Worth the Effort

A seemingly innocuous thing has been weighing on my mind so I thought I would unburden myself here. I'm going to talk about pictures.  Not the diatribe (which is sadly necessary in this day and age) we see regularly from photographers justifying their prices or begging people to not pirate their photos.  No, today's writing is directed at the subject matter in the photos, the people themselves.  

Making the effort while covered in flour

Making the effort while covered in flour

We've all been there, hot, sweaty, tired, exhausted, and a camera gets stuck in our face.  For many people this is ultimate uncomfortable situation, they don't like having their picture taken when they feel their best, let alone when they feel like they have been trodden on by a herd of horses.  They wonder, doesn't this camera fiend realize I have things to do, don't they realize how gross I feel at this moment?  You might think I'm going to stand up for that tired sweaty person who just wants to get home and go to bed, but I'm not.

Even Dwight makes the effort

Even Dwight makes the effort

I'm going to take a stand here for the friends and family who stick by us, the people who always have a cold water ready, a kind word, a giant hug, a euphoric high five. I'm here to root on the mom's that are stuck by the sidelines worrying, the dads trying to understand a foreign sport that involves not one ball. The brothers and sisters bored out of their minds who still manage to cheer as we cross the finish line.  This is for the entire tribe of people who make our participation in whatever we are doing possible, the people who are there for our highs as well as more importantly for our lows. These people who give up their weekends and evenings and air conditioned houses to spend hours in sweltering sun to root us on in our 120 seconds of performance. The people who put up with our bad moods, broken bones and spirits, and the inevitable harsh words that escape from our mouths in moments of frustration. These are the people that make our dreams possible, these are the people that create the wind beneath our wings.

Hot, sweaty, tired, and about to get rained on, still making the effort

Hot, sweaty, tired, and about to get rained on, still making the effort

So, when someone from your tribe of supporters puts a camera in your face, make the effort. You might feel gross, you might be capable of nothing more than a smile more akin to a grimace, but make the effort. These people unquestioningly support our wild plans, they root us on during our best, and glue us back together at our worst, so make the effort.  If for some reason these people want to commemorate a weekend spent in the heat and dust without the comforts of home, blowing their hard earned money to the wind, make the effort. Don't roll your eyes, don't glare, don't stomp about, just make the effort.  You look into that camera, you think about the untold number of things you have to be thankful for and you do your darnedest to smile.

Overtime your memories of the frustrations you may have endured will fade, and I promise you at some point you will be happy that picture of you making the effort exists. 

So very thankful for a husband who is happy to smile

So very thankful for a husband who is happy to smile

So, you read that and you still think pictures are an insult to your angelic self? Think about this. Life is finite, there are no guarantees that you will be here next month, next year, or even tomorrow. Do you want the last picture that your mother or father or sibling or friend or spouse has to look at to be of you scowling? People take pictures to represent a parcel of memories. Even if at the moment the camera appears you think a picture is unnecessary, remember that the person behind the camera just wants to preserve happy memories, to somehow keep a grasp of the whole experience as it fades into the shadows of time. 

Even Charlie tries to make the effort.

Even Charlie tries to make the effort.

The next time you want to scowl at a camera, pause and think about everything that the person behind it has done for you, and please no matter how tired or frustrated you are, make the effort.  I promise you won't regret it.

Trip to Denver

I just got back from visiting the hubby in Colorado, super fun trip, always a whirlwind.  Of course while I was there I took photos and video of two different horses for sale. It is always a tight rope walk getting racetrackers and the 'jump jump' crowd to drop their long held prejudices about each other. I feel like it is my mission in life to help increase the education and understanding between the two worlds, that's why I'm such a big fan of the RRP. When you peel off the many layers of misinformation and stereotypes that everyone likes to hold onto, suddenly new friendships and great networking opportunities appear.

Our winning two year old

Our winning two year old

Hmm, pretty sure that last sentence could apply to most situations in the world. I'm always threatening to paint E.L.E (Everybody love everybody) across the end of our barn. I haven't actually done it, but I have actually yelled E.L.E. at people who are bickering and surprisingly they are usually so startled that they ask me what it stands for and then have a laugh and whatever quibble was going on is forgotten or at least they move on.

