Thursday, July 30, 2015

See You In September

I’ll be taking the month of August off from posting.  I like to call it a mental health break!  There’s really nothing much going on right now.  The horses are having some time off until the temperatures and humidity cool down a bit.  The truth is I’m not a summer person and can’t convince myself to ride in the extreme heat we’re having right now.  And I’m sure they don’t want a saddle pad, saddle and person on their back making them even hotter than they are.

" The Clown Shed"

The herd has been spending most of their time in what I call the “clown shed.”  It reminds me of the clown cars at the circus.  All seven of them squeeze in there and take turns rotating under the two ceiling fans like a carousel.  This boggles my mind because they have access to a much larger shed with a fan nearer the waterers they could use.  So if they split up between the two they would be much more comfortable.  Oh well, who knows what goes through their minds.

Have a great August I’ll see you soon!

Until next time

Quote for Today
It ain’t the heat, it’s the humility.
Yogi Berra 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Another Birthday

Well, today is my birthday.  No big deal I've had plenty of them and normally don't celebrate with a post.  However, this year I wanted to share some fun cards I received.  Hope you find them as amusing as I did.

Until next time

Quote for Today
 How old would you be if you didn't know how old you were? ~Satchel Paige

Sunday, July 19, 2015

An Interesting Ride

The Pond

Waiting patiently for her treats

Dusty and I had what I would consider an interesting ride for both of us yesterday.  Let me preface this by saying that Dusty is in heat so she’s a tad sensitive this week. 

The day was very hot and steamy with thunderstorms on the horizon so I decided to have a short ride in the small outside arena by the barn.  After I mounted we walked around for our warm up.  Our property by the arena is close to the neighbor’s back yard separated by a line of trees bordering the fence.  Our neighbor decided to mow his lawn with his ride- on mower.  No problem for Dusty she’s used to motorized vehicles.  However, having the lights on the mower fading in and out of the trees did get her attention.  After a few discussions about going to the end of the arena by the scary lights I decided to take her for a walk around the property.  By this time my daughter had joined us with Grady.

We walked around the pond and moseyed down the alleyway. A few motorcycles passing by on the road didn’t concern Dusty. The herd sees and hears traffic all day long in the pastures.  On the way back it seemed like a nice idea to circle around the outside of the indoor before going in to work.  On the long side of the indoor is a fenced paddock which creates a somewhat narrow passage between the indoor and paddock.  This is where Mellon thought it might be the perfect time to snake his head over the fence with ears pinned back and bite Dusty on the butt.  Dusty being Dusty and not taking any nonsense from anybody threw a small buck and kicked out at him.  Thanks Mellon, I needed that!

On to the indoor and some relaxed work.  We just had gates put on the front and rear entrances so we can leave the doors open for any breezes.  The gates don’t have hardware yet so my daughter closed the rear entrance by propping two metal pipes against them.  I remember saying “ I hope they don’t blow open while we’re passing them.”  And the reply “ The wind is blowing in the other direction, it should be okay.” 

Dusty was on a long looping rein doing her power walk because she refuses to follow any horse and always needs to be in the lead.  After a few circles and figure eights we were making the turn at the rear end of the arena when Grady spooked behind her, which in turn spooked Dusty.  She actually reared a little and did a scrambling “I’m outta here” move. My reins were no help because if I would have pulled back on them I’m sure they would have been up by my ears somewhere.  I managed to hang on with my seat and legs and she calmed down relatively quickly. Apparently, the doors blew open and the metal rods banged together and that’s what spooked Grady.  He’s normally unflappable but in his defense if that had happened to me I probably would have jumped too.

The rest of the ride was uneventful and I dismounted and brought Dusty back to the barn for some well deserved treats.  It just goes to show you that anything can happen while riding even the calmest horse that rarely spooks at anything. To say I was a little surprised that she had it in her would be an understatement. 

Until next time

Quote for Today
How to ride a horse:
Step One - Mount the horse.
Step Two - Stay mounted...

