Salty the Wonderhorse

Salty the Wonderhorse is Mushboy's first horse. Salt taught Mushboy that being part of the world is a good thing. He helped Mushboy face school, learn to talk to people, and how to show love. Salty seems to know when Mushboy needs a bit of extra support. When Mushoy has had a very stressful day he will just sit on Salty's back and unwind.
Yesterday was farrier day, the first one without Freedom. Mushboy was missing the old man and Salty knew how hard it was on him. Salty made sure that Mushboy knew that sadness is part of life. Without sadness there would be no joy. Salty kindly and lovingly helped Mushboy through the day and in the end had him smiling.
Amazing the power we horses have isn't it?
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!
The blue wrap on Salty's knee is covering a ThermalCare Heat Wrap. The DOR puts it on Salty's knee 2 hours before his trimming to help his knee be more flexible and comfortable while he is trimmed. The farrier says it helps a lot, so it might be something to try if you have a horse with a bum knee or is terribly arthritic.



Shandi is concerned that having her tail wrapped might make her butt look big. I tried to tell her that big butts are the way to go, the best kind of butts, a perfectly fine butt. However, she is a dainty little lolly dolly and worries about her looks.
With the weather being so erratic and Shandi being such a delicate dolly, her tummy has been upset. As a result she has a case of cow plops...not nice, not nice at all. The poo makes a big mess of her thick beautiful tail-dreadlocks and nastiness. The DOR took pity on the SCC and wrapped Shandi's tail to minimize the yuck he would have to scrub out later.
In the meantime my Shandi Doll is one stylin filly.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!


The hotter the better

Mushboy loves hot sauce, I mean he really loves hot sauce! He studies about it, reads everything he can find about it, and collects it. Mushboy makes some wicked hot salsa too.
Here is the latest of the sauces he is trying. 750,000 scoville units is too darn hot for the DOR. She tried some on a chip and won't be doing that again. This stuff has even curtailed the amount of hot sauce that Mushboy is putting on things.
I made it clear that none of that stuff is to get near our treats....I am sure it would launch me to the moon.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!


Mud bath

So our snow is melting and now we have mud in our pastures. Not just any mud, but suck the DOR's boots off mud.
It is slippery and makes it hard for me to boss Friend around. All I can get Friend to do is to walk in big circles. Darn guy won't run, trot, or even scoot...where is the fun?
I am hoping for the sun to dry the stuff out. If we don't get sun I am praying for a big snow dump. After all I have to keep busy and in shape somehow and teasing Friend is lots of fun.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!


Quote for the week

We treat the horses like it is a holiday almost everyday, maybe because that is how they make us feel
Mushboy has it mostly right about how we are treated. We get special treats of some sort almost everyday. Some days we don't get special treats, but that is after we have behaved a bit rudely-okay really rudely using our teeth and hooves to keep others from getting treats too. We have to have good manners and things are just fine.
Mushboy did make one big error though. Before a real holiday the DOR shows up with her bag of costumes and makes us play dress-up. I really hate dress-up days, some days are way worse than others, but it is a small price to pay for a never ending supply of treats.
I hope that is was a Merry Christmas for all!
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!


Merry Christmas

The Night Before Christmas
by Sister St. Thomas, B.N.D. de N

A more spiritual version of the famous Christmas story.

T'was the night before Christmas, and all through the town,
St. Joseph was searching, walking up roads and down;

Our Lady was waiting, so meek and so mild,
While Joseph was seeking a place for the Child.

The children were nestled, each snug in their beds,
The grown-ups wouldn't bother, "There's no room," they said;

When even the inkeeper sent them away,
Joseph was wondering, where they would stay?

He thought of the caves in the side of the hills,
"Let's go there," said Mary, "it's silent and still."

The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow,
Made pathways of light for their tired feet to go;

And there in a cave, in a cradle of hay,
Our Saviour was born on that first Christmas Day!

The Father was watching in heaven above,
He sent for His angels, His couriers of love.

