Monday, December 13, 2010

Planning for Florida

As the cold weather really starts to hit us here, I am beginning to dream of Florida again. Last year we spent 6 glorious weeks down in Ocala, Florida with five wonderful horses.

Farm 2010

My "farm family" will be taking the RV down over the Christmas holidays and I will be left here in Ontario to take care of the ponys. Now I'm not complaining about being left behind. I get to spend 4 days at the farm by myself while I'm not working my "normal" job. To me that is heaven. But I do miss out on spending 3 days in Florida. But I also miss out on a 24 hr drive with two dogs, one of which thinks he should be a lap dog all 120lbs of him, one 10 yr old boy, one 14 yr old boy, and the "folks." Is it really a loss staying home?

Florida 2010

I will be spending next weekend packing the RV with all the bigger items that we need to take down with us.

Last year I packed the nose of the gooseneck horse trailer an the bed of the truck with everything we needed. I had it PACKED let me tell you. Everything we needed was carefully tetris' into the nose of the trailer. I then added a foam spare mattress and a car dog grate to hold everything in. Life may have been easier if we were shipping four horses in our four horse slant. But we did not last year nor will we this year. One lucky or possibly unlucky horse depending on how you look at it gets to be the tack room victim. Yep that's right we ship a small horse in our tack room. That's just how we roll.

So to prevent any potential problems I'm trying to ship as much as I can down with the RV. I'm hoping only to have to ship tack, feed and buckets down with the horses.

I can't find a photo of the tack room horse last year... Too bad it was pretty damn cute!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The view from my bedroom window...

This post doesn't follow the story from the last few but I felt the need to post it today.

This was taken last January.

This morning I woke up at 6am. This is not uncommon for me as I have to be at work for 7am. It's sad that my weekend off I still follow the trend from my weekday schedule. Today I didn't really mind. I'm spending the weekend with my surrogate family at their farm.

I woke up with a cat on my chest, a dog at my feet and the group of geldings out my window. I always wake up slowly but today was different. I pushed the cat from my chest and rolled over to stare at the boys. Just 30 feet from the back door. Quietly munching their hay in the predawn light. I watched them interact. Three stallions and 11 geldings. All interacting calmly. The head stallion sometimes changing things around depending on who's doing what. Keeping everyone in their place. But never without a reason. Monster and his brother sleeping on the ground in what was a new round bale last night. The lone grey standing in between the two smaller herds who are eating at the bales.

Again taken last year.

I sometimes feel like the collage kid who comes home for the weekend. My two younger "brothers" excited to see me, sometimes forgetting I'm here. I'm like a present. A pleasant surprise in the morning. The only difference is I leave my laundry at home. I made coffee after I got up and went outside for a smoke. It was cold, snowy and windy but I never really mind when I'm here.

Last January the boys in the back yard.

Here I'm happy even when my real life sucks. I had the worst Friday ever at work. I was made to feel like shit all day. I was yelled at and threatened by someone who should have let it go. I can't fix the mistake. If I had been properly trained I wouldn't have made it. He abused his authority and took out his frustration at others on me. I spent more time crying than doing my job. I walked out wondering if this job I truly enjoy so much is really worth it. I was ready to walk away. But when I got on the train to come home, I started to relax. The closer to home I got the better I felt. I was no longer crying over an arrogant jerk. I was smiling and happy to see my family. They picked me up from the bus station and life was ok again. We pulled into the farm and real life no longer existed.

Today from my window I realized how much we should take in from our horses. I nip in the ass and it's over. I look and you just understand. No yelling, no feeling like sh*t for anyone.

This was taken in June 2010

I realized that I don't deserve what was done to me on Friday. I will stand up and fight back. You can't kick the sh*t out of me without a damn good reason. You can not take away everything that I have worked toward for the last two years just because you are in a position of authority. You abused it and now I will fight back. I will stand up for what is right. I will fight to the death for what I believe in. For what I have worked so hard for.

If my life could only be so simple as a horses life!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, November 12, 2010

Who's crazy now?

Some times I wonder if horse people are the real crazies of the world....

What is up with that hat... My pictures really don't do it justice... Big pink feathers fluttering in the breeze

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Life lessons Big J and the little brown mare..

I buses out to Big J's everyday for 6 months. I had never worked at a full time lesson barn before coming out to big J's. I did everything she had ever asked of me. From mucking stall to riding to teaching lessons to taking out trail rides. As much as I knew about right and wrong in the horse world big J may have taught me some of the best lessons I could have ever learned.

