Monday, February 2, 2009

Legend Has It

Let me tell you a little something about Gladys. Gladys has loved horses her whole entire life. Gladys used to dream of having her very own pony from the time she was a little bitty girl just fresh from under the rock. She would draw horses, play horses, ride stick horses and sometimes pretend she was a horse. Now being a good Texas family they had a big den where they would all sit and watch television, the same one mentioned in my story about the Birds. The room was decorated right out of Guns and Ammo with some touches from Horse and Rider. One of little Gladys very favorite decorating items in the room was an antique saddle that sat on a saddle stand in the corner. Little 5 year-old Gladys would sit on that saddle for hours riding her imaginary horse through all types of adventures. She would ride the range with Roy Rogers and Dale Evans singing a song. She would be hunting down bad guys with The Lone Ranger and Tonto. She would ride the range with John Wayne and Dean Martin fighting Indians and saving villages. We won’t even get into the predicaments she got into with The Cisco Kid and Poncho. She used to daydream in school that she would come home and her parents would have bought her very own horse and it would be waiting for her in the backyard. She would call it Beauty and braid its mane and its tail. She would ride it down the street with all her friends and family chasing after her laughing and yelling. It never happened. Gladys never came home to find Beauty with a comb and rubber bands waiting for Gladys to braid her mane or ride her into the sunset. Yeah, I’m not bitter or anything that’s why I write about it in the third person.
I have never lost my love of horses. I also have to tell you something else, I can’t draw. Not one bit. Not even stick figures. Can’t do it. I have 3 cousins and a brother who are fantastic artist go check out Brad Braune and Cyber Cowgirl. See what I mean? Me nope can’t draw. I would paint nothing but horses if I could. I also am not much of a photographer yet I have two kids who have the magic. What I do have is a love of horses.

Recently Kahuna knowing my love for horses made me get off my slackass and go out in the cold. He had a treat for me. Now let I’ll let you in on another secret. Kahuna loves to ski. He loves the outdoors and the feeling of swooshing and swathing down the mountain. He has the talent and the grace and he gets out there and rips it up. Evidently you have to be limber.

Now what happens when you put a horse lover and a ski lover together? Skijoring. Now I know some of my readers are from the frozen tundra. You’re from the regions which support months of white powder and freezing temperatures. Kahuna and I are not. He is a Southern California boy born and raised and well I’m from the desert plains of West Texas. We had never heard of Skijoring. You either? Well here is a synopsis of its origin.

It helps if you have a big strong horse.

Skijoring originated in Scandinavian Countries several hundred years ago as a method of travel during the long winters. Towed behind reindeer on long wooden skis, the Laplanders found skijoring or “ski driving” a useful and practical mode of transportation.

Yes this guy has on a Spider Man costume. I didn't know Spidey was a skier.

Legend has it that the first actual skijoring race, held in the United States, occurred many years ago in Colorado when two ranchers made a bet with one another to see who owned the fastest horse in the valley. Since it was mid winter they thought the race would be more interesting to have a horse and rider pull a skier on a 30ft. rope around a barrel placed some distance away and back. The fastest time would win.

He's close enough to kiss Barney the Wonder Mule's Cheek

It’s a little like barrel racing in the snow while pulling a skier. Got it? We had never seen it done. I only had a few problems with it. First horses poop, a lot. I know this because I used to own three of them and there was lots and lots of poop. Second horses pass gas. Think about it, a guy voluntarily gets horse poop and poots thrown at him while being pulled at 45 mph behind a horse. Interesting.

I bundled up in my warmest gear. I put long johns over long johns and put jeans over that, then layered on sweater over sweater and then added a down coat over that. I put my gloves in my pocket and grabbed my camera. I was ready.

Don't I look cute all bundled up?

I looked at Kahuna standing there in his jeans and t-shirt with a jacket over that, no gloves, no hat; no long johns not even wool socks. I said “Honey don’t you want to put some layers on?” Kahuna smiled that sweet smile that says I’m asking a stupid question and replied “Naw, it’s not that cold outside. Look the sun is shining. I’ll be fine.” I love Kahuna but he’s a Californian. He thinks if the sun is shining it's shorts and flip flop weather. Off we went me dressed ready for the Klondike and Kahuna for a cool day at the beach.

