Tuesday, March 30, 2010

We're going OT today to talk about blogger names

Buckpony asked where I got my unusal blogger name and I wanted to share. Here's a couple of more things you may not have known about me. :) I'm not an extremely emotional person. I tend to be very black and white and value reason and justice over people's feelings. A large part of my family is from Russia and I was raised by people who have strong opinions about the value of individual rights and capitalism. I share this because I think it sometimes surprises people that before I had kids young my plan was to join Peace Corps. I tell my very liberal friends that I'm not any less compassionate just because I believe the government taking away from one man to give to another is a type of sanctioned slavery. I believe that true compassion lies not in giving to those in need but in educating people to take advantage of the opportunites they have or to create opportunites when they have none. My exception to this is children and animals who are dependent on others for their care without a voice or any say in what sometimes happens to them. When I give to charities it is to those two types of causes. Regardless, I have always wanted to be some kind of advocate and volunteer and I admire greatly those who are able to do so on a bigger scale than I am able to achieve. Hopefully this will all make sense in a minute, because it does tie back to my blogger name. :)

I actually stole the name Fyyah from a short story by a man name Andrew Vachss. The story, Underground (the book is Born Bad), from is about a futuristic world where everyone has to live underground and children are no longer raised by their parents. Instead they join gang like groups of other children (hence FyyahChild) to survive in their strange times. Fyyah is a Dancer which is actually a gang of children fighters who learn a type of marial arts that looks like dancing but is deadly. The story deals with the question, as do all of the stories in this book, about whether those who would hurt others are born or made the way they are. What happens in a world with no biological families? It seems to be a question Vachss has explored throughout his career at times supporting the theory that abuse is cyclical and creates monsters but at times also exploring the theme that some people are just born evil with no other reason for it. It's unfortunately a theme that has also touched my life, as you all know if you've been reading my stories.

Vachss isn't a writer for everyone. He's also definately one of the most interesting people I know of. His stories are extremely dark and often deal with child abuse in all of its ugliest forms (prositution, slave trade, sexual and phyiscal abuse, etc.), crime and ultimately revenge. I like to think that his protagonists are a portrayal of the type of man he could have been if he ended up on the other side of the law. His novels while brutal have a heart and sense of family (not blood relatives but the family we choose) and the things that tie people together that have always touched me.

Currently a child advocate attorney in New York he worked as a younger man in Biafra during the civil war before the country became what we know of as Nigeria trying to pursuade the government to allow aid workers to feed the children while the country was starving millions of citizens. His stories about Biafra and the injuries he sustained there make me respect him more than anything. Just as he's an advocate for children he is also an advocate of dogs especially those known as "agressive breeds." As with children he's been quoted as saying with dogs "you get what you raise." He's also been involved with harness racing and owned a couple of horses as well as boxing. He's been a spokesperson for Megan's Law, and been seen on Oprah discussing the topics of abuse and abduction. He's an extremely smart and empathic man and some of the most haunting scenes in his novels are based on his own real observations and experiences. I have two that come to mind. One is an image that replays in one character's mind of seeing a Biafrian woman stop running long enough during a bombing to swoop down and pick up an orphaned child basically adopting it without a second thought. Both the charater and myself are touched that while people can be so terrible there is still hope, still sacrifice. Another scene is one that he actually used in court to get a little girl to testify in front of the man who abused her. She is terrified of speaking the truth in front of him because he had of course threaten to hurt her and her family if she ever told. Vachss realized she couldn't see well without her glasses and had her remove them before speaking in court so she couldn't actually see the man and was able to sucessfully tell her story. Later he used this in one of his stories. He's also sucessfully used dogs to help his child victims open up and be brave as well as to rehabilitate children who needed to learn empathy.

Here's a link to his Wikipedia page, and one to his own webpage, Down in the Zero.

What about you guys? Any cool stories about where you're blogger names came from? Or maybe the names of your animals? I have to come up with a new show name for Tax and I'm stumped. My favorite I've seen lately is Mr. Darcy, like from Pride and Predjudice. I'd steal that in a second if it wasn't a local horse. :)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

AT LAST! And the award also goes to...

So, I admit it; I don't even read 15 blogs, but I'm going to do my best here. There are a few blogs I read that I want to acknowledge.

Beautiful Blogger Award....

