March 28, 2012

Quintessential Arabians Get Together March 2012

Laurie had another group potluck last week.  The first one, if you remember, I attended with my hubby Steve.  We had popcorn and watched a video on Polish Arabian horses.  This time I went without the hubby.  We were all meeting for a potluck and for baking horse treats.  My responsibility was the carrots (for the treats) and a dessert (for humans!).  I brought a big bag of carrots since the recipe required 16 of them and used Laurie’s salad shooter to shred them.  I’d never used one before and LOVED IT!  This tool was so user friendly, much better than doing it by hand!  I have a Cuisinart at home but I think those completely pulverize food, not more tool on my list to add to my kitchen WANT complaints here!  I love kitchen gadgets, you should have seen Steve and I's wedding registry!

Laurie and Megan measuring and stirring ingredients

During most of the get together I was involved in horse talk with Amy and Uschi.  Amy is another breeder of Arabians and talked about some horses that she has rehabilitated that she wants to find homes.  Several are for sale/adoption and Uschi was playing "match maker" and trying to get me to think about buying one of Amy's horses.  One mare is a beautiful chestnut mare named Esprit (es-spree), check out the last chestnut mare on the page.  Isn't she a doll?

Amy (left) and Uschi (right) preparing ingredients

We were looking at her website on my iPhone, certainly a difficult feat since it's a small device...darn it why did I decide to leave my iPad at home!?!  Esprit is very pretty but not under saddle yet.  I forget her rescue story but she was a rescue horse that Amy rehabilitated.  The other mare for sale was also not under saddle either but sure was a looker.  We'll see what happens by July.  I want a horse that has been under saddle for a year or so (I can budge on this depending on the horses temperment) and at best been on trails a bit, I won't budge on a horse that's not under saddle though!  I need to feel reasonably safe, I have to be realistic that I most likely cannot afford LOTS of professional training.

Applesauce and other yumminess!

Later our conversation went towards those high money stables...the ones where the owners don't even groom their horse, it seems for fear of getting dirty.  We all love horses so much that the dirty part is actually our favorite part....I loved being in like company!!  These show stables and the such are where people use their "disposable" incomes to acquire a horse rather than sacrifice for the ability to share life with such a magnificent animal.  The thought just floors me that people can think of horses as a status symbol...but I know there are a lot of people like that in the world.  I feel for the horses that never get to see a pasture and be a horse, the horses that stay in a stall 24/7.

Laurie then told us about some of the experiences she had with "problem" horses.  Its amazing how in tune she is with horses, I know she has a gift and that's why even if my schedule doesn't allow it all the time I want to always take a lesson or have her in my "horse life" in some way.  I hope I can acquire even just a slice of that type of horse sense! 
Pouring gooey carrot and molasses goodness into the grain

It was a great night talking horse stuff openly, something that my other friends would raise their eyebrows up at, they just don't understand.  I can talk life, dogs etc with my other friends but you truly have to be a horse person to talk about some of the things we talked about!  LOL.  Even my husband would NOT have REALLY been in these conversations.  I know when he gets a will really be MY horse more or less, and that's fine.  I want to own a horse....if you tell me that in a few years after that dream comes true I could own TWO....SWEEEEEET!

Ready to be baked!!

Anyhow, I love these get togethers, I couldn't make the one in December but I was really glad I made it to this one!  I love being with like minded horsie people!  Cannot wait until the next one!

March 27, 2012

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March 26, 2012

Snapshots of Horses

Shutterfly photo books are the new way to preserve your memories. Create your own today.

I had a free 8x8 Photobook from Shutterfly.  So I went through my horse picture folder, suitably named Horsing Around, and picked some of my favorite pics...enough to fill a 20 page book.  Not many pictures and honstely I've had little time for actual "photoshoots" so these are definitely snapshots of my beloved animal.  So many dreamy horses.....


Dream Lusitano gelding!!!  I love buckskins!!

I'll take a beautiful buckskin Lusitano!  Addis auctions are so tempting since a lot of the horses don't even get bid on and many go for for CHEAP!!!  But I don't feel comfortable at this point in my life buying a horse I haven't yet met.  Isn't he beautiful though?

March 18, 2012

Fjords at the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo 2012

WARNING:  This post contains pictures of really cute Fjords.  If you are easily overcome by cuteness this post is dangerous!!!

Fjords are so cute!  I squealed when I saw them coming out into the arena! 

Their manes are so Trojan looking with the dun stripe running through it and the spiky way they are trimmed.  Most people with Fjords shave the mane so it stands up and shows off the cute little black stripe!  I've seen pictures (posted below and not my pics from the Expo) of even crazier designs where they make a zig-zag cutout from the white part of the mane or a block cutout.  Either way is neat and so is just leaving the manes long.  So many options with these guys fun about my little pony!

