Monday, December 12, 2011

big fat message from white feather today...

receiving the message...
and it was this: "don't call it 'gentling' when it's not gentle, and don't call it  medicine if it doesn't heal". simple, one would think hm? and yet for many years many of us (including myself) have been using both of these words to describe how to bring along and care for horses and it's time we honor the use of these words by describing how we do what we do more honestly. to capture a wild horse and put him through the chutes, in the pens and in the trailers after chasing him for miles and miles is horrible. but how is putting the then caught horse in a small pen where he's helpless, scaring the shit out of him (literaly) with bags and ropes and an angry face any different? hey people guess what? it's not!!! i don't care how fast the horse "gets over it" or calms down it's wrong, wrong, wrong and no better than what the wrangler brutes do to them. (okay and here i go)and, it is not GENTLING!!! call it something else but not that. call it what it is: 'putting-a-horse-in-a-round-pen-until-he-learns-total-helplessness' training. there is nothing gentle here and this is not medicine. when your healing someone or something, you give it medicine and altho it may be hard for the recipient to swallow, it is good, it nourishes, heals, transforms. and the best medicines on our sweet earth are soothing and good for us on many levels. when wisdom from the elders of long, long ago is not shared and then heard, we get in trouble, we suffer, we get sick and cry. why continue to propagate this? why call it what it's not? why misuse and distort the meaning  of these two powerful words? their meanings are being re-defined by our bad behavior just like 'natural horsemanship' and 'horse whisperer'. if you can't abide by and use use their true meanings, then perhaps just shut the f--- up! love ya'll and believe me this lesson was for me first and foremost...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

it's been a year...


such a good and mello boy


pableu with his ponybeads

last year on the day before thanksgiving, cate, gary and i went to litchfield to get pableu, sage and rosebud. oh they were so sick! we could hear little rosebuds breath just heaving in the trailer and it was so so cold that day. well...here we are a year later.  and pableu is healthy, happy, and doing great with us and his uncles and tache and tiger his crib cats. there were many days when i bit my fingers and wondered if he's make it through the day. he did and boy are we happy that he did. he's taught me a lot much of which i probably never would have gotten if he weren't here. my lessons are often funny and puzzling but in the end i do okay and i believe he's proud of me for getting them. my best wish is that we keep on learning and that he stays healthy and fine and full of life and good, strong horse humor which he already has plenty of. here are some new pics...  

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

crazyquilt: a tribute to an awesome mama...






pableu and crazyquilt at twin peaks


while elvon and i were in alaska pableu the boys stayed at my friend karen's ranch called 'unshackeled'. since i didn't want to come home with any babies, pableu had to stay in karens pens with joaquin. the pens were plenty big and they did fine in them the whole time. joaquin must have given p some good lessons in manners and discipline because he came home a changed boy. no more biting, no more trying to jump on the humans or aggressive little stallion-like behavior, and best of all, no more tummy aches for pabs. he's been in the big corral with his uncles and is doing great. they let him eat out of his box in his old pen and share when he wants to eat with them. all in all, they are good to him. but...something else has happened. he's mellowed and gotten lovey and sweet and is just wonderful. we take him on walks and he's fine and out to play on the obstacle course. he likes standing on the pedestal and doesn't need to be shown how to get up anymore he figured it out.  he's a deep little fella and when he looks sidways at me and i can see the whites of his eye it almost brings tears to my eyes it's so darn cute. he loves being brushed and stroked and will show me where he likes it best. when i stroke him he lets his eyes close and i think that maybe, he remembers his mama crazyquilt gently licking him. when a horse is this good, this pure and wonderful, you know that his parent were too, especially their mother. crazyquilt must be loving, gentle, patient, smart and funny and all of these attributes, she has passed on to pableu her last son. i envy her her life in the wild while she was there and will honor her life and memory whenever we go back to visit. just like i promised HoonaH, my first mustang, pableu and i will go to twin peaks someday so he can breathe the air that brought him to life and bask in the memories and love of crazyquilt and the rest of his noble family band...

