Tribute To My Sweet Boy, Zack

Last weekend I shared that I was feeling a bit in a funk. It was because of this big beautiful animal that had me in a worried state because he is the sweetest horse but also a bit neurotic. Zack has separation anxieties, he is what they call “herd bound” where he whinnies and calls for Chloe if she is out of sight, or too far away from him. He has always been this way and most often these horses that have these kinds of anxieties are their own worse enemies. We try and make their life less stressful and so I have tried my best over the years to keep these two horses that I own near each other so that Zack would not be living a life of anxiety.

Back to last weekend. Zack was living in a barn stall and across the aisle was Chloe. Zack’s barn stall is a box without a run. Chloe across the aisle is in a box stall with a run or paddock. My plan is to move Chloe over one stall so that I could move Zack next to her, but here lies the dilemma. Once next to her, the only way he could see her is if he walks out into the run or paddock ~ they can’t see each other if they both are in the box stall while eating or drinking. (I wish there was windows in the barn. This is an old wood barn built with no windows. Many barns do have windows with bars so horses can see each other.) So we made a plan of sorts. I bought plastic mirrors safe for animals to put up in the stall so he could see himself (another horse) which should calm him and I asked the employees of the stables if they could feed my horses out back in the paddocks so they can eat next to each other. In this way, I thought Zack would end up being more comfortable with a bigger stall and right next to Chloe, his herd mate.

As Chloe, Zack and I figured out even more ways to ease anxiety, one of the smartest things I taught myself was to pony Zack next to me so that every single time I rode out on the trails he always came with me. I know I made his life that much better by doing this because he was very stressed out when I took Chloe off the property and left him behind. Sometimes I had friends or my sister if she was in town, ride him out with us and so that worked too. But that was not every ride, so I was very proud of us as we have had a wonderful time out on the trails. I even posted just over a week ago where we rode seven days, a whole week out on the trails! We were doing so good. I am very happy that even though Zack was declining in age, losing muscle tone which is normal, he was feeling good and his anxiety was always right there but manageable. It would never go away, hence why I was so worried about moving him to a different stall. I just figured I was in for some weeks of anxiousness and I didn’t know what to expect. But what happened next no one could ever predict!

As I write this I thought I would be unable to make sense of things and would be crying my eyes out. I have done plenty of that, and is partly why I waited to write this because I wanted it to be understandable, relatable. I knew this would be cathartic and this would help start to mend my heart as I honor my dear sweet boy. I can tell you it has been the most absolutely shocking weekend and my heart is broken but I know he is in a better place. You see, last Sunday I had to euthanize my sweet boy Zack. Sunday was the end of the month so the stalls were open as the other horses had moved out. I decided to put Chloe in her stall and I went and got Zack and put him in his new stall and as I did this I closed the barn door to his stall and walked over to get their Equoxx pills (horse pain pills, like Ibprofen for people) that I give them before our trail rides. That’s when I heard this banging noise, like someone was pounding the wood on the barn. I looked up and saw my pony sister coming my way, with a look of terror as she said he jumped over the door!

I walked around the corner and there he lay unable to get up. My girlfriend said he just walked up to the door with his ears up and looking straight ahead and he lifted himself up with his legs up high and tight to clear the door. What made him think he could jump out of the barn? He was in this stall for barely a minute, maybe two. He walked to the back and I walked away where he promptly walked to the front and up over the door he went. He somersaulted out and landed in a way where he basically could not move anything but his head and neck. I don’t want to be too graphic, his weight and body mostly landed on his shoulder and neck. (it was not that gruesome, no blood, its just really sad) because of his catastrophic injuries once the vet arrived it was in his best interest to be euthanized. I am so sad. He went so peacefully and I owe a huge debt of gratitude for by bestest friends (ALL OF YOU AT THE BARN) for the love, support, loving on Zack while we waited for the vet. THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART! YOU ALL ARE AMAZING WOMEN! ❤

I love so hard. When you love hard it just hurts so much but that’s me. It is worth the hurt to love as much as I do and these animals, these huge giant beasts have such personalities I can only try and show through my photos! They are smart, have feelings, they play and call to you! They melt my heart! I wanted to write a tribute to him because he was such a huge part of my life, including my blog. Imagine, people from all over the world know my beautiful horse Zack and Miss Chloe!

I will be okay. This is not my first rodeo, I could write a novel on loved ones I have lost. I had been beating myself up because I thought I could have done better, that I screwed up somehow making this move with him. But it has been said to me that no sensible horse would do what he did. He use to be a jumper, so to jump like he did – well, he knew how to jump. But he is old and the door too big for him to jump. He suffered from EPM which is a protozoa living in his brain and maybe this affected his thinking. Maybe he was not with a sound mind, but no one can know what he was thinking when he jumped out of that stall.

