Thursday, September 30, 2010

Baby Girl's new saddle

 I had to buy a new saddle because Baby Girl is to wide for all my other saddles. I found this one on E-bay and I really got a nice saddle! It fits her well. I tried it out and rode her for about 45 minutes. You could tell the difference right away. She stumbled less and she didn't swish and flick her tail in pain and irritation, even her canter was slower and more controlled. I'm really happy that the saddle fits her well. I will have to find a new set of stirrups that are shorter because the leathers are just a touch to long for my short legs. I've got the leathers all the way on the last hole and still need about an inch shorter. I found this stirrup maker online called Nettles Country and I called them today. They make what they call a "petite" stirrup that is shorter then a normal stirrup so I'm going to have them make me a set. 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

S510 The Food Safety bill.

Will this bill really be beneficial to you and your family? Not if the FDA has their grubby paws in deciding what you get to eat. Check out the comments the FDA has made during a law suit proceedings earlier this year.

FDA’s Views on Food Freedom of Choice
S510 would give FDA significantly more power to regulate food, particularly food in intrastate commerce. For those who think it’s a good idea to give FDA more power, here are the agency’s views on your freedom to obtain the foods of your choice; these are direct quotations from the agency’s response to a lawsuit the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund filed earlier this year challenging the interstate ban on raw milk for human consumption:
  • "There is no absolute right to consume or feed children any particular food." [A--p. 25]
  • "There is no 'deeply rooted' historical tradition of unfettered access to foods of all kinds." [A--p. 26]
  • "Plaintiffs' assertion of a 'fundamental right to their own bodily and physical health, which includes what foods they do and do not choose to consume for themselves and their families' is similarly unavailing because plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to obtain any food they wish." [A--p. 26]
  • "There is no fundamental right to freedom of contract." [A--p. 27]
For those that think it is a good idea to give the agency more power, here are some of the products FDA has allowed in the marketplace: MSG (monosodium glutamate as an additive), high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), aspartame, genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), Avandia (prescribed for type 2 diabetes) and Vioxx (arthritis pain medication).

The recent egg recall along with other food recalls have prompted a push for more food safety regulations. However the same problem STILL remains. The FDA already HAD control over the inspections at the egg farm and they failed to properly conduct those inspections. So tell me again how adding NEW regulations on top of old ones will ever help keep the food safe if the required inspections are not done properly?  Check out the full bill  here and decide for yourself if you really think that this is the right way to go or not.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Garden Update

I'm Beet! 
Actually more pickled beets have been requested at my house. Looks like I have a good supply!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Early Halloween story!

Something happened at work this week that caused quite a stir. Some of our employees are always out in the filed across the county in different areas and occasionally they find things. This time they found an interesting pile of rocks surrounded by bones. There was an obvious cow skull, a deer or elk skull with antlers and some sort of dog or coyote skull. None of that really caused as much of a problem as the small human skull found in the center. The employees took a photo of the scene and brought it back to work to show the rest of us. We ALL said "that looks real" especially compared to the known real ones on either side.  One employee called his father who happened to be a deputy sheriff. The deputy came over and looked at the photo and talked to the two employees who saw it and felt that it was suspicious enough to take the photo back to his boss. The sheriff thought the photo was suspicious enough to get a search warrant for the property.  So they go and search the property and find out that the skull was a fake!

Let me tell you, it was a very anatomically correct looking fake! Unfortunately for privacy reasons I can't show you the photo, but  99% of all the people who saw the photo believed it could be real. The owner of the property where the site was located is not at all happy and called our office screaming that it was all our fault. However we had no control over how the sheriff decided to conduct his investigation of the find. Our employees did their duty in reporting a suspicious object and that was it. The land owner said one of their kids and placed the fake skull there for Halloween one year many years ago.

The moral of the story? Yes there actually is one. If you have an anatomically correct fake human skull that you want to display at Halloween, make sure you pick it up and store it away instead of leaving it out for years at a time to weather and crack like a real one might.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Ride the Divide

Labor Day Monday we loaded up Baby Girl and Ladybug and headed out for Continental Divide.  It's only about 10 miles down the road. We wanted to get Baby Girl out for some Practice rides away from home. She's only been on one other off property trail ride and out with other horses only three total times, so she needed to get used to seeing another horse on the trail with new sights and sounds. We went to an area on the Cibola National Forest that used to be a military Radar Station. The only thing left there now is a paved road leading to it and a paved parking area big enough to hold multiple horse trailers or turn a big rig around in it. You do have to be careful on the road leading in, it is paved, but years of neglect have allowed the weeds and shrubs and even trees to grow in on the edges. You will have to drive down the center line of the road most of the way.  

