Murphy Monday: In Which We Discover…Stuff

I, Murphy, have Discovered a New Thing.

I shall call it…”Rock”.

When humans trick each other, they might stand around looking up at the sky.  Everyone else stops and looks up.

HAHA. Invisible jump!!

I shall call this discovery: “Wet”.  It’s strangely tasteless. Mom?  Why do you drink this stuff?

This is a two-legged.  They are good for getting rid of itches.  I call her “Bringer of Green Leafs and Sticks That Loves Us”. Auntie Jane calls her “Daisy”.  Whatever that is.

I have discovered a new exercise: Crouching Foal, Hidden Stallion.

(Goes well with Long-Suffering Mom. Barbie, you are such a good mom! You are SO getting a massage.)

I have discovered: I have the best mom in the whoooole world. I love her.

That thing?  I don’t know what it’s called. (I haven’t thought of a name yet) But someday? The Biped Who Brings Green Sticks and Leaves and Loves Us is going to see it just like this, between my ears, and we are gonna FLY.

Murphy Monday: Barbie Teaches Murphy The Art of Posing

You can never get them ready too early for paparazzi…

First, you stand like this…then turn your head just so…Murphy, are you listening?!?

Now this is a hunter pose..

Murphy!  Bring that inside hind back just a little…and ears forward…no no no, turn your head more toward the camera…or look straight ahead! There’s no inbetween…

that’s it…much better.  Too bad the photographer cut you off.

Mommy? When I get teeth? Guess wat I’m gonna do?

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’s Big Surprise!

The stall door rolled back, and Daisy tried to lead his mom out.  Barbie, who hates being inside, would not leave her stall. It took a lot of convincing: a helper had to get Murphy halfway through the door before she would budge.

Barbie is a Supermom.  She went from:

“What IS that thing“…to…

It’s mine.  All mine. I love it. I want it. He’s MINE.”

Five hours after giving birth, she was ready for the cover of Ladies Home Journal. She needed a little help with the idea that nursing doesn’t happen in 2 second bursts.  Daisy and Molly took turns holding her yesterday, so the baby could get in a good hour of steady nursing when he needed to nurse. Today?  Barbie has it down cold.

Murphy wasn’t afraid to step out (with help) ahead of his mother. His face was confused, then wondering, then filled with surprise. He’s in the barn aisle. Just outside the open stall door. He looks up.

This place is HUGE. Whoa. You mean where mom and I live is not Whole World?

Barbie finally walks out, constantly checking to make sure he’s right next to her.  He’s completely in tune with her concern, and sticks close.

There’s more? [ear swivel, swivel] I don’t get it… Oops, where’s mom? Okay. Okay. I’m just gonna press into her side. I won’t look. Just go with Mom. Go with mom.

Daisy and Molly turn him out in Kathryn’s sale-prospect showing arena.  It’s like a giant round pen. Perfect size for his first time out. Barbie looks at all that sand, groans, and drops. I GET TO ROLL NOW!!!

Murphy: I can go really fast on these things! This place is…is…BIG. Wow. What did I just do? That was fun.  How did I do that? I want to do it again. Maybe if I…

Why are humans laughing? I think I just flew in the air! MOM! Mom, LOOK.  Look what I can do!!! Watch me mommy!  Look at what I can do!

I can FLY!!!!! And do…uh…other stuff…

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What an awesome world.

It’s his second day on the planet, and he can do THIS. No wonder horses think humans are developmentally  impaired.

Barbie’s Big Adventure: Part One

We’re getting pregnant!

(Oops.  That statement has caused a lot of problems with non-horsey friends, spouses, and co-workers.  Barbie, Daisy’s mare, is getting pregnant.)

The internet was clogged (sorry about your connection) for months while “we” made stallion choices via text, email, internet sites, online videos, and of course, various clumps of us met with Daisy in person to review the top 3.  A division in the ranks becomes noticeable. All the dressage riders are swooning over Landkonig (Latinus’ sire) and all the H/J’s are swooning over Popeye K.  I re-watch the Landkonig DVD: “Are you sure you want to do hunters?”

Daisy looks at me.

I sigh.  Landkonig can JUMP.  His flat movement screams Grand Prix.

Popeye K video: beautiful, even, rolling hunter rhythm.  Happy, confident, he makes every jump look like the most fun he’s ever had, and every line completely natural, as if a jump just happened to appear in exactly the right spot, wherever he canters.  He makes huge jumps look effortless.  He sails.

In dry footing.  In wet footing.  On sand.  On grass.  No change. The rider is definitely riding him, but is also careful to stay out of his way. Popeye K knows his job, and loves it.

“Okay, okay”, I say.  “He’s a good match for the conformation we want to enhance, and he’s gorgeous over fences and on the flat.”

Daisy has already visited Landkonig in person.  She reported back: not only is he a knockout, phenomenal jumper and proven sire, he’s sweet.

It’s tough.  They both have the ability to enhance what Barbie has, have proven offspring, and would be excellent choices.

Thankfully, Daisy and I both know I’m the last person she should take advice from.   She has excellent hunter friends, trainers, etc from which to draw opinions  and knowledge.  I can’t even ride hunt seat, and I’m scared to death of jumping.  I don’t have any advice to offer, the only thing I can do is ask a question.

“You’ve been following Popeye as long as I’ve known you”, I say.  “You’ve shopped his babies.   Don’t answer me.  Just think about it: how are you going to feel if you don’t choose him?”

Daisy shoulders her bag. “Good question.  The Stallion Committee will take it under advisement.”

I think it’s fate.  Some stars should not be crossed.  Barbie’s registered name is nautically based. (Think Seabiscuit, Capsized, War Admiral, Man  O’ War).

Popeye the Sailor Man?


Note to readers: lately you’ve  been subject to my Jackson Pollack interpretation of how life happens: it splatters. I thought I’d backtrack and try to paint by number, so you won’t have to stand around cocking your heads, wondering if this bit is supposed to attach to that bit or if I’m really just loony.

(Hey. I heard that!)

FTF: Shetland and Mini Movies

One of the trainers hauled a large mini to the barn for the day, for her very young students.  I mistakenly thought he was a Shetland: the lack of rotundity and uber-bushiness should have clued me in, but I was in love.  Fifty two years old and I wanted to snatch him away from a happy five-year old.  Fortunately, I controlled myself.  He was totally delightful.  Very calm and submissive.  Totally un-Shetland like. (though I’m sure calm and submissive Shetlands do exist.)

So I went looking for a Shetland fix. I must admit I was surprised at the utter lack of “Daisy Reins” in any of the videos I sorted through.

Mini(s) Movie of the Day fits right in with Temple Grandin’s chapter on how horses learn in “Animals Make Us Human”.

Shetland Dressage  The offensive BTV/Rollkur video has been removed. To see original we were discussing in comments, click here. (My apologies, I posted the wrong video.  I’m hoping it was an anomaly, as the others of Zorro that I’ve seen do not have him cranked back.  Sadly, it may not be.  I wonder if the pony had been sold?) This is the same pony.  Zorro looks astonishingly like Tiny, if Tiny had been shrunk in the dryer.)

Shetland Airs Above the Ground (Capriole)

Shetland high Jump

Shetland Hunter Course
(might want to turn the volume down…) Love to see the kids walking the course!

Shetland Hunter   (Nope.  You didn’t miss it the first time around.  It’s another addition, I tripped over it.  As I am learning what to feel and reach for in a hunter, I saw this video and thought, wow nice even hunter rhythm…in a Shetland?)

Lock N Load

I rode my first hunter this weekend.  I’ve never ridden a horse whose job is to eat up an arena and fly over  fences 3′ 6″ and up.  I don’t know how to jump.  I, um, have never ridden hunt seat.  (See post on Jane Learns to Ride by Falling Off a Lot.)

Molly, with extraordinary generosity, asked if I’d like to try her handsome retired show hunter, Mel (Melody).  Let’s be perfectly clear: Molly is giving me a gift. This isn’t a please-exercise-my-horse catch ride. This is: want to wear my diamonds?  I watched Daisy train with him on the flat last week, they were beautiful together.  He is willing, kind, and a hard worker.  He’s clearly opinionated, but listened when Daisy said “Dude, you’re going to travel in a frame.”

Daisy showing Melody pre-retirement:

Underneath his winter fuzzball appearance is a gorgeous, tough, strong, intelligent horse that could easily light up a small city with the voltage of his personality.

I learned my Rome lesson.  I asked a lot of questions.  They weren’t the right questions, but hey, I asked.

Continue reading “Lock N Load”