Category Archives: Marleen’s Blog

We Do Love A Challenge!

Never Underestimate Horse Women

Recently good friends of ours who retired from CA with their horses up here to idyllic southern Oregon (slogan: It’s the Climate!) have undergone a series of health problems that put the kibosh on their equestrian life. Just last summer the healthier husband who did all the chores on the farm had a massive stroke.

With three horses to care for and no one able to ride again, some downsizing was in order. I helped by putting out the word, and shortly the mare was relocated to a summer camp for kids, eventually retired as a pasture mate to an elderly show horse. Their gelding was going to be much harder to re-home as he was born on their farm, middle aged, never traveled anywhere, and had a minimal of training due to their onset of problems.

By rounding up horse help and bringing my trusty video camera to film him, I sent out an email with video clip to a list of local horsewomen. Was there anyone would be interested in retraining this nice gelding? Friend, Lyn Anderson told me it was an impossible task. Turns out she was wrong (for once!). There were 3 bites! Horse women like nothing more than a challenge and can look at a problem horse with a dream as to how this could be in the future! We love extreme make overs? Well a week has passed and the new owner with two friends for back up managed to work him in the round pen and finally get him loaded for his first trailer (pretty exciting) ride. Only one small fracture to the thumb I hear.

Horse Shows From Hell

Imagine this one? You practice your performance, have a good lesson on your test, groom your horse, clean your tack, trot out your good show clothes AND THEN the day before the show all kinds of …. Sh—t happens! Sound familiar?

Our local club’s fall horse show was held at the country fairgrounds, (clue#1) the footing eventually worked up from cement to big dirt clods (clue #2). The rain storms finally hit after a 4 month drought on the show weekend, temps dropping 40 degrees (clue #3) The practice area next to the show ring flooded and was closed for the duration (clue #4) The alternative riding area was on the opposite side of the facility across a long stretch of slippery asphalt (clue #5) On the way to the plan B location you had to thread through facility buildings used for various purposes, today was a Mexican festival complete with loud music (clue#6) On the alternative route you had to pass through a paintball war being held in the adjacent bushes (clue#7). Need I go on? We scratched to save lives, primarily MINE!

We’ve all been to not-so-fun horse shows like this. With 30+ years in the equine video biz, we’ve experienced more than our fair share of shows with disasters. This brought up a LIVELY discussion on the topic!

  • A cutting show in central WA where the wind blew so hard that steel fence panels flew off the wall and left the arena…whoa, now that IS WINDY
  • A dust storm at another cutting that reduced the visibility so much the judge and the video cameras could no longer see the contestants…
  • A thunderstorm rolled in during an event, and lightening hit the video stand. Our camera produced graphics in japanese afterwards… Tom also seemed real energetic for weeks.
  • On the lunch break at another show, the video crew left the cameras in place to grab a quick bite… a contestant unplugged us and was happily body-clipping his animal as the show resumed. There was a big dust up over use of our extension cords and who could use the arena power plug and WHEN!
  • At my girlfriend Nancy’s ranch our video rig was parked under a big tree for shade. On day 3 we noticed an increasing sound of buzzing. Yup a giant swarm of bees invaded the show area and the whole big event came to a standstill until the insect containment people could smoke them out!

Until next time, happy riding! Marleen