How Many Years Have You Been Writing?

Starting in on year 4 with A Horse For Elinor.

How much Horsing can any one take, really?  A lot it seems, because ever since the beginning of 2014, the blog has gone strong.  How fun!

sour horse
Valiosa, ecstatic to be in the spotlight for over a year…

Countless ways available for social media overdose – my greatest appreciation  for your minutes spent here too!

Time to give back!

Next post:  A “How-To Horse-Blog” special , with Do’s and Don’ts.

Probably with some toes stepped on.  And maybe some punky attitude.  Like usual then.

It will be worth a read I promise!  (You know, since I’m a blog expert and all.)

how to write better blog posts
Of course “Expert-Everything”. Life is perfect, I feel great after every ride, my horse is always thrilled with her quality time.  See?!

Coming up Monday – the accumulated horse blog wisdom.  A Don’t Miss!

Preparing To Shut Things Down For A While

It’s going to get quiet here for some time.

Surgery on the miserable hand early tomorrow, panels drawn, and an EKG done.  (Seems like overkill but OK then.)  All this for a finger?

hand model with skeleton
It’s the area I circled in blue there. It needs to get fixed if I’m going to hold on to the reins like earlier.

Thank you friends and family for asking so much about it!  Today’s post – a One-Time quick update for all.

There’ll be several screws in the finger and a queasy procedure where the finger bone will be “untwisted” to be less like a Twizzler stick.

surgery for broken finger
Doc’s hand model. I drew a little squiggly arrow there to show the bone that will be fixed up.

Full-hand splinting with complete hand immobilization to start and then two-finger Straight Splinting for 6 weeks.

Physical therapy to follow-up to be able to move, then bend, the fingers again, and make a fist hopefully a few weeks later?..


I”m beyond worried –

about my horse.

I don’t think she’ll be “just fine” alone in her paddock at all.

riding horse straight on the longside
Back soon! I like everything about her here. VERY straight, which has been/is a major difficulty for us.
With not much riding to report on, there IS something else I’m putting together as a Pay-It-Forward to you!

A Special coming up!   I think you’ll like it 🙂

And some won’t.  Look for an announcement before the weekend!

Nasty Friday The 13th

With gory picture.

Gorgeous start on the day.  Rain had stopped.  Silver Fog, my favorite, mostly because we’re above the fog-line and it’s so rare.

morning light in tack room
Tack room, early winter morning.

Valiosa did some pole work, and had a “winter cleanup” before getting a clean blanket.  It’s easy to do, even with cold water – just a bucket with some tea tree oil and a good splash of cheap liniment (it’s mostly rubbing alcohol which is good for cutting through grease) in the water.

Great for after a workout when they’re warmed throughout, to remove winter funk without having to bathe and dry.

Then Friday The 13th kicked in.

Lunged a horse with a history of pulling away.  He stilled lunged really beautifully, and calmly.  Until he didn’t.

Gory pick warning!



broken finger from lunge line
Now, it’s way more purple than this. And large.  Yes, broken.

Just a little dent, that’ll buff right out!

Yesterday I got the wedding ring cut.  😦  X-ray says a good size crack, with luck there’ll be a visit to an Orthopedic Surgeon this week.  (Or how about NOW, please?)


You’re in luck!  It’ll finally be a quiet period from me.

Although I’m hoping to announce something special later this week!

Until then, wanna help me put shoes on?

California, A Bit Flooded…

You haven’t missed this, right?

After three years of serious drought, we’re soaked in rain in N. Cal!  Old, withered trees, barely hanging on from no water for so many years, are falling down in all sorts of inconvenient places.  Some barns have had to evacuate their horses due to flooding.

Mostly, everyone sounds safe though, but we’re happy to get a break this weekend.

The grounds at our little farm are holding up OK, if you don’t mind swampy…  The front pasture has an enormous new pond installed – complete with ducks swimming around in the back yesterday.

flooded pasture in californiaThat’s the top of the fence line you’re looking at.  Wading out a bit, it’s looking  really unsafe in the middle – the white fence post tips are only sticking up 2 inches or so.

flooding in california pasturesFor comparison, here’s the same pasture fence, on the other side.

fence post heightStay safe!  And yes, I still rode.

Shoulder In

If we never practice it, she’ll never get this one down.

If we don’t practice it correctly, it won’t happen either.

If I just avoid it, see above.

So, I’ve just had to get on with it. 

Setting up, on the aids, making sure she’s forward.  Check.

setting up for shoulder in

For this to ever happen, the outside seatbone, hip, shoulders, everything, has to swivel in.  Not straight!  (Or it will be sort of a leg yield version down the long side.)  This is really difficult, when you think you’re doing it, but find out you’re still straight!

leg yield instead of shoulder inThe struggle is real friends.

Monday morning, Valiosa was as sound as ever.  The small tender spot from Friday was history.

I’m leery of letting her roll on the narrower grass spot now though.  Just in case she’d want to cozy up next to the concrete planter again…

horse rolling in pastureAfter a two-day non-stop torrential rain storm she was happy to drop in the first, half-dry, place.

horse rolling in pasture with blanket onSpeed rolling blur.  Yes, it’s a thing.

horses getting cast when rolling

The Truth – And How To Pick One

Hi friends.

Buckle down.  Get ready for a bit of a read.  It’s OK, you’ll be alright.

