We also went to the bakery at Punalu'u. The food was good, but my favorite thing about that place is their garden. They have the coolest trees, pineapples, coffee beans, palms, monkeypod trees, etc. And hibiscus, as you can see above.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
We also went to the bakery at Punalu'u. The food was good, but my favorite thing about that place is their garden. They have the coolest trees, pineapples, coffee beans, palms, monkeypod trees, etc. And hibiscus, as you can see above.
Monday, July 28, 2008
A two year old article about horses shot by a farmer.
An adorable picture of a wild colt.
Here is a short video of wild horses on the beach.
A Seattle PI article on horse getaways in Hawaii. The author rode a once wild horse at a dude ranch.
I looked up some info, and I think we might be able to afford a ride there. It's not quite as expensive as I remembered.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Tomorrow is last minute prep - watering animals and plants so the house-sitter won't have too much work right off, touching up Tonka and Scout's hooves, installing a gate and fixing a drip irrigation line that decided to blow out today. And all of the packing still needs to be done. But I've got all the laundry done, so that ought to be easy. We have to pack light. Four people's stuff can quickly fill a trunk... We're driving 5 hours to fly out of Seattle. Make that six hours, I have to stop a lot for my sore hips and back. Which won't be an option on the plane. Which is something I'm deeply dreading. They encourage you to get up and walk around, as if that's possible with flight attendants blocking the aisles constantly and other people attempting to get up and walk around. Wish me luck. I detested my last long flight, and that was before all this joint pain. Ibuprofen will be my friend. And maybe some wine. Wine might be very helpful...
Oh gosh, what a cry-baby I am. Sorry!
If I don't post tomorrow, I'll probably post at some point. Hopefully I'll get some nice Hawaii pictures. I may even see some horses.
Did you know they have wild horses in Hawaii? They're not protected. I don't know what they do to control the population. I do know you can go on a trail ride through the area where they live, but it's WAY out of my price range. I wonder if you can hike through there... Maybe I'll find out.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Actually I don't think bareback riding is good for his weak back either. BUT - I am happy to report that I rode my boy bareback for the first time ever tonight. It was... interesting. I think I've mentioned that he's built kind of like a trout. Slab-sided, deep heart girth, slightly raised spine, kinda wobbly for sitting on. I'll never forget how weird he felt the first time I rode him. And that was with a saddle. I think we did alright tonight, despite my nerves. He didn't seem to care in the least. I, on the other hand, did not do as well. Reflexively hanging on with my legs, which he thought meant I wanted him to trot, then telling him "whoa, whoa." Poor guy. But he didn't get flustered. He did a wonderful side-pass a couple times. I'm sure I was asking for it, but I didn't intend to. I think when I try it again I'm going to be in the round pen with a regular old wide nylon halter on him, so I know I'm not jerking on his mouth when I lose my balance. I did try to grab mane instead, but it didn't always happen that way, I'm sad to say.
So anyway, keep your fingers crossed for me that something strange will happen and a well-fitting saddle will fall into my lap. Well, not literally. That would hurt. I'm really tempted to go out and buy a Powerball ticket tomorrow... I've got as much chance as anyone else, right? Which makes the odds pretty good, right? Yeah, I know, I'm deluding myself. But sometimes it's a lot of fun to be delusional.
Friday, July 25, 2008
I've found a saddle I want SO BAD! I even dreamed about it last night. I think it would be perfect. Alas, we cannot afford a saddle right now. This trip to Hawaii, even though flight and lodging are covered, is going to be very expensive. I thought about asking my mom if she wants to buy me my next several years' worth of gifts early. I don't think she'd go for it. Bummer. And it's not even very expensive! For a good saddle that is. It's half the price it would have been new. Boo Hoo.
