Twizzler's Magic

Twizzler's Magic
Sarah and her first horse

Saturday, November 27, 2010

No Longer Searching

After seeing the weather last weekend and seeing the weather now...thank God we went last weekend as hairy as it was.  It is a winter wonderland right now.  I have had the reality of hauling water out to Rosie twice a day, and feeding her.  I can can honestly say, even as bad as the weather has gotten and as deep as the snow that I have been trudging through.....I am loving life!

I believe that I have been totally blessed in this life. I have a wonderful husband, two great kids and a great job along with many great friends and extended family.  But, a lot of people do not realize what a life altering change this new journey has been for me. I am no longer a couch potato.  I actually get out there and shovel while I'm coming in from the pasture.  I would have never done that before.  I am still domestically challenged..but I hope to improve on that as well. I may not be getting anywhere near to a size 5 soon (since I haven't been there since I was 10) but I am able to do things I haven't been able to in a long time due to two curly haired horses named Rosie and Twizzler.  This is I was searching for in my life.  I absolutely love being greeted at the gate.  I am learning so much every day and yes, I will make mistakes and drive people insane with my stupid questions.  I just hope they put up with me through all of them.  Hopefully, one day I can be a resource for others.  

We found out a lot about Rosie and her background.  She came from California (please don't hold that against her) from Penny Johnson 6 years ago.  Penny just happens to be the same lady that I met from Bonners Ferry (she moved a few years back) and we considered one of her wonderful horses, but he wasn't old enough for what we wanted.  Now, Penny bred Rosie to a horse name KC Prince Charles and the result was a horse named Penny's Crystal.  The owner of Penny's Crystal lives in Colville, WA.  Her horse GF Rockette and Penny's Crystal crossed our path in our journey to find the "right" horse.  It truly is a small world especially in the curly world.

We will continue on our journey and I hope to one day have Greg into it as much as we are.  He is making baby steps and I am proud of each and every one of them.  Yes, I was blessed before...but am totally blessed now!

Monday, November 22, 2010

A "Rosey" Homecoming

This last weekend, we brought Rosie home.  She lived in Sultan, Wa and was now going to have a home with us in Harrison, ID.  Being late (really late) fall, it was kind of a crap shoot as to what the weather was going to be like when it came to bringing her home.  This weekend should have been crossed off of our list.
Greg had wanted to shoot for next weekend and be more prepared in more ways than one, and I really hoped we could also.  It sounded better.  Unfortunately, when I called the owner, it didn't really work out well for her.  I am always so worried about inconveniencing anyone, so we worked it out.  Saturday was great other than getting a late start.  I had a hotel all lined up with a pool, so Sarah enjoyed every minute. She is such a little "mermaid", as she puts it.  Sunday we woke up to a few flurries and after a quick dip in the pool and a good breakfast we hit the road.  Hubby started getting a little nervous and so we decided in and out when grabbing Rosie.  Unfortunately, she had not been loaded in a trailer for a whole lot of years, and this one was a smaller trailer and she is a bigger horse.  Well, besides trying to come out the side window, we got her closed in and ready to toll.  Unfortunately again, she was not a happy camper and made herself known. But by the time we got her going down the highway, she settled in nicely.
The roads were pretty good until we hit Snoqualmie Pass and then all heck broke loose.  It was a nightmare...a whole 3 hours of going 15-22 miles an hour in blizzard conditions towing a horse trailer.  Greg was white knuckling it the whole way.   When we finally made it through the pass, the roads started to improve around Che Elum.  After that, it was switching back and forth and the storm was right on our tail.  We were able to get up to 60 quite often when the roads cleared.  We stopped a few times to see about water, but Rosie was content eating her alfalfa.  We kept up with road condition via Dustin the whole way.  He was very helpful by letting us know what to expect.
Around 8:30, we made it into our drive.  We did not know how Rosie would react getting out of the trailer, so Margo and Lexi came down to help out.  She unloaded really good, having turned herself around and facing the door.  Lex ran her to help get her legs back and I think she really wanted to jump on her back right then and there.  She was happy to be able to experience a curly who's mane didn't fall out when you grab it.
We got Rosie settled into her round pen with some good Timothy hay and water.
When I fed her this morning, she was munching away and content.  Now I can relax...for the time being. 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

