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.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Thank you so much!

Something to be very grateful for! A kind donor has enabled me to get a UV protection mask for Solomon! It works like a fly mask, but will protect his eyes from the sun a lot better than a normal fly mask. I can also buy him more anti-inflammatory pain medications! Thank you thank you thank you!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Solomon's health

Hey there,
Well, Solomon has rallied! His swelling and itchiness has gone way down, with a simple bute treatment. Bute can do damage to the stomach and kidneys, but we have to balance that with his age and what will bring him the highest quality of life. We aren't really getting much into him because he's a clever and suspicious horse, but the little bit he is taking is helping!

He has finally bonded with the new mare, Misty, who has moved in since Maggie and Breaker left. Misty is a Standardbred, and an ex racehorse.

While Solomon was eating dinner, penned up because we didn't want the other horses to eat bute (not that he took more than 5 mouthfuls of the bait) Misty wandered off.

Then he noticed, and this happened, haha. I had to take his fly mask off before I could let him out. There's no barbed wire in that pen, by the way. There is some on the rest of the property, but with 100 acres and a lot of sense, he doesn't get himself caught in it, thank the gods.

Pretty amazing for such an ancient horse, eh?

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Moon blindness

Hi there,
long time no post, I know!

Solomon has moon blindness. :( It was really limited to runny eyes and some photosensitivity for a long time, but now he's getting really itchy, and lots of swelling. I don't think fly masks are enough any more.
I'm going to get a vet out to him as soon as I can, and start him on steroid ointment, and I am starting him on anti inflammatory drugs now.

The other thing that I can do for him (that implant surgery isn't recommended for a horse his age) is get him a Guardian Mask, which blocks UV and really helps a photosensitive horse like Solomon.


Unfortunately I cannot afford one this month. :( I am also dealing with one of my cats, who has a $1,000 eye surgery that he desperately needs.

Hopefully I'll find a way to get him one soon.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Back in the saddle!

Hey, it's me again! Long time, eh?

Solly is doing great. He enjoys goofing off with me when I visit.

He gets a ton of treats, though sometimes he does have to work for them. This helps him work his back and flexibility a bit. It's also entertaining.

The only problem is sometimes he'll decide to "bow" while I'm trying to get a hoof to pick, lol!

He still really loves belly skritches!

And even more treats!

Today though, I visited some friends who live about 40 minutes away (well, when there isn't traffic) and I got to RIDE again! :D

I got to ride two horses, in fact: Bella, a, 18hh 1900 pound Percheron, and Comet, a Paint/TB mix. I don't have pictures and videos of me riding Comet, but I have some of Bella and I!

First of all... I'm 5'2". an 18hh is REALLY REALLY TALL for me, haha! The dismount onto the ground was... interesting. I am not used to falling THAT far before hitting the ground. I managed to maintain my balance and dignity, however.

Her movements were HUGE. It was quite a different experience for me, because her movements were even bigger than Synergy, the draft cross mare a friend of mine owns that I rode a couple times.

I really had the feeling that I was on a massive charger... except she isn't really the charging time. She's more the eating hay and feed type, lol! Sweet, sweet, PATIENT girl though! I just loved her!

I am not used to short reins that aren't split. My hands were a bit high because I didn't want to catch the loop of the reins on the horn, but it was a little challenging to reach them and keep a straight back, haha!

I was a bit rough starting out but we got to know each other and I started to get the movement that goes with riding again.

I did have a little Bo in my head, saying "HEELS DOWN EV" and "relax your shoulders" and "chin up" and "line up your heels with your hips" and "keep your back straight" and "move with the horse!" That helped, haha.

Bella was trained in dressage at some point, and she does prefer more contact with the bit than I am used to... I'm glad she does though, since those reins were so short!

Patient patient girl. I had a hard time getting her to trot, but then I wasn't able to figure out how to sit a trot with such long strides. I'll get it down though!

Just starting to turn.

Man I was so happy!

