Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Whirlwind Weekend

So, I had an eventful weekend. Why, one may ask… Let me tell you.
On Saturday I rode. I did horse stuff all morning. In actuality, I didn’t ride nearly as much as I should have given the time that I spent out there. I started my day with feeding CZ’s barn (one horse, one pony and two goats). After that, I headed over to the jumper barn down the road. I had to pick up London’s bridle. He’s been using Opie’s bridle since he’s been home, and it really bothers me to share between horses. What if we wanted to ride Opie and London at the same time?
As it happens, I took London for a ride with my mom (she rode Opie… See? I can’t share). He’s much happier as a hunter jumper. No more third level dressage for that horse… He’d rather go in a training level frame, long and low. And you know what, it’s a lot more fun riding him when he’s happy. Who knows, I’m even toying with the Idea of taking hunter lessons on him. Why not try it when I have a horse who seems to enjoy it? Obviously, it would be beginner stuff, but then I don’t know how to jump so beginner stuff seems fine and dandy to me. And it would be really nice to actually show sometime in the next year or so….
After the barn, I went to the Poodle Rescue of Houston. Did I mean to come home with a dog? No. Did I come home with a dog? Yes. Oops… But honestly it’s not a surprise. So now my little ‘family’ consists of me, Tempi and now Ronnie (formerly Bison. Who would name a poodle Bison? Seriously?). Anyway, he is not a prime example of good poodle breeding. He’s a “meaty” poodle. His legs look a little short, or his body looks a little long, it’s hard to tell which. His tail and his dew claws weren’t docked. But he’s a silver phantom, so he looks distinguished. Of course, by getting a poodle from a rescue, I knew I would be signing up for a variety of behavioral issues. BUT so far he seems to be simply unexposed to situations. He doesn’t come to his name (either one), and he lifts his leg on any number of things (but he’s getting better about that). He seems so thrilled to be out of a cage, that he just runs when let outside. I’m kind of worried that he’ll run right out to a road. Thankfully my house is totally fences with mesh horse fence, so he has three acres to just run but I did have one episode of chasing him down Clapp road. I don’t know if he was scared that I was going to punish him, or just joining the game, but he wasn’t stopping. Fortunately riding several horses a day put me in better shape than a dog that’s lived in a kennel for nearly a year. Who would have thought, right?
Anyway, now I have a new ‘training project’ to add to my Blog. Say Hello to Ronnie. I’m sure I’ll have more to write about him.

All of this, and I haven't even touched on Sunday which was the Church auction with Ed and my Dad and RC's uber abscess. I was really worried about it being a tendon since his leg looked all blown up, but when I brought him to the vet on Monday, my favorite Doctor Will took a look at him, blocked his foot, took some x-rays and declared it the largest abscess he's seen in a while. Will dug the abcess out, which he described in detail when I came by to pick RC up in the evening (I know, I know... but now that i have a REAL job too, I have to be one of those owners that drops horses off and picks them up after work). Evidently it was the icky black true abscess type pus, not the watery liquid type pus. Thanks, Will... Now I have to wait before eating dinner.

No hoof, No horse....

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Caution: Dangerous Curves

Last weekend was yet another MD clinic. And I learned that I am still not doing enough right. Who would have thought that Dressage is more then just sitting up there and looking pretty? And who is better to pound that lesson into my poor sore body then AT the UberJerk. This sport doesn't have a learning curve, it's a learning slalom course.
Since RC is out with a tendon injury, I rode AT and Delight. AT was pulling out tricks left and right. He spent the whole 45 min all three days trying to thwart me. Catch his shoulder, find his inside hind, lower his poll, rinse and repeat. What a dork. He's teaching me to prepare, prepare, prepare though. I cant just sit back and let him do it for me (drat!), because he wont. Lots of learning there...

Today I shall make mistakes in the flying changes.....

And Delight was learning how to pay attention to me, even if there is something going on over there. We only had one "pony says NO" incident, so I'll call this weekend a win for her. She's getting there, but like always, the steps seem so small. One of these days she'll be an adorable little diva dressage pony....