I was feeding him milk and accidentally squirted him, talk about a quibble.

I was feeding him milk and accidentally squirted him, talk about a quibble.

I'm sure what y'all are curious about though are the adorable squirrels that were all over my social media. I mean yeah, horses for life yo, horses before bros, ect etc. But seriously, tame baby squirrels!?!?!?

"My name is Circles"

"My name is Circles"

Apparently Circles was found in a shedrow during busing training hours literally running in circles and in very grave danger to be stepped on.  Then a few days later Squeak was just laying in a shedrow not moving. So some kitten milk replacement was bought and the hubby and his gallop guy commenced raising baby squirrels.

Can't. Even.

nomnomnom corn!

nomnomnom corn!

They are actually doing good enough now that they will get turned loose soon to join all the other grown up squirrels running around, I'm really hoping Circles sticks around (he's more tame).  So hard to get any work done when there are baby squirrels needing fed!

Definite #heartmelt watching the hubby do this

Definite #heartmelt watching the hubby do this

In addition to the squirrels the trip was fun. We went and explored downtown Denver one evening.  Drove around all sorts of cool old houses and then walked around the big tall buildings that are distinctly lacking in Idaho.

Love the contrast between old and new

Love the contrast between old and new

We also went and checked out a big show at the Colorado Horse Park, such a beautiful facility! Even drove down the road scoping out the cross country course there.

This was the first ring we came to, then we kept walking and the whole place is terraced...with arenas!  The rest of the rings are below this one.

This was the first ring we came to, then we kept walking and the whole place is terraced...with arenas!  The rest of the rings are below this one.

Was fun to watch some big jumper classes and see some lovely hunter rounds.  Mostly I just wanted to steal this pony! The hubby saw it and exclaimed, "Ed has been tamed!"

So cute!

So cute!

In case you don't know who Ed is, let me share the hubby's all time favorite youtube video:

Such a naughty pony!  Anyways, fun time at the show.  The last evening I was there we drove over to Boulder. Total dream town!  Why can't the track be in Boulder!?!?  I was so mesmerized by the historical houses that I didn't take any pictures, oops. Then we drove up the mountain and oh my goodness lets move there.

Mountain lake (resivouir technically speaking)

Mountain lake (resivouir technically speaking)

Apparently the hubby is feeling rebellious and is refusing to cut his hair, I'm choosing to pick my battles, eventually the hair will annoy him enough that he will decide to look respectable again with out me nagging. I'm hoping that earns me some sort of magical wife points.  Can I just say that I love the mountains though, my heart is at home in them.

Kindof want this as my new profile picture...but there is no horse...such dilemas 

Kindof want this as my new profile picture...but there is no horse...such dilemas 

I will be headed back the first week of August! We have a young horse that will be going through a sale that they have at the track. Even if he doesn't sell it will make him eligible for some great races next year. He's from Kentucky and pretty well bred so there will definitely be a minimum price for him.

He's so cute, he was barely halter broke when he arrived, and now he leads like a champ!

He's so cute, he was barely halter broke when he arrived, and now he leads like a champ!

I visited Denver in 2009 and 2010 when the (not yet) hubby was there with horses, I loved it then and still do now!

The angle of the morning sun on the track there makes for good sillouettes but not much else

The angle of the morning sun on the track there makes for good sillouettes but not much else

Circling back to my starting topic. One horse I took pictures of the owner got persnickety about and the other one is as good as sold. Here is the video of him jogging for a final laugh for you on this rambling post!

Double Shot Horses

One of my favorite new projects that started this winter was giving a name to my efforts in selling OTTBs. It is something I am passionate about and being at Turf Paradise there is no shortage of horses ready to start a new career. 

There was also no shortage of beautiful skies to document!

There was also no shortage of beautiful skies to document!

Double Shot Horses found many fans on Facebook and Instagram. It was so thrilling to connect with people via the internet and word of mouth and get them connected with new horses!  The horses I have helped sell so far have ended up in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, California, Utah, and Georgia!  That was just in a few short months, I am so pumped to see who else I can connect with and how many more states I can add to my list of happy horse homes!

