Friday, December 31, 2010

Wow, What a Christmas!

First off, I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! Ours was CRAZY this year, but a great one.

With the break for the holidays, I had some time to spend with Tonto. He is a fuzzy bear this winter!! He just gets better and better with all of the attention he has been receiving lately. My brother's son and daughter came for Thanksgiving and we led them around on Tonto. He was perfect. I need to post those photos! He really seemed to enjoy the children and they absolutely loved him, so I guess he is finally mellowing in his old age.

My dear Grandmother Fisher came down with pneumonia and went from the hospital into a nursing home. At 94, the pneumonia has really weakened her. We pray that she will be able to go back home (yes, she still lives alone), but the doctors are saying she will be in the nursing home for at least another 5 weeks. She is on oxygen and is not able to breathe without it. Hopefully as she recovers, she can be weaned off of it. My Mom and I drove to South Carolina on Monday to see her and I was able to spend 3 precious days with her. What a blessing it is for her to still have her mind - she is sharp as a tack and has a wonderful sense of humor. Please pray she will get her strength back and be able to return home.



Our family spent a fun Christmas Eve at our in-laws with my husband's family. We drove up and my nieces and nephew were playing with a puppy. I thought it was so awesome that their parents got them a puppy for Christmas because they had to put their very old dog down this year and were all heartbroken over her death. Well, they had actually found the puppy under my father-in-law's car when they arrived that evening!
At first my father-in-law wouldn't let us bring the pup in the house, so my sister-in-law and I went back to my house and picked up the cat crate. The puppy stayed in the crate and ended up coming home with us. We figured someone must have gotten her for a Christmas present and she wandered away somehow. My husband agreed we could keep her long enough to see if anyone put up lost puppy signs in the neighborhood and if not, we would find her a home. In the meantime, my Mom and I took the puppy with us to SC to see my Grandmother because my hubby had to keep our 3 kids, work, and his oldest brother (and family) was in town visiting...there was no way he could go with us and it would have been too much to ask him to care for a puppy, too.

So, my Mom named her "Sadie."


Sadie got to discover snow!


She was perfect the entire trip - She spent Monday and Wednesday at the nursing home visiting my Grandmother and the other patients. This was a real treat for everyone! On Tuesday she spent the entire day at my cousin's house playing with her kids. Boy, was Sadie tired after all that!

This is what you call "Dead Dog tired!"


Sadie is ours for now. I really hope no one puts up lost puppy signs because she is such a wonderful dog and I am just a wee bit attached!!!
____________________________________________
Then today, the newest addition to our family arrived! Meet "Scout!"


He's around 12.3 hands, ~7 to 8 years old and LOVES to jump.


I believe Scout is saying, "I think I'm gonna like it here..."


Meeting Tonto:

There was no squealing or anything, so I believe they will be able to go out together soon. Tonto was so happy to have a new buddy!

So, a lot has been going on here lately, but it has been good! I hope everyone has a very Happy New Year and I look forward to 2011!

Happy Riding!



Friday, November 12, 2010

Hello!

Sorry for the long absence from blogging. I just haven't felt like writing in a while. Things have been busy with work, my husband starting his new business (http://www.relylocal.com), school starting back and all 3 kids playing soccer.

Plus, I miss Maggie more than I ever expected to. Poor little Tonto is the only one in the pasture now. Thank goodness our neighbors bring their 2 horses over a few days a week to let them graze in our pasture, so he does have a little time with other horses. Maybe one day we'll add another pony to our herd.

During the summer, I got on Tonto a couple of times. For being ridden once in a blue moon, he behaves well.

Too bad there aren't any little kids around that would ride him...none of my kiddos are very interested, or have the time to ride. He's such a cute pony!


D rode a couple of times during the summer. He is too big for Tonto now....it amazes me how fast my children have grown this year! D has passed me up and it won't be long before B does, too. (I guess it doesn't take much since I'm all of 4'11...)


I decided to buy a grazing muzzle for Tonto this year...he didn't think it was too funny. He ended up living in the fat pen all year, but did well - he looked so good all summer!


See the nice, trim pony?


Yep, unfortunately D has outgrown the 11.2 hand pony.


We hiked his stirrups up so his feet wouldn't hit Tonto in the knees...


And things didn't work out with the beautiful palomino mare. I just didn't have the time to commit to her that she deserved. She has been placed in a fabulous home and is even being shown.

Anyhoo - thought it was time for a new post. Sorry there isn't anything exciting to report! Hope all is well with you - Happy Riding!


Friday, May 28, 2010

Rest in Peace, Maggie. You will be forever in my heart.

Midnight Magnolia
May 8, 1978 - May 28, 2010


Thank you for all the wonderful memories, Maggie, and for the many times you saved my butt when you should have bucked me off and run away. You had tremendous patience with all of us young, dumb kids, and you never put a foot wrong. Your sweet, soft nickers of greeting, now quieted, will be greatly missed. Everyone who knew you loved you - the kind, gentle, bay mare Maggie. You can now rest in peace and no longer be in pain. God speed, Maggie. I love you.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

With Dignity

This is a very hard post to write. At this point, I am struggling with saying good-bye to a very dear friend. My beloved Maggie turned 32 years old on May 8th. These photos were taken on her birthday. She still has a spark in her eye, yet she is in immense pain.