Here we are doing some big circles and then going around a barrel. Yay!

Her back is different from the backing commands I've learned in the past, but we got it down... albeit one. Step. At. A. Time. I gave the command, she thought about it, and then she took one step back, hehe!

This is Comet and his momma.

This is Bella's daddy and Comet's momma.

I had such a great time! After I hopped off Bella... well, dismounted and free-falled, haha, I got on Comet. He's a lot smaller but he has carried people who are a lot bigger than me just fine.

BIG difference!

The saddle fit me a lot better, which was a nice help, but also... he was so much narrower, and I found him to be much easier to sit. His gait was shorter and faster, which is what I'm used to, having learned to ride on stock horses.

He tested me plenty, that's for sure. I was warned that he does that with everyone, haha. We had to have a conversation about how he was not going to rub me off on the fence... but once we got down to business, he was a delight to ride!

I got him sidepassing in no time, and his momma taught me how to get him to turn on the forehand, and then we also did a bunch of TROTTING! He is a zippy, forward horse. His sire earned a quarter of a million dollars racing.

At first I did not move well with his trot. Felt really bad about that, though he was patient with me. It took a little while for me to get a feel for it, but he was happy to just trot all over the place, and soon I found myself moving with him. He has a really nice jog that's easy to sit! All the riding I'd done on Bella had really limbered me up, and all the martial arts training I have done has helped me a lot with my balance and flexibility.


I was worried. I took a major shot to my confidence last year, overhearing someone say that I am "less than a beginner" at riding. Well, that may be so... but I will only get better with hours in the saddle! The friends who let me come down and ride were delighted to have me, and they want me to come back and ride again! They said they'd be happy to have me along anytime! :D I'm going out there again on Saturday.

I am so very grateful that these kind folks and their patient, sweet horses are giving me a chance, and giving me this opportunity. I felt really comfortable and safe with them... and there is nothing like time with horses!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Farrier woes

Man, I am just about ready to teach myself how to trim feet. The farrier my pasture uses is TERRIBLE!

One farrier who is a friend of a friend (but sadly not local) says that I could probably do a better job trimming the hoof MYSELF.

Trying to track down Grant, the old farrier who trimmed Solly at Bo's ranch. I should never have let them talk me into leaving him. I just went with the easy option, so that's my fault. It's on me.

The Barn Owner says he has been moving stiffly and painfully.

I am betting he's getting some navicular pain from his terrible trims. I left explicit instructions this last time... though I wasn't able to make it on time in person thanks to someone in a minivan taking the entire length of Silverado Trail at 30 MPH. It's supposed ot be 55-60 MPH. Blargh.

Let me show you why I'm firing this farrier.

He didn't clean the frog or sole up at ALL. He didn't even trim a good section of the hoof, but strangely he did shave off even more heel, even though Solly's heels are really underrun, and his toes are really long, especially on this foot.

I asked for a mustang roll. This is what they gave me. :/

Note the flare at the side and the long long toe.

Once again, Solly's feet all look completely different, and are at different angles. I'm officially mad now.

They did slightly better with these, but still with the flare and not rolling the sides well, and arrgh.

Did he not even look at the sides of Sol's feet? D:

yeah, these are gonna crack even more now.

I hope I can track down Grant and talk him into coming all the way out to Pope Valley to trim one horse! :o

