Tuesday, December 29, 2009
As my kids have aged I have felt the stress of Christmas and the need to try to ignore it completely. We have a large family, I have 15 nieces and nephews on my husbands side alone! When my children were little we rushed around trying to make it to all the family get togethers so they could spend time with their cousins, grandparents, aunts and uncles. We had tons of meaningless gifts to buy and wrap and it became overwhelming. My kids have now aged past 18 and things have slowed down.
Last year I didn't put up a tree, boycotted the family Christmas Eve party, and just wanted to stay at home in front of the fire and veg out. This year alot of the family was coming home, at Christmas Eve the "family talent show" was brought back by the great nieces and nephews - there are 13 greats now! It was so much fun watching them sing, do somersaults, etc. It was like things had come full circle. I was watching the parents and they were beaming watching their little ones follow in the family tradition. I could also see a little weariness and stress on their faces. I have to imagine that is what my husband and I looked like years before. We decided no gifts, just family, friends and good food. It felt right. There were 33 people at Christmas Eve in a fairly small old style farm house. It was loud, warm, familiar, strange, easy, unusual, relaxed, exciting, all rolled up into one!
I cooked prime rib for dinner for my husband and kids Christmas day. Everyone chipped in and helped cook, set the table etc. We had a quiet dinner, talked about the night before, family, the gifts Santa had brought us and the things we were planning for the new year. It was the perfect end to Christmas.
If you had asked me about Christmas for the last 5 or 6 years I would have said BUH HUMBUG! As we age things change and go in cycles. This year was an up cycle and kind of renewed my desire to participate in Christmas. Hang in there and look for your up cycle. It is worth it.
Monday, December 21, 2009
We had two company Christmas parties to attend. Both were very nice, great food, good company - except for the woman who kept referring to my "grandchildren" of which I have NONE. I told her once politely that I didn't have grand kids, but she just kept bringing it up. I just ignored her but what I really wanted to do was smack her up the back side of her head! I am so not ready to have grandchildren in my life. First off... none of my kids are married. That definitely has to come first. Got one daughter that is getting pretty serious with her boyfriend. So maybe some day.
I made a milestone with my weight loss. I have officially lost 91 lbs. 11 lbs to go to goal.
I haven't been riding much. I think that Semper is enjoying his time off. I got to get back to it in January. Cold weather or not. I have been giving him some turn out time and he runs around like a fool. The weather has warmed up somewhat but now we have rain. Rain equals mud. I hate mud. It is gross. The horses I have at home have made a muddy mess at their feeding area. Every year I say that I am going to gravel that entire area and every summer I forget or get side tracked. Maybe keeping this blog will help me remember all the things that I think I need to do before the winter when summer gets here.
I paid my membership dues for several groups so I can start showing. I am getting kind of nervous. I did buy a nice show shirt at Cowboy Christmas so all was not lost.
We have a new trainer coming to the boarding facility that I board at. His name is Deon Locke and he is a pro reining trainer from Australia. He has been in OK for the last few years.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
I am going to Las Vegas on Friday to do some shopping at Cowboy Christmas. I have been looking forward to this trip for some time. This is my first trip to Vegas so I guess you could say I am a "Vegas Virgin". I hope I can remember to do all the things that friends and family have suggested that we do while we are there.
We have not been doing our Wednesday night lessons because everyone has been busy over the holidays and it has been "colder than a witches tit" as my brother would say. I am going to go ride my filly that is up at the trainers the week between Christmas and New Years. She will have had 3 months of training and the trainer is happy with her progress. I also have to make an appointment to have my two stud colts "brain surgery" (gelded) done.
Monday, November 30, 2009
I am still riding 4 to 5 days a week but only schooling 2 or 3. I have a lesson one night and try to work him a couple times in between. The other days I have been trail riding or fooling around on him bareback. No pressure, just goofing around. I took him to work cows this weekend which he and I both enjoy and we did really well. He is getting back to his old self and starting to enjoy my company again. Lesson learned.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
I decided to have the gastric bypass surgery - but here are the guidelines I set for my self
1. I was going to follow their instructions to the letter.
2 I was going to commit to a complete lifestyle change - 100%
3. I was NOT going to be sick. I was going to follow the prescribed diet. Not going to complain, not going to be a baby!
4. I was going to go into this with a positive attitude that everything was going to go smoothly, I was going to be successful and I was going to be healthy!