Close-up of the cute dorsal stripe and the little Fjord ears.  They are very sturdy horses that even full adults can ride them when the horse is only 13 or 14 hands. 

They were all on one side of the ring by the fences, I tried to get some good angles but it was difficult.  I only had my 100-300mm lens so I still had to be farther away so it was a challenge to get some photos.

This stallion below was so beautiful.  His cresty neck really emphasized the shaved mane and dorsal stripe.  He was very pretty!

His owner is a breeder and gave me her card asking if I was willing to share photos.  I said sure....I just hope these pics are decent enough.  Given the challenges I'm pretty pleased though.

Below is one  of the cute mares.  She just looks like a teddy bear!  Kids were petting on her to no end and she loved it!

Here's another pic of the stallion....he's magnificent!  Look at that neck!  How can a horse be so cute and so handsome at the same time?

Back at the barn the Fjords were just as friendly as they seemed.

Nummy, nummy hay!  Looks like a teddy bear, eats like a horse!

I love the Fjords, so cute yet nice sturdy little steeds.  I haven't seen any in the rescues or many even on  I would certainly consider a Fjord as my first horse but I do love my Arabs....only time will tell which horse I end up giving my heart to.  The expo definitely showed me that when Steve and I have property we'll have a huge assortment of breeds to love I'm sure!

Making your dream come true!

My mother-in-law sent me an article that was in the Tampa Bay Tribune.  She said it reminded her of me.  This gal, Michelle, was 42 when finally realized her dream of owning a horse!  I wanted to share this article here on my blog, it really hits home with me!  I emailed her and recieved her permission,

"I would be honored for you to post my column on your blog! I am very touched that your mother-in-law took the time to send you my story."   

Michelle comes to Colorado a lot ,and since we have family in the Tampa area....maybe someday she and I will meet up and talk horses!  Well here is the column...enjoy!

Always Say Giddy-up to your Dreams!
By Michelle Bearden

There it was, absolute proof of the very beginning of a lifelong obsession.

I found it after my dad died, while going through old boxes stored in his closet. A black-and-white photo, slightly yellowed with age, of a giddy 10-year-old me sitting on a pony. I was grinning ear-to-ear.

I apparently wasn't self-conscious about my lack of front teeth, and my spotted pint-sized steed certainly wasn't camera shy about his awful haircut. He looked a little like Moe from The Three Stooges.

With a cowgirl hat perched on my head, I was obviously trying to channel Dale Evans, one of my childhood heroines. Never mind that ol' Moe and I weren't galloping across the Western plains in pursuit of cattle thieves. Instead, we were firmly planted in front of our very suburban brick house in Royal Oak, Mich.

Moe was just a rent-a-pony. And I was just a birthday girl living her dream.

A lot of little girls love horses. Hasbro has made a lot of money capitalizing on that with its "My Little Pony" line. But most usually grow out of it. I never did.

It only got worse when my parents tried to placate me by sending me off to summer camp at Black River Farm and Ranch in Croswell for several years. They thought the hands-on horse experience you got there for a few weeks each summer would be enough. Not even close. I cried buckets of tears when the session ended, knowing another girl would be taking my place in the barn and the riding ring.

Life wasn't fair!


I grew up and became a newspaper reporter, a job that didn't require a saddle. The career required that I live in cities, and I never made enough money to have a horse of my own. So the dream stayed alive only in my imagination.

I made friends with people lucky enough to own horses, and I rode whenever I got the occasional invite. I shelled out a considerable sum of money for trail rides when I went on vacations to the mountains or beach. I bought horse books and went to horse movies. I even bought a house near a local stable so I could see and smell horses when I took my dog on her morning walk.

But a horse of my very own? It seemed so elusive, so impossible.

Larry Jacobson understands. As a boy, he fixated on sailboats, staring at the majestic vessels moored in the docks off Long Beach, Calif. He dreamed of living on the high seas and visiting exotic ports all over the globe.

Real life got in the way. He rose up the corporate ladder and his passion took a back seat. In his mid-40s, he decided it was time to make it a priority. His book, "The Boy Behind the Gate: How His Dreams of Sailing Around the World Became a Six-Year Odyssey of Adventure, Fear, Discovery and Love," tells the story how he came up with a plan that would change his life.

Through sacrifice and determination, he accomplished his goal on his 50-foot Stevens sailboat. He no longer feels as if he's chasing something elusive. If he died today, he says, "I would know that I did everything I wanted to do."

