An uncanny ability...

My mom has always marveled at how well I am at getting what I want. I've never held the same facination with it as she has. The youngest and the only girl out of four children makes for a very determined person. As I've grown older, I've noticed my ability to manipulate the world around me to make it work-it just takes longer now. I want the Tevis cup. I will have the Tevis cup under my belt within the next decade. Chester will be the horse under me for the Tevis cup. I am prepared for the massive amount of work it will take to get us both ready. Chester has the Tevis pulsing through his veins as we speak-his grandpa is Remington Steele*++ a two time Tevis completer and an exceptional sport-horse sire. You probably have never seen or heard of Wynseck Whirlwind (I think I spelled it right) Chester's sire, but his eyes blaze trails far off in the desert and his body is to DIE for! -Here I am again, lusting after horses. A trait my husband finds less than desireable : ) I can't help it. Here I sit in the middle of Oklahoma all the while I could be in on the action-at least watching, but...I have time. In the mean time, I'm waiting for Chester and my sons to grow up and letting Patience get her foot in the horsey door.


Missing you...

So, while on vacation I didn't win the lottery. Bummer. Upon my untimely return to work-I love my job-I am working doubles-I love my job-to pay for school clothes/supplies and hopefully stretch it to include the horse show fees as well. Should be easy considering all the kids went to visit grandparents this week...BUT...I miss my dog....I miss my horse. Honey (in case you actually read my blog) I miss you too and thanks for taking care of all the animals while I'm incapacitated. On this, the second double day (third day of work) I find myself a bit tempermental and more anti-social than usual : ) Really, other than the wife/mom/work bit all my activities in life are DOG, HORSE. Sad, really, but if I don't even get that then I'm admittedly looney.


Yesterdays title?

You may in fact be wondering what I meant by "the healing begins" yesterday, especially when all I posted was a bunch of pics and a few sentences. Well, I'll explain the best I can...
When D and I took Chester and Baby to the vet it was his first trip. He did exceptional in the trailer and was a little nervous when we got there. I managed to shut down completely. I don't know why, but when it came to leading him into the barn I just couldn't move my legs anymore. Chester didn't freak because I wasn't "home" so to speak, and so he felt okay? (Forgive me, I'm not a good analyzer) After he was done and while Baby got the once over, we walked around a bit and I felt good but a little disappointed with myself. Got me to wondering: Am I afraid of my horse? Afraid of getting hurt? or maybe just a big whiney ass? Anyway, I came up with that Chester and I know each other in the "round pen" and really neither of us has spent time together out of that safety net...So, out we went. Walked around the yard, across the street, past the scary school buses, into the school playground (where I might add we actually played a little). All the while, my kids ran around, the dog ran under him, I sat on the grass, Random and I talked about the weather and bills...etc. Why? Well, when I had Buck, Brandy and Tequilla (the two lovely horses I trained and subsequently sold) ponied around everywhere with us. Into the yard, into town, into the pond, etc...and Buck was big enough to take care of it all, so I never really got worried. I worry now, no Buck and I'm a complete idiot. Plus, I have to worry about no one else getting hurt. Worry, worry, worry. Fuckin A Just let it go and walk the horse. I have nothing but time.
So, that's what I'm doing.

If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time...
But if you have come because your liberation is bound with mine,
then let us work together.
-Anonymous aboriginal woman

The healing begins.

Obviously, very full of activities on vacation!

Of course, I didn't get any pics of Chester going to the vet and being totally awesome. Or of the swimming, hiking, yard cleaning, trailer-loading lessons, trailer improvements, etc...

Everyone had a ton of fun! Random fell in a hole and I managed to get a pic then pre laughing my ass off for so long my stomach started cramping. He couldn't quit laughing either!

Patience with Prize. She pestered me every single day about riding, brushing, being in the pen, or just a "momma can I help". I actually love that she likes horses too.

Chester inspecting the weeds.

I decided to keep the whole vacation basically zen for Chester. Just relax and get out of your comfort zone.


I really hate to get off track here,

Read an article on two-income families and it got me all fired up again!
For the record, if you come over and my house is dusty with laundry strung out all over remeber that I work 40-60hrs a week, keep up with household financials, raise three kids, try to sleep during the day, and try to enjoy the rest of my time. Not to diminish my husbands efforts at all-there are times when he works 20 days or more in a row and he keeps the yard (mowing/weedeating) plus maintains our vehicles, disposes of the trash, and he's been doing the banking errands as well. He as well tries to enjoy what little time is left over. Cooking-sometimes we're just both too tired. Cleaning-hey, it's not bothering me. Laundry-it's either clean or dirty. Dust-comes right back. Carpet-three kids, enough said. If you haven't given at least two months notice your visiting, forget clean sheets. :0


