Thursday, March 31, 2011


Didn't ya just know there had to be a 'hers' to the 'his' post?

It's no Bugatti...LMAO...I had to look that up...I don't much keep up on the hi-perf cars.

I was really hoping to have a pic of me attempting to hug my new ride...but it's still somewhere between here and Texas. :(

It simply started out as a joking comment. The Honey says...'Hey, look at this car'.

Me-reading some of the background...starts drooling...and says, 'Bid on it'. (Yep, we buy cars off Ebay. :-/)

And I promptly forgot about it.

A few days later, Honey says...'We got your car'.

Me-'No kidding?....Uuuhhh...Okaaayyy...' (Thinks to self...I was mostly joking...I mean, it's a waaayyyy cool car...but...???)

Then all the paperwork came and I got all excited all over again. Now, I'm dying for it to get here....

That's it ^^^^. A 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T. It's called a 'clone' car because it does not come with the Hemi, but a 318.

But that's not the coolest part. The coolest part is....
Do you see who is driving my car?

GIBBS!!!!! (Hopefully, I'm not the only NCIS fan?)...O.M.G....jumping up and down and squealing like a school girl!!! (sigghhhhh)

It's also the car that was used in this movie...

The Bucket List

And a couple of other movies, of which I have not seen. Don't really care...

I have GIBB's car!!!! (My Honey says drool is bad for the paint job and hard on the interior...I'm going to have to wear a bib.)

I should add the disclaimer that this is not a one-of-a-kind. ;-) It's actually one of three cars that was used in the making of those movies. I don't think the one with the actual Hemi is for sale...and if it was...I couldn't even imagine what that one would cost. (Yikes)

I love my husband. He never ceases to amaze me!!!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


My Honey's new toy...
It's the Corvette ZR1. With its 638-hp supercharged LS9 engine and a test-track top speed of 205 mph, it is the fastest GM production car of all time.

Took a little ride in it this evening...

It will make your butt suck the seat up and your stomach flip like you are on a roller coaster!

Monday, March 28, 2011

I Spent My Down Time Wisely that is mostly a lie.

When I 'veg-out' I really 'veg-out'. Cause believe me...when I don't have the energy to do something with horses....I don't have the energy to do anything else. You clean house? ;-) (Not entirely true...Megan and I did do a lot of deep cleaning this weekend)

I got all caught up on creating outdoor living spaces from the DIY channel...
Since this year we are focusing on updating the outside of the new house...I was completely enthralled. I would very much like to have something similar to this... that fireplace is a bit much, but you get the drift. I promised My Honey an outdoor kitchen. The man can seriously BBQ. He was a little bummed about leaving the other house, because he had just had a ginormous deck built on that house.

I really like the outdoor living room thing...
There are things that are going to have to be taken care of before we can go crazy with the patio though. The house needs all new windows...It really wasn't all that cold last winter and we noticed a lot of cold air coming in. I sure was appreciating those expensive shades I bought last fall.

There is no insulation worth mentioning in the walls...Originally, I had thought to pull all of the siding off, reinsulate and TyVek the exterior. I thought I wanted to reside the house with 1/2 log. But, you know...that log siding requires a lot of upkeep. A LOT!! Soooo...A friend suggested we just have insulation sprayed into the walls and have stucco sprayed on the exterior. I resisted that until I saw a house that I loved the color of and decided if I could replicate that...that would suit me just fine. The house I liked is a lovely milk chocolate brown with tan and white trim. I think that would go well with the rusty-reddish and tan stone I want to use with the patios.

The house also needs all new gutters and sometime in the near future new shingles.

It sounds like a lot...and it is. But with the occasional help from friends, the only thing we won't do ourselves is the insulation and stucco. It's going to make a lot of difference getting things done this year because the Honey Man is NOT going to be working himself to death.

Friday, March 25, 2011

I Have Been Worthless

And that's all I have to say about that!

Megan is 100% again and Beretta is getting there. The weather has been less than cooperative-mostly windy and I sort of did what I said I was going to do...crawled under the covers and vegged for a while. I need some sunshine to get me back on track.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

It's Been Hell...

