About Exechorseluver

A writer and horse lover (animal lover) at heart. With a few year's exception, I have mostly worked outside the animal field. I am pretty good at what I do. But at the end of day, I want to be with the horses, cuddle with the dogs and sit quietly as the sun goes down with a cat on my lap. Spending time with my family and especially my grandchildren is number one for me. My little farm gives me a perfect life.

The WHOA Watch

Back in 1999, recently divorced, recently starting over in the horse business and with two horse crazy kids, I purchased what was a “nice” watch for then (okay, not super nice but nice by my standards).  It was called the WHOA watch and was sold at a saddle shop.24918

Certainly, that was enough to get my attention but it also came with a leather band, a stainless steel face, and was quite water proof.  Exactly, what I needed for my new life with horses, water hoses and water buckets.  I would not have to take it off every time I wanted to clean a bucket or bathe a horse.

It also had a little light up dial feature.  Perfect for me in the middle of the night when I wanted to know what time it was.

Well, I loved the WHOA watch, cleverly saying whoa instead of stop in a little stop sign in the center of the watch.  It was to be a saving grace for me as well.

I was working a thoroughbred for some friends and without much warning or notice got bucked off over the arena fence, landing indelicately in the stands.  I was hurt bad enough for an ambulance to come and me to spend several days in the hospital. But my WHOA watch had saved me from a bad injury as well.

As I had bounded over the fence, my wrist had caught on the wire fence, cutting deeply into the soft flesh.  It bled,  a lot.  In the ambulance, they wanted to throw away my watch which was covered in blood.  I insisted on keeping it.  It would be awhile until I examined my clothing and belongings from that day.

When I did, and I cleaned up the WHOA watch, I found the stainless steel face had a deep pit cut into the stainless and across the glass.  Had the wire cut through my wrist at the same depth and strength I would have had quite an issue with bleeding. As it was the WHOA watch let me get by with just a few stitches instead.

All this time, I casually looked for another WHOA watch.  I never could find one, but kept a search active on eBay.  Well, look at what I got (and for an amazing price-okay it is 20 years old -I call that a vintage find!). I am thrilled to have my watch back and hope I don’t need it’s super powers ever again.

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Thanks for riding along!

Study or Not?

As final exams and tests explode in house’s everywhere here is a testament to study.

Sunil Bali’s post provided some fodder around the study drills and their impact on our creativity levels.  I thought you might enjoy his enthusiastic take on the beginner’s mind.

 If you went to school in England, the chances are that you’re familiar with the fact that King Harold of England was shot in the eye by an arrow in 1066.

I can safely say that in the 40 years since I learned of Harold’s hapless demise, this fact has been of no use whatsoever.

The saving grace when I was taking my school exams was that whilst I was required to regurgitate countless facts, at least I wasn’t living in today’s age of infobesity, infoxication and information overload ….. drowning in a sea of self-promotion and sound bites.

As we’re growing up, school, society and then often the workplace, educate us out of our creativity.

Paul Linley, the multi-millionaire founder of children’s food company Ella’s kitchen, says that “grown-ups need to grow down” because when we’re born, we’re all creative geniuses and master negotiators, able to capture anyone’s attention.

Unburdened by the would, could and should of adulthood, children look at the world as a playground full of wonder, opportunity and joy.

In the foreword to Linley’s book, Little Wins, Sir Richard Branson says that recapturing the wild eyed enthusiasm, warmth and determination of your toddlerhood – or as Zen calls the Beginner’s Mind – is the path to a successful and fulfilled life.

 Sunil Bali’s great posts can be found at  http://www.sunilbali.com/

Thanks for riding along!

 

Grandkids

I have four grandchildren. The oldest, Jordyn, is nine. Next, my only grandson, Riley is seven. Then, is Lexi who is five. And last but certainly not least, is Kendyll who is four.  

Their parents, God bless them, give their children opportunities to excel in sports and in school. All four of the children are doing well in their sporting events this spring. I thought I would take just a moment to brag on all of them. 


Getting ready to Canter with trainer Nancy

Away they go!

Canter away

First, Jordyn, is really getting used to her new horse Poppy.  Poppy is to be the grandchildren’s horse but Jordyn is the one taking the first rides. By this weekend she was cantering over and over, picking up the correct lead and perfecting her style within just a week.  The little Poppy horse has entered all of our hearts.

