Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Grooming Session - Smoking Goat

We did not ride this weekend. After the last ride, we felt it would be best for John to let his shoulder heal up a bit more before we got back on the trail. With this being the shedding season, we decided to do some grooming instead.

What a mess! The Girls are losing enough hair to make another animal. They have been rolling around in the mud, and have all manner of straw, sticks, and leaves in their tails. It was quite the job getting them cleaned up, but we finally did. And then as soon as we let them out, Divna promptly rolled again!! After getting all spruced up, Zora tried on John's hat!

We tacked the task of trimming goat hooves, and attempted to curry them as they are shedding as well. Of course we cannot do this without proper "fortification" (beer, rakija, and a cigar for John).We discovered that they absolutely love John's cigars! Especially Misho....

John also took the time to write a new post for his blog -- check it out at www.theotisrules.blogspot.com It really is funny, and you have to have a sense of humor when reading his posts and not take them personally.....
READER WARNING: Those who are easily offended by adult "blue" language read with caution!!
(It is pretty strange given the subject matter of this blog -- he posted it a few days ago, and then yesterday his mother fell and broke her hip!)

Monday, March 22, 2010

1st Post-Op Ride

On Sunday we had our first ride since John's surgery. I was a little nervous about it, seeing how Zora is such a handful, but he felt like he was ready. He had been working with her on a lunge line a bit recently, and we counted on that to wear her out enough to be on her best behavior. He lunged her a couple of times last week, and then again just before we rode. That is, once I was able to "capture" The Girls...

Check out this video -- they were being real stinkers running from me. They haven't done this in a long time. It is so strange how they mess with me like this. They would run and avoid me, then all of a sudden just decide to stand still and be haltered. I think they plan it.

I didn't realize you could hear me talking. Notice I never once said "Whoa!!" (Duh!!). You can also hear the halter buckles klinking together, and when I get close to the barn you can hear the Serbian music blasting!

So then John did a lunge session with Zora saddled up.

We hit the trails through the woods just around our house. It was a short ride because we didn't want to take a chance on him re-injuring his shoulder. Plus a really nasty cold wind had kicked up, and we were wimps about it. He said the only part that seemed to not agree with the shoulder was when he was getting in the saddle -- pulling himself up aggravated the surgery site a bit. But overall, it was OK. We should be back to normal riding sooner than anticipated. Originally we thought it would be a full 6 weeks, but here it is less than a month and he can manage it. We will still have to be careful and take it easy, but at least we won't miss all the Spring riding.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Equine Artist

Here in Northwest Indiana there is a woman who loves to do pencil drawings of people and their horses. She is a retired Realtor (coincidence!) who draws these pictures from photographs she sees of people with their horses. Years ago she had done a picture of our friend Dee from a photo of her and her horse that was in the newspaper (I forget what they had done to get in the newspaper -- it was something good though, not a crime or anything like that).

Dee showed her a photo of me with Divna, and she made a drawing. Here they are, side-by-side, the photo and the drawing.

The photo is one taken before Divna lost her eye. We used to use it in advertising for our real estate business. Divna's ears are cut off, which is really too bad, because I like the picture. She was gracious enough to put Divna's ears back in for the drawing.
Recently, she saw an ad in a real estate magazine with John and Zora's picture. She drew John and Zora, and called to tell him that she had drawn his picture. She did not know that we are friends of Dee's, and that she had drawn a picture of Divna and me a while back. Strange coincidence. She was pretty surprised. So here is a side-by-side of John and Zora -- photo and drawing.
(Sorry, I am not real good at positioning the photos on the blog........)
She always puts the drawings in a black frame. She says she is good at drawing horses, but not so good at drawing people's faces. I think her drawings have an unexplainable charm; even the way she draws the people is interesting to me.
We really like these drawings. John took Dee and the artist to lunch as a thank you....

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Surgery - Visitors - The Last Ride

It has been crazy around here!! Our exchange student from 2001 was here to visit -- she is like a daughter to us, and we were so excited to see her again. She was here from the 2nd to the 7th, and we had the best time. Well, except for Friday the 5th when John had surgery on his arthritic shoulder (not the same shoulder he shattered in the riding incident; the other shoulder).

So with him out of commission, we won't be on a ride for another six weeks!! Way too long, especially because the weather is now breaking -- the ice is melting, the snow is almost gone, the temperatures are warming up a bit, and the Indiana Dunes will be available to equestrians again (the cross country skiiers' loss is our gain).

One of the last rides we took was a couple of weeks before his surgery. Zora got a new saddle blanket, so we took it on its maiden voyage. The saddle pad he has for her is so thick -- I have never seen another like it. It is fine for the winter, but I always feel sorry for her in the summer. She is so high-charged under saddle that she sweats even when standing still. So he got her this new blanket, and I think it is quite attractive. She will be more comfortable this spring and summer.

We took the trails around here -- through the woods of Otis, and across a nearby corn field. The trails in the woods were a touch beat up from the four-wheelers. I am not complaining here -- the four wheelers have just as much right to the trails as we do. I would just prefer to be on the trails when they are not there. They freak the horses out a bit. Luckily, we are usually on different schedules. During this melting time of the year the four wheelers do make some ruts in the trails. Nothing we can't handle, though!

So it was a pretty nice ride -- a bit muddy but that is part of the deal, isn't it?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

"I've Won A Major Award"

That was the line from the movie "A Christmas Story" and it seemed appropriate here. My blog-world friend Callie has once again passed an award on to me. It has taken me a while to pick it up and post on it, and I do not want to appear ungrateful -- which I am not. In fact, I am really flattered and pleased. We have had a visitor this week -- our foreign exchange student who was with us in 2001 has been here for a visit. Lydia is from Italy, and she is our first "exchange daughter." We haved another, Marie from Germany. I wish she were here too....

But on to the business at hand. As I said, this award was presented to me from Callie at Midwest Horse Blog http://midwesthorse.blogspot.com/ She has been a great blogger friend. We both live in the Midwest and can relate.

The object is to tell 7 things about myself, and pass the award on to 15 others. I can tell 7 things, but I don't think I know 15 others to send it on to, so I will do my best in that regard.

1. I love a good vodka martini on the rocks with bleu cheese stuffed olives.

2. The shop where I work employs 55 people -- only two of us are women, and I am the only woman working full-time there.

3. The book "Lost in the Shuffle" literally changed my life.

4. I have ridden horses in 4 countries -- Mexico, Italy, Germany and the U.S.

5. One of my biggest regrets in life is that I did not go to college. I was not motivated, neither of my parents pushed it, so I just did not go. My high school counselor was the only one urging me, and that was not enough evidently. The counselor was right......

6. I have started playing guitar again recently. When I was in my 20's I played, and though never great at it, could play a few songs half way decently. My mother had a natural talent for music -- she could hear a song on the radio and then be able to play it on the piano within an hour. She could also play almost any other instrument she picked up. My brother inherited that talent. I did not -- I had to work at it. I fell out of the guitar playing, but recently decided to try it again. My fingers are killing me!! I have to get my callouses back....

7. When I was single I was into bicycling. The farthest I ever rode in one day was 62 miles. I took a vacation (by myself) to Vermont for a bicycling weekend, and it remains one of the best vacations I ever had.

Now, who do I pass this along to????

My good friend, Debby at Webquilts....http://webquilts.blogspot.com/
I am not sure who else??? Will have to get back to everyone later on this one.....