Monday, December 31, 2012

Wyoming Verses Arizona

So now that I am home again, freezing my patootie off, I find myself comparing the state that I currently live in and the state that I would like to move back too. There are some things about Wyoming which I love, and then there are things about AZ which I love as well.

Wyoming Pros:
The entire state has a small town feel about it.
I can leave town and not worry about locking my doors.
I can leave my keys in my car at Walmart and not worry that it will be stolen.
My son can walk from his school to my work and not worry about being kidnapped.
Land is cheaper.
The mountains are bigger.
Trees, lots and lots of trees.
Jobs pay better.
Plenty of jobs to be had. (if you can't get a job in WY, you don't really want one)
A traffic jam only last a few soon as the cows get out of the way.
Summers although short, are nice.
High School sports are a big deal.
People are friendlier in WY.  (I'm sorry, they just are)

Wyoming Cons:
-5 degrees this morning when I fed my horses.
Winter last 9 months
For all the wide open spaces, there are less places to ride.
Lack of decent vet care or farrier service.
The wind always blows....hard.
Houses are expensive as there is a housing shortage.
You have to really look to find a decent place to eat, and good luck getting a table on a Friday or Sat.
-5 degrees this morning (yes it is worth mentioning twice)
Cost of living is higher.

AZ Pros:
Warmer weather
Short winters
Lots of places to ride.
You can ride year round.
My older children live there
I have a gazillion friends there
Housing is cheaper
Better Shopping
Better restaurants
Better vet and farrier service
I know every back road between every little town in the state. (fun times off the beaten path!)
Cost of living is cheaper.
Education may or may not be better, not sure.
Summer lasts 9 months
Monsoons are gorgeous

AZ Cons:
115 in the summer
Monsoons can get a little muggy and miserable
Traffic traffic traffic
All doors and windows must stay locked at all times
The reality of my son being introduced to hard drugs at school is higher
More crime
I have a gazilllion friends there (yes it can be a con)
It seems like everything is always so far away.
Less jobs
Lower paying jobs
High School sports are not a big deal.
It seems like people are meaner there.

So as I look at this list I can see that It is about equal all the way.  The big thing is the exposure to drugs for Simon. Of course they have it here as well, but not as bad.  It certainly makes me lean towards finding a smaller town to live in if we do move down there.  Or rather when.  The house we bought used to be in a small town. It isn't small any more, and for that reason I think we chose wrong.
Of course, if he is going to choose that lifestyle he will choose it no matter where we live.  It is up to me to help him make better choices. 
When we were visiting, I hated that I had to lock everything.  A minor inconvenience I know, but I hate that "feeling of fear".   It isn't that theft doesn't happen, but it is pretty rare compared to AZ.

Of course all this is moot right now.  We aren't going anywhere this week, or even this month.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Time to go home....(sad face)

So it has been a great trip, a lot of going here and going there, and truthfully I'm exhausted!
One of the cool things we did was look at a different house.  It was out in San Tan Valley.  We have a wonderful house here already, but quickly after buying it we realized that we were not going to have enough room for all of Tom's stuff.  I suggested he downsize a little.  He looked at me as if I had lost my mind.

So anyway the place we looked at was wonderful, with a lighted arena, round pen, tack room, wash area, irrigated pasture, four great big stalls with shelter, and four more smaller stalls also with shelter. the house was very nice and even had a great dog yard.  For me personally it could not have been any more perfect.  Whether or not we will pursue this property remains to be seen, but I will sure keep my fingers crossed!

What was interesting was the lady who lives there with her husband is actually a vet here in AZ, and she used to work with one of our favorite WY vets (who recently relocated to NM)  and her dad is a very well respected farrier and trainer in the valley, who I have heard of before.  So it was very cool to talk with her a little.

Today we fly home. I hate flying....with a passion!  Luckily it is a short flight.

I will have a few more pictures to post when I get home.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Greetings from Arizona

Well we finally made it to Arizona, the drive was long but considering I had two teenagers in the back seat, it was pretty uneventful.  Thank goodness for laptops with games to keep those boys occupied!

Our first day here we went to Peoria and had an early Christmas with my Grand daughters.

Sophia, Gracia, and Catrina
 It was a wonderful time and delicious food. The best part was when the girls opened their presents.  I was told that all the girls love horses, so naturally from Grandma they all got horsey stuff.  The looks on their faces as they opened presents was priceless and absolutely why I love gifts. Not the getting part for me, but the giving part!

I got my oldest son Jesse and his wife each a nice leather jacket.  Their boys all got gift cards as they really like to do their own shopping.  My son Colton got a new bass guitar (he's a rock star ya know)  and then Simon got an electronic drum set drum set (with head phones).  He is in the percussion group in his school band and has been asking for his own drums for a while.    Tom was easy, he has been having back issues so I got him some "rollers" so he can lay on the floor and roll his back back into place.  He is kind of a scrooge at Christmas time so the surprised look on his face was priceless!   Everyone was thrilled with their gifts, so although now I am broke, I am happy!   Now comes the task of getting it all shipped back home.

It has been nice to be able to get up in the mornings and go for a walk with just a sweater on.   Of course I always forget to take my camera with me.  I do have few more days though.  So I will try to get some.
Here are a few pics I took this morning in front of the house.


The view of the mountain from our house
Holy Jumping Cactus Batman!

An artistic view of one of our saguaros
Welcome to our home!
Simon and Nate are panning for gold...and finding some!
Apache junction Mountain Police keeping the crowds safe at Walmart.
I really thought this was cool.
The Clydsdale in one of the grocery stores. 
 Now if only they would let us ride him for a quarter!

We were driving around checking out the neighborhood where our house is.
We got these two from the back side of Silly Mountain. 
Those views are worth millions!
I have not got to do a single Horsey type activity since we got here.  But tomorrow we are going out to San Tan Valley so maybe that will change now.  Even if it doesn't, I'll be ok. 
I got a call from the guy watching our horses.  It seems as though Sassy got bored and removed the tank heater and hid it.  He was nice enough to go by another, then of course, she brought the old one back. She is a bad horse.  Other than that I hear that all is good on the home front, so I can relax.  

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Cherry Bomb

We are scrambling around trying to get ready for our trip to Sunny AZ.  I spent a good amount of time trying to get the stalls extra clean so the girl I have coming to clean doesn't have to work so hard.

(I'm gonna miss that face)

Trax says:  Hey Lady, could you tell the old guy to stop leaving Cherry Bombs in the water trough?

