Sunday, August 30, 2009

Change is In The Air

Dog Sunset

Maybe it's the way the sun sets differently in the sky.

Apples in Pail

Maybe it's the fact that my Nana had two boxes of green apples on her porch. Several of which she made homemade applesauce with. Several of which my loveleigh cousin Sares used in merchandising our garage sale items this weekend.

Pine Cones

Maybe it's the pine cones, falling to the ground from the trees behind my cousin E's house. Thanks cousin E, for letting me pick up a garbage bag full!

Dry Grass

Maybe it's the school kids, going back, or getting ready to go back, to school. {Sorry, no pictures of school kids for you, how about some brown grass in a field, growing over an old fence? i think perhaps even this grass has grown weary of the summer sun.}

Eating Dinner

And it's not a maybe on this one- my horse is already starting to get that longer, rougher, winter coat. I swear he just finished shedding last year's!

Whatever it is, things are changing. And I couldn't be happier that fall is around the corner- its my favorite season.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Black Beauty

While at one of my favorite shops this summer, I came across this old book, Black Beauty.

Black Beauties

When I paid for it (it was $5.00) the woman at the counter told me that was a good price for a first edition. I am not sure it is a first edition, I can not find anyplace in the book that says it is.

Black Beauty Jacket

I also doubt a first edition would cost $5?

Black Beauty Book Title Page

The book is definitely old, the pages are yellowed and the binding is about to fall off. It is officially titled "Black Beauty The Autobiography of a horse by Anna Sewell." It was published by the Henry Altermus Company in Philadelphia, and the copyright date is 1897 by Henry Altermus.

I still have my childhood paperback copy of Black Beauty (what horse-loving young girl did not once own this book?)

Black Beauty 1970

My copy was copyrighted in 1970 by Western Publishing Company, and the cover price was .95.
Such a sad, yet heartwarming tale, with a happy ending.

Black Beauty

Last week, while in one of my favorite thrift shops, I found this old ceramic horse. At $6.99 this pony was a bit more than my usual $1.99 bargains, but I couldn't resist him.

Black Beauty

I do not know for sure that he is old, but he certainly doesn't look new, and has no markings (in particular, no "made in China.") Besides, being priced at $6.99 at this thrift shop tells me they knew it was old and worth more than the typical $1.99 for cheap knick knacks.

Beauty and the Book

He is a regal beauty, this one. I hope to add a few more ceramic horses to my collection. Those that have been reading my blog since the beginning might remember my other ceramic pony (found at the same shop for the same price, interestingly!)

Beauty and Ginger

I have now dubbed that golden beauty as Ginger, which seems pretty fitting since she found a great friend in Black Beauty!

Black Beauty and Ginger

Do you have a copy of Black Beauty in your collection?

Monday, August 24, 2009

More Trip Photos

I couldn't resist sharing a few more pictures and stories from the trip!

One of the highlights for me was to get to spend time with my "other sisters"- my cousins, or, as we are fondly known in this family, "the cuzettes." We spent a night giggling in our cabin until we cried and our bellies hurt. That was mostly my fault, thanks to a late night Excedrin buzz and the need to spread a mattress beside the bunk bed in case I fell out of the top bunk at night (I didn't.)

Cowgirl Cousins

These three Sisters, my auntie, my aunt, and my mom, left to right respectively, shared the creme de la creme of cabins. It was adorably cottage with floral Ralph Lauren sheets on the bed, wooden floors, and seafoam green walls. And they had their own bathroom and clawfoot tub, the stinkers!

Cowgirl Sisters

Speaking of sisters, Paint Girl and I spent almost every waking moment, from the day before the trip, the whole trip, and the drive home, nearly attached at the hip. We got a long amazingly well and worked together as a team, whether unloading hay from the truck or providing support for each other on the trails.

Pony Sisters

We were SO well-fed, by our cowgirl Chef, Cousin B! We ate BBQ hamburgers, lasagne, homemade enchiladas, and tacos-in-a-bag! Cousin B, post about your tacos-in-a-bag!

