Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Book Review: Laura Crum's Cutter

I just finished up Laura Crum's first novel, Cutter, and am looking forward to tearing through the other 3 of Crum's novels waiting in my To-Read stack. Here's a little review I wrote up, if you're curious:

In the grand tradition of horse racing murder mystery guru Dick Francis, Laura Crum's heroine Gail McCarthy, DVM, finds herself suddenly embroiled in unsavory goings-on in the world of big money horse enterprises. Though no expert in the cutting world the mystery surrounds, Gail puts her able, inquisitive mind to the unsettling mysteries cropping up, with a little help from a charming paramour and an endearing, trusty old dog. Laura Crum's first effort presents us with a fun read including accurate equine information and descriptions that horse lovers are sure to appreciate regardless of their chosen disciplines. Fans of women detective mysteries will also enjoy some of the sly dialogue and the flavor of a strong female lead.

FYI Crum's novels are available on Amazon for just .99 in Kindle format! I still prefer physical books personally but options are good, so one way or the other--give these books a try!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Respects and Thawing Out

First of all, a fond farewell and Rest In Peace to my Red Bourbon pet, Lex SuperTurkey. A large predator, most likely a mountain lion, picked him off the night before last. Lex was a seriously goofy bird who made me laugh for one reason or another every single day that he resided here. He lived with Sheza and Napoleon from the first day he arrived, and though perfectly capable of flying out over the fence, or merely jumping out the other side each morning from his perch on the pasture gate, he stayed with his little herd til the end.

Lex and Napoleon
Lex always gobbled back if you talked, or whistled, or really made any sort of noise. I regret not getting a video of the pure hilarity that was the horses cantering up the pasture and Lex running at top SuperTurkey speed across the pasture behind them with his wings up and flapping. He had a pretty good sprint on him, and even tolerated the occasional hug. 

Losing pets is always hard, and when it comes at a time of upheaval it's, well, kind of like a kick in the gut. Luckily I am fortunate to have loving friends and family, and a very special Rippie star who will finally come home to me very soon. I was with him again yesterday and am, if possible, more enamored with him than ever.
Yesterday saw sun, wind, rain, hail, and a wee bit of snow up here in the foothills. I opened the curtains this morning to a sparkling frosted yard and frozen water troughs. The high is only 40 but that winter sun sure felt good on my back as I mucked paddocks in the thaw today.
 All the critters are in various states of recline and repose in the sunshine. Here is momma D, supervising her paddock mucking. Bless her, she shits like a brontosaurus but with a face like that I suppose it's forgivable.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Cherish the Good

It's been an interesting start to the New Year, with some big changes already in motion and possibly more to come. In times of upheaval and pain you turn to what you love and feel safe with. And so I give you my super safe, totally sane 21 month old Arabian filly ;-)   Sheza is getting LARGE but is certainly not in charge, with Boss Man Joey having taken over the herd, de-throning even mini horse Napoleon in the process.
I've let Sheza out of her pasture gate the last few mornings and she jogs right out like a dog on my heels to go for a wander. Everyone else causes a ruckus and declares No Fair; Sheza expands her horizons with some shenanigans, snorting, heel kicking up, oh, and lots of Eating. Eating, my friends, is a priority passed onto this red beast by her mommy dearest, Desire. Those two go through chow like Clydesdales.

Sampling the frozen tundra
 My other love bug is my longhair doxie pup, Rip. He finishes his shots end of this month and I can *finally* bring him home with me for good. In the meantime I am visiting him often and you can see what a beauty he is turning into:
 Finally, this little cartoon is pertinent, and correct. I have led my horse to water and literally made her drink more successfully than...

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

with a Dash of Adventure

 Sometimes I just want to jump on a horse and go for a cruise without the full on fuss of tacking up. 2 Renegades on Blaze's front hooves, a bridle, and helmet on my melon--and I was ready! Oh yeah and a crop, coz I don't stand for bologna when I ride bareback ;-)
We had a nice few mile bareback cruise through the neighborhood as the sun set. It was CHILLY but I was pretty warm in my fleecy britches and boots and polar fleece layers on top. And riding bareback, Blaze'z back kept me very warm too! I did some posting trot uphill, wowie zowie that will rock your thighmasters!

Staring down a terrifying singular cow. I have done team sorting on this guy, but for some reason cows in the field FREAK him out. Also baby goats. And llamas. 
Coming back to the home barn in the sunset
There is no rain in the forecast, and as unhelpful as that is for snow pack, future water levels, etc, it is quite glorious for riding. Time to get Sheza out on the lake trails and work on Joey's trailering so he is ready for his trip to training in the coming months. It's a New Year and there is always lots to be done! And lots to look forward to, including another exciting road trip, some XP rides, and who knows what other exciting developments yet to be revealed! Stay tuned ;-)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Trotting into 2013

I ended 2012 and started 2013 in the best possible way: riding one beloved horse, and then, another! Yesterday's cruise with Desire wrapped up a great year including our first 50s, more LD fun with Blaze, lots of work with Joey and Sheza, and adventures in Utah, New Mexico, and at numerous AERC endurance rides. I look forward to more of the same in 2013, with more new experiences and hopefully some great new endurance ride adventures and goals met.

It was 28 degrees this morning when I saddled up but I had other places to be later and wasn't going to miss a morning on my boy Blazer. It seemed a proper morning for both fleece lined breeches AND my Mountain Horse fleece lined boots; with some polar fleece and layers topped off with gloves and a scarf, I was pretty toasty despite the ice on the ground and in the troughs as we left the driveway. I definitely need to find some better boot socks and some of those little hand/feet warmers wouldn't hurt tucked in the toes of the boots, but overall I was pretty comfortable. Besides, when the rider gets cold, it's surely time to get dismount and spend some time on your own two feet! 

Heading out to climb the ridge
Stepping out into 2013 in his Renny's :-)
 Almost to the top of the ridge 
 We had a nice little cruise up the ridge and back and were greeted by the Sheza-Joey committee upon our return. Pretty wild that Joey, the bay on the left, is 7 yrs old and Sheza, the chestnut, is only 20 months. A new year has started and Nope, she isn't getting any smaller!
 Previously shy boy Joey leads the way in his new little herd

Hope everyone had an enjoyable and beautiful first day of 2013 as I did.