How good am I?

How good am I?  Good enough that I get to play with the DOR's grandson.  Sharkbait has never been on me before.  In fact my former snorty self frightened him a bit.  During his visit this week he has been feeding me my treats, in fact he looks forward to it.  Last night he put on his helmet and asked, "Grandma can I sit on Jack?"  "Well of course he can grandma!" was my response.  So Shakbait was lifted up and sat on me while I ate my treats.  I didn't move, not a step, not a wiggle, in fact not even a twitch other than my munching.  He had a grand time and asked if he could ride me for real.
Tonight is ride night and I hope that Sharkbait has fun.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!


Would she really?

The DOR says that people who attend Buck clinics seem to wear "costumes".  The DOR rides in jeans, comfy boots, t-shits or her Hawaiian shirts.  She wears her helmet most of the time and sometimes wears a baseball hat that says saddle brat on it.  She is thinking that she should dress a bit more western for the occasion.  She has shirts ordered, a vest, special Boogie spurs, is thinking about a new pair of boots, and has looked at hats.  This is a hat she looked at.  Now how am I supposed to blend into the background if she wears a hat like that?
Especially if she wears a shirt like this...
I am going to have to have a heart-to-heart talk with her about her clothing choices.  At least she won't be tucking her jeans in her boots, well that is unless she finds some work of art boots.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!


A special visit

The DOR started her day yesterday giving me a smooch.  She then headed out to visit the appaloosa breeder the Friend came from.  The breeder is retiring and needs to place all of her horses. 
Friend's full sister is still there and the DOR has been looking forward to meeting her.  I know that the DOR loves me best, but she still misses Friend terribly.
This is what she had to say about her meeting Friend's sister "She has the same head and expression as her brother. I know she is not Friend but for a moment, one brief and priceless moment, she allowed me to feel as if I was touching him once more. The same greeting, the same smooch, and she touched my head just like he used to.  She gave me a gift beyond measure and I will never forget it."
I am glad for a moment the DOR got to experience the presence of her beloved Friend once more. 
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!


Quote for the week

"The horse owns all the time that we spend with it.  It is his life that we are imposing on."
~Michail A. Gonzalez

Yes I am home, out in the pasture with one of my best friends Salty The Wonderhorse.  I have not left his side.
The quote today is about time.  Time is the most important thing when it comes to building a partnership with your horse.  Time to build a good foundation.  Time to practice the skills we know.  Time to work on our communication with each other.  Time to grow and time to heal.
The DOR gave me all of the time I needed to heal. It was hard for both of us.  I wanted so much to be able to do more with her and there was a small part of her that despaired over what the outcome would be.  Two years is a long time...but at the end of that time not only are we back to what we were-we are even better!
I challenge you to remember that time is the key to getting where you want to be.  Not only with horses, but also with everything in your life.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!


Learning to dance again

Boogie and I had our first ride for a short circle early this spring.  He struggled, but tried hard.  He was put on an exercise regime to build his strength.  In February it became obvious that he still had some mental blocks interfering with his body.  So I went to work helping him learn that he was worried about his body when he didn't need to be anymore.  In April the old Jack was mentally back!  He wanted to work, he was bored, he had his sense of humor back, and he was making it clear now was the time.  So slowly we began to dance again, working not to step on each other's toes.
We both wanted to rush forward, to get back to where we were before this journey began.  Then I realized that where we were wasn't were we needed to be.  He needed to be stronger and I needed to be more confident.  Boogie went to spend time at Sun Mountain with Debbie Shrock.  She found that his mind was ahead of his body and that he needed to work on strength.  John gave Boogie his first pair of shoes to help support his hind end, they made a big difference.  Debbie got him out on trails.  Boogie climbed hills, he went down hills, and he grew stronger every day.
Debbie also rehabbed my confidence.  By having me lead trail rides I had to pay attention to something else besides what Boogie was doing.  I was turning in the saddle, riding turned backwards, talking to guests, making sure the line stayed together, and doing a job.  Before I realized it I was mounting without butterflies in my stomach, something I have not done since the werehorse incident.  I was riding in wind and pouring rain, all things I would have used as an excuse not to ride.  I got up every morning excited to be spending it riding Boogie, not even thinking about what shenanigans he might pull.
Boogied carried me three days straight for 4 to 6 hours.  We did things I only dreamed of doing.  The horse that could barely keep his feet was dancing in the hills and loving it.  The rider who lost her confidence found it again in a spot where she and her dad used to ride when she was much younger.  A wonder was worked on Sun Mountain, a wonder that has opened a new path on our journey.
Where do Boogie and I go from here?  Today he comes home and we continue our rehab.  We are getting ready to ride with Buck Brannaman at the end of July.  Imagine that, us doing something like that.  It is a dream come true.
Where we end up going is still a mystery, but I do know we are going there together.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR, and DORs don't forget to hug your horses!


