We all were tired today at 5 AM when we got up to get the horses ready. Big K fed and watered, we all tacked up and tried not to think too hard about what the day was going to bring.
It was warmer today, none of the icy wind that we had yesterday and the ponies were all pretty tame.
Denesirita's class had 16 in it today. Let me tell you, her horse was a real star. He's never been shown English before and had never been to this particular show grounds. The English classes, the FLAT ones, were all run inside a very small covered arena, WITH JUMPS SET UP IN IT!
Lil Mama and Denesirita had to not only show their horse to their best advantage, but they had to negotieate obstacles as well! And just ask them about quiet sneaky ponies that ride up your tail! I dare ya!
Well, Denesirita ended up in the top ten in her class! NOT BAD! So she is all jazzed about the next show coming in April! Yippee! I know he GJA will do well !
Lil Mama actually had a fairly good run, until BOB picked up the wrong lead- right in front of the judge! Damn! Well he still pinned her forth and YES- SHE WON TWO BUCKLES!
KBG and Shirl the Wonder Pony had a very nice run in the Trail pen. One bobble, Shirl stopped and walked over a pole she was suppose to trot over- the very last pole of the course as a matter of fact- and yes it was in front of the judges table too! Still she placed third in that class, and the Numero UNO for the high Point AWARD and YES_ SHE WON A BUCKLE!
Desi was tired today, didn't even have to lunge him. Just got on warmed up and went into the pen. His focus wandered JUST as we were called to go forward, so I jiggled his reins, and he suddenly looked around at the show pen, and started- as if he was thinking, " Oh look over there... Hey Wait! We have a job to do here!" From then on it was all buisness. He jogged nice and steady, around the killer wheel, a beautiful back up, not too bad of a gate and no tic's!
Up again early- horses weren't quite so fresh today! Hee hee! Desi was more interested in having a snack than trying to kill me! So KBG and I walked our course again, while Lil Mama and Denesirita when up to their very early classes.
Desi was in a good mood, listening and attentive, a little sluggish, but not too bad- just right actually.
KBG went in tot he class first this time. Shirl did an awesome job once more. I was next. Desi picked up his feet, but he did a few good and loud 'tic's' and if you know trail classes you know that even one or two ticks can cost you a half point to a point. All and all I felt we had a better day than yesterday.
Finally our class placings were called. I was cleaning up in the barn aisle, and I heard Shirleys name called in second place. I DID not hear my name! Shoot! I thought I did pretty well! I must have DQ'd and not known! I obsessed all morning- what could I have possibly done to DQ that class? Did I take a step back? Did I mess up an obstacle?
Lil Mama had a fair day, she placed third and fifth- still in the running for a buckle. Our other friend Denesirita was placed 6th, Lin was 2nd in both her classes.
Finally the judges sheets were presented to the office. We all went up to check out our own sheets. In the trail placings I turned to Saturdays page, looked up my number and nearly fell over. I didn't DQ! I placed 4th!
Then I looked up the High Point Totals- KGB is in first place and I am in Forth!
So tomorrow is the hardest day. The horses are tired and cranky and everyone wants to go home. And the course designer has made tomorrows course a humdinger. There are all kinds of right angle turns and back ups. If I do well tomorrow I will be very surprised.
BUT- I am going to give it my best effort! I am going to put today behind me and not think about anything except the next obstacle.
First and foremost- Happy Birthday to Deneserita- UnPaid Ranch Slave. Your birthday party was fantastic!
We woke up super early and headed out to the show grounds. It was a balmy 37 degrees this morning and it had sprinkled a little, so can you say 'chilly'!
The boys were full of spit and wind. Desi did a full on Peppy LePew skunk trot for about fifteen minutes, tail flagged, pogo for legs. Then he bucked and snorted and hopped like a little june bug. Finally he'd had enough so he got tied in his stall for an hour while KBG and I walked our trail course.
Meanwhile, Lil Mama and BOB , and Deniserita UPRS and her GJA got dressed and ready for their class. Since Denisarita had the number 1, her classes were pretty early. Her big red boy did a real fine job considering this is the first time he had been anywhere, and the first time Denesirita had shown English- EVER. He will do even better tomorrow. Too bad the judge didn't award for most improved!
Lil Mama and Bob did a good job
too, placing third and fifth in her classes. Bob looked good and behaved himself.
KBG and I ride in the same trail class. I went first, and Desi was very good, staying focused and keeping a good cadence. I thought he DQ'd the first obstacle, but luckily he just hit the pole with his foot, he didn't actually step over it. We placed a solid 6th of nine.
