Sunday, February 28, 2010



I've been a bit distracted this week. Time you found out who followed me home last weekend! Meet Red, a three (though I believe coming 4) year old gelding from Beaty's Butte.


Red has an adopter waiting in the wings. She'll leave him here through mid April and then ship him to West Virginia where he'll learn to be a roping horse. I don't know how to rope anything, but I suspect Red will figure it out right quick!


Is he beautiful, or what?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Oh, Sunny Day

As you know, the Olympics have been playing out up in Oh, Canada, Eh this past couple of weeks. What you may not have realized is that this is happening practically in my back yard. Since Sandy and I hadn't been out for a ride in over a week, we decided to see what kind of seating was available and perhaps take in a bit of snow boarding or skiing. Sandy really prefers ice dancing, but that was sold out.

Turns out we ought to have purchased our tickets a bit earlier as we had super nose bleed seating...


Sandy wants to know where this Flying Tomato he's heard so much about is?

Not even a zoomiezoomie lens on the camera could help, I'm afraid. We did get a good view of Squalicum Lake down in the valley, though. Too bad there were no Olympic events down there for us to see, eh?


Sandy and I headed on down the road without any excitement. That is, until he noticed a blade of grass over at the edge of the road and made a mad dash to get it before it escaped. For a moment I thought we were going to be part of some new Olympic event called 'Fling your rider over the embankment as far and fast as you can while grabbing the green blade of grass gracefully between your teeth.'


And while I am not a big fan of snow? I think in this case it may have been appropriate for a winter sport. Not to mention a softer, log free landing.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Gray Mare heads to the trainer


When Darling & I first spotted her, we knew she was special. At age 9, she had just a few months left to go before being part of the sale authority program. I spoke with fellow board members at Mustang U and it was agreed that we should purchase the gray mare, which would prevent her being shipped to long term holding.

We looked for folks to sponsor her feed and care, and the arrangements were made. Then one day Ramona from the BLM came up with a plan. Why not send the mare to a trainer through the TIP program? We could still market her and the sponsors could still cover her feed costs, but it would lighten my own personal load just a bit.

Well, you know anything that lightens my load simply means I need to find something else to do to take it's place! But, hey...that meant one more horse in a home, so let's send that gray mare off so I can take on something else, okay?


The beautiful gray mare will be heading down to Matthew Wilson of Silver Lake, Oregon, in the near future. Matthew is a trainer who will be competing at the Northwest Horse Fair and Expo in Albany, Oregon next month. He's very excited to be helping Mustang U...and we're extremely happy to have the help! Should anyone be interested in this lovely girl...well, you know how to reach me!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Saturday in Harney County

My heart skipped a beat.

"Mom, stop, I see something," said Nikki to her mom. Lea did as she was told and we all looked out to the left over the valley and out into the sage.

It was mid afternoon and we'd finished things up at the adoption a bit earlier. A dusting of snow spotted the ground here and there out on the high desert. A few colored specks were visible out there, and then just below and to the right a few more. Binoculars and camera lenses came out as the four of us peered out into the distance.

And my heart skipped a beat.


It was him. I was sure of it. I could only see his back as he had his head buried deep down in the sage searching for a bit of food, but that was enough. My heart was singing to me. I jumped from the car, camera in hand, out into the bitter cold and began trudging across the landscape in an effort to get a closer look at my boy.

Before long the others were following. I turned back and called over my shoulder, "It's Honor."


"Out there, that little group of four," I replied.

Honor's head was now up so that I could get a good look through my lens. Yes, it was indeed my lovely boy. He was quite some distance away, but he saw us and was walking down the hillside like any good leader would, ears pricked up and eyes trained on the potential threat.

The distance was further than we could go. Alone? I'd have made the trek. But not with people in tow...not in that weather with the wind blowing about our faces. Noses were red, eyes were stinging and fingers near frost nip. But to see him worth it!


Friday, February 19, 2010

Something for everyone

Seriously...there is no way you could come to the corrals and say, "I just can't find the right (color, size, shape, age...)" because they're all here! Young and old, black, white, black and white, brown eyes, blue eyes, brown and blue eyes. Dr. Suess would go crazy here!


