Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Sorry Folks

I would write a real post but things are hectic and nothing entertaining is really happening.

We're working cows this weekend, and Sparky is coming along, so there should be a post in that, at least...

And, I was going to use the video from the show as filler, but I'm still trying to hog-wrestle it into submission. Stupid software.

So, in lieu of actual content, I give you pictures from the show. These were taken by Farmdad, so enjoy.

This one is just a good one of Monkey. Bad one of me, but a good one of him. Please, no criticism on my seat here folks, I know it's wrong, but I was nursing some lovely bruises and a bruised tailbone that day. I was just trying not to seize up, start crying, and slide out of my saddle to the ground every time I bumped my butt.
This one shows his big ol' long stride. This is his "collected" canter, folks. He's bred for reaching out there and eating up the ground, and he can do it for hours.
This is Red, the miniature wonder, and Sparky. He looks a lot better with someone on his back than he does without them, which should tell you just how ugly he is without a rider. But Sparky has made excellent progress with him the last three months, and I'm proud of how well he's doing now.

And here we have E and Etta. She's so small she makes E look like the Jolly Green Giant. But she's gonna make a hell of a horse, I think.

Below are a couple of just good pics. The first, the young man in the green shirt is the guy who won the HTM portion of the show, and the handmade saddle, the second is just a gorgeous pic of one of the colts. The horse in the second pic is named "Baby," and is beautiful, but dumb as a brick, alas.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

My Horse...

Is made of contrary.

I talk about how good he's been doing the few days before the show, and he dumps me.... rather spectacularly.... and gives me a set of bruises and sore spots that are extremely inconvenient.

Saddle horns are quite hard and when your horse tries to give you a colonoscopy with one it makes for a quite painful few days.

The ground didn't hurt me that bad, I managed to roll and just bumped my head a little. But, since I was asleep at the wheel, Dipstick The Rough Stock Wonder got me up on the horn (trust me guys, it hurts when a girl gets racked too) and then in front of the horn for a couple of jumps.

Of course, he was being good and I was being nice, so he had a nice loose rein.... so I was a long way from having his head. I knew about the third jump I was coming off, it was just a matter of doing it where I wouldn't land on someone.

So yeah, bruised my tailbone, got nice big bruises in spots that I don't usually show until after the third date, and generally sored myself up the day before the show.

Getting on him yesterday was an exercise in self-torture. But, the show must go on. And, it was highly amusing for everyone around me to listen to me whimper when I swung my leg over him. Marilyn in particular was entertained.

Warmup... Monkey was a spazz. He spooked at people walking by the round pen, where we'd gone because I didn't know what he was going to do and there were a lot of people to run into in the arena if things did go rodeo. Then he spooked at a tumble weed in the arena. It wasn't even blowing, it was just up against the fence. Twitchy, spooky, wouldn't pick up his left lead for love or money.

I spent most of my conversational time telling everyone that as long as he didn't kill me, I'd be happy.

Marilyn's parting comment before I went in the arena to do my pattern was "Keep the horse between you and the ground."

And we won.

No joke, that contrary piece of horseflesh won the show, after all of the crap he put me through, after piling my ass in front of god and everybody, he won. Not without making me want to cry and fall out of the saddle when he jumped out of a rollback and shoved me back into the cantle, of course, but he won.

And you can't tell that I'm about to wet myself on the video, which I'll try to edit (the software that came with the camera is crap) and get posted asap.

Five hundred dollar scholarship for next semester, makes my wallet happy, but right now I'm still sore as hell... I kept myself loose enough yesterday because I stretched everything out when I got up, then didn't slow down long enough to stiffen up again. Today, my body is making me pay for making it ride yesterday.

Neck, back, a little on the ribs, of course my tailbone and extreme inner upper right thigh (big ol' lovely bruise there, too) are really sore. Then there's the all over body-ache, which is easy enough to deal with. I just sit down suddenly, or at the wrong angle, and I forget all about the muscle aches.

Farmmom is over the moon, of course. I thought she was gonna bust when our portion of the show was over and I had the high score.

During the awards presentation, I just knew that Marilyn was being evil to me when she announced a new award. The Ground Greeter's Award.

