Saturday, December 31, 2011

Ride with me in California

It was a beautful day here in Cali but I got called into work. I wasn't ableto ride until it was cold and dark, but I was able to ride in my arena with lights. Happy Curly New Year to All!

Calm before the Storm - ride in Michigan

Good Evening Everyone - what a long awaited for beautiful day here in Michigan. 32 deg (sih), sunny and fresh snow for good footing. Storm coming in tomorrow!

Erin, my riding buddy was home from college so I invited her to share the last ride of the year and end of RAC 2011 with me, Reese and Bear. Our boys were VERY laid back today. Due to the mild weather we were actually able to ride for a couple hours before getting cold. It was absolute heaven. We even had a few good trots which was fun.

Hugs at the end of the ride after unloading and untacking.

Ruby of course joined us. =] Such a good girl!

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!! And thank you again for an amazing year!!!

Ride With Me Denise, in Hebron, Maine

Well Denise, our ride today was a good one! Rainy, cold and icy, but we made due and had a grand time meandering here and there on familiar trails in the woods. Didder absolutely loves the special treats you gave him for putting up with me through all that November fun. I kept them in my pocket for this special last RAC 2011 ride. This is his..."Is it time for a treat now?" look. Our trails were slippery, so we didn't do any cantering or galloping today. We passed a small beech tree in full fall regalia that made me think of Betsy. Isn't it a beauty? AhD was full of vim and vigor today. I think the treats in the pocket were one of the only things that keep him from acting foolish. It feels darn nice to have a fresh horse underneath you when the chilled air hits these early winter days, doesn't it? We had five dogs along, sniffing here and there and discovering things that I have no inkling of what they could possibly be. The stone walls show up quite well this time of year. Beautiful and functional, leftover from older times, adorning the woods and offering a challenge when one wants to cross. Denise, I hope you enjoyed the last ride of the year in Maine. I reminisced about all the fun I have had sharing with my fellow RACers, and the special friends I have made through the RAC. Thank you, Denise! Here's looking forward to 2012; may we all have as much or more fun than in 2011. ~Susan and Didder~

Ride with Me in the UP of Michigan-Happy New Year's

It's been a gorgeous day in the UP of Michigan today! Of course Rocky isn't old enough to ride yet, but we got him out and took him for his first walk in the woods without the other horses to see how he would do. He did whinny a few times, but otherwise didn't think anything of this walk. I let Kirk take him ahead of me so "Dad" is helping with training too.

We ran across the turkeys and if you look hard you can see one running across the trail in front of Rocky and he just was unfazed about the situation. Earlier before our walk in the woods I had him on the road walking and a truck went by and he did very well! Didn't flinch or anything. I did try to get him to the mailbox, which he didn't have a problem with either. Opening it the first time startled him, but then he was fine after that.

After our walk in the woods, we did a photo shoot with our New Year's hat on and necklace. We are amazed that he just doesn't care about anything we do to him!

After the photo shoot we did some standing still, backing and whoaing. I had started Rocky on flexing and I found he remembered his lessons well, even though it's been over a week since I had him out last. He responds to the pressure of the halter very well, so I decided to see how he is with yielding his front and hind. He doesn't know that, so that will give us something to work on. He did figure it out at the end, though, which made me very happy. He's such a good boy. I just can't believe I've been blessed again with a Curly!

Happy New Year to everyone from the Radtkes and Rocky!

Thank you Denise and Happy New Year to everybody!

Today is the last day of this RAC adventure and I must say it has been so great sharing all the Curly adventures with this great international team. Thank you Denise for organising something as great as the RAC!! I'm a bit sad that there is no RAC next year but I am extra happy about this last year with the RAC!

For me this past year I found my new riding partner Suri and accomplished so much with her and also with my yearling Voelie. I had set some goals for myself at the beginning of the year and I have reached most of them and some extra's! For Christmas this year I got several new horse books inspiring me to learn and do more with my horses so I am definately setting new goals for myself for 2012.

I wish everyone in the RAC and all the other Curly fans reading along the best for the coming year, lots of Curly adventures and lots of fun!

Jessica, Suri and Voelie from the Netherlands

Thank you Denise !!!

Just wanted to share a special "thank you" to Denise for all her hard work in creating and managing the RAC program over the last few years. Denise you had AWESOME awards for your contest, and inspired us all to spend more quality time with our horses....the blog brought many folks encouragement through training issues......along with keeping up with the pulse of the curly world....a HUGE heartfelt thanks ;-)

REMINDER! Ride with Me Cyber Ride TODAY!

