Sunday, December 26, 2010

The ColdRedHorse

You all know of the life fail, well here comes some more. Tuesday morning we got up early to head out to the BigRedHorse's new temporary home. Kelsey's mom has been so gracious to let him hang out with her gang for a few months. It was a nice, long, COLD 12 hour drive. We stopped half way at the Tamarack to get the boys out and walk around. Talk about getting looks. Who sees two huge horses walking around a truck stop parking lot. Ben toughed it out with no blanket and shipping boots. Olly had shipping boots too, only problem, when mom puts the boots on in the dark there is a pretty good chance that one will be put on up-side-down. Whoops. I made the BigRedHorse look retarded. lol. He also had on his winter blanket. We walked and trotted them around to get the blood moving and loaded them back up. Only six more hours to go.
As we drove we watched the temperature drop from 37* (in Va) to 23* (as we crossed the Indiana line). Ugh. I hate winter. We left Va with no snow on the ground and with what we thought were freezing temps. As the sun rose we saw more snow and no sun. Booooo! My boys were loving it. They have been waiting to play in snow (more than a few inches) all winter. The had their winter coats and grandma had boots and gloves waiting for them.
As we pull into Kelsey's my heart got lower and lower in my chest. This is it. This is where he will be staying for MONTHS. My heart was saying ball your eyes out like a little girl, but my mind said, suck it up, you have things to do.I pushed off my feelings for the moment to get the kids handled and all our stuff unloaded.
As Olly stepped off the trailer he was shivering. This didn't look good. Ben was glad to be home. Olly was glad to see new horsey friends. I turned him out and he went straight to the middle of the paddock to roll. Once he laid down he instantly jumped up and shook. This white stuff is Freeeeeezing! He trotted around found the HUGE round bale and took a few bites. I gave him hugs and shifted my attention to my boys and getting them in the car for the rest of the ride.
The BigRedHorse has had new experiences while staying at Kelsey's already. He now knows how to use an automatic water-er, thanks to Ben, and is dealing with a pony that isn't so fond of him. See Fast Track's girlfriend, Karma, is in heat and she chose Olly. The problem, Olly is totally not interested in her. Oh, well. He still has Ben. And there is nothing better than a close friend anytime!
I will be heading back that way to say goodbye to my BigRedHorse on Wednesday. And I would be lying if I didn't say I'm not tearing up now. It will be a rough day, but I will make it through. I will see the BigRedHorse again and that is the only thing that makes me ok with doing all this. I would just die if I had to sell my boy. A few months apart....? I will deal and not complain.

The BigRedHorse at his new home. 
Hopefully no more boo-boo's on the face. The fencing and barn here is in MUCH better condition than the Ft. Eustis barn. And by much better I mean not even comparable at how much better.

Olly, Karma and Ben. 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Why the Slience?? It's because of a life FAIL.

This isn't going to be one of my happiest blogs. honestly, it is one of my saddest.
This summer, while I had the best and most accomplishing times with the BigRedHorse, was one of the biggest fails of my life. My marriage seemed to fall apart. Most of you know that I have three wonderful boys that mean the world to me and the BigRedHorse is just a few steps behind. It all finally fell apart in October. After a long 6 week battle of heart and mind it was made clear that parting ways was the only option. The details are still being worked out, but I am ok with the whole situation.

One detail that has been decided is the BigRedHorse. Now, don't go freaking out. I would never sell my boy. I would sell a kidney on the black market before I would even think that. So, the deal. Olly goes to Indiana to a friends 50 acre farm until I get back from basic and AIT. Then he will go to my duty station. This way I dot have to pay expensive board and rely on a number of people taking care of him. One person, who is incredibly trustworthy and she even owns a mobile spa. He will be in heaven. Fat too.

As for the military, I will be a 68W(MEDDAC) and have no clue where I will be stationed. All that info I will post when I get it. I do know that I will be attending Basic training at Ft. Sill in OK and AIT (advanced individual training) at Ft. Sam Houston in Texas. I leave March 28th 2011.

Any questions? Ask away!!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Jump the barrel say whaaaa?

Today, We set up the pop-up barrels and went for it. I was quite surprised at how well the BigRedHorse owned that barrel pattern. He only trotted it a few times and was already understanding what his job was. And the awesome part, he LOVES it. "Mom, can I just runnnnnn?" I find myself holding him back in between barrels.
Part of me inside is hoping that this isn't going to make him rush, even more, when doing dressage patterns. Olly rushes all the time, but he is getting pretty rushy. I decided to ride him in his boucher because I didn't think I needed much "whoa." For some reason he just doesn't respond well to that bit. He does much better with a D-ring. I don't want to use the D-ring because that is what I use for jumping and I want to keep the bits seperate. Both are french link. I knotted my reins to remind me where to grab the reins (like a 12 year old hehehe) and started out at a trot. He did AMAZING!!!! Now, I may be retarded, but I see it as...if your horse is properly "trained," meaning legs, seat, voice, collection and is trusting, he should be able to get the point. I trot in, say WHOA and bend him. Outside leg on the girth for for a bit of speed and inside leg just behind the girth to push him around. I grab my knot and keep his head and neck bent to curl him around the barrel. My BigRedHorse owned that first barrel. Lather, rinse, repeat on barrels two and three. At a trot we did awesome.

