Run Like the Wind!

A cold stiff wind swept down from Alaska. Trees bent over, wires swayed, barn roofs groaned, moaned and made scary noises.  The wind was blowing hard enough to roll the gravel down the driveway. I had to lean into it to walk.

Every horse I saw was higher than a kite. Nostrils were flaring, with heads tossing all over the place.

Uh Oh.

Better turn the boys out before I ride.

I have to halter each of them before I can get their sheets off: I can’t trust them to stand still.  That’s insane with these two: they stand still.

But this is Black Stallion level wind. The kind of wind that makes every horse believe he is The Black, and must RUN, run NOW, wild and FREE.

I wonder if I should lead one at a time to the turnout.  Usually I have one in each hand. Problem. Whoever is left will likely have a complete meltdown: I’ll have my hands twice as full bringing out Left Behind Horse.  So I take a deep breath, and lead them both.

Correction: they lead me.  Jigging.  Tossing manes. Rolling eyes. Heads high in the stratosphere. Luckily, it’s only about 50 feet from paddock gate to arena gate.

I get them in, figure out the logistics of how I’m going to turn them loose without getting run over or accidentally kicked, and unbuckle halters, one at a time.  I’m expecting immediate, crazy-assed running.

They drop like stones the second the halters are off. Their knees are buckling before I can get the buckle unhooked.  Got to ROLL.

Dinero heaves himself up, shakes off in a cloud of dust, and takes off bucking, squealing like a stallion, and galloping.

Hudson heaves himself up, shakes off, puts his head into the wind, and trots clumsily toward the rail.

Huh?! Where’s the fireworks?

Dinero is exploding around him like a crazed bottle rocket: crow hopping, kicking out, rolling back, twisting, charging around, including racing up to Hudson to incite his wild side.

This is Hudson, running like the wind:

(It was so windy, the trees are blurry.)

Continue reading “Run Like the Wind!”

Spring, the Musical

This is for folks still suffering with the white stuff, and/or eternal rain.

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Can you hear the birds?  Feel the yank on the lead rope as your normally obedient horse tries desperately to lunge at the lush green stuff? This is what is blooming: grass, wild marigolds, oxalis, California poppies, nasturtiums, periwinkle, the rose, some sort of agave, and no clue what the pretty pink stuff is. There’s an entire grove of golden chain trees: (that I forgot to photograph, so this will have to do)

A rose did burst into bloom today at Bella’s.

These are pics I took all around the barn, with my cell phone.  It was 90 degrees out there. Ninety.  Not a typo. That’s a 50 degree difference from two days ago.

Not complaining.  Marveling.

I went early to weed whack all the luscious grass outside Hudson’s paddock, to prevent another eating accident and chiropractic bill. I need to widen the swath, but this should disappoint him sufficiently that he’ll leave it alone. I also turned him out in a grassy area while I whacked, to hopefully mitigate the urgent need for green.

Tomorrow, when the batteries are recharged, I will change the horsey-neck reach from “highly unlikely” to “why bother trying, it’s impossible”.

I’m going to go back and ride tonight when it’s cooler. All the horses were happy, but a bit dazed by the heat. I didn’t want to inflict heat torture on either Hudson or myself. We’ll get used to it again, but why push things?


Mommy Has One Month to Go…

…and she’s looking mighty good.  Barbie’s already started to bag up.

We have a story about this.

I get a text from Daisy, and all I can tell is it’s a tiny picture.  Of something. I look closer at tiny picture, and am immediately embarrassed.  Daisy is not going to send me a photo of a Brazilian wax job.  Wrong recipient.

Then I realize: helllooooo, Daisy is not going to send anyone a photo of a Brazilian wax job.

I open the photo to make it phone-sized.  Turn it this way and that.  Huh.  Then it hits me.  It’s a photo of Barbie’s milk sack enlarging.

Now the text that followed the picture makes sense: “I broke at least 16 pony club rules getting this photo.”

I can’t wait to read all your replies in-depth.

(WordPress was down yesterday, so I got a Get Out of PostADay Free card.)

Photo Proof that a Labrador Will Try to Swim in One Inch of Water

The day I went to take pictures of our foal in the oven, Molly was also there, with her labs.  Labrador’s really love water.  Montana watched me walk out on the grass, above which Barbie’s pregnant belly was hovering, and then start jumping around: it was boggy. I stepped on a solid clump of grass and my tennis shoe went completely underwater. I was leaping, splashing and swearing.  This was Montana’s response:

Water?!?  I’m going IN.

She lays down and wiggles her body as deeply into the water as possible.  Her nose is floating.

Then she dives…totally ready to dog paddle.

If you look closely, you can see she’s making waves, that’s water surging over her leg. She’s swimming.  Never mind it’s only an inch of water!

Like all good water dogs, shaking it off!

She had Daisy, Molly and I rolling with laughter. It was not a warm day.

To watch her joyfully splash and play in the grass puddles as if she was in a lake was hilarious. Even better, she’s not a young dog.

Is this the doggie version of Dance Like No One Is Watching?

O Dark Hundred

I’m just starting my lesson with Jane Savoie, after a perfect warm up, when an electronic rooster crows horribly in my left ear drum.  My eyes fly open, and it’s pitch dark.

Aw, c’mon.  Who set the stupid alarm?  And why the horrifically annoying electronic rooster that crows loud enough to scare the neighbors?

I wanted that lesson with Jane Savoie.

I roll over, close my eyes, and climb back on Hudson.

Hudson…Hudson….?  CRAP.  I leap out of bed, grabbing my jeans in the dark, bang into the dresser, and trip over my shoes.

It’s five am. On a Saturday.  The Saturday.

Today is the cattle drive!

Continue reading “O Dark Hundred”

The Shetland of Christmas Past

I’ve been quietly panicking.  The holidays are whirling in, there’s so much to do! I’m stuck lying around with ice on my leg.  I don’t do well with…resting.  When my body can’t move, my brain instantly thinks it needs to dredge up every possible thing that could go wrong.  In the next 5 minutes.  How helpful is that?  Each 5 minutes is then followed by another new 5 minutes.  So instead of relaxing and getting better, I’m clenching my teeth, making lists of all the ways I’m failing, and ignoring the stuff I am actually capable of doing, because much bigger stuff needs to be done.  Like making lists of how I’m failing.

Welcome to the Jane psych ward.

I couldn’t sleep.  Many well-meaning but bad things happen when I can’t sleep and feel useless.  But I had to do something to get my brain to quit messing with me.

I dug out our old Christmas stuff to donate: before Christmas. That would be useful, right?  Someone else could get it before Christmas!  See? Doesn’t that sound plausible?  At midnight?

I made a huge mess.  A whopper of a mess.  I hate my brain.

In the old Christmas stuff, I found a shoebox stuffed with hundreds of photographs. Great.  Now I have to deal with these too. I pulled out a fistful, fully intending to toss them without sorting, if they were pictures of an era I’d rather not remember.  There, staring back at me balefully, was my first horse, Spitz.  A 38-year-old photograph.  She’s clean, and severely annoyed by being clean.  Green was her favorite color.  I’m thrilled: I didn’t think I had any pictures of her.  I turn the photo over.  Date is on the back.

I was 15.

If Spitz is in here…?  The ghost of Mr. Chips shakes his mane, paws at the floor, and whumps me with his head.  Holy crap.  Mr. Chips might be in here!

What was a slightly contained mess goes Nuclear.  Hey, there’s our bunny, and the birds! No Wall O Rabbits though.  There are a couple more of Spitz and me in which I’m supremely, mortifyingly, fifteen.  It’s all about me.  She’s a living accessory.  To me.  The center of the universe.

I almost stop, I’m so embarrassed.  Mr. Chips stamps a hoof in my mind.  Okay, okay! I smile.  Pushy little guy.   I flip through more photos.

Is that…Roz?  I tilt the photo.  It’s Roz!  I frown.  This is not where we lived in the middle of NoWhere.  It’s after we moved back to civilization.  No grass.  But lots of places to ride.


When I lived here, I still had Mr. Chips, and Roz’ daughter, Connie.

“Right”, Mr. Chips says in my head, “Brilliant.  Helloooo.  Keep going!”

Mr. Chips, Ghost of Christmas Past.  “Are you going to rattle a chain?” I say, shuffling through photos.  He tosses his  head.

And then:

I burst into tears. It’s 2 am, and I am looking at Mr. Chips for the first time in almost 20 years.


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