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No Capes!

Last weekend, Keira went to a horse show at a local barn. It was a great show! There were some very high level riders and horses there, and it was great for her to see that and compete against them. Even with all of that, it was a fun laid back show as well. They had a Halloween Costume class, which girls and horses always love!

Keira “dressed” Remi up as a giant Beenie Baby – and she dressed as a Beenie Babie riding him. She loves having fun with her horses! while they were in the warm up arena waiting for the costume class to start, she decided to pop him over a small cross rail jump :-)



He’s such a good boy and so tolerant! You’d never know he was just 5 if someone didn’t tell you! There were super hero horses (red and blue capes), princesses (giant white dresses with flowing capes), unicorns . . . lots of fun costumes. So fun!

Yesterday, she had a lesson with her Western instructor (doing it all with this smart guy!). They had a Halloween party with all of the girls and their horses. Keira was riding Remi around the arena while the other girls finished costuming and tacking up their horses. Remi was doing great – UNTIL – a horse with a black cape came walking in.

Remi FREAKED. Started galloping and hopping around – Keira ended up bailing (no tack!). So thankful for Amara and teaching the girls emergency dismounts  . . . but Remi is still tall and she fell hard, even when under control. He was about a foot from stepping on her – and in about 1.5 seconds I thought “If he steps on her, we’re done with horses. Everything goes.” Of course he didn’t and of course we aren’t. But JEEZ!

He stopped being a freak once she was off. She got up and did the body check – sore back and sore elbow, but other than that, she’s fine. Luckily the arena is quite cushy with all the sand!

I asked her if she wanted to continue or go home. She said nothing. She was M.A.D.! She stomped him over to the trailer – with purpose, I might add (if you’ve never seen a girl in a pig costume mad at her horse dressed as a Beenie Baby – oh my is it a sight! LOL!). She took off her costume, saddled him up, and took him back in the arena. And boy did he learn that if his girl falls off, the next 15 minutes will not be pretty for him. She lunged him until he was sorry and rode him like there was no tomorrow – making him do anything and everything.

Then she got back into the Halloween Party mode. For the rest of the lesson, he was funny! He kept his eye on the horse with the black cape. He never flinched again, but he certainly knew where that horse was at all times!

They played bobbing for donuts – they had to walk under a rope that had donuts swinging from it and get one in their mouth without using their hands.

If this isn’t the face of a horse who really has no clue why he did what he just did and is forever sorry he threw his girl, I don’t know what is :-)


He is soooooo looking right at me! I can see his eyes saying “I’m sorry! How is this? Am I standing still enough? Is this good? Is she still mad at me?”

What we learned today?

Red, blue, white, and green capes are OK. Black? Not so much.

Always trust your mother’s instinct. I did not feel good about her getting on him bareback yesterday. No clue why. He responds so well when she’s tackless – such great communication between the two of them. But I just didn’t feel good about it. I asked her multiple times if she was sure and did she want to put the saddle on and if not at least use the bridle so she has some head control. She said no no no. Next time I might tell instead of ask. I’m not sure what’s more difficult – watching your baby get thrown off a horse or watching your baby get back on!!!


Oxer – A horse jump or fence with vertical poles and another pole spread out a foot or two away that is usually higher than the first set of poles.

I have so much to say about Keira and Remi and riding and jumping and Amara getting married and moving to Florida with Seth and the Air Force and us finding a new trainer and and and and.

But it’s Monday and all of that will have to wait.

So I leave you with this . . . Keira and Remi training over an oxer . . .


Their oxer was a 2′ vertical, spaced by tires, 2′ 3″ vertical. Notice the markings on our ruler jump – Keira is over 4 feet in the air on a young 1,000 pound horse.

As a parent, this is NOT easy to watch, and this is a relatively low jump.

See that 36″ mark? That’s her goal before high school.

I’m gonna need more whiskey.

Like A Duck

That was me yesterday afternoon – frantically moving and treading underneath, still and calm where the world could see.

I was sitting at my desk working while Keira was out riding Remi in the arena. For some reason I had an urge to go see how it was going. As I got to the sliding glass door, I saw her ask him to canter . . . then I saw him turn his head at her, glare, and proceed to buck her off.

Little shit!

He stood there for a second then trotted off up the driveway to the barn and stood by his stall door.

Keira’s friend was out there with her, so while I really WANTED to bolt out the door to see if she was OK, I just stood there and waited. Keira got up, dusted herself off, said something to Piper, and stomped up the driveway after her horse.

I looked out my office window to see what she’d do. I was HOPING she’d get back on him. Instead, my heart deflated a little bit when I saw her untack him.

Really?! You’re going to just let him get away with that?

Uh – no. I should’ve known better.

Next thing I see is Keira stomping back down the driveway with her horse in tow. The poor guy had no clue what he was in for.

She lunged the crap out of him in the arena! He got to do all the cantering she wanted him to do originally, and then some.

And boy was he M.A.D.! I saw him put his ears back, give a little mini buck, and try to gallop off. Keira grabbed the lunge line with both hands, held on, and made him come to her.

He tried again.

Same result.

He finally put his ears up and started to nicely trot around on the lunge line. Then canter when she asked. Then change direction. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Finally she took the pressure off and just stood there in the middle of the arena.

He stood at the end of the lunge line. When he decided it was safe, he put his head down, slowly meandered over to her, and put his head in her hands.

Good boy.

She wasn’t willing to get on and give him an attitude adjustment without the fence up yet, but she found a way to get her point across without getting back on, that’s for sure!

