Thursday, July 29, 2010

Horse Shows and Trail Rides

Such a busy life I lead! My head seems to be spinning most days, though for the most part it's in an attempt to get things situated for the Cascade Horse Fair.

Last week I got an email from some friends asking if I wanted to go ride. We'd not ridden together since last summer...they live a couple hours south of me and we meet up at a lovely tree farm trail.


Recognize these two bloggers? It's Paint Girl and Pony Girl!

It was a beautiful, sunny, hot, dry day. Pony Girl wore her chinks. I'm not sure why, but she thinks it's cooler than having the sun hit her blue jeans. Okay,, whatever! (I'm actually just jealous. I want a pair! They make her look sooooo skinny.)


The horses were happy to come across the river where they could drink from the cool, clear water. They insisted they'd worked hard enough for the day, despite only being five minutes down the trail.


Did I mention dust? Wheweee! Dusty. Very. I turned around at the bottom of a hill and couldn't find Paint or Pony for a good five minutes. They looked like they'd been covered in soot. Like chimney sweeps from Mary Poppins or something. Paint Girl was crying. Look at the poor girl, wiping her eyes!


Steve Holt!'s long legs carried him way out in front of the pack. No dust for Darling!


It was a great ride. I'm glad we got the call to come down and ride with the Girls!

I received another email from a gal who said she had a horse that needed a home, and since I did the mustang thing, she hoped I may be able to help her out. I drove out to her place to take a look at what she had. All I can say!


Berta had been neglected and abused by a neighbor before this woman took her in. They called her a 'bad horse!'...but she's nothing of the sort. Fearful...yes. Bad? No. Incredibly distrusting and difficult to catch when turned out into a pasture, Berta was in a stall when Darling & I stopped in the other day. Even there, she wasn't so sure, but once the halter was on, she walked out into the open on a light lead.

She reminds me of a pinto Tika. Only not quite as flighty. I led her around, stopped, backed, had her pivot on the hindquarters. At one point in her life, someone cared enough to teach her manners. Whether or not she was ever ridden is anyone's guess.

Are you tired yet? I'm tired. And we're not even done! Nope. We went to a horse show where Darling did pretty alright with her long legged partner. Steve Holt! managed to hold himself together and the two of them came home with an armload of ribbons...mostly 3rd and 4th...from the day's event.


It's been a long week, to say the least. I'd like to say I'm looking forward to the weekend...but I think it's going to get even busier. Crazy busy. But that's okay. And if anyone knows where to get a pair of chinks like Pony Girls? Please let me know. I wanna be skinny, too!

Me thinks it's love...

Friday, July 23, 2010

I Think My Horses Want This...

I'm pretty sure they'd fall in love and I'd never see them anywhere else but beneath it again!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Another Lesson Learned


I'm sitting here waiting MOST impatiently for my video to upload.


Why is it taking so long?


I swear it was quicker to drive down, ride, and come home that it is to load that video!
Which leaves me with even more time to ask myself...

Why did I invite other people to come down with me when I ride?
Their horses are starting to look better than mine!

Take, for instance, Bess. This was her first time working the bull, and her horse was stopping and turning on it's own, I swear!

And I've got to say this was the biggest lesson learned this past week...

Don't invite your friends. They may show you up!

I thought maybe I'd make myself look a little better in video. But then YT disabled my music. I looked better when my ears were distracted by Dwight Yokum. Sigh...such is life!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Girls in Dresses

Or, more specifically, Darling in a dress...again. I wish I looked this good in a dress...let alone while riding a horse!





"I feel like a little girl, running away from home on one of my family's horses. A big Thoroughbred horse...because we own a farm and raise race horses..."

Hmmm...sounds like a Hallmark movie. But Darling? Let's change the TB to a mustang. Then again, we could have a mustang play the part of a TB...wouldn't that send a tremor through the racing world?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Summer Sundays

Over at Sunday Stills, they put the word out that they wanted to see summer. I must say that around these parts we wondered if we'd get one! June was so blasted wet...every day, all day, rain, rain, rain. But then? The clouds parted and the heavens sang. Seriously. Angels singing. Everyone heard it, I promise. Or maybe it was just the horses screaming for their hay. I dunno. But it did wake me up, and the sun has been shining all of July!


