having Jill and Bill here, and I'm sorry they're leaving tomorrow morning.  Hopefully I can talk Jill into coming back this summer and maybe go camping or something fun. 


Friday, November 16, 2012

Runnin' on Empty

Since the time change, my sleeping hours have been like 9:00 p.m to 4:00 a.m. -- which sucks!  Tonight, I am so ridiculously tired, but I am staying up late in hopes of sleeping in until like 6:00 a.m. so I can adjust these stupid hours.

Operation Big Sister continues!  Jill and Bill will be here Wednesday.  Emily came over tonight and helped me start cleaning this place up.  I wish there was a way to just take a hose and spray the whole place down and get rid of the dust.  Yuck.  There's still a ton to do, but a good chunk got done tonight.  Thanks Em! 

Tomorrow, it's off to the tack sale to see if I can find a black headstall to match my new reins.  Then to the holiday bizarre, then to get my nails done, then to Jaenne's (hopefully) to iron my curtains, then meet the pellet stove guy back here so he can get rid of the annoying knocking sound ... then out to dinner with Lee.  He's loaning me his miner's hat for the parade.  I ordered my blue/black buffalo flannel, so I hope it gets here in time.  Another thing I need to do tomorrow is pick up my saddle from my saddlemaker.  He is putting new rings on for my breast collar, which I will need for the parade to hang the beautiful sleigh bells!  Also need to go shopping for a tree skirt, hopefully blue and silver, to put under her saddle to hang stuff from for the parade.  Nutty.  It will be interesting to see how this all turns out.

Sunday is practice for the parade.  Next Saturday is the actual parade in downtown Boise.

I'm a bit frustrated with my weight.  I am sorta stuck at a 29 lb. weight loss.  It'll break loose at some point, I'm sure.  My son lost 100 lbs.!!!  Amazing!  I'm so proud of him.

Need to go pick up a decent point and shoot camera. 

These days of getting dark early are old already!  I was having so much fun this summer coming home and loading up Kahlua and heading to the Owyhees.  Can't wait to do that again.

Oh that reminds me ... shoer is coming Monday evening to pull K's shoes off and trim up her feet.  I don't want to ride her on asphalt with shoes on.  Too slick.

There.  Now if I forget what I'm doing tomorrow, I have a list.  :-)

Off to bed.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Weekend Wiped Me Out!

Friday evening, I went for a pre-clinic with Kahlua to learn the 7 Parelli games.  (Apparently, that's pretty controversial in and of itself, little did I know.)  The instructor was awesome, went through everything very slowly, started the pressure off at a very low level and slowly increased it, and Kahlua picked things up pretty quick.  We were there until almost 9:30 p.m.

The next morning, I was back out there for the clinic at 8:00 a.m.  Phyllis met me there and she audited, which I think I should have done.  Anyway, I'm very glad I had the pre-clinic because the morning clinic was pretty hectic, and most people knew what they were doing, sort of.  I worked on a couple of the games I'd remembered, and then watched quite a bit ... learning from others.  The clinic would stop in and get me started on something else, and I feel like I got quite a bit accomplished.  I learned quite a bit about how Kahlua learns, which was very interesting.

The afternoon was a lot of fun!  We were horseback and going various exercises.  It showed me what she's good at and what we need to work on ... and how much I suck as a rider!  But I'm getting better.  I like learning her body language.  One thing I noticed is that she is getting more comfortable just ... being ... now that we're hanging out in the arena and there are horses everywhere.  I can do something individually without her having to be near "her" horse (whoever that is for the day).  So we worked on one-rein stops, disengaging the hip, sending the forequarters around the hind, and steering while you're backing up -- all things I needed to learn.  Good stuff!

Went home Saturday and passed out for a couple of hours, then went down and had a drink in Marsing.  Boring. 

Sunday morning, got up and went grocery shopping, went to D&B and got dog food and pellets and some other stuff, came home, unloaded, fed the crew, loaded Kahlua up and headed for parade practice.  It was good we got together so we could see where horses are most comfortable.  Kahlua and I will be riding up front next to Cindi and her horse (we've ridden together before) right behind the banner.  Karen and her horses will be behind is, so we're in a great position.  Now to just get all of my costume together.  Should be pretty easy.

Went out with Karen for lunch/dinner afterwards to Sa Wad Dee and cheated BIG TIME on my "diet."  Oh well.  It was SO worth it!  Sushi!!!  Deep fried sushi!!!  Yummo!  Then I had a dream that I was eating everything in sight.  Yikes. 

Came home and raked and raked and raked leaves into big piles and lit them on fire.  By the time I was done, it was dark out, so I'll be interested to see what it looks like when the sun comes up. 

Passed out about 8:30.  Was up at 4:00 a.m. this morning.  Yeah, a little too early for me. 

