Wednesday, July 27, 2011

You may be right- I may be crazy

I have not sold Desi yet. What with the horse market so bad, and the EHV virus hitting just as I posted his ad, well,I had only one person come out to ride him, and he was definitely too much horse for her. A few other called, but he was too much horse for them too. They were all over fifty and beginning riders.

People- when the ads say gentle but needs a confident rider that can lead- please take the owners at their words!

What you all want to see in an ad are the words ' bomb proof; Husband safe, super quiet, and Old.'! Those are the horses you should go to look at and choose to call upon.

And is there anything more exciting, dangerous and terrifying than riding a horse that is for sale?
 You don't know these people, but you have to trust that their tack is clean and in good repair, that their horse is as they say, gentle, rideable, no vices, sweet.

You have to concentrate on not falling off, on proper mounting skills, dismounting skills, keeping your hands low, or high, not pulling too hard, or pulling not hard enough. Keeping away from any obstacles in their arena so you don't injure yourself or others, all the while trying to calculate if this is a good buy and  how can you get a better deal.

Do you have the money in your account? and how much will an unfamiliar vet cost? Not to mention that you have to speak nicely so they will let you ride their little horsie- no matter if he pins his ears and flashes a few pearly whites your way. Avoid the sharp ends and try to keep in the middle of a saddle that doesn't fit you in an arena that is too muddy, or dusty or dark. Then pretend to listen to their trainer try to tell you how to ride, listen to your friends tell you ' You look good up there!"

Then you evaluate him from the ground. Are his feet good, and can you keep from getting stomped upon. Are his back legs full of scars, or will he kick you to the moon when you run your very benign hand over his hocks? Can you tie him up, or will he fling himself backwards? Can you run your hands all over his body, his face and belly, fending off questions from the owner meant to sway you or distract you from that bog spavin.
And if you like him, do you LOVE him? Do you need to love him? Can he do his job- the job you want him to do? Do you have the time to devote to bonding over this particular horse?

Sheesh- no wonder its a difficult decision! There are so many variables. That is why I usually buy babies and start them myself. That way no one has messed them up too badly. I install the buttons, and I install the mistakes.  Sometimes I can't install them- but that is a different blog.

And so I have not even gone to look at any horses for sale. I still have one to sell first.
And here is the crazy part- WHAT? You thought THAT was the crazy part? Huh!
The Crazy part is that I am going to another show. Yep- the Spring Summer Gold N Grand. Back to the scene of my most memorablyhorrible show of all time. Only this time it is going to be hot, not rainy. I like hot.
HOT makes quiet horses.
I haven't ridden as much as I should have to get ready for this show, and I can admit toyou , and you only, that I am a little bit nervous about showing Desi. It isn't cheap, and he has all the potential to be a Ass7%&*!
But this is the way I figgure it- I can re do the awful show and make it right- in my head and heart and ride Desi like I stole him with no cares.
Or I can hide and cry and say I'm never going to show this horse again, it's not worth it, it's too much money, blah blah...friggin blah,
So I'm goin;. Lil Mama is going too.
All I want is a decent ride. A quiet ride. A quiet horse. Anything else is cake.

Luck anyone? I need it!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Summer Reading...****ahhhhh!

I love summertime reading. No matter where you go, you can (almost) always find time to read a little bit! 

Not every Mystery has to be solved by a cat or a detective agency. Not every Romance is a bodice ripper. Not every Horror story has horrible monsters. These are a few that are just darn good reads!

The Scent of Rain and Lightning by Nancy Pickard is light summer reading at it's best.

When Jody Linder gets word that the man that killed her father twenty five years ago has been released from Prison she is understandably upset. Her mother disappeared the same night, and has never been seen again. Now her home, Rose, Kansas is going to get even smaller as the murderer returns to his family, bent on revenge and full of hate for the powerful Linder family that put him behind bars.
Tortured by the disappearance of her Mother, overwhelmed by the overbearing of her Grandparents, Aunt and Uncles, Jody unwillingly begins to sort through the history of those days with the eyes of an adult. Through the unravelling of the past, Jody also begins to build her future. The surprising climax of the story is well done and satisfying.

