Tuesday, June 30, 2009

06/29 Antici...

...pation! That was the name of the game in Monday's ride with Ransom. I saddled him up but lunged first (on the lunge line, in side reins on 8s). Nearly a half hour, and I kept telling him, "A little too much gas in the tank, my love.. a little too much gas", as he powered around me at a goofy trot & canter. Finally, he decided he was stretched out enough, and warmed up enough from his long weekend break.

I hopped on, and we worked on the key pieces of upcoming dressage tests.
* Circle 20m in the center with 2-5 steps of walk crossing the center line - Those went surprisingly well. He stayed mostly collected, and actually stepped under himself at the walks. Really cool!
* 2-loop serpentines - a bit to be done, as I wasn't looking ahead, and had to almost pull him out of the corners to keep the loops, um, loopy. :)
* Trots down the diagonals - very well, Very straight. Keep my eyes over & past the diagonal letter, and we'll stay straight
* Long free walk down diagonal - again, I need to keep eyes focused (not as good as the trot work)
* Long walk down two diagonals, for example M-X-F - very good. Shocked me how straight the lines were, and that he stayed long & low in the direction change.

Then we took a halt break at the mounting block. I had a quick drink, and we stood, still, dismounted. After a few minutes, I hopped back on.

Worked on a few trot to halt transitions (which were pretty), and a little bit of canter work. Admittedly, I'd left my helmet in the trailer, not planning to do more than trot. But my boy looked so darn good on the side reins, I wanted to see if he was riding that smoooooth. ooh ooh ooh! I love my new saddle. I actually felt my seat pushing him at a controlled stride heading both directions. Cantered circles, and one trip around the arena each direction.

Walked a bit, then halted, and dismounted, again. A few more minutes of "standing and thinking". By now, an hour had passed since we started, including warm up. This would begin the mental test of whether he would hold up and concentrate after an hour.

I got back on, and worked on walk to halt. A few were really nasty. I quickly shoved him into a big trot, let him try to tell me he wanted to walk, pushed him a tad further, and then asked for a halt. Trot to halt was gorgeous! Went back to walk, worked on walks to halt - not so bad now. Repeated trot to walk, and walk to halt, on the circle, both directions. Finished up with lots of long and low walk, a few halts on a sigh & "whoa" to keep his mind active through the cool down.

A much better ride than the lesson day. The plan of "Ride a little, and take a break" was great for me (!), and I think a good teaching tool for Ransom. Lather, Rinse, Repeat! Back to work on Wednesday.

I feel a goof-off day tonight with Romeo ahead.. Haven't played with the Little Man since before "vacation", so I'm looking forward to that.

Monday, June 29, 2009

6/25 - 6/28 Weekend "Vacation" - Sunday

With the trip nearly over, I had progressed past "the girl everyone's watching" to one of the crowd. I had become comfortable enough around most of the family & friends that I'd stopped worrying about "who was watching me" or "was I relaxed enough", and just started being plain old me.

Nearly everyone on the trip enjoyed breakfast together in the lodge restaurant. Fantastic service, and fabulous food. A great time to relax, and our waitress was phenominal, given that she had our group of 20 (along with other patrons), split over three tables, some checks covering 2-3 tables, folks spread out all over.

With breakfast complete, we headed to the room, and began packing our things, gathering & loading in the truck for the trip home. With one item forgotten, we had to turn back, but still had a relaxing trip home.

So, I "met the family", a task worth accomplishing, and got some relaxing in myself. The best parts of the trip had to be the time alone on the river, relaxing, and enjoying some quiet time with my sweetheart.

Final thoughts and funnies will come later today, if time allows.

6/25 - 6/28 Weekend "Vacation" - Saturday

Woke up Saturday morning to find we'd slept late. Well, so had everyone else, a detail I found very funny. When R looked at his watch, he said to me hurriedly, "It's already 9:00!!" He peeked out the bedroom door, to find only one other couple was awake, and they'd just gotten up a few minutes before. *whew* We did sleep late, but no later than anyone else! Thank goodness!

The family wandered again down to the river for the morning, while R & I took some time off alone to do a bit of shopping & exploring. Visited a few neat tourist-shops, full of little bits local to the area. Also took a drive through the rest of the cabin-resort area we were staying at. The river was low *everywhere*, and I'd quickly discovered that our little "floating pad" on the river was one of the best as far as water goes. Plenty of people in other spots on the river, crowds all around.

Returned around lunch time again, just as everyone was returning from their morning play. Had a nice lunch break, cleaned things up, and again began preparing my evening "offering" - apple crisp. A recipe modified to meet my diet needs, but fabulous nonetheless.

Another brief nap, and back to the river. This time, however, soon after we arrived, everyone else was ready to head home, so we were alone most of that afternoon. I laid in the innertube, parked myself along the edge of the river, and faced-up to the sun, allowing it to bake me into a suntan. The wind was blowing just enough that, combined with the occasional splash of riverwater, I nearly fell asleep. Note: Nearly! A few of the youngsters in the family were around playing, water-guns in-hand. There was no chance I would allow myself to totally fall asleep, as I figured I would either be squirted in the face, or my tube "accidentally" shoved down stream, waking me up in sheer terror. When the boys wandered off to fish, R and I spent some more time talking, resting, and relaxing.

I retreated for the night to the room, where I hid under a few good books and my mp3 player. What I thought would be a long night's rest was by far the shortest of the trip. All in all, still a decent evening.

6/25 - 6/28 Weekend "Vacation" - Friday

"Woke up" at a decent morning hour Friday. I use the quotes because I slept very little, so I simply decided it was time to get my lazy arse up & continue to "face the family".

R and I joined up with two other family members, and, while most went to the river to float & play, we took a "trip to town", for some ice, a few groceries, and other necessary supplies. A neat car trip, giving me even more time for reflection (and absorption, getting adjusted to all the new people).

We returned right in time to get lunch started, and helped out with that. Before long, the crowd had crawled up the hillside for lunch, and everyone enjoyed the good feast. I was a little less observant this meal, and participated a bit more in the conversations, getting a little more comfortable. (Still... ever feel like you're being watched? LOL) Found the best company to be in some "friends of the family", B&J, who were incredibly easy to talk to & spend time with.

After lunch clean-up, R assisted in the construction of peanut butter pie, my peace-offering for dinner dessert. A bit overwhelmed by the crowd, and more than a bit exhausted from not sleeping the night before, we enjoyed a decent afternoon nap before venturing down to the river.

