In Other News

My phone told me this weekend that I could not take any more pictures. How rude. Now I have to take photos off my phone to make room. I guess I could delete some old messages. Woof. I need to get a new phone anyway. My current one is on it’s last leg. I was able to get these darling images on my ride Saturday morning. Ike’s ears…nothing cuter.

I am getting him in shape for a week long trail ride in the middle of October, which is why I have been focusing my ride time on him. Let us not talk about the rain issue. I have to prioritize my riding because with the weather I can not get it all done. I rode Bella the buckskin last week. She regressed by several years it seems, so here is hoping that this week is closer to par. My dun duo unfortunately for all involved has been pushed to the back burner. My Cheetah girl is downright miserable in our hot, humid, and buggy summers. Her temper is quite thin towards the end. I hate not riding her regularly, but our relationship seems less strained when I give her the bad part of the summer off. Being a fair weather rider is not my jam as I ride regularly all year, but sometimes you have to change your norm or make sacrifices for the better of the horse. My poor not so little Lito. My family and friends have been otherwise occupied for much of the summer and I have frequently found my self alone at the farm. I have a rule of no riding freshly started horses alone. You know, if it is not safe it is not fun and all that. There is also that whole rain thing that I said I did not want to talk about. However, I do not worry about him much and I am in no rush. He is a star. When it cools down and my life slows down a bit (hopefully) I will get them both going again.

I have not been able to really feel the fall air come in, but I have seen some leaves on the ground. That is something, right? What have y’all done to get you through the summer dregs?

In other news, I baked a chocolate cheesecake for my Grandmother’s birthday Saturday evening. I did not get a photo because the dumb phone told me I couldn’t and it was not the prettiest thing. It sure did taste good though! I am going to make some changes to the recipe and see if I can make it better. I also made a strawberry, lavender, and mint margarita. Interestingly enough, my phone let me take a picture…priorities??? Oh man, it was so good! I mean, if you were wondering.


Last night I made a roasted tomato, pepper, and butternut squash soup with basil and a cheese crostini. No pictures there either, but boy oh boy, it tasted sooooooo good. Super healthy and satisfying too.

Apparently when I do not get my ride time, I cook or do other crafts. What do you do when you can’t ride or do your ‘thing’???

Lead and follow with grace.

“Put your heart in your hand and rub your horse with it.”

10526074_10154552784420527_6633150241474688593_nI heard Pat Parelli say this once on one of his shows quite a while ago. Yay for horse TV! I am not sure if he originally said that or if he was quoting someone else, but man, the thought of that really resonated with me at the time. I opened up my phone, wrote it down in my ‘notes,’ and went about my business. I see it whenever I scroll through my ‘notes’ and it puts a smile on my face.

When I bred my mare, Cheetah (cute, I know), I did quite a bit more reading, watching, listening, and learning than my normal to prepare myself for the foal’s arrival. I wanted to make sure that I did right by this new foal for the both of us. I have experience with all kinds and ages of horses except newborn. This was the first time for both me and Cheetah. I was not really worried (besides about the associated possible risk with breeding), but I wanted to make sure that I knew as much as possible from as many people as possible and had as open a mind as possible. As in life, the right mindset and attitude are critical for success in working with all horses. This is why I love this quote.

 “Put your heart in your hand and rub your horse with it.”

It is almost like a mantra. It may not have your typical strong active verbs in it, but that is one of the things I love most about it. In my experience, both horses and people respond best to confidence found in quiet and gentle spirits led with love. After Lito was born, I would often read or think about this quote before I would work with him (there are others, but those are stories for other days). I wanted to have the right mindset and attitude to be able to allow the right things to happen (Side note, I love the word allow. Think about allowing things to happen in your life).

I know you are probably thinking that I am the corniest person, and OK, you might be right. Honestly though, I actually FELT the meaning of that saying the first time I sat upright and astride Lito. Yes, I prepared him both gradually and well for being mounted, but I had never been the first person to sit on an unridden horse before.

I had been working with him on the lunge focusing on our transitions and rhythm. We were about finished with the session and I felt like it was the right moment to take the next step in his ridden training. I almost immediately got nervous, but the voice inside me quieted my spirit. I gave him a hug around his neck. We were chest to chest so I could feel my heart against him. I told him that my heart was his and that I trusted him. I could say that I do not know where that came from, but it sure felt like a Holy Spirit AHA moment.

Photo cred.

I clambered my way up to his 16hh+, 3 yo back, slowly dropped my legs, and sat upright. It was the most exhilarating feeling and I was overcome with LOVE! Seriously, that is the only way I can describe it. He was standing tall, proud, and confident. Not at all worried. I leaned over and wrapped my arms around his neck, said thank you, and pet him with my heart. Or at least it felt that way.

Major dad fail for not capturing the moment with a photo! If I had noticed him watching, I would have asked him to document it.

What are your mantra sayings for horsemanship and/or life?

Lead with love.

About me. In a minute.

Giving my Lito man a hug. Look at that tongue!

As promised, today I have brought you a little something about me, but first I want to do a little bragging. Yesterday I went out to ride Bella the buckskin. Man was she great! They always get worse before they get better, as they say. She was very relaxed, was better about keeping her shoulder up, and was straighter. Her walk and trot are really coming along and getting more adjustable. The canter/lope has a ways to go, especially to the left. It will come with time. OK, OK, on to what I promised.

Oil & gas geologist by day (hey, it pays for…hay. Ha! See what I did there?) and seeker of the flame by, well, all the time.

