What’s Under the Mask?


Baby Sims has been hiding out under a fly mask.

Baby Sims will be two months next week.  He has changed a lot.  We did not know what to think of his red coat as the odds were quite low (under 13%) that he would be a red.  And that includes being a red that turns gray.

I have certainly never seen anything like this.  You can see his baby coat is molting away.  Betty Sue did that and I was panicked she was going to be a bay.  I have no idea what Sims is going for-maybe some new Punk rock thing or a unique color combo we have not seen before.  So far, his under-coat looks to be a darker red.  But his ears, mane and tail are coming in BLACK!  His legs have lightened in color like a dark palomino.  I am perplexed.

Everyone from my vet to successful horse breeders tell me a different tale.  So, take a look at the many pictures and give me your vote.    I was told he would be a chestnut with a black mane and tail.  I found out that does happen, rarely, but the black is not a true black. Mama Fargo does have some dilute genes that might be causing a little havoc here.


Sims is loosing all his baby hair around his face and coming in less red.  It  is like he is molting.

Meanwhile while he is certainly a well put together young man, more than just his face is changing.


His legs are turning lighter, almost his mother’s Palomino color But wait for his mane and tail.

At least an inch on new mane growth is black.

I have never seen a horse born red that turns anything but grey. He looks like one of the teenager’s talked him into some weird Ombre look.   And you don’t go  black first and then onto grey.  Even his ears are almost all black now.



The tail still looks red but is black underneath.

sims tail 0717

I am holding back the top layer-black wouldn’t you say?

There is only one other idea I have (and I can’t wait to hear yours!) could he be turning smoky black?  Fargo has the genes for that.  Look at this picture I took of Fargo.  Looks perfect Palomino, but check out the black deep in her tail.  Hum…


                            Fargo’s blond and black tail.  So the black gene is there.

Anyway, here are some more pictures from today-it did start raining so you will get some spotted Sims but rest assured those are rain drops.

A melting changing face. Look at how dark his ears and forelock are. Pretty homely ‘lil face.  We will still love him no matter what color he is!

Hard to even know what this is- it is the top of Sims Head. That’s his dark ear on your right looking down his black and red mane. Pretty black, huh?


Here you can see his new light, light legs. A dun skin?

Let me know what color you think Sims will be.  I want all the theories.  Maybe someone came by and dyed his little mane and tail, well and his ears and his legs.

Anyway,  thanks for riding along.

Always something new on the horizon here.  Cross your fingers, we are hoping a baby is being made as we speak!  It should be a good (or even a great one)!


Let Time Go Lightly


Taking a dressage lesson on Diva.


As the morning sun made its way across the Houston sky this morning, I was introspective and subdued.  So many things in the world weigh heavily on me from the acts of shooting down policemen to watching our President speak at their funerals.  At no time when you contemplate your funeral do you want to have the President speak at it.  That is no doubt a big flag that your death was untimely and wrong.

Last night I watched a documentary on the White House. (I know, who does that?) Anyway,  did you know that days after Abraham Lincoln took up residence in the White House he could see Confederate soldiers camping along the Potomac?  If the Union army had not arrived, our White House could have been destroyed.  Sorry, I know this seems a little random.  My point is there has always been ups and downs in turmoil and struggle in this country and beyond.

Last night’s program made me reflect on the hard times we have faced as a nation and as individuals.  LBJ was never a favorite president in my house.  After the glitter and promise of the Kennedy days, LBJ days were dark with assignations and the Viet Nam war.  Still, I never thought about President Johnson having two son-in-laws in Viet Nam and facing protesters daily chanting, “L.B.J.-how many boys have you killed today?”.  What if he had to tell his daughters that their husbands were the ones that had died over there?  No easy times.  Those were hard times-for eveyone.  No wonder people took drugs! (Being flippant here-don’t take drugs.)

I suspect our country is headed for more tough times. And we have seen our share.  I guess that is why when I suddenly had an opportunity (friends coming for dinner Sunday cancelled) I did the first thing on my list of “want to-dos”, which was get on a horse. Let time go lightly when you can.

My horse Nova has had hoof problems stemming from our excessively wet spring to our brutally hot, dry summer.  She has not been doing well keeping her shoes on.  I swear she spots a lesson scheduled on her carrot phone calendar and yanks off her shoe just prior to lessons each week.

Anyway, with Nova steadfastly avoiding lessons, I decided to spend some time getting to know Jordyn’s new Quarter horse Diva.   I like the little quarter horse.  I like Quarter horses as a rule and this mare reminds me why. She is inquisitive, but quiet and interested in everything.  She had gotten ridden by several of the girls at camp but I had not been on her and not been able to really assess what we had bought.


