Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Got Spurs?

A while back Darling purchased a pair of spurs. Not because she was riding and needed a pair, but because she liked them jingling on her heels. I think I may need to get her some jingle bobs for Christmas so they jingle a bit more.

It's a good thing Darling bought those spurs, though, as Quiet Storm needs them. Trouble with a green horse and a green rider, however, is not knowing how either one of them will react. Quiet Storm is lazier than an old, dead tree stump. Put a saddle on her and instantly she grows roots that reach right down to the center of the earth. In other words, she's planted, and no matter how hard Darling whallops on her sides that filly doesn't budge.

So I'm faced with either having Darling wear her spurs or carry a riding crop. Because she's not ridden enough to have the reflexes when a horse jumps out from under you, I'm afraid she'll drop reins or, worse yet, loose her seat and come out of the saddle should Quiet Storm actually react. Then again, you never learn how to ride if you horse just plods along like a plow horse, right? It's a short fall to the ground and she's wearing that shiny new helmet...

Yesterday we thought we'd outfox Quiet Storm and have her follow along behind Jet, thinking that if one of the other horses was with her she'd be more inclined to get a little forward motion going. We weren't going far, just crossing the creek then up the trail a bit and coming home. Jet stepped right out as I led her across the water; we were headed towards Donna's field and both horses knew it. Darling and Quiet Storm came across the water with no problems, even though it's now much deeper than it had been all summer.

Rather than going to the pasture, however, I kept Jet on the trail that led along the creek for another 50 feet or so until it began to grow over from lack of care. At this point Darling pulled Quiet Storm off to the side, I turned around and we headed back. Except that Quiet Storm refused to budge once she got to where she though we ought to be turning; she wanted pasture and nothing in Darling's legs was going to convince her otherwise. So I did what any mom would do and traded horses. Darling led Jet and I climbed on that stubborn, little mustang and gave her the heel like she'd never before felt it. Her ears went back and her head came up and I gave her another one, and this time she stepped forward and walked more than willingly towards Jet.

Darling and I traded back, but once more Storm planted herself, and again I found myself on Darling's horse, this time riding across the creek and home. Once we were alongside the paddock gate, the filly thought it was quitting time. Not so! Another good kick got her headed towards the driveway where she once again protested. This time I took the end of my mecate (the horse hair reins on the bosal) and smacked her a good one on the rump. Needless to say, she was none to pleased with this sudden assault on her lazy behind. It didn't take long for her to realize forward motion was the least painful alternative and we even got a bit of trotting out of her.

At this point I put Darling back in the saddle and handed her a crop. It's always difficult to use a crop while you've got your hands on the reins at the same time. It takes some time and work to figure out how to use your 'encouragement stick' without pulling your horse to a stop at the same time, but it's something Darling is going to have to figure out quick. She got Quiet Storm to move forward, at least, and even into a bit of a trot before calling it good. It wasn't a long ride, just a minute or two, but enough for her to feel good and Storm to realize she was in training!

Darling has someone interested in buying Quiet Storm once she puts some hours on her over the winter. She's not real sure about selling, but realizes that Storm will likely be too small for her by next year. For now she can enjoy her and learn a bit more about what it's like to train a lazy horse. And she'll get to learn how to use her spurs, too!

Monday, October 29, 2007

A Good Weekend

Do you like my new outfit?

It was a good weekend around here. No rain...well, not much. Cloudy days, but still able to work the horses.

I got a phone call from someone who'd purchased a couple of sheep from me last year. She's got Icelandic horses and had seen my article on Northwest Horse Source last month. During our conversation I told her how I'd like to find a pack saddle for Sunny to wear in order to get her accustomed to seeing something out of the corner of her right eye. I feel like it'll help her with the transition of me going from standing beside her to sitting on top of her. Nancy was thrilled to be able to tell me that she had one, complete with boxes, and that I was welcome to use it. I went over the following morning and picked up not only that, but an older bosal that she was willing to sell, a saddle pad (also selling) and borrowed a special type of pack that attaches to a western saddle. I felt like it was a major score!

