Sunday, September 16, 2018


My, how they have grown! I don't remember if I have posted since they started laying, but they are all girls.

Zorro here doesn't lay much, but she's still my favorite. I don't eat eggs, but I do expect them to entertain me with their cuteness and shenanigans. :)

Shadow apparently likes to really stretch out in the pool:

Zorro doesn't mind Shadow being a pool-hog.

All 3 do fit, but I do want to get a bigger pond one day.

Happy Zorro!

They are very loud when they want out in the morning, bet they didn't much like me pointing the camera at them.

"Let us out already!"

Happy wanderers. Amazing how much the blues blend in.

I have been having daily headaches, but managed one ride this week with Halla. She did splendidly. We saw a logger leaving for the day, then the big equipment still popping and settling, cooling down, and all the big piles of logs. She was on edge around it but did well. Each ride is better than the last.

Tomorrow I hope to be well enough to go for a nice long ride with some fall color. Wish me luck.

Monday, September 10, 2018


She finally has a name! Halla kept coming to me because it sounds so celebratory. But I thought I was making it up, and that made me a bit hesitant. But it turns out that it is a name, with only one "l." Hala means halo, specifically the halo of light around the moon. Halla in Spanish means "found," although of course the "ll" is pronounced differently. However you look at it, it is perfectly her name. "Hall" pronounced like hallway (not hat) followed by "uh."

We had another, better, trail ride. She crossed a BIG muddy puddle, a couple creeks, went up and down and led and followed. We saw very excited children, motorcycles, cars, and a distant 4 wheeler. It was a busy day in the woods!

She's so shiny.

We've been riding and playing at home too, of course. Having a grand time. She really likes her new little herd. Interestingly, the first time I took her away from her girls, once she realized I was taking her away, she started spooking. There was nothing to spook at. Hmm. Has she learned that gets her out of work? After two pretty decent size spooks that I ignored, she gave it up. Today I caught her and took her away several times. Each time it got easier. She also met the farrier and the brand inspector today.  She was perfect for the farrier but didn't pose very prettily for the brand inspector. Resting mare face. :/

Wednesday, September 05, 2018


 I decided, for the sake of her mental health, to end the quarantine period and let her be a horse. I think it was absolutely the right decision (as long as nobody gets deathly ill).

It was very peaceful. Juniper was overly gregarious and was told to back off, and the two older mares avoided each other. Bella was curious but aware that she needed to give her some space.

 These two got bored and came to check my treat status.

Juniper, as always, suggested a butt scratch.

I told her absolutely not from down here on the ground, and I like her pretty face better.

She of course had to try again, just in case.

Now this. This was super cool. I have a longer video but blogger is a pain in the butt with videos. She was lowering her head and really licking, relaxed, salivating a lot. I think she was letting loose the tension and stress she's been holding on to for days, a week, maybe longer as she's been going through some tough transitions in her life.
At the end when she looks away, I think Juniper was bugging her outside the frame, but she never did stop licking. I just kept on scratching her wither until she seemed like she was done needing it and I'd lost feeling in my fingers. :)

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Work or Play?

The horses sure to give me reason to be, reason to do, and a lot of joy in doing it. I've been so busy and enjoying every minute of it. My headaches are briefer this week too, which is nice.
I took a friend from work for a ride on Saturday. She loved Sawyer. He's such a good boy.

I picked up a really nice(for an Aussie) Aussie saddle for a steal on Sunday and tried it out last night. It's comfortable and looks quite dashing on Sawyer.

I tried putting all the girls next to each other and it was a non-event. New girl gave peaceful calming signals to Bella but thought about moving Juniper. She is shy. She looked at Sawyer and walked away the couple times I've brought him near her.

Oh, and I tried the Aussie saddle on her too. I'm not sure but it may be a fit. Not as pretty though.

Is there a trick to throwing an Aussie saddle on and not getting the under flaps all flipped under the saddle? Maybe it just takes practice.

Monday, September 03, 2018

Making a Connection

Well, the new horse still has no name. I just can't settle on one.

She is super interesting. Quite a fun girl, a challenge, but not too much of a challenge. I'm having fun having stuff to think about and things to work toward.

When I went to pick her up (I had driven over 8 hours and stayed in a hotel, it wasn't like she was local) it took a while to catch her, and then I was told not to tie her up while she's getting to know me. Maybe I should have just left. But I wanted this horse. So yes, she has broken away from the trailer once (blocker tie ring) but luckily I was able to catch her easily.

We have had to do a bit of work in the round pen. But now she doesn't make me chase her before I catch her. I think she thought that was an expected part of the human game.

Riding goes well, but she does spook at times. We had a couple good spins on our first trail ride. Those darn birds that explode out of the trees right next to you..  John thought it was a turkey. I was too busy to look.

We are still working on standing at the mounting block. I think we've pretty well figured out standing in a ditch or next to a hump. She doesn't rate well going down steep hills, and is unsure about thick brush. She is afraid when she is the rear horse.  I just don't see how she could have been such an amazing mountain horse, unless maybe she was in the middle of a string and in easier terrain. Or maybe her rider had different expectations. Oh, she also didn't like bones. A hunting horse?

