A Week in the Life

What am I doing now? The Ergonomic specialist stopped by my desk with a few tips.

floor1What am I doing now? The Ergonomic specialist stopped by my desk with a few tips.

Seems there is never a dull moment in my life whether I am at work or at play.  The company I work for employs an ergonomic specialist that ensures we are sitting properly at our desk, with the best support and tools.

I think she found me to be a “special” case as I had many ergonomic challenges.  Just changing  the direction of my keyboard and a few things on my computer have led to better days at the office.

One of her most important messages was that we all need to get up and move around more.  Of course, there is an app you can use on your phone to remind you to get up.  For me, the “special’ case, I was told to get up from my desk and lay down on the floor.  I was given a noodle-like a form one that you would use to float on in the pool.  I am to put that under my back and roll around.

How great it is to be wallowing on the floor of your office filled with Millennial employees like a giant turtle on its back.  From the pictures you can see that I am not that joyful regarding this process.  However, I must note that day by day I am a little less knotted up and stressed filled.

So when I am not lying on the floor at work on a foam noodle, I have had a busy weekend with being a horse show mom.  We had not been to a show since last March and it was great fun to catch up with everyone and see what they are doing and who they showing now.  Lauren and Feather moved up a division to the High Amateur Adults at 1.10 and 1.15 meters.  It was their first time ever to compete in that division.  The 1.10 meter went well with the pair picking up a third place ribbon.  Feather has jump and Lauren has skill but it will take some more time in the show ring for it all to flow well.

Up and Over--

Up and Over–

 

Feather up and over the donut jump.

Feather up and over the donut jump.

This week I have also been spending extra time trying to get yard work, pastures, and grounds trimmed, mowed and ready for fall.  It has been much cooler in the evening and we have enjoyed working with Betty Sue.  We are working on baby horse things like being tied and cross-tied.  We have also had fun just hanging out with her and enjoying her quirky personality.  At 17 months she measured a solid 14.3 hands and almost 800 pounds.

bs 10012015

Most evenings have been quiet at the farm with Lauren and Isabel riding their horses and ponies.  The new Mustang Kit is coming along well.  Lauren and I were gratified the other night to see the neighbor who had to give up these horses drive by on the road above the farm.  He slowed down to watch Lauren work his former pony.  I hope he is pleased with her progress, but I feel he might be.  This Welsh and/or Quarter pony is certainly no longer looking like any kind of rescue project.  In fact we cut her food back as she is bordering on chunky these days!

Looking pretty well fed these days-our rescue pony Jete'.

Looking pretty well fed these days-our rescue pony Jete’.

Speaking of chunky, my friend was showing me a picture of her dog Teddy.  We decided that coupled with a picture of lean, young Maui  it could be a Weight Watcher before and after ad.

Rubanesque Teddy and lean and sweet Maui Jim

Rubanesque Teddy and lean and sweet Maui Jim

Kendyll has been spending the early fall mornings with her momma, Ally, working at the farm.  This morning she called Betty Sue and Nova over for some pets.  Then she had to bring her play pony Buddy over for a picture with Nova as well.  Wish I had been home to spend time with them.

The horses have their fly masks on to keep the flies out of their eyes.  Kendyll is pretty

The horses have their fly masks on to keep the flies out of their eyes. Kendyll is pretty

kenbs1

Looking forward to weekend!  You all enjoy the fine fall weather and thanks for riding along with us!

Story of Snowbaby Go!-Horse Rescue

Originally Posted on August 13, 2012 by

Snowboy at the rescue-the first time-you can still see his black spots through his white coat.

Snowboy will come home to six Meadow Farm on Sunday. Jordyn will see him as a total surprise on Wednesday. He is her sixth birthday surprise present. I thought it was appropriate to reach into the archives to re-tell the story of Snow and how he came to belong to Lauren and myself (although I know many of you have fond memories of him as well).

_______________________________

Today’s story is the story of Snowney the White Pony, AKA Snowbaby Go, AKA Snowboy. Some of you out there know that there was a time when he was called Oreo-Double Stuff in his youth for reasons obvious above. He was the pony of a girl at Sienna Stables. My father, quite a horseman in his own right, would never have bought a pony for my sister and I. Too mean, he’d had said. And Snow (Oreo) was no different. In his early days he went out of his way to dump, stop, buck or just lie down in an effort to dislodge his rider and quit working.

