Monday, February 23, 2009

A trailer ride

Saturday we trailered out to Ethel's. It's about a 15 minute drive to the foothills.

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It was the first time in awhile we had had the horses out. It wouldn't have been my first choice, but the girls really wanted to "go somewhere". Jessie put up a short-lived protest going into the trailer. I was pretty happy with how well she finally just went in. The ride was up a hill on a paved road and then into the foothills. We decided that there would be just walking on this ride, which was fine with me. When we arrived there was live music at Ethel's, the go-cart race track was in full swing and there was shooting at the shooting range about 1/2 a mile away. Jessie was pretty excited, so I did a little yielding and flexing and when I mounted she waited for me to flex her before we took off.

She moved out at a pretty good clip. That gave us an opportunity to work on bending in circles and stopping and flexing as the others caught up. Dusty has the s-l-o-w-e-s-t walk you would ever want to see.

We rode out this way:

View Larger Map

We rode for about 2 1/2 hours and, boy, is my butt out of shape. The other two horses were pretty sweaty compared to Jess. It's probably because she just doesn't have as heavy a winter coat as the other two. She got in the trailer easily for the ride back and it was warm enough to give her a bath. Sunday it rained most of the day.

Oh, btw, the trailer was a scam. We are now looking at a couple of others. I'm trying to find a gooseneck I can pull with my half-ton Toyota. I think that is do-able. There's a nice one a couple of hours away for $6600 and another that's a single axle, custom made for $6K that is about 4 hours away.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

If it Sounds Too Good To Be True

It's probably a scam.

There were a lot of pretty trailers at EA. I talked to some people and the idea of a 5th wheel sounded good. We have a 1/2 ton Tundra. I'm not sure how that would handle a 5th wheel, but that didn't stop me from looking at some online ads.

So, I see this ad on one site and again on this site

I don't know much about trailers, but it seems to me that this trailer should be about triple this price. It's being sold as used, but it really doesn't look like it's been off the lot. I wrote the person an email and I got this response:

I still have the horse trailer,the price is $5600,I am located in Greeneville,TN and the trailer is here too.I'm selling my farm and I don't need this trailer anymore.If you want to purchase it let me know so we can talk about this.What I can tell you now is that the price includes shipping and handling to your location.Feel free to e-mail if you need to know anything.

Thanks !

P.S : Please don't ask me questions like "why is it listed there and it's for sell in other location" because the reason it's very simple :The listing was paid with my credit card which has the old address.


Stuctural and EXTERIOR Features:
Trailer is white with gray Flag Graphic built with Steel frame and finished with the new **No Rust Galvaneal sheet metal. Has stainless steel hinges, rubber bumper, Spare tire included, Chrome Wheels, Diamond Aluminum tread plate across the fenders, across the front of the trailer for rock guard. Weight of the trailer is 8,240 lbs approximately and contrary to popular belief, weighs about the same as an aluminum trailer, can be towed with any 3/4 ton series pick up truck. Also, has a shorter wheel base than many of our competitor trailers with lighter tongue weight.

7' short wall x 11' long wall, trailer is 18' long, 8' tall, 8' wide plus gooseneck of 7'6" for total length of 25'6". Features 17' full length roll out awning, 13,500 BTU A/C with heat strip, insulated dressing room finished with vinyl flooring, carpeted neck, pleated day/night shade combos, Single Kitchen Sink(your choice of White/Black/Stainless), hand built Kitchen Cabinet w/laminate top, Shower/Toilet Combination which is very functional and roomy, fits in the slant corner, Features super quite water pump on demand, 52 gallon fresh water tank underneath the sofa, Fold out sleeper is very nice (compare to competition) 110V electrical hook-up and 12V electrical hook-up, propane hot water upgrade direct spark quick recovery, 40 amp power converter, Front Wardrobe, Hand built solid oak cabinets over the sleeper sofa, Refrigerator that is 12V or propane, RV style Microwave (your choice of black/white/stainless on new orders), 2 burner cook top with Vented hood (white/black/stainess choice on new orders). All cabinets are made of Solid Oak with panel cabinet doors, no prefab moldings in this trailer like competition.

So, now the trailer is in Greeneville, TN, but he is offering to deliver it for free.
The PS adds an interesting twist.

Any thoughts?

More art

I've always enjoyed art, but never really purchased very much of it. I say this by way of explanation that, yes, I bought another photograph. It's serendipitous (thank gawd for spell checkers) really, as two very old and very cheap herbal posters just fell of the walls here in the store. So, I have a couple of empty spots that I chose to fill up with cowboy art. I had seen this one at Equine Affair, but didn't like the frame and track down the photographer's website. When I called the number, he actually answered and was out on location in eastern Oregon.

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes.
Art is knowing which ones to keep.”

