Hi, I'm Ev. I'm training to become a horsewoman. These are my adventures and misadventures. I'm green as hell, but so far, so good. I'm now learning from Bo (and sometimes his wife DeDe) at D&D Ranch in Pope Valley. I am extremely lucky to have this opportunity, I feel quite blessed, and I feel that they, and horses, have really turned my life around.
Solomon is my baby- a big old flea bitten grey Appendix gelding who is very kind and way too smart! I love him so very much. He is a rescue and was meant to be co-owned rehabbed, and maybe rehomed to a good home. He turned out to be over 25 years old with injuries that ultimately do not make him riding sound, so he is retired.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Technical Difficulties!

Hi folks,
I have a nasty virus, but I DO have new Solly pics and videos! I will get them to you as soon as I can, okay?

Meanwhile, while I contemplate installing Windows 7, here's a picture of Solly and I to tide you over. Happy holidays!

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Hey folks!

I was able to get up to see Solly today.

The first horse I saw was Charley Horse. I wonder what kind of pony blood he has in him? I don't think he's a pure quarterhorse, hah. He sure is cute though!

The other three horses were hanging out in the pen that A__ and J___ are building. I advised them to feed the horses in that pen once in a while so they would associate it with good things. This way, if a horse needs to be put in it to be separated from the herd, he won't be quite as stressed. It's working well, since it seems that they go hang out there often now.

Solomon, upon seeing me, broke off from the group to come say hi! YAY, he's interested in mom again!

Yeah, the next three photos are very similar. But I love looking at his face, so you get to look at it too.

A___ and J___ have been doing a great job. They listen to my input and they have been feeding and graining Solly well- that, combined with the 90 acres of grass, has caused him to gain about 20 pounds! Some of it, at least, is muscle. He has inner thigh muscles now that I've never seen on him before, haha! I'm just going to go ahead and say that it's because he's been climbing up and down hills and running around, and not say anything about Maggie the Mare.

They've also removed a lot of Evil Pods From Hell, and fed Sol a lot of apples and carrots. <3

Solomon did have a problem today,however. As it turns out, it's tick season, and since there are some woods and tall plants on the 90 acres, the horses have been getting ticks. Solomon stood stock still for a good 40 minutes while I carefully searched his body for ticks. I removed about 13 or 14 of the evil things from him, and 4 of those were on his SHEATH! GAAAAAH! I don't know if I got all his ticks, and I'm hoping I didn't bring any home. He had little dark ones and huge tan ones. Ugh ugh ugh.

I (and my tick-removal service) was more important than Maggie the Mare today, even. He let her wander off, because MOM was here, and she was pulling those horrible itchy painful THINGS off of him!

He did still pull a face or two at Breaker. GRUMPERS!

That's about all that happened today. Solomon followed me around like a love, affectionately resting his nose oh-so-gently on my cheek and blowing into my hair. While I was pulling out ticks, he stood over me, keeping an eye on things protectively. He's back to being a good, sweet, careful boy. I think he's really settled in now.

On the drive home, I finally stopped and shot some photos of the cormorants at Lake Hennessey. They've been there since I started driving up to Pope Valley, and I've always thought "oh cool," but I hadn't stopped to shoot them until today.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Solomon and the huge pasture

Today I went looking for Solomon, and he wasn't up by the lake, or out by the barn. He wasn't hanging out under the gazebo, and he wasn't itching his butt on the rosemary bush.

I caught a glimpse of white horse through the trees, way down in the lower pasture.

Time for Sensei and I to go hiking!

This was the way down into the lower pasture.

Of course there was no sign of him or the other horses when we got down there.

Luckily I had a Sensei with me! He spotted them, way far away.

I was ignored or not noticed until I got about 300 yards away. Then Solly heard me calling!

After saying hello to us both and getting a bit of skritching and cuddling, Solomon moved the herd towards the big open barn. When we fell too far behind, he stopped to come check on us. We were almost part of the herd to him, and he wanted to make sure we kept up.

At one point he stayed behind a bit too long, and when he noticed that Breaker and Maggie were walking together, I got to see him tear off at a full gallop to re-establish The Way Things Were. Gorgeous sight! Wish I'd caught it on camera...

Maggie, of course, needed to get in on the action. Solomon expressed his opinion of this. I don't know what he got into that turned his tongue black!

Off to the barn!

Hoss butts!

This is a happy place.

Look at the arch in his neck! For Solomon, that's quite an arch, haha! He is feeling quite proud of himself these days. He is also muscling up. And the farrier really needs to come out! But I love this picture.

The herd on the move.

Solomon- he's narrow, but he's standing proud and tall!

