Jack is finally learning to be a real horse. Today is day 12 of lessons, and he’s doing great. He’s finally figured out that it’s nicer to just stand still and let someone get on him than it is to dance around and be naughty. He’s not sure what he’s supposed to do for pictures though. Hehe.

Mustang Jack

Well, I’m back. And exhausted.
3 kids. Ages 5, 3 and 18 months. (I was a little misinformed.)
Wow. They’re great kids, but man are they ever busy. The oldest is a little girl that literally does not stop talking from the moment she wakes up to the moment she falls asleep. And then the baby screams at the top of her lungs whenever there’s something she remotely doesn’t like. (For instance, the fact that her mother can’t pick her up and I have to do it.) But she came around. The 3 year old is a boy, and his birthday is the day before mine. I’m not sure if he’s just easier to get along with, or if I’m just used to dealing with little boys, but he sure seems easier.
I had a lot of fun though, and Shilyn and Pat were much relieved to have me there. It was also nice getting to see Annita & the girls a bunch. Though Annita did say, “It’s weird having you in town and not at our house.” Hehe.

Went again to see Jack this morning. I guess that now that it’s cold in the mornings, we’re working at the arena. I’ll have to look into how much a membership is so I can ride in there. Jack is being ridden every day now. No bridle yet, but with a saddle and halter. He’s doing so well. I was happy to hear Dwayne today, he says Jack really wants to please, he just has to figure out how. That’s how I’ve always though, so it’s nice to hear it reaffirmed. So Jack gets to ride to town most days now. Lucky boy. He’s starting to get more muscle too. Looking a bit more filled out, which is nice. And he’s had all his feet trimmed, and even though they weren’t that bad, it makes a huge difference.


So I got a phone call yesterday as I was sitting in the laundromat waiting for our clothes to finish drying…

“Hi, is this Jes?” Um, yea. “This is Annita’s friend Shea-Lynn. We went sledding together once.”

So, she is now pregnant with her 4th(!) planned child in 4 years. Yikes. And her doctor has told her to stay off her feet. Not easy with 3 little ones already. Her husband works at WestJet with Trevor and is leaving tomorrow morning and won’t be home until Thursday, and she needs someone to come help her take care of the kids and cook and clean up and whatnot. Should be fun. They’re good kids, and they live in Olds, and spend a lot of time with Annita & Trevor, so I’ll probably get to see them as well. It’ll be nice.

And Bailey gets to go to work with her dad since there won’t be anyone here to let her out during the day.

Car troubles

So, I got the car in at about 10:30, and went to sit at BeanTrees coffeehouse for a while. Well, when I hadn’t heard back by 3, I got a little irritated. Called them to find out how long it was going to take, and “well, he’s a little behind. He won’t be able to get to it until at least 5.” So, I told her I’d come get it and make a new appointment. It’s not like I can just walk home while they’ve got it. It’s a 25 minute drive on the highway. So when I got back there, the guy was under the hood. He says it’s the same car his boss has & was parked in his spot, so he figured it was his. I’m not sure why he figured the boss was there all day if he hadn’t seen him, but whatever.

But, good news. The turbo is just fine. The pipe that directs the exhaust to the turbo was the problem. I guess nobody thought to put locktite on the bolts, but the pipe was just hanging off the engine with no stability. So he gave us a couple of bolts, and Andrew & I put them in and no more noise. Yay!

Trevor called yesterday morning. I guess he got a couple of extra buddy passes this year, so he’s going to give them to us. 2 round trip tickets to anywhere WestJet flies for $35 each. Not bad. They’re stand-by tickets, but we should be able to manage. I would love to go to Charlottetown PEI, but we have to use the tickets before Christmas, and we’ll only have the standard 4 days off until then. So it’s looking like we’ll go to Las Vegas. Hopefully meet Lindsay there, and we’ll rent a convertable (Andrew’s idea. Though he figures it might be too hot and we’ll spend the whole time with the top up and the a/c on.), and drive to the Hoover Dam and try to see some of the Grand Canyon. That’ll be great. Just have to work out the logistics of it and make sure Lindsay can make it.

Long one.

Winter already. Blah. I’m putting up the trailer skirting this afternoon. And plasticing a few unnecessary windows.

Went to Dwayne’s yesterday. Wow. Like he says, “You know it’s a bad day when the only horse that doesn’t behave is the broke one.”