Danny says:  I have no idea what you are talking about.

I checked the water, it was black and murkey.....sure enough, when I stirred it up I found "sinkers"

This entails bailing out 75 gallons of water, dragging the tub up to the gravel drive, hosing it out and then dragging it back down to fill it.  Not what I had planned this morning!  But I got it done and the stalls cleaned, and everything set up to make things easier on the people who will be feeding and cleaning for me.

Its hard for me to leave them behind. I worry constantly .  The dogs will be at the boarding kennel.  Except Butch who went to stay with my Ex and his girlfriend. He needs special attention.

I will try to check in once in a while through out the week.
But mostly I just want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

EC Day 14

Your Dream Barn or Farm:

This one I can answer easily! :)
My dream barn would be designed to cater not just to physical health and ease of care but for mental health as well. 
Acres....lots and lots of acres of good grazing.
Acres fenced off so I could put groups of horses out each day for grazing and socializing.
Shelters in each paddock in case of foul day time weather.
Arena's, one indoor one out door. Both with lights. I guess if in a very warm location, one covered one not.
Location:  someplace warm, far enough in the country for easy access to trails.
Two round pens, at least.
Barn would have stalls down each side with doors facing in and then doors facing out going out into runs/pens or small paddocks so horses can go either in or out.  No horse would ever be forced to be confined to a small stall unless required by vet. All doors would be large enough to get a small tractor through for thorough cleaning.  All stalls would be made out of horse safe materials and be designed so that no horse ever felt isolated.
 Nice tack room.
Automatic waterers.
Nice wash area with rubber mats.
If in a state that has really hot dry summers, I would want a misting system.
I guess that although I do not believe in cross tying, many people do, so a place for that would be important.
plenty of trailer parking that is easy to get in and out of.
roof vents and fans to remove any toxic fumes and let hot air out.

My house would have to be built so that I could see the paddocks.  I want to be able to look out my window and see the horses.

I think that about covers it!

Anyone got a million bucks I can borrow?  LOL

Pass it On

Ever since the school shooting of those poor kids in Connecticut, I have been on a mission of my own. A mission to change the world. 

 Now I know that I co not have control over others.  I cannot make anyone behave and/or feel in anyway.  I can try to control my kids, but the truth is, even that comes with severe limitations.  But I do give them choices and consequences or rewards. 

So here is my plan to change the world.  I am playing the "pass it on" game.  Remember the game in school where you would whisper something to someone and then say pass it on? Well why can't we do that in real life?   The one thing I know is that if someone is nice to me, it makes me want to be nice to others.  I "pass it on".  I believe this to be true for everyone, or at least for most people. 

Its kind of like the "Pay it forward" theory.  Do you remember that movie?  Spreading good will through acts of kindness.  I want to start simple, spread good will through kind words.

Everytime I get on Facebook I am disheartened by all the negativity on there.  So now, every morning, I post something nice, (I wish you a long and prosperous life, I wish you a day of smiles, I wish you a wonderful day today)  and then I ask people to pass it on.  They aren't quite getting it yet, as they keep sending it back to me, which isn't quite what I had in mind. Today I posted my "Pass it on" message and then asked them to copy and repost.  We will see if they get it. I have about 900 friends on FB.  That is a lot of passing it on if I can help them to understand.

It is my belief that we cannot change others, but we can darn sure change ourselves, how we perceive the world, and what we give to the world through our words, thoughts and actions. I believe that a person who goes through life with gratitude, forgiveness, and compassion, has much more to offer than some one who is a genius.  That isn't to say that we don't need really smart people, we do.  But all the smarts in the world are worthless if it isn't matched by compassion.  I feel that gratitude and compassion are the two most important things I can teach my children.

Two nights ago Simon made the mistake of telling me he couldn't think of anything to be grateful for.  He spent an hour outside in the dog house so he could see what it is like to be homeless. When he was allowed to come in he gave me a long list of things he was grateful for.  Then we made a list of positive affirmations to put on his bathroom mirror. He says them every morning & his "teenage attitude" is better already.  He almost has them memorized so that he can say them when ever I ask him too.   I believe that it isn't just external negativity that spreads.  I believe that our negative self talk is just as damaging, if not more, than being negative towards others.  Actually I think it is where it all starts.

Interestingly enough, as I opened my email this morning, I had my weekly newsletter from I was thrilled by what I read.  I am not the only one trying to promote the "Pass it On" theory!  There is a lovely reading there about that exact same thing.  I hope you have a few minutes to read it here.   If you scroll down towards the bottom of the page, after her two book reviews, she talks about "The Ripple Effect"

Here is a short excerpt:

A smile directed at a stranger, a compliment given to a friend, an attitude of laughter, or a thoughtful gesture can send ripples that spread among your loved ones and associates, out into your community, and finally throughout the world. You have the power to touch the lives of everyone you come into contact with and everyone those people come into contact with. The momentum of your influence will grow as your ripples moves onward and outward. One of those ripples could become a tidal wave of love and kindness. - From DailyOM

Here is a link to the DailyOM where it originated from

Call it what ever you wish, A ripple, Pass it on, Pay it doesn't matter.  What matters is that we can change the world by changing ourselves.  Maybe if we can start this tidal wave of love and kindess, we will hear less and less about mass shootings, and drive bys, and people hurting other people.

So today I say to you, my blogging friends:  "I care about you and wish you a wonderful day"

Pass it on. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Christmas Gift.

This story happened almost exactly one year ago.

At my house we had 2 dogs. We had just lost Dugan, Tom's old Collie a few months before.  It was a hard blow for Tom as he and Dugan had been together for many years. Dugan went everywhere with him. They were buds. 

Truthfully except for the part of missing Dugan terribly, it was kind of nice only having 2 big dogs to care for.  I really had no intention's of looking for another. 

The two dogs I had left came from my Mom.  She has been showing and breeding labs since I was a young girl, and is now one of the top breeders in the country (you can see her website here) and is very very particular about which of her dogs get bred.  Both of mine were dogs that had very minor genetic defects.  Even minor defects eliminated them from the gene pool so they got to come and live with me.  They are Mason and Smarty Pants.  Mason is deaf and Smarty has a minor heart defect.

Anyway back to my story...

The way our house is set up, is a big chain link fenced dog yard off the back of the house, and then a drive through gate going back into the pasture. Then we have a man gate on the side that goes to the open front yard. The person who put these fences up, did not do a great job, all the gates are crooked, and chains (around the poles) are required to keep the dogs from getting out of them.