Oh, and London came home. Mom is thrilled... and so is he.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Horse Person?

So, this week I am reevaluating my goals. Why? Because having horses is a lot of work!

My mom went up north to pick up my new truck for me (dont feel bad for her. She wanted to go). My dad went to Austin. So where does that leave me, and why does it matter? That leaves me at my house with three dogs and two barns of horses to take care of. It wears me out.
Truthfully, it wouldnt be so bad if RC wasn't in rehab for a tendon injury. How can one horse (with a sore leg) churn poop into his shaving so fast? Long story short, I havent been able to ride nearly as much as I would like due to all the cleaning-and the fact that now it gets dark before eight. Stupid fall. On the plus side, I've ridden Opie twice, just because she's awesome. And stress free.

Which leads up to a clinic this weekend! With my cranky pony :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Dressage Pony

So...last weekend was Delight's first show! She wasnt actually signed up to show, but RC injured a tendon while I was at the Region II championships being support crew. So, instead of scratching, I changed RCs rides over to Delight and entered her in Intro A and B. I was a little nervous that she would be a naughty pony (she has been before), but she took it like a champ. What a wonder pony. Topsider Dressage is a one day show, so my day started at 4am. Ouch. I got the trailer and my mom ou to the barn, fed everyone and started braiding. AT's mane is so easy to braid, its nice and thin so no pulling is needed! Unfortunatly, I used rubber bands, and he thought that it was spiffy the way he could make them snap by rubbing on the stall at the show. What a jerk. As it would turn out, I used up all of ATs good graces earlier in the week. My 1-4 test consisted of warding off flying changes and catching his shoulders Every. Single. Stride. I didn't think that the flying changes were even possible in the trot. AT thinks otherwise. Jerk. My 2-3 ride was much more subtle, but he was still pulling out all of the stops. That horse can try a different evasion every stride. If he put half that energy into doing well, he would be unstopable. Oh, and have I mentioned that he's 23? That was the first half of my show. The second was Delight. I got her braided (they werent very pretty,since I didnt have her mane pulled). I didnt think that I was going to show her until next spring! She was a star about everything. Her only flaw was that she was trying to look at everything in and around the arena, so her head wasnt steady or collected (she's three!). No matter, She was adorable!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Another Season

Well, it's August, which means that summer is nearly over... right? Oh I hope so. It's been miserably hot for two months now. I cant go outside without sweat pouring off of me (pleasant, right? And they say that dressage riders are prissy), let alone work a horse or three.
But I'm not writing this to complain today. Nope. I am writing because this might be my best week on record.
1) I leased London to a young rider at a hunter barn. Now not only is someone else riding him at the level he prefers (long and low), I'm getting paid for it! Win-win! It's admittedly a little nerve wracking to send my Dutch boy away, but it's only two miles so I can stop by and see him as often as I like, and he seems blissful with the easier work.
2) I sold Larry, my trusty truck. I had just rolled over 240K miles, and the repairs were getting too frequent for my piece of mind. I even have the next vehicle lined up (crossing fingers that nothing falls through). I love it when everything works out.
3) I got a raise this week. Well, not an official raise, but I got a benefits package. Yippie! Money! Who wouldn't celebrate about that? Seriously?
And to top things off, I have a clinic today with MD in Katy. Yay... I hope. I'm not sure what the plan is, but I'll be working the Prima-donna pony and RC this weekend. Both have made progress this summer (whew). I can even keep the prima-donna pony in the arena (mostly) in the canter. Yay.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Trying Something New

So... Today I have tried something new. Kind of. I was supposed to have my first hunter/jumper lesson, and I brought London to try it out with. I figured the this place is less then ten miles from my barn, why not try it out ant see if London would be able to hop over a few ground poles.
As it woul dhappen, my lesson turned in to everyone oohing and ahhing over London ( finally! Someone else loves my horse!). We did a few jumps, nothing high, but london LOVED it. Then the trainer uttered those agical words "Can he go long and low?"

