Monday, July 11, 2011

Barrel Racing, Baby!

Things have been pretty nuts at the farm lately. Trying to keep up with chores, work schedules, kiddo's schedule, and fit in some time for fun has caught up with me a little. About a month ago, my friend and trainer Missy of M.R. Horseback Riding and Training said to me "The Rodeo Sweethearts Barrel Bang is July 10th. You in?" This is Missy code for "Guess what girl, I let you have a break for a while, you're racing on July 10th." So in addition to working, traveling, and being a mom.... I intensified the training schedule for me and Joker (and Anthony and Abby, but that's a different post!). We've been progressing as a team little by little. I'm starting to see the day when we run at the speed I want to see.

Back to yesterday... We loaded up horses, tack, and people and headed out to Rosenberg, Texas. The registration (books) opened at 10:30 am and we were there at 10:15.  We unloaded the horses and then signed in as soon as we could. Then we warmed up the horses and ran practice runs with the barrels in place and the timer running. Finally, we wandered up into the stands to wait, wait, and wait some more.

Finally, we ran.

And while not a record breaking run, we managed to get a time and we know what we need to work on before the next race!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Hotter Than Hades!

The horses are hot.
The dogs are hot.
The chickens are hot.
The kiddo is hot.
And the farm/cowgirl is hot.

It has been hot, hot, hot at the farm lately. Its only July and I can tell its going to be a long summer. Last weekend, Anthony and I were supposed to go for a joint riding lesson. Sounded simple enough...load horses into trailer, drive down road, unload horses. That, apparently, was too simple of a plan. So in the 100 degree heat with 100% humidity, I fought, whined, implored, tugged, and tried to bully horses into the trailer. And ultimately, when a 1,500 pound animal plants its feet and says no, he's not going anywhere. So since I was drenched in sweat and pissed off at the horses, I called it a day and went to go cool off.

Yesterday, we were headed to the Galveston County Youth Summer Series. This time, I had a more complicated plan in mind. I had noticed that Abby (Anthony's horse) had seemed a little heat stressed when I had previously tried to get her in the trailer. So I went and soaked her down with the hose, washed her, rinsed her, and then when she dried off in 15 minutes, I soaked her down again.  One damp horse went into the trailer with some encouragement. And since poor Joker looked so hot and pathetic, I soaked him down for good measure. He practically danced for joy at the relief and ran off kicking up his heels when I was done. Guess I'm going to start soaking both of them in the afternoons until we get a break from the heat!

The chickens are also getting some heat relief. I threw out some nice, cold watermelon for them as a treat and their chicken huts are being upgraded this weekend to a full out coop, complete with ventilation! Their pen is already tarped so that it is nice and shady, but I think the coop will help them out a great deal too.