Fortunately, two of the HTM students tied for that one, with Marilyn telling me later that they had "a couple" more buck-offs than I did.

I just knew I was going to have to wave my hat and smile for the crowd while I was plotting how best to get revenge. Instead I got to cheer for the winners and laugh.

But, we won, the horses are home, I get to heal up until next weekend when we work cows again, and I got accolades from HTM students that have spent a lot of time looking down on us lowly EBMers, simply for getting back on my horse after he went rodeo, and riding the next day.

Well, what else was I supposed to do?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Unfortunate Word Choice.....

So, anyone who has written anything knows the value of word choice. Hell, if you converse on a regular basis you know how some words have more impact than others.

But, I sometimes forget this.

Today, I had a bit of a spazz moment. See, Monkey's feet were supposed to get trimmed... well, sometime this last week. Stuff happened, and it didn't get done, so I poked at the guys doing the trimming until they agreed to do it today.

'Cept I got to the barn and it wasn't done. So I was a little pissy, and started looking for someone else to do it.

Then after class, the guys showed up... turns out, they'd come and started on him, and he was being a brat. So, rather than drug him, they had me hold him. He was still touchy about his back feet, but he wasn't a complete spazz.

He's such a primadonna, as long as I kept finger combing his mane he was fine.

So anyway, to the unfortunate moment. We took a break so that S could treat Diablo's leg and wrap it (plastic bags involved, which Monkeydoodle does not like) and I was talking to the kid about how bad Monkey's feet had gotten, and why I'd been bugging the crap out of him about it.

"So yeah, there was a reason I was bugging you, it wasn't just 'do me now, now now'..."


"Ok that was an unfortunate choice of words... "

Of course, I don't think I freaked him out too bad because later on while he was trimming Monkey's back feet he said "If he kicks me, you owe me dinner."

"Ok, I can do that, if he kicks you. I'd feel bad anyway."

"Me and A."

"What?? A isn't anywhere near him, he's not gonna get kicked!"

"Burger King."

"You have the worst taste in the world.... but ok, Burger King I can do."

'Course, Monkey didn't kick him, he only really tried once, and he got simultaneous smacks from me and the kid, so he decided he didn't want to do that anymore.

But his feet are trimmed. They're not entirely correct because there were chips out of two of them that changed the way he had to trim them, and I'll keep an eye on him in the pasture to make sure he's wearing right, and if they're uneven in a few weeks I'll have him done again.

But I don't know if I'll ever live down that one unfortunate comment.....

Monday, April 21, 2008


Apparently, I am a freaking genius.

No, really. It's either that or the people in my repro class are complete frigging idiots. I'm trying to be charitable.

Our whole class today was review for the final, which Marilyn being Marilyn, she forced us to do ourselves. Everyone had to have ten questions to ask people in the class, about materials we covered. If the person you first asked couldn't answer it, then you asked someone else. And then someone else, etc etc.

Except that somehow it became less a "who knows the answer?" thing and more a "ask Farmgirl" thing.

There were some good questions, yes. I had to double check my answer on how long a fertilized ovum remains mobile in the uterus before attaching itself in one of the uterine horns. I wasn't entirely positive on what specific infection caused by retained placenta one of the students was looking for (well, she didn't say "other than......." along with the long list of uterine, urinary tract, and systemic infections that can be caused by a piece of placenta being retained and decomposing in the uterus, so I'm not really beating myself up over that one.)

But, seriously. My questions were easy. Anatomy. Things that we covered last week. Gimme a freaking break.

If you can't tell me that the seminal vesicles are the pathway for the sperm to travel between the testicles and the accessory sex glands, what are you going to do when your stud gets an infection that attacks the lymph nodes near the accessory sex glands and swelling shuts off said vesicles?? Look at the vet with your head cocked to the side and drooling?

And even if you don't want a stud, every horse owner will inevitably breed a mare at some point. It's nearly impossible to resist, especially if you have women or children around. Foals are cute!

What are you going to do if you've got a baby that's not absorbing the antibodies from the colostrum, or a mare that doesn't produce adequate antibodies, if you don't know that a plasma transfusion from the mare (actually a much simpler process than it sounds, trust me) will boost the foal's immunity? Let it die of rhinopneumonitis the first time it gets sneezed on?? Spend thousands of dollars in vet bills to keep it alive when it gets one of the many viruses that go after horses and the virus kicks it's little immuno-insufficient butt?

