Monday, January 26, 2009

Bear with me!

This isn't a bear attacking Lil Mama- it's TLC in a bear jammie! It was clear but windy and cold today- but no matter- Lil Mama and I still had horses to feed, stalls to muck and chores to finish. So we wrapped TLC up in his warmest suit, put socks on his little hands so they wouldn't freeze, strapped him inside his pack and off they trudged! Dosen't he look happy? He is! He loves to be outside- and the weather doesn't matter. Good thing he's not too prissy!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Stink on Ice

Lil Mamma and I were talking today about horses. Of course that is almost always what we talk about, but we have some new borders at our barn and to put it as nicely as possible, they stink on ice. 
Urp!! Wa-ht? 
Well, I guess that isn't so nice after all, but first before you judge me, let me explain further. The new borders- and there are three- know very little about owning horses. One family is learning quickly. They ask questions, read books, watch video and are improving in leaps and bounds. The other two- not so much. One family- Family A - bought a horse that was totally unsuitable for them. He's a rope horse and he's only five. Family A only wants to ride on the trail, and they wanted him for their two girl teenagers- that do not know ANYTHING about a horse. Mom used to ride some, and she thinks she knows everything. Just watching her ride that poor horse is painful for me- the horse will soon be frustrated and ruined. AND of course I can't say anything, they wouldn't listen. They have asked questions, and have been given good answers and still they will not listen. I've offered lessons for all. No takers. And don't think it is just bitter lemons on my part- oh no! If they were learning from anybody it would be a blessing for that horse, and my pain would lessen. 
Lil Momma says it is just because we care too much. 
I have to agree. We do care. We care about the mental welfare of a horse that doesn't belong to us and its future use for anyone else. We care because the future of our Horseworld depends on new riders being able to enjoy their horses so they will stay in the sport, infusing it with money. We care because we are horsemen.  
The other family is Family B. Her mother had a horse... once. She makes excuses about everything- the horse doesn't like to be led, poked, her feet picked up..etc...etc....She can't even steer the horse in a circle. Family B will never succeed because her excuses overshadow any advise or knowledge given to her. 
I guess the bottom line is that it's not fair to their horses. 
And it's frustrating because I want everyone to succeed. And I know that until those two families change their attitudes, they won't succeed, they will continue to be frustrated and ultimately the horses will be sold, probably to someone worse. And instead of taking the blame on themselves for the way their horses turned out -they will blame the poor horses. 
And that stinks on ice.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Lemonade Stand

Well saddle up for the best Western Lemonade you ever tasted! It's got plenty of nice fresh lemons, mixed with some wild cactus juice to sooth a tired ol Cowgirl's thirst. Many thanks to all of you who sent me this award. I'll admit it was more than two! I guess you all think I needed a drink! Well I do! As long as it's with the likes of ALL Y'all! Really now, who wouldn't want to saddle up and head to the Oasis with any one of you?
I'm not going to forward this on to ten of you, I can't keep good tequila from all of you- but read through my blog Remuda to see who I follow and pick up their tracks. It's worth the little bit of dust in your eyes and blisters on your butt to read through the 'sign' they are sending. Do a little bit of backtrailing to see why I love 'em so much.
In the meantime, I'm gonna saddle up my ol pony and ride my cares away-with liberal doses of the 'lemonade' I might add- it's Ig-nausea -ation day. Lord help me! 

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Camel Dressage! OH you know you want to see this!

Ok this was sent to me by the woman that I sometimes train with- do you think she's trying to tell me something? -This ol Camel has a cuter lope, switches leads better and on cue and does the skipping thing-whatever you call that?- SO much cuter than my pony! 
I would never have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes! What kind of person can train a camel to DO this stuff? I want him/her to begin training my pony and ME! 
Of course I always say that you can train a horse to deal cards if you want to- it's just a matter of voltage.  
Ahh! Don't get so upset- I was kidding- YOU laughed-you know you did!! 
Just enjoy the video and revel in all it's possibilities!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Growing up Horsey

Lil Mama grew up 'horsey'. I was a young and single mom, so of course I took her everywhere with me. The earlist picture of her on a horse is aged 6 months. When she was about a year, I'd put her in front of the saddle and take my trail rides as usual. I had a great little horse named Radar, and he was bombproof- but looking back I'd guess it prolly wasn't the safest thing to do. Ah-bygones...

I bought her this pony, Little Bit, from the county pound. Paid a whopping $50 for him, and that was a lot of money for a pony! He was a typical little Shetland. Gin rode him around a little bit, but she really wanted to ride the bigger horses. I sold him to a girl for her son, made $100 on the deal and started letting Gin ride my bucksin mare. Gin started riding in horse shows when she was eight. Not lead line classes, but in the show with the adults, loping around a big arena. I had hand signals I'd give her when she got close enough, but she tells me she always ignored them. I would run down the outside of the fence as she came around the ring, and boy was I pooped by the time the class was over. Good thing I was only a kid myself!

She rode that bucksin mare in 4-H and Open shows, showed that good reining mare in showmanship, trail and pleasure classes.She carried the flag for our MHA shows and in parades. I kept that mare until I had to put her down. She had uvitius and it affected her brain. She was about 23 years old.

