Life with Horses Blog Archive


    Read current entries in Life with Horses

    Wednesday, December 29, 2010
    A Goat in the Garage

    It was an odd twist on a line from a famous Christmas carol. “I’ll be home for Christmas,” in this instance could’ve referred to Gabby, my mom’s pet Pygmy goat. Many years ago Gabby served as a companion to one of our orphan foals. Now she’s sort of the mascot of my parents’ small ranch. She has a perfectly fine two-story goat house just outside my parents’ house, but sometimes that abode is not adequately furnished, at least not in Gabby’s mind. Such was the case this Christmas. View Blog >>

    Monday, December 20, 2010
    A Visit from the Pony Cart

    Because I live in a horsey community, horses and ponies get drafted into participating in the festivities. We even have an annual holiday parade in town, where the hoofed participants are decorated in battery-operated light packs and then prance down the main street in town, accompanied by the high school band and the local Girl Scout troop. Honestly, you never know what might come trotting down the street this time of year. View Blog >>

    Tuesday, December 14, 2010
    My Nifty Thrifty Gifty Guide

    Yikes. I’m smack in the midst of my annual Christmas Conundrum. On the one hand I want to spread good cheer by lavishing gifts upon my horsey friends and acquaintances. But on the other hand, I’m on a strict budget. So strict, in fact, that my husband had to pay the feed bill last week. That’s going to cost me, literally and figuratively, at some point. View Blog >>

    Friday, December 10, 2010
    The Annual Hanging of the Monkey

    For me, Christmas has always been closely associated with horses. If you read my short piece in the Horse Tales section of the December issue of Horse Illustrated, you’ll understand why. In “Cantering to Christmas” I shared how I had spent many a year annoying every mall Santa I could find, asking him for a horse. Instead, my parents placated me with Breyer models, inexpensive cowgirl outfits and horse books. Lots of horse books. View Blog >>

    Saturday, December 4, 2010
    Horse Slobs

    I am a horse slob. I came to this realization the other day while I was trail riding. I crossed paths with one of the local horse trainers in town and after we exchanged greetings she said, “I almost didn’t recognize you. Your hair looks so nice and you’re wearing earrings.” Has it gotten to the point where it’s remarkable when I style my hair and dangle some jewelry from my ears? View Blog >>

    Monday, November 29, 2010
    Man Puzzles

    “You should be useful as well as ornamental.” That was one of the sharply barbed comments my riding instructor, Katrina, used to bark at me when I was a kid. Typically I’d be standing around daydreaming while some other kid in the lesson program was dutifully raking the barn aisle. As a horsewoman, Katrina’s world view makes some sense, especially when it comes to men. View Blog >>

    Friday, November 19, 2010
    When is a Gelding Not a Gelding?

    Already I feel like I’ve owned Danny for a long time. I have a sense of serenity when I’m around him, much like I enjoy with Wally. Yet the first 48 hours that Danny was in my possession provided some startling revelations. View Blog >>

    Monday, November 15, 2010
    Move Over, Wally

    Honestly, I really had no intention of collecting overo Paint geldings. But I’ve ended up with two of them. Yes, I bought another horse. I decided to buy the tall black and white Paint I tried a while back. I promised myself that I wouldn’t buy another horse unless I felt my heart drawn to it. I wanted the horse to “speak” to me just as Wally, my somewhat cantankerous yet lovable red and white beast, had spoken to me. View Blog >>

    Monday, November 8, 2010
    Can Someone Introduce the Judge to Mapquest?

    Autumn is not only the season for crisp, cool riding weather but it’s also time for some major horse show events. Before the cold, rainy weather hits, regional equestrian associations hold their year-end championships. Last Saturday I was honored to be asked to judge at a championship show north of Los Angeles. View Blog >>

    Tuesday, November 2, 2010
    When Husbands Handle the Horses

    I consider myself a lucky woman in that I have a husband who indulges my crazy life with horses. Nonetheless there are times when I wish my husband would just step away from the beasts and leave the horse handling to me. Why? Because I’m never quite sure what I’ll discover the next time I wander out to the barn. View Blog >>

    Thursday, October 28, 2010
    Halloween Comes to the Horse World

    My favorite season is autumn. I like the way the orange hues of pumpkins complement the summer’s final yield of blue-green hay. Autumn is also a time for contemplation. Will my riding goals be different next year? How has my relationship with horses evolved over the past few months? Am I ever going to get around to going horse camping, or will I just keep staring at the brochures? View Blog >>

    Monday, October 25, 2010
    Spooky Trails, Anyone?

