My Weekly Smile; Jan. 16, 2022

Welcome to my weekly smile. I can’t believe it’s been two months since I wrote my last smile post and that surprised me as I didn’t think it had been that long when I checked. I will blame my work schedule as I try to balance work, my horsey time, my blogging time and I like to spend some free time with my crafts. I haven’t been able to fit in reading as I’ve been wanting to get back into novels I have sitting here just waiting for me! I have to set aside some time to read. I would read before I go to bed, but my hubby is in bed before me and I can’t have a light on and I don’t want to wake him. Hmm… I suppose I could read in the family room before I head to bed. I’ll figure it out! This sleeping at night thing takes awhile to figure out scheduling things. (For anyone new, I use to work grave yard shift for over 30 years!) Now I work swing shift.

I am smiling as I devour my giant ginger cookies. They are delicious and I will share! 😀 My son has been asking me to make them since Christmas and I ran out of time to bake my cookies this year so I finally made them this last weekend. The house smelled wonderful while they baked and I am very happy to bake for the family. I have a few other things that bring me smiles and I hope they may bring a smile to you!

I thought I would share a couple of photos which the galloping one was an accident. It may not be the best photo but I liked how I caught him with almost all 4 feet off the ground! 😀 I thought I was taking a video when I snapped a photo. I like accidental photos, they are fun!! And at the back of his stall on the neighbors property they have cows and steers. You can see the steer with its horns in the next photo, Murphy is very curious. We have had horses boarded here that have been very scared of the cows that get close to the fence. I am proud of Murphy as he checks things out! Not much phases this big guy!

He is such a fun horse checking out the bags of bedding for his stall! Silly guy!

I thought this a funny video as Murphy is a curious 3 year old! He is so darn cute, and I usually take him out to add shavings to his stall. It was fun interacting with him. He has such a personality, they all do and I mean all animals do right? I have so much fun and I knew as the months go by, I can say that we are really bonding. It’s so wonderful and that truly makes me smile!

I have to tell you of one last smile. After Murphy and I had a fun ride together I rode to the gate of the arena and pushed it opened and we walked down the aisle and I decided to ride out the front gate all by ourselves to the trails out front. He has gone out through the gate before but with other horses. When we walk off the property we have to walk between the house and the garage of the owners place and since there are trees and bushes around too, it can be a bit scary for the horses. Also, horses don’t really want to leave the herd (or all the other horses that board there which they would consider “their herd”) so it can be challenging to get them to be brave enough while riding them out the front gate!

I am smiling from ear to ear as he just walked right on down and through the gate and out to the trail! YAY! 😀 Once we got onto the trail out front we turned right and took a few steps and then he stopped. He just looked around and did what I had asked him and I didn’t really have a plan once I was at the trail. This was all fine because I am not ready to go down the trail by ourselves yet at his age. We will take our time, and so I let him turn and head back into the stables and back to the hitching post or cross-ties where I dismounted and tied him so I could untack him and get him ready for his stall. He is so much FUN!! ❤ ❤ ❤

One more photo of my ride with a great shadow! His mane is so thick it falls on both sides of his neck!

I hope you all have a wonderful week, what makes you smile? And I have to thank Trent who hosts the weekly smile post each week. It is so much fun to join in and linkup with his blog which is here.

Smiling, Baking, Horse Crazy Gal!

~Diana ❤

Happy New Year! I Can’t Believe It’s 2022!

Happy New Year to all! As my title states, I can’t believe it is 2022. I made it through Christmas as I accidentally stressed myself out a bit by not being better prepared. There were so many things I wanted to do that I didn’t get too. I wanted to do more baking which I mentioned in my last post. I ended up not baking like I wanted and making all those goodies I usually make during the holidays. The time just got away from me! I did leave the day after Christmas to visit my daughter who lives 3.5 hours north and we had a great time together!

My first photo is a pretty Christmas tree in Solvang, CA. We had so much fun visiting there even though it was raining. We have been getting a lot of weather this last month which we need. Tons of rain and snow in the local mountains. As we walked around Solvang with our umbrellas visiting bookstores I bought a Swedish cookbook and can’t wait to make a thing or two. We visited a few other stores as we meandered around. Here are a few photos I took while there! 😀

What fun I had getting to know my daughter’s girlfriend. We also exchanged gifts while visiting. On Christmas day we zoomed with family as we did a secret Santa exchange with the Elfster app. We have been using this app for about 4 years now and it is nice because it picks the name for us and then we can put items on our wish list which makes shopping easier. Usually all the shopping is done online. It was great to zoom, it’s like we are all together! ❤

I returned home from my daughter’s and it was back to work until New Years. I took two days off so I only worked three days last week which was nice. My daughter drove down here for the New year and left this evening. It was great to see her again, and she helped with our New Year dinner. Traditionally, we have Turkey dinner with all the fixings on Thanksgiving, then for New Years I buy a honey baked spiral cut ham with all the fixings. We include black eyed peas for New Year’s day which is a southern tradition which my mother-in-law always made for us and so I am keeping this tradition going. Eating the black eyed peas is supposed to bring you good luck for the new year. I think we all need all the luck we can get, right? 😀

Oh I have so much to share and could probably break this down to a few posts instead of one very long post! My daughter made from scratch the homemade cheesecake. It was AMAZING and it was a recipe from Chef Tyler Florence. I will have to look it up and make it too as it just melts in your mouth. She happened to have a can of cherry pie filling which we put on top. The ham dinner was amazing as was the middle desserts made by my daughter’s girlfriend who has opened up her own bakery! She is a master baker from Italy and makes amazing chocolates and other baked goods. I had so much FUN! What a great holiday it turned out to be. I’m smiling! 😀

We went to SLO (San Luis Obisbo) and we visited my daughter’s girlfriends bakery which is inside an Italian restaurant. It is small but we got to taste her wonderful baked goods. This is a good way for her to start her business as eventually she will get her own place as it grows. It was a beautiful day as we drove to Pismo beach to get those wonderful cinnamon rolls to bring home to my son and hubby! ❤ (They loved them!)

