Yesterday was windy. Not just any old wind, but gusts strong enough to make a little spotted horse work to stay upright. Then the rain came.... Rain and wind, wind and rain. All of that combined with dust and created little dirt spots on my beautiful butt. The DOR says she will give me a nice bath on the first nice day we get. I hate to tell her that I will just drop and roll when she is done. Speaking of rolling, I got caught rolling by the DOR when she came out for one of the sessions with Freedom's Lady. She squawked at me like a chicken and then came out and gave me a good scratching. Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!
Yeah to what Nate said at the clinic that the DOR attended. He talked about how the release needs to be slow, when you release to fast the bit bangs your horse's mouth. He said that unclear cues make horses confused and when we are confused we get cranky. Yep the DOR know about unclear cues and confusion...that is what happened when I sent her to the moon a year ago. He pointed out that hands should move up and in or down and out, elbows staying at your side. He had her work on forehand and haunch turns. He broke the moves down into small sequential steps. By the end of the clinic all of the horses were much softer, even Sir Darby with his hard mouth. The DOR has lots of homework, makes me a bit glad I am still laid up or I would be in for it for sure. Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!
Note to self-do not wear the shirt that says "I do my own stunts" with a picture of a bucking horse and rider to another clinic....not a good choice at all, bad karma.
~ The DOR
The DOR rode Sir Darby at a clinic yesterday. She had a good time for the most part. She made two crucial errors though. Error number one was riding a horse other than me at a clinic. I don't care if I can't be ridden yet, that just means she can't go to clinics. It is bad for her to be parading about with another horse in public. She can ride around the ranch or on trails all she wants...but showing off another horse besides me is just wrong! Crucial error number two was wearing her shirt that says "I do my own stunts", if you ask me she was just asking for trouble. She asked for trouble and she got it and there is a part of me (a very small part) that is laughing my spotted butt off at her. The DOR and Sir Darby were at one end of the arena when a horse started acting up. The two of them moved to get out of the way only to be blocked by a mounting block, they maneuvered around it only to have the wind kick up and start flapping a pink flag around. Darby jumped sideways, that was fine, but then he sat on his haunches and spun-that was it. The DOR hadn't quite gotten regrouped from the jump sideways and she was leaning in the wrong direction to sit the spin and off she came. The DOR has decided that she really like having a suede seat on her saddle. She was riding her slick seat saddle and she finds it hard to stay centered on, she says it is like sitting on grease. The DOR got back on Sir Darby and rode the rest of the clinic. They had a good time and learned a lot. The DOR will never where that shirt when riding again, best not to tempt fate. By the was Sir Darby I saw you wearing my saddle blanket, saddle, and bridle. I have already told you to use your own tack. If you keep using my stuff I am going to give you a big ol' appy hood upside your head. I don't care if the DOR puts it on you, just shake the saddle and blanket off every time she does that and refuse to take the bit. You are perfectly capable of making it clear that my stuff is mine! Oh and in case you didn't notice, the picture of the horse that was on the baseball cap the DOR wore today was of me, me not you Sir Darby so take that why don't you. Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!
Here I am working with my new project. It is my job to help Freedom's Lady, aka Free, stay calm and collected. Yesterday I spent most of the day with her in the big paddock. I know I can't chew hay, but I thought it was important that Free learn to share her feed tub. Sharing is important in the herd. I also wanted to show her that there are bosses in the herd and I am the boss in our herd of two. The DOR wanted to make sure she had my extra soothing touch while she was learning to lead today. Free did a fine job with her leading lessons, I did lots of coaching. Today the DOR is at a Nate Smith clinic so Free won't get much work in. Don't worry I will keep coaching her along. My work is never done, isn't that great! 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 little wild child having a bit of a stand-off with Paul and Steele. I love the color of the sky against these two dark horses. 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!