Made the hubby stop the car so I could sprint to catch this image!

Made the hubby stop the car so I could sprint to catch this image!

Even being back in Idaho I have people contact me to help ride and sell their OTTBs (as well as some non Thoroughbreds). This, combined with training horses, and coaching students is making for a fulfilled life and some exciting possibilities.  I will start adding horses to the for sale page here as they come available and I will also add a 'double shot horses alumni' page to keep track of the horse selling adventures.

An average start to the day in Phoenix

An average start to the day in Phoenix

Slowly but surely, step by step, I am finding the place I believe I was meant to fill on this earth.

Choose your corner, pick away at it carefully, intensely, and to the best of your ability and that way you might change the world.

— Charles Eames

Hello it's me

Greetings from the red head!  Apologies for my website for being offline for so long, other priorities were calling.  I've loved keeping up with everyone's adventures via Facebook, Instagram, and occasional blog reading.  Life is going great, there are some new adventures in the works, and new adventures experienced since I last checked in here.  Winter in Arizona was fabulous, and allowed me to miss out on a horrendous record setting winter at home in Idaho! There is a distinct possibility that Idaho will no longer be home in the future, but that will be the work of several months, nothing official yet.

Was very fun to get back to Idaho and into the show ring 6 weeks later with Tudor!

Was very fun to get back to Idaho and into the show ring 6 weeks later with Tudor!

Bear continues to amaze me.  He seems to be set on proving that he is a great horse by always have some new minor injury to drive me nuts with.  Despite the various little breaks to let cuts or swellings heal, he keeps progressing.  He might be flashy, but his brain is what I am in love with.  He is trainable and fun, and even when he gets quirky we can work through it, and best of all he never feels dangerous.

The best snuggles

The best snuggles

We have been working hard on the flat and over fences, as well as broadening our horizons to the fields.

Learning to stretch

Learning to stretch

Flying high over his first oxer

Flying high over his first oxer

Oozing confidence together

Oozing confidence together

Stay tuned for more posts and updates as well as some changes to the website!

Actual First Rides

My last post was not aptly named and also uploaded from my phone like 5 times (sadly I lost a couple comments when I deleted the extra copies). Serious WTF for my phone blogging app. I mentioned the first rides, but only shared media from ride 3 or 4.  Our first rides were pretty laid back with lots of walking.  I wanted to make sure his body was used to moving again after being on stall rest.  When a horse is going back into work after stall rest and an injury you want to be very aware of their whole body, not just the injury site.  They can very easily injure some other area due to trying to protect what used to hurt, as well as pulling a random muscle just like we can when we haven't exercised in a while.

Smiles and stretches...winning

Smiles and stretches...winning

His riding manners were much better than his ground manners.  We can walk around on a long rein, but he was mowing me over on the ground on the regular.  Something that he is great at on the ground and under saddle is standing still.  Like seriously omg wow! A brand new OTTB who wants to stand still? I'll take it.  So while leading him around we walk a few steps and stop and walk and stop and walk and stop, and guess what!?  He is leading much better.  I've had to think of new ways to do ground work with him since the typical methods of small circles and sharp turns isn't really the best thing for his stifle at this point.

Have I mentioned his tail?

Have I mentioned his tail?

He has thrown in a few spooks while I ride him, but they are pretty easily ridden through and he recovers quickly.  He also seems to keep his brain around, he might react, but he doesn't check out.

SMILES!

SMILES!

There is one totally fenced arena at the barn that is used for turnout, lunging, and horses that people want fenced in while riding. I might of tried using that ring for our first few rides, except that it is a bit of a walk from the barn.  As I mentioned his ground manners were rather lacking so I took my chances riding in the closer but unenclosed rings.  It was a good gamble. We started in the dressage ring, probably more for my brain than his.  Eventually we worked our way into riding around the jump ring.  As I get used to him (and he gets used to me) I can feel our confidence growing.  If he does spook or grab his ass I just push him forward into harder work and then when the moment is right give him a break.  He is realizing that it is better to just be chill.

He couldn't care less about the big flags!

He couldn't care less about the big flags!

So far he is doing great and settling into life as a sporthorse.