Having not seen "the river" except briefly Thursday night in the dark, I wasn't sure what to expect. Best I can describe it - Very serene. There was little to no water running downstream, due to low rainfall this year. However, it was deep enough to swim in quite a few places. We stayed for a while with family & friends, then, after they wandered off, we stayed a while longer. Friend B was off to the side fishing, and nabbed himself a very nice largemouth bass (about 14" long, and probably 2.5-3#), though we'll never tell anyone else that's true!

By far the funniest moment of the trip came that evening, sitting in the water on some rocks, chatting about all the family details. I got bit! By a fish! On the toosh! Thinking about it again now, I'm still laughing! I got bit by a fish! I jumped, squealed, and probably scared all the fishes out of the river! I hollered to B, "Listen, man! You need to catch that SOB, and teach him a lesson! You've got two more days to find him & bring him to justice!" *laugh*

We wandered up the hillside, and enjoyed a fabulous dinner with the crowd. An early evening ending, as most were tired from the day before (and a day playing on the water). I was entirely ready to call it quits early in the evening, relaxed, and becoming increasinly more comfortable with my surroundings.

6/25 - 6/28 Weekend "Vacation" - Thursday

If anybody missed me, I'm back! Now, where did I wander off to? One bad lesson-ride, and I vaporize off the blog-world, AND I spent time out of the saddle?! Foolish, huh?

While everyone was enjoying a peaceful weekend of rides and trips, or watching it rain, I went out of town for the weekend. I have accomplished a task, and, um, learned a few things. Thursday afternoon, I packed my things, hauled the girls to the vet for boarding, kissed the boys on the nose (and told Ransom to miss me!), and headed to R's house, to find him packing the truck swiftly. By about 7:00pm, we were on our way. We were? But where did we go?

It was the "annual family vacation" to the Frio River, west of San Antonio, TX. Who's family vacation? His! R's sister & her immediate family live out-of-state, and came for their annual vacation, meeting up with other family, and a handful of friends. Everyone assembles at a cabin-rental place near the river, for as much as a week, or as short as a weekend, whatever the calendar allows for. I was invited, oh, about two months ago, and began making plans to attend. The trip there was rather uneventful, except for what looked to be a horrible car accident in SA. Prayers sent up for the victims of the wreck, as well as the emergency services folks helping in the rescue & clean-up. We arrived late (late!) Thursday evening.

In reflection, that was probably the more entertaining part of the whole weekend. We unloaded our things, and went to another's cabin to have dinner and visit. As we turned the corner to the back porch, all conversations seemed to stop at one time. It was an awkward moment of "Hi everybody! This is Jennifer!", followed by a string of introductions that, at that moment, meant absolutely nothing to me. I was quickly overwhelmed by good conversations. But, do ya'll ever get that feeling you're being watched?! Because I sure did! These were the first few moments "meeting the family" - and I concentrated a bit on being reserved, while still staying alert & partipating just enough in the conversation to "get my bearings".

A successful evening meeting everyone, at least I hoped so. We turned into bed at a reasonable hour, and while I didn't sleep much, at least I relaxed... um, yeah.. right!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

6/24/09 Stickie Lesson

The first hour or so of Ransom's lesson went, um, great! He was a little stiff in the corners, but when I didn't concentrate real hard on them, they went pretty. I worked through what I could remember of all three upcoming dressage tests.

We played at the canter, a handful of transitions, heading all the way around the arena. I found Ransom to be more forward on the long sides, but not out of control. Seemed like he was really enjoying himself.

Jen got on Ransom, rode him a little bit walk, halt, back up. They played for about 10 minutes.

And I got back on - to work on the halt & back up. That was about when Ransom shut down. He had decided he'd worked for a bit over an hour, and that was "lesson over".

I rode him, for, oh about another hour. Walking, and every time I'd ask for halt, he'd throw his head up. I pushed him into a good solid trot, and left him move out a while, then asked again. Same head tossing reaction.

Jen grabbed side reins & a lunge line. We set side reins at 8s, and she lunged the fire out of him. Ransom wanted to go go go. He was trying to do anything he could do to quit paying attention to her. She made it entirely clear to him that "whoa" meant "whoa", and nothing else.

After another 20 minutes, he was moderately compliant, and we called it a day. Ransom worked for about 2 and a half hours. He was hot, sweaty, and miserable. It was well after 9:30 pm before he was chilled enough to eat supper. Both of us were exhausted. A long day for me, and a really long evening for both of us.

Homework -- ride a while, dismount, "take a break", then get back on & work again. Lather, rinse, repeat. Continue until the little fart learns that work is only over when I say it's over, no matter how belligerent he gets. :)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

When Rescue Goes too Far

I've seen it on other blogs, I've read it on Fugly and others... and since everyone else can air their opinion, I figure it only fair for me too!

There's LOTS of folks out there, single family units (read - NOT rescues), directly, or indirectly, asking for donations to rescue their sick horse. I've seen everything from "my poor Pony-Horse, he's been with us since he was a colt, and we're too broke to get his surgery done, and he won't enjoy his 34th year on the farm with us if you don't pay for this life-saving surgery"... all the way to "This is our 18th rescue, and if she doesn't get this exploratory surgery, she'll suffer... please help". Okay, maybe both are dramatizations, but I've done enough reading to see plenty of situations where "it sure would be nice if someone else would pay for it."

So here's my take. (EDITOR'S NOTE: This is MY Opinion only... not the views or opinions of anyone else anywhere... so if you're offended, shoot me an email. We can settle our differences, but let's be civil about it. Thanks!)

If you ask the first time, okay. If anyone donates, its of their own free will. I'm okay there.. When I start getting puzzled, is on the fourth, fifth, or more "rescue case horses". If you were too broke to rescue the first one, why did you take on another one? By definition, most skinny rescue horses need vet work. If you find one that just needs groceries, even that's gonna cost you some precious dollars. All three horses that have lived at my place have needed their ample grocery supply (grain, hay, supplements, hoof care, etc). But with each one, I knew I had "work" to do - ribs to cover, coats to clean up, hooves to shoe, etc. I never went online, asking for anyone's cash to help pay my bills.

