Horses, Life, A Touch of Geek

Archive for the ‘Horses’ Category

Letter Art, AlphaBooks: Recap 2017

[Z is for Zecora]
My Little Pony: Welcome to the Everfree Forest by Olivia London
[Y is for Young]
Mister Ed and Me by Alan Young with Bill Burt
[X is for Xenophon]
“On The Art Of Horsemanship” by Xenophon
[W is for Wodehouse]
Aunts Aren’t Gentleman by P.G. Wodehouse
[V is for von Tempski]
Born In Paradise by Armine von Tempski
[U is for USDA]
Special Report on Diseases of the Horse by U.S. Department of Agriculture
[T is for Tewson]
The Fat Pony by January Tewson
[S is for Severin]
Crusader by Tim Severin
[R is for Rubin]
The Big Book of Hidden Horses, Hidden Horses 2, Horse Trivia, If Wishes Were Horses by Deborah Rubin
[Q is for Queen]
The American Gun Mystery by Ellery Queen
[P is for Pace]
Old Bones by Mildred Mastin Pace, illustrated by Wesley Dennis
[O is for O’Connor]
Life In The Galloping Lane by Karen & David O’Connor with Nancy Jaffer
[N is for Newsum]
Milton by Gillian Newsum
[M is for McKinley]
The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley
[L is for Lewis]
A Book of Narnians by C.S. Lewis, illustrated by Pauline Baynes, text compiled by James Riordan
[K is for Krementz]
A Very Young Rider by Jill Krementz
[J is for Journal]
The Brayer, Journal of the American Donkey and Mule Society
[I is for Ipcar]
World Full of Horses written and illustrated by Dahlov Ipcar
[H is for Hatch]
The Year of the Horse by Eric Hatch
[G is for Gray]
Horsepower by Patsey Gray
[F is for Francis]
The Sport of Queens by Dick Francis
[E is for Endicott]
Taking Up The Reins by Priscilla Endicott
[D is for Doty]
The Monday Horses by Jean Slaughter Doty
[C is for Cooper]
Pandora by Jilly Cooper
[B is for Brown]
A Good Horse Has No Color by Nancy Marie Brown
[A is for Anderson]
Horse Show by C.W. Anderson

During the year, I took notes on the books with the intent of discussing them at the end of the year, i.e. now. But the point of the project was visual rather than literary. I’ll summarize by saying that I was happier with some of the books more than others but I did not include any books that I disliked.

Did I read them all? No. Started well. Lost my grip somewhere around the middle of the alphabet/middle of the year. The ones I did not are in my To Be Read pile. We all know how that goes.

I had ideas that I couldn’t execute because my draftsmanship is not equal to what I see in my head. Insert Ira Glass quote, Advice To Beginners (Zen Pencils).

Special thanks to Robin Bledsoe, Bookseller, for having so many great horse books and for pointing me toward interesting titles even if she didn’t have them in stock.

Project explanation [AlphaBooks 2017]. Open to recommendations for next year. Which books would you choose?

Past Years
[2016 Alphabet]
[2015 Alphabet]

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Snow Day

If I lived in a place where it snowed more often, I would take fewer excitable snow photos. I would have fewer excitable snow photos all over my social media feeds.

If I lived in a place where it snowed more often, I would get better at working with my gloves on. I would not remove my gloves at the first sign of adversity.

If I lived in a place where it snowed more often, I would eat more soups and stews. I would drink more hot cocoa.

If I lived in a place where it snowed more often, I would have better waterproof boots.

If I lived in a place where it snowed more often, I would have an indoor arena. I would spend time in Florida.

If I lived in a place where it snowed more often, I would gravel the path to the barn. I would not have slick, stone steps leading to the front door.

If I lived in a place where it snowed more often, I would go cross-country skiing as a winter exercise.

If I lived in a place where it snowed more often, I would have an insulated water trough. I would use something other than a random stick to break up the ice.

If I lived in a place where it snowed more often, I would have a sleigh for Milton.

If I lived in a place where it snowed more often, I would not squeeze three blog posts [S(No), Snowrise, Snow Day] out of four inches of snow.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Milton’s Dressage in December

Driving Thursday

Milton is ready for his lesson.

I am the World’s Greatest Groom.

I sit for 20, even 30, whole minutes in the passenger seat of the truck while we drive the carriage over to the lesson barn.

I stand at the foot of the ramp, nobly steering the carriage, while Greg simply lowers 400 pounds of carriage with his hands and a tow strap.

I drag the carriage the amazing distance of several feet to a parking spot.

I endure more minutes in our comfy truck.

I trudge around making sure Rodney has hay in the stall and on the patio and laboriously fill the cookie ball, while Greg faffs about hitching the truck, loading the tack, catching Milton, and so on.

