I awoke a full hour before my alarm was to go off at 6:30 AM. An extra hour of sleep would be nice before a long road trip.
But. Here I lay. Fully energized and rearing to go. Excited to get where we are going. However, I am forcing myself to stay in bed because that was the plan. No sense in getting everything finished early just to sit and wait again. Silly, right?
Anyway, here I am, writing to you since clearly the prospect of sleep is leaving as quick like as the sun is about to rise. And because Darcy dog is not here to cuddle. Which, is not so fun, not having my dog with me.
I played on my phone a bit when I first realized there would be no more sleep. Then I put it down and tried again. No luck. Picked it up again. I was reminded of a song. You know how that happens.
Here I am, laying in bed. Having the luxury of lounging in bed for an hour before I need to do anything. About to gather everything my horse and I need for a week, load it up, and head out with R for a week of riding and fellowship.
How did I get here? How am I able to do these things that I love? Have these horses that I have? How blessed am I?
I get to do all these things because my parents worked their tails off and did everything they could for us. Because they taught us to work our tails off. To do the right thing. To not give up on our dreams and wishes. To do what makes our hearts happy. To have faith and give thanks to the Man upstairs for it all who makes it all possible.
Even when we didn’t realize or appreciate it.
I give thanks to the Lord. I give thanks to my parents and family. And I give thanks to my horse.
Corny as it may sound, it is all true.
Time to get up and get moving. R will soon be on her way!
Walk in love, dear readers! I will see you in a week!
I had a friend tell me that she was feeling blue yesterday after a great weekend and that she did not know if it was because the weekend was over or because of the unknown future. It got me thinking as I have often felt the same way myself and my suggestion was to:
Focus on something good from the weekend (or past), something good right in front of you, and do something fun for yourself tomorrow. Nobody knows the future, so you are not alone!
Too bad I can not seem to do that for myself in those moments, so I think I will do the same thing for myself right now. We all have something to be grateful for even when it is all going up in smoke and hitting the fan. AHAmoment. It also seems like a good idea since I am supposed to be practicing self love and all that. Disclaimer, this may or may not turn into another love fest, and I will make zero apologies for it.
Something good from the weekend.
I rode 3 amazing horses.
Saturday I took Second Chance, Chance on a road ride with some long time friends. It was terribly HOT. Like sweating at 8 in the morning hot. He was amazing even though he made some ugly faces at some other horses. It was quite comical, really. I also got compliments on his butt. It is pretty big. I really need to show you what he used to look like. I love how he shines like a penny even when he is a woolly bear.
Sunday morning I rode the my best gal, Cheetah. We did some arena work with transitions and ground poles before going down in the pastures to check the cows and let her really open up and stretch her legs. I did not get any photos because I was having too much fun. I finished out the morning doing some chores and unpacking the trailer. Then, my parents (the most amazing parents ever) met me for lunch at a nearby town on their way home from out of town and then came back to the farm so I could ride my Lito. I could not ask for better parents or a better colt. Seriously. This horse. I think it was his 10th ride or so and the first ride in a couple months. He was AMAZING. He was much more forward and fluid than he has been. That was a little bit of a worry for me. It reminds me to stay the course and do not lose heart. He is still learning. AHAmoment. He is just so easy, brave, and keeps getting better…and taller. I will stop before I explode.
Something good in front of me from today.
My dog is tired and happy from running at the farm and my boss told me she was proud of my work. Boom. Enough said.
Something fun for myself tomorrow.
My bible study is having a Valentines party as our class. Thank goodness because I do not like Valentines Day!
Pretty dang good at present. Certainly can not complain.
What are your 3 things? Something good from the weekend (or past), something good in front of you today, and something fun for yourself tomorrow?
Monday after work I snuck (sorry, I really just prefer it to sneaked, get over it) out to the farm to lock the horses into the paddock for the farrier who came out the Tuesday morning.
I arrived and got everything finished with enough time…and daylight…to fit a ride in on Cheetah. We have now redeemed ourselves from Saturday’s ride, and thank God, literally. AHAmoment. I did thank Him, for the ride and more. I have been pretty aggravated ever since Saturday, let us be honest.
