Apr 26, 2009

3 Strikes

I’ve been following with interest the rescue efforts at Three Strikes Ranch out near Alliance. I have wanted to post something about it, but just couldn’t find the right words. I’m saddened by such a loss, disgusted by such arrogance, and embarrassed that something like this has happened in my state.

I first heard of Jason Meduna several years ago when he started his pig farm here in Saunders County less than 10 miles from our place. He put up signs on the highway similar to those on the television show *M*A*S*H*, with arrows pointing every direction referencing pigs, swine, etc. It caught our eye and one day after church, we turned onto the gravel road at the signs and drove by his place. It was obviously an old farm that he refurbished. The place was cleaned up, the old buildings and the house painted, from what I recall, and a replicated wooden water tower was built. It was a cute, cute place! Although we found it curious we never saw a lot of pigs, having just restored our own place, we were impressed with what he had done to the place. The Lincoln Journal Star (I believe) did a story about him. I seem to remember there was a hint of family discord in the story, but can’t recall the reason.

Before long we started hearing about the mustangs he had acquired. Again, we took a trip by his farm. On the opposite side of the road, he had set up makeshift corrals made of tree trunks and branches – kind of an old west look. There were a lot of horses, but plenty of hay and water tanks. They looked well cared for. I heard he planned to train these mustangs and “sell them to acreage people”. Having friends who had been challenged with mustangs, we chuckled at his idea.

I was concerned with the number of horses I saw there and would occasionally drive by just to make sure they were being fed and was always glad too see that they were. It wasn’t long before I stumbled across his website. Not the same glossy website we all visited recently – if I recall it may have been a free web site, but it was my first glimpse of the shirtless trainer. I found this display a little odd or distasteful or a bit of both.

Once, when visiting a local tack store, I commented on a vintage black show saddle, complete with tapaderos and a typical narrow tree as was common when it was crafted. It had a sold sign on it. She said that some mustang guru bought the saddle and he planned to ride across the state to showcase his mustangs, using this antique saddle. There were fliers hung up in the shop advertising his mustangs and I recognized the name as our “neighbor”, Jason.

I can’t recall if he was representing himself as a trainer at that time or offering mustangs for sale. Later, there were rumors in the area about his “training” methods and concern for the horses he trained. I didn’t know of anyone who had sent a horse to him for training nor did I know anyone that bought a horse from him. It was all local gossip at the time. There were other stories, dark stories, unrelated to horses. Again, more whispers among the locals. The horse world is a small world in these parts, but we never crossed paths. He was one horse person I didn’t want to meet.

As quickly as he put up the pig farm and acquired his mustangs, he was gone. Wyoming, we heard. I drove by his farm. The makeshift corrals were no longer standing. No horses were in sight. We heard someone bought the property. And we never gave Jason Meduna any further thought until I saw the recent plea on Craig’s List regarding the “now famous” missing Rayu. And then Fugly’s first post shortly thereafter that things were amiss in Alliance, Nebraska.

Having never met Jason Meduna or knowing anyone that personally knows him or his ranch, I can only speculate like so many about who he is and why it happened. I’d like to think he started out sincere. Acquired a few cheap horses to have on his farm. Perhaps he saw it as an opportunity to make a dime or two – buy cheap, work your magic and sell to those “acreage people” who want to make their country dream come true. Around this time, the BLM was offering older horses for $25. Maybe he did become somewhat of a hoarder. I don’t know how he acquired the land in western Nebraska, but evidently he went there with a purpose. To keep expanding his herd.

The idea of a sanctuary for unwanted mustangs isn’t a bad one. Someone with money and a brain might be able to make something like this work. I won’t go into all the reasons why it didn’t work for him. Read one or two news articles and I think we can all figure it out. Those same news stories also reveal that there were offers to help when things started to go south and he was either too arrogant to believe that he needed help or in denial that a problem existed or just plain too stupid or lazy to do anything about the problem that he created. He certainly wasn’t the man for the job or a man of his word. His horses were suffering, his wife was working two jobs – what was Jason doing?

