Thursday, October 30, 2008
Saturday, October 25, 2008
So I nominate
http://browneyedcowgirls.blogspot.com/ . She's a real cowgirl- and even more than that she's a HORSEMAN. And anyone who knows me, knows that as far as I am concerned that is the highest praise possible.
http://thehorseshoeinghousewife.blogspot.com/ What can I say about Mikey that any of you haven't already said? Except to double the praise! Mikey is her own women and like I say," Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity." Rock on Girl!
Lastly is a new blogger, http://mommyinspurs.blogspot.com/. For such a young women Ginny is incredibly grounded, she's a horseman, a cowgirl and my best friend. She's also my daughter! Stop by and tell her " Hi!"
And for the rest of you- You are all wonderful and special. I can't wait to read about each of you every day! And yes, I DO have another life ( if you must know!).Visit my website to see what it is!
Friday, October 24, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
I've been around horsess for most of my life- and I have learned over MANY years to 'listen to the voice'. You know the VOICE! The one that whispers into your ears as you turn your horse out into the pasture knowing that there is a loose panel or an undone staple or a unfastened bucket " Don't do it- he'll get hung up,cut,mangled..."
Yeah- THAT voice.
The last time I ignored that voice it turned out REAL BAD! I was about 16 (ages ago) my horse was kept in a 50 acre pasture that was located between a major Highway and a train track.
( STOP reading NOW if you are getting a real bad feeling).
We didn't own the pasture, but I used to ride the fence line occasionally because sometimes horses got out on the Highway and were struck by cars. (Another crazy story there- I gar-run-tee!) And there was a real bad spot on the fence next to the train track. I rewired it together the best I could, thinking it was in a small swale where the horses NEVER went, and I would get the landlord to fix it soon as I saw him. Well- that didn't happen, because I went to school the next morning only to be called out of class by my DAD. My horse had gotten out and gotten hit by the TRAIN! OMG! It was the worse feeling I've ever had! There is no fix for being hit by a train- she was dead, they had to bury her next to the tracks. And to make matters worse the Train Co was going to sue ME for letting my horse out on the track! Well, that didn't happen, they actually ended paying me more than what the horse was worth monetarily- but the TRAUMA .. need I say more?
So the moral of this story is if you hear The Voice- LISTEN!
Friday, October 17, 2008
WELL! I am that person, and I wrote that piece originally in the early 1990's for GMAC Quest magazine. I really liked that piece and so I sent in in to "Chicken Soup for the Pre Teen Aged Soul (2001). CSFTPTAS was a best selling book that year, so I felt kinda good about my small piece being in there. I've also read that piece myself in a few Author readings as it is very personal to me.
And then suddenly here is the story again- making me smile, helping a few more displaced and awkward kids to be winners. It makes me feel all goose-pimply again! And that, Dear Friends is why I continue writing against all odds. The fact that the power of a story does not diminish with time but goes on long after you have written it down. The knowledge that I have touched at least one child, somewhere. That they have felt " I know what that is like, she got through her trouble and so will I" .
Today I feel on top of the world!
If you have the book or go to the library you can find "A Run to Remember" on page 32( or so) Let me know what you think!
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Monday, October 6, 2008
The saddle to the left is Bob's Show saddle. It is very fancy- from the sterling silver on the corners to the fancy cut of the Jockey. It has an in -skirt rigging, which is the flattest rig you can get, it stays under your leg and you don't feel it. A back D ring is present, but since you don't use a back cinch in a WP show, it is also engraved. All the major stress points are sewn,and also screwed into the tree with silver conchos. All of the edges of the leather have been hand finished,and sewn. All of the stitches are even and tight, especially across the cantle. The horn is a separate piece, though the swell leather has been formed, not sewn and shrunk. This saddle runs about $3000.
Well made saddles are not cheap- but just like in the 'old days' when a saddle usually cost more than the horses a cowboy rode, a well made saddle will hold its' value for a long long time. They are certainly worth the investment.
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Written by Jenny Oldfield, the book is written for middle grade readers 7-13 years. It is the continuation of the character Kirstie Scott and her life in Colorado. This time Kirstie is rescuing a wild stallion 'rodeo' horse, and trying to rehabilitate him for their Colorado Western Adventure Ranch.
While I don't have any problems with the actual writing style, I have a few problems with the subject. Reading any story is subjective, but Ms. Oldfield -from the UK- portrays Rodeo and all of its characters as cruel,heartless and abusive. Her depiction of the first owners of Rocky are cliche( from an old 60's movie) and not in any way correct to the way Rodeo is run today. That being said I know Ms. Oldfield needed a 'bad guy' for her story to work.
The second problem I have with the story line is twofold. First that the horse is a stallion. Did Ms. Oldfield not want to explain about gelding? I've been around Rodeo my whole life and I don't remember ever seeing too many stallions in the bucking horse string. And then Kirstie is allowed to purchase the stallion and begin to retrain him. I think that handling stallions is a touchy and often misunderstood activity. Contrary to some myth, handling most stallions is not an occupation for most thirteen year-olds.(no matter what they say on Craig's list posts!). A better story line might have been the activity of actually gelding the horse to make him a better member of horsey society. What better way to promote good horsemanship and breeding practices in the youngsters that will be growing up to take our places in the future horse world?
The last few things wrong with this story might be minor- but Kirstie turns this wild stallion out in a pasture of other horses, and one gets hurt. Instead of using that as a lesson, she just blythly goes about her business with an 'oh well". Then Kirstie tacks up and rides this former wild stallion out in the hills, no explanation about corrective training or ground work. She just hops aboard and rides.
Now y'all might be saying ' Now look Vaquero Girl, don't be so harsh on Ol' Ms. Oldfield!"
you might be right- I am being a little harsh, but as a writer and a horse owner and a former riding instructor, I take these little things very much to heart. A million girls ( and boys) read these words. Most kids take as gospel what they read- they haven't learned any better. I am sure Ms. Oldfield didn't mean to give wrong impressions- but in fact she has. As a writer one needs to be a bit more responsible about the facts.
So despite the engaging character, and the lovely setting, I would NOT recommend this book.
Next review- a really GREAT story for middle grade readers. Stay tuned!
Friday, October 3, 2008
The Canadas are flying in, the Pelicans have already gone. I heard they go to Nevada and the Pyramid Lake. I saw this snowy egret and he saw me. I love to come to this place anytime during the year. Seals bark from the shipping buoy, you can see both bridges and the cute town of Benicia across the bay.