Monday, February 28, 2011

My Horse Show Top Ten

According to my dad it is genetic. It is my love of horses! As long as I can remember, I have loved them! While many little girls dream of being ballerinas or princesses...I dreamed about horses! Lucky for me, I have amazing parents who made my dreams come true! They worked and saved and sacrificed more than I realized so that I could have horses. The impact that horses have made on my life is profound and I am grateful forever for the sacrifices my parents made to make that dream a reality for me!

When I went off to college, the horses were sold (I know where they both are and they have wonderful loving homes). While I was sad to see them go, I thought this was a part of my life that was likely over. Little did I know...once it is in your blood...horse fever never goes away! Lucky for me, I have a husband who, while he doesn't particularly like horses, he loves to compete and has been just like my mom and dad when it comes to supporting my horse habit!

I am certain I will write about horses a lot in this blog. I have not shown in a year. This past weekend, we went to a show to do some business and the bug got me again. I can't wait to show! So, I thought this would be a good time to give you a list of things that I love about showing horses....

  1. the smell of face highlighter (sort of like a mix between flowers, frosting and candy)
  2. the shuffling sound your horses feet make in the sand when he is jogging his heart out
  3. the clothes (who doesn't like a jacket dipped in rhinestones and a crisp white felt hat)
  4. that feeling you get standing at the start cone of a showmanship pattern
  5. that feeling you get when you rock a showmanship pattern with "the showmanship machine"
  6. a perfect 360, trot around a cone and a speedy back
  7. a flawless horsemanship pattern
  8. a horsemanship long trot...a perfect long trot...the kind that leaves you exhausted from not only holding your frame but your horses frame together in perfect timing
  9. the look on your trainer's face when you kill (in a good way) the horsemanship no matter how tired you and the horse both are
  10. the look on your husband and parents face when they know that you have accomplished something you have worked for your entire life

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Bull and the Chicken

The Bull and the Chicken...sort of sounds like a fable (you know, one of those stories that is supposed to make you learn something), right? WRONG!!! Here is the story of the Bull and the chicken.
Meet the bull:
Insn't he pretty? Well as pretty as a bull can be! His name is STF EZ Rider aka Reggie. Andy claims that Reggie is a "kitten"! How many 2000 pounds kittens have you encountered in your life?

Meet the chicken:

ME!!!!

Now that you know the characters of the story, here we go...
I am a horse girl. Although I have adjusted to this cattle thing pretty well and I do pretty good with the cows, Reggie is another story! I am scared of him and I am not ashamed to admit it! As far as bulls go, this one is a big sweetie...but he is still a bull and I am a CHICKEN! One thing I have learned living on a cattle farm: if a bull doesn't like the set up...he will just do some rearranging! We have good fence, good gates and good working facilities, but if a bull wants a change, he will make it! Reggie, in fact, can unhook a gate, push over a gate or climb through 8 strands of high tensil fence (hot)!

Reggie is an escape artist! He can get out of anywhere! Do you remember in my last post when I told you that the bad stuff only happens when Andy is not home...case in point, Reggie prefers to escape on my watch! Reggie escaped this past Saturday, pushed the trash dumpster around the driveway and scared the daylights out of me (think sit in my car until someone will come save me from this 'savage' beast) so in honor of his Houdini like skills, I thought I would share a few of my favorite Reggie moments.

1. Reggie tries to kill the house: yes...I said house! BRAND NEW house that is...on the day we moved in! Luckily, that was the only time that Andy was home for one of Reggies escapades! He escaped and ran right toward our brand new, shiney house, that didn't even have furniture yet! Luckily, he chose the front porch and the back yard as his stomping ground! I wasn't sure how I was going to explain the bull in our laundry room to the insurance agent! Good thing Andy was there to save the house from Reggie's wrath! If you know Andy, ask him sometime how helpful his wife is, as she sits in the safety of the car, while Reggie and Andy run laps around the new house!

2. Reggie visits the daycare center: The church across the street from our house has a day care center. Evidently, Reggie really likes kids, so he again...escaped! This time he crossed the road and was hanging out on the church lawn when I got the call that he was out! Why on earth anyone calls me when Reggie is out, I will never know (remember...CHICKEN)! No worries, we got him contained and I don't think the kids at the daycare even knew about the excitement.

3. Reggie kills my birdbath: I don't know what Reggie has against bird baths. I love this bird bath! It is crazy heavy and I made Andy move it from our old house to the new one...just because I LOVE IT! So why Reggie felt the need to smash it and stomp my flowers I will never know! Again, no one was hurt, except for the bird bath!

4. Reggie takes a road trip: Picture this...2 week old baby sleeping in the house, it is December and I am home alone. I get a knock on the door from a nice young man who says to me "you have a cow in the road!" Little did that nice young man know...that "cow" was a bull...you guessed it...Reggie! Reggie was in the ROAD! While the nice young man and I were coaxing Reggie out of the road, I think 20 rocket scientists drove by to tell us "hey, you have a cow in the road" ....Thank you helpful motorists for your incredibly insightful observations! Well we got him in again!

These are just a few of my favorite Reggie moments. All in all, Reggie is a good guy...but I sure wish he would stay behind the fence!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Well That Was Awful!

