Thursday, June 27, 2013

I probably should have mentioned in my last post that my grandma passed away last Christmas.  I didn't mean to sound callous by not talking about that more, but this blog isn't really where I talk about family.  She was a pretty amazing lady with a naughty streak a mile wide.  I loved to listen to her stories, even if I knew they were only 10% true.  She and my grandpa eloped when they were teenagers and were together forever after.  Until now, and my grandpa is alone.  It makes me sad.  He has his family, and my mom keeps a constant eye on him now that he's pretty confused a lot of the time, but he doesn't have the love of his life by his side anymore.  I'm looking forward to spending more time with him now that he'll be living with my parents. 

But back to the mustangs!  I made a pact with myself to at least go out and feed vitamins and scratch bellies every day.  I also decided I'd exercise every day but I haven't done that yet.  I have been scratching bellies though!  I wonder if that builds core strength?


Naughty, but cautiously allowed.  He's trying to be less inhibited, testing out whether he's allowed to groom me back.

Scout looks like a thug:
(Check out that fat drafty neck!  Glad he doesn't choose to grab the bit and do his own thing.)

Buncha cranky, itchy mustangs:

Handsome Joseph:

While scratching all the hard to reach areas, I discovered a lump on Bella's inner butt cheek.  (You might have to click to enlarge.)  I don't know what it is.  It's in or attached to the skin, not attached to anything deeper.  Probably nothing to worry about.  The skin does seem more pink than black there.  Anyone have a horse with something like this?  I'll ask the vets about it eventually...

Scout, in their favorite wallow.  Anyone care to guess how they might have broken that round pen rail on the left?  I think I know.  Glad nobody got hurt.
Only other news I really have is that I ordered new hoof nippers.  I don't know how, but I lost my old hoof nippers.  Weird.  The new ones will be the same but 1" shorter.  I'd had the 15" 'length (which I think also had a wider cutting edge) for my draft horses, but they poke the shorter horses in the belly sometimes when I'm trimming. I can't wait to see if I like the shorter length or if they don't have enough leverage.  Sometimes to cut hard mustang hooves I really have to get out to the end of the handles and squeeze with both hands.  That was more with Tonka though, I think.  And maybe my old nippers weren't as sharp as they used to be.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

We just got back from a little trip.  My grandma's memorial service was Saturday, and we added a quick jaunt to the beach so my kids would feel like they had some sort of vacation this year.

On the way over we stopped at Multnomah Falls, but it was so crowded we didn't hike up.

You have to look closely to see Mt. St. Helens at the top of the mountains in this pic.  I grew up under that mountain and all its grumbling and puffing.  I was so mad when the mountain blew its top.  I was young and I didn't like change, and it was MY mountain, and it wasn't symmetrical and beautiful anymore.
For years after the eruption she kept dumping ash on us.  We'd have air raid sirens go off in our tiny town and have to stay indoors or wear masks to go out. 

Looking east from the Astoria bridge at the mouth of the Columbia.  Mt. St. Helens is in this one too, just to the left of that island.

We took my nephew with us.  He'd never stayed in a hotel, and he was really intrigued by it all.  The boys had a lot of fun running on the beach.

Whale skeleton on the beach.  I was fascinated by all these vertebrae behind its head.

Jumping waves:

Bumper cars:

Carriage rides:

Beach ninjas:


A very loud and active feeding frenzy:

Cool old cabin:
I think I did my beach time when I was a kid.  It doesn't really do much for me now.  I did enjoy the junk food and the shopping.  The candy shops were especially fun.  And I got to walk back from the beach by myself in the rain, splashing barefoot in warm puddles.  That was nice and relaxing.  Even if I wasn't super excited about the beach, the kids had a lot of fun, and that's what it's all about. 

We got home after a very long drive yesterday, and the naughty horses were out in the big pasture that isn't completely closed off from the big, bad world.  They came in pretty easily at the promise of grain though, and I fixed the temporary fence that someone had run through.  The dogs were VERY happy to see us.  It's good to be home, even though that means lots of laundry and going back to work. 

There's a pretty awesome looking thunderstorm coming in.  I think I'll go outside and watch it until it starts raining.  :)

Friday, June 21, 2013

I think I can blog from my phone!

This is a test. This is only a test.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

I am late posting, as usual, and too tired to write much.

Moved them on to new pasture:

Bella's birdie flying away:

I bought a new saddle.  With a broken tree.  Just a little crack in the middle:

But if you look where the stirrup feeds through, it's completely broken.

Perfect for saddling a youngster.  Looks stupid, slipped back, but for training purposes it works.

Poor Scout has to really work to be next to his mama sometimes.