Perhaps I look better in blue?

I came home and saddled Sunny up with the western saddle that she was accustomed to, then put the big blue pack on top of it. She wasn't so sure about the pack crossing over the centerline of her back, but aside from a tiny snort and half step sideways she stood very well. The pack has a hole in the front where you push the horn through. It's a small hole and as I was struggling with it I thought it was similar to giving birth to a baby's big head. Eventually it fit, and Sunny stood patiently for me while I was working on it. The back of the pack has a slit that fits over the cantle. If a horse really wanted to buck, the cantle part would pop off pretty easily and you'd be left with it hanging on only by the horn. Thankfully Sunny wasn't bothered by the thought of the pack once it was over the top of her. I put a few light weight things inside like halters and sweatshirts to make it look bigger, then let her walk around the paddock on her own.

The following day I put the real pack saddle on her back. I'd hoped to actually attach the packs, too, but found myself lacking in knowledge. She didn't mind the breeching or breast collar and stood patiently for me as my fingers fumbled to readjust the sizing. The leather was stiff from sitting for years without use and any horse would be expected to side step impatiently...especially a youngster who'd never felt such contraption on her before. But not Sunny. She stood like a rock, allowing me to cross back and forth and work the straps, not flinching when they dropped down alongside her flanks and not really bothered by it back behind her tail. As you can see from the photo at the top of the page, she was very relaxed about the whole thing.

Quiet Storm tries to help figure out how to attach the boxes.
We never did get them on the saddle.

Darling had a good weekend, too. She saddled up Quiet Storm after school on Friday and we led her down to the tree farm for a ride. Quiet Storm, however, didn't feel it was a good use of energy, just walking up a trail that didn't appear to lead to dinner or anything else exciting. She plodded along until we were about ten minutes into our walk, then planted her feet and refused to budge. She's the perfect batch for Darling as they're both on the lazy side. Darling used muscles she didn't know she had in her legs, beating the sides of that little mustang. Our ride was only about 30 minutes and ten of it was spent at a stand still. I told Darling she may want to consider selling this little horse as she was obviously too wild for a child of her inexperience to handle.
Tacking up. Note Darling's new blue helmet!

I had to re-adjust the mecate for a little more room, but it works like a charm!

I spent some time on Jet, as well, out in the yard making circles around the driveway. I really need to get her out on the trail as she's a big girl with a thirst for adventure!

If any of you are shoppers online, could I direct you to Country Supply? Their prices are good, shipping is quick (and free for orders over $49), and they'll donate 5% of your sale towards Wild Horse Rehab! I bought Darling's new helmet there, plus the new saddle pad for Jet. They're worth a look. If you shop, be sure to use our Care Code: Wildrehab.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

70 degrees and Sunny

How long have I been wanting photos like this? Well...not exactly like this, because I was only leaning on Sunny's saddle. But other than that minor detail, it looks good, eh?

Yesterday was beautiful, so I saddled up and headed down to the tree farm for a nice afternoon walk. Aside from her usual sidestepping when it came time to being caught, Sunny let me saddle her up and willingly followed down the road. This was our third trip down to the tree farm and she's feeling pretty comfortable out on the road with traffic now. We still haven't encountered anything big like a dump or logging truck, and I'm sure we'll get a reaction there, but with cars and motorcycles and trucks pulling trailers she's doing quite well.

The trail begins as a logging road. It wraps it's way around the tree farm, which is where we went on our first walk up there. Yesterday, rather than do the same circle, we ventured off up the hill where to where I knew we'd find a bridge crossing the creek.

With all the rain, the water was high and I could hear it getting louder as we approached. It sounded like a loud truck rumbling through the woods. The fact that the sound was gradual rather than sudden gave Sunny no reason for concern. I thought perhaps when she saw the bridge she may refuse, but she walked right up to it without a second thought.

