Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Next, I have to state that I really love drill. I LOVE RIDING DRILL. Drill is SO much fun when things go right.
Unfortunately, things can go so, so wrong.
If I could repeat the glory days of my first couple years of drill every year, I'd only be drilling. No reining or cutting for me. I'd be perfectly happy.
But somehow my team has morphed into some sort of drama central full of bickering kindergartners. I really, honestly felt like I was back in grade school tonight at a team meeting.
For the record I also must state that my coach is absolutely awesome and probably a saint. I guess she'd have to be to put up with all of us as much as she does and I know I only see a fraction of the drama that she deals with.
We had a round table discussion tonight in an attempt to air out some feelings with the hope of getting past some of the drama. Members were asked to talk about how they are feeling about things, both good and bad, and then any helpful suggestions or constructive criticism that might help get us back on track.
There were comments along the lines of people not talking to particular people while we're warming up, so that obviously means that they don't like them. Seriously? Just because I don't talk to you doesn't mean that I don't like you. Sometimes it does, but usually it just means that I'm enjoying being on my horse (or really pissed off at her and concentrating!) and just don't feel like gossiping. One of my very good friends is on the team. I do usually manage to at least say hi at some point, but I'm sure there have been times that we've gone entire practices without speaking. It doesn't mean I'm mad at her. It just means I didn't get the opportunity to chit chat because I was otherwise occupied. The end. We're adults and secure enough to not need that interaction every single time.
My favorite comment on this point was the person that argued that she's concentrating on warming up her horse so others shouldn't take offense if she doesn't say hi, then two sentences later whined about how she feels like she's ostrasized and no one wants her to be part of the team. Wow.
There was the suggestion (again) of making some sort of seating chart at meetings or assigning people different partners to ride with during practice so we can all get to know each other, not just stay in our cliques. Again...seriously? A seating chart? Assigned partners?!? I haven't had a seating chart since I was in junior high! We generally end up randomly spread out and riding with different people throughout the practice and in our drills anyways. If you want to make friends, go make friends. Don't wait for a seating chart to tell you who you need to talk to today.
There were tantrums thrown and personal attacks made, broad ambiguous statements made that people took as personal attacks and of course bickering, though that was mostly moderated. It was ridiculous and made me realize why I just can't seem to get motivated to get my ass off the couch on Sunday afternoons to go to drill practice. I'm only an associate member this year so I don't have an assigned spot in the drills and don't feel obligated to go. If I had a spot and knew people were counting on me, I'd be there with bells on.
Can't always promise a smile on my face though.
I love my team. I work my butt off for my team. When I am at anything having to do with drill I'm there 110% for my team. I make absolutely sure I am ready to go and on time. I volunteer to do things for the team and make sure I get them done to the best of my ability. I am conscious of the fact that at competitions and drill functions I represent my team and make a point of smiling, saying good luck to passing teams and making sure I don't do anything that would make my coach or any of my team members embarrassed to wear the same team shirt as me. My coach is very involved in the area associations and I believe one of her main goals at drill functions is to try to bridge the gaps between teams. I'm not outgoing by any stretch of the imagination, but I try because it's the way I believe my coach wants our team to be.
I also don't throw tantrums or play the blame game. You can't. It's just not productive. Or healthy. I want to win as much as the next person, but blaming other people for the team's short comings doesn't get you any where. All you can do is take responsibility for yourself and figure out if there is anything you could be doing differently to make it easier for other people to be correct. Or talk to them, adult to adult, about the issue. No yelling, no tantrums, no blaming. Take responsibility for your part and don't get defensive.
There are people on my team that throw tantrums. Big ones. They give the silent treatment. They stomp off (or ride off if they're mounted). They slam doors. They rip their horse around for no good reason. They send out mass emails to the team arguing and denying any responsibility or wrong-doing. They tell the teacher...er...coach. There are people worried about cliques and whether this person likes me or that person picks on me.
I absolutely cannot stand the drama. I'm an adult. I am on the drill team because it's a blast to ride and gets me on my horse. A lot. I do enjoy the camaraderie that comes with being on a team. I have extremely fond memories from my first year drilling of team meetings at the end of the day with a pitcher of margaritas and lots of laughter and good times. But I don't need or want to be every one's best friend. There are certainly some people on the team that I'd rather avoid. As long as they make an effort, are prepared and on time and don't cause drama I will absolutely respect them as a teammate. Regardless of their horse's breeding, their riding skills, how nice their rig is or whether I like them on a personal level. I think that is all you can ask of people when you have a large group spending that much time together in a competitive setting.
