Sunday, February 28, 2010

Home, Home on the Range

You know, sometimes in life you just have to go back to where you felt most comfortable, even if it doesn't seem to make a lot of sense.

My dad bought a house in town, so I'll be moving back out to the family farm.

It has had a few updates since this 1891 picture was taken. Also, not so many kids...or farmhands, for that matter.

Or is that the same thing (kids and farmhands)?

Although my dad bought a house, I did my best to have some big news of my own. I bought a show saddle!

OK, repeat after me: "YAY!!!"

Thank you for your cooperation.

Granted, it's very low end, but right now, so am I. So is my bank account. Coincidence--I think not.

But my hopes are very high indeed. Work will be happy that I'm closer to a facility (no more working from home is actually a good thing--I need to seperate work from home life)! I'm that much closer to being able to show Paula. And Spring is just around the corner.

OK, one more time. All together now!


Saturday, February 27, 2010

Chaos, but in a good way!

Today was chaotic, busy, and a complete whirlwind, but it was a good day.

In celebration of this crazy day, I'm going to only leave you with this: there will be news. Lots of news.

Some of this news involves this pretty lady, whose parents are producers of multiple world champions in western pleasure and hunter under saddle and over 3,900 APHA Points.

Other news involves other things. Other...BIG...things.

How's that for a vague cliffhanger?!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Another Feather in his Cap

Star, the beautiful mare owned by Megan Van Hollebeke in Washington, gave birth to Eddie's second foal of 2010 this morning.

Another solid, but big, beautiful filly!

Congrats, Megan! She's gorgeous--well worth the wait!!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010


I'm so tired tonight and am not sure what to post. Luckily I have a skewed-eared, hyperactive pooter of the canine variety who never fails to provide unlimited amounts of entertainment for me, so I thought, why can't she do the same for you all?

So, without further ado, here are your gratuitous Sophie pictures of the day:

I always thought she looked a little preppy in this sweater. Perhaps even a little studious. Proof positive that looks can be deceiving!

She's not spoiled.

Not spoiled at all.

Sarah took the next couple of photos. Here's her checkmark ears.

And I have no idea what this is, but it makes me laugh.

"...and then a smaller alien came out of the big alien's stomach and went like this! Nom!"

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


With Spring fast approaching and taxes all wrapped up for the year, I've taken a second look at my business plan and am re-aligning some of plans to fit goals.

In other words, I've got to get my butt into gear!

So, just in case any of my readers are interested, I'm going to shamelessly put on my salesman hat and give ya the schpiel! If you see anything you're interested in, give me a shout! (And I promise that the sales posts will be few and far between).

First up, I need to sell this barrel saddle. I've found a show saddle suitable for open shows, so this must go. 15" Corriente Trophy Barrel Saddle, roughout seat and fenders, custom stirrups and brand new backcinch. I'm being absolutely honest when I say if it wasn't for my big butt this saddle would be going absolutely no where. I'm very impressed with the quality of this Corriente saddle and would definitely consider owning another (one that fit, anyway). This saddle would be perfect for training with its deep seat and roughout fenders. Asking $550 obo, will take paypal and consider trade for a 16" work saddle of equal quality.

Second (and third and fourth) I need to sell some horses. With Eddie being home and starting Paula under saddle, I just don't have the time OR money to promote everyone as much as I'd like. All horses are easy to catch and work with, load into a trailer, stand tied forever (regular or cross-ties), stand great for the farrier, clip, bathe, used to being blanketed, UTD on all care, and will be used to the vacuum by sale time. I will trade one of these horses for the right broodmare or broodmare prospect, but can only trade one. I can only train one foal at a time (I will never have 5 yearlings again!).

I've selected Dakota to put on the sales list simply because she doesn't fit into my double-registry breeding program and she's also Eddie's foal, so I obviously can't breed her to him (well, I technically could, but SO not a good idea!!). You may recall that Dakota had some epiphisitis issues but they've cleared up so well that if I hadn't mentioned them no one would ever have known. She's sound, healthy, and ready to start a career! She's also about the sweetest horse EVER, which is why it's so hard to sell her. Asking only $1000 obo.

