Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Dani and I had a nice short ride last night, our coldest yet. The barn was spangled with icicles and lights. I found her cozied up in her blanket - I have never met a horse that lets you love on them so much when they are laying down.

We had to give a trial saddle a final spin, and I have decided to purchase it - an older Albion K2 Legend.  It seems to fit her nicely and puts me in a good position.  Young horse + 30 degrees + new saddle? Why not canter for the first time in two months?  It went splendidly.  What a good mare. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Words and Pictures

On Monday I got to ride with my dear friend of seventeen years - we were on the equestrian team together in college but had not ridden together since those days.  What a treat!  Her lesson mount and Dani are close companions as well.

This mare of mine is just so easy to love. 

Friday, November 30, 2012

About Last Night

Dani and I have had some bumps in the road. Some growing, saddle-fitting, unhappy mare bumps.  We've been smoothing them out with saddle shopping, chiropractic work, and aqua-puncture.  My hunch that her reluctance to trot out with me was not behavioral was proven right last night with our first time of significant improvement in about six weeks.  I have a miracle-working vet to thank - Dani trusted him and snuffled the blue block that he used to stand on while he worked on her like it might have a hay bale inside.  She got a couple more days off and then, last night was the "big reveal"....did it help?

The answer is a resounding "YES!"  Her whole attitude was different, maybe I'm projecting a little but to me it seemed relieved and thankful.  I lunged first.  We've done a lot of that lately, something I've always avoided because it made me feel like a huge klutz - tangled lunge line, awkward and unclear body language.  With some help from my two wonderful trainers and a cooperative mare I am finally getting the hang of it!  "Trot-trot" I say, and off the tall bay goes. "Canter" I say, sort of lifting off in my own shoulders and skipping along with her inside lead.  Around she floats.  I stand in the center and admire her and decide lunging is pretty great after all.  When we change direction she takes it upon herself to trot and then canter off.  I don't stop her because I can tell she just wants to move, and she isn't at all fractious or out of control.  I make her keep going past the point she wants to stop, and she comes back down to a lovely, back-stretching walk, blowing.  A fellow boarder steps out of her horse's stall along the arena to chat, I bring Dani to a halt.

This is the part, one of those moments that I know we're connecting, that she's becoming mine (oh, who am I kidding...that I'm becoming hers).  She stands out there, at least ten feet away at the end of the lunge line,  facing me but not coming any closer.  She does not move a muscle.  Her ears are pricked toward me and she is watching me, intently, the entire time.  I'm reminded of those herding-breed dogs in obedience trials who stare eagerly at their trainers, waiting for the next instruction.  It's like that.  I am humbled and amazed.  I finish the conversation, the other woman remarks on her confidence and the way she is tuned in, and I walk out to the circle to scratch Dani's forehead.  

I've already put the bareback pad on, and it's time to see what we've got.  Since she's already well warmed up, I walk a couple of circles and then ask for the trot.  She's a little sticky at first, anticipating the discomfort that's been plaguing us for weeks.  I try to stay out of her way, let her find herself. We change direction a few times, she stretches down and then...there it is again. She's working, taking those deep huffing breaths and swinging strides, I'm posting bareback without even thinking about it.  I pick up a little more contact, a few more circles and she just gets better and better.  She feels happy.  It's barn closing time, and we're supposed to come back slow, so I call it a night.  She gets a rub-down with her green scratchy mitt and so many "Apple Blasts" which are the equine equivalent of Cheetos.  I say goodnight, I turn out the arena lights.  I can't wait to come back even before I've left.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Bundling Up

It's hard to believe that winter is already at our heels again.  As a native Coloradoan I still haven't made peace with the season which seems to drag on for five or six months.  I am one of those people who is always cold and prefers the thermostat set higher than most.  I become a bit of a pansy about riding in the winter, but fleece breeches, Smartwool socks and winter Ariats do help to make the bite more bearable. Thank goodness that Dani's apartment is right alongside the lovely indoor arena and I'll hardly need to brave the elements to keep riding, but I do dread the darkened drives as the days grow short.