More truck sit.

We arrive.

I remain with Milton, attempting to convince him that being left with me does not constitute abandonment, while Greg amuses himself clearing the ring and moving the carriage.

Tack up. Lunge.

I play immovable object in front of Milton, while Greg runs from side to side attaching and adjusting straps.


I stand, peppermints at the ready, poised to leap into the ring if Milton needs to be headed.

Lesson over.

More immovable object, while all the previously adjusted straps are unbuckled.

I lead Milton all. the. way. back to the trailer. Start undoing the rest of the straps.

Milton is untacked and taken away to be washed. I check my mail.

More watching of Milton, while ring is put to rights.

Bored with Milton-watching, I load up.

We leave.

Milton returns home. I lug brushbox and assorted items from trailer, while Greg unloads tack, rinses trailer, unhitches, and loads winches & co into bed of trailer.

Yet more time in passenger seat, while we reverse the process to pick up the carriage.

I’m a freaking saint.

Rodney continues to be imperturbable when Milton leaves.

My horse is the World’s Greatest Lawn Ornament.

Show Report Driving & Lessons

A sign that one might need to work on straightness.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

New Equipment: Reins

The plan for Tuesdays is to talk about Milton and ME. Lately, Milton & me hasn’t been much. So, here are Milton’s new reins. Fifteen-foot, black, BioThane driving reins from Two-Horse Tack. Driver liked the feel of my riding reins and Coach Kate’s driving reins.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

I’d Like Your Advice on Some Horse Buying Advice

My uncle, James Bunting, sent me a plan to approach buying a horse as a business project. He doesn’t know horses, but has built several business over the years. I have no doubt this advice is gold in the business world. However, I have doubts about how well this would apply to the horse world. I could go through the list point-by-point with counter-examples from the searches for Rodney & Milton.
This could be my discouragement talking. It is all too easy to say why something won’t work. So, I would like your help in taking this general business advice and translating it into horse-specific advice. Theories, personal experience, whatever ya got. I’d rather not have horror stories. The goal is to get me moving, not to send me hiding under the bed. Please forward/share the post with anyone who might have input on the subject. Thanks in advance. Welcome, Uncle Jim.

If I was going to buy a horse, here’s what I would do.

1. Decide if I want another horse. Make that definite decision which will clear my mind so I can proceed with certainty, or, not proceed. If yes, decide what I am going to do with the horses I currently have, and how I am going to it. After that you are ready to go.

2. If I’m going to proceed, I’d set a budget. If I’m going to buy a terrific horse, I’d budget for a terrific horse. It may take some time to learn what great horses cost.

3. Next, I’d assume I don’t know anything about buying a horse. I’ve found that whenever I start a new venture, and I don’t know anything about it, people think I am naive, foolish, and not very smart. But, I ask basic questions, gather information, and forge ahead and don’t pay any attention to the people who think I’m naïve. I don’t mind being perceived as stupid. This is a very important point, you have to be confident in yourself and your process, and willing to ask stupid/obvious questions, which other people may dismiss; the people who can help you are confident in their knowledge and will see your genuine interest and passion and will want to help you.

4. I would learn everything I can about buying a great horse. I’d ask people at shows, stables, etc. people who are the best at what they do, and have great horses.

5. I’d find the best horse buyers and talk with them. I’d find a person, an advisor, who would be willing to lead my horse buying project. I would probably have to pay the person. The key here is to find the best person who is honest and trustworthy and has a proven track record….too many posers out there. I’d check references and ask around about the person, which is just good business.

6. I would actively look for horses and visit the best horse candidates, which may mean travel for you and your advisor, and riding each good candidate.

7. Eventually I’d find a horse who I like and likes me, and it would be clear…this is the one. Patience will be important, and don’t accept an “almost the right one.” “Good” is the great enemy of excellent.

The overall theme here is to have enough confidence to say “I don’t know how to do this and I need help.” I think that is the key to success.

One more thought, which may or may not relate to this discussion. When I start and complete a project, I am very matter of fact about it, all business, nothing social; I’m not out to make friends. But, people respect my process, like the result and are glad they participated in the project and feel good about their contribution.
Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Mystery Photo: Reveal

What was it?

Hole -> Jump Standard

Pardon our field that needs mowing – and some tree hacking. Southern trees grow fast.

Star -> Cone

Widget -> Whip Holder.

Grid -> Carriage Footplate

Whatenry – Horse Treats

An homage to the Instagram account @Witenry
Project inspired by Digital Photo Secrets: Stuck In A Rut? Try These Fun Photography Games.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Foto Friday: Whatenry

What is it?
Reveal on Saturday.
Inspired by Digital Photo Secrets: Stuck In A Rut? Try These Fun Photography Games.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott