Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Your Horses are Fighting!

It never ceases to strike fear into the hearts of barn pony owners when they see a couple of pastured horses lashing out at one another. "Your horses are fighting!" says the anxious voice. Their pampered babies live in stalls and have individual turn out so as not to get into scrapes. Which is not entirely a bad thing. But my ponies...well, let's face it. They're from the wrong side of the pony world tracks. There is no bubble wrap to keep them safe from bumps and bruises.

It all begins innocently enough, of course...

Wanna play a game?

And while barn pony owners watch in horror, the boys battle it out. Guess this is why the call it horse play, eh? Five minutes later, they're suddenly aware of the small crowd and their play comes to an end.

" easily amused."

"Hey...snap my snap, will ya?"

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Ranch Owner in Jail...Need for Aid Urgent

Enhance the Mustang's quality of life by creating a natural setting that fosters the independence and integrity of the wild horses.

I know many of you follow Fugly, so you'll already be familiar with this case. I've struggled over it for the past couple of weeks now, frustrated on so many levels with the absolute inhumanity of it all.

From the Habitat For Horses website:

Alliance, Nebraska– At least 60 horses are dead and more than 100 others are seriously emaciated at a mustang facility in Morrill County, Nebraska. Habitat for Horses, an equine rescue organization, received reports last week of problems at the 3-Strikes Ranch. Jerry Finch of the equine rescue organization Habitat for Horses just returned from flying over the property, Sunday, and reports that “The situation is even worse than we suspected.” They spotted another 20 animals on the range, several barely able to stand. Another 50-60 emaciated horses are in holding pens with only a small amount of muddy and trampled alfalfa. They are suffering from a variety of ailments including severe worm infestation and terribly neglected hooves. Two young foals, approximately four months old, were found dead. Necropsies have been performed on both; a full report, including toxicology results is due back Friday.

And the article goes on.

Back in January I came across a video on You Tube that showed a truck load of horses being delivered to 3 Strikes Ranch. I watched, then went to the website, and instantly fell in love. Oh, to have the space they did to tackle such a project!

The ranch came across it's name because it took on BLM mustangs that had received three strikes in the adoption program. A strike is given the horse each time it's offered up for adoption, but not adopted. Three strikes and a horse becomes eligible for sale direct to the public, with no more protection from the government. Three strikes horses can be purchased for as little as $25 each.

The fear that mustang advocates have of the three strikes law, which only came into being in recent years, is that mustangs who were once federally protected from slaughter for the first year after adoption would now be affordable to the meat buyers and that they'd head directly off into the sunset...permanantly.

Jason appeared to provide a way out for many of these three strikers. His large, Nebraska ranch welcomed them, while Jason did what he could to gentle them and find them homes. He was living my dream...

My dream, however, has a happy ending for the horses. Jason's real life version resulted in death and starvation. An ending that, for many, would have been more humane at the slaughter house.

Someone has posted on Jason's blog...I don't know who, but all of his posts have disappeared. Amanda, a young woman who'd been working for him and originally brought much of what was happening to light, has removed posts from her blog as well. The 3 Strikes Mustang Outpost website has been removed. Or at least the front page is gone. I did manage to find this page, which links to the rest of the website: Mission Statement

Ironically, this begins mission statement: Enhance the Mustang's quality of life by creating a natural setting that fosters the independence and integrity of the wild horses. Sure, Jason...I suppose if you consider dying the natural death of starvation integrity, then you've pretty much nailed it.

Jason once told me, after watching videos of my training of Steve Holt!, that he could see that I 'got it'. Too bad he didn't...

Monday, April 27, 2009

Empire & Avalon

Just what is Darling doing?

Yesterday was crazy busy around here. At least for City Boy and Darling. City Boy worked on getting Surely's new hitch and brake control rigged up so that she's now ready to pull the SilverLite! And as long as the sun was shining, he figured he'd mow the lawn as well. City Boy and I have different ideas on this lawn mowing thing. We both like riding mowers, but he complains about the divets and uneven cut resulting from my version.