I went through all the required classes, evaluations, Dr. appointments, support groups, etc. Never missed one.
My insurance company approved my surgery and I had a date. I went on a liquid diet for 10 days prior to my surgery date. I followed the diet religiously.
June 8, I had surgery. That morning I weighed in at 242. I was out of bed walking around after my surgery, I went home in 2 days. I was riding again in 2 weeks. I have not been sick, thrown up or had any health issues at all. I had my 5 month appointment and don't have to go back for 7 months. My weight loss is above average, my blood work is excellent. To date I have lost almost 80 lbs. I have another 20 - 30 to go. I eat a healthy diet, I don't drink alcohol, don't eat any refined sugar, etc.
The question I get most often is "why couldn't I have done this without surgery?". Because their are no consequences. If I choose to over eat or choose to eat the wrong thing, I will be miserable. Who wants to be miserable?
Of course this is all pretty new. I work at it everyday and have kept that positive attitude and my commitment to being healthy and happy. This is my time, for me and my horses!
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
I was 65 lbs when I started kindergarten. I have old photos and I wasn't really obese. I was chunky. I was the tallest in my class and don't really look out of place or stand out as the fat kid. My family are large, heavy boned people. I have never had a broken bone (should have probably had a few!) and neither has any of my brothers. My freshman year in high school I was 160 lbs. and my mom was after me to lose weight. I was extremely active but I also ate like a man that put in a 60 hour week finishing concrete! My mom decided it was time that she intervene. She called the family doctor who happened to live across the street and asked him to prescribe some diet pills for me. My mom could be pretty persuasive when she wanted to be and he, without hesitation, called in a script. This is where is all started. I did diet pills for about 4 months the spring and summer of my freshman year. I went back to school as a sophomore at 125 lbs and looking good - if I do say so myself. I had all the curves in all the right places and wasn't really afraid to show them off. I had stopped growing in height in about 5th grade and so now at 5'6" I was of average height among my peers. Where I was above average was in the D-cups I was sporting. Boobs are powerful things when you are 15. I used diet pills on and off all through high school and when I graduated I was at 135 lbs. The 2 years after high school I got up to about 160 which was really a pretty good weight for me.
Then came marriage and kids. And pounds. I took most of the weight off after my first child, then again after my second (with the help of Rx diet pills). I was at 233 when I got pregnant with my son. I was at 230 when he was delivered full term. I vowed that I would not gain another pound during pregnancy with him and I did really well. No diet pills, just eating right and not huge quantities. I got down to 170 that year. That was 18 years ago.
The next 12 years I just didn't give a damn. I didn't have horses in my life then, I was working full time in a job that I hated in a town 25 miles from home, I basically lived and breathed through my kids and husband. I got up to over 300. Can't tell you how much over because the scale only went to 300. I would guess about 320 at my heaviest. I was wearing a size 22 - 24 jeans and a XXX top. Those D-cups were now G cups. Do you know how hard it is to find a G cup and how expensive they are? But I guess since you can use them as a hat - yes they were as big as my head - you have to pay for the dual purpose! Our family doctor had passed away and so I didn't have that direct line to the RX diet pills anymore and my doctor wouldn't give them to me. He said "Just quit eating and get some exercise", so helpful. I finally changed jobs, still working full time, but in a better place. I had 3 kids in 4-H, gymnastics, dance, karate, baseball, and every other sport you can dream of. I didn't really a have a lot of time to exercise. I was looking online and found that you could get Rx diet pills on line by simply filling out a questionnaire. Here we go again! I got the diet pills and in 7 months I was back down to 220. Around this time horses came back into my life and I was feeling really good about where things were heading. Then my mom died. Then my brother died. I gained back 30 lbs. but I maintained that weight for about 4 years. I was heavy but I was coping. I was wearing a size 18 pants, still in the G-cup, 18-20 top. I was riding alot, my kids were growing and getting out on there own more, I was finding a balance in my life.
