Weekend Coffee Share; Trail Riding Success!


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! What’s been going on in your life? any weekend plans?

I am completely enjoying this month as we move into fall. You can smell it in the air as we cool down especially at night so the mornings stay fairly cool for many hours. The nights will start to dip down into the 50’s soon a very welcome reprieve from the summer months. I often mention how time flies as we get older, it just goes by faster each year so it seems. I really do try and savor each day. I have dreams for the future that sometimes feel out of reach, so instead of getting frustrated I try and concentrate on each day to each week. It does make life more fulfilling this way in my eyes! How is your coffee this morning? I had a delicious cup with my oatmeal and english muffin. Or maybe you are drinking tea? I have been having a wonderful time this last month trail riding on my horses, and it took some experimenting but I figured out a way to pony Zack next to Chloe with little to no biting. I’ll explain!

Miss Chloe and Zack, I ride Chloe and have Zack follow on the lead line. This is SO DIFFERENT for me and my youth training of riding Hunter/ Jumpers. This is a whole new discipline of riding that I am enjoying very much! ❤
I ride Miss Chloe with a short rein that is easy to hold, since I have to hold Zack’s lead rope as well. I am getting very comfortable with them both. TONS OF FUN!
I bought a trail riding muzzle, not very successful! He can still be annoying!

When I started on my trail rides ponying Zack I started with just his blue halter with a stud shank (the chain that is attached to the halter) and the lead rope. For those of you who do not know horses, the stud shank chain adds a bit of strength for us puny humans. Most horses weigh around 1,000 pounds give or take 100 pounds. (Zack weighs about 1,000 pounds, Chloe weighs just over 1,200 pounds. We use a tape that measures their height on one side of the tape and measures their weight on the other side that goes around their barrel/belly and approximates how much they weigh. We use it for treatment purposes, as I have to watch Zack’s weight because he has Insulin resistance a metabolic syndrome older horses sometimes acquire as they age. It is nice to have if you want to see how tall your horse is too!)

Zack knows his strength and my sister and I have had him just put his head down with us holding the lead rope while we lead him and he would trot off pulling us on the other end! He is too strong and he knows exactly what he is doing and so we have to let go or be dragged. I have been working on his ground manners with GREAT SUCCESS! And he hasn’t tried to “run off” like that in some years. But I do not want to lose him on the trail, should he shy or spook at something I want as much control of him as I can while riding Chloe. This chain works PERFECT! It goes over their nose and up the side and they have nerves on their nose which when pressured applied, they will comply. It doesn’t hurt him unless he tries to pull away. He actually LOVES Chloe so he stays pretty close, but that’s where the biting comes into play. He just nips and bites her butt, side or my leg as I ride! He is such a brat!!!

He can actually bite the lead rope through the muzzle I bought him which I show in the last photo above. He can grab the lead rope with the muzzle and lead rope in his mouth and then pull and pull on my arm. UGH! He then bumps Chloe trying to bite her through the muzzle which after awhile she gets VERY ANNOYED! STOP IT ZACK!!

I decided to try a bridle with a bit and I took off the reins. Low and behold he is so much happier with the bit in his mouth. He has an oral fixation and just chews and chews on the bit and rarely tries to bite as we ride along. I finally found a solution to my problem as the trail rides were getting more and more annoying with all the nipping and biting. I was about to give up, but it is absolutely the best thing I started doing because I can exercise both horses at the same time and he really needs the exercise! It is usually 30 up to 50 minutes of walking depending on the trails we choose to ride on any given day.

I am a happy cowgirl, thankful for my ponies and the fun and joy they bring to my life. I was asked on my weekly smile to share a photo of my haircut. So I will share what I took here. 😀 weekly smile

I didn’t share because I thought it was a little blurry in the background. I love my color as it always comes out great. Thank you Preference by L’Oreal! Hehe!
I can barely braid it now that its cut, but a small braid is better than none. I like a braid for the stables as I ride with a helmet. So now I have a short braid, better than no braid at all! Haha!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend and thank you for stopping by my weekend coffee share! I am heading to the stables and am thinking this will be bath day for my ponies. Zack is starting to grow his winter coat and each year I always pray it won’t grow to thick. I know I am hoping for a miracle because he just grows a super thick coat like he lives in Alaska or something. I will just shave the hair off once November arrives. It is just to hard to manage in this warm winter climate here in So Cal. Chloe does not grow a long coat, Love that girl! ❤

Happy trail riding Cowgirl!

