Monday, September 28, 2009

Settling In

So I've been riding both horses at the new barn. Tax seems relaxed...almost sedate. Maybe he can tell how much more relaxed I feel. I'm SO happy not to have to rush around cleaning stalls or riding other people's horses right now. I can just focus on him. We've already made some progress.

His trot is becoming even more consistent and I can get him to respond to the lightest of touches with my calf now. I've been using a 1,2,3 method that was recommended and works wonders with him. 1. Is the nice, light touch I'd like to use. 2. Is a demand to respond and if we get to 3. Someone's in trouble. The nice thing is now we rarely ever get to three. We worked for a week on going straight and I focused on controlling his shoulders because he sometimes throws it in to bend the wrong way, avoid the outside rein and just kind of overpower you rather than listening. He's a kind horse and doesn't really go anywhere just didn't want to work hard. Now that I can control his shoulder better he's making better contact with my outside rein and carrying himself better which allows me to ask for more impulsion from behind. So now we've been working at the trot on some pretty tight serpentines and circles and he can finally balance his huge body enough to keep that impulsion through the turns. Plus since he's listening to my legs and seat so much better I can just look where I want to go and he's headed that way. It's a good floaty feeling and a trot I can even feel comfortable sitting if I want.

Next we started working on his canter again. Again I've been reading Mugs advice on working with her reined cowhorses and trying to find ways to apply it to riding English with Tax. I realized I may have been too focused on trying to get him low and relaxed when jumpers don't really move that way. So now I'm focusing on a more uphill movement but something slow enough I can control it through a turn. I started him trotting around the rail. When he was calm and round I'd ask for the canter down the long end of the arena. First we focused on just getting him to stop without pulling on him. At the end of the long side I'd say whoa, ask for the halt and sit and settle. When he was doing that pretty consistently without breaking into the death trot or making me pull hard I added a back for a couple of steps. Once we had that I'd ask for a rollback on the fence and ask for the canter the other directions from a walk. Then stop at the end, back and rollback the other direction. It's at least making him think about the fact that I don't want him to just race around full speed. I ended by asking for a canter around the arena with a couple of smaller circles and we actually did it at a speed that didn't make me nervous. PS - the deeper sand in the arena at the new barn really helps slow him down too!

December and I have been sticking with the round pen for now. She's been on kid detail. As long as we keep her in the round pen she's SO good for the kids to ride because she's balanced and comfy and for some reason never acts up in the round pen. My niece has been coming out to ride pretty regularly and she's starting to get balanced. It's been really fun watching her go from not being able to get December to listen to the point where she can ask for all three gaits, steer and she's even starting to let go of the saddle horn (which she didn't need anyway but it made her feel better). One of the gals at the new place who does some Dressage even complimented the kid on her seat this last time. If we get her a saddle that fits instead of making her use mine I think she's going to look pretty darn good.

Sunday the niece and I spent the whole day looking at western pleasure horses for us. I still plan to sell December and get a quiet kid's horse. Niece is thinking about doing 4H and I want to try some amateur WP showing. I’d like a horse that could cross over and do some English pleasure or Hunter Under Saddle classes as well. I can't tell you how frustrating it has been to know how to ride and then to get on a horse and not be able to get it to do anything. I've never used spurs before and because I don't sit back far enough (too many years of hunt seat) I can't get most well trained WP horses to lope to save my life. Interestingly, the niece doesn't have as much trouble with it. I'd like to think maybe it’s because she's new enough she's a little more of a clean slate.

There are two I’m seriously considering. One is a little more old school in her WP movement. She’s got that slow jog and almost crippled looking lope but she’s moves out nicely when asked and could probably do okay in the English classes as well. She’s a registered paint, but solid fleabitten gray and I guess they’re working on her AQHA papers. She’s 11, calm, well trained with a ton of show experience with youth and ammy riders. She has a lot of points in APHA and won a couple of buckles over the summer in WP. She’s also done some showmanship classes with the kids. She goes in a full bridle and neck reins. She’s spur spot trained. Totally finished. I love her big beautiful calm eyes and she has a pretty tail. I love grays but really didn’t want another one right now. And she’s a couple thousand more than I wanted to spend but I think she’s priced reasonably. I could do it but it would hurt I’d have to hold off on buying show tack and the new trailer I’ve been wanting for a while.