...around here the last couple of days.

Megan has been fighting a severe flu/cold for a couple of weeks. It started in her head, moved to her lungs and settled in her tonsils. Two trips to the Urgent Care in the last week and I think we finally have her lined out. The poor kid had to deal with grossly enlarged tonsils for a week before the second doctor finally took my urging and prescribed a cortisone/steriod pack to get the swelling down and some antibiotics to get the infection out.

This would be the 3rd time in 4 years that Meg has had to deal with this tonsil thing, but the first time a doctor has taken documentation of it. Meg needs to have the documentation of repeated episodes if they are to determine if taking out her tonsils is the right thing to do in the future.

Thankfully, the cortizone/steroid pack had an almost immediate effect on Meg and this morning she didn't have any ear or throat pain and it didn't sound like she was talking through a tube.

The poor kid spent her entire Spring Break sick.

I'm also knee deep in working on Beretta. Sunday evening either her or Frosty managed to mess with the gate chain until they got that undone and they got together. Frosty is a mean SOB if he thinks he can bully someone and he sure did a number on Beretta. Both her knees are swollen, but her left knee is about the size of a soccer ball.

Now that the grass is coming, Frosty can't be turned out with the other geldings at night. I thought putting him in the big corral, so he had some room to move around was the nice thing to do. :(

I cold hosed her legs that night and rubbed External Rub on all 4. I don't think Frosty ever actually got ahold of Beretta as she has no bite marks on her, but I think she strained every muscle in her body ducking and diving trying to avoid him. I sure know the corners of the corrals were torn up. Guess it doesn't matter what he did or didn't do, the damage is done.

Thanks to 60+ mile an hour wind ALL DAY yesterday, there was nothing I could do to redoctor her. I spend this morning learning how to do a DMSO sweat and have her big knee wrapped and applied DMSO to her other knee and hind fetlocks to help take the inflammation and soreness out of them. I have always been a little scared to use DMSO, but doing a lot of reading on it this morning was definitely a learning experience. I just hate the fact that something really bad has to happen to learn new things.

Moon has had to be separated from everyone as well too. He mysteriously grew a set of testicles since Spring has shown up and has been raising hell with the other geldings. The problem really is, is that Moon likes to act like a bad-ass, but he don't have what it takes to back it up and gets his own butt handed to him. Sure don't need him getting hurt with the barrel racing season so close.

Now the wind is howling again and I sort of just want to crawl under the covers and not come out until the bad juju goes away.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Like I Didn't Have Enough...

To keep me busy that is.

No...Not adding to the equine number around here. LOL

I'm off to a j.o.b.!

Just picking up a night or two on the weekends at the local salebarn restaurant. I guess even with a 15% unemployment rate around here, it's hard to find reliable help.

I don't mind though...It's not like we have a very exciting night life on the weekends around here and I can always use any spare cash to keep my horses in the style they have become accustomed to.

Things are good on the horse front. Really good.

I have been using an un-farmed field next door as a conditioning track and it has been quite effective. The soil is soft and deep and there is 20 acres. The ponies have been getting some good workouts in. I alternate riding days over there though because the soil is so deep. I don't want to fatigue anyone and end up with an injury. The other days are spent riding out in the desert or in my own little riding area-working on softening, suppling, turnarounds, transitions, etc., etc.

Frosty is continuing to lose weight and is really moving out nicely for me these days. I've even been able to check out his race-horse gears a little and boy can he really stretch out and cover some ground. His suppleness is coming along as well. It gets easier and easier for him as the weight continues to come off and he builds some real muscle. He is without a doubt a future barrel horse in the making.

Turk is still stuck in just shy of a run-away gear at the lope. Lots of work yet on him to get him into shape and using the proper muscles to balance and handle himself. Can't expect years of muscle memory to disappear in a month...probably more like 3-6 months to really get him solid again. He's trying though and as long as he keeps trying to give me something there is hope for him.

