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New Year…New….

I really don’t care much for the New year, new me phrase! I like me the way I am! Many people think of the new year as an opportunity to change themselves. I do it a little different! I plan to grow! Not change but grow! Whether that be in mind, spirit or body, I shall move forward! I would like to learn more about horses and how they work. In fact, I think I will find some cattle and give sorting a try! I am still going to barrel race! No doubt about that! But I have two cowy geldings that would be a blast to just work some cattle and enjoy learning more about how they work! I used to team pen back in the day! I was pretty darn good at it too! It was something I did to keep my barrel horse from being bored! Splash and Lynx both really love cows! So that is my goal this year. Lets learn something new!

Another thing I am super excited about is Summit! This product has changed my horse and dog management! My vet was shocked at how fluid my horses are moving! My 13 year old red heeler is actually playing with her siblings! She found a new lease on life! She has terrible hip dysplasia! She was beginning to get a little depressed last summer. I started her on Summit and WOW. She is jumping and running around like a pup! My retired gelding, Gabe, is back to giving lessons! He was 100% lame before starting on Summit. Now he is the horse I put the scared kids on to build their confidence! Heck, I even get on him and ride him around. He has also found a new lease on life at age 20! Splash and Lynx are rockin’ out on it as well! Last month they announced the new human product called Pure C4S. I took my loading dose and have taken one of my maintenance doses. My only complaint is that I feel good and too more than what I should, being out of shape and such! One thing I know about this product is that the longer you take it, the better you feel! My horses and dogs are proof of that! I would love for you to try it too! Check it out at www.summitjp.com/resbarrelracing

Watch out world! With my horses feeling like Rockstars on Tour and my body healing, we are going to blow the doors off!!! What doors? Not sure. But we will find doors to open!

My other goal or something I would like to grow….is my Faith. My Faith in the Lord and how he will provide! I think we all are befuddled by the state of our country right now. I have watched in wonder at the world crumbling around us. At the same time, God has blessed my home! I have gained more students! I have grown my company! My husband still has a good job! My son is doing great at his new school! RES is doing good! Then I go outside of my bubble and see all the masks being worn. All of the protests. All of the “madness” and all I can think is…when will this calm down?? In God’s time. That is when. I need to quit questioning HIS time. I need to pray more. I need to spread HIS LOVE more. I need to look at ways I can help MORE. I am not much for cold weather so I will do this from afar for the moment! But soon….soon I will be back out in the world spreading HIS LOVE!

With this post I leave you with one more thing. Stop and count your blessings! Count your loved ones twice!

A Little Bit About Texas, Summer and Riding Lessons!

Summer has crash landed into Texas! It’s merely June and we have already hit 100°! Eek! Normally, this is the time for kids to go to camp, vacations and generally let loose! It’s also the time that I get a lot of requests for having a horse camp. I’m going to explain why this is not an option for RES. Not now.

First of all, IT’S HOT! Yes, I know that little jimmy loves summer and you can dress him up in cooling clothes, but what about the horses?? My “arena” does not have a roof. Why? Because we are in a residential area and I love looking at my pasture vs a tall metal structure. One day, one day…. I will have my covered arena! ONE DAY! But not now. This means that when the sun is blaring from the sky at 11am and the heat index is rising, it’s HOT. I do not have woods to ride in nor shade. Typically, during Texas Summer, we ride before 10am and after 7:30pm. Trust me. It’s the only way!

Reason number 2! Where would I put these campers during the heat of the day? I don’t have a barn with stalls. My house is not designed for recreational use. Literally have to keep them outside. Heck, I even bring my dogs inside after 11am! I just can’t do that to my kiddos!

Reason number 3! My horses give up on riders when it’s too hot. You can kick them, belittle them, drag them…. they just don’t go. Especially Lynx and Gabe. They are more likely to park themselves in whatever shade they can find. That is not much fun for my students!!!!

Reason number 4- I don’t have insurance for that! Did you know that you have to have a special insurance to have a “camp”? Yes you do! It’s expensive! This is why summer camps have gotten so expensive over the years! Risk and Liability is expensive!