Time to try it at a canter. Again, he owned the first barrel, but the second and third were way toooooo wide. I think my left handed horse may be right handed. I don't have a video of the reverse because Husband decided to put the camera on "sports" setting and took like 300 pictures in addition to 10 videos. But! I can say that my boy did much better to the left first. We switched first barrels. To the left first. On our way to the third, he got a bit confused on which side he was suppose to approach. He ducked as if he were  going to bend it left. I had to give him some guidance, but by the time we got to it the barrel was right on his shoulder. A normal barrel horse would have knocked that shit down or plowed it over, the BigRedHorse on the other hand jumped that MoFo! A barrel is roughly three feet tall. Olly had it in the bag. He jumped that barrel with his front end and swung around with his hind and continued on. That's my jumping barrel horse!! I wish I had THAT on video. By the time out show is here on the 20th, I think Olly will be coordinated enough to run the barrels. I don't anticipate us winning anything, because we are going to be up against some horses that have been doing this all their life (Kelsey and Ben) but I do anticipate a whole bucket full of fun!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Dressage, check. XC, check. Show jumping, check. Barrel racing and roping, ummmmm....check??

Last week Kelsey asked if I would like to accompany her to a barrel racing show to benefit breast cancer. I was like, totally. She did make sure to add that this would be a child free weekend. I would be attending solo, since this was not a BigRedHorse event.
Well, today after returning from work, I was presented with an offer.

Remember when I said that the BigRedHorse was kept on a cow ranch on Oahu? Well, see, I was told that he was roped off of and he wasn't too shabby at it. I am not sure how much I believe this....

So Kelsey says, Pru...I heard that Olly has had some experience with roping and cows. I knew instantly Husband let the cat outta the bag. Since this event is purely for the benefit of breast cancer, I can't really make an arguement. What is $50 for a class? Hardly an arguement. I was cornered. I have no other option but to say yes. So, November 20th the BigRedHorse will be donning a western saddle (borrowed, of course) and we will be attempting a barrel pattern and break away roping. For a cause...remember?
Thursday I will be heading to the nearest Tractor Supply to by a rope. I will be practicing a little. And YES, I will be sure to take the camera. I know none of you want to miss this. Oh, and a little FYI, the last time I was in a western saddle was when I was 21. And for those of you who don't know, that was quite a few years ago. Get ready all, the BigRedHorse is about to get more awesome.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The "little" RedHorse??

Lately, it has taken everything I have had to make it out to see the BigRedHorse. Army stuff, work, kids, husband and just plain life has made it a struggle. I do make a point to at least go out and see him, even if I couldn't ride. I think it's important to spend time with my boy on an eye to nostril level. lol. Today was no exception. Tuesday's and Wednesday's I work 0800-1600. That hardly leaves any Olly time, especially since the sun is setting at like 1820. FAIL. As soon as I make it home, it's kids, cleaning and homework. I hop on the computer for a small break and see that FaceBook says I have a new "messege." I click on the little envelope and see a name I can hardly pronounce. At first I think it's spam, but quickly see it has something to do with a horse. Of course, I had to read it then. By the time I was half way finished reading it, the tears were starting to well up. Kelsey happened to be on the phone to witness it. After hanging up I just sat at the computer looking at the picture that was attached at the end of the messege. Now, the tears were flowing. Some how, some way, Olly's previous owner had found me and attached a picture of a LittleRedHorse nursing on his mama. Don't ask me why, but for some reason this picture just melted me. It made me all the more appreciative of my boy. It made me think of how far we have come together and how much trust we have developed with each other.
After composing myself, I packed up the boys and headed to the barn. I walked right out and grabbed my BigRedHorse and gave him the biggest hug. I brought him into his stall and changed the fly sheet for the rain sheet. It is suppose to be chilly tonight, and this here Va weather ain't like Hawaii. I grained him and gave him extra hay to help stay warm. I stood there and looked at him as he looked at me and said thank you to Hiilei (Olly's previous owner) for making the decision to give him up. Because if she didn't have the strength to move on, I would never have my most favoritest horse in the world. So while wiping the tears away, AGAIN, here is the messege and picture that she sent.

Hi Prudence,

I have been following your blog for the last couple of months after the manager from Kawailoa Ranch sent me the link - who would have thought that my old horse would ever have a blog?
While I never thought that I would be getting in touch with you, I can't help myself after reading the story about how you and Olly 'met.' The whole process of losing him broke my heart. Me - "daughter" - tried to do the best I could in the wake of my mother's death, preparing for my father's death, and trying to make ends meet while in school. On the "playground" I'm sure that I seemed quite careless, but being 25, losing both parents, and having a dwindling bank account will do that to you. I felt overwhelmed with helplessness. As you can tell, it still stings, and I ache when I think of holding that little colt when he was just a couple of days old. It always brings a tear-filled night.

Seeing him so well loved helps, and I don't think that very many people are so lucky to see that chronicled on the internet. I'm happy that despite me, he has a wonderful home.

Please don't feel that you have to respond to this - for some reason, after reading that post of yours, I just felt like I had to say my piece. Even before you, he was dearly dearly loved.

I'm attaching one of his baby pictures, since I think you'd like to have one. There are more, but not already scanned.

Take care of you and your big red horse.

The LittleRedHorse.

Now, I have to say, I did respond. And I want Hiilei to know that in no way, shape or form, did I ever think that Olly was not loved by her or her family. I have talked to TON'S of people on the Island that told me many of stories about my BigRedHorse and his Oahu adventures and the story always ended with, he is a great horse, or he is such a good boy. So....I just want to say, who ever sent my blog address to Hiilei, THANK YOU.
If at any time anyone has any picture of the BigRedHorse, please share. After all, he is one of the most awesomest horses on the internet.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Who? ME??! US??!

