Sunday, February 28, 2010

Beautiful Blogger Award

Juliette at Honeysucke Faire very kindly passed this Beautiful Blogger award on to me. Thanks, Juliette! Although, I haven't felt like much of a beautiful blogger recently. In fact, I feel like I have not blogged at all on this blog of late.
This has been a really awful winter for me; and I am so looking forward to Spring, and finding a new start.
Anyway, the rules are: Link back to the person who gave you the award, (check) tell seven things about yourself, and pass the award on to 15 other bloggers. I'm afraid I don't really know 15 other bloggers but I am going to do what I can do...

7 Things about me:

1. I sort my snack foods. Candy, chips, crackers. I sort them by color, size, and shape - then I eat them according to how I "rank" them - which I will not go into here, it's far too complicated.And with chips, I eat the folded ones first. It's a little OCD, but true.

2. I ran for public office in my home town when I was 27. I lost; but I ran my own campaign and took the State's treasurer's training so I could handle my own campaign finances. It was one of the coolest things I ever did in my whole life thus far; and something I hope to repeat one day.

3. I was home schooled through the 12th grade. The only thing I regret about it is not being able to be in marching band. I think I would have liked that.

4. My family took a road trip from NC to Montana when I was 12 years old for my brother's wedding there. Ever since, I have loved that state, and want to go back.

5. I have an extremely touchy sense of smell. Smell is a big deal for me.

6. I hate spiders; but not snakes. Snakes are ok with me. I have picked them up on several occasions, to rescue them from people who want to kill them, or mow over them..... just not venomous ones.

7. My Dad's pet name for me as a child was(is) "Chickadee".

And here are the blogs I am bestowing the Beautiful Blogger Award onto:

Herb of Grace

Journey of a Daughter of El Shaddai

In the morning when I rise... give me Jesus

Pink Porches

Further Up and Further In

Thanks again, Juliette.
And sorry the blog is so bare and sad these days, folks - it's just a really bad time for me in the horse department.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Goodbye, Kavort

I found our horse, Kavort, lying dead in his paddock today. This came as a complete shock to my whole family.
We knew he was quite old; up in his 30's. But he was in good health, and living happily in retirement on my parent's peaceful farm in North Carolina with his pasturemates.

I entered the paddock to put his rain sheet on him, as the day is cool, and a light rain was falling. He seemed to be sleeping on a pile of old hay next to their hay bale they were eating on.

"Kavort," I called.
"Kavort!" I called louder.
Then I knew.

There is no evidence that he struggled, was in pain, or was under any stress. He was just lying there - peaceful.
For that, I am grateful; as I have begun to dread watghing horses get old, and die in pain and misery. If I could choose a way for my horses to go, this would be it.

Me riding Cavort in his first show.

Kavrot was TB/Arab out of an Arab mare. My sister Noelle always joked that it made him "Arab-Anglo" instead of Anglo Arab. I first met Cavrot when I was 14. (This gives you an idea of how aged he was.) I was helping out at a Therapeutic Riding center, and he was being donated. I went with the barn owner to pick him and another horse up. The girl donating him cried bitterly when we loaded him onto the trailer. But she had gotten a new horse, and her mother couldn't afford to keep more than one horse at the boarding barn. I rode Kavort in many dressage lessons in my teen years. I kept him one summer on our farm and tried to train him for therapy work; but he was too high spirited, and very few people were able to handle him. He threw me on more than one occasion, when he was tired of work. A few years later, he was sold to another worker at the center, and I didn't see Kavort for many years. I let it go - thinking he was gone forever.
Years later I got a strange call. It was from the girl who had bought him. She was moving to the South West, and wanted me to take Kavort and keep him until she could find a place to move him there. I agreed.
My little sister Noelle was outgrowing her welsh cross pony, Teaberry, and needed a new mount for shows. It all worked out perfect; we brought Kavort home.
I rode Kavort for a few weeks and worked out all his "kinks", schooled him intensively, and then Noelle began showing him the next season. Kavort cleaned up in the shows; excelling primarily in Jumping.
Three months after bringing him home, I got another call from his owner: She was getting married, no longer wanted the horse, and asked me to sell him for her. That is when my parents decided to buy him for my sister.

