Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I Ride

I just received this email and I have seen it before but because I just love it, I want to share it with all of you too.

I ride. That seems likes such a simple statement. However, as many women who ride know it is really a complicated statement with power and empowerment. Being able to do things you might have once considered out of reach or ability. I have considered this as I have shoveled manure, fill water buckets in the cold rain, wait for the vet/farrier/electrician/hay delivery, change a tire on a horse trailer beside a busy highway or cool out a gelding before getting down to the business of drinking a tall glass of sweet tea after a long ride.

The time, the money, the effort it takes to ride calls for dedication. At least I call it dedication, my husband calls it "the sickness". It's a sickness I have had since I was a small girl bouncing my model horses and dreaming of the day I would ride a real horse. Most of the women I ride with understand the meaning of "the sickness". It's not a hobby. It's what we do and, in some ways, who we are as women and human beings.

I ride. I hook up my trailer and load my gelding. I haul to some trailhead somewhere, unload, saddle, whistle up my dog and ride. I breathe in the air, watch the sunlight filter through the trees and savor the movement of my horse. My shoulders relax. A smile rides my sunscreen smeared face. I pull my ball cap down and let the real world fade into the tracks my horse leaves in the dust.

Time slows. Flying insects buzz loudly, looking like fairies. My gelding flicks his ears and moves down the trail. I can smell his sweat and it is perfume to my senses. Time slows.

The rhythm of the walk and the movement of the leaves become my focus. My saddle creaks and the leather rein in my hand softens with the warmth. I consider the simple statement; I ride. I think of all I do because I ride.

Climb granite slabs, wade into a freezing lake, race a friend through the Manzanita all the while laughing and feeling my heart in my chest. Other days just the act of mounting and dismounting can be a real accomplishment. Still I ride, no matter how tired or how much my seat bones or any of the numerous horse related injuries hurt. I ride, and I feel better for doing so.

The beauty I've seen because I ride amazes me. I've ridden out to find lakes that remain for the most part, unseen. Caves, dark and cold beside rivers full and rolling are the scenes I see in my dreams. The Granite Stairway at Echo summit, bald eagles on the wing and the bobcats on the prowl add to the empowerment and joy in my heart.

I think of the people, mostly women, I've met. I consider how competent they all are. Not a weenie amongst the bunch. We haul 40 ft rigs, we back into tight spaces without clipping a tree. We set up camp, tend the horses.

We cook and keep safe. We understand and love our companions, the horse. We respect each other and those we encounter on the trail. We know that out there riding, you also shovel, fill, wait and doctor.

Your hands are a little rough and you travel without makeup or hair gel. You do without to afford the "sickness" and probably when you were a small girl, you bounced a model horse while you dreamed of riding a real one.

My treasures do no chink or glitter, they gleam in the sun and neigh in the night.

Happy Trails,

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas

I probably will not be posting again until after Christmas, so I just want to tell all of you Merry Christmas. I hope all of you receive the gifts you were hoping for and that you are able to spend time with your family. Remember those who are unable to be with us and enjoy the ones that are.

We had a little snow fall last Saturday (that left soon after noon) but Conner (my grandson) was so excited to see the snow, and for the first time he was able to get his sled out and take it down the small hill behind the house. The ground under the snow was not frozen, so he was hitting the mud most of the time, but what a beautiful smile he had on his face. I just had to share a few photos of him and S.T. with you. I guess you have to say "this is what it is all about".

Friday, December 18, 2009

Holiday Shopping

I hope everyone has their shopping list finished. If you do then you are not like me and just now thinking about it. Now, the weather man is forecasting rain and snow and that will probably knock out the last minute shopping trip :o).

Don't forget your animals during the busy time of the holidays. With traveling, the snow, and just plain miserable cold sometimes we would rather just snuggle by the fire and not get out, but remember you have animals that depend on you for their life. We enjoy their company in fair weather, (if you are like me, I call myself a fair weather rider... in fact I have turned my mares out until spring :o) so let them know you care, by being there for them when it is so cold out. Plenty of good grass hay will help keep them warm. The more they eat and utilize the energy the warmer they will be able to keep their body. Also, just because it is not hot out and they are not drinking as much water, you still need to make sure they have plenty of fresh water. You may have to break or dump the ice from the bucket a few times a day. Take care of your animals and they will make better, more healthy companions.

I hope everyone has a joyous Christmas and a prosperous New Year. I am thinking positive and really feel 2010 will be better than ever! Enjoy your families during the holidays, as a friend once told me "make memories".

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

09 High Point Award Pictures

I finally was able to get the pictures from Saturday night to a place everyone can view them. Most of them were taken by Brooke (my daughter-in-law), but they all turned out very nice. You should be able to copy them, but if you have any problems, just email me and I will email them to you. If you are not in any of the pictures, then you just didn't make it to the presentation area :o). Congratulations to everyone, I know you worked very hard to achieve the awards. I look forward to seeing everyone back on the show circuit next year. Go to our website www.vanbertfarms.com and click on Digital Images By Vera and it will take you to my page where you need to click on Horse Events. Enjoy the photos.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Mountain Horse In The Movies

The Greening Of Whitney Brown is a family comedy movie about a little girl, played by Sammi Hanratty, that has to move from the big city life to the country. Her parents are played by Aidan Quinn and Brooke Shields. In the movie she meets her estranged grandfather played by Kris Kristofferson, a rusty old rancher with horses. One of the horses used in the film is our very own VBF's Dr. Feel Good, a beautiful gelding sired by Choco Dock. The movie will not be released until sometime in 2010, but we are all very excited to see him there. Watch for the movie and VBF's Dr. Feel Good and Tommie Turvey The Equine Extremest.

Monday, December 14, 2009

UMH High Point Awards Banquet

The 2009 UMH High Point Awards Banquet was held this past Saturday night. Much preparation and planning was done in advance by members of the show committee and it made for a very successful event. Since the last show was in September it had been a couple of months since we had seen some of our old friends and show acquaintances. It was nice visiting with them and seeing how lovely we all look when we "clean up nice". :o)

I am attaching some pictures from the event, but I am also at this minute downloading all of the pictures that Brooke and I took this weekend, onto photobucket.com so go to our website and click on it and you are welcome to download any you see there for your own use. I have run a few through photo shop, so if you really like something and you want me to do that for you, just email me and I will send it to you through your email. It may be tomorrow before it all gets posted as there were several and it is taking a lot of time. One of the pictures attached to this post is of the awards table and one of the high money bush (Judy Brummer made that and I personally thought it was a very nice piece of art, the flowers are made out of dollar bills!), the other is of Mary Lipginski and S.T. Congratulations Mary!
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