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

rosebud


princess rosebud


this is rosebud, one of pableu's herd sisters and....maybe if he were still at twin peaks, he would be teasing her, courting her, and having a good ol time being young and free in the wild. things didn't turn out that way so here they are, with us, doing well and being as happy as they can be. pableu and rosebud survived quite an ordeal. being captured, separated from their families, weaned and very sick with strangles and horrible colds, then enduring the ride from the corrals to mt. shasta on one of the coldest days of the winter was hard on them too but here they are, strong and fine and silly. i don't like to humanize animals and make them do tricks or put clothes on them. it humiliates them and makes us look like the fools we are sometimes. but on this day, rosebud's little friend layla was playing with her and the encounter, captured with cate's camera, is adorable. one can see from the expression on rosebuds face that she's enjoying this to the delight of layla. it was good fun and i'm sure had pableu seen her with her tiara on, he would have been impressed and given her a big whinney...

Friday, July 29, 2011

a meeting with White Feather...

i recently had a meeting with one of my elders White Feather, a respected and beloved Blackfoot medicine man, and posed some questons to him about many wild horse issues on a day when my heart was heavy. what he said rocked my world and i'm still thinking on it. when i mentioned the many attemps that folks are making to save the horses he asked me "what makes you think they want to be saved? do you not understand that the wild ones are perfectly capable of making the decision to stay or leave themselves? do you not understand that they have and have always had other, better, realms to live in? perhaps this is where they have chosen to depart to and they are letting the evil hand of man deliver them there". i started to cry when he said this and he reminded me again that what happens to them may truly be of their choosing because life here for them has been tragic and hard. he reminded me of a tribe of people in australia we had talked about years ago who had consiously decided as a tribe, to die out, go away, cease to grow, because things in the world had become too painful and foreign  for them. and, he reminded me too that we keep imposing what we think is good for animals upon them and that this is not a noble thing it is a weakness that humans have. thinking that they know what is best for another, especialy an animal. he asked me "how can you tell your horse is happy?" i said i look at his face, his expression, body language etc. and, i ask him. he said "yes, good. and does that decide your opinion about whether he's happy or not?" i said that yes for the most part it does. he then said that very few people truly have the ability to hear their horses and that many think they do and make up rules and ways of treating them based upon false readings. when i asked him how one gets better at it he said that it is given gift. not something that can be bought or read or learned only given or inherited through blood. when i asked him if the fight by man to save them is futile he said "in the long run... yes. but it puts good medicine in the air and it makes us silly two-leggeds feel better. nothing wrong with that." he smiled and wiped away my tears...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

bitey and tall...what a combo

healthy boy happy and growing...


sexylegs!

when we went to twin peaks last year and found pableu's band, it was obvious to everyone there that his daddy, the stallion BraveHeart, was a really tall fella. well, his son is certainly following in his footsteps. he's lotsa leg and...his legs are muscular and strong. he's sleek and shiny now that summer is here and growing by leaps and bounds. his freckles are dominant on his muzzle and around his eyes and he has flecks of white coming in under his dark fur. his cloud blanket is prettier than ever and he has a nice and shiny tail and mane. he's so good, and stands still for grooming and loves it. but...he's still so bitey! he bites everything. the brush the gate his lead his treat bowl my shoes my hair and when he can, me. he's not biting to hurt he's just baby-bitey just like any young creature with new teeth. when i go in his corral and i'm in there for a while he stops and we can have a good time but until then, it's like having a big, pesky mosquito buggin you! but in spite of it all, he's wonderful and i give thanks everyday that this little fella is still here with us and that he made it through the torture of being captured and ripped away from his beautiful family and the life we saw him living in the wild. he has many here who love him and i think khe knows it. come see him and tell us what you think!

Monday, July 18, 2011

poop salad

healthy and oh so fragrant!
there are  times when i just don't feel like scoopin' the poop. it's a hard job made even harder by the fact that the horses corral has sand ( it's actually ash) in it so it's like walking on a beach with deep sand. but...it has to be done and so i have reconciled with it and actualy like it most times now. it's a meditation, an alone time, a time to be in the horses house only with them listening to the birds and coyotes and whatever else happens to be going off out there. it's where i loose feeling mad or sad or any other yucky feelings i might have and where i come to love where we live, my husband, our life and all that rings and sings in my heart. i create stories out there, spin ideas, sing songs and act like the nut i am. when i get tired i sit down and helaku usually comes over to visit or i just sit and be. with them. in their world. surrounded by some of the most awesome beauty this county has to offer. i also check out their poop. that's right. i look at it. closely. to see if it's healthy, if has any critters in it and how it's holding together. it's an important task if you love your horses and i don't mind it at all. i can see where they roll and sleep, what they nibble on and how they travel. i look at their hoofprints and check out their coats and eyes while i'm out there too. all in all it's a good time. and when the wheelbarrow is full and i'm trudging it out to the big pile out back, i stop along the way and pick some weeds to throw on the top. it looks like salad. noooo not one to eat but one that has nourished me in ways most would find hard to comprehend. poop salad. YUM!   