The barn that big J rented was an old standerdbred training barn. It sat on 200 acres of land with 3 fields. There was an old bank barn, 2 large open shed/barns, a small indoor arena and 2 heritage homes closer to the road. The property had a small 5 acre bush lot towards the back. Parts were rented out by cash crop farmers. Everything was in a state of disrepair. Both barns really should not have houses animals, nor should have the outbuildings. I slowly learned that when it snowed outside it snowed inside as well. Or when it rained, 9 out of 10 stalls flooded, from above and below. I learned not to remove pee spots from certain stalls. I learned that when you hose freezes because there is a foot of snow at one end of the barn it was ALOT of work slugging water to each horse, and much easier to take each horse to a water tank in the hall and water them ever 3-4 hours. I learned the true meaning behind crazy horse people.

Big J taught lessons 7 nights a week and took out trails on weekends.  Actually I don't think she ever left her office. She had lackys like me to do the work for her. Apon occation I would teach a lesson for her during the day or take out a trail ride. She liked to make as much money as she could. Her horses were old and worked hard. They rarely got outside. Once a week if they were lucky. Let me tell you it was pure crazyness when they did get out. She would buy horses from the local meat market sale. Home they would come in her beat up pickup truck and matching trailer. They would be bannished to the old bank barn for a week to see if they had any health issues. If nothing was noticed they would get move up to the big barn. Then I would get to work with them. And not get paid to do it. But I never minded back then. I would brush them and love them up. Saddle them to see what their reaction would be. Then we would move out to the indoor. 

I remember this one little mare impaticular. We believed she was a Morgan from what we were told at the sale. Cute little thing she was. Not a drop of white on her brown little body. She was built like a tank and I was looking forward to getting on her. All her ground basics were incrediable! She loved the attition I was giving her. Not a muscle moved when I tacked her up. She walked around the arena like a pro on the lunge line. Her movement was to die for. So I got on her. She stood like an old trail horse for me to adjust girth and get on. Once I was on her back I shifted me weight around, flapped my arms. She was quite and calm. I put my leg on to ask her to move forward, she took one step and reared. Oh baby oh baby not a chance is hell was I going to let that happen! I bopped her on the poll and asked for forward again. Well let me tell you that mare could move. He moved so fast I thought I was flying. Oh wait u was, backward and up. My head hit the ground with a thud. Big J had been standing in the door way to the arena. She yelled at me to see if I was ok. Other than a bit of a headache and a sore knee I was fine. I was also determined to not let this little mare get the best of me. I walked over to where she was standing in the arena grabbed my reins and walked her back to my mounting block.
 Big J asked me "Are you crazy? Or just stupid?"
"Nope" I said "My mom always told me to get right back up."
And I did just that. I sat in the saddle for a good 2 mins, reins loose, quite and calm. Then I got off. I handed big J the mare and told her I was going home. I walked out of that barn, walked to the bus stop, and sat down on the gravel curb. I cryed like a baby. 

I'm no wimp. I've been kicked, bitten, stepped on, crushes, run over etc. Only once dis I ever ask for a hospital and pain meds. I wasn't crying for myself. I was crying for that poor little mare. I knew she would be back in the POS trailer and back to the stock yards first thing Monday morning. She couldn't make big J a dime and she wouldn't keep a extra mouth unless they paid their own way. I cryed for her and all the others that could have a second life but got the wrong bidder, and eneded up back were they started from.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Life lessons meeting Big J 

I was working for big J about 8 years ago. I was young, 18 I think. I did everything she ever asked of me. I bused 2 hours each way to get to work. On 3 diffrent tranist lines.  Then walked another 2 kms. Rain or shine, sleet and snow. Nothing stopped me from getting to the barn every day. I was like the mail man. I nursed a few hangovers on my bus rides. I got paid shit money. Barley enough to cover my bus fares some weeks. I turned more than one head after working in the barn all day when  I was riding the buses. If I was lucky big J would give me a ride closer into town. Sometimes cutting a half hour from my trip home. After long days I would sometimes fall asleep on the subway, waking up at the wrong end of the city, knowing I had started going the other way. None of that really mattered. I got to ride and I was away from the big city.

It all started with an ad in the paper. I wasn't really looking for a job. I was trying to get myself through highschool and survive in the big city. I lived with my mom and sister. We partyed... Alot. 

My friends were not really my friends. Sadly they were my younger sisters friends. But for some reason they accepted the older sister into their group. I was so socialy awkward and extreamly depressed. I had no friends of my own. I truly think they took pity on me. Either way over the years they became my friends too.

Anyway, my mom was getting tired of my behaviour. I couldn't keep my ass in school. I skipped to meet with "my friends."  She knew how unhappy I was. When I mentioned the ad from the paper she encouraged me to send a resume in and take the job. She knew where I was happy. Horse posters covered my walls along with my collection of tack and ribbions from horses I had groomed. So I bit the bullet so to speak. I called the number posted and got an interview after faxing my resume to big J. 3 days later I got on the bus and took the first of many long rides out to the barn. 

