Thursday, March 26, 2009

No Wind Wednesday!

Okay, so it was Thursday.
It's spring break, and I'm not keeping track.
Besides, I like the alliteration.
It's been windy all week, so I've gotten lots of little projects done in the barn, and some extra blogging (did you notice?) But no riding.
Today the wind let up, and it got up to the mid-fifties. So off with the insulated coveralls and rubber boots, on with jeans and real boots.
Worked little Amy on the lunge line--she was a little SNOT! trying to drag me around, and leaping into the air like a big toad! She finally settled down, and we did a bit of showmanship practice--almost got a decent turn on the haunches.
Since Al was at work, I didn't want to climb on Maddie (no one to pick up the pieces, if necessary). So out came Kate. Since one of the little projects I haven't gotten to is cleaning my bridles (and I want to switch out the bit in Kate & Maddie's), I put the bosal on her. She, too, was a bit full of herself, though not as bad as last time. But once I got on, we did twenty minutes or so of walk-trot circles and serpentines, the sidled over to the out-gate and headed up the driveway.

Neighbors cows had just been fed, on the other side of the fence, and uncharacteristically, Kate balked several times at the calves along the fenceline between us. Likewise, when we went to turn from the road onto the ditch road that skirts the east side of the property, as the irrigation crew had just burned off the weed this morning, and the ditch looked and smelled strange. But once we got moving, she settled down and walked right out. Al arrived home as we turned into the south gate and started down the hill towards home, so he offered to come out and get some photos.

These railroad ties will eventually make up the "drop" jump into the pond I'm building, but for now, they're good for side-pass practice.

Getting into position. Aaack! Now what do I do, Momma?!?

Kate did one good pass to the left, but got confused when I asked her to go back to the right. She decided she didn't like the RR ties, and did a near perfect sidepass to get away! So I built on that, and got several good steps each direction.

Better head position, but with my exaggerated cue, I still look like an off-balance dork!

Try again with the ties. Al didn't get the shot, but she did do better this time.

One gratuitous shot:
Daddy. Save me from this crazy woman!
Al headed in, so we walked by the house and back up the driveway again. More baby cow antics, but Kate seemed to enjoy making them all run away--a good first step toward cattle work is for the horse to "track" some cows, and see that they are much more likely to be afraid of the horse, than the other way around. But Kate was also telling me she was ready to go home. So after standing a minute, while all the calves came back up to the fence in curiosity, we backed them up one more time, and headed for the barn. Interestingly, when I asked her to sidepass up to the out-gate to close it, she did it so well that she put me too close to reach over to latch the chain!
She stood quietly while I loved on her and worked the tangles out of her mane (some treats helped), then I fed everybody and called it a day.
Tomorrow, if it's not windy, Maddie and her little sister Beth (and maybe some tack cleaning).

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Up, UP, and AWAAAY!

I've got to admit that I've been putting off getting on Maddie since last fall, when she got really flustered about having the stirrups weighted. She's a worrier like her mama, and I wanted to wait 'til I had plenty of time to be consistent with her. So.... she got put off until summer vacation.... then put off for my "heart incident"....then put off while I played with the dun.... then, in July, Kate cut herself up a bit and got a couple of weeks off...well, I couldn't put it off any more.