Scott Adams

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Weekend in Ojai

Just when you thought I couldn't bore you with more scenic pictures, here are some pictures we took over the weekend. Ojai is about two hours away and about 20 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean. We spent our 20th anniversary there and I think the 23rd. It's a very small community of 8,000 nestled in one of the beautiful east-west valleys in the country. It is an equine rich area with the Thatcher School (private) and Ojai Valley High School having equestrian programs. The nearby town of Oak View is home to a few trainers. Ojai Valley Inn has horseback rides, but they are pretty tame. I wrote Cam Schryver, head trainer at the Thatcher School and winner of the Extreme Cowboy Race in Pomona and asked where the best place to ride was, but he must not read his email.

We drove over Saturday morning. There is a lot of snow (for Calif) over the mountains. Weather for Ojai was supposed to rain all weekend but we got lucky. We checked into the hotel, had lunch, then headed for the tennis courts. Ojai has a wonder network of trails and you can walk just about anywhere. They also have some very nice tennis courts where they hold a very big amateur tournament every year. After tennis, I used the sauna because I was catching a cold and I thought it would help. We had reservations for dinner at a nice Italian Restaurant (yes, this was an eating weekend) and afterward we went to the Deer Lodge because the advertised Ojai's largest dance floor. (We been taking dance classes on Tuesday nights). The dance floor was covered with tables to accommodate all the Valentine's Day couples so we just sat in the bar. There were a couple of horse people in there but we didn't really talk to them. I wish we had but the one guy came in, ordered two shots of tequila, downed those and a margarita, and ordered a beer. By the time we eavesdropped on their conversation enough to know they were in the horse business, he was to drunk to have a decent conversation with.

Sunday morning we went to their Farmers Market and then went and played some more tennis. We had gotten some walnut-cranberry rolls and a coffee at the market and enjoyed those at the courts which are nestled in a wonderful park surrounded by oak trees. The weather stayed beautiful although they were predicting a storm late Sunday night. I checked this morning and they have had .9 inches of rain in the last 24 hours.

We checked out of the hotel and drove up to the Thatcher School. It's pretty high up the hill and there was nothing you could really see from the outside. We stopped by a used book store on the way to Ventura and then to the Harbor for a late lunch of freshly caught see bass and teriyaki shrimp. We got home about 6 PM.

Ranae got us for our anniversay present a three-day clinic with Matt Sheridan in June. It's up in Tehachapi which is about 60 minutes east of here. This should be a great time. I can't wait!

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Long Awaited...

Gaining Respect and Control on the Ground, Series II is finally posted on Youtube. If you get the "watch in high quality" option in the lower right-hand corner, I strongly recommend it.

Here's the link:

GRCG, Series II

As always, comments and criticism are welcome.

The rains are here. Ranae and I are traveling over to Ojai for our 28th anniversary this weekend if the rain and snow don't close the roads.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Winter came back

It hailed here on Monday afternoon. The mountains nearby got snow. It usually doesn't get down this low. I shot some random pics from the railroad bridge:

Monday, February 9, 2009

Neither Rain, Nor Sleet...

Well, rain anyway. We managed to get a ride in on Saturday between the rain clouds. We stayed out back and worked on some of the things we saw at the clinics. The horses were pretty dirty so the ride was preceded by a long grooming session. We worked on some loping and bending and spent about an hour on their backs. Jess was a little stiff through her body but she lope nicely. We did some side-passing at the fence and she was very willing. We trotted around a bunch. They are a bit out-of-shape.

Sunday we video taped some stuff for Ground Series II. We rehearsed a couple of exercises to try and find the best camera set-up and she did great. Then we turned the camera on. How did she know? Anyway, she did most of the exercises pretty good. I hope to have them edited soon.

Here's the print we bought in Pomona:

Friday, February 6, 2009

Final Thoughts on The EA Experience

Hard to say if this post belongs here. But, since I wouldn't even go to EA if I weren't trying to do a better job of training Jessie, here it is. Actually, it's more to help me digest the whole EA experience.

Maybe it's just best not to volunteer. What starts out as good intentions and a fun way to participate seems to just get all screwed up. The EA folks initially offered me a position as a paid volunteer (I never really found out what that meant exactly, and that's on me.). They bumped me from the roster three days before the event and I was left with the choice of not going or going without knowing how I would be received. I ended up floating between being staff and volunteer. I was a man without a title (or pay). It worked out well in some respects. I didn't really have to report to anyone. My supervisor said he would definitely work to get me a paid position next year. I doubt I would take it, unless it was as paid staff. Paid volunteers get meals, but not lodging. Management of this company seems a bit screwy to me. Two of the five days I worked, I was there from 7:20 am until after 9:30 PM and they never even offered me a meal.

Random Thoughts
I was able to get in early again on Saturday morning. I found a security guard and I told him I had stuff to do. What does it say about me that I relate to these guys better than I do the bosses?

