Saturday, January 24, 2009

Beach Trip 200?

This is the one and only time I've ridden Lester on the beach and I seriously can't think of what year it was...The American Red Cross sponsored this beach ride and for $75 with an ugly blue hat you could ride on the beach...the sad part is that none of us that went on this trip together are even friends anymore. Not because of this trip, just for other reasons.
Tanya from South Carolina brought her trailer down the weekend before the trip so that she could trailer Lester and I to a Field Trial. Lester and I played the judges just like at an England coursing event. My job was to hold up a colored flag representing which dog had won that course. I wasn't the real judge and the winners were called into me by waki talki. Lester did wonderful at this as he usually loves big crowds, he thinks it's all about him. Tanya decided to leave the trailer here in Georgia instead of taking it back with her to SC.
I get to the farm on the Thursday before our trip and Bill the farm hand (this guy was a complete nightmare of a worker, but that's a different story) informs me that Porsia, his Rottie has chewed up the trailer light adapter wires. He says that he noticed it the day before, but didn't mention it because he didn't know when we were needing the trailer. In other words he just didn't care. Tanya and Todd arrive and they realize that what Bill has half ass fixed isn't going to work so before we head to SC we'll have to stop at an Autozone store to get the correct parts. So we load Less up and hit the road, with no looking back...
On the way to the Autozone I realize that I cannot find Lester's Coggins paper- you know the little yellow paper which is like the MOST IMPORTANT paper you can have on a horse and must be with you at all times when traveling. So I turn to Tanya and say "you're going to kill me:-(" and I told her what I didn't have. She was good about not killing me then in there, it might have been becauseI thought me not having Less' coggins paper was a short lived. Because shortly after I told her I went rummaging through my purse and was so excited when I found "that yellow toned paper", but turns out it was an old vet bill:-(. So then Tanya was back to wanting to kill me and I really couldn't blame her. We get to the Autozone and Todd goes in to buy the necessary parts- turns out they didn't have exactly what we needed so he had to make due with what they had. He was able to get it to work and got the trailer lights turned on! "Yeah- we're all set"!! (except for the coggins paper). So we hit the road again, well try to anyways. Tanya pulls out of the parking lot and has her foot to the floor and the truck and trailer are barely moving. Todd jumps out to check on it and notices that Tanya has drug the trailer about 50 ft because the trailer brakes locked down when the trailer lights were turned on.
Tanya and I go into the shop to get a flashlight and wire cutters. Fortunately there were some really helpful guys behind the counter - NOT. Todd even asked one of the guys working there if he had any other speed than "dead"! Turns out, he didn't. So with no register help what so ever, Tanya and I tear into the packages so I can take the tools out to the truck and let Todd get to work on the trailer. Tanya stayed inside to pay for it. Then Todd began his work on "disarming the bomb" so to speak- we had our fingers crossed that he would cut the correct wire and still enable the trailer lights to work!! Phew, with a snip of a few wires we were good to go. Though we had no turn signals the entire trip, at least the trailer moved now and the brake lights worked!! THANK GOD FOR TODD!!!! Had he not been with us with all this (he almost didn't come with Tanya to pick me up), we NEVER would have made it. Again, onto SC we go, well not yet. Remember, we still have to backtrack back to the farm and find the coggins for Lester. We didn't have a safe place to turn around so I arranged for Debbie (John the barn owner's late wife) to pick me up at the front gait and drive me to the house. I tear apart my car and can't find the coggins anywhere!! But I got the brilliant idea to take Chase's coggins with us, so that we would have the correct papers on at least the same color horse. The only thing different was the face markings and believe me, we thought of everything as to how to prove Lester as being Chase......Once again we are off. We pick up Karyn shortly after, about this time Lester has been in the trailer for over 2 hours and we aren't even out of Georgia yet. He was a trooper though and never got fussy.
