Skywatch No. 55

The weather in the evening has been sultry. 7:30 and still 90 degrees.
It makes the blue of the sky crisp and causes wispy clouds. I like the panorama of the view at the ranch.

The moon is so clear on these kind of evenings.

The clouds look like feathers.

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


It was so hot Tuesday (it reached 104) that Ginger looked like she had been standing in a sprinkler. With her cushings she is always a bit hairier than the rest of us, even in summer. She got a full body clip at the end of May, but her coat seems to be gearing up for winter and she can't be given a clip this time of year.

As a general rule Ginger doesn't really like getting hosed off. Tuesday night she stood for a good hosing down.

She squirmed a bit when the water got on her belly and when ran under her tail. All in all she seemed to really like getting cooled off more than she disliked the water.

I made sure that the DOR saw that I was sweaty too. I turn my damp shoulder to her and gave her a wilted look.

She sprayed me down while she held onto Ginger. The water was wonderfully cool, it comes from a well. The DOR looked hot and I thought she needed hosed off too. I can't hose her down, but I can shake off by her and rub my wet self on her...I am sure she really appreciated that.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR


Less words Wednesday

I always walk up to the barn to meet the DOR, actually I end up running to greet her because there are treats at the barn. Last night she snuck into the bottom of the pasture while I was up at the barn...what was that about? I wandered out to where she was. This is the very first time I have come out to the pasture to meet the DOR, she was very pleased that I did that without the possibility of treats-what no treats! I then followed her all around while she looked at all the poop piles. Not sure what the purpose of that was, she said something about hooking up...I thought she is married to SCC so what is she doing trying to get a hook up? My niece is following me, Ginger has assigned me the task of making sure she get plenty of exercise. Yep I have flies on my nose, that is what I get for scarffing down apples, they like the leftovers on my face-little pests.
Humans are so strange sometimes.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your



Here are a few pictures of Mushboy and Freedom from Saturday. Freedom is at least 30 years older than Mushboy and makes him scramble to stay on top of things.
Freedom and Musboy will often be seen looking at the same thing. They seem to work as a little herd.
Freedom is also very soothing for Mushboy. They are both so relaxed when they are together.

Okay they are relaxed until Mushboy takes Freedom into the arena...then all bets are off. Freedom makes him work to keep up. If Mushboy wants to get on and ride he better hustle because Freedom has places to go and won't stand still for long. If Mushboy takes Freedom for a walk he either jogs to keep up or gets towed!
I enjoy watching these two age opposites have so much fun together. Mushboy keeps Freedom young and Freedom is helping Mushboy mature.
I hope that I have Freedom's constitution when I am his age.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR


Bareback troubles

The DOR was planning on a short bareback ride last night. Well you know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and DORs...the ride didn't happen.
The DOR tried to get on me and I thought she wanted me to walk forward when her right leg squeezed me while she was trying to get on. Needless to say walking off was not a good thing. The mounting block is too low for her to use without squeezing me. So the SCC said he would get on and off me just to make sure that it was a mounting problem and not something else. Turns out it is something else.
The SCC eased himself on to my back and my eyes got all buggy. You see I have never been ridden bareback, it feels weird to have a rider and no saddle. I could feel every muscle in the
SCC's legs and butt. At first my legs refused to move, I didn't think a rider could be on me without a saddle let alone want me to move. The SCC got on and off me several times to help me get used to that. Once I was at ease with that the DOR lead me around. I walked really tentatively, the DOR said I looked like a horse carrying a rider for the first time...in a way I was. I carried the SCC in a 16 foot circle twice while the DOR lead me, she said I did good and we called it a night. I am not sure about this bareback stuff. The DOR says we will work in an English saddle to see if that helps some. She is also thinking of getting a treeless saddle. The DOR and SCC are going to keep helping me get used to having a rider on me with no saddle, maybe someday it won't feel weird.