So if it's your first, and you didn't plan on it being that expensive, or had some family emergency that ate your horse fund, I understand. You can ask, and if you get donations, cool for you! However, when it comes to you taking on the second rescue, knowing how much the first one cost, go ahead & ask. But don't ask me... I'm all fresh out & just not that gullible.

A good conversation starter, don't ya think?

6/22/09 Ransom in the Heat

Well, the second season of summer has certainly arrived here. You haven't heard of the three seasons of summer in South Texas? Oh! I'm sorry, please forgive me... Maybe that was only something I learned...

There's Five Seasons here in South Texas,,, at least in my opinion.

1. Cold (January, February, March, wet, windy, and usually nail-splitting humid, making the cold feel colder)
2. Hot (April, May, early June)
3. Hotter (rest of June & July)
4. Hotter than H-E-double-hockey-sticks (Late July, August, September)
5. Hurricanes (October through early December)

=) That might seem a bit dramatic to those folks born & raised here... but I don't care! =) Yesterday's high was 99F (according to Intellicast.com), and at that time, there was about 77% humidity. So, with similar weather expected all week, I'd say we've progressed to the third season, "HottER".

Fed the boys as soon as I got home, fetched some supper for myself, and piddled around the house until around 6:30pm. In that time, MacKenzie thought it necessary to take herself for a walk down the street (snuck out under the house,, little fart!). I left her out, tried catching her once while I was saddling Ransom, but she had other plans. So, I figured she'd come to me when she was ready.

Ransom was, um, *awesome*!! His canter was, um, while not collected, smooth, and ground-covering. He was in the mood to go somewhere! His walk was really really big, and the trot collection work went great.

We worked through the "pieces" of Intro B and GAG II. I did trots down the diagonals, 20M circles in the center, 2-loop serpentines, and a few trots to halt (on the circle, and down centerline). Also on a spurt decision fit in canter both directions on a 20M circle in the center, much like Training 1. Ask in the corner, down the straight, 20M circle, transitioning back to trot on the last 1/4 of the circle. He was more than agreeable to this, I think happy to be doing something different somewhere different in the arena.

Finished up with long & low trot cool down. My big monster was breathing hard, so we had plenty of walk to finish up. Total work about 45 minutes, including warmup. A really nice ride.

Kenzie decided she'd had enough of roaming free, and found us in the arena at ride's end. I snapped Ransom's lead rope to her collar, and told Ransom, "Sorry buddy. You're walking back on the bridle today... blame your sister."

Monday, June 22, 2009

6/20/09 Playing with Romeo, and Thoughts Related

Grabbed Romeo for an early afternoon ride.. OI! The things I do to manage having the horses and a personal life. Had it not been for the nice winds rustling, that ride would've been unbearable for both of us. It was incredibly hot... Something about South Texas I still don't love much. May never get used to it, either. Just got to make sure I'm always living where the wind blows - out in the country, up on a hillside... as much as I can control it.

Saddled him up Western, with his french link bit, hoping to not focus on me, but more on him, for collection & general gait disposition.

He was good, again. Solid... Walk, trot, canter. Leads were better today, with only one mixup. Might've been my cues, so I didn't get upset, just slowed him down, repeated walk & trot, then asked again. We rode for nearly an hour, alternating gaits, and worked through my dressage pattern pieces to "get my spots", recognizing when my mind & eyes need to be thinking about the next part of the test. Romeo's trot to halt is solid! *laugh* Uncollected, but solid! All I gotta do is sit deep & say "whoa", and he's stopped. It ain't pretty 10s stop, but he stops! Very important in a trail buddy.

After Saturday's ride... I started thinking... A part of why I started the "When does horse and/or rider stop learning?" post last week or so. Romeo and I have hit a brick wall. We don't do anything new in our rides, but reinforce the same stuff. I can put him in an arena, I can put him in an open field, I can pack him down a turn row - he's the same. We can work through all three gaits, and while not collected, they're there. I can say "whoa" almost under my breath, and he'll shut down. He has stickie days where spins, turns, and sidepasses turn into battles, but they're easy enough to sort through. I don't find myself frustrated with him anymore, wishing he would ___ (whatever thing we didn't use to do well that he understands now).

So, I'm pondering some all-purpose training for Romeo. Some direction - Somebody skilled to put some miles on him, and help me find out what he's set out to do. I don't want him skill set specific - i.e. only dressage, or only hunter, or only pleasure. I want to be able to toss a saddle on his back, and while not show-perfect, hop down a trail in any saddle or any bit I choose, and know I can trust him. I want to be able to poke along in an open pleasure show in walk/trot events, and feel confident we did well. But we're at a wall - If he's going to be a good hunter, I don't know how to teach him to jump at canter. If he's going to be a pleasure horse, I don't know how to slow to a lope & teach collection. If he's going to be a dressage horse, I don't know how to collect up that trot & push it forward enough to get a rounded back consistently, not to mention how to teach such a compact little critter to collect up into an uphill canter.

I've gotten a reference from Jen, for a trainer she's using for two of her horses, Cas and Harley. Mary's training fees are reasonable, and Jen was thinking she could be ready for Romeo in August.

So I'm pondering it, I'm considering it, and I'm about decided.

Friday, June 19, 2009

6/19/09 Both Boys

Back In Action! A very good day overall. Scrambled outta work fast as I could, hoping to cram two rides into the evening.

Grabbed Romeo first up. Saddled him in his English garb, and headed to the arena. Let him free lunge a bit to get the goobers out, and hopped on. We had a good ride, about 40 minutes. Walk, Trot, Canter. He wasn't real consistent getting his leads, so we had a few extra "take offs" to get us going. Not real speedy, I could feel all three footfalls in the canter if I concentrated. (Feels like Ransom's canter is slower and larger... much different, a bit more comfortable.) Had a hard time getting Romeo in comings & goings at trot. He was all one speed - lethargic - at trot. I had comings & goings at the walk, and even a bit at canter, but not at trot. Did a few spins, turns, sidepasses. Backed up at the rail, he was crooked. Backed up down centerline, he was straight. Whatta critter!

Jen arrived just as I was starting to saddle Ransom for a lesson. I LOVE MY DRESSAGE SADDLE! LOL... Just in case that hasn't been clear yet.