Can he go long and low..... He lives to go long and low!

Well, the long and short of it all. In two days, I'll be bringing London back.... for a potential lease. This is certainly something new...

Trying Something New.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Checking back in...

So… I know, it’s been a long time. In the meantime, I’ve had lamenesses, colic, lacerations and horse shows. This year is not going as I might have planned.
BUT, this last weekend was a MD clinic, so now I think I'm finally in the right frame of mind to get down to the business of riding (correctly). I had two days of lessons with RC and one lesson on Delight. That one was interesting.
Let start on RC. He’s coming back from foot issues, so he’s really had about two months off, leaving him porky, out of shape and easily winded. But he still tries very very hard. (Adorable). It seems that I’m chasing him out of balance and forcing him to run through my hands during transitions because I’m balanced too far forward on my pelvis and not enough back on my pockets. By that, I don’t mean that I need to sit like a reining trainer schooling sliding stops as much as I need to not tilt forward like a frightened saddleseat rider. Crap, it’s my fault again.
Day two with RC was much better than day one. There wasn’t nearly as much tenseness in the neck or trying to pop me off of his short little back when going into the canter. It was almost the RC of old… just about 200 pounds heavier.

Now for Delight. My third and final lesson was on the Diva pony herself. She spent the night at the clinic site, which was a new and different experience for her, but I’m told she handled it well. I had to work that night, so it was up to Mom and Court to deal with all that. Of course, she is only three so working hard in a brand new location was not to be without its kinks. Those kinks turned out to be three very large, very forward bucks in the canter. You know they were big because all the railbirds got quiet. As it would turn out, Delight objects to being corrected. Especially when she thinks that she’s doing everything correct. It is amazing how hard that little pony can buck… By the last buck, I was without stirrups and clinging to her mane while trying to stay in the center of the saddle and keep her in the arena.
What she actually worked on was not nearly as entertaining, I’m afraid. We worked on not letting her shoulder lean either in or out. Straightness is an issue with these young horses, it would seem. After that, we worked on getting her trot bigger and more forward. I do believe that my dark little pony in her bright pink saddle pad was the envy of the group. What a nice feeling, having a horse that other people actually like…. And now I have a little over a month to get RC into shape for the next show… GULP.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

New Projects

So, today I added to the managerie already living at the farm. I'd like to officially welcome Ed to the herd.
I woke up later (cut me some slack, I worked til 2am yesterday) then I had planned, took my mother to breakfast at Hard Times, then we went to EG's to pick up the cows. EG had called earlier to let me know that they were penned and ready for removal (not quite in those words), so I hooked up the trailer and went out to go collect the new herd. As it would turn out, cows can ruin even the best laid plans. Due to a party at EG's neighbors, the cow had jumped, yes jumped, out of the pen, leaving little Ed all by himself. When I got there, backed up the trailer and got ready, we then had to figure out how to get Ed out of the round pen into my trailer with myself, my mom and EG, who's 80-something. Not as easy as I would have hoped. After quietly chasing Ed around the pen a few times, at the walk, we resorted to Plan B (not the birth control). We brought in some chain link panels forming an L parrallel to the round pen, leading to the trailer. Ed was having none of that and promptly ran through it, knocking the light weight pannels to the ground. On to Plan C: food. Unfortunatly Ed also didnt know wha the rattling feed bucket means, so that was slow going, tossing out pllets making a little path back into our chute.
Fail Again.
So we gave it a rest, singe Ed was starting to get aggitated and think about charging. No one needs a 500# pissed off bull, even if he is young. EG called his neighbors to come help, and we changed out panel configuration. Noe the pannel led straight into the trailer, instead of forming an L. It took, not 5 min for Ed to pop up into the trailer and us get the doos closed. Go figure.
Now he is out and in our little horse pen, not running and lowing nervously, but alternatly eating and napping. Not a high stress cow... i mean, bull. Now all I hve to do is teach him what a feed pan means, and possibly teach him to lead... Good luck with that. The equine herd isnt quite sure that they know what to make of him yet... Give them time.