She is sure-footed, guides well, is mostly willing (one area I think smelled like wild beasties, Scout was worried there as well) and she's just plain sweet. She just needs to chill out a bit. She's very serious.

Sometimes I get mad that her value was overstated and she's not the horse that was advertised. But that's not her fault and my anger isn't directed at her. I need to let it die and bury it & walk away because it's not helpful at all. She is herself, and that's all she knows. Her whole world changed and she lost her best friend and now I'm trying to make friends but I'm also making her step outside her comfort zone a lot.

She's a good girl. She's going to do just fine. Wave goodbye to Negative Nellie. I'm going to focus on our successes from here on out.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018


Isn't Sublimity a lovely name for a town? That's where we stayed when we picked this special lady up.

She's from Tonka's herd, Coyote Lakes Herd Management Area. She's been a mountain horse, mostly, but she's also been in 4H and been ridden in parades. She needs a new name. I'm working on that.

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Shopping Woes

I must confess, I have been pretty seriously horse shopping. Sawyer really needs a lighter load. Don't worry, he's still happily munching away here. I haven't been able to bring myself to advertise him. I waited too long to ask my farrier about him, and he wasn't interested anymore. Bummer.

Horse shopping is hard. Misrepresentation, high expectations on my part, hard times even getting people to respond, believe it or not, or if they do, they can't show the horse for 3 weeks.  Some responses are so vague I ask them to call me and get nothing. A lot of them aren't local, so I have to decide if they're worth that much energy before I drive that far. Vague replies won't do. Ugh.

I have very few in my possibles list, and one is in foal so I think I'm going to disqualify her. But we're coming up on that time of year when people start dumping horses, so we'll see.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Fixed Up

Amazing what a little vinyl and spray paint will do. And in regards to recovering the seat: it looked a lot easier on YouTube.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Another New Cat

You might think I'm crazy, and you might be right. Maybe it's middle age. What do they call that, Midlife Crisis?  Nah. It was just a great deal at the right time. I've been wanting something like this for years. Quiet. Slow. Easy. Big Tires.

It's an old Honda FatCat TR200.

I've never really ridden a motorcycle before other than with my dad when I was probably 7 years old. So I had a vague memory of how to shift, but that's it. I must admit the first time I hopped on I thought I'd rather ride something with a mind that wouldn't do stupid crap when I froze up. :) I've never really been any kind of bike rider

But I'm getting the hang of it and I love it! I have a couple (or more) cosmetic things to fix up, but it runs beautifully. I'm going to spray paint the front rack and replace the seat vinyl today. Fun stuff.

It might be a while before I take it out on the logging roads, and I may never want to take it on a difficult trail. It's a heavy beast. I'm hoping it will help me discover some new places to ride my horse though. I'm excited!

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Short Ride, Tired Horse

I cut out the grainy grain (Omolene) and increased the Active Senior and now I have a tired old man again. We did just 3 easy miles early this morning before it got hot and he was slow. He did suggest on the downhill on the way back that maybe I'd like to walk. I'd like to get someone behind me who knows what they're looking at to tell me if it looks like he's sore in his hocks.

I'm back to wondering if I'm too heavy, if this is too much, if he's too old and should be allowed to just pack kids around. I feel bad.

On the upside, I made a new riding buddy. Her property is right on the edge of a bunch of public land, some of which I've ridden on quite a bit, and some I haven't. I was a bit nervous when she told me how green her horse was (1 ride every 9 months or so) but he was a good boy. It helps a lot to have a horse like Sawyer along.

Monday, July 09, 2018

Old Sampson, New Aslan

Sawyer and I have done some shorter rides and a couple of 11 mile climbs with his new diet, and it seems to be doing the trick. A bit too well, sometimes. He got way overly excited about a moose one day, I think because he couldn't tell what it was through the heavy trees.

We trotted a couple miles straight up, only slowing or stopping when I insisted. That was at the beginning of the ride and he was still going well the rest of it.
The forest service has it mapped as 11 miles up and back, my GPS said 12, but I'll go with the 11.

I like the history of this old trail. I don't know if there are other sections still surviving. I hope so. It makes me sad that so many of the old trails aren't continuous anymore.

We have to walk along the highway a ways to get to the trailhead. There isn't enough parking for horse trailers there. The horses do great even with log trucks speeding by. The truckers are pretty courteous, giving room and even slowing down sometimes. Everyone else seems to be in such a huge hurry.

Here's pretty juniper standing on her leadrope.

On Tuesday some kind person found this dying snotty emaciated dehydrated filthy cat in a trailer park and brought him in to our clinic. She didn't know what to do, because she couldn't afford to take care of him. I said I'd take him.

My boss was pretty sure he was going to die, but I thought he probably just needed some help. He tested negative for leukemia so I went ahead with treatment.

Here is Aslan just a couple days later:

We took him camping and he had a blast

I'm pretty sure at this point that the dogs won't kill him. But I'm still watching carefully. If I have to I will find him a safer home. But I sure do like the little guy!

I'm not sure if I'll be riding much over the next month or two. I'm going to try to spend most of my free time with my sister. But that's OK, the horses don't mind.