The lesson was awesome. Ransom was a bit stiff to start, but even him being beligerant, and not wanting to collect at the walk or trot, he still wasn't a bad ride. Got in some solid canter work, nice balance from me. Jen pointed out what I guess I already knew, but hadn't internalized - I'm sitting up straight(er) in my new saddle. Incredible! What I've noticed is I don't feel like I'm working so hard. I do feel like I'm having a little trouble getting my inside leg to mean "pick it up", which might be laziness from Ransom, or not the right amount of pressure in the right places from me. Something to concentrate on.

We also worked on trot to halt transitions, preparing for upcoming tests. He was cute in the transition right, but transition left will need some work.

Lesson was a solid hour, finishing up with some right-canter that was beyond beautiful. Even with a big stumble from Ransom, I still sat solid & felt good about it. How cool, no nerves, no anxiousness into the transition, just sit the trot a stride or two, and squeeze. Cool beans! Love the big pony!

Homework - Transitions, transitions, transitions. Focus on trot to halt, and go through the pieces of the tests. Start to ride through the patterns in each test - 20M circle at the center, 2-loop serpentines, and diagonals at walk & trot. All reasonable things to work on. Oh yeah, and Enjoy my horse! :) There it is ! Gotta remember to have fun!

Friday Fill Ins

Well golly me.. The Friday Fill Ins regular author is MIA, and put someone else in her place today. Hmmm... These are a little too self explanatory to answer. Don't know how much of my normal "fun" I can have. Enjoy anyways!!

1. All children alarm their parents, if only because you are forever expecting kids to behave like adults.

2. Show me a good loser and I will show you a conservative. I've been following some of the Republican bills floating around House & Senate, and reading occasional email ads from McCain & others. They haven't given up the fight, and should be recognized for trying.

3. For me, bungee jumping on a really short cord is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs at one time. Sugar RUSH!

4. Too bad that all the people who know how to run the country are busy hanging out at the Texas ranch and shooting their mouths off without thinking first. I heard just about two minutes too much of Michael Steele on the Bill Bennett Sirius Radio show this morning. Shut up and Do something useful!

5. I have yet to hear a man ask for advice on how to combine directions and woman's advice.

6. It is impossible to think of any good meal, no matter how plain or elegant, without good company or dark chocolate for dessert in it.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to Ransom lesson #1 in new saddle, tomorrow my plans include housework, a Ride on Romeo and Sunday, I want to chase Ransom over some ground poles, and perhaps go shoot large holes in human paper targets!

If anyone knows where my little Yankee spirit went that seems to have been replaced with Texas Redneck courage, let me know! I wouldn't mind a Yankee-weekend here once in a while...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

06/18/09 Back In Action

Rode early evening, well after the heat of the day was easing. Ransom got to actually work & play in his new saddle. Our new mounting steps were delivered & set in the arena, and they work great! The top step leaves me with only a few inch lift to get my foot in the stirrup, and a very easy sit to get in the saddle. Instead of having to tug on the saddle to pull myself up, I just have to about lean over! A fantastic birthday present for sure!

He is great in it! Gave me a nice big trot, even tried to round his back a few times, which I didn't expect much since he's been off for over week. Phenominal workout! Even snagged a tiny bit of canter, but most of my focus was on bending at walk & trot.

We worked together for about 35 minutes including his brief free arena warmup & walkout cool down. I didn't want to over do since he's had a long break. Still, with deer sprinting from the trees, and the neighbor's cows plowing around behind the pasture, he did great. Briefly distracted only for moments, Ransom was a willing partner for the ride.

Had a great evening overall!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

June Conversation Starter - My Thoughts

Do I as a rider constantly keep learning? I think so. I'm nowhere near where I want to be. Maybe I should clarify that... I decided about the middle of last year to stop "setting goals" with date-deadlines. If I was in a sport that only required my efforts, I might be able to set drop-dead dates. But the horses seem to always have their own plans, and it's become easier to set goals and work on them at *our* pace.

Walk, Trot, Canter in a dressage test - Reach First Level with scores in the high 60s
(Intermediate goal - ride Training Level and do well)
Ride a 2'6" hunter course clean
(First Step goal - Crossrails clean at canter)

Walk, Trot, Canter in English tack on the flat
(Collected, easy gait, not rushed, nice transitions)
Trail ride solo on some country property, without fear
(Intermediate goal - ride with someone else, comfortably picking up all three gaits)
Reining Pattern successfully
(First step goal - solid canter with collection)
Ride a 2' hunter course clean
(First Step goal - crossrails at canter)

Included in the rider goals are of course the horse goals. In the case of Ransom, he needs muscle, repetition, and not much more. He isn't requiring training to complete anything on his "list". Romeo, however, needs training. I'm pretty sure I can work him through most of it, but I'm a bit un-confident about my abilities to get him over some of his rushing through gaits. I don't think he's got it in him for a slow QH-lope, mostly because I haven't ever felt him canter easy. He'll collect up for a few strides with a little bit of effort, but certainly not slow. He's got a lot of hours required before he'll stay easy & steady. Am I really qualified to teach him myself? I've also got a hope to take him to BRM sometime, and have someone else ride him, give me an opinion on what he can accomplish.

To the two responders that gave their input (and the DG-crew that kept the discussion moving on the board & reads here), THANKS! It's a neat discussion, and I hope to get another one going sometime soon enough.. If you haven't responded & want to, now's a great time to get in the fray...

Also, as a reminder, the survey's still tickling ya'll on the top right. I've voted, but I'll keep my vote quiet until after the survey closes. Have a great day!

06/16/09 The Big Day

What a title, huh? I'm always full of it.. well, full of "what", that's a matter of opinion. My eyes are dark brown.. *grin*

Birthday was full of events & good celebration. The Birthday Fairies sent flowers to my office - what girl doesn't like flowers on her desk? Starts a good rumor, if nothing else. Oh yeah, and they're beautiful!!!! Fairies at the office treated me to mexican for lunch, and good dark chocolate. Again, what girl can't appreciate quality chocolate? That 75% cacao bar isn't appreciated by all around me, so less I have to share. =)

After work, I was able to successfully give Quest worming paste to both boys. Romeo took his without even having to put a halter on. Good Boy! Ransom is still a work in-progress. He quickly realized what I was going to do, and tried to raise his head above my arms. No luck. He also tried getting away, but his hunger outweight his flight desires. I got a halter on him, held by the cheek piece, and finally got the dose in him. He kept it in his mouth, and dove into dinner. We're making progress ...