    Maybe because it’s nearly Halloween, but I’m increasingly aware that there are spooky trails… and then there are really spooky trails. View Blog >>

    Wednesday, October 21, 2010
    It’s All a Blur

    A few days ago one of my friends told me, “In today’s horse market, with this bad economy, you’ll be able to look at horses all day, every day.” She wasn’t kidding. There are a ton of horses for sale and I think I saw a good portion of them last weekend. View Blog >>

    Friday, October 15, 2010
    Paint Gelding Seeks Stablemate

    Here I go again. I’m horse shopping. Now, before you think I’m becoming one of those crazy horsewomen who compulsively collect horses, let me assure you that I am not. Well, I am admittedly a little loopy, but I have no intention of owning a string of horses. I’m passively hunting for a second horse for a couple of reasons. View Blog >>

    Monday, October 11, 2010
    An Apple from the Queen

    Imagine your favorite celebrity, the one you’d secretly like to meet. Now think what it’d be like to receive a personal memento from them. That’s what happened recently to my sister’s horse, Topper. He got a crispy red apple from his one true love, the superstar race horse, Zenyatta. View Blog >>

    Wednesday, September 29, 2010
    How to Recognize a Horsewoman

    I surrender. I have lost any resemblance to the woman I used to be, when I shopped at Macy’s and Nordstrom, wore nail polish and perfected my culinary skills in the kitchen. I have become a full-fledged horsewoman. Are you one, too? Here’s a short list I compiled that might help you decide. View Blog >>

    Friday, September 24, 2010
    Another Sale Tale of Woe

    Remember the story about the woman who fraudulently misrepresented horses she sold to online buyers? I heard yesterday from an acquaintance who shared their version of a horse deal gone wrong. Since it ultimately provides wise advice to future horse shoppers, I thought I’d share some of the details. View Blog >>

    Friday, September 17, 2010
    So There I Was, Scribbling on a Scorecard

    I spent last weekend judging hunters and huntseat equitation. It was the largest, most competitive horse show I’ve ever judged. Was it fun and exhilarating? Yes. Was it also incredibly stressful at times? Definitely. View Blog >>

    Monday, September 13, 2010
    Watch Me Jump. But Keep it Quiet.

    I made a short video of me jumping my sister’s horse, Topper, and you can watch it here on my blog. Just keep it between us. You see, after I recovered from my riding accident a few years ago I promised my husband, Ron, that I wouldn’t jump horses any more. But I can’t help myself. View Blog >>

    Tuesday, September 7, 2010
    Buying a Horse Online: Now That’s a Gamble!

    Most of my single horsey gal pals have given Internet dating a whirl. Thankfully I am hunkered down in a marriage, because I can barely deal with email. I can’t imagine what I’d wind up with if I trolled online for a guy who didn’t mind shoveling horse poop. View Blog >>

    Wednesday, September 1, 2010
    Caught on Camera: Wally at Work

    You know it had to happen. Eventually I’d get my hands on a camcorder that would allow me to upload videos onto this blog. Lord knows I’ve watched countless videos of everyone else on their horses. Now you’ll be subjected to watching me on mine. View Blog >>

    Tuesday, August 24, 2010
    A Horsewoman’s Checklist for the Perfect Horse-Man

    Have you noticed how much time and effort we put into finding just the right horse? Yet when it comes to finding just the right man—one who’ll put up with our blind devotion to a 1,000-pound animal—we’re nearly helpless. View Blog >>

    Friday, August 20, 2010
    Let’s Go Shopping III: Western Saddles from Wonderful to Wonky

    I’ve reined in my tendency to slap down a credit card on the checkout counter at the tack store. Now I simply browse. And drool. Or not, depending on the item before me. View Blog >>

    Friday, August 13, 2010
    Not Exactly Summer Camp

    Have you ever wondered how a horse perceives going off to professional trainer’s barn? My sister and I recently hauled Cowboy, our mom’s warmblood-cross youngster, to a trainer for thirty days so he could get a few light rides under saddle. We explained to Cowboy that it was going to be like going to “summer camp for horses” and he’d have lots of fun and activities. View Blog >>

    Friday, August 6, 2010
    Is Your Horse Bareback Worthy?

    An added bonus of riding bareback is being able to wear Bermuda shorts. This way I can get a tan on at least the outer portion of my legs. View Blog >>

    Wednesday, August 4, 2010
    Who Would Do this to Horses?

