Sunday, November 2, 2014

But I don't need another saddle ..Oh that one is pretty!

I was not looking for a saddle. I didn't think I needed another saddle, but dammit, this saddle! 
Sarah told me to put it on Joe for my lesson this week. She bought it for one of her horses last year and it didn't work out. She just found the right saddle for that horse and is planning to sell this beautiful Blue Ribbon that is just sitting. "I want to see if it fits Joe before I list it and then wish we had kept it". I figured it wouldn't do any harm, Joe hates trying different saddles there was no way he would be good in this one, besides my About the Horse saddle fits him great... but it could be prettier for shows. Not only did the saddle fit Joe, it fit me. It fit me better than any saddle I've ever sat in. My leg looked longer and it was still. I didn't have to adjust my seat throughout the ride. How could this be? Joe likes to put me in the back seat when I ride him. My other saddle has a more forward seat position which works great for Grace, Joe would have me sitting on his tail if he could. Sarah has a mare that does the same thing, when she put her in a saddle that put the rider where the mare wanted her it made all the difference. Same thing happened to Joe. Yesterday he was the most consistent he's ever been with his head at the lope, especially to the left which is his more difficult lead. Every time I rode past the mirror I couldn't get over my leg. My thighs looked long and not huge, my leg was still, I looked like I could hold my own in an equitation class. Sigh... off to see what other tack I can part with so this saddle can be mine. It sure is pretty! 

Friday, October 17, 2014

God Dammit Tiffany!

I've started writing again. This has nothing to do with horses but wanted to share: 

“Yaaaaawwn” I stand up on my bed and stretch my body pointing my rear end to the sky. I shake out my hind legs before stepping out of the plush bed that is covered in my black fur. The humans should really clean that up today. I walk across the bedroom floor, stopping to stretch once again in the sun spot coming in through the window. On my way past the bed I graze the top of my tail across the mattress. The humans don’t seem to be awake just yet. I’ll give them a moment or two to pull their act together. I trot into the kitchen to see if maybe they fed me while I was sleeping. Oh good! My bowl is full of food, I’m starving! I dive in and start crunching, wait this isn’t right. Where is the smell? No fake fish or beef aroma? I run my paw through the dish, just as I thought! This is stale food from yesterday! How did this happen?

 I trot back into the bedroom “Meow, meow” I use my sweet voice letting the humans know there has been a mistake. No movement from the bed. I walk the length of the mattress rubbing my tail across the dust cover. “Meow, meow” louder now, they’ve been asleep too long. Still nothing. I put my front feet on the top of the mattress leaving my hind feet on the ground. The female human is facing me, eyes closed. “Meow?” She pops one eye open and closes it quickly. I jump onto the bed climbing onto the female human’s hip. She roles onto her stomach causing me to land back on the mattress. “Me-ow!” I shout in protest. I climb onto her back walking towards her shoulder. She still doesn’t stir so I take my cold nose and push it against her uncovered neck. “Dammit Tiffany!” That’s my name, Dammit Tiffany. My official title is God but sometimes the humans forget to use it. “Did you feed her last night?” The male human grumbles “yes I filled her bowl” she answers. I dance in a circle on the female human’s back, I have them both awake now! The human mass under me moves quickly, she rolls on her back grabbing me with her arms at the same time, pulling me into her chest under the covers. Oh! Warm human cuddle time, my favorite! I purr against her chest and drift off to sleep. Visions of furry mice and birds outside the window fill my dreams. I’m running outside in the fresh air, hunting a fat robin in the tall grass. I sneak up on the unsuspecting bird and hunker down, I shake my tail wiggling my hind end winding up my spring. Fully coiled now I leap into the air, the robin never sees me. Claws fully extended I’m just about to grab the juicy feathered meal “Beep, beep, beep” The female moves out from under me reaching over to the night stand to make the sound in the box stop. ”Me-ow!” How rude! I almost had that bird! The female human leaves the room. I’m still sleepy and am now getting cold but there is still another warm human in the bed. I climb on top of the male human’s back. He doesn’t move. I walk up to his shoulders, nothing. I try the same nose trick that I did with the female, he snores. This calls for extreme measures. I extend my claws and begin kneading between his shoulder blades. He wiggles underneath me “Ow! Dammit Tiffany!” He rolls onto his side throwing his back towards the edge of the bed tossing me onto the floor. “Me-ow!” I land squarely on my feet and glare up at him with a dirty look. It’s no use, he is snoring again. 

