Tuesday, December 27, 2011

My New Stormy Kromer Caps

I hope you had a nice Christmas and are enjoying the post-holiday calmness that comes from –everything being over!

Before I write about my rides with Buckshot over Christmas weekend, I must tell you about my new hats! There is a little bit of a story here. Of course, being around horses during the winter means you need warm clothes. Warm hats are always a challenge. For several years I have been wearing the wool felt beret-type hat, which I can pull down almost over my ears to keep them warm. Plus, on really cold days, I have doubled up and worn two berets! Of course they get worn over time, and it is hard to replace them. Target used to carry the wool felt berets but not anymore. So during autumn I started thinking about what kind of warm headgear I could get, in case my berets don’t make it through the winter in wearable condition.

I happened to see a photo in a magazine of a woman wearing a wool, brimmed (think baseball cap type) hat that looked really cute on her. The description called it a cap from a company named Stormy Kromer, and it explained that the hat was designed many years ago by the wife of a train conductor who needed a cap that stayed on his head in high winds. The design caught on and a company was born and they still sell the hats. The hat is unique because it has a band around the perimeter that can slide down over the top of your ears, to offer some warmth and to secure the hat to your head. I went to the website and after browsing through the woman’s hat section, decided on two colors of caps, brown and a green/black plaid, and placed my order. So far, normal Internet purchase story.

By the way, here's the website link Stormy Kromer.

You know how you get an email acknowledging your order from Internet stores? Well, this company sends the most delightful acknowledgement letter ever! It made my day to have such a nice company send such a nice letter! In a few days, the hats arrived and they are adorable, and very functional. The hats even come with instructions! They are very funny instructions - what a hoot! And they have individual serial numbers and have insurance! I have been wearing them to the farm ever since and everyone has asked about them. Several people at the farm are planning to buy one.

At first I thought they looked a little masculine, so I decided to decorate them so they would look a little more feminine. Not that I actually care about looking very feminine when I am at the farm! But still, I found a horse pin in my jewelry drawer and added it to the band of the brown cap (see photos above). Now it’s a Stormy Kromer horse cap! I also found two little horse charms that I attached to the string in the front of the green cap. It’s fun to make them personal by adding decorations.

I really like these caps – they fit well, stay in place and are quite warm. If you need a brimmed cap for the winter, you should consider a Stormy Kromer cap! From the company website, I have learned that they are quite famous in Minnesota (where they are made) and in other northern states that have severe winters. I think I must have the first Stormy Kromer caps down here in Virginia! We’ve started a trend at our farm.

I had a great long weekend with Buckshot! On Friday (Dec. 23, 2011) the weather was nice – temperatures in the fifties and lovely sunshine. Unfortunately, rain from previous days had left the main arena sodden, soft and puddly. I walked Buckshot around in the soggy dirt, and discouraged boredom by asking him for serpentines and circles, as well as straight lines on the rail.

We then went on the trail, by ourselves. Buckshot was a little hesitant at the trail head, but he responded to my “walk on” and started into the woods. We traveled about a quarter of the trail when he started feeling more and more hesitant. He stopped in the trail, then started turning slowly to the side, trying to turn around. I caught him after a few steps, squeezed his sides and said “walk on.” And he walked. After five strides, he slowed, stopped, tried to turn back, I directed him forward with a squeeze and “walk on.” And he walked. At this point, it was slow going. When his hesitant stopping became more frequent, I knew I had reached the end of his comfort zone. I mentally picked a tree about ten yards ahead and told him to walk on. When we arrived at the tree I chose, I stopped him, turned him around and we headed back. His step picked up immediately. I rubbed his neck, and told him what a brave horse he was! We headed out of the trail. We then rode around on the grassy areas just outside of the arena. It was a somewhat limited area, but I directed him in circles, backing and a tiny bit of trotting.

Then we rode down the farm road, and just as in the trail, Buckshot’s hesitancy emerged, halfway down the road. I again asked him for a few more strides, before turning around and returning. After some more exercises on grass, I took him down the road a second time. This time we progressed a bit further before returning. It was a short ride overall, but a nice day, and I thought that Buckshot did well as he responded to my requests to go a bit further despite the struggle he felt inside. On Friday, I gave him his Christmas present – a new swayback saddle pad by Reinsman, and I really spoiled him with extra treats – an apple, horse muffins, horse cookies and lots of mints.

