October is here (seems obvious, huh?)

Photo from the inspection of Special Occasion GES.

Photo from the inspection of Special Occasion GES (Betty Sue).

It seems that one minute ago it was summer and now we headed into October in a rush. Of course, when you live in the southseason’s don’t come with distinction and often not in sequence. We had a lovely fall like weekend with some low temperatures in the high 50’s. It was amazing. Today it is totally summer again topping out at 91 degrees. It tends to confuse my brain which grew up with distinct seasons, and my childhood memories do not include 90 degrees in October.

I headed into Wal-Mart for my weekly shopping. I wandered back to the gardening area to look for a new hose, new cushions for my outdoor furniture (the neighbor’s dog ate those as well as eating Sneaky) and some grass seed. You won’t be surprised to learn it was Christmas time in the garden center, but I was. I stood there lost. For a moment, I was completely confused. You know some of those little stores keep “special” holiday items at all times-but no, it is October and apparently time to think about the holidays.

I did find a hose and one bag of grass seed but no way was I finding patio furniture cushions. It may be 90 degrees but Snowmen have replaced lawn furniture here.

I got the news today that Amber, Ryan and my Colorado grandkids will be coming to Texas for Thanksgiving. We will actually get to spend four whole days together. It will be the first time that Ryan has been back to see our new house and farm. I cannot wait! I am happiest when the house is full and the kids are at the barn or riding in the arena. Thanksgiving day itself will include Luke’s family as well-they are pretty much our family, too!

My barn is looking like a pretty eclectic group as new ponies have moved in. Now we have three ponies (one Pony of America-Snowboy, one Welsh type-Avery and one quarter pony-Owen) along with one OTTB-TeeDee, one Irish Sport Horse-Feather, one paint-Mickey, two quarter horses-Cody and Kalani and one German warmblood-Prosecco. Betty Sue, hopefully arriving in the next couple weeks, will up the German warmblood count, but still what a conglomeration of horse (and pony) flesh. Maybe one day soon we will get everyone out for a group picture.

Lauren and I are both riding again which is nice. She is riding Feather and many of the others. I am getting my old Lauren back. She jumped Mickey around last night and remarked, “he doesn’t scare me any more”. Well, he used to, but with Feather jumping so much higher now, Mickey looks (and feels) tame by comparison. I guess if this whole Feather and Betty Sue jumping thing doesn’t work for Lauren, she can go back and spend several more wonderful years riding Mickey in the Greater Houston shows.

Jordyn, also riding Mickey, just trots away in the arena, often on her own for hours at a time (don’t worry, I am keeping my eyes on her at all times). I suspect a canter is coming soon. I am happy to see her confident and thrilled to be riding. She and Kendyll come to visit several days a week. Two year old, Kendyll, wakes up asking her momma if they are going to granny’s to clean poopoo today. Wow, the key to your grandchild’s heart, horses (and their excretions).

Jordyn showing Kendyll how to jump off the slide.

Jordyn showing Kendyll how to jump off the slide.



No Fear Kendyll doing exactly what her sister says.

No Fear Kendyll doing exactly what her sister says.

And the scramble back up!

And they scramble back up!

The horses have been enjoying long days in the pasture and my boarders are all pretty good amateur photographers. The horses all have fly masks on to keep pesky bugs away from their eyes. These pictures are by Mia Kuchner.

OTTB TeeDee out for a stroll with QH Kalani-gotta love those quarter horse butts!

OTTB TeeDee out for a stroll with QH Kalani-gotta love those quarter horse butts!

Feather and Mickey grooming one another-#Lovetermloveaffair

Feather and Mickey grooming one another-#Longtermloveaffair

Signing off for today-thanks for riding along.

The end-Feather, Kalani and TeeDee.  Is Kalani the tallest?

The end-Feather, Kalani and TeeDee. Is Kalani the tallest?



A working Farm

Lauren, Kona and Feather riding the endless meadows of Wharton.

Lauren, Kona and Feather riding the endless meadows of Wharton.

