Thursday, December 31, 2009

Golly Geez Where'd the Year Go?

It's nearly 2010!

Let me briefly re-cap my days to help me remember the details later.
Dec 20 - Sunday, shopping shopping, (massage), more shopping
Dec 21 - The St. Louis Gateway Arch
Dec 22 - Lesson over 2'3" fences, soccer game, R family gift exchange

Dec 23 - Travel to Pittsburgh

Dec 24 - The Strip District (sounds bad, don't it?), Christmas Eve in Beaver
Dec 25 - Christmas in PA - Ice Ice Baby
Dec 26 - Gift shipping & Hockey , Bucket List Bucket List

Dec 27 - Back to Texas

Dec 28 - Ransom over X's (If I can jump a stranger's horse over 2'3", I can hop X's on my own, yeah?)
Dec 29 - Recovering my life
Dec 30 - Waco for da day

And here we are. Dec 31. I'm back at work, and life is almost back to normal. All of it in its place, right where I left it.

I'm staying home tonight for Amateur Night. How about the rest of you? I've missed our lively discussions, and look forward to another entire year blogging my equestrian adventures. I'm going to spend the next few days contemplating setting some show goals for the year.

Monday, December 21, 2009

12/19 - 12/20

I can't get a simple plane ride. I swear!

Got to JFK Parking Spot early. Got to the IAH check in early. Waited in line, got the boarding passes, bags checked, all that happy jazz. Got through security without a hitch. Can you imagine? No beeping, no problems, no frisking, patting down, nothing!

Got near the gate, we decided to stop for lunch. There's a Schlotsky's , that'll work. We ordered, and we waited
and waited
and waited.
Fifteen minutes, I walked away from the counter. R went over, and discovered, they'd lost our order ticket. Reordered, and I leaned on the counter, staring at the lady until she got the #$*&^ meal fixed. Ate quick.

Got back to the gate, sat our stuff down, R went to the restroom, and when he was walking back.. The gate attendant said, "J and R, and ___, if you don't check in now, we're giving away your seats."

What?! Good holy grief! We were at the gate FIFTEEN MINUTES before depart time. They never called us. Just a last-call "give up your seats" call! I jumped up & hollered, "We're right here! Thanks for the warning! We're coming right now!"

So, we get in the plane, get seated, flight attendant walks up, and says to us & the two sittin' in front of us, "Okay, one of the four of you needs to give up your seat for that fellow over there with the baby. If you don't, he can't stay on the plane. He can't sit over there in the single window seat with the baby because there isn't an extra oxygen mask. So who's it going to be?" I looked right at her, and said, "No ma'am. He should have planned ahead."

I have a HUGE PET PEEVE about babies on airplanes. See, babies don't usually cost extra to fly. My little Schnauzer Allie? She's $200 round trip, to stuff under the seat in front of me. That just ain't right. Screaming babies should not be free, and furthermore, if you have a baby, you need to choose your seats appropriately. The child was NOT a surprise - you had plenty of notice that kid was there. So plan ahead!

We stayed in our seats, someone else moved, and the flight went on as scheduled. Arrived in STL without a hitch. Had another little snag with the rental car (Hertz rental co picks CHRISTMAS to try out "new fandangled computer system", and had no record of our reservation. We got him a confirmation #, and he suddenly found us. Got to the lot, and again, the car wasn't exactly as planned).

But we arrived at R's sister's house without any more disasters.

Sunday was simple, filled with time with family, gift shopping, and a little R&R. No, not Romeo & Ransom.. Rest & Relaxation, I finally got the "right R&R". R treated us both to a hour massage at Massage Envy, and it was amazing. The girl that worked on me, Amanda, did a fantastic job. Very refreshing.

Everybody here is at work or school today, so I don't know what the day brings. Might take in some tourist sights, might get to ride (there are fancy schmancy barns All Over the Place here).

Holidays Holidays

Where did I go? Where have I been?

Saturday morning, I bid farewell to my kiddos, left them in Jen's capable care, and headed off.

But where I'm at right now,
there's snow on the ground
and it is

COLD! =) R here with me to keep me warm, *whew*.

Now, to get started on those auto-postin' thingies, so I don't forgets nothin' 'bout da trip.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

12/15/09 It's A Deer!!!

Ransom in his hunt saddle, and me bundled up in a heavy coat, pink beanie hat & full chaps... Off we went to the arena.