More rapid than eagles God's bright angels came,
Rejoicing and eager as each heard his name;

"Come Power, Come Cherubs, Come Virtues, Come Raphael,
Come Thrones and Dominions, come Michael and Gabriel;

Now fly to the Earth, where My poor people live,
Announce the glad tiding My Son comes to give."

The Shepherds were watching their flocks on this night,
And saw in the heavens an unearthly light.

The Angels assured them, they'd nothing to fear,
It's Christmas they said, the Saviour is here!

They hastened to find Him, and stood at the door,
Till Mary invited them in to adore.

He was swaddled in bands from His head to His feet,
Ne'er did the Shepherds see a baby so sweet!

He spoke not a word, but the shepherds all knew,
He was telling them secrets and blessing them too;

Then softly they left Him, The Babe in the hay,
And rejoiced with great joy on that first Christmas Day.

Mary heard them exclaim as they walked up the hill,
"Glory to God in the Highest, Peace to men of good will!"


If I Should Grow Frail

A dear friend shared this poem and I thought it said things so well. It brought me a sense of peace and comfort....

If I Should Grow Frail
-- by Julia Napier, copyright 1999

If it should be that I grow frail and weak
And pain does keep me from my sleep,
Then will you do what must be done
For this - the last battle - can't be won.

You will be sad I understand
But don't let grief then stay your hand.
For on this day, more than the rest
Your love and friendship must stand the test.

We have had so many happy years,
You wouldn't want me to suffer so.
When the time comes, please, let me go.

Take me to where my needs they'll tend,
Only, stay with me till the end.
And hold me firm and speak to me
Until my eyes no longer see.

I know in time you will agree
It is a kindness you do to me.
Although my tail its last has waved,
From pain and suffering I have been saved.

Don't grieve that it must now be you
Who has to decide this thing to do.
We've been so close - we two -these years,
Don't let your heart hold any tears.


On his own terms

Yesterday when I posted about "The Old One" and Freedom I had no idea what that day would hold. I didn't know that the horse that has amazed us all with his tenacity would be leaving us. I never wanted to make the choice to help him cross the rainbow bridge. I wanted his passing to be his own choice and on his own terms. Yesterday he made it-it was his choice and it was going to be on his terms. Freedom had always given us his best, did everything we asked him to do, and loved us deeply. Yesterday he asked me to listen to him and give him his request, help him cross the rainbow bridge....to give him my best and not question his choice.
This picture was taken in August of this year. Freedom and Mushboy were playing soccer with several other horses. Freedom came to us so very thin and in such bad shape we wondered if he would survive. Not only did he survive, he thrived! He and I herded cows once-he did better once I just let him do what he knew how to do and just went along for the ride. He packed The Support Crew Chief down a trail and left the youngsters in his dust. He delighted in carrying Mushboy around the pasture. After he was fully retired he would take the ranch cats for pony rides. Freedom adopted a chicken named Trudy and would share his mush with her. He was quite the character: stealing calves, jumping fences when his pasture was changed, teaching young horses manners, and keeping watch over the ranch and its herd.
He taught me that age is a state of mind, that there are no excuses not to live your life to the fullest, and to suck it up when things are tough.
Several times I thought we might loose him. Yesterday morning it looked as though he would live forever. I am thankful he didn't waste away, that he never really was ill, that he was mobile and happy, and that he chose his time. Even at the end he was telling us where he wanted to lay down for the final time, he was opinionated and pushy until the end.
He was laid to rest beside Ginger. Freedom will now get to be with Freedom's Lady in spirit. I am sure his spirit will visit her and enjoy following her in the mountains.
Freedom was an amazing horse and he will be missed so very much.
Thank you for blessing our lives Freedom. Keep watch over the calves in heaven, I am sure that God will let you keep all of them that you want. Eat all the grass you can find with your new set of teeth. Find Hank and Scooby, they will be glad to see you. Tell Grandfather hi.
Rest in peace my friend.
Freedom wants you all to remember "Life is soooo good!"