When things just seem meant to be

I was looking for wagons for my friend Margo on Craigslist last week, when I came across an ad for a curly.  I was rivetted to her.  I showed Greg and he didn't try to dissuade me at all, he wast just ..silent (with Greg, that can be a encouragement).  I emailed and told them about us and our journey.  When they got back to me, they told me someone else had spoken for her but they said it sounded like I would have been perfect for her. I was so disappointed.  Later that same morning, I got another email and then a voicemail, asking me to call, because the other woman had backed out!  Margo had mentioned that a friend had a trailer heading home from California and we may even be able to get her to pick the horse up if we liked her and I remembered that she offered if I found one that way. Everything was clicking into place. 
So we made arrangements to go on Veterans Day.  Karen, the Worley Postmaster,  and I left at 5am and made our way to Sultan, Wa 6 hours away.The closer we got, the more beautiful the country was. 
When we got there, Chris was so hospitable. She was such a kind lady.  She introduced us to the horses and immediately, "Rosie" and I established a relationship. She loved to be petted and fawned over.  She wanted to be the center of attention but when I decided to test our new "relationship" and walk away, she left the herd and followed me at every turn.  There was no halter, no treats.  Chris and Karen commented that she had picked her "human".  That was a defining moment and I knew, this was my horse. 
Rosie was beautiful, but her spirit unbelievable.  She has a major presence being 15hh and stout, but an unbelievable calm about her.  She was not pushy, was very aware of your space and let you do anything you wanted to her.  She is a sorrel with a blaze and a long mane and tail.  Her curls are appearing in "S" shaped waves down her neck and body.  Everything about this horse seemed right.
When we went to leave, Rosie followed us to the gate and Chris walked us to the house and offered us a place to wash up and then made us lunch.  This was the first time, in all the places I have gone to see curlies that we were offered lunch.  Karen and I enjoyed talking with Chris so much and she was so gracious.  Even if we had decided against Rosie, it would have been a worthwhile trip.  But I am so glad it worked out the way it did.
On our way home, I called Greg and let him know about our excursion.  He asked alot of questions and was very open.  He joked about how the "negotiations" were just beginning.  Once again everything felt right.  When I got home, I put a quick post on my Facebook page, "Today was a great day, hopefully tomorrow will be a good one too".  In the morning, we talked some more and he listened to my stories of Rosie.  As I was walking to my car to go to work, my phone alerted me to a new comment to my FB read "Today is a great day, go for it girl!" from Greg.  Gotta love that guy!
I wanted to get ahold of Cindy before I committed to make sure she could still get Rosie home.  When she got back with me, the news was not what I had hoped for.  They were coming thru southern Idaho, instead of through Oregon and Washington.  Since that was part of my "salespitch" with Greg, I still needed his approval.  If this was to happen, I had to do everything right so I had no regrets.  When he finally called me back, he told me to commit to Rosie; that this was the right one, we would work it out.  I almost cried! 
I have seen alot of curlies over the last 6 months and being the impulsive one that I am, have wanted to bring almost all of them home.   I am thankful for a husband who has sorted through the options and helped pick the ones that were right to join our family.
I went to see Twizzler at Margo's Friday and also show her pictures I took of Rosie.  As we were sitting there, Twiz raced through the pasture, kicking up her heels, bucking and rearing.   She was playing!  I could watch that all day long.
Greg was was a Great Day!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Happy on Horseback