On Saturday, we were blessed again with nice weather. After I tacked up Buckshot, I walked him to the arena and his enthusiasm was palpable – he was springing and bouncing along at the walk! The arena’s footing was better and we were able to do some wonderful trotting and a few good canters. Then the class went on the trail, and as I rode this wonderful horse through the woods on a perfect early winter day, cool but sunny, feeling his easy gait under me, I couldn’t help but grin broadly and think “This is the most wonderful thing in the world!” It was heavenly and magical, and Buckshot is the best horse in the world!

After our ride I spoiled it all by giving him – I had to, you know, it hurt me worse than him- a dewormer. As I held the bottom of his halter, and fiddled with the tube, I could almost hear Buckshot’s disappointment in me! I got most of it into his mouth, held his mouth closed with my hands (which he beats me at- he can stand and not swallow for days if he needs to!), counted to twenty and let go. The white paste was goopy around his mouth. He walked away immediately and stood motionless at the fenceline, looking over at the next pasture. I put his halter away, and started to head to the main barn, but stopped to look at him. He just stood there, in a place he never stands. He’s sulking, I realized, and headed into his pasture to go to him and apologize. I walked up to him and said, I’m sorry, Buckshot, it’s for your health, but I’m sorry I have to give you that terrible tasting stuff. I hugged him, and he walked away. But at least I hoped he knew I took no pleasure in his discomfort. When I came back later to feed him his dinner, he seemed to have forgotten the slight.

After going to my family Christmas get-together on Sunday, I returned to the barn on Monday. The footing in both arenas was very good and we were able to trot and canter quite a bit. We had a great day. I could feel Buckshot’s enthusiasm and energy and laughed with delight after we rode particularly nice patterns. We again went on a wonderful trail ride with the BO and the BOH.

Gosh, so much good weather makes me wonder if we will really pay for it later! Overall, it was three wonderful days with Buckshot. A very good Christmas indeed. I hope you and your horses had a special Christmas!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Buckshot's Unusual Emergency

In my last post, I promised to tell you why, sometimes, in the back of my mind, I worry a tiny bit when Buckshot gets agitated. And I try very hard to remain calm and to look and act calm. Once, in 2008, a very, very bad thing happened when I did it. Below is my recounting of it, from Chapter 15 of my book.

In short, the background to the story is that I had brought Buckshot to a new farm – new to him, but familiar to me. I moved him from the barn I had bought him at, and where I had been taking lessons on him, and after purchasing him, had stayed for over a year. I moved him to the large farm where I had learned to ride and which had a wonderful, expert owner there. His first few days at the new barn had been normal, as normal as it ever is for a horse. The story below occurred after he had been at the new farm about two weeks.

The next day, I brought Buckshot in from the pasture and a friend brought his pasture mate, Lucky. I put Buckshot into his stall and Lucky went into a stall across the aisle. Buckshot began walking around the stall. Slightly alarmed, I remembered Belinda’s advice to just calmly go about my steps of getting grooming tools and start grooming him.

I went into the stall across from Buckshot’s, which houses tack and storage items, and reached for my tools. I heard a slight sound behind me and turned. What I saw next stunned me. Buckshot was caught, over the stall door, half in and half out! He looked at me, bewildered - he was caught, hanging over the stall door!! He had apparently reared over the stall door and came down right on top of the door, lodging himself with the door at his sheath area. His front feet touched the ground in the aisle but his back feet didn’t touch the ground in the stall! I was stunned, and immediately alarmed. I knew Betty was in the next barn, so I called to her “Betty! Betty! Betty!” and she came immediately to see the problem. She was stunned also, but immediately took action.

We tried to open the stall door and got it opened a few inches. But Buckshot’s massive weight lodged him motionless on the door. The top of the stall door was wood, not a smooth piece of metal as sometimes covers a stall opening. Buckshot panicked and tried to get himself over the door but couldn’t budge himself. His front feet flailed violently. Betty got several hay bales and put under his back feet so they would have something to hold his weight.

Thankfully, there was a male student rider at the barn, Lennie, who immediately pitched in to help Betty. I was an emotional basketcase of human worry, standing nearby, unable to help. My mind was in a panic, terrified for Buckshot, afraid for Betty and Lennie should they get hurt trying to help him, and wondering frantically how we would get him off the door. There was no way to lift or pull him off the door, so they decided to try to take the door off its hinges. When almost a thousand pounds of panicking horse is wedged on the door, taking it off its hinges, underneath him, is a herculean task. Betty gave Buckshot a small bit of sedative to help him panic less. The vet was called.