Over the past few weeks, I have been hearing that I can give off the impression that I am a powerful, I own everything around me, type attitude. Now, I can't really deny these allegations....but I do want to say that I am a very respectful person. Let me explain.

First, I have no tolerance for bullsh*t. I pay $280 a month (inexpensive for some board) for a crappy, non-safety complying stable. Our arena is never tilled because ODR (outdoor recreation) doesn't seem to think that we need it. We have to mow our own grass and work four hours a month to maintain the stable. On top of all that, we have the lowest/cheapest food possible offered to our horses. I buy my own food and hay to feed Olly in addition to their 10% pellets. Olly even refuses to eat the stable hay after eating the hay I bought.
So, do I walk around the stable like I own it? Hell, yes! I pay monthly, clean and maintain, and make sure my horse is fed properly. I sure do act like I own that place. Now, here is where the line fades. Do I pay and work hard EVERYwhere else? Probably not. Does my attitude carry over to everywhere, yes.
Today Olly, Ben , Kelsey and I went out riding. We didn't gear up like all the other days. We just wanted to go where ever we we owned the whole post.

Over bridges...

Big bridges...

We owned the sidewalks...afterall the BigRedHorse is somewhat of a pedestrian...

The ATM...Kelsey needed some cash.

And the construction sites. The building to the right is a bank.Bhind it is the PX and Commissary.

After our 9 mile ride we went back to the barn and groomed. I love spending time with my BigRedHorse.

His ears were broken in this picture....

Oh, and check out Olly's new halter!! Kelsey found a website that sold Jolly Roger items. How cool is that. Olly has his own Jolly Roger halter!! Can this horse get any cooler? Yeah, he probably will. lol

I got one ear to work...

In the end, I give everyone a fair chance. I try to remain respectful and understanding.

Oh, and an update on my "job" status. I recently got a job at the post veterinary clinic, just until I enlist. (Which, I hear may be Jan or even as late as March.) No worries, I'm still's just a matter of when. In the mean time, I have been doing push-ups, sit-ups and my runs to keep ahead of the game. I should be finding something out from my recruiter here in the next week or two. I will keep you guys updated.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

So, I went to the FEI Games....

This past weekend I attended the most amazing thing I have ever seen. Kelsey and I went to the FEI Games in Lexington!!!! Since I couldn't go to the whole thing, I had to pick one day. Now, to me that was almost like trying to pick your favorite child. You just can't. I ended up going with the Cross Country.
We left Friday night after Kelsey got off work. We drove until midnight and stopped for a few hours in a hotel to get some sleep. We got up at 0530, showered and got back on the road to make it to the games by 0730. The total drive was eight hours. Once we got there it was like we were kids in a candy shop. The only thing that sucked was it was 38* out!!

Can you see Kelsey's breath?
Give me a break!! This was my first experience being around this level of riding. I have to admit, I was a bit overwhelmed. We walked to the ticket line and it all seemed sureal. I'm going to see Hawley Bennet. I'm going to see Karen O'Connor. Mark Todd, Phillip Dutton, Boyd Martin....I wanted to scream like a little girl. For the sake of my dignitity, I contained myself. Kelsey on the other hand, called her mom, dad and 0730. 

We made it!!!
We took a few deep breaths and got back on track: find the water complex. By 0820 we were standing just 100ft from the 6'6" drop of the fourth jump in the water complex.

Look how close!!!!
Eeeeeeeeekkkk!!! Start time 0915, but was soon delayed to 1015. Either way I would have waited all day. We had great "seats." We stood and watched all the big name eventers walk the course. It was so hard to not go up and talk to them. I mean, they were within am arms reach...and we aren't suppose to ask them any questions? Come on!! I behaved. The course was huge! 28 jumps to be completed in roughly 11 minutes. Who says these animals aren't athletes?

At 1015 the first horse galloped onto the grassy track. It was 5 minutes before we saw the first bit of action. It was amazing. I had my camera ready. We sat for six hours without moving, for fear of losing our seats. After Karen ran, we picked up (and shared our seats) and walked the rest of the course. Here are the videos.

Hawley Bennet

Becky Holder

Boyd Martin

Karen O'Connor

Mark Todd

Rebecca Howard

After watching all the amazing horses and riders from this weekend, I felt empowered and set out with the BigRedHorse.  Olly has been off all last week due to massive rain. Well, not totally off. I did attempt to ride him while it was raining. Pouring is more like it. we rode in the arena for 15 minutes, just long enough for me to get soaked. I unsaddle and as I am walking out of the barn I slip and fall in a huge mud puddle. FAIL. Although it is better than falling while I was riding, I was still a bit disappointed.  Anyway....back to what I was saying. He has just about evey day off last week, so this week he was a fire breathing dragon. Yesterday I rode him and dare not jump. He was pulling through the bit just wanting to go. I took him out ot our grassy track and breezed him down and finished with a good trotting set. He loved every minute of it. Today I decided to take him out first and after he got all the bugs out, jump him in the arena. here are the videos.
Video to be posted when I figure out this STUPID editing software!!!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ok before I continue with my awesome weekend, I need help. Friday morning I had the farrier come out for a trim. I was unable to be there because I had to work, so I had Kelsey hold. She knows about feet so I felt comfortable. While he was doing Olly's feet, he mentioned to Kelsey that Olly is heavy on his feet. Meaning, that he really gives them a beating, in addition to the jumping and that he uses his right rear leg/hoof more than the left. He suggested that he has shoes put on to prevent lameness in the future.
INSTANTLY I thought maaaaaan...and he has done so well barefoot. Why would I want to change a good thing.
HERE is where I need your help. What do I do? I, mean, I know that I will have to make my own decision based on what is best for Olly, barefoot or not. But I really don't know alot about it. So far my only decision is to get a second opinion. But for those of you who are out there and are are a few bits of info that you might want to consider. Earlier this summer (late June early July) Olly and I took a jump and he hit his foot. It was more like a xc jump in the sense it was fixed and didn't fall. I have added the video.

