Archive for the ‘Barn life’ Category

What makes stubborn stubborn?

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

Stubborn (as copied/pasted from google’s definition)

  • Having or showing dogged determination not to change one’s attitude or position on something, esp. in spite of good arguments or reasons…
  • Difficult to move, remove, or cure.
  • The synonyms listed are:

    obstinate - pertinacious - dogged - headstrong - obdurate

    Well, yes, that does describe our pony. I’d really, REALLY like to think horses aren’t like that. That if they’re not doing what I am asking them to do, it’s my own lack of clarity about what I want done that is the problem. I’d LIKE to think that if I could just fully communicate in a calm and fair way, the horse (or pony) will just magically comply.

    However, clearly just because I REALLY would LIKE something doesn’t make it so. Dang it.
    So sometimes I want my horse to do something. It’s not dangerous, they are not worried or afraid. They just don’t feel like it. Now before our lovely little Bailey girl, I had never met a horse that would plant their feet, stare you in the eye and make you feel like they were just giving you the middle finger. But she has the art mastered.

    You can see the corners of her mouth cussing you too, if you really look.

    I should say that she doesn’t do it very often. Infact, she only did it a few times when we first brought her home. At deworming time. The first time I rode her. The first time anyone rides her actually… She does it to anyone “new”. And the other day, she decided to do it with the trailer. At a public arena. 2 hours later we were loaded up.

    This is one of my 9 year old son’s (who she belongs to) favorite qualities about her. Huh? Yep. He says it teaches him to mean what he’s saying. And yesterday after she stepped on his foot because she cared more about what the other horses were doing than keeping herself out of his space, he quietly smacked her in the chest hard with the leather popper end of the lead rope and said, “I’m finally learning when it’s ok to bust her” and he smiled at me.

    All I could do was ask him if his toes were ok.

    They were fine, and all he came away from the situation with was a great feeling that he is getting somewhere in his horsemanship, lol.

    Gosh I love what horses do for my kids!

    So back to the topic at hand. (Yes, I am easily distracted by other, more shiney topics. Much like Dori.)

    What makes a horse stubborn? I’m not really sure and I’m trying to come to grips with this concept. I am not willing to write off my own invovlment completely.

    It could stem from “I don’t feel like it”. But why don’t they feel like it? Is it because they don’t trust me? Maybe they don’t think I’m going to do what I say. Maybe they don’t feel like I’ll hold up my end of the bargain (Or what they THINK my end of the bargain is).

    Maybe they’re just having a mood. Maybe their just hormonal. Maybe…

    But maybe a horse needs room to communicate that they don’t really like something. They don’t really want to put their effort into it. And then maybe they need to pull their big girl britches up and do it anyway. Right?

    Maybe the thing I need to be more sure to communicate is that I do, in fact, mean what I say. And one of those things is “thanks for letting me know how you feel, now do it”.

    I’m not sure where I land on that. I want my horses to feel good about the things I’m asking of them. I want my kids to feel good about the things I am asking of them, too.

    Sometimes what I am asking them to do seems overwhelming, so I need to take a step back and break it down into smaller segments so we can be successful.

    Sometimes what I am asking them to do is not fun… For example, math in the morning is great. Math in the afternoon or evening is torture. Since I know this, I do my best to set my son up for success and ask him to do his math some time before lunch.

    Taking out the trash is NEVER fun. I can try to make it as pleasant as possible, but am I really responsible to make EVERY little tedious thing into a game or something? I just don’t want to live my life with that kind of pressure.

    So there has to be a way for me to come to grips with the fact that yes, sometimes my horse IS being obstinate. And it might be a little of this, and a little of that (contributing to the issue). But we still need to _______. Get the trash out. Get in the trailer (we can’t move in at the trail head, afterall.) Eat your dewormer.

    “And no, I don’t always need to make everything fun. You work for me, not the other way around. Sometimes you just need to do what I tell you to do and trust me even though you don’t feel like it.”