So here's the deal folks, should you choose to accept this award, you can save the image and post it on your blog. You should let us know 7 things about you that we may not have known before. Then pass it on. You're supposed to pass it on to 15 blogs, but hey, I didn't. I think it's nice to keep it circulating and acknowledge even just a few, but that's just me. I'm sure the blog karma gods will decide my fate upon my inevitable demise. :)

http://blogofbecky.blogspot.com/ - Just pure comedy genious. Seriously. If you want to laugh along with someone who has a wonderful ability to not take herself too seriously then this one is for you. I love that she calls her baby Dragon Monkey and her husband the Bean. I'm going to have to come up with better nicknames for my family members. I'm inspired.

http://promisebaby.blogspot.com/ - Just a girl currently hanging in the there dealing with the ups and downs of an injured horse. They've been together a long time and I like reading her updates. Also, recently she posted a nice short non-fic story.

http://pikeroadgirl.blogspot.com/ - This award has to be for the cutest kids ever. Seriously those flaming red curls just kill me.

http://shanstergoatsnmore.blogspot.com/ - Shanster updates about her life complete with horses, goats and a furry husband. She makes me laugh regularly and for that she deserves an award.

http://horselessnut.blogspot.com/ - Jayke is horseless right now but there is no lack of cool horse stories from her childhood. Also, you get cool receipes and ideas about sustainable eating. I've made friends with the family who owns one of the biggest local farms and I'm all for supporting local eating too. I recently got to pick asparagus out of a field by hand; how cool is that? Plus when the zombies attack (and they will) and I need a place with lots of food to hole up...I know where to go. But enough about me...check out her blog.

http://dudethedramaqueen.blogspot.com/ - Notes from a rider just starting to show in reining. It may be a different event than me but I like reading about someone else out there showing and having fun at it.

http://crankymare.blogspot.com/ - I admire Amy's determination. She wanted to ride so she's doing it. It doesn't always go as well as she'd like, but she never gives up. :)

http://retrainingaracehorse.blogspot.com/ - She hasn't posted much lately. Don't know what's going on but she's knowledgeable and also dealing with a big gray OTTB like me. I like that she really thinks about the horses first. I usually learn something which is wonderful.

A relaxing ride...

Tax is really doing well. Sundays and Mondays are his days off with the trainer so Sunday morning my sister and I took him and Promise for a little hack down the road and through the field near the barn. We warmed up in the arena and he was so relaxed we rode out of the driveway on the buckle with a super loose rein. When we got to the field it was still pretty saturated from all the recent rain and we had to go through some puddles which have been a challenge in the past. His usual puddle technique involves getting to the edge, spinning and running from the terrifying glittery horse devoring water monster. This time Promise calmly walked through and Tax followed calmly right after. It was so awesome.

Sister talked to the trainer who is still loving riding Tax. She got him doing flying lead changes now, and his canter is actually comfortable! He's getting shoes all aroud this week. Can't wait for show season to really get started. I just printed the calendar of the local club I want to join with him and I'm starting to highlight the shows I want to discuss with the trainer so I can set up my calendar and budget.

I start my lease on Charlie next week. Grace is almost ready to show. I even got the kiddo a rail shirt and a showmanship outfit. I just need to figure out what I'm going to wear and get a show halter, bit and reins. I'm also looking at a calendar of the paint shows. Looks like I'll be doing some travelling. Why on earth did I have to go and use most of my vacation time for that surgery again? At any rate it should be one fun summer. I feel like all the dreams I had as a kid are finally coming true.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I know...

I know, I know...I still owe people awards. :) I'm terrible. Starting back to work has been more of an adjustment than I thought it would be.

December decided to get sick on the trainer who's leasing her so right now I'm trying to work on figuring out what's going on with her. They had her tested for strangles and the flu because her nose is running badly. Stangles was negative and we're waiting on flu. She's had a flu vaccination in the the last 6 months so I think that's unlikely and she's not running a fever. She's eating, but her weight is down. We're thinking maybe she has an abcessed tooth, although when she had them floated in December the vet didn't notice anything. I don't know how fast they can develop. If anyone else has any ideas, let me know. I'm meeting the vet out there this week.

I went out to watch Tax with his new trainer last Sat. He looks really good. She thinks he's got A circuit potential, especially his trot. In two weeks he's already much lighter in front, and he's starting to carry himself in a frame again. I love watching him get back into condition. I'll have to take new pics. He's a completely different color again this year now that his winter coat is shedding. He's much more fleabitten/roan than I expected because he was so light last year. I've decided to keep him for now. The trainer really wants to show him in our local H/J club to see how he does. I've got to find out how to become a member so we can earn points. It should be fun and dramatically increase his value which I can't complain about.

So, now I've got to make sure to keep December healthy so they can continue using her. I've got Grace who I will probably take out of training and she will be our open show, trail horse. I've got Tax in training to show and I'll be leasing Charlie to show in the APHA shows. I have got to get a budget together. This could be a ridiculously expensive summer.

That means I may be looking for another part time barn job again! At lease we have more hours of daylight and the kids will be out of school soon.

