Enjoying Life

Why not? I was all tired after helping a lot of folks at work, but when I went out to see the horses, I felt so much better that I did my scheduled ride and enjoyed the nice afternoon.

I had to replace the chairs, but these match better anyway. And one works as a mounting block!

The bulldozer is still plowing away. I think that project will be done tomorrow. He’s made it wider and is building an excellent berm that will be fun for the horses and provide a bit of sound insulation for us (you know, ALL that traffic we get!). Lee says he keeps finding springs, which doesn’t surprise me. But even in this drought to see moist areas surprises me!

Sun sets on the dirt and silt pile.

And after yesterday’s rant, I’m embracing my quirky decorating style. It helps that Kathleen has made some really pretty fall and Halloween wreaths and gave me one. Doesn’t it look great?

Seasonal cheer!

To top it all off, my additional cream yarn showed up, so I can keep going on my afghan project. in the meantime I made part of a narrow border to put on at the end. This is gonna be a project, all right.

Second border in progress.

Glad to have some calm time in life every so often.

A Good Kind of Tired

It’s been a long day and I’m darned tired, but like I said in the title, it’s a good kind of tired, both physically and mentally. Yep, I went to a horse clinic with both horses today over at Tarrin’s ranch. That’s a lot of horse time! The good news? It was COOL this morning. That helps when you spend the day outside.

We’re with it, Suna Mom

There were many new things to learn, and all the horse and rider pairs found out what they needed to work on. That was particularly fun, because there was a range of skills and abilities. Sara brought both her horses, too, so she also had a long day.

We’re tired, too.

Apache did better than I expected, though he was in no mood to move his hindquarters, which made a backing in a serpentine formation painful. But heck, we have trouble backing in a straight line! He wasn’t particularly interested in side passing either. He got pretty pissed off but I kept whacking his side and Tarrin got all in his face.

I prefer just watching the other horses while my mane gleams.

Like many of the horses, he was not impressed with the water obstacle at first, but he ended up able to do it repeatedly. All the horses eventually did it, even Sully!

Sully working on that puddle.

After the first group went, Tarrin did some interesting education on how horse anatomy affects how they respond to bits and reins. I learned a lot. We also learned a lot about the role we play in keeping our horses balanced

We’re balanced. We walked around the cool new visiting horse pen matching steps.

Drew did a bit better than Apache on the skills, but then, he was more experienced at a couple. He did great side passing and just fine on dragging an object, but he’d practiced way more than the other horses had. I was truly impressed watching Sully figure these things out. She’s so smart and really trusts Sara.

Only look at MEEEEE

Drew was a bit dubious about the water, but didn’t take long to get the hang of it. I was proud, since I hadn’t done water stuff with him yet. He’s so good, but got rather bored waiting for the other horses and neighed a lot. But wow, he’s a shiny boy.

Look at me shine! Now hurry up and learn, y’all. Note fly in flight.

The hardest obstacle was heads and tails, which involves going around a barrel either on the forehand or back. I did not understand it when Tarrin went over it earlier in the week, but I followed the instructions and by gosh, Drew did it. And now I get it, too!

I like to think I’m a genius.

He’s not a genius! But he likes to learn, as does Apache. We got some fun new experiences and learned so much from everyone. Clinics are great. I love the camaraderie, the variety of participants and the wisdom of clinicians. Tarrin is a great one, by the way.

And Now I Get Sniffly

I came home with one less horse. Drew is staying at Tarrin’s for a few weeks to do his “finishing school.” When he’s done I should be able to work on riding him!

Drew’s back to school picture.

I’ll miss him so much. So will Apache. They’ve finally bonded and I catch them playing together with food bowls and stuff. At least they had fun together in the new pen at Tarrin’s.

We will see Drew again soon! And he will be smarter! I hope I can ride him.

Bye, Suna Mom

Apache Goes Out in Public

Today I went out to get Apache before dawn. I was surprised to find him waiting by the pens. I hadn’t needed to wake up quite so early after all. But we were ready when Saragorn arrived. We took their vehicle. I needed to buy gas, though, because Sara left her money. That’s happened to me before so I was happy to help out!

