The Aftermath

Have you ever thought about the word ‘aftermath’ and actually looked up the definition? That word came to me this morning of this new day after my Uncle’s funeral service.

A cold front blew in yesterday during the service and it is chilly today. I am now emotionally exhausted after the last 2 days. What comes now is the real hard part I imagine. That is what people say. We are in the aftermath of this terrible, awful event and now that the service is complete we have to find the ‘new normal.’ I think I really dislike that word, normal. What is normalcy?

I do not want to talk about normal because it does not exist, I do not think, but I do want to talk about aftermath. Have you ever looked it up? I just did:


Merriam Webster:
1. a second-growth crop —called also rowen
2:  consequence, result <stricken with guilt as an aftermath of the accident>
3:  the period immediately following a usually ruinous event <in the aftermath of the war>
Origins: Aftermath dates to the late 1400s and was originally an agricultural term. Its two parts are transparent—but only if you’re familiar with an ancient word math that is now used only in British dialectal English and that means “a mowing of a grass or hay crop” and also refers to the crop that is gathered. The original aftermath came, of course, after the math: it was historically the crop of (usually) grass cut, grazed, or plowed under after the first crop of the season from the same soil. It wasn’t until the mid-late 1600s that aftermath developed its other meanings, both of which are now far more common than the first.
Synonyms: aftereffect, effect, backwash, child, conclusion, consequence, corollary, development, fate, fruit, issue, outcome, outgrowth, precipitate, product, result, resultant, sequel, sequence, upshot
Related Words: ramification; denouement (also dénouement), echo, implication, repercussion; afterclap, afterglow, aftershock; blowback, by-product, fallout, offshoot, ripple, side effect (alsoside reaction), spin-off

Dictionary.com:
noun
1something that results or follows from an event, especially one of adisastrous or unfortunate nature; consequence: the aftermath of war; the aftermath of the flood.
2a new growth of grass following one or more mowings, which may begrazed, mowed, or plowed under.
Origins1515-25; after + math a mowing, Old English mǣth; cognate with Old HighGerman mād (German Mahd); akin to mow1
Synonyms: outcome, result, upshot.


Is that not interesting? Two completely different meanings. I only ever thought of it in a negative light. I never knew about the agricultural derivation. There are two sides to every coin and this word has two sides. Well, really, it is like a coin spinning on the counter like a top. This life, this world, and everything in/on it is continuously revolving and evolving. Life keeps going whether you move your feet or not. The plants keep growing and changing with every season just like us. Everything comes full circle on their own timelines. You cut the grass, gather the crop, and it grows back anew with new life. That crop feeds the stock. With fire or torrential storms comes new growth. With death comes birth. That is the light and the life. Look at the synonyms in the Merriam Webster definition: child, fruit, outgrowth. AHA moment.

I have been struggling with the why and the questions without answers (I admit most of my prayers have been for my Aunt and Cousins). The why does not matter and the answers are not there. That is for God. We must however, look for Him, His light, and His will in all things. I do not believe that God wanted my Uncle to die in this way. I do believe that it was not my Uncle that did that. He was sick and not in his right mind. He was not treating his illness. I do believe that God was there with my Uncle at all times. He could not see Him there with him.

How can we see the good that can come out of this? He was a man of God. This I know with all my heart. He was a CPA in both his career and in his faith. He was a Certified Public Accountant. He was also certified by God, Public in his faith, and gave his personal Account of God (I took that part from the service, and it is all true). We will never know, in this realm, why this happened. I know he is survived by his siblings, his wife, his three children, and his three grandchildren. There has been new life. Those babies. AHA moment. We must all be certified by God, public in our faith, and tell our account for the children. Children are resilient and and have full faith and trust. We need to learn to be like that as the adult children of God and show the kids the right path. He is our Faithful Father. Trust in Him and leave our burdens with Him. We all have so little understanding and this earthly life, however hard, is short.

