Thursday, August 21, 2008


I'm taking a little eyeball break from the microscope so I guess I'll sit down and try to write something. Things have been hectic.

I'm starting to plan out what will be going to Draft Horse Classic for my booth. I wish I had more new stuff to show. I will have several scrim pieces, the landscape drawing will be done, I may get another horse drawing done (ha ha?) and there are a few other items that crowd has not yet seen. I need to allow about two weeks for framing, and have everything ready to go a week beforehand, so that doesn't leave me much time.

Jessie the dog has taken a turn for the worse, again. This has happened many times over the last year. She's off feed (other than fried eggs, she gladly eats fried eggs) and not well. But she's still happy and perky and may come around again like before. I won't see an animal suffer though, and I'll know when the time is right.... Honestly both dogs are sort of in "hospice" now. Nellie has Cushing's disease, so her timeframe is also uncertain. It's tough when animals get old. :-(

JJ came over on Tuesday night and watched me ride Shylah. She cantered normally the entire time, other than occasionally picking up the wrong lead if I was working outside the round pen. No cross cantering though, so I guess she has that all figured out. The difference is astounding. I was riding in a bareback pad, and it wasn't long ago there would have been no way I could have stuck on there through that bouncy cross canter. Some observations though:

She barely lifts her feet off the ground at all (this may explain her whacking herself repeatedly on the poles the other night, and also some of her issue with rocky terrain, she's not paying attention to where her feet go, but having lived in land-of-flatness for 5 years that's understandable, the biggest protrusions off the ground out in the pasture are horse turds.) So when I was trotting, I was really surprised when JJ said "she's not trotting!" Huh? Yes she is, same as she always has! Well, in Shylah's world it's a trot but her front feet barely come up so it's more like she's walking in front and trotting behind. So we'll call this the Shylah Shuffle now, and it doesn't change whether she's trotting fast or slow (oh wait, she doesn't go fast). Whatever, it's quite comfy and she seems like she could do that all day.

She's a small horse, obviously (14.2ish). She has thick legs and big feet. She's not delicate by any means and would have no trouble packing me around all day, she's just... compact, and I'm rather tall so we're an odd combination. She doesn't have much front end. When you sit on her, you think "where's her shoulder?" There isn't much, and her strides are short and without extension. She wings out a little with her front feet. My saddle may put me a bit too forward on her, though I feel no difference in her movement whether she's bareback or saddled. She is without a doubt completely adorable though. She does not seem sore at all in any part, and JJ said she looked very relaxed at all gaits. (Half-asleep, probably). JJ said I should try her cutback English saddle. Hee hee, me in an English saddle, it's been 16 years!

Conformationally she ain't perfect. She'd never make it as an endurance horse, and she's sure no race horse! She's probably be best suited for having roses braided in her hair and pulling a cute cart down the road. Second best might be a short-legged rider. But instead she has me, and for the type of riding that I do (pretty mellow! I DO want to get out and hit the trail more, hint hint to anyone reading this) she'll be just fine, and despite her shortcomings don't think for a second that anything would change. I love that horse to pieces. I'm just becoming more aware that she'll have her limitations, and it seems more doubtful that I would ever have her bred. If I had the means, it would be nice to have more than one rideable horse, but right now that's out of the question, and even though Gwen is sound at the walk and usually trots around just fine, I just don't trust her enough on the trail not to do something completely idiotic like kill me. I really can only deal with owning two horses at once....soo...oh well.

It was fun going to the Fair last night. I'll be spending more time there when I take my bird(s?) in for show next week. It's a real trip down memory lane being there. I mean, I've been showing at State Fair since 1988 but it was definitely most fun as a kid. I didn't have much time to look at the art show but I walked quickly through just to see where my work is hanging. There is some amazing stuff there, and also some totally weird stuff. Sometimes I just don't understand art. It's a great place to people-watch. If you ever want to see some really good examples of what NOT to wear, look around a state fair. *shudder*

Well, I'd better get back to it.

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