Cowgirl Grub

Here she is in action, she'll get me back for this photo, I'm sure. She worked in the cookhouse, amongst flies and even a few rodents, and didn't complain one second! Next time, we are simplifying the menu so that this cowgirl can have more time in the saddle and less time tossing the salad. (P.S. Cousin B, I forgot to mention those cake truffles were to die for!)

Cowgirl Chef

Cousin E handled this big draft amazingly well. I viewed him like an over-sized Golden Retriever, not quite aware of his own size and strength. If Cousin E was nervous around him, she never showed it. This lady has many miles in the saddle under her belt, Cousin C has taught her well!

Whoa Joey!

It was great to see my cousin Palomino Girl and her mother work so closely together with their two younger newbie trail horses. Despite being a bit rusty, they got these well-tempered ponies back into the swing of being working ponies, not vacation ponies. As a testament to good quality Quarter Horse breeding and exemplary horsemanship skills by both of them, the horses came through, hitting the trails in stride, as well as running our playday events!

Mother and Daughter

Always a photographer at heart, I saw my aunt standing in the doorway of the cookhouse and I shouted, "Don't move!", grabbing my camera. I used my old Sony point and shoot for this one! It's grainy, but it kind of works with the wood and the silhouette.

Cowgirl Tuff

A Pony Cousins trip would not be the same without Saddle Mountain Rider's recipe~ the Whiskey Slush. Yummmmm!

The Recipe

I have to tell you how proud I am of my horse on this trip. Other than a few minor horsey quirks, he was such a good horse during hauling, while in his little paneled pen, on the trail, and in the arena. It makes a trip so much more enjoyable for me to have a been-there-done-that horse that I can trust to safely enjoy this kind of adventure with!

My Boy

If My Boy and I look a little worse-for-wear in this photo, it's true. We had such a great time that we literally wore ourselves out. Or maybe it was just all of that dust and wind in our eyes?

Until we ride again, Pony Cousins!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Shining Stars

Everyone on our Pony Cousins horsey trip was a shining star in how they handled their mounts and rode the trails and arena events. Despite cooler temps and windy weather, the ponies were surprisingly on their best behavior~ except for that Yellow boy, on one particular ride- he was a bad pony and for that he got a timeout and a workout to put him in the right frame of mind. But oh goodness, Saddle Mountain Rider looks great on this handsome golden boy, doesn't she?

SMR and Yellow

Paint Girl will share the tale of her battle to retain her crown as Rodeo Queen. Her little speckled mare galloped her hiney around those barrels and poles.... ironically, this little Pinto mare was originally purchased as a yearling by her previous owners to be a gaming horse, but was never trained to be one~ only to find her true calling later in life, I believe!

Paint Girl and Brandy

Cousin E got to ride Joey, the gentle giant. The first time she brought him to the hitching post, without his corral mates, I got an eye opening regarding the massive size and strength of a draft horse. He was anxious and not happy to be alone (as most rental horses tend to be a bit herd bound.) Joey was pulling on the lead rope as E was trying to tie him, about knocking her down. I suggested we not tie him and just hold him at the post for fear he might pull the whole thing up out of the ground. And then he began to paw impatiently and it was like a dinosaur shaking the earth- after two swipes of his massive hooves and there were ditches next to the hitching post. But he was great under saddle. Saddle Mountain Rider rode him on the trails, too. He was slow and steady and happy to be the caboose of the group.

Cousin E and Joey

The Desert Rose has hardly done any arena riding on this little Tennessee Walker/Morgan mare, who is a young 5 years of age. She has been mostly a trail horse, through and through. We didn't know she had the spark in her to tightly turn those barrels the way she did! How did she do in her quest to be rodeo queen? You'll have to check out the Desert Rose's blog in the coming days to find out!

