Wednesday, December 21, 2016

I won???

I'm the winner of "Savage Kingdom"safari sweepstakes!  Can this be real?  I'm so shocked and dazed and confused that I don't know where to start a blog post....

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Thanksgiving Day 2016

               I don't like extreme sports !

Movies with sis and some of
nieces and nephews Thanksgiving
 night "Moana"


2nd extreme sport of the day. Letting my 16 yr old great niece drive to movies.  Bella had passed her permit test the day before!
Like I've said, I don't like extreme sports..



What in Tarnation!!!!

We used 295 shells on skeet/clay shooting. Boy, it was fun though!


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

M. L. Leddys wedding gift

There's a story behind this M.L Leddys reining saddle.  Chris started giving his hand a try at reining in 1994 with maybe two bridles, a Circle M pale blue bumper pull horse trailer, basically a pasture type gelding name Jed, and a old used saddle-don't even remember the type.  Roping I believe.

AQHA show weekends he'd pull out my Price Mclaughlin western pleasure show saddle which I kept in a thick, huge zip up carry saddle bag.  I would agrue about leaving it exposed at shows to theft in the pull out door on the bumper pull trailer.

In 1995 while shopping at the Quarter Horse Congress we browsed the M. L. Leddys booth.  (If you've been to Congress you understand the amazing amount of shopping that abounds!)  Chris fell in love with a reining saddle at the booth.  Leddys aren't cheap so he only sat on it a minute.

Chris dreamed of having that exact saddle.  The week before our wedding Chris came by where my Daddy and I lived. (Chris worked factory life from high school graduation until year 2000.)  As he got out of the car I came out of house saying, "I told you!  I told you my saddle would get stolen.  There's an old, dirty worn out work saddle in my saddle bag.  Someone has stolen my saddle and put that cheap one in the bag to fool us!"

Chris had this terrible look on his face, ran into the house, ripped open the bag and found a brand new perfect M.L Leddys saddle.  He looked at me and said puzzled, "that's a reining saddle??"  Happy wedding day gift hun.

I pulled out the Leddys for some pics.  The now 20 yr old saddle is nasty in some of these pics.  I cleaned up quickly to show some more decent pics.  (Chris, I'll oil it later.)





20th wedding anniversary

It's so surreal that Chris and I's 20th wedding anniversary is falling on a leave for horse show day.....20 years ago today, on a Friday, we married.  We left right after our wedding reception around 11pm for a TQHA horse show scheduled at the old Murfreesboro arena. Today, just like then, we are getting ready for Chris to leave for a horse show.  How appropriate for the event of getting ready for horse show on our wedding anniversary which was our wedding day all those years ago.  Just he and me...with beautiful skies....though different from the heavy rains which fell on us September 28, 1996.  Strangely just the moment I was to walk down the aisle the rain stopped and the sun starting shining. Wonder if there was a rainbow somewhere....Happy 20th anniversary Chris.  I love you....more.

Flames and Ashes

"We may go down in flames together but we'll also rise out of the ashes together too....."   Twitter #quoteoftheday

Friday, August 19, 2016

Busted eardrum, cermic elbow, farm life, lake life....this is Chris




Chris has much recovered from his busted eardrum and sore shoulder after crashing out on his wakeboard over a week ago. Hopefully the two holes in his eardrum are healed at his next doctor's appointment and hearing in full strength.  If not Chris will need a small surgery to patch the holes.





One of Chris's first questions to the ear specialist was, "when can I wakeboard again?".  The doctor, who had a deep wound from forehead to behind his ear from "hitting a tree with his head while on a bike", (mountain bike), told Chris he could wakeboard in a week or so. As long as Chris had a type of puddy plug in his ear. The specialist seemed to know about extreme sports and what they mean to people who enjoy.

The doctor also instructed Chris to keep dust and dirt from his ear.  Chris told the doctor and nurse he trained horses and barns and arenas are dusty.  The ear doc replied that probably best to stay out of barn for a few days.  At least a couple. What did Chris do?  Worked in barn from the next day on.

My husband's work ethic has always amazed me.  Reminds me of my daddy's who worked as a TVA lineman for 50 years.

I remember when Chris and I began being a team competing in team penning.  Then he learned to rope.  There to reining. Dedicated he was.  As an amateur rider and person.

Chris had worked in local factories from high school graduation, 1991 until 2000. Nights. About 2 am one of those nights, I woke up to see Chris standing at the door. He said, "I lost my job..."  I said good, threw back the covers and told him to come to bed. Within a week he had a barn full of training horses and hasn't looked back.  I knew God had a plan for him, it was to be a horse trainer.  I had felt that way for several years.  Happily it was falling into place.  Knowing the career would be a perfect fit.  It has been.

His work ethic showed up right away in his new business.   We had only a regular old round pen on the farm and a dusty when hot, a mud puddle when rainy and cold outdoor arena.  Chris used those for colt starting.

We had the large outside arena.  However, when it rained or there was snow on the ground no riding could be done.  On those yucky days Chris would ride in grass fields. It amazed me to look out of the barn while picking stalls to watch him ride in rain. Chris would say, "people don't pay me to have their horse stand in a stall".  Of course there were a few days a month where it was impossible to ride.  He rode extra days into the next month for free to make those days up.