I peered at the crossrail set up in the arena. I stared at it. I chickened out.

With the new shorter stirrup length, I'm finding the overall ride a bit easier. It's also getting a little easier to feel sunk down in my heels, especially at the canter. Working on moving with him, and not feeling so bouncy in the tack.

About 6 deer popped up into the pasture just outside the arena. I think they saw Ransom, and knew he was working. I also don't think they saw me. I ended up making a boogerload of noises, hollering at them, near them, around them. Finally, they scampered back off into the woods, two of 'em still standing in the pasture edge munching.

Now, did Ransom go bonkers-goofy-spooked? Nope, not one bit. He looked hard at them once, realized what they were, and went about his merry working ways. We played together for about 35 minutes. The sharp north wind, combined with some drizzly sprinkles cut our action short.

Still, much fun. A whole heckuva lot better than sittin' inside watching the weather channel. Even in the winter here, it's not super-cold, and with the right gear, is tolerable to ride outside.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Lyrics of the Day

Rich Mullins, Hold Me Jesus
Well, sometimes my life
Just don't make sense at all
When the mountains look so big
And my faith just seems so small

So hold me Jesus, 'cause I'm shaking like a leaf
You have been King of my glory
Won't You be my Prince of Peace

And I wake up in the night and feel the dark
It's so hot inside my soul
I swear there must be blisters on my heart


Surrender don't come natural to me
I'd rather fight You for something
I don't really want
Than take what You give that I need
And I've beat my head against so many walls
Now I'm falling down,
I'm falling on my knees
And this Salvation Army band
Is playing this hymn
And Your grace rings out so deep
It makes my resistance seem so thin

You have been King of my glory
Won't You be my Prince of Peace

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

12/14/09 It's a Cow ! ! ! !

Ransom and I played dressage last night.. However, so did the #$*^& neighbor's cows.

Stupid Cows!
Ransom had the "lookie loos" at the cows. I don't mean peek & get back to work. I mean head & neck in complete denial of forward and away from the cows. He was flexed OUT at the rail facing the cows.

I rode through it for nearly 30 minutes. In his cool down, he got fussy crabby again, and really stopped paying attention to me, as if he needed to know why the cows were coming closer to him. I dismounted and hand walked him over to the cows. I stood & waited with him until he started to drop his head & relax.

We ended up walking back to the trailer in near dark. Undressed & put his sheet on, in the dark. I hate winter here - dark & dreary. Not cold enough to be called winter, not snowy, not even sleet. Just dreary.. and dark.

When he did work, it wasn't too shabby. In the cooler temperatures, getting forward is really quite easy. Transitions aren't beautiful, but that's expected since my rides have been so irregular.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Getting Back on Track

Last week... It rained mostly, but
I got a bareback ride in on Romeo, concentrating on his "go" and "whoa". It was blustery with a cold wind whipping around the yard, and he in no way wanted to be working. He settled in, but I do wish we would've had enough dry land to lunge at that moment.

On one of the drier days, I lunged and rode Ransom bareback. Walk & trot. He did great. In all of the nasty weather, he's lost some muscle up by his withers, so I kept the ride short.

Thursday, I rode him dressage, w.t.c. It went really well. Made me a bit sad I'd decided to not show in Katy on the 12th, but we got a great ride in on the drier side of the arena.

Friday, it was a hunter day. I shortened my stirrups a hole, after the last lesson, hoping this would help my overall balance. Worked like a charm. Had a really nice ride. The wind was howling around the arena, but I've come to discover Ransom loves cooler weather. He moves out great, transitions great, and has a really nice forward going.

Otherwise, not much riding going on around here (thus the lack of blogging). R and I travelled to Eagle Pass yesterday, and I've got a funny Border Patrol story to tell later today or tomorrow. On the way home, we went to see Mister Tom the Hay Man. He had the latest batch tested, 21% protein. It's not as thin or quite as green, but as we were unloading & stacking, Ransom nearly tore two bales from our hands, grabbing mouthfuls. Both boys are seeming to be enjoying it, so mission accomplished there.

Countdown to holiday travel, 6 days. UGH. My gifts are mostly bought & shipped, with a little bit more to do. I'm hoping for a few more rides this week in & around directly after work. They might be short, but I need my "fix", before being away from the boys for a bit over a week.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Santa Has Been


12/07/09 I'll Settle For

A little grooming & mud scraping. Yup. I had the best laid plans when I left work.

