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 ❤

My Weekly Smile; Sept. 2, 2020

 A smiling face is a beautiful face. A smiling heart is a happy heart.
                                             Dr. T.P. Chia
                                                                  

I love smiling and darn it all, we now can’t see those smiles when one is out and about! I am missing them and can see in a person’s eyes when they are smiling. Welcome to my smile post and I am smiling because my arrowhead potted plant I am featuring as my first photo is just loving the weather and is looking so pretty. It is growing and doing excellent and makes me smile!

Mind you, I totally understand we need to keep safe, I do not want you to think I do not understand the masks. Just missing smiles and I know one day we will be beyond all of this and will then be able to enjoy all those smiles. 😀

We have had some cooling off with our weather which has been so welcome as we move into September. BUT (there is always a but) we are expecting another heat wave this weekend. It was a cool 60 degrees this morning on my walk. It felt so refreshing and it did get up to almost 90 degrees today but this weekend it is going to be over 100. Saturday and Sunday weather reports are to hit 113 degrees (45C) YIKES! I feel fortunate we had a nice trail ride today. We won’t ride this weekend.

I am also smiling because my daughter is coming home for this Labor day weekend! YIPPEE! She has not been able to come home since February. We are all excited. She lives near the ocean up near Vandenberg AFB which has the best weather ever. So now she is coming to heat! She will be bringing all summer clothes and am hoping we can keep the house cool enough for her. It will be a fun visit as I was able to take an extra day off! YAY! SMILING! 😀

Thank you for visiting my smile, and I am thankful for my horses that make me smile every day. I am hoping I am not being to redundant with my smile posts as sometimes I feel like the same things always make me smile. I want to stay positive and spreading smiles is my way to bring a little positivity to you, as there is always something out there that can bring you a smile!

Happy Smiling Cowgirl,

~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

Weekend Coffee Share; June 26, 2020

Welcome to my coffee share, can I get you a strong cup of coffee? or maybe some tea? I am having ice tea as I am getting an early start to this weekend and its rather warm out so ice tea is very quenching right now. As this week ends I am realizing it has been 2 months since I moved my horses to a new stables. I live in Horse town USA (It really is what our small town is proud of with over a hundred miles of horse trails all over town). There are a ton of stables, too many to count but that being said I had decided to move across town to a bigger place with more amenities. I can’t believe 2 months have passed! WOW! Time flies!

The horses have settled in really well. I did have one little hiccup with the hay I chose for Chloe that she ended up not liking. This new stables offers 5 different types of hay. She has lost some weight which isn’t a bad thing as she’s a big girl, but I think she was getting an ulcer from this hay and so I had them switch it out with what she is use to and she is much better now. Zack I didn’t change any hay when I moved him so he is doing well and I like his weight. Chloe may gain weight, I don’t want her to get too heavy as they can get something similar to diabetes called Insulin resistance which can cause many metabolic problems. Zack has this Insulin resistance, so I have to watch his weight and what he eats. It makes me very happy to see them thrive and enjoy where they now live. 😀

I have to say that I personally have settled in as well. I had many regrets after I moved the horses leaving many friends and I found that change is hard. I think change is harder than we think and sometimes we just want “normal” back, even if that normal had some underlying emotional strain. I had some issues at the old stables, some things that happened in the past that left some wounds. Wounds do heal, but I just felt that it was a good time to try something new and change things up and boy, that’s exactly what my girlfriend and I did, changed things up! We are finding our groove and a new routine. I am enjoying our new stable digs! ❤

I have one last thing I need to accomplish and as we get into July I want to go out on the trail by myself with both my horses. I have only gone out on the trail with my girlfriend and her horse Gracie at this new stables. I have confidence that my ponies will be just fine together without my girlfriend, and it’s important to me that I give this a try as there are days my girlfriend is working and I LOVE the trails so I need to get out there and my world will be complete. Just a goal I would like to complete sometime in the near future. They needed time to get use to all the new things out on these trails on the other side of town. My horses have had plenty of time to settle in, and I am settling in too!

