Weekend Coffee Share; May 21, A Happy But Solemn Day

Welcome to my weekend coffee share, can I get you a cup of coffee or tea? My rose blooms are waning and so are my Iris blooms. I am so happy I took photos so I can still enjoy their beauty. As I write this I am wanting to celebrate my 2 year anniversary of when my sweet horse Murphy arrived and I am so happy and grateful for our journey together, and am excited for our future together, he is so much fun. However, as I titled this post I am very solemn since I had to say goodbye to my most beloved horse Miss Chloe. I’ve posted a tribute and if you missed it you can find the link here. She has left a huge hole in my life and I am going to have to take one day at a time. I knew this day was coming, and I miss her terribly. I haven’t figured out a new routine yet at the barn, everything is in flux, and I know it just takes time to grieve and so I will try and enjoy each day as it comes. Its been a tough year and am hoping and praying for a better second half to this year.

I didn’t want to be all sad, and I didn’t want this post to be a downer so I will try and share more positivity as I am hoping this will help me smile. I have finished all the crochet hats I was making for my sister. She had brought to me when she visited some alpaca wool all spun and ready to use and then she will gift the hats this coming Christmas. They were fun to make! I am more than half way through my cross stitch and so am back working on it as I really want to finish and frame it. Here are a few photos of them.

My cross-stitch looks better in person as I know the grey material makes it more muted in color. The narwhal is almost done and next to stitch is a big orca whale! There is a squid and more small fish to stitch as well. Then the intricate border. The pattern actually called for a dark blue linen but I had grey and thought it would look nice enough. The crochet hats I adore and am thinking of making more hats with my yarn as gifts to my family members. I decided to try and use almost every piece of yarn my sister gave me and made the 2 tricolor hats pictured together. I actually ran out completely and found a multi colored yarn to finish that one hat. I might keep that hat for myself, since it is unique and/or I’ll ask my sister if she would like all of them or not. Haha, I worry about the silliest things sometimes as the yarn isn’t exactly a perfect match but thought it will work so I just stitched it up anyways!

Let’s see, my emotions are all over the place. Normal right? I know life can throw you curve balls sometimes and so I am trying to keep to my routines as this helps keep you sane. At least that’s how I see things. 😀 and I know smiling helps your mood. I have been wanting to start a veggie garden in my containers and so I think I will work on that this week. Ironic or not, now I actually have time in the mornings tending to a small garden since I now only have one horse. I let the horses commandeer many hours of my mornings before I have to go to work. I have so much to think about, keeping busy for idle minds helps.

Murphy is so handsome and beautiful. I want to slowly get going with riding him more often. Now that he is 5 years old he is at a great age mentally to handle more, not that I couldn’t have done that sooner but I keep saying we have all the time in the world. Now that he is my only horse, it feels surreal. I think partly because an era has ended. When you have a 17 year history with someone or a beautiful animal like Chloe you realize that life will be completely different. One day at a time, my new mantra!

Memories are wonderful and I have hundreds of photos. This one is one of my favorites, me and my selfies. 😀 I’ll end with my boy and looking forward to a new adventure as we forge ahead. I needed to write as I find it cathartic. I may sprinkle my sweet Chloe girl in my future posts just because she has a piece of my heart forever. It’s nice to see her beautiful face, she had the hugest heart and loved and touched so many lives in the years she walked on this earth. Run free sweet girl! ❤ ❤ ❤

Thank you for visiting with me today. I am trying my best to smile and am very thankful I am here to enjoy all that I have in this life. We all have our ups and downs and I know I am truly blessed with all the wonderful friends and family in my life. I want to thank Natalie for hosting #weekendcoffeeshare. I hope you all have a beautiful week ahead. I need to remember to smile often and laugh more, life is too short to not enjoy it to its fullest! ❤

Horse Loving, family loving Gal,

~Diana ❤

A Tribute To My Sweet Miss Chloe

I am the luckiest person in the world to have this sweet beautiful horse in my life. I can’t even begin to describe the bond we had with each other and it was as strong as any bond you can have with any animal. Her and I have been together for 17 years. She has touched many lives, so many who have ridden her and everyone loved her as much as I did. I bought her when she was barely turning 2 years old. She did not know much and so we were set on a beautiful journey learning all the things together. Here are a few baby photos.

