Sunday, January 31, 2010

Today I was a pillow. And yes, I was wearing my obnoxious pants. I love them. They have a rodeo print. They're almost all worn out and I don't know what I'll do when they're gone.Other than that, it was a pretty dreary day. Super wet snow all day. Slippery mud. I stayed inside as much as possible and worked on getting ready to do some more painting. It involved moving a bunch of stuff. Not exactly inspiring, but work that needed doing nonetheless.

See you tomorrow!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

I love vintage cowboy and cowgirl photos.

Not the fakey Hollywood photos with too much makeup where everything is way too clean and cheerful or sexy. Although those are interesting too.

I love to look at their tack, their getup, and their horses. Horses have changed a lot in the last... 80 years? 100 years? Heck, the world has changed a lot in that amount of time.

My collection is small so far, mostly postcards. I have a bookmark too. I can't seem to keep tabs on it though. I lose it in the bed and then it drifts away and I find it again later -happy rediscovery!

I also like to read the stories on the back of the postcards, although they're short. A woman robber who was in the prison in Yuma, which I visited almost a century later. A woman bronc rider landing on her head, hair flying, who later died in a similar fall. Women rodeo performers who obviously love their jobs and their sisterhood. A black cowboy on the range, scraping out a living with hard work on his broken down old buckskin. So many stories, so briefly told. I wish I could interview them. Their faces are often so closed though. I gather they might be people of few words.

Speaking of which, if you've never read a book by Molly Gloss, I highly recommend her. The Jump Off Creek is great, as is The Hearts of Horses. I also very much liked Wild Life. Her books remind me a little of Willa Cather. Often stark and usually quiet. Strong women. Pioneering. Great books.

Anywhoo... I think it's past my bedtime. See y'all later!
India is one lucky (and stupid) dog, eating hoof trimmings.
Good thing Cisco doesn't mind.Lea's word today is Forward. This suffices, yes?

Oooh, naughty boy all kinked up.
I rode Cisco today. It was fun, interesting, challenging, tiring, and fun. He knows more than I thought. But he's spoiled and tries to do his own thing. So far he's pretty easy to convince otherwise. It is disconcerting when you're pointing him to the left and his head is pointed to the left and his ribcage is pointed to the right and that's the way he's going. Two good thumps to the ribs and he'd be back on track though. Hopefully more practice in these low-stress situations will help him remember what to do in a more high-stress situation. He's not a bad horse, but he's been ridden mostly by people who didn't know how to ride, and I think they let him do his own thing. Not John, but before we owned him.

I have a standing desk! We took the old counter top from one of our stores and cut it down to size. It won't stay this clean. I wish it would but I have a lot of junk... I also might give in and get a chair. But I'll try not to. This will help me spend less time at the computer and maybe help my posture too. I need to figure out what else to put on the wall there.
Hope you all had a glorious Saturday, and have a great Sunday too!

Friday, January 29, 2010

For Lea's photo challenge today: Texture.

This little old building and windmill is just down the road from my sister's house. My sister calls it a tiny shop but I like to think of it as an old homestead. A house someone raised a family in. I've been meaning to get a picture of it for a while, finally got one today. The broken up wheat stubble has an interesting texture to it.

Isn't Levi adorable?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Tonka and I had a wonderful little ride with Amy and Levi today. I expected Tonka to be a booger because of the wind but he wasn't at all. It got me feeling all warm and fuzzy toward my horse. But I was all cold and freezing on the outside. That wind was not nice!

Levi wasn't doing too well so we had to cut the ride short. He was all sucked up and tight in the hind end. He's the one with EPSM and kidney failure. He just wasn't up to the exercise today, so he only got about a quarter mile worth of riding and maybe a mile of walking.

The short ride left Tonka wishing for more, which is probably a good thing.

Oh, I used his new bit for the second time. It's a full cheek snaffle with a roller that I bought last fall. We've been mostly using the bosal lately. He really seems to like this bit. He was pretty soft in it.

