Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Three Day Weekend Adventures

 Trying to figure out what the monsters in the lake were.

The weekend before last was a three day weekend so Klein and I took advantage of that.  Sunday we went to a friend's barn to ride.  We stayed out about two hours and hacked around and had some long trots and canters.  It's pretty funny every time we go to this particular friend's barn because ALL the geldings have to come to the fence and stare when Klein walks by, then they follow her with their heads over the fence.  It's the big butt, they love it.  They can never stare at it enough. 

 She knows.  Flaunt it if you got it, I guess.

One gelding that we rode with, Monroe, is just totally infatuated with Klein and it is adorable!!  If she sneezes, he sneezes.  If she trips, he trips.  I approve, Monroe is tall, red, and very handsome.  Will the OTTB just kept following Klein along the fence when we would ride by him.  He's another tall, lanky, red fellow.  Klein gets him all stirred up every time.

There is a small lake on the property next to that barn and that day people happened to be on it in boats.  Klein saw them and had a hard time making sense of what they were.  She was SO worried about them!  I felt bad for her because you could see the confusion.  Saiph, this next part is for you.  When I went to load Klein to go home she wasn't having it.  She was just being RUDE.  She loaded in 30 seconds that morning.  But now she didn't want to load because she would lose sight of the monsters on the lake.  It really wasn't her fault, she was genuinely concerned and getting pissy because I wouldn't acknowledge the monsters.  So, a friend had to help me.  As usual she stood behind Klein with the lunge whip in one hand and just raised it and Klein loaded but was still fussy on the trailer.  As soon as I got her moving she was fine.

The next morning we were planning to go road hounds with another friend at Live Oak Hounds in Florida.  I wondered if the fit she threw the day before would carry over to that morning.  It did.  She was being a problem to load.  I texted my friend and said I didn't think we were going to make it on time to go out with the hounds.  I was alone and I was about to call my barn owner to come out because guaranteed with two people she always loads immediately as long as one stands behind her and just has a lunge whip in one hand.  You don't have to do anything with it, all she has to do is know it's there, it's the weirdest thing. Whatever works.  But I didn't call my barn owner because what if I'm some where alone trying to go home and she doesn't want to load?  I can't call anyone to come out and help me.  I decided I had to win this battle by myself.  It took about 45 mins.  A couple times I just sat on the edge of my trailer and had a conversation with Klein that went something like this "Klein, we're not going back to where the monsters in the boat are.  Have I ever taken you somewhere and you didn't have fun?  What is going on this morning?  You like riding with Leslie, I PROMISE that is where we are going this morning.  What happened to my girl that loads in 30 seconds?  You've been to Hawaii and back, come on now!"  I just kept walking her up to the ramp of my trailer and she'd put her front feet on the ramp then I'd tell her what a good pony she was and I'd turn her around and walk her up to it again.  I think she got tired of that and finally she just walked on like she always does.  Silly girl. 

I have no idea how, but we made it to Live Oak Hounds with about three mins to tack up.  I don't speed with my trailer and the roads are really narrow going down there, so you really couldn't speed if you wanted to. 

 Pretty drive to LOH.

I think I forgot how close it really is to my barn, which means we'll be going more often.  After tacking up in about two mins and 45 secs we headed out.

Klein had never been roading before.  Last time I took Moch.  Moch had a blast.  I knew Klein would too.  She did, she LOVED it.  She was SO excited to be out with the hounds!  We went out with 132 hounds that morning.  Klein wanted to be up as close as she could to them.



 After we were done with the hounds my friend and I went out for a hack.  We hacked down the Florida-Georgia state line to a pretty lake.  It was a beautiful day out!

Riding on the Florida-Georgia state line.

 Klein and her new friend Bailey checking out Lake Fontaine.

 Our adorable ponies.  Don't judge Klein's filthiness.

 Klein was filthy that morning.  She needs a bath so bad!  She was clean when I left the barn the day before then did a good job rolling all over when I left.  A spa treatment and a new clip are in her immediate future!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Pony Pit Crew, MIA?

Usually the other half aka my Pony Pit Crew/Personal Security Detail is in pictures or mentioned on a regular basis. 

 Teaching Mochi to bow.

 Taking Klein mare for a walk.

