Sunday, August 23, 2009

It's That Time Again

Anarchy, a yearling colt

As of yesterday we are staying at the Louisville Metro KOA for the week attending the Kentucky State Fair World's Championship Horse Show. We don't have anything showing this year because we sold what would have shown here. Not a bad thing! John is feeling a little strange without horses here. We had dinner with the Brookshires last night and he mentioned that he won at least one class at this show every single year that he showed here since the early 70's. Phyllis replied, "That my dear is why you were inducted into the Hall of Fame last year." Quite an accomplished and storied career. Anyway, once the Arcuris arrive tonight and the show starts I believe he will feel less strange about not having horses here.

I just realized that I haven't blogged since May! I apologize for taking such a long time to get back here. When we came home from our last long trip I was ready to stay put for the summer, enjoy being home and the summer weather and I pretty much have accomplished my goal. The mares and babies are doing very well and the yearlings have begun their early training which we are excited about.

Illegal Tender (left) and Critical Asset (right), yearlings

John and I went up to Chambersburg, Pennsylvania to a family wedding in June which was a really nice trip. We took Mary and the dogs and stayed at the Swamp Fox Farm where he started his horse training career many years back. It is a beautiful spot. Breezy and Ransom loved it too. Especially Ransom. The farm is a haven for rabbits and squirrels and Ransom, being the little leaping hunter that he is, found the entire experience exhilarating. He jerked me around on his leash for two days. Every time he saw a rabbit it was as though he got an electric jolt. Finally on the third day we took the dogs for a walk on the back of the farm and John said, "Poor little guy. Why don't you turn him loose." I said, "Because we may not see him again until the snow flies." He said, "He'll come to my whistle now. Turn him loose." I said, "Okay. If he disappears into the woods and doesn't come to your whistle you are going to have to hunt him down." The woods up there are thick with under brush and the trees are very dense. So I unsnapped his leash and he was off like a race horse breaking from the gate. He was so excited to be on the hunt that he couldn't focus and he bounded right by a squirrel and two rabbits without noticing them. He had also turned off his hearing in favor of his pursuit of ground critters. We did finally retrieve him and when I put him back on the leash he commenced jerking me around the property again until we got back.

Miss Breezy enjoying her summer

On the fourth day we were getting ready to fold up the coach so we could head home. I decided to take Ransom and Breezy for a little walk so I put Ransom on his leash and took Breezy off-leash. She is so good that we don't worry about her where the are allowed to be off leash. We aren't there yet with Ransom. So John was outside of the coach as the dogs and I strolled off across a beautiful mowed green field toward the woods. Unbeknownst to me there was a rabbit sitting behind a big rock in the field. I was lolly gagging along, communing with the peacefulness of the farm, at one with nature and noticing a bit of sprinkling rain when rabbit madness overtook Mr. Ransom and he bolted, jerking the leash from my hand. It is retractable leash and it was locked at about four feet. I screamed, "RANSOM!" as I watched him dash after the rabbit at warp speed with the handle of the leash bouncing on the ground four feet behind him. It didn't faze him. The rabbit was very fast and so is Ransom. I screamed "RANSOM!!" again and took off running after him as the sprinkles turned to full fledged rain. I glanced back to see John running in our direction but he was too far from us to help so he stopped and started whistling an ear splitting sound that stopped me in my tracks but not Ransom. Poor Breezy was completely freaked because she knew that Ransom was committing the worst crime of all, running away when being called. She glued herself to me and we ran as fast as my short legs could travel (which I promise you isn't fast) after Ransom and the rabbit. Finally one of John's whistles stopped Ransom for a split second, just long enough for the rabbit to slip into the under brush of the woods and then Ransom lost his mind and dove in after him. I stopped and in between panting hollered, "RANSOM you little shit!!! Come back!!!". I stood there in the rain, out of breath listening for him but I heard nothing. I looked at Breezy and said, "Go get him Breezy. Go get Ransom!" She took off and bolted up a bank and stopped at the edge of the woods. She turned and looked at me as I lumbered up the wet bank. I screamed for Ransom again with some additional expletives informing him that if I caught up with him he was going to be in the dog house permanently. Breezy just stood still. When I got to her I bent down and looked into a small opening in the brush and there I found Ransom with his leash tangled in the brush.