I, however, had second thoughts. Not about whether or not Sunny would cross it, but with the wet leaves on top, the steel bridge was very slick beneath. Plus, there were little drainage holes in it that couldn't be seen for the leaves and I didn't want to risk Sunny stepping on one wrong. Not a good place to panic when you're ten feet above a full, raging creek. So instead, we turned and headed back towards home.

Since I want these experiences to be as positive as possible, I always try to give her time to graze while we're out. She's such a polite horse that she doesn't fight to grab at grass while we're walking, but waits patiently for me to come to a complete stop before she reaches down for a nibble.

We encountered some folks walking their dogs while we were out, big mastiffs and a chocolate lab pup. The dogs had never seen a horse before and weren't sure what to do, although they certainly barked their concern. Sunny wasn't bothered by them, of course, and while the owners were worried about the whole scenario Sunny and I just plodded past. There were also folks who had just finished their ride when we got there; horses were tied to trailers and impatient to load. We stood and watched without any worries.

The only time Sunny batted an eye was on our way home, just as we were leaving the trees and heading onto the road. My neighbors were coming down on their horses...big, snorting Arabians who weren't used to meeting up with anyone, it would seem, as they stopped and refused to move forward when they saw Sunny and I walking towards them. I have to admit it made me laugh, as they live right across the fence and you'd have thought they were seeing some horrible snarling monster rather than the neighbor horse. Once they were alongside of us Sunny lifted her head and turned to watch them go past, side stepping just a bit to get closer to them. But a motorcycle was coming up the road and forced her to forget about the neighbors and continue on home.

Yesterday was lovely. But today? We're back to rain. And I've got a sore throat to boot. So no walks for Sunny and I. It will be nice when someday I may actually be able to ride her on those roads rather than lead her.

If you've been following along with Sunny's progress over these past several months, you know just how far she's come. In fact, I've decided that to the right home, I may be willing to place her. If you, or someone you know, would like to come visit with Sunny, get to know her personally and consider adopting, please let me know. She'll be needing someone who's quiet, kind, and not in a hurry to get things done. She's polite enough that even if you're a bit afraid to move forward, she won't take advantage of that; in fact, she'd be better off with someone who'd prefer to take it easy rather than someone who wants to push forward. Sunny's still under BLM protection and will be for one full year. Her adoption fee is actually just a transfer fee of $25.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Demanding? Me???

I don't consider myself too terribly demanding. However, City Boy would likely disagree. Or perhaps, rather than demanding, he would call it nagging. Not that I'm a nag. At all. No, really, I'm not. Just because I know what I want and I ask for it (often) doesn't mean I nag...does it? Perhaps I am demanding...

MiKaela, from Rising Rainbow, tagged me in a game of "When I become Famous...", and says I'm to list my demands. Up until now, my demands have been from someone very infamous. Wait...non-famous? Well, an unknown. I can demand and stomp my feet all day and no one runs to get me a Nestle Deluxe Hot Chocolate with real whipping cream and those cute little sprinkles on top. Instead they leave me to my tantrum until I'm forced to find some form of substitute chocolate...usually a packet of Swiss Miss, minus whipping cream...and make it myself.

But if I were famous...

1) I expect to be met in the morning with my hot chocolate, perfectly topped with real whipping cream (whipped fresh, naturally, just before I walked through the room) and decadent chocolate shavings on top. Forget the little sprinkles, I'm famous now.

2) Someone shall have my riding gloves laid out where I can find them, because right now I haven't a clue where I've laid them last. And riding gloves are a must with young snorty horses who like to pull loose from you given half a chance.

3) It would be nice if someone did my laundry. I haven't the time, and eventually City Boy begins to complain about the stench that currently follows me. Honestly, I've no problem with people who smell like the barn, but City Boy claims smelling like the manure pile isn't all that appealing. So here, take this and wash it while I'm out, will you?

4) Um, still waiting for the chocolate on top of my whipping cream here...

