Mick leaves for Finals and Bruno comes home-A Bruno Story

Feather is a big horse. Bruno is huge.

First off,the horses have fly masks on to keep the flys out of their eyes.  They are easier to catch as well.

Yesterday was a super stressful day for me.  I decided to go meet Lauren at the Equestrian Center when she hauled Mickey up for Finals.  Dev was coming from the other direction with Bruno in his trailer and the idea was to move Bruno from Dev’s trailer to ours.

I left my car for Lauren and we waited for Dev to pull in.  I saw Bruno’s head emerge from Dev’s trailer but nothing prepared me for the size of this horse when he stepped out of the trailer. Wow!  My friends keep making fun of me because all I can say is how big he is.  I have owned big horses before.  Cupid was a huge horse.  But something about the way this guy is built just amazes me.  Don’t worry I will have plenty more pictures.

I have turned the pulling of the trailer over to Lauren.  The thought of hauling the new guy home by myself in rush hour Houston traffic was not a good one for me.  Okay, I was pretty freaked out.  Dev promised Bruno would not act like Leo-still I was out of practice and frightened.  Each time I successfully made it down another stretch of road to the next turn off, I gave thanks to God and kept hoping my luck would hold.  When we finally pulled into my place, I was worried about unloading him.  Agility is not my best thing.  Old, previously broken bones, arthritis and hip replacements do not allow you to bound easily in and out of trailer.  I unhooked him, went in to undo the slant and was chaining it back when he simply turned around (not an easy feat for a 17 hand horse inside a horse trailer) and headed out.

I walked him up to my ridiculously small barn and thought, boy, you have come a long way from New York.  I got him settled into Mickey’s stall and thought I was going to put Feather into hers.  I changed my mind when I saw he could simply reach his head over the stall and bite the mare.  I moved her another stall down.

Anyway, the evening settled in.  I had let him out in the paddock and Feather and Kid were on the pasture side.  He started racing up and down the gate.  He is here to re-habbed his hoof and ripping his special shoes off first thing was not a good plan so I let them all go out together.  A little excitement ensued but shortly they were all eating hay together.  They will all be fine.

Today Lauren rode Mickey in two classes as warm-ups for tomorrow.  Her first round at 1.0 meter was just about perfect.  Dev praised it as the best she ever rode.  She came out with a blue ribbon.  Later we tried one class in the ring that will host the finals tomorrow.  It was not as smooth, but still produced a clean round.

Send us some extra prayers if you will as tomorrow dawns and they do their best to pick up a ribbon for the first time in Zone 7 Finals.  Thanks for being with us and riding along!

New Adventures-Meet Bruno-A Bruno Story

Fiddler’s Pilgrim-aka Bruno

Life is never static at the farm.  New adventures, new animals, new opportunities abound for us.  Tomorrow it is off to Zone Finals for Lauren and Mickey.  Anyone that has followed this blog even minimally knows that Mickey had a very rough summer.  So sick with the pythium fungus he could barely catch his breath.  We didn’t know if he would show again.  But he did, he has and he will go into the ring Saturday at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center for Zone Finals in the Low Amateur Adult Jumpers with fences approximately 3’3″ to 3’6″ in height.  We hope for a clear round and a chance to get into the jump off.  The little man can fly.  I am thankful for all of your support and prayers.

Tomorrow after Lauren rides Mickey in a couple of practice rounds, bathes him and gets ready to head for home, it will be with a new horse. I know that sounds a little crazy but sometimes things just come along in life that are meant to be.  The new horse is another Off the Track Thoroughbred (OTTB).  His name is Fiddler’s Pilgrim (if you want to look him up you will find AP Indy, Secretariat and some other hotshots).  He was certainly bred to race and run.  But he’s a pretty laid back guy and thought a racing career was not all that much fun.  He is a big horse-17 hands and once filled out with granny’s feed probably will be over 1300 pounds.  He looks a lot my old horse Mac.  If he does half as well as Mac, we will all be pleased.  Bruno (he is from the east coast) is only five years old so we have some work to do.  He has a hoof that is healing so he will be enjoying some quality downtime while it gets better.

