Thursday, December 23, 2010

Raven was unridable

WHAT??  Jenny said -- "the length of your rope does not match the exuberance of your horse..." no one faint.. she said this about Raven. She said this after Raven jerked me to the end of her 22 foot rope in a leap and canter of sheer exuberance. Mind you I was still at the other end.. barely... laughing.. stumbling. Out comes the 45 foot - snake of a rope. Bah Humbug - I need practice.

About 1/2 way through the spiraling  and transitions on line lesson ( with aforementioned 45 ft rope neatly wrapped around my ankles) she said..." there now she looks safe to ride."  WHAT??   as if to say she was unsafe to ride before.  I have no words.

We have come to another crossroad - a sweet taste of time and relationship where my old gal is exuberant beyond measure and I get so be a part of it. So Raven - have I progressed enough that you can show me this part of yourself without scaring me silly?  More 45 foot rope practice to come.
Rock on Raven

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sometimes you just have to cry

Sometimes a horse comes into your life that captures you.  Meet Beemer - she is a lovely OLD mare that belongs to friends of ours- too old to make a cross county trip.  She had the run of the big pen -- and lived a life of ease and comfort.  But before long she started having issues with her hind quarters  - and ceased to be able to get up unassisted.  So during the colder days we put her in the little barn with deep bedding and she did well until today.

It was her time to go and rather then endure a cold night where she could not get up- she peacefully ended her life in a gentle way - not scared - not worried or in pain.  Thanks to my gentle hearted husband...a brave man with a heart of mush..

So we cried - why - we only knew her a little while ... but it didn't matter she was precious - like a foal...sometimes events like this releases a river of tears waiting for a good time to flow... that is what happened today.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

In praise of Dalton

I think this is the only picture I have of Dalton - I need to change that.  He has been working for us for 3 years - since he was a little guy.hmm = maybe longer than that.

Dalton has been the caretaker of my horses - feeding in the evenings come rain or shine.   Helping when we go away for a while.

He is sweet and knowledgeable and tonight he once again earned his keep.

A quiet knock on the door and he let me know that an old mare we are keeping for a friend was down and although they tried - be could not get her up.  So three of us - worked in 10 degree weather to get her up and set up a comfy little barn for her -- with panels and feed - hay and water...they he said as he was  leaving...
Is that all you need? Is there anything else?.... what kind of kid does that...

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Raven bucks and runs

Raven was exuberant yesterday- during warm up she was cantering with ease and throwing her head - a couple of bucks.. i think she does it to make me laugh.  
We rode in our english saddle ( with extender) and I have to say the I really like that saddle.  It is a Wintec 500 suggested by my friend Jenny. it is so comfy and I like the contact.

So the best news is - we cantered easily - a few strides at a time.  Smoothly - gently - like the lope of quarter horse - it was the best .  We had a wonderful time together.. practicing lightness of hands.. and no hands.

Mom came by - and I have a witness

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

What the heck do you do with 1/2 chaps

So I have been asked many times since working with The Curvy Cowgirl... what the heck am I doing with those leather 1/2 chaps.  So all of you english and show riders sit back and relax.  I want to talk with my western, trail, endurance and backyard -pleasure gals and those of you that don't ride at all.

If you have known me for any length of time.. you know that I am an amateur rider - but LOVE LOVE LOVE to ride.  In this pic you see my FF 1/2 chaps, brown and black - proudly well worn.  Here is my list of why I wear them - for you to consider and respond with your thoughts.

1.Ook so the truth is they are way cool and part of a costume that I want to be a part of -  being a lover of all things english including Miss Suzanne Wild at FF.
2. So now that we are past my love of costumes... they are leather - smell good and look great ( again all about me..:-))
3. They are warm in the winter
4.  They give some support to my old calf - that probably needs to wear TEDS hose... if you dont know what those are-- be glad.
5. They protect my lower leg from scratchy things
6. I like how they create a little "stick to it" when I am riding in my BB pad or BB( Bare Back)
7. When I put them on - it is my uniform for riding and playing with my horse - I can't back out once they are zipped
8. Raven can't tear my Jean Genies on the fence post when she decides she wants to be done riding,
9. The ritual of cleaning them and shining them - gives me time to slow down and appreciate that my ancestors have been using leather horse gear for years.  I am a part of the tradition.
10. It makes me feel official...and did I mention they look cool.

