A place of his own

Moving to the farm has meant a few sacrifices for all of us and a lot of benefit for me. One of the things promised to Uriah was his own studio. It took 3 months, but yesterday he and his dad completed the conversion of our old tack room into Uriah's special practice room/studio. He will be able to study there (he is getting a 4.0 so far in his jaunt back to school) and play music instead of being in our 700 square foot house. It is almost like a club house.
The great thing is now I get the house to myself and can watch horse videos and blog without any complaining!


Back, Back, Back to basics

I am finally done with two weeks on the road! I did get two days home in between (and yes, I rode both days), but it is great not to start the weekend facing a hotel on the other end.

Last night I managed to get a little riding done with Lily, starting with the Parelli 'Pushing Passenger' exercise. More on that another time as it is worthy of its own posting.

As I moved on, I kept trying to figure out how to get Lily more on her hind-end. She is heavy on her front end (aren't they all) and I wanted to start work on shifting her back. Gina suggested that I ride her along the rail, stop and back her a couple of feet, move her toward the rail so she has to spin on her back legs, keep her together then ask her to move out. I did this exercise a lot with Precious, but she wasn't particularly fond of it and Lily wasn't very good at it. So I tried to break it down a little further.

If backing up helps them put weight on their hind end (which it does), why don't I work on more backing? So I did. I rode in the round pen, so I backed her up straight, sideways, around the pen, occasionally asking her to pivot around (which also requires moving her shoulders) and you know what??? I got lightness and impulsion. It was really an amazing thing! Her trot was much more springy and she was very light in the bridle, I was super pleased. I can't wait to ride her again today!


Daddy is a ROCK STAR

Oh yeah, Daddy Tanner (Ch. Tramac Joyride'n With Spotlite) is a rockstar and Baby Marshall is proud!

First, Best of Breed at Eukanuba with a 4th group win and today Best of Breed at Westminister. OH YEAH!!!!

Just wait--what Daddy has done in the show ring, Marshall wants to do in the performance ring. GO SPOTS!

Congrats to Jennifer, James and Meg!

Moments of Sheer Despiration

I wanted to comment on Equine Mine's recent post but didn't feel that I could really express what I had to say in just a comment.

In the summer of 2005 I owned 4 horses and I couldn't ride any of them. In the last three months Precious had been through a stone bruise, abcess and founder requiring my presence at the barn 2x a day and although recovering from acute symptoms we didn't know the cause, when she tore downt the fence and kicked the crap out of my new QH almost breaking her jaw. I couldn't bridle her for a month because of the sores. My gelding Tesoro was in training several hundred miles away and although a 15 year old living with me could ride him (and won 5 championships and reserves at a show earlier that year), he terrified me. My 4th horse was not under saddle and a few weeks earlier had cut himself on the roundpen requiring afterhour vet care and stiches. I was terrified to change his bandages and again relied on the teenager.

In 2004 I had back surgery, so this was my summer to ride and the money poured out in vet bills, board and each day I soul searched asking myself why. And I tried to sell Tesoro, thought that I would have to put Precious down, and some days wished I had never seen a horse.

Did I mention that in that spring show right before she got sick she took off across the arena when it made a terrifying sound and I managed to get her stopped but I couldn't stop shaking and I am still scared to ride in that arena? I think Julie that was when you made the beautiful video of us, there were amazing moments even in the darkest hours.

I can't count the number of times that I thought I bought the wrong horse(s), made the wrong decision and more importantly, I can't count the number of times that I cried. Emotionally wrenching, deep sobbing when I thought I could not go on.

It was, however, my moments of sheer despiration that kept me looking for answers, to find out the problems and to try and have a glimmer of the good times. And sometimes it was very very very hard.

I am not in your situation and I can't imagine it BUT I do know what sheer despiration is and I hope my good friend, that you won't give up. AND no matter what you decide, I will support you.

Please consider this the internet equivalent of a great big hug. I am so proud of you.




Learning Horses Meets Equine Mine

In reality I have known Equine Mine much longer than either of us have been blogging. I headed up I-5 with Precious this weekend to attend a Parelli Beginning Level 1 Clinic with Ann Kiser. I stayed with Julie and she provided me moral support today EVEN THOUGH it was the most miserable cold weather ever.

I will have many details to post with pictures over the next few days. In the meantime, it is GREAT to hang out her and we always have a great time.