Letting Go-Getting Strong



Today I watched my mare Kalani disappear around the bend in the road headed out to a new trial home. She may be back but I doubt it.  Usually unless you really misrepresent a horse, they usually work their way into the buyer’s heart and stay where they have gone.  I feel great about the perspective owner as well.  Leeanna and her business partner Courtney, bought my Welsh pony, Mimi, a couple of years ago and have done very well her.

Leeanna told me today that when she first saw the picture of my four grandkids on Kalani, she wanted to tell me if I ever sold her she would interested in perhaps purchasing her.




My Kalina, the horse I just recently bought to be my horse after losing my horses Kool Kid and Bruno, was proving to be the most marketable of our six horses. With deep regret, I watched her drive away.  I am sad but thrilled about the life she may have with Leeanna.  We will see, we will see.

Part of the push to get a horse out of the barn, was the increasing awareness that Snowboy,  the pony that has brought so many kids so far, is just tired, or ornery or something.  While he has continued to perform relatively well for the kids over 12, for Jordyn, he has not been an easy ride.  She is still trying to learn so many things, like how to post the trot, handle the reins, direct her ride and learn her gaits, Snowboy’s with his stops, jagged beginnings and overall disruptive behavior interrupts her learning.

Jordyn does not have a beginner horse to continue her education with safely. We are searching for a quiet, unflappable horse to let her focus on her riding instead of correcting the bad pony. Just a note, and I have said it before, Mickey came back to be Jordyn’s lesson horse yesterday. He was moving a out in a nice fluid trot and Jo was posting right along. From Jordyn’s lesson, Mickey went back in the ring with Alex to gallop and jump. He is a pretty cool guy!

I am upping my walking goal each day. I have made 5000 steps both yesterday and today. My daughter, Ally, was berating one of her friends that on crutches, I was out walking them. It is great to be out at the barn again. I swear Betty Sue has grown so much!

I will keeping moving along. I appreciate you reading along!


Kalina in her new pasture.


All the Pretty Horses

Baby Betty as the leader of the pack.

Baby Betty as the leader of the pack.  (LOVE this shot)

It occurred to me yesterday when Mickey was off at a show and Feather had been moved to join the mare pasture with Kalani, Fargo and baby Betty Sue,that I had quite a diverse band of mares, at least from a color perspective.  Most English horses are grey or bay with an occasional chestnut to liven things up.  My grey, blue roan, Palomino and buckskin pinto look way beyond the norm.

So I set out this morning to catch some photos in the soft morning light.  It is going to be about the pictures tonight and a welcome to my new boarder, Jo Ann as well.

First, Betty Sue, a little over six months old and standing 13.3 hands high.  She is
“butt high” as we say when babies grow taller in the back before the front catches up.

Betty shining in the morning sun.  Clearly, butt high.

Betty shining in the morning sun. Clearly, butt high.

What a face!

What a face!

Trotting with Fargo.

Trotting with Fargo.

Fargo becoming a beauty in her right with a little daily attention.

Fargo becoming a beauty in her right with a little daily attention.


Pretty mare Feather, startlingly against the sunlight.

Pretty mare Feather, startling against the sunlight.

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Finally my favorite girl, Kalani also a study of contrast in the morning light.

Kalani, blue roan quarter horse.

Kalani, blue roan quarter horse.

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And finally some of them all.

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Finally, 31-year-old OTTB Hershey joined our barn yesterday and was getting to know pasture mate Prosecco.  This is exactly how OTTBs are supposed to end up, old, healthy and happy running with new friends.  Thanks and welcome to Jo Ann.

Hershey  meeting Prosecco for the first time.

Hershey meeting Prosecco for the first time.

Prosecco questions if this was a good idea.

Prosecco questions if this was a good idea.


This will be Hershey's last home and I hope everyday is as good as today.

This will be Hershey’s last home and I hope everyday is as good as today.

Thanks for riding along.  Let me know which one was your favorite picture.

Getting the fever

It has been a long time since I have felt this way. Probably all the way back to spring of 2003 when I brought Kid home to a boarding stable near our house. But even then I really don’t remember this intensity of feeling. I definitely have the fever for my new mare!

While Kid was our first Texas horse, bought three years after we arrived here from Florida, and I was seriously enamoured by his impeccable manners, his glittering copper coat and forelock hanging in his eyes like rakish teenager, I was not at point in my life where a horse could emotionally take over my life. I loved to be sure but I was not obsessed with him.

Now, 11 years later, with a whole lot of road behind me, rocky road, uphill climbs and some gentle trips to the country, my heart is more open ( or ready ) to care. The day after giant Bruno lost his fight and I laid him to rest, an ad appeared on Facebook for my roan mare.

From the moment I laid eyes on her, I had to have her. And it wasn’t because everything was perfect. Certainly, I did not have funds for a new horse, not after vet bills, expenses with my mother’s passing, huge medical bills for Lauren or needing to fix up the barn (again) for new boarders. Completely irresponsibly, I worked out a deal to buy the mare. I owed money to a bunch of people, but still went ahead.

