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, December 24, 2011

Christmas Thoughts

            Tonight is the night of our Dear Saviour’s birth.  Even my 3 year old granddaughter, who just had her 3rd birthday 2 weeks ago, knows that tomorrow is Jesus’ birthday.  Sometimes, Makenzie seems like a big girl, and sometimes, she seems like she is still a toddler.  But no matter what her age, she knows the Christmas story.

            Christmas Eve services are traditional. And I love traditions.   Christmas decorations.  Christmas trees.  Christmas carols.  Christmas Eve service.   Christmas with family.  Christmas cookies and pies.  Homemade Christmas.

            Christmas is about love, peace, joy and hope.  Jesus brings all of this to us. Not in presents, but in His presence.  Not in crowds, but in a child’s laughter.  Not in busy-ness of the Christmas season with cards, and cooking, and traveling, but taking that time and enjoying family.  And not with what is, but with what is to come.

We find this love, peace, joy and hope when we are with people who think the same Christian way as us.  Who go out of their way to be friendly and outgoing and accepting of who you are.  We need to find that in the people who we chose to be our friends.  We need to do as Jesus did.  We need to befriend those who want to be our friends, even though their ways are unacceptable.  Through Christian love, we can show others the true meaning of being a follower of Christ.

We need to find the peace within us to spread that peace to others.  Only then, can we truly spread Jesus’ words to others.  Peace within our souls, hope to move on to what we need to do, of what God calls us to do.  The joy of sharing.  The joy of doing what God intended for us to do to be truly happy.  And the LOVE of doing for others.  The LOVE of doing what we truly LOVE to do.

And only through God’s LOVE do we truly understand the meaning of Christmas.

The baby Jesus who was born to us, in the City of David, a long, long time ago.  A baby, wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.  A stable with cows, and sheep, and I pray, horses.

And as you go to your Christmas Eve services and to your Christmas morning services, feel the love of the Christ Child warm your hearts.  Feel his peace and love, and spread that to others around you.  Spread the hope of the coming New Year that God has planned for you.

The baby Jesus brings us the peace of the Christmas season that we are looking for.

Merry Christmas, everyone.


Sunday, December 18, 2011

When a Friend Hurts Because They Lost a Horse

This is an email that I just sent to a friend, because she lost a special horse:

I just read on HT's that you are having a hard time and I am so, so sorry for your sorrow. Right now, tears are streaming down my face as I think about how much your heart hurts, and as I think about Finny.  All I can say is that you will hurt for a long time, so cry as often as you can.

You will hurt for a long time and I think everyone needs something different to get over this hurt. I can't get over all the pain, and every time I think about this, my chest tightens, and there is a big lump in my throat, and my eyes water or there are tears. Finny is gone over 2 years now. And it hurts. Very much.

And it's ok to hurt, and to cry. And only you will know when it's time to say...   I need to get over this and move on. Pets die. Horses die. People die. We all know this. But we hurt so much when we lose those special ones. I've just now told myself to move on and get a horse who will make me happy. I've just started looking at the rest of my own horses differently, as they do make me smile now.

I think I'll always be sad because Finny died. And now tears are really streaming down my face. My heart hurts so much because he is gone. I know how much your heart hurts. and I'm so, so sorry that you have to go through this pain.

But God gives us these special horses for a reason, and then he takes them home to be in his special stable. I'm praying that the angels are riding Finny and Red and Ginger, and all the others who have gone before them, and are enjoying them very much.

Maybe a little girl is up in Heaven, with that special horse that she has always wanted. And now I'm smiling, and my heart doesn't hurt. I'm smiling as I see Finny loping across those heavenly clouds with a little girl on his back, and she is laughing. Maybe you can have a special thought of Red in Heaven with a new special owner.

Please call if you ever need to. Many of us understand. We will all go through this because there are many of us with a special horse who have left us. 

Now as I think more about this, this is what has helped me to get over Finny:

Maybe what I am going through will help someone else.  God has put this hurt in my heart and soul for a reason, and I pray that I can help someone else.  Why else would we hurt so much?

There are many of us that hurt like this when we lose our special horse.  That really hasn't helped me to get over the pain, just to realize that many others understand the pain.

God wouldn't want me have this sorrow forever and to not share my love of horses and of riding by not riding.  And by not being excited about horses.  This is what is helping me the most.  God would want me to move on and to keep my love of horses alive.