~Diana ❤

My Weekly Smile; Sept 10, 2019

We are feeling a bit of fall weather today. My weekly smile is this wonderful COOL day at almost the end of summer! 😀

YES! A high of only 79 degrees. What a beautiful day. We have had nothing but super hot days with many of them topping 100 degrees. I live inland in CA, and even though it isn’t as hot as say the Mojave desert, it is still sweltering. I had a huge smile as I enjoyed my day! And here is a series of photos of my afternoon. I can’t help myself! ❤ ❤

Hi Zack! Chloe is next to him as I tried to capture the cloud cover. SO NICE!
Turn out day, oh my, I’ve been longing for some cooler weather! YAY!
Let’s get moving. I like Zack in front trotting nicely. It is hard to catch them traveling nicely when taking a photo!
I like Chloe in this photo! as they continue to trot around. Once they warm up, they can get excited! 😀
There she goes! This is with my phone camera, not to bad considering. They were feeling good today in this cooler weather!
Run Zack run! Haha, I just pointed and snapped. These aren’t the best, but still fun to share and its all I have at the moment to take photos! 😀
I have the hardest time getting them to both look at me with their ears up! Zack looks so silly to me, like what? Its just is eyes, silly guy. Chloe thinks I have a treat, always on her mind!

I wanted to do something different for my smile this week with the photos telling the story. I am enjoying sharing and I think there is always something to smile about. I have to say that with some extra stress we are feeling at home at the moment, it is truly a pleasure and kind of an escape to be at the barn and share a smile about this gorgeous day with these pretty ponies. What are you smiling about today? My friend Trent hosts these weekly smiles and I have to thank him as I always do for all he does for our weekly smiles. I hope you enjoyed, thank you for visiting. I hope you have a great week!

Looking forward to FALL! AND Cool weather!

~Diana ❤

My Weekly Smile; Sept 3, 2019

My weekly smile this week goes to my huge furry friends who make me smile everyday I see them. To anyone who reads my blog it won’t be a surprise that I am talking about my horses. Yes, I talk about them a ton, blog about them as often as I can and take a million photos of them because I just can’t help myself. I sometimes try and change things up and share other things which are important to me, which I think is okay since this blog is about My Life, but it’s also about my Horse Stories. I won’t stray for long away from my pretty ponies! Whenever I am feeling down or sad, it never fails when I am at the barn they ALWAYS pick me up and make me smile! 😀 And of course, I look forward to my daily visits when I am happy too! ❤

My beautiful bay roan, Miss Chloe! She melts my heart!

What I noticed today is how beautiful their coats are as summer is waning, and fall is on it’s way. They will soon be growing their winter coats and I am thankful Chloe does not grow a very long winter coat at all, but Zack turns into a fuzzy bear! I plan on clipping his coat to make it easier to groom him and keep him exercised. Her beauty just makes me smile!

This is my handsome boy Zack. His coat is still nice and short and he is nice and clean! ❤

As they were lose running around I noticed their shine. My photos didn’t capture the shine as much as in person, especially Zack as a grey horse doesn’t glisten like darker colors. He is doing really well, a very happy boy and I am totally enjoying him this summer. He is a funny horse, lots of personality and of course Chloe has personality too. They are both so different since she is a mare and he a gelding, it is fun to see how different they are. Zack loves to chew on things and always tries to nip or bite. He knows not to bite us humans, but still sometimes tries. Chloe is much better and does not have that oral fixation. Its a guy thing for most geldings.

Horses being horses! This makes me so HAPPY! They LOVE to groom each other!

I Love how they groom each other. I’ve written and talked often about the herd dynamics. Chloe is an alpha mare, totally in charge of the herd even if it is only 2 or 3 horses (I often turn out my girlfriends horse with these 2 which I did today but I didn’t take a photo of Gracie). Chloe is definitely the boss lady, is totally in charge and makes sure the herd stays safe! She is as solid as they come, and brings much calm and bravery to the herd. I can’t express how much I love this horse and she and I have mutual respect for each other. It is the most AMAZING bond between human and horse, hard to describe but we are so connected her understanding me and vice versa.

I can say that Zack and I are more bonded then when I first got him and he has learned with Chloe’s help that our group is a wonderful thing and his confidence is growing. But he still gets scared of things on the trail and his fear and flight brain sometimes jumps out but Chloe and I can keep him in check and in control. He’s fun, different and keeps me always thinking about how horses think and feel. They are all different with different personalities.