The other is pretty well broke too and probably more versatile. She’d go English nicely but isn’t as smooth feeling as some of the WP horses. I love watching her deep slow hocks and can’t get her pretty movement out of my head. She doesn’t have as much show experience but was also quiet, kind and very forgiving of learning riders. She a big black and white tobi paint so we might want to show in the APHA circuit with her. She’s six and if I remember right we rode in a snaffle so I’m not sure if she still needs to be trained with the curb bit but I think they said she had been. One of the bonuses is that I loved the assistant trainer at this place and would feel very comfortable getting some lessons here to learn to ride well enough to learn all the WP cues. Also this mare is right in my price range and I think the owners would take an offer which means I could look for a show saddle.

Another option is to buy from the barn my h/j training is working from. They breed paint pleasure horses but I think they’re a little overpriced. I could see if they’d be willing to take an offer. The mare I took my lesson on out there was honestly the best loper of the bunch (I like a little more natural movement and not the peanut roller lope) as far as I’m concerned but they wanted as much for her as the 11 year old well trained horse and she’s a green broke 3 year old. I mean, she’s a doll and I’d throw any of my kids up on her in a heart beat and feel confident she isn’t going to do anything stupid but she’s not spur stop broke yet and she’s still in a hackamore (that won’t change until 5 I think). Anyway, so I’d have to have them put some more training into her. She’s maybe a little smaller than I would want and a little more white then the judges like (chestnut overo with max white) but really lovely movement.

Choices…such a wonderful and frustrating luxury. I guess I shouldn’t complain…I’ve met some nice people too. I wasn’t sure what to expect in the APHA western show world out here but I’ve been pleasantly surprised. We also looked at a green broke bay minimal overo mare with a bald face. I liked her too but think we need something just a little more broke. It was nice though because I think the trainer there liked us and thought we’ll be a good home. That always makes me feel good. The trainer of the black and white paint was very kind and complimented my riding even though I felt like a total goof. Something I do when I’m riding turns makes the WP horses stop dead. I think it’s because I want to wrap my legs around to move them through the turn rather than just bumping with my heels. Argh!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tales of Applejack, #1

This piece was actually inspired by an article on Fugly Horse of the Day. It is a serious and important subject. As many doubts as I may have had about posting this true and very personal account from my childhood, if it helps even one person ever who reads it then its worth it to me...

Have you ever stood in a barn full of horses at dinner time and just listened? There is a rhythm in the sounds that has always comforted me. Sometimes I stand in our boarding barn where I work in the twilight with my eyes closed and just let it wash over me. The sounds of hay being shaken and chewed, the stomping of hooves, the quiet snorts of content animals are all sounds I feel like I have known in my heart long before I met my first flesh and blood horse. As a child I dreamed of them, read every book I could get my hands on, and made entire fantasy worlds full of horses to play in. I was always a dreamy child, and uneasy around people. I was a little insecure and found more happiness in books or with animals. Other kids were often mean to me because I rarely stood up for myself. A bully once told me that he had harassed me for no other reason than that I was an easy victim.

There was never a time that I remember that I didn’t want a horse. I have no idea where it came from. I grew up in a suburban neighborhood with parents who never had pets other than an occasional cat. I was lucky that my mother, not a horse person at all, recognized I was a child that was vulnerable to the world without a horse in my life to focus me. Or maybe she was just trying to make up for her own mistakes. Regardless, the result was on my 12th Christmas, the one following my parents divorce, I finally got a pony named Applejack. My mom’s new boyfriend had horse property and it also gave her an excuse to move us in with him.

This night in particular, about a year after we got him, I had snuck out to Applejack’s paddock late to lay full length along his back. I didn’t worry about tack or a helmet. I didn’t even know any better at the time. That night I just wanted to be close to him. I was 13 and I’d been grounded again from riding. Apple was only 13.2, the perfect size for me to hop up on without a saddle. He was a bay leopard POA with a thick arched neck, a stout body and respectable length mane and tail. I thought he had a handsome face that was mostly chestnut with a big white star and large brown eyes. His neck was red roan but the rest of his body was stark white with large chestnut spots. His legs were a wild blue roan pattern with a mix of black stripes and spots. His mane and tail were striped with black and white.

