Jack update

This is my version of Jack at trail savvy school. The trailboss says Jack is in bootcamp...boy I bet Jack doesn't like that one bit.
Jack has been out in the mountains, going up steep hills, and facing trail buggers. The trailboss says that Jack has a tendency to want to do his own thing, I could have told him that! The little twerp figures he knows everything about everything. Jack didn't like having to walk up a hill rather than trot, it was too much work. Jack has also learned how to behave when attached to a highline at horse camp.
The trailboss is also making Jack do some dressage. It is supposed to help him be more aware of his feet and moving them on request. I just busted a gut when I heard that. Can't you just picture Jack and his big ol butt tippy-toeing around an arena?
The trailboss is taking Jack to a saddle builder to have him measured for a proper fitting saddle. That is good, it means more work for Jack and more fun for me watching while he is in the arena. It is a riot watching Jack trying to outsmart the DOR, sometimes it is like watching two of the three stooges.
The DOR is going up for a visit this weekend. She needs a Jack fix and Jack needs a good massage.
Life is so good!Oh and Jack told me to remember to say: Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR

Words of wisdom from an old guy

You don't live as long as I have and not learn a few important lessons (the most common age comparison is that every human year is equal to four years for a horse...darn I am old!). I have had so many wonderful experiences and a few that I would love to forget, but through it all I have discovered "Life is so good!". This picture is of me and the support crew chief on an orienteering ride, I was already in my 40's for this ride and I was showing the young twerps a thing or two. The DOR has grounded me from trail rides because she says "Freedom you will trot yourself to death." Well my job was to get down the trail and back, I know she worries about me and I appreciate it. The DOR put me into retirement for a year, I hated it and let her know. She realized that I was not happy and now I am getting to do a few jobs and play in the arena. I may trot myself to death (I know the DOR won't let that happen), but at least I won't die of boredom...

Here are some words of wisdom for all DORs on how to live a happier life









Life is so good!Oh and Jack told me to remember to say: Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR


Worless Wednesday

There was a storm rolling in as the DOR was doing chores last night. She enjoyed watching the clouds darken and the sprinkling rain start.

She also likes to watch Salty munching away in the field.
The trees are still in bloom. The wind keeps the bees at bay so the blooms can be enjoyed close up.
Life is so good!
Oh and Jack told me to remember to say: Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR


The importance of flymaks

I am a firm believer in flymasks or some kind of eye protection for horses...especially Appaloosas. We need protection from flies and other bugs, but what we really need is protection from the harmful UV rays.
The item in the photo is the cancer that was removed from my eye earlier in March. The DOR has always been pretty insistent that we wear our masks. She has made me wear one 24/7 since I came to live with mushboy. This winter I kept taking my mask off. It would get frosty and bothered me a bunch, so I would rub it off. The DOR decided to just leave it off. Now that didn't cause this cancer to grow...that is the result of years of exposure and uveitus. She did catch it right away and got it taken care of. The DOR has decided that she doesn't care if I don't want to wear a mask, she wants to do her best to protect our eyes and avoid any reoccurrence of cancer.
This mask is just a standard, no frill mask. You can get these in all sorts of colors, patterns, or with whimsical designs on them. Some even have bugged out eyes and ear covers.
This mask on Scooby, yep it resembles fly eyes, is a specially designed mask called a Guardian Mask designed to meet the needs of horses who suffer with the eye conditions such as uveitis, headshaking, glaucoma, eye cancer, cataracts and eye injuries. It does a wonderful job.
Then there are the masks designed to fit on a horse's bridle. It is a nice way to continue protecting your horse's eyes while riding.

Life is so good!
Oh and Jack told me to remember to say: Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR


Spring Follies

Last year when the ranch had Fall Follies I didn't get to play. I had lost the ability to support my weight on one of my hind legs. I stood at the fence and whinnied the entire time...I like a good party and I had to sit that one out. Well this year I partied like a rock star.
This is Ginger wearing her Hawaiian Princess costume. She looked very nice. Mushboy made her crown and put four leis around her neck.
I know I said I wasn't going to wear any silly costume, but mushboy had made one for Jack and I couldn't hurt his feelings. I wore a sun visor and an apron...I was ready to cook up some fancy tricks.
There were some odd, wild animals that showed up. Good thing that Jack wasn't here, he would have pooped right on the spot. Of course every time a horse pooped a cowbell rang and the human got a Mounds Bar for the mound their horse made. I didn't poop once, the DOR isn't supposed to have candy so I was helping her out. Ginger pooped up a storm, so mushboy got the most candy bars.
I am not too sure why this tiger had an apple, but none of the horses were too worried about going up and eating the apple. Go figure, don't humans know that while stuffed animals may look a bit frightening, it is the smell that really gets to us horses. These animals smelled like mushboy, they have been in his house, so they weren't very worrisome.