Hit like a ton of bricks

It looked like Jack and I were back on track, heading down the road that would help us become a team.  Then in in September of 2009 our legs were kicked right out from underneath us.  This is the first post that I made about Jack getting sick.  Besides Jack struggling to keep his feet, I struggled to hold on to hope.  For Jack and I this was the beginning of the longest journey that we would make together.  This is the time that Jack became known as Boogie, I started calling him that because he and I would dance again-it was a belief I had to hold on to. 
Luckily for both Boogie and I there were friends to help us keep moving forward.  Shelly Richardson, Dana Simsen, my husband and son all kept my spirits up.  Regan Gottlieb and Kelly Mills both provided guidelines for supportive care.  My vet Ernie Munck patiently helped figure out what had happened and answered endless questions. Debbie Shrock stepped in and provided physical therapy, energy work, and nutritional advice from the very first day.  She and her husband John have been there for Boogie during the past two years while he healed both physically and mentally.  I also had the invaluable assistance of an animal communicator, Leanna Whisperinghorse.
Boogie went through many changes during this time. There was a time when he didn't want anyone near him. There was a personality change for a bit. Then there was the rehabbing process of his body and mind.  During this time I also started making changes in myself.  I needed to loose weight, become physically and mentally stronger, and I needed to become the person that Boogie needed me to be.  We both spent two years in rehab....
There were times I wondered if Boogie would ever be more than a pasture pet, times I wondered if I would ever ride him again, and in the beginning I wondered if he would even survive. 
Survive he did and now we are working on a new chapter of our journey.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR, and DORs don't forget to hug your horses!


Small steps forward to rebuild...

So with the help of my friends Becky Valentine, Shelly Richardson, and others cheering me on I ventured out onto the trails.  My husband listened to my fears and encouraged me not to give up on something I loved so very much.  I was up, I was riding, and I was still very much afraid.
Jack keyed in on my fear and it made him jiggy and over reactive.  I was being so unfair to my horse.  So I decided that I needed to start from the beginning again.  I asked another friend, a talented horse person, Debbie Shrock to help me.  Debbie was Kelley Mills apprentice at Willow Creek Animal Rehab and understood what I was going through.  Debbie helped me learn to communicate in a clear manner with Jack.  She taught me that loving Jack didn't mean I couldn't be firm with him.  Most of all she did not accept the excuses that I tried to make for my failures...she called bull poop and made me suck it up.
Then came the day that I decided that hell or high water I was going to lope Jack.  Debbie rode him first to show me that it was really going to be safe. With my heart in my throat I mounted up and set out on my mission.  Bless Jack's big old appy heart, he knew I was afraid and he kept himself together.  He made me work for that lope, he wanted to make sure when it happened I would be ready.  Together we loped 1/2 the arena, I stopped him, collapsed on his neck and cried my heart out.  We had done it and I was still in the saddle not laying in the dirt.  I got off  and with shaky legs I walked Jack to the fence and unsaddled him.  I was happy, I was relieved, I was proud, and I was grateful.
Little did I know what the future would hold for us the next week....
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR, and DORs don't forget to hug your horses!