    I’m glad July is over. A pair of sad stories regarding horses put a bit of gloom into what should have been a month filled with trail rides aboard Wally. I’ll share them with you not because I want to spread the sorrow around, but so we can all be aware of what some people are capable of doing to horses. View Blog >>

    Friday, July 30, 2010
    Buck-a-Bye Baby

    If you ride enough young, green horses you’re eventually going to get bucked off. When you’re young, you bounce when you hit the ground. But once you reach a “mature” age your body loses that elasticity and you merely splatter. This irrefutable truth is why Cowboy is heading off to a trainer for a month. View Blog >>

    Monday, July 26, 2010
    Armed and Slightly Dangerous

    Honestly, all I really wanted was a little canister of pepper spray to ward off the occasional loose, aggressive dog I encountered on some of my trail rides. But what I ended up with was a Taser. My husband, Ron, insisted on it. View Blog >>

    Thursday, July 23, 2010
    Or He Could be a Plow Horse

    If you’ve been following my blog then you’re familiar with my mom’s palomino youngster, Cowboy. He’s about 2 ½ years old now, and while I’ve dinked around with him quite a bit over the last year, it’s time to get serious. View Blog >>

    Wednesday, July 14, 2010
    My Handy Dandy Guide to Summertime Trail Rides

    Maybe it’s because the days are long and the mood is laidback, but summertime trail rides are the most memorable ones for Wally and me. View Blog >>

    Thursday, July 8, 2010
    Things That Make Me Scream

    Have I become the crazy horse lady of my neighborhood? My husband Ron thinks so. He came to that conclusion the other day. I had put Wally away and was standing on our hillside, watering the trees, when a group of kids galloped down the trail and across our street. I dropped the hose in the brush and hollered, “Hey! Don’t run your horses across the asphalt!” View Blog >>

    Friday, July 2, 2010
    I Have Become a Horse Stuff Hoarder

    I don’t watch much TV but I am hooked on one rather obscure show about hoarders that’s called “Buried Alive.” Each week focuses on some poor soul who is compelled to hang on to what we would consider disposable stuff. Maybe I’m fascinated with this program because I recognize a little bit of myself in each episode. View Blog >>

    Monday, June 28, 2010
    I’ll Take One Tube of Whatever’s Humiliating

    What have you bought for your horse lately that has left you feeling a little… humiliated… at the checkout counter? For me it’s been an arsenal of hair care products. Wally has a bald patch on the side of his face, and it’s driving me crazy. View Blog >>

    Wednesday, June 23, 2010
    Floating Horse Heads

    Have you noticed? They’re everywhere. At least it seems that way. I’m talking about floating horse heads. I’m all for using the image of a horse as inspiration for art and home décor, but at a certain point things just go too far. View Blog >>

    Friday, June 18, 2010
    Oh Those Nutty Horse Sale Ads!

    Lately I’ve taken on the job of unpaid horse sale ad browser. A couple of my friends are horse shopping and haven’t the time to cull through the herds of ads, so I volunteered. I’ve spent hours browsing online equine ad sites and boy, has this been an education! My eyes have been opened. I had no idea that so many horses of so many types are for sale in so many price ranges. View Blog >>

    Friday, June 11, 2010
    Who Ordered the Hay Soup?

    Summertime weather is here and the horses in my life are mocking me. While I’m guzzling water like a camel preparing for a 30-day sojourn across the Sahara, they’re fiddling with their water like kids at a theme park. View Blog >>

    Monday, June 7, 2010

    Cat-Horse or Dog-Horse? You Decide.

    Have you ever felt like your favorite horse has some of the characteristics of a cat or dog? If Wally has some cross-species connection it’s with a cat. And that’s not just because he uses the sandy corral portion of his inside-outside stall like a litter box. View Blog >>

    Wednesday, June 2, 2010

    Let’s Go Shopping, Part II: Horrendous Horse Figurines

    Who among us hasn’t collected a few horse figurines? I have a small herd that prances proudly along the shelf of my bookcase. Every now and then I wander through antique stores and garage sales to see if there’s another little lovely I can add to my stable. And you know what I’ve discovered? There’s a horse statuette for every taste. View Blog >>

    Thursday, May 27, 2010
    Take One Loose Horse, Add Traffic

    What would you do if you saw a loose horse galloping down the middle of a busy street? This isn’t a hypothetical question from an equestrian game show. It’s a question I had to ask myself last weekend. View Blog >>

    Tuesday, May 18, 2010
    I Meet the Mustangs

    In another life I might have adopted a mustang. I’d do it in this life, but I have a $20,000 computer implanted in my body, welded to my spinal column. That sort of precludes me from dealing with an 800-pound feral animal. But that doesn’t mean I can’t look at mustangs. And dream. View Blog >>

    Wednesday, May 12, 2010
    I Liked the Black Horse Better

    Last Sunday was my second of three judging jobs this month. I knew ahead of time that the level of competition and the venue itself was a step-up from my previous assignment. That meant I had to delve into my super duper horse show judge’s wardrobe and wear an actual ladies floral blouse and a snazzy cardigan sweater and top it all off with coordinating jewelry. View Blog >>

    Friday, May 8, 2010
    Oh Really?

