Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Felted Ponies

It's time once again to offer these super cute little felted ponies! You may order a customized pony to match your horse, or request to have one of the horses from Mustang Diaries. Each pony is approximately 5" tall and makes a wonderful tree ornament or Christmas gift.

In order to create a customized felted pony of your horse, I need three photos; one of each side and one head on so I can see his/her face. Email me today to get them started!

$25 each, or if you order by October 6, buy 4 and get the fifth free!
Shipping is just $5 for 1-3 ponies, free on orders of 4 or more.

In order to create a customized felted pony of your horse, I need three photos; one of each side and one head on so I can see his/her face.

Also available are these sweet little lambs, just $20 each! Each lamb comes with a little bell so his shepherd can easily find him.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Extreme Mustang Makeover Results!

Idol Division

1st - Careen Hammock and Taz
2nd - Matt Repogle and Johnny Landers
3rd - Byron Hogan and Mr. Understood
4th - Mark Burnett and Hoof Hearted (say this one fast! Ha!)
5th - Jocelyn Pretz and Darwin
6th - Lorrie Grover and Gifted River
7th - Ethan Lee and Prophet
8th - Joe Miesner and Mohican
9th - Dusty Roller and Telford (he is going to bid on this horse for his 6 yr old boy, who I got to have a conversation with while he was sitting on Telford - cute kid!)
10th - Janet Kalinowski and Mucho Mas

Legends Division

1st - Mark Lyon and Christian
2nd - Clint Bailey and Deets
3rd - Dan Keen and Trubador
4th - David Carter and Silverado
5th - Cindy Branham and Moses
6th - Wylene Wilson and Filthy Rich
7th - Martin Black and Peppy Sam
8th - Arvell Bass and Prince
9th - Dave Schaffner and RVOS
10th - Chase Dodd and Tennessee Titan

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Six Hours on the Trail

...and both Sandy and I are tired and sore!

Torri and I headed up the hill at 9:15 on Tuesday morning. We were wanting to explore a new trail which Torri thought would loop around to Ogallala. Rather than go up the so called Beginner's Trail (which in no way, shape or form is for beginners), we stuck to the logging road. I was beginning to come down with a cold, had maybe 2 1/2 hours of sleep to my name and had made a mad dash to the grocery store for some daytime cold remedy that wouldn't put me to sleep in the saddle. Upon reading the directions (and who does that, really? But for some reason I did...), I found that I couldn't take the meds if I were taking acetameniphen. In other words, my non-asprin pain relief pills that I'd just popped made it impossible for me to now take the big orange capsules that would clear my sinuses. Great. I swallowed down a couple of throat lozenges over the next couple of hours until I knew the cold meds were safe.

The trail was nice and wide for the most part. Quite steep in some areas. A bit muddy in spots. And there were where it was quite evident we were traveling up the face of a mountain by the rock beneath our horse's hooves. Torri brought along her Australian Shepherd who trotted happily along at our feet. By the time we were heading home, she was not trotting quite so briskly, but she was still happy to be out with us.

Once out of the trees we found ourselves with a view that far surpassed those which we normally found at the lower level hills. I've been taking this same basic shot from below, but at this point we can see well beyond the tip of the bay and up into Blaine. It's incredible, really, when you see it in person. Perhaps in the spring we won't have quite so much haze and I can get a really good shot for y'all to enjoy. Or maybe it's just my head cold that created that fog? That lower left patch of green, the little bitty bit triangle shape, is where the horses and sheep spend many summer days. It seems so far away!

Torri's been up here before, although it's been a few years. She tells me that once we round the bend in the road we'll be able to see Mt. Baker and the Twin Sisters. From here, however, I'm content seeing the Canadian Rockies way out there beyond the county...and country...line.

"See? I told you!"

Isn't it lovely? It's been logged here the past few years, so we've got a magnificent view of the mountain right now. Small trees are planted and in 15 years the view won't be so spectacular, but right now we're enjoying it. Miles upon miles of logging roads lead over the hills and I can't wait to get out there and explore. Once winter hits and the trails are closed, we'll be limited to the roads, so that's when we'll head out on these merry adventures.

It turned out that we never did make it to Ogallala. There was work being done, new roads being built and heavy equipment up at the top. They were willing to shut it down for us, but with dump trucks coming up the road and not knowing if there'd be a place to get safely out of their way, we opted to turn back this time. But next time we'll figure it out!