Ok he had on a few more clothes than this.
We got to the arena which was really the city airport and the wind was blowing a brisk 20 mph the gauge on in the car said the outside temperature was 27 degrees.

We climbed out of the warmth of the car and walked to the course.

Now I’m no a light weight but that wind about almost lifted me off my feet and sent me flying. I looked at Kahuna and said “Are you warm enough.” He, forever the tough guy said, “Yeah, I’m fine.” We found a place to stand and got ready for the event.
We stood wind blown and cold watching people being pulled around the course. We drank coffee and ate tamales. We yelled and screamed for the horses to run faster and the skiers to jump higher.

This guy had an animal on his head. I think that's why he went so fast.
Then about two hours into the competition Kahuna looked at me and said “You getting cold honey?” I was fine. I was toasty. I had on 45 layers of clothes. I looked in his red cheeked face and saw his red ears and saw him shiver a deep bone chilling shiver and said “Yes, I’m freezing. Can we go home now?” He ran to the car and got it started. He cranked the heater on high as I began peeling clothes off.

Barney says Hi-ho my ass! It's cold out here.


Queenie said...

What fun! Except for the poots and poop...I so can relate. As a little girl I loved Annie Oakley and my friend, Richard Blevins, played for hours under the bandstand (see how small we were?) at our school. I was Annie, of course, and he was Tad. I ordered him around a lot and I never missed when I shot the smithereens out of the bad guys. I loved me my Tad. And I was a terrific Annie.

Tori C. said...

Saying hi via BSU. I'm in Cali, too! :) My favorite toys as a kid were My Little Ponies and I still love to ride!

blogismycopilot said...

Ah Kahuna, you and I both...if the sun is shining, its clearly going to hit a high of 72 took me 4 years to finally stop hoping for flip-flop weather in February. Incidentally, it took my hubby 4 years to bring me to the promised land of the AZ desert. Flip flops year round baby, year

Although there would be no skiing behind a hot steaming horse's @$$ here, so, you gotta make a choice.

The Texas Woman said...

As a kid my horse was a bench with a homemade cardboard head and tail. Ohhh, I loved my horsey! And I loved all the TV cowboys and cowgirls. The good ol' days!

The Texas Woman

Boy Mom said...

Just bouncing in from blog is my co-pilot.

Loved the post. Reindeer do seem like a better option, their poop is pellets, at least I think so!

Nice to meet you.

United Studies said...

That does look like a lot of fun! Emma LOVES horses, and even though se is only 4 she has no fear of them at all. When she gets older we are going to put her in a riding school.

Dawn Parsons Smith said...

I love horsies too! My 6 yr old loves them more...gulp...She just figured out that with our 4 acres we have plenty of room for one and "it can sleep in my room at night..." Whoa nellie!

Love your you're stuck with can thank blogismycopilot for that...hee hee hee...

Katherine Roberts Aucoin said...

That does look like a lot of fun, but I doubt I would have the nerve to do, watch most definitely.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

You learn something new every day.

I'm from Southern California and I KNOW I'm going to be cold. Even if it's only 50 outside.

Anonymous said...

I've never been on a horse--I was born with my hip out of place, so it was too painful because of the lack of range of motion of that hip. When I had it replaced I asked the surgeon if I could ride a horse after surgery, his answer was, "yes, but why do you want to ride a horse, they are so dangerous?" My response, "because I've never been on one and would like to try riding one." Haven't done it yet, but that's on my list of things to do.

As for that snow, the only time I've seen that much snow was our two trips to Yellowstone during the winter to snowmobile. It was wonderful. :-) You see I'm a native Georgian.

Girly Stuff said...

What a sport!

My husband's internal thermostat is set pretty high. It is irritating when he dresses the kids like he thinks it feels outside. I can't tell you how many times he has sent them off in 32 degree weather in short sleeve t-shirts and no coat.

I have never seen him cold. I guess zero degree weather might finally do it!

Mrs4444 said...

Hmmmm. I've never seen that before. Looks cold but fu :)

Queen Goob said...

MANY a year ago I participated in open field jumping - now a days I wouldn't get in anything but a pleasure saddle with extra padding!!!

What fun and I'm so envious of all that snow. It was 16ยบ this morning but too dry for any snow. THIS IS FLORIDA PEOPLE

p.s. - I took a bit of time and went through all 400+ photos you took; there were a couple of really beautiful animals at that event!