Next out in Brighton, Colorado seven-year-old Riley has been tearing up the baseball field. He has had a hit at every single game he has played this year I know his grandpa Dave is very proud of him.

Baseball/softball was such a huge part of our life with Amber as she grew up playing with her dad coaching. Seems like her son has the same genetics.

As we all know it is hard especially in varying weather conditions, extremely cold days, warm days, windy days, to always get up and hit that ball. But that is exactly what Riley has been doing being one of the most consistent hitters is on his team.  I am very proud of him myself.
Lexington, pretty much the queen of her kindergarten class, ask anyone in the class- I’m serious, is also preparing for a dance recital right now. Lexi loves the costumes, the music and her simple ability to just dance her heart out. I wish I could be there for the recital. But I’ll look forward to seeing it Lexi on video when I can.

Riley and Lexi are also working on their upcoming Spartan race as they prepare to race across varied terrain and over and under many obstacles.

Lexi and Riley practicing the obstacle wall. It’s up and over folks.

Finally, four year-old Kendyll has been playing soccer this season. At first it didn’t go so well. It was really a lot of work running up and down that field and working the ball wasn’t too easy either. But Kendyll,  I think, is a natural athlete and bit by bit she got the idea of what was supposed to happen on the field.

It is also helped that I have been out of commission the last couple of weeks. Kendyll would come over while I sat in a chair to defend the garage entrance and Kendyll will try to kick the ball past me as I sat in the chair.  That should be pretty easy right? Actually Kendyll learned a lot from the exercise,  doing it over and over again till she got it right. 

 At her game this weekend she got her very first goal! I am very proud of her performance as well.  
It is amazing what happens when you give kids goals and opportunities to meet their goals. 

I love these babies so much and I’m so proud of them. 
As always, thanks for riding along.

A Chance

IMG_6449Day by day, I have been getting a little stronger and walking about a little further.  I have had some great visitors that have filled up the hours and some beautiful flowers that are filling the air with sweet scents.

Thursday Ally was over early to mow.  She thought she saw a small dog at the top of my neighbor’s driveway.  Lauren came back from her trainer’s around noon and spotted the same little one lying deathlike in the driveway.  Lauren went to investigate and found the neighbor’s other mini-pony had given birth but mommy and baby were separated and the baby was much worse for not having mommy by her side and milk to drink.

A little investigation found the first time momma with her placenta half-delivered locked away down in the pasture.  The baby had wondered up to the road herself.

Lauren would have investigated more but for the bull that chased her out of the pasture and through the wire fence.  It had been a brutal week for Lauren anyway having suffered a badly injured forearm that took her to the ER and a fall through a palm tree (you do not want that story) so getting chased by the bull was icing on the cake.

IMG_6450.JPGLauren and Ally teamed up with our neighbors to try to help out the tiny baby that was quite dehydrated at that point.  Couple with a syringe and water, the foal got some much needed fluids and started to gain back some ground toward living.

Lauren kept mumbling that she wanted to take the foal on the road with her to Tyron (North Carolina where she is headed to show this next week) and I was was fine with that but I was not agreeing to nurse it around the clock.  The owner of the property and mare were gone and not reachable to help us save the baby.

The girls called the sheriff’s department and four officers arrived pretty quickly.  They took the baby in their arms and went in search of the new momma still hoping she would accept the baby and the baby would have a chance.

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We all left out about that time leaving the matter in the capable hands of the officers.  Last night Nancy arrived for Jordyn’s lessons and I was telling Jennifer about the bad news of losing the little foal when our eyes were riveted towards the little sorrel pinto streak of a foal galloping next to her momma in the next pasture.

Never did I expect this baby to live and flourish.  I guess she just needed a chance.  Thank you ladies for work well done in his service!

Thanks for riding along!

Spring Baby

Our neighbors just had a mini horse baby. It is probably the size of my poodle. Seriously,  maybe he is just a little bit bigger than my poodle but not much and will not get a whole lot bigger than the poodle in the long run. He is about 10 days old now.  As I was home today getting my walkabout in, I got some photos of the little tiny baby. He could be one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen. But he’s feisty and mean and all of his stallion stuff is going on strong in his head already at 10 days of age.  

