Monday, September 30, 2013

Renegade Report I

Renegade wins people over wherever he goes, and many are interested in how he does. The poor pony had been trained and then sat in a pasture for 5 years doing nothing, and as a result he lacks confidence in himself. He made amazing progress in 8 weeks with his trainer Norma and hopefully will continue his improvement as a Blonde Bomber! Rene is so smart and responsive that I am really psyched to work with him as a team.

So long story short, I'm going to provide occasional updates on Rene for those who are interested.

Tonight was our first solo ride and he did pretty well! He was not impressed with my stops to take pictures, so of course I made even more picture stops. :) We're also working on cruise control; he's not real consistent with maintaining a particular speed. Overall though, we had a great ride and I'm proud of him.

A rare event - Finch resting

Not content to just stop
and smell the hay bales

After the ride I rewarded Rene with some time to eat grass and myself with some time on the hammock. Finch joined me on the hammock while Hobbes did his best to get as close as possible.

All in all, a lovely fall evening! 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Pipe Dream

What an amazing fall weekend! Beautiful weather and chock full of friends, furry and human alike.

I am SO EXCITED about Piper's new home. I had met Shalegh on the Acadia trip; she moved her horse Seitte (pronounced like "Sady") to Lupine Farm shortly after Tanner and I left for BB Acres. Shalegh saw my post on Facebook about Piper being for sale and expressed interest, so I invited her to come up Friday evening for a trail ride.

Shalegh's expectations were low since she's a dressage rider and Piper is a western horse. Lo and behold however, Shalegh fell in love and it seemed to be mutual: Piper really responded to her in a way that she hadn't with me. Shalegh also shared that because of Seitte's extremely wonky confirmation, Shalegh has had to go to physical therapy. Definitely time to retire Seitte and work with a new furry friend, Shalegh!

Shalegh decided to buy Piper, a decision cemented by her boyfriend's similar immediate love of Piper when Shalegh brought him to meet her on Saturday.

Meanwhile, my friend Alex and I loaded up Tanner and Cooper (thanks for loaning him to Alex, Casey!) Saturday morning and drove up north to Lagrange, where we went for a lovely ride with members of the Maine Mounted Search and Rescue unit.

Thanks to Tammy for sharing this picture on FB!

This was also a chance for MMSAR to scope out my riding skillz and make sure I was a good candidate. Tanner certainly passed with flying colors...I had brought the wrong bridle so I rode Tanner the whole day in a nylon halter with reins attached and he was perfect. Despite being on the slowest horses in the group, we had a lovely time and enjoyed the warm weather.

During the day, I had texted Shalegh that if she coordinated it, I'd be happy to bring Piper and throw another horse on the trailer for a group ride with the ol' gang at Lupine. She sent a text back basically saying, "Weeeellll, we've got a ride scheduled at 9 am Sunday..........." So Sunday morning found me, Piper, and Renegade headed east.

At Lupine Farm I met up with Shalegh, Denise, Lauren, and Charlie and went for a long, adventurous trail ride. I also got to meet Lupine's newest human member, baby Willa, and say hello to her parents Emily and Bill and older brother Elliott. Nostalgia!

Rene was such a good boy.
And he looks so pretty in purple!
It was a great ride, and I was so glad to see Shalegh and Piper bonding. Or I should say, Shalegh and Reese, since she decided to go back to Piper's previous name. I will admit that it has grown on me, especially since Reese is peanut butter and chocolate colored, and who can dislike that combination?

Shalegh and her new baby
Photo credit - Emily
I could not have dreamed of a better home for Piper-Reese. Shalegh spoils her furry family and I know Piper-Reese will just blossom. I will miss her pretty face and sweet personality, but she is in the best situation that I could ever think of. Not to mention that I'm glad that Shalegh's body will get a break!

It was a beauteous, horsey, new and old friend-filled, soul-renewing weekend. My house is a disaster, but I definitely made the best choice for filling my time.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Goldilocks' Pony

As some of you know / have seen on Facebook (also, what is up with Facebook reporting EVERY LITTLE THING I do on there to everyone else?), Piper is for sale. She has a pretty uncomfortable canter, and since all I do is trail ride, I want it to be comfy.