Darling's new charges are home. Avalon, a long legged filly who's got some silver hairs showing through in her new spring coat, is a bit unsure of all the goings on. She's tucked into the center stall with Dude alongside. We noticed that she wasn't much smaller than him, so Darling brought the tape measure out to see just how tall the wall between them was. Avalon's butt is level with the wall, which measured 54"...or 13.2 hands in horse speak.

Avalon is not impressed with her new situation

Empire is much smaller than her 'sibling'. We don't know if they're actually siblings, but they are from the same HMA; Murderer's Creek. I happen to love this HMA as it turns out some very athletic little horses...although little is the biggest issue once looking for adopters. The average adult measures 14 hands, which really limits the amount of potential adopters. But for those folks willing to look past their mutt like heritage and consider them for an athlitic partner, this could just be the horse of their dreams.
Empire is smaller in stature, but will make up for that with ability.

Empire has already shown herself to be a potential cowhorse. Let a dog or cat cross her path and she's latched on and following with keen interest. Avalon's long legs and gray color are well suited to a sport pony career, provided she's got the jumpability most mustangs are born with. Of course, Darling only has them for three months, so we'll have no control over what their futures hold.

Thought I'd share with you a photo of the amber eyed gelding from this weekend's adoption. I've dubbed him Shockwave. (You know I have to name the horses, even if they never come home with me!) This boy was stand offish towards people and crabby with the other geldings in his pen. Being small in stature (14.1, maybe?), he was hard pressed to find a home. Tom tells me someone in Burns was going to take him if he returned to the corrals. I hope so. Had we been able to place Dude, this guy would have come home with me for gentling. I just loved those spooky eyes! Although in this photo they got all nice and soft, didn't they?

My back is on the mend. Funny how drugs can make you feel so good, eh? I'm feeling pretty good this morning. Still smarts in a couple of places and lifting isn't in the near future, but at least I got chores done this morning. And Darling will be happy that she hasn't got to dress me anymore.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Be Still on Sunday...

This weekend was great! Although my back probably has other words to describe it's experience. I started out feeling pretty loose in the area of my tender ribs; I was able to walk and get around fairly easily; rest periods now and then during the day helped greatly. Friday night Darling and I stayed with our friends, Steve and Janice, who's property borders the Black Raven facility. A nice little walk across the fields was all it took to get there.

Once there, however, something happened. I'd been sitting in their big, overstuffed easy chair and somehow was lulled into believing I was healed. No pain at all, when something caught our attention outside the window and I sat forward and turned to look. POP! No clue what I did, but something in my back snapped loud and hard, and from that point forward things got a bit more difficult. Darling had to help me get my boots on in the morning..."You're not my're just some creepy old woman who's latched on to me" I heard her muttering from beneath me as I instructed her to make certain my pant legs were on the outside of my boots. Good thing I had her with me or I'd have been in a world of trouble. Wouldn't want my pant legs all bunched up around my calves, after all!

Put together by a committee

Lea cracked me up when she said this little roan mare was put together by a committee. She surely wasn't the prettiest girl on the block, that's for sure. But according to Wendy, one of the Burns wranglers, she was one of the sweetest. Bred, too, from what we surmised. No one was in the market for a long backed two for one deal, however, and the little roan, along with the others in this pen, are now being shipped back to the corrals.

There were definitely prettier horses to be had, although only 5 found homes. One was this lovely pinto pony. Four years old, not only did she have color, but she had a nice body as well. The darling little blond alongside her, however, was passed by and is also now on the truck with one strike against her.

Darling ended up bringing two fillies home for the YAY program. I'll post more on them later as I'm needing to get out and feed the horses. But first, here are the Sunday Stills...Barns! This particular barn was built by my great grandfather and housed Peter's Dairy for a number of years.

Looking up to the tiny windows at the top

A dark little doorway

My cousin Tim still keeps an occasional beef cow here.

Darling climbs the loft that her great, great grandfather built nearly 100 years before.