I head off to find the female human, its due time she fill my food bowl with fresh food. I find her in the bathroom sitting on the toilet. She looks like she is still sleeping so I rub myself against her legs to help wake her up. She reaches down and stokes her hand across my back as I walk and forth against her. She gives my tail a gentle tug “meow” I let her know it feels good. She tugs again, I rub up against her leg and purr. She tugs once more but a little too hard this time, I dig my claws into her leg and bite the soft skin of her calf. “God Dammit Tiffany!” She jumps up off the toilet moving quickly away from me “Meow” Finally she gets my name right.  The toilet flushes and I race out of the bathroom heading down the hall to the kitchen. I turn around when I get to the kitchen, no human. I look back down the hall and she is just now coming out of the bathroom, with a new Band-Aid on her leg. 
I race back to her and help her walk to the kitchen walking in between her legs with each step. She takes a step out of cadence and steps on my paw “YEOW” I yell, that hurt! “Dammit Tiffany!” I plop myself down directly in front her to tend to my sore white toes carefully licking in between them. She steps right over me and continues on to the kitchen. I’m busy working on my paw when I hear the tinkling of fresh kibble landing in my bowl. I run down the hall, my paw no longer hurts. I slide to a stop in front of my food dish. The female human is busy at the coffee pot. I dive into the kibble salivating with each bite. A few kibbles in and I bite into a soft half chewed kibble. What is this? I spit the kibble out on the floor for further examination. I recognize this kibble, I spit it out last night when my dinner became stale. I sniff it, it smells like my drool! The humans have tricked me! They haven’t been refilling my bowl, they’ve just been mixing up the kibbles thinking I wouldn’t notice! I take two steps back and force myself to vomit my breakfast onto the clean kitchen floor. I’m not hungry now anyway and I’ll just lick the butter dish on the counter when they leave if I get hungry. As I’m walking out of the kitchen with my tail held high the still sleepy male human walks in. He isn’t quite awake yet and steps directly into my fresh pile of warm vomit “God Dammit Tiffany!”  “Purow!” Oh how I love to hear my name!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Texts from Joe

 I am finding that the more I date men the more I love Joe. I find myself staring at my phone willing the little light to flash telling me I have a text from the next potential Mr. Right. It's enough to make a girl crazy and I have better things to do with my time and energy!
I tell Joe every day that he is the only boy for me. He is always happy to see me and cannot seem to get enough of my attention. It got me to thinking, if Joe could text what would a day in the life of my cell phone look like:

3:45am Joe - "Hi!"
3:46am Joe - "Hi!, morning!"
3:50am Joe - "Breakfast?"
4:10am Joe- " I'm starving! Where is breakfast"
4:30am Melissa "Morning Joe, there is plenty of hay in your bale bag, breakfast is at 7:30, eat the hay in your bag there was at least 3/4 of a bale in it last night"
4:31am Joe -" Right! Forgot about that!"
4:32am Joe - "Breakfast hay??"
4:35am Melissa "At 7:30 just like every morning"
4:36am Joe - "K thanks!"
5:35 am Joe - "Wesley said he is hungry"
5:40am Melissa "Wesley is fine, breakfast is at 7:30 I am leaving for work now. Have a good day and stay out of trouble"
5:41am Joe - "Are you coming back????"
5:42am Melissa "Yes Joe, I will be home after 4:00pm, just like yesterday"
5:45am Joe - "K bye!"
7:30am Joe " BREAKFAST HAY IS HERE!!!"
7:40am Joe " Oatsies?"
7:50am Melissa "Oatsies are with dinner hay, just like last night and the night before"
7:51am Joe "Right!"
9:00am Joe "Hi!"
9:01am Joe "Hi!" 
9:02am Joe "Hi!" 
9:03am Joe "Hi!"
9:05am Joe " Wesley is going out to the pasture, when do I get to go out?"
9:06am Joe "HELLO???"
9:35am Melissa "I was in a meeting. We talked about turnout, you don't get to go out because you take your shoes off every single time. Eat the hay in your hay bag, I'll be home after 4:00pm"
9:36am - Joe "Oh right, cause my shoes fall off"
10:00am - Joe "Stall is getting cleaned!"
10:15am- Joe "Fresh shavings!"
10:16am - Joe "I peed!"
10:18am - Joe "and pooped!"
10:20am - Joe "Taking a nap" 
11:00am - Joe " POOP ON MY FACE :)"
11:05am - Melissa "Oh Joe!"
11:05am - Joe "Lol you get to clean it off!"
12:00pm Joe "Hi"
12:01pm Joe "Hi"
12:02pm Joe "Hi, I'm bored. When are you coming home?"
12:05pm Melissa "After 4:00pm, at lunch now but I have a meeting at 3:00 will head home when it is over and should be in the barn by 4:25."
12:06pm - Joe "K, still bored"
12:07pm - Melissa "Wesley will be back in soon to keep you company"
12:30pm - Joe "WESLEY IS BACK! Going to play for a while so if you don't hear from me.."
12:35pm - Melissa "Stay out of trouble, NO teeth!" 
1:01pm - Melissa "What is going on?? Do I need to call Sarah"
1:02pm - Joe "Crashing in the woods behind the barn! WHAT IS IT?"
1:03pm - Joe " Just a deer, its all good, I'm chill now."
1:04pm - Melissa  "%$#! Don't do that to me!"
1:05pm- Joe"Wesley and I are going to take naps now" 
1:45pm - Joe " MORE POOP ON MY FACE!"
1:46pm - Melissa "Lovely" 
2:00pm - Joe "I'M STUCK!!!"
2:01pm - Melissa "Back up" 
2:03pm Melissa - "Back up!"
2:05 Melissa - " BACK UP! Just like yesterday"
2:06pm Joe - "It's all good, I just had to back up to get out"
2:10pm Joe - "When are you coming home?"
2:11pm Joe - "Hello?"
2:15pm  Melissa -" After 4:00pm but if you keep texting me it will slow me down and I will be later"
2:16pm Joe - "K. bye!
2:18pm Joe - "Are you going to say bye"
2:20pm Melissa - "Bye Joe, no more texts unless it is an emergency, I will be home after 4"
2:21pm Joe - "K, ttyl"
2:22pm Joe - "oops that was another text!"
2:23pm Joe - "So was that LOL
4:00pm Joe - " IT'S 4:00pm!"
4:02pm Melissa - "Leaving now" 
4:20pm Joe - " I hear your truck!!"
4:22pm Melissa  - "Just need to change clothes, be right there"
4:30pm Joe - "I SEE YOU!!! YAY" 

