Wednesday, July 31, 2013

It's A Colt!

My friend's mare foaled!  It's a colt!  Isn't he adorable?? 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Video tour of the progress on my house so far!

For those of you who don't follow my other blog and are interested in the progress we've made on the house we're building check out this post for a video tour

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Liebster Blog Award - Looooong Post!

I borrowed the original Liebster Blog image from Adventures in Colt Starting because I like it better.  :D

I was nominated for the Liebster Blog award by four people!  That's partly due to the fact it took me soooooo long to get this post written, so they thought I hadn't received it yet, but it still makes me happy.  :D  Thank you to Renee at Adventures in Colt Starting, Adventures of the Super Ponies, Janine at Hoofprints of Kaspin and Suzie at Diary of a Young Horse!  I feel honored to have been chosen by you guys because your blogs are some of my absolute favorites to read.  :)  Seriously if you haven't checked them out, you should!

Okay, I'm posting the new rules....

How to accept the award:-
The Liebster Blog Award is a way to recognize blogs who have less than 200 followers. Liebster is a German word that means beloved and valued! Here are the rules for accepting the award:-
1)Thank the person who nominated you and include a link back to their blog.
2)List 11 Random Facts about yourself.
3)Answer the 11 questions given to you.
4)Create 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate.
5)Choose 11 bloggers with 200 or fewer followers to nominate and include links to their blogs.
6)Go to each blogger's page and let them know you nominated them!

So eleven random facts (novels lol) about me...............   warning I get very long winded......

1.  I love to try new things, which is one reason I think that I'm not amazing at any one thing, but I know how to do a lot of different things.  Some of these things I did for weeks and some of them for years.  I have a short attention span though so I would try something, put it aside, pick it back up, put it aside, etc.  Some of the things I've tried in the past are crocheting, sewing, cross stitch, latch hook, papier-mâché, decoupage, painting, scrap booking, running, yoga, Pilates, belly dancing, weight lifting, kayaking (recently. fun!!), roller skating, bowling, basketball, soccer, badminton, racquetball, baseball, learning Spanish and French, HTML, graphic design, website building, etc. I'm probably forgetting some.  Some of the things I've tried I will probably never do again, but a lot of them I would love to pursue again someday.  When I was a kid I also loved helping my dad do things like welding and building things. The things I tried that I kept up with and still do are sign language, reading, writing novels, blogging (hehe), photography, drawing, piano (okay so it's been hit or miss for a while lol), biking, fishing, riding four wheelers (mudding or in the mountains), swimming, shooting (guns), and I'm getting back into painting.  I'm probably forgetting some of those too.  I know there are others.  And of course at the top of all my lists is riding horses.  :D  Oh and I really need to pick up some of the athletic stuff like running and yoga again because I'm sooo out of shape lol.  Going forward there is sooooo much I still want to try!  Like archery, mounted SCA games like jousting, driving a horse drawn wagon/buggy/cart, all different kinds of dance, Competitive Trail Riding, sailing and many, many, many more things that I haven't even thought of yet!

2.  My mom loves Genealogy and has done a lot of research into our family.  On my mom's paternal side of the family I'm a Scottish Gypsy (her maternal side is Swiss) and on my dad's side of the family I'm all English lol. My husband's paternal side is English too.  His family came to the USA in the 1600s and they were Quakers.  Here is the really weird part!  My husband and I are eighth cousins twice removed!!!  A little creepy right?  The common ancestor is a direct paternal line on his side through a son, but on my side it was through a daughter so it's been diluted by marriage several times.  :)

