Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Our Barn

Barn front in center is the one we use.  The one in the back is D's son's project, its still under construction on the inside.
The round pen.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Training = fun

Because I won’t be riding this horse till July at the earliest I really need a direction to work towards with him.  Obviously as he gets bigger and stronger I will begin introducing him to tack and that he can be comfortable with it and give to pressure while wearing it.  But in the mean time, I dunno. 

D, the lady who owns the land/facility where I keep him has a 2½ year old KY Mtn. horse she’s been working with since he was a youngster, too.  Their relationship is phenomenal.  It has come about with a lot of baby steps, a ton of patience and repetition.  I’d really like to try to develop a language and understanding and trust with my little guy the way she has.  –and then if I get my dream-Arab in the fall/winter of this year I will be well rehearsed in how to go about things with him, too.

I’d really like to get my little guy responding to my body language and gestures on a big level.  The whole sans lead line walk when I walk, turn when I turn, back when I back, jog when I jog, dodge when I dodge, stop when I stop, and hopefully a come when I whistle portion.   It sounds fun and it sounds like a huge challenge, but I really want to see if I can accomplish it.  He is such a brilliant, quick learner.  I’m certain he can pick it up.  I just hope I can be enough of a leader to get him to that point.  I am the weakest link in this equation!

Time will tell.   And while I’m being a snot about not wanting to post photos for awhile of him, I will try to post photos of the barn/fields/etc. and some of the other horses there.  Maybe some videos of D and Jeanna playing with their horses.  They have such fun tricks – like yawning on command! – they’ve taught them.  Such a close bond.  Both horses are also extremely sensitive to the slightest pressure since their two-legged counterparts have been kind enough to be so gentle with them.  I hope I can manage this!  What great teachers I have.

What ground exercises do you suggest?  Anything fun and a little out of the ordinary?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

He can...

  • give to pressure
  • respect your space
  • lead
  • walk on top of a noisy tarp, even if you're flapping it while he's standing on it
  • pick up his feet - but not consistently
  • get into and off a trailer like a gentleman
  • lunge
  • stop when you say "whoa"
  • not balk when a fuzzy blanket is flapped near him or tossed on his back (even from a slight distance)
  • speed up when you cluck or smooch
Can you say quick learner?  Its amazing what consistency and an immediate praise (release of pressure in most cases) will do for a horse.  Oh, and he nickers when you arrive.  He's trying to weasel into my heart, little devil.

Ideas for this week:
  • more work on getting those feet to be picked up, he'll need a trim and I'm hoping it can come in the next two weeks if I'm consistent and persistent
  • more lunging
  • more exercises giving to pressure
  • obstacle courses to walk around, over, through, spin a circle within, back around, etc.
  • more silly random things to desensitize 
  • a bath from the knees down to get some of the perma-mud off his legs and so I can get some decent photos
  • a walk or two outside instead of just work in the barn

Just Do It

...I realize the title of this post could be construed in a very crude way, but that realization made me chuckle a little so I decided to leave it.

I realized the other day that the reason I’ve been able to do so many things though is because I’m willing to wake up and get out and do them.  I’m willing to toss myself in for better or worse and experience things. 

People tell me often that they wish they “had my job” or “could go band a hawk” or “could be a ski patroller” or “could ride a horse that well” or “experience wildlife one-on-one” as I have done.  I’m a doer.  I’m not content to sit still and have free time.  And because of this I’ve had some pretty phenomenal experiences! 

Example: My flex-day (day off) was last Friday (and every other Friday).  I could have slept in, but instead I woke up around 6a, had a semi-relaxed morning of getting ready, and then rolled onto the ski slope by 8:45a or so.  The conditions were some of the best I’ve skied this year!  And I got to meet and ski with telemark ski legend/god Dickie Hall.  He actually volunteered to take a run with me to see where he could help me.  And from this opportunity I scored the chance to ski with his clinic for the next two days - for free because I’m a patroller.  Seriously, too cool.  (For all non-ski, non-telemark folks, imagine your favorite discipline/hobby/etc.; now who is the expert in that?  Who helped to found it, create key terms and practices for it?  THAT is the caliber of person Dickie is.  Oh, and he’s quite the comedian, too.)

