Sunday, May 31, 2009

Well, I have been working with Sheepie and some others and had to post a pic of me in my RAC T shirt! LOL I took Voodo to the Iowa Horse Fair and have been working with him and got my barn dried out some and moved my training pen back out of the wet from the flood going thru I am off and running. The one pic is of me going over her bending excersize...I do this on the ground and as soon as I am in the saddle...when you do this you don't have to worry about the horse walking off while mounting and it is necessary for a one rein stop.....Jackie

Saturday, May 30, 2009


Maine. I trailered over to Norway to ride in my mother-in-law's 30 acre field. The views from the top are just spectacular. I let AhD graze under an apple treee at the top. The twins Emily and Anna were very excited to have AhD as a temporary guest. AhD was very excited himself to meet two new horses over the fence, and he offered to stay there with them instead of coming home with me! We think AhD is very lonely and are considering getting a pony to keep him company. Happy trails to everyone!

Friday, May 29, 2009

a few updates

Wow, I haven't posted on here in a very long time!! It has been great reading everyone's stories. They are really fun and inspirational. :-)
As usual, life seems to be getting in the way of the best laid plans for working with horses, but I have been able to do some riding. This past Sunday was a lot of fun- I took Koko out for a couple hours of riding along the roads. We got passed by a set of bicyclists once- the sound coming up from behind startled him, so I let him turn around and look- and after they had gone almost halfway down the crossroads, I walked him up over the ditch into the (unplanted) field on the right. I let him canter then, and then stretch out into a gallop, and we were flying! I got the idea into my head to see if we could make it to the corner ahead of the cyclists, who had had such a great head start and were almost a half mile ahead of us, so I urged Koko on (a first, since he has a big gallop). He kept giving me more and more, and WOW it was fun!! We would have made it too, if I hadn't slowed him down due to oncoming ATV's. I guess a bunch of guys had gotten together and were going ATVing amd on their way to a trail. They were going really slowly, so Koko wasn't bothered at all, even though there were probably around 12 or so of them, all passing him. The very last one stopped, and the man said "I used to have horses, I'll wait until you go ahead." Kind of pointless after all of the others, but a very kind and thoughtful thing nonetheless. After that, I asked Koko to walk for awhile to let him cool down after his gallop. The fun thing about Koko is that he is always ready to go, even after he's been working for awhile, he will readily move out if asked. I don't ride him every single day, but he keeps himself nicely conditioned by running around the pasture (usually chasing and biting Sunny and Smokey, the rotten stinker!)Hopefully next Sunday afternoon I'll be able to take him to our first show of the year, and we'll probably do a western favorite gait class and the speed classes. Then in a few weeks is the 4-H horse show.
I've been hoping to take Smokey to that, and show him in the halter and showmanship, but we'll have to see since our horse trailer is so small. I'm not sure it will work to take two there. But maybe... (crossing fingers) Smokey is doing really well in most things. He never seems to mind a saddle being put on his back or the girth- he just stood there his first time with his eyes half-shut, practically asleep- but he isn't fond of anything in his mouth (dewormer especially, we've had to go with a pelleted dewormer until I can get him relaxed about the oral paste) so I havn't tried a bit yet. I'd rather start him off in a hackamore anyway, but at some point he will need to adjust to a bit. He is the sweetest horse- always the inthepocket one who wants to be right with the person. He loves people, even when they're trying to convince him to do something he doesn't want to do. He'll just let us know he doesn't like it, and give this kind of pleading look, like, 'please understand me... I'm not trying to disappoint you, but I just don't like this!' He is a total charmer.
Sunny is just being Sunny, sweet as usual! It is always so nice to know I can go out and just get on him bareback and ride- it won't be boring, because he's not a pushbutton pony, but it is always relaxing and easy-going. He's losing his mane again (sigh) Mostly it seems to be because he catches it on things as he comes through the woods area in the pasture. Unfortunately, and I really wish I knew why, curly hair seems to come out more easily than a straight mane like Koko's.

