Friday, December 27, 2019

holiday return

"The sun got in my eyes" is not an excuse to run off

I'd like to return this horse today.
Umm, what is wrong with him?
He is a jerk.
That is not covered by our warranty.
OK, he seems to be defective and does not respond to commands.
Did you use the commands correctly?
Same as I always do.

"we're on the beach" is not an excuse to run off

Hmm, what else was the situation?
Well, it rained for a week and he was cooped up in his pasture.
Is his pasture small?
No, he could run around all he wants.
But he thinks he might melt, right? Some models have had that happen.
Nothing, all our models are different, what model is yours?
2003 Arabian gelding.
I need more details to process your complaint.

"We're almost home" is not an excuse to run off

A nice trail ride turned into an 8 mile fight to slow down and deal, I threatened to leave him tied to someone else's trailer at the staging area!
Well, that is it then! If you'd read the fine print, Arabian plus cooped up in December can lead to random behavior.
Wow, that is specific,
It is in the fine print ma'am.
Is there a solution?
If you work through it enough without dying it ends up being fun again.
So I just have to deal with it?
Afraid so, sorry. Next customer!

good thing you're cute Major…

Saturday, December 21, 2019

solstice 2019

Happy solstice to everyone! It is so hard after work, visiting Major in the darkness, so much less riding and outdoor time, and I always get discouraged. Then I remember that I always get discouraged and feel ridiculous. Then I realize that the thought is valid and feel OK. Argh, when does the sun come back again? I need some earl grey…

Tomorrow will be lighter, for everyone. As the light returns each day, celebrate in warmth and friendship.

horsey solstice ornaments for everyone! (and our robot overlords)

Wednesday, December 18, 2019


'Tis the season for toys… and yes, this could be a post about making your own horse toy or treat, but I've already done that (make some treats or a hanging treat/toy, they'll love you!)

I was in the craft store (why does the craft store have so many toys, no idea!?) and this horse/truck/trailer toy caught my eye.

At least it isn't pink? What trailer is pulled by an open top truck/jeep? The truck looks a bit like the new Tesla.

at least she is reaching for her helmet, but that open top truck/jeep?

this is pretty cool, but damn, huge carrot!

sure, it's that easy! ha!

Luckily, in real life, not many trailers are towed like this. Did the designers even look at a real truck and trailer? Is it more fun, easier to put the dolls in, something?

I thought, this must be a new thing. But then down the google rabbit hole I went, and found many other options.

jeep, tiny trailer, huge doll, what? Barbie couldn't ride anyway (dumb legs!)

If I'd had this playmobile trailer with my playmobile horses when I was a kid I would have been so happy. (Who am I kidding, it is pretty cool now).

an even smaller jeep (maybe becasue they're european!)

Some toys get it right, though they don't show the getting out of your truck six times to hook up correctly, learning how to back being a hassle, loading a recalcitrant horse, cleaning out all the manure, etc. Got to make sure they still like horses, after all!

these are cool

And one final note: unicorn anything has jumped the shark.

End of toy rant…

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

d.i.y: holiday unicorn

you too can have a holiday unicorn!

Most of my d.i.y. posts are actually useful, so it was time for something…silly. Last summer I spent a smoky day trapped inside and played with making some unicorn horns. I never remembered to blog about it, but it was entertaining.

obviously too much time on my hands…
tree headband inspiration!

When I saw a Christmas tree headband at the craft store, inspiration struck…Major needed to be a holiday unicorn! You can theme this in any colors or patterns you like (rainbow holiday would be epic), I went with ugly holiday sweater (since I already had the materials) but you could go classy too (but this is more fun I think!)

all the stuff (and more!)

Materials list:
8.5 x 11 (or larger) green felt
8.5 x 11 scrap paper
small scrap cardboard
elastic, most any width will do, approx 24" long
random ribbon, yarn, string, pompoms, tiny ornaments, whatever you can find
standard scissors, ruler, glue (hot glue is best, white/fabric glue will work)
optional: glitter, cup of tea…

This is pretty easy, but just a few fiddly steps along the way:

template on paper

cut out onto the felt

Gather your materials and draw a template on your paper. Keep the top size about 1", as you'll need that extra to overlap later. Now cut the shape out of the felt.

glue the edge, and your fingers, to make a cone

Gluing the edge is the most fun you can have while burning yourself with a glue gun. (OK, seriously, be careful, but I took no permanent damage!) The overlap of each edge will be about 1/4 inch, no measuring needed, bring the edges together and add a bead of glue, attach, and continue the length of the cone.