Are you a doer?  A go-getter in search of new experiences?  What experiences has getting-out-and-just-doing-it led you into? 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

New Horse

Well, I'm not rescuing as I'd first intended, but taking on a horse all the same.  He's cute and quick to learn.  The three of us [me and two ladies I ride and train with lately] are really excited to see where he goes and what he blossoms into.  We think he has a lot of potential.

While I worry about money a little as far as things are concerned with him, I realize that in the larger scheme of things its not very much at all.  Its not like I'm truly hurting, I'm just overly careful.  The ability to learn from this experience is much more important to me than the monthly board and other small costs I will incur in between.  He is healthy currently, just a little underweight.  He'll need his feet trimmed, but that expense is minimal.  Its not as if I need to run around buying products and tack for him, I don't need them since he's only 18 months old.  I just need to invest time into him - and some hay obviously.

I don't know that I will post pictures right away, as I'd like to get him settled in and responsive.  Then one day when its nice and I can get all the mud off I will post photos and some video of us training perhaps.  He's a pretty little thing; we'll see where this goes!

: : :

Oh, and I reckon my resolution/goal of "100 riding days" shall be amended to "100 days training/working with horse".  Works for me!  I've got a quiver of arrows, each a different skill, but all to do with riding in some way, shape or form.  Now I'm looking to add a new arrow or two, this time to do with groundwork methods.  Time to expand my skill set.

And so I can get these in writing for my own records...
My goals [and now his] for the next month (he does most of these in some minor form already):
- be comfortable with all parts of his body being touched and handled
- comfort with having his feet picked up and handled for a far amount of time (need to get his feet trimmed soon - yes, we will be barefoot and natural!!)
- learn to lead and give respectable space to me while leading
- giving to pressure and flexing
- lunging and listening to requests, body language requests, as I don't expect voice commands to click yet
- practice loading happily and quietly
- ground tying and standing politely and quietly to any and all acceptable objects

Friday, January 27, 2012


Change.  You either love it, hate it, or deal with it because you have no other choice.  And honestly, I think we all experience each of those  as we progress through life, perhaps starting at one and ending up at the other. 

I used to hate change.  I hated it because it scared me and I would try to avoid it and prevent it at all costs.  But, of course, change is inevitable when it comes to many things.  So, then I became the kind of person who dealt with it because I had no other choice.  And, for some things, I still take this approach.  But in the past year I have begun to embrace it, love it, and take it as it comes – sometimes with enthusiasm.

This time last year I was in my almost-freak-out mode.  The deadlines for graduate school opportunities were approaching within a week and then I would find out whether or not I was going or if I was going to have to come up with something else.  I was scared to death what would happen if I didn’t go to grad school.  And then, obviously, I didn’t get in.  And with that turn of events I really began to grow into this person I’ve wanted to be for awhile.

I’m calmer.  I recognize that no matter what happens, I WILL be okay and things WILL work out.  I’m incredibly lucky and I truly do have a lot going for me.  I’m a hard worker and it shows.  I’m okay with change now, I really sort of like it.  It stretches me and lets me grow more.  Actually, in the past 7 months I’ve really thrown myself into experiences that have the potential to change me a lot.

My job – Its been a huge learning experience.  Far better than going to grad school.  I’ve realized this is the agency I want to pursue a career with; I don’t necessarily want to do THIS job within it, but I like what the agency stands for and what they do for wildlife.  I’m doing my best to pursue a permanent position – I’ve got my foot in the door, now I just need to get the rest of me in there.  Hopefully the phenomenal contacts I’ve made will give me that push I need.
My ski patrol & OEC training – It aggravates me more than I like quite often, but I have learned SO much from it.  It has been extremely challenging at times.  I’ve become a better person for it.  I’m so much more prepared for the world I live in and the activities I choose to partake in.
Applying for jobs all over the country – I do tend to look for places with ample outdoors activities when I’ve applied for these jobs (in NC, TN, CA, WA, AZ, ME, and MN).  I know I can find horseback riding almost anywhere, but I try to find something else that would be fun to do in the area as well.  Willingness to uproot myself and leave everything I’ve ever known is a strange feeling for me.  But I’m comfortable with this because I know I can always come back home. 

