pasture dreams

After we sold first crop alfalfa, Brad promptly tilled & seeded the horse's future pasture. We planted a custom seed mix, with no Timothy Grass. Nemo is allergic to it. 

Every time we are on our land, I look out towards what will be the pasture and try to imagine what it will be like...to look out the window and see our horses. Every day. To take care of them. Every day. I miss that. We long for it. It is our dream. 

You have no idea (or maybe you do) what a dream come true being together will be...you know, when our horses are in the land photos. It's been so looong awaited.

view of pastures from our house-to-be
We plan to have two pastures, so we can rotate. Two acres each. Below is what we've discussed to date for the pastures. Same photo with yellow designation added. 

(L-R) The arrow shows the recently planted pasture running north-south. The dotted line shows approximately where the dividing fencing will be. We plan to have a bordering path between the pasture & the rest of the alfalfa field, for access from the barn to our trails. 

The debate is ongoing as to where the auto-waterer & (south facing) shelter will be. On the near edge, in the middle where the two pastures meet ? or closer to the barn is always ideal ? Either way, it will be a duo-purpose shelter/water with swinging gates for access to either pasture. 

What a predicament, how to best access the lower pasture?! One of my pet-peeves is "run in alley's". I will NEVER have one (said with heels firmly dug in). No offense to anyone who has one, they just don't work for me. We have yet to decide which shelter/water placement is the worst of two evils. 

What to do? what to do? In the meantime, I'll just keep dreaming...


gotta love reactions

We just wrapped up show 2 of 4 this season. I've been answering a lot of general questions about shows to non-horse people. The top five things that surprise them the most are:

1) length of the show...five days long - really? Yes, and longer. 

2) points vs awards...
can't believe people show just for points. It's more then that!

3) unpredictable schedule...b
e prepared to wait for hours, possibly into the wee hours...results in a shocked look. 

4) variety of classes...
there are different disciplines/classes/age groups? Duh.

5) many competitors stay overnight on show grounds...yes, trailers can have living quarters

People are so funny. Gotta love their reactions!


On a related note, Brad & Cierra had a good show. They practiced trail during a couple lessons between the first & second show, and it payed off. They took second out of six, under both judges - and earned his first trail point! His ride wasn't perfect, but the pattern was a hard one. I am really proud of him! He is showing against a tough experienced group, who show way more then he does. Most have older horses. Brad & Cierra also picked up 6 more conformation points. Cierra has been dubbed "the diva" by barn mates. 

Here they are doing the trail pattern:


it's hard to say no

When you are tagged in a foal video of Cierra's half sister, because they have similar dispositions, and a breeder/friend you trust gives you first dibs on a special baby horse, it is really hard to say no.

We were not looking for a new horse, but we drove 1.5 hours one way to visit in person anyways. Mostly to visit our friend at her new place & see her kids again. But yes, to see the foal. It had been a good six years since we had seen each other, unless you count a brief encounter at fair. We used to meet for lunch, years ago before life & jobs changed. I thought maybe the foal would sweep my off my feet, and I couldn't live without her. We could possibly board her there, or at our trainers. 

But we came to our senses. We would never see her. The timing just isn't right, and that speaks to me. We are in the middle of building two forever buildings, then moving, along with everything else that needs to happen with our current house, work, and life in the next year. It just wouldn't be fair to anyone, especially this sweet foal.

There were a good 5-6 horses, all three babies, to a two year old, to a broodmare, to the former stallion (foals daddy, was gelded by a different owner before she bought him back) that could have come home with me. I don't know how she does it, her horses are all sweet and good natured. You should see how gentle they are with her little kids, and no - it's not a gimmick. Here is her webpage, they also do horse transportation. I highly recommend them for either.

For those of you into bloodlines, here is the foals & Cierra's dams pedigree. The mare is foundation. Here is the foals stud pedigree. And here are but a few of the photos from our fun, memorable visit...

Yes, I am still trying to get her out of my head. Can you blame me? Next year, there will be a whole new crop of foals - and we will hopefully be settled into our new place. Where we can love on them every single day. Doesn't make it any easier to say no.


one down, three to go

The show season is well underway for many, while others are just getting started. Like Brad.

Cierra has been very looky in the show ring, especially at the main venue. 
She is getting noticeably better, but it is still obvious. Therefore, Brad's trainer wants her to get more show exposure. Brad had made the decision early on to do the same four shows he did last year, and no more. His priority this year is getting our house & barn built. There were other things out of our control that went on for months, and he didn't feel ready for an early start. He simply didn't get enough training time in the saddle.

His trainer took Cierra to an early AQHA show and showed her in three Ranch Classes: Pleasure/Trail/Conformation. We went to watch, and helped care for Cierra. I tried to talk Brad into at least showing her in Conformation, but he wouldn't budge. She came home with a few halter points, and the circuit champ conformation award. It's really nice, but not as meaningful if the classes were larger and Brad had showed his pretty girl. 

Cierra's circuit award
Cierra's second show was in Minnesota. We trucked up to watch the ranch riding classes. It was the only ranch they offered. I don't recall the placings, but it wasn't noteworthy.

One year ago, Brad made his AQHA show debut. I remember he was so nervous you couldn't even talk to him. He didn't remember a thing about his rides and showed Cierra in Conformation for the first time, with zero prep. Surprise! But he did it. 

Fast forward to his first show of this season - at the same venue. What a difference a year makes!! He still has some nerves, but manageable, and is doing flying lead changes. Although Brad's rides weren't perfect and he has things to work on, he also has much to be proud of. Including two first places in Ranch Riding (out of 9 entries) and two firsts in Conformation. They have already qualified for the World Show.

The video above is of his first place ride. You'll notice some transitions need work, and a pole clunk - but don't blink or you'll miss the lead change :)) Speaking of missing, I didn't catch the very beginning, and the end of the pattern (they walk, and back). Everyone watching cheered loudly. I was very happy for him, they've come a long way.

The second set of judges were not Ranch judges, they were Western Pleasure judges. Suddenly the Pleasure horses started winning everything, and all the true extended ranch horses were bringing up the bottom. Go figure. It's far from all about winning, but that was ridiculous.

Any new readers wondering why I don't have photos of Brad showing, it's against AQHA rules. Altho other people do it. I can't. The show photographer who shoots all the shows, got her undies in a bundle last year and complained. Now I get written permission every year from the local organization, just to take photos of my husband and horse during non judged times (insert eye roll). Whatever, I like to keep the peace.

Cierra's trail classes have left something to be desired. Needless to say, they've switched lessons to include trail work. Thank goodness we can finally ride outside, most of the time!