I had heard our local hospital had an excellent weight loss program that included weight loss surgery. My insurance covered weight loss surgery so I called to make an appointment for a consultation. I was told that since they weren't a "center of excellence" that my insurance wouldn't cover the visit. They offered to put me on a waiting list until they became certified. I agreed to that and then just kind of forgot all about it.
I decided that I was going to lose weight the right way. Exercise and eating right. I joined the gym and started eating right in Oct. I was at 265 lbs. I exercised for at least an hour a day 4 to 5 days a week, rode at least 5 days a week and really ate a very healthy conservative diet. I didn't give up alcohol but I gave up all sweets, breads, fats, and was eating 3 balanced meals a day with no snacking in between. I was feeling better but didn't feel like I had lost any weight or inches. I didn't weigh until March 1st. I wanted to give this new life style a chance. I gained 7 lbs. It was a huge blow and sent me into an absolute tissy fit. I decided to give it a few more months and to give up everything - if it had blank calories, sugar or fat, I wasn't going to eat it (no alcohol) and I started skipping meals again, my diet wasn't healthy. From March to September I lost about 15 pounds. I was miserable. Then my best friend calls me and says "want to be my diet buddy?". Why not? Nothing else seemed to be working. She wanted me to go on the "cookie diet" with her. Smart for Life cookies are meal replacements. I tried that for about 4 months and lost a few pounds. I was now around 250 pounds.
It had been a year since I was put on the waiting list for the weight loss center when I got a call from them asking me if I was still interested. I was a little taken aback. Did I really want weight loss surgery? It was such a huge step and what if they said no. If they said that I wasn't a candidate for weight loss surgery, what options were left for me to get this fat off. It really set a lot of emotions into overdrive. One thing I knew for sure was that if I wanted to become a better rider, show my horses, live the life that I had been dreaming of, I had to get the weight off.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
SIRE side of pedigree
Junior Reed 1954
Mac's Nix 1973
Spanish Joy 1954
Ricky Coquette 1967
Ricky Taylor 1954
Mac Paddy 1984
Miss Scatter Bar 1962
Rudy Buck 1958
Pretty Buck 1942
Aggie Buck 1965
Rosy Poco 1953
Poco Diosa 1959
Poco Bueno 1944
Cuerva Rey 1950
Two Eyed Jack 1961
Two D Two 1957
Joe Joe Jack 1967
Triangle Tookie 1951
Bay Queen Jo 1956
Monsieur Joe 1948
Tweedle Miss 1976
Roan Queen 1944
Mr Sen Sen 1957
Miss Tweedle Bar 1968
Miss Sen Sen 1947
Tweedle Dee 1956
Sunday, October 25, 2009
I wanted to go back to the beginning and start over with the stopping. TL says that isn't going to work because stopping at a lope is different than stopping on a run down. On the run down you start slow, build speed, get in stopping position and ask. I think that I was getting into stopping position to early and telling on myself. So I started out slow, got into position, and then asked for some speed - just a little - and then asked for a stop. I sat still as he stopped. It was better. I may get it yet!
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
I rode Semper today and had an amazing ride. The lead changes were flawless, he floated around his circles, his turnarounds had energy and were very fluid, he was just on, on, on. So I got off and gave him a treat, kissed his nose and went home one happy girl.
Talked to my friend that moved to WA and she is doing great. They put an offer in on a house, a big house 4 bedroom 3000+ sq ft. Who wants to clean a house that big? I don't want to clean the house I have and it isn't nearly that big. I want to play with my horses, not clean. To each their own I guess.
Still can't figure out how to edit my video. I guess I am going to have to buy some new software that is made to edit video.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
I have been doing quite a few things for my friends lately. On the way to look at the trailer another friend called and was hinting she needed a ride to a event on Saturday, without hesitation I said that I would come get her. As soon as the words rolled out of my mouth I was regretting it. I love my friends and they would do anything for me and I would do anything for them. With that said, I have to start putting up some boundaries. The things that I am getting into are not crisis issues, they are convinence issues. I am not saying that I don't want to help my friends. I am saying that I need to set some guidelines for myself and learn to keep my big trap shut and let them figure it out on there own. What do you think?
