Tuesday, October 27, 2009


it's been an odd year. cute sereele has fallen to her knees and lost her balance 3 times under saddle. very concerning and distressing for me. Tim has done an amazing job getting her hoof angles correct, but still the stumbling. we have been to Stow and Lake dennison a few times with chris and socks and have had a great time, she is really really good on rides away from home, I know she will be a great horse if she can stay upright. I took her up to Lisa Terrell's for a training session in her arena and she looked like crap. short strided, on the forehand, stumbling. not good. so i've been pretty bummed out, wondering if she has neurological problems, some kind of pain, or is she just totally uncoordinated and will always be dangerous to ride. Dr Carmel is coming friday to do some testing and the chiropractor in novemember to see if we can get any answers.
In the mean time Chris and I went to Rene's ride in shirley on sunday. this was Indy's first ride as a 4 year old when judy rode gem and we were lost for almost 5 hours. it was a nightmare! then last year I rode KC with rebecca but Sonny wasn't feeling well so KC and I finished on our own. why would I want to go back with such a great track record there? well the people are super nice, it's close and really beautiful this time of year. oh and LOTS of food! I hoped to go out late so I wouldn't have to deal with too many horses in front or behind. well thanks to Socks, we were very late so no problem:). he was an ASS about loading. took about 40 minutes to get him in. he would either just shut down and not move or totally freak out if tapped with the whip. ug, I give chris credit for not beating the snot out of him. I took him at one point but gave him back before I regretted what my temper would make me do. finally he decided to go in on sereeles side. fine! whatever! meanwhile sereele was just free eating on the front lawn, we got her and she hopped right in. once at the ride we unloaded sereele and suddenly a horse was loose and racing around with it's bridle around his front legs. afraid socks would freak out we quickly got him off the trailer. he proceeded to eat grass in a nervous fit, tearing it out of the ground in a manic frenzy. what is going on with him? this is so unlike him. sereele was quiet and happy to eat in a normal lady like manner while I tacked up. chris bravely mounted up and I led sereele out to the street. socks appeared to be over his mental illness once chris got on and settled right in, thank God. sereele was her usual good but nervous and spooky self and I got on after about 1/4 mile. socks was power walking up the street, we had to trot to keep up. sereele felt great today. strong. we turned off the street into someones back yard with a huge puddle that I had to beat KC over last year. sereele just skimmed around the edge, no problem. we did some nice easy trotting, I told sereele to lift up her feet over the roots and as I said it socks picked up his feet very high. it was so funny, like when I mentioned the alligator before and he did a monster spook at a log. so we decided he was listening to me and I would tell him what to do. didn't work when I told him he could poop and walk at the same time though. we did some slow trotting and walked down the hills. came to the orchard and they were both pretty pumped in there. chris said socks was not behaving but we made it around and I commented that this was the first year I didn't get lost in the orchards thanks to her eagle eyes seeing the markers. spoke to soon. we nervously passed a howling dog as I yelled out for her to slow down and she said "i'm trying" and then the ribbons were gone. luckily I knew what direction to go from previous years so it worked out. we came to the photographer and sereele posed cutely like a little model. socks was having a hissy fit and wouldn't stand still. I can't wait to see the scowl on chris's face when we get her pictures. hahaha. then onward and lost again in the orchard but found some ribbons and continued on. down a steep muddy hill, I got off and let sereele slide down on her own. picked up an apple and had a bite then split the rest with S&S. kept leading her up and down the roller coaster hills. back on and we came to the decision point. we'd done 6 miles and could do 6 more or just go back. Sereele felt so strong and coordinated I wanted to push the envelope and do the 12. chris agreed so off we went! the next 6 miles were loopy and up and down, sereele went first most of the way. very brave. afraid of a mossy tree and a bright yellow tree but kept going. socks did have to get her past a few scary spots, but all in all she was fantastic. did one impressive sliding stop at a puddle that was apparently quite different than the other 100 puddles she had seen that day. instead of tiring she wanted to go faster, I think she just wanted to get home, but I am happy with her energy level. she did one bad stumble and let out a big grunt but other than that the tripping was minimal. we trotted over lots of down trees and went through some nasty stone wall areas. oh yeah, one stream was one of the ones that you have to go down into then back up. socks didn't like the looks of it so I brought sereele up to it, she had actually crossed a few previously ahead of him. he decided no way was she going first and smashed up the other side nearly taking off chris's knee cap, I think we both had our eyes closed. I missed a few markers but chris caught them and we made it back out to the street and back to the trailer. I was so proud and happy, new hope that she will be OK. she drank from puddles and ate leaves and even peed under saddle. good endurance qualities! and she even sweated alot- no anhidrosis! socks was very well behaved on the ride, but back at the trailer he reverted to retard. screaming for sereele when chris tried to take him to get a piece of pizza and not loading again. they had their yummy mash and grass for a while, we ate and loaded up. socks only took about 5 mintues and wanted the other side this time. sereele actually hesitated before loading as if to say "he is on MY side." but she set a good example for her older, supposedly wiser friend. :) so I had a great final ride of the season. I will remember it to help get through the long winter ahead :(. even though socks was in Chris's words "heinous" he really was a good boy overall and much appreciated to help sereele have a good calm experience on her new adventures.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Crankmonster!!!!!