I have to admit, part of my stalling was good old fear and trepidation: I'm closer to 60 than 50, and probably shouldn't be starting my colts myself, 'cause I need to be functional at work to pay for these guys! AND it's harder and harder for me to move/react fast enough to deal with any "issues" of a physical nature (read: bucking, rearing, bolting). So once I have a problem, I get all wuss-y. Maddie's reaction last fall had me somewhat intimidated, and I worried about how she would behave once I was up there.
Well... I needn't have worried!
The day before I had done some ground work, lunging and long lining (ground driving) around my almost-an-arena, then because she seemed mellow enough, I climbed on her and sat for a few minutes. No big deal. So I "flapped and slapped" a bit, climbed on and off a few more times, from both sides, and called it good. Total time in the saddle: maybe ten minutes.
So today (July 24th, 2008), it's time. But in the round pen, if only to feel a little more contained.
A little ground work again, then I led Maddie up to my "softer than my usual stump" mounting block.
I tell folks that one of my first lessons with my babies is "stand next to this [stump, bale, tailgate, chair, rock, fence] so the old lady can get on." Not only is it easier on my knees, it's a lot easier on their backs, and doesn't leave me struggling and vulnerable on my way up. In the case of first ride or two, I prefer the softer items, but on this day I was just too lazy to drag a bale into the round pen! She stood nicely (another expectation) until I clucked to her, then just moved off into a nice walk (unlike Kate, who had to be convinced that she wouldn't fall over with me up there!). Walked around, bending, giving, whoa-ing, and generally behaving ourselves very calmly for a first ride! A few gentle circles at the jog.
Maddie actually has a very animated, flowing stride (though she paddles a bit in front).
THEN we had to spoil our A-plus day with a snit about dropping the bit! Maddie's always had a silly little thing about her head--as a yearling she went a month or so being head/ear shy, for no apparent physical or psychological reason.
So, on this day, we worked on it. Head down cue, rocking her head back and forth (lateral flexion), slow and easy, 'til she got it. On and off three or four times, until she did so quietly, and with her head, if not low, at least within reach.
Then some lovin' when she did. Finish on a good note.
After that first ride, I got in four more last summer, the last two out of the arena and into the pastures. She has handled that very well, even on a blustery day, and with a new 30 foot dead tree placed out there for a jump/trail obstacle--tho new to her environment (as opposed to encountering it somewhere she had never been), all she did was she look hard at it, then trusted me to dismount and lead her up to it to check it out (again, my wuss-iness showing thru). Then I remounted her from the log, and we continued our ride...

For all my worrying, she's turning out to be just as sensible as Kate!

The grandbabies go for a ride!

June of 2008, and my daughter and her kids are visiting.

Misty, the old gray mare, she ain't what she used to be (sorry, just had to). She's got a stone bruise, and is outta commission. So who can I put the little ones on?
(btw, this is an old photo-- that's Maddie in tow.)
I've got RT (Royal Tardez, but nobody ever calls him that!). He's the little 28-year-old Arab gelding we took in for a former 4H student, who's grown up and moved to an apartment in the big city. My older grandson Mike has ridden him once. But, as I explained to Mike at the time, if Misty is a '57 Chevy, RT is a Ferrari--small, but fast, with quick cornering.The only other broke thing on the place is little miss Kate! Mind you, she's only had about 20 rides at this point. But I wouldn't put my precious little ones in a position they could get hurt on. Brenden is five, and still at the ponying stage. It's his first ride of the year, so Kate's verbal cues come in handy--I can hang back with one hand on Brenden, and drive her ahead of me. You'll notice she is listening to both myself, and the little clone on top. Once I was reassured of his basic balance, I moved to Kate's head, and we walked around the arena quite a bit. Even jogged a step or three (giggle, giggle).

Kate was a peach! Now it was time to add little sister, Delaney. My daughter Terri did side-walking duty, while I focused on Kate.
Kate was Oh so careful with the babies!
Finally, Terri got on. She hasn't ridden for several years, so I led her for a minute, as well, (though there was no need for a side-walker), then gave a mini-review-lesson.

Then she and Kate took off on their own.

Don't they look great! (No, Terr, you can't have her!)

This one is for sure a keeper!

Now, what about Maddie?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Matters of the Heart


School's out for summer!
(insert rock and roll riff here)

And Kate's staying at EvenSong.
And it's time to get to work with Maddie, right?


The last day of school was Thursday, and on that Friday I had one of those lovely little medical "procedures" that folks of my maturity get to have every 5 or 10 years--you know, the one where you have to empty out your entire digestive track so the doc can take a look-see? Well afterwords, I treated myself with a Jamoca shake courtesy of Barfy's, and then for dinner, Al warmed up a plate of steamed rice and veggies and chicken, with a little sweet and sour sauce (he didn't make it, mind you--he can barely manage frozen pizza). All seemed well, until I woke up at 2 AM with SEVERE chest pains. Thinking it might be my digestive track complaining about the previous days trauma, I tried some ginger ale and some crackers. I tried walking, and not walking, and anything else I could to try to escape the pain. But it would not be avoided.

Knowing that women's heart attacks have patently different symptoms than men's, I finally gave in and had Al call 911. The volunteer firefighter/EMT that arrived first was my neighbor's foreman, who drives the backhoe when I "borrow" it; he had as his helper a budding 19-year-old firefighter who is also on our haying crew. The first sheriff to arrive and the ambulance driver were both men with whom I had coordinated "Shop with a Cop or Firefighter" last Christmas. So it felt like old-home week, with me in my skivvies, trying to play hostess.