There’s no easy way to change the subject, so on to my other love, my horses! I will always try to put family first and they are part of my family as well so of course I just have to share. I am thinking ya’ll like to hear how things are going with my ponies as I love to call them. They are certainly far from being ponies, especially that big tall boy Murphy! I recently measured him and he stands at 17.2hh, very tall and as I work with him each day I make sure he respects me since he is so big. He does, it doesn’t take much at all but I need to always be aware of his size. I also never hand feed him any treats as he is rather food aggressive which just means he LOVES food. So it’s best if I want to give him a treat it goes in a bucket in his stall, not from my hands. He gets plenty of pats and loving scratches which he loves.

I have some updates and fortunately for Murphy a couple of horses moved out and two stalls opened up at the barn where I board the horses. These stalls are out in the paddocks and are very big and wide. He is doing great and I can tell really enjoys all the room he has now. I took a little video I will share!

He is doing great in his new digs, Yay!

He is so cute and I wanted to tell you of a fun thing he enjoys. He will lick your hand and as he licks if you hang on to his tongue he will just stick out his tongue while you play with it! Hahaha, I know this sounds weird, but horses can do the funniest things. He is very gentle as he licks and he enjoys this interaction as one of the girls at the barn showed me this the other day. Hey, if it tickles his tongue or he likes the salts off your hand? I’m not sure but It is great fun to pet him and interact with him without any treats of any kind! He is so silly! 😀

My daughter says to me as I bring over my camera “I don’t have any makeup on!” Haha, us horse girls rarely if ever wear makeup! What’s makeup anyways, hahaha!!! She is beautiful without makeup and of course is beautiful all made up too. I actually sat here thinking should I share this photo? Yes, I want to share and send out happy healthy thoughts your way and hope everyone has had a wonderful new year no matter if you celebrated or not. I wonder what 2022 will bring our way? We will see! I’ll end with this quote;

You can't go back and change the beginning,
but you can start where you are and change the ending.
C.S. Lewis

I think of my dad as he loved C.S Lewis. Love you Mom and Dad up in heaven! He passed on New Years day in 2003. ❤ ❤ ❤

Grateful, thankful and feeling blessed,

~Diana ❤

Weekend Coffee Share; Tomato-less Plants and Murphy!

I am brewing up some coffee thinking to myself what the heck am I going to share this weekend. It seems I share the same thing and sometimes it seems I am a broken record. But am I? Haha, I sure hope not but it seems my hopes and dreams are one thing but the mundane day to day stuff is the same. I have felt a bit stuck lately, maybe its because I am not planning much towards future goals and/or long term plans. I feel like I am in what I will call a steady state time of my life or like a holding pattern ~ holding to wait and see what the future of my grown children is going to be and waiting to see “what’s next”. I didn’t know the things that have happened throughout this year so far was going to happen, and so here I am. I said good-bye to my handsome horse Zack and have welcomed into my life my new horse Murphy. My steady mare with me all along as I enjoy this ride called life!

I can get my self all twisted up with frustration if I try and make plans that are huge. Meaning, I had set my mind a couple of years ago to move to be close to my family in Arizona. It was a journey my family was behind until door after door was shut and I decided this was not a good idea. I am super happy in my home town here where I live and maybe this is where we will stay, but will we? I am not sure, and I do not know what the future holds. I am not in a position to make a decision for myself and only myself as I have a husband and need to be compliant to all who surround me. It’s only fair. But for those of you who are single and free to do as you choose, you are lucky as I find life more complicated when you throw in a bunch of people and animals! 😀

I am surrounded by such wonderful friends. I had a wonderful lunch this weekend with my best friend and it is so wonderful to catch up with her and we are planning to do this more often as we share and update our horsey stuff. We will also share our family goings on as well. I thought I would share some of my thoughts and feelings as I am hoping it makes my post a little more interesting. I know I am not alone in this world with these same thoughts about life. I do count my blessings and am so thankful for all that I have and for my wonderful family. ❤

Can I get you a refill? I have some cookies too…. I had decided to throw some tomato seeds into my container with some new fertilizer and grow some tomatoes. Last year I had grown tomato and green peppers in this same container which fruited fine but I bought little starters from the store. Once these tomato seeds started growing I thinned them out and left 4 to grow. When my plants were half this tall with no fruit, I thought maybe its too crowded and I pulled out 2 plants and left 2 to flourish. They are growing taller and taller with some small flowers but no tomatoes. The flowers just dry up and fall off. I have never seen this happen before! CRAZY! Maybe there are no bees or other insects to pollinate them? that’s probably part of the problem, I am not sure. I have always gotten tomatoes, sometimes I over water and they split but this is bizarre. I’ll give them more time, maybe buy some miracle grow but I am just growing tall tomato plants with nothing! Haha!

I always turn Murphy out before I ride him. Since he is only 3 years old I like him to have this free time to be a horse and be silly if he chooses. (I will say, he mostly walks around and doesn’t do much unless I encourage him, lazy guy!) This way he can be silly and trot around or canter, buck if he chooses without me on his back. He is very smart and now knows that when he is free to do these things he does, and when he is under saddle he minds his manners and is very calm and respects what I ask him to do. He is very smart and is learning fast! The above photos are when he was lose and I loved how he was standing in the shade of the trees!

