Sunday, May 22, 2016

In which a response to the Yule Log is offered: a rainy day vid

lytha over at the Horse Crazy American blog is a fan of the Yule Log video.

I admit:  the visual is restful and the audio is soothing.

lytha's version of the Yule Log video is also calming and soothing:  it is 7 minutes of her horse and donkey grazing peacefully in the orchard.  Sunshine, shadows, insects, birdsong.  Very nice.

So, here's a soothing video I wanted to share with her, for those homesick days when it's too hot, or too cold, or too sn*wy, or too far-away-from-home:

Twelve minutes of Fiddle and the goats not doing anything interesting, just grazing in the rain.

I hope the rest of y'all enjoy it too.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

In which Du has a new red pony and we train for non-eventing

Choosing a new horse is like dating.  And who wants to go on dates anymore?

I choose you Pikachu? 
We are calling her Freya McMuffin Small Fry Papadum
but there will probably be additional names

Du started Freya with a 30-day trial, in which we threw all kinds of stuff at her.

The follow-me game

Duana: "Stand on this box!"
Freya:  "Okay!"

Trail training with Dory

I got to ride her too!

Finally, the 30 days ended.  It was time to choose.

I choose you, Pikachu Freya McMuffin, etc. etc. etc.

Du's husband Jason brought the champagne.  That's part of his job.

Wheeeeee!  She chose meeeeeeeee!

...and the very next day...

You've heard of Gorillas in the Mist.  This is a Standie in the Rain.

time to hit the trails with the Usual Suspects!

Duana loves both of her redheaded mares

Gratuitous photo of the Dragonwalker Duster in action--
today was the first day we got enough rain to try it out in the saddle!

But before we could leave the parking lot, it was time to start our non-event training.

Freya is not-so-afraid of the porta-potty anymore.

Some folks pay big bucks for an eventing prospect.  We prefer to train so that our lives are a long series of non-events.

Helmet on, heels down.

Taking a picture of the "old" horse (Hana)
through the ears of the "new" horse (Freya)
And Fiddle and I are there to witness it all!
From the parking lot, it's necessary to head down the road about 1/8 mile to get to the trails.  That might be a stress point.

But, no.

The Suspects headed out for an hour of walking.

Scotch broom is everywhere.

The Tomato Curse is working!  This is good, because we've already had
our first wildfire of the season.  

Puddle practice.  Hana  coaches the new kid. (and Monica coaches Duana)

Heading back to the trailhead

One more necessary skill:  stand quietly in the trailer while we go have lunch!

So far, it's all Good!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

In which we continue with rehab and we combat global warming

Not all of the days have been sunny and warm lately, 
but many of them have been.

I had a meeting this afternoon so I got up early
to hit the trails with Fiddle before leaving for town.

We Swamplanders are not accustomed to all the blue sky overhead. We get giddy.  We need less coffee, we need less sleep. We spend more time outdoors, choosing to skip lunch in favor of walking around and admiring everything in bloom.  

55 minutes, mostly walking.  Here's the LINK to our track.

But some of us have not forgotten last Summer, and the terrible wildfires that devastated our Swamp while the rain didn't fall.  

This winter brought record rainfall, which we welcome...but the Spring has been a little too bright and cheery for comfort.

Spanish moss on the trees attest to the dampness of the air in winter,
but the trail underfoot is already completely dry.  And it's only May....

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

I've decided to invoke the Tomato Curse.

Science has conclusively shown that whenever I plant tomatoes,
it rains all summer.

Because I'd really like to see SOME sunshine this summer, I got Jim to plant half of the tomatoes in the garden.  I planted the rest.

Will this mitigate the Curse?  Will this anger the Weather Gods?  

Stay tuned, I guess.

Patty plants tomato seeds, and then gifts all the Usual Suspects
with lots of seedlings!

It started raining about 45 minutes after we set the last tomato plants into the soil.  

A good start, right?