Okay...I'm going to go feed now. And after that, I'm going to try to stay still this Sunday. Y'all have a good day!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Cowgirls Don't Cry

Steve Holt! had a close encounter with the hotwire...poor baby!

Monday was so beautiful! I hauled Sandy and Steve Holt! to the tree farm and took a short ride in the sunshine. Steve Holt! didn't turn one sweaty hair, and Sandy was only barely damp beneath his saddle after our 45 minute ride. And without a single sign of a cough after climbing the hills on Steve Holt!'s part, I decided it was time for him to get busy under saddle again.

Tuesday I hauled him to the riding club and let him play for a moment in the round pen before tossing his new saddle on and mounting up. Being not entirely stupid, I climbed on in the round pen just in case he had a lapse in judgment and decided to go all three year old on me after his month off. But no reason to worry...Steve Holt! was his normal self. Big trot, responsive, not goofy in the least, so I rode him to the round pen gate, opening and closing it from his back and continued my short ride in the arena. It didn't last more than ten minutes since I didn't want him too stressed. We jogged a lot, did serpentines, practiced some one handed circles. He was fine.

Wednesday morning I hauled back up and since the day before had been text book perfect, I didn't bother to start in the round pen. I led him into the arena, asked him to stand while mounting, and found him walking off as I stood in the stirrup. I thought briefly that this was a bad habit, and as my leg swung up over his back that thought was driven home...and hard...because Steve Holt! took a three year old mental break, ducking his head down to the right as he kicked his heels up into the air.

Had I been all the way in the saddle, the ending would have been different. But I wasn't. I was in the air and launched further by his playful buck. Somewhere in the air I did a somersault, something I'd never managed to do in my gym classes, but the landing was pretty similar. Flat on my back, I watched my boy lope freely to the other end of the arena where he stood admiring his reflection in the mirror.

D*#n horse. Okay, so I may not be entirely stupid, but obviously there was just a little stupid in there somewhere or I'd have been in the round pen again, or had reins shorter at the very least.

I stayed on the ground doing a mental checklist of my fall and the body parts that hurt. My ribs, my back...the inside of my right knee which had slammed into the horn of the saddle; that's where the pain was. The wind had been knocked out of me. My head? Hadn't touched the ground, thankfully. Thankfully from the center of the arena I had cell phone service. I don't in the round pen. But in the center, still sitting in the dirt, I called home and had my son come get me. I managed to pull myself up and get Steve Holt! tied to the rail, removing his bridle and martingale, and by then the Geek Boy was there and took the saddle for me. We left Steve Holt! in the round pen and he drove me home where I laid on ice for awhile; calling a friend to go pick up the horse and truck/trailer.

By evening the pain hadn't subsided so I checked into the hospital. The nurse asked if I wanted a wheelchair. I said no. She told me I didn't need to be tough...I wasn't a cowboy, after all, I was a cowgirl. I smiled..."Cowgirls don't cry, haven't you heard?" Eventually I caved and took the wheels; no way was I able to walk to the back of the building where they were taking me for xrays.

While I was barely functioning yesterday, the xrays showed what I knew deep down...just bruised. And with enough Ibuprofen there is little pain today. So the plan for the weekend remains the same.

What, you'd forgotten my plan? Wild Horse Adoption this weekend, kids! I'll be hauling down Friday, and the Youth And Yearling kids will be picking up their new babies Saturday along with 20 other mustangs being available. So, if you're in the northwest and not attending the Daffodil show in Puyallup, come say hello! We'll be at Black Raven Stables in Arlington.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

She's the Mother I Never Had...

Someday Darling will be saying that about Froglander, mark my words!

Saturday Darling and Sandy headed out to their second horse show, but this time she was riding English. And cantering! I made her do walk trot classes at the last show, and she hadn't been happy. Since there weren't any at this show, it was walk, trot, canter for the two of them, and Darling was delighted!

