Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Isn't Dove a pretty girl?

She's getting to be kind of hard to take pictures of.

These next two pictures show some of her curly characteristics. The strange texture of her mane that has almost completely fallen out behind her ears to give her a natural bridle path.

Check out these neat whorls making a fancy S shape. I'm pretty sure curlies have a lot of whorls compared to other breeds. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Trailer loading practice. She loads just fine. Does not like to back out, but we did get it done eventually.

It was super hot so I hosed her off. Something was bothering her eye here.
She is really, really smart. I want to say she may be the smartest horse I've worked with, but maybe she already knew some stuff, and she's certainly willing and personable.

Here she is trotting. I didn't work her long before this, but enough that if that left hind leg was going to bother her it should have by that time. I don't see anything there. Maybe a little front end soreness? I didn't check for rocks first and her feet still have a ways to go. I don't think it indicates a real problem. (I should point out that she doesn't know about keeping up her gait in the round pen, I haven't done much with her in there - she's not being bad, she's just not sure what's expected.)

Dove is available for $150 to a good home only. She leads, loads, trims, and is old enough to start under saddle. I wouldn't put weight on her until her feet have shaped up a little better. They will be fine but still show the effects of neglect.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Mustang Days 2010 was a lot of fun, in a new location with a new focus. We had a bunch of great demos on Saturday and a Trail Challenge on Sunday.

Here's my group in their pen. It's a good thing I took Bella instead of Dove because they didn't have enough pens for me to keep one horse separate. These three get along great, but Dove has never lived with Tonka so close quarters would have been a very bad idea.

The first demo on Saturday morning was mostly about accupressure. Good stuff. Here's Mikki Kyson (I hope i have the right spelling) talking to everyone. She shared her time slot with Kyya Grant, a trainer who has studied a lot with Mark Rashid. the horses here are Buddy, Marilyn's 26 year old, and Cody, Bea's 10 year old - both mustangs.

Mike Cameron doing his barefoot trimming demo on Bob's mustang, Wrangler. The dog was enjoying himself just as much as the spectators. :)
George Gouvas and his mustang makeover horse, Blade. He also had a young colt there who was totally obedient and attentive the entire time.
A trail ride after sitting all day was just what I needed! Here you see saddlemaker Pat McGowan from Indiana Harness on a 3 year old gelding he's training, and Mary on her beautiful Black.

The wildflowers were beautiful and very distracting.

Katia took Bella through the in-hand course and won a very nice leather halter for first place. Scout was the only other in-hand horse and wouldn't have won a thing if we'd had any competition. Not his fault, we haven't been working on anything and he's a naughty, easily distracted baby. I would really have liked to have seen some more young horses doing the in-hand.
Bella with Katia, getting ready to pivot inside a circle:
It was a great first outing experience for both mother and son. They were very relaxed and I'm sure they'd be comfortable doing it again.

Katia took this picture as I was getting ready and I like the way the light makes the saddle and Tonka's butt disappear into the sky.

As usual, ignore my goofy look and check out my handsome boy:

Mary's beautiful Black, waiting patiently:

That's it for pictures. Marilyn won the beautiful breastcollar for first place in the mustang division, riding her 26 year old gelding for his last big hurrah. Now he'll continue doing lessons with kids in the round pen. Check out Lea's blog for a picture of the gorgeous breastcollar Mary made for the trophy. It would have looked good on Tonka, but I'm so glad Marilyn won it with her old guy. She was so happy.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Yesterday we went on a long ride on a new trail we'd never been on. The footing was SLICK and steep and Tonka was particularly spooky. Not fun. But it was a nice trail, if only it were dry, and I'll definitely be going back there sometime. My poor friend who I talked into going with us wasn't ready for such a long ride, and I didn't know it was going to be so slick, so I hope she didn't mind too much. I should have planned it better. I just wanted to get out and ride!

It was Huckleberry's first birthday! He had a blast out on the ride with us.