What blog named "Poodles and Ponies" can pass it's self off if it doesnt include the occasional picture of Tempi being a dork? Here she is, cooling off in rain water in a decorative pot on the proch after an hour of fetch. What a smart poodle....

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Settle Down...

Well, I have been graduated and moderatly employed for about four months now. And it's not quite as much fun being an adult as I thought it would be. Seriously. I spend alot of time tired. It doesn't help that the my commute is roughly 100 miles, round trip. It takes me about an hour to get to work. Two whole hours of my day. Wasted. Makes me sick... Well, in all reality, it makes me more tired then sick.
To be fair, I like my jobs. For the most part. The paperwork at the clinic sucks, but I'll get the hang of it eventually. And the engineering job is just a little nerve wracking because it's new. Give me a few months and it'll all be old hat, I hope. The huge plus side of my engineering job is that I have time to ride both before and after work. It's a helluva long commute, but I know my hours (and sometimes I get out early) where at the clinic my 8-5 hours are more realisticly 8-7. Blah. That doesnt leave a whole lot oftime or energy to ride.

Anyway, on my "I'm tired after a long day at the vet's" day ride, I took Delight for a field ride, with Mom and Sonnet for moral support. It was Deli's first trail ride in the big field and all the hay was laying down in the field. Scary stuff, but Deli was a pro, just striding along like a wonderpony.

So, all in all, how is life right now? In the words of Dierks Bentely "I could settle for a slow down". I'm exhausted.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Winds of Changes

So there are some changes around and about me.... Well, not about me, per se, but around me. For one thing, I am now dually employed. Neither of which pay enough and the commute to both sucks ass. But I have two jobs, so things could be worse. I could have no job...
Other changes... cows. We are adding to our little ranch. Say hello to Ed and friend. The cow doesnt have a name yet, so i'm open to ideas. Fire away.


She needs a name.....

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Where Does the Time Go?

Where, oh where does the time seem to go?
I mean, I graduated four months ago and have since been working at a large animal hospital. And I love it... I get to see so many weird wild interresting disgusting things that it keeps life from getting dull. I could, hypothetically, see myself doing this for the rest of my life... But I think I'd still like to try my hand at this whole engineering thing.
Speaking of which... I have a working interview for an engineering position tomorrow... wish me luck!
And now I go to bed. Night!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A Day Off

So, I know it's been a while. There have been a few changes, but nothing drastic, to be sure. For one thing, I got a job! Now, before you get all excited, let it be known that it is not a full time engineering job so that search continues, but it is better than nothing and it gets me out of the house and around more people and all that jazz.
My job... I am volunteering at the Waller Equine Hospital as long as they need me, which has been about 5 days a week so far. I've been there for three weeks now and I can honestly say that I have seen something new every day that I go to work. The only real drawback is that on days that I go out to take care of the horses in the morning I have to be out at the barn by 5:30 AM. I am not really a fan on that aspect of things, but it is really calming to see all those hungry faces in the morning and do a little work with my own ponies before seeing all the sick or hurt horses.

I also have a not-so-small training project. His name is Wyatt, but I've called him Ike (Wyatt really didn't fit). He's a not-so-young green horse with a history of bucking in the canter. I've had him out at Pattison for a week or so now working with him to see if I can get him w-t-c broke in 30 days (hah). As it turns out, he also needs some lessons in basic ground manners as he has pretty much no respect for personal space... He also tends to panic a little when tied in the barn with no other horses. He might be quite the project, but he's progressed (a little) in a week... so I'll keep you posted on our progress.
Now for my own horses... Delight is recovering from a puncture wound in her shoulder. We brought her to the vet because there was an increased discharge (ew) and she was still limping on it nearly a week later. As it turns out, the stick or whatever she impaled herself with went all the way to the bone, killing a piece of it. I forget what it is called, but until the dead piece of bone flakes off and falls out the wound or it has to be removed surgically as the body will treat it as a foreign body and try to force it out. Can you imagine how annoying a splinter would be in your shoulder? Anyway, she has a vet appointment on Friday to remove the chip unless it's already fallen out (which it may have already done since she's running, bucking and rearing when turned out).
RC and London are doing well. They had their teeth floated on Monday, but other then that they are fat and happy. RC is even learning a new trick! Isn't he adorable?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Near Miss