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Balance...let's get some

life can be simple and quiet with nature and us, in balance...
to me, the only thing absolute and for sure in this world is change. everything changes. all the time. one year this food is bad the next it's fine. goes for a lot more than food too and no where else is this so obvious than in the horse world. many people who wander in the domain are pig-headed, stuck, and so opionated that even when you ask them to explain their ideas to you they go off on a tirade that's so tainted you lose them at the get-go. i believe the only way to feel good about decisions you make about the care and relationship you have with your horse is to 1) ask the horse 2) check you instincs and 'guts' 3) read and study. i have to say i am sticking closer to the first two than #3 because stuff that's read is either a copy of what someone else said or just someone's opinion. do my horses need shoes? is riding bad? is milk bad even if it's organic and good? is that car economical? am i politically correct? should i tie my horse in the trailer? eat chocolate? run 5 miles everyday? geez no wonder we're so stressed out all the time. when did we stop listening to ourselves? why do we have to read about how to even make a decision? why do we copy  and quote other people's opinions and thoughts? have we lost our own? yes we have. why? because we're out of balance. how 'bout not saying "always" anymore or "forever" anymore or the most common "no way" and "absolutely!". and...why not just a simple thank you instead of thank you SO MUCH. balance sounds good to me. soft, easy, uncomplicated, even and calm.  pableu can spend his whole day in balance. taking bites of food here and there, napping when he feels like it, chasing an uncle and... my oh my how i envy that life! please make me duck or a free-roaming horse or a human so evloved that i can trust all what Creator gave me next time around so i too can live a life of simple balance...    

Monday, May 30, 2011

happy birthdays or not?

eeyoweptna eta eta kankaa'ne
both ginger kathren's cloud and pableu had birthdays this week. in my heart of hearts i celebrate them being here, am made more better for it, am happy that they are both loved and welcomed in this crazy world, but there's also a part of me that is sad again and probably always will be. cloud shouldn't be a poster horse for anything, he should just be the glorious stallion that he is, free, healthy, happy and left alone. and pableu? oh yes we love him to pieces but the pictures i have in my head of him so young and adorable, walking the earth with his family during those brilliant-sky-bleu days in july when we saw him, haunt me on days like this more than they conjure up happy memories. every time i see him buck and play he tells me it's okay...my life is good, all is well. so maybe it's just my weak human mind feeling the changes we have been forced to endure and succmb to ever since our buffalo, horses, land and people were killed, scattered, and or dislocated that haunts me. i can choose weather their birthdays are gonna be happy ones for me or not. i choose happy. sometimes, once you speak the pain, you can lay it down. no alcohol is required, no pills, no misery, you just lay it down. i lay mine down...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

sunny days, snowy days....



A very happy Pableu. "Life is GOOOD"!



Pableu and Helaku learn to play. Cool pic hm?


The weather lately has been crazy. Just like life. One day sunny and brite, the next, dark and miserable. Yesterday was warm, sunny and lovely, and in the midst of it, Pableu got a terrible tummy ache. After herbing him up and rubbing his belly, he was okay but it scared the scat out of me none the less. Today, it was cold, rainy, dark at times with snow in Mt. Shasta. He was happier and more full of joy that I've ever seen him. When I let him out with Smoke and Echo today he ran around tossing his head, bucking, biting them on the butt and having a ball. It was almost as if he was saying " This is great!!! I made it and life is good!"  Later when I went in the big corral where Joaquin and Helaku were to scoop poop, he came and stood at the gate so he could come in and visit with them. He played a lot with Helaku and I was happy about this because Helaku is really a loner but he was really good and gentle with P. Joaquin's behavior was interesting. He hung back in another part of the corral and all but ignored what was going on. Whereas when Pableu comes in to play with Smoke, he chases Smoke off. I have a feeling he knew this was good for Helaku and so left them alone. Then when he was done, he went and stood at the gate and I let him out to graze some more with the other two. In spite of the crazy weather, it was a good day and my boy once again, filled us all with joy and a humble feeling of gratitude that we were fortunate to live yet another day in beauty and love...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

a pictures worth a thousand words....

"do i look cool or what!"...