His first young rider loved him but her mother was wise enough to know that there were better horses for her daughter to ride. Ones that would not be so determined to send her daughter to the ground. And so this adorable white pony went to the horse rescue. I got a call about him and knew he would work somewhere, for someone in the Whipple Tree Farm stable. I remember Dianne telling Snowboy that first night that life was going to be a little less fun and not as glamorous at this new barn. He was going to be expected to work for a living. And his shenanigans would have to stop.

First, why Snowboy as a name? As a child, my father made sure I learned about great horses and great horseman. I loved the book-Snowman-the Cinderella Horse. He was a rescued plow horse that took on the biggest jumping shows in the world and won. He was owned by Harry DeLeyer(yes, the same DeLeyer family from here in Houston) and was further immortalized in a recent book called “The Eighty Dollar Champion”. http://www.amazon.com/The-Eighty-Dollar-Champion-Inspired-ebook/dp/B004J4WKY2

So, I had loved Snowman but this was a white PONY-so obviously, this pony had to be Snowboy, not Snowman. Made perfect sense to me. Later we came up with the name “Snowbaby Go” as a show name, one which was unique and yet classic. I don’t think we actually got to name any of the other horses we had, we just went along with whatever they were called but Snowboy got a barn name, a show name (Snowbaby Go) and later a love name from my granddaughter, Snowney the White Pony.

Snowboy was originally used as a lesson horse at Whipple Tree and in the course of a few months, most of the teenaged riders there, Caitlyn, Lauren, Rachel, Cara, Stefani and Desi (to name a few) had fallen off of him. He wasn’t necessarily mean, just crafty. If you weren’t paying attention, he would catch you unaware and off you would go. (Which, by the way, totally reinforced my dad’s original opinion.)

Not too long after we got Snow, I got a call from the rescue that a beautiful, big, bay quarter horse had come in. He was a seasoned show veteran and quite a solid hunter. I asked if I could trade Snow for the new horse Mac (I had actually paid more for Snow than they were asking for Mac-because of Mac’s older age). A deal was struck and back to the rescue Snow went. I will note that as much I as I was loved for bringing Mac to Desi (his new half owner) I was hated by the girls that had come to love Snow including my own daughter Lauren. There were a lot of tears when Snow left. I would have never done so if I would have known what would happen to Snow in his next home but then Desi, Elizabeth, Mary Lou and others would have never known the wonderful horse that Mac is either. So… you make the best decision you can.

Jordyn at two-years of age riding her “Snowney” with cat along for the ride

It was not easy to place Snow the second time around. I was the big “English” client and Snow was a jumping pony. Most of the rescue’s clients were western people and this pony did not match their interest. Finally, a woman adopted Snow and he went to live with several other horses. It wasn’t Sienna Stables or Whipple Tree Farm but it should have been okay.

It was not. Sarah, our rescue friend and recent trainer of Feather and Mimi, saw Snow emaciated (which was quite a change from his Oreo-Double Stuff persona) standing in a pasture of dried up weeds. There were dead horses in this pasture and obviously it had been a long time since food and water had been on the menu here. I got a call asking if I would take the pony back. I quickly agreed and Snow came back to Whipple Tree Farm. Before Snow could settle in for a good meal, get his feet fixed or be rested, the Brazoria County Sheriff called with claims that I had stolen the pony. Once he heard the story, he sided with us, but the legal owner of Snow was charging Grand Theft Pony and I had to give him back. The sheriff came to get Snow in an open top trailer. If I thought I had been hated for the first time I let Snow go- it was nothing compared to this time when he rode away in the horrible trailer to go to the ASPCA. Snow would stay at the humane society until the court case was decided. I got a call a few weeks later that his previous owner had been convicted of multiple counts of animal cruelty for allowing some of the horses to die and others (like Snow) to be starved. I was told that Snow would be up for adoption. Snow’s story was actually dramatized on Animal Planet in their show, “Animal Cops”.

This time except for telling a few friends, Kathy, Dianne and Rebecca, no one knew Snow might be coming home, not even Lauren. Rebecca agreed to go pick up Snow in her trailer. Kathy helped with the adoption fees and off we went to get Snow. Lauren was left in the Saturday morning lesson with Dianne. No one had any idea that I was off to pick up Snowboy-I couldn’t face them if anything had gone wrong and I could not bring him home.