And I will give one more reason— it’s too hot! I don’t have a pool. I will get sunburned. And it’s hard to keep anyone going when your life essence is being sucked through your pores in the Texas heat!

River after being ridden June 15th

So please keep all this in mind when asking for horse camp with me! However, I’m happy to give lessons! As long as we can do mornings and late evenings! I do try to reserve time for my family! My son and I have water park season passes so I’m sure I will have some black out days. But I will do the best I can to schedule accordingly and try to get everyone in each week! Thank you for understanding!

Sigh. Getting old sucks.

I’m a mess. Literally. Some of you don’t know that I suffer from osteoarthritis and have had a total hip repair. See, in 2010, I managed to tear my hip socket. Shortly after it happened (at a barrel race) I found out I was pregnant! Yay! Problem was, I never got my hip looked at… so while I was cooking my baby boy, my hip was slowly ripping and deteriorating. Of course, as an avid barrel racer/horseback rider, I had put it off. I gave birth to my son early because I could no longer tolerate walking! He was a 9# 8.5oz baby boy! I had to have a full hysterectomy as well as my gallbladder and my appendix removed a year later. Then it hit me. I was experiencing major pain. Like drop to my knees pain.

I finally went to an orthopedic doctor in 2013. He rushed me to a specialist in hip surgery. Come to find out, I had torn my hip socket 75-85% and my femoral head had flattened and was just jutting out of the socket. Y’all, this was legit the pain that made me quit riding until it was fixed.

I wrecked my hip socket. I had surgery that lasted longer than it should have and was actually released early to ride as my body was used to the saddle and my PT was not addressing this fact. I was told that my Teras ligament was torn 95%. Something that my surgery could not repair. Dr. Hal Martin specifically said “don’t get bucked off, don’t do the splits and don’t sit Indian style”. This was my life. Yeah I made it though getting bucked off but sold the horse. I don’t sit Indian style… and why would I do the splits???

😳 Now I know what he meant. I didn’t do the splits on purpose!!! We have concrete floors and I slipped. Yup. Slipped on a dog bone 🥴. My bad leg went forward, good leg behind me. I went ALL THE WAY DOWN. Y’all, I have never done the splits on purpose but I would have made a gymnast proud! 😳 I felt it. I felt the snap. This is not good. I have been able to manage my hip pain (arthritis) since my repair in 2013. If it gets stoved up, I ride. No matter the weather, I freakin ride. Per my surgeon’s instructions, if it hurts, go freakin ride. So I did. At a walk. It hurt.

After my attempt to ride and relax my muscles so my hip could move like it needs to do, I realized that my slip really messed me up. 🤦🏼‍♀️ A freakin dog toy messed me up. I have been bucked off, I have had to ride rank. I have had my fill of “oh crap” moments and managed to keep my hip in place. Slipped on a dog toy and…..bam.

Next step was getting into my surgeon. Luckily he is available next week. They want imaging done first. I’m down for that. I’m afraid that I might have torn that ligament all the way. What does that mean???? My hip, literally, has lost all stability. It feels like it is popping in and out of socket. It’s affecting all the same muscles that it did when I tore the socket. Sharp shooting pain and dull, nauseating ache. A FREAKIN DOG TOY. Sigh.

I want to ride. My soul wants me to ride. My body is saying “you are an idiot. You cannot ride”. I have been here before. Before my hip surgery, I picked a race, ran it and then sadly stopped until I was released 6 months later. No, not six months of rehab! I had to wait from August until November to have said surgery then was released 13 weeks later to ride.

I have two choices here. I can stop riding and sulk. I can legit just quit and sit on my bed (couch hurts) and quit. I can spiral down and quit until it is fixed. OR… I can keep going and coach my lessons, ride a little despite the pain and wait to see if my surgeon can fix me. Right now I’m on the fence. The pain is horrible when I ride. Imagine something poking all your ligaments when you are in the saddle. Then when you get off, imagine being kicked in the crotch by a sharp object. It makes me cry. Pain meds do not touch this deep pain. This is a give it to God and pray for peace pain.

