Showing posts from January, 2016

In which turnabout is fair play, and I am very publicly pwned

Pwnis a leetspeak slang term derived from the verb own, as meaning to appropriate or to conquer to gain ownership. The term implies domination or humiliation of a rival,used primarily in the Internet-based video game culture to taunt an opponent who has just been soundly defeated (e.g., "You just got pwned!")

Some readers will remember the sneakery and trickery needed last year to surprise Gail Williams with the Ann Parr Trails Preservation Award, which I got to present to her at the AERC Convention last year.  

Apparently, when Gail discovered that I could only afford to attend the regional convention this year and not the national one--even though I was scheduled to be given the AERC High Mileage Standardbred award this year--she decided that turnabout was due.

I knew I'd be getting some regional awards at the PNER banquet.  

But I thought the STB award would just show up in the mail.

I reckoned without Gail.

Gail made some phone calls, and through some sneakery and trickery…

In which we celebrate THREE Sensible Horses and one rider

Standardbred rider Dom is known to many readers of this blog because she writes a popular mostly-horse-and-dog-but-also-pretty-pictures blog of her own.
You can read her blog HERE...and you can read about Dom HERE.  

Dom is one of many people I "know" online that I hope to meet someday IRL.  I've stolen some images from her blog for this post--if you like them, you should visit the blog and enjoy more!

Here's what Dom says about her favorite three endurance Standardbreds:

Ozzy (Oz the Great) is a 2001 gelding by Lindy Lane. 

He is 16hh on the dot. He almost died at birth (red bag, septic, dummy foal, etc.) He failed out of racing without ever making a start, though my former boss gave him every chance to succeed.

 I got him as a six year old when I left my job at the track. He was my first horse and I fell in love with riding as far as I could before I even knew endurance was a sport. 

By chance, I ended up boarding at an endurance rider's farm and she introduced me to…

In which we spotlight another Sensible Horse: meet Pureform Bunny!

Today's Sensible Horse is from my home Northwest Region:   Pureform Bunny and her owner Heather Wimer!
This is part 4 of an ongoing series of posts about Standardbreds in endurance. 
Part 1:     Shag Part 2:     Eli Part 3:     Ink

Bunny is a 15.1 hand 2005 Standardbred mare who raced prior to coming to Greener Pastures, and won about $40,000.  When she stopped bringing home paychecks, she was retired sound and donated to Greener Pastures, where she was evaluated and started under saddle.

Heather traveled to British Columbia in 2011 seeking a Sensible Gelding at GP, but none of the boys really suited her.  Alina, the adoption coordinator, suggested that she try Bunny.  Heather resisted...she really was seeking a gelding...but Bunny really was (and is!) the right horse.
Here's what Heather has to say about Bunny:

Bunny is such a joy to ride. Her athleticism has encourage me to get in better shape myself so that I can hold up my end of our partnership. She gets better and better each tim…

In which a Swampland Farm needs one more thing to keep the stuff running right

There's an old saying that the only things you need in life are duct tape and WD-40.
If it moves and shouldn't, use duct tape. If it doesn't move and should, use WD-40.
But here in the Swamp, we have one more essential ingredient: 

For various reasons, we were all in a deep funk on Sunday, and not even related to a certain regionally-popular football team loss.  Only a few of the Usual Suspects are football fans, and Monica, Patty and Duana and I are not any of them.

There is something very satisfying about gravel.  Especially for Swamplanders.  So when we were hanging around feeling blue the other day, we decided to move gravel for a while.

Patty posted a 12-second Facebook video of us shoveling gravel, and 40 people "liked" the video in about two hours, and several people said they wanted to shovel gravel too.

Including me.  And Mel.  And Mel's new junior, Jordan.

So, the very next day...we got a bunch of gravel and shoveled it at my house!

For the firs…

In which we feature a Sensible Horse of a Different Color: Ink!

This is Part 3 of a series of posts about Standardbreds in endurance. 
Part 2 :  Eli
Part 1:   Shag

Today's Standie is Ink, who lives with Kirrily Niswander in Kentucky. 

Here's what Kirrily has to say about her horse:
Ink is an 8 year old (2008) 14.3 hand brown roan mare who came from a less-than-ideal situation in eastern Kentucky with no history. I got her from a gaited horse trader who had only had her for a very short time (I think he had hoped she would gait, which she does not)....I don't know anything about before he got her.

Having owned (and loved!) a Standardbred before, I strongly suspected that Ink was one based on her looks, movement, and temperment. STBs are common in eastern KY; in addition to harness racing, they are often used for speed racking or breeding with gaited horses. 

I sent hair samples to Texas A&M for breed analysis testing, and sure enough, her primary breed is Standardbred. 

Ink has normal walk-trot-canter gaits, though it took a lot of training…

In which we meet another Endurance Standardbred: welcome, Eli!

In my not-even-vaguely subtle attempt to promote Standardbreds in endurance,  I'm writing a series of posts spotlighting some of the fabulous competitors.   This is Part 2 of the series. Part 1: Shag

Today's featured Standardbred is a SouthEast region horse:  
East Meets Westowned and ridden by Patricia Clark.

Eli is a 15.3  hand, 2005 model so he is 11 this year. He raced 21 times, won once and earned $7,000 (to non-race fanciers, $7000 isn't a huge amount of money). 

He is registered with the United States Trotting Association, a son of Western Paradise out of MD Has for those who pay attention to pedigrees.

Here's what Patricia has to say about Eli:

In 2009, I applied to be an adopter for New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program. After seeing this video clip I adopted him in less than two hours and had him shipped home to me in NC: 

We hit it off immediately. He is honest and works so very hard. He picked up trail riding quickly. He has legs of iron from years of jogging on…