Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Reining with "Roxy"

I recently started taking Reining lessons, and I'm having a blast. It has been a long time since I've ridden a horse that knows more than I do -- I'm usually schooling naughty school horses or training up a young/green horse. It has been great fun learning from "Roxy"! After I conquer spinning (in the video) without getting dizzy, it will be time for me to start learning about sliding stops -- where the horse skids to a stop from a dead gallop. On a good run the horse will slid 20 to 30 feet after stopping. Sounds like fun!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Rejects....

My good friend Michelle has been visiting me the last few days. She is a photographer, and I asked her to take Lilah's 1 year pictures. We visited the Pittock Mansion and the Portland Rose Gardens for the shots. Unfortunately, Lilah was not the most willing participant and the following pictures are some of the rejects. Enjoy! And stay tuned for some final 1 year shots.....

Lilah Rose, eating the rose?!!?!?

NO!! Leave the hat ON!

Lilah's face after a bloody tumble at the Pittock Mansion. Can the red be photo-shopped out??

Lilah, hold still....

Hold still dammit! Hey, come back here!!


This shot was taken during Lilah's 1 year photo shoot.....

Houston, we have a problem....

Not it!

The Princess has gotten her Castle!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

There's no denying it....

In our household, Summer is not officially over until we've done the Fall "adults-only" trip to Shasta. Nick and I will set sail next week to Shasta, but there's no denying it --- Fall is already here.

We have been noticing that the nights are cooling off quicker, but we were both in denial. We love hot summer weather, and we have been having so much fun playing this summer that neither Nick or I want it to end.

However, this morning I awoke to find this:

This picture is a small section of my backyard, but you can see the grey sky, the red tinge in the leaves on the tree, and the leaves already on the ground.

When I went to dress Lilah for the day, this is what she ended up in -- long pants and a hooded jacket from Aunt Michelle.

There's no turning back. No more 90 degree days until next August.

Well, now let's cross our fingers for lots of snow this winter!

Heather's New Friend

I honestly cannot go for very long without horses. About week #2 with no horses (Sweet P is still vacationing with Kate), I decided to call the owner of the barn I like to board at in the 'Couv and I asked her if she had anything she wanted help with.

And here he is:

I don't know anything about this horse, other than he's completely unbroke. Beggars can't be chosers though! :) This horse was abandoned by his owner a few months back (which, in today's economy, is getting to be fairly common) and the owner of the boarding barn would like me to get him going so that she can get him sold.
Currently, I'm conditioning him from the ground and getting him used to wearing a bridle. He tends to be a little explosive, and is very athletic (meaning when he is scared he does very agile bucks, bolts, and twists in the air) so I'll make sure not to get on him until he's 120% ready.
I'm also taking reining lessons once a week now at a different barn in the Vancouver area. Last week I got to spin on the horse until I was dizzy. I'm hoping between this appy gelding (I don't even know his name...) and the reining lessons I'll be able to get my horse fix. I'm such a junkie....

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Happy Birthday Lilah!

On September 13th, 2008, Lilah celebrated her first birthday with a friends-and-family BBQ. Honestly, the BBQ might have been more for Nick and I as in a “congratulations you’ve survived the first year” way.

Since I wasn't doing the blog when Lilah was born, here are two pictures of Lilah at 30 seconds old, before Nick and I knew things were going wrong. I was going to include some "first family pictures" shots, but to be honest, those pictures were taken in ICU, and I didn't even look like myself. The funny thing is, I always wanted to make sure I DIDN'T look horrible in those "first family shots" so I actually brought my make-up bag to the hospital so that I would be able to freshen up before those pictures were taken. Life is full of ironies....

Lilah now weighs close to 30 pounds and 2 1/2 feet tall. She says, "Mama", "Dada", "dog", "doggy", "mmmm" when eating, " and "hi." She is adventorous, tough, full of energy, and continues to be an overall happy kid.

Here are some pictures taken at 1 year old:

Hey, Nana, does this shirt look familar?

Happy baby! (I managed to get a quick pic before L ripped the hat off -- go me!)

Lilah currently has a fascination with shoes. Let's hope it doesn't develop into a Carrie Bradshaw habit.....

Lilah's preferred mode of transportation. She now grabs our ears for hand-holds. Can you her doing it to Nick? Ouch!

Anyway, the BBQ was great! Here are some pictures from her birthday

Who needs a party when you can play in a tub of water?

The Tyrrell side cousins :

Does someone need a nap?

Lilah says, "Mmmmm" . (that is seriously one of her first words.....)

Playing with Kristin in L's new car!

Cousin Kristopher & Lilah

I think parenthood is the best thing I've ever done. Even while it is enormously difficult, it is also a lot of fun. Here's to the next year! Thank you to everyone who came to Lilah's BBQ! We love you beyond words Lilah!

Brasada Ranch Intern Trip

When I was in college, I thought my dream job would be running a Equine Facilitated Mental Health program, geared toward at-risk youth. I got my feet wet in this area, then decided it was the at-risk youth was too hard-core for me. Luckily, I have learned that all kids need positive mentoring, regardless of their background, and that I can still have a program that combines youth with horses. It was from this that my Student Intern idea (while I was running the Riding School) was born.

