Monday, April 29, 2013


Wow! What a jam packed and fun filled weekend it was!
Show grounds

Long Walk to the Show arena from the barn.

First show of 2013 and Remington's 2nd show ever. It was an event in itself just getting there, but after the horse and trailer was hauled, my RV was hauled and I was hauled- we arrived.
The weather couldn't have been more perfect. Warm and just a slight breeze- enough to cool you off, but hot enough to make you sweat.
The Show started off slowly. It didn't seem at first like there were a lot of exhibitors there on Friday- but the show lasted until 8:30 PM! It was a long and grueling day.
Timing is always off on the first day of a show, and especially the first day of the first show of the year. I didn't actually put my show clothes on and head to the arena until about 3PM. I had been busy all afternoon mentoring the New Kid and the Young'en.
The New Kid

The New Kid has a beautiful Bay Gelding called Scooter. This is her first show, but not his. He actually has Trail points.
The Young'en

The Young'en has shown before, but this is the first show with this mare- Annabelle.
Annabelle is a natural Trail horse, but she still needs some work to get her skills up. The Young'en is just that- and for the most part she was well behaved. But towards the end of the show, her age was beginning to show. Can you say 'melt-down?
Anyway- I went down to the ring, expecting about twenty riders to be ahead of me and an hour wait. I got there and the ring manager says " Ok. Five minutes."
My trainer wasn't with me, and neither were my Show buddies.
"Well, Ok." I flipped my chaps down, took the wrap off of Rems gorgeous fake tail, walked him in a circle and went in cold. No warm up!
Remington had his head up and was looking- which is what I expected. But he held it together and never offered to shy, bolt, buck, snort, fart or run off. He did want to crank his head UP to look to see what was on the top of that tent~ I expected it and tried to correct for it, and we made it around the pen in good order- scoring a 62.5 for the afternoon. I was happy. He did exactly as I had hoped. And in my book, that is a good day.
The Young'en disqualified (DQ) for letting go of the rope gate. This was one of the skills that she needed to work on. Unfortunately, she had only ridden Annabell two days in the last few months- being a kid and going to school full time and all. And that is fine- but she totally had a pouting fit and blamed it all on Annabelle. I kept my cool and tried to remind her that DQ isn't a bad thing, it just shows where she needs to work... blah blah blah... it all fell on semi deaf ears.
The New Kid learned her pattern, recited it chapter and verse and then DQ'd by forgetting a piece of it. Whoopsie! I told her to color code the pattern... But she was undaunted and has gotten the Trail Bug. She wants to do it more!
End of day, a little wine- some conversation and then un-consciousness. Up early for Saturday.

Offered to walk pattern with New Kid and Young'en. They came down and I even let Young'en ride Rem around the practice pen. Showed her how to do the gate.
Saturday afternoon I did have to wait about an hour. But once we got into the arena all my nervous jitters went away, we concentrated on our task and finished.
The New Kid got a 51, The Young'en was DQ'd at the gate and I actually...

...PLACED 5th in the class! WOW!!!!

Last day- got up super early. Dressed in my Show clothes and was in and out of the Trail pen by 10 AM. Rem was really great, guiding easily, stopping and backing on cue and only tic'ing a few poles. I won't know my final score for that day for two weeks, until it is posted on the website.
I am beyond thrilled that Rem is doing so well!
I get to bring him home on Saturday, and we will be able to practice the trial obstacles a few days a week instead of a few days a month.
And The New Kid and The Young'en? Total meltdowns.

I'm glad I'm not the trainer, but I will do my best to help them get better and keep their cool for the next show ( it's only four weeks away!)
Trainer Jacqueline Allen Burke on Tiare The New Kid's two year old Paint mare. They won third place this day.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

When you least expect it- expect it!

As I said in my post the other day, I have owned Remy for a little over a year. I love him like crazy! His nature is sweet and curious and I am really looking forward to having him in my life for a long time.

But ...I still have pictures of Desi on my wall and dresser, and sometimes I slip and call Remy DESI by mistake. Of course it isn't like calling your current husband by your previous husbands name, but it feels like that sometimes. Like you are cheating somehow.

 I took solace knowing that Desi had a good home and he was being used as a trail horse, not a show horse. I guess we all do what we need to do just to sleep at night. Somehow I've always felt I let Desi down somehow. I didn't give him enough training. I gave him too many kindnesses.I cared too deeply. I was too unhealthy, too afraid, too busy, too sad.... So many things to feel sorry for.

