A Walk into the Past

I've really been struggling with what to write in this blog. I feel like life has just been so busy and Michael and I just keep running just to try and keep up.
Let's see here. Well, there's his job where he has been working overtime nearly every day. It's a great job and we thank God for it, but it doesn't mean its not stressful. And then there's my jobs which are totally wonderful working with Duckie, Minnie, Spidey and Caveman. Oh didn't I tell you? Caveman is the new addition to the family. He is adorable and I call him Caveman. And then there's the other family with Giggles. Giggles melts my heart when he smiles at me. And boy does he talk up a storm! So its not the job part that makes life go crazy, its the fact that life goes on around my five precious kids. I go to work all day, come home and need to clean up, make gluten free dinners, do laundry, fix the bed, do grocery shopping, try to fit a workout in, maybe do some reading and in the mix spend some quality quite time with God and my husband. It gets hard to balance it all. And then you add in trying to figure out how to make a blog interesting and up to date and fun, it's hard!!
So, I've decided to try and make things a bit easier for myself. I have a bunch of old pictures from way back when and I am going to try and post one up each day (or maybe every other day) and talk about the picture and anything I can think of about the picture.
Today is a bit of a special edition, though. Today there will be multiple pictures.
I grew up like any little girl, with a fixation of dolphins, princesses, dogs and horses. My love for dolphins kind of turned into a love for sea life and I began scuba diving. My love for princess kind of turned into wearing fancy ball gown dresses, my love for dogs turned into caring for Athena and my love for horses turned into caring  for, owning, and training horses.
Me, my painting, and my dog Athena - by the way, this was a paint in the numbers thing, not really my talent there :)

I believe the first time I ever got on a horse was when I was in 4th grade. My neighbor owned a little pony and invited me to come down to the Horse Paddocks and get on.
Let me stop and explain a bit more. When I lived in Papua New Guinea, there were mainly two places we moved between. One was Yemli village which is where most of my past stories have taken place and where I spent most of my growing up years and the other is Ukarumpa, the missions base.
I had been homeschooled throughout my elementary and middle school years, but by the time I hit 10th grade, my parents decided to go ahead and put me in the missionary base school. So from 10th grade on, I lived in Ukarumpa and actually did not return to Yemli village until I met my husband, Michael, in 2010.
Anyways, living on the missionary base is maybe how you might imagine living on a military base. We had a fence surrounding us, and everyone lived in the fenced in area. There was security watching the gates 24/7, we had a curfew where if you were not in your bed by 11, the roaming security guards would have their German shepherd guard dogs attack you because they would think you were a criminal.
Horse paddocks
View of the Pony Club from our porch

In Ukarumpa, a group of women put together what they called "The Pony Club." They bought some land right outside the fence and set up a little barn, a fenced in riding arena and three paddocks. Then they began to buy old or unwanted cowboy horses. Basically, the cowboys in the area needed horses to round up the cows and bulls and lead them to wherever their next stop was - more grass or slaughter house. When the horses got older, they would no longer want them since they were not as fast and agile as they used to be, so that's when the Pony Club came in. The Pony Club also bought the horses that were injured. Because PNG cowboys don't have time to deal with injured animals, they would just kill the horses. Instead, the Pony Club bought the injured horses and gave them a home at the Ukarumpa Horse Paddocks. So that's the story behind the Pony Club and Horse Paddocks.
A group of the horses and riders who were a part of the Ukarmpa Pony Club


So back to my dear neighbor friend who introduced me to horses. After that original walk around the paddocks, my interest in horses took off. Eventually, my parents and my friends' parents bought a horse together. So me and another two girls owned a horse together. That dear horses name was Cinnamon and happened to be the same pony I rode in 4th grade. He was a good little pony, but pretty slow, lazy and boring. But he was a great beginner horse.
Me and Cinnamon way back when...
 Eventually, I moved past boring old Cinnamon and bought a beautiful dark horse named Scruples. She was my pride and joy for about 3 years. I worked so hard with her especially using the John Lyons method of training. You might call it Horse Whispering, but whatever it was I LOVED it and was really good at it.
There's me and Scruples. Pretty boring huh? She wouldn't even JUMP a jump!

