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 else...no...maybe...ok, 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 wanted...like 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 going...it'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 grandmother...at 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!!!