Where has he been?  Remember the post in December where I said it had been a stressful week?  Yeah...that was the week the other half deployed.  My best barn buddy is off defending the U.S. Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic aka he's overseas fighting the Taliban. 


I promised The Odd Couple that he's coming back, and that I didn't sell him.  I told them he's out saving the world and making it a safer place for horses. 

We all miss him (me, The Odd Couple, and Ceylon).  I really wish he was here for Wes' arrival in about a week and a half.  It was actually his idea to start the GoFundMe site for Wes when I did.  I had talked about it and he told me one day that if I was going to do something like that, I better get to it.  I made the GoFundMe page that day.  He even donated $200 to the page!  But, Wes will be here when he gets home and I can't wait for him to meet him.

I miss him every minute he's gone, and I am counting down the hours and minutes until he comes home.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Reunion Countdown: 10 Days!

Things are starting to seem a little more real as far as Wes coming home.  My plane ticket is booked!  Wes and I will be reunited in less than 10 days!!!  I cannot believe that in about TWO weeks he will be on his way!  I started to tear up again one day last week when I turned onto the road to the barn.  Thinking again how in only a couple weeks the Brookledge rig will be turning down that road with my boy.  It honestly makes me tear up just typing that.  I can't imagine the amount of tears of happiness that are coming in the next couple weeks.  I'm sure some of them will be captured in the videos I'll be posting!

This whole experience has been humbling so far, to say the least.  The amount of donations Wes' GoFundMe site has is just unreal.  I have said this in every post about bringing Wes home but, I just will never be able to thank you all enough.  After this experience I am going to regularly browse GoFundMe and donate randomly.  I wish you all could meet him in person and give him a granola bar.  He's the one that started the granola bar obsession by the way.  So when he gets here, Klein can thank him for that.  He is an expert in Nature Valley Oat 'n Honey granola bars.  I bought him an off brand from Wal-Mart once and he spit it out, I PROMISE you I am not even joking in the least!  I ordered Wes his own "I'm Not a Clydesdale" halter last week, it should be here any day.  I will take it with me to Salt Lake.  That way he and Klein will both have "I'm Not a Clydesdale" halters!

Wes' GoFundMe page is still open for donations, so share away!  Thank you all again for everything you have done to Bring Wes Home!

Wes' GoFundMe Page:


Saturday, January 18, 2014

Moch's Feet: Now vs. Then

 Mochi Pony!

The Odd Couple got a pedicure earlier this week.  Today while I was cleaning Mochi's feet I started to think about the feet we started with and how much improvement she has made.  Moch has great feet to work with in the first place, which is partly why I think they weren't more damaged than they were from improper farrier care when I bought her.  Here are some pictures from right before I bought her.  I took these after the first trim with Cindy Ford, our DAEP out of Alachua, FL.


Now, these are the pics I took today:

 Seriously.  Check out that wall.


I took Moch on a long ride with a lot of galloping in a little experiment to see if I could wear her down even a little bit.  Nope.  Not even close.


Klein and I worked on some flat work today.  We did serpentines at the trot and canter, simple changes, and a little lateral work.  She was great and was just happy to be out and about.  Tomorrow I'm hauling her to a friend's place to ride, Monday I'm taking her out to road hounds with Live Oak.  The next trip Moch will go on.  I'm hoping to get her out to a state park that's right down the highway pretty soon.

After I rode Klein today, I took Moch out for a hack.  She was a handful and just happy to be out.  Tomorrow she'll go on the lunge line.

There's a new mare that's going to be out in the same herd The Odd Couple are in.  While I was out on Moch I put Klein out with the new girl.  She was out alone and the rest of the mares were in the barn.  We wanted new mare to get used to her new pasture without the stress of the other mares.  Being that Klein is the most non-confrontational mare I put her out with new mare so she could start meeting the girls.  Moch actually had been out with her first while I was out on Klein and Moch didn't really pay much attention to her.  She might not have even noticed there was a new horse out there. 

One of the millions of reasons why Klein is awesome?  She had been out with new mare about 30 mins and was letting her eat next to her on the round bale.  She had never seen that horse before she showed up yesterday.  Klein couldn't care less that she was out there.  She just wants to eat and mind her own business.

 I think new mare was comforted by Klein being accepting.  She followed Klein around.

Klein even let her drink next to her.

