Tag Archives: pinto horse

In a perfect world…

houses-nothern-lights-magical-night-northern-lights-winter-cabin-woods-snow-painting-wallpaper-for-desktopIn a perfect world Jeff and I would be sitting in our great room on our super comfy couch with a roaring fire watching a epic movie.  Our dogs would be splayed out on the hardwood floor in front of the fireplace, with kitties scattered roosting on the beams of our log cabin.  Outside it would be gently snowing those huge beautiful flakes of snow.  Our open kitchen would be filled with the smell of pot roast cooking and apple pie.  Our farm home would be very homey and comfortable.  I would have my office in a room overlooking the barnyard where Ace would be frolicking in the snow.  Gus and Olive would have their flock of wooly sheep that we shear and turn into super comfy blankets each year.  We would have a wonderful Jersey cow to milk and make butter, cream, and cheeses with.  This is a perfect world and one day it will be my world because without dreams you are stuck.  I think that it is very important to have dreams you always work towards as if you do not, you will one day wonder where all the time went.

Families

Picture

     You find all kinds of wonderful families in unlikely places.  I was lucky enough to be able to buy a horse about a year and half ago.  I never would have imagined that this horse would lead me to a wonderful family I never knew I could have.  This is my barn family!  Many of us go to the barn for many reasons, including exercise, therapy, stress relief, and companionship.  I go to the barn for all of these reasons.  I can always count of my horse to listen without judging to anything I have to say.  I can let it all out and not hold back and all Ace ever has to say is “Mom that sucks do you have any cookies?”.  I also love that Ace came with unknown blessings.  My barn family is always there to help and support you when you need it.  Last summer I entered Ace and I in our first horse show.  If any of you know how stressful showing horses is you can sympathize with me.  I was a wreck! Ace and I (mostly me) were so stressed out,  one of the barn moms just stepped up and offered to be my barn mom.  She coached me through everything (she was riding in all the same classes that I was) and it was so helpful.  Another family at the barn whose daughter rides Ace for me offered to help me the weekend before with grooming him and getting him show ready.  I felt so blessed to have all these people willing to help me no questions asked or strings attached.  Most of all Im thankful to Theresa she has helped me not only find my relationship with my horse but also find my relationship with myself.  Last winter Ace was still trying to figure out who was in charge in this relationship (as was I) and I really struggled with him.  Theresa was there with me through the freezing cold coaching Ace and I into a working relationship that I wouldn’t trade for the world.  Any time that I come to the barn I can count on encouragement and love from those there with me and never worry about what if I can’t.  I know someone will be there with help or encouragement I need.
​     This christmas I noticed my barn mom had posted that her husband was making signs for stalls.  Ace has a sign but it is a little shabby and falling apart.   I wanted him to match the other horses in our barn, so I asked her if her husband could make one for me.  I asked if it was possible to put a clover on it as I bought Ace on St. Patty’s day.  She said no and I agreed that would be fine.  When I showed up at the barn yesterday I opened my closet to find the most amazing sign with a clover and all.  I am so happy that I have Ace and these wonderful people in my life.  I would love to hear about you and your barn families in the comments below!

Ace

“No hour of life that is spent in the saddle is wasted.”  ~Winston S. Churchill

Picture

     Yesterday I spent some quality time with Ace getting over a large hurtle for me.  In a series of unfortunate events I have not been able to ride Ace consistently this fall and winter.  I spent all of last winter and this past summer working with Ace at least 5 times a week to build our relationship and improve his behavior.  We were finally in a great place with his ground manners being excellent and him staying quiet and collected while riding.  This fall I had a period of time where the muscles in my neck were so tight that they pinched my nerves causing me vertigo.  Being dizzy and light headed is not the best recipe for getting on a 1200 pound beast  I then had an unfortunate accident involving our large orange Maine Coon trying to kill me.  I was walking down the stairs getting ready to put an 18 pound turkey into brine to smoke the next day when I stepped on our cat Jack.  I went flying, Jack went flying, and the turkey went flying.  This ended in me severely spraining my ankle and being unable to ride for weeks.  My Fibromyalgia made this already angry sprain that much worse.  Once my ankle was better and I was cleared to ride Ace went lame.  After waiting for my horse to also be ready to ride I experienced another accident with the stairs.  While walking down the stairs my feet decided that they were done for the day and stopped working.  This ended with me at the bottom of the stairs in a pile.   At the time I did not think that I had done any damage however, the next day when bending down to pet Olive I found my self unable to stand up straight.  I have spent many weeks nursing my back into some resemblance of normalcy.  Yesterday my husband went with me to test my barn abilities.  I needed to know that I could not only saddle Ace myself without help but also ride him without lunging him.  Anyone who knows Ace knows that he has a tendency to be quite spunky and benefits from a good 20 minutes of lunging before being ridden.  I saddled him with a few bad words and tears while Ace danced in the cross ties.  We walked to the indoor arena filled with four others horses.  I walked Ace for at least 10 minutes trying to work up the courage to climb aboard.   Once I had walked him and cinched up my saddle, I walked over to the mounting block and prayed for Ace to remember to be gentle.  Last winter I would never have thought I would ever get on my horse without lunging him first let alone with an injured back.  I got on Ace and asked him to walk.  My horse did everything I asked of him.  He yielded off my leg collected himself when asked and even trotted politely while never once trying to take off.  I had spent all winter trying to get back on my horse that it had become a huge hurtle to overcome.  I remember today reminding myself to breathe and relax while riding even thought I was painful.  At the end of the ride Ace had been wonderful and we both had relaxed.  