My brain is in an awkward battle right now. It’s depressing to think that I cannot ride. But giving lessons brings me joy. It doesn’t hurt that bad to just walk and give lessons. It does make my heart ache not being able to ride while watching others ride. I’m at a point where I don’t know exactly what to do next. I caught my horse and was going to ride. Yup, you read that correctly. Lucky for my hip that Mother Nature had other plans. But then my surgeon’s assistant called and told me they are rushing me to next week! Yay!!! This is either good or bad. Not sure! However, God has his plans!!!! So for now I will enjoy giving my lessons, do my best to keep moving without hurting myself and maybe sit on my horse from time to time until I’m told that I’m all clear!

So I did a thing…

Most horse people are dog people! I have cats too but honestly, my dogs… are all rotten!!! Well, I have two heelers, baby girl is now 13 and my blue heeler, Cole, we are not sure how old he is so I will say 4! Then we have Gunther! He is half lab, half wiener dog. Mama was the short one! He is now 9! I went to a family friend of a friend to pick up a mattress and put comes this little turkey…. he is half corgi, half mini Aussie! And Auggie! I’m a big cow dog person. I love their personalities and their ability to learn and be protective! This little five month old pup came out and peed on my foot. Of course, I went into dog mom world and began to correct him. He listened…. and the owners said “you can take him! He is free! 🤦🏼‍♀️ Dang I’m a sucker!

Of course, I just informed my husband that I did a thing… he did the whole “uh huh..” I know he was not 100% on board as we have not had a puppy in 13 years!!! I miss having one that bonds to me right off and I know we will have a long life together! Every cowgirl needs a good dog! So I have four now but still!

Cole and Slick

God is funny about me and my animals. Every dog I have had in my life since I left home for college, came to me naturally. I didn’t seek out a breeder and buy a puppy. I saw a puppy and begged said breeder to let me have one! My first heeler was Ruger! Man he was a son of a gun! Awesome dog! Might bite someone he doesn’t like but always there to protect me! He went over the rainbow bridge at age 9. I miss him so much! I took in a lab named Jackson when Ruger was two. Jackson was a hot mess! He went to live with a good friend about three years later! He had a great life as a farm dog! Colt45 was my 2nd heeler! He was a pup when Ruger passed. That dog was always my husband’s dog!!! didn’t like truck rides. Prefered to be at home. But always happy! He lived to be 13!!!! Died at home peacefully when I went to get my son from school. It was totally random. The vet said he most likely had a heart attack. Gunther came into our lives when my son was two! Went to check on my horse while he was at the trainer! Little stinker came up and licked all over my son! Yup, she said I could have him…. great little home dog!!!! All 25# of him! Cole, our recent heeler, came from the local shelter. After Colt45 passed, I was browsing. In my brain I wanted a full mask, male, blue, under age 5. I figured it would take a long time. Several folks tagged me on his post…. he came home Christmas Eve 2019!!! Neat dog! He is a love!!!! Three was a great number!!!!

Cole, Gunther, Gauge

Alas… Gauge is getting older. I’m a huge believer in having a puppy learn from their elders. Something about the dominant dog teaching the little one how to act has always given me great success when I did rescue! So when Slick came in… they are already forming a good pack! She has taught him that mama is head of the pack but she is my number 2! Cole found his inner voice and is teaching the tiny one to have respect! All together, they are teaching Slick that the back yard is THE PLACE TO BE!!! And is mama let’s you go out front, that is special!!! Daddy is the other alpha and you better listen to him as he is responsible for Mama! So far so good!

Cole telling me how he feels!
The pack leaders ignoring the pups

Having dogs is work. I’m not going to lie. You have to take responsibility for them. Care for them. Train them. Love them. But once you bond and they bond, it’s so hard to let them go! My baby girl gets to go to the races still. She is getting around pretty good! Thanks to Summit! Cole gets to go too when baby girl wants to chill! Now little tike has gone to the vet (for the horses), Home Depot (for fencing) and to the neighbor’s house so I can groom his horses! He is super chill away from home! I hope all of you have a dog to keep you company!