Here I am showing the twerps how to back over a pole. I also backed through poles laid out in an L shape.
Here is Princess Ginger taking her turn. She really made mushboy work hard to get her to back over the pole.
This was a jumping obstacle. There were two jumps, the pole and the barrels. I did both of the jumps. Pretty good for an old guy, especially one who was having trouble bearing weight on his hindquarters last fall. My physical therapy has really paid off. Ginger did the pole, but she drew the line at the barrels...mushboy just made her do the squeeze game instead.
Here I am doing a figure eight around the barrels. This is one of Jack's best events. I had never done this before so it took the DOR and I a bit to work things out. The DOR has learned to communicate better and I decided that I wasn't going to make things too hard on her.
Dakota and Ginger did the riding activities in the afternoon. I would have done the events, but we are waiting for my hindquarters to get cleared for riding by the therapist.
One of the events was to back the length of the arena, playing red light green light. Go figure, the horse that didn't want to back during ground games, Ginger, practically ran backwards with her rider. Then there was Simon Says, carry a cup of water around the arena, team barrel racing, and an apple hunt.
It was a really good time. The DOR and I had a great time playing the ground games. The next follies my hindquarters should be 100% and then I am going to show those youngster a few more tricks in the riding portion.
Life is so good!
Oh and Jack told me to remember to say: Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR


Quote for the week

Actually this is a bit more like advice for DORs

All I Need to Know in Life I Learned From My Horse
1. When in doubt, run far, far away.
2. You can never have too many treats.
3. Passing gas in public is nothing to be ashamed of.
4. New shoes are an absolute necessity every 6 weeks.
5. Ignore cues. They're just a prompt to do more work.
6. Everyone loves a good, wet, slobbery kiss.
7. Never run when you can jog. Never jog when you can walk. And never walk when you can stand still.
8. Heaven is eating for at least 10 hours a day... and then sleeping the rest.
9. Eat plenty of roughage.
10. Great legs and a nice rear will get you anywhere. Big, brown eyes help too.
11. When you want your way, stomp hard on the nearest foot.
12. In times of crisis, take a poop.
13. Act dumb when faced with a task you don't want to do.
14. Follow the herd. That way, you can't be singled out to take the blame.
15. A swift kick in the butt will get anyone's attention.
16. Love those who love you back, especially if they have something good to eat.

Around here most of us don't wear shoes, so number 4 doesn't always apply.

Life is so good!
Oh and Jack told me to remember to say: Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR



Good morning! My name is Freedom Dancer, Freedom for short. I will be guest posting for Jack while he is learning to be trail savvy. Little twerp is always so busy worrying about his fancy rear that he forgets to pay attention about what is going on around him. Well the Trailboss will change that.

I am in my 40's and eat mush. I also don't put up with silliness, at my age I get a bit irritated with the youngsters around here. I belong to mushboy, he saved me from being shipped to slaughter. I like calves but the ranch manager says I am not good about sharing them with their mother's, so I am not allowed to have any.

The "King of Bling", Jack arrived safely to trail savvy school. The horse trailer suffered a tire failure three miles from where he was headed. The hauler was very skilled and made sure everything turned out well.

The DOR spent time explaining to the Trailboss that Jack needed his nose kissed each night, liked a hug, and loves a butt massage. The Trailboss asked if Jack needed a special blankey when he was tucked into bed, the DOR paled and said she didn't bring his blanket but would run it up on the weekend, that gave the Trailboss a good giggle. The Trailboss gave the DOR a bit of a teasing, he said he was going to turn Jack loose in the mountains so he would get used to things, the DOR just about fainted. Jack is actually tucked safety in a nice pasture and paddock, he is in good hands. He won't be getting spoiled and that is a good thing, the DOR has a tendency to baby all the horses (of course I deserve to be spoiled).