As they worked, I stood nearby and mentally screamed desperate prayers to God. A few students held my hands and offered me assurances. I didn’t know if he would survive, since the door and his weight were pushing against him just forward of his hind legs and it appeared possible that internal damage was being done to him. There wasn’t any blood gushing anywhere. Lennie worked on the door hinges, while Betty stood at Buckshot’s head and comforted him and kept him as calm as was possible. He continued to occasionally panic and thrash his legs and body around.

After about thirty minutes, which seemed much longer to me, Lennie said, the door is just about down! Get ready, we don’t know what he will do! Finally the door fell under him. We held our breaths. Buckshot didn’t explode or thrash, rather he seemed beaten and weak, and walked, very slowly, down the aisle. Lennie handed me the lead line and Betty said, just walk him around slowly here in the grass. Buckshot was wet with sweat, and walking very slowly. The tops of his hind legs were scraped and raw, but there wasn’t any blood dripping. His sheath was swollen. Betty watched him closely for signs of going into shock. He could barely walk, but he did walk. I was mentally frozen, and numb, and grateful, and scared. I knew that he could be hurt very bad internally, and at any moment he could become much worse. I just calmly and slowly walked him in a circle. Betty got a hose and rinsed his legs thoroughly with water.

After fifteen minutes , she suggested I put him in a stall in the main barn while we waited for the vet. “A stall!?!” I asked? She said Yes, we have a stall with a top door. And we’ll put Lucky right next to him. So we moved Buckshot to the stall and surprisingly, he was fine in that he didn’t panic about being in a stall. We closed the top door of the stall to make sure he didn’t try to jump or rear out again. But Buckshot had no energy at all. It took a while before he even mouthed the hay. I stayed close to him and tried to stay mentally composed but internally I was still a basketcase.

Although I was relieved that Buckshot hadn’t died, and that a vet was on the way, I thought that this accident would make Betty not want him at her farm any more. I felt a huge ache of sadness. But I understood that she probably wouldn’t want Buckshot to stay if he was a problem horse. After an hour or so, the vet arrived. He was a very nice, compassionate man. He examined Buckshot and said he would be fine, that he would have very sore hind legs, and a swollen sheath but with time, would be fine. He gave him an antibiotic, a muscle relaxer and a pain killer, and gave us medications for the next five days. He was a very upbeat vet with a manner that comforted me. My dear horse wouldn’t die after all!

Later, I pulled Betty aside and said gravely, I guess this means that Buckshot and I should go back to the other barn. She surprised me by saying, “Well, I don’t think you need to think about that right now. This was a freak accident, and will probably never, ever happen again. So why don’t you at least wait a week before even thinking about that?” I said, okay, that I really wanted to stay there. I had expected her to tell me that he couldn’t stay. That a horse this troublesome really wasn’t welcome there. So I was surprised and relieved by her response.

After a bit, I took Buckshot out of the stall to walk him around for a few minutes. The vet had suggested occasional short walks to prevent any stiffening of his muscles. Buckshot didn’t want to walk much at all, but he did walk, very slowly. I led him back into the stall. Later, I walked him again. Again, he was extremely slow and had very low energy, but he did walk. My heart was full, swollen with numerous emotions: my love for Buckshot, concern for him (what would happen to him now? What was next? Would he ever be the same again? ), just plain mental fatigue, struggling to maintain mental composure, relief that Betty said we didn’t have to move him again, gratitude to Betty and Lennie for their monumental rescue, gratitude to the others at the barn who had comforted me while he was trapped, and appreciation of the very kind veterinarian.

A while later, I thanked Betty for the nursing she would be doing for Buckshot, and I finally left the barn for home. I stopped at my sister, Caren’s, house and told her all that had happened. She listened and comforted me and told me that Buckshot would no doubt be fine in a few weeks. I appreciated her comfort. I was spent, physically and emotionally. I went home, ate something and went to bed.

I visited the barn two days later after work. Buckshot and Lucky were standing in the arena, getting some sun. As I walked up to the fence, I was shocked at how swollen his belly and sheath were. The raw scrapes on the front of his hind legs looked bad, but were expected. What I didn’t expect to see what a swollen center belly and a hugely swollen sheath. He wasn’t moving as slowly as the day of his accident, which relieved me.

