Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Down the Scary Road

Luc and I went for a walk down the road in the busy direction yesterday. Every house has horses, and one has yappy dogs. The farm implements were scary, but the cars that went by were not (which was a good thing because one of them came from behind and didn't slow down).

There were a few tense moments, but as we went along and encountered more things, his breathing became quieter. I think I'll take him again today. Maybe we'll go as far as the whirligigs and goats.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Again, with Horses!

We went out again yesterday to the area we'd explored in Sunday. There was a trail across the road from the well kept, marked trail that we hiked on. It was on the map as a road, but it wasn't really a road anymore.

John brought Bella this time. She was a much more responsive packhorse-in-training than Pedro. And a lot faster too.

We came across a gorgeous view of a big expanse of forest with no clear cut in sight. That is a rare thing in these mountains. Most of the land belongs to timber companies.

The view is always nice when you're following Bella. :) Until it gets so overgrown you can't see at all...

Not too long after that the trail was totally washed down the mountainside. A person might be able to scramble/slide to continue, but definitely not a horse. So it was only a 4 mile ride round trip, but that worked well with our limited schedule.

Pretty nice view from up here too.

Scout was very brave and forward, but he did keep his eye on any suspicious logs or rocks that came along.

Everybody was very happy when we returned home.

Later in the day Luc got a lot of attention and a hoof trim. He's such a good boy! I think he might be better behaved for trimming than any of my others.

Oh, and a fly spray review: I don't like Centaura. I bought it to get me by until my order of Flicks comes in. The aerosol spray is less annoying to the horses, but it doesn't work very well, and it doesn't last 12 hours. It does repel mosquitos though, maybe better than it does flies. I need to get Scout a fly sheet.

Monday, May 25, 2015

No Horses, Just Hiking

We were going to go rough camping, but the first place was too wet, then it rained a bunch while we went to check out a trail John hadn't been to, then we wished we had the horses with us, so we went home, and plan to take them out today.

We heard a lot of thunder, but managed to miss getting wet in the storms. Ten miles hiked, and a plan for a long horseback trip soon.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Love Luc

Luc is so different from my other horses. Everywhere he goes, he's in a hurry. It makes me smile every time I go outside and he leaves whatever he's doing and comes flying to me at a fast trot or a lope. Sometimes even a gallop. When I go into his pasture, he's not really interested in hanging out, he wants to do something. So if I just pet him, he'll usually walk a few feet away and think about grazing. He's happier with our interactions if I halter him and have an agenda. Part of that, I think, is that he still has some slight issues with being touched if it isn't his own agenda, but a lot of it is just that he just can't stand still. I am so not that personality type. This is going to be an interesting journey. I think I'm going to have to grow a bit. He'll have to make some changes too, but he is who he is.

I just sat down in his corral the other day, and that was interesting enough to hold his attention for a few minutes, but he still left and came back a few times just because he could.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Finally caught his glorious eye

Which one do you like better? I know the differences are slight. I might just have to get a canvas print. :) 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


Yesterday someone (Scout) broke the fence and someone else (Luc) tried to eat it. Silly, naughty boys.

Then they "helped" me fix it. Neck nibbling and hair eating and theft of fencing supplies is helpful, right?

Scout and I had a good little ride in the evening. We really need to ride at home more often.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Not a lot

I've been sick. So just maintenance stuff going on here. I got sick of laying around, so I filled up on coffee and Dayquil and shaved my ass.

Bob thought the whole process was awful. The results weren't exactly pretty. But with his head and neck clipped he should be cooler. This week is supposed to be warm and humid.

These two goobers have become pretty good friends. Scout gets kind of clingy when I go to take Luc out.

That's about it for me, for now. See ya later!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Trails, and Luc Goes Down the Road

 We've had a few really lovely rides lately.
 I figure I walk and ride about half and half. Scout likes it that way, especially on the steep stuff.
My sister joined us for part of a ride and then had to turn back to make it to a mother's day barbecue. I was afraid Scout would have a big problem with that, but he wasn't too worried.
 We found a pretty spectacular view. Photos don't do it justice. Kamiak Butte and part of Moscow Mountain are in the distance. I couldn't spot my house though.
 It was nice to have a cool creek to wade in when we got back.
 Luc went farther down the road. He's a pretty brave guy. And he would really like to graze in the wheat.
 He did throw one little baby tantrum when we were almost home, the neighbor's horse was calling to him, and I insisted (by flapping my elbow) that he not crowd me. He shot forward in a little bolt, causing me to ski on the gravel a bit as I pulled him around.  He stood there staring at me, I laughed at him and we moved on.