I just want to have a good time, enjoy my horse and hopefully kick some butt while we're there! Why do people have to make it so difficult?!?
Sunday, March 29, 2009
That is what we had when I went to bed around 11 and it was still coming down like crazy.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
The first two shots were taken on a camping trip to Nachese. It was a totally last minute, sick of being trapped at home all summer because of the boyfriends broken leg, let's just get the heck outta here, load up the Land Cruiser and head to the hills to go camping trip. Unfortunately, his Cruiser was having some issues so trails weren't a great option for us. We decided to head up the road to Ravens Roost instead of taking the trail with a group of friends. It was a beautiful view from up there and a perfect sunny day!
This third picture was a trip I took to Ellensburg with a good girlfriend in '06. We were going on our annual camping trip with the ponies. This particular year we ended up camping in a friends driveway, but riding in the hills around Ellensburg both days. It was a really fun weekend.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Anyways, they have blogs detailing all of their adventures with their new projects. Juliane ended up with Midori's long lost sister who she named Sangria. She has the same little white sock, bay color and massive mane as my Midori. She seems pretty friendly and laid back for a supposedly wild, never been handled mustang. It sounds like she is taking everything that Juliane throws at her in stride. Jenny ended up with a fiesty little mare she named MissFire. Much to their surprise, I totally fell in love with her as soon as I saw her. She has the most adorable face and the compact little build that I love on horses. She was very shy, but curious. She wanted to sniff my hand so bad and kept trying, but she was very scared. She has been a bit more of a challenge then Sangria, but they are both coming along quickly.
The Extreme Mustang Makeover Challenge is put on by the Bureau of Land Management and the Mustang Heritage Foundation and basically involves a bunch of mustangs, straight from different Herd Management Areas around the country. Trainers apply for a spot in the challenge and, once approved, are randomly assigned a mustang. They then have 90 days to get them gentled, broke and ready to compete against the other mustangs and trainers at the Challenge. Sangria and MissFire will be competing at the Western States EMM Challenge in Sacramento, CA in June.
The reason I bring all this up is that I got to see MissFire again last night. I still just adore her, she really is a cutie patootie. She also looked a whole lot smaller then I remember her! She can't be more then 14:1. All of my horses are between 14:2 and 14:3 though so I think she is just the perfect size. She is just a petite little thing to, short back, leggy, compact little build. She looks like she'd be athletic as hell and apparently has performed some pretty amazing acrobatics.
She was all saddled up last night and looking a little less wild. I played with her for a little bit and got to pet her neck and shoulder. I didn't push my luck any further back then that as there is a reason she got the name MissFire. She didn't like me in her face or patting her at all, but when I would work up her neck to scratch her face she sure seemed to love it and totally lean into it. Then she would remember that it was me scratching her and toss her head away. hehe She was super soft on the lead line, very responsive and respectful of my space. That was good, I really like my bubble. She was pretty protective of her bubble too though and it took her a little convincing to let this strange her person walk around to the other side. She did lots of dropping her head and licking her lips when she'd figure out I wasn't going to eat her. It was fun. I can see the appeal of the Challenge, though I'm pretty sure I'd never have the cojones to actually enter it myself. I can't wait to see how Sangria and MissFire progress and I'm trying to figure out how I can get down to Sacramento in June to watch them in action!
Sunday, March 22, 2009
And of course they have the cutest little Corgi puppy bums! See how much bigger Yogi (on the left) is then Bella? Total chunk!
And my sister came over with her brand new to her puppy Vega. She is a Schipperke mix. She was pretty darn cute too! Love those ears and that face!
Cheyanne had so much fun playing with all the puppies! She was so gentle with them, seemed to know they were babies and played accordingly.
I just love Vega in the picture below. Cracks me up!
Yogi seemed pretty fascinated with Chey, he kept trying to catch her and play. She was too fast for his chunky little legs though. That girl can run!
I think Chey had just as much fun running circles around them as they played amongst themselves.
Chey still wanted to go-go-go, but she crashed eventually a little while after everyone left. She was fast asleep on her bed on the deck. Never seen such a thing!
This is the side of my barn. Definately lots of lines, but not so interesting.