Oh,, next time we said we'd go down trail #5 and see where that went instead. Well, no matter which way, it'll be a great adventure! And maybe by then I won't be living in the fog of a head cold.

Monday, September 15, 2008

And...He's Back!

It was a beautiful morning. Before heading off to church yesterday I led Dude and Sandy down to the pasture for a couple hours of grazing. That's when I noticed that Sandy's pupil had come down in size enough for me to feel comfortable heading up the trail with him. I called a friend to see if she wanted to ride, and met both her and her sister in law at the trail head a couple hours later.

The trail head is just 1/2 mile from the house, and normally I put the horses in the trailer to haul down. Narrow road, lots of turns, no shoulder...not really good with young horses. But we'd had enough traffic passing while leading back and forth to the pasture this summer for me to feel pretty comfortable on a Sunday afternoon, so I started off on foot, leading Sandy along. Just past the neighbor's place I turned around and realized Rufus was following. I thought about bringing him home, but since I only had a few minutes before my friends were going to be there, I decided he'd just have to come along and learn to be a trail dog.

Sandy did great for his first day back on the trail. A little out of shape, perhaps, but no more than the appy mare that came along. In fact, she did a lot of huffing and puffing, while Sandy's breathing stayed pretty normal. He did sweat up a storm, though! We rode roughly 2 1/2 hours, and while he insisted he was very tired going up, once we headed back down he was amazingly spry once more.

Torri and Shari coming down the hill

We've made plans to meet up on Tuesday morning, providing Torri can get out of work. We're going to explore the trail to Ogallala! Stay tuned...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

With Sandy on Hold...

...Jet has found herself under saddle a bit more frequently than she'd like.

This past week the sun has been out and it's been too pretty to just hang out at the round pen, so I've been saddling Jet up and heading up the trail. This was working well until I got it in my mind to travel to Ogallala one day.

Really, I had no clue where Ogallala might be until I mentioned it to others who were quite taken aback that I could ask such a thing. Seems I missed out on a lot by not watching Lonesome Dove...Be that as it may, the likelihood of actually making it 1450 miles to Nebraska (which, for those of you who are as clueless as me, is where Ogallala is...) was pretty slim. Jet wasn't really certain she wanted to go to Ogallala. Her nerves were getting the better of her, but she trudged along fairly well for the most part. Through big trees, tall ferns and even over a scary wood bridge.

But eventually she was done. And I mean done! We started up the face of the mountain (still in the trees) and as it became narrower, she became grouchier and touchier than she'd ever been. Upon finding a place with room to head back for home, she gladly threw her body around and raced down the hill at a break-neck trot. Had me worried, she did, as there was little reasoning with her once those nerves took over. I must admit I lost a bit of horsemanship with her that day and when we got to the bottom in one piece I decided to head her straight back up that hill, at least the lower level. She, however, had other ideas and a small battle ensued where she reared and I hung on, then turned her back again and encountered yet another protest. But she met with my heels and took off briskly up the lower portion of the hill, and this time when we turned around it was to walk down.

She was thankful for the hitching post we found down below as it offered her an opportunity to stand and catch her breath as I took her picture and answered my cell phone to chat with someone who's interested in adopting a horse. I must admit I nearly sold them Miss Alpo at that moment, but instead talked about Joe. When I climbed back on Jet, she was still edgy and nervous about our long ride in unfamiliar territory, which made for an interesting ride home.

The following day I opted to head up the old familiar trail, but again she decided to challenge me. This time there was nothing nervous in it, just a three year old tantrum at the top of a steep hill, which I so did not need. More loss of horsemanship skills as I behaved like I've not behaved with a horse since I was 12. I dismounted this time as we weren't in a location which offered me much choice; I gave her a good smack with the end of the reins and stomped up the rest of the hill of foot, fuming with each thud of the boots, and when I climbed back on board she was forced to put it into high gear straight away.

By the time we made it back down to the foot of the hill she and I were back on good terms. However, I noticed the next morning that she had some galling from the cinch which undoubtedly contributed to her cranky behavior the past two rides.

So now I've got two horses on bed rest. Sandy's eye is healing up, but his pupil is still quite dilated which makes it impossible to head out on these sunny days. I've had him out on a couple of short (very short) evening jaunts of five or ten minutes just so he can start tuning up again for when he's ready. Jet will have to wait until I can afford a sheepskin cinch, as both the string cinch and felt have irritated her sensitive skin.

Hey, Dude...wanna go for a ride?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Mustang Needs A Home

Meet Joe.