Klein breaks the mold of the typical mare stereotype.  Some of you asked what I think Klein and Moch will do when Wes gets here?  I don't think they'll do anything, and this proves my theory.  I think they'll welcome him too.  I'm lucky to have two mares that aren't mareish.  Klein is a princess to a certain degree, and she is very independent when she's out with the rest of the mares, but she is not a pushy, alpha type.  Neither is Mochi.  Wes...well, he's the biggest baby I think I've ever seen in a herd.  I'm about 98% sure there will be no drama when he gets here.  Speaking of Wes, I got a little teary eyed when I turned onto the road that goes to the barn today.  I was thinking about the big rig with him on it turning down that road in a couple weeks.  It still doesn't seem real.  It won't seem real until I am looking out the window of the jet as my flight is landing in Salt Lake City in a couple weeks.

A little mention on rider fitness...I finally nailed my Bar Muscle-Up at Crossfit last Wednesday.  Yeah, it's with a band, but now I can start progressing and lose the band assistance.  If you are wondering what a Bar Muscle-Up is, go search Crossfit Bar Muscle-Up on YouTube, that's the easiest way to explain it.


Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Home Stretch!! Bring Wes Home!!

 My boy all ready for work one evening while we still used to work together.  Next, I would ground drive him out of the barn, hitch him up, and head out downtown.

My excitement is growing by the day!  We are in the home stretch with the Bring Wes Home GoFundMe page!  You can check it out here:

We are about 70% to the goal and still have three weeks to go!

It still doesn't seem real that in three weeks I will be in Salt Lake with him, and then he will be on his way home!  My DAEP comes out to trim Klein and Mochi this Monday and it seems so unreal and unbelievable that the next time she comes out, Wes will be added to the list!!  We will be pulling his shoes and doing his first barefoot trim!

I just cannot thank those who have donated and/or shared our page enough.  I hope that I can repay you guys at least a little with documenting our reunion, his journey home, and his life with me with a lot of pictures and videos.

 My sweet boy playing in new shavings one day before work.

So, friends, keep sharing the page where ever you want, as many times as you want!  Bring Wes Home!!!!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

My Tattoo

I made a post about my tattoo on the old blog when I got it while stationed in Hawaii a few years ago.  The story behind it is me and a couple friends I used to work with before I joined the Air Force and was driving carriages, all agreed to get horse tattoos.  They had all gotten their tattoos and I was the last to get mine.  The tattoo was up to each person, you can get whatever you want, we just agreed it would be a horse.  I took me years to think of the tattoo I wanted.  Finally one day I figured it out.  It is an outline of sorts of a jumper with a cropped tail because it is Klein. 

I have seen this tattoo circulate around the internet world about three times over.  Friends even email me telling me their friends emailed them with a picture of a horse tattoo idea and it was my tattoo.  It is easy to find on a Google image search and I think that is why it keeps resurfacing.  I have also gotten links from friends to Facebook groups where my tattoo has been featured.  It's always really funny to read people's comments about it too.  Everything from "OMG THAT IS AWESOME!" to "Oh wow, that's just too big of a tattoo" like their opinion on MY tattoo matters.  Tattoos aren't for anyone but yourself, in my opinion.  I love my Klein tattoo.  Sometimes while I'm grooming, tacking/untacking, or just standing around hanging out with Klein when I tell her I love her (I tell her numerous times a day) and she's my Heart Horse I'll say "I mean, come on, what horse do I have a tattoo of, Klein mare?"

I figured I better repost about my tattoo to claim it and prove it's me.  I also get a lot of random emails asking where I got the design from.  I honestly don't remember but I know I had the artist modify the original design and crop the tail.  It also wasn't from anyone else's tattoo, that I do know.

So, there you have Klein tattoo.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

January is Awesome in Georgia

 My Beauty Queen ready for some dressage.

I know I mentioned it a couple posts ago but, seriously, January is awesome in Georgia.  The weather has been pretty perfect for riding.  60-70 is great!  I'm still a little cold but once I am riding I'm too warm in even a hoodie.  Of course the ponies love it.  Take a close look at Klein in the above picture.  Her winter coat is next to non-existent.  You can BARELY see the line of her clip because there's just not that much to clip.