I usually try and have a segue into the next subject, the photos will have to do as I really wanted to share the kitty photos. The boys are the ones that are probably in baby Teddy’s bassinet more than the baby, aren’t they silly and my family in Arizona provides me their photos. These kitties live there. Duchess and Dinah are with us and they are the best girls. They are sisters and the boys are brothers for those who are new to my blog posts. I’ve posted many photos of these kitties, they bring us much joy and happiness! Thank you for visiting and having coffee or tea with me today.

Have a wonderful weekend!

~Diana ❤

Reflections, Smiles and Horsey Fun!

A view across the hills where I live in California!

I decided to label this post “Reflections” as I have been thinking a lot about how this year is almost half over. Next week will be June 1st and I know I can say for everyone, what the heck happened to this year 2020? I think it is a big WOW! and it almost feels like we are all in a movie and someone will come along and say “cut, that’s a take!” I think this because I am a big movie buff, to think we are living history when they look back and pick apart all the good and the bad ideas or things that happened during this pandemic. I think we are already seeing the looking back part within these last few months as we start pulling ourselves back into reality, or hopefully back to some normalcy. As I am writing this my hubby is saying let’s eat lunch out in a restaurant! Something that we truly miss even though its been great to eat more at home, something we should keep doing going forward. We lead very busy lives, so this all has been a real eye opener to slow down and reset, at least that is how it feels and hopefully we saved many lives in the process. ❤

I don’t think “normal” will be back. I think we will have a new normal, something akin to what it was but I believe there will be many changes that will stay with us for a very long time. Some of these changes I believe will benefit things like the normal flu season that always comes and goes, as one would think this last flu season got snuffed out a bit with all the social distancing and closing down. I pray we get the schools going again , sooner than later and I know this is a HUGE subject so I am only going to touch upon it by saying let’s all get back to work (carefully) and let’s get this country up and running again. I want to be able to look for a job in Arizona so that I can move my family there one day, sooner than later if possible. (I do believe it will be at least one more year, praying for next year to make this happen!)

As I reflect, I want to thank all my new followers and all my blogging friends who follow my blog. 😀 This has been a journey of sorts for me starting with what is blogging? I thought I would just write short stories, I suppose this can happen with wonderful photo prompts that I want to engage in someday from fellow bloggers. I feel like I have a yearning to mold my blog into what it’s titled My Life – And – Horse Stories. I stray sometimes from my model, and struggle with my brand sometimes. I am learning as I go and I have met some wonderful, beautiful, kind, amazing – really super fun people. I thank you for all your comments and I have grown as a person writing and sharing my thoughts with ya’ll. You make me humble, and very appreciative. Thank you for reading all about my reflections today, it makes me smile so much so I think I will use this as my smile post this week!

Let’s switch gears to HORSES! YES! My passion, my muse they truly bring me such joy and happiness. I have recently moved them to another boarding facility in our horse town, it is across town and they have settled in nicely. It has been a month since I moved them, my how these weeks have flown by. We have been enjoying the trails, as I ride Chloe and pony Zack riding with my girlfriend on her horse Gracie. Chloe is 16 years old this year and doing GREAT! So happy with her as she has a bad back leg with an old stifle injury (this would be her knee). I can tell she has little to no pain in it any more which is wonderful. Zack is the white horse, he is 25 years old this year. He is starting to really show his age as gravity draws down on their top-line (this is where they sometimes start looking sway back) and they lose muscle tone. I am trying to keep him active and moving. Gracie turned 28 years old this year. She has been really showing her age, but is doing good.

I take so many photos of my horses. They look forward to my company as much as I look forward to theirs. They truly like getting out and about with me and since I have moved them I always take them out together. I want to start separating them a little bit more. They are herd animals and so it is very natural for them to be near each other and do things together. They do call to each other if you take one too far away, this is called herd bound and it is nice if you can take one off the property say with a friend without the other going nuts, as they wonder where their stable mate went too!! Chloe is not herd bound as much as Zack. Since they have each other and I do not go to horse shows, there isn’t a great need to break them up and make them be apart other than riding just Chloe without Zack is a bit easier… I’m getting really use to taking them together, so its all good.

I hope you all have a wonderful week. I always welcome your thoughts and I just had to share mine as I like to reflect now and again.

