In which good horses do the things we tell them to do, (in quotations)

This may be the most important thing the Dragon has ever taught me:
Good horses do what we tell them to do. (and they don't do what we tell them not to do)

In late December 2006 the woman who gave my horse to me couldn't get her to load in the trailer so she could bring her down from Canada to me.

The Dragon refused to get on the trailer, even though she'd never given trouble loading or travelling before.
What happened?  
I have a theory:  Jacqui told the mare not to get on the trailer.

Travel back in time with me and see how it happened.
5am, it's dark.  The sun doesn't rise in December until 8am.Late December, it's raining.  Pouring rain.Jacqui was crying.  Not just because she was giving away the horse, but also because she'd been diagnosed with a scary brain tumor, which is why she was giving away the horse.
The Dragon, who has proved numerous times that she is very attuned to her people, "heard" Jacqui "say" quite clearly:  "I'…

In which we look at the ground, do math, and work on fixing Fiddle's feet

We've shod the Dragon pretty much the same way since Mel took over in March 2016.

But wait.  Is that really true?

I have notes dating back to 2006 when I first got Fiddle, detailing the angles at which we keep her feet, the size, brand, and modifications we do to each shoe, her activity level between shoeing appointments, noting any injuries or other abberations.

She used to hang onto shoes forever, only losing them when the nailheads would wear completely off and the shoes would simply fall off, leaving nails still in her foot. 

Now, she pulls front shoes off routinely.

Clearly something has changed.

We started doing math:

She learned to walk MUCH BIGGER -- and gained strength as well -- while she was out on the Cross-State Ride in late May.  Basically, she added a new gait to her repertoire.She also started wearing out the toes of her front shoes (see the top photo) on the Cross-State.  That wear pattern is relatively new.This summer, we had to change the brand of steel shoe we we…

In which my favorite holiday approaches. Silliness ensues.

I love Hallowe'en.  I like the scary stories, I like the candy, and most of all: I love costumes.

Noche Miller built the dragon mask (above) for me last year.  It's made from rubber floor mats (!) sculpted and glued and painted very beautifully.

The mask inspired me, and I had an elaborate plan to make myself a Viking costume and dress my horse as a Viking ship,

with the beautiful Dragon Mask as the prow of the boat, and shields along each side, maybe I would carry a red-and-white striped banner to be the "sail."

And to any who said snidely, "You know, Vikings didn't actually wear horned helmets," I planned to say, "You know, Viking boats didn't actually have feet."

It was a great plan.  But it didn't happen last year.

And it mostly didn't happen this year--you will note that there are no shields, and there is no banner.

But I did manage to make the (horned) helmet! 

I want to show off this thing, because it was really fun to make.


In which I have no wisdom other than this: "when in doubt, ride the horse"

This post is pretty much just an excuse to share pretty pictures from the trail today.

Never doubt that a few hours in the woods  will not fix anything.   It will, however, fix everything.                                          --Ron Silvern

In which a tutorial is requested: How To Grow Zucchini

My poor friend lytha has never been able  to grow a good crop of zucchini on her farm in Germany.

I have never notgrown squashes.  They just kind of...appear.

I've been growing vegetables on manure piles for more years than this blog -- or this farm -- has existed.  I wrote about the 2008 manure pile/garden at the boarding barn HERE.  Here's a photo of it:

For lytha (and for other friends), I wrote it all down so you know how it works.

To Grow Zucchini (and other squashes) You Will Need:

*  Dirt
*  Sun
*  Water

Lytha says that she doesn't have "compost."  I disagree.  She does have compost, because she has this:

Horses produce manure, and manure makes dirt. It really is that simple.

Do not go all squicky on me here.

Horse manure is basically grass, spit, and a few enzymes.
With time and water, manure becomes dirt.

Here's that first picture again:

Here's another picture.

When we moved to Haiku Farm in 2009, we seriously had no dirt. We had gravel and weeds.  I c…