Spooks is traveling out much better these long as the ground is soft. I'm going to treat him for deep tissue thrush (per the lightbulb going off after reading Mrs Mom's post on it) and use a sole hardener. Hopefully that gets him over his tender-footedness. If's back to shoes for him. I almost didn't think the horse had any inclination to run...but I opened him up in the field the other day and gave his butt a good spank...he can run. I guess he will be sticking around this year to see what he is capable of.

Moon is making some great progress as well. Been using the field to practice letting him stretch out in a sprint and then rating him down in a straight line-sprint-rate-sprint-rate. It's improving his ability to handle his speed, which is a problem for him. There is not doubt the horse can run, he just has a hard time handling all that speed. His back is changing as he is building up better muscle and I have found his saddle-fit issue to be less of an issue. His shoulder work is coming along. As I have worked with him, I am realizing that his problems really seem to be stemming from how he bends in his neck. When I ask him to bend and give 'face' to the left, he wants to move his left shoulder out (to the right), rather than bend his neck. I have been working on specifically making him keep that shoulder straight and giving me the neck and face. To the right, he gives his neck and face correctly, but has a tendency to drift his shoulder to the inside. His left shoulder is overly limber, his right is a little stiff. It's just little things like that that end up causing big things when he is running barrels. Hopefully consistent work on correcting that at home helps him maintain some correctness in competition.

Other than's just the same old, same old around here. I think of lots of things I want to write about, when I'm riding and then by the time my day is done...I'm too exhausted to think anymore.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

By The End Of The Day...

My saddling station is a mess...
Drying blankets, piles of hair, grooming supplies and the inevitable poop piles.

I guess that shows I have been working. LOL

Deuce approves of the new Tod Slone pad...
I could do without him laying on it though. :( Bad kitty!!

He looks real concerned about my opinion doesn't he?...LOL

Monday, March 14, 2011

School Is In Session

I took a big bale over to the trainer's today, for the big bay horse. I wasn't really expecting for Levi to work him for me, but it just so happened I got there as he was finishing up another filly and after we unloaded the bale, he asked if I wanted to stick around while he worked 'Legs'.

I got a good laugh out of him calling the horse, Legs, cause that's my nickname for him and I never told Levi that. Of course, the name, Legs always reminds me of MiKael's Arabian Stallion. Not that there's any resemblance between MiKael's dainty and elegant, Legs and my long-tall drink of water-LOL.

Jet has never been round-penned before. I've lunged him a few times, but other than being halter-broke, tieable and somewhat able to trim his feet...he is 'raw' (not had much handling). He lurched around the round pen in a high-kneed trot to start with...

I will say one thing about the horse, he faces in a hurry when you say Whoa...
He was fine with Levi approaching him from the left, but not so much the right. He kept wanting to spin around so Levi was on his left again. But Levi is quiet and persistent...
He just kept making him leave and then Whoa, until Jet got tired of spinning around and let Levi walk up to him from the right side. Jet is not a particularly spooky or jumpy horse. He's mostly just unsure of what you want him to do. Once he finds out what that is, he's happy to oblige.

By the time Levi worked him enough that he had the edge off and had kind of figured out what Levi wanted, he was more than willing to give in and just relax...

Afterward he got a little 'soak' time. Not sure if he is wondering what the heck just happened or if he is looking for the trailer that is supposed to take him home...
I probably won't get to see Levi work Jet again for a while. That's all right. I have more than enough to keep my busy around home and I trust that Levi will take good care of my big boy and do right by him. Probably the next time we get to see him, he will be under saddle.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Did I Lose My Mind?

The 'official' word from the Honey Man...

There is nothing wrong with the work truck.


He got home last night, came down to talk to me while I worked a horse, wandered over to the work truck and...

It worked fine!

That is good news...

But I am thoroughly confused.

Ian made me giggle though...Although I never set the parking brake...I had to go check...

Just in case I had inadvertently bumped it when I was messing around waiting for the battery to charge. Now THAT would have made me feel rather silly.

I was safe this time. It wasn't set.

I seem to be going through a faze of vehicular malfunction though...

Yesterday, I tried to use the 4-wheeler to drag my riding area and I couldn't keep it running.