She came from a rescue in Hemet California. They had horses from a breeding program that was in a place up in Canada that breed big mares to collect their urine but the mares had to be pregnant. The urine was collected because there are huge pharmaceutical company’s that were extracting Estrogen from these mares to make a drug called Premarin for humans. When woman go through menopause it was the hormone Estrogen that keeps things in balance, but as it wanes the hot flashes start, mood swings can happen and so here is the circle of the need for pregnant mare urine to turn eventually into Premarin. The foals once the mares had them often were dumped or even euthanized as they didn’t need the babies, they just needed the pregnant mares. There was an outrage that happened and I do believe many places were shut down, and Estrogen nowadays come from plants and so the need waned as well. Rescues popped up and is how Chloe came to be and a local gal picked her out of a pasture of PMU babies. She landed at my barn that I boarded. The gal that owned her didn’t know a thing about training a horse to be ridden and she had to wait a few years as Chloe was so young. Her name when I bought her was Sapphire! I clearly think she’s a Chloe and changed her name.

She is about 6 years old in these two photos and is with her best friend Gracie. My best friend Sally owns Gracie and for many that have followed me now for years will know that Chloe and Gracie are the bestest of friends. We rode all over the Norco trails here in the town I live. There are so many WONDERFUL memories I won’t go over all of them here but it feels good to reminisce and so I am enjoying sharing. It is very bittersweet as again, if you have been reading my blog posts you will know that Chloe has been suffering from arthritis and an old injury to her stifle. Think of it as our knee, the stifle is high up on the back leg and she had a small fracture that was discovered when she was 9 years old. With help from my wonderful vet she lived another 10 years, just walking the trails and enjoying life to its fullest. I spoiled her like no other and she LOVED every minute. TONS OF TREATS, oh my she has my heart. ❤

I’ll cut to the chase, yesterday I had to say goodbye to my sweet girl. At night she always lays down for about an hours sleep. (They need about an hour of REM sleep most every night) I can see where she lays down as the shavings in her stall are always messed up as she digs in with her good back leg, she struggles to push her huge body up. The struggling on this last Monday night did significant damage to her right stifle. She could not bare weight on her leg Tuesday morning and I got a barn call from the folks that work there that she was not doing good and could barely walk. I knew on this day that it was time and have been preparing myself for many years for this day. I got to the barn and called my vet, an emergency call with a possible euthanasia. She deserves to not suffer any more as her lameness and arthritis in other legs has progressed to a point that every day she is stiff and limps. No NSaid takes all the pain away. I just make her more comfortable by giving them daily.

She is the most stoic horse I know and I have been looking for signs of her slowing down or not wanting to move. But almost every day we went for a short trail ride. She was always bright, happy, starving (not really starving, starving) but always wanted to graze on all the beautiful grass on the property. I let her do what she wished every single day which included a short trail ride most days and grazing! She never slowed, just limped on the uneven ground, never tripped just walked along without a care in the world. BLESS HER HEART! ❤

See how she rests her back leg in the photo? That’s the bad back leg and to see her practically hop around yesterday just broke my heart. When the vet arrived he said lets check for an abscess in her hoof as they are very painful. He could only numb or block her leg from the pastern down because you can’t pick up that leg or hoof. She has not had her back hoofs trimmed in years and amazingly enough the trail rides have helped (like filing) down her hoofs as she walked along. The bad hoof had grown a bit taller than the other one which flattened out over time with all the weight of her standing on it for years. The flares in the hoof on the good leg could be chipped off with clippers from the farrier. We did so much to try and keep her comfortable.

The leg blocking was negative for an abscess. We walked her out of her stall and she could not move her bad leg without lifting her hip up really high to like swing that leg forward. It was incredible, she had damaged that stifle so badly she could not move that leg forward like normal. After discussing her situation with my vet we both agreed that with her previous injury to that joint that there was no coming back from this reinjury. Euthanasia was the most kindest thing to do for her and she was so brave and didn’t show an ounce of stress with all that pain. She wasn’t panting, sweating, she just hobbled around. I think she has had enough pain and problems with that leg that even though it was so bad she just took it all in stride. She amazes me!

