Ladies Day Out. At Last.

Wow. It’s been a really long time since I did anything with the family. Between COVID and family stresses, I’ve been on my own. So it was a pleasant surprise to have Kathleen coming back. More pleasant was a visit from her daughter-in-law, Moriah, and her baby Oaklynn (recipient of one of my baby blanket series).

She seems to like me.

I’d intended to go do a Master Naturalist thing today, but a ladies’ trip sounded more fun. Besides, I’d missed doing stuff around Cameron with anyone. (But I’m grateful for Anita and the Austin book group for some feminine company.)

Howdy from Calvert

So we got in Moriah’s car and headed to exotic Calvert, Texas, home of many cute shops and houses. Less than half an hour from Cameron, this little town has done what I wish we could. Dang, it’s been renovated well.

Humor to me. A donkey restaurant next to a building named Oscar, the name of my original donkey.

We had a great meal at the beautiful Calvert Hotel. It’s so well done and you get free wine with your meal. I had a great burger with bread and butter pickles on it. Mmm. Other than a lady insisting on touching the baby, it was a great time. Here are some pictures.

Then Kathleen and I shopped some in the stores. One with lots of colored glass really had nice stuff. I got some purple glass for my bathroom.

Ready for wine

A visit to Calvert is not complete without checking out the En Geddes winery store. We enjoyed a wine flight and snacks, along with good conversation with the owners. I got my favorite sparkling wine, which they’ve almost sold out of it and the freeze killed a lot of the grapes.

Nice dining area.

I enjoyed all the wildflowers on the roadside. At home we have a couple new ones things to look at, like monarchs, carpenter bees, and false dandelion. The giant earth ball mushroom keeps growing, too.

When we got home we decided to ride horses. Kathleen groomed Mabel, but decided not to ride her due to a hoof issue.

She is looking lots better.

I rode Apache and practiced all our stuff. He started eating grass and yanked the reins out of my hands. Then he stepped in them. Luckily his jumping wasn’t too bad. I got off and had a firm word with him. Very firm. He did fine after that. Yay me.

Back in the saddle again

It was nice to see Kathleen back on Dusty. It had been six months. It will take a while to get her muscles back. Moriah hadn’t ridden in years, but she got on. Good for her.

Moriah being excited about horse riding.

She rode, and that’s what counts.

On her own!

All in all, we had fun. a good ladies day. We even went to the CAB (Central Avenue Bistro) for the first time in ages. Lee won’t eat there. Ha. He missed Tom Petty songs.

Trail Ride For Us

We had a fun morning today, as Sara and I took our new and improved horses on a trail ride, along with Dusty, who’s not been out for a while, but was ready for fun. Sara’s his-daughter, Rachel, who is visiting this weekend, came with us.

Out trailing. Dusty is looking good after all the grooming and supplements!

They brought Aragorn and saddles over here to get ready. I’d already done all Apache’s schooling and had him ready to go. I’d groomed Dusty, but he is shedding mightily, so more grooming was good. He likes it.

Sara and I rode around and practiced things while Rachel got used to Dusty in the round pen. Aragorn would not go over my low OVC pipe jumps. All the pipe and fencing on the other side made him concerned. I don’t blame him.

I’m smart.

Apache had an episode when I first got back on him. I guess he thought he was done for the day. So I let him back up for a while and eventually got him doing circles and going around barrels. Yay me.

Practicing. Dusty looks fancy.

The ride went well, with Aragorn having lots of gate-opening practice and Dusty challenging Rachel by wanting to go back. She handled it, though! Since I’d been having my own fun with Apache, I just admired everyone else dealing with whatever horse they got.

I’ll get that gate. And yes, Vlassic tagged along for a long time.

We got to the entrance to the bottom pasture only to find there was an electric fence in front of the gate. So we trudged back. I’m sure the horses were thrilled. As we got out, the tenants showed up and said they’d take the fence down. That was nice! Back we went.

Apache flung himself at grass less than he used to, but still did it some.

We did pretty well with the challenges of the big pasture. Apache crossed a muddy spot just great and might have crossed the stream, but the other horses said no. I’m really proud of how I handled Apache wanting to go back and acting nervous. We did all the things I wanted him to do after a bit of leg action. Yes, I did it!

I’m happy. I kept hearing Tarrin in my head, so it was like a lesson.

When we got back, we had the obligatory Fiona photo opportunity. I have missed having guests and doing that! I sure was impressed with how Rachel dealt with Dusty, who did some rearing and scooting.