I was talking with Casey about why it's totally acceptable to buy and sell horses willy nilly, when we (me included) judge people who get a dog or cat and then get rid of it. Part of it is because horses are damned expensive, and if it's not a right fit it is a lot of money going down the drain. Casey pointed out too that our level / type of riding changes throughout our lifetime, and one horse may not be suited to each level / type.

Whatever the reason, I've been playing Goldilocks, sitting on different horses trying to find the one that's juuuuuust right. Obviously I'd rather have a horse for a long time / furever, and Tanner is never leaving. But unfortunately Piper is just not the right fit.

My original plan was to wait til Piper sold, then look for another horse. It will come as no surprise to anyone ever that I fell in love with a horse before then and just had to have him.

Meet Renegade!

Renegade (Rene for short, pronounced "Renny") is a giant blue-eyed Missouri Fox Trotter gelding. Fox Trotters are a gaited breed, meaning their faster paces/gaits are different than normal. The breed was developed in Missouri (shout out to my Truman peeps!) to cover long distances while being comfortable for the rider. Bottom line, riding Rene is like riding a riding on top of a riding on a calm, glassy lake. Basically it's amazing.

Rene is also a huge sweetheart and a joy to have around! (Although he did promptly end Tanner's reign as king of the pasture...but it was only a matter of time. Tanner was never meant to be a leader.)

To recap:
- Tanner is always a Blonde Bomber
- Renegade just became a Blonde Bomber
- Cooper belongs to Casey
- Piper will soon be leaving
- Hattie the donkey left to guard sheep

Pretty soon it will just be the three boys in the pasture: Tanner, Cooper, and Rene. So I'm doing fairly well on the not-animal-hoarding front!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Greener Pastures

BB Acres just got a little less interesting. Miss Hattie went to her new home today, where she will be guarding sheep and the only equine fighting for people's attention.

The decision to sell Hattie was hard, but she was bored and would much rather spend time with people than with horses. She would practically climb the gate every time Casey or I would pull a horse out of the pasture, wanting to come out and play.

At her new home, Hattie will be in charge of her own flock of sheep and will get huge amounts of attention from her new owners, Steve and Jill. I am sad, but also excited to hear about her new life.

:( but also :)

In her own little stall

A couple of her new buddies

Tanner and I took Hattie on her first (and last with us) pony ride last night (why yes, that IS how we Blonde Bombers spend our Friday nights!). We'll miss this sassy donk for sure.

PS: This is reason # 5,489 that Tanner is the best horse ever...I jumped on bareback with just a halter and lead rope on him, and took Hattie along. As you can imagine with a donkey, it was a little chaotic. Many times the lead rope got stuck up under his tail in his butt because Hattie would try to switch sides, or I'd be holding on with one hand in front of me clutching his mane and the other stretched behind me, pulling an unwilling Hattie along. I love my golden boy.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

BBA's Most Wanted



Wanted for crimes against the olfactory system. Known for late night attacks. Gives biological warfare weapon to associate who then enters the home with it. Victims describe a lingering smell "of death" permeating their residence and clothing. May make them late to work.

If seen, do not attempt a citizen's arrest. And for chrissakes, do not let its associate into your home.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

An Open Letter to Fat Cat

I much prefer when they stay outside.
Dear Nellie,

I am very grateful for you killing things and don't want to take away from that. I love that you bring them to me and meow loudly about your prowess. However, please make sure they are dead before bringing them to me and dropping them on the floor. And please, PLEASE, stick around to finish the job so that they don't get lost in my kitchen somewhere before you run away and hide again. 

Clearly not up to the challenge.

As you know, Skitters the kitten is not very bright and would rather attack the broom that I am brandishing against your offering than the actual offering itself. So it is upon your shoulders that this responsibility rests, and I beg you not to shirk it.

If a mouse runs across my face tonight, you are dead to me.


Monday, September 2, 2013