Monday, August 31, 2009

That's not my name

(Inspired by Andrea over at Eventing A Gogo)

Without a doubt, I have an interesting bunch of names in my herd and interesting tastes as far as recent naming.

My very first pony was Alhem Jamilia. A half-arabian, National Show Horse mare, who was unstable as she was trailer phobic. Seriously made the off the track thoroughbreds look like plugs.

But she was loved by us (one 15 year-old, indestructible and one middle aged woman, mum). 

Of course, she was the pride and joy of my mum, and she could do no wrong (until she broke mum's coxes, then that tune changed). Jamie, or Jammie as she was called at the barn had her name changed by mum to Jammie Rose.

It sounded like something out of a country western pornographic film.

Call it lesson learned, but the reason why I keep the majority of my horse's registered and show names as is, is because of her. Barn names are a completely different story... take Sinari.

Sinari's registered name is Bro A Bryn Siwrnai. Say that three times fast.

As you can imagine, we are loathed worse than the warmblood named horses, considering the slew of letters thrown in. By the way, It's pronounced Shore-nye. Kudos for trying. The Welsh translation of her name is: to journey. Which I found really appropriate, considering discipline and how many owners (five) until she came to me.

When I purchased her, Sinari's original barn name was Pretty. I still gag at it. Yes, she is pretty. I think she's drop dead beautiful. But does she really need a Barbie-like name that makes her seem... air headed? A quick search through a Welsh dictionary, I found the shortened her unpronounceable name into something even the daftest redneck can read.

Then along came May's Diamond Nine.

I suppose May got her registered name via birthday. She was born on the 9th of May 2001. Where the diamond came from I have no clue. 

May came from North Carolina out of a really bad situation. The owner had run out of hay, money and patience. Her herd was starving and going downhill in a quicker-than-normal fashion.

I found May through Chronicle of the Horse Forums. I wanted a nice, young, semi-broke Arabian filly that I could turn around. Instead, I got young, hasn't been touched since weaning her last colt off.

When I spoke to the owner, the mare's name was along the lines of "Wench". She judged her to be an disagreeable creature who hadn't produced what her lines indicated.

So the mare named Wench came to live with me.

When she stepped off the trailer, she had wounds packed with pickling salt, white scars on her croup, was 200-300 pounds underweight and an extreme dislike for ramps. Since then, she's had the best of care, love and understanding.

Her barn name came from her registered name. It stuck, and seemed more appropriate somehow. The month of May out here is marked by foaling season, Derby and sometimes odd weather. It's marked by change and hope. For her, it is befitting.

Then back in May, May had a colt.

I was a fit for names. It was my first opportunity to actually name something that I would compete with.

I thought about it all year long and I thought I had one picked out: Fibonacci.

If that doesn't scream geek from the high towers I don't know what does.

For me, it seemed like a perfect inside joke. The Fibonacci sequence, Phi, or the "Golden Ratio", is the mathematical version of the most aesthetically visually appeasing object.  Mathematically, mathematicians study it for it's unique ability in geometry and conjugations (e.g. Quadratic Equation).

In other words, it means perfection and dressage mostly is about one form of perfection or another and this guy, while extremely easy on the eyes, a good mover and personable to boot, isn't a DQ's cup of tea as far as ideals go.

Plus it didn't fill naming requirements as far as the linage was concerned (again with tradition!). All foals that I've been around have been named starting with the first letter of the sire's name. So, since May's colt was by Savant, he had to begin with an S. 

I nixed Fibonacci.

But when he was born and short while thereafter, the events became dramatic.

Everyone at that barn had an opinion about the name (and many other things), none of which sat well. 

Driving home late from his birth on Preakness Evening, I thought about the other qualities of a great horse and one of them was sincerity. All my horses are sincere creatures. They try everyday and are enjoyable on a multitude of levels. They are game, willing and honest.

And, for some reason, it fit him. His registered name is Sincere G. The G is for my last name, every horse bred by me will carry it.

He hasn't quite got a barn name yet, he goes by Sparky occasionally, but mostly Sincere. 

Sinari is next to be bred in the coming years. Her first will be by North Fork's Brenin Cardi. I think, if it's a orange bouncing colt, I will name him: Batali.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Keep on Truckin' Part 5: the final contestants

I forgot how bad the public transportation system is around the US. I haven't rode a bus since... the ninth grade. The bike lanes around town also end randomly.

