Friday, April 12, 2019

Will I ever ride again...?

*warning* this post is going to be pretty much a whiny, woe is me, rant-y kind of thing.  Feel free to back out now.  Lol.

A couple of weeks ago I had a birthday and as I drove home tonight from picking up dinner for myself and my mom and brother it occurred to me that I am less than a year away from a major milestone birthday.  The number is scary, but I have never felt my age anyway so I know it's just a number and not how I feel.  But it also hit me that it's been 20 years since I was last on a horse.  Next Sunday, to be exact
A friend had gotten me (and herself) a 4 hour lunch ride in the Superstition Mountains.  It was the longest either of us had ever been in the saddle at one time but we were both excited.  It was a fun ride.  There was 6 of us, i think, all women, plus our male trail guide.  My horse was a lovely large thoroughbred named Larry.  I got the biggest horse because i was the biggest person, both in height and weight.  Literally, i was the tallest in our group, even taller than our guide, whose name was either Bud or Buddy, and while my friend had a few extra pounds, I was the heaviest.  I keep mentioning that because that is the theme of this post.  Me, my weight, and horses.

That was the last time I sat on a horse.  20 years ago.

I used to ride all the time.  Just about every weekend when I could.  I had a good friend, not the same one who gifted me the birthday ride, whom loved horses and riding as much as I did so we went whenever we could.  She had an aunt with horses and in high school I got to help her with them.  "S" had grown out of them by then, preferring to go out with boys instead of the barn.  Plus, I babysat her cousins so I often had the opportunity to go to the barn with them.  Her aunt even encouraged me to visit the horses when she wasn't able to visit and feed them.  She (the aunt) helped me get a job babysitting the barn owner's grandson in which I was paid both in money and the ability to tale a horse out for a ride.  Unfortunately, the job didn't last long due to marital problems between his son and daughter-in-law.

So, it's been 20 years since I've ridden a horse.

 During that time, my weight increased because food became more important than riding.  As much as I hate it and want to change it, nothing changes.  I have the tools to lose weight.  I have done it before and I love it when my clothes fit better and I get good looks instead of looks of contempt.  I can't even go to horse shows anymore because my weight has caused mobility problems.  I can still go look for and photograph the wild horses because I don't have to get out of my car most of the time, but I can't go places where I could potentially touch them.  I have no cartilege in my left knee and my back is super messed up...a condition, ironically, caused by horseback riding and Equine Assisted Random Gravity Checks
Realistically, it is likely the back issues that will forever keep me out of the saddle since it's not recommended that you ride if you have a back injury.  You know what I have to say about that, though?  Phooey!

It's been 20 years since I've ridden a horse.

I won't give up.  I can't give up.  Somehow, I need to re-wire my brain to want horses and riding to be more important than food.  I want it.  I just don't know where to find it.  The weekend of my birthday I saw the movie Bohemian Rhapsody.  I've always been a fan of Queen.  Not to a point where I would seek out listening to them, but I would enjoy hearing them when they came on the radio or at a hockey game.  But since seeing Bohemian Rhapsody, I have been making a point of listening to them.  Bohemian Rhapsody is my favorite song but Radio GaGa is the one that has been stuck in my head, especially one part:

You had the time
You had the power
You've yet to have, your finest hour

I think those words are sticking with me for a reason.  And then there's the Climb by Miley Cyrus.  Well, pretty much the entire song.  But the opening verse:

I can almost see it
That dream I'm dreaming
But there's a voice inside my head says
You'll never reach it

I watch horse videos of people being surprised on Christmas with a new horse.  I look tack catalogs.  I follow horse trailers when out driving.  I read books (fiction and often written for a much younger audience) centered around horses.  I often think about them.  I've had dreams where I sat on a horse or have ridden and it made me so happy.  But then I'd wake up to the realization that it was...Just a dream.

Also from The Climb:

Just got to keep going
And I, I gotta be strong
Just keep pushing on

It's been 20 years since I last rode a horse...I can't let it be another 20...

Friday, January 25, 2019

You might find interesting things when...

you follow a hay delivery.

I found myself with an unexpected afternoon off today so I went for a drive.  First out to look for wild horses...I found several but not in areas good for photography...then just random driving.  While I was just driving around, I saw a small truck loaded with hay.  I don’t know how much hay he was carrying, but it was a small flatbed truck that looked like it was have to be off-loaded by hand.  I followed behind him for awhile since I knew he would be going where there was a ranch of some sort, but then I ended up ahead of him.  At one point, I was so far ahead that I only saw the truck when there was a dip in the road.  But then I encountered construction, which gave him a chance to catch up and eventually there were two cars between us.  At some point, I saw him turn so I turned at the next road and went back.  Unfortunately, by the time I got to the road he had turned down, he had disappeared already and I lost sight of him.  It hadn’t been all that much time so their delivery must have been shortly after they turned down the road.

Since I didn’t know where the truck had turned, I kept going down that road, knowing I’d more than likely spot some horse ranches and boy, did I.  There’s several training centers and an equine reproduction clinic in addition to privately owned ranches.  I saw quite a few horses but didn’t stop to take pictures.  Not real sure why.

When I got home, I looked up the area on Google Maps so I could learn some more about the places I had seen and came across a riding stable so I looked them up on Google and found a photo that, quite frankly, had me a bit shocked.

