Saturday, January 18, 2014

Grandfather Cuts Loose the Ponies

While driving from Spokane to Seattle on I-90, there is a wild horse monument on top of one of the plateaus in Vantage (actually it's technically in George, but you see it as you drive through Vantage).  I always look for it but have never stopped to check it out.  Last weekend we did stop, disregarding the "Monument Closed" sign and a chain across the entrance.  It was a bit of a hike to the top but well worth it, and the fading light and early moon rise was surprisingly good for a bunch of phone pics!


Sunday, June 2, 2013

Geriatric Pasture Paradise Photos

Jasper and Applejack (The Yak) got moved down to the geriatric pasture until small square bales of hay are harvested.  There are a total of six horses there now, three geldings and three mares.  Everyone has paired up and has their own "sweetheart".  Jasper's best girl is not geriatric either, but has the same social issues he does so they fit right in.

 Jasper's '3-Legged Sleeping Duck' yoga pose.

One Eyed Yak swinging by for a carrot and a curry.


 Applejack and his main squeeze Lady enjoying the senior all-you-can-eat buffet.

Jasper's lady friend Angel.  She's an Arabian and OH so cute.

 Eye of the Angel.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Mare egrets moose!

Wee fish ewe a mare egrets moose,
Wee fish ewe a mare egrets moose,
Wee fish ewe a mare egrets moose,
Panda hippo gnu deer!


Sunday, September 23, 2012

PFEC Hunter/Jumper Show

Our division loot- a new startlingly white saddle pad embroidered 
with the Post Falls Equestrian Center's logo.

It was a gorgeous Fall day here in the Pacific Northwest.  Mid 70's and sunny, with a hint of dust.  A LOT of dust.  We need some rain.  I really did bathe Jasper yesterday, with shampoo even, but it was too warm to put a sheet on so I just had to turn him back out in his paddock with a gallon of show sheen.  I'm not willing to deal with the consequences of keeping him in a stall overnight.  Anyway, scraped the chunks off and sponge bath this morning and we hit the road.

I thought I had given myself plenty of time based on the spring show, but when I pulled up the parking lot was pretty bare.  They were running hours ahead of time.  We had just enough time for a quick lunge and warm up in the indoor arena before our first class, 2'6-2'9 Hunters.

You know, I think that someday Jasper could be a good Hunter.  He needs his flying changes, and needs to be more consistent.  If someone was riding him that really knew what they were doing I think he could be a Hunter star.  I am not that person, but he put in two really nice rounds.  We *did* completely annihilate a fence because he didn't want to pick up his right lead (a common thread today, I think something's going on?) and hit the fence with complete awkwardness.   Having said that, he still tried to jump it even when it was a lost cause.  He didn't stop.  Love him for that.

Jumpers B- last and favorite class of the day.

I signed up for the 2'6-2'9 Jumpers for more practice at that height.  Plus, leads don't count and you can leap over those fences from wherever you want without penalty.  :)  Yes, I KNOW you aren't supposed to ride jumper courses like hunters and use the whole arena, but these were confidence building classes.   We had two great, clean rounds.  The second course had some loop-de-loos (technical term) and was super fun to ride.


Much much thanks to Pam for taking video and photos.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Jasper falls in looooooooove

Jasper and Ember

Jasper got trailered out to a friend's house this weekend for some trail riding out on state land.  He was kind of a nutcase.  Actually he was doing OK until he saw her pig.  The pig is large and tame and walks around the property at will.   Jasper seemed to think it was a dog at first and marched up and took a good sniff.  Then the pig snorted.  Jasper teleported about 10 feet away and spent the rest of the weekend freaking out about the pig if he could see it, and freaking out about the possibility of the pig if he could not.  The pig couldn't have cared less about Jasper and didn't mind if he was dancing around the trailer in a sweat with white rings around his eyes.

Jasper's two equine companions were a couple of nice mares, a bay 5-year-old Thoroughbred and a black Friesian/Appy/TB/QH cross.  Ember the TB LOOOOOVED Jasper.  As in, well, we won't use the "whore" word.  To the point where she would refuse to lead on the rides because she was too preoccupied looking back at him.  Jasper was pretty oblivious to her seductions and just wanted to go faster.  Situation normal.