I promised Pableu that we wouldn't put a halter on him until he told me not only that he was ready, but that he wanted to try one on. Knowing that at some point he may need one, I was willing to do this but I wanted to put it off for as long as I could. Elvon and I made him one from a larger one we had and I hung it on his corral so he could check it out. He pulled it off, stepped on it, tossed it around, flung it over his back, chewed on it and then gave it to me. I put it over his nose, and gently slipped it over his poll and tied it. No big deal. I did this while I was grooming him which I do everyday prior to letting him out and he doesn't seem to be bothered by it at all. I tried not putting it on one day and he pulled it off the fence and pawed at it until I picked it up. I doubt he was asking to wear it as much as he was saying "hey you forgot that part!" Anyway, I took this picture of him so you could see not only his halter, but how freckly his muzzle is getting. I think this picture is adorable and I won't even try to assume I know what he's thinking. Look at that face!!! 

Monday, May 16, 2011

echo's bewilderment...(for kathy h.)

echo talking to joaquin
my sweet little pabs is learing how to ask to get into the big corral with his uncles and has been standing at the gate instead of gingerly walking through the tape. smart guy...so i let him in and he has fun harrassing smoke and running like the wind all over the place and jumping the poop pile. smoke squeals and plays right along but ehco, well, he doesn't quite know what to do. he stands and watches and looks somewhat confused. pableu never goes near him sensing i think, that next to joaquin, he's next in the line of command and would never stand for any shenanagins. since smoke and echo are such good buds, it's kind of sad to see him out of the loop. so today, while smoke and the little shark were playing, i went in and gave echo a good grooming, loved on him real good, teased him about his halfa moustache and his 'curlybutt' fur, and he seemed to love it. it's so good for me to see their dynamic and see how they live and react in their world. when i was done, i snuck bubba (echo) a peppermint... 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

tell it yourself...

josephine in her early days

a reporter came over a couple of weeks ago to talk to me about the horses and meet pableu. i was adamant about my position concerning the BLM'S inaccurate numbers and faulty reoprts on the conditions of things in the HMA'S and told him why i was and that i wanted this stated in the artricle he was writing for a local paper. he ignored this, misquoted me, got names wrong and insulted our home. he described it as "battered" and commenced to writing a dumb, patronizing, story that was inacurate and full of mistakes. we live in an old, vintage, 1952 pan am trailer that some wonderful friends gave us, that we are restoring. so far it's been quite cozy and has a beautiful teak and rosewood floor that elvon put in with wood from the scrap pile off his last job, and a 'carrot door' in the kitchen that's for the horses when they walk by. bit by bit, our "battered" home is becoming quite lovely. we choose to live without many creature comforts so that we can live off the beaten track, with our animals, in peace and beauty, and hope that someday, we can build an even nicer home and the trailer can become a guest home. i learned a lot about 'truth' with this guy. and what i learned that was most important was that if you want to report the truth, simply tell it yourself. and...that beauty is once again, in the eye of the beholder. we think our home is great, our animals love it here and we're all pretty friggin' happy. he has another opinion. evident in the little puddle i found in front of the toilet he used...  

Thursday, April 28, 2011

finally...

we love this little guy...
Now that I have a new knee and the weather is changing and the flowers are blooming and Elovns smilin' and Pableu is healthy, happy and liking us a lot, we can begin building with him. He is so full of youth and vitality and to see him run around here and buck and play and then see him relax and smile while we brush and love on him is just wonderful. We're so glad he's here with us and we can all grow up together... 

uncle smokey plays with the "little shark"...

nip n nip back

come on uncle smoke let's play!!
THIS is horse whispering

Whenever I talk to my friend Cate about Pableu's colty antics she says "that little shark!!!" and, he is. He behaves just like a bratty, pesty 8 year old sometimes.  Sometimes when he's out of his pen and he feels like it, he snakes through the fence into the corral his uncles live in and pesters Smoke relentlessly. I went in there one day to watch them because I wanted to make sure no one was getting hurt and took some pics. What I saw was really cool. Pableu was on Smoke like white on rice...nipping, squealing, rearing, pushing anything he could do to get Smokey to play with him. At first Smoke acted like he was a pain in the ass but then he started having fun. When Pableu goes too far, Smoke sets him strate but all in all, they have a great time together...

quite the jumper!

oh those scritches feel good!

