Showing posts from September, 2010

In which I muse a bit about "submission", and how Fiddle gets some

I must start by apologizing for the dearth of good photos in this post. Jim is away from home on business this week, and the kids are staying with their grandpa, so I'm alone at the Farm--and taking photos of a big horse doing stuff really requires an extra person.

I did try to take pictures to illustrate my points. Most of them turned out like this:

Not very helpful. Sorry.


Laughing Orca Ranch asked why Fiddle's behavior backslid so rapidly when Jim's daughter Lisa started handling her.

Let me clarify a point: Lisa never actually handled Fiddle. I would never in a million years hand the leadrope of my gigantic, pushy mare to an inexperienced handler.

Lisa merely interacted with Fiddle, mostly when I wasn't looking, and inadvertently chose some inappropriate ways to do so.

LISA THINKS: Fiddle is so pretty. I want to pet her, even though Aarene and Dad and Willy told me not to touch her. So I will pet her very quickly, when nobody is watching. I will stick out my hand and …

In which we go to an endurance ride, and weather cooperates

I was desperately afraid that the weekend would be soggy (like the last two weeks have been), especially when I realized that I'd left my best rain jacket at home.

I got lucky.
Actually, a lot of us got lucky at this ride. The weather behaved
and the scenery on the trail was fabulous!
(Mount Rainier, seen from the Snoey Memorial Trail).

Lisa took pictures while Fiddle vetted in. I had no idea how small I appear to be when I'm standing beside Gigantor. She's so big that her ears don't even fit in the picture! Gigantor in motion.

The trotting lanes are marked with trick-or-treat buckets! That made me laugh.

We went out for a "shakedown" ride on Friday afternoon. We did the 7.5 mile loop that would be the final loop for the 50 milers during the ride. When I got back, I checked the fine print on the map: 7.5 miles, 1100 feet of elevation gain (and loss).

That short loop was hard enough to get Fiddle's mind focussed on the task at hand, but I wouldn't want to do …

In which we celebrate Saturday Stories : a neat hero story

I learned this story from the mother of one of my storytime kids. Heather had gone to a storytelling concert at some, wait, it was a neighborhood was a block party, maybe...she didn't remember where and she didn't remember the name of the storyteller, but she DID remember the story.

That's what I call a great story.

(I tracked down the gig and the storyteller: Mary Dessein, who just happens to be a co-host on the storytelling radio show with Jim and me! Mary and I and Jim have been sharing the microphone for eleven years now, and I'm delighted to share her story with y'all).

A dragon swooped down upon the village late one night, burning the roofs, frightening the horses, making a huge mess...and when it swooped away from the village, it carried with it a little girl.

The King took immediate action. He called together his army, and selected the three fastest, strongest, bravest knights. "Go," said the King, "Go and rescue that girl…

In which we celebrate Saturday stories (early): a frog story

The little dumb frogs that we discovered in the anchor holes for the new barn inspired this week's storytime theme in my other life.

In my other life, I'm a librarian...mostly a teen services librarian, but I also do a lot of storytelling and storytimes for little kids, including the Wednesday evening "Pajama Storytime".

And hey: how many other professions require that I wear my pajamas for the Wednesday night shift?

Since in my other life I'll be telling stories about frogs, and singing songs about frogs, and sharing poems about frogs, I thought maybe I'd post a story about frogs for my blog readers. This is not one of the stories I'll share with the kids tonight (but I will have printed copies available for their parents to read!)

The Princess and the Frog – a story for adults
Once upon a time, a pretty princess lost her golden ball while she was playing in the garden.

“Don’t cry, Princess,” said a croaky voice in the bushes nearby. “I will find your go…

In which we make a big hole in the ground, and plant an erector set

Did anybody have an Erector Set as a kid?

My brother and I were more Tinkertoy kids, and my father cemented that firmly when he bought us a set of Giant Tinker Toys in the late 1970's. We built all kinds of crazy structures with those plastic pipes and poles.

Who knew that those skills would be handy so many years later?
A truck pulls into the backyard, laden with the erector set!

Stacked neatly in the corner, out of the way.

Jim gets the tractor running again (fuel hoses were leaking, he replaced them, tractor runs better when the engine can get fuel!)
and made a Big. Hole. In. the Ground.
Next, fill up the Big Hole with gravel.
I ordered the gravel from a new company located very close to the Farm. They hire independent truckers to haul for them--and they hired this guy (below) to haul gravel to me. I stopped in my tracks when I saw the name on the side of the rig:
Uh, dude? What's your name? "Storms" is a very unusual fact, the only people I've ever met…

In which my saddle is examined in great detail, with lots of pix

We're getting ready to go to a new endurance ride next weekend: the Elbe Hills Challenge. This is a new ride, with new ride management, and we're only signed up for the LD, but when I talked to one of the managers this summer at Renegade, she said that the terrain for Elbe is similar: mountains, lots of elevation changes.


I just hope that it doesn't dump rain (crossing fingers).

So, there have been lots of questions about my saddle.I ride in a Specialized Saddle, the Eurolight model.

(Jim has a Specialized Trailmaster model, which he got super-cheap at a used tack sale a few years ago.)

Here's my saddle with all the gear attached. Lots of purple stuff! (it's sitting butt-high on the sawhorse for some reason. It isn't really that tall in back)

The underside of the saddle with the "booties" made by Carol Brand attached. These little bootie pads velcro onto the bottom of the saddle, so they don't squinch around and squirt out the back like others p…