I got food so it was good.

We went to Sandhaven, which is near where I went to a concert last week. It was a familiar trip!

I forgot to mention that I saw a house concert near Bastrop last weekend. The music was great! Harmonies!

Anyway, I was really proud of how Apache handled himself. He’d never done many of the things there but he was game! He did the bridge, ringing the bell, the pen obstacle, and more.

Can I leave yet?

Being around all the other horses didn’t spook him. He was great with them all except one. Elvis.

What the heck is that??

I’m pretty sure Apache has seen a child before. And he’s seen Fiona. But a tiny horse? Whoa. That was fascinating to him. Everywhere Elvis went, Apache was watching. It was pretty funny.

I see Elvis. Better keep an eye on him. The Andalusian at left is the beautiful Generosa. I love that name.

Apache got introduced to the mini horse and was okay after that. I enjoyed talking to a couple of the kids who were there, too.

Bulky Suna following Saragorn when we first started out. Photo by Crista.

At the end Apache and I went on a short jaunt down the sandy road behind the trailers and wove in and out between some logs. This may not sound exciting, but last year we couldn’t have done a walk in a strange place away from other horses!

Apache also walked all around the dressage area and did Drew’s pattern.

Now, we also each messed up a couple things. I bought a bridle that I didn’t research well enough. And Apache didn’t want to do anything involving moving sideways. He would not move his rear to line up at the gate, and he did a really crappy job of side passing. Now we know what we need to work on!

See I smiled. It appears my helmet isn’t tight enough. Hmm. Another thing to fix!

I also am not letting my alfalfa pellets soak long enough, so I tried to do better today. Boy was Drew annoyed that I hadn’t mixed his supplements in with the alfalfa. Guess I need a stirring stick.

It was cute when we got home. Drew was smack in the middle of the “pond” which explains how he gets that concrete in his feet. But as soon as he saw Aragorn in the trailer, he followed. While Aragorn was waiting for Apache to get out, Drew stared. When the trailer pulled out of the driveway he ran alongside until he couldn’t do it anymore. He will be happy to see Aragorn tomorrow!

Two Dreams, One Came True, One Didn’t (Thankfully)

Let me start with the dream that didn’t come true. I was obviously a bit stressed out from going to work and not knowing where the office actually was. That night, I had a dream that I was visiting my previous job, the previous location for it. Everyone was there, and it had been remodeled with very cheerful colors and furnishings.

They had alcoholic beverages, too.

I chatted with the happy workers, but then, as it often happens in my dreams, I had to pee. I headed to where the bathrooms were, only to find people at workstations in there, cheerfully typing. I asked where the bathrooms were. “Down the road,” was the response.

WTF??

In the dream, I blurted out, “What if you have diarrhea?” The answer was, “We have an Uber right outside!” I went out and yep, there was an old black car. I got in, and the driver sped off. I asked him if he thought driving people to the bathroom struck him as weird. He turned around and smiled at me, saying, “The tips are great!”

I woke up.


The other dream, the one that did come true isn’t that exciting, except to me. The past two rides I’ve had on Apache the Paint horse have made me so dang happy that it’s like I’ve nailed my bucket list. We’ve been improving slowly over the past year, as you probably know.

Honest, he’s happy, too.

Yesterday we did the thing I’d been wanting to do so badly. We went out in the back pasture and wandered around, going up and down the arroyo, and checking out all the fences and trees. We just did it. No stress, no spinning around, no freezing and snorting. We just had a good time.

Hey Drew, we had fun.

Today was just as fun. First I worked with Drew, who’s getting better at his stuff on the ground. His reward was a nice walk together, which we both love. Halfway through was his big reward: he got to eat long grass in the unmown front field. What a dream, hanging out in the shade and relaxing.

So. Much. Grass.

