Cowgirl Up on

Monday, November 24, 2008

Ride With Friends, Old and New

Took a short jaunt back to my old neighborhood yesterday. We rode trails up in Taylor Mountain Regional Park. I used to live less than 5 miles from those trails and for quite a few years rode them daily with Ariel. Ah the memories! Things have really changed up there in the last 12 years or so. The area was owed by Manke Lumber Company and recently was purchased by King County. Since then, lots of work has been done to maintain old trails and reroute poorly placed ones to accommodate salmon-bearing streams. I love riding in that area pretty much any time of year. The terrain is varied and occasionally there might be a bear or cougar sighting! Berries are abundant in July!

This ride was with a couple of my close girlfriends and my good friends Alayne and her husband Matt and three new folks I hadn’t met or ridden with before. We all had a great time and I look forward to riding with each of them again in the future.

Forgive the Buena ears in the photos as I only have pictures of everyone else so far. If I get some from the others, I will add them to this post later.

Here is one group photo from my good friend C’s camera; Buena and I are third from the left. Buena has Old Macs boots on, in case you were wondering why her front feet look so large in comparison!

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Friday, November 21, 2008

Dreaming With A Broken Heart

I am not tagging anyone, but if you want to play, go for it! I added the song title, artist and album title.


  1. Put Your iTunes on Shuffle.
  2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
  3. You must write down the name of the song no matter how silly it sounds!
  4. Put any comments in brackets after the song name.
  5. Tag at least 10 friends.
  6. Anyone tagged has to do the same, because fun pointlessness spreads like a virus.

Here we go...

If someone says, “Is this okay?” You say?
Bodyrock, Moby, Play

How Would You Describe Yourself?
Home Bird, Foy Vance, Grey’s Anatomy Original Soundtrack Volume 2

What Do You Like in a girl/guy?
GuitarFlute and String, Moby, Play

What is Your Life’s Purpose? Marching Bands of Manhattan, Death Cab For Cutie, Plans

What is Your Life Motto?
Someone Said Goodbye, Enya, Amarantine

What Do Your Friends Think of You?
Down Slow, Moby, Play

What Do You Think of Your Parents?
Don’t Know Why, Norah Jones, Come Away With Me

What Do You Often Find Yourself Thinking About?
Dirty Little Secret, Sarah McLachlan, Afterglow

What is 2+2?
Perfect Girl, Sarah McLachlan, Afterglow

What Do You Think of Your Best Friend?
Paper Aeroplane, KT Tunstall, Drastic Fantastic

What Do You Think of the Person You Like?
On Your Way, eastmountainsouth, Eastmountainsouth

What Is Your Life Story?
False Alarm, KT Tunstall, Eye to the Telescope

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Screenwriter’s Blues, Soul Coughing, Ruby Vroom

What do you think of when you see the person you like?
Run On, Moby, Play

What will you dance to at your wedding?
Fools In Love, Inara George, Grey’s Anatomy Soundtrack

What will they play at your funeral?
Through the Dark, KT Tunstall, Eye to the Telescope

What is your hobby/interest?
Send Your Love, Sting and featuring Vicente Amigo, Sacred Love

What is your biggest fear?
Talk of the Town, Jack Johnson, Curious George Soundtrack

What is your biggest secret?
Don’t Think of Me, Dido, No Angel

What do you think of your friends?
Too Soon, eatmountainsouth, Eastmountainsouth

What will you post this as?
Dreaming With A Broken Heart, John Mayer, Continuum

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Buena Has A New Friend

Meet Tsina, a 19-year-old Araloosa mare. Forgive the sweat and mud, they both had a good time right before I snapped these pictures!

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Friday Foto Flashback

Exactly 5 years ago today (November 21, 2003). We don’t have any snow today, and there isn’t enough in the mountain yet to go skiing either. The little old trailer had long since been sold down the road. And you can see what used to be some of the old falling down and dangerous fencing that we have removed.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Knot EVERY Horse Owner Should Know

A bowline is a horse owner’s best friend! And I admit I didn’t learn it until a few years ago. I always used the infamous quick release knot. Once a horse happens to pull back on that knot, it is anything but a “quick release,” usually resulting in broken hardware or having to cut the rope!

I tie with the bowline in all instances. To the trailer, on a tie post, on a high line and in the trailer. And always have a knife handy because you can’t get the bowline undone when there is a large load of a panicking horse pulling back!

I have a great book on knots, but for the life of me, I still can’t figure out to tie many of them, and I have yet to successfully tie my own rope halters!

I found a great site with animated instructions on how to tie useful knots. This is great for the visual learners out there! Karen Chaton posted a link to this site on her blog and I found the information so fantastic I also had to pass it along!

Here are some other great books for knots and making your own tack/gear:

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Burn Baby Burn!

We recently cut down three fruit trees in our field. They were in the southeast corner, but they were significantly impeding getting a decent amount of hay out of that area. We will plant new trees closer in to the house to replace the one apple and two pear trees. We burned much of the stumps and trees. Paddock Boy and Little Cowboy roasted hot dogs and marshmallows on the coals for lunch and dessert. I threw a few other photos taken later in to this post because they turned out so well.

More pictures can be seen here.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Unwanted Horse Coalition Survey

Please take the time to fill out this survey. It takes about 5-10 minutes.

