Friday, May 30, 2008

Amazonia

I find this so incredibly interesting. Mostly because I would love nothing more, some days, than to be completely detached from the drama of modern living. Granted, those moments are fleeting. Especially when I zip into my local convenience store for a Sugar-Free Red Bull and download me some hott new tunes, but there are times when I wish my only charge was basic survival.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

RIP Theodore O'Connor

Yesterday was a really dark, sad day for the horse world. We lost a star entirely too soon. Theodore O'Connor was a legend amongst the living and watching him go was nothing short of amazing. Godspeed, little one.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Iowa Tornadoes Affect Pony Clubbers

This is from an email a friend in Iowa sent yesterday:

As I am sure many of you have heard on the news, the Parkersburg-New Hartford Iowa area was hit extremely hard by a tornado on Saturday. Over 200 homes were totally destroyed. Silver Bits Pony Club members
live in this area. I am fwding an email from Bridget Bryson, the DC of SBPC, with specific needs. In addition, please know that several Pony Club horses/ponies were killed and 2 families have lost EVERYTHING. Please
let me know what you may be able to do. Besides their homes, and everything in them, they no longer have anything ponyclub or horse related. This of course isn't even mentioning regular clothing, furniture, dishes, etc. They've lost everyting from their PC pins, to breeches to boots to halters-saddles-leadropes-pads, etc. Two ponies are in very bad condition and will need stall rest for a long time, if they survive, which means shavings, bandaging supplies, medications, etc. Someone has offered pasture, but they need fencing materials donated. Most of the SBPC members are very young and have lost all even their toy horses, etc. Please contact my if there is anything you would like to do. I will gladly collect anything and get the items to appropriate people. Thank you to everyone in advance as I know Pony Club and everyone connected is a huge and caring family! Thanks again! Cindy Hainline 319-361-9007

----- Original Message -----
From: Bridget Bryson

Good morning! Thank you for caring and wanting to help - these families are totally devastated and anything we can do ... Lori and family have been 'lucky' and have a friend who buys and fixes up houses to sell, so they have one to move into, but of course it is totally unfurnished. Becky and family are in a hotel. I don't have the adult's sizes, but obviously anything like gift cards would help! Breanna is 12 and wears a 14-16 youth. She has a size 9 foot. Ashley is 11 and wears a 10-12 youth. She has size 7 1/2-8 foot Liz is 9 and wears a 10-12 youth. I think that she is around a size 3 foot (tiny little person!) Michael is 7 and wears 8-10 youth. Around a size 5 foot. Nicholas is 5 and wears 4-6.

Any thoughts or ideas you have, please let me know! We also have 5 horses rescued, 4 at my house and 1 at Lindsey's (Lesley's sister in Hudson). 2 are badly injured and we need cotton, gauze etc etc. 3 are ponies and we are doing what we can with halters and lead ropes,but theirs are all gone. The two horses do have their halters on.

If you have items to donate, please contact the telephone number listed in the email.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Life's A Beach ...

I'm happy to report that Pensacola Pride was a great success in that we only lost one tent (and we think it can be repaired) during Friday night's storm, only endured one member of our party being rushed to hospital (he's totally OK and it had nothing to do with drinking too much), and just had one "I probably shouldn't have done that last shot" moment and no, it wasn't mine! I was golden for the weekend having stuck to my strategy of only drinking beer because a.) redneck and b.) been there done that and nothing says hot mess like Tara Reid: The Sequel.

This is a photograph of my new beach canopy. I bought it last summer, in anticipation of Pensacola this year. I seldom go to the beach, though am slowly amassing an arsenal of beach shizz, so may have to look for another opportunity to set up again before the end of the season.

It was great seeing all of my friends, including the New Orleans crowd, who had a dj spinning live in their tent. So awesome! So Club MTV!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Incredible



I love this song. Great lyrics, sorta summarizes how I feel, and I love the backbeat and lyric "It's time to get your hands up, it's time to get your body moving ..."

Enjoy the long weekend! I'm off Thursday afternoon to Pensacola with my friends. It's hard to leave West Farthing. He'll be well attended (because that's what he requires and nothing else will do) but the nasty weather forecast at the beach only makes me want to stay home and play in the barn.

I Not Dead

Years ago my friend Jane tipped me off to Graham Roumieu and his illustrated journals told from the perspective of Bigfoot.

The first two books were "In Me Own Words: The Autobiography of Bigfoot" and "Me Write Book: It Bigfoot Memoir." Now he's released "Bigfoot: I Not Dead." This is some rompin' stompin' good time fun reading, people, and it at the bedside is a fantastic way to fall asleep funny.

My favorite journal in this book, so far, is entitled "Mate."

Get yourself to Amazon.com and experience the hilarity of Graham Roumieu. You won't be sorry!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

If You A Fly Gal Get A Pedicure ...