The reason why

Here is a photo of Freedom with his "boy I love my scritches" face on. He gets scritches everyday...it doesn't matter how busy the day has been or how hurried the humas are-he always get scritched.
Freedom is a mush face. Mushboy brings him a bucket of hot mush twice a day, rain or shine. People ask the the DOR why she still keeps Freedom around. He hasn't been able to be ridden in three years, except by the ranch cats. Has had cancer surgery in his eye and the cancer has returned. His feed bill would pay board on two healthy horses. So she is often asked why she doesn't put him down. She doesn't because he isn't in pain, he is a good weight, loves life, and he loves Mushboy. She also shares a story that was once shared with her, one that she will never forget. A story that points out that every horse has value. I want to share that story with you:

Because of Love
A brother and sister had made their usual hurried, obligatory pre- Christmas visit to the little farm where dwelt their elderly parents with their small herd of horses. The farm was where they had grown up and had been named Lone Pine Farm because of the huge pine, which topped the hill behind the farm. Through the years the tree had become a talisman to the old man and his wife, and a landmark in the countryside... The young siblings had fond memories of their childhood here, but the city hustle and bustle added more excitement to their lives, and called them away to a different life.
The old folks no longer showed their horses, for the years had taken their toll, and getting out to the barn on those frosty mornings was getting harder, but it gave them a reason to get up in the mornings and a reason to live. They sold a few foals each year, and the horses were their reason for joy in the morning and contentment at day's end.
Angry, as they prepared to leave, the young couple confronted the old folks. Why do you not at least dispose of The Old One." She is no longer of use to you. It's been years since you've had foals from her. You should cut corners and save so you can have more for yourselves How can this old worn out horse bring you anything but expense and work? Why do you keep her anyway?"
The old man looked down at his worn boots, holes in the toes, scuffed at the barn floor and replied, "Yes, I could use a pair of new boots. His arm slid defensively about the Old One's neck as he drew her near with gentle caressing he rubbed her softly behind her ears. He replied softly,
"We keep her because of love. Nothing else, just love."
Baffled and irritated, the young folks wished the old man and his wife a Merry Christmas and headed back toward the city as darkness stole through the valley. The old couple shook their heads in sorrow that it had not been a happy visit. A tear fell upon their cheeks.. How is it that these young folks do not understand the peace of the love that filled their hearts?
So it was, that because of the unhappy leave-taking, no one noticed the insulation smoldering on the frayed wires in the old barn. None saw the first spark fall. None but the "Old One".
In a matter of minutes, the whole barn was ablaze and the hungry flames were licking at the loft full of hay. With a cry of horror and despair, the old man shouted to his wife to call for help as he raced to the barn to save their beloved horses. But the flames were roaring now, and the blazing heat drove him back.. He sank sobbing to the ground, helpless before the fire's fury. His wife back from calling for help cradled him in her arms, clinging to each other, they wept at their loss.
By the time the fire department arrived, only smoking, glowing ruins were left, and the old man and his wife, exhausted from their grief, huddled together before the barn. They were speechless as they rose from the cold snow covered ground. They nodded thanks to the firemen as there was nothing anyone could do now. The old man turned to his wife, resting her white head upon his shoulders as his shaking old hands clumsily dried her tears with a frayed red bandana. Brokenly he whispered, "We have lost much, but God has spared our home on this eve of Christmas. Let us gather strength and climb the hill to the old pine where we have sought comfort in times of despair. We will look down upon our home and give thanks to God that it has been spared and pray for our beloved most precious gifts that have been taken from us.
And so, he took her by the hand and slowly helped her up the snowy hill as he brushed aside his own tears with the back of his old and withered hand. The journey up the hill was hard for their old bodies in the steep snow. As they stepped over the little knoll at the crest of the hill, they paused to rest, looking up to the top of the hill the old couple gasped and fell to their knees in amazement at the incredible beauty before them.
Seemingly, every glorious, brilliant star in the heavens was caught up in the glittering, snow-frosted branches of their beloved pine, and it was aglow with heavenly candles. And poised on its top most bough, a crystal crescent moon glistened like spun glass. Never had a mere mortal created a Christmas tree such as this. They were breathless as the old man held his wife tighter in his arms.
Suddenly, the old man gave a cry of wonder and incredible joy. Amazed and mystified, he took his wife by the hand and pulled her forward. There, beneath the tree, in resplendent glory, a mist hovering over and glowing in the darkness was their Christmas gift. Shadows glistening in the night light. Bedded down about the "Old One" close to the trunk of the tree, was the entire herd, safe.
At the first hint of smoke, she had pushed the door ajar with her muzzle and had led the horses through it. Slowly and with great dignity, never looking back, she had led them up the hill, stepping cautiously through the snow. The foals were frightened and dashed about. The skittish yearlings looked back at the crackling, hungry flames, and tucked their tails under them as they licked their lips and hopped like rabbits. The mares that were in foal with a new years crop of babies, pressed uneasily against the "Old One" as she moved calmly up the hill and to safety beneath the pine. And now, she lay among them and gazed at the faces of the old man and his wife. Those she loved she had not disappointed. Her body was brittle with years, tired from the climb, but the golden eyes were filled with devotion as she offered her gift---
Because of love.

