Monday, May 31, 2010

You Have Got To Be Kidding Me

SNAKES! Tis the season for the buggers.

Yesterday, as I walked toward the barn in the early afternoon sunshine, I saw Cowboy the barn cat playing with something near the edge of the driveway. He'd swat at the something, then spit and pop straight up into the air. I never heard him spit before. Never saw him do a three foot vertical before. So I set down whatever it was I was carrying and moseyed over to see what all the fuss was. A snake. A big one. And it rattled.

It didn't likes the looks of me much either, so it slithered up the manure pile, then down into some long grass on the other side.

I debated. Should I get the gun? Should I leave it be? Should I run like the sandal wearing floppy hat adorned chicken shit that I really am?

I did what any self respecting man would do.
I pummeled it with a shovel.

After I got tired of swinging the shovel - it was very hot out - I scooped it up with a manure fork and carried across the road and threw it in the willow brush. I didn't take the time to measure it, but it was over four feet long.

Problem solved. Back to work. Forgot all about it.


I went out to my shop after lunch today and found this:

Hmm....what is that doing on the floor? It's supposed to be up on the shelf right here:

(Insert girly squeal here)

I actually think I said "Jeeeeeesus Christ you have GOT to be kidding me." And maybe did the pee pee dance a little.

So I gathered my wits and decided that I wasn't going to kill this one. I'll just put on some gloves and grab him and....well....and then what? I'm no Crocodile Dundee.

So I called my neighbor. "Jim, you afraid of snakes? Yeah, I got one in my shop. Couldya help me get it out? Cool, thanks." So Jim comes over, takes one look at it and says, "Jeeeeeesus Christ you have GOT to be kidding me!"

Who's the scaredy cat now?

It's up on the shelf above my air compressor, all comfy cozy with my impact wrench and my socket set and stuff.

This shelf is 66" off the floor.
I don't want to know the how. I just want it The Hell Gone.

Well, we "manned up" and between the two of us, two pairs of gloves, a trashcan, a broom, a butterfly net, a snow shovel, a fiberglass rod, and a camera, we got it safely relocated to the willow brush across the road.

I'm never going in my shop again.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I Am #47!!!

"I love your article you wrote on me in the Jack Benny Class. I have 8 Chemos behind me and 4 yet to go.......That class win will get me through the rest of this year with surgery and 5 weeks of radiation to go. I LOVE YOUR ARTICLE!!! Please share with who ever you want!

Hope to see you at the next Creekview show. I take it a day at a time!

Lisa M."

Got this in the inbox today. Seems the power of the internet got Sara's little story to travel full circle.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Jack Benny

Wifey started this blog for me a few years back so I could share some of the things that happen around this place. It was meant to be a place where I could try to be funny and whimsical. Notice I said "try". Anyway, she wrote this the other day about the show last weekend, and I just had to share:

The Jack Benny Perspective

I'm not even sure who Jack Benny is. My only familiarity with the name is because I now get to show my horse in that class at the horse shows. There's an age restriction that you have to be 35 years old or older to participate. It's called the "Old Fogey" class, or the "Old Fart" class. Just a bunch of old ladies riding around on their pretty horses. So I ride my young horse in the Jack Benny Walk Trot class because he needs the practice, and because I am now old.

My horse rode through the class perfectly. I thought there might be a good chance that this young pup in the Jack Benny class would win it. I was listening intently as the announcer called out the results.

The announcer called the first place winner.

Number 47.

She didn't remember her number. Not an unusual problem in the Jack Benny class. The announcer continued by saying her name. It didn't quite register with her yet. Then she recognized her horse's name over the loudspeaker.

"OH, THAT'S ME!!!!!!!!!!!!", she cried out as she rode out of the line up.
"I WON!!!!!!!!", she screamed as she threw her arms into the air in a celebratory wave. "WHOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!"

She collected her trophy at the exit gate, then jumped off her horse and proceded to bear hug everyone within five feet (even her horse). There were huge smiles. There were big (happy) tears. She took off her hat for just a moment to wipe away those tears, or perhaps the sweat off her brow from the heat of the day.

In that moment I saw why this little win was so big for her. She was bald. The kind of bald that cancer brings. The kind of bald that doesn't let you do a lot of horseback riding, much less horse showing. The kind of bald that means you are lucky to be alive. The kind of alive that you feel when you win the old fogey walk trot class at a horse show.

The perfect ride I had on my young horse earned us second place to number 47. A red ribbon. And a big reminder to never take anything for granted.

What Is He?

It's been a little over a year since we adopted this little dog from Furry Bottoms Rescue.

He was brought home to fill the void left by the death of Freddie, our Cocker Spaniel of twelve years. Freddie was Sara's sidekick, constant companion, and cuddling jellyfish.

Not just any dog could fit into those big furry dog shoes.

We didn't really know what kind of dog we wanted. Sara was drawn to Cockers, but I didn't want her to have a dog that she would compare to the Ol' Freddie all the time. After having Luci for a year, I had really fallen for the stubborn pigheadedness reflected by extreme loyalty that the terrier breeds offered. We found Austin on a website listing him as a wire haired fox terrier. He sure didn't have the makings of a true Foxy, but he was cute and we kept coming back to his ad. We decided to take the drive to Adell to see him. I wasn't sure he was exactly what I wanted, but the decision was ultimately up to Sara. We took Luci along for the ride - she had a voice in the approval process as well.