Reflecting Grandma 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 ❤

Weekend Coffee Share; Spring Trail Rides!

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!

I am really happy it is Spring! The weather is warming up a little bit. As a matter of fact, the weather here where I live is actually PERFECT right now and has been for the last few weeks. Other than the rainy days, the temps outside are so nice. It has been in the 60’s most days which is so comfortable. The horses don’t get too hot after a ride and the fly’s at the stables are not bad, still asleep or whatever they do when it is cool outside. The fly’s are terrible in the heat, as that is when they are most active. Sorry about going on about bugs, and the only ones we really complain about at the stables are the fly’s. Mosquitoes don’t come around until Summer, and they aren’t bad here either. We are looking at temps in the 60’s into next week where it will start to warm up into the 80’s by end of week. Great trail riding weather! Can I get you another cup of your favorite drink? I wanted to share the last two days, riding in the best weather! 😀

Let’s get ready for our trail ride Zack!
Come on Chloe! Let’s go for a ride. Today it will be just Chloe, Zack and I on the trail.
This is our tie rail where I am tacking up Chloe. My saddle is on her and Zack waiting with his trail boots on for our ride. They are well behaved and tie well.
You know I have to take a lot of photos of getting ready for our trail ride! I think Zack’s tail looks so beautiful. I make sure to keep it clean and it’s not hard. I just brush it every day! 😀

I ride Chloe and pony Zack which means that he walks with a lead line next to Chloe and I control him by keeping her by her side with his lead rope. He LOVES Chloe, and willingly walks along side her and my horses now have months of training on the trials riding side by side. I am so very proud of them and proud of myself going out and getting trail miles. It’s so fun riding with these two ponies. It is such joy to be outside listening to the birds sing and seeing the spring flowers bloom.

I had to take this photo quickly as I have a lot of ropes in my hands. Not the best photo but still wanted to share!
I am using cross-ties which is where we have hoses so we can wash them off if needed. I just washed their legs today. They are all done today, my pretty ponies!

I am enjoying my weekend as I got to ride the next day with my girlfriend and her horse Gracie. I told my girlfriend I wanted to ride to River Rd. where I can get a great view of our local mountains. The last of the snow for this season is about to melt away from the last storm that blew through. I will share a photo I took of Mt. Baldy. I’ve shared this mountain before and its snow peaks, just trying to get all I can get outside this weekend. How is your weekend going? I know we all are staying home, I am lucky to be just over a mile from my stables. And our stables is open, lot’s of space and am thankful for my trail rides. It is the best therapy in the world, at least in my world.

The last of the snow on our local mountains. This is Mt. Baldy! All the trees in the foreground is the Santa Ana Riverbed. There are a lot of trails in the riverbed.
My girlfriend on Gracie and I on the trail! We are on River Rd after I took my mountain photo!

Thank you for visiting and am always so happy to hear from you. Drop me a comment or two if you feel so inclined. I always love hearing how you all are doing. My life has not really changed too much, mostly eating out is gone for now, but everything else is good. I am so thankful I can get outside not only for walks but also for my trail rides. ❤ ❤ ❤

Stay safe, stay strong! AND don’t touch your face, and always wash your hands!

Love, Diana 😀

Walking and Horsey Stuff!

This mornings sunrise! Walking for health and well being.

I wake up feeling a bit stiff. I stretch and stretch again and can’t wait to walk. I am writing this to keep myself accountable because I want to walk every day, but I don’t. When I am working I am walking and I walk when I am at the barn but that is not what I am talking about. I want to walk miles, but my busy life makes walking miles challenging! How do you fit exercise into your schedule? I LOVE the endorphins from exercise, I think I would be an exercise addict if I didn’t own horses, or LOVE crochet and the other things that block my way, like work and my crazy schedule. 😀

So I am writing this to encourage myself. Haha, maybe I may encourage you too! The stretching I did after my walk after my synovial fluids were warmed up (they say it takes 20 minutes for your synovial fluids to flow and lubricate your joints, this goes for horses and all animals so consider a good warm up as you exercise!) that stretching felt SO GOOD! I am feeling my age these days and if you do not stretch, DO IT! I can’t tell you how tight your muscles get, whether you are sitting all day or standing a lot. I can’t tell you how much better you’ll feel if you add stretching to your daily routine. I am no exercise guru, just an average Grandma/Mom and am feeling great and adding this to my routine has really changed my life. I never thought stretching and walking could make me feel so GOOD! YAY!