This story, however hard, can also save somebody’s life. It is not a dirty secret to be kept in a closet next to that itchy sweater your cousin once removed knitted for you that your mother makes you wear and you wish you could burn. It must be told to those worthy of hearing. You never know who is currently or has dealt with this exact same thing and has felt alone. No person is alone here and we all have a story. We all have more in common than anyone wants to believe. Be proud of who you are where you come from. It makes you who you are. We are all divinely and uniquely made in HIS vision.

Please share your story.

Harvest the crop and fruit from the bad and grow the new life into good.

Lead with love, dear readers. LOVE.

 

How do I title this?

I am not even sure where to begin today. I am in a fog and in shock. I am full of questions that the answers do not really matter in the big picture. I have been acting almost as if nothing has happened since I found out yesterday afternoon. It is shear shock. I cleaned out the pantry because I just could not sit. I would have to take sitting breaks because I would get weak. I was actually, physically sick. I stayed home from work. I would scroll through the ‘book of face’ and the blogging sphere ‘liking’ and commenting like it was any other day. Who am I? I have only told one person.

Yesterday was a day my family and I will never forget. I am not sure we should even if we could. I can not elaborate much more than that for now. One day, you will know the story. For now, I just can not. It feels like a bad dream that we will not figuratively wake up from for a long time. If I ever thought that any of my troubles were big or a lot to handle, they are all trivial now. This has been a hard year full of wtf WTF. Pardon my language. There is really no other way to put it.

I am asking for prayers. Prayers to lean into Him in this time of tragic loss. I just took a big breath having said that. Literally. Prayers to grow in our faith and to grow together in this time of need. Prayers for strength and peace. Prayers for understanding. Any inkling of understanding.

To say such a thing is unfathomable. How will we ever understand. That feels more like a statement or rhetorical question rather than an actual question. I am not sure it is for us to understand in this earthly realm.

I pray that He can speak through me for them.

We will never know why things like this happen. Our time here on earth is so short. Hug your loved ones and tell them you love them. I am grateful for my family and friends, my horses in the pasture, my dog in the house, and that there is a bunch of cooking that needs to be done. Life goes on whether or not we are moving with it.

Lead with love today and always. Thank you for being here and being you.

ffc804d10df29ce7778cebfe1b040ba0

83e941526014bcf5d707224b30923895

cc58fe07db6dcad8d9e2be7ad55d32f3

7221b4719e7fc6a96a4d177d85f1692d

91eede715b818ebb4df5e6e39e236541

d9b964826f2eee1ec501ab0a07220542

66ca632b6c7a0c523b1a474a6257cdfb

891f07c92081ab35af0653883375750c

e7a5a419e0a43f77538522831cb61f63

da5464e6ef20fff14bd526cfd1f4b3bb

c28871dbe1d6972951ac6d03faa10bb4

aede5c54a42611f4832a7c9d31118278

81f4ed6e144cca1721bce4def3154d05

8bee2be65ccc6c991279b07d12ab2bf9

Listen Linda!

Today is Friyay if you did not know! Now you do. I read day 12. On to day 13. Next week is a short week and middle sister and her hubby are in town!

201406_2010_eaidf_sm

I am flyin’ solo in the office today. I do not like flyin’ solo in the office. It is too quiet. I am playing Christmas music out loud to compensate though, and I had Christmas coffee this morning! Out my office window I can watch the cold front blow in. I am to head out to the farm with my Darcy pup directly after work. Then on Sunday, I ride Bella the buckskin and do my Thanksgiving grocery shopping. I might even get the Christmas decorations down and ready to put up.

I hope each and every one of you have a great weekend. Enjoy the cold weather if you have it. We will! Get rest and ready for Thanksgiving! Think about what you are grateful for this Thanksgiving.

What are y’all doing to get ready for Thanksgiving? What are you grateful for???

Interesting.

Life is interesting. I have been very introspective as of late. You have probably noticed this. I would say it is the holidays, but really every year it begins in October because that is when my birthday is.