Jason planned to save 300 horses. Thanks to a team effort - both local and national - 192 were rescued from Jason. I don’t think any of us know what will happen from here. It’s not over yet.


From Habitat For Horses:
Hay and feed-based wormer are urgently needed. Donations for hay are being collected by Front Range Equine Rescue in Colorado. If you would like to contribute to the effort, Paypal donatebuy@frontrangeequinerescue.org. If you do not have access to Paypal you can mail donations to: Front Range Equine Rescue, P.O. Box 307, Larkspur, CO 80118. Please notate on your check and/or Paypal donations that it is for "3-Strikes Mustangs". Any and all help with hay is greatly appreciated

From Horsetrailriders.com
The Nebraska Humane Society has also been involved with this effort. If you would like to donate locally, contact Kristi B at the Nebraska Humane Society by calling 402-444-7800 ext. 325. http://www.nehumanesociety.org/ .

Nice Rides!

It’s been raining most of the weekend, but I won’t complain. We just finished a week of darn near perfect weather, riding over 30 miles. Plus, our neighbor planted our alfalfa on Thursday, so the moisture is coming at a good time.

The Bridge

Last weekend, I finally got John to make me a “bridge” for my arena. Nothing special, just a platform really, but it is made so you could put a log under it and have a little teeter totter action to up the ante a bit. We haven’t done that yet, but did have Windy, Butter and Ginger all try out the bridge. Most got it on the 2nd or 3rd attempt. Then we practiced whoa-ing on it and then backing off it. Pretty much a non-event for each of them. It’s just another toy to make arena riding more interesting for me.

Riding Ginger over the bridge

More Conditioning

John and I took Ginger and Windy out both Tuesday and Wednesday night. Rode a little longer and faster on Tuesday and kept a consistent slower pace on Wednesday. I’m 3 weeks away from the competitive trail ride and John is 4 weeks away from his “distance” ride. Since Case is planning to go with John, we need to start getting some time on Butterscotch, too. One of us will probably have to start ponying her if Case can’t ride with us.

Bader Park

On Friday, Sheila, Julie and I loaded up and headed to Bader Park near Chapman, Nebraska. At almost 300 acres, Bader Park offers swimming lakes, camping areas and many miles of trail through the meadows and along the Platte River. We met some friends from Lincoln and central Nebraska. Our timing was perfect and we were on the trail before 11:00 AM.

The first glimpse of wildlife we saw was a jack rabbit! I guess I didn’t realize we just don’t see many here in eastern Nebraska and was amazed at how big they are! We meandered around the mowed paths and then made our way out to the sandbars of the Platte River. The river was low, but by the looks of it, I think it must always be in this particular area. There were permanent duck blinds next to the water. Once in the water, there was a good, solid base. The water was clear and in some areas, we even saw some sort of water lily below the surface.

Julie Shurigar & Tiki at Bader Park

After lunch we took the trails around the lakes. Most of the trails were sandy, well marked and groomed. It was a very pretty ride. Once back at the trailers, a few of us went back to the meadows and let our horses open up a bit. Those on gaited horses did their thing and Jan and I, on our stock horses, moved into a nice lope along the grass trails. It was a nice way to end a good ride. The GPS showed we logged just shy of 10 miles.

Weather, company and a wedding kept me from riding this weekend, but having put some good miles on them this past week, I think they earned their down time. Have lots of activities this week, so will be stealing ride time until the weekend again!

Windy & I splashing in the river while Julie Baker watches

Apr 23, 2009

Meals for the Friday Before Mother's Day Ride!

It is just 2 weeks until the 9th Annual Friday Before Mother's Day ride! I hope you will consider taking a day for yourself and come and ride with me and a whole bunch of other women looking to enjoy a day on the trail with our horses and our friends.