It’s late.  Dark out.  The dogs are sleeping.  Displeased they still haven’t been tucked in with their blankets in our room already.  Two dogs.  7 dog beds.  One car bed and an outdoor lounger.  Not insane at all.


Picture this:

You dream of buying a horse.  A young one.  Because.  Affordable.  With plans to back and train on your own.  With only half the trouble everyone else seem to have.  Find a wonderful perfect place to keep it.  Go to shows.

Slowly bring it up the levels.  And even somehow, without owning horse transportation of your own, manage to go win little silly ribbons every time.  Heading out to clinics.  Making wonderful friends along the way.  Being lucky to trailer out on gorgeous trail rides.  Training in a covered arena on a nice and quiet ranch.

At the shows, you’re thrilled with a 7 for gaits, every time out, knowing the classes always contain a wee bit more magically developed dressage horses with flair.  Doing your best at home to create supple and lively gaits out of a horse that originally moved like a nervous Volkswagen.  Cherishing her beautiful topline, healthy hooves and generous, stable, temperament.

Wait!  All of this already came true!

azteca dressage

Now consider this:

You feel down, not affording a horse with a proven bloodline, let alone refined, balanced gaits, with all the buttons installed, and a life time of opportunity ahead.  Or at least a promise.

You’re bummed you can’t at least compete in an All Breed Class  (Oh, please!).  Registration papers are missing.  And you have to board miles and miles away, sitting for  what feels like hours in the car.  Some days let down by all the time spent caring for everything around your horse instead of training constructively.  Sometimes only squeezing in 30 minutes of useable training time in your 5 hour barn time quota.

It feels ineffective to train alone.  You have to motivate yourself  (Duh, come on!).  Riding time with friends is rare.  To top it off summer is murderous hot  (Or lets say rainy, windy, ice-cold, freezing, muddy, whatever pushes your buttons!).  Oh, and summer heat lasts much longer than 5 months.  Hay gives you life threatening asthma.  Your body is getting a bit rickety and you can’t run much any more.

Starting a young horse is a roller coaster.

training young horses black and white photo
Valiosa, long before 4 years old. Toothpick neck, still a cob sized head, and a blank slate.


Which one would you pick!!?

Of course everybody has already figured out they’re both true.  It’s your choice!

Go make your own kind of happy.

Early Friday Morning

california winter pasture frost


Half the town

still sleeping

Just frost, no fear.

Shhh, Colorado, all Canadians

can you hear?

This is California weeping.

frosty pasture

frost on grass in pasture

frozen grass photo

Halter-Frost happiness, short-lived.  Valiosa rolled yesterday, in an ordinary spot, but got cast up against a concrete planter.

frozen halter with frostBecause she is a wonderful, trusting creature, she waited calmly for me to get there before getting up.  And cutting her leg.  Today she was lame.

2017 Is Here – What’s In It For You?

We’re already 2 days in to it!

Do we even dare to say aloud what we wish for this year?  Those things we hope will happen.  Do all of us really even know what it is we want?

I have a lot of hopes, convinced this is going to be a great year!  Then of course you never really know at all how it’s going to turn out.

black and white photo of horse and rider

For sure, I know this blog will continue.  Reporting back on the snail pace of the training and other horsey things at least 2 -3 days/week.

Slow progress, because I do my mare’s training by my self, and I’m boarded at a sweet quiet, small, barn.  But she’s doing great and I simply can’t wait to see what new things she’ll learn this year!


Main Goal for 2017 – Solidify her more at 1st level, making it smooth and beautiful with seamless transitions, and a bit increased strength from behind.  I’d love to move her up to showing 1st Test 2 and 3 before she turns 6 at the end of July.  It would be really cool to get there earlier too!

I also know, not so much a goal, it just happens, the sometimes punky attitude here on the blog will continue.

punky attitude horseClearly visible in us – both managed to look punky here at the same time.  Doesn’t feel all that important to me; never taking a wrong step or trying to appeal to everyone.

What does feel important is to read some of your wonderful blogs on the days when there’s finally some extra time.  I love to read the updates, knowing you’re also out there carrying on with your horses.

Thank you for being there, and thank you for making time to check in on us!

Elinor Yee dressage blog

Happy New Year!

Never any New Year’s Resolutions here, but I DO think about what I’d like to have happen during the new, fresh, year that’s waiting ahead.

Can’t wait to see how it will all turn out!

Have a major goal for 2017?  Or maybe some smaller ones, but just as important in themselves?  I’d love to hear about it!

One of mine is to install a free-flow leg yield with miss young mare.  Getting there.

setting up straight for leg yield in dressageSetting up straight, not starting too early is important.  Doesn’t always happen…  Strange right, how we know not to do that, yet still do? 🙂

leg yield from centerlineFor now, I’m thrilled with getting just the last steps from the quarterline to the track just right.  Soon, she’ll slither down perfectly from C to K.  (Envisioning/hoping/begging here.)

leg yield on quarterlineAnother goal for the year is to geek out more with my horse, just enjoying.  Not easy – she’s not exactly on autopilot and happy to work.  Getting there.

staying happy while riding

She actually lengthened this diagonal – it happened!  There’s hope!  (Scratch the “geeking out” goal.  Already there.)

extended trot on diagonalHappy New Year’s to all!

patting as reward after riding