Happy Birthday Musketeers!

The Musketeers – Maxie, Midnight and Tuxie – are turning 12 today. Time has flown by so quickly. They have grown into fine, loving kitties. Closely bonded, they have kept an eye on each other.

Midnight

Maxie

Tuxie, forever remembered and forever loved

Losing Tuxie, last August, most fortunately Maxie and Midnight handled it well. Whether they had sensed Tuxie’s short time, that can only be surmised. Maxie and Midnight have carried on in true Musketeer tradition.

the rare three-shot (September 2006)

Happy Birthday Musketeers!

xoxo
mom and dad

Dino: Rainbow Bridge Day

It is the ninth anniversary of his Rainbow Bridge Day. We remember Dino with great fondness and love. He was the best of cats – friendly, happy, close confidante, and loyal littermate. Dino loved all things fresh, from cut-flowers to laundered clothes to Kona coffee to babies.

Dino: on kitten watch in early spring  (March 1990)

the fan: favorite objet d’arte

napping with his objet d’arte

catnip scratcher box: “all mine”

Pebbles and Dino: waiting on dinner

Dino at one (Sep 1990)

We were most privileged to have our Siamese boy for nearly 19 years. Every day was a good one with him. We miss you much.

Love you always,

mom and dad
xoxo

Photos are from the Two Cats Two archives. They were taken using a Canon FTb 35 mm SLR using Kodak Gold (ASA 200) film.

Riding: The Home Ground

Over the past few years, it has been riding away from home. The level of competition is much greater and more varied. Riding at a higher level certainly warrants this kind of approach. It is important to measure individual progress and to improve riding skills. It also requires more selectivity while constructing the show schedule. Traveling a long distance for one show and back home, that show likely does not make the schedule – though we’ve done it a few times. Making all the pieces fit – shows, practice, downtime – on the calendar is the difficult part. It provides invaluable experience for the younger equestrian contemplating a professional career.

Walk of Champions (Colorado Horse Park, July 2016)

This week, and next, the riding will be closer to home. These two shows are part of a summer series, which begins in early June and ends in late July, or early August. It is a nice series drawing riders from the Four Corners zone, the larger Intermountain West and the Midwest. With the away schedule, my daughters have used the month of July as downtime while maintaining their in-season practice schedule. Last summer, they rode the last show of the series. This summer, it is the last two shows of the series.

Riding the home ground has given the girls the opportunity to renew their ties with riding friends who still make the trek, here, for two, three or four weeks. They’ll also be sharing some of their experience with the five junior riders from RRC. Trish will have them shadow Deborah, Elizabeth and Tara like she had them shadow Greg, Sarah and Megan. Trish, she’ll be watching everything from the sidelines.

end of the day: Trish and Perry head back to the barn (RRC, July 6 2017)

Mid-Season Break

It’s another day off from riding, before going back to work tomorrow. The day off from riding is good for both horse and rider. The horses, essentially, to be horses. My daughters, the riders, to be the young women they are.

Having their nails done, they enjoy.

Deborah & Elizabeth: matching multi-color glitter

Tara: classic red glitter

Their thoughts, though, are not far from riding. The off-saddle work of reviewing hours of video and sorting through a few hundred photos is exacting, ferreting out the good and the not-so-good.

Come tomorrow, they’ll be ready to get back to work – riders and horses.

Deborah and Comet: the end of a day off (JN Ranch, Jul 05 2016)

A Bit of Inspiration

My daughters have found some of their preferences match up with one of best riders in the world, Elizabeth “Beezie” Madden. The video featuring Beezie Madden talking about preferences can be seen here.

Miss Egypt: Yesterday & Today

Though it has been one year, it seems like yesterday. The loss of our tabby girl has been an enormous one. Her missing presence is most noticeable, from watching her world at a window to her power nap to her taking over a chair. Noticeably missed the most is her sassy personality.

Miss Pinky probably misses Miss Egypt the most. They would start most days with a wrestling match, one Egypt would always dominate and win. It would culminate with a short chase. In other feline matters, one look from her was enough to settle it.

executive laundry assistant: making sure the towels will make it into the wash

the power nap

a perfect shady spot

Always happy, friendly, active, fun – that was her personality. Miss Egypt always wore her tabby smile. If she saw a ruler or the yardstick out, it was time to play (loved anything wood). The girls found out Egypt also developed a love for leather tack gear (pricier the better). Using a throw pillow to save a chair or your spot on the couch, Egypt would love you later for your kind thoughtfulness for the cushy napping spot. Any cubby-hole on the desk was also right for a nap. Her purr machine – easy to start, hard to turn off.

Miss Egypt has left a mighty void. The role of top cat remains unfilled, a title and position Egypt made her own.

We love and miss you very much.

xoxo

Riding: The Turnaround

This is when the riding schedule begins in earnest. A few days at home to recoup and prepare for four weeks away in SoCal. While it is demanding, the girls relish the challenge and the attention to detail.

For their light workout, Trish came down on Thursday to watch the girls from the sidelines. Though they rode very well in the first two shows of the season, they said it seemed like they were out-of-sync. The three said the flow could have been more smoother, a little more crisp.

their turn: Tara and Brie start a half-speed circle exercise with Deborah and Elizabeth waiting their turn
(JN Ranch, Jun 01 2017)

With Trish watching, the light workout session became more of a lesson. A half-speed exercise session in the morning. In the afternoon, an off-saddle classroom session. She determined the girls were riding more tightly than usual. The remedy – trust yourself, trust your horse.

While the girls were in class, the horses napped the warm afternoon away. A nice spray down followed when class let out.

the afternoon cool down: Tara spraying down Cameron (JN Ranch, Jun 01 2017)

“Ride now, ride forever”

The Season Begins

The weeks of practice have made them excited for the season to begin. They are ready. The riding has been fast, precise and crisp. It is disciplined. Trish has observed they are riding in mid-season form. “They are that good,” she has said.

saddle point-of-view: following Tara’s lead on Cameron, Deborah’s view onboard Comet (RRC, May 06 2017)
South Platte River on the left

The girls, along with Trish and Mark, are viewing this season as one of great challenge. Last season was a very good one, and resulted with an appearance at the Las Vegas National Horse Show. The expectations for them are likely greater this season if not higher.

My girls have said they are equal to the challenge for this season. There are no doubts, just riding. Everything else will follow.

pure love: Deborah and Captain Andrew (Jul 2016)

Beginning their 2017 season today, my daughters will once again start in Texas.

Photo credit – the saddle point-of-view is courtesy of Deborah.

“Ride now, ride forever”