Also read in the last few weeks-

The Help by Kathry Stockett 
This has been made into a major motion picture but I really enjoyed the give and take of this story as written. Three women- two of them black and considered 'invisible' because they are The Help, one of them a disappointing debutante with a mystery of her own to solve, makes this a 'can't put it down' read. Civil rights aside, this is the story of courage in the face of fear, love through thick and thin and everything bad in between. The Help is just that- Women helping other women, families helping families and mostly helping yourself.

The Coral Thief  by Rebecca Stott
Languorous Paris directly after Napoleons fall. The essence of mysterious and dangerous Paris as seen through the eyes of a fresh faced young man. When a beautiful woman steals his precious objects as well as a controversial manuscript, he is determined to get them back. He plunges headlong into a seamy world he knows nothing of. Seeking to hold on to all he understands to be true- the very origins of Man through Divinity- he reluctantly is drawn by his other love- Science- to his own new truth.

Under the Dome by Steven King
The story is compelling and I see that Mr King is making the invariable comparison of life in our world and the ecology that we take for granted. He populates his Dome with horrible monsters that we all know- people who are our neighbors and friends put in dangerous and powerful situations. The Dome represents it all, power,love,redemption and greed. In true King fashion he uses Pop references to punctuate the story and the characters- it almost becomes like a game. " Oh that is from True Blood, that is from Giget, that is from the Dirty Dozen..." How many can you find? Not his best, but a good read just the same.

Swan Song by Robert McCammon
Post Apocalyptic story of the remaking of our world. Harsh, unrelenting and violent it is the story of how a group of people reshape their world after 'The Bombs Fall,' actually commentary about civilization throughout the ages- read it if you have a strong stomach and a thirst for gore. It does have some redeeming values to impart- the Circle of Jewels and the Prophet Swan. Don't compare it to The Stand, enjoy Robert McCammons' writing- which is brilliant- and you may finish it changed but unscathed.

Boys Life by Robert McCammon
Actually my favorite read. The 'boy' is from Smalltown USA, and his troubles should be small too- unfortunately they are not.  But magic, love and faith, defeat darkness, death and fear. I found if full of hope as well as bittersweet sadness for the transitions found in life. This is one I will read again.

Leonie- A Woman Ahead of her Time, memories of Leonie Von Zesch
I am fascinated by history, especially women's history and most especially San Francisco History. This story is actually the memories of Leonie Von Zesch-written down by her over 100 years ago, then forgotten in a trunk in an attic until her niece found them and had them published. It is full of pictures of the 1906 earthquake from Leonie's POV, as well as other photos of her taken through her life. It seems that she was the first woman dentist in San Francisco in 1906, as well as a dentist in Alaska and Arizona.  Leonie had a fascinating and worldly journey doing things that modern women would never think of doing today. A must read!

Georges and Jewels by Jane Smiley
Written for a younger audience, this is still a fun read for us grown up girls that still love horses. Jane Smiley tones down her usual adult vocabulary for simpler themes, but it is still sterling writing. Easy to finish in an hour by the pool, you and your pre teen or tween should love it equally. About a young girl whose father is a horse trader, he uses her to sell the horses- all named George or Jewel so she won't get attached-to families that want kids horses. When she runs into one George that won't confirm she wants to give up. The teachings of  a old horse trainer that uses gentler methods helps her to see that all things aren't just Georges or Jewels, but there are unexpected satisfactions to be found in treating each horse like the individual it really is.

This ought to spur you all into your local bookstore or onto your local website or even (GASP) the Library!
I hope your days are soft and warm, your hours long under the shade, and your words chewy and full of juice!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

End of an Era

You never know when an Era begins. It could have been today or yesterday~ or it may be tomorrow or next week or next month. But when an Era is over, you know.

