Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Daisy Crazy!

I am crazy about wild daisies! Last week when I was visiting my family, I noticed the wild daisies were everywhere. Goodness, I think they are taking over the world! I kept telling my mom that after we put her horse away at the barn, we needed to go pick some daisies from the back pastures. But we forgot every time!

Finally, back home and at the Painted Creek, I remembered to go daisy pickin'! It was a hot afternoon but there were plenty of daisies to chose from amongst the meadow grass and dandelions.

Guess who thought I was picking something for him?

If I'm photographing back behind My Boy's pasture, I usually grab a few handfuls of dandelions or grass and throw them over the fence for him to munch on.

After I picked a bundle, I set them down then wandered around to take some pictures.

The dandelions started wilting in the hot sun almost the minute I plucked them from the dirt. The one-hour hot car ride home didn't help.

Once I got home, I quickly cut the stems short and put them in a vase of water. Still, many of them looked a bit droopy.

Reach towards the sky- er, ceiling- little petals! You can do it! Luckily, a few hours later, they began to perk up.

I just love the daisies and they live a long time in a vase. I picked these Saturday and they are still going strong. Daisies just brighten up any room, they are the"smiley face" of the flower world! Simple country elegance.

By the way, aren't those little tea light bird holders cute? I got at the local Dollar Tree store. For a dollar each! (duh.)

They are probably coated in lead-based paint or something but hey, I don't have kids to stick them in their mouths, so I think I'm good.

I loved the look of a few of the shorter, broken stemmed daisies in this little tarnished metal cup. It needs a polish, but I prefer it the way it is.

We gathered the wild-flowers.
Yes, life there seem'd one pure delight;
As thro' the field we rov'd.
Yes, life there seem'd one pure delight.
- George Linley

Monday, June 29, 2009

Phantom Spots

What do ya think? Should I trade in spots for patches?

Paint Girl and I scheduled a trail ride with Tracey from the Mustang Diaries. I was so excited to finally meet Tracey and her daughter and their two Mustangs, whom I've been reading about since I figured out what a blog was, over a year ago!

After getting home from a week's visit with my parents, I went up to see my horse on a muggy, dizzily day. He happily came to the gate to see me and ate a mushy apple out of his bucket. As he was eating I couldn't help noticing how the light rain falling on him made him smell. It was a heavenly sweet horse scentl. If I could get it bottled, I quite possibly think I could market it!

I took My Boy up to the grooming area. I was glad to see the sarcoid scab was gone and healing up nicely, but there is still a red nubbin of a bump to keep an eye on, I have a feeling it is the beginning of a sarcoid in the making. We'll see how it grows.

I picked out My Boy's hooves and when I went to lift his right hind- what the? He was missing a shoe! I couldn't believe it. I took him up to the arena anyway and let him run around a bit. Then I let him graze and called Paint Girl to tell her I wouldn't be taking My Boy on the ride. She said, "What?!" I think she thought something was wrong with him.

I called the farrier, hoping he could squeeze me in for a fix, but he wasn't available until Saturday. Paint Girl and I decided I would ride Fritzy, her Other Half's mare, on the ride.

After I put My Boy away, I began my hunt for the shoe. I did this when he lost a front one last winter, but never found it. I was surprised my horse lost a shoe in the mucky winter pasture, but I'm not sure why he lost a shoe in the dry pasture. I've never had problems with him losing shoes before this past year.

After much searching...and weed pulling....and rock tossing.....I saw this, right there in the dirt!

I swear I had walked by it already. It was in the path along the fence line, where My Boy walks all the time. Interestingly, it wasn't his recent shoe. It looked too bent up and rusty to be a fresh loss. I think this was the shoe from last winter! So where was the most recent one? Who knows, I never found it.

I emailed Tracey to tell her that we could still ride, but My Boy had to stay home. I told her she was going to question whether or not My Boy even existed! She jokingly called him "Phantom Spots." I loved it!

My Boy gave me a funny look as I walked by his pasture to fetch Fritzy for the ride. He neighed at us as we headed to the trailer. Poor boy! I felt bad leaving him behind. I felt like such a traitor.

We had a great trail ride with Tracey, her daughter, and their two handsome bay Mustang geldings. Other than a few rain showers, we had a good ride. The Mustangs walk out well and mostly left our slowpoke equines in the dust.

My view for this ride. This view is not my usual perky set of sorrel ears!

I was impressed with Sandy's jumping logs and weed-eating abilities, and Steve Holt!'s calm, easy going disposition as he led us on most of the two-hour ride. Hard to believe that just 6 months ago, he was an adopted wild 2 1/2 year old! Tracey and her daughter do amazing work!

