Happy Thanksgiving To All!

Much to be grateful for!

Day off for Gray Mare of course.

Next up, Special Anniversary post.  Hey it’s tradition by now!


That moment you realize the horse looks better showing off freely on her own vs. under saddle…

free trot with no rider and ideal neck

Humbling, no?
Other humbling facts –

horse moving freely in trot in pasture

– Realizing the sweet retired Chestnut she’s showing off for isn’t a mare. Oh.

Live-in-Gelding-friends, very liberal. Better behave.

When Mares Become Dominant In Pasture

Miss Gray decided she wanted to lead the entire herd in the pasture.

She’s not really cut out for leader material, and was becoming unpleasantly bossy.  Three of them are pregnant, while also in full work, and can’t really afford to risk an injury.  Everybody lives out at this ranch, Grand Prix horses or not, and it’s important that the dynamics are right.


Easy enough – she had to move in with another group in a new pasture.

Here’s the first day.

Introductions went very well, as they always do with Valiosa.

Mistie, a retired gray mare checked her out briefly, and decided that, nope, I’m too old for any type of wild stuff.

The three of them, Valiosa, Mistie and Harper, a young compact size Warmblood mare, have been getting along for a week now.

horse meeting new friends

But Mistie seems like she’d rather not have any new extra energetic pasture mates.  She keeps coming up for scratches and to have her picture taken.

Fair enough, pretty girl.

retired horse


These two, already cute together sometimes.

End Of Summer. Next Month

We’re finally getting a break from a streak of days of very high temperatures.

Still, summer isn’t over at all until next month.

outdoor mare shelter

Breakfast for the mares, since the pasture, even though it’s many acres, is too burnt out to be enough.

catching horses in pasture

This very small part of the front pasture  looks like a desert until winter rain comes.

dried out summer pasture

Long morning shades, love them!

If you pull her away from breakfast, better provide a walking buffet on the way to the barn.  Seriously, she can afford to miss more than one meal… 🙂

walking in from summer pasture

My horse wrangler with Valiosa.  She turns in to a very gentle and meek mare as soon as he shows up.

leading horse to barn

A few more Short-Read posts for coming up!  Thought today was a great day to check in on how things looked for us on an early morning this week.  I’d love to see what it looks like on your end.

boy walking horse in to barn

When your friends are really far away. And you can’t see them. And you just have to scream.

New pasture, with several new friends.

Gray mare’s been in the front pasture for over a week.  More friends.  She mixed right in and thinks living in a larger group is great.

horses greeting in pasture

A little less hilly than the other two pastures she was in for three months.  This one is larger, and involves a bit of a hike to get around in.  (Big enough to get lost and lonely if you ask her.)


About as lush as it gets in the California foothills.  By the end of the month, most of the grass will burn off.  If she wasn’t in full work, I’d be worried about way too much grass, but so far she’s staying in great shape.

introducing mares to each other in pasture

Don’t want to jinx it, but a few days after she moved out with this group, we’ve only had forward, productive rides.  Not sure how long it will last, but now, she’s going well, happy, putting in a real effort at every ride, feeling really great.

Yes, yes, we go fast, all the time, try leg yield in canter yep yep, no-way-I’ve-never-been-lazy, she says, and works hard so it will be over with and she can go back out to her new exciting group.

OK, well, thanks!  Let’s make it stick.

mares making friends in pasture


Going back out was never this exciting.  You can hear screaming until the very end.


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