The movie, The Christmas Hope, is on and it's about a mother and father who lost their son 2 years ago (in the movie). The Grandmother just told the mother that she can choose joy or despair, and to choose joy.  Maybe that is what I am going through, and everyone else who has lost a horse.  We need to choose how we feel.  And all at once, I don't feel sad, and I don't have tears, and all I'm hearing on the tv is to have joy.

There are many angels around us.  God speaks to us in so many different ways.  It's been 2 years since hubby and I have gone to church regularly (and not because of Finny).  We have a deep belief.  Today we went to church.  And now God is speaking to me through this friend and through this movie.

All I know is it is time to move on, to choose to love horses, to choose to ride, to choose to help others learn.  That is what I need to do.  I think Finny would want me to keep riding, even if it isn't him.  He would want me to continue where we ended.

I had the thought the other day that I will continue what Finny and I were doing, and take that training and move on to the next young horses.  I will work with other horses with what I've learned from riding Finny, but more importantly, what Finny has taught me.

God is with us and guiding us through our sorrow.  He will show us the way out and the way to happiness, to contentment, and to peace.

May the spirit of the Christmas Season be with you ... forever.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Our Most Recent Graduate

Micah graduated from college last night. He majored in Land Surveying and Civil Engineering.  He is going to work full time for the company that he interned with theis summer.  In this economy, that is great that he has a job right out of college!

Love the tie!

Hubby, Micah and I

Amber, Micah and Big Brother Jacob

Lots of graduates!

Congratulations, Micah.  We are proud of you!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Exercise and Sore Muscles

Snap Fitness

Oh, yeah, a little bit of something different lets you know where you are not in shape.
Hubby and I went to Snap Fitness today.  I just love their machines.  They have really good equipment that will work every muscle in your body.  Just ask my upper back muscles.  Sorry, don’t have those memorized yet.
            Oh, and the ab machine is going to hurt the body.  That is the area that needs to decrease in size.  Did you know that you are to alternate using the upper body machines (chest and arms) and the lower body machines (legs), but you can use the ab machine every day?  I guess that is a good thing, as I need to lose about 2” of something that happened to my middle.

            I think I’m in shape.  All we did today was 10 reps on each machine, just to get the weight that would be where we would work from.  Then about 3 hours later, my upper back muscles started to tell me that they were stressed.

            My legs are strong.  My arms need some work.  Not my arms, but my pushing power.

            How can that be when we work these horses, lunging these saddles, throwing this hay, and we are at 5# on some of these weights?

Do I need to say… wimpy, wimpy, wimpy?

            It makes me feel good when I can do 50- over 100# on the leg machines!!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Click for a larger image

Duke is my 14 year old stud, a 1997 bay by Blues Grand Lady “Blackie”, a mare that is a daughter of Boston Blue Boy and a granddaughter of Boston Mac.  His sire is Good Asset, a son of Zippos Mr Good Bar and a grandson of Zippo Pine Bar.  On the maternal side of the stud’s lineage, he goes back to Miss Rebel Rita and Top Rebel.  On the dam side, his maternal side out of Grand Lady by Grand Duke by Gold Mount.

Duke was a wonderful weanling, yearling, and 2 year old. I started riding him as a 2 year old, and he was so easy to start and ride. He was so well mannered. That year, we kept him in with a pen with geldings to keep him socialized with horses.

The year Duke turned 3, he found his testosterone.  He went to a trainer for Quarter Horse Hunt Seat training. He traveled slow enough to go western, but his long legs made him pass every other horse in the arena, giving the perception that he was going too fast.  He was just traveling true, but with forward impulsion, not what you saw 10 years ago and still not what you see today. When will that western pleasure world change?

Anyways, he was shown in Hunt Seat, in Open and Amateur classes.  Sara was out of her youth years, and showed and placed with him in her Amateur classes. I wished we knew then, what we know now, because I think we could have gone so much further with him. Isn’t that always the case?

Duke became our stud, and we started breeding our mares, who were by Deck of Stars. We bred to a few other of our mares, as well as to some outside mares.

Then the market crashed, and I started breeding every 2 or every 3 years. Two of the 3 kids were out of college and married, and the 3rd was beginning college. My helpers were out of the house. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do all the winter and summer work by myself.  100 degrees to 0 degrees work.  What a difference in temps. I wasn’t sure that I wanted to have a lot of young horses to start by myself.

Throughout the years, I rode Duke off and on, a few times each year. I love his big lope. He is so deep in his stride. And it is so smooth.  As I look at him now, at age 14, except for his thicker stud neck, his conformation is perfect. For a tall, 16 hand horse, he has a relatively short back for his size.  When he lopes, it’s amazing.