Chris has always been incredibly honest.   Sometimes too.  Not too honest.  Just too bluntly.

A grandpa called Chris looking for his granddaughter, who was around 7, a horse. All those years ago you could buy a broke kids horse for around $3,000.  The grandfather said oh no.  He was looking for something around $500.  Chris told the man he'd be paying over $3,000 for an ER visit for a little girl with a broken arm or worse. Not only that she'd probably have a fear of horses and perhaps never ride again. (There are many, many other  brutally honest tales but we'll not get into all those.)

We managed to build, with barn raising day with friends and customers,  a 60x120 covered arena with chicken house metal trusses.  It was just too hard to ride horses as owners expected without one. Owners want to know you are riding.  Not watching rain.

Honesty almost saved him a left elbow around 2004ish.  He was breaking a young horse for a lady which was a bit rank.  Chris called the lady after about 30 days and told her to come pick the horse up.  The animal would end up hurting Chris and he knew it.

The lady said she could come pick up in couple days.  Chris told her he'd ride till then. That very afternoon the horse did a small buck, not bad, but just at a weird enough angle that Chris came down and completely shattered his elbow.  What did he do after doctor's visit with a sling over his arm, surgery date and strict instructions NOT to ride nor be in dirt (which could cause a bone infection)?  Ride.  I remember looking out while cooking supper and seeing him lope circles.  I was so mad!

Well, he healed.  A ceramic elbow with an arm that won't totally straighten the only evidence of a shattered elbow from riding a horse that business wise he didn't have to. But as Chris wise he did.





In 2009 we saved enough to manage a farm and home to build a 250x350 covered pen in place of the outdoor.  Chris said he just couldn't be competitive riding in a small, narrow arena when outdoor arena was wet. Not in reining.  Not for long rundowns and changing leads.

Chris began training business around the year 2000.  At that time up and coming trainers didn't go live with, ride established trainer's horses, then show, and then go out to build their own business. Chris began at a time you learned from talking to other local trainers and watching and learning at horse shows. Oh. And watching good videos.  VHS videos!  (I just really aged us!)

It's been hard for him to grow in the era of million dollar riders who have a slew of youngsters learning at those trainers feet everyday.  (ALL of this is my opinion.  Not my hubs. Just my behind the scenes observations.)  I am so proud of Chris's abilities and work ethic and desire and owners who've believed in him and gotten him better and better horses.  I'm proud that he's made the Tulsa finals a couple of times, NRHA Futurity and Derby finals and Congress Futurity several times along with slews of AQHA, APHA, and NRHA affiliate awards. Pretty much on his own with horses, his friends and customers who have trusted him.  Who wouldn't be proud of what he's done, endured, loved?  Couldn't be proud?






One of the last things I'm proud of.  His talent has enabled us to own our own training facilities.  Chris has worked hard to be able to do so.  In the age now of many trainers not owning but moving barn to barn.  To me that shows his talent and hard work more than any trophy on the wall. He's kept us HOME.  With our families and support systems.  My love of the industry, and of him, would have made me move wherever it took for our business, his business to thrive.  But we are still in Monroe County, Tennessee.  Home.

Oh. One more thing, (ugh. I could have a million one more things...), Chris has also managed to keep his fees competitive.  In part because neither of us feel debt from fancy rigs and such is needed.  It's not about what you drive onto a show ground. What matters is what backs off.

Yep. He loves horses. And riding. And teaching.  But he loves a hobby too.  And that little free time he works on the farm for
(and none really, really sees the true work and sacrifices he makes. They may THINK they do. But they do not know the truth of 16 years of labor which is not only physical but also emotional)

......is worth a busted eardrum.  For both of us....




Trophy or not he always smiles.

TQHA multiple award winner.

Getting ready.

Midnight riding. Vampire riding.


Blue.  Multiple APHA titles.













Worn out many. 
Patches when he can



1995. Jed. Multiple AQHA awards and AQHA World Show qualifier in reining, working cowhorse and team roping. Best amateur horse because an amateur learned foundation of three cowboy events by training the majority alone.  We traveled many, many miles in a little, rusty metal Circle M horse trailer with Jed.  Learned it's not what you drive but what backs out the door that matters.



*****all my words.  I know very little of training and Chris program and the horse industry anymore.  He'll probably say Marna, that's sooo wrong.  (But Chris still asks what a blog is so I know he won't read it. Sooo I can write anything I wish. Right?)     Oh well.  In my eyes he's the best trainer out there.  None of us are perfect though.  No trainer.  Nope, not one.  But he's pretty dadgum close in many areas. 
 Isn't this how a spouse should feel?  Know the weak points but magnify the wonderful?  

Christopher Robin Hood.....for all your horse training, breaking body parts and boat needs........ 




I intentionally left out all the injuries from dirt bikes, motorcycles and mountain bikes..oh lawsy day. 





Many more farm pics I could attach but won't.   Few different ones under blog "Horses" tab above.