Probably my favorite, this four year old had
one blue and one brown eye.


What color would you call him?


This group ran the fenceline nearly all day long.

Tomorrow is the adoption event. Debbie & I will be handing out more free grain to folks, courtesy of Equiscience, then after the adoption is over we'll be heading up to the Steens to see if we can spot any horses. Hope y'all are behaving yourselves out there!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I'm seeing Spots!


Love this colt. Nice and big...and an eye catching face!

Photobucket with a curly mane.


Couple more spotted colts; can we say cute?

A few photos from the corrals




Legacy; Honor's son


Pretty sure this is Dibs' pinto buddy that was there with him last winter. I'd guess they're brothers.

More to come!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

It won't be long...

Less than 12 hours and I'll be on my way to Burns! The lovely sorrel gelding pictured here has an adopter waiting. Isn't he pretty?


I had something totally witty to share with you, but for some reason it's completely escaped me. Perhaps it ran off when I stopped for 21 bags of grain that Equiscience has donated for us to give away while we're at Color Fest this weekend? Or did it baled when I ran to get hay? Or perhaps it was Deb saying she'd be ready to leave at 3 am??? That may have been it...I think it may have jumped ship and gone running off to bed.

The other day I had Tika up at the arena for a bit of play time. She hasn't been out much since I hurt my shoulder. When it was time to leave, she decided that, no, she wasn't ready. So we played a bit while Darling held the camera. Enjoy! And don't forget to come back and check on the Wild Horse Reports direct from Burns these next few days!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Returned to Freedom...


Dibs has been set free. Darling is mildly disturbed, worried and concerned for his future safety and health, not wanting to see starvation or broken bones that on occasion plague these beauties. But she will survive...and so will Dibs. I look forward to seeing him more often now, out there in his natural habitat.


Not that one can blame the kid for her feelings. What an emotional high to come so close to a wild creature, and have him so totally relaxed in your presence. I hope that this is the first of many close encounters for Darling and Dibs. She won't be traveling with me this, you know...but City Boy has taken some vacation in July with the intention of visiting the herd, and perhaps she and I can swing down again in May over the three day weekend? Plenty of opportunities still exist to see the colt who was first to greet us on that ridge in the South Steens.


Can't you just see this as a Hallmark film? Only instead of Timmy and Lassie, it stars Darling and Dibs...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sharing the Love!


Ready to share a little lovin' today?

The Sunday Stills challenge this week was Valentine. It's easy to find a little love around this place. Big love, too! And I'd love to share some of that love with you. As a thank you for always being here, always encouraging, always loving what we do at the Mustang Diaries...


Simply leave a comment today, and then pop me an email (link to the right side of the page) and I'll email you a high resolution copy of either of these images. Use it as your desktop, or print an image for your wall (cuz I know how you'd love to have Sandy and Darling hanging in your house somewhere!

So come on, folks! Share the love!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Count Down

I'm nervous, for some odd reason. Or excited. I'm not certain which it is. Six more childhood terms. Less than a week before my friend Debbie & I are on the road to beautiful Harney County.

They told me to bring my rubber boots. Are you kidding? Seems the 'white mud' is melting and making a mess. But by next week the temps will be back up into the mid-50s during the day and that leaves me very hopeful.


Whaddya think? Pretty good looking horse, wouldn't you say? Reminds me so much of Steve Holt! in the eye and expression. From his photos, he's got a similar way of moving as well. Three years old, 15 hands...yeah, I've got someone who's considering him. Told her to show me the money...(travel expenses for pick up, don'cha know!)

Another gal has also requested I start a mustang for her. She's recently sold her mare and has cash in hand for both transport and a couple months training. I hate to train this time of year, but it sure would be nice to make a little extra money, so I've got to say I'm sorely tempted... We'll see what happens!

Mighty windy in my little valley tonight...not the norm for us. Hope we retain power overnight!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Color Fest!


The Wild Horse Corrals in Burns is kicking off the 2010 adoption season in 10 days! They are hosting an event at the corrals called Color Fest. With nearly 1000 horses there, they've got a plethora of color simply begging to find homes. From pintos to appaloosas to duns and want it? They've got it!