Ugh! I guess I should have stayed in bed and so should have Socks! I fed early Sunday morning as always and I should have known that it was going to be a bad day. He made faces and wouldn't let me put the lead around him to take him out to the pasture. Whatever! Fast forward a couple of hours later when CB and I are ready to go on the ride in Shirley...our last big hurrah....Socks takes one look at me coming to catch him and he walks away!!! Jerk! I get him on the crossties and he's pawing and being obnoxious.....oh yay! Now, it's time to go on the trailer.....hasn't been much of a problem as of late but that day was a totally different story!!!! He PLANTED his feet and wouldn't even get on the ramp of the trailer. GRRRRR! I hate when he does this. I got a whip and so did CB, and that just progressed him to the jumping around like we're stabbing him with hot pokers level......totally losing patience at this point. CB takes him and he's a total jerk for her too. Finally, after about 40 minutes, yep, you read that right, 40 minutes, he got on the other side of the trailer.....whatever...he's on! On to Shirley! We get to our ride and he's drenched in sweat. I have no idea why he's having such a meltdown with riding on the trailer.....it's not like CB is a crazy driver! ;) We get Sereele off (CB will write later on how wonderful that little girl was!) and then, just as we're about to let Socks off, a horse bolts across the field we're all parked in! At this point, I figured it was best to have him get upset off the trailer and not in it so off he went. Fine. He then progressed to maniacally eating the grass like he's never had a meal in his life! Not happy! I started tacking up....not a big deal, until the bridle....he clenched his teeth and wouldn't take the bit..not even for a piece of carrot! REALLY?!?!?!? Finally, after much head tossing and backing up and pretending he felt the need to bolt too, I got the bridle on! Now, I have to get on this crazy beast....I must be crazy myself! I mount up...he feels like a loaded spring...."I'm going to die on this ride" I think to myself. We start off and it's a ways down a paved road to the trail.....as we're going, he calms down....oooh, there's hope yet! The trails were pretty nice and he was a good boy in them....some were a bit rocky and some were a bit muddy and we did ok.......until.....the apple orchard. Something in his little brain snapped again and he was psycho....spooking at car noises on the road, yanking the reins out of my hands to eat grass, trotting at a breakneck pace (which he can't do comfortably like Zak can) and just all around not listening to me at all. I was so annoyed with him and then, we came to a hill. Oh boy. As we're "trotting" up the hill, not listening to me, and hating the fact that he couldn't bolt up the hill like a rocketship, we pass a couple of houses. One of those houses had a dog.....and that dog HOWLED! Yay, that revved him up even more...not to mention, we lost sight of any of the markers telling us where to go. UGH! Finally, we find some markers and around the corner is a photographer. Cool! Could we stand still for even one picture? Absolutely not! We side passed (beautifully I might add but not what I was asking for), we backed up, we made heinous faces, we went in circles, we went under a low tree branch but we didn't pose for the pictures....Sereele on the other hand, is such a good girl and I can't wait to see the pics of her! Onward! The rest of the ride wasn't bad...we got back into the woods and he seems to like that better. We came across some logs and I thought for sure he would jump them....well, he did.....sideways! REALLY?!?!?!? I wasn't even aware that a horse could do that! Mine can! UGH! I can't complain about his behavior for the rest of the ride.....we went 12 miles and he was tired. However, he was a jerk once we got back to the trailer. He just didn't want to stand still, wouldn't let me get something to eat or drink, and then progressed to screaming. WTF?!? CB kindly let me hold her angel (she was soooooo good, I'm so happy for CB and Sereele), and got us some food. For some reason, both horses, mostly Socks, wanted the pizza we were eating but when CB relented and gave Socks the crust, he spit it out like it was poison. Dork! Time to get on the trailer to go home.....CB gave him a cookie and he spit that out at her like the pizza crust! That was kind of funny given the kind of day I was having with him because he spit it out on her shoe. Ok, lets go in the trailer.......oh Hell no! We got him all the way on, but not enough and he backed up and out. I was about to tie him to the back of the trailer and have him run home! ;) We tried putting him on the other side and he finally got on. Whatever, he's on! However, Sereele decided that that side was hers and actually balked getting on the trailer! It was only for a second though. We were joking around that the two horses were like little kids on a road trip.."He's on my side!"...."She's touching me!"........."He took my snack!"...."She's looking at me!". The trip home was uneventful but he was still a bit sweaty on the trailer. I have no idea why he's upset....it's a roomy ride. UGH! Well, I survived, and so did he......guess it's time to do some more groundwork to let him know who's boss again. I did have fun though despite his total lack of working brain cells. I just chalk it up to experience.....a year ago I wouldn't have gotten on him so at least my confidence is coming back in leaps and bounds......think it's because I'm just getting pissed off, ha ha ha. Anyway, I'll look back at this and laugh......right? =)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

stuff and things (very very long. a novel)