Froglander brought up a headstall for Sandy to use as the cavesson on the one Darling had purchased second hand was a bit small on Sandy's noble face. Frog's fit, but just barely. Sandy is very noble, you know!

Just a few white hairs were showing through his winter coat, so I worked on his neck until his brand was visible. Not bold and stand out, but enough that you could see it. We have a saying around here: Not afraid to ride the brand!

Isn't she beautiful?!

Darling had four classes, including bareback! I bit my fingernails. I didn't want her to do it, but she's a gutsy little kid. Invincible at this age, aren't they? And she did fine, although she said she got tired of posting without the help of stirrups. She even won her Green Horse English Pleasure class!

I'd have posted all of this for you yesterday, but our internet was down. When I called I was told the problem was definitely at their end, and 'the technicians are working on's taking awhile because weather?' And that I could believe, because the sun was shining and it was nearly 70 out there. Undoubtedly the technicians were taking the day off!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Cowboy Church...and Sunday Stills

At one time I had a blog called Marbletown Angels. I like the angel above, which is from Bayview Cemetery in Bellingham, WA. Darling was a willing model that day...don't you just love the converse sneakers? As it turns out, angels are few and far between. And after awhile I ran out of local cemeteries to photograph, and the blog passed into oblivion.

Today's Sunday Still assignment is religion. Architecture is what Ed was looking for primarily, but with what some consider to be a bizarre love of cemeteries has come quite the folder of photographs here on my computer. The photo above was taken in Dayville, OR. Clearly religion played a part in both the life of the cowboy and the making of his headstone.

I recently took part in an online conversation where someone posed the question: If you don't know what you believe, can you actually believe in it? There is clearly frustration among non-believers towards people who talk the talk but clearly do not walk the walk.

The best way for me to answer a question like that is to use a language understandable by those in my company. Horsemanship.

You get a horse. You read Western Horseman and you're drawn to Parelli or McNabb or think they are the light! You begin to tell everyone all that you've learned, offering your opinion because hey, it worked for you when your horse did A and B, therefore it will work with every horse and rider.

Then something happens. You learn something new. You watch a different clinician or read a new magazine and suddenly you're aware that there is more to learn! And as the years pass by, you're less opinionated because you've found that there's a bigger picture out there, that in the beginning you were eating baby food when there was a steak house a couple blocks down the road.

Same holds true with faith. (I'll use Christianity because that's what I know, and what most people get annoyed over.) When you're young and new in your faith, you're ignorant of so many aspects. You call on Jesus as your savior...and that's all it takes to be saved, to acknowledge him as thus...but because you're just a wee babe in the scope of things, you're going to be clueless to many, many aspects of the faith. Add to this that we are all only human, that we still make mistakes and even conscious choices to sin, and those from the non-Christian community will feel just a little annoyed. Or a lot annoyed, depending on the person.

So here's the thing; becoming a Christian is a process just like becoming a horseman. It's not McChristian; you can't just pull up to the drive thru window and have your salvation handed out the second window in two minutes or less like a full meal deal. Because just like becoming a horseman, some people learn it quick, and others take a lifetime. Mistakes get made along the way, people and horses suffer from inexperienced hands, but life goes on and we grow.

And just so I get a bit of architecture in the mix, here's a lovely house of worship I spotted while in Spokane, WA a couple years ago. I would have loved to go poke around but it appeared they were hosting a wedding. Maybe I could have passed myself off as the photographer? Too bad I couldn't find a cemetery while I was there.

Friday, April 17, 2009

In The News

A couple months back I got a request from Northwest Horse Source to write an article on my experience with the Extreme Mustang Makeover. It was their 'events' issue and they wanted a little something covering the Makeover. Cool beans...anything I can do to spread the word on mustang adoption is good with me. I was quite surprised, though, when I found out it was used as the cover story!

After our little fun day with the cattle, I was again asked to put together a wee little something for their blog, the Cyber Saddle. They're currently looking for reader entries from horsey folk like you and I, so if you've got something you'd like to share, write it up and send it in!

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Do you see Mabel?

