August 31, 2011

Izzy Deadly: AQHA Gelding FOR SALE


2000 AQHA Gelding

From time to time I get the opportunity to help a horse that has crossed my path find a good home. I put some training and show mileage on Izzy as a 3 year old....Izzy is as quiet and consistent as they come and has many more quality years left to offer...I wanted to pass the word that he is for sale, because I know this horse personally and would recommend him for the most novice of riders....he's a real confidence builder with a heart of gold....he's just as good outside the ring as inside as well....let me know if you have any questions, or know anyone in the market...

Seller is asking $5995. Would consider a lease also. For more information, click on the link to his ad above. His most recent accomplishments are listed below:

-2010 VQHA Year End 13&Under High Point Performance Reserve Champion
-2010 VQHA Year End 13&Under Horsemanship Champion
-2010 VQHA Year End Youth Trail Reserve Champion
-2010 PWC All Around Walk/Jog Reserve Champion
-2010 3rd place Western All-Around A Division
-2010 Fireworks AQHA Show 13+ under Western Champion
-2009 Nokesville Horse Society Overall Novice Youth Champion
-2007 VQHA Open Show Overall Western Adult Performance Res. Champion
-2007 Prince William Horse Association Western Highpoint Res. Champion
-2007 PWHA Adult Division Trail Res. Champion
...and many more!

Happy Trails,

Tough Mudder: T - 13 months!

I'm not sure which part of my feet/ankles hurt so bad, but I think I broke myself.
I've lost the spring in my step...the bounce in my pounce...the lift in my shift!!!!
I can't take more than an 8" step and stairs are the DEVIL....
I think I might be dying.

Only 13 more months to go!

August 29, 2011

UHA Relay Practice #1

We are hosting The United Horseman's Association relay practice here at Westwood in preparation for the annual Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo. UHA enters all-male, all-female, and mixed-gender relay teams each year in hopes of bringing home the jackpot. Last year, the all-female team did just that, earning over $600 for the riding club!!! Last year we joined our friends to watch from the stands...THIS year, I plan on being a part of the ACTION! Here's a mug shot of our super charismatic and slightly unbalanced (you had to be there...LOL) leader, UHA President Mansfield Montague.

Jesse is letting me borrow the use of his finest horse, Lil' Bit. Martin is still battling an abscess and Fancy is still leased out to a 4-H family until October....

...after all the riders had arrived, we got some great guidance from the most experienced in the club....

...and then it was time to GO! In the picture below, I am receiving the baton from team member, Tanya....nice and smooth!

...and I let Lil' Bit go....she really wanted to run, but I didn't let her go full out. I could tell she was going to have a few more gears to kick in when we get to the competition pen...

...we did knock down a couple barrels, which means I am going to to have to take these turns a little more wide in the future....fortunately, they were plastic barrels, so no permanent harm was done to my shins....THIS time.

As we round the final barrel we come back around to the handoff zone...think High School Track 4x4 relay put the runners on you got it!

Handoff complete...nice and smooth...just in time....perfect!

We are going to run through the motions once more next weekend and probably see a few more riders to add to the mix....good times!

Thanks for 'Ashley with the Cool Boots' for manning the camera for me! See you next Sunday!

Happy Trails!

Goodbye, Irene!

Well, that wasn't so bad now, was it? Here's the Little Brat out in 'the storm of the century' at about 2pm on Saturday....throughout the night we lost power a couple times for just a few seconds each time....count us blessed!

...and this is about the extent of the damage on as of Sunday morning....

Obviously, we got off easy on this one....

The majority of this washout came from the unexpected and unforecasted flash downpour on Friday afternoon....the 'hurricane' mostly just added the leaves....

All our barns and sheds went unscathed...the sun panels in the breezeway leaked a bit, so we'll need to try and get those replaced before winter sets in to keep the snow and melt-off out.

...and the arena only had a few small mud puddles to note.

These bails of hay were placed to keep the rain water from flooding the barn's breezeway....turns out, the majority of the water in the breezeway from from me washing the horses before I put them up...

Still, the ponies were happy to have a spa day (bath & brush down) and a night in the horsey hotel complete with ankle deep shavings.... can just see the sun peeking through at about 9am on Sunday in the picture below....

