Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider

Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider
Click on Logo (Original artwork by Lanie Frick for Messick Quarter Horses. Not permitted to be copied)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sunday Still “TEXTURE”

This week’s Sunday Still’s challenge is “TEXTURE”. I should have gone outside to take some pics of horsey things around the barn. I thought of old, cracked leather. Or old barn wood. Or the shagginess of winter manes. Maybe the suede seat of the saddles.

But instead, I stayed inside and took pics of the family room. The softness of the ultra suede couch. The fluffiness of the carpet. The unevenness of the textured walls.

And I stayed warmer inside! Maybe next week I’ll venture outside!

Check out the photos at pictures by brenda.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Man in the Moon

Or Woman in the Moon? You can see a pattern of some sort in the play of bright and dark markings across the moon's face.

This, the first full moon of the year, is known as the Old Moon. Other names are Wolf Moon, Moon After Yule, and Ice Moon. In Hindi it is known as Paush Poornima. Its Sinhala (Buddhist) name is Duruthu Poya..

The full moon is particularly appealing at this time of year when it rises just around sunset and rides high in the southern sky most of the night. In fact the moon will appear almost full tonight and Saturday night, too.

Tonight's full moon will be the biggest and brightest full moon of the year, with easy-to-see features on the moon. Tonight it will be about 14 percent wider and 30 percent brighter than lesser full Moons of the year. This being the first full moon of 2010, it is also known as the wolf moon, dating back to Native American culture and the notion that hungry wolves howled at the full moon on cold winter nights. Each month brings another full moon name.

This moon will be biggest moon of the year. The moon is, on average, 238,855 miles (384,400 km) from Earth. The moon's orbit around Earth – which causes it to go through all its phases once every 29.5 days – is not a perfect circle, but rather an ellipse. One side of the orbit is 31,070 miles (50,000 km) closer than the other.

So in each orbit, the moon reaches this closest point to us, called perigee. Once or twice a year, perigee coincides with a full moon, as it will tonight, making the moon bigger and brighter than any other full moons during the year.

As a bonus, Mars will be just to the left of the moon tonight.

Look for the reddish, star-like object.

The moon does have some odd effects on our planet,

A full moon at perigee, it's closest point to Earth, also brings higher ocean tides. This tug of the moon on Earth also creates tides in the planet's crust, not just in the oceans.

In reality, there's no such thing as a full moon. The full moon occurs when the sun, Earth and the moon are all lined up, almost. If they're perfectly aligned, Earth casts a shadow on the moon and there's a total lunar eclipse. So during what we call a full moon, the moon's face is actually slightly less than 100 percent illuminated.

Finally, be sure to get out and see the full moon as it rises, right around sunset.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Back to the Cold

2 weeks in the heat and sun ca me to an end. I know, I know, tough life! But to arrive Saturday at midnight, which wasn’t bad temp wise, considering the time of day. Then to wake to a 22 degree wind the next morning, life is tough!

Tom went out to the barn about 8:30 to feed dogs and cats, and he said it was nice out. We had egg sandwiches for breakfast and sorted mail into 4 piles! Garbage/junk mail, magazines, bills, and paperwork to look at. After an hour, we decided to go put put out new round bales for the horses for the week.

The large lot with 9 horses had 5 round bales for the past 2 ½ weeks. They still had about ½ a round bale left. That was good planning. They definitely didn’t go hungry.

Tom starting filling the large water tank as I started graining the horses to keep them preoccupied while we opened and closed the gate. Tom got the first round bale, and as I opened the gate for him, I felt the wind. Out in the open, it was cold enough to turn away from the wind coming out of the north. Brrrr We got the 2nd round bale out and covered with the round bale feeder. The water tank was full so I drained the hose to drag it to Duke’s water tank.

Our stud, Duke, is in the round pen in a lot by himself.

During the storms at Christmas time, the snow drifted his gates shut. We gave him 12 square bales of brome hay for 13 days, thinking he would eat about ¾ bale/day. He is 16 hands and runs around his lot, so he is constantly hungry! The past 2 weeks had enough nice days, and a recent day of rain, that enough snow melted to open the gate. I started the water to his water tank and grained him. Tom backed in with a round bale for him and we had it covered before Duke was done with his grain.

During this whole time, my 2 dogs, Lady, the Springer Spaniel,

and Posie, my Austalian Shepherd,

ran all over the place, enjoying their play time! They were so excited to see us, wanting to be petted, and chased after snow balls that I threw, and run after sticks.

Driving to town yesterday, I realized that I hadn’t driven for 2 ½ weeks. I haven’t been cold for 2 ½ weeks. I haven’t worked fort 2 ½ weeks. I know, tough life!

But I also realized that I hadn’t seem my grandbabies in 5 weeks, since the weekend before Christmas! My high temp and cough kept me from seeing Jacob, Amber and Caden during Christmas and New Years weekend.

We were able to visit with them and Micah on Sunday, and had cheese steaks for lunch! Yummy

We will get to see Sara, Jake and Makenzie

next Thursday, when we meet up in Chicago as we fly to Pennsylvania to visit our parents and the kid’s grandparents. We are so excited to be going!

