Monthly Archives: November 2009

Around the farm..

This week has been very busy.

Wednesday I had dental surgery…extracting, bone graph, an appliance.  Everything went well and I’m very thankful to be pain free.  The infection is gone and everything should settle down and repair nicely.  I’m left with being light headed and dizzy but I’m sure that’ll pass in the next couple of days.  It’s very hard to sit and “do nothing”.  I’m practising pacing myself and getting the most out of each day!

The horses all look amazing.  The work is so much fun and is so rewarding.  Lindsey has found a new level in her riding and the horses are responding in kind!  Lance is looking more and more like a Grand Prix horse, Fred is changing shape and blossoming into an elegant PSG/Inter 1 mare and our baby stallion William has surprized us all and is turbo charged his work…hard to see where his feet hit the ground!

Alex is back in the swing of full work, Marilyn and Jen have Tara up and looking great, Odin is doing his job and Barb is on a steep learning curve with him.  Billie is benefiting from Barb’s rides on Grace and Grace is enjoying her job as schoolmistress for Barb and Melissa.  The ponies are having a blast with the little girls…there is lots of giggling and singing coming from the arena as they ride.

Ivars and Greg set up panels in the front paddocks.  The paddocks are now 1/3 the area and the horses can’t burn around.  We do this so as the footing gets icy there is less of a chance of somebody slipping as they gallop away when turned out in the morning.  They all hate it!  “Paddocks are too small and the favorite spot for watching the world go by is on the other side of the panels, stomp, stomp!!”  Fred went out and walked about then stood at her gate waiting for Katie to bring her in.

We’re putting together Flying Colours Christmas Open House, December 28 (Monday), 1 -4.  Wine and cheese, demonstrations, a fun afternoon.  Details to follow soon

V

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Clipping horses again!!!!!!

After clipping the crew last month we thought we’d be good till at least California but noooooooooooooo!  What do they know about the weather forecast for this winter????  Lance got his second clipping yesterday and the others will follow later this week.  I can’t think of another year we clipped twice.  Maybe ’cause last winter was so cold?  We turnout every day, sometimes for just an hour or so, but they go for a little walk each day in their paddocks all bundled up in their multi layered winter duds.  Except if it is -30.  Most years there have been 2-3 days they stayed indoors.  Last year they stayed in 10 days.  So maybe they all figured we’re going to have the same forecast for winter 2010?  Boy are they going to be pleasantly surprized about California!!!

All the plans are ticking along.  The only glitch may be trying to bring a load of hay down with us.  Sounds like a lot of hoops to jump through to cross the border.  Lance and William are best on a very low carb diet and the hay in California has quite a high sugar content in it as they have had a drought for several years.  It seems to be a big quest to find low sugared hay so I thought we’ll just bring down enough for them all for the duration of our stay.   Lindsey has taken on the task of trying to fill out the right forms and talk to the right officials.  Might be easier to buy a load of hay on the trip down, Idaho or Utah?

The farm is looking so beautiful.  Everything has a light dusting of snow…the light just bounces off all the fields, gorgeous.  Easy to take winter like this!

First lesson at 8 so up and at ’em!!

V

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And William test drives his double bridle for the first time…

I guess I have to quit calling William “Baby William”.  He has officially graduated to his double bridle.  I found a teeny, tiny curb bit in Scottsdale last week and it seems to fit the bill exactly.   He wasn’t too sure about the whole thing but in his normal way of tackling the world, he did his best and then some.  He was in his snaffle today and we’ll put him back in the double next week for a couple of days.  So “Baby William” is now a big boy (he’s almost 6!) and really is Will.I.Am.

Lance and Fred’s work are right on track.  Lance is ready for his debut in front of the team coach Dec 2/3.  I’ll be ready to take copious notes!  (Still keeping my fingers crossed for good weather to haul down and back to Airdrie.)

It’s been a good week, they’re all going well.  I am very grateful.

V

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Headed to the Robert Dover Clinic, Dec 2/3

We have been working very hard since my return :)!  Lindsey did such a good job for the 10 days I was gone and the horses all looked great when I got back…time to add the next level of work.  Robert Dover (our new team coach) will be in Calgary Dec 2/3 and Linds and Lance will ride with him both days.  I hope the weather holds and the roads are bare.  Keeping our fingers crossed for non-extreme weather!