The book is a fun, inspiring read. "Maybe it sounds a little trivial, but I believe if you can dream it, then you can do it," he says. His advice: Write it down. Overcome the fear. And most important, persevere.

Bearden panel
Now I'm in Larry's club. A few years ago, I took the plunge and made my dream come true. It meant changing my lifestyle and redirecting my finances. I knew if I had waited any longer, it would not happen.

Forty-two years after sitting on that pony, I got my first horse.

A year later, I got a second one. And a year after that, I fell off the first and broke my pelvis. (This is a rite of passage for cowgirls. I'm back in the saddle again and a much better rider.)

I sometimes have to pinch myself and say it out loud — "I have two horses !" The experience is everything and more than I imagined it would be. The time spent with my Rocky Mountain girls, Coco Chanel and Savannah, is precious and exhilarating. The more I seem to learn about horses, the less I seem to know. So we're on this wonderful journey together that brings new challenges and builds happy memories.

My horses have put an exclamation point on my life, which was pretty darn good to begin with.

Whether your passion is sailboats or horses, or something else that seems completely out of reach, don't let your dream fade away. Do what it takes to make it happen. You will never regret it.

Happy trails.

March 15, 2012

The Mane Event at the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo 2012 (Friday)

Steve and I attended the "Mane Event"  hehehe, that's cute, on Friday.  The same program occurred on Saturday but Friday had mini horses and Saturday had vaulting apparently.  It was packed!  I was shoulder to shoulder with the lady next to me and had no room to get my big camera out.  Later towards the end Steve and I saw that people had moved to the cordoned off area and we figured we should get some more room.  Then I was able to spread out with my camera and 300mm lens.

On Friday the event was opened with a bridle less rider going over a series of obstacles.  There was a teeter-totter that the rider took his horse on forwards and backwards, a string gate to open, a kriss cross of poles and a bridge.  All this was done without a bridle to use for cues.  It was pretty impressive.

There were pretty Friesians pulling a wagon, along with a pair of draft mules and Percherons. 

Then we got to watch a lady with a rescue Andalusian (sweet!) and a man on his stallion doing a Spanish dance on horseback.  It was awesome.  The gal had only been riding a year and had her mare trained quite well, she even did rears under saddle to go with the music.  When they first came out I was pissed at over hearing some lady say that "Oh that's definitely the rescue horse".  Sure she was a rather plain Andalusian mare compared to the cresty black stallion but lots of well bred mares are when standing next to a flashy and cresty stallion!  I wanted to smack her!

There was also a Grand Prix dressage free style that honestly I wasn't too impressed with.  The timing for the music was off and though I can't do anything near like what she did I still have seen better presentations.  Pretty horse none the less.

Next were some gaited horses!  Peruvian Pasos, Tennessee walkers, and Mangalarga Marchadors.  I didn't see the lateral leg movement or "termino" that Peruvian horses are well known for but it was interesting to see similarities of the gait. The Peruvian termino is the swinging out of the shoulder, much like a swimmers arm and provides a really smooth gait. I would love to ride one sometime! Most gaited horses' gaits are a modification of either the running walk or amble.  The difference in gaits is style and speed...therefore there are a million terms for a gait that has a similar footfall but a different feel and slightly different look to an observer. 

Mini horses pulling fancy little carts were next.  They did a synchronized number much like a marching band.  It was entertaining and VERY CUTE!!!

Another gaited horse, the Icelandic Horse, was next.  I enjoyed seeing these sturdy pony sized horses Toelting around the arena.  Yet another ground covering smooth gait.  I recently read an article in Trail Rider that traditionally Icelanders would ride their horse in a herd and change out mounts every few miles.  It was an efficient way to travel the country and still a tradition...they have a yearly festival for these horses!

Then there was a beautiful black Morgan horse I think.  The man riding did a precision show with a long pole where he maneuvered his steed in circles around the pole without the rider lifting it from the ground.  It's hard to describe!

The next presentation left me in shock, The Cat's Meow".  I'll sum it up for you.  A lady in a cat suit riding a horse and doing "dance" moves in the saddle like she was attacking the horse.  The music was like that of a horror film interspersed with loud cat howls and whinnies of frightened horses.   HUH?????  I was in so much shock that I didn't even think of recording a video with my iPhone....YouTube fodder for sure!!  The following act was weird too but not horrifying.  It was a lady on a Peruvian with the music Wings of Love.  She road around with golden least it was visually appealing to  a certain extent...

