VAN GILDER ARABIANS, LLC

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WINTER 2008

 

Straight from the Horse’s Mouth

Winter ‘08 Update from Kilauea Fashion

Endurance Horse and HLM*

(*Hot Little Mare)

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Although it is still very wintery weather, Kathleen and I have been working out for the new ride season.  Actually, Kathleen informed me that she has been going to the gym throughout my time off but with all the layers of warm clothes she has on, I can’t see any difference in her physique.  She insists that she has developed some “big guns” and is aiming for “Linda Hamilton arms” like in Terminator before sleeveless shirt weather.    I have just been standing around eating and wandering around the pasture doing a bit of foraging; I have not been exercising that is for sure.  When it is below zero I just don’t feel like running around.  Time to get going though and I know it is serious because I got my “studded snow tires” put on Wednesday after three weeks of lunging and riding barefoot. 

     I am just happy to be working again.  In fact, I am so happy I haven’t even put on a single “Fashion Show” although I did consider a little buck last week but when the snow is 2 feet deep it is just too much work.  My vacation time was much too long for me this year because I got hurt pretty bad at the end of September and was laid off two months early.  I got hurt when I was out in the pasture with Annie, my daughter; we got into a little argument and she kicked me in the shoulder with shoes on.  It wasn’t intentional but she really injured me.  It was just bad timing I guess but I ended up with 30+ stitches and several weeks of intensive first aid 3 times a day.  When it happened I didn’t even want to walk and Kathleen thought my shoulder was broken when she found me.  Kathleen stayed pretty calm while she got me into the grassy paddock and called the vet but while we waited she really broke down.  I always knew Kathleen loved me (I am pretty adorable) but I really found out how much while we waited for Dr. Ames.  She spent a lot of time praying and she cried really hard (which scared me and the dogs) so when Dr. Ames said my shoulder wasn’t broken I decided to be a good patient so she could feel better.  I listened to what Dr. Ames said we should do and I followed his orders exactly.  Well, almost exactly, at the end of a month of shots and hot packs and cold packs and being in a 14 x 14 foot space I finally had had enough and decided that Kathleen was not taking out that last stitch!  You know I have always said she cracks me up and you should have seen all the ways she tried to sneak up on me and get that stitch out but I always saw what she was doing and put a stop to it.  She said she had the last laugh though because Dr. Ames came back and had to tranquilize me to get it out so I ended up having another shot! 

     While I was on medical leave, my new Advantage saddle came in the mail.  I got to try it on last fall but I didn’t feel good enough to go do a ride in it.  Now that we are riding again I am paying more attention to it.  I saw myself in the horse trailer windows last week and was shocked at how chubby I looked in the reflection.  I was pretty sure it was the saddle…I think it makes my butt look big!  Kathleen, however, says that I have gotten plump while off and that my butt is big!  Sigh, I am going to have to work out regularly again to get my great figure back…being a big boned girl is tough.  I am glad Kathleen is a big boned girl too and understands having to work out and eat right to stay athletic looking.  Kathleen and I are soul mates I think…we have a lot in common…maybe that is why we get along so well.

     I have been going around and around in the deep snow in the round pen and have it all chopped up.  There are a couple spots where the snow blower made the snow 3 or 4 feet deep in there!  I have also been going back and forth in the deep snow in the pasture and up and down the hills until I am sweating and puffing.  Kathleen really ticks me off.  She won’t let me use the perfectly good horse trails I made in the pasture!  She keeps making me go through that deep unmarked snow making new trails all over the place.  The pasture is almost as chomped up as the round pen.  I bet we will be going around the neighbor’s orchard next; I suppose the deep snow is the equivalent to horsie Pilates and will help me get my figure back!  Oprah may have Bob Greene but I have Kathleen!  At least by the time we can get my trailer out and go ride with Smooth I won’t look so out of shape.  I don’t want him to start looking at other mares!