Mickey, after finals, will be going into semi-retirement, which he has certainly earned.  We will pull him out for a few shows next year but our focus will be on the youngsters, Bruno and Feather.  Sounds like a mob boss and his girlfriend, doesn’t it?  We will have Mimi, the pony coming home from the trainers soon and will be looking to place her in a pony home.

So very exciting times.  I was not seeking a new horse when the opportunity for Feather in Florida came up.  I bought her sight unseen and had her shipped home.  She has not disappointed us at all. Well, maybe during those weeks when we struggled with the trailer loading, I did want to kill her a couple of times but other than that, she has turned into a beautiful, talented mare.

Likewise, Bruno came to us from a top trainer in the area, Sherre Sims, one for whom I have the greatest respect.   We first met Sherre when we were admiring her Corgi, Nordic.  Nordic and Lauren’s Corgi,  Sneaky had an ill-fated love affair.  Anyway…Sherre’s parents live on the east coast  and their friends bred and trained Bruno.  He got sent to Texas to become a jumper.  Due to Sherre’s limited space and his hoof issues, he needed to go to a new home.  So, once again, I am taking a horse, sight unseen, this one I can’t even work for a while, all because I believe in what he can be.  I think this one is going to be a real special guy for us.  Gee, I can’t wait to see him!

What’s the News?

Riley, my three-year old grandson, ate some Halloween candy last evening and immediately knew it was not for him.  While sometimes prone to being a little dramatic, he complained about his throat, then started vomiting and coughing. He was obviously in distress. Quickly, his body was swelling and covered in a rash.  Off to the hospital, he and Amber went.  While not life threatening, thank God, it was a pretty awful time as the drugs went to work to curb the anaphylactic reaction he was having.  After several hours (all night) at the hospital, they were on their way home this morning. 

His parents have known for some time that Riley had allergies to peanuts and are careful to keep him away from peanuts at all times.  Other types of nuts have been okay.  I remember my allergist telling me when I had so many food allergies, that even if I was okay with a related type of food, over time, I would surely break down and begin to have issues with those other foods.  Apparently, this is what happened to little Riley.  My food allergies caused stomach upsets but nothing caused my airway to swell or have the type of reaction that Riley just had.  I hope he never has to relive last night again, but I am afraid there could be possibilities for this to occur again in the future.

Baby Kendyll all dressed up to watch the Texans go 7-1!

On my home front, momma came over for a simple lunch of tuna noodle casserole and homemade banana bread.  She thought it was the best thing ever and ate quite a hearty lunch.  Lauren, home from deer camp, did her nails for her and she had a pretty good time. 

We watched some of the Texans game, enough to worry me when it 7-6 as I left to go out and watch Lauren ride.  But Lauren had a good ride and the Texans pulled off another win.  Lauren and I worked on getting Mickey ready for the show including deep conditioning, braiding and enclosing his tail in protective bag (to help it not get torn or pulled).  Mickey was unimpressed with his pink pirate with skulls tail bag.  Feather, however, thought it was pretty cool.

It looked better (and neater) before he spent the night in the pasture with it.

Lauren and I had a nice evening just catching up.  We successfully loaded Feather in the trailer-always a good thing.  We did some chores and got things ready for the show this coming weekend.

My neighbor, who has been gone during the whole dog pack invasion, returned home.  I went over to tell him about it.  Next thing I knew he was out in his Jeep romping through the fields, gun on the seat beside him.  He was going to  take care of the dog pack, if he caught up with them.  Lauren went out later to hay the horses and said the neighbor was now patiently sitting on his back porch, gun across his lap.

With the time change, I leave in the morning still before dawn and by the time I get home and feed the horses, it dark again.  Makes for long, short days, if that makes any sense.

Jim and Jay Alert!-Momma’s Going to a Mexican Restaurant!

Lauren and her friend Megan-saying Welcome to Wharton!

Jim and Jay love Mexican food. My mother does not like it all. It has been an ongoing battle of wills since Jim and Mom got married over 15 years ago.  Very little makes Jim as happy as great Mexican food and a Margarita.  So, Jim has gone off on his own or when in Tucson with Jay, to get his Mexican food fix.

