Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Jasper's an "A" Student!

So... I finally found just the right place for Jasper to "go to school"! My brother helped me haul him up to a trainer in Centerville, about an hour and a half ride. He's been at Rose Haven Quarter Horses for a week now and last evening Jaxson, Madelyn and I went up for a visit, a requirement that Rose Haven has when agreeing to work with your horse. I've been a bit nervous that he would be a drop-out, expelled or in constant time-outs. I mean, think about it, I buy Jasper as a yearling and he's now 8 years old. All that's been asked of him is an occasional pony ride at a church or birthday party. Those rides are all done by leading him around with a lead rope. Other than those small events, Jasper has just been treated almost like a big dog. Fussed over, loved up, and fed! Suddenly, Jasper's been given a job...

Well, I have to tell you, I was so thrilled to see Ricky, the trainer, tack him up (getting him to take the bit is an area he needs worked on with) and jump on. Fortunately, Ricky's not a big guy and so he's able to work directly with Jasper... right from his back. He put Jasper through the works; walking, stopping, standing, going around obstacles, backing up... I was amazed at Jasper's progress in just one week's time.

In the meantime, Jaxson decided that there would be NO way he was going to ride Jasper and so he climbed back into the car and locked all 4 doors. That's right... and the keys were inside. I finally convinced him that no one was going to make him ride if he didn't want to and he emerged although he clung to me like manure clings to your boots!

Madelyn had agreed to climb up on Jasper even though I could tell she was very hesitant. So, after Ricky had shown me what Jasper had learned, he changed saddles and adjusted the stirrups so that Maddy could sit on him comfortably. That's when I noticed that Madelyn
had on clunky flip flops... NOT the proper footwear for riding, that's for sure! The flip flops made it nearly impossible for her to use her heels to urge Jasper to move. So, I encouraged her to just kick them off and go barefoot. I wouldn't normally suggest that but since they were in a controlled environment, I figured it'd be okay.

Okay... here's the exciting part... After Ricky led Madelyn around for a wee bit, he took her into a small round pen and let her get the hang of the reins herself. Before too long, Maddy was back out of the pen and riding all by herself in the larger paddock area. I can't tell you how big my smile was but I know I probably looked like a total goober, grinning from ear to ear!

Jaxson also decided that he wanted to ride. Yep... that's right! The little guy who had locked himself in the car now wanted to climb aboard the pony! He got to the point of begging and so we threw him up and Ricky led him around. Jaxson was feeling pretty good about it all even though we wouldn't let him go totally on his own. He's just not quite big enough to handle Jasper, especially at this point of his training.

We ended up having Madelyn get back on, after much pleading on her part. She actually kicked him up into a trot a couple of times! I literally had to be stern to make her get off when it was time to go. She's got the horse bug for sure and I can hardly wait until Jasper gets farther along in his training so that he's ready to come home and take Madelyn trail riding with me! That's my goal!

Xavier wants to go next time so it seems like next week I'll have 3 tag-alongs! But, it's a sweet feeling for me. This is what I've been hoping for ever since Maddy was wee. Ricky and Connie, his wife, were teasing me that I'll be buying more ponies before I know it because they'll all want to ride! Well, I don't have room for more but if I could, I would!! LOL!!!

I can hardly wait to see how Jasper does after another full week at Rose Haven!!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Sun's Peeking Through

It's been a busy few days. Between holding a yard sale at my house and battling the rain, juggling the county fair and work and home and... Well, you get the idea. Busy! The rain has pretty much interrupted everything, causing the yard sale to be cut short and packed up. Last evening our church was hosting a community mural at the fair, where my daughter Devon and I painted words (Love One Another) onto a 12' x 8' billboard-style set-up that is cut into 2' x 2' squares. Then, all different folks come and are offered a chance to paint a small part of the mural in whatever color scheme they choose. Once the paint dries, the mural is pieced together on a larger framework and displayed. Fortunately, the rain held off at the fair until the mural was completed. I didn't take any photos to show you, though, because Devon and I were busy painting faces at the same time. Dusty and I had our two grandsons with us. We would have had our granddaughter as well but she was truly under the weather. It was Demo Derby night and the kids are crazy about that event. Can anyone say "redneck"? LOL! We watched the derby and were shielded from the rain by the huge roof over the grandstands. It was packed and we were way up in the "peanut gallery"... higher than I'd ever climbed into the grandstands before. I was thankful there were no potty calls, let me tell you!

The most exciting thing about today (because I'm really dragging for some reason) is that my husband has my old Dodge dually pick-up in the shop and had someone come in to take measurements for a wooden bed. Dusty is going to paint the cab, etc., and then they'll install the new bed and woohoo! I'll have a truck to haul my horse trailer around!!! I'm so excited!!! I just wish I had another horse--a gentle one that anyone could ride so that I could haul Coby and the other horse wherever and enjoy riding with a friend or DAUGHTER!!! We'll see what happens. I need to put up a prayer and see if God brings just the right horse and situation to me... or lets me know that "NO" is the answer!!!

Hope you all had a great weekend and are having a wonderful week. I need to get busy on a job I should have completed for proofing so I'm cutting out... Blessings!!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Ready for the Weekend!