Oh! Also I recently got in touch with the daughter of the woman who owned the first barn I worked at. I'd written about her a little...how she helped me with my pony, Applejack. I'm so excited to hear she's still at the same place. I'm going to try to get together with them for coffee soon. Writing that made me miss them so much... Yay!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Beautiful Blogger Award

Jennifer (Yankecwgrl) was kind enough to give me an award! See her blog here:

I've never gotten one before so I'm very honored. She says she likes reading...when I actually post. I start back to work tomorrow so I imagine I'll have plenty of lunches to post during to kill the boredom. The great news is I'll have something to blog about...I'll get to that in a minute.

First...I'm suppose to tell you 7 things about me you probably didn't know before.

1. I'll just start here. I have a big tattoo on my back. A phoenix is a mythical bird that is a fire spirit with a colorful plumage and a tail of gold and scarlet (or purple, blue, and green according to some legends). It symbolizes immortality, change/rebirth, and honor depending on the region of the myth. I've changed a lot in my life and the idea of a second chance resonated with me. So, now I have a big bird on my back. :) Wish the picture was more clear, the details in this piece are very cool.

2. I'm the biggest fan girl geek you'll ever meet. I love comics and weird movies. I loved the TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I like superheroes. My favorite is Rogue from the X-men. I'm dying to see the new Alice in Wonderland movie because I love Tim Burton. So, yeah...I'm a geek. Whatever.

3. I used to dance. Ballet when I was a kid and then period folk and ballroom when I was older. So You Think You Can Dance is a favorite show around here...but I don't like Dancing with the Stars. Dont' know why; think its because I like the idea of kids working so hard to make it in their art.

4. I'm the biggest clutz. Seriously. Sometimes I fall down just walking. I constantly have bruises. Last week I dropped a saddle I had out on loan to do a prepurchase fitting. Good thing I liked it cuz now it has a brand new scuff mark from where I dropped it on the ground. Sigh...

5. I was goth when I was younger. Yep...it's true. That's me there: black hair and pale skin and sullen personality and everything. You've all seen those kids on South Park, right? I still love the music, but now I also love pink, and happiness, and kittens.

6. I never thought I'd like cowgirls (too blond) and now I'm a blond cowgirl. Who knew? I also never thought I'd own a paint especially not a tobiano, and yet I have a paint tobi. It's good to grow up and learn to be open minded. I finally learned that black hair and lip rings do not necessarily mean you are unique. I'm much more me the way I am now and I don't ever regret changing my looks from one to the other or back again.

7. When I was a kid I had a picture of Gem Twist (see right) ridden by Greg Best in the Seoul Olympics. I'd never seen anything so beautiful in my whole life. He looks like he's flying. This is the reason I started jumping horses. This is also the reason I love grey thoroughbreds.

Now I'm supposed to send it out to 15 people (yikes) so I'll annouce who and notify them in my next post tomorrow.
I know I haven't been around as much but here's the thing. My doctor said I couldn't ride after my surgery but she didn't say I couldn't be at the barn. I've been hanging out with my trainer and her assistant and soaking up everything I could learn by just watching. I haven't been home to write posts, but I've been fully emmersed in all things horse. Today I got to ride Grace and she was so good. Like I could take her to an open show good. And I was good. So much fun...

Now for my good news... I met one of my trainer's clients who had a horse they were considering selling. I've loved Charlie since the first time I saw him but when I saw his kid ride him, I knew I'd never be the same. I told her mom he looked like a horse that could do anything...just anything. I remember telling my sister he was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen and I've been around plenty of grand prix warmbloods. Charlie's a 17.1 hand chestnut minimal overo paint. Gorgeous, balanced, beautiful movement and a calm willing personality. He's only 4 but he's so broke he could do the youth pleasure and showmanship easily. They wanted 15-20k for this horse who hasn't even shown yet which over course I can't afford so I'd sighed and moved on to Grace. Now they're moving soon and they decided they want me to lease him and show him for a year instead of selling him right now. My trainer is hoping a few months in we can work a smokin' deal since they really don't have time for him and they seem to like me a whole lot. Even better Charlie really seems to like me and that's all I needed to know. Looks like I will be showing competitively in the APHA circuit this year after all... Hopefully that means lots to write about.

Tax is in training with the H/J trainer at our boarding facility. She really seems to really like him, and he's been so good. Super willing and already learning to hold his frame more consistently. He can canter now!!! Tina thinks within 60 days he'll be ready to show if I don't sell him before then. I thought I'd possibly sold him but the lady turned him down. Not exactly what she was looking for, but she did really like him. Hopefully, the trainer might know someone who would be interested in him and I'm still getting some hits on my ad. If not we'll start showing and hopefully find someone that way. December is doing really well for the trainer I leased her to and the student who rides her the most is even considering buying her from me.