Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Horse friends

Not to long ago, over on Equestrian Ink they did a post on the friends you make that our your horsey friends. Today I spent the better part of the day with one of my horsey friends. She is quite a bit younger than me (18 years). She rides english and has a 17 hand thoroughbred named Simon. He is a very stereotypical OTTB. But I love him anyway. Jen and I met 3 years ago at a boarding facility and we became instant friends. In the outside world we would not have been compatible, but in the horse world we became best friends. We love having a beer, a good meal, BS'ing about anything. Today we took Simon to the vet to get a dental done, a coggins test and health certificate. They are moving 13 hours away. Her husband got a promotion and they have to move quickly. It is a bummer. I am going to haul Simon to his new home next weekend. I am going to miss her and her big ole' goofy horse.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Semper Fi

I thought it would be fun to write a little background on each one of my horses.

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 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

In the beginning

In three months or so I hope to be back in the show ring for the first time in over 30 years.

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.