I was looking over past posts and discovered that one of the readers asked what tumbleweeds were before they were tumbleweeds. Jack never answered, he will claim he was busy but the truth is the squirt has no idea what the answer is. I know, wisdom comes with age so I am a genius, tumbleweeds are Russian thistles before they are tumble weeds.
Today the ranch is holding Spring Follies. It is a game day for horses and their owners. I am not sure who the DOR is going to take. If she takes me she better hadn't plan on making me wear any silly costumes, I am a dignified old man and deserve to be treated with respect.
Life is so good!
Oh and Jack told me to remember to say: Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR


Skywatch No. 41

I took these photos on the way to visit Scooby. It looked a bit like Mt. Rainer was spewing smoke.
It brought back memories of when Mt. St. Helens blew. It was the day I brought home my oldest son. Boy was that something to remember!

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

See you soon

I am leaving for "trail savvy" school this evening. The Trailboss (aka Paul Rogers) has all kinds of adventures planned for me, I am okay with that as long as there is no white things! On my last trail ride I got to do plenty of fueling up. Rumor has it that the Trailboss doesn't allow any goofing around, well alrighty then we will see how that is working for him. He is going to be taking me out in the mountains...no sissy trails for me. Well I am going to be for some new things, but I will be better for it according to the DOR. He told the DOR by the time I get home she could rope an elk off of me while shooting video at the same time. Now I know he is joking, the only thing the DOR has managed to rope is herself. Maybe the DOR needs to go to roping school while I am at trail savvy school.
The DOR says I just need a lot of wet blankets to be a good trail horse and she doesn't have enough time right now or a saddle for my massiveness. Well she could break out a hose and soak all of my saddle blankets several times if that is all it takes, that wouldn't take long and would be easy on me. When I suggested that she laughed and informed me that wet blankets referred to lots of ride time...I wish she would just be clear when she talks. I am just planning on coming home in one piece after facing all of the buggers that live in the woods. If I can survive a tumbleweed tornado this should be easy, just a bunch of work-I hate breaking a sweat.
I asked Freedom to post while I am gone. I am sure the old guy has plenty to say. He is also keeping Salty company while I am wearing down my little hooves. I am sure the two of them will keep things entertaining for you.
I do want to let you know that I conned my sister into taking my mask off for me. Not only did she take it off, but she hid it in her pasture and it took the DOR 20 minutes to find it. Little sisters are great! The DOR didn't even bother to put it back on me, something about"the flies can just swarm your face, see how you like it-you will be begging me for the mask soon."-I think she was having a bit of a snit fit.
Well wish me luck and a lack of wild beasts. I have my work cut out for me training the Trailboss.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR


Wordless Wednesday

The DOR loves my head, she thinks I am very handsome. My old trainer had other things to say about my head.
I thought I would share some of the photos that the DOR likes.

What will she get to look at while I am out getting trail savvy?

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



This is all the closer I would let the DOR after what she did to me today.

For those of you that don't know I have an issue with white things: white paper, white bags, white shirts, white blankets, white handkerchiefs, etc. There is no apparent reason for it, I see anything white coming at me and I beat feet. I am able to deal with Salty being white, but we really don't hang out side-by-side.

The flies have come out at the ranch and are pestering the poopy out of us. We get sprayed, but they still like to bother our faces. So the DOR broke out the fly masks today. She actually bought new ones, the ones from last year are a bit worse for wear. I didn't mind wearing a mask last year. I had nice plaid ones to wear, they came in a variety of colors. This year the DOR bought white masks...what the heck is she thinking? To top it off, they have ears on them-is she the devil, just trying to make me mean?

She came out to the pasture and headed towards me with one of them. I saw a white piece of cloth and took off like a shot. The DOR said "I will just give this one to Salty" and she did. Then she headed for me again and I ran towards my buddy hoping to hide. I had to slam on my brakes and do a fast turn because my buddy's head was being swallowed by that white cloth...see I knew white stuff is bad. The DOR just kept walking after me as I kept trying to get away from the horse eating item she was carrying. I finally had to stop, it is 86 degrees and I was getting tired. The DOR put a lead rope around my neck and showed me the white cloth. I backed up and snorted, but she was persistent. I tolerated getting rubbed with it and the DOR put it on my head without so much as a "by your leave". Well I gave her "by your leave", I turned my spotted butt and trotted over to the hay pile. I don't need hay, we have plenty of green grass, but it gave me a way to pretend she wasn't there. I wouldn't even look up when she called my name to take a picture. Nope I am going to give her heck for a bit. I have on a fly mask with ears and it is white...I look like a spastic Easter bunny. I hate white things! I am trying to figure out how to get this mask off before it becomes permanent, Harley used to take our masks off for us. Of course it does keep the flies away and I can't tell it is white now that it is on my head.