This Just In! As we have offered the past few years, Angel Acres of Weston will once again be offering our midday meal at Loma and dinner following the ride at the Valparaiso trail head. If you would like to partake, you must pre-order!! The menu is as follows:

Lunch/Loma: cost per meal $6

  • Low cal is a turkey and veggie pita, sun chips, fruit and water or pop.
  • Regular option is a ham, turkey and cheese hoagie, chips, cookie and water or pop

Dinner/Valparaiso: cost per meal is $7

  • Roast beef, Irish potatoes, vegetable, dessert bar and lemonade & tea

How To Order

My friend Tammy Alexander has once again taken on the task of arranging these meals. If you would like to have your meal catered, you must pre-order! Simply email Tammy Alexander (tammyal@nntc.net) and be sure you get a confirmation from her! DO NOT email me and DO NOT leave your order in comments. She is working direct with the caterer so to ensure you don't get missed, only orders through Ms. Alexander will be taken!

For information about the Friday Before Mother's Day Ride....

What's this ride all about? See my previous blog on the ride.....

Be sure to pass this information on to other friends who may be attending!

Apr 19, 2009

Riding with a Purpose

The weekend forecast promised much needed rain and the fields were wet before we even got up. So I was pleasantly surprised when the sun peeked out yesterday afternoon. Although the pastures and arena would be too wet for riding, the miles and miles of country roads surrounding us are perfect for such a damp day. I am planning to ride at a Competitive Trail Ride (CTR) next month. John and a friend are also planning their own version of a distance ride over Memorial Day weekend. So we both have reasons to get some time on our horses. Surprisingly, the horses weren’t too muddy. We chipped off the big stuff and saddled them in the light weight saddles as we planned to do some faster gaits.

We started out down our driveway and headed west at a good trot – about 8.5 – 9.0 mph according to the GPS. We would slow down and walk a bit and then pick up the trot once again. The video is NOT at the 9.0 mph pace. There was no way, no how I could have shot a video, checked GPS speed & stayed in the center of my horse! I had my helmet on, but I ain't no contortionist! This speed was probably around 5.0 mph.

Once, while climbing a hill, John kissed Ginger into a lope and we followed. John then increased his speed and started to gallop. I heard Windy’s three-beat lope turn to a four-beat as she increased her speed. I didn’t pull her in, but quietly said “easy” and she steadied at that speed. Quick glance at my GPS had us at 15.9 mph. It seemed so much faster than that! We headed three miles west and then turned south on a road which I have not traveled before. John was maybe 50 yards ahead of me when we noticed some cows out in a pasture. As we got closer to them, Windy started to snort. These weren’t ordinary cows! I pulled my camera from my pommel bag to get some shots. About this time, Ginger saw them and did a quick spin to look closer. The cows heard her and took off on a run, their long hair bouncing. I found out later they are called “Highlanders”. We took three five-minute breaks along our route and gave the horses time to graze in the green grass along the roads. We haven’t let them out to pasture yet so this was a treat for their hard work. We finished our ride in just 2 hours, covering 8 miles.

This church, Saints Cyril & Methodious Catholic Church, is located in Plasi, Nebraska. The little mission church is the only thing in Plasi! The church rectory is to the right of the church. There is also a small church cemetery. Located just 3 miles from us, as the crow flies, this view can be seen along one of routes I frequently ride.

Apr 18, 2009

On the Ground

Yesterday I did something out of the ordinary. Instead of trailering to the nearest trail, my friend Sheila came out and we just spent some time with my horses. On the ground! The one thing I have always admired about Sheila and her geldings is how nice they are in hand. She has spent a lot of time with them on the ground and it translates so nice into the saddle. Instead of working with Windy, who has had more time than any of my horses, we decided to do a little with those that get the least amount of attention; Blue, Butter and Baby.