The dream continued with Apache’s ride. He’s just doing so well. We trotted around like we k ew what we were doing, walked all the way across the road (I checked for cars), then headed out to the front field. Rather than getting worried as we got farther from the other horses, he looked around and checked things out. We looked at pretty pink flowers, sunflowers, and long, waving grass.

Wandering around looking at flowers while feeling safe on a happy, calm horse…that has been my dream since things went sour with Apache a couple of years ago. And I’d never been able to ride through fields alone before. I’d been afraid to ride without another person with me.

The view from the pool. Ahh.

Things are better.

Horse Dentistry Hilarity

Yesterday I had lots of fun and learned many new things as Bonnie, the equine dentist, came over to float the teeth of all the horses here (that’s what they call dental work, floating). Everyone was due except Mabel, but I was concerned that she still might need more work, so all got looked at.

I was really impressed at how Bonnie climbed up on the fence and set up a pulley system to hold the horses’ heads up and keep them still while she looked at them. It worked so well! I was also glad that the fence rails didn’t collapse, as they are still just temporarily welded on and a few of them have fallen down. Can’t weld until the drought is over and the fire danger is lower!

Drew having his front teeth straightened out.

Drew went first. He is such a well behaved little guy. The main concern with him is a cracked tooth he’s had since we got him. Bonnie had looked at him last year when he was in training with Tarrin, so she knew about it. The good news is that the crack looks like it’s not getting worse and will grow out. She declared that Drew has a “good mouth.” Let me know what you think!

He’s out of it.

To safely take care of their teeth, the horses need to be mildly sedated, which means you can do all kinds of fun and funny things with them. But the sedation keeps them from getting all upset and keeps Bonnie safe when she’s digging around back there in their molars. When Drew was done, he had a nice nap.

Apache was next in line. He just marched himself into the pen without me haltering him. I was impressed. We have mad a lot of progress in that area!

His teeth were pretty good, too, just due for a tune-up, because his bite had gotten slightly wonky. I’m glad they are in good shape, because I want him to have good teeth as long as possible. Bonnie said horses that are in pastures tend to have better teeth, because they eat a wide variety of textures and don’t get all dried out from not moving their mouths. Interesting fact: horses don’t salivate unless their mouths are moving. That’s another reason not to force them shut with nosebands, I guess. Dry mouths lead to dry innards and bad digestion or ulcers. I say let them move! Eat grass, my friends!

Mabel stood over by Dusty, and I swear she was telling him stories about last time she got hers floated with the manual rasp. But, Dusty is such a good boy that he stepped up like a man to have his turn. He was a bit more of a challenge to work with, since he hadn’t been worked on in a while. It’s important to keep their jaws in good shape, because it’s connected all over the place and can keep them in pain or out of balance. We suspect that is part of Dusty’s reluctance to be ridden. His work was the main reason I had Bonnie come by, because Tarrin had strongly recommended he get his teeth worked on before doing more with him.

Dusty can’t hold his drugs very well, and wasn’t able to stand up straight some of the time. He was leaning hard on the head rest, and slowly getting more and more sideways. We kept waking him up.

It’s good that he was so woozy, because he had a lot of work done. He has a broken molar, but the good news about that is that it broke off cleanly and shows no signs of infections. He can live with it. He also had really pointy canine teeth that were probably causing discomfort. Did you know the canine teeth in horses are the only ones that don’t keep growing their whole lives? Yep. So, now that this one has been clipped off and smoothed (after the photo was taken), he will feel a lot better.

Dusty’s teeth will need more work next time, but they are more balanced and he will be able to bite off grass a LOT better. That will help him gain some weight. And his chewing will also be better. I don’t think he really appreciated any of this, because neither he nor Mabel would come up for dinner later in the day.

At first I hadn’t intended to get Mabel’s teeth done, since the vet had done it when she last choked. But I’m glad I did, because she needed a lot more detail work than the vet gave. She has some imbalances that were probably hurting her and aren’t completely fixed yet, but will improve over time. Some teeth had grown really long and were pressing down on others. Now she’s more even. And she also had a tooth removed.