I am regretting very much the selling of all my good saddles. One we could have kept for Soxy, and I think it would have worked for Bella. I got nothing from selling them, no nice new saddle, and well, they're gone... Actually I shouldn't say I got nothing from it, they helped pay Scout's vet bills. But I am still sad.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
I tried out my dad's saddle again. It didn't hurt my knees thanks to the "Stirrup Straight" doohickeys we got. They did make the stirrups feel a bit weird at first, but it didn't take long at all to get used to. Tonka is more responsive to my leg in that saddle, which is strange, because it feels so bulky to me. The seat was still very wide, but I think I could get used to that. We had a fitting problem though. He kept leaving his hind end behind, and when I took the saddle off there was plenty of sweat at the front of the saddle, but none in the middle or back. I expected to find that though, since he was hollowing out his back and not engaging his hindquarters at all. I still think it might work with a pad that's not quite so thick, so I'm going to try it again with my Woolback pad.
He was a very good boy though, and it was a nice ride. I just wish I could leave the property! School isn't that far off, yay!
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
I'm not going to be able to ride in the Aussie anymore. It was great a great fit for him but now it's too wide. I think the flocking squashed down with use. Or something... Frustrating. Some day we will have a good saddle with excellent fit. I just wish I had one now.
Speaking of good saddles, my sister has this really nice custom Wade tree saddle. I tried it out today, and EEK, it felt awful. She really likes it a lot, but it is definitely not for me. It has this big rise in the front of the seat. I'll just say I'm glad I'm not a guy, but even with female anatomy it hurt. And the stirrups locked my legs in one position, and it was just bulky as heck, and HEAVY too. I rode her horse for the first time. Boy is he cranky. Pinned his ears and swished his tail the whole time. I guess he does that to everyone who rides him, other than her. She assured me he wouldn't do anything, and I said, "Yeah, right, and how many times has he tried to buck you off?" But I knew that just in the arena trotting circles wasn't the type of scenario he bucks about. She got on Tonka for about 30 seconds, but I guess his long stride hurt her back.
I have to go snuggle with my son now. Good night!
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
I went out to feed and I got some measurements on my horses, to try to estimate Scout's adult height.
Formula #1: At only 3-4 months of age, an average healthy foal will have reached about 80% of this adult height! Measure your foal's height at the withers, in inches. Then divide that number by 0.80. Then divide the result by 4.0 for an estimate of his adult height in hands. Result: 15.2 hands.
Formula #2: Measure from the coronet to the middle of the knee. The number of inches = the number of hands. Result: 15.2 hands or better.
Formula #3: Measure from the fetlock to the elbow, then keep one end of the tape at the elbow and rotate the other end around until it is above the withers. Where the tape ends is how tall the horse will be. Result: 14.2 hands
Formulas 2 and 3 are better done when the horse is older than Scout is now.
He is currently 50 inches, or 12.5 hands.
I tried Formula #2 on the other horses and it was kind of accurate. It was right on for Tonka, but for Mack he would have been 14.3, but he's taller than that. On Bella it said she should be taller than she is. There's a possibility she's not done growing, but I doubt she'll grow another hand. Interesting though, the domestic raised horse grew more than the formula thought he should. The mustang rounded up as a 2 year old was right on, and the mustang rounded up as a two year old but nourishing a baby is a bit short. Could be diet related? Or could just be that some horses have short canon bones, and Mack is a Quarter horse and I believe they breed for that.
I just hope Scout gets big enough for me to ride.
Both dogs went in today for bordatella vaccines since we'll be leaving them at a kennel for a while. It was a fun trip. I had 3 kids, myself, one very large dog, and one medium sized dog all crammed into the truck. And to make matters worse, the littler dog, India, had just had a nice poop snack, and kept belching. Yes, she's a poop eater. And this isn't innocent and mostly clean horse poop, this is nasty dog poop. I knew her burps were bad, but it's a whole new level of bad when you're stuck in close quarters with the stench.
They were both very well behaved, and of course Angus was much admired. He's a big, handsome boy. But the vet was also quite pleased with India's docile manner. Not that Angus wasn't also pretty docile, but he was a little scared and didn't like getting the stuff in his nose, so he struggled slightly. India has gained some weight, 40 pounds now, but I don't think it's an unhealthy amount of fat. Angus has lost some weight and is now 110lbs, but still has a small amount of pudge. He's not too fat though, they weren't worried about it.
Anyway, sorry to bore you with Dog stuff.
On to the horses... Not much to report. I sacked Scout out again with the saddle blanket, and he was a good boy. He watched Tonka get sacked out too, so I don't know if that helped or if it was all the "soak" time he got, but he wasn't terribly worried about it.
