Friday, September 10, 2021

Old Selam Pioneer: This Standardbred ROCKS

 


Saturday September 11 2021


All three 50-mile days at Old Selam Pioneer on Hillbillie Willie: that was my long-range goal this year. What with my healing shoulder and other commitments, and only one 50 under Willie’s girth at City of Rocks more than three months earlier, it was a flexible goal. Three days would be super. Two would be awesome. Heck, I’d be ecstatic to ride and complete one day with Willie and both of us come out of it unscathed.


It just so happens Old Selam has become one of my top three favorite endurance rides. I miss the forest and mountains, the smell of the pine and fir in the early morning dawn. And the FOOTING, my God, the footing, is unequaled in any ride I’ve done anywhere in the country. 95% of the ride is soft, rock-free dirt. It is a tough ride - there is a lot of climbing and descending, but there’s so much good ground you can move out on over all the loops.


It’s one of Willie’s favorite rides too, for the cool mornings, and the ‘slop’ at the vet checks (rice bran and oats and carrots and apples in a soupy mix), and the GRASS, ohmigosh, the grass. And he loooooves those partially overgrown old winding logging roads, flying around those blind corners eager to discover what, or which 4-legged thing, might pop up. (Fortunately, we have yet to meet a moose or bear suddenly and up close.)


It’s Willie’s fifth season of Endurance. He’s come *such* a long way from racehorse to Endurance horse. I’ve worked hard on making him into an Endurance horse that I like: one that starts out calmly, is controllable in any situation, one that doesn’t run up other horses’ butts (like I’m sure he did while racing), one that doesn’t pull pull pull, one that doesn’t go down the trail with his head up in the air and his back arched.


At Old Selam we teamed up with Willie’s bromance herd-mate DWA Barack for the first time. The pace was a little slower than Willie is used to, and it was a little faster than Barack is used to. On Day 1 Connie and I both got good human workouts managing our horses (like when one got too far behind or couldn’t see Bro around the corner, or when one climbed a hill faster than the other). 


Willie’s a flat-lander horse. Hills are hard for him. Over the years he’s built up decent hind end muscles, but while he can power trot up gentle inclines and declines, steep climbs and descents are just not easy. But in the ride he tackled them with gusto, particularly when Barack was easily climbing ahead of him.


We all finished in a ride time of 8:45, fit to continue, and we were all whooped at the end of the day. 

Debbie Grose pic


*I* sure didn’t feel like doing Day 2, and Willie was tired enough and didn’t need to do Day 2, so we skipped it. The original goal wasn’t that important! My fabulous horse was more important. We both enjoyed the day off, eating and hydrating a lot, taking a long walk and grazing on the abundant and varied grasses that Willie craves now that he’s a desert horse.


Day 3 we saddled up again and our boys worked so much better together! Willie would trot along slower, or faster on a loose rein (just responding to my legs or seat cues) with his neck bowed, eyeballing Barack beside him. We could space out further, get out of sight, then catch up and pass without either of them getting worried.


Willie tends to take a ride so seriously, no dilly dallying around, but Barack showed him on this ride that it’s just fine to stop now and then to graze, and how to grab grass and munch on the go. And we girls ate a lot of refreshing Otter Pops from the ice chest at one of the water troughs (another reason this is a favorite ride of mine, nothing better than frozen Otter Pops in the middle of a hard hot day!)


Crockett Dumas pic


We completed Day 3 in 8:49, and, can you say a finish pulse of 48 (both days!)?


I’m sooooooooo proud of my Standardbred Hillbillie Willie!


Thank you Steve Bradley for the awesome ride pix!




Saturday, August 7, 2021

Goodbye Stormy

 

Stormy - The Most Beautiful Horse On The Planet
1991-2021

it breaks my heart that Stormy has gone to brighten the next world. Appropriately, a thunder and lightning and wind storm blew through as he left.

I’d known him for 25 years, owned him for 21.

He went from being a (mildly successful) racehorse (I was his groom), to retiring and being My Horse, to working with me for the Forest Service (pack string leader) in California, to working on a dude ranch (wrangler horse) in California, then to Idaho with me as a resident Lawn Mower and Endurance horse companion and Old Duffer. His favorite thing in the world was EATING.