Vacation Starts

Tomorrow is Chesters first trip in a trailer. We are planning to take D's trailer because hers can be open like a big stall. My mom is coming to drop off her dog and is staying a few extra hours so the kids don't have to go. I mean it Chester, no nonsense and no hurting yourself. I actually think he's going to love riding once he gets used to it. I also don't have any mats for my trailer or shavings? if that's a good idea. I did get to thinking today that I haven't gotten out a big ball or a tarp yet and those are both good to get out of the way before going to the show. It looks like my entire staycation will be lovely weather. I ordered Harry Potter tickets for us all for Sat night (because I promised). Besides that, hiking, horsey time, swimming, and grocery shopping is all I've got planned. Plus, I need to find a new dentist-just kicked ours to the curb today, I've seriously had enough bs.
I did read an interesting article about NOT having super high goals and how it makes you a better rider to not put a schedule on training (I know, I said no more reading). It makes perfect sense to me. I would like to eventually ride my horse enjoyably. I would like for him to enjoy being ridden. I would like for him to enjoy trailer rides. I would like him to be safe around all my kids.
When I first got Chester, my goals were a little less lofty. Halter. Leading well. Stand for grooming. Then we progressed to feet, fly spray, bath. Then lunging, standing tied, trailer loading, responding to pressure, learning to travel in-hand, clipping, etc....
"Horse training should be about as boring as watching paint dry" -read it somewhere. It applies to me...let's see, about 140 or so days ground training, it's starting to pay off!!!


Genius superhorse.

I forgot to post this yesterday.

WOW. Loading, backing on command, relaxing...hangin out in the trailer.

I'm scared to get in trailers. D knows this so she led him in first. He took a few minutes, sniffed my arm and asked if this was okay, and then decided that breakfast was in the front of the trailer so it wasn't that scary. Horses don't reason things out my ass. The kids were pretty quiet and still (I lectured them before the loading lesson) and cars drove by a few times. Chester did amazing and I did okay. Hey, I eventually got in. Have to remember "breathe" and "relax". He loaded and unloaded quite a few times, stood in the trailer while it bounced around (fly stomping) and I'm completely amazed. I've decided not to read any more on trailer loading. I read too many stories about horses hurt, people hurt, and bad experiences in general. I'm going to start expecting a lot more from my little Wynchester. The vet trip on Friday will be a breeze and he will enjoy the trip.

I did ask Dian how come she's not a horse trainer or at least a people trainer? Full time job, no time and all that jazz. To bad, a lot of "trainers" have got nothin on you. My mom says thanks for helping me, making sure I don't get hurt, and wants to meet you.

Vacation is coming!!! Friday begins my 10 day staycation!!!!!!


Okay, I think you can comment now.

I've had several family memebers complain that they can't comment. So I went through everything (I think) and you should be able to post comments now.
I hope tomorrow is trailer-practice and that Chester does perfect. I'm gonna get really mad at him if he hurts himself. I think, I hope, I know he'll do just fine and love taking rides. One thing I've been learning from all the magazines, books, videos, endless articles is that I have to remain calm, assured, and confident no matter what HE does because HE is looking to ME for "don't freak out reassurance." This morning was some round pen exercise and Chester was more than happy to work. Tez did some in-hand and he was more in the mood for play but got a grooming as well. The kids do better early getting to play and then go home for a relax while mom sleeps and then we can go outside and get in the pool day. Let's see, today is Tuesday. Tues, Wed, Thurs night and then VACATION!


I Love My Husband!

Look what he comes home with!
Exactly what I needed!

The trailer-pulling beast...trust me, this has more under the hood than a Hemi.

KIDS! Sorry it took so long to get your pics on here, but mommas computer illiterate.

Ms Sami, my stable dog in training and princess of the house.

Yeah! It's not every woman's husband who comes home with a horse trailer! He changed my mind about waiting when he pulled in the driveway. It's not new, but it's ours and the floor is good. Tires are good as well and there is some rust, but it was super cheap so a little work is do-able. I would post better pics of my man, but he doesn't really like his picture taken.
Chester did ok with the am work-out and the cool weather made it great for me and the kids. By the time we got home, I was ready for bed and they ended up taking a little nap too. Chester did do something that I thought was amazing. Little Sami followed me with the weight-builder bucket (she loves the horse treats and weight builder too I discovered today) and she was there and Chester was there, and well why not. Sami rode Chester today. What a super gentleman, he does whatever I ask and he never moved - except he did a little hollow-back thing when she dug in her claws a little. Chester is sooo in for it now! To the lake, my brothers land, rides through town, over to show grandma...by the time I'm riding he'll be an old pro! I am so freakin excited!

I'm not ashamed to show my ass.

Perfect example that people CAN live without crossties with proper desensitization.
Just very handsome.

Another handsome pic with daddy in the background and Gracies butt.

Okay grandma, more pics of Patience and Prize. Dian's got the lunge line!

She loved the ride!

Okay, I'm not a horse whisperer but...I am proud to say I can desensitize a horse : )
I think D can vouch for me. I also ordered "Showing Your Sport Horse In-Hand" from the USDF website and it helps me a ton, I highly recommend it. Patience has even watched it with me twice and we both went to work Chester Sunday morning at 5:30. Yes mother, Patience got in the round pen with Chester-I'll wait for your call. (By the way, that's one off the list Chester! "Grooming from little kids" I posted as a milestone for you and it's done!) Big plans for this week, I would like to perfect in hand with at least Chester and Soli and maybe Tez. Also, some major bathing to be done if I can stay motivated. I switched Chester's weight builder to the AM because the damn humidity is back and I'm ok saying it bothers me.


