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The Parade

Princess’s trainer entered their group into the 4th of July parade in our little town. It’s a giant parade in a tiny town – always a ton of fun! I must say I was surprised when Princess said she wanted to ride Cowboy in the parade, but she was adamant that was going to do it. There were 5 horses with riders in her group and about 10 girls walking with the banner and flags.

We had a great time getting him all gussied up for the parade. She had a blast riding around with her friend, Alex, before the parade started. All was right with the parading world :-)

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The parade was awesome! Our group rode right behind the Rangerettes, which was fun. They’re so classy and awesome! Cowboy did great with the people and noise and starting and stopping . . . until the last 2 blocks. Our little pony decided he was D.O.N.E. with this parade stuff. He wanted to move around. He wanted nothing to do with this starting and stopping and slow walking in a crowd.

So he tried to trot ahead of the group. Princess of course reigned him in. And that’s when Cowboy got his pony on! He started doing mini kicks and bucks to let her know how he felt. She hopped off and tried to walk him the rest of the way. He didn’t even want to do THAT! All he wanted was to trot off into the sunset. Hubby and I were trying to help her (we were pulling the muck bucket and raking up horse pooh with Dude throughout the parade route), but Cowboy didn’t like that either. He kept doing little side kicks to let us know to just let him be.

We finally got him settled enough when the parade started moving at a little bit quicker pace. And because I’m me, I just HAD to have a little giggle at my hard-headed Princess walking her hard-headed pony back to the trailer at the end of the parade.

Pre-parade picture below shows the awesome beautiful and confident team of Princess and Cowboy ready to walk the parade.

CowboyParade01

Picture below shows the aftermath of the battle of the wills . . . Princess isn’t riding anymore, her shoulders are drooped, and her number is falling halfway off her back as Cowboy sashays down the road with his tail flicking behind his glittery butt, feeling lighter because he lost three bows out of his mane during his tantrum just a couple blocks back.

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If you could see the look on Princess’s face at this moment, you’d most certainly turn to stone. Cowboy is lucky cute ponies are immune to the icy stares of their girls!

She was upset, but mostly she was mad.

I told her that I was proud of her for doing this. That asking a show jumper like Cowboy to walk through a parade without showing off is difficult. That she and Cowboy did awesome. That if we didn’t do anything difficult in our lives, we’d never learn or get better at our trade. And that seriously, if Cowboy wasn’t a bit sassy like she was, we probably wouldn’t love him as much ;-)

She smiled and agreed, but it didn’t make her any less mad at the moment.

Next try – the smaller community parade in August :-)

The Rig

We’re starting to feel like actual horse owners!

Cowboy and Angel are getting along swimmingly :-) They love to nuzzle and give kisses through their stall grates. They stand right next to each other in the pasture. Angel has even convinced Cowboy it’s OK to go inside at night to sleep (something he never did before – he was an outside guy!).

We got 100 bales of hay delivered and stacked in our barn yesterday.

We found a house/horse sitter while we were gone for a week.

We’ve become pros at getting Cowboy into the trailer. He refused a couple weeks ago, so we had to get a lesson. We got schooled and he got an attitude adjustment. Now he walks right in for Princess :-)

But what really sealed the deal and made us feel like actual horse owners was our purchase late last week . . .

Rig

Yep! A brand spankin’ new pickup to haul the baby. The poor 4Runner was workin’ hard for the few weeks it took us to get the pickup – we are grateful for her service. She may now return to kid hauling and grocery delivering!

And in true Boedie fashion, the pickup fits into the garage. My rule has always been, if you have a garage and you have cars, the cars go in the garage.

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We did a little swapping of “stalls” with the vehicles, but they all fit :-)

Yes, this is ridiculous. Had I thought that bringing Cowboy home and needing a pickup to haul a trailer was going to happen anytime this year, we never would’ve bought the Audi (aka FunMobile) last fall. I’m a planner, so we all know this whole horse at the house thing happened way sooner than we thought it would!

I will feel much better about having 4 vehicles in the garage when Dude gets his permit next month . . . 3 drivers for 3 cars + 1 FunMobile. We briefly thought about selling a vehicle, but with the number of miles on each of them, it’s not worth it. We historically drive vehicles until they die. These will be no exception. Dude will get to purchase the Highlander next year when he turns 16 – it’ll be 8 years old and have 200k miles on it! So ya, we drive ‘em (and yes, I’m working hard to justify this to myself!).

Also in true Boedie fashion, we put the new pickup to work right away and hauled horses, tractors, and canoes and kayaks the very first weekend we had it. It is already dusty and dirty and awesome! We broke it in right away – literally . . .

Broken_Glass

Less than 48 hours after we brought it home, passenger window got hit by a rock thrown from a mower at the Scout Lodge. We haven’t even rolled the window down yet because the tint is still setting! On top of that, insurance company doesn’t even know we own the pickup yet. You get 30 days of “free” coverage before you have to officially put it on your policy . . . we planned on going in this week. It kinda sucks to say “Can you please add this new vehicle to our policy? And oh yeah, we’d like to submit a claim for a new power window with tint today as well.” Yikes!