Because this is how I roll, I would like to end this sad post with smiles. I want to remember my sweet boy with tons of SMILES! I don’t want to look at photos and cry. I am planning on getting prints of my favorite photos. I am so thankful I have a horse to Love on as Miss Chloe needs me and her and I are doing good. The vet said it can be helpful for the herd mate to see the passing, so I took her out to see Zack after he was gone. She did not want to sniff him or get too close. The vet said that’s okay, they each do their own thing. She has been nothing but stoic and strong. You would not know she lost her best friend. Definitely, I believe he was more attached to her than her to him. I am feeling better each day. The self loathing is gone (you just hate yourself for a day or two because you think what have I done!) But I am smart enough to realize that no one could have seen this coming or know he would do such a thing. My best friend said to me, he had 26 years of a beautiful life and one hour of pain. Run free my friend! ❤ ❤ ❤

With Love To You Zack!

~Diana ❤

My Last Ride of 2020!

As 2020 came to an end I was able to enjoy the morning with my horses before work. This photo is actually from a few weekends ago but I thought it was a good opener as this is me, and this is what I do as I groom them and get them ready for a ride. I tie them to the hitching post and they are very well behaved. This is where I tack them up with saddle and bridles. Before I head out on a ride, I often turn them out either in the bigger arena or the small round pen to get them moving. With the nights getting pretty cool, they can get stiff and need some warming up and on this day the static electricity in the air was something I captured on the next photo or two!

Chloe’s tail was not spectacular like Zack’s. I am not sure why his was more static charged and hers was not, but her tail is black and would not be as dazzling in the sun. I get excited over little things such as static electricity and hair! Haha, It reminds me of when you blow up a balloon and then rub your hair and you can pull the balloon away and your hair stands on end going to the balloon. This just happened in the round pen when I was exercising them, so it was a strange sight to see!

It was a crisp morning New Year’s Eve as I prepared these ponies for my ride. It was calm and serene, no wind blowing yet and as I mounted up and headed out I can tell the horses had a nice step to their gait and were ready for the trails. As I turned the corner out to the trail and headed down the street, the horses were walking so well together it was as if we were all in sync and enjoying this beautiful, lovely day. I was able to put Chloe’s reins around the horn of my western saddle, and I looped Zack’s rope around the horn. Not too tight, just lightly looped so that I didn’t lose the rope and it was right there if I needed it and the remainder of the rope was in my other hand as I reached for my camera to record this last day of my 2020 trail ride.

My ponies know these trails so well. I was calm and very relaxed which in turn makes the ponies very relaxed. They can feel your anxieties, your nervousness, your breathing. They can feel you relaxing, your calmness, its their language to feel and recognize things humans don’t even think about. They can feel if you are “there” in the moment, or if your mind wonders and is somewhere else. They are always “in the moment” as they live their lives in the here and now. They are flight animals and it is their instinct to be aware of everything.

They see things you don’t. They hear things you don’t. They know with each step if it is safe or not to continue down the road. They have my life in their hoofs, as I ride on their backs as each step they carry me down the street and around the block in unison as if we are one and connected. Zack is right in step by Chloe’s side. Chloe is like valium to Zack. She brings him peace and calmness as she is the alpha mare and exudes confidence in each step. This is how my beautiful ride went on this gorgeous morning as we completed our ride around the block. I took a video of my ride and want to share it. In the video Zack is walking so nicely and walks up fast almost to pass Chloe! BUT he can’t because he needs to stay back a bit behind. You will see her as he puts his nose towards her, she will nip at him to get him back where he belongs. I don’t let the lead go to long and he will slow a bit and walk where he should. They are very mindful of each other and I try and be just as mindful back to them in our threesome wondering the Norco trails.

This is the best video I have made with two horses in hand. I hope you enjoy as I practice and am enjoying these ponies!

I am not to far into my ride when I made this video but to be able to do this with solid horses that feel confident is a testament to what I like to say “Time in the saddle” as with anything you do in life, practice makes perfect. I am so proud of my horses. They bring so much joy to my life and I feel truly blessed and thankful I can share my life with them. I thank my family for their patience and love for them as well. I have enjoyed many rides throughout this last year, and being able to go to the barn and enjoy this is how I have been able to survive the craziness of 2020.

Happy Trail Riding Cowgirl,

~Diana ❤

My Weekly Smile; Dec. 30, 2020

Welcome to my weekly smile! I have a lot to smile about this week with the rain and my pretty ponies. We had some much needed rain which I have a love hate relationship with as I LOVE rain, but its aftermath not so much at the barn. My horses live in very nice accommodations now so I am not complaining as much any more. But the arena gets really wet but drains pretty fast after the sun comes out the next day. As long as the rain storms are spread apart, then its a beautiful thing. One of the most beautiful displays of the storms that come through here in winter, is all the snow that falls on our local mountains! It is just gorgeous and my camera probably doesn’t do it justice as the snow capped mountains are captivating! Here are a couple of photos, how can you not smile!