Blue is Mr. Big Stiff Neck. Our inexperience when we bought him, combined with years of being a kid’s horse has hardened him, I’m sure. The only time I can get him to turn his neck from the saddle is if I offer him a piece of licorice or the raisins from my trail mix! Otherwise, he sees no reason to bend, flex or whatnot! But with pressure and release, Sheila finally got him to give somewhat!

Butter caught on quicker, but it was more like her saying, “Yeah, yeah, I know this stuff… here, I’ll bend. Are you happy now? Move on!” (All in one breathe). Baby, who has had little work at all, seemed to catch on the quickest. It was fun watching them watch Sheila and respond to her.

Sheila commented later on Horsetales.

“Each one is such a different personality. They didn't know what to make of me, I don't think. Blue was a little worried, so needed a lot of reassurance."

"Butter flipped me off a couple times, but found out it isn't safe to turn her butt toward me when I have a carrot stick in hand. She would be an interesting one to try to figure out how to communicate with without getting a reaction from."

"And Baby was unsure what it was that we were doing, but was a surprisingly fast learner. She was trying to avoid cantering, so got into that really nice extended trot and in pretty nice form, too. She did canter eventually for a little bit, but she really didn't like doing it.”

The dogs were fascinated. Every now and then, Bodett would come up to the round pen and check things out. Ritz wanted to help really, really bad, but his idea of helping is running around the round pen WITH the horse! So he learned today about choke chain collars and being restrained. Madeline just enjoyed the sunshine.

Apr 14, 2009

Getting My Groove Back

So maybe I jumped the gun...

After work last night, I worked out at Curves. While there, the sun came out and the day turned pleasant. Any other day I would be looking forward to coming home and riding Windy. What was wrong with me? How could I let a couple of challenging spring rides undo the last four years of success?

To hell with it. I hurried home and changed clothes. Decided I can be just as belligerent as she can as I slipped on my spurs. Haven’t worn them in a while; had to search for them! Saddled her up, jumped on and headed out the driveway. At her first act of defiance, I gently touched my spur to her side. She got the message real quick. Spent the next hour riding the cornfield and beanfield. Would occasionally give her a break in the pasture and let her graze. By the time we got back home, we had come to a quiet understanding.

Tonight I rode her almost 4 miles. Lots of long trotting and some loping. Mostly on a loose rein. We definitely got our groove back. Tomorrow we’ll ride with the Platte River Riders again. I expect she’ll be a little higher in a group, but now that I got my confidence back somewhat, we can work through it together.

Thanks everyone for your comments and private emails of support. I’m not saying I am out of the woods yet, but no longer on the dark side.

Apr 13, 2009

Fear's Ugly Head

I’m stuck. Although I've never said I had the perfect horse, we’ve grown together as as a team the last few years. I was comfortable and confident and we had some remarkable rides. And now with ride season taking off, I am finding new challenges in her attitude that have me puzzled. The last two rides, my mare was lazy and unwilling, moody and a bit unpredictable – displaying some undesirable attitude I haven’t seen for years. Her teeth were done in November and I treated her for an abscess during that same time. Otherwise, there have been no health or lameness issues that I could contribute to this attitude problem.

Although I saw some glimpses of this earlier this season, I wrote it off to riding less during the winter and needing to get our groove back. And while I think the right person can bring her back from the dark side – and that person should be me – some of my fear issues have surfaced that have been lying semi-dormant for some time. Fear can be your friend when it is reasonable. It can be your downfall when it isn’t. I don’t know how to classify it right now. I just know that I need to be the strong one and I’m turning to mush.

The weather has not cooperated enough for any consistent riding. Where there may be one good day to ride, the next day its raining or snowing or windy or cold or all of the above. So I end the ride frustrated and can do nothing about it except obsess over it for the next few days. Literally drive my friends nuts with over analyzing the situation. Torn between having John ride the hell out of her or giving it all up and doing needle point. (Highly unlikely, but sounds safe!) I just hate being in this funk! Being stuck!