Of course, Tracey had to tell me that she had some yearling Mustangs, gentled and nearly ready for adoption....well, when I'm ready for a Mustang of my own someday, I will definitely consider a Tracey-gentled one!

Here we are waiting for the farrier on Saturday. Bailey had to come lay by my feet. He thinks he is my dog sometimes.

I thought My Boy might get jealous when I gave Bailey some loves. Alas, he just dozed in the sun.

My Boy has his shoe back on, and I will be applying hoof conditioner every time I see him. The farrier recommended an oil-based conditioner, and said to avoid those where the main ingredient was water.

Hopefully, we are ready for some rides. We have some fun ones with family on the calendar!

That is, as long as My Boy stays sarcoid-free and keeps his shoes on!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Over The Meadow and Through The Woods....

.....to Grandmother's house they didn't go.

However, my mom got to get OUT and ride a few times while I was there. By OUT I mean out of the arena and into the meadows and along some trails.

Let me explain why this is meaningful. I am very envious of the stable my mom boards her gelding at, because it has a nice large indoor arena. Fully enclosed. You can ride when the weather is foul. Even if it gets dark at 4 p.m. or rains for 33 days straight.

The one downside of her stable is that there is no place to ride outside. No outdoor arena, not even an outdoor round pen. So when it is beautiful and sunny and the birds are chirping and you can smell fresh cut hay or the dew on the grass, you are stuck inside the rather dreary indoor arena.

There are a lot of trails right beyond the fields of the stable, but they are also accessible to ATV's and the like, so it requires a secure horse and a riding buddy for safety's sake.

To make a long story short, my mom and her stable friend/manager/mentor/man of all trades, Tony, have been riding in one of the horse pastures. They took this a step further and rode through the pasture, off the farm, and around the "trails." My dad was the gate keeper and videographer, while I was the photographer and got some fun shots of their adventures, which you can see here on my photo blog. My mom also wrote about her rides and posted videos here on her blog.

My mom and Tony really enjoyed getting out of the arena and hitting the big wild green yonder! Nothing soothes the soul like a great ride outside. It's a great change of pace for the horses too, keeps them fresh and happy!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


As we approached the turn off to the stable my mom boards her horse at, I noticed the neighbor's cows were in the field next to the driveway. After we pulled in, I told my parent's to stop the car and let me out, I wanted to take pictures of the cattle.

My parents continued up the long driveway, leaving me to take off my lens cap and walk towards the fence and the cows.

Houston, we had a problem.

I think I scared them. They looked at me with rolling eyes, made cow snorts, and started trotting (um- do cows trot?) away, up the fence line, heading back toward their barn. I stood there in defeat, watching them go. Was it the camera? My red jacket? My baseball cap? Me?

Luckily my parents had noticed the cattle quickly moving away from me and they backed up the car and picked me up, since the driveway was a long hike from the stable. The cows continued moving up the their pasture and ended up behind their barn near the woods. Safe, no doubt, from that very scary Pony Girl.

I thought surely Old McDonald (the farmer) was going to come blazing out on his tractor and yell at me for stressing out his cows.

I had taken pictures of these cows last year on my point and shoot. Some of them even came up to the fence in curiosity. I don't know what happened this time. Many of the cows have young calves, perhaps they were feeling protective.

The next day, once again, the cows were all in the shade of the trees along the driveway. This time, I stopped my car, but I snapped pictures from inside. They didn't seem to mind this as much, but still eyed me warily.

Later, on the way out, my dad and I saw this nearly newborn calf and it's mama. From the passenger seat, I leaned over both the car's center console and my dad to snap a few pictures. Any blur you see is from the fence wire, unfocused because of the zoom.

That mama cow was watching me very, very closely!

Goodbye little calf!

Wait for me, mama! I think that Pony Girl is after me!

I have had a fair amount of horse, goat, cat, and dog photo subjects. I have yet to get any good cattle pictures as I don't know anyone that has any cattle! Those bovines near my mom's barn were my only hope. Ah well, better luck next time.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

She Loves Him, Let Me Count the Eye Boogers

I know my mom loves her horse.

I know not just because she talks about him obsessively and affectionately in her blog. And it's not because she says she loves him.

How do I know?

It's because of this.

Yes, she picks out his eye boogers.

Goodness, now she's doing the other side!

It's a mother's signature token of adoration. I know this because when I was a young girl, my mom was a picker.

She picked my eye boogers. My blackheads. She licked her fingers to clean smudges off my cheek.

Do all mothers do this?

I remember swatting her hand away and saying, "Mommmmmm, stop it! Stop pickin' on me!"

I am not a mother. But I will admit, I gently rub out my horse's eye boogers, too.

