Quote for the week

Don't interrupt me when I'm talking to myself

Have you ever been busy talking to yourself, mulling something over and you get interrupted? I hate it when that happens. The DOR has learned to let me have conversations with myself, she knows that I am trying to work things through. She also appreciates it when I let her talk to herself and I don't interrupt her. Usually her conversations with herself are to recapture the training methods she has learned and needs to walk herself through, just like I need to walk myself through things.
So let's practice talking to ourselves and also practice not interrupting others when they are talking to themselves.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!


Freedom speaks Saturday

So Jack thinks he is "his royal blingness" and Sir Darby claims to be some sort of royalty, big whoopee doo! Good thing those two horses have never met eachother or there would be a war of egos.
Until the two of them dress up in costume, play games with Mushboy, put a big ol' smile on his face, and show up a bunch of young punks they are just playing second and third fiddle to this spotted guy. Yep those two make think they are all that and a bag of chips, but they have nothing on me.
Life is so good! Oh and Jack told me to remember to say: Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!

If you are interested Sir Darby has his own blog that he posts to three times a week:
Sir Darby; life among peasants


Skywatch Friday-Season 4 Episode 33

Sunny day, a good horse, plenty of time for a ride...just doesn't get much better than this.

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

I hate therapy!

I am still doing my therapy. Walk in one direction for four times, trot in one direction for four times, then turn and repeat in the opposite direction. Then I have to back up a slight incline for a few steps. The DOR has been having me do my therapy during the week in the pasture before I get my treats. I have not been nice about it this week at all. It is hard and I have to wait for my treats. The past two days I have been bucking a bit...I blame Shandi Doll for that.
Shandi goes running by like a race horse, bounces like Tigger, and the tags me on the butt with her nose. How am I supposed to concentrate with such a distraction. She also comes over and follows me around my circle with her little nose buried in my tail. When I stop she wanders over to the DOR for scritches. Shandi and her bouncy cuteness is making me look bad. Then to top things off she decided to show off by going backwards while bucking at the same time, the DOR just stood there amazed...what about my five steps backwards up an incline?
The DOR is going to work on finding a way to make my therapy more like a game than the same boring thing everyday. I would be happy just to go to the arena and work, that way the little twerp can't be pesty while I am concentrating.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!


Less words Wednesday

The DOR and I practicing the appy mind meld...take that Mr. Spock.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!


I want to be a chicken

So Trudy the chicken gets the run of the barn. She flies in and out of the window, gets all of the grain she can find, and gets to snuggle down for the night on something soft. I am thinking that I would like to be a chicken, that way I can get in the barn whenever I want. Of course if I was a chicken I don't think the DOR would spend as much time brushing me, talking to me, or playing games with me. I would also have to worry about some cat or dog trying to make a meal of me. Maybe just getting treat tubs every evening is better than being a chicken.
Yesterday I posted about Buck Brannaman saying that only pig farmers leave their horses halters on under their bridles. There were lots of comments about how do you tie your horse on the trail without a lead rope? In his video "The Making of a Bridle Horse" Buck teaches how to use the end of your mecate rein to make a halter that allows you to tie your horse. The DOR can't figure this out, she needs to see things close up and learns hands-on so all she ends up with is a twisted mess. I guess she needs more practice.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!


Weekend trail ride

The DOR went out on her first trail ride of the year. Granted this ride was a second-rate trail ride because it was not me taking her. I did give Sir Darby trail tips before he took her out. I told him to watch out for tumble weed twisters, make sure no wild furry creatures attacked the DOR, to make sure to do nothing that would scare the DOR, and most importantly bring her home in one piece or I would give him a big ol' appy hoof upside his head. Sir Darby informed me he has four big ol' appy/percheron hooves of his own and that I better hadn't be so uppity, alrighty then.
Sir Darby was a good boy, although he was a bit picky about stepping in weird looking dirt and only wanted to be in front if he could see the trailer. He didn't spook at anything and is very sure footed. The DOR even flapped like a chicken and made strange noises, Sir Darby didn't care in the least. He just thinks she is a bit strange. The DOR thinks that Mushboy would be fine out on a trail ride with Darby, once he takes a few riding lessons.
Sir Darby did lodge a complaint about wearing his halter under his bridle. I have told the DOR that this is bad form. Buck Brannaman says only pig farmers ride like that...well I guess we may have swine showing up at the ranch with how often the DOR rides like this.
The DOR plans on taking Sir Darby out as often as possible until I am ready to hit the trails again.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!