My little town does not have very many restaurants and fewer still that are half-way good.  It is helpful if they serve alcohol because mom likes a glass of wine with her meal.  Mom has been in the wheelchair with limited mobility pretty much the whole time since she has been in Wharton.  But she has been up walking for the past week and I decided to throw caution to wind.  The Mexican food restaurant sits up high overlooking the Colorado River.  It has been a favorite since we moved here.  However, there is no elevator.  To get up to the restaurant you either take the stairs or a long, winding ramp. 

It was just mom and I with Lauren camping with deer and Ally tied up with family things.  When I got to her place she was quite distraught about the big storm that was coming.  We are not having a storm.  Hasn’t rained in weeks and we will be lucky if we get any rain at all this weekend.  I think the residents were watching the coverage of Hurricane Sandy in New York and thought it was happening here.  Mom was anxious to get of there and told me she was scared to go back because of the storm.  We spent most of lunch with me trying to convince her there was not a storm brewing.

We successfully got up the long ramp.  We ordered a Margarita to share and my favorite chicken with spinach and mushrooms.  Okay, so it is a Mexican place but the chef serves up great concoctions of his own that are not spicy and very good.  Mom really liked the chicken that came out on a steaming plate with fresh vegetables, rice and hot homemade tortillas.  What a success! 

Now, when Jim and Jay come to visit, they can get the food they like and mom will have something to enjoy as well.  They even made her hot tea with honey. 

It was easier to take her back to her place with the Margarita on board and momma ready for a nap.  I admit, I too, was ready for a little afternoon siesta.

Friday Afternoon

Across the pasturephoto courtesy of Linda Potter-Potter Photography

It is another Friday.  We all look forward to the weekend, especially those of us doing the Monday through Friday grind.  I guess that applies if you are a worker or a student.  Years ago, I worked nights 7 pm- 7 am at the hospital, every other weekend.  That changed my perspective of weekends.  Then you could not wait to finally be off on Monday and really did not start to feel like a human being again until late Monday afternoon.

I look forward now to Friday afternoons.  I look forward to turning my little car towards home for that last commute of the week.  I especially am looking forward to this weekend because we get to turn the clocks back an hour.  I think the Sunday morning when we turn the clocks back ranks as my favorite holiday.  In the early dawn hours of Sunday morning, I can look at the clock and know I can have an extra hour of sleep.  I know come Sunday night I will go to bed earlier so it will actually be a shortened day for me. Yet, I look forward to it religiously.

Weekends are like that as well. I look forward to them for the break from routine and the time to catch up.  This weekend, Lauren and Blake are off to deer camp (now, isn’t that a stupid thing to call deer hunting-going to deer camp?  I mean really, I guess you are “camping” with the deer but since your plan is to kill them, that kind of takes away from the pleasant summer camp connotation).  Anyway, Lauren will be gone all weekend or at least until she gets tired of hanging out in the woods without satellite tv, so I am on my own.  I have some projects I want to do.  Like work on getting Mickey clipped, cleaned and ready for the show next weekend and clean out the tackroom.  I also want to get mom out to dinner or at least over on Sunday for a meal and the Texan’s game.

It will be nice to have some time to read, write and recharge but honestly I will miss my usual visit from Jordyn and having time to talk to Lauren.  It will actually be pretty quiet at the farm. 

It has been a long time since I have had two days and nights alone.  Mickey and I will go for a couple of long rides.  I will spend some quality time at Wal-Mart.  I also suspect my Facebook time will increase as well.  I expect to be ready for some company by Texan kick-off time Sunday.

Next Thursday we move Mickey to the Katy Equestrian Center for Zone 7 Finals.  We have prayed, wished and hoped to be making this trip and are extraordinarily blessed to actually be headed there.  Next weekend will be nuts, so it is nice to have this weekend to just be quiet.


Happy Halloween from Lexi, Amber, Ryan and Riley-all superheros to me!

Hope everyone had a great Halloween!  I love the new traditions of the neighborhoods (at least in the south) having impromptu parties, meeting up in the cul-de-sacs with food and drinks and just having family fun.  The area where Amber and Ryan live always seem to have a great combination of the traditional trick-n-treating along with getting to know new neighbors while re-affirming friendships with others.  I heard  many stories this morning of friends and families joining up  for safe and fun times.  I really believe this is one holiday that has gotten better over time. 

