Showing posts from May, 2014

In which there's a new blog in town, stop on by to say "hello" to us!

A while back, I convinced Patty (who is my friend and riding partner...and coincidentally, my small-animal vet) that the world needed a new dog book, and that she and I should write it.

I'm not always very convincing, but I am ALWAYS persistent.

So, we've got the first draft of the book whomped up, and now it's time to get some reader input.

The new blog is called How To Love A Dog, and the goal of the whole project is to get good information out to dog owners about REALLY taking great care of their dogs. We know that most people don't intentionally harm their dogs, but we see training and management mistakes all the time--stuff that's easy to fix or prevent, if only people knew how to do it.

Good dog care isn't sexy, and it rarely makes the news. People Magazine might do a 4-page color spread on the expensive outfits that some celebrities put on their dogs, but we never see photos of Paris Hilton taking her dog in for a dental.  We aim to show how to take e…

In which the ride is awesome and we re-negotiate the contract

Well, we did it.
Santa Jim helped me pack up the rig last weekend, and we hauled Fiddle

and Griffin

and Rosemary

down to the Mount Adams ridecamp in Trout Lake, Washington.

We showed up on Thursday so there would be plenty of time on Friday for the Endurance 101 clinic

and a little ride on some beautiful trails.

Fiddle and I are entering another interesting stage in our relationship.

 For the last year--when hip pain hijacked my life--Fiddle took more and more responsibility for stuff on the trail.  She made decisions about directions, ("around the puddle or through it?  over the fallen log, or around it?") about speed ("not too fast, I don't want you falling off!") and about the company we kept ("not too close there, bucko, I've gotta keep my rider on the top!")

Her nasty attitude to other horses stopped being so nasty.  She stopped questioning me when I cued something.  I assumed that she was becoming a nice, adult horse.

I assumed wrong.

She bec…

In which I don't throw almost everything I own into the trailer

When faced with a list of tasks, it's always best to check "go riding" off first.  So I did.

When we got home, I had to face the largest task of the year:  cleaning the trailer out so I could fill it back up again.

I've pretty much recovered from my early days in endurance, when I felt a need to carry a spare or two of everything (which is nice for making new friends by loaning out stuff, but a little burdensome after a while).

Yet, somehow over the winter, my trailer managed to fill itself--without my assistance!--with four raincoats, five extra girths (not counting the one girth I actually use), two extra bridles, seven extra saddle pads, five extra helmets and three extra hay bags.

I admit:  I retained the extra helmets, one additional saddle pad, and two extra girths. And all the raingear. One never knows....

My trailer's tack area is sufficiently spacious, but not huge.  I've come up with some weird space-saving ideas over the years.

I also routinely ca…

In which we welcome some new feathered (and some new barely feathered) friends

We've decided to raise poults this year.

For those who want to know (I always want to know stuff like this): baby turkeys are called poults.

Unless you call them Babydumbirds, which is also kind of accurate.

To keep the mission of poult-raising clear to everyone (including ourselves)

Jim and I have officially christened all four turkey poults "TGivingNXmas." Because we do, really, actually, intend to eat these little critters.

Not right away, obviously.

 Come the winter holidays, we figure we'll be tired enough of the noise of turkeys that it won't be a huge sacrifice to, errr, sacrifice them.

Since turkey mortality is supposedly higher than chicken mortality (we still have three hens remaining from the original 2009 batch of twelve chickens--even our "wild" hen is still alive!), we are hedging our bets with four poults so that hopefully we will get two festive meals.

Jim and I have toyed with this notion for a few years now, but there was a defining …