We're still waiting to find out if Amy is in stage four cancer or not. There's a big communication mix-up between the different doctors' offices. Probably won't hear anything until Monday. Very frustrating. Especially because she should have started radiation by now.

Tonight is the Mustang Club meeting up in Spokane. I'm missing it because I didn't think to ask for an early parent/teacher conference time. Really regretting that.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The test ride went pretty well, I thought. Katia said she didn't feel like she had much control. Turns out the bit my sister told me to use isn't the bit she used on him. So I'll switch it out and see how that goes. Rusty isn't a mean boy, but I think he likes to see if he really has to do what you're asking, or if maybe he can call the shots. It doesn't take much to convince him though.

He's funny. I was really nervous about letting Katia ride him because earlier, when I went out in the pasture to visit with him, he was real edgy and not wanting anything to do with me. I lifted my arm to take a drink of my coffee and it scared him (he didn't run, just turned and tried to amble away). I was thinking why on earth would I put my kid on a horse like that? But this afternoon he came to me, I put the halter on him, and he was good to go. I think he's never had anyone just hang out with him and it makes him nervous, he doesn't know what to expect. Once he had the halter on he was relaxed and was a total gentleman leading, grooming, and saddling. Poor guy just doesn't understand what it means to be a pet, I guess.
I rode Soxy. I had her out for Liam to ride but he said he was too tired, so I put my saddle on her. She is such a nice uncomplicated ride. I wish she was more sound.
The Elderly Appalouseys

This isn't the best picture of Rusty. Blurry head because apparently he doesn't like people pointing little black boxes at him. And when the little black box flashes - Look out! I'll have to remember to keep the flash turned off when he's got a kid on board. He's going to have to get over that fear eventually. He acts like he's been electrocuted when the flash goes off.

Good old Soxy enjoying her favorite pastime:Lea's photo challenge word yesterday was "droopy." That ties right in with a subject I've been thinking on a lot. These oldsters both have swaybacks. Soxy always has, since before we owned her anyway. But now her back muscle is wasting. Rusty has the same problem. I feel like there should be something I can do about this through diet. More protein? Soxy is doing better since I started feeding some alfalfa, so I think I may be onto something. What would you do to help these old guys look and feel their best?

My old horse diet usually includes grass hay, alfalfa, beet pulp, and vegetable oil. Vitamins of course. Soxy and Cisco (who isn't old) both get a supplement for horses with metabolic issues. And I'm giving Rusty some probiotics while he adjusts to the new place.

I'm also open to ideas on exercises for them, but to be honest I probably won't do it. With 5 horses again, and the other 3 needing far more training, the old kids' horses don't get as much attention. They do have pasture to wander around in, and Rusty is a spunky guy. He's been keeping Soxy moving around a bit more. Nice and gentle, at a walk, but definitely more movement than she'd get on her own.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

During the bone scan a tiny spot lit up in the bone. So... The guy here said he'd need to see the last two scans and compare. So we wait. I am so excited they didn't say it was all over the place. I wish nothing had lit up. I'm not sure what this means exactly but it sounds like there is some question as to whether it's cancerous? I would love to get the news that it was nothing.
Just a quick post because I don't know what life is going to be like after this afternoon. In a few minutes I'm off to have lunch with my sister and then wait in the hospital while she has her bone scan. Pleaseohpleaseohplease let it not show a bunch of bone cancer.

Yesterday we brought my sister's horse Rusty home to try out for my daughter. He's so cute. He's an unregistered appy, so who knows - he might even be part mustang! They're adorable, those two old appies hanging out in the pasture.

The three mustang boys are kickin' it up in the other pasture. They're so much fun to watch when they get to sparring or racing around.

No horse pictures, sorry. I thought I'd have time to take pics this morning but stuff came up.

In case you were wondering, my first batch of chili came out great. A little spicy, but good. The kids can't handle that much spice so I'll have to adjust the recipe next time. Aren't the spices pretty though?