We've had some really great rain the past fer days, with more in the forecast. Grow grass, grow! It's been a warm, dry year so far and we definitely needed the moisture. I hope it doesn't interfere too much with my horse time, though. :)

Monday, May 04, 2015

Hike & Ride

John and I got to go out and have some fun today.  We took Pedro and Scout, and I figured Pedro could carry just a little weight.  (Photos are pretty much randomly inserted, I hope you don't mind.)

We'd never hiked here, other than a quick trip this winter when we found there was too much snow, unless you had snowshoes.  It was the kind of snow that would hold you up for an instant and then your foot would go plunging through.

I'd ridden a very nice trail nearby, but never this one.  I had a Forest Service map of the area, and I took a picture of the map at the trailhead too, just in case.  Let me just say, you'd think the Forest Service would make better maps.  I don't think we were ever really lost, since the trail we were looking for reappeared just at the point where I was thinking of turning back.  John says we were lost.  What we were, was gone a lot longer and a lot farther than we expected.  We got cell service again just in time to call Katia and have her pick Liam up from school.  (His school is over 20 miles away and no bus service.)
It was a 10 mile, 4 1/2 hour loop on mostly very nice trails, with a short stretch on a logging road.  Some of it was really steep.  (I'd know how much elevation we gained if my stupid app would work!)  John walked the whole thing, and I think I rode and walked about equal distances.  Scout wasn't very fatigued when we got home, and while I'm feeling it, it's more my allergies and dehydration that are bothering me than anything sore.  Poor John did the Bloomsday race yesterday in Spokane, so he's done 22 miles in the last 2 days.  I did keep asking if he wanted to ride his horse, but he didn't. 

Pedro did surprisingly well (I had not intended to take him on that long a hike).  There was one spot where there was a deep motorcycle rut in the middle of the trail, with not enough room to walk on either side, and it was a little greasy and VERY steep.  Poor Pedro.  He had a hard time keeping his hind end going.  His hooves would slip out from under him, then he'd knuckle over, then he'd stop and think.  Thank goodness donkeys stop and think.  He got up it ok.

Scout, on the other hand, does not stop and think, and it makes him clumsy.  Granted, he hasn't had enough riding, but I was disappointed in him a little bit.  Stumbly, not watching where he was going, overreacting about every puddle, slipping trying to avoid the puddles, etc. We really, really need to work on puddles and mud.  Some bodies of water are no big deal, but little trickles, small puddles, and some wet spots are a big problem.  I think it has something to do with his compromised eyesight.  That, and the fact that he's a horse.


When we got home they both got a quick hosing off, a good roll in the dust, and Pedro got some bute and magnesium.  He didn't seem to be having any trouble, but he did a lot today.  Heck, I think we all could have used a little bute.  :)

Calypso Orchid

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Baby Steps

 I thought I might ride Pedro the other day, but then I couldn't find his breastcollar and his britchen was a pain to put on. Have I mentioned how I hate Conway buckles? I need to buy some snaps to make it easier.

So we Just went for a walk. Isn't he handsome?
 He was stumbling a lot part way through our walk, and he's seemed a little footsore since then. I'm not sure if it's the grass making him sore, or what. I took him off pasture and now he seems improved. He was even loping around a little bit yesterday.

We also worked on giving to the bit. That is the area where he needs the most improvement. Often when asked to go one direction, he belligerently goes in the other direction. But this time he was very light and responsive. I was impressed! I don't know if he was just carrying on from our last lesson, which was so long ago I don't even remember it, or if his mouth is more comfortable now, so it makes it easier to do the right thing.

Luc is shedding and you can see his brand better now. The symbols are so small. I wonder if they use a smaller branding iron on foals.

We had a nice walk last night, exploring in the trees behind the house, fixing fence together, and then hanging out on the road hoping a car would go by (to see if it scared him). He got to eat a lot of dusty road grass.

No cars ever came, but he did meet the neighbor's mailbox and cable box. He was worried about the strange objects, but apparently curiosity won out, because he marched right up and touched them without being asked.
When he noticed the neighbor horses, he just stared and stared. Maybe their white appaloosa butts had him confused.

We finished off with some circle work back in the pasture. He was jazzed up at first, but soon remenbered it's about paying attention and making direction and speed changes nicely when asked, NOT trotting in endless circles, staring off at his buddies. I was very happy with our time together.

Baby steps. A little exploratory walk with a horse or standing on the ground asking a donkey for miniscule responses to the bit, then larger ones... It's little, but it's cumulative, and makes the big stuff easier. I think Luc is coming along amazingly well, and if course I think Pedro poops stars and farts rainbows, he's so perfect.

Now I better get outside and continue this horsey love story in realtime. See ya!