5) Did anyone donate a trailer to my cause yet? Hello?! I need a trailer. Now. Like...yesterday! You'd think I was asking for the moon here, people! No, just a nice little gooseneck with living quarters, carries something like half a dozen horses, has a rack on top for their hay, I need a know, nothing too fancy, just enough to get by. And while you're at it, dahlings...a truck to tow it. Okay, like, just get on it already!

6) My boots are dirty. Who didn't polish my boots?

7) I'd like a new saddle. No, make that two new saddles. I'd like one of those Australian Stock Saddles because they just look so darned comfy! And I want a new reining saddle. Custom made, naturally, by Curt Storbakken.

8) Will someone put up my round pen for me, please? And footing. Simply must have good footing in there.

9) Hello? Still waiting on those chocolate shavings for my hot chocolate!

10) Sliding windows to throw hay into the stalls, please, dear. I know, I know...nag, nag, nag.

11) Can we please get some more gravel delivered? I'd like to build up the stalls a bit, put a path about 8 feet wide along the front of the top pasture so that I've got a dry 'trail' to lead the horses (or sheep) along from paddocks to lower pasture.

12) Excuse me?!?! My hot chocolate is now cold chocolate and we'll have to start all over again.

You see? I'm not that demanding...or desperate...or I?

Desperate Horsewife
Wild Horse Calendars now available!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Cut Back Built Up Saddle Pads

So here it is. The saddle. I wasn't happy with the way it sat on her as it was too close to the withers. I knew that as soon as I sat down on it I'd be crushing her. Not a good thing for any horse, but especially not a youngster that you're just starting. It'd do no good to have her sore and crabby before getting out of the driveway.

I'd wanted to return it, but the seller didn't return my phone call. Lack of common equine courtesy; most folks would be willing to refund your money within 24 hours for something like poor fit. The fit is just too important. They'd had a second saddle for sale, so even if they didn't want to refund money, a call saying I could try the other saddle would have been nice. But since they didn't want to play by fair horsemanship rules, I began shopping again. I didn't feel bitter, just as disappointed.

City Boy saw an Aussie listed in Marysville, so on Monday evening I started the trek back down in that direction for the second time in three days. On the way I stopped at some friends and told them about my saddle dilemma. Curt suggested I hang on to the saddle as it was well made and I'd gotten a good price. Since Jet is a two year old, he said, her withers and shoulders were going to fill out and that saddle would likely fit quite well, not to mention I'd be hard pressed to find a narrower one. In the meantime he suggested I pick up a saddle pad with cut back withers and built up support in the shoulder area to lift the swell of the saddle up.

I had no idea they were making built up saddle pads. I'd considered a cut back wither but didn't think it would be enough. But with the extra lift? Yes, that should do it. So I've got one on order. You can see how closely the saddle fits over her withers in this photo. And get a load of that orange paint! I've no clue what they were doing...perhaps they'd planned on painting the entire saddle for hunting season???

The weather was pretty good all last week, giving me an opportunity to saddle up and ride Jet nearly every day. What a wonderful feeling! It's been years since I've had my own horse, and even longer since I've started one of my own. Jet is the perfect step back into the horsey world; she's taking everything in stride.

I've been keeping the horses off the pasture for fear of them totally tearing it up, not to mention it needs some time off in order to grow back for spring. But after a week of work for Jet, and since it was a nice afternoon (and since they wouldn't leave me alone inside the paddock while I was cleaning), I decided a couple hours of play time wouldn't hurt. Jet and Sunny raced back and forth and had a grand time!
Quiet Storm got tired of their hijinx. She's not one to get involved with the silly games of other horses. She's a mosey-er, preferring to take life one slow step at a time. She's also jealous of camera time! There was no way she was going to allow me to photograph those horses playing all silly like when her stunning beauty was right there for the world to see. So she stepped in front of the camera to remind me just who the star of the show really is.

That's it; watch me do my runway walk.
I am beautiful!

If you've not visited the Wild Horse Rehab site yet, or if it's been a while, please pop in and let me know what you think. I'm also working on getting a sister site done which will be the Store...definitely still a work in progress, but pop in and let me know what you think!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Trot your horses, please, trot...