I took these photos today because I bought a new girth for my saddle. My old girth is all black and a bit too short but I made it work but found as he is filling out it is not long enough. This girth has fuzzy white sheepskin which is so nice as it snugs all around and under his belly. (The girth is what keeps the saddle on the horse. Western riding it is called a cinch.) My old girth for this English saddle is a size 52″ which is fairly long but not long enough! So I bought a size 58″ which is the biggest size I could buy. I must say it is almost too big, but he will grow and fill out and so it is the perfect size! I measured Murphy today and he measures 17.2hh and he is still growing! He is a BIG BOY! Gentle Giant!! ❤

I feel like the luckiest person, falling in love with this horse on a video I saw with a trainer I follow who trains off the track thoroughbreds up for adoption in Oklahoma! He is truly such a mellow fellow, a kind horse wanting to please. I have thanked the horse trainer for her honesty and great work with these beautiful horses! ❤

Thank you for stopping by and joining me for my coffee share. I enjoyed sharing some of my thoughts and feelings as we are heading into Fall here. I think I am thinking about these stuck feelings because we are heading into the holidays and oh, how I wish I was closer to my grandkids. But I know we will see each other and am thankful for that. I am so grateful for my beautiful family, and I am also very thankful for all my wonderful friends. Thank you to Natalie who hosts our #weekendcoffeeshare she does a wonderful job!

Horse Crazy Grandma,

~Diana ❤

Weekend Coffee Share; Last Week Of June Fun!

My goodness this year is flying by and here we are just about half way through 2021. Can I get you a cup of coffee or tea? I do have some juice as well but let’s get to the happenings around here as my daughter came home this weekend to visit with her friends and see the new floors in our house. She will be heading home tomorrow, a short visit but it is always wonderful to visit and see family.

Today after I enjoyed riding my Chloe girl with my girlfriend on Roscoe, I finished up with Murphy who had a turn out today. I then joined my daughter at her friends house and we went to downtown Riverside to eat lunch and visit some shops. The lunch place was a really nice food court and we had some wonderful vegan burgers and fries. We were close to an open market and also found a really cool old bookstore! We had a lot of fun walking around and I took some photos today. We then went to Trader Joe’s and after that bought mini Bundt cakes at a specialty store called Nothing Bundt Cakes. They are the perfect size and they have a lot of flavors and so we will have that for dessert later!

It was hot today but we weren’t outside walking around too long before we were in a shop or bookstore. There was a wonderful breeze which made the afternoon really pleasant. It is always great fun to be out with the girls. My daughter’s girlfriend has two children who stayed home with dad, so I am thankful they let me tag along! They are the sweetest girls, so thankful for them. They make me smile and laugh. I try hard to keep up, sometimes feeling so much older (which I am of course) I am not one of those Mom’s who try’s to stay hip or anything….. I am just grateful they enjoy my company too. My daughter is spending the evening at her friends as well. We have plans to visit my daughter next weekend for July 4th. My hubby and I will drive up north the 3 hours to see her new house and spend time with her there. We all need to fit in all the family time we can, so here’s to FUN family weekends!!

Back to the horses, I have not only photo’s but a video to share. I had ridden yesterday by myself on Chloe and had passed a lot of other riders on my ride. There are so many days that I ride and don’t see anyone, but maybe they were out early like I was to beat the heat! I also have a few photo’s of Murphy I wanted to share as well. It is so fun to share!

She’s such a good girl as each horse or horses rides by, but then we are out on the trails all the time. She is very seasoned and not much bothers her as we stride along enjoying our day. Sometimes we come across bigger groups and so we will stop and move off the trail a little bit if needed. Mostly, we all just walk by each other and wish each other a good day and a good trail ride! Here is my video, I hope you enjoy!

I’m enjoying my time working with young Murphy! He has really settled in and is learning our routine. I think routines are so important as it not only helps solidify a bond between horse and owner, the horses learn by doing and they will relax and learn. They will realize what is asked of them is not hard, or scary and when you communicate what you want while doing this routine you can layer their training and they will then feel safe in your presence and with everything you ask them to do.

He is finally standing really well to be groomed. He was more antsy, moving around and he didn’t really enjoy the whole grooming process when he first arrived. With routine he is learning that if he stands, I can get done with what I need to do and his reward is getting back to his stall where lunch is waiting for him. Win, win! He is doing great!

My girlfriend with her horse Irish was next to Murphy. I went behind them so that you can see how tall Murphy is and Irish is pretty tall himself. Irish is a Morgan, so we have a Thoroughbred next to a beautiful Morgan! ❤ Okay, I think they are both so beautiful! And I have to say, I am so proud of Murphy! He has been such a joy and I am going to start riding him more regularly going forward.

Thank you for visiting my #weekendcoffeeshare! It is always so much fun to share my days whether its family fun or horsey fun! I am keeping busy as you can see and I haven’t even written about my crochet projects and/or my coloring fun. Its just some fun things to do when I get home from work to unwind after a long day. Thank you Natalie for hosting the weekend coffee share, and if you would like to read more coffee shares click here!

Grateful Mom and Cowgirl,

~Diana ❤

My First Ride On Murphy, My New Horse!

I have some flowers blooming and so I just had to start this post with this beautiful flower. I have had a super busy weekend as this last week I was asked if I could help take care of horses at the barn. There is a horse owner recovering at home after being in the hospital with a staph infection and I am so thankful she is recovering. She has a good friend who is helping with her horses but she had a planned vacation which is where I come into the picture. I also have had other’s who were away this weekend for one reason or another and in total I have been taking care of 8 horses including my own. Some just needed meds and water buckets filled and others needed meds and some turn outs. Amongst all of this I rode Chloe out with my girlfriend on the trails early morning and then I exercised Murphy Saturday and Sunday I made time after my trail ride to get on and ride Murphy for the first time! YAY! I’m so HAPPY!