It was a great ride and I feel better for it. I truly believe she does too. We just rode. That is all. Just for the fun and love of it. No agenda. No plans. No expectations. No pressure. Took what we had. Just rode for the shear joy. What IT is all about. AHAmoment, again! Those are our best rides. You can still make progress and work towards goals. Funny how that happens.
I snagged these quick videos for those of you who want or need a different view for a few seconds. If you are like my Niece, I welcome you to pretend you are riding. I will not tell anyone. Please notice the sun in that first one! I have decided I am not complaining about clouds anymore (sorry about Monday!). Do you know how many times in the Bible clouds represent God? A lot. Think about that. Do you want me to say it again??? AHAmoment! Also, clouds make the sun more brilliant when it shines through. So there.
What do you do just for the shear joy of it? Go do it.
Forgive me for this. I am just going to have to brag on my horse here for a bit. An absolute love fest.
Saturday, we had the best day! We went on a road trail ride with some friends. Something we do a few times a year and something she typically tolerates for me. She also commonly makes sure I know that she is doing it for me and she would rather be doing something else. Like riding by ourselves out in the middle of nowhere. That is also my jam, but the middle of nowhere is harder to find and it is nice to socialize sometimes.
She was amazing and really seemed to have a good time. Seriously. Ears pricked and licking her lips the whole time. Not overly mareish, pinning her ears and telling others what to do. She was also very outwardly loving and affectionate. In public. Ha! It was more than the great weather. It was more than the great company (It was so wonderful to be with some of my best friends doing what we all love to do. Laughter. Fellowship. Good for the soul). It was more than her being on her best behavior. It is hard to explain. Part of the wonder of horses. We both had a great time. I just love her and she loves me. Love fest. That is all I know. I know it sounds funny and a little out there, but if you have animals you know what I mean.
My good friend, H, and her mare, Chica, were there. Chica Rey did not get the ears pricked memo.
My other really good friend, R, was there with the gelding she rides, Ronan. We have a mutual affection for horses and Baker plaid.
My Cheetah girl and I have come a long way together and I would not have her or our journey any other way. I am so blessed to have her in my life and I know without a doubt that she was put in my life for a reason. I am also blessed and grateful to have my friends. It is special to do what I like to with like minded people.
I am excited for what we have planned for the year.
Do you have friends that like to do what you like to do?
I hope you all had a great weekend and an even better week.
Now that I have had a chance to thaw out from the crazy Texas freeze, here are a few things on my mind. We are covering all the topics in my AHAmoments. Mostly, things I am grateful for all wrapped up in a weekend recap.
First. My Darcy dog that keeps my spot on the bed warm while I get ready for bed. Just look at that Llew-ball.
Second. Do not forget to thank the people that make your dream work and be grateful for them. For me, being a horse person, my veterinarian and farrier are two of the many keys to what I do. My form of thank you is baked goods. Usually of the cookie variety.
I am blessed to have them on my team because they work with me and my situation. The vet came out on Friday to give all the horses their annual checkups. As I mentioned before, it turned out to be the worst weather as always. It was worse than expected and that is why I do not have any pictures of said visit. 3/5 horses he wanted to float. Given that water is involved in floating a horses teeth, the temperature did not get above freezing, Apache’s advanced age, and that he had some sensitive situations he was monitoring on other farms, we decided that Friday was not the best day for it. He said he would do whatever he needed to do to get the three horses’ teeth floated soon however it worked for me, even if I could not be there, which included not charging me an extra trip charge. I am just so appreciative that they both work with me and our needs. If I had it my way, I would be there every time they came out.
Third. Fire. Confession, I am a slight pyromaniac. I also just really love a good pit fire. Saturday, the wind finally quit blowing in a hurry and the conditions were perfect for fire sitting, even if it was in the 30’s and going down. All the animals were warm and fed. I had the feed trailer loaded and ready for the following morning. I had just pulled a lemon blueberry cake breakfast bread (go make that now and add more blueberries to the bread and more powdered sugar to the glaze) out of the oven. The sky was clear and the fire glorious.
Which brings me to my next point. Four. Music. Good and great music comes in all different forms. On Saturday evening with fire and cocktail, these two songs really spoke to me. I hope they speak to you too. Have an open mind and a listen.