This past month was a bit of a wash as far as dressage progress goes, between soreness, sickness and travel.  I do feel that things are smoothing out, and after an upcoming week-long work-related trip in Colorado ski country, I'll have some nice stretches of time off with the Thanksgiving holiday and hope to get back on track with my mare.

Notchee and Coro have settled in to pasture life in a way that fills me with joy.  They enjoy being outside so much that they don't even come in for their grain every morning.  When I visited them this weekend I had to walk to the far corner of their pasture until they both came walking cheerfully toward me with a brief but friendly greeting before wandering off again toward important obligations of their newly rich equine social life.  It is nothing but sweetness for them and only the tiniest bit melancholy for me as they inhabit this true retirement phase.

Dani Moonstar has a new turnout pen and partner, an Arab mare named Spring Star who Dani appears to boss around mildly.  She seemed very happy to see me after a week apart and we had a very successful ground work/lunging session last night.  She is really super about her transitions on the lunge, and despite having more time off and a cool evening she was very calm and obedient.  I'd like to give her a chance to find her balance in the canter before working it much under saddle, and I want to introduce some cavaletti to change things up. 

All three are fuzzy, Dani's hind shoes have been pulled, Notchee and Coro are barefoot, and we are ready as can be.  Thinking of my friends and their horses on the east coast today...Sandy looks frightful.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Dani Moonstar

I've taken to calling the new girl Dani Moonstar, since I discovered that there is an X-Men character named that who is part Cherokee and born in Boulder, CO! Especially since Dani's star is in the shape of a moon!

We've been out of regular work with a few minor issues, and the past couple rides her five-year-old was showing.  Hopefully once we get back to a routine we will come back together.  As you can see, when she is working she is really something....

Monday, October 8, 2012

At Long Last

Notchee and Coro are finally out on their new pasture!  It warmed my heart to see them running together, something they have not been able to do in two years.  This is the right place for them. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Pasture Life

Coro was set fee this weekend!  Notchee may get her stitches out today and hopefully join him in the pasture soon.  I can't describe how wonderful it was to see him standing way out in the middle of sixteen acres, and come running toward me when I called him.  This horse is so dear to me.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Oh, so much to write about - it's overwhelming!  At some point this blog will need a redesign since it will now be chronicling more than just Coro.  I was thinking of "Hearts & Flowers" - maybe a little precious but since I have an El Corazon and a Dandelion Wine, it fits!

Notchee and Coro were moved to their new home on the prairie a few weeks ago.  It almost went through without a hitch.  They were champs about loading - both horses were on the trailer in under fifteen minutes.  Coro practically self loaded.  Unfortunately Notchee slipped on her last step with her right hind leg, came down on the edge of the trailer with the back of that leg, and ended up with a serious flap wound, chipped splint and scraped cannon bone. Thankfully there was no tendon/ligament involvement and the joint was just missed.  The vet was able to close it up well and her 9-day recheck on Monday was the best we could hope for. She has been the sweetest patient.  She should be able to have her stitches out next week and soon be enjoying her new pasture!  Coro initially put himself on stall rest also and would not leave Notchee's side, but he is spending more time in his run now and has been out in the pasture on a lead rope.  I think this weekend I will be opening his gate and seeing what he thinks of (relative) freedom.


Notchee and Coro in their new stalls

I had my first ride on The Boy in over a month and his first ride at the new place last weekend.  He was fantastic and seemed really happy to get his saddle and bridle on and do a little jaunty zooming around in the new outdoor arena.  It's on a little slope but the footing is very good - less packed and rocky than the old barn.  He was so cute with his arched neck and pricked ears, and I was delighted with his behavior.  I love him.

Quite possibly my favorite picture of Coro ever - doesn't he look nice in a red barn?

Coro sampling the pasture

Dani Girl is doing great.  I am riding her 3-4 times a week with bi-weekly or so lessons.  We are starting to really click and I am just constantly impressed with the work ethic and consistency this young mare has.  After every ride I am excited for the next.  This past week we've been focusing on sitting trot, maintaining connection, and staying balanced on my seat bones - I tend to sit heavily on my right.  Much, much more to work on as far as my position and aids but I am so lucky to have a horse who is forward and forgiving enough to allow me to figure this out on her back.  I love her. 