And thanks to my good friends at Equiscience, I'm getting a free ride to the event! Hope a few of you can clear the weekend on your calendars and join me.

Among those available for adoption is Dibs

Meanwhile...back at the ranch...Tika and Sandy went to Equine A Rama in Snohomish County last weekend. Sandy, naturally, won friends right and well as below the knees.


Mustang U attended the event in an effort to promote wild horse adoption and our efforts to find homes for 'older' horses and those in the Sale Authority program. Tika was brought along as an example of a horse who is often overlooked simply because of their age. She was on her best behavior, watching intently the crowd of children who stood ten feet away from her. Strollers were a bit of a concern, but she managed to keep it together. She even let MU secretary, Deb Prather, hold the lead while I wandered out of sight for a moment to grab the camera! Deb said she turned to look for me, but quiet talk and a little walking put her mind right back to where it needed to be. Hooray for Tika! I can breath easy knowing that she will adjust to life in captivity and not need to be with me till her dying days.


Of course, I can't leave you without this little video of Darling riding Buddy, one of Curt's cutters. We were there to get some video of a horse who's going to be placed up for sale, and Curt wanted a little of Buddy, too. So Darling got the job of cooling him out...but not until Curt had her go for a little ride!

"That was fun! Can I do it again?"

Monday, February 8, 2010

Soap Maker Gone a Little Loopy

It's been a while since I've made a batch of soap. Some people say the lye fumes may have played a certain role in


What?! They were going to the soapy ball. Look how ripped the Ken Soap's chest looks...

I've not got a clue what y'all are laughing 'bout.

I enjoyed soapmaking, but you'd never believe how messy it was. Really...making soap, which is supposed to get you clean, creates havoc in your kitchen. Still...I'm starting to feel that yearning to create. This time, though, I think I'll color inside the lines. Sort of. Perhaps a batch of cowpoke soap is in order? Can't decide if I ought to put clothes on him...


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Look at my Little Girl Ride!

The guys? They're watching football. Darling just finished up a video late last night, though, and that's what I'm watching. Special thanks to Equiscience for sponsoring Darling & Steve Holt!.

Oh...and if you've ever wondered where Steve Holt!'s name came from...well, I found it on Hulu. The show...not Steve Holt!.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Inspired to Ride...


Wow! What a tough decision that was. But in the end, Mustang Heritage inspired the winning title for this photo...'Inspired to Ride'. Pop me an email with your addy and I'll get your photo mailed out to you.


The other day I hauled down to Curt's with my new friend, Rod. Actually, her name is Roz, but when Curt asked her, he misunderstood. Then he asked her to spell it...well, Z rhymes with D, don'cha know, and he just shrugged and began calling her Rod. After that first lesson, he figured it out, but it was too late. Rod she was and Rod she will forever least while at Curt's place.

Rod doesn't ride a mustang, but her cute little quarter horse mare is named Sandy, so we'll forgive her. She's a nice moving, hard stopping little mare, too, and they're catching on real well with the bull.

As for me and my Sandy...well, he's catching on so well that I swear there was light between me and the saddle on Wednesday. Better get me some velcro, or super glue, or something to help me stay in place! My boy can move, lemme tell you what! I was laughing so hard that even though I managed to stay on a couple of his hard turns, I nearly fell off simply because I was lost in euphoria.

Now I know what you're saying...where are the videos??? But my computer and my new camera are still not on speaking terms, so no video until this dinasaur of a desktop of mine can be updated. I could do it on the laptop, I suppose...but I don't want to waste laptop space with big video files. So you'll just need to be patient and take my word for it when I tell you this; it won't be long before my hiney needs dusting off...cuz at the rate Sandy is improving, I'll be visiting club dirt again, undoubtedly!


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Name It. Win It.

First, a big thank you to all who wished me quick healing! Must have worked, because I woke up yesterday feeling much better. Still a little pinch of whatever it is, but nothing like the previous day or two. Trying not to over do it, but hey, what can I say? Ponies must be ridden!