    Have you noticed? You can become anyone on the Internet. Not only is this true for matchmaking sites, where a lot of Romeos and Juliets purport to be someone they’re not, but it’s also true in the horse world. View Blog >>

    Monday, May 3, 2010
    Minute by Minute: A Review of My Day Judging a Show

    This past Sunday I judged my first county-rated show of the year. I thought I’d take some notes and snapshots to document my day. This way you can get a better idea of what it’s like to be a judge like me. View Blog >>

    Tuesday, April 27, 2010
    Hello, Mayonnaise Legs

    Spring has come to the horse world in my part of the country, and that means several things. Hay prices will come down. Wally’s waterproof blanket can go to the horse laundry. And I can unveil my pasty white legs for public viewing. View Blog >>

    Thursday, April 22, 2010
    Running with Hay Hooks

    As horse people we have some very creative ways of injuring ourselves. Right now I’m struggling to type because my left hand and wrist are immobilized by a temporary splint made of hot pink Vetrap. A few more wraps around and I’d look like a mummy ready for a spring fling fashion parade. And it all began with a hay hook. View Blog >>

    Wednesday, April 14, 2010
    An Exclusive Interview with Wally

    Thanks to my job, I’ve been able to interview many well known personalities in the horse world. And now I’m going to use those interviewing skills to ask questions of the brawny Paint gelding that lives in my backyard. View Blog >>

    Thursday, April 8, 2010
    Flashback to Ancient Horse Show History

    I finally got around to sorting through a stack of old horse photos. By putting them in chronological order I could relive much of my life with horses. Most of them are old horse show photos, which makes sense, because once I got hooked on competing I dedicated nearly every nickel and every day toward winning a blue ribbon. View Blog >>

    Friday, April 2, 2010
    Can You Pack a Parachute

    Let’s say you get an uncontrollable urge to go sky diving. Would you just hang around the airport for a few days, observe some experienced sky divers, and then climb aboard an airplane and leap to Earth? Of course not. But that’s the approach some people seem to take toward riding. View Blog >>

    Friday, March 26, 2010
    Introducing BEG: The Barnyard Equestrian Games

    The horse world is abuzz about WEG, the upcoming World Equestrian Games. But I’m never going to compete at a world class level in any horse sport, which leaves me feeling a little disconnected with WEG. So I decided to create my own version. View Blog >>

    Tuesday, March 23, 2010
    Catfight at the OK Corral

    It’d be nice to think the horse world was a blissful oasis, free of silly distinctions between class and social status, but it is not. I came to this realization when I was competing on the A-rated show circuit, where the brand name tag on my riding britches was of upmost importance not to the judge, but to the other exhibitors. Heaven forbid I should have the audacity to purchase last year’s hue of khaki off the sale rack! View Blog >>

    Wednesday, March 17, 2010
    Let’s Go Shopping!

    What woman doesn’t enjoy shopping? When you combine that genetically ingrained compulsion with a passion for horses that can only lead to one place: The tack store. View Blog >>

    Friday, March 12, 2010
    Down to One Horse. Again.

    Have you noticed that life—with horses and otherwise—doesn’t always go as planned? I had settled into the comfortable fantasy of living with my two Paint geldings, Wally and Joey, until they met a peaceful ending twenty years or so from now. So much for dreams. View Blog >>

    Monday, March 8, 2010
    Is That Smoke Coming from the Judge?

    Believe it or not, the show season is just around the corner. I’ve been getting phone calls from horse show managers recruiting me for judging jobs. I’m already booked for every weekend in May and for several dates throughout the summer and into fall. View Blog >>

    Tuesday, March 2, 2010
    The Goat Whisperer

    As horse lovers we collect extraneous animals along with our equines. One such animal at my parents’ place (affectionately referred to as “El Ranchito”) is a pygmy goat named Gabby. View Blog >>

    Friday, February 26, 2010
    Wally Does Some Volunteer Work

    Where there are horses, there are dogs. You can quote me on that. Most of the time the two species co-exist just fine (who doesn’t love a trusty barn dog?), but then there are times when trouble arises View Blog >>

    Monday, February 22, 2010
    A Commonsense Code of Conduct

    I’m beginning to realize that there are two types of horse owners: Those that adhere to a code of conduct based on both experience and commonsense, and those who do not. Observing the goings on in my horsey neighborhood has led me to this conclusion. View Blog >>

