Saddle up and let's ride down the trail of tales or tails.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Who? Us?

It was sunset when I fed. Drifter was still with me hooked to the 4-wheeler.

We fed back pens first then down front. I had forgotten to doctor Sadie so I went to the barn for the medicine, walked back to her pen, gave it to her then fed her.

As I was getting on the 4-wheeler to move to the next pen, Drifter was acting like the kittens were close – he was in his hunting mode. I fussed at him and drove a few feet. He was acting nuts putting his head up into the front and underneath the 4-wheeler so I stopped and shut it off. I started looking in the 4-wheeler and saw a little black face where it shouldn’t be.

I tried pulling the cat out and that didn’t work. First order of business was to remove the dog from the area in question. I unhooked him from the 4-wheeler and tied him to a nearby fence. Then I went back to see about the cat situation.

When I returned, I saw just a back and it looked like the cat was stuck. I looked in another place and Stripes was looking out at me. I reached and was able to grab him and pull him out without damage to him or me.

As soon as he popped out of the space Missy’s face appeared. I tried to reach her and she would duck back out of my reach. The sun was now down and it was getting darker and colder and I still hadn’t finished feeding. I called Dan who was at the house and told him what was going on. He came up and was able to pull Missy out. He took Stripes from me and headed them back to the barn. I retried a very excited Drifter and we finished feeding. Critters -------

Sunday, November 13, 2011


If you are dealing with a horse you had better 'see what they see'. That was a lesson for us this morning.

I assigned Lil to a 5-year-old rider this morning. The weather was cold and windy so that changed Lil’s outlook and energy – those who know Lil know that excess energy is not a usual description we use when talking about her. She did have some extra this morning.

As the little rider was taking her to the arena I was watching and Lil’s ears were far forward and stayed there. Her head was high and her walk was a bit nervous. I looked to see what was bothering her and about a mile away I saw a rider loping his horse in circles. This was what she was fixating on.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


Student chose to ride Shag bareback. He was being the usual ‘you’re going to work to make me work’ ride. She was attempting to trot and he was evading by bending his body and slowing down.

As she came toward the spectator gallery she kept a long rein and started a pull to turn him. She really stretched her pull and leaned out to the side to make it longer instead of shortening the rein. All we could do was simply watch as that magic point of no return was reached and she did a slow fall-off-the-horse. By the time she landed the horse had completely stopped. They both had a look of ‘what are you doing down there?’

 Kind of reminds me of life when we don’t prepare properly for the task or event at hand. We reach a point of  continuing with all our old responses and ideas until we pass the point of nothing working. After we ‘fall off’ we may just take a different look at things. After all, sitting on the ground looking up at the horse certainly gives us a different perspective on the matters at hand.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I have one mare that I refer to as the basket case. Sometime in her life she was well broke and then passed through an experience with humans that left her horribly distrustful. I didn’t feel good about selling her with the problems she has so she just hangs out with the mares. Usually, when a person enters the pen, she will start running. It doesn’t matter if you are close to her or on the other side.

 Today I approached to put a horse back in with the group. Patches was standing with her rear end pointed toward the gate. As I walked up I told her to move her booty so I could bring the horse in. She looked over shoulder at me (didn’t run) and gave me a ‘look’. I laughed and told her, “ I didn’t say you were Black Beauty, I said move your booty over.” 

She moved a step away from the gate then stood still. Suppose they understand English?

$20+ DOWN THE DRAIN 11-9-11

I put Drifter out in his jacket today and left him all day. He could reach the back porch and likes the corner to sleep in. He seems to have weathered it all well. I hooked him to the four wheeler with me at  feeding time so he could get some exercise.

We were pulling up to the barn door when I heard a loud snap. I stopped and saw he was on the far side of a post. I stepped down  and found his collar on the ground. He stayed right there and came over. I put it back on – I thought it just unsnapped. (It is secured by a plastic snap in connection rather than buckled in.)

We finished chores and I put him on his tie line at the house and fed him. When I opened the porch door at 6:00 to let him in I saw the empty collar on the porch. My heart went to my toes but he was right there and ready to come in.