Mags never had the best conformation, and you can see how it caught up with her in age. She had a very long back and sickle hocks...but what she lacked in conformation, she made up for in brains and kindness. Maggie always knew we were stupid kids doing stupid things, so she took care of me. I don't recall her ever spooking at anything, other than a frisbee that was thrown over her head during a crazy grand entry of the rodeo one year. She had the right to spook at that...


From the photos, you can see she is wispy looking - much thinner than this time last year. She has slowed down so much, laying down a lot, getting the weight off her front legs. And you can see why:

Maggie bowed a tendon many years ago and strained the other tendons and ligaments in her front legs. You can see the swelling in both legs and how her fetlocks are almost touching the ground. Sometimes they do when she walks. Her back end is getting incredibly weak, so much so that she will walk sideways to keep from falling. So, after having our very compassionate veterinarian out to look Maggie over, we agreed it was time to allow Maggie to cross the rainbow bridge with dignity, rather than waiting for her to get down and not be able to get back up. Maggie is in so much pain, even with the doses of bute and Corta-Flex RX, there is no reason to make her continue to exist. She has out lived her body. However, this is still no easy decision to make.


Maggie has been a part of my life for a long time.
But it is time to let her go on to a place of rest, free from pain. She has had a wonderful life of 32 years and I am so blessed that she has been my friend for what seems like a very short time.

We will be saying good-bye this week, so please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Skippin Brandy

After we sold Maggie, we purchased Skippin Brandy (Brandy), April 4, 1989. He was a 16.1 hh, 4 year old registered Quarter Horse, with tons of chrome. Brandy had originally been bred to run barrels and had been trained on barrels up to the point we got him. He belonged to a friend of my trainer's. My trainer adored Brandy and loved working with him.



Here are some photos on the day we bought him. Not sure why my Dad used black and white film, but they are pretty cool. I'm 14 years old.

I'm still kind of in shock, as you can see from my facial expression. I can't believe I have this big gorgeous guy to call my own!


Notice the scar on Brandy's side, just above my ankle? A microburst (mini tornado) hit the barn Brandy was stabled in as a youngster and tore the barn to pieces. A piece of sheet metal cut his side wide open and he had to be stitched up. You could feel the stitch marks, even years later. It almost felt like a zipper in his side.






Brandy was by far the tallest horse I had ever owned. Buck was all of 12.2 hands and Maggie was 14.3. I remember feeling like I was sitting on a mountain, even though he really wasn't all that big!





I believe these next photos were taken about a week after he had been at the house.




His long bridle path was growing out, so he had a nice mohawk.











This was our favorite thing to do: ride the trails with my best friends!




After a bath:






Posing with another one of my wonderful horse buddies and her pony Sassy before the Jimmy Woffard clinic ~ approximately 1990.


(Ha! Here's a photo of my obnoxious pink and green cross country colors! I wonder what Mr. Woffard thought of my colors? :) It might be good I didn't know.) I enjoyed riding with him though and rode in a second Woffard clinic the following year.


Brandy was a trooper at this clinic. He was never really the best jumper and kind of just hurled himself over the fences. I wasn't good enough to make him get better, either. My leg was a bit short on him, too. :)




The cross country portion of the clinic:



The coffin didn't seem to bother Brandy at all.





The above photos were taken at the original Felicidad Farms in Pike Road. I LOVED this place and worked there for several years before this farm was sold and we moved to an incredible new facility closer to my home in Pike Road (like right in our back yard!).


These photos were taken at the 4H Open Show in either 1990 or 1991.



In the line-up with my great friend and her pony Sassy. I think we ended up with 2 seconds and a third in the hunter under saddle and over fences classes.





Below are photos from the only Pony Club Combined Training Rally I competed Brandy in ~ 1991:

Warming up with my friend for cross country.






Brandy did great on the cross country course. I can't find any photos of it though. I know I had some! He didn't trot out sound before the stadium phase, so we didn't get to finish the Rally.
He ended up with an abscess in one of his feet.


The photo below was taken with my beloved team mates during the awards ceremony at the end of the Rally.



I can't remember where the below photo was taken.
It must have been at a Pony Club meeting or something like that.



This photo was taken during a Pony Club show jumping clinic ~ 1992.


Brandy was a really nice horse, just the two of us never really clicked. One of the worst memories I have of him is taking him to hill top with the Midland Foxhounds with our Pony Club and he got so excited, he jigged the entire hunt. He got so wound up towards the end of the hunt that he began running backwards and ran over my trainer's huge 16.3 hand QH. It scared the mess out of me. I got off and lead him for the rest of the hunt. Poor thing - he was just so excited and wanted to run!
I ended up selling him to a fellow Pony Clubber in 1992, not long after the above photo was taken. They clicked well and she Pony Clubbed him successfully for many years. As far as I know, he is still in the Pike Road area. If I remember, I'll ask my farrier the next time he is out so I can give you an update!
After Brandy, we bought a fabulous guy named Hamlet. I can't wait to tell you about him!