Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Midnight Rides?

For some reason, a midnight ride under a full moon sounds like a lot of fun! Not a long one, of course, just up the road and back, but I keep thinking how fun it would be. Not sure when I'll get to do that, but it would be neat... The black sky, stars, quiet, gentle balmy breezes, no traffic...

On another topic, I met some horses belonging to a friend of mine today. We had a lot of fun playing with her horses, and one of them, the Anglo-Arab (1/2 Arab, 1/2 Thoroughbred) mare was SO SMART - it was amazing! It's a good thing she likes people and tries to please, or else she could be a real pain. As it is, I really liked her. No photos, I'm afraid, as the camera is still broken... Anyway, I always like meeting new horses!


Remember Disaster Planning

Just a reminder to update your distaster preparedness plans!

The South Lake Tahoe fire has reminded me to be thinking about this. I'm glad we've done so much on our property already this year, (I think this might be our best year yet as far as how early everything was cleared) but evacuation is always still a possibility. A lady I know was moving to their Lake Tahoe house for the summer last weekend - they had packed everything up, including their cats, and moved it all to their summer house. They came back here unexpectedly for the weekend to finish something - their house was 2 doors from where the fire started. It burned to the ground while they were gone, and they lost almost all they owned. Even the cats are gone. :-( This disaster was not their fault, as no amount of planning could have prevented such a tragedy. It is a hard time for them, and I'm sure it will take them quite a while to recover.

Fires always scare me, and this one kind of shook me up for a few days, since it happened to people I know. Around here they say that we are a couple decades overdue for a major fire, and I don't like the sound of that! So, I'm double checking things and making an evacuation list for Mira and her stuff. I may not be able to prevent a fire, but I can do my best to make sure that everything important survives...


Sunday, June 17, 2007


Here is another slightly older picture of Mira. This was her grazing a few months ago, back when the grass was green. Sigh...

What I'm up to currently: Fencing again! I have a sneaking (well, no, actually a stomping) suspicion that I will be working on fencing off and on for pretty much the rest of my life. :-) So, it's a good thing I sorta like it! We've made a lot of progress at cutting weeds the last few weeks, and I've been slowly removing some old fencing. There is still quite a bit to do, though. I was hoping to do more on Saturday, but a relative had a bit of an emergency, so not much work happened. Oh well, people are more important than projects!
The previous owners had a lot of barbed wire fencing for the 2 horses they had, which is now sagging and rusty. Eeek! Not good stuff. I will be taking all of that out, fixing some posts and replacing others, and eventually putting up woven wire fence. It'll be nice to have more room for Mira to run around in!

Someday, if and when I can live in a wetter climate, I think it would be fun trying out how to do fencing with hedges. They've done that for hundreds of years in Europe, and it kind of intrigues me. Of course, that is assuming you stay on the same property for more than a few years! Anyway, I think it would be fun to find out more about how they did their hedges.

Hope everyone had a great weekend! Enjoy your Monday. :-D


Friday, June 15, 2007

Horse Expo 2007: Saturday Evening

The Saturday Evening Extravaganza at the Western States Horse Expo was a 2+ hours long show! Tommy Turvey did several acts between the other exhibitors, including some fun comedy stunts.

Everyone in our party, including the non-horsey ones, had a good time watching the variety of acts. One lady with an Arabian dressage horse came out and began a musical freestyle, but unfortunately her music stuck and could not be made to play past a certain point - so she was unable to finish. :-(

The California Cowgirls drill team galloped in in formation, and did even more displays than the previous evening - watching drill teams reminds me strongly of trapeze artists, for some reason! I think it's the timing...
The main thing I wish the Expo management would change is the ultra boring "We'd like to thank our sponsors" that they did too many times. Why don't they just have a "salute to the sponsors" moment, and flash the names on the screen while they tell us "these companies donated a big chunk of money, so if you like the Expo then please buy some of their products," we all know that's what they mean anyway!

One of the most exciting acts of the whole show was the chariot race! Tommy and Karen Turvey racing each other! Guess who won???