We named our little six acre farm in Wharton, Six Meadow Farm.  At the time we had six horses, five of our own and one boarder.  We had six dogs and we looked out upon our six acres of land as it blended into the acres and acres of farm land beyond us.

Bruno running free.

Bruno running free.

At new Six Meadow Farm, we actually own five acres, but are leasing three more.  The pastures are park like with giant Pecan trees shading our days.  The catch pen is actually Bermuda grass and I am working to get looking like the finest hole of a golf course.  The flowers we planted just 60 days ago are maturing.  There is none of the feel of open land that we had at our last SMF.  But it is magical to me as the pastures roll like rivers amongst the trees, from the top pasture to the very bottom, where when it is wet, a little creek flows.  Also, it is common now to see deer in the cool of the shaded evening in the protected bottom pasture.

This new place is infinitely more work.  Maybe because of the boarders, the leasers or Dev bringing his lesson folks here it is like we never stop working.  Plus our tremendous contractors have yet to finish all the work we have asked them to do, probably because, each day we have a new brilliant idea.

Kona and Kendyll in front of the newly made feed room door.

Kona and Kendyll in front of the newly made feed room door.

This new side of the barn (we have fit more into a 1550 sq. foot barn than I thought possible) will include two new stalls.  One for Mickey and one for Betty Sue when she arrives.  They will have their own entrance with a cool Eastern exposure.  That should be finished this week.

We had a show yesterday in Katy.  Lauren’s division didn’t make so she rode against the girls in the division below hers.  Remember this is a timed event.  Lauren had to jump the same courses as the girls before her only jump six inches higher.  I would call that a little bit of a handicap.  But Feather was on and they attacked the courses.  They earned two second place ribbons with times just a fraction off the winning horse, but oh, yea, she had to jump higher. My friend and vet, Lynn Criner was there.  She hadn’t seen the Flag horse jump before.  By the end of the evening we had settled on a mare to breed Flagmount to.  So, we will have a baby next year.  How exciting!

Jordyn and Kona sharing the shade with Feather and the boys.

Jordyn and Kona sharing the shade with Feather and the boys.

Although it was Father’s Day, Luke was shredding pastures most of the day.  Ally weed eated and mowed the people places.  Lauren and I readied the new stalls and re-did the existing ones with an entire pallet of shavings.  I mowed (with the old push mower) around flowers, troughs and construction spots.

I am feeling it deeply in my hip.  I won’t be able to hold off this hip replacement much longer.  It has been ten years since the first one was done, and both needed surgery then.  Maybe over the holidays! Huh, maybe.

Jordyn and Kendyll had good rides on Mickey.  Jordyn trotted away and Kendyll refused to take off her helmet the rest of the day.

Bruno watching the lessons!

Bruno watching the lessons!


Oh, Kendyll!

Oh, Kendyll!

A Good Weekend

Feather entered the arena with its fish jumps, spectators and riders and calmly waited for the start bell.

Feather entered the arena with its fish jumps, spectators and riders and calmly waited for the start bell.

Jo and Bruno.

Jo and Bruno.

It was a busy time.  Lauren and Feather had headed to the show on Wednesday.  I had been keeping up with things at home and at work  additionally, about three things are still left to be done on every project from garage to barn, so dealing with and directing the contractors is a daily duty.   And somehow, patio furniture and barn paraphernalia keeps showing up in assorted UPS, FEDEX or some other truck with initials. I must be ordering things in my sleep  at this point because I don’t even remember the specific items.

Lauren and Feather earned four ribbons over the course of the show.  In the 1.05 meter class, they earned three third places, a very admirable start to the spring season and their first attempt at these higher jumps.

I visited my mom a couple of times, only to find her asleep and unwakeable. Today, while the grown ups worked on chores, I stole Kendyll and Jordyn to go wish momma a happy Mother’s Day.  Once again she was sound asleep.  The kids made plenty of noise (like seriously) but she never woke up.  Still I am glad we went.

