Trial Photo Shoot

Was not very happy with any of these, but some are okay and I think Dandy had a good time. Continue reading

A Horse’s Voice

I remember one day when I was in my early teens, probably just eleven or twelve. We were boarding horses at a public stable some twenty miles from our house in San Francisco. We arrived to the sight of smoke pouring out of one of the barns, the barn where the old grey mare was. She was not old then. I remember running up to the barn in a panic, but did not find my horse. My heart was beating, I was too stunned to even cry. I ran back in the direction of my mother, who was probably making inquiries. I called out to her “I can’t find her!” I don’t remember what she called back to me because my mind was overwhelmed just then by the sound of the mare’s voice in the distance. It was coming from the other barn. She had heard us and answered.

I can’t remember a time when I could not recognize my horse’s voice. Almost all of them are distinct, though many have voices similar to their mothers. Even so, their personality will change the inflection or pitch of their voice from the one Nature gave them.

No horses were lost in that fire. Someone had acted quickly enough to get them out.

I don’t know what made me think of that. Perhaps it was the loss of a little grey mare we only had for three months. Perhaps it was someone’s Twitter account of a childhood trauma. In any case, it was a special memory, that mare calling to us over the hubbub.

Picky Eater?

It’s that time of year when I stop feeding horses since they have so much grass. Last night I fed the mares one last time, and they all went to get the hay except one. Suzie stood and watched a couple of other horses eating but wouldn’t go find some hay for herself. She *was* watching, not rolling around or pawing or acting painful. So I checked her gums (perfect pink & moist) and listened to her gut (oh my what a racket!) and looked her over. She seemed fine except for not eating. Though it was possible that she wasn’t hungry, the others were probably no hungrier than her and they were eating. I decided I should lock her up for further study but not until I finished feeding.

Once I had finished, I went back to get her. She was standing in the same spot, still watching another mare eat. I approached just as some of the bossier mares were starting to change places and move other horses around. As they did so, the mare that Suzie had been watching moved away from her manger to keep her distance from the bossies. As soon as she left, Suzie sauntered up and started eating from that manger. Is it possible that Suzie is so OCD she cannot eat in any of the other spots, she has to eat in that one?

I locked her up anyway so I could count her poops. This morning she was still fine, had pooped and finished the little bit of hay I left her with. I do not know what to make of this.

On the Trail: Lake Sonoma

imageGreat dirt road trail, with well-marked single-track loops to choose from. A lot of climbing, though not steep. From parking lot to lake is about an hour on the fire road.

Great parking lot with outhouse, water trough and hitching posts.  Be prepared to cross paved road near a turn to reach trails.

Trails can be a little rocky, but a horse with tough hooves should be fine barefoot. Continue reading