CELEBRATE WITH US! End of RAC 2011, but beginning of something wonderful. 2012! RIDE WITH ME RIDE, today Saturday. Join the RAC and other curly owners in doing a cyber ride today. All you have to do is do something with your curly, hopefully ride if you can!! RAC Team, please post your story and pics here. I will keep the blog open for a few more days. People from around the world will be joining you! HAVE FUN!

p.s. I am truly overwhelmed by the flood of posts the last few days. You are all amazing and I don't think I have cried so much in a long time!! Thank you....but remember it was all of you that made the RAC what it is! I just gave a little guidance. =] Have a wonderful New Years Everyone!!!

Denise, Reese and Bear. =] ♥

Thank you Denise and Happy New Year RAC-ers

Denise, we had a wonderful time and got very inspired.

Not only was this my first RAC year it was also my first full year in USA and my first year with my Curly horses. We had good times, bad times and a very sad time.
It has been a great help. We did not blog a lot the last months though. I am 90% of the time alone with my horses and sometimes I am too tired or just not inspired enough to write about it and have no photo's.

But I am very thankful you all did this Denise and everybody who joint RAC also a BIG thank you. It was great reading about all your adventures and ups and downs. You all where a big inspiration!

HAPPY HAPPY NEW YEAR to everybody.

Warrior Freedom, Stagcreek Lydiker, Stagcreek Mallie Berndtie, CHR Red, Moose, rest in peace Kayla and "curly" Marion, Hidden Cave Ranch Kentucky.

final post of 2011

Zoe did a great job highlighting some of our fond moments of the RAC past...  I have to also post one or two of our comedic memories.. just for Denise -- I know she loves a good giggle :)  then i guess.. it's auld lang syne for the group as it is here :)

last year -- our curly and me challenge... Fiona and popping balloons I did finally get one to pop

 we've traveled together --
 from downtown

to the top of the mountain

sidewalks and highways...  trail and rivers -- we've had fun galore :)

finally -- another last laugh -- daughter suppresses laughter while mother is nearly swept away by current 

so once again Denise -- thank you :)

A Journey of Adventures

Over the past three years of the RAC I have often been seen and not heard as my mother typically holds the camera and writes the blog but as today marks the end I felt maybe I to should speak up and add my Thanks to Denise. Most have seen our toast to Denise, which was great fun as I also love to dress up, so I will bring you on a journey through the years of wonderful adventures. First up is Teasel and Keri and their amazing adventures as the dynamic duo and dynamic is what they truly are together we have explored numerous areas near and far, over covered bridges, up mountains, and swimming in the river these two did it and did it well.

 The adventures of Teasel or the T-man will continue as with him I have found my soul-mate in a horse, he represents something I have never had a horse of my own. Always before they were sale horses,  I love all the horse on the farm but he was and remains the first I have ever been able to call my own and truly give my whole self to and what he lacks for hair he makes up for in heart and personality.
Combined with these amazing adventures is Nimue the wonder pony who also did it all. With her we drove to countless places, sharing the love for exploring with my son Dominic, new experiences such as Driven Dressage, off roading over mountains, flying down the road and pulling the sleigh. Nimue has moved on to a new home with wonderful people bringing the love of driving to them but our memories of her will be long lasting here at the farm.

Another frequent horse over the years has been Elektra. Together the two of us began exploring the world of dressage, fine tuning our ability to move and work as a team and showing the world that you do not need a high strung ring only horse to compete, there are such things as quiet, trail ability dressage horses. This mare continues to remain steady and safe while listening and trying each and every new thing I ask-demonstrating years of mindful breeding can lead to a perfect all around sport horse.

This last year of RAC has brought me one more partner-BCF Splash Dancer, the new stud on the farm. With him I learned just because you ride a stallion does not mean you have to be limited to going out alone, remaining in a closed ring but with the right relationship and training they two can go out with mares, explore and swim, and rock in the dressage ring. This guy and I have many adventures waiting to happen, continuing to show and possibly trying our hand at a little jumping which would be a whole new adventure for me, with his willing attitude, gorgeous movement, and beautiful face we will be able to accomplish anything we set our minds to.


While the RAC may be going on a hiatus the joys and memories will be ever lasting in our minds, the friendships made both electronically and face to face through the curly  get together and convention we will still be sharing with all. Denise took the time and united many curly owners from around the world, showed us that with a little effort and creative thinking nothing is impossible. There is no way that will stop despite not having an organized venue to do it in. At least not here on Top O' The Hill Farm-as we love adventure and trying new things we will move forward with these ideas and keep bringing the many abilities of the Curly for the world to see. With that a third generation in Dominic will be coming along on our explorations around Vermont on his own curly. While I have many more photos, many more stories this short array highlights some of my favorites and hopefully lets you know Denise that what you have done with the RAC was important and will go on.