3.  My love of photography is something I got from my mom.  I can still remember when I was a little kid she set up a dark room in our bathroom and I would watch her dip film into the chemicals and hang them from the shower curtain.  I was always fascinated with photography.  I remember one day I got a brand new model horse that I was so proud of and I wanted mom to take a picture of me with the horse.  She told me the lighting was wrong and it was black and white film (with a white model horse and white wall) so it wouldn't turn out right.  I didn't care!  So even though she hated to waste film she took the picture and developed it for me so I could understand what she was talking about.  I still have the washed out black and white photo.  :)  That's when I started to realize there was more to taking photos than pointing and shooting.  I got my first camera sometime before I was ten years old.  I'm not sure exactly when it was but I remember taking a photo of a horse I had when I was ten so I know it was before then.  In a matter of minutes I filled up a whole roll of film!!  Mom told me to take my time because it was expensive to buy and develop a roll of film (at that time she no longer had the stuff to do it herself so we were sending it off).  So when the pictures came back all messed up with my finger in the picture and the subject (usually my pets) halfway out of the picture she wouldn't let me throw them away.  She told me I had to keep them and learn from them.  And I did.  I still have them and I learned a lot.  :D  I got my first digital camera in 2001 and that was awesome because I could take as many pictures as I wanted!

4.  My love of dog training comes from one very special German Shepherd named Gretchen.  When I was ten my dad said we could get an inside dog (most of our dogs up until that point had been outside farm dogs and/or hunting dogs).  He knew two people with puppies and asked which breed my sister and I wanted.  A St. Bernard or a German Shepherd.  GSDs had always been our favorite breed so that's what we chose.  She was a free puppy that he got from someone at work I think.  Something had happened to her mom because he had to bring her home early at five weeks of age.  We sat and looked through our name book for hours with mom before we finally decided on Gretchen (because it's German haha!).  She quickly attached herself to my dad, but we were kids so we didn't care where her loyalty lay lol.  The problem came later because Gretchen was always at home and we rarely ever had visitors at home.... she ended up fear aggressive from lack of socialization.  My parents had never dealt with any form of aggression in dogs so they had no idea how to prevent it or how to fix it before it became ingrained in her.  So poor Gretchen had to be locked up when someone did visit and she never got to go anywhere except on our big farm (she even bit someone, but he didn't report it, thank goodness!).  The only person she was ever comfortable around besides family was our one neighbor.  My parents tried taking her to a dog obedience class so they could learn more about dog training, but she was sent home after a few classes due to her aggression.  That's all it took for me to be hooked though!!  Suddenly my dog knew how to sit and lie down and since I didn't get to go to the class I wanted to know how!!  I started reading every book on dog training I could find at the library (then later moved on to the internet lol) and Gretchen was my willing guinea pig.  And now look how far I've come with my dog training/clicker training.  Jackal knows forty tricks and is so well behaved.  He's a confident, happy, well adjusted and well socialized dog thanks to my beautiful Gretchen.  We owe her a lot and I will never forget her.  The heart breaking end to her story is that we had to put her to sleep at five years old due to liver disease (and I'm crying while writing that almost fifteen years later).  :(

5.  Some of you long time followers may know this because I think I've mentioned it before, but I have two siblings.  I have an older brother (by six years, more on him in a minute) and a twin sister (fraternal, not identical).  I love being a twin, but growing up my least favorite frequently asked question from strangers was "Are you twins?"  I realize now how innocent a question it is because sometimes you can't tell if two children are twins or if they are just very close together in age.  I've even caught myself almost asking it!  My second irritating, frequently asked question was "Do you play basketball?"  I was already 5'9" (my mom's height) by the time I was thirteen or fourteen.  Now I'm 5'10 (or 5'11" I can't ever remember).  My dad is 6'4" so I was doomed to be tall lol.  I actually like it now, but growing up it was annoying.... one of my dad's friends was fond of saying, "Wow!  You're growing like a weed!"  Ugh!