All of this, and I’m not even 25 yet.  Not too shabby. 

Change is something to be loved and embraced for what it does.  Not all change seems good from the get-go (and I’m likely to have a super down day immediately after having a super positive one), but change helps us to grow.  Growing is good.  You learn more about yourself that way.

I’m going to end with a story.  The story pertains to change, growing, and what you make yourself because of it.  It is definitely something to think about.

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.  He said, “My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all.  One is Evil – It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.  The other is Good – It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.”
The grandson though about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf wins?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Having what you want

Beginning in November I decided I would try to go 3 – if not more – months without buying myself new clothes.  I’m such a stickler for sales that I often “give-in” and will buy stuff even if I don’t need it.  I realized today that my 3 months is nearly up!  There were a couple times when I thought I would just get something, but I resisted, and I’m glad I did.

With the possibility of moving hours and states away for a potential job opportunity in the next year, I’ve been on a quest to organize and downsize a lot of my stuff where I could.  I loathe moving.  It causes disorganization which irks my liver on a whole different level.  My quest to not buy clothes for 3 months has led to the pursuit of consuming any and all consumable products I possess, finding the most efficient and inexpensive ways to organize my closet, desk, bathroom, LIFE. 

I love to clean and organize, if that makes me weird, then so be it!

I’m tempted to see if I can go another month without more clothes.  I’ve enjoyed this experience and I have started to teach myself how to accessorize a lot more than I once did.  I make jewelry and do a lot of knitting, so I’ve crafted myself bunches of little accessories in the past few months.  My collection of earrings that was once only 5 or 6 pairs has grown to probably 36.  (I might have a problem, but I’m okay with that.)  I have bought a pair of boots (riding) in this time, but other than that, nada.  (Wait, wait, I forgot that whole Christmas thing, I got a jacket, a shirt and a pair of socks.  But, I feel that gifts shouldn’t count as often you don’t have control over that sort of thing.)

I’ve really learned that I have all I need, though I’m sure I’ll end up getting something more “in style” with the upcoming spring fashions and sales on winter items.  All the same, its nice to always be able to find something appropriate and not have to spend more money in the process!!

I challenge you to try this out, too.  You never know what fun things you’ll end up pulling together – or what else you’ll be able to do with saved money!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Andrea at Andrea's Animal Adventures gave me this award, and shared some kind words that I simply must return.  Because really, it made me chuckle a little when she noted how this cyber friendship would be one to test in the real world.  Its a thought I've had numerous times as we've bantered back and forth in comments and emails, drooling over horses, wondering the best ways to train our dogs, or just sharing little life anecdotes here and there.  We've got a lot in common and at the same time a lot different - but those differences lie in a realm of interest for both of us, I think.  I love hearing about her pursuits with her animals, and I love passing my vote towards getting another when she ponders it.  ;-)  And lets face it, with this coming election year I'm making my threat to move to Canada as I always do, and she's sorta there and all, so maybe I wouldn't be homeless?  Either way, thanks again, Andrea!

Now, the rules that go along with this award:1. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
2. Link back to the blogger who gave the award (see above).
3. Pick five favorite blogs with less than 200 followers, and leave a comment on their blog to let them know they have received the award.
4. Hope that the five blogs chosen will keep spreading the love and pass it on to 

five more blogs.

Here are my five picks:

Ashley at The Tales of Two Taylors and their Tots - Ashley and I have been internet/blog friends since we were teenagers.  A mutual friend (who I SWEAR I've actually met in person) brought us together and we've stayed friends since.  I love reading about her daily adventures as a full-time mom to her two boys (who look too freaking old in recent pictures - FREAKING ME OUT). She corrupted me into joining Pinterest and my life hasn't been the same since.  Hurrah crafting!

Kristen & Laz at Sweet Horse's Breath - I love the way  Kristen writes, I love the way she creates a dialogue for Laz, and I love that she's pursuing the most natural life possible for her bestest equine friend - and then sharing it with everyone!  Natural horse care is something I intend to pursue once I get my boy, and I love having a reference to go off and learn from.  You always hear about how hard or easy things are to do, so being able to learn from someone who is actually out there gettin' 'er done is much better than listening to banter from internet "sources".  Thanks for what you've done and are doing, you two!