Tonka got to do a little bit of despooking work and lunging, but it was getting dark so I didn't get to ride. I AM going to ride today though!
But first, on to those two things left on my to-do list. Scrubbing and moving and filling troughs, and putting up temporary fence to keep the horses off most of the pasture but still give them some room to run around. It's the end of grass season, darn it.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Bella had her long overdue pedicure today. John held her for me. I don't necessarily need a handler, but it is a time saver in her case and it was fun to have company. It was even more fun to listen to him giggling as she snuffled his face and neck. I love tickly whiskers.
Check it out, Scout is definitely a dun. He's finally shed enough to be sure.
Tonka was hanging out close by, making sure he was available in case anyone needed a nosy helper. Actually it was a bit claustrophobic at times while I was trimming Bella. EVERYONE had to be within about 5 feet of each other. My gosh, you'd think they're codependent or herd creatures or something...
Oh, and the above photo also shows one of the reasons I like rope halters so much. The fitting is so versatile. This halter is adult size, but I can still fit it to Scout's head and make do with it, even though the nose opening is very roomy on him.
Fully body Scout shot. I discovered a little sore there where my fingers are. Don't know if it's flies or from playing gelding games with Tonka. (Speaking of geldings, Scout still has both testicles descended. I think I'll have him gelded in September).
Here's Bella's dorsal stripe, although it doesn't show as well here as it does in person. I don't think she's a dun, I'm fairly certain that is countershading. She doesn't have any other dun factor that I can see.
Friday, July 18, 2008
What a long day. Allow me to just spew forth some randomness...
My car still gets 38 MPG with the AC on, even with a bad catalytic converter and over 108K miles on it. I went about 390 miles on about 10 gallons. (I did some more precise math with the actual numbers, but they're out in the car.) All hail the Toyota Echo!
The Connell National Forest Makes me sad. Some kid hacked it down, the jerk. See, it was just one hardy tree, all alone in the desert, with a funny sign someone had put up on the fence next to the interstate. I think part of the kid's community service was to plant a new one (or maybe I made that up, but there was a new one planted). The new one died. So now there's just a big dead stick coming out of the ground. I'm not even sure if the sign is still there.
If you head through the Columbia Gorge anytime soon I highly recommend taking the 7 mile scenic route through the Multnomah Falls area. We often stop off at the normal exit to Multnomah falls, but this was much more fun. We hiked up to Wahkeena Falls, just a .2 mile hike, barely longer than our driveway. It felt darn good to stretch the muscles. The falls were gorgeous and the misty spray felt really good. And even better, there was a picnic area and a potty there.
Alrighty, I am just plain sapped, so that's all for today. It's good to be back.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Before I left we had a really windy day, and I saw that a tarp had blown into Scout's pasture. I was curious to see what he'd do with it but I thought maybe he wasn't interested because I never saw him looking at it. I guess he just hadn't seen it yet. John told me he saw Scout playing with it for a long time the day I left. Then Tonka thought he was missing out on something good, so he chased Scout off and played with the tarp too. He bored of it pretty quickly though.
The next day Scout found a hose, which I don't remember leaving out, but he had a blast with it. I hope he didn't chew any holes in it. This morning I guess his favorite toy was a rubber feed pan. He was flipping it around all over the place.
On the way over here I got a flyer and map on the John Wayne Trail, which goes along an old railroad bed from the Seattle area to Tekoa, Washington, which is just about 45 minutes from me. I can't imagine riding over some of the high trestles. Even leading my horse over them might be very scary. Heck, walking over them without a horse might be a little disconcerting. One of them crosses the Columbia River. There's also a tunnel over 2 miles long. That sounds pretty cool (figuratively and literally) but might be a bit strange for a horse.
As we were climbing up toward the top of the Snoqualmie Pass, my son said, out of the blue, "If I had wings I would fly far, far away, over the mountains. Do you know where I'd make my nest? I'd make my nest in horse poop. But not your horse's poop mom, because you might steal my eggs. I'd make my nest in wild horse poop. Really old wild horse poop. Mom, did you know that dinosaurs poop? They poop horses." After which he dissolved into laughter. Surreal, my son is. (We had been watching a killdeer nest in some old dry horse poop in the pasture, and I had said the eggs were so pretty I wished I could steal them, which gives some small amount of sense to his monologue...)