Luke and Ally came by and gave me a terrific gift of helping put together some of that continually appearing patio furniture, mowing the grass and helping Lauren organize the new tack room.  It looks like we are getting a couple of boarders so we will need to share our space.

Dr. Criner is coming in the morning to review Bruno ‘s progress.  She will want to see Bruno ridden.  Even through Lauren was on the verge of exhaustion, she saddled up one more time to give Bruno a ride so he would be easier to handle in the morning when the vet gets here.  It was his first ride at new Six Meadow Farm and his first ride in over 90 days.  Lauren had been hurt and Bruno has been on the back burner.  Lauren popped Bru over a few jumps .  He was jumping and moving well.

A 3’3″ jump had been set for Feather.  We decided to let Bruno give it a go.  The jump standards are five foot and he is quite unsure what to do with his back feet but it was pretty awesome to see him clear a three-foot jump with lots of air.

Maybe we have a couple of horses that can jump.

Maybe we have a couple of horses that can jump.


Kendyll and Jordyn got in on the Bruno rides too!

Lauren and Kendyll on Bruno

Lauren and Kendyll on Bruno


Jordyn wasn't about to miss a ride on the big horse either!

Jordyn wasn’t about to miss a ride on the big horse either!

The grand girls brought their cousin over Saturday and I caught a great photo down in the pasture.

Cousins, Kyla, Jo and Ken

Cousins, Kyla, Jo and Ken

A Good Last day

A last ride, a last time.

A last ride, a last time.

Decisions about life and death do not come easily.   My horse Kid turned 32 this year.  A lot about him is good.  He is sound. He eats well   But a lot is not.  His eyesight has failed to the point he has difficulty finding his way around.  A new pasture is an impossible voyage for him.  He has had some small strokes or neurological issues that cause him to constantly bob his head like one of those dolls that used to go on your dashboard of the car.  He is scared as the other horses pick on him and he cannot see them coming. I have owned this off-the-track Quarter horse for almost 12 wonderful years buying him from Sarah Petty when she retired him as a champion 1D barrel horse at age 20.  We had left our horses in Florida and he was our first Texas horse.  Sarah called him Texas Twister, an apt name for a barrel racing king. I credited Kid, and then Mickey (also from Sarah) with putting my little family of Ally, Lauren and I back on the track to life after a rough divorce and move from Florida.  Kid was Ally’s horse in the beginning.  She rode him well and often.  I went each day with her and Lauren to the barn where we were just had partial board to clean his stall, water and feed him.  We met new families.  We joined the world again and had a place to belong. Kid was the perfect quarter horse.  If you go to the AQHA site, their representation of a Quarter horse looks exactly like Kid.  His sorrel coat sang in the sun.  And as the versatile breed proclaims, there really wasn’t anything this horse couldn’t do. He blazed on the racetrack.  He went to National Team Penning finals, he could smoke a barrel pattern and when I asked him to be a jumper and an English horse he did that as well.

I had made the decision that it was time to let Kid go.  I especially did not want to try to move Kid to a new barn and pasture.  With his limited eyesight and all the pastures, it was not fair to him to move him from his home.

I tried to give him the best last day, full of treats, a good bath, extra Senior, and finally I saddled him up for one last ride.  He tacked up like a champ.  We simply walked around the arena and turned around a few barrels. I stopped him in the middle of the arena and gently said, “back”.  Immediately, with my hands quiet and still, Kid backed several steps.  What a guy!

This afternoon we took him to the vet. Of course, he loaded into the trailer without issue.

We got him settled in a stall.  I hugged and hugged him.  Lauren and I cried.  I hope he is now running in the green fields of heaven.  I will miss my beautiful boy so much.

Thank you for riding along and keep us in your prayers.

Mr. Kid 32 years young.

Mr. Kid 32 years young.

OTTBs-oh, what to do!

Bruno and Lauren breezing down the track.

Bruno and Lauren breezing down the track.

We have had Bruno for almost 18 months now.  Time flies.  A year ago we were deep in his care wrapping, treating and working on his surgically altered hoof, day after day.

