Thursday, June 26, 2008

It Was Pretty Neat...

...to watch my equestrian idol from my younger years teach a show jumping clinic at a nearby farm yesterday. In 1988, Greg Best rode his incredible horse Gem Twist in the Seoul Summer Olympics. They earned the individual and team silver medals for show jumping. I have it on video....If you are a horse person, you have to admit they were totally incredible.






Excerpt from Wikipedia:

With Greg Best [as the rider]
Gem Twist began winning early in his career with rider Greg Best, including the 1985 USET Talent Derby as a six-year-old. He went on to win his first two competitions at the Grand Prix level, the Grand Prix of Tampa and the Grand Prix of Florida, in 1987. He finished the year with his first American Grand Prix Association (AGA) Horse of the Year honor, as well as a team silver medal from the Pan American Games. Best continued to ride Gem Twist for several years with great success, including earning two silver medals at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul. In 1989, Gem Twist was named the American Grand Prix Association Horse of the Year for the second time. In 1990, he was named the "World's Best Horse" at the World Equestrian Games in Stockholm. However, Best injured his shoulder in 1992, and the ride was turned over to Leslie Burr Howard (then Leslie Burr Lenehan).[3]



I was only able to watch the clinic for about an hour and half, and I was not able to introduce myself or talk to him, but never-the-less, it was too neat to see him in person. He was very kind and polite to his students and was a pleasure to be around.


Here are some photos of Greg working with my friend's daughter E. This was the cutest pony!!! I didn't get to see them do much jumping, so these are all on the flat.


After watching the clinic, I made Drew ride his pony, Tonto. :)




These two make such a cute team.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Happy Birthday, to My Oldest Baby!


Our oldest son turned 12 today. My gosh, where has the time gone??
We are so proud of him - he is such a wonderful person.
Happy Birthday!!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

It Began Way Back...







See, I told you it started way back - as far as I can remember. Here are some OLD photos for your viewing pleasure. I believe I was about 3 years old in these photos, around 1977.
My Dad was probably relieved when he no longer had to lead me around on other people's horses. :)


Monday, June 16, 2008

The "Horse" Thing


This post is for you Sisundermoud - and not EVERYTHING you talk about is misunderstood. I get your point most of the time (although sometimes I may act like I don't...). :)

So, the "Horse" thing. I don't know when it started or what started it. I have just always loved horses...for as long as I can remember. When we would take family vacations or visit the grandparents, I would always stare out the window waiting to get a glimpse of a horse or pony grazing in a pasture. I asked for a horse EVERY Christmas...as far back as I can remember. Mom and Dad gave me Breyer horses to try to satisfy my interest, but I got frustrated when I would sit on them and the legs would break off. You just can't ride a Breyer, no matter how hard you try. (After a while I decided I should should put the Breyers on a shelf rather than try to ride them...so now I have 400 or so...) Then I tried the bicycle....my girlfriends and I would tear around the cul-de-sac in Birmingham pretending to ride our magnificent steeds, but that just didn't do the trick either. My parents would take me to a horse farm on occasion and lead me around on a pony so I could get my "horse fix" for the time being. There were some really nice folks that had horses near my grandparents, so when we visited, I always made my Mom take me to their place so I could see the horses. Sometimes they were kind enough to lead me around for a while.

Finally, after we moved to Pike Road when I was 9 years old, my grandfather bought me a pony. I had been taking riding lessons for a while and riding with a friend every chance I got, so I guess my parents felt like I had enough interest in horses to let me have one; plus we now had 8 acres that needed something to graze on it. My uncle's neighbor had a cute pinto pony named Buck that he decided to sell and because my uncle loved this pony so much, Grandpa decided to buy him and give him to me for my birthday. My dear uncle truly loved this pony - he allowed Buck to roam his fields and his yard. As Buddy was building his house, Buck kept him company, even standing by him as he hammered and sawed. My uncle said Buck even toured the house a couple of times when he left the door open. Anyway, Uncle Buddy hauled Buck from Tennessee to Pike Road for me and that was what began a love affair with horses that still lasts today. Buck had been abused in his past and after a couple of very trying years and a few broken bones (mine, a cousin's and a friend's), Buck and I formed an incredible bond of trust and friendship that few people truly experience with an animal. I will save Buck's story for another post, but he was the light that started the flame that continues to burn in my heart.

I can't tell you exactly what it is about horses that I love, but to me they are the most amazing, magnificent, awe-inspiring animals God put on this earth. To feel their muscles under their glossy coat, to watch them tear across an open field, to see the depth of their liquid eyes, to hear the sigh of a contented horse, to watch a horse and rider team compete together as one; all of these things and more are what I love about horses. And I guess I should say that it isn't just a love of horses, it is a sickness; an obsession. I have tried so many times to turn away from them, to put them on hold for a while, but I just can't. I crave time to spend with my horses. Not to ride, but to just be with them, near them, touch them, smell them, watch them. Maybe therapy would help?

So, that is the best I can explain the "Horse" Thing at the moment. I'll be sure to post more about Buck and my other horses, so stay tuned! (I might even tell some stories about my kids, my hubbie, and our other animals...) Until next time...

Saturday, June 14, 2008

About Pike Road Girl


Thanks for visiting Pike Road Girl's blog. She doesn't know that I am starting her a blog tonight, but I was trying to think of another way for her to have an outlet for her love of horses until we get our property ready to bring her ponies to our home. Pike Road Girl and I have been married for going on 9 years and have three pretty darn good children. We met in college and became best buds. I think we still are, but life starts passing you by when work and children come into the mix. Pike Road Girl loves horses and pretty much anything else that doesn't talk back (dogs, cats, rabbits, fish, hermit crabs, plants etc...) She doesn't really know how much I really appreciate her under appreciated ability to handle all of the things that she does on a daily basis. I thought this blog would be a good time for me say some of these things and then send her on her way with her very own blog. If your looking for someone who shares your love of horses (and all other animals and plants and the environment) then you have come to the right place. Pike Road girl is truly one of God's greatest gifts to this world. She is the friendliest person you will ever meet and will try to help anyone with troubles. Welcome to Pike Road Girl's Blog. I hope you enjoy it as much as I know she will! I love you honey!