The veggies were very pretty and colorful too:
I know, horse pictures would be better. Something is better than nothing though, right?

I'll be back later, hopefully with wonderful news.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Last night we took Scout and Cisco for a little walk around the property and down by the creek. They are both going to have to get used to dogs darting around. I think Cisco has had bad experiences with stock dogs chasing him.

I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do today. I might take Scout out to the round pen and cinch a bareback pad onto his back. I wanted to put a real saddle on him, because I'm impatient and wouldn't that be a cool picture for the blog? But my sister had a good point. The bareback pad is easier to get used to, and why not take an extra step and some extra time to help him out. I also need to make some chili, which I've never done before because John hates beans. He said he'd try to eat them though. So that ought to be fun. I might do some crafty things with the kids too.

Well, now that all the family knows what's going on, I have bad news to share with you all. My sister's cancer has moved into the bone, in her sternum. It had been hurting her during chemo, but they were already doing all they could so they didn't check it. They saw it last week when they did her CT scan in preparation for radiation. They're going to do a bone scan next week. We don't have enough info to know exactly what it means, but it does mean that it's metastasized, which makes it stage 4 cancer, and that's not good. It's good that it's in her sternum, not ribs or other bones. With that they can keep it at bay longer.

Sooo... We're all totally shell-shocked here. I don't even know what more to say.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

You ought to go read Linda's excellent post today. I really enjoyed thinking about her question and coming up with some quick answers. I'd like to say I'll sit down and think more on it and come up with even better answers, but my mind just isn't real capable lately. It's like a butterfly and won't land in any one place for long.

Go read her question, and here's my answer. Hope you post yours in her comments, I'll be checking back to see what everyone says.

Boy, it would take me days to come up with all the ways horses have changed me. I'll see what I can come up with off the top of my head. I've learned better patience, better emotional control, better attention to detail. I know my flaws pretty well through their feedback and I'm able to work on them. Same as you, I've learned to stay pretty level headed through their panic attacks. To trust them to find their way out of a bind when I can't safely get in there and help. I've learned that a lot of troubles are caused by the human end of the partnership, or by physical or emotional discomfort in the horse, not often willful disobedience. They are usually looking for the answer and it's our job to help them find it.

Of course it's all a work in progress, as it will be all through life. That's another thing I've learned. There's always more to learn! And even if you "know" something, it doesn't mean you can do it right now. It takes a lot of effort to develop some of these skills, and to strive to be the person we want to be.

Excellent post! What a wonderful subject to sit and reflect on.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Not such a good day today. But the horsey portions were just fine. I got all three boys out and tied them for a little while and groomed them.

Scout paws at the trailer. I need to park myself nearby with a bucket full of pebbles to chuck at his butt. He also got a short and easy continuation of his groundwork that we worked on yesterday.

Cisco was a little worked up at first, but calmly stood at the trailer for about an hour.

Tonka did the same, only not quite as calmly. The temperature has dropped, the wind was up, and he didn't like being left alone.

I was busy on the phone.

I am thankful for my joyous wiggle-butt puppy who can always make me smile and for the fact that I'm not working.

Weird, after a stressful afternoon we decided to go to a restaurant in town for dinner. Just after our appetizer my sister's family showed up and was seated two tables from us. We asked to be moved and scooted a couple tables together. My niece's friend was with them - her brother got thrown from a truck and run over today. Send him some healing thoughts. He's going to be okay but I don't think he's feeling too great. I'm sure his parents are freaked out.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

^^ My Burr'd Dog^^

Wow, what a day! First thing in the morning I got a call from my sister, she needed help getting to her nutritionist and chemo appointments in Spokane. That was the final straw, the catalyst, that led me to finally admit that it was okay to quit my job with the trainer. There were a lot of reasons to quit, but only a couple reasons to stay. Most of my reasons were my sister, my sister, and my sister. I want to be able to help her out, be there for her, and go riding with her. I don't know why I thought I wouldn't need to do all that. I think it was post-mastectomy-cancer-denial. She'd also told me she didn't think she'd need help through the radiation treatment, but it turns out she will need rides to and from.