We’ll see what happens when she gets on him to ride today.


This morning when I went out to feed, I told him that if he hurt his girl again, we’d send him away to the cowboy farm where he’d have to actually do work and not have a cute little girl to braid his hair and bathe him and get him all ready for horse shows where everyone would love on him and give him carrots and treats and ribbons.

He actually looked at me, dropped his head, and nickered.

Good boy.

She’s Better At This Than I Am

We brought Remington home last Tuesday – he’s been here one full week :-)

He and Cowboy spent the first 5 days fighting . . . nipping at each other, kicking, pinning their ears and prancing around, kicking stall walls, getting stuck in the Cameo fencing when they tried to get to each other. All typical stuff for horses when they first meet – figuring out who’s in charge.

Quite frankly, I’m surprised Remi gave it any thought at all! He’s so laid back and passive, we thought he’d just settle in and let Cowboy be in charge.

They’ve stopped fighting and even took naps next to each other yesterday, although I still don’t know who’s alpha. They haven’t been let out in the pasture together yet. We’ll give that a few more days and hopefully let the snow and ice melt so there aren’t any accidents.

Remi came from a very nice boarding facility – he’d lived there for the past 2 years. His previous owner had him there and we left him there for winter so he could get training and Princess could use the indoor arena to ride him. Boy was he SPOILED! Three meals a day, big pastures to run in, temperature-controlled personal automatic waterer in his stall, inches of shavings on the stall floor to sleep in . . . and all the love and hugs and treats he wanted because he’s so darn cute and everybody down there just loved him!

We kept saying he’d be in for a rude awakening when he came home – he’d actually have to behave like a horse!

I have to say – Princess is much better at letting him learn to be a horse than I am.

Me: You should go spend lots of time with him and love and hug on him so he feels comfortable.
Her: I do love and hug on him, but he’s a horse – and I have to go back to school next week. He’s going to have to figure out how to exist without people around all the time.

Me: You should put some shavings in his stall for him to sleep in until he gets used to it here.
Her: No. That will only encourage him to pee and poop in his stall. And besides, Cowboy does just fine without shavings. He has his blanket and is comfortable. If he doesn’t want to lay in his pee and poop, then he will learn to do that outside where he should do it anyway.

Me: You should put his hay in the same place every morning so he knows where it is.
Her: Mom – he spent the past 2 years being fed at the same time in the exact same place. His gate to the pasture was open all day yesterday and he didn’t even go out! He needs to learn to look for food like a real horse. Yes, I will give him hay, but I’m going to move it around in his run and the pasture so he has to do at least a little work and behave like a horse. He will still get his grain inside like Cowboy does.

Me: What are you going to do when we let them out in the pasture together? I think Cowboy will bully him and try to eat all the hay.
Her: He will be fine. I will make a couple piles of hay like I always do. He’ll just have to figure out how to get his share.

And on and on and on. She’s great with her horses. When we first got Cowboy, I figured she’d baby him and try to treat him like a house pet. But nope – she treats him like a horse. A horse that she absolutely loves (and one who still has a pretty cush life here), but like a horse nonetheless. And Remi – just like a horse. Sink or swim, baby. He’ll get the food and love and hugs and work that he needs, but he will not be spoiled, not if she can help it (however, she IS at school all day and I’m here to do with the horses as I please – bwahahahahaha!).

After 2 days of having Remi here, she went online and bought a book – 101 Ground Training Exercises for You and Your Horse. She didn’t like his manners when she was feeding him and wanted to fix it right away. She looked through the entire book the day it came and tabbed the pages of the lessons she wanted to work with him on first.

So ya – Remi will be loved and hugged by his sweet girl as much as any horse should be . . . but he will also have manners and not be spoiled :-)

Can I say how much I love my Princess?

Horsey Home

Our little farm here is not bad. We’ve got 10 acres – 4.5 of which the horses get to roam freely on daily. They’ve got a nice barn with stalls for shelter and large runs for the days we can’t turn them out. They get fed twice a day and also get to graze during the day. They have sunny spots and treed shelter. We’re building an outdoor arena this spring. They get fresh water. They get blankets at night if it’s cold enough. They get to see their girl daily while she loves and hugs on them and cares for them. They are happy. It’s a good place for a couple horses.

This has been Remington’s home for the past 18 months . . . with daily turnout, temperature controlled automatic waterers, 3x a day feedings, night checks, and blanketing:



The fence on the left of the photo (with the girls riding) is the giant outdoor arena. The large red portion of the barn is the giant indoor arena.

As Princess said when we left Wednesday “Remi is going to be in for a rude awakening when he gets to our house! He’ll have to deal with Cowboy and actually get treated like a horse instead of a king.”

LOL! Just one of the many reasons I love her . . . she absolutely loves animals, but is smart enough to know that they ARE animals and need to be treated as such.

37 Days

37 Days – April 1st

The maximum number of days before Remington comes to live in our barn :-) He’s made great progress in his jumping since he started in November. It’s been great having access to such a wonderful indoor arena and outdoor arena through winter. But the fact is, an hour one-way is a long way to drive. And almost $700/month is a lot to pay in boarding when you have your very own barn, stall, pasture, and trailer.

So April 1st it is.

Remington – while your girl will undoubtedly make you work and practice this:



I promise you there will be no shortage of hugs and love and relaxing and just hanging out being a horse with your Girl, much like this:


Can’t wait to bring you home Professor Holly Doc!