I am right handed

Here I am at the "thinking post" after my lesson today. Again mushboy is the photographer.
The DOR thought I needed to work getting over being afraid of her toys. Oh goody an afternoon of flags, grocery bags, the circus cinch with flags, and the mickey hand. I have to brag a bit...I did good. I let everything wave around me, touch me, and I even touched everything with my nose. I did blow a few marbles, but all in all I was very mature. I had to put on a good show, there was a youngster in the arena for her very first lesson, she was nervous without her herd and I needed to show her the humans are fun to play with. The DOR thought I needed to work on gathering myself together when I go faster than a walk. You see I am a bit emotional...I get to scrambling when I go fast, which in turn causes me to get upset. So I worked on the long line and tried to sort things out. It was hard work, I got all sweaty and nervous. I did manage to maintain a fast trot without looking like I didn't know what to do with my feet. The DOR says I need to do this for a bit and then we will work on cantering.

Here I am still thinking things over. Don't I look like the smartest horse in the world, you can just see those brain cells working.
The DOR also rechecked how my saddle is fitting, just to make sure it wouldn't cause issues. It fits nice and level, but my massive shoulders make it feel a bit snug. It is tighter on the right side than the left, must mean I am right handed or right hooved. The DOR is going to get a 1/2 inch wool pad to replace the 1 inch wool pad I am now wearing...it should help some.
Here I am showing the DOR my "look I am brilliant" face. Also I heard her mention a custom built saddle. Imagine a saddle built just for my muscular self. I will be the envy of the herd.
After I was done thinking and the DOR finished my second grooming session she turned me loose to roll before I went back to the pasture.

I love rolling in the sand...it gives the DOR something to clean up the next time she is out.
I heard the DOR say that she would ride tomorrow. It will be fun to play around in the arena. I am going to teach the DOR how to sit a trot without holding her breath.
Have a good day and don't forget to hug your DOR


Skywatch Friday No. 29

This evening the crescent moon and one bright star were out. They were very pretty through the oaks branches. The first two are full shots.

This one has a bit of the pink sunset.

Here is a close up.
This was my view of Mt. Adams while driving home from the ranch. I did stop driving to take this photo, didn't want to get into trouble for drive by picture shooting.

Please go visit the other great Skywatch participants at SkyWacth Friday There are wonderful photos from all around the world!Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR

DOR with emphasis on the "D"

For those of you that don't know what DOR stands for it is short for the loving term that I use for my human, Dope on a Rope. Now the DOR has done a few things that call for an emphasis on the "D".
First she cut her visit short on Tuesday night, yes she gave me a bunch of peppermints, but I was still shorted my "herd time". The reason is that she had to get dressed up to go to a community dinner that her school decorated a table for. Here is a picture of the table that she and her secretary did. I think it looks pretty good, they made the center pieces and other little decorations. I guess I can forgive this bit of "D" behavior, but the next few things are a bit much in my opinion.
The DOR stayed too long at a meeting last night, which made her two hours late feeding us dinner. See the face on the left...that is my evil eye. I am pretty miffed about having to wait for my dinner. I think she forgot how much we missed each other when she went missing. I may have to turn my butt to her and not let her have any hugs for a day or two, just so she will get the point.

Here I am checking to see if she has a peppermint in her hand, she could at least try sucking up a bit. There was no peppermint, just a flashlight. Then to top things off we didn't get the good hay...we got plain old bluegrass. That is not okay, the DOR should go sit in the naughty chair. She is late, no treats, flashlight in my face, and then expects me to eat plain old grass. Again an emphasis on the "D".
I was also informed that in her attempt to protect the good hay she "cooked" some of it. The DOR carefully tarped the hay when it arrived. She forgot to leave breathing room, so some of the hay got cooked in the heat. Bad DOR, she cooked about 1 to 1 1/2 tons of my good hay. She said it is not that bad, by the time she runs out the weather will be warmer and she will just feed us...yep you guessed it GRASS HAY- again put an emphasis on the "D". The DOR has made plans to store all my good hay without cooking it for next year, but for this year I must suffer because she forgot what her dad taught her about storing hay. I hope the DOR doesn't forget anymore of the lessons her dad taught her while she was growing up, it could lead to more emphasis on the "D" events.
The DOR promised me that we would get some herd time this weekend. She plans on getting in a ride Saturday, if the weather holds. If we don't get to ride I will get a day of spoiling-as it should be.
Have a great day and don't forget to hug your DOR


Wordless Wednesday

Today's photos are by mushboy
Hey, I think I hear a peppermint wrapper
I know what you have!