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How Much Do You Know About Bots?

The Horse: Autumn Pests

by: Craig R. Reinemeyer, DVM, PhD
October 01 2006, Article # 7672

Q: Every fall, I see bot flies terrorizing my horses. I have tried to find a way to get rid of them or to even cut their numbers down, but I have not been successful. I have cows in the next pasture, and someone told me cows attract bot flies. Is this true?
Tracy, Oroville, Calif.

A: Bots are an inevitable aspect of equine ownership, but they are probably more bothersome to you than to your horse.

Read more great information from Dr. Reinemeyer.

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Pickens Family May “Save” the Mustangs

A Dramatic Rescue for Doomed Wild Horses of the West

By Lyndsey Layton, Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 18, 2008; Page A01

The unwanted horses seemed destined for death. The wheels had been set in motion to put down about 2,000 healthy mustangs, those in a federally maintained herd of wild horses and burros that no one wanted to adopt.

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Friday, November 14, 2008


Yesterday we started drying out. Today was better. There are rumors of sunshine this weekend!

Fall and winter around here can get on the depressing side. Some folks can’t hack it and head south to sunny (and possibly warmer) climates. As I get older, I think it might not be a bad thing to move where there is more sun at a minimum. Not likely to happen any time soon, though. We really like our house and farm and having immediate family close by.

Earlier in the week nearly every river around here was near, at or above flood stage. That’s normal for October/November and also some other times of the year. We’ve been lucky that a major wind storm blow through yet! Saturated soils makes for lots of downed trees.

We’re flat here. And we have very organic soil. It’s from the ancient Osceola mudflow off of Mt. Rainier 5,000 years ago (see this link, too).

As a result, we have awesome for pasture, but it’s also a haven for the nastiest mud you will ever see. And it’s deep.

We’ve been getting by since we moved here as far as mud management goes. It’s an expensive problem to solve and each year other major projects seem to overtake the large task of constructing a mud-free paddock/arena. Thankfully we do have some options to get the horses (and goats) out of the muck a good portion of the day/night by stalling them. I hate to do it, but at the same time, it develops patient animals if stall rest is ordered by the vet for treatment of illness or injury.

Here are some pictures from the worst of the water that we had the other day. And it wasn’t even near as bad as we have had in years past.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Clinic Report

It’s been nearly 2 weeks since the latest Brannaman clinic and, again, it was another fabulous one. Maybe these really good ones are so good they are hard to put into words (or type up). Doesn’t mean I can’t discuss them, but journaling them has been difficult. If I had been more disciplined then I would have journaled every night before bed in my toasty warm camper.

I went to bed each night with a sense of peace and progress with my horse and my horsemanship. There are still little things that I am working on and the bug me, but nothing all that serious really. Looking back at the 2 pictures Paddock Boy took of me, he obviously captured the absolute worst moments! Man, I hope I don’t look like that ALL the time when I am doing hindquarters/frontquarters! Yeesh! I do know that it was the one thing that I felt like I was still struggling with towards the end of the clinic on the last day. Thankfully Buck pointed out a couple of things and complemented me on my improvement once I executed his directions better.

Taking six months off between clinics like that is not advisable! And I mean not riding hardly at all! That won’t happen like that again! All in all I am very happy with my horse and the 4 days I spent riding. And I was exhausted, but not overtaxed. I came home hopeful and renewed. And watching and listening to Buck in the afternoons was fabulous as usual.

During the clinic a film crew was there shooting footage and interviews for a documentary. It was fascinating watching them work and seeing them have to work around Buck doing his job. Many times they either had people in the way or Buck was facing opposite of the camera. Not sure if he was doing that on purpose, but the cameraman look a bit frustrated at times on the final days.

Buck did lots of talking and answering questions and demonstrating. Watching him ride seems to always be a highlight for me. Shows me yet more that I need to work on besides the exercises he talks us through during our classes.

I captured a great sequence of part of the work he did with a friend’s horse. He was working on getting the horse to back with only life from his legs and NO reins. The owner was having some trouble getting it sorted out and Buck hopped on the horse and in minutes got it set up for the owner to have more success. The horse is very good minded and never once got bothered about anything, and never does. It will be nice to see the changes next time I see them.

I have such a hard time pinpointing the highlights for myself and Buena. She is so easy going and gets along so well with me and with all of the other horses around her. That is so refreshing from the many years I rode Ariel in clinics. I am constantly amazed by Buena and look forward to many more years of her teaching me.

At the end of the clinic Buck paid Buena and me a few nice complements and it’s always very humbling. I respect the man so much not only for what he has done for horses, but for what he has done for many of my friends and myself. We all owe him a great deal and it’s always an honor to ride in his presence.

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Friday, November 7, 2008

Wheels of Justice Keep Rolling

A few weeks ago I posted about Jean Elledge. There has been additional sentencing by Snohomish county.

Monroe woman sentenced for starving horses

Monroe woman sentenced to year in jail for starving horses

Monroe woman gets year in jail for animal cruelty

I wish that King county had been able to give jail time to another disgraceful so-called rescuer, but I don’t have much confidence now that she has pled guilty to lesser charges. Hopefully I will hear better news after the sentencing hearing.

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Friday Foto Flashback

My horse obsession started very early!

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