I only took 2 pictures. Neither is very good but to heck with it.

That's Huck on the left with my friend's dog Dixie the English Shepherd in the middle. They're cute together.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

I haven't been around in the blog world much lately. Too much to do, and very little of it horse-related. We just got done with softball for the year, trying to keep up with the growing grass and painting the living room, etc...

I rode my boy a few days ago when the sun was out. He was cranky about working. He was happy to do anything as long as it wasn't strenuous. I think not being on his oil diet for EPSM while we were off camping caused him some discomfort. We did do a little loping practice, but it was very little because of the tail wringing and ear pinning. Horses with EPSM frequently buck going into the lope because they're trying to tell you it hurts. So we did some other things and called it a day.

Yesterday I had the best time in the evening, untangling manes and scratching itches. I got to spend time with every one of the horses. Bella is feeling a little stand-offish, which is normal for her when she hasn't been played with much. Dove is turning into a little love. She has a lot of itchy spots and that makes for good bonding time. She really wants to groom me back, it's cute. Soxy is sick again, opaque snot coming out the right nostril and she's not breathing well. Gypsy is a sweetie, covered in bird poop from the little cowbirds who sit on her all day long.

The boys a just hilarious. I went to see who needed detangler in their mane and Tonka didn't, but he couldn't stand Scout getting all the attention so he stood and picked at me and Scout the whole time. "I'm not touching you! Okay, now I'm touching you but I'm being verrrrry gentle..." And then I'd have to shoo him off because I know it just escalates from there. But he wouldn't go far and then he'd be breathing down my neck. Cisco came up and started frisking my pockets for treats and I had to shoo him off too. Then when I started working on Cisco's mane I got the same treatment from both of the younger boys. They're naughty, and very, very funny.

A quiet hour in the pasture with the horses is so good for the soul.

Later I found myself lying flat in the pasture with a thunderstorm going on around me, trying to get pictures of Dove at the end of the rainbow, but I couldn't make it work, it was too dark.

It was a good evening.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Gone fishin'! Actually, now we're back. We had so much fun with my grandparents, and caught some fish too.

A nice buck:

"EEK! What's that?"

It's Sasquatch!
(Click to enlarge)

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

I'm no good at suspense, and I didn't do anything particularly special to pick a winner. I just had John pull the name out of my awesome Aussie hat. And the winner is...

Kate! Her blog, A Year with Horses, is very thought-provoking and wonderful, so go check it out. Today she has a post up about a horse personality test and it was totally right on about my Tonka. He's a people pleaser.

I'm getting together my box of goodies to mail out. Some of it is hand made, some of it is hand-me-down treasure, and some of it is brand spankin' new. So Kate, email me your mailing address at andrea v at turbonet dot com and I'll send it out as soon as I can. I hope you like it!

I really enjoyed reading all your stories about your important moments with your horses! That was a lot of fun. Thank you all for sharing!

I had a wonderful birthday. Spent the morning on a trail ride with my daughter in the glorious warm sunshine. We saw a beautiful moose. She just stood and looked at us and then walked quickly away. Huckleberry wasn't with us. :) Later we saw some cows, a turkey, and a deer. The turkey walking along was the most disturbing for Tonka. He's a super good boy, didn't do anything dumb, but it bothered him. We did a lot of bushwhacking and I got us stuck once, but we managed to backtrack and find a way through the brush to the trail. I thought it was fun and I think Tonka did too, but Katia said Gypsy didn't like it much. She's herdbound and follows too close and I think she gets a lot of branches in the face. But she's such a good old mare! My daughter just loves her and of course I love any horse that keeps my kid safe! She's a love in the pasture too, which doesn't hurt a thing.

Then Katia and I spent the afternoon setting up new temporary fence to put the horses out on nice tall green grass. I actually kind of enjoy the mindless task of fencing, so it was good birthday work, other than the heat. I went inside and made us smoothies when we got too hot though. Later my husband and son came home and we had an awesome dinner and cake and ice cream. Just a quiet time with the family. It was great. I am lucky to have such a wonderful life and supportive, loving family.