I always remember the turn to lake dennison is after that stupid sign "stuff and things" selling junk. so this blog will be about that. mostly for my friend Judy who I haven't talked to in so long and miss so much., here is a short story of my summer.
Chapter 1 "indy"
Well indy went on a 2 month trial june 1st to a woman in middleboro. she didn't have alot of horse experience but seemed to be a nice person who would take care of her animals and would just be doing some pleasure riding so I thought it might be a nice home for him. She assured me she had tons of grass and a new barn. I brought him down and found a "barn" that was just 2 stalls with a small corral out front. Where is the grass? oh, we are fencing in the yard and I have fields across the street that we are going to fence in. should have just turned the trailer around then. but I didn't. I put indy in with her 4 y.o. TB and they got along great, he seemed happy enough eating the really nice hay she had. so I left him there. she promised to keep me updated on how things were going. she never called me and every time I called her it took at least 3 tries for her to get back to me. she told me the pastures were built, indy was happy, her daughter had ridden a couple of times and everything was great. finally the 2 months was up and she was supposed to make her decision. I called her 10 times, sent email to her husband and left messages on her kid's phone. no response. So I hooked up the trailer and went down to get him, not knowing what I would find and afraid he wouldn't even be there. I had planned to call Chris's father if they gave me a hard time to call the police down there for me. so I pull in and he is there in an electric enclosure with the other horse without a shred of food. no one is home but the house is open. kids come by looking for their friends, but no one comes to the door. I had to take down the electric fence to get indy out, no gates. then 7 guys on motorcycles fly in and ask me what I was doing. said I'm taking my horse home. where is robin? no one knows. I am afraid they are going to kill me and cut me up into little pieces and bury me somewhere but they are actually nice. say they are going to find the husband. I said no, I am taking him. then Robin's mother shows up and tells me if she hadn't met me before and knew he was my horse no way she would let me leave and writes down my license plate number. whatever. she gave me the impression that robin is an odd duck. really? huh. so Indy came home, his skinny friend was having a fit and I felt bad leaving him there. Indy had lost about 50#, never had his feet done and never had his halter taken off in 2 months. poor poor boy, the guilt is horrible. it took him a couple of days to want to eat grain and goodies again. but he knew his buddy socks right away. In the meantime, some great people who had come to see him previously had contacted me and they wanted him for their 17 year old daughter. so I brought him to them in Wrentham. beautiful barn and nice turnout. very nice family. Valerie is quiet and kind and a very nice rider. they wanted a 2 week trial, but after a week said they loved him and wanted to buy him. great! then they decided to let the trainer see him. she loved him, great!! then they decided to do a vet check, fine. day of the vet check she decided nah, they loved him didn't need the vet check, check was in the mail. great!! 3 days later she sends me an email that they are worried that he won't stay sound and want to return him under the massacusetts state law within 3 days. huh? WTF!!!! I told her she needed to get a vet check, I had promised all along that I would take him back if he didn't stay sound. can't just send him back because she was worried about it. FREAKS!!!! the world is full of FREAKS!! so the vet check is tomorrow. in the meantime val is riding him everyday, just loves him and doesn't want to miss a minute with him. I don't get it. update on what happens tomorrow ....If he comes home, I will have to kick Deacon out, but since her owner doesn't pay her board or do any work or buy her horse grain or shavings, no great loss. except we love deacon.
Chapter 2 Sereele
she is the oddest horse I have ever known. she is afraid of life. but so very sweet. she tries so hard. she falls down. she spooks at butterfly's and sunlight and purple flowers. but she is so sweet and tries so hard. she is kind of ugly, but kind of cute, but she is so sweet and tries so hard. she see's dead people. she hears things from the great beyond. but so sweet. she tries real hard. Our relationship started out with her spinning in her stall, not eating, unable to be separated from her friend. she was never mean or bad, just scared. once Haley left she got better. I tried hand walking her and she had a meltdown screaming and spinning and flipping her body around. the next time she was a little better. I gave her lots of treats and let her graze in rainvilles field. after a few tries, she actually stopped screaming and the prancing was controlled. I rode with socks, she was very quiet, very good. we only walked. I got off often when she made me nervous. We rode more, we both got braver. started to develop a little trust. I rode her alone, I cried she was so good. so sweet, tried so hard. very nervous but she is a good girl. she fell to her knees and scared us both, got up holding up her RF leg but was OK. we are working on shoeing to try and stop the tripping. we rode in Stow twice and then lake dennison this weekend. she was a star. a few sliding stops that escalate into running backwards - sorry chris. but she tries to be brave. I let her move out more on the nice terrain and she wasn't as trippy. I had SUCH a great day with my funny sweet little girl who tries so hard. I get glimmers of hope that some day we can do an endurance ride. but then pessimism (or experience) hits and I wonder when she will have a melt down and what body part I will break.
Chapter 3 Hay
ordered a tractor trailer load of hay in april. then it rained for 3 months. that's ok the guy assured me we'll deliver and bring a hay elevator. lou gets a load and it's dusty moldy crap. I tell him I'll wait for second cut. OK. 2 weeks. 2 weeks later, well for sure next week. next week, well maybe 2 more weeks. 2 more weeks and it will be there this weekend but I have to buy a hay elevator. OK we get one (thanks mom). chris almost cancels her vacation to be here. but no hay. a couple more weeks? I've lost track. finally it's coming labor day. YAY! another call the saturday before - coming tomorrow. different hay. real good stuff. right, we'll believe it when we see it. It actually does arrive and it is good! chris and shawn have like 7 friends to help put it away, it goes fast and kind of fun:). more boring and annoying stuff to the story but yet another year to re inforce that WE HATE HAY.
that's all for now....

Lake Dennison

Ah, yes, another goal attained. Saturday I got out of work, showered and boogied to the barn to go with CB and Sereele to Lake Dennison to ride. Woo hoo, a ride and no sleep.....should be interesting! =) Socks actually loaded very nicely on the trailer but just as CB was putting up the back bar, he shot back and scraped his leg down the ramp. UGH! We were sure that there was going to be a fight but sure enough, he walked back on the trailer like it was his job. WOO HOO!!!!!
We arrived at Dennison and unloaded and both "kids" seemed ok with the horses that they saw nearby. We tacked up and off we went. CB walked Miss Sereele for a little bit and then hopped on. The road to the trails were a big rocky and Socks and his tender little feet had some problems but he dealt with them pretty well. Then, we got to where the trail started. YAY! What a beautiful place to ride! It was so nice out, not very hot but very sunny. We trotted quite a bit and neither horse was in the mood for naughtiness. YAY!
We came out along a trail where there were about 5 people on horseback enjoying some adult beverages. As CB came out of the woods, one of the guys asked her if she was a warmblood!!!! Say what?!?!?!?!?!? Sereele has put some weight on but jeez! ;) We got a chuckle out of that one for sure. So, onward we went. Socks got a bit "up" but did ok and was listening to me at least. Sereele was very good and I think she only tried once to be "naughty".
Then, came the dam.......Sereele was scared of the area. I stopped Socks as he was started to plow ahead without her and he kept looking at her and then where she was looking as if to say "What am I supposed to be scared of too?" CB got her to go onward and up the hill we went. It was a bit rocky so we just walked. At the top of the hill, was a long log on the side. It was a bit pitted and rotted but nothing too scary. Socks seemed fine with it until Sereele got nervous behind him and CB commented that it was an alligator. ALLIGATOR!!!! WHERE?!?!?!? Socks immediately decided that that was true and that it was going to eat him alive!!! He was trying his hardest to take a wide berth from the "alligator" but on the other side of the trail was a mushed up piece of log that was equally scary. So, we serpentined through it and CB got off and led Sereele past the horse eating alligators. Oh man!
We continued on, both horses doing ok after their run-in with the fake reptile. However.....we took a different turn and CB wasn't sure where we were. UH OH! We continued on....not sure where we were going but at least it was in a forward motion. Hee hee. The trails were great so there wasn't even a grumble from either horse or rider. Eventually, we did find our way back in not much time. YAY! We had to pass a little dog who had never seen a horse before and was nervous......and we had to pass some people fishing that was kind of scary for the two equines but other than that we were good. CB decided to try to canter and actually got a few strides out. YAY! Now, it was my turn.....the last time Socks and I cantered, he crowhopped a bit and scared me a bit....ok, a lot but it was also in the ring and this was a trail where he's much happier. So, I found a soft spot where the rocks weren't bad and asked for the canter and did a few strides myself. How invigorating!!!! He was great and not even an ear back! YAY, more demons conquered!
We got back to the trailer and untacked and gave the kids some beet pulp (Socks favorite). He was savoring his, Sereele ate all hers and then tried to eat some of Socks'.......he was all "Oh no you didn't!" Ha ha ha. What a face he made at her! He even took his bucket with his nose and scooted it closer to him! Ha ha ha! Sereele got some more from her mom but it didn't have sweet feed in it so she wasn't impressed.
So, we loaded up the kids and again, no arguement from either equine about getting on. We started to go and realized nothing went wrong with this trip. It was then that CB stopped the truck and we decided to check the tires....one must be flat or something......this trip was going too well! Well, nothing was wrong and we got home, unloaded and set the kids free in their pastures. I was tired but had a great time. We attained yet another goal of going out and about. YAY! Next, we ride with Lou and Bec maybe and then, just maybe, we could try a hunter pace or something like that....ah yes.......more goals to reach for!
We'll get there......in the long run! =)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sand Pits!!!!