It turned out to be a beautiful sunny day....after a little cleanup, we were able to still host the United Horseman's Association Relay Practice! Check back for a separate post on that shin dig...

Happy Trails!


August 25, 2011

Randi's 1st Day of 1st Grade!

The Little Brat started 1st grade today....let us pause for a moment of silence for all mommies losing another year in their punk's youth...*sigh*

LB's new teacher is Mrs. Cartowski...according to her, "she is the nicest teacher in the WHOLE school"....her class is 26 deep though....that may put her 'nice' factor to the test...especially if there are more than one child like my hard headed spawn in there....

In youth we learn; in age we understand - Von Ebner-Eschenbach

Happy Trails,


August 23, 2011

Rock & Roll!

According to the USGS, the last significant earthquake in Virginia occurred in 1897 and was a magnitude of 5.9. See that little red square above? That's us...just a few moments ago....I think we just gave Miss 1897 a run for her money....according to USGS, we just matched it!

The kids, hubby, and I are all fine....just a little 'shook up'!

News Update: D.C., N.Y. buildings evacuate as quake felt across East

Happy Geological Anomalies,

Horses, Friends, and Horses of Friends....

VAHA held a show this weekend....although Martin is laid up for a while yet due to an abscess, I decided to make the trip to support my current and past boarders as they competed....Beth took her handsome new guy, Billy, and they got to know each other a little better....aren't they a stunning pair?

...he appeared more than happy to strut his stuff for the judge...maybe just a tad more 'strut' then Beth desired...hehe

It was a 'hair down' kinda turnout....that's a great thing about this's more about the people and the friendly environment than a perfect can relax and have fun....

Remember Rhonda and Ginny? Rhonda moved to a barn closer to work and Ginny went and bought herself a horse of her own and boards him closer to home now....

Rhonda has her gelding, Houdini, in a curb now...a step up from the snaffle...they had a great showing and took home many more blues!

They even added a pattern class to the mix this time around.....they've made so much progress!

...and it was nice to see the support of her new barn there cheering her on....this man was absolutely enamored with Mr. Houdini!

Ginny FINALLY got a chance to show her own horse this year....they even attempted a pattern class! I believe she took a 2nd in this one....not too shabby!

It was so nice to see her in the saddle, doing what she has been working so hard for the past year to do....

...and her new cheering section seemed pleased as well.

Way to follow through, Ginny! We knew you could do it.

Hope to see you all at the next show!

Happy Trails,


August 19, 2011

Why I loathe nap time...

I cannot wait for the twins to be done with naps (covers ears because of the deafening gasps)!

When Randi finally grew out of her nap I thought we would all die. Life was going to be miserable and we might as well just throw up our hands, lie on the ground, and wait for the bugs to feast on our decaying corpses. You know, optimistic. Anticipatory!

Turns out life got so much better! We no longer had to plan our entire life around that nap, that calculating dictator! Because, when Randi needed a nap and didn't take one, OH HOLY HELL, there was no talking her off of that ledge, she was going to jump and it would be the most dramatic jump in the history of the universe!

Without that nap, on the other hand, we could leave the house for hours and hours. We didn't have to worry about unplanned visitors waking her up, errands that would have to go un-ran while the she rested, and splitting family events into 'those that can go' and 'those that must wait while she naps'. We didn't need to worry about keeping her awake on a car ride to avoid losing a needed nap at home. And now, the juggling act of getting two kids to nap at the same time without waking each other up.

The twins are much like Randi in that they really need to nap. When they don't, we brace for The Mommy Wars: wherein they are so miserable that they just want to be held, except that they both want to be held BY ME and AT THE SAME TIME. And even after I might manage to get both punks up on my hips, simply holding them is not sufficient...I MUST WALK...only walking soothes the fussy beasts! And only if they are not touching each other in any way....touching of one punk's body parts to another only induces kicking and screaming and holy hell on earth! Try it sometime....two 16 month on each touching.....if you can do it, CALL ME! I'll hire you!!!!

Yes, giving up the nap in our house is a very good thing. Only 6 - 8 more months to go!

