Weekend Coffee Share; February Is Here!

As I ride by this beautiful tree on my trail rides I really wanted to have it be my opening photo. The sunlight just glistens off of the blooms. I just love it and it makes me smile. I welcome you to my weekend coffee share. I have so much to share, can I get you something to drink as I fill you in on a months worth of happenings? I will tell you that this post is all about Horse Stories. Yep, my horses can sometimes be so all consuming for me as I worry about this, that and the other with them. I know I have a lot of readers that are not horsey folks and I will try and share in a way that should make sense to everyone. I hope the horse adventures aren’t boring, haha, you know I’m going to share anyways! I’ve run across some challenges which I’ve decided to take as learning lessons instead of beating myself up for even deviating from my training methods. I’ll explain. 😀

Before I get to the training issues I wanted to share this next photo that I took after the blooms on the tree. My favorite view between her ears!! I am starting to realize that this could be bittersweet as I am not sure how much longer I will be able to ride Miss Chloe out on the trails. She is having issues with arthritis that is affecting her left front knee and is limping more because of it. There are two large lumps on the knee cap that are getting a bit bigger as the months go along and she is very stiff in the mornings. She walks better once she gets going and today I decided to up her pain medicine and hope this helps her out.

She enjoys going out and I don’t think my tack and myself are too heavy for her. If she starts tripping or limping too much I will stop riding her and she will be retired. I will try and keep her as comfortable as I can but I do believe that “motion is the lotion” and so our rides keep her muscles in shape and I know if she doesn’t use it she will lose it and decline at a greater rate. I will monitor her progress this year and hope I have many more rides to come. I didn’t like the way she was limping today, it’s been a rough winter for her this year. She has my heart and has been with me for the last 17 years. She is 19 this year. ❤

WHAT A WINTER! YIKES! I know I shouldn’t complain but I feel better complaining about all the rainy weather we had this year. Okay, I know we need the rain and snow pack but it took a lot of patience (I had to tell myself be patient Diana, we will dry out eventually!) when you have to deal with large animals in outside pens and try to have a dry place for them to eat and sleep or just stand without standing in muck. I’m thankful I was able to keep my horses high and dry through the worst of it all. They do have a shelter to stand under, here are a couple of photos.

I sometimes keep a support wrap on Chloe’s back leg. I buy bedding for their stalls. They sell lots of different forms of shavings which help soak up the water and provide a dry place for them to lay down or roll if they are itchy. 😀 We haven’t seen this much rain in years.

The lesson I have learned is with Murphy who is 5 years old this year. I can’t believe that I will have owned him for 2 years now. I had decided when he arrived as a 3 year old and with his size and age I would not feed him horse treats of any kind from my hands. He is very food aggressive and I would even say that food is his currency as he would do anything for food. I love listening to podcasts and have some favorite horse podcasts and even searched for some called Positive reinforcement training (R+). I even watched some Youtube videos but I should have never given this R+ training a try a few months ago because I turned Murphy into a monster! (You may be wondering why I was even looking at this training method and what led me down this road and that is Murphy’s stubbornness, I thought the R+ would help – that’s a big NO!)

Murphy is a growing 17.2hh Thoroughbred who is very smart and aware of his size. He’s not mean at all but can be very stubborn and when I hand fed him hay pellets and/or treats he did very well in the beginning. He really wasn’t a monster mind you, he just is this giant horse who lost respect for my boundaries and for me in general. He can’t be in my pockets with his size, and I can’t think of any other way to describe it but I had to stop all hand feeding of any kind. If I want to give him anything to eat I put it in a bucket.

I really do not know much about R+ training and since I do not have a trainer to go to for that kind of thing, I’m going to do what I know best. Murphy and I are back on track with him respecting my space and I respect his. Nothing bad happened, he just was pushy and was disrespectful. (What got us back on track is I have to use a stud chain which goes over his nose on his halter. For non horsey people its like using a slip chain for dog training if you know about dogs. He respects this and I know how to use it kindly. He is very respectful now and his stubbornness has all but faded away.)