A year ago someone who will remain nameless (her initials are Cindy D) went through the big gate and forgot to rechain it.  My very bad horses, with eagle eyes, immediately saw their chance to get into the dog yard where all the best grass is.  All they had to do was push on the gate, pop the latch, and walk right in.  So naturally while they were all in there filling their big fat bellies, the dogs also saw their chance to escape the confines of their yard and go on a little walk about.

My neighbor saw Smarty trotting down our road and got him and put him back in the yard.  She did not realize that the big gate was open, but luckily he chose to stay in the second time.  I suspect that there were horses between him and the gate and he still is leery of them. They are awfully big ya know.

Animal Control picked up Mason about half a mile from our house.  He is microchipped and so they called me before they even had him back to the pound.  I got there right away (in hopes of not having to bring home a dog that smelled like the pound) and they told me to go back and find his kennel and bring them the paper off the door. 

So there I am strolling through, just minding my own business looking for my big fat yellow dog.  Of course it makes me sad to see all those dogs there, but I am pretty much a Labrador girl so it kind of makes it easier for me to keep walking....until I saw this

Now here is what I know beyond a shadow of a doubt.  Old dogs do not very often get adopted.  The paperwork on this dog said he was 5.  If that dog is 5 then I am 20 (I haven't been 20 in centuries).  I knew that this old guy didn't stand a chance. 

I stood there for a minute, he barked at me, but then wagged his tail.  I talked to him, he sat down and wagged some more.  I went on to find my dog, but could not get that face out of my mind.

When I asked, they told me he was a stray.  I said, "You know that dog isn't 5 right?" 
They ignored that question and went on with the paper work on Mason.
 I asked how long he had been there. 
"Not quite 2 weeks"
He would not be adoptable for a few more days.

When I got home I told Tom about him, he reminded me that we didn't really need another dog.

I showed him the picture.

He frowned at me. 

I said, "People don't adopt old dogs"

He frowned again.

He said, "Do what you think is right."

I struggled with this decision for 2 days.  What if he doesn't get along with the other two?  What if he has medical issues?  What if, what if, what if.  What if no one else adopts him?  No one is going to adopt a dog that old.

I went back to the pound and they let me take him out for a walk.  I said "sit" his butt hit the floor.  I said, "down" he laid down.  Hmmmmm this dog was some body's bud.

 He had an elbow that was gnarled and twisted, which caused him to limp. He had the classic rear end of a dog with hip displaysia. His teeth were rotten and his eyes were full of cataracts.  Yet he wiggled and squirmed like a puppy when I scratched his butt, and then he smiled.  You a dog smiles.

I finally decided the right thing to do was to give this guy a forever home for Christmas. 

I paid the fee and took him out to the truck. I said, "Do you want to go for a ride?" 
He jumped in. 
We named him Butch and he smelled like the pound.   I took him to the tub and said, "get in the tub." He jumped in the tub!   Once he had a bath and smelled ok, I let him meet the other two.

That part didn't go so well.  Controlling three intact males can get a little dicey when introductions are first made. There was a lot of fighting and growling, and lots of me trying to distract with cookies, and all my dreams of saving this dog started to go down the tubes. 

I could not let him outside without the other two with out a fight starting.  While I was gone to work I had to keep him in a separate kennel up by the house.  I could bring them all in together but had to watch them constantly. 

I cried each time I had to break up a fight. I didn't know what to do. I could not take him back.  It was just a mess.

Christmas morning Smarty got sick.  Emergency visit, days and days of trying to figure out what was wrong (turned out he swallowed a pacifier from Tom's grandson and had to have it surgically removed) but in the midst of that, I had just made another attempt to put them all out and saw poor sick Smarty sitting at the door with a sad and scared look on his face and Butch was in his face snarling, growling, and trying to provoke a fight.

I admit it, I snapped.

I went out and laid into Butch.  "YOU...STOP...FIGHT...ING...WITH...MY..DOG!!!!"

That was it.  I have never had to say a harsh word to him since.  I have never had to break up a fight since, they all share one big dog house, and are best friends.  Sometimes he and Smarty lay right next to each other.  Butch is the one dog I can leave in the house all day when I am at work.  He goes down each night and lays with my son Simon.  He stays there all night. Ne never gets in the trash, he never once has had an accident in the house. He is the only dog that comes when I call.

When I brought him home and took him in for his first check up, I said to my vet, "This is not a dog I will pour a lot of money into."  In less than a year, I am pouring money into this dog.  He has an infected eye, and 400 dollars later we are still trying to get it healed.  We buy Rimodyl for him all winter, he gets special vitamins and joint supplements, and the works.

He is such a special dog. I cannot imagine how nobody claimed him. How could you not miss a dog this wonderful? If he got out today, I would not stop searching till I found him. So in my attempt to give the gift of a new life to a dog, I found that God gave me the biggest gift of all.

I truly believe that God had a hand in helping me to the pound that day.

EC day 13

Most Embarrassing moment:

When I first moved to WY,  I worked as a parts runner for a Freightliner dealership.  That is where I met Jay, who is now my friend and trainer.  He had an older horse named Scooter and he told me that I could come out and ride him.  So I went.  Now of course I had been telling him that I was a good rider (because I thought I was).  So I got up on this big old horse, and could barely even stay on him. 

Jay says, "I thought you could ride" 

I said, "I can, I swear."

Jay says, "Oooookay, and shook his head."

Truth is, I was good at staying on...or I used to be. 

Now in my defense I will say that I had not ridden in 3 or 4 years, and I was in a saddle much much too big for me.  I was all over the place, poor horse didn't know if I was coming or going!

But I looked like a fool up there for sure. It was pretty embarrassing for me.

A year or so later I was riding Scooter again, this time in the very same Circle Y saddle that I use now (I bought it from Jay's wife)  and I had no problem staying on him.  We loped around in circles and I was able to really find my seat.  So I do know that part of the problem was the saddle that day.

But truthfully I had no idea what I was doing. 

I still don't, but now I know that I don't, and that makes it slightly less embarrassing!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

EC Day 12

Favorite Horse color:

Gosh who can pick?
Of course I think Trax is the most gorgeous color, but that isn't why I got him.  
I mean I do like paints, but I would not say they are my favorite. 
I have always always always loved roans.  Red and Blue both.
I also love a nice dusty Grulla as well.
I love sorrels with a flaxen mane and tail.

