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Off Topic Topics (HR)

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  • Off Topic Topics (HR)

    I put this here rather than there as it is HR...

    I ventured over to the Off Topic forum and I have come back here feeling, like well, eeew! Seems like the several of the threads start out with something like, "I can't stand.. " or " I can't believe... " and then continue to be pretty cynical.

    There are a few positive threads, and yes I know I can choose not to open the negative ones. Which is exactly what I am doing right now.

    I am not usually a Rainbows and Unicorns kind of girl - Ok, I do like Skittles - but I made a hasty retreat back over here because I just wanted to say:

    I had a wonderful day with my horses. I had time to ride both of them. I am making great strides in riding with my seat instead of my hands. The weather was cold and clear with no wind and lots of sunshine. I was riding with my trainer who is a great friend. She trotted her youngster for the first time under saddle today and then we took her out on her very first trail ride around the farm.

    It was a really good day.

    Anybody else have some Rainbows and Unicorns to share?

  • #2
    Happy for you and a little jealous....


    • #3
      I used to be excited about Off Topic Day, but had the same experience as you, HSH, so I now avoid it like the plauge.

      I have a great story to share. (Well, at least in my mind it's great! Warning - I'm long winded) A few months ago I went to another farm to buy a school horse from a stable that was closing. They tried to sell me both the horse I was interested in plus a little mare that was green and hadn't been worked in months. I have no use for a green, unfit mare so I say no, not interested.

      I go back for the gelding a week later and the little mare is still there. The young lady all but begs me to take her. She's going to auction if I don't. She's out of time and has to vacate the stables. So, being the big softy I am, I end up taking the mare. I didn't ride her first, I didn't see her go - just loaded her on the trailer. Didn't do a vet check, nothing. She had a kind eye so I figured worse case if she was a complete whacko or dead lame I'd do what needed to be done. If she was decent, I planned to put 30 or so days into her and then sell her. I do not really have time or money for another mouth and if she's that green then I can't use her in the school.

      She has turned out to be the.most.lovely.horse.ever. Kind, talented, athletic, pretty, and sound of mind and body. She was much further along in her training than I was led to believe and she is brave. I quite frankly don't have time to ride her, so I handed over her training to one of my good friends and one of my working students. I deliberately do not ride her because I'd never ride any of the other horses! She is just that fantastic.

      Yesterday on Thanksgiving the barn was quiet and I had no lessons to teach. I really wanted to ride, but I didn't feel like dealing with any of the silly youngsters, which is what I've got right now for client horses & my new guy. I just wanted to ride for me for once instead of for the "business". It was a beautiful warm day here in New England and I stood at the back of my barn and looked out at all the paddocks, watching the horses eat their lunch hay peacefully. The little mare caught my eye. I smiled. I knew what to do.

      I brough her in the barn and took my time grooming her. Allowed myself to enjoy that time like I used to before horses were my full time gig and I had only one horse to care for. I put on my helmet and grabbed a bareback pad. I have not ridden bare back in years and years. I have no idea if she'll let me do this or not. I bring her to to the mounting block and climb on. She is patient while I fumble it a bit. I walk her around the indoor a few times and she just goes to work. I left the indoor and headed to our outdoor ring. It is sunny and beautiful and wonderfully quiet. No cars, no people, no nothing. I pick up a trot and she just quietly does what she's supposed to and I practice a training level test on her. I am grinning from ear to ear since I don't fall off. She is patient and lovely with this person who climbs up on her and is not any of her usual riders.

      Now I am feeling brave so I let her wander back towards the barn and holler to one of the girls that I'm going out on the trail and to come find me if the mare comes back alone. I trot her up the hill to the entrance to the woods. I wander through all the trails we have, connected to the horse and nothing else. I find peace I have not had in some time.

      The little mare I didn't want is not for sale at any price.


      • Original Poster

        Wow that's a tear jerker! Great story. Thanks for sharing.


        • #5
          That is so sweet
          When I pull on my boots, I know who I am


          • #6
            What an awesome story! Glad she found you

            I had a great ride on my mare today - I got very little sleep last night and dragged myself to the barn after work, only to have her spin around in circles at the mounting block outside, freaking out at who even knows what. Not having the energy to deal with her in a mood like that, I figured I'd take her to the indoor and see if I could just get her to calm down enough to walk around for a little bit. Well doesn't she just settle right down and start coming onto the bit and working properly (something we've been working on all summer and fall) and we have the best calm, balanced canter that I've had in weeks! Normally she struggles inside because the footing is springy and deeper than she's used to at our previous barns, so she gets quick and scrambley especially on the short sides. So that was my rainbows and unicorns moment for the day!