One day, I was given the chance to ride the "Crazy Horse" of the Paddocks, Miss Rose. She actually wasn't so crazy at the time, but she was young, fast, wild, and free. She had broken her leg as a young colt and therefore the cowboys didn't want her anymore. The Pony Club bought her and helped her heal. Because she was so young when she broke her leg, she really never got any training and was pretty wild and untrained. When I got on her, she took off running through the hills in one of the paddocks and although I was TERRIFIED I LOVED it with all my heart. I felt like I could relate to her free spirit and wild ways. Thus began my journey to figure out a way to own Rose.
Beautiful Rose :)

I owned Scruples and my Dad told me I needed to sell her before I could buy Rose. Plus, he didn't really want me buying Rose because he had heard about her crazy ways. By this time, she was pretty crazy and no one was doing much of anything with her because they were too scared. My Dad asked a couple of the head honcho ladies at the Pony Club and they advised him that buying Rose was not the best steps, but I wouldn't hear it. I wanted that beautiful girl. Because the current owners of Crazy Rose just wanted to get rid of her, they told me they would just take whatever I sold Scruples for and didn't have a bottom price. So, beginning of my senior year, I was able to lower my price way down and finally found a buyer for Scrup. Oh glorious day- Rose was mine!
We were getting ready to go on a two day ride down into the valley and so I had to make sure everything was comfortable for my darling girl

Whenever I worked with Rose, I was always scared of breaking a bone, getting scratched up or even getting thrown off. As I got to know Rose more, I realized that she had the biggest heart ever and was just yearning for attention. I spent every moment I could with her, training her, desensitizing her, and riding her around the mountains of Ukarumpa barefoot and bareback. There were even a couple times I didn't wear a helmet (ssshhhh, that's BAD and it was banned by the Ukarumpa clinic for safety reasons and I am in no way saying its OK to not wear a helmet when you ride.)
We had stopped to have some lunch during one of our rides and Rose, the always hungry one, had to try and beg some food off us

She became my pride and joy and we bonded on a completely different level than I had with any other horse. She helped me work through a lot of stuff I had going on at the time and I think I helped her work through some of her stuff to. I think I loved her for a couple reasons. One was definitely because she is just such a lovable horse. Secondly, she was a horse that no one though could ever be tamed - she was the Crazy Horse everyone was scared of and I was able to work beyond that, show her love, and she became one of the favorites everyone wanted to ride. She was SO sensitive to every command I gave her. I was able to take two year olds cantering on her by the end of my senior year. She was an amazing learner and picked up on things SO quickly. She was AMAZING fast - beat every horse in the paddocks. And we were best buddies. Oh how i loved that girl.
For my senior pictures, I wanted to incorporate Rose into them. I also wanted to incorporate my love for froo froo princess dresses. So, I got into my banquet gown that I had designed and my Mom made and then began hanging out with my beautiful princess.

 It's hard work sitting on a horse in a full dress and high heels! Try it sometime! I was SO proud of Rose, though. She was completely fine, even with all my froo froo ruffles and noises.




It's even harder riding bareback in a froo froo dress with heels on - but oh so worth it!





One of the coolest things I did was gallop around the paddocks on my Girl. I don't think I'll ever forget how freeing and beautiful it was to share those moments with my Rosie Posie.








By the end of my senior year, I was spending probably three to five days a week with Rose. The Paddocks were open and supervised three days a week. Because I'm a girl and the paddocks were outside the fence, it wasn't safe for me to go by myself and care for Rosie. Therefore, whenever I wanted to hang out with her, it had to either be a supervised day, or I had to find someone to come down with me. More often than not, my Dad would grab his book or his work and come down with me. I know my Dad never loved horses, but he came down just to allow me to hang out with my horse. I'll never forget that and what it meant to me that he would drop what he was doing to allow me some fun time.



I learned so much about myself and about animals from hanging out with Rose. I felt like I had found my passion and was really good at something. I always knew I was good at stuff, but hadn't really found something I excelled in. Rose allowed me to excel at caring for her. We made an incredible team.
Ever since working with Rose, I haven't been able to find a horse that I quite relate to as well as I did with Rose. The main issue here is cost and availability of stables, space, and time. Although I'd love to get back into working with wild and untrained horses, I think that was a stage of my life I won't get to relive. However, if the Lord blesses us with kids, I think I might have a new type of bond with them I never had before, and I'll have to perfect the art of Kid Whispering.