After an ambulance trip to town, a few hours in the emergency department, a second ambulance trip to the cardiac care unit in Yakima, 30 miles away (I'm glad I have good insurance!) they decided it was probably an extreme case of GERD (gastro-esophageal reflux disease) brought on by the previous day's procedure. They recommend that I have a "stress echocardiagram" to make sure, then send me home with instructions to take it easy and contact my Doc on Monday to schedule that.

Well, Monday comes, and the doctor's office hasn't gotten any records from the hospital(s) yet, so I am given strict orders NOT to do ANYTHING, including driving or lifting anything over 5 pounds, until the echo test.

Tuesday, local hospital forwards records, but nothing from Yakima.

Wednesday, still nothing.

Thursday, finally get records from cardiac care center, advising the echo. Doc calls stress test office, they're all at a training for the day, and not there on Friday.

Monday, make appointment, first chance is a week away.

Glad it WASN'T a heart attack! I'd be DEAD by now!

I'm going stir crazy!

I have horses to ride!
Haying season in looming (I drive a baler in exchange for my hay.)

I have stuff TO DO!

I decide to take my doctor's orders literally: a horse doesn't have a steering wheel, right? And if I ride bareback, I won't have to lift my obnoxiously heavy western saddle, right? So I sidle Kate over to the fence and climb on board for her first bareback ride. She was super--just a little walk trot around the place. (Sorry, no pics--Al probably wouldn't have let me ride, so I had to do it while he was at work ;-D). But Maddie would have to wait, again!

Kate gets to STAY!

Or maybe it should read, Mommy gets to keep Kate!
All two of you who follow this blog regularly, already knew that I was catching up on Kate's and Maddie's herstory in prep for the coming season of training, and hopefully, competition. So you knew that I still have Kate, right?

As it turned out, that whole last week of school last year, I didn't hear anything from the family who wanted to purchase Kate, even to a direct inquiry as to transportation plans. When I did hear, Mom had been quite ill for a week, and doctors still didn't know quite what was going on (something to do with her thyroid), but it looked like she was going to be doing tests and feeling lousy for awhile. In the meantime, Dad, in the construction industry, had had his hours cut back severely.
Not only could they not afford another horse, they were looking at having to sell their house!
B took the news philosophically, for a 12-year-old, and they were going to be able to keep her old mare by doing work in exchange for board, so this was good. They wished me well with Kate, and I told them they were welcome to visit anytime, or come to any events I might go to in their neighborhood.
I was sympathetic to their circumstances (and I still keep in touch--mom's doing much better), but obviously, there were NO sour grapes about the deal gone south!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Horsie Stories

Found this questionaire from Glenshee Eqestrian Center while visiting Funder (from Food for Founder). The wind is blowing like crazy, so to avoid doing any housework, or my taxes, here are my responses.

1. How old were you when you first started riding? Sometime between 6 and 8 I went on a dude string ride; Real riding started when I was 10.

2. First horse ridden: Dude horse: black, probably grade quarter, "Nevada," while camping with my family at Big Sur; Started learning on "California Joe" AQHA--traded mucking for rides. His owner was not about to let me use her good saddle, so I rode for probably a year bareback--great for balance!

3. First horse trotted on: "Joe"

4. First horse cantered on: "Joe"

5. First Horse fallen off of: "Joe"

6. Most recent horse fallen off of: Zoey, my big dun SBPaint gracefully rolled me off her hind end a few years ago, when I was moseying along as if she were a dead-broke 10-year-old, when in fact she was a very green 3. It was her first English show, and I had been schooling over the little 18" cross rails. She did just fine, but as were were leaving the arena, on the buckle, another horse jumped a jump behind us. We both saw it out of the corner of our eyes, and she took this tremendous leap forward. When someone caught her and brought her back to me, I led her to the bleachers (she was 15.3h), mounted up, and went back in to win the w/t crossrail class! I'm not sure who was more surprised that I got back on, all the 4H kids, or all the other old ladies that were there!

7. Most terrifying fall: More wreck, than fall, 'cause I wasn't actually on her: I was 16 (I knew everything), and at the head of a young Arab mare, leading my little sister. She panicked, and in her rush forward, her leadrope got tangled in one or both of our legs. When she flipped over, she landed on top of me, and her momentum slid us through the gravel, on my face. Skinned my cheek badly, and tore off my ear (my glasses often are tilted), but I was calm enough to direct my sister where to put everything away, and talk the only adult present (a little old lady with a heart condition) through calling 911, etc.