Ok, so, I took the dogs for a walk down in the sand pits for CB last Friday. I forgot how nice it was there so my suggestion for the next ride was to go there. YIKES! All went pretty well. We went in from the trail off of Linden St. and on to the aquaducts and then the road and the dreaded railroad tracks. Aside from the deerflies (aka bugflies....apparently, I have renamed all species of blood sucking flies as such, hee hee) the ride wasn't bad. We got over the tracks and headed into the trail to the first water obstacle....the Jersey barrier barricaded river. Socks was a bit of a turd refusing to go down to the water but with some persistance and "the bat of truth" we got to the river. He snorted like a mad bull but walked through it nicely so Sereele wouldn't get upset.
Now to tackle the stone path up.......again, Socks was a bit of a turd (seems to be the word of this blog entry) and almost stepped in a hole but made it up. We went along the aquaduct nicely after that and then....over the river and into............the sand pits!
I forgot how much fun going through there was!!! I haven't been in there since I rode Zak! Both Socks and Sereele were excellent! There were a few parts where the "bugflies" got a bit nasty but other than that, we had fun. Towards the end, there must have been a nasty bugfly on Sereele as she hopped on one back leg and CB jumped off thinking something was caught on her leg. Such sensitive creatures we have.....(rolls eyes).
The ride back through the wooded side of the sand pit was fun and the trails are so nice. It took much less time on horseback than on foot with two dogs that's for sure!
The going home was much easier too...no snorting like a freak at the river and NO TRAINS...YAY!
We did, however, run into a tight spot where a Verizon truck pulling a pole was coming up behind us. They were great and slowed down and passed us slowly. There are nice people in this world!!!!
We got back to the barn feeling great. Both our horses were awesome and now we have conquered the sand pits....time to go past those now to the unknown across the street!!!! Woo hoo....lofty goals that we will meet soon I hope!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Back in the saddle....riding lesson time!

So, Claudia came back for our second lesson. Time to kick butt! She also brought her daughter Corinne to ride Sereele for CB. Socks has been learning quickly but gets easily frustrated with ringwork. Not too much fun when he gets that way too. =(
We worked on learning that one leg on means to move around it, and two means go. He has a hard time with this concept but did relatively well. Corinne LOVED CB's saddle and Sereele looked very nice going along. Claudia suggested a bit change for Sereele and it made a big difference for her. It was good to show CB what Sereele will do if pushed to do something she may not be too crazy about doing. She handles things well and never really did anything naughty at all. We did have a scary moment when Corinne was going across the middle of our riding ring and Sereele fell to her knees and kept scrambling across! She looked like a large gray crab, poor little girl! She got back up no worse for the wear but poor CB was understandably upset and worried. After seeing her girl was ok, the lesson continued.
Claudia wanted me to canter today! OMG!!!!!! The trotting was going pretty well and he was having some really nice moments. She told me to ask for the canter and Socks proceeded to crow hop/buck about three times before departing fully into the canter. What a jerk! So, she had me ask again, same corner and same crow hop/buck except only two times. What a jerk! I had to ask a third time, and, you guessed it, he crow hopped/bucked but only once. What a jerk! Ha ha ha. I'm glad he finally did something naughty and I got through it. I was still shaking like a leaf when I got off of him but I felt redeemed. I plan on having more lessons as soon as the weather decides to cooperate. He hates them with a vengeance but it will be good for us......in the long run!


Ok, so, we've been a bit lax in our postings....hee hee hee. So, CB, Sereele, Socks and I made the big trek down to Carver on June 6th. Unfortunately, it poured out on the Friday that we were supposed to leave so CB and I got up at the crack of dawn on Saturday to head down. OH MAN! Kids loaded on the trailer well. We decided to see if Socks likes the drivers side better than the passenger side. He's been having little meltdowns lately. It worked well and both Sereele and Socks traveled well.
No one told us that Myles Standish's Boy Scout Camp is in the middle of nowhere in Myles Standish Forest!!!!!!! We got to the main gate and drove down these non-descript roads for what seemed like forever. Roads to nowhere!!!!!!! Finally, we came upon the campsite and Becca guided us in past the mucky, boggy parts so we could park next to them for the night. I'm also forgetting to mention that it was still very overcast, windy, and cold there.
We unloaded the kids, made up their pen for the night and they settled in okay. WHEW! Now, what to do....should we ride, should we wait for the sun that was promised? We ride! We all tack up and get ready to go down a separate trail from the main one that they mapped out. It was too many miles for Sereele so we figured we would go out on our own. Unfortunately, Roo was a bit of an oaf and was misbehaving. Becca tried to ride him too and told us to just go without her.
So, off we went down this beautiful sandy trail. The horses were pretty relaxed and I even used the hackamore on Socks that day. His steering was a bit of a problem so we went with the bitted bridle the next day. Ride was great and CB and I really enjoyed it. We did have a run-in with a terradactyl (aka a turkey) but other than that, the ride was pretty uneventful. YAY!
We got back to the camp and were chilling out, CB and I were enjoying a beverage and apparently they went straight to our heads as we were hysterically laughing at Sereele staring at us. We also though Socks pooping was too funny. Yikes, we need sleep! Ha ha ha! We also were laughing at all the people that belonged to the riding club sponsoring the ride. At the meal times, they all had trays to bring to the "mess hall"! It was like watching hungry zombies in action. Very weird!
We all ended up going to bed rather early....I was exhausted not having a lot of sleep prior to leaving. My work schedule is fun like that. UGH!
Morning broke and it was time to go out and ride again. Once again, CB and I had a good ride. We followed the trail markers this time and we did the 10 miles!!!! Woo hoo! The sun actually peeked out too. The trails were very nice and I had a good time!
Time to leave.....packed up our stuff and loaded up the crew. Once again, they loaded pretty well and Socks again traveled okay. YAY! We made it alive through our first camping trip.
Our only bad tidbits were that both Sereele and Socks are complete klutzes and kept tripping constantly and at one point, Socks fell to his knees and sat there, contemplating life or something, before he stood back up and went on his merry way. Weird! AND, I have a strong dislike for portapotties! Ha ha ha!
It was a good time.........next time hopefully the weather will be better!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Trash day

