This is it folks! – Lenten writing #43

Doberman Kena says she’s just pretty tired of the whole thing. In fact she’s just pretty tired.

Well, for the most part I made it. Actually I think there were 46 days of Lent this year so I clearly missed a couple/three. But considering the ups and downs I’ve had over the last 46 days it might be best that on those particular days I didn’t post.

It has been a wonderful time for me to establish being a writer again. When I left high school, I rushed off to college, as some of you may remember, just 17, because I wanted to go to journalism school. And I did!  Just one tricky thing, I didn’t realize I’d actually have to live in New York City to to be a journalist. At least for the most part anyway. 

My heart was never in the city. That certainly has not changed. 

I did a stent in radio broadcasting short-lived while I was in college, but an on the air personality nonetheless. I even had my own show on national public radio (NPR). It was called “People, Places and Issues”.  


I love that stuff. I like the sound of my own voice. Who doesn’t. But I like to write and I’m glad I found a few of you, maybe four or five, that actually like to hear what I have to say so this will not be the end. I’ll try, no, no I will write four times a week. And keep you up to date with everything that is Cindy and Six Meadow Farm.

Wishing you a fond farewell tonight and a wonderful Easter morning tomorrow or just a beautiful day if Easter is not your holiday. May you feel the resurrection of life as spring makes its way forward on the east coast and Midwest. Summer is already well entrenched here in Texas. 
Hail the festival day!! 

And thanks for riding along for Lent and beyond. 

Dawn and a John Deere.

Selfish reflections on myself – Lenten writing # 42

Camille and I getting ready to leave for my mothers funeral Denver Colorado 2014

Camille Evans Richards was my best friend since I was about age eight when they first moved in to Plum Grove Estates. We lost touch with each other for many of the years but reconnected several years ago and have kept up since.   

One thing I could always count on with Camille was that she would tell me the truth. Like it or not, and I came up with some pretty crazy schemes back then like let’s jump on the sled triple, one laying on top of another and go down the steepest hill at night without lights!!  Yikes that was brilliant. Like the Times I suggested we walk miles in the woods with no clear idea where we were. We were lucky we were never killed. Couple of years ago when my mother died Camille spontaneously decided to show up at my mother’s funeral in Colorado. My daughters thought I was nuts to have just invited someone that I hadn’t  seen for 30 or 40 years to stay at the house with us but I knew it would be OK and it was. She was the first one to see Betty Sue, riding along with me bringing some sunshine to Colorado in the horribly dark days of my mother’s death. 

And this morning I got a message from Camille. I thought I would share with you. Here it is.

So I have read all of your Lenten posts. Lots of soul searching going on. Your cruise seems like it became an opportunity for your girls to love you and be “helpful” by pointing out your flaws and life errors. Our adult children like to do that… I think they feel that talking about our errors of the past, will get fixed in conversation. No. Stop beating yourself up. Do you know what I admire about you? You have raised three girls into lovely women, almost singlehandedly! You have followed your dreams. You have horses and animals and a home. You are extremely successful at your job. You are not afraid to share some of your innermost fears do feelings and analyze yourself in a public forum. I couldn’t do that.
Ok, so you had to stop having boarders. I know a big disappointment, but you can only do so much, especially when you are alone. Good decision, but a tough one, I’m sure.
Your health issues have me concerned… medication, blood pressure… your thumbs, your back. Please take care of yourself and stop doing too much. I plan on our friendship continuing to last a very long time!

So today as the days of Lent come to a close I pray for the sanity to listen to Camille and all those that wish me well. I am, I know, my own worst enemy.

Thank you for riding along. You all mean the world to me.  God bless. 

Kid, my poodle and I circa 2013

Happy Birthday -Lenten Writing #41

Three years ago today in the little front range mountain town of Longmont, a perfect buckskin pinto filly was born.  This town, miles from where I went to college at Colorado State and an even shorter disxtance from my daughter’s home in Brighton was just the right sort of coincidence I love and cannot refuse.