Dani after our lesson Friday

Monday, August 27, 2012

Movement in Time

I am so energized by my new mare and my new riding routine. I feel like finally after all these years of longing to learn the art of dressage with a capable horse, I am there at the beginning of possibility.  I have been riding four days a week and taking lessons when I can.  Evenings after work are a little rushed, and will become more so in the winter with longer cooling-out (and I need to get a cooler for her), but afterward I just feel so inspired and happy, knowing there is nothing I would rather be doing.  Driving home from the barn I already can't wait until our next ride.  I feel so blessed to have this beautiful horse who no longer feels too tall, and a pleasant, enriching place to ride her.

The more I ride Dani  the more I realize just how amazing her movement is at the walk and trot, and how lucky I am to have her. The canter is a little messy, but the quality of her other gaits leads me to believe it will come along in time. There is so much movement in her back. Cooling her out bareback last night (yes, bareback - not even a pad!) I felt the swinging activity at the walk, and I am so in love with her trot that I could ride it all day. I am starting to try and sit it and she is being very forgiving while I learn how to melt into the rhythm. While she gets a little nervous in the lateral work, she is so athletic that sometimes she almost leaves me behind when she moves sideways. I think that if she ever decides to pull any antics I am going to have trouble staying with her. Let's hope she gives me time to secure my seat more first! 

I've been able to figure a few things out in regard to the canter, and get a few moments of ground cover, but for the most part it is very frantic, very upright, very crooked and therefore very hard to ride. Because she is so sensitive to lateral leg cues, I find that she will start to canter away from my cuing outside leg, so I've been trying to ask in different, more subtle ways. Last night I tried to do a sort of swoop with my hips and she was very responsive to that, but then when I asked for some bend around my inside leg traveling to the right we got a genuine canter leg yield - okay, cool, but not what I wanted. She's very comfortable at the trot but at the canter I feel her level of anxiety skyrocket and I think she so badly wants to do the right thing that  she gets frazzled. I know we both forget to breathe.  After a few tries she will anticipate and keep trying to pick it up like "Now? Now? Now?". She also breaks a lot which confirms my feeling that she is not balanced and isn't quite sure what to do yet. So - we definitely need some help, but I am not overly worried about it. Probably I need to be lunging her but I have always had the attitude of "Why lunge when you can ride?"

I've ridden to music the past few times, songs I picked especially for Dani on my iPhone. Stuff from the new Dead Can Dance album, stuff from the Brave soundtrack, Florence & the Machine - even the Katy Parry song "Firework" which grabbed me since I got Dani on the Fourth of July. I haven't picked a favorite yet, but it is thrilling to ride such a forward (but not rushy) horse and find a place within the music. Once we've established contact and found our groove she is happy to go all day, giving me a chance to refine my position and figure out the most effective way to help her bend, balance and lift her back. Last night I rode close to dinner time for her and she got a little excited when they started bringing horses in, but as soon as we started riding the cloverleaf pattern (4 equally sized smallish circles in the same direction) her focus came right back. She's really good at the spiral in/out exercise - I can tell the tight circles are hard for her but she keeps trying, then floats back out as soon as I ask. We even trotted one little cavaletti at the end of our ride that was set up for a jumping lesson. She likes to work and have things to think about.

I visited with the barn owner on Friday night and she told me they will be having a schooling show in October. While that sounds a little soon, I have to admit I'm tempted to give it a shot if there is an Introductory level class. Our canter is far from ready but we can rock the walk & trot, I think.

In summary: I love her and am enjoying her SO MUCH. I brought all her IALHA paperwork with me to work today so I can send off for her ownership transfer and official name change.  I hope she is as glad to mine as I am to be hers.

