Done! Ever felt like that? Well, Kathy and I do. We are so done.
I came home with the horses and a trailer load of stuff. Kathy agreed to stay behind to make sure that all the boarders were out and happy.
I've thanks some folks here in my blog for making our time in Az. doable. But, the person who has made everything possible, including the move back, is my Sweetie, Kathy. There are no words, that I know, to express how important this lady is in my life. She means the world to me. We will get the trailer unpacked in a couple of days, and we will rest for a few, but we will never talk about the barn or the crap, that we had to put up with, ever again. I am done!
Kathy has gotten invited back to the Tucson Rodeo. So, we will be back there this Feb 15th. If you have ever wanted to see, or buy, any of Kathy's art, that would be a good time.
There are lots of things on the horizon for Kathy and I. The midwest tour, horses coming in for training, Kathy's art shows, so we are more excited then you know. But most importantly, we are together, and home.
I need a drink!
Starr, Jeeps wife, has been an incredible help and support here at the barn. She has been suffering from some back issues the past couple of months, and has not been able to ride. But, she continues to help out here by making sure that the horses get turned out on schedule. She has done a wonderful job making sure that Kathy and I eat regularly.
I once said that Starr has a lot of try, and she does. But, now I can say that both Jeep and Starr have a lot of skill as horseman. they will be able to take what they have learned here and help others they meet down the trail.
Kathy and I are hoping that they will both be able to come to New Mexico and spend some time with us this summer and work with horses there.
I wanted to talk a little bit about my buddy Jeep. He has been here with us from the beginning and he and his wife have, not only been a huge help, but have also been a huge emotional supports.
Jeep, like lots of folks, has been around horses. When he was young his father would have him go and warm up his race horse. Jeep had no clue how to saddle, ride or anything else when it came to horses. I think he was like 12 years old. But, he went out, figured it out and hung on for dear life. I have given him a horse to work that really needed some help and Jeep has always been up for the task. He is a good student and a good friend.
I will miss him.
We are down to 4 days here at the barn. I was hoping that Jeep and Starr would be able to stay one extra day so they would not have to look for a place to camp Friday night. But, looks like that has changed too. They will have to be out on Thursday so they can find a place to put their camper while there is daylight. Kind of sad a guy can't count on much these days.
I had some folks that I've been talking to about training come by the barn with their horses yesterday. Mother and 3 sons. They are a great family and I had a chance to work with them, and their horses, in the arena. Jeep came out and gave me a hand with them and looks like we are going to do that again today.
This is exactly what I had imagined would happen here in time. People would come by and get help with their horses and their horsemanship. It's a little late in the game but helping them is a good distraction for Jeep and I, while we wait out the next 4 days.
I will try to get pictures of our work today. Yesterday we worked on getting a good brake,stop, on our horses. We will see how well we do today.
Well, with 5 days left here at the barn, I find myself trying to remember not to forget anything. Right, me forget?
I've also been thinking about what we've gotten done while we were here. To tell you the truth, more then I thought. I've gotten the chance to work with Jeep and Starr. We've spent a lot of time in the arena and round pen working on their skills as horsemen. We've spent many an hour sharing questions and answers to horse related questions. Because of their instruction, they probably save one of the boarders horse when it had colic. We had talk about what colic looks like in a horse and they read the horses conditions well enough to get him help. Not sure if the boarder appreciated it or not, but I did.
Kathy and I have also had some good friends come and spend the winter here with us and help us out during this transition. Skip and Sue have been a huge help while I've had to go back and forth to NM to move 6 months worth of stuff in 2 weeks. Not sure what we would have done without all of them.
I've also been able to help, at least one of the boarders here and her horse. Lori and Tess. Lori has become a good friend to us here as well. Kathy and I are hoping that she will get a chance to come visit us in NM.
So all in all, we have accomplished more then I thought. Jeep and I will be starting a colt or two this summer I hope. Rocky one of our boarders here has offered to bring me a couple horses to work. He's at least willing to give a guy a shot and I appreciate that.
So, we are starting the count down to being out of here.
This change here at the barn has cause Kathy and I to look at what we can do. At our ages there are not a whole lot of companies knocking at our door to be of assistance. I'm hoping that Kathy will have time to focus on her writing and her art and we can find an outlet for both. Music is about all I know, besides horses, so that's what I'm going to put a little more focus on. The great thing about music is it's something that Kathy and I can do together. She is a heck of a bass player. I just call her "The Band". I've already booked several shows back in the midwest that will keep us busy in April and maybe parts of may. Will be working on Colorado in the spring. I'll share more of that stuff as we get around to it.
I'm still going to focus on horses as well. I have a fella here who is going to bring me 3 or more horses in the spring to start for him so am excited about that.
I've met a lot of really nice folks thru horses. Don't want to give that up just yet.
Well, 9 days left till Kevin, the cow dog, and I head for the mountains of New Mexico. I think the days are passing just as fast, or slow depending on how you look at it, as they always have. But, I sure wish it would move faster. I'm like a little kid who's parents tell him he has to wait an hour before he can go outside. Seems like that hour last a life time.