~Zoe in Vermont with Teasel, Splash, Elektra and the many other wonderful curlies residing at Top O' The Hill Farm

All the Best in the New Year

Denise We just wanted to Thank You for all your hard work and enthusiasm for Curly owners and Curly horses and putting together such a wonderful group and a great year. A virtual bouquet for you. And a Thank you to everyone for sharing their Curly Adventures.
All the Best in the New Year Everyone. Ashlee and Karalee

Friday, December 30, 2011

A Great Year

This was my first RAC year and it was so much fun!!!  Thank you for everything Denise.  I have enjoyed getting to know everyone and all the advice.  Kim, Zoie, and Razzy in WA.

Thank YOU Denise

It was a gorgeous day today in the Piney Woods of East Texas.  Imagine the last of the year and 68 degrees, sunny skies, no wind and a ride on a few of our trusty steeds.  DH and I took the opportunity to continue the confidence training on BabyGirl that was started while our favorite trainer and friend was here from Idaho.  We will try to get in another tomorrow in honor of Denise and her sharing with us all to Ride A Curly in cyberspace.  Thank you so much Denise....lets ride!!!

Harold, You Will Understand!

Dear Reader,
Denise has given a gift that is greater than the RAC. She set the "Ride for Harold" cowgirls in motion. I believe that the love and the courage of this gift from Denise is bigger than the RAC. I have a feeling that God smiled when Denise set this idea in motion.
And Harold, it was YOU who gave me the courage to just be to dang "pig headed" to give up. So what can I say, Harold? Just this, "Red necks and old, as dirt, old timers just never give up!
I have been able to start riding Lyle again. And here is the good news, Lyle is starting to dimly understand that I am giving him a good feel. Yes, he still wants to curl into the "rolker ugly." But when he does this he easily allows me to bring him into a normal and relaxed frame. Lyle is putting his anger aside and starting to grasp that I am offering him a way into a good riding life. I still have to ride Lyle using Mr. Philippe Karl's reining methods and I still have to ride him standing in the stirrups so that there is no weight in the saddle. But he is starting to understand the feel that I am offering him. But, even so, there is hope for both Lyle and I.
In Hope for the New Year and In Thankfulness for the Old Year,
Penny Johnson
Bonners Ferry Idaho


To Denise - the genious and driving force behind the RAC! Thank you for the time, the energy and the support!

Toasting Denise !

Here's a toast to the future, A toast to the past, And a toast to our friends, far and near.
May the future be pleasant; The past a bright dream; May our friends remain faithful and dear 
Here's to the bright New Year
And a fond farewell to the old;
Here's to the things that are yet to come
And to the memories that we hold.

Most of all -- here's to Denise !  a little presentation we put together in celebration of the past year(s) of RAC.

I hope Denise never feels she has dropped the ball in taking a well deserved break from the hustle and bustle of directing the RAC program.. just like on New Year's Eve -- when it is one of the only times of year when "dropping the ball" is a good thing..  it's time for her to step back too. What a fabulous space you have created for us to build a history of stories, forever memories and vast opportunities for new friendships.

what else can be said but multitudinous thank yous and a huge applause for your efforts and organizational skills...

the RAC gathered a lot of moss over these years of growth ~ this powerful momentum will keep us all going through 2012 and possibly further !   So -- we present our quick Curly horse toast to Denise.


country champagne....

non-alcoholic because we will be in the saddle :)

my helmet is Saint Lucia inspired

a little preview of my mare's outfit

I hand the camera over to Dominic for the rest of the photo's ...

Keri is lovely today

have to add extra of Miss Keri and me since this may well be our last photo op of the year

time for Zoe to costume up.

My idea was a formal attire look... but I said to Zoe she looked like a toreador here. :)

Splash is dapper with proper pin stripe vest and fancy seasonal bow tie !

i say it's time to pour the bubbly !

and since Zoe already looks like a waiter --   (in addition to looking as though she could spear the bull ) -- the job is hers.

hand a glass of the effervescence up to me

dapper duo...  here's the real clue Zoe is neither bull fighter nor waiter --  she's a tuxedo'ed equestrian with top hat :)

take a look at the fancy shoes !  for this gown, I need a side saddle...

raising a glass to Denise

bottoms up !

let's try this again from the ground :)

add a bit if video -- take 1 and take 2

what else can we say Missy but thanks for the memories !!!!     you are very appreciated !

I enjoyed some of the posts which included some photo memories from the past.. i just might sneak back on and post one more time !   :)

Betsy, Keri, Zoe and Splash in a big thank you for Denise We had some great fun here !!!!

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