Jack had a person problem

It is me the DOR.  I wanted to talk a bit about the journey Jack (aka Boogie) and I have been on. 
When I first saw Jack he stole my heart.  He wasn't the horse I would have picked out for myself, in fact he wasn't anything like the horse I was looking for at the time.  Jack picked me and for that I am grateful.  Jack was green, full of life, loving, and the biggest character you would ever meet at the time.  He and I have forged a partnership that has brought out the best in both of us.
In November when Jack had his werehorse incident (which by the way was rider caused) and fractured my pelvis I lost every bit of confidence I had.  I didn't ride all winter because I was healing up.  I had my friend Paul Rogers give Jack a tune-up for me the following spring and decided that our first ride would be at a clinic with Jack's old trainer.  I went to the clinic trembling in my boots, I was flat out afraid to get back in the saddle.  I also knew that this clinic would be the deciding factor in if I would ever ride again.  With the help of Bill Basham and my good friend Shelly Richardson I mounted up.  I took a deep breath and promptly dismounted.  I stood shaking with tears in my eyes, I just couldn't understand why I would be so afraid of the one horse I loved more than any other.  Bill told me he understood, he told me to trust my horse until he showed me he did not deserve my trust, and he told me to hum when I was afraid.  So I mounted up and probably hummed every song I knew for the next two days.  I left the clinic with some of my confidence restored, but still wary of my horse. 
Jack patiently helped me work through my fears.  He tried so hard to not respond to my nerves and worries.  Jack had to deal with a person problem...me
More tomorrow
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR, and DORs hug your horse!


I am a riser!

Sunday was a beautiful day.  The sun was bright and not a cloud in the sky.  Then the wind kicked up, kicked up hard.  I took the DOR out on the breakfast ride and played caboose.  I wanted to show her even though I don't like being at the end of the line I can do it when asked.  On the way back to the stable I showed the DOR what I am really made of.  We were coming down a steep hill where one wrong step could cause a stumble down the hill.  I was going great when the rider in front of us had her black hat blow off her head and hit me right square between the eyes.  Now in the past not only would  I have blown marbles I most likely would have sat and spun sending the DOR and I sliding down the hill or worse.  Not this time, no way!  Seasoned wrangling horse that I am I just blew marbles, gave it the evil appy eye when it hit the ground and then stepped around it.  I have to compliment the DOR.  She has become more confident in me and instead of getting worried about what I would do she let me handle things.  The three days we spent on the trails has shown her that I am what her grandfather calls "a riser".  After the werehorse incident she was always a bit worried about things when she rode me.  Now she is confident and feels that she can trust me to take care of her.  She told the therapist that it is so nice to have that final barrier that has been between us gone.  I am thinking that we both needed this mountain therapy....
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!


Climbing fool

I am loving working in the mountains, I may be part mountain goat.  Climbing hills makes me happy!
My original trainer told the DOR that both times I was at Full Circle Ranch I always enjoyed being out in the mountains.  Seemed even as a youngster I liked steep climbs.
My therapist had this to say about me last weekend "He has felt better since then and I think that he is starting to make working saddle horse material!"
Now the DOR is wondering if I will be happy just wondering the flat trails at home.  I am hoping that she takes me out for a mountain climb once in a while.  Maybe she will actually find a cabin in the woods and we will move....
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!


Foster brother

My foster brother Quincy has his own blog.  Great, just what the world needs a Cali surfer trying to be a ranch horse.  It could be entertaining to read though.
You can follow him at Quincy & Another and see how he deals with life on the ranch and the shenanigans of the DOR.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!


The Spa

Well I made it to the spa and got beautfied...well sort of.  I got my mane done, a massage, and my tail put in a herringbone braid.  I did have to be careful not to muck up the floors.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!



All the DOR could say was amazing.  Amazing views, amazing ride, and AMAZING HORSE!
I took her on two great trail rides.  The last one I climbed steep hills, descended steep hills, and did not blow boogers at one single thing.  The DOR said it was the most rigorous country we had ever been in together-including rides from before my accident.  The DOR had such a good time she is going to ride up here as much as she can during June.
I amazed her to say the least.  I would like to thank my equine therapist, Debbie Shrock, for all of her hard work.  She helped the DOR and I every step of this healing journey.  Also the Horse Guardian, she encouraged the DOR on the days she had doubts.  I believe the I will be flashing my blingyness at Buck's clinic this summer.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!

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