Sunday, December 18, 2011

CHRISTMAS. . . . the second time around!

My does time fly! I had to wipe the cobwebs off this page before I could even begin to type but I'm sure as everyone knows, life always gets in the way. It's hard nowadays to keep up with stuff and finding the time to sit down and write is just one of those things that always gets put off on the back burner. I had even let Rose's FaceBook page gather a few cobwebs of it's own.

But I woke up early this morning because I definitely had a blog worthy day with Ms. Guns And White Roses yesterday down at Sunny Pines Farm and I'm positive many Rose followers are looking forward to it.

I'm sure many remember Rose was originally a Christmas gift. It seemed back then, she was the Christmas gift that had gone horribly wrong. Now, several years later, with Christmas upon us once again, for me, Rose has "re-gifted" herself and I consider yesterday's visit, the greatest Christmas gift of all.

We arrived early as we usually do, "we" being the party of myself, Halie my daughter and Heather, a dear family friend. Sunny Pines was not yet quite awake. Rose now stays in the outside barn which I love for it's well ventilated (and having an old horse at home with heaves, I'm a stickler for fresh air all the time). It's been nearly three months since my last visit. It's hard to describe Rose's reaction when she knows it's me. It's nearly like a little chihuahua trying to explode out from underneath a horsey body. I held both my hands out to her and she inhales the smell of my each of my hands repeatedly then goes to my face and inhales the smell of my neck, then she goes back to the hands. You can just sense her filling with excitement, almost like the good cow horse, who love his job, eager to get into that arena and start cutting his cow.

One of the Sunny Pines interns let TBG know we we had arrived so the girls and I left Rose's stall and returned to the car. Every year I take Sunny Pines a Christmas gift basket filled to the rim with fresh baked cookies, pumpkin bread and enough candy and chocolate to feed the entire crew til the end of the year. We gave TBG the goodies and helped carry it into the office whereas we saw TBG's gift I presented to him last year hanging on the wall (you know I had to get a picture of that!)

I asked FG if he felt like riding Rose for me a little bit and he replied with a smug "sure" so as he went to get his boots I went to get the little white pony that could.

Brought her up to the big barn for TBG to saddle her up and then it was time to hit the arena!

TBG jogged her around a little, then loped her around both directions. It was a brisk morning and it was evident she was definitely feeling a little fresh!

So, TBG stops her in front of us and dismounts. "Oh boy" I was thinking in my head, "it's MY turn!". For those who don't know I have never been on this horse as of yet. I sucked in as much confidence as I could in one breath and walked toward the little white pony. FG adjusted my stirrups and instructed me to "climb up". I inhaled one more breath of confidence, stuck my foot in the stirrup and climbed aboard Rose for the first time ever.

The rush was so tremendous I thought I was going to pass out at first. All I could do is look between those two white ears and grin. My teeth could probably be seen by folks the next county over. "Alright" I thought to myself. "Let's see if I can drive this pony by myself!"

I've spent the past few years learning to do this, now was my moment. I pushed in the hip, leaned forward (remember, she is deaf so I certainly can't kiss to get her going) and she stepped off into the lope on the lead I asked for.

We loped circles to the left all the while I couldn't stop looking down. You're not supposed to look down. I know this. You're supposed to look where you're going and I know our circle was all over the place but I couldn't help myself. I couldn't stop looking down at the white mane, I couldn't stop looking at the white ears, I couldn't believe I was was actually loping around on this incredible animal. Halie (who was taking pictures for me) and Heather said I had the cheesiest grin on my face the whole time. Oh well. I wasn't there to look like Miss America.

So then I took her in the other direction for awhile, stopped in the middle and back to left. I felt her incredible power and I heard FG hollar "put your hand forward". . and I did. . and we went into 3rd gear. HOLY COW does this little horse have speed! OK, I really don't wanna go that fast just yet so as we hit the middle and I did the unthinkable and sat deep and took my legs off and we did a nice stop in the middle. I heard TBG say "very good" and then he followed that remark with "next time say WHOA". It took me a few minutes and I noticed Heather and Halie rolling with laughter behind TBG before I got it. OHHHH. Funny. Hardy Har Har. Say whoa to the deaf horse. Comedians.

We loped off again because I wanted to get a few more circles in and as I was coming towards the middle I noticed TBG walking into the middle of my circle. I thought he was coming in to give me a few pointers. It was then I saw that he wasn't coming in to give me direction. . . he was coming in to video me! I forgot all about driving and Rose felt this too for she broke gait big time. Oops. Distraction kills. It was funny though. All this time I made videos and pictures of TBG riding Rose he turned the tail on me. As long as he doesn't post it anywhere! :o)
I walked Rose toward TBG and dismounted. I felt like I was a five year old kid that had just stepped off the Peter Pan ride at Disney World. I had been flying and looking below at all the wonderful things.