6.  I'm cheating and splitting up the sibling group because I have no idea how I'm going to come up with eleven things about myself!!!  My older brother was born with Cerebral Palsy.  Due to his CP he can not talk (he can make noise, just can't form words) or walk.  He is older than me so growing up I never realized he had a handicap.  He was just my older brother.  Growing up with him I think is where a lot of my empathy comes from.  I don't shy away from handicapped people and I'm not afraid of them like some are.  I remember when I was a kid I had a friend who would come over, but she always wanted to go to my room.  I finally found out it was because she was afraid of my brother.... that did not make me happy.  So anyway my point is actually about communication.  Since my brother can't talk my parents taught him basic sign language for things like eat, drink, sleep, different kinds of food, headache, tummy ache, etc.  We still play the point and guess game for things he doesn't know the sign for, but I've been doing it so long I'm good at it.  So I was exposed to sign language from a young age.  I started going through the books my mom had on sign language and teaching myself.  Years later (two years ago I think) I decided to start teaching myself American Sign Language instead of the Signed English I had been learning.  It's harder but also a lot of fun to learn!  Also something a lot of people don't understand about people with CP (like my friend when I was a kid) is that they are not stupid!  Just because my brother can't read, write or do math doesn't mean he's not smart.  He understands everything we say to him.  I talk to him like a normal person.  When watching movies he laughs at the jokes, even when we don't!  He knows what is funny.  He's even gotten to where he likes Japanese Anime and I swear he knows what they are saying sometimes!!!!  We know nothing about Japanese, so it isn't something we taught him.  He just learned it all by himself by watching his shows.

7.  I love collecting things.... okay I may have some pack rat tendencies lol, but not bad like the hoarders.  When I was a kid I collected marbles, stamps, rubber bouncing balls, coins, feathers, etc.  Oh and stuffed animals!  Even to this day (don't laugh) I still LOVE stuffed animals.  Especially the really soft ones they have now.  When walking through the store I'm always drawn to the stuffed animals hehe.  I still have a lot of the ones I had as a kid in a closet somewhere, but there is one that I have always kept with me, even when I moved away from home.  When I was five years old my grandmother gave me a stuffed rabbit.  He is brown with floppy ears and was big enough (at the time) to use as a pillow.  I called him Peter (from the Peter Cottontail song... I didn't know any other rabbits at that age lol).  I would get VERY upset if I couldn't find him at night.  I even refused to go to sleep (don't worry I don't need him to go to sleep now lol) if I couldn't find him.  I think Peter is the oldest possession I still have.  For an over twenty year old rabbit he's still in really good shape too lol.  The only thing he's missing is his nose.  :)

8.  I feel somewhat like I'm cheating because some of this is from my About Me page on my Living A Farmer's Life blog lol!  So if you've read that you probably know most of the things I've listed.  One thing I mentioned on there is that I was homeschooled.  I went to public school until third grade, but then I started homeschooling for various reasons.  It would be boring to go into, so I'll leave it at that.  My mom was also my Girl Scouts troop leader!!  She's awesome, I know!

9.  I LOVE comments!!  Yeah.. here... on the blog!  Hehe!  I've been writing in journals off and on for most of my life (and I still have them).  In fact I have a hand written journal from back in 2001 when I first got Storm (my Siberian Husky, you can read more about her on the blog I linked above)!  It has pictures of her as a puppy, all the entries on housebreaking her, training her, etc.  So basically I was blogging for her before I knew what blogging was lol.  One of the main reasons I prefer blogging to keeping a journal (besides the fact that pictures are easier to add) is the social aspect of blogging.  We can talk to each other, give advice, leave comments, etc.  As many of you may have noticed I almost always leave comments (if I have time) on the blogs I follow, because asking questions, sharing advice and having discussions is a big part of what makes blogging so much fun.  So yeah, I'll admit it I love getting comments!  It makes the blogging experience so much fun!

10.  This is hard.... I am having trouble thinking of anything.... I have been working on this list for HOURS!!!  With breaks obviously.  Okay, here is one.  I'm a perfectionist!!  So much so that I drive my friend (the one who is teaching me to paint) crazy lol!  Being a perfectionist also means I'm very self critical.  For example when drawing, I am very critical of my work.  It takes a long time to get it just right for me to actually feel like it's good.  If I don't like it, I won't throw it away though, I'll just keep at it until I get it right.  It would probably be easier to throw it away and start over lol!  I guess I like a challenge.  :D  P.S.  An example of my perfectionism is that I have proofread this post so many times I think I have it memorized!!!!

