my life in spurs

Finally got around to organizing the tackroom at my humble barn. The ‘best old lady horse in the world’ aka Rodney is home with me for a while. Rod’s not exactly a ranch horse…he’s a show horse, so when he moves, he come with lots of diva horse show equipment. I needed to clean house and make room for his supplies.

I found these handy racks and thought they were perfect for the abundance of English and Western bits I’ve accumulated over the years.

As I sorted and sneezed through the dusty boxes and trunks in the tack room, I kept discovering spurs amid the 20+ years of horse show remnants. Lifting the treasures onto the rack, my mind’s eye pictured the best moments spent with the Sprout, the favorite horses, and the wonderful horse-show friends.

Here is my spur journey.

The Sprout’s first pair of youth spurs. We had a mature gelding named Arizona. We did everything with that horse…he was fast as greased lightening!

Wasn’t long until our horizons expanded and we started riding English. Living in West Texas, riding a ranch gelding….WHY did we want to do that? Lands…we didn’t have a lick of sense, but we thought we should. We even jumped a little. The Sprout broke her arm in an easy fall off the gelding. I splinted her arm with a paint stirrer and some torn fabric strips for the drive to the hospital. We were unfazed. The Sprout wanted me to ride with her, so I got a horse too.

We improved our horses and our horsemanship skills bit by bit. We got some help from a trainer named ‘Polly’. She gave us these spurs to use with our little gray western pleasure mare. I haven’t seen Polly in years. She moved to Missouri….I even visited there after her move. We lost track of each other.

The Sprout graduated to her very own pair of ball-spurs with her initials. Probably was a birthday or Christmas present. These were great spurs to use in horsemanship classes. The long shank enables the rider to keep his feet in the proper position in the stirrups.

These spurs kinda puzzled me…..they look like a hybrid between an English and a Western spur. Don’t think they’d do too much to get a horse to move, but they are lovely and feminine. I rode with these for a while.

Ready to call the SPCA now, are you? These are called ‘rock-grinders’. Although these look very beat up, I don’t remember using them but a handful of times. I don’t recommend these spurs ’cause they can get a rider in trouble in a hurry, but if you ride a very dead-sided horse who will not move off of your leg, you can remind the horse to move in these. Just one ride with these amazingly restores the horse’s memory.

These are the spurs I ride Rod in much of the time today. They’re just a nothin’-special clover leaf spur. Sometimes he moves OK off of these….sometimes he needs a stiffer reminder. Most riders like to have different types of spurs available to meet the changing requirements of getting a horse to move correctly. If a rider uses the same spur every day, the horse gets a little dull to them and it’s time to change things up.

These are the latest spurs to enter my life. They were given to the grandson by a family friend. Who knows if he will want to ride, but I’ve been working on an arena and finding the perfect pony….just in case. It’s best to plan ahead.

Why would I rather clean the tack room at the barn than clean my house? The Texan wants to know.

Now move along, or I’ll have to use the rock-grinders on you!

Spurry love to all.

he’s here

The grandson entered the world last Friday night and here are the promised pictures.

Baby G….8lbs 13oz

Sprout #2 did an outstanding job under nail-biting circumstances. She’s a total champ. I probably annoyed her, but she was understanding of my concern. I think describing her labor as loooooooooooong wouldn’t be an overstatement. Thanks to all who prayed us through this process. We are beyond grateful. Thank you, thank you…..mmmmmm-wah (big kiss)…can’t thank you enough!!

baby G and KK

Thought I was gonna have to break a few arms to get my chance to hold the baby. Such a big, sturdy boy! Do you see gratitude oozing from my every pore? Oh, and I NEED a haircut!
Holding a newborn just makes one happy, doesn’t it? Is there any better feeling?

Sprout #1….now he’s Uncle W. Looks like he swallowed a canary!

Took the opportunity yesterday to bombard the recovering Sprout and Son-in-law’s house with much of my photo paraphernalia. I was hankering for some nifty newborn photos. Never mind I know NADA about taking photos of infants….just jump right in…do it…get the feet wet.

After some unfortunate attempts to take baby’s picture in a stupid basket (with a handle that obscured his face), and trying to balance Grandson in the seat of my western saddle (he’s not fond of tooled leather and an abundance of silver)….I took his photo with a huge, scary-looking bear!

Cute feet

Doesn’t matter that said bear looks ready to devour him…Grandson looks peaceful enough. It’s an honest and solid first attempt. Photographed with love.

Scary bear really looks ravenous in the above photo, but baby G is so brave, he’s smiling. Take that, scary bear!

Oh lands!….There’s lots to learn, isn’t there?

The little smile captivated me…so I had to do a close up…even though it shows my limits as a newborn photog.

The Sprout wanted to keep Baby G awake some during the day yesterday hoping he might sleep a little better during the night. I think we accomplished that, Sprout.

He was jostled, bounced, maneuvered, balanced, and we might have bumped his head into the handle of the stupid wicker basket. Hopefully, he’ll hold no memories of the trauma.

Promise me…….you won’t ask the Sprout about the Boy Scout axe photo prop. It’s better left alone for now.

Smiling love to all.