As I write this I still have 2 more days of extra horse care. One of the horses will drop off my list as their owners return Monday. I will just turn out my horses the next 2 days since I have to get everything done before I have to go to work in the afternoons. I am thankful it is cooling off a little bit and there has been nice breezes each day so the weather has been good being outside for most of the day. I can’t wait to share my ride so let’s get to it, here he is Murphy doing all grown up horsey things with his new Mom, ME! 😀

Aren’t we always so critical of ourselves! And I am rarely in my photos since I’m taking them. I asked to be in this so I need to stop being so critical. However, I do not like the way I look in this photo as I wish I was wearing riding apparel, like English riding breeches. But this is super comfortable for me and eventually I will be riding him in my western saddle as I get him use to it as I want to eventually get him ready to ride out on trail. Baby steps, it will all happen and it is SUPER FUN to ride him English as well. Maybe one of these days I’ll buy a pair of riding breeches, it would be worth the investment and I can ride in my western saddle in English breeches too. I have to say, I am really enjoying this whole adventure!

My first ride on Murphy! What a good boy!

I am so proud of Murphy! For those horse people out there, I lunged him before I rode him and he trotted around like a champ with the saddle and bridle on and remember he hasn’t done anything like this in just over a month. He relaxed on the lunge line, as he trotted around each direction which is what I was looking for before I mounted up on him. We have a mounting block in the arena and he stood perfectly still as I positioned it to mount and he didn’t move a foot. After I sat on his back he just stood there as I patted him and then I asked him to walk! YAY! What a solid horse, not scared or frightened and took everything in stride like he’s done this a hundred times before and I could not be happier. It will be fun to look back at this video as our adventure grows and he gets more and more rides under his belt!

I know they are almost identical photos except Murphy is licking in one of them so I think it is really cute. I like the other one because he has his ears forward! Haha, my girlfriend who took these photos said I’m just clicking and clicking and so I have 8 or 9 to choose from and these I zoomed in and these are I thought good enough to share.

I decided to share more photos of this weekend as I took some of my girlfriend on her horse Roscoe and a couple of photos out on the trail as I rode Chloe with Roscoe! It’s just so fun to share, I hope you enjoy too!

As I share with you my weekend I am thinking of how fortunate my girlfriend and I are to share this love of horses and being able to ride together each week. We are truly blessed and as I mentioned in my previous post my girlfriend and I have known each other for 50 years. We grew up together and rode ponies when we were young so in many ways we are doing what we grew up doing! Haha, that may not make much sense, but it is amazing that for the last 10 years or so we were able to connect and board our horses together or near each other so that we can keep riding together just like we did so many years ago. Who is able to do that? I don’t think a high percentage of friends stay this close.

I did split off in my late teens when I went to a horse trainer and showed in the Hunter/Jumper division. My girlfriend also went off to college so there were some years of separation. We both got married and during our early years of marriage having babies of our own and once they got a bit bigger that horse LOVE never died and only grew stronger. And here we are with grown children and now grandchildren and horses that we love and can ride together. So much to share, I could write a novel. ❤

Thanks for visiting my horsey loving post! I am so excited I can ride Murphy now and will keep ya’ll posted on our progress. I love to share video’s and will continue to make them when I can and with help from my friends. I am thinking of investing in a Pivo as then I can video with no help and I have seen on other posts they follow the horse really well as you ride around the arena. One step at a time I always say… something to think about!

Horse Crazy Mom and Grandma!

~Diana ❤

My Weekly Smile; Good News! June 17, 2021

Welcome to my weekly smile and I wanted to share my huge smile again as I have gotten the green light to start doing more with Murphy! I had my Vet out this week and he took x-rays of his hind leg which had a splint bone fracture. It is healing nicely and he is ready to get to work. I am in no hurry and will start riding him soon. We are currently in a bit of a heat wave right now and so I will go to the barn earlier in the morning to try and beat the heat. This week I have been doing this and getting Chloe out on the trails. We just go for short rides and its just enough to get some nice walking in before it gets too hot. We only walk on our trails and I have been able to ride with my bestie girlfriend on her new horse Roscoe. I have some recent photos to share and a video! I’m just feeling so grateful and am smiling from ear to ear! 😀

It’s a short video but still fun to share! We still have some blooming jacaranda’s on the trails and I am enjoying all the purple blooms on our rides. This video is actually from the weekend but our rides are just like this as we ride around the blocks talking away and catching up on our lives. My girlfriend and I have known each other since we were 10 years old and so we have 50 years of history together and so we are always keeping each other up on all our families happenings as well. We never run out of topics, and we cherish all our time together. I feel so blessed to have such a good friend who is like another sister. Thanks for being here and for all your love and support Sally! ❤ She makes me smile too! 😀

I am so thankful Murph is healing up and the Vet gave me some anti-inflammatory cream called Surpass (for those horsey people out there) and he said this will help with any residual inflammation and so I am to apply daily. He said I can also apply it to his front leg where he has an old injury above his knee. He has some soft tissue that may reduce in size if I apply there also.

This is one of my shorter posts, I’ll say short and sweet! I really wanted to share my good news as I am so EXCITED! I know I keep saying I am going to take my time, and that’s because rushing gets you no where and everything has been going so smoothly with the purchase of Murphy to now the good news with the x-rays, I want to take the next step in stride with no rushing. I know I will be in a good place and he will come along nicely as we get to know each other with me riding him and us getting on together in the arena and eventually on the trails! I hope you enjoyed, and I hope you all have lots to smile about this week and always!

Happy Smiling Cowgirl!

~Diana ❤

Weekend Coffee Share; All About Murphy, My New Horse!