    Hmmmmm…… I feel another spiritual correlation coming on, lol. Dang it. Again.

    Do what I say….

    Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

    It occurred to me the other day that sometimes I get frustrated because one of my children won’t just “do what I say”. Well, that’s not really the part that *occurred* to me. I am all too aware that they do this. On a regular basis, btw.

    If I were relating to my horse, I would say the horse IS doing what I say, it’s just that what I say vs. what I think I am saying is 2 entirely different things. For example, I can *think* I am saying, “pick up a nice forward jog and then 2 track to the left”. When in fact what my body and intention are actually saying is “please give me a lack luster trot with some rushing and quitting involved, then turn to the left”.

    From the perspective of an onlooker (or my trusty video camera set up on the mounting block) the first scenario looks effortless and a little boring even :) The second situation looks like I am a new driver and can’t figure out the clutch, with my body rocking back and forth and then tipping to the right as though I have no balance at all. Not exactly pretty.

    For some reason, with horses, my first inclination is to look at what is happening in the situation and reflect on what I am doing as the root of the problem I am having. In fact, as I was speaking to a local, very well thought of trainer, the other day- I realized that sometimes I am doing too much of this. On occassion, it really is just the darn horse, lol.

    Now, if I put myself in the role of doing what I’m told (like one of those rare occassions where I’m actually paying attention to what God is asking of me!) how often can I really say that I am in that sweet spot of communication? Where he can softly ask, without even having to use many words/suggestions/people/etc? Where the obedience is in step and the timing is natural? Where we are a team and you can’t really see any awkward separation?

    How is it that God is so patient with me? Why is He not banging His head with His hand, asking me “why won’t you just do what I say?”

    So, finally I get to my point. It occurred to me that sometimes my kids are doing what I say- But what I THINK I am saying, what I WANT to say is different than what I really am saying to them. I need to make sure my intentions, my actions, my prayers for them AND what I am saying are all consistant.

    And when that is all lined up and they’re still just being stubborn? Then sometimes it’s just the darn horse. Um, kid. Now… to figure out how to handle a stubborn horse. And kid.


    Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

    Surrender is such a beautiful thing when done correctly.  Until I was sitting in church listening to Pastor Drew this Sunday, I don’t think I REALLY considered what our horses give up for us every time we touch them.

    (Yes, Drew, that’s what I got out of your message, lol.)  God calls us to abandon our own plans in favor of His.  Not because He is full of Himself, or an ego maniac, though He could be because He’s always right.  But because He knows what is best and loves us.

    We call our horses to abandon their own plans in favor of ours.  They have visions of lounging around lazily, eating in the shade.  Playing bite face with their neighbors, ripping off/shredding and hiding their fly masks.  Getting their “mystery” wound of the day and waiting for us to come clean it with $30 spray, staring and pondering how they could have possibly cut themselves there of all places as we stare into the wound, waiting for answers to come from it like one of those 3D pictures from Walmart. 

    Then we come along to mess up their plans.  We expect them to stand quietly while we halter them.  Or to voluntarily meet us half way or even at the gate!  And you know what?  Most of them do.  They lower their heads into the halter, breathe a sigh of surrender and follow to see what we have in store for them.

    Follow.  Such a short and simple word… but it means so many things.  You see, to follow means they have to wait on us.  The horse must wait for our foot steps and then they must decide to go where we go.  At the pace that we’re going.  They must keep enough float (slack) in the lead rope so that they can feel our direction and intentions through the rope, but not pull back or be so sluggish that the rope is taught, dragging them along with us.  And they must follow without us first letting them in on our plans for the day.

    I don’t have to first politely tell my horse what I’d like to do for the day, wait for him to approve of my plan, my timing and the way I’d like to go about things before he’ll decide if he’d like to get on board or not.  Nor would I expect to.  I would wonder why his little walnut brain had the audacity to expect ME to take the time out of my busy day to explain and justify my plan to him ahead of time- after all, with my superior planning skills, greater intellect and, well, thumbs, he should just blindly follow, right?!