KBG and Shirl the Wonder pony won the class!
Since we were all finished showing our classes by ten thirty we went and got a sandwich and then went shopping. There are plenty of great vendors here.
Gin bought a cute purple hat, I bought a much needed lead rope and KBG bought some clipper cool! woo hoo! We do live high!
Since it was Denesiritas birthday we all met up at her trailer and had a sumptous feast of lobster tails and steaks, provided by the very best show Dad in the world, and Denesirita's Stud Spud- Big K.
We drank a lot of wine, and ate a lot of food!
Now it is late and I have to crawl into bed so I can do it all again tomorrow.
We are here at Rancho Murietta for a HUGE open and AQHA horse show. Lil Mama and the Big Red Planet - Bob, Deneserita, Unpaid ranch slave and The Giant Jack Ass, Me and Bay Desperado AKA Desi, Our friends KBG and LM and Devoon with her entourage of Mom and Baby. Boy Howdy! It is a traveling Road show fer sure!
Lil Mama and I have never been to this show, so for us it is all new and WAY different. Things with the horses are the same of course, but the show grounds are huge and way spread out. She isn't even sure which of the 12 rings she is suppose to show in tomorrow.
For me- my trail ring is right across the road from the barn we are in- BONUS!
Of course everything is scary to Desi- he did his best imitation of Trigger today, rearing and pawing the air- shaking his head and balking, bucking and what -not. I got him lined out pretty quick, but I know we will have to do it all again tomorrow.
We have a 5AM wake up call. I have to be on course tomorrow at 8PM and it is a half hour drive to the show grounds from our hotel. Then there is thirty minutes of lunging and then a thirty minute gallop before Desi will MAYBE start to focus.
My goal for tomorrow is- not to get thrown into the back bleachers, and to get Desi around the pen in a focus and controlled manner without him rearing and bucking. Whew! Sounds easy, but I think it ain't.
Lil Mama's goal is loftier- she wants to place in the top five in her class. I say- Go Get EM!
I wasn't raised to be independent- but it turned out that way. Actually my Mother(bless her little heart) was little more than a spoiled child herself when I came along. She was eighteen and not actually equipped to be a mother. But her generation felt that it was fine to marry out of high school, have a couple of kids and take care of a husband. After all- they taught you how to do that in high school with Home Ec. didn't they?
So as the world revolved, a couple of things were taking place- Civil rights, The Summer of Love,Ecology, The Black Panther movement, and the New Women's Movement.
It was called the NEW Women's movement to differentiate from the Women's Sufferage Movement.
We 'WOMEN' of the 60's and 70's could vote and did. We ( and I use that term in the broadest way possible) wanted the same rights as men- more working hours, equal pay for equal work,promotion in the workplace on the same basis as men. We didn't want men opening our doors, paying our bills, protecting us, or objectifying our bodies! No way!
WE could do it ALL! We could work all day in the boardroom, come home to fix a gourmet dinner from scraps, and then be a sexual dynamo in bed all night, with us on top.
We would only have children if it pleased us, and if we could find adequate day care- cuz we didn't want to give up our careers to stay at home to raise kids! How old fashioned!
Can you all see the web we built for ourselves?
A lot of us didn't.
I wanted equal pay for equal work- and I got it. I was one of the first women UPS hired to deliver packages and it was rough. But I was independent,boy!
My children went to day care, and that was rough too, for them and for me. But I was making my own money. Other women, unenlightened women, were raising my kids.
But I was equal.
I still had to make those fine dining experiences with scraps...
I still had to clean my own house...
well ....something had to suffer!
Then I got hurt at work, and in the process I got smart.
I stayed home with my kids....what a concept! And I liked it.
I made dinner, it might have been hamburger, but we all ate together.
My house... well... something had to suffer....
But FINALLY I realized that even though I could have it all- I didn't want it! The price was , and is too high! And the end result for our women turned out to be a reversal it seems . Now there are vapid airheads out there that our young girls are emulating. Jess and Pamela and Aquila and Hanna and so many more. Women that are just looks and no substance.
The pendulum has swung, and it's on the way back- but when will it stop, and how will the women of this century be remembered?
If it is like Jess and the other- I fear for the world at large! I worry about the men that want that for themselves and their futures children's mothers!
My local paper ran a picture with Rachel Ray and Jessica Simpson. The tag line on the bottom read something like " Jessica Simpson and Rachel Ray take a break after meeting to solve world hunger, the economic crisis, cure cancer and stop global warming.'"
