Thursday, December 8, 2016

In which our backyard is a Dog Park and they are playing Dinosaurs

Oh, the weather outside is frightful not too bad, actually...

Yesterday, the forecasters were calling for sn*w and "winter driving conditions."   

I warned the library that me showing up would be weather-dependent; with nothing unusual on the schedule, I could easily take an "inclement weather" PTO day if I needed it.

But today:

Hooligans?  What hooligans?

So, I'll be heading out for an evening shift in a few minutes.

But before leaving home, how about a game of Dinosaurs?!?!

I'm a DINOSAUR and I'm coming to eat you up!

You can't get me, Dinosaur, because I'm a Dinosaur, too!


Being Dinosaurs is the BEST!

Stay warm and safe out there in the Winter, y'all!
(and watch out for Dinosaurs)

Thursday, December 1, 2016

In which I want to start a "blog hop", so who wants to play the game too?

It's a quiet time of year.  The weather is awful.  
The trails are muddy.  It gets dark about an hour after sunrise.

We haven't had a blog hop here at Haiku Farm since 2014.  Let's have a new one!

Here's the directions:

  • Answer the questions (below) on your own blog, and leave a link to that post in the comments here.
  • In your post, invite readers to answer the questions on THEIR blogs, and link those blogs to yours AND to here.
  • Let's see how far this can travel!
  • Pictures!  Let's see lots of pictures of people and horses!

*  Introduce yourself!

*  Introduce your horse(s)!

*  What's your favorite horse sport?  Do you cross train in other activities?

*  Who else in your family rides?

*  What's your proudest equestrian accomplishment?

*  What was your lowest moment as a horse owner/rider?

*  What's the most important small thing you ever learned in a lesson?

*  Do you have any riding rituals or superstitions?

*  What are your short term goals for yourself/your horse?

*  Long term goals?

*  If time and money were no object, what is your dream equestrian vacation?

*  What kind of horse activities were you doing 10 years ago?

*  What kind of horse activities do you think you'll be doing 10 years from now?

*  What is the quirk about your horse that you like most?

*  Introduce yourself!  
Aarene, Swampland dweller, book writer person, librarian, Dragon rider

*  Introduce your horse!
Fiddle, 2002 Standardbred, USTA registered "Naked Willow,"  mostly called The Dragon, sometimes called "D*mmit, Dragon,"  more often called "good GIRL, Dragon!"  Formerly known as "Hellbitch."

The fire breathing Dragon

*  What's your favorite horse sport?   Do you cross train in other activities?

Renegade Rendezvous 2015

I am a reluctant dressage rider in winter (Fiddle LOVES dressage, I enjoy the challenge but have no interest in showing).  We also build trails together,

and sometimes we play games.

Standardbred Game Day, Langely BC  This game is an egg-stomp.  We took 1st place.

*  Who else in your family rides?
Jim used to ride, when his bones were younger.

Jim and Blaze at the Oregon Dunes ride, 2002
The kids took lessons, but are not interested in pursuing the horsey life.

Lisa and Guy at Fish Creek, 2010

*  What's your proudest equestrian accomplishment?
2015 Endurance Standardbred Award.  We did a LOT of rides to get that one.  It was fun, but not easy!

*  What was your lowest moment as a horse owner/rider?
Realizing, 2 years after Fiddle was spayed, that a lot of her "bad temper" issues were pain related.

No caption needed, really.

 The spay surgery removed the pain.  If I had seen it sooner, I might have spared her that.  :-(  

*  What's the most important small thing you ever learned in a lesson?
RELEASE HER WHEN SHE GETS IT RIGHT!  That maybe isn't a small thing, as it took me a very long time to get proficient!  And, um, I still need to practice.

*  Do you have any riding rituals or superstitions?
I check the rear trailer door at least twice before starting the truck.  Sometimes I check it again when I've driven a mile (or less).

*  What are your short term goals for yourself/your horse?
Get back on the endurance trail again.  We took 2016 off following a stifle injury last January--still riding, but no competitions.

Take more lessons. My schedule doesn't make this easy, but it's important.  Bad weather helps--I'm not as interested in riding trails when we need a snorkel and swim fins (or a sn*wmachine)  to reach the trailhead.

It's coming.  Bahhh.

*  Long term goals?
Decade Team.  We've got five years thus far.  Five more of competitions of at least one 50-miler per year.  Fortunately, the ten years don't have to be consecutive, so our year off isn't a huge setback.

*  If time and money were no object, what is your dream equestrian vacation?
Wouldn't I love to ride in Mongolia?  Or maybe visit lytha in Germany and borrow a Traber (German Standardbred) for a ride?  Or visit the trotting races in Scandinavia?  Also: Egypt.

*  What kind of horse activities were you doing 10 years ago?
I was "horseless" for almost exactly 3 weeks in 2006.  My senior Standardbred mare was put down the first week of December, and Fiddle was delivered to me right after Xmas.  So for three weeks I messed around with Hana and the Toad a bit, and cried a lot.  It was pretty awful.

