Monday, October 23, 2017

Ride of a Lifetime: Barbara and Dusty, National Champs!

From Barbara, in a Facebook post from last night . . . .

Wow! What a day today at the U. S. National Arabian and Half-Arabian Championships in Tulsa, OK. This guy, Dusty aka Ravenwood DunIn Style really came through for me.

This is my very special "forever" horse who chose me 10 years ago at the age of 2 months.  

Today, he confidently carried me to the winners circle in Half-Arabian Trail ATR Select, and boy did he DO IT IN STYLE.

He topped all five judges cards in both days of competition and out scored the reserve champion by17.5 points earning himself the title of National Champion. 

Not only did he win the Half-Arab class, but he also nabbed the title of High Point Performance of all Select Riders.

I couldn't believe when I was sitting in the backthrough in the finals, looking at the last series of lope overs that we were almost done. 

 It was all so smooth that I almost panicked thinking that I must have left out part of the pattern to be near the end so fast. It is such an honor to have a horse that gives his all for me and knows how to perform under pressure. 

 It was such a thrill to have all five judges tell me what wonderful rides I had as well as the course designer and two of our industries top trail trainers. 

I have so many people to thank for helping us achieve this feat, but that will wait until another post when I am more rested and have less chance of leaving someone out. 

Tonight's post is dedicated to DUSTY, a horse with the most generous heart who chose me to be his person ten years ago. 

Thank you Dusty, and I know you will work your hardest for Laurie tomorrow in Western Horsemanship.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Oh, What a Day! Livin' the Dreams

Too much to do; too little time:  just some photos for an incredible day where we were all living some dreams in Oklahoma yesterday.  More words about these profoundly meaningful events when I get home. 

For now, enjoy the photos from yesterday's Arabian National Show and from a totally unexpected event in Pawkuska where Debbie and I never dreamed we would actually meet the Pioneer Cookbook lady, Ree Drummond.


Today is Barbara's really big day where she'll defend her first-place qualifying title in Western Trail.  Scores from Friday's qualifier and today's finals will be combined to determine the national champion.  

Maybe---just maybe----a lifetime dream will come true for our beloved sister Barbara.  Go get 'em, Barbara and Dusty.  We are all so proud and happy for you, Little Sis!

Laurie takes a Tob Ten Ribbon in showmanship.

Barbara in Western Pleasure Select at the 2017 U.S. Arabian Nationals.  Barbara finished ninth among 17 entries, just one place out of the finals.

Never---in a million years---did Debbie and I ever dream that we would meet the Food Channel's Ree Drummond, founder of the Pioneer Woman Cookbooks and the Mercantile in Pawhuska, Okla.   But we did!  What a dream come true!  Great lady.
A good-night kiss for Dusty at the end of a memorable day. 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Great Start in Tulsa

To Maryann:  Barbara and Laurie really appreciated the flowers.  

Debbie and I arrived in Tulsa last night in time to join my sisters and brother for dinner at Ruby Tuesdays.  So far, I can report:  very, very good! 

Just a couple of quick notes before we head off to Expo Square this morning.  Barbara and Laurie have two classes with one horse at the same time this today, so it's gonna be a bit tricky.

Fortunately, show officials offer ways to accommodate those conflicts.  So, Laurie will do her showmanship test in one arena and then Dusty will head to another area where he'll be saddled up and ridden by Barbara in a Western Pleasure class. 

They seem to have their strategy all figured out, which is traditional for this team of sisters.

Yesterday marked a banner start for Barbara as she placed FIRST in a class of 15 horses in her trail class.  It was a qualifier for tomorrow's finals.  Combined scores from the two days of events determine the winner, but we're figuring Barbara's off to a great start. 

Will post more later this morning after they finish their two classes, so check back.  

We've loved this experience so far.  Last night Kevin took us for a spin in the golf cart around this huge, huge grounds.  So much to see.  So much to do. 

Bottom line so far:  we are all very proud of Barbara and Dusty.   

Now, it's Good Luck to both. 

Later . . . . 

Friday, October 20, 2017

Tulsa Bound

Starting today, you can expect posting times on this blog to be a little erratic for a while. 

By tonight, I'll be two time zones away, and tomorrow morning, the usual blog posting time will be filled with collective expectation, a few nerves and a whole lot of pride as my sisters compete on the national level with Barbara's Half Arabian gelding Dusty aka Ravenwood Dunin Style. 

Debbie and I are flying to Tulsa today to join my sisters and brother Kevin at the U.S. Arabian Nationals.  

We'll be staying the weekend to watch Barbara and Laurie perform with Dusty in at least three classes. Those classes start early in the morning each day.

Our job: to enjoy the moments and to cheer them on. 

Competition for them actually starts today with Barbara riding in a Western Trail class sometime around noon Tulsa time.  

