Monday, April 30, 2012

I've Got a Bug...

 I've got the leather bug, no doubt about it!  City Boy has been diligently scanning the sales on ebay and craigslist in search of tools he thinks I may need, and one day we even made a trip down to Tandy Leather in Seattle to see what they had.

To see what they had?  Oh, my!  I was like a kid in a candy shop!  Tandy Candy, that's what it ought to be called.  Stamps and knives and conchos, not to mention leather.  Leather, leather, glorious leather.  And not just cow's hide.  Oh, no, they also had kangaroo and alligator, too!

But on this particular day, I was only after a handful of conchos and a good 'shoulder' off a cow.

First order of business, mouse pads.  I'd seen one online and just had to have one of my own!  The first one was very simple; a stamped border with Tika's name on the bottom.  But it wasn't enough to satisfy the creative side of me.  I wanted more!  So I pulled up a photo of a wild mare and her filly, printed it, traced it onto my leather, and off I went on an adventure!

I got a few mousepads down, then started seeing other things online that looked interesting.  Tables, for one.  Leather table tops?  Hey...why not?  So I ran down to the thrift store and found a little round table and hauled it home.  Then I cut out a circle of leather and went to work.  Again, I used Lupe and Lucky Charm, but this time did a border of flowers along with a dragon fly and humming bird.  As of tonight, it's been oiled, polished and glued to the table top thanks to a little help from the Cowboy.

Speaking of the Cowboy, he had an old saddle he'd built 10 years ago land in his lap a few weeks ago.  It was one he'd built for a customer, but they'd not used it much and it'd spent the past decade as a living room ornament of sorts.  When it showed up in the barn, I was ordered to take it for a spin.  Being that it was a 17" seat, there was a bit more room than I needed, so the Cowboy went to work.

He lifted the leather off the seat and began adding layers to the front, creating a 'rise'.  While this didn't really change the size of the seat, it did change how it felt when I sat in it.  So after a bit of cutting and gluing and sanding, the saddle began to take on a new shape that better suited me.  It was then oiled and polished up, and is now ready to go!

Now I've got another plan.  I want a saddle custom made for me.  Not a cutting to hit the trails with.  And I want to tool it with wild ponies...wild, glorious ponies running across cantles and fenders and saddle skirts!  Ah, yes...tis my new illness, to be sure!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Pacific Crest Trail

Covering 2650 miles and stretching from Canada to Mexico, the Pacific Crest Trail travels through three states (WA, OR and CA), and is designated as one of our countries National Scenic Trails.  It climbs and dives and twists and turns.  The scenery is breathtaking.  I mean...look at that!  You'd wonder if you were on your way to Oz, traveling through such a field of poppies.

I'm not sure why, but I've got a wild hair, and it's telling me I must ride this trail.  I NEED to ride this trail.  And not just a section of trail, say from Canada south a 100 miles, and turn around and come home.  No, I want to haul  horses down to the California/Mexico border, and ride home from there.  All 2650 miles.

Then again...with trails like that?  I just may stay home.  Who goes riding on a trail like that?  It scares me just to look at it!  But I still want to do it.  I want to say "I DID IT!"  

Riding the trail doesn't appear to have as many successful completions as does hiking.  Of roughly 300 hikers who start with the intention of finishing each year, approximately 60% finish.  The PCT hasn't got exact numbers on horseback riders, but there have historically only been a handful to finish.  I suspect it's because they're not riding mustangs.  Right?

I'm also reading that hot showers are limited.  VERY limited.  But hey, showers are highly over rated, anyway.  I much prefer a hot bubble bath.  They do have hot bubbles baths along the way, right?  Well, I may need to figure that one out.  

At the moment, I'm without a horse to ride.  It's recommended not to attempt any sort of long ride with a horse under the age of six.  That means Tika is the only horse here who is old enough, and her destiny on this trip is to hold the title of prettiest pack diva on the trail (or as Darling points out, prettiest diva on the trail, pack or no pack!)   It will be four years before Max is old enough, and even Impulse has a couple years to go.  Which is good, because City Boy is going to need a lot of time to be talked into singing a chorus of Happy Trails to me before I take off!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


The skies had finally broken free of rain and snow bearing clouds, giving those of us in the northwest hope that perhaps spring was finally on her way. I was outside with Dario, and looking off toward Impulse I took note that her belly had shifted. A quick look down below showed little change in her bag from a week earlier, however, and there was no sagging or relaxing of muscle along the tailbone, so I didn't put much stock into the shape change.

My mother had emailed to say we were heading back into a cold, wet spell, and I found myself hoping against the odds that Impulse would at least wait a few more weeks until perhaps things would dry off or warm up. But it sure was lovely this particular Saturday, I thought to myself, and I went about my chores before leaving for the Cowboy's and work.

It was a long day, but the evening shift went quickly enough and customers had smiles on their faces as they came in after a full day of sunshine. Sunshine makes everyone happy. It was 1 am by the time I got home, and City Boy was kind enough to feed the horses in the morning so that I could sleep a little later than usual on Sunday morning. I noticed when I finally drug my sleepy head from bed that the sun was back again.

Rubbing my eyes and stretching as I walked, I passed by the window that looks out toward the pasture. I'm pretty sure I had one fist still stuck into an eye socket when I took a double take.

What? Is... That????

Impulse had an extra set of legs.



Baby is beautiful. Baby is a filly! Tika is cranky because baby belongs to another. Poor Tika. Wants her own baby!


Tika will have time with baby soon enough, but for now, she's with her mommy, and Impulse is doing a good job.



It took City Boy a full week to come up with a name for this filly. She was out bounding around, galloping circles around her mother. The footing was a bit slick, given all the rain, and three times she lost control and came crashing down. City Boy was pretty sure her name was Grace.