Of course, the main focus of my photographic attention so far has been the little spotted wonder trotting about in my paddocks. She's too cute for her own good. I can't get a single thing done around here, and I'm certain it's all her fault!


Darling is not so easily distracted, it would seem. All business, that girl. Get the job done. Spit shine the mustang, take him out for a romp in the grass.


Ahhh....look at the baby!


My folks came home from Alaska, so we went over for pizza. The Things were there. They do the same stuff in summer that they do in winter...which would be everything they're not supposed to do! Double Trouble Things. Thing One and Thing Two...

But really, who can be bothered by disobedient things jumping into ponds with their clothes on when there's a baby needing attention? Certainly not I.


Wait...what was our topic this week? I've forgotten. Babies?

Saturday, July 17, 2010


That hurt.

I was moving a round pen panel.

I forgot the other end wasn't attached to anything.

I picked up one end, and it got off balance...

...and fell...

...into my face...

Did I say ouch?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I Just Can't Figure It Out...

Looking through the photos I've taken the past few days and all I find are spots... Why do you suppose that is?





Mustang U is hosting a name the filly contest over on Facebook this week if y'all want to get in on the fun!

Yesterday I didn't have my camera with me, or I'd have had other images to share. Images of a certain orange fluffy cat climbing out of my trailer tack room after a nap, only to find he was 20 miles from home...and only 1 mile (at best) from the Canadian Border! Yup. Sent Darling out to close the tack room door when I saw she'd left it open earlier in the day, and like a good girl, she did just that. Of course, Norman had slipped inside and was all curled up who knows where. So while Darling and I took a (short) ride, Norman had to wait for us in the cab of the truck. Needless to say, he was one happy kitty by the time we pulled into the driveway back home!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Shadows On The Wall

Sunday Stills theme this week is "Shadows"...and how excited was I to read that? Very! Because the very morning I'd read the assignment, I'd already taken the best shadow shots ever. shadows I've ever taken, at least! You may have taken better shadow photos. You may have taken better shadow pictures today, last week, last month, or every day of your life, for that matter. But me? These were definitely the best shadow pictures I've taken. Ever.



See? The very best shadow photos you've ever seen here on Mustang Diaries, made possible by Momma and her baby.

Next week I'm hoping they use the word 'Ears' for our challenge...


Friday, July 9, 2010

Guess What's in My Backyard?



That's right!


Momma had her baby!

I didn't even notice her at first...just went out, tossed some hay through the mare's window, grabbed the boys and headed across the creek so they could be turned out to graze for the morning. When I returned a few minutes later to put grain in her bucket? Wow! What a surprise met my eyes!

On Wednesday evening I'd noticed a slight softening of the vulva on Momma, but it wasn't much, an certainly not what I'd noticed on my sheep. Her bag had changed shape just a bit, but again it was nothing like the super tight and full udders I've seen on my ewes. So I expected by the weekend, perhaps, we'd have a foal.

But I sure didn't expect to have her 12 hours later!


Now, just in case you're wondering, there will be a naming contest on the Mustang U facebook site in the next day or two, so please do visit there often. Plus, you'll find additional photos in the album there, as well as a few on the MU Blog.

The adoption fee for this filly will be raffled off! Winner of the raffle will still need to submit an approved adoption application, but the fee will be waived. And more info on that will also be found on facebook or the MU blog.

Happy Trails, y'all...I gotta go play with a baby!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

No Friends for Tika?

Tika has struggled here. She is at the bottom of the pecking order, bullied by Steve Holt! and not tolerated by Sandy. Even when Sky Bar and Vita were here last year, she found herself pushed around and picked on.

Over the course of the winter, Tika and I shared a moment, and I later shared it with you. We'd stood out in the late evening, wind blowing, and she'd curled her neck around me as though protecting me from the elements. I'd had an overwhelming urge to cry for was a maternal instinct in her, trying to protect me and keep me safe. She missed having a baby with her, and it was heartbreaking.

Which is why this moment was so special...


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

What's That Bright Thing In the Sky?


It's been such a wet, dark and dreary spring that I'd almost forgotten what sunshine looked like. There is a saying here in the northwest that summer doesn't begin until the fifth of July. Looks like this year, it's the sixth, as temps move from the 50's to the 80's almost overnight!