When Gin turned 16 I gave her this little black mare she called Tess. I bought her for $1.00. She had belonged to a girl who couldn't pay the board, but didn't know anything about horses. She'd walk over you, lean into pressure put her head into the halter and pull you around-generally a spoiled pain in the ass. She wasn't broke AT ALL- so we started her and Gin rode her everyplace. She had a quick mind and a willing attitude as long as you didn't try to force her into accepting anything. She is the only horse I ever considered 'throwing' to get her mind right. Luckily before I had to do that, she had a major breakthrough and after that we never had much trouble with her. There is even a picture of Gin and Tess on a glossy brochure put out by the Muir Land Trust around here.Tess wasn't a pleasure horse, but Gin did some gymkahna, carried flags, took her in parades, and rode the fool right out of her. Unfortunatly when she was at my sisters place she escaped a box stall and a fenced pasture (so I'm told)(she was a Houdini from the get go) got out onto a highway at 3 AM and was struck and killed by a car. The driver was unhurt (Thank the good Lord) but it just broke our hearts something fierce.

Gin was always the girl that wanted to go to the barn with me, where as her sister OD never really was that into it. For punishment I'd tell Gin "You can have a spankin' or you can stay home from the barn." She always took the spanking.

There were plenty of other horses in Gin's life through the years, I always have horses coming and going, but she finally purchased her very own horse- Bar Hoppin Bob about seven years ago. He had been in training with David Busick ,but the girl that owned him needed something smaller. Bob is 16.2, Gin is 5'2". They look cute together, and that horse is just in love with his mistress! At the shows he squeezes his face against the stall bars so he can keep an eye on her as she walks away!She can ride him brideless, has taught his some tricks and done pretty well in the show ring too. Right now he is 'on a break', - his mane is long, his tail short, his coat hairy, but he still will just go into his frame and act like the show is tomorrow if she asks him too.

I always tell everyone I couldn't afford to ride with a trainer full time, so I raised my own! That girl is just a great little rider.

Now it's time to start on the next generation!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Watch This!

I found this over on It is a great site with tons of information on one of my favorite things- Western Saddles! Plus they scour the Net and list the Deal of the Day- resonably priced saddles you can find and buy on the web- if you dare. I personally have bought and sold about ten saddles on the internet and I have been pleased with all of the sales and the purchases. If you are informed and know what you are doing you can get some great buys- especially now!
I'm in the process of planning for my very own custom build saddle. I know what style of saddle I want, and I have a saddler picked to do the work, but I just have to fine tune the details! It's a labor of love- truely. I just fig'ger that since I've spent over half of my life in a saddle- I deserve one that will fit my aging butt! And I don't need one dripping with silver, I want one that will suit my style ~ Vaquero-ish ~ something unique! (unique up on 'em!)
Watch the video- it's brilliant!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Again with the History- Geez!

The picture at right was taken in the third Capitol City in California- nope it's not Sacramento- it is Benicia.

Before California was even a state- Benicia became a busy shipping port. Soon the world was rushing in to California because of the Gold found in Coloma. Benicia is a sheltered port just down the river from San Francisco and soon it was a bustling shipyard. Whalers and merchants had their boats built and refitted here. It was selected as the Capitol of the new California in 1853-1854. A grand and glorius Capitol building was build of timber and bricks salvaged from abandoned ships in San Francisco Bay. It is the only Pre-Sacramento Capitol building still standing.

The first picture was taken between the Capitol and the Fischer-Hanlon House. Once a hotel, it was moved to the spot next to the Capitol and re built. It is outfitted in Victorian style and is open by appointement. There is a 100 year old Wisteria here, but unfortunatly it was not in bloom when I took the photo!

Inside the barn, just behind the house, is this collection of items, including this old saddle and bridle. Since Benicia and the surrounding area was settled by Californio's like Don Vallejo, and Don Pacheco it seems fitting.

Also in Benicia- a Camel Barn. Built in 1850-60's, the barn was built by the US Military to house guessed it... camels! Because of the Civil War, the plan to use Camels as pack animals in the American West was shelved, and the camels were housed at Benicia until they were sold. The Camel Barn Museum now houses archives, photos and an ocasionally a Camel Race.

Though I don't have photos- Benicia has many, many Victorian style houses that have been remodeled and refitted. Many have parlors and ballrooms still intact. It's a wonderful place to visit, I find myself going there often even though it is on the other side of the Carquinez Straits from Martinez. If you ever get down this way, take a drive down First Street and check it out for yourselves.

It sure beats shoveling snow!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Slow but steady...


I've had Glacier for about 5 weeks, she's gained forty plus pounds. The top picture is her the day we got her, the next one is today. Can you see the improvement? It isn't my imagination is it? She has more energy too. I can actually lunge her for more than five minutes now. 
Antoinette came out again today and lunged her for me. What a neat thing too! Does the mare look happy? Well.. it is hard to tell, she always looks a little crabby- but her eyes are closed in this last picture and she at least looks content.