The definition of 'era':
1. A long and distinct period of history with a particular feature or characteristic.

2. A system of chronology dating from a particular noteworthy event.
The Era to which I am referring began about 1980. A noteworthy year to be sure. Lil Mama was two- that's how I judge time- and I had purchased a beautiful younf buckskin mare. Soon after, I met some people who would be my boon companions. They were, and are still, my best friends- Denesirita, Tericita, and Rustinella. We had all purchased young horses and for awhile, we boarded them at the same place.
Oh, we were young and full of vinegar in those early days! Riding anything, laughing at everything and hauling those youngsters around and around. Tericita took Oak Mielle on to an Open reining Championship. Rustenella excelled with Blues in Dressage. Denesirita showed Dr. Drewlittle in reining and then because of a hoof problem retired him to her ranch in the California foothills. I turned my little mare Somebodys Streak into one heck of a family horse for my kids and myself.
But time marches on.
I put my little mare down when she was 26.
Terecita put Oak down two years ago at 27
Rustenella put Blues down a few months ago 28
And sadly Denesirita put Drew down a few days ago ~ he was close to 30.
But we are not crying! ( Well maybe a little bit!)
No, we can all be proud of our horses and our accomplishments with them! Proud that we didn't ever let them suffer. Proud that we didn't sell them off as their usefulness waned, but pampered ( Drew most of all!)and cared for them like the royalty we imagined them to be.
I was lucky enough to see Drew on the morning of his demise. He was galloping across the early morning pasture, his coat still wet from dew. He wasn't lame or stiff in his joints, although he didn't hear well and his eyesight was failing. He bossed the mares and the little gelding that were with him, flashing heels and threatening to let them have it. Denesirita and I stood watching a few moments, marvelling at his age and fortitude.
It was a few hours later that she called to let me know he had twisted his lower intestine and was in so much pain that she was forced to make the ultimate decision for him.
I like to think that China, Blues and Oak- as well as a few others that have crossed our paths- were waiting for him, eagerly nickering, " What the heck took you so long to get here!"
And as one era ends, another shall begin. Or maybe it already has.....

Monday, July 11, 2011

Best Birthday Party EVER!

Yes, It was my birthday!
It happened that my Double Nickle Birthday fell on the same day as the Annual Dolittle Ranch Slip and Slide Party!
Lucky ME!
I packed up Dogs, Daughters and Husband  and made my way to The Ranch.
It was HOT!
All the better for Slip and Sliding, My Dears!
 And there is absolutely no better place to be than the Dolittle Ranch.
All kinds of fun and excitement ensued!

There was the Bucking Bull.
He won every round!
 No one ever rode him to a standstill- though a good many tried!
This is Denesirita the Unpaid Ranch Slave giving it her best shot.
Though she is one of the best rider-
the Bull won.

Best friends hanging together for the whole weekend. They taught me how to use my phone to Twitter. ( #LOOK OUT!)

Mimi gave the bull her best shot.
The Bull won.

Enough of that- lets slide down the Slip and Slide!
You know, with enough irrigation water, visqueen and Adult Party Beverages, everyone can have a great time.

I brought my home away from home with me. This is how great the Dolittle Ranch is- they put in a place for me to hook into the septic while I am there! Awesome Friends!

Jr took it all in. He was in the pool more than he was out of it. I think this is one of the only times he was dry.

 His swimming outfit is padded with floatation devices front and back.
Makes him look a little like a SuperHero or a Ninja Turtle.
With this thing on he was able to go in the water and paddle around like a 'polly-og'.
That is Lil Mama in the pool waiting for him. 

" Doctor Livingston, I presume?"
He found this pith helmet and wore it around all afternoon.

Big K put on the chaps over the shorts- a particulary good look- and rode the Bull- or tried to.
The Bull won.... Again.