basic cone/horn is complete!

cut a circle (about 3"), from the leftover felt

stuffy stuff stuff (use a pencil/skewer to get to the point)

At this point you can trim the bottom of the cone flat, and cut a circle from leftover felt which will cover the bottom a bit later. Now you can stuff the cone! I used some leftover batting, but newspaper, paper towels, cotton balls, lots of things would work. Make sure it is stuffed pretty tight (no floppy horns wanted!).

add support cardboard with holes for elastic

thread elastic through holes
now add the final fill and glue on the bottom

Now a fiddly bit: To keep the felt from tearing and support the elastic, glue support cardboard to each side on the inside of the cone. Poke holes in both sides (I used an exacto knife but a nail would be great) and thread your elastic through. You can estimate, I cut mine about 24 inches, which is extra long but worked great. Put in a little extra fluff and glue your circle to the bottom.

glued and ready for decoration

ribbon twisted around, tack at top and bottom with glue

Now the fun begins. Choose a string/ribbon/yarn and glue it into the top. Then twist the ribbon around, pulling a bit, so the felt bulges a little (just like a REAL unicorn horn!). Then glue it again to the bottom, and your basic horn is done!

all the sparkly decorations!

in process: glitter everywhere, pompom party galore!

Now glue on all the little decorations you like. I had pompoms and random silver stars, but beads, tiny ornaments, even just more pretty ribbon or rickrack would be cute. Place and glue until you get to something you like. Then add a few more, just because. Now just pick off all the little hot glue hairs that have stuck all over, I'll wait…

made a fun star because…glitter!

ugly holiday sweater unicorn horn complete!

Your horn is done! Now go try it on your horse. Major just LOVED his horn…I'm sure he is already plotting ways to get back at me. Watching him walk and trot with the horn bouncing along was the best thing I'd seen in a long time. I hope your horses become holiday unicorns too!

unicorn bowing to me (looking for treats!)

more pictures, really?! My unicorn really needs more forelock

shadow unicorn

unicorn is done posing and plotting my demise

Saturday, December 7, 2019

storm prep

better head back soon!
It looked like it would finally rain, so I did the most important preparation first: go riding of course! Under ominous skies, but no rain, we went for a short ride to an overlook, never tired of that view! On the way back I took an almost unused trail, scrambled over a fallen tree, and found an awesome deer skeleton not yet torn completely apart. Hoping to go back and get the skull and antlers later!

cool deer skeleton!

clouds and sunset over the meadow
little live deer watched us heading home

But then back to the stable for some storm prep. All the horses live out, in pastures with shelters, and the first rain always gets super muddy. Last year I bought a straw wattle partway through the year, and it was great to control runoff (which wants to run right through Major's gate into the pasture). Major was really into helping this year, and thought it was the worst slow-feed hay net of all time.

worst. hay bag. ever.

not me, I'm not up to nothing!

Even when I trimmed the wattle into two and took out some of the crappy straw (which he would not eat) he was convinced something tasty lay inside. But he wandered off (oh, so innocent) and seemed to lose interest.

Coming back the next day I found Major had taken it upon himself to rearrange my drainage solution. Thanks buddy! Now I can move the heavy, wet, muddy wattle back in place. I can't stake them down as I think he'll find a way to hurt himself, so until they're less interesting (re: muddy!), we are battling back and forth design solutions!

thanks Major, nice rearranging
is this food too?

After putting the wattles back we went for a walk. Major was interested to see another slow-feed net installed on the lane. Um no, ignore THAT one at least, let's go into the forest. Even after one rain the moss and lichen rocks are now exploding green, and the air is so crisp. The forest has sucked up all the rain (no puddles yet!), with more on the way. We'll just do our exploring with muddier feet…

now green shark rock (or half-moon rock, depending on your point of view!)

Monday, December 2, 2019

monday moment: majestic

Major's official registered name is Majestik Mirage. (As a person who spends a lot of time editing and was a journalism major, the incorrect spelling drives me crazy.). What better way to picture Majestik (the horse) than with a majestic oak (I thought!).

This is for anyone who has wondered if he ever takes a bad picture…

hey silly, no snacking and a tree growing out of your head

can your head BE any larger

um, awkward tree, but good pose

that's better, still a bit big head, but I'll take it