Welcome and come on in so we can share a cup of Joe. I also have tea are juice? I have so much to share as I am spending more time with my new horse Murphy, I like to call him Murph. He is such a character, as he has figured out that his Mom that gets him out will give him lunch and he just LOVES food. Of course, all horses love to eat and they are meant to graze all day long so being domesticated has its challenges for grazing animals. I have a hay net which is exactly what it sounds like, a big net with with big enough holes that the horses can pull hay through. It is a good way to slow down their eating as it takes longer for them to pull out the hay stems. Hmmm…. I think I will get my hay net out this week and put it up so it will slow down his eating and that should last him longer until dinner. I like it when I give myself good ideas! 😀

He also loves people and he really enjoys the attention we give him and you can tell because he enjoys his head being rubbed and in general he is very pleasant to handle. He doesn’t show any stress and he is so funny when you go to handle him. Most horses put their head up, and may move away from you when you go to put the halter on to lead them out of their stall. Murphy puts his head down and as you put the halter on which he knows goes up around his head, he puts his head lower and lower! Haha, it’s so low I have to bend over to get the halter on! I even pull his head up and even with my shoulders. Dude, you are being kind but almost too kind making me work to put this halter on!

He is so big and tall that when you lead him without some sort of pressure on his nose, he will bump into you or try and rub his head on you and so he needs to learn his space with ground manners. He is not bad at all, just young and not knowing exactly where his space is and stops and anyone handling him starts! I ordered and just received my dually halter from Monty Roberts. His training halter is awesome and has two nylon ropes that are attached to a ring on each side which acts like the chain in this photo I just shared. What’s great is it applies pressure on the sensitive parts on their nose but with the dually it is kinder and will release when the horse gives to the pressure applied. So it is a great training halter, but until it arrived I felt safer and had more control with the chain over his nose. Now I don’t need it and I will save this blue halter for use at a later date.

I have been hand walking Murph all around the property as he can’t be worked (or more exercise than a walk) until I have my veterinarian examine his left back leg. He had an injury to his splint bone and the vets in Oklahoma said he will heal up just fine but needed 30 days lay up. I decided this weekend to let him lose in what we call a round pen. He has been so calm that I thought he would be fine walking around on his own and if he started to show too much energy (like trotting around or bucking or anything of this sort) I would go in and take him out as I don’t want him to re-injure himself. He was as relaxed as could be and just moseyed around. What a calm, sensible easy going guy!

How’s your coffee, do you need a refill? I have more to share as earlier today (and is why I am late writing this post) I had another fun day at the barn. After my girlfriend and I rode out on the trail with Roscoe and Chloe I took out Murph to walk him in the round pen. He walked around nicely lose while I was in there asking him to walk. I can’t say enough how sweet his personality is as he almost wants to be in your pocket. He wants to put his head in your lap, and he will follow me around and when I went out of the round pen he wanted to come with me! Haha, I wanted him to hang out on his own and then I went back to take him out. He nickers when he sees me coming, so darn sweet!

After I groomed him and did all those things I told my girlfriends there I wanted to try on my saddle, just to get a fit and see if my cinch would fit him. I asked them for help because this is something new I haven’t done with him yet and I wanted him to have the best experience possible. I also did not think he has ever had a western saddle on him and they are bigger and heavier so lets see how you do Murphy! I knew he’s had an English saddle as he was ridden and I saw him on video trotting around with the trainer.

I borrowed a thicker pad from my friend and I can see it’s a bit short for my saddle so I will be buying a wither relief pad to go with my western saddle for him when I start riding him. Miss Chloe has a very flat back with her wither just blending into her back. She is great for bareback riding because she has a back kinda like a couch! HAHA! But Murph is a very tall thoroughbred and they are known for having a tall wither, and so I knew I would need a thicker pad with wither relief which means it is formed higher in the middle to go over their withers or backbone. I was worried my cinch would not fit, but it is perfect and fits just fine. Yay!

My western saddle is called a Circle Y flex tree. The tree is made with plastic and is flexible and so I am hoping with the thicker pad my saddle will be okay and not pinch him along his shoulders where it will sit on his back. I will check again about this as I may need to invest in a saddle that fits him but for now I was just happy he was accepting of the saddle and as my girlfriends and I talked and they were helping me they asked if I was going to sit on him. Wait what? ENABLERS! AND YES! I was so wanting to get on and sit in the saddle! SO…

There are a couple of video’s but after I loaded them they are very pixelated and not to clean to look at and its from transferring from one phone to another through apps. There will be plenty of time for videos to share of Murph! He was a champ, took everything all in stride as he took each stride around with me on his back! First time! It was such a fun day and I am so EXCITED AND A SUPER HAPPY Cowgirl!! He is just amazing. I Love you Murph! ❤

This is really long but I just had to share. I hope you all had as much fun as I have had this weekend. I will end with this photo my pony sister girlfriend took of me and she edited it to get closer up and as she says, she loves my smile! I’m in horsey heaven! Thank you so much girlfriends! ❤ ❤ ❤

Thank you for having coffee with me and for visiting today. I have to thank Natalie for the weekend coffee shares she hosts and if you want to visit more click here and maybe one weekend I will hopefully write and share a little earlier! I get so darn busy it gets very late in the evening when I finally get to finish up my posts so I should call this a coffee share after the weekend has ended! 😀

Excited horse crazy cowgirl!

~Diana ❤

My Weekly Smile; June 3, 2021 – Very Busy days!

Welcome to my weekly smile and I don’t know about you but I can’t believe it is June! The weeks are just flying by and I have been incredibly busy. I am in between crochet craft projects and to help me destress I enjoy coloring. I now have 3 coloring books and the newest one is this horsey one, and it is so much fun to color. I just had to take a photo to share! I want to start another baby blanket which I think I will go purchase the yarn I need this coming weekend. Then I will put the coloring to the side but in the meantime, I need something to do to relax and for some reason creating things whether it’s coloring or crocheting gets my mind off of any stress even if that’s just being busy. It’s just the way I am wired I guess. I think many people do projects to focus on things to help their brain, right? Right!