I began 2016 with such hope and many plans. Even with the state of the oil & gas industry and the death of our Mr. Man just a few months prior, I was prepared to make it a good year. Here is a little confession time, I put myself in a safe and protected position. I moved back in with my parents in case I lost my job. Bless them. I am so grateful for my parents allowing me (and my Darcy dog) to move back in. It has not been easy. This was really not something I wanted in my life plan and do not like to admit, but plans change so we change. We accept and move on. It is always hard. It was/is temporary. It was/is the smart thing to do.

I was going to focus on the good and make it good. I still had a job and I was saving money. I worked at a place that allowed me to have a schedule and life and they were great people. I was going to continue going to bible study and start reading my bible daily. I even got one of those read the bible in 365 days deals. Really, I bought it way before that, but I was going to start it. I was going to start riding my Lito man in the spring. I had some goals set for us. My middle sister was getting married in the summer to a wonderful man. At the end of the summer I would find out if I got accepted into this exclusive, ladies group. If accepted, we would go on a week long riding retreat vacation in the fall. I am person who tends to be resistant to change, but I was ready and open for the change that could happen and wanted things to start moving in my life.

2016 has been a hard year. Some are extremely difficult to digest and talk about. Our ranch hand that took great care of my babies and buried Mansebo was tragically killed in a car accident. He worked for us for seven years. We have yet to find a suitable replacement after trying three different people. The river flooded twice, taking fencing, water lines, and water troughs with it both times. Lito’s goals came and went like a flash before my eyes without my say thanks to the weather. We have lost a few big calves for no apparent reason. There have been several unexpected deaths, human, equine, and bovine. Since spring I have only been to bible study a handful of times. I am currently on day 11 of my daily bible reading. Day 11. I read day 11 yesterday. Go me, and I still live with my parents.

Many great things did happen though. I still have my job at this wonderful company with great people. We are hopeful to see this thing through to the other side. I still have two full sets of grandparents. I am a proud new member of an equestrian sisterhood and had a blast on our week long ride. My sister is happily married to that wonderful man. They are coming home for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. My niece turned 1 year old. Lito has been started under saddle and is a great youngster. I could not have dreamed up a better one. I am in no hurry with him and have no reason to rush or get upset if it is not as I expected or planned. This is about him and us, not me. I even got to ride him through the shallows of the flood at a big, floaty, water splashing trot. Think big boy trot down the diagonal and that was only his 4th ride. We had several grass growing rains, even if they did flood. Better than the drought. I am trying to make reading my bible part of my routine, absorbing the messages He is trying to teach, and pray every day.

I feel in some ways very much the same as I did almost a year ago in January, in other ways I am different. I adapted and changed my plans. I moved on. Made new goals and kept some old ones.

I still feel stagnant in my life. Change is happening, but it feels as if it is happening around me. I still am unsure if I am doing what I am supposed to be doing with my life.

I did read my bible yesterday and prayed a couple of times. Here is the interesting thought were I started off writing this post. How it took that many words to get here, I am not sure. I woke up twice last night and remember even though I was not fully awake thanking God for everything I have and everything He has done for me, with me, and through me. Hello Holy Spirit! Something is happening inside me even if it feels like am standing still, my feet stuck in concrete blocks. Today I am praying for intention. To be intentional in my bible reading. To be intentional in my prayer with Him. To be intentional about being open to His will for me. I am going to read day 12 when I get home.

giphy.gif

Spread the peace, love, and joy my dear readers. We all need it. Everyone is walking in their own shoes. Help each other focus on the good and the positive.

Tomorrow is Friday. That means the weekend. Then it is Thanksgiving! Then it is Christmas! How is that for positive!

