4Shoes 'BOOKENDS'; Morgan Horses

4Shoes 'BOOKENDS'; Morgan Horses
“Hold fast to dreams, For if dreams die, Life is a broken-winged bird, That cannot fly.” ~Langston Hughes *pictured: '4Shoes Bookends'

Friday, 28 April 2017

Day Drunk @ the 4Shoes

I should be out doing the grocery shopping right now but, first, I think I have to sober up a little. 
Yep, I'm day drunk @ the 4Shoes for absolutely no reason
And to top it off, I'm alone. 
Carolan's: the same as Baileys, but cheaper! 
Hmmm, that kind of makes day drunk before noon seem like poor behaviour, doesn't it?
Trust me, this hardly ever happens. I was going to say it is a rare occurrence, but I couldn't remember how to spell occurrence. Apparently, spell check is more sure of my lingering competence than am I. 
Actually, I do have a reason. 
Sort of. I ran out of condensed milk. 
I'm probably the last person on the planet (other than Vickie, you know who you are Vickie!) that still uses condensed milk in their tea. Nothing else is as good to me, so running out is a small inconvenience. 
So, no tea this morning. 
"No problem", I thought, "I'll just make a little coffee & go Irish." 

4 cups of coffee later & now there's not a chance in hell that I could pass a breathalizer. Let's be honest here, I'm finishing the pot as I type, so that makes it really 5 drinks stiff later. 
Oops, I mean, 5 stiff drinks later. 
Waste not, want not... as the saying goes. 

I actually know quite a bit about passing a
You'll never outsmart this thing, trust me. 
breathalizer test, because God knows that I have administered LITERALLY thousands & thousands of those tests myself. 

Not ON myself - on athletes, trainers, valets, officials, & guest drivers (in my career on the racetrack), including Rick Mercer & Premier Ralph Klein. 

So I know, there is no way that I am safe to drive to town at the moment. 
In a few hours, maybe.

Can you tell, I don't really even like going to town anymore? Maybe I just hit the bottle this morning as an excuse not to go shopping today... but it's just delaying the inevitable. 
Ach.

Drunk riding though? Hey, I really shine in that arena! 
Well, not so much me doing the shining as my horse (Padre is a frigging SAINT. A horsey SAINT, I tell ya.). Padre shines like the midday sun when I'm drunk riding! So long as I'm sober enough to stay on (*like a burr!* Listen, I didn't say it was pretty. I stay the hell off his mouth & just do my best to stay balanced in the saddle) while he sorts or pens cattle for fun, throws in a few little spins or a nice short sliding stop, maybe take the woodsy trails & he pops over a few downed trees just to see if I'm still awake up there... 
Well, that horse makes me look like a damn genius. 
Or so it seems to me in my state. 
I might just look like a damn fool.

Hey, don't judge me. 
In fact, I challenge you right now to go drink for drink with me, & then we'll ride good horses & see who's still in the saddle the whole ride, despite whatever shenanigans may occur!
What?
No takers?
That's what I thought. 
Where's my bff when I'm throwing out such boozy challenges? In AB, that's where she is. 
*Shout out Marina!! See you May long, Baby!

Mr Shoes & I used to tag along with my bestie & her hubs team penning (for fun, not to compete, just when racing was on hiatus).
I LOVED IT. 
Padre loved it more; give him half a chance to work
Padre shows off his skillz with a sober rider*.
*NOT Mr Shoes, who is taller & more rangy.
Not pictured, Padre hauls Angus cattle to the fire.
cattle & stay the hell out of his way while he does it (*cuz he's a genuine(!) working western Morgan horse for REALZ, yo!) & you'd see & feel the magic. 


Anyway, there was a rule at the arena: If you came off your horse (for any reason), then on the next Sunday you had to bring booze for everyone. 
I only had to buy once.

