Blossom stands alone in the fog

Blossom

A heavy wave of clouds rolled onto the pasture as the sun was dropping down toward the timbered side of North Peak.

The clouds swallowed up familiar landmarks and more. As they muffled the normal afternoon sounds of wildlife and wind, even my ears lost their bearings. Read more…

Blossom plays Follow-the-Leader

Follow the Leader is a Horse Training Game

The other day Zack brought two-year old Blossom into the riding arena. I wasn’t sure what he had in mind, because she wasn’t wearing her usual halter and lead. In fact, she didn’t have anything on at all! Read more…

Pete looks happy and content

This Horse Smiles

Can horses smile? Pete looks like he is smiling to me. For two days we endured windy cold weather that brought us an inch of rain and nearly dusted us with the winter’s first snowfall. Today the sun returned and the outside temperature rose to … simply wonderful. I think horses live in the moment, and for Pete, this moment looks perfect.

Spot standing at the backyard gate, nickering to us.

Spot at the Gate

Spot is very attached to his long-time horse-pal, Jake. They walk around the property together, grazing and napping and enjoying each others company in the way of old friends.  As the two oldest horses on the ranch, they have lots in common.  Whenever we see one of them resting under a tree or grazing on a meadow, we can feel confident that the other guy is somewhere nearby.

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Horse in a Tree!

Sasha got stuck in a tree today – or, rather, in trees.  She managed to get herself corralled in a small area surrounded by downed oak tree trunks.  We are still puzzling over how she did it.  Read more…

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Wally Loves His Backrubs

Do you know that pleasant relaxed feeling you get when someone rubs those tense muscles in your back, and the burning tension seems to melt away?  Do you sometimes want to just close your eyes and take a little nap, while the world rolls on by?  That must be how Wally feels when he gets his back massage. Read more…

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My Shadow

I walked out into the pasture today, and toward the herd of horses calmly grazing on fall grasses.  Soon my silhouette was joined by another, larger one.  It followed me calmly but persistently wherever I went.  As I thought about it, I realized that this particular shadow follows me most times I walk among the horses.  I stopped and looked back at the dear face of its owner, and snapped this picture… Read more…

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Gabe loves to run

Gabe is a thoroughbred and ex-racehorse.  He came to the ranch with a stifle injury that ended his racing career.  But Gabe still loves to run.  Maybe its the wind in his mane, or the feel of this tail streaming out behind him.  Whatever the reason, it’s fun to see him gallop around.

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Tess and Dancer trotting happily side by side in their first team workout

Learning to Work Together: Tess and Dancer

Fall is on its way, and we are once again in training mode.  It is so much fun to reach for the next level with each of the horses.  The only frustration is that we don’t have enough time to focus on as much as we want.  This week we worked with Dancer and Tess, asking them to improve their lopes, which really means, “Let’s try loping!…”   It’s not in their repertoire yet.   They are also learning to work together as a team.  So much fun!  Our goal is for them to stand, walk, trot and lope side by side, without pinning their ears at each other, not to mention no nipping or kicking out their heels.  Here is a picture of Dancer and Tess trotting side by side,  with happy attitudes.  Hooray!  After some initial grumpiness about having their space invaded by each other, they both took to trotting together like ducks to water.  If we can just improve their speed control a little bit, they can form their own mini drill team!

Moose, Max, and Sasha all follow along behind Zack and his ladder to the apple tree

Moose, Max, and Sasha; Friendly and Curious as Can Be

Zack walked out into the pasture meadow to pick a few apples. He carried a ladder so that he wouldn’t have to jump for them.  Sampson tagged along, walking behind him and keeping him company.  It had been a warm summer day, but the sun would be setting soon.  The temperature had cooled to perfection, and the meadow was green and inviting.

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