Anyway... We had a great day, catching up. Then the nutritionist talked to us for 2 1/2 hours. WOW! She went right down to the cellular level on how things are affected by what we put into our bodies. Even things that we keep near, like chemicals under the sink. BUT the most important things I'd like to share with you are: Vitamin D. You're probably deficient. Vitamin D is WAYYYYYY more important than we ever knew. Seasonal affective disorder, autism, CANCER... When you go in to the doctor next, ask them to check your vitamin D levels. There can be no set RDA, there are too many variables. The other most important thing: Americans don't eat right. Meat isn't good for you. It creates an inflammatory response, and when our cell walls are made out of animal fats, they're flawed, and all the cells made from those cells are flawed. Moderation in all things is important, but what's most important is to eat lots of whole foods, vegetables of all types and colors, and the right kinds of fats (Omega 3's). Herbs and spices are good for us. I could go on forever, but I would probably get half of it wrong. All I can say is I'm changing my diet. I've already started that, but going to go whole hog on the diet she recommended for my sister. I also think I may have found my calling. This stuff is fascinating! I've always thought it would be great to be a horse nutritionist, but now I think I might look into what it takes for schooling to do this for people.

After that I got a call from my son's principal. I ask you - should my son be given a day of in school suspension for yanking on a kid's hood when the kid cut in line in front of him? Granted, he should have controlled himself, I am absolutely not condoning his behavior, but really - was it that big a deal? I have a reason behind my gripe. Unequal treatment. At the Christmas concert two kids sat on the bleachers and poked, prodded, and finally kicked my son until he cried. It lasted a long time. At first I thought it was moderately harmless, waited for the teacher to intervene. Nope... It just escalated until John went and asked them to put an end to it. THOSE two kids? THOSE two bullies who would pick on a kid for a prolonged period, who were not just making a momentary bad decision but enjoying what they were doing - THEY were only talked to. No in school suspension. What the hell? We're going to talk further with them about this one. John and I are both pissed. Also, just recently my son has developed some imaginary friends. I'm worried about what goes on at that school. Over and over I feel the need to get him out of there. I'm an overprotective mom, I know, but how much emotional damage should I allow the school system and his nasty little peers to heap on him?

On to happier things. That's getting me a little steamed.

My mom gave me some of her blueberry jelly today. YUM. Strawberry too. I cheated on my diet. It was tasty. I tell myself I'm celebrating my return to freedom. Speaking of which, I think I'll go grab a beer. (Nasty light beer...)

So tomorrow I think I'll get up early, feed (I'm going to keep the early feeding habit I developed while working. It'll allow me more time to work with horses if I don't have to wait until 10 for them to finish eating.), set a fence post, work on fence, ride my horse, go to town and buy feed and maybe paint, come home, and be a good, attentive, non-exhausted mom in the afternoon.

For now, it's time to go start picking burrs off my dog. Fun evening entertainment!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Today was another good day. Got up at 6:30, out the door to feed, forgot to turn on the coffee pot :( came back in and did that, then had some coffee with my morning blogroll. Cleaned up the house. If you knew me you'd be shocked - I got the mop out! It was broken though, the cheap metal handle had split so I just spot mopped. Darn, I so love mopping (dripping sarcasm here).

Headed up to the ranch, did some feeding, watering, poop scooping. Had an excellent lunch of chili with moose meat. Worked with a horse and watched some horse work, then came home.

Once the roast was in the oven at home (John actually did all that, I ended up just being moral support) Katia and I saddled up and went for a short ride in the tail end of daylight. We serpentined through hawthorn bushes. Well, Tonka and I did. Apparently Soxy can't see hawthorn bushes at dusk. She plowed through a lot of them. Poor Katia. Those thorns don't feel good. Meanwhile two of the dogs were running around mousing, so Tonka had to deal with that. He still hates dogs. But he never really spooked, just twitched once when the dogs first joined us. We worked on a little refresher course on not eating grass while we're riding. He was being a little obtuse about that one, but got better after several repetitions. A good ride. For Katia's sake, I wish Soxy had a bit more finesse to her training.