11.  Okay I'm tired and brain dead after writing this list so the last one is going to be stupid and not at all interesting LOL!  I say the work "like" too much!!!!!  And I hate it!!!!!  I want to stop saying it!!  I use it as a filler because awkward silences make me uncomfortable so I keep talking even when I don't know what I want to say.... I just need to learn to shut up... which is probably what you are thinking after reading all of that LOLOLOL!

Okay now I will answer the questions from the people who gave me the award.  Only three of them asked questions.  I will try to keep the answers brief because I know this post is getting way too long.  If you have hung in there this long I think you are awesome lol.

First up we have Super Ponies questions.

1. What is your favorite type of riding?  I'm not sure if this means English/Western or discipline so I'll answer both.  I'm not sure on English/Western.... I guess whichever saddle is most comfortable and it varies with both.  I also love bareback.  I do both one handed and two handed riding depending on how the horse is trained.  As for discipline definitely trail riding (and I hope Competitive Trail Riding someday)!!  I love exploring new places, being out in the wilderness (or on roads is fine too) and just enjoying a relaxing trail ride.  :D  I love learning dressage too though.

2. Have you ever ridden on the beach?  No, but I want to!!!

3. What is your favorite horsey memory?  Oh wow........ I probably shouldn't answer this one because I've been long winded enough as it is.  A lot of my favorite memories are right here in this blog because Chrome has been the best horse I've ever trained/raised/worked with!!

4. Is it a family affair? If so who else in your family rides?  My dad is the reason I love horses and he taught me to ride.  Due to injuries sadly he can no longer ride.  My husband also grew up riding and due to injuries can't ride either.  Neither of their injuries were horse related either.

5. Is there a type of riding you always wanted to do?  I want to try them all!!!  See number one on my list of random facts lol.  I especially want to learn to drive horses and I want to do Competitive Trail Riding.

6. What is your most memorable fall?  Most memorable?  I have memorized every single fall I've ever taken off of a horse lol.  Maybe I'll share them sometime.  Probably the most memorable was when my sister fell and broke her arm, but that wasn't be so it doesn't count lol.

7. Do you have a best riding buddy?  Yes!!  She is amazing!  Sadly she is working out of state (has been for a year) so I don't get to see her much.  She was home for a month recently which is why I haven't posted in the blog in so long.  I didn't want to miss any time I could spend with her.  :)

8. What is the most ill advised thing you have ever done on horseback?  I'm not sure....  as far as dare devils go I was fairly tame.... fearless but still cautious if that makes any sense.  It was mainly because my mom wasn't a horse persona and worried about us.  She always stressed the importance of being careful.  That said I did gallop bareback, stand up on my horses back (no faster than a walk), crawl under horses, etc.  The usual stuff kids do.  :)

9. Where do you see your riding in five years?  I'm hoping (fingers crossed) to be taking regular dressage lessons, possibly showing Chrome in local shows, doing Competitive Trail riding regularly and also driving him in harness..... we shall see lol.  I'll always be laid back and non-competitive.  I'm just not that into competing.  I'm in it more for the enjoyment of being with the horse.  Also I would love to be working on bridleless riding (or with a cordeo), but as slow as I've been progressing with Chrome's training I don't know if that will be in five years or ten.  :)

10. Who is your most inspiring horse person (can be famous or someone you know)?  Probably my dad since he taught me everything I know and was never afraid of anything.  Also my dressage trainer.  I want to be just as fit, skilled and dedicated when I get to her age lol.

11. Gelding or Mare?  Gelding!!!!!!  Mares and I do not get along!  Too much alike I guess lol.

And here are Janine's questions.