I think the neutering is taking effect. The last couple of days his behavior has been that of a big puppy. He wants to play with both me and Noki. When I lean over to put on his coat I get a face full of dog kiss. (Having seen where his mouth has been that is not the most desirable thing to happen on my part). To really finish off the change, the only collar I had on hand that would fit is a lavender collar.

It seems that the new routines are imprinting new habits in him and I am really glad. I think there may be a time I can let him loose again and not worry about him wandering off. Time will tell.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


When this 4-year-old had her first ride, there were a couple of times that she was asked to do something and the answer was, “I can’t”. After the second one, I talked to her and told here those were two words we didn’t use here. Instead, she could use, “I’ll try” or “I need help”. I explained that I CAN’T was like taking a big rock, putting it down where you had to walk then trying to get over it. The I CAN’T rock  made it very hard to do what you had to do.

When she rode the second time, she forgot and used I can’t again. Mom reminded her of her options. The next difficult challenge she face was securing reins snaps to the bit ring.  We heard “I’ll try”. She did try and was able to snap her reins to the bit rings all by herself. We stopped and celebrated and on the next, Ill try” we even did a high five when she finished. Her grin let us know she was pretty proud of her accomplishments.

Monday, November 7, 2011


Illumidog collars – 2  When he came he had roaming privileges so he needed something to be seen at night. Had to get one for Noki (other dog) also. By the way, excellent collar. $43.34

Vet visit as a result of injuries. $160.00

Vet visit to follow up on injuries and receive shots. $106.13

Vet visit for the neuter surgery. $140.08

Dog coat. The weather is getting very cold and he is short hair. I do expect him to be outside as much as possible. Coat not nearly as durable as the collar. $10.00

Various dog books so I can understand more about them and be a good owner. $50.00

The dog – priceless. Meet Drifter

I did have some concerns after the injury but he seems to be recovering just fine. Neuter surgery was last Thursday and that seems to be healing well.

After these bills, I certainly understand why so many pets are being abandoned or turned in to shelters. Forget the emergency run, just the basics are pretty expensive today. 

More stories to come. He is proving to be an interesting addition to my animal family.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


My son, Dan, kindly takes care of the morning feeding of the horses for me before he goes to work. Because he needs to report in by 7:00 am (sometimes earlier) it seems that he is always feeding before the sun comes up – this means you sometimes forget something.

Part of the process is putting either the group of geldings or mares back into their water lot pen. In the evening when I feed, I turn a group out into a large pen for the night.

This morning I went to the barn shortly before lesson time. As I drove up I saw Smudge standing at the main gate to the big pen. I didn’t know if the rest of the herd was still in the big pen or if they had gone into the water lot.


One of my girls was working on loping bareback. She was psyched and ready thinking she would be the only rider. Due to extra riders, I had put a little girl and her grandmother in the lesson. The granddaughter who was seven rode for the first time last summer for a week and loved it. They were back for a week of riding this year.

My 10-year-old student had chosen Shag to try on. She had a good ride, stayed on and made several good attempts but loping didn’t happen. Her mom was videoing and I suggested she look at the video and see if she was doing something that interfered.

A follow up email from mom told me that the student was in tears when they left because she hadn’t succeeded. And, the change in having riders with her affected her. I was sorry to hear that because I felt there was more to the story.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Part of my research information has been in the realm of animal communication. There is a lot of information from people who feel this is legitimate. I have come to the conclusion that they do communicate deliberately in many different ways.
I think we are too busy trying be heard and push our agendas that we never hear them. The following are some of my personal experiences. I am not trying to make a believer out of you, just enjoy the story.

People feel that Arabians are more sensitive to humans than other breeds of horses. The way the breed developed that conclusion makes sense to me. The first donation to the school was an Arabian mare about 21 years old. (She is now 30)


Wind always seems to blow at my place and in the cooler months a slight wind can be very chilling. Parents of course like their kids to be responsible for putting appropriate attire in the car so they will be warm to ride.

On this particular chilly March day, my rider came after school with a friend instead of mom. I assigned her a bareback (did not have to put saddle on the horse) ride so she prepared quickly. She had no jacket. I didn't say a word, just got her on the horse.