A few things you might be intrigued to know about me:
~I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I try to live my life the way He intended and walk the path He created.
~I struggle with what my true vocation is.
~I have a masters in geology.
~I am a 9th generation Texan and yes, I am proud of that. Love this great state.
~I am a horse person. I have two heart horses of my own. Self trained…Well, really they train me.
~I am also a dog person. I have one dog.
~My animals make me a better human.
~My family and friends are my world.
~I am a self-proclaimed music junkie. I dig Texas, Red Dirt, Western, and Classic Country and Americana…and R&B…and Classical…and Gospel…Mariachi…Most of what I listen to does not fit in any one box. Go figure.
~I read incessantly about horse training, horse/human relationships/history, and faith. Throw in a few sappy romance novels, too.
~The parallels between horses and life are astounding to me.
~I never want to stop getting better and growing as a rider. I do not limit myself to one riding discipline.
~I like to share what the Lord and my animals teach me. Those are both one in the same, aren’t they?
~I do not like to have my picture taken, but I LOVE to take photos and I secretly want people to like my photos.
~Sometimes I think I was born in the wrong generation. However, air conditioning sure is great.
~I love to cook and bake.
~I can not spell!…and my grammar can be rather sketchy. Please be gracious and forgive me my mistakes.

I love my job and career, do not get me wrong, but horses are my true passion. People ask me all the time why I did not turn horses into a career. I made the conscious decision when I went off to school to study something that I both liked and would ensure me a good career, awarding me the freedom to follow my passion wherever it led. In my life, I have met a few people that turned their passion into work and lost the love in the process. It was both visible and palpable. I also know people on the other side of that coin. People that have built a career from their passion and have not lost the love. I did not want to lose the love, so I chose a different route. Was this the right choice? I do not know. You can bet on one thing, I will let you know when I learn the answer.

I believe that God speaks to everyone in a different and personal way. For me, it is through animals, nature, and music…horses in particular. One day, I hope to figure out why that is and use it for good. The similarities of working with horses and living life is a truly beautiful and astounding thing.

They say my love for horses began the moment I first saw a horse and has only grown since.  I was that kid that everyone knew as ‘that horse girl’ and I just never grew out of that ‘phase.’ I am probably more horse crazy now than I ever was. It stems from somewhere deep in my genes, I think.

After much begging, my mother finally allowed me to start riding when I was about six years old. I started out showing Saddlebreds with my sister, the same way my mother and grandmother learned to ride. I only got 30 minutes a week, but I lived for that half hour. We showed lightly on the local circuit. I must go find these photos. I was so wee sized on those tall horses and I thought you had to completely stand up in the stirrups while posting!

My family then purchased a farm and some ranch horses when I was nine years old so we could be raised as they were; spending every weekend out in the country. Those horses, one of which we are fortunate to still have at over 30 years of age, taught me what it means to be a horsewoman and a better human being. I rode, and still ride, at least once a week. Yay for weekends! I spent three summers in Mexico taking dressage and jumping lessons from three different international trainers. I really took to the dressage and am still passionate about learning more. I am eternally grateful for this experience because it made me the rider I am today and taught me that in every ride we are teaching the horse something, good or bad. There are some of these photos somewhere too…I am the youngest kid…my parents were tired!

In high school, I joined the local 4-H Horse Club where we participated in clinics and shows in various performance and speed events.

When I went off to college for my undergraduate, I was not able to bring a horse with me, so I joined the polo club my freshman year. I still love to stick and ball! I then interned for the director of the university’s equestrian center where I trained program and sale horses, assisted in horse sales, led summer horseback riding camps, and helped run local horse shows. I got to ride two to three horses a day! Every day! I still dream about it *sigh*. While working there, I found and worked off the payment of my dun Appendix Quarter Horse mare, Cheetah. Her name suits her personality.

The fourth and final year of my undergraduate degree, I helped my friend start and run her private boarding and event horse training facility. When I moved back home with my mare, I bred her to a PRE (Pura Raza Espanola/ Pure Spanish Horse/Andalusian). The perfect thing to do while in grad school! My father would still beg to differ with me on that one. She foaled in 2013 and gave me the best dun colt a gal could ask for. His name is Manolito, I call him Lito. I now have the breeding bug bad!

He has grown to over 16 hh. and likely has more to go. I have lightly started him under saddle and, eventually, we will go to some dressage and working equitation shows. I might even bring his dam along and put her through her paces. These days I am just trying to figure out how to have my career and advance my horses while navigating life…trying to fit in a social life here and there. It has it’s challenges that I am sure many of you can relate to.

Man that is A LOT of talking about myself. Now I am tired. This weekend is my nephew’s 4th birthday party and I will then be running away to the farm to unplug and ride my horses! You will definitely not hear from me till Monday. Have a great weekend, interwebbers!

Have a chuckle.

You know that time when you make a public mistake? Something like misspelling a word? Misspelling a word publicly…in the title of your post? Yes, like I did this very morning!!! Have a little chuckle at my expense today, ladies and gentlemen, because I sure did!

I wish I could enjoy my piece of humble pie with a cup of coffee and my dun duo…

Mustard Seed.

Muster up your mustard seeds, folks. I have taken the plunge and finally started a blog. I know you are probably thinking, “just like everyone else and their dog. The world does not need any more blogs!” Have a little faith, ye readers. My pup is turbo cute and we will cover much more than just my dog. You will just have to tune in and see for yourselves!


Isn’t she CUTE?!