Friday, March 29, 2013

More Spam!

Sorry folks, I've (also) had to turn word verification on - hoping to avoid getting so much spam. 

Very disappointing that Google cannot address this issue and that we who use their service must put up with this.

Definately a consideration when deciding whether to invest in Google or one of their competitors!!!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Passing of the Torch

A little over six years ago with our dog Tucker's health failing from old age, we decided to find the dog that we could pass on the torch to.
We went to look at a puddle of new-born puppies.  While we looked at the puppies, a 3-month old puppy sped back and forth outside the barn door in what can only be described as the absolute joy of being young.  His happiness was catching, bringing smiles to both my husband and I.  That puppy, whom we named Hank came home with us.
Hank is a sensitive dog.  He knew Tucker was the "Head Dog" and he didn't push the fact.  As a result there was harmony between the puppy and the old dog.
Tucker had a daily "route" through the fields and over to neighbor's farms which he introduced to Hank.  Stories from neighbors told of Tucker being ready to return home but Hank having other ideas.  The wise old dog would try to herd Hank home, finally giving up and returning alone where he would keep watch for the young puppy.
The day arrived when the old dog left in the car and never returned.

Hank was confused when we returned without Tucker.

But he lost focus on his concerns when he spied a bug crawling in the grass.  Such is the attention span of a puppy.

On that day I told Hank that the torch had been passed.  He was now the Head Dog. 

Hank's first two years included many heart stopping moments due to lengthy absences from home while he explored Tucker's routes (and some of his own).  Neutered, micro-chipped and carrying our ID on a tag saved him many times.  Eventually his wandering became less frequent until they are now short-lived trips into our fields. 
These days Hank accompanies me almost every place I go:

On a ride...
Running errands...
To the Cabin...
 and on vacation. 
Hank gets along with other dogs...

and cats.

Hank always faces outward when he's with me.

He looks out for me and lets me know if someone is near or something is wrong.
These days Hank's muzzle is starting to turn gray and I have this odd feeling that his days won't be as long as his old friend, Tucker.  As I write those words my eyes are clouded with tears because Hank has become such a big part of me and my life.
The day may be coming when we once again go look at a puddle of brown puppies.  Maybe a 3-month old will flash back and forth outside the barn door with speed in his legs and joy in his heart.  I'd sure like nothing more than to pass on the torch to another dog like that.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Waiting and Rewards

This past Friday marked a month since we brought Elvis home.  Yet as of this writing, I still don't have a saddle for him.

Elvis and my first ride, using Bob's saddle.  I was disappointed to find that my comfy, well balanced saddle that sits so nicely on Bob pitched me forward and off balance on Elvis.  I was sure hoping it would fit and I wouldn't have to spend money for another saddle.  But after one ride I knew I never wanted to feel that uncomfortable again.  I'm sure Elvis agreed.

I returned with a saddle from our local tack store, which we used to own years ago.  It looked nice on Elvis...but

Within minutes of riding it was obvious this saddle also didn't fit.  Like Bob's saddle, it slid back, pitched forward and sunk down on Elvis's withers.

We took multiple pictures of Elvis and I headed back to the tack store in search of a saddle that fit.  No luck.

The story of Elvis and my dilemma circulated through the barn. My Cowgirl Pals stepped up and offered me their saddles to try out - bless them all!  And there my search ended.  Every Timberline saddle I tried on Elvis fit - because I had the ability to make additional adjustments to the rigging. 

I've been able to use my Frainer's saddle during lessons while I searched for a used Timberline which I located a few weeks ago. 

With each lesson comes more knowledge of how Elvis moves (and thinks) under saddle. And with that knowledge comes a thrill I haven't experienced since riding Champ, the talented show horse we lost a few years ago and who prompted me to start this Blog.

It's hard to wait but I know the rewards will be worth it.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

I Got Spam - You Got Spam?

I'm getting spam...lots of spam and it's no fun to clear it out all the time.

When I log in using IE 9.0 my default language is now Bahasha Indonesia...I must change it each time to American English.

I went to change my default language to find it was already set to American English.  I reset change, still Bahasha Indonesia.

I also notice there is a tab set in my IE in that language after I log in.  I must clear my internet to get rid of the tab.

So each day I have to clean up my responses from "Anonymous"...with these really wierd comments.  Which I promptly report to Google (without any response as in, "Hello???  Anybody out there?????")

When I long in using Firefox I can run my blog as usual. 

Anybody else having this issue?

Friday, March 1, 2013

What Goes Around, Comes Around

Elvis and I are getting along great, but we've had some obstacles in our way that have made it a bit frustrating.

The day after Elvis arrived I noticed a loose shoe.  Called the shoer but he couldn't get there until Tuesday afternoon.  The shoe was pretty loose but I didn't want to pull it and take any chance of damaging the hoof (we rarely pull shoes on our own).  As a result, Elvis spent Sunday, Monday and most of Tuesday either in his stall or getting 'beauty treatments' at the wash rack.

With new shoes on, I finally got a chance to take my first ride with my trainer on Thursday.  I decided to try using Bob's saddle from home, hoping I wouldn't have to buy one.

My trainer rode first while I observed.  It didn't take long for us to both realize that Bob's saddle didn't fit.  It slid backwards and dropped down over Elvis's withers.  When I got on I found myself off balance and pitched forward over the poor guy's neck.

My trainer snapped this picture and you can see that neither of us is enjoying our ride. much for using Bob's saddle! 

My husband and I went to our local tack store (Mike's Western Suppliers) in search of a saddle for Elvis.  I took the above picture (vs having to pull the trailer out and haul Elvis to the shop).  Mike suggested we try out the following saddle:

We returned to the barn to try the saddle on and realized this is a saddle we used to own about ten years ago before we traded it in to Mike.  We thought that was pretty funny to have it back again.

But after taking a ride it was obvious that this saddle also didn't fit.  I returned the saddle to Mike who without any other used saddles, ordered me a new one.

This is where I had planned on stopping this Post, with what goes around, comes around and goes back around again - but...

Yesterday my trainer and I decided to try her saddle out and low and behold it fit great!  I finally got in a great ride.  I returned to Mike's to find there was a used saddle of her brand sitting on the rack.  That saddle now is sitting in my car.  I'll try it out this weekend.

In closing Elvis has settled down nicely.  He is probably the best trained horse I've ever ridden.  He's also quiet, willing and happy, especially when he's being worked.  I've come to realize that at the age of 7 he doesn't carry a lot of the baggage that older horses I've always (thought I) preferred do.  He comes with a clean slate and its incumbent upon me to make sure the experiences placed in front of him are positive. 

We are signed up for a trail clinic in April.  In the meantime, once I get the saddle thing figured out I will ride him in both the indoor and outdoor arena (weather permitting) as well as along the trails at the barn. 

In closing, I adore him and think we are going to be a great team!