daddy longlegs

Last week our good friends Ed and Jane brought over a load of hay they got for us and we had some other friends with kids visiting while they came. Well I guess all the commotion got Pableu pretty excited because he decided to jump over the 4'6" log pole fence that separates him from his uncles. He fell as he landed but except for a tuft of belly fur on the pole that scraped off his tummy, he was fine!  He hasn't tried to jump over again since then but to ensure he doesn't, we've made it higher. If he jumps that, I'll have to find a way to get him to stop getting taller. (yea right!). Anyway, once he got in there he had a great time rubbing his back on his favorite juniper tree branch...hehe!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

our beloved home

riding sheeprock
even with all of the struggles and hard times we've faced this year elvon and i never take for granted what we have and where we live. it is beautiful here and our wish is that we can stay here for a long time and continue to make life sweet and peaceful for ourselves and our fourleggeds...

echohawk

golden boy


Echo is Smoke's buddy and out on the trail they have a really good time together. Echo is our only horse not from a California HMA but comes from Buck n Bald in Nevada. He's silly and sassy and likes to dig in pockets to see if there's any good stuff there but aside from that, he's a good horse that has half a moustache when he's shed out in the summertime. He's a palomino with some really cool and unusual markings that also come out when he's shed out and he's tall. We got him from a wonderful woman who loved him but needed a first-time horse. With Pableu he's very gentle and loving and the only one who doesn't discipline him much. Elvon would say that Echohawk is only on his "second cat life" meaning he's still real young and green. His name when we got him was Echo and we added the 'hawk' part to honor the Echohawk family, native folks who practice indian law and defend native rights. I like to stand in his corral and tease him about his halfa moustache and tickle his chin. He loves it... 

handsome whistlesmoke

our handsome and sweetest boy


This horse is possibly the sweetest one around and i constantly sing praises to his original owner who passed away and made it possible for us to give him a home. Whatever he did in bringing this horse along was wonderful because Smoke is so wonderful. I thought he was going to be my horse but he made it very clear from day one that he wanted to be elvons horse. He looooves elvon and never misses a chance to give him a big lick across his face when he sees him. He's our 'elder' but on the trail makes any other horse eat dust with his big wiggly butt and quick clip of a trot. Lately he's been the target of Pableu's misguided, hormonal attentions but Smoke usually gives him a little kick and that's that. He's just adorable and we never get tired of spending time with him. The Whistlesmoke part of his name came from a young Blackfoot warrior named 'Young Whistlesmoke' and the handsome part well...he is very handsome... 

helaku

helaku nibblin' some sweet grass

I have rescued this horse twice so he's not going anywhere and has a forever home here with us. He's aloof and standoffish to the other horses most of the time and in spite of his size the lowest in the herd order. He likes people though and will always come over and say hi. He wears his heart on his sleeve and was terribly abused and neglected in the past. I was worried about how he would treat a new horse but he's very sweet to Pableu and is gentle about the way he schools him. On sunny days I can find him lying in the sun and I never miss the chance to give him a good massage while he's off his feet. He too is from the Twin Peaks Herd Management Area and I think he knows his little homey is too...

Monday, April 11, 2011

the uncles...

Big Guy



Pableu has four uncles that have lived with us for some time and when we were thinking about adopting him we spent a lot of time wondering how well they would do accepting a young colt into their herd. Well, they have done fine and I'm really proud of them for they way they teach and treat him and make him feel wanted a loved. I will introduce you them one at a time with a little story about how they reacted to Pableu and how they spend time with him. I'll start with our most wild-at-heart fella and leader of the pack, Joaquin...


I have had Joaquin the longest and in many ways, he's the closest to my heart. Why? because he should be living his life in the wild and we both know it. When I have him in hand he's wonderful, funny, loving and light as a feather. But he never wants to be caught and prefers to be left alone. He doesn't want to be ridden so we aren't going there and he adores Pableu. From the very first day he made it very clear that he was in charge of him and he treats him like a son. He nips and schools him, protects and looks after him, and teaches him a ot of things he needs to know. On the days he spends outside his corral with Pableu they rip and run all over the property and have tons of fun. Of all of our horses I thought Joaquin would bully him or ignore him. Boy was I wrong...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

poke #3




"hey uncle joaquin while your back there could you check to make sure all my parts are there? i heard my girl two-legged talking about cutting snipping something off."



and who says horses can't talk?!

pableus pokes #2

read from right to left again. someday i'll get it right...

this cartoon is dedicated to you know who who lives you know where about you know who got lost somewhere??!!XX?#!!? hehe....