I will start out my smiles this week with coming home Monday from last weekend after spending time with my daughter and helping her pack up her apartment. She found the cutest house to lease and it is just the perfect size! I am SO EXCITED for her and this move. It will be more room, with a garage and 2 big bedrooms with them each having their own full bathrooms. I can’t wait to visit in about a month to stay in her house instead of her apartment! YAY! Here are a few photos of the weekend. 😀

Oh the darn sun was glaring in but I had to share the photo anyways of Evie. She is one of the friendliest cats I’ve met which is so fun when I get there to visit. She is not afraid at all and will sleep on my lap too. Such a joy for us and especially my daughter. I am so happy she has Evie and she has her guinea pigs too! We got so much done and I was so happy to be there to help. She scheduled the movers this coming weekend and we had a lot to pack up and so she is in a great place for the move. YAY! I’m Smiling! 😀

I wanted to share that the horses are settling in as I had to move Miss Chloe out into the paddocks but she has lived in these paddocks for many years. She doesn’t care what stall she is in as they are all similar and she actually likes how big these stalls are and does well in them. I am happy this all went smoothly and Murphy is settling in to his new barn stall with the run (Chloe’s old stall) and he is doing well there. He will remain in this stall, this is his new home. My bestie girlfriend took care of the horses when I was up helping my daughter pack and I’ll share a photo she took of Murph. I am blessed to have the best horsey friends and we help each other out and exchange this help when we travel. 😀

I will end my smile post with a trail ride I went on today. It is definitely warming up as we get closer to summer here and as I was riding along the jacaranda trees are blooming! Oh my, they are so beautiful and the purple flowers are along the trails which I realize can be a bit messy, but oh so beautiful non the less. Here is my trail ride;

A short video of my trail ride today!

What a perfect picture with her looking up and across the street right near the beautiful jacaranda tree! I took this opportunity to snap this photo and then after I made the video. She just kept on walking after she looked and listened! She is very smart and realized there was no threat. I let her look from time to time, and of course I had to take this photo so she got to stand there a little longer than normal. What a good girl, such a great trail ride today! It was short but PERFECT! 😀

Thank you for visiting my smile post this week. I am hoping things settle down a bit for me as I feel like I am always on the run. My new horse Murphy is doing good but is on lay up as he has a splint bone injury on his back leg. I think I mentioned this before but can’t remember and I have made an appointment for June 14th for my vet to come and x-ray if needed. He does not limp, it’s on the outside hind leg but I want it to heal completely before I start working him. In Oklahoma x-rays were taken and even sent to a surgeon there who said it will heal but he needs 30 day lay up. I have been doing hand walks only and getting him use to the stables and the grooming area. He has been a champ and been really good walking all around the property. I am hoping to take more photos of Murph, as I get so caught up in walking and grooming him I forget about the photos!

Busy Smiling Cowgirl,

~Diana ❤

Weekend Coffee Share; My New Horse Arrives!

I hope you have more than a few minutes to sit and chat as I have a lot to share! I know it takes me longer to write this than for ya’ll to read it so I am hoping this will be a FUN read. I am over the moon excited as my new horse arrived! I am getting chills as I write this as I cannot believe a Kentucky bred Thoroughbred is residing in Miss Chloe’s old barn stall. Please check out my last two posts (My Weekly Smile and my Weekend Coffee Share for more back story!). I received a call that Midnight Murphy was leaving Oklahoma Friday May 21st early morning 2am to be exact and he stayed true to his name as he arrived in my town just before Midnight Saturday night May 22nd! Here he is in the van, and honestly I am almost speechless how smoothly this whole entire process has been. I have to believe this was truly meant to be and for him to be my horse, without a shadow of a doubt! 😀

He was so calm. He never quivered or whinnied. He just calmly looked around and there was a lot of darkness as where I live there are no street lights. It’s a horse town remember? Its a rural setting in a city and there are only a couple of street lights near my house because there is a Junior High School across the street. Other than that we rely on our headlights, or barn lights if you must be at the barn at night.

I had a stable friend who I didn’t know extremely well stay with me as we waited and waited. We got to know each other sharing horse stories for the 5 hours we waited for the van. She owns an OTTB (Off the track thoroughbred) too, and her horse lives in the barn as well. She is 13 yrs old and raced until she was 10. She wants to use her as a hunter and jump. She is more “hot” with lots of nervous energy, which I believe comes with the territory of a long racing career. She loves her dearly though as she has the sweetest disposition. Midnight Murphy has never raced and is only 3 years old. This is what I want because he will be calm and gentle because he was not introduced to the rigors of racing. In my heart and head I felt I was looking at a very sensible, calm horse so far he is all those things!

As tired as I was feeling I was also very excited! I thought he looked comfortable and was not stressing out when I left him for the evening. He never once nickered or whinnied. They often call out when they are moved from place to place or have left herd mates behind. He was so relaxed (or stoic) and calm. He checked out his neighbors and those horses were more upset than him which is very typical. I thought I could sleep soundly knowing he would be okay in the morning. I woke up with this photo sent to me on my phone! A Happy surprise!

Today was get to know Midnight Murphy day! When you enter the stall he just looks at you like, hey, whatcha doing? He is so casual, just hanging out. He loves attention, loves the pets and pats and hugs. Not all horses like to be hugged, they are flight animals so with us being prey they look to see is she going to attack? Well, that’s the idea and what horses can think about but he just put his big ol’ head in the crook of my arms as I scratched his neck and I hugged his head with my left arm. He is the talk of the stables of course, so many of my horsey (pony sister’s) friends were coming and going and enjoying spending time with him as we stood in awe of his height! He is HUGE! But what FUN!! I can’t let something like height frighten me or there will be problems. I don’t let much ruffle my feathers and I have a huge amount of horse experience so I know we will be fine together. (I would never suggest I know everything, because no one knows everything about well, everything or anything they think they are an expert in so I am and always will be open to learn, learn, learn. I try to be a sponge!)

