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.


  1. Your knitting is lovely! I always liked lacey knitting.
    Having a good trainer in your area is such a blessing. I am really looking forward to T'weed's progress. I hope you can get video of him working his "Cow"boy!
    I got a recorder for Christmas and am re-learning how to play it. I loved it as a kid, and it is the only instrument I can play. I used to play guitar a bit and was just getting back into it a few years ago when I broke mu wrist, which now does not bend enough in the required direction to be comfortable on the guitar neck.

    1. Unfortunately, my trainer is a couple hours south. I wish she was closer so I could be there and work with her with Tumbleweed, but as it is, I’ll be dropping him off and leaving. That will be tough on me. 😭 I will try hard to get his herding Cowboy on video. Every once in a while the stars line up and find me in the right place at the right time with my phone. Lately, I’ve been more of an amazed spectator. You never know how long it will last, and I don’t want to miss the show.

      Good for you, picking the recorder up! The guitar, especially, barre chords, is challenging on the hands and wrists. The recorder can be very beautiful. I grew up playing the flute. It was my first instrument. I started at 10 and played until I graduated high school. Someday, I’d like to buy another, but my hands are full with piano and guitar. I was 11 when my parents bought a piano, and that was a game changer in my life. The flute became obligatory for school and band.

      I was curious — is Tumbleweed‘a herding pretty natural for Beamer’s kiddos?

    2. Yes. Beamer's daddy was a cutting horse. Most of his babies like to work other critters. Mesa used to go after dogs and cats. Belle's boys will herd anything they can, usually the other foals as the mares just ignore them. Beamer likes to work cows, gets right in there and pins his ears if they don't move fast enough!

  2. I love that shawl. I used to knit years ago. Actually decades. Maybe when I retire...

    It sounds like Tweed is a natural cow pony.

    1. If you knitted before, it will be a breeze to pick it back up. I’m slowing down with it now that the weather is good, but I have a project going at all times. I’m knitting a denim colored alpaca/merino wool shawl right now. Dreaming of what it will be is always better than what it actually is. 😂

  3. Tumbleweed sounds like a riot. It's so much fun to watch the herd interacting. Glad Cowboy is doing well and enjoying playing with the little guy.

    Your knitting is wonderful. I knitted, crocheted, embroidered, needle pointed, made stained glass pictures and windows etc. for so many years but I just don't do it anymore. I really don't know why maybe I'll pick it up again someday.

    I've been thinking of taking up the guitar when I have the time. Good for you to keep learning.

    Also, glad you got out on the trails and have been working with your horses. That's the fun I do nowadays.

    1. Everything has its season! You’ve sure done a lot in your life. If you do want to learn guitar, I think Guitar Tricks is money well spent. I got 20% off an annual subscription. I wish I’d known about it 4 years ago. Teaching myself, I picked up a few bad habits. And, it’s hard to break bad habits!

  4. Beautiful shawl, and I like your hat label. You have sooo many talents!! Thanks for sharing the guitar site recommendation, bookmarked it. Perhaps it will be the catalyst to picking up my guitar again? Something that has been on my back burner f-o-r-e-v-e-r. I have an old Goya I inherited from my X, but first it needs to be restrung and one of the pegs doesn't hold well, and, and, therefore it sits. I need to take it into a local shop, then the strumming start up wouldn't be so daunting. I have fond memories of (others) strumming guitar around campfires, someday I hope to feel that joy again. Someday. Music sounds magical in our valley. There are freebee learning sites too, but there is something committing about paying for a service. All I really need to do is play, it will come back as I don't plan to study classical guitar etc. My beautiful violin on the other hand, would need a complete re-start. Glad you have been enjoying nice weather with your horses. Slow is definitely the new fast, with much more than horses. Slow lasts and embeds much better. Trusted trainers are worth the travel. Looking forward to training updates!

    1. Oh, get it to a shop!! Hurry!! I used free sites to learn quite a bit and it really was enough for me to have fun the last 4 years. I even learned to string my own guitar from free videos. The site just offers a much more comprehensive program. There were things I hadn’t learned well that it has filled in for me. I also love all the songs it offers with band backup. They take you through the rhythm, strum patterns, notes—then you play with the band. Guitar Tricks has the best reviews and ratings. I even learned the “F’ing F Chord” finally. The instructor for beginning guitar is a woman, and she gets it. I got 20% off, so it was like 140/annual. Something like that. It self-renews in 2021 though, and it’s the higher rate— $179/annual. You also get a two week free trial. (I don’t get anything for recommending them. This is just a personal recommendation, based on my own experience.) Yes, a great trainer is so important. Very worth the drive! Looking forward to it, although I’ll miss him. He’s a lover boy.


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