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

pableus pokes

read from right to left (i'm a dork...i did this a bit 'backwards)


i'm a smart ass. and i've discovered over the years that if i don't give myself the freedom to express what's on my mind and heart, it comes out eventually, all wrong. so...i'm giving myself that freedom here in this blog and pableu has agreed to help me do some of that expressing in the form of cartoons starring him. we don't intend to hurt anyone, or make anyone feel small or bad but we want to use humor to make folks laugh and think at the same time. if you think the humor is hard well, perhaps it is. but so is life because we make it that way and if you can't handle it then simply don't look, it's okay! we have to be able to laugh at the ugly and insane sometimes. if one can't then life will eat you up and spit you out or at the very least, bite at your ankles. the first cartoon came to life the day we saw tiny babies drinking at a spring a week before the twin peaks round up and we wondered how they were going to survive the run. here goes...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

the hoof is the shoe...




pableus only shoe holds his good luck


Creator did such an amazing job designing nature and this is exemplified in the animal nations. the speed of the panther, the intelligence of the gorilla, and the grace of the horse. then man comes along and tries to alter the design to satisfy his greedy needs. let's take horse hooves for example. they are perfect. they are the shoe. if you study (and everyone with a horse should) the anatomy of the hoof, both inside and out, you will see that the hoof is designed to function just fine, bare. i got this visually when i saw martha olivo dissect a hoof. it all came together for me when i saw how the hoof works from the inside out and the incredible beauty of it. but because some people want their horses to go longer, faster, and harder while oftentimes lame, they nail shoes into the hoof over the shoe that's already there. dumb idea. then comes 'smart' man and he sees the health potential of being shoeless and invents boots for horses. cool hm? a healthier alternative for horses who need to heal or horses who need support over rough or rocky terrain while being ridden. if a horse has had shoes for all of it's life and an owner wants to transition to going barefoot, there's usually a period of healing that includes the owner being pro-active in helping the horse along and, the horse usually shoudn't be ridden until the hooves are healthy and healed again. time and time again, people bulk at this and don't want to do what's required of them to help their horse heal and really want to continue to ride. they will cave, give in, and slap shoes back on. this is dumb too. it takes patience and lots of it, to have a healthy horse and  the problems our ponies experiance can only strengthen our knowledge about them and provide us with info we need to learn about them and their needs.  again...we have to listen! we have begun teaching pableu about his hooves and trimming and we will give him all the time he needs to get comfortable with it. his hooves so shiny and stripey, so vital for keeping his heart pumping and strong, have little invisible wings attached to them that bloom when the moon is full, and carry him to places we can only dream of. hehe...


his hoof waiting for it's first trim


Monday, February 14, 2011

linda parelli and john wayne's teeth...



about a year ago i saw linda parelli smack a young, one-eyed paint horse she was working with on national tv. i couldn't believe it! i never liked the parelli's anyway because they always smelled phoney to me...like something wasn't quite right especially with linda. pat's stuff isn't even hidden, it glares at you right up front. linda's is more hidden, more sneaky. but that day on tv it wasn't and she smacked him good, yanked on his halter and treated him like shit. i was appalled. it's bad enough to know that most people hit their horses regularly but there she was, the idol and role model to millions smacking this young, one-eyed horse on tv. IN THE FACE!!! once in a while i watch the shows with trainers so i can learn what not to do not what to do. because as far as i can see, there isn't one person out there worth a bag of salt that is truly kind to horses. they all smack 'em, chase 'em, tug on 'em and treat them badly, all of them. so if their doing this on national tv, what are they doing behind the scenes? this came up one day when i was telling a woman about it who had been to the parelli ranch in colorado. she said she left there after three days the abuse was so bad and the horses so lame. she was so glad to leave she didn't even ask for her money back and she paid a bundle to go there and be mentored. what your probably wondering is what does linda parelli have to do with john wayne's teeth? nothing if you get what i'm saying, everything if you do. there's a song about him that questions his character by asking if his teeth, which are hardly ever seen (which doesn't sit well with native people), are real. you can hear it if you click on the video i have included for you to listen to. when i think about linda i think about john wayne and his teeth. he was phoney as boloney. i had a boyfriend who lived next door to him when we were kids in high school in newport beach and he was a foul-mouthed drunk who'd throw beer bottles at us for fun when we'd row our dingy past his deck. he too was beloved by millions...people adored and respected and looked up to him and they still do! i have an older friend in arizona who idolizes him and whenever he'd get anything 'john wayne' and show it to me, his face would light up like a little boys. all i could say was "oh frank...". my point is that both linda and john wayne were phonies. behind the scenes they were not the people they portrayed themselves to be to those of us who have seen them on the screen. sure john wayne was an actor playing parts and so is linda. she spends most of her time in front of the camera or in front of audiences because she loves horses? no way! she wants to MAKE MONEY!!! lots and lots of it and so she'll do whatever the hell she feels like doing to a one-eyed horse that's getting on her nerves because people will still adore her and hang on her every word. or slap, or yank. john wayne was killing indians in the movies long after they had already been wiped-out, thrown onto reservations and discarded by society and people still loved (love) him! ai yi yi...i spent the day singing "john wayne's teeth" but i substituted the words john wayne's teeth for linda's teeth. it worked....so now perhaps your wondering what this has to do with a blog about a little colt? this... i will never, never, endorse, copy, use, or watch, ever again even to learn what not to do with my precious little colt or any other horse, anything parelli. come clean linda. come clean before your horse tramples you and throws you over his back like the sad bag of bones you are...  