While any and all of those things are admirable, and I do know that the local paper was being facetious, it still struck me as funny.
So I googled Rachel and Jess and this is the clip I found.
If you watched the whole thing you might have to have a injection of something to counteract the sweetness of it all, but beyond that there are just so many things that I find disturbing about it!
First Jessica walks off towards the audience completely the wrong way. While the sweet little girl is crying in Rachel's arms about actually meeting her 'role model' Jessica.
Role model? Really? Wrong-way Finnigan would be a better role model!
And the first thing she says to Jess is " You are my everything."
To which Jess replies, something vapid- " Just keep on keepin' on."
What? That's a catch phrase from waaay back in the 70's! Keep on doing what, exactly?
Being able to skate and chew gum while tossing long blonde curls around?
Being able to maintain that cute little body?
How about being able to walk with grace on heels- something which Jessica is still working on evidently.
The young girls room is plastered with posters of Jessica, posing.
Can anyone say 'objectified'? I am a child of the 70's new women's movement and all that- but I was hoping that we had gotten past the need for making 'pretty' something to strive for.
I thought maybe SMART would be something a young woman might aspire to instead.
'Graceful' would be up there too, maybe 'independent'.
Now my daughters say I am being just an old curmudgeon, that I am jealous of Jessica Simpson and her blinding good looks.
That ain't so. I could turn a head or two in my day- and I think there are a whole lot of women out there that are good-looking AND smart. ( And not in politics I might add)
All I'm saying is if you are going to use your sweet as sugar, pretty as a day in May brand of niceness, use it to inspire girls like that for a reason.
Maybe you can't really solve world hunger or cancer, but at least be serious about trying.
I'm Irish. I know, I know- EVERYBODY is Irish on St. Pats Day.
But really- my heritage is somewhat Irish. (with a little dilution in the last year or so).
My Ancestor came to America in 1773 ish- from County Offaly in Ireland. His name was William and he was an indentured servant. Not much more is known about him, except he did his servitude and then promptly lit out for Pennsylvania. That was around the time of the Revolutionary War.
He moved around, going into the Appalachians and ending up in Illinois. He must have had a bunch of kids, cause there is a whole bunch of Berrys ( my maiden name) in Illinois. Somehow they migrated into Arkansas and there is a Berryville there somewhere. Since women were few, brothers and sisters married into the nearby families, and since no one liked the Irish except other Irish, I can only think that the families nearby were of the same or similar descent- Scotch Irish. Of course I've heard that someone along the line had a Native American wife, my Fathers Grandmother in fact- but no one will talk about that and everyone who really knew is long gone.
My very own Great-grandfather -Pridge- was born near there and his sons fought in the Civil War- a few on each side. Some lived and some died. Widows married brothers in laws, raised each other kids.
My Grandfather settled in Arkansas, but my own father had the same gene as his great grandfather- the wandering gene- and he ended up here in California.He met my mother- who is of German heritage and there is where the dilution of the Irish in me really took place.
I'm sure that a lot of you have the same kind of history- immigration, assimilation, migration, until you've ended up where and who you are. We should all have days that celebrate our heritage- but I don't know of many that are as -shall we say... public.... as St Patrick's Day.
Of course St. Patrick's Day began as a Catholic Holiday- but as things sometimes do, it has morphed in to a 'commonplace' drinking holiday.
(Green Beer and Soda Bread? Corned Beef? Couldn't we think of something better than that?)
So no matter what ethnicity you are , no matter where you came from, celebrate today as an extension of those happy coincidences that brought you to where you are and who you are with.
And of course-
Don't Drink and Drive, or I'll take my shalayleigh to ya!
NO NOT Basketball! I am not a fan of watching sports on TV- unless it is Rodeo and even that I would much rather see in person.
NO, I am talking about the madness that comes over me once the weather seems to clear, and the birds start flying around my backyard looking for food. The kind of madness that overtakes me when I drive by the nursery and see the 'pots o color' they have on display. The crazy thinking that since the sun is out- I need to be out in the garden planting flowers and bushes and things that smell good! THAT kind of madness!
I call it madness because I know it is still kinda wet to plant anything. And I am probably going to lose half of what ever goes into the ground due to rot. But darn it- those ' Pot's O Color' just look so appealing!
And today the sun is out.
And today I am going to get my head out of the blue crazy funk I've been in all week.
As Monty Python says- Now for something really different.