From the moment this baby caught my eye, I was gone.  Buckskin being my favorite color and having the breeding and movement to really be a contender for Lauren.  We bought her sight unseen.

Today, exactly three years to the day, Betty Sue came home from her first trainer.  First, Lauren under Trapp’s tutelage is a more confident, precise rider and second Betty Sue while quick and handy was not silly or difficult.  Watching Lauren take the mare to the mounting block for the first time and quietly lift over herself over the baby’s back was awesome.  I was holding back tears.

 Huge points to Kurt Kelso the perfect cowboy to start a perfect girl towards her dream job of competing her way through the young jumpers across United States.  We are so excited to be putting this horse on track for future development


Betty Sue was lunged and ready to go



It’s a big ring for a little girl!


And they are off


Beautiful Canter!


Big dreams in a small town

Three years!! A fantastic journey for us.  I cannot wait to see where this mare is three years from now!


Thanks for riding along!





The horse and the Bull-Lenten writing #39

I have seriously tried four, unique, different approaches to writing tonight. Nothing is working. Either from a technical standpoint or from a Cindy’s head standpoint, nothing is going right. 
I went with plan number five. That was a blog I had read Monday and thought was pretty terrific. After watching NBC telecast the world cup from last week, I was amazed again at the grit and determination of the riders to win. Competitiveness fosters a lot of things for us. Many times, it is innovation.
Here is tonight’s blog. Enjoy.

by Sunil Bali, 26-03-2017
Rucci was born into a family of grape farmers, but was always much more interested in mechanics and engines.

Rucci realized that the productivity of his farm would be far higher if he had a better, more reliable tractor. So he decided to build one.
His tractor was so good that other farmers wanted one. Rucci’s tractor business grew quickly bringing him considerable wealth. So much so that Rucci treated himself to a very expensive sports car.
Although he loved his sports car, it frustrated Rucci, as he found the ride unnecessarily rough and the transmission unreliable.
Given his expertise of building tractors which were reliable, robust and more comfortable than any other tractors, Rucci wrote to the owner of the luxury sports car firm offering his advice.
A few days later, Rucci received a very curt and dismissive reply from Enzo Ferrari telling him that he should keep his advice to himself and stick to building tractors.
Angered by Ferrari’s response, Ferruccio “Rucci” Lamborghini decided to grab his bull by the horns and design his own car.

The horse and the bull have been rivals ever since.

ps. The tractor in the photo is a Lamborghini tractor. And One I would be proud to drive.

 Wicked Full Moon birth – Lenten writing # 37

The stars at night are big and bright, deep in the heart of Texas

With the full moon hanging sharply in the sky, I just knew a baby had come to join us on this earth. I’m waxing poetically but again it’s about a horse. 

One of my best friends, Gaylyn, had been lamenting to me earlier that day about when her baby horse would show up. I was reminded of the piece  I had written earlier this season about the remarkardly obstinent donkey momma. Babies; human, horse or otherwise do exactly what they want to do!  Years working for an OB taught me that. But, with that said, babies; human, horse or otherwise, seem to love the full moon. I don’t know what it is about it.

When I worked at the hospital we would staff up on the nights of the full moon. We knew the ER would be the repository for many fights, heart attacks,  mental breakdowns and of course, new babies.

Last night when I was already off to bed, exhausted after a busy weekend still trying to get all my meds straightened out, Lauren called me from the show to tell me my friend Gaylyn was looking for me.

And the baby had landed. For those of you who don’t get the reference, originally it was the eagle has landed. But anyway…

I snagged up my remaining boarder Lisa from in front of the barn and all but threw her into the front seat of my car so she could drive.   We headed off to Wharton to help out my friend. I don’t know that we were really a great deal of help, in situations like new babies, just having moral support is pretty important.

And the minute we arrived our eyes feasted on the sight of the new baby girl. She looked to be a little bay with few white marks. Perfectly proportioned, strong and determined. She was up nursing and just darling.

Picture perfect!! Could this be a grey? I say yea!