How she usually stands with that back leg cocked. I feel confident that with my kind and gentle ways with her I was able to give her 10 more years of life. My vet back when she was first diagnosed told me that we should think about euthanizing her, and boy was I shocked because I had no idea she had fractured her stifle until she was x-rayed. He stared at my face and looked at Chloe and said she sure is getting around good for this hairline fracture of her stifle. He said let’s treat her symptoms and so with his help we were able to be together for years to come. I am so honored and grateful to have these 17 wonderful years. My vet and assistant were so amazing and she was laid to rest so peacefully and my sweet Chloe is in no more pain. Run free my sweet girl! ❤

She gave the best kisses! I taught her to just put her nose up to my face much like this photo and she let you kiss her nose. Of course she expected a treat, but over the years you could just ask her for a kiss! So adorable, oh I am going to miss all those kisses. Thank you for reading my tribute to my sweet, loving most amazing horse. I thought it only fitting to write a tribute to my beautiful girl. I now have hundreds of old photos which I will bring back from time to time as I find reminiscing very cathartic. I am doing okay. I have been thinking about this day for the last 4 to 5 years. Yes, that long as every winter is harder for her. She struggled through this last winter but made it through. It’s so bittersweet, she is no longer in pain. LOVE YOU SWEET GIRL!

Run free my sweet girl and kiss Zack and Ranger!

~Diana ❤

Weekend Coffee Share; It’s May, Crafts And Horses!

Welcome to my coffee share, can I get you a cup of iced coffee or tea? It’s warming up outside and I am loving it so much. I think we could definitely sip on a cold beverage as we chat. For those of you who are mother’s ~ Happy Mother’s Day this weekend. I think of my mom up in heaven and know she is smiling down, thinking of her today. ❤ We use to give her a Mother’s Day weekend by giving her some time to herself. Growing up in a big family, our gift was a day or two with Dad as she always gave so much of her time to be the best mom to all of us kids. She gave me her love of flowers, one of her favorites gardenias. She also absolutely loved gardening and really wanted a green house, something that never happened during her lifetime. I always think of her when I see the blooms in my garden. Love you Mom!

I have been enjoying the warmth this weekend. This last week was very cool with overcast sky’s and never reaching 70 degrees. I drank in the coolness as the warm up is here, 88F(31C) degrees this weekend and it’s going up this next week into the 90’s(32C). This is what I am use to here in Southern California. I am ready for the heat as I rather missed it if I’m honest. I know not everyone likes the warm weather but I am very acclimated to it and do just fine. Its a dry heat with no humidity so I enjoy it immensely. 😀

We have been going through a bunch of boxes we had packed up and were storing for a future move one day in the future. We decided to go through and reorganize and donate stuff we really don’t need. We came across this container of match books. I am thinking my parents were collecting these as they are very old and mostly from restaurants! I shared them on my Facebook page and my sister told me her friend collects match books as a way of documenting her travels. That friend messaged me and said she probably has 2k match books! haha, that is a ton of them. Those of us that collect stuff knows we can accumulate a lot. We do have a collection my hubby and I started when we got married. We love the movies and our favorite was Star Wars so yep, we have many Star Wars collectibles!! Do you have collectibles? I would love to hear in the comments!

Onto my other love and that is crafts. I cross-stitch and crochet. I set aside my cross-stitch I was working on when my sister came to visit last month because she brought alpaca yarn. A friend of hers had her alpaca sheared and their wool spun. It is beautiful and so soft. I asked her what she would like and she told me hats. I have a wonderful pattern book with lots of hat patterns and we picked out 3 patterns. I only have photos of 2 patterns as she took the third hat home with her. She left the yarn with me and I have been making hats for her to give away as gifts this coming winter. They stitch up fast, so fun to make!

I have so much yarn that I could be making a ton of hats. I went through a scarf craze some years ago and made enough to give as gifts and gave so many away. I have enough family I could make these hats and send to family as gifts and if I really go crazy maybe I will make enough to sell at the local craft fair we have here in town. We will see, I do enjoy making things and am addicted to the crochet right now. I do want to finish my cross-stitch project too. I am about half way through that and need to finish it up soon. I also want to dig out my gardening book and follow the instructions and try and plant some veggies. I am trying to get motivated! For all of you who garden you may say what is the big deal? But I cut corners and the last time I tried to grow tomatoes I did not have much luck. I know it isn’t difficult, I just want to do it correctly. ❤

I am getting more organized with my time at the stables. I actually spend probably too much time there each morning even though I love every minute but if I want to garden then I need to carve out time in the mornings to water and do light gardening before the stables. It sounds easy but I go to bed pretty late and so I don’t get up very early, and I only have so much time in the mornings before I need to get ready for work. It’s all about priorities and like I said being organized! I can do it, I just need to plan. 😀

A short video of Murphy today after a great ride! He is such a good boy!