Thankfully I haven't had to due to some really nice friends and the boy who have graciously hauled me around for the week.

What it has meant though is no real way to get things done around town. So I'm stuck looking at trucks. Good, bad and otherwise.

Despite the Cash for Clunkers program taking the majority of the used market, I managed to find three lovely contestants.

Contestant One:
1999 4x4 F250 V10, owned by an acquaintance. Crew cab, very clean. 160k miles on it. Fifth and bumper hitch and hauling ready. White.

Contestant Two:
2004 4x4 F250 V10, Dealer owned and just shipped in. Super Cab, cloth bench seating (ick), bumper hitch (no fifth wheel) and haul ready. Grill guard. 156k miles on it. White. Asking 12,900. Just think the above image in... white.

Contestant Three:
2001 4x4 F250 V10, Dealer owned. 133k miles on it. Crew cab, captains chairs up front, bench in the back. Bumper pull ready, no fifth wheel. White. Asking 9,900.

Going for test drives tomorrow. Meanwhile, I'm canceling my week and leaving y'all with more cuteness:

and behold my newest tech lust purchase:

Be jealous. Be very jealous.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Playing catch up

Over the week I've been playing catch up with everyone and everything. Most of the time, I feel like I've been commuting to and from places without really accomplishing something.

The first ride on Sinari wasn't so bad. She was hot to go, and I was tense. Got into the arena and it wasn't so bad, did a few changes, half pass work nothing extraordinary.

But the flies were so bad, that I cut it short fairly quickly. I was a bad person and didn't spray her down.

I can't do anything serious with Sincere due May, who pulled a tendon while partying out in the field. She's resting up with a couple of grams of bute. Still have to worm everyone, everyone needs trims, I need normalcy back. I need to be home at my regular barn.

Nix that, I really want my own barn.

Still haven't found Sincere's halter (halter gnomes win this one). Normally I go to Quillins, but they were closed by noon on Saturday. So it meant trekking out to Fenell's to get get another figure eight, which turned out was too small.

Apparently it's not just his body that's grown, he now has a big honkin' head. He's ready for a little boy halter. Another trip out to Fennell's.

Also made a trip out to Gram's to get my saddle, bridle and sugar cubes for Sinari. Not to mention paying the shavings bill. Ran into a few people, and spent the morning talking away. Should be back in lessons hopefully by next week. They also recently had added new sand to the arena, which looks oh-so-lovely. I wanted to make sand angels in the middle of it, but when I walked out in it, it was super deep and needed to be leveled out a bit more.

I've managed to go truck shopping, all of twice. Hopefully I'll get into Stigers or Bob Allen on Monday. I also have my mum looking up north. It's not that I don't want her to look, its just the trip I have to make if she finds one.

It's hard to fit in an entire schedule of stuff, when you've barely caught up all week.

(Photo credit: Kelly McChesney)

And per request of some readership- new photo of the wee child. More to come later.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Keep on Truckin' 4: Butt head.

After flying home on Saturday, the real work begins looking for a big, expensive four wheeled pet that can haul the expensive four legged ones around.

Trailer searching has been far easier.

It's been a horrible search so far. With the GMC deal falling through, Elmer who I'm in the process of turning into glue and being left at the mercy of people for rides, I'm fed up with the entire process of automotive.

The issue became compounded when I came home and found my tire slashed in my driveway.

What it boils down to is this: truck shopping sucks and my immense dislike for people and their bullshit is fairly evident at this point.

It's not for the lack of trying. I'm working with a serious, very respected dealer who is in my corner and trying his heart out. Plus he's pretty damn cool overall and will definitely be buying all my trucks from these guys again.

So when I get back I have a truck lined up with another dealer whose willing to trade with the respected guys. It was theoretically supposed to be the one. But if it weren't for the cigarette butts, the beer caps, the wrong mileage and the break box ripped out from under the dash, I'm sure it would be great. That random noise under the hood was interesting as well.

Do I appreciate the guy's time? Yes, he stayed open late for me. But, honestly, I expected the dealer to whip out the little lady speech. I felt bad for my dealer for wasting his time.