    Wednesday, February 17, 2010
    Gopher Head Soup and Other Pleasantries

    A life spent with horses generally includes living a life with an assortment of other animals. There are barn cats and barn dogs, as well as goats, roosters, donkeys and Tinkerbelle-sized ponies that serve as mascots around the stable. On the periphery, however, are the outliers, those beasties that are not particularly welcomed at the barn but who take up residence nonetheless. View Blog >>

    Thursday, February 11, 2010
    My Seventh Grade Art Teacher Was Right

    Good old Mr. Stoia. He was my art teacher in Junior High. He had a gentle, over-grown flower child personality and a thick black mustache that draped across the rim of his upper lip like a lazy cat. Toward the end of my first semester he made this astute observation regarding my artistic talent: “Horses are the only subject matter you can portray with any amount of passion.” View Blog >>

    Monday, February 8, 2010
    My New Perfume: L’Air du Slop

    As a lifelong horsewoman I’ve figured out how to remove gunk from my clothes. I can get Furacin off a sweatshirt and Thrush Buster off my jeans. I can even coax horse slobber from cashmere. But my cleaning talents are useless against rain soaked muck. View Blog >>

    Tuesday, February 2, 2010
    Who Are You, Crazy Galloping Man?

    I’ve lived in my house, here in this horsekeeping community, for nearly three years. As I ride around I cross paths with the same horsey folks over and over, until they become familiar faces. I get to know them and their horses. Some have become trail riding acquaintances and even good friends. Others, however, remain elusive characters, known only to me by their peculiar habits and their questionable interpretations of horsemanship. View Blog >>

    Thursday, January 28, 2010
    Can We Just Skip Ahead to the Next Season?

    I’m almost afraid to jinx myself, but it hasn’t rained in the last 48 hours. This morning I made a bold statement of optimism: I folded up the tarp that had been shrouding the exposed ends of my hay bales. View Blog >>

    Friday, January 22, 2010
    Are You There Noah? It’s Me, Cindy.

    In case you haven’t heard the dire reports on the national news, it’s typhoon season here in Southern California. Or so it seems. We’ve endured a drought for years and now we’re making up the deficit with a series of heavy storms. View Blog >>

    Monday, January 18, 2010
    Put Down the Crystals and No One Will Get Hurt

    As you probably know by now, I’m a recovering Bling Queen. I was forced to keep my penchant for bright, shiny objects in check for decades while I competed on the hunter circuit, where the only thing that sparkled was my horse’s d-ring snaffle. View Blog >>

    Tuesday, January 12, 2010
    Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch…

    There are rain showers in the long range forecast, but lately the weather out here has been near 80 degrees. That means that I have the luxury of doing horsey chores that typical winter weather would prevent. View Blog >>

    Friday, January 8, 2010
    Too Sick to Ride

    It’s been a while since I’ve had a job where I had to call in sick when I felt ill. Or call in sick when I felt like leaving a day early for a horse show. Now that I have horses in my backyard, calling in sick is out of the question. There simply aren’t any sick days allotted to this work calendar. View Blog >>

    Monday, January 4, 2010
    Trail Tiffs and Road Rage with Horses

    I’m fortunate to reside in a rather isolated community where bridle paths have supplanted sidewalks and hitching posts are prominent at local restaurants and drug stores. Yet I’m not immune to the urban sprawl that’s encroaching on the simple pleasure of horseback riding.  View Blog >>

    Tuesday, December 29, 2009
    New Year Notes to Myself

    I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, but I do make a year-end list of personal reflections. It includes lessons I’ve learned as well as rhetorical questions I continue to ponder. As I look back on 2009, my list goes something like this: View Blog >>

    Tuesday, December 22, 2009
    A Horsewoman’s Holiday Newsletter

    Ever wonder what a holiday newsletter might be like if it were written from the perspective of a lifelong horsewoman? I have. View Blog >>

    Monday, December 14, 2009
    Holly Jolly Horsey Holiday

    Once you’ve spent much of your life around horses, the beasts eventually invade every aspect of your life, including Christmastime. I’ll give you a few personal examples. View Blog >>

    Tuesday, December 8, 2009
    Another Horse Husband Calamity

    I really love my husband Ron. Who else would put up with a horse crazy woman like me? But sometimes he goes a little too far with projects that involve the horses. A case in point is the stall. View Blog >>

    Monday, November 30, 2009
    Every Spur Tells a Story

    Today was trash day in my neighborhood, which meant that I was curbside before sunrise, shoveling a wheelbarrow full of manure into the bin before the noisy trash truck lumbered up the hill. View Blog >>

    Monday, November 23, 2009
    Thanks a Lot

    It’s a tradition for my sister and me to go on a Thanksgiving trail ride. But this year Jill has to work on the actual holiday, so we decided to head out with our horses this past weekend. As usual, it turned out to be memorable. View Blog >>

    Monday, November 16, 2009
    Horsewomen, Start Marking Your Catalogs!