Thanks to the man himself, Corey Smith, and his YouTube for the vid.
Fifth. You guessed it. This farm and my horses in which I see God’s unending blessings, beauty, and grace. They clear my mind and vision and carry my troubles away. Not to mention all the great paintings!
Sixth and final for the day. The great Texas weather. What? Yes, you heard that. Great. It may be crazy at times, and yes it was really, really cold. However, as quick as it gets bad, it gets good. Saturday, albeit a weee bit cold, was down right gorgeous. By Sunday, it was perfect riding weather.
Today I am grateful for the above great music to dance in love my way through work, dear readers.
If you had to pick five things you are grateful for today, what would they be?
I may be a day late with my New Year post, but I hope it is not a dollar short. I have missed y’all!
NYE was another rainy day, as was this morning. Photo evidence below of NYE. Luckily, the rain moved on today. Darcy and I had a lovely, sunny walk while listening to sermons after lunch with my Grandparents, Mom, Aunt, and Cousin H to celebrate my mother’s birthday. I am back to my normal working schedule tomorrow and am looking forward to it.
I am excited to hit the ground running…or at least walking and not standing still.
It seems like it was yesterday that we were beginning 2016 with such hope and optimism. Time is funny that way, how it feels so fast. I remember when they began doing the state quarters and thinking how it was going to be SO LONG until they released the Texas quarter in, if my memory serves me, 2005. It still feels weird to me that we are in the 2000s. You would think being 2017 I would be used to it. It feels like it has gone by so quickly. In three years, it will be 2020. I will be 32 in 2020. Woof.
Anyway, I digress. No surprises there. I begin 2017 the same as I began 2016. Full of hope and optimism. Yes, it has been a hard year for a myriad of reasons, but there are always going to be hard and difficult times. The light is that there are even more great and wonderful times (yes, even in 2016). AHAmoment. I am looking forward to those times. I know there are great things in store. That will be my focus. I am going to be open to receive the gifts and allow them to happen.
I said that I was only going to make one resolution this year. I am going to change that. I am going to spend this year focusing on myself and getting myself back on track. Practicing self love. Setting my priorities. Stop making excuses. That is going to be my resolution. Naturally, that in itself involves a few different things. This list will likely change throughout the year, but here is my start:
Read my Bible every day (I am one day away from finishing Genesis. Woohoo! Let us not discuss the days that I have missed since I last spoke of this…)
See the positive
Stop making excuses
Ride more, worry less. Ride at least once a week (as much as I hate to admit this, riding once a week for the past few months has been hard to manage between stuff that just needs to get done, chores, weather, my utter lameness, and, and, and….EXCUSES. It is like it has become a habit and I do not even recognize myself. I never used to miss a ride day before. Don’t judge me, I am trying not to judge myself. Can I go hide under a blanket now?)
Make a schedule with support system for riding Lito so I am not by myself. This is going to be hard, but it is time to move forward with his training. I have to do something.
Exercise on non ride days
Attend at least one clinic
Have at least 6 lessons
Attend at least one show
I think this is harder to admit than my fears. I want to thank you, dear readers, for being here and helping to hold me accountable. I am not perfect and I know I will likely fail some days and weeks, but is there really failure if you grow and learn from it?
I have already done item 1, 3, 4, and 6. Item 2 is next. Tomorrow I am going to start my research for clinics and shows to build my calendar.
What are your resolutions? Are they hard for you to admit? I will help hold you accountable if you need or want it.
OK, get your cup of coffee, I am finally (way late) jumping on the pedigree bandwagon of the unofficial blog hop. Sorry to my non horse followers, bear with me. I am not always a bore if this is your first time stopping in. It is still pretty interesting given that there are some Kentucky Derby runners in there! I have had fun reading everyone’s post on this. If you have not done it yet, do! Now if only someone from the PRE world would start one…
The Thoroughbred (TB) world is a bit of an unknown to me. I am pretty new to actually paying attention to TB pedigrees, as I did not grow up with them. I know more about Quarter Horses (QH) and the Iberian horses, mainly the Pura Raza Espanola (PRE/Andalusian). I had an off the track thoroughbred (OOTB) on my string in college. I really liked him, but for the life of me I can not remember his name. I actually feel quite terrible about that. I normally remember all the horses I ride. Geeze, I am getting old. I never knew his registered name anyway. I digress, back to the point. We will start with Cheetah’s dam.