So the peace of the ranch was disturbed yesterday by the buzzing of a gazillion and one wasps. Shandi's eyes about came out of her head. I was calm and collected as I hid behind her, I mean as I stood guarding her right flank. We kept a keen eye out for the little terrorists. Hopefully the traps the DOR set would stop them from attacking us. I looked over at the old farts pasture and they didn't look too worried. In fact I am sure that Freedom was giggling at me. Salty informed me that Freedom was laughing at me because there were no wasps. There is a crew using chainsaws at the ranch. It seems chainsaws are some kind of tool that humans use to cut down trees. Now why would you want to cut down a perfectly good tree? Humans can be so strange. Well as long as there was not a gazillion and one wasps hovering I decided to go back to grazing. Shandi and I were relaxing, enjoying the sunshine and grass when Freedom called over, "Hey your royal blingness...you better watch your spotted butt because those chainsaws are being run by bears. Bears love nothing better than young big appy butts! Good thing I am a scrawny old fart." I took off to the far end of the pasture and spent the rest of the time the bears were there in the corner with my butt to the dairy. No way was any chainsaw packing bear sneaking up on me. Thing I can't figure out is why all the other horses spent the day laughing. Although I have heard that sometimes laughter is a way to cover up fear...I guess they were all scared poopless. Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!
This is not an ad for a particular kind of wasp trap. This is not the kind of trap the DOR used, but she has but up traps for the little terrorists! The DOR avoids wasps because she is allergic to them, bad things happen if one stings her. The wasps are already out, buzzing like little chainsaws around my water tub. They are doing bombing runs in the barn and lay wait in the grooming box. One has already stung one of the ranch horses...it should go to jail for assault. I am going to stomp all of the wasps that I can. I have to do that because the darn traps have not caught one of the stinky things. Okay they have only been up for one day, but still you think one would have managed to get caught. I have a feeling that this year is going to be full of bugs. I really don't like bugs, they bother me. The DOR says I can wear a fly sheet all summer and that will help. Let me think about that, hmmmm, no I don't think so. Why should I suffer because the bugs can't behave themselves? I think I will teach my Shandi Doll to wave her tail all around me and keep the bugs off me. Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!
Spring means shedding, shedding means itching, itching means scratching.... Here is Freedom scratching his butt. I am surprised that the old fart can still get up and down, let alone rock and scratch his butt. I have been scratching and itching any way I can. The DOR has been helping all of out by brushing all of us each day. She has been spending extra time working my back over, she worries that rolling could tweak my back and set my recovery back a bit. The best part of spring is getting our daily brushing...we are spoiled. Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!
An old, but true saying as far as it goes. But as the DOR and I have found out there is more to a horse than good feet. I have wonderful feet, rock crushing appy feet, but I can't be ridden. My accident caused some serious muscular and neurological damage. I am recovering slowly, but the final outcome is still unknown and a long way off. I got checked over and worked on by the equine therapist yesterday. She said I am a bit of a mess. I can't help it if I was dirty and furry, it is spring shedding time...I have a feeling that isn't what she was talking about. She spent a lot of time adjusting things and trying to get my butt connected to my brain again. Does that mean if I was a butt head the DOR would be happy? There was a discussion that I need to go to the therapist's facility for two weeks of intensive bodywork. I don't like being away from home, so I am trying to prove I don't need to go. The DOR teases me that if I can never be ridden again she is going to turn me into a cart pony...I don't think so! Sir Darb and Freedom also got worked on. Sir Darby was deemed in fine shape only needing a few adjustments. Freedom is doing well for an ancient fart. The point of this post is that people need to remember there are more things that impact a horses being able to be ridden than their feet. Teeth can cause riding issues. A horse needing chiropractic adjustments can cause bucking under saddles. Ulcers can cause odd behaviors. A simple fall in the pasture can cause nerve damage. Humans know how much maintenance their bodies take, horses need the same thing. Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!
There is a new resident at the ranch, a little tuxedo kitty. He has decided that the pigeon box is a great perch to watch the goings on from. The little guy climbs up the ladder and keeps an eye on things.
Little kitty coming down from the pigeon box. He is a smart little guy. I want to update you on my Freedom's Lady, she is doing well under my guidance. She is letting the DOR, the Horse Guardian, and one of their friends pet her. She is standing for swinging ropes and waving halters. Now I just need to convince her to wear her halter and lead so she can join me for dinner. 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 DOR's favorite spotted butt with a beautiful horizon. 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!