Betty told me that he was doing fine, taking his medications fine and that there were no problems. She kept the two horses in adjacent stalls and Buckshot was doing fine, considering. I led him back to his stall and stayed with him, brushing him. He seemed more interested in the hay bag than in me. That was fine. I just wanted him to get well. And then, well, we would see what happened. After an accident like that, did a horse change his personality? I didn’t know. Would he be the same horse? I didn’t know. It was a waiting game, and the end result would be…..well, I didn’t know. But I did know that I loved this horse, this crazy, not-like-his-old-self horse, who would try, for unknown reasons, to jump or rear out of a stall, and find himself trapped. I will never forget his face that day, when I turned and saw my horse hanging on a stall door, halfway in and halfway out of the stall. He was so bewildered.

In the weeks that followed, Buckshot healed. The swelling and scrapes on his belly and legs healed. The sheath swelling took about a month longer to heal. I constantly asked Betty, how is he doing peeing? I hoped the penis was able to do its job although the sheath looked quite swollen. He’s fine, she said. I was relieved each time she said that (and she said it many times, because I kept asking her!), and in the back of my mind, I was a little embarrassed. I had never shown so much interest in his private parts, but as his owner, I wanted all of his parts, including his private ones, to be healthy. So I put aside my embarrassment and asked about it frequently. As the swelling subsided, I could see for myself that he dropped his penis and that it worked just fine. I felt very relieved to see it working fine. In fact, I’ve never been so relieved about a penis in my life. There is a bit of humor to this story, isn’t there?

It has now been two months since his accident and he is fine. Fully healed, his gaits are fine, riding him is fine. His calm personality returned. I am still enormously grateful to those that helped him and, in my opinion, saved his life. Now I think I am going to cry.

This is one of the most precious, special parts of owning a horse - that there are times and memories about him that bring tears to my eyes and down my cheeks. What a special horse Buckshot is! How priviledged I am to have him! How special he is in my life! I do so hope that I am a good owner for him, that I enrich his life and that he is somehow glad that I am his person. Because I am so glad he is my horse! Excuse me, I need to go get tissues……

Well, rereading it brings tears to my eyes. What a horrible day that was! I had never seen a horse trapped on top of a stall door! And neither Betty nor the vet had ever seen such a thing before. I actually felt very guilty about that – that somehow something I had done wrong caused Buckshot to panic and try to jump out of the stall. Before that day, and since, he has been such a calm, reliable horse that it blew my mind that he did it, and I felt I must have inadvertently caused it. Now, three years later (and he hasn’t done anything like that since) I know that sometimes, for reasons we can’t fathom, horses do crazy things, that we didn’t cause. So my guilt has diminished. But that is the story of the big emergency that happened when my sweet horse panicked.

Whew! On to happier thoughts! Buckshot and I had a good weekend this past weekend. Rain made the footing everywhere quite soft so we did mostly walking and just a tiny bit of trotting. It was a good time. He was a good boy – my sweet, precious Buckshot. I hope you had a good time with your horse and didn’t have any emergencies!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Autumn Ride, Reining Clinic and a Christmas Present

Before I write about my weekend with Buckshot, I have to comment on my pictures on the last post. During the week, I happened to look at my blog and was appalled, I tell you, by those photos! I look terrible in them. Ha ha.

Clearly my camera is broken. The key features I need on a regular basis – the adjustment for a bad helmet day, and for a bad clothing day, and a bad posture day, and a look-too-fat day, all the critical camera adjustments- are broken! I need to take the camera to the repair shop! Ha Ha! I never realized my helmet makes me look like a marshmallow-head! Oh, heavens! I must get a better helmet! Buckshot looked good, but I looked, well, not very good at all. What was I thinking putting those photos on my blog? I must have been momentarily delusional. I thought about deleting them, but I decided to leave them up so others will feel like they look great! (Thank you to Juliette for her kind compliments – she may want to check her vision, though! Just kidding!) Some people are very photogenic, but I’m, well, not very photogenic. I wish I could get a professional photographer to take some pictures of Buckshot and me. That’s on my wish list. Well, now that I’ve gotten that off my chest and had a few good laughs from it, on to the weekend.

On Saturday, December 10, 2011, the Virginia weather was lovely- in the forties and sunny, with a clear, blue sky. I went to get Buckshot from his pasture using my new procedure. Yes, a new procedure. You see, a few weeks ago, something scary happened in the pasture. Buckshot and Lucky were way out in their pasture grazing when I went to get Buckshot that day.