I spent all day Saturday at a clinic in Falcon. It was a fantastic experience. The wind was absolutely roaring during the morning, but thankfully we were set up indoors doing unmounted, yoga-like body work. Just relaxing, small movements that focused on kinetic awareness. The first few groups of riders still had to battle the wind somewhat, but by the afternoon it was very pleasant. It was wonderful to sit and visit with fellow horse people as we watched the rides. I was scheduled in the last session of the day with one of my trainers and her young Andalusian cross mare. One of the other riders was sweet enough to lend me her horse, a lovely 12 year old gray TB/Connemara mare. I was able to see them go before lunch, and could tell I had nothing to worry about. We took turns getting feedback from the clinician and then working individually with the changes. Each time we would go in to the middle, the clinician would take our legs or arms or press in little areas of our backs - different for each person - and while it was very soft and subtle, each time she would finish with one side the major difference I could feel was a longer leg - I kept having to lengthen my stirrups!  Probably the biggest light-bulb moment for me was when the clinician had a hold of my calf and caused me to move my hip joint in small circles. It may sound silly but I was just astounded at the range of motion you should still have while sitting in the saddle. I concentrate so much on jamming my heels down and keeping my thighs in the right place that I end up locking my hips and what I thought was a "following seat" was a sort of jilted back-and-forth when really it should be this dynamic rolling motion. I felt like I understood the following seat for the first time in all these years, and I could tell both my borrowed mare and later Dani appreciated this revelation.

Notchee and Coro are going to be moving to their new home in a few weeks: a large shared pasture with free choice access to separate stalls and runs on the plains of Colorado.  I will be losing my beautiful canyon trails, but we will have miles and miles of quiet country roads opening into fields to ride in, and a little outdoor sand arena for schooling.  I look forward to watching them graze together.  When I got Dani I sure didn't think I would be keeping three horses at two separate locations but I believe these changes will all be for the best.  I spent the hours before sunset with them last night, fluffing up their new shavings, grooming them and just hanging out with my old friends. 

What a wonderful weekend, and a wonderful time of year.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Ride Thirteen

That tall bay mare of mine? I am loving her more each day. I feel like these past few rides (and really, the time before and after the ride most of all) we are really starting to click. We are becoming one another's. We are creating routine and building trust. She looks up from her hay and comes to greet me when I whistle. I trace the little white swoosh on her forehead and briefly wonder why I didn't just change her name to Nike. I curry away any mud and Banjo drool as she works on her dinner (beautiful, fragrant, soft grass hay). I pick the shavings out of her mane. I run my hand down her legs, knowing now how they feel - warm, firm, the little jagged bumps of two old splints on her front legs. The little gray scrape on the outside of her right hind, all that remains of her injury. I fasten the white boots around her front legs, saddle and bridle her, sweeping her frizzy forelock over the brow band. I know which hole each buckle goes to, the comforting ritual of black leather and silver fittings. I back her away from her hay, assuring her that it will be there when she gets back, a satisfying snack after a workout. I don my helmet and gloves, call "Door!" as I pick up a dressage whip, lead her out in to the arena, tighten her girth.

Last night was our lucky thirteenth ride. I'm keeping track on my phone - there's an app for that! She positions herself politely next to the mounting block. We walk the perimeter of the whole arena for a while, she frequently checks herself out in the mirrors and I say "Who's that pretty girl?" every time, then decide I will add Madonna's "Who's That Girl" to Dani's playlist. We do some walk/halt transitions and she responds to breath alone.  I establish more connection, pick up my hands, stretch my legs down and we begin our trot work, staying at the end of the arena with the dressage letters. We do some small circles and figure 8's, she reaches for contact and there are moments I feel like I am riding the outside of the horse like I'm supposed to. I decide we are not going to do any canter work because we've been struggling with it and I want to reward her work ethic and not overface her. I know that she gets stressed out with the canter and we might as well revel in the gorgeous rhythmic trot that she has and establish more strength and balance there. From time to time the mare gives me a glimpse of self-carriage. She actively seeks direction and remains beautifully forward despite the wrinkle of concentration above her eye, the flared nostril, the deep huffing breaths as she tries so hard. In the mirror I catch her profile looking indisputably Andalusian.

