Red Moon Guardian

Lexi on watch

Lexi on watch

During the recent Blood Moon (aka Red Moon or Lunar Eclipse), I went outside to get some pictures. Alas, my camera did not do justice to the eclipse, but when I turned back to go inside, I saw my beautiful dog, Lexi, framed in the light of the barn door. She was standing there looking out at the night, waiting and guarding. The picture gives me a feeling of warmth, comfort, and safety. How about you?

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Leather Check

leatherAfter performing Aires Above the Ground and then SHPLAT on the ground last week, followed by a 6-hour trip to the ER, I decided to get back on my horse (a different one!) today for a nice, gentle ride. All was going well until I stepped into trot and took a rather large and unplanned step, indeed, when my stirrup leather broke, flinging the iron into the sand somewhere and me lurching as my foot continued in a downward trajectory like a missed stair step. Luckily, I was balanced enough and my steady-Eddie horse didn’t care. Considering the bad equine juju I’ve been experiencing this week, I elected to get off, find that lost stirrup iron, and do some gardening instead. I figured my mishap last week likely put extreme torque on an already worn leather. It’s a wonder it didn’t let go when I mounted! Lesson learned–check you tack before you ride.

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What’s Digging These Holes?

bigholeThe latest farm mystery: what creature is digging holes in my riding arena…and why? Just in the last month or so some creature has been digging in the arena, mostly along the edges, but sometimes right in the middle. The holes are generally not very deep and do not GO ANYWHERE. What could be doing this, and what is it after? Any ideas from anyone who has experienced this phenomenon? The arena is almost eighteen years old and I have never had this problem before. I’m sure my dogs may come by and expand upon the hole work already begun, but they are not initiating it. I’ve seen deer and fox in there upon occasion, but never witnessed any creature in the act of digging. Luckily, I spotted the rather large tank trap of a hole before a horse stepped into it! multiholes

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The Further Adventures of Rat Dog

farrierLittle Irish Hunt terrier Madegan (aka Maddie aka Rat Dog aka Maddie Baddie) loves when the farrier visits. She ate her weight in hoof trimmings, then spent the evening vomiting on my Persian carpet, arm chair, etc. Sadly, I’m looking at having to keep her locked up during horse shoeing from now on, which is sad, because she especially loves when the farrier tosses out his bucket of water on her at the end. Here she is, waiting patiently for that magic moment!

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Pesto Cubes: Frozen Blocks of Summer Goodness

Pesto cubes

Pesto cubes

I grow basil and tomato plants every summer mostly because I love the way they smell in the garden. Today I harvested most of the basil to make into pesto (an Italian topping great over pasta, meats, or mixed in to almost anything). If you’ve never had pesto, you are missing something! It is simple, but a bit messy to make. Grind the basil leaves with EVOO, garlic, toasted pignioli (pine nuts) and shredded parmesan. It should have a loose, lumpy consistency. I like to spoon it into a plastic ice cube tray and freeze it for individual use. There is nothing better than popping one of these pesto cubes out in the dead of winter to use in stews, spaghetti sauce, on top of fish or chicken…it is like a little block of summer warmth and freshness in the cold of winter.

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Silly Goose Blaze

BuddysBlazeSome people look to the clouds and see images, I look at horses’ blaze markings. My pony’s blaze looks like the Aflac goose to me. Do you see it? Does anyone else have some crazy looking blazes to share?

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Don’t DO It…LET It

Dorrie as a foal

Dorrie as a foal

My red mare, Dorrie, otherwise known as “The Correcto-meter,” schooled me today in some fundamental principles of riding. This is why she is known as the Correcto-meter, because she, unlike my easy-going gelding, Paddy, will not cooperate unless you are sitting and asking correctly. Paddy, on the other hand, has accommodated my imbalances and fooled me into thinking I was a competent rider. Likewise, he is a master at a subtle push against my leg or dropping my hip to the left to make him more comfortable. And he happily goes along being crooked…not so with Dorrie. My trainer has told me countless times to assist the horse to become straight, then LET the trot develop; in other words, you can’t MAKE it happen. I understood in my mind but my body still had not gotten the memo. Today, when Dorrie rolled up into trot I got the sucking back, ears pinned, neck raised reaction which only made me want to shove with my seat more, nag with my leg, and pinch. Doesn’t work! To the casual observer, it does not look like I’m doing all these dastardly things to her, but on a very sub-atomic level I certainly am, and she feels it. After a 20 meter circle of fighting and restricting the horse with my body, I opened my knee and thigh, relaxed my hip angle to sit back and down, and viola! Her head and neck reached forward, she moved her shoulders freely, and she went smartly forward into a free-flowing trot with self-carriage. I was there to adjust and assist with straightness, not trying to do it all for her. Riding is hard for we “over-achievers” who want to DO IT RIGHT all the time to the detriment of being able to back off and “LET” it happen. It’s tough. Riding a such a demanding discipline– physically, sure– but more so mentally. Just remember, LET your horses (for those of you who do not own your own “Correcto-meter.”)

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