Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Catch up?

How can I possibly catch up? If I try to catch up I'll never blog again because it's too overwhelming.

Halla is still wonderful! But she did unload me in a spinning spook over some quail while I was taking a picture behind us. Not the right moment for shenanigans. I would be fine if she hadn't stepped on my bad leg that the mule smashed that is still damaged from 4 years ago. I won't be able to really ride for a while, although I have been in the saddle a couple times since then. It hurt.

I also won't be able to wear boots, because I can't stand anything touching my leg, so I finally got a pair of tapaderos. And I got her a saddle too, which I think she likes a lot better than the Orthoflex I've been riding in. Pics to come.

Bella is in drylot after having a slight bout of ouchy, warm feet - October laminitis attack.  She's fine now. She doesn't pose for pictures though.

Sawyer is in love with Halla, so I have him separate. It's really quite ridiculous how much he pines over her if I let them be together and then have to separate them. He's looking really, really good being on his own and able to eat enough.

Juniper needs all the love, all the time. And apples too.

Scout is Scout. Same horse, different day.

Liam has been riding Sawyer a bit. I hope he keeps it up!

Saturday, September 22, 2018


I don't know what I'd do without my critters. I sure wouldn't laugh as much! There wouldn't be near as much happy quiet bonding time. And no enjoyable work. Just housework. Yuck.

Yesterday someone was supposed to come look at Sawyer but they canceled. I don't mind too much. If they're not dedicated, they're not for him. I decided to try to make some more video of him. That's pretty hard to do by yourself.

He makes me laugh! He's just a tiny bit naughty, wanting to get to work, not sure why I'd want to show the video that you can mount and dismount from both sides.

We cruised around for a while, and sometimes I let him decide where to go. Inevitably it led to a nice patch of grass or tasty thistles, but sometimes he took the long way to get there. It's fun to be able to trust your horse enough to drop the reins and watch a video while he cruises around. :) I think he had a lot of fun too. Maybe he's been bored.

I turned Sawyer loose to eat whatever green grass he could find and went to get Scout. It was time to turn him in with the mares and see how he'd get along with Halla. He offended her right off the bat. She's a shy girl and he marched right up to her. She nailed him once, there was a slow chase with her kicking up to let him know he needed to back off, then Bella intervened and started a grooming fest.

Note the common theme in these photos. Someone always wants all of the attention.

She's rather unpleasant to pet though. I'm not sure why donkeys love to be so dusty. I assume it's a natural protection from bugs or the sun. My sinuses don't love it. Of course I love and pet her anyway.

I'm not sure why I didn't take pictures of Halla. She was right there with me and Juniper. She's a love. Cautious, still, but she's letting down her guard. She wants to groom me back sometimes. It's cute. I think she's still real standoffish with other people. Liam says she won't let him approach her in the pasture.

Pretty duck eggs, just for fun.

Trying out an Australian saddle. Not my favorite but it was OK. Slippy. Not great for my challenged balance. Nice on the downhill though, with those poleys.

And some nice trail ride pics from last weekend.  Loving my Halla!

Sunday, September 16, 2018


My, how they have grown! I don't remember if I have posted since they started laying, but they are all girls.

Zorro here doesn't lay much, but she's still my favorite. I don't eat eggs, but I do expect them to entertain me with their cuteness and shenanigans. :)

Shadow apparently likes to really stretch out in the pool:

Zorro doesn't mind Shadow being a pool-hog.

All 3 do fit, but I do want to get a bigger pond one day.

Happy Zorro!

They are very loud when they want out in the morning, bet they didn't much like me pointing the camera at them.

"Let us out already!"

Happy wanderers. Amazing how much the blues blend in.

I have been having daily headaches, but managed one ride this week with Halla. She did splendidly. We saw a logger leaving for the day, then the big equipment still popping and settling, cooling down, and all the big piles of logs. She was on edge around it but did well. Each ride is better than the last.

Tomorrow I hope to be well enough to go for a nice long ride with some fall color. Wish me luck.

Monday, September 10, 2018


She finally has a name! Halla kept coming to me because it sounds so celebratory. But I thought I was making it up, and that made me a bit hesitant. But it turns out that it is a name, with only one "l." Hala means halo, specifically the halo of light around the moon. Halla in Spanish means "found," although of course the "ll" is pronounced differently. However you look at it, it is perfectly her name. "Hall" pronounced like hallway (not hat) followed by "uh."