She makes me so happy with her adorableness.

Is that a word, "adorableness?" Well, if not, it should be one. Just for Dakota.

Then I've decided just over the last couple of days to put Laramie up for sale. I've been really tore as she's really going to be a great show horse. She fits up so easily for halter yet she has good enough movement to show under saddle as well. She really is the whole enchilada. The reason I have decided to sell her is that she was my one broodmare prospect to cross with Eddie and her test came back OLWS positive and so is Eddie, so it's a no-go. I just can't properly take care of a large number of horses at the level that I like to, so Laramie needs to go to make room for a filly that I can show AND eventually breed to Eddie. Asking $1500 since she's in pasture shape--definitely not a reflection of her worth!

Come see will fall in love. I gair-uhn-tee.

JJ is also on the sales list, just for the simple fact that he's a gelding, but he is the higher-priced one and I won't be giving him away. He's incredibly talented. Then add onto that how dang easy he is--I'm going to be working on getting him into the show ring! I had earlier dismissed JJ as a trail prospect, but in working with him and really watching him, as he grows he has become a VERY cute little mover. He's always had a lovely, easy-going lope but now as he's building up with training his trot is as smooth as glass. He's show material and is in training for it. If you want to pick up where I've left off, then contact me!

For more info, please go to my website under the Links to the left: "Rose Valley Ranch." If you're still reading, thanks for sticking with me through this sales presentation. Too bad I can't offer you a free lunch to go along with it! :~)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


You think dogs will not be in heaven? I tell you, they will be there long before any of us. ~Robert Louis Stevenson

The great pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too. ~Samuel Butler, Notebooks, 1912

From the dog's point of view, his master is an elongated and abnormally cunning dog. ~Mabel Louise Robinson

Dogs' lives are too short. Their only fault, really. ~Agnes Sligh Turnbull

We long for an affection altogether ignorant of our faults. Heaven has accorded this to us in the uncritical canine attachment. ~George Eliot

One reason a dog can be such a comfort when you're feeling blue is that he doesn't try to find out why. ~Author Unknown

No philosophers so thoroughly comprehend us as dogs and horses. ~Herman Melville

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Horse's Last Laugh

There was an old cowboy from Leedey,
Who sought transportation more speedy.
So with some remorse, he sold his horse
And purchased an ATV Wheelie.

This steed had a ride most relaxing.
Its rough-ground gait was not taxing.
It did not hurt your back, your sacroiliac,
You were proud the coil springs were flexing.

It did not, like a horse, require catching.
Did not require horseshoes or brushing.
It needed no bridle, and it had its own saddle,
You just turned on the key and went driving.

This bronc could outrun any cow brute.
It never got tired, was most resolute.
It could help fix fence and if one had good sense,
You could herd your cows clear to the chute.

While checking his cattle out late
A neighbor calf came into sight.
He said, "With this steed and its good speed
I'll herd that calf back through the gate."

The calf was chased around like an elf,
They went off a steep hill like a shelf,
But the steed hit a ditch and then it did pitch
This monster on top of "himself."

They say that horse wrecks are expensive
But this machine caused hurts more extensive.
The Doc look him o'er, then tallied the score
of a concussion and broken ribs so sensitive.

Now the cowboy lies around on his bed
Just thanking the Lord he's not dead,
For while enjoying this steed which had good speed,
He wished he'd kept his horse instead!

~James C Taylor, 10/25/08

My grandma cut this out of the paper and sent it to me. I thought it was too cute not to share :O

Friday, February 19, 2010


Since I live in Kansas, was born and raised here, one might assume that I don't believe in evolution. Actually, I do believe in evolution.

Even more so when it pertains to personal growth!