Give me that peppermint...please


Do you think the candy is going to my butt?
Have a great day and don't forget to hug your DOR


The DOR has been found

I found the DOR! She wandered in Monday evening with a pocket full of peppermints and a big grin on her face. She explained why she was missing.
It turns out there are more members in the DOR's herd than the ones I have seen. The DOR is the oldest of eleven kids. She jokes that it is a collection of his, hers, ours, and nobodies...she loves them all. Not only does the DOR have a human herd, but so does the support crew chief. His herd adopted the DOR into their herd. I guess when humans get married not only do they start their own herds, but they also belong to each other's herd. That is all too confusing to me, I have enough trouble keeping things right in just one herd. Can you imagine the chaos of trying to balance life in three different herds? I think that things are simpler with one herd at a time.
The DOR went with the support crew chief and mushboy to visit the support crew chief's original herd. There were aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, sisters, and the support crew chief's parents. Just like when horse herds gather, there was a bit of herd dynamics that needed to be worked out...the pecking order had to be made clear. One of the fillies...err I mean sisters is due to foal in May (maybe on my birthday). The herd leaders are really nice people and the DOR loves to visit with them. It is amazing how far members came for this herd gathering. Every member that came also belonged to other herds...it seems to me like it is similar to a meeting of world powers (only on a smaller scale). There were games, talking, a bit of grazing, and a party for the coming foal...err baby.
I am a bit upset that I didn't get to go to the grand herd meeting. I think I will schedule one for here the next time, that way the DOR will be here to take care of important matters like my butt massage. I did get my peppermint, scritches, massage, smooches, and my nose blown up...but she still has a lot of catch-up spoiling to do. I snurfed on the DOR's coat sleeve and dropped some hay in her hair. I did get a bit worried when I saw her with a green tarp, it turned out that it was for Freedom and not me. Good thing or I might have rehired the investigator to loose the DOR rather than find her.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR


Missing DOR

I am going to contact a private investigator...the DOR is missing. I last saw her Friday morning and everything seemed just fine.

Come to think of it I haven't seen mushboy or the support crew chief. I usually see them if the DOR isn't out to visit. The Guardian has been taking care of us, so we are fine.
Is it possible that she has run away from home? Could she be really sick? What the heck could possibly be more important than spending her weekend with me like she usually does?
I miss the DOR, I need to give her a smooch and hug. I am sure where ever she is she is going crazy not being able to see me. Rumor has it the the DOR is addicted to her horsey time. In fact the people she works with say she would rather be at the ranch doing chores than sitting at a desk. Maybe she needs to be a farmer, then we could be together all day long every day, hmmmmm.

Please help me find her. If you spot her tell her she needs to come see me ASAP. I need my weekly butt massage (which I missed), my treats, a good brushing, and she needs to blow up my nose (yep that sounds silly but I love it).
I have all my animal friends on the lookout for her. I know she has to work today, so hopefully I will see her this evening.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR-that is if you can find them


Quote for the week

They say princes learn no art truly but the art of horsemanship. The reason is the brave beast is no flatterer. He will throw a prince as soon as his groom. ~Ben Jonson, Discoveries Made Upon Men and Matter and Some Poems, "Illiteratus princeps"

Yes it is true, we horses are as honest as they come. We don't care how much you make, how you dress, or what you look like. If you are a jerk we will let you know. You may get your toe stomped on, get a dirty look, ignored, bucked off, bite, or kicked...we just aren't going to put up with being treated badly. We love people who are honest and kind, we respect those with self-confidence, and care for those who are in pain.
If you want an honest opinion of you character ask a horse...just be prepared for the answer.
I make sure that the DOR gets a character check everyday. So far I am able to keep her moving in the right direction.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR


A horse of a different color

What the heck is going on? The DOR is playing with a graphic editor and decided to turn me into an Andy Warhol painting.