OK so there are loads of reasons to wear them that have nothing to do with my reasons -but truth is truth...

Sunday, December 5, 2010

We braved the 24 degree temps to ride

Gloves - check, Stocking cap - check , Jacket - check - bridle warm? check

In weather like this I have visions of the scene from the Christmas Story - where the kids stick their tongues on the frozen pole and it sticks.  Putting that cold metal bridle in Ravens mouth - oh I can't even think about it. So I keep her brindle in the tack room - near the light .  And I am not embarrassed to say that I  DID stick my tongue on part of the bridle metal to make sure it would not freeze her.

Secret Passion"AKA Raven" 
Three months have gone by and we are both in pretty silly shape... so I thought one more excuse to not ride was the weather - but NOT today.  She seemed pretty happy to be out with me and even waited for me at the mounting block while I went to get her some treats from the house.. she was till there 5 minutes later- looking at me like "Come - ON" Warming up was great - she was in an extremely frisky mood and cantered way to easily - pretty funny for a 22 yo horse.  I laughed out loud several times - seeing the colt in her come out.  My neighbors thing I am crazy I am sure.

Worked on communication in transitions.  from walk - flat footwalk  -to walk - to dog walk - foxtrot  Throw in a few stop and back ups and we had a good time.  Cantered back to the tack room as is our custom - light and easy,

Thank you Raven the wonder horse. I love you

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Black Beauties

I commented to my farrier about a horse that was doing particularly well and could he guess who it was - his comment was "The black one".  Very Funny Tony.. I have 15 black horses.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Got the extender

OK so missy Raven - here we go - I got an extender for your saddle.  I Imagine in my head her seeing me coming and thinking how many more pounds she will need to gain to out grow it.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Back to Horses..

Mike always laughs that I can turn any conversations to horses in 2 seconds... and well it is true-- I admit it..Here is a drawing I did of Mike and a couple of the our foals..

I have to admit part of the pleasure of going to these equine events is getting to talk about horses and not having to say --- "oh sorry - I bet you are tired of hearing about horses " But one of the pitfalls is - there is usually not a live horse anywhere close by - so I always really miss mine. 

I have one more show to go and it should be the big grand Daddy - they I can relax for a little while...and spend some time with My guys as for today - my Victim is going to be Raven - If I can get her english saddle on her.. last time I tried she had gotten ROUND.. and I could not get the buckles to go - she was thrilled.  BUT I am going to get extenders.. and foil her plans...

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Day 16 - the end

I have been remiss in working on my blog and I guess that is a good thing.  I have had the pleasure of several friends helping me and spending the night in Curvy Cowgirl FEI central.  It has been a great experience for all.  We me many many folks from from other countries - and of course many from here in the us.  But we are all the same.  Everyone has the same reaction when they come in the store... "sooo glad you are here" and when they try on something that fits... everyone is surprised.

The last year has been preparation for this event - but really it is just a slightly bigger version of the faires we already attend. And actually that is a really good feeling.. what we have learned so far and what we continue to learn - this is the right place for me and even after 16 days of 7-7 work and meeting people - I would do it again in a heartbeat.

So the biggest part of this is : I will be able to continue to to this.  Mike and I were looking at this event as a line in the sand as to whether or not we could continue.  And the great news is we can -- so I have set out our schedule an itinerary for the next year and got my reservations and booth space ready.  It is a relief to have this phase over and get on to being a proper store with confidence... learning all the time.  I love this business and our clients...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

now this is how it is supposed to be!!