And each day we would marvel at Bruno’s great beauty and strength.  He is hands down the most amazing looking horse I have ever owned.   I have had some great ones over the years, including a mare by AQHA super horse, Rugged Lark.  She was indeed a beauty, but not as startling beautiful as Bru.

From the beginning, we dreamed great things for this horse.  I am part of the OTTB Connect group on Facebook and while I can’t speak for everyone, it is doubtful to me that any of us obtained our OTTB without some thought of what our new thoroughbred could do.  And many of them progress on to great, new things.  But some become more a cherished pet than a show horse.  That’s okay, too.

My friend Caroline has rescue horse Joey whom she got up to a safe weight, fixed his hoof issues and turned his dull coat into one that gleams.  She tried to find him a new spot where he would work out for another rider but Joey ended up shuttled around Texas until fate intervened, someone happened to read my blog and Joey came home to Caroline once again.  But in way worse shape than he started.

We have had HUGE dreams for Bruno.  He has the size, the breeding, the look and the conformation to make a top show horse.  Joey is a classic looking thoroughbred as well, tall, fast and smart.  Both of these boys could have great futures in the eventing or show ring.

Handsome Joey, hanging out waiting for something to do.

Handsome Joey, hanging out waiting for something to do.

Caroline and Lauren are excellent riders who can handle the antics and excitement provided by two, young, race bred horses.  Here’s the problem.  Both ladies have show horses needing regular, consistent riding.  Both of their other horses are further along and currently show great promise in the ring.  It is a hard dilemma.  Lauren and Caroline have both been intermittently sidelined with back problems.  Both ladies have school or jobs which take up their time.

It is sad but true that both of these OTTBs are pretty much on the back burner.  Neither Caroline or I want to sell these horses.  Too much love and care has gone into them.  But it is sad to see them lose yet another year as we cannot find the time or resources to get either of them in a regular training program.  I welcome ideas on what to do with the boys to keep their training going, start showing them and continue to develop them as sport horses after the track.

Thanks for riding along with us!

A Little Jumping Around

Kona in front of the jump at this weekend's show.

Kona in front of the jump at this weekend’s show.

It has been almost a year since I got my poodle Kona.  Lauren yelled at me as I made my way home with him that night, but I have certainly won her over.  Kona has won me over as well.  I have other dogs but because I take him to the shows, the nursing home and even to Dairy Queen I spend more time with him.  I think he has won over a few non-Poodle lovers he has encountered as well.  Let me know if you have met Kona and enjoyed his poodly oodly self.

Point of this (although this post is called “Jumping Around” and I am going to do so a lot) is that even when I nicely asked Lauren to stand in front of the jump as the course was open for the riders to walk, she refused.  She said it was embarrassing to stand in the giant arena and have your mother take your picture by a jump.  Okay, I sat Kona down and told him to stay.  He not only stayed, sitting pretty at the jump, but I swear he smiled as well.  He was not embarrassed either.

Kona does have a little issue with other dogs although I am not clear why that is true.  He has been around dogs (although I do not believe he thinks he is one) since birth.  I have six other various shapes and sizes of dogs.  But when we get out, if a dog is loose and comes toward him, friendly or not, Kona bears a quick retreat backwards, dragging me with him.  At the show this week, we rounded a corner and big Corgi (who should have looked a little like Sneaky) came barreling up with two other canine friends in tow.  Kona dragged me backwards.  I came to two realizations at once.  One, I was now standing in the men’s restroom with my poodle and two, the Corgi was Nordic owned by Bruno’s former owner and former husband of Sneaky.  I mean it was like running from family, which sometimes is a good idea but not in this case.

The dog phobia thing got a little better as the weekend wore on and I was proud that I didn’t spend any more time in the Men’s room.  Other things got better as well.  Lauren had a good ride in the 1.05 meter class.  Feather was quiet, accommodating and on her best behavior.  Over the years, (I looked it up) Mickey placed in the 1.05m twice.  So, it was a big day to have Feather make her debut in the event and place sixth out of 23 horses.  I was hoping for a chance to see her go in the 1.05 Classic but Dev decided to end the show on a positive note and we all packed up and headed home.