TGIF! I'm ready to skip out of the office and head on down the road toward the weekend! I actually have to deliver a monthly tax report to the county. Nothing like waiting until the last minute--today's the deadline! LOL! Then, off to pick up Madelyn so she can go to the races with Dusty. I should send my camera along so she can take some pics and share them with you. Hmmmm... we'll see. Tonight I have a bunch of things I am kicking around in my head to do. We'll see which wins out. Tomorrow Madelyn and I are making some special sugar cookies for her birthday tea part on Monday. That'll be fun. Well, have a good weekend and I'll catch up with it all on Monday!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

4th of July Run-Down

In preparation for the small town of Corsica's 4th of July parade, my daughter, Katy, and I made some signs to attach to the horse-drawn wagons that her inlaws, husband and kiddles were taking through the festivities. 50 years of participation in the annual parade! Wow! Chris's family is a good bunch, with the mom and all five brothers and their families living in the same general area. They're very community-minded and from all reports, great neighbors to have. Katy's fortunate to have them as a part of her extended family. Here is a photo of Madelyn, Xavier and Jaxson (along with cousins) in the one wagon before everyone else loaded in.

And another photo showing Chris, my son-in-law, as he's holding the horses prior to the parade. I was proud of myself getting this pic since he isn't always so easy to catch. Of course, he's a big goofball, as you can tell by the pic... but a lot of fun to be around! I'm pretty blessed in the son-in-law department, that's for sure!

My husband, Dusty, had hauled a dirt track race car belonging to one of his employees, Bucky, so that he and his family could drive it through the parade. Somehow Dusty managed to hitch a ride through the parade with his sister, Christy, in their push jeep. Isn't it cool-looking? Since opening night, Dusty has taken his wrecker and/or tiltbed out to Thunder Mountain Speedway and enjoys pushing the cars, hauling out the wrecks or breakdowns, etc., or whatever else they might need him to do during the races. Well, he got Christy and her husband, Jim, to give it a try and they're hooked. Now they're Friday night die-hard "pushers" in their jeep! Along with their son, Jesse, and Dusty, they took their jeep through the parade, throwing candy, of course, and I think people really enjoyed it! You can also see Bucky's car trailing close behind. Dusty provided Bucky and his gang with a bunch of candy to throw as well... it's a "must" for a small-town parade!

The parade was a good time and the kids had a blast, which is what it's all about to me anyway. Dusty and I then enjoyed having Devon and Cory over for a grilled steak dinner after which we took some chairs up to our upper property and sat down to watch the neighbor's fireworks display. Let me tell you, they're absolutely fantastic for a backyard venue! They set them off in groups and there is almost constant color in the sky. None of this "shoot one off at a time" stuff!

Katy and Chris and the kids were there watching the fireworks as well since they were enjoying a cookout at friends who rent from us up on that property. It was all the more fun to listen to everyone's comments as the fireworks exploded across the night sky! God bless America, land that I love!

Hope you had a great celebration and took time to thank God for our nation and pray that we can continue to enjoy the freedoms we so take for granted!


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

What a Weekend!

I had a great weekend! I had helped my son-in-law's family with some baking late in the week. They were hosting the Appalachian Wagon Train for the weekend and were putting on a feed for them Saturday night following their ride. The train arrived on Friday after traveling from Farmers Inn in Sigel, PA. I stopped by their encampment on Friday evening and it was so much fun to see all the wagons and the beautiful horses as well as the folks dressed in period clothing. You can see some photos of this on my daughter Katy's blog.

I had been planning on riding with the wagon train on Saturday along with Chris, my son-in-law, but his father had a health issue arise which necessitated a change in plans. Well, Chris's one uncle, who had ridden on one of the wagons that day, urged me to go ahead and ride on Saturday after all. There was plenty of other help so I wouldn't be missed and it really was an opportunity that doesn't come along every day. So... I couldn't resist! We trailered Coby over on Saturday morning, gave him a bath and tacked him up. Chris took a few spins on him for fun.

I was permitted to ride Coby at the end of the wagon train... riding drag I guess you could call it... LOL! There were several other riders, all regular members of the wagon train. They were so nice and welcoming. I quickly felt accepted and part of the group.

Coby did really well. Since I've owned him, he's never been with a huge number of horses and so it was a new experience all the way around for both of us. We pulled out of the encampment at about 10:30 a.m. and started on our 10-mile trek, roundabout to Corsica, PA. Coby threw
a little attitude every time I mounted up but we quickly overcame that. Two of my grandkids--Madelyn and Xavier--were riding in a covered wagon directly in front of where I rode. So, in addition to enjoying the beautiful scenery along the route that we traveled, I got to interact with the kids... talking back and forth, waving to each other and just smiling at the whole experience.

I had a great time and Coby did awesome! I have to admit that once we got back, I was whipped! Chris and I trailered Coby on home where I gave him a nice scoop of grain and turned him out. Then I promptly went inside and fell fast asleep for 2 hours! And talk about sore!!! Yeah, well... it's been 4 days and I just now feel back to normal! LOL! It was worth it, though. Here's a photo of me just before falling in with the rest of the wagon train. The photos of both Chris and I were taken by Joe Miholics who was there taking pictures while the wagon train was camped out. Joe and his wife have a photography business, Captured Moments Photography, and
they've made a slide show of some of the photos that he took of the various participants in the Appalachian Wagon Train. Check them out if you'd like...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Just starting out...

Hi folks! Please be patient with me because I have absolutely NO idea what I'm doing here! My daughter, Katy, says that I'll pick it up quickly and that she'll help me if I need it so I'm going to count on that for encouragement. For now, though, I'm going to put out this initial post and then fly off to meet Katy and my grandkids—Madelyn, Xavier, and Jaxson— downtown to have a slice of pizza at my favorite food vendor at the Laurel Festival. Just to be clear, my favorite food vendors are Jason and Glenda Nimal, who have a shaved ice stand and are long time friends. But, as far as the food itself, sorry Jason and Glenda, Pearl's Pizza beats out the shaved ice! LOL!

Thanks for checking out my blog. There isn't much to view right now but I'll gain momentum in time. For now, I'll wish you great day and keep moving... :-)