I rode Jet four times over the past week. Saturday I thought I'd try to get her to trot, but she wasn't real sure she could do it. A couple times her gait sped up, but as soon as I released the pressure she was back to her walk. Sunday I was determined to bump her up a bit. She finally took a couple of trotting steps, but they were almost like half-trot, half-walk. A tralk, I suppose.

Being the considerate, polite girl she is, I think she was just concerned I was going to fall off. No...really it was just a balance issue. Those first couple of tries at a new gate often leaves a young horse concerned that they're not going to be able to do it with a rider on their back.

Jet lifts her shoulders and tucks in her head in a manner I'm unaccustomed to with my quarter horses of the past. At first you get the feeling that she might buck, and unfortunately my reflexes were just fast enough to begin to react, which brought her to a stand still. You've got to appreciate a horse who stops when confused rather than running off in a bucking spree of confusion. When I realized what I had done, I made my self relax and just let her go. That helped, and I managed to get a few true trotting strides out of her.

The saddle is still a problem. I bought the Billy Cook, but it doesn't fit. The seller never called back when I left a message asking if they'd allow me to return it; I guess that's a no. So now I've got a perfectly good saddle and a perfectly good horse, but they don't go perfectly well with each other. Which leaves me with the small saddle that barely fits and puts me in the market for a saddle once more. I've got a call in to someone about an aussie saddle. I've no clue what I'm looking for, though, with that type of saddle. It helps when you've seen several and can get a feel for what's good and what's bad :)

Friday, October 12, 2007

Saddles, Riding and Rescues

I've only been whining all over the internet these past couple of days about not having a saddle that fits. The one I've got I purchased at a yard sale years ago. Nothing fancy, it held me on and that's about it. Perfect for training with, but with my weight in it, it doesn't fit Jet in the least.

So saddle shopping I've been.

Last night City Boy hollered from the other room to come and look at something. An ad had just been placed on CL for a Billy Cook. A wee bit more than I'd wanted to spend, but it was a brand that I liked, so I called and today I get to go look at it. Cross your fingers and say a prayer for me!

I rode Jet around the pasture the other night for about ten minutes. Sure wish there was someone nearby that I could to riding with; I'd take her out to the tree farm right now for a ride. The pasture is slick, so I don't really want to do much in it. Maybe I should call Cheryle and see if she'll let me use her arena for a month (never heard back from the about using theirs.) It won't take much to get her beautiful mind ready for short rides.

Darling helped me out a bit last night with some fun stuff on Photoshop. What do you think? I've been trying to come up with a logo or something for T-shirts for the rescue.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

She's Ready to Go...

Hey you! Come here! Give me an carrot!

Darling took the reins the other day. I was getting ready to saddle Jet up and Darling wanted to climb on. A mother hesitates a bit when their not so experienced child wants to climb onto a not so experienced horse, especially one that's 16 hands off the ground. But Jet, well...she's never given any reason to doubt she'd do anything but walk willingly around. So I said yes, and Darling lit up the world with her Mary Tyler Moore smile as we walked around the pasture a few times.

Yesterday I saddled her up again. The weather, thankfully, has held and given us some dry afternoons. With Quiet Storm out in the pasture and Sunny in the paddock, I didn't really have anywhere to ride. What the heck, I thought, I may as well climb on out here in the driveway. No fences or round pen panels to keep her mind focused on the here and now. That can be dangerous with a young horse. But I climbed on anyway.

And she listened to me... She walked around the cars and circled the drive way, did turns to the left and right, both pivots and figure eights. When we were facing out towards the road her pace picked up and it felt like she was about to pick up the trot. My girl wanted to go! But I didn't let her. We turned back towards the barn. There was no doubt she felt good, there was a spring to her step thats not there when we're in the paddock. Once we were past the gate she again pricked up her ears picked up the pace; we were now facing the back of the property where she knew the trail heading to the pasture was.