While not a full TB herself, Cheetah’s dam was an OTTB. I did a bunch of research into her linage while in grad school before I bred her. It was a perfect and satisfying procrastination session. Especially since you can go all the way back to the 1700’s. It yielded some interesting results. Well, at least interesting to me. You TB people will have to tell me what you think. I can not remember if any of your TB lines intersect.
I went pretty far back. Growing up, we mostly had grad horses with generally unknown stories. If only they could talk. To at least be able to track the genetics of a horse is another puzzle piece we do not always have. I basically just used Equibase, Google, and Denny Emerson. I do not know anything about the get of these horses, so if you know anything about that, I am all ears.
The internet is a wonderful thing. Cheetah’s dam, Innocent Millicent (Milli), was not stellar on the track herself, but when you look farther back, she had some good blood in her.
She was foaled in Texas April 1996 and ran twice in July 1999 a couple weeks apart at Gillespie fairgrounds, finishing 8th and 9th. In her maiden start, finishing 8th out of 10, she showed brief speed in the beginning, but it didn’t hold. In her second start, she was far back, failed to maintain bld? racing 5 wide throughout, and finished last. I have no idea if she had any other foals besides my Cheetah. When I got Cheetah, Milli was being used as an english and western Equestrian Team horse at my college.
As to not bore everyone to death (is it too late?), here are the stand outs in Milli’s pedigree:
TV commercial (KY) – graded stakes placed, 3rd in KY Derby, 400K+ career earnings
TV Lark (CA) – Eclipse Award 1961 Champ Grass Horse, mult. graded stakes winner, 900K+ career earnings
Faneuil Girl (FL) – stakes placed that sold at auction preg for almost 1.5 mil
Coaltown – Hall Of Fame 1983, Eclipse Award 1949 Horse Of The Year, Eclipse Award 1949 Champ Older Horse, Eclipse Award 1948 Champ Sprinter, graded stakes placed, 2nd in KY Derby, 400K+ career earnings
Northern Dancer (CAN) – Horse Of The Year 1976, Sovereign Award 1964 Horse of the Year, Eclipse Award 1964 Champion 3 Year Old Colt, Sovereign Award 1963 Champion 2 Year Old Colt, mult. graded stakes winner, 580K+ career earnings
Native dancer (USA) – Hall of Fame 1963, Eclipse Award 1954 Horse of the Year, Eclipse Award 1954 Champion Older horse, Eclipse Award 1953 Champion 3 Year Old Colt, Eclipse Award 1952 Horse of the Year, Eclipse Award 1952 Champion 2 Year Old Colt, Multiple Graded Stakes Winner, 1st Belmont Stakes 1953, 1st Preakness Stakes 1953, 2nd Kentucky Derby 1953 (lost by a nose), 785K+ career earnings
Turn-to (IRE) – mult stakes winner 208K+ career earnings
There are several other multiple stakes and multiple graded stakes winners in there. It is a shame she is no longer alive. She might not have been a great runner herself, but if crossed with the right stud, she might have produced a pretty good race or sport horse. Maybe. Maybe not.
Cheetah’s sire, Drifts Wily Doc (QH), also has quite good breeding for a good all round cow horse. From what I understand, he is a work horse and sire of mostly working horses that basically always wins or places in the show ring. He earned his Register Of Merit. Farther back in the TB origins, all three of the developers of the modern TB make several appearances (Matchem, Eclipse, & Herod).