I arrived at R's house to get ready for dinner, opened the garage door, and found my birthday surprise! Hand-made mounting steps for the arena! Hope to snag a picture at some point when my motivation gets going. They're fantastic! Three-steps high, and quite sturdy. Looking forward to testing them out in my first ride back tonight. Should be just the perfect height to take all back strain off of both boys when I mount up.

R and I enjoyed a chinese dinner together, and ran some errands, including a trip to wally-world for a few items. Among them, a new coffee grinder to make my morning java a bit less user-intensive. Won't have to think quite so hard in the mornings, much appreciated. We shared the remainder of the chocolate mousse pie from the weekend to finish off the night.

Do I feel any older this morning? NAH! A bit tired, as that alarm was not a welcomed sound this morning. Looking forward to my ride tonight, first in over a week that'll accomplish anything. Need to remember to keep it short. I'll take the MP3 player with me, and set it on a certain number of songs so I don't overdo it. Hmm.. that might mean I've got time for shorter rides on both.. hmmm.... *smoke rising above my ears*.. oops! Sorry!! I really ought to quit doing that in the mornings before all the caffeine reaches my brain cells.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Another Year, And All is Quiet...

Another year, and if all goes as I hope, it'll be a quiet one.

If I could've gotten away with it, I would've called in today & stayed home from work. Slept in, given both boys a bath with their wormer, and relaxed in the sunshine for the remainder of the day.

But, alas, my conscience guided me here, to my office chair, coffee cup in hand. May the day be peaceful, uneventful, and filled with good company tonight.

Have a good day, Everyone!

And I edit after the fact, later in the morning for a "Shout Out!"

Thank you to the Birthday Fairies that brought floral goodness to the office today! Thank You! Thank You!

06/15/09 Romeo Quick

Hosed out the critter-compartment on the trailer, and with that task, I've completed all of my tack-cleaning goals while the boys were getting healthy. All of the washables are washed, saddles & bridles cleaned, and things much better organized in the trailer.

Saddled Romeo up western, and we played a bit. I considered putting my dressage saddle on, but got distracted with a phone call, so western it is. I'm sure I was a sight to the neighbors driving by - a truly redneck moment. Horse, saddle, shorts, flip-flops, and a sports bra, walking and trotting around the yard. *laugh* Yep, that's a redneck moment... wow! What a funny thought.

Romeo was a trooper, with only one yuckie cough when I first caught him up. Otherwise, no sniffles, coughs, or nose-blowing moments. Ransom only had a few boogers that were easily cleaned up.

Romeo and I did have a big moment last night - he let me spray his face! I put a little water on his forehead, holding onto the halter cheek piece, then quickly started scrubbing his head with my hand. A few minutes later, I was spraying with one hand & scrubbing with the other. He let me scrub from both sides of his head, spray his cheeks, and even spray a little behind the ears. I was very careful to keep his ears dry, and he might just be learning to trust me. Good Boy! Must've felt really good, because once I got going, he didn't wiggle or move around hardly at all.

Tonight the boys get wormed. Tomorrow, we are back in action! I can hardly wait!!!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Conversation Starter...

How do you view your riding? Are you hoping to accomplish a certain task, then "stop learning", and repeat the same thing forever? Are you "always learning", constantly searching for the next level of whatever style of riding you're in? Is it a faster run time? A higher fence? A better test score?

How about your horses? Is every ride a lesson for them? Are you trying to get them more supple, more responsive, better at a certain task? Or have they reached the goals you want for them, and now you just enjoy that current task together, satisfied you've gotten good enough?

My answers & thoughts later in the week...

06/14/09 Had to Try It

I stuck my new saddle on Ransom for a ten-minute walk around the side yard. I've cleaned all of my tack, washed all of the polos, and the pads, and just couldn't wait! Patience is not my strongest feature, in fact I have very little. Jen came over, and we hung out for a while during my quick ride.

Until Ransom builds up some wither & increased topline muscles, I'll still need my Mattes half-pad, but with that, it fits him great! He rides really really nice in it. After a few minutes, he stretched out & had a really nice big flowing walk. I didn't ask for much, since he's still on his antibiotic.

Gave the last crushed pills to both this morning. Romeo is looking great! Ransom still had some boogers yesterday, something I'm hoping will fade off very soon.

Planning to tack Romeo up tonight for a quick walk in the new saddle, just to see if it fits him at all. It fit pretty well on Bobby, who was similar in size & shape. It can't hurt to put it on him once, just to see.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday Fill Ins

1. I grew up thinking Texas was super far away from home and too hot. Realizing it now, I was right!

2. http://davesgarden.com was the last website I was at before coming here.

3. Why don't you push yourself farther in your rides this week?

4. Piano music by George Winston helps me relax.

5. Thanks for the awesome lesson and the neat babysitter horse, BRM!

6. I find snobby rich people very off-putting.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to unwinding from my lesson, tomorrow my plans include errands and cleaning out the water trough and Sunday, I want to take a long nap, and test the new saddle on Ransom!

06/12/09 BRM Lesson #2

With Ransom and Romeo sick, and a sudden change in work-plans, R and I headed out early morning to travel to BRM for a lesson.

Got to the barn, met up with Barbara and Leslie, and found my new saddle! See, in BRM lesson #1, I rode in Barbara's custom-made dressage saddle. I had a fantastic ride, and accomplished a lot more in my ride than I could have imagined. Most of it I attributed to the tack. I had decided to order one, but Barbara found a gently used one of better quality, and after sitting in it, I decided it was coming home with me.

Leslie was scheduled to give me a lesson at 10:30. She surprised me, when she said, "I was going to have you ride my horse today. He's a Fourth Level dressage horse (holy crap!). He's never been lame a day in his life that we've had him. Until last night. He's off, so instead, you're going to ride Bobby. He's over here." Leslie took him out of his stall - a nice solid chunky QH, much like Romeo in frame but a tiny bit taller. We groomed him up, saddled him (in my new one), and headed out to the covered arena.

Bobby was a spoiler babysitter, much like Ransom, with a smaller stride. His owner had decided to stop paying board, and Bobby has become property of BRM. A really neat boy! I got a 30 minute lesson walk, trot, canter, and learned some awesome stuff.

First up, my saddle is insanely comfortable! But, as Leslie explained, I need to get into the habit of not posting so hard, or working so much in my new tack. She said many, many times, "Let the horse move you! Stop working so hard!" Additionally, I was still flexing the bit with my wrists, and not my forearms, and not closing my fingers around the reins. These are old habits, and things I need to get better at.

In the canter, Bobby was awesome! He was nice & cadenced, but also steady-slow. He's normally a hunter-horse, and it was pretty cool to be able to ride him into contact, and get him in a nice posting trot on the bit. Took some effort, along with some flex at the elbow, and inside leg, but he did eventually round up into a really nice trot. After one set of canter-right, Leslie said to me, "His canter is really choppy, but you sat it really well. That looked great!" The BEST compliment I could've gotten from the entire ride. Me, previously terrified of that gait, getting praised for sitting a "choppy" canter! Entirely cool! Bobby was a neat horse, and I hope to get to play with him again sometime.

Meanwhile, just in case you didn't see it, Leslie was going to give me a lesson on a Fourth Level Horse! Her personal ride! Holy crap! I gained confidence just from the offer. I can't imagine riding a horse that skilled, well-trained, or that intelligent! WOW! This is another horse to put on my "to do" list. Definitely!

So, the second lesson sends me home with some of the same homework I've already had, but with some new...
*Let the horse & the saddle do the work. Don't post so hard, ride "lighter"
*Close my fingers around the reins
*Forearms, forearms! Bend at the elbow, and stop wiggling at the wrists!!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Lightbulbs Out of the Saddle


Check out Janet's Head-Flipping post today! It's my light bulb moment of the week, without being able to ride a lesson.

A few months back, Ransom was tossing his head in rides - He'd decide "enough" bit contact, and start yanking the reins from my fingers. I figured it was just too much bit contact, and let out.

In my BRM lesson, Barbara scolded me for this. "No! He's taking advantage of you! Yank on him, and growl "no". He'll quit it eventually when he realizes that isn't the release he wants."

So I did. And, thinking about it, he hasn't been throwing his head around in forward trot & canter. In the transitions from collected walk to extended walk, he still tries it occasionally, but not nearly as much as he used to.

It works! Light bulb!

06/10/09 Chores

Cleaned the water trough quite a bit - it's not 100% done, but well started

Washed a load of polo's and one pad

Refilled temporary smaller water buckets

Sorted through horse supply catalogs & kept most recent version of each

Vaccummed inside

Took out Trash

Did a load of human laundry

Reclaimed MacKenzie (as she ducked out under the back porch & took herself for a walk)

No rides, but plenty of chores done, and a few more to do. I've got at least another load of polos & pads to tackle, the trough needs finishing (fish replaced back to their home, high power spray at the car wash, and clean water).

Who knows anything about large water containers? How do ya'll keep 'em clean? Mine don't stay clean, and they're entirely too big to clean this detailed on a regular basis.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

06/09/09 Doctor Says

Infections for all! Well, for the boys, at least. Took Ransom to the vet yesterday late afternoon. Temperature was about 101, lungs were clear, but stickie runny yellow nose, occasional cough during work, so the vet offered up a penicillin shot, sodium iodide iv expectorant shot, and smz pills at 15crushed twice a day. We also picked up pills & penicillin for Romeo, and headed home.

I have entirely no clue how they got sick - vet thinks it's airborne. So, as a just-in-case, I've got individual water buckets filled up, and have full intentions on cleaning out the big trough this evening. It's gonna be a yuckie job, but it needs doing.

Still ironing out BRM plans for Friday. It was scheduled to be a Ransom lesson, but he'll be staying at home. I've got some tack to pick up, and I'm hoping to snag a lesson while there. It still shouldn't be a solo trip, as plans so far indicate I'll have pleasant company for my journey. (We're combining work & pleasure - pretty cool lucky situation to be in.)

Until the boys are well, it'll be water trough cleaning, wrap & pad washing, and tack cleaning. Once they're off the meds, it'll be high time to get back to work. I'll be searching for non-riding updates and useful information to entertain ya'll with until then.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

6/8/09 Ransom & Headcolds

I think both boys have headcolds of sorts. Runny noses, a little bit of coughing. Nothing severe, but I'll be calling the vet after a while here & getting their opinion.

Saddled Ransom up & worked for about 45 minutes total. Light work at canter (coughing about once per circle, one big hack.. yuk), and plenty of trot. I did what I could remember for the three walk/trot dressage tests. GAG II has a 2-loop serpentine that just ends up looking like a figure 8, and GAG III has this neat little "20m circle with 2-5 steps of walk crossing over the centerline". Neat... He wasn't too bad at any of it, and has learned that the long extended walks on a loose rein are his chance to stretch down. Good Boy!

Considering the sniffles & the few cough spurts, he really did quite well. Lots of good trot work, though some felt slow, he was rounded up on his back - which means it was probably a gorgeous trot, but felt light from collection. Some of the trot to walk transitions were less than pretty, but that was near the end of the ride.

Had fun.. Enjoyed our time together, as always.

Monday, June 8, 2009

A June Survey

I stuck a survey up, top right corner. I've been reading lots of training blogs, and I'm just curious - If ya'll could have it however you chose (horse was available with the breeding you wanted, gender you wanted, etc), what would you pick?

06/08/09 Not As Planned

Well! Talk about something else! Grrrrr is a good description.

Church music went GREAT! The group stuff was awesome, and my part was good, too. I was in fact a little bit shocked it went well - practice at home that morning was foul, practice at the mic check was also nasty... But after the warmup of singing with everyone else, I guess I was ready physically and mentally. :) Pretty cool!

R and I separately got somethings accomplished, then headed to Houston. Did a little shopping, window browsing, that sort of thing, then headed to dinner before concert. Yummy Italian place - been there twice now, and I'm very impressed. Much like the Italian I grew up with, less like the chain restaurant stuff.

Started feeling a bit off, and assumed it was overload at dinner, combined with walking to the concert venue. We organized ourselves, I had another restroom break, but still not feeling very well. All the symptoms pointed to low blood sugar. Went to First Aid for a check, and, after two meters didn't work right, gave error messages (and some questionable blood sampling techniques), the meter read 117. That's odd.. Because it sure didn't feel like 117 - shakes, thirsty, a bit disoriented (couldn't string together more than about half a thought), and intensely nauseous. Took two chewable Pepto tablets, and decided I'd rather be in the truck, or sleeping at home than feeling that miserable out in public. So, sadly, we loaded up half way through the concert to go home.. =( Massive disappointment. By time we loaded in the truck, I was starting to feel a tad better - and I promptly realized there was probably sugar in the Pepto tables, raising my sugar, making me feel better.