    

 Today at the end of our ride Kathleen mentioned my annual winter shave.  She was surprised to see I was already shedding. I don’t know why everyone thinks the only critter in the know about the weather is that silly groundhog rodent.  Next weekend I get my winter haircut and then I have to wear a blanket all the time but it is warmer than being wet all the time now that we are riding harder. 

     We are aiming to be in shape to do the 50 at HOTR and maybe even the 75 depending on the weather and our training conditions.  Hope you are all finding breaks in the weather to get out and ride.  I can’t wait for a new ride season; this year we are trying to get my 1000.  I wonder what that is?

 


 

SPRING 2007 - Kileaua Fashion's Newest Report

Fashion finished her new article and asked me to send it along to all of you.  Enjoy another installment of “Straight from the Horse’s Mouth” J

 A Mt Adams Ride Report

From Kilauea Fashion

 With Dedication to Smooth

Hey-la-day-la my boyfriend's back
He's been gone for such a long time
Hey-la-day-la my boyfriend's back
Now he's back and things'll be fine
Hey-la-day-la my boyfriend's back

 

     As some of you may know, I had a really bad hair day at MRRT ride this year.  Smooth was still on the recovering from injury list and I am afraid I didn’t handle the separation as well as I did at HOTR.  Kathleen, my personal trainer, would not let me finish the ride.  I am incredibly embarrassed and don’t want to talk about it. 

     This weekend Smooth, my boyfriend, came with me to Mt Adams Ride! Last year at Mt Adams was my first 50 mile ride (and only my second ride).  The  P & R people and the vet’s made a big deal over me so I was excited to go back and show them how fit and strong I am this year.  I enjoyed the trip so much more with Smooth to talk to in the trailer and spend the night with on our matching hi-ties.  Smooth told me that our friends Don and Terry, who rode with me on Pedro and Bandit at HOTR ride said I am a “hot little mare” (HLM).  That’s a good thing isn’t it?  Doesn’t that mean I am really cute like a Hollywood starlet?  Gosh all this exercise and eating right is really paying off…Kirstie Alley, eat your heart out!  I can’t believe Valerie Bertinelli is getting an endorsement before me, humph, I don’t think she is a HLM. 

Smooth and I started the morning really relaxed.  We got to sleep in because the 50’s did not start until 7am.  We had a nice leisurely warm-up and were walking out to the trail in a big line of horses when all of a sudden the horse in front of us just lost it!  He reared and crow hopped and bucked and dumped his rider in the grass and took off!  Well that just scared the roan right off me!  I am sure no horse would do that unless there was danger. Therefore, I felt it was critical that I become extra vigilant to protect my herd.  I got into the ready position all good athletes assume when they need to be able to jump in any direction in microseconds.  Kathleen did not seem pleased about my preparedness.  Quite frankly, I think she was being a bit ungrateful.  After all, if the same monster attacked us as that horse in front of us I would have been able to save her life. I would have made a valiant effort to bring Kathleen with me and not leave her as monster food.  Some people just don’t know how good they have it, you know (or eh? as my Canadian friends would say).

     Once we got going again down the trail I realized that there were, once again, lots of horses in front of us.  I spent the 13 mile orange loop trying to educate Kathleen on the concept of endurance race.  She just doesn’t seem to grasp the whole concept of competition.  She and I bickered the whole loop.  She is the alpha mare (we established this when we first met – she may be short but she is one tough human) so I kept losing the arguments and for “time-outs” she made me do my least favorite gait – the walk.  All I have to say about that is…well, I can’t say it in polite company.  When I came into the first vet check I pulsed down to 56 and she acted like it was a D on my report card or something.  I guess that is an occupation hazard of having a teacher for a personal trainer; they always want you to learn something and do better!

     Smooth and I went out on the blue second loop alone which was really nice. We enjoyed trotting along together for several miles.  However, I suddenly realized there were still horses in front of us.  It is a good thing I pay attention.  Smooth, Kim and Kathleen never seem to know when there are horses just in front of us.  I make sure they figure it out though and I get a kick out of watching the horses ahead hear me coming “snort snort snort” down the trail after them.  They don’t call me Kilauea for nothing!

     On the third yellow loop I figured something out.  Just by accident I forgot to keep asking to go faster.  I was chatting with Smooth and there weren’t any horses in front or behind us so I temporarily forgot we were in a race.  And what do you know, Kathleen started crooning to me and telling what a good girl I was and then she told me I could go faster!  Smooth and I went into a big extended trot and made some great time in the woods. Boy was that fun.  Of course we caught up with some horses and passed them and then I thought “yee-haw!  Let’s kick it!” but as soon as I started pushing the pace Kathleen must have realized I was going faster and she pulled me up and we were bickering again.  Shortly, Smooth got me in another conversation and I settled down and “BINGO!”  Kathleen lets me speed up again!  Boy have I got her number!   Ha!  I can manipulate her!  All I have to do is act real calm and I get to go faster!  By this time we had arrived at the vet check but I could hardly wait to try out this new strategy on the last loop.  Kathleen was happier with my 44 pulse scores at these two vet checks and that nice pulse taker lady said I was an impressive athlete.  Smooth said I should not let it go to my head because he was doing just as well as I was.

     We started the 4th orange loop again and I put my plan into action.  I walked flat footed and acted real nonchalant like…casually gazing up the trail as if I am not in a hurry at all.  Sure enough Kathleen let me start trotting faster and faster.  I decided to test my strategy.  Keeping my head down and without any pulling I broke into a canter and guess what?  She didn’t pull me up!  Smooth was right with me and we were having a ripping good time doing a very brisk canter up the hill to the water trough!  When we got there I acted like I get to canter as fast as I want at every ride and calmly got a nice big drink.  Then we head out and I test my strategy again and criminy she lets me canter!   I realized I would have to be careful now so Kathleen wouldn’t catch on that I was manipulating her.  I tricked her by pulling up every time she asked and walking the steep down hills and slow trotting through the little windy trails with the trees on each side. That was the most fun I have ever had at a ride. Kathleen said we cut 20 minutes off the ride time on that loop and I got to pass bunches of horses!  Wooohooo!

     At the end of the ride Smooth and I trotted right across the finish line and I swear I felt like I could do it all again!  Then we went for our last vet check.  The vet called me a “Superstar”!  I had a 40/40 CRI and apparently I still looked like a HLM when I trotted out because everyone “ohhhed and awwwed” and asked about my breeding.  I could tell Kathleen was really proud of me and that I had done a good job. 

     I asked Smooth about the whole “Sunriver Hundred” thing Kim and Kathleen keep talking about.  He doesn’t know what it is either but I am beginning to think it is a church because Kathleen said I am going to “get some religion” and “come to Jesus”.  Gosh I hope she isn’t planning to get us involved in some sort of brain washing cult; I really don’t have time for it because I have a lot of miles to do now that I know how to trick Kathleen into going faster. 

See you all at the vet checks! 

 

 

SPRING 2007 - STRAIGHT FROM THE HORSES MOUTH!

Home on the Range 2007 

A Ride Report from Kilauea Fashion 

     I had never been to HOTR before this year.  Last year my personal trainer, Kathleen, said I was still too fat.  Too fat, can you believe that?  I am so fit and trim this year that I think I should be getting some endorsements from Jenny Craig or maybe beet pulp manufacturers!  Anyway, this ride had many more horses than I have ever seen at a ride and I have been to five!  There were horses and trailers as far as I could see in camp.  Kathleen said something about more than 100 horses on our ride but all I know is my best friend, Smooth wasn’t there.  I was pretty sad when he didn’t come and ride in the trailer with me.  He wasn’t at the camp when we got there either.  There were horses all around me including a very noisy one with VERY big ears but no Smooth.  I am mature though and I know how to behave even if I am by myself.  Kathleen kept giving me carrots and telling me what a good girl I was, as if standing quietly tied and eating is some major accomplishment, but if it will get her to give me carrots I can indulge her.  Still makes me snicker though…carrots just for camping with a couple hundred horses around me; that Kathleen really cracks me up sometimes.