But once again, 1 day of colder air, and I was coughing. I kept coughing in the evening while I was away, but the cough is worse with this colder air. I am getting tired of coughing for a month already. We’ll see what the doctor says today, as I scheduled an appointment for today. The doctor told me I just have irritation in my bronchial airways due to the bronchitis and put me on a steroid inhaler and more prescription cough syrup. I'm ready for this cough to be over! It's been more than 4 weeks now!

Time to get busy with organizing my QH business, and schedule lessons, training and clinics. I have 2 more months to clearance out the items from the tack store. I better start getting things advertised on Craig’s List and Ebay!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Sunday Stills "SPORTS" and Macro Monday "CACTUS"

Sunday Still's challenge was "SPORTS".

More photos at pictures by brenda.

This week’s Sunday Still’s challenge is sports. Since my husband and I have been on vacation, this one would be tricky to get some new shots. But then he found a teenager to play basketball with him! He was in his glory, especially since he won the first day. But the teenager’s competitive spirit came back with a vengeance, he played hard, and won. Actually, they played for the next 4 days, and the teenager won most of the games! But Tom sure had fun.

Tom even talked me into playing “horse” the last day. I didn’t stay in the game very long. It has been too many years since I played basketball in high school. I guess I better start practicing.

My husband, Tom, had many years of practice with our 2 boys, Jacob and Micah, and daughter Sara, now out of their teenage years. He thinks he still has style. I know he still has a competitive spirit! He loves being able to keep up with teenagers!

For Macro Monday, I did closeups of some cactus.

View the other photos at:

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Arikok National Park, Aruba

The 2nd week of vacation flew by. We did less and the time went faster! How can that be? And we were more tired! I think 1 night I went to bed at 8:30 because I just couldn’t keep my eyes open. The downside of going to bed so early was that I woke up at 3:30 then 5:30. AM! When I woke the 2nd time, I got up!

We went to see the sunrise again, early one morning. We shopped downtown at the port. Tom can’t get over how large the ocean liners are! Here is a picture of one at night. We went to see another sunset! They are just beautiful!

Most days, we walked the beach in the morning. The last day, we walked 2 ½ miles. With my cough, I was only about to do a mile the first week, then I was tired.

We were at the pool, laying on lounge chairs, from 2-4 hours a day. A few evenings, we went back to the beach. The days can be extremely hot, but the wind starts blowing as the sun goes down, making the beach at sunset a little chilly.

The island of Aruba is only 19 miles long and 6 miles wide. It is hard to get lost, but not impossible, as some of the roads twist and turn, coming to many intersections, with NO road signs!!! A map makes a trip slightly easier to navigate, but not by much!

Goats on the hillside - look close!

We drove through the Arikok National Park, which encompasses 1/5 of the island. Enjoy some of the scenery and animals.

Aruba reminds me of the desert of Arizona!

Large cacti!

Some starting to flower,

Maybe a little more green areas!

And with an ocean in the background!

Lizards are everywhere.

Wild burros,


and cute kids.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Ed, of Sunday Stills, writes the week’s photo challenge, “This will take a bit of explaining. This challenge is for you to get a shot that enables a response in the person who views your pic, not one that is your personal emotion. For example if I see a pic of a tranquil stream or a sunrise I feel mellow, If I see a pic of doggie smiles or a horse doing his rolling in dirt thing It makes me smile, you get the idea. So lets see just how much talent we have out there and have some fun with this one, I’m already writing ideas in my notebook for pics and can’t wait to get started. Later…Ed”

I instantly thought of the sunsets here in Aruba. I also thought of the ocean waves hitting the sand. I thought of the sailboats on the ocean. All bring me a sense of relaxation, peace, and contentment.

See the other photos at pictures by Brenda.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Animal Life at the Beach

We moved to our other room at the resort today. We are in the same building, just on the other side and the 2nd floor. We are actually back behind a corner and secluded. It should be a very quiet spot. We get the afternoon sun which is hot at 3 pm. Maybe we’ll see the sunset!

Laying out at the pool, we get to see some iguanas.

Tom thinks they look like mini dinosaurs!

The big iguana is going to chase the green one after the rocks.

The bright green iguana is very green.

At the beach, there are seagulls

and pelicans.

They are a little ugly up close!

But I do like how they look sitting on old posts that are out in the ocean!

When we drove to the lighthouse to see the sunrise, birds were perched on top of a cactus!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Vacation Time


Saturday, January 9
Yes, week one. This is the first year that we are able to take 2 weeks of vacation at 1 time. And in the middle of winter! Tom and I have such a hectic schedule in the late fall and early winter that when New Years is over, we need time to regroup. Then the craziness starts again for him until Easter is over, but not nearly as bad as the Christmas Season. For those of you who don’t know, Tom works for a ham processing plant, and 2-3 months before Christmas is constant work!

Vacation preparations were being finalized during our last snow storm, and 2 days of being drifted in, which just happened to be the 2 days before we were going to leave. I was chomping at the bit! I wanted to get out of there. But how, if we couldn’t drive out the roads? Luckily, the grader went, we went to town, we came home and packed, we parked out back, and we left early, early the next morning, without sleep, and got out the country roads. Then I needed sleep!

