Hay day

We moved hay today. But first, we adhered to rule number one: ride your horse first, before chores. After all, we do all this work so we can ride!

Work gloves on, we moved 90 bales of hay from the storage barn to the feed barn. Work on the farm is so satisfying. I think it’s because you can see the results of your labor every day. And the feeling of seeing our horses thrive makes me happy.

Dressed in blue jeans and cowboy boots, Matthew gamed up for our hay day (good man!). He definitely made our task go faster which we were very grateful for.

Here’s Paula in Hillcrest fashion: overalls and boots.


Paula’s got some serious guns!

This is what farm girls do on the weekends.

Thanks for helping, my love. And Emmitt too!

All of this work to feed the the boy.


Sir Winkett’s new nickname

Paula’s intentions were so good, but let’s face it, she gave Sir Winkett’s forelock quite a trim! His new nickname is “Friar Tuck.”

I was alone at the barn when I first discovered his short and sassy haircut. I laughed out loud, put his face in my hands, kissed him on the nose, and said, “What happened my friend?”

We go crazy over Sir Winkett. We love him so and he plays an incredibly important role on the farm. We are grateful for every day he is with us.



Falcon is channeling Pig-pen

We have this ongoing stereotype playing out at the farm. Falcon is the perpetual filthy boy that doesn’t miss an opportunity to roll in dirt (think Pig-pen from the Peanuts cartoon).


And then we have Roulette that glistens even when her paddock is muddy.



Falcon on the other hand is caked in mud (this side of his body was his “clean side”). It took me 30+ minutes just to clear a spot to put the saddle. And I just gave him a bath the other day and he has since fully embraced his Pig-pen persona. You might be wondering: Why not put on a blanket? Good question. It’s been too warm for his lite weight turnout and I haven’t found anything to keep the mud off that won’t make him sweat. I think about these things a lot… Signing off to go ride my dirty pony.



Did I mention that he’s helping us do spring tree pruning?


Clinic video

Putting this much horse together is no small task. We have a long way to go, but we’re on our way!


  • Straight, straight, straight. Then go.
  • In the canter, do little leg yields.
  • Let your weight fall into the seat and think about cantering up a hill, up a hill.
  • If you feel him drifting right, make him so right so he always stays straight.
  • Post him forward and then use your leg if he doesn’t respond.
  • Transitions: Use your voice, stretch up, drop your shoulders, sink your weight.
  • Small circles: turn your body!
  • Keep your legs underneath your hips. Never let them move out front.
  • Hardly use any leg – don’t hold let him get you into holding him.
  • Go to the canter without pulling back. Just sit into the canter.
  • If he drifts to the wall, turn his nose towards the wall and use the right rein to guide him and to remove his shoulders from the wall. At the same time, bump him with your left leg and tap him and if needed, tap him on the left shoulder.
  • Ask with your seat and leg. If he doesn’t respond, go to the whip.
  • Everything forward. Always.
  • Portland

    I’ve been in Portland a couple times in the last few weeks on business travel. Here are a few shots I took with my new iPhone. I was impressed with the quality of photos.

    I stayed at the Heathman (I love their breakfasts).

    I then traveled to the Oregon coast to the town of Oceanside. My manager has a beach house there with an amazing view. We worked a lot, but we also took time to walk on the beaches. The crashing waves, the expansive views, and the hospitality made the trip very special.






    Things to worry about

    This excerpt is from a letter Scott Fitzgerald wrote to his daughter, Scottie, on August 8, 1933. She was at camp.

    Good advice, I thought…


    Things to worry about:

    Worry about courage
    Worry about cleanliness
    Worry about efficiency
    Worry about horsemanship
    Worry about. . .

    Things not to worry about:

    Don’t worry about popular opinion
    Don’t worry about dolls
    Don’t worry about the past
    Don’t worry about the future
    Don’t worry about growing up
    Don’t worry about anybody getting ahead of you
    Don’t worry about triumph
    Don’t worry about failure unless it comes through your own fault
    Don’t worry about mosquitoes
    Don’t worry about flies
    Don’t worry about insects in general
    Don’t worry about parents
    Don’t worry about boys
    Don’t worry about disappointments
    Don’t worry about pleasures
    Don’t worry about satisfactions

    Things to think about:

    What am I really aiming at?
    How good am I really in comparison to my contemporaries in regard to:

    (a) Scholarship
    (b) Do I really understand about people and am I able to get along with them?
    (c) Am I trying to make my body a useful instrument or am I neglecting it?

    With dearest love,

    (Source: F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Life in Letters ; Image: Fitzgerald with both his daughter, Scottie, and wife, Zelda. Via Letters of Note.)