Darling had a lesson on Tuesday, and since Steve Holt! hadn't been worked on Monday, I hauled him to the arena for a bit of a warm up. He was great! Nice, soft, and supple. Big improvement over what Darling's been dealing with the past month.


We've got a new bit on the boy; a full cheek with a slow twist. Because he's been slow to respond to his loose ring snaffle, we decided it was time to find something that got his attention a bit faster should he fail to respond to the voice and seat when asking for those downward transitions. This has always been Steve Holt!'s weak point; dropping from a canter to a trot for a simple change was nearly impossible last year, and Darling is a bit lighter than me when it comes to both weight and soft touch, so a bit of help was in order. At first we didn't think he was responding, as he'd try to bully his way around the arena, but after a ride or two he began listening and this lesson was mighty pretty to watch.


Of course, the beautiful afternoon light made everything seem more poetic!

There for awhile, Darling was very frustrated with Steve Holt! and back to wishing she had a broke pony on which to learn to ride. But the past week has proven to her that struggles happen, and if you persevere and work through them, there is a reward. To get to that reward, sometimes it takes more than hard work...with Steve Holt! it took some play time. We'd set up obstacles in the arena just like I did a year ago while he was training for the makeover. Steve Holt! has an active mind that has difficulty processing circle trotting, but throw a few barrels out there, and some poles and cones, and things become a game. Darling had fun, too, pretending to be a rodeo queen in an English saddle, cantering around all the props and doing her queen wave as she passed by her imaginary fans. It lightened the load for both of them, and in the end they were both in better form when it came time to trot those circles again at her lesson.


Barb commented on how fluid her circles were and wondered if she'd been practicing? No, Darling answered...but in an odd way, she was, simply because she'd had to think about going around whatever I'd scattered about in her way. Never under estimate play time, my friends!

And speaking of play time...I spent a bit of time playing myself last night, taking the above photo and tweaking it just a little to the image you see below. Now I need a bit of help...can you give me a name? Winner receives a 5x7!


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Busted Up


I feel like this...all in a twist

"You didn't fall off a horse, did you, Mother?"

That was the question from my son as I sat there wincing in pain as City Boy rubbed my upper back.

"No, but it sure feels like it!"

I have no clue what I did, but I did it right good! Along the shoulder blade, sometimes up into the base of my neck, sometimes down a bit lower on the left side of my rib cage. And then there's the arm...both upper and lower...and let's not forget the shoulder joint! Yes, it definitely feels like I've taken a hit.

I wondered if perhaps Tika's little launch at the end of her lead on Saturday may have yanked something out of place, though I didn't begin to feel it until Sunday night. I questioned if it was pulling a tightly packed bale of hay out of the back of my little pick up. Or perhaps a combination of the two that caused it to flare up?

Whatever the problem, it's hanging on when I'd much prefer it be letting go. Sleep is difficult at best. Warm baths with loads of bubbles, typically a cure all for anything ailing me, only keep it at bay for a brief moment in time. Not even drugs are helping.

If I had limited mobility, I'd probably have already raced to the doctor, but I can move it up and down and all around. In fact, it feels better when I raise my hand up into the air than when it's down to my side. Crazy, eh?

Well...despite how it feels, one thing is for sure. Life...and cleaning up after it...must go on.


Monday, February 1, 2010

This Week: Portraits

Our assignment in class this week is portraits...but not necessarily the formal type. People in their natural habitat works, too. I struggled again with my settings, overexposing my fair share...but I think Darling looks rather good as a ghost, wouldn't you say?


I had snapped a dozen or so shots before Darling announced she was a bit chilly and would like a coat. That's when I finally looked at the photos taken and said with dismay..."Um, no, you can't. I need to take more so you actually show up."

Thankfully Darling is a good sport. Or maybe it's simply that she likes to play the role of super model? But she hung out for a few more snaps of the shutter before scurrying off to grab a jacket.


It would have been good if she's been able to hold out for just a few more!


Once in her jacket, Darling was ready for more adventures. Gotta love a kid who's not afraid to strut through town with her boots & spurs on!