Sunday, July 29, 2012

It's been a busy weekend.  Last week I had some kind of stomach/head cold type thing, and my ears finally stopped ringing yesterday.  So I spent most of the day looking at hay and a trailer for a possible trade.  But neither was what I wanted.  Then my sister asked if I wanted to do an evening ride.

I feel bad because our ride last night was too much for Tonka.  I should have ridden about half as far.  He didn't tie up terribly but he had some symptoms I haven't seen since the warm weather started.  He'll be okay with time though, and we did find a beautiful loop to ride.

My sister and I explored some trails we haven't been on before.  I wish I had checked them out years ago, it was beautiful!  And not challenging in the least which is something my horse needs sometimes.

Blue and Huck got to come since I was pretty sure we weren't going to run into any strangers and neither of the horses are all that spooky about dogs.  They had a blast.

This picture came out weird.  Everything is swirly but the trees on the side look normal. 
That's Tonka's eye peeking out from under the boughs.

(Tonka doesn't always keep his head up like this,
but he had things he needed to see.)
As we followed the road toward some meadows and yet another creek, we heard a wolf howl to the south.  I've never heard a wolf before, other than in recordings, but this wasn't a coyote, there were no houses for miles, and there are wolves in that area.  I was interested to see that the horses weren't the least bit worried, other than stopping to listen, and the dogs didn't care either.  It was fairly distant though.  The dogs do pay attention to coyotes close by so I assume they would with a wolf as well.  When we got back to the trailers, the howl was coming from the north.  So either it went around us or its buddies were out there calling.

As the light faded we found ourselves closing a loop back to the trailers, walking through a big beautiful meadow bordered by thick, dark forest. 

Turns out there was a creek between us an the trailers.  No problem, normally, but the banks were steep and deep and the bushes were thick.  It took some searching and the light was going fast but we found a crossing that was only a little complicated by a dead branch at rider level.  After that I got worried about getting caught up in wire in the darkness when I saw an old fence post lying in the grass.  I used my own legs to feel around and didn't find any wire and we got back to the road safely.

Here are some pictures I took out in the same area a few days back when the sun was still out.  We want to go camping out there soon.

This is José, my sister's new chihuahua puppy.  He's so tiny at 2 1/2 pounds, but he's getting pretty good at getting around even when the going is rough.  Isn't he cute?
 I love this picture of the creek.
I knew Tonka wasn't going to be up to a ride with my friend Melissa after last night, so this morning I loaded Scout up and took him out.  He was a very good boy.  I didn't take pictures, but it was a good ride with beautiful views of the mountains.  I spent a lot of time just looking at the scenery.  He's really a good colt, just plugging along while I daydream.  He still spooks at dogs though, even when they're just obediently following along.  I hope he gets over that with more experience.  Melissa's horse was wonderful.  She hadn't been ridden in 9 months and she was so happy to be out, and as well-behaved as if she'd been ridden regularly.  Those kinds of horses sure are nice.

Now I've had my recovery nap and coffee, and I better get back to real life.  Hope you all had an excellent weekend!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

We had an absolutely wonderful ride last night, just me and my sister and our Khota Tonka and Lakhota.  We rode along a forest road for a while and did some exploring among the trees.  When we were about to be done riding we found the most fantastic little trail through the fairy meadows and up into the cedar forest.  We had to turn back because it was getting dark (and unbeknownst to us there was a Profound Moment waiting in the woods) but I can't wait to get back there and explore some more.

Shadowlegs & Daisies
A peek of a view

Bear Dog

Dappled light

A quiet moment
Fiery eye in the forest
 When we stopped here everything felt miraculous.  It was a moment to just "be" in and soak up.  Even Tonka seemed to be listening to a profound message I couldn't hear.
Some cathedrals have no stones

Profound Listening

"I will follow you into the dark"
Into the breach

What a beautiful ending.  :)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

We had a wonderful evening ride last night.  I couldn't decide which picture of Tonka's ears was my favorite, so I added them all.