Come hell or high water, the Good Lord willing & the creek don't rise.. I was going to either lunge or ride, but I was doing something. Somebody was getting their day sheet off, and I was going to get some horse time.

I bounded home, realized Ransom would have to wait another day, sliding just trying to walk around his pasture. I ran inside, hurried the dogs to potty, changed my boots. I was doing this. I ran to the trailer, grabbed my bareback pad, grooming things, bridle.. wait.. what's that sound??

Pit, Pat, Pit, Pat, thump, thump, trickle trickle.. Crap! That's the sound of More Rain, ruining my plans.

I stuffed the bridle & pad back in the trailer, and took my grooming things to Ransom's stall. I gave both boys some hay, and while Ransom munched, I groomed. I curried the mud off of his legs, combed his tail & weed-growing mane, and we had some bonding time. He nuzzled his head into my arms, smeared some horse-loving mud in my jacket, along with a little snot just to keep me honest.

I hope tonight meets my plans a bit better.

Monday, December 7, 2009

12/07/09 Weekend Recap

Too wet, and too frigging cold & drizzly to ride. Yes, indeed, it did snow on Friday. The grass was coated white for only a few minutes. I was too wrapped up in the moment to take pictures, pleased the ground was barely white.

I didn't ride this weekend, and I wish I had. Saturday morning was Christmas choir practice, followed by a marathon of Christmas gift shopping. Yes, folks, I'm nearly done. Three stores, a few hours, and I'm almost finished.

Sunday, choir Christmas, and then, it was drizzly, raining that nasty "too light to keep the windshield wipers from dragging", but "too frigging wet to make a ride enjoyable."

So I stayed inside, all weekend. I'm sure hoping this weekend proves a little less nasty, so that I can get at least some goofing around stuff in on Ransom. Maybe a mailbox trip on Romeo.

Plenty else buzzing around in my mind, but none of it blogworthy. Ya'll have a great day!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A Weather Request

To all those Above The Mason-Dixon Line,

Can you please take back your winter weather? It seems to have taken a wrong turn, and dove waaaaaaaay too far south. Having lived here five years now, my blood has thinned sufficiently enough, I see the “S” word in my forecast, and I’d like to return it back to you where it belongs.

I don't believe this is entirely possible, but the weather people say so, and if it's really another wet and strong cold front (before the current one moves on), I suppose it could happen.

Time to scour the barn for extra layers for the boys. Low of, what, 27F Friday night? That's just N-V-T-S , NUTS!

December Begins - The Week

Won't be much riding this week, I don't suppose. It has been raining, and cold in our own little South Texas sort of way. Ransom has been wearing his turnout sheet and midweight all week, and has been playing a few games with me.

R installed some pull chain light bulbs in the stalls. We ran string from the pull chains along the top of the stalls, and down to my reach. This means every morning I can walk to the barn, pull the strings, and flip lights on in each stall. Cool, right? Ransom thinks so, too.

My darling, large, bay, genius horse, has decided how to turn the light on. Not so bad, right? Well, Monday morning, I went out to feed, his light was on. I flipped it off. Monday night when I got home from work, it was on again. Tuesday morning when I went out to feed? Back on again. Yesterday morning, I fiddled and fuddled with the string location, and got it just about to where he can't mess with it. This seems to be a good fix for now.

Of course, the humor can't end there. Yesterday, the weathermen were saying a high of 59F. That's too warm for midweight turnout, even with Ransom's clip. So I switched him to his turnout sheet. As I was taking the midwt off, he walked away, barely still attached. Where did he go? To the lighted area??? Oh no, of course not! Ransom went to the side of the barn that's in the dark.

And there, I undressed him & put his lite sheet on, by the moon light. Just like I'd done it before all the barn lights were installed. Silly Silly horse! To make matters worse, it never got above 53F at my house yesterday. So, the whole time, I never even needed to change his clothes.

I apologized to Ransom (and Romeo, who was in a similar situation of being inappropriately dressed *laugh*) right after work, as I put his mid weight back on, to which he yawned, licked, chewed, and nuzzled me.

When I left for work today, I left him and Romeo in their midweights, hoping the weatherguys are wrong again, and that 59F turns more into 53-54F. Ransom ate his breakfast slowly, putting his head over the stall wall to nuzzle & snuggle with me, I think in appreciation of me allowing him to stay warmly dressed this morning.