Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

"Trick or Treat" was done on Saturday in our neighborhood, and this was Daughters' pumpkin.
Stumpy, the cat, broke the partitions between the legs when Daughter was carving it, so toothpicks were added to keep things in place.
We roasted the pumpkin seeds, and Son ate those seemingly in one sitting.

Hope you all have a wonderful and safe Halloween!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Costume Class - Rudolph and The Elf.

Our local show has a Costume Class at the last show of the season since it is so close to Halloween. This year we decided to dress Pippi up as Rudolph since Donna already had a super cute Elf costume.
I love the deer tail.

Last year Daughter forgot her show number, and was therefore DQ'd, and as you can see the above pic we just about forgot the number this year as well. Right after I snapped this shot I noticed the lack of show number and it is good thing I did, because we got the BLUE RIBBON!!

Here is a pic from last year:
I really enjoy making the costumes, and have now made five I think. The mini horse club has a costume class at every show, so I get a bit of practice.
This year I knew what size to make the sheet for Pippi, so that simplified things a bit. We took an old belt, glued bells and stars on it for the collar. We did have to get Pippi used to it, and wore it for a while to desensitize her to the jinglebells. Bought a clown nose and glued that on a bit of fabric that we attached to a leather halter. We measured it, and made sure it hit her right on her muzzle. She was not bothered by that or the antlers at all. The nose did irritate her when she tried to snag a bite of grass, as it swung out and startled her. Overall Pippi handles these silly Shenanigans with her usual patience and we make sure to reward her a lot. Poor Pippi has to deal with some seriuosly silly humans. No wonder she rolld her eyes at us.

Rudolph and the Elf is making another appearance tomorrow night to hand out candy during trick or treat. At least until it gets dark.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pine pellet bedding - Any advice?

I saw this type of bedding at my local Tractor Supply Store, and wondered about it. Check out the specific type here:

For some reason if you got to the TSC website they only have another product come up, something called Equine Fresh which does not have the "water it to fluff and use" component and seems totally different. I called Tractor Supply where I had seen the product to make sure I was looking at the right thing (so annoying when website does not match in house product).

HorseGirlTV has a webisode featuring the product here (somewhat cheesy production):

I then googled and read this Article:

Have any of you used this type of bedding? If so, what do you think?

Monday, October 24, 2011

The big move, and Pippi gets a pet!

This post encompasses the BIG move. I will also have to post about the costume class we had at the show Sunday, but I will save the pics of the Blue Ribbon Winner and Daughter for later. This is just too cute:

When we first leased Pippi she had just moved from the fairgrounds to a private facility. She was green broke, had been ridden a handful of times, and was easily spooked. The move there a few months earlier, had been her first, as far as I know, and she had left her companion since birth. The owner of the barn, wanted a new barn cat. Her current mouse deterrants were getting old, and the mice were taking over, so she went to the fairgounds and picked up a young stray. (The fairgrounds has oodles of cats that are fed by boarders). This cat was named Fuzzworth, and upon arrival he left the carrier, headed down the barn aisle, and ducked under Pippi's stall door. And that is where he lived as her constant companion; slept in her hay that she left for him until he woke up, killed mice and put them in her bucket and followed her around as we rode in the arena. Many times he would sit in the middle of the arena, calling to her as we rode around him. After noticing their bond we decided to see if Fuzzworth would like to ride Pippi, and lifted him to her back. After that he spent a lot of time riding around on her, and even sleeping curled into a ball, as she gingerly moved arund her stall. Sadly Fuzzworth was killed the next spring by Coyotes, which left Pippi looking out in the aisle for him, and looking around when the other cats meowed. We can only assume that they knew each other from the fairgrounds.

Pippi & Fuzzworth fall of 2009. We still miss him.
Sunday was the day of the last show, and since we were trailering her that day it was the best day to move her to our friends and neighbors house. They, Donna and Kevin, have and show minis, and we enjoy doing that with them. Their barn has become the cat shelter of the neighborhood, and at present there are ten cats living there.  
Dinner time

When we discussed the move, Daughter and I could not help but hope that Pippi once again would bond with a cat. We had picked out a cat, Target,  that looked a bit like Fuzzworth, and looked forward to introducing them.