The nice thing about the DOR is that no matter how good or bad our arena work has gone she loves me. I always get a big hug at the end of our time in the arena and told that I am the best Jack ever. It is nice when things don't go the way the DOR has planned she still enjoys our time together and appreciates my company. She thinks a bad day with horses is as wonderful as a good day with people...go figure.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR


Quote for the week

You must earn your saddle
In the tradition of the DORs family's culture a rider had to earn their saddle. A child learns to ride bareback and once they prove their proficiency as a rider they are allowed to have a saddle. I think this is a grand idea. Too many times riders work against their horses without realizing it. When a rider has to ride bareback until they are a proficient horseman they learn to work with their horse. The rider learns to stay balanced and centered, to move with the horse in a manner that supports the horse...because if they don't they find themselves in the dirt.
Saddles create a false sense of security, leaving the rider believing that they are safer on our backs than they really are. The truth of the matter is, that unless you are balanced and working with your horse in a saddle a sudden movement on our part will land you in the dirt. The security comes in the belief that you can grab on quick enough or that the saddle will hold you on, I am thinking that you are usually just lucky enough to scramble madly and stay on.
The DOR is returning to riding bareback, something she did a lot before me (I am goosey), she thinks that we need to spend some time earning our saddle. We will become a better balanced/in-tune team that way.
I'll let you know how it goes.
May I suggest that you try riding your horse bareback, get in-tune with their motion. Besides in this heat it is too darn hot to be messing around in a saddle.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR


Public Service Announcement.

First Cases of West Nile in Horses Confirmed

The first cases of west nile virus in horses have been reported in Eastern Washington. Two horses, one in Toppenish and one in Prosser have tested positive.

Neither horse was vaccinated. One horse had do be euthanized, the other is expected to recover.

These are the first confirmed cases in Washington State this year of the virus found in horses. Earlier this week (Thursday) the first bird was diagnosed with west nile. It was found in the Prosser area (from KNDO news)

I hate mosquitoes!

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

Freedom speaks Saturday

I want to talk a bit about keeping promises. Humans often make promises when what they really mean is that they will try. Don't they understand that a promise means they will?
We horses are very dependent on humans to keep the promises that they make to us. We trust you to keep those promises and in return we share lives with you as openly and honestly as we can.
This week I got to see another human other than the DOR keep a promise made. This human placed the very first horse she owned as an adult with a loving family with children who would spoil her rotten. She promised the horse that if anything ever happened the horse would always have a home with her. She visited the horse often and when the owners let her know they had to move and were not able to take the horses with them she immediately made arrangements for her old horse to come home. This week the much loved spotted horse arrived to the human's home and will live the rest of her days with this lady. A promise made turning into a promise kept.
The DOR keeps all of the promises she makes to us. In turn we give her our trust, love, and respect. The DOR promised all of us she would take the best care of us and she does. We get everything we need and more. Take tomorrow it is the one day a month that the farrier and the equine therapist visit...we all get the "treatment". The DOR promised I would always have plenty of food, she brings me my special mush twice a day and in the winter it is hot. She promised Salty she would keep him as pain free as possible, he feels so good he lopes around the pasture. She promised Nikki that no one would ever abuse her again and they haven't. Those are just of few of the promises she has kept.
Horses know when we are being lied to, when a false promise is made...it effects how we respond to humans when we are dealing with them. So remember you need to earn our trust, love, and respect it is not something you can force. Being a human that keeps their word is a great way to do that. Remember a promise is a promise.
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. 54

I like looking at the sky through the fruit trees. I would like it even better it the DOR would give me some of that fruit.

The clouds were very interesting this afternoon.

Looking at the sky through my ears is always a favorite thing for the DOR to do.

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

I got backup

I got backup for raising Shandi. I just couldn't do it on my own, it would mean that I would have to grow up and I don't want to. Here is my niece out in the pasture with the nanny horse...I am getting a much needed break.

So who is the nanny? Is it Mary Poppins, the Pacifier, or some other famous nanny?
It is Ginger, the grande dame of our herd. She does not put up with bad manners. If a horse or person misbehaves she has a discipline ladder:
I don't know what happens after that, no one has pushed her past number 4.

She made sure that we all went to our corners to eat. She also didn't let us try to play musical treat tubs. It was go to your tub and stay there until it is gone, if you are leaving your tub it better be to go straight out to the pasture or you are in trouble.
Some how I think I am getting nannied also.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR


Less words Wednesday

Here I am sporting my warpaint. Why am I at war? Flies, that is why!!! The DOR says if I would leave on my flymask, not tear apart the "flea collar" I wouldn't have so many flies around my face. That is the only place they are bothering me. Well I am now wearing warpaint which is helping in my battle against flies.

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


He's an easy keeper, so feed him you RAB!!!

To the former owners of Pascal...here is a big ol appy hoof upside your heads! I added a shoe because you really deserve a whomping!! Sunday
night, Shelly of Sunny Acres Ranch and the DOR went out to look at a little Paso Fino, it was worse than they expected. Shelly went back, got her trailer and brought him to the ranch to be rehabbed.
It is a good thing that Shelly is good dealing with people because the DOR wanted to slap them upside the head.