In the totally schizophrenic world of south Texas weather we went from the 70s to the 30s again on Sunday.  I have lost count of how many times I have covered and uncovered the plants.  I thought it was funny when the weatherman said, “well, if you haven’t brought those plants in yet, they are probably dead so don’t worry about it tonight”.  But then I am easily amused.

We had left for the horse show early Sunday morning and left all the horses out in pasture without blankets.  I knew it was getting colder but thought we would get home first.  We returned to Wharton with Feather to rain and cold temperatures.  For once all the horses had been smart enough to come in out of the wet.

We called to set an appointment for rescue kitty Levi and Kona to be neutered tomorrow (told you I would be jumping around).  The vet office, verifying they had the right cat, asked if this was the tiny grey male we rescued in October.  I answered yes and asked how much he had weighed when he was last in their office.  They replied he weighed 15 ounces.  That was less than four months ago, and I guess you can say his stomach problems are a thing of the past.  He now weighs over 11 pounds.  Seriously.  The vet reminded me that this was a cat not an Irish Wolfhound puppy.  Oh, boy, I guess we will have to watch his weight.

Kona going to be neutered is causing me a lot of angst.  I want to ask my supervisor if I can take the day off for a family member having surgery.  I feel it would be appropriate.  Don’t think she would.  GEEZ!

Here is a collage from Lauren and the show.  Thanks for riding along on this crazy train.  May God bless you and keep you!

Lauren and Flagmount's Irish Freedom at the Winter Series.

Lauren and Flagmount’s Irish Freedom at the Winter Series.


Lauren holding Feather's fourth place award for points in Pre-Green hunter.

Lauren holding Feather’s fourth place award for points in Pre-Green hunter.

Last night Lauren and I returned to the Greater Houston Hunter Jumper Association (GHHJA) banquet after a years absence.  The annual banquet celebrates and awards the riders, in each division, as they accumulate points based upon placings at each show.  Some divisions are very competitive with hundreds of points being earned by top riders.

Two years ago, Lauren with her horse, Mickey, won the Open Jumper division, the highest height division in GHHJA.  It was a time in our life when we were pretty happy with our little bay horse.  Although, Lauren was taking regular falls off Mickey as he would randomly decide not to jump jumps, we really hadn’t thought of another plan.  Dev had been kind enough not to suggest that Mickey was getting a little unreliable at the higher heights.  Problem was, when Mickey was on, he was intoxicating to watch and ride.  He powered swiftly and precisely through a course of jumps in a rapid fire succession.   And he brought home the blue ribbons- when he didn’t throw Lauren into a jump.

So, we were not looking for a horse to replace Mickey when Dee’s notice to sell her Flagmount’s baby came to our attention.   I immediately said, “I will buy her!”  Uncharacteristically, acting on a split second decision.  I remember talking about her and showing her pictures at the banquet two years ago.

Feather as she looked two years ago.  Dev's dad said "maybe she will grow into that head."

Feather as she looked two years ago. Dev’s dad said “maybe she will grow into that head.”

Honestly, no one was too excited except Lauren, I and our Florida benefactors.   But fate is a funny thing, we did not know Mickey would get horribly sick or that a giant black Jump Start colt would come into our lives.   We were excited about Feather but have had our rough spells.

But from this season’s start at Pine Hill in February when the mare went reserve champ in the Pre-greens, we knew we had something.  Of course, that was the same day I hooked her beautiful ribbon to her bridle, and she freaked out dragging Lauren backwards through the arena at a trot ( I didn’t know horses could even trot backwards!).

We moved on from the hunter ring, when Dev was convinced Lauren would be able to respect the jumper ring and keep letting the mare learn her job. Lauren and Feather moved on through ALL the jumper divisions, earning ribbons in each one.