As I lay there in the cool night air I could feel the warmth of his body radiating up and taking off the chill. My legs dangled down his sides and I’d scooted back to rest my skinny arms on his withers and laid my head on my arms. My long wavy hair curtained my face. There wasn’t anywhere in the world I would have rather been at that moment. My golden retriever, Misty, lay on the ground outside the paddock fence cuddled up with our rooster, Red. They were an odd pair but she was the best dog I’ve ever known and tolerated his pretend affection. He only used her so he could occasionally pull out tufts of her beautiful deep gold-red coat. He would go running back to the barn proudly and use the fur to pad his nest. For almost a half an hour that night I enjoyed my own small piece of heaven. Listening to the occasional clucks from Red and feeling Applejack breathing beneath me as he happily munched his hay I started to get drowsy.

I was half asleep and totally content when the warning came. I heard the deep baritone growl rise from Misty’s chest before I saw him coming. There was only one reason my dog ever growled. She hated my mom’s boyfriend. Golden’s are happy dogs. They love almost unconditionally and can forgive most of mankind’s stupidity. The fact that she hated anyone should tell you as much about the man as anything else I can tell you. He was not a good man. I slipped quietly from my pony’s back, landing softly, and waited for him to come. Misty slunk to my side, keeping low to the ground but silent now that I was alert.

“What are you doing out here?” he asked.

“I just came out to check on Apple. I heard a weird noise and though he might have gotten out.”

“I don’t want you near that pony until you learn to listen to me.”

“Fine,” was my tense reply. “I’ll go back to my room then.” I knew it was hopeless to try to reason with him, and I needed to get myself out of the dark yard and back near the rest of my family immediately.

“Haven’t learned yet then that I’m going to win this one, huh?” The moonlight glinted off his teeth as he smiled cruelly in the dark. I had been grounded not because I hadn’t done my homework, or for fighting with my siblings like other kids sometimes do. He’d grounded me for being upset when he tried to force me to hug him tightly enough to feel my growing breasts pressed against him through my shirt. He hadn’t broken me enough to let him do what he wanted. Now he was using Applejack to try to make me vulnerable; taking from me the thing in my life I loved most and knew I could trust. I shrugged dismissively in the dark and managed to slip through the fence boards and run back to my room in our converted garage which I shared with his two daughters. My dog chased after and planted her body in front of my bedroom door to stand guard. Sliding under the blankets I shivered but it had nothing to do with the cool night air.

Every day I would get home from school a couple of hours before my mom and her boyfriend would be off work. I rode Applejack down a busy road to a lake near our house. Every day Misty would follow us. Once we hit the levy trail I’d kick Applejack into a canter. By the time we reached the top we’d be at a dead run, his short legs flying. I’m not sure I’ve ever trusted another horse to go full out like that, and my god but he was fast. We’d run miles down the trails around the edge of the lake back to another busy road which I rode home. Fast, faster…fast enough to run away from my life for a little while. Oak trees flew past in a blur as we covered the gently rolling hills. We were caught in our own rhythm with nothing between us but my red fleece bareback pad. His feet hitting the trail kept the tempo. I pretended to be an Indian girl and he was my spirit guide. Misty would run too dragging behind sometimes so far I could barely see her but she’d catch up by the time we hit the road again. She was always loyal about staying with me.

I knew it was dangerous. No one knew I was riding so far from my home and I always went alone. I couldn’t help myself. Those rides gave me time to think and enough freedom to keep my sanity. I had a good dog, an even better pony and I was armed with the knowledge even at a young age that there was evil in the world, but you could try to protect yourself from it. It was the beginning of learning how to stop being a victim.

What my mom’s boyfriend never figured out, because he could never understand anything about love, was how much strength having Applejack lent me even when he was trying to use it against me. I don’t know if I could have fended off his advances alone for the years that I did without having horses in my life. Learning to ride taught me how to take control of a situation, when to have patience and when to be firm. It taught me to be strong for something else when I wasn’t strong enough for myself. There were times it was difficult not to let anger overwhelm me. Other times I was so numb from trying to block out the pain that anger felt like the only thing left that even made me human. When I was angry enough that it could have destroyed me, could have made me hard as stone forever, that love gave me enough heart to find my way back again.