My Honey comes home, fires it up and there is nothing wrong with it for him.

Seriously folks..What the heck?

Friday, March 11, 2011

My Daily Entertainment

I turned the spare bedroom into the squirrel's playground. He loves it.

I look at it this way...At least I have a reason for one messy room in the house-LOL...If your a squirrel, you need a stuff to dig around in. ;-)

He loves to jump into the window sill and then promptly freezes...
He will stay frozen for minutes at a time. Nothing moving but his nose.

Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Training Camp

The big bay is off to training camp...


Really mom? I was plumb happy with my life the way it was...

I booked 30 days for him, but since I am a lazy person and didn't ever get around to doing any groundwork or saddling on him...I upped that to 60 days. I want him pretty solid before he comes home.

I opted not to send the sorrel horse, Bugs back to the trainer. I'm not worried about getting on him anymore. He was all huff and puff about the getting on part. Never did anything I can't handle myself at home. Megan is starting Spring Break, so I'll have her around for the next two weeks to dial 911 for me.

Thought it would be a quick trip over and back to drop the bay horse off. Hauled bales over this morning, dropped them off, came home, cleaned Jet up, popped him in the work rig, loaded up the dogs and was ready to head out.

Turn the key...



Figured Megan must have left the key on when I asked her to roll the windows up the other day.

Pulled the dually over. Hook up the jumper cables. Let the battery charge for a few minutes...


No problem here!

Unhook the cables, put them away, park the dually, jump back in the work truck, slap her in gear and...




Surely not.

I just drove the pickup last week and not a problem.

Huh...Maybe it'll move in 4-wheel drive?



Think, think, think...

Hmmmm...If I could just get the pickup to move, I could pull the trailer over to a better spot, unhook and hook the dually up.


(Much cussing and stomping ensued)


Jump out, hook the dually to the big trailer, pull it out, unload bay horse, lead to LQ trailer, load?


Dear God, Please load????

Really? You need a friend?


Tie bay horse to trailer (he's pretty sure the trailer fender is going to eat him)...Untie bay horse from trailer, put him in his pen, catch dirty, nasty buckskin, load him, go get bay horse, load

(Thank you god!)

Tell the now thoroughly confused Red Dog he cannot go (I don't let the dogs ride in the dually very often), he begs, I pet, he pouts...meanwhile bay horse is going berzerk in the LQ.

Crap, jump in p/u and head over to trainers.

Finally make it back home, unhook work truck from trailer, put it in 4-wheel and get it out from under trailer, it will move forward...barely. No reverse.

Unhook LQ trailer, get dually backed under stock trailer, which sucked because of the angle I parked last time, get hooked up and park stock trailer out of the way...which means if it rains again, It'll be as big of a pain to get it out as it was the last time.

Now...I'm ready for a stiff drink, but am settling for a sandwich instead. Still have horses to ride and I have to have chores done and be at another meeting about that stupid Birthday Bash by 6pm.

And my day started out so good too! Argghhhh!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Must You?

There's nothing that will wake you up in the morning quite like walking out to do chores and seeing something like this...

What the...????...

Really guys?....

No one is hurt. Not a scratch on either horse. (sigh)...Horses! I swear!

**Yes, I know, my pens are yucko. It's a little muddy around here at the moment..but nice weather is on the way again. I'm going to cheat and have My Honey use the bobcat to clean. ;-)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Keeping Them Going

There comes a time in the normal course of conditioning/training/competing that extra steps need to be taken to ensure the comfort and continued ability for the horse to work becomes just as much of a priority as everything else.

One thing I am coming to learn is that top-notch barrel racers spend as much time, if not more on the after-riding/after-hauling/after-competing care of their horses as they do anything else.

Things are way different in the rodeo barrel racing world than they are the local NBHA barrel racing world and I suspect that there are also differences in the futurity/derby world.

Competing locally means I don't ever have to haul a horse more than 2 hours away...and any horse that is in reasonable shape should handle that like it's a walk in the park. Considering how many miles every single one of my horses has been hauled around the country, anything under a couple of hours and they pop out and are like, 'What? Did we even leave the yard?' So at this point, I am not really worried about trailering fatigue.