Now that Murphy and I are back on track I was able to ride him twice this last week. We have had to take this winter off of riding with all the bad weather. I did lots and lots of ground work and turn outs to keep him exercised. I rode him once at the beginning of January and then three weeks later we had nice rides. I’m looking forward to riding him much more often with the good weather we now have!

I was so angry with myself over the hand feeding debacle because I knew better and yet I went down this road and it backfired. It took me a couple of weeks to connect the dots as his behavior worsened with his disrespect. Once I figured it all out I told myself to use it as a learning curve. Not all horses can be hand fed treats, it’s just not a good idea. Just put them in a bucket and give it to them that way. I respect all trainers that use this method and I am sure there are horse personalities that do well with the R+ training. I will say that it is not anything I had ever learned in the 50 years I’ve been riding and my work with all the horse trainers I worked for in my youth. Murphy, Chloe and I are doing great – so I remind myself to keep it simple Diana! I got this! 😀

I’ll end with a photo of my sweet girl. Although I wasn’t riding Murphy this last month I was riding Chloe on the days I could. Just our half hour trail rides. The trails are not muddy and I can ride out the day after rain. I so enjoyed sharing all my horsey adventures as I ramble on and on about things. I hope you are having a wonderful weekend as I am smiling from ear to ear with happiness with my sweet horses. I LOVE to call them my ponies even though they are far from being any kind of pony!! ❤

Thank you Natalie for hosting the #weekendcoffeeshare. I enjoy sharing my world and this weekend it’s all about my ponies. I hope you all have a wonderful week ahead. I know I will!

Crazy Horse Loving Gal,

~Diana ❤

19 thoughts on “Weekend Coffee Share; February Is Here!

    1. I found your other comment in my spam file! I went ahead and approved it, how strange it went there!?

      I agree, soooo amazing how the weather affects everything we do with our horses. Funny, when I’m at work I’ll say out loud oh no, more rain and my coworkers will wonder why I am so unhappy! I explain I have horses and all my issues even trying to exercise them with turn outs with inclement weather. They understand but really don’t. Only horse people really get the challenges! ❤️🐴❤️


      1. Yah, that probably happens with comments a lot- thanks for finding it. And I know what you mean about non-horsey coworkers maybe not quite understanding your point of view. I find that the challenges that accompany the lifestyle of horse ownership can be difficult to explain to the uninitiated sometimes. I doubt I’d understand it myself if I didn’t live it day in and day out. Even twenty years later, I still wonder what I got myself into sometimes. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I just tried to leave a comment but not sure where it went. I apologize if this is a duplicate but wanted to say that I totally get how frustrating it can be in dealing with difficult weather while caring for horses and trying to find riding time. Here in the Midwest, I am constantly fighting the weather and resulting ground conditions in one way or the other. So glad you are still able to get in some saddle time!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This comment came through and I don’t see a duplicate. I’ve had issues with WP before. Lol

      YES! I don’t even like complaining about weather because our weather is so mild compared to so many other places in the country. It helps me though knowing in the very cold places most people take the winter off from riding unless they have an indoor arena. I realized and have read it is often good to give the horses a break. The mental break can often be beneficial for them too. I don’t know how you do all you do in the weather you face with your beautiful horses. My sister use to live a few miles from me here and had horses in her backyard. I can tell you with the great weather she didn’t ride them as often as you would think because of the full time care they need too. Her part time job was riding horses here in Norco on the trails, she ride every one else’s horses and she would ask me to come ride with her at home.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!! I think we all are looking forward to Spring!


  2. I feel with you Diana. I know how bad it can get with horses that should never be hand fed. Don’t blame yourself. I am very happy to hear things are better now. I once owned a food aggressive mare. I had her at a boarding stable and had to put a sign outside her stall that she should never ever be hand fed, only have her food in the bucket (which you could access from outside, without going into her stall.) A boyfriend to one of the girls in the stable decided to not abide to my note, and he ended up at the hospital.
    The photo at the top is very beautiful. I am longing for spring now 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh boy! That’s really scary! Thank you for sharing as he really changed. He was acting like a crazy race horse as his disrespect grew. It’s been so cold overnight and into the mornings that he had even more energy! That didn’t help things so some of it was that issue but holy smokes, he was not listening to my “come along” Monty Roberts halter with two ropes over his nose. I had no choice but to start using the stud chain. I know they use it at the track, he knows exactly what that’s for and it only took a couple of hard pulls with it where he straightened out and his behavior is now calm and respectful. I can’t wait for Spring too!! 😍