Happy Napping...or NOT,

August 16, 2011

Happy Birthday, Cowgirl!

My mother turns an unmentionable age today......

Happy Birthday, Ma!

August 14, 2011

Martin Update...Stifle or Abcess?

Martin is one HIGH MAINTENANCE horse. That is a FACT! In a previous post I shared his 'sensitivity' to the heat...and before that it was all about thrush and sheered heels....Well, about 2 weeks ago I pulled him out from in front of his fans to turn him out in his field to graze overnight and lo-and-behold he was 3-legged. He appeared to have an issue with his rear left stifle...he wouldn't hardly put any weight on it at all! I opted to keep him stalled and adopt the 'wait-and-see' approach....approximately 5 days later, he was walking fine again....with that, I resumed his regular evening turnout schedule....however, about 3 days later he came up 3-legged again. ARGH!

For the past week he's been stalled again....waiting to see if something would 'pop' back into place or if he'd need to make a trip to the vet for an assessment....then along came our wonderful farrier, Dana Stewart, yesterday and busted this case WIDE OPEN for us....LITERALLY!

As I was explaining to Dana how tragic it was that we may be dealing with a general breakdown in health and soundness due to his age, she pulled out her hoof testers.....As she found soreness in his toe area, I explained that his toe is the only thing he'd put weight on for almost 2 that was understandable! Then she whipped out her blade 'just to be sure' he didn't have anything going on in that toe area and whadayaknow? ABSCESS!!!!

It was only a couple months ago that he abscessed out of his front right foot at the coronet of the largest blowouts I've ever seen! Now this....well, at least it wasn't a stifle injury!

So, now we wrap and wait....and when he's sound again he goes out indefinitely in a grassy paddock where the footing is most conducive to his poor wittle footsie wootsies.....the rocks in the paddock by the creek apparently aren't working for him....we have learned that with soles as thin as his, he needs some special considerations. No problem big guy....consider it done!

On a side note, he has started sweating again....and with the trouble in his hind end his arthritis up front has not even been noticeable! I should start a database of seasonal issues for the big guy so we can keep them straight and keep him healthy and sound....Lordsy Mercy!

Happy Trails,

What do you mean my horse doesn't LOVE me???

Right on, Larry Trocha.....Write On.

August 11, 2011

Rt. 11 Yard we come!

Route 11 Yard Crawl - Saturday, August 13, 2011

Click here for a BROCHURE

Come out for business sidewalk sales, yard sales, antiques, food, wine, and much more along 43 miles of US Route 11 in our historic towns of New Market, Mt. Jackson, Edinburg, Woodstock, Toms Brook & Strasburg, Middletown and Stephens City! Make a weekend in the “Heart of the Shenandoah Valley”!

Taking the Little Brat to scrounge for some great deals....hope to see you there!

Happy Crawling,


August 08, 2011

Tough Mudder: T - 14 months!

When you are as terribly out of shape as this old couple, you can't start preparing soon enough for an event like the Tough Mudder! You see, we are older, slower, and fluffy'er than we were 'back in the day'.....I've pumped out a few kids and JR has undergone a few major surgeries...what I am trying to say is that we haven't been keeping ourselves in the best of condition. All that is about to change though!

STEP 1: Get some running shoes!

We need to start MOVING....we have some issues to consider though. JR has had 2 back surgeries and a torn Achilles tendon...I have moody knees...we need some shoes that will be kind to our worn and neglected bodies....after a considerable amount of research, I found barefoot running to be very popular; it encourages proper carriage and strike area in the foot, reducing concussion and stress to your body....such a simple, yet integral concept to our fitness! Not only was I reading great things, but I was also talking to good friends and coworkers that also provided personal testimony on the subject. We decided to give them a try....first, we went to Dick's and tried SKELETOES.....these seemed to fit either too loose or too tight no matter the sizing we tried...also, the pads didn't fit right on the sole of our feet, and JR's alien length toes were all cramped up in the toe spaces....these obviously were not going to work. After talking with my coworker and Glamazon Cross Training Queen/Fitness Guru about our struggle, she recommended the Merrel Trail Glove. I did a quick Internet search and found them at Saxon Shoes right behind the Spotsylvania Mall....we stopped in after work, tried them on, and immediately fell in love! The fit around the heel and arch is perfect and the roomy toe box was suitable for Mr. alien toes too! We snatched those puppies right up and took them home to try them out.

