Saturday, July 24, 2010

Time to Catch Up

Well a lot has happened over the last few months. To be honest, I did not have the heart to write about it while it was happening. For those of you who have been reading Dylan's Corner on my web page at www.goldencrossranch, you know that Dylan was diagnosed as chronically lame and cannot continue with his role as the Golden Cross Ranch horse - it would be too hard on him to participate in the trail rides and doing the obstacles. The good news is that I found him a great home and he is doing great hanging out in the pasture and checking cows. The bad news is that I miss him terribly and no horse can compare. But isn't that true about each horse we are blessed to own througout our lives? Each one is unique and special in their own way. They each leave a unique hoofprint on our hearts, just like our other critter friends. I had the most wonderful black German Shepherd imaginable, and we were together for a full fourteen years. Nikki is gone now, but my big goober black and tan German Shepherd Luke is just as special in his own way. Life goes on but wonderful memories never cease.

So I am currently engaged in a search for my next equine partner - Oh, the stories I could tell! It seems that everyone has their own definitions of terms like broke, good disposition, well-trained, not spooky, and well, the list goes on. To give you a small idea, we drove an hour and a half to see a gelding that was a mare when we got there. This gentleman knew we wanted a gelding, but I suppose he figured I would fall in love with his horse once I spent time with her. What really happened was he lost integrity with me right up front. How could I trust him about anything else he said? And then there was the herd sour horse that started calling to his pasture buddies so his owner starts shouting his name and says “See, he answers to his name!” Or the horse that refused to leave his pasture where his buddy remained to ride in the adjoining field. The owner informed me that the horse knew she didn’t own that land and that they weren’t supposed to ride on it which is why the horse refused…

But enough shopping is never easy but I have learned something from eavh horse that I have met. And I have also learned something really important from my friend Suzanne. She suggested that I be still and let God handle it. God knows my desire for a horse and He also knows which horse will be perfect for me. Her comment that perhaps I should follow Scripture and "Be still and know that I am God" and give Him control instead of trying to force the situation sounds like wonderful advice - so I'm sure gonna try! I'll keep you posted on the search...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Lessons Learned

Well, we got the sad news that the oak tree that stood near our mobile home on our property in North East Texas crashed over from the roots with the weight of the snow and destroyed it.

We are very blessed to own 50 acres in such beautiful country and we have been working on our mobile home on and off for about three years now - it was our hope that it could be a place that we could use or offer to other people to use who needed to destress and enjoy the country as a getaway. This is our dream property - where we'll one day bring Dylan and our other horses and live full time.

We are praising God that nobody was hurt. And as we struggle to make sense of why this happened, we can only find that God in His infinite wisdom is providing for us in ways that at first don't seem to make sense, but when one starts looking can clearly see His care for us. The tree fell over at a time when nobody was living there. It is only material things that was destroyed or damaged, not precious human lives. Praise God!!!! We have been putting our finances into this project for awhile now. While the initial loss is dismaying, it still occurred before we continued to put more labor and money into it.

And I think there was another lesson for me personally. I have always had a fear of harsh weather - especially tornados. My biggest fear of moving to our property is that of tornados taking out our mobile home. I NEVER expected the oak tree that we sought for shelter and shade would be the vehicle for the destruction of our home in the country. So my lesson is, to not be anxious about things beyond my control, but to put my trust in God. He has a plan for each one of us and the only shelter I need to seek is in Him. I was so busy being afraid of the tornados when the real danger was something I never suspected. Life can be like that too. We need to keep our eyes open for the real dangers instead of taking false security in avoiding the ones that have not even materialized. Does that mean don't seek shelter if a tornado comes? Of course not! But don't waste time worrying about things beyond your control when a God that loves you so much that He sent his only son to die for you, is in charge. Praise God!!!

Happy Valentine's Day

We have had quite a stretch of wet and snowy weather - very unusual for Texas this time of year. Dylan is originally from a ranch in Montana and lived in Minnesota for four years, so he is probably feeling much more at home than his native Texas friends. My kids and I decided to be adventurous and make the trip to the barn this past Thursday despite the constant snowfall and Dylan was there to greet us - looking adorable in it. He has a loafing shed with plenty of shelter but would rather be out in the snow - silly horse! Two nice big round bales are keeping him and his pasture mates in plenty of hay - essential for them to keep warm.

Looks like it will be awhile before we'll be doing any riding or working on our Golden Cross Ranch products at the barn - it is going to be very muddy for the next couple of weeks. But like I told Josh - that just gives us something to look forward to and helps us appreciate the time we do have to do our outdoor activities. And you can't help but be in awe of God's beautiful creation covered in a beautiful blanket of white. Nine inches of snow in Texas - now that's a miracle!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Farrier Field Trip

Well, it's that time again - Dylan usually gets a farrier visit every six weeks or so. Since hooves typically grow out slower in the winter months (a lot of a horse's "growth" is directed at developing those winter woolies during that time) it had been more like eight weeks. He has front shoes because we have been patiently waiting for a couple of cracks to grow out of his front hooves.