A man on a beautiful horse and a lady doing a Spanish dance were the next show.  It was quite electric and I tried as hard as I could to get some good pictures.  They had the lights off and only used the spotlight to give a dramatic effect but I couldn't get a clear picture.  So I made it into a "painting".  I haven't done this before so I didn't take too much time to play with the settings but I see the potential of some of those "fuzzy" pics I got....I could make them into something I wouldn't mind hanging on my wall!

I squealed at the next group....Norwegian Fjords!!!  They did a routine that was very much a dance, like synchronized swimming.  See the Norwegian Fjord post to come!
Just a Fjord butt teaser!!!

The next act was a lady on a Shire with her daughter on a Peruvian horse riding around the arena to Celtic music and performing some movements with their horses and their bodies in a lyrical music interpretation kind of style.  The horses and costumes were pretty but a lot of that lyrical stuff just didn't seem to work as well on horseback. 

Finally the end showing was three Andalusian horses with two men and a little boy riding.  They were in sombreros and typical Mexican fashion.  The horses were to die for gorgeous!  The little boy, apparently age 7 but actually looked 4 was riding the biggest stallion who had a mane and tail that Lady Godiva her self would envy!  If you chopped off the mane I bet it would weigh more than the little kid on that horse. 

After the show was over, all the horses came back out for people to come down and meet them and their riders.  People were able to pet some of the horses and this allowed me to take lots of pictures.  The lighting still wasn't perfect for handheld photos with a 300mm lens but I got a few good shots I think.  Honestly it was beautiful pony overload!!!!

Other Fun Horse stuff at the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo 2012

Steve and I mainly went to Julie Goodnight talks at 10am and then 2 or 3pm on Friday and Saturday.  The rest of the time we went to some other presentations but then just walked around at the expo exhibitors (aka Fun Stuff to Buy!) or went to the barn (aka pretty ponies to pet!)

One presentation was about obstacles that you took your horse over with speed, so instead of just the walk the lady demonstrated trot and canter.  I never did get to see what she did with the second horse that was pawing at the ground while tied.  He was not very happy! 

Anyhow, she had a tarp, a bridge type obstacle and then something I'd never seen...a channel with balls in it!  Hmm.  That makes a horse really have to see where their feet are going, I bet it's great training for trail riding particularly in rocky areas.

As for obstacles that I could "make", the tarp or the balls and PVC pipes would be easily transportable.  The bridge....not so much, it's heavy and hard to move so something that would need to be more or less permanent at a boarding facility.  I wonder if I could build one and then just store it at a facility for all boarders to use?

Steve and I also stayed to watch some of the mini horse show.  We unfortunately missed the costume class, we did see them headed towards the arena but I think we were running to a Julie Goodnight thing.  Anyways to see the cute costumes check out Braymere's blog!  The costumes were so cute!

I loved watching this little girl and her horse.  She was standing in the gate area between her runs and holding her cute pony while swinging her legs out and about. Here's what I think was going on in her mind.   " La la la, holding my little la la, do de da!"

Then later she had issues getting her pony over this one jump.  Apparently a couple of the ponies did not like those fake flowers!!

Temple Grandin was also there on Saturday giving a talk.  The seats were full and the curtain they had set up was pulled back in areas as a ton more people stood to listen to her talk.  She is an amazing and very smart person.  She has a doctorate in Animal Science...she now teaches at Colorado State University I think.  She is Autistic and in her book, "Animals in Translation" feels that this has attributed to her being able to really understand animals.  Autistic people tend to think in pictures rather than words or thoughts like the rest of us.  I seriously think you should check out the movie "Temple Grandin", not only is it well acted but it's about her amazing life with a "disability".  Wow.

Next was a polo match between University of Kentucky and Colorado State University.  I've never seen a polo match before.  It was very fast paced!

It reminded me of Quidditch...or perhaps Quidditch reminds me of polo!  The girls were brutal!  They would ram their horses up against each other in a way that I was so surprised that the girls did not fall off!

The tack had lots of straps but the one think I found most interesting was they didn't just wear polo wraps.  The horses also had a boot on the front legs and bell boots over the front hooves.

Most of the game was just a jumble of horses and riders...I had no idea what was going on.  Then the ball would suddenly be free and loose and the pack would disperse and the riders would chase the ball again.

Lots and lots of galloping!!  It was hard with the lighting to get these action shots, I am going to have to plan on going to one in the outdoors so I can get these action shots!  Again we didn't stay for the entire match since we had another Julie Goodnight thing.  She must be one of my favorite clinicians you'd think!  More posts about the expo to come!!

March 13, 2012

First try at a banner

Okay so here's my first attempt at a banner (thank you Mare!) with no idea exactly how I want it to look and what pictures to use.  I think it needs to be shorter...the width seems fine but it's too big height wise.

What cha'll think?