Wednesday, July 01, 2015


I've had more time to post, and more things to post about, because we're on vacation. I'm enjoying every minute, even the laundry and house cleaning. I even cleaned the horse trailer really well. (Not that I don't love my job, but I love my vacation too.)

We went huckleberry picking yesterday. It's not a great year for berries, but it was still good fun.

Huckleberry always likes to pick huckleberries.

Blue might not get invited next year. He runs around like a joyous, out of control rhinoceros, which isn't so helpful on a steep mountainside.

Bonus find: heavenly tiny strawberries!

In the evening we went camping at a local spot called Horse Camp. It's used more by ORCs these days, but it still has hitching rails. And a toilet, which is nice.

We set up the high line for practice. It works better for Bella and Scout if it's strung in two separate sections. Otherwise Bella pulls it downward and Scout chews on it.

We went for a 3 mile walk in the evening. John is still training for his mountain climb. This was the first time with boots and pack. I don't know how he does it.

Liam was our dog wrangler. Winston had to stay on a leash most of the time.

The full moon came up as the sun set. Gorgeous.

I didn't get much sleep, listening to the fidgety horses. At one point I decided to get up and see why they were making so much noise, and wouldn't you know it, they had just decided to have a lie-down. Of course they jumped up when I came at them out of the darkness. Dang it.

Bella definitely could use more patience training on the high line or even just tied up.

This morning, bright and early, we went on a quick ride, straight up the mountain.

Blue was pretty tuckered out.

It wasn't long before it was too hot and getting hotter, so we turned back.

Weird to see a traffic sign in the woods.

I really like this pictue of Scout.

I finally got to use my second-hand folding wheelbarrow. I absolutely love it!

We were all happy to get camp packed up and get home. It was too hot and the horseflies were driving us all crazy. But it was sure fun while it lasted!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Taking it easy in the heat

Right now it's 104 degrees. Gross. Yesterday it was just a couple degrees cooler. I prepared by shaving the donkeys:

I knew Pedro had a brand on his left shoulder, but I didn't know about this one on his hip. I got the phone number of the guy the brand is registered to. Busy signal so far. I guess I don't legally own him until the brand owner signs a paper saying he has no claim to him. Oh well, I'll get it straightened out, or I won't. Either way it'll be okay.

The only shade the horses have is in hot metal buildings, so I brought them into the yard.

Bella learned how to high line. I'm pretty sure I've never had her on one before, but she did great.

Luc began to learn to stand tied. I've been meaning to do this for a while. He was a lot quieter about it than I expected, but it took him a little bit to realize he didn't have to worry if I walked away. I never tied him fast until today.

In the evening I spent some more time with them with no agenda.

Luc marches to me just like Tonka used to, with the same cheerful expression. He genuinely likes people.

Bella's grazing muzzle stayed on for maybe 2 minutes. So much for that idea. Scout knew just where to pull to get it off.

My sweet,silly boys.

Being in the pasture with them is so peaceful.

Now we're in the yard again, waiting for the heat to pass. The boys are relaxing, except when a horsefly comes around. Luc is tied for real and having no problems, but I do have my knife handy just in case. He's toying with getting the rope over his ears, then seeing what happens. He had a mild panic the first couple times, but now he seems to know when to stop fussing. It's interesting to sit here and watch his thought process.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Pasture Time

I spent some time lounging around in the pasture with Luc and the donkeys yesterday, and I got a few good pictures.

This next set of pictures - you should have been there, it was funny. He found a bit of plastic blown in from the neighbor's, and he picked it up and scared himself. He did a little jig, striking and spinning, trying to get away from it, but didn't let go. He figured it out pretty quickly and dropped it. Then he kept a close eye on it. I kicked it closer and he was very skeptical. He had to check it out from a couple different angles, but he never did feel the need to touch it again. Goofball.

We also went for a short trail ride in the evening but I didn't get any good pictures. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Catching Up

I'm procrastinating, so I guess it's a good time for a blog post. I often consider ending the blog, but I guess I'm not ready to commit to that yet. One of these days maybe I'll pick it up more regularly again.

Anyway, we've been having lots of fun hiking, riding, and recently we even went horse  camping. That was a tough one, because it was the first time since Tonka had his accident while we were camping and ended up having to be euthanized. Scout was a very good boy on the high line though, and we all made it through unscathed.

The necessary pictorial evidence:

Bella did great on a 10 mile hike up and down a mountain. It was her first time with the panniers. She's one of the good ones.

Almost to the top:

 A nice long snack break before heading back down:

Another good hike & ride. John really enjoys bringing Bella along. He's getting ready to climb Mt. Adams in a couple weeks.

Just a hike, no horses. I like my matched pair of dogs. :)

 Winston helped me put up some temporary fence. He's so cute.

Rolling in the grass in a tree cave. It was HOT that day.

Scout on the high line.

He was so good. Got worried about a bad bull and did some circling, but other than that was a quiet boy. (The bull punched a little hole in my
sister's pickup grill and kept her trapped in there for a while. Seems like a bad one to have running loose on public land.)

Too many cherries! Anyone want to help me pit them all?

Sometimes I think sunshine was created solely to shine on my horse's mane. We had a very relaxing evening ride a couple days ago.

Winston loves the donkeys. I don't know why. I worry that he wants to bite their noses, but he doesn't. They tolerate him.

I guess I don't have many Luc pictures. He's looking good! I wormed him with Quest and he has a lot of good grass to eat 24/7, and he shed out and put on a bunch of weight. He is actually slightly chubby right now. I'm loving his summer color. I should try to get some pictures today.

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.