Then, as I am looking forward to the show this month I get an e-mail ( and not a very nice one) asking if I want to buy Desi back.

She called him ' that horse' in the body of the email. Said that I had sold him cheap because I misrepresented him. That he savaged her other horse while she left them alone in pasture. And that she may not be able to show her horse anytime soon because of all the bite and kick marks and that there was no reason for the attack of her other horse.

Well- let me tell you that really spoiled my day my week and my month!
I didn't reply right away. I held on to that shocked feeling and it turned sad, and now it's sort of angry.

I did not misrepresent Desi. I told them exactly what he was- a nice well bred, well broke gelding that I had won various awards with but was not going to be a good show horse any longer. I told her that he had never been in a pasture situation- ever. I kept him as one will keep a show horse. In a large paddock by himself so he doesn't get kicked or bitten thus rendering him unfit for showing. I told her I wanted a good home for him that would treat him well and use him often.

They purchased him as a trail mount, which is what they have been using him for and according to her, they have done very well.

This woman told me she was a horse trainer and could fix ANY issue that would come up with Desi.
Silly me. I believed her. 

But who knows how he has been treated! Who knows what kind of toxic weed might have been growing in their pasture? In any case, it makes me very very sad for Desi. Sad that she obviously didn't know horses as well as she said she did. Sad that his good home turned out to be not so good. Angry that after a year she is blaming this on ME! Angry that she will now dump him on someone else, without the benefit of love in her choices.

I have to stop myself here, because I have bought and sold literally hundreds of horses in my lifetime. And I never felt sorry or guilty about any of them. They were just livestock and I was used to the 'trade'. For me, Desi is somehow different.

Unfortunately I am in no financial position to keep two horses. If I had a full time job, I would buy him back. But I don't and there it ends.

Guilty much?

Ever had an ex that you were just crazy about? That you felt was everything you ever wanted or needed? And through fate or time or whatever, you grew to find that maybe you weren't so perfect for each other after all? But you tried! You really tried but you ended up ending the relationship?

Yeah, it's kind of like that.

I hope she can find Desi a better home than I did.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Finally April

April means Spring.

For me April kicks off the Horse Show Season. Oh, I know that there are a few bigger shows in March, but historically ( or hysterically) they haven't been ones I've focused on very much. 
I've owned Remy a whole year now, and it has been one heck of a year for us. I took him to only a few small shows last year, mainly to get him out, and he acted just like a green horse should act. We entered a class or two, and had some fun, but now he's four and has been at the Trainers for three months. 
 Our first show is in three weeks. 

I'm looking forward to it!

Even though none of my Girl Friends are going to show with me this time. 


It's just me and the Boy. 
And the Trainer and a bunch of her new clients. 
Lil Mama now has a full time job. She actually works for the same Auction House I work for- Michaan's Auctions in Alameda. I'm so happy that she likes it and I get to see her most days. But as usually happens with young families that work, there isn't much time for horse shows. 
She insists that it will be fun for me, and I am choosing to believe her. 

I'm a Big Girl~ 
I don't need a lot of people around me~
Mostly those statements are true.
I usually dress alone, saddle my own horse,
and have those alone moments before my class to focus. 
It's not like I haven't done this all before. 

I'm a little bit nervous! But please don't tell anyone! It's our little secret-ok?

So I'm going to hitch my portable home away from home up to the Big Truck and haul it there by myself. 
And I'm going to do my best to show Remmy. 

I'll keep you all up to date on my progress.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Trains and Rails! I love them!

Train Barn Sacramento California
There isn't much that I enjoy more than trains. 
My Grandfather was an employee of the Santa Fe for 35 years. Trains are in my blood! 

First Engine to cross the Sierra Pass on the Trans Atlantic Railroad. It was destined to become scrap during the second World War, but was hidden. It was re-located in 1998 and restored, then placed here in the California Railroad Museum in Sacramento.

This is one of the smaller engines, it probably served on a railway between Truckee Ca. and Virginia City, Nevada. 

See that ghostly little face? It's Jr. 

This is one of the very largest engines ever built. Weighs something like 35 tons. It is  now one of eight still  'living', the other have been scrapped for the WWII metal drives.

Inside the Mail Car.

I live in Martinez. Over eighty trains a day come through here, some going East, some West, Some South. This is the Union or Southern Pacific tracks- now run by Amtrak  There is a Santa Fe rail about five miles closer to my house that carries only freight trains. It has a spectacular trestle over the road, which I haven't photographed yet, and a long tunnel. I'll try to get some photos of those before the challenge is over.