Showing posts from November, 2012

In which we want to shoot Santa Claus, and yoga poses are needed

We wanted to do a photo shoot with Santa Claus to promote the Endurance 101 book.

Santa Jim was willing, and we rounded up a plain-colored endurance horse and some festive gear for the session....

...but the weather forecast for the weekend was dismal:  

"Darkness, followed by dimness and intermittent lack of light," said the weather-guessers at NOAA.

"Gloomy, rainy, wet and horrible," said the television forecasters.

"We're all gonna die!" moaned the farmer's almanac.

Santa Jim was undaunted.  

"How about Saturday?" he suggested.

So, we all met up on Saturday.  And guess what?
Endurance Santa clearly has a little magic  when it comes to the weather!
Santa Jim is new to the whole "photo shoot" gig.  

Fortunately, Monica is a pro.  

Under her deft direction, Santa Jim and Jingles 

and Sirie (aka "horse handler girl") and I (aka "book girl") worked together to create some neat images.

 To create a neat photo like this:


In which there's sad news from an old friend who's far away but in our hearts

Radio silence from a blogger is rarely good news, and I worried when the friend who writes the Horse Crazy American blog hadn't updated in more than a week. The news is sad:  she's lost Baasha.  Please go visit her blog post and leave a note.  The link is HERE.
Myself, I will always remember Baasha on the day that he and lytha and Madeline rode the Ride and Tie at Cascade must be almost ten years ago, because Mads is now a grown-up lady teaching Social Studies in Texas!
In some way, although I know that time has passed and circumstances have changed, to me I think that Baasha and Mads will always be the same as they were that day:  ears up, eyes up, eager for the trail ahead.

In which Patty needs a horse that's not too tall, not too green, not too nuts...

It's been a long road to travel, looking for Patty's new horse.
We started back in August, reading Craigslist and Dreamhorse and trying to sort out the horses that were worth driving to see from the horses that are not suitable.
The Village People helped with horse selection, of course.  We spent endless hours combing through conformation photos, text descriptions, and a wide variety of videos.
HINT:  a video should show the horse moving.  Not just the horse's head.  The WHOLE horse.
You would be amazed how many people don't "get" that.
When we found something that seemed likely, a couple of the Usual Suspects would go look at a horse.
If we liked what we saw, we'd shoot our OWN pictures and videos and send them to Dory.
If Dory liked what she saw, she'd go look.  

If she liked the horse IRL, then we'd send pics and video stuff to the vet.

If the vet liked the pictures and videos, he'd come out and evaluate.

Jerry was an endurance vet for a long time--h…

In which I encourage readers to go visit a relevant blog

Not much going on here lately,

 what with the BOOK BEING AVAILABLE NOWand everything.   

It's winter. 
I'm gonna go take some riding lessons, which aren't very interesting unless you like reading about my struggles to change directions (45 minutes) and halt correctly (20 minutes),

so why don't you go visit my  GUEST POST at the Equestrian Ink blog, huh?

In which Monica is sure that I did the "hard part" but she is wrong!

Monica has a great post today on her Horsebytes blog.

She writes about the process of creating a book...not unlike the process of riding an endurance ride:
The start line is really crazy, and there's so much to keep track of.
Then there's a bunch of steady trucking, just getting the miles done.
Then there's the vet check, where stuff gets evaluated. When you can see the lights of Ridecamp, you know you've almost arrived.  But not quite.
You keep steady trucking, ticking off those final miles and finally cross the finish line.
And then, there's another vet check where stuff gets evaluated.
Well, we're at that last part now, and YOU, dear readers, are the "vets" who are evaluating our "noble steed," the book Endurance 101.  

Is it looking good? Is it trotting out nicely? Does it make you smile?
Leave comments in the box, please!

And, if you haven't gotten your copy yet, it's not too late to get a 20% discount on the e-book.  

Send an email to:

In which *Endurance 101* is (shhhhhh!) READY for you to read now!

Dear blog-friends,


If you are probably planning to buy the Endurance 101 ebook as soon as it's available...

...and you'd like a discount when you buy it...

you might want to send an email saying "I WANT THE RELEASE DEAL"...soon. 

Today would be good.

This is what we in the business call "a hint."

Send your note to:    
release            AT        endurance-101                 DOT       com

and you will get a nice surprise in your email box.

It's okay to share this hint with your friends, too.   
The deal is only good for a week, so write that email NOW!

In which Santa gets in shape ("round") for the upcoming festivities

This is no ordinary educational gathering.

These workshop attendees have very important work, and their busiest season is about to begin!

Jim has begun his journey as a real-bearded Santa, and came to the NORPAC Santa Workshop to learn from the masters.  You'd think that Santas would have a better term for that process, but they call it "emerging from the closet", which seems kind of odd.  I'm seeking a more accurate metaphor.  Suggestions, anyone?

One of the traditional events at this workshop is a "flash-mob" at a local venue.  This year, the local Dairy Queen was treated by the Santas.

I think Santa Jim was feeling a little shy in his first public appearance with the Santas, but my camera and I finally tracked him down behind the big "Blizzard" sign.  (How appropriate!)

The weekend also featured a few photo ops for the experienced Santas who have spent many years (and buckets of money) collecting red garments for special occasions.

The culmina…

In which molting is not a good look, and the book is almost ready

The Minervas Louise haven't looked this bad since they were gawky adolescents.

They are molting.  Each hen has a different "molt pattern":  some lose feathers from the bum forward, others from the wingtips inward.  An individual hen will always follow the same unique path to ugliness.

This year, strong blustery winds have "pre-plucked" the chickens so that some feathers blew out before the new feathers were all the way in (like when kids lose their baby teeth), so there are some rather awful-looking birds in my yard right now.  In another week or two, they will look like chickens again.

In other news, the Endurance 101 book is very close to release.  The publisher and I are busily combing the e-pub version for stray periods and feral formatting.  It's a little distracting when the font suddenly turns purple...or orange...or very the middle of a paragraph, and the last stage before release is getting rid of the anomalies.   Soon, I promise.