Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Yesterday I had my farrier (Eric) over to trim Jake's feet. He is always verbose, as I myself am. Anyway we were talking about hooves and how important it is for a horse to have a balanced hoof. That only makes sense. I mean try walking with one shoe on an the other off for a while, Do this with a horse then put a 200 pound man with saddle on him and see if the imbalance affects his stride. I would mine. I can tell when I am out of balance because my lower back hurts and the Chiropractor tells me one leg is longer than the other. When he gets me back in balance the pain in the back is gone and both legs are the same. So it is with a horse.
When a horse a walks if the feet are out of balance (toe too long, heel too short, or some combinationn of them. Or maybe the width of the hoof from the point of the frog {a part of the hoof that acts as a pad/cushion} to the outside of the hoof is not even on both sides) he will most likely put his toe down first and slide forward. Some trim their horses this way on purpose to get a certain action of the foot. However, If you want a horse to be 'sure-footed' he should plant his foot down and not slide, and then the hind foot should be placed almost in the same print as the front. I think that is how it is supposed to work. A 'sure-footed' horse is a safer horse to ride, especially if you are on a narrow rocky trail on the side of a mountain with a nice lengthy drop off on one side. But even if I am just riding down a road I want a 'sure-footed' horse. I really don't like the idea of him tripping over himself and falling because he is not balanced. Well I have some work to do with Raven to get her balanced.
But you know balance is good in our lives too. Not just with our feet. Like a horse, if you don't have balance you will try to compensate in some way to get that balance, either with a limp, a lean, a longer or shorter stride, but some how, some way you will compensate to try to get into balance. Just slip one time on the ice and feel what your body naturally does to try to maintain balance, arms fling upward and out, legs kick out, head careens back all in one jerky but fluid moment, usually in slow motion until either you get your equilibrium back by standing back up or lying flat on your back staring up at the sky or into the faces of those who are asking you if you are all right.
So the question is how do you maintain balance everyday? This is my policy: keep a short account with God as to my sin 1 John 1:9, read the bible everyday, pray everyday and throughout the day, make a list of goals for the day (that honor the Lord) and seek to accomplish them, do something different than my work, like do a puzzle or throw the ball with the dogs, or exercise, or work with my horses, just to get my mind off the daily grind. Oh, it also helps to keep you toe nails trimmed they fit in our shoes better. Another tid bit is make sure your shoes fit properly,not to tight, not too loose.
Make balance the word of the day for you and see if things just feel right at the end of the day.
Get in balance!

Friday, December 26, 2008


HO!HO!HO! Where do you suppose that comes from? It must be short for something. I was thinking maybe it is short for HOPE and that whoever started the trend was trying to say it but was shivering with such cold that they couldn't spit it all out. I don't know, it was just a thought.
But we sure do have much to hope today. For those of us who are believers we have hope of eternal life, but it is expectancy with no chance of not happening if we have put our faith in Jesus Christ. If you read the news much you acknowledge that there are many folk who don't have that hope and think the answer killing others or self. But my hope is in Christ and so because He lives I can face today and tomorrow if I am given one. Either way the babe in the manger grew to be a man and die on the cross so that guys like me can have eternal life. No other gift need be given. Thank You Jesus.
On a lighter note we all fared well on Christmas. We got stuffed on the food and snacks and just as well on the company of family. The horses each got an apple along with their regular feed in the trough. I'm sure they appreciated it. Jake, as usual had it gone without even tasting it. Raven on the other hand seemed to savor it to the last bite of her grain as she just took a bite here and there mixed in with her other feed. I wonder if Jake has learned if he tarries in the eating of such fare he might be forced to cede the rest to Raven who is number one. She seems to get what she wants from Jake. He likes to remind her he is not such a pushover. Nevertheless, she still crowds him into the corner of his stall if she wants to. I have seen him try to stand her off by rearing, showing his teeth, throwing his head around as though he is saying, "I'm the man around here, you can't tell me what to do!" He usually does this as she cocks an ear at him and sends him head down to the other side of the pen. You can easily tells who wears the pants, er uh, shoes??? in this herd. :}
Well I hope that all have a great and safe holiday time and many more to come.

Adios, Amigos!
Thought I'd try a little spanish on ya.