Mel at Boots and Saddles is a person I greatly admire as she's pursuing a life I'm trying to gain for myself.  She has an accomplished endurance riding career and on top of that, she's pursuing vet school!  I really don't know how she does it.  I wanted to go to vet school once upon a time, but have since nixed that idea as I didn't want to be unduly stressed for a number of years.  Not Mel!  She's doing it all and still writes some really entertaining posts in her free time educating me on canine and equine health, as well as entertaining and educational stories about endurance.  I love hearing about her Farley and the antics she pulls.  It makes me both excited and scared to get my own, haha!

Jordan at A Little Slice of My Life - Someone I knew in person pre-blogger world.  She's Orion's new mom, and honestly, I think she was meant to be his mom from the beginning - they're such a better fit that he and I were!  While we grew up in the same town and have mutual friends, we never knew each other well.  She writes beautifully and through her writing I've discovered how similar we are.  Its been fun to become better friends through horses and blogging as of late...even if she has been swallowed by the great Organic II monster this semester.  But I understand, when I took that course I was swallowed up, too.

Kate at The Adventures of Lucy - Her horse is beautiful yet bonkers (making for great photos of  a rodeo in English version), her saddle pad artwork is to be envied (seriously, its beautiful), and she's got one of the coolest dogs ever (Rhodesian Ridgebacks are a closet-obsession of mine) - oh, and as of late she made a hard decision that many of us would have struggled with and despite the results, she found a silver-lining to it all.  Quite the lady!  I haven't been following her blog for more than a month or so, but I really look forward to her posts.  She's got the best of both worlds it seems, trails and ring work to keep herself and Lucy well-rounded.  I'm absolutely amazed at her balance and riding skill as Lucy throws shenanigan after shenanigan her way!

...I'm noticing a trend here.  Men don't blog.  Hmmmmm.  

Monday, January 23, 2012

To have a horse

Well, I don't think I'm going to adopt one of those Arabs after all.  I do plan to donate some money to the rescue who is doing all they can to get them out of there.  Thinking into and talking more about the logistics of it all with horse friends led me to the decision that I'm not ready to take this step quite yet.  In fact, I've received multiple emails about my job applications I've sent out in the past two months.  (Most saying while I'm eligible I'm not the BEST candidate so my name hasn't been referred to a hiring official, SIGH.)  But these got me thinking and realizing that to commit whole-heartedly to a horse that needs that much help may not be wise.  I worry I wouldn't be able to provide enough for him as my own life may be uprooted soon.

However, I have potentially put some wheels in motion to take on another Arab X and train him for several months either until I leave, until he finds a better home, or until I fall so deeply in love with him I take him with me, haha.  We'll see where this goes, but I like the option better as the horse is local and healthy and I don't run the risk of introducing any pathogen or pest to my friend's healthy horses.

More wheels turning: I'm nearly certain I will be getting future-super-star at the end of the year.  Friends agree that the price for one of these weanlings is more than fair for the caliber of horse these folks breed.  I hope to line up a trip to Idaho mid-late summer to see the 2012 foals.  I intend to get a colt if the right one arrives.  This means that by the time he's ready to leave his momma I'm BOUND to be settled somewhere in some sort of job.  ...and if not then I don't know yet.  But here's to hoping I have something of permanence with stability.  I am very excited about the prospect of having  my horse by next year.  Training others in the in-between time will help prepare me and give me ideas for all the different ground work exercises I want to do with him one day.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Crazy Video!

Marissa posted this last week and I just wanted to re-share for anyone who hadn't seen!  ITS AMAZING.


Tell me about experiences adopting horses!  I am in dire need of a project horse while I'm still here - honestly don't know if/when I'm leaving as my job situation is different depending on who is asked.  At any rate, there was a herd a 50+ arabians that was taken over by a rescue group after the owner died in WV.  If they have a mostly healthy one, I'm going to take it and work with it.  Project! 

