"And, when you want something, the entire Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." -The Alchemist, by Paulo Coehlo

Saturday, April 25, 2015

A Few Weeks in Photos

Have a photo dump of what we've been up to lately. :)
Some of these are from before Foxcatcher; everything is green green green right now!

Warning: there are a lot of photos of Charles riding. I really want to clarify this: the main reason why Gracie came into our lives was so Charles could come along for our adventures. It was a deliberate decision and we made sacrifices to make this happen. He used to ride on the trails with me in FL thanks to having access to Mark's bombproof QH gelding Beau, and he rode with me in PR more than once when we visited family while Lucero was still alive. He has been a HUGE supporter of me continuing to participate in the equestrian sports. He is a vital component of my life in every way: he is not just my husband, he is also my best friend and my most favoritest person in the world. We like doing everything together! I really don't want readers to think I'm rubbing it in that he rides. The fact that he is even more front and center in the equine aspect of my life right now merits celebration on my part. You would celebrate it too if it was your SO riding with you. And I would be positively thrilled for you! :) 

Mash face

Dear sweet Lily has gotten really good at the mare glare, which is one thing I never saw coming! All she does is pin her ears and the other horses scoot.
Ignore his hands. It's an ongoing argument. :) Everything else is pretty good!
Hill sets. This will give you an idea of exactly how long the hill is.
I thought it was 1/4 mile long, but it's almost 1/2 mile in one direction.

Riding with Robin, our other barn trainer, on her mare Saphira.
Road riding after the rain.
Gracie strikes a pose. SO happy with her weight right now! This is SANS grazing muzzle, despite all of the spring grass. No lumpy crest in sight. I think the steep hills at this farm are working their magic! Though she *is* being worked consistently 4 days a week as well.
Also want to note that on this day I rode her bareback with just the rope halter  and she was AWESOME. She has officially been with us for a year and she has changed so, so much!
Pretty girl. All of the horses on the farm are shedding like crazy; the babies in training get tied at this spot for grooming/tacking up, and that's all of their fluff on the ground!

All the wide open spaces...

I just love it here.
After her first bath of spring. "I licked all the bowls! I did a good job! MOAR please!"
(She had her own mash in one, hay in another, and then she got to lick Lily's too...)
"You must stay right here next to me while I eat. I must be able to touch you."
"Leaving so soon?"
On top of the world
Lunging Gracie in the mare field while a giant 12 ft tall mare looks on.
(Isn't perspective a crazy thing?)

You can't tell, again because of perspective, but there is a nice angle to the hill we were on. Charles took both of these photos looking down at us from the top of the hill. Gracie was a boss during the lunging, despite the incline.
Gomez, one of BO's bottle baby goats, is officially weaned. He follows people all over the farm and is kind of the general mascot. Charles loves him.
The goats are rubbing off on them. Embiggen this photo so you can appreciate the angle of the slope they were on. I was looking down at them. Lily and Gracie GALLOPED up to that spot like it was NBD.

Sugarloaf Mountain

The orange trail up to the summit of the mountain

Boulder halfway up the mountain.

The views were spectacular

Like this one. That's the Potomac River in the distance.

Back down the orange trail.
Hmmm...I think the goats might be rubbing off on all of us...

Charles's second solo ride on Gracie. They are that speck going up the road. I've been at the barn for this so I can keep an eye out for him while doing other stuff like setting up feed or groundwork with Lily. It's been a great lesson in him putting everything I've taught him together to get Gracie to respond to him and him alone. Both times he's come back bursting with things to tell me: details of the rides, stuff he did and how Gracie responded. It's been a really fun role reversal (him telling the riding stories while I listen instead of the other way around!) that I never saw coming.

Lily and Gracie with two of the geldings. The gray decided that they were "his" mares and would follow them around like an obedient minion while they completely ignored him. It was really cute. I love BO's horses: all of the geldings were gelded early so none of them are studdy whatsoever. Lily has had none of the cray-cray behavior she used to exhibit around geldings. *Huge relief*

Of course he blinked for the photo, but this is Forrest, one of BO's Arabs. He is a yearling out of the gorgeous blood bay mare that rules the mare field. Forrest is the friendliest of ALL the horses: whenever he sees people at gates, he comes galloping up to say hi. He doesn't care who you are: you are people so you must be awesome. It's hard to not grin when you have a horse greet you so happily. So that is why he gets featured on the blog: he does what I wish my two would!

That is Lily and Gracie among the trees and I was at the bottom of the hill looking up at them.

Charles and Gracie on one of our rides. 

It was one of the first white-hot days we had.
It's back to being chilly now. Grrrrrr...

Heels down and errrythang!!

Another of BO's Arabs.



The new grain we're trying. Kalm Ultra by Tribute. 12% fat, 12% protein, and has added probiotics.
By Monday I should be done fully transitioning Lily onto this feed alone. 

This is what she thinks so far. 

Working on Lily's separation anxiety from Gracie...

It might be official that he's converted to the dark side... ;) 
Plus it protects his ears and the back of his neck, which would always get sunburned with the caps he used to wear.

Zombie turned a year old on April 24!