During the road trip we are discussing ways to get Lester in the beach ride without having his own coggins. We actually weren't too worried about it because we still didn't know the whole procedure of the horse and coggins check. We didn't know how thorough it would be. Though we were 4 hours behind schedule, we were still in good spirits. We pulled into the driveway of Tanya's barn about 1am, put Lester to bed and then headed back to her house for a good 3-5 hours sleep. Friday morning we head over to the barn where the farrier is there waiting to put new shoes on Jeebs and Lester. Yeah, did I mention Lester threw a shoe the day before the trip? Shoes back on, horses loaded as well as tack, off to Myrtle Beach we head. On the way there I started reading more material about the ride and the coggins test and began getting more worried about the whole switch-a-roo Coggins thing. At one time we even had the idea of buying some white shoe polish to make Lester's marking even more similar, but decided against it. Friday afternoon we finally arrive in M-beach, I know Tanya was ready to kill me if she heard me gasp one more time while she was driving! For the record she and Todd both did a terrific job driving the trailers .....After we settled the horses in at the barn about 10 minutes from the beach we were back to our "criminal" ways and scoped out the coggins inspection ground. We wanted to stake out the joint and pick the best time to plan our attack, or arrival, which ever you prefer,for the following morning. So after this we are all a little bit more settled on how we are going to pull this off. We got to the beach house ready to settle us humans in and take showers, but are locked out! We called the lock smith and he said he'd be a couple of hours, so we decide to go on to dinner....laughing all the way and wondering what could possibly happen next. Over the course of dinner Tanya was facing a huge dilemma, "Should I wear blue or black jeans tomorrow"? I realize that this is a "have to be there moment", but Karyn then said "OMG, that is the least of our problems!!" it was all in fun though and we all got a huge laugh out of it. On the way home from the dinner Kayrn spotted some shaving cream and sprayed it all over Todd's ear- it was a definite "Something About Marry" moment! We laughed so hard that we all complained of chest pains....
Back at the beach house, once the lock smith lets us in, we get ready for bed. Over dinner we discussed ways of getting Lester past inspections and our last and final plan was to arrive there in the AM while it was still dark so they wouldn't be able to see him as well. Saturday morning came fast and we load Lester in the stock trailer first and cut out the trailer lights so that there would be no attention drawn to his face and that he in fact was am imposter! At this point I'm so nervous I think I'm going to puke, Tanya and I were both pretty nervous and taking deep breathes as we pulled up to the inspection line. Tanya hands the man the notebook and luckily it looked to confusing and or buckly to even want to deal with, so as it turned out, the man NEVER SAW the coggins papers themselves. He asked Tanya to do him a favor and call out all the info to him. As Tanya was calling the info out, Karyn came up to my window and brought makeup to distract me and get my mind off of it:-) Then the man said, OK, now let me go and check and make sure you brought the right horses! but In fact all that was written down about Lester was his color- and from that he matched their form perfectly! HOME FREE! all the while, Todd was back smoozing the other inspector and said "What jackass would actually try and fake a coggins"? and she told him that they had caught a lot the night before!
We drive in and find a good spot close to home base. I have NEVER seen so many stupid hillbillies in my life and neither had Lester!!! We were both pretty worried on the same level at them- never knew what they would do next. There were about 800 horse and riders there and all but a few of them were CRAZY! Many had bells and harnesses jingle jangling all over the place. I really wanted to be last in the last group heading over, but some how we just all kinda got pushed into one of the early groups. We traveled across the hwy with police escorts in about a pack of 100 or more horses. Lester and I were in front of Tanya, Todd and Karyn. Then some kid's horse got spooked and dumped him and took off bucking into the road. A driver got out and got the horse and Lester didn't want anything to do with it, so we just kept heading for the beach. When we got out there it was about 9am and the beach was BEAUTIFUL and so was the weather! Lester was really good heading out and we even were able to do some