He had one month off, no riding at all and seemed to make a good recovery. Now, he was never "lame" per-say. He just had swelling in the cannon and fet. I would wrap him with cold polos during the day (when he was stalled) and leave him to his stall and small paddock (by himself) at night. The swelling diminished eventually and we went back to just riding. Mostly dressage work and trail riding and we didn't get back to jumping until late August/early Sept. Up until now there has been no sign of lameness and his long distance and jumping have improved. In my personal, non-professional, opinion, I think he has done quite well with out shoes. He has been barefoot since he came from Hawaii(Aug 2009). We have done a ton of training in the past year and I haven't seen any signs of him even almost lame. So, now you have the whole story-let me know your opinions!!!!

Where were we? Oh, yes, Day 2 at Frying Pan Park.
On the second day we finally figured out how Olly busted four lead ropes. He would just sit down at the trailer and snap them like dental floss. I guess he is just on his own program. I have had people tell me to tie him to a tree and let him fight it out, then there is don't tie him. The best one which I have seen, yet have not tried, is (courtsey of Kelsey's mom, she is awesome by the way) tie his butt to the trailer with a collar and when he sits scare the crap outta him until he stands back up. This is the method I chose. We fashioned a collar out of one of the broken leads and tied him. Long, irritating story short...he sat once or twice and he didn't try it again. WIN!
We signed Kelsey up for her class and headed back to the trailer to get Olly ready. It was rainy and humid. The grass had dried a bit since we got up. I was nervouse about running on the wet grass, but I thought, well, there will be times when I will have to run in the rain, so let's get this show on the road!

We started out in the arena warming up and did a few of the verticals and oxers in there.

There were a bunch more jumps that we didn't get to on Day 1 that I was dying to jump. Olly wasn't as focused. He had Ben (his new boyfriend) in the arena and he could see him from afar. Not good when you are trying to focus and you end up checking someone out. So we had to move out. Here are the videos of the course. Now just a little FYI, in case I screw up the days. Day 1 I had on black breeches and Day 2 I had on blue. Not to mention Day 1 was sunny and Day 2 was not.

Again, these videos are not edited. so be gentle. I am always open to critques, but be polite.

So we were going to do the "hill jump" but there were like 3-4 ground hog holes with caution tape. FAIL! Moving on!!!

Here is the video of Kelsey's second ride. She owned it. Unfortunately, she was too fast to win one division and too slow to win the other.

Here are some added non-horsey tid-bits from the weekend.
Deer outside our trailer. The boys wished they had a rifle, while Kelsey tried explaining that deer aren't always food. Boys-1 Kelsey-0

Notice what foot is being used....Interesting, huh??


I love this picture!!!

My little monkies....

What is camping without smores and a retarded mom???

The drive home.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

We are kinda awesome.....

My boys have started school this month and I have stepped up the BigRedHorses fitness. We have been doing alot more endurance riding and a bit less jumping. We have been doing trotting and cantering sets and more galloping, just to make sure we would get our times. I look back at the summer and think that I actually did too much jumping. I don't think I burned him out on it, but I do think he did get a little bored with it.
A few weeks ago Kelsey (my newest BFF) told me that she was going to a show, now Kelsey barrel races and is slowly being converted over  to a jumper (by moi). She also included that at this show it has a full cross counrty course. SCORE!!! I'm in!
I have a trial lined up on Oct 10, so I thought I better get crackin'. Since the show was a 3-day-er we would have to load up after work on Friday and head out. Two whole days of xc (cross country) AWESOME!!! The Deal: I take the kids, the dog, and my horse. In addition to Kelsey's horse and rabbit, Jake. I think we were crazy.
We pack up Friday after school/work and head out at 1700. Frying Pan Farm Park was 3hours and 30 minutes away. It was gonna be fun (note sarcasm). We end up getting there late, well after dark. We found a great spot next to a jumping arena and out of the way. We just get settled into bed and sleep and we are woke up by Olly wanking the shit outta the trailer. He snaps the lead rope and takes off. I jump outta bed (still in my undies) and haul out of the trailer to get my horse, because he clearly thinks he is in charge. I tie him with our other lead rope and get back into bed. Morning comes and we are all too excited. FYI there is absolutley NO reason to be up at 0630 on a Saturday morning. Buuuut since the kids were with, there was no going back to bed.
We go register for classes and hit the course. Here are some of the videos. Just to let you know these videos are NOT edited, mainly because I just got a new camera and still haven't converted the QuickTime to the editing software that I have. It sucks, but you get to see all good stuff, no short cuts. lol

Colton was worried about the my boys!!

This one is my FAV!!!!

After the xc course, kelsey had her run.

Yes, she fell....

Day 2
Will be posted tomorrow!!!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Link to the video...Told you this weekend was a FAIL!

For some reason the whole video will not post, and why would it on fail weekend?

Last minute mind change...

Originally, I had planned to write about how much of a FAIL this weekend was. After prepping for a show I planned on attending and clipping the BigRedHorse incorrectly and leaving him to look like a ra-tard, the show was cancelled due to "sprinkles." Whatever, I'll get over it.