8. First horse jumped with: "Hopscotch"--started "training" him two weeks after getting out of the hospital from the above wreck!

9. First horse who ran away with you: "Joe"--headed for home, bit in his teeth. I just wrapped my arms around his neck, and as we got too close to a main thoroughfare, I swung off, and he stopped.

10. First horse that scared the crap out of you: Though I've been intimidated from time to time (especially as I get older and maybe wiser), I'm not sure I've ever quite gotten to the point of scaring the crap...

11. First horse shown : "Comanche's Shadow," the first horse I ever owned, an unregistered overo Paint gelding. (If I find my old photo of this special guy, I'll add it later.)

12. First horse to win a class with: "Shadow"--he was a real trouper, whose skills seemingly advanced as my horsemanship did.

13. Do you/have you taken lessons: On and off all my life--often in exchange for some sort of labor (including ironing the barn owner's laundry).

14. First horse you ever rode bareback: "Joe" again--that was the only choice, if I wanted to ride him.

15. First horse trail ridden with: "Joe"--this was pretty much all we ever did.

16. Current Barn name: EvenSong Farm

17. Do you ride English or western?: Both, but raising Paints in seriously cowboy country, I do more western these days.

18. First Horse to place at a show with: "Shadow"

19. Ever been to horse camp?: Not as a camper--couldn't afford it. But have been a counselor, wrangler, and "dean" (director) several times.

20. Ever been to a riding clinic?: Once back east with some big-shot show jumper, doing gymnastics (which I still use), but that was at least three or four lifetimes ago, so I've forgotten who it was--maybe Denny Emerson--when he was just starting out.

21. Ridden sidesaddle?: Not formally, and not at all since the time in seventh grade that I lost my balance (bareback, on "Joe"--who was standing perfectly still at the time!), fell backwards, and broke my arm in three or four places!

22. First horse leased: Never have

23. Last Horse Leased: Same again

24. Highest ribbon in a show: Blues, and I think one reserve, 18 and over

25. Ever been to an 'A' rated show?: Once riding, several times as spectator or groom--got pretty fed up with the cut-throat nature of competition.

26. Ever competed in pony games/relay races?: In gymkhana, if that's what you mean, yes, on "Shadow"

27. Ever fallen off at a show?: See #6, and a couple of other times--Once, right in front of my mother: I went over a huge log oxer at my one "A" show--but the horse didn't....

28. Do you ride Hunter/Jumpers?: Some, a couple of lifetimes ago--now I just dabble a bit with jumps.

29. Have you ever barrel raced? Yes, but "Shadow" hated barrels, so we didn't do them much.

30. Ever done pole bending?: THIS was "Shadow's" event! He cleaned up most places we went.

31. Favorite gait: A ground-covering walk for trails, working trot for exercise, rolling cantalope for thrills.

32. Ever cantered bareback?: Yes, lots

33. Have you ever done dressage?: Again, dabbled a bit

34. Have you ever evented?: Horse trials, but never full fledged combined training.

35. Have you ever mucked a stall?: Well, yeah, duh!

36. Ever been bucked off?: A few times. Worst was a little colt that I started gently as a two-year-old, with 3 or 4 rides, then threw him back out to pasture. The next year, as a 3-year-old, I put another couple of rides on him, starting from scratch, as if I'd done nothing with him, then got busy with customers' horses, and threw him back out to pasture. The following spring, thinking how "easy" he had been both of the previous two years, I just threw the saddle up on him, and climbed on--he put his head between his knees and DUMPED ME GOOD. Serves me right, but I never really trusted him again.

37. Ever been on a horse that reared?: Really reared, only one--"Walt," was a little buckskin at Girl Scout camp that would get snotty at times. When he did, I, as instructor, would trade horses with the camper riding Walt and take him to the center. One day, while enforcing a standstill so I could teach, Walt stomped his foot, so I smacked him with the reins. He stomped again, I smacked again. And again. The fourth time or so, he reared up with me, and went over backwards. I just stepped off to one side, and when he landed, sat back down on him. He got up, shook himself off, and stood quietly for the rest of the lesson. However, I suddenly had ten little Girl Scouts who were ready to be done with their turns riding, and ten more that didn't want their turns!

38. Horses or ponies. Generally horses, but I love a good Welsh cross.

39. Do you wear a helmet? ALWAYS! Not only do I have too much to lose, but I set an example for lots of local kids.

40. What's the highest you've jumped: Once upon a time, I jumped a log that was probably three foot in diameter, that had a one or two foot drop on the back side. In an arena, probably four foot--but that was a loooong time ago.