Oh My Gosh!
Oh My Gosh!
Oh My Gosh!

I can't believe what I'm seeing.
That's just...not right...

Quick, she's looking over here...pretend you don't see!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

When You Fall Off...

Darling wasn't the least bit fazed by her enrollment in club dirt the other day. She jumped onto the school bus with great anticipation of another afternoon of independence. Upon arriving at the barn she found a surprise waiting for her; I'd lined up a riding lesson with a young woman who boards there. Amanda rides eventers and also works part time at the local therapeutic riding center. She was quite excited to be able to help Darling work on her goal of flying through the air and still being in the saddle once Sandy's hooves hit the ground.

With Sandy having been just a bit of a turd lately, I must admit I had to catch my breath when I drove into the driveway and saw them riding outside. Just a wee prone to running off when he gets tired or frustrated, I could only imagine the worst, but Amanda had taught Darling how to bring him under control and they were doing just fine.

Ground poles had been set up and Darling was asking Sandy to trot across.

After that, the cross bar was set up. I know it doesn't look very high in the air, but when you're used to a horse who runs through, rather than lifting his feet to go over, you may as well have the skyline of Los Angelos to jump.

Darling was disappointed in herself when she saw this photo, for although Sandy looks great, she didn't get up off his back. Me? I'm still dizzy from how high he came off the ground and how fast he passed me by.

Amanda said Darling has guts. She's ready to raise the bar next week. Darling is tingling with anticipation. I may pass out.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Welcome to Club Dirt, Darling!

Yesterday marked the first day back to school after spring break as well as Darling's first jump off the school bus at the barn where Sandy is currently residing. What a feeling of freedom that must have been! No mettling mother to tell her what to do or how to do it...just a girl and her horse.

As planned, she called the moment she arrived at the barn to let me know she was there. 30 minutes later she called again to tell me she'd forgotten her camera, and could I bring it?

I arrived to find waiting at the gate for me. "I got bucked off and didn't have my camera to video it!" she said in a disgruntled voice.


Shame on Sandy! Seems he got a little playful with the wind blowing about and I'm sure it didn't help that he'd had a fast paced workout on Saturday followed by Sunday off. Thankfully Darling wasn't least not much. She'd landed on her hand, which felt sore, but other than that she was fine. Not catching it on video was more upsetting than coming off, it seems. Kids.

I climbed on just to put him through his paces. He'd felt frisky at the lope with Darling, and I could feel him thinking it through while I was up there as well. Once he'd been made to behave, Darling climbed back on and cantered off without any problem. Hopefully this is a one time thing as she'd wanted to haul him to a show this weekend. She doesn't appear to be phased...just me!

I'm trying to be more like Darling. Not only in bravery, but in my video editing skills. I'm not there just yet but did put this together from Saturday's cow day.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Wild Babies & Steve Holt! on the Mend

Okay, maybe not too wild. I'm told the photographer had to fight them off in order to get them in focus! But these are a few of the yearlings that have been set aside for the YAY program. They'll be up at the Arlington adoption on April 25 where the kids will find out which one they get to take home.

Currently we've only got 8 kids enrolled in the program, so there may be a couple of yearlings left over for adoption! Y'all better come on out and say hello to me and bring home a mustang. You will not be sorry!

Some lucky kid is gonna get this cutie!

In other news...Steve Holt! got out for the first time today. I hauled him to the arena where I turned him loose to play...first time ever since bringing him home in December! Man, did he have fun, and not one cough! He ran full out several times around, with only a brief slow down as he passed himself in the mirror (one simply must get a good look at one's handsome self, you know!) He's on his way to mended, finally. I'll start getting him out on a daily basis to play and by next week hopefully we'll be ready to mount up and ride again. That ought to be fun after a month off!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Sandy works Cows and the Color Red

Sunday Stills assignment this week is Red

I went to an Introduction to Cattle Clinic this weekend. My original plan had been to bring Steve Holt!, but as he's still on the mend, Sandy was the mustang who climbed into the trailer and headed down the road bright and early yesterday morning. While he's seen cows as well as buffalo on the other side of the fence while living at Curt's last year, he's not ever been asked to drive, sort, push or cut a living, breathing bovine until yesterday.