The last few days has seemed to just fly by... I mean, after she show, I took a day off from horses. I raked the front yard, and spread leaves around the fence line. Exciting, i know... But after 40 bags, I was about done with that.
Then on to Monday...
I rode. Great. RC got some really adorable changes, and London was even willing to put effort into it. It was a good and productive morning. I came home, dropped off the dogs, ate lunch, then headed back out with the trailer to get Opie and RC for the Katy Cowgirls practice... Practice went well, yadda yadda yadda. The evening ended early and I though that we would be done in record time, before 10p, but it was not to be. Nearly as soon as we served dinner to everyone, London started acting weird. He was making a coughing/retching sound and hunching his back so that every line of his body radiated discomfort. His breathing was making a very wet sound, like liquid was rushing through tubes... Never good. But he wasn't kicking at his belly... yet. It was not normal at all, so I walked him around for a minute before I had Waller Equine on the phone, and London in the trailer for an emergency visit. We made it to the vet in 20 minutes, so we actually beat the vet there. I unloaded London, then put him in the stocks in the exam room. The tech took his temperature, cap refill time, breathing rate, heart rate, etc as we waited for the vet. As the tech was taking readings, London started retching violently and shuddering. Until then, i hadn't been concerned for the worst, but as his stance got more and more painful my mind as suddenly racing to What if's and worst case scenarios. Was it colic? Did he twist something when rolling after a dip in the pond? Would it be worth the risk to surgery to save him? Would the cost be justifiable to operate on a 17 year old horse? Was I going to cry in front of witnesses?
As my mind was racing, London started couching out mucus and dissolved Sr chow. There was probably a quart of discharge, which fortunately didn't come out of his nose (nose leads to lungs and water in lungs=bad). After that massive discharge i could see him relax, and his eyes became less glazed. He started looking around and was standing more normally... In the end, he resolved the choke himself before the vet even arrived. We still flushed his esophagus and pumped his stomach, just in case and now he's on a course of banamine and antibiotics to keep the inflammation down and suppress any secondary infections such as pneumonia.

And today he was happy as a clam, eating his mush (no solid food for a week) and pouting about his lack of hay. All's well that ends well, right?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Another Year, Another Show

So yesterday (that's Saturday), I took Opie and RC to the CAQHA Buckle show (no, we didn't win a buckle). It was Sam's first show, so we gave her the honor of riding RC, who has an extensive show history, if I might say so myself, even if that history isn't necessarily quarter horse stuff. I rode Opie, just for fun. Good thing too, because if I had taken it too seriously, I would have been a tad upset when she decimated the poles in the trail class. She was getting pissy, not to mention that she was in a flaming heat...
RC did his english classes like a champ (won english equitation, again), but had some issues going low and slow in the western classes... You live and you learn. Fortunately he placed in every pattern class, and I now have another pattern class convert. (Yes!)

Opie did trail and walk/trot (western). She placed in green horse walk trot, decimated the trail class and would have won green horse horsemanship, had I not messed it up for her. We did the pattern wonderfully (for her), but then I went stupid and touched the reins with my other hand (darn it). For just pulling her out of the pasture she did quite well. I wasn't disappointed in her in the least. And it was really fun to hear her name over the loud speaker...

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Best Laid Plans...

