Re-Aligning the Stars

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Way back in May 2010, my blog post was titled, "The Stars are Aligned". With great confidence, I listed the following upcoming 2011 events in my horse world:
  • The first of the sixth generation of "The Dynasty"(my name for the descendents of my good mare, Duchess) would arrive in 2011 - Wildwood Legacy Lace (great-great granddaughter of Duchess) was bred to Walking With Wolves
  • My best mare, Peppy Del Cielo, was carrying a Wimpy's Little Step foal to be born spring 2011.
  • Peppy Del Cielo's three sons, Running With Wolves, Wildwood Liberty and Walking With Wolves were all eligible to compete in reining Derbies in 2011 (a very rare situation) and it was my goal to make that happen.
  • Walking With Wolves was in reserve spot in a Saddle Series and could win the saddle in 2011.
  • Peppy Del Cielo's granddaughter, from the first crop of Running With Wolves' foals, would be three years old and eligbible for reining futurities.
And so, in 2011, Prima's three sons would compete against each other in a Derby (how cool is that!), her granddaughter would enter the reining pen for the first time and she would have a Wimpys Little Step foal at her side. And...Walking With Wolves, sire of the sixth generation of The Dynasty, could win the British Columbia Reining Association Saddle Series. As I stated in The Stars Are Aligned, 2011 was lining up to be a stellar year. Did I really believe ALL of these landmark events would bless my world? No, I didn't . . . but some small part of me believed they might. After all, it was my time . . .

Five Years Ago... and Now

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Five years ago today I moved to the Chilcotin. Looking back, I'm not sure how I accomplished that by myself. I moved out of a huge property in Armstrong in November, re-located my horses, lived with my dog in the living quarters of my trailer for six weeks, then loaded the back of my truck with bales, packed the living quarters to the roof, hitched up, loaded my yearling stallion, Wolf, Splendor, and Legacy, jumped Kirby (my Samoyed) into the back seat and started driving. I took possession of my new property at noon on December 22, 2006. At about 12:15 I turned off highway 20, down the lane and through the gate to my new home.

I have yet to find words to describe how I felt (and I've tried...) when I first glimpsed the rustic log house overlooking the river.

Super Stars of Rodeo

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Although rodeo was a big part of my life for many years, I don’t attend many any more. My life has gone a different direction. Rodeo is still in my blood, though and, with modern technology, I can see the big ones from the comfort of my living room. I don’t ever miss that chance - I just watched all ten goes of the National Finals Rodeo on wide screen television! What a treat! (I couldn’t help thinking of how Dad would have enjoyed watching this…)

I must confess I watch the horses as much or more than the contestants, although they are one and the same thing – the bucking horses doing the best job they can so riders can score the best, calf roping (I know – it’s tie-down roping now!) and steer wrestling horses carrying their partners to the calf or steer and, of course, my personal favourites – the barrel horses. The intelligence, courage and talent of these dedicated athletes (the horses, I mean) astound me. Most horses would rather be in the pasture doing nothing but eating and sleeping but these horses look like they love their job. For sure, they know their job. And, like the contestants, a few stand out above the rest. Who cannot appreciate Sweetness or Jessie or Martha?

Jessie is a 16 year old black AQHA gelding, Lee Graves’ steer wrestling horse. He is named for Jessie James – because sometimes he is a little hard headed. Seems he “failed’ at several disciplines (racing, calf-roping, barrel racing) because he did it until he didn’t want to! Steer wrestling was a fit.

Sweetness is Clint Cooper’s main mount in tie-down roping. He is 19 years old I believe and still going strong. As I watched him in the NFR, I marveled at his intelligence and “feel”. Ears forward, eyes firmly fastened on calf and then rider when he is tying, he keeps the rope tight but not too tight, moves left or right as needed. Incredible. Sweetness is named for Pro football player, Walter Payton – he even carries Payton’s number – 34 – on his shoulder.

And Martha – what cannot be said about Martha! She has “made” Lindsay Sears in the barrel racing world. (I read somewhere that Lindsay said when Martha cannot compete any more she would quit competing...)With her unique turn, incredible speed and unstoppable courage, she has endeared herself to many. Lindsay and Martha represented Canada at NFR (the only Canadians!) and what a job they did, winning the average and the World title!

So yes – I enjoyed watching cowboy after cowboy compete through ten performances of the finals but it was the horses that stole my heart - not just Martha, Jessie and Sweetness but all of them. They are all deserving of recognition for they are the partners of the contestants that qualified for NFR. Without their horses, the contestants are nothing. I'm pretty sure they know that.

As I watched each go-around of the finals, I became more and more motivated to run barrels again. I started thinking about training one or two of my reining horses to run barrels. As a matter of fact, if it wasn’t winter, I probably would have headed to the barn and got started but since my arena is out of commission now it will have to wait to spring. I’ll keep you posted…

Beautiful horses and cowboys in black shirts caught my eye at NFR! Guess I wasn't looking at horses all the time... nothing better than a good looking cowboy in a black shirt!