Meanwhile back at the Ranch

Our evening routine is simple yet effective for keeping all the pasture ornaments fat and happy!All it takes to produce glee is to open a gate and let the ponies explore and sample…well actually devour the fresh grass that has been growing in their absence.  They will fly around the pasture for about five minutes and then start begging for carrots.Hugs are welcome, too!It is very satisfying to have a small herd who are lovable, sensible and steady.It is heaven to be surrounded by such precious animals, but I do miss the ones who are really in heaven.

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Reference Photos

It was around 1:00 this afternoon and I told Tom that I would like to shoot some quick photos of our Longhorns, Jack and Joe for a painting that I started. “The lighting is not too great right now” he said. I told him that I had not seen them since early this morning, in fact I had not seen the three ponies that are in the pasture with them, either. Tom was gone for a while and came back with interesting news, not particularly good news…..”The gate to Tip’s property is open….they are gone!”We were still in our running clothes, but did not take the time to change. My first thought was that I might get some actual helpful shots for this painting……

progress of cattle painting

My second thought was that I probably would not have time to paint today…..

help!!!!!

The problem was that our little mish mash herdlet had joined a rowdy bunch of bovines and they outnumbered us by quite a bit.

the cow whisperer

If it was up to me, I would have just turned around, said good bye to our livestock and started a new painting of a bird or a kitten……

gotta keep'em separated

My cowboy, sans the rhinestones would have none of that!

what is going on?

Carrots and cattle cubes are excellent bribes….the problem is that we did not want to cause a stampede of over eager eaters.

rear view mirror

I was tempted to play some good old country music on the radio in the truck for inspiration, but I needed to hear directions from Tom as I churned through the sand…..

move 'em up

“Close the gate!!!!!”

let's hear it for the boys

The ponies were very interested in seeing what treats I had in the truck.

lead pony

Pony Boy and Sunny know the routine of getting rewards for bad behavior.

Ain't no sunshine when you're gone.

Well, we missed out on so much today while we were tracking down the wayward pasture ornaments….I was planning on ironing and mending some socks….but in spite of it all, they are so cute when they are bad!!!!

follow me home

Poop Happens…..

A few months ago, my niece Sara’s daughter, Hannah was walking with me and leading one of the ponies. “What’s the hardest thing about living out here and taking care of all these animals?”she asked. I told her that it was really bad when they got sick and needed doctoring and medicine which includes sleepless nights and all. “Oh, I would think it would be all the poop!” she said. I did almost trip over an exceptionally  large Longhorn paddy this morning. I guess the frigging freezing weather must have turned it into a brick. Then I froze my toes off while filling a water bucket for a colicky horse…….my biggest fear. If a horse is lying down while there is a brand new bale of hay in the pasture, something is really wrong.Yesterday my eight year old rescue horse Budda was pacing,pawing and rolling She appears to be out of the woods now, but I will take all your prayers…..just in case!

Back In The Saddle

Mourning is officially over, for everyone except Pony Boy. He usually just carts around little children and gets rewarded with buckets of carrots and sweet feed, but he was a good sport today. He even put up with lots of hugs and kisses.

nothing like that pony/puppy smell

nothing like that pony/puppy smell

His bridle was dusty and needed a little polishmy bridleI needed to walk over to the mounting block to climb on my 12 hand steed.

Double wide

Double wide

I thought it would be fun to round up the Longhorns, but changed my mind…..

git along little doggies

git along little doggies

After 14 years of smiling for the camera, our little pony has it down pat.

Smile for the camera!

Smile for the camera!

Fast Eddie the super tortoise wanted to join us on our trail ride.

Wanna come?

Wanna come?

We rode the fence-line and the weather could not have been more perfect.

Flower power

Flower power

Miss Piggy was content to hear all about it when we got back to the barn.

what did I miss?????

what did I miss?????

Everybody got extra treats to celebrate the awesome day……once again I feel like I am living the dream.

Walk, Trot, LOPE

LOPE is an organization that was formed to help provide care and rehabilitation to race horses who have been injured or simply are not fast enough to compete. Anyone who has ever owned a horse knows how costly it is just for feed and routine health maintenance. A horse’s legs are delicate and can be severely injured just by a misstep frolicking in the pasture. The intensity of competing on the race track amplifies this risk tremendously. Think of Barbado and how hard his owners tried to save him. There are many like him that have uncertain futures, but their are people who are aware of this and are striving to help in amazing ways. You can find out more about LOPE by clicking here. There is a Horse Show to benefit LOPE on Saturday May 9th and an on-line  silent auction with great items going on right now. I have donated my Longhorns in Bluebonnets painting and bids will be accepted until 9pm Friday May 8th.

img_0952

Ranch Gelding Sale

We saw one horse put through his paces at the San Antonio Stock Show last Sunday. he was amazing. He was beautiful and calm even when he got slammed into the wall by a cow! Lucky person who ended up with horse #350!!!! img_9813

A river full of ducks and streets full of horses

 

The Alamo

The Alamo

So we leave the ranch and the critters behind and set off to the big city of San Antonio to take some photos to inspire our creativity and what do we see? Mallards and Muscovy ducks swimming in the San Antonio river eating nachos and gorditas that the tourists sitting outside the restaurants are tossing to them. So this is where all our ducks went. All we had to offer them at home was organic grain and fresh pond water, no wonder they chose to leave the stress of catching grasshoppers and stealing food from the cats. I just wonder about their clogged arteries and cholesterol levels after all the french fries and hamburgers they have for their steady diet. 

 

 

Feed the ducks

Feed the ducks

Next we see big beautiful carriage horses prancing past the Alamo with their manes and tails braided and their coats shining with the glow of good health and exercise.

 

Wanna ride to the Alamo?

Wanna ride to the Alamo?

It was worth the trip to see the horses. It was so strange not to have a cloud of dust when we gave them a pat on the rump…….time to go home and groom our grungy little ponies and saddle them up to check the fence-line and herd the sheep and goats into their pens for the night. A flock of Mallards landed in the pasture just in time to have a treat before they nested in the barn for the night…..Wait, I think I might have something special for you guys!!!! Yep, half of a guacamole chalupa and a few bites of a quesadilla in the truck to share with Miss Piggy. Look, I found a few tator tots left over from Sonic! Gotta keep ’em fat and happy! Buenas noches, mis animales preciosos……