I do get exercise at the barn with my horses. I get upper body work out with the pitch fork and raking. I also carry bags of grain and shavings. I lift my saddle (a saddle can weigh from 10 – 60 lbs) my western saddle probably weighs between 30 – 40 lbs as it is a flex tree and is lighter than the average western saddle, my English around 20 lbs. I have never weighed them but that is another upper body work out. AND brushing (grooming) my horses, definitely a good upper body work out! This is my outside gym! ❤

My grooming helps them shine! This is from last weekend after a beautiful trail ride!
Zack to my left (really my right) and Chloe as I walk them to their stalls!

My girlfriend at the stables was walking up the aisle as I was walking my horses together back to their stalls after my ride. She said “whoa” HAHA! and I realized she meant for me to stop as she pulled out her phone to take some photos. THANK YOU! I don’t have many photos of myself with my ponies. I just LOVE THEM!! I am going to share a few more as I so adore my Equine friends. I am so blessed and truly thankful I can have these beautiful animals. They really listen to me and we have such a good time together.

As I walk both of them I have learned that keeping their feet moving is the best way to get from point A to point B. You see they are 1,000 lbs and are very strong and they know their strength. Yes, they are compliant most of the time, and while leading them if I let them put their head down and take a bite of grass, it is all over. They are too strong for me to pull their heads up one arm at a time! Haha, they are not bad, they just act like they are starving and that they must eat the grass. So if I keep their heads up and don’t let the lead line get too long, especially walking both together I am good! Silly ponies!

I just LOVE this photo, such pretty horses!
Uh Oh! I need to move their feet! Zack wants to eat, and Chloe too! If they get the upper edge I just leave one to eat and take the other to the stall. No use fighting or pulling and not winning the grazing need.

As I walked into the tack room yesterday and with all the rain I noticed all the leather smells in the tack room. I think when it rains it really makes the Earth smells a bit stronger, don’t you think? That smell of leather is just wonderful. Have you ever walked into a tack store with all the leather and its smell? I do know that you can walk into a stable or even a petting zoo and I know you can smell the animals, right? I just LOVE the barn smell, all the hay and horses! but I get use to that smell so I only smell it when I am away and then return. Maybe some may not like it, but I can’t believe people wouldn’t like the smell of leather. This got me thinking about ALL the leather stuff I own. I wonder why when you own a horse (or two!) ALL the amount of stuff you accumulate. I have enough horsey stuff for probably 4 horses, hehe, maybe my hubby will let me get another horse!!

This is a peek into our tack room at our stables. Oh the WONDERFUL Leather smell today!
This photo is all my horsey stuff! There is the 3 tree tier to the left and the 3 tree tier to the right. YUP! It all belongs to me, except for 2 saddles which one is my friends and the other is my sister’s. I have to admit, my sister did leave me a bunch of things when I adopted Zack. 😀
These are my 3 saddles. The top saddle is over 40 years old and is my original English jumping saddle. It is called a Crosby and can still be used today. The middle saddle I bought used at a yard sale for $250 about 10 years ago (good deal) a nice riding English saddle. The bottom saddle is my western trail saddle. I bought it barely used for $750 (good deal) it has served me well and is very comfortable!

As you can see us horse people NEED a lot of horsey stuff to ride with and to take care of our beautiful horses! In that white bucket near my saddle tree is horse treats. I have to keep them in plastic so that I don’t invite mice and/or rats into the tack room. I like giving my horses treats after my ride and since they are not suppose to eat carrots (too much sugar) these horse treats made for horses are a good substitute to carrots or apples. I have many bridles, bits for bridles, leg wraps, clippers oh my, so many things. I decided that it is a good idea to have these photos and thought it fun to share. Just in case I see anything missing (we haven’t had any issues with theft) but it always a good idea to have these kinds of photos!