Story and me, 2006

*  What kind of horse activities do you think you'll be doing 10 years from now?
Fiddle will be 24 years old, and hopefully still putting me through some paces.  I will probably have an apprentice Standardbred by then, to haul me down the trails and around the arena.  Maybe a short horse this time?  I can hope.

I'd like to try polo someday.  And this medieval gaming thing is pretty fun.  But I don't think I'll ever be a Dressage Queen!

*  What is the quirk about your horse that you like most?
She watches out for me.  When I was awaiting surgery (and riding under the influence) my riding partners often observed that she would actively boost me back into the center of the saddle if I started to lean or list.  She did it again today in a lesson, when I was concentrating so hard on something that she thought I was going to fall off, so she "fixed" herself under me.

Good mare!

Okay, blog hoppers!  Copy the list of questions and answer them on your own blog--be sure to link back here so readers can find you.

READY -- SET  -- GO!


We have some participants!
Neversummer at the "Rescuing Rusty" blog:

Cathy at Cascade Gold Akel Tekes:

Laura at Riding Journey:

Elizabeth at Clover Ledge:

Gina at DutchRunFarm:

Dom at Madcap Escapades:

Patricia at Racknabout Stables:

Laurie at Mountain Music Paints:

Sarah at Ambershades:

Gail at Fit2Continue: 

Liz Stout: 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

In which we rev up the Wayback Machine and support our favorite book

I'm told that gift-shopping for equestrians is a big challenge
for non-equestrians.

The tack stores are full of ... stuff.

The catalogs are full of ... stuff.

"Is any of that stuff useful? Do you need that stuff?  Do you want that stuff? Is it good stuff?  Who can know?" wails the frustrated non-riding spouse, parent, child, or friend of a horse lover.

Here's a suggestion:

Print out the photo and hand it to those who love you

Monica shot these photos of Santa Jim and "Jingles" (aka Ariana) to promote the original release of the Endurance 101 book in 2012.

Copy this photo to your Facebook page, and tag all your gift-giving friends

These days, Monica is busy painting chickens, Santa Jim is busy in the studio, and the book...well, the book became hard-to-find this year.  

We were having problems with the printer and the distributors, and for a while we just threw up our hands and went riding.

But, I'm pleased to say that, just in time for the holidays, the book is back!

You can even click on this picture to go straight to the E101 page on Amazon.  Or click HERE.

Need to convince your non-horsey spouse/parent/child/friend a little further?

Direct them to the FREE CHAPTER of Endurance 101, available HERE or to the free preview on the Amazon page.

Happy Holidays, from everyone at Endurance 101.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

In which we gobble again and journey back in time (with horses, too!)

Most of them look something like this:

People in muddy boots eating fabulous food at today's
Thanksgiving Leftovers Party

Today, there was something extra happening during the party:

"That man is holding a (bamboo) sword!"

Fear not, Loyal Readers!  Hana has done this before!

Hana and Santa Jim at a Warhorse Challenge game day in 2008

Hana loves these games.  And, apparently

Duana loves these games too

she is willing to help everybody play!

I love these games, too

Fiddle stayed home today, so Hana got to play double

The learning curve was steep--and fun.

"We can whack stuff and Look Pretty at the same time!"
You can see a better video of them in action HERE

When Katie started getting tired, she loaned Whiskey to Monica.

This is the "head-whacking" game


I don't think Monica expected to have this much fun

We had so much fun, in fact, that we're gonna do it again!  Watch this space for details.

Friday, November 25, 2016

In which Thanksgiving is great, and opting outside is pretty great too

Ours was a Thanksgiving Dinner that couldn't be beat:

Turkey from Mel, roasted vegetables from our gardens, 
stuffing from Alison, pies from my mom.
Ten people, lots of talking and laughing, lots of food = 
a great holiday.

The turkey was so big that it had to be cut in half with a Sawzall.
Santa Jim roasted half with bacon in the oven; Monica smoked the
other half in the smoker with applewood.

The dogs aren't allowed to have turkey, stuffing, or pie, but they do get special treats for the holiday:

Then on Black Friday, while most of America stood in line to buy wafflewashers at Tarmart, or trolled for parking at the maul, Fiddle and I Opted Outside.

Fluffy, but not too fat for November!

We took Flower

I hang with you, okay?  My rider has gone off into the bushes again!

and Patty

Lookee what I found!

outside with us.

moiling, moiling, moiling.  The bright pink Dragonwalker Duster is great for keeping
track of a mushroom hunter in the woods!

It was not a strenuous ride.

But, it wasn't raining, and it wasn't freezing, and the trails weren't crowded.

And, bonus:

we found ingredients for the Thanksgiving Leftovers Party Feast on Sunday.

I hope your Thanksgiving table was laden and surrounded by friends.  If you're in the Swamp this weekend, why not bring some food to the annual Re-Gobble party at Fish Creek?  

We'll see you there!