Getting way up in her grill (note sleepy Dusty behind her).

She was very well behaved, too. All the horses impressed me with how well they handled the dental work. Bonnie said they obviously were handled a lot and trusted people. That’s saying a lot about how far Mabel has come from when she first arrived!

Here’s an interesting fact. I think we now know for sure how old Mabel is. Bonnie said people had labeled her as 5 from looking at her front teeth, but the back teeth very clearly placed her at 10 years old. That makes more sense to me. There had to be some time for her to accumulate some of her issues. Now we just hope we can make her more comfortable!

We talked a bit about weight management on the thin ones and I got some suggestions for inexpensive things to add to Dusty and Mabel’s feed that will put on a bit of weight and give them some amino acids without being quite as expensive as what I give Drew. I’ll go over all that with Kathleen and we will decide where to go from here on that.

I’m glad that the whole tooth situation is under control. I think that one more trim on their feet will get both Dusty and Mabel ready to start more work building muscle. I’m hoping Dusty can be one of Sara’s practice horses for her farrier certification, but in any case, we’re hoping Trixie will be able to make it next week. We are on a shorter schedule for a while, so Apache and Kathleen’s two can get all set. Drew, of course, has perfect feet to go with his perfect mouth. He’s like one of those incredibly healthy mixed-breed dogs, I guess, just full of heterozygous vigor!

I love them all and it makes me very happy to provide good care and love to these sweet creatures.

Let’s Learn Horse Stuff

Today was a good horse day. Lee was kind enough to drive me and Sara met me at Tarrin’s ranch where we filmed Drew’s next set of obstacles for the Working Horse Central third quarter virtual show. I learned a lot more today, particularly about my capacity to do things in humidity.

Yep. Not my best skill jogging, carrying multiple objects and trying not to get stomped on by a large animal.

I had already gotten too hot bathing the heck out of Drew and grooming both horses, and I just went downhill from there. It wasn’t even all that hot! Just effing humid.

But Drew looked good and relaxed.

Everyone was kind to me and insisted I focus on what went well, even pointing out that when I dropped the lead rope after the jump he stopped and waited for me. That was way better than running off! I was actually pretty pleased, too.

He had no trouble with the bridge obstacle.

All these photos are screen shots from the video Sara took, by the way. He did very well on some new obstacles, like moving a cup, stomping on a tractor tire full of sand, and doing a series of tight turns. He’s really improving on so many levels. I wish I’d been up to the challenge of all the trotting.

Apache had a lesson after we sat in Sara’s car to cool off a bit to discuss his issues. I needed help with backing up, so Tarrin volunteered to work with him a bit, though she wasn’t exactly dressed for it! He was not thrilled, but got better.

I recovered enough to get in and practice. Sara filmed it, which was really interesting to me. I’m doing better with insisting on doing what I ask. By the end, it was much more smooth. We learned more stuff!

Back up, Jack.

When I finished backing, I had fun trying some of the obstacles with him. What a guy! Other than the backing up obstacle, He did all the things I tried like a champ! The bridge, the turns, the cup! He does have skills! I was so happy.

The thing I’m proudest of, though, was that Apache did his best job ever going through the “scary” corridor and to the trailer. There was only the smallest amount of nervousness! We are learning!

I guess it was worth the heat. That’s good, because this is a busy horse week coming up!

Helping Your Friends

It was a fun morning, another one spent with our friend, Sara, and her Andalusian charges. Solly and Aragorn both came over today so we could work on things together and give the horses new experiences. Aragorn did a great job ponying his mare buddy over to our house. He seemed proud of himself.

And he still has both shoes on!

It was the future mama’s first trip over here, so she did pretty well. The sight of all my horses thundering up to see who was coming would be enough to startle me!

As Sara warmed Solly up to be ridden, Aragorn ate grass in the round pen (his favorite!). There was no grass eating for Drew. Everything Sara asked Solly to do, Drew tried to do on the other side of the fence. It was really cute. There was no need for me to exercise him today!