We had another, better, trail ride. She crossed a BIG muddy puddle, a couple creeks, went up and down and led and followed. We saw very excited children, motorcycles, cars, and a distant 4 wheeler. It was a busy day in the woods!

She's so shiny.

We've been riding and playing at home too, of course. Having a grand time. She really likes her new little herd. Interestingly, the first time I took her away from her girls, once she realized I was taking her away, she started spooking. There was nothing to spook at. Hmm. Has she learned that gets her out of work? After two pretty decent size spooks that I ignored, she gave it up. Today I caught her and took her away several times. Each time it got easier. She also met the farrier and the brand inspector today.  She was perfect for the farrier but didn't pose very prettily for the brand inspector. Resting mare face. :/

Wednesday, September 05, 2018


 I decided, for the sake of her mental health, to end the quarantine period and let her be a horse. I think it was absolutely the right decision (as long as nobody gets deathly ill).

It was very peaceful. Juniper was overly gregarious and was told to back off, and the two older mares avoided each other. Bella was curious but aware that she needed to give her some space.

 These two got bored and came to check my treat status.

Juniper, as always, suggested a butt scratch.

I told her absolutely not from down here on the ground, and I like her pretty face better.

She of course had to try again, just in case.

Now this. This was super cool. I have a longer video but blogger is a pain in the butt with videos. She was lowering her head and really licking, relaxed, salivating a lot. I think she was letting loose the tension and stress she's been holding on to for days, a week, maybe longer as she's been going through some tough transitions in her life.
At the end when she looks away, I think Juniper was bugging her outside the frame, but she never did stop licking. I just kept on scratching her wither until she seemed like she was done needing it and I'd lost feeling in my fingers. :)

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Work or Play?

The horses sure to give me reason to be, reason to do, and a lot of joy in doing it. I've been so busy and enjoying every minute of it. My headaches are briefer this week too, which is nice.
I took a friend from work for a ride on Saturday. She loved Sawyer. He's such a good boy.

I picked up a really nice(for an Aussie) Aussie saddle for a steal on Sunday and tried it out last night. It's comfortable and looks quite dashing on Sawyer.

I tried putting all the girls next to each other and it was a non-event. New girl gave peaceful calming signals to Bella but thought about moving Juniper. She is shy. She looked at Sawyer and walked away the couple times I've brought him near her.

Oh, and I tried the Aussie saddle on her too. I'm not sure but it may be a fit. Not as pretty though.

Is there a trick to throwing an Aussie saddle on and not getting the under flaps all flipped under the saddle? Maybe it just takes practice.

Monday, September 03, 2018

Making a Connection

Well, the new horse still has no name. I just can't settle on one.

She is super interesting. Quite a fun girl, a challenge, but not too much of a challenge. I'm having fun having stuff to think about and things to work toward.

When I went to pick her up (I had driven over 8 hours and stayed in a hotel, it wasn't like she was local) it took a while to catch her, and then I was told not to tie her up while she's getting to know me. Maybe I should have just left. But I wanted this horse. So yes, she has broken away from the trailer once (blocker tie ring) but luckily I was able to catch her easily.

We have had to do a bit of work in the round pen. But now she doesn't make me chase her before I catch her. I think she thought that was an expected part of the human game.

Riding goes well, but she does spook at times. We had a couple good spins on our first trail ride. Those darn birds that explode out of the trees right next to you..  John thought it was a turkey. I was too busy to look.

We are still working on standing at the mounting block. I think we've pretty well figured out standing in a ditch or next to a hump. She doesn't rate well going down steep hills, and is unsure about thick brush. She is afraid when she is the rear horse.  I just don't see how she could have been such an amazing mountain horse, unless maybe she was in the middle of a string and in easier terrain. Or maybe her rider had different expectations. Oh, she also didn't like bones. A hunting horse?

She is sure-footed, guides well, is mostly willing (one area I think smelled like wild beasties, Scout was worried there as well) and she's just plain sweet. She just needs to chill out a bit. She's very serious.

Sometimes I get mad that her value was overstated and she's not the horse that was advertised. But that's not her fault and my anger isn't directed at her. I need to let it die and bury it & walk away because it's not helpful at all. She is herself, and that's all she knows. Her whole world changed and she lost her best friend and now I'm trying to make friends but I'm also making her step outside her comfort zone a lot.

She's a good girl. She's going to do just fine. Wave goodbye to Negative Nellie. I'm going to focus on our successes from here on out.