After introductions with his foster mom, Renae, we were introduced to Tristan. Yes, "Tristan" is what they called him. I wasn't too sure about that name, either. But he was happy, bright-eyed, and as cute as a big-eared who-knows-what-breed dog could be. He had this little rubber ducky that he carried around with him everywhere. It was just a little cheapo squeaky toy, but he carried it so gently that it didn't have a nick in it. Our Ol' Freddie would take toys like that and shred them into little slobbery bits in seconds. He got along well with Luci, and Luci seemed to approve of his big ears. We spent some time with him outside, too. We had just received one of Wisconsin's famous spring snowstorms, and there was plenty of the white stuff on the ground. That little dog would run around and plunge his whole head under the snow. We decided to bring him home and have him be a part of our family.

We re-named him Austin. We all like that name better. After we brought him home, we were looking through his paperwork and made an interesting discovery. Austin, formerly known as Tristan, was originally named Fred.

He has really turned out to be an awesome dog. He's about 2-1/2 years old now, and can run like the wind. He loves to have the opportunity to chase the killdeers in the pasture. He can't catch them, but he gives it his best try. I'd guess he can run close to 25 mph. He and Luci are always exploring together, finding gross things to roll in, hunting for kitty treats in the riding arena, looking for hoof trimmings in the manure pile. Good stinky dog stuff. With all of that type of activity, he has gotten used to bath time. He's a great listener, a great cuddler, and just a good lil' dog to have around.

Even if we don't know what he is.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Some Pics From Last Weekend (Show #3)

His thinkin face:

Her thinkin face:

His winnin face:

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Show #3, Jefferson, WI

Just a quick rundown of the results:

Showmanship: 2nd & np outta 8.
Amateur Sms: 4th & np outta 15.
English Pleasure: 1st & 4th outta 4.
Eng Equitation: 1st & 1st outta 4.
Western Pleasure: 1st & 2nd outta 9.
Horsemanship: 1st & 2nd outta 4.
Trail: 1st & 1st outta 4.

Sms: 1st & np outta 10.
Eng. Pleasure: 3rd & 4th outta 5.
Eng Eq: 1st & 1st outta 3.
WP: 2nd & np outta 9
Hms: 1st & 1st outta 5
Trail: 1st & 3rd outta 4.

23 overall points! And Weekend Highpoint!

That's 48 total APHA points after 3 shows.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

APHA Show #2, or Lucky Numbers 3 & 6

Sara & Mater hauled to the Minnesota Equestrian Center in Winona, MN for their second show of the season. This was a double judged, one day show.

Showmanship: Mater was a lot less nervous at this one, and he did much better in showmanship than at his first show. He did a nice pattern and even earned compliments from Sara's trainer.
Results: 3rd & 6th out of 15.

They entered in Amatuer Sms for practice. Mater had a nice pattern again, but was bored and mouthy and wouldn't keep his head still during inspection.

HUS: That lil' Mater kept up with the big hunters just fine, and he was as consistent as he could be. The only problem was his canter to trot transition, which one judge saw.
Results: 3rd & 6th out of 9.

English Eq: The pattern called for a canter to trot transition, so they practiced that for a few minutes in the warm up ring. He still didn't have it down by the time it was their turn to show, but he nailed the pattern!
Results: 1st & 1st out of 4.

WP: He was pokey. He gets lazy and falls out of form when he's pokey. Her trainer told her to bump him up a bit, but that was after they went around once and the judges saw his laziness. But he finished strong after she got him moving right.
Results: 3rd & 6th out of 9.

Horsemanship: Big fun pattern that started out with a slow lope in a small circle, followed by a fast lope in a big circle, with a full array of lope to jog transitions, turns, stops, and extended jogs all thrown in the mix. They had fun with it and really let him fly in the big circle. He did a great fast lope to slow jog transition around a cone. His only bobble was when he picked his head up too high at a stop in the pattern.
Results: 1st & 2nd out of 6.

So, add ten more points to his record, bringing the tally up to 25 points so far.

This weekend is in Jefferson, WI, for a two day, four judge show - two judges each day. Rumor has it there are over 100 stalls reserved. Wish them luck!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I'm Too Sexy...

...For my jammas
Too sexy for my jammas,
These stupid pajamas.

I'm a horsey,
Ya know what I mean,
And I do a little jog in the show ring.

I'm a horsey,
And you know what I mean,
I do a little lope in the show ring.

I'm too sexy for this song.....

Too Cute For His Own Good

Kirby keeps a watchful eye over the green grass.

Sometimes a really close eye. Nom Nom Nom.....

Saturday, May 8, 2010

It's Official!

Mater won the Circuit Champion Award at his very first APHA show!!!

I came home from work and noticed a box by the back door that was left there from UPS. I wasn't expecting any packages... And inside was a nice horse sheet with this embroidering on it.

That Sweet-Poo-Tater...

He keeps proving that he was worth the chance we took on a sight-unseen lil' brown horse.