So, we'll miss that class because we'll be in the air but certainly will be keeping our fingers crossed. 

As mentioned before, years of work, learning, training, competing and a constant vision toward "touching the stars" have led toward this experience.  

Plus, there's an extended cheering section around the country and "from above" of admiring friends and family who have watched my sisters on their remarkable horse journeys over the years. 

Those fans will be hoping for the best as Barbara and Laurie compete at the highest level with Dusty. 

And, good news:  the show will be live-streamed.  

Last night, Barbara posted the following information on Facebook:  Here is the link to the live stream of the Nationals show. Remember, Tulsa is 2 hours ahead of us.…/li…/pavilion-arena/livestream

When you scroll down the page you can find the arena for the class, the day, and the class. Choose the camera. If you miss it you can come back (sometimes the next day) and click the camera to watch the recording.

With the uncertainty of wi-fi availability and of available time, I'll post my blog entries whenever it's possible over the next three days. 

Thanks for your patience, and, if all goes well, I can post some neat photos of Barbara, Laurie, Dusty with pretty ribbons and trophies. 

Many, many thanks to Bill and Willie for helping out with chores and making this trip possible. 

Off to Tulsa!  Happy Friday, and best of luck to the Tibbs sisters from Sandpoint, Idaho.  

Thursday, October 19, 2017

TBT and Happy Birthday, Precious

It's Annie aka Precious aka Mia Wallace's special day.  

Both Mom and Dad wish our precious daughter a very Happy Birthday.  

For those who know her better as Mia Wallace, I do not believe she was wearing flipflops in this picture.  

That trend came later.  Flipflops or not, she sure was cute.  Still is, as a matter of fact, as you can see from this recent photo, which I love.  

I'm also betting she's wearing flipflops in this one. 

Hope you have a wonderful day, Flipflop Annie!

The other day when I took a ZAGS poster to our friend Jeannie, memories of this day came up in the conversation.  Jeannie, in the shorts, works in fire control for the Idaho Department of Lands.  Her husband Rik was one of my colleagues for at least a couple of decades at Sandpoint High School. 

One of their three sons, Chase in the photo, was an English student in my classes when I taught out in the portables.  At the time, he was a sophomore.

Later, when Chase was about to graduate, Jeannie sent Bill and me an invitation to come to Chase's "giveaway" party.  I figured it was just a graduation party but soon found out, after Jeannie kept quizzing me if I was coming, that it was much more than a graduation party.

In keeping with a Gros Ventre Indian tribal tradition, Chase invited mentors who, he felt, had made a difference along his educational path.  When we arrived at the party, which included a steak dinner with all the accessories, other special mentors were there too.  They included two other teachers, a soccer coach and a neighbor. 

Each of us received gifts of appreciation from Chase, including individualized star quilts, sweet grass, and, in my case, beaded earrings. 

Each of us was also blown away by the tradition and the spirit of the party. Twas an event I'll never forget and will always appreciate.  

I told Jeannie the other day I'd run across this photo and would post it today on Throwback Thursday.  So, once more, Jeannie, Rik and Chase, thank you for a very meaningful memory. 

And, of course, GO, ZAGS!

 My friend Trish is pretty busy these days as editor of the upcoming issue of Sandpoint Magazine, so I figured I'd give her a quick break back into the past when we all gathered at the Bonner Mall for the Chick-o-Stick eating contest. 

Proceeds benefitted the troops overseas, and we had a few veterans show up to support the event.  

A truly fun and delicious time was had by all. 

Good luck, Trish, as you finish up all that eyeball work on the magazine.  Heck, I'll have to bring you a Chick-o-Stick, and we can celebrate the grand finale of your hard work!

The Train Wreck in old '97.  That's what I call this scene, depicting one of the sights when a train derailed across from our place on Great Northern Road.  

When they needed a place to move all that lumber, the railroad officials asked if they could use our pasture.  So, they tore down the fence, moved the lumber to a large pile and eventually burned it. 

In return, we received a new, well-built fence and our pick of some of the salvageable boards.  We still have a pile of those boards and used some for construction of a new box stall in the barn last summer. 

There were some interesting happenings dealing with covetous souls in the aftermath of that derailment.  Some folks were mighty surprised at times when we'd surprise them from behind the lumber pile as they stood in our field figuring out what they were going to take.  

We experienced a definite weather transition yesterday after the wind storm of the day before.  Rain started to fall in the early afternoon, and it has fallen pretty steadily ever since.  

So along with the falling rain come thousands of falling leaves and soon to be gone are the striking colors of autumn like the one below.  This is my sister's horse off HWY 95, taken yesterday afternoon with the first raindrops. 

At least the rain is warm for now, but we're told it will cool down considerably by the weekend------for some of us, anyway.  More on that tomorrow. 

Happy Thursday.