“Come play with me?”


Recently, Coffee was on some turnout time in the arena. My mother went to bring him in, and he was watching calmly from the corner; but, when she neared the gate, he galloped a small circle, threw in a buck, and stood looking at her expectantly. He was clearly asking, “Come play with me?” So, she ducked under the fence, and off Coffee sped! At last – a playmate had arrived!

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Be eclectic!

Dani grew up at the old barn, seen in the background.

The barn I spent so many years riding and teaching in was nothing much to look at.  It was your typical dusty pole barn, so common in the Western U.S.  Built by cowboys for year round roping practice (there was still a holding pen and remnants of a shoot attached to the indoor), it was meant for utility not for looks.  However, over many years and several owners, it had become much more.  When we moved in there were the remnants of a cross country course, which the then new owners revived.  Some boarders who showed in Western Trail classes had banded together to carve out a corner for a practice course.  Eventually there was a full Dressage court and a perimeter track added to the mix.  None of it bright and shiny, but all of it utilitarian.

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Nothing educates like a horse

Buried in annual staff evaluations, filing our taxes, and starting up a blog for my mother, I am resigned that the draft posts I started will have to wait.  However, in quiet moments, when my brain needs a break, I have been rereading this old favorite.  It reads like a good lecture, easy with some beautiful passages.  I just read this particular passage and thought that I would share.  I hope you enjoy!

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Death of a Tack Store

Another tack store is closing.  This one is the nearest to us, well known and respected in the area.  In a region once teeming with tack stores, it is sad to think that we will soon be down to one. Even that one is struggling under the weight of the new digital marketplace, where you can buy anything you want from anywhere you want.  I see a time coming, not far in the future, when there will be no tack stores, except possibly in the richest areas, catering to the richest clients.  “Would that be so bad?”, you might ask.  Perhaps not, for those who never enjoyed the benefits of a great tack store – to my mind, it will be a great loss to us all.

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Spring has sprung!

Between the belated rainy season, and whatever horrid bug my coworker so generously shared, it has been many weeks since I was in a saddle.  This long weekend (our college had Friday off for staff to get a spring break) was timed right to get back in the groove with the horses!

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The measure of a horseman

A video popped up on Facebook depicting a “horse training” demonstration by a world famous horseman.  The friend who posted suggested that people write to the organization to voice their displeasure.  The organization is not in my country, so I’m sure my voice would have no impact – but the video presents some very serious issues.  So, at the risk of offending fans of this horseman, and being told that I don’t know the situation (though it’s pretty clear), I have decided to share that video here, and offer not only my take on it, but an alternative by another well known horseman.  This will take a little time, so get comfy.

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Noble – still a brat!

In between rain storms, I’ve been trying to civilize Noble.  He comes from a line known to be difficult to train, and I can see where that reputation might come from.  However, it is difficult in a way that I am used to, after more than forty years of living with Appaloosas.  In a word, he is smart and willing to use it to his advantage.  Compliant will never be a word you can apply to my Noble!  Yet, he adores getting attention, and in recent months has been asking more and more that he get the attention the “working” horses get.  However, a recent event illustrates just what I’m up against – and left my mother and I rolling in the barn aisle!

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