She’s running, so I’ll run.

Then we got to work. My job was to lead Solly while Sara rode her, to keep her moving forward. We had much success as long as I led. She kept a-going through all the obstacles. But, without me, she kept stopping. I have no clue what’s going on in her mind. But, she got better as we kept working on it. We will have to get together and work some more. It’s interesting how young horses have such different issues. We just need to have patience and keep at it. Sara is doing so well.

Here she goes!!

After that work, Aragorn and Apache did a bit of practice. Neither has been ridden much lately, so they just practiced obstacles. Apache was fascinated by the cute girl in the round pen, which gave me good practice making him pay attention to me, not her.

Bending, with tail swish.

I enjoyed my time very much, especially getting to play with Sara and the big grays. By the time the foal comes, Sara will be very practiced in working with young horses and Solly will be ready to be worked with by Trixie, who owns her. What a great arrangement!

We’re all tired from running around and looking at large, gray horses.

Working with the horses is just so fascinating and educational. I’m glad to have such good horse friends to learn with. Honestly, I’m glad to have such good friends.

Hi There

Not much is going on other than the dizzy thing and working hard. Work is good, of course. I could do without queasy and dizzy.

This will make it all better.

The liquor is a prop, as is the hat. We were celebrating a coworker’s birthday today, so we wore party hats, made signs, and brought celebratory beverages to our 8:30 am meeting. Party on Zoom! It made Lenna cry. That’s a good way to start sprint planning (if you don’t know what that is, consider yourself lucky).

Why didn’t you invite ME? Well, Apache, you don’t like hats.

Declan put a set of blinds that didn’t fit on another project in the tack room. This is the only one that worked, but it’s okay, because that’s the one that gets lots of morning sun and heats things up.

Ok. Later I will hang up the little art I’ve had since I lived in my first house in Illinois.

And since I was too woozy to exercise, I did a fun thing at lunch. Kathleen gave me one of those kid sun-catcher crafts to cheer me up. It was a paint horse, and I made it look like Apache. It’s got his mane and tail plus a white nose. I had fun, and it’s cheerful in a window.

And one more thing, I found yet another mushroom variety today. The puffballs are back! And yesterday’s ink caps are already fading. Maybe my mold issue will, too.

The look like golf balls grow!

Drew and Apache Learn New Skills

Yeah, yeah, non-horsey people. It’s another horse post. I’m very proud of what my horses and I have been learning, though, and I want to be able to look back on our good days and smile. I need smiles and kindness, and I got those in huge doses yesterday!

And I got hay!

We just had the best lesson yesterday! So much learning and progress, and we all had fun! Drew is making great progress in trotting and cantering in a calm and upright manner. And I am making good progress correcting his tendency to barge into me, which concerns Tarrin. I got all up in his face just like she does. Woot.

I know I have to listen up when this human talks.

I’m extra proud of Drew, because he learned a new skill today, dragging an object. I enjoyed watching how carefully Tarrin introduced this, so it would be a positive experience for Drew. I probably learned more than he did!

This thing is interesting.

The deal is that the sight of the thing being dragged, along with the sound of it, can unnerve a young horse. By first just dragging it herself and only attaching it to the saddle after Drew got used to it, Tarrin set him up for success.

Here, she’s pulling the tire

Drew showed some signs of concern, but didn’t get really upset. He got chances to inspect the rope and tire, too. By the end of the exercise, he wasn’t phased even when the rope touched his flank. Yay Drew! Here are more pictures of him learning.

Apache and I both learned a lot, too. I’m figuring things out and doing way better with my riding form, even if I do look like a lump still in photos. And Apache is getting much closer to a controlled trot to canter transition. It’s a struggle for him. Many years of not having a clue are hard to undo.

Doing our best.

We did a lot on the ground and mounted, then headed back to all his “scary” spots, where he got upset by a calm old horse and then was a bit jumpy. But we handled it. Both Lee and Tarrin were kind enough to take some pictures of us. It helps me analyze what I need to work on.