We went on a loooong trail ride on Saturday at speed.  Mostly trotting and cantering.  It was fantastically fun.   I swear that horse does not get tired.  Ever.  Most impressive was my friend's boyfriend who just started riding a couple of months ago and kept up like a champ.  He can post the trot and everything.  

Everyone seemed to get along so well we just threw Jasper in the pasture with the two mares last night.  Amazingly, they all got along famously.  He didn't have a single bite mark on him, and he didn't foolishly try to dominate either one.  They got to hang out most of the day today while we went rock climbing, then we for a short ride through the park this evening.  He absolutely refused to get in the trailer tonight.  He just kept looking longingly into the pasture.

 Ember going so fast she's blurry.  Or I'm taking a pic on a moving horse.  
Which never seems to work out well.

 Hubba hubba

 The 5.9 rider

Jasper's first friend that didn't bite him.

I'm thinking about going to a little H/J show next Sunday in Post Falls, ID.  We did their spring show and it was fun.  Haven't really jumped in over 3 weeks.  Or more?  More I think.  Have to get on that tomorrow.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Jasper goes camping. Again.

In 2009 I took Jasper horse camping at Farragut (this would have been about 3 months after I brought him home from the track).  This was pretty much his tightly-bundled-ball-of-nerves expression the whole time:


Three years under our belt and this year went much better.  He chilled out at the trailer, walked (ok, power walked but still...) happily down the trails, and was calmer and more confident in general.  When the other horses trotted up behind him he didn't tense up, go sideways, or take off.  Was willing to trot slooooooooowly so the horses behind could keep up.  In this picture he is standing still, which is usually something worth taking a picture of, but was more the norm this trip.

 Note lack of white ring around eye.  He's pretty skinny from 3 weeks of living in a group pasture at the Ranch where I work.  Where he was very bad.  Back home now snarfing up the calories.

 The ground is really rocky so the pens are made out of trees in an A-frame formation. 

The trails at Farragut seem to go forever and vary from single track through some pretty dense woods to double track out in big open fields.  This is the path on the way back to camp.  You had to go between a giant horse eating rock and a tree, but heading home has its incentives.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Hopeful Horse Trials photos

Our first attempt at Novice!

I feel we were a little overfaced and a little under prepared.

Dressage went really well.  We had great luck in the timing of our ride- the judge took a lunch break and let the next 2 horses come up and school in the main arena, so we trotted up and down and up and down the outside of the plastic dressage arena and got used to the sand hitting it and the scary pylons.  He put in a very nice test and we were in first place with a 30.8.

All photos by Gerald Morse.

Some of the xc jumps looked HUGE!  This one had big rocks in front of it, so you had to choose to  jump the rocks and the log or try to maneuver exactly between the rocks to get in a little bit closer.  I chose to go between the rocks and it worked out well.

There was a long, steep downhill to the water pond.  In Novice you had to jump over a small log into it, and I was not sure that was going to be a positive experience.  I chose to bypass our jump, run through the water (which he balked at heavily but did hesitantly go in), out the other side, run back through, and then try the jump.  It worked brilliantly in that he had no problem jumping the log, but we picked up huge amounts of time faults.  Enough to take us from first to last.  I'm still completely happy with my plan, though.  I'd much, much rather have time faults than refusals and end up with a happy, confident horse.

The other jump we had trouble on was a vertical log jump, then 2 strides to another one.  He's  never seen such a short combo on XC and tried to dive out of the second one.  A strong left rein and he went over it, but hit it so hard with his hoof it left permanent marks.  Zoiks.

 I was most intimidated by the showjumping phase, and SERIOUSLY got jumped out of the tack 3 or 4 times.  It felt like he was trying to jump the moon.  I decided that he was probably jumping so hard because he was nervous, which is what makes me think we just weren't quite ready for this height. 

This is my new favorite picture.  I got an 8x10 and am going to frame it and hang it on the wall.  My horse jumped clean in both XC and stadium, and tried his heart out.  What more can you ask for?