1.  How did you get your horse?  I decided I was ready to buy a Friesian sport horse after having waiting over ten years so I started looking at ads online.  I contacted Chrome's breeder initially wanting a different horse, but he was already spoken for so she convinced me to try him.  It was love at first sight and I'm very happy I got him!

2.  How did you come up with their name?  I didn't.  The breeder named him.  He's named after the Trace Adkins song Chrome (  I had never heard it... in fact I only just now listened to it... only took me four years LOL!!!  All I can say is I bet guys like the music video!  Haha!  The song is alright.  I loved country as a kid, but don't care for it much anymore.  :)  Although the last line of the song "She sure loves Chrome" is pretty accurate!  Hehehehe!!  I do love my Chrome (the horse if you haven't guessed)!

3.  How often do you ride a week?  I decline answering this question because it's embarrassing.  When I do ride I try to ride two or three days a week.  Chrome's back is still maturing (and won't be done until he's six) so I take it easy on him.  I've been busy with my best friend and it's been hotter than you know what outside so I haven't been riding much.  :(

4.  Do you trail ride?  Yes!  My "sport" of choice lol!

5.  Favorite food for you?  Cheese!!  No seriously I'm addicted to cheese.  LOL!  As far as actual food, my favorite comfort food is Macaroni and Cheese (told you!) or chicken and rice casserole.  I'm also addicted to sugar..... I love candy!

6.  Favorite treat for your horse?  Sugar probably.... I don't know for sure.  He inhales anything I offer LOL!  Big difference from the picky little weanling he was lol.

7.  Do you use a helmet when riding?  I'll be honest.... yes and no.  When riding at the stable I do (it's the rules) and when riding Chrome I do, but when riding my best friend's horses I don't..... usually because I don't have it with me.  I need to keep it in my car but I'm afraid the heat will destroy it.  I know, it's not a good excuse.  Growing up we never wore helmets (didn't know you were supposed to), so it's an improvement at least.  :)

8. Favorite horse trainer?  Do you mean my favorite famous horse trainer?  No idea... so I'll say my favorite horse trainer is mine!  She's awesome!  We have some differences of opinion, but we are both mature enough to agree to disagree.  :D  And she's a really great trainer.  She can always find a way to explain something so that I can understand it.  I love (and miss) taking dressage lessons from her.

9.  Best horse show you went to?  I've never ridden in one..... as far as just watching I went to the Equestrian World Cup in Las Vegas in 2007.  It was pretty awesome!!!

10.  Future goals for you and your horse?  I've already mentioned them and you can find them plastered all over both my blogs, but in short.... dressage, competitive trail riding, driving, SCA, camping, riding on the beach, bridleless riding, etc.  Anything and everything we have the time to try.  :)

11.  Best picture of you and your horse:)  A girl after my own heart!  Gotta have pictures in a post!!!!

This is still one of my favorites of me riding him!

I love this one from the same day even if the lighting is off, just because he is such a laid back boy!  How many people can do this after only ten rides on a three year old horse without startling them?  Good boy Chrome!

And last, but not least, Suzie's questions.

1. If you could be one rider for a day, who would you be?  Uhh.... I have no idea....  

2. If you could ride anywhere in the world, where would you go?  Ireland!  I've always wanted to ride across those gorgeous green hilly fields and jump stone fences or hedges (not sure how realistic my idea of Ireland is since I've never been there lol).  Also on the beach.  Don't care where I just want to ride on the beach hehe.

3. Who was the horse or pony that you first fell in love with?  I loved all of my horses, but the one I bonded with first was Lady.  I had her for thirteen years and still regret giving her away (because I didn't have a place to keep her), but I am happy I can still go see her.  She's over twenty now.  I got her when I was ten and she taught me a lot about riding, falling and caring for horses.  We had a lot of fun!  I've written about her on the blog before.  To read more about her just look at the label Lady or click here.