Quote for the week

Tack provides you a method of communication, it is not intended as tools for control.

When a rider forgets that the point of a saddle, bridle, and other tack is to communicate with their horse problems arise. It is a fool that thinks there is anything they can put on a horse that will allow them to "control" a horse without the horse eventually rebelling against their control.
Humans and horses need to build a relationship based on understanding and clear communication. When that happens, becoming highly developed, the tack will become unnecessary.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!


Freedom speaks Saturday

Today I would like to talk about apologies. Yesterday a famous person made a public apology. Seems a lot of people have an opinion about the sincerity of his apology, personally I have no interest in it one way or another. It did remind me though that I probably owe Mushboy an apology though. You see I tried to buck him off a couple of years ago, yes this old guy can still catch air. He was riding and asked me to leave the paddock and I didn't want to go. I was standing on my "lookout" spot keeping an eye on things and hadn't finished yet. He persisted and in protest I started bucking, I bucked for a good 30 feet before I stopped. Mushboy stayed on, but I scared him. I wish I had never done that, Mushboy is a good kid and I had bad behavior. Mushboy jokes that I did that when I was quite a bit younger so he can understand...yep I was 44 and I have grown a lot since then LOL!
I hope that the one thing that comes out of this famous person's public apology is that others stop to see if they need to make any apologies in their own lives. Maybe a few humans owe apologies to their animal friends. I know that the DOR wishes she could apologize to Moonshine Nikki, her childhood horse. She feels bad about being a stupid kid and not always being the DOR that this special horse deserved.
So think about any creature that maybe needs to be told "I am sorry for...." it will make the world a better place.
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-Season 4 Episode 32

Sunny skies, so welcome after a month of dreary and rainy skies. Perfect weather for a ride.

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

Baby steps

This is my Shandi Doll with the Support Crew Chief. She is teaching the SCC how to lunge a little horse. I am giving her tips on how to train a DOR, she is a quick learner.
The dentist is coming out today and looking at her little teeth and working on Sir Darby's teeth. I know a couple of horses that might appreciate it if the dentist removed Darby's front teeth, then he couldn't nip them. He hasn't nipped me so I think he should be able to keep all of his teeth. The DOR has several people who would like to buy Sir Darby from her, she tells them no and they keep bugging her. She finally told one of them she would sell him for one million dollars, alrighty then I have marketing to do.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!


Less words Wednesday-Freedom gives rides again

Freedom is a heck of a riding horse. He has been retired from giving any humans rides for a bit over a year now. He loved giving rides to Dakota, he loved booking down trails, and herding cows. He loves giving rides so much he is now giving rides to one of the ranch cats. This video was taken by Mushboy.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!



I like it when the DOR tickles my chin. She makes sure to do some tickling when we finish my therapy session, it is my reward for being a good boy. Sometimes she is a little short in the reward department, she doesn't tickle me long enough. Well what is a little spotted horse supposed to do when this happens? I catch her, that is what I do. I get her finger between my lips and keep it there. If she tries to move it I will follow her finger with my mouth. Now I don't bite, no teeth allowed, I just keep my lips attached to her pointer finger for as long as I can. Now there are people who might think the DOR should get after me for putting my mouth on the fingers like this, that maybe I might bite...well if the DOR and I didn't know each other well it is possible that she should do that. However the DOR often puts her hand in my mouth. She makes me open up so she can inspect things, she cleans my tongue, she will even rub the inside of my mouth with her finger to make sure I don't have any sore spots. Because of all of this she knows I would never bite her, it is just a way I communicate a want with her. Sometimes when I grab her finger she will just stand there peacefully. It is a moment of affection between the two of us, one that I can initiate on my own.
It is nice to be able to show the DOR I love her.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!