Speaking of which! I am going to start looking for a horse for her. So if you know of a horse for sale that turns and stops when you ask it to, has leg cues, and is a mellow old plug for puttering down the trail, let me know! The cheaper the better, but the horse has to be safe. We can't afford it right now but maybe soon.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Smiley day!

My boy, on his mare.
She fell to her knees with him on her back, gave me a heart attack. Not her fault, mud made her lose her footing. He lost his balance, grabbed horn and stayed on - ride 'em cowboy! It did scare him but he got over it and we even rode out in the hay field for a bit.

Here's me in my marshmallow man suit, with Tonka the cleanest he's been in a long, long time.
He's starting to get back into the groove of being a riding horse again. Not in shape obviously, but hey, it's winter. I decided this year that I wouldn't feel guilty about not riding all the time. He's been under saddle long enough he doesn't need to be ridden every day anymore, and Scout's got a ways to go before he's under saddle, so I can slack this year. And I might next year too. So thbbbt! I thumb my nose at anyone who calls me a fair weather rider, and I say, "Yeah? So?"

Katia rode the old girl around the round pen, then around the hayfield and back. She says Soxy's back isn't as nice for bareback riding as it used to be. She's getting old. She still looks fat but her back is losing muscle. Maybe some exercise over the summer will help with that.

Then Katia took Tonka for a spin or two around the round pen. She loved the leg cues. Soxy doesn't have leg cues.
She's almost tall enough to fit into my stirrups!

Who is this big kid, and where did she hide my baby?

John hit a deer tonight. Brakes locked up and he skidded into it, then it flung him into the other lane. Luckily no oncoming traffic. I am so, so thankful he's okay. The deer didn't die immediately but it didn't take too long. Poor thing. The car is damaged but it doesn't look too bad. It's 10 years old with over 200k miles. (It only had 3 miles on it when I got it - I love my car!) They might total it if we claim it on insurance. I guess we'll see what happens.

Turns out I'm not so good at keeping up with daily photos - sorry Lea! I think I'm behind enough that I might just have to give up...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I had a much better day today. I didn't feel too great, but got through the work and even worked some horses without getting too dizzy. I think I was feeling discouraged the other day mostly because I was sick.

Today I worked with Cimarron, the kiger cross, and with a nice fox trotter gelding. Soon I'll be riding Cimarron, which is cool, but kind of makes me nervous because he did buck a guy off once. But apparently the guy let him get away with murder and rode "like a sack of doorknobs." I'll try not to make that mistake. :)

Speaking of Cimarron, I've always thought that would be a good name for a horse. And it's a really neat old town in New Mexico. I wouldn't mind living there. I once stayed there for a weekend. My mother was a whore and my step dad was shot in a gunfight. It was great. Let me explain - it was a western reenactment weekend. We got to stay at the haunted St. James Hotel. Eerie. Very eerie. My sister and I stayed in the new part of the hotel, but there was sure a weird vibe about the old part, especially in the area of a very violent ghost, and my mom has some great ghost stories about the room she stayed in. Follow the link above to read about it - many famous names such as Jesse James, Wyatt Earp, Buffalo Bill Cody, and the explanation about the violent ghost. I remember the bullet holes in the ceiling. There's a famous ranch in Cimarron too, but I don't remember the details on that.


Oh yeah, I actually rode my horse today! I caught him with DRY mud and I got him out and chipped it off enough to saddle him up. Quite a chore. Got in a very short ride. It was great. When I put him up I blanketed him so he'll stay clean. I'm going to ride tomorrow too. Hopefully will get to go somewhere interesting instead of staying home.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Doing new things is hard. Learning new things when you have old habits is especially hard. I hope I have it in me to get there. I feel like at this point there's more wrong than there is right. I'll just have to keep plugging along.