It looks serious but 30 seconds later Bella and Scout were grooming each other while Joseph stood alone.  He just isn't as persistent as Scout.

We had a lovely visit on my friend's farm.

Liam and I both fell in love with her bottle lamb.

Blue Dog:

Looking for his distant herd:


Bella says, "What'cha doing?"

Joseph, showing his playful inquisitive side.  Scooching it under him:
(Blue is sure that horse is being naughty.)

Well scooched:

Backing up to play some more:

Poor Blue really would like to put an end to this but he's been told to "leave it."

Blue's disgusted, can't watch anymore, just has to leave.

Curiosity satisfied.

I wish I'd had time to hang out and play with all three of them again today, but had work and then a baseball game.  Maybe tomorrow.  :)

Saturday, June 08, 2013

I went on a most excellent trail ride with my sister and my niece for my birthday.  Beautiful trail, kept up well with no serious obstacles.  The uphill side was narrow on a steep hill, but enclosed in trees the whole way, and the downhill side was easy peasy on a 4 wheeler track.  Happily, we didn't see any motorized vehicles.  Just some guys on mountain bikes and they were very courteous.  We didn't see any wolves either.  That's a plus.  There are more and more stories about wolves in the mountains here, and some of them make me nervous.  As we were leaving the trailhead where some people were camped, a lady hurried up behind us to tell us they'd had a wolf in camp last night, trying to lure out their dogs.  It went away after they fired a gun.  Glad they didn't shoot it.  I have nothing against wolves, in fact they were my favorite animal and I did a lot of research on them in high school.  But I don't want to meet a pack of them out in the wilderness when I'm on the back of a prey animal with a dog along.  My sister did see some bear poop.  Scout didn't even know it was there, I guess being domestic born, he doesn't care about bear poop?  I thought all horses knew bear poop was scary.

Anyway, Scout was pretty awesome.  I told John I'm going to steal his horse.  He said that'd be fine until tomorrow, when I come in saying, "Your horse!" after he does something naughty.  Really though.  I am going to take ownership of that horse.  I don't mean in the material sense, I mean... well, he's my creation in a way.  Granted, he has his own personality that's all his, but he was born in my lap and I am the person he's had the most contact with.  I should own what he is and build a partnership with him instead of foisting him off on John and complaining about his annoying ways.  He's a good horse.  A very good horse.  Instead of me expecting him to be something he's not and always finding fault, he just needs more life experience and a person who's with him and cheering him on. That's the kind of partnership we had today, and it was good.

On our way in we had to wait for the free range horses to get off the road.  You don't see that very often.  Look closely through my filthy windshield and you'll see the adorable little red dun colt blocking the way.

That's my niece on her big ol' paint horse:

Scout's head is cocked in the most adorable way here.  I think he saw my sister's dog off to the left.

I always thought Scout and Cowboy would make good friends.  They've both got that goofus doofus playful thing going on.  I was right, they like each other.  I'd love to turn them loose together and watch them play.

 It was very nice in the cool forest on this hot day.

On the home stretch:

That last mile was the longest Forest Service mile ever.

When we got home I let Scout graze in the front field.  He stuck with us in the shade for a while and then went exploring.  
It was a long and tiring day, but in the best way!  I can't wait to get out there again, on my new good horse.

Friday, June 07, 2013

Earlier this year there had been the possibility of a mustang adoption this weekend, so I arranged to have today and tomorrow off from work.  The adoption isn't happening but I'm still going to enjoy myself.  I'd thought of going on a trip out into the mountains, packing all my gear and staying a night or two, which would work whether my horse was saddle broke or not, because I have legs too.  But that didn't work out either.  There are too many reasons not to go, and not enough reasons to go.  Some of those reasons are wolves.  One reason that surprised me was that I think I'm afraid of camping with my horses again.  The last time I did, I lost my Tonka.  I'll be smarter next time, but next time isn't here yet.  More reasons - some of my family wanted to come along, but not all of them.  Can't leave the kids home alone, so there you go.

Anyway - today I took Joseph out to explore some new trails.  We had fun.

In the deep, dark woods:

You might not believe the number of pictures I took trying to get a good shot of this bluebell over a little creek.  Obviously I wasn't successful, but it sure was pretty in person.

Love, on a forest trail:

My flash was on, so this one looks kind of unreal, but he's still handsome:

Before we went, we had some excellent entertainment.  Three-way tug o' war.  :)

Tomorrow we're going to ride in the vicinity of the hike we took today.  Of course I'll be riding Scout, not Joseph.  There appear to be a LOT of trails out there.  Hope we don't get lost.