We're having fun. Visited Della and Mike and the kids and swam a LOT in the pool at their apartments. I want a pool! But I don't want to live in an apartment or keep up a pool... Now we're at my dad's, and have visited all my grandparents and my uncle. My grandma has kittens! They are so adorable. Only 4 weeks old. I guess her girl cat ran away overnight and well, you know, nature took its course. I want one! Or two... Good thing they're not ready to leave their mama yet. Or hmmm, maybe I could bring them ALL home... Just kidding... I think...
Love to you all! I hope you're happy and well.
Friday, July 11, 2008
We got all our hay in! Yay! And we found it for $45 a ton less than what we were going to pay. Alfalfa, which I've never fed before other than to the oldsters, so we'll see how that goes. I'll be feeding out over 7 ton of grass hay, and 4 of alfalfa, so their diet won't be totally rich. I just hope they're not bouncing off the walls on the jet fuel.
I asked John if he'd want to do a 17 mile trail ride on the Tekoa section of the John Wayne trail, camping one night, and he actually sounded really interested in doing it. Yay! So maybe sometime in the next month we'll be doing that. I'm hoping to find some other people who can go with us.
Speaking of John, I sure do love my husband. Every year during haying time he works so hard to put up a winter's worth of feed for the horses. He doesn't complain (except about the cost, which is understandable), and he actually kind of seems to enjoy it. He really doesn't even get into the horses much, but he does most of the hay stacking work. My man is so wonderful. (I need to remember this on those winter days when I'm slogging through knee deep snow feeling sorry for myself because the work is so hard.)
See you in about a week!
Come join us for all kinds of friendly chat on the forum at Mustang Fever. (http://mustanghorses.proboards107.com/index.cgi)
Show off pictures of your mustangs, share info on training, nutrition, rescue and rehabilitation, sales of horse related items, etc. Or just come on over for a friendly visit. This is a nationwide group with members all over the country. You don't even have to own a mustang to join, but you'll find we're good at enabling potential adopters. :)
I don't know why I didn't post this sooner. Sometimes I'm not the brightest crayon in the box.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Here we have a sweet picture of Bella and the boy that my daughter took. I've been visiting with Bella a lot more lately, and she's returning to being the sweet mare I'd come to love rather than treating me like a big smelly monster.
Yesterday I finally got to ride. For about 3 minutes, then a bit more later, but let me backtrack... I hauled him to my sister's house and picked up my dad's horse Sox from their boarding stable on the way. We were going to toodle around and my dad wanted to get a feel for how lame his horse was. He and Sox were on the other side of the house, I heard my dad yell, thought he yelled at the horse, then heard a kid start screaming bloody murder. I was off my horse, handed the reins to Ariel, and ran faster than I have in years. It was Liam, I could tell as I ran. I thought Sox had kicked him or run him over or something. All kinds of bloody mayhem going through my head. Turns out Liam had slammed his finger in the door of my dad's car and couldn't get it open to get it out again. My dad dropped Sox's reins, parts of the buckle on the stirrup, and run to Liam's rescue. He didn't remember dropping anything, just later realized it was all gone. Sox stayed put like a good boy and didn't seem bothered by the screaming at all. The stirrup leather buckles on that saddle are weird, in 3 pieces, he was lucky to find them all. Liam had to sit with an ice pack for a long time and he didn't really calm down until quite a while later. His finger looks good today and just hurts "a tiny bit."
I did get to ride again. We practiced water crossing. Tonka was being a putz, and I was in a bad mood, so it wasn't much fun. He didn't do anything really bad, just wasn't responsive. Spooked a bit at some grass and a stick he stepped on. He had fun crossing the water and climbing the steep bank on the other side, but didn't want to turn around and come back. I think he wanted to go for a long ride.
Today I switched bits on him, back to a broken mouthed snaffle, and better yet a twisted wire. It's a pretty thick one, not as severe as some. I don't give much credit to the bit, although I think it did help, but I had a totally different horse today. Quiet, mellow, responsive, interested, trying to get things right. I wonder if he was rotten yesterday because he had so much time off. And there was a dead sexy 28 year old swaybacked mare there to gawk at.
