Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Smoky Hike

 (I hiked with weight in the pack. Not much, and not far, but I did!)


Tuesday, August 25, 2015


Yesterday I had an unexpected lunch break at home, so I played with my horse.

He also tried on a fly mask and didn't even mind the Velcro sound. But Tonka's old fly mask was too big, so I'll have to get him a different one.

It isn't cloudy here, the white sky is smoke. It doesn't look too bad in the pictures, but it's pretty bad. At least there's no ash falling out of the sky here.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


I set the donkey saddle on Luc the other day. He didn't really love it, but he wasn't overly worried about it either. I won't cinch a saddle on for a while yet. I need to fix a couple of broken rails in my round pen first. I'll work on tightening a rope around his barrel for a while first, too. He thought that was offensive.  He's so funny. When he's unsure he gets just a little bit angry.

I found a new horse camping place recently. Definitely going there with horses soon!

We hiked almost 7 miles of the trails there, and it was really nice. Some lake views, huge train trestles, and not a soul around, although you could hear highway noise. There are a lot more trails there, and more across the highway. You could also go biking on a paved railroad grade, or swimming, boating, fishing, birdwatching. This is at Heyburn State Park just an hour from me. Pretty nice. And not on fire, which is saying a lot right now.

The trails I posted about last time are right next to a forest fire that's been burning for almost a week. No homes lost, but it's not done yet. There just isn't enough manpower and our fire is too small to get much attention right now. I think they've kept it at 1300 acres. My friend lives right near it, but luckily the wind has been blowing it away from her. She has livestock that would be very hard to move. I hope they get it out before the wind picks up tomorrow.

Speaking of livestock and fires, Bella's homeland is burning too. Over 20 wild horses died in the fire. I wish I could help save them. The BLM is planning an emergency gather, and will hold the horses and re-release them when it's safe. I guess that might be next spring, so they don't starve to death on the burnt land. 

I'm off today to help with dentistry on a posh horse ranch. It's always interesting to see how the other half live. :)

Friday, August 07, 2015


Moonlight & donkeys

 Elderberry picking with Blue:

Scout's first moonlight ride:

What do you think this might be?

First rodeo:

A lovely ride with family:

I made pickles!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Luc's Big Day

I decided to take Luc to work with me today. My equine dentist/vet/endurance expert/boss very generously offered to take a look at his limp.

This would be his first trip away from home. I was very apprehensive about it. Abnormally so. I envisioned him leaping and rearing, ripping the rope out of my hand, and possibly breaking down some fences. He hasn't done the leaping and rearing thing for quite some time, so I don't know why I worried about that. However, he did break down/through my fence and my neighbor's barbed wire fence sometime in the middle of the night just over a week ago. Luckily he was only scratched up a bit from that encounter.

Well, I needn't have worried. He loaded up, unloaded, did his lameness exam, and hung out all day watching horses come and go. All with no problems. He looked like he was having a blast with so many entertaining things to watch. Including large alien pack goats.

It looks like maybe his gimp is coming from his suspensory ligament in his left front leg. It's definitely that leg. And that's the only place that he reacted to when it was palpated. We didn't use hoof testers on him so that could be where the problem is, but I doubt it. 

The plan for now is to trim his hooves better (I've been too conservative and also haven't trimmed him in a while) and wait and watch. I will probably take him in for a real lameness work up if he doesn't improve soon.

Tonight I introduced a new (used) toy to the boys. Bella, being above such things, wasn't interested.

 They rolled it around quite a bit, and the treats did come out, but they didn't realize it, so I just kept putting them back in.
 I won't comment on the shape of the new toy, but I really want to. WTH?

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Pat pat pat

Horses don't like to be patted, but nearly everyone does it. I've had a couple overbearing male horse trainers insist to me that you should never, ever pat a horse. Sorry, but I disagree completely. They need to be familiar enough with a friendly pat that it doesn't cause them to react dangerously or even just be troubled in their own mind by it. It's not fair to them to not prepare them for what people ARE GOING to do.

Luc has been super offended by it, understandably, since I adopted him. I kept putting off dealing with it. Recently he's been handled more by people other than me and sure enough, every one of them patted him. Even when they were consciously trying not to. Even equine professionals do it. It's so hard not to do! If he had kicked them it would have been my fault for letting the situation come about in the first place. He isn't a kicker, thank goodness.

So today I patted him. A lot. I allowed him to graze in a lush spot and pat pat pat, rub rub rub. Gently and with rhythm, moving to different parts of his body, and gradually increasing the energy of the pats. Not slapping, though. We spent several minutes in the morning and another session in the evening, mixed in with some other exercises. I am so pleased with him! I should have done this a long time ago. It really wasn't a big ordeal at all. He still doesn't like it, but we'll eventually get to where it doesn't make him freeze up or move off in discomfort.