These are the stairs that lead up to the barn loft. I think they are beautiful, ya know, for stairs. Not terribly photogenic though. And please try to ignore all the dirt, leaves and cobwebs. It's been a long winter.
I pulled this pic from my archives. It was a beatiful sunny morning and I had to go outside and take lots of pics. There are lots of lines with the deck, railing, window, shadows, etc. so I figured I'd throw it in.
This is another one I pulled from the archives. I was outside taking lots of pictures of the snow, which I posted here and Cheyanne was helping me, as usual. I think she decided she was done with the cold because she ended up sitting on the deck watching me. I think it's cute the way she is just peeking thru the rails at me and definately has a lot of lines in it. It was taken with my old camera so the quality isn't quite as good, but I still like the composition of it.
Go check out the Sunday Stills blog to see what other people have done with the challenge! Just look thru the comments and click on the links to other people's posts.
Friday, March 20, 2009
As jrosey said on her blog, I don't think Mother Nature has gotten the memo yet.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
He had some extra time on his hands a couple weeks ago so I suggested getting the evil Juniper root up that I mentioned in this post. Since we had a nice break in the weather I was starting to get spring fever and take inventory of the outdoor projects that I would like to tackle when it gets nice out again. I think this little area is a priority so I can call it complete for reals. I was not able to pull the root out on my own last fall, but it needed to go. He went out, fired up Holly and 30 seconds later it was out. So happy to have it outta there!
I also wanted to add some dirt to this little garden area to bring it up level to the concrete pad and redo the rock border. After he pulled the root out he got to work digging it up a bit, loosening the existing soil and leveling it back off. It cracked me up because the little garden area was no bigger then the bucket on the tractor! I'm sure he could have easily dug it up with a shovel by hand in about 10 minutes, but he used the tractor instead.
He's pretty darn handy with his new toy!
So after she read my blog about painting my office she emailed me with her thoughts on the subject. I had a forehead smack moment(also known as a duh moment). She suggested painting the dark color half way up the wall with another color on top, using some sort of border in the middle (or no border, my choice). That way I could still use my blue that I love, but it would help with the dark hole issue.
Now, I know I had this idea at some point, the thought had crossed my mind, I swear. But for one reason or another I had disqualified it as an option, or just didn't want to think hard enough to figure out a border option and forgotten all about it. Now that she brought it up again, I'm totally digging it.
The only problem is...what do I do for a border?!? I'm not a huge fan of the no border idea. I'm also not a huge fan of doing a wallpaper border, though I am not counting it out completely. I would love to do a wood chair bumper type border, but I'm just not so sure that will work out so great with all of the furniture I'm going to have in there pushed up against the wall. I could just do a plain 4"-6" stripe of navy blue, but that is a little blah. Red or purple or kelly green wouldn't be as blah, bit it's still not all that exciting
Naturally I've been googling and haven't had much luck finding new ideas, other than decoupage. That could be fun. Maybe. I have a feeling it would turn into a massive project because I'm incredibly particular about stuff like that. I can envision how I might want it to look, but it would probably take me hours and days and weeks to get it looking like that. I kind of like that direction though. I'm picturing black and white photos of different things, possibly pictures that I've taken, but more likely pictures of the eiffel tower, flowers, horses, Chey...different things that I love and inspire me. It could be fun to have in my craft room. I dunno. I'll have to think on that idea a while longer.
The other part of this is what color do I do on top? It would have to be something light to offset the dark bottom. I would rather not do anything too white. I could do the mustard/dijon color that Horse Crazed Mind suggested in the last post, but I think that would end up looking a little manly and like it should be a den, not girly for my craft room. I do love that color though and it will end up some where in my house! Do I go with a lighter, creamy yellow? More like the one in the kitchen (or the stand mixer that inspired the kitchen)? Do I go with a light blue? Teal? Pick some other random color of the rainbow just for shits and giggles? I dunno. I suppose the top color is kind of dependent on my border decision also.
So that is where I'm at with the office right now. I still, basically, have no idea what I want to do in there. Who knows, maybe I'll go home and look in the office and decide this half wall idea just won't work at all or sleep on it and wake up tomorrow morning wondering what the heck kind of crack I was on to even entertain the idea. I do that every once in a while.
Basically, I need to think on it and love your input in the meantime! Maybe I'll get a picture of the room up here one of these days too so those of you that haven't seen my house can see what the heck I'm talking about! :o)
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Or go with something bright and different with yellows, golds, reds and oranges...
