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Cowgirl

Like A Duck

That was me yesterday afternoon – frantically moving and treading underneath, still and calm where the world could see.

I was sitting at my desk working while Keira was out riding Remi in the arena. For some reason I had an urge to go see how it was going. As I got to the sliding glass door, I saw her ask him to canter . . . then I saw him turn his head at her, glare, and proceed to buck her off.

Little shit!

He stood there for a second then trotted off up the driveway to the barn and stood by his stall door.

Keira’s friend was out there with her, so while I really WANTED to bolt out the door to see if she was OK, I just stood there and waited. Keira got up, dusted herself off, said something to Piper, and stomped up the driveway after her horse.

I looked out my office window to see what she’d do. I was HOPING she’d get back on him. Instead, my heart deflated a little bit when I saw her untack him.

Really?! You’re going to just let him get away with that?

Uh – no. I should’ve known better.

Next thing I see is Keira stomping back down the driveway with her horse in tow. The poor guy had no clue what he was in for.

She lunged the crap out of him in the arena! He got to do all the cantering she wanted him to do originally, and then some.

And boy was he M.A.D.! I saw him put his ears back, give a little mini buck, and try to gallop off. Keira grabbed the lunge line with both hands, held on, and made him come to her.

He tried again.

Same result.

He finally put his ears up and started to nicely trot around on the lunge line. Then canter when she asked. Then change direction. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Finally she took the pressure off and just stood there in the middle of the arena.

He stood at the end of the lunge line. When he decided it was safe, he put his head down, slowly meandered over to her, and put his head in her hands.

Good boy.

She wasn’t willing to get on and give him an attitude adjustment without the fence up yet, but she found a way to get her point across without getting back on, that’s for sure!

We’ll see what happens when she gets on him to ride today.

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This morning when I went out to feed, I told him that if he hurt his girl again, we’d send him away to the cowboy farm where he’d have to actually do work and not have a cute little girl to braid his hair and bathe him and get him all ready for horse shows where everyone would love on him and give him carrots and treats and ribbons.

He actually looked at me, dropped his head, and nickered.

Good boy.

37 Days

37 Days – April 1st

The maximum number of days before Remington comes to live in our barn :-) He’s made great progress in his jumping since he started in November. It’s been great having access to such a wonderful indoor arena and outdoor arena through winter. But the fact is, an hour one-way is a long way to drive. And almost $700/month is a lot to pay in boarding when you have your very own barn, stall, pasture, and trailer.

So April 1st it is.

Remington – while your girl will undoubtedly make you work and practice this:

Remi_Jump

 

I promise you there will be no shortage of hugs and love and relaxing and just hanging out being a horse with your Girl, much like this:

BarebackRelax

Can’t wait to bring you home Professor Holly Doc!

A Look Ahead?

The fam went to the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo this past weekend. It’s always a good time! Princess always likes to get gussied up for the rodeo – we curl her hair and she puts on a little makeup even – it’s one time she gets to wear her Western clothing :-) We were walking around looking at the vendors and I saw a tree and an opportunity. After taking the photo, I both loved it and regretted it.


Rodeo

 

She’s definitely not a baby anymore! A look ahead to her graduation photo for the class of 2021?

Weekend in Words

Friday
Da Girls: Picked Princess up from school and we booked it up to Denver (where we promptly un-booked it in crazy traffic – still hate Denver!). We headed straight to the National Western complex for the Friday night portion of the Horse Expo. Our friend, MS, was riding in the Mane Event evening show and we wanted to be there! It was lots of fun :-) We got to help get a couple of the horses ready – letting down awesome long beautiful tails, brushing, etc. After the show, we headed to a hotel – just the two of us. It’s not very often we get to spend time like this alone. It was nice and fun and relaxing.
Da Boys: As far as I can tell by the credit card bill and the new clothes bags, they stuck to their plan of going to the sporting goods store for baseball gear (darn boy keeps growing!) and meeting some fellow Scouts at REI to shop for the high adventure trip this summer. Those are the only “details” the talkative men in my life were willing to share.

Saturday
Da Girls: Up bright and early. Princess made me promise to get her up early enough so we could eat breakfast and make it to the Horse Expo by 8:45 so we could be in our seats at 9:00 for the class she wanted to attend – Techniques for Trainers. Yep – given the opportunity to sleep in as long as she wanted, she made me wake her up so we could go learn how to train kids on horses. Spent a few hours walking around the Expo looking for things to buy (we succeeded) and getting quotes on stalls for our barn (yikes!). We may or may not have been sucked in by a live infomercial starring Princess herself – and we may or may not have bought a straightening iron that CURLS your hair. Last year, Princess loved watching the Colt Starting in the main event arena, so this year that was the 2nd must-do thing at the Expo. Sat our behinds in bleacher seats for 2 hours watching trainers break colts ranging from 2.5 years to 4 years. It’s actually pretty interesting and fun to watch! We left mid-afternoon to catch up with the boys at Dude’s baseball games. He had a double-header in South Denver.
Da Boys: Best I can tell, they got up, went out for breakfast, went to Denver, bought more baseball stuff, and headed to the ball field.
All: We had a great time watching Dude’s team play. He’s loving the high school baseball. He’s struggling a bit at the plate . . . hasn’t gotten his groove back after getting his cast off, but he’ll get there. The weather couldn’t have been more beautiful, and the facility was amazing! Private Christian school has some MOOLAH! It was fun for them to get to play on awesome fields. The games started late and ran late, so we all bolted the minute they were over.
Hubby and Me: Raced inside, cleaned up a bit, put on something nicer than shorts and a t-shirt, and headed out to a fundraising benefit with silent auction. Enjoyed lots of wine samples, yummy appetizers, and fun with friends. We may have ended up winning quite a few of the items we bid on 😉 Next time we might want to bid together!

