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

trail riding with young horse

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

Mare Love

love trumps hate

Miss V. , staying in great shape during my layoff.

Walking up the steep hill in the new pasture is hard work…

building strenght from pasture hills

She’s had a lot of handwalking too, around the other hills, to take as much advantage of them as possible.  It’s good for the hind and a very low-key way to keep up strength.

And then this Mare love story here.

mares greeting each other in pasture

love trumps hate

On the dressage front – pathetically no news to report.

A little bareback walk happened.  There was no magic, sorry.  No sparkles.

bareback without pad

Almost 7 weeks without riding, something had to be done.  Well, perhaps this wasn’t it…

Switching pace with a special on Thursday morning!  Stop on by then to see what it’s all about!  This one is not going to be a hit with everyone.

You’re welcome.

Monday Morning – And Loving It!

grey horse in pasture

Dressage On A Dime

I try to ride Gandolf on most Monday mornings.

Valiosa gets to saunter around in his pasture for some time then.  We’re both loving Mondays, in our own different ways.

Monday mornings

She rewards mostly by rubbing the tail root on trees.  Hanging up her fly mask from a branch.  And pulling off a shoe if it’s muddy.  Or, as you can see, tearing off bell boots.

bell boots lost in pasture

This is why we love them (?).

Happy Monday!


Paddock News

installing gravel in horse pasture for mud

Spring Time!

Perfect time to fix up the paddock a bit.

New front-fence, safer than earlier, showed up as a nice surprise!

dry paddock

Valiosa’s outdoor shelter from this post – Building a quick horse shelter – has held up great this winter.  The addition of many rubber stall mats, from this post: – Mud Season – helped stave off a complete mud bath in front of it, but not entirely.

So, next project;  lay down a geotextile type material and get a big truckload with two different gravels on top.  Some handiwork with the tractor, I’m pretty sure it will have to be by me, to get it in place.

Then drag all 15 dead bodies, I mean rubber mats, back on top.

To make it happen, she got new fence posts and a new gate installed, wide enough to drive a truck in.

before installing gravel

Most of my contribution to that project was painting it white and decorating with birdhouses.  Not sure how much that counts.

This morning – another trailer outing to LBHA with my young mare. 

She kept it together in the arena and showed promise of producing an even better show result next time out.

Second horse, sultry Antonio, behaved just as well for me, creating a false sense of security that we’ll do just fine at his next show opportunity….

Sounds so easy.  Of course you know how these things go, and it took more than half the day…

Have a lovely weekend!


Back On Track

horse in green winter pasture

Grey Mare has been very cooperative for several rides.

Things are looking up!

Now, where were we?  The training got so tangled up for a while, I almost forgot what we were working on.

Something about yielding for the lateral aid, without the shoulders leading.  It has yet to happen.  I can show pictures of how not to do it?  Just for kicks.


While Gandolf recovered from his abscess on stall rest, Valiosa got to roam his pasture pretty much 24/7.  Some 12 days of grass and mud-spa joy, and a dropped shoe, and she’s ready to move back to her paddock.


Gandolf got his hoof abscess bandage boot off today, and is ready to come out!

Gandolfs pedicure

I’ll ride him tomorrow to see how he feels.  Very forward, I’m sure!

Constipated looking trot

Valiosa, with her somewhat colicky looking rider.  Ah, details.


Donavinia, at 3 weeks

3 week old Oldenburg fillie



Just had to share my friends baby filly just one more time.

This is her with her mom, Stella, in their gorgeous pasture in Lincoln.

Super rambunctious filly

The other horses in their little herd are waiting to get to be introduced to little Donavinia.  Her and her mom will boss them all around!  She’s a brave filly, doesn’t mind coming up, asking to have her body scratched just so, or leaving her mom’s side at any time.

3 weeks old

I had to be quick in snapping some pictures, she was on the move the whole time, running through sprinklers and up and down the hill.

Perfect little body, all full of her self.  She’ll be registered Oldenburg – it will be fun to see her go through inspection in September!

A bit of giraffe lips when scratching just the right spot!

scratch me