I gotta share this with you...Cowgirl Candy! She's one of the Cascade Horse Fair sponsors. Cute stuff and loads of this headstall!


Okay, so I'm down at the cutting a couple weekends ago and Curt says, "We got an idea for your event."

"Great," I say...full of curiosity.

"How about a Hydra Bull cutting? We'll have a novice class, and an open class. Get a few bulls there, they draw their driver and cut their bull from the 'herd', just like a real cutting."

Got a mental image of this? I'm so in...

Monday, July 5, 2010

Baby, I Love You

Er...maybe not so much?

Bad Pony!

Saturday, July 3, 2010


It's been awhile since I've participated in Sunday Stills, but this one sounded like fun. Framed, they said, was the theme. I love framing!


Framing is a way to bring your subject into focus. You can use natural framing, such as the trees here, to direct attention to a particular point of interest.


Despite Sandy being out of focus, I still like this one. The trees are interesting, but I see my pony. Perhaps a weak frame?


Curt, framed in a doorway.


No? Not what they meant by framing???

Well, just the same, here's little Legacy, the colt I photographed while up on the South Steens a couple years ago. Do you recall? He's Honor's son. I just wanted to update anyone who may remember him; he was among those gathered last fall and offered up for adoption at the corrals in Burns. I was so excited to find out that my friends Maggie and Farrel had adopted him! They didn't even know it was him...Farrel had wondered if this was the same little bay I'd been talking about, but as soon as they posted his photograph, I knew him instantly. Honor's Legacy...barn name Gunner, is now living in a good home where I can go visit (next time I'm in Oregon) and give y'all updates as he grows up. Are you as excited about that as me? (Probably not!)

Friday, July 2, 2010

Beamer Goes For a Ride


It's funny how kids change, isn't it? Several years ago we were given a little gray mustang from the Colville Reservation. Darling named her Sassy, and sassy she certainly was! Darling was only 8 at the time, and since Sassy wasn't broke to ride (oh, you could toss a kid up there and lead her around alright), Darling never really had an opportunity to do much other than be led in a few circles. Her interest wasn't high, and it wasn't long afterward that City Boy lost his job and I decided to sell the little gray mare. A diminutive 12.2 hands, she'd been too small for me, though I'd gotten her started under saddle, we sold her to a woman who raised ponies for driving, and Sassy had just the flash and trot she was looking for.

Darling admitted, once the mare was gone, that she'd really only liked telling people she had a horse...she didn't really like the effort involved.

Then came Quiet Storm...and all that changed. Somewhere deep down, the horse gene was ignited, and Darling became hooked. Sorry, City Boy...


The past two weeks have seen such great improvements in both Beamer and Darling that I'm sometimes blown away. Darling is no longer interested in simply saying she has a horse. Or for that matter, just sitting pretty on one going over jumps. She's out there daily working with her little girl in an effort to have a good showing come October.


Beamer is picking up feet and walking over bridges. She loads relatively easily into the horse trailer and is a breeze to catch, even when turned out into the field with the others (she's been out with Tika and Sandy, just like a big girl!)


Darling decided that Beamer was ready for a little more advanced learning, so she went out and saddled Sandy the other day, and off they went...Beamer in tow! This was Darling's first experience in ponying, and she did a terrific job of keeping the filly attentive and Sandy under control. I'm thinking a little trail ride may be in our near future!


Things were going so well that I asked Curt if I could possibly bring the two of them down so he could work with Darling in his round pen. My quarter horse loving guru is always nervous about the dangers of wild horses, especially partnered with children (he's not said it, but I know he thinks I'm nuts!), but he agreed to help out.


They worked on timing and Darling's positioning while on the ground. It's always difficult to get your new mustang to switch spend so much time trying to get them to face you and come into your space, and next thing they know you're chasing them back out of it. But Curt is quiet and kind, and taught Darling how to get Beamer to move out, then to step back in for some petting and rewards.


It was a great day for my young trainer and her trainee. Curt even got her picking up hind feet. Said she was a smart filly...then teasingly asked when she was going to start riding? That's just how far along they are; if Beamer were a two year old, we'd be saddling her up.