I walked out to Buckshot, chatted with him, put his halter on, and proceeded to walk with him to the gate. Without warning, Lucky started cantering to us, and just as he passed us – too close for comfort – he kicked out powerfully with both hind legs! I was stunned! And scared! His hooves were just a few feet from me. Buckshot didn’t move, didn’t dance around, didn’t get nervous. But my adrenaline shot up as I realized just how close we both had come to a huge kick. I walked Buckshot silently to the gate, never taking my eye off of Lucky, who seemed to have calmed down as quickly as he had gotten excited.

We got out of the pasture and I talked softly to Buckshot, telling him that had really scared me, we had never had Lucky act so dangerously and it scared me to death. Buckshot lightly touched my hand holding the lead rope, in a comforting way. I took deep breaths and as the adrenaline diminished, I decided that I would need a new procedure for the future to protect us from such dangerous antics. I also reminded myself to never go into the pasture with Lucky without a lead line with me, just in case I need to twirl it to keep him away from me if he gets excited like that again. I also knew that I would need to devise a new method for getting Buckshot out of the pasture.

The next several times I went to get Buckshot he was near his barn, and was not out in the pasture, so I didn’t have to use my new procedure. But this past Saturday, it was time to implement it. They were both grazing out in the pasture. I got Buckshot’s halter and lead line and disconnected the lead line. I approached them both normally, calling to them when I am far away so that they would see me coming and not be startled by my approach, walking towards their sides, not their back ends, saying hello, and then going up to Buckshot to pet and greet him.

I put his halter on him but kept the lead line in my hands, not connected to the halter. I started walking toward the gate and he followed closely. I watched Lucky with a hawk eye. I kept the line in my hands so that I could twirl the non-clip end of it if needed (it wasn’t needed). The funny thing was that I think Buckshot thought the lead line was attached! He could see it in my hands near his face, but he didn’t know I was holding onto it for a different purpose. I swear he thought it was hooked to him! How funny! Anyway, that is my new, safer procedure for pasture safety. It worked fine with Buckshot so I think it is a good solution. I need a lead line in my hands. And I need it to not be connected to Buckshot for two reasons. One is if I need to twirl it in the event that Lucky canters too close to me. The second reason is that I want Buckshot to be able to run off freely if Lucky’s cantering bothers or excites him.

At Buckshot’s previous farm, he lived in a pasture with twelve or thirteen other horses, and there were a few times that I walked out to get him, and had several horses start running toward us as we walked to the gate. I learned then to be able to unhook the halter fast, really fast so that if they came up on Buckshot he could run if needed. But I realize now that unhooking the clip still takes time and I might not be fast enough if running horses are nearby. Plus I realize now that a running horse might feel like kicking out, and I could be in his kicking range. So I will be very, very alert to this now, and have a lead line to help if needed.

Back to Saturday. After I safely extricated Buckshot from his pasture, I took him over to his secret patch of heavenly grass we’ve found! Yes, right by the BO’s house is a patch of the greenest, emerald-looking, thick, rich, dense, prettiest grass you ever saw and for the past few weeks I have taken Buckshot there and let him eat to his heart’s content! He loves it! I stand and think my thoughts, and look around, and talk to him, and pet him, and check him for tiny injuries, and just stand and stand and stand, letting him just feast on this rare patch of lush grass. It is my gift to him for being such a wonderful horse. I hope it stays green and delicious for him for a long time.

After his special grazing, I took him to the barn and groomed him and tacked him up. Then we went out to the arena – good footing, hooray! – and started our walking warm up. His energy level was somewhat slow at first. The other student riders came out and we began our class. When we got to some trotting, Buckshot did well. And when we did a little bit of cantering, we were great! I was careful to support him on the turns by holding my inside leg against him and laying the rein over his neck, and he went around the turn without breaking gait. It was wonderful!

Then the class went on a long trail ride through the autumn woods, filled with the picture perfect mixture of crunchy leaves underfoot, cool air, and sunshine twinkling down from above. The only imperfection was the scent – in one swampy section, something had died and it smelled pretty rank. But none of the horses were bothered by the smell. We returned to the barn and dismounted. Buckshot was great!

On Sunday, we planned to go to a reining clinic at a nearby reining trainer’s farm. Just to brag a bit, this reining trainer, D, got back recently from the reining nationals finals in Oklahoma City and he had a great success there – in his class (which I guess was one of the professional classes), he tied with a few other competitors for 14th place. In the nation. Wow – that’s impressive! It was a great competition for him.