I hope everyone is having a great summer so far. :-)


Nevada's Blossom is Blooming in Texas

Hello Friends, Our Nevada Blossom is a sweet and smart Curly Mustang (without the Curls - her mother Golden Red is really curly but Blossom is a smooth coat). She is a treasure and we are so happy to have her Blooming in Texas.

Yesterday our friend, Carlos (trainer and cousin to Filiberto our other trainer) were teaching Blossom and I how to work in the round pen. Yes, we were both students on our best behavior. When Blossom come over and started smelling my like mad. I then noticed the baling twine was sticking out of my pocket from the Alfafa bales I opened earlier. She could resist....

So we compromised I gave her a small amount of Alfafa and she posed for a really neat photograph with me. Cheers!

Monday, May 25, 2009

A Couple of Nice Weekend Rides

Here's a couple of pictures from my first weekend ride. It was very relaxing. AhD and I just moseyed around close to home. I let him eat quite a bit midway of our ride and also after we got back.

AhD doesn't seem to mind the dogs at all when they are in the pen and he gets to eat the sweet clover off of the lawn.

Here we are taking a long break up on top of Sanitorium Hill. My friend Ulla trailered her Morgan Dozie over for a trail ride. The horses were super and AhD didn't kick Ebony the Dane once. He had some pretty ugly body language for her, but he held himself in check. AhD and Dozie did an awesome job on the long trek up the rocky, winding trail to the top. We took the road part of the way back, and had a good trot past the apple orchard.
We also had some good canters thrown in along the way. AhD cantered nicely ahead or behind and gave me no sass. I had a blast! The one time he really gave me a hard time was when Dozie had to blow off some steam so Ulla galloped her around a big loop of trail while I held AhD back. He did not like his newfound trail buddy leaving him! We did some loop-de-loops of our own without going much of anywhere. :) But alls well that ends well; Dozie came back and AhD learned he didn't die from the experience. A good lesson. Boy was this ride ever refreshing and rejuvinating to the soul. I am comfortably tired and well satisfied. Hey Harold and Denise! I wore my blue RAC tee to match my blue saddle blanket. Happy trails to you fellow RACers!

Cinnamon River and Angie - are back in the big horn saddle again!

Hello Dear Friends,

The song says "Cowgirls Don't Cry" - well it's not true - they do, but when they have had a good bawl they get up, brush themselves off and get back in the saddle.

Well, I am back in my saddle with the big horn.
I'm a member of an association called International Professional Horse Development Association. It is a great group of horse friends who video their rides and submit for judges to give suggestions on how to improve you riding; i.e. balance seat, rein and bit control while competing with other members throughout the world with the same patterns mainly for bragging rights but they also have jackpots for the winners which help cut down on expenses. I meet the founder, Rod Miller, through my good friends and wonderful trainers, Chris and Caren Ruthven and kept meaning to submit a ride. Well as they say, there is no time like today and when I tasted the sweet yet bitter fact of how short life can be I decided to make it ....this day. Visit their website.. would be great to have you join us - it's all done on line. With time so short, its nice to ride and compete without leaving your place, pay for gas, lodging etc.

Also, I think this is a great way to introduce others around the world to our wonderfully, trained and special Curly horses.

You can visit my entry on YouTube - I tried to load it on our blog but it was too large of a file - I guess.

Hugs, Angie

Monday, May 18, 2009

Chy The Dressage Horse!!

Our Our Pony Club hosted a huge Dressage Rally yesterday-it was great fun and the kids and Chy rode really well-I am so proud of all three of them.  It was quite a long day, up at 4am and not home until after 9pm!  I was the Ring Steward which turned out to be a job I just loved.  I worked the two rings with the senior riders and was able to talk with all the competitors and watch their tests-some of the kids were just amazing.  It was freezing cold and raining in the morning-thankfully the rain stopped but was cold and cloudy and very windy the whole day-Chy was a trooper and took care of my kids as always!