Last week, Sarah's trainer Margo, invited us over to join her and Jessica Hammons on a trail ride.  Jessica is also new to the horse world and her kids take lessons with Margo and Sarah.  The ride was wonderful.  My daughter led the group riding Scooter, one of the ponies she uses in training.  I am not comfortable enough yet to let her have at it with Twiz on the trail. 
After saying that, halfway into the ride, my rein came loose on the right side.  It was one of those "Oh crap" moments, but I told Twiz "whoa" and she stopped on a dime.  Me, being the comedian I am, hollered out to Margo "hey, isn't ths supposed to be connected?" as I am waiving it in the air.  I hopped off and she helped me connect it back up.  Then, it hit!  How in the heck am I going my butt back in the saddle.  Having had knee surgery and not being as young and spry as I used to was like I was climbing Mt Everest!  Thankfully Margo's husband wandered by to go deer hunting and held the saddle on one side while I used a stump and jumped on.  I am going to invent a smart ladder for climbing on while I am on the trail. 
We had a great time and I was comfortable.  Again, It felt right and I cannot wait to continue our journey.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Husbands and Horses

My husband Greg has not been that keen on getting a horse.  He had envisioned the farm in his mind, and after the allergies hit, horses were not a part of it.  We can both get pretty stubborn when we have our minds made up and its not always a pretty thing.  But I want to thank him for not only helping my daughter have her dream, but also making mine come true too.  I am really lucky to have him and would not trade him for the world.  Now...about that second horse....LOL!

Our Journey Begins- May- October 2010

While my mother was here for her winter stay early 2010, we started researching curly horses.  There were many that were saddle trained, but they ranged from $3000 on up and it was out of our price range,  We kept going back to one that we fell in love with her video..but she was so far away.  I decided to keep checking locally but each one I saw..did not sit well in my stomach.  Either it was not suited for us, or I was too much of a novice for it.  During this time, we kept returning to that video and the horse on the screen we fell in love with.  Emails were exchanged and the price was right, but she wasn't trained and everyone cautioned me against her.  But everything "felt" right.  I figured I would take a road trip to see her, so one day, Sarah, sister in law Rhonda, her dog Carly, and I took a "quick" road trip to Dallas Oregon to meet WK Twizzler and her owner Wendy. Twizzler was a 5 year old sorrel with a wide blaze on her face.  The only time she was handled was for vaccinations, and trimming; but when brought in, she stood calmly while Sarah cleaned her hooves and groomed her,  Something felt "right".  We got home and talked to Daddy about it.  Within 2 days, he told us we could get her if we wanted.  Wendy had offered to keep her for the summer until we could arrange transport and figure out housing.  We were horse owners!!  After that, the miracles kept happening....this was meant to be.
Through Craigslist, we found Allison and Norm of Sunset lake Ranch and they brought her home on the first of August for a fraction of what everyone else was asking.  Jan Bartenhagen offered us her stables and worked with me on groundtraining her.  I learned so much from this wonderful lady.  She is amazing!  The month of September, Sarah Lampert broke Twiz to ride and now Margo and her daughter Lexi are putting miles on her. 
Six months ago, Twiz was a pasture ornament with no training and today, she has had 30 days and is a remarkable horse.  She does not spook, and she had a very level head on her.  Sarah Lampert took me on my first trail ride in 30 years on her after 25 days of training and I was amazed.  I rode her over to Margo's with Lexi accompaning me, and my daughter Sarah trotted her in the round pen bareback. Twiz was a perfect lady all of the time.  So, I believe I have found a great horse, a remarkable trainer and some great friends on our journey. As for tack:  our friend Casey loaned Sarah a saddle; it was his first saddle when he was a kid.  Allison, the girl who brought Twiz home, gave Sarah a saddle pad, breast collar, bridle, halter and reins.  Margo and Lexi had to make sure she was complete, so they gave her blue glittery hoof polish.  Now Margo is going to teach me to ride the correct way.  I am sorry for all of the people I drove crazy during our quest, Karen and the people I work with daily...but we are here and a new chapter is opening for us.
We are so blessed to have all these people in our lives.