Friday, September 28, 2012


There is a new foal at our barn and he's adorable.  He's so obviously warmblood.  Look at his giant ears!  He's very brave and friendly.  But mostly adorable.

 Speaking of adorable, my pony was happy to see me.

I know, this looks like a picture of horse poop.  But what it really is, is evidence of how neat and tidy my pony is.  This is her stall on a day when she did NOT get turned out.  Nice little piles of poop in the back of the stall.  Good, clean pony.

 Here she is in the dreaded wash rack.  I would like to point out two things.  One, she is interested in me and alert, but not dancing around like an idiot.  Two, there is no poop in the wash rack.  I have been putting her in the wash rack after every ride and then walking away.  I don't groom her in there, I don't wash her, I simply walk away (taking my nervous nellie energy with me) and go about cleaning tack etc.  I'm two steps away from her, but out of sight.  She can probably smell me and can definitely hear me, but we don't feed into each others anxiety.  In two sessions of this, she has relaxed considerably.  I am going to take my ever loving sweet time and will add (in this order) grooming after rides, untacking after rides, grooming before rides, tacking before rides, cleaning tack with water in the wash rack but not going anywhere near her, spraying the ground, spraying her feet and so on and so on.  Any time she shows any anxiety at all, I am going to stay at that level until I get total relaxation.  It will be a long process for us, but I think it will fix her wash stall anxieties for good.
 Also, at the risk of jinxing it, she is the cleanest damn pony I've ever owned AND she's a grey!  She has not been bathed since the beginning of summer and even then it was only halfway done.  She doesn't even get her feet hosed off and look at how sparkly clean she is.  Amazing.  And kind of weird.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Month in Mostly Pictures

First, let's get the down and dirty out of the way.  They caught the guy who killed my friend and he is currently awaiting his trial.  He has been charged with First Degree Murder.  It was a relief to know they had caught someone and now we just wait while the legal system does it's work.  And so, for the rest of us, life moves us along.

I'm sorry that I won't have in depth postings about some of the cool things I did.  The space in my brain was taken up with details of death.  So, here are some pictures and short blurbs about what's been happening in the pony world.

This is the amazing pony from Red Horse Farms down in Auburn.  Laura was nice enough to invite me down for a pony playdate and this handsome little guy taught me the ropes.  Get it?  Ropes?  I crack myself up.  He was a total gentleman and would only do it if I did it *right*, but he was never cranky when I got it wrong.  Cricket is for sale and if I could just shrink myself a foot, I'd snap him up in a heartbeat.

After an invigorating (not) workout in groundwork, Cricket felt like he needed a roll.  Or five.  

Adorable mini and mini donkey.  I love tiny ponies!

This photo makes me laugh.  Look how tall Tessa appears to be!  That's called "Standing on a hill behind your owner."  It's probably a well known marketing tool.  Next time I'm gonna pile up dirt for her front legs to stand on so she'll look up hill too!

Another picture where she looks tall.  Or maybe I look short?

This our America's Next Top Model Pose.  We are WORKING IT!  

This photo, though just seeming to be an adorable photo, is actually proof that my pony got on a trailer and we went on a trail ride.  I rode the lovely Bay Bay, who was mostly lovely besides deciding at one point that there was no stopping.  Being a mare, that meant some fancy spinning moves as she protested the stopping bit.  Tessa was a rockstar.  Her little legs shook when she went over the bridges and she did have a moment on the way back where she decided she was done doing that.  After much encouragement and then some not so gentle encouragement when Tessa decided that bucking off her rider might be a good solution, she crossed the second to last bridge and went on her way.  Though she was worried about the bridges, there was no spooking.  She also is quite possibly the slowest trail horse in history.  She ambled.  Perfect.  A few more of those under her belt and I'll be ready to ride her down the trails myself!

So that's it.  I have only been at the barn sporadically but Tessa has been getting some education over jumps, thanks to a rider having a lame horse at the barn.  She also has a new kid rider who rides her twice a week.  Even though I'm seeing her less these days, it does feel like the quality of our time is better.  Or maybe it's just the events in my life gave me a bitter bittersweet reminder to cherish what is in my life right now.  Either way, I'm pretty content.  And I will try to resume regular posting.  At least I finally came through with the pictures, right?

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Sky is Too Blue

Sorry for the lack of posts, especially the one with pictures and happy blogger news.  Friday night my world was rocked, in a bad way.  My dear friend Yancy was shot in a random, senseless act of violence.  He was sitting in his car at a stoplight when a car drove up next to him and open fired.  He died of gunshots to the throat, head and chest.

I am still trying to wrap my head around this while my heart explodes with grief.  I have had friends pass before, but when someone dies so suddenly and so violently there is a wrongness there that makes it so much harder to process.  That wrongness slips into your heart and tries to settle there, leaving inky black dust everywhere it touches.  Anger, grief, rage.  I struggle to find the sweet spot again, even while laying with my sweet child on my lap and my loving husband at my side.  Rather than wanting to hold them tighter, I want to push them away, to let the blackness of Yancy's untimely death wrap itself around my tender heart and shield it from pain.  To dip down where there is nothing to lose, nothing to grieve, nothing to give.

I will fight this.  It's part of the process.  As are the tears and the anger and the disbelief.  It seems impossible on this gorgeous late summer day that we should be dealing with such a hole in our hearts.  I am going to try and make it to the barn today to give my pony a scratch.  I don't feel much like riding (and I strained my neck so I shouldn't ride anyway) but pony necks are great sponges for tears, and I have a lot of those to share.

Yancy was not a horse person, but he was an outdoorsman.  Hiker, mountain climber, back country skier, Yancy jumped out of an airplane earlier this year to celebrate living life to it's fullest.  He would be the first one to say to go out and do it.  Try something new.  Push yourself harder.  He used to say that life was too short to waste...and he was right.