The above photo was not easy to take as I was riding my horses, asking them to stand still “Whoa” I said, as they kept taking one or two steps on the trail. I have Zack’s lead rope, Chloe’s reins, haha, holding the phone I zoomed as much as I could and took this photo. I think it turned out pretty good considering all it took to take. I am a happy camper. The first photo I shared was just as difficult to take as all Chloe wanted to do is head home, and the barn is just past the tall palm tree on the left down the trail and as I tried to “Whoa” she wasn’t going to stop. She wasn’t bad but I thought I better snap a photo so the camera focused on her instead of the background which is a bit blurry but I thought a fun shot! I really like my shadow in that photo too. Photo Fun! 😀

Can you believe it is December 30th? Just one more day of 2021 and even though this next year may be more of last year as I think it will take months if not longer to feel “normal” again, what ever normal is these days. But this year seemed very long and drawn out so it’s end is something I think we all long for….. I miss my family in Arizona, I pray for all affected by this pandemic, the lives that are loss and the loved ones sick. We all here are doing well and praying for this to all go away hopefully, eventually soon. I don’t want to pretend like I am not taking things seriously as we all are taking precautions and doing our part the best as we can. Hence why I like to share my smile posts. We all need some smiles, something to look forward to and something that makes us HAPPY! I will end with a photo that I took last week as I was challenged wearing my huge Christmas light bulb earrings with a mask. I have so many Christmas earrings and some are very large and putting on and taking off a mask was not easy. Luckily, once I put on the mask it stays on the whole time I am at work, until I eat lunch or go home! 😀 😀 😀

Have a wonderful, smiling New Year! Cheers to you and your families!

Love, Diana ❤

Weekend Coffee Share; Early December Fun!

Welcome, can I get you a hot cup of Joe? or hot tea? I have hot cocoa too, and some mini marshmallows for the top. It’s been so chilly but I know not as cold as some places. My sister just texted me today and she is in Colorado and she said it is really cold there at 18F, brrr….. And I was complaining yesterday at 55F. I had three layers on and my hands were freezing. I did not ride yesterday but had fun visiting my bestfriend with Gracie who is now two stables down from where I board my horses. I don’t see her every day any more so it was fun to catch up with her and I spent the morning there and then tended to my horses. Gracie has settled into her new home and now has some new neighbors, horse neighbors that is and so it goes as we move into a new chapter with our horses. As Gracie is now officially retired, I am not at that point yet with my horses so I am able to ride out on the trails with other stable friends or as we fondly call each other pony sister’s! 😀

This morning when I woke up the sun was shining brightly and the gloomy clouds were all blown away. I was excited and finally went out on my walk. It is amazing how good that feels to get out and walk. It got my blood flowing and I was feeling warmed up and ready to start my day. Today I was able to get out there on the trails and I rode with another good friend, Jane. We had a wonderful ride together.

Since my ponies are serviceably sound (that means they have some issues where they may limp or have some pain which we control with pain meds, but they are still rideable and exercise is really good for many arthritic older horses.) I usually do not go out on the trail for more than an hour. We have a short trail loop that is just about 25 minutes depending on their walking speed. Today we went longer which was a perfect 45 minutes and Jane took some photos of our ride. I’m so happy she thought of taking some photos which isn’t always easy on the trail! Haha, she had to do selfie mode and try and find me behind her!

The trails we ride on are well groomed and run through a newer housing track. All the houses here are horse property houses. Usually the trail is only on one side of the street as you can see in the photo. We are in a hilly area so if you wanted to get your horse in shape there are many hills to go up and down and the views are gorgeous. However, my horses are past their prime and like I already mentioned with their leg issues steep hill riding is not possible or not really fair to them.

We can do small inclines with no problem as it’s impossible to avoid some up and down in the course of our rides. There are some pretty flat blocks, and so I break it up and will do some very small hills one day and do flat riding blocks another. The really steep hills are left for the younger, sounder horses. I asked Jane for a recent favorite photo that she took so that I could share on my blog and she sent me this next one. Great choice Jane! It is BEAUTIFUL! 😀

I thought this was at a golf course at first, but as Jane and I chatted she explained where she took this photo which was at the top of one of those steep hills in this pretty area. This is just a front yard and I love the vibrant colors with the beautiful sky, such a wonderful day out horse back riding! She rides more often than not by herself. I am so thankful when I can join her ride. We are so truly blessed to have all these wonderful trails right outside the front gate!