Oh! I stuck a bit in Scout's mouth last night. Completely at liberty. He was trying so hard to eat the bridle I had a hard time getting it on his head, but I did finally get the bit in his mouth. He just figured it was another neat thing to mouth at. I really, really like that colt.
Monday, July 07, 2008
Yesterday Bella learned how to eat carrots. Yum! I love the sound of a horse crunching a big hunk of carrot.
Tonka still has that bad scrape on his back, no riding.
Scout didn't figure out the carrot thing, but he was very interested.
I'm dreaming of buying a Specialized saddle some day. Has anyone ever heard anything bad about them? Sure seems like a good saddle to me, and you almost never see them for sale used, so I'm thinking people who buy them are happy with them.
I've been working in the dirt a bit, taking care of my trees. Did some hoof trimming yesterday and mowed down a lot of dog fennel that had come up in the sacrifice area. Scout did a little work on the halter this morning, moving off my hand and a baby step toward circle work. Less than 5 minutes though, as I was feeling a bit nauseous.
Basically I'm just keeping busy, doing nothing of much interest.
Saturday, July 05, 2008
Today we had a fun horsey day. A friend of mine and her 4 year old horse crazy daughter spent a lot of time with the horses. Coda was, as usual, a perfect gentleman. They both rode him. I rode Soxy since Tonka has that scrape on his back. She is super fat, and not quite as comfy to ride as she used to be. She needs to be getting more exercise. If Katia won't ride her I may need to either lunge her or ride her myself. I think my weight bothers her a bit though, so it may have to be lunging.
We went out during the wee one's nap and hung with the younger horses. Scout was being a sweetie but a little mouthy, as usual. He's so darn personable though. I'm loving him more and more every day. And he's a smart little fart, he's learning to respond to "leg cues" already. (Actually it's my hand on his side.) He also doesn't care if I lay over his back with a little of my weight, and I can "cinch" him up with the lead rope with no reaction. He still gets in my space rather persistently at times, but he's really coming along nicely, all in all.
Oh! Back up a day. Before everyone got here yesterday I took Scout out of the fence for his first little walkabout. Bella nickered in worry, then totally left to graze in the far pasture. Scout was worried and fidgety but it was totally uneventful. Excellent!
Back to today. I was loving on one of the boys when I suddenly realized that Bella had her nose buried under my other arm. She was cuddling with me! It was so sweet. She's been so stand-offish lately, this was totally unlike her. Tonight I started thinking about it again and went out to see if she'd hang out with me again, but nope. She wasn't interested. Scout sure wanted to play though and I had to get after him.
This week I'll be working on getting everyone's hooves trimmed, then leaving John home to take care of them while I go on a little road trip. Fun stuff!
Thursday, July 03, 2008
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
To be honest I haven't been doing much with the horses at all. I'm kind of having withdrawals, but not enough to make me stay out in the heat for long. I give them their supplements in the morning and I halter Bella and Scout (Bella is still not too keen on that, but I have managed to get it done). Then I pet them while they eat. Then I pet Scout some more, because he's such a personable, visiting type. Today I haltered Tonka too, and scratched all his itchy spots, and well, as odd as it sounds, I messed with his boy parts. I need to give him a good cleaning down there, so I've been trying to get him used to more handling in the area. He doesn't care about me messing with his sheath, but I need him to get more comfortable leaving it dropped a little when I'm messing around there. Lovely fun. The smell of smegma is hard to wash off.
Now I need to get my house clean. I have house guests coming for the 4th, and my dad will be on his way over tomorrow. I don't think he'll be spending much time here. He just found out his friend since high school is dying of cancer, so he's coming over to see him. Prayers for everyone involved would be much appreciated. He is in a lot of pain and will be leaving a wife and two grown kids behind.
Sorry, kind of a downer moment. Cancer is evil.
I hope you're all having fun in the summer weather, living and loving, enjoying every minute of it! Hug thy loved ones!
(Which reminds me... Yesterday my son asked who lives with our neighbor. I said nobody. He said, "But where does his honey live?" What a sweet way to put it.)