I am at the point in some of the horse's conditioning program, where it is time to step it up a notch and it is time to start paying attention to the smaller details.

I've been doing a lot of reading and research on appropriate 'after-riding' care. I am and have always been a big fan of hydrotherapy. When it warms up sufficiently, I almost always rinse my horses off after a workout and spend some time running water over their legs. It feels good to get all the sweat off and does wonders for taking the heat out of muscles, tendons, etc, etc.

Most of the time, I think that is enough. Occasionally, I'll rub someone down with liniment. But, ya know, I've just never gone overboard with the wrapping of the legs or magnetic blankets or any of the fancy stuff. Not because I don't believe in it, just because I've never felt I have worked or hauled or competed on horses (in the last decade or so) hard enough to require all of the extra frills.

But, I'm kind of changing that attitude, along with a lot of other things I find myself changing my mind about. This year, I do want to be more serious about competition and have several horses that need to get out there and get something done on them. It isn't going to kill me to start practicing the art of high-caliber maintenance NOW vs. later, when I might actually need to know this stuff.

As per my personality dictates...I prefer to have an arsenal of information vs. a tidbit. So when Sue Smith mentioned last fall that she always gives her horses a thorough going over after their workout, I paid attention. Sue has experience working on race-tracks and someone who knows the ins and outs of how those horses are taken care of is worth listening to.

I never ever thought about this aspect...some liniment products are for warming up and some are for cooling down. Really? All this time, I thought you just rubbed some Absorbine on and called it good. I'm only kidding a little bit. I really didn't realize there was that much difference in the type of liniment product. But I am getting all knowed up now.

Now that I'm hitting a level of condition with a couple of the horses that dictates I can start upping their workouts to include more intricate or harder workouts, I have been taking a little extra time to give everyone at least a reasonable rubdown, semi-massage after their workouts. I think it's warm enough that I clip, at least the really long hair off of everyone's legs, so it's easier for the cooling liniment that I am using gets down to the skin.

Right now, I'm simply using Vetrolin Liniment for daily rubdowns after everyone's workouts...
It's done wonders to help combat Frosty's sore back. I can't really tell if it is helping any of the other horses. I have been massaging Moon's stifles and neck, Turk's shoulders and loin and Spooks' hips.

My horses were a little weirded out by the massages at first. Moon's had them before, but he's not particularly fond of a lot of a lot of attention. His theory is, 'Feed me, brush me, ride me if you must, but other than that, leave me the hell alone...No wait...Feed me again, then leave me the hell alone.'

Frosty, Turk and Spooks were like, 'What the hell are you doing?'.

I like the Vetrolin, but I have been looking at other products...chosen specifically to maybe take a bit of the work out of what I'm trying to accomplish. I still think massages are a great way to get in there and loosen up knots and stiffness in the muscles, but hopefully, I won't have to do them on every horse every day.

I have heard good things about the Sore-No-More products. Sue Smith says she uses them (as do several other top-barrel racers), so I thought I would give the liniment a shot...
From what I understand, this liniment is a good one to use before or after exercise. A little rubbed on prior to riding helps to loosen stiff muscles. I'm still a little unsure about using a liniment under the saddle pad prior to riding, but I might try it on Frosty to see if it helps loosen him up so he doesn't get so sore. Maybe it will help sweat out those fat pads behind his withers?

I have always wondered about the mud poultices...
Again, this is something Sue uses and says she thinks it helps, although she did say she's sure that the required hydrotherapy to wash them off probably assists with taking the heat out of the muscles and legs. The thing is, I can slather this on one horse and leave him stand while I am riding another. The poultice can do it's thing and when I'm ready, I can wash it off.

I am curious to try this, The Cool Pack Green Jelly...
It's to draw the heat out of legs and muscles also, but it sounds like a little stronger agent than the mud poultice. Might be worthwhile to have on hand.

And then there is this, The IceTight...
Now that sounds like draws the heat out like right now, especially if there is a possible injury.

So tell me...Have any of you guys used any of this stuff or other products, besides Absorbine that is?

How about magnets? I kind of believe in that stuff, but haven't met anyone yet that says they have seen a reasonable improvement in their horse because they do use the magnets. I'd like to get at least one magnet sheet to try. They have become reasonably priced, but is it worth it?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

I Am Torqued

I just got home from a neighborhood meeting and I am so stinking mad, I could spit nails.

It came to my attention the other day that there is a huge country music festival planned in my backyard.

I'm not's literally going to be on the next property over.

I'll admit, I do find it rather humorous that someone thinks they can come in and turn a piece of farm ground into a concert venue, complete with over 600 RV hookups, a couple of stages, water, electric and have all of the permits and vendors in place to handle a crowd of an estimated 35,000 people....In THREE months!

Personally, I just think it is crazy that someone would actually hire people to play a venue that doesn't even exist yet...and that they don't even have the permits for yet.

However, we do live in a rural area and I do see the potential for this to go through if we, the people who will potentially be affected don't get involved and find out the specifics and how it could potentially impact our much desired rural status.

I'll be honest and say that I don't particularly like the fact that it's a possibility that this venue ends up in my backyard. The thought of the noise and additional traffic it will bring really sucks. It just so happens that our little side street is potentially an access to and from the yet-to-be created camping area.

But, in all fairness, it's a mere 3 days a year. It's not the end of the world and I don't really think it will hurt our property value. Two of my neighbors are much more affected and I do feel sorry for them. The potential venue site borders their properties.

Obviously, those of us in the neighborhood are going to fight the good fight on this and hopefully, the permits will never be issued.

The real reason I am so pissed off, is because this whole deal came to be over nothing more than a pissing match between the guy who wants to put on this venue...

And the owners of this venue...

Which also happens to be fairly close to's just a few miles down the road. I can ride to it on horseback and I am sure we will be able to hear it when it rolls around this summer.

What I thought was going to be a neighborhood meeting, providing facts and the status of the proposed venue and the potential effects to us residents was actually a bitch and whine fest, full of all sorts of emotional rhetoric put on by the attorney representing Country Jam. It had nothing to do with the potential affect to those of us that live in this neighborhood, but rather focused on how inconvenient it would be to all of those dedicated Country Jam fans. It was so sickening, I almost got up and walked out. THAT is NOT the kind of crap I went to hear and quite frankly, I could give a rat's ass about how a second venue affects Country Jam.

I'll tell you what, if I could have sympathized with Country Jam's position that a second venue so near by and on the same weekend could seriously affect them, I lost all sympathy when the attorney went on a tyraid about how the guy who wanted to put on Bob's Birthday Bash wasn't even from Colorado and how dare he come here and try to start something that might interfere with an existing venue being put on by real Colorado residents.


Honest to god, that it the first time I have ever run into anyone in this area that has ever made those kinds of delineations between born and bred Coloradans and those of us that have moved here from another state.

Even my neighbor who help to arrange this get-together was appalled at the tone the attorney used and the continual derogatory comments about this guy and who he had contracted to perform at his Birthday Bash. It was so stinking obvious that this was a personal vendetta between the promoter's of Bob's Birthday Bash and Country Jam that I wanted to gag.

Just when I thought I had heard it all, the attorney had a few other people speak. How convenient that all of these people were either vendors or employees of Country Jam and don't even live in this area. What The Flying Freaking kind of crap is that? And of what relevance?

Those of us that live in this area are faced with people parking willy-nilly on our roads, the possibility of people wandering into our pastures and messing with our livestock and 4 solid days and nights of traffic into and out of our small neighborhood. We already put up with it to some extent because of Country Jam.

I really had to laugh when someone brought up (with prompting by the attorney no less) the number of people who will potentially drink and drive. That's a joke. The entire weekend of Country Jam, you can look out and see multiple people pulled over by the cops at any given time. You can't get anywhere by mid-afternoon due to the traffic and don't even bother to leave the house after dark...there are road-blocks and breathalizer checkpoints on every road.