            • #7
              OP, great story and reading it made my day.

              Yesterday my youngest daughter came out fox hunting with me. Much like your mare above, my daughter rode the mare I bought 9 years ago for $600. I bought her to be tool for a year then was going to sell her once the task I needed her for was done. I never sold her. We keep asking her to try new task and each time she just happily trucked on so 9 years went by.

              The mare has been retired since 2010 and has been ridden about 3 times since then. I know the last time she was ridden was in September of '11 when my son in law was home on RR from Iraq and he rode her down the road and around our rural bloack. She gave him some peace and quiet in the short time away from hell on earth that he had.

              Yesterday she packed my daughter safely on the hunt as though she was hunting regularly twice a week like she use to do. Sure, we kept a hawk eye on her and didn't navigate some of the trappy terrain choosing easy go arounds instead. The mare ain't fancy, she's cute. She wouldn't last a New York minute on a high powered hunt but for day of light hunting with a kiddo that hasn't ridden herself in two years she was just the ticket.

              We are so lucky to have these kind critters in our worlds and I never take them for granted.


              • #8
                SLW- I can't wait until I can foxhunt with my daughter (she's about to turn four now )

                My story to share is not quite as heart-warming, but I am just so enthralled with my horse these days. I bought her for a song as an unbroken 2yr old out of a frozen field in upstate NY because she had an awesome walk and a great pedigree, and the owner was having a fire-sale to raise money to buy some land. I drove 6 hours north with an empty trailer and cash in my pocket in January, watched this 2yr old get ponied around the field, and told them to put her on the trailer. She walked right on and trailered home without a peep.

                7 yrs later... I foxhunted her on Wed and she galloped as boldly and politely as you could want, jumping right behind the masters in first field. On Thurs, the very next day, she gave my 2 yr old son and 4yr old daughter a pony ride, and walked around like a 30 yr old cart horse with ears at half-mast (and no, not just because she was tired from hunting! ) One of the masters asked me if she was for sale as he is looking for a new horse, and I said no- not for any price.
                ~Living the life I imagined~


                • #9
                  Rainbows and unicorns?

                  I have a new horse! I've had him about 10 days. And I adore him!
                  I have a Fjord! Life With Oden


                  • #10
                    I'll share mine, but it doesn't have to do with the horses!

                    my rainbow of the week?? my husband came home from the hospital in time to make the gravy for Thanksgiving dinner!

                    he has a relapse of mantle cell lymphoma that he's been getting some heavy chemo treatments for, and developed a fever last Sunday night, so I had to take him to the hospital, he was admitted and they couldn't find out what was causing the fever, so they couldn't let him come home. We stressed all week about what to do, what to do, and even the day before Thanksgiving, the infectious diseases DR said "No, he won't be home tomorrow, I'm sorry".

                    so, the kids (and extras, LOL) all planned that we were going to cook it all and truck the whole dinner and participants (10 people!!) up to his hospital room and call it an adventure to remember

                    around noon I get a call from the hubs:: "whatcha doin?" oh, not much, just cooking about 15 different items, cleaning, doing the barn, trying to get some of my work done (I work at home) etc.... you know, really just hanging around, ha ha.

                    "feel like taking a ride?" I'm getting sprung"

                    WOOO HOOO!!! so I drop everything, start yelling instructions to the kids here about how to do this that and the other concerning the potatoes/carrots,/sweet potatoes, etc and I put on my shoes (still in my jammies) and drive an hour to go get him.

                    he gets home in time to save dinner! first time I ever had to stuff a turkey, all the stuffing had fallen out of the bird, bird has completely fallen apart, but he made the BEST. GRAVY. EVER! saved me from having to try to....

                    we all sat down, ate like crazy, cried a bit from relief from all the stress and worry

                    and when our 5 yr old granddaughter climbed up in his lap and said "it makes me happy that you're home grandpa, I love you"

                    I swear a rainbow appeared over our house!!

                    best Thanksgiving EVER!