Just a Quick ride- more planned for Today

Today's my birthday... I am not sure yet where we will ride together but Zoe and I have reserved the day for a nice trot out. Yesterday I had the idea if any of you RAC'ers have the spare time... take a birthday ride with me. We'll leave here around 10:00 and who knows how long we'll be out but most of the day--- It's a last minute idea but maybe someone can join us :) I won't mention the number of candles for this one, but I did experience my half century marker quite awhile back :)

The farm is a busy, busy place lately- the therapeutic riding center is hosting an open House on Thursday so we have been spending time tidying up any remaining dregs of winter. We also built a new parking area which I am pretty pleased with. In between, we have to sneak in riding-- Friday we had a fun ride out -- me and Keri and Zoe and Elektra. Here's a slightly askew shot of Elektra- we are trotting briskly side by side past the beaver pond. With the sports setting on my camera it's capable of taking a photo even though photographer and model are moving targets.

We only have to trot down the road a short ways-- and we duck into the Kingsbury trail, where we have been riding for 20 years or more. A little distance in-- is the BIG MUD spot-- boggy, lots of sphagnum moss and perhaps an underground spring in the middle of the trail. Believe me-- you can't go to either side... as it's worse.. which I found out one day with Keri.. when we almost sunk out of sight. The horses have to listen to their riders- we know where the safe spots are to step.. but sometimes the horse thinks they know better. In this instance, they are always wrong.
Elektra is walking carefully, but the next step she took was the wrong one and she sunk to her shoulder !

Up the hill and to the left, we come to the mossy rocks, where there is always water flowing. You can see, the girls are studying the trail intently.

it was not a long ride, but fun and beautiful--

After we returned home, Zoe had to rush off and meet the bus for her kids. I decided to take Sweet Bee out for a short trot. Last few times I had her out in my London I was unhappy with the fit. The Cheyenne treeless saddle feels OK on her but lately I have been preferring the London. Zoe and I measured Sweet Bee's gullet size and were both pretty surprised to find out-- she is VERY WIDE... more than I had thought - so I changed to the soft gullet in the London and -- perfection ! We were both comfortable and Sweet bee moved out with more grace and forward motion than ever before. We ended up taking a longer ride than planned with some cantering and a couple of jumps on the trail over felled trees and logs. No photo's but I did snap this after I returned...

Sweet Bee is such a pretty girl. I had so much fun with her Grand-mother for years and years.. which I have written about on my blog many times. And her Mom is a superb mount-- also her Dad (Chip). One of our best 'families'. Come to think of it-- we rode her maternal grand-father and maternal great grand-mother also.
Enjoy your day ~ and if you get a chance to ride today-- enjoy that too !

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Full of Beans

Loco. Crazy. Energized. Spastic. Good words to describe AhD the Curly today. First, he was pretending that he had to pee. He would stop and stretch...but I KNEW he didn't have to because he had just gone. It was his game to try and snatch some grass, but I was on to it. I think this patch of grass was just too tempting. Then, for some reason, he was jumping every rock, log or twig we passed over. This is a new thing, and very interesting. Most of the little jumps were like crow hops. He was just full of it!
We did a few stream walks. As you can see, the trees are all leafed out now. Didn't take long! The woods were gorgeous, but I didn't really get to lolligag and enjoy the scenery. Had fun anyway. hey, for once I was color-coordinated. How do you like this, Harold?
Coming back out of the woods, AhD decided "his" steers must be horse-eating creatures. He started acting just like he did when we ran into the moose a couple of weeks ago, and he fooled me for a while. He was doing the stallion snort and basically running in place. He earned the right to back up about 50 times on the way home. Silly boy! :)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mother's Day Horse Show-Champion's!!!

We had a great Mother's Day.  Chy and I entered the first of a 5 show series in an adult jumping division and came home with the Champion Ribbon!!  Way to go Chy!!  Tucker and Molly both rode as well and did quite well.  In one class all three of our Curlies were in the ring at once-so Cool!!

It will be fun to show in the entire series and celebrate in the Fall with a dinner dance and great prizes!!