  3. After your wet winter it looks like spring there. Sorry about Miss Chloe. I’m sure you will do what is best for her. At least if you have to transition off of riding her you can ramp up riding Murphy (hopefully). Will you have her walk with you as you used to with your other horse? Hope you are having a great weekend. Have a wonderful week ahead!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I think Spring has arrived early as there are lots of blooms popping out everywhere. Soon the wild California Poppy’s will start blooming all over our local hills. They do not bloom unless we get a ton of rain like we had this year. It is truly a beautiful sight and I’ll share photos when they arrive!

      Thank you too about Chloe. This is why I purchased Murphy as it will make the transition softer for me and my emotional attachments. Murphy is still so young and almost twice her size (not really twice) but I’m not sure if he’ll be a good horse to pony her next to him. I’m thinking I may hand walk her down the trails as I could use the exercise, and she really doesn’t walk fast. I am enjoying this weekend, and I hope you have a great week ahead!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Diana, Thank you for your weekend coffee share and beautiful photos. Chloe and Murphy both look so healthy thanks to your care. Be kind to yourself, too. You figured out how best to feed and train Murphy and all’s well. I hope the nice weather continues and you’ll be able to have more rides in the sunshine.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so very much Natalie for your wonderful kind words. I have gone through a lot of emotions trying to figure out what happened to my relationship with Murphy. I’m so happy I figured it out. Being kind to myself is a very good idea, I’m going to do just that! I’m looking forward to many fun rides!


  5. Hi Diana,
    Glad to have you back in the saddle with us – even if I’m late to join you on the trail.
    I loved reading this. You always teach me something new.
    I think that horse lovers are like parents.
    Just as our kids will always be – our kids, a horse lovers’ horse will always be her pony.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Gary,
      It’s so wonderful to have you join me on the trails sort of speak, even a day later! Haha! And you hit the nail on the head, horses and horse loving is a lot like being parents. You really have to have consistency and boundaries! I think that’s important in life with people too! And thanks for getting “our ponies” haha! ❤️🐴 Good to connect with you and have a wonderful week! 🥰


    1. Thank you so much! It’s so sweet of you to stop by and I always love your comments. That’s such great advice to enjoy life with my best friends! I hope you are enjoying your life too! ❤️


  6. 17.2 is a BIG horse.Ihad a Trakhener mare who was 17.5 hh. She had a pushy attitude as well. I hope your Chloe will not get any worse.
    Biasini is 18 this year .I hope he does not get anyinjuries as when they are older it is much harder for them to heal up well. I love the blossoms on the tree. So lovely!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. WOW, that’s a big mare and isn’t it amazing how they know they are big and strong but also mindful too, once they realize being pushy isn’t nice. (I have to say with the new issues I was having I was wondering why I decided such a big horse would be okay to have in my life? I decided he is a ton of fun to ride and care for most of the time now that I figured out the problem!) He has never hurt me thankfully! And thank you for the best wishes for Chloe, my sweet girl. I hope she’ll feel better as it warms up here and I decided to move the support wrap to her front leg and see if that doesn’t help. Her back leg is doing good now. I hope Biasini stays strong, he’s so beautiful and such a performer with all his athleticism!


  7. I feel bad for you have to see Chloe get stiff with arthritis. I was riding a horse for as while when we figured out that he had arthritis. He was about 20 years old when we sent him back to my grandparent. I think it’s so cool that you have a thoroughbred, Murphy. Hope he doesn’t cause too many more problems for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Heidi Jean for your kind comments. It is a bit sad to see these beautiful horses age and in turn are in some pain. Chloe is 19 years old this year, and I’ll keep loving on her as she always makes me smile.
      I think it’s cool to have a thoroughbred too! I sometimes scratch my head and wonder what I was thinking but I know I’ve made the right choice. He’s got the kindest heart and I will say has been very respectful with me and we are having much fun together!


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