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Hey folks, Just going to spam you with a bunch of photos of Solomon. He is loving his job as a herd leader and occasional therapy horse. Sometimes now I am about to take people who are trauma survivors or who just need a break from everything out to see my boy. He can always sense when someone's hurting, and always does what he can to make them feel better. He is a sweetheart and a love, and he is very good at what he does. He's at a weight I'm happy with now. I think the nice folks who I am boarding him with have come to love him too. It's hard not to! Their house is in the middle of his pasture. Now that it's fly mask season, he ambles up to their house gate every day to have it put on, and he comes up to have it taken off, too. He gets wormed, he gets fly sprayed, and when his eyes are really bothering him (we suspect a bit of moon blindness, possibly) they even give him a bit of bute. At his age, I figure he should just have whatever makes him comfortable. He guides his herd well. When I'm out there, he tries to guide me, too, haha! He tried to stop me, with his head and even a nip in front of me (but not at me. He wouldn't bit me,) to stop me from stumbling into a really swampy area. I was dumb and didn't listen, and ended up with boots full of mud for my troubles. Lesson learned: listen to the wise old man. Here are some photos from last fall to current. :} Around eh, March or April. You can see that he is nicely filled out these days! February. He found some clay to roll in. Late spring: How could he not be happy, with 95 acres of awesome grass, as well as probiotics, senior feed, all the medications he needs, apples, and carrots? He also has forest to explore, streams and a big huge pond to play in, and hills to climb. Once in a while, Momma still manages to come up and see him. These days, Solly's favorite thing in the world is to nap with a friend. Solomon loves Maggie. Maggie loves Solomon. Maggie wishes he had a clue when it comes to the ladies. Sadly, he is woefully lacking in this department. Ancient sleepy horse is both ancient and sleepy. If you're going to sleep standing up, the best way to do it is to have your human headrest handy. "OH HI! THIS IS MY HUMAN! MINE!" Solomon follows Maggie and Breaker when they get ridden. He doesn't interfere with the riders... just comes along and circles them, making sure none of his horses get away or get attacked. He LOVES trail ride days. He gets cookies from the riders, and it's a lot of fun stimulation for him. He likes to splash in the stream they cross out there, and dunk his entire head under water... especially funny since he is SO very dainty when he drinks, hah! They have to let him come along anyway. Otherwise, he'll just break down the gate or run through the fence and follow them anyway. The solution was simple- just let him come along. He respects working horses enough that it isn't a problem. No more destroyed gates, no cut up horse. I think he's just so gorgeous! It was winter, and he was so happy to see me that he came right through the tall grasses because it was the most direct route. He nickers when he sees me now. :D Sometimes we take walks together, he and I. Sometimes I'll stretch my hand out and we'll "whisker lead," where he keeps his whiskers touching my hand. Sometimes he'll just lightly keep contact with his head on my shoulder. He likes doing that, because then he can tell me right away if he thinks I'm going somewhere unsafe. I wonder if he thinks I'm some kinda human foal? Heh. NOSE REST! He loves to stick his nose in my cleavage and pass out. He was snoring here. I actually got a little worried because his nose was so wrinkled that his nostrils were almost closed, haha. He didn't seem to care at all though. So there you have it. This is the horse that one person said was going to bite off my face. This is the horse that another person said was going to kill me. So glad I listened to Solomon instead of them.


Hey everyone,

I don't really go on FiSH ever any more, and haven't in some time. I don't feel any desire to get in a bunch of fights on the internet. I work hard at focusing on the positive, and finding my joy, which is something Bo really drilled into my head.

A lot of the lessons he taught me, a lot of the conversations we had, are a big part of my life today, in my head and in my heart. The experiences I had there changed my life. Often his words come back to me, often I find myself quoting him. Every time I am around a horse, something he taught me helps me... and often helps the horse, or other people, too.

I miss him a lot.

Anyway, I wanted to set some stuff straight, as it's finally made it's way to me along the grapevine.

No, Bo didn't raise my board. I ended up having some financial situations come up that meant I had even less money than before. I could no longer afford board there. I found a place and I moved my old man to it. Bo trailered him there for me for free.

Bo also went so far beyond just boarding my horse. He put countless hours into teaching me horsemanship, welcoming me into his home, and helping me to open up my world. My health, physical, mental, and emotional, improved so much because of the time he spent on me. When I was able to afford the drive regularly, he would often put 6, sometimes 8 hours in a day in with me. He did not take advantage of me, or rip me off. He gave an immense amount of knowledge to me, and wisdom, and care, and it was priceless. Just priceless.