Apr 10, 2009

Questions & Answers

Blue & Windy

Many of the blogs I follow have recently had a list of Questions & Answers about their horse life. I wanted to play along, but I don't have a lifetime of horse memories, being that I just got my first horse as an adult ten years ago. So I revised the questions a bit, so I could play, too!

1. How old were you when you first started riding & if there was a break from when you were a child rider to an adult rider, when as an adult, did you start riding again?

I must have been around 4 or 5 when Dad got us our first pony. Don't know how long we had them -- and the one we had the longest, wasn't as nice as the first one. When I was 39, we brought home Ginger & Baby and a few months later, bought Blue. That was almost 10 years ago.

I'm on Dolly, my sister, Ann & Dad. Note the bare feet!

2. First horse ridden that you remember?

That same pony in #1. Her name was Dolly. She was a former carousel pony and would just trot around and around in a circle. She was chocolate colored with dapples with a silver mane.

3. First Horse fallen off of?

That would be Dolly's baby, Misty. Nasty, nasty pony. She ran me under the cattle oiler, the tree, along fences and just plain bucked!

4. Most recent horse fallen off?

I'd like to say Black, but I had that embarrassing moment at the end of my driveway last month when I fell off Windy!

5. Most terrifying moment you ever experienced on a horse?

When the thoroughbred, Nick, reared up and fell over with me on the side of a hill. I remember thinking "this is not good", as that large chestnut body came crashing down on me. Surprisingly, just bruised my hip is all. It was on a huge trail ride & I had an audience of about 100 riders!

6. Do you/have you taken lessons?

Yes. But only recently. I wish I would have taken them when I got my first horse 10 years ago. I would be so much more ahead of the game!

7. Do you ride English or western?

Western. But I do have an English saddle & have used it occasionally when riding Windy.

8. Ever been to a horse camp?

Not as a child. As an adult, we went to Golden Hills in Missouri which is more like "a camp" than "going camping". There were daily activities such as clinics, cattle drives, team penning and poker runs, to name a few. It was great fun!

9. Ever participated in a riding clinic?

Yes. And after every one, I say "this is going to be my last!" It's not that I don't learn anything from the clinics. I just feel like such a loser (Big L on forehead) while it is going on! And of course, my bestest, smartest horse always earns a scarlet L under their forelock, too.

10. Who was the first horse you owned as an adult?

The first "family" horses we got were Ginger & Baby. But Blue was the first horse that was truly mine. And we still have these three horses today.

Riding Blue at Halsey

11. Ever competed in pony games, relay races, etc.?

Yes. We participate frequently at the 3V Game days. I'm the one who walks or trots the games! But, but, but a few years ago, John and I did a relay race with another couple. That race goes down in the books as one of the best rushes I had on a horse. I was on Blue and he ran so hard -- it was exhilarating! We circled the huge outdoor arena at a gallop and I handed off the stick to John. Of course John & Ginger tore around that arena 100 MPH! I could just taste the win! John handed off to my friend & even on a gaited horse, she had a gallop going. We were in the money!! She rounded the bend to pass off to her husband, riding a leggy, fast quarter horse. And, and, and.... HE DROPPED IT!!! All my dreams of a blue ribbon faded into the arena dirt......

12. Ever fallen off at a show?

(Big Sigh.....) Yes. Off my horse, Bo. We were doing poles (at a walk or trot :) and he slipped turning the end one and I kind of rolled off.

13. Favorite gait?


14. Ever cantered bareback?

No, but I want to.

15. Have you ever done dressage?

No, and I don't want to.

16. Do you jump and if so, how high?

Not intentionally! But I have graduated to jumping logs on the trail rather than stepping over them.