                          Letting time go lightly with Diva

Sunday night while I was all alone  at the barn, I tacked up Diva and enjoyed a very uncomplicated, easy, no fuss ride on the back of this new five year-old.  Most of the time, I am working a young horse like Betty Sue that can go wacky on me fast. Or even on my horse Nova, we have had so many stops and starts in her training that we are always starting over again. It was pleasant to do uncomplicated.

Celebrating our new Monday closed status (everyone needs a day off, right?) I was back up on Diva seeking out some more Zen on the back of a horse time.  I started asking her some serious questions about what she knew and she answered fairly well.

Last night, we took our first Dressage lesson together. I was rusty from many weeks of missing lessons (thanks, Nova!). Diva is hard to convince it is time to get going, but once she does, she does well. Both trainer Nancy and I were enthusiatic over Diva.

In addition, to my horse back times, I have been working hard on my garden, moving trees, planning out a new garden for Luke and Ally, planting replacements, and relentlessly nurturing and watering the plants through the hot summer days.  I do a lot of nurturing.  Plants, dogs, cats, horse, kids, adults, Cindy tries to help and let growth begin or continue.

So, today’s topic?  There is so much going on, in the world and with each of us.  I do not know anyone that is not way past full on their obligation schedule.  I know I am.  It is important to take time for ourselves and those we love freeing up the usual restrictions and letting time go lightly.  It could be the best summer gift you can give. Let time go lightly!


I let time go lightly when I’m here with you,
I let time go lightly when the day is through.
I keep a watch on time when I’ve got work to do,
but I let time go lightly with you

Harry Chapin-



Thanks for riding along!


Oh, also on my things to do list last night was to save this baby deer that had gotten stuck behind our fence line.  As usual, Lauren was not going to touch it and it was up to Jo Ann and I to save the day (or the deer).

I had this happen before and this time I knew what to do.  Here is the story of the first time- https://exechorseluver.com/2014/06/24/what-story-can-i-tell-you-tonight/



I am going to have an update on Sims for the next post.  You will never believe what colors he is turning.  Actually, I have no idea where he is going with his current look.  Maybe punk rocker.  But I can tell you he continues to grow.  Over 300 pounds and almost 13 hands at 6 weeks.


What’s happening under the mask?  Stay tuned!

Ride On.



Fourteen Days

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Fourteen days of camp have come and gone.  Actually, for Mia and Isabel it has been 21 days of camp.  That is lot of time.  Honestly, I don’t think camp would have even been a thought if Mia had not moved to Malaysia over 18 months ago.  We needed a reason for her to come back and stay with us for a while and making up a working student camp was as good as any.

Last summer Mia came and we had a week long mini-camp.  But this summer things got bigger.  I had mentioned the camp one day in the Oklahoma office of my work, and the next thing I knew I had a colleague eager to send her daughter, Makenna.  My granddaughter Jordyn is almost nine.  She was ready for overnight camp.  She came as well.

By June we had three overnight campers and two day campers, Isabel and Allyson.  Isabel and Mia had some idea what they were getting into but not the others.  Lauren runs this camp.  It is her idea of teaching kids that there is a lot of work to do behind the scenes at any horse barn.  And she did not go gently.  I am very proud of the program Lauren put together.  I am very proud of the girls that made it through two weeks in the brutal Texas heat and I hope they are proud of the work they did and what they learned.

Here are the highlights (or low points depending on your perspective)-

  • The first day all the girls emptied the big arena of all the jumps and poles.  I counted over 30 poles (wooden) and at least 14 sets of wooden standards.  Day One-over 100 degree heat index, the arena was painstakingly emptied.  I don’t think the girls were prepared for the weight, the heat or amount of time in the sun.  It was a little much.
  • From there guest speakers came and went sharing their time and knowledge with the girls.  Elizabeth, a student at Texas A&M, shared the stories of her semester in Kentucky working at the thoroughbred foaling farms.  She also gave practical information about college, what was needed to get there and what it was like.
  • Dr. Criner  came next doing an insightful series on equine dentistry.  I dare say the girls learned more than they ever wanted to know about horse’s teeth!

All along the girls were assigned specific horses which they were responsible to feed, groom and care for each day.  The first day the feed room was a mad house, but then the girls learned to rotate through, mixing up the specific feed and supplements for the horses they were caring for.  Many of the girls had never mixed feed before or had any idea about horse nutrition.  They do now!