So that is where my head is at this week. I would really like to get both the bathroom and office painted before it gets nice out and I don't want to be inside any more. Hopefully I can make it happen! I think I just need to pick a color and go for it. I can change it later if I don't like it, right? Of course when I realize that that means painting again I might decide to like it, but hey, whatever works, right? :-)
Sunday, March 15, 2009
First off I would like to point out that it is now March 15th and I once again woke up to snow this morning. Have I mentioned I'm ready for summer?
Second, it was not a dream. I did win a buckle yesterday. Did I mention I have a buckle? I do, I won a buckle! *grins*
Third, I told the boyfriend I would share the buckle with him. I think he deserves it just as much as I do. He tried it on last night. It looked good on him. It has not gone on my belt yet. Not sure why. I guess probably because it's hard to look at it when it's on your stomach and I'd rather stare at it in the box. Yes, I am a nerd. But you know what? It's ok, cuz I have a buckle! hehehe
And last...today is Cheyanne's birthday! She is one year old today! My little baby is growing up! *sniff, sniff* I can't believe that a year ago today, we weren't even living in this house, I think we would have been in the process of making an offer at that point and certainly not considering getting a puppy at all! But here we are with Cheyanne one year old already and I love her to death. She is the cutest puppy dog ever and I can't imagine not having her around!
And this is Cheyanne today. Ok, well, really it was last week, but it's cold and wet and gross outside and she is having a blast playing in the nasty weather and getting filthy dirty and I don't want to take a new picture of her like that.
This is her favorite spot to curl up when I'm on the computer (yes our computer is at our kitchen table and I feel the need to admit that no we don't eat there much). She is usually curled up with one of her favorite toys too. This is her all time favorite toy Piggy. It was one of the first puppy toys I got her, but she destroyed that one. I felt horible throwing out her favorite toy ever so I had to go buy her another one. She was so stinking excited when I gave it to her! It was the cutest thing ever. Now only the rawhide bones take precedence over Piggy.
So happy birthday Chey! Here's to many more great years!
Ok, I think that's all for the weekend. But no promises. I do have a few more ideas swimming around in my head, I just don't know if they'll make it on here any time soon.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
I like it that it is a little mysterious and you'd never guess that it was just water in a horse's water trough.
My other favorites were just macro shots with a fast shutter speed on the kitchen faucet. Our kitchen sink is black and I really like the effect of the dark background.
Again, I like that they are mysterious and weird. It almost looks like a bunch of diamonds falling. Maybe that's why I like them.
They loooooove the cows.
Then they got bored and started sniffing eachother.
Then they dove for the hay. Brats.
See that? It says REINING CHAMPION. Me. Reining Champion.
And yes, it was a Beginner class at a small, very casual, very small, very casual winter reining series. Did I mention it was small and casual? It was very small and very casual.
But...I HAVE A BUCKLE!
I do have to thank C.C. Dozing and Mike Crandall for sponsoring the series. They totally rock! They support a lot of events and get us some beeeeautiful buckles! Which I can tell you now from personal experience. Did I mention I have a buckle? *grins*
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
As luck would have it I was second up in the rotation for the day, thanks to being one of the "experienced" folk at the clinic. I got good and warmed up while the first person went and then we were up. The morning boxing didn't go as well as I had hoped, but it was a really good learning experience.
I do have to point out that I am only 99% sure it was actually called a working cowhorse clinic. Honestly, I can hardly keep all the different cowhorse disciplines straight. I do know that it was a clinic on the cow work portion of the reined cowhorse competition. It is my understanding that there is the rein work, cow work and herd work portions of reined cow horse competitions. The rein work is basically a reining pattern. Then when you complete the pattern, they give you a cow and you go straight into your cow work that includes boxing the cow, taking them down the wall, getting atleast one turn each direction and then circling the cow a full 360 degrees each direction. Then the herd work is more or less cutting. We worked on boxing, taking them down the wall and circling.
Holy cow, what a blast that is! I thought cutting was fun, but this is just an adrenaline rush on four legs! Wow. W-O-W.
If you go to the NRCHA website there is a video on the homepage of what it is supposed to look like. Keep in mind the pros make it look easy to do. In reality it is probably one of the most difficult things to do with cows. You are going full out, balls to the wall galloping to catch those cows and control them and then stopping and turning on a dime, into the wall. It is difficult and dangerous and the most fun I think I've ever had on my horse.