While sulking and surfing YouTube, (watching Stacey's new hill video) I found this Awesome video, as the title states. Now, at first glance it looks like a regular upper level jumper horse and course. BUT-after reading the description the video became almost tear-jerking.

After watching the video, I thought wow...amazing. You hear these stories about horses that came from nothing and were in poor health and now after years of love and dedicated hard work, are these amazing athletes that love their owners.
Hmmmmmm...wonder who do I know that has a horse that came from nothing, was given lots of love, hard work and is now amazing?? Let me think...
The BIGREDHORSE!!! Now, Olly wasn't in poor health, unless you count 15 different scratches on him from his paddock bullies, but he did come from nothing.
Oh? You want to hear the story??

I originally got Olly from Gunstock Ranch in Kahuku on the North Shore on Oahu. Yes, the BigRedHorse was on a cow hearding ranch. Interesting...
Anyway, I get a phone call from Holly (HollyWildWare) telling me there is a gorgeous horse that just came in amd I NEED to come see him. See, I had just given up looking for a horse on the Island. I pack up Husband and the kids and head out to check out this horse. We walk back to this paddock and he is the only horse willing to come to the gate. All I see is this puppy dog that is 1100 pounds. I slap a halter (that was provided by Holly, since his "owner" didn't have one) and walk him up to the round pen. I let him off his lead and made him move out around the pen. I instantly fell in love. He was so floaty and scopey! He moved with out effort. I knew that he would be mine. I didn't know how I was gonna pay the $8000 price tag, but then again, who pays full price for a horse? Not this mama.
I pull him out and put a saddle on him. I couldn't get over how pretty he was. I know he isn't conformationally perfect, but he was the closest I had ever gotten to. He was even better under saddle. He was totally obedient and really felt like he wanted to please. Win and WIN!

As idiotic as this next sentence may sound.....just go with it. Husband talked to the owner and we bought Olly for $4000. No vet check, no off site ride, nothing. I knew that I might get myself in trouble, but for some reason I did it anyway. I groomed him and marvelled at MY new horse and headed home. I knew right away he needed a name. I am not one for re-naming animals after they had been named for years, but Monte had to go. The next day, I went back out to spend some time with my boy. I had run out to buy a halter and the only one I could find was a rope halter (well, one I liked). I put it on him and tied him to the hitching post. Not 5 minutes later, he pulls back, feels the tension, and powers back 15 feet almost up-rooting the hitching post. I think--what did I just do. I just paid $4000 for a horse that is whacked out. Hoping Husband didn't see the fiasco (and he did) I get him and me back together and continue grooming.

The following day I had Olly trailered to Wheeler where I would be boarding him. Now, for the fun stuff...
The "owner"  told me that he had just gotten Olly from a firend that was over on the Windward side of the Island. He was kept at Maunawili Farms for years. The word on the playground was that Ollys mom bought him locally had him broke and put him to pasture, due to her health. "Mom" ended up dying (so sad) and was taken care of by the daughter. "Daughter" ended up leaving for school in New York and couldn't afford to keep or even visit him. The deal? Areared board fees for the horse. Now, since the BO (barn owner) didn't need another horse, he gave Olly to a firend. That's right GAVE! So this guy made out like a fat rat! Any way!!!  Olly's partents were both on the Island. His dad was a really prominent TB stallion, which died and I wasn't able to get my hads on any pics, and his mom is living at Kawaialoa Ranch. She is part TB and draft, from what I hear. So, the BigReedHorse is like 1/4 draft. You would never know by looking at him....buttttt...I still have my doubts. So, I buy Olly (then, Monte) from this cow-poke and am totally ok with it. I would pay that much again. I love my boy and wouldn't trade him for the world. Oh and it took me a week to come up with a name for him. It was my BFF Kristen who thought of Jolly Roger. Her daughter was obsessed with the Backyardigans and their pirate episode. I liked the name, but couldn't figure out what I would call him daily. I didn't like Roger and soooo didn't like Jolly. Olly it is!!! Thanks Kristen!!!
So, we have Olly (Jolly Roger). The BEST BigRedHorse EVER!!!
So back to the video in the begining....
My original point was that one day Olly and I might be where she is.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


So, all last week my friend Kelsey and I prepared the barn for Hurricane Earl. Word on the playground was that the barn floods massively since we are right across the road from the James River. Nice. So I spent most of the week tying doors shut, making sure boards were secure and storing jumps. On top of that I took all my tack home, just in case it did flood above the tack stall level. Thursday afternoon we decided to pull the horses (Olly and Ben) out and trailer them to higher ground. It took three hours to get Ben in the trailer and by that time the barn reserving the stalls for us was tired of waiting. Crappy. So, we found the highest ground out of the three paddocks and stuck them in there. Where were the other horses that are at the Ft. Eiustis barn, you ask? Well let me tell you. They decided, against my judgement, that it would be better to lock the horses in their stalls and close the barn. Yes, you read right. All the other horses were in the barn...during a hurricane...with possible flooding. I did advise (my non-professional advice) that this was the most idiotic idea yet to enter my life. Fortunately, the hurricane was the lamest hurricane I have been in and we got less rain than a thunderstorm. WIN!! All the hard work for nothing. BUT, I would rather have it that way than the other. Next time...I will do the same thing. I will pack it all up like a Cat 5 is knocking down our door and hopefully it will yield the same result.

Getting ready to leave...or so he thought.

In the paddock the morning of Hurricane Earl.


Kelsey braving non-hurricane force winds!

It was windy though...

The James River (across from the stables).