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
Then we worked stops. OMG I suck at stops. And I have proof I suck at stops - daughter videoed it. I don't know if I am over thinking them or what. I am not even going to go into it. I am still pondering what I can do to change and how to make it better. TL has us do the same drill over and over and it just isn't working. I think I am getting worse instead of better and so is Semper. I am going to work on my stop position this week. I want to throw my shoulders back and I thought that I had worked through that but I seem to be back sliding into that old habit. So that is what I am going to try to fix this week. I won't be posting any video of the sucky stopping, it is way to embarrassing.
This weekend I am making the trip to Pasco and I am really dreading it. Not only is it a horrible 13 hour drive, but I am leaving my friend there and coming home without her.
Monday, October 5, 2009
The shopping wasn't that great. Not near as many booths as last year, lots of belts and purses, but since I am not really a girly-girl that didn't interest me. Why is it that when I find something I like it is always the most expensive? I found a nice Tom Balding bit that I really liked until I saw the price - $515. It wasn't that nice. I also found a pair of romel reins that I liked and they were $2199. Way to rich for my blood. But they were very nice. Almost like art work instead of tack.
We didn't watch the sale very long but I felt like the prices were either really good or really bad. None that just seemed in the middle. If your horse was average it wasn't going to bring an average price it was going to go for less than what it should. If your horse was exceptional or above average then you were going to get a really good chunk of change. Crazy.
And it was cold. I don't think it got above 45 degrees inside the building all day on Sunday. It snowed on the way home. I am a CA girl, granted a Northern CA girl, but snow just isn't my thing, it is wet, cold and basically makes me miserable.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
So here is last nights recap.
There were only two of us last night and so we got lots of one on one attention - which I really like. I went first and worked on counter cantering figure eights and changing to the other lead in the middle. Wow that is kind of confusing. I started out counter cantering a circle and went around a couple of time and then ask for a lead change in the middle and went into a counter canter going the other way. The purpose for this drill is to keep the horse from dropping and pushing his shoulder in a lead change. We did a couple of lead changes and Semper got mad and kicked out at my spur. I pulled him into the ground, backed him and then loped him off on the counter canter again and asked him again and he changed beautifully. Mary the other rider wanted to work on loping and rating her speed, but her horse didn't want to pick up the left lead so before she could work on rate she worked on lead departures. She was pushing his hip over and asking him to lope off and he wouldn't pick it up. Then he started rushing off as soon as she put her leg on him to move his hip. So every time he starts to rush Trainer Lady tells her to stop back him up and then try again. When she gets him to stop rushing Trainer Lady tells of her to tip his nose to the inside and that was the ticket. He picks up his left lead and she can now work on rate. He is a little horse and very talented and athletic. When he would start to go to fast she would make a smaller circle or turn a sharp corner. Then let him our on a loose rein and let him make the mistake again and then do a sharp turn. It didn't take him long to learn that if I just lope slow, I can go around in a circle and not work that hard.
I wanted to work on our lead departures too. Semper is good at picking up the right leads, but he tends to want to pop his head up as he departs.
Trainer Lady says push him up into the bridle and then asked him to lope off and if he pops his head - depending on how bad he popped up - either bump him with my reins if it wasn't to bad and then to push him into the bridle to make him work for the rest of a circle. If it was really bad, stop him get him framed up and start over.
After that we worked on stops and this has been really a hard one for me to get down. The drill Trainer Lady likes is to use the center of the arena and start out loping and then loop the end around. After a couple of times at a slow lope ask them to speed up about half way down the arena and then slow down as we loop the end. After they are working quietly you ask for the stop. My problem is that my brain is saying stop, but nothing is coming out of my mouth. I lose the moment. We worked on that and then Semper decides that he hears me but he really doesn't have to stop right then. He does stop but he takes a few to many strides after I have asked. We did some fencing because he was starting to scotch then went back to looping the arena. Trainer Lady says if he doesn't stop when you ask, pull him into the ground. I never pull on Semper in a stop. Never usually have to. I went down the arena asked him to stop and he just keeps going and I pull him into the ground. Boy was he surprised. Shocked. We did a couple more and he was back to his normal self of stopping immediately when he heard "whoa". That was good. He is still not stopping really smoothly. He comes out of the ground and then gets his butt under him. That is something we need to work on.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
This is Sigs Semper Fi.