In today's episode of My Little Pony, West Farthing gets his shoes did ...

You may or may not know that owning a horse requires getting them shod on a schedule that works with their feet/growth patterns, but that typically spans about 4-6 weeks. WF, being big pimpin', gets his shoes did er' 4 weeks. I had to take him on a field trip to the farrier on Sunday, 1.5 hours away, and $125 in diesel later ... plus the cost of his shoes ... can I just say OUCH?!

But you can help. For as little as $.50 per day you can contribute to this worthwhile cause and keep shoes on West Farthing. By having shoes, WF is able to walk across hard surfaces. He can leave his special brand of hoofprint on turnout bitches that won't get out of his space. They hold his feet together. Without your help, WF might be shoeless. Please, won't you help? Pledge your monthly donation of $15 to www.whyyousospensive.com. WF thanks you from the bottom of his big ol' heart.

p.s. Please don't say anything about his head being big. WF is very sensitive to this and wants you to know that a head-on shot is never flattering.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Dental Implant: II

So on Friday morning my homeboy Derelicte collected me at mi casa at 6:15 a.m. for my 6:45 a.m. dental implant surgery. We were hanging out in the waiting room, laughing, watching CNN when FLUMP, out go the lights. The generator back up kicked in but, I'm sorry, where surgery is concerned I feel strongly about there being a viable, hard-wired power supply. I don't want you all up in my mouth with your little battery backup like it's post-hurricane or solar powered low-wattage energy, you hear? So we all hung out a little more then Derelicte and I discussed the awful phenomenon of people having surgery but being fully-conscious under the anaesthesia, even though they're not supposed to be. Awful thought, isn't it? Of course, they didn't knock me all the way to Kingdom Come but gave me heavy sedation. I kept thinking, "OMG, I am awake and do they know that?" but then would think, "It's OK actually, oooh, birds," and eventually asked them "Am I ever going to get knocked completely out?" My doctor said, "No, just heavy sedation." It was a bit anti-climactic but now I have this awesome bitchin' silver bullet implant in my jaw and a mouthful of stitches. Yeehaw!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

What A Difference A Bit Makes ...

So, The Prince of Tides West Farthing had to endure my regular 5" bit for our first 10 days together. It's a generous bit - a KK Aurigan loose ring - that for some reason I just felt he was like, "bleck," about. And granted, .5" doesn't seem like a huge increment but apparently to a horse's mouth it's the difference between "A'fur piece" and "A hop-skip-jump." When I got home last night WF's box of swag was on my doorstep, and included his new 5.5" Happy Mouth Loose Ring French Link snaffle bit. Say that 3 times quickly. I outfitted it on my dressage bridle, which has a flash noseband, instead of my jumping bridle because why wouldn't I? I have choices, y'all, and life is too short to use the same bridle over and over. If you think I am not going to buy him another bit to put on his jumping bridle, guess what, I am!

Anyhoodle, it was sprinkling a little and I was due to meet the barn bitches (yay!) at Pepito's but once I had My Little Pony groomed with some new brushes and wearing his new Woof boots and bridle, and the rain ceased, I had to complete the concept by tacking up and doing a quick 20-minute jaunt around the arena. It was quiet and cool and I was pretty amazed at how much differently WF went in his new bit. Granted, every time I've ridden him he's gotten better. You must remember he's been out of work for over a year, and he's learning how all of his incredible training can be completely undone in 2 short weeks a completely different rider, so the expectation isn't short-term but, moreso, what can happen over time.

He's positively amazing, however, and sometimes when I really focus and concentrate on what my body is doing and asking, he'll give me a few steps of sheer heaven. It's seriously like floating down a river of honey and manna.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Emerald Boa

I dreamed about the snakes on Sunday night. It's been awhile since I have done that, though each time I do I am humbled and forced to accept I will likely always have this recurring nightmare. Years ago I recognized its genesis - a childhood trauma that involved an encounter with a very large (harmless) king snake and my father jumping over a fence and racing, panicked, to save us. In the dream a snake appears, and I begin to run away from it, usually to turn and see another at my feet, until suddenly I am surrounded by snakes and I can only cry and seek help from my father. As I was home on Sunday, and outside quite a bit, it doesn't surprise me that I had the dream again. The snake this time was an emerald boa that was sliding through the grass so I didn't see it until it raised its head to strike. I ran to the roof of the house and from the overhanging oak tree branches (a tree that has since been removed, though my sister and I commented on the branches of another live oak tree in the front yard that has created a canopy since we were kids) another green snake dropped down, and there were other green lizards and reptiles on the roof, some of which were clinging to me and one, specifically, that was trying to eat my finger.