As we all know, the best laid plans can and will go so very very wrong. Today was one of such days. I went out to pattison with Sam with the hopes of riding a few horses, cleaning the barn, maybe taking some more measurements for my little project (it's a surprise!). But no... I rode Sonnet while Sam worked RC for a little while. Since Sonnet only works for about half an hour, she was done way before RC even broke a sweat. I took her back to the barn, then went over to check on what dad was doing (since he lit a huge fire). And lo and behold, the Wimp Truck is stuck.
I can't believe he drove across the field! It still has standing water! And what does he do? Before I can even voice my objections Larry is driven across the bridge as a tow vehicle. All I can see is the slow motion replay of Larry sinking in the El Paso sand..... So I managed to talk Dad out of driving Larry down by the Wimp Truck to try to tow it out in favor of using bricks under the tires (just in case Larry gets stuck too). I figured that at least this way we still had one vehicle that was usable... After an hour of crawling in the mud, rocking the Wimp Truck back and forth and back and forth over the bricks, the tires just got too slick to catch on anything. Go figure. The wimp truck has little city tires with no tread to speak of so even with the bricks, the tires were so slick they were just spinning. At that point, we gave up. Let it sit and dry for a day or so, maybe it will be better then.

So My dad and I got in Larry (he was driving). We turn the truck around and dooooown Larry goes. Stuck. Are you kidding me? This is what I was worried about. It was also a classic "I told you so" moment (but common sense prevailed so I refrained). So we carefully walked Larry out of the field using 12' boards lined up under the tires.... all the way to the gate. What a day...

Which leads us to day 2 (today). After a longer then anticipated trip to the vet for shots and coggins. Today it was me and mom who tackled the truck. It took up probably an hour to get the truck out of yesterdays hole with the clever addition of a jack and boards. I was pushing while mom drive... and as soon as the tires caught she sped off leaving me sputtering in the mud and watching as she sunk it 20 ft later. Oh goody. Another hour passes as we attempt to rock the truck onto something solid, this time using the aluminium ramps we have to get the lawnmower into the truck bed as solid stabilizers. It seemed to work, until the right rear tire was too bald to climb onto the tiny incline the ramp presented. So we changed the tire (while threatening to do a drive by of the original Wimp Truck's owner and fling the bald tire into his yard). with the hopes that the spare would have more tread. It didn't. After a grand total of five hours of crawling in the mud and one sprained wrist later, the Wimp Truck is free!

Dad owes me a milk shake.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A-Clinic-ing We Shall Go.....

So, over the weekendMD held a clinic here in the Houston area. Again, I realize that I have a long, long way to go.
On saturday, I rode RC. As it turns out, just lengthening his neck to get a nicer canter is not enough to get a nice dresage canter. But sitting him down for a few strides to engage his stifle and fetlock and every joint in between worked wonders. He sat down far enough so that he actually stood on his own tail bag (never fear, no tail hairs were harmed!) and pulled it out. His trot work was amazing, right from the start. MD and I got it slowed down and more engaged then did some shoulder-in, ten meter circles and half-passeswhich earned us the ellusive "Perfect!". Yay! My little dressage quarter horse is going to conquer all this year! Or, maybe more realisticly, second level.

London was the first to go of the Crew. He showed the most improvement since the last clinc (I know, thats not enitrely fair since RC had a whole summer's work with Martha). MD actually LIKED him this time. Evidently it's not all me (some of it is me) that causes him to think that collection=short. So after a breif wrestling match which resulted in sore calfs and arms, I was able to convince him to work with his shoulders UP. And when he decided that was OK, his work felt AMAZING. Day two was even better. On the second day I worked on collecting the canter and getting more jump in the working canter (use that huge butt). Again, with the shoulders. Now I know of his ability I suppose that means I need to school harder... darn.

And finally, Deli. Deli had a thirty minute lesson with martha. We worked on not running/falling through her right shoulder. One sided? Maybe. Even though she had a little temper tantrum near the end, she was really very very good for this being her first time out. She was quite look-y on the lunge and very nervous when taken out of the trailer, but she tied next to the trailer with no problem, and once lunged (working lunged, not running around like a moron lunged) she settled own to work... She was so adorable!!!! (Even if she had a little temper tantrum)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Work Out

This title is not in fact referring to the sure-to-be-painful lessons that I am taking this afternoon from MD, but to the process of getting in to and out of my new(ish) Dehner boots. I am, in fact, at this very minute, defying physics. Because I KNOW that my legs are bigger then these boots are allowing for. It is an unpleasant sensation, one that you are balances by your knees while your lower legs are wrapped in little sausage casings. (In case you hadn't guessed, I am trying to stretch them out enough to wear to a clinic, TODAY, but I don't think that's going to happen). Ow...