Suggestions?  Opinions?  Comments? 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


And a glorious weekend it was.  Updates on the team penning, which was more along the lines of chase-the-cattle-as-you-please penning, will come when I pull together some of the video footage (since videos make everything more fun).  Yesterday, though, I skied.

Day two on my telemark skis.  A very talented friend held a free tele clinic.  I picked up some more tips and things started to click a little better.  My turns to the left are pretty solid, my turns to the right tend to fail semi-epicly.  But I’m getting there!  Definitely not bad for only two days!!

My butt was seriously kicked again yesterday.  My quads were absolutely killing me at the end of it all. Kill-ing me.  But such is the price of being ripped – I kid, I kid.  But really, my legs better be shredded at the end of the season!  I enjoy the pain to some extent.

Yesterday I had two firsts: My first accident and my first climb up a mountain on my tele skis.
-          The accident: After 6 months of training and “We’ll practice this, but you’re never going to see it on the mountain,” I’m presented with ‘what I’ll never see’.  Lovely.  Nothing gory or gruesome, no worries, but interesting all the same.  Training paid off as I kicked into gear, a rhythm of getting ‘er done that only comes about from hours of practice.  Working the accident with two others from my candidate class led for smooth operations, as well.  Oh, and in case you were worried, the patient ended up being just fine in the end.

-          My first climb: Slogging through sun melted heavy snow is not something I have too large a desire to do again soon, at least not in as many layers as I was wearing!  But oh, it was enjoyable.  I love the woods up there, thick with red spruce and birch.  The wind whistling softly through the snow and ice covered branches.  The view on top was brilliant to both sides of the pipeline tree cut.  Out one, Bald Knob and the valley, the other, Dolly Sods wilderness and the foothills and farms at it’s base.  Curtis was a great guide, even if I did miss some of his story telling due to my huffing and puffing. The draw of more potential adventures reached with skis encourages me to keep it up and work hard.  I lamented not having a camera for our little adventure.  The skies were blue, with low hanging grey clouds moving in with the weather front.  Snow clung to the spruce and hardwood trees and to the ground, creating a white carpet rolled out between the tree cover.  Early dusk lighting cast beautifully over the mountains in the distance.  I just love what trees bare of leaves look like in that light.  My two companions, far ahead of me at the peak of the hill looking into the distance really would have made for quite the photo, but some things, I reckon, are meant to be held only in the mind and described only with words.  Such was this experience.

While my legs are grieving my pursuits yesterday, I’m eager for some more adventures.  Perhaps with some moving and still pictures to tell more of the story next time.  We will see.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Skiing Video

This is a video from a couple weeks back, but finally here for your viewing pleasure.  I'm out on the slopes today workin' on my tele skills!  Have a great holiday, y'all.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Snow Riding Video

I'm currently participating in my first team penning today.  Its a fun event and other activities will likely occur other than the herding/chasing of cows.  I hope to have more video and photos of it to post in upcoming days.

For now, here is a video from a week or so back of a snow ride.  It was SUPER chilly [finally].  Please excuse the dirty horses.  Numb fingers and lack of a barn (24/7 turnout - they have a shed to run in and that we keep tack and hay in, but no place out of the elements to tack up etc.) led to little want to groom areas that didn't need it (i.e. everywhere a saddle/bareback pad wasn't touching).  This is my first [successful] video with the GoPro chest harness while riding.  I've succeeded with it skiing (obviously) already, but I'm still trying to figure the best way to use it riding.  So, needless to say, the footage is a little rough, especially for our little gallop jaunt uphill.  I promise footage will be better as time rolls on!  =)  Enjoy.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Breyer Model

Does anyone recognize this little guy?  I'm not sure how I acquired him.  From the best of my reckoning he's model #816 Shah, Arabian foal.  Maybe he's the reason I'm lusting hard after an Arab?  I would die happy if I could find future-super-star with markings like this fella, too!  I love bays, and I love bays with chrome.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Yoga Update: In Which I Critique Myself...