There is more line breeding on this half, but some recognizable names (info & pics from AQHA):
Driftwood – AQHA Hall Of Fame 2006; match race winner, roper; sire of fast, calm, athletic, pretty heads (love that detail, thanks AQHA)
Poco Bueno – AQHA Hall Of Fame 1990; very influential sire; cutting champion; sire of 36 champions and 3 Hall of Famers; sire of gentle, easy, smart
Sugar Bars – AQHA Hall Of Fame 1994; great sire of stakes race winners and performance horses; sired by Three Bars (TB)
Joe Reed II – AQHA Hall Of Fame 1994; courage; heart; speed; born to run; won race with gimpy knee; sire of cutting, roping, and race horses and an AQHA Hall Of Fame horse (Leo)
Joe Reed – AQHA Hall Of Fame 1992; conception planned by grooms and jockeys without owners consent; raised on a bottle; almost died; great sprinter; sire of Joe Reed II and Red Joe; #3 horse in AQHA stud book
Clabber – AQHA Hall Of Fame 1997; ‘Iron Horse’ known for soundness; not very good looking with flared hooves; worked all day as ranch horse and won several match races on weekends; World Champion Quarter Running Horse and Wold Champion Racing Quarter Horse Stallion; great sire
King P-234 – (Mansebo‘s grand or great grand sire) AQHA Hall Of Fame 1989; legend; Man o’ War of Mexico; cow horse; sire of great performance and cow sense
Doc Bar – AQHA Hall Of Fame 1993; sired by Three Bars (TB); failed as race horse; 15 hh; sire of NCHA Futurity winners, world champs, top 10 horses, uniform, easy, ability, sense, and cow
Poco Lena – AQHA Hall Of Fame 1991; known for her beauty; very successful cutter; bad founder; great brood mare; first NCHA Hall Of Famer and first mare in AQHA HOF
Three Bars (TB) – Good race horse but plagued with injury; great sire of QH and TB
Peter McCue (TB) – AQHA Hall Of Fame 1991; AQHA founding sire; race winner and mult distances; sire of some of the great foundation AQHA horses
Wimpy P-1 – AQHA Hall Of Fame 1989; #1 horse in the AQHA stud book; produced 174 registered horses for King Ranch; sire of champions
Old Sorrel – AQHA Hall Of Fame 1990; started King Ranch breeding program; 14.3 hh with great balance, conformation, temperament, quickness, and cow; bred to TB mares; sired uniform conformation
Traveler – AQHA Hall Of Fame 1994; unknown origins; came from New York; was a plow horse; known to be ‘perfect’ looking; sired great runners with good disposition and confirmation
Lightning Bar – AQHA Hall Of Fame 2008; sired by Three Bars; great race horse even though plagued with pneumonia, distemper, cut coronet bands, and an injured knee; Register Of Merit; Champion in halter; sire of great race champions and cutter Doc Bar; died at 9 yo from virus
Texas Dandy – AQHA Hall Of Fame 1995; sire of race winners, AQHA champions, great broodmares; movie star of “Boy From Indiana”
I bet you think I am crazy now! I like history and I make no apologies! I am a ninth generation Texan, so I could have talked about that.
I would love my Cheetah even if I had no idea where she came from or if she came from ‘lesser’ horses. She has a big heart and is very brave. She does everything and more.
This is my first blog hop, and it will not be my last! It has rained basically non stop since Friday, so I have no fun riding stories. I basically did chores and fed while getting wet. Then on Sunday, my parents and I got the family Christmas tree. I finished decorating it last night with the help of wine. The decorating is almost finished. Normally, I would be finished with Christmas deco within a couple days of Thanksgiving, but given the events of late, it just has not happened.
I digress, I am going to jump on the TB pedigree blog hop bandwagon eventually, but I can not remember who started that one? Cheetah‘s dam was an OTTB and has a fun pedigree. I did all the research while I was in grad school. It was great for procrastinating.
Today’s blog hop comes from A Soft Spot For Stars. I already like her because we both have dun mares. Anyway, I too am curious about fellow bloggers locations and what it is like where they are.
No secrets here, I am a Texas gal. I reside in the ‘southern half’ of the state, in a big city. My horses stay at our family farm an hour away. That makes things difficult for me and my fuel consumption. However, it is an easy hour drive and I can go out after work whenever I need or want. The time change makes it hard to ride when I go after work during the winter, but I can blanket the old guy and feed him before it gets dark on cold nights. I will be doing that the latter half of this week.