Got to the truck, used my meter, checked sugar, it was 87! No way that other meter was right. R, afraid someone else could get sick that same night, drove us back to the concert venue, and found one of the medics that sat with us. He said to R, "Well, I'm a diabetic. Let me finish what I was doing, and I'm going to run in & check. Thanks for the heads up!" I took a few more swallows of some regular Coke, and took a nap on the way home.

A bit of a scare, but fortunately, I did catch it before it was entirely out of control. My suspicions were correct - it was low sugar, no matter what their meter read. I'm starting to get a better handle on this - knowing when I don't feel well. I will, however, need to work on a better plan for eating & taking care of myself the day before and the day of an event like that.

6/6/09 Ransom Take Two

I chose Saturday to lunge him on side reins. Put on leg wraps, surcingle, and the french link bit. Off we went.

He quickly realized this would be lunge on a circle and not free lunge. Kept trying to make the circles smaller - solved with the lunge whip extended towards his shoulder.

Worked on walk, trot, canter, side reins on 8s (shortest they've ever been, but apparently where they'll work best). Solid 35 minutes of working lunge, followed by walk & trot out all around the arena off the reins to stretch out.

While stiff to start out, Ransom was much more compliant by work's end. I certainly noticed a change in his general disposition about work - he was much happier to work at the end than he was to start.

After Ransom's work, R and I spent an entire afternoon and early evening installing a motion light on my house. We tried installing one at my front door, but it was not the right size. Now, of course, could either of us have thought of that *before* we started the install? Of course not! :) Got it all installed (with much troubles), just to find the door wouldn't open past the light. Darn it! Installing the motion light on the house corner from scratch was much easier. Less troubles completely.

06/05/09 Ransom

Big boy had two days off, and it showed. Stiff,,, snarly.. We argued at the walk (!) about relaxing his neck and moving forward. I added contact, he'd get stiff, choppy, and nearly beligerent. Hmph! Put him on a long lunge around the arena, pushed him forward, and tried again.

We got about 20 minutes of good walk and trot work, but not much more. His desire to move forward on any kind of contact was non-existent. Stinker!

As I was beginning to enjoy my ride, work called. Had to promptly dismount, unsaddle, and put my work-brain on to figure out scheduling in the midst of an emergency. Ransom was more than happy to oblige - stinker!

Total "work" for him, that being defined as the amount of time his feets were moving, about 45 minutes. Amount that was useful & beneficial (imho), about 25.

Friday, June 5, 2009

God Sent a White Cadillac

Listening to an old, old Ginny Owens CD this morning. I'm burning my collection of CDs at the office to add to my mp3 player tonight.

I was on my way to an interview in Arkansas. What a culture shock from central Pennsylvania, but it sounded like a great opportunity from the job description and the subsequent phone interviews. However, the airtrip scheduled for me didn't work out as planned. I was booked on a full flight, and instead of arriving in Little Rock at 3pm CDT, I was not to arrive until 1130pm CDT. Okay, I can handle that, I figured. I'll be tired, but no big deal. Flight layover in Pittsburgh, PA led to another delay. It was nearly midnight when the flight landed in Little Rock. I faced over an hour's drive to the hotel. I had specifically asked for a small car (similar to what I was used to), but I was not heard, and was instead stuck in a rental car we will lovingly call "the boat", because that's what it felt like.

The road was dark, two lanes each direction with a grassy median, and the weather was less than cooperative. It was very foggy, and it kept getting denser as I drove south. I was shocked a road could be so quiet - almost no traffic, the occasional 18-wheeler whizzing by me, as if the fog was only around my rental boat. I was nearly terrified. I stuck a CD in the boat radio, and prayed, "God, I hope You know what You're doing. This car's too big, the fog is too thick, and I'm scared. You got me in this mess, now, get me there safe, please."
This song started to play..
Ginny Owens, This Road

A million miles away, from anything familiar
A thousand places I would rather be
So I choke back the tears
And try to find the bright side
But I find it hard to see beyond my suffering
In my heart I know, Your plan is so much bigger
But this small part is all I can see
And I believe You haven't left me here to wander
Still I can't help but ponder, where You're leading me

And I ask, "Why this road?
Why this way, and this load?
Tell me how far must I go
'Til I see, 'til I know why
This Road?"

A million miles away, from anything familiar
What was it like to be so far from home?
And though You came in love
The world misunderstood You
There must have been some days when You felt so alone
But You endured, 'cause there was joy before You
Joy that came because You sacrificed
Since You gave Yourself,
Just to spend forever with me
Surely I can trust You'll lead me
From my darkest time When I ask why...
repeat chorus

From here I cannot see
Why You choose this path for me
But I don't have to understand
To believe that You know why...
repeat chorus

Once again, I found myself in tears along the highway. I felt beyond stupid. Here I was, on a marked road, map in hand, and I thought I was on my way to the end of the world. So I prayed again, "God, I'm sorry. Just help me get there? I'll trust You for the rest of it."

As I entered the little town where my hotel was, the road signs seemed to disappear. I walked into a convenience store, and asked the clerk (who was covered in little bits of lunchmeat on her apron) "Where is ___ hotel?" She proceeded to give me directions, missing 3/4 of the natural teeth she was born with. I couldn't understand more than "Go up this road here..." I figured that would get me to the next station, and said, "Thanks."

A gentleman on my side of the counter must have seen my confusion. He asked me, "So where you headed, darling?" I told him the name of the hotel, and he then started giving me directions. As my eyes glassed over, he realized that was getting both of us nowhere. Holding a 12-pack of beer, he glanced at his watch (1:15am) and said to me, "Well, I don't have anywhere to be for a while. Let me take you there. I'm in the white car out front. Just follow along."

I walked out of the store, and began laughing flat out loud. God sent me a man in a White Cadillac to take me straight to the hotel. I laughed all the way to there, about two miles from that store. As we entered the hotel lot, I parked the car, walked up to him, and thanked him. He smiled, and said, "God Bless you dear. Looks like you need it." *Laugh* Boy did I ever...

I entered the lobby a blubbering mess, the hotel clerk said to me, "Are you Jennifer? Your momma has been calling for the last few hours, worrying about you. Please call her." He handed me the lobby phone, where I called and told Mom the whole story. We both laughed. Safe in my room, I thanked God for His protection, and for the guide.