Can I get you a refill? I have a few giant ginger cookies to finish up and you can have one too! I want to thank you for visiting today as we wrap up this weekend. I am getting ready to go shopping as I want to finish up the Christmas gifts list. I am waiting for a package to arrive I ordered online and after my shopping today I will put a box together for my family in Arizona. We will video chat on Christmas day and watch each other open our secret Santa gifts we do each year, and the gifts sent for grand children!

I better get this published! I can’t believe this weekend is just about over. I hope you all have a great week ahead. Maybe next week I can actually complete my weekend coffee share as the weekend starts, instead of when it is ending. 😀

Happy riding these pretty horses!

~Diana ❤

My Weekly Smile; Oct. 28, 2020

What makes you smile? I am smiling because today my best friend in the whole wide world rode my horse Chloe while I rode Zack back to the stables I had been boarding at for years! I am so excited to be back as I was missing all my riding buddies. The only stalls they had open are two barn stalls. One barn stall has a run or paddock out the back which costs more money each month but gives Chloe more room. She is a big girl and needs this extra space. The other barn stall is just a box with no run. Zack will get turned out every day so he should be fine in this stall. The price is less since it doesn’t have the run and is right across the aisle from Chloe. He can see her, but not touch her but it’s all good. They will get turned out together daily with trail rides sprinkled in during the week. It’s the only stalls available and I am on a waiting list for outside pens should a couple become available. 😀

I sure miss the trails. I stopped going out because it isn’t as fun by myself and so my friend and I mostly ride in the arena. Her horse has been retired from trails since she has been tripping, and the trips are bad to her knees. So, it just isn’t safe for her and I was happy to oblige as I don’t mind the arena riding, I just rather enjoy the trails a bit more. I am smiling as I think my ponies made the move well, and have settled in the new stalls. I have been feeding them a calming supplement which has natural calming ingredients for the last week and will continue feeding for the next few weeks. This will help them completely settle into their new home. Even though this stable is their original home for many years, they are in completely different stalls. There will definitely be an adjustment period!

I will take more photos but the first window closest to Zack on the barn in the background is Zack’s stall. Chloe’s is across from him which you can’t see in the photo. Zack was a bit nervous as there are only two ways to see out, the back window and over the door. I am praying he will settle in and enjoy the stall until a bigger outside paddock opens up. They will stay warm and dry in these nice stalls. I am incredibly happy the move went smoothly and that all is well at the barn! 😀

You know I take tons of photos so I will share more this weekend. My best friend didn’t want to take the other box stall and decided to move her horse about five houses down from where I am at to a nice stables that the stalls have full roofs. They are pipe corrals with full roofs which is different than a barn. Anyways, I will probably take some photos of where Gracie is living just because that will be fun to share too! Our very tiny herd has been broken up, but it is all good. This has been such a strange year for so many reasons. And as we go through these changes I do believe they are all for the better. I have to smile at this thought as you can’t live with regret. I don’t want to be regretful and think maybe the decisions I had made had its reasons. I feel I’ve healed some emotional wounds when I left this original barn and those emotions and what it all meant at that time seems insignificant when I think of everything I have gone through getting back to where I started! Haha, talk about circle of life! I just did a circle of stable boarding. I’m excited for the future with the new job and barn! 😀

Happy smiling cowgirl!

~Diana ❤

My Weekly Smile; Oct. 14, 2020

Welcome to my weekly smile as I love to share the things that bring me joy in my life and as I look at how happy Alice is in this photo, she just brightens my day! I am grinning from ear to ear, she is just adorable! My birthday is just a week away and these little ones will be coming here for my birthday ❤ that is the best present EVER! I miss my son and his wife and to be able to see baby Teddy crawling, I can’t wait! And my daughter will be coming home too ❤ my heart will be full as we celebrate this milestone birthday. I also treated myself to most of the week off from work! I am grateful the stars aligned so that I didn’t have to cover vacations or any other issues at work to get the days I needed off. Yay! Lots of smiles going on over here! 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

This year 2020 has been a very strange year. We all know one of the big reasons why. It seems like this year has messed with our brains, haha, not really but I have made decisions I regret but I am thinking I need to learn from these decisions. Exactly six months ago with emotions running high (I am thinking now, don’t make big decisions based solely on emotions) I decided to move my horses with my girlfriend and her horse to where I am at now. Of course, I tried to not be emotional about this move and my girlfriend did have needs she wanted for her horse as she wanted more shade from the sun. The covers where we were didn’t provide enough shelter like she wanted. But I figured this would be a good move for us both.

Fast forward to now and I have made the decision to move my horses back which I am doing at the end of this month. There are many reasons why I am not happy, one of the biggest is not having a riding partner on the trails. Since Gracie is 28 and has EPM which she is being treated for she has a risk of tripping and falling. EPM is a protozoa which lives in her brain, and they are trying to get her immune system to fight it. Zack has EPM too, but he is in remission as far as I know and is doing fine. So, no more trail rides with my dear friend and I have no other riding partners as there just isn’t any boarders that trail ride. All my friends are at the other stables. It is bittersweet leaving my best friend as she wants to stay with the shady stall!

