mature dalmatian male
Horses, Every Day

Dog Happiness

Today, giving you –

A single view of the most ravishing, superfit, ultimate loyal Dalmatian friend.

mature dalmatian male

This is Hallmark Roll The Dice, 6 1/2 years old, camping last weekend.  He has matured into a 2% body fat, extremely strong and loving family dog.

If you can adjust your life to accommodate a dog like this.  Go for it.

boy with horse
Horses, Every Day

Boys Filming At The Farm

Springbreak.  Boys came out to visit the farm.

The baby rabbits had grown up a lot in just a couple of months.  Bunny snuggling is always good.

holland lop bunnies and boys

Meeting the sheep and lambs that took over the stall for a few weeks, after the piglets moved out.

white lamb

Maybe not as snuggly.

boys feeding sheep

Gray mare likes this guy!

boy with horse

We had a good morning.  They promised to be good, not break anything, and take a lot of pictures.  Which they did – more or less focused.  Sometimes even of the horse.  Between macho selfies.

making a selfie

difficult taking pictures of horses

hard to take pictures in indoor arena

Plus pictures of grass and rocks.  And other pictures like this.

previewing pictures on camera

I really, really love my boys.They make me laugh every day!  Sure, they’re not all that great for video making yet.  Mostly because horses aren’t all that interesting to them.  Here’s their compilation – must view with sound ON.

Next up – some much better pictures from this schooling session!

indian beach tamales bay
Horses, Every Day

Meet Steve

Hi everyone.

Say Hello to Steve.

indian beach tamales bay

Steve doesn’t have a Facebook account.  Or any other social media account.  He still feels gypped with not getting any likes or comments or barely appearing in any family pictures.  For real.

Of course you see the immediate logic in this.

He is also my husband, and he’s great at it.  Today, cheesy selfies with what may just be the most private man ever.

tamales bay

family selfie

selfies in gothenburg

Happy Birthday Honey!  Love you.

classic barn
Horses, Every Day

Spring Break!

Just when you thought you’d give up altogether if there’s just one more post with a pasture picture.

Here you go 🙂

horses shedding in spring

Couldn’t help it.

It’s not all that easy to get ridden pictures on your own, but you already know that.  Here’s what you get today –

Valiosa, before I butchered her mane again.  We’ve set a record for crazy mane cut now.  Poor thing.

long mane

The barn, late morning.

classic barn

It is spring break for my boys, so in a few days I’ll have some ridden pictures for you again.  It’s been a while!  We’ve continued to work on all the squiggly things.  Some are, possibly, less squiggly.

Valiosa has mysteriously improved her canter to where it’s now her best gait.  Not sure what happened to the trot.  The walk, just forget it.  Good times!

improving the canter

trail riding with young horse
Horses, Every Day

In The Forest

Last week we got lost.

I didn’t mind.  Usually you can just find the way, and if not, just turn around and search for the same trail, right?

She did mind.  Miss gray mare, walking fast and hard up the hills.  They were steep, very boggy in places.  Had to work it to keep up with her.

horse in pasture under tree

Pasture Pics – the only ones today.

Going downhill she’d chew the bit and froth, grunting the “bolt-coming-up-soon-because-I-hate-bending-and-sitting-and-walking-down-and-besides-I’m-all-alone-out-here” grunt.

Took a while to figure out we were following a deer trail, not the main trail.  Getting the cantle of the saddle scraped up by low branches should have been a hint.

relaxed horse in pasture

Seriously, it was really fun!  And she had a blast.  Didn’t have a death wish enough to stop and take pictures, but she was cute hoofing it over logs and sliding down a mossy hillside.

trail riding

Clearly, you’ve figured out I did a little more walking than riding on that trail outing.

Next time, when it has dried out, we’ll keep it more grown up.  Staying on on the main trail.  Keeping dressage boots mud free and fleece leg boots clean.

trail riding with young horse

riding out in the grass
Horses, Every Day

April, and we’re still here!

Rains continued in California in March – wonderful green areas everywhere for longer than usual!

I’m happy to be at higher grounds and able to train at this barn, so we’ll stick around for a while.

upscale barn

Continuing on with barefoot on all four – very careful with any “off-road” outings.  Just a bit here and there.  Very happy with the bare feet!  Getting there has been easy so far.  Twist my arm a bit and a write-up on the transition is all yours!

riding out in the grass

That ride in a borrowed bridle.

About the earlier shout-out on the Verbindend:  She’s had it for several weeks now, and yep, absolutely it’s on the list of approved bits to show dressage in!

So, finally, there’s enough tack!

Said no one ever.

dressage bridles on tack wall
These are not all mine. Promise.

magical horse pictures
Horses, Every Day

Thought About Your GMO Lately?

If you’re like most, probably not.

Or, like some, enjoy more time sitting around complaining about the group-member organization (GMO), and all the things it doesn’t do for you as a rider and competitor.

Dressage On A Dime A Horse For Elinor

Four years ago I decided it was not going to be the route I took, and since then have slowly increased involvement at a local chapter level as much as can.

Starting from small opportunities as a demo rider on a few occasions, growing to scribing at shows, helping during the L-program, attending educational events, and volunteering at the rated show our chapter puts on.

Already a member of two other committees and afraid of getting stretched too thin, I still got a little more involved this year and now attend our chapter’s monthly Board of Directors meeting. 

Without holding a secretary or treasurer title.  That was simply too time consuming for this year.

leading horse out of barn

You know you can do this too, right?

If you feel that you have just any extra time and energy and would like to apply it as a driving force at your local chapter (not only dressage, any equestrian discipline you belong to.) they will probably be very welcoming to the extra help!

Now, our local chapter could use a boost financially.  It is a very large chapter with some 200 members give or take, but for 2017 there’s some heavy fundraising to do.  (NOT my strength.)

Here’s where you come in!

I’d love to hear what your own chapter has done to “help itself” in the past.  Not just with raising funds, but with generating, and keeping volunteers.  Or creating a specific event.  Any comments will be helpful!

magical horse pictures

Jennifer O. Bryant shared ideas from the 2016 Annual Convention in her article “GMO Learning at the USDF Convention” in the March 2017 USDF Connection edition.

Here are just a few:

  • Rewarding volunteers with vouchers for a half or full day of volunteering.  The vouchers can be spent on anything the chapter is part of such club organized shows, clinics, or logo apparel.
  • Giving volunteers special local chapter logo items, think caps, shirts, visors, to use at events.  Doubles up not only as a Thank You to volunteers, but also creates awareness around the club as a vibrant and active chapter and volunteers can also easier be seen at the event for participants.
  • Offering first consideration to past or present board members to a special educational grant.  Great incentive to get people involved and willing to shave off some more of their horse and family time to serve on the board.
  • Creating an “off beat” event for fund-raising, other than shows and educational events.  A GMO in Texas had a Mystery Barn Tour with a little help from vans and chauffeurs.  Wine, cheese, and red carpet-style tours of three secret destinations; a breeding farm, a rehab facility and a fancy dressage barn!

Chime in with your thoughts on this!  Have ideas?  Want to mention something your club did in the past?  All ears over here!  Hello?