I know you saw pictures of Lil Mama riding the Big Red Planet on her blog the other day. But I thought I'd show you some of the pic's from when she was a girl... a really little girl!
This is Lil Mama with Lil Bit!. This was a pretty cute pony. Lil Mama was about 5 years old here. We kept this pony a little while, but he was a Lil Bit to handle, so we sold him to an older child.
( Sorry Hunny- but this is MY blog and I will do what I want! Besides you were soooo cute!)
Lil Mama is in the middle on our good mare Somebody's Streak AKA- China Cat. This was 1989 and she was born in 1978- so Lil Mama was 11 years old, and already a veteran of horse showing. The rest of these girls, with the exception of maybe the girl on the painthorse, had never shown before. This was my 4-H project group and they all were good riders.
Here are both my girls- proof that Mimi actually rode the horses and ENJOYED it! Lil Mama was about 10 years old, Mimi about three or four. This mare was the BEST mare I ever owned!
Her registered name was Somebody's Streak. She was bred in Utah, sent to Texas as a yearling and then shipped to California where I bought her as a long yearling. She was line bred Cutter Bill, and cowy. I bought her as my reining prospect and even paid for the Snaffle Bit Futurity entry- then I got pregnant with Mimi. So she never went, and neither did I. But the mare was well bred and quiet (mostly), so she became the kids lesson horse and my trail horse. Never a mean bone in her body, but she was quick and you had to hang on. I kept her until until I had to have her put down. She was 25. She carried flags, went miles on the trails, carried 4-H kids around the ring, took parades in stride and never shirked her job. She was what I call an honest mare.
Lil Mama learned to ride her,and in that one photo she was about eight, she was competing with all adults in a Western Pleasure class because there were no classes for kids. She lapped the whole arena a couple of times at a high lope in the loping part of the class, but she navigated the course and was bitten by the bug.
Now of course she goes sssslllloooowwww! But this is where she began!
I think you all know that I was working on the Ranch. And I had a girl working there feeding horses that had been there quite awhile. She fell and broke her heel. When she asked about Work Comp she was ignored by the partners and their lawyers. Worse than that - all of the lawyers and partners were trying to say that I had the responsibility for buying the work comp insurance. They are insisting that I was a contractor and not an employee.
( I KNOW! RIDICULOUS!)
I beg to differ!
So I got my own lawyer.
He agreed that I am an employee, mostly because I was being paid an hourly wage ( a low one at that ) for feeding etc, and they were providing the funds for me to disperse to the vendors and employees.
So I was advised not to go to work and feed the horses or do any other work until they had a workers comp insurance policy in place.
So I had one of the partners ( who is not very reputable) breaking into the mailbox where the checks were left- I have no idea how many checks he took. I am pretty sure he wont' be using any of that money to pay for anything around the ranch.
AND on the same day he pissed off the stall cleaners and they both quit!
And the one boarder that is a certified NUT job actually called MY cell phone and demanded I come and give her the keys to the ranch and told me in a very condescending manner that I really needed to talk to her so we could fix the situation!
It was a good thing it was a VOICE message and that she wasn't standing CLOSE to me! Grrrr!
So it is now official. I am DONE!
Stick a fork in me and call it good.
Now I have other chores to worry about- like filing work comp claims, and labor commission charges and EDD charges that will cause audits etc...
How in the hell did I go from a barn manager to a form filer!
Well, the babies are fine and healthy. Up and wobbling around their little pen. I'll take some pictures as the day gets brighter.
Mare is going to be fine too. She's a older mare- about 20 or so. Not around any stallions, not been bred, not even close.
Just a general mastitis.
Yup. General mastitis. One side only.
Hot pack and antibiotics, and some kind of weird stuff you have to place inside the teat holes, both sides, of the infected nipple. ( Did you know that horses have two holes, and cows have four- per teat?)
Mare is much better today!
Me not so much.
Looks like my job at the Ranch has come to a crashing end. I still can't talk about it, I get so angry! But I will tomorrow.
After the day I went through yesterday I just wanted to go out and have a nice dinner with friends, have a drink or two and then come home to snuggle on the couch and watch some inane show on the TV.
Not to be.
When I had gone out to feed Glacier and Ginger, I noticed Ginger wasn't her usual self. That means she didn't try to rush me for the hay, or kick Glacier away or switch piles three or four times just to prove she was the toughest horse in the pasture.
I mentioned it to my neighbor, whose property the horses are on and whose daughter owns Ginger.