Sometimes as a parent, you don’t see the progress being made day by day  by your own daughter in the ring behind your house.  It took a friend to point it out to me, that Lauren and Feather did this on their own.  Meaning absolutely no disrespect to trainer Dev, who guided them along their way, but day after day, in the heat or the cold, they worked to get better and more confident together.  Some riders have trainers who show the horse in several classes and then the student takes over.

But each time Lauren and Feather entered the ring, to jumps of greater heights, it was Lauren coaxing the grey mare along.

Fate brought this horse to my daughter at the right time.  We hadn’t even dreamt of a horse of this caliber especially for the money that Lauren had saved, dollar by dollar, over the years.   You know how you remember some moments so vividly?  It all rushed back to me when we walked in the banquet last night.  A simple twist of fate brought Feather to us at the right time for us to be prepared to meet the challenges she would bring us and reap the rewards she was destined to bestow upon us.   Two years have brought us so far.

I am grateful for many things. Thank you for taking this journey with us!



New Year-New Heights-New Cold

Pre-horse ride.

Pre-horse show ride.

I have enjoyed my time off from work during this holiday.  As often happens, your expected relaxation period fritters away in a host of activities you had not even planned.  Until the new year, we spent most days making a 200 mile round trip to Bruno’s trainer.  All very worthwhile, but it did little to relieve my angst over my daily commute to work.  Seems like most days found us headed up the highway, with or without some horses in the trailer behind us.

When we got home, there were barn chores to do, Feather and the other horses to ride.  I got to my mom’s every day and enjoyed some less hurried time with her. She loves her new pink warm-up suits (it is not clear what she is warming up to do but anyway she likes them) that she got for Christmas.

I was under the illusion that maybe Bruno might be ready to make his debut at the show this weekend, but I was clearly told, save your money, while he is vastly improved he is not yet show worthy.  At the last moment, we sent in the entry form for Feather to go.

A year ago, we headed into one of the lowest height divisions with Feather.  Now, she was deemed ready to enter the highest height division of our schooling show association, Open Jumper, with fences to 3’6″.  Mickey in his prime, had won seasonal titles in this height division a few times over but it took Lauren years of work to get there.  Feather headed into the ring yesterday, the last horse to show, in the last division of the day.   Lauren professed to be cool as a cucumber.  As my videos will attest, my hands were shaking, my heart was thumping, and my brain was on a constant prayer loop of “God, let them be safe, let them be safe”.

I looked down in the ring to where the jumps had just been re-set to the new height and wondered what we were thinking.  This little (not even 16 hand) mare was not ready for this.  Little did I know that back in the warm-up ring Feather had just eased over a four-foot oxer.   Dev doesn’t tell Lauren how big the jumps are until Feather clears them.

Lauren came in like a pro but more amazing was the calm, confident horse she was riding.  The same one who, just the other day, had broken the cross ties, rearing when I tried to trim the hair on her legs.  Maybe she just hates me, a possibility, or maybe some magical genetic code deep in her breeding, knows when she steps in the show ring, turning on her show horse persona.

This is the video from their first round in Open Jumpers.   They were second fastest. But I like seeing just how quiet and business like they both are.  And clearly, we still have not gotten close to the top end of what this mare can jump.


So, a new year ahead, great new opportunities for Feather and Bruno.  What I would have given to have known this part of the story last year as we struggled along.   But I do understand and appreciate that our joy is greater for having had the struggle and the unknown as we came through 2013.   I only dreamed that Bruno would be fit to ride and Feather actually loading in a trailer to go a show.  How far we have come! And I think this coming year will be one where we take a lot of new first steps.  After all, 2014 is the year of the horse!

Our first weather challenge of the year is upon us with temperatures below freezing for several hours, off and on, the next couple of days.  As a preemptive strike against all my pipes freezing and breaking as they did several years ago, tonight before bed, we turn off our water well.  All pipes will be drained.  An empty pipe does not freeze.   We will be without water until the temperatures come back up above freezing.  I should be looking top-notch to head back to work.