First, you come off, & if you're human, you feel a little sting of humiliation in hitting the ground as your horse looks back in amazement that you've lost your seat (probably in slow motion, so waaaay dramatic).
His eyes seem to say, "WTF lady? I couldn't have made it any easier for you!"
As he's giving you that stink eye for ruining his close to perfect run, you have already heard the universal gasp of the waiting penners & have had to admit that, dammit, you're just an idiot and there is just no need to call 911. 
Then there's the laughter from the peanut gallery, amidst shouts of, "Get the hell back on your damn horse, you can still make time*!" 
In this illustration, I'm def the rider in the upper right corner.
(*In team penning, the 3 person team has 90 seconds to cut out & pen 3 marked cattle. Each team member has a predetermined order of work pattern & must get their own cow into the pen before the buzzer sounds. All 3 team members must be at the gate, with cows in the pen, before the buzzer sounds.)

So yeah, there's all that love & support & (mostly) good-humoured ridicule around you. If you were drunk to start with, you probably wouldn't have come off at all &, if you did, you could at least have had half an excuse to ride like re-warmed shit. But we usually rode pretty sober... at least until late in the day. 

Somehow your legs & seat still know what to do, even when you're half in the bag. 

Looking out the diningroom window here, I can see my good old boy sunning himself up near the feeders right now, which is just about the same as him knocking on the front door & demanding my attention. 
Or so it seems to me. 

The grocery stores are open til 9pm tonight - odds are this sunny & warm weather won't hold that long so, drunk as I am (now 5 drinks in, because, can't waste coffee), I'm headed out to the tack room to grab his halter & call out to my good horse some such no doubt ridiculous names (Come here SmoogyWoodgyBear! *kiss,kiss* You know PaddyWaddy wants to take Mommy for a ride! Oh yeah, that's my good boy. Yes, I brought a butt-load of cookies in my pocket for the handsomest boy in the world. That's my good boy."), as he shoves his face into the halter & agrees to babysit my obviously drunk ass.
My horse is AWESOME. 
That's an overly used word, I think, 'awesome' is. 
But in this case, totally appropriate. 
My horse is AWESOME with AWESOME sprinkles & a side of AWESOME sauce. 

Long story short, not sure if I'll make it to the grocery store at all today (sorry, not sorry), but I'm sure as hell going to get a damn good ride in on a good damn horse.
Does life get much better than this?
Once I'm in the saddle, then the answer is, "No. No, it doesn't get much better than this."

The grocery store can sure as hell wait. 
Peace Out Y'all, & (sober, or even somewhat tipsy) make sure you get in a good ride whenever you can. 

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Canadian Reality Show


Rick Mercer is a Canadian treasure, as are the polar bears of Churchill, MB (which sits right on the shore of Hudson's Bay & is about a 9 hour drive from the 4Shoes). We are not world travelers, but then again, we don't need to be when we live in such an incredibly diverse & beautiful country of natural wonders. 

When we lived north of Edmonton, we could see the Northern Lights dancing every night; it was the part of my then work commute that I enjoyed & miss most to this day. The 4Shoes is so much further south (than our AB home) that we are rarely treated to a light show here. In fact, we've only seen the Northern Lights from the 4Shoes 3 times in 10 years, & we are always watching for them.
One of those 3 nights, Mr Shoes had been on his way home from work when he saw the lights; he got so excited that he pulled over to call me from the side of the road so I wouldn't miss them. I was way ahead of him though, & already had our chairs set up outside & full mugs of Irish coffee close to hand.
 Please enjoy these little slivers of our True North Strong & Free, because this Canadian reality show beats television any day of the week!
~hooking up with AIM link party today~

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Wildlife Romance


This romance dance is just barely starting at the dens & will continue through the end of May. The Narcisse area has the largest population of red-sided garter snakes in the world; the area also boasts the world's largest population of ravens (who dine like kings on snake livers, eating only the delicacy & leaving the remainder of the carcass). Garter snakes are complete shite mothers, dropping their live babies as they slither away without even a kind word. The little snakes winter the first year wherever they can find shelter; in their 2nd year the now grown babies find their way back to the dens on the scented trails of their counterparts, where they winter comfortably & then join the bi-annual migrations & Spring reproduction rituals themselves.