C. S. Lewis

"It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad."


Wednesday, May 6, 2015


We picked up an exercise this winter from Buck Brannaman--it's call the half circle exercise and it takes some practice! Midas already knew all the cues we needed to piece together the exercise,  but the cue juggling was a nice challenge in coordination for me!

"you will start your horse around you in a circle, then walk forward in a straight line, working your horse back and forth in front of you. You will continue to advance at a steady pace. You might need to walk slower than I might to start until you get your timing sorted out and your horse gets the idea of the exercise. This exercise puts emphasis on your horse’s front quarters. His hind will step over, but not quite as cleanly as they will when you are working on a full circle." - Eclectic Horsemen, Buck Brannaman.

Basically, you walk forward, driving your horse in a half circle in front of you. Never letting him go all the way around, but cuing him to change direction and pass in front of you again. The horse has to sit back on his haunches and really move his feet to keep up with your forward progression.

I started out walking Really Slowly. Mostly because I had to figure out how to pass the rope and stick and cue effectively. It would be no fair to the horse-and very not productive-to walk fast and be totally discombobulated in my communication.

This teaches the horse to respect your space, and to pay really close attention. Click through to the Eclectic Horseman article, it's very detailed and very helpful.

We worked on it with the rest of our jogging fun all winter, and eventually got decent at it. Between that and the jogging, we're getting distinctly better at Liberty.

I feel like the half-circle exercise connected some dots for us, and motivated Midas to use energy and his haunches to do what I ask.

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I try to mix it up, some days I use a rope, some days I don't. I do some of the jogging with me, and some of the yielding, and some of the lunging. If it's a ropeless day and ropelessness is not working, we go back to the rope.

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Yield the forehand:

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Lunging at liberty has three stages right now.

The first time or two around the circle where he is super attentive.
The second stage he decides to test the boundaries and starts going all over our space--be it ring or paddock--I keep his feet moving, forcing a direction change whenever I can manage it.
The third stage he comes back, circles and changes pace and direction right on cue like a pro.

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Halt (nice and square!) and a pat:

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Dutiful direction change:

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Small, attentive circle:

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Super on cue direction change:

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Interestingly, he is very heavy on his front end, it takes A LOT to get him to tuck his butt under and pick his front feet up.
We're going to have to work on that more this year. 

That's a smug looking horse.

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One of the things I love about this whole ground work thing is that it's so low pressure. I mean, I have a horse saluting when I say salute, and I've never had to use force or fear. He does it because he wants to do what I want him to do. I don't baby him, I don't let him push me around, and I don't accept disrespect from him. But correction never needed to be violent. A word and a look are all it takes these days.

He parks extremely well, if he doesn't it is usually because I forgot to tell him to stay.

Most of the time it only takes one reminder to get him back on track. Except with grass, that can take more. And after the day at the races--where he stuffed his face all day at the hands of an adoring public--he did not want to ask permission to eat grass. Three corrections (hard bumps from the halter) and he finally remembered who was holding his lead rope and ignoring my presence was not OK.

He's quite a gentleman, and a lot of fun. People who didn't know him before have no idea what a bullish freight train he used to be. Why would they even suspect it?

Horse training so much fun, and so rewarding.

Monday, May 4, 2015

WPG: six word story

Picture based prompt:Write a six word story.

She was hungry. I was faster.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Lace skirt

I do own skirts, and I do wear them occasionally.You can't really tell in these pictures, but I have on blue shoes, green tights, and a maroon cardigan. That's mostly why I decided to take a picture. All the colors wanted their moment in the sun, and I felt I managed to not look like a circus in the process. Though, by now everyone at work is well used to me!


Necklace. handmade. cardigan. Target. belt. Thrifted. Skirt. Target. Tights. H&M. Shoes. Toms. 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Words to live by

It seems obvious, but sometimes obvious = that safe place you will never find again.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015


Since I was at the Point-to-Point races for a couple hours before mounting, I wandered around taking pictures with my point and shoot Canon. It was fun! Picked up a couple nice shots.

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The chestnut with the pink silks won.

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Saturday, piles of dirty leather to clean while the horse dried out from his bath.

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guarding the gates

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presentation of the hounds--look at Midas in the background--not bolting.

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Midas and his 17.3hh lookalike. Thor made us all do double takes all day long,
but get them side by side and he dwarfs Midas. I didn't think that was possible.
Thor is a Belgian/QH cross--where on earth did the size come from?

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the finish line

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the winner

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Loose horse! Heading right for the gap.

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headed off from the gap, now going toward the road

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where Midas and Milton (out of sight to the right) head him off

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caught! safely with the chief outrider

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Midas looks proud

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my turn to ride Midas

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only time for selfies is when you're resting your horse's back!

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unbraiding and eating grass at the end of the day

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golden hour

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halo loading....

Monday, April 27, 2015

WPG: the sense of smell

Picture based prompt (this is not the picture I was using, but it was the closest thing I could find on the internet--imagine bigger waves washing over the deck):


Challenge: Describe this scene using only the sense of smell.

The swells were getting bigger. He could tell. From his place snuggled on a narrow ledge under the deck, there was no mistaking the light briny smell of constantly refreshed salt water standing on deck. The air gushed past. It pushed away the old wood smell and the other, more rancid, odors of below deck and replaced it with clear salt and wet air. Wet air laced with the sweat from the men above deck, he noted. Occasionally water came down, too, and soaked his fur, filling is nose with the humid aroma of wet rat.

Friday, April 24, 2015


Sure, I kind of look like a caballero, but I still felt very classic somehow. This spring I've been really drawn to layering in the neutral colors and then popping a strong fun accent color like red or green.

It's just the music of the moment, I think.

Also, I still really love this hat. And these pants. And this shirt. The scarf, too. Maybe that's why I liked wearing this outfit so much.
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Hat. Forever 21. scarf. Gifted. Shirt. AE. Pants. AE. Boots. Shoemint. 

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