Thanks for visiting my #weeklysmile! This is hosted by a blogging friend Trent. I think it is so fun to share what makes us smile! What made you smile? Your comments are always welcome and I hope you have an amazing week.

Always smiling with my beautiful horses!

~Diana

Labor Day Weekend ~ Sept 2

It is Labor Day Weekend, What? I can’t believe it is September 2, 2019. As I am writing this I have the news on watching Category 4 Hurricane Dorian stalled along the coast of Florida, my heart and prayers go to all those that may be affected by this hurricane. I know we can have disasters here where I live, earthquakes and wildfires to name a few and am thankful they are far and few between at least in the location of my house. But what I wanted to talk about was the lovely weekend I had at the stables. I am so thankful for my horses and all the joy that they bring to my life. It is also helping me to stay grounded as there are new stresses at home, so the escape to the stables is a blessing in disguise.

Zack on the left, Chloe next and then Gracie on the right in the cross-ties.

It is getting more crowded at the stables. We have always had the same amount of stalls, but sometimes they are rented to people that either don’t ride or don’t come down the same time as all the “trail riders” and so there is sufficient room when I am there to exercise my ponies. Now there are more and more woman that are riding in the mornings making things like hitching posts or cross-ties a commodity. So all the photos I am going to share today are my ponies after my trail ride this lovely weekend but I had to tie Zack to the side of the cross-ties because there was no where else to tie him. Thankfully, he ties REALLY well, so does Chloe for that matter and there is a place to tie him to the side of this cross-tie. I LOVE all the grass at this boarding stables, for many reasons and one of them is when I hosed off Zack I was just watering the grass, NOT making a mud hole since this isn’t really a “place” to tie your horse. It works, it works really well I think! I can see myself doing this more often in the future with all the new ladies at the barn! Lol 😀

A more candid shot. I like it! If you look closer, Gracie isn’t “tied” she is what we call ground tied. Just standing without being clipped to the cross-ties. She pulls back and does not tie, silly girl gets scared when tied to anything. But she stands perfect without being tied!

We have had really FUN rides and it has been great bringing Zack along as I am getting more and more practice ponying him next to Chloe. I now have gone across our busy 6th street with no problems (I didn’t think it would be a problem, but I wanted to feel confident before venturing out on trails where there could be more for either horse to spook at and I am getting it done with confidence!). I am very proud of myself and all my riding experience is paying off as I train more each time I ride out with both horses. Today we rode out and on our ride a motorcycle came towards us down the road and Zack got really upset as he doesn’t like motorcycles or bicycles especially riding towards him and he jumped up and really bumped Chloe hard but stayed in my hand on the end of the lead rope really well. He calmed right back down and just started walking again with no issues. Chloe was a superstar as she always is and just took the bump and let him be up and scared and she just stood her ground. I was really happy how it all turned out, no ride is perfect and you just have to be prepared for anything. This all turned out fine.

A friend at the stables asked if I wanted her to try and get their ears forward? Sure I say, silly ponies!!
Finally, with a bucket of carrots Zack is interested and giving us that pretty look! He has lost hair around his eyes, this happens to Chloe too, from fly spray use during the summer! That’s why he looks like he has dark circles under his eyes.

I so enjoyed riding this weekend and every day I can ride. I am so very happy I decided to try this ponying thing, bringing Zack along on our rides and it is a great challenge and is turning out to be a ton of fun and also is a super time saver. I am “killing two birds with one stone” as they say, which with what free time I can dedicate to my horses always has me leaving one of them less exercised as the other. Now they are both getting a nice 1/2 hour to hour ride each trail ride we go on and I am a happy camper with my new found confidence and trail ponying abilities. ❤

I started out this post with a beautiful rose bud from my garden. To say good bye to summer and to say hello to fall. We can still have some summer heat through the month of September, I pray it will start to cool off soon. It does cool off at night so that is helpful, if you get up early the mornings are really nice. I will end with a photo I took as my son and I went out on a late walk this weekend as the sun was setting. I hope you all have had a nice holiday weekend and enjoyed this last weekend in August.

Pretty sunset, good bye August!

Happy trails with my ponies Zack and Chloe!

~Diana ❤

Weekend Coffee Share; Great Trail Ride Today!

Weekend Coffee share is a time to share with friends and family. What are you up to this weekend? Are you staying home and relaxing or enjoying the great outdoors?