working trot and canter which all the on lookers liked! If only I had pics of that. All the horses were great, but the worst one of all was Storm, the horse that Karyn was riding- the person with the least experience. but she did good, and even stayed on when he decided to be a bucking bronco at one point. We rode out on the beach for about 3 hours when we decided to turn home. We got maybe a mile home before I decided to get off Lester and hoof it back with him. By this time it was noon and many of the locals, tourists and beach goers had come out to play. I looked down the beach and only saw people, towels, chairs, umbrellas and that's all Lester saw too. He was so scared of the little children playing and digging their sand castles because they were crouched down and then would just pop up unexpectedly. By this time Lester wanted to do anything but listen to me, he was spooking at everything, jumping around, going backwards, spinning, ect- and doing what I call the lippazan leap.- He wants to go back wards or jig in one place so I ask him to go forward and he decides to just leap forward instead of walk. I decided that there were too many beach goers to consider and it would be best to be off of him and that I had more control... looking back now and what has become of his back, hindend and lameness I would bet that after 3 hours of me on his back in the deep sand really took a toll on the time I was mad at him so I made him walk in the ocean with me because it was easier footing. Sometimes we were up to our chests in the water. My paddock boots and chaps and well everything were just soaked! Looking back I wish I gotten back on him in the water and done a little swimming, but maybe in another life....This one lady asked why I wasn't on my horse and I should I have told her because I didn't want to run over stupid people like you!!! The people on the beach were so STUPID and didn't even act like we were there- I'm not saying I had the right away, but they could at least stay away when my horse wants to jump on them! People were just walking right up to us asking to pet the horses and Lester wasn't about to stand for pats, he was too far "gone" by then.
Anyway we get back exhausted, sore and tired, but we all had a really good ride. The one and only time I've seen Lester pull back was when he was tied to the trailer and the lead rope got around his head and he was pulling back and leaping forward, but I was able to untie him without him getting hurt....
Sunday AM we park closer to the beach as to avoid the walk across the street. We parked at a deserted White Water park- I think Lester has now seen everything! This ride was quieter and shorter. Lester was stiff and a bit sore, so we only walked. I tried to get him to go into the waves with me on him, but he wouldn't and I didn't press the issue. So we all survived another beach ride so we head home for the trailer. As we are walking, I'm not sure who noticed it first, but we all look to our right and see a bomber jet flying straight for us, only about 50 ft above our heads! We all brace and get ready for the worst! All the horses did pretty well with it. Lester danced around in the spot where we stood and he was a good boy considering, because I knew he was terrified. I hate the sound of those things and I KNOW where it's coming from, he doesn't. So we all said Phew and caught our breath just in time to hear "Oh shit, here comes another one!" So we all brace again. Karyn jumped off Storm who at that point reared up and she was able to contain him, I jumped off Less as the jet passed and he went backwards, not knowing where to run, but I was able to hang on to him.
Monday AM we head home. We stayed together with the 2 trailers until we reached Columbia SC, at this point we put Dancer on the other trailer and sent him home with Todd. Poor Tanya still had Kayrn and Lester and I to take home. Not long after we cross the GA state line, we see flashing lights and get pulled over. We were all thinking it was for not having turn signals. Turns out that the Georgia dept. of Agriculture was pulling us over to check Lester's coggins and health certificate! Well we didn't have a health certificate. but we had "his" coggins so we showed him that. He took the paper back to his car and we all looked at each other and thought not in a million years would this ever happen and here it happens on this trip! Karyn said that the coggin papers fraud was still haunting us. Thank god he didn't check the paper to Lester, he just took down the info. Even though I was taking Lester to Myrtle Beach that was in South Carolina it didn't even occur to me that I was taking him "out of the state".