I originally started with 2 or 3 "Interns" 2 years ago, and this past summer my assistant and I had 15 Interns volunteering at the barn. They would do everything from horse turn-outs to bathing Simon. I expected the Interns to treat it like a job -- put in a good work performance, notify me if they were not coming in, ect. They were always eager to help (well, okay, maybe not...) but they were a great group of kids who put in A LOT of hard work in the Riding School.

At the end of the summer, the Interns were rewarded with an all-expense paid trip to Brasada Ranch, which is a new resort in Central Oregon. I picked the kids that had logged the most hours, and we ended up going with 5 teenage girls. Nick and I had our own cabin, so we were still able to get away from the teen-excitement and get Lilah down for her naps. Thank goodness for that!

Here is a modge-podge of the weekend pictures as I'm trying to get up-to-date on all my posts!

The girls didn't believe me when I told them L could put her foot over her head. So when she did it in the car ride home, they had to get pictures of it....

The stairs that Lilah fell down on Day 2. Luckily she was okay, but did get some nasty bruises.

We got to visit a school horse that retired out to Central Oregon. (Lucky guy!!) He was a bomb-proof baby-beginner horse for me, and he deserves the retirement!

L's bruises....

We tried baby octopus as an appetizer for dinner one night. It tasted like seafoody-chicken....

Lilah says, "Who are these people?"

Hmmm, a picture that Lilah will hate me for. Did I really publish this on the Internet??

Wait, come back! I wanted to be friends!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Lilah FAVORITE toy.....

This is what happens about 15 minutes before bedtime....

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Lilah says, "I'm a big girl now!"


Each day Lilah becomes less of a baby and more of a toddler. In fact, this past week marked a complete transition for Lilah from the infant room to the toddler area at daycare. This means that Lilah now has recess, plays with bigger-kid toys, and makes artwork I can proudly display on the fridge. (See the blue and orange blobs in the middle of the picture.)

When the director at daycare talked to me about moving Lilah up, she informed me Lilah would not be allowed bottles, pacifers, or "anything baby-related". (That's a direct quote) Instead, L will have snacks twice daily, lunch that she can feed herself, and take her naps on a floor mat.

And while this sounds harsh, the transition was smooth and gradual, and Lilah has never been more excited to go to daycare. When I dropped her off on Friday, she lit off away from me instead of doing the usual leg-cling and cry. She even has a very good friend -- another girl one year and two inches shorter than L -- that she "plays" closely with. They are pretty cute together!

More birthday pictures

My dad's birthday is the next day after my birthday. It's pretty cool! So each year we have a birthday celebration for both birthdays. Our camera stopped working after our last beach trip -maybe due to the sand and saltwater internally in the camera? So these pictures are from my little sister Michelle. :)



So long Kate

In the realm of horses, there is an old saying : "A few wet saddle blankets makes a good horse." And even though it seems I had Kate for just a very brief period (over the summer), she did get in her share of wet saddle blankets. :)

I picked up Kate (a very green young horse) at the beginning of summer with the goal of putting miles on her. I love the greenies and thoroughly enjoyed this task. If she could talk, I think this is a short list of the things she would tell you she learned.

1. Do anything Sweet P. does

2. Bridges are a safe alternative for crossing water

3. Water can be okay to cross and I will not die if I get a hoof wet

4. Do not spook. It only gets me into more work.

5. Use my brain and think for myself. It's more fun.

6. Yes, I guess I really DO have to get in that trailer.....

7. I can be the fearless leader on trails, and bikers and humans that we encounter will not eat me.

We also got to polish up on arena riding. I would have liked to show her, but no shows matched our schedule.

I returned Kate home after Labor Day weekend. Sweet P is also with Kate. I originally planned on picking her up in a couple weeks, but now I think I might leave Sweet P for a few months and let her detox from being a lesson horse.

That means I am currently horseless. And, since I don't have a job, I am having zero interactions with horses. We'll see how long I last. I'm never very good when I get into situations likes this.....

CIMG2484 In central oregon, 5/08

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

"Occupation just not around"


So, in effort to keep this blog as an online diary for Lilah to someday enjoy, I will blog about quitting my job of the last 4 years.

Quitting at LOH has been an idea that has been a long time coming, and as time went on it become obvious that leaving was the right choice. I know 4 years is not neccesarily a long time to hold down one job, but in those four years I got connected with the Portland horse world, got to work with a wonderful selection of school horses, and watched my students grow from little girls to mature young women. Some of them even became first-time horse owners, and watching their accomplishments has been very rewarding.

Now with that sap out of the way, I am not, and was not, sad to leave LOH. In fact, I celebrated after giving my notice (and knowing I had my mentor's blessing), and I celebrated on my last day at the job. I didn't look back as I put Sweet P in the trailer and took her home with me.

I have gotten hit with the panicked, "okay, now what?" feeling when I think of the endless days stretching forward of being home with Lilah and not going to work. I can also feel the horse withdrawals sinking in. But I will keep busy researching new opportunities.  I am interviewing at places in the Willamette Valley and outside of it, and I'm researching what it would take to start my own Riding School.

I had a client tell me that she knows I'm onto to bigger and better things. I think I am too.