I've been asked by friends in the past if I could put together ads for them. I sheepishly admit I don't have the talent or skill to complete such a task. Over the years I've made some attempts. Warning: don't drink anything when you scroll down for the first one. You've been warned.

I cannot be held responsible for any damaged keyboards resulting from Dr Pepper spewing from your nostrils.

Swallow your scroll down.

This is Bear, a colt I purchased as a weanling a few years ago. This was also a very sad attempt at altering a photograph for purposes of promoting a horse.

It would be funny if it wasn't so tragic. Did I think horses really floated in space with a weird radioactive glow to them? I really have no idea what I was thinking....

A few years later I managed this:

Well, better.... Not great, but better. At least Eddie doesn't glow in the dark or look like he's been cut out by a kindergarden class with safty scissors and pasted onto a background. Still leaves much to be desired, though.

Which leads me into this evening. I've stayed up entirely way too late working on this one, but once I got started, I couldn't stop!

In case you're wondering--yes, I did shamelessly steal the layout.

Edward / Eddie--get it?

I know, I know. I plead an insanity defense: it's well past my bedtime.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Dogs are Gross

This is the dog that sleeps in my bed, underneath my covers.

Yes, that's a dead mole she's having a blast with. Ewwwwwwwww....

Let's just say an evening bathtime for Sophie just became mandatory.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Shave and a hair cut....two bits!

I really wish I would have had time to groom ALL the kids today. It was gorgeous out!

They all looked at me longingly. Oh please, ma--pay some attention to us! We look so forgotten with our wooliness!

Unfortunately today was a work day, though. I have to feed the monkeys, so I didn't get outside until late in the afternoon. Eddie was first up for his shave and a hair cut...or hoof trim!

Such a handsome goober!

Eddie got clipped (not the inside of his ears, of course--too cold!), groomed, and his one foot on his bent leg trimmed a little more. Everyday we get a little close to his recovery. We also went on a lovely walk down the road. I'm probably the only gal in the county that doesn't walk her dog--instead I walk my stallion.

When we got back I had just enough time to do a clipping lesson with one of my coming two-year olds. JJ was elected to be my first victim...oops! I mean student!

I tell you what...much more of this and I just won't be able to sell this horse. He's soooooo easy!! I just clipped him up like he had done it a thousand times before. No big deal at all.

Gotta love this horse. Really...GOT TO love him!!

Finally, one parting shot of JJ's pa:

A little artistic liberty taken with this shot, but there's no denying that eye is captivating....

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Mighty and the Fabulous

First of all, a HUGE congratulations to Painted Prairie Farm on their first Almighty baby of 2010. Man oh man, this filly is outstanding!! Perfect coloring, absolutely gorgeous--she is most definitely the product of two extraordinary parents (dam is Stana's really nice show mare Shi Dee). I feel honored to have gotten to be part of this filly's welcome into the world :)

Now for the fabulous: Benz (aka Lookin Fabulous Inabenz) is up for sale again, through absolutely no fault of his own. This 2008 Sorrel Overo Colt is by Eddie and out of a HYPP N/N granddaughter of Impressive. He was sold but the new owner just couldn't keep him, so he's back with my friend Sandra. She has too many prospects so Benz is in need of a good home.

She's only asking $1000 for him. Send me an email if interested. The picture is from this summer and he's obviously growing here, but he's going to mature into a really nice horse once gelded and started under saddle. If I was able I'd be on the road to go get him right now, but obviously I have a few 2 year olds to start myself! :)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Art and the Gray Horse

I love my gray horse.

I loved her mother, too. She was gray. I miss her.

Now, thanks to the beautiful artwork of Jennifer MacNeill-Traylor of Gypsy Mare Studios I can keep her close to my heart...always.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy S.A.D.

No, I'm not practicing my oxymorons--"S.A.D." stands for "Singles Awareness Day," otherwise known as Valentines Day!