MSJ is petrified of harmless green lizards. Mostly because I terrorized her with them when we were tiny. One tried to visit her front porch when we were chilling on Sunday, which is probably the basis for the dream. Not to worry, however, my 12 year-old niece wants to play fast-pitch softball and as we were practicing in the front yard, she zinged me right on the ankle thus avenging the Easter Sunday Softball Incident involving her younger sister and restoring balance to the family.

What I find most interesting, however, is that I took some photos of my scooter - an emerald green color - beneath the trees as I really hope to sell it. And for some reason I think this is all connected.

Emerald green + tree x (going home + lizard encounter) = nightmare with snakes.

I mean, it makes sense, right?

Monday, May 12, 2008

It's A Family Affair ...

Down on the coast, this is how we do. We love a big pot of boiled crawfish or shrimp (in this case) with all sorts of other "good stuff" thrown on the side, and great company to share it with. I headed down to Mobs on Saturday morning after I went to make out with WF for a few minutes. In 24 hours I made it to a graduation reception for my two cousins, a birthday celebration for my now 8 year-old niece, and a Mother's Day celebration where my mama, my sister, and my aunt were the guests of honor. It was particularly awesome and while I'm a bit whooped this morning, I'm recharged on the family front. And in case there were any questions, my father/brother's recent semi-eviction from the little league park after my nephew was called out at home plate for his first home run, and an impending homicide investigation for Daddy's 76 year-old cousin in Virginia, reiterate my humble white trashiness.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Trot A Little



I always loved the name of Stevie Nicks' 1986 album "Rock A Little." In addition to being a freaking smokin' album, I inherently connected to the title. Little know factoid about The Robster: homeboy loves him some rock-n-roll. In fact, I will one day breed a horse and name it Rock A Little and, of course, call it Rocky. I tried to give the name to my friend Bryan for her 3/4 TB x 1/4 ID (Coconut Grove x Diamond Elle IDSH) when I still lived in Little Rock. I thought it was a great play on words.

Concluding my weeklong blog dedication to West Farthing (cue the loud trumpeting music which preludes his entrance, and envision the flags unfolding as we walk down the shedrow) I've included a video of me riding him Wednesday night. It should be entitled "When Amateurs Attack," but I thought it would be fun to share just because. I don't care that he's a bit wonky and I hope you can see that he doesn't really care either. In just one week one thing is apparent to me (and it was from the very beginning), West Farthing is not only a survivor, he's a thriver. He steps up because it's innate to him, and that quality is so pure and so precious that I cannot impose dilution by denying him the opportunity to try.

Happy weekend to all! I'm heading down to the coast tomorrow for a few graduation and birthday parties, as well as Mother's Day. Still trying to figure out how to ride at the ass crack in the morning and return in enough time to play on Sunday.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

I Got Candy Galore ...

You knew I was going to post about WF today didn't you? Admit it. You were suspicious. It's OK, I've declared this official West Farthing Week. Let the joyous news be spread! I would much rather live in a WF bubble than anguish over the Democratic race for presidential nomination, the horrid cyclone in Myanmar, or my complete lack of interest in organizing myself personally. Horse trailer organized? Oh Hell yeah. Because that's what I do. I organize my horse trailer.

West Farthing and I are now entering BFF status. I called his name when I went to the barn last night and he stuck his head over the door with his ears perked and gave me a deep nicker. I think he has figured out that I am for sure going to come scritch his ears and feed him goodies at least once each day. Sometimes more if time allows. Because why? Because I'm a barn bitch, that's why.

Riding him continues to be a fun experience. It was only the 4th time I've sat on him, and the 3rd since he's been here. He is a very polite, kind horse and it's obvious he's waiting for me to ask him the way he knows to be asked. Being that I am Robby: Amateur Man, I am not sure I'll ever be able to do that, but I think he's beginning to adapt and knows that all I want him to do is put his head down and work long and low on a soft contact.

I went on a little shopping spree yesterday morning and bought him some new stuff, including a loose-ring Happy Mouth french-link bit. Hopefully that will make him a happy boy.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Midnight Snack

West Farthing consumes my conscience for the time being. I'm sorry, I'm infatuated! It's like going home from a bar with Brad Pitt and waking up to find him cooking you breakfast and asking what you want to do for the afternoon. This is a pic of WF from Sunday, as we were tacking up for our hack in the park. I am pretty sure this was pre-fly-spray because as you can tell, he still looks genuinely placid. And, admittedly, he pretty much is this way 100% of the time. He gets over himself really quickly because being upset causes us to use energy, people! I taught pilates last night until 8, then ran out to the barn to visit, and wound up taking him on a half hour hand graze. Today I am placing my first order from Dover Saddlery in at least 3 years. This of course will open up the floodgates of 3 catalogs a week because apparently they subscribe to Direct Mail Theory: 1992, but I need some lead ropes and a few new curry combs and brushes. In reviewing my horse trailer the other day it became very apparent that I need to have another simplification. I have so much shit and, seriously, like at least 20 different options for cleaning my tack. Speaking of, my saddle is so squeaky that I can barely think when I'm riding in it. I oiled it after I rode on Sunday but am thinking it needs a hard-core treatment. I'd love ideas from people on how to return it to that soft, unobnoxious, state. I have Hydrophane, Lexol, Carr Day & Martin, glycerine, Bienenwach's, and made even some other stuff too.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Interactive WF