     The morning of the ride Kathleen introduced me to Bandit and Pedro.  Turns out they are on my PNER team, the Northern Lytes, and are pretty nice guys from BC.  We rode together all day; I even finally got used to them saying “eh?” at the end of every sentence!  They waited for me at the start when I got a little nervous.  It still bugs me having all those silly horses come up behind me at the start.  What if they step on me?  What if they bump into me?  Why are they so upset?  Should I be upset?  I don’t feel upset but I think I might be missing something here.  Anyway, I finally released all my tension with a really big “yahoo” buck and was able to start concentrating on what was in front of me instead of behind me.  Basically what was in front of me was sage, grass, rocks and lots and lots of horses!  All those horses to pass!  And Kathleen kept telling me to slow down and stay behind Bandit.  Bandit tried to explain that we are supposed to take it easy the first ride of the year as we are northern horses and are all hairy and not in our best shape but I still think we could have been going faster.  I tried to get them to speed up every chance I got but Kathleen kept pulling me up.  Then you are not going to believe what she did!  She let other horses pass us!  I was flabbergasted!  I am certain this is a competition and I am supposed to pass the other horses not let them pass me.  I certainly let her know what I thought of her decision.  I tried to get Pedro and Bandit to mutiny with me.  Pedro was all for it but Bandit continued to be the voice of reason and told us to stay at his pace. 

     We did one loop and came into the vet check where I saw Smooth’s personal trainer, Kim.  She gave me a carrot because I got all A’s on my vet card; Kim is one of my favorite people and not just because Smooth likes her.  I told her to tell Smooth I was still his girl even though I was riding with Bandit and Pedro.  That was the shortest vet check I have ever had but it was ok because it was kind of cold and I was just as glad to get back out there trotting.  I noticed we passed several horses in the vet check because they called my number and said #133 is down and a bunch of other horses were still standing there so I wanted to take advantage of that and beat them onto the trail. 

     Pedro, Bandit and I headed out onto the trail and again I could see all kinds of horses way out there in the desert that I was sure we should hurry up and pass.  I was feeling super-duper and really felt we should pick up the pace but same old story with Kathleen.  She kept telling me to take it easy, trot slower, quit cantering and I was starting to realize that Kathleen didn’t know this is a race!  I figured out she must think we are just on a ride with our new friends.  Nothing else could explain her odd behavior.  I spent the whole loop trying to convince her to let me speed up and all she did was complain about her arms getting tired; as if she had no choice in the matter.  Once again we returned to camp and I noticed I passed several horses at the P&R point.  We had a nice long rest and snack at this vet check.  I learned a new trick at this check.  When Kathleen gave me those nasty electrolytes I spit them back out right onto her face. It was really funny and made Pedro and Bandit howl but Kathleen didn’t laugh.  I was really starting to be friends with Pedro and I like Bandit but I saw him hit Pedro in the head for trying out his mush so I know he will never be my boyfriend.  Smooth lets me eat his mush all the time and he NEVER hits me in the head.  Poor Pedro had a headache the rest of the day, eh?  Oh geez, now they got me saying it.

     The rest of the day continued with me lobbying for speed and Kathleen lobbying for a slower, steady pace.  I finally started snorting my frustration and stomping my feet which caused all the humans with us to laugh out loud.  They obviously don’t speak equine because if they did they wouldn’t have laughed at what I was calling them.  The final straw was the last mile when Kathleen made me walk, you heard me right, walk into camp.  I shudder when I think of all the horses that passed us in that mile.  I walked circles around Pedro and Bandit just to show everyone that I certainly had the energy to go faster.  Why did I have to go slow the whole fifty miles?  I had plenty of get up and go left and we were all done.  I wasn’t even tired and know my vet scores were good because Kathleen and Kim kept calling me the “wonder horse” in the vet checks.  I could have gone and done another loop.  As we walked in Kathleen said something about a “hundred”.  I don’t know what that is but I sure hope it means I get to go faster!