I am an experienced horse buyer and let emotions drive the purchase. I didn’t even ride the horse, although I watched the owner and my friend ride her. Stupid! I should have asked more questions as well,but I didn’t.

And from the moment, the mare we named Kalina, Hawaiian for heaven sent (which I believe her to be) I fell head over heels for her. I LOVED her amazing thick tail that falls to the ground. Her forelock is the bleached out black of an island kid who spends everyday surfing. Her eyes are gentle and kind. Kalina is a registered quarter horse with the big bone and size of her Hancock relatives and the grace and performance style of the Zippo Pine Bar horses. As much as my world is now deeply seated in warm bloods and jumpers, my roots will always go back to my daddy and his love for the athletic quarter horse. But this mare is big as well. I watched her in the pasture yesterday standing amongst Feather (Irish Sport Horse), TeeDee (thoroughbred) and Cody (World Champion Quarter horse jumper) and she was taller than any of them!

At just over 16 hands, my incoming filly, Betty Sue will no doubt out grow Kalina to be the biggest in the barn, but right now Kalina is the tallest. She is not startling tall like Bruno but with her unique blue roan coat, she is eye catching.

In the category of it all being perfect, while this mare has wonderful ground manners, the first time I rode her I didnot get what I expected. From watching the videos of her and seeing her go in person, she appeared uncomplicated. Gee, not so much. While she walked where ever Jordyn or I asked her to go, at the trot she was prone to fast stops. When I asked her to canter we were not much of a team. Our communications were off. As we went around at the canter, she would suddenly drop her head and stop on a dime. Pretty hard to ride and unsettling as well!

Lauren had just been released to get back in the saddle. She has been doing some flat work withFeather. I think Lauren just felt I was old and couldn’t ride so she got on Kalina. The walk and trot went okay. Oh, but the canter, Lauren got lulled into thinking that would be fine as well. Off they went in Kalina’s big strided, flat kneed canter, until once again she stopped, dropped her head and spun just like she cutting a calf. And just as cleanly, Lauren flew from her back, instinctively protecting her broken arm. When she hit the ground, the tears sprung from her eyes. In seconds though, she realized she wasn’t hurt and laughed happily.



Yesterday, Dev worked with the big mare and assured me with a little work she will be just fine. I am even going to take some lessons on her. Who knows I might even end up in the show ring again! My riding goals this year were around what I would do with Bruno. Those opportunities are gone. But some new goals are in order.

I am finding myself wandering out to the barn and Kalani’s side over and over. I get off of her and minutes later want to saddle up again. I even picked out this beautiful new brow band for her. I am in love with this sweet mare. What a wonderful feeling!

A new horse-New love

Jordyn and Kona getting to know Kalani.

Jordyn and Kona getting to know Kalani.

At 16 hands, she Cary's those big-bone Hancock genes.

At 16 hands, she carries those big-bone Hancock genes.

A week ago, we were battling Bruno’s last hours.  I was distracted about everything else and if you would have told me a new horse would be taking up space in my barn, I would have thought it was some new boarder certainly not a horse I was interested in.

But life moves in crazy ways, breaking our hearts and just as cleanly slicing it open so love can flow again.  I have been watching, seeking, wanting a horse for Ally and I to ride.  A nice pleasure horse, quiet, dependable and kind.  But I have been looking a long time and not found anything close to right.

Tuesday, the day after Bruno died, Lauren started reading me Facebook ads for horses.  One caught my attention as it was the right price, nearby, pretty, and looked quiet in the video.  Talking to the owner, I realized I had known her for some time from working horse shows and watching her ride.

For someone deep in grief over my momma and my big horse, something about this pretty mare with amazing tail spoke loudly to me.  We brought Libby along to try the mare out.  By the time the owner had finished putting the eight year old through her basic paces I was sold.  Libby rode her fine, but the decision was already made.

Felt so great to get my tack out and ride my horse!

Felt so great to get my tack out and ride my horse!

Two days later, the Zippo Pine Bar/Hancock bred Quarter horse is in my barn.  She is a blue roan, named Zip a Blue Valentine, whom I have named  Kalani, which means sent from heaven in Hawaiian.  Jordyn kept asking me if the mare was taking Bruno’s place.  No one can ever take Bruno’s place.  This is a totally new and different beginning with a completely different partner.  Loving Kalani does not diminish in any way my love for Big Bruno.

First trot!

First trot!

So, this horse is not a rescue, not an OTTB or OTQH, simply a backyard horse, looking for her next family.  Perhaps this time I was the one that needed to be rescued from dark days and a broken heart. Kalani has come to bring joy back in my life.  I am so happy and grateful.

Oh the joys of owning a wonderful horse!

Oh the joys of owning a wonderful horse!


Thank you for the literally thousands of well wishes and extensions of sympathy you have sent my family and I.  Thank you for always riding along.

p.s.  Jordyn was my great partner today and the talented photographer of all these pictures.