Gimme a freaking break, people.

I answered about twenty five percent of the questions, while reading an entirely different book, on decongestants that had me looking at the person next to me asking if the wall was blue or if I was seeing things. (The wall was blue, by the way. The projector was on.)

Honestly, am I all that smart or is everyone else just that big of an idiot?? I know that I have a talent for retaining and retrieving information, especially if I read it, and not everyone else does. I don't fault people because they don't remember facts and figures that I can. I just feel lucky that I can discard the things that aren't useful to me, for the most part, or store them in some part of the filing system in my brain that doesn't get opened unless it's needed.

I do fault people when they can't remember that a major benefit of artificial insemination is the reduction in the spread of equine venereal diseases. When it was mentioned constantly. Or that one genetic test can prevent reinforcing a bad recessive that causes a horse to be born with so little bonding tissue between skin and muscle that a light pet on the neck can peel hide, and I mean all of the hide down to muscle and bone, loose.

Or, you know, basic anatomy that you should know at least the bare bones of. Especially when it's the same stuff that's in you.

Gimme a break!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Alergies, Pills, And The Miracle That Is Neosporin

So, I know I haven't been giving quality posts lately. Many apologies, but every class I have is winding up to finals, trying to cram as much knowledge as possible into our brains, and I've been busy.

Monkey horse has also been acting a bit of an idiot lately, so I've been spending some extra time with him.

Not to mention the whole Mechanic Cowboy thing. Been finding time to spend there, here and there, and we've got an outing to the bar for dancing and adult beverages planned for Saturday night.

As for today, which is actually one of my slowest days... well. The tree outside my apartment window and about forty bazillion others are in full swing budding out, and about half of those forty bazillion are flowering trees. Pretty, but they wreak hell on my sinuses.

And since guaifenesin does precisely dick for me, I've been popping the psuedo ephedrine stuff, which has fun partying with the ibuprofin I'm still taking because, well, there's a big freaking hole in the roof of my mouth. On top of that I've been popping acidophilus to help heal the big hole in my mouth and all the smaller irritations. Don't laugh, I've taken it for years when I'd accidentally bite myself and wind up with a big ol' tender canker sore. It works.

Have I mentioned that I don't like pills? Because I don't. I've spent a lifetime avoiding taking pills where I could, but let me tell you, the crap that's going on in my mouth right now has me popping more pain pills than when I first got the teeth pulled. And add a daily dose of allergy medicine, and a couple of Sudafed throughout the day, and the acidophilus, and I'm popping a lot of pills.


Oh, and have I ever mentioned what a miracle Neosporin + Pain is? I've always preferred it for cuts and scrapes because lets face it why have that sting when you don't have to? Well, to help along the healing process, and because it's a dentist approved method to help secure my teeth in my head, I've been using Neosporin. The kicker here is that since the geyser of blood erupted, I've been putting it on the area that contacts the roof of my mouth too... and I've been putting a little more in the gum area than strictly necessary, because as I talk, eat, drink, etc, it squishes up into the areas of irritation, over the top of the denture, and eases some of the ouchy.

Most of the ouchy is on that one spot in the roof of my mouth though... feels like the hole goes straight up into my sinuses and the back of my eyeball sometimes.

Meanwhile, I'm a little off in left field a lot of the time lately, for one reason or another at different times... so please bear with me for another week or two and then I should have some more brain power to put hands to keyboard and come up with something good for ya'll.

Especially since I'm thinking of going back to road work for the summer for the money. That'll give me time, and stories to tell.

Mystery Kitty

It appears that someone dumped a new cat at the barn. She's a real sweetie, will launch herself into a pet like its the best thing in the world... but we discovered her presence because she was stuck behind a stall wall.

Well, not stuck stuck, but she saw daylight through gaps and wanted out there instead of the end of the row of stalls. So we moved the horse, pulled the wall down, and pulled the cat out. Then put the wall back up and put the horse back.