    Hush. Listen. Can you hear it? That slight crinkling sound is being created by thousands of horsewomen flipping through the shiny pages of equine industry catalogs. View Blog >>

    Tuesday, November 10, 2009
    The Starving Horse is Served Some Support

    Recently I wrote about a little gelding near me that was slowly starving. He lives in a makeshift corral alongside a path adjacent to the horse trails in our neighborhood. View Blog >>

    Wednesday, November 4, 2009
    I Know There’s a Trail Here Someplace

    It’s no small coincidence that the ball cap I grab most often when I go for a trail ride bears the caption “Get Lost” over the brim. View Blog >>

    Friday, October 30, 2009
    Why I Never Became a Horse Trainer

    Once upon a time, when I was infatuated with the realization that I had conquered some small landmark in the realm of horsemanship, I considered becoming a professional horse trainer. View Blog >>

    Friday, October 23, 2009
    What’s Up with All the Skinny Horses?

    Quite frankly, I am fed up with people who aren’t feeding their horses. Lately it seems I’ve been exposed to the ugly side of horse care gone wrong. View Blog >>

    Monday, October 19, 2009
    Why Do Horses Do These Things?

    Despite having spent pretty much most of my life around horses, I have a lot of questions that I fear will never be answered to my satisfaction. View Blog >>

    Monday, October 12, 2009
    “Excuse Me, but Your Horse’s Tail Just Fell Off”

    My judging experience this past weekend provided me with a memorable experience. In the first showmanship class of the day, a Paint gelding stepped on his fake tail and ripped the darn thing right off. View Blog >>

    Monday, October 5, 2009
    The Annual Dragging of the Mats

    Ah, nothing like autumn! The cooler weather has finally arrived and my thoughts have turned to upcoming celebrations: Halloween, Thanksgiving and yes, even Christmas. View Blog >>

    Tuesday, September 29, 2009
    Can I Interest You in a Miniature Tool Set to Go Along with Your Blue Ribbon?

    It’s customary for the winner of a horse show class to receive some sort of award along with their blue ribbon. In years past it used to be a memento that was stamped or etched with the name of the show and the date: a silver plate, a crystal bud vase or a porcelain trinket box. Nowadays you’re lucky if you receive a bundle of crisp carrots or a hoof pick. View Blog >>

    Tuesday, September 22, 2009
    Sop Up the Sweat and Move On

    Can summer please be over? I am so done with the sweat. I am tired of my jeans sticking to my skin. I have to peel them off my body every afternoon like I’m a giant fruit roll-up. View Blog >>

    Friday, September 11, 2009
    Stow Yer Boots

    Apparently there’s still one thing my husband Ron can’t quite accept when it comes to having horses in our backyard: They come along with a lot of dust and dirt. View Blog >>

    Friday, September 4, 2009
    I Just Want to Scream

    We’re all horse lovers, right? Good. So, do you ever see something that is so offensive or so lacking in common sense that you just want to scream? View Blog >>

    Monday, August 31, 2009
    Cowboy Clean-up Day

    You probably see the title and think I went on some bizarre Extreme Makeover, lassoing all the cowboys in town and forcing them into a bath and a shave. Nope. View Blog >>

    Tuesday, August 25, 2009
    A Surprise Around Every Turn

    Nearly every photograph I see depicting a trail rider is set in a lush backdrop like a verdant meadow, a forested glen or a southwestern panorama. Being a journalist myself, I understand that editors seek lovely photos that illustrate the ideal. View Blog >>

    Thursday, August 20, 2009
    The End of the Line

    Isn’t it amazing how, just when you think you have things all planned out, life comes along and messes everything up? That’s especially true when you’re living your life with horses. View Blog >>

    Friday, August 14, 2009
    The Challenges of Judging a Horse Show

    I know I was crowing about the fact that I was finished judging horse shows for this year. But I received a call from a show manager who was bereft one judge, and she needed a last minute substitute. Who was I to pass up a decent day’s wage in this economy? View Blog >>

    Tuesday, August 4, 2009
    Man Advice for Horsewomen

    It has come to my attention that horsewomen, as a group, have a rough time with men. View Blog >>

    Monday, July 27, 2009
    He Went That a Way

    There’s a lot of coming and going in the world of horses. It seems like I’m always leading a horse in or out of its stall or snapping on a lead rope and leading it to the hitching post. No wonder my feet are killing me at the end of the day. View Blog >>