Two steps forward and one ginormous step back

So the DOR took me to the arena on Saturday afternoon and I was looking good. I lunged well, stepped over the poles, and had no sensitive spots when I was checked over. I have been behaving in the pasture like nothing was wrong; running, bucking, and moving a good as ever. Mission control felt I was good to try carrying a rider. So the Support Crew Chief was recruited to sit on me bareback so I could get used to holding a rider again. The Support Crew Chief is able to easily get on me bareback by just swinging over a leg and easing down while he is on a mounting block. I HATE having people sit on me bareback, I am goosey, so I made a stinky face. I was able to stand with the Support Crew Chief on me without any trouble with my hind end, so the DOR decided to lead me off. Well things went into the poop pile rapidly. My right hind struggled to support the extra weight, I started listing to the right after two steps. The DOR stopped me and the Support Crew Chief did a quick dismount. I wasn't being naughty mind you, I just couldn't get my gettyup on. Seems the old saying "You can't judge a book by its cover" is true for horses to, you can't judge ridability by pasture antics.
As you can see in the video I am still off in my right hind (video was taken after the Support Crew Chief had been on me-before he rider I didn't look off). My hips aren't lining up quite right, although they are much better after being worked by the Horse Guardian on Saturday. So now I have more physical therapy to do and the DOR and I are going to start working on getting me over some of my boogers. The DOR and I were both disappointed, we want to start riding together again. We had to stop and think about were I was at the end of September; struggling to stand on four feet, falling to my knees if I tried to turn, not wanting touched, grumpy and mean. I have come a long way. I can run, buck, jump over things, I love hugs again, and I am back to my loving personality. Without a rider on me or being asked to do circles with my right hind on the inside no one would be able to see that I am still recovering. Not bad for just about 4 1/2 months out from a catastrophic injury.
The DOR is planning on riding at a Buck Brannaman clinic in July and I plan on being the horse she rides. I want to meet Buck and dazzle him with my blinginess, Sir Darby just doesn't have my razzle dazzle.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!


Happy Appy Valentines Day!

Happy Appy Valentines Day! Thanks for being such a wonderful part of our lives.
From Cactus Jack Splash and his DOR

Quote for the week-Love

Love comes in all shapes and sizes.

Freedom has a little cat that loves him. Freedom has been giving the cat "pony rides". On this day that the world thinks of love it is good for us to remember that love happens around us all the time, sometimes we just don't realize it.
Happy Valentine's Day, I hope you are surrounded by love.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!


Freedom speaks Saturday-calves

It is my favorite time of year at the ranch...calving season. I loooooove calves. I love them so much I steal them from their moms and keep them for myself. Since it is Valentine's Day weekend I want to share the love, I want a calf.
The calf in the picture was almost mine.
The little calf's name is Quigley and when he was born his mom rejected him. This is her second calf, the one she had last year died. She wasn't too sure about being a mother. Well that is where I come in, you see I like being "Uncle Freedom" to little calves. I would have adopted this calf and made sure he grew up to be a lovely bull. Now the humans would have been Au Pairs, feeding the little guy with a bottle. I don't get to raise him though, his mom decided that she could love him after a couple of days.
I love to be in the cow pasture during calving season. I protect the calves from predators. The DOR says the problem is I won't let their moms near them either. Well have you seen how big their moms are? The poor little things could easily get squished. But the calves need to nurse and try as I might there are some things I just can't do. So I am here, waiting it needed, to take care of a motherless calf and it is a job I am good at.
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-Season 4 Episode 31

Yesterday evening a mourning dove's call could be heard. Somewhere off in the distance a reply came. The conversation lasted for twenty minutes. The little bird was high in a tree about a block from the DOR. The picture may not be too pretty, but it captures a little bird looking for love just before this Valentine's Day weekend.

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

Bucket list

The passing of Captain Phil made the DOR stop and check her "bucket list". She wanted to see if she was accomplishing anything on it. Well I loved Captain Phil and decided that maybe I needed to check my bucket list too. So I spent yesterday with my head poked in the barn window, checking out my buckets and making a list of them. I could see at least twenty of them. I started making plans for each one of those buckets. Three of the buckets should be filled with slice apples and carrots, two of the buckets should have apricots five buckets will be filled with sweet feed, five buckets will have wet cob (not the dry stuff), two buckets need to have peppermints, and three buckets should be filled with a mixture of berry treats and green apple horse buscuits. Now these buckets should appear in my pasture everyday for the rest of my life. I am not sure about why the rest of your life part is important in a bucket list, but the DOR says a bucket list is something you send your life completing.
I want you to know that I plan on sharing my twenty daily buckets with the rest of the horses at the ranch. That way we can all be working on a bucket list. I think it would be easier and more fun if the DOR owned as many buckets as are in the picture...yeah then we could do a lot of buckets each day, after all we want to be successful in dealing with buckets.
I have been informed by the DOR that we will have to discuss my plans for the bucket list. She seems to think that maybe my plan isn't a great idea. Something about too much sugar, bad nutrition, overfeeding, and fat horses. Alrighty then, she better not show me her list I will come up with amendments for hers list that she may not like either.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!