The truth is, I love all the colors. I have never seen an ugly horse, have you? 
Even my poor old Sunshine,(I will have to find some pics of her) who was just a plain brown, skin and bones (when I got her), was just as beautiful to me as Trax is to me now. 

Sorry guys, I can't answer this one.

Poor abused Trax

Doesn't he look terribly abused?
click on the picture to make it bigger so you can see
the captions inserted in it.

Monday, December 17, 2012

EC Day 11

Find a Horse for Sale on Line that you would want to buy:

I am afraid that I am going to cheat just a little on this one.  Several months ago I was on and I found the most amazing horse.  I would have given almost anything to own this horse.  He is a 1997 stud Quarter Horse.  I'm not real big on owning a stud but would have made and exception for him.  He obviously is quite gentle, very well trained, she used him for all different things, and, if I remember correctly, even had video on her website of her using him to guide a trail ride, She was bareback on him and I'm guessing there were atleast a few mares in the group.  He is about as perfect a horse that I have ever seen in both looks and tempermant.

He was owned and trained by a talented lady named Sherry in Gilbert AZ at    It is my hope that when I move back down to AZ I will get to meet her.  I have emailed with her a couple of times.   I will also say that all of these pictures are her property, although I did get them off of bing images.
To go to Sherry's website click here  She had plenty of video's of him and of her other horses on there.  UPTDATE:  I apologize, that is the link to Major's page only.  HERE is the link to her page, I hope everyone takes a minute to check it out.  I really love what she does. I think you will too.
UPDATE # 2 :   I have just been in contact with Sherry who directed me to Majors new owners website. She says there are better video's on it than on her site.  Here is the link for that. 

So now, without further delay I present to you (drum roll please)


 Please look carefully at these two pictures of Sherry and Major running barrels. 
Note that she is not yanking on him, but simply guiding him.
I love that!
I am so impressed with her, through what I have seen on her website
and through the pictures I see of her. 
It is my understanding that Major ran some great times too, and won his fair share.

I do not know what he sold for but what ever it was he is worth it.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A short video clip for your viewing pleasure

I went to the arena yesterday with my friend Kim. 

I had her record a video clip of Trax and I.   I'm not real happy with this clip because by time we were able to do this it was past Trax's dinner time and he thought we were done an hour ago because I stopped riding him to help her with her two young horses.

But this is the basics of the routine we have been working on to help teach him to side pass.

Here is the link
I like watching video's of Trax.  I seriously love to watch him move.  He is so......well he is mine so to say he is perfect is biased! LOL
I will say that while I was riding him, she was riding her young mare.  She used a training stick to help guide her mare in a side pass.  I thought I would give that a try.  It was the WRONG thing to do.
It is clear to me now that he has been wailed on with a crop before.  I'm guessing from the "roper's" mom who ran barrels with him first. 
The minute I had the crop in my hand he was off like a shot.  I did a one rein stop which took about 30 circles before he finally stopped.  I used the crop as a brush instead of for any kind of training tool.  When I could get him to walk with me brushing him with the crop,, I let it go at that and then threw the thing aside.  I cannot imagine why anyone would need a crop to make this horse go.  a simple smooch is all it takes.
Trax did very well this time. We spent a good amount of time doing large figure 8's to work on his lead changes.  He is getting there. 
Today Jay came and trimmed everybody.  He says to give Sassy more time.  His horse had a similar issue and it took a year and a half before it healed completely.   He did bring her toes back some and she seems to be walking better.
Well now I am off to get paperwork done.
 I will have more pictures from the arena, but probably not till tomorrow.
Hope everyone is having wonderful weekend.

Friday, December 14, 2012


I cannot imagine how those children felt today. 
I try to put myself in their shoes, but it is too painful.
I cannot imagine how those parents are dealing with their loss.
I cannot come up with healing words for those families.
But I can do this.

And I can cry. 
Sending many prayers up for them all.

Setting aside today for a glimpse of the past

I really have nothing new or exciting to talk about but I found some more older pictures that I would like to share with you.
These are pictures of the Mare and her Boy.  As you scroll through these please keep in mind that this is a 4 year old filly with about 30 rides on her, and a 12 year old boy who did not grow up on a ranch. This is his first horse.


 Somebody needs a haircut and it isn't the horse!

I love the look on his face here
I beleive this was the first time he ever cantered on her
 kicking back after a job well done
 show off!
taa daa!
The thing I love about Sassy is that she is so easy to get along with. She is a horse with a ton of potential and everything we have done with her has been with the plan of her being safe enough for a kid to ride.
This  set of pictures was taken the same day but they are not of Sassy and Simon
 This is me on Gambler, a Tennesee Walker we had for a while.
He was a big handsome boy.
 I think this was my first real ride on Trax. I had a curb bit that wasn't working right.  After I took it off I realized it was missing the chin strap....duh!
This is what happens when I leave boys in charge of the camera!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

EC Day 10

How your friends and family feel about your riding.

I am not sure how to answer this one. 

It seems as though riding is my thing, that no one in my family cares to share with me.  Simon rides some, even has his own horse, but I don't think he loves it like I do. 

I think Tom feels a little left out at times, although he is always welcome to come with me.  It hurts his knee though, so usually he declines.  He does not grasp the concept of what I do at the arena's, or what I am trying to accomplish.  I know that he was really hoping I was going to get to try my hand at the last Ranch Horse competition, because he has never seen Trax work a cow and he wants to see it. He never complains though, about the money we pour into these ponies, nor about the time I spend riding.  I think that he appreciates how hard I work to care for them.

For the rest of my family, riding is just what I do. 

When I think about what my friends think, my first response is, "What Friends?"

But then I have Jamie, she loves that I ride because she loves to ride.

I have Jay and his wife Cody.  I love both of them, but it seems I spend more time with Jay, as he trims for me, and teaches me.  They totally support what I do, I'm sure.

My ex-husbands girlfriend and I are sort of friends, and she rides also, and we actually went to the clinic last summer together.  So she supports what I do.

I have friends in AZ but they have never known me when I had horses, so they don't know how much I love it.  Except Sharon, she is the one that I rode with all the time when we were kids.  She understands, even though she does not ride herself anymore due to a knee injury.

Like I said, this was a hard question to answer.


This post has nothing to do with horses except in the sense that I am blessed to have them in my life.