Demographic? Most people that live in and around the city board their horses if they do not have property outside of town. There are several equestrian friendly communities outside of town where you can live and keep or board horses. We are probably 50/50 mix of western to english riders of all kinds. There are many shows and clinics in the ‘general area.’ Most shows and clinics are just far enough away from where the horses are to not be ‘convenient’ (1.5-2+ hr haul). This is very frustrating for me as I am hungry for more knowledge and do not want to let my riding get stagnant. BUT there are many great trainers and I have a few that I plan to haul to for lessons in the near future. We have a few good tack stores in town (good or bad considering how you look at it!). There is a big tack store in the area. It is generally an hour from town or an hour from the farm, but I ride horses for people out that way sometimes.
Costs of horse keeping in my region of the great state:
Trim-$35 (Lito just gets a trim, as do the other geldings and Petunia)
Front shoes-$70 (I keep front shoes on Cheetah Beets)
Average cost of a month of full time training-$800
Average cost of monthly pasture board-$400
Average cost of monthly stall board-$600 (All kinds of board and prices range wildly. These averages might be on the high side, but there are places I have seen that have exorbitant prices. The ones that I have looked at and work for me are not all that much closer than the farm)
Hay, good horse quality Bermuda-$8.00 (I have not looked at the prices for this year yet)(We high quality pasture and have had good rains this year…I do not think we will need to buy too terribly much this year)
What I consider priceless? Feeding in my pj’s. That Texas sky. Sunrises and sunsets viewed from the back of my horse. When I am at the farm, I can do whatever, whenever.
Weather? In the summer it is hot and humid. The only ‘good thing’ about the humidity is that it keeps us from generally having too many 100+ temp days. The heat index is the killer…and the bugs. All of our cows have some percentage of Brahman in them to help with coping with bugs and humidity. I ride all year round. In the summer on the weekends, I wake up and feed in the dark so I can be tacked up and mounted by the time I can see with the first light. I generally ride 2 horses (groom, ride, cool out, hose down) and get some chores finished by 11 AM. I do not do much else until 7 PM when I will ride another horse. It also limits when I haul. I do not like to haul during the hot, middle of the day. During the work week, I hustle out there and get 1 horse ridden and get back home late. Sometimes I stay out there for the night and come back super early in the morning for work. Winter is pretty easy by majority standards. It will freeze a few times. Lows are generally in the 40’s. A cold night is in the 30’s. It will only do that for a few days. It is not uncommon to be riding in short sleeves in January.
Lito has what I think is an allergic reaction to mosquitoes or flies. Does anyone else have this problem???
A ‘frosty’ morning ride on Cheetah, looking at the geldings.
Other notes? Hunting season. It cramps my style a little bit because some in the family like to hunt at the farm. That is all fine and good except that requires me to not ride. That bugs me. Other than that it is fine. Our property is on a river and there are some duck hunters that like to come and park themselves behind the barn. The barn is not right on the river, but it is close. Anyway, I can hear them and let me tell you, it is funny. They are not very good at their duck calls and I can hear them talking. That is not how you do it!
The drive. I wish they were closer. However, I like not having to pay board. I have contemplated it so I could have at least a horse closer. I also like them being able to live like horses. It is also simpler to have them at the farm with the others. I have also contemplated moving to a place somewhere in the middle.
I miss the barn community. It is a great thing. I have horse friends that I ride with, but most of them are not in our neck of the woods.
Join in on the blog hop if you have not already! I have had fun reading them!
I started decorating for Christmas yesterday after work. I put on my Spotify Christmas playlist entitled ‘The Reason For the Season.’ It all really lifted my spirits and today is a new day!
For a new influx of happy/fun/positive on this Thursday, I have for you some of my past years animal Christmas photos! It is December 1st after all. I will take some new ones soon. This is to prep you. I know you are just too excited. If you are well behaved, I might rustle up some old Christmas photos of us sisters all in matching outfits…that is a real hoot.
Have you ever taken funny Christmas photos??? Share them with me!
Walk in love, dear readers.
Darcy is a good sport.
Look what I made baby Lito man do. Maybe not such a baby. This was last year when he was 2.5+ yo. Yes, those are jingle bells. He is a good boy. I am mean.