Darcy

*This post has been edited to keep up with the times.*
In loving memory of my Darcy girl.
Darcy’s story is truly a special one. At least to me anyway, and not just because she was the absolute best dog on the face of the earth. A dog of a lifetime.
10468016_10154476691685527_978628803202992341_o
It begins with a ‘long story short’ kind of deal. I was ready for a dog. I was wrapping up my first year of grad school. If you have put two and two together, you have gathered that at this point (I suppose that is dependent on my story telling skills, which are not that great, but let us not focus on that at the present moment) I have 2 horses and am in grad school. Perfect timing for a puppy! I would not recommend it for most people. I arranged a deal with my eldest sister to get a female puppy from a litter sired by her Irish Field Setter (because I love her dog) as her stud fee. She was to give the pup to me. Here comes the long story short part. The litter did not make.
226847_5862099754_8135_n
My sister’s Irish Field Setter.

It was August at this point. I was pretty upset. I broke a cardinal rule and had already bought a collar with a name plate. What did this mean? Do I not get one? Do I try to find one? If I was going to get a puppy, now was the time. I would have plenty of time to train a puppy while in school before I had to join the full time adult world. I needed to either get one now or wait till I was settled in a job. I am not one for waiting once I get my mind set on something if you have not figured that out yet. I decided to ask and look around. If I found a puppy that somehow was available and filled the necessary qualifications, I would THINK about getting it.

My chances were next to none. Most field bred, bird dog litters are only bred when the breeders know a full litter is committed for. I decided not loose heart and began my search for a Llewellin Setter (basically a specific line of field bred English Setter) which is what I really wanted in the first place. I grew up with English Setters and they are easier to find than the Irish.

1069926_10153047515430527_2125046035_n
My childhood English Setter.
One thing led to another and I got in touch with the owner of a stud dog in Minnesota that sired a litter with a few puppies still available. She put me through a little bit of an interrogation until she heard my story and figured out I was not making an impulse decision. She deemed me worthy enough to get me in touch with the owner of the dam…in Michigan. That is really far from Texas, but I figured it was worth a call. If anything, they might be able to recommend me to someone in a more reasonable location.
I called him on a Sunday on my way home from the farm. We talked for almost the whole hour drive. It was great. I had a feeling. I had a feeling about the dogs. I had a feeling about him. I had a feeling about the owner of the stud dog. It all just seemed right. I needed this puppy that was not even born yet, but I could not let my feelings get away from me. I had to be logical and practical. Despite my ‘feelings,’ I had never met either of these dogs. I had always intended to get a dog from down here that was used to the climate. Anyway, How does one get a puppy from all the way up there to all the way down here without spending more than the cost of the puppy???
The next day I called him back and expressed my concerns. Now, here is where it gets really good. He tells me that it is really no big deal. He just so happens to be driving right by the stud dog owner’s house right when the pups would be 7 weeks old (which would be within the week before my birthday). He already spoke with her and she just so happened to be driving all the way down to Ft. Worth that very next day he was driving by and would be happy to bring the puppy along for the ride. He said not to worry about it, they would work it out to ensure the pup had a good home with me. How crazy is that?! It was fate. I agreed to drop my down payment in the mail that day.
Fast forward to the beginning of October and my mother and I drove up to Ft. Worth to pick up my Darcy girl. I chose a ‘D’ name after Darcy’s mother, Daisy. Darcy came from Pride & Prejudice because I am obsessed with Jane Austen and that particular novel. With Darcy cuddled in my arms, my mother and I checked into a fun hotel for the evening. Middle sister came to meet the puppy and spend the night as she lives in the vicinity of the Metroplex. We had a grand time with takeout for dinner and right before bed, I look over at my bag and what do I see? Darcy is curled up in a ball IN my bag, looking at me. It was at that moment I KNEW I made the right decision. I had found the sidekick I had been waiting for.
The first weekend home together we loaded up and went to the farm. She learned everything from riding in the back of the pick up to being around the horses to drinking out of a water trough. The rest really is history, as they say.
She was at my side ever since. I took her everywhere I could. In the last weeks of her life, after getting diagnosed with cancer, I took her to work with me every day. She had a huge personality and was extremely expressive. She hung out at the barn with me and went with me on all my rides. She was my farm buddy and was so so good at it. I would not have changed a single thing about her.
I am forever grateful and I feel so blessed to have had her in my life, even if it was only for less than six years.
I hope y’all liked Darcy’s story. Do any of you have wingpups that do with you what you like to do?
Lead with love, dear readers!