Off to work ...J

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Purebred Owyhee Walker Crack Horse

So ... somehow I got roped into going to an arena event yesterday.  They had all kinds of things going on, and if I understand it correctly, it wasn't like a sanctioned competition ... just a fun thing ... put on by one of the gaited horse clubs around here.  They had the typical show classes ... whatever they call those ... and then had a trail challenge ... and games.  I didn't know if Kahlua had ever been in an arena, so I wasn't sure what to expect.  I entered her in 4 events:  trail challenge, Simon says, pole bending and the chicken race.

I got there, and the show stuff was still going on.  There were a bunch of gaited horses in the arena doing their thing.  To me, it looks like a whole bunch of leg activity with not a whole lot of forward movement, and after owning Border Collies, doesn't seem to be the most efficient use of energy.  But it's a show thing, I guess, and I never understood the show thing in dogs, so I am not going to try to understand it in horses. 

The lunch break hit and I saddled Kahlua up and rode into the empty arena.  She danced upon us entering, and then was quite frisky inside the arena.  The mirror along the wall would get her all excited.  Could only get her to canter one direction ... toward the exit.  She was bunny hopping on me and kicking and being a twerp.  It made me laugh.  And I don't know a thing about riding a horse, especially in an arena.  A couple of people in the stands were giving me pointers, so I was trying different things.  So much fun! It was nice to ride Kahlua when she was all spunky like that.  She was dubbed the Owyhee Walker Crack Horse because of her fabulous "gait." 

The first class I did was the trail challenge.  We went into the arena, we rode up to someone who handed us a rope with a tire on it and had to drag that.  She did that perfectly.  The next obstacle was the rope gate ... just two posts with a rope going across that you had to open, go through, and close.  I couldn't get her to sidle up to it, so we went around it.  Someone later mentioned to me that they think the horses do not like those rope gates because they look like electric fencing to them.  May be.  Then you trot a bit over to the logs on the ground and go over those.  She had no problem there.  Then trot over to the tall weave poles.  We took our time and made that nice and clean, she was very cooperative.  Then weave through the cones, that was good too.  Then there was a jump.  I stopped her in front of it and walked her over it.  We knocked it down, but that was ok with me.  Then into a "box" of sorts, where the edges were those thin poles laid out in a three-sided square, with a cone "entrance" out about 10 or 15 feet.  You go between the cones, go into the square, do a full 360, and back out between the cones.  No problem.  Then to the cowboy curtain ... or whatever you call it.  It's a tall frame with colorful pool noodles hanging by twine and blowing in the wind.  I could get her right up to it, but couldn't get her to put her nose through it to see the other side.  Given more time, I was convinced I could, but the judge asked me to move on.  Over the tarp, and then to the trailer.  Here is the really ironic part.  Remember I almost sold Kahlua about 8 months ago because I couldn't get her in the trailer?  Here, I scored extra points for being able to send her into the trailer instead of leading her in.  Our trailer was probably the most impressive part of our run!  LOL!  On this event, I came nowhere close to placing, but I didn't come in last, either.  It was a ton of fun and I can't wait to do it again.

We ran back to the arena for Simon Says where they were waiting on me.  (I hate when that happens!)  This is what you think it is.  The judge says, "Simon says ... trot your horse," and you trot.  The judge says, "Stop."  And if you stop without Simon saying so ... you're done.  I was doing great.  Down to five other riders (don't remember how many started) ... and the judge said, "Simon says ... gait your horse."  Huh?  So I put her into a trot, and as I passed the announcer, I said, "Would that be the Owyhee Walker Crack Horse Gait?"  She said, "I am not sure ...", and we both laughed.  The judge said, "Reverse your horse."  So I turned her around ... and got caught!  Oops!  So we took sixth place.

Next up was the chicken race.  Heats of four horses.  You race down to the other end of the arena, jump off the horse, pick up a rubber chicken, get back on the horse, and race back.  This all sounds like fun, except the part of "get back on your horse" from the ground!  I still suck at this part.  But here we go.  We run down in a straight line, I hop off.  Grab the chicken, put it in my mouth, hop back on (yes, I got on the first time!), but the saddle slipped a lot (didn't tighten the cinch after all the stuff I just did with her), but the other horses took off, so she took off too a diagonal across the arena with me hanging off the side of her with a rubber chicken hanging out of my mouth laughing my ass off!   If they went for style points, we would have won that hands down.

Last up was pole bending.  You run up the arena along the poles, weave back through them, weave back through them again, and then run back.  She did really well, did everything I asked.  (And I had tightened my cinch, too, which made it a lot easier to ride her.  Imagine that.)  We took 5th place. 

I really didn't expect this to be as much fun as it was.  The people were really nice, very helpful, and it was fun watching all the other riders.  This has convinced me to take lessons and really learn how to queue Kahlua, move all of her quadrants individually, and learn ground work.  I have a couple of local trainers to contact, and hopefully, we'll come up with a plan for winter.

Crack horse out.