Mini Madness

My nieces, the Tincredibles…..I like to call them, because they are twins and incredible….came to visit last week.They made the day so much fun for everyone. Their adorable cousins came with them and could not have been any cuter.

Paige going for a test ride

First on the agenda was a trail ride! The girls picked out their saddles. They had a big choice, from saddle seat, hunt seat and various sized western saddles.

Big day for the little squirt

“Has Mini Mac ever had a saddle on?” Everyone wanted to know. I said not yet, but told them to stand back and prepare for a rodeo. I picked the smallest saddle that we have, but it still dwarfed him!

"My life will never be the same"

The little monster did not think that he could walk at first. He took a few hesitant steps and realized that it was not such a bad deal to join in the fun!

CUTE STUFF!

I was amazed. He must realize that the ponies that get most of the carrots are the ones who are wearing the saddles! He was as laid back as they come. He can get by with just being a pasture ornament, but he could not resist these precious girls! All five of them!

Say cheese! Or carrots!!!!

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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

Now We Know!

Velvet and Hailey were having a great time grooming each other this morning. I was so glad to see little Velvet being so sociable. She  is the darker Bay pony on the right. Most of the time, she is off by herself.

green eyed monster!

They were just fine, until Bailey stopped stuffing himself and noticed that his girlfriend, Hailey was hanging out with Velvet!

sorry, Velvet....three's a crowd

So, that is why Velvet keeps her distance from the green eyed monster…..I think Bailey needs a time out…..in the round pen!

Last Night and the Night Before

I could not wait to get home Friday night. Tom and I had a cook out planned and we wanted to get started before sunset. I thought we might just walk down to the tank and sit on a blanket and eat a salad, but I should have known better. I saddled up Pony Boy and he was my couch for the evening, while the Gourmet Chef grilled bell peppers, zucchini, carrots and onions to compliment our jalapeño and cheddar cheese burgers. Pony Boy munched on hay and was content to hang out with us. We had a radio, but it was more fun to listen to the Cara Caras (Mexican eagles) and the Owls as it got later. Last night was even more fun and Tom had the whole day to plan our feast.We had corn on the cob, roasted on the fire, green beans on another grill, chicken and sausage on the 3rd one.

Spooky's first pony ride

Noche and Okie stayed home (their choice)and I was a little bit worried about bringing Spooky. I thought we might lose her when it got dark, but she stayed near us all night. She even went for a ride on Pony Boy. Sky was really good, too. She did a little exploring, but never wandered off to far.

Every day opens up new possibilities for fun that only could be realized by living out here with the solitude, open land and abundant wildlife. Just recently we have been excited to see several deer on our property for the first time ever. Last week, I started putting out corn so that they will appear on a predictable basis.There is a big buck and at least four doe in his harem. I can’t wait to see little Bambis in May. If I feed them enough, maybe they will hang out here more often and try some of Tom’s roasted corn on the cob! We took lots of photos that are posted here. Check out Just Saying to see some of the ranch recipes.

Riding the Trails

On Monday morning Anna and I had a perfect plan to celebrate a day off from school. We woke up early, fed all the animals

Stay!

and saddled our ponies.

Doing the best I can with this woolly mammoth!

We packed a lunch with carrots for the ponies, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for us and we were ready to go. You can see Hailey, my filly that will be three years old in the background. She really wants to go with us.

Anna and Pony Boy

Good pony

Don’t fence me in, they both seemed to say, so we headed down the trail to the field where we had seen several deer the night before. We put out some corn so that the deer would have a reason to come back often. We have not seen too many around here so it is always a treat when we do see them. It was fun to explore all the little trails that different animals had made. A cute little cottontail bunny ran out from under a cactus. Anna said she had seen a jack rabbit before, so this was her second siting. Her sister Avery has a bunny that thinks she is  a dog, very cute, but I don’t think it would last long out here…..just saying.

Country Boy

Future farmer of America? I don’t think so…..I used to see little boys with blonde curls walking around before Peyton was born and I had no idea I would have such a little angel like that or that he would grow up to be tall, handsome and brilliant like his older brother. They are both awesome and never cease to amaze us…….

Co-Madres

 I painted this pastel based on three reference photos taken on the same day. That day we had a serious out of control wild fire. The horses and ponies were running around snorting and freaking out. I think mostly they sensed my fear as horses always are aware of. Their survival is based on their sense of smell and sight, but my guys know me and being as they are enclosed behind fences, they can only flee so far. They can tell by the way I walk across the pasture, if I am having a bad day (rare in this paradise) or if we are going for a long trail ride……I look happy carrying the saddle and bridle, but that doesn’t necessarily thrill them…..This day I was carrying my cell phone and calling 911 and the fire department….

I call this painting “Co-Madres”.

Body Talk

 

What did you say?

What did you say?

 

 

Horses just KNOW. The ears are a good indicator and an early warning signal to their buddies and enemies. My alpha mare may have delicate little Arabian ears, but she knows how to use them. My herd of ten thrive in their established pecking order. The head honcho always has the advantage in a pasture situation at feeding time. He/she will be first in line at the trough and last to leave. They earn that right by being the sharpest tools in the shed. My small 15 year old Welsh Mountain pony gelding is about as even as can be with my 27 year old  15 hand Arabian mare. They have a 100 acre pasture to establish their hierarchy and the others respect their space. In the horse world, at least the one that I observe 24/7, their are no miscommunications. There are no conversations like “Well, it’s probably the bridle that makes your nose look so big” or ” Sarita said that your mane looks like a smurf with a mohawk”. It’s just cut and dried with them. It’s basic survival skills with these guys. My food, my Mom, my barn and your poop smells. The sad part is that our own signals can upset a perfectly balanced herd environment. Whether or not they are kept in a 10×10 foot stall or blessed to be in horse heaven in a lush pasture, just seeing the way you carry the bucket as you sling the feed at them or maybe give a little jab with the pitch pork as you shovel the hay into the manger. They see it in your eyes and they know that you love them ….or you don’t. I have dear friends that are leaving their cherished pets behind and grieving before they say good bye, then there are those who dump them with others to care for them because they would rather not deal with them. It is not enough to have food and water, they need to know that they are loved by you. We have taught them to depend on us. Horses are just as aware of love and hate as a purring kitten or a cuddly puppy. To be continued…….