Thursday, February 26, 2009

A really bad flu

I came down with a really nasty flu last Friday and today is the first day I have been able to sit at the computer for even a few minutes. I have been coughing up my lungs, running a fever of 102.5, barely able to eat anything, and had pain in so many places in so may ways that I could not catalog them all. It was a major victory to drag outside twice a day and throw hay at the horses. The cats, however, have been enjoying this greatly. Not only have I been home and in the house, but in the bed and they have had maximum snuggle time.
And that is all I have the strength for right now. I'm heading back to bed now.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Joy of Dirt Roads

The coolest thing about our dirt roads is that it keeps out the riff-raff, preventing people who want all the town things from living out here.They also slow down anyone who drives on them. And the dirt roads are excellent for riding horses.
Of course there is a down side, and it is that people with tractors who think they know what they are doing go out to "fix" the roads after a rain. These folks just do not comprehend the fact of putting in crowns, gates to take the water off the road, tilting the road, and various other facets of proper dirt road maintenance. They think that dragging it flat is the thing to do. I have given up attempting to educate these folks. I spent many years fixing the road with shovel and wheel barrow and helping a neighbor with a tractor and knowledge work on the road. Since this neighbor lives at the end of the road as I do, we maintain our last mile and leave the first mile to the ignorant.
Now we have a new resident with access to heavy equipment that could do the road a lot of good. We wish. He too has missed out on the idea of how to take the water off the road in the most efficient manner. He has done a good job on part of the road but really went nuts on another part. He decided to put in a large "Giant Bump of Death" across the road to channel the water off. The Giant Bump is tall enough that a car scrapes bottom crossing it. Even in a high ride truck, one must come nearly to a standstill to cross it. It is on the steepest hill and when the road is wet, coming to a standstill is a really bad idea. Once stopped, it is very difficult to get traction again, especially when the rain has rutted out the uphill side. What was he thinking?
The truly amazing thing is that the people who know nothing and have tractors do not learn from their mistakes. They just make the same mistake again. However, if the Giant Bump of Death is rebuilt, I'll take my shovel to it this time. And if I can ever catch him out there with his tractor, I shall have a little talk with him, although I doubt it will do any good.
It is interesting to note that the part of the road untouched by idiots, that my neighbor and I last worked on in 2005, is holding up pretty darn well. It is ready for some work but the crown, tilt and gates have been doing their jobs. My neighbor had never worked on dirt roads before living out here but learned by watching what the water does when it rains. As another neighbor said "You only have to be smarter then water and dirt."

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Snubbers, the Dinosaur

This photo was taken in late September 1984 when my ex-husband and I were traveling in Vermont to visit Lippitt Morgan breeders. This weanling filly stole our heart so of course she moved to California. This photo was taken after she had taken Dave on a walk down the road. She did not know where she was going and she did not care where she was going but, by golly, she had enthusiasm. Dave could hardly get her to stand still for photos.
Snubbers grew up and retained her enthusiasm. This morning she took me out of the barn and back outside. She still does not know where she is going and does not care, but we sure get there in a hurry. She was the same under saddle--enthusiasm!

It was a friend who said that she is like a dinosaur who had been frozen in its own era, then defrosted in present day life and is a bit bewildered by it all. It seemed so very appropriate that the name stuck. She is diferent from any other horse I have known; she is off in her own world and sometimes her world and that of the humans around her co-incide--or collide, as the case may be.
I have been priveleged to have her and since she is so healthy, should have her for many years yet.
(To see a current photo of her, go to my Old Morgans blog. She is the photo at the top.)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

One of Those Perfect Moments

I woke up one day last week about 4:30am and just enjoyed the feelings. I did not have to get up yet, all three cats were on the bed with me, and it was raining. I listened to the welcome rain and felt nice and warm in my bed. Summer Clouds was snuggled up into my neck. Sky Dancer was lying on my ankles. Hestia Twilight was sleeping on my "lap"(I was on my back). Outside, the horses were already in the barn staying dry (except, as I saw later, Snubbers the Dinosaur who prefers to be wet). It was just very peaceful and very nice, and one of those delightful moments of life.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Samantha, the subject of the Butterfly post, was foaled in 1990, sired by Clarion and out of Rosemont Rebecca. Like her 3 sibblings, she was about 15 hands, bay, deep-bodied, straight-legged, but had Rebecca's somewhat long head, which Rebecca got from her dam Illawana Satin. That long head was a strong trait but everything else was so good, we did not mind.
Samantha was Rebecca's last foal as she had an uterine hemmorage birthing Samantha. She survived but I would not risk her life for another foal. Poor Samantha spent her first five days cooped up in a stall waiting for Rebecca to recover. Once out in a larger area, she became a Sandeater, and she was a major Sandeater. I had foals before her that ate sand to one degree or another, but she was really dedicated to it. My vet and I were frustrated about it. He had many clients whose foals ate sand to one degree or another. We all had different feeding programs and it was his feeling that it was not a mineral imbalance but just something the foals did. If they survived it, they all grew out of it in their yearling year, just quitting it one day and never again having an interest in eating sand.
All my ground here is sand, so finally I got some more stall mats and matted a small pen opening to a matted stall and that had to become her living quarters. Every day, I took her out into the arena for supervised exercise time. I think I had more exercise then her as I had to run around chasing her when she would stop for sand. We survived it, and she stopped eating sand shortly before her 1st birthday. Whew.
The sand eating was the reason I started to pony her on trail rides. It was a good way to get her some exercise without wearing out myself.
She grew up into a beauty and the right home came up for her so she left here. The person who got her, still has her after nearly 15 years or so. She remains fondly in my memory.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Insight About Horse Riding, Taught by a Cat

I was down & out yesterday with a relapse of the intestinal flu that first struck about 1 1/2 weeks ago. My cats enjoy it when I am sick because not only am I in the house, but in bed nearly all day. Hestia's favorite place is to be on my chest when I am on my back. At one point, yesterday, she was somewhat off center. I noted it but it seemed OK. Then her being off center got annoying. As the minutes passed, the feeling changed into discomfort and finally pain. I shifted her to center and felt immediate relief. Which is when the insight hit me; is this akin to what a horse feels when the rider is off center?

Hestia at not quite 8 lbs. is a bit more then 6% of my body weight. My weight is about 15% of my two smaller horses, Lil' Red and Autumn Wind. What does it feel like to them when I am off center? I try to be centered because I know it is better for the horse and it feels better to me too. But now I think I have a better understanding of it.

As a P. S.--Ass. Con. has published my three recently written articles. You can see them by clicking the link, "My Articles" in the sidebar. There is one horse related article, one book review, and one classic movie review.