You Guys Are Fantastic!

getting used to new barn and busy environment

Talk about a supportive reader crowd, how awesome!

Thank you so much for cheering us on with making this move.  Wonderful to hear, and of course everything you’ve said is true.

Valiosa is adjusting just fine, the facility is lovely, and every one has been very welcoming!

california style outdoor barn
Small part of the front barns.

Despite us most likely being in the way a lot, and probably breaking rules I didn’t even know existed 😉

So fun!  And of course inspiring.  Keeping things in perspective with this “low-engine” horsey among all the big movers.

Also very happy with her – so easy to go places with Miss Gray.  She trusts her human to keep her safe and since I’ve taken her almost everywhere by now she takes most things in stride.

moving in at new barn
Just arrived.  In only a few days, the rain has already made grass pop up in all the pastures by now.

Maybe she bolted really gnarly far down in a field when a huge group of turkeys dared to exist while cooling her out way out there alone.  Nobody saw it, so basically didn’t happen.

Hanging out on her own in an acre sized pasture for now.  Meeting her pasture mates in the larger one in a few days.  She’s lucky to live a pampered life, but mostly she cares about having company.

We should test out a lesson with this barn.  Soon.  Still missing my trainer.

getting used to new barn and busy environment

And, Off To Something New Again

It’s been a great month to get to revisit with friends at Twisted Oak!


Dressage On A Dime A Horse For Elinor

The plan was to have a month of hanging out together, time’s up, winter is here.

To keep things over the top frenzy and busy, I’ve packed up all stuff and traveled with Valiosa to a facility all new to us.

Major plus:  a little closer to my house!

At the new barn, she’ll have pasture board together with two friends (which she adores!), with better drainage so winter mud won’t be too much of a problem.  Unless things completely flood like they did last winter but that’s unlikely. 

And, this is huge, the commute will be just 30 minutes, combined with full care!

horse portrait by pond
End of Summer, at Dorado Andaluz

For the first time, I’ll be “just a boarder.”  No extra work at the facility.  No extra nothing.  At all.  Strange… 

The challenge, a much busier environment…  It’s a very special place to train.  And, more as an afterthought, we’re not going to “blend in.”  At all.

Bet most riders wouldn’t dare a silly move like this unless they knew they’d fit in just a little…  Would you brave it?

This is the type of place where gorgeous warmblood babies are bred & born, and where top names in dressage come to clinic.

Little fountain in the middle sprays out water whispering – “This is really just only for people who actually know what they’re doing.  Or who can pay for it, which is not mutually exclusive.”


how to fit in at a nice barn
This, honestly is the best we can do, isn’t going to swoon anyone 🙂


The Mexican Beach Horse With Resting Bitch Face (yes, it’s a thing.) will be the  -“Geez, what’s she doin’ riding THAT thing…!?”

Clearly a bit of a stretch, which is good and healthy thank you-very-much-just-please-don’t-mind-us.


Think we’ll be accepted?

Only one way to find out 🙂

And hey, only way to grow is to actually go someplace where your roots will be watered.  Even if you end up drenched in the process.

When The Yearly Dental Float Is Not Enough

horse dental floats three times per year

Standard equine dentistry recommendation – a once yearly dental float performed by a veterinarian dental specialist.

Usually enough, easy peasy.  Until it’s not.

My mare has thrown all vets for a loop with having an awesome looking bite, ending with the standard comment that once per year should be enough next time…  But it has never been enough.

Today’s post is for those of you who may be in the same boat – maybe without knowing.

Her first dental was when she was a little shy of 3 1/2 years old, a few months after bringing her home.  Simple, routine, and with a couple of wolf teeth extracted.

horse dental floats three times per year
Don’t have any pics from Twisted Oak Ranch, so let’s do these, never posted from D.A.

Next float 11 months later, still before turning 4 1/2 years old – she’d started pocketing some hay in her mouth.  The dental showed she’d developed some soreness from transverse ridges deep up inside.

All routine, got a green light to wait another year to float.

Next float 10 1/2 months later, well before 5 1/2 years old, she’d been telling me for a full month that something was “uncomfortable.”  There was a “scent” to her breath, and she’d started stopping under saddle during work sometimes.

Sure enough, deeper, and more painful looking sores showed up high up in her mouth where the sharp edges of the teeth had cut deep in her cheeks.  Vet still recommended  waiting the standard 1 year – still considering her routine and she’d be all mature next time.

floating teeth more often


Just 5 1/2 months later, before turning 6, I still had her in a dental clinic – the vet told me he was sure he wouldn’t find anything – but nope, this time she’d developed the beginnings of a small wave, tiny hooks in the front, and yes, some more sores from transverse ridges!

This vet recommended waiting 9 months until next time.  Of course, within 4 months I was already wondering if the tiny, cuts were starting to develop in there, bothering her.  Wouldn’t you?


Horse in outdoor shelter with window
Valiosa peeking out of her outdoor shelter we built her at Twisted Oak Ranch

Because spending half a day, giving up training time, and wasting money is a horse owner’s specialty, we spent time trailering to the equine dental specialist a couple of weeks ago!

Sure enough, exactly 5 months after last float, there was a tiny wave, and the beginnings of sore spots up on the cheeks.

Being your own advocate, so worth it sometimes.

Sticking to that 6 month schedule for some time…

Settled in at Twisted Oaks again.

horse with fall foliage

Good to be back, and Valiosa took the move in stride.

We’ll be training entirely on our own again during the time we’re here like before.  Not ideal but it will be alright for the time we’re here 🙂

Of course I’m hoping we can get in a lesson at the end of the month.  It’s so easy fall into bad habits…

Think I already did, so now all focus is on trying to “recycle” previous lessons as much as possible!

gray horse head

There’s some sort of rule that whenever a mare moves in to a new place she has to instantly come in heat.  I’m sure.  She’s just about done now, none of the guys paid her much attention any way.

Next weekend we have another adventure coming up.  More about it later!

horse with fall foliage

My thoughts go out to everyone in the devastating Napa and Sonoma fires so close to us. Winds have turned and the smoke is no longer thick over here – but I know many horses are far from being safe still, and the fires keep eating up houses each day.  Small hopes for rain later in the week.  Please let it happen!

Biggest Thank You To My Friends in Mount Aukum!

Elinor Yee

It’s been the best of times – leaving is hard!

Valiosa has been happy as a clam living in huge pastures and various herds since January, when I had to have hand surgery.

With more work hours, driving a full hour each way to get to the stable seemed unreasonable, so, leaving the beautiful facility was a must.  Miss it already, and we’ve just left!

barn with french windows

Never fun to leave friends behind.  Can’t believe I won’t get to goof off with my trainer all the time any more!  Forget the barn, I’m going to miss my friend!  (Please, promise to come out and see me!!) 

The riding is going to take a hit for sure 🙂  We’ll be training on our own at the “old” barn for 4-5 weeks.  (Where we’re already getting to see our other friends again – yay!) 

Then settle in at a closer, winter friendly, barn.  (No snow, but there is mud here.)

I’ve followed and worked with the horses at this facility for so many years – we’ll stay connected in one way or another for sure!

The opportunity to train and be geeky with my horse there has been extra fun.

being nerdy with horses
Derpy pictures with your horse – check!

My biggest thanks to Dorado Andaluz for our time together!  I’m incredibly grateful for everything!

Elinor Yee