I am reminded of last year on Easter morning, and of my friend Lynn and her Flagmount baby born in the early dawn of that day. The filly was to be named Flagmount’s Trinity Rising. How incredibly appropriate on Easter Day. And this pre-– Palm Sunday baby will be our Easter gift this year.

The Momma, never, broke a sweat through the entire delivery. In fact,  she looked like she was one of those rich socialites who decided to just adopt a baby instead of ruining her beautiful coat and figure. She was absolutely stunning, markedly kind and wonderful for a first-time mother. She looked like she had just stepped out of the beauty parlor not from delivering a baby.

Gaylyn is still working on the names and I suspect it will be something wonderful. This baby is a lovely Quarter Horse by the top-reining sire Conquistador Whiz out of Shes Dashin For Love (Annie) by Terribly Wicked. I could have a lot of fun making a baby name out of all that.  For those of you not in the know-they like to take pieces of the ancestor’s name to make the baby’s name. 

So how about this one:

Wicked Love

Or here are a few others-

Shes dashing 2 take a whiz (fortunately, this can never happen because you are held 22 total letters and spaces). 

Terribly Wicked Sugar (there’s a Sugarita horse involved

Dashing Wicked Whizzard

 Finally, (wait for it) Dash2Whiz

I know, it is a gift!  

Happy Palm Sunday.  May you be blessed in the knowledge that you are blessed. Sometimes just remembering it is important. And I am also blessed to have you all riding along!  

Thank you!

Purple Irises- Lenten Writing #36

A piece of Iris Art

If you ask me, and some have, what my favorite flower is, I would currently respond that it is the Plumeria/frangipani, a tropical flower that I loved in Hawaii and Florida and have grown here in Texas. I love it because of its vibrant colors, it’s amazing fragrance and the way it returns me to the beach of my youth every time I smell it. 

The pink and yellow plumeria

But with that said the flower that has embraced my mind because of it’s beautiful long green stocks and deep purple hue has always been the iris. I even went so far as to hire someone name Iris in Florida just because of her name. Turned out she wasn’t near as good as her name but I was willing to give it a shot. 

Me carrying a bouquet of fresh cut Irises circa 1984

The iris and it’s purple color (because purple is one of my all-time favorite colors) has had a place in the artwork in my home as well.

I grew irises very successfully while in Kansas City. I think I had literally hundreds of them.  When they were all in bloom it was a glorious thing to see. But my ability to grow them in either Florida or Texas has not been successful. I’ve seen others grow irises in Texas but try as I did I could not make it happen.


I have continued to struggle, struggle mightily, with some crossing of drug interactions between the need to keep my blood pressure low and my blood sugar contained and a few other issues.  It has been very, very difficult for me. And it is a struggle that while my family supports me it is I that must fight the side effects is they rage on in me. 
The last 24 hours have been some of the worst times of my life in terms of feeling miserable and struggling to find a bright spot. And I guess in this time of Lent, struggle and adversity are what it is all about.

But how gloriously pleased I was to see this little miracle occur right in my own garden. You see, while I had given up on thinking the iris would come to Texas for me, I had not given up trying. And yesterday, when I saw a hint of purple out of the corner of my eye, I thought it must be a mistake. I thought it could not be the glorious Iris opening to the sun on a spectacular Texas day.  
But indeed the irises opened its bloom to me in Texas. And I can’t help but wonder if it wasn’t part and parcel of what I have called the 100 hours of frozen hell that we had this year which successfully killed so many of my other tropical plants. Perhaps, the sturdy, hearty, northern Iris needed that cold to set it’s buds in motion.

I am rejoicing in the light of the Lord. I am grateful for the sign of resurrection, a new life,  as there are just days left before Easter. And it is the perfect reminder for me to keep trying, to keep my chin up and know  that this too will pass.

 As always, thank you for riding along. 

Perfect spring day – Lenten writing #35

Baby Sims enjoying a perfect spring day

There are a few days like this in Texas. The humidity is low, the temperature is moderate (73°), the skies the bluest blue and the surrounding area as green as can be.
It was a day for horses to be sunbathing and rolling in the warm sand. Greyson, in particular, enjoyed the day.

What fun!!