Prayers from Dip to Pie.

First thing. To all the equestrian bloggers, thank you. I am missing my horses this week since I have not been able to get out to them. Thank you for your horse posts, they are getting me through this week.

IMG_8801

Second thing. This Jalapeno Popper Dip that I mentioned yesterday…you can not go wrong! Put those ingredients together and it is bound to be good. This is naughty delicious appetizer was more than good. I used half fresh roasted and half canned jalapenos. I mixed it up yesterday to be ready for our office Thanksgiving lunch later this week and planned to just leave the topping off till I bake it the day of. Whilst mixing it up, I really wanted to try it to make sure it was going to be good. I took a little bit of the filling mixture and put it into a small, single serve baking dish, added a little topping, and baked it off. I approve and I think the picky eaters at the office will too. I was a bad blogger and forgot to take a picture of it fresh out of the oven…one of these days I hope to get the hang of this! What is that? You have heard me say that before? Uhhh…look! Does that dip not look like it tasted great! I did not eat all of that…I had some test subjects. I only had tortilla chips and those water crackers, so I put them both out. Tortilla chips are where it is at, trust me.

Third thing. My favorite to make for Thanksgiving is this Apple Cranberry Pie with Pecan Shortbread Crust. I will let that sink in for a minute…are you finished sinking?! Great idea right?? The recipe comes originally from Southern Living, go figure. I use fresh cranberries instead of dry. I like the added color, juice, and tartness. I also stick some in the top while it bakes so you can see them. Additionally, I probably double or more on the cinnamon and add nutmeg. That is probably not a surprise to you by now. That shortbread though. So good! The whole pie is a labor of love, but it is so worth it. Make it in your pj’s with your family around and it will be ready before you know it! It travels exceptionally well and tastes great left over. If you need to bring a dessert, try this.

Fourth thing. As they say, last but certainly not least, A Prayer of Thanksgiving. Whatever is going on in your life during this upcoming holiday season, remember to be thankful. We all have something to be thankful for even if it is hard to see at times. That is what we should focus on, being grateful and thankful. Not the bad things, the hard things, the busy things, the have to do things, the I do not have time things. That is not what IT is about. AHA moment.

The prayer before the holiday meals is a big thing in our family. I love how everyone has a different style of prayer as individual as they are. Last year, I found a perfect Prayer of Thanksgiving and brought it to our gathering to post by the lovingly prepared food. It really got me thinking about what I am grateful for and to say a thank you to God for them. It got me in the right attitude just like that quote I shared a while back about working with horses. I unfortunately can not find the one from last year, but I found this one for my closing greeting to you, dear readers. Lead with love. Tune in tomorrow for Darcy’s front and center spotlight.

God of all blessings,
source of all life,
giver of all grace:

We thank you for the gift of life:
for the breath
that sustains life,
for the food of this earth
that nurtures life,
for the love of family and friends
without which there would be no life.

We thank you for the mystery of creation:
for the beauty
that the eye can see,
for the joy
that the ear may hear,
for the unknown
that we cannot behold filling the universe with wonder,
for the expanse of space
that draws us beyond the definitions of our selves.

We thank you for setting us in communities:
for families
who nurture our becoming,
for friends
who love us by choice,
for companions at work,
who share our burdens and daily tasks,
for strangers
who welcome us into their midst,
for people from other lands
who call us to grow in understanding,
for children
who lighten our moments with delight,
for the unborn,
who offer us hope for the future.

