Saturday, April 20, 2013

In which a package makes me happy (much purpleness inside the box!)

The day had not been very delightful...until Jim walked in the house with a package under his arm.
*ding*   You've Got Mail!
 A box full of purple, hooray!  I raced down to the pasture and grabbed Adobe Mare.

Jim is patient about adjusting conway buckles.
I scraped the mud off of Her Draconic Majesty, and Jim helped me fit the New!  Purple!  Bridle!

Then, we scampered up to the Pretty Tree so he could take some photos of Fiddle wearing her beautiful new gear.
Sidepull, with bit-hangers

She looks very noble, doesn't she?   

With the bit attached.  The bridle was made-to-measure, and fits perfectly.

...and check out the BROWBAND!  

Sherry called when they were building the bridle to ask
if the bling should be sparkley and girley,  or shiny and tough.
The Dragon voted for "tough."

Are you totally jealous?  You don't need to be jealous!

You can order stuff for yourself from the nicest little tack company in the world:

American Trail Gear ROCKS!

Call them!  Or email them!

They don't have a shopping cart on the website, because every biothane piece is custom-made to your specifications--color, size, accessories--and they want to talk to you to make sure it gets made right.

Want something unusual?  They love that!

Want something elegant and sophisticated?  They can do that, too!

Want stuff that wasn't made in China by underpaid children?  All ATG Biothane is made in the USA, and assembled by Diana and Sherry (both grownups, with horses of their own).

Want gear that comes with a guarantee?  ATG assures customers that you will never have to pay labor for repairs or adjustments to your gear, ever.  It's guaranteed for life.

Do I sound enthusiastic about this company, and about my new bridle?  Well, I am.

And most important of all:
"This bridle doesn't make my nose look big!"

The Dragon approves of it, too!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

In which the weather doesn't cooperate, but I ride anyhow

The Ususal Suspects had truck trouble 
(so did I, but not until AFTER the ride)
so Fiddle and I were solo on the the rain...

sleet pellets in her mane.

...and the hail...

...and the

Evil white stuff on the ground beside the trail!

And the
Lookit the blue sky!


I didn't mind the weather.  Besides, I had a new purple raincoat to test!

Recent phone conversation:
Mom:  What will you buy with the birthday money I sent?
Me: This this really cool purple raincoat I could use for riding...
Mom: Do you need a purple raincoat for riding?
Me: No.  Not at all.
Mom: That will be perfect, then!
We talked to lots of people (and dogs).

Fiddle doesn't like dogs.  But I do.
 And we cussed at the blackberry brambles, pre-emptively.

It's never too soon to say bad words at blackberry brambles.
And we enjoyed the sunshine.

Blue sky!  Blue sky!  Blue sky!

Really enjoyed the sunshine.

Blue sky and lots of trees starting to bud.

Back at the trailer, the clouds move in, but we don't care.

Buff mare...with dust bunnies on her tummy!

Life is good!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

In which "downsizing" doesn't mean being uncomfortable in camp!

When we got rid of the camper, I had no intention of spending my nights in camp being cold and damp and uncomfortable.   

Fortunately, Jim and I have lived our lives a lot longer without a camper than with one, and we have plenty of skills (and plenty of camping gear) to ensure that our camp is cozy.

For very good weather, we have a tent. But, of course, very good weather can be hen's-teeth scarce in the we have alternate arrangements for the other 362 days each year:

The new fittings aboard the SS Illegible

The canopy is aluminum and waterproof, with sliding side windows and...

Truck stickers:  "To Finish is to Win"  and "Can't Keep Pace?  Ride a Standardbred!"
Canopy sticker:  "A man and his truck, it's a beautiful thing."  
Yeah.  That one is gonna get gone.

...a door!  

The former owner of the canopy apparently liked stickers.  Most of them will be going away, but I want to keep the elk sticker on the rear window

All it needs is a little red dot for a nose = Rudolph!

This canopy is extra-tall.  We can't play volleyball back there, but I can walk around my back bent and my legs straight.  The truck bed is 8 feet long, which gives us plenty of room to store stuff,

"Empty" contents:  3 dog crates, a step-stool, a bucket with tire chains,
a box of racheting tools, and a new starter motor (since installed).

like all the "kitchen gear" for camp.

We put all our stuff in, and then loaded all of Patty's stuff, and still had plenty
of room in back to set up one of the dog crates.

(the camp galley sets up in the horse trailer in bad weather...for some reason, I only took one picture of it when we were setting up camp last weekend)

The "patio pad" left from the camper makes an excellent
"galley floor" for the back of the horse trailer.
In (rare) good weather, the kitchen--consisting of a table, camp stove, several large jugs of water, a big pink food cooler (it was red when it was new, 10 years ago) and 3 big rubbermaid boxes of pots, pans, and food--will stand outdoors.  The rest of the time, the "horse section" of the horse trailer makes a cozy galley, allowing 2 or 3 people to hang out in there while stuff is cooking.

Meanwhile, back in the crew's sleeping quarters:

Every night is a "three dog night"...right?
In this photo, the floofs are reclining on my sleeping bag.
When I'm in it, they fill the chinks of the truck bed with their soft, floofy bums.
Two large waterproof bins keep bedding dry in transit, and provide storage while we're parked.  The mattresses are made of foam covered in waterproof plastic, which are easy to clean after muddy dogs have jumped around on them.

Obviously, every night is a "three-dog night" for us, but we also use sleeping bags for Jim and me, and a fleece blanket over the top for cold nights.  We have an additional down comforter for really cold nights.  We contemplated adding a heater, but it's really not needful.

Although we were offered a fourth floof, we graciously declined and matched the latest sheltie-in-need-of-a-home with another family.  There's just enough room in the back of the SS Illegible for two pirates and three floofs.

Besides, three shelties
The plural descriptors for "floofs" has been decided:
a group of shelties is officially a loft of floofs!

is plenty of floofs.