Sunday, May 30, 2010

Quid pro quo

My husband and I are planning to start a family.

Quid pro quo
Years ago, I proposed an "agreement" with my husband that for every baby human I produce, I get another horse. Horse trading as child rearing. See won't the kid love me?

The planning stage is going slowly. Meanwhile, I'd been chomping at the bit to get the equine side of the contract fulfilled; window shopping for horses.

My husband took me out on a date on Friday. His birthday was coming up. But I love business negotiations. I'm the queen of used car shopping and yard sale haggling. So I couldn't wait anymore. After a few beers, I thought it was an opportune moment to bring our agreement back up.

"Armani doesn't count?" he asked.

"No - He is a preexisting equine. If you'd read the terms, you would recall that preexisting equines are specifically excluded from our contract."

I already have a horse in mind. Armani's half sister.  You may have read about her birth here.

She's since been given the barn name "Della". She is the last foal out of their dam by the same breeder. She shows all the evidence of being as spunky as her big brother. It was a golden opportunity I couldn't let slip by...

"Wouldn't it be fun? As much fun as Armani, but a mare. I always preferred mares."

My husband sipped his beer thoughtfully. "Hmm..."

"Well and you like cute girls, of course."


"Remember I bought a horse for your birthday a few years ago too. So we've already established a precedent..."


In the meantime, I've been visiting Della every day on my lunch break...

To be continued...

Trouble updating

I had trouble updating my blog. But I have a few stories saved up and am finally going to be publishing them now. Stay tuned....!

Friday, April 30, 2010

My thumb is not a carrot

So I recall when I was little in 4H, they taught us very carefully how to feed treats. We wouldn't want our ponies mistaking little fingers for carrots.

Yes - I know many do not advocate hand-feeding a horse. They have good reasons I'm sure. But I do it anyway. I'm stubborn.

So I was handing Armani a carrot while talking to someone behind me. I turned around and wasn't paying attention. I had my thumb over the carrot. Woops - stupid mistake.


I yell, "OW Armani! That is my thumb!"

Armani looked perplexed. He held on tightly to the pink carrot. The pink carrot splurted blood everywhere. Armani backed away. "Mommy wants to take my carrot!"

"OW! BAD!" I poked my left thumb into the corner of his mouth. He released the pink carrot. Then Armani gave me a "Huh? what?" look.

"Armani, can't you tell the difference? Carrots don't squirt blood!" Most of the flesh was torn off of the knuckle. Of course I didn't visit the doctor. I just smooshed the flesh back in place. Then I taped my thumb up to immobilize it for a couple of weeks.

It has healed pretty nicely actually.

It isn't the first time Armani has mistaken something for a carrot or the first time I've done something dumb.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

What do we do with fences?

We jump fences. SILLY!

It is getting warmer. So our most recent lesson was jumping. Armani was fantastic. Our instructor said it was the best she'd seen him over fences yet. We started over poles. Then in-and-out crossrails. Then they went up to mid-sized verticals by the end.

Armani was very game and enthusiastic. He was even, tight and powerful over the verticals. Though I felt like I need to work more on my core strength. Especially after our little accident.

Sadly no photos. I need to remember to charge my camera next time.

But the real star was the green horse, Mr. Big. Mr. Big is a former stallion prospect (now gelded) who was started late. For a nearly 18hh horse he has the confidence of a mouse. But he is sweet and handsome.

He joined us for our lesson. Armani lead the way. Mr. Big was game to follow him over everything. Except the verticals, which were just for Armani.

I think it was a good confidence building lesson, all around.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Fool me twice...

Happy April Fools Day!

To celebrate, I share with you the trick Armani played on me last week.

I arrived at the barn after a long day at work. It was cold and drizzling. Armani was eating hay in the run-in by the parking lot. Huey was a 5 minute walk, down the road, at the far end of the farm.

Seeing as Huey was further away, and it was raining, I figured I'd ride him first and get that out of the way. I started down the road.

"Whinny!", said Armani.

"Sorry, buddy. Huey's first. I'll ride you after."

I retrieved Huey. We walked back down the road to the barn. As we rounded the turn into the drive I saw Armani. Running towards us. On the WRONG side of the fence.... which was missing a board.

"Whinny! Whinny!"

"Armani!", I scolded. I grabbed him and led both boys into the barn. All the stalls were occupied. I tied them both in the isle. I dislike leaving horses tied alone. "Behave please. I have to fix the fence."

The cold rain soaked through my clothes. I waded through mud. I fell on my butt - twice. I got the fence cobbled back together. I took Armani back out. "Be good!"

I rode Huey in the indoor arena. After 15 minutes, I heard the barn owner's dog barking in the house. I wonder what's up? Perhaps someone is home? I rode Huey to the door and looked outside. Guess who came trotting to me....


...followed by his pasture mate.

Just then the barn owner got home. We shuffled some horses around. Then I put Armani right to work. And after our ride - my bad boy spent the night inside, in "horsey jail". Despite his "sentence", he was very smug.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Beers and Bribery

After our exciting weekend, I anticipated our Monday lesson would be eventful. I showed up to find a hurricane already brewing. There was a driving wind and rain outside. My lesson HAD to be indoors.

A new wall of mirrors was being installed in the indoor arena. But the installation was running over time. A brewski-fueled barn-raising party was in full swing. My instructor, beer in hand already, decided this was a PERFECT time to work over cavalletti.

Our route through the maze is shown in red:

I was resigned and ready for anything. Imagine my surprise when.....

Armani was good.

Really good actually. He was nervous but responsive. He worked excellently over the cavalletti.

"Look at Armani!" I exclaimed, "Good boy!", as we trotted over them.

"Yup! He looks really good today!" My instructor was dipping back into the beer stash. "Why do you think he's so good today - with all this going on", she waved around, "after being such a s#*! this weekend?"

I pondered a moment... "Because I gave him two sugar cubes before I got on?"

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Humble pie

I had sworn my friends to secrecy over our little accident on Saturday.
Armani was full of vitriol again on Sunday. 

My husband was at his parents over the weekend. He was due back Sunday for dinner. Hmm... I couldn't tell him could I?
Now I don't ever feel guilty... Not me. Ever.

I hurried home from the barn. I cleaned up the house. I showered and put on a cute outfit. I made a nice dinner and lit candles. I even made an apple pie.

My husband walked in.

"So, what did you do wrong?"

I admit I confessed.