    Then we ask of them any number of things.  Some of them they expect… Some not so much.  Some they expect but know they don’t like, some things they look foward to. 

    My gelding Davis hates to have his hind legs sprayed.  With anything.  The hose, spray bottles, etc.  He also hates the vet doing anything with his hind end… leftover issues from many vet experiences related to that neato ability I mentioned earlier to be able to hurt yourself on anything.  He also gets cannon crud.  An oily grossness on the front side of his hind legs- it’s from peeing and splashing.  Yes, yuck.  Most days he’s getting something sprayed on his legs or having them washed… He hates it.  But I know what’s best for him so I do it anyway.

    I reassure him that he’ll be fine.  I give him room to get away if he feels he has to.  But I treat him like a big boy and expect him to trust me and stay with me.  And you know what?  He’s survived every time, just like I promised him.  :~)

    Then we look at surrender in relation to riding.  Davis is so responsive and soft most of the time…  I can think to turn, move my reins ever so slightly and lay a little bit of leg on one side and over he goes.  Around and around the arena we move, in unison.  The ultimate goal is for my cues to be so slight that an onlooker would be hardpressed to notice them.  The feeling of having a horse under you that is so focused on what you’re asking of them at ever step is amazing… it makes your heart beat with more base.  Your lungs breathe more deeply and things outside the arena fade into a blur like an abstract painting. 

    Surrender is a beautiful thing to behold.  Even when I’m the onlooker and not the one riding.  I watch a gorgeous reining pattern or fence work with cattle and my breath catches in my throat as I jump to the edge of my seat! 

    If at any moment that horses stops, plants it’s feet and says “No, I’m going to need you to explain your plan to me before I’m going to decide to follow it or not.” the whole thing loses it’s beauty.  It fades away like a quickly deflating birthday balloon making a gigantic farting sound on the way out.

    No one wants to watch a ride where the horse has to be constantly talked into softness, constantly babied and reassured.  Sure, as riders that’s often what we have to ride and you ride the horse you have that day.  But the goal is always the soft surrender.  The goal is always to have a horse that WANTS to follow you confidently and quietly.  The goal is always the ride where horse and rider are moving as one- you don’t see one without the other, the horse is a reflection of the rider’s will and intentions. 

    So here’s my question- Why, if I can so clearly see the beauty and benefit of surrender like this, why am I missing it so often?  I would be the absurd example of the horse that wants an explanation for my walnut brain.  I would be the horse that trots away sometimes instead of meeting my Master at the gate.  I would be the wide eyed horse at the end of a taught lead rope thinking that surely I would not survive the afternoon.  Even though, experience would dictate that I’d be just fine.

    I long for the kind of content surrender that Davis has.  I think God is using him as my example… to quietly whisper to my soul.   Now, if I can just keep a float in my line, walk where He walks, move at the pace He sets.  Not move with anticipation of what happens next, but make each step as He asks, always ready to turn right or left.  Always ready to stop hard.  Always ready to move from a walk to a canter. 

    Yes, sometimes I may swish my tail… but my life would be much more beautiful if I traveled like a good horse :~)

    A light at the end of the mud tunnel?

    Saturday, December 18th, 2010

    First, I want to say that it is a rainy Saturday morning.  My boys (the little rancher and the little cowboy) are actually getting along quite nicely and only once have I heard the word “idiot” while they’re playing WII Sports Resort.   I’m making little sausage and cheese omelettes in one of those sandwich-maker thingies and I’m almost done with my first cup of coffee…  Happy days.

    My fanatic style hatred for mud can only be accentuated by the storm that is upon us now, right?  6 inches in 6 days or something like that?!  I stopped listening to the reports and delete my rain alert updates from my inbox before I read them now. 

