Sunday, July 25, 2010

De-Spooking the trail ponies

Here is the de-spook course that Roxanne set up for the MHA.
It had noodles that would touch the horses from the front ( like a gate) and from the top ( like a curtain). It also had a water obstacle, and a long chute draped with clothing, a few large and small flags, a star of ground poles with hula hoops and cones and more flags, a tarp with brush, a baby stroller, a bicycle with glittery ribbons and on the fence some fluttery banners.
AND it was a windy day yesterday- we are on the Carquinez Straights, and the fog going in and out creates a big breeze.
So everything was just a fluttering, and a billowing, and making noise and flapping around.
The horses first walked through all the obstacles, and then they were ridden through them. Everyone did a great job.

This is Keith and Snap going through the bouncing curtain.

Keith and Snap watch as Bill and Brandon use the flag. Brandon was not phased by the flag billowing around, but Snap was a little worried.

KBG and Shirley going through the bouncing curtain. Shirley wanted to just stop, but KBG was able to get her through it several times. That is Denver and John in the 'chute' in the background.

John and Julie use a smaller flag to de-spook Joe and Denver. Joe was fine- Denver was a little spooky.
The great thing about working like this is the horses see the obstacles from near and far, on other horses and in a quiet and non stresses environment. All went well. Denver eventually accepted the flag.

Denver really didn't like the ground pole star with hula hoops and flags, but John remained calm and steady until Denver gave in and agreed that going through it was a lot easier than trying to avoid it.

Here is the water obstacle, a tarp buried in the sand with a tiny bit of water on top.
Shirley walked right through! Bill and Brandon worked the flag a little more to be sure he 'got' it.

The whole gang had a great time, and we agreed that a lot of people could use this method to start their horses on the paths to happy trail riding. Unfortunately the people that could use this the most think they need it the least.
I would have loved to bring Desi the Punk to this, but someone had to set up the obstacles and be the ground crew!
Maybe next time we'll get a chance to play too!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Say What?

I bought a new collar for Tripps yesterday. It is called a 'control collar'- I guess the word ' choke chain' just isn't PC any more.

So I am reading the back of the packaging that it comes on, how to put the collar on correctly, etc...

and in bold black letters just below the directions it reads :

" Not Suitable for Children."

Really? What collar would be?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

This and that around the homestead.

Isn't this a cute chair! It is terrible lighting in the photo, but it WAS a cell phone cam after all. The chair is a pea green, and the stitching is brown. I just had to have it, but I didn't have the money for it. SO my wonderful daughter Mimi bought it for me for my birthday present! Wasn't that just the sweetest thing!
It is a comfy chair and I just love it!

Ginny and I went to a horse show on Saturday. She found out that she won High Point in her class for the Spring Series.
The house in the background is a century old mansion that is in disrepair at Historic Nelson Ranch. It is said to be haunted! Bob didn't find it too scary though. He posed prettily for the picture!

This is the prize she won!

Here is the latest picture of Captain Tripps in my garden. He is actually on the hillside overlooking the flowers, and he knows he is not allowed to go where the flowers are growing- but he is looking all around- stealthy like- to make sure I don't see him.
AHA! I cry, and he scampers back up the hill to where it is safe to play!
He is about 40 pounds now. That means that he has grown from 21 pounds on June 6th, to 40 pounds on July 15. He has also grown about 5 inches!

And last but certainly not least- my sweetheart of a hubby has purchased a truck and a fifth wheel trailer for me, ( and him too, of course).

Here is the outside and a shot of the inside too. There is a slide out in the front room and the bedroom, this pic was taken with the slide-out- in!

The truck is a 98 Dodge dually,3500 with incredibly low miles! Hubby will drive that as I already drive a Chevy half ton which I love. But for horse shows and vacations, I get to drive the Big Truck!

Thank you Honey! This has been the best birthday ever!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Summ- summ- summertime!

Isn't this the cutest picture? Of course I am a little bit prejudiced, after all I think that TLC is the cutest BOy in the World, ( sorry Sweet Potato Queens everywhere- but it is true!)
And the puppy is a cutie pie too- that is Penny Pincher - Denesirita, Un-Paid Ranch Slaves 'child'.
This image conjures up a lot of summer time thoughts; lying in the grass, having the time to play with your dog, knowing that the pool is waiting for you when you most need it. Smiling with the complete joy of being happy and warm and well fed and loved more than anything.

Summer is suppose to be a time of laziness, where time slows to a crawl, allowing you the opportunity to enjoy and savor simple things like this.
Some of my favorite summer things-
A red ripe sweet watermelon with the seeds still in. Spitting those seeds as far as you can and laughing about who can spit those slippery buggers the furthest.
Waking up to the smell of dew dampening freshly mown grass-weather it is a huge alfalfa field, or a tiny plot of city lawn.
White sheer curtains riffling into your room on a slight warm breeze.
The hot sweet smell of berries and sugar melting into the jam pots on the stove.
The steady fall of hooves along a shady trail.
Laughter of children in a cool pool on a hot day.

And so summer begins, and soon it will end- but I invite you to share your favorite summer things with me, here, while it lasts.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

All roads lead ( or should) to Loma Rica

Friday was my birthday. I'm not gonna tell you how old ( or young) I really am, but just say I remember black and white TV, Crusader Rabbit Cartoons and actually watched the moon landing on TV.
Friday was also the day we were traveling up to Loma Rica in northern California for the annual Slip and Slide Party. The girls, Mimi and Lil Mama picked up the puppies and took them all up to the Dolittle Ranch- owned and operated by Denisarita and the Stud Spud.
And if that wasn't enough, they cemented the titles of Best Daughters in the World by carrying up a cake and candles to Denisirita's Ranch ( a 2 hour drive and hotter than the hinges of hell today, I can tell you), then surprised me with the whole shebang when I rolled in about 9 PM. I almost wept- it was so sweet!

Saturday was the Annual Slip and Slide party. Oh Friends, if you haven't ever been to a slip and slide party, you might want to start one of your own. But Deniserita and The Stud Spud put on the very best party- and this year, in addition to the Slip and Slide- they had a mechanical Bull!
In homage to Crazy M Buckers we kept putting the horns on one up and one down, but they were flying off in every direction. I guess riding that thing is harder than it looks! Go to Deniseritas blog to see some other pictures.

TLC had a great time, there were so many children to play with. Here is a video of his first trip down the slip and slide.

Here is Mimi riding the mechanical bull! She stuck !
This is our horse show friend KBG- She did great too!

Now as I said before, I am as old as can be - so I DID NOT ride the mechanical bull!

I took the pictures, held down one shady spot after another and lived to tell the tale!

BIG KISSES to Deniserita and the STud Spud for planning and executing the perfect summer party!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Stars and Stripes Forever- of course!

I love the forth of July. It means so many things to me.
It means the real beginning of summer. Warm days and warm nights sitting out under the stars, talking in hushed voices, breathing in wonderful smells- fresh alfalfa or a fresh cut lawn, BBQ, and night blooming flowers.

It's historic and I love that! The very spirit of the Forth of July embodies the American way of Life, Liberty and Freedom.

It means Parades and saluting our Flag as it marches by; Souza marches and flag draped antique cars, twirling girls with flags and batons.

It means families gathering in parks and on lawns to ogle the sky that they forget about 364 other days of the year.

It means birthday celebrations!

It means the Slip and Slide Party!

Just like people tell you to keep Christmas I think people should keep the 4th of July in their hearts. The Pomp and Circumstance, the feeling of National Pride, the love of fun and family.

So I hope that all of you will Keep the 4th!
Wishing you a Fantastic Celebration of our Country!
Long may you all wave!