We did not really celebrate Halloween and did not get any trick or treaters out in the country where we live.  We were happy to be done with the hay, showered and in for the night.  This morning was warm and foggy with a heavy mist over the pastures and hay fields.  I didn’t spot any evidence of the dog pack and was THRILLED to see my Matt Cat and Boots (the neutered male {wouldn’t you want to be known as the ‘neutered male’?}) both back home this morning no worse for the time gone.  Matt had been gone several days but other than being hungry, seemed fine.  He is a totally black cat and was a nice post-Halloween surprise!

I didn’t see mom last night due to the hay gathering and she never does well when I miss a day.  She got the nursing home to call me multiple times today when I was work.  She told me that I had to get there to get her out of that place.  She was thinking she was still in Denver and had not moved yet.  When I got there she knew me immediately but was still thinking she was in Denver.  Mom was so glad I had come so far to see her and kept asking where Lauren was.  I told her Lauren had taken her boyfriend Blake to the doctor and hadn’t been able to come.  She was confused about that (if Lauren was with me in Denver then how did she get her boyfriend to the doctor?). 

One of her favorite nieces, Suzy, called while I was there.  It was great to see her face light up when I told her Suzy was on the phone.  Mom clearly remembered her.  But Suzy got a little confused when mom told her she was moving soon to be near me.  I will take mom knowing me and the family and being unsure about where she is-that is way better than knowing where she is and not knowing us.

The weather is good, the animals are safe, the hay is in for the winter and all is well in south Texas.  Thank you for riding along!


Dogs and Hay

Lauren on top of the flat-bed while hay is loaded from the field. At this point I was doing the labor intensive job of counting the bales that were loaded.

It was balmy and warm  this morning in comparison to the last several days. It was morning for me, although only 4 am, while I did not think about it a whole lot, I figured, I will just leave the door to the tack room open.  I usually close it up when the wind is blowing or it is cold.  I didn’t think about the pack of dogs, it wasn’t night any more (I was up, wasn’t I?-must be morning) so I thought it was past the time the pack would show up.

I was already at work, but it was still dark when Lauren heard the dogs in the house starting barking like crazy.  She rushed to the barn to find three dogs inside the tack room, another kitten dead and food scattered all over.  Of course, they ran off before she could do anything.  What she would have done, is unclear as her gun is at her boyfriends (I know we are just not good Texans!).  As I was discussing this with my vet friend this morning, even she said, it is time to kill the freakin’ dogs. 

We have everything locked up tight tonight and I will not make the tack room door mistake again.  I can’t find my Matt Cat (several days gone now) and my last neutered male has disappeared as well.  Not to make light of this situation, because my heart is very heavy, but my cat overpopulation problem is not a problem anymore.

Tonight was the last hay cutting for the year.  We will need to make do with the hay from this cutting until spring-or buy some high-priced feed store hay.  I called my friends and between four families of horse owners collected almost 290 bales of hay.  Lauren and I were in on moving and stacking at least half of that.  I am tired but satisfied that we are as well set as we can be.  This year was a good year for hay, so it is plentiful.  But it will be nice to have it stacked and stored when it gets cold and wet.

What’s up with Momma

Jordyn taking Nanny down to dinner.

As shown above mom has been in a wheelchair for several weeks.  Jordyn has enjoyed taking her around and has gotten quite adebt at it.  I love this picture!

Now, mom has started walking again.  As completely as she had taken to the wheelchair she has now left it. She is getting along pretty well.  Yesterday was a good day mentally and she enjoyed the recent letter and pictures from Jim and Jay.

Over the weekend, Ally, Luke and the girls joined Lauren, mom and I for Sunday dinner.  Mom loves seeing the kids and seems to enjoy my cooking (I have a limited but successful number of dishes to serve). 

Ally and Lauren took mom back home after dinner.  Upon arriving at the nursing home, mom takes great pride in introducing her family to the other residents and caregivers.  Ally was a little taken back when Lauren was introduced as her granddaughter but Ally was “Jordyn’s mother”.  I am happy she was remembering the relationship between Ally and Jordyn.  Ally, I am sure, will have a lot of time to get used to be known as “Jordyn’s Mom”.

Tonight was bale hay night so I did not get to mom’s.  she called frantically asking if someone could please come get from the awful place she was in.  It seems whenever I miss a night, we go backwards.  I will catch up with her tomorrow and hope to get the positive track flowing.