It was an euphoria that last me all the way home..................UNTIL 30 minutes away from the house I noticed the blue lights behind me. I guess the officer didn't understand the kind of high I was on to of even kept my attention on the speedometer.

A horse person would have understood. ;o)


Sunday, April 17, 2011

The tornadoes that came through last night fell hard on NC. Misty Creek Ranch in Sanford, NC was leveled by the storm. The covered arena is gone, the barn damaged, many horses are dead or injured, and their homeplace is completely vacant. The good new is that Tania, Dany, and their 2 little boys are safe.

Everything they had is gone. Their clothes, their memories, the childrens toys, its all gone. Imagine waking up tomorrow to realize that all you owned was the clothes on your back from the night before.

All money contributed to this chip-in will assist Tania and Dany to rebuild their lives.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I ended up going a day earlier to pick up Rose. I had originally planned on this morning but due to the winter weather that had been forecast for today, I called TBG and asked him if we could come Wednesday morning (yesterday) instead.

So yesterday morning was the bittersweet/swemisweet day. I say semi sweet for Rose is now part of a "blended" family and bittersweet for I know TBG and his crew will miss her being there. His granddaughter absolutely adores her and calls Rose "her horse". I know she'll be heartbroken when she discovers Rose gone.

Halie and I arrived at the farm with our basket of Christmas goods that I bake every year (Mental Note To Self: quadruple the amount of chocolate chip cookies next year!). We all chatted a bit then TBG went to change his boots and Halie and I headed out to the barn for Rose.

We unblanketed her for TBG as he came through the barn doors. As he brought her out of her stall, he left her in the aisle to grab her saddle pads. He showed Halie how he arranged them and made sure to point out where points of the pads should land to help take the pressure off. As he saddled her, it was then I asked him a HUGE question.

I'll go back a bit to the beginning. Returning to the month of October. The kids and I volunteer for our local Relay For Life team every year. During one of those nights of volunteering, I suffered an anaphalyactic reaction (I have severe allergies). I've had a few throughout the years but as you grow older, the mortality reality really sets in. After this last trip in the ambulance I knew I had to finally make a decision about what is to happen to my horses in the case I'm no longer here for them.

Rose's placement was a no brainer for me. Even though Halie would love to have her, being a young adult, she faces an uncertain future and already has her own horse to worry about caring for. After making my decision, I was just waiting for the chance to talk to TBG face to face to ask him.

As TBG saddled Rose, I asked him if in the event of my death, I could leave Rose to he and his farm and if so, I'd like it so Halie could be able to visit her. He quickly responded he'd have no problem with it. I told him I'd make it so on paper and informed Halie that she will be responsible for making it happen and getting her back to TBG.

With that taken care of, TBG handed the reins to Halie and we all set out to the arena.

He instructed Halie to get on and jog her around. Halie had to have been a nervous wreck being as this was her very first time on Rose. They jogged around a bit then Halie tried to get a feel of Rose loping. Rose was feeling very fresh as she kicked out several times. I immediately thought Halie was being a tad bit to heavy with the spur but Halie stopped and walked towards us flabbergasted about what Rose was doing. She insisted she didn't touch Rose with her spurs whatsoever and TBG grinned and said she's just really fresh. He then got on and loped Rose around a while. After stopping, we threw Halie back on and had her try it again. This time was much better and they looked great loping around that arena. Halie brought her to a walk and walked up to us. She wanted Rose to walk forward but Rose wouldn't move. Halie asked TBG "how do I get her to walk forward?" TBG chuckled and said "use your legs and keep on clucking." I had to laugh at that joke (mind you Rose is deaf and cannot hear any verbal cues).

Halie definitely has her work cut out for her. She says Rose is unlike any horse she's ever rode. She rides different, she responds different and she feels different and to quote Halie "she's strong as crap". There's alot of little horse under that saddle. I told TBG that for the time Rose is home, I'll have to haul the both of them down to him to watch her ride and see how they continue to get along.

We walked back to the barn and unsaddled her, TBG handed us her saddle pad concoction (he insisted we keep it with her since it was just for her), handed me the bit that Halie's to keep using, we sheeted her up and it was time to load.

She wouldn't load.

Obviously she was quite content with where she was and she flat out refused to get on the trailer. It took Halie at her head and myself and two of TBG's riders to convince her she had to get up in that trailer. Didn't take but a couple of minutes til she finally hopped in but it was long enough for me to feel bad about "taking her away".

We met TBG back up at the office and talked a bit more with his family and crew, wished them Merry Christmas and headed home.