And I should start riding him more. He is very responsive. I feel good when I ride him. He makes riding easier. He probably is the horse I’ve enjoyed riding the most, even more than Finny and Shaggy. I was going to geld him a few years ago, but then I wouldn’t have my 3 year old Duster and the 2 weanlings, Dove and Fawn.

Now, I am done having foals for a while. I have enough young horses. And that is the reason I’ve decided to geld him now. Duke went to the vet on Monday. He is my gelding now. I look forward to riding him with my Centered Riding principles and in Dressage lessons.

I hope the testosterone leaves his body and mind.  The vet says to correct him for every little bit of bad manners.  We started that on the day after his gelding. On the day of his gelding, he laid down and slept, all laid out like a newborn foal. The next day, there was very little swelling, and he was ready to move! I think he is going to heal fast. I have my Dressage horse.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Pigs go to Market

Last day with the pigs was last Thursday. Look how big they are!

Lots of grain those last couple of days.

Lots of porkchops.

and lots of hams!

The weanlings got used to seeing the pigs!

Tom and Mike herding up the pigs!

Out of the pen, heading to the trailer. Only 1 pigs got on top of the hay bales!

The pigs spend the night in the trailer, before their ride to the meat locker!

We'll have lots of pork, sausage and ham next week!
Freshly smoked Christmas Ham!!!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

First Snow

Our first snow of the year came yesterday, all day yesterday. First, the precipitation came in the form of 40 degrees and rain. Then temps started dropping and the rain got thicker. For a while, what came down melted. Then it started sticking to the car, then to the roads, and by evening, I think we got at least 5”.

I came home from town and the roads were slushy. With temps just at 32 degrees, the roads were just getting slick. I drove slower, and there sure are a lot of poor drivers out there. They just need to pass, then are only slightly in front of you!

Anyways, I get home and hubby and I head out to do chores.  We only had about an hour before dusk.  We wanted to open up the stud’s area to make it larger and to get him into a lean-to. That meant we had to move his water tank to an area closer to an electrical outlet for the water heater.  Luckily, the water in the tank was low enough to dump.

After it was scrubbed out, we moved it closer to the gate, put the heater into it, and now he has a tank of fresh water.

We left the dogs outside during this time, to play in the snow.  We fork hay back into the round bale feeders, and by doing so it’s amazing how much hay is saved. When hubby went to fork the large lot, he came back to say they needed another round bale. Great, now we are fighting dark.

We switched the bucket on the tractor to the spear, hubby gets a round bale and I opened the gates. I should have known the horses were a little hungry by the way they were running around. But their feeder still had some hay, so I think the cooler air and snow was making all of them feel “like young kids” again.

We actually put out 2 round bales, and we’ve learned to put them end to end. Then we put 2 empty round bale feeders on each of the other ends so that the horses don’t pull out too much hay and stomped it into the snow, mud, whatever. So actually, there are 4 round bale feeders in a row, with the middle 2 feeders with the new round bales in and the end 2 feeders are empty. Then we fork the loose hay into the end feeders. Horses are happier that they are spread out to eat hay and we are happier when there isn’t so much waste.  Even though it’s a little bit of work once or twice a day, our round bales last a little longer.

Luckily, the bigger tractor also has bigger lights, and we finished in the dark.  I’m loving the tractor we got earlier this spring. It made that trip worth it.  What a trip that was, well actually, 2 trips.

I’m sure tomorrow, hubby will see just how easy our snow removal will be. Our driveway can be filled with snow now, but we won’t have to shovel by hand!

Jumpin for a Birthday Party

We had a great Thanksgiving weekend, which besides that Holiday, was also Christmas time for the kids as this would be the only time everyone will be together. And we also have 2 toddler birthdays, so Birthday Party time also.

We went to a bounce house called Jumpin. The 3 year olds, Makenzie and Caden had so much fun! Afterwards, we went to Build a Bear, since Uncle Micah bought them gift cards as a present. Makenzie got a Rainbow Bear "Rapunzel" and Caden got a German Shepherd "Super Dog".

Enjoy the pics!

SO much fun and so many smiles and giggles!

Tyler hung out with Aunt Sara.

Time for Build a Bear!

Makenzie has a Rainbow Bear being stuffed.

Caden has a German Shepherd Puppy being stuffed.

Tyler hangs out and just keeps chewing on his toys!

SO many choices of outfits.

Dressing Time.

Checking out Time.

Ready to leave with our Bear and Puppy Boxes.

What a fun, fantastic, Family Day!!!


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