We do some leg yields, learning the vocabulary of our new language and striving for the marriage of forward and sideways. I sit the trot, allow her to feel more of my leg. Once to the left, from the quarter line to the wall, we get it. I see the correct bend and the correct trajectory in the mirror. I praise her and toss the reins to the buckle. She is done. We cool out for a few passes around the arena, then I dismount, remove her saddle, unbuckle the flash and let her follow me to pick up her piles. She noses the mounting block endearingly, as if she's wondering if I'm going to get on bareback like I did the second time I rode her. I'd have no reservations doing so, but I like this quiet time on the ground. She stands patiently while I maneuver the fork, and we make several trips to the muck bucket, her walking behind me with her head down obligingly.  I can circle her with a point of my finger, a lean of my shoulder. We go back to her stall, and I am able to turn her around and park her next to her water buckets with body language alone. She waits for my release despite the remains of her dinner in the corner. I remove her bridle. Her eye is soft. She munches on her hay while I rub her down, brush away the sweat marks. I close my lockers after getting her peppermint treats - always two, four if she's extra good. Tonight she gets four. She sucks my fingertips into her mouth with the treats - she does this every time - it's funny and they go nowhere near her teeth. I tell her goodnight. I smile as I cross the sand on my own two feet with so much less grace than on borrowed hooves.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

A New Chapter

Last night I rode my new horse again at my new barn (her old barn).

There was one person riding a paint while I was tacking up but we ended up with the arena to ourselves.

My first unsupervised ride on her since before her injury. She was relaxed and listening.

We trotted! That active, rhythmic trot which won me over.  I called her Dandywine and Leonine and I swear she was admiring herself in the mirrors...maybe we both were a little.  She even offered to canter, but not yet. Though she is sound, that leg is still tender.  My confidence is still tender.  We are in no hurry.

We did transitions with breath alone, as my trainer recently taught me.  Breathe in: trot.  Breathe out: walk. Exhale again: halt.  She responds beautifully to this. It is amazing. 

She looks so enormous when I'm standing next to her, but mounted she feels right

Afterward she followed me while I picked up the mess she had made (mare's metabolism works wonderfully) and I soaked in the clean, organized atmosphere and routine of the place.  My name on her stall card.  Her turnout companion waiting for her when she got back to her stall so he can continue his adoring uninterrupted gaze through the stall divider.  A little hay left in her corner feeder. 

As I was untacking her I realized...

This all happened so quickly and not the way anyone would have hoped, but there I was...riding my big bay dressage prospect in a dressage barn. Putting all my things in their place and currying the sweat from a tall mare's back. My tall mare.

The recent chaos has kind of overshadowed the glimmer of a dream coming true. It's all still rather unreal.

I gave her two little peppermint treats and closed her outer stall door.  She lives at "E" along the indoor arena.  The sun set a gentle pink as I  walked to my car.  It was a good night.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


I've been quiet here because there has been too much to say...the paradox of blogging.

I have had my new mare for a month now, and unfortunately not a lot of good came out of that month.  She got injured, I got scared.  The happy ending, or happy beginning,  is that I have moved her back to her old barn and last night, I rode her for the first time since July 6th.

I should have kept her there all along, but don't we all wish we could turn back time and make better choices, choices that can only be clear in hindsight?

More changes are on the horizon, and it's this wish for x-ray vision into the future and the shadow of the unknown that is making me hesitant to commit to any one thing.

But amid the spin of all the options and the circumstances that I ride the wave of, some pieces seem to be settling into pattern like multicolor shards in a kaleidoscope.  The simple heart of the matter is:

Last night I pushed back all the reasons not to, and got back on my new horse.  

We only walked.  We're still figuring each other out.  We are finding our way back to the place we started, where we didn't have a good history or a bad history, but no history.  We will walk as slowly as we need to onto a clean page.

