Sunday, February 27, 2011

Shadowfax Playing

A while back, my husband managed to get some pictures of Shadowfax running around the pasture and playing. This is quite an accomplishment, because usually, as soon as the critters hear us open the door to come outside and take a picture, they stop whatever cute thing they are doing and turn and look at us. It is very frustrating. I just want to yell,"Ignore the human and keep playing!"

Anyway, my husband's camera is pretty fancy, and if you hold down the button, it will take a picture every 1/4 of a second. The following seven pics were all taken only 1/4 of a second apart.

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's Superhorse! (Maybe I should have named him Pegasus.)

Yup. My horse can do a complete 180 in a little over half a second. That's how he threw me. He didn't buck. He just sort of ducked his head and did a 180 so fast it sling-shotted me off his back.

Here are a couple of more pics of him showing off his athleticism.

And another sequence of pics shot 1/4 of a second apart.

Not something you really want to see up close.

Don't worry, for that last shot, the photographer, Foxfire, was actually about 20 feet away and on the other side of a fence. Shadowfax was not trying to kick him, he was just playing.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Back in the Saddle

After over a year of recovering from being thrown from my horse and breaking my tailbone, dislocating about half my ribs and messing up some muscles in my right leg, I have finally healed enough to get back in the saddle. My criterion for being physically ready was that I could finally do sit-ups with only mild discomfort (On a thickly carpeted floor). I figured if my tailbone and ribs can handle sit-ups, then they can handle sitting a horse at a walk. Not a trot, not yet, but a walk should be okay.

Anyway, JJ, being the good and knowledgeable friend that she is, figured out that though I was physically ready to get back in the saddle, I wasn't quite comfortable getting back on Shadowfax yet. He only mis-behaved the one time, but he is still somewhat inexperienced and thus, unpredictable. And he is the horse that hurt me. So, she invited me down to ride Red, her very experienced (and very short) older horse. So, on Saturday, Foxfire and I went down to her house. JJ rode her younger and taller horse, Saga, while I rode Red and Foxfire walked alongside us.

We went for a nice short ride along some trails through the woods near her house. (I am so jealous that she has such a great place to go trail riding right next to her home.) I was surprisingly un-nervous. Though I suppose since Red is the only horse that I've been on that HAS NOT mis-behaved in some way, it's not surprising that I would be the least nervous about getting on him. (Cash spooked and teleported sideways, Sonata crow-hopped and bolted, Ziggy reared and Saga bucked. Even the professional lesson horse that I rode spooked and bolted with me. I actually managed to stay on all those horses. But my dream horse, Shadowfax, managed to throw me.)

The trail ride was fabulous. It only took me a minute to remember how to move my body with Red's walk. And the woods were very pretty and peaceful. It wasn't until near the end of the ride that my tailbone started to get sore. The last fifty yards or so were a bit painful. But overall, it was a really good experience.

Now, I just need to ride Red or one of the other more experienced horses for a bit to continue to build my confidence. And ask my husband to ride Shadowfax a few times to get him used to being ridden again. And then I'll finally -- hopefully -- be ready to get back on my own horse.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Mark Kanemura and Lady Gaga -- Born This Way

A couple of years ago, while watching So You Think You Can Dance season 4, I absolutely fell in love with one of the dancers. His name was Mark Kanemura and he was the most gloriously weird dancer I had ever seen.

Mark's "Bohemian Rhapsody" solo during SYTYCD Vegas week season 4

After watching more of the season, it wasn't just his dancing that I loved. His stories about being the weird little kid that everyone picked on and his refusal to change who he was and is in order to "fit in" better touched my heart. Several of the show's choreographers saw the wonderful weirdness in Mark and celebrated it within their choreography.

Mark and Chelsie dancing to "Beautiful" choreographed by Mia Michaels

Mark(the ringmaster) and other SYTYCD dancers dancing to "The Dance" choreographed by Mia Michaels

Mark and Courtney dancing to "The Garden" choreographed by Sonya Tayeh

The Garden is still referred to as a benchmark for contemporary jazz dance.

Though "Bleeding Love" choreographed by Napoleon and Tabitha does not celebrate Mark's weirdness, it was an amazing routine and was nominated for a Grammy.

After SYTYCD, Mark was asked to dance with Lady Gaga for her MTV VMA performance of "Paparazzi". He then continued to dance with her during her "Monster Ball" tour and in several of her music videos and award show appearances. He took a break from touring with Lady Gaga to appear as an All Star in season 7 of SYTYCD, but is now returning to the Lady Gaga fold. In his blog Left of Center, He talks about his experiences as a non-standard sentient being and his admiration for Lady Gaga.

The thing i love about Gaga is that she is not just an artist, she is a leader. She is the "mother monster" to the "little monsters", she is the light for people that are in the dark, she is the voice for people who feel afraid to speak.
--Mark Kanemura

I may not be gay or lesbian, but in my own way, I am a "little monster", a freak, someone who doesn't fit in with normal society. And it gives me hope and makes me feel just a little better about myself to see people like Mark Kanemura and Lady Gaga succeeding in the world from which so many of us have been rejected. I can appreciate, but not quite embrace Lady Gaga's anthem "Born This Way" because I am not proud that I was born this way. I am still ashamed of who I am. But maybe someday...someday...

--Lady Gaga

For more information about Mark Kanemura, go to

For more information about Lady Gaga, go to

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Season of Freezin'

So far, we have successfully survived the season of freezin'. We have had over a week of below freezing temperatures. In fact we had three days in a row where the temperature never got above freezing. This is Texas. This is not supposed to happen here. But fortunately, the weather gurus gave us some warning, and having learned last year that freezing temperatures and pumphouse pipes don't play well together (see purple fingertips and running water), Foxfire and I rigged heatlamps in our pumphouse, left water running from several faucets and propped cabinet doors open to allow heat to get underneath the sinks. So far, we still have running water. Though there is more freezing weather predicted, so things could still go horribly awry.

Although we never lost running water indoors, the outside faucets did freeze in spite of being covered. So for several days, Foxfire and I had to refill the horse and goat troughs by lugging gallon jugs of water from the kitchen sink out to the troughs. It was beyond tedious. I was thrilled when the weather warmed up enough to thaw the outdoor faucets and we could fill the troughs without having to come indoors. It still took another couple of days for the water hoses to thaw, so we still had to carry water from the faucet to the troughs, but we could use buckets and didn't have nearly as far to walk so it was a vast improvement. I did a little happy dance when the hoses finally thawed. Of course, they are undoubtedly going to freeze again later this week. Sigh...

I am really tired of this freezing weather. (How do people in Montana cope???) This is Texas. Just a couple of years ago, we had 68 days of 100 degree and above temperatures. It was almost a record, but in some earlier year there had been 69 days. We regularly have temps in the 80's on Christmas. So what's with all this ice and snow? Yes, we actually had snow. Snow is nice when you're on a mountain in Colorado. But it's just wrong here in central Texas. Oh well. We've survived thus far. Hopefully, we'll survive the coming week as well.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Hello Latvia

In checking my stats, I notice that I have gotten 29 hits from Latvia this week. So... HELLO LATVIA!! hallo! sveiki!

I don't know how you found my site, or even if you can speak English (I certainly can't speak Latvian), but I hope you enjoyed your visit.