And then today:

Sunshine again

Either way (rain?  or tomatoes?) I guess I win!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

In which it's a happy day, and we wave goodbye to a little friend

Today was a big day for Kaleaf.

Are you coming to visit me?

I've had fun riding the little fellow for the last few months.  

American Trail Gear sent a beautiful pink breastcollar
for Kaleaf, and have promised a matching headstall.

We've done arena work, trails, and just doodling around.  But he is not, and was never meant to be, my horse.

As of today, Kaleaf belongs to Jacqui.

Ten years ago, she gave me a horse.
Today, I helped Dory give her a horse.

She's got a boarding barn all set up for him on Vancouver Island, and has already started building a barn of her own on her farm property.  

She says she's forgotten a lot about having a horse.  That's maybe not surprising, given that she's undergone several sets of chemo/radiation to the brain since she owned Fiddle.

Here's the thing, New Mama:  horses need to eat Lots of Grass.
You will need to remember that, New Mama.

We loaded him up, and we waved goodbye.

Kaleaf wasn't convinced that he should get in the trailer.
We convinced him.  Imagine that.

I know he and Jacqui (and little Eliza) are going to have a wonderful life together.

Just thinking about it makes me smile.

Monday, May 2, 2016

In which we protect the little grey cells and meet some crafty horse folk

There's nothing subtle about the Dragon and me, including our gear... 

...and especially including my helmet!
My current brain-bucket.  I bought the rubber spikes and stick-on flames
at a local biker shop,  but they are also available online.

Yesterday at the trailhead, I ran into some friends who commented on my helmet decor...and then showed off their own head armor:

Pam chose purple!  I approve!

MaryLou likes a tasteful floral design

Super cool, right?  Apparently it's getting to be a "big thing" locally and further afield.  The local folks call them "Hell-hats" and trade ideas and photos via Facebook.

Wanna make your own?

Here are demo photos harvested from Facebook:

deconstruct the hat

cap-less brim

cut "pie wedges" from the brim's inside edge

insert helmet

decorative duct tape keeps the two pieces together

For those who prefer instructions in words,  DIRECTIONS ARE HERE

Here are some more photos for inspiration, stolen from the Hellhat Facebook page:

 hatband is a re-purposed belt

braided leather belt to cover the duct tape

This hellhat is encased in craft paint prior to decorating.
Spray paint is NOT recommended--it can degrade the
plastic shell and decrease effectiveness of a helmet.

don't stop with the brim--add a veil!

Extra baubles can be made from costume jewelry

For the true purple fan: feathers and a purple fox tail!
The hatband is a man's silk tie.

This looks like just enough fun that I might do it myself...err, maybe in the winter when the weather is bad.

For now, I intend to spend my spare time RIDING!

We are now up to 45 minutes walking, 4-5 minutes trotting!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

In which we are given permission to GO! Slowly. Mostly walking.

I sent the trot-out videos to the vet yesterday, and last night she told me to increase the walking to 45 minutes, 
 plus 3-4 minutes of trot ON THE TRAILS!

Cue the angel choirs

Fiddle couldn't believe her luck when she saw me open the trailer door and come down to the pasture to get her.

Do not mock.  Dis ma Superhero Costume.

She loaded right up, of course.  She practically grabbed the truck keys out of my hand in her haste to leave the property.

Dis ma Udder Superhero Costume.

 And we headed out!

On the trail, tra-la, tra-la.

The forecasted sun did not shine, but who cares?

Birds and Bees and Rider and Me, Tiddly-pom

20 minutes walking.  3 minutes trotting.

Vroooom, vroom.

Out to the bridge.

Trip-trap. Trip-trap.  Trip-trap.  No trolls here, tra-la.

20 more minutes, walking back to the trailer.

My ears are happy, my feet are happy, my mum is happy...

When we got back to the trailhead

It's Dory and Craig...and Freya!

Fiddle does not hate the new mare.

Life. Is. Good!