Two days ago I was in Walmart (my least favorite place in the world) to get some medicine for Simon who has tonsillitis. The was an older man in there, African American, who was dressed in old raggy clothes. As I sat on the bench waiting for them to finish my prescriptions, I watched this man. As he shuffled by me I saw that he had a sparkle in his eye and a smile that warmed the entire room.  He said hello to me, and asked how I was doing. I said hello back and told him I was good, and asked how he was doing. He said, "Oh I am blessed." Then he moved to the end of the line to wait his turn, and each person he came in contact with, he asked the same thing. And each time the other person reciprocated out of politeness, he always answered the same, "Oh I am blessed."

Now here is the thing that was the most interesting to me. Each time I heard him say those words, "I am blessed." you could hear the sincerity in his voice. This was a man who was truly happy to just be a live another day. It was obvious he did not have much monetarily but it was also obvious that to him, it was irrelevant.  

Have you ever been around someone, either a stranger or someone that you knew, who just carried with them an air of peace and serenity, or perhaps genuine spirituality? This man had that. You could actually feel it while standing next to him. It is a rare thing to find. My Meemaw had that. She was not just a religious woman, she was a very spiritual woman, and it showed in everything she said and did.

Anyway, back to the man in the store. As I sat there sort of basking in the warmth of his smile, I had to ask myself. Am I blessed? Well of course I am. Do I recognize that I am blessed? No not near enough. How often do I get caught up in the trials and tribulations of each day and forget how blessed I am? Pretty much everyday.

So today, and everyday I challenge myself to recognize how wonderful my life is & to accept the blessings that come to me each day with grace and gratitude. I challenge myself to be a kinder gentler person, who brings warmth in a smile to others. I challenge myself to love life with a spirituality that is tangible to others.

Maybe, just maybe, if I can meet those challenges, I can change the way someone else sees the world just as that man changed things for me.

Who knows...maybe it will even start a snowball effect of spirituality around the world.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Ec day #9

Any injuries incurred from riding:

First and most major injury was when I was a teen.  My friend Sharon was gone on vacation with her family to Hawaii and I was taking care of her horses. It was the least I could do since she let me ride when ever I wanted.  I was on her big mare Lady and we were just cantering around a little dirt lot.  There was a little berm and she jumped over it.  I was not ready for it, and I was bareback. I fell off over her shoulder but still had a hold of the reins.  When I fell she backed up so as to not step on me (she was a good mare) but it pulled my arm and all the muscles in my neck and shoulder.  It was bad enough I ended up going to the doctor and was not able to ride for quite some time.

Next fall was on Danny.  We had just moved into the house where we live now.  It was in December or Jan, cold but not freezing.  We weren't even very far from the house and I heard a noise that sounded like a snake. (it was not a snake but it sure sounded like  one)  Danny heard it also and did a hard zig to the right, while I zagged to the left.  It left me pretty bruised up one whole side and darn sure knocked all the wind out of me.  Danny, being the good old boy that he is, moved to the other side of our little dirt road and stood calmly and waited.  He seriously had a look on his face like, "Hey lady, what are you doing on the ground?"  So although it wasn't really an injury, I was sure sore for a good week or so.

My last injury was on Revlon, the crazy paint mare I ended up giving away.  I knew not to get on her with out lots of ground work.  I worked her for minute and she did so well I went ahead and got on her.  That was the wrong thing to do.  She promptly starting bucking and face planted me. I got back on, same thing. I got back on again and rode the hair off of her. (not literally) By time we were done I had huge welts on my legs from where I had hit the saddle horn several times.  It took about five trips to the chiropractor to get my neck back in line again, and truthfully it never really has been the same since.

Interestingly enough, the gal I gave her too rides her all the time and uses her for lessons.  She had a lot more time to put into her than I did. She has started her on barrels and says she is wicked fast.  It really is all about putting the right person with the right horse. 

So I have never broken any bones that I know of, but have had a few good falls. I wish I had some real wood to knock on!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

EC Day #8

A little about the Barn you ride at:

The barn I ride at in the winter is conveniently right down the road from my house.  I could easily ride there from my house and not even have a tired horse.  Although in the winter, which is pretty much the only time I have used this barn, I do load up and drive.

It belongs to a very nice guy named Sam.  He boards some horses there so it isn't very often that there isn't at least one person riding.   It is a decent sized arena, with various different training tools for various types of disciplines of riding.  I won't venture to guess the dimensions.

There is a bridge to cross for trail training.  He has poles and small jumps, he has tarps hanging all over, he has ropes, he has rain slickers, and even some barrels.  Although I think that you could not actually run those barrels, but you could walk or trot if you were just trying to teach the pattern.  There just isn't enough room for going really fast.

The dirt is a fabulous mixture of sand, dirt and some very very fine gravel. It is soft but not too soft. Deep but not too deep. 

There is an huge pack of horse eating kitties. They look harmless enough to me, but according to Trax, they are highly dangerous and lurk in the shadows just waiting to jump out and eat a poor unsuspecting horse alive.  He also says that he over heard them saying that they consider paint horses to be the best to eat.

Now, here is the really interesting part. (to me anyways)  I just found out last August that Sam also has an outdoor arena.  Last summer I was driving much further to use some different outdoor places to ride, and these places were not well cared for. So now if and when it ever warms up here, I know that I can just run right down there to finish Trax's ranch horse education.

So that is where I ride.

Monday, December 10, 2012

EC day #7

Your favorite Ribbon you have won and why:

Unfortunately I have yet to have that favorite ribbon.  Not for horses anyway.   I have never shown a horse or competed in any equine event.   Key word is YET!  Hopefully when I start with the RH competitions that will change.

I did show dogs when I was younger.  I competed with my springer spaniel, Belle, in obedience and won almost every time we competed.  Very often we won with a perfect score of 100, which is pretty rare for a kid and which also made us the highest scoring dog in the show many times.

Then I got a golden retriever puppy.  Her name was Charm and I showed her in conformation classes.  Her sire was the number 1 Golden in the country at the time, his name was Fella.    I started showing her in fun matches and AKC sanctioned matches for practice.  She always won her class at the very least.

Her first real show, she took Winners Bitch from the 9-12 month puppy class.  That gave her points towards her championship and it means that she beat all the adult bitches as well.  That was my favorite dog show ribbon!