Yay for Fifi. She wanted to come, but no. She’s a bad influence.

I had planned to wash horses after riding, but my new horse washer won’t attach to the hose. I’ll ask someone for help later. It was challenging to wash Apache since the only hose I can use is next to the shipping container that has been emptied out, but I did it.

I left him out to dry for a while, since I had to move Remington back to the right pasture (he had escaped earlier when I didn’t latch a gate well enough and he wanted to be with Dusty. So how long do you think it took after taking off his halter for Apache to roll?

Filler image.

Four seconds. At least he didn’t roll in mud.

There’s Still Life in the Old Guy

I had a little extra horse time today, so I decided to groom Dusty, the Buckskin Buddy that Kathleen rode the most. He’d been looking lonely. Plus they are all shedding.

Look at me go!

We groomed a long time. He is much lighter now, and his mane and tail are all shiny. He is even growing some forelock back in after it was just a nub for a while. I could tell he enjoy it.

See, I have a mane!

Just for fun, we went on a walk and into the round pen. He immediately picked up a nice trot and kept going until I asked him to stop. Then he went the other way, also just fine.

Thanks, Suna!

To my surprise, when I encouraged him, he picked up an easy canter, not the uncontrolled one I sometimes get from Drew. It was fun to watch him looking so good and enjoying himself. I think he likes his current rations.

After I put him away, Drew came out to play. His mane is so pretty. More important, so is his behavior. His jumps looked great, and he stopped when I stopped, then trotted when I jogged. Yep. He’s great at home. Even sidepassed both ways.

Mmm. Grass.

When we were done practicing things, we went for a nice, relaxing walk around the property. I let him have a grazing break near the arroyo and just enjoyed his shiny hair above his hooves. The walk back was just great. We had a great time.

I’m glad I’m not a horse. Zzzz.

Apache was thrilled not to have to go trotting in circles again today, so we were all happy!

Flower love. Did you know our florist grows flowers for other florists? No wonder these seem so fresh.

In spring news, the swallows are back, swooping around. And I’ve never seen or heard so many cardinals. So pretty.

Chirp

And to end the day, here are some pretty flowers Dusty and his friends sent yesterday, just to brighten your evening or day.

Enjoy whatever is on the side of your road.

This Made Me So Happy

You’ve probably read that I’ve been having some trouble with my Paint horse, Apache, and having him not responding well, with him having an abscess, etc. it’s seemed like two steps forward and one step back. One reason I got Drew is to have a horse I can enjoy riding without struggle.

I’m a good guy!

Now that we have everyone over at our place, I wanted to try riding Apache here. But I did some tests on him.

I started the day with the horses by just walking him around in his little pasture. I wanted to see what Drew would do. He followed us around curiously. So, I took the halter off Apache and put it on Drew. He walked with me just great! He had very good manners. Apache followed, but didn’t force his way between us. It was great!

I was good.

After a hot afternoon of raking huge piles of grass and putting them in the front-end loader’s bucket (don’t ask why), Kathleen and I wanted to ride. I warmed Apache up on a nice long lead, and he was okay, not great. But still, I put his saddle on, in addition to his pretty new side pull bridle.

I’m all dressed up now.

While we waited for Kathleen to get help with her persnickety old saddle, I got on and rode Apache around, to see how he would do. Um. Wow. He was fantastic.

Happy human and horse. Note I do have my helmet on.

We rode over by the cows, checked out the pond, crossed the driveway, and really bothered the poor dogs. But wow, he did so well. He didn’t act upset or nervous. He then stood quietly at least ten minutes while I talked to Kathleen and Dusty.

I had fun, too.

Fiona was also good. When Kathleen and I were out, she didn’t act up or run like a crazed ass. And she came right in when we were done.

I was proud of Apache for helping Dusty and Kathleen figure stuff out, but at one point he’d had enough of mosquitoes and did not want to keep going. I listened to him and got off. He was so happy and friendly and good.

I’m looking forward to my chiropractor experience tomorrow!

We both seem relaxed and happy. Plus, Drew was calmer this evening, too. We are all making progress. I was almost in tears after the ride. I have my horse back, and my new fellow is a real peach.

PS: we watched Apache and Remington mutually grooming for a long time this afternoon. It’s just so nice to see how well all these equines are adapting to their new surroundings and herd. Sometimes things actually work out well! All good.