Solomon did get thin for a while at Bo's ranch. It was not for lack of food. Everyone was trying to put weight on him. He just ultimately needed another environment, AND he had a really rough winter. He is VERY old and it got very cold that year. Keeping in mind what is the right environment for each horse is another thing that Bo taught me. He didn't have 95 acres with hills and a small passive mixed-gender herd for Solomon to run. As it turns out, that's what Solly needed to thrive... lots and LOTS of land with a TON of grass, and a job that he could do, and do well, with very little stress, all the time. He has that now, and thus, is in much better condition. He is the kind of horse who will lose weight when bored, because boredom causes stress for him. I wasn't able to visit him as much either, not NEARLY as much. I ended up having a serious medical issue for months that required medication that prevented me from driving. That meant even more boredom for Solomon, because I could rarely see him.

As it is, I don't get to see him very often now either... but now he's okay with that, because he has a ton of stimulation and a lot to do. He even gets to go along when the other boarders go on trail rides around the property. He just follows along like a dog, in "guard" mode, heh.

I don't see the point of people fighting and getting nasty about stuff, on EITHER side of the fence. But that's me. I fight in real life, to learn to protect, to learn to defend. Why would I seek conflict purposefully? Actually, why does anyone? What isn't being fulfilled? What hole is filled by seeking conflict? Does it actually fill that hole?

What's just fun, entertaining baiting for one person might be really hurtful to another. How will that fix anything?

Just my 2 cents.

Monday, April 30, 2012

It's spring for Sollywog, and he's feeling frisky.

Well, Solomon was in a pretty frisky mood today. He latched right on to me, nickering like I haven't heard him nicker in years, keeping his mouth on my shoulder constantly, following me around everywhere, and grooming me. At one point he stopped me from walking forward with his chin, and snapped his teeth really loudly close to my ear, like a feaux-nip. Not something he does! I ignored him, which was dumb of me, because when I took another step forward, I sank into some nasty mud, LOL.
Bossy, but meaning well?
Then I saw him try to mount Maggie. Except he couldn't quite figure it out right, and tried to mount her shoulder, LOL!
Then I realized he was doing the same things with her as he had been with me, keeping his mouth on her shoulder, nickering, throwing his head over her, grooming her, etc etc.
Uh, well at least he didn't try to mount me?
She tried to back up on him to show him how it was done, but he squealed and pinned his ears and chased her away, then came back to me, nickering and putting his mouth on my shoulder.

Haha, love my boy though! He's fat and healthy and happy.
Every time I visit him he ends up falling asleep on me. He either squishes his nose up in my cleavage or rests his neck on my shoulder and starts snoring, haha. He doesn't run as fast as he used to, but he looks amazing.

Monday, February 6, 2012



I have a local friend with a really sweet solid draft cross mare. I'm about 14% of her weight, heh. She's 17 hands tall! A total babysitter, too. I've ridden her twice now, and we're learning to understand one another. I've never really ridden a horse like her before- her legs are so long that her movement is HUGE! Her hips swing in long, wide, broad strokes. Very different from the stock horses I'm used to riding. She's also an English horse, though she sure doesn't seem to mind me riding with a loose rein. She does require a little firmer signals, but I use the least amount I can, and she's starting to get softer with me, as well as starting to focus on me more.

I still haven't figured out how to sidepass with her yet, haha! But we'll get there in time.

I'm going to ride again on Wednesday. So looking forward to it! It feels like coming home, sitting on the back of a horse. It's been a long time since I've really gotten to RIDE, but we happily tool around in the arena together. Perhaps in time, once I'm up to speed, we'll get to go out on some trails.

Here she is!

Solomon's doing really well. Last time I went out to see him, I followed along while Maggie and Breaker's mom and dad went on a trail ride!

Here are some videos of the day. Heh, I totally fell on the side of the hill, which was a lot steeper than it looked like.

I'll try to get some photos up sometime. He is such a gorgeous, happy, healthy boy these days! :D