Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Saddles and C.S.I., Oh My!

I was so excited. For the first time in a few months, I put the saddle on my horse today! However, I didn't ride. I wanted to longe him out, see how he's moving under saddle, see if there are any kinks.

There were none. Except that I forgot to bring the longe line up to the arena. I only had my twelve foot line. It is from Parelli and I would be lost without it. One of the best investments in horse equipment I've made. It's the perfect weight and length for most groundwork. I gave Paint Girl an imitation one last year, and although I know she'll love the length, it doesn't have the feel of mine. I guess in this case, you get what you pay for.

If I really want him to lope out and kick some heels up though, I have to use the 20 ft. nylon longe line. On my wish list, after the helmet, would be the Parelli 22 ft. line.

This saddle is calling for my hiney.

And this stirrup is calling for my boot.

So tomorrow, I will saddle up.

My Boy, will you pose pretty for the new camera? This is him shaking his head "no."

Now, on to the gory part of the post. Stick with me, if you dare.

The sarcoid is looking good. Still dry skin with some hair growing back in the original bump area, which looks smaller to me. The "fingers" that showed up before the vet came out to do shots still have a thick scab on them. Until those scabs are off, I can't assess if we are done with the Xxterra.

After I put My Boy away, I did the usual fluffing of his turnout shed shavings. I had also seen a few big rocks up near the tree he hangs out by, so I went up to collect them. As I was stacking them near the base of the trunk, I spotted something laying there in the mud.

Okay, I had to take another look. At first glance, what did you think it was? Did you think flesh? Okay, some of you thought a piece of hot dog, I know it! I seriously thought it might be a chunk of flesh. I had just given my horse a thorough spring grooming and knew he had no wounds. I reached down and tentatively picked it up and it was.......well, maybe I'll tell you tomorrow.

Just kidding. It was a rock. A pretty pink agate. Whew.

Then, as I was walking back to the gate, I spotted this! I reached down to pick this up too, thinking perhaps it was a wad of My Boy's hair. Not so much. I quickly dropped it.

It was not hair. In fact, I have no idea what it is. But of course, I took a picture. It was about 3 inches long, had soft downy hair (not feathers) on it, and a bone. It is like a little leg of something. My best guess is a hawk or eagle was eating something and dropped it as they were sitting in the tree or flying overheard.

Anyway, quite the adventure in My Boy's pasture, I tell ya. It's like a C.S.I. episode waiting to happen in there!

I'll end on a softer note. As I groomed my horse, these fluff collections of hair were a common sight. I remember somebody mentioning on a blog that birds collect stray horse hair and use it in their nests. I loved that idea and hope it is true.

I'd like to think that My Boy did his fair share of contributing to nests today. This one was found on the farm by Paint Girl's other half last year. He let me have it so I could take it to my classroom for science studies with the kiddos. I am amazed at how birds construct nests. They are quite the little engineers.

That is not an egg in the nest, just some sea shells I put in there for decoration, as the nest is now sitting in a big planter pot which really needs flowers planted in it.

Ah, well. See you tomorrow My Boy. Rest up kiddo, you're gettin' ridden!

Who, me?

P.S. Some of you have asked about how I feel about the new camera. Well... quite frankly, I'm in love! I will probably write more next week, after I have a few more hours under my belt! By the way, you can click on any of my pictures to see how they look blown up, which really shows the detail the camera is capturing. The rock, animal leg, and sarcoid pictures were all taken on my point-and-shoot.


  1. What is your new camera? I'll be getting one soon, a new Olympus...hubby is buying it for me!

  2. {Cheryl Ann}~ The new camera is a Nikon D40. Nice hubby you have! ;)

  3. Oh your pictures are coming out great!! Such the Natural!! I love that sky shot!! My saddles have been getting a work out lately. I actually have been riding again. Now, it's my kids' 20 year old gelding, but at least I am on again. I can't wait to ride my mare. She just had a baby, so I have to wait a few months before I can get back on her. She and I speak the same language. I love riding her. I hope you get to do some riding tomorrow!! Can't wait to see more pictures!