Happy ponies! Miss Chloe enjoys grazing as well and I am thankful we have the grass around the stables so they can graze away the hours. Haha, I could spend hours letting them eat but usually it’s about 15 minutes or so which they enjoy immensely. Murphy is really filling out as he has grown into his body. I’ll share a photo of when I got him, lets see the difference!

He looks pretty handsome in this older photo but for those who can spot the slight ribs he shows and he isn’t as muscled as a three year old. I have a photo that really shows his youth and I’ll share it here;

It is amazing how much they mature in a few years. It is fun to look back and the grazing photos don’t always show as much with their neck down as they get so much muscle in their necks as well! I am so enjoying both my horses so very much. They help keep me grounded and keep me focused on the task at hand. When I am with them I give them all my attention because horses can tell if you are not in the present. If your mind wonders or you aren’t focused, they know it! I also enjoy their interactions with me as we spend time together. They are such intelligent animals, so much we can learn from each other. 😀

Thank you for visiting today. I enjoy sharing and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and week ahead. Thanks to Natalie who hosts the #weekendcoffeeshare link up. I will try and visit others if I have time this weekend. It is going to be another beautiful day tomorrow. I told my son for Mother’s Day I would like to see a movie. We are going to see Guardians of the Galaxy 3 as I love sci-fi and have seen the first 2 movies. I have heard great reviews as well. Happy Mother’s Day for all who have furry friends as we are moms to all our animals too! ❤

Family and Animal Lover,

~Diana ❤

Weekend Coffee Share; End of April and May 1st!

How are you today? Can I get you a cup of coffee or tea, or maybe some juice as we visit? I have been keeping very busy since I work full-time. My week days are full of horsey stuff in the mornings then off to work to be there by 2pm. Unfortunately, work has been very stressful. We have a shortage of components called reagents to run a certain test, so the testing is being batched to be run twice a week. Oh my, it is an ordeal as everyone involved trying different methods to organize all the blood samples that need to be tested. On top of that I am having to train many people in my department. This just adds to the stress to an already busy day. Anyways, I appreciate the time I get in the mornings as I get all my therapy in before work. I try and relax and breath with my horses and my flowers in my garden bring me many smiles. 😀

With a new day comes new strength and thoughts ~ Eleonor Roosevelt
Happy Birthday to my sweet boy Murphy! He turns 5 years old May 1st. He brings me so much joy. ❤

As I share my love of my horses I thought I would share a few photos a friend took of me riding Murphy last weekend.

I have to say that I have not been able to do as much riding the last 4 months with young Murphy because of the wintery weather we experienced this year. I told myself when I adopted him 2 years ago that I am not in a hurry with him. As he is turning 5, I still feel the same taking one day at a time. I thankfully am able to fit in more rides with the warmer weather. I like this quote that conveys how I feel with life and my journey with Murphy.

"It's often the small steps, not the giant leaps, that bring about the most lasting change." HRM Queen Elizabeth II

I feel I am a little shy on words this weekend. My thoughts are a bit all over the place as I think about the future. It’s funny and a little off topic but since my thoughts are all over the place I was touched by James Corden’s last shows as he is returning home to England. His Late Late Night Show has come to an end and although I didn’t watch his shows that late at night, I have watched many on YouTube. I decided to record his last shows and they were hilarious and so entertaining. They were touching and emotional. It got me thinking how there are folks that move to different country’s to live a dream or to experience and work a new job, and I worry about moving 3 hours away from where I have lived my entire life. I love James and his zest for life and his take on life and entertainment. Life is too short to not go after dreams! I went after one dream when I adopted Murphy! ❤

How are you doing, do you need a refill? You say to me, why take a photo of your horses behind? Because her tail is SO BEAUTIFUL! 😀 Miss Chloe and I had a wonderful trail ride today and afterwards I gave her a bath. I washed her tail and I even used a conditioner which I only do every once in awhile. It just looked so pretty I had to take a photo. She is doing pretty good considering her arthritis. I now use a liniment lotion on her legs before and after I ride. I can see it is helping her and so this is our new routine. I also have added a glucosamine supplement which I hope in time will help her as well. She also gets an NSaid pain med which is easy on her stomach and helps ease her pain which she has been on for some years now. She’s a happy horse and I LOVE her so much! ❤