" I'll be home later if you need me," says I.
Then I went to said dinner, had aforementioned drink and was anticipating the snuggle.
Drove past our neighbors driveway on the way home and EVERY light was on.
Did I mention I left my miserable tether - the cell phone- at home on the desk?
Enter home, phone message lights were blinking- cell phone was beeping.
Horse not good- please come over and help us!
Changed out of clean and good smelling clothes, removed good ostrich boots, took out fancy turquoise earrings- pulled on muddy jeans, old sweatshirt and head scarf and gum boots. Clomped over to neighbors in the dark.
Ginger is tied at rail, not colic as I had feared (with all this rain and sun and such that is usually what happens around here) but her teats were swollen four time normal size, leaking pus and all kinds of other gunk. Owner is hot packing and trying to relieve pressure. Ginger is uncomfortable but not dying. Relief. Helped Owner pack and treat, discuss options, all the while my couch is calling...calling....
Then from one of the upper goat barns- " Oh CRAP!"
What is it? Are you OK?
Mama goat is birthing- ten days early! Bubble exposed! OH no! Get water and gear up here -PRONTO!
NO progression after an hour. ( Couch? What couch?)
Finally Neighbor pulls the kid- shaking her head, muttering, " I just know this one is going to be dead.."
Daughter (owner of Ginger) "Ma, give it a minute! I've got to check the mare."
Back down the stairs we go to check mare, milk more, put her away.
"I'll go back help Ma," I say
I get into barn and go "Holy Cow! Or Holy Goat as the case may be!"
Neighbor has a head out, but the legs are back and stuck, she works a second or two and pulls kid,
" I just know this is... "
"Hand me that suction bulb! Hand me that clean rag!"
Big black kid emerges takes a breath! Bleats and breaths! NOT dead!
Another bubble, this one coming faster.
" Here rub this one!"
She reaches in and pulls out another kid, carmel this time, rubs, suctions, rubs, suctions! A bleat!
Another live one!
We haven't done this in awhile!
Two healthy happy baby goats, two happy owners, still one halfway sick horse- but a good night all the way around.
Can't tell you all of what is happening quite yet-but I am a wreck over the whole mess!
Drinking seems like a great thing to do, but I know that it won't really help, so I am refraining- at least for now.
The Partners have decided to shut down the boarding operation. I had to send letters out to 50 owners - they have to move 68 horses in thirty days.
ANd I am hoping that those disgruntled owners won't want to kill the messenger- cause there may not be much left after the day I had today. That Lawyer Shootin' Posse is sounding better and better...
On top of which the rain is never gonna friggin stop comin down- I'm pretty sure about that.
And I have a big horse show in about 20 days. And no covered arena to practice in.
But on a brighter note ( I do try to always end on a bright note even though I sound pretty winey!)- I took my custom made chaps in to the alteration shop yesterday and they are going to take them IN about two inches in the thigh! So at least if my horse crashes through every obstacle I will look FANTASTIC doing it!
Don't mind me- I'll feel better tomorrow and will fill you all in on my-no-good-very-bad day.
I am a California girl, born between the mountains and the ocean, the rolling foothills are my home. I've been astride almost since I was born, learned to ride before I could walk and would rather ride than do anything else. I can rope, ride and shoot, and I hate to cook. I'd rather spend my money on a well built rig than a hairdo or furniture. I buy my clothes at the tack store or the garden shop and if Tractor Supply sold groceries I would never have to shop anywhere else! My kids are grown and on their own, so I have plenty of time for my passions. They include a love of photography, antiques, the beach, and writing.
I read incessantly,including all of these blog pages. I am constantly amazed by the talent and beauty here, and I love being in this good company.
Favorite Childrens Books
Bullrider by Suzanne Morgan Williams
Impulse by Ellen Hopkins
In a Blue Room by Jim Averback
Skellig by David Almond
Such a Pretty Girl
Wander by Susan Hart Lindquist
Favorite Grown up Books
Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver
ANYthing by Janet Evonovich
Cleopatra by Margaret George
Confessions of an Ugly Step-Sister By Gregory Mcguire
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
Pillers of the Earth by Ken Follett
Shipping News By E.Annie Proulx
SPQ Big Ass Cook book and Financial Planner By Jill Conner Browne
SPQ Field Guide to Men BY Jill Conner Browne
SPQ God Bless the SPQ By Jill Conner Browne
SPQ Guide to Raising Children By Jill Conner Browne
Sweet Potato Queens Book of Love By Jill Conner Browne