Friday, May 30, 2014


I have not been out on the beautiful trails. Or along the lake. Or out exploring. I have not been having much fun. I have instead been dealing with mystery lameness. Oh boy. 

A couple weeks ago after a ride without a lame step Major was off. Off off. 3/5 lame. No heat, swelling or tenderness, Mr. Stoic didn't seem to care. Great. I thought maybe another abcess brewing somewhere. 

I wanted to wait before running to the vet. It got better over the course of a week, almost imperceptible except on a circle going one direction. But still there. Made the vet appointment. 

And Major was so excited to be going somewhere he jumped in the trailer! I think he was very disappointed when he got out at the vet. 

Where of course he showed no sign of serious lameness, though seemed stiff. Did one leg block, not any serious perceptible change. Hmm. Options from the vet:
1. do a big work up and see what we can find, if anything. 
2. Ride him and see if I can recreate the lameness. Then do a work up. 

Vet prefers the second option. "Riding till lame" sounds to me like a horrible option, but I understand it is a better diagnostic tool. 

So this weekend I am cautiously saddling my horse for a short ride. And I'll see what happens. I am totally mentally exhausted from worrying. 

But at least Major makes me smile. Not just because he is blindingly shiny gorgeous (and a bit fat from sitting around.) He's so shiny he can't look at himself. 

But because for just a moment I wondered if he would worry about my truck being full of sticks and covered with a flapping tarp. He wasn't, and might actually be a dog. 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

happy birthday!

Happy Birthday to Major! He is 11 years old today. We had a whole conversation today, but after a long, fast ride I'm too tired to write it up right now. 

Major got extra carrots, two apples, cookies and all the grass he could eat.

Happy birthday Major, I'm so glad you're my pony. Or that I'm your human. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

pretty and random

Sometimes a week just needs pretty. And maybe some random funny too.

Took a little non-horse trip to the lower American River on a perfect fluffy cloud day.

wild yellow iris

curious canada goose

peeking goose, got any more sandwich?
gold-rush era dredged river rocks

The fields of lupine are still glowing, though slowly fading in the growing heat.

look out over purple fields

The lake is rising, and is now in a fun place to splash around. Major plows right in, as deep as I let him.

I did a ride with Major barefoot again, down on the sand. I tried not to be totally paranoid about every rock I saw. Didn't really work, but he did fine.

Ahhh! Rocks! Ok, don't panic.

We need to do a few more rides. Someone's girth is a little tight after three weeks off and free choice hay.

I was able to do up one more notch. I am NOT buying a larger girth!

There is a super cute herd of goats doing landscaping maintenance where I work. How fun to walk out for a break and check out the goats. Some do not seem to be pulling their weight!
laying down on the job

goats everywhere!

In the hair cut place (it's not really a salon if it only costs $8, right?) I flipped through an Esquire magazine. "84 Things A Man Should Do Before He Dies." Number 54: Ride a horse. Full Tilt. Across a field. First thing that came to mind: not very safe, the fields have holes and things. Maybe if you walk across it first. And have good brakes because Major would be wild if you let him do that. Two: I've done that (not an open field, an open trail).

New meaning to "food truck."

Major is quality control

This is how Spring should be. This is excellent.

handsome poser


Friday, May 2, 2014

best. view. ever.

I know most will agree with me, the view from between happy ears is the best. Even if the view is a mud puddle, or a gravel road, but even better a lupine-covered trail along a lake. On a sound non-broken horse!

even mud puddles look good
even the meadow with dead car (right) and power lines (left) looks good

Major and I are back on the trail, he's totally full of it after three weeks off, but I'm not complaining (yet!). We headed out with C and Friday for a glorious evening ride. It was an unseasonably warm 90 degrees, but once along the cooler lake we just enjoyed the view. And even got to see a bald eagle soar overhead, a rarity for this area!

lupine glow

"my" rock isn't underwater yet!

just wow. so pretty. (lupine and bay ears both!)

We did try booting all four for the first time. My super ancient very first pair of Renegades are the only ones that are the correct size. And even through crashing over rocks (yes, pay attention Major), rutted trails and serious speed we had no issues! Love that. 

poppies, lupine and vetch carpet this field

gravel road home is even good, except for the mosquitos

We ventured home, through a lupine/poppy/vetch filled meadow, past the low area with hordes of mosquitos, though quickly disappearing puddles with enough daylight left for the horses to get a bath before dinner. Appreciated the weather, the flowers, the water, the trail, the company, and the horse. Best. View. Ever.