I'm pretty sure that some of the folks around the barn feel the same way. Some of them have found other barns to go to, but I know of a few that haven't. Kathy and I are hoping that they will all find good places for themselves and their horses.
One thing I have always admired about horses, is their honesty. I have worked with a lot of horses that had little use for humans. Maybe it was because of how humans had treated them in the past, or, it was just part of their nature. I don't know. But, they were always honest about it. They did not pretend. If they are afraid, they tell you. If they don't trust you, they tell you. They give a guy a chance to explain to the horse who he really is. For some horses their fears, or lack of trust, is proven true when the humans starts to work with them. But sometimes, what the horse was afraid of or, suspicious of, is proved wrong. He sees that, this human, is not like others he has encountered in the pasted, and the horse opens up and learns to trust the human.
I've always loved that about the horse. He is willing to give you, at least, a chance.
Went to the hospital with Sue and Starr yesterday, to see the boarder that was in the accident the other day. Goodnews. She has no spinal cord damage. She was in good sprits and is talking about the next time she can be with horses. She realizes that she needs a good solid horse to begin with. No more colt starting for her.
My good pard and Canada's world famous rodeo clown, Lee Bellows, sent a little deal that made this statement. Most people don't need a $35,000 horse. What they need is a $1000 horse and $34,000 worth of training. It sounds wrong but it could not be closer to the truth. Most people are more worried about how much their horse cost, to impress others I guess, then they are in how much their horse knows.
Not much going on here at the barn. I'm just counting down the days till we are out of here. One of the boarders is going to bring me a few of his horses to start and train for him. His name is Rocky and he has been very kind to me. He has a lot of experience with horses and operations like ours here and understands the pressure and pit falls of a deal like this. I'm very excited to get the chance to show him what we can do to help him and his horses.
A week from this friday will be our last day here at the barn. I was back in NM over the weekend getting hay for our horses. I had let the hay run out cause we were thinking that we would have them all here by now. Anyway, got that done and a few things fixed up while I was home. Will be nice to get back. Not worrying about what the future will bring. Kathy and I are sure we will be fine.
I want to thank all of you for your support and good wishes. Means a lot to both of us.
While I was gone from the barn there was a pretty bad accident. One of the boarders, who is new to horses and new to riding, was working with her "trainer" when the horse went into a canter. The rider fell off and hit the pipe rail fence. She is in the hospital with broken ribs and 5 broken vertebra. She will be in the hospital for a long time I'm afraid. Will go and see her in the hospital this morning.
You have heard me say here in this blog, that it's not if, but when, you get hurt. It's going to happen, the getting hurt part, so the key is doing everything you can to minimize your hurt. To limit it to minor things. When a person hires a trainer, they are hoping that the trainer will have their best interest at heart. And, you hope that, that trainer has more concern for you, the human, then the horse. This accident did not need, or should have, happened. This rider had only been on this horse twice that I know of and only being led, in hand by the trainer. I had only seen the trainer ride this horse twice, and only at a walk. And, those times that the trainer rode the horse were the first and second time, the horse has ever been ridden. I don't know much, as some of you will attest, but I do know that, green on green makes black and blue.
Now the owner who got hurt, should have known better then to even be riding this horse. But, maybe she didn't. Maybe she was counting on her trainer to tell her when she was ready. Maybe the trainer thought the rider was ready. But, surely she should have known that the horse, only have been ridden less then 5 times in its life, was not ready for an inexperienced rider. I wasn't there so I did not see the accident. But, some of my hands did.
I'm often asked, "how much should I spend on a horse"? My answer is: Take a look at the horse. Have the owner ride the horse. Then ask yourself: "How much is this horse going to cost me in hospital bills"? Then take that money and go buy yourself a horse that is well trained and a good match for you. Yes, it's going to cost you more money than a green, never ridden horse, but it's going to be a lot less then the hospital bill.
Took Car, the horse, out for a little ride yesterday. I have not ridden in the wash sense I got here, and now I know why. This country is covered up with people and houses. You would be riding a long and then, all of a sudden, your on pavement in a neighbor hood. Still, it felt good to be out and be horse back.
Things here at the barn have, well, become difficult. All of the boarders were told that they would have to have their horse out by the end of the month, just like us. The scoop is that they, the owners, are going to close the barn down completely. That is a very sad development. It's is such a beautiful place. The problem with everyone being force out of the barn is, it will be difficult for all of them to find places to put their horses. Some need to have a stable close to where they live and need full care. Not every barn in the area offers full care.. Anyway, it's sad.
I have started to try and book gigs around the house in NM and some friends back in Oklahoma have offered to do a house concert for me whenever I'm ready. Have also had a few emails about wanting to do some sort of clinic when I get home. So, things are looking good.. Chin up right?
Will try and keep you updated with info on what the heck I'm doing with horses and music.