Unconditional Love

“He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his
life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the
last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.”
– Unknown
You can see it in their eyes, the love they have and the the joy that you are alive.  They greet you when you come home like its a party everyday.  They watch your back when you don’t see that sheep or cow come up from behind.  These are the creatures that hold it all together when you feel its all falling down.  For some people its just a dog, a cat, a horse, but truly these animals are so much more.  These are the ones filled with love and loyalty.

A Girl and Her Horse

I was going to write about how wonderful my thanksgiving was, which it was.  I had planned to include a wonderful turkey brine recipe (we will get that up soon).  Today calls for a different story.  I sprained my right ankle very badly at the beginning of november.  As luck would have it, it right ankle I was stuck at home and could not drive, not to mention the crutches or the giant boot I was supposed to wear.  All of these things combined meant that I could not ride my horse or couldn’t even drive to go see him.  This made for a very long month as I am used to seeing Ace several times a week if not every day.  Well, this last week I have been hobbling around without the crutches and driving short distances.  I woke up this morning after my husband left early for hunting and thought I’ll go see Ace.
I figured if I was going all the way out to the barn I should just ride him, why not!  Well, I thought to myself maybe I should’t use the stirrups that might be easier on the ankle.  Then I thought maybe use the english saddle instead of the western saddle as those stirrups are less clunky and I can just flip them over the saddle.  This way they won’t knock Ace in the leg or my ankle.  I loaded up the car and headed to the barn to hobble out and catch my horse.  What could possibly go wrong?
Anyone who knows me has heard about Ace, I tend to talk about him a lot.  On my way to the barn I’m realizing what a terrible idea this may be but that didn’t stop me.  I was thinking how on earth am I going to lunge him?  Ace doesn’t lunge in pretty circles around me while I stand still in the middle.  Ace tends to lunge in large ovals and squares while I walk in a smaller ovals and squares.   Occasionally just for fun he will pretend he is going to run into the wall.  He will then stop just to see if I am really going to make him keep lunging (the constant struggle of who is really in charge).  Then, I remember its end of November meaning my wonderfully behaved horse has turned into to demon spawn.  Ace will think of every bad thing he can do until he decides I’m serious today we really are riding.  Well, by now I’m convinced I may die this morning but at least I will get to see my horse first.  When I walked (limped) my way out to his pasture and called him he came running over to the gate (yup I taught my horse to come when called).  While I was trying to open the gate he was trying to push it down while knickering.  Once we managed to get the gate open and shut with Ace through it he got his favorite banana cookies.  This is when my 15.3 hand horse decided he missed me so much he rubbed his head all over me trying to pull me close all while knickering and snorting.  It was pretty cute.
We walked up to the barn and I put Ace in the crossties and brushed him.  This is the point I busted out the english saddle (we have been riding western for almost a year now).  I put the saddle pads on and the saddle at which point I buckled the girth on one side.  When I walked around to buckle the other side I realized my horse has gotten fatter since the last time we rode in this saddle.  I told ace to suck it in!  I put my helmet and then his bridle.  We walked to the indoor arena which was thankfully empty.  After making Ace suck it in some more we went over to the mounting block.  This is when he gave me that “Are you sure you know what you are doing look”?  I ignored his look and told him to stand still and I climbed aboard.  We started at a walk reminding Ace I do know how to ride, and I am still in charge despite my absence.  We practiced yielding off my legs and neck reining as well as stopping and backing up.  At this point I thought this was going really well so lets try at a jog.  I kept waiting for the point where Ace turned into a monster but all the hours and hours of training in the summer seems to have truly paid off.  My horse was an angel (a fat one) but a completely different horse than he was last winter.  Last winter I wouldn’t have even thought about riding him without lunging him especially without stirrups.
I could not have asked for a better day after thanksgiving.  Today I realize how thankful I am to have my horse.  We had a rocky start as a team but landed at a wonderful barn with wonderful people who have helped us along the way.  Today I saw a horse that has realized I am not going to get rid of him and that I love him.

“There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.”
― 
Winston S. Churchill