Of course, before we started taking the wall down I had to reach through the gaps where some boards had been kicked loose and make sure she wasn't actually trapped, and that we weren't going to drop boards on her if we took the other ones out. But we got it done, and put back together.

Mystery Kitty is out, and eating and drinking... she's pretty skinny, but has a good healthy, shiny coat, so she hasn't been without food and water for very long. I think she's just naturally long and lanky, and missed a couple of meals, to get to where she's at now. She's also in heat. Thank goodness we got all the boys out there fixed.

We'll check on her tomorrow morning, and make sure she hasn't trapped herself again, but I think she felt a lot more secure after controlled introductions to the other cats. I wouldn't let them pick on her but as long as they were sniffing noses I left them alone.

It is interesting to note, however, that Smoke, one of the Pixel kittens that got me in so much trouble here at the apartment, is highly territorial. She really wanted to chase the rival female off, until "mommy" got stern with her.

By the time I left they were standing on either side of me, both getting petted, and completely ignoring each other.... they should be fine.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Ya know....

When you're overdue for an adjustment by about two weeks, your mouth can get pretty sore.

I never knew you could get a blood blister on your hard pallate though. Apparently the kind of pressure I've had can cause that kind of thing.

Yes, I'm serious. By the time I realized what it was (other than just a sore spot) it was the size of a nickel. I was cleaning the denture and checking for bone spurs a bit ago and noticed that that sore spot in the roof of my mouth felt a little swollen (hard to tell with the denture in, really.)

And sort of... squishy. WTF?

Stuck my thumb in there and sure as shit it wasn't just my tongue playing tricks on me, it was squishy....

And then it popped.

And I don't mean the covering tissue split and the offending blood poured out. No, that would be too simple.

I had to clean my mirror. I gagged on blood twice.

Tears ran down both legs. In spite of the... ahem... large doses of Ibuprofen I've been taking so that I could make it to the adjustment I'm getting tomorrow without, ya know, killing myself. Don't yell at me, medical friends...

Doc Ron is gonna yell at me for you. For not making a run up there before now, if nothing else.

But ya know, that sore spot? Not so sore anymore.

Scuse me, I need to go eat now, I'm starving.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Win and Awesome

That's what I'm made of. No, really.

See, we went to a consignment auction Saturday, and in spite of freezing cold and high winds, I stood outside and stoically kept on goal.

And do you have any idea how hard it is to be stoic while you're hanging on to a steel trailer for dear life with your feet flapping above the ground? Let alone bid??

Well, I got a couple of good back cinches, and a couple of good leather breastcollars, and some quirts and bats because they were really cheap and honestly you can always use a beating stick.

Oh, and I came home with a Frank Vega handmade custom trophy saddle, too. It's a barrel saddle, which I didn't really want, but its construction is such that I could tie on to a small to medium calf to doctor it if I had to, without breaking the horn completely off.

I'm about to go into some detail about this that some of you may not get. Those of you who ride western or have ridden western will get it, and most of the things that anyone doesn't get should be explained when I get the pictures up, so please bear with me till then... and I'll be happy to answer any questions, as usual.

It's all hand tooled, full basket weave on the skirts with oakleaf accents, and matching flank cinch billets. Rawhide edged cantle and gullet, in a silver threaded cherry pie roll. Minimum "flash" with three conchos on each side and the silver on the cantle and gullet. I can pull the conchos later and put strings under them to make them actually useful, so I'm happy enough about that.

This saddle is probably worth upwards of a grand, at the low end of the estimate, and I won the bid at under four hundred and fifty dollars.

Sure, it's got writing and engraving on the stirrup leathers but that doesn't make a bit of difference to how it rides. This thing... I swear until I threw it on Monkey to try it out yesterday, it had never actually been on a horse. Brand new, stirrups weren't even turned.

Which means I've spent most of the weekend smelling like neatsfoot oil, as I very carefully condition the leather. Farmmom would beat me if I tried to put a couple of heavy coats of oil on it and call it good...

The fenders and stirrup leathers are roughout, which I like for riding, but hate for the first good conditioning... cause you have to go in from the back side (the grain side) to oil it... and to get the whole thickness of the leather moisturized you have to do very light layers. Over and over again.

