Thursday, July 31, 2008

Ima Sonny Miss

Ima Sonny Miss, aka Missy, is almost ready to be weaned. She is such a spunky little girl. She is the filly that is always running around the pasture acting crazy. She is halter broke and we have led her a few times. We did some imprint training with her. I would go out every day and brush her and rub all sorts of things all over her. But then she got bigger.
Missy got a mind of her own. Missy doesn't like to be brushed too much anymore. I did not have too much luck with my imprint training. I have only read a few articles about it. I am sure I did not do it long enough. I do know it makes a lot of difference in a young colt's life if it is just handled daily. I am going to try imprint training on my two foals being born next March. Does any one have any ideas for good effective imprint training?
I also received some photos in an email from a friend who bred to our paint stud. The baby was born two years ago and we never saw its photos. But I got an email just the other day with photos of the little filly. She is too cute.
It's so crazy how the gene pool works with paints and color. You just never know what kind of spots you will get. Missy is a solid paint and the other filly has such loud color. It's amazing. We don't have much going on here. Tomorrow is Big Cowpokes birthday. He is 2000 miles away from me. That is a bit farther than he was 7 years ago. I can't wait for him to come back home.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

One More Week

That is what I have been hearing for the last four months, Just one more week. It does get a bit old. Mr. Cowboy has been working and living away from home for four months now and that is just four months too long. I miss having Mr. Cowboy around the house. He actually helps me keep up with the house work when he is here. I will admit that I only do house chores on Friday's because Mr. Cowboy is coming home that day. I don't want him thinking I didn't do anything all week long. I can't have that happen. I miss him coming home and riding horses for me.Mr. Cowboy says he hates to ride horses. I always have to beg him to ride with me. I don't think Mr. Cowboy and I have ever ridden horses together. I would love that. To ride on a relaxing ride with my ever so handsome cowboy beside me. We could ride off into the sunset. Ahhh.
I think Mr. Cowboy just pretends not to like riding. Yep, he is a big faker. I bet he might like it better if he didn't ride in my saddle with the really short stirrups.
I have all my fingers and toes crossed that this really is the last week he has to live far away from us. If it is the last week I will have to get back into the swing of doing my house work everyday and not just on Friday mornings.
I would like to say thanks to everyone and their thoughts and suggestions about Ozzie and the "trainer". Mr. Cowboy and I are going to talk it all over when he gets home. Until then I leave you with a picture of Ozzie and Little Cowpoke the day before I dropped him off with the trainer.

Oh and I have not forgotten about the awards that I received!! I promise to post those soon.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Horse Trainer with Bad Bedside Manners

Okay, so, I got this new horse trainer. I was so very excited about him. I have been dying to send Ozzie somewhere to get a bit more "broke". I have ridden him a handful of times and Mr. Cowboy has ridden him about 15 times. All together we have not ridden poor Ozzie very constantly. I have not had time with my three kids. Also, after this last child I have been scared to death to ride a colt. I don't know what it is, but I get all nervous riding a very green horse. I never used to be like that, but I am, and I am not afraid to admit it. Hello my name is Andrea and I am afraid to ride green broke horses. So, I was introduced to this "western pleasure" trainer. I met him and he sounded wonderful. He had an impressive "resume". He talked real big. I was impressed. So, I called him up to see if he had room to take my horse and he did. I was so excited.
You see, I started Ozzie all by myself. I was pregnant and working him in the round pen. I saddled him, I did everything. I was so proud of my little horse. We even took him a few different times to ride at a local arena. So, off Ozzie went to get a quick jump start into some western pleasure training.
Ozzie has been with the new trainer for two and a half weeks. I went on Saturday to go and watch the trainer ride him. He told me that he had been riding Ozzie in a shank bit, which I think is way too big for a colt. And then he went on to tell me all sorts of other things. Here are some things that the trainer said to me. Tell me what you would say back to him?

"Not to sound rude but this horse was not broke. You were brave to have ridden him." My thought to this was, jerk, Ozzie was going fine.

"You know how long it took me to get this horse to walk slow in the round pen?" My thought to this, you are a loser trainer, I worked my butt off with that horse in the round pen. I can get him to walk slow with no problems at all.