Desert Rose and Little Lady

We all adored this P.O.A. mare, Katie. Horse Dreams found the perfect match in her. She was mellow and steady to handle on the ground and on the trails. Her only fault was sneaking up on other horsey's hineys, and she got a warning kick from Yellow which knicked her leg a little, but she was fine. I really loved her spotted coloring, of course! So did My Boy, I swear every time we walked by her his head did a double take!

Horse Dreams and Katie

My auntie, A Cowgirl's Grace has been learning to ride the King, a grand 25 year old Missouri Foxtrotter, also a trail horse deluxe. King is great on the trail but can be impatient to deal with on the ground and is very attached to Little Lady, suffering from pretty severe separation anxiety anytime L.L. was five feet out of his range. This posed some challenges both in the arena and on the trail, which my auntie dealt with amazingly well! She earned some silver spurs for dealing with the King! But isn't he a handsome boy? I just think he looks so regal! Oh, how fitting, since he's the King!

Cowgirl's Grace and The King

Cousin Jamie got to ride Jordan. Jordan was a rental, and previously had been a huntseat pony and was learning to neck rein. He was a nice pony to ride, and had some arena skills. She gamed him in our rodeo and he was a well-mannered boy and super sweet to work with on the ground. When Jamie was brushing him, he'd nod his head vigorously up and down, almost like a tic. She'd stop, and he'd stop. We could only guess that he was really enjoying that brushing session!

Jamie and Joey

Dusty Devoe and her copper pony, Dusty, looked like a whole new team in the arena this year! All that work with the snaffle bit has paid off, Dusty is finally more broke in the bit and responding well. I am always amazed at how brilliant that pony glows, like a freshly minted copper penny or a shiny red Irish Setter!

Dusty Devoe and Her Copper Pony

Palomino Girl got to ride Okie, her Oklahoma State University 5 year old Quarter Horse gelding, in the gaming events this year. They were competing against Paint Girl/Brandy, and the Desert Rose/Little Lady for the title of rodeo queen. Okie has a nice long stride and a big heart. Here they are practicing the "champagne ride." Palomino Girl is smiling because on this year's trip she is not with foal-er, pregnant- so this year, she actually got to sip some of that champagne!

Palomino Girl and Oklahoma

She Who Rides Many Ponies got to ride Blue. Blue is an older Arabian who appears to have been picked on a bit in the catch pen, due to his many knicks and scars. He was a sweet boy and great on the trails. He tried his best in the arena and I believe at one point I looked over and Betsy was loping him around! He flagged his tail in proud Arabian spirit whenever she rode him!

Cousin B and Blue

My Boy was so good on the trails this year. All of the trail riding Paint Girl and I have been doing this spring and summer has really paid off. When Paint Girl's mare got a little nervous on a trail ride and we had to switch up our order, My Boy even led the troops home! He didn't spook or hesitate at anything! Here we are doing the roping event during our trail course challenge. I have never thrown a rope from my horse, just swung it around him from the ground. He didn't flinch.....and I didn't rope the steer head either. As you can see, I was close, though!

My Boy Roping

So how did My Boy and I do during the rodeo events? This year, to break up the competition and give everyone a chance to compete for crowns no matter what their expertise, skill level, or comfort zone, we divided into walk, trot, and lope categories. My Boy and I participated in the trot category.

Our combined times in pole bending, barrel racing, and the keyhole events were good enough for us to win Rodeo Princess, for the trot group! I was so proud of my spotted boy! But watch out Rodeo Queen 2009! My Boy and I might be moving to that lope category next year. That could be interesting since going fast is not my horse's forte (unless he's running from me in the pasture when I go to catch him) but I think I'm up for the challenge!

Rodeo Princess2

P.S. Why isn't this princess wearing her tiara? Well, last year's princess forgot to bring it back, so I believe it's in the mail!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Most Improved

The Copper Pony

I am so amazed with my family and their horses (or the horses they rented or borrowed) this past weekend. Everyone handled them in any situation that came up and we were all respectful when any rider needed some help, or a moment to school their horse through a minor issue. After all, it's about making sure the horses are exhibiting proper behavior, the rides are safe, and the riders are comfortable- and having fun! However, after watching my mom with her horse Dusty this past week, I have to say that I am especially proud of her. If there was a "Most Improved" award, I would bestow it upon her. Especially in lieu of her very recent fall from her Copper Pony, which you can read about here.