Thursday, June 14, 2007

Paul Potts and a thought about Heaven

Wow. I just finished watching 2 incredible videos of Paul Potts, a contestant on Britain's Got Talent. He is a very ordinary looking man who got on stage and WOWED Simon Cowell, the judges, and everybody else in the world. Opera fame, here he comes!

Go here and watch the first one, RIGHT NOW, and then watch this one immediately after. Do it!

Such a wonderful thing to happen to this guy!!!

The reason for this post, however, is that the last couple days I have been really arguing with God about something, and it's been kind of exhausting. It was completely my fault, because I was trying to do something He didn't want, and I was basically stomping my foot about it. Anyway, He did finally get through today, and right after that I saw this video the first time. After watching both several times, I suddenly realized something.

Everyone in audience, the judges, all the people who have watched this video, we are all cheering for this guy. We are SO glad he is getting all this praise and fame and recognition! It warms our hearts...

Then, I started to imagine:

It is Heaven's gateway. The scene about to take place is the arrival of yet another believer, finally Home, safe now, forever. Gathered around in eager anticipation are family members, friends, and the Holy One.

Suddenly, through the gate, escorted by angels, she comes! Her face is astonished, and her eyes widen as she starts to see the splendor and magnificence of Heaven's outer edges. The crowd bursts into excited cheers and applause, jumping up and down, calling her name, crying "Finally! We've been waiting SOO long for this day! And you have too, even though you didn't realize how much you were longing for this!"

Now she looks shy, overwhelmed. She thinks "What? Is everyone cheering for ME? Why? I worked hard on Earth, I did my best to love Jesus with everything in me, but still... This is totally awesome! It is so cool how everyone is so excited with me!"

Then, everyone's eyes are drawn to a tall figure as Jesus steps forward. She falls on her knees, overcome by joy. Weeping, she looks up into His face as He bends over and pull her into an embrace. She cannot bear the Love in His eyes - she never dreamed how much He loved her! He whispers, "Welcome home, good and faithful servant. Share in the joy I have been preparing for you from ages past! At last, I can start to show you all the good things I have in store, and at last I can tell you the reasons for so many things you wondered about below! Finally, I can give you your reward!"

Sometimes an emotion on Earth, like rooting for the underdog, or cheering for the victor, will give me a little picture of what Heaven will be like when I get there...


Horse Expo 2007: Photo Collage

The top photo is of an oddity that I always wonder about - a grass-covered truck. Is it some sort of strange mascot for Cal Expo? It is located in the kid's section, so I guess it's just something fun and weird for them to see. Either that, or management wanted to have something that would make everyone take pictures and make guesses... :-)

Second picture - Aren't those cute burros? We saw them walking around in pack strings quite often during the Expo.

The next pictures are of Tommy Turvey, the "Equine Extremist" and his trick-training clinic. I don't really like it when horses do strange tricks like sitting down, but I think bowing horses are extremely elegant, and it seems like something the horses really enjoy, too!

The last picture is of the California Cowgirl drill team - they are so incredible to watch in person! I suppose they must make mistakes in timing occasionally, but I've never caught one - some of their patterns require split second timing and they always seem to get it right! And I gotta say, I am definitely a girl, because I just love all the glitter and sparkles on their costumes and on their horses! :-D

These are some of the best pictures I got this year - enjoy. Now, if I can get the time to finish the post about Saturday evening...



I don't know if I've ever done a post on this before, but I guess I should, now that more people besides family members are reading my blog. ("Hi there!!!") You won't really see pictures with any faces of me or my family here, not because I don't want to share, but because a long time ago I promised my parents that I would not post personally identifiable information/pix anywhere on the open web. At some point in the future things may change, (they do realize I am an adult and have been for awhile now! And, they would probably allow me to decide for myself now...) but at this time I only share pictures of me to people via email and letters...

So, I am sorry about that, but do please enjoy the photos of my pets and other things! And I love to get email, so don't be shy!


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Horse Expo 2007: Day 2

We got to the Cal Expo grounds about 10:00, and went right to the Breyer booth. My siblings (and aunt!) wanted to PAINT THOSE MODELS! So, we all had fun doing that first.