There was a little tiff going on between two presenters. I guess one guy said he trained horses for the movie Hidalgo. In a later seminar, a different presenter said HE trained the horse used in Hidalgo. These guys usually go on a couple of times over the course of the show and I heard that the second time one of them went on people from the other camp heckled him during the presentation. It's so cute when adults act like children.

One of the ECR contestants was upset with the judging and pulled his second horse out of the competition.

Friday night before the ECR I got to ride in a golf cart with Julie Goodnight back to her booth. I mentioned I was Ranae's husband and we chatted briefly about her episode. Julie said she always go a lot of comment about that episode. Ranae got to reconnect with her on Saturday and, while I wasn't there, she said they had a nice talk.

We did buy a very nice art print to hang in our bedroom. The seller was working us to buy a different, bigger print, but our house isn't that big. Besides I didn't really care for the frame.

Ranae's first task as a volunteer was moving cases of water for the big boss, the same one I moved the programs for. Her impressions were just as icy. Ranae did get to drive the gator as we broke down the round pen. She did stellar job. (They just don't let ANYBODY drive the vehicles).

I was in a food line and someone asked me if I was a clinician. That was flattering.

The cost of the whole experience is tough to measure. There were a lot of things I would not have bought like a new pair of boots and a leatherman. The hard numbers for the 5 days were:
$24 Parking
$400 for the hotel
$150 meals

From the time they "hired" me in August I worked "toward" the event. I worked out 3 times a week so I would be in shape for the long days, I had to plan ahead so my business would run relatively smoothly while I was gone, and I had to prepare to be away from home for a week. There was a lot of work involved. And, the "catch-up" week following the event has been really exhausting.

I did learn from the clinicians and I learned non-horse stuff from all the people who actually run the show. Those guys who keep track of all the little stuff to make it a smooth operation are really good at their job. The guys all talked about how they started as volunteers and "proved" themselves. This was my fourth year volunteering if I haven't proved myself by now...

That's enough venting. Back to training stuff on Monday...

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Finally the new No Worries site realized my subscription had lapsed. It lets me in but I can no longer see any of the forums.

Courtney, I did happen to notice there was a little + adjacent to you username. Did they finally acknowledge your superiority? ;>)

A Couple of Short Videos

A couple of jockeys working. Check out the style of the second guy.

Andrea Fappani

Craig got pretty pissed that someone was filming his presentation. The guy set up a tripod and was right up front. As Craig put it, "Monday morning the guy will be selling his "Craig Cameron" video on ebay for $29.99". I'm sure Andrea doesn't mind my 23 second clip.

And Even MORE Pictures

I was trying to figure out a way to use that Lytebox thing on the No Worries site on Blogger to post these pictures, but I couldn't even figure it out there, so what chance did I have?

These are the last of the photos. I have a couple of short videos to get up soon.

These are some of the foothills near Pomona.

Some action shots of the jockeys working in the morning (I think this was Saturday morning)

Andrea Fappani did a reining clinic. This was a really nice horse.

This is a Fell Pony. We have friends named Fell so I took it as a joke. Nice horse though.

Chris Cox. It was on an earlier demonstration that as he mounted his horse, the horse shied or something and he came right off. I didn't see it, but, of course he blamed himself for not paying attention to where he was in the arena and checking out the horse a little beforehand.

There was a fire on the Grapevine on the way back. If you look closely you can see the firefighters' line.

These are some pictures from this morning right outside our store. Max and I just got back from our walk and we were on our way to the tennis courts. It's pretty windy and the weatherman predicted a storm coming in (it's raining now at 1:30 PM). It was just before sunrise and the light was pretty spectacular. Since I had your attention I thought I would toss them in. I think if you click on them they get bigger.

More Travel Pictures

And then I hit LA traffic! This happens everyday. Crap, I'm glad I don't live there anymore.

More over the Grapevine

Some early morning shots of Pyramid Lake.

Some pictures from the Good Camera

So Blogger loves to mess with the pictures. These are in reverse order. There is a mountain pass called the Grapevine between Bakersfield and Los Angeles. Aptly named because the old road winded like a grapevine and there are grapes grown on our side of the mountains. On my way down on Friday I took some shots through the windshield and side windows. The morning light was very interesting as was trying to drive and adjust the camera.

This is a lake called Pyramid Lake, a reservoir for the Los Angeles valley.

Just before sunrise. Note the amount of traffic.

My "artistic" rear-view-mirror shot.

Nearing the summit.

Notice the "snow" still on the ground.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Here are some more pictures

I think these were taken on Friday. (All the days are blurring together)

This is the Outdoor Arena

The Barns

The Fresian Barn

The Warm-up Arena

A Couple of Gypsies

The Throughbred Barn

Monday, February 2, 2009

we're back

And there's a lot to catch up on. I thought I would post this:

You can see what the prelim round was at the ECR. I was in the back left corner, too far to see clearly. This Haf did pretty good. In the second jump her snaps popped on her top and that's why she's a little slow to finish :>).

I be back when I get caught up from my week away.