I have so enjoyed sharing with you today my need to hold myself accountable and to share my horses and all the fun I have with them. I am thinking I may go through all my horsey stuff and pull out items I can sell. We have a wonderful store here in town called Thrifty Horse, and you can bring them items you can sell, a horse consignment store. Its great as you can find things used and cheaper there and/or sell things you’ve collected and don’t need any more. With these rainy days, this week would be a good week to do some Spring cleaning! I hope you all have a wonderful week.

Walking and Horse Loving Grandma!

~Diana

Trail Riding Adventures!

Love this view!! Looking between the ears of my mighty steed!

I started writing this blog because of my love for my horses! As the title states I definitely want to share my life but I don’t want to forget about my horse stories and so I wanted to get back to sharing my beautiful horses. I have a fun story to share, it really wasn’t scary, I suppose it could have gone awry but my calm and well trained horses took everything in stride. And the key to a great outcome is I didn’t get nervous or show fear, I was more like “really? did this just happen? “

I was out on the trail with my best friend who was riding her horse Gracie. I was riding Chloe and Zack was at her side as I was ponying him on this ride. We crossed a busy street and as we were walking along the trail and talking, I noticed that the lead rope on Zack had slipped under the front of my stirrup and went under my leg back to his head. He was walking by Chloe’s side (on my right side) and I thought this is not good, as I now have no control over his head. So I told Sally I have to stop to fix this rope and I said “Whoa” to Chloe and pulled back on her reins. As I pulled the reins, SNAP! my left rein just pulled off of her bit and I now had only one rein controlling her head!! OH NO!

Zack walking along and you can see the blue and black lead rope which went under my right leg on the stirrup of my saddle!

As I pulled Chloe’s right rein to stop I hopped off of her as fast as I could because I had no control to speak of, just turning her would not last and I have Zack to think about also. Oh dear, as I look at my rein I could see right away what happened. The leather that keeps the reins attached to the bit is called a “water loop” and the small leather pieces that ties it onto the rein had come untied! As Sally sat on her mare watching me work on the rein, she told me Zack is lose on the other side of Chloe! “What? Oh no!” BUT he just put his head down close by her and was eating some weeds and grass. I went to the other side of Chloe and took the lead rope which fell from behind the stirrup and I put it around my saddle horn. I just looped it around a couple times because I wanted to get that darn rein tied back onto Chloe’s bit!

This is a photo to show the reins coming from her bit. They are tied on and I never thought in a million years that these leather pieces would come untied! THEY DO! This is not from the day in my story as I had no time or inclination to take any photos as things unfolded!

I was very thankful that I had not lost the leather piece that needed to get threaded back through the holes in the reins and retied. I checked the other side and sure enough it had come untied once. These leather pieces are in triple knots and over time these knots loosen and come untied! YIKES! I am learning, CHECK YOUR TACK before you ride. I purposely do not have these screws that can hold your leather together. In western gear, these screws are called Chicago screws and once they come unscrewed and fall, they can be hard to find. I suppose you could carry extra, but then you would need to carry a screw driver to tighten them. English gear just has buckles, very small like how you would buckle a belt around your waist, but they can break too…. I have had a thin leather english rein break riding Chloe years ago, same scenario only I was just riding her and did not have another horse with me.

After I attached the rein, I lead the horses to a fence that runs along the trail so I could step up on a rail to get on Chloe. She is tall so a little step up is nice if one is around. As I was walking my girlfriend says “Zack is lose again!” DARN IT ALL! the rope which was just looped around my saddle horn slipped off and he was just walking over to eat again! Haha, I have to laugh, because in the end it was rather comical and I am so thankful nothing bad happened. I slip knot tied his rope back on the saddle horn, led Chloe to the fence and once on we just rode down the trail like nothing happened!! I know all the non-horse people out there may not be able to picture what happened, but I am sure thankful for very calm trail ponies!!

She is the BEST EVER Trail Pony! Miss Chloe is so calm, I LOVE her so much!
Chloe and I, my girl, she is the sweetest horse I have ever owned!!!
I rode Zack the next day!
Zack is so silly, he would not open his eyes! He probably didn’t like the rim of my hat. HAHA! I have to share anyways!
He is a goof ball. This is him begging for a treat! Silly boy!