Anyhoo – I think it’s safe to say that we are now officially real horse owners :-) Let the adventure continue!

The Story of a Horse

We did it! We have our very own horse living in our very own barn on our very own property. It’s only been a couple weeks since Cowboy moved in. He’s happy. He likes his new pasture mate, Angel. Princess is happy. I’m happy.

But not being a “horse family” I have at times throughout this process wondered if we did the right thing. Did we get ourselves in over our head? Do I really know what I’m doing? Are we ready for this?

I knew that we’d have to buy a trailer some day. That day came last March when Princess’s trainer got a 3rd horse and filled up the spots in her trailer. So we spent time researching horse trailers and combing the internet. I think Princess is happy with her purchase!

CboyHomea

Then we learned that we were probably going to have to move Cowboy to a different place for boarding. I didn’t really want to do that. We bought this property for many reasons; one was so we had a place for a horse should we need it. Hubby took some convincing, but he finally agreed that Princess had earned having Cowboy at our house, and I was excited to be able to see Princess with him every day! By the time we got the old fencing down, we entered monsoon May where it rained a TON every single day. Took forever to get our fence installed, but it finally got done, rain or shine.

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This meant it was time to actually purchase stall panels and install them in the barn! I pulled Princess out of school one day and she, Gigi, and I headed up north of Denver to get the panels. The boys at the ranch supply place were HORRIBLE at securing them with the tie-down straps. We lost straps twice in the first mile. So we pulled over and the girls made it awesome :-) I think Princess looks pretty happy :-)

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Next, our awesome friends gave up a Wednesday evening to help us unload the crazy heavy stall panels, and then gave up the entire next Saturday to help us install them. So thankful for them! We could’ve figured it out, but it would’ve taken forever – and we needed more muscle. They were also invaluable in putting down the stall mats.

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Even Princess and her friend, G, did a lot of the work. The cut the boards and installed them in each of the stall walls and door panels.

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They are kids, so they may have gotten a little bit “done” after awhile – and we’d moved onto the stall mats, which they couldn’t help with. So they got creative and created a rickshaw with an old wire spool and extra wood in the barn. Love creativity! I think Princess looks pretty happy :-)

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After a long day, DONE!

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Princess couldn’t wait to put a few of Cowboy’s things up on his stall.

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Duma didn’t know what to make of the new guy out in her yard!

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But Duma was happy when she discovered that Cowboy is the same color as she is and, much like herself, likes to get dirty! Now maybe she won’t be the only one in trouble :-)

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CboyHomem

After a couple weeks of Cowboy and Angel getting used to the new place and pasture, Princess saddled Cowboy up and went for a ride. On the way, she decided to stop and do her best impression of Crazy Horse – except our Crazy Horse is munching on a snack :-)

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Some riding around the pasture – your very own pasture on your very own horse – is good for the soul.

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So after all the time and effort and research and learning and lost sleep and stressful days and money spent, I sometimes wonder if it was all worth it.

I’d have to say yes :-)

A College Degree and 20 Years On The Job

Apparently, that means nothing to my 14 year old son.

He had this big essay due for part of his final lit grade. He really wanted to do well on it. He worked on it for a week.

The night it was due (electronically by 11:59 p.m.), he came out and asked me and Hubby “Can one of you review this for me? I really need a good grade. Spelling. Grammar. All that stuff. It needs to be good.”

Naturally, we decided it should be me . . . you know, the one with the English degree and the one who can actually spell.

I spent time reviewing it with him, providing suggestions, etc.

He said thank you and was happy.

Later that night, around 10:30, I went into his room to say goodnight. He was on the phone with one of his buddies (who is also in Scouts with him). I told him to cut it short and get to bed so he was rested for finals.

The next evening at Scouts, I walk in and the buddy’s dad says “So ya – M and Dude were up until 11:30 last night on the phone! Apparently M was helping Dude with some big essay he had. I could hear them through the bedroom wall. M was giving him all kinds of advice on things to change and what would be better.”

WTF?!

I do this for a friggin’ living! People PAY me to edit their stuff! And he thinks that after he asks me to look at it that it would be a good idea to send it to one of his 16 year old buddies to review?!

Seriously?!

When Kids Are Left Alone

Some awesome friends spent their Saturday helping us install the stalls for the barn. Princess and her friend, G, were a HUGE help. They cut the boards for the stall panels and installed the boards after we had the panels up.

StallsCM

(Um yes – those are lights above the stalls. Cowboy and Angel can have a barn dance!)

We got to a point where the kids couldn’t help anymore – the adults were installing the mats (100 lbs each – 6 in each stall – yikes!) and cutting them to fit. So Princess and G got creative. This started out as a Flintstones car with two spools, but ended up as a rickshaw. Love it!

 

Cowboy is coming home this afternoon. Can’t wait! Of course I will post photos because OMG we’re actually going to have a horse at our house!

The Mystery of the Whiteboard

Yep – it’s been awhile since the Trailering Success occurred. We’ve been BUSY getting the barn ready, stuff bought, stall panels built, fences installed . . . etc. etc. etc.