After I took her saddle off I stood facing her and wrapped my arms over the top of her neck. She lowered her head and pressed her forehead into my chest. We both sighed.  We both promised to try.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Clinic for a Cause

On Saturday I attended a benefit clinic at my trainer's barn in Peyton. All of the proceeds went to Ruby Ranch Horse Rescue . There were three sessions: patterns, equine massage and obstacles. A lot of people were working with young and/or rescue horses so most was in hand, but there were a few that rode. I got to work with one of the adoptable horses, a 6-year-old QH mare named Luna who was seized from a neglectful situation and was kept in a pen made of pallets. She was just perfect for everything, but I had an advantage in that she's been with my trainer for a month so had already done a lot of it. She made me look good. Utterly calm and willing, such a sweet girl. She walked through a kiddy pool, over a moving platform, past pool noodles hanging from trees, and amused everyone at the "Bobbing for Apples" station by trying to overturn the whole bucket - smart mare! She is not under saddle yet but is going to make someone a wonderful partner.  E. was sweet enough to go with me and take lots of pictures.

 Meeting Luna

This ramp wobbled, like a horse teeter-totter!

 How awesome is she?

Bobbing for apples...

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Two Decades

Today is my twenty year anniversary with Coro.  He has been with me for nearly two-thirds of my life.  We were apart for much of that; I am so grateful that my mother took such good care of him for me all those years, and that I am able to do the same for Notchee now.

We have become reacquainted over the past two years at Lost Canyon, and as he did then, he has inspired and broadened my equine dreams,  allowed me to invite more possibility in mahogany and black.  New beginnings, new colors - but I will always be partial to pewter and platinum.

 Coro at 3 years old, 1992

Coro at 23 years old, 2012

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Bathed in Sunset

Last night Coro and I found ourselves in a shaft of rose and gold light coming through the arena door during a lovely bareback ride.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Introducing Dani!

Yesterday I brought home my new horse, Dandelion Wine (Dani). She is a five year old Half Andalusian with a good start and some basic dressage training. She got along instantly with my Arab mare, with whom she shares a birthday (just one day before Coro's) and settled right in to her new home. I spent the whole day at the barn just hanging out and getting all her stuff organized. An Independence Day to remember, for sure. Today we will do some ground work and maybe a short ride, tomorrow we have a dressage lesson! I already love her and am so excited for our future. Three is a good number.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Why He Is The Best

I just entered Coro in a FB contest for Trail Blazer magazine asking for a few lines of why your senior trail horse is unique - my aunt saw and her entry is far better than mine, so sweet.

She wrote:

"I don't have an old trail horse, but my niece does. His name is Corazon. He deserves to win, because true to his name, he has captured her heart. His devotion to my niece has helped her through the death of her mother. His affection, that only a devoted old horse can give brings so much joy to her life. She rides her 24 year old Paso Fino on trails in Colorado, and her good old boy even tolerates dressage riding in the arena. He is a go to horse, but it was recently discovered that he has a heart murmur and she fears his trail riding days may be limited. I hope you choose El Corazon, Lara's love, for this heart horse has added joy to the life of the best person I know. Thank you. "