Monday, June 07, 2010

I figured something out last night. You know Miss Dove with the nappy mane and tail that fall out when I brush them? And the super bunny-soft coat?She's a curly horse.
Pretty darn cool. That means she's hypo-allergenic. Not that it matters to me, I'm allergic to the stuff horses eat, not the horses themselves. But that bunny soft coat is sure nice, and maybe her curliness will help her find a home.

Today we had a nice ride and you know what? Of course the one time I opt not to take slickers we get soaked. So it was a short ride, but it was still fun. My girl went with me - I love it!
We saw a nice buck and an elk who may have had a baby nearby. Huck nipped at her and chased her off. Big meanie. But it did make it easier for us to get on down the trail.

I gotta run!

Sunday, June 06, 2010

What, nobody wants to win the giveaway? My wonderful 1000th post, 33rd birthday giveaway? I'm beginning to feel a little unloved... My birthday party was canceled too. Thbbt.

You can comment once a day starting yesterday until Tuesday, and your chances will be better! Just tell me your most significant horse moment(s), whether they be funny or shocking or touching or...

Here's an old picture just for fun since I haven't taken any new ones lately:

Saturday, June 05, 2010

I don't know where my mind has been! I forgot to tell you about the wonderful prize I won from Lea's blog. It was the coolest box full of goodies. A bandana (it's covering my bedhead right now), horse stickers, a neat horseshoe ornament Lea made herself, a BLM tote bag that I can't wait to use, a book of happiness quotes, post-its (I love those but usually won't splurge to buy them), and a couple nice notebooks. I love it! Thank you, Lea!

So, speaking of Giveaways... My 1000th post is coming up! And it will fall on my birthday! So I've wracked my brain trying to figure out how to work this. What I think I'll do is this - from now through 7PM PST on June 8th (I'll be 33 years old, and 3 is my favorite number!), leave a comment on my blog, and I'll post a winner on the evening of my birthday. Hopefully I'll get the goody box sent out the next day. It's going to be a great goody box, so make sure to comment! What I'd like to see are your most significant horse memories. Funniest, most exciting, most touching - whatever you want to talk about. And if you don't have horses, just tell me a funny story. But I think even people who don't have horses have a memory about them. Maybe the amazing size of the feet of the Percherons at the fair, or the night a white horse came running out of the darkness and scared them when they snuck out of the house. Something like that, maybe?

Well, I'm off to 5K for Play! Today it's gloriously beautiful and we're walking it to raise money for my son's school to build a playground. I can't wait for them to have a playground. Right now all they have is a bare concrete area - the kind with little rocks that stick out - and if they fall they tear their jeans or skin their knees real bad.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

I don't have much to post so I thought I'd share my list of things to take on my (supposed to be) week long trail ride trip.

For Tonka:
5 bales hay
8 days feed
Feed pan
Water bucket
Busy Horse feeder (kinda like a hay net/bag)
Extra halter/lead
2 cinches
2 pads
2 bridles
4 easyboots
brushes/hoof pick
trimming tools
packer pellets
fly spray
saddle bags

Sleeping bag
Shower kit
lots of wipes for cleaning up hands and face
2 pr boots
female supplies (bad timing)

Collapsible bucket
duct tape
first aid kit (bute, banamine, Vetrap, gauze, scissors, iodine, thermometer, snakebite kit & can't remember what else)