I am really excited to move back across town to where there are lovely trails and all my other friends. I was tearful after making this decision. I’ve been torn and almost made this decision a month ago, but didn’t want to leave my best friend. (We have been friends since 10 years old) She finally gave me permission as she said to me last week, take me out of the equation. If you remove me from all your decisions what would you do? I knew in my heart of hearts I wanted to be back to where I was, so I decided to make that happen. Shedding a few tears along the way, I didn’t realize how much I miss all my other riding buddies. My best friend is like a sister to me, we will always be BEST FRIENDS FOREVER!

Instead of regrets, I am going to look at this adventure as a learning experience. I did not know or realize what a social girl I am and how important all the social interaction is to me. Currently when I am at the barn it is like my own place because rarely is anyone there. Maybe one other boarder, but she is up at the barn so we don’t visit. It’s a ghost town, so I get very lonely even though I love my horses, I miss the people. I realize I never want horse property, unless it could be a small gentlemen’s ranch so I could have boarders. Not going to happen in my lifetime, but good to know! 😀

My girlfriend is more of an isolationist, loving the peace and quiet and aloneness way more than I can bare. I guess that is why I blog. I didn’t know what blogging is or how it seems to be and with all the friends and lovely people that share their thoughts and kind words, oh I am in blogging heaven! I never knew and drink it all up and love each and every blogger out there who want to share with me their world. It’s been amazing and am smiling at my smile post! THIS IS ME! and I am discovering me with new realizations all the time. You are never too old to learn, I am grateful for this adventure! I am going to end with a video of Zack feeling his oats running in arena.

Thank you for visiting my smile post today! What makes you smile? I am loving October so far….

Happy cowgirl Grandma,

~Diana ❤

Weekend Coffee Share; Sept. 12, 2020

I drove in from the stables and walked into the front yard and the honeysuckle smells wonderful. I am getting so many blooms right now and even though the air quality is bad with all the smoke from the fires I can still smell the flowers! We are totally safe where we live and my heart and prayers go out to all affected. The visibility in our area is very poor. You can’t see the local mountains and when you look on the weather app on the phone instead of saying “sunshine” it says “smoke”. This morning it was not too bad outside so I will be heading to the stables. Can I get you something to go with your coffee or tea?

After I rode Zack mostly at a walk in the arena, I took my bareback pad and bit-less bridle and put it on Chloe for another ride. The walking and a little bit of trotting is really good for their joints and gets them limbered up. I say this because as I was riding Chloe after a few minutes she kept wanting to head to Zack. Silly pony, they love each other and she really wasn’t bad, just mostly wanted to herd him around. I decided instead of finishing up her 20 minute walk I would turn them lose together and see if they want to run around. The limbering up usually helps them really feel good. I will share a video of my ride and another video of them lose together! Such pretty ponies! 😀

Chloe and I riding around our nice big arena!
Running horses! They feel so good and I love it when Chloe runs and calls out!

Whenever they are turned out in the big arena I always try and give them the opportunity to run. If I left them alone, they may move and trot or canter around a little bit. I usually have to encourage them to move, horses unless spooked or frightened are usually pretty lazy by nature. They are older horses, so their energy levels have declined. But every month or so they get such bursts of energy and I am so thankful they have an area where they can run and stretch their legs. Today I am so happy I was able to video Chloe. So fun to watch! ❤

So much fun bathing, grooming and taking care of these horses. I may have to video them getting their treats, especially Chloe who gives me kisses. They have such personalities, and of course bring me so much joy! It would be fun to share that with you all with videos.

He says, treat please? YES, I have a treat for you Zack. I have bathed Chloe and put her in her stall and forgot to take a photo. So it’s Zack at the end so nice and clean. They roll and get so dirty, as they itch and scratch from sweating from the heat of the day. When the bath is complete and they are all groomed, they don’t roll as they feel so satisfied and content. I’m a happy horse mom. Thank you so much for joining me for this coffee share! I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Obsessed with my Ponies,

~Diana ❤

Horsing Around Fun!

Welcome to my virtual barn where I will share photos of my barn friends Chloe, Zack and my girlfriends horse Gracie. These three ponies are the apple of our eyes. Yes, we dote on them and I have to admit I am rather obsessed with their care. I don’t often miss a day, even if it is just to check on them and make sure they have enough food and water. Even though we pay for their care at the barn we board at, we as horse owners like to check them daily if possible. I use to not go every single day, and when I was baby sitting my granddaughter I would take days off until she got big enough to go with me. I miss those days, since she now lives in Arizona. We fondly call our horses, our ponies. They are not ponies, its just a term of endearment. ❤

The last few weeks had some very hot days, although the horses didn’t seem to mind too much. We just turn them out on really hot days because it is still good to get them to stretch their legs and walking helps move their gut and keep the blood flowing. Just like for us, walking and exercise is essential for well being but when it’s over 100 degrees (38C) we do not need to over do it so we can avoid heat exhaustion. In the last couple of weeks I was able to take some videos I would like to share, along with more photos of the ponies turned out. I’m just a horse crazy gal! 😀

Zack, Chloe and I in the round pen. This is a small arena usually 24×24 round – this one I think is bigger, I’ll have to measure some day. It’s a great place to exercise them!