Friday Fill Ins

1. My boys are waiting patiently for me at home.

2. My favorite thing for dinner lately has been when someone else cooks!

3. If I tell MacKenzie to "speak", she will bark! bark! bark!

4. A nice long walk isn't nearly as cool as a great ride at canter on the rail.

5. Yesterday, I got some good news.

6. When all is said and done, I'm loved, and spoiled, and thankful for every moment.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to getting out Ransom and my dressage-fingers, tomorrow my plans include housework, exercising the boys and Sunday, I want to do my best in choir, then enjoy every moment of the concert!

06/04/09 Poking Romeo

I nabbed Romeo after work, told him, "Listen, dude. We've only got a short spurt before R comes to grab the mower. So I'll go easy if you cooperate. You be a dork, he can wait while we argue in the arena." Muddled around bareback just a bit, then tossed my western saddle on.

Worked on walk and trot, a few turns to warmup. Got brave, and set the flowerbox up in the side yard. He hopped it at the trot, and then realized it was possible again to adjust strides at trot. I should work on some comings & goings with him at the trot - spurs will be necessary. Dragging little bum...

R came, we loaded my mower on his trailer, then headed to dinner. A very quiet night, which all three of us needed. Ransom, however, was not impressed. He pouted, and threw his little jughead all over the place while I was preparing his dinner. Ding Dong was jealous.. He'll get his tonight for sure.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Another Awesome Moment...

Nope, folks. It ain't pony-related... I walked into choir rehearsal last night, ready to be semi-busy, but a minor participant.

That song, from back on February 22, is back! Absolutely stinking cool!

So I'm sitting at my desk, practicing softly to myself (since it's coming in through the earbuds, and I don't need to be scaring the co-workers)... Reflecting to where I was in life February 22, 2009.

Wow.. Good reads! Had it not been for the Award, some of that stuff wouldn't have surfaced so soon. I've grown as a rider, and personally.

Life is good... Despite some situations here & there, life is good. If you're following the details, Yep, everything's still the same, still wonderful. I'm still caught off guard and spoiled rotten, nearly every day.

OH, and those same fairies that work on arenas, deliver hay.. They also found the coffee mug that accidentally ended up on my desk. Can't wait for that first meeting with the bosses that I can put it to good use. *Laugh*

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

An Affliction of the Learning Dressage Student

I have been riding on light (to no) contact for, oh, about 9-12 months now. Until the last few weeks, when Barbara shortened my reins, and taught me to pulse the reins to get Ransom collected.

Now, I'm noticing something. Sitting at my work desk, typing away a series of emails and work reports, I noticed..

Rough skin on my fingers
outside edge of index finger
side knuckle edge between my ring fingers & pinkies

Someone tell me now how that happened?!? Gosh darn it.. dressage-fingers, or something like that. Gonna have to find some lightly colored lightweight gloves or something, all this riding "nonsense" continues..

*laugh giggle laugh*

6/2/09 Lesson - The Key To Transitions

Lies in Collection... Oooh.. Now if that doesn't make me sound like some Dressage Bimbo, I don't know what will. What has happened to me?! That Blog title I picked when I started.... That sure wasn't what I meant by the question, but it sure fits now, huh?

Jen got to see what nasties Ransom's been offering up as trot-to-walk transitions. We concentrated a little while on the walk to halt, then trot to walk. From walk to trot, he's gorgeous. We got his walk to halt pretty, and for trot to walk, no transitions were allowed until he was collected & forward. I am still finding the trot to walk tricky. It's easy to push forward, add leg, release rein aids, but it's hard to say "slow down, pony, but keep a big walk, and give me your back." It's probably also a muscle development issue which will improve over time.

Had one HUGE lightbulb at the canter-right. I wasn't using enough outside rein, and didn't realize it. I have been so busy concentrating on my legs and seat, hands/reins have gone to the wayside. When I shortened my outside rein before asking for canter, he was much easier to round & collect. I also was able, for a few strides on a circle, to get that same light canter-feeling I had at Barbara's. It was all in my inside leg. With the outside rein steady, inside rein pulse, inside leg squeeze pulsing, he elevated his stride up, and was incredibly forward. It was wild. A really big canter, convering some serious ground on the circle, but it felt considerably more UP than it did FAST.

Lessoned for an hour, with homework of transitions, bumping on the rein to keep him light, and remember the outside rein at canter. All good stuff to work on. We're talking tentative plans to show Intro and GAG in Mid-July. I must get practicing & studying on my tests, huh?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Allergy Warning

I think this is funny...

On the jar of almonds I just had a snack from... It says on the label:


On a container of almonds...


06/01/09 The Fairies Have Landed

Fairies landed right in my pasture. Wandered to my arena, mowed all the weeds down, and evened out the footing. Ransom, Romeo, and I, were shocked to see sand, and dirt, where we once saw nothing but weeds & grasses.

So Ransom and I saddled up, and took advantage of the new conditions. I put my event saddle on, full cheek slow twist, and off we went. I set up ground poles, one on each long side a few feet off the rail.

We focused only on walk & trot, and even then, spent most of the time loose rein walk, unfortunately. (It was one of those nights I spent more time on the phone in a stupid argument than I did riding. Ransom was a good sport, bumbling around the arena at the walk, never once reacting to the tension in my voice. good boy!) At the trot, I let him step confidently over the rails, intentionally making a good trot space in front, and a few times, focusing on the rail at the last minute. He never even made contact with them, stepping over, ears perked forward, and for all purposes, sure seemed happy with himself.

After goofing off with the ground rails, I put him on the 20m circle, and concentraetd on some transitions. They were better than they've been, and I let him walk it out after a few good ones each way.

More than a "training session", but a therapy session for Momma. A brain-break for my horse, and a stress reliever for me. Hooray for Ransom, for tolerating the extracurricular nonsense that interfered with my time with him. Lesson tonight...

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Fairies are Coming!

Arena fairies
Coming to my house
This morning
(making those corners much easier to travel into)

Hay fairies
Coming to my house
Middle of the week
Fresh cut
Fresh fertilized

Mower part fairies
Shopping today
That darn thing will work

Fairies are cool! =) Make this living alone in the boonies thing much more easier!

Over the Weekend

Found the FUNNIEST coffee mug..
Printed on the side..

Proudly serving my corporate masters