On Sunday we have a big Dressage Rally that our Pony Club is hosting-the kids have been working really hard and have their tests memorized-should be a really fun day!!

Leafy trails and a fun brook walk

Zoe and I trotted out across the highway to one of our favorite places- we love to traipse up this brook. It's one of the first outings we take our horses in training on, so they can be exposed to water, stepping up and down scarey places and learning to trust their
rider. OYY Ivan got his first taste of this brook walk on Tuesday.
Keri of course is a seasoned brook walker.

Ivan crosses the highway for the first time too.

Keri and I step back and allow Ivan first dibs on stepping up the little waterfall, so he can do it on his own instead of just being the 'follower' .

The leaves give every trail a whole new look-- This is one big plus to living in an area that has seasons.. Each quarter- a new view of the same old scene :)

Enjoy your day ~

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Cinnamon River is my equine "son"shine.....

Hello All,

Having three sons has taught me a lot in life! First, kids will fight over the silliest things and watch what you say because it will be repeated at the most inappropriate time and place. Still, most importantly I have learned you can love all three sons equally yet differently and that they all have their different weakness and strengths. It is my job as a mother to help them discover how best to handle this and be the best person they can be.

Well, that applies to my wonderful horses too!

I love all my horses dearly and yes, they are all different. Lakota is my little Dennis the Menace.... well, at 15.2 he is not little but he will play Jolly ball in the pasture and picks up his feed bowl to give Mama a big hint - it's time to eat! Chester is a sweet soul. You can hear his soft thoughts and know that he has your best interest in mind when you are in the saddle with him.....But, remember he is a stallion and makes sure the Girls know he is there to be their man! Curly J is the youngest and is still finding his place in our herd. He loves Chester and they eat out of the same feed bowl together when they can....At three years old Curly J is a teenager and acts like one - goofy!

Then there is Cinnamon River ...he is my soul mate.....He knows what I'm thinking - I can tell. His soft sensitve eyes watch me as if to say; "are you OK Mama? ...Let's go for a ride and talk". Cinnamon River is a gentle horse with a lovely gait. He may be gaited but either way his ride is great for me. I feel a connection with River that I have not felt for a long time. He makes everything I do in life, all the mucking, shoveling, working and toiling - worth the few hours I can spend with him.

Cinnamon River is my equine "son"shine.....

Monday, May 11, 2009

Another great day in Minnesota

First off congratulations to the Mini Winners this month, a lot of work done.
Now Denise an Susan, just so you know we are still riding in the north country, I will eventually bring the camera along for more pictures , the trees are starting to bloom and some flowers are opening up. What a natural high today with the wonderful smell of nature all around, no matter where we went was the sweet smell of spring popping,
We only seen five deer today and 2 sandhill cranes with far to many ducks to count!!!!!!!! Its funny how the horses flinch when you first start out on the trail from the ducks taking off and squawking but after an hour the horse doesn't even seem to notice any more.
Oh we also seen 3 canadian geese but scared them off before they could attack. Susan I didn't see any Meese today, but we had a great ride 16 miles and building for our trip.
Maybe a camera next time

MINI Contest Winners for April!

Hello all,

Announcing the winners of the RAC mini contest for April. Goal being to gather as many points as possible, putting your curly through various obstacles. 

1st place: Betsy Lirakis
2nd place: Zoe Lirakis
3rd place: Angie Gaines
Honorable Mention: Amber Lee

Thanks to everyone that participated in the contest! I know many of you put in alot of time, but for whatever reason didn't turn in your points. So kudos to you too!! Thanks for sharing on the blog. It was a blast seeing all your creative ideas.

Next mini contest will be in August. Stay tuned for details.