Settle in with some coffee, y’all. Here is the good part. Full disclosure, get ready for cuteness overload. It will be worth it to get to the bottom of this post! Check out part 1 from yesterday if you missed it.
It was Tuesday. Before 7 AM. I was in the computer lab on campus finishing an assignment for a geophysics course that was due later that day. As I worked, I pondered to myself, “I wonder if today will be the day?” I had grown weary of waiting on Cheetah…and paying for board. Horse people problems, I tell you. I shook my head and got back to work while at the same time cursing myself for signing up for more school, assignments, and having to learn MATLAB. I loathe MATLAB.
I looked at my phone for the time (why not the computer I have no idea) and just as the clock turned to 7:20, a call came in from the lady I was boarding Cheetah with. A fleeting moment of panic rushed in as I got the all familiar, punch in the gut sickness that there was a problem. Colic? Breach position? Still birth? Was she having trouble? You name it, I thought it in that moment. I can not tell you how long I stared at the phone while it rang before I came to. Answer the phone you idiot!
My mind jumped to the present as I answered the phone. I do not even remember what was said other than that the time had come! I immediately called my mother and started to cry the moment I heard her voice. I feel now is a good time to tell you a little something about me. I am a crier. Not a pretty one. And sometimes a catastrophic thinker, if you didn’t already pick that up. This is a genetic trait. OK, now back to the story. My mother answered the phone saying something like, “oh, is it time!? I had a feeling!” Then she heard me and assumed the worst, forgetting that I am me and her daughter. I somehow got the message across that there was not a problem and we needed to go!
Best mom ever was waiting in the driveway with the carrots, champagne, orange juice, and coffee cake packed in a cooler. How I managed to drive the 40 min out there through my excitement is beyond me. As we got out of the car and walked into the barn, I could see my now pair of horses. I about fainted when I saw the dorsal stripe on that tall, lanky foal. I knew it was a colt just by looking at his face. I had hoped and prayed for a dun filly. I expected a bay colt. I got a pretty good middle option! The biggest dun colt in the barn! He was bigger then the 1.5 week old foals in the barn and just a complete spunk of a personality. I was, and still am, a goner.
Cheetah apparently just popped him right out like it was nothing. I filled her full of carrots and thank yous as mom popped the champs and served coffee cake. Truth be told, I got so worked up I was sick to my stomach and could not enjoy the coffee cake for more than a couple of bites. The mimosa helped to settle me a bit as I got to know my new colt.
When my mom had her full of barn time and I was assured my dun duo were OK, I agreed to leave them on the condition we have Mexican for lunch on our way in. I arranged pickup for a week later. I was full on hangry at this point with a couple of mimosas and having not eaten all day. I got my bearings enough when we got to the restaurant to email my professor and ask for an extension on my assignment, stating a family emergency. That counts in my book and I was granted one! Winning!
The little booger needed a name. No easy feat, naming a baby of any kind. Now I will be honest and tell you that I had a couple picked out prior to the birth, but I was not committed till after I met him. If it came out to be a colt, I knew I wanted an ‘M’ name in honor of Magico. I first came up with the name Manolito from a song (I know, go figure). It is half in English and half in Spanish. Just like my new colt. It is about a great ranch horse, just like my new colt would grow to be. Have a listen to the story about the inspiration and to the lyrics of the song. I know some of you are rolling your eyes at me right about now, but just give it a chance! I love this song. Thanks to THE Wylie Gustafson for the vid on YouTube!
I started to research the origins of the name and this is what I learned. It is a nick name or term of endearment for the name Manuel. Manuel comes the name Emanuel. Emanuel means ‘of God’ or ‘God is with us.’ It sure seamed to fit him and the situation. Kept everything in perspective. Naturally, I thought Lito would be a great name for the biggest colt in the barn! Lito is not so little lito!
I picked my duo up to bring them home one week after Lito’s grand arrival. He loaded right into the heavily shavings bedded trailer right after his dam, and he unloaded just the same. He fit right in with everything and everyone. At 2 weeks old, he was a better equine citizen than most mature horses. Before I knew it, I looked up, and he is now 3.5 yo, standing at 16.2 hh, and started under saddle by me. I am one blessed human to have the best mare and colt.