yesterday chris and I decided to ride at 9:00 as she had a baby shower and I had jessie's graduation party later. it rained the night before so I figured the woods would be soaking wet and buggy and muddy, so we decided to do the 5 mile road loop. mile hill road and green street are so quiet and it was early enough there wouldn't be much traffic. hahahahaha. what a nightmare. sereele was nervous anyway, but was good as usual. until we came upon our first trash can piled up about 10 feet high (really!) with trash. that was almost scary enough for her to fall down at the sight of it. I got off and she cat walked past and was fine. we made it down linden pretty well, looping away from all the garbage cans. one big noisy truck pulling a trailer uturned in front of us, but no big deal. she saw her reflection in some big windows on a house that sits right on the road and apparently thinks she is pretty scary looking:). socks was taking a bad step here and there so chris was worried, they just got shoes on thursday. all was fine until a 4 wheeler came scooting out into the street and past us, but they were pretty good about that. then a huge garbage truck was coming towards us and we had a steep cliff on the other side of us. the guy actually turned off his truck and coasted slowly by! very nice. then going down green street we heard an extremely noisy vehicle coming up behind us fast an no where to go. we made it to a drive way in time for another garbage truck to barrel ass past us. this one scared them. ok. than ANOTHER garbage truck poking along toward us trying to be nice, but actually going so slow and noisy that socks said, "I've had enough" and chris scooted him backwards to a driveway. this upset sereele so I had to follow and probably pissed off the garbage guy. phew. we start walking again and a guy tells us to wait a minute and he will get his truck and trailer out of here and not scare the horses. so glad he did, it was the noisiest trailer I've ever heard. so then we just had to go past one attack dog and then the woman who let her dog out of the house to "sic" us and we were home free. I think. I may have blocked some things out. Oh yeah, crackers the dog tried to eat us also, but that was nothing. probably doesn't sound bad, but it wasn't a fun ride:). both horses were actually excellent, got scared but never freaked out. Then we made up for it today. went down linden to the main trial and up the ledge trail to north lookout and around and out at MW. Sereele was the best she has ever been. felt like a normal horse, no nervousness or skittishness. just perfect. she is moving so much better in shoes, no ouchiness, tripping 90% less. and her brain was calm. very happy with our ride today!
Indy leaves tuesday for a 2 month lease with option to buy. making me sick to think about it, but when I see him staring at me when I take out sereele, it breaks my heart. I hope this woman has a nice place and loves him, he deserves the best.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Sereele's first ride off the farm

Chris and I took Socks and Sereele to Stow today! figured a nice relaxing quiet ride on good footing since Socks threw a shoe and Sereele is very ouchy on the rocks. When we got there, there were 2 other horse trailers with horses getting ready to head out and bikers and hikers and dogs, oh my! so I started off leading Sereele, a black dog came around the corner and scared poor socks, he's never seen a dog before you know. then a bike, all fine. Sereele was totally calm so I got on and we rode around for about an hour. Sereele was amazingly good. I think socks spooked more than she did. we passed the horses a couple of times and they were both fine. of course socks wanted to meet them, but he controlled himself. we trotted quite a bit (for us) and they were both tripping and gimping, can't wait for shoes thursday. we had a few good laughs at sock's expense, like when again he almost went head first into a tree and got mad when some people didn't pat him. Sereele went first and second, was brave and not hyper at all. I almost got us lost, but figured it out and got back to the trailer and let them graze for a few minutes. then went to load and Socks was an ass. had to get the trusty broom out and beat him. not really, but we both wanted to. he finally went in and sereele hopped in. Socks was pawing on the way home and all sweaty when we got here. sereele didn't sweat (anhidrosis still). so now our newest worry is why socks is not happy in the trailer. he was out of hay, hopefully he just got himself worked up about it.
We have a lesson with Claudia monday! will be good for all 4 of us. I am SO happy with how well sereele is behaving and handling everything new. next adventure is overnight camping at Myles standish in 2 weeks!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Show!!!!

I've been in such a fog that I forgot to post about my escapades at the dressage show on the 3rd!!! Loading in the trailer was relatively simple, took two tries to get Socks on and voila, he was on. Sereele got on nicely as well. Everyone traveled well although Socks was a little bit sweaty when we got to Weston but not too bad. Got signed in, got the kids off the trailer and both Socks and Sereele were pretty "normal" and not completely losing it like he did at my last show. YAY US!
Got him tacked up with the help of all my grooms.....Lou, Becca, CB and Mary. You gals rule!!!! Socks and I ventured into the practice ring with about 4 other horses in there. He was a bit "up" but calmed down and even had some really nice moments. I only practiced for about 10 minutes or so. Socks tends to have meltdowns so I didn't want to push him. Sereele was great and they didn't even call each other that much if at all. =) CB did up his hair just before the class. He looked good.........
My first test was up and I was the very first rider in our first class.....UGH! All in all, he didn't do so badly. He didn't spook at the judge and was ok with all the crap going on on the outside of the ring and in the woods. He did, however, decide that circles should be egg shaped and tried to elongate our first circle..bad boy....and my correction was less than stellar but we managed to not leave the ring.
I was third for the next class so the pressure was off a bit. I was horrified to see that there was a lady riding this beautiful Friesan that was clearly beyond walk/trot level but whatever....I was really there to get Socks out and about and if we won something..........well bonus! He did try to leave the ring in our second test and again my corrections were very obvious but hey, we got through it.
We got a 52 and a 54, not great but certainly not horrid for our first time back in the ring with only about 2 weeks to prepare.
As I was leaving the ring, it started to rain......what timing! Socks didn't want to go back on the trailer but eventually, he decided that was a good idea. Sereele was good and went on too. Wasn't a bad day and I definately would like to go to another show this summer!!!!!!