From time to time - meaning never really but I thought you'd like to see anyway - people ask me, "What's your new horse like?" So I took a lil' video of him on Sunday when we were walking around.

So far, here is my assessment:

1.) West Farthing is always hungry.
2.) West Farthing hates fly spray.
3.) West Farthing hates flies. Feel my conundrum?
4.) West Farthing loves his shower but hates lawn sprinklers.

Overall, he talks out of both sides of his mouth. Which is why I love him so much.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Sometimes, All I Need Is The Air That I Breathe ...



Saturday morning dawned with the crack of lightning and the roar of thunder. I could hear the monsoon assaulting the roof two stories up. "Ugh," I thought. "Is this another sign?"

You see, I've been cooking up the idea of getting a new horse for the past five weeks. And at every critical decision "juncture" (that's so old school GWBI) there has been some sort of opposition. On Friday night when I went out with the borrowed truck to pick up my trailer, the wiring wasn't a match and for a brief moment I thought I wasn't going to be able to travel to pick up the promised pony.

Thankfully there has been an angel or guiding force through each barrier, and the process taking the next steps toward my goal has really validated what I've felt stirring in my soul for the past year: I need a horse. I need to smell their smell and breathe their breath and touch their body. It's what anchors me. It's my content.

Many people do really amazing things in life that aren't necessarily grand or categorically "more important." They just represent the right thing at the right time. In the past 3 months I have become really aware of the gift of recognition and acknowledgment because I have received it from people who I never knew I was affecting. I was just doing what came to me naturally and what I felt was the right thing to do. That recognition has humbled me, and inspired me to continue on a path that I once doubted held the answers I was seeking.

And it has taken me to another level in my person, because it's opened up a part of me that has always been comfortable existing in pretense and not really saying the things that I feel. A little bit of affirmation goes a long, long way. I train my dog and horses via positive reinforcement methods (meaning I acknowledge and reward when they're doing something right), so why wouldn't I do that with people? As I keep spiraling up the age chart, I recognize what matters to me increasingly more is the blessing of authentic relationships.

And so that is my focus as I move forward in life.

Now, super-sappy Robby purge is over. Let's talk about West Farthing! My new horse is a precious soul. Injured in a horrible trailering accident - the sort that any horse owner has nightmares over - but much less than what could've been, he is incapable of performing at the very top level at which he was a routine player for most of his adult life. I have admired him from afar for many years. He would come into the arena and time would stand still for me. He was big. He was bay. And he had that presence that said, "I'm 100% available and willing to perform at the top end of my range."

Picking up his feet is a huge honor for me. Having him accost me for ginger snaps and peppermints is an added bonus. After an exciting drive through Saturday morning's storm to his home in Chatsworth, Georgia, with my friend Justin navigating, I sat on him for the first time. It was hysterical by industry standards - me who hasn't sat on a proper riding horse in nearly 2 years flailing about trying to jump a 2'6" chevron on a retired 4* horse - but it was magic at the same time. I fell in love, put him on the trailer, and the rest has been history. All 36 hours of it.

We weren't even to Chattanooga when the sky cleared and the afternoon became the most crystal clear perfect May day. I took it as a sign. Things are looking up!

I wasn't sure I could let a horse into my heart after I sold Rhodes. But sometimes all we have to do is meet the right person, or the right horse, and the shell of the person we created out of a defense mechanism is shattered and exposed for the hollow facade it actually is.

Leona sings it best, you know? "You cut me open and I keep bleeding love."

Welcome to my life, West Farthing. You've improved it already.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Deborah Palfrey

I think this story is so sad. I hate that our country is so hung-up on other people's sex lives - to the point that this woman, who catered to the lawmakers, for God's sake ... talk about sleeping with the enemy - that we go on the proverbial witch hunt every time the opportunity presents itself. Who cares, really? There is so much more going on in the world that matters and needs attention.

I particularly feel horrible for Palfrey's mother. At an advanced age, the last thing I'd want to know is that my mother spent her remaining years grieving the horror of discovering my self-imposed death.

Suicide is such a shitty option.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Handle Me



I love this song. I love it when a non-native-English-speaking-popster uses ghetto-esque words in her lyrics. It's so white!