Probably doesn't help that I'm fighting off a bug and I'm tired. Anyone know any good ways to increase stamina? Certain ways to exercise that work better than just exercise, which I'm going to do here in a minute. I worked for 7 hours today and it wasn't hard work, but I'm "on" all day. There's always someone watching me, judging me, telling me what I'm doing wrong and how to correct it. Even little things said in passing are scrutinized. It's not easy. I'm not an exhibitionist, despite evidence to the contrary (blogging). If I were going to show off I'd prefer to do it well!

Anyway, on to Lea's photo challenge: Black and White. I had to go back a few years because I didn't get a chance to get the camera out today.
Baab the butt-head and my sweet Roseanne.

Monday, January 11, 2010


PeekabooI see you, silly boy.

These are the eyes I love to study these days.

You have to enlarge this one:

My doofus goofus - and yes there's a towel under that pad:

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Lea's word today was "curves." I had to go back into my old pictures for it, no time for photos today.

This is a picture of Bella's first ride day. Curved horse, curved hat. At that point I wasn't 100% sure it would be her first ride day, but she did so well we went ahead. Her new name is spelled Kamaria, not Camria.

Today I got a lot done. Got a ton of hay, painted a wall, did housework and horsework. My horse was a spaz today. I think I need to cut down on the jet fuel. Or work with him more. Not sure which is the problem. I didn't ride him since he was bucking and kicking like I've never seen before (with him). I probably could have ridden him after some work in the round pen, but by then it was dark and my bridle and helmet were in the trailer. Why was it dark, you ask? Because he rolled in the sopping wet mud right before I went out to get him, again. This time I toweled him off and tied him up for a long time until he was dry enough to curry and put a saddle on. I took him to my sister's, so the trailer ride might have helped dry him out. She got gravel in her round pen yesterday, so no worries about slippery footing. Nice.

I was having some deep thoughts tonight. I'm cranky tonight, by the way. I was thinking on the matter of whether or not a mustang is really any different than any other horse, in terms of how you use them. The real answer is "I don't know," because I have mostly worked with mustangs. But the answer in my heart is that they're all horses. You take them as they are at the moment. You work with them, and you give them what you are right now, and they give back to you what they are right now. It's not always good, but it's never really bad. It just is. Is a mustang more flighty than a domestic horse? I personally don't think so, but then I've had several flighty domestic horses. I get real defensive when I hear people say they're wild horses so they have more flight instinct. I don't agree, but I don't know that I have a basis for my belief. I'd love to ask someone like Mark Rashid, who has worked with many, many horses, and many of them mustangs. I get tired of hearing opinions from people who don't even really know what a true mustang is, and may have limited experience with them. But then I think to myself that I'm calling them prejudiced when I know full well I am being prejudiced. Sometimes I think I'm too good at looking at the other guy's side of the story. Sometimes I think I need to stand up for what I believe in, even if maybe I'm wrong. But I also think it's kind of pointless. People think what they think. The best I can do is get out there and show that my mustangs are good horses. And have people say they must have a lot of quarter horse in them, or they must be unusual mustangs... Ugh. Anyway, there's no point to all this, I'm just blathering. If you have an opinion I'd love to hear it, especially if it's based on personal experience, even with only a couple horses. A little bit of knowledge joined with a little bit more knowledge, and so on, could make up a big chunk of knowledge eventually.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

A wet, cold, blechy day, but I have a nice, nice horse.

I've gotten behind on Lea's photo challenge. So to catch up:

Angus cracks me up, all folded up and running so hard.


I didn't get an exercise picture. I'll get one of my horse doing some exercises just as soon as it dries out a bit. Which may be never...

Friday, January 08, 2010

Check out the horses in the corrals in Oregon! Talk about color! (In case the hyperlink doesn't work: ) These photos are just a tiny peek, take a look at the link.

