Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tika, Today


Beautiful, as always.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Planning Begins

Video from the Calcutta/Open Cutting
Cascade Horse Fair

Last year was the first time I attempted to plan anything so big and crazy as a horse fair. We had fun. I didn't go broke. Let's do it again!

Ken McNabb with a stallion he purchased from Curt.

Curt has agreed to come back with his little herd of HydraBulls, and in addition to him I've got Ken McNabb agreeing to do a clinic for us! Also Mary Cornelius, a professional photographer from Portland Oregon, will be teaching a class on equine photography. Cool, eh?

There will be a sale and adoption alley in the barn, and I'm excited to have a Kids Corral this year, too! Putting Darling and her cousins, Lanky Hanky and Miss Banana Head, to work organizing a stick horse drill team. That oughta be interesting, don't you think?

If you happen to be in the northwest and would like to help out as a volunteer, become a vendor, or participate with your horse, let me know!

Thursday, March 24, 2011


A couple of days ago I visited with a friend who has recently joined the Trainer Incentive Program (TIP.) Last month she picked up her first mustang, a real cutie from Palomino Butte.


Siesta is three years old, has the prettiest, dishiest little face, and is put together quite nicely. She was, in fact, on my 'hot list' when I was considering a new mustang for myself. Gathered in the fall of '09, she's been sitting at the corrals waiting for that special someone to come into her life. I was really wavering, thinking perhaps I'd take advantage of them hauling a few other horses up to WA, when Tricia announced she'd picked this beautiful red head. Yeah! Now I didn't need to, but she was close enough for me to still visit. Perfect!


I was thrilled when Tricia asked if I wanted to work with Siesta a bit and jumped at the opportunity. Tricia works with a Parelli style, using her carrot stick when with the filly. I don't...and wasn't sure if Siesta would respond well to me or not.

I needn't have worried. The little red head, though a bit confused by this transfer of the trainer, picked up on my body language right away. A bit sensitive, and very reactive the first few weeks, Siesta was full of personality and a very quick learner.


I'm actually very impressed with this girl. Here I am, total stranger, completely different body language and style, and she figured it out and went with it. Sensitive Diva's often have a hard time switching dance partners, but I suspect Siesta is going to do just fine.

Siesta is available for adoption!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Playtime with Tika

Tika loves her playtime!

Since it rained yesterday, I didn't ride, but I did hop on the day before. The round pen size has been expanded to a bit over 40' in length. Tight for some, but not for Tika. In this video she's only using half the space as she circles around me. Once saddled up, she's all business, though.

With a month long vacation, she struggled with me asking for a turn to the right. It's always been her weak side. As I pulled her nose, she'd do a little panic, but thankfully in her mind a panic means stop. Though the sand doesn't slow her down when she plays, once I'm on her back she likes to keep things slow (yeah!), and it takes some encouragement to bump her into a trot. But we did manage to finally do both trotting and right turns at the same time, getting a few figure 8s done before I stepped off her back.

Sun is shining again this afternoon. Think I ought to go hop on? I think you're right...

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Making a Splash


The sun came out today for the first time in what felt like an eternity. Not only was it out, but it was almost feeling warm...you know, like spring!

Darling said she had a hankering for wanting to ride Steve Holt!, so after she was done in the round pen, I went outside and snapped a couple photos of her crossing the creek. They didn't end up being much good, at least not in terms of something that could be used for marketing the big goober boy. But this one made me giggle, what with the big splash he made!

After a few months off, Darling has come to the realization that she doesn't really want to give up horses...but she does want to switch back to western, and Steve Holt!, fun as he can be, is simply not a western type horse. And further more (she told me), she's going to have to start over from the beginning, because we do mustangs, and that means getting one from the corrals.

Sigh...teenagers. Simply can't keep up with them.

Steve Holt! and Darling aren't the only ones getting back into the swing of things. Today I saddled up Tika and climbed on board for the first time in a month. Because I had about two whole minutes before needing to leave, I decided it was best not to temp fate by climbing on in the round pen, but rather did it inside her paddock. Not so much room to bounce around in there. Of course, there wasn't so much as a flinch of a bounce.


Seriously...it was only 2 minutes. A couple turns left and right, a couple of stops. Just enough to let her know that it's time to return to work. Or maybe enough to let me know that she's not forgotten what we're doing? Either way, she was fine, and I look forward to many more sunny afternoons.