Other then my painful lower legs, everything has been just peachy. First of all, I have started riding Deli again. We're up to a trot around the arena, across diagonals and whatnot; no cantering yet. She still tries those mini balks, but nothing worse then a pause. She still tries as hard as I remember (and she's gotten bigger.... and still growing) so she's fun to work with.
Unfortunately, everyone has had two or three days off due to the rain, so now they have been inside for 48 hours with no work, so this clinic should be interesting. One can only hope that London use his energy for good, not evil...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Lost in the New Year

So it's a new year, and a painfully long time since my last post. I'll try to be better about it, but no promises. It's not my new years resolution or anything...
Anyway, as I am sure everyone already knows, I graduated in December (yay) without a job, or offer (not so yay) so I'm back in Katy doing my thing, whatever that is, as the search continues. So far I have made more progress with the ponies then I have with the job hunt, but I'm still optimistic.
Anyway, after a 24 hour drive from MO to Katy, there are now 6 horses at the modest family farm. The introduction has been complicated, so say the least. Day 1, for instance resulted in a broken fence and my boys losing pasture privileges. What happened was that we unloaded two bright and happy boys, fed and watered them, then turned them out in the small paddock (there is only one on our property). They rolled and everything was peachy. Then we turned out the young horses, to see how they would take the new comers. Both Deli and Sonnet (not the Sonnet on which I logged frequent flyer miles) trotted over, touched noses then decided that it was not interesting. This lack of a reaction lulled everyone present (all of whom were operating on not enough sleep) into a false sense of security. So AT and Opie were turned out. Then everything went wrong. I'm not quite sure what happened, but there were swirling horses on the fence line which resulted in London rearing, slipping and falling with one leg over the fence. I only witnessed the last of it. London's front right leg was stuck over the fence, tangled in a (thankfully) non-charged electric fence wire. He was sort of sitting on his butt, trying to keep the pressure off his leg over the fence. between me and my parents, we all ran out to the paddock to shoo away the offending horses (*cough*AT*cough*) and try to rescue London before he hurt himself more. Thankfully, London just stood like an angel while we were monkeying with his leg, trying to figure out a way to get it back on the correct side of the fence, while causing minimum damage to the horse and fence. In the end, as we were about the saw through the fence, London reared again, freeing himself. Surprisingly, he was sound as could be the next day, and hasn't taken a lame step since. Silly horses....

Other incidents have been less extreme, usually resulting in RC getting kicked by Deli or Sonnet. Now we keep London and RC away from AT. it has worked out well if AT and Opie are in the paddock while London, RC and the fillies are out in the big field. Live and learn, right?

What else has happened... Well, I went to the my first Katy Cowgirls practice in 5 years. I wasn't going to ride in it, but I trailered Opie and RC to the Katy Arena for Sam and H (even though H's mom stopped by the barn as I was loading horses to say that her daughter didn't need to borrow Opie any more. Nice timing. Thanks). I brought Opie anyway, just in case. Turns out I filled a spot for some absent girl and Sam had a great time on RC. When he was out there, he looked MASSIVE compared to all the little quarter horses and barrel horses. I don't consider him to be a big horse, but I suppose he is. And Opie only bucked once, with no kicks or bites (Told you it could be done!). I love that little horse...

See the pict? Living proof that Opie has probably the most flag experience of any horse I've ever known. That picture is circa 2000, after at least two years of experience with her.
Anyway, it's supposed to be nearly 60 degrees tomorrow and sunny before a few days of rain, so it's my last chance to get ready for a few lessons from MD here in Katy! I wish I had a little more time to prepare... But what can you do, right?
Keep posted! I'm going to try to keep updating, and post pictures and all that jazz.