Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Pippi and Nikki on a Trail Ride

After many miles of gamboling about on a long, hot trail ride - uphill and downhill, through thick brush and lush forest, Pippi was bagged. Fortunately, we've been working on teaching Ringo to accept having small, squirmy puppies in the saddle and I was able to toss her on board, climb up after her and give her a ride back to the parking lot. Did Ringo turn a hair? Nope. Would I have believed that this would ever be possible on a horse that used to panic at the thought of being tied up/brushed/bridled/looked-at-funny? Never in a million years would it have entered my head that my skittish maniac of a horse would become the best little trail horse west of the Rockies. Jeez... I'm feeling some cowboy poetry coming on!
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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Yogi on Horseback

Now here's something you don't see every day... advanced yoga on horseback!

This is what happens when Jane invites her friend Peter out on a casual trail ride. Both Jane and Peter are Bikram Yoga fanatics and much of the chit chat while we were out on the ride involved yoga in one way or another.

I shouldn't have been surprised when, back at the parking lot after a long, lovely ride somehow the topic of yoga on horseback came up. Jane said how cool it would be if someone could do that foot behind the head move on horseback (yeah, yeah - I know the posture has some special name). And then, before I could suggest that this could be the last yoga move Peter ever did anywhere, he started contorting himself into pretzel formation and, yes, his foot wound up wrapped around the back of his neck!! On horseback! Gads! Good thing Dinny is a) dead quiet generally and b) was totally worn out after a long, hot ride.

Kids - don't try this at home!
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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Meet the Milk-Stealing Goat

So it turns out that self-sucking goats are not so uncommon. While a self-milking caprine might save us some work, she also robs us of our daily harvest! Poppy seems to have this annoying and persistent habit and we've been having quite the battle to try to prevent her from guzzling away between milkings.

The gizmo in this photo was design-modification #4 of what started out as one of those Elizabethan collars for dogs that are used post-surgery to stop premature plucking out of stitches and licking of wounds. In its original fanned-out configuration, this didn't slow Poppy down at all. Goats, apparently, have much longer necks than dogs. She just reached around and slurped away.

Scissors and duct tape to the rescue!! In the course of making the cone ever more restrictive, we wound up with something that looked like... well, like nothing I've ever seen strapped to animal's head. The new design worked for about 24 hours and then Poppy figured out how to rotate the headgear, and reach around it for another drink. Then she figured out how to rotate it and get her nose stuck in the pointy bit - which, yes, did stop her from milking herself, but also stopped her from eating or drinking.

Back to the drawing board....

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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Poppy Goes to Seed

This spent poppy flower looks more like some kind of sea creature than a land-based lifeform. From the blazing, fire engine red of their blooms to their propensity to self-sow and show up like clockwork each spring, what's there NOT to love about poppies?
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