When all our little models were “perfect” (it’s quite amazing how persnickety you get doing those!) and quite dry, we went over to watch Benny Guitron speak on hackamore training. It was cool – he said something about not being used to giving clinics or not having done a clinic before, so after he gave a very brief introduction to hackamores and their use, and his experiences/credentials, he asked for questions from the crowd. He said he wanted it to be a good learning experience for everyone, and he didn’t really have an agenda for what to say, so he wanted to talk about whatever the crowd wanted to talk about. I really liked his clinic – no frills, very simple, and some solid gold information. A lot of what he said dovetailed exactly with 2 other sources I have been studying lately, which I'll have to probably save it for future posts! :-) As I get more involved in the horse world, I meet/see people of all types, and there are some that I file away for future reference as being “real” people, people who seem genuine, open, and interested in people as well as horses. Benny Guitron is one of them.

We then went to a different arena to watch a vaulting demo. My sis is thinking about trying vaulting someday, and had actually talked to the vaulting team coach earlier, so we all went over to watch the demo with her. It was cool to watch all the stunts they can do, but our seats were far from cool… Right in direct sun – we were miserable, so my brothers and I left a bit early to go get lunch. But it is amazing to watch vaulters work!

The last thing we watched that afternoon was Donna Snyder-Smith’s clinic on riding with correct posture. Lots there – I might have to do another separate post on that. The relationship between the rider's posture and the horse's nervousness or relaxation has always been fascinating to me.
Anyway, I hope you all enjoy the pics, small as they are! Maybe next year I'll have a camera with a telephoto lense and be able to get close-ups... Next post: Saturday Evening.


Finally, a new Mira Pic!

While I still have the borrowed camera, I've taken some pictures of Mira - yay!

She is doing quite well. I really missed her while I was gone, but you know what's funny? We have 2 dogs, who belong to my younger siblings. I do things with Mira several times a day, but she is used to having other people feed her in the morning while I'm at work. The dogs get fed/played with several times a day also, but usually by the same person every time. The weird thing is, apparently Mira figured out right away that I was gone - my Mom says she went into "hibernate" mode and just sat around, ate, and sat around. The dogs, however, kept periodically barking for my siblings to come out and play, and they continued that for more than a day before they finally gave up - but the dogs are right next to the house, and Mira's pasture is 30'-40' away - are horses just more alert to things like that???

Anyway, Mira definitely was glad to see me... well, until I gave her a bath! She needed it though. I usually only hose her off, and maybe do conditioner once a week, so it's always amazing how blinding white she becomes when she's actually been cleaned with SOAP. :-D

Hope you are all having a great start to your week! As soon as I get my Expo pictures organized I'll be posting a few.


Monday, June 11, 2007

Horse Expo: Day 1 Continued

Another thing that was fun was wandering through the shopping centers, taking a break in the cool air - they now have 4 HUGE buildings that are just crammed with everything you could imagine related to horses! Lots of coupons and giveaways, too :-D

Bob Avila on Brother White ended up winning the Magnificent 7 - this is his second year to win! Bob Avila is so consistent with his performance. I've learned to expect the horse to be topnotch, and all the maneuvers to be precise. He doesn't always win, but he's always up there near the top.

Oh, yeah, the Parelli demo... I've always loved their demos where the Savvy Team comes out and everyone does tricks and demos with their horse at once, but I especially like when someone and their horse will exactly synchronize their gaits. For example, a person will skip around in a circle, and the horse will circle with them, loping in time with the person. It is so cool! I thought about training Mira to do that when I got her, but realized I probably shouldn't try small circles with her at her age and considering our footing... But, I realized while watching them, "DUH!!! Of course I can still do straight line trotting work!" Mira already slows down, stops, and speeds up without lead rope cues, so I know she's paying attention. First I want to see if I can get her to back up as I back up, while I face forward and stand by her shoulder. Eventually it would be REALLY cool if I could get her to do a piaffe (trot in place) with me, but we'll see!!!