Less word Wednesday

See this hoof, do ya, well.....
This hoof means that I am the boss! Yep you may have four hooves, but can your hoof do this? Didn't think so, that's why I'm the boss.
Sir Darby and Zen spent time trying to sort out who is in charge. Zen is the boss but Darby isn't too sure that he is going to quit challenging for the top spot.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!

Rest in Peace Captain Phil...you are my favorite crabber


Only I can do this!

The DOR may "dance" with other horses. She may ride other horses. The DOR might groom and pet other horses. But I am the only horse that can make her this happy....yep I am the DOR's happy making appy! She even gets tickled with my mud covered face. She asked me if I had been doing somersaults or headstands...what ever. Doesn't she know the benefits of a good mud facial?
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!

Horse update and help request:

OUTLOOK -- Police want your help to find those who shot several horses over the weekend, killing one of them.

The Yakima County Sheriff's Office says four horses in a pasture near Price and Hudson Roads near outlook were shot between Saturday night and Sunday morning. One died, and another may not live.

Owners used the animals as riding horses for kids. deputies are calling the crime animal cruelty and vandalism. If you know anything about the shooting, call 509-574-2500.


I got my boogie on

The DOR's nickname for me is Boogie, she says it is because we are always dancing when we are together. I think that is a nice way to think about our relationship, it is a dance. Like dance steps we get better the more we practice and when everything is going well it feels like magic.
I wanted to show you I have my boogie back...look at my moves as I go over the railroad tie. I still have a bit of a hitch in my get-along I am a bit tight in the hind end, but I a getting back to my old self. I even threw in some snorts and head shakes for the DOR's entertainment. We had fun in the arena and plan on heading there next weekend. The DOR says she is going to saddle me up and if things look good she is going to lead me with Mushboy on my back so I can start carrying weight again. I will have to be very careful with Mushboy on my back because if anything bad happens Freedom and Salty will beat me up for sure. Have a wonderful Monday and maybe you can sneak a little boogie into your step sometime during the day. I know the DOR is going to try to do so since this is her first day back to work in a week...she has had pneumonia.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!

Breaking news this morning:
Some RAB shot 4 horses standing in their pasture at Outlook, WA. One horse died and one may not make it. What the heck!! Horses should be safe in their own home. When they catch the person I hope they let me visit them so I can give them a big ol' appy hoof upside the head, maybe I will give him a couple of hooves after all giving is good.


Quote for the week

Your horse is your mirror

(and sometimes they are a mirror of themselves as in this picture)
This statement is so true
and one every human should remember.
Your horse will reflect back at you the truth about yourself. Sometimes it is a truth that you would rather not see. It is our job to help humans become the best they can be, to grow into themselves, to live rich and blessed lives.
When the DOR is hiding her fear I make sure to point it out by doing something to make her jump, usually it is by looking wall-eyed at something like I am scared so she has to sooth me. When the DOR is feeling confident I manage to do amazing things while we are riding. When the DOR is unfocused I bring her right back to the here-and-now; no not by stomping on her toe although I have thought about it on occasion. When the DOR is tense and holding her breath (sometimes it is like she forgets to breathe) I sigh, shake my head, and lower my nose to the ground-this always makes her sigh and relax also.
Not only do horses reflect and try to help their owner's emotions, sometimes we actually act out our humans emotions. We bolt because our human is afraid, we are lazy because our rider is unmotivated, and we can not be true partners to our human because they are unable to open up their hearts.
The DOR has been spending a lot of time this winter looking in the mirror of her horses. She has become happier in the process. It has become such an important part of her life that she feels uncentered on the days when she can't be with us, when she can't see herself reflected back through our interactions.
Take some time this week and see what the mirror of your horse (or any other creature) is reflecting back for you to see.
Enjoy your week and don't forget to hug your DOR!


Freedom speaks Saturday: Great weather, no time for bed!