You might be wondering, two horses in a small arena? I wouldn’t try and do this with just any horses. It is a small enclosure to where if the two horses did not get along, there could be kicking or fighting or? but my two horses are a herd. Actually, all three horses are a herd with us humans being in the mix as well. They have been acclimated and turned out together for many years.

The funniest thing Chloe does is she will chase the other two when out in the bigger arena when these big horse fly’s are around (they are akin to deer fly’s in the East only bigger. I looked them up and horse fly’s are bigger than the common house fly, deer fly’s are in between these two for size. Both land on animals to suck their blood and only the female horse fly bite for blood to feed eggs. They are huge ranging in size from 3/4 – 1 1/4 inches long. They are not numerous thankfully!)

Anyways, Chloe will canter around (run around) the arena to escape these dreaded fly’s and when she does this she inevitably runs near Zack and Gracie which in turn run too. Some days they exercise themselves just getting away from the horse fly’s! (They are easy to kill, they are so huge you can hit them easy with your hand and they fall to the ground and then I step on them. Sorry, not sorry horse fly!)

A nice ride in the arena. It is a bit hot so we are just walking to get in our steps!

It was pretty easy to video in the arena. It is nice and safe except watch out for the tree!! Haha, I am happy they walk close to the rail (which is the fence line) and of course the tree isn’t as low as Chloe’s head as she heads near it and the branches are right at my height sitting on her back. You can see Gracie getting exercised by her Mom and Zack is next to me as I pony him to get him exercised as well. I call it killing two birds with one stone, since it’s so hot I did not want to take the time to ride them each individually. If I do ride Zack, I usually ride him in the arena unless someone wants to ride with me that needs a horse on the trail.

I am so happy I have been riding on the trails for many years. Zack is 25 years old and Chloe is 16 years old this year. I have owned her since she was 2 so we have been together many, many years. I have had Zack for about 6 years now. He is part of the team, as they all fall in line with very FUN rides! Consistency and time in the saddle is key to calm trail rides!

I just LOVE to groom them. When I graduated from high school and before I decided to go to college I worked full-time for a horse trainer. He trained Hunter/Jumpers and I showed my horse with him all up and down Southern California. I worked for him for about 4 years, and what I learned was grooming is key to keep all the show horses coats glistening. I bring these years of grooming with me every day I’m at the barn.

Love you Chloe and Zack!

~Diana ❤

Summer Trail Rides and Horse Fun!

I have been wanting to share some more trail riding fun and as I get ready to go out on any given day, I always give my horses some time in an arena. It might be our round pen, which is a smaller round arena (usually around 24X24 round, but I think the one at this barn is bigger) where I make them trot around and stretch their legs. I may turn them out in our big arena where I will ask them to run and/or gallop to really stretch their legs! I have shared a video of them running in the big arena here. And sometimes I let them out in this turn out where there are trail obstacles permanently in this arena and so it is not a good place to make them run because there are all those big poles on the ground and I wouldn’t want them to run too fast in this arena and trip and fall. So this arena I let them do what they want, they often are scratching each others back as I let them mosey around.

UP CLOSE! HAHA! Chloe looking for a treat as Zack is photo bombing! They are not shy, not at all and she knows if she gives me a kiss (which I taught her to do) that I just may have a horse cookie in my pocket. Kind of a dirty nose, but then its the stables and they sniff and smell stuff and well, can be plenty dirty until I groom them and clean them all up. And then we do it all again the next day! Its a labor of love, and one I will never stop loving. I enjoy grooming them as much as they enjoy getting dirty! You have to love the outdoors and not mind the dust and dirt as it is EVERYWHERE! 😀

Mission Accomplished!! If you follow my blog you will know that what I LOVE doing with my horses is trail riding. We have miles of trails in our town and I do not trail ride alone very often. But there are times where my girlfriend is working and so if I don’t want to ride in the arena, I have to trail ride alone with both my horses. They are very good on the trails having logged in hundreds if not thousands of miles over the last 12 years. I ride Chloe and pony Zack (which means I have Zack leading next to me with a lead line while I ride Chloe in my western saddle). Here is a photo of Zack walking next to Chloe.