    I don't dare take pictures with my SLR while riding, I am not that brave yet!!:)

  4. Always interesting the things we find after the snow melts! the sarcoid looks like it is progressing well

  5. Nice pictures! I hope I can ride on Friday, hopefully the rain will be gone by then!!!

  6. Some of these pictures made my dinner disagree with me, but not the sarcoid. That sarcoid is actually looking pretty good now. You really had a struggle with it. The rock picture turned my stomach.

  7. Ok, that thing you found, the 2nd one, it is like a paw with claws, almost like a cats front paw, it could be a rabbit, we have tons of those but the coloring looks way different than our wild rabbits. I hope it's not a cat leg, what does everyone else think? The first one looked like an apple piece to me! It is amazing what turns up, I bet you are right on a hawk or eagle dropping that leg off, we have alot of those around.
    Your camera takes good pictures. Your boy looks good and clean! Fritzy was clean today but Brandy is always a mess. I swear she sleeps in the mud all day!

  8. Yes, that rope is my fav too...I have always preferred it to any other since I got it...well worth the $ too! A 22 ft one would be awesome!
    I was oou-ing and icking a bit when I saw! releived too!
    I love all the pics...what a great gift of creative fun, that camera... Pony Boy better look his best from now on!
    Hope you can get your buns'n'boots a ridin' soon!
    P.S. get a camera holdster with padding and strap er on...

  9. Wow! Interesting day you had! I can't believe the "hot dog" turned out to be a're brave to pick up these things...

    Excited for you with your new saddle! Enjoy your ride tomorrow!

    P.S. At my house growing up we had TONS of swallows and they always used the horse hair for their nests. So interesting. I haven't seen too many around my place yet, but I think they usually start divebombing my pastures closer to May. I'm hoping they get here soon to help me clean up all this horsey hair! Gotta love shedding season! :)

  10. Sore looks much better and the leg looks like a little dog to me......eekk!!!!

  11. The other birds also use the horse hair for their nests, mane and tail hair is what I have found. It is really cool to find one with it. Humming birds will use a ton of it for their nests.

  12. This is a tease about a trail I want to take you on this summer! Can you say PCT???

  13. {jrosey}~ I was wearing my gloves!! ;) I wouldn't pick them up bare-handed, hee! I'm really a tomboy at heart...always collecting and looking for interesting things. Maybe it's being a teacher.... Funny I found those in the pasture, as I still haven't found My Boy's missing horseshoe! ;)

  14. {Cowgirljilynn}~ NO! Now I am regretting it! Actually, it wasn't an agate like the ones we found at the beach. But it was an unusual find in a muddy pasture full of very typical, gray, round rocks! I might go look for it tomorrow! ;)

  15. Love the pictures, you are working that new camera quite nicely!! I've had my D90 for 2 months and I'm still trying to figure everything out LOL!! I hope you get a good ride in tomorrow!!

  16. The leg could be a long-haired Chiuaua or other small dog. I heard recently on the news that they should never be outside alone because birds of prey will pick them off. Yikes!

  17. {DJ}~ Ackk! I certainly hope it wasn't. Sadly, I think it was a baby bunny. :( The fur on it...well, it reminded me of those rabbit foot key chains I had when I was 8 years old. And it was awfully tiny. I just hope My Boy had nothing to do with it's demise!!

  18. Glad you're having fun with your camera.

    We're in one of those weather ruts where it's great during the week, but the weekends are either sandblast-you windy or the monsoons. And even if you get a clear day, it's still too wet to ride safely. Not that I'm complaining about the rain. We desperately need it. Enjoy your ride!