After pulling off the saddle, I decided I had just enough time to play with a little toy. At some point I'd like to be able to use clippers on her, and this little massage tool seems to be a nice transitioning tool. There's just enough vibration and noise to get a horse's attention, but no clipper blades to accidentally slip and cut a horse if they jump. Tika is none to sure of anything new that approaches...heck, a new brush can send her screaming backwards down the barn alley...so I figured this little do-dad was a perfect way to get her into the right frame of mind.


It took about five minutes, but once it was on her neck I was able to run it up and down, concentrating on the area where her brand is (in case we should ever need to shave it), as well as running it down her back and shoulder area. She was tense, but stood quietly. I'll need to practice with this a few more times, I think, and then maybe I'll pull out the clippers and see how we fare.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Cabin in the Woods

Back in the day when I was a kid, we kept our horses up the road in a hidden pasture back behind some trees. There was an old homestead up there that had long been abandoned. The current owners occasionally visited for a week or two in the summer months, using it as a little vacation retreat. But a few years ago we had a great, heavy snow, and the old house simply couldn't withstand the weight. Through the bareness of the winter trees, I could make out it's collapsed roof and silently mourned. It had been such a lovely place to ride past, with lilac trees surrounding it and old roses climbing the nearby trees. And now, at least from the road, it appeared to be nothing more than a pile of rubble, with just one wall left standing.


Darling and I went for a walk a few weeks ago, and found ourselves meandering up the old familiar path that I'd once taken on horseback. And there, hidden behind a thicket of overgrown briars and brambles, was this tiny reconstructed cabin. A fraction of the size of the original home, the owners had made sure to salvage every bit they could and created this idyllic scene.

Naturally, I had to send Darling over to pose.


I was disappointed that I didn't have her all dolled up in some vintage dress, but of course that is not how we normally go out walking. I'll simply have to convince her to return with me on some sunny afternoon.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Ooh Yeah I'm a Wild One


Well I'm just outa school
Like I'm real real cool
Gotta dance like a fool
Got the message that I gotta be
A wild one
Ooh yeah I'm a wild one


Gotta break it loose
Gonna keep 'em movin' wild
Gonna keep a swingin' baby
I'm a real wild child


Well, I'm a real wild one
An' I like a wild fun
In a world gone crazy
Everything seems hazy
I'm a wild one
Ooh yeah I'm a wild one


Gotta break it loose
Gonna keep 'em movin' wild
Gonna keep a swingin' baby
I'm a real wild child

Friday, March 11, 2011

Barefoot Training


I need to thank my friend McDebbie. When I saw her yesterday, she told me how exhausted she was. But, she said, Tika was now broke to ride. She'd spent the night riding her all over, upstairs and down, at Bob's Burger and Brew, around the tables and chairs, through the storage area, over boxes of bottles. Tika did great. I'm sure the reason she excelled is because Deb was doing her famous Barefoot Training...she rides and trains in bare feet.

In your dreams...McDebbie...only in your dreams...

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Gray Mare


The other day I drove south to clean a few stalls and ride a couple horses for the Old Cowboy. Sheza has developed sarcoids over the past few months, however, and one of them was beneath where the saddle sits. Up until now, I'd continued to ride, as it really didn't seem to be irritating her, and it was quite small.

Now, some of you may be asking what a sarcoid is. I'd heard of them for the first time a few years ago, but had never had a first hand encounter until now. There are several forms of sarcoids, but in short, they are skin tumors on horses, often benign, and somewhat common (or so says the Wiki page I found.)

Not only are there several forms of sarcoids, there also appear to be several ways and thoughts on how to treat them, from freezing to treating with a chemo agent or tying them off with a rubberband.


The sarcoids on Sheza are nodular sarcoids; firm lumps that raise up like warts. Two are small, but the one on her side had begun to grow and was now about the size of a fingertip. I'd discussed with Curt the best way to remove them. He had me don a pair of rubber gloves and handed me a cream which was a chemo agent. Before starting, he shaved the area around the nodules for easier application.

I'd have taken a photo, but for two things. One, my hands were wearing gloves and full of cream. Two, the battery was dead on my camera because I was smart enough to not notice that I'd bumped it into the 'on' position when putting it into my truck.

In any case, riding is currently out of the question. Curt believes it should only be 4-5 days before the one on her side has disappeared, but the cream needs to be applied daily until that time. It's rather disappointing to not be riding this girl, as she challenges me in ways my own horses do not. She's a great teacher for me.

But while I wait for her to heal, we'll have some super model fun (shhhh....don't tell Tika!)


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Out in the Wild

It's where I'm going today.


I would so rather be here, out in the wild.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Cat Burglar

Today's post has nothing at all to do with mustangs, nor horses, but one very naughty kitty.