(The gal who took video for me bumped a button which set the camera to manual focus...something I didn't realize until I returned please excuse the fuzzy photos! I used Darling's camera because of the video feature but have no clue how to use it.)

Red Calf

Most of the horses there were pretty green on cattle, so it took some of them awhile to get their horses into the herd. Our first objective had been to just walk our horse into the middle, then turn left or right, or whatever felt good so long as we didn't scare them and scatter cattle around the arena. Sandy marched right into the center like he'd been born doing this. If a cow didn't move the way he expected it should, he'd pin his ears and shake his head towards it. At one point he indicated he may have a steak for lunch...raw, please, with it's hide still on.

One of the participants was sporting this jacket... me thinks she may have done this before!

Once everyone had a chance to get their horse quietly in and out of the herd, the cattle were moved back behind a panel and one left out in the arena for us to 'trail'. This was an exercise in getting our horses to learn to want to follow the cow. Not a problem for Sandy, and in fact after watching him move through the herd our instructor made sure we had a fresher cow to push around, and Sandy was happy to oblige.

Mind you...we really had no clue what all we were to be doing here in this video, and Sandy was concerned about the panels at the end as they were covered with plastic and the wind was blowing. He really thought it best to just leave the calf at that point rather than risk being eaten by plastic. But over all I was happy with the fact that he showed expression and interest.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Jumping Mustang

Sandy has a big day today; he's going to an Introduction to Cattle clinic. I'd wanted to bring Steve Holt!, but of course with his still lingering cough that's not happening.

Poor Sandy is the object of way too much affection in his mind. Not only is he my substitute horse, but Darling has decided he must be a hunter jumper. He'd like to give you the Greta Garbo line, "I want to be left alone."

Yesterday Sandy was moved down to the neighbor's boarding facility were Darling will be able to jump off the bus and ride him in their little covered arena without needing to depend on me for transportation. A wee little bit of independence for my independent girl and her horse.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Adopt Me!

I was sent photos and information on these two youngsters yesterday from the Oregon BLM. Seems Taffy (above) and Biscuit (below) are two of the corral favorites. Both geldings are two years old and stand roughly 14 hands.

I wish she'd sent larger files! But alas, you'll just have to make do with the tiny little thumbnail of a photo on poor Taffy. Too bad, because I think you'd fall in love with that silver mane of his! I'm not positive, but I think he'd fall into one of the dilute categories, such as silver bay or silver dapple, once he's shed out.

Biscuit is adorable! There's just no other word for that face, do you think? He's going to make someone a very striking little horse. And look, he's got blond streaks in his mane and tail.

Both Biscuit and Taffy are available for adoption through the BLM Wild Horse Adoption Program. A mere $125 brings a Living Legend home with you. Hardy, sure footed, and cost efficient. And lets not forget CUTE! Just fill out the adoption application and mail it to the good folks in Burns, OR. You can then take a wonderful little road trip and pick these guys up (you're taking both, right?) Or better yet, if you're here in the northwet, you can hire me. I'd love to enable you!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Snot Nosed Booger Boy

Doesn't Steve Holt! look pretty? This is the day he tried to kill me.

I sent the other boys out into the still muddy sacrifice field and closed the gate so they couldn't get back into the barn, then opened up the panels between paddocks so Steve Holt! could come out and stretch his legs while I was cleaning. BIG mistake. For as unenthusiastic as he typically is, today he began racing around the panels, bucking and kicking and carrying on like I was his best, long lost play buddy.

But he was not convinced that he should not be trapping me in corners while his feet were flying, and City Boy was more than just a little concerned on the outside as he watched me ducking for cover and trying to find my way around panels to the safety of the outside world. Steve Holt! would trot around to the gate at one end, then come racing back, bucking and kicking up mud as he flew past me, and before I could slip out of his way he'd be trotting back to his imaginary starting line. There simply wasn't enough time for me to get out across the open before he came snorting back.

