Thursday, February 23, 2012

Blogger Break - But No Vacation!

I SO wish I could say I will be vacationing at the beach during this "blogger break".  Alas, it is because I got behind on my "chores" during the kiddos being sick AND we are putting our house on the market and are in the middle of painting, new carpet purging... you know how that goes.

My husband has kindly asked I not get "distracted"... I can't wait 'till I use that one back on him!! ha ha.

I have already been remiss in responding and visiting, so this is the right thing to do...  and don't tell my children, but I found the best way to organize is to  ... shh... throw things away and make many trips to the GoodWill Store.  :)

So my friends, I will be gone for a number of  days.  I'll miss you!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

I WISH I could have three horses!

...but a little thing like (lack of) money gets in the way!  I posted about this horse a few posts back (click HERE to view).   I'm hoping someone from my barn will be interested in him... :)


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Man O' War - actual video footage at the bottom of post

I found a favorite book from my childhood the other day.  It has my name written in my mother's handwriting and dated May 1978.

And my favorite story was "Big Red", by Arthur Bartlett.

The following is an excerpt from Laurie Powers blog:

Man O'War was this big red machine who set three world records and two American records, one of which still stands today. He was idolized from almost the very beginning, a true celebrity. It wasn't unusual for him to carry 135 or 138 pounds - an enormous weight for a racehorse to carry. In one race he carried 32 pounds more than the horse that came in second. By the time Man O'War was nearing the end of his career as a three year old, no one wanted to race against him, and a few races were sparse affairs where only two or three other horses were entered. In one of his last races, he almost won by default as no one else entered their horse. At the last minute a horse was entered. Man O'War won by 100 lengths. He was a freak of nature and by many people's opinion, the greatest racehorse of all time.

Since then, he has become an iconic figure of racing, but I wonder how many people nowadays really appreciate his stature in racing history. They certainly did back in 1947 when he died. Two thousand people attended his funeral.

His influence as a sire is unmatched. This link lists all of the annual racing champions since 1935, in every sex and age category. The descendants of Man O'War are shown in red. Besides the famous close descendants (War Admiral, Count Fleet, Seabiscuit), virtually every champion from 1993, in all categories, is a descendant of Man O'War. 

MAN O'WAR is a nostalgic look at horse racing back when there were no starting gates, when horses were brought along very slowly, and when trainers didn't want to race their horses when they were too young. Man O'War's owner refused to enter him in the Kentucky Derby because he disapproved of running a three year old over a mile and a quarter that early in the year. Hence why Man O'War was ironically not a Triple Crown winner. (But he did beat the horse that was the first Triple Crown winner - Sir Barton - in a match race.)

Back then, horses were solid and sound for the most part and could race every two or three weeks. Nowadays thoroughbreds are bred for speed, not soundness, and it's a longshot that a horse will even make it to the track. If they do, they run every four to six weeks. But don't get me started. 

Even though the great horse had outrun the Triple Crown winner, set numerous track records, and set world records that still stand today, Man o' War had never been fully extended, and he was retired without ever having the opportunity to display his full potential.

...proved that the Man o' Wars could jump as well as they could run. Apparently Samuel Riddle's first evaluation of Man o' War, the potential hunter, was correct. Big Red's offspring not only jumped well on the steeplechase course, but also with some style, as evidenced by the titles won by Holystone in the show ring.

Man o' War

There is very little video of Man O'War racing that exists; in fact, his match race with Sir Barton was the very first horse race filmed from beginning to end. This video, while presenting some claims in the beginning that are the subject of debate, has some of the best video of Man O'War, both racing and retired. Various parts of his race with Sir Barton are shown here. There's even a shot at the end at his funeral (he was embalmed and laid out) which is a little disturbing, but hey that's what they did back then. 

A living flame...

Am I re-reading C.W. Anderson's Favorite Horse Stories and falling in love with each one of them again as if I was 12 years old...  Yes.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

"Tamed Passion" a poem by Sebastian!

Tamed Passion

Passionately I prance
to my own rhythm
structure unacceptable.

A noble steed am I
breathing in untamed freedom,
all rules cast aside.

Intensity shines forth
from my poetic soul,
feet drumming
a mystical beat,

but I confess
I'll humble myself,
cast it all aside
for a tempting morsel
of apple, carrot, or grass.

By Sebastian, Art Happens 365, February 3, 2012

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Eddie - A Horse I wish I could add to the two I already own!

Now I ADORE my two handsome fellows and I couldn't be happier with them, however , IF I was in the market for another horse (or if I was able to convince my husband, which I'm not) this is the horse I would look at first.  I have nothing go gain by promoting this horse for sale.  I have visited this place which is literally upon a mountaintop in Virginia (Mountaintop Ranch) and almost purchased a Connemara pony from them - but decided upon my Quarter Horse, Oberon, instead.

HERE is a link to their website.    Sigh, how I wish I could add Eddie to my family - I mean, can one ever have too many horses (my husband says yes!)  Maybe you can or know of someone who would be perfect for this amazing horse.  Take a few moments and remember this horse is only 7!

And HERE is a direct link to the "riding horses" for sale at Mountaintop Ranch.  He is the third one down, Doc's Dee Watch "Eddie".  I am doing my best to promote this fellow around my barn!  ;)

This second video has it all:  ring work, trail riding across streams, pasture with cattle and running horses, tandem bareback with young children on roadside with car, crossing a stream,  sigh...

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Playing around with Photoshop Textures ... warning, it's addictive!

I have just learned how to layer textures in Photoshop and this is my second attempt.  I took a ten minute free tutorial at "Kim Klaussen's Cafe" and used her texture "More Magic".  I'm thinking of making this into a poster for my daughter's bedroom wall.  She is riding her (our) horse, Oberon.

and just so my other daughter won't feel left out, I have her with my horse, Sebastian

I found a heart-warming testimony about the importance of horses in a girl's growing up years.  Click HERE to read it.

Both of my daughters are coming along real well with Oberon on ground work and riding lessons.  Neither one of them have cantered yet and are mighty competitive about who will be the first one.  I feel it will be happening soon for both of them.  I rode Oberon on the trial all by ourselves, away from the herd and he was fantastic.  Didn't hurt that we had done quite a bit of work in the arena.  I rode in my dressage saddle and really liked how I sat in than as opposed to the "All Purpose" saddle.  I guess I like to ride with my legs a bit longer.

I think I will be riding Sebastian within a month or so as he is coming along very nicely under his (and my) trainer, James Cooler.  Sebastian responds to leg pressure quite well and a very gentle touch on the reins (many times he is ridden with a rope halter).  Sebastian is coming along with the canter, but we have to remember he is just a "baby" and getting used to his long legs - he;s like a "gangly" teenager.

Oh, and by the way, here is a link to the Cooler Horsemanship February Newsletter.  This is the place where my daughters and I board, ride, and take lessons with my horses.