Sunday
All that fun on Friday and Saturday meant catching up on responsibilities on Sunday. The kiddos were tasked with cleaning their rooms – like their entire rooms. For two kids who swore they had nothing they didn’t need, we ended up with 3 large trash bags and one large tote of clothes (2 to donate, 2 to put into a consignment sale in a couple weeks), 2 trash bags of trash (yuck!), and 2 totes of “stuff” they’re ready to get rid of. All is well in the land of the scary teenager bedrooms downstairs. Princess and I also made it out to the barn for a couple glorious hours of loving on Cowboy – brushing, cleaning his stall, giving him a massage . . . life is good!

And where are the photos of the horse expo and baseball games and before/after of the cleaning spree?

In my  melon. We were having so much fun just enjoying time with the kids and together as a family this weekend that none of us pulled out a phone or camera for a photo. I love photos, but this was a nice fun, relaxing, weekend with family and friends :-)

Now we’re off to the races again this week – horses, baseball, work, scouts, volleyball – Let the games begin! Woot!

Budding Cowgirl

Princess has completed her first two lessons and absolutely loved it! Not that there was any doubt in my mind 😉 She was so excited for her first lesson that she could barely contain herself. She of course had to wear her horsey shirt that matched her brand new boots. What I loved about the lesson was that they didn’t just toss her up on a horse and have her start riding, even though that’s what she REALLY would have liked to do. Rhiannon talked to her about horse safety and had her lead Lynx out to the hitching post first. Then she taught Princess how to walk behind a horse and where not to ever go around a horse. Princess of course already knew this stuff because she’s been to MS’s house and learned about this with their horses 😉 But she listened intently and did everything Rhiannon asked.

Then it was time to saddle Lynx! Much to Princess’s dismay, and my liking, Rhiannon made sure Princess understood that you can’t just throw a saddle on a horse. You have to brush them first, with two brushes, to make sure to get the dirt off, especially the areas where the saddle will rest. Otherwise, Lynx might have some nasty pebbles or something else rubbing under the saddle and make it very uncomfortable. So here’s my Princess using the round brush thingy to get the dirt to the surface before she used the hard bristled brush to wipe the dirt off.

horse01

 

After brushing and saddling it was finally time to get on and ride – woo hoo! She used the mounting block to help her get up.

horse02

 

She made a TON of laps around the arena! Each time around, she learned something new, from how to steer with reigns, how to steer with legs, which leg was inside and which was outside, which hand to hold the reigns in, how to stop, how to shimmy backwards, and a bunch of other things that she stored in the special Horsey file in her brain.

horse03

 

They walked over poles and around cones. Then she got to practice her turning by weaving in and out of some blue cones,which she thought was awesome fun.

horse04

 

After tons of riding with a constant smile on her face, she got to lead Lynx back to his stall. She thought this was especially cool because Rhiannon let her do it all by herself.

horse05

 

She looks like a natural to me! On our way back to Lynx’ stall, we saw this cutie! A fairly brand new baby with his momma.

horse06

 

Princess was of course quite taken with the baby and couldn’t wait to go see him! Alas, Rhiannon told her they couldn’t see the baby until they’d unsaddled Lynx, brushed him really well again, and put him away in his stall with a couple cookies. I love that she’s teaching how important all that stuff is!

Princess had her next lesson a couple days ago. Rhiannon asked if it was OK if her friend, Emma, who also does lessons gave Princess her lesson. Absolutely! We both loved Emma as well. Princess made some big leaps on her 2nd lesson. She got right to business with the brushing so they could get the saddle on and get going without being told 😉 Emma commented on how quickly they had gotten Missy saddled up! Emma worked on having Princess not hold onto the saddle horn with her free hand while she was riding and worked especially hard on placement of the reigns when turning and making sure the reigns were in her outside hand. Princess did awesome! She was most excited because Emma never held on to Missy’s lead while she was riding. She got to do it all by herself. She worked on more weaving and then did some giant figure 8s in the arena. The last thing she did was play Emma says. The first Emma says was to turn each way, turn a complete circle, then stop. Then she had Princess get Missy going again before she had Princess put the reigns around the saddle horn. After that, Princess had her arms out like a helicopter, then on top of her head, then one on Missy’s butt and the other on her head, then she did the helicopter again but had to twist her torso around like she was actually flying, then she put her hands on her head and closed her eyes, the she did the helicopter torso turning thing with her eyes closed . . . all the while Missy was walking around the arena. Princess did awesome and had a blast :-)

I paid for and signed Princess up for 4 more lessons before Christmas break. We’ll see how she does before we decide if she gets more next year :-) But I have to say, I have a strong feeling I have a budding cowgirl on my hands!!!

And no – we are not getting a horse 😉