One thing Princess has been obsessing about is having a whiteboard for the barn . . . to write the horse feeding schedule and important phone numbers on (farrier, vet, us, etc.). So I finally took her to get one.

She was so excited! That morning she filled it all out and had it just how she wanted it.

Then she joined me and Hubby for breakfast out – we let Dude sleep in (teenagers!).

When we came back, this is what her whiteboard looked like:

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Oh boy was she MAD! She got all over Dude wanting to know why he would erase her board and did he know how hard she worked on that and now she had to do it all over again!

He stood there dumbfounded . . . insisted that he did NOT erase her board and would never do that.

Minutes later, the cat came upstairs . . . with blue and red highlights in her fur! Seems she thought it would be fun to hop onto the whiteboard on the table and roll around a bit.

You can’t HELP but laugh at that!

Trailering Success!

We’ve had a crap load of rain the past week. Love LOVE LOVING it! Everything is so greeeeeeeeen – and not on fire :-)

The rain meant we had to trailer the horses to the indoor arena for the girls’ group riding lesson yesterday. 5 horses total for the two lessons . . . one 3-horse trailer and one 2-horse trailer.

Guess what that meant?

Yep! I “got” to haul Princess’s and Alex’s preciouses (is that a word???) to the indoor arena.

Took a couple tries to get Cowboy in the trailer, but once he figured out I meant business and it was not optional, he hopped right in and let me close the divider. Mojo hopped right in behind him cuz “OMG we’re going for a ride and my buddy is already in the trailer woo hoo!!!” He pawed and kicked the entire time he was in there . . . yay for kickboards in the trailer!

I’m happy to say that I successfully hauled 2 horses a whoppin’ 5 miles one way without incident . . . this included very soggy gravel, small 2-lane, highway, and dirt.

The big bonus came when it was time to load ‘em up after the lessons and take them back home . . . they got right in! I’m hoping that means that my driving skills on the way to the arena were acceptable to them and I didn’t scare them out of the trailer.

42 years old and had another first.

Love it when the kiddos continue to introduce new stuff to us :-)

Thanks, Mom and Dad

My parents taught me a lot growing up – the list is way too long to even start. One goofy skill I am crazy thankful for them teaching me is how to tow a trailer.

We camped at the lake all summer. If you didn’t know how to hook up a trailer and back a boat into the lake by the time you were 10, well, then you just didn’t get to play! They made me do it and they trusted me to do it.

Made it easy as an adult when I had to pull campers to the campground and back them into the storage spot when we got back.

And with this whole adventure into horse ownership, I am so thankful that I’m comfortable pulling a trailer so that now I only need to worry about pulling a trailer with a 1000 pound baby in it! But at least I’m not worried about the trailer part . . . just the precious cargo inside.

Today I went to a friend’s house, backed up to their 16 foot flatbed, got it all hooked up, towed it home, turned it around in the smallish area in front of our garage, and backed it into its temporary parking spot . . . all by my lonesome. Felt good to know I can do that on my own if I have to!

Of course, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit the tiny twinges of satisfaction I get when the silly boys are all dumbfounded when a girl can do all the trailering – “even the backing up part” – on her own ;-)

So all you parents out there with the means to do so – a lawn tractor or anything else you can hook even a smallish trailer up to – make your kids do it! Make them back it up into a shed, a garage, any smallish space. Heck, make them back the car all the way up the driveway just so they get used to backing up! You’d be surprised how often that skill comes into play :-)

Thanks, Mom and Dad!

Way Too Young

One of Dude’s friends (girlfriend of a friend) committed suicide yesterday.

How do you talk to a 14 year old about that? Especially when he doesn’t even know how he feels about it himself, except that he wants to cry but doesn’t think he should?

Mommyhood really sucks sometimes.

Oh how my heart goes out to that young lady’s family. Every parent’s worst nightmare. I can’t even imagine :-(

So very thankful that at least I get to have the conversation with my Dude and give him giant hugs.

Sold!

Thursday 4.16.15
Me: Hubby. I had a thought last night.
Hubby: Um, ya? ***nervous look on his face***
Me: What do you think about selling the camper?
Hubby: Seriously?
Me: Yup. We didn’t get to use it last year because we were gone all the time. We have no plans to use it this summer. The kiddos are older and won’t run around the campground anymore.
Hubby: True.
Me:  If we want to go hiking, we go on a day trip. If we want to go fishing, we go on a day trip. If we want to go camping, we have tent-mahal, the 4-person tent, and the 2-person tent. We can go camping.
Hubby: Huh.

Monday 4.20.15
Me: Well? What do you think about selling the camper (that we just pulled out of the shed to make room for horse stalls).
Hubby: I don’t see why  not. Let’s do it.

Later Monday 4.20.15
Me: Hubby, come look at this posting and see if it’s OK.
Hubby: Looks good to me.
Me: *click*

Tuesday 4.21.15
Emptied and cleaned camper.

Thursday 4.23.15
Sold!

That’s how we do things here :-) Today, we said goodbye to this gem that I loved:

01 Camper

On to a new chapter of horses and baseball!!!

And tent camping – woot!