Friday, December 19, 2008


somebody told me that if you answer that phone that way, the automated computer calls will just hang up. I don't know if that is true or not, but don't hang up! Yet! It's not that I have something really important to say today, but I will try. I haven't worked much with the horses lately. Too cold and the footing for the horses is not very safe for them. When the ground gets soft and then freezes after they have walked on it makes for difficult walking for me with two feet let alone four. They could easily injure a fetlock or bruise a soul. Imagine, if you will, walking on bare freet through a minefield of 5 or 6 inch holes of jagged, swiss cheese like ice clods of frozen manure and mud. It isn't easy even for me. So until I miraculously get a indoor riding arena, riding will be sparse. But I hope even today or this weekend to get out and be in the saddle. I love riding when it is snowing and the snow piles up on my jacket and hat. There is just something about it. I remember once several years ago Angie and I went out riding in winter. It wasn't snowing when we left, but by the time we got back we looked like two snow cowboys covered in snow. It was grand! There is also something about riding in the snow that if you get bucked off in the right spot, no jagged mud clods, in deep snow it makes for a soft landing. Haven't had that happen yet. Hope not to experience it.
We have several inches on the ground now and it keeps coming. Sure is pretty, but it gets old fast, probably proportionate to my age.
Just finished my sermon for our Christmas program on Sunday. I am taking a new look at Romans 5:8 in light of this Christmas. It gets you thinking about How much God loves you to be willing to send His only Son to die in our place, we who are dirty, rotten, sinners, deserving of death and hell and all that goes with it. Yet, God, because of His great love for us, has sent His Son to be born into our world of human depravity, experience what we experience and despite that fact that we were His enemies, detestable to Him, Christ died for you and me. Can there be any greater love than that? NO WAY! If you haven't accepted that love gift. Why not repent of your sinfulness now and receive His gift of Jesus for your sins. Believe in Him. Trust Him as your Savior. Call upon Him to save you and He will, Romans 10:9-13. That is why this Christmas thing is so important. It is not about trees and lights and gifts, but about the gift of His Son so that we who are dead in our trespasses and sins might have life instead. Let the death on the cross of Jesus Christ put this Christmas into perspective for you today.
From my home to yours, wishing you a very merry Christmas.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Well, I hope everyone had a great thanksgiving. I know I did. The trance didn't settle in like usual though. I guess it was the kids and me in the hot tub that took care of that. It is hard to be in a trance when someone is pouring water over your head and you have 3 living creatures splish, splashing around you.
The after glow, when everyone had gone and it was just Sharon and I was refreshing too. We have been watching quite a few hallmark movies, those sentimental holiday shows that cleanse your tear duct system.
I have also made some breakthroughs on horseback. I finally caught on to the need to have a correct seat. Now I thought I always had a correct seat, no complaints from my wife anyhow, but such is not the case. I finally, got it a few days ago and it made me have a clearer connection with Raven when I am in the saddle. This worked itself out recently. I would sit in the saddle and try to find that place where my butt was sitting so that my lower back wasn't bowed in our out but just right where it was most comfortable. Then I would ask her to soften her face with my rein and leg and I could feel her back round up under the saddle, Like she was flexing her backbone upwards into my seat. It is subtle, almost unnoticeable unless you are looking for that feel. Then I would try to maintain that feel when I had her at a walk, then a trot. Well that helped me to feel where her feet were. NO! not the end of her legs for you smart alecks. I wanted to know when she was picking up her feet. That would be the best time to ask her to move a foot over or speed up or slow down or back up. So if I timed it just right I could ask her to move those feet where I wanted just by my seat and leg. But in order to do that I had to have my own seat correct. Kind of reminds me of the the Scripture (Matthew 7)that talks about trying to take the speck out of another persons eye when I have a log in my own eye. I cannot see correctly to help the other person deal with their problems that are effecting me. The same is true in horsemanship. If I don't have a correct seat posture first, then I am not going to be able to communicate clearly with the horse to cue her to move forward, back up or move a shoulder over or leg yield, etc. So in the past my problems with getting Raven to do those movements were not hers, but mine. I was out of position and impeding her ability to read my cue as well as to move in the direction I wanted. Try this, stand up and put your weight on your right foot. Now without shifting your weight to your left foot, pick up your right foot. You can't do it can you? You'd have to hop. Well that is what it is like to ask a horse to move the right foot to the left if my weight is on that foot. The horse cannot do it. Not only do I need to shift the weight off that right foot, but she has to shift her weight off of it too. Then it moves easily.
Now if I could only do this with my wife it would make hers and my life easier. I found it doesn't pay to get mad about it and try to muscle her (the horse, or her) to my way of thinking. I have to soften the feel and get in time with her movements. Then it all goes easier. I think I mentioned in an earlier blog that I am reading a book titled "there are not problem horses, only problem riders." Well there ought to be a book for us husbands with a similar title, "there are no problem wives, only problem husbands." but I don't know if that would be a best seller. However, I do know, now lets be honest, you husbands, most (the wife would probably say all) of the problems in our marriages are caused by us. I don't know how I got on marriage, do you. Anyway, back to horses, It is a more pleasant dance and you get a more harmonious outcome if you go soft and slow when working with horses. It probably works with wives too.
God bless have a great day and be soft!