This is probably the best horse I will ever own. I bought Semper from a retired veterinarian that raises and races quarter horses. I was not in the market for a horse for myself. I was looking for a husband safe horse and Doc said he had a 4 year old that was broke to ride and just as quiet and willing as could be. I had been to Doc's place several times and remembered seeing the horse he was referring to. He was a tall, lanky tovero paint, mostly white with some speckling on his chest and a medince hat. He had a huge ugly scar on his left hind leg. He was always the horse that was pushed around and was pretty timid. He had never made it to the track, Doc didn't like him because he had a "Dur, dur da dur" attitude. I decided that we should at least go and look. I had to drag my husband out there to look at him. Doc's hired hand had been running Semper up and down hills, he was soaked with sweat, dirty from head to toe, and his mouth is red, raw and sore. He had spur tracks up and down both sides and a look of sheer terror in his eyes. We stood and talked for a couple of minutes and let him air up and then I got on. I rode him up and down the side of the barn a couple times, ask him to back etc. I just wanted to make it look like I was trying him out without really pushing him. He complied with what ever I asked but was a bundle of nerves. I felt so bad, I just wanted out of there. My husband and I get in the truck to come home and I asked him what he thought. This is my husbands exact response. "That is the f'ing ugliest horse I have ever seen and I would not be caught dead riding him." I thought that was pretty harsh. We rode the rest of the way home quiet. I thought about Semper almost non stop for about a week. I kept seeing his face and his eyes filled with confusion. I would be sitting at my desk thinking about him on the verge of tears. I felt like I had left an innocent child in an abusive situation. Without saying a word to hubby, I called Doc and asked if we could make a deal for the horse. He was pretty shocked. He is an old hand and saw right through my "pretending to try him out". He listened to my offer and accepted it without hesitation. Now I had to come up with a logical explanation to hubby why I bought this horse. The bottom line was I felt sorry for him and my heart ruled over my brains.
From the day I brought him home I have always felt confident that I did the right thing. I bought him for myself. I don't like to sharing my horse and after hubbys comment about never riding him, I figured this was the horse for me. Semper stands 16 hands and at his best weight is probably around 1200 lbs. He is conformationally correct and all the pieces flow together just right. In his foal picture he is all white with brown ears. As he ages he gets more and more color. His breeding isn't anything spectacular, you can check it out on at http://www.allbreedpedigree.com/sigs+semper+fi Semper has turned into a steady companion with a huge heart, a willing attitude and more than enough athletic ability to take me anywhere I want to go. He is one of the kindest and most social animals I have ever owned. He is respectful of your boundaries and doesn't have a mean bone in his body. I have taken him trail riding, sorted cattle on him and whatever I put in front of him, he takes it all in stride. I had been dabbling with the idea of showing again but never really got serious about it till about a year ago. I sent Semper off to a reining trainer. I knew she had her doubts on whether or not he would make it. His age, size and laid back personality didn't impress her. After a few months she told me that he was coming along beautifully and that she really liked him. He was easy to train, had tons of try and wanted to please. Great combination. He is coming 11 this year. We will be starting our reining career in the "green as grass" or as I like to call it the "dumb as dirt" class. I take reining lessons every Wednesday and will be posting about what we learn on Thursday mornings.
Come along with us on our journey.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
This all started 5 years ago when a friend asked me to take her horse for awhile to see if I could rehab her. Long story and I will share it later on. After I brought her horse to my home, I decided that she needed a buddy. I started watching the local papers and within a week or two I found an ad for a horse that I wanted to go look at. Hindsight says it was really stupid. I looked at her and just had to have her. She was a 13 year old AQHA mare that was in foal to a paint stallion. I had no business buying a bred mare. Ended up that she wasn't bred, again, another story for another day. Fast forward 5 years and I now have 8 horses of my own and am taking care of two others.
5 years ago I was 44 years old and grossly overweight, I was stuck in the 70's as far as my riding and training skills. I have lost 65 lbs to date and have 35 more to go. I am working on my riding and training skills. I found a great horse, great trainer and feel very fortunate to be where I am at today.
Hopefully this blog is going to chronicle my weight loss journey, my show ring adventures and my 4 legged obsessions with some humor, a lot of heart and maybe even a little intelligence.