Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Horsey Valentine's Day

Yesterday was a very horsey Valentine's Day.

The mailman came in the morning and delivered my information packed for the Mustang Makeover and also a box containing the hoof picks that I'd ordered. I'm particular about my hoof picks. Years ago I found a style that I really liked and I have stuck with it. My last one disappeared a few months ago and I had bought a couple of the cheap basic metal ones to hold me over. But I finally had enough of trying to use them. After I wasn't able to find ones that are the style I like at any stores locally, I ordered two of my faves again. I get them from SmartPak and this is what they look like:

Awesome Hoofpick

After unpacking the picks, I read through the EMM paperwork and found out I'd be getting a gelding (yay!). Then the horsey day continued when Jeff got home from work. He had sent me a text message earlier in the day saying he'd gone to town and gotten me "stuff for valentine/mustang makeover day".

When he walked in the door after work he had a huge beautiful vase with a dozen roses, ferns, and baby's breath. Then he wanted me to go outside and there I saw that he had bought me a big heavy-duty wheelbarrow and a set of really nice hoof nippers. I was happy, but teased him a bit about getting me something to haul poop in for Valentine's Day. He kinda rolled his eyes and said he'd taken a lot of teasing from guys he works with for the same reason. He said they were calling him "Mr. Romantic" for buying his wife a wheelbarrow. In all seriousness though, I've been needing a wheelbarrow for quite a while now. I've been borrowing others' at the barn and they don't seem to mind, but having your own tools is always better.

As for the hoof nippers, they are very nice and they will complete my do-it-yourself hoof trimming set, joining the hoof knife and rasp he got me for my birthday and the Hoofjack that came on Christmas. Now I need to get busy trimming some feet!

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Clue!

This morning the mailman brought my information packed for the Mustang Makeover! In it I found the press release form that they send for trainers to give to their local media. While reading the press release for this one, I happened to notice that they said all of the mustangs for this event are geldings and will be 3 years or older. So now I have a clue on my mystery mustang! I'm happy that the horse will be a gelding. This means he won't disrupt my bachelor herd and I can work him alongside my horses without worrying about them being distracted. I can also turn him out with my guys. An added bonus is - there will be no mare hormones to deal with! Haha.

I'm getting more and more excited!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Like a Kid at Christmas

First off, although I suppose this could be horse-related as it is about a truck, I gotta warn you that this is a post falling under the "Etc" of my blog title. ;)

I woke up this morning and started my semi-usual routine. Bathroom, get dressed, turn on the computer, brush hair, then go start coffee. On the way down to start my coffee I suddenly felt like a kid at Christmas, or more accurately, a kid the day after Christmas. I went to the living room window and peaked out. Yep, the big truck is still there.

Now, a bit of back story. I've had a thing for a certain truck for quite a while. My dream truck: Dodge Ram, 2500 with the Cummins turbo diesel, manual transmission, 4x4, quad cab, long box. Many year ago one of my uncles visited and he was driving that exact truck. That was the first time I had any up close experience with these trucks and that was when I fell in love with the beast. His truck was white in color and was beautiful.

For a time I owned a truck that was close... It met the criteria, except that it was an automatic, 2-wheel-drive and short bed. It did have several aftermarket parts which made it impressively fast for a big truck. Oddly enough, it was also white.

Shortly after Jeff and I met, we decided to start up a horse hauling business together. For that purpose he bought a truck which happened to meet all of my dream truck criteria. It was also flashy, being white with chrome accents. That truck got looks wherever I drove it. However, the longer we had it the more apparent it became that it had been abused by former owners. The truck had been overworked quite a bit before we ever touched it. Parts started to fail and we both got tired of it. Long after we decided to stop hauling we were still fighting the truck's hard working past. We finally decided to sell it. Even though it fit my idea of a "dream truck" in looks and options, I didn't trust it anymore. The truck had also been a source of tension in our relationship because of the business not working out and quite frankly I wanted it gone.

We had the truck for sale for several months and earlier this week it sold. The night before we signed the papers, I was browsing online classified ads, shopping for some used wheels for my "in-between" truck. I bought an old Chevy 2500 for a horse truck when we decided the problem truck had to go. I happened to see an ad for a Dodge truck just like the one we were selling. When I pulled up the ad, I was stunned to see the pictures; it looked just like the truck we were selling too! I called Jeff over and showed him, just because I thought it was kinda funny.

The next day we went and signed the papers to officially sell the other truck. Later that afternoon, Jeff asked me what the truck I'd seen was going for. Long story short, that night we ended up going to look at the one I'd found listed for sale and....

We bought it.

Jeff made the joke that we went without a Cummins for about 8 hours.

We had to wait a few days for the bank to send a check and to actually get the truck. We went and picked it up last night. Driving the truck home was, for me, a bit surreal. The truck is almost identical, inside and out, to the one we just sold. The one that I spent countless days and miles in, hauling livestock all over the country and taking my own horses places. The one I decided I wanted nothing to do with because of its breaking down on me a few times and the fights Jeff and I had had over it.