I was pretty excited to get another chance at this clinic this year. I've been the past two years, but have been more then a little disappointed by my performances. The first year I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I knew nothing about reined cow horses and had never seen them in action. I was absolutely clueless. Which probably turned out to be a good thing. If I had known what I was getting myself into I probably would have had a panic attack and sold my spot. You see, two weeks or so before the clinic Midori decided to be a terd and took off bucking on me. I stuck it out, got her pulled around and disciplined, but as soon as I let up for a second on the rein because I thought we were done, she took off bucking again. At that point I had no stirrups and had only stayed on up until then thru sheer will. The second round of bucks put me up on her neck, connecting hard with the saddle horn on my tail bone on the way. This was two years ago and I still feel it. You can imagine what I felt like two weeks in, headed to a day long clinic. On top of being injured, not able to ride properly and certainly not able to sit deep for hard stops and turns, I was absolutely scared to death of Midori. The clinic was only the second time I'd been back on her since the incident. I spent the whole entire day near or in tears, practically hyperventilating any time Midori did more then a slow controlled jog. Like I said, if I knew what I was doing going into the clinic I would have sold my spot. But I'm glad I didn't.
We didn't do horrible, but since I couldn't sit down much we didn't get any hard turns or stops in and I had to hold Midori back quite a bit because I just wasn't ready to let her go all out. I survived the day and Midori behaved herself. In fact, she enjoyed it. She was having a blast chasing those cows around! I had fun, but was really disappointed in myself for being such a weenie.
Then I started doing some research on what we were trying to do and knew I wanted to take another stab at it.
Which brings us to year two. My favorite saddle to ride in is my 14" Circle Y park and trail. It's a simple saddle, no bling, nothing special, not even great leather, but I love Circle Y's and it is comfy and I have a solid seat in it. I had decided that I wanted to spend a little more and get a really nice saddle to use since I was really getting back into horses. After a little shopping and a test run, I decided on a Reinsman. I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it and then found out that they now have the same designer that used to do the nice Circle Y's with the softee leather that I loved. Go figure. Anyways, long story short, I decided I wanted to use my barely broke in Reinsman for the clinic instead of my usual Circle Y. Stupid, stupid, stupid! It's a super comfy saddle and I have a nice solid seat in it, but the stirrups were a little long for my shrimpy short legs and I had no more holes to go up. Besides that, they weren't turned yet, despite my best efforts with a broom handle. The morning boxing practice went alright, but when we got to the afternoon runs down the wall and I kept losing the stirrup that would have been on the outside of my turn, it was not so pretty. I didn't trust my seat to stay put thru a diving turn into the wall without a stirrup to lean on so I was holding Midori back on the turns again and holding on to the saddle for dear life. I think I was actually grabbing the horn, which I never do. I still had fun and learned a lot, but I was once again disappointed with my performance because I had held back. Again.
Flash forward to this year...I'm going into this thing uninjured. I'm using my broke in, still favorite Circle Y. Midori is more cowy now after cutting last summer and more broke then ever and we have a better understanding and base for what we are about to do. Midori is solid and spicy and I'm not scared of her. I was sooo looking forward to this so I could really feel like I got something out of it instead of failing because I was holding back and focusing more on how scared I was then on the task at hand. And this year I was going to get 3 runs, 1 morning boxing and 2 runs down the wall. I absolutely couldnt' wait to get out there and ride like hell!
To be continued....
Monday, March 9, 2009
In one weeks time we've had sunny, blue skies and 60 degree absolutely beautiful weather, wind, rain, showers, more rain, thunder storms and now snow. As I am typing this it is dumping snow and going on 2 inches accumulated. Over the weekend it would go from sunny blue skies, to wind to snow to hail and back to sun every half hour or so. I swear I'm only exaggerating a tiny bit.
It's March 9th for crying out loud. It's not supposed to be snowing any more! Am I imagining things that not that many years ago we could get thru an entire winter and not see one single snow flake? I know last winter it snowed quite early (around Thanksgiving) and quite late too (at least the end of Feb, if not into March). And it snowed quite a bit last winter, just like it has this year. I'm not liking this trend.
Have I mentioned I'm ready for summer? I'm really over the snow.
ps - weekend update coming soon! I went to a working cowhorse clinic. SO. MUCH. FUN!!!