17. Do you wear a helmet?


18. Have you ever ridden at night?

Yes. The first by accident when we went out too far at Indian Cave and didn't make it back before the sun set. It was so dark in the trees. We had never ridden there before and had to trust the horses to find the way back. They did. The first planned night ride was our Blue Moon ride at Rock Creek. The last couple of years we have rode Oak Creek on full moon nights and we now have a traditional night ride at Cowgirl Weekends.

19. Most serious equine related injury you sustained?

When Ginger clipped my ankle & broke my fibula in 2005. But I am sure this past fall, if I had not been wearing a helmet when I was thrown from Black, that would have been my most serious accident ever. I have no doubt about it!

The broken bone

20. Do you prefer arena riding (show or games) or trail riding?

Dah! Trails!

21. Have you ever been bitten by horse?

Yes. Nasty Misty from Question #3.

22. Ever had your foot stepped on by a horse?

Yes. Dolly. I'm pretty sure I was barefooted, too. Good parenting has been passed down by many generations! :)

23. What is your greatest horse fear?

Whether it be a buck, bolt or rear -- just losing control and trying to ride it out or hoping I don't die when I land.

24. Besides the obvious (unbroken, crazy horses), is there any horse you are familiar with – maybe even fascinated with – but would not ride and why?

And no, I'm not thinking of any horse in particular, but Arabians frighten me. Their animation and energy make me nervous. Also, very big horses.

25. What memory stands out as the most fun you’ve had on your horse?

I have many wonderful memories. Riding Harney Peak last year is probably at the top. It was beautiful scenery, the horses were awesome in what was probably their highest climb in their lives. The kids were old enough to appreciate where we were at and the beauty all around us. And we were with good friends. Yeah, that's right up there. Cowgirl Weekend 2006 at Valentine was Windy's first solo CGW and she earned her stripes. And our first trip to Golden Hills back in 2002. The leaves were changing color and the trail looked different every day. We rode for a week solid! Wish I was doing Trail Time then!

John & Ginger at Golden Hills

26. Worst equine moment?

Losing Gunner in a pasture accident.

27. Moment that took your breath away?

Opening up Ginger at Cowgirl Weekend 2004 - Big Canyon. There was a rattle snake that some of the cowgirls were quite fascinated with. I wasn't. I could see Sam and some others over yonder on the next hill and a nice dirt path/road in between us. It's the first and last time I ever ran Ginger that fast. And I'll never forget the feeling. I felt like we were flying! Yes, it took my breath away!

28. Favorite horse movie?

Seabiscuit or Horse Whisperer. I loved both the books and the movies brought them to life for me.

Anyone wanting to use this abbreviated version of this questionnaire are more than welcome. Leave me the link to your blog in the comments section so I can see your answers, too.

(I'm sorry I can't give credit to the original blogger who posted the list as I don't recall who it was. If it were you, let me know in Comments & I will credit you with this fun game! )

"Gunner" 2002 - 2005

Apr 8, 2009

Opening Ride of the Season!

Although I like to think of myself as a year round rider, about December, things slow down and by the time the true winter months roll around, I am just stealing rides on nice days. Horse Expo in March is the unofficial kick off to ride season, but the opening ride of the Platte River Riders is our real start!

A few years ago on a beautiful summer evening, my friend Robyn and I went riding. I remember commenting that it was so nice to just load up one horse, saddle one horse and ride with a friend. Most of our rides are family rides, so I greatly appreciated that I did not have to saddle two more horses or worrying about how the kid's horses were behaving or wanting to backhand either kid off their horse for whining or fighting with their sibling or other nuisance activity! Whew! Did I say that out loud? (Don’t get excited, some of us frustrated mothers just coined that phrase when we hear kids whining on horseback. And truly, I have yet to see one child whisked off the side of his horse by his mother’s hand! Her eyes, maybe. But never her hand!) Anyway, I pondered how many other people, not just parents, but adults would like a night away to just ride with other adults, too. Perhaps they have never been on the trails or have no one to ride with if they were to trailer out?