Maybe I need to give the men that never text another try... 


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Pictures from Region 1 AQHA Show

Write up coming - in the meantime enjoy the pictures of my handsome man! 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

I've Always Wanted to Ride on a Golf Course

Between the house I live in and the barn is a gorgeous piece of property. The view from my kitchen window makes me think I live in a park. There are orchards, stone walls and several acres of golf course looking lawn complete with rolling green hills. Sarah uses the lawn in the summer to condition the show horses. She likes to let them move out while doing hill work. I've been riding Joe on the lawn for a few times a week for the last 3 weeks. At some point in every lawn ride I end up with an ear to ear grin that doesn't go away for hours! Joe loves the lawn! He has no idea that he is working. Friday night he gave me a lope that just blew my mind. It was lovely and easy and all I had to do was sit there  and smile. I find I ride better on the lawn - I have to! If I am not doing everything I need to in order to keep Joe on his hind end he could easily stumble and fall. It only takes a few strides before my body does everything automatically and the ride becomes natural. Next thing I know we are floating across the green hills together. You know those fantasies you have about riding on a golf course? It really is that good! 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Horse Show Pictures

Sigh.. I am in love and his name is Joe! He is just so handsome! What a nice guy! I owe you all an update on Grace - she is loving her life as a school horse. She only teaches a few lessons a week and spends the rest of her time with her best friend Jasmine. I have become food lady in her world which allows me to love on Joe without guilt!
 Here he is Mr. Wonderful:

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Belly Balm Works!

We are now past the two week mark since I started using Belly Balm for Joe's sweet itch. I am really impressed by the results! The gnats have been really bad so far this spring and Joe's belly looks great! No new sores and he isn't itching. Last fall when the gnats where out Joe would tear himself up. His girth area would get to the point that I didn't want to have a saddle on him and his sheath looked downright painful. At this time he has all the hair on his belly and his skin isn't red or irritated. I find I have to use it every day so I ordered 2 of the 16 ounce tubs from Jeffer's.

Monday, April 28, 2014

English Saddle Minus Stirrups Plus Lesson Equals OUCH

Joe and I went to a one day local schooling show on Saturday. On Wednesday before the show Sarah met me in the barn with an English saddle and was all excited because it fit Joe. I rode it in for the first time on Thursday. There is no faster way to find out how weak my core is than to go back to an English saddle. Once I figured my body out I was really impressed by how nicely Joe goes English. I rode English again on Friday. Sarah kept saying “When you get stronger” there was no “if” in her conversation. There was even talk of lessons without stirrups in my future. 

Joe was wonderful at the show on Saturday. We started the morning with English Walk/Trot and Walk/Trot/Canter classes. He excelled in the walk/trot, but seemed to lose focus in the canter classes. All of a sudden he remembered that there were other horses in the arena and did not like it when they came up behind him. This was one of the reasons for the schooling show. He had been run up on at this same arena a few years ago which is when he started to get spooked in traffic. Each time he got upset I put him to work and circled him. I didn’t take long for him to refocus, it also helped me to stay in my bubble and keep my own. We switched to Western tack for the afternoon; I have to say it was much easier to ride Western after 3 days of English. My leg started to make sense now. Joe was a rock star in his Western classes. The lope on that horse brings a smile to my face every single time! I could really get used to showing him. We brought home a pile of blue ribbons and some highpoint awards but most of all we both loaded up with some show ring confidence. Next show is in 2 weeks. 