I hope yours was great because mine was! And I'm not just saying that to compensate for some wretched feeling of longing or loneliness or some other stereotypical, tragic spinster media portrayal of single women everywhere who don't have a significant other on a day originally meant to pay homage to several martyred saints of ancient Rome. No home skillet, it really was a groovy day!

I woke up early. Sophie refused.

It was time to go to Equifest. Sophie wasn't invited so she slept in, but for me, it was worth getting out of bed early on a cold day!

I was especially excited to go because (insert drumroll here).....

I got my new show shirt!!!!

Unfortunately I don't have a picture, but you can see a picture--you just have to work for it. Go to the Hobby Horse Clothing website HERE. Scroll down down to the 4th shirt pictured--the black and white Marissa tunic. That's it--that's the one! I think (hope, believe) it will look pretty derned spiffy with Paula. We're closer than we've ever been to showing. I can feel butterflies already.

Oh boy.

By noon we were on our way back and I met Dad in Pratt for lunch then we dropped the Camry off for a tune-up. I got my truck back from him (he had borrowed it while his own truck was getting its own tune-up) and drove home, rested and played around a bit and then had a nice meal with Dar's family.

Now I ask you, what person would ever need to languish in self-pity for being single during a day like this? I may be hard-headed about some things, but this one is a no-brainer. I am one lucky gal, especially considering the first story in 1493 that describes the martyrdom of St. Valentine: he was beaten with clubs, stoned, and then when that didn't work he was finally beheaded.

Thank goodness life is a little easier for us single people nowadays. Whew!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Lovely February Day

The sun was out today and boy, did I need my vitamin D! I slept in entirely way too late but managed to get to a few things outside that I had wanted to get done.

Dakota got to stand tied to the patience tree for a while this morning. She learned to be patient, like the good girl that she is :)

I got to ride Paula, too. If you're counting, we're at about every 2 to 3 weeks now. Not exactly a good strategy for horse training, but eh, whatcha gonna do? Unfortunately there just aren't enough hours in the week sometimes, but maybe when the weather gets better, I can maybe move her up to at least once a week. Here's hoping!

I did promise some video a long time ago and I'm afraid that the following doesn't fulfill that promise whatsoever. Note to self: do not attempt to lunge a horse and take video at the same time. It doesn't work. Here's why.

I hope you can see in between me moving all over the place that Paula really is doing well. I'm very happy with her, anyhow. Maybe sometime soon I can enlist Sarah to help me out, as she so often does with my little projects (oh whatever am I going to do without her when I move? I wonder if her mother would miss her? Ha!)

Friday, February 12, 2010

More Fun with Photoshop!

Photoshop is a really cool thing. Of course it's not so cool if you use it to deceive people about the way your horse looks as they did featured in this Fuglyhorse post, but it can be a great way to add some "wow" factor to your photos and really draw attention to your horse ads!

This is a picture I took of Colton when Sandra brought him out for a visit. This is the raw photo, no changes made.

Below I removed the leadrope, the birdhouse, and his tail wrap, extended his tail (which took me forever but I sure learned a lot) and ran the automatic noise reduction and smart photo fix.

Then in the photo below I took a sample of the halter color, added his registered name then took a complimentary color and added his info. Then I used the "buttonize" feature and framed out the picture.

Last night a did a couple more similar photo clean-ups:

Everything I've done has been self-taught and I certainly have quite a bit to learn. It's a fun process, though, and Photoshop can certainly add a lot to an otherwise ok photograph. If you have any tips I'd love to hear them!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

JJ's Video!

JJ didn't give me as much to work with as his sister, but he had played pretty hard with his pa the day before. I think he's really cute anyway. It sure is difficult to keep him up for sale, but maybe someone else can do him better justice than I.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Dakota's Video!

These videos have literally taken me all night to put together and upload. Between taking a whole hour to figure out the settings on my video camera went back to default (which kept me from streaming the video onto my computer) to having to restart my personal computer three times this inadvertently ended up being quite a project!

