Another Paddock Heard From…

Dear Jane,

You may remember me? We met many years ago.

This is your horse, Hudson.

As an extra incentive to get you to hang out with me, I’d like to point out that I have dirt on my butt.

Yes. Dirt.

And I do believe my coat is getting…dull. I may also be developing a slight case of thrush.

When the foal came, I thought, THANK GOD: Jane will have something else to dote on! She’ll ignore me, throw the tack on, and we’ll skip right to the part that includes galloping.

I had no idea you could dote twice as much.

What rider, when short on time…grooms?

I need a moment to gather my thoughts. I thought I knew exactly how I was going to discuss this issue. Ah well. Perhaps tact is over rated.

Since I’ve already hacked into your computer, I’ve left you a brand new welcome screen. You’ll see it when you boot up in the morning.  On it, you will find the barn’s address and phone number, complete with Google map, and a large, detailed, photograph of yours truly, tacked up. You will not be able to access your hard drive until you click on the carrots.

You will not be able to access your blog until you click on the Mrs. Pasture’s cookie bag.

Hinting?  Me?

Um. You do remember how to ride, right?

I heard Bella shocking you with the story that I would not let her catch me in turnout. Yes.  I deliberately acted out of character, knowing she’d mention this.

Attention, please. I need to be ridden.  A lot.

Bella just came home from the World Weight Lifting Championships, where she not only broke the former world record in dead lifts, she set a new world record: 320 lbs.  Since she was the former world record holder, this means she broke her own record. (BTW, Congratulations, Bella! YOU know how to work. P.S. your trophy cup would hold a large amount of cookies, and look stunning in our paddock.  Perhaps  you would consider displaying it with us?)

Sorry, I digress.  Point: The first thing Bella did when she came home (after carrying her trophy into the house) was RIDE.

Could we learn from this please?

Doll up Barbie and dote on the baby.

When you come see me, scrape dirt off in a saddle pad sized area, toss on the tack, and let’s GO, K?

However, I do find the rehydrating spray soothing on my face.  If you would like to continue wiping it on, that works for me. Oh.  Refill the fly spray bottle.  We’re getting close to Annoying Season.

Please look long and hard at included visual aids:



Murphy Monday: The First Jump

Oh Hai.

11 days old.  Nope. Not shy.

It was gray and rainy yesterday. Mostly dry, but cloudy over night. Since the presentation arena was in use, Murphy got his first introduction to the grass paddock. His surprise was evident at the change in traction from sand to grass, but he adjusted himself quickly, and off he went, surefooted.

Mom. You went right by…this. What is…this?

Mom is ignoring me. Mommmmmmm. There’s this big black thing and I don’t know what…


I know what it is!  It’s FUN!  I wanna do this again. Mom look. Look look look I can jump!

I can FLY…

There goes mom again. Whatever. Tried it. Didn’t do much for me.  What’s over there?

This is my Auntie Jane. Did you know humans were collapsible? Really.  They fold up. Sometimes they’re as tall as my mom and sometimes they are as short as me.

Thanks for taking our picture, Shaun…

Murphy Says Hi

I visited, and only had my cell phone in with me, at least in the beginning. (That’s a disclaimer for bad, fuzzy pictures.)

But at times, bad, fuzzy pictures tell a cute story:


Oh hi.

Heyyyyyyy…I remember you! Hi!


Hi hi hi hi hi hi hi!! Nice leg.  Hi.


Just hanging out. Saying hi.

You know, hi.

Ummmm. Hi.

Are all human legs blue?


He didn’t push, nudge, or frisk. He didn’t touch me.

He  noticed I was off in a corner, walked over, stood close, and said hi. A lot.

I stroked his neck, and didn’t make a big deal out of him. I forced myself to be the casual instead of doting Auntie. (This was very very hard.)  He already has the concept of space bubbles thanks to Barbie’s strict rules. I didn’t invite him in, and he stayed out.

(So painful not to scoop him up and do all the wrong things!)

We Haz Kute Fol Piktures

Today was Hudson’s turn to whuffle me.  I smelled like Barbie and Murphy, where I’d just been.  Hudson was doing this: inhale, pause, inhale inhale, pause, innnnnhale….….Ah. That must be the baby!

The behavior at each barn is making me feel, strangely, like a clandestine mail drop.

I wonder what they are reading in the scent messages I can’t decode?

I’m trying to pace myself and not overload Daisy with too many pictures. I only took 418. Okay….


Or so.

I didn’t take pictures during the first few hours.  I was afraid a flash would add difficulty to a delicate time. Inwardly I was chanting day light day light day light puhleazeeeeeee?

You’ve all seen mommy, go see daddy Popeye K, he’ll knock your socks off, or ON if we look at Murphy!

I do have cell phone video of those first few hours.  YouTube, here we come!

These are in order of age over the last five days.

3 hours old
Photo by Daisy, 5 hours old
2 days old. I think he slept all day!
3 days old, and hitting the road. Okay, leaving the stall.
I know. I'll lead myself.
Performing my first experiment...
Mom? I goth thith thing in my mowth. Can't Thpit it out!

More photos to come, trust me. And if you missed previous photos, go here.

Happy Mother’s Day

My mom is 83.

I called her this morning, catching her right after she finished her morning swim, and before her walk.  After that, she was going to the library book sale, before heading over to my brother’s house for a late lunch, and Mothers Day celebration.

I believe I was still in bed.  Summoning up the energy to go take a shower. It was 8:30 am.

How does she DO that?

I love you, Mom!

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you, whatever species your children are. I had a great Mother’s Day with my kids (all species) and Shaun.  Sort of a double mother’s day.

I texted Daisy to ask if it was okay to go visit Barbie and Murphy (don’t want to wear them out!) and she said it was fine. Once I was there, I saw he was knocked out, sound asleep beneath the hay rack, and Barbie was eating dinner. I’m wasn’t even going to open the door. I whisper a hello to Barbie, and rub her neck through the bars.  Daisy must have figured out the timing of when I’d arrive:  my text binged.

Daisy: Open the door.  Go in.  Squat down.  Make kissing noise.

Jane: Ok? …? He’s sleeping, but if he wakes up, I will?

Daisy:  Just do it. If he wakes up.


Murphy wakes himself up. Or Barbie knocks him with her leg.  Hard to tell.  He’s under her food.  I wait for him to get up, and for them to organize themselves with each other. Then I slide back the door and slip in, going to a far corner so they both feel safe.

Ha. Totally unnecessary.  Barbie gives up her food, walks over, and puts her head down for me to scratch under her mane behind her ears. Awwwww. When I don’t become tall again (to reach all the rest of her itchy, sore body), she mentally shrugs and turns back to eat.

Murphy is standing about 5 feet from me, looking at me with no fear or uncertainty.  He’s curious, but not aggressive.  I make the kissing noise.  Murphy walks forward on his little hooves, and places his muzzle gently against my mouth. (!!!)

He “kissed” me.

Happy Mother’s Day. Sniff…sniff…sniffle.

I’m not sure how it happened, but she and Molly were squatting down looking at him, and one of them make the kissing noise, and he planted one smack on the lips.

Who can resist that? I tell you, when he stole shyly up to me, and touched his muzzle to my lips, I nearly burst into tears. I was so touched.

We all know this is really REALLY bad, and Daisy texted me: “that ends next week“.  Totally right. What is adorable at 4 days old is a very bad idea 1,000 pounds, and a full set of teeth, later.

But I’m so glad I got that moment, and that Daisy texted me.  Thanks, Daisy. Completely made the perfect day PERFECT.

I visited Barbie and Murphy right after leaving Hudson. Barbie whuffled me up and down, breathing in his scent. It reminded me of being frisked for carrots.  I saw the bubble light up over her head: Hudson!

Murphy watched the pat down intently.  He walked up and started sniffing too. I’m sure he had no idea what interested his mom so much.

For reasons that I don’t understand, this made me very emotional.  I said, “Murphy, that’s your Uncle Hudson, and he loves you.”

I looked around to make sure there was no one else there.  Totally goofy thing to say. Can we say… “anthropomorphize”?

(But Hudson?  I DID tell him you were his Uncle.)

The Cuteness Overload Post: Foals

To be clear: None of them are ours…yet.

News flash:  her tail was braided today, and her bedding was switched to straw.  It’s like watching presents pile up under the Christmas tree.

Barbie looked at one of the midgets this morning with interest, as if she wanted to investigate. He looked back at her with a bit of sassiness, then scampered after his mom on her way to turn out. Barbie’s ears pricked.