KBG is half fish. Do you think she was having a fun time?

This is my Birthday Present!
Not Really...
A girl can only dream...

Even the dogs were having fun on the slip and slide.

Lil Tater Tot would not get out of the water. He had won the Championship Mutton Bustin' at the nearby Rodeo the day before. He was one tired little Cowboy!

Here is a short clip of what the slip and slide party looks like.

    Yes, that is the music we were playing....
No one got hurt in the making of this video...

but casualties happen...

This is one of my girlfriends- I'd like for her to remain nameless- but you can clearly hear her name in the voice over!  (Ignore the voices in your head here!)
She really 'let down her hair!
Go Girl!

Thanks to the Dolittle Ranch for throwing such a wonderful shin-dig!
Or maybe it was a Hoot-N-Nanny... does one tell the dif?

But it sure was a fun party!

I know it wasn't specifically for my
but it sure felt like it was!

It was the best!!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Alright! I can never win! Someone else came to the auction and knew what the heck the bits and saddle were worth! I bid $550 and thought that it would be the highest. Monday was slow and the holiday weekend kept a lot of folks away.
But the bid on the saddle, the Visalia and Molina bits, mecates, hacamore and Garcia bull nosed taps went to......
Geez! It was totally worth that- but man- I didn't think there were that many savvy folks about Western stuff in Alameda this week!
I may have still been high bidder for the little saddle made by Sleitzer but I won't know until tomorrow. My 'mole' didn't write down the price realized for that.
On a different note-
I've been super busy at work and that will be a whole new post tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Happy Forth of July!

Remember your first sparklers?


Happy 4th at the Auction

So much good stuff at the Auction today!
These prints are ink on silk and are so beautiful. There were four different fish. The detail was amazing!

Anyone care to guess what these are and what they do?

I am crazy about this old scale. The face of the scale is red and gold.It's been hiding out in a barn for years, and now someone has a chance to use it and love it as an object d'art instead of a tool.

This is a handmade, rawhide core used and soft. The mecate is hand made, rolled from mane hair. There are two of them in this lot. Plus a few other choice items. Of course I am bidding on it!

This is a close up of the work. I know it must be a local California maker, because all of these items came from a barn in the upper central Valley. Collectable cowboy gear often comes from this california area and in this era. Could be Garcia or someone like him...

This is a different lot. It has Model A wheels, and a trunk full of old buggy parts and old auto parts. It is a super heavy lot, chains, and an anvil stand and bits and pieces of machinery, but it is really cool and has had a lot of interest.

Here is another 'Can you guess what that is' moment in this blog!
Well, care to hazard a guess? You might be surprised! I'll tell you it was for commercial use and it is barely used.

Aren't these sweet? There are Vernon ware and pretty collectible. They are in perfect codition.

This horse lookes a little like BOB, don't you think?

My date from the last prom...Put a tie dyed shirt on him and he might look like someoe I know...

There sleigh bells have all different sounds, high and low. They are on leather that is still in wonderful shape. Care to guess the hammer price on these?

Tower of saddles! They are all just thrashed and the leather is broken up. Several horse collers on the bottom, and there is a pack saddle or two in there as well.

This is in the lot I am bidding on. It isn't marked, but I think it is Baumann. Silver on the side of the cheekpiece.

It is also in the same lot as this bit, a marked Viselia with braided rawhide rommel reins. Very cool!

And this is one of the saddles I'm bidding on too. It was made between 1904 and 1929. I hope I get it!

I'm bidding on this too- it is in the lot with the bits and bosal. I forgot to take a picture of the whole thing.
 Both saddle marks...

These bull nose taps are included too....

I can't be there at the auction this week either, so now I have to wait to see if my absentee bid is the highest. I put in a really high amount! I really want this stuff!
Stay tuned after Wed to see if I'm laughing or crying!
Happy Forth of July!