    But I was reminded the other day of how soon it will be when our days gradually start to lengthen again.  And even though the horses have a pit that is sticky, stinky, foot sucking muck all the way up their fetlocks, they still don’t have any mud fever or scratches or any such nightmare going on (knock on old, weathered barn wood) and their bodies seem to be keeping thrushies under control because there is no stinky mess coming from their beautiful bare feet. 

    So, I think I can hang for the rest of the season.  I’m sure I will have to come back and read this post again and again to remind myself of the weird peace I have about it right now.  Especially if my trimmer comes and uncovers some nastiness or if one of the horses ends up with a cut/infection on their legs. 

    God uses the weirdest circumstances to speak truth to our hearts… I hate the filth that mud brings.  Like sin, it seems to cling to the clean, vulnerable parts of our lives.  Allowing a breeding ground for other nasties.  Drying to hard clay that has to be removed with a metal curry and lots of sweat and hard work.  While most of the seasons of our lives are not filled with this kind of mud, there is a rainy season for each of us.  Sometimes it is a raining-and-pouring season where the mud seems so deep and thick we just can’t see how it is possible to survive.  Sometimes we are called to don our muck boots (or even hip-waders) and trudge through it.  For me, these seasons are marked by an intense battle between the mud and I- with moments where I feel as though I will actually get sucked under and my lifeless body will give up.

    But the problem with that is that we’re never alone in the mud.  You see, some people have that foo-foo vision in their minds of the 2 sets of footprints in the lovely sandy beach.  And the classic story that goes with it…  My version is a little different.  My version involves the deep, water filled ruts left by my muck boots.  The stench of every other winter mess deep in my nose.  And a God that is bigger than the rain, bigger than the mud, bigger than the freezing storms, bigger than whatever havoc these things can create in my life.  He is a God that is there with me, when my arms begin to ache from digging the soaking manure out of the mud.  When I sweat even though I can see my breath because scooping and moving the thick mud is hard work. 

    There is also Hope.  The wonderful, glorious Hope that the sun will shine again.  Even when today seems like the sun barely exists and may have abandoned us for good… the days will gradually get longer.  The weather will gradually get warmer.  And the mud WILL dry out.  He will be there shoveling crap along side of us until we get through this storm and then He will bring us spring and shine the warmth on our faces… where we will delight in the feeling it leaves on our cheeks and our closed eyes as we marvel that we really did make it through. 

    How Carol Saved My Life on Thanksgiving

    Monday, December 13th, 2010

    This won’t be a long post.  And now that it’s almost Christmas, I should hurry up and share this since it happened last month.

    For those of us that frequent the BAEN message board, a lady named Carol has forever changed our lives.  We’ve been praying for her and her husband since she was incredibly injurred one day while cleaning a stall.  From what I understand, it was a horse that she was quite familiar with and loved very much at the time of a horrible accident.  Her husband found her in the stall with a kick wound to her head. 

    All of the details are not needed here… what I’d like to convey today is how instrumental Carol was, even though she will probably never know, in saving me from a similar fate on Thanksgiving day.

    During the time that we’ve been praying for them as a community, our thoughts have constantly gone back to them during our days… as we clean out stalls of our own, as we enjoy something with our family or friends.  Knowing what a life altering time is happening for them is something that few of us can truly empathize with.

    Some people also shared how they have had odd occurrances lately with their own “trusted” horses… double barrel kicks, out of the oridinary and odd (dangerous!) things happening all over the place.  We have all been on high alert since then.

    I never clean a stall with a  horse in it now.  Nor do I grab a hoof pick and clean my horses’ feet out in the pasture (halter and leads are a must…)  I send them away and keep a much bigger bubble of space around me when I’m filling feeders and cleaning pastures as well.

    On Thanksgiving I ran out to the barn to refill the hay feeders and as the horses were happily munching a full feeder I decided to pick up a couple of piles of manure under their shelter.  There was one pile that was close by, but I’d have to get right in the “kick zone” to grab it.  Manure fork in hand, I started walking towards it and stopped in my tracks after the first 2 steps.  Realizing it wasn’t safe, I had a little argument with myself about it.