Over the past week alot has changed. Olly and I have been doing more training for the upcoming horse trials. My boys went back to school so there is plenty of time for the BigRedHorse. Monday we did a 5 mile hack with trotting and cantering sets. Tuesday I gave him the day off (to rest and tend to DOMS) and I had to stay at the school for diabetes training. Wednesday we did another 5 mile hack and fit in a few galloping sets in addition to the trotting and cantering. He seemed to recover quite well, which makes me feel better because that means I have done a great job with keeping him in shape.
Today I set up a small hunter course(all jumps at 2'6") of eight jumps. He tackled that course like a champ! He got almost all our leads. It was great.

On a side note, here is a short video of what Olly and I do on our off time :)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Then and Now

I know it has been a while since I have blogged, but I have good reason. Life/summer has been totally busy. I have made a ton of new friends, helped manage a barn and spend a great summer with my boys. School is getting ready to start and it' timeto beef up the BigRedHorse's training schedule. Kelsey and I sat on the computer one day and found all the local BN events. We hve picked one event for each month. Sept, Oct, and Nov. I can't wait. Starting Wednesday Setp. 8th, the BigRedHorse will be doing much, much more in order to prepare. We have already been working on our dressage, which desperately needs more work. I want to get in these three events in the next few months because....wait for it....I'm enlisting. I will be leaving for the Army in November or January. Olly will be cared for and periodically ridden by Kelsey. After this winter his "training" will be put on hold for 6 months. I am already missing him and kinda excited about getting him back in shape...funny how the mind works.

So, back to the fun stuff...

I decided to upload a video of Olly's first show. Now remember, that I hadn't ridden in say 7 years. I did take a few lessons, but nothing to get my muscles back in shape. My riding was shitty and Olly was just a wuss!

Ignore the wonderful comments from Husband.
Here are two of the latest videos of Olly and I. This is 17 months later.

Now, you tell me who has an awesome BigRedHorse??!!

Intrepid Riders Fraction

~INTREPID RIDERS FACTION ~We strive to go where others only dare to go with our horse loves...healing,being respectful of the horse, riding, playing, camping, jumping, swimming and traveling down the trails of life. . . . with the horse in Heart ~ Overcoming many obstacles and sometimes weather, to ride!

So, the other day I get a messege from Stacey over at The Jumping Percheron saying she sent me an award. here is what she wrote:
I'm going to pass this award on to Pru and Olly at Jumpin' Jolly Roger. Everything in the description of this award applies to Pru! I remember when we would ride in Hawaii and Olly wouldn't want to go over a single small raised ground rail and now check them out! Pru always knew Olly had a ton of potential that just needed to be unlocked and she was ready to give him the time and patience he needed for that. She is another friend that brought her horse from Hawaii to Virginia. I miss them both! She is also one of my few riding friends that will ride anywhere, anytime, jump anything, and isn't afraid to go all out. One day, we're gonna own a barn together!!!!!!!!! And you guys are all invited to trailer in a ride at it!

I want to add that Stacey has been a huge influence to me. Although I am older than she, I look up to her for advice and guidance on just about everything. I miss her dearly and we WILL have a barn one day!!
This Award is dedicated to those Horse lovers and riders that inspire others to go deeper in ability, knowledge and understanding of the Equine(s) they have been entrusted to.The good of the horse is the ultimate goal apart from pressures to achieve ribbons and fit into lesson schedules.

~Some of These riders are fearless, when it comes to weather conditions and the forecasting of them...being with their horses, fills these folks' soul and takes the cares out of daily routines.

~They are unconditionally loving to the horse and may have rescued it from known ailment or living condition.

~Others have researched and purchased/ acquired their horse, to find a difficulty in temperament or a physical burden within the animal. Yet, Being dedicated , they have persevered to proudly be in partnership with their horse, lovingly striving for deeper awareness's between them.

~Some horse lovers may have been riding for years and suddenly, had an accident that takes them away from the great joy and freedom they have, being aboard such a magnificent animal. ~They have allowed the healing horse to rise in their hearts once again, and beckon them back!

~Fear is not my normal response to things ... just a desire to achieve higher understanding of what may lay ahead of me with my mare, that truly is a gift to my heart and soul. I always seek out knowledgeable and caring individuals to assist me, in any quest I may look into.

I am taking with me the good I have gleaned from caring individuals that have shown great single minded LOVE to the horse, and am leaving the dust of the bad behind me, not allowing it to fetter my supreme desire to be all I can be : as a rider to my mare and also - to allow- her to be the Equine athlete she truly is!

There are not many rules with this award...JUST :

1)that you give it to only one person

2)link back to this post, so they may have an understanding to it's true nature.

3) You may use any or all of the written descriptions, with the award picture.

The person I am passing this down to is:

When I read the description of this award, I instantly thought of her. She has gone through the most terrible times with her OTTB Laz. She has overcome the financial and emotional burden of owning her own horse. She has remained by his side through thick and thin. She has watched her boy endure pain from founder, when he could barely walk and at one point had an appointment scheduled for euthanisia, but she knew in her heart that Laz was a tough boy. She cancelled the appointment and held her head high. In her mind she knew that she may never ride Laz again, but it was worth it to just hear his whinney and be near him. Because of her courage, faith and maybe a little craziness, Laz is is making an awesome recovery and they have stared light riding. I read everyone of her blog posts. I am proud of her and Laz's success. Follow her their recovery. She is one amazing girl.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Ummmmm....Cross Country???