The riding area is just totally awesome. We made a big loop that was approximately 8 miles and took about 2 hour.

This first photo is a view from the parking area looking out on the valley below.

We rode out through the valley for a while before we finally got up in the trees. 
Then we looped around and came back out of the trees on the far side of the valley.

We got home in time to take Booger Butt for a 30 minute ride in the round pen.  He's doing really well. We even practiced a few of our obstacles in hand so he'll get used to them. He walked over that tarp as if he's been doing it his whole life.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

ApHC: The Modern Version of the U.S. Cavalry for the Appaloosa horse

The Appaloosa horse is going the way of the dinosaur. The Appaloosa Horse Club is aiding in the extinction of the noble horse of the Nez Perce. That’s right the club founded to protect and preserve the Appaloosa horse has been instrumental in leading to the decline of the very breed that profess to protect. Two recent decisions have specifically highlighted this issue. In 2009 and early 2010, the Appaloosa Club Board of Directors (BOD) voted to basically remove the requirement of an ApHC registered parent. This left the door open to allow the registration of any foal born with appaloosa characteristics from any of the ApHC approved breeds to be registered with full showing and breeding privileges. That means any full blood registered Quarter Horse, Thoroughbred, Arabian or any combination of the three born with appaloosa markings registered as an Appaloosa. One example is the AQHA stallion Reminic in Spots who was born with a loud appaloosa blanket. Under this ruling he would have been allowed to be dual registered with the ApHC as well as holding a registration with the AQHA.  It also means that if the owner of an Arabian registered mare bred such mare to a stallion like Reminic in Spots and produced a foal with appaloosa characteristics, that same foal would also be eligible for full registration. Under current ApHC rules, it has been acceptable to have a horse that is only 1/8th or 1/16th Appaloosa bloodlines and 7/8th or 15/16ths of another (approved) breed as long as the horse has appaloosa characteristics and pattern.  But to have a horse with no documented ApHC registered lines being allowed full registration rights based on color and documentation of pedigree from one or more of our acceptable cross breeds has proven to much for the membership to handle.  ApHC membership immediately went to work on the BOD and directed them to rescind that ruling at their June 2010 BOD meeting.

However, not long after that ruling was overturned, the ApHC National show results were posted. The posting of those results has stunned the ApHC membership. The current 2010 weanling ApHC National Champion “You Can’t Be Serious” is sired by a Paint (APHA) World Champion stallion “Seriously Secure” with two Paint (APHA) registered parents. Yes that’s right a PAINT stallion. The Paint stallion in question is also dual registered as an American Quarter Horse and based on the ApHC rules, AQHA horses are acceptable cross-breed horses. When the AQHA removed their excessive white rule restrictions and started registering all horses regardless of the amount of white, ApHC also created a new ruling that forbid the use of horses that have been branded with “undesirable” white markings by the AQHA. Unfortunately that leaves a few horses in the loop of acceptable breeding for the ApHC. But in addition to the above rule ApHC also has a rule that states that horse cannot be from known Paint, draft or pony breeding. A dual registered stallion shown as Paint but not as a Quarter horse and with two documented APHA/AQHA dual registered parents and multiple APHA registered siblings would certainly fall in the category of “known Paint breeding”. Additionally the stallion is being advertised as a Paint with statements like “85% color producer on Paint mares”.   Unfortunately the ApHC registrar did not see it that way and allowed the foal to be registered because the stallion also had approved AQHA papers. Additional the foal is also a non-characteristic (does not have appaloosa characteristics) and is dual registered with the Palomino Horse Breeders Association who does not allow appaloosa characteristics or pattern to be acceptable for registration.