I guess it boils down to salesmanship. Represent the car accurately and clean it. Say hello to me first (you know the one with the cheque book?), and don't ask how much I'm willing to spend, especially if you know the truck I'm looking at is 10.5k.

Not. Rocket. Science. More like common sense.

Because the Boy's mum lent me her car (sporty little Mazda number), I've been able to zip out to the barn. I got to see my ponies for the first time in a week. Everyone is doing fabulous with the time off.

Sinari looks great, but needs a bath. I spent five minutes scratching her neck and feeding her sugar cubes. She's adjusted to her temporary herd with minor fuss. There's a scab across her bum and she has some dew poisioning. I'll ride her straight through the weekend, gradually getting her going again.

Sincere has grown bigger, but hasn't lost his sweet attitude. Everyone is impressed with his royal self. He's even impressed the local Halter Gnome population by making a donation in his new 22-acre field. The new working student and I are going to wander until we find it. If not I'll be donating more money to Quillins.

May is still May. She's a happy pony who still hates Sinari, is ultra protective of her little man and... enjoys her butt scratches. The best part is when Sincere is weaned she'll be going home with a good friend and former working student as a lesson pony (she knows the complete history). I can't wait to see her go forward with this part of her life because I think it's ultimately important for mares to have careers. I did retain one or two more breedings via embryo transfer.

They all need trims. They all need shots and I need a shot of sanity.

I'm just happy to be home and to be waiting with baited breath on more news.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Being apart of it

My very late weekly update is presented by the letters N, Y and C.

I flew out a week ago to do my yearly hiatus-from-the-world thing, only to end up in the middle of it and a never-ending barrage of calls from people who want to see me, people who I want to see and people who'd I like to work for.

A lot of the calls were mostly positive and hopefully will have excellent outcomes.

But, it's funny how you get away from it all only to be found in the thick of things.

I grew up and in this town and I'm fond of it. I know most of the good spots, but when you've lived away from a place that changes quickly, the thing leaves you behind. Not complaining, while NYC isn't my preferred cup of tea, but it isn't too shabby.

Currently staying with family and things are working out alright. Just after walking the NYC Marathon, you tend not to care if your dear ol da is a raging conservative, and you're the stark libertarian in the family.

The horses, I hear, are fine. They made their move in to their new facility. Sinari, who is staying temporarily with the herd, could care less as long as she gets enough grass. Sincere loaded like a champ and is getting his sea legs for travel. May, however, pulled her usual I don't wanna routine, and after bribery and fussing she loaded on.

Good news about May's situation, is that there is a tentative home for her. More on this later, for now though, I'm just chilling and looking like a fat.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Keep on Truckin' 3: Bearing through it

Rest in peace Elmer, may you find you way to oilier paddocks, and be reborn something noble, like a Ford, or if you're lucky, a Subaru.

My truck is dead. He was a good first truck. Big, green and full of issues.

The old Dodge 1500 was a well built that saw me through a lot of rough times, ice patches and the occasional muddy Rolex field.

Alright, he's not physically dead. But not right enough to make me white knuckle the wheel for more than three seconds. He also made me mad because I put newer tires on him and just filled the tank. Pisser.

But that was Elmer. Always out for a lesson.

The repairs would be simple enough, it's just the bearing. I've had this truck patched and re-patched to the point where I don't know if it was a Dodge.

The problem is the cost and how it relates to car payments. If they didn't cost more than four or five truck payments, then yes, but right now, it's equaling out to the cost of the actual car.

This unfortunate death has left me in a lurch as far as getting things done. On top of that, I'm leaving for NYC in two days. I wouldn't mind it so much, but the boy is going to be home a week later, which leaves me a week without a ride. We're working on remedying the situation.

In the meantime, I've already stepped up the search and gone out to a few lots this evening. I've also called a few scrap yards for disposal.

Hopefully I can get everything out and done by the end of Wednesday.

Meanwhile there are other plots afoot with moving and packing. But the details are still fuzzy and I don't know 100 percent of everything yet.

It will all sort itself out.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Photo Montage 1.1

After a ultra-long week at work, and then having minimal time to be with the ponies, I have no real updates until everything gets back in working order. So here are some current works, and other stuff:

Sinari at the Poulin clinic in June. I remember both these days being over 90 degrees with 90 plus percent in humidity and my clothes were having major malfunctions. But I remember the pony doing really well despite all of it.