We placed Target on the stall door a few hours after Pippi moved in.

Bad Pic, but he quickly checked out her feed.

They shared a meal, as one does to get to know one another.

Pippi then gave him a quick sniff.

Target was not shy about his immediate affection.

Target rubbed and purred and was quite vocal about how happy he was to get a horse.

The snugglefest continued for about twenty minutes, until Pippi remembered that she still had feed.

We now wondered how Target would take to riding, and placed him on Pippi's back. She did not bat an eye.

Suffice it to say that Pippi likes her new barn. She is the only full size horse there, but with her new pet I think she will be quite happy. The mini horses found her fascinating, while she was more interested in the grass than in them. Today she was able to go in and out at will, and stood inside while it rained only to go back out when it stopped. Daughter stopped by three times before two o'clock today, so I am being updated frequently on every detail. College classes give her a lot of freedom on priorities like these.

Kevin loves and adores Pippi, and checked on her three times after seven o'clock last night. He just kept saying "I just love that horse," while Donna was learning every detail about Pippi's care. Soon my posts will be about how Pippi is putting on too much weight, with all the treats and loving she is sure to get.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Pamela AnderMare.

I like to think that there are a number of people waiting to see what gems I will put on my blog next. I like to think that, and so feel the need to apologise to all of you loyal readers (ahem) that have been waiting impatiently for the story I promised the other day; how Pippi acted trashy: (please don't point out that no one waited, I LIKE to think you did wait)

Since we went to QH Congress Friday, we did not go see Pippi that day. And so the next day we were excited to spend some quality time with her. When we got to the barn, Pippi was in the field with Annie and Flash. And Annie was acting a little edgy, or at least worked up. Seemes she didn't like sharing Pippi with Flash the gelding, and was trying to keep him away from them.
When we first moved Pippi to this facility I had told Barn Owner that Pippi does get some attention from geldings, and that they had been known to leave their humans at shows just to take a closer look at our little mare. We even nicknamed her "Pamela Andermare" due to the attention she would get. No horse had ever done anything but just want to be near her, smell her, stand close and just look at her. Nostrils flaring with a "uuuhhh, I want to do something, but I can't remember quite what it is" look in their gelding eyes.

We brought Pippi in. She had on her yellow Duck cloth jacket, since we are trying to keep her coat smooth until after the last show. I noticed some red marks on her side, and remarked to Daughter that it looked like blood. Her entire flank had small traces of blood. We checked her all over as the Barn Owner arrived, and remarked to her that Pippi had blood on her jacket. Barn Owner looked at this and the general rubs of dirt on the jacket, got a funny look on her face, and said "well, I'll be damned."

Seems Flash had a small cut on the inside left ankle.

Wonder how that could have gotten on Pippi's side?

Well we didn't wonder any more, and Annie's behavior started to make a whole lot of sense. Poor Annie had no idea what those trashy teenagers were going to get into out there in the field, and she being just a little 4 year old was probably gobsmacked!!
I was Gobsmacked to, my little girl was a ...............Oh I can't even say it!!  Barn Owner said Flash was gelded at 8 months, he is now 8 years old, and until Pamela Andermare came around he had never been interested in any mare, in heat or not. Pippi was not in heat when they went out together, but she was when she came back in!!

A friend says Geldings can't help themselves; there is an arrow pointing the way!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Bling Bling!!

We were able to go check out the All American Quarter Horse Congress last Friday, and boy did we have a good time. They reportedly had over 750 vendors there, and after being there I can say that number is quite possible. Everything even remotely horse related was being sold, and we were in heaven. Loved the Equine Affaire this spring, due to the shows and the number of horse breeds present. At Congress there are just QH's and quite frankly I see those every day. We were there for the shopping!!!

It was Daughter's BDay,(20, what?)  and she was ready to spend her BDay money. All day I saw women wearing these really flattering jeans, blingy jeans, and I saw them for sale all over the convention. I am 41, so I was not sure whether they were for me. Although the women I saw were every age imaginable, and they looked hot. Towards the end of the day I had convinced myself to at least try on a pair. My Husband, whom I texted for back up told me "you will rock 'em Mama!" So off we went looking for a blingy pair!