We had a great day with loads of Dressage enthusiasts.  We met new folks and visited with some we had met in CA, WI,OH and MN.  Many knew of us from the web and this is really encouraging. - Trying very hard to Make the Curvy Cowgirl name stand out to get keep out brand identity!. People came looking for us and we could have used 3 dressing rooms at times.

Nicole did a great JOB with the boots and 1/2 chaps.. my eyes are too old to read the small letters...but all in all - the Fuller FIllies brand continues to be appreciated by all and worn by many!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

What working lots of hours does to a 50 year old

OK - so I could not find my glasses, forgot my socks, and now am not sure where my keys are...oh wait - that is normal for me...:-)  I need a better excuse..... Everytime it gets tough - I remind myself - I could be working for someone else... or in healthcare again.  Ummm yeah - so life is good.

What a difference a day makes...

The weather took a cooler turn today and we had lots of folks looking at our great jackets!  By the way the Americans took the reining championship!

Weather is going to turn cooler and we will be looking forward to more ladies that find MORE great jackets here at the Curvy Cowgirl.

Nicole and I had a contest today to see if we could affect sales with our "merchandising abilities" well actually we did not sell the items we put together - BUT it brought lots of attention!

Day 2 in the bluegrass

Well here it is day 2.  And we have to say we are a little slow to get going this morning.  16 hour days are a bit tiring even for "the boot monkey" ( Nicole).  It is a bit slower than we expected for opening day - but we are hopeful that it will gain momentum.  It is cool and overcast - a good day to sell coats - and of course more boots.  Gotta ramp up - this is such a great opportunity!  At times like this you wonder whether or not you made the right decision to do an event of this size with all of the costs and inventory risks... but I have been planning this for a year and here we are!!!  SO we will  sell sell sell....

Saturday, September 25, 2010

more stories like before

it is a long day - from 8 am to 10pm....but made worthwhile by the women who come into our shop and ar so happy to have us.  Went well today - but somewhat slower than expected.  I hope it picks up this week.

Mike went home today - so Nicole and I are manning the ship and although I did not break the truck - breaking out of the storage area may be a trick - they have it blocked off.  I am sure we can find someone to help us get out.  At least I hope so.I guess we could sleep in the truck - there are lots of soft things to snuggle with in there.

So story of the day - a lady came in and said she met Lolly and I in Ohio and she wanted to thank us.  For something we didnt know we did.  Lolly and I have a way of being blunt about proper undedrgarments and well fitted clothes to make one feel good about herself.  Well this lady said we had told her she was wearing her clothes too big and needed proper well fitted undergarments - to show off her lovely figure.  She said she did that -- and it put her on the road to improving her self esteem. She was dressing in well fitting pants that showed off her figure and had on a CUTE western top like all the girls are wearing...and it looked wonderful on her!! - she gave us a big hug!!

We are all set up

Well hours and hours have gone by and we have gotten all set up-- rearranged a million times - it has been a huge challenge to get the goods in a 10x12 booth - but we did it.. and the first sale as well - before we opened this morning.  The games just opened and the Kentucky revenue has been by to see us to make sure we pay our taxes...-- now we begin...ohhh let it be good and great!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The saga of the red vest

For the world games - I asked Suzanne Wild at Fuller Fillies to make us something special to commemorate the event... she came up with a lovely red vest - think of a faux suede - wescot type vest that looks as good in the show ring as in the office.  It is so cute and has "the curvy cowgirl" embroidered on the pocket flap.

So why the "saga" title?  There is so much I don't know or understand about how things work in shipping and customs... the vests were late leaving the manufacturer and so had to be shipped direct...what I didn't realize is how complicated that is... I knew it was expensive...but what I didn't know was that the government has strict rules about who can import goods..Now - Mike and I are just a little company with big ideas.  A married partnership with no official papers that outline our partnership -other than our marriage license.  The Customs folks needed proof that we were partners and a legal partnership  - It was all quite comical - at least now - at this time I seem to remember swearing a little.