Yup, this girl wants to hit the trails. I'm going to have to put some time in the saddle this winter so that we can start walking down to the tree farm trail.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Big Blue Ball

Parelli Fanatics, rejoice! What do we see here? Is that a flag on a stick? it isn't. It's a flag on a rake. Totally and completely different. Hahahaha!!!

There was an actual break in the rain today and I took advantage of it. I'm set on getting Sunny accustomed to things moving over her body. Things, of course, meaning me. But little steps are still a must. She used to freak out over things reaching towards her, but these days she's fine with the rake reaching out and scratching her. She doesn't give a rip about the flag portion. So I felt inclined to bring out the...


At first I bounced it around while leading her around the driveway. She wasn't fond of the noise it made nor the movement. However, she tolerated it. I bounced it up close, even brushing up against the stirrups on both sides. Tense, she was, and a couple of times she tried to fly away. But I kept at it until she stood without trying to leave town. Then I lifted the ball up into the air.

Oops. That was scary. Back to bouncing. But then up into the air again, this time setting it into the saddle. The first time she flew out from under it, so we went back to me bouncing and her following before working back up close again. Eventually, the ball went up into the saddle again, but this time I gave it a bit of a push and let if bounce over to her right side.

I was ready for her to jump, but it happened so fast that she didn't react like I'd anticipated. Which was good. She turned quickly to see where the ball had gone, and she jumped, but it wasn't huge.

The ball, hopefully, will get her accustomed to having something big up there on top of her and swinging down onto the other side. Kind of like me, eventually. Although, knowing Sunny, she'll accept the ball and still freak out over me.

Now, if you're interested in getting a custom felt horse for Christmas, let me know! I'm running two weeks out already, as they've been quite popular. $25 each.

Desperate Horsewife Wild Horse Calendars now available!

Internet Issues...

I don't know what's going on, but I haven't been able to log into either blog for the past two days. Right now I'm on City Boy's laptop before the battery goes dead. And no pictures...sniff!

Thanks for the encouragement regarding the rescue. The felted horses have begun to sell...scroll down/back a couple of days, I think I posted a pic here. Customized to look (almost) like your horse, $25 each. Folks are getting them as Christmas gifts for their kids.

I've also signed up for Country Care, where they send me 5% back with any sale that types in our care code, which is wildrehab. The link in on the rescue website if you're interested in taking a peek.

Okay...I've got soap to make and some more ponies to felt. Looks like there may even be a break in the rainfall...I may have to go outside and spend some time with Sunny! Thanks for stopping in and again for your kind words of encouragement!

Desperate Horsewife
Wild Horse Calendars now available!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Muck Update

Scraping out the muck...

Muck, muck, muck. It's everywhere! Sheets upon sheets of rain coming down. Virtual waterfalls from the heavens. And my horses stuck out under a tree.

The neighbor finally made it down. The muck was scraped up. Fence posts were snapped in half. New gates were put up. Gravel was moved. More gravel delivered...and another trip over today for the neighbor and his tractor.

Tractor? This thing is HUGE! Heavy equipment, not just your run of the mill tractor. But let me tell you, that muck was scooped up in record time. Trouble was, my gates were too narrow and the paddock barely large enough to contain it. As he tried turning around, he bumped the new post in my barn addition! Easily could have snapped it in half if it hadn't been for City Boy hollering for him to stop. We had no idea his tractor was so big. We thought in terms of little farm tractors...silly us!

Anyway, today the remainder of the gravel will be in place, the panels set up to divide the paddock into runs, and the horses will have their own bedrooms. Which will mean no more hooves churning up the pasture during the soggy months to come. I sure hope the gravel holds up in the barn and paddock!

I think I have tractor envy!

Thanks for the feedback on the rescue. Yes, MiKaela, a website is certainly among the list things needed. I registered a name the other day and have been working on putting a few pages together. Y'all wanna see it? Remember, very baby stage at the moment. Lots of blank pages, but hopefully it gives you an idea. Please let me know what you think...and be honest!