I think this one is my favorite. Love the way he's built.
Head on down to the corrals on February 19-20 for Colorfest and adopt one of these beauties!

In response to Linda's question in the comments:
I've been staying up there about 5 hours a day, 4 days this week. But I haven't really started the working part of it yet. I really need to pin them down on what exactly they expect of me in return for the knowledge.

I haven't taken any pictures. I'm not real good at asking people if they mind if I post pictures of their stuff on my blog. It just seems weird. But you can see their website here: The two horses I love so much are the first two under the mercantile section, but the picture of Cimarron doesn't do him justice.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Today was another great day. I got Tonka out twice, and I remembered how much I love my horse. He also had his pedicure and he was, of course, testing to see what he could get away with.

Up at the ranch I groomed some horses, fell even more in love with Cimarron, the mustang cross, and Grits, his riding horse. What a character that one is. We discussed some concepts regarding what motivates a horse and how they become dominant over one another. Later in the day Bill demonstrated some things under saddle. I found his seat position and muscle brace talk interesting, because it's the same thing Mark Rashid teaches but in different words. Good stuff. Wish you could all be there with me.

I will do a post showing what I learned about hobbling when I get to doing it with Tonka. It'll be easier to explain with pictures. It will have to wait until I have him in a place with soft footing in case things go south and he falls. Of course I'll do what I can to minimize that possibility, but it's always a possibility.

You know what's funny? Now that I'm doing this I think I'm keeping up better with my housework. I come home so stoked and inspired that I can't sit down and I have to do something. Plus I get some done before I leave, just to make sure I don't get behind. I hope my energy levels stay this good. I'm not sure I've been this productive since I quit my real job years ago. Although I must admit, by the time night rolls around I am TIRED. Speaking of which - good night!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

First day went well! I met a lot of neat horses and Bill went over his ground training routine with two youngsters and two older horses - one a troubled gelding, and one more finished. He hobbled the two youngsters for the first time. That was good to watch, since I've never gotten around to doing that with Tonka.

I learned a few things, and I'm excited to try his "7 principles" on Tonka in the morning. I think he'll do them well. Scout, not so much.

There's a mustang cross there who is just gorgeous. Good mountain horse too. I could fall in love with just about any of the horses I met up there today. This is going to be fun.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Our mud has turned to swamp. Today has mostly been a downpour. It is not a good day to be a horse. Especially a horse who is afraid to go inside. Daft...

Tonka got to wear a blanket today, but I don't think he appreciated it. Now that it's not raining I took it off, and he let out the biggest sigh of relief. Even from a few feet away in the dark, I could feel the tension drain out of him.

Tomorrow is my first day! As an apprentice, or student, I'm not sure which is the correct term, to a couple of horse trainers here who have many, many years of experience and have studied with the masters. After talking on the phone I am totally stoked about what I can learn from them. The first few days (or more?) will be a trial, to see if we all think this will work, and then I'll have to make a six month commitment. Shouldn't be a problem, I don't see any reason why the trial should fail.

I had a bunch of stuff thought out for this post, about how this was meant to be, how I was undecided, leaning in a different direction and then suddenly knew the path I had to take, blah blah blah, but it sounded so corny I deleted it. I'll just say something lit my path one night. I am very excited to see where this leads.

I painted a wall today. It's some paint my mom left here. Kind of sage green, greyish... But when it was wet it looked like the deep purple in a stormcloud. Then it dried and was greenish greyish again. But when John walked in he said, "Wow... That's really purple." And he still thinks it looks greyish blue. But he isn't colorblind. It's an odd thing. I like the color though. I really wasn't sure I would, but I just had to start painting. I'm so tired of looking at the blocks of test colors on the walls.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Today I didn't get a photo.

But I did get to chase horses in the rain, in the dark, across the swamp which used to be dry land - namely, half the property.