I know I took more than this, like my sunglasses and wallet, rope halters to work on in case I got bored, etc. It was a lot of junk. Most of which I didn't need, but then I wasn't gone long either. I took extra cinches and pads because I wasn't sure what might gall him on such a long trip. Extra halter/rope in case something weird happened although mine should be unbreakable and I was thinking more that someone else might need it. What I should have had but didn't was a new latigo strap. The one I have is looking worn. I also wished I had a ball cap or shade hat of some sort (for when I wasn't in the saddle). I thought of it and promptly forgot. I was really glad to have a blanket for Tonka since it was chilly and rained one night. I didn't think it was fair to work him all day and then let him get chilled and stiff while tied to the trailer all night. His blankie is a nasty old canvas blanket with some flannel inside. He outgrew my nice waterproof pretty blanket. In his blanket he looked pretty rough next to some of the fancy blanketed horses there. But his glossy naked self was glorious. :)

Anything you consider essential that I don't have on my list?

Wednesday, June 02, 2010


Yesterday we stayed home and had a little schooling ride, fixing up some bad habits that came from riding in a hurry down the trail.

Meanwhile, Huck took a swim in the creek and then went mousing.
I'm completely at a loss for what to do today. It's raining too hard to play with horses. I'd paint my living room but my son spilled the paint on the attic floor (by accident of course). I can do some housework but amazingly enough there isn't that much to do. That's because John cleaned everything up so nice while I was gone. So I'm a little lost. I'm sure I'll manage to get through the day though.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

I think endurance may well be my horse's forte. But not in Easyboots, maybe. We did 37.5 miles, probably about a third of it totally barefoot, and he was still rarin' to go. Not at all sweaty (some of the horses were covered head to foot in sweat). We had to come back after two days of riding because the boots were rubbing his heels. I'm going to look up fixes for that soon and I may go back for the last few days of the ride. They didn't get to the point where they were bleeding but after another day they would have been, and it hurt already, I could tell when I pulled the boot off. I recommend you shoe and pad your horse for the John Wayne ride. If you don't like shoes take them off as soon as you're done. It's rough, very rough footing for the most part. Fooling with boots has not been fun. But if you're used to fooling with boots and you know exactly how to apply them to keep them from rubbing during the long haul, go for it. I think it is possible, just a pain and requiring a LOT of close attention to keep your horse from getting hurt. What I'm looking at doing is covering his entire foot in Vetrap and then putting duct tape over the area that's rubbing. Huge PITA and probably not cheap on the Vetrap. Maybe not even worth it.

Anywhoo - Here are all the pics I took. Not many, but then I thought I still had a week's worth of pictures to take. And really, the trail all looked pretty much the same.

I love this picture of my shining horse and his glowing heart.

Waiting - Day One
The way the ride works - in the morning you tie or leave your horse with someone, and you drive your rig forward in a big caravan to the next camp. Then everyone runs and gets on the bus to get back to their horse and get riding. At the end of the day your camper and trailer are waiting for you. But the horse handler has to stand in the cold wind while the driver is doing all that. :) There aren't a lot of places to tie your horse.

On the trail:

This coyote ran along next to and a little in front of us for quite a ways before heading out into the sagebrush.

Day two - Waiting

Yay - the bus is back!

Heading out:

Tonka was very worried about this particular wagon with it's very jingly harness:
A closer look:

Culverts going under Hwy 395
(I got down and walked - Tonka has a fear of culverts, even the tiny ones, so I wasn't about to ride through here.)

The view

On the trail behind two wagons:
And that's all I took.

We did see snakes but no rattlers. The people were nice. I had fun, but really the trail did get a little boring, all the same all day. I was looking at the hills wishing I could just go climb a couple. It was really refreshing to get off to the side and zigzag through the sagebrush after I realized my boots were rubbing. I asked the guys riding drag if it was okay to get off trail and they said it was fine, especially if it's for the well-being of the horse. I had to watch VERY carefully for wire, holes, and snakes. We stepped in some big holes even so, but no wire or snakes.

My riding partner was really understanding about me taking off and leaving her alone. I felt bad. I almost bit the bullet and had one of the farriers there put shoes on him, but I just really can't be spending that kind of money after buying the Easyboots and everything else for the trip. Maybe next year.