    It went something like,

    “Neither of my horses has ever tried anything naughty.”

    “Yes, but what if they get stung by a bee and kick out and you just happen to be there?”

    “Ok, what are the odds of that happening?  It’s never happened before.”

    “Just because it hasn’t happened before doesn’t mean it can’t happen today.”

    “You’re just being paranoid.”

    “So what.”

    As I’m having this stupid discussion in my head, Davis lets out a double barreled kick, ears laid back.  My eyes got HUGE and I realized that because they were both eating out of the same feeder and Bay’s lips were getting a little too close to his, he decided to make it evident to her that she needed to back off.  And had I gone in for that pile, he would have accidentally taken me COMPLETELY OUT. 

    It would not have been just a blown out knee or huge bruise- it would have been serious internal injurries and likely left me unconscious and waiting for someone to notice that I’d been gone for too long and come looking for me.  On Thanksgiving.  I just stood there and cried.

    It makes me feel disgusting inside to realize what a horrific thing had to changes an entire family and community for me to be safe today.  It makes me feel sorry.  But I am here today, unchanged by something that would have been life altering for me and my family as well, due to Carol and her husband Rick.  So thank you.  Saying thank you is not enough, but I have never meant those words any more than I do when I say them to you.

    Good Things About Mud

    Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

    In an effort to try to change my perspective, since I can’t change the circumstance, I decided to come up with all of the good things I can think of about horsekeeping in the mud.


    That’s it.  That’s all I can think of.  Nothing.

    I finally took the slow feeding plunge and made a 2nd feeder.  Together, they hold at least enough hay for 2 days for the 2 horses.  At least, lol.  I stopped weighing the hay on Sunday and just filled them both up with grass hay.  Yesterday afternoon (Monday) I went out and turned them out in the arena so they could stretch their legs. 

    Boy were they full of themselves… The extra energy from having hay 24/7 on top of not moving a whole lot since their pasture is so slick and they had an explosively good time.  It was fun for the boys and I to watch :)

    The “mud free” zone that I did with carpet and cedarest/muckbuster is frustrating.  The area that I have it in is under their shelter… which is a slope.  A slope that the water runs directly into when it storms.  ARG. 

    So the ground is going to be wet no matter what.  I’m o.k. with wet.  I’d rather they had a dry area to get into if they chose, but we’ll all live with wet if we have to.  What I’m not o.k. with is slick, 4-6 inch deep mud that mixes in with their manure and urine.  Not o.k. at all.

    The “mud free zone” is wet, but not muddy.  I’m thankful for this… the things that are irritating me are that the ground around the shelter is super deep, slick, gross smelling mud.  It needs to be scraped down to the hardpan and angled away from the shelter.  The horses are tracking some of this mud onto their carpet/cedar area.

    The other frustration I have is that because of the slope, my cedar bedding is not staying in an even coverage over the carpet.  So there are areas where the carpet keeps becoming exposed and the horses are walking directly on it.  And in those spots, the burlap backing is tearing off.  ARG again.

    Since my horses are both barefoot, it’s really not a big deal, but it bothers me just the same.  

    One note about the muck buster- I’m losing quite a bit of it in the manure while everything is so wet.  And I’m really not sure about how much of the cedarest is left, lol…  Beautiful and wonderful smelling while fresh and dry, it looks alot like dirt after it gets wet. 

    I think the only way to really do justice to this paddock would be to spend a couple hundred dollars on DG, and lay it over the ground that had been scraped “clean” while it was still wet and then allowed to dry.  Of course, it would be HUGE to get the water diverted AWAY from the shelter and might result in my dream paddock, lol.  Probably wouldn’t need any bedding over it either…  Ah, to dream. 

    Rain and Mud- Slow Feeder Heaven!

    Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

    This pic is not from today…  But a few weeks ago I decided to “winterize” the horses’ pasture and part of that was to cover the ground inside their shelter with carpet, a few bags of Cedarest and Dry Stall.  Mud free. 

    Since then it’s rained a few times and except for some carpet stretching and wearing (which I think would not have happened if I’d have covered it with more footing) I’m very happy to announce that there is still no soupy mud under their shelter! 

    Yes it’s wet.  And it’s dirty.  But there is no mud… and there is almost no hay waste.

    I’ve added 5 bags of Muck Buster which I also really like (larger cedar wood chips) and the slow feeder is hanging under the cover of their shelter too. 

    Yesterday was the first day that I started using the slow feeder for more than one meal at a time- they’re now getting it filled once a day around lunch time.  Their food didn’t quite last 24 hours yesterday, so today I fed them more and tossed a flake (probably around 6 pounds) of grass hay on the ground.  We’ll see how that works, hopefully there will be some niblets left when I get there tomorrow.  I might run out and just take a peek in the morning. 

    Anyway, that’s the update on the mud free zone and the slow feeder for the 2 of you that were waiting, lol. 

    Today I was picking the manure out of the bedding and, if you know me well, you know that I have this weird OCD-like need to get every little scrap of poop out of stalls.  To the point of hand picking or using a cat litter scoop.  Yes, I am not kidding… it’s the worst weird thing I do.  And I constantly have to say to myself “I am not a manure nazi.  I am not a manure nazi.” as I’m cleaning stalls to keep myself from doing it.

    So part of having the Muck Buster is that you have to give the manure a pretty good shake to get the bedding out of the manure fork and when you do that, you successfully break apart manure and leave it as well.  ARGH.  It’s really not that bad but I struggled with it :)

    Then I went and cleaned the rest of the stalls at the barn, because the owners are on vacation and I’m on doody-duty while they’re gone.  Oh my, I would pick manure our of my cedar bedding over mud any day!  OH my gosh, I’m loving my winterized paddock!!! 

    Now I’m sitting back at home all snuggled up and enjoying the sun peeking out of the clouds… Boys and daddy wrestling noisily, enjoying their vacation from *school*.  And there is something comforting about knowing that my horses are toasty and dry in their blankets, have enough food to last them until tomorrow afternoon and have a nice mud free place to rest their feet.  Life is good.

    Stress Relief

    Thursday, November 18th, 2010

    I was a horse crazy little girl.  Always.  Got my first horse when I was in 3rd grade and have never gotten over the bug. 

    I went a couple years without a horse and not working with horses when I was first married.  It started off because we’d moved to a small lot in a fixer upper and I decided that I could wait to have a horse until we finished it and move to a place with enough land.  I was exercising horses 3-4 days a week, so not having my own was not a big deal.

    Then we found out I was expecting.  So I stopped working with clients’ horses as well (as many of them were stallions and had frequent “outbursts” of trying to bite or kick me in the guts).  A few years pass, 2nd boy (and final child) comes along and proves to be the hell-on-wheels-if-he-was-our-first-he’d-be-our-last kind of child.  The kind that you love with all your heart but he takes so much energy that there are times I wonder if there will be napping in heaven, cause I sure don’t get a lot of rest now.

    When he was about 6 months old I tried to find a hobby, so that I could maintain some level of sanity.  I tried sewing (suck at it), scrapbooking (omgoodness is that boring) and soapmaking.  The soap making turned into a nice little hobby/business that I enjoyed, but it never took the edge off.  So I informed hubby that I either needed to get a horse or find a therapist.   I found a friend that would board for me and got a horse.

    When things get overwhelming, I put a horse movie or t.v. show with horses on… it’s playing in the background of whatever else I’m doing (laundry, homeschooling, etc.) but somehow the sights and sounds of the horses relaxes me a little.

    When life is stressfull, I upload one of my favorite photos of my horsie past to Walmart’s photo service and order a print that is large enough to frame for the wall.  If you visit my house you’ll see the evidence of a lot of past stress, lol.  Old stirrups make decorations.  Navajo saddle blankets are now table cloths.  And pictures of misty Cronan hills and trees through bay ears are framed on my walls. 