  • Probably one of the favorite field trips was to Lone Star Sporthorses.  The girls got to take in the one of the grandest new barns in the area.  Fitted with beautiful wood, matted paver tiles and the best of all features.   They learned a lot about European horse breeding with hands on a gorgeous stallion, imported mares and outstanding babies. Look at this one-


LadyKilla LS (Bubalu VDL x Nabab de Reve x Narcos II) At three months

The girls also learned from Leeanna to get baby Sims a ball to play with.  It was so fun to watch him.  He had a ball!  Get it?

Saturday morning found the girls saddled up western style for some traditional Texas riding.  They were spending the morning with Sarah, a barrel racer, trainer and outstanding horse woman.  She took the English girls through a little background and they all gained knowledge of sport and I suspect a little respect for the ladies that participate in it.  It was all made more special because all the horses in the ring (including Libby on Cody who riding but not doing the clinic) came originally from Sarah.

Barrel and Pole clinic with Sarah!

In between the great speakers and field trips, painting had begun on all the jumps; poles and standards.  That was a lot of work-scraping off old paint.  Getting new paint on neatly and maintaining clean lines.  There was a lot of paint used, and I found it everywhere from the jumps it belonged on, to brand new wash cloths, clothing and my car’s seat. Oh, well. For the good of many a few may suffer. 

Tuesday, it was 90 by 9:00 am. We were headed to Wharton to get hay. Lauren, pulling our horse trailer, had part of the troupe with her and Ally was pulling the small trailer with the rest of us. 

Heat didn’t seem to matter as the group created an assembly line to load 50 bales of hay. Both trailers were quickly to the max.   Kendyll wanted to ride a barrel horse ( she also wants to jump Grand Prix double with Trapp so why was I surprised?)  Kallyn and Becky our hosts, quickly saddled Hope and Kendyll got her wish. 

 All the girls plus Kallyn and Becky surrounding their outstanding two year-old Whatson. 

Lauren had purchased a 25 foot wide  plastic sheet. So why a plastic sheet? I couldn’t figure out what it was for.  New advanced Slip-n-Slide.  Goodness that was a big time from the littlest girls to the oldest ones, everyone dove and played in cool water.


The girls also perfected their skills riding a variety of horses a variety of ways.  And remember we were also doing junior camp for the five and under set a couple days a week. 


from L- Micenzie, Kendyll, Madison


Lil’ Madison on Diva

 I would come in the house in the evening to see the girls playing board games.  A little bit of a lost skill when everything seems electronic in nature.  We had the new copies of the old stand-bys, like Life, Monopoly, Parcheesi and card games.  The tv was seldom on and while the girls had their phones, more often than not, the were being used to settle an argument about a horse breed or riding question.

  • Another clear highlight of the week, was the trip to the Zena Mechanical Horse. On this Mechanical horse that you ride as you are assessed as much for your internal health as your riding ability, was a life changing experience for most everyone in the group.  Jan, works with a lot of vets with PTSD, and is used to working with some pretty tough stuff.  She had an absolutely uncanny ability to see right through the facades the girls thought they had in place.  There were a lot of “aha” moments and even more tears.  Jan saw right through Mia’s cocky resolve of toughness and asked if it did not hurt to miss her friends with all the moves the family had made.  Lots of tears on that one for sure.  But Mia came away more relaxed and assured in her riding after leaving the armor behind. 
  • Jordyn has had more than her share of bad falls.  As a riding family she has had more than her share of ultimatums born from our frustration that she was not progressing as fast as we thought she should, boy were we told to leave her alone and let her learn to LOVE to ride again. 
  • Here Jan is telling Jordyn she knows she is afraid. She works through her fear. Had Lauren in tears. 

Amazing stuff they are doing out there.  Let me know if you want more information.

The girls got the jumps done and the arena looks fresh and new. They did a great job. It kind of looks like Easter out there with lilac, spring green and yellow jumps. But I can live with that. 

  • Last night Mia and Mickey along with Allyson and Snow headed to Pine Hill for an eventing lesson. It like jumping objects as you travel across open country. Mick and Snow had not done much of this but were happy to try. Great job, ladies. And thanks to Holly for coaching them.   


Everyone Learned a lot and grew a great deal at this camp. From my daughter Lauren at 23 down to my granddaughter Jordan at nine, new skills were acquired, new trials were accepted and new things were heroically overcome. 

I am super proud to have been part of this team. No matter how hot it was or how tired they were they worked, they worked together and they got the job done. It’s been a great two weeks.
Thanks for riding along!

I’m looking forward