Busy day today.

I've been clipped! So handsome.

History in the making!

What a day! D busted out the clippers after I got my Wynchester fix and he did great. Bridle path, whiskers gone, face clip, and back of legs. He stood very still even while I rubbed the clippers all over his ears (no clipping there yet)! Every two year old got bridle paths today, loose in the pen-another day in the life of those crazy Arabian two year olds. (totally sarcastic)
Patience rode Prize! As you can see in the pic she progressed from D leading with a leadrope to Patience riding around by herself in under an hour. She got really brave and asked Prize for a trot and did well. D says she has "soft hands" whatever that means. When I learned to ride I got thrown on Buck (sans saddle-we could not afford one) and took off over about a thousand acres all the while falling and learning how to stay on-a must when you're too short to get back on yourself in the middle of a pasture. I'm really excited, Patience seems to love horses and I think has a natural talent, she looks great in the saddle : ) The boys even got to ride and I've got pics of them as well, post later! I got so distracted today we lost track of time and before I knew it-bam, time to go home and eat then shower and go to work!



Exhaustion + Hot weather = Wynchester withdrawl. Enough said.
It's pretty bad when you hit snooze at 2pm : )
Dian went and bought Patience a helmet today so she can start riding Prize and getting ready for her walk/trot class. She's very stubborn, that D, I will have to leave the money in her truck hidden somewhere-for the boots as well, which are headed to the saddle shop tomorrow to get sized just right. A pattern and some material for her shirt, pants are my treat, and grandma stepped in for the hunt coat. WHEW! Just about got her all put together. I ordered a sport horse in hand-how to from the usdf website and really am excited about it. Also need to get Chesters leather halter ordered and send in for the show by the end of August. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can....This show's gonna be really fun. I also read about youth nationals in Albuquerque, it's during my vacation and my entire family will be in Red River (about three hours north) at the same time. I would like to go and take the kids, but would like in one hand and...you know the rest. All the same, vacation!!! Ten days of no work and some well needed sleep plus plenty of horsey time- Enough said!


Yeah Chester!

So, remove all the crap and just ask for walk, trot, whoa. Then you get a nice reverse and no problems in the round pen. A lunge line works magic as well. I think he finally figured out what I was asking for and things clicked fast. In hand is progressing nicely and I can make it around a couple times before my out of shape ass collapses. Me and the kids went and got a hard plastic pool from K-Mart so they can stay cool while mom messes with the horse and I think they enjoyed themselves. Patience is going to start practice this weekend on Prize for a walk-trot class at the show and it will be sooo cute!


Time off,

Chester and I had a good fourth...apart. I celebrated Saturday with hubby and kids and apparently Chester didn't care much about the fireworks. I was a little worried, but I heard he did fine and totally ignored it all which is good. This week we'll get back into the grind and work more on dancing. I read somewhere today that amateurs shouldn't train young horses they should hire a trainer because any other way is just plain dumb. Well, dumb it is, the trainer budget got left with the trailer budget and I'm pretty sure Chester's a patient man. (Plus have I mentioned how smart he is).
Oh, and I almost forgot about Chester's liniment. Thursday after our workout, I gave him a good cool rinse and put the liniment all over his legs-sans gloves, because it was a quickie in the middle of the pen. Big no no for Sally. My skin is allergic to liniment. MUST WEAR GLOVES because exactly where liniment had been my skin looked like one big welt. Luckily some soap and hydrocortisone cream was the remedy.


I don't know how to dance...

So, no kicking today! Wonderful feeling not to be kicked at, always a pleasure. Chester and I did get frustrated with each other today. Working on reverse (turning into me to change direction). There are just some things that the endless books and videos can not do and you just have to grow some and figure it out. On the plus side, he did do it very well a few times that we connected mentally-where I asked and he did-and that's reassuring. Also, Dian got put on call and did some showing/instructing from the sidelines. It would help immensely if I wasn't 80% deaf, but some things you can't change!
I did watch some world dressage competition earlier and thought it was beautiful. Umm Chester, how about endurance, playdays, dressage, shows, trail rides, 4-h shows, and grooming from little kids? It's ok, we'll work on it!


Try a different approach?

I get these e-mails from Charlies horse training resources and today is if you're not getting the result you want then try a different approach. Hmmmm....So, again today, I got Chester out of the pen for some more scary adventures and he really did great. His two year old crew got a little rowdy and he spun around a few times to figure out the commotion, but he calmed down very nicely. He trusts me and I him. However, again in the roundpen he kicked at me. Same as this weekend. When lunging left (his not so favorite direction) in the same spot of the roundpen he stops and when I encourage him on he turns butt to me and kicks and trys to reverse direction. A good crack of the whip and he stopped, but I'd rather prevent it from happening altogether. So, I think Charlie has the right idea today, I'll rack my brain (and Dian's and google and some books) and try something different tomorrow.