Saturday, February 12, 2011

free-up


joaquin and pableu freein' up

i have a beautiful young friend named keith 'kdub' williams who's working real hard to improve the lives of inner city youth with art and skate skills. recently he commented about a tv show that shows a bunch of folks  dancing and having a really cool time to music. he referred to it as "free-up". i thought about this for a long time cuz so many of us are so caught up in stuff we've forgotten how to free ourselves up and have fun. we overthink, overuse, overanalyze, overdo, we just do way too much of a whole lotta nothin'. what if we applied a "free-up" principle to our relationship to horses? instead of constantly asking them to do stuff for us, how 'bout just letting them be sometimes. letting them do what comes natural to them to do with little or no interferance from us? my husband elvon let pableu out of his corral today and he went nuts running and bucking and getting all the other, older horses all riled up. it was great. he was so happy. he freed-up. horses are contantly freeing up. it's part of how they live in the world and how they express themselves. why don't we take the time to do this? why don't we run around and act nutty and goffy outside when the weather is nice or put on some music and really let loose?  we're too busy, too caught up, too this or too that to free-up. maybe if we did, maybe if we ran with our horses, played with them on their terms once in a while, they will see that we are not so strange, so repressed and so uptight, and the love and trust we so desperatly want from them will come easier

Monday, February 7, 2011

the first nicker....

he was very happy to get his morning snack and let me know in horsetalk!


you'll have to bear with me. this is the first time i've ever had a colt. had lotsa older horses but never a 'baby' so when pableu does new stuff i get all silly and fuzzy the same way i would if it were one of my grandkids. plus he's just so stinkin' cute! the white part of his eyes make his expressions all the more adorable so add that to his silky fur and long spidery legs and i'm mush. every morning i give him some alfalfa pellets wet down with meadowsweet tea and a scoop of his vitamins and when he saw me coming he nickered at me! this was the first time he ever has. he's really quiet and except for calling his uncles when they get out of eyesight, he never makes a peep. so when he nickered, i was elated. what, really, is a nicker? it's a horse talking...expressing itself, giving you a message. if only i could know all of his language! perhaps if i shut up and listen, be quiet and always kind, i will....

Saturday, February 5, 2011

liberty?

i don't want to hurry with pableu. i don't want to put a halter on him yet. he managed to get the too tight neck tag with his blm number on it at the corrals off so what is that telling me? i like the idea of him never needing one but for a short time, then on to a cordeo around the bottom of his neck instead. i don't want him to fear or run from me. i don't want to teach him tricks or make him do things that humiliate him or make fun of him. i don't ever want to think that i know what's good for him more than he does and impose my selfish, human ideas on him. i don't want to be "the boss" or the lead mare or dominant over him in any way. why? because i am not a horse!!! and horses know that we are not. to try to pretend like we are or even mimick herd behavior is ridiculous to me because they know the difference and to behave otherwise will only confuse and upset them. will i ride him someday? maybe, maybe not. he will decide if that's something he wants to do and let me know and whatever he decides will be ok with me and...i hope with all my heart i learn from him and apply what i learn to my other horses. i have made mistakes with them and it saddens me to think about the damage some of those mistakes has caused. pableu's not my slave or here to serve or work for me any more than my husband is. he too is my partner, my friend, my equal. i feel like people are using the term "at liberty" with horses the way they use "natural" horsemanship. there's nothing natural about it all. it's still humans asking horses to do stuff they usually don't want to do or are not comfortable doing and the horse does them just to 1) make the human happy or 2) make them shut up. and liberty? i understand what people try to mean when they use that word but in reality, that big ass ugly helicopter that chased and scared the shit out of pableu and his band during the round up in august and ken salazar took that away.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

my little stallion...


