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.

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.