The Big Day: Apache Comes Home

I’d been waiting a long time to get Apache and Fiona on our property, so I can hang out with them more. What with the three new horses this week and all the work getting things ready, it’s been busy around here, but today topped them all! Everyone agrees this was the busiest day we remember. Lucky for us, there was also fun.

I mean, who couldn’t have fun in THIS get-up?

Before I could go get my guys, a few things had to be finished, so I got drafted from my heat recovery reverie to finish mowing Apache’s grazing area as far down as possible. I do believe that was my first riding lawnmower work, but I did good, and apparently the tractor made me look sexy (musical reference).

My fine mowing on left, what it was before, on the right.

Finally, recharged with Gatorade, I walked over one last time to the other horse pens. Speaking of exercise, I got over 16,000 steps today. Six miles, not counting horseback. Anyway, we loaded Apache with his hay net and lead rope, and put Fiona’s halter on so she could carry it. Sara tied it up real well.

They have no idea they’re moving to new pastures.

I rode Apache and Fiona followed, in her own fashion. Sara opened the gate for us and waved farewell. Sniff. She promised to keep feeding Big Red for me. But, now the paddock can rest and recover, so it’s all good.

I was proud of how Apache did fine passing a lawn mower, barking dogs, and hidden scary objects, but one thing concerned him. There’s something near the mailbox for the cabin that reflected brightly and made him stare. But, eventually we made it to our property and I turned them out.

Home at last.

After eating a bit, Drew called to them, so they went over to meet him. It was a very successful meet and greet.

You’re okay, so are you, and you, too.

Meanwhile, Remington and Dusty were getting saddled up, so I guess everyone wasn’t too tired to ride. (I was, but I wasn’t about to miss any fun!) Drew did not like being in his pen, and got all worked up. He knocked down his temporary gate and went charging around. Luckily, I’d just decided to close the exit gate, just in case.

So, while Kathleen rode around happily on Dusty, I held on the Remington while we made the executive decision to put Drew in with Apache and Fiona. I have no photos, but they got along okay, once Apache kicked Drew to establish his dominance. Still, Drew ran and ran. You know, why not? The poor guy hadn’t had many opportunities to run around before.

Lee took this nice picture of me. I’m all covered up because I’d been in the sun all day.

When Kathleen got off, she said I ought to ride Dusty. So, I clambered into the Western saddle, grabbed the split reins, and walked and trotted around, mostly watching Remington, who had some issues.

Yee haw.

Dusty was fine, and eventually we had a nice time out looking at stuff with Remington, who had learned his lesson. He will be lots better after the chiropractic work on Monday.

There is a lot of tack on this horse.

By the time we were done with riding and putting things away, everyone was tired, even Lee, who helped a lot in the frantic preparations.

Horseback chatting. Thanks to Lee for the pictures!

Kathleen and I both took soothing baths tonight. We both got a lot of sun. I will be ok, I did have sunscreen on. She’s really red, but is a good tanner. Whatever, I bet we are out again tomorrow, even if we are sore.

What a day of fun and new things! When I checked the horses in the evening, all four plus Fiona were peacefully grazing. No one was running around!

The Herd Grows

Here’s the surprise I’ve hinted at. After I got Andrew, Kathleen went to a horse rescue place and came home with two fine buckskin gentlemen, Remington (7) and Dusty (13).

Dusty, Remington, and Drew

When they got back with the new guys (who have all their shots and were checked out by a vet), they all said “hay” to each other and were fine. When they were let out together the next day, nothing but friendship ensued (and gentle nips). That was a good surprise.

Buddies.

Remington is a perfect quarter horse type. He’s really beautiful. He needs work on his neck, so Trixie is looking at him Monday. (She will look at them all.) but whoa, he can do stuff, potentially.

Mr Fancy

Dusty is older, very gentle, and will be a great guest horse. He used to be an elderly man’s horse, and was well loved. He loves carrots, and used to have the nickname Bunny. Aww. He likes to chew, too.

Dusty has two white socks.

We’ve spent most of today with these three, walking, learning, and having nice baths. That was fun!

Clean baby.

Much of the rest of the day we got the stalls and pasture ready for Apache. I even had to mow. I meant I got to mow.

On the left is Apache’s low grass.

Now Apache will have little grass just like he needs. Whew. We were outside all day!

Horses in stalls.

Kathleen and I are gonna have so much fun.

Buckskin horses and dog. Plus white.
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