I decided to share what I am doing this weekend which is enjoying my time with my horses. I sometimes get so darn busy I have to slow down and savor my days off and really stop and smell the roses, or smell the horse stables and the horses!! What made this day so incredibly enjoyable was a beautiful cool summer morning. It was a cool 65 degrees this morning at 9am and it warmed up to the low 80’s a definite improvement from 100 degrees which it topped earlier this last week. The week coming up will climb up again to 102 but am thankful it cools off in the evenings. I feel very thankful it does cool off here in Southern California. It has been a hot summer but not as bad as some summers we have experienced so I can’t complain. It is going to be beautiful tomorrow as well. So LOVING this weekend weather! I forgot, since I am talking about all this weather I think a nice iced Latte with almond milk would hit the spot for me, what are you drinking today? 😀

Hi Chloe and Zack! looking for their treat after our ride today. I now take Zack every time I ride out by having him follow me with a lead rope on his halter. It is called ponying, it is what they do when they take pack horses on long trail rides. He is in heaven walking along side of Chloe!
Please can I have a treat? I only spoil them after my ride, they were GREAT today!
Silly photo, they LOVE their treats!!

I went on the trail with my girlfriend Sally and her horse Gracie which I have shared many photos of them here on my blog. The 3 horses are like their own little herd and so enjoy being together. I am learning to pony Zack and we did not know how Gracie would be with both Chloe and Zack walking along side and she was perfect. We turn them all out together so it makes sense that they were just fine walking along the trails here in my home town of Norco. Today as we rode, I was just feeling so relaxed and was so very happy that I had both my horses with me getting some good exercise and we got to chat and catch up riding with my girlfriend. I am so lucky and thankful for such a great day. I hope to have many more! How is your coffee or tea? or maybe you are drinking some juice? How is your weekend going for you, I hope it has been as nice as mine. ❤

Zack after a nice grooming after the trail ride. He is a happy boy!
Chloe after our ride today. So funny I manage to catch her as she is taking a bite of her hay!

I was going to talk about some of my other projects that I do at home. I so enjoy my crochet projects but I think I will write a separate blog about that and I can take a few more photos of my project before I share. So I will just stick with my coffee share this weekend and keep focused on these pretty ponies. 😀 😀 😀

I am feeling so accomplished by getting more and more confident in taking them both on the trails. I am getting better at figuring out what to do if things go awry (for instance; one of the horses could spook at something, or they both could spook, I am thankful they are not really spooky horses.) You never really know what you may come across while riding throughout the neighborhood. But I do feel like both horses give each other comfort and I also feel like Chloe’s experience with me holding the reins gives them confidence as well. They are VERY responsive and aren’t the type to panic and the few little things that have come up so far we have managed with perfection. I am so excited to be riding and training them together on the trails because some day if I am able to move to Arizona, they will be good to go together and will already have the trail miles on them to start right out trail riding together anywhere where move.

I hope you are having a great weekend. I am so happy that I take the time to slow down and enjoy what I can when I can on my days off. I’ve enjoyed sharing as always, these ponies bring me so much joy and I am so happy, grateful and blessed to be able to ride and care for these beautiful animals!!

Horse crazy Grandma, Mom and Wife!

~Diana

101 POSTS! My Favorite Thing – Horses!

I can’t believe I have written 100 posts and this is 101! I have been extremely busy the last few weeks and have missed my blog. I won’t go into all the boring details but suffice it to say that my job and my chores and responsibilities have me running around like crazy and so I just haven’t had time to write. I was so enjoying writing at least once a week and want to get back to that in the near future. I finally have time today to get pen to paper (or hands on my computer!) 😀

My Ponies this weekend as they scratch each others back! They so enjoy this time together!

I have a series of horse photos I am going to share as I absolutely LOVE taking them of my two horses and my girlfriends horse lose in the arena. I am taking care of her horse as she is visiting her granddaughter this weekend. Her granddaughter lives about 8 hours away where her son and daughter-in-law live up North. So she is like me and probably millions of other Grandma’s who do not live close to loved ones or extended families. I miss my granddaughter so much, and I want to move closer but it is a huge undertaking and will take some time. I write often about this and even though my girlfriend wish’s she could live closer too, it isn’t feasible for her either at this time. How many Grandma’s out there missing their grandchildren raise their hands? I will be visiting mine in 2 weeks as it will be her 4th birthday. ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Zack getting a drink and Chloe looking at me for a photo I’m sure! Haha!
Zack is always a challenge to get his attention and his ears up, Chloe is a natural!
I just LOVE this photo of these two! Something about the sharpness, makes me smile! 😀
The three amigos Zack, Chloe and Gracie. I usually have to make them move faster than a walk!
Gracie up close and personal! Haha, looking for a treat!!

