Summer Stomping Season Has Started


Awareness of the outside world. In honor of Towel Day, advice from the master. BBC Radio 4: 42 Douglas Adams quotes to live by.

[T-Shirts for the Barn]

Rodney’s left front foot four weeks after shoeing. Stomp. Stomp. Stomp.

His right front shoe and both of Milton’s shoes are about what one would expect after that length of time, i.e. slightly raised clenches, due in a few weeks.

Time to switch over to the summer shoeing schedule.

At least being turned out in booties is having appears to be having the effect of keeping his shoes on. Usually by this time in the year he has pulled at least one shoe. [Booties Bonanza]

On a related note, every time I intended to type SHOE above, my fingers came out with SHOW. Including just there. Digital parapraxis.

Second related note. While I am perfectly capable of taking random pictures of my horse’s foot for a blog post, these were taken to update my blacksmith.

Stay safe. Stay sane.

Out With The Old, Finally


Awareness of the outside world. Corporate sponsorship/PR efforts include organizations and individual riders. Absorbine: Ride with the Best.

This is what happens to your Bigeloil® bottles when you don’t clean out the dark recesses of your tack area often enough.

Note expiration date. Also note, the bottle was old enough to have still have the old formulation.

It got tossed. Anything expired got tossed. Anything rotted got tossed. So many, many things got tossed.

When Previous Horse passed away in 2009, I just stopped. I didn’t store things away in a tidy fashion. I simply stopped using them. When I got back in gear, it was easier to move forward. We finally cleaned up.

Stay safe. Stay sane.

Carousel Animals, Coloring and Other Things


Dentzel Carousel Coloring Book: About the Cat

Down The Rabbit Hole

[Spirit Of Mississippi, Toomsuba, MS]
Meridian MS chose carousel horses for their version of Cows On Parade, Around Town Carousels Abound. Probably because of the town attraction, “Both the carousel and the carousel House are National Historic Landmarks.” Visit Meridian: Dentzel Carousel.

Emojipedia: Carousel Horse

LEGO sets. Brothers Brick: Grand Carousel, Brothers Brick: Carousel, with designer commentary.

The Battery Conservancy: Seaglass Carousel

National Carousel Association

Stay safe. Stay sane.

Carousel Animals, Fiction Bits and Other Things


Fiction Bit The First
Character One: Like the song says, life is a carousel, old chum.

Character Two: Cabaret.

Character One: What?

Character Two: ‘Life is a cabaret, old chum.’ That’s what the song says, The word is cabaret.

Character One: That doesn’t make any sense. Life is much more likely to go up and down and around in circles than to break into a song and dance routine.

Character Two: (shrug)

Fiction Bit The Second
I carve carousel animals.

When I tell people what I do, I’m generally met with dead silence. People understand the words but have trouble parsing how a grown human can make a living that way. Then I get one of two responses.

Disbelief. People do that? How? What? Followed by embarrassment at being shocked. Sometimes the disbelief is followed by more disbelief. The latter usually comes from family members who think I should be doing other things with my life.


Enthusiasm. Wow! That’s awesome! … wait for it …. “When I was a kid …” I’ve heard every variation of the childhood carousel story. I can usually identify which carousel they are talking about. I don’t mind, if people didn’t like carousels, I wouldn’t have a job.

Kate said neither. She glanced down at my hands.

“Power tools or hand?”

It was my turn to be startled into silence.

“Um. Both. As needed.”

She nodded.

Other People’s Fiction
From the bookshelf. Carousel Tides by Sharon Lee. Baen 2010. First in the Carousel Tides series. Read as an ebook. Magic is among us. Carousel animals are special. The tropes are familiar enough to qualify as a comfort read; different enough to be interesting. Name above in honor of the CT protagonist.

Down The Rabbit Hole

And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down

The Circle Game

Joni Mitchel: Song Lyrics, The Circle Game. With background story.

I like to catch brass rings on the merry go round
The one that goes up and down

While my sweety in the rear says I ride like Paul Revere,
On the merry, merry go round.

Merry Go Round


Stay safe. Stay sane.

Medal In The Mail

Fit To Ride

Awareness of the outside world. “Mission Statement. Bringing Native arts to the world by inspiring artistic excellence, fostering education, and creating meaningful partnerships.” About SWAIA.