Eventually I was able to pull a panel towards me and get inside a stall and wait him out. Once he didn't have panels to zoom around, or me to scare, he stopped, so I made a dash for the fence. Naturally, he came dashing along with, but thankfully City Boy was able to get the gate closed before he escaped into the open.

Yes, Steve Holt! has plenty of energy from being pent up in a stall and paddock as opposed to getting out for his daily rides. But after venting his frustrations, the coughing and snot was back. Steve Holt! is not the only one frustrated; I'm growing weary of his slow recovery as well. We had several appearances lined up, from clinics to horse shows to small local breed expos. None of this will happen until my boy heals.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

City Boy goes Car Shopping

I'm Not Spoiled, My Husband Just Loves Me!

City Boy's been wanting a new car. Not that we buy new...not any more. City Boy now loves chasing the deal, finding the car that suits his needs & whimsey as well as his pocket book. If it's not below blue book in price, it doesn't sit in our driveway.

Recently City Boy and I had a disagreement. What it was about, I do not recall, but I do know I gave him the cold shoulder for a couple of days. When he finally had a day off, he asked what would make me happy.

"Easy. Gimme a thousand bucks."


"I want a new saddle and I can't find one in my price range."

To which I received a grunt and roll of the eyes. only seems fair if he gets a new ride, so do I, right?

City Boy informed me he was heading south to look at a car and would be late getting back. I had to run and get some hay. After the hay, I ran a couple of errands. I spotted City Boy on his way home while I was out. He'd taken Geek Boy along with him in case he came home with something new, but it was just the two of them in the same car.

When I got home, this is what I found:

It's a Crates Reiner, only ridden in once, and to tell the truth it's cleaner than one I'd been looking at recently at the tack store. I'd found a merino fleece cinch recently as well as a fleece pad, so once Steve Holt! is healthy we'll be ready to roll!

I'm not spoiled!

My husband just loves me, that's all!

So City Boy was set back a little in his car fund. On Saturday we decided to go to the auto auction here in town as he'd seen a couple of used BMWs on the list of vehicles being offered. He wouldn't go as high as blue book for two reasons; first, the auction yard tacks on an additional 10%, and second he wanted to make sure he had a little left over in case there were mechanical problems needing to be dealt with.

We were amazed and a bit dismayed as the bidding began. People were not caring what the vehicles were valued at and some of the nicer cars that were up early went for above their valued listing. It didn't appear we'd be waiting it out, as City Boy was certain he'd not get any of the vehicles on his list. But since they were going through roughly 10 cars every half hour, we decided to hang around and see how it all played out.

There was one BMW in particular that City Boy liked, although he wasn't fond of the color (silver), but it seemed to be getting a lot of attention from several folks. It blue booked at $9000, but ended up selling for $11,000! Crazy.

As the cars began to dwindle, my attention began to slip to the other side of the lot where there was a row of pick up trucks. My old Ford really struggles to make it up the passes and I'd love to find something that had a little more power. City Boy followed my gaze and groaned. Together we walked over to them and I pointed out a couple of newer Fords (you know, only 10 years old as opposed to my 20 year old.) He looked them over and decided only one of them was worth considering.

And so it was that we stuck around until the trucks began to sell, and City Boy raised his number not once, but twice when 'my' Ford was on the block...

We didn't win.

Two trucks down was a Dodge. I don't do anything other than Ford simply because it's easier to tie into the whole mustang theme and I'm always looking for ways to hook up with sponsors. But City Boy told me that truck would pull my trailer, and he quickly pulled up blue book on his cell phone (yeah...he's got the internet on his phone) and five minutes later we were the proud new owners of a '98 Dodge Ram! And City Boy is still without a new car.

Darling thinks it's pretty nice inside

But I am NOT spoiled!
My husband just...

Okay, okay...I'm spoiled!