Once he became mine, he became a Wild West Horse, never set foot in another stall and was never happier.

I already miss not hearing his nicker three times a day for his special mash. I miss that striped face looking for me. I miss him.

you were the Best Horse Ever. Nobody will ever fill your hoof prints. It’s the end of an era. RIP my dear Stormy.

#stormy #stormythehorse #theendofanera #biglovebigloss #myheartisbroken #themostbeautifulhorseontheplanet #thisbeautifulhorse #thebesthorseever


Saturday, July 17, 2021

Fresh Off The Range: Second Owyhee Mustang Crop Available for Adoption


Saturday July 16 2021


From the family of sire JUSTIFYthis second "B" crop of one-of-a-kind all-recycled** hand-made-with-love Owyhee Mustang siblings are recently-rounded up off the Owyhee Range. They are tamed and gentled and halter broke… but not broke to ride. They are easy keepers - won’t eat you out of the hay barn and are happy with just sunshine and admiration. Each has its own unique personality and conformation!


By adopting an Owyhee Mustang you are an owner of an authentic Wild West bronc, made of genuine recycled baling twine fresh off hay bales, so in addition to owning a very unique objet d’art, a piece of The West, of course you’ll also be helping to save the planet from choking plastic or toxic burn fumes.


Owyhee Beholder (Turquoise nose)


Owyhee Ben Nevis (Blue-Orange nose)

Owyhee Black Caviar (Orange-Yellow nose)

Owyhee Bold Forbes (White nose)

Owyhee Bret Hanover (Yellow nose)

Owyhee Buckpasser (Yellow-Blue nose)

Owyhee Bold Ruler (Green nose)

Available for adoption fee of $75 (add $5 for shipping per horse, USA only). Comes with bona fide certificate of adoption paper, nametag, and bragging rights. contact theequestrianvagabond@gmail.com

See the gallery of horses here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/5KMJVHCTnVzrf3KPA


**100% recycled… made of baling twine, used buttons, stuffed with used horse magazines

***And thank you to the soooo many of you who have sent me your baling twine instead of burning it or throwing it away! You are contributing to beauty and hilarity in the world!

**THESE WENT FAST! THEY HAVE ALL BEEN ADOPTED TO NEW HOMES. IF YOU'D LIKE TO BE ON THE LIST FOR YOUR OWN CUSTOM MUSTANG, LET ME KNOW! 

theequestrianvagabond@gmail.com

#trashtotreasure #trashtoart #trashintoart #balingtwine #bailingtwine #balingtwineart #bailingtwineart #recycledart #repurposed #reclaimed #recycledbalingtwine #recycledbailingtwine #recycleme #wastetoart #waste2art #trashintotreasure #recycled #recreated #fiberart #buyhandmade #buyusa 
#owyhee #owyheeart #wildwestart #wildwest #owyheemustangs #idaho #onlyinowyhee #adoptawildmustang #adoptamustang #justify

Thursday, June 10, 2021

My First Endurance Ride with my New Shoulder and my "New" Horse!


June 5 2021

Sure, I already had two shoulders, and I've already partnered with the Standardbred Hillbillie Willie to ride some 765 AERC miles over the last 5 years, but Day 3 50-miler at the City of Rocks Pioneer endurance ride in south-central Idaho marked my first 50-mile ride since my Hot Mess of a shoulder was repaired 6 months ago, and my first ride owning Hillbillie Willie!

Due to a change in life circumstances for all of us on the Crick, and a great big heart, Steph Teeter gave me Hillbillie Willie in April.

Finishing that 50 on Saturday was enough to make a grown man cry!


Sunday, March 7, 2021

Dudley’s Hill


Saturday March 6 2021


He stands on the hill, gazing, listening, appreciating, absorbing, thinking.


It’s like this at the end of every ride. From the crest of the hill, we ride down, until he pulls over and comes to a stop at this point - Dudley’s Hill - and I get off, and he stands there. We stand there together, Dudley gazing at his home below and the hills around us, and the mountains to the west. I look at the scenery, too, but mostly I stand there and gaze at him, such a hunk of a horse, such an intelligent horse, a kindred spirit who loves to stop and breathe and take it all in. It doesn’t matter if we ride 7 days in a row; he always stops here, and I get off, and we stand together and look. Sometimes we’ll stand there for five minutes, before he’s ready to follow me down the hill and back home.