We arrived home at 2p.m. and I put another blanket on her and turned her loose in a field to stretch her legs. She jogged around a bit, loped a circle, kicked out once then just stood and looked around. Halie and I had to leave to rush to the tack store to pick up her heavy blankets to bundle her up and get a few more errands done then I was able to get back home and spend a few moments with her. We brought the horses in for the night and as I led her into her old stall, I wondered how much she remembered of the old place. She nickered to all the other horses and turned around to dig into her hay.

This morning however, I turned her out before the snow and she tore the field up! She ran and ran and bucked and kicked out her heels then raced herself back across the field again. I would have loved to have run for the camera but I was in a rush to get the stalls cleaned and and a few more errands done before the winter weather hit.

With this weather, Halie's going to be hard pressed to find a minute to try riding her new project all over again. This will definitely be an interesting chapter.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Futurity is over. Congratulations to Jordan Larson and Spooks Gotta Whiz and owner Michelle Kimball of CA. Rose's run earned a score of 204 which was good, but not good enough to make it through to the 2nd Go.

Thus begins the next chapter in Rose's life.

Rose gets to come home! I'm sure the trailer will be back at TBG's Sunny Pines Farm in North Carolina at least by Tuesday. As much as I'd love to go pick her up as soon as the trailer pulls in, I'm going to wait til the following week. She's already been through the stress of a Futurity, I'm sure she needs a breather before being loaded up again. This week I can get her stall ready for her homecoming. I did want to give her the entire foaling stall when she came home but unfortunately for her, she gets her old stall back. The foaling stall was needed for extra hay storage. I'm so excited. She'll be home for Christmas!

Plans for her now are for her to get some well deserved rest and relaxation. I can already envision the mole hunting/digging she'll be doing when she gets here. I always hit the huge crater she last dug with the four wheeler while checking fences at 5a.m., a daily reminder of how she hated to be bored and would find anything to entertain herself, including deer chasing and mole digging. As soon as we are able, she goes back to TBG for finishing.

As soon as I see that photo proofs from the Futurity are up, I'll post the link. I did have some friends that were there for the Futurity and took photos of Rose's run. All of those are posted in her FB album HERE.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

THIS. . . IS. . . IT!
As of today, the beginning chapter of Rose's life will close. For me however, it is an event of mixed emotions. When you're swirling joy and apprehension all around in the same pot, it's bound to make for an interesting result WHICH means I'll be keeping myself very busy up until the last minute. I haven't even decided if I really want to watch the run. Half of me of course wants to but the other half is scared to death. I really have never been much of a gambler and the one thing you can relate horse showing to is gambling. There are just so many variables that can project different outcomes. Then again, I tell myself to let it all go and just let what may happen, happen. It's completely out of my hands whether it's up to a higher authority in the cosmos or just complete luck, I cannot decide the outcome. I know what I'd like it to be, but we all know you can't always get what you want (thank you Mick Jagger for enlightening a generation).

For some, Rose is the Dancing With The Stars equivalent of Bristol Palin, just an annoying reminder in the equine industry of what can go wrong with horse selling/buying (although she has proven she can move). For others, she is proof what can happen if you just continue to work hard and believe.

Then again, upon saying that statement, maybe I just figured out the emotions I'm going through. When you raise children, you do the best you can throughout their lives. You worry about the days that go by when you cannot be there for them. They have to survive the daily pressures of today's society and all you can do is help guide them the best you can in what's right and wrong. I think the biggest crush of a parent's heart is having to be there to watch your child fall, forget their lines, or watch them make the wrong choice. You want everything to be perfect for them but we know there is no perfect in this world.

Maybe this all boils down to faith?

I have put tons of faith in TBG. Maybe that's another reason I'm tempted not to watch. Here's this trainer who too took a huge risk and a giant leap of faith. He accepted her when many others wouldn't. It only took him 30 days to see that she was worth putting even more of his faith into her. I wish so much good for he and his farm it's not even funny. If I was Oprah, his crew would have a new indoor riding arena with heat AND air conditioning with the finest of footing. That's how appreciative I am of these people. I want to see TBG come out on top not just Rose. I would like to see just rewards for someone who has invested just as much faith, care and hard work.

In retropect, this dynamic duo has put faith in each other. Rose instilled faith in TBG as her rider to teach and guide her and he had enough faith in her to carry him true to the end.

And still now I am udecided. I think it still will come down to a last minute decision of whether to look at the computer screen or not.

In this huge event, I wish Rose and TBG the best of luck and send them all my blessings. I've got alot of faith invested in these two and it's only grown in multitudes over their time together and mostly within these early morning hours of their biggest day together this year.

I could sit here and go on and on but I've got a barnful of hungry equines that need tending to so I'll leave this post with the words of Katy Perry:
"You've just gotta ignite the light and let it shine!"

"Come on show 'em what you're worth"