 Even the sun thinks my horse is special.  :)

There were lots of pretty flowers along the way, but yarrow is one of my favorites.  Read about it sometime, it's really an amazing plant.  And it's beautiful and it smells good too.  Tastes terrible though.

It was a rather short ride, but that's okay, Tonka liked it that way and so did I. 

 My sister got some good pictures of me and my boy.
 I like this arch.

I rode Scout the other night too.  I overestimated a lot of factors, and ended up walking a lot.  Not his fault at all.  If I'd had time to mount back up instead of just trying to keep up with the group I probably could have ridden the whole ride.  I learned a lot that day, mostly about poor planning on my part. 

I've been getting Bella used to a bit just by letting her wear it.  The bosal is fine but sometimes I think more clear communication would be better.  And I hauled her and Scout over to my sister's for a field trip, but then just left them in the round pen.  I think I rode Bella recently too but now I can't remember.  I need to do a better job of tracking my riding hours...  And I guess that shows how inconsistent my riding has been with her.  I think maybe it always will be.  Oh well.

We're ready to make an offer on the house we want.  Still not much going on with the sale of this place though...  So we're still here.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Summer has finally arrived and I tried to hide from it in the coolness of the house, but eventually that got way too boring.  So I'm riding again, when I can, and I've been mowing and working on moving fencing, and playing around some out in the cool waters in the mountains. 

We've had a lot of frogs this year.  To the point where I'm finding them in odd places.  One was in my car, and died a horrible death on the dash in the heat, poor thing.  One was in my kitchen, and Huckleberry found it.  You should have seen him.  He wasn't sure what it was and he was scared of it, but also very curious.  It was pretty funny.  I had a couple in my recycle bins out back, and had to empty it out to save them from being recycled.  Then John almost stepped on one the other evening.  We also have a couple toads who are super cute.  I like frogs, but I find I like toads way more.  They're just more personable somehow.

While I was mowing pastures with the tractor I saw some good-sized snakes.  I like them (as long as they don't surprise me).  They can eat all the mice and voles they want, I don't mind. Then this one showed up in our driveway.  He was very shy, and not at all aggressive.  I herded him a bit to get him in a safe place with no chickens or dogs.

On the 4th Liam was making balloon "things" (they definitely weren't animals) and I introduced them to the horses.  They were very alarmed at first but got over it pretty quickly.
 Here's my 4th of July creation.  It was tasty and fun.

The next day Scout got to be our pony ride horse.  He did a good job.

Then we headed for the woods and water.  I love this picture of my friend's little girl.

All the dogs had a blast. And came home smelling of "cow plop."

We had so much fun we went back a couple days later.  I wish I could stay there for a week.

Huckleberry found a treasure, buried it, Blue found it, lost it, and eventually Huck found it again and was not going to let go of it.  But alas, soon we had to leave and he didn't get to bring it home.  Poor guy.

Yesterday John and I went on a little trail ride.  It started out with a little too much energy and nerves but the rest of the ride was relaxing and enjoyable. My two geldings sure do look good together.  :)
Today we'll go on a longer and more scenic ride, Scout and I and my sister's group.  I can't wait.  Hope it stays cool.  This morning we had some rain and it was very nice.

I almost forgot to mention, I met Soxy's owner from when she was younger.  She's a very nice lady, and it was such a lucky coincidence.  I was at her place helping with dental work for 4 horses. We were chatting and might never have realized we had a horse in common.  I guess back then Soxy was naughty and scary.  She must have had a lot of good experiences before I had her, because she was such a confidence builder for me, and so good for my kids.  What a lucky horse, she's been very loved by everyone who has owned her, even when she was naughty.  :)

And speaking of dental work - miniature horses have huge teeth!  We did 3 of them yesterday and they were lovely, sweet patients.  But they're still hard work because their teeth are funky and you have to get down on the floor to work on them.  Luckily these three get their teeth taken care of once a year so they don't get too out of hand.  What an interesting experience.  We had a lovely Arab gelding for a patient too.  I'm not an Arab person but I really liked this fella.  He was well put together and really sweet.  

Nothing new on the moving front.  And that's about all I've got!  I'm going to get back to work and maybe ride my Bella mare.