April 30, 2008

Early Morning Visitor

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Heron Arrives For Pond Fishing

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After flapping my arms like a bird ...
it takes off and lands on the barn roof
to see if I really mean it.

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Still not sure,
he goes for a more distant view
on the roof of the house.
He'll try, again, tomorrow.

April 27, 2008

Camera Day ~ Dressage Clinic

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Danish Warmblood


Yesterday, it was Dressage Clinic Day at the Equestrian Center. Even though it was a hot day, I grabbed my camera and was soon sitting in the sun clicking as many photos as possible.

These horses were special ... they belong to my friends. I was really proud of them. In spite of the heat, they gave their best.

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Floreal, born in Jutland, Denmark,
is the son of the famous "Olympic Ferro".

Floreal is just getting started
and is already thrilling us all.

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Floreal with his devoted mom, Peggy
and his rider/trainer, Mary.

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Alfredo, the Dressage Clinician, works a new dressage horse,
a beauty, and an absolute calm, tranquil horse.

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Rider and Trainer

After a day of riding one horse after another,
Mary takes a break in the shade.


And now ... the big one!

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Dutch Friesian

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With the sound of Tango's thundering hoofs,
we ended a wonderful day.

April 14, 2008

Hey! I'm Back!

Where did you go?
I wish I could tell you that I've been cruising the world, sitting on some sunny beach or even lazing around home watching the soaps and eating chocolates. Unfortunately, that just ain't so.
Thanks to you who wondered where I went. Geez ... it's wonderful to be missed!
Well, we've been playing in the mud, .........lots of mud.
Remember my long ago *tale of woe* about those horrible rains we had and complaining because poor Royal was tromping through the mud. Everything was such a dreadful mess!
And ... I was getting soaked while digging trenches in the rain to keep the water out of the barn.
I definitely was not my sweet, adorable self.

And the poor animals were getting so tired of this “Sunny California” stuff, while they were up to their knee caps in mud. They desperately were searching for higher ground.

It's been dig up, dig out time around here. Serious dig out.

It has taken us about a month of clearing out the muck and yuck, putting in still more drains, packing that miserable California clay, and adding decomposed granite.

We've been attacking the entire barn areas, upper hill pathways and upper turnouts.

Just walking to the top of the hill is a workout, but to haul the clay down the hill and the DG up the hill, well that's undue punishment for living at the bottom of this hill.
What?! No room for power machines, you say?

Oh yeah, this has been done the old fashioned digging and heavy wheelbarrows way.

We actually had temporary insanity ... thinking we were going to do it ourselves.

With a quick trip to the nearby Equestrian Center, we begged and pleaded with the work crew to help us out. Drama works!

We were now ready to stand by and watch. That didn't last long.

The first of four trailer loads of DG dumped in driveway.

With the mountains of DG and two commercial dumpsters in front of the house, we knew we were improving the neighborhood.

But nothing compared to the ambiance and aroma as when the dumpsters were finally filled with all the yuck and muck.

And, yes, we do clean up after our animals. Rain does that, you know.

The guys arrived at the crack of dawn ready for hard labor. After the big dig out-clean up, it was time to start hauling the DG to the top of the hill.

They had a real system. One pushed the wheelbarrow while the other two pulled a heavy rope tied to the frame until they finally arrived at the top.

I lost count how many trips they made.

Then came the noise makers, the earth pounders, the DG pounders and some kind of noisy floor sander looking thing.

It's possible we could have set off a good ol' California earthquake!

They pounded their way up the hill ...

... and back down the hill
over and over again.

The alpacas wondered what in the world
happened to their peaceful kingdom !

They finally reached the summit ...
Royal's favorite hang-out.

The upper pathways were finished
and with the next rainstorm
it should no longer resemble a ski slope.

All the turnouts now had drains everywhere.
Things were looking good.

Now it was time to do the barn.

Just what were we going to do with Royal?

With 6 workers, 3 pounding machines and DG dumped outside his stall door,
just how much could a boy take?

Check out the video. Is Royal cool, or what?!