Desperate Horsewife
Wild Horse Calendars now available!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Which would you choose?

I woke up at about 4:30 this morning. let the dogs out. It was dark...still...quiet. The past two or three days the wind and rain have been downright deafening. But nothing this morning...all was still. And I hope it remains until the neighbor gets his tractor down to play in my muck.

I'm hoping y'all didn't misunderstand my question as a request for funds. That wasn't what it was at all; I know you've got your own horses and your hands are full. Nope, I'm looking for what would make a person comfortable with any charity, really. How best to go about building trust. And, of course, whether or not someone would still consider giving if the rescue wasn't a federal non-profit (meaning donations were tax deductible.) I suppose that ought to be the final goal or folks may wonder why you're not going for it?

In any case, I've got my short list. Take a look and let me know if you think there should be things added:

Being able to visit facility
Enough room for horses; no over crowding
Follow up visits after adoption takes place
Clean, safe environment
Lack of mud (well, within reason, I suppose, depending on weather conditions?)
Financial statement
Quarterly newsletter
Public message board or some other way of open communication

Aside from this occupying my mind nearly full time these past 48 hours, I've done nothing. At least not horse-wise. The rain is just too hard. Jet is getting along with her flock, Sunny and Quiet Storm are doing well and no one is getting beat up on either side of the fence. Sure wish it were nicer out as Sunny could benefit from some consistency when it comes to being saddled up and worked. Such is life, though, eh?

Desperate Horsewife
Wild Horse Calendars now available!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Of Rain and Rescues

Jet and the sheep dine together.

Rain. More of it. Again.

It's monsoon season...even though I don't know if technically that's what they'd call it here in the northwest. But it's wet and it's windy. And wet. The addition to the barn has flooded and the horses are standing under trees until the neighbor can get down here with his tractor to remedy the situation. He was supposed to be here earlier this month but ran into a few priorities that came first. I've kept the paddock free of horse hooves for the better part of the month, knowing they'd just churn it up to the point I'd not be able to do anything with it. Still, it's churned enough on it's own. The portions that aren't deep in clay and muck are too slick to walk on (hard, wet clay is like ice...)

Thankfully, despite the heavy bouts, it's not been 100% rain 24 hours a day. Jet is in with the sheep while Quiet Storm and Sunny share the other side of the pasture. They're all contentedly munching on their breakfast right now. By Wednesday night (cross your fingers) the neighbor will have come and gone, the paddock stripped down and the gravel added for drainage. Hopefully we won't have horrendous weather between now and then.

The two mustangs have disappeared from the CBER website. I'd called the feed lot to see if they were there last week and he said no, they weren't. I'd asked if they had their titles, and he said that there was no paperwork with them. Hopefully they'll get into good homes. I notified the BLM that they were out there, at least, so if there's any foul play at hand hopefully something can be done.

I've been giving the whole rescue thing a lot of thought. Dealing with Sunny has left me wondering just how many people give up their mustangs, and how many of them end up back at the BLM corrals? I saw a couple of them head back down to Burns in June that'd been previously adopted. It's sad to see horses go back into the system, both because they lose whatever training/socialization they've received and because they become the responsibility of the tax payer once again, not to mention a statistic that reflects negatively on the program and the horses themselves.

So let me ask you a question or two. Do you feel comfortable giving money to rescues? Do you think that a non-profit status is necessary before you'd give? What would it take to create a level of trust between the rescue and the donor?

I'd love to be able to take on one or two mustangs, spend the time getting them started, then place them in new homes. I can't, however, afford to feed that many horses out of my own pocket without some form of support. The best way to approach this is what I'm wondering. Last night I felted up this little version of Sunny (no falling on the floor with laughter, please!) and wondered about selling them with a little hang tag that gave a horse's name and a bit of it's story. Think anyone would buy?

Felted version of Sunny still needs her eyes and nostrils.

Desperate Horsewife
Wild Horse Calendars now available!