Yesterday I took Klein out for a hack and then we did some dressage work.  Klein was a little distracted early in our ride but then when we started some dressage work I was able to get her to focus and she did really well.  We just worked on simple things like 20m circles, halts, straightness down the center line and across the diagonal.  The thing I wanted to work most on was the quality of her trot and the cadence of it.  I was happy with her effort.  Her head was in the game yesterday.

Since I felt her distraction on our hack yesterday I knew she wanted to get out and GO.  Wish granted.  Today we went to the orchard and did some trot sets and walked around for a while then we did a few gallop sets around the orchard.  

Ready to gallop.

Klein was such a BEAST.  A gallop was exactly what she wanted, she could barely contain herself.  At first I was trying to keep her moderately fast but she kept resisting and wanting to go all out.  I planned to do a few gallops and I didn't want her to get tired because we haven't been focusing on conditioning lately.  I thought she'd be tired after the second gallop.  Nope.  She was full of it the ENTIRE time.  I kind of let her win the game today.  We galloped big squares and I let her pick her pace on two sides then had her gallop all out on two sides.  By the end of our ride she could have repeated the entire thing over again at the same pace.  We were out for two hours today.

It's days like today when I realize I've created a MONSTER over the years.  Earlier today I said she's pretty much the equine version of a CrossFit athlete.  She can't get enough, she's up for anything that involves WORK, and she'll never quit.  That's my girl!  Mares rock. 

 Admiring the fact that we also still have green grass here in January.  I was sweating riding around in a hoodie today.

 Can't even wait for me to get to her head to give her a granola bar after our ride.

Moch had a gooey eye this weekend.  I think it's probably a clogged tear duct or maybe she rubbed her face on a tree to get an itch.  It was just barely swollen so I cleaned it up and put some opthamalic medicine in there.  Today it looked better with nothing coming out of it, but still just a tiny bit irritated so I put more medicine in it.  I'm sure it will be good to go by tomorrow.  I have a little experiment for Moch next weekend...

My little Moch!  Such a sweet little horse!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Let the Dreams Begin

Wes' current home.

I knew this would start happening eventually.  It usually does when something important is coming up that I think about a lot.  I start dreaming about it.  The past two nights I've had dreams that I'm in Salt Lake to get Wes ready to ship.

A friend told me I'm more excited to get Wes than a pregnant woman.  Well, I have waited EIGHT years for this horse.  EIGHT!  A pregnant woman only has nine months to wait.  Wes is the reason I bought Klein.  Wes was my partner.  We have had so many great times together.

The plan for him is just to go on lazy hacks because he's such a workaholic and looks forward to work so much.  I know for a fact he would be disappointed to not go out and do anything.  I've seen the disappointment in his face on days he dropped a shoe the night before and the farrier wasn't coming until the next day to put it back on.  He genuinely looks forward to work.  Same as Klein.

Wes' last day of work was the day after Christmas.  He is officially retired!  Below is a blurry pic a friend took of Wes at work one night a couple weeks ago.  She was standing across the street so she didn't get a steady shot.

Lately I've been thinking of all fun times we had at work.  I listed a lot of them in my Bring Wes Home post.  Something else that always reminds me of Wes is whenever I hear the song DARE by the Gorillaz.  That song came out while Wes and I worked together and I would hear it pretty much every night at work.  Someone would have their windows rolled down and it would be blasting as they drove by us, or I would hear it on my way to or from work with Wes.

This is not going to seem real until the plane lands in Salt Lake next month.  Believe me, there will be videos and tons of pics for you guys of our reunion and Wes' whole journey.

Our page is currently up to $1,115!  It's open until the 1st of February so keep getting word out for a couple more weeks!  I can't even begin to explain how thankful I am for the generosity that has been shown to us so far.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Most Thoughtful Gift


About a week and a half ago the most thoughtful gift showed up on my doorstep.  My dad's fiance makes beautiful scrapbooks and she made me one with Klein and Mocha!  I was blown away and it brought tears to my eyes as I was flipping through it.  What an amazing, thoughtful, special gift.  Here are just some of the pages:

She even made a special page for our friends Andrea and Gogo.  Unbelievable.

There are also some blank pages in there so I can add to it.  I will be making Wes some pages!

I hope everyone had a great New Year's Eve!  I had a great time despite the other half being deployed right now.  We have a great group of friends here and I don't know what I'd do without them. 

The year of the horse, that means there's pretty much no way this year can be anything but awesome!!!