41. Have you ever ridden at night?: A little bit, usually not on purpose. Once rode "Joe" to a friend's house and then lost track of time. I ended up leading him four miles or so home in the headlights of my very PO'd dad's car.

42. Do you watch horsey television shows?: In spurts, when the weather isn't good for working outside on the farm or with the horses.

43. Have you ever been seriously hurt/injured from a fall?: See #7 and #21.

44. Most falls in one lesson: Don't think I ever have.

45. Do you ride in an arena/ring?: Sometimes, for early rides on babies ('till I figure them out--and they figure me out) or for local schooling shows.

46. Have you ever been trampled by a horse?: I had a long yearling gelding that I had raised get really snotty with me once in the stall, and run over me as I tried to lead him out--knocked me backwards, HARD! but then came back to see if I was okay.

47. Have you ever been bitten?: A couple of nips here and there, and one nasty guy who charged me, mouth open when I was a kid.

48. Ever had your foot stepped on by a horse?: Yeah--my little toes are just about as big as my big toes from being broke several times each. The funniest time was when I was trying to climb up on my brother's girlfriend's 16.2 appendix Quarter horse, V-2. When I finally got my left foot wedged in the stirrup, he deftly caught my right foot under his hoof. I was stuck in that position, hanging nearly upside down from his mane, doing the splits, with NO leverage, and no escape, until HE decided to move over.

49: Favorite riding moment: In 56 years of riding, I would be hard put to name just one, or even a few. I did some crazyfun jump courses in my youth, and a few neat competitive trail rides in the mountains of Montana, and I love bringing my Paint babies up from scratch. I do remember my first time riding in the snow (I was raised in LA) and swimming a horse in a lake. These days I just cherish every minute I can spend with my horses.

50. Most fun horse you've ridden: Shadow, my first. My old Arab gelding Corky, who I got at 3 and just lost this last winter at nearly 29, was a kick in the pants! We did competitive trail, dressage, jumping, ponying babies, chasing cows. I'm also having lots of fun with my current projects, Kate and Maddie (chronicled in this blog). I've ridden hundreds, but probably not thousands, of horses, and they all taught me something, not only about riding, but about myself.



Thursday, March 19, 2009

THIS is the mountains, Kate!

So now (June, 2008): it's the last weekend before school gets out for the summer. Will this be the last opportunity to work with Kate that I will get, before I haul her down to Tri-Cities? I have two options:

The little Purina-sponsored show that Kate has gone to each year since she was two months old.

The judge has always liked her, and it would be the first time I rode her there. It would be neat to show him how far she'd come.

On the other hand, it was the weekend of the Ellensburg Sheriff's Posse "Poker Ride."

For those of you unfamiliar with the idea of a poker ride (as I was not so long ago), it is basically an excuse for a trial ride, with prizes based solely on the luck of the draw at the various check points along the trail. Those with the best "hand" (and the worst, and many in between) get to pick from various donated items, and the entry fees all go to some more or less worthy cause--in this case, the Ellensburg Rodeo Queen and her Royal Court.

It was a chance to get Kate out in the woods for the first time. It seemed like a better idea than the same-old-same-old at the Fairgrounds.... but....

....all my usual riding friends were also 4H moms, and their kids were at the show. I wasn't sure that I would know anybody on the ride (turns out a neighbor I had yet to meet was the $500 grand prize winner), and I didn't think I wanted to be out there all by myself, if Kate misbehaved. Who could I invite to come along?

AHA! My new principal K had borrowed my trailer last fall to haul two saddle horses up from his folks' ranch (where he grew up). Did he want to come along and see some of the local country? Sure thing!

Here, we're started up the trail into the first "woods" Kate has ever seen. Having hauled K's horse in with us, she was now Kate's role model, and Kate willingly followed her up the rocky trail.
Coming down the hill into the second or third checkpoint, one of the organizers took this shot of Kate and I.

Into the next checkpoint, an abandoned old log cabin in a clearing. As we left out of here, Kate suddenly stopped in her tracks, looking up the hill behind the cabin. It took me a minute, but I finally spotted a big mule deer watching us pass. Other than her hard look, Kate never hesitated nor spooked.Here's the most photographic evidence I got of Kate during the ride. We were just coming out of the trees and back toward the trail head. However....there was one last obstacle to overcome. The CREEK! A real, live, ankle-deep, yards-wide, flowing-with-wet-water creek! YIKES!