Today I arrived to my lesson and announced to Sarah that I would be riding in the English saddle without stirrups. If the next show is in 2 weeks I have to get on this getting stronger plan. 10 minutes into the lesson Sarah said “remember this was your idea”. OUCH! The first thing I figured out was that I was not going to let Joe give me the usually jarring trot he starts out with. There was no way I would stay in the saddle, so I pushed him into the bridle with my leg and asked him to lift his back. Sarah had me sit the trot, then stand up in two-point for 5 strides. I could barely do it. She also had me post for 5 strides and sit for 5. Wow.. I am weak! Canter was much better, I was able to really get the feel for using my legs and core and not just my hands. I was planning to start working out again, but after tonight’s lesson I’m thinking I could just ride without stirrups and be set. Hope I can walk tomorrow!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Horses Save Me Again

I moved to a house on the same property as the barn in late October. It has been such a blessing to live here. This home is my happy place, my sanctuary, I love it here. The day I left my husband I loaded up the trailer and drove to the barn. I was in full blown panic attack when I hooked up the trailer and for the first time ever I dropped it when I missed the ball hooking up. I managed to get it jacked up and back on the truck, I was trying to run away before my husband came back home. I was a hot mess when I unloaded Grace and got her settled in. I stayed at the barn that day not wanting to leave – this was before I moved here. I noticed that there were some stalls that still needed to be cleaned so I grabbed wheelbarrow and pitchfork and jumped in. Halfway into that first stall my thoughts started to settle, my body took over as I begun the repetitive motion of shifting poop through shavings. I realized how much I missed working in the barn, the quiet mornings with the horses, the satisfaction of freshly stripped and bedded stalls. It wasn’t long before I was the Saturday stall cleaner. Once I moved to the property I took on night feedings and weekend mornings. Little did I know these simple chores would save me.

I’ve had my heart broken twice since my marriage ended. Yes – you are correct in your judgment it was most likely too soon for me to be involved with anyone. That didn’t stop me. I fell head over heels in love and gave a man every last ounce; he broke up with me the first time the day after Thanksgiving. That was a Friday – he came over that night, told me how much he loved me and then walked out the door. I was devastated, how could someone I gave everything to just walk away? The next morning I wanted to hide under the covers and never get out. I wanted to stay in the fetal position until the pain went away, but I had to get up and feed the horses. I had to put my clothes on and trudge down the hill. I then had to force myself to eat food so I would have enough calories in my body to clean stalls. Something happened halfway into cleaning stalls; I had a brief moment of clarity where the pain paused for a moment. It didn’t last long but it gave me a glimmer of hope that there may be a way through the pain. In the weeks that followed I fell into a scary black hole of depression. I came home after work and didn’t want to leave my bedroom. But I had to feed the horses each night. This meant changing my clothes and trudging down the hill. Joe was there with his sweet face always happy to see me. I would cover his nose in kisses and tell him that he is the only boy for me. Grace was there kicking the walls to her stall telling me to “hurry up and feed bitch, I don’t have time for your boy drama!” I rode less in December than I had in years, I just didn’t feel like I belonged in the saddle. In early January I started to ride Joe several times a week, about two rides in my smile came back. His lope was my new happy place. 

I started seeing a therapist and worked weekly with my life coach. I was finally starting to get over the man that broke my heart after the holidays when he showed back up to give it another try. This time I thought I had my blinders off, I was still crazy in love with this man but I wasn’t going to let him hurt me again. We were just “dating “this time I told myself, I could walk away at any time. In reality I was very much in love with him, again. Last Sunday he ended the relationship for the second time. Once again he told me how much he loved me and then walked out the door. For a smart girl I seem to be really stupid when it comes to relationships. How could I let this happened twice? Why in the hell did I trust him again? 

This time around I am much further along than I was in November. The pain is still fresh but I am more angry than sad. I’m also not sure that I trust myself to make relationship decisions. The horses still need to be fed every day and still need me to clean their stalls on Saturday. Stall cleaning has become my 5 hour physical meditation. I start out stuck in my head, thoughts of him are non-stop. By the time I am on the last stall I am looking forward to showing Joe this year and am planning out the rest of my weekend. Joe is still my favorite boy to kiss. He is there for me to wrap my arms around him and cry into his neck. He doesn’t judge me, he doesn’t tell me I wasn’t ready for a relationship, he just listens to me and softly blows his breath on my hair. I once said that if I could go back and talk to 14 year old me I would tell her to spend more time with horses and less time with boys. 39 year old me is just now starting to hear those words.