We thank you for this day:
for life
and one more day to love,
for opportunity
and one more day to work for justice and peace,
for neighbors
and one more person to love
and by whom be loved,
for your grace
and one more experience of your presence,
for your promise:
to be with us,
to be our God,
and to give salvation.

For these, and all blessings,
we give you thanks, eternal, loving God,
through Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

~Vienna Cobb Anderson

 

 

Sundays are not for working…

…Sundays are for cooking. Family. Friends. Pets…

How was the weekend for y’all?! I did not get any horse time, but I had a great time with family as my middle sister was in town. It was so nice to just spend time with her. We ate, drank, and just had family time. I am having a bit of a hard time this Monday morning because of it, I dare say! I should not be having a hard time as I came into the office yesterday to catch up and get a head start for this week. This is Darcy’s best “Sundays are not for working” look from my office chair. Speaking of Darcy, stay tuned for her story coming up this week!

unnamed

When we left to head back home, I treated myself to a special, seasonal peppermint coffee. Why? Because I could! Going to work on a Sunday and not getting to see my horses earns me a special coffee.

My Thanksgiving cooking has already started! Every year here at the office, we have an office Thanksgiving lunch party the week before Thanksgiving. We order turkey and everyone makes/brings the sides. It is always a grand time. This year I am in charge of bringing the cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, and an appetizer. I agreed to do the appetizer for our office manger.

Yesterday evening I made the cranberry sauce. Cranberry sauce is so easy to make at home, I do not know why people buy it. It also tastes much better homemade. I never liked it until I had the real stuff. Just buy a bag of cranberries and follow the instructions on the back of the bag as your base. I would advise doing 1/2 or 1/3 of the usual 1 cup of sugar that it recommends. That is way too much for me. It is dependent on how you like it, I guess. From there, get creative! I like to think about eating turkey while I make it and if an ingredient sounds or smells like it would go well with turkey, I add it! Or, look at some other recipes to get inspiration. I subbed a little of the white sugar with brown. Salt and pepper. Cubed apple. Apple juice. I just add a little less water to accommodate the added liquid. Orange juice and zest. Lemon juice and zest. I wanted to add some thyme and poultry type herbs this time to make it more savory, but we did not have any. Instead, I ground up some dried herbs de provence. Then I added a little dash of Grand Marnier and Limoncello. It smelled and tasted divine. In previous years, I have added pecans to it. It is a pretty good idea. I decided to leave them out this year and see how it goes. I put some sauce in a container in the fridge for Thursday and the rest in a container in the freezer for our family Thanksgiving next week.

Do not tell anyone, but I also made the mashed potatoes yesterday too. Look, I had the time to both cook and clean yesterday, so I made them yesterday. Trust me though, no one will be able to tell. This ‘recipe’ I get from my mother. Her secret is cream cheese. Naughty! Naughty delicious! I like to add some fresh grated parmesan cheese for some nice salty bite. I put them in a baking dish, covered them with foil, and stuck them in the freezer. I will pull them out the night before and put them in the fridge. The day of I will let them get to room temp before I put them in the oven to get heated through. They will taste just as good as the day I made them.

The appetizer I am making is a jalapeno popper dip. I am going to try and make that today or tomorrow and will chronicle that later. It looks pretty tasty and I am excited to give it a try.

For our family Thanksgiving, I am baking a dessert and possibly doing the sweet potatoes. Boy howdy, I can not wait to share my dessert with you. It has become a must every year. It is a little bit of work but it is totally worth it, trust me.

I also need to bake pumpkin bread for my farrier and my vet. Do not forget to thank those people in your lives!

Have y’all thought about what you are making for Thanksgiving?!?! Tell me! One of my favorite parts of the holidays are cooking, especially because my parents kitchen is a hangout area for us. It brings us all together and our food is an expression of our love. Made with love, it always tastes better. AHA moment. What is your favorite part?

Walk in love, dear readers, and have a great Monday!

 

Grateful.