Monday, April 27, 2009


We had a great weekend! friday I took Sereele for a walk alone again and she was much much better. no screaming at all. nervous, but good. just went to rainville's field and let her eat the lush grass and she was very happy. on the way back Wickstrom's had their big white sign out and she almost fell to the ground in fear, but we made it past, it didn't eat her. the next day chris and I did the 7 mile loop! I led her past rainvilles who were pulling logs out of the wood with their tractor (with the help of brave socks) and then up the street a little and got on. she was afraid of all the little "elect so and so" signs so was in the middle of the road alot. we trotted some on the side and socks went first into the dirt road. I asked chris to trot slowly, but socks wanted to either gallop or shuffle, so I passed and she went first up the dirt road and only spooked once, and not a big deal. I really thought she would be scared of all the blind corners and scary logs. she continues to surprise me. we went down the trail, mostly walking with some trotting. when Sereele was first she was pulling to go faster, I had to half halt her alot:). when she was second she was tripping, have to work on her paying attention to the ground when following. we went through the ever growing private dump area and out to the street. I got off to lead her for a while and noticed socks was very sweaty, but sereele wasn't sweating at all. she was puffing though, oh no - anhidrosis! oh, socks is puffing too. but weird that she only sweated under her saddle. a little worried about it, it was our hottest day so far in the 80's. anyway walked for a mile or so and got back on and trotted some to get home. the 7 miles took over 2 hours. exhausting going so slow! poor Chris was wiped out - no sleep, very hot, long ride. figured I over did it with sereele so gave her the next day off (oh no! road founder and sprained suspensories!) and it ended up that chris had to go into work anyway. so sunday I led her up to rainvilles and she was good again, no screaming, but sort of unsettled and prancy on the way home. tonight I found a little black spot on her throat latch area. oh no - melanoma! chris and I have to lighten up, every little thing our horses do we are freaking out that they are dying. is sock's poop dry? he only drank 4 inches instead of 5 inches of water last night. he took a bad step. blah blah blah, we will soon drive each other insane. or we may have already arrived:) but I think we are having a pretty good trip anyway where ever we are headed.

Monday, April 20, 2009

amost perfect?

well chris and I have been having some exciting rides. averaging 3 MPH, chris even had bugs stuck in her teeth yesterday due to the break neck speed. as always chris and socks are very entertaining to ride with. which is a good thing considering the pace we are setting. I am so thrilled with sereele and her good nature. she has been perfect every time I've ridden her. chris is doing some ring work in preparation for her intro tests in weston on May 3rd. they look good! she even cantered in the ring for the first time in a year! we are crazy, I know, but you only live once, haha. Sereele has put on some weight and is losing her angular appearance. she is very sweet and trusting and is putting up with everything. she only spooked once when socks started dragging a huge fallen tree with his leg. and I couldn't help laugh when he almost walked straight in to a tree later. we met some people walking/carrying a little dog and sereele was first and handled it fine. little things I know, but she's been a star. she loves Zak and I think the feeling is mutual, wish they could be turned out together (I think). but another mare is coming is may 1st so she will be her pasture mate. hopefully Haley will be gone.....still no contact from Patti. last I heard she was on a religious retreat. hmmm.
I decided to take Sereele for a walk alone on saturday, she was very unhappy about that. she is very stuck on her horse friends and I don't think has ever been alone. so she screamed for a mile and threw her head around and was all over the street. very scared and nervous. finally shut up for about 15 seconds and I turned for home. she did better on the way home, but still a wreck. so this is what I will have to work on with her. I think she will be ok after a while, she is very sensible and seems to figure things out. once she accepts me as her "buddy" I think she will be perfect!! we even trotted a couple of steps here and there on the trail ride and there and she was excellent. very bouncy! so the journey with her has been fun, good thing because it will be along one to our destination of a 50 mile endurance ride!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

best girl!

Started out today showing Indy to a young girl and her very nice family. Chris rode with her a bit in the ring, Indy was very forward and socks was very sideways. then they went up the street for a short trail ride. apparently there was an invisible monstor in MW's driveway and they did and spin and bolt together, but nothing out of control and Valerie was not upset by it. in the meantime the house across the street seemed to be setting off fireworks or something so I called Chris on her cell and they came back home through the back pasture. Valerie really seems to like Indy, I think the only thing is his potential soundness.
Then I tacked up Sereele and chris ventured out with us down Linden street to the main trail. a little prodding was necessary for socks who was quite confused about having to go out AGAIN. sereele was understandably nervous, lots of wind and horses and twirly things and a big rock. but she was very good walking behind her fearless leader socks. I got on in the woods and she was wonderful again. went up the main trail, she went first over a little stonewall with a muddy stream on the other side. went second most of the way. a dog came barking so socks took up the rear to protect her and she was fine. out through Lisa terell's and her gelding came barrelling up, serelle did a little run forward but stopped right away and was very good. I got off and led her the rest of the way home. so proud. for a nervous little girl, she is very very good. at one point I said there was a motor cycle coming, chris said no it's 2, no it's 3, no it's 4, OK it's like 10. there was a fire on the other side and someone walking a dog too. She was fine! nice harely people who slowed down and were kind. I am so happy with her. and chris rode for 3 1/2 hours, a record! thank you Chris for everything, I am very lucky to have you as my friend!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Take two

