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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Wilson Butte 4-H Ride

I went on the Wilson Butte 4-H Ride today ... what a blast!  Emily and I met up with Cindy, and then right before we were set to head out, Terry and Gene Zurcher came riding over!  It was so nice to see them!  So we all headed out together.  The ride is a couple of hours, and at least starts and ends on a private ranch ... not sure if the whole thing is private.  It sure could be, I guess.  It takes you up and over hills, through the sagebrush, through various creek points, and they even put in additional obstacles.  There were series of logs you had to step over, and even one spot where there were several large (I'm guessing PVC) pipes, an artificial bridge-like thing (we did that one kind of half-assed, and I didn't bother going back to repeat it), a scarecrow guy thing that was wearing a raincoat and had a horse-eating flag on it, etc.  There was also a poker run.  I'd never been involved in one, but here's how it works.  In the beginning, we got a card with our names on it.  There were five checkpoints.  At each checkpoint, you reach your hand in a bag and draw a card.  The person then writes down what card it was on your index card.  At the end of the five checkpoints, you have a poker hand.  Person with the best hand won.  I'd have been in serious trouble if I bet any money on my hand.

The best news of the day ... I didn't fall off today!

Kahlua did great.  Although, she was pretty worried about keeping up with the other horses, so we did a lot of walk, trot, walk, trot, walk, trot.  I imagine I'll be pretty sore tomorrow.

I forgot to grab my phone out of the truck before the ride, so I don't have any photos of the ride itself, but I took a couple after we got back to base, and sat down and had lunch while listening to the band.

There were about 230 riders there!  

This is Cindy on the right.  All the way to the left is Terry.  And I'm terrible, but I forget the name of the person in the middle, but she's a friend of Terry and Gene's.  

The weather was perfect ... you just couldn't have asked for a nicer day.  After I got home, I found out that there were a couple of other folks I knew that were there, but didn't run into.  Next time.

Kudos to the Wilson Butte 4-H group and the awesome owner of this ranch for putting on such a cool event!  I'll be adding this one to my annual calendar.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Chomping at the Bit ...

Me, not her.

I'm waiting to go riding again, and am having a hard time being patient.  I went and bought a new wool saddle pad ... certainly not top of the line, but hopefully, better than the foam one I was using.  And ... I also ordered a light oil breast collar with basket weaving like the headstall I have.  Hopefully it matches.  It won't be here until next week, though.  Also picked up a few miscellaneous things ... fly spray, etc.  Now I need to get one of those organizer things that hangs on the inside of the trailer door so I can get rid of the various buckets I have laying around in there that are constantly getting knocked over.

My calendar is getting a little nutty.  I have the 4-H ride this weekend, the Diabetes Ride in May, a horse camping trip in June, and a million things in between ... dog sitting, house sitting, working dogs, etc.  I can't wait! 

The job search is proving to be quite frustrating.  I've had several recent interviews, but nothing has come of them thus far.  Just gotta keep at it.  I applied for two more jobs today.

It rained pretty much all day today, and a pretty good storm rolled through.  There's supposed to be some showers tomorrow, and then the weekend should be really nice.  Next week, I need to work on the fencing across the irrigation canal so I can graze the sheep over there.   I hope the price of hay drops this year, but I have a feeling it's going to hold strong.  Rrrrgh.

I guess I could clean my house while it's crappy out. 

Yeah, right!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

It's a Cinch!

Gorgeous day today!  Went for a ride out near Jump Creek.  Tacked the horses up and headed out.  Nice slow walk ... just doop de dooping.  Came to a closed gate, and decided to walk the other direction ... kind of blaze our own trail if you will.  And Kahlua was great walking through the sagebrush, up and down the hills, etc.  At one point, I was chit-chatting with the trainer and I was about to be a wiseass (as usual), when Kahlua started to step down the embankment, and it was steeper than I anticipated, so I stepped pretty hard in one stirrup, and then it happened.  In a flash, I saw the entire conversation with Couch in my head.  "The last thing you do before you mount is check that cinch, otherwise, you'll end up looking at equine belly.  But it will only happen once."  Well ... she gee'd and I haw'd ... and the slow motion started.  I'm sliding, but my opposite hip was past the point of no return and I landed on the ground.  And Kahlua, bless her cotton-pickin' heart ... just stopped and stood there looking at me ... as if to say, "Hey Jodi, what are ya doin' on the ground?"  She didn't panic.  She didn't even walk off.  She was such a good girl.  And I was fine.  Made for some funny conversation for the rest of the ride.  Time for a new and much better quality pad to help with the endless slipping saddle, and believe you me ... I won't forget again to walk her around for a minute and then re-cinch her.

The more I ride Kahlua, the more I like her.  She is so nice and calm ... nothing has phased her.  She is very sure footed and doesn't hop over the bottom of a ravine like most horses.  She keeps her feet on the ground and really takes care of the rider.

I have the 4-H ride this weekend that I'm really looking forward to checking out.  And with any luck, I'll ride Kahlua once or twice between now and then.

I wish I would have thought to take a picture of Kahlua's belly from the wonderful ground perspective I had.  This is on the ridge after that little mis-step.  :-)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Riding the Owyhees!

I trailered Kahlua up this afternoon and headed over to the trainer's house.  She had me saddle her up, and then do a few exercises to see what Kahlua would do.  Walking over obstacles, through obstacles, etc.  Trotting a bit.  And everything was nice and calm.  Since I don't know what she's like out on the trail, that's what I really wanted to find out, so we decided to go for a ride.  The trainer's friend came along also. 

Got the horses ready, mounted up and off we went.  Over stumps and rocks and through trees and water and on ledges, etc., and this horse never took a wrong step.  I felt very safe and trusted her completely.  She has obviously done this before and really paid attention to what she was doing and kept me out of trouble.  I am so excited!

She didn't care if she was in front or behind, had a horse up her butt, or excitement going on around her.  She was nice and calm and did a really nice job.  I couldn't be happier!  So glad I stuck with this!

More soon, I'm sure!

Thursday, April 19, 2012


I went to the bombproofing about a month ago, despite the fact that I couldn't get Kahlua in the trailer.  I just went and hung out and took some photos.  What a kick in the pants!  This place was sensory overload for me, I couldn't imagine how the horses felt!  What you can't see in the photos is the loud, very busy audio they were playing that had circus music, trains, dogs barking, etc.  What a riot!

Here is my friend Cindy in front of the big scary machine that blows air into one of those blow up doll things and it goes all over the place. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Hmmmm ....

I am so glad I had a trainer come out and work with Kahlua and I.  The method I was shown seems to be really working and has me much less intimidated, especially since I do not have to get in the trailer with her.  This morning, I went out to the pasture and haltered her up, worked with her a bit on backing up off the wiggly lead, and instead of 1 or 2 steps, she gave me about 5.  Walked her over to the trailer, opened it up, she stepped in and then tried stepping back out, quickly realized I wasn't going to accept that, and then she hopped right in.  Once in there, she quietly turned around, licked her lips, and sighed.  I closed the trailer.  Opened it up slowly, too the lead rope, asked her to take a step back and then gave her permission to step out of the trailer.  And it went as easily as that 2 or 3 more times.  We took a break and repeated the exercise with the same result.  I cannot tell you how rewarding this little exercise has been.

Recently, my decision to buy a horse and a horse trailer were brought into question, and that's really bothered me.  I don't know why I've let this get to me, but it has.  I don't need to justify my decision to anyone.  But Kahlua has been a perfect example of how I handle things in life, or don't handle them.  If I don't like something or I'm not comfortable or can't handle the pressure, I generally walk away from it.  Like Kahlua.  I couldn't get past the trailering issue, so my answer was to sell her.  And that's bothered me.  There's nothing wrong with her, and any horse I get will have ... something ... that I'll need to work with.  And I need to step it up.  And that's what I'm doing now.  I am going to work it out with her, and continue building a good relationship with her and stick with this.

Next week, I'll trailer Kahlua out to the trainer's place and take a few riding lessons so I can finally get to know her and figure out what she knows and what she doesn't.  And then we'll be able to go riding in the Owyhees, which is what I wanted to do in the first place. 

On to Cruz, he's been really fun to raise.  I have him in a crate in the dining room, basically in the center of my tiny house.  If I don't cover the crate, he'll whine me right out of the house.  So I cover it.  Lately, there's been this funny thing happening.  Here's the covered crate.  See the issue?

See it now?

Here's a view from the inside!

I asked him how come that keeps happening, and he tells me he has no idea what I'm talking about.

Grass is starting to grow in the backyard.

The cherry and plum trees are blooming.

I just now noticed the lady bug bokeh in this next shot!  How funny.

Nice camouflage for the lady bug, eh?

And Shuck is in duck heaven.  Here he is watching over his ladies.

Cruz checking out the ducks.

I can't tell you how sick I am of these box elder bugs.  I guess there's no real point in complaining about them because they aren't going anywhere.

Here's a couple of random shots of a filthy Cruz in the house.

Had a really cool rainbow come rolling through today.  I need to edit the photos, but here's a sneak peak.