Monday, June 25, 2012

Triple Digits

We have had triple digit temperatures in Denver for the past three days.  Thankfully it didn't get quite as hot where my horses are and we were able to enjoy a warm but pleasant trail ride with two barn friends on Saturday morning. Our three geldings get along great together, and although we got a later start than we intended, there was a little breeze and it didn't feel too bad. Our horses (particularly Coro) were peppy and we took a nice break in the shade halfway through. Coro was happy to be in the lead but I made him go in back part of the time, too, where he was forced to slow down his speed-walk. Our little group's one incident happened pretty immediately, after we took our second cut off the road. The trails are numerous so they can be confusing, and it's easy to get trapped in a non-ideal spot. Coro was wearing his Easy Boot Trails for only the second time - the first time he stumbled and fell in them so I've been nervous to try again, but his poor little toes are sensitive to rocks so I knew we had to give it another go. He did fine, even with a little trotting. Anyway, there were some pretty big step-downs over tree roots and rocks on a narrow path through the pines and Coro handled them like a pro. B. was a little nervous as Beau is an ex-eventer and thinks he needs to jump anything that looks remotely like an obstacle or ditch, but with some coaxing walked over the step-downs and we thought we were out of the woods, so to speak. Then we came to a place where the trail was eroded and cut in, Czar and Coro were in front and got through it okay, and in fact we didn't give it much thought at all until afterwards. Beau is much bigger and we heard a shout from behind us from B. as they went over. We turned around to see Beau scrambling as his hind end fell off the embankment, about 3 feet, and sank into soft sand up to his stifles, followed by his front end. His front feet were on solid ground, but he was still trapped in the gulley. B. stayed on and waited to see what Beau would do - he struggled for a moment, then stilled, trembling and breathing heavy. B. was in line with the trail so was able to just sort of step off, then went around in front of Beau to encourage him forward. He gave a mighty heave and freed himself, they got back on the trail and we looked him over. He was shaken but okay. Really scary! The rest of the ride went smoothly, and everyone enjoyed themselves. We went through the pasture with the Arabians, and while I don't love the idea of riding with loose horses, it's the only option now as all the main routes are fenced off. The horses were in the lower valley and didn't bother us. Coro didn't break a sweat until we were almost home, and was still so full of energy that we did zig-zag leg yields across the road as we neared the barn to keep him focused. Such a good boy. I'm so thankful that he is feeling better.  S. and I got the horses put away and cooled off in the ranch house before I headed back to town for a feed run and spent a while longer feeding carrots to Coro and Notchee. I find these days that once I'm at the barn, I don't want to leave.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Anniversary Photos

Here are the rest of my favorites...

Hearts and Dandelions

I've been keeping quiet about the new mare here, but the vet check is in the morning and she could very well be in my barn by tomorrow afternoon...

She is a five-year-old, 16'1, bay half-Andalusian, sweet as can be.

This blog may need a re-design :)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Sneak Peek

Here is the first release from my photo session with Coro. I'm delighted by the way my happy boy is captured.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Horses Everywhere

I had a couple of trial rides last week, and liked one mare enough for a second look - I'll be having a lesson on her tomorrow evening.  Exciting stuff, but of course I'm trying to be level-headed about it all.

I spent most of the weekend on and around horses, and couldn't have been happier, leading me to believe that I'm on the right path by expanding my equine life.

On Friday, in addition to a quick ride on Coro before his trim and my appointment to see aforementioned mare, I got to ride one of my favorite horses, a 17 year old Andalusian owned by a friend of mine. It had been several years but I know Lumina recognized me and we picked up as if we'd ridden the day before.  My friend has all kinds of obstacles set up in the arena: a bridge, a rope gate, a jousting target arm, a pedestal and ground poles. Lumina is just made of try and I had her going in a beautiful trot. We had a lot of fun playing with the obstacles and I grinned the entire time.  That mare has a heart of gold.

On Saturday I met up with a barnmate and her TB, Beau, for a trail ride. Beau and Coro get along really well and although Beau is eight inches taller, Coro speed-walked his way in the lead for the whole ride. Both boys were really good - it was wonderful to be out on a summer day.   Coro had energy to spare.  When we got back, my barnmate helped me bathe Coro - he is afraid of the hose but I managed to give him a pretty good sponge bath and shampoo his tail for his modeling debut. I gave Notchee a real bath - she danced around some but was generally good - and let her run around in the outdoor arena, though after she came charging up to me several times she decided she mostly just wanted to hang out with me by the fence. She is a funny horse.


Sunday afternoon it was back to my barn for my portrait shoot with Coro. I arrived early to do some touch-up grooming but he had stayed surprisingly clean. He really does love all the attention. I put gold glitter in his mane and tail and polished his coat to a silvery shine. My friend brought her son who was a big help with prop duty and horse-attention-getting. Coro was just a gem - so patient with everything and hamming it up. We did several different settings and two different outfits, and Coro tolerated (I would even say enjoyed) getting dressed up with a cowboy hat, a yellow scarf, and pink flowers (not all at once). After that we went into the arena and got some of me riding bareback. I can't wait to see them!