Posts Tagged With: horses

Bay Mare 1; Overhead Door 0

Alternate Title:  And how was YOUR Sunday afternoon?

Yesterday was a cloudy, rainy, windy day.  After lunch Horsecrazy Annabelle and I decided to load up and take our horses to the indoor arena for a nice relaxing afternoon ride.  The weather had been pretty bad all week, so our riding time had been more limited than usual and we were anxious to stretch our legs.

Five year old Annabelle went out and caught the horses.  I was in the shower, so I didn’t realize there was a driving rain outside until I looked out the window to see my little girl approaching the horse trailer, with her horse Grumpy and my mare Spice in tow.  She was totally drenched to the bone, but determined to go anyway.

I made it outside and we loaded up for the drive.  Our first obstacle was a looooooooong train.  We waited it out.

Train Pic

We met up with some friends at the arena and chatted for awhile.

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Horsecrazy Annabelle went right to riding, while I stood around for some time just shooting the breeze.

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I love talking nearly as much as I love riding, so I did more of the former than the latter.  Annabelle rode the whole time.

After we had been there for an hour or two, we got ready to leave.  We said a merry goodbye to  our friends and headed outside. Ingress and egress at the indoor arena is via a huge overhead garage-type door, which you roll up to lead your horses under.  A door, by the way, that our horses had been in and out of at least two dozen times over the course of the winter.

I pulled on the chain to roll up the door.  When the door was about 4 feet off the ground I turned to Annabelle to tell her to wait to approach until I got it rolled all the up.  I shouldn’t have worried about her.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a blur. Then I felt Spice’s reins pull right out of my hand as my quiet and sensible little bay mare ran toward the light.  As I mentioned, the door was about four feet off the ground.  The saddle horn of my saddle was about five feet off the ground.  You do the math.

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There was a huge crash and then a really loud screeching sound as the horse and saddle pulled the door partially off the hinges and bent the bottom panels beyond repair.

Once she was outside, Spice stopped and turned, looking at the door and snorting softly.  I went and wrapped her reins around the post while I figured out what to do.  I think she looked sorry.

Spice Outside

My friends approached and said “What on earth happened?!”  I couldn’t really answer that.

All I said was “My husband’s gonna freakin’ kill me!”

This was a phone call I definitely did not want to make.  The last time I had to call Handsome Hubby after a non-injury accident, that one involving a brand new $70,000 living-quarters horse trailer and an unfortunately-placed concrete post at the Reno Snaffle Bit Futurity, he did not speak to me for three whole days.  I foresaw perhaps a similar attitude after this day’s events.

We spoke with the owner of the barn.  He was very nice.  He assured me that accidents happen, and he would get a bid and give me a call.  He seemed unconcerned.

I didn’t want to call Handsome Hubby. We spent some more time visiting.

Annie Carmen 3-18           Blach Horse 3-18

We took a long look at the door from the outside. Dan, the barn owner, had been able to roll it down somewhat so that it blocked the wind.

Door is Down 3-18

Then we got in the car.

I could avoid it no longer.

I called Handsome Hubby.  I started to cry.  I told him the story. I admit I briefly considered blaming it on Annabelle.  But she’s not a very good liar.

There was a long pause.  I could practically hear him biting his tongue.

Then he said these words:  “Well, we can buy a new saddle and we can buy a new door.  As long as you and Annabelle are OK that’s all that matters.”

I love that guy.

Categories: Horse Adventures, Life in the Country | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Further Adventures of Little Black Pony

This was supposed to be a story about travel.  I have decided that every Friday or so (I’ve always been a little non-committal) I am going to write a story about some of my travels around the world.  The story that unfolded in the horse pen last night though is such a good illustration of my life with Horsecrazy, that I couldn’t resist sharing it.  Africa will still be there next week.

Happy Girl

I had spent the day cleaning my office.  Emboldened by my success with Batman’s room, I had purchased some new bins (!) at the Super Walmart, dropped the kids off at daycare to play with their friends, and dug in.  In short order my formerly slightly messy office looked very similar to the “before” pictures in the “Organizing Batman” post earlier this week, except that instead of heaps of plastic trucks and naked baby dolls it was covered in piles of papers and boxes of files.  I took a picture, but it is just too humiliating to share.

Anyway, after two hours of cleaning and then another two engrossed in reading some of my travel journals, I was rushed to go get the kids and pick up the dog from the vet.  I think I mentioned that Winston the Maniacal Birddog Puppy was getting neutered this week.  I pulled my mind from racing over the plains of the Masai Mara on horseback full tilt after zebra, and climbed into my Durango to go do my rounds.

When I walked into daycare my little angel Horsecrazy started in. It went something like this.  Horsecrazy:  “Mom!  Can I ride?!” Me: “No. it is too late.  We have to get the dog and I have to make dinner.”  Horsecrazy: “Please, please, please. Can you just saddle Reno?!”  Me:  “No.” Horsecrazy:  “Please please please please I REALLY WANNA RIDE!”  Her voice was escalating and in an effort to just get her to the car I said “Maybe.”