Be grateful all the time, but especially coming into Thanksgiving and Holiday season. Every one of us is blessed. Can you see what makes you blessed? Are you grateful for it? Open your eyes. That is a blessing in itself. AHA moment. It is a blessed day that the Lord has made.

Last night I went to the farm to spend the night and have the horses up in the morning for the farrier to do their hooves. This makes me grateful that I am able to do that. Grateful for the farm. Grateful for the horses. Grateful for a great farrier that works with our situation. Grateful that I got to drive to work watching this sunrise.

The hood of my car may be dirty, I may have been tired from my 5 AM wake-up, and the terrible traffic made my drive longer than an hour, but look at the beauty in those colors and the reflection in the clouds and on the hood.

What are you grateful for?

Walk with love. Lead with love. Spread the love, dear readers. Allow the love to drive out the hate. Let the light shine out the darkness. Choose to make peace and share joy.

 

Cheetah

The time has come, y’all. As I promised, here is Cheetah’s story.

I was sent off to college under strict orders that I was not to take a horse to school and I was not to get one while I was there. The thought of this conversation with my father still makes me chuckle. I had been trying to find a loophole since I left.

I began an internship in my second year for the director of the university’s equestrian center where I schooled/trained program and sale horses, assisted in horse sales, led summer horseback riding camps, and helped run local horse shows. I had anywhere between two to five horses on my ‘string.’ The best part about it was I could ride two to three horses a day while going to school and I still got good grades…my parents could not complain! Anyhoo, Cheetah was in my first group of horses (could have been the second group, but that really is not an important detail) during that first fall of my internship. It was practically love at first sight. No one at the center wanted to use her for anything, being the strong, opinionated mare that she was is.

I have learned that the majority of the horses I fall for begin with this descriptor…probably not the best thing in the world. Oops. I was asked to put some miles on her and either get her placed in a university program or aid in her sale. After the first week of riding her, I was a goner. She was 4.5 yo at the time and did not know much of anything past go. She turned…some…and was not the biggest fan of stopping. She was also a booger to catch. Most days it took me a solid 30 min to bring her in. She made incredible strides in the riding department in just a matter of a couple weeks. Knowing the opinions about her and her personality, my Cheetah girl would not be a match for any of the school programs. She would have to be put up for sale. This thought broke my heart. I constantly shoved it away as I found new things that she ‘had’ to work on.

One horrible day, you know the kind where you are just all over the place emotionally and have that sick feeling where you have no idea what you are doing in life and that you are doing the wrong thing…that all too common feeling during that time in your life where you are just figuring it all out, I went out to the barn all bottled up like a shaken bottle of champagne. Everything was just beneath the surface, ready to explode. As I entered Cheetah’s turn out, we made eye contact and I said a little prayer, “please, just let me catch her today. I have had an awful day and I just need to stick my face in her mane.” When I turned back around from locking the gate to walk out and try to catch her, she started walking to me. We met in the middle. I then sat and cried with her head in my lap for the remainder of my allotted catch time. That awful feeling of her being sold kept creeping up on us.

I went home after finals for Christmas with a plan. I attempted to convince my father over Thanksgiving that my life could not go on without this mare to no avail. I had my mother and my Aunt though. Game changers. I gave him my best pitch at Christmas and I do not even remember what I said. I thought it would never work out until my Aunt stepped in and said he had to say yes. Well, I never did get a ‘yes,’ but I got something that was not a ‘no.’ I texted my boss on Christmas and asked if I could buy Cheetah. She probably thought I was crazy when she said yes, but I doubt she was surprised.

My boss and I ended up working a deal where I worked off the payment. It was a win win for everyone. I have to be honest though, I think I got the better deal on all fronts. I have lost count of the times I have cried into her mane and she has been great to catch ever since that one day. I honestly do not think I would have finished college without her.