The foal was then allowed to be shown and has been chosen by the judges to be ‘representative’ of the ApHC breed standards. If this is the ‘representation’ the ApHC accepts as their standard then the ApHC is nothing more than a bunch of cross bred barely appaloosa horses.  The ApHC is dying and members are splitting off to one or more of the many other developing Appaloosa registries. The members are jumping ship and refusing to support this continued downward spiral of Rule breaking and lack of integrity brought on by the Club’s want for money and recognition. The problem is with each new rule brought up in an attempt to “fix” the decline in memberships and registrations the only thing the ApHC has done is continued to isolate and irritate their membership. They are out of touch with what their membership and even the general public thinks about the Appaloosa horse and the ApHC in general.  The ApHC will never gain membership with the direction It is headed.
 With the acceptance of this colt as an Appaloosa and his National Championship award, the club formed to protect and preserve the Appaloosa has become nothing more than a Quarter-Paint-aloosa stock horse registry.  Individual ApHC members have vowed to fight to have the registration of this colt revoked and also have him disqualified as an ApHC National champion.  Lawsuits are in the works by individuals to sue the ApHC for breach of their own rules.
  Many ApHC members or former members have moved to develop or work with the lesser known Appaloosa registries that have formed over the years. Some former members have even gotten completely away from ApHC as the primary registry for their horses. Registries such as the Colorado Ranger Horse Association, International Colored Appaloosa Association, American Appaloosa Association, Foundation Appaloosa Horse Registry and the International Purebred Appaloosa Association are drawing membership away from the ApHC. Even the Nez Perce Tribe who originally developed the “paloose horse” has turned away from the ApHC because of the path that the ApHC has chosen.  Most of these registries do currently rely on the ApHC as a basis for their horse pedigrees, but several are stand alone registries that do not require registration first with the ApHC.  These ‘splinter’ registries as they have been called are providing a service to members who want to see more of a secure future for the Appaloosa horse. Each registry has specific requirements for registration including the requirement to not have excessive “paint” white markings and prohibits the known paint bloodlines. The National Champion colt in question would not be eligible by pedigree or by pattern to any of the known “splinter” Appaloosa Registries, yet he was the one chosen to be a ‘representative’ of the ApHC.   The U.S Cavalry attempted to kill off all these great horses once before and the ApHC is now trying to finish the job, but rest assured, there are still breeders out there trying really hard to preserve the Appaloosa even if it means dumping the ApHC and building a whole new registry. 
One thing to think about, the AQHA is one of the largest breed registries in the world. If the AQHA disappeared today many people would be upset. On the other hand if the ApHC were to disappear today, less than 1/3rd of the membership would really care or have a problem with them going. It’s time for the ApHC to stand up and put a foot down and do what is really truly right by the Appaloosa horse because if you fall, there are already a whole lot of people saying “don’t let the door hit you on the way out”, and I with my four appaloosas will be right there with them.  I’m sadden to think that the registry built to preserve this fine breed is slowly ripping it apart and reducing it to nothing more than a colored horse without a lineage back to the noble Nez Perce horse of the past. I can no longer support a breed registry that is set on destroying the heritage of the horses they claim to be preserving.


Monday, September 6, 2010

Sunday Riding

Sunday was another good riding day. Keith helped me build a couple of obstacles around the house and then Keith saddled up Ladybug and I saddled up Baby Girl. We did some obstacle practice. I didn't get any photos of anything except the obstacle themselves.

The big scary tarp obstacle was first. I placed mine so part of the blue and part of the brown shows face up. That way the horses won't get used to only one color. 

We worked on the picking up the slicker and carrying it from place to place around the outside of the round pen.

We tried the pick up a hat from the horses back obstacle for the first time. Keith had this really old hat that's been a bit beat up and ready to be retired in my opinion that he agreed to let me use for this training. it worked out really well and neither Baby Girl or Ladybug were bothered much by the hat flapping around near their face.

We hung up a bunch of baling twine for the "Vine simulation" obstacle.  This didn't bother either of the girls at all Even though this was also a brand new obstacle. You have to look really hard at the photo to see all the baling twine strings but they are there.

We also worked on the log drag. I'm using a light weight log for the moment for the horses to get used to the feel and sounds of something dragging behind  them. I'm also practicing having them back up while facing the log.

Finally I've been using my "recycled" old front porch steps as a mounting block as part of the practice for mount and dismount obstacles at the ACTHA events. They like to see you use some sort of mounting assistance either a mounting block or rock or other natural rise. So we've been practicing that also. 

After a bit of practicing, we then went out on a trail ride around the neighbors property and practices a few other natural obstacles Like backing up hill and weaving though trees. It was a great day!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Saturday Riding

So far the weekend has been very good in the riding department. Saturday I decided to see start training my gelding Bright Snow Eagle (AKA Booger Butt). He's had a saddle on several times before, but no one has ever ridden him yet. Well that was until Saturday. He did totally awesome! I stepped right up and we walked calmly around the round pen for about a half an hour. That was it no big deal. He didn't even get worked up or hot or sweaty.  Do these photos even look like this is his first time?

After the ride, Keith wanted better photos of his spots so we led him over to the mounting block so he could stand above him and get the following shots. This first one is his 'Eagle Spot" 

I think it looks like a Native American Eagle Dancer.

And the second one is his petroglyph sheep spot. Compare this

 With a photos of  petroglyphs or drawings of Petroglyphs like this

 or this

 He's roaning out a bit as he ages and his mother was also a roan so I'm really hoping that he doesn't loose at least these two spots. I really like both of them.

Thursday, September 2, 2010