Which to me means “No” and to Horsecrazy means “Absolutely!”

Fast forward forty minutes. I pull into the garage and go into the house to change my shoes.  Horsecrazy had won the battle of pleading during the ride, but I had negotiated her down to riding bareback, in a halter, in a separate pen, so that I could get the other horses fed and get in the house to get started on my gourmet shake n’ bake pork chops.  In other words, I basically told her that whatever she could do on her own, with no assistance from me, she was free to do.

She beat me to the pens, wearing long john bottoms with no pants over them because she absolutely refuses to wear jeans more than once and it was office cleaning day today, not laundry day.  What I saw when I arrived caused me to laugh in spite of myself and pull out my phone for some pictures.

She had caught the pony and tied his lead rope into reins, leaving a small length extended for a “whipping rope” (her words, not mine).  She’d also brought along a bucket to climb on because she knows from experience it is hard to get Reno to stand close to the fence long enough to get on.

Getting On 2

She almost got on on her first try.  But didn’t quite make it.  She put the bucket back and tried again.  The pony moved away.  She laughed and moved the bucket.

Almost On

She tried again.  The bucket tipped over.  She picked it up.  And tried again. And again. And again.  Every time the pony moved. Every time she kept moving the bucket.

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I have to say she has try, that girl.

Finally!  Sweet success!  She was on. The pony walked one step, Winston the Maniacal Birddog Puppy barked in exuberance and the pony bucked her off.

Annabelle on Ground

This is not unusual.  She ends up on the ground pretty much every day.  She got back on again, after much bucket maneuvering and pony positioning.

Then she proceeded to trot around the pen at a high rate of speed.

High Speed

I admonished her “NO loping!” and went in the house to get the beets on to boil.  After about thirty minutes I noticed that Horsecrazy was nowhere to be seen.  I went back outside.

She was loping around the pen.

She had removed the halter and was holding on to the lead rope looped around Reno’s neck with one hand and the dangling halter with the other. I took some awesome video of the event.  For some reason my camera didn’t save it. I am bummed.  She’s really pretty good.

Cowboy Batman had fun doing his own riding last night.

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Finally, I think Winston was happy to be home.  He came in the house when we were all finished up outside and laid down in his kennel.  He kept whining softly.  I gave him a treat and cooed “What’s wrong boy?  Are you OK?”  Handsome Hubby answered for him “He says ‘Has anyone seen my nuts? I can’t find my nuts!  My nuts are missing!!’”

He’s such a dog whisperer.

Categories: Horse Adventures, Kids Are Funny Creatures, Life in the Country | Tags: , , | 7 Comments

If I’d had my gun……I woulda killed him!

It was a windy, cold, nasty afternoon here in the beautiful country.  Annabelle, of course, was undeterred.  You see, although we live on a little piece of heaven in the country, the front of our property shares a border with a local park and soccer field.  When the fields are filled with players and their adoring parents Annabelle feels compelled to provide them with a free equine exhibition.

I was happily puttering around the kitchen, doing a little laundry and putting chicken into Handsome Husband’s favorite marinade, when my little darling trotted her sweet black pony over to the horse trailer.  I witnessed this from the kitchen window, and knew pretty well what would happen next.  She ran in, and said in her nicest voice, “Mom, would you saddle Reno for me?” I sighed, (I sigh a lot, as it turns out.  Zach recently asked me to “stop making that noise mom!”) Then I pulled on a jacket and gloves and went out to saddle the pony.  I had a lot of chores to do outside anyway, so I thought I might as well nurture my little girl’s passion while I was at it.

Anyway, if I didn’t mention it, it was very windy outside.  The pony was frisky and in no mood for a spontaneous “Pony Express Meets the Idaho Frontier” rendition.  I saddled him quickly, objecting but eventually conceding to Annabelle’s request to add her pink breast collar to the horsey ensemble (when she puts on a show she goes all out).  As I proceeded to bridle the little pony angel, I could tell he was not in the mood.  I put the pink reins around his neck before I slipped the halter off, and put my right arm over his tiny ears to pull the headstall up.

Low and behold, the little son of a buck pulled back.  Thinking I would give him a quick tune up, I whacked him gently on the off side cheek – a “come back to me sweetness tap” really.  Reno objected to this mightally, reared back, pulled the bridle out of my hands and proceeded to drag me about twenty feet by the neon pink roping reins which were looped around his neck.  I finally let go over by the propane tank, and the little sweetie proceeded to buck like a saddle bronc across the open grass area where we park the trailers.  He dragged between his legs the most expensive pieces of tack I have purchased in some time, a cute little hand tooled headstall supporting a very nice pony bit which cost at least 20% of the price of the pony himself.  And he wasn’t a cheap pony.