Anyway, I got several ideas from several clinicians about things to work on, so the next few weeks will be fun. :-)

Hopefully I can get the pictures uploaded soon and post a few tomorrow. I look forward to catching up on how everybody's weekends went!


Friday, June 8, 2007

Horse Expo 2007: Day 1

I just got back a little while ago from the Expo, and wow oh wow! The last thing we saw before we left tonight was Tommy Turvey doing chariot racing and roman riding. (i.e. riding two horses, standing up, with one foot on each horse's back) He has two black and white Paint geldings that he does the roman riding with, and he has this trick where he runs them along the arena fence and then jumps up on the fence and runs along it, leaning over to still hold the reins, before jumping back down to stand with one feet on each horse's back again. It was very exciting! That was the half-time show for the Magnificent 7 - we had to leave then, so I don't know yet who won... It might have been Brother White, or it might have been Really A Reyner, who is a very cute mare, or it could be someone totally different...

My sis and I followed our long tradition of eating burritos and ice-cream cones for meals.

We enjoyed watching the Parellis, Pat & Linda, perform, and I will try to recap it a little more tomorrow - they gave me an idea to try with Mira!

We wandered through the shopping areas, and saw about 4 zillion cool items for sale. I managed to avoid getting anything not planned for though - so far!

A friend of mine very kindly lent me her digital camera for this trip, so I have been able to take a LOT of pictures, and will see if I can post some tomorrow morning, as well as more details about what it was like. Good night all!


Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Horse Expo!

This weekend I will be attending the Western States Horse Expo! I have gone every year for the last few years, and it is always really fun! Of course, I will come home sunburned, exhausted, and a bit stiff from walking miles and miles every day (the grounds are BIG), but my camera will be filled with cool pictures and my head stuffed with new info, ideas, and good examples.

In fact, the opportunity to watch the "best of the best" ride is one of my favorite parts of this deal. It's so important to SEE what I'm aiming for and where I want to get in my riding. It especially has helped me connect the dots a lot better with some of the reining and cutting maneuvers - you can read about them, but seeing them is a whole different experience. One of these days, I'll get to actually DO those maneuvers, and hopefully I'll have a head start on learning proper form!

My younger sister's and brother's favorite part of the Expo last year was the free Breyer horse painting - they like hands-on things. I have to admit, that part was fun! I should put up a picture of the little Breyer models we did last year...

One of my favorite events each year is the Magnificent 7 competition - 7 horses and 7 riders compete in cutting, reining, steer stopping, and down the fence work. Last year I believe Bob Avila won both 1st and 2nd places! I love watching this event, for a lot of reasons. I have a few funny stories I will have to tell about some of the antics of the cows!

For some reason we've never made it to the Saturday Evening Extravaganza, but this year we intend to go - I can hardly wait. :-)

I look forward to telling you guys all about what it was like this year! I will try to do a post each evening, journal form, but we'll see!!! I also intend to visit a horse rescue place near there on Sunday, so I'll let you guys know how that goes as well.


Sunday, June 3, 2007

Website Link: Tack at Wholesale Prices

I really like this place, so I will be generous and share it with you. :-D We all love a good deal, and they have some great ones!'


Someone I Really Admire

I just found this article. I love how this guy thinks all the time, and how simple his techniques are! I especially liked the bit about the turkey Gobbledygo - certain family members will understand why! LOL

Not much going on lately, just the usual. Mira is doing well, though the flies are crazy right now. No matter how much I work at controlling them with traps, fly predators, and (a little bit of) fly spray, they still are being a real pain. There are so many horses on our road that even if I get rid of my flies, that just leaves more room for flies from the other properties :-( ... For some reason hardly any of my neighbors ever pick up manure! So, I am thinking I might just buy a couple extra orders of fly predators and scatter them by night over some of the neighbors' fences - shh, don't tell! Well, maybe I should just ask first? :-)


Rare & Valuable

Common Sense!

I was just wondering why it is called "common" sense when it is so uncommon!?!

Every now and then, like this weekend, I watch someone do something totally strange/stupid/unforsightful, and I wonder, "Why don't they just ____? That would just be common sense, after all!" Oh well. Takes all kinds, I guess. :-)