I was finally able to plead my case to my mom that being grounded from riding wasn’t a good punishment because taking care of my horse was a responsibility and not just a privilege. It actually worked and built the foundation I needed to move Applejack to a show barn so we weren’t tied to her boyfriend when it was time to get out. When that time finally came, as ugly as it was, we were ready.

The Struggle

I was thinking today about struggling. I struggle internally with everything. I'm not sure it's something that comes across to the people who know me. Out of what I felt was necessity as a youth I taught myself to appear more confident than I am. Inside I can be a whole mess of insecurity.

So I worry... Was moving to the new barn the right choice? Do I spend too much time with the horses and not enough with my family? If I sell December will she hurt someone? Most recently I have been struggling with if I wanted to publish the first story I'd written about my life with horses. So because I'm a worry wort here's my's a little dark. The good news is it will have a happy ending. I know because I'm am the ending of the tale and that's a very good thing. I sent the story to Janet from Mugwump Chronicles and she gave me her advice. I've decided to post it so we will have that coming up shortly when I finish my last revision.

First though an update on the horses and the new barn.

Sunday morning I got a text message from Sister, "Your horse is going nuts".

Great, I thought and sent a reply "What's he doing?" I already knew she meant Tax.


I'd figured this was going to be an issue. He likes December and has been a little buddy sour. He's very vocal when he's unhappy. "They asked me to put him out in the round pen so they can clean his stall". Oh great, I thought. "I'm on my way out there now."

I grabbed my oldest and youngest boys and loaded everyone up in the car. My middle son, the only one who rides, was going to a birthday party and my husband was going to the sports bar to watch the Steelers game. I had a 1PM appointment to see a horse that I'm considering purchasing so my time was limited.

I got to the barn at 11:30 which gave me one hour to mess around with Tax. Sister pointed down to the round pen. "He's been running around down there, screaming his head off, but he seems to have worn himself out a bit. By the time I got here this morning he'd walked his stall until he was dripping sweat."

"Ok. I'm going to head down and lunge him until he drops dead so maybe the barn owner can get some sleep tonight," I called back.

"One thing before you go, the ground in the indoor arena is awesome but turn him out in there before you ride. Promise was spooky and he's usually not when I'm riding. Tax may booger on you."

I walked down to the round pen. We lunged and worked on transitions and cues. He was pretty good. I think he actually had worn himself out a little. I worked him until he was sweating again and then let him walk until he stopped blowing. After than I grabbed his lead and clipped it on. He was really good about leading and didn't try to crowd me or get tense. I walked him over to the indoor arena and let him go in there. I chased him around a bit and he looked at all the new things (barrells, poles, trail bridge), and snorted and hopped around a bit but nothing too crazy. When he settled down and went around nicely a couple times I let him stop and clipped his lead on again.

Next we went back up to the wash rack to wash off his cuts since he'd rolled in sand in the round pen. I gave him a good long bath and he stood more quietly than I ever remember him being for a bath. I got a chance to scrub him clean and even conditioned his mane and tail. Next he went back into his stall. I realized he hadn't called for December even once after I got there. It was almost like he was comforted by me being there!

Ack...I have more about the horse we looked at and my first rides on each horse at the new barn but I'm out of time for the day! I guess the posts will be prolific this week...

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Big Move

Saturday morning, 9:30 AM, I left to head out to the feed store. Promise and December needed boosters on their vaccinations which I should have done last week but figured I'd at least get them done before we loaded them in the trailer. By 10 AM I had the shots and was headed to the barn.

Arrived at the barn and my sister helped me hook up the trailer. We started with Promise. He's such a lovely boy about shots. I readied the vaccines which Sister gave him and we decided to give him a shot of ACE to keep him calm. He really doesn't like confined spaces so my straight load trailer has been an issue. While we were waiting for the ACE to take effect we got his stall clean and swept and loaded the last of our tack into the trailer.