He is also really getting some nice muscle on him. When I press on his sides, instead of feeling ribs I feel muscle. His body isn't jiggly with fat. He is getting strong! And his topline, while still having a sharp wither, is filling in because of the hills and the running around. His butt is getting muscle, his shoulders and chest are getting muscle, and he is doing well!

He had to say hi to Sensei. He adores the man! Also, Sensei had some candy, and Sol could smell it.

The green grass is coming in, but Solomon isn't getting fat on it so far. His weight is holding steady, but his shape is slowly changing. Less fat, more muscle.

"Oooh, I smell candy!"


After he spat it out, Solomon tried desperately to get the taste out of his mouth by vacuuming up grass, hah!

We left the horses down by the barn, and went home, confident that Solomon was quite happy! The ranch owners send me updates since I can't make it up very often, and fun pictures. I'll see about posting some of those sometime, if they're okay with it.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Solomon and the evil barbed pods of doom.

Hi folks!
So much to catch up on... I'm sorry I've taken so long to write! Life is crazy, like always.

First of all... I discovered the most evil plant ever, on the 21st of October.

Actually, Solomon discovered it. I don't know what it's called...

But they get THIS tangled up in the horse's manes and tails!

Those little Pods of Pure Evil have barbs in them. I had a couple of them embedded in my thumbs for a couple of weeks. I think I might even end up with a scar from them.

Solomon's poor beautiful tail...

See how displeased I look? Yeah, that was kind of a miserable day, hah! He had a ton in his forelock too. I was actually tempted to just cut it off, but then he wouldn't have his beautiful bangs any more! That was also the last time I wore those jeans... after these pictures were taken, I lost even more weight. Now they look like M.C. Hammer parachute pants, hah!

Do Not Want!


Solomon is really not a Glam Hoss

It took a good 2.5 hours and half a bottle of mane'n'tail to get those horrible things out.

They cut them down on their property, but the horses have access to the lower pasture on the neighbor's land too. It turns out there was a hidden thatch of them down by the creek.

Solly had some in his tail today too, but I didn't try to take them out. Didn't have time... sigh.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Solomon is top dog!

Hey folks, look who it is!

Sorry for the baby talk, haha!

Solly is settling in to his new home fabulously. There's an unexpected development, however! My calm, sedate, ancient grey man has decided that he is going to be Mister Top Dog! Furthermore, instead of bonding closely with Charley Horse (who is, height-wise, a pony, and awfully cute!) he has decided that Maggie the Mare is the lady for him! Maggie has also decided that Solomon is much more of a dreamboat than her longtime companion, Breaker. Solomon is a home-wrecker!

So now, Solomon has decided that he has a job. His job is keeping the distraught, lovelorn Breaker away from HIS mare.

I hear that things are settling down now, though.

My boy and Maggie.

Solomon, who always hated being backed up, is voluntarily running backwards all over the place now! A horse backing another horse up is a sign of dominance. They also do it in play, but Solly? He's not playing around here.

Look at this suspicious squint! This sneer! "THIS IS MY MARE!"

"She is big and brown and she is MINE!"

So yes, this is what Solomon has been occupying his time with since he moved to the new pasture. He's being a bit of a jerk, but not too bad. Nobody has a mark or a scratch on them. He does everything with his voice, gestures, and body language. He re-directs the other horses. Solomon is an Aikido-hoss.

But really, who can blame him? Who could resist this?

Poor, poor Breaker.

Saturns are also not allowed to be with mares.

Poor old Charley Horse must be content with the fiberglass horse. Later on, he cuddled up to my car, resting his lips on the trunk, cuddling up to the bumper. HE is convinced that my vehicle contains truly magical things!

Look at that grumpers face! BACK UP BREAKER, BACK UP!

And here you can see all the players in the drama, Solomon pulling some extremely silly faces, and rubbing his butt on the rosemary bushes. He has been wormed! So... I guess he just wanted rosemary-butt.

And now for some idyllic photos around the retirement pasture.

Doesn't Breaker have a cool coat pattern? What would you call this, exactly? It is some kind of paint pattern, not lacing. But I haven't a clue!

Four horses, 90 acres!

My boy is going to muscle up with the gentle hill climbing and not so gentle Breaker chasing. That gelding is over 20 years younger than Solly, hah!

In exile, the two geldings are starting to bond a bit.

Charley Horse is wearing California Summer Camouflage.

Meanwhile, down at the big pond, there are a ton of frogs that scream and jump in the water when you get too close! I think they are young bullfrogs. Any guesses?

Speaking of the pond, have some postcard-like photos of my happy boy!

And my absolute favorite shot-

Enjoy! :D