I am so proud of both my ponies and I am proud of myself for finally getting out there and riding. It has been my goal after moving to this new barn to ride alone with my horses on the trails. I’m a happy cowgirl! 😀

I decided to give both horses a bath and usually I spray them off kind of like a car. Not that the spray is really hard but it helps to spray to get the sweat and dirt off their coat. But today I just let the water run over them and boy how they loved the water just running off their backs. I took videos but because my hands were wet, I tried to dry them off and then for some reason I held my phone at an angle and both videos are sideways. I’ve been debating whether I should share, because it bugs me that I can’t rotate them so it’s not right. I suppose you can just turn your head and still see them getting this wonderful cool bath on a hot summer day! Okay, I’ve talked myself into sharing one video of Chloe. I have a video of Zack which I think you have to turn your head to the left to watch. Haha, I swear I had my phone positioned correctly – apparently not! Next time I will do better and have the video straight! It’s all a learning curve right? 😀

Goodness, I am talking kind of strange too… haha, I am just a crazy horse loving girl and so forgive the sideways video. For those of you who do not own horses I thought you would enjoy it even though you have to turn your head. At least it’s not upside down, I would not share if it was! Since I took some still photos I will finish up sharing those as this post is all about my summer fun with my ponies!!! ❤ ❤ ❤

Thanks for coming along with me on my horsey fun. We turned out the horses, rode out on the trail, turned out my girlfriends horse and then gave Chloe and Zack a nice bath! It was a beautiful day, and I have been wanting to share. I will have to make another trail ride video soon. I have shared one already which is here if you missed it. Loving my big furry friends!

~Diana ❤

P.S. If you really want to see Zack’s video I can share on another post, let me know in the comments. It’s okay if no one comments. It’s the same watery fun only you have to turn your head to view! Lol

My Weekly Smile; July 14, 2020

We are half way through July and summer is here, definitely no bones about it, it’s SUMMER! ! We’ve crested 100F (38C) several times through this last week. It is to be cooler as we head into this weekend. I’ll take anything under 100 degrees as I spend at least 2 hours each day outside with my horses. With my work schedule I am sometimes getting to the barn near noon, so silly hot but there is almost always a breeze which helps and I must take care of those cute ponies! My smile is for hot summer days and pony fun!

Not only is my smile for summer days, it is for summer fun eating home grown tomatoes! Not only am I getting some nice tomatoes my neighbor has given us some of theirs and so I am sharing with my girlfriend at the stables. My dear friend Maria suggested I mulch the bell peppers which are with the tomato plant and so I mulched them yesterday. I have been watering them a lot with the heat and there are many flowers on the bell pepper plants so we will see if they grow some bell peppers soon. Weeks ago one plant grew one bell pepper which I chopped up and froze. I haven’t taken any photos of my veggies lately. I’ll share this next weekend.

I’m smiling as I finish up my pink baby blanket and looking to make these cute little crochet cactus! Oh my, so much cuteness! There are 12 different cactus that I think will be so fun to stitch up and have a collection of cacti! I plan on giving some away as well. They should stitch up fairly quickly and am looking forward to making something new.

I’m going to end with a memory photo that popped up with the sister kitties. These cute kitties are my son and daughter-in-law’s kitties. I am thankful I am able to take them and enjoy their company as they now live with me, hubby and my youngest son. This was when they were just kittens 4 years ago. How can you not smile! 😀

Enjoy the rest of your week and I hope you have some things that make you smile. I have enjoyed sharing with you all and stay cool and safe.

Smiling pony loving crochet crazy gal!

~Diana ❤

Weekend Coffee Share; Keeping Busy!

Weekend Coffee share is a time for us to take a break out of our busy lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new). Please grab a cup of coffee or tea and share with us!

This last weekend came and went like a whirlwind for me and I so wanted to participate in the Weekend Coffee Share and decided to call this the weekend wrap up. At this point it may be a little late to offer you coffee and for me it is lunch here. Can I get you some Ice Tea? or maybe some lemonade? I am a tea drinker and prefer tea over lemonade, or maybe we can mix it and make it an Arnold Palmer!! I ate breakfast so it will have to be lunch, sandwich with potato salad for me, can I make you the same? Sounds yummy. 😀

I wanted to share some photos as I always do and I also am going to just go through my weekend and the fun I had as you know I am always mixing it up with my crafting and horse back riding. The first photo is of a project I am working on for my sister. I am thinking of making a bunch of these as gifts as they stitch together easily and I am so happy I finished one! On to the second one, after I tie up and stitch in the ends! They come in a pair! SO FUN! 😀

Finger-less mittens. I know it’s Spring now, but they will come in handy this next winter!

I also finished another baby blanket for my nephew and his wife. Their baby is due in May. Here is a photo, look familiar? I made the same one for my grandson, only I chose a different blue so no two are alike, that’s how I roll! I have to personalize them. This baby blanket stitches up fast. So fast I may make more in different colors and sell them at the local craft fair!