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


Trail ride report

Ginger is mushboy's quarter horse mare. She is in her mid-twenties, I can't tell you her real age or she will give me heck, and has lots of experience. She is also a bit ring sour...you try to saddle her in the arena and she will stomp her back feet and act like she wants to bite you. Ginger has perfected every trick in the book to get out of ridden, it comes from dealing with youngsters.
As you can see in the photo Ginger was actually delighted to get out for a trail ride. She loaded and unloaded like she loves to go in the trailer. When the DOR went to saddle her up, she just stood there like a good girl. She even kept her threatening teeth to herself when the DOR mounted. Off they went. Ginger has a really nice western jog that she preferred to do (go figure I would rather walk) down the trail.
The DOR and a friend rode out on BLM land in the lower valley. The area has two lakes and follows along the Yakima river on one side. As you can see, Ginger is alert and happy. Ginger has cushings (horse diabetes), so she is still a bit woolly. She is on medicine and doing well-in fact she is already shedding, usually that does not start until June.
Here she is staring at a deer that was bouncing through the field. There were several deer sightings, ducks, pelicans, rabbits, and all kinds of birds. Ginger never startled at anything.

If you are into geo-caching and want to look in the lower Yakima valley, here is the DOR's friend stashing one for people to find.

The day was so pleasant and Ginger was such a delight that the DOR lost track of time. The ride went a bit longer than planned and poor Ginger worked up a sweat. She finally got too itchy and did what I thought she would do after 10 minutes into the ride...she tried to lay down! Ginger acted like she was going to nibble grass and dropped down to her front knees. The DOR dropped her stirrups, started really kicking Ginger and lifting her head-Ginger got back up and then started jogging to the trailer. The DOR said that Ginger was just trying to see if her old tricks would work...they didn't.
Well I have to give the old girl her due she took good care of the DOR, went on a long ride her first time out, and was unfazed by anything on the ride. Thanks Ginger!
The DOR talked to a trainer on Sunday about having me go up and work on trails. How is that going to work? After all I have massive muscles and need a special saddle. What, he has a saddle that will fit me? Oh cow poop, it looks like I may be headed to the trainer's ranch in the mountains. He has elk living there...what is an elk? The plan is that I will be out on the trail everyday. Why did I let the DOR know my saddle hurt? I could have just sucked it up and did a trail ride once in a while and the rest of the time just short toodles in the arena...now I am going to have to wwwwwork.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR


Weekly Quote

Horses - if God made anything more beautiful, he kept it for himself. ~Author Unknown

The DOR says that horses are the most beautiful creatures in the world, I have to agree.

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


Trail ride

This is Ginger aka Jenny Penny, she is mushboy's horse. Ginger is a nice horse, who would rather not work if at all possible. Mushboy wants to take her on a trail ride, he has never been on a trail ride, so to see how that will go the DOR is taking her out on one today. I am not to sure they will get very far before Ginger wants to lay down and take a snooze-that girl can sleep anywhere.
I can't be ridden anymore, well at least not until the DOR gets me a different saddle. On our last outing the saddle pinched me so badly that my withers are still sore. The DOR thought she had the problem solved, but it only works for a short ride. I got fitted for a saddle, turns out that I need a saddle built for a draft horse. The DOR is looking for a very wide saddle with a round skirt. She is thinking about having one made, but that costs a bunch. I don't mind not getting ridden on the trails, but I do mind not getting ridden around the ranch. The DOR and I are going to work on our dance steps, I get brushed for 20 minutes each day, and we are reading "Believe" by Buck Brannaman.
Ginger better take good care of the DOR or I am going to interrupt every nap she has for the next month!
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR


Skywach Friday No. 40

I love starting my mornings out with the horses.
The birds are singing, the horse softly nickering, and the cows are mooing.
The sky is always glorious no matter what the weather. But these shots seemed to capture the joy that I feel out there every morning.
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

Mud hogs

So what happens when humans start irrigating the pasture? Well the DOR get to look at ice on the grass and fence in the morning.
She gazes at me leisurely grazing by the sprinklers. When she is not around Salty and I like to run through them and play.
Then we roll around in the dirt like pigs. She is really happy to find out we have done that.

She likes nothing better than to brush crusty mud off of us...the only way she could have more fun is if it was windy and blowing in her direction. Gotta love such a dedicated DOR.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR


Wordless Wednesday: peek-a-boo

Jack decided to play peek-a-boo Tuesday morning when we went out to feed.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR

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