Here is the Trail Glove that JR got:

Here is the ladies version, the Pace Glove, that I got:

We measured a short track on the property as you can see below. We start at the house and walk toward the road, then loop back down to the barn, around the arena, and back to the house. One loop is .8 miles, and we are walking 4 laps 5 days/week.

The track is a combination of level to slightly graded gravel, grass, and a short steep hill between the house and the barn....the change in footing keeps the workout interesting! We strapped our new shoes on and headed out last night for our regular 4 laps....the shoes were extremely comfortable right off the bat.....we could notice ourselves treading more lightly across the ground and the improved contact with the ground as well....the burn in our calves was indicative of the weakness the barefoot approach will hopefully help us resolve. We were in such a hurry to get out last night that I wore my dress socks and did not change into running socks as I should have...I ended up with a slight blister on one heel where the sock had gotten thin....I'm hoping this won't happen again with the use of proper socks.....we'll see tonight! Other than that, the new shoes seem to be working out is advised that the transition to barefoot-type running is taken slow so your muscles and tendons have an opportunity to build up strength...I think we'll continue at the walk for another week or so and see how that goes....3 miles at a fast walk is still a good workout at this point! Randi has formed a habit of wanting my to carry her for a portion of the workout as well....adding 40 lbs, even at the walk, increases the difficulty quite a bit! In other words, don't judge me....I can walk if I want to...hmph.

Happy Trails,


August 05, 2011

I died in my DREAM! What does it MEAN????

I normally reserve my silly,crazy, gory, and goofy dreams for my immediate family, however, last night I had a very vivid dream about dying in a car accident and I am a bit perplexed by it all...I was hoping one of you might be into dream interpretation and be able to help me decipher this one...I didn't think it was possible to actually DIE in your dreams, until last's a little unsettling to say the least..Here are the details...

I was driving my truck up the highway. The car I was following in the left hand lane slowlly started to drift off the road to the left...I thought to myself that the driver must be distracted. As the car neared the bridge ahead, I noticed the car was heading towards the guard rail. At the last moment, the driver swerved to the right to miss the guard rail and started to spin out....I slammed on my brakes and swerved to the right to go around the car....Unfortunately, I over turned and my truck fish tailed to the right across the highway...I hit the guard rail on the other side and my truck began to flip over...all of a sudden I felt a tremendous crash and suspected I had hit a tree...I was consumed in heat and felt my body go numb as I flew through the air towards the rear of a bus...I realized that I must have been ejected and was facing more than a terrible accident...I was about to I slammed into the bus I felt more heat, blackness, and the sound in my head similar to a rushing stream...then silence.

I awoke to an unbelievably fierce headache and tension in my shoulders that I haven't experienced in ages...I felt every second of this experience as vividly as if it had happened in real life...

What does this mean?????

August 02, 2011

2011 Virginia Warrior Dash....ENTERED!

One of my favorite physical activities in the Marine Corps was when we'd tackle the obstacle course and race our peers over logs, bars, walls, through mud holes and up ropes for bragging rights...I never met an obstacle I didn't fall in love with! In those days, I didn't think twice about teaming up with my kick-ass girlfriends to run the 13+ hr 134 mile Oahu Perimeter Relay year after year either.

Since then, however, the extent of my workouts have been anything to do with the farm or in the conduct of raising a family...not much time left for my personal fitness.....but all that is about to change! JR and I have committed to a monster obstacle course in October 2012 called the Tough Mudder....this is not a race for the faint of heart! Just like the good ole days.....hehehehe

In preparation, we've entered a smaller race to help get us motivated called the Warrior Dash this October 1st....

A small group of friends will be joining us...maybe we'll see YOU there (we are in the 130pm time slot)?! In order to improve our current fitness level, we've started doing an evening walk/run after the kids go down to far, so good! A few more weeks and a new pair of shoes and I think we'll be set! I hope.....

Stay tuned for updates and pics...

Happy Health & Fitness....Leah