Yesterday morning the weather was sooooo nice I had to head out to the barn. I packed up the boys with thier lunches, and their bikes and we were out the door. I had tons planned. First I was gonna ride Diesel. It had been a week since I graced myself with his fatness. Then, it was bath time for the BigRedHorse. After that it was home to make dinner and then back out ot the barn for some more Olly time.
I walked down to the fatty stall where Diesel stays. he is a good boy...just a little green.
for some reason the last two times I have ridden the painted trouble he has been totally not o.k. with being saddled. He has been using his big ass to push me around. I, mean, he really has learned to swing that thing. So, big tricolor ass vs. me and a barrel racing crop...who do you think won?

It took me 10 minutes just to get the saddle on, but me of course!
He wasn't too fond of the cantering, you can see in the video where he bucks a few times. I tried like hell to get him to take his right lead, but after 15 minutes of him sweating his tricolor butt off, i gave in. My legs were tired from all the "aids."
I did give him some love and hosed him off for his efforts and put him back in his stall. on the way back out I grabbed Olly and the hose for a bath.
Olly always likes getting a bath. He loves the water and nothing beats a great rubber mitted massage, who cares if there is shampoo on it?? I enjoyed the alone time with my boy and after he was spotless, I threw on his fly sheet until I came back that night for our ride.
I was getting ready to leave the house to head back to the barn and I text Tif about our riding plans. We had decided that we were going to take all the jumps and put them in our nicely mowed mini field. I barely got out of the truck and I turned to see If kicking one of the barrels my way. I hopped back in thr truck and Pulled into the arena next to her. Let's load'er up. We pack in EVERY SINGLE JUMP. My truck was loaded down. I should have taken a pic. We planned carefully (lol) where we were going to put our jumps, let's just say neither one of us are going to be course designers in the near future.
Time to saddle.
Now, lately, I haven't been tying Olly to the hitching post because he always freaks out when he feels the halter get tight. I decided to just wrap the lead around the post. It had been working. So, when he pulls back it slips and he calms. No big deal.....unless...
This is what happenes EVERY TIME I tie him....

...the rope gets tangled and he freaks out to the point of maxing the halter. After a few minutes, I convinced him to give some slack and I untied the rope halter.
So next was to finish saddling and get the fly spray on. Now, I normally spary him BEFORE I saddle just to make life easier, but he was being good and the flies weren't that bad. I readched down to make sure the his boots were on and he decided to swing his him leg to swat a fly and clipped me in the leg. OUCH!!! I instantly made him aware that you just can kick around when I am that close. He needs to pay attention to where his feet are.


Time to ride. We started out warming up and checking out all the jumps. I could tell already he was going to have a problem with his leads. He has been pretty good with his leads up until recently. Tif said it may be because of his weight gain. It might be throwing his balance off. So, that's what I am going with. It makes sense in other ways too. I have been having to hold him more for his spots and really working to get him on to the correct leads. Even when I break to do a simple he misses. Back to the basics. Just when I thought we were gonna be able to move on. Oh, well. I would rather have to back up and work on it than him stay under weight. I did get the video of the xc course.

Here is Tif. She had an awesome ride with her boy.

And we also got Kelsey, the barrel racer, to ride...she will come around one day!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Ridin' Solo

And I don't mean Solo, I mean solo. lol Yesterday I went to the barn early. I have been getting sass from Husband for spending so much time with the BigRedHorse. I mean look at my boy...who wouldn't want to spend that much time with him?? Oh, well...he (meaning Husband) will live.
It was suppose to be our re-match on our grassy track, but once I got to the barn Kelsey text me and informed me she had a terrible headache and was gonna medicate and hit the hay. Tif was there shortly after. I think Tif would show up if she were missing an arm and had to use a tournique until she was finished riding, and then head to the hospital. While Tif mucked I set up a few jumps. The weather was wayyyyy cooler than the past few had been. I fabircated 4 bounces and a one stride in a line. I also had a 2'6" ramped oxer with a 2'6" spread, my mini coop and a skinny barrel with pylons next to it.

Bounces and a one stride

Ramped oxer

The barrel skinny

Just as we get saddled and into the arena Tif's phone rings. Of course she used her hands-free...lmfao...and was really excited about something. Come to find out that Tif will put her riding on hold to go get her new 2010 truck. Totally understandable!!

She asked if I would like to ride along. Now, I am all for fun time and new cars and friends, but I did want to ride and I had a time limit. I was gonna make it home by 1900 to get brownie points with Husband. I stayed behind. So, I was ridin' solo. Had I remembered my camera and took video, that would have been  perfect song to put with it! Dang it!!