Friday, July 10, 2015

Happy Birthday Dusty!

The "Queen" is in and receiving visitors bearing treats!
One of my favorite pictures of Miss Dusty

Dusty celebrated her 19th birthday on July 8th.  Where does the time go?  It seems like only a short time ago she was a feisty five year old and now she’s a mature lady of nineteen. 

Dusty is a smart yet very opinionated mare with lots of talent. She will absolutely not put up with anything that doesn’t feel right to her.  We’ve had our ups and downs over the years but it’s always been interesting and mostly lots of fun.  Thank you Dusty for always making me ride with my head and my heart.

Quote for Today
 Gypsy gold does not chink and glitter. It gleams in the sun and neighs in the dark.
    - Saying of the Claddagh Gypsies of Galway-

If anyone is interested I put together a slide show of Dusty for her birthday a few years ago.  Here’s the link if you’d like to see her "through the years":

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Dusty's Days

Nate & Dusty
Dusty and I have been trying to get in as many rides as we can lately.  Okay, to be truthful, I’ve been trying to get in as many rides as I can.  Dusty couldn’t care less.  As a matter of fact she would rather graze all day and stuff as much grass in her mouth as possible.

We did get in a nice ride yesterday after she led me on a magical mystery tour through three paddocks while I was trying to catch her.  She thought she was being very clever by hiding in the shed, but she made the mistake of sticking her head out the window to watch me.  She should have done what Blue did last year and hid behind the shed and peeked out occasionally.  Then I might have found that as amusing as I did with Blue and not ride her.  Dusty was smart enough to have Nate stand in front of her so I couldn’t get to her, but to her dismay he was easily moved.  They are a constant source of amusement and quite a cast of characters.

Nice try but it didn't work this time
Dusty and I have been taking things slowly until she gets fitter.  We do lots of walking and I work on my position. We’ve been incorporating lots of circles and bending and changes of direction so it doesn’t get too boring for her.  At one point I was thinking about doing a little trotting and without changing my position or reins she took it upon herself to trot off.  I let her trot for a little bit then went back to walk.  Sometimes I think she can read my mind, which can be a good or bad thing I guess!

Until next time

Quote for Today
A little horseplay... the way best to enjoy a summer day!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A Little of This…

A little of that…  Not much to report here from the farm.  There’s been some riding, grooming, baths, longeing and lots of cleaning.  Seems there’s never enough time in a day to get everything done.  We’re still in cleanup and organizing mode around here.  The paddocks need mowing, arenas need dragging, there is tons of laundry to do. Then there's all the tack that needs to be cleaned and oiled. 

I sometimes think it was so much easier when I boarded my horses elsewhere and left all the maintenance to someone else.  Then I remember all the things I didn’t like about boarding too.  At the end of the day even if I don’t get to ride as much as I want I’d still rather have the horses at home under my care.  When I do manage a ride I appreciate it more than if I trained almost everyday like I used to.  There’s no pressure now and the ride is more relaxed and pleasurable than it was in the past.  I guess I’m trying to say that even though I don’t ride as much as I did that’s okay too.  As long as I can be with happy healthy horses it’s all to the good.

Here are some pictures from this weekend:
Sami waiting patiently for his treat after his bareback ride

Blue - Just making sure there are no treats from humans before heading out
Nate - "Looks like we're out of luck on the treat front today Blue"
Mellon, Grady, Nate and Dusty with Sami in the corner hanging out under the fan
Donnie and Blue trying to look inconspicuous so they won't have to work
Dusty - "Am I next or what? I can't keep hanging around here all day, places to go things to do..."
So much little time
Gunnar - The exceptional "guard dog" keeping an eye on everything

Quote for Today
Some are slaves on the ground but are free on a horse.

Saturday, May 23, 2015


 "Look back at our struggle for freedom
Trace our present day's strength to it's source
 And you'll find that man's pathway to glory
 Is strewn with the bones of the horse.”