Living on a livestock farm, you learn to expect the unexpected. Sometimes things go perfectly; weather is good, cows are fat, calves are thriving, horse rides well and everyone is happy. Other times, things go BAD, weather sucks, water lines freeze, something breaks, cows need help calving or the horse is a total bone head! These things are all part of the business and I totally get that. As a farmer, you work very hard to make sure that you avoid all the bad stuff! Unfortunately, no matter how hard you try, sometimes the bad stuff happens anyway! So here is where my story starts....

**warning: for those of you that are faint of heart...this might not be your cup of tea**

When you have a cattle farm, there are a lot of things you hope never happen! One of the big ones is PROLAPSE. If you don't know what a prolapse is...google it...think insides on the outside! I really don't want to go into the nasty details but it is YUCKY!

In all my life, I have only seen one prolapse. It was on a cow, and thank God, it did not belong to us. While this condition looks bad, and treatment for this is pretty invasive (if you know what I mean) it is treatable and luckily, a vet got to that cow just in time! During that experience, I thought to myself...God I hope this never happens at our house! As you know, we work very hard to provide a safe and comfortable life for our animals, so of course, I don't want the bad stuff coming our way!

Well, last night the bad stuff came to our house....PROLAPSE! Of course Andy wasn't home (you will learn in later posts that the bad stuff always happens when I am flying solo)! While I pride myself on being pretty resourceful, I wasn't sure what to do in this situation! After gagging a little at the shocking sight, I called the vet. Luckily they were open until 7 pm and it was now 6:15 pm. (all of you animal people know that animal health emergencies only happen on Sundays and holidays when it costs 3 times as much to fix, so I was feeling pretty lucky). I knew I had to get this animal to the vet! You are probably all wondering, why isn't the vet coming to you or how in the world are you going to get a cow on a trailer and to the vet with Preslee in tow in 45 minutes!!!!

Well.....here is the catch...it wasn't a cow! It was a barn cat! I know barn cats are a dime a dozen, but he is a good barn cat and I felt pretty sorry for him! Gabe (the barn cat) was in bad shape! I was certain that this was going to be expensive and I did not want poor Gabe suffering in the barn with this awful problem until he eventually died. So, I packed up the cat, met Andy in the driveway and off we went to the vet. I was certain we were euthanizing this cat! I hated that option, but what else do you do for a barn cat with his insides on the outside!

Evidently, euthanasia is not the only option for a prolapsed barn cat! After about an hour of cleaning and I am not sure what else (I really didn't want to get my face into what was going on back there), Gabe was fixed! Gabe is now resting comfortably in our heated barn office, on a nice warm bed, with a bowl of soft cat food and a new litter box!

I believe in my heart that we have a moral obligation to take care of our animals. Between the dog, the cats, the horse and the cows...they all get the same care and attention! I hope and pray there is not a next time when it comes to animal health emergencies; however, I am a realist, so I know better! Let's just hope next time isn't for a long time! Yay for Gabe and thanks Dr. Tamer Abdalla (Mooresville Veterinary Hospital) for your expertise!
here is Gabe still pretty "loopy" from the drugs

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Picture This


Before I get seriously into blogging, I need to get some pictures up on the my family page so that you can all put some names to faces together! Do you see where this is going??? OK it is going nowhere fast so, I will get to my point! I have some amazing photos to share with you...and I didn't take most of them! Since I take lousy photos, I wanted to give credit where credit is due!

A couple of years ago, I was lucky to reconnect with a childhood friend from my 4-H horse and pony days. While she still loves horses, dogs are her passion! This love of dogs and her amazing talent as a photographer helped to build her business Simply Spotted Photography and Kim Butler Photography.

While Kim lives in Florida, I have been lucky enough to have her shoot some of the most important things in my life: Preslee, Andy, our home and pets. She can capture a moment with a child or a dog better than anyone I know. Be sure to hop on over to Kim's website and check out her amazing work (you might recognize one of her cover models...hehehe)!

Welcome To My Home

***photo by Kim Butler Photography***

Well here it is...my first blog post ever! According to the blogging workshop in which I have participated, this is my blogging home. Since I am sure there are three people zillions of people who are dying to read all about my random thoughts, I was thinking that this first post would be a great time to tell you all a little about me.

My name is Ginny. Get it "Gin and Juicy Juice". I am totally not a drunk, but there are only so many plays on words that I could come up with and since I am a mom to a small child, it seemed appropriate.

I live on a small cattle farm in Central Indiana with my Husband Andy and 1 year old daughter Preslee. We are extremely close with our families and for that, I am completely grateful! I am a mommy, daughter, sister and sister in law. I take all of those roles to heart and try to be the best I can be at all of them!

I love diet coke, all The Real Housewives series, animals, clothes, shoes, and shopping for Preslee! I HATE alarm clocks, dishonesty, people who abuse and animals and that stupid Bizarre Foods show that Andy wants to watch 24/7.

Andy shows cattle and I am the official fashion director and poop scooper at all cattle shows. I didn't grow up in the show cattle community, but I love it!  I have a horse that I showed ALOT before having our daughter. Since Preslee entered the picture, horse shows have been put on the back burner. I am looking forward to the day that I get to cover that kid in sparkles and put her on a horse! I promise to not be a whacky horse show mom! So far, the kid has shown way more interest in the spring horse in the house than the real thing...but mommy can dream!

My plan for this blog is a place to share stories from our family, our farm and our lives. I hope you enjoy and I look foward to sharing our craziness with you!