The entire herd looks to Freedom when we are worried, unsure, or just want a good friend and gentle guide. We love him and know he keeps a sharp eye on us at all time. We are in good hooves.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!


Christmas for Cowboys

What a wonderful song, the DOR and I really like it.

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


Quote for the week-Christmas

"Jack it is supposed to be HAVE A HOLLY JOLLY CHRISTMAS not have a grumpy rumpy Christmas"
~The DOR
I hate dress-up, really hate it!! To make matters worse this silly hat had blinking lights, the top flipped around, and it sang Have a Holly Jolly Christmas. How much do I have to take? The DOR is lucky I love her and did not kick her in the rumpy.
I do want to wish everyone a merry holiday season. I just want to do so in my own special appy way.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!


Freedom speaks Saturday-let it snow

This photo is from last year, new seasonal photos coming out soon.
Today was supposed to be farrier day, but the weather did not cooperate. The snow dumped with a vengeance and the farrier can't get here from there. It is a good thing too. The DOR and I have an understanding that I need to be able to keep being able to have my feet worked on by the farrier...it is important to my well being. Yesterday when she was out it was very obvious that I wouldn't be able to do that today. My hip is not working like it should and I am dragging my right hind again. The DOR looked at me and said "Fur face I have been thinking that you don't need to have your feet done tomorrow. I am thinking that you can wait for the next round." She was a bit sad telling me that, she is worrying about if I can get stable enough to have my feet done again. I also know she will keep coming up with excuses not to ask me to stand for the farrier if she knows I can't. Bless her for understanding and not asking for more than I can give. The DOR realizes that there are things I can't do anymore, that I give my best when asked to do something, and feel badly if I fail so she never sets me up to fail.
She is also hoping that another older mush face will be joining me soon so we can keep each other company and swap stories.
Life is sooooo good!


Here's your sign

A friend of the DOR sent her this picture...I think it says it all.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!


National Day Of The Horse

Encouraging citizens to be mindful of the contribution of horses to the economy, history, and character of the United States and expressing the sense of Congress that a National Day of the Horse should be established.

Whereas the horse is a living link to the history of the United States;

Whereas, without horses, the economy, history, and character of the United States would be profoundly different;

Whereas horses continue to permeate the society of the United States, as witnessed on movie screens, on open land, and in our own backyards;

Whereas horses are a vital part of the collective experience of the United States and deserve protection and compassion;

Whereas, because of increasing pressure from modern society, wild and domestic horses rely on humans for adequate food, water, and shelter; and

Whereas the Congressional Horse Caucus estimates that the horse industry contributes well over $100,000,000,000 each year to the economy of the United States: Now, therefore, be it Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That Congress--

(1) encourages all citizens to be mindful of the contribution of horses to the economy, history, and character of the United States;

(2) expresses its sense that a National Day of the Horse should be established in recognition of the importance of horses to the Nation's security, economy, recreation, and heritage; and

(3) urges the President to issue a proclamation calling on the people of the United States and interested organizations to observe National Day of the Horse with appropriate programs and activities.
So join the DOR and celebrate horses, give a horse a hug or donate to a rescue to help a horse.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!


Freedom speaks Saturday-twerps in the paper

The two twerps Jack and Friend made the local paper this week. Jeeze thanks Mr. Photographer Reporter Man! Now the only thing bigger than their two appy butts are their two enormous appy egos!!!
Oh well, this old man was in his shelter staying nice and toasty with my lady friend when the photographer showed up and I was not coming out.
I am glad the twerps made the paper, they are pretty nice guys.
Life is sooooo good!


Pete's progress

This is a picture of Pete when he arrived to do his rehab with the DOR. Worked out well-he needed to gain weight and she needed to loose weight.
RCER took this horse into their rescue and when he was ready he was made available for adoption.

This is Pete today after getting his blanket off because of our heat-wave. As you can see he has made a lot of improvement in the past month and a half that he has been rehabbing. He is headed to his new home next weekend, he is going to a fancy barn and learning dressage.
I am glad the DOR and her friends can see with their hearts and can envision what a horse really is not just what they are on the surface.
The DOR loves helping bring horses back to health and happiness-she loves seeing them get a second chance at life.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!



I have to apologized to our readers. This past month has been busy and I don't know when things will slow down. I have new herd members to educate, an OTTB to help rehab, and the mini Mafia to tease. The DOR is writing grants for work, writing reports for work, writing letters for work...she is doing a lot of writing. We are working on our book now while the winter weather is here. The DOR goes to work in the dark, comes home in the dark-she says she feels like a vampire only being outside in the dark.
I will try to be better about posting
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!


Quote for the week

If it doesn't have spots it can't possibly be a "real" horse
~Cactus Jack Splash

The horse in the photo is an Icelandic named Mighty Mouse (Mäktign Müs).
Yeah that's right I have an "ism". I suffer from spotism...if a horse does not have spots it can't possibly be a real horse, it is just a second-class impersonator.
Now we accept Shandi because she is a baby and she is my Doll. Salty has some mottled skin, so we have made him an honorary appy. But this little stud in the photo-NO WAY! I don't care that he has a wavy mane like Friend. I don't care that he is the size of my Shandi Doll. I don't care if he has a smoochy nose. He better develop spots if he plans on being part of this herd, otherwise the most he can hope for is to be considered a mascot and that is only if he pays proper homage to the spotty butts!
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!
The wonderful photo is by Amanda Barber of Amanda's Veranda...go to her website to experience some wonderful photos-it is a feast for the eyes.


Freedom speaks Saturday

"Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light." Helen Keller
I find this saying so profound. In my long life I have always had friends to walk through this life with. I have horse friends who keep me company and watch over me. I have Mushboy, my special human, who brings me hot mush twice day and always takes time to scritch me in my favorite spots. One of the things about getting to be my age (48) is that your eyesight does start to get bad and sometimes I get a bit confused. There is always a friend, be it furry or human, around to help me get where I need to be. I want to thank all of my friends for taking such fine care of me.
Life is soooo good!



One of the things the DOR has learned from us is determination. I have taught her determination through working on recovering from my injury. Sir Royal Pain had taught her determination in the manner which he works with her to become a better horseman. Friend teaches determination through his quiet/clear way of communication. Salty the Wonder Horse teaches determination by not allowing his disability to slow him down. Harley, Ginger, Lucky Horse Casino, Annie, Scooby and Hank along with so many more horses taught their own special lessons in determination. And Freedom, well he teaches all determination by his longevity and attitude about life.
Now how have the lessons paid off. Well the legs on the left are the DOR's in August and the ones on the right are her legs in November. She is determined to get into shape for an endurance ride on Friend this summer and to be light enough for us to dance together again. I have to say we have taught our lessons well-she has lost 100 pounds since she decided to loose weight, 60 of those pounds in the last three months.
Imagine all the things humans could do if they only took the time to learn the lessons that horses have to teach.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug you DOR!

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