"By being yourself, you put something wonderful in the world that was not there before." Edwin Elliot

I’m ending with another flower from my garden. I enjoyed sharing this weekend and especially sharing Murphy’s birthday! I do not know Chloe’s birthday, I think she was born sometime in June. She is 19 years old this year and I will wish her a happy birthday too. When I had my horses vaccinated a couple weeks ago my vet asked if Murphy was a thoroughbred which I told him he was an off the track thoroughbred and registered with the Jockey Club. He said he didn’t see a tattoo under his lip and I told him he should be chipped as they started that the year Murphy was born 2018. The Jockey Club is now paperless, no real papers just chips and everything is online. My vet had a chip reader so I now have Murphy’s chip number, this made me so happy and is important I have his number for identification.

Sorry my thoughts have been all over the place. I wanted to share inspirational quotes as I am trying to stay focused and strong looking towards the future. I wanted to thank Natalie for hosting the #weekendcoffeeshare and also thank you Natalie so much for the tips on discarding photos to free up space on my WP account. It worked great! I need to delete more and delete old posts. That makes me very happy. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and week ahead. Thank you for stopping by, I always enjoy your comments and your visits. I will end with one last quote since I am enjoying them so much this weekend.

"It doesn't matter who you are, where you come from. The ability to triumph begins with you." Oprah Winfrey

Happy Birthday Murphy!

~Diana ❤

Weekend Coffee Share; Keeping Busy In April ~ And All Things Horses!

Welcome, can I get you a hot cup of coffee or some sweet tea? I have whipped up a batch of chocolate chip cookies, half a batch so we have the perfect amount to eat this weekend. I have had a busy month of April. I am happy to say that after the first two weeks of April we are finally warming up here which I am thoroughly enjoying. I have never seen a wetter, colder winter here in Southern California. I know, I know, I don’t know what cold really is since we never see snow here but the unseasonably cold winter made me appreciate even more where we live.

I thought I would also say that I am trying to think positively concerning my family issues I wrote about in my last blog post. I will stay patient, calm and I will keep busy as all I can do is keep looking forward to the future and pray for forgiveness and happiness. As each day comes and goes I have more good days than sad days, and I am so thankful for my horses as they give me purpose and joy. Speaking of horses, I have a lot to share as my horsey sister who lives in Idaho came and visited for two weeks.

She came at the end of March which was a rainy time and we had to let the arena dry out before we could ride, just a few days. We had so much FUN with the horses and I wanted to work on many things with young Murphy with my sister here. I will say that having her here the first few weeks of April was a wonderful distraction. I so appreciate my sister’s and all of my family’s love and support. ❤

I told my sister that I wanted to work on desensitizing with Murphy. He is 5 years old this year, it’s almost his birthday May 1st. I have always believed that doing ground work which includes working in the arena with scary things to get your horse use to said scary items and teach them that these things will not hurt them. We want our horses to be less sensitive and we want them to see that they are safe with us in hopes that if we were out on the trail and a scary item blows in the wind, for example, we will be able to remain calm and work through the scary event. Murphy in general is very brave!

We started with a plastic bag we tied to the end of a lunge whip. All I had was a carrot bag on this day and I will work more with him as I later brought to the barn a white plastic grocery bag. I will work in the arena like how my sister is here. He followed the small plastic carrot bag all around the arena as my sister walked along. He is so curious, but remained calm and didn’t run around all crazy like I have seen some horses do. Remember horses are fight and flight animals ~ so if over stimulated their flight instincts can send them into overdrive. This is why we are working on desensitizing. 😀

In between the arena work with fun items we also rode Murphy and we had fun working him under saddle. He had most of the winter off with all the crummy weather as it was difficult to find ride times and he never missed a beat nor forgot anything we had been working on. He actually is very smart and we just picked up where we left off.