She might be getting the idea…?

Barbie this morning:

Feed me…or scratch me…I don’t care which, just chose ONE.

Babies nearby: (Get your Awwww muscles in gear!)

Official Ramble Alert

Poor Hudson.

We’re back to mind-numbingly boring walking. He’s fine.  I can’t seem to stay well. If I could count, I’d tell you what day of the migraine I am on. But I can’t remember what comes after “1…2…uh…11? 15…?”

Luckily, at this point,  it’s not the kind of migraine that makes you homicidal with pain. It’s the kind that makes the letters on the road signs look 3-D, and makes you hear only out of one ear.  I’m seeing double images. It’s selective double vision.  Just the letters look 3-D. The cow, the sign, the cars, they’re all normal.

Wait.  This isn’t just cool, it’s groooovy.  Is this what I missed in the 60’s? While all the normally 3-D stuff is still 3-D, all the flat stuff: signs, pictures, Jennifer Lopez’ stomach, now have dimension, and they shimmer.

Note to self: look for People magazine in line at grocery store. I know my pain will be significantly reduced if Jennifer Lopez’ stomach not only stuck out, but wiggled.

Hudson is about as safe as it gets, as long as you don’t flip his “Go” switch. Amazing that the nitrogen fueled horse is the one you can crawl on when you have a killer headache, and he’ll pack you around.  Oh, he’s safe when his Go switch is flipped: the only lack of safety would come from a rider’s lack of ability to stick with him.

We have been riding a lot with the cute red-headed mare and her funny mom, Laurie. This makes Hudson very, very happy. It’s also made for very pleasant rides and easy conversations. We share childhood horse-wildness.  I could try leaping from Hudson to Dinero in front of Laurie, and she wouldn’t bat an eye.

I found out Laurie’s been reading a blog about a gelding who is in love with a cute red-headed mare like hers. She said to me in the barn aisle, running a hand over his butt “Geeze, he’s like Jack LaLane…look at that muscle!” A tiny bell goes off, in the back of my brain, but it’s crowded out by pain neurons.

I think: how fun. I should ask her the name of the blog. Another blog with a talking horse in love with a red-headed mare. How likely is that?

You’re all way ahead of me, right?

Laurie has been reading this blog.

(Quick, someone offer her donuts! Maybe she’ll stay? You’ll like her: she’s warm and funny…)

PSA: (of dubious content and interest) I should be evened out by tomorrow.  The side of my head that doesn’t feel like it’s going to explode, should be exploding right around 5 pm.  I’m going to the dentist at 3, I figure the Novocaine will be wearing off right about then.

Disclaimer: Jane is not currently responsible for any content on TLH that is not funny, interesting, or even remotely amusing. She’s endurance blogging. Metaphorically, it’s midnight, cold, dark, and she wonders (while she trots along through the trees with a sprained ankle) why she ever entered the Post a Day challenge!

He’s Gonna Blow!!!

By the time I get to the car, my legs are trembling from exhaustion.

I text Daisy:

Jane: U r totally feeling like riding the black stallion, rite? Gallop forever, wind in yr helmet….

Daisy: Um. What?

Jane: Shut up. I’m hypnotizing you: U feel a desperate need to gallop for hours on end…on big beautiful horse that runs like the wind. U want to be on horse that is super amped…you can’t wait to ride.  If only you had access to a horse like this…

Jane: Is it working?

Daisy: Um. No.

Jane: Drat. Just got off H… 30 minutes. THIRTY MINUTES of dead gallop, and he wants more.  Didn’t break a sweat. Not even puffing. I’m gonna fall off. Therefore, YOU feel like running like the wind….

Daisy: Um. No.

Jane: Bella is super sick. Alice is working OT.  You’re the only other person who can ride what he’s got.

Daisy: LOL. Um. No.

Jane: Not now. Tomorrow? Next Tuesday? He’s stuffed feelings down during dressage. He’s loaded and ready to fire. Need to wear him out.

Daisy: You do not want Hudson to be super fit.

Jane: I know I know. We’d never touch down. I used 1,000 lb roping saddle to tire him out.  Didn’t make any difference.

Daisy: Not. Riding. (No offense.)

Jane: Need to work on my hypnosis skills…

Not offended. Hudson and Daisy drive each other INSANE. She’s high energy, he’s high energy, somehow it all snowballs into crashing energy and clashing personalities.