I enjoyed sharing my trail fiasco as anything can happen and am very thankful my girlfriend was with me as I was so busy attending to Chloe and the reins I could not keep an eye on Zack. I may have been more nervous or upset if I had been by myself when all of this happened. I just know that remaining calm in a sticky situation is key to a much better outcome! How do you handle problems that arise that are out of your control, until you can get things back in control again?? Haha, that was a really long question. I hope you enjoyed my trail story. I have SO MUCH FUN with these horses. They bring me much joy and happiness. ❤ ❤ ❤

They melt my heart!

Crazy horse loving cowgirl!

~Diana

Weekend Coffee Share; Horse Clipping Fun!

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?

Welcome to my coffee share! How are you today? do you have any weekend plans? or are you going to take it easy and relax? I am going to take it easy and maybe do a little housework (that never ends) and enjoy spending time at the stables. My girlfriend who owns Gracie is out of town this weekend celebrating her granddaughters first birthday! Here’s HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Andrea, aka Andy. She is so adorable, but then all grand daughters are… I digress, as I have to say I have been so incredibly busy at work that I have had trouble getting to my writing and sharing. My schedule is now back to normal and will hopefully stay that way for awhile and through the holidays! How can it be November? and Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming fast!! CRAZY!

Zack body clipped. We call this clip a trace clip as it just traces along the sides of his body starting at his chin all the way to his rump, and includes his entire belly. I actually went up higher on his body than is normal for this clip but that is because we live in a very warm climate so he can handle a little bit more hair off of his body. He will be much cooler on our hot days as yesterday it was just over 90 degrees. It’s been in the high 80’s, this is SOCAL!

I decided to share my barn stories and since I did not take a new photo of Miss Chloe I decided to have her with Zack as my first Weekend Coffee share photo. It’s all I’ll mention of her, even though she is my most favorite mare I have ever owned in my life ~ this last week is about body clipping and I only clipped Zack as Chloe does not grow a long winter coat. I also clipped my girlfriends horses Sadie and Juan. They both grow long winter hair and I have been telling her that these trace clips are so wonderful at keeping the horses cool AND you do not have to blanket them at night because we leave a large amount of hair all along their top-line. With the warm climate where we live, the horses do just fine and they will be easier to cool off when worked and easier to keep clean from sweat and dirt. I will share photos of my other clip jobs of Judy’s horses!

I wanted to share this photo as you can really see Zack is a flea-bitten grey. That is what they call his color. If you look close, he has black flecks all throughout his coat and you will see a big difference with Sadie who is just grey, and as grey’s age they turn white!
This is Sadie and her mane and tail are still very dark as she was born almost black. As she ages she has turned white. She is 15 years old and is pure white except her mane and tail. She has no little spots like Zack. Thought you would enjoy seeing the difference. She is now trace clipped!
This is Juan, Judy’s other horse. She actually owns 3 horses but we did not clip her other horse. All of Judy’s horses are Tennessee Walking horses. He is black and a big boy, and is very beautiful!

I truly enjoy helping others wherever I can and I have been doing this trace clip on Zack every year for the last 4 years. The first year I actually did his whole body called a hunter clip which leaves their legs hairy. Their legs are the hardest to clip and since he is not showing I don’t bother and they don’t sweat like their body. This trace clip is absolutely perfect and works great in our area. My girlfriend paid me for my service which I appreciate and of course we agreed upon a fair price. Its a messy job as hair goes everywhere and gets blown in your face from the clipper fan as I have a huge pair of shears that they use for sheep, but can be used on horses and it makes the job easy and fast!

I have been body clipping horses going back to the 70’s when I use to show Hunter/Jumpers. I clipped for trainers for 30 years into the 90’s and my sister Sharon and I would clip for several barns and it was a great way of earning Christmas money for the holidays!! That’s why I own a nice pair of body clippers and other smaller clippers to finish the job in any ticklish areas on the horse! How is your coffee? or did you decide on tea? or Orange juice?

