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Showing posts from April, 2013

In which Texas is home to a bunch of very friendly equine folks!

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I managed to find horses in the middle of downtown Ft. Worth (okay, it was actually in the historical "Stockyards" district, but still well-within city limits) which was good.

The livery in the Stockyards houses all the animals used in various parades and other tourist-y activities.  We even met the bulls that get saddled up so folks can have their photos taken while sitting on a realio trulio bull, while assisted by a wrangler (high school kid) and surrounded by dance hall girls (colllege kids).  These bulls are born and raised in the Stockyards, and are exceedingly tame.  They live mostly indoors, which is kind of sad...on the other hand, one of the  bulls we met is 17+ years old and still "working" (i.e. standing around smiling for the camera) one day each week.  So it's not a terrible life.
We also saw the traditional Way-Out-West pack animal

Wait.  A camel?
Apparently, "Truffles" is part of the petting zoo, as is the camera-shy "reindeer&qu…

In which I go to Texas for a library thing and find horses

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I'm not in Texas for a "horse thing."

I'm here in Texas as part of the Texas Library Association's annual conference--they brought my colleague and me down here to Fort Worth to lead a session of Sex in the Library.

(If you don't know about SITL, check the blog site HERE.  The SITL book is in the final stages before the publisher actually hits the "print" button...but it can be pre-ordered on Amazon HERE.)


A few days ago, after 48 hours away from my Dragon, I was getting desperate for an infusion of horse spit.  You know how that goes, right?

So when I saw this fellow on a grey Arab gelding strolling down the road, I ran out and asked to pet the good creature.

This kind fellow (are all Texans incredibly kind?  In my experience: yes!) told me, "Well, the liv'ry is just down here.  Y'all follow me, I'll show you."

And he turned down an alley, led me past a horse trailer rig, and into:

The livery.

In the city.


It's nearly mi…

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

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

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.


She looks very noble, doesn't she?   

...and check out the BROWBAND!  


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:


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 un…

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

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

...and the hail...

...and the

sn*w.

And the

SUNSHINE!



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

We talked to lots of people (and dogs).

 And we cussed at the blackberry brambles, pre-emptively.

And we enjoyed the sunshine.


Really enjoyed the sunshine.


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


Life is good!

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

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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 Swamplands...so we have alternate arrangements for the other 362 days each year:

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

...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


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,


like all the "kitchen gear" for camp.



(the camp galley sets u…

In which a guest blogger relates her learning curve from Home on the Range

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Y'all: I invited Duana to be the "guest blogger" at Haiku Farm today, so she could talk about her first real crewing experience at the Home on the Range ride last weekend.  She crewed for me a bit, but mostly she was the "extra hands and feet" for Dory and Dean, who rode the 75-miler.

I sent Du a bunch of questions, and pasted her responses into the blog for our edification!

Thanks, Du!

* Introduce yourself. How did you get talked into this crazy weekend? What did you hope to gain from four days of dirt, wind, and horse hair?
I’m Duana. I’m a lawyer. I live in the City. I work in the City. Yet, I never get enough of being in the woods or out on the grasslands. And, despite my mother telling me for years that “I’d grow out of it” when I wanted a pony, after 40 years of asking for one, I decided I’d just get one myself. Sort of – actually, one of my best friends told me in no uncertain terms that she had a horse that wanted to be mine and mine only.  [Aarene in:  h…

In which we finish the LD and are tired, so here are pictures

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We spent a long, fun, tiring four days at Home on the Range this weekend.
Don't let the blue sky in the photo (above) fool you--we had all kinds of weather (except the white kind) while we were in camp.

First came the rain.
 It was relatively dry while we set up camp on Thursday afternoon, but in the evening a blustery monsoon moved in.  We huddled together for a while, and finally gave up--we bundled the horses up in their blankets and the entire camp was dark and sleeping by 9pm.

Jim and I no longer have the camper, so we tried out the new version of the SS Illegible:
Inside the truck canopy, there's plenty of room to sleep out of the weather.  Hooray!   Friday morning, the sky was clear-ish, so we saddled up to take a look at the trails.  Last year, they were soggy, even by Swamplander standards.  We were worried.

This year, the wind blew so hard that the rain evaporated fast.  Trails were damp on Friday, and mostly dry on ride day.  Hooray!

The skies continued to clear. …