Getting all the final details lined up for our trip to California.  Dr. Herbers will be here early December to update all the FEI passports, vaccinate, Coggins tests and export papers.  The truck is booked to leave here on January 13 and arrive at Shannon and Steffan’s in San Diego late January 14.  (Ivars and I will take the coach to Escondido early January and then fly home.)  Lindsey and Peter will drive the 4 horse (full of hay) south and plan to be there to unload the horses on the 14th.  (The coach will be there for them when they arrive.)  I’ll be home for a week and then fly back to San Diego on the 20th.  Kim and Ed and the girls will be down by the end of January.  Our first CDI is Feb 12/14 in Thermal.  Everyone is ready.  We are very thankful for the chance to train, work and show in San Diego and will work hard to take advantage of this tremendous opportunity.  We’re pumped.

The sun is coming up and horses need to be fed…off to the stable…I love my job.

V

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Today is Bike Day.

We have our bikes here and have used them regularly.  I haven’t ridden for years and am really enjoying get back at it!  (my butt even seems to remember the right place to sit!)  On our ride yesterday (we can ride for about an hour, have breakfast and ride back, yum, this trip is really all about the food!) I didn’t like the feel of my pedals, older toe clips, my foot slipping every so often…so lets upgrade the pedals.

Aleks and I headed to a bike shop (Ivars is on course in Scottsdale each day till Thursday).  I thought, better pedals (grippier maybe).  The pedals in stock were not great quality so how about shoes and clips?  Makes good sense, more efficient pedaling.  Ok so today…install the new pedals and see if I can figure out how to release my foot in my shoe from the clips on the pedals!!  Looks simple, may be more difficult in execution!  I feel a road rash coming on.

Off to open the tool box and tinker with my bike…

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We’re connected!!!

 

Slowly but surely we’re getting everything ready for the trip to California. 

Ivars and I found the “no snow” window for travelling south.  The coach is now in Phoenix.  The trip down was very uneventful (thankfully!!!).  Spent a couple of days in Vegas (the weather was lovely) spent hours on the Vespa touring the area and we ate soooo well.  Found the name of several restaurants off the strip that the locals love and we enjoyed some of the best meals we have had in years!  Rosemary’s (amazing food, great wines, Sundays…1/2 off wine list, Wednesdays…ladies eat 1/2 off, reservations needed), Firefly (near the strip, great tapas, good beer), Todd’s Unique Dining (interesting meal, good beer).  On the Vespa we headed to the Red Rock park, got some good photos and each night enjoyed the hot tub at the RV park.  Did I mention the weather was so lovely…warm, sunny and lovely…

Day 3 forecast windy, rain and cold.  Load the Vespa on the back of the coach we’re on the road.  The trip to Phoenix was beautiful and the coach was a breeze to drive despite the high winds.  I love this coach (Foretravel U320), easy to drive and so comfortable.  The new headlights work great!

Phoenix was cold (12/14, I guess t’s relative?!) so we decided to head to Desert West to fine tune some of the details on the coach (slide bladder compressor, slide mechanics and a little glitch with the chairs).  Once again Desert West did an amazing job with all the details.  We still have some tweaking to do with the slide but we can tackle that next trip down.  At home we had removed the carpet and installed cork flooring, wonderful feel underfoot and looks great.  The slide needs some fine tuning to work over the cork but we’ll live in it for a while and then have Desert West take another look at it in December.

It’s been great to see the kids again.  This has been the longest time we have gone without seeing them since they moved to Phoenix.  Once the coach was ready we headed to Viewpoint and set up.  Love that the park is so empty!  (We’re in the hot tub each night just the two of us…almost like home!)  Neil has generously lent us his car so we dropped off the Vespa for a tune up.  Spent the day in the desert hiking with the kids and Rosey.  So funny to see the “desert” dog find and discover a stream!  She’ll have to have her cousin, Buster show her the fine details about water play!!!  Last night was pizza and photo viewing in Scottsdale!  We spent the evening (with trick or treaters as well) going through some of the photos from Neil and Aleks’ trip to Egypt and Paris.  Tonight we’ll see the rest of them.  Such a trip!!

I now have  an American air card so will be connected for our trip to California.  Lindsey is at home working 3 jobs (mine and her regular 2) so that we can get this phase of “on the road to California” under way.  Thank you so much to Lindsey and Peter and Lindsey’s wonderful boss,  Barb!

Step one for “On the Road to California” started and progressing well!

Vickie

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