Although my  wee children were delighted by the escapade, I wasn’t, and I am pretty sure I said some words that would not be acceptable at the fancy Charter School next door to us, should they ever deign to admit us in the first place.  I chased the little bronco across the field, and by that time we had attracted the attention of several of the soccer parents, and even a few bored players.  I caught up to him by the neighbor’s old horse, and thought the game would be over quickly at that point when he lowered his head to indulge in some leftover alfalfa that had blown from the feeder.  As soon as I approached the little sucker he peeled right, mashing his expensive bit with a hind food and bolted for the haystack.  The next attempt to corral him was less pretty. I was yelling at Annabelle to get in front of him (after a quick check of the wind to make sure the soccer moms couldn’t hear) and we nearly had him before he was off again, running full tilt around the corner, the carefully tooled headstall being ground to a pulp beneath his horrid little feet.

He stopped around the corner this time, close to his own pen, by a small stack of alfalfa hay.  That is his weakness.

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I was really mad at him.  But I refrained from doing anything really diabolical, because the kids were watching. I calmly bridled him and boosted Annabelle aboard.  Zach was still laughing when he went to board his own ride.  They had a good day after that, pursuing their respective passions.

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But as I believe I mentioned before……it was a good thing I didn’t have my gun.

Categories: Horse Adventures, Life in the Country | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

First Horse Show for a Horsecrazy Girl

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It was a much anticipated event.  After months of preperation it was the day of my five year old daughter Annabelle’s (aka Horsecrazy’s) first horse show.  She had been practicing non-stop, both on the back of her horse Grumpy (every single day, rain or shine, cold or colder….she was out there….just ask me, the groom and saddler.) and in the evening she practiced by running around the house with a large red halter strapped to her torso, wielding dog-leash reins as she did sliding stops on the kitchen floor and spins in the living room.

She was very very excited, and I was very very excited for her.  And nervous.  Because a horse show is a very fun and social event, but there is a lot of waiting around. And it can get pretty boring even for those of us consumed with catching up with friends we hadn’t seen since last year and scoping out other people’s new horses. And did I mention Horsecrazy is five?

We started out early on that sunny Saturday morning.  It was the usual horse show morning rush to get out the door, and I was glad I had taken the time to get things organized the night before.  We had spent the previous evening getting the trailer cleaned out and packed, and laying out our clothes so that all we had to do was get up and load Grumpy for the forty five minute drive to the show.

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Once we got there, we had to groom.  Annabelle insisted on taking Grumpy’s tail out of the wrap and brushing it out.  His tail was wavy from being braided in the bag and reminded me of a 4H steer tail at the fair – all fluffy and teased looking. She thought he looked grand.

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We saddled up and went inside.  Annabelle sat on Chic since I was going to ride Grumpy in an early class to school him. Did I mention that there  is a lot of sitting around at horse shows?  Annabelle was just one of the girls.  Well, one of the girls who sent people at her beck and call for “Hot chocolate please!”  and “Could I have another doughnut?”  By the end of the day she had eaten four doughnuts. Good thing my friend was running concessions. I’m pretty sure she didn’t put all the doughnuts on my tab.

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Of course she couldn’t resist a little pre-class spinning.  And spinning.  And spinning.

As it turned out, Grumpy was a little, well, grumpy, and didn’t behave himself in the show pen at all during my schooling class.  So adopted auntie Kris decided that Annabelle should show her horse Chic instead.  Did I mention that Chic is an NRCHA World Champion Bridle Horse? Yeah, well he is.  Kris had formerly (and very kindly) offered to let me show Chic in a small local series of shows since I was without a show horse this season.  I have been very excited about that for weeks.  Somehow during the day that all changed, and I was bumped off the world champion by my own daughter, who will now show Chic in the small local series of shows.  She did tell me that I could show Grumpy if I wanted instead. Sigh.

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Annabelle’s excursion into the show pen went very well.  I ran into the ring with her and stood in the middle, giving her directions with which to execute a short and simple pattern which vaguely resembled the pattern the rest of the people in the class were doing.  I wouldn’t recommend this sort of approach during a regular horse show, but in this small “Wooly Mammoth School ‘Em and Fool ‘Em” show everyone was very indulgent.

When she was finished everyone cheered and clapped.  I believe she felt it was only her due.

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Chic was leaving for a horse show series in Arizona the next day, so after the show was over he needed a bubble bath.  Annabelle was up for the challenge.  Even when he stepped on her boot with a hind foot and she fell over flopping like a fish until I could come and rescue her by pushing him over a step.  He didn’t even realize that he was standing on her or why she was squalling.  He is calm that way.

After Chic was all cleaned up and drying in the sunshine, it was time for more socializing.  And who better to visit than the nice concession lady with the puppies!  She offered Annabelle some free chili, but my little darling politely declined.  Thank heaven all the doughnuts were gone.

The drive home was filled with excited conversation and many questions about “Who won mom?”, and “I really think that I was the best one out there and I was definitely on the nicest horse, wasn’t I”?”  Ye gods, I have created a monster.  Well, Kris has.

Categories: Horse Adventures | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

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