I am so enjoying my coffee with you this morning. I will be taking care of my girlfriends horse this weekend along with caring for Chloe and Zack. I am hoping to take mine on a trail ride or two and then relaxing at home. I’m thinking of skipping the house work! Haha, okay maybe I’ll throw in a load of laundry, that’s easy peasy. I really wanted to get this coffee share out as I so enjoy sharing with ya’ll. I hope you have a wonderful weekend, and let me know what your doing. If you have a coffee share I’ll stop by and say hello! Thank you to Eclectic Alli for hosting the coffee share!

Horse Crazy clipping girl!

~Diana ❤

My Furry Friends, Kitty and Horses!

She was the best kitty I have ever had and someday I will have another kitty!

What a crazy month, October. I had a birthday and I was crazy busy working way too many days at work covering for a few vacations. My employees need vacations and so I didn’t mind and they are very thoughtful about taking them too. Meaning they will work with me as I can’t afford to have more than one employee off at one time, so we all work together figuring out who takes what days or weeks when. I am trying to avoid talking about the pretty kitty that I had to send to kitty heaven at the end of October. I kept wanting to write a Weekly Smile, but was too sad the last few weeks to participate but as my heart heals I am needing to get back to writing and sharing. Rest in Peace Mara, aka, mini kitty. She was all of 6 pounds, a small white with a splash of orange domestic short haired cat with a personality twice her size. She will be greatly missed. LOVE HER SO!

I’m getting better each day. We’ve had kitties all my life, we do not have any now but I have my pups so we are not without our furry friends!

As I am finally feeling a little better and always try and keep a smile on my face even if I am feeling sad inside this post is going to be all about what keeps me sane. I have in my mind all these thoughts but what helps me through each day is what I really want to share. I will just keep this simple as these next set of photos make me smile and these giant animals amaze me and really have a way of healing my soul.

Chloe on Monday. It’s been pretty hot in the high 80’s and this was after a nice relaxing trail ride! She was eating when I called her name she looks up at me!
Zack got a really good bath Monday. I am planning on clipping him to help him stay cool. I will share a photo when I am done with the trace clip I’m going to do tomorrow!
Zack eating his grain and hay. They get lunch most every day!
I couldn’t get my girlfriends horse to look at me with ears up! She has rolled in her shavings after her bath!

My horses are so darn sweet. I am so truly lucky to have them and even though they are not 100% sound, they are serviceable sound and can be ridden on the trails and lightly in the arena. My girlfriend who owns Gracie has been struggling with some health issues with her and bless her heart we are finally seeing some positive results with her issues. She has been having skin issues and we were able to get her moved to a different stall at the barn. We think this should help as we don’t know if it was the tree or other issues in the stall where she was living, but we feel strongly that this move will help. This is a photo of her in her new stall! She is near and dear to my girlfriends heart, I totally understand. She is in her late 20’s so every year she is here with us we cherish. I help care for her, so I am very attached to her as well. ❤

After I made them exercise lose in the arena I sat on a mounting block in the middle of the arena. My horses came to me on their own, visiting as I sat and took in their kindness. Or are they just looking for a treat? Haha, either way the attention I adored!
Haha, he had been drinking water so his nose was wet and the sand in arena is sticking to his nose! What a silly boy, this is how he entertains me and himself!
Chloe was standing right next to Zack, as he entertains me – she was nuzzling me as well. This is up close and personal! They never left my side!
I am sitting as I take this photo. I am not sure what she sees? But I like this photo. I rubbed their face and we chatted. Yes, I talk to my horses. Mostly I ask them what they are thinking and I think out loud they are most likely looking for a treat which I eventually got up and did exactly that. Gave them a treat!

Thank you for sharing my furry friends with me. I use to not like calling my animals my furry friends. I don’t know why but I’ve warmed up to calling them that or thinking of them in this way. I know that we out live our furry friends and as I see it we need to enjoy every moment we can with them and be thankful for them in our lives. As we lose a small piece of our heart with each one that passes, I always hope that someday we will all meet again.

I am glad I take as many photos as I do as I love to have the memories. I have been printing photo books and am planning on having more printed soon. I hope you have enjoyed my photos as I think you can see their personalities, a little bit anyways. I sure enjoy sharing and will continue to share as it brings me much joy and happiness!

Feeling better each day, crazy animal lover,

~Diana