"You don't want to pull his mane. We can show him at an APHA show in a pleasure class with his mane long. We will just take some junks of mane and band it and then band it again." My thoughts, Are you stupid. I will not have my horse look like an 80's biker. We will be laughed out of the arena. I refuse to go to even an open show with out my horse banded and with a thinned mane. He obviously hasn't been to any APHA or AQHA shows lately.

"Don't you dare take a single picture of me or I will load your horse up right now and take him home. I am serious!" My thoughts to this, Are you stupid or just wanted for some horrible crime? He was being serious too. He asked Mr. Cowboy to come and take my camera away from me.

Then there were a bunch of other things he said. He rode my horse in the round pen and all he did was walk. He went on and on about how he had to fix all sorts of things. Which I was watching him ride Ozzie and I didn't see anything new. Ozzie and I were doing all that he was doing. Below is a picture of Cowpokette on Ozzie with my "trainer".

Then my "trainer" came out to the barn where I go to ride Chip. He brought Ozzie along for a little ride. Again all he did was walk Ozzie around and do some bending and that was it. Then the trainer had me get on Ozzie and went on about how I can't ride. I then was telling him how sometimes my feet fall asleep in the stirrups and maybe it's because I have poor circulation or something. He then said, "No, it's because your legs are fat." At this point I was a bit mad. He had said some other things too but I am not going to write them because it would take me way too long to do so. I then like the kind lady I am, took my feet out of the stirrups and flipped the jerk the bird and walked away from my horse. Sorry Dad, but he deserved it. I at least kept from telling him off.
It's aggravating because I am paying him $600 a month plus feed, and he is giving me attitude. He also said he was going to have to charge me more a month because I can't keep my mouth shut while riding. Sorry if I ask questions and I don't ride exactly like he does. My goodness. He is a really good rider, but boy does he have the worst bedside manners. He can't deal with people. I think that will not get him anywhere in this world with any horse people. He is going to get some clients that know nothing and have to teach them how to ride. Oh I would love to see that happen. He would have a mental break down. He was yelling at me and I was trying hard to understand what he wanted me to do. I am excited that my horse is doing so well, but I could do with out the bad attitude the man has. I want to keep Ozzie there a bit longer, but I am not too sure I can take his criticism. It is his way or no way. Sigh. Mr. Cowboy says that Ozzie will leave as soon as the 30 days are up.
I don't know, but I do know Cowpokette had fun riding Ozzie. Well, she sat on him and wanted a ride, but she isn't old enough to go faster than standing still.
I wanted to send Ozzie to a good western pleasure trainer, but knowing how Ozzie is not really "beautiful", like a lot of those show horses are, I didn't want to waste the big name trainer's time with my little gelding. All I wanted to do was show Ozzie at some open shows and then maybe letting some of my cowpokes ride him too.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Mr. Chip Star

For the past week I have been keeping myself busy. My Nanny was able to come over everyday, so I took advantage of that. She would come over and I would leave to go and see Mr. Chip Star. He is an AQHA gelding. He is pretty neat. He is a son of Zip Chocolate Chip. He is bred out the wah-zoo, but some how he missed the boat on some things. You see, Chip, has a really bad club foot and he is really downhill. But he is a fun little horse to ride. He hasn't been really worked with for five months, and the two years before that he was only ridden a couple times a month. It was really fun riding him and finding out some of his buttons.
I found out that Chip does not like to stand on the rubber mats. I am not sure why. I can move him over so he is standing on them and he will stay there for a moment but if I walk away he moves right back over to the side. He is a funny guy. He also only wears one bell boot because his club foot is under construction.
Then we are off. Chip has the most wonderful jog. You can droop your reins from here to Texas and he wouldn't change a thing. I could jog on him all day long. You can even get him to long trot with the greatest of ease.
Such a fun boy. But then there is his lope. He falls apart at the lope. If I would keep my reins all droopy, Chip would take off at lightning speeds. Okay not exactly lightning speeds, but faster than a pleasure horse should go.
So, in order to get him framed up I have to collect him a tad. He needs to learn to use his rear end a bit more, then I think he would be able to slow down a bit and stay collected better.
Here he finally is using his rear end. I think some good old work in a snaffle bit would do him some good. We are going to work on that this week. All this should be a refresher coarse for Chip. He was at a professional trainer for six months. I have been trying hard to figure out all his buttons.
I rode with two of my friends. We also had a paint stud named "Blue" out for a ride. This stud has no idea he is a stallion. Blue can't hear either. That horse is pure lazy. The girl riding him there was trying to get him to lope off and was cuing him and kissing. We all laughed because he can't hear her kissing to him. So, I told her to let me pass by at a lope and maybe he would think he should lope off too. I know bad habit to start, but the poor girl just couldn't get the lazy boy to go. She eventually got him to lope off. There is something special about Blue. He is very willing and laid back. The girl who normally rides him wants to show him in APHA horse shows. She is going to be showing Open. That is with all the pros. I think Blue can do that, but the only problem is that Blue is trained to go around the pen like an Arabian western pleasure horse. He looks cute, but that won't cut it in APHA shows. I rode him for a little bit and tried to see if I could get him to relax his neck down. That was about as relaxed as I could get it. But Blue tried. He is such a good boy. I am really hoping to be able to ride a bit this week too. I think it's funny that I drive 25 minutes to go and ride a horse when I have a ton of them in my backyard. It is nice to be able to ride with friends.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Mean Eye.