Saturday Mother's Day sneaky ride

Zoe and I took our Mother's Day ride on Saturday.. we pondered, where to go this time ? Some time ago, we heard news that the "Campground" down the road aways had been sold. There is a wonderful trail through the campgrounds that we discovered about 15 years ago but after we had traveled it enough times to be in love with it.. the owners came out one day and asked us not to not to ride on it anymore. We have reminisced about that trail ever since, missing it. It made a great "connection" trail - trotting down the road, zipping into and down the Scott trail, crossing over Trebo Road into the ancient cemetery and down this campground trail. Today, we decided to try it and see.... it's raining lightly- but we aren't missing our ride out :)

By entering the trail from the Trebo side, we are actually doing the trek backwards-- it's more fun to enter it from the other side- but in case there are still owners who do not want horses traveling-- by riding it backwards- when we arrive at the other side, if the owners are upset with us-- we can always say we were lost and apologise. At least we will have the opportunity to ride it at least one more time.

These fun "signs" are posted along the way - so because we are riding from the opposite side- I had to stop, turn around, and take a photo of each one.

You can see they have been up for awhile-- the trees are growing in around the signs now.

Long ago, we loved to canter up this trail and smile at the messages along the way.

At the end, which is actually the beginning, we cross a bridge and enter the campground.

We discover, while there may be new owners (if the rumor was correct) -- the campground remains and there are campers there, so we slow down and walk quietly and invisibly.. taking a wide berth around the office/house... trying to leave no evidence of our ride just in case.

While we are out this way, we continue our trot over to ChesterBelle Farm, where I have a lease pasture for summer grazing--- I can check the fenceline from horseback. I have had the use of this pasture through 2 owners now, for almost 17 years. Riding the fence took a lot less time than walking it-- we scared up a flock of large wild Gobblers.. had to open the gate from horseback, cross many stone walls - so wherever we ride, whatever the month- we are always practicing obstacles of some sort. :)
A very satisfying ride, although furtive in nature.... we might even decide to go ask the owners if we can ride there more often.... I have missed that trail and all the memories.
Enjoy your day ~

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Hebron Academy land

The sign says TRUST, which I thought was appropriate near the beginning of my ride. I was leading AhD at this point, because I don't have enough TRUST in him yet to ride him in traffic. I had it in my head that I was going to ride all the way over to Marshall Pond, which is a good jaunt. I didn't end up there, but I rode all around these AWESOME Hebron Academy cross country trails! The picture on the right shows "The Bowl" in the middle of the academy. Here's an interesting fact: about 10 years back, a mountain lion ran across The Bowl in broad daylight. I have spotted big cat paw prints since then, but not for several years now.
Here is the head of the county road which would have taken us to Marshall Pond if I had a better sense of direction. I stuck to the biggest trail. It was WONDERFUL riding. AhD was forward, on a loose rein. The black flies were out, but didn't bother us since we were moving. I'll take black flies over deer flies anyday. Black flies may get in your eyes alot, but deer flies have a vicious bite and hang in packs in the woods during the muggy, heavy days of summer. Here is the trail a little further down. For whatever reason, AhD tried to make me think he was scared of this puddle. He didn't fool me. He ended up drinking deeply out of it, and we relaxed here for awhile. It was very peaceful here. Even though this is technically an old county road, it runs through Academy land, so there were no turkey hunters! I couldn't have picked a better spot to ride today!! I never realized how much land the Academy owns; it must be hundreds of acres.

When I came to this spot, I thought, "Aha! This must be the tail end of Marshall Pond!" WRONG! I needed to turn off of the main trail at some point to get there, but was too chicken to do so. I am completely feeble at finding my way in the woods and know my limitations.
Here I am jawing with my neighbor about how I missed the trail to Marshall Pond. Hubby Dana snapped the picture, since he was the one jawing with the neighbor first. Since I dropped my camera just after I took the boggy pond picture, the pics are a little fuzzy now. AhD wasn't too happy about heading back towards the pond at the time; apparently he has a much better sense of direction than I do. Once I found the camera, we did some excellent trotting and cantering in the direction of home. And, I TRUSTed him enough to ride him up our road on the way home!! That is a big accomplishment for us because of my fear issues, and I am psyched! Our plum tree is in bloom. Next weekend, I'll try to get a shot of an apple tree. I saw a little on on the trail tucked in the woods that was all budded out. Lesly, this blog is dedicated to you.