My mom has only been riding horses for a couple of years. Your first fall or toss off of your horse can really shake your confidence, as I have read about in various blogs and witnessed firsthand with my sister. My mom had to rush to the ER to get stitches in her lip and had some sore muscles and big bruises, but she climbed back on Dusty the next morning and rode that pony on a 2 hour trail ride, on steep wooded trails she'd never been on before! It wasn't easy for her, it took guts, and admittedly, she was rather anxious. But she got back in the saddle, leaped over that first hurdle, and everything was fine.

Handsome Copper Pony

During our family trail course and rodeo, my mom's pony did such a good job for her. He did what she wanted him to do, he didn't shake his head or fuss with his bit, he walked calmly on the trails and was overall a steady Eddy. I don't think she could have asked for a better weekend from her Dusty. I'd say it was a huge confidence booster for them both. I think as a team, they've really matured in the past year. It takes time to get to know a horse, time to learn to ride them, and, depending on the horse's personality, time for them to learn to respect you. What I love about the Copper Pony is that my mom will always grow and learn from him. He is just enough of a challenge for her, and being as smart as he is, I think he always will be. He is not a dud, or a babysitter, by any means. He is a horse, not an over-sized house pet, and he will sometimes react unexpectedly in situations, as horses do- as my mom learned from the day of her fall. But overall, he is a good, safe horse, and, as my cousin Saddle Mountain Rider calls him- "Trusty Dusty."

Copper Pony and Dusty Devoe

Great job mom, it was nice to see you and Dusty in your element this year and really grow together as a team!

I'll share more exciting snippets of our family trip this week as I get my pictures downloaded and edited, as will the rest of my family on their blogs, so be sure to check them out too!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Not My Boy

Saber 3

Appaloosas often have such a distinct look about their faces. I found some misplaced photos the other day of my third pony, Saber, an Appaloosa/Arabian. Sorry the photos are a bit blurry, they are old and didn't transfer well!

Saber 2

I owned him when I was around 16 years old. You can read more about him here. It has always struck me, but particularly so in these photos, that My Boy looks a lot like that pony!


I realized other than the coloring and the Appaloosa heritage, there is something in the Appy eye that does it. My sister's trainer friend calls it a "people eye," but technically it's known as white sclera.

Appy Boy

An Appy at the stable where my mom boards her horse.

This white around the eye gives horses such a different look from horses that just have big brown eyes. Sometimes, I think it makes them look a bit scared, wise, thoughtful, or mean-spirited, or just gives them more character. I've always liked this Appaloosa trait. I think some Paints have it too, I know my sister's mare Fritzy does.

What is your horse's breed, or your favorite breed, and a characteristic of that breed you particularly like?

Monday, August 3, 2009


Family is everything. I am so lucky to have such a wonderful family.

My dad (papa) made marionberry freezer jam, with extra sugar! He made 10 tubs of it and shared it with several family members.


This pink hydrangea has been in my family for ages. It was my great-grandmother's, I believe. At one time, it's blooms were blue. Maybe Dusty Devoe can share more history about this plant?

Pink Beauty

A family member, one of my second cousins, gets officially initiated as a "Pony Cousin!"

New Pony Cousin

The Rosebud's son, Toby (my second cousin) finds simple joy playing with a big yellow balloon in a country field.

Yellow Ball

These two family members are the cutest couple and amazing gospel singers. When they sang at my great-grandmother's funeral a few years ago, I got goosebumps.


Papa and Dusty Devoe enjoying a tuna fish lunch in the shade after a hot day at a flea market.

Shady Lunch

Yep, my family is pretty great. We are not without our faults, but we have a lot of love to give and truly enjoy spending time together.

"Write it on your heart that the ones you love are life's most precious gifts."
-Annie Danielson
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