So the weather yesterday afternoon cleared up. The sun was shining, my old bones were warming up, and I had things to watch-it was not a time to be going to bed. Mushboy showed up with my dinner and went to tuck me in, well I was having none of that no siree Bob! I took off at a trot across the pasture. Mushboy followed so I loped circles around him. I was making that kid mighty frustrated because he got to hollering "Whoa Freedom!". Well I am an old guy and I don't see or hear to good these days and I am sure he was hollering "Go Freedom!", so go I did! I was loping here and loping there and Mushboy was getting all mad. He went to the barn to get a halter, he was intending to catch me. Well I am not going to let him catch me with that bad attitude he was showing so I just stayed five feet ahead of him. The DOR told him that he should be talking nice and being pleasant or he was going to be all night trying to catch me, she was right. I know that it never takes longer than 30 minutes to change Mushboy's attitude, but I got all the time in the world if it is needed. Mushboy adjusted his attitude and I let him catch me. The DOR told him that I was being good and he should tell me so, she told him that I didn't need to cooperate while he was putting the halter on and that I could have taken off at any time. Mushboy thanked me for being good and then tucked me into bed.
While I love my mush, the weather was so nice I really would have rather stayed out and played. Yesterday I was feeling like a teenager again, happens every Spring and I love it.
We are all getting cleaned up today. The DOR has asked me not to be so hard on Mushboy. I will think about it, after all a young man needs to respect his elders.
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-Season 4 Episode 30

So here I am after the DOR removed a layer of mud off of me. The sky is dreary...this has been our sky for the past few weeks. The DOR says I am her bright spot.

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

Let the beading begin

The DOR has my bareback pad ready, now she is working on my fancy dressings. She has the large fetishes for my fancy blanket and is going to use turquoise, bone, horn and amber beads to finish it off with. She is going to paint some significant symbols on it also. Add some fringe and biscuit tin jingles and it will be ready to go. She will just have to convince me to wear it. I guess it will be slightly better than being painted up like a girlie horse.

She is going to make me a horse hood, like I am going to wear the flipping thing. She says it will be like wearing a flymask. I remove my flymask as often as possible and walk all over it, I don't think she will like it if I do that to her fancy horse hood, in fact I might even get in trouble for that.
I must say I know I have the ability to make the costume look good simply because it will be on me.... Well the DOR still has to get it all put together, I am praying for warm weather so the DOR will get side-tracked riding Sir Darby (never thought I would want her riding another horse).
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!


Less word Wednesday

I found the little bugger...I gave him a shadowectomy. Spring is on the way...
The local groundhog, Kennewick Kevin did not see his shadow. Those east coast rodents are wrong.
Appreciate the few days of winter we have left.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!


No shadows allowed!

So today is groundhog day. The day some varmint is going to tell us if there is going to be more winter or if spring is close at hand. Well I have some advice for the little critters: if you know what is good for you better be informing us spring has sprung! Have you seen an appy hoof close up?
I want to know why horses don't get to decide whether winter is going to be longer or not? Why isn't the call made on whether we have started shedding yet? Why not predict spring by the mares that are in heat. Well you can't predict spring using Breezey, she is a bit cheap and easy going into heat if a gelding even looks at her, but use normal mares. How about looking at our hoof growth, has it sped up then spring is here. But nooooo, people would rather trust a giant rat...hmmmph

So my suggestion little groundhog is if you aren't sure that you won't see your shadow follow this little guy's example and stay in bed. I know all of us horses would be ever so grateful because we are sick of the mud.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!


Jack's favorite sea captain-Captain Phil Harris of the Cornelia Marie-had a stroke last Friday. Hope he recovers soon. he needs to take his own advice for a bit "Put on your stretchy pants and call it a day"


Is it spring yet?

Has spring arrived yet? The birds are tweeting, the buds are starting to appear on the fruit trees, the mares are in heat, and there a sprigs of grass sprouting in the pasture.
I am hoping for spring. This has been a wet winter. We aren't used to this much rain. Rain makes mud and with all the clay in our soil it makes really goopy mud. The moisture also makes for some interesting smells emanating from the dairy next to us. The DOR tried to tell me that I smelled like swamp water and then she realized that it was "poop pond" in the neighboring field sharing its lovely aroma.
I hope the mares go out of heat soon. All the squealing, kicking, pawing, and kicking is driving us geldings nuts...and that is just Sir Darby doing his stud imitation. The mares are all singing backup to his raucous song.
Freedom wants the grass to grow taller so he can start tearing some off to gum on all day. He chew grass like Mushboy chews gum, he chomps all of the flavor out of it and then spits it out getting some more. He also loves it when the flowers bloom, Freedom loves his flowers.
The best part about spring is that the days are longer. With longer days the DOR gets in some ride time after work. Here is to spring and all of the fun that it is going to bring.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!

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