But Kate didn't want to lose her brand new BFF. So she tried skirting the creek by wandering upstream.

That works at home on puddles, mom.

But it didn't work here--that water just kept coming from who-knows-where up the mountain!

So Kate just had to suck it up, and



the creek!

Back at the trailer. A little wind-blown, but none the worse for wear. We had met the mountain and we won! (And we won a new halter and a pommel bag, as well, in the poker competition.)

Would it be our last ride together?

The story of Zoey

We got Kate's momma, Zoey, at four and a half months old--too young, in my book, to be weaned. She hadn't been touched by human hands until about a week earlier--mostly chased into a stock trailer with her momma to be moved from one pasture to another. No vaccinations, no worming, no extra nutrition--for either her OR her dam!

I had expressed slight interest in the filly to the old cowboy who bred her, because I had bred Misty to his stud that year, and just in case that foal was a colt (he was), I might want a filly by the stud, who had since been sold out of state.

So old cowboy shows up at my house one day, with the filly, alone, in the stock trailer, and says "You want her? Take her." We dickered on the price, and I wouldn't go as high as he wanted, so he turned around and headed down the driveway...Then stopped and backed up and says "Okay. You got her." Luckily I had just enough money available (in convenience check form ;-D) to pay him. We backed the trailer up to the back yard and unloaded her. She moseyed around while I set up a 12 X 12 pen in the corner. She started getting good hay, green grass, preventative care and some gentle handling from that day on. I think she was so young that she bonded quickly with me. She was named "Zoe" after my mother, who always liked "those ones with the gold color and black legs." Mom did give us permission to name a horse after her, just not a pig (which I don't have, thank you, anyway, Jean). Registered name: Continental Minuette (for her sire's line to The Continental, and her dam's name Mojave Bowette).

I started her the spring of her three-year-old year, and took her in to some of the same 4H shows that I now take Kate to.

Second day in the English saddle, first day over fences, and she won this walk-trot, 18 inch cross rail class (as well as the green walk-trot pleasure class). First cross rail we tried in the warm-up arena, she banged her toe; never touched another rail the rest of the day!

Kate was Zoey's first foal. She snuck in sometime between my 9:00 bed check, and my 12:00 AM visit. Zoe was a good momma, though less protective than Misty. All three of her babies have ended up being pretty independent souls.Then came Lindy Hop, who was really nicely built. She sold as a yearling to be a dressage prospect. (This was unusual, I thought: if I can't sell them when they're still "baby-cute" I figure I've got them until they are started under saddle. And Lindy had no spots!) And then little miss Amy (Amber Arabesque), who will possibly be this year's project horse.

But reality in the horse breeding business was such that I did not breed Zoe back after Amy was foaled. And because she was still young, broke, big, and dun (all pluses for prospective sales), I decided to put her on the market with the young fillies. I hadn't so much as been on her since she started making babies, so it was time for a tune-up.

Some walk-trot work in the round pen.
Here, I'm grinning at the long choppy trot we got, trying to get to a lope. We just didn't have quite enough room to get her hugeness (15.3 hh, 1300 lbs.) into a lope. That would have to wait for another day. I had never started working towards neck reining until a prospective buyer asked about it, so here I tried bridging the reins in one hand, with there still being some space to directly contact each side of the bit, but starting to lay the outside rein against her neck. She picked it up pretty quickly. A nice portrait of Zoe.
A buyer from north of Spokane was impressed with these photos, but had to figure out an excuse to come see Zoe--she was buying her for her husband, as a surprise birthday present! How do you leave the house with an empty horse trailer, without a few questions being asked?

When she got here, she was in a bit of a rush to beat sunset, and, because we didn't take our time, Zoe threw a bit of a snit--bucking across the arena. But I lunged her a few more minutes, then climbed on board and she was her usual well-behaved self. C tried her out, handed me a certified check (that's how sure she was that she wanted Zoe), loaded her, and headed for home.

She got home after sunset, but the dark couldn't hide the J's joy as he first met Zoe!

She has since become his mountain horse.
C checks in now and then with news and photos. They are really pleased with Zoey.

Off hunting!
Zoe has found her forever home.
But now I'm in a quandary: I really like this bloodline (Quincy Dan)--all four babies I've gotten (including Zoe's half brother from Misty) have been sweet, trainable and well-built.
I have sold Kate's momma--Kate is the only one I have left!
And I have a commitment to sell her!