Too much oil at once will saturate a few layers of the leather fibers, and that will block the oil from going any deeper, which results in leather that's nice and supple and shiny... half way through. And dry and cracking on the other half.

I've got a few more days of regular light oilings before I'll have it to where I'm satisfied I can back off on it a bit. It's good leather but it was built in 2001 (so it says on the stirrup leathers) and I think it's sat around without much care since then... which is fine, if all you want is an object de art.

But if I'm riding that sucker it's gonna be conditioned, and being Farmmom's daughter (she's dabbled in leather work most of my life, only dabbling from lack of money to buy the materials... shes good) it's gonna be conditioned right.

I'll try to remember the camera when I go to the barn today, and show ya'll how good Monkey looks in leather. He's not real sure about the creaks, it's been a while since he's had leather on, but he'll get used to it again. Just like I'll get used to a fourteen inch seat instead of a sixteen.

It is just plumb amazing what a difference two inches makes.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Six Words...

AD tagged me with this one and I've been pondering it for a while now. It's tough to condense a memoir into six words. But, I finally figured out one that works, so here it is.

The Rules:

1. Write your own six word memoir.
2. Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you want.
3. Link to the person that tagged you in your post and to the original post if possible so we can track it as it travels across the blogosphere.
4. Tag at least five more blogs with links.
5. Leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play…

Laugh, cry, scream, but always.... Ride.

I'm tagging... no one. If you want to play along, go right ahead, and leave a comment so I can come see what ya'll have to say.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Life is a Mystery...

And sometimes you just have to deal with it. Other times someone decides to explain the mystery.

Not in any great detail, of course, but still. Here's the simplified version, possibly with more to follow later:

Farmgirl has met Mechanic Cowboy.

Farmgirl and Mechanic Cowboy really seem to be hitting it off.

Mechanic Cowboy is a very fun, very sweet smartass, introduced to Farmgirl through the machinations of their mutual friend D. Ya'll remember D, don'tcha? Yeah, him. Playing Yenta.

And so far, seeming surprisingly good at it. Time will tell but Farmgirl is seriously considering keeping Mechanic Cowboy around, and not for his skill with a hydraulic motor.

For Mechanic Cowboy brings Farmgirl really good 1800 tequila first, and only then switches to the more traditional offerings:

We'll see what the future brings, but for now, Mechanic Cowboy is a serious contender for the much coveted (HA!) title of FarmBoyfriend.

Scuse me, I gotta go be girly and smell my flowers now...


I think I have too much willpower for my own damned good.

Yep. That's it.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

My Feed Crew...

Is probably plotting a mutiny as we speak. I asked one of the girls that actually showed up early this morning to tell N to come over to the block barn when he got there, had F (called such because I already have an E) sweep in the arena barn, and let T and R feed and water out back and then told them to sweep the block barn. I even swept half of it.

When I went out and told T and R that they could start sweeping the block barn when they finished outside, T (the other supervisor) said "why can't you guys do it?"

"Because, I decided that everyone who was late more than once or just didn't show up this morning could make up the time they missed doing all the sweeping."

"Well, I'm glad you're an authority on everything."

"I am the supervisor."

R chimed in: "So is he."

Me: "Then he probably should have shown up this morning, huh?"

They're plotting to hang me right about now, I'm sure. But guess what? They swept. And Marilyn knows exactly why I had them all sweeping. And it's in the report, although I have a feeling that Marilyn is going to be sharing the story with the other instructors as soon as she sees them, she thought it was pretty funny.

Tsk Tsk.

This morning, three people, including myself, managed to show up for feed crew on time. The rest were late or absent entirely.

The ones who were late showed up eventually and did work... although I fed the entirety of the block barn, half of one side of the arena barn, and half of the pens outside myself. Normally, we break up into groups of two or three, and each barn and the pens has its own group that's responsible for it.

The one that didn't even bother to show up? The other supervisor, who hasn't done anything supervisory at all the whole feed crew.

There were two late yesterday too. I didn't mark it down because they got their work done and didn't make the rest of us stay too long.

I didn't mark it down this morning either. I have a better plan.

See, tonight is our last evening feed crew, which means its the last time we sweep. In the morning we'll just feed and water and we're done.

