The weekend before last, I got to the barn in the early hours to feed. It was a Saturday and I was looking forward to getting all 14 horses in their stalls and fed, then getting myself back to bed (my favorite weekend activity-sleeping in!).

It wasn’t going to happen. I flipped the switch on the barn lights to find our rescue pony Snowboy, cast along the side of his stall. Normally a white pony, he was covered with a layer of dirt, sawdust and blood. Immediately I knew he was colicking. Colic in horses affects their digestive tract. If they get a belly ache they cannot throw up like you or I. The blockage, bad food or whatever must pass through the gut and out the other end. (Great information to know!)

I got Snow out of his stall to the grass where he promptly laid down again. Dr. Criner arrived quickly and before dawn.   We got enough drugs on board to get him loaded in the trailer and off to Wharton Vet Hospital. Neither doctor gave much hope that Snow would live. In fact, both only gave him a few hours. We started IV fluids, pain killers and prayed.  At age 23, Snow was not a candidate for surgery.

The day wore on as tears many times filled our eyes. We would be okay for a few minutes then the tears poured down again. We have had this pony for most of Lauren’s life and certainly all of Jordyn’s.  And young Kendyll is just starting her love affair with the round white pony. I faltered as I began explaining first his absence from the barn and then his probable death to my four year-old granddaughter. This was not on my list of how to start a weekend.  I explained to Kendyll that Snowney was sick.  In fact, very sick.  I told her that God might need a really super pony in Heaven for all the kids there.  She seemed to accept that.  We cried a little more. We waited.

Dr. Poehler checked in several times on Saturday to tell me the pony was hanging on.  They had gotten a lot of fluids in him but he was not better.  He told me to keep the phone close by Saturday night in case it was time to put him down.  I was surprised Sunday morning to awaken and find no calls from the vet.  I didn’t have to wait long.  Shortly after 9 am, the doc called to tell me he had come into the clinic to find Snow on his feet, no worse for wear, demanding his breakfast. This was a miraculous turn of events. 

Once again, this little rescue pony that has defied the odds so many times, did it again.  He pulled off a supreme come back.  Except for several serious scrapes where he thrashed around his stall, he was good.  Even his feet held up okay.  Nothing but a miracle!  I guess God decided Kendyll needed to keep this white pony for a while longer.  With much graditude, Kendyll, Jordyn, Lauren and I trailered down to get him that afternoon.

Out of the clinic he came, whineying at all of us, ready to head home.  We are so grateful!   My friend said it best when she said “maybe Snow is getting an additional chance at life for every little girl who loved him”. There have been many. 

I don’t know why he was saved I am just so happy that he was.
As always, Thank you for riding along!

Some shots over the years with Snowboy and the family.


This Jordyn on Snowboy at almost a year of age.  My friend Linda superimposed a picture of my dad riding his big quarter horse Storm, into the picture with Jordyn.  Great-grandfather and great-grandchild were born almost 90 years apart but share the same love.

Lauren at an “A” show with Snow and Jordyn (age 2) at her first horse show with Snow.


Ally pregnant with Jordyn on Snow with Luke. Love this photo.

Jordyn with toddler Kendyll grooming Snow and Kendyll hanging out with Snow.


And the pony gallops away!




We are suddenly half way through September.  As far as things go around my place it still feels like June or August.  September has yet to really differentiate itself from the rest of summer, at least until I thought about it a little.

September always seems more like the start of the new year than New Year’s.  Things begin again.  School, clothing changes (even if temps do not), new TV shows start, days become shorter bit by bit and the horses either start growing that winter coat  or at least shedding out the summer one in preparation for the new one. There are two in the barn with their new winter coats already grown that are miserably sweating out the last of summer days.  

As an aside, coats are grown by horses in a response to decreased daylight, not temperature, so a horse in Montana starts growing a winter coat when his friends in Florida do. But I digress. 


I wish i would have been around for this cake Amber made!!

I also have two grandchildren with early September birthdays so that always starts off the month in a fun way.  Lauren got Riley (7) a Lego-type kit of the PETRONAS Twin Tower building in Kuala Lumpur.  He is quite accomplished at these but this one is proving a bit challenging. 

Jordyn (9) had a fun swimming party this year with a Texan theme.  How great is that?  Two of her favorite things at one time.


And although it is 90+ degrees my friend Caroline and I, she has bought horses from me and I have bought horses from her, had our yearly blanket talk. We both have a variety of horses, old and young, small and big.  We both blanket all our horses when the days got cold (okay, cool) but with horses growing and changing we try to trade off with one another.  This year I am trading her Betty Sue’s blanket which she has out-grown to her for use on my old Piper pony that she now owns and she is giving me a horse sized blanket for Betty Sue.  Hard to think about all this while the sweat drips down your face, but one day soon it will be important. 