Saturday, Jan 9, 4 am arrived at Omaha airport. Tom dropped me off in front, helped me carry in luggage, and went to park. Luggage consisted of 2 luggage bags, one for each of us which wasn’t bad considering we are going to be away for 2 weeks. Some people say to pack less and do wash. WRONG! I’m on vacation and I’m not doing wash! We had 1 bag filled with food, and another bag ½ filled with food and with other odds and ends - extra shoes, light jackets, books to read. We never take the chance of all of our luggage arriving at the same time, so we split our clothes up into the 3 clothes bags. We bring breakfast and lunch food for almost every day as it is cheaper to pay the rate for an extra bag ($30 x 2 bags) then to buy all our food in Aruba. Food is about 1 1/2 -2 times more expensive here! We went to a grocery store the other day to compare, as we thought if we can buy our food for the extra $60, we wouldn’t bring food next year. A can of soup that costs $1 in the US, costs $3 here. We bought hamburger to make chili, 1# was $6.50 Florin (Aruba currency), which is about $3.67 US. Chocolate chip cookies were almost $9 Fl, which is almost $5 US. I guess we will bring food and only buy essentials. I don’t know how the Arubians manage, as they don’t make a high income.

A shuttle brought him back in about 15 minutes, and we waited in line for about another 15 minutes until the ticket windows opened at 4:30. I thought that was cutting it close for a 6 am flight, but we were to our gate within the hour, after going through security. We left Omaha on time, then had a delay in Chicago. We weren’t worried about the delay, as we had a direct flight to Aruba. The only problem was that it put us into Aruba 1 ½ hours late, and cutting into our vacation time!

We checked in, unpacked, ate a light supper at the resort hotel, and enjoyed a cup of coffee in the early evening at the pool side. We crashed at about 9 pm that first night, sleeping until about 7!

Sunday, January 10
Breakfast orientation at our resort. Last year, breakfast was a free buffet, but this year we had to pay. Bummer!

We went to the outside flea market, which is some of the same vendors that are set up permanently down town at the pier. We bought outfits for Makenzie and Caden that matches Grandma and Pop’s! Cute!
We walked the beach from 2-4. Went back to the outdoor flea market and bought bar-b-que ribs! We made a side dish of flavored rice. The ribs were delicious!
We relaxed with our first Aruba Ariba rum drink at the pool side! Nice!

Monday, January 11
Relaxed in the morning. I caught up with my blogging.

After lunch, we went to the beach to lay out on a lounge chair. The sun went behind clouds that afternoon. A resort consultant came by and asked if we wanted to tour the Divi Resort. Even though it would take an 1 ½ hour out of our afternoon, the day was overcast and we wouldn’t see any more sun. We also would earn 2 dinner passes, one for $100, and one for $50. We thought that was a good deal. We listened to the talk, said no thank you, thanks for sharing the info, and that’s the info we need. The resort actually left us go without hassling us, except the rep didn’t walk us to the door! That was rude of him! lol

We walked the beach after the tour. After supper, we enjoyed a cup of, sitting at the pool.

Tuesday, January 12

We woke up at 6:30 and went to see the sunrise at the lighthouse.


We came back to visit with the resort rep here at this facility, to hear what was new. We laid out at the pool until 2, then went to walk at the beach for an hour.

We came back to the resort’s welcome time with free snacks and rum drinks.

Fruit punch and rum drinks! Delicious!

Wednesday, January 13
Did a little bit of computer work. Pool time from 10-noon.

We went out at 2 but the clouds were out again. We decided to go downtown to the port and window shop. We went through the jewelry shops. That is always fun to do!

Thursday, January 14
We did a little bit of computer work. We knew we weren’t going to the beach today, so we went in the morning for a walk. We walked almost 2 miles. Tom has a pedometer and we are checking how far we walk each day. I feel that we walk a whole lot further than the gauge tells us that we walk!

We enjoyed the pool from 10-noon and 2-4.
We had a dinner cruise schedule for tonight and left about 5:30 for a 6-10 cruise.

We enjoyed the sunset at 6:15-6:30, then a dinner of barb-q-que steak kabobs and chicken. There was a dance while we cruised.

Tom and I enjoyed the top deck for awhile, watching the lights of the resorts. We were about 1/8 mile out from the coast, but far enough out to see some fish jumping.

Friday, January 15
Today, once again, I did some catching up with reading some blogs. My daughter, Sara has a blog and wrote about her animals! She had me laughing with their antics! My DIL, Amber, has a blog and wrote about Caden’s last Dr appt and how he does not want to sleep through the night. Oh, motherhood is bliss!
We enjoyed laying around the pool from 11-1,

had lunch, and then pool time from 3-5.
After a quick snack, we walked the beach and enjoyed the sunset!

What beautiful colors!

Tomorrow, we change rooms for our 2nd week here. This week has gone by so extremely fast that if we were leaving in the morning, which we have always done, it would seem like we just got here. I’m looking forward to our 2nd week. We have to redeem those 2 dinner meals!

The end of the first week! More to come soon!


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