The yoga-ing goes well.  I gettin’ ‘er done a little or a lot each day.  Other than general flexibility progression, my core is getting stronger, I’m more aware of my breathing and can use it to calm myself, and I’m feeling more balanced.  I’ve begun to accomplish some poses that I had made a goal to reach.  The more intense arm-balancing poses will take more time, obviously, but I did hold a balanced handstand for a few seconds.  I’ll take it!  (By the way, most awkward thing ever to set the camera timer then rush into position!)

Weeeeeaaakkk ankles.  My back could be a little straighter and a little less hunched.
Little better with both back and ankles.  Left arm looks turned inward a bit.
Could probably bring my body up a little, need to get those shoulder blades on my back more.
Lazy back arm.  I guess 'cause I can't see it I forgot about it?
Bakasana!!  I'm getting there.  I can hold it for a second or two now.  Sometimes three or four!
Would like to see myself up on my shoulders a bit more.
Better flexibility will come with time...and not being rushed into the pose w/in 10 seconds.
Probably need to roll my shoulders back.
Handstand attempt
Losing it, evident by my L hand...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

I'm a dreamer, but not the only one.

Ah, dreaming, its what gets me through the slower parts (read: less action-packed) parts of my day.  Aside from the obvious dreaming about future-super-star, my dreams of late have consisted of the following random things:

Having an Elliptical – Skiing is AWESOME for getting me back where I want with cardio fitness.  I can cover so much ground and work hard while having a ton of fun.  Unfortunately this will end come April.  I wish I had an elliptical to keep up with my cardio fitness when it ended.  My ankles are poo-tastic from swimming, as I’ve stated before, and while I’m definitely working to strengthen them, they’ll never withstand what they once did.  (I still hope to one day accomplish running a ½ marathon, though!)  How perfect would an elliptical be?  I could watch TV, read a book, listen to an audiobook, read/catch up on blogs, all while exercising.  I try to stay away from the TV now because I do nothing but lie around or eat while I’m watching it often times, but if I had an elliptical I could make some rule about having to exercise while I watched a show.  One day, I will do this.

Toilet training the cat(s) I will one day have – I grew up with kitties.  Once I’m settled I plan to get one, probably two.  A good friend recently adopted two littermates and is in the process of toilet-training them.  I agree COMPLETELY with this decision and think it is absolutely BRILLIANT.  Like her, I love kitties and cuddling with them and laughing at their antics, but kitty-litter DISGUSTS me.  Cat shit particularly strikes a chord with me.  Yuck-o.  (Yes, my cats growing up were all indoor-outdoor, but as a semi-bird-enthusiast I plan to have indoor kitties.)  So, why not toilet train the little devils?!  Lots of folks have done it.  Hello, Meet the Parents/Fockers/whathaveyous, anyone?  I’m not saying I want the kitties to flush, but imagine the $$ saved buying kitty litter!  Maybe I’m absurd, but this sounds fun to me.

Amp up my GIS skills – I think about this often at work.  I wish I was super savvy and could do all the super-cool things that Arc software allows one to do, but when it comes down to it I’m still a nature nerd.  Wildlife is what tickles my fancy more than mapping.  I’ll run out the door any day to bask in the sunshine following some creature rather than sit at a computer.  Due to this, this dream is unlikely to come to fruition.  But, I am picking up bunches of skills along the way with my continuing education via the interwebz through Oregon State.  Becoming proficient enough to produce maps that make me happy and get the point I’m trying to convey across is enough for me!

What fun/crazy/silly dreams have you come up with lately?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

For the love of all things horses

This upcoming weekend I will be participating in a team penning event.  I know very little of the sport, but its bound to be a good time.  I’ve been working weekly (which became nightly as of this week) with the big-brown-lady, who we’ve been calling Merrylegs – nevermind that she’s hundreds of pounds larger than her namesake.  She’s a sweet girl and is very responsive to my requests. 

She's stocky
Some nights we ride western, some we ride English, some I just jump on bareback
Later in the night I had her trotting over the tarp and then she even let me drape it across her back.