I walked the 2 kms to the middle of no where. Big Js "farm" ( I use this term loosely) was... Well sad really. I walked down the driveway to the barn. Big J had told me she had an office to the right as you walk in the main doors. As I was walking down the driveway I slowly took everything in. The farm was slightly neglected. Fence boards were broken and missing. Gates hung with binder twine. It was a bit of a shamble. I walked into the barn and let my eyes adjust to the light. The hallway was clean. From what I could see it looked ok.

 I turned to my right and found big Js office. I introudced myself and got down to the interview. Big J and I hit it off right away. She asked if I would start right away. Ummm I just traveled 2 hours to see a horse... YES I will sign me up!!!! So I grabbed a wheelbarrow and a fork and started to muck stalls. 40 stalls. Every single one with a horse in it. I was out of shape but loving every minuet of it. I got about half way down the barn and big J called me back. She had to leave and wanted to show me how to feed. We fed the horses and big J gave me a ride to the bus stop I had gotten off at. 

"9 am tommorrow? "She asked
"I will be there with bells on!"


Monday, October 25, 2010

Monster Man

This is Monster...

The love of my life....

The reason behind my name...

And my blog...


My Monster!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Starting off...

Well I'm not sure where to start with this but I guess a quick intro is in order.

My plan for this blog to be a random mix of daily life and stories from
the past. I entend to keep everything true to life unless other wise stated. I will try to stay away from ranting as much as possiable but there is no promise there!

I also want to add a little about myself and my choice to start blogging. I'm a mid 20 year old girl, stuck in a confusing world of tall buildings and concrete. I yearn for green grass and open spaces. Horse out my bedroom window and grazing my front yard. I'm working a job I hate and love at the same time but wish I was doing something else. I love my main man (whom we shall call MilkShake or MS) but dream of life alone. I'm a bit of an oddball in many ways. I'm a Jack-of-all-trades. I am VERY independent but so very dependant. I live for horses and the freedom and structure they give me. I guess that's me in a nutshell.

My choice to start blogging was not an easy one. I don't like to draw attention to myself nor do I feel that I am much of a writer. But I have all these great stories in my head that I just need to get out. Really it's just one story, the story of my life (how cliche is that?). I need to get them out on "paper" to slow down the swirlling in my head. I need to explain my choices in life even if I'm the only one to ever read them.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Third times the charm...

Alright. So this is the third time I have tried to write and post my very first post. Maybe just maybe it will work!

So I want to do a quick intro into why I started my own blog after reading other peoples for years. But my iPhone does not think this is a good idea apparently. So I've decided that my intro post will be my second post. I hope!

This post I guess will have to be about why I chose the name for this blog. And my screen name.

So my screen name is Monsters Groom. Monster is one of the many horses I have groomed over the last 10 years. He is also one of the most recent. I LOVE Monster! I think he loves me back too. But in his own way. Monster is well a monster! He is the grumpiest, crankiest, bitchiest horse I have EVER come accross. Untill he is out of his stall. He turns from Jeckle into Hyde the moment his front feet leave his house. He is the sweetest, kindest, most caring horse I have ever met! I wouldn't say he is huggable but he is a care bear. At least to me. He is also the only horse I have ever had to groom standing on a rubbermaid stepstool. Monster is just shy of 18hh at 4 1/2 years old. I should also mention at this point that he is not a Shire nor a Clyde. Actual he has no draft blood at all. He is a reg. Selle Francais. To me he is perfect. He's the best horse in the crossties, he's so very easy to ride when you ask nicely and he has just the right amount of 'tude to fit with me. He is a ham for the camera. He loves his ladies! Just DON'T enter his stall. He will tell you off so fast! Teeth and legs a-flying! He is so big it's really hard for him to spook big. When I ride him I feel safe. I feel more comfortable on my Monster than the 15 hh Quarter horses I use to break and ride. He's so kind under saddle. I've even jumped him over baby jumps about 2'6. That's baby at my barn. Every chance I get I ride the Monster. I'm a fair weather rider these day. I would rather groom, bathe and set jumps for everyone else than ride. In the last 4-5 years I had ridden maybe 10 times. Untill I got on Monster. But that's another story.

Anyway back to the title of my blog. As it says this is my life, my love and all horses that have been along the journey. I kind of hope to tell at least one story about everyone and every horse that has made an impact on my life. I have pleanty of storys to tell and some pictures to post (once I get that figured out).

I hope you enjoy reading my blog and stories! I know I will enjoy writing them!

Untill tommorrow...