    Tuesday, July 21, 2009
    Retirement Village for Ex-Hunt Seat Riders

    I know where all the hunter and jumper riders go once they shelve their field boots and exchange their hunt caps for cowboy hats. They move to my town. At least that’s the way it seems, because I continually encounter women I used to compete against on the show circuit. View Blog >>

    Thursday, July 16, 2009
    I Have Shrapnel in my Fingers

    It’s bad enough that as a horsewoman I’m often plagued with horse slime stains on my clothes, smegma under my fingernails and an aroma of pyrethrin fly spray lingering on my skin. Now, thanks to my obsession with creating mosaics, I’ve also become the walking wounded. View Blog>>

    Thursday, July 9, 2009
    In Search of Happy Endings

    As horse lovers, we spend much of our time teetering on the brink between joy and heartache. Our equine companions bring us much joy, yet they’re so fragile that they’re always on the verge of injury or illness. View Blog>>

    Wednesday, July 8, 2009
    The Re-Education of Red

    They say that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Fortunately you can teach an ex-race horse a new job, at least in most instances. View Blog>>

    thursday, July 2, 2009
    A Look at Old Horse Photos

    There’s a rather trite old saying that horses we love “leave hoof prints on our hearts.” I’m not sure about that, but the horses I’ve owned and ridden certainly left behind a lot of photographs. View Blog>>

    Friday, June 26, 2009
    Survival Tips on Living with a Young Horse

    Joey is a joy. But honest to God, I never set out to buy another young horse. I felt like I had put in my time with young, green horses. View Blog>>

    Monday, June 22, 2009
    When Llamas Attack

    It’ll take a little longer for Joey to be fully back to riding condition following his episode of tying up, so I’m spending more time with Wally. I’m not entirely sure the blaze-faced lug appreciates it, because from his perspective the extra attention translates into more work. View Blog>>

    Wednesday, June 17, 2009
    All Tied Up

    Have you ever heard the term “precognition”? It refers to those Twilight Zone moments when you get a hunch that something momentous is about to happen. Perhaps I’m psychically gifted, because just last week I was crowing about my large paycheck—figuring I could stock up on hay—when I suddenly got an ugly jolt of precognition. View Blog>>

    Friday, June 12, 2009
    Secrets of the Horsekeeping Housewife

    Sometimes when I step outside my immediate neighborhood, away from the bridle paths and the pick-up trucks adorned with AQHA and APHA bumperstickers, I feel alone. Almost alienated. And then, when I least expect it, I’ll cross paths with another horsewoman who’s trying desperately to blend in, yet whose mannerisms and comments give her away. View Blog>>

    Tuesday, June 9, 2009
    Saving the Best Show for Last

    On Sunday I judged the last of my scheduled shows for the year. I may yet get called by a show manager if they’re suddenly short a judge, but for the most part I can stow away my lucky clipboard and my collection of sun visors until next spring. View Blog>>

    Friday, June 5, 2009
    Can You Ear Me Now?

    I’ve always been amazed at a horse’s acute sense of hearing. I have to tiptoe out my back door so that Joey won’t hear the creak of the hinges. View Blog>>

    Friday, May 29, 2009
    Manure Mania

    Let’s talk poop. I once read a statement from a veterinary resource that said the average horse produces about 50 pounds of manure a day. My response was, “Really? Is that all?” View Blog>>

    Tuesday, May 26, 2009
    My View from the Judge’s Booth

    I’m always reading about judges making proclamations from the bench. They attempt to educate the public or sway popular sentiment through their rulings. I’m never going to wear a black robe or wield a gavel, but I have been judging horse shows for fifteen years now, and recently it seems like I’ve been judging almost every weekend. View Blog>>

    Thursday, May 21, 2009
    Saddle Soap Opera

    Somehow I’ve become the owner of four saddles. Don’t tell my husband. If things work out as planned, I’ll soon be down to a respectable number of only two saddles, and then he’ll never know the difference. View Blog>>

    Friday, May 15, 2009
    Water Baby

    Today was only the second time that Joey has been out in the country on a trail ride. As part of his continuing education I hauled him to the nature preserve outside of town. It’s an undeveloped portion of the Santa Ana River, a waterway that eventually flows into the Pacific. View Blog>>

    Wednesday, May 13, 2009
    Bitten by the Bit Bug

    In my other life (the one before I came smashing to the ground from a jumping effort gone wrong) my tackroom was draped with mahogany and chocolate leather bridles that were outfitted with all sorts of English bits. View Blog>>

    Friday, May 8, 2009
    Magical Horses Come to Life

    I have to figure that if you’re visiting HorseChannel then you were once a horse crazy kid. If so, then you probably grew up drawing horses on every surface that would accept the scrawling of a crayon, pencil, paintbrush or indelible felt tip pen. View Blog>>