So, on Sunday morning, I got Buckshot from his pasture (no need for my new procedure since the horses were not out grazing) and walked him to the main barn, which meant we walked by the trailer sitting there. He did a few semi-loud snorts as we walked by it. I didn’t say anything, just kept thinking about how calm I was.

My theory is that my calmness, deep and confident calmness, even if I know that I am really a little nervous, but covered up and totally disguised with a deep, deep, all-encompassing sense of how very, very calm I am, will help Buckshot if he is nervous about something. I haven’t yet told you the story, the big, big story, of why this matters so much to me. It’s the story of the biggest, scariest thing that has ever happened with Buckshot, and it’s quite a story. You won’t believe it. I wouldn’t have believed it. The BO didn’t believe it. The vet didn’t believe it. But it happened. Buckshot did it. Well, I hope I have your interest peaked! That’s mean of me, I know. Sorry. I will share the story in my next post. I promise. And then you’ll know why acting calm when I think Buckshot is nervous has quite a significant backstory for us.

Anyway, back to today’s story (and I apologize for all my tangents). Buckshot loaded onto the trailer wonderfully (yes, I’m bragging about him again, sorry) along with two other horses and we drove the hour trip to the other farm. I got Buckshot tacked up and mounted and we started our warm up with energy. Buckshot seems to love being at this farm, and always walks energetically over to the mounting block. I got on, gave him his treat, and we walked off with eagerness. Maybe he likes the deep, soft footing of the big arena. Or maybe he likes seeing the other horses. Or maybe he is, like me, looking forward to the work and the cool weather and the wonderful sense of life and satisfaction from a good ride together. Whatever the cause, he seems to approach the clinic with happy anticipation.

We need a longer warm up than any of the other horses so the trainer started giving instruction as we were walking. When we joined up with the group of about eight horses and riders, they were working on stepping the horse into a particular canter lead. We worked on that for a while.

The trainer then had the class do an exercise of cantering the length of the arena, doing a reverse roll back, returning on one lead, break to a trot, pick up the opposite canter and continue around. Buckshot and I did very well at our turn. I was proud of our work (which isn’t really as good as the regular reining horses, who are quite talented) but it was good work for us. That’s what matters the most to me- that Buckshot and I do well for what we can do.

The trainer then turned the class to a different exercise. I can see, he said, that we have something to work on. Many of you are having difficulty cantering/loping your horses in straight lines. So he gave us a pattern, of loping a straight line, stopping, backing, turning around and returning in another straight line. Buckshot and I did great at this exercise! I am really proud of us. We work a lot on straight lines at all gaits, and it showed. He really enjoyed this and worked hard with me. Then the class broke up, and we did a bit more work, followed by cooling him down at the walk. I took him to some grass, dismounted and let him graze. Then we walked back to our trailer where I untacked him, and rubbed him down in his sweaty spots. With his very long winter hair, he gets sweaty easily, so I carry a rag and wipe him vigorously where he is wet. I curry combed and brushed him, trying to help the sweat dry and not get matted. Lastly, I gave him some treats, thanked him gratefully for his work for me, and we loaded the horses and took them home. It was a wonderful day, and I was so proud of him!

Lastly, I have gotten Buckshot his Christmas present. I ordered him another saddle pad. Reinsman makes a tacky-too pad for swayback horses that works very well for Buckshot. His current Reinsman swayback pad is two years old and is still in pretty good shape. I decided to replace it anyway because the most important parts of this pad are the thick foam sections that bracket Buckshot’s spine, and I want that foam to be firm, and not lose any of its protection. So after two years of use, I decided to get him a new one. I plan to put a big bow on it and give it to him on Christmas Eve, probably with some extra treats. Buckshot will likely be more excited about the treats!

What are you going to give your horse for Christmas? Hope you had a wonderful weekend as well!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Lovely Autumn Weekend

I am feeling guilty about how much nice weather we have been having lately. It’s been mild and sunny most weekends lately, perfect weather for being with and riding Buckshot. Not much to share this week. I had great rides with Buckshot both Saturday and Sunday. He had good energy and we worked on patterns, trotting and cantering. He did nice work each day. Rides through the woods were wonderful, with the leaves crunching underfoot, and the blue skies visible over the canopies of bare tree limbs.

Above are some recent photos of Buckshot and I! What a handsome horse he is! (The brown thing on my right arm is my earmuffs- when not wearing them, I "store" them by wrapping them around my forearm.)

Hope you had good weather also. Knock on wood, it will continue!