Noelle and Cavort in a NC State Championship show

Noelle won a High Point award in her age division at one show series we attended; and the same year, competed in a NC State Championship show with him. They didn't place, as it was one of those HUGE shows with 40 people per class; but just being there was a thrill for us.
Kavort liked to ride backward in the trailer: he would load up just fine, facing forward, and then turn around so he could look out the back of the trailer.
He hated to be alone. He hated to be stalled. He was such a fireball for being a 14 hand horse - I'll never forget the time he was getting all worked up after a schooling session with my sister. As she slipped his bridle off, and was trying to slip his halter on, he threw up his head, escaped out of the barn area, galloped down the paved street to the pasture gate, and in a huge leap, jumped the gate - which was mounted on a gatepost that put it at 5 1/2 feet tall. We were all blown away.

Noelle got very busy with High School and quit riding in shows when she was 16; at which point I gave Kavrot one year off from shows, and then put him into my lesson program.
He did that about 1 year or so, and has been in 100% retirement for the past 2 years; happily enjoying doing nothing.

Cavort's story is one of those that makes me believe that certain horses are "meant" to be with certain people.
He could be such a pain in the neck; but he was our special, very own pain in the neck; and we loved him for all his endearing little kooky ways.

Goodbye, Kavort. We will miss you. Thanks for all those wonderful memories and experiences. You will be in our hearts forever.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Keep Calm and Have a Cupcake

This weekend was gorgeous. (By Winter standards.) Up in the 50's Saturday and Sunday.

Did I get to ride my horses?


And I am a little bit depressed about it.

It's been bad enough, working all the time, no daylight to ride, and every single weekend for the past month or two, it has snowed, rained, iced, or been so windy you can't accomplish anything out doors.

I have not been on one of my horses since Christmas, y'all; and it's starting to get to me. I am getting depressed about it.

So yesterday, I was baby sitting for my niece; and I got to the barn and managed to lounge Jazz for about 15-20 min. She was great. Such a good girl.

Today hubby and I head to the barn to ride, and the owners were there, for the first time in awhile; (we lease our barn on some one else's property) and my sister and her friend were there; none of whom I was expecting.

So I brushed horses, saddled them, and everyone took off for a trail ride.

And I stayed at the barn and listened to Mozart and cleaned Jett's nasty stall and listened to Millie and Cisco (who are a.) not broke in and b.) elderly and arthritic) make a racket because they were left behind.

It was really great for the horses to get out and have exercise; and I am so grateful to our friend Ted for riding my TB/Perch cross mare who's training has been so neglected. I am grateful that Kevin took Jazz and she behaved so astonishingly well in light of how bad she freaked on the trail last time she was out.
I am so glad the owner's wife got her first ride on one of my horses ever, had a blast, and Prinny was an angel for her.
I am grateful that the owner gets along so well with my Major and thinks he's the greatest (I agree). And I am thrilled that my sister got to take Jett out and he was so happy too.

But even though I am glad because all that really matters is that the horses get worked and ridden and loved.....

I feel so dang bummed out. Because I am selfish and wanted to ride, because riding makes me feel useful and feel better and gives me perspective and relaxes me. I wanted to ride for me. Selfish, I know.

I mean I am totally in the dumps right now. Rain comes in tomorrow for the next two days; and after that, they're talking more snow.


I am afraid I have bitten off more than I can chew with four TBs in training. With a full time job, nasty weather, and no daylight, I am getting exactly NOTHING accomplished.

I have to re-certify with CHA (Certified Horsemanship Assoc.) in May; so I have to complete my 40 hrs. of continuing education; which means auditing a bunch of boring dressage lessons at the nearby University ES program; meaning less riding time until I get it done. If I don't, I loose my hard earned instructor certification.

4-H started back up, but it is too cold to do barn activities with the kids, so we're stuck doing classroom stuff. That is unfulfilling.

I seriously need a cupcake.

And some perspective.

Three cheers for Daylight Savings time and Spring.................!!!!!

(And three cheers for the lemon cupcakes I made, with coconut cream frosting.)