    Monday, May 4, 2009
    Cowboy, I See Castration in Your Future

    The clock is ticking for Cowboy. My mother’s palomino colt—sired by an all-around champion AQHA stallion and out of a Trakehner/Dutch show hunter mare—is soon to become a gelding. View Blog>>

    Tuesday, April 28, 2009
    Horse Crime of the Year

    I don’t often dwell on morbid stories about animal abuse for fear of sensationalizing such horrid cases. The last thing I want to do is give a sick minded individual some form of notoriety. But this latest one about a misfortunate horse just really got to me. View Blog>>

    Friday, April 24, 2009
    The Concho Queen

    I have gone concho crazy. It’s understandable, really, when you consider that I spent several decades galloping around the hunter show ring clad in drab navy blue wool. My inner penchant for anything bright, shiny and frilly was kept repressed. But now that I’ve embraced the lifestyle of riding western on the trails, I am making up for lost time. View Blog>>

    Wednesday, April 22, 2009
    It’s Cheese Only at Horse Shows

    It’s Wednesday and I think I’ve finally rehydrated myself from last Sunday’s judging assignment. I officiated at a county-rated hunter show at a nearby equestrian park. The heat was sweltering! View Blog>>

    Friday, April 17, 2009
    Well Heeled

    You’ve probably heard the old saying that you can’t really understand someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes. Just alter that a little to fit the horse world. You really can’t understand a horse person until you’ve walked a mile in their boots. View Blog>>

    Monday, April 13, 2009
    Easter Parade

    I’m always looking for ways to combine horses with holidays. At Christmas I decorate my tree with equine-themed ornaments. During past Halloweens I’ve won prizes for the costumes I’ve created for cooperative ponies. So when Easter rolled around this year, and I realized that my town was hosting a sunrise service at the community equestrian park, I figured, “Why not?” View Blog>>

    Friday, April 10, 2009
    Will You Be My Friend?

    I’ve learned a lot from my horses. They’ve taught me the value of a good sense of humor. When things go wrong around the barn, I can’t help but laugh at my own follies. I’ve also learned to be patient and kind. View Blog>>

    Tuesday, April 7, 2009
    Buyers, Beware!

    When I was a kid (yes, way back then) there were used car lots that proudly displayed signs reading, “A-Okay!” Such a declaration certified that the cars had passed a quality inspection and that the seller was above the level of riff raff. I wish we had the same stamp of approval for the horse market. View Blog>>

    Friday, April 3, 2009
    Wally Comments on His Diet

    Today I’m handing the blogging duties over to Wally. He has a lot to say. Why? Because he’s on a diet. View Blog>>

    Wednesday, March 31, 2009
    Clinic Notes

    Four horses and riders from Cornerstone, Sue’s stable, entered last Sunday’s huntseat equitation clinic. Two of the riders were young girls I’d been teaching: Veronica and Siegen. Another rider was my longtime pal, Debbie. The fourth rider was BJ Bullman, a good friend who helps out at Sue’s place. View Blog>>

    Wednesday, March 28, 2009
    High School Rodeo: The Musical

    Act I
    Scene: Saturday morning. Riding arena at Cornerstone Equestrian Center. Cindy is giving a lesson on the longe line to Marcie, a nervous adult rider. As Cindy coaxes the trusty lesson horse, Ringo, into a jog, Marcie begins to fret. View Blog>>

    Wednesday, March 25, 2009
    Oh Happy Day! Wally Gets a Shoe and I Get a New Horse

    In a few minutes I’m heading over to my parents’ place to meet up with Ed, our farrier. He’s going to nail Wally’s front shoe back on, now that the Hoof Abscess from Hell is beginning to heal. View Blog>>

    Saturday, March 21, 2009
    Hooray for Hoof Drainage!

    Never in my life did I ever think I’d be so happy to witness an oozing infection. But that’s how I felt yesterday when Jennifer, my vet, took a paring knife to the sole of Wally’s sore hoof. She’d reviewed the xrays and then used the hoof testers to pinpoint the precise spot to begin her excavation in order to open up the abscess in Wally’s sole. View Blog>>

    Thursday, march 19, 2009
    Dog Gone Justice

    With Wally still nursing his sore foot, I’m having to beg, borrow and nearly steal other horses to ride. Yesterday I saddled up Topper, my sister’s flashy Thoroughbred, and headed down the trail. View Blog>>

    Tuesday, March 17, 2009
    Why Not Double the Fun?

    On Friday Wally has a re-check with my vet, Jennifer. Hopefully the Magical Abscess Fairy will have come and, “Poof!” We’ll be on our way to recovery! View Blog>>

    Read more in the Life With Horses blog archives >>



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