20 minutes later Promise's head was drooping and his eyes were closed. Time to load up! I wish we'd brought the camera for this one. It was classic. We tried luring him in with sweets, calm words and gentle pressure. He'd climb in with his front feet but refused to take the last steps with his back two feet. Anybody behind him caused him to fly out backward. Kim tried wrapping the long cotton line around a metal post in the manger to give herself some leverage so he couldn't back out. He put up a brief struggle pulling his head against the halter and squatting down. I don't think I've ever seen anything so funny in my life. He wasn't violently fighting just sitting back against the rope. Eventually the ACE got to him and he just rolled right over onto his side and laid down behind the trailer. I wish I could describe it better. It was pretty funny. We were laughing too hard to get him moving forward. So we backed up and we tried again. Walked him in a circle and got him loaded halfway up. With the rope set in place I was able to smack his butt with the whip from behind until he finally hopped right in. We were ready and closed the door quickly. Once he was in he ate some grain quietly from the manger like he trailered every day. All-in-all I don't think it took more than 20 minutes which is pretty good for him.

I ran down and got December. Immunizations went quickly and smoothly. Sister lead her in the trailer and I picked up the whip behind and she decided to jump right in with her buddy. Easy as pie. We got the kids loaded up in the car and we were on our way with Kim behind the wheel. She drives nicer than I do. The trip over was uneventful and by 12 we had the first two horses at the new barn. We unloaded Promise first and he very gracefully backed out. I was so proud of him. December came crashing out like an elephant and took her first look around at the new place. She was excited to be there. Sister lead Promise to his new paddock and I followed behind to turn December out in the round pen. She's going out to pasture with two other horses so I wanted her to get a chance to run around and acclimate first.

We unloaded our tack into our fancy new indoor tack room. Next the trainer gave us a grand tour of the place. We realized we know her dad (he's a farrier) who lives onsite because he worked for my old trainer a long time ago. Once Sister had an accident at our old barn that left her with a badly broken and bleeding acrylic nail. The farrier had given her some of his tools to cut it off with so he remembered us too. We got to see the lovely indoor bathroom (exciting!) and the light switches all over the place. You can light that place up like a Christmas tree for night riding in the winter. Yay!

Next it was time to turn December out with her new pasture mates, Musty and Musket. Musty is an older Anglo-Arab and Musket's a young TB gelding. We turned her loose and she took off to explore her new surrounds with both boys trailing behind. I think she liked the run but Musket was getting a little too close for her comfort. She gave him a good double barrelled kick in the chest to let him know who's boss but I could tell she wasn't really trying to hurt him. After that things seemed to settle right down. She let them smell her and then they all wandered off to see if they could find something to eat.

That had gone so well we decided to head back to get Tax right away. We still had two stalls to clean as well as dusting out our old tack lockers. Back at the barn I gave the last of my hay and my good tarps to the barn owner since I won't need them. I got Tax out and gave him some ACE too since he's decided recently that he doesn't want to trailer. We got everything cleaned up while we waited for it to take effect. Then it was time for the real theatrics of the day. We founght with Tax for about 30 minutes. I think I was trying to hard to drag Tax in from the front and Sister hadn't gotten enough pressure going in the back. He fought to back away from the trailer and since his head was confined he freaked and reared up. He came down on the trailer door and cut his face. Fortunately they are shallow cuts. Then he jumped up and continued pulling until his halter snapped. I should have let him go but at the time I was thinking I didn't want him to think he could rear up whenever he wanted. After we chased him down and got a new halter on him I asked Sister to take his head. When he pulled back I asked her to go ahead and give him some rope instead of fighting. Oh well, you live and learn, I guess. Then I got behind and popped him a couple of good ones with the whip and he finally jumped in. I slammed the door shut and had to push his big butt forward another inch to get it closed. The moral to this story is that I'm selling this stupid straight load and buying a slant even if my hubby doesn't like it. All three of them just jump straight into a slant load.

I drove to the new barn as slowly and carefully as possible. Sister needed to take her car since the new barn is only a mile from her new house. When we got there Tax unloaded fine and began his ritual of screaming at the top of his lungs at all the new horses. I hope he doesn't do that every single time we go to a show. We put him out in the round pen and let him run around until he calmed down. I unloaded the last of our things from the old barn and got his stall ready for him. He's got a nice big box stall with a window to the inside of the barn and so he can see out the back to the outside as well. Finally I was able to take him to the wash rack and wash off his various scratches and dress them with antibotic ointment. The bad news is that he could see December in the pasture from there so they spent some time calling each other. Then it was time to check out his new stall. When he finally settled down enough to grab a bite to eat I unhooked the trailer. It was 4:30PM by then and the kids were beat. I was beat too and it was time to head home for the night.