My husband has a handful of flags and he let me borrow two flags that we brought to the stables to work with Murphy. One as you can see is the American flag and the other is an Air Force flag. He was very curious of these flags and I have many photos and videos of everything we did but will share the best ones here. After we worked in the arena, we tacked him up and presented the flags while we rode him around the arena. My sister has lots of experience with all of these things because she use to ride in the mounted Chino Hills Posse, which is connected with the Chino Hills Police Dept. She helped the unit desensitize their mounted horses. This is how they got them use to parades and other events they attended.

I am so proud of Murphy! He could be my parade horse, haha. I highly doubt I will ever ride in a parade but he is not afraid of the flags!

May I get you a refill? I will warn you this will be a rather long post because I have so much to share! It’s all horsey stuff as there is more I introduced to Murphy. I think the next thing we did was see what he would do if we introduced a jump. This wasn’t necessary for desensitizing but more for the future if I should want to jump him. When they are young and never seen a jump, sometimes they jump exceedingly high over it, but as you can see in this next video Murphy wasn’t too impressed and just loped right over it with no effort at all. After he went over it lose, we mounted up and jumped him while riding. He barely picked up his feet, silly guy! I may work more with the jumping, nothing too serious, just for fun and to keep his interest. I love that I can ride him in my English saddle and jump, or ride him in my western saddle and work on western dressage, so versatile! ❤

As we worked with Murphy we did not forget about Miss Chloe. My sister rode a friends horse Fashion out on the trail while I rode Chloe. We had lots of fun rides and it is the best exercise for Chloe. She can’t be ridden in the arena any more as she has arthritis and so walking on the trails is the best for her. I call it motion is the lotion, and she always is walking better after our rides.

Let’s see, the next thing I thought of was using a tarp for the last desensitizing session with Murphy. Thankfully my sister’s son had a blue tarp to use in the arena. For the non horsey folks out there the odds of having to walk on a tarp is highly unlikely but a tarp is a common item horse trainers use to get horses use to unusual sounds while walking over it. I finally found something Murphy was definitely afraid of, so much so we could not get him to walk across it or on it. We used a little grain in a bucket to entice him to walk on the tarp, but all we could get was one hoof. He ate off the tarp which was good. It was a good session and I was very pleased.

After we put Murphy in his stall I told my sister that I had never tried Chloe with the tarp. So she went to get Chloe and put her in the arena lose and she walked right up to the tarp on the ground. We then went in the arena with the bucket and I was able to video my wonderful girl doing what she does best! She is a wonderful trail horse that has seen it all. At 19 years old she is a solid horse and a wonderful partner. I am so thankful for her and love her so very much! ❤ Here is the video!

What a sweet girl! This is how you do it Murphy!!

Afterwards, when we were driving home from the barn my sister said we should take Murphy out with Chloe in the arena and show him how she walked on the tarp. He may see that it isn’t going to eat him or hurt him and may have followed Chloe but we ran out of time and we never did try and I had to return the tarp to my nephew. I am not too worried that Murphy didn’t walk on it, and at least he was introduced to it and I have plenty of time to try again in the future. I’m going to end with one last video of me riding Murphy. He is maturing and filling out and looks so handsome trotting around. He is so much FUN!!

Murphy and I trotting in the arena, he’s learning and doing great!

I have had so much fun sharing all things horses! AND four video’s! I actually am running out of room here on this blog for media uploads. I need to open up a YouTube account and put my video’s there and then attach here is what I see most bloggers do but I haven’t even attempted to do this yet. I have looked up this issue and the best thing to do is resize your photos but it’s too late for that as I’m already at 91% full and to resize I would have to download an app to resize photos and then upload from there ~ oh I’m already exhausted thinking about all the work I would have to do just to save space. I was paying which I gained more space but its dwindling away. I wish I could just delete old blog posts and photos to get the numbers down or to open up space but it doesn’t seem to work that way. I’ll keep researching, but I may need to start a new blog – and I will somehow link it to this one or let everyone know when that time comes.

I am looking forward to Spring and Summer this year and may try and work in the garden. I hope you all are having a wonderful weekend. Since I am going to link up with the #weekendcoffeeshare I want to thank Natalie for hosting! Thank you for following along in my journey, ya’ll mean a lot to me and I always love to share my adventures. Have a wonderful week ahead! ❤

Crazy Horse Loving Gal,

~Diana ❤

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 ❤

Weekend Coffee Share; Winter Rain In January ~ 2023

Welcome to my coffee share, can I get you a cup of coffee or tea? Today it is a cup of nice hot coffee for me as I welcome in the new year. I am worried as I write this that we are not going to see any dry weather for most of this month and for us here in Southern CA that is very unusual. We are so wet, like drowned rats! My horses are surviving but its a muddy mess out there and it’s all I can do to keep a dry space in their stalls. We’ve had so much rain last month and as we get a break in the rain, another storm is on its way and so I feel like we are in this perpetual spiral of rain, a break then more rain. It is at this point never ending!! Rain, rain please go away and come back another day!