Tonka got spooked (by hay, no less) when I was feeding and just powered right through the gate. The latch failed again. He's unhurt, as far as I know. Although in his very mobile state of mind, in the dark, it's hard to be sure.

Big dummy. He's feeling pretty spooky tonight. In fact, possibly acting the stupidest I've ever seen him act. I don't think there's any foundation for it, because the other horses are unfazed. He's just being special. He always has to be the special one.

All is well now and I'm in my warm jammy pants about to enjoy a nice cup of tea.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Today Lea's picture word is technology. Apt because I didn't spend a moment with the horses. Just dumped their food and ran.

Here's what we got my mom for her birthday:

I spent the morning loading pictures on it for her. It's a pretty neat gadget. Then we went up to Spokane to hang out with the family and eat cake. And yes, I did eat cake! Even on a diet, I won't pass up birthday cake. Good thing I don't attend many birthday parties! I think I only fudged by a couple hundred calories over my limit though.

Lots to do tomorrow on the kids' first day back in school. Time to catch up on some stuff.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

This post is brought to you by the letter M.

My baby in the mud. Almost two, and still so very much a baby.

Misty Mountain's Majesty

My Men Working
(horses don't make good tripods)

Muddy Mustache on Mustang Muzzle. Ha!

More Mustangs, Mud, & Mountains

I went ahead and trimmed Scout myself today. His soft little hooves were splitting and breaking and I just couldn't wait any longer. He was a very good boy, for the most part... Then I worked on circling and stopping and flipping the rope over his back, head, and around his legs. When I threw the pony saddle up on his back he was irritated and pulled it off into the mud. Naughty child.

Tonka got some work on picking up feet and he was an angel. I trimmed a bit of frog, but resisted the temptation to touch anything else. Hopefully the trimmer will come for him soon. His hooves are too long!

Then I took Scout away and put him with Cisco. Tonka was upset, that is his baby. You should have seen him running around with his tail in the air!

Overall a good evening. Day two on the diet and I am starving. All I have to do is think the word diet and my stomach starts to gnaw on itself. And of course John is blithely unhungry, the butthead.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year!

I finally got to put up my George and Alan BLM burro calendar from The 7MSN Ranch.
This is my photo for today. Lea posted about taking a photo a day and posting it on our blogs. Seems like a good idea to me, especially in this dull time of year.

We watched Lars and the Real Girl last night. It's about a guy who's having a hard time mentally and creates a delusion. The actor did a great job. I highly recommend it if you don't mind a tearjerker. It is funny in places and has a happy ending.

Today we went to see Avatar in 3D. It was awesome! The bugs in the forest, you wanted to swat them away from your face. But besides the 3D, I still thought it was a good movie.

Okay, so now we have to talk New Year's Resolutions. I had typed up most of a post about this already, but now I don't like it so I'll start over.

My biggest resolution:
Start Wearing Purple
This whimsical gypsy punk song by Gogol Bordello really struck me deeply. No, I'm not going to start wearing bright colors. But I'm going to quit hiding out, start getting out in the world, living life more. "For your sanity, and wits they will all vanish, I promise." Life is short, you might embarrass yourself when you're old and senile anyway, so live! and don't worry so much. That's my motto this year. Start wearing purple. It's really a lot more than I can say, and a total core change for me.

Part of that is getting out of the house. Apprenticeship or job or volunteering, or maybe even all three. Especially I want to get out and do some good, make some people smile. I'm also going to keep closer tabs on what's going on at my son's school, and talk with the teacher, principal, and counselor more often. I feel like my son is in danger there, and I can't just leave it be.

My horse resolutions:
Be quick to praise and slow to react. Be more deliberate. Be more patient. Learn!
(Those can be my parenting resolutions as well.)

Last but not least, what's New Year's without a diet and a fitness plan?
I gained back a lot of the weight I lost last year, just in the past couple months. So back to eating right, exercising more, and dreaming of being a better rider through better fitness.

What are your New Year's Resolutions?
If you're not a fan of resolutions, what are the big things on your to-do list this year?