As we pulled into the barn, Snow was not visible over the high sides of the trailer. Dianne asked the riders, “Oh my goodness, is that Snowboy?” Stefani, always polite and now a student at Texas A&M, replied “you better freaking not say that-you know he is gone forever!” but Dianne persisted, “Yes, I think it is Snowboy!” Stefani was jumping a course at the time and literally leaped off mid-canter to run to the trailer. Lauren and the other girls were right behind her. Rebecca and I pulled the trailer up and Snow was greeted by crying, screaming girls. I vowed that day that Snow would never go away again. No matter what, he was mine for life.

The next day, probably three hundred pounds lighter than he is today with torn up feet Snow went reserve champion for a girl in the Beginner Division. He won ribbons for Lauren that day as well.

Lauren and Snow at rated show-look at those knees!

Since then Snow has gained weight (he is the best scavenger around-no doubt due to his days of starvation), he has won year-end awards for Lauren in Pony classes many times over, and he has turned in respectable rounds at a rated show in the pony division. He has moved with us to Wharton and he has become my first granddaughter’s first love. As Jordyn was able to get down to ride less and less he went to trainer Dev as a school pony and has guided many over their first fences.

Isabel guiding Snow to another win

It seems that for now, Snow is safe, well fed and happy. One day soon, Jordyn will be ready to show her pony all by herself and he will return to our farm.

But one thing is certain, Snow will always have a place to call home and never be hungry again.

_________________________________

I know having one more horse will just mean more work and more expense but I am grateful for Dev having taken care of him these last years and just as grateful that I can present him to Jordyn on Wednesday. I suspect seeing her excitement and happiness may make it one of the best days of my life. In the end isn’t that what life is about, to bring joy and happiness to those we love?

I will be sure to have the video camera going!

In the Spotlight

I don’t talk much about my job.  I do financial things in an accounting department.  But, I am really blessed to have a great job that rewards my work and allows me to have my lifestyle with my farm and horses.  This month, our internal newsletter highlighted my story.  I thought I would share it with you.  One of my co-worker’s Kira, wrote it, and I thank her for such a nice write up.

Mickey, me and Feather

Mickey, me and Feather

IN THE SPOTLIGHT:
CINDY DAVIS
When you think of horses, what comes to mind? Beauty? Speed? Possibly Derby Day, with ladies in fancy dresses and floppy hats, casually socializing while holding a Mint Julep? Even those who don’t follow horse racing know of the Kentucky Derby; but, behind all the glitz and glamour is a lot of hard work – more than you may think! No one can attest to this more than Cindy Davis, Sr. Advisor, whose workday begins with feeding the horses at 4 am, while most of us are still tucked quietly in our beds.
Cindy’s love of horses began at an early age and has inspired her to become active in horse rescue. Although no longer operational, through Alvin’s Sunscape Equine Rescue, a group she was very active in, Cindy has help place 12-16 horses in the last 13 years and one of which, was featured on Animal Planet’s “Animal Cops” in Houston.
With the help of her daughter, Lauren, this mother/daughter team currently cares for 6 rescue horses at their ranch in Wharton, TX – some real celebrities too! Bruno is an OTTB (off the track thoroughbred) race horse from New York, who stands 17.2 hands high (that’s 70” at the shoulders, y’all!) and weighs 1,500 pounds. Bruno also has a best friend on the farm, KoolKid, who in his prime was the Houston Barrel Racing Champion at the ripe age of 20.
Unfortunately, not all horses who find themselves at Cindy’s farm had such a glamorous beginning. Mickey, for example, was a rescue from Bartlesville, OK who was severely abused growing up. Upon arrival, Mickey refused to even take a single step – but, fast forward 9 years and a boatload of hard work, Lauren and Mickey were attending the Regional Qualifiers in “Jumpers”, a very prestigious event.
Additionally, seven dogs reside at the farm and numerous cats, most rescues as well. Asked why she doesn’t downsize and move closer to town, Cindy says with a shrug, “it is like coming home to a different world. I love my animals, including all their problems, insecurities and issues. But when they bring home the top ribbon from the latest show, it all means just a little bit more, knowing we did it with an animal that had no chance at all before we took him home.” All in all, life on the farm is a tough job, especially for a team of two, but the rewards are priceless.
Click here to watch Bruno in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRnlGx2BQ_s
(Bruno’s registered name is ‘Fiddler’s Pilgrim’. He is number 2 in post position, in the green and white silks)