It looks like the end of his tail was dipped in chocolate.

Betty Sue looking on at the new little stallion next-door.

Thought I would just give some photos to you to enjoy as well.  
Thanks, as always for riding along.

And he’s out of here.

New Tuesday

Alex with almost yearling Sims


I had a quiet weekend as my body was trying to recover from the gallbladder storm of last week and prepare for the gallbladder removal of this week. Lauren was gone so Alex came to help me with stalls and cleaning. It was great to see her as always,  fun to show off Sims and she got a good ride in on Feather for us as well.

Last Tuesday morning I can honestly say it was one of the worst mornings of my life ever in terms of how I had felt.   This, a new Tuesday, while I feel like I was hit by a car, my neck hurts, my legs hurt, my belly hurts, and my back hurts I don’t have that overwhelming I am sick feeling that I had a week ago and for that I am immensely grateful.

Surgery yesterday brought out a very sick gallbladder that I have carted around for maybe 40 years. The doctor, an experienced one, noted this was one of the sickest gallbladder he’s ever seen. I was pleased.  Clearly, I had made the most of it.  I like to be high achieving in anything I do.
The next few days I’ll get stronger again get back to work soon as I can and be grateful I have the chance. As much as we complain about our medical medical system here we are very blessed. We have outstanding facilities, well trained doctors and the best opportunities for wellness.
I have had many health challenges over the years and I will have many more in the future.   I have some coming up soon. But I will never give up lightly.  I will never take them more seriously than they are.   Nor will I give them an opportunity to take over the life that I lead until they throw me to the mat. I’m grateful for another day.  I’m grateful for the chance at wellness. 
Thank you for so many well wishes.  

As always, thanks for riding along. 

What’s up, Cindy?

Loyal duo- George and Izzy

Last Monday was a busy day. All kinds of hectic at work,  rolling towards the first of another new month.  Another month off the calendar of time to accomplish things in 2017. I was even a bit worried and concerned about the lack of time I would have until we have had show results on the corporate table. But I was committed.  I was ready.  And I had a great team behind me. 

At home we were barreling down to T -2 weeks until Lauren went out of town. I’ve been keeping to my dressage ( dressage got auto corrected to Microsoft, lol) schedule not riding as much as I wanted but riding at least every week in the lesson. My back had improved- my life was improving.
Are you hearing but then? Well here it is, a but then on Monday night I started with this horrific type of stomach flu. Honestly do not know even now if it was a bug or food poisoning deal.  Round here you can never rule out food poisoning. And maybe eating Easter left overs a week later is not a good idea but it seemed like one of the time. 
I got through Monday and Tuesday pretty much in a coma.  I could honestly not make it further than my bed to the bathroom. No, you don’t want these details so feel free not to read the next couple sentences. Let’s just say that my mother who died two years ago needed this kind of help.   I never thought I would need this kind of help at age 60. And let it go.   I was probably as sick as I’ve ever been in my entire life and still have some of the same problems. 
By Wednesday my daughters for pushing me for the ER. When my family practice doctor saw how dehydrated I was,  where my stomach hurt she sent me right over. Why would listen to professionals over our children, I don’t know. Shout out to Memorial Hermann Sugar Land they did a great, expedient (mostly) job. Ally was shocked at how young the doctor was but giving a reference to Doogie Houser, MD, was a waste of my time so I didn’t bother. She was also shocked at how little money a resident would make while working in emergency room in Houston Texas (one of our conversations). 

Diagnosis – of course stomach/bowel problems that were quite obvious when I went in. I got some great medicine to take care of those issues. 
However, three interesting things came up on the CT scan but we’re only going to discuss one for now. (The other two findings might merit their own blog post so wait for what you can find out from a CT scan). The one for now,  I finally trashed my gallbladder- multiple stones were easily viewed and the gallbladder itself looked like a wicked, old troll (so the doc never said this.  It is how I imagine it, so what!!).  

They strongly encouraged me to have surgery ASAP before yellow became my new skin color.  I have had gallbladder problems for over 40 years and every time they have wanted to take out my gallbladder -starting when I was in college some other event would supersede the gallbladder surgery something much more crushing like they told me to take my gallbladder out just when I broke my pelvis. I wasn’t going to surgery then either. Another time was when I was six months pregnant with Lauren and I had an acute appendicitis they wanted to take the gallbladder out then too-again not a good time.  