I will post JJ's as soon as it loads, but for now, here is Dakota's (please excuse the mud, fuzz, and hay belly :).

Check out her bunny-hop stop! It cracks me up every time :)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Resolutions: Update

Alright, I'm the first to admit I never can keep any of my New Year's resolutions. Year after year I promise myself I'm going to make those changes and everything stays the same.

However, my newest mantra has become "How can I expect anything around me to change, if I don't change?" So, I've been trying...and it's slowly making a difference!

(1) Get Eddie home.


(2) Scrub credit reports and pay down debt.

Well, this is about how much money I have, but I do have to say that I've been able to at least respond to some issues on my credit report, hopefully get a few things cleared up. This will be slow going, but it's at least now going!

(3) Get a home.

Another slow-going item, but at least there are a couple of options under consideration. The barn home is totally out for quite a while since it's almost impossible to obtain financing for in today's housing market. That doesn't mean things are hopeless, though--still lots of possiblities!

(4) Home for the horses--pretty much same as #3.

(5) Trailer. While I do enjoy looking out for nice trailers I've pretty much decided I'm going to get everything else done on this list first and then get a decent trailer, instead of settling for something to just get by with.

(6) Get ready to show Paula. Well, this one is much farther along than I ever could have imagined, mostly because of the friendly push by my WONDERFUL friend Darlene. I would have put this dead last because this is for fun and absolutely not a neccessity, obviously. I've gotten my show boots,

getting closer to getting my saddle, and just need to get my show shirt and pants! Well, that and get Paula trained. The weather hasn't been very cooperative with that last part!

(7) Working with JJ. Well, I actually have gotten to work with him a bit. I also got him Power Pac'd. He's now registered with both APHA (as an overo :) and AQHA, too!


(8) Lose weight, eat more veggies and get healthier (and of course to look better while riding Paula)!

Well, I've lost more than I expected--twenty pounds! I'm the lightest I've been in well over a year and a half!! I haven't really had much of a chance to exercise with all the work I've been doing and my eating habits aren't great, so the only thing I can credit this to is the HUGE reduction in stress I've had. Now if I just get my britches in gear I might be able to make some real headway!

(9) Sadly the White Horse Resource is still a terribly neglected website. Well, it's only February, right?

(10) I left open for future resolutions and here they are. Yes, "they." It's a two-parter.

10a--I will be more optimistic. I was thinking about this while feeding this evening (admiring Eddie and thinking how much I missed him). I've been through a lot the last couple of years. It would be very easy for me to assume that another huge loss is right around the corner--to live each day expecting the next tragedy in what has become a laundry list of heartbreak.

But then I ask myself "What good does that do?" Shit happens, whether we expect it or not, whether we fear it or not, and whether we look around every corner for it or not. I need to take my own advice I gave to someone struggling years ago: the only way I can be happy is if I choose to be happy. No one/nothing else is going to make me happy.

Although the horses sure make me happy :)

Which brings me to 10b: Practicality leads to horse harmony!

I've recently updated my website to include JJ and Dakota on my sales page. I really love these two and hate to have to say goodbye to them, but thinking practically, how in the world am I going to have time to train and show Paula, Laramie, Bambi, JJ, and Dakota and take care of Eddie and Crazy and perhaps one day breed Eddie again? There are only so many hours in the day and I work full time. I do all my own farrier work, training and (eventually) all chores and care. I'm never really going to get to enjoy them if I don't keep my numbers down, so with Dakota not being double-registered and JJ being a gelding I decided it would be best to put them both up for sale. I took video today, so hopefully will get it posted on the blog by tomorrow!

I just want to say once again (I can never say it enough) how thankful I am to Dar and her family for helping me out so much. There's not one thing on this list that would have been possible for me to do without the help that they've given me. It's a rare thing, to find a friend as true and selfless as Darlene is and I will never be able to even come close to being as good of a friend to her as she's been to me.

Thanks for listening, all, and for being there for me :)