    Maybe this is normal… a healthy outlet for stress that doesn’t involve strangling, screaming or ripping anyone a new one.  Maybe I’m totally weird and have some adolecent stress issues that never resolved.  Maybe both.  Either way, horses- the smell, the phyisical exericise, the compassion, the quiet, the warmth- it all eases my soul and today as I am reminding myself not to LOSE IT, I will thank God that He wired me this way.  And I’ll go bury my face in my horse’s neck and take a deep breathe. 

    Big Gal, Little Horse

    Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

    As perfectly proportioned as the little Cowboy is with his Bailey Baby girl, I do NOT look so adorable astride her.

    I need to get a picture the next time…  I’ve been on her and ridden around lightly a few times, but today I actually set out with the purpose of today being “her” day to be ridden.  Since hubby came back from his Mexican cattle ranch trip, he’s had a renewed desire to ride.  Still little to no time to actually do it, lol.  But he’d like to take the horses out for a trail ride, so he’ll be riding Davis and I’ll be riding Bay. 

    Seems like as good of a time as any to see what she knows… I was happy to find that after a brief attitude check she is a really great ride. (She’s just like that- like every other mare I’ve ever had, she has to just double check and see if she is the boss today or if it’s still the person.  Can’t blame a girl for asking.)

    She, like Davis, has been a “guest trail horse” for the last few years.  A lovely semi-retirement style life for a horse, but they tend to get a little rusty.  She’s a smart cookie and once she figured out what the program was, she got right on board. Today I asked for multiple speeds at the walk and asked for softening and a little bit of collection, followed by asking her to stretch long and low.   Moving off my leg.  Some quarter turns on the forehand and haunches.  She moves right up into a jog without having to ask twice (which to Ky’s credit is an improvement that is new in the last month.)  Though I don’t have it in me to ask her to jog more than one length down the arena :)

    I’m looking forward to spending more time on her… I’m thinking I’ve been able to eek out 3 days a week on Davis so I’ll just add a 4th riding day to my schedule when I can and take Bay for a short spin.  And she’s a big, stout girl, don’t get me wrong.  I’m sure she can carry me around on a nice 1 hour trail ride without a problem.  It’s just that if her legs were much shorter, my feet might drag the ground, lol.

    Have I mentioned lately how much I love my horses? 

    The little Cowboy has another lesson this Friday, he’s still on his “once a week” riding schedule.  He’s so funny- he actually plans it out and writes in on his calendar!  I wish I were that disciplined at his age!! 

    If I Can Jump…

    Monday, November 15th, 2010

    That is my little cowboy…  Climbing WAY up a tree to get to that little wooden ledge.

    Homeschooling has it’s advantages & one of them is being able to really custom tailor their education for what each student needs.  This cowboy is a little on the timid side, so a full day of SUPER-FUN ropes course was perfect for him.

    I recently took him on his first “trail ride” on Bay (lead rope attached, for my own piece of mind) and he had a great time.  When I asked him if her little hippity-skippity made him nervous (she had a moment of not being quite sure of herself when some horses we passed got all excited and started galloping by in their pasture) he replied with, “mom, if I can jump off the ledge all by myself, I can ride my horse just fine.”

    I guess that’s how life works.  It sure is how God works in my life…  I may get to the top of the metophorical tree, turn around and notice where I am, tired from the work to get there, scratched and sweaty, and have a moment where I think I may throw up. 

    Life’s circumstances sometimes seem too high, too dangerous and completely counter to logic.  But if we trust that Jesus is our safety rigging and don’t give up, we end up on the other side of an experience that becomes a part of the testimony of our lives.  Forever altered and, hopefully, more brave and bold in the future.  It will spill onto other areas of our lives.  Our horsemanship, for example :~)

    If I can jump, I can….