Horses lend us the wings we lack.

In riding a horse we borrow freedom.

The air of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Forget tack shops, let go garage saling!

Every year, I love to go hunt for bargains at the local community-wide garage sales. Never before have I seen so many garage sales in one town, nor those that actually have good stuff for sale. This year, I brought my mother in law along to share the fun.  She is an avid barterer and boy, did I learn how to bargain for low prices. I came home with literally a truck load of stuff, and paid for nothing in full.  The steal of the day was a trophy saddle from the Dodge Rodeo tour in 2001.  The previous owner a bull rider - afraid of horses (go figure) -  had never had it on a horses back before and had no idea of it's worth (approx $1100).  My mother in law played it cool, pretended that she knew nothing about horses, when in actuality she is a professional in the horse world and offered them $100.  We paid a shocking $250 and walked away knowing we practically stole if from them.  And guess what?! It fits my horse perfectly. It took a while to break the 10 year old leather in!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Horse Trainer?

Recently I was training a horse that had come to the barn for a few weeks to get her manners in line before her owner moved her to her own farm.    After almost two weeks of working with her, I had no issues; this horse was smart and knew exactly which buttons she could press. She had had a hard tough previous life and knew how to survive through thick and thin. My last day of training, I was going to take her out for a trail ride by herself. The horse was in a dithery state, and I should have seen what was to happen, but unfortunately my mind was too preoccupied on personal matters.  I was out at the mounting block, still afoot, trying to send a quick text and the horse was getting more and more dithery (don't mix texting and horses- it's a dangerous mix- read on to see why). While trying to text, I just kept reminding her to stand still and be patient (one of her weaknesses was waiting)- something we had worked on and excelled at over the past few weeks.  All of a sudden, with no warning (ok I had warning, I just wasn't using my horse sense at that particular time) the horse ran off, leaving me desperately hanging on the reins trying to stop her. I let out a squawk (which apparently was confused with the half crow of our old rooster) and the reins ripped out of my hands and off she went, galloping back to her paddock.  I could swear the horse would have given me the middle finger if she could have.  I caught her, and started to cry.  My morale was beaten to a pulp.  Boy did  I feel stupid.  Lesson learned, don't mix business with personal matters!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Hot Horses in the Spring

Why is it that every spring, the horses get too hot for their britches?  Every April, out comes my western shank bit for Sheylan - I normally ride her bitless, but even in the spring a regular snaffle won't suffice when she's out on trail and makes a mad dash out of pure glee.  My jumping horse, Eddie, who performs like an angel all winter in the indoor arena, needs draw reins added to keep him from galloping at every jump. I don't know whether it's the warmer weather, the softer footing, the after affect of the rider glad they can finally ride outside and not freeze that makes them act a little bit crazier. But every spring, all I know is that I blame all craziness on the weather.