Medal arrived from the Santa Fe International Virtual 5K. [Disc Stroll]

Clay medallion by Tesuque Pueblo potter Wesley Vigil. Per cover letter, “The wheel design – passed down amongst Tewa potters for generations – signifies moving forward.”

Artist bio, Poeh Cultural Center, Facebook.

The name Tesuque is a Spanish variation of the Tewa name, Te Tesugeh Oweengeh, meaning the “village of the narrow place of the cottonwood trees.” SWAIA: About Santa Fe, Tesuque Pueblo.

I’m thinking one can’t call oneself a true hermit if one enjoys pretty things showing up in the mail.

Stay safe. Stay sane.

What Now, Bell Boots

Riding Journal

Awareness of the outside world. Raw Story: US state of Maryland retires pro-Confederacy state song, Agence France-Precise May 19, 2021.

Bell boots. Because we are running out of places to put things on these horses.

First day. Got a few steps of fancy trot and a canter I could sit. Sold!

Rodney doesn’t seem to mind them flapping about. After all, his booties flap and clunk, and he loves those. Seriously, he will lick and chew when I put them on.

Booties for turnout. Leg boots for riding. Special padding for his saddle. A maintenance program for stomach issues. Now bell boots. Yes, there are times when I feel as if my horse is made out of tissue paper. He’s big for a Thoroughbred. I guess when you are outsized to design specs, you have to expect some structural issues. Although, in his defense, back, tum, and neck – from counterbalancing – problems are rooted in foalhood trauma. Mechanical issues with legs and hooves are the parts of the symphony that come from being a 17-hand horse on TB feet.

The bad news – or possibly the good news – on that first day, we did a line of trot poles and he just about trotted me out of the tack.

Shipping bell boots for the moment. Looking into sport bells.

Stay safe. Stay sane.

Missing The Saddlebreds, Or Not

Riding Journal ASB

Awareness of the outside world. It is not a HIPAA violation for a business to ask if you have been vaccinated. Katelyn Jetelina: HIPAA Violation?

Last week, I went over to Stepping Stone Farm help load for a show. [Wednesday]

I Miss The Horses

Doug Shiflet Photography

[Pro-Am 2016 Show Photos by Shiflet]
Alvin telling me that I can’t handle the trot, showing me what a good drive feels like. [Trot, Team Awesome]

[Show Photos: NACHS17]
Dottie teaching me showmanship. [Show Report, Life With La Prima]

Photo by Shannon Dove Alsbrooks

[More Thoughts]
Tigger, the World’s Greatest Horse. [Thoughts, end]

[Saddlebred Three-Quarter Century Club]
And of course, Sam, aka Captain Fabulous. [So many posts. Some horses you just hit it off with.]

Among a herd of others.

Most of the horses I knew have moved, are gone, or are resting in happy retirement. I’m sure the new crew have as many memories to make.

Note for balance, I recognize that it’s not all about competition. I do have wonderful, non-show, ASB memories. Shows are where the photos are taken and the stories are written down.

I Do Not Miss The Horses
All of the above are retrospective views. Prospectively, I have the same gut-level response that I had at my first lesson 9 years ago.

Perhaps body language is one reason for the Saddlebred’s hyper reputation among hunter/jumpers and others. Picture a horse with a high head, bulging eyes and ears so alert they almost touch. In a Thoroughbred this means lift-off is immanent imminent (altho the former may be true as well). In a Saddlebred, it means hello.

[Sam I Am 2012]

Rationally, I know that Saddlebreds are not Thoroughbreds. An ASB is more likely to go on the boil than a TB. They are less likely to blow the lid off the kettle. Particularly given the Saddlebreds I ride versus the Thoroughbreds I own. I know this. I believe this. [Pick Your Crazy 2016]


My hindbrain is imprinted on Thoroughbreds. It takes one look at an ASB in a good mood and runs around shouting ‘She canna take any more, captain. She’s gonna blow (to be read in a Scottish accent).’

I was leading horses who were heading to a show to be ridden by tots. I had not the slightest interest in getting on a single one.

Where does that leave me? I have no idea.

Stay safe. Stay sane.