Olly seemed kinda mopey and was not feeling losing his friend. We started out warming up in both directions. Then we took our little log jump and I made a GOOD effort to make him take his right lead. The BigRedHorse isn't that great on his right. He landed perfectly. Now, I don't know if this is just me or what, but I find it easier to get him to land correctly than to land and change. I circled around and took the skinny barrel. He was starting to wake up. We did a cool off lap and went for the log again. This time, left lead. In order to make the turn to the left it would be a roll back and for those of you who watched the roll-back video, you may be cringing right now. lol I prepared him to land correctly because it was so close to the arena railing I wouldn't have time (at this stage of our training) to change. He landed it and turned awesomely. We canter a few strides and at the last second I made a sharp turn to theleft (almost 90*) and took themini coop. I saw what was gonna happen and I tried to fix it but Olly wasn't focusing quickly enough. **back to Lucinda** was what I was thinking. MAKE SURE YOUR HORSE SEE'S THE JUMP. Welllll I could tell he had no idea that mini coop was about to jump out in front of him. I picked his head up, started the turn as far back as I could , without throwing off his balance, and gave him a half-halt. The ADD having BigRedHorse still didn't see it, which I was prepared for. He bunny hopped the corner of it and if I could see his face from where I saw sitting, I'm sure it would have had an "oh, shit!" look on it. I gave him a cool off lap and we did the exact thing again. This time though I made the turn into the mini coop a little late, just so I would have the -focus on mom and not on what you THINK we are doing. He approached the coop better and not so surprised, but it wasn't perfect. Cool off lap, and again. The third time was great, although he knew what exactly what we were doing. Next, lesson we are gonna practice on "seeing" the jump.
On to the bounces. We ran through them once and decided  to remove the fourth bounce. I had wanted to set them at 9 feet apart, but Tif said that they were closer to 10. The last bounce to the one stride was a bit too long and the crappy standard was way unstable, so I just removed it. We did the line a few times and were finished. He was getting better at his leads, which was a relief.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Earlier in the week I promised Husband that I would take the weekend off from riding and spend some time with the family. See our weekday schedule goes something like this...
Monday thru Friday Husband gets up at 0500 to got to PT. I get up with the kids around 08-0900. The kids and I spend time doing fun and active projects. We go to the barn and play "Army guys," or go to the pool, or just do some crafts. Husband gets home at 1700. We have a family dinner and I go off to ride until 2000. When I get back home I put the kids in bed, since Husband is tired and ready to hit the hay himself, and after everyone is asleep I go for a run. So, see there leaves hardly any family time for the family as a whole. This weekend is family time. Now that we have that outta the way....
I still had to go to the barn and muck. Since the river is right across the road, Husband dropped me off and he took the kids. I ran inside the barn and grabbed the mucking "tools." While walking-briskly-I saw my boy in the paddock...he was way out there but I called to him anyway. He whinnied and went back to eating. I got the job done in just a few minutes. I also had to do a friends stall, but he is waaaaay cleaner than Olly. So on my way out I look up and there is Olly standing right at the fence. I couldn't just walk by. So I went to give him a hug. When I get closer he is panting like he had been running. Now, I know he was out in the paddock, but he is pretty fit and I wouldn't expect him to be winded that much. I do, however, think the heat played a huge role.

I snapped this pic at the local Walgreens today...

I grabbed the hose and started soaking. He was in heaven! I was on one side of the fence and I was on the other. I will let the pictures explain...

That hit the spot!!

Ooooo down the neck.....

Hold on...I have to itch...


See the

My mom is better than your mom....

Playin' in the puddle...

He was feeling much better.

Another wonderful ride with friends!

As some of you may know, last night was our little comeptition. Kelsey, Tif and I all decided that our horses were faster than each others. We shall let the Garmin decide.
Thursday we all decided to be at the barn at 1600 to ride. Once 1400 rolled around it was still like 97* and to just walk outside made you break in to a soaking death sweat. Of course the texts started flying. We re-scheduled for 1830, when the sun was on it's way down and you could walk outside and only sweat yourself HALF to death.
We started our ride trotting some hills, the horses seemed less competitive than the other may have been the heat. When it came time to make the turn to our grassy "track" we all looked at each other and made the call to take advantage of the MP's being extra busy with a concert that was going on. See, in the SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) it says we cannot ride in "common" areas. It specifically states the barracks, commissary and the PX. So we stayed a few...feet...from them lol. It also helps when your barn BFF knows all the MP's....
Anyway, so we make a left turn instead of a right. Let the fun begin!
First stop the baseball diamond...
Sorry Tif about the bra faux-pau

Then, we walk by some companies and you would have thought no one has seen a horse before. The boys were pretty good, no spooking, and they seemed pretty calm and relaxed. Of course, it helps when your rider is having a blast. Next stop was Church's Chicken....

Anyone hungry?
We came across all sorts of things. Caution tape, which Ben was not to thrilled with, sidewalks, huge signs, people yelling and honking horns, but in the end our boys were awesome. Nothing spooked them!
They did take an extra look at a squirrel that had a less than satisfactory tail, or bush as Kelsey put it. We continued on, making sure we did own the whole road, but not wanting to walk on the sidewalk. Soleil actually liked the sidewalk, so much though he kept pushing Olly back onto the grass if he happend to veer over. I guess even horsey BF's get possessive about somethings.
We went as far as the PX, not into the parking lot, but close. We didn't want to push our luck. The main road through Eustis is a divided highway looking road, even though the speed limit is 25mph. We crossed into the HUGE median of grass there. It was actually pretty good for cantering. The traffic is slow and cutrious and the horses were calm. This is where the picture taking took place.

The PX...thank you Kelsey for modeling the PX...

Tif chillin'

Yes, I'm the pirate, Tif's the prude, and Kelsey, well she's just Kelsey...

The most hilarious picture I have ever seen! Tif talking on her "hands-free" device. LMFAO!!!

After we played around, we started getting an audiance from the people that were waiting for a cab and decided it was time to head back. We were losing daylight. We booked it back to the grassy "track" along side the golf course to do our sprints. Since it was dusk, we thought it may not be best to push the boys to their fullest.

The results:
Kelsey and Ben (11yo appendix gelding, barrel racer) top speed 37mph.
Olly and I top speed 32mph
Tif and Soleil (4yo TB gelding, BN eventer) top speed 21mph, now at Tif's defense...Soleil decided to duck towards a telephone pole and that affected their top speed lol.
Group decision-give the horses two days rest and try again on Monday, while it is still daylight.
We made it back to the barn at 2100. The horses were sweaty but cooled enough. We hosed them, gave them some love and turned them out for the night. Another amazing ride with awesome friends. I can't wait to do it again on Monday!