I'll write about Sunday later!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Trail Riding

I decided to forego the 12 mile trail ride with Tax since he was just off his injury. Instead we went to out local lake and did an easier trail ride just he and I.

I'll review what went right and then talk about what could have gone better...

When we got there he was calmer than he usually is when we go out to a new location. He has been to this spot before but not by himself and we took a new trail this time to avoid the worst of the mountain bike traffic. Tacking up and mounting went very smoothly. Most of the day he remained fairly calm and I got him down to the water line. He didn't want to go in the water but we got pretty close. He also didn't try to crush any mountain bikers or hikers like last time. He didn't jig a single step on the way out or the way back to the trailer. On the way back he was relaxed enough that I stopped steering and made him pick the trail for a while. He actually had to work on watching where he puts his feet since I wasn't there to direct or save his ass by balancing him up when he tripped. And you know what? He did it! I even thought I felt him shift his weight back a couple of time to navigate a downhill slope instead of leaping off it as per usual.

So, what we need to work on was he did not want to go down the trail by himself. Lot of things were scary and needed to be looked at. Most of the time he just stopped and stared. A couple of times he looked and then started backing rapidly down the trail. I swear it felt like he'd back off a cliff to avoid the scary (harmless) stick lying in the trail ahead. What I did was let him look for a minute without any pressure, then I'd put some leg on. If he didn't move forward I'd give him a bump with my heels. If he started backing up all heck would break loose and I'd really thump him and over and under him until he was at least stopped but preferably moving forward. This got him past everything and we needed the dramatics less and less as the day wore on.

I met a really nice couple who let me follow them for the first 20 minutes or so until our paths parted ways (they went up to an overlook and I wanted to hit the beach). Hopefully we'll see them again. They were very understanding when they came across my horse stopped dead in the middle of the trail and very kindly went around. We got back to the trailers about the same time so we shared some stories and they loaded up and left while I ate my lunch. Thanks also to the mountain bikers who were all very kind about getting off the narrow trails and letting the beast pass. Oh, and to the two kind, but timid ladies who tried to help me when loading back into the trailer didn't go well.

So, as for loading... Tax usually loads okay but not great. Last Sat he finally realized that when I load alone he can take advantage of the fact I can only cover one side. We ended up with a brawl but I got him in after almost 40 minutes. Thank goodness my rope held out. I had my long rope through the window so I could control his head and I got his feet moving with my whip. He reared and hopped around alot. Finally dripping sweat and exhausted he got in and it was smooth from there. I'm worried my driving has pissed him off so now I'm really trying to drive carefully. I tried to load him again this Friday and I had the same battle. Sigh... I did finally get him loaded but I was too exhausted to drive anywhere. I made him stand for a minute and then let him out. This should make moving this weekend pleasant. At least I'll have assistance.

I want to write more about the new barn so I'll do that soon. Also, a little change in format. I'm thinking about writing some stories about my beginnings with horses. Hopefully you guys will like it. Oh, and new pics soon too. I was watching my neice ride Tax for the first time on Saturday and I realized his neck muscles have really started to develop nicely. He looks good! His injuries have all healed well and it's pretty much back to business as usual.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Riding Again

Tax's puncture wound is closed now and healing nicely. The swelling in his chest is gone and the hair is growing back on his various scrapes. All of that meant starting slowly last night with some walking. We walked around the rail and then practiced bending around the new poles in the arena. He seemed to like that. He even felt good enough to start giving me a hard time when he heard the dinner carts going around. The mosquitoes came out as soon as the sun went down and it was time to call it quits for the night.

I'm still hoping to trail ride this weekend even if we have to take it easy and forego the 12 mile organized ride. The only thing that makes me a little nervous is that we may be trail riding alone for the first time. He's always braver with a buddy but I know we can do it. I haven't been out alone since I was in my early twenties. Scary, yes, but good scary...exciting.

I fell off that stupid gray mare my velcro-y western saddle. At the new barn she's going out to dry pasture with lots of running room and getting no grain or other feed except hay and vitamins. If that doesn't solve the problem I'm done riding her.

Promise is doing really well at following his nose these days. He isn't throwing his head in protest every time you move your hands either. His gaits are also looking much more balanced and consistent. Way to go, Kim! Now if we can keep him from breaking cross ties every time there is a sound in the barn we'll be doing great.