I think I want to hand over the barns to the next feed crew sparkling. And I think that everyone I've let slide on being late gets to do all of the sweeping. And they'll sweep until I'm satisfied. Or, I can always go back and put into my written report for the week who was late, didn't satisfy their responsibilities, or just slacked the hell off.

I'll remind them that I'm a writer and I can be completely truthful to the nth degree and still make it sound like they all stood around with their thumbs up their asses while the rest of us did all the work. Or, I can be just as truthful and make it sound like everything went fine and no one got in trouble except for the absences.

It's still a hell of a lot nicer than a real job would be, but I think it's fitting. Especially since most of them are the guys who avoid picking up a broom at all costs. And everyone who showed up on time, did their work and didn't complain? Gets to go home as soon as feeding and watering are done.

The ones that need this will hate me, but I'll be laughing my skinny white ass off while I'm perched somewhere watching them sweep.

Saturday, April 5, 2008


From Mark

bedroom toys
Powered By Adult Toy Shop

Dang. Maybe that's a way to raise the money for the saddle? (I kid, I kid. No one around here has a grand an hour to spend on sex....)

Friday, April 4, 2008


Last night I had three cheese sticks. Along with two Little Debby snack cakes, but the cheese sticks are the important part. I'm not talking those string cheese thingys, I'm talking deep-fried crunchy goodness.

It hurt, but they tasted soooo good.

Today, I mauled my way through six chicken nuggets from Mickey D's, along with half of a medium order of fries (the half that wasn't rock hard.)

It hurt, but once again, it tasted sooo good.

It's bad enough cooking for one normally, but when you're eating small portions it becomes a heck of a lot easier to just buy prepared stuff. And, if I'm in a hurry (which I usually am) and don't have the time to sit down and eat, the best option is usually... you guessed it... junk food. And by junk food I'm referring to things that contain no meat and have a lot of 0's in the nutritional value section. I have a box of blueberry loaf cake from Safeway which is basically slices of blueberry muffin, which is great because I can never eat a whole one of their giganto muffins at a time.

But, progress is being made. I have a little bit of crunch back in my diet, which is a freaking miracle as far as I'm concerned.

Little Do They Know...

So, this hearkens back to my posts at the beginning of last semester. Ya'll remember, where I was complaining about how hard college was.

One of the requirements in the horse-oriented programs is Feed Crew. Ya'll have seen me complain about it. It's a pain in the butt when no one does anything during the day to help out the feed crew, and everyone wants to complain about how much their horse was watered, or fed.

Well, this week I'm a supervisor. I should say the supervisor, because my so-called partner does precisely squat on the supervisory side of things. It isn't helped by the fact that I have the only set of keys for feed crew that wasn't carted off to the rodeo this weekend, because instead of leaving them in the office like she was supposed to one of the last supervisors gave them to one of the crew to give to the other supervisor and he didn't get it done before he went off to the rodeo.

So, I get there fifteen to thirty minutes early, unlock the gates and the office, make sure the sign in sheet is on the right page, sign in myself, set up the coffee maker for the instructors, and start feeding. Usually all before anyone else gets there.

I've got one girl that likes to finish what she's doing and then leave if no one is watching. I suppose I should be glad she bothers to finish what she's doing. So, last night, she told me "I have to sign in and then I have to go feed a rodeo horse."

"No, you can feed the rodeo horse after we're done here."

"But I'll forget!"

"I'll remind you, because you're going to be here when everything is done tonight, right?"

I was checking the pens in back when she finished up watering, drained the hose and left it piled.

"Ok, I'm done!"

"No, you still have to coil the hose."

"But it's fine."

"Um. No, it's not. It doesn't have to be perfect but it does have to be neat."

"But it's not tangled!"

"It's my ass that will get chewed if JJ or Jason comes back and checks up on us and things are a mess."


"The longer you argue with me the longer you'll be here."

So that pissed her off. Of course, she (and most of the others) don't treat this like a job, which is what it's supposed to be. Feed crew has a dual purpose... making sure that the horses get fed and watered, obviously, and job training. See, everyone gets to be a supervisor at some point, so they get the responsibility square on their shoulders, and everyone else gets to get experience under different supervisors with different management styles.