Seeqret and I were not meant to be. He had me too unnerved with his rearing and his breeder was generous enough to trade me him for a coming 4 year old mare, Sereele. I had met her when I first went up to Patti Bailey's to look at horses but decided she was just too young as I wanted to finally get riding and compete this year. but there was just something about her that I liked and couldn't get her out of my mind. part of the deal was that I also take another mare, Hailey, until Patti could get some more fencing in once the snow is gone up there. so about 3 weeks ago on daylight savings day I trailered Seeqret back and picked up Sereele and Hailey. I laughed to myself that I bought my counter part in a horse, grey hair, no chest, boney ass and nervous disposition. luckily she is a very sweet horse who I think is going to be my good friend. she was very nervous the first week or so here, didn't really want to eat and easily spooked. she quickly learned that I was the giver of tastey treats and began to trust me. I gave her a couple of weeks to settle in and just brushed her and handled her. last weekend we went for our first hand walk with chris and socks up to Mt Pisquah and into the woods. she was perfectly behaved, nervous but once in the woods relaxed. she met people and dogs, got some pats, went over water, stopped and nibbled at leaves. quite the change from "the other one". the next day we did the same thing but went in through Lisa Poulos's. chris and socks were in front and suddenly socks did a big leap to the left and made a weird "BRRUUK" sound. only it wasn't socks that made the noise, it was some horse eating attack chickens! sereele took the lead and braved the chickens and stream. what a good girl. she had her first spring shots thursday and on friday morning she had a bad cough, goopy eyes and runny nose. temp was 101.2. I figured she was a little lethargic so in the afternoon gave her some banamine, put on my hard hat and hopped on bareback. she sort of looked up at me like "whatever, you are weird" but was perfect. just walked her around the barn area for a minute. today she was feeling 100% fine again so chris and I saddled up, bridled up and headed out again. oh yeah, she took the bit in one second unlike the 10 minute wrestling match with "the other one". sereele was even more relaxed on the street so I got on after maple wood and rode her most of the way to Mt Pisguah. had to go first most of the way as chris forgot her "motivator" and socks thought that he would prefer to follow today. she rode in a hackamore for the first time and socks seemed to like it. I got off and lead into the woods for a bit, got back on, it is SO cool; she doesn't try to rear up and take off when I lift my foot toward the stirrup! I don't have to spin her in 20 circles until she will pay attention long enough for me to have 5 seconds to get on. she is so wonderful. I rode first for a while and second for a while. we passed some people that socks had to get a pat from before he would continue, his personality is really coming out, he is very cute. she was hesitant at a stream so socks led the way and she went right through. as we came back onto the street socks was suddenly dead lame. chris jumped off and picked up his foot hoping to find a stone but nothing. oh no, this can't be. she picked up his other front foot and he had broken his shoe in half and it was twisted across his frog! we got the twisted 1/2 off and he was walking fine so led them both home. it was a great day with my new best girl. long way to go, but looks like we might make it this time around. phew!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

joining AA - alfalfaohlics anonymous

I stopped Seekers alfalfa a week ago hoping maybe it was the cause of some of his idiocy and hyper reactiveness. I was never a believer that alfalfa affected them mentally, but now I am. Today I hand walked him up the street as usual with Chris and Socks and he was a different horse. much more the sweet horse I thought I bought. I had on his snaffle and saddle and he never reared, he did swing his head and do a little hop maybe twice at the beginning and that was it. I did smack him once when he started being stupid which surprised him. he walked along the whole way, not nearly as nervous. I was even able to trot beside him for a few steps with my arm over his back without him expolding. He is still very energetic and "eager" but didn't have any tantrums or loose his mind at all. so he has a stay of execution. He is out with socks now and after biting him in the butt 100 times and socks giving him one good kick they are fine. He just has to learn to control his teeth but I think that will come with age and the complete absence of testosterone. last weekend socks was beside us and seeqret was trying to bite him, looked like a shark going for chris's leg. Lots of thanks to Chris (and socks) for putting up with us....
socks was grumpy while being tacked up but was perfect once chris got on. he is probably so bored with our walks up the street. hopefully some day we will actually go down a trail and maybe even TROT. you gotta dream. bad weather tomorrow so we won't be able to get out. oh and chris held him while I sat on him in the barn when we got back. he was fine. I am getting my hopes up again that I will be able to handle him as long as I take it slowly.

Friday, February 13, 2009

2 steps back

my update on last weekend's ride. chris did a nice job story telling, I want to post my feeling so I can look back and remember. we headed down linden again to get to the snowmobile trails and ride "uphill" where I feel safer. after reading alot on the internet about controlling head tossing that can escalate to rearing I ordered a German Martingale and decided to try it out. Seeqret was very hyper on the walk down the street, he almost kicked a car (almost wish he did the idiots) pranced sideways the whole way, was biting and hopping up. once we got into the woods I got on after a couple of circles and he did really well. went down a steep hill and he was having a hard time, almost sitting down, unhappy but did it. I got off and led him past the spot where he had inadvertently jumped in the pond the weekend before. I got back on and we were speed walking along and he suddenly did is head toss and reared. he got over it pretty quickly, then did it again and this time went up very high. I wasn't prepared and my gloves were slipping on the reins and I could feel myself holding onto the reins but couldn't stop. then he proceeded to do a few crow hop rears, it felt very bad like a bronco. as he was going up for maybe the 3rd time I said "oh crap!" and I almost fell off. he stopped and I rode him about a mile out to Mt Pisquah without any more major issues. I realize in hindsight that the german martingale made him feel trapped by pulling his head in so much and when he was nervous and reared and my holding on really exacerbated the issue so he went higher and harder. I have decided to step back and start over with the basics. I need to gain his confidence and respect. so will do more in hand walking and just get to know each other. then will start him under saddle in the ring once the footing is better. I have rethought my goals and at this point I hope just to be able to ride him this summer without being terrified that he is going to flip over backwards on me. if all goes well, maybe even a dressage show:). on a good note, he was very good turned out with Zak. no more stallion stuff. we will get there eventually! right now I am thinking that I made a big mistake buying him. I hope to look back on this note and laugh because he has turned into the horse of my dreams.....

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Seeqret's secrets.....and other stuff.....

Ok, so, Carolyn and I trekked out last weekend again. Once again, the cars on the road were unbelievable....traffic in Berlin WTF?!?!?!?!?!?!? Anywho, Seek was pumped as usual. He's much better in the woods. Carolyn tried the German martingale on him this time. We've come to the conclusion that when he gets scared or spooked, he gets.....shall we say...um, silly. Totally not a malicious boy, just a bit on the dramatic side. He was a bit on the naughty side for the ride but Carolyn is returning to her Mad Hacker roots and did very well with him. It also helped that Socks was better behaved and wasn't channeling Zak-isms like he did last week. UGH!
Sunday afternoon we also went out. Carolyn tried a bit on Seek this time and decided to take a step back with him. He was a different horse! He was pretty quiet and seemed to understand what she was asking of him turning wise and stopping wise. Also, just had the standing martingale on. He didn't feel as trapped. We only walked down the street with the boys. They were good and only spooked (as we did as well) when the Golden Doodley dog down the road came barking and growling at us. Other than that....not a bad outing.
At home, we decided that maybe Seek could use a friend again. Perhaps, he needs to learn to be a horse? Zak to the rescue again.....this time, he meant business. The first time Seek and Zak went out, Seeker kept aggravating Zak and of course, Zak took it. Not this time! Zak was all about not being disturbed from his hay. Most of the kicks he swatted at Seeker were done without him even taking his head up from his hay! Ha ha ha! That's my talented boy! Who knew that Zak would tell someone off? It must be the fact that he's turned into a grumpy old coot who doesn't want to deal with damn kids anymore. Ha ha ha! So, hopefully, we're still going in a forward direction with these beasties. I've been having a blast riding Socks. He's such a good boy and I hope to get some lessons under my belt and get back into that show ring again...we'll see......