I thought I had plenty of color, lots of bling, and a ton of flash. I feel like Kermit the Frog, "It's not easy being green." I am not sure it is easy being purple, blue, or red either. Good thing I am comfortable with my burly geldingness or I could feel a bit insecure. It could be worse...she could have made me pink.
Wait, hey, oh that is it!
What the heck are you thinking? Isn't it bad enough that Harley Darling is flashing his pearly whites and parading around like he is some fine thing? Now you have to make me pink? I don't care if it matches the DOR's helmet, she can just get a different helmet!
Okay DOR, you are going to pay for this. You won't know when, you won't know how, but just know it is coming. I know where there are some good blackmail photos you may not want the world to see. I may goober you up when you are heading to a school board meeting.
The game is on...I plan on winning.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR


Sky Watch Friday No. 28

Hi and welcome to Sky Watch Friday.
I have always loved looking at the branches of the oak tree. There is something about the way they play against the sky. Dressed in leafy finery or bare naked, the branches are amazing. I always wished I was able to paint a picture that would do justice to the tree, but I am a bit of a bumbler with a brush. I messed around with a graphic program and was able to turn this photo in of a watercolor done in the manner of Monet.

Please go visit the other great Skywatch participants at SkyWacth Friday There are wonderful photos from all around the world!Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR

Welcome home!

The lady in the picture with Dakota and Ginger is known to the horses as "The Guardian". The Guardian makes sure that everything is exactly how it should be. She also gives Mushboy pointers about things and helps him learn things. Good thing because Mushboy listens to The Guardian and sometimes isn't so good about listening to the DOR-kids and their parents you know.

The Guardian had to been gone for a bit and we all missed her. We found out how hard The Guardian works, it took four people to cover all of the chores. While the substitutes did a good job, they just aren't quite the same. Two to three times a day The Guardian talks to all of us, gives us all a pat, makes sure we have all of our favorites around. The substitutes were a bit slack about all of those things, not everyone got talked to, patted and I was missing a few of my favorites. We did all get checked and taken care of, it was just that extra special touch that was missing.

I didn't realize how much I looked forward to seeing The Guardian each day until she wasn't there. It dawned on me that I need to appreciate my friends every day and let them know how much they mean to me. We all need to do that...it will make the world better too!

Here is to The Guardian, I know that my life is better because of her. We are glad you are home.

Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR


Wordless Wednesday-Mushboy

Here is Mushboy with some of his horse friends.
Salty the Wonder Horse

Freedom Dancer

HyTymes Lady Bean


Here he decided to hop on Hank the Tank (Mushboy calls him Hankamus Tankamus) after the DOR was done riding

Getting a bit of confidence back with Scooby...Freedom had just got done pitching a fit because he didn't want to leave the paddock

Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR


Where do we fit in?

This week I have been doing some thinking about things. With the inauguration being today, Mr. Obama I am still waiting for you to call me, I am wondering where we fit in.
It used to be that there was plenty of room in the world for us- room for all of the earth's creatures. Now it seems that we are not as cherished as we once were.
Don't get me wrong... my herd and I are loved and well cared for, we always will be. There are horses out there, along with other creatures, that were once loved but now are unwanted, a financial drain, mistreated, or forgotten. What about them? Mr. Obama, while you are looking for the new dog for you daughters to have in the White House please remember there are so many out there that are in peril. Please do something to help your four legged constituents.
Where there was once plenty of room, there is now over crowding caused by indiscriminate breeding. I hope that humans stop and realize that we animals are a gift, a privilege to have in their lives...we are not a right. We are a commitment that you make for life, like a marriage...well probably even more permanent than most marriages. We are dependent on you for our needs. it is your responsibility to care for us if you expect us to share your lives and live in captivity.
I know the economy is tight, it is down right frightening to humans right now. That same economy is having a horrible impact on horses and other creatures. If you can, find a local animal rescue and help any way you can. If you have room take in an animal in need. The DOR has been turning away 3-5 horses a week, Joe at TB Friends is hoof to hoof , Rodeo City Equine Rescue is out of space-both these organizations need foster homes. The Horse Rescue and Information Network has a listing of rescues from around the world that could use help.
So with the new president there will be many changes. I hope that these changes are good for all of the residents who inhabit the world. I am hopeful that changes will come that will make the treatment of unwanted horses more humane.
Congratulations Barack Hussein Obama II...may you reach the full potential of your dreams. Oh and this little spotted horse is still waiting for you to call, I want to serve my country.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR


Bill of Rights for animals

Today the nation celebrates the life of a man who fought for Civil Rights for all people, Martin Luther King Jr. He was a thoughtful man and I wonder what he would think about the treatment of animals. Would he lead a march, make a speech, lead a protest designed to help animals get humane treatment.
There are a variety of purposed Bill of Rights for animals.

