Monday, February 24, 2020

Tumbleweed, a Natural at Herding & a New Saddle Pad for Swayback Horses

The weather has been unusually spring-like, which has given me time with my horses.  I've ridden at home and on the trails.

(A mild winter was good for Cowboy!)

I took it slow with Leah--ground work, then light riding in the arena, and obstacle work. She did great.  I really feel that SLOW is the new FAST when it comes to horses.  Solid steps forward are priceless, as they build the relationship with your horse.  She and I will go out on the trail together this week.  None of the horses have shoes yet, but the ground is soft.

As you know, much of my herd is geriatric, so I ordered a new swayback saddle pad today by Reiner. It has great reviews, and I'll do my own when it arrives. The horses in my herd which it might help: Cowboy, Foxy, Little Joe, and Leah.  If I like it, I will order another. (I'm not a fan of neoprene, but the reviews were glowing.)

I have continued to progress in knitting: hats, baby blankets, and shawls.

I experimented with my own leather labels--ravens, with my initials on the flip side. Knitting is very relaxing for me and helps the time pass on road or plane trips--or while watching TV at night.

I also threw myself back into guitar study, but this time I found a GREAT online course by Guitar Tricks.  I've been at it for a few weeks, going way back to make sure I fill in the holes of my self-training, and it is an amazing course.  I HIGHLY recommend it for anyone wanting to learn to play the guitar.  They have awesome, easy tutorials, play-alongs with their bands, downloads of the sheet music and lessons.  It's remarkably incremental.

Tumbleweed has a reservation for kindergarten training in June, and my daughter, Shiloh, who has been working horses with me, decided to take her horse Cowgirl, at the same time, for a refresher.  I couldn't be happier, as that will give Tumbleweed a herd-mate and lower his stress level. 

She's not Foxy, but she is the herd leader, and is the one who tells them all what to do and when.  I often find she and Tumbleweed together in the turnout.  He lives a charmed life. 

My trainer is amazing at putting a solid foundation on horses, foundations that stick.  As long as I've known her, she has had waiting lists to get in, especially during spring/summer--so I reserved T'weed's spot over a year ago. He'll go for a month, then come home, grow up, and go back for 60 days next year.  At that point, I'll probably do the rest myself through lessons and clinics.  I expect that he will be easy, but he does have a stubborn streak, and a mischievous side--like most babies.  She's used to that.

Oh, another thing about T'weed--he's a natural herder.  He herds Cowboy around in the turnout--running him down the fence, getting out in front of him, turning him around, running him again.  

My granddaughter came over Saturday (I gave her the Penny hair bracelet--it was small, but she was able to add an extender onto it, which made it perfect) and T'weed was herding Cowboy as we all watched from inside.  It was quite the show, and everyone was amazed at how genetically wired he is for it.  Movement is good for Cowboy, too.  Cowboy was never a natural herder, but he always liked bossing cows around.  A natural omega, he makes a great practice cow for Tumbleweed. LOL.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Moving On...I Hope

Thank you to those who sent condolences after Penny's passing, and to those who stopped by to see how I'm doing. The blog has been quiet as I drifted through the season of letting go. Penny was not the first horse I've lost, but for some reason, she was, and is, the hardest.  I've failed to come to peace with it. It feels like she's still here.

I suppose that is why I haven't blogged.  Lacking closure, I also lack wisdom--lessons learned--or whatever it is we search for to make sense.  The only lesson I learned is that it sucks, and to think of the loss makes me either want to puke, or cry, or both. So, I have avoided writing about my horses altogether.

What brought me to finally sit back down is that today I received Penny's custom horse hair bracelet I ordered for my granddaughter.

I'll see Sophie on Saturday and give it to her. If it doesn't fit her, I'll keep this one and order another.  It's hard to measure, although I see the website has been updated with more detailed instructions at Spirit Horse Designs.

The one above was chosen by Sophie--a double wrap called, Kael Wrap Horse Bracelet.

 If it fits her, I may order this other design for myself.

I guess I sent way more hair than needed, and she returns what she doesn't use.  I like the purple ribbon she wrapped the box with.  Coincidentally, it's Sophie's favorite color.

For Christmas, I gave Sophie a photo book of she and Penny, and when she opened it she cried and then came to hug me, and I broke down and cried.  We cried together for a long time.  She is the one person in the world who feels it as strongly as I do.  

I know it's time to turn back toward the living horses. I've been trying to get over a 3 week respiratory infection--the most awful virus which has EVER invaded my body.  My husband brought it back as a souvenir from our January trip to Sedona, and it promptly latched onto me.  At least it's not the CoronaVirus, but I bet it's some closely related cousin.

Today, a friend came over and we sat in my Cowgirl Cave and conditioned our tack--saddles, bridles, boots. That's the first thing I've done like that in a long time.  The weather is so beautiful that we've planned a ride for tomorrow.

I just stepped outside and took this picture so you can see what a lovely day it is.

I can't help but to benefit from saddle time.  It is much, much needed.

And here is a photo from a month ago of Tumbleweed.  He's butt-high right now, as he continues to grow and mature.  He's a sweetheart.  Cowboy has made it through winter with medication--and luckily, it has been a very mild winter for him.  He and Tumbleweed are good buddies and engage in gelding play everyday.  Tumbleweed has given Cowboy a new lease on life.  

T'weed is still very much a Foxy Mama's boy, and she guards his every step--especially when it's muddy or icy out--she won't let him play with Cowboy on those days--but he is also thinking for himself and moving up in the herd order on his own.  But he doesn't disobey Foxy Mama.  Ever.  I like that about him.

Well, I've survived my first blog post after Penny, and I feel good to get it out and think about the future.  In fact, I'm going to end here and go out and give my living horses big hugs.  

So, maybe I do have some wisdom.  The prescription for healing, after a special horse passes, is loving the living horses who are still here.  One day at a time.