I used a baby blue for baby Teddy (my grandson). I Love this too! Lots of boys this year adding to the family tree!

I stitch at home in the afternoons before I have to sleep. Since I work night shift I need to have some down time so I crochet while I watch some TV. Usually I am watching recorded cooking shows, I am really into them and like the competition shows the best. I feel like an old lady saying that, but oh well, I’m probably an old lady! HAHA! I watch other shows too…. some news but that gets old after awhile and there’s other recorded drama shows my hubby and I watch together. Holy smokes, how did I get on that subject! So silly. On to my weekend, and I really wanted to share a few photos from my trail ride. 😀

My best friend on Gracie, the chestnut and I am riding Miss Chloe and ponying Zack!

We were heading back to the barn when another best friend was heading out and saw us and stopped and took a couple of photos of us coming in and I am so thankful for these photos as I am terrible about asking someone to take them of me riding! AND we have our masks on too, so it will be our photos to look back on during a pandemic! CRAZY DAYS! Our friends at the stables call each other pony sister’s, so Thank You Jane, my pony sister for these wonderful photos. ❤

Zack looks like he’s thinking, are we done now? We went for a longer ride so I think he is tired!
I gave Chloe a bath after my ride this weekend! She is SO SWEET!!

After our ride I cleaned up Zack and put him away and then gave Miss Chloe a bath. I really need to give Zack a bath and am waiting until it warms up this week. By Thursday it will be in the 90’s (32 Celsius) so I will give him a bath then as he takes longer to dry. His coat isn’t as short as Chloe’s and I would like it to be nice and warm for him since he is a bit older.

As I wrap this up I have all these thoughts running through my head. I usually try hard to write my blog with a theme, whether it be my horses, or my family or sometimes just my crafting. I think I’ve mixed my crafting and horses often as I do take the most photos of these two things. I am finding that my mind is kind of all over the place, probably because our every day lives are a bit tenuous, and that is probably an understatement. I want to stay positive and keep this post about the weekend, I think you all won’t mind. 😀

Aren’t they just ADORABLE! ❤ ❤ ❤

These two brothers are just amazing to me. How can you not say – AWWW! Sending my hugs like these two kitties, from my house to yours!

Happy thoughts, Happy Loving Cowgirl,

~Diana

Upside down is Beautiful!

A break in the rain, pretty ponies in the water! I love the rippling in the water and the clouds in this photo!

I had a wonderful morning with my ponies. I donned my mask, put on my rubber boots and headed to the feed store to buy shavings for my horses stalls. Here at this stables and most in town, only the box stalls come with shavings. The paddocks are dry parcels and depending on the boarding facilities the owner of the horses supply their own shavings or bedding. We use these pelleted shavings and/or fine pine to help soak up the water and aide in a dry area for the horses to stand and eat and/or lay down at night. It’s worth every penny to put down some bedding to help keep a dry area during these wet days. I was able to turn out the horses and I believe that my two may be the only ones at these stables that thoroughly enjoy the lake in the corner of the arena!! Silly ponies! 😀

My girlfriends horse Gracie! She rolled a couple of times in the wet sand. She is so silly and was feeling so good today, trotting and running around the arena! You can see the small lake in the corner of the arena behind Gracie.
I am enjoying these cool photos with the ripples and mirror images from the water! I just have to share all the photos I took today, SO MUCH FUN!
Zack looks like he is looking at himself in the mirror!! Haha!
Close up as they meander in the water. Love the ripples and I am too close to get their whole body in the mirror.

It felt so very good to be outside. It has not rained all day but it is very cloudy out and more rain will be here soon. It is to rain all day long tomorrow and then ease up into Friday with the storm blowing away by the weekend. I heard some thunder rumbling in the distance when I finished up at the barn today. Stormy clouds all around with the sun breaking through here and there and I was so happy I was in the arena when the sun shone enough so I could get some really excellent photos. I saved the best for last. When I took the photo I did hold my phone upright instead of sideways and I snapped this photo. When I got home and I viewed my photos it was upside down! Wait, what? I believe it is partially because of they way I took it, but I decided to use it even though I could flip it around. I thought it was a really cool and BEAUTIFUL PHOTO!! One of the best reflections yet!! I hope you enjoy. 😀 😀 😀

Upside and beautiful! Fun with photos, and my pretty ponies!

There you have it! I thought the mirror image so very cool I wanted to share as it is ~ so exciting and so much fun!! I just keep staring at this photo, it’s so interesting. They all had some good exercise and then a good grooming as they ate their lunch. I really needed this time outside and am so grateful for my ponies. They bring me such joy and relaxation. I hope you all have a good week!

Crazy, Horse loving Cowgirl!

~Diana ❤