I know I have shared a lot of photos of my horses, and here you go, more photos of my pretty horses. They are what keeps me grounded and keeps me focused as they need care and they so enjoy being taken care of and they make me smile. I have been able to ride but not as often as I would like and am hoping my crazy busy life right now will settle down a bit so that I can fit in more riding time. My rides are usually on trail but I do enjoy riding Zack in the arena. I am hoping to ride Zack tomorrow. I was able to ride Chloe today with another friend at the stables. What do you do that keeps you busy? I know many have hobbies like painting, crocheting and knitting. I bet there are those that have young children that keep them very busy!! Those days are way behind me, so now it’s taking care of young animals/pets and older ones too! It is enjoyable, but can be time consuming.

Chloe is my rock, such an alpha mare and SO SURE OF HERSELF! LOVE HER SO MUCH!

I’ll end by saying that even though I’ve been a bit absent and missed my blog I have been trying to keep up reading and commenting on others! I had plans on sharing on the weekly smile, but have only shared one smile blog, more smile blogs are in my future! And I also enjoy sharing on the Weekend Coffee Share and I was doing pretty good for more than a few weeks in a row. I want to get back to that and will soon. I enjoy sharing my thoughts and feelings and instead of going crazy on this post (I have a lot of thoughts that have been ruminating in my mind) I decided I want to just share my LOVE of these ponies. I think staying on this track makes sense and as I enjoyed my day riding on trail today, grooming, fluffing new shavings in their stalls and giving them lots of hugs I feel refreshed to tackle next week. Thanks for reading my blog and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! ❤ 😀 ❤ 😀 ❤

Happy Pony Loving Girl!

-Diana ❤

The Weekly Smile

I think it is so important to smile. I am joining in on the weekly smile with friends and this is put together by Trent who is so kind to put this all together for all of us to enjoy! Thank you Trent! I know I am enjoying reading and hearing about everyone’s smile and so I will share what I am smiling about this week. Part of my smiles is a vacation day with July 4th off tomorrow! Yippee!! We all LOVE an extra day off of work, and to celebrate our Independence even better right? I hope you all are going to have a wonderful day tomorrow, I know I will have a great day! 😀

Me Smiling today riding my girl Miss Chloe on trail!

I am so happy to be riding my girl down the trail. Today I was by myself and am lucky she is really a good girl all by herself. We do not travel far and she knows the route by heart. I don’t even need to guide her as she knows every turn. We ride around the block which takes about 30 minutes and what a big huge smile on my face as we quietly walked the trails. Thank you Miss Chloe for a perfectly, wonderful ride! Love her so much! ❤

This morning I was watering and the smell of this rose AMAZING! MADE ME SMILE!

I have had a busy week, it will only get busier later in July for me but I went outside this morning to water my very small garden and the temperature and air were just wonderful. I was just taking in the beauty of the day and as I was watering I noticed some beautiful blooms. This one rose bush did not bloom last year and almost died. But this year it is flourishing and I am thinking probably because of all the rain we have had, what ever the reason this rose has the most incredible rose smell. I don’t know much about roses, but this one the buds are so round and compact and then when they eventually unfold, it is just beautiful but so different than my other roses or what I would call “normal” blooms. I guess its just the species of this rose. I’ll have to do some research. These roses were all planted by the previous owner of the house.

This is a bloom from the same plant above. It’s so different, and I am glad it came back to life!

What are you smiling about today? or this week? I have a new employee starting at work this week and that puts a huge smile on my face. I am hoping she will like working at the lab. I am looking forward to more trail riding tomorrow and through the weekend. Both my horses need the exercise and it is so fun to ride and am hoping to be joined with my girlfriends at the barn. I will end with a photo of my horses since they are my therapy and really help keep that smile on my face. I hope you enjoy your weekend too! 😀 😀 😀

This photo is from 2015. I’m planning on sharing more photos on my next blog post from 2015, but thought I’d share this one here as I smile at them beauties!

I feel like I am smiling at a lot of different things, but that happens right? So this blog is about my day to day things I love and when I see things that catch my eye, I sure enjoy sharing!

Keep Smiling!! 😀

-Diana