While living in the deep south I have learned many new things. One thing that my mother in law used to always say to her grandchildren was, "Look at my mean eye." She would say that while pulling down on her eye lid and showing her eye to the kids. I learned that this meant to watch what you are doing because she is watching you. The kids would all laugh and run away from her. They all thought it was funny. I have also learned that family traditions run strong down here. One strange "tradition", I guess that is what you would call it, was the family Elk.
This Elk is old and huge. Mr. Elk has been in the family for about four generations. It has been hung in many of Mr. Cowboy's family's homes. We were helping his Grandmother clean out her back room when I saw the huge thing and asked if we could have it. Mr. Cowboy looked at me funny and said, "We don't want that". But as you can see, I am spoiled, and all I had to do was say, "Yes, we do, it would look great in our living room." Mr. Cowboy put up a small fight, but he is sweet and he let me win. Now, do you see what the south has done to me. I would have never begged for a dead animal to be hanging in my living room before I moved here, but now look at me. I was practically begging and pleading for the old dusty thing. We took it right off of Grandma's wall and loaded him up in our truck.
Mr. Cowboy is very particular about things on our walls. He has to break out the measuring tape and mark up the walls with a pencil, just to make sure what ever he is hanging is done so with perfection. He would die if he ever took the picture off the wall that I hung. There are only four holes in the wall behind it. But, Mr. Cowboy being so particular, he grabbed that Elk and carried it up the ladder to position it on the wall so he could mark where to hang it.
He only struggled a little bit with it, and he only kinda got mad at me for not helping at all. Now, you may all think that I did not fix the Elk's red eye, but no, that is not so. You see, this Elk is special. Remember how I said it was old and has been passed down through the family? Well, the family member, before Grandma, said that one day the eye ball just fell out. They didn't notice, so they just grabbed a red marble and some wax and stuck that marble into the eye socket. Definitely not the redneck thing to do.
I now tell my Cowpokes to keep an eye on that Elk, because this Elk is very special. You see, this Elk has a "Mean Eye". And this Elk will tell me if any cowpokes are being naughty in the living room. This story only worked for about two days. Can't say I didn't try.
They were sweet to each other for a little while. I guess I need to remind them of the "Mean Eye".
Oh Mr. Elk, watch over my children and keep them in line. The Elk is so large that the tips of his antlers just touch our ceiling. He is one big boy. Grandma came over for a short visit the other day and said, "Grandpa would be so proud, he always wanted to hang that in our living room." Ah, yes, Grandpa, I can feel you smiling down on us now, or is that just that "Mean Eye"?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Dog Bath 5 Cents

There is not a single thing that Bear loves more than a cool shower on a hot summer day. Let me tell ya, my dogs really need frequent showers because they can really get to stinking. They will find every pond with in running distance, every dead animal, and every ditch to play in. All of which do not result with the freshest smelling dogs. But one good thing about it all is having Cowpokes that love to wash the dogs.
It's all about team work. We send Big Cowpoke to round up the little doggies. Then it is up to Little Cowpoke to soke'em down.
He does a very good job. Not a single dry hair. This is not Bear's favorite part. But he is a good sport and tolerates the shower.
Every spa treatment feels just a little better when you are given a little love. Well, if you are Bear. Bear loves his boys. Now onto Bear's favorite part.
"Oh yeah, right there, keep scratching!" "I am getting scratched and you are not...nah nah a boo boo!" A quick rinse off and shake, then Bear is off. I love it when they get a bath and then the dogs just go crazy. It's like the new fresh cleanness gets them all hyped up and excited. That's not too shabby for a lab that had hip surgery.