So we decided we were going to start a “once a week” riding night during the riding season. We call ourselves the Platte River Riders just because. But we are not a club. No dues, no leader. I'd just post on the internet where we were riding & whoever wanted to join us, could. Only strict rules are – we must ride out on time and no kids. Wow! Many others must have felt the same way as we are heading into our 5th season and we now have 4 chapters of the Platte River Riders in different parts of our state.

So tonight is our first group ride of the season! It’s supposed to be close to 60 degrees and sunny! I am looking forward to seeing many who I haven’t seen since the last ride last season!

Although I'll often speak of the rides here as they are an active part of my summer riding, I do keep a separate blog site for the Platte River Riders. Visit us there for ride information! Come join us!

Apr 5, 2009

Spring Training

I'll get the yucky stuff out of the way first. Looking out the window I see a few of my least favorite things: snow, mud and wind. And don’t think you can’t see wind! I see it all right when it is blowing the snow across the yard and the tree branches are swaying with their early spring buds. I see it in the manes and tails of the horses as they dash from the barn, jockeying for the best spot at the round bale against those 40 mph gusts. It’s been over 24 hours of constant blowing. It’s revelry against the window panes is enough to drive anyone mad. End of rant.

On Tuesday, I stopped by Brenda Messick's to see how she was doing with Windy. This is the second spring I have taken Windy to Messick Quarter Horses for 30 days riding. Ideally, I would continue to take lessons after her refresher course, but we soon find ourselves in the heart of trail riding season and not enough hours in the day or days in the week.

Nonetheless, I enjoy watching someone else ride my horse; especially someone who rides so well! Windy was definitely in work mode and Brenda was taking her through the paces. Of course when it was my turn to ride her, I felt like I hadn’t been on a horse in my life! “Bend your arms”, “Collect her”, “Lift the inside rein”, “Move off the outside leg”, “Squeeze with your calves”, “Bump, bump, bump!”

Have you ever driven a skid loader? When you drive a skid loader, you use both your arms and feet simultaneously to make the skid loader go forward and backwards and your timing needs to be impeccable as far as lifting and dumping the bucket. After you do it for awhile, you get the hang of it, even though in the learning curve, it may cost you a few chunks out of the side of the barn or manure blown in your face! But as you progress, you no longer think about what your hands or feet are doing; you just do it. That’s how Brenda rides Windy. She knows when to press what buttons and how to press them to get the results she is looking for. It’s amazing to watch such precision and timing and seriously, I doubt I will ever have that much finesse.

Windy comes home next week and I am sure once she leaves the arena and we start hitting the trails, some of my old habits will prevail. But just the same, after she has spent time with Brenda, I have more horse than I had when she left and I mean that in a good way. And I have to try a little harder to live up to my horse’s expectations!

Apr 2, 2009


My oldest son is 15 years old today!
I’ll say what all parent’s do…
that time goes so fast.

I’m sure I’ll regret saying this in another year or so,
but I have loved the teen years so far!
Watching him mature from a sassy kid
to a half way reasonable young adult!
Although I didn’t like that voice changing stuff…
all of a sudden he seemed so loud!

I do think it is pretty cool
that we are now the same height.
I picture us dancing in the future.
And finally his feet are bigger than mine,
so no more stealing my shoes!

In 2004, shortly before his 10th birthday,
He fell from the hayloft and broke his femur
Waiting for the rescue squad,
I still recall the fear in his eyes;
And still feel it in my heart.

Twenty-four days in traction;
four weeks in a body cast
Another few weeks on crutches;
the death of his grandfather came next.
He was my hero.

We rode in the Black Hills
not long after he could walk again
Although he’ll never share with me
the passion of the horse
as I had hoped he would
He knows his way around one enough
to impress any horse crazy girlfriend
he may find someday in his life.

He’s his own self.
And I like him just fine the way he is.
Happy Birthday, McCain. Love Ya!