Friday, April 30, 2010

A weekend with Mark Rashid

If you're a horse person like me you've probably been to a clinic or two. (Some people "collect" clinicians, like they do the little pins they wear on their hats.)

Maybe to ride, lucky you, or to audit. Auditing sometimes does more for me in the education department. Watching other folks do what they're supposed to do, or not, may be easier for me to see, than them, sometimes.

Over the years I've been to a number of clinics. Numerous John Lyons "symposiums", the Friday-night-feature-style-mini-clinic, the weekend-break-a-horse-in-a-short-time clinic, and the three-day riding clinic. Attended all the clinics, bought the round pen.

I've seen Richard Shrake work with horses. I think it was he. I remember the big winter white felt cowboy hat. The clinic was held in a frigid indoor arena in February. My teeth were chattering so loudly, I hardly heard what he had to say. Didn't matter much. Bought the videos, watched them once, sold them on eBay.

I've watched Clinton (c'mon, not "Clint" yet?) Anderson "train" horses. But in this case he talked so fast and non-stop, I think the horses did what he asked just so they could be done with the man and go back to their stalls. Holy moly, that guy can rattle on, and that's before he starts hawking his special training equipment that you must have to do his "method". I walked away from this clinic, early, and smiled because they didn't get me to buy a single item!

I've seen horses "Join Up" with Monty Roberts. Read the book, got it signed.

Then, last weekend --- came the quiet man.



You know when a person is pretty smart about something. They talk a little, you listen a lot. They have the rider ride, you watch. You quickly say to yourself, "Wow, this guy knows his stuff!"

That's how Mark Rashid's clinic went. He was quiet with the horses and peaceful with their people. As each rider came forward for their one-on-one time, he asked, "How can I help you?" Simple, oh so simple.





Not --- "This is my way, the only way, of training horses." "These are the books, and DVDs and CDs you must use to train your horses the way I train my horses." "This is the equipment that is specially made for you to buy so you can train your horses the way I train my horses."





Oh and, "Did I mention MY way is the only way?"

Not Mark. There was no theory-according-to-Rashid. There was no special tack or bits or halters to buy. Just a gentle, quiet man with a passion for horses and life (which to him, I am sure, is one in the same.)





I didn't ride this time around. My miniatures would have protested mightily if I'd stuffed two or three of them under my behind to carry me around the arena! But someday I'll be retired to my ranch in New Mexico. Someday a new saddle horse will come into my life.

And we will ride with Mark.

Quietly and compassionately.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Pimping for "the Cure"!

HA! I thought that title would grab your attention. Let me explain:

This weekend we went to eastern Washington to audit a horse training clinic (more about that later). Creel, our Greyhound, spent his weekend with his foster mom, Lori and her four dogs --- 3 Greyhounds and a Borzoi.

On Sunday, Creel accompanied Lori to the Spring Fair in Enumclaw and helped out at Lori's Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure booth.




Pairing up with Lori's co-walker-for-the-Cure, Creel scanned the crowds for donations.



Tough enough to wear pink, working-dog Creel wore his pink beads with pride as he collected donations.



Hours later, an accomplished fundraiser, Creel caught some shut-eye.



And finished out his successful day with a "thank you" hug from a young fan.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Lost in Translation



'Tis the season for shedding winter coats and some of our critters are more ready than others.



Take for instance Pete...NOT ready. Pete has a coat the consistency of Berber carpeting and it doesn't blow until it's good and ready. Doesn't mean it can't itch though.

So we wait.



Quaker was brushed out big time and left some horse hair for the swallows' nests. Otis --- horrified --- found what he thought were "the remains" of Quaker!



And boogied out of there.







Sighing, Pete commented, "Geesh, freakin' sensitive, huh?"

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Makin' Out Like Bandits!

Last weekend we celebrated April birthdays by heading out to one of our all-time favorite restaurants...Famous Dave's BBQ.

The invitation from our friend Dave came a week or two ago. "C'mon over for some "Q"," Dave said. "We'd love to," we said, smacking our lips.



Between the three of us we had 3 coupons. One for Bruce for a free dessert, one for Bryan who was celebrating his 27th birthday and one for me...to celebrate a birthday that happened, well --- let's say, more than 27 years ago.

Three people, three coupons. When the BBQ sauce was finally wiped off our smiling faces, this was our bill!



Famous Dave's famous Bread Pudding $6.59 --- DELETE (coupon)
Famous Dave's Appetizer Sampler Platter $15.95 --- DELETE (coupon)

AND...the biggie, the most expensive item on the menu, goes to Bryan.

Famous Dave's All American Feast $59.95 --- DELETE (coupon) !!!

A trio of Garden Salads, a couple pops and a few Sam Adam's later, the real bill was only $27.70.

"Ahhh, waitress? We're gonna need some "to go" containers please."

And so you know we weren't complete bandits, we did leave our awesome waitress Angelica a very decent tip.

We were feelin' mighty generous!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

See Spot Run!

Sometime around the beginning of the year, like on January 3rd or so, we took "Spot" to the post office. Spot was a sheep skin, most recently a live sheep at my friend's farm, and was to become a rug. Spot was a particularly lively sheep and had charged into my friend's husband's arm (wince) ripping the bicep muscle from the bone.

Can you say OUCH? Can you say this sheep was not the most favorite four-legged on the farm? Can you say the husband offered to "do the sheep in" and prepare the sheep for the trip to the tanners in Pennsylvania, with a big smile on his face? Yes, yes, and hell yes!

That was the easy part, preparing the hide. Then came the trip to Pennsylvania. The postal worker told us the trip would take 8 - 10 days, max. NOT. Spot was lost somewhere in Texas and spent over 7 weeks on the road.

Can you imagine the shape Spot was in when he arrived in Pennsylvania, not refrigerated of course, in a plastic bag? Let's all chime in with a --- "GOOOOOOOEY!"



Finally, Spot has redeemed himself. He's arrived at his new home at last. He'll eventually grace a tile floor in our New Mexico home, but for now will lay around looking magnificent at our place in Washington.



Good job Spot.



And about "going postal"? I don't recommend it.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Best Little "Kettle Corn" House in Washington

NOT to be confused with a house of another name and reputation, here's the brand spankin' new Kettle Corn house for my fledgling business. It was a little windy last weekend when we first set it up so we only got one of the sides attached and tested the 40 pound weight bags. You get the idea.




Every business needs a house and this EZ Up Shelter customized with awesome graphics by The 7MSN Ranch does just the "trick" (pun intended)!

Yeehaw! Can you smell the Kettle Corn yet?

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