I love this song. Heard it for the first time at a Spinning class and sent the link to it to Gail because it made me think of Nimo! (His full name is Geronimo.)  And now it's played all over the radio. I love the imagery. The actual song video was kind of a letdown compared to what I imagine, so I'm leaving you with the lyrics video. :)


  1. Love the pics! It's so green there! Ugh, I can't wait to get out of the desert. I think it is great that your husband rides and that it is something you have fun doing together.

    1. Thank you Jodi! :D I hope racetrack work eventually takes you back to greener areas!

  2. I think it's awesome that your husband rides with you! My boyfriend doesn't really ride (yet) but he has been really supportive of my habit. Maybe someday he will get into it lol. I'm still so jealous of your beautiful scenery up there! And love that song - it has been added to my playlist!

    1. If they start out being supportive, it's a lot easier for them to make the transition into actually riding. ;)

      I always enjoy seeing your scenery too. We almost ended up in NC! Glad you liked the song too. It's one of my favorites at the moment!

  3. I love that C rides with you and think it is wonderful. Can't wait until after next weekend to see what adventures you too run into. And I do understand wanting to spend time with your husband and bestest friend, since we too have worked out a way to make that happen for us. Coyote is a great steed for J!

    The country side is gorgeous and I have to say that I think the environment where the mares are living is perfect, since they are both thriving. Gracie looks amazing and you need to do a look back post to show how much she has changed.

    And Ashke says "that is not mushface. Mushface must reach above the nostrils. Extra points are given for splotches above the eyes. And you are a lifetime member if you manage to get mush on 1) owners back, 2) owner's hair, or 3) owner's face. And please post pictures if you get a hat trick."

    1. I agree with Ashke on the mushface definition. :-D

    2. Coyote really is a great steed Karen! I love that you guys have access to so many multi-use trails in CO. It's not as common over here; true multi-use trails that wouldn't kill a cyclist's legs (from mud/rocks) seem to be few and far between in our part of MD. :/

      Lily's response to Ashke: "I am a lady, therefore I will stay clean. Though I am good at getting mush on my front legs and body. Does that count?"

      Gracie, however, says: "I am the Queen of Mushface. I get it on my eyelashes, on my muzzle, on my beard, on my pretty blonde forelock, and on my ears. It makes Mom have to brush my face afterwards which is my Favorite Thing! Mom has no idea how I do this. It's fun to rub my head against Dad's shirt after this. He makes a nice rag." *Innocent Gracie face* "I will do my best to try to get his hat next time!"

  4. i'm so happy with how greeeeeeeeen everything is getting!!! :D love all the pics and am jealous in the best possible way that you and Charles have so much fun getting out and about with your ponies!

    1. Right??! MD spring green is THE BEST! :D

      Thank you Emma. :)

  5. The barn I work at feeds the Kalm Ultra to a few of the horses and it has given us some excellent results!! I don't think we've ever had a horse not eat it either. Hopefully it works well for you guys :)

    Also, SUPER jealous of your turnout situation!

    1. That is great to know Becky! I think she's putting on weight already and she's only just started fully on the Kalm Ultra only. Fingers crossed that she continues to like it! I swear she sometimes just seems to want variety, but it can be difficult to provide it when she can also be so picky about what she'll eat. Really loving the Tribute selection though: I like that they have several low starch feeds geared towards ulcer-prone hard keepers. It can be hard to find in other brands!

      The turnout situation at this barn just rocks! It's the best I could have ever hoped for!

  6. I'm so happy you're so happy at the new barn/apt/town. It really shows in your writing and your narrative interactions with the horses. Those wide open spaces seem to be just what you needed. =)

    1. I know where there are lots and lots and lots of wide open spaces . . . . : p

    2. It's the wide open spaces framed by mountains. The mountains are what is really doing it for me. I had not realized how much I needed to have them in my everyday life again. They are so, so much like the mountains from where I come from! I don't miss the island much (except being able to go to the beach sometimes) but I really missed seeing the mountains out my window every day. They were rolling, green mountains just like the ones in Frederick.

      There is just something about the drive home from work, where you make that turn in the road and suddenly you see the small city at the foot of the mountains and being able to think, "Home! That's home!"

  7. The new barn looks great, I love the horses having a hill to play/workout on, and you having all those views!

    And I love the photo of Charles as a tiny speck down the road. And more hills to ride!

  8. You live in a beautiful place - wish we had hills and valleys like that around here! And I'm so glad that Charles likes to go on adventures with you, I can't wait for my hubby to start tagging along with me too :)

    1. I hope he joins you very soon too! :D

  9. I must learn to take pictures like you do! So many beautiful memories! And I can't wait to hear how the Tribute feed works for you:)

    1. So far so good with Tribute! :) The feed store here doesn't carry the Tough to Beet either, but I was happy with beet pulp being one of the first ingredients in the Kalm Ultra. It's a soft pellet that makes a nice mash. I'm still curious about the Tough to Beet though; I might ask them if they could special order a bag to try later on.

      I honestly didn't take a lot of pictures until starting the blog. My first entries are full of crappy cell phone pics from my old flip phone, but it just helped illustrate what I was talking about...and now it's become a habit! :) Carlos didn't use to take a lot of photos until we got the iPhones and now he takes pics of everything. It's helpful that he tends to get photos of everything I don't! Hahaha...