This truck is the same year, make, model, engine, transmission, cab, box length, color, and interior. The main difference isa that it has many aftermarket parts on it, like my first Dodge. All I can say about the upgrades is: Oh. My. God. can it MOVE. This truck is huge, even taller than the one we just sold because it has a leveling kit, raising the front end at least a few inches. It is creepy fast. When the turbo kicks in, it's hard to believe that something this massive can move so fast. Jeff and I both drove it around some last night, putting it through it's paces and glancing at each other wide-eyed at its power. This truck is in incredible shape inside and out and doesn't appear to have been abused like the other one. It doesn't even have an in bed hitch and the unlined bed is in great shape so we're quite sure it hasn't been used for much heavy work.

I'm still kind of in shock and had to go make sure that the truck is still in the driveway. It was strange to see another big white Dodge with chrome sitting out there.

There is a lot to do with the truck. We are going to have a spray in bedliner put in, as well as a gooseneck hitch, trailer brake system and wiring. Its maiden voyage pulling the trailer will most likely be to go pickup my mustang next month!

I have a busy show schedule planned this spring and summer with the Mustang Makeover right in the middle of it. I'm really excited that I'll be driving another dream truck! :)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Oh Boy!

Well last night I did some digging around on the website for the EMM (Extreme Mustang Makeover) events and I found the list of trainers for Colorado, which was cool. I'm the only one from South Dakota and aside from one in Montana and a couple from Idaho it looked like I'm the the only one from the northern states. There are 48 trainers listed.

I then made the mistake of reading through all of the rules and regulations for the event. Having done an EMM before, I thought I knew what was coming. Oh boy, I was wrong. The actual competition for this one is quite a bit different than what I did before. There are in total three riding sections, not including the Freestyle if I make Top 10. The required riding sections include a Reining pattern (entry level) and... cow work. Looks like I desperately need to find someone with cows. Getting a chance to work cows is something I've always wanted to do with Bo, but have never gotten serious about. I guess now's the time!

I had already been working on gathering information on the various Open show schedules in the area, so I have quite a list started of a bunch of events that I'll now be planning to take the mustang to. The first EMM that I did was in the winter and I never had much opportunity to take Onyx to any other events before the big one. I think that hurt us quite a bit when we had to perform in front of all those people. This time around I'll have the months of April, May, and the first part of June to get the new mustang exposed to a lot more.

But still.. the cow work and some of the other requirements have me pretty nervous. The good news is that I have the next month to work on preparations, before the real work begins.

Overall though... Excitement is still trumping nerves -- Whoo Hoo!!!!

Thankful Thursday - a few minutes to spare

I came across the idea of Thankful Thursday while reading other blogs and I've always liked the idea. I think all too often we forget the importance of taking time to appreciate the good in our lives. So, it's techinally only a few minutes to go until Friday, but I wanted to make a Thankful post.

First off, I am of course very, VERY thankful for receiving word today that I will be doing another Mustang Makeover! I have been wanting to participate in another one for two years now and the time has come! There is so much to do and time flies, so I need to get busy! It will be a good busy, I'm looking forward to everything that is to come.

I'm also thankful that I am my own boss. It is something I have wanted to be for all of my life and I am finally doing it! I finally found something that WORKS and I firmly believe that my decision to take a risk and leave behind the j-o-b misery that I was in has resulted in so many good things happening now. It's incredibly freeing not to be weighed down with all of the negativity that I was surrounded by at my job. I am FREE!

I am thankful for the woman I have met through my new business venture who is acting as my mentor - and what a mentor! She is wonderfully positive, happy, motivating, and encouraging to be around. Those types of people have been scarce in my life and I cant help but wonder where I would be if that hadn't been the case! She is wonderful and I am so thankful to have her on my side.

I am thankful for my wonderful, supportive husband. I know he had his doubts about the wisdom of leaving the working world behind - while at the same time launching into my next Mustang Makeover journey, but he has been supportive and wants to help me with both of those things.

I am thankful for my horses, our dogs, cats, salamanders, and fish that all share my life and make my days that much more interesting.

There is so much to be thankful for, that is all I can think of right now. ow that it's past midnight I suppose I should stop wondering what my mustang will be like and go to bed!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

2011 Colorado Mustang Makeover!!

Ok, it's time once again to dust off this blog and get cracking! This blog's original purpose turned out to be the sharing of my journey toward the 2009 Midwest Mustang Challenge, an Extreme Mustang Makeover event. For my maiden voyage into the EMM world, I was given a black filly that I named Onyx. The entire experience of training her and taking her to the (HUGE) final competition was wonderful and highly addictive. I've been longing, ever since, to apply again and make the journey once more. The stars finally aligned and I decided to send in my application for the 2011 Colorado event, to be held in June, in Fort Collins, Colorado.

I've spent a very anxious two weeks, obsessively checking my e-mail and hoping that my faxed application hadn't been lost. Today the wait was over when I received the e-mail congratulating me as being chosen to be a trainer for the Fort Collins Extreme Mustang Makeover!!

I will travel down to southern Colorado the second weekend of March to pick up my mustang. Then I'll have 90 days to train him or her for the competition on June 10-12th in Fort Collins. On a side note, I'm overjoyed that this time the event will return me to my home state. I am a Colorado native and I'm hoping to have a cheering section at this event of family and friends! Another exciting part of this particular event is that World Champion reining trainer Al Dunning will be at the competition to act as a mentor and coach for all of the trainers. The opportunity to learn from a trainer of his caliber while competing is VERY exciting.

I am hugely excited and a bit nervous. There is SO much to do in the next month and certainly in the 3 months after that! However, I am "chomping at the bit" to get started.