So at any rate.. the vests will be meeting us in Lexington rather than making the trip from home - they will make opening day on Saturday-- Every time I turn around ... I am learning something new... and honestly - I don't mind it - us horse people are avid students... I just wish I could choose WHEN I learn my lessons!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

How many trucks can I break...

OK so we bought an old Uhaul to take the place to Tug the truck and old Blue - I broke them over the last few months...This old Uhaul is named "Thumper".. and is AWESOME - has loads of room and can take my trailer. Fast forward to today... all the packing and worrying and final plans. Went to start the Truck and ---- thats right.. NOTHING...

I sat in a slightly catatonic state- and somewhere from the porch I hear --- " is everything alright?" no I say quietly. sooo at anyrate-- the starter is dead - and my excellent husband/wonderman... proceeded to get under it and take the starter out and put in a new did I say how sexy he is with grease all over him?

We are on our way tomorrow..I managed to forget to order some of the fixtures to show the boots..( I was soooo sure I did) so I did that.. can I blame that on menopause??  Huuurumph.  It will be here tomorrow thank goodness and we will only be a little late getting started.

Then to top this all off - I had arranged for the farrier - good friend of ours, Tony Vaught to come today.  So could I put any more pressure on myself?  That my friends - was the BEST thing I did all day.  2-3 hours with my lovely horses ( trimmed 10) and good friend Tony.  I was renewed after spending the afternoon working with my big  beauties and was so proud of how they behaved,,, well all but Baby Huey - he was being a teenager... but even that made me smile... and lets be honest... there are worse ways to spend the day, than admiring your farrier's assets..:-)

The road to WEG

I have decided to blog my trip to- from and at the World Equine Games in Lexington Kentucky.  This is the first time the event has been held in the US.. and with a planned attendance rate of 700,000 - it will be a spectacular event.

Although I will be in my booth most of the time...I hope to capture the goings on as much as I can and will blog stories of people I meet and what I see...and what it is like to be a small business owner in this day and age!!

For those of you interested - the journey starts today!!!!


Monday, March 1, 2010


As Spring comes on - the question is - who do I turn my time to? Bonnie? Pixie? Raven? Image? I would like to concentrate on one horse for my partner for a couple of years. I am leaning toward Bonnie - and then after a couple of years move to Tango as a 6yo gelding. but then there is Image - and of course Pixie as a good riding horse. hard t- feel like I will make the wrong choice. I think Jenny would say Pixie--- for ease of use.. but that is not where my heart is.

What to do what to do

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Midnight Black Diamond

I don't want to forget this day - the way the snow sparkled in the moonlight - and the sky was brilliant with stars and darkness. Today we celebrate the birth of our last winter foal.

I want to remember the small foal covered with ice and still strong. The generosity of colostrum rich first milk in abundance, the nicker insistent on being heard and fed.

I want to remember Maria and the fear in her eyes that somehow we were going to take this little one like last time - and she would be helpless to stop us. The look of fear passing with pets and rubs as we set her in the special stall reserved for foaling Moms. She needed comfort and reassurance that this was going to be HER foal. And that he is -- he has claimed her and she him.

Even in his little foal coat.. she moved the back up so she could lick and nibble his back as she positioned him to nurse, and bonded with him gently.

It was January 4th at 10:30pm when we last checked .. all was well - no foal tonight. Then I checked at 12:30 am January 5th - and there he was-- new and fresh and COLD - but very very vigorous and the LARGEST foal we have ever had. Maria looked no different - no tell tale signs other that a little red icicle on her ankle. She is such a stealthy foaler...drop the foal then stand up and say -- hmmm look at that - I wonder how that happened?

Mike rubbed and dried Diamond - put on his foal coat and put the pair in a stall with heaters and a fresh bed of hay. Still very cold... but bearable.

After hourly checking - little Diamond and mom are doing well. And yes - we know how to prevent Winter foals!!! As I said- we celebrate our last Winter Foal!