He will smell good for about half a day.

Monday, July 21, 2008

What a Way to Start the Day.

At least Mr. Cowboy is really good at landing in the arena dirt. We all had a good laugh. I think Richie is trying to tell Mr. Cowboy to sit on his back pockets. Mr. Cowboy was in good spirits about it. He threw his hands up in the air and said, "Safe!" I was thinking, "Man, and I get to ride that horse next!" I was less than thrilled. One of these days I will get the guts to ride a horse as super fast as all those contesters do.

Little Cowpoke had a better start, he roped his "calf".
Then he layed down and declaired that he was hot and tired.

Big Cowpoke roped his "calf" too! We were definatly having a better day than Mr. Cowboy. I forgot to take a picture of him missing the roping dummy. I was the last to rope.

I roped the dummy! As you can see, Mr. Cowboy zoomed way in so you all could see my mad skills. I think he was jealous that I am actually getting better. Okay, he so isn't jealous, but I do need to work on his picture taking skills. We had all the other normal events at our playday, stakes, straight away barrels, clover leaf barrels, poles, flags, and goats. This playday they added Buddy Barrel Pickup. I love this event. Of coarse I am way too chicken to participate. But that didn't stop Big Cowpoke.
He jumped up on that barrel and waited for Mr. Cowboy to come and get him.

Then there was Mr. Cowboy's run with his friend. Here, Mr. Cowboy demonstraights how one might do a superman off a barrel and onto a horse.

They came in third place at 12.469 seconds, even with Mr. Cowboy doing the superman. We definatly had an interesting day. Never a dull moment. Unless you are these two.
Awh, sweet babes.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Look! It's New York City!!

Okay, so it's not New York City, but it is a big city. Can you guess which city it is?
It is the big city of Houston, Texas. We drove through there a few weekends ago. Big Cowpoke loves to see the big tall buildings. Every time he sees them he says, "Are we in New York City?" He is so fascinated with city life. What goes on there and why the buildings are so tall. While we were there, we stopped by the Houston Zoo. Mr. Cowboy loves to go to the zoo. I think either you are a zoo fan or you are not. Mr. Cowboy loves the zoo and when ever we go on vacation anywhere he always suggests going to the zoo. He is funny. The kids love the zoo too.
This zoo had a great kid's area. We spent most of our day there. It was thundering and about to storm so a lot of the crowd left. I love it when that happens.

They had these really neat caves and prairie dog tunnels. I think if I were a prairie dog I would hang out here.
I would be the first one to get the food. Never missing a bite.
They had a bald eagle and a nest that you could lay in. The bald eagle had a broken wing so it was never going to fly again. I would have taken a picture of the bald eagle but there was this lady standing in the way saying, "Oh the poor bird, look how said it is, oh it's so sad that poor bird....." She kept going on and on and on. I wanted to tell her, "Look lady, it has a broken wing and if it didn't live here it would die, so just take a picture and move on." My goodness. Okay, now that I have that off my chest, I will move on.
I also love that we spend money to go and pet animals that we have at home. The petting zoo consisted of about 20 goats and three sheep. Little Cowpoke loved this sheep. I liked her too. I think I could have taken her home. She is so sweet. Speaking of sweet.
I could just squeeze that little girl. It's so amazing how she only sees her dad for about two days a week and she still is a daddy's girl. Mr. Cowboy made sure that Cowpokette saw all of the animals.

And she loved that he showed her every animal. Cowpokette is such an animal lover. And speaking of animal love.

Uhm....yeah....please don't disturb the bears. Let me tell ya we didn't stay at this exhibit too long. We quickly moved on to the creepy slimy house.This guy was pretty cool. I have never seen a blue snake before.
This one was huge! I would cry if I would ever encounter this with out a really thick piece of glass between us. It looks like it could eat me!

I have never seen a white alligator. He was really cool. I bet he has a hard time keeping clean in the swamp lands of the south. I mean how hard would it be for this white guy to hide in the brown water? I think he might stick out just a bit. I do have to say that this zoo did have some pretty neat animals. I was pretty impressed.