The phrase Mizu no Kokoro is translated as 'a mind like still water' Calm water is like a mirror and gives a picture of all that is around. Conversely troubled waters only reflect the turmoil within. When a person approaches a problem with calm and composure then like the reflection on calm water he sees everything. So also when a problem causes turmoil then like the troubled water on confusion is seen. Imagine an intellect as calm, a will as relentless and indomitable and a personality as adaptable as water and you will have envisioned a MIND LIKE WATER. — Sensei Takayuki Mikami
This is something that the DOR is practicing recently. She feels that if she can have a mind like still water she will be able to see what is truly going on with us horses, that our communication will be better, and her emotions won't influence us inadvertently. I am a bit concerned that she may start wearing monk's robes and chanting...sometimes she is so strange. Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!
So it turns out that I am not the only guy in the DOR's life. In fact I am shattered to have to share I am not the love of her life-the SCC is. Here is a photo that Mushboy took of him yesterday. The SCC is standing patiently outside of the paddock where the DOR is working with a rescue horse. He is there just in case...just in case she stumbles, just in case she needs help, just in case she needs supplies. I think he stands there and watches her just like she often stands and watches us. Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!
At the clinic the DOR attended on Saturday the clinician said a lot of things that made the DOR think. One of those things was not to kick your horse, but just squeeze with your legs, kicking just makes your horse irritated. I can tell you that kicking me makes me behave badly. I am light and sensitive. A squeeze and clear directions with the DOR's seat and hands is all it takes. Kicking me is likely to cause a werehorse incident. The DOR took this photo at the clinic, there is something about it that she really likes. Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!
Your hands need to move slow, fast hands make a horse nervous ~Nate Smith
When the DOR heard this something clicked, sort of like a big ol' appy hoof upside her head. She has worked hard to have light/soft hands, but she hasn't realized the value of slowing her hands down. When she is moving her hands too fast her message can get muddled. Besides that, the rapid movement can startle me because I am so sensitive and responsive. The DOR is going to work on slowing her hands down, I am glad she is practicing on Sir Darby and not me. She is also thinking that slowing down and savoring things might be a good idea in general. I think in addition to slowing down she needs to practice some deep breathing. Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!
Wooo Hooo I have a job! I love having a job. My favorite job is babysitting calves, but I also like helping out worried horses-especially mares. I have a mare coming that needs my help. She needs to learn that humans are okay, that life in a pasture can be wonderful, and that every day is a wonderful gift. I am going to help this little mare learn all of this. I still got moves and I might even be able to convince her to give me a smooch once in a while. Oh and she has the perfect name Freedom's Lady, Free for short. The DOR is off to a Nate Smith clinic today. Poor Jack and Sir Darby, that means she will be torturing them on Sunday....I hope he doesn't do a clinic on what to make old horses do or I am in for it! 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 view of part of Scooby's pasture. While we got snow where I stay today, none of it stuck, the white stuff laying on the ground is a bunch of Scooby's hair. 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!
Here are Salty and Freedom, Mushboy's old fart horses, ripping after him in the pasture. It is spring and even the old guys are feeling frisky. It reminded the DOR of a line from Where The Wild Things Are "let the rumpus begin!" Salty's knee isn't bothering him and the treatment that Freedom is currently on for his cancer seems to be helping him feel better. Amazing how much they love their boy, they meet him at the entry gate every day and give him smooches. I hope I have the energy of the two old guys when I am their age. The DOR has planted wildflower seeds around the odd couples shelter, they should be sprouting in the next month or so. Freedom gets flowers replanted in his planters as needed, his favorites are British Daisies. Salty is getting extra brushing, he is a woolie yak during the winter. Spring is a wonderful time of year for us all! Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!
I was trotting up a storm yesterday evening. I heard the DOR in the barn making treats, so I had to hustle up. As soon as I realized she was peeking at me I start to just saunter...can't have her thinking I am a treat monster. When the DOR sees me moving like this she gets all happy, she imagines us riding again soon. Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!