Here we are going back and forth getting closer and closer to the dreaded trailer.

We had some success and I was happy. He also was! At one point when he figured out we were asking him to canter, he stopped and looked so energized that Tarrin said he looked like a magnificent Arabian for a brief moment. For me it was the look in his eyes, as if to say, “I did it!” It’s so nice to see him enjoying his learning.

Here is lumpy Suna working with nervous Patchy on the approach to the scary trailer.

Birds? A Few

Someone asked what kids of birds are still hanging out at the ranch. In addition to the ones I mentioned yesterday there are some interesting ones.

Scissor tail family

It cheered me up greatly this morning to see this family. I love these beautiful birds, and I’m glad they fledged at least one baby!

At least we had some clouds at sunrise.

The other birds we’ve been seeing are our friendly carrion eaters, who are probably pretty well fed these days. This morning (and yesterday) a large group of black vultures was enjoying the pond behind the house.

Note the patient cow and fleeing heron.

The vultures really like the island made by the tree at right. There were still a few late this afternoon. They were joined by a big ole crested caracara, too. That’s some free and easy bird watching!

I’m good. And pretty.

It didn’t even crack 100° today, so Apache and I went on a nice long ride. It was the longest solo ride we ever went on. We checked out all available pasture. And he was pretty good, too. I handled his one spook at an unfamiliar object and every time he wanted to turn around. It’s getting better!

Seating for 6!

And hey. I ordered an inexpensive desk chair for the tack room and built it today. Makes writing in my horse journal really snazzy. Come visit!

BottomsUpOrange

All Things Crochet!

Crissi McDonald

Heartline Horse Training

sara annon

seeking the middle path

Tonya's Tall Tales

My life with horses, bunnies, chickens, ducks, and cows.

rfljenksy - Practicing Simplicity

Legendary Whining and Dining World Tour.

The Backyard Horse Blog

All about keeping horses at home

Hazel's Animal Adventures

My life on the ranch.

Katie Zapfel

Children's book author. Mom blogger.

365 Knit Socks

I knit a lot of socks and I make a few other things

recoveringpornaddictcom.wordpress.com/

Coach, author and educator

The daily addict

The daily life of an addict in recovery

Just Vee

A regular gal who likes to stop and smell the flowers.

Happy Heidi's Happenings

My life in the country.

BrownesPups

A family of dog lovers, owners & breeders since 2015

The Adventures of a Mountain Coward

panic-stricken mountain adventuring!

Something Over Tea

Scribbles from my notebook

The Renegade Press

Tales from the mouth of a wolf

Heccateisis's Blog

Just another WordPress.com weblog

The Upstate Gardener

The Upstate Gardening blog with Gardening Information, Recipies, Home Improvement Ideas, and Crafts Projects to make your life more beautiful and healthy.

Read, Learn, Live

Look closely around and about you, and you will see all forms of beauty.

Nature And Photography

Bring Nature Into Life

AT PATHO

no streetlights, just star light

Words and Stitches

woolgathering at its best

The Grief Reality

Normalising the conversation about Grief.

iRoseStudios.com

Art Studio Dumfriesshire

The Creative Pixie

eat up some crafty goodness with this creative mama

Writings of a Furious Woman

My thoughts, sentiments, and scribbles on womanhood

Paws Bark

Dogs Leave Paw Print in your Heart

Yeshua's Child Art

Art that Expresses the Heart

Chicken Coop Plans

Build Your Chicken a Home

Leaf And Twig

Where observation and imagination meet nature in poetry.

Hidemi’s Rambling by Hidemi Woods

Singer, Songwriter and Author from Kyoto, Japan.

Cathartic Tendencies

motivational posts, rants, and stories!

TotallyTexasGifts.com

Featuring Fine Arts & Crafts created and sold by Texans

Seasons As My Teacher

Truth Written In The Wind

claudiajustsaying

Aging & Attitude

The Tragedy Kween

A boisterous introvert illustrating her way through life.