Wednesday, February 19, 2014


We have one tiny strip of snow left and have had really warm temps yesterday and today - though I did wake up this morning to roaring thunder and rain, so add that to the mudslide that is a part of the front field and several other areas.

I had planned to ride yesterday and in hindsight should have pushed through and done it. I had groomed Keil Bay the day before (along with a hoof trim touch-up courtesy of dear husband) hoping that he would be clean yesterday. Ha! That was crazy thinking on my part. He was caked in dried mud again, so I started from scratch, did a sheath cleaning, and made the critical error of not riding right then. 

Today there were some chores that really did have to be done. All water troughs needed to be dumped and scrubbed, which was painful - adding more water to the mud! - but necessary.

I brushed the Big Bay down quickly - yes, of course, he rolled himself on both sides, again! - and then did some mucking. 

Some of this is catch-up from not getting things done during the snow days.

Daughter encountered the first fly and I encountered the first mosquito so we got those milestones out of the way!

Meanwhile, inside the house, I am woefully out of touch with my cleaning routine, so I'm trying to plug that back in. The gym routine too.

I can say with a fair amount of happiness and pride that I am surging forward with the writing. Since I love doing it AND it can be done any time of the day or night, any weather, it has been easy to keep rolling with it. 

Right now I'm sitting in my green chair in my bedroom, and out the window I see a painted pony, Cody, Keil Bay, and two sweet donka boys grazing their hay while the sun is just starting to set behind them. And Keil Bay looks like a million bucks if I do say so myself! :)

Here's to getting all the good stuff in every single day. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

snow week, dog debacle

We'll see if it happens, but they are predicting snow today and tomorrow, ice pellets Wednesday, and more snow on Thursday. Then we warm up again!

We had a bit of a debacle here yesterday. The neighbors right next door have an adult daughter who has gotten a dog and she brings it over on weekends and lets it run loose on their property. Except (of course!) the dog is obsessed with our fence line and the horses and donkeys and since it is unleashed, has come under the fence at least one time and was charged by the pony. The owner was right there and saw it but denied that it happened.

The entire herd gets revved up and they start running. I've asked the dog's owner to consider putting the dog on a leash until it learns to come when she calls. As it is, what she is doing, which is to run alongside the dog with a stick trying to lure it away from the fence, is just teaching the dog to run the fence line, which is a huge mistake, in my opinion. I mean, let's create a dog that is an ongoing nuisance for people with horses!

Yesterday my daughter was getting ready to ride Cody when all this transpired. The parents and aunt (they are the neighbors who live there) came out and all four of them were up at the fence, in effect making it a game for the dog to try to get through. The dog was being rewarded by play when it approached the fence. The horses started running, Cody freaked out and started spinning, and the whole thing just went south.

I don't know how much more clearly I can explain to these neighbors that horses are prey animals and this kind of thing gets them worked up. We've had this discussion over the years with their other adult children and dogs, with grandchildren throwing sticks at the horses, with ridiculous tent gazebos being put up right at my fenceline, with guests coming over and trying to get the horses to come up to the fence, etc. etc. I told the dog's owner that at this point, with Salina gone, I am not as concerned about my horses, but I am concerned that the dog is going to get hurt if the pony and/or the donkeys get hold of it. And I told her that if her dog is in the pasture she is not to climb in the fence to get it because the very last thing I want is for her to get trampled by galloping horses. 

And the last thing I want to have to do is go out there and pick up a dead or injured dog and hand it to them over the fence.

I admit - it annoys me to no end to see my horses in protective herd mode. It was more stressful when Salina was here and I knew she could go down and get stuck that way. And it's clear that the donkeys have residual anxiety about that. I hate seeing them get so upset. 

At this point I feel like I have warned them, I have asked that they stop clustering near the fence (they have 10 acres!! Take the dog to the other 9.5!), and short of dog-proofing and privacy fencing that entire side of our property, I guess things will get resolved when the dog gets kicked or stomped and hopefully lives through it and learns to stay the heck away from big animals.

Huge sigh. 

A hundred acres in the middle of nowhere sounds pretty good to me right now!

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

rain, writing, not much riding

We warmed up again but are wet wet wet outside. About the time the snow melted, here came the rain, and it is a mushy, muddy mess out there. 

The horses and pony and donkeys are being good sports. It's too warm for blankets so they are rolling and creating huge grooming messes for me to clean up. 

Except the donkeys. Who wonder why any self-respecting equine would roll in WET dust.

There has been no riding yesterday or today, but thankfully there has been a LOT of writing and this morning I finished my Claire Quartet short, titled Clairette. It will sit for a bit and then go into editing mode.

Meanwhile I am closing in on the first act of claire-voyant, which is a full-length novel and the third in the Claire Quartet. 

And continuing to edit Never Not Broken.

I admit to not keeping up with the housework since Christmas, and that is on my list to get back into the daily routine. 

In other news, I was looking on Craigslist yesterday for Le Creuset cookware to add to my 31-year old set and ended up looking at miniature horses, wondering how in the heck anyone would pay $350. for a pot and lid when you could get a sweet little mini for less? And by the looks of it, get that poor mini out of a not so great situation. Sigh.

Hope to be back in the saddle soon. 

Sunday, February 02, 2014

spring preview

64 degrees today - both Keil Bay and Cody had damp armpits and groins!

Daughter got a huge and nasty blister hiking in the snow in my muck boots that are too big for her so it's going to be probably a week before she can get a boot on that foot. 

Lucky me - I got to ride both Keil Bay AND Cody today. They've had a few days off so mostly I was just getting them back in the groove, but as usual, it is really educational for me to ride these two back to back.

Cody is super sensitive and responsive but is shorter, narrower through the back/barrel, and his movement is much flatter than Keil's. I mostly focused on being very very quiet with Cody and was really happy he didn't stick his nose in the air - instead he was chewing the reins from my hands, stretching down, and really relaxing with some soft snorts and nice walk.

He also handled my unusual mounting block with no problem - both mounting and dismounting. 

It looks like we have rain rolling in late tonight - ugh - but several days of warmer temps than we've been having.

I read the groundhog predicts six more weeks of winter so... I guess this really is a preview.

Took the Christmas tree down yesterday because once it gets this warm it seems odd to have those sparkly lights on!