  19. The sarcoid looks good! You seem to be really enjoying the new camera - keep those wonderful pictures coming!

  20. We used to board at a barn with lots of birds in the rafters. We could groom 2-3 horse and leave PILES of hair on the floor in the isle and when we came back in from riding it would all be GONE! It was such a mystery to me until someone told me it was the birds taking it.

    Great pics with the new camera and I'm jealous you'll get to ride today!

  21. "One of the best investments in horse equipment I've made"

    I have a lot of "natural horsemanship" products but not one I paid the ridiculous price for because I bought the right rope (you need sampson yacht rope for your parelli btw) and made my own for a fraction of the price. I also have a stick and made my own string for the end that cost me a grand total of 20$ I had to do some searching for the right stick though cause the cheaper ones are hollow fiberglass and can crack when the horse steps on it.

  22. The one pic looks like perhaps the leg of a rabbit! Yikes, dying to know what the other thing is! I love how the birds snatch up all the horse hair they can after a good grooming, at least it's being put to good use!

  23. {Sydney}~ I've thought of making a rope, if I could find the "right" one,it'd be relatively easy, I think. Thanks for mentioning the sampson. Now the the stick- I'd rather just pay for! ;)

  24. Have fun on your ride tomorrow.

    That gross little foot looks like one from a rabbit, perhaps it will bring you and your horse good luck?

  25. i too thought that pink thing was an apple piece, but the other looks like a leg of some sort. funny, my farrier came this morning and picked up a rock...i like rocks too and used to collect them as a kid (we had no money and no tv!) cute post!!!

  26. I have a hodge podge of comments... 1) Congrats on the new camera! 2) I thought it was a chunk of potato. 3) From your comment over on my website: Sorry, I am not familiar with Photoshop Elements. However, I have read online that it is a good photo editing program. 4) Ride 'em cowgirl! You're right, that saddle is definitely calling for your hiney. ;)

  27. The unidentifed, gross looking thing looks sort of what I found in the barn (twice) when the goats lost the tips of their tails (most likely from a horse stepping on it when they were laying down -- they jump up and "rriiipppp"). Strange the things you find around out in the country. It was me who said that about birds using the horse hair in nests, and it is true. I have seen the nests in the small evergreen type trees around our house. Too cool!! Hope your ride tomorrow goes well.....

  28. Great pictures, nice camera. I hope you have a lovely ride tomorrow, My Boy, looks like he can't wait for you to get in the saddle.

  29. I had a very good laugh at some of your commentors here today. They definitely would not be able to handle working in a vet clinic!! Now, I could show you some really gross/cool pictures - we have quite the collection. Way cool stuff!! I thought the agate was a piece of chestnut from My Boy. After working here, nothing can turn this iron stomach!! I'll have to post sometime about the time we had a major wreck in the stocks and I was walking barefoot in about an inch deep of horse blood so I wouldn't ruin my sandals. Sound gorey?? Oh yeah, it was - but Beau the miracle horse is finer than frog's hair today I'm happy to report. Have fun riding tomorrow!! I'm really getting the bug too!!

  30. Ewww.on the sarcoid...and the bunny(?)leg. But I'm glad there's some positive progress with My Boy's sarcoid.

    Your camera is doing a terrific job. I'm glad you're having fun with it. It's funny that I've always loved taking pictures, but now that I'm a Blogger I love it even more. It makes me look for and notice photo-worthy objects, and I adore telling a story with photos.

    Cool bird nest. Don't some birds use their own saliva to glue their nests together?


  31. Great post! By the way, I read somewhere this week that is it illegal to collect used birds' nests as the birds often return to them every year. (I used to have one as a kid and loved it, replete with never-hatched blue robin's eggs....) Apparently, this is one of the earliest bird protection laws in the U.S., dating from about 1935. Not to rain on your parade, but thought you should know, esp. with the photo....


I love hearing from my readers!! I truly enjoy all of your feedback, advice, helpful tips, and stories. You all make me laugh and I learn so much from you, too. I will try to post replies to your comments as often as I can.

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