As the temperatures start to plummet and the north wind soars, I am filling troughs to the brim, setting two full buckets in each stall and preparing for a farm with no water.  And yes, the pipes are wrapped, and no, running water all night does not work except to overflow my septic system.  The house and its plumbing are too old and we are just too exposed to the cold on this plot of land.

Thank you for riding along, pray for warmer temperatures for all and be safe!

Special Gifts

Holding the book of my blog of Bruno's first 300 days.

Holding the book of my blog of Bruno’s first 300 days.

The original Christmas story was about a lot of special gifts, those of the Christ child and magical gifts for him.   I enjoyed some special, thoughtful gifts today.  First, getting up early, seeing the beautiful star filled sky, feeding my animals their Christmas morning breakfast and then watching my grandchildren light up with joy at seeing what Santa brought them.

My daughters each had great surprises for me.  Amber and Ryan got me an amazing, huge art canvas of a beautiful paint horse (Lauren says it is Mickey’s mom).  Lauren added two beads to my favorite bracelet an Irish one and a seashell for my love of the ocean.

Ally and Luke, did something that I had to keep touching and reading to believe it was really true.  They took my “Bruno Stories”, the first 300 days of my blog about him and his journey into our lives, through surgery and on to being a sport horse and had them printed into a hard back book.

It is a beautifully bound book, straight from this blog (all the ones under the category of “a Bruno Story”).  Most days, I sit down and write a little each evening.  Often I am tired, cranky and frustrated with my ever erratic Internet connection.  Sure, I have frequently re-read posts, but nothing prepared me for the sheer volume of words, pictures and pages that would represent a printed copy of my Bruno story.

My friend, Kathy, has always said there is a book in the Bruno story.   Well, now there really is!   Maybe I will be the only one to read it cover to cover, but that is okay.

Momma and I enjoying Christmas!

Momma and I enjoying Christmas!

This afternoon, alone, after the girls moved on to spend day with their husbands and boyfriend, I went to see mom at the nursing home.  The residents seemed a little ill at ease, probably due to the incomprehensible influx of visitors today.  Mom had no idea it was Christmas.  I almost didn’t give her the simple gifts I had brought.  But I did and she was so excited!  She had tears of joy over the clothes and perfume I had brought. We hugged each other long and held on tight.  Her being in my life is such a wonderful gift.

I hope your day was magical! May the peace of The Lord be with you.

And the Lesson Goes to…

Sarah giving Lauren tips on getting respect from the big horse

Sarah, who used to run the horse rescue that Mick, Snow and Kid came from, and is my go-to for starting my young horses or problem horses, accepted my invitation to come help work on Bruno’s loading into the trailer. When he came to us Bruno loaded well. I suspect that the series of trailer rides, all ending in pain at the vet, have soured him on loading.

Sarah helped us with frightened, spooky Feather. She trains with positive reinforcement and tough love. She does not put up with any disrespect. She worked with Bruno and with Lauren, whom she claimed was not standing up to Bruno. All those months of babying him through his hoof issue have not boded well with being the boss mare now.

Sarah got Bruno loading consistently. He was not extremely happy in the trailer but Lauren loaded him multiple times. We will continue with our homework and hope to see Bruno happily loading.

Tomorrow Lauren has a lesson with Dev. In a light bulb moment, we both realized we could bring any horse to the lesson. Feather has finished for the season. She could use the work, but we do not have to take her.

Feather says of course, I am going to the lesson! I am the show horse

Bruno could go. It would be good to focus on him, really ready to go for the first time since he came to us. Plus, I really believe he will load happily in the trailer.

Bru says bring it on, I am ready to go

Or since Mickey is finally sound after five weeks off work, it would be fun to take him. It would be way easier on Lauren to bring Mickey. Or so she thinks!


Mickey sticks his tongue out, nanny boo boo, no way she would pick me-free pasture day

And don’t forget, a really fun day could be had on Snowboy!


Tune in tomorrow to see who Lauren picks to be her Sunday ride!