I know we need the rain and more importantly the snow pack. I know that many lakes were starting to dry up and I believe all the weather here on the west coast has brought up the levels of many lakes and I believe we are closer than ever to getting out of the drought we’ve been in and so it’s all a good thing all the rain. At this point I am looking forward to Spring. 😀

I had a nice visit in Arizona last month with my grandkids. My son and family found a bigger house right around the corner from where they were living for the same lease payment and so they decided this would be a good move for them. It is literally in the same neighborhood so it made moving there so easy for them. It is a nice big house, unlike the smaller townhome they were in and they have a small backyard so the kids can play outside. The townhome did not have any yard at all, so this was a really good move for them. I don’t have any photos of their new house, but I will share some photos of our visit.

We enjoyed Christmas a week early in Arizona and was able to attend Alice’s Christmas Winter Wonderland singing with her grade. She was so cute singing up with her friends. And Teddy is almost 3 years old and is talking so good now. They are growing up so fast, I wish we lived closer!

Me and my selfies with the kids. I am thinking my phone was not very clean as my selfies are not very clear, oh well, they are still fun to share! 😀 And Alice at the school singing event. She is waiting for them to start! LOVE my grandkids SO MUCH!! ❤

We had a great meal together on our last night in Arizona. I took this cute photo of my son and his wife and the two grandkids. The best family ever and I miss them so much! I am glad we can easily drive there as I know they could live even further away. I am not sure what the future holds for where we will live someday and where they may live some day. They have talked about moving back to CA, that would be awesome. At this point we are here in California to stay as making these huge decisions is not easy and not to take lightly. I will plan on visiting my grandkids in AZ often this year. That is something I know I can do easily. ❤

How is your coffee or tea? Can I get you a refill? I wanted to share that I finished my cross-stitch that I was working on and now that it is completed I plan on framing it up and giving it away. I have started on another project I plan on framing up once completed and keeping so that’s why I am going to give away this project. Here is a photo of it finished but not framed yet.

I am enjoying cross-stitching and will share soon the new project I have started. I will continue with cross-stitch until I finish this new project and maybe I will go back to crochet, I haven’t decided yet. I really enjoy creating things, it fills that side of my brain and I love seeing things come to life while working on these fun crafty things. I find the time I spend creating very relaxing too!

I am hoping to work in my garden this year. I never got going last year and lost all motivation. I do not do new year resolutions and to be honest I do not ever set any goals either. I do not really give it much thought as I go from one day to the next ~ I just try and enjoy each day to it’s fullest. I realize though, some things need planning and so I think if I look forward to working in the garden and try and grow some veggies this year maybe I can get excited about that and be more thoughtful with my planning. We will see and I will have to keep you posted on my progress.

I thought I would end with my horses grazing. This was the other day and the sun was out and I was able to wash off Chloe so that is why she is all wet. I rinsed her off after I rode her out on the trail. Murphy likes to roll and has been rolling in the wet sand in the arena. When he dries off I can brush the sand off of him easily. They are doing good despite all the rain and the muddy stalls. They have a dry area under their shelters which I am thankful for at this time.

Thank you for visiting with me as it is always nice to share with you all. Thank you Natalie for hosting the #weekendcoffeeshare link up and I hope you all have a wonderful day and week ahead.

Rained Out Smiling Grandma,

~Diana ❤

Happy New Year!

Reminiscing and thinking of my three children! Reflecting and thinking about the past as we start a New Year looking into the future. As one year ends and another begins I wonder what this year will hold and I wanted to take the time to look back. My kids make me smile and I am so proud of them and they certainly are no longer kids but will always be my kids in my eyes! 😀 Here is to a wonderful 2023! I hope wonderful things happen this year for everyone, and hopes, dreams and goals come to fruition! ❤

Loving Mom,

~Diana ❤