I, unlike most, if not all, of the other students, have actually had responsibility for what other people have done in a real life job setting. As a result, I'm a bit anal about everything getting done, and done right, every time.

If that pisses people off, well, welcome to the real world. I'm being a long shot nicer about things than I would be if it were a real job situation. I've been known to give real ass-chewings for the kinds of things that I've seen done on feed crews. But, I'm taking into account that some of these kids have never had to collect a paycheck to keep their car, or or their cell phone, or eat dinner that night. They don't have the experience. So, I'm trying to ease them into it gently.

And it's starting to give me a headache. At least this weekend I have a few people that I can trust to do the job without me having to watch them.

Oh, and I'm likely to be hailed as a bitch after this morning. One of the geldings in the block barn likes to kick the sides out of his stall, and this morning he had managed to get into the stall next door with a little mare, because no one bothered to put the boards back. So, I pulled him out of her stall and put him back in his, and used his halter to tie the grating so that he couldn't push it up and get back through. Then I left a note.

One of my crew asked me if I wanted to use twine to tie it.

"Nope, if we leave the halter in there they'll have to fix it. I don't want to be pulling him out of that stall every morning because they can't find the time to put the boards back, or the brains to move him either to a stall where he doesn't have neighbors or a pen outside."

I left a note in the office about it. We'll see if I get my butt chewed or not.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Pretty Pretty Pony

So, we got the little show over with, Monkey placed third (he was the most immature looking out of all of them, and he behaved well, so I was fine with it) and Farmdad got some pictures for me.

To illustrate the difference in muscle tone, I give you:

Monkey Before:
And Monkey After:
Look at how much muscle he's put on in his shoulders and chest! Now I just gotta build up his hind end, which comes after I make him slow trot for about twenty minutes so that he gets frustrated and when I finally let him stretch out really drives from the hind.

He's come a long way... the main problem we had today was he spooked a little at the people "helping" us trot, and he kept trying to eat my sleeves when we were standing set up. He did square up for me really nicely (as you can see in the photo) and for the amount of people that were wandering around and the distractions he behaved himself remarkably well. I'm proud of him, even though he got bored and tried to shove me over or eat me while we were supposed to be standing. I got lots of horsey kisses giving him my hand to try to get him to stand still.

Meanwhile, we still have riding class this afternoon, and he's covered in show-sheen. If I'm not careful, my saddle is going to slide off him like snot. But he's so pretty!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


But the Monkey is brushed, clean (ha! Like that will last the night) and he will trot in hand.

At the barn from one this afternoon to right at five. I accomplished these things:

Ran the shedder blade (a type of brush that is designed to remove the shedding hair without clogging the brush) over him about a gazillion times.

Ran the bristle brush over him about a thousand times, five hundred cross-growth (to bring out as much dirt as possible) and five hundred with the growth.

Unbraided his mane and tail (which I had spent an hour and a half yesterday braiding before I knew about this) and treated them with detangler/conditioner. Brushed them just enough to make them look good.

Trimmed his full-jaw beard with the manual clippers I have. Trimmed his nose and chin whiskers with C's electric clippers. That was an adventure.

Helped C trim her horse. Helped C clean up her horse's belly because he was getting a lot of crusties around his sheath and he doesn't like it when you touch his no no spot. Helped J trim his horse after class.

Treated Monkey's feet with hoof-heal to moisturize them tonight, tomorrow it's hoof-shine.

And the big one... Taught Monkey to trot on the lead. He was really confused about that part. I did a lot of jogging today, so I think I got my cardio. But, by the end of class he would trot without me having to have the short whip that I was using to teach him what I wanted in my hand, so I call it a victory. Now they won't have to completely freak him out when it's time to trot by running up behind him.

My arms are tired, from all the brushing. My legs are tired, from all the jogging. My back is sore from bending over to do legs.

I still have to run a load of laundry and take a shower, and get my gear together for tomorrow. Horses and handlers have to be ready by eight thirty in the morning.

It'll be really satisfying if we win, but it would make me feel less like it's all just a bit futile if we actually got a prize for winning.

Stingy bastards.