                    • #11
                      gabby-gator, what an amazing day!! So happy for you. Hugs to you and your husband as you deal with his illness.

                      hey101- sounds like you have a terrific horse there!!!!! At our Thanksgiving hunt we had two kiddos riding- they were 5 and 7 years old!! My youngest daughter is married so the time flies, trust me!!!


                      • Original Poster

                        These posts are a breath of fresh air! So much to celebrate.


                        • #13
                          Wow we have some great mares here and Congrats are due to Cindyg on the new boy!

                          Gabby - I can't even begin to imagine how great that was! Beats my ride hands down! Sending good thoughts your hubby continues to do well!

                          I like the occasional Rainbow & Unicorn thread. There's too much negativity in the world these days.


                          • #14
                            Another great horse story...about six and 1/2 years ago I retired my once in a lifetime mare because she had developed arthritis in her front fetlock joint and the usual treatments (injecting the joint) weren't keeping her riding sound. So, out to pasture she went, and because she has great bloodlines she became a broodmare. Both her foals were fabulous.

                            Fast forward six years. Both of my riding/jumping horses are down at the same time with soft tissue injuries. I thought, why not see if my once in a lifetime mare is sound enough to start riding again? If nothing else, she needs to get fitter before I breed her again next spring. So, I spent about 30 days working on getting her fit enough to lesson on and she seemed to be staying sound.

                            I hauled her over to my trainer's farm for a lesson a few weeks ago, and bless her heart, she's back jumping again and staying sound enough to pack me around for twice a week lessons. The best part is that she is still the perfect mare, knows her job, ignores my mistakes and jumps in great form after being retired from riding for six years. I feel that I have been given back the gift of riding my once-in-a-lifetime horse and we're both enjoying every minute of it!


                            • #15
                              My happy, nothing-is-wrong-with-the-world story:
                              Have been on the road for 9 days straight, and by the end I was so desperately missing my animals and just being on my farm. Finally got home late yesterday. Blissful day today: spent the entire day futzing around- unfroze some hoses , cleaned the water trough, spent a couple hours working in my barn which is mid-renovation. Took a rest every now and then--once sitting in the goat pen, where the little ones kept trying to get me to play by making little tugs on my coat, and then later sitting in the hay in a sunny corner of the barn, with two barn cats curled up next to me, purring. Then had a fantastic ride on Brio. Did some light jumping and she was forward, easy, bright. Not perfect, of course: the first time we took a wide coop, she clunked it with her hind hoof. Both guilty of a lazy approach. But next time around, we focused on the task, worked a little harder, and she nailed it in stride, relaxed, and we were like one body. Landed in a smooth canter, and all was good with the world.
                              All of us who feel like ranting about tiny stuff, would do well to read this essay until that feeling passes:


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by HeartsongHorses View Post
                                I put this here rather than there as it is HR...

                                I ventured over to the Off Topic forum and I have come back here feeling, like well, eeew! Seems like the several of the threads start out with something like, "I can't stand.. " or " I can't believe... " and then continue to be pretty cynical.

                                There are a few positive threads, and yes I know I can choose not to open the negative ones. Which is exactly what I am doing right now.

                                I am not usually a Rainbows and Unicorns kind of girl - Ok, I do like Skittles - but I made a hasty retreat back over here because I just wanted to say:

                                I had a wonderful day with my horses. I had time to ride both of them. I am making great strides in riding with my seat instead of my hands. The weather was cold and clear with no wind and lots of sunshine. I was riding with my trainer who is a great friend. She trotted her youngster for the first time under saddle today and then we took her out on her very first trail ride around the farm.

                                It was a really good day.

                                Anybody else have some Rainbows and Unicorns to share?
                                You know, there are all kinds of people in this world, with all different kinds of interests.
                                I think it is wonderful to stop and smell the roses, it is part of what being alive is.
                                I think it is also, for many of us, very interesting to see and hear and read about other's lives, turbulent and strange and scary and funny ones.
                                That is some of what you get on OT day, that you don't get any other time or place.

                                It is ok not to like any of that, but I would not dismiss all that goes on OT days as distasteful and unworthy of our attention so easily.
                                Maybe people watching is not something everyone learns from or wants to make time for, but you can learn oh so much from it, about others and yes, even ourselves.

                                Thanks for the rainbow and unicorn stories, they too are interesting and worthy of our attention.