Yes, my mom loves her horse. She dotes on him like he's her third child. I don't think she looks at Paint Girl, Cowboy, or me like this anymore:

In fact, she loves him so much she even got copper highlights in her hair to match his chestnut velvet hide. (click to enlarge picture.)

Nah, just kidding. She's a devoted crazy horse mommy and all, but she wouldn't do her hair to match her horse.

At least, I don't think it was intentional? Mom?

Just teasin'.

It's really fun to watch these too together, though! The love overflows. Eye Boogers and all.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Riding Old Blu

Yep, Old Blu was a pretty good pony.

I wore my best cowgirl boots. I wore boots because it was too cold for my flip-flops (hence the down jacket) and I could tuck my jeans into them. I was really just afraid of getting my jeans caught in the chain. Remember that? I felt 9 years old again.

I looked around 9 years old again, judging from my unsteady bike- riding equitation.

I should add that after nearly three hours in my real saddle the day before, riding on a bike saddle was not very comfortable.

Regardless, it was an exhilarating ride. I have not ridden a bike in years. I think it is great exercise, and I was happy to take a few loops around the cemetery with my cousins.

No, my family doesn't have a thing for cemeteries, it just seems that way, lately! There happens to be a neighboring one that provides a quiet, safe place to ride, especially with kids. No roads, cars, or traffic.

By the way, Old Blu is really "The Rocket", who you can read more about here. Thanks mom, for letting me ride your old blue pony!

p.s. I took that last picture, while riding Old Blu, one-handed. Afterward I hit a bump in the path, lost control of the bike, landing in that grass to the left in a Twisted X mess of boots and rusted metal. I kid! I balanced it all just fine. After all, I ride real horses.....I have beyond-rookie steering and picture-taking capabilities!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Father's Father

In honor of Father's Day, my dad wanted to take flowers to his father's and grandfather's graves.

My dad's grandfather, also his namesake, died before he was born. He knew of the cemetery he was buried in, but did not know of the exact location of the marker until recently.

My dad cut some bright red roses from my parents' yard, and we drove out to the cemetery in the country. It looked gray and like rain, but it held off. We found the site and placed the flowers.

There is a very unique looking tree, with curved branches, near the grave sites. They look like a little like long-neck dinosaurs.

My dad made me sit on it then I let him hold the Nikon for a picture.

Right as we did this, we heard a pack of coyotes start yipping. It was kind of eerie. The cemetery is on a hill and borders the woods. As quickly as they started, their howls came to a stop.

On the drive home, I snapped a few pictures of these alien pods. Or marshmallow hay bales.

They looked so cool, dotting the valley with the blue sky and dark clouds shadowing over them.

It was a nice moment to spend with my father. I am lucky to be with him this weekend for Father's Day. Unfortunately for him, I will be running a garage sale on Father's Day. I was going to take him out to a Mexican dinner afterward with some of my earnings. But I just found out my grandmother is making a ham and scalloped potatoes, and I don't think we can pass that up!

Happy Father's day to all of you dad's out there!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Blazing (Dusty) Trails

It's not easy blazing trails. You get all the cobwebs. You have to turn around and shout "nettles!" and "roots!" and "hole!" and "low branch!" It's tiring. If I don't shout "roots!" then Paint Girl's Other Half's horse might stumble as we always joke that she's not so surefooted. We're always looking out for each other.

Speaking of Paint Girl's OH, he was cracking me up on our late afternoon ride yesterday! He wanted to blaze new trails and trot and ride up a lot of steep hills. But it wasn't until the way home that he made his mare take the lead. Until then, he was a backseat rider, shouting out which way to turn on the trail.

My Boy stepped out well in the lead. His ears were perked, he walked briskly. I like how between the three of us, all the horses are comfortable in the front, the middle, or the back. We try to mix it up a lot.

The temperature was perfect for a ride, low 70's. And it was a near perfect ride. There were only two issues, for me. On a few of the trails, we exited the woods with a swarm of mosquitoes following us. I know those pesky bugs were attracted to the sweet smell of horse sweat. Luckily, knowing bugs are especially an issue of irritation for my horse, last summer I bought a travel-sized water sprayer and filled it with fly spray, storing it in my saddle bag. It creates a nice mist and I coated my horse's underbelly, legs, and neck with it twice on the trail.

Issue number two was that when we were riding along the road under the power lines, we saw two ladies and around 9 dogs approaching us. No kidding. I didn't have time to take a picture. Maybe Paint Girl got one. I could clearly see the dogs were mostly big Rottweilers. Let me start by saying I am only slightly biased against breeds like Pit Bulls and Rottweilers. I had a Rottweiler mix turn on me when I was around eight years old (I escaped with just a little scrape on my ear) but I happen to have good friends that have a Rottweiler that I have been dog sitting for many years and as you can see, he has only tried to maul, er- I mean, kiss me, once.