OH!  Kenai went on his first trail ride(s) this week.  Mini ones just around the property.  I've always put him in my car (where he has lots of room to lounge) while I ride if he comes out with me.  He's never been loose while I was on horseback.  He listens extremely well so far.  He even came over and "heeled" while I was mounted, sitting on the ground to my left.  What a good boy!  && he played very well with some kids last night.  I knew he was sweeter with kids, but it had always been in passing or with kids at least 8 years old.  These two were both younger.  The lunging he usually does to get a tennis ball he completely refrained from while playing with them.  Super impressed.

Practicing my mini-vault from the ground by her head to her back... And now I see how I should remedy  my mistakes
Granted, I've found in the past that the more I practice and develop the muscles needed to do this the easier it is.

The lady who keeps Merrylegs has invited me to go to the Equine Affair with a group of them.  I’ve received this invite from multiple people over the past six years or so, but I have yet to go.  In the past school has ALWAYS been in the way.  Well guess what, NO MORE.  And, conveniently enough, that weekend I have Friday off work due to my flex schedule.  We’re leaving Thursday night so I doubt I’ll have to take much work – if any – off at all.  I’m really excited to finally go – even if my dream of going just to see Monty Roberts doesn’t come true.  Stacy Westfall is slated to be there, D told me.  And we’re going to see Fantasia, booked the tickets already!  Let's hope I don't spend toooo much money on more horse things I can't use for lack of my own horse!  ...even if I am drooling extra sloppily over the prospect of my future-ARABIAN-super-star more than I should lately.  Must. Keep. To. Mantra. "Get job. Get settled. Get horse."

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I ski ski ski ski

My life has been super active over the last weekend (a 3-day for me).  It was the first weekend of phase II NSP training.  Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy.  Friday I skied just to ski, and because I wanted to begin my telemark journey.  Very odd in the beginning, but I’m LOVING the switch so far!   I really can’t wait to get some more days out on them and start to get even more comfortable.  Luckily for me another patroller is just starting to learn, and we have a senior patroller who is very skilled at tele skiing who gave us some lessons and things to practice!  Super psyched.  Give me time and I will be rippin’. 

Saturday and Sunday I was forced back into my alpine skis as they don’t want to train me in my teles.  Le sigh.  I wasn’t walking well at the end of Saturday.  I haven’t worked so hard at skiing in well, ever.  Side slips and snow plows – oh, add them together and you get your transition turns.  Welcome to my world.  You never realized (if you’re a skier) how difficult these maneuvers could be.  I didn’t anyway.  We have to have them perfect for toboggan stuff getting patients off the mountain.  Must ensure a pleasant and safe ride! 

Day two of training we worked on some general parallel ski tips in addition to our side-slipping-snow-plowing-transitioning torture.  I’ve been skiing since I was five, but haven’t had a lesson since.  I’m self-taught.  (This seems to be the theme of my life; horse pursuits to skiing I’m too cheap to buy a million lessons so I watch others who are skilled and seek to mimic their actions.)  Apparently, as far as the skiing is concerned, I’ve done a good job with myself.  My biggest issues are not being forward enough on my skis and not keeping my hands and poles forward enough.  The two kind of team up to cause one another.  I need to learn how to use my poles a little better.  Oh, and two techniques to fix/advance skiing skills?  Pour champagne for the pretty ladies and make love to the mountain.  Yeah.  Make love to the mountain.  I was a little boggled at that, too.  Make what you want out of it.  Bottom line is that I’m getting stronger, it feels AWESOME to be sore and build so much strength.  I’ve got from now until April to do this.   Bring it.  (5 of the goal of at least 20 ski days accomplished so far!)

Videos of skiing will be posted eventually.  I swear.

…but no more of Kenai skiing.  L They don’t want dogs on the mountain “while the slopes are open”.  So, in order to have a repeat performance we will have to skin up to the top.  Maybe later in the year…

Monday, January 9, 2012

WVU Orange Bowl 2012

Okay, okay, I know I’m a bad blogger of late.  The world is busy and I’m busy with it!  However, I’m getting myself up-to-speed and have begun to write lots of things that have happened down.  They will be coming to you in blog-form each day of this week, piece by piece.

Let me start with this:

WVU is my alma mater and I simply must mention this.  That is all.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Tele setup!

Not the greatest photo - its from my phone - but I'm super psyched!