I actually can’t even imagine a world where I wouldn’t have gallbladder pain. I’m actually kind of excited about this whole thing. Did you know the gallbladder pain can refer to your shoulder? Because I didn’t. It may clear up why I get this intense pain on the top of my shoulder even when I don’t remember having done anything to it, not that it takes much with my shoulders.
I saw the surgeon yesterday morning, I wish I had fasted because he wanted me in surgery then.  I had already had something to drink so it was postponed until this Monday.  I will appreciate any good thoughts, prayers, whatever you all do that might bring some good spirits my way. Not a big deal in the scope of what other people are dealing with but surgery at my age is still a little risky.

I’ll be back on my feet and back in the saddle before you know it. Not to mention having plenty of time to think and organize to push my corporate goals ahead in the meantime. 

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Jordyn on new Poppy.


Jordyn took her first lesson on Poppy with Nancy.  On an aside, anyone out there reading this get how Poppy might have a reference to my family and theirs? I did not name this horse she came with the name Poppy and yet it was a place that meant a lot of smiles and good,  happy times.  It was one of my mom and Jim’s favorite places to eat in Denver in the end.
Jordyn has not had much opportunity to ride Poppy yet so they’re still not totally fluid with one another. And Jordyn needs to get over some of her fear (legit fear) of horses running off on her. I don’t think Poppy will ever do that to her. Let’s just say the first lesson was a little rocky and we’re hoping for a better one next time.  

For now, Levi and I are going back to sleep.

As always, thanks for riding along!

Poppy and Betty Sue

Long ago, back in 2004, a horse came into the equine rescue they called Mac. A 16.1 HH quarter horse that did Hunters.  I didn’t know who I was going to buy him for but I knew I had to buy him.  
One of Lauren’s friends named Desi went in half on him. We used him occasionally.  Desi won multiple, multiple championships on him.. Then when her family had to go overseas she sold her half again to another girl name Elizabeth who went on to win again multiple, multiple championships. 

He was the kind a horse most anyone to get on and put in a good ride. He was that kind a horse. I have not before nor since had a horse quite like that. And I’ve kept him on my mind all these years. Watching, waiting and hoping that another one like Mac might show up.

And while I’m sure Mac himself did not show up in the body of this little mare as he is still alive and well at Whipple Tree Farm, this little mare has a lot of his good qualities.

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Jordyn getting in the first ride.

 Facebook is covered with horse sale ads. Rarely do I have the money for the good ones that I would like to have. I didn’t really have money for this one either. But this time it seemed important to try to find the money and find the horse,  the special horse that we’ve been looking for for so long.

I feel it is bad to have a riding barn where there’s never a horse the average person could ride. They’re either too old, lame, too fast, or too dumb, never just right. I wanted the just right horse. It was to be my grandkids horse -all of their’s.

Interestingly, the horse’s registered name is “Daddy’s Last Dollar”.  Might as well of been “Granny’s Last Dollar”.
After some soul-searching and checking my plan against some of my most difficult critics, Tim, Gaylyn, and Lynn, I got a nod from each one of them for their part in the getting the grandkid horse scheme.  
All that was left was beating out the four other people yesterday alone that were interested in buying the horse and getting up north of Dallas five hours away prior to any of them arriving at 8:30 in the morning with our horse trailer. Thank you, Ally and Lauren, I could not have made the trip. My back would’ve revolutef and I would be laying on the side of the road. Thank you for making the ten hour trek. 

APHA solid bred mare


This morning with the wind high and the temperature low Jordyn got the first ride of the grandkids on the new mare. She absolutely, was as advertised. Jordyn had a great ride -best on any horse ever. That alone made a pretty worthwhile.

Cantering quietly at 45 days under saddle.  

Slow motion trot.  Oh my!

That Lauren was in the ring with Betty Sue and the two of them are coming along fabulously added to help make  this mornIng into one of the top ones of my life. 

Thanks as always for riding along.  

 

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 Sims is not the biggest yearling in Texas!

 

If I had a dollar for every time I have uttered that my baby (soon to be one year old) Sims was a big colt, I might be able to take a cruise out of Galveston.   Not rich, but better off.