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Look Ma, no legs

Some how I deleted my original post about Lim's legs when I was trying to tag/ label it:-( Sorry I deleted everyone's comments too, stupid blogger! So here it is again! It always cracks me up when I see her laying like this. I call this her "turtle" mode. She's a great dog to sleep with too because she folds up into just a torso.

I'll also take this time to brag on Kroger grocery store for those of you in the Southeast. I was in there the other day and was amazed and happy to find made in/from USA rawhide. They also had a huge selection on treats and some organic dog food. I bought 2 cans of Brandon Farms canned food to put into the girl's Kongs, they love them!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Like Father Like Son

This is Lester's daddy, Non-Wet. I'm told his barn name was Sean. I searched through his pedigree to figure out how one comes up with a registered name as "Non-Wet" and can find no reason. It's just weird. So from there if you click on "Progeny" you will find the names of his offspring. Lester is "Little Bit Wet" and has a half sister named "Slightly Slippery". His other TB half siblings are Irish Muffin and The Dancing Machine and didn't get a name like dad's.
On a whim one day about 7 years ago I wrote on a Ohio Horsey forum (Lester was born and raised in OH)asking about the farm where Non-Wet resided and if anyone new the Harpers who had bred my Lester. Well I got an email from a girl named Christi saying she knew the Harpers and had pictures of Non-Wet, AKA Sean. She also told me she had a QH mare that was bred to him at the time and was waiting it's arrival. It turned out to be a filly and she named her White House Lady AKA Hillary. It was fun seeing a picture of Lester's daddy and a half sibling, he defiantly got his daddy's eyes. According to Christi he also got his dad's personality too because she said Sean was a very sweet, laid back stud.

The Internet is great isn't it? We can track down so much information these days. Three years ago I was able to track down Lester's one and only Win Photo from his racing days. The photographer still had a copy of it even though it was 11 years old. So for $18 I was able to get a real piece of history on Lester! :-)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Anger Management

Limo is in need for some serious anger management. She can't stand it when I pull up next to the pasture and Lester comes up. This is the same thing we have to deal with at home when Peanut or any other dog comes up to us while we sit on the couch or bed. Oh and she does it when another dog comes up to her too. She growls, licks nervously and shakes uncontrollably. Sometimes the whites of her eyes go red too.

We've tried our best to "rehabilitate" her, but she seriously goes into that "Red Zone" dog that the Dog Whisperer talks about. We found that forcing her to be submissive and holding her down till she gives up doesn't work at all. It makes it worse. Kicking her out of the room and putting her in a time out works the best.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

13 Years

I bought Lester 13 years ago today. Last year I posted about that day so I'll just direct you back there... back in time.

January 11, 1996

Sometimes it's hard to believe that I have had a horse since I was 11 years old. That's over half of my life! Before Lester I had a mare named Chocolate Moose for 6 years that I rode hunter/jumper with. She was literally a dream come true. Then I bought a little QH mare and named her Button and sold her 8 months later for a little profit. With that money I bought Lester.

I got on him yesterday. He was a good boy, we even trotted a little. I did a posting trot for the first time in 6 months.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Lester the Grouch

Picturesque huh?
It's didn't last. We tried turning Frosty, the lone mare on the property, out with Lester and Polo yesterday morning. Lester kept herding Polo away from her and wouldn't let them sniff each other, but other than that it seemed like it really might work out. Since I've owned Lester, 13 years this month, he's never been out with a mare. The horses spotted the humans walking down the driveway and trotted over to check things out, from there it just turned ugly. Lester and Polo both turned on Frosty and began chasing her and biting her when ever they could reach. The rain soaked ground made for horrible footing and they were all slipping and sliding. It was quite clear they weren't going to stop until someone got seriously hurt so I retrieved my wild gelding and put him and Polo in a separate pasture. So much for that plan.
Lester is top man in the herd rankings and makes sure everyone knows it. He is such a bully:-( I do appreciate the fact that he doesn't reach out and bite someone walking by his stall, but he can be down right mean in the pasture. He guards the gate and chases away anyone that comes too close.
He's been really grouchy and grumpy even more lately, but I have too so maybe I'm rubbing off on him. He seems to hate being turned out lately, in no time he's pacing the fence line and calling to any and everyone to be brought in. I guess he knows there is a full bag of hay waiting for him in his stall. Lazy boy, again I'm probably rubbing off on him.