Spring is a wonderful time. We are all shedding to beat the band. Freedom gets the wooliest of all of us and he looks like he is snowing every time anyone pets him. The DOR and the SCC have been brushing all of us every day and we haven't lost all of our winter woolies. We love getting brushed because shedding makes us itchy. The DOR comes to see us and she has no hair on her. By the time she has brushed six horses she is covered with enough hair to start looking like a horse herself. I do want to suggest that one not wear a sweater when brushing a shedding horse, it is hard to pick out all of the hair. Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!
This saying is one that Freedom is taking seriously in the second picture. The silly old fart loves flowers, he is the only horse the DOR knows who wants flowers in his paddock. His paddock had a spring make-over just so the senile guy can enjoy his flowers. Humans use this saying to remind them to take time to enjoy life. They get so busy rushing around that they turn into "human doings" and not human beings. I think that horses have perfected the art of enjoying life. We eat tasty things, we lounge in the sun, take mid day naps, scritch each other, and never pass up an opportunity for fun. We work for our living too, those of us who aren't retired for some reason, but as soon as our work is over we are busy enjoying things. Take time this week to smell the roses. Try acting like a horse, do your job the set about to have fun. Enjoy your week and don't forget to hug you DOR.
Oh goody, spring has arrived! I love the flowers, they smell so good. The green grass is nice, I chew it like gum and spit it out when the flavor is gone. It is also time for spring cleaning. I am shedding my old winter hair. I do so enjoy my brushing every evening, that hair is itchy. My winter blanket will be washed and packed away. My paddock will be scrapped down and nice soft shaving loaded in it. The DOR is going to plant flowers in my hanging feed buckets so I can sniff them each day. I am going to get spoiled rotten, as I should be, again this spring and summer. We have our spring rituals and they are comforting. This is my 46th spring, this summer we will celebrate my 47th birthday. Each year has been filled with so much to be thankful for. I can look back and say I have had a wonderful life, I can look forward and anticipate all the good days to come. So enjoy this fine spring day and count all of your blessings. 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 DOR has little crocus flowers just starting to appear in her yard. Spring is here and that is so nice. Longer days, green grass, birds singing, green grass, sun to soak up, and green grass. I love the spring flowers and did I mention grass. Freedom loves flowers so the spring is especially nice for him. Freedom had eye surgery, read about it here, and had cancer removed. The surgery was successful and the prognosis was good. Last week the DOR noticed something odd about Freedom's eye, a tiny white spot by his tear duct. The spot has grown and it has become obvious that the cancer has returned. The vet will have to determine what can be done since his third eye lid was removed during the last surgery, it means this cancer is going to be more difficult to address. Good thing Freedom is good about wearing his shades 24/7. Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!
The DOR went up on Sunday to visit Scooby. She had a new container of Berry Good Treats to play "hide the treat" with. Hank, Scooby's seeing eye horse, could see the treats so he pulled everything out of the grooming box and then crunched the lid off of the container. Scooby got all happy because he could smell one of his favorite treats. He knew the games would be on! The DOR dumps a few treats by her feet and then calls Scooby, he finds her in the pasture and then sniffs out the treats (the game was complicated a bit by the broken lid), while he is eating the treats the DOR moves to another spot and places more treats. When Scooby finishes his pile she calls him and he comes to get more. They played for about an hour, moving around the 1 1/2 acres. By the last part of the game Scooby was loping between piles of treats to find the DOR, the DOR was laughing like a kid, and they both were having a wonderful time. The DOR is trying to find ways that Scooby can still feel included and to make him feel likes he still has a job. I think it is amazing that some humans see the value of every horse they meet and love to learn the lessons that we have to teach them. Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!
I have never seen Sir Darby, but I know a few things about him. One of those things is that he is a thief! See that bridle he is sporting...that is my special bridle. I don't share that bridle with anyone, that would be like the DOR sharing her toothbrush-gross. I don't care if the DOR says that sharing is nice, there are just some things a horse shouldn't have to share. If I am ever in the arena doing my therapy and Sir Darby is in there wearing my bridle I am going to give him a big ol' appy hoof on his half appyperch butt! The DOR gave us all a good brushing this weekend. That made my mud rolling later even more effective. Hope you have sunshine today. Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR!