Monday, July 25, 2011

Norway's Black Friday

Being Norwegian this last weekend was a tough one, as you can well imagine. The murders committed are unparalleled in Norwegian history, and has shocked Norway and indeed the entire world.
But Norway chooses to show strong leadership, tolerance and indeed love in the aftermath of such a tragedy. Below is a picture from today's Roseparade in honor of the victims of Friday's tragedy:

Norwegians have chosen to not fold to the demands of a madman, but instead stand strong. In the words of our Prime Minister: "the answer to violence is more democracy, more openness." In the words of one Utoya survivor: "If one man can create that much hate, you can only imagine how much love we as a togetherness can create."
This attitude may seem naive to some, but Norwegians feel strongly that fairness and solidarity is worth working for. I remember an incident a few years ago when a supervisor told me that "the world isn't fair" and I responded "that may be true, but I was not aware that we had quit working towards it."

We were at a show this weekend. Pippi and Daughter did great, and I will tell you more about that another day. As it pales in comparison............

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Two Humans - One Horse = One walker

As you know, we only have one horse, Daughter and I, and that leads to one great problem. Trail Riding! Well, in our case it is Trail Riding and Walking. She rides and I hike.

Until recently Pippi has not been a great trail horse; no confidence to explore. We have gone out many times, but unless I am in front Pippi does not want to go. She would fight us to go even with other horses, unless I walked. Apparently I can save her from ANYTHING that the woods can throw at her. I am superhuman that way. Recently Pippi seems to have entered a more adult phase, she is now 6, and is growing both physically and mentally into a mare. Her filly body if "fillying out" so to speak.
Trainer and I have been after Daughter to trail ride and build her confidence, but since trail riding has been less than fun Daughter has not wanted to. Last week, due to heat the other horses were all enjoying the shade and anticipation of dinner in the barn, so all the fields were empty. There are three fields, all hilly and lush with ponds and lots of grazing grass. Pippi had only been in one of them, so I suggested Daughter take Pippi trail riding in the other two. They would be close to the barn, and it would give Pippi some new adventures. Off they went, with me trailing behind. Knowing that the geldings went in the first field seemed to make Pippi quite intent on checking it out. The trotted up the hill to the pond there, and rode around the entire field. I showed Daughter some natural jumps, and Pippi was more than happy to go for it. Next I opened the gate to the other field, and they were off riding all around that one. They crossed ditches, trotted  hills and soon Daughter decided to go out of the fields and try some actual trails.

Pippi was calm yet excited, and they walked ahead of me so I could barely see them. They entered the trail in the woods, and I followed out of sight. At the bottom was a creek and Daughter backed Pippi into in, when she initially refused. By the time I got down there, they were in the middle of the creek with cool water almost touching Pippi's belly. It was magical. (I posted a picture in a previous post.)

Well, last night I was assigned my trail mount, Flash a grey gelding, So from now on we can ride whenever we feel like it. And I can't wait! Daughter and I will be out on the trails on a regular basis now I am sure. How lucky are we that our new barn owner is so generous?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Great Website

It is quite possible that most people already know of this website, but I just found it so I figured I would share.
I have found some really great articles and videos on this site. Hope you find is as useful as I have. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Beware of Horse Eating Creeks!

Pippi decided yesterday that a cool creek is actually a really great thing on a hot summer day after all. Guess she had been wrong about those swallowing horses whole, all this time. She splashed and all but squeeled in delight, after being backed into the creek yesterday. What a silly equine she is!

Anyone know a good electrician? I do!

I knew it had been a while since I last blogged, but a whole month? Where did the time go?
Ever just not feel like blogging? Life just doesn't seem interesting enough to write about sometimes. But then again it is not as though all of a sudden my life became fascinating, yet here I am writing again. If a was a professional I could have blamed it on writers block.


Pippi had a complete melt down at the last show. It is a long story; here it goes:

Pippi and Daughter did the flat class for the 18" division, and all went well. Did not place, but no incidents. Then it was time to do the jumper class, and Pippi entered the arena at High alert. And then refused to go anywhere near the left side of the arena. She hopped, she bucked a bit, but was quite adament that there was no way she was going down that side. After fighting her a bit, Daughter wisely left arena, only to try again for the next class with much the same result. It was a WTF? moment. I walked down the side of the arena (it is an indoor) where Pippi did not wish to go, and she came a bit closer. This is a schooling show, so all were being lenient as we fought with Pippi. Daughter got her closer step by step, but Pippi finally spun around quickly leaving Daughter (to Pippi"s surprise) on the ground. Pippi actually stopped and neighed at her, as though to say "get out of there!!!!" As I turned to leave the arena to go find Horse and Daughter outside, I saw that behind me was the electrical box with the cover open, and duct tape and a general mess. In the outlet underneath was a plug that belonged to the Concession stand.
This made me think:
Last year at a show Pippi simply refused to go anywhere near one of the jumps by the arena fence, and nothing was going to get her there. NOTHING! It was the night before the show actually, and she was clearly bothered by something at that spot. There were other horses there, but none of them had a problem with that spot. We chucked it up to "just another Pippi thing," and was quite frankly irritated by her nervousness and testiness. Later that evening the "Show Lady" decided to turn on the arena lights, and went to the pole that housed the switch. As she flipped it on she experienced a shock, enough for her to yell out and pull back abruptly. That pole was right outside the arena at the spot that Pippi had refused to go earlier.

Remembering this incident, I told our friends about it as we are discussing what to do by our trailer at the show this year. As I theorized that Pippi was once again scared by electrical surges, my friend said "did you hear that?" They had just announced that it would take a while for the lights to come back on, because those kinds of lights had to get cool before they would could light again. The POWER HAD GONE OFF!!! A breaker had tripped due to the extra power being used by the concession stand. I wondered aloud why Pippi had not shown any fear for the flat class, when my friend stated that they had only used half the string of lights then but had flipped them all on for the jumping. They now only had half on again.

This still makes my hair stand on end. Pippi is hyper sensitive, and it certainly can be a challenge, but it is also a great gift. She never intended to throw Daughter, as Trainer pointed out, she was just looking out for her own safety. As perplexed by her behavior as we were, can you imagine how irritated she was by ours?