4. If you don't already, would you want to work with horses as a career? And if you do, why do you?  I think my answer to this is no....  I used to back horses for other people and it got to be too much work so that I didn't enjoy riding my own horses anymore so I quit.  I'm not cut out for running my own business so I don't think I would enjoy owning a boarding/training facility.  I think I would rather leave horses as the thing I enjoy in life, not the thing that makes money.... if that makes any sense.  

5. If you didn't ride horses, what would you spend all your money on? ;) Huh?  Not ride horses?  What is that?  Realistically..... umm I'm not sure.  Probably photography, art, piano lessons (as well as lessons in all sorts of other things I'd love to learn like swimming and dancing), a new vehicle, my house..... that's kind of a difficult alternate reality to comprehend lol.

6. What does your other half or family think of your hobby?  My husband understands my love for horses because he loves them too, although I think we love them differently.  Hard to explain lol.  My dad is the same.  He is the one who introduced me to horses, so it's all his fault haha just kidding.  I think he thinks I baby Chrome too much.  He might also think I spend a bit too much money on him, but it's my money so he doesn't care.  My mom understands that horses keep me sane and make me happy so she isn't bothered by them (especially now that I foot the bill lol).  I think she thinks I worry too much about Chrome, but she can understand that too since she's a parent lol.

7. How often do you clean your tack?  Umm..... I don't think I should answer this.... there is a reason I like synthetic tack LOL!

8. Who would you most like to have a riding lesson from and why?  My trainer, because I miss taking lessons from her!  Due to my stage fright I don't really have any desire to take lessons from a stranger.  I knew my trainer a long time before I started taking lessons from her lol.

9. You're buying a new horse: what qualities do you look for?  Chrome!  A horse exactly like Chrome!  Hehehe.  Well without the stupid sweet itch and clubbed hoof.  :)  He has such an amazingly smart, curious and friendly temperament and that's what is most important to me.  Sure I want a big, black, hairy Friesian, but if they don't have the personality it's just not worth it.  Look at Faran.  He looks about as close to a Friesian as you can get without having one and I don't get along with him at all!!  So looks don't matter!  Health is an important factor too obviously.  

10. Have you/would you ever buy a 'project horse' to sell on?  No.  I would never intentionally buy a horse I don't get along with because I don't like working with horses I don't get along with.  If I bought a horse I did get along with I would get far too attached to ever sell it on.  :)

11. Lorry or trailer and why?  I'm still not positive what the difference is between a lorry and a trailer.... here in the States we use trailers you pull behind a truck.  That's the only kind I've ever used so I'd probably stick with that.  However those horse vans where it's all one vehicle look really, really cool and I would like to try one to see how I like it.  Is that what a lorry is?

Okay and now here are my eleven questions for you!

1.  What is the scariest thing that has ever happened to you (can involve horses or not, doesn't matter)?
2.  What is the best equine related gift (including actual equine lol) you have ever received and who did you get it from?
3.  What was the happiest day of your life and why (bonus if there is a horse!)?
4.  If you could afford and had the time to how many horses would you have and what breeds?
5.  Describe your dream stable!
6.  If you could have a professional photo shoot of you and your horse where would you have it done (beach, forest, city street, at home, etc.)?  It doesn't matter how much it costs or what it would take to get there.  Dream big!
7.  If you could change one thing about your horse what would it be?
8.  If you could compete in any discipline what would it be?
9.  If you had to go to a costume party with your horse what would you both be dressed as?
10.  Do you have a name picked out for your next future horse?  You know how some people pick names for their kids?  Come on... I know you do it too!  LOL!
11.  Which one was your favorite question??  :D

Well that's all folks!  I hope you've stuck with me through this looooong post!  :D  I think pretty much everyone has received this award at this point, but if you haven't feel free to consider yourself nominated by me.  Heck even if you have been nominated you can still answer my questions in the comments if you want.  I'd love to read your answers!  If you do a post on your blog please comment with the link so I can read your answers.  Thank you!

P.S.  If you like one or two of the questions you can answer them.  You don't have to answer all of them.  I just want to encourage everyone to share stories.  It's just for fun!