Miss Kitty was in a mood yesterday. Tried to shake me off, that didn’t work so she tried to scrape me off on the trees. Wow. Ended up Dwayne riding her and me riding Cheyenne. Pretty sad state of affairs when I’m riding one of the horses in training. Cheyenne is good though. And it was really nice to be able to get on a horse without a 2 foot block to stand on. Kitty is SO tall. Cheyenne is the same height as Jack is. He should be perfect for me. Just the right height and a narrower barrel. He does need a bit more width on him, but he’ll fill out soon enough now that his growing seems to have slowed. I may have to see about ridign Cheyenne some more, and like yesterday, without stirrups. Do that for a couple of weeks, and it’ll put your whole body in shape. It’s so hard though, and I only rode that way for about 10 minutes. It actually felt better than with stirrups though. More secure. Maybe because I have to pay more attention to the horse.

Jack got ridden yesterday too! Just in the roundpen with a bareback pad, but it’s progress! He was so good. He had a couple little hops, but settled down fast. Did some ground driving and working on being okay with the rope around his butt. He’s coming right along. Dwayne likes to comment on Jack’s “mustang tail”. Nice & thick & long. He must have 5 times as much tail as any of the other horses there. He’s started calling him “Mustang Jack” too. It’s funny.

No more lessons for a week. Dwayne is going hunting. It’ll be a nice break for the horses. Let them digest everything they’ve learned. Wrangler amazes me every day as well. Maybe Kitty will have settled down when Dwayne gets back.

Horses in training:
Miss Kitty Lynx – Dwayne’s horse. 4 year old bay QH mare. Apparently she’s an excellent team penning horse. She stops fast anyway. Nasty personality though. Should change her name to Diva. She is, and it would suit her MUCH more than “Miss Kitty”.
Wrangler – 5 year old black gelding. He’s got gold legs! He looks like a draft cross, but I don’t think he is. Got a huge thick neck and a big barrel. He was wild until he came to Dwayne’s. I think his name should be Bubba.
DJ – 2 year old black mare. Apparently her owners don’t ride? Why would you send a horse to be trained if you weren’t going to ride it? She’s a sweetie.
Cheyenne – 5 year old appy/pinto/roan mare. I think the poor girl ate the ugly tree. She’s stubborn, and she was sent to a “school” that wrecks horses. Dwayne figures she’s not going to be worth the effort to re-train her.

Have to take my car to the shop tomorrow. We’ve decided that it’s something to do with the turbo, and the mechanic I talked to yesterday agrees. We hope it’s just a hose. I HATE not having power. At least there are enough VWs in this town that there is a mechanic who specializes in them. That way I don’t have to drive to Edmonton in my no power car.

And so it begins.

I just thought this might be a good way to keep people updated on our lives.
Here’s hoping that I don’t forget to update.

Went to St. Paul this morning to get my Social Insurance Number. Apparently I don’t get one yet, but it’s supposed to be mailed to me in 2 weeks. Got my riding boots on the way home, not the ones I was hoping for, but they were less expensive and they’ll do the job for the time being. I’m wearing them around the house this afternoon to break them in a bit before I go back to Dwayne’s in the morning for horse training. So far, they aren’t killing me, but my feet are asleep. They need softening.

My stupid car is making bad noises. Sounds like maybe an exhaust leak? But only when the engine is working hard. Like when I try to accelerate. But hey, it stopped for a while today, and I completely lost any guts my car had. Pedal to the floor up a teeny hill, and I was powering out. Not impressed. So I get to call around and see if there is a shop around that is qualified to work on VWs. Should be with all of them that are here, but with my luck, I’ll be driving back to Edmonton to get it worked on. I hear that the timing belt should be replaced around 60,000km, so I think I’ll get that done too. Or maybe it’s 60,000 miles. I should look into that.

Jack is coming along. He’s been in training for 4 days now. Dwayne doesn’t work weekends, so only weekday school for us. I guess Jack gets to try out being ridden this week. I didn’t make it today with all the running around, but we’ll see how things go tomorrow. Jack is so good. I get to ride Dwayne’s team penning mare when we go riding. She is a piece of work. Dwayne says, “Her name is Miss Kitty Lynx, but I’ve called her other things.” She’s awful to the other horses. She’s nice to ride though, now that she’s figured out that I’m not going to take any crap from her. And man is she ever tall. I have to lift my saddle over my head to get it on her back. Good for the muscles, I guess. Between the saddle lifting muscles, the staying on the horse muscles and the hauling myself up onto the giant horse muscles, it’s a wonder I can move. But I’m loving it.

Andrew got his grille guard put onto the new truck with the lights and everything, so he’s feeling good. Now that it’s getting dark early again, we can’t afford not to have those lights on. And, he’s getting free fuel from the rig again, which is nice too.