This was not that day, I do not have that picture, although I am guessing my mom does somewhere. But this is a picture of me showing her in California.  I was 14 at the time. (I"m almost 50 now)  So ya, this is an antique photo! LOL

Anyway, it turned out that she had bone cancer and I ended up having to put her to sleep shortly after she got her first points.  I was devastated, but she was in pain, and it was the right thing to do. It hit her so fast. One day she had a lump on her face, and then another month after that on her leg, and then she started to get really sick.  My step- dad was a vet and he ran the tests and there was no doubt what the problem was.   I was with her when he put her down.  It was a hard thing for a teenager to deal with, but I wanted to be there.  So because it was the only real ribbon we won together, it meant more to me.

I went on to show many more dogs after that.  I even worked for a professional handler for a while, often beating him when we competed against each other, but none of those ribbons meant as much to me as the one I won with my sweet girl Charm.

Picture I found...revisited and "what to do with Sassy"

Now that I am in front of a computer that is not archaic, I did a little editing to the picture I found on Saturday.

I cropped it and lightened it some, and adjusted the color some.

I wish that piece of equipment wasn't right behind his nose.  Sort of ruins the shot.

Here is the original again


Today Simon and I discussed the reality that Sassy may never be sound again, and the fact that I am going to have to put some sort of time limit on her recovery time.  I had told him six more months, but the longer I think about it, I think a year is more accurate.  I assured him that I would do everything in my power to help her get sound, but if she doesn't, then we will have to sell her to some one looking for a nice brood mare.  I assured him that she would only go to a good home.  It was a hard conversation to have with him, and of course tears followed, but when I take into consideration that he doesn't even do much of anything at all to help care for her, it seems like a logical option.   He wants the horse, but he doesn't want to do any of the work to take care of her, and it is not fair to her or me.  On the other hand I look at this little mare and I see a horse with a ton of potential, whether it be for him, or for me. She is beautiful, well balanced, soft, eager to please, very cowy, athletic, a smooth ride...all the things most people look for in a horse. 

I've been looking at her front feet lately and trying to apply some of the knowledge I have learned from other blogs.  Are her toes too long?  Does she really have a broken coffin bone?  The xrays were only mildly conclusive.   Did the corrective shoes help her or hurt her more?  I think the first set helped, but after that we couldn't seem to get back to that same design. The second and third set seemed to cause more discomfort than anything.  Is the problem really something different?  Is it just a matter of time...lots and lots of time?  I just don't know.  I wish I had a little more faith in the veterinary community in Casper.  Even more, I wish there was a vet and farrier that worked in conjunction with each other in Casper.  Sadly we are still in the dark ages in WY.

I guess none of these are questions I have to answer today.   For now I just need to keep forward with my commitment to help return her to soundness, whether it be with a new vet, more stall rest, or just more time.   I'm going back to having Jay do all my trimmings, all of my horses seem to better under his care.  (Its pretty bad when the best barefoot trimmer in town isn't even a farrier.) He said he will come next weekend and take care of the ones who are in need.  When he comes I can discuss with him what he thinks my next step should be.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

EC Day # 6

List all your tack and riding clothes:

I was going to do this with pictures but decided not to, in lieu of freezing my butt off in order to take said pictures.


Saddle- Circle Y Show saddle. 15" seat. Not because I want the bling but because it fits me and my paint perfectly. Also seems to fit Danny Nicely.
Saddle- Circle Y roping saddle. This is actually Simon's, but is a 15" seat so I can use it as well.  Fits Sassy perfect.
Saddle- Martin Roping Saddle 17.5" seat.  This is Toms saddle but is the only one that really fits Big Killian, so if I ride him this is what I use.

Saddle pads- For Trax it is the contoured wool pad, Killian had a contoured Sheep skin, Sassy has a straight wool.

Head stalls- Nothing fancy, just regular old headstalls. I have several of them

Bits- one old mechanical hackamore, three d-ring snaffles (my main choice), one O-ring snaffle (don't care for it), one regular curb, and one curb that pivots in the middle, which is what I plan to graduate Trax to.

Breast collar.- to my recollection I only have one breast collar.  It is also a Circle Y with silver cross conchos on it.  I have a matching head stall to go with it, but since it is short for a gag bit I have not used it.

Cinch straps.  I like the foam padded cinch straps, the wider the better.


Pretty much jeans all the time, Silvers, Wrangler booty ups, some Cowgirl Up Brand, Ariat, Adikted, and Levi's 504 tilt.
For winter- hoodies with a Carhart vest.  I do have a sherpa lined carhart coat that I use when it is really cold.
I have chaps, but they are actually motorcycle chaps, but since they are lined they are great for horseback riding. 
For summer, t-shirt and sometimes still a vest if I need pockets. (would like to find a nice lightweight one)

For when I start competing in the RH classes, I have two snap up long sleeve western style shirts. One is olive green the other is some wild pink purple and orange snake print. (sounds ugly but is really quite pretty)

Gloves....which ever pair I can find both of!

Boots-  I have Justin them them
Twisted them except that the soles are a little bigger and sometimes get hung up in the stirrups.

Hat- I have 2 cowboy hats, one straw, one black felt.  I need a stampede string though, otherwise they just fall off.
Usually I wear the short brimmed "captians" style cap.  I have several, even one with fold down flaps for ear cover. (just ordered a second one of those)

I think that about covers it.


I have gotten all my paperwork done for the day and the plan was to go out and load up Trax and Killian and run down the street to the arena to ride.

Then I looked at the thermometer for outside.

Top number is the time,
middle number is the inside temp,
bottom number is the outside temp.

13.8!!!!!  Makes it really hard to get excited about going outside.  If it is 13.8 in the sun, that means the arena is going to be about 15* inside.  It hardly seems fair to make them go take off their nice warm blankets and go work work when it is that cold. 

Or am I making excuses because I don't want to go out in the cold...does that make me lazy?

It was 2* out this morning when I went to feed.  I was glad I decided to blanket everyone yesterday afternoon. 

They won't admit it, but they were glad too.

I'm thinking a nap sounds really good right about now.

Maybe I will wait and see if it will make it up to 20* today. 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

A picture I found

I was going to blog about the equestrian challenge day 6, but found this picture that I did not know I had, and thought, "Dang! That is a pretty nice picture."

I will wait and write about my tack after I have some decent pictures to go along with it.  This must have been taken at the very beginning of last spring.  I can see green, and we have not had any green since then.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Book Review

I get monthly newsletters from

In it there are many different little gifts, and I purchase various different things from them on a regular basis.