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Swimming in February?

Today was a beautiful 40º day and the snowmobiles had made some good footing in the woods so Chris and I ventured out on our (not so) trusty steeds. Seeker was super pumped up, wanted to just explode as I led him about a mile down to the trails. he was very naughty bouncing around, spooking, prancing, biting and hopping. Socks was the opposite and thought he'd rather just hang out in the pasture today. Once we got to the trail, socks decided that yes, he really did want to be out and run through the woods. Seek was very hard to lead in the snow and I was just drenched with sweat walking with him. at one point we were right beside horse shoe pond, I was still leading him, he was not listening and he jumped in front of me and went right into the pond! he couldn't tell it was water/ice as it was covered in snow, but he went in to his hips, and leapt back out. the water smelled like a sewer for some reason, it was disgusting. he seemed ok, but we were both covered in black stinking chuncky water. after that he actually settled down some. I was able to get on him after a little tight circling and he scooted up the main trail, went up the ledge trail with socks behind us sounding like a freight train. seeker did very very well. he did throw his head and bounce around a bit, but not as bad as last time. he wanted to run and I let him jog just a bit. he would walk so nicely then suddenly have a little tantrum but not bad at all. I rode all the way to Mt pisquah's parking area, our longest ride so far! a think almost a whole mile and a half :). chris did a really good job keeping Socks from running us over, THANK-YOU! 95.5 miles to go...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Raspberry 's B-day

Razz turns 4 years old today! this is her first winter since she turned one that she hasn't been recovering from knee surgery. she had her right CCL repaired 1/07 and the left in 8/07. she is doing very well, is a high drive dog and will probably never slow down. This is a picture Louisa took of us this summer, Razz on my right and Rock on my left. I can't wait to see green grass and flowers again!

Friday, January 23, 2009

98 miles to go!

chris and I rode today, took advantage of our one day of January thaw this year, I think it was close to 40º! chris got 2 hours of sleep after working the night shift and I will work tonight, it was worth it. we haven't been able to do anything with the horses for at least 2 weeks due to the frigid temps and icy footing. couldn't even walk them out of my driveway. My plan for Seek is to ride him at the walk for 100 miles before really getting him going. i've been on him twice before, the first time he was very nervous, it was his first time in the woods, but he did great until we came to some ice, he didn't want to stop, I did, and he reared up. scared me unfortunately. I jumped off and led him a little and got back on and he was fine. he won't stand when being mounted and does little hops, but after circling him a few times he has figured out he needs to stand still if he wants to get moving again! the second time we rode I stayed on longer, we went up the main trail and he was a star, very very good. went over water, ice, rocks, ditches. Understandably today he was very revved up and spooky. Chris rode bareback, she is now the mad hacker and I am the paranoid wimp. I led seek up to mt pisquah in northboro, we went past tree cutters who politely turned off the chain saws and the usual a-hole drivers. there was a very scary mailbox that he has seen 20 times but today it was apparently transformed into a little bay horse eating monster. he was dancing around alot and biting me like crazy which he does when he's nervous. we got to the woods and there is no way I can lead him in the snow, too exhausting so I got on and off we went! he felt explosive but didn't misbehave, just power walked at 100 miles per hour and threw in a jig here and there. I saw a guy and his dog up ahead so being the brave and fearless horse trainer, I jumped off. his heart was pounding but he was fine passing them. I got back on and he stood like an angel for 2-3 seconds! off we went powerwalking, up a big hill that socks decided he needed to gallop up, so chris has walked, trotted and cantered bareback! seeker was good with him racing up behind. but when socks snorted he would spook, he was nervous and excited but good. then he lost it a little and started head swinging and throwing himself off balance which I hate since KC fell on me doing that. so again I got off (I'm older now and break easier) walked him a little and got back on and we rode the rest of the way out like he was a good old cow pony! so I figure I've ridden him 2 miles in 2 months - a world record! If we survive the "breaking in period" I really think he is going to be outstanding. he has a ton of energy, lovess to go out, seems pretty speedy, is very brave and has a good heart (physically and metaphorically!). he learns fast and really tries to do the right thing. Thanks Chris for putting up with me making a 5 mile ride last 2 hours!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bad news vs. Good news

UGH! Socks twisted his shoe almost off the other night. This is usually a lameness sentence for him until we can get his shoe back on. He gets digital pulses and is all around miserable. Anywho, he walked in just fine and CB took off his shoe completely.
He stood on his bare foot without wincing!!!!! He even stood on it to paw with the shod foot! I also noticed that there is some concavity to his sole!!!! WOO HOO! Tim is coming out today to reshoe thank goodness but even last night, Socks walked in no problem and there were no pulses!
I'm really excited about his feet looking so good. I want to pick up with him where we left off in 2006 when he was ruined by that stupid farrier before Tim. He's so much fun to ride and is a big love. Now, if only I could post some pictures of before and after.........

Friday, January 16, 2009

Seeqret II Success

This is my new horse Seeqret, I have big dreams for him to be my 50 mile endurance horse!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Welcome 2009!!!! 2008 was a bit lousy. Carolyn faced the fact that she had to "retire" Indy from endurance, I was still battling Socks' lamenesses after shoeing and Judy and Speedy had to leave us for warmer climates. =( All in all, we look forward to moving on and persevering.

On a lighter note, Long Run Farm got a new resident. Seeqret is a 4 year old bay Arab who has a great personality and plenty of spunk. He was recently gelded and had some problems with his recovery but with a few phone calls and e-mails from Lindsay (thank you!), the surgeon and Carolyn's vet Amy, he's doing well and is ready to learn the ropes!

As for the rest of the residents, they're doing fine. Socks has been doing great and hasn't been lame (knock on wood). Zak is, well, Zak. He's fat, fuzzy and has a 'tude. Indy has been doing well and is taking after good ole Uncle Zak because he's getting a little belly to match. Razz has been trying to keep everyone in line and Rocky keeps us smiling.