My favorite flower, the Hawaiian plumeria

My summer flowers are looking a little tired at this point, all that growing and blooming. I think they are ready for a rest too.  But with all the rain and then sun, everything has grown well this summer. I like this shot taken through the jasmine I planted, which is now vining the fence as you look across to the arena. 

September was always a favorite month for me in both Chicago and Colorado.  I loved fall.  It was a time for change.  I have always loved change.  I loved starting a new grade, the new weather, the new clothes, the colors of the trees. It was a favorite time to go with my dad to Colorado for the family Aspen ride. Nothing is a breath-taking to me as the mountains on fire in their fall glory. 

I wish I had pictures still of those rides on my golden buckskin through the golden Aspens. I wish I had been able to save more of my family history. 

And of course fall is always the time to get back to the horse show ring. I am excited to see what the fall shows will bring to us. Lauren has been riding several horses a day and working hard at her trainer’s. So here is a riddle- Lauren will be back in the ring on a horse that Jordyn has ridden ( or at least sat upon) at a horse show but Lauren never has.  Huh, wonder who that can be.  I will post a picture of Jo on the horse in my next blog. Change is good. Change is upon us all. Embrace what you can and keep riding along!


Congratulations to my daughter Amber and her family on their newest family member, Lola. She is a German Wirehaired Pointer. 



Return in time

This weekend I returned to Breckenridge where I had not been in 19 years.  Back then, my mother was marrying Jim and we augmented the trip to Denver with a family ski trip. While the pictures are not reproducing very clearly, Amber has a collage of the photos from that trip hanging in the guest room where I stayed.  It was one of our last family trips before we were a family no longer.

First picture is of Amber and I skiing exactly where the Spartan Race was. The second is young Amber and the last is Amber, Ally and very young Lauren. (apologize for the low quality)

Then, I was married with children. At the risk of spinning off song lyrics, I got a divorce and chestnut horse.  Ally, Lauren and I started life over in Texas.  Years, miles, family lost, family gained have rolled on by re-setting my life.  It was quite interesting to find myself back on the Breckenridge slopes.

There I was, standing once again, on the same slopes of Breckenridge that we had skied all those years ago, now as a mother-in-law and a grandmother, watching Ryan, Riley and Lexi compete in Spartan Races was quite a trip for me to take, literally and mentally.

It was weird in many ways to me.  First, I was standing on the lush summer green grass where before in the same spot I had stood on 30 or more inches of snow. The lifts standing still in the soft summer breeze.  I looked up and down the mountain, taking in the view, remembering the many ski trips here. Now, I was here to watch and support a crazy new kind of race.

The Spartan Race is a leader in the sport of obstacle racing, offering open heats for all fitness levels, as well as competitive and elite heats for those with something more to prove. The first of its kind to feature timing and global rankings, Spartan Race provides a proving ground for beginner and professional obstacle racers looking to test themselves in new ways across the world.

In Ryan’s race Saturday, he ran over 14 miles but faced daunting obstacles the whole way.  It was super compelling to me as we watched the runners approach the finish line.  I am almost lost my voice cheering them on.  Anyone that has heard me at a horse show is no stranger to my yells and cat calls.  This group was made up of serious athletes and I wanted them to hang on and finish their race.

Prior to rolling downhill under barb wire, the contestants are dumped in a tank of icy water.  Ryan is in front.  Good times!

Ryan jumping the fire pit (seriously!)

Ryan after he crossed the finish line with Amber, Riley and Lexi.

Riley headed off in his own Spartan obstacle race!

Lexi conquering the web.  She told me it was easy for her because she is a gymnast!

 Riley and Lexi will their medals post finish!

I spend a lot of time with Ally and Lauren.  I cheer on Jordyn’s riding pursuits.  I acknowledge four year-old Kendyll’s reported wins in the Grand Prix ring (that’s what she tells me anyway).

I was so happy to be back in Colorado with this set of my family cheering them on.  Especially for something so difficult.  Riley had no problem with his race at all.  He paced along, conquered the obstacles and headed to the finish line.  Lexi was one of the smallest competitors.  She mastered the balance beam, hauled herself over any solid walls that came her way, but drew the line at the mud hazard.  Although she lost points, she told me clearly, “Granny, I am not going in the mud!  I don’t like to get dirty!”  We will need to work on that!

I enjoyed a wonderful weekend with my Denver family.  It was nice to feel the cool air and mountain breeze.  Wearing jeans for the first time in over six months was kind of nice, too.  The mountains will always be first love and my home.

Amber and I made a trip to the cemetery as well.  I had not seen my mother’s head stone before.  It was sad and a little overwhelming to see the headstones of my entire immediate family laid out before me.  I saw my final resting spot.  I don’t know when I will join them but plan to live my life to fullest in the meantime.

As always, thanks for riding along.

Here’s a link to my chestnut horse.