Here are a couple:

Bill of Rights
1. All animals are born with an equal claim on life and the same rights to existence.
2. All animals are entitled to respect. Humanity as an animal species shall not arrogate to itself the right to exterminate or exploit other species. It is humanity's duty to use its knowledge for the welfare of animals. All animals have the right to the attention, care, and protection of humanity.
3. No animals shall be ill-treated or be subject to cruel acts.
4. All wild animals have the right to liberty in their natural environment, whether land, air, or water, and should be allowed to procreate. Deprivation of freedom, even for educational purposes, is an infringement of this right.
5. Animals of species living traditionally in a human environment have the right to live and grow at the rhythm and under the conditions of life and freedom peculiar to their species. Any interference by humanity with this rhythm or these conditions for purposes of gain is an infringement of this right.
6. All companion animals have the right to complete their natural life span. Abandonment of an animal is a cruel and degrading act.
7. Animal experimentation involving physical or psychological suffering is incompatible with the rights of animals, whether it be for scientific, medical, commercial, or any other form of research. Replacement methods must be used and developed.
8. No animal shall be exploited for the amusement of humanity. Exhibitions and spectacles involving animals are incompatible with their dignity.
9. Any act involving the wanton killing of the animals is biocide, that is, a crime against life.
10. Any act involving the mass killing of wild animals is genocide, that is, a crime against the species. Pollution or destruction of the natural environment leads to genocide.

Bill of Rights
*** THE RIGHT of all animals to be free from all forms of cruel exploitation and treatment; from avoidable physical pain, psychological suffering, fear and distress, and freedom from neglect and deliberate abuse.

*** THE RIGHT of all domestic and captive wild animals to appropriate veterinary care when needed, and to a humane death (euthanasia) when to prolong life would mean intractable suffering and distress.

*** THE RIGHT of animals not to be used in cruel and unnecessary experiments, and for the testing of non-essential commercial products such as new cosmetics and household cleaners. The use of animals in biomedical research shall be justified only when the research intentions are primarily for their benefit, human benefits being derivative or secondary.

*** THE RIGHT of farmed animals to an environment that satisfies their basic physical and psychological needs and behavioral requirements, and that facilitates their role in humane, and ecologically sustainable farming systems.

*** THE RIGHT of companion animals to a relationship that is mutually enhancing and that is based upon the responsible care-giver/guardian having the necessary respect and understanding to help assure the animals’ emotional as well as physical well being.

*** THE RIGHT of wild animals to a natural, undisturbed habitat, ecologically sufficient for a normal existence and a self-sustaining species population.

*** THE RIGHT of animals to have their interests represented in court and safeguarded by the law of the land.

So remember the animals on this day...
Change is coming and maybe we will get our Bill of Rights also.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR


Quote for the week

A horse is the projection of peoples' dreams about themselves - strong, powerful, beautiful - and it has the capability of giving us escape from our mundane existence. ~Pam Brown

The horse in the picture is Panikanic. She is a horse the DOR rescued and spent two years rehabbing. Panik now lives with a 20 something young man. She works cattle, competes roping, and picks up bull riders at rodeos. Panik was a mess, a horse that many people thought would never amount to anything...in fact the DOR had been told she might need to be put down. The DOR had a vision of the horse that Panik could be, a dream that she wouldn't give up on. Panik became the projection of the DOR's dreams and now has a wonderful life.
I get to help the DOR be the projection of her dreams. When the DOR was younger she would ride anything. She used to ride every chance she got, without fear. She is now older, her body doesn't want to cooperate with her mind. What she has found is that when she is riding me she can return to those younger days. For a brief time she is in her teens, riding down the trails in search of adventure...she is flying. She is all those things because on my back, using me as an extension of herself, she can return to those younger years. I get to help her be young everytime we are together. What a wonderous thing it is for me to help my DOR experience this magical existence everytime we are together. Of course I also have to remember to bring her back to reality so I wipe my nose on her shirt, blow goobers in her hair, or bump her so she steps in poop. Gotta keep her grounded or she will drift off.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR


I hate mares!

I hate mares, I'm done with the ladies, I am becoming a bachelor gelding...maybe I will become a monk.
Lyrical, yes the name sounds like a sweet song, has turned out to be a fickle screaming mare. She screamed and kicked at me, it seemed like she did it everytime I got close to her (which isn't too close because we live in different pastures). She bit my nose stealing hay from my mouth...no more sharing for her, she wanted it all. If another mare looked at me she would charge them and start a fight. She has even been picking at the gelding who is the king of all the mares in that pasture. I am beginning to pity him, I used to think he was soooo cool, a lone gelding with four mares. That is starting to look more like a nightmare than a dream. The only horse she is nice to is Lady the baby of the pasture. Females are fickle...hmphh.
I am trying to figure out what I did. Okay, so I sneaked a peek at the other mares in her pasture...I couldn't help myself they are out there for the whole world to see. So I scritched Dandy's neck, she is my sister for heaven sake-get over it! The baby, well she is just the baby and we all according to her "gotta love me, I'm the baby", so we do. Diva drives all the geldings over the moon...go figure that. Its not like I took any of them on a date or shared my hay with them. Geeze, what is a poor gelding to do. Am I only allowed to look at Lyrical, think of Lyrical, and follow around Lyrical? Where is the book I was supposed to read so I would know these things? Why can't she be a little nicer when telling me she isn't happy? How many scars from my love for her am I supposed to sport? I just don't get it.
The mare in the photo is Ginger, she looks a bit grumpy doesn't she. Well she never really gets grumpy, she is just opinionated and at her age (25...don't tell her I told or she will kick my butt) she is entitled to her opinions. She is a bit different from the rest of the mares, she doesn't get to screaming or fighting. Her favorite job is to watch over the older or gimpy horses at the ranch. She also just delights in teaching new riders how to treat a lady. Ginger is the perfect mare, it seems like she really doesn't know she is a mare or at least she isn't into all of the drama.
Maybe I can convince the DOR to let Ginger move in with us geldings. I'm not sure she will do that though because Ginger is currently keeping company with an older mare who has cancer. Ginger also is watching out for Freedom since he is living next door to her. Freedom and Ginger visit a lot over the fence. I think they talk about the "twerps" at the ranch and all of the DORs they have trained over the years.
Well I guess giving up on mares isn't so bad, it gives me more time to eat and play. Harley tells me when I look good and Salty likes to goof around. I am thinking the single life is a good thing. I did notice Diva looking at me the other day...
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR


Sky Watch Friday No. 27

These aren't quite as nice as I wish they could be. I was trying to capture the ice on the leaves this evening. You can hear the ice and the tree having a conversation as things crackle back and forth.

My uncle jokes that the oak is always shedding leaves...the tree that keeps on giving. It seems that year round the ancient tree drops leaves from the fall, often finishing up just in time to start dropping leaves for the following fall.
Please go visit the other great Skywatch participants at SkyWacth Friday There are wonderful photos from all around the world!Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR

The phantom

The photo is a blur but then again so is the phantom in the picture. The spectre is mushboy, one of the horses favorite little kids. Mushboy schleps 50 pounds of mush out to Freedom twice a day. He used to gripe about it but the DOR pointed out that he was building muscles working at the "farmnasium".
Mushboy likes helping out at the ranch. He loves bucking hay. Last night he restacked the good hay, drat that boy. We had talked Harley into pulling down several bales so we could eat them. Harley pulled one bale down for each of us. We were having a hayday (pun intended) and the the DOR showed up. We got 'The look", the one she learned from her dad, the one that strikes fear in all who see it...we ran to the other side of the pasture. She was irritated because we already had a bunch of hay in the middle of the pasture in addition to the stuff we stole off the pile on Tuesday. Well mushboy fixed us but good, or at least me. He restacked the hay bales. He took all of the bales we had torn apart, piled it up, and covered it with a blue tarp...yep he used a tarp! I think he has been taking lessons in torture from the DOR, on top of that he is learning a bit too well-hmphhh.
Well I know what to do about that. There is a bunch of poop that has to be mucked this weekend, that pile is going to become a lot bigger. Yep we are going to start a poop protest...we are all going to add more to the pile so that it will take days to clear. The mushboy will be so busy hauling poop he won't have time to worry about the hay pile.
If you would like to contribute to the cause we would appreciate it.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR


Wordless Wednesday

I am going to try doing wordless Wednesdays. I am sure what it will turn out to be is less words Wednesday since you all know how I love to talk...especially if it is about me.

Best friends forever
...Salty the Wonder Horse and Mushboy share a tender moment.

I am waiting for room service here.

Hey, DOR just because I look good in the brush doesn't mean I will be a good endurance horse.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR


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