Joe is a two year old light bay/rabicano gelding from Jackie's Butte in southeastern Oregon. He's roughly 15 hands, very sweet and wanting to be your buddy. He's pictured here being turned out into the bigger field for the first time with another horse, hence the drag line. He was completely willing to be caught, however, which is what I'd anticipated. He got along quite well with Dude, and he was nice to the sheep.

Joe was very willing to let us touch his face almost from day one. Haltering was a fairly simple feat. He's not too sure about having his feet handled, but he's becoming accustomed to me sliding my hand down those front legs and lifting them up. I can reach under his belly and rub where a cinch will someday be.

I'm in awe of Joe's movement. It's flawless...light, airy and floating. I put a pole in the round pen with him and had him trot over it a few times. Oh, my word! He just rounded up and I swear his toes barely touched the ground as he glided over it. He's one fancy moving little horse. If I had even half a clue about dressage or hunter training I'd be figuring out a way to keep this boy and train him, then sell him for a small fortune. Look at that cute face! With that soft eye, pretty profile and super movement, he's sure to go far.

But for some reason, no one wants to come and look at Joe. He'd had an adopter; a gentleman from the Seattle area who'd read about the euthanasia issue and wanted to save a mustang. He wanted a trail horse, and although I knew Joe's natural talent would be overlooked, I was happy to have found him a good home within days of him coming here. Joe stayed at home while I hauled the other two up to the fair for adoption. When I came home I contacted the adopter only to find he'd decided board was too expensive in Seattle.

So Joe didn't go anywhere. I've advertised him on Craigslist in two different regions. I've got his photo up at feed stores. I tell everyone I know what a wonderful horse I've got here...and no one comes to look.

Poor Joe.

If Joe doesn't find a home here soon, he'll end up back at the corrals. Any training, lost. All that potential, overlooked. It's a sad, sorry shame and a disappointing reflection on the horse industry today when a young, talented guy like Joe may end up in a long term holding facility on the waiting list for euthanasia while people are still breeding backyard horses with no talent or purpose. A very sad thing indeed...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Tears and Dodged Bullets

I was invited on a trail ride set for Monday morning. It was Darling's last day off before school, so she decided she wanted to come along as well. I fed early, then went out to load up. Jet climbed right in, and I went to fetch Sandy only to find him with a closed left eye and a trail of tears running down his face.

Ride canceled.

Being labor day, the local feed stores opted to stay closed, and with me being unable to find my terramycin I began calling friends with livestock to see if I could locate any of the antibiotic ointment for his eye. Never did, but one neighbor had some drops and I tried that in hopes that it would flush whatever was bothering him. It didn't. By late afternoon there were goobers and I could see that a bit of cloudiness was forming. Great...

Tuesday morning I called the vet and got an appointment for Sandy to see the good Dr. Plotts. We were 50 feet from the clinic door when the doc caught a good look and exclaimed what a nasty looking eye that was. He thought this may have been building up for some time, and was shocked to learn it was just over 24 hours since discovered. The eye was weepy, goobery, and now nearly completely covered in cloudiness.

There were four different vets taking turns looking into Sandy's eye as he stood drugged with his head on a stand and his lower lip hanging and catching drool in a pool before it overflowed onto the ground like a slobbering fountain. Poor boy. The consensus was that he'd punctured it somehow, and lucky for both of us that I'd come in rather than waiting another day as it was pretty bad. Two ointments were perscribed and I was to give him 37 little pills twice a day for five days. And banamine, too, for the pain. Oh, joy. He's so happy with me now that he's come to.

Another follow up appointment was set for Thursday. In the meantime, medicate, medicate, medicate and pray for the best. So far, he's doing well. His eye isn't watering as much, he's keeping it open a lot more, and he's eating and drinking and pooping and peeing...all the good stuff. There is a chance he could lose his sight, but currently he seems to be seeing okay.

And while I was dealing with this, the little community of Alger and south into Mt Vernon was dealing with it's own issues as someone went on a shooting spree, killing 6 people (including a deputy) and wounding two more (including a state trooper.) One of the man's stops was the Alger Shell station where he killed a man just seconds before our friend Curt showed up for his daily visit (he stops for lunch with friends and to play lotto.) When I first learned of what had happened this afternoon, there were no names of victims being released. Knowing Curt spends a lot of time there really left me weak kneed. I'm thankful he's okay, but am so sorry for the families involved. I hope your prayers are with them, as are mine.