It’s been two years since we’ve done that together. Two years where nothing fills that void, nothing takes his place in my heart.


He stands on his hill in a different form now, his spirit always looking down, always present, always remembered.






Monday, November 30, 2020

Horse Book Giveaway!


Monday November 30 2020


I’m giving away a holiday package for 3 of my horse books:

Soul Deep in Horses: Memoir of an Equestrian Vagabond, Tevis Cup Magic: Taking on the World’s Toughest 100 Mile Endurance Ride, and Tales From The West: Four Seasons in the Owyhee Country.


To enter, sign up for my newsletter, which comes out occasionally, and informs you about my newest books, ebooks, e-short stories, photo galleries and unique handmade art.

Here’s the link to sign up:

https://mailchi.mp/d1d128321f77/theequestrianvagabond


Your email will be entered in the drawing which will happen Dec 10th at noonish. (And if you’re already a subscriber, thank you, and your name will be entered also!)


I’m also happy to be a member of www.BooksForHorseLovers.com . 



This is the brainchild of equine author and adventurer Heather Wallace, who recognized a niche for primarily Independently Published Equine Authors. 


Check out their website for a wide (and growing) selection of both fiction and non-fiction equine authors and their books!


Here’s a link to my Amazon page to gander my published books:

https://www.amazon.com/~/e/B00EZ5DQZM 


Again, here’s the link to sign up for my newsletter and enter my 3-book contest. Happy trails!

https://mailchi.mp/d1d128321f77/theequestrianvagabond



Monday, November 23, 2020

Fresh Off The Range: New Owyhee Mustang Herd Available for Adoption

Monday November 23 2020

From the family of sire JUSTIFY, this first "A" crop of one-of-a-kind all-recycled**, hand-made-with-love Owyhee Mustang siblings are recently-rounded up off the Owyhee Range. They are tamed and gentled and halter broke… but not broke to ride. They are easy keepers - won’t eat you out of the hay barn and are happy with just sunshine and admiration.
  

By adopting an Owyhee Mustang you are an owner of an authentic Wild West bronc, made of genuine recycled baling twine fresh off hay bales, so in addition to owning a very unique objet d’art, a piece of The West, of course you’ll also be helping to save the planet from choking plastic or toxic burn fumes.

Owyhee Aristides (Blue-Orange nose)

Owyhee Arrogate (Orange-Blue nose)

(Go Boise State Bucky Broncos! Go Denver Buster Broncos!)

Owyhee Affirmed (Green nose)

Owyhee Adios (Yellow nose)

Owyhee Allez France (Yellow-White nose)

Owyhee American Pharoah (White-Blue nose)

Owyhee Assault (Blue-Orange-Blue nose)

(Go Boise State Bucky Broncos! Go Denver Buster Broncos!)

Available for adoption fee of $75 (add $5 for shipping per horse, USA only). Comes with bona fide certificate of adoption card, nametag, and bragging rights. contact theequestrianvagabond@gmail.com

See the gallery of horses here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/5KMJVHCTnVzrf3KPA


**100% recycled… made of baling twine, used buttons, stuffed with used horse magazines


#trashtotreasure #trashtoart #trashintoart #balingtwine #bailingtwine #balingtwineart #bailingtwineart #recycledart #repurposed #reclaimed #recycledbalingtwine #recycledbailingtwine #recycleme #wastetoart #waste2art #trashintotreasure #recycled #recreated #fiberart #buyhandmade #buyusa #blackfriday
#owyhee #owyheeart #wildwestart #wildwest #owyheemustangs #idaho #onlyinowyhee #adoptawildmustang #adoptamustang #justify #Buckybronco #busterbronco


**THESE HAVE ALL BEEN ADOPTED TO NEW HOMES. IF YOU'D LIKE TO BE ON THE LIST FOR YOUR OWN CUSTOM MUSTANG, LET ME KNOW! 

theequestrianvagabond@gmail.com