What is wrong with this photo?  I know Scottsdale is a tourist city, and a rather warm one at that, so a lot of people wear shorts and flip-flops, but did they actually let her ride dressed like this?  Where this riding stable is located is literally in the middle of the desert...lots of cactus and scrub brush.  Not exactly the safest for shorts and flip-flops.  Now, you might be thinking they possibly staged this photo for the website.  That thought had crossed my mind as well, but if someone sees this on their website they are going to think it’s okay to show up for a trail ride in the desert dressed inappropriately.  Oddly enough, their website states this:

We suggest wearing long pants, closed toed shoes & hats (hats must be tight).

They they only ‘suggest’ long pants and closed toed shoes, but they’re not a requirement.

Okay.  So I checked several other riding stables in the Phoenix metro area and not one of them requires long pants and closed toed shoes.  That surprises me.  That sounds dangerous and a huge liability if someone gets injured as a result of how they are dressed.  Yes, the stables all require riders to sign a liability waiver, but I work for an insurance company and those waivers don’t stop people from suing the stable.  The type of insurance company I work for actually writes policies for riding stables and other horse-related facilities/activities and my job within the company enables me to see the lawsuits.  I tell you what...if I owned a riding stable I *might* allow someone to ride wearing shorts, but the flip-flops would be a no-brainer.  Flip-flops = no ride.  Maybe that’s just me, though.

This is the first time I have followed a hay delivery.  Usually I follow horse trailers and even then not all that often since they are bigger and tend to move slower.  I don’t know.  Lol.  I’m a nosy person, I know.  If I see a horse trailer, I look to see if there’s any horses in it and if there aren’t, I wonder why not.  If there’s horses in the trailer, I wonder where they’re a show?  A trail ride?  The vet?  Did they just buy it and are taking it home?  Who knows.  But it’s fun to guess.

It’s going to be warm this weekend.  In the 70s.  Great riding weather.  Too bad I don’t have access to a horse.  Lol.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Breyerfest 2019

Hello again.  I am glad to see from the view counter that a few people still read this thing.  hahaha.  I don't know how often I'll post, but I will try to do it more often.

Breyerfest 2019 is starting to ramp up, which is common for January.  The 3 day tickets went on sale, what, last week?  I haven't boughten one yet.  Not entirely sure I will.  I want the celebration model because it's a police horse and I like the color
Problem is, I'm not going to Breyerfest and it's often a hassle trying to find someone to do pick-ups for me that won't end up costing a bunch of extra money.  Don't get me wrong.  I think people who do pick-ups for other people do deserve some sort of compensation for spending so much time standing in line, but some of the prices I've seen charged are ridiculous.  In the past, I've bought a ticket for the possibility of getting left-overs on the Breyer website, but there wasn't anything I was interested in last year's line-up so I didn't bother.  They haven't started showing, yet, what this year's SRs will look like, but unless there's a couple that I want, I'm not going to pay for however much amount for a child's ticket to get the celebration model plus have to pay someone a pick-up fee.  That would almost double the cost of the model.  In that situation I would probably just buy the celebration model on the secondary market.  There's usually a bunch of them out there.  I was lucky enough to be chosen off the wait list for the Scottsdale Stampede that was held in November and the person I gave my +1 ticket to, I helped get her the SR model she wanted most because I ended up being 4th in line (I still need to blog about that experience) and she was so happy she swore up one side and down the other that she would "pay me back" (she paid for the cost) and mentioned Breyerfest, but she's been in and out of the hobby so much the past 6 months that I don't know what is going on. the Early Bird Raffle model was released
Even if I liked him, you need to be present to win and since I'm not going...hahaha...I don't collect this mold anyway so I'm not too bummed.  I know a lot of people like him.

This year is the 30th anniversary of Breyerfest.  Wow.  Seems like just last year they were celebrating 25 years.  I've wanted to go almost since day one.  I don't remember how long they'd been doing it before I first heard about it, but it wasn't very long because I've been in the hobby for a long time.  When I was younger, I didn't have any money to go and my parents wouldn't take me.  It's an expensive trip from Arizona to Kentucky and they just had no interest in doing something like that.  They support(ed) my interest, but only if it didn't cause them any inconvenience or too much money.  hahaha.  When I got older and had a job, it was still money that got in my way of going.  Then I got a GOOD job that paid decent money and provided time off.  But I still haven't gone.  Why?  Money.  hahaha.  A roundtrip ticket to Louisville, unless I happen to catch a really good sale, is a minimum of $404 (that's what it is right now).  I actually had bought a plane ticket to go last year.  My mom loaned me the money.  I had hotel booked.  Car reserved.  Told people I was going to be there.  Everything was working out for me to be able to attend, but I had to cancel.  Why?  Medical problems.  There always seems to be something.  This year I didn't bother planning to go because I wanted to go to a planner conference in Las Vegas in May, but I had to cancel that.

Sorry.  I don't mean to rattle on about my problems.  One of these years I'd like to make it to Breyerfest.  I should start saving now and maybe go next year?  But if there's going to be a collector event in the fall, I might like to try for that instead.  I don't know.  When I did Scottsdale Stampede I said I probably wouldn't do it again, but I think if I did things a bit differently, it would be okay.  I don't even know that there will be a collector event in 2019, let alone where it is.  The planner event is every year and maybe 2020 will be a fun location and I'll decide to do that, I don't know.  What DO I know?  Nothing.  hahahaha.

Okay, guys, that's it for now.  Until next time.