My most recent purchase was a book called "Horsepower- A memoir book" by Annette Israel.

Folks this is a great book!  A wonderful story, not just of a horse but of a horse crazy gal.  It is the story of how it started for her, the story of her journey, and then finally the story of one horse in particular who changed her life forever.  I truly could nto put it down.

Here is a link

I will warn you, there were times when I could not see the pages for the tears, but the ending is inevitable, and even in it's sadness it will make you smile.

I will also recommend the Horses and Hope calendar that Hoofprints sells,  It is filled with pictures of horses that have been rescued and their success stories.  If I recall correctly, all the profits go towards helping rescues. 

Many of you probably already know about the website, but for anyone who doesn't, it is worth a look.

ECDay 5

Your First Fall.

My first fall was off of a Shetland pony.  I wish I could remember his name.  My friend Tina, in Kansas, and I were trying to break this pony to be ridden. He actually belonged to my step brother, who had no interest in doing anything with him.  I do remember that he was a very pretty little thing, Chocolate brown, not as round as the rest of the ponies there, but then he was quite a bit younger too.

First we got him to take a bit, then we put things on his back and lead him around.  Eventually I was brave enough to climb up there.  I was about 10 at the time, maybe 11.  I can say that this really was not a fall, as he clearly bucked me right off.  But I got back on and we tried again.  I don't even recall how long we were there, in KS, but I know that by time my family headed home from our summer vacation, we were riding him and the other ponies all over the place.

I remember once we were riding out and about. We went through some trees and came out in a meadow that had burned once, so there were sort of silver blades of grass mixed in with the new green.  It looked like there was a mist throughout the meadow.  Gosh it was pretty! 

Sadly I only got to go back there a few times, and then Tina wrote me a few years later and told me that the little brown pony died of sleeping sickness. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

EC day 4

A ride that impacted your life:

This is kind of a toss up for me.

There was the day we pushed cows 11 miles in the snow and wind. That was the day I first came to realize that my Trax had some hidden talents. It was also the first time I had ever worked cows...EVER! I had so much fun, even though I was freezing and in the saddle from 8 am till 4 pm non stop. That was also the first day I saw just how much "give & go" Trax has. When I say give I mean, he gave 120% of himself that day. He out worked, out cut, out chased, and out pushed every other horse out there. When the rest were tired and hanging their heads, he was still ready to work. I have never been as proud of a horse as I was that day, and it was the beginning of a change in me.

I think the real ride of my life, though, was the day I went to the ranch horse clinic. I learned more about me and my horse than I have at any other time. On that day I learned a general direction of where I want to go with my riding. I learned that not only does Trax have the potential to do more than just trail ride, I also have the potential to do more than just trail ride. I thought that if I wanted to compete in something like that I needed to have a better trained horse, but I was wrong. The horse I needed was right there in my back yard the entire time. My horse is really the only horse I need. Now of course I realize that he and I are both in need of some serious training, but here is the thing...I went to that clinic expecting to make a fool of myself and my horse, and instead we walked away saying, WOW!

Now keep in mind that Trax was born on a ranch, he was born of ranch horses, and was trained by ranchers, before he went into the hands of a "roper" who pretty much ruined him. (said "roper" just recently got busted for poaching, gives you an idea of what kind of guy he was) So Trax is no stranger to cows, no stranger to real ranch work. The first time we pushed those cows, I knew from the minute we got out there, that he was in his element. I never really had to tell him what we needed to do, he already knew. All I did was point him to the cows and he did the rest. The second time we worked cows at the clinic he was once again in his element. I mean he penned that cow like a pro. So is it any wonder that the two times we really really connected as a horse and rider was when he was doing what he does best? It seems to be what he loves. It is a feeling I have never known before to be on a horse that is in pure joy at the task he is performing. His whole body language changes, his temperment changes, the look in his eye changes. He is in heaven. When he is in heaven, then I am in heaven. So now, thank to my Trax, and thanks to "his heaven", I now know what kind of rider I want to be when I grow up.

Quick update on Old Butch

Butch went for his follow up today.  Remember the vet said he had lost 14lbs from a year ago?
Well last year when I got him from the pound he weighed 77lbs, last week he weighed 63lbs, today he weighed 83lbs.  So it is my guess that we did not have the scale zero'd last week. Which means I have spent 7 days worrying over nothing.  Now on the one had this perturbs me a little, but on the other hand, I am quite happy to have spent 7 days worrying only find out it was a silly mistake. Much better than the alternative of finding out that there was something seriously wrong with him.
Also his eye seems to be getting better. We did a little bit of debribement and will check it again in a week.
so YAY!

Jamie's Wild Ride

Before I go on with this story I am giving special credit to Marissa at Horse Shoes and Hearts who is my muse today.  She is working on her bare back skills, and reading her post reminded me of a day worth writing about.  So thank Marissa for being my inspiration today. :)

Last  summer my best friend Jamie, came all the way out to visit me from...well from far far away back east. 
Jamie grew up on a ranch in Oregon, and is a fantastic rider, much better than I have ever been. Jamie hates to ride in a saddle, and loves Killian because he is so nice to ride bareback.
This is when we were headed out on a trail ride up into the foothills of Casper Mountain.

We rode up the mountain, we walked, we trotted we cantered, she never had any trouble staying on.  I must be getting old because I no longer have the cahonies to go on trail ride bareback.  If my horse spooks at something I want something to hang on to!  Jamie on other hand, has huge cahonies (Not sure if I am spelling that right but thought it would be tacky to say "ba!!$")

We rode all the way up, had a snack under a nice tree and then rode back down. We rode through cows, and through streams, and it really was just a wonderful day. 

This was at the end of the ride just as we were getting ready to load up and head home.
The next day Jamie begged me to let her ride Trax bareback, only in the pasture, just to see what he would do.  I did warn her that he is super leg sensitive and tends to run through a bit.  This was before I had the hackamore for him.

So she gets up on him, sans a saddle, or a helmet, and completely against my better judgement.  The minute I turned him loose he was off like a shot.  My main pasture is about 2 acres, maybe a little less.  He made a full circle at a dead run, and Jamie is hanging on for dear life, and you could just hear the string of profanities coming out of her mouth.  

I yelled, "One rein stop!!!"  She yells, "If I let go of his mane I'm done for!"  I yell back, "Well don't let go then!" 

I truly wish I had had my camera for this part because as well as it being an amazing job of staying on a runaway horse it really was funny and scary all at the same time.