Hudson’s had it up to the eyeballs with quiet walks and calm dressage work.  I can feel it building in him.  I need to channel that energy and release it into the wild.

I should contact Green Peace: I’m fairly certain he could power a small city.

When he gets enough run time, he comes back to earth, and walks like a normal horse.

When he doesn’t get enough run time, he amps himself into the stratosphere, and once he’s cantered/galloped, you can forget getting him to come down to a gait slower than a bombing trot.

Walking to cool out? Not gonna happen. He’ll jig, dance, try to break sideways into a trot/canter. I must admit, we had some decent Tranter work today. (He’s convinced he can sneak into a canter from a big trot and I won’t notice if they’re the same speed.)

He’s pretty much out of his mind when he represses too much desire to GO. He’s not being bad, not at all.  This is because he was so good for too long without enough fun.

This is my plan: roping saddle and as much galloping as I can stand without falling off, for the next week. He’ll have to go through correct paces first. And end collected. But between, I need to let him be who he is for a while. Once he’s had enough of that, he won’t care about going from a gallop to a walk. Or doing a shoulder-in.

I feel like I have to open the valve or we’re going to develop a problem.  Or six.

Well, there’s proof on the blog. He hacked into my computer. I have to keep the guy busy and content! A manifesto? Lord, save me. Breaking Barbie out of jail?

Hooves to dirt, here we come.

We Have a Grooming Truce…

Dear Jane,

True. I do hate baths. If your excessive grooming is bath avoidance, then I can live with it. Sort of.

Did you hear Bella today? She said I have dapples. DAPPLES. (Girls love dapples.)

And that pretty redhead Arab we rode with? She thought I was handsome.  Did you see the way she pinned her ears at me?  Yup, I’m looking goooood.When a mare is thinking about kicking you? She has the hots for you. She was SO thinking about kicking.

I. Am. The Man.

I don’t know who Ted Bundy is, but if you mean that nasty, evil, gelding in the next paddock, yeah he’s a piece of work. I know he’s lonely, but dude, don’t attack other horses. Doesn’t exactly make me want to be friends, you know?

Hey. You think you can get the redhead moved up here?  Move the slasher dude?

Honestly, I think you need to get help for the grooming OCD. I can live with it if I get dapples out of the deal.  Whatever. Especially if you torture-groom Dinero too.

I didn’t like that he got to go in the trailer today and I didn’t.

Putting me in the grass place was awesome.  (Dinero didn’t get to go out in the grass. We’re even. That cancels out not going in the trailer.)

I think grass helps with dapples.  Can I go into grassy place every day?

BTW, the “work” today sucked. Man you were terrible. Letting me run? That was awesome.  I needed it after your weird messages. You need to simple it down, K? Get a whiteboard or something.

To sum it up:

I’ll tolerate the excessive, picky, over the top grooming if you make dapples, and turn me out in the grassy place. And let me run after you drive me insane. Deal?



Spring, the Musical

This is for folks still suffering with the white stuff, and/or eternal rain.

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Can you hear the birds?  Feel the yank on the lead rope as your normally obedient horse tries desperately to lunge at the lush green stuff? This is what is blooming: grass, wild marigolds, oxalis, California poppies, nasturtiums, periwinkle, the rose, some sort of agave, and no clue what the pretty pink stuff is. There’s an entire grove of golden chain trees: (that I forgot to photograph, so this will have to do)

A rose did burst into bloom today at Bella’s.

These are pics I took all around the barn, with my cell phone.  It was 90 degrees out there. Ninety.  Not a typo. That’s a 50 degree difference from two days ago.

Not complaining.  Marveling.

I went early to weed whack all the luscious grass outside Hudson’s paddock, to prevent another eating accident and chiropractic bill. I need to widen the swath, but this should disappoint him sufficiently that he’ll leave it alone. I also turned him out in a grassy area while I whacked, to hopefully mitigate the urgent need for green.

Tomorrow, when the batteries are recharged, I will change the horsey-neck reach from “highly unlikely” to “why bother trying, it’s impossible”.

I’m going to go back and ride tonight when it’s cooler. All the horses were happy, but a bit dazed by the heat. I didn’t want to inflict heat torture on either Hudson or myself. We’ll get used to it again, but why push things?