It became evident as we rode closer to this pack that one of the women had around 5 Rotts on leashes, and two running loose. The other woman had two dogs on leashes, I think lab/shepherd mixes. The loose Rotts were curious and approached the horses warily yet with curiosity. As they got near I got a little nervous. My Boy just looked at them with perked ears, our horses are used to dogs. But I didn't know what these dogs would do. Would they start barking? Get too close? Get aggressive? You never know with strange dogs. Well, they got too close. One kept going up behind Fritzy's hind legs. I didn't see her kick out at the dog, but Paint Girl did. The woman kept calling her dogs in a sing-song voice, over and over, and neither of them listened to her at all, in fact one of them started to follow us as we continued down the road. The poor woman was rather helpless as she was still holding 5 other dogs and couldn't exactly come get the ones that weren't listening.

What bothered me about this scenario was that we did not know these dogs, or if they knew horses. I was not concerned if the horses kicked one of their dogs. If dogs are not on a leash and get in our horse's space and they feel threatened, I don't fault the horse for kicking them. What worried me was the fear one of the dogs might get aggressive with a horse, and then another one might jump in. A few years ago two Rottweilers got loose in town and doubled up and attacked a variety of other dogs before they were caught. And on the beach a few years ago, a woman riding a rental horse had a guy's Pit Bull run out and grab a hold of her leg and literally pull her off the horse. I would be concerned of any dog/s that approached the horses too comfortably, but will admit my worry would be more if it was a breed like a Rott versus a Golden Retriever. You never know if that "pack mentality" that dogs have might kick in. I also think if one is walking or riding on shared trails/roads with dogs tagging along, they should always have good control of their dogs. Which means if they aren't responsive to verbal cues, then they should be kept on a leash.

All ended well and we turned for home, My Boy falling behind as we crossed the creek and headed towards the trail head.

Wait for me!

The horses all got a hose down and My Boy rolled all over in the dirt then leapt and striked out like a young colt after I put him in his pasture to a fresh flake of hay. His sarcoid is still healing, but it appears it is still trying to spread, so as soon as it looks well enough to handle another form of treatment, the veterinarian will be called out.

I have a pretty busy weekend ahead, hopefully including hosting a garage sale, some bike riding, and spending some time with my papa on Father's Day!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I'm Going to The Party!

Oh, what oh what shall I wear?

My cousin Sares has a birthday today!! What a special day! She is so much fun. She is a great, creative little blogger. And today, on her blog, she is having a costume party! Click on the link if you want to join her, or see what everyone else is wearing!

Of course I am participating, I'm a clotheshorse and love to dress up. I should mention that I had grand plans for this party, which included a pink party gown and a pretty handsome prince-er, I mean, a spotted Appaloosa, and a Nikon. But plans fell by the wayside this week, par for the course for me these days.

I rounded up a few pictures of dresses that fit me, and the twist is a western theme of course, since this is a cowgirl blog through and true. They aren't as fabulous as my dear cousin's, her's is a gown in all it's glory, I tell you......but these will do. I wish I could dress up for real and celebrate with you, darling cousin, but I will see you soon and we can celebrate!

First up- a ruffle-trim chiffon dress by D&G (Dolce & Gabbana) and was originally featured on Jessica Simpson in the September 2008 issue of Elle Magazine, and priced at $3,325. Mercy! Guess I won't be running out to purchase that dress!

Next up is what I thought was a dress but is actually a shirt/skirt combination. I'm loving the flowy whiteness with leather and turquoise accents. The ensemble is Ralph Lauren Collection the blouse was priced at $295 and the linen two-tier ruffle skirt at $2,750. This was also from a magazine, over four years ago.

Now I really did not need to put the prices but I just had to for the chuckle of it. I should put together a "dress for less" look because I imagine there are similar outfits out there for a fraction of the price.

Then after a bit more browsing, I found this site with adorable, feminine, and very unique dresses. I love, love, eyelet, especially in the summer. This dress is called the "cotton candy eyelet sash dress." I mean, the name alone makes you want to wear it to your cousin's spring birthday party, don't you think? Don't the little blue pom poms remind you of preschool arts and crafts time? And I believe this one of a kind dress is a steal at $89, but unfortunately it is not my size.

I would have to throw on a good pair of cowboy boots with any of these dresses. But of course!

I could not just chose one! I could have spent all day looking at dresses online! I hope you enjoyed seeing what I might wear to the costume party.

Have a wonderful, wonderful day Ms. Sares, you deserve it and I love ya!
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