I am homeschooling Josh this semester and thought it was a perfect opportunity for a field trip. AQHA has a wonderful program for youngsters called Junior Master Horseman. For anyone with kids, it is well worth checking out - we have had a lot of fun with it. They have their own web page: The day before the farrier visit, Josh got out his handbook and we studied the section on hoof care. He learned all of the parts of a hoof and even did an activity with aluminum foil and a spoon to beat out a "horse shoe" to the shape of the pictures provided. He was well-prepared for his visit with the farrier.

When the farrier arrived he also had a great handout for Josh that described not only the parts of the hoof, but legs and shoulders. The first thing we did was look at Dylan's rather muddy hooves. It has been freezing temps here in North Texas and the pasture is churned up and quite hard with frozen mud. While we were pleased that the cracks had finally grown out and Dylan could go barefoot again - we decided that considering the rough state of the pasture that we would do one more round of shoes to keep him comfortable until the pasture was in better shape. Decision made - the farrier turned his attention to Dylan and Josh.

Our farrier is a natural teacher and did a great job. I had to laugh at his first question for Josh: "How many legs does a horse have?" Of course he said four, and the farrier said, "Well, let's think about that. Yes. the rear legs are indeed legs but what about the front ones? See, a horse has shoulders, and humerus bones, both which are part of arms. So wouldn't we be more correct to say he has two legs and two arms?" I never thought about it but it makes sense!

Josh had a great time and learned a lot. Mom learned a lot too! And Dylan was his usually patient and sweet self. We are so blessed that our farrier is such an awesome guy who is so great with horses and kids. Josh's assignment is to write a report on what he learned. Did you know that cows can wear shoes too? Or that shoes can conduct electricity?

Friday, January 1, 2010

So Much To Be Thankful For

We had quite a scare coming back from our Christmas trip to Alpine, Texas where we visited family over the holidays. We drove about 500 miles and got home Sunday night. Monday morning on the way to returning our rental van, I checked voice mail on my phone and heard the words that strikes fear into every horse owner's heart - Dylan started to colic around 8:00 that morning (I got the message about 10:00 right as we pulled into the rental car place). We checked in the van in nothing flat (everyone at the rental place was very concerned and facilitated our quick departure)and raced to the barn. Dylan was already much better - we are friends with Jesus and his family - they live on the property and take care of the horses - thank God that Jesus noticed Dylan rolling in the pasture and immediately brought him up and have him banamine. Jesus walked him and Dylan got better so quickly that when I called the vet he just gave me instructions over the phone for his diet and care over the next couple of days. Dylan loves being in the pasture but with the nasty weather and his close call we decided to keep him in the pole barn, under Jesus's watchful eye since I live forty minutes from the barn. Yesterday I took Dylan for a walk just leading him and I could see he was back to his old self. This New Year's morning is a beautiful day and so we turned him back out into the pasture.

It was very scary over the last few days and we are so thankful for Dylan's speedy and uneventful recovery. It was also a timely reminder during this tough economy that we still have so much to be thankful for. Money may be shorter than the past, but we are long on the love of family, friends, and of course our faithful four-legged friends. With the start of a New Year it is good to reflect on the many blessings we have received despite the uncertainty of the future - and resting in the peaceful assurance that God is in control when things (like Dylan colicking) seem out of control.

I pray for each of you a blessed New Year filled with joy and the eyes to see how truly blessed we really are...even when it doesn't always feel like it. "Thank you Heavenly Father for caring for your special horse Dylan whom you created and love - and for giving us more time together here on earth. I have so much to be thankful for - Help me this New Year to see the blessing of the gift of each new day, and to use that day to bless others in your Name. Amen."

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas from the Golden Family

Wishing you all of the wonderful blessings of Christmas as we celebrate our dear Savior's birth - Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Having a Ball!

Dylan and I played with the 30 inch ball that we are thinking about offering as part of our fun kit. We try each item before we add it to our kits and I thought it would be fun to take Dylan in the arena and play ball Thursday. He took to the ball pretty much like everything else - great boy that he is. I started with just a halter and introduced the ball to him. He sniffed at it and gave it the "eye" but pretty soon decided that it wasn't anything to worry about. So I spent a few minutes getting him used to it bouncing off his shoulders and his back and rolling up against his legs. Nothing seemed to bother him so I next took my four foot training stick and waved it around him, getting him used to the idea that I wasn't going to ask him to lunge just because I was holding it and waving it around.

Time to hop on and try playing "polo." I used the stick to hit the ball and soon we were chasing the ball around the arena, herding it by hitting it with the stick - which wasn't very effective. I am going to try a broom next time so I can swat the ball better. But we had a great time and Dylan showed off his ability to understand the task at hand and ride herd on the ball. It was a great time of focus for both of us - we became a real team as we concentrated on moving the ball across the arena. I plan on recruiting some other folks so that we can play horse polo in the future - I think that would be a lot of fun.

The only problem I have now is deciding whether or not to include it in our fun kit. The whole idea of our kits is portability - grabbing your tote bag and heading to the barn. The ball is portable when it comes packaged - but once you blow it up I don't think you would want to deflate it. That would take a long time and I also don't know if you would want a ball that is dusty with arena dirt in your car - so the best place to store it would be a tack room. Does that take away from the portability idea of the kit - or is the 30" ball still a good idea to include in it? What do you think?