I also found it hilarious that the attorney for Country Jam thought that the promoter for Bob's Birthday Bash should be responsible for new stoplights at a rather hazardous intersection near-by. Soooo...why should BBB be responsible for a new stoplight for increased traffic over that weekend when CJ openly directs traffic down that road and has been responsible for increased traffic at that intersection for the last 20 years and THEY have not paid to have a stoplight installed?


I know my writing probably makes no sense. I am to furious to try to make sense of it at this point. As usual, those of us that it could truly affect are the ones who will have to make sure to attend the next few Planning Commission and County Commissioner's meetings. Country Jam has no leg to stand on to stop BBB from taking place. I just really, REALLY resent the use of emotional blackmail by an obviously interested 3rd party. CJ stands to lose a lot of clientele if BBB takes place and that is their ONLY concern. If BBB had picked a different weekend, CJ sure as hell would not be involved or interested in what happens in MY backyard.

I think I did a fine job of pissing off CJ's attorney though. I'm good at that. Afterward the local t.v. gal asked if she could interview me. I declined, only because I was not dressed appropriately to be seen on t.v. (I finished chores just in time to run over to the meeting). She said she would get ahold of me and wanted to come out and see exactly how the proposed venue would affect those of us in our neighborhood.

When I got home and relayed all of the info to My Honey, he was as disgusted as I was about the fact that the only reason we are even having to deal with this crap is because of two guys who have more money than good sense and got into a d**k measuring contest.


The past couple of years, every Spring it seems, I keep coming back around to the subject of conditioning. But, I never seemed to come up with any sort of a set conditioning program.

Well, in my this month's Barrel Horse News, I think I read one of the most down to earth, reasonable conditioning programs for barrel horses I have ever come across. It was written by Lisa Lockhart of Oelrichs, SD...

'...I do a lot of long trotting. I wouldn't say that I keep track of the miles or anything like that, but I try to judge what my horses need by the experience of being an athlete myself. I start out slow and then long trot a lot, and then graduate to loping. In order to make sure their wind is built up, I think you need to lope your horses. Now with that said, it is a proven fact that long trotting exercises more muscles in the horse's body than just loping.

I try to do a lot of riding at both the long trot and the lope. Depending on how rushed I am, I would say that from the time I leave the barn to the time I come back is somewhere between 25 and 45 minutes. Of course, that allows time to warm up just walking and then time for the horse to cool down. You don't want to jump out and start on a stringent exercise program that is too much for your horse. You need to build up to the maximum workout times. Just make sure you incorporate all gaits in your workout.

I also really like to turn my horses out and allow them to have enough pasture time to keep them happy. Turn-out time helps them relax...

...If you're wondering if your horse is in good shape, you need to assess how winded he gets when working out. If you can lope a horse to build their stamina and then, every once in a while, go maybe a quarter of a mile at a faster lope, you are covering your bases. You have to gauge your horse and see how long you have to ride to get him to sweat or get their breathing labored....'

I have always kind of thought the rigid, I do this for this long and that for that long type of conditioning just didn't jive. I suppose that is why I just never could get with 'the program'. Every horse is different and if you try to make each one perform a set standard, you have a good chance of either ending up with a horse that lacks what they need or ending up with an injured horse because you expected too much.

Since I have multiple horses that need rode, I have to focus on getting the most effective workout for each horse, in the most efficient time-frame possible. I also have horses all over the board in terms of condition. If I tried to ride Frosty the same as I do Moon, he would probably fall over from a heart attack. Spooks is getting there, but still he can only take so much. Turk will keep going no matter what and I have to be careful of that because he has been unbalanced for so long, that I don't want to re-injure him or make him unnecessarily sore.

You have to pay attention to what your horse is telling you, but you also have to know your horse. Over-achievers need to be backed off, lazy horses need to be pushed. I ride 4 horses the same mileage every day, but it depends on the horse as to what I ask for in those miles. I have the opportunity to add miles as my horses gain condition, as I have a lot of pretty much endless riding areas within a few miles of my house, but I am not creating endurance horses. I need a horse who has the physical ability to run, rate and turn in short bursts, so that is what I gear my conditioning toward.