a proud and happy pableu


i know this is really silly but i got as excited as a mother whose son just got his first whisker today when i noticed that pableu dropped his first testicle. hehe!!! i know...it's stupid and funny at the same time getting excited about it, but i couldn't help but feel proud for him. guess the other one should be coming sometime within the next month or so and then come spring, we'll have to consider gelding. ah my poor boy...in a perfect world you could keep all your parts along with your freedom and make a fine, fine family. instead, let's celebrate your growth and health and give you all the love and adoration we can...

Friday, January 28, 2011

why mustangs?

i always knew there were people who bred horses to look and be a ceratin way. but when i learned recently that there are people who dispose of the horses that don't come out the way they want i was horrified. i had no idea. they take them to auction and they usually end up bought by 'kill buyers' real cheap, who then take them to either canada or mexico where they are then bought by foreigners who slaughter them for meat that they eat. (shit if people in america ate horses, we woudn't be able to grow the wild ones fast enough would we?)


mustangs are deep, and carry many secrets from long ago in their hearts and souls...


when people say there are "too many (even domestic) horses in this country" it's a myth. even in hard times most folks are reluctant to let them go often even feeding their animals before themselves. so, that leaves us with horses that were once wild that have now been captured who also need homes.  the folks that breed for color or perfect confirmation or whatever they deem necessary in a good horse, obviously fail to see that mustangs, no matter whether they have four or none of the genetic markers indicating good iberian or spanish bloodlines, are the cream of the crop, and that they stand the tests of mother nature year after year and pass with flying colors. in the wild they go without fancy barns, quality hay, and all of the other things us humans think they need to survive, carry on and buck-up (no pun intended) when the  going gets real tough. they don't need blankets or shoes or us trying to tell them how and why to live either but after capture they do need homes. maybe some of the folks who produce throwaway horses should take a second look at the mustangs. but then again, do we want them to have them to have them in the first place? all of these are great reasons for getting one but to me, the best reason is one you can't put into words. it has to do with their sensitivity and they way they keen into your or said more better, your very soul. they will test you, study you and wonder about you in a way i've yet to see any other animal do. they will make you work hard for trust and give it back tenfold. the will reveal their broken hearts if they have one, and will wear it on not only their sleeve, but yours as well. but...it's something that lives between all of this that makes them different and if you don't feel it at first, you will eventually and if you never do, well then it wasn't meant for you to have. notice i said "have". it's a gift and not all can handle it. lots of people give up with mustangs "oh he's taking to long gentle" or, "he just won't settle down and let me do anything". DUH!!! he's a WILD HORSE!!! my reply would be "your not giving him enough time to get to know you...slow down, don't hurry" and, "stop trying to DO STUFF!". my first mustang HoonaH, died of a broken heart. after two years of sporadic but almost constant colic and a $10,000 surgery at davis that proved nothing, he died. my mentor at kickin' back ranch willis lamm told me "he holds in his emotions...that's why he's sick". he was right. this horse would stand on a little hill at the ranch with me, look east and tears would roll down his face and his bottom lip would tremble. all the rest of his time he was holding it in and trying to make me happy. he had been horribly neglected and abused before i got him and was also one of those mustangs that (there are many)  never should have been caught in the first place. they just can't be happy with humans. HoonaH would do everything i asked of him but stay alive and when he died it tore me up real bad. more than any human loved one even. did i have the courage to start again? yes. was it worth it? hell yes. do i miss him? everyday...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

where is braveheart? where is pableu's daddy?

when we were camping at ramhorn springs where we first saw pableu and his band, we saw the band stallion many times. it was obvious after a while who he was, what his role was and how well he did his job. pableu is his youngest son, and crazyquilt, a name i gave her because of her many colored mane, tail and coat, his mother. unbeknownst to us at the time, there was a special woman who also knew him and his large family and she had grown to admire and respect him. when the band was captured and taken to the corrals, he was too. and, when this woman was "called" by him to come