Finally on lap 2, he happened to run past a big pile of dirt we had for filling up our horse pen project and being the quick thinking girl that she is, she made a dive for that pile of dirt.  Trax ran past us and off to the opposite side of the pasture.

If you pretend there is not a horse in this picture you can see said pile of dirt
 which acted as a landing zone for my wild and crazy friend
I rushed to her aide, trying hard not to laugh. I admit I should not have been laughing but, I did warn her more than once!  She assured me she was fine in between the next string of profanities.  A little dirty, and a couple of bruises, but that was all.

We caught Trax with out issue (which surprised me) and I asked, "Well now what?" 
She says, "Help me up on the round pen"  (See, she does learn!)

She spent about 20 min riding him in the round pen bareback, working on stopping with her seat,  and then took him out and walked him around a little bit.  Then she says, "OK,  I have had enough!"

Now, doesn't he look completely sweet and docile in this picture?  Trust me, inside he is laughing his butt off!  In the end Jamie did win, because she did ride him bareback, and he did not throw her, and she did not fall off, she jumped.  Even more important, she got right back on and made him act like a gentleman.  She really does have the biggest ba!!$ of any woman I know!  Make sure you click on the picture to make it big so you the dirt in her hair and on her face and clothes.

So what did we learn from this experience???  When someone says to you," do not ride this horse bareback", you should probably listen.  Unless your name is Jamie and you have really big.....

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

EC Day 3

Your Best Riding.

This is a tough one, because in some ways I feel like my best riding was when I was a teenager.  Simply because we always rode bareback and the things we were able to do back then.  I must have had a much better seat back then, how else could I have stayed on a horse, bareback,  at a dead run everyday.

Of course I am also willing to admit that with little or no instruction, we probably were pretty rough on those poor ponies too.  Its no wonder they made us chase them all over the pasture to catch them!

If I think of it in terms of actual "riding" then my best riding is now.  My best ride was probably last Sunday.  I was so concious of where my hands were, what my feet were doing, what my butt was doing, and what my horse was doing.  We are really learning to communicate well.  For example, he told me that those kitties were going to eat him, and I was able to show him, without even a second of fighting with him, that he was wrong.   I am learning how to show him that if he gives to me right away, I will make a point of not yanking on his mouth.  I am learning how to direct him with legs and feet instead of my hands, which he seems to respond to very well!

I am so glad for this opportunity to learn, to be easier on my horses, and to get more out of them by doing less.  I love it!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


 I have been getting spam comments on one of my posts so I deleted the post. 
I sure hope that fixes it.

EC Day 2

What are your riding goals?

My short term goals are to get me and Trax both soft enough to ride in a bit with him running away with me.  As well as, of course, learning better communication skills through legs and seat.  I think if I can just keep my hands out of his mouth, we can go far.

My long term goal is the local ranch horse competition.  I hear there are going to be two here in Casper this year, and I am anxious to enter Trax in both.  These competitions are not as tough as the national competitions but maybe if I can get some experience here, when I move to AZ I can start working towards the real deal.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Equestrian Challenge day 1

Question:  When and Why you started Riding.

I cannot tell you the very first time I rode.  To me it seems as though I have ridden since I could walk, although as a young child we did not have horses.  My mom and dad both rode in rodeo's in Louisiana, so I think I come by my horse craziness honestly.  I recall that I always wanted my granny to take me to the local stable for a trail ride or to let me ride in the round pen, which she did do on occasion.

My earliest memory of riding was in Horton Kansas. My Step-dad's parents lived there and they had ponies. There was a girl who lived across the street, her name was Tina, and we were great friends. We broke one unbroken pony to ride, all on our own, with out the benefit of helmets or safety gear or adult supervision.   Yup we got bucked off a few times.  Then we taught him to pull a cart. There was another that could pull a cart too.  

When I was in High School, I met a girl down the road named Sharon.  She had two horses and could only ride one at a time, and so I rode one for her.  His name was Jacket.

This is me on Jacket and Sharon on Lady in the background.  I was about 14 at the time.
We rode these horses from sun up to sun down.  We almost always rode bareback. We raced bareback too.  There were alfalfa fields by our house, and all the kids with horses would line up and race. Lady always won, she was so fast!  Jackie always lost.  These horses took the best care of us. They were wonderful ponies. 

After I grew up and moved away, I rarely rode again for a long time, but I never ever lost my love of equine. I moved to Eloy AZ and my neighbor had several horses.  I rode with him and his wife often, and helped them take care of their wonderful ponies.  Finally in 2001 I got to have another horse. She was old, but wonderful.  She would do anything you asked.  She eventually died of Cushings.

When I moved to Wyoming, I swore that no matter what I was going to have horses again. That was my goal, and I have reached that goal...4 times!

Interestingly enough, I was often told that I was a good rider.   My old cowboy neighbor in  Eloy had a horse that no one rode but him.  Yet he let me ride him any time I wanted.  I knew another guy who had a crazy palomino that had not been ridden in years, and was bad about running off with people.  He was afraid of the horse, so like a fool I got right up on him, and rode him back into a gentle horse again.   Yet now I am learning that I was not a good rider.  I was really good at staying on.  I have a tendency to have heavy hands, and I knew nothing about leg cues until the last few years.  Now I am learning to actually ride, not just stay on.  It is a whole new world for me, but I am learning to get more from my ponies than I ever have.

Killian Learns Psychokinesis

Yesterday after my ride while I was cleaning stalls, I came into Killian's pen to find this:

Hey, they are in my pen, that makes them mine!

I cannot figure out how he manages to get all three feed tubs into his pen. One is his, one is Sassy's and one is Trax's.  This is not the first time I have found him like this either.   At first I thought maybe the wind but they have to be flat to get under the panels.   All I can figure is that since he can't bully the others out of their food now, he just concentrates hard enough to move the tubs with his mind!

Speaking of wind....last night we had one of the worst windstorms I have seen in a while.  I mean the wind always blows here, but it was so strong last night I kept hearing things from down the road blow against our house.  It seemed like it was blowing about 60 mph. Naturally I was terrified for my ponies. I didn't sleep much.  Naturally they just stood inside and waited out the storm like good ponies do.  Of course the water tubs are full of dirt now.  As soon as the there was some light I was out there, checking everyone over to make sure no one got hit with anything.  Everyone made it through the night without trauma. 

Tom says I worry too much!