Snowboy, wearing a fly mask to keep the flies out of his eyes, wanted to have his photo taken as well!  Sims was hanging out behind. 

Lauren showed Ky this morning at the Great SW Eq Center and came home to put Feather through her paces as well. 

Happy spring day to all. 

Thanks for riding along!

How is that doing something for Lent thing going?-Lenten writing # 34

Well, we’re really getting down to the end of the Lenten season. Palm Sunday coming up this week and then Easter Sunday. How many of you made choices about giving up or doing something for Lent and how many of you kept them?

I have done fairly well with this whole commitment to writing a post every single day of Lent. I might have missed one by a couple of hours. But I was fast to catch up early the next day -don’t know how much best effort means in the Lent situation. 

I may want to write but a busy life gets in the way. I know, that is exactly why I took on writing a post every day of Lent. To struggle a bit. To move outside my comfort zone. 

But I do admit the discipline has been good for me. My daughter and I each chose to give up 10 pounds for Lent. I’m not sure either one of us is going to make good on that one. I guess I’m better at doing things than I am at not doing things.

Just the act of writing each day has made me more aware and interested in what is going on around me. Stopping in the dark to take pictures of the jail, scary!!  Pulling over to shoot a picture of a newly green pasture while people sped by thinking I was nuts. It has all caused me to examine some things about my life and hopefully put into play some positive changes. 
It is interesting that sometimes I note a behavior in others  which I recognize as wrong, or annoying, and I am upset by it. Then I realize I do exactly the same thing.
Now, I am making notes to myself to change. Changing some life-long behaviors. It is a work in progress. 

This season has been about making some hard choices and difficult realizations. But I know come Easter morning I will be rejoicing in the songs and the resurrection promise of the day.

Post number 34, it’s a wrap.

As always, thanks for riding along. 

A funny thing happened with the World Cup – Lenten writing # 33

In case you’re not the equestrian type, McLain Ward just rode away with the much coveted World Cup title, besting his local and international competitors. McLain, an Olympic gold-medalist, earned his highest achievement ever,  beating the world’s top riders in three days of intense competition.

My daughter, Lauren, was fortunate enough to be in Omaha to watch the whole event take place. Whether she was searching the crowd for Olympic equestrian faces or seeing the likes of Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, whose daughter was a contender, she was having a fabulous time. What equestrian wouldn’t want to be there?

But the thing that happened that made this unique in my own family was on Sunday afternoon after three days of competition.  I was watching the finals on my phone (no big screen views here) when Ally and the girls came over to work on their saddle cleaning. Of course, I needed Ally’s help to get my phone working for optimum results. 
I don’t believe Ally has ever been to a Grand Prix. But certainly she had watched her sister ride a couple hundred times so it wasn’t too long until she got engaged with the whole World  Cup competition. At the end of Sunday’s first round Ally and the kids headed home but not before they had gotten the link to the website for the pending World Cup final which would begin in less than an hour. 

When the final riders came back to the arena, I was watching it at my house. I didn’t know if by that point Ally and the girls were still in the mood to watch this or not.

For this final segment, the riders and their horses came back in reverse order so those with the highest score (in this case, the worst score) went first and then the lowest/best score (McLain) was the last to go. If you’re a barrel racer or a baseball player-last ups is always an advantage. You know exactly what you need to do to win. 
When McLain and the mare, HH Azur, came in to ride their final trip in the Omaha arena, they held on to the  advantage of being clear for all three days of the competition. McLain didn’t commit a fault in three rounds over three days, going clean in all five runs. 

That might sound like an easy thing to do. You simply jump over all the jumps. You make it in the time allowed and everything is good. Right? Well,  not so much. The course designer (there is a career designing jump courses, believe it or not) makes the course technically challenging for the horses and riders. In the earlier round on Sunday, Ally and I, had watched rider after rider pull rails at the exact same jump, over and over. McLain and his mare did not, in fact, not once,  ever knock down a rail or do anything except ride the course exactly as specified. They were amazing. 