Look at this eye. So soft and gentle. But there is distrust there, his owners didn't like him and made that very clear. They are also sore from all of the gnats that were making a feast of him (sad he was food for flies when he had no food of his own).
His owner said he was willful and hard to catch. Heck if they were my owners I would run as fast as I could away from them too!

Speaking of running...how the heck was he supposed to move with these flippers for feet?
These are his hind feet. The owners decided that since he wouldn't stop pulling his hooves away from the farrier the best solution was to stop having is feet done...problem solved right?

Here is a picture of his front feet. Poor little guy looked like a toddler in flippers trying to walk by a pool. But there was no pleasant pool just a dry, dusty, grass-free, poopy lot to wander in search of food.

So here is a body shot of the easy keeper. Easy to keep a horse if you don't feed them, have their feet done, fly spray them, groom them or anything else. Worked out fine for the owners, but as you can see Pascal could use lots of groceries.
You can see how sucked up looking he is. The skin just hangs on his chest.
Pascal's owners had him for 9 years...9 years of treating him like a second class citizen. Their other horse is fat, has his feet trimmed, got fly sprayed, and groomed. Some where along the way Pascal's owners decided he just wasn't worth their time because he wasn't perfect.

His spin protrudes up too far, his little hips poke out, his withers resemble a shark's fin.

He has lost so much weight and muscle that the crest of his neck flops over. I have never seen this happen in a horse before.

His eyes are weepy. He seemed at a loss over what to do with the grass and fresh water.
Shelly has him on a feeding recovery program. She is also working with this little guy to undo the emotional damage done by his past treatment. The farrier and equine therapist will be here on Saturday to address his physical needs.
Pascal's rehab will be long and expensive. If you would like to join me and helping Shelly contact her through her board. No donation is too small and will be greatly appreciated (Sunny Acres in NOT a tax exempt organization, so you donation will not be tax deductible). Emotional support is just as important and appreciated as financial support...long rehabs are very draining on humans (what do they think it is on us?). The DOR is paying for the farrier and therapist visit this weekend...what can you do?
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR
(all photos of Pascal are used with the permission of Sunny Acres Ranch)


Moving day

My niece and I moved to a new pasture. The DOR thought the old guys needed a break from our rambunctiousness for a bit. That and this pasture needs to be eaten down a bit and the old farts get upset moving pastures so it is up to Shadi and me to mow down the pasture on our own. We can still see Salty and Freedom, so that is good. I am working on taking care of Shandi on my own, it is a difficult job. Sometimes she is a bit bossy and she steals my treats. The DOR told me that I need to work on teaching her some manners, how am I supposed to do that without being mean? Maybe it is by using the same techniques that my mom used on me. I just hope nobody sees me acting like "Auntie Jack", I will get laughed out of the BURLY HE MAN GELDING CLUB. If I don't figure things out soon I will have to call in some back-up.
This is what I had to say when we first moved in. I was lodging a bit of a twerpy attitude. I hope you notice that I still have on the "flea collar", but I am slowly ripping it by rubbing it on things...I will be rid of it soon.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR

PS-there is a new rescue at the ranch. He arrived Sunday evening, I will tell you about him tomorrow. The DOR was so upset about the shape of this horse she wanted to give his owner a big ol appy hoof upside the head BAM!


Quote for the week

Look I am one of those dragon killer guys, Salty and I are going to get all of the dragons.
Dakota while riding Salty the Wonder Horse
It is amazing what children turn into while riding their horses. Friday evening Dakota was a knight slaying dragons on his trusty steed. Actually he and Salty were collecting rings on a long pole as they rode around the arena.
It is not just children that imagine great adventures while they are riding. The DOR imagines that she is younger when she is on the back of a horse. For a short moment in time she is a teenager, riding the trails in search of adventure.
It is amazing that horses have a way to help humans live out their dreams for the time they are riding or are around us.
The myth is that unicorns are magical. I think that a unicorn is just a horse with an odd birth defect...all horses are magical.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR


Freedom speaks Saturday-geriatrics

Geriatrics, why would I want to think about being old?
Well...it effects my diet, my motion, and my emotions. Being an elderly horse is not all clover and rainbows. The facts are that being an elderly horse is not for sissies! There are many more older horses than there used to be because we have better care.
I am in my mid 40's and for the most part I am retired. I hate being retired...I miss the trails, cows, and adventures. I lean across the fence and knicker to the horses that are playing in the arena, it breaks the DOR's heart to see me missing out on the fun. To keep me from being bored the DOR takes me to the arena to play once in a while.
Once I got up to weight after I was rescued I had no problem keeping my weight on. Now I have to have more specialized feedings to keep me up to a good weight (the DOR thinks I look too skinny). I could actually eat some grass last summer, now I can only gum all the flavor out of it.
I am getting stiff and slowing down a bit. Oh I can still lope across the pasture and throw in a buck or two, but mostly I meander around slowly. I spend a lot of time standing in the shade of my favorite trees cogitating about things.
The fact of the matter is that I am winding down and there is nothing that can be done to prevent it. So now is the time to plan for the future. I need the DOR to know what my wishes are, as hard as they may be to face. If I had my way one evening I would lay down to take a nap and that would be my time to cross the rainbow bridge, crossing while I am dreaming of my favorite trail. I think that would be the kindest thing I could do for the DOR. But the truth of the matter is I am a tough old guy, nicknamed "the energizer bunny" for a reason-I just keep going and going, so the DOR is going to have to listen to me when I let her know it is time to tell me good bye. I don't want to be a skinny, wobbling, dementia suffering depressed old horse. If I turn into any of those things it is time for the DOR to step up and do the right thing. Part of owning and loving an old horse is doing the right thing when the time comes.

Remember when a horse is put to sleep the only one to feel the pain is the owner.

Now I plan on hanging around for 40 more years, so please don't feel this is my good-bye...I just want to give DORs something to cogitate...after all a mind is a terrible thing to waste.

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 Friday No. 53

This is the cool of the evening from my back porch. From 100 degrees to 70 with a breeze in the span of a few hours. I love the cool evening breezes.

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

Flea Collar

Okay, it isn't a flea collar but it sure does look like what the dogs wear.
The DOR decided since I won't keep my mask on and she doesn't want the flies to eat my eyes I have to wear a fly collar. She used these before on horses that would freak out over getting sprayed or who wouldn't keep masks on. She put one on all of us, I guess she figures I won't feel like a dork that way. Well I feel a bit silly with a bright green band around my neck. The collar velcros on so maybe I can figure out how to take it off.
She took pictures, but luckily for me it was with her phone and her computer isn't speaking to her phone right now...so no pictures of me looking silly.
I do have to admit that the flies are not swarming my face, so maybe I can put up with the collar. As long as I don't have to wear it if I leave the ranch it might be okay.
With the heat the flies are really pesty right now. We get sprayed, wear warpaint, have masks, and now a fly collar. We stand in the sprinklers and roll in the dirt...there is just no getting rid of the darn things. The DOR thought about fly sheets, but decided that I would tear it apart given my history with my winter blanket.
How are you coping with the flies?
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR


Less words Wednesday

I know for a fact that tumbleweeds can move around on their own. I don't care if this is a baby tumbleweed, injured tumbleweed, or and old decrepit tumbleweed it didn't need to hitchhike on my tail for a mile or so!
Tumbleweeds be forewarned-NO MORE HITCHHIKERS ALLOWED ON TRAIL RIDES!!! I am going to stomp the next one that tries, so stay far away from my tail.

I am thinking that I am going to have the DOR braid my tail for every ride, that will make it hard for the tumbleweeds to get a good grip.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR


Training of the SCC

Coelho has been busy training the Support Crew Chief. Coelho has SCC convinced he can only eat his treats as long as he is holding the tub. So here stands a gentle giant of a man out holding a treat tub for one stout paint gelding...gotta love it! The thought of it makes the DOR think of another special horse who had Calvin, the DORs grandson, holding treats for her. So whenever she thinks of the SCC hand feeding Coelho she imagines this scene. Funny how a horse can turn the most burly man into a little boy at heart.
DOR is gearing up for Rodeo City Equine Rescue's big fundraiser this Saturday. I am still getting my treats, scritches, and butt rubs however she hasn't just been hanging out reading or watching us. I have been hiding my fly mask every evening so she has to find it...I follow her around while she is looking and get more attention. I got a whole hour extra on Sunday night because I hid my brown mask under a white PVC pipe and she couldn't see it for the dirt. She walked past it six times before she finally saw it, I was laughing my spots off over that one. I have gotten my sister Dandi to hide it in her pasture, that doesn't get me any extra attention because she is not in my pasture but it is fun to watch. I am thinking that "stash the mask" is a great game to play with DORs. Sometimes we horses have to be sneaky about getting our DORs to spend plenty of time with us when they think they are too busy.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your

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