And for you all, you would probably be way less bored if I had not mentioned the colt as much as I had.  But…anyway let’s say I was intrigued to learn a friend of mine said on Facebook that she was celebrating her yearling’s birthday and that he was almost 16 hands.  Whoa!! That got my attention.  Due to the short nature of most of my horses, this yearling Maria had, was taller than any horse in my barn, except my mare Nova.

I had to see this for myself. I wasn’t sure anyone else could accurately measure a horse but me.  A 16 hand yearling-that was not a major draft breed (for you non-horse people think not a Budweiser Clydesdale or like) was almost unsettling. This horse of Maria’s was German warmblood, American thoroughbred and Shire (which is a draft breed but only a small percentage incomparison to the other bloodlines).  

My Sims is big.  He will be 11 months in a couple of days. He is almost 15.1 hands high at the hip.  He will probably be a 17 hand horse which if you ever have seen a five foot man versus a seven foot man, run hurdles, you get the advantage Sims will have over a smaller horse. Sims should have the legs to jump. 

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I met Maria maybe ten years ago at a schooling show I was working and she was showing her eventer.  She is a tall, beautiful Danish women.  Maria embodies a strong equestrian flair to her life and style. Maria and I have friends in common, but our biggest link is breeder Stephanie Wendorf from whom Maria has leased mares and produced amazing babies.  Stephanie, being the same breeder that brought me Betty Sue and Fargo,  now through Fargo -Sims, and soon a baby to be born in Colorado, from jumper Flexible.

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I decided to buy a bit for Betty Sue from one Maria had for sale and headed over to her nearby home with Lauren.  I was checking out this baby for myself.  I even made sure we could see the babies while we were there.

Well…

pony

Mini pony hanging Moses

new baby

New baby hanging with the big guy. 

Okay, hands down, biggest Sporthorse yearling I had ever seen and NO question that he was way bigger than Sims.  Even given their two months or so difference in age.

Meet, Mohican DF, by Mitril out of Mirage by Hideway Pond William, affectionately  known as Moses.  He is buckskin with three white socks.  Moses is goofy, unaware of his size, far more coordinated than he should be and so loving. 

Side by side comparison:

Moses:  15.3 hh at withers and about 16.1 at his butt at 14 months

Sims:  14.3 hh at his withers and about 15.1 at his butt at 11 months

 I told Maria early on in our discussion that this story might surface someone interested in buying this amazing animal.  Maria, who I have to say often sells all kinds of things, did not even entertain me, she just said no.  This is her horse of a lifetime.

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Mohican DF at approximately four months, cleaned up for his inspection

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Maria is good friends with Megan, our lady who owned the pregnant donkey (that had the super cute baby) (wouldn’t you want to be known as the pregnant donkey mom?).  Anyway, Megan had an enormous warmblood named Maximus.  Moses is actually the nephew of Maximus.  Maximus topped out at 18 hands and a solid 1800 pounds.  Again, for a rule of thumb, my Bruno was a big guy (many photos on this blog will attest to his size) but he was 17.1 and 1450 pounds.

A fun comparison of the uncle and nephew at the same age are startling similar.

max mos

Uncle Maximus on the top with nephew Moses on the bottom. Age maybe two months-talk about big bone with size!

 

Part of what was captivating about this yearling (I have to keep saying that as it is so amazing) was just his bone size.  His front legs are long, straight and like tree trunks firmly planted with deep roots.

The other thing is just his attitude.  One friend had a show mare named “Attitude is Everything”.  This guy is so willing, so friendly and so interested that he will go far.  I will not say he has a a better attitude than Sims (got to keep some advantage) but they both have that asset. In the pictures above you can see how cares little about if he is faced with a new foal or a mini pony.

I asked Maria to get some shots of herself with her boy, Moses.  I love the results.  Like all good equestrians, Maria, was already in her pjs before the sun went down but was happy to head back out to the barn for a little photo shoot with her main man (is a one year old a man?).  That could be a whole different blog.  In the meantime, congrats Maria on your fine, young guy. May he be all you hope him to be!

And I will shut up (at least until Sims next birthday) about my big boy as he clearly is not the big man of Texas or even Richmond, Texas.  Move over Sims, Moses is the king!

 

 

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Maria is 5’10” folks!  And I love this picture!