Going down to the very last horse and rider combination, yesterday afternoon, it was unclear if McLain and HH Azur would hold on to  their advantage. 

From the very beginning I was a McLain fan. I had told Lauren before she even left, my pick was McLain.  And it was wonderful, absolutely wonderful, that he won and that the United States took home the cup!!

But the interesting thing that occurred was the excitement that came to pass between Ally and her daughters about this event. 

Sitting at their house watching this on some device, not the television, they followed every single rider until it was McLain’s turn to go back in the ring one last time. As McLain went through the jumps and posted up a clear round I literally screamed out loud, startling all my sleeping dogs into rapid barking and growling (although they had no idea I was screaming in delight for McLain). 

But at exactly the same time across town,  my daughter and granddaughters were screaming exactly like I was. And I just bet that airport in Omaha was filled with a whole crowd of over-joyed onlookers as well!! 

It does great things for my soul for my daughter, Ally and her kids, to be passionate about and engaged in this sport that I love so well. 

God bless McLain and his top notch mare. And God bless Ally for taking the time to be interested in something that means so much to her sister and I. McLain had the whole Davis clan pushing for his tremendous victory yesterday. 

As always, thanks for riding along.  

Saddles-Lenten writing #32

There are days when this writing thing doesn’t come easily. Yesterday was one of those days. I was stuck in my memories and stuck in another time.

I lamented how I wished I had made better decisions, done different things, just had reached a different place in my life. 
Everyone says we are not supposed to have regrets, like that is a horrible thing, but I certainly do. I have big regrets from year’s past and even some from a year ago when I wish I had done things differently or actually just wish I had not been in the situation at all that would’ve been better. But enough about me.

Regrets fall like rain upon my feet. 

Friday at Jordyn’s riding lessons instructor Nancy told her, as I had long thought, that her saddle was too small for her. The seat is a 15, which was okay  but the flap for her long legs had gotten way too short. Never an issue I had. Saturday I started off on a hunt for a new saddle for Jordyn.  We would pass down her saddle to Kendyll and hope it had many more good years. 
My best thought was Lauren would be walking through the wonderful vendors at the World Cup and could snag up some forgotten saddle too small for anyone there.   
I posted up on Facebook and was amazed at the number of quick possibilities that showed up. The  problem was Jordyn really needed to try out the saddle. It was one of those things that you had to fit -in person -to be sure it would be right. So around noon off Jordyn, Kendyll and I went to Charlotte’s, the local horse store. 

Bill, whom I have known for many years immediately helped  us look at several used saddles. I was shocked when he brought out a 16.5 that’s the size Lauren was using when she was in middle school. And the size some of you  still use as adults.

The measurement of 16.5 is the distance across the seat of the saddle so someone like me might fit a 17.5  or 18. Hard to see my nine-year-old granddaughter in a 16.5. But Bill’s not the Charlotte’s guide to go to if he doesn’t know what he’s doing. And the first saddle he sat her in would be the one we would take. We tried several other models. But this one was the one that had a flap that was longer than her existing saddle (the flap being the leather part of the saddle under her leg) without being so long that her leg was in the wrong position. Of course, it was Charlottes so we ended up with some new socks, some new leathers, stirrups and a few other miscellaneous things. What would be your day to the tack store without that?

The best part was when we got home Jordyn’s mom and dad got her new leathers and stirrups on the saddle (not an easy feat for the inexperienced).  Jordyn was ready to go give Snowboy a spin. I told Jordyn during this time that I couldremember clearly  all five times that I had gotten new saddles in my life -a couple of times have even been in the last couple of years. It is a huge deal for a rider to get a new  saddle that they have wanted or they have coveted. It advances your ride to have the right tool. 

I hope Jordyn remembers this day and in a good way.  She certainly looks happy as she is really getting this canter to an art. 

I think her stirrups be a tad too long. What do you think?

Yesterday, almost one year- old Sims got a little workout and a bath. Not much sign of the grey colt he is going to be, yet. 

As always, thanks for riding a long.  

Happy trails and safe landings for everyone headed home from the World Cup tonight especially my daughter and friends.