I am cheap!! And not really all that into fashion, but when I like something I like it a lot. I am tall (long legged) and slender (used to be a beanpole), with hardly any hips. Jeans have always been an issue. Basically I would buy any pair that was long enough, whether they really fit at the waist or not. I figured there were belts for that. During the last few years a lot of my clothing, and all my jeans were actually bought at Goodwill. I started going there to buy barn clothes; sweatshirts, jackets, sweaters, etc. that I wouldn't mind ruining in the barn, and found that they have brand new clothing. Being cheap, I did mention that earlier, I was quite happy to spend under $4 for a pair of jeans.

Okay, so there we were at Congress looking at blingy jeans. Daughter was all for it, and stated that it would not embarrass her. Oh Good - that was my main concern!! (not) We went to Rod's, and a cute petite salesgirl came up to help me. I think I looked lost. She asked my size, and was confused when I said I didn't really know. She pegged me at a 30/36. Okay. Off to the dressing room I went. There was a long line of women of all ages holding pairs of blingy jeans. There was a sale; buy two pair of "Rock n'Roll Cowgirl", get one free. I was really nervous, and was talking to Daughter about whether these jeans were for me, when a fella told me that it "wasn't the age of the bootie, it was the size of said bootie, that determined whether a woman should wear them jeans." Okay -I totally ate that up!!

I pulled the jeans up, and wow, they were great. Who knew jeans could fit like that? They hugged every curve, the lenght was perfect, the waist tapered to fit and they just looked fantastic. I even liked the bling. Oh heck yeah, I had to get them!! I had a bootie in these jeans. "Olive Oil" grew a butt, it was a miracle. I bought two, and Daughter was able to get the free pair.

So there you go. Mama has gone Cougar. Well, you know I always said that I would rather dress ridiculously young than go Fuddy Duddy. Guess I am living up to that statement after all. I do love these jeans. They make me feel HOT, and my hubby loved them. I'm a Rock N' Roll Cowgirl!! The price was something else. To put it in horse terms; you could feed good alfalfa for a month for a pair of these jeans. But I love them enough to do it anyway.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Western Displeasure

(Warning - may tick some people off! If you are a WP rider, please proceed with caution.)

I have been watching some of the live feed from the All American Quarter Horse Congress taking place in Ohio this month. Today they were having some sort of Western Pleasure class, not sure which one as I missed the beginning. Here is what a similar class from last year looked like:
I don't get it!!
Horses are strong, graceful, athletic, and smooth movers. Training them to move like this makes them look hobbled, lame and gives them a weird kink in their movements. And it is not pretty!!

I must be missing something.

I am sure it is difficult, and challenging to train horses and riders to do this, and I am not knocking that at all. I also realize that all disciplines have their issues, and that all disciplines cause hardship and damage to the horses. I also dislike the headsets in other riding to be fair, but at least they are not trained to look injured. I mean, horses do jump things on their own, when do they ever move like this when not injured? If I saw a horse move like that in the field, I would call a Vet.

And again, to me, it is just not pretty and graceful. Dressage movements at least lets the horse move out, and I can see the beauty, I really can't see it here.

If you can, please explain this to me.

Btw, you can see the QH Congress live feed here:

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Meet the Gang!

When I was a little girl, growing up in Scandinavia, my favorite book was the story of Cinderella. In my book, Cinderella had a white Persian cat which I believed to be a fairytale animal, much like a Unicorn. Since finding out that those kinds of cats are in fact real, I had wanted one. Dreamed of having one of the flat faced, beautiful fluff balls.
On December 8th, 2004 my husband, gave me an early Christmas present because he said "it would be hard to store away." I sat on the couch with my eyes closed, and when he asked me to open them, I saw a teeny tiny Persian kitten in a suede basket. The kitten was blue and white, and when I exclaimed in surprise, she stretched her little body and made a little squeak. I named her JingleBelle:


JingeBelle sits like this quite often and for long periods of time.
In both of these pictures she has had a trim of her otherwise super fluffy coat. Both her and I are happier when we trim it a bit, to cut down on the amount of hairpulling my poor girl has to endure. 

Almost a year after JingleBelle joined the family, we decided that she needed a companion. If we would have asked her she would have denied this. JingleBelle has often showed us her displeasure in having cats in the house; seems she thinks pets belong outside and that they are rather annoying. We drove to the cattery of some friends of ours to pick out a Short Hair Exotic cat (basically a short haired Persian, same body type, same flat face, but with short thick fur). We had heard about one kitten that lost his tail during birth, and was quite interested to meet Stumpy. He is JingeBelle's nephew. Although he was quite catatonic when we saw him,  and we were worried about his mental abilities (was he without oxygen while stuck in the birthcanal?), Son kept saying "but I love him," and so Stumpy came home with us.



 Our friends kindly offered to give us a BOGO deal, and Daughter and Husband had already picked out a kitten before Son fell in love, so that is how Haven came to live with us as well.



Besides Pippi, these are the animals that share our daily lives. Jinglebelle is haughty, sweet, demanding, but does not necessarily like being petted. Stumpy is my constant companion, needy, loves being held and petted, and talks incessantly. I can't remember the last time I used the restroom, or took a shower without him. Haven is Daughters cat, and cries whenever she is away from home. He collects her items and drags them around the house (pillows, bras, hair ties, socks, whatever smells like her), but will settle down if I pick him up.

The Pride.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Doesn't make cents!

Pippi is moving. Oh I know, I might as well put "again" at the end of that sentence right? So crazy. At least this time we are moving under good circumstances, and we leave behind no hurt feelings, no ruined friendships and with just positive things to say. So that's a change from last time.
The facility where we are now, has a red clay arena, so with fall coming that became useless. We had been allowed to ride in the grass around the beautiful pond, but the pond owners new GF put a stop to that, so we were left with only trail riding. Not the best training grounds for a Hunter/Jumper.
We looked around for a better facility, and dreamed of going to an indoor arena again. But here is the thing; I am not made of money!!!

Have you ever noticed how horse people tend to pretend that money is not an object when it comes to their horses? They talk as though they have an endless supply of cash, and that funds would never be a consideration when it comes to getting the best for their equines. They buy new saddles all the time, spend lots of cash on supplements, turnout sheets, bridles, and speak of everything with brand names. I buy used tack, go to tack auctions, buy used sheets (just got a duck cloth one that was spotless for $30) and try to coordinate farrier and vet calls to save on the trip fees.
Now, misunderstand me correctly: I would never skimp on feed, hay, medical care, farrying, etc, but I can not afford to board Pippi just anywhere. Paying top price for boarding is just not something I am willing to do, since it would seriously impact out families finances. I just can't, and will not, justify that. Our house needs repairs, we have one child in college, another one going to college in two years, car insurance (teenage boy), cell phones, etc. And although my main passion is Pippi, I can't throw 1/3 of my paycheck at her. It just doesn't make any "cents."

So, fortunatly for us, we know some really great people. They live in our neighborhood, have about 10 mini horses, and one stall big enough to accommodate a Pippi. No indoor arena, but decent turnout on grass, and large grass areas for riding. Pippi will have her own run that she can go out into at will, and we can skip down to see her anytime we want. No more driving for twenty five minutes, no more mileage on Daughters car (please let it last through college), and no more time wasted traveling back and forth.
I couldn't be happier, and more relieved.
 Ever laid awake at night and wondered if you are nuts calculating how much you spend on your hobby? I don't recommend it.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

"Here is to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do."
- Steve Jobs

Lasting beliefs.

I watched the video of Steve Jobs' Commencement Address at Stanford in 2005, as it is being broadcast all over the place due to his passing. It is a great speech, and really shows the depth and belief system of Steve Jobs.
After hearing his words I started to think about what my speech would be like. What would I have said? What are my lasting beliefs? What stories do I have to tell that would illustrate the lessons I have learned and the lessons I would want my kids to learn?

In the next few days I am going to give that some thought. So Thank You Steve Jobs for inspiring me to take a look at the "dots of my life" and to figure out how they lined up.