I had to crawl into the brush, in the rain and untangle his leash. He was looking at me with an expression that said that if he had a choice he would rather spend the rest of his life in the woods than to deal with me. I got him out of the brush and we marched back to the coach where I found John in hysterics. "What's funny?" I asked. He just pointed at the three of us and cracked up again. Finally he explained that if I could have watched the whole scene from his vantage point I would have found the humor in it too. Maybe...

The little shit :-)

Something interesting has happened to Ransom. When we rescued him a year ago he had one ear that stood up and one ear that flopped over. I thought it made him unique. We decided that when people asked what breed he is we would tell them that he is an Uno Lop. About a month ago his stand up ear flopped over and it now matches the other one. So now we tell people he is a Duo Lop. Or sometimes we say he is a Tasmanian King Chihuahua. That one always gets lots of oooooh's. What ever he is we love him all to pieces and couldn't be happier that we have him in our lives. I learned from him about how to overcome a blue day. Just jump! When something has you down, jump for joy! He does it all of the time and he never ceases to make us laugh.

John has been busy traveling this summer. He went with Bill Field up to the Midwest Charity Horse Show in Illinois for a week. Then he flew out to Oregon to attend the Summer Showcase horse show with the Arcuris. After that he and Bill and Bill's grandson Walker took the coach and went to Gettysburg, Antietam and Harper's Ferry to tour the battlefields. Walker is nine and he lives in Utah. I dropped John off at the coach the day that they left and they were all excited and ready for their adventure. I thought to myself that neither of them have spent a week with a nine year old in awhile and probably never in such a confined space but if the stars were properly aligned it could be fun for them anyway. I took the dogs and went home for a productive week at home. I got reports on their adventures several times per day. Each day John's voice was a bit more frazzled but he was having fun and really enjoying the battlefields and Bill's company.

A week after they left I drove back out to the farm where Mary lives to pick John up and when I arrived and walked up to the coach Bill staggered out with an arm load of luggage. He looked beat. "So how was your trip?" I asked. He rolled his eyes and shook his head. "This trip may have been the biggest challenge that John and I have ever undertaken together," he said as he threw bags into the back of his car. Walker was busy playing with Breezy and Ransom so I went up the steps of the coach and found John looking equally harassed. "Whipped by a nine year old?" I asked. He nodded. He told me some of the stories and I laughed until I couldn't breathe. They really did have a great time but the energy of a nine year old boy was a little much for the two of them!

Lt. William Field (left) General John T. Jones (center) and Walker

We sold our Florida home and closed on the property on July 1st. Given the amount of time that we spend in Mary traveling it didn't make much sense to hang onto the property especially since the Florida market tanked. We keep saying to each other how amazed we are that we don't have any seller's remorse and don't miss the property because we both really loved it. But then it occurs to me that we will most likely miss it in January.
I admire people who make their living in real estate. Selling a home is an emotional experience and with the market the way that it has been for the last year many people are having to give up their home involuntarily so the entire experience is a trauma and makes ours look like a walk in the park. Agents must need month long retreats and occasional psychotherapy to decompress from the roller coaster ride of buyers and sellers of real estate. From our perspective we ended up with a buyer who was just slightly insane. The only people made crazier than us over her weird behavior were her agent, who went missing midway in the process and our agent who deserves a medal of honor for not killing her. I won't drag you through all of the details but by the time we handed the attorney the keys we were more than ready to head north to Kentucky and not look back. Until January.

We will be on the road again heading west in September. The tentative plan is to tour Utah before heading to Oregon for a long visit and then going to Arizona again for the fall futurity horse show. I hope you are having a wonderful, enjoyable, exhilarating, relaxing, beautiful summer where ever you are!