We have logged countless hours in the arena and out in the crop fields. We trained. We showed some. We conquered. We made life long friends. The best part is, our story is not over yet! She is only 12. We are still doing even if sometimes it feels as if we are not. We enjoy our time together even if I am just standing in the pasture next to her while she grazes. She knows me better than anyone and has changed my life for good. I can not imagine my life if she had never mare glared galloped her way into it. I thought about changing her name when she first became ‘mine’ (my boss’ daughter named her), but you know they say that is bad luck and really, it suits her personality. I went through the hassle and ridiculous advanced age fee to get her registered with AQHA because I had our next adventure planned. I just had to graduate first.

This, my dear readers, brings me to Lito’s story. That is a story for another day ;).

Go walk in love.

 

Back in the game

Happy Monday morning!

Y’all. This weekend was pretty great.

I will try and keep it short and sweet on the word front. We know how I can be a bit…long winded. Yes, I surprise myself. Another fun thing about blogging. Anyway, I got in tree rides this weekend. These days that is pretty good!

So, first. I rode the mare horse. That is what my dad affectionately calls her, ha! Cheetah. Cheetah Beetah. The Beets. She goes by many names. On Saturday she was my angel girl. She was being so sweet and was surprisingly focused and relaxed for just coming back into working regularly. This might mean she will be not so great for the next ride, but I am not going to focus on that. I am choosing to focus on the good and allow the good to come through on our next ride. AHA moment. I round penned her briefly to get her warmed

giphy
SOURCE HERE! SO FUN!

up before I even mounted. She seems to appreciate that most of the time. In the beginning, I thought she might have had a broom stick up her bum as she was doing her best old west bronc impersonation. It was not a very good likeness, but for me it was quite comical. Once I mounted up it felt almost like I had been riding her every day…except that she is pretty out of shape which is to be expected. She was relaxed and forward off my leg and seat, very between my legs, thinking not reacting. On the aids, if you will. I kept it pretty basic so we could stay well seated within her brain. If I start to ask her too many questions before she is ready, we move straight into the reactionary running side of her that has no bottom to the tank. She was the perfect Appendix Quarter Horse, the best of her full 50/50%. Man, it felt great! We did some big relaxed circles with some yielding in both trot and lope/canter and then called it a day to go for a cool down walk/hack up to the front gate and back. I wanted to continue going, but I decided it would be best to finish on a positive note…another AHA moment. We have all the time in the world for longer rides when she is back in shape and going consistently.

Pre-ride photos…It was one of those crazy foggy days where the fog does not clear for hours.

Cool down walk and post-ride photos…

unnamed-13
She has model poses.

Then I rode Second Chance, Chance/Give Me A Chance, Chance. I am not sure which descriptor name I like more. His name is Chance and we took a chance on him. He has worked out very well for us! He has his quirks, like they all do, but once he realized we were team players, he blossomed. I need to show you his ‘before’ pictures. Anyway, he was pretty darn good too. He is a very lazy horse and I am not sure who worked harder, me or him. If he could get paid for stopping and resting in the shade, he would be a rich…err…horse. Just the thing we want for beginners! We had a good arena work and then went down to check the cows. He is your typical ranch style, grade QH. Built like a tank with an unknown history. The poor guy already has half a winter coat (makes me worry that winter is going to be bad!) and needed a good hosing off after our ride. Good thing it is warm enough for that.

Last but certainly not least, I rode the Lito Man. He was pretty good. Not as amazing as he has been, but certainly not bad. I was a little all over the place, so it was mostly all me. It was is ninth ride I believe. We worked in the arena first. It lasted a little longer that I wanted it to, but I was looking for a good stopping place. He is very hard to get forward in the arena. Anyone else with young horses have this problem? I think I am going to get a friend to come out and ride another horse while I ride Lito and get a good forward pasture ride soon so he can see what it is all about. After the arena, we took a walk to the river and back. Here is his pre-ride shot. Can you see his 50% PRE blood? He deserves more text, but I said I would keep this short and I have not! He will get his own post soon.

unnamed-18

What positives did y’all have this weekend that you are going to focus on?

Have a great Monday!