Here are some photos of today with the Murph!

I have just five more minutes to complete this coffee share before the link closes! So I am rushing to finish this and so I hope you enjoyed having coffee with me for this weekend. I have to thank Natalie for hosting and I will try and visit with everyone too. I hope you all have a wonderful week ahead! ❤

Super Happy Cowgirl,

~Diana ❤

My Weekly Smile; May 20, 2021

Welcome to my weekly smile post. It has been a crazy month and I talked about the happenings in this month on my last coffee share post. My last coffee share I missed the coffee share link up, so if you missed it you can click here. One of the most exciting news I shared was that I bought a new horse, and I’m grinning from ear to ear! I am also very EXCITED! I have some more news to share as things are just falling into place and I feel so blessed. I have to thank all my friends and family for all their wonderful support with my crazy decision to buy a Thoroughbred retired racehorse. This horse I bought never raced so I shouldn’t say he is retired, but for whatever reason the trainer/owners who bred him decided that he was not worth racing and so he was responsibly donated to an Equine Horse rescue who rehomes these beautiful animals. I am excited because a place to keep him opened up at the same ranch I keep my horse Chloe. I take this as a sign that this all was meant to be as how ironic I bought this horse and a stall became available!!

Ultimately, this is what I wanted all along but when this horse came up for adoption (the horse rescue is a non-profit, I am donating a designated amount which helps the rescue feed and take care of the horses.) I had to make a decision without having a place to keep him because there were no open stalls where I board. I reached out to a good friend and its actually the boarding facility I had Chloe and Zack at last year and she said they had openings, so I went forward with buying the horse. I was planning on having one horse at one stables, the other horse at the other stables until an opening would become available. Happily, a stall has opened up and my new horse is being picked up early Friday morning in Oklahoma and being transported to California and will arrive early Sunday morning! YAY! (I was told it could take up to 2 weeks, it only took 2 days when I got the call with a schedule for pick up!)

I am smiling about my horsey adventures. My girl Chloe is 17 years old this year and although she looks great, her legs are having issues. She is serviceably sound which means she can still go on walks on the trails and I give her pain meds to make her more comfortable. These pain meds are like Ibprofen to us and are easy on her stomach and I know helps with the aches and pains of the arthritis she has gotten in her joints. Since she is still able to be ridden, I have plans on using her to pony my new horse on the trails to help him get use to everything out there and that will help when I start to ride him out on trails in the future. I will then plan on reducing the trail riding as I slowly transition Chloe into retirement.

I have some time, I am thinking at least one year as I go through this transition. Mr. Murphy is 3 years old, so I do not want to rush him either. A young mind is impressionable, and he needs training so I am hoping this mix of a senior seasoned trail horse with a young (hopefully) gentlemen will work for all of us as I figure out how I will work with them individually and together! Haha, I don’t even know if what I am saying makes sense but I have lots of ideas and I can’t wait to see how this adventure evolves!!

As I put all my horse thoughts down here I wanted to share a trail ride I went on a couple of weeks ago by myself on Chloe. We were on our main street in town and it’s such a pretty street I thought I would make a little video. They are always fun to make and I just love to share and I hope you enjoy! It’s just all about the horses this week, they sure fill my heart and make me smile! 😀

I sure love the trails and my bestie girlfriend has a new horse too! Her horse Roscoe will be great to trail ride with my new horse too, once I get to that point in his training. I am just incredibly happy everything is falling into place. This will be an exciting weekend and by Sunday I will be able to share in my coffee share more photos of my new horse! I haven’t decided what I will call him, Murphy is a nice name but I might change it, however Murphy is growing on me. There is also seeing what his personality is like once you get to know him. We will see!

Super Happy Cowgirl,

~Diana ❤

P.S. If you are interested, if you type in Midnight Murphy name on equibase.com you can see his breeding. If you click on his sire or dam’s name it will show you their breeding. You can then click on their sire and dam’s name and see more relatives. I did this and it went back to Secretariat, Bold Ruler and Nasrullah. (So much history! I just love it!) He has excellent bloodlines with his sire (dad) Midnight Lute winning over 2 million dollars and was trained by Bob Baffert. Bob Baffert’s horse won the Kentucky Derby this year (lots of controversy over this win and drug testing.) This is all just so much FUN!

Weekend Coffee Share; Family and Horse Fun!

Can I offer you a cup of coffee or tea? I have so much to share and I can really ramble if you get me going. Should we have some Speculoos cookies from Trader Joes that goes great with a cup of Joe? Yes, sounds yummy! I have missed a few coffee shares as I have been really busy these last few weeks. After I visited with my daughter, the following weekend I visited with my son and his family for Mother’s day. I had such a great weekend with them and it was my daughter-in-laws birthday too! What fun celebrating with them and I soaked in all the family time I could get. It was so fulfilling and I am so happy and thankful for this time with my grown children. I thought I would share a few photos from last weekend before I share some super fun horse news!

My grandson is walking all over the place, climbs on the couch and into everything! They just run around and wear out grandma but it’s all great FUN! Alice and I have fun coloring. When I finished up my weekend and was going about my work days this last week I came upon a video of the most beautiful horse that was being worked with a trainer I follow online. To make a long story short I thought to myself I want this horse! He is so beautiful and my sweet horse is getting older and has old injuries that she manages with but I am thinking soon I will have to retire her from trail riding. I thought to myself I think it would help if I had a project and a new horse so that I can let Chloe enjoy her retirement and I can be fulfilled by riding a new horse to train and be my next trail horse. Hmm.. I might even train him up to attend some small horse shows! Fun to dream! 😀

As I went through this process, it was fairly stressful and I thought I have to give it a try and if I am able to buy this horse then it was meant to be and if things do not work out then this horse was not meant to be owned by me and I would then have to look for another. Here he is, the stars aligned and I bought an off the track thoroughbred from a horse rescue who rehomes OTTB’s for a life after racing. He now has a new career and life with me! His registered name is Midnight Murphy and for now I will call him Murphy (but will see how that name fits him as I get to know him).

I am OVER THE MOON, EXCITED! There is a video of him that I can’t share because it isn’t my video but he is just so handsome and beautiful and all of the things we love about horses. He turned 3 years old May 1st and he never raced. He is Kentucky bred and he is very big and that could be the reason he never raced. He is 17h tall which is very tall for those non horse people. I wasn’t looking for tall or short, I was looking for temperament and he is very calm, quiet and is sensible. I told the trainer he needs a good brain to be a trail horse in my town. She said he would be perfect and that he is like an old soul in a young body. I think of these big guys as gentle giants, and so my journey begins with this beautiful registered thoroughbred!

He currently resides in Oklahoma so first thing in the morning I will be calling for horse transportation. It’s been a dream of mine to own one of these off the track thoroughbreds and as I dreamed watching video after video after video I thought it crazy that I could ever buy one then have it shipped half way across the country to California. Covid has really spurred the industry of adoptions (along with other furry friends), and with the help of this wonderful trainer who is Monty Roberts Certified, Jamie Jennings has helped retrain off the track thoroughbreds with gentle methods from her training. With the exposure with her podcast which I follow and listen too – Horses in the Morning – the rescue who normally adopts out maybe 20 – 30 horses a year, last year they adopted out more than 100! I think the number is 103 which is fantastic! I thought with all the people interested I would not have a chance to adopt, but I did! And I couldn’t be happier. 😀 😀 😀 I feel it only proper to thank Jamie from the bottom of my heart for all she does for these beautiful animals! ❤

I will keep you posted on how the next few weeks go as I get transport set up and hopefully it won’t take too long to get a hauler to ship him to his new home here. I can’t wait to meet my new boy! ❤

We are enjoying some really cool weather with lots of clouds and a spitter-spatter of rain here and there. I am taking in all the cool weather because the summer is around the corner and with that comes the heat. Maybe this year will be a cooler summer. We do get them sometimes. Chloe is always willing to go out on the trails and I will taper her outings a little bit to begin the process of retirement. In the meantime, my trail rides are so enjoyable and she is such a JOY!

As I share my coffee with you today I am thinking about my family and my horses. We only have this one life and I am trying to enjoy it to its fullest, the best way I know how. I hope you enjoyed your coffee and I hope you all are enjoying your life too! And if you have any dreams, don’t give up on them because you never know they just might come true!

As I share these two with their brotherly love it makes me think how I am sending hugs to you! Remember to stay smiling and enjoy what you can when you can and thank you for visiting with me today. 😀

Happy Excited Cowgirl!

~Diana ❤

P.S. I missed the regular coffee share linkup. It’s been a very busy weekend. 🙂

Weekend Coffee Share; End Of April

Welcome, welcome, can I get you a cup of coffee or tea? I have had a fairly uneventful week this last week mostly working and doing all the things I do at the stables each morning. I have been enjoying our cool weather this April and it really has been unusually cool. There was a memory that popped up and the photo’s that came up were from last year when I planted my container’s with some plants and tomatoes and it was 100F (38C) ~ Wow, this same time last year was really HOT! We have been in the 60’s (15C) almost this whole last week and have only seen a few days in the 80’s (27C) the whole month of April. I am super duper happy with the coolness and the only thing that would be really nice is if we had some rain!

I thought I would look ahead at the weather and it will be really nice until the end of the week. April 29th and 30th will be a high of 95F (35C) and then it will cool a bit next weekend. I will enjoy each and every day and I should really go buy those tomato plants I wanted to grow. I have problems watering them consistently but maybe with my new hours which are more regular than my old hours at my old job I can be more consistent. It certainly can’t hurt to try!

Sorry, I seem to be only talking about the weather as it seems to be on my mind. As I think about the weather, I am thinking about how nice it is to ride and speaking of riding I wanted to share that after many months my bestie girlfriend has found and purchased a new trail horse. (Pretty good segue, don’t you think?) 😀 Haha, I hate to just change the subject but I really wanted to share this news. He is a Palomino registered quarter horse gelding and is super sweet. He has been great on our trail rides and I will be taking more photos I am sure as we trail ride together often.

We have only gone out this last week and he is very relaxed and doesn’t worry about a thing. He was bred and born in North Dakota, I thought that was interesting and my girlfriend and I don’t know a lot about breeding but have had others who have said he has good bloodlines. The vet said he is super nice and I am so happy for my girlfriend so we can continue to enjoy trail riding together. She still has her horse Gracie who turns 29 years old this year. She is completely retired and is just enjoying life at the barn.

I am so incredibly happy my bestie girlfriend found her beautiful trail horse, Roscoe. This is not his registered name but the name he was given by his previous owners. The serendipity of his name is when my girlfriend and I were young and riding together (yes, we are grade school friends and were riding buddies then too!) she owned a horse named Roscoe! How fitting of a name for her as it brings back such wonderful memories and it feels like we are young again. As we age and grow old together it is so wonderful we can share our horses and our love for riding. We are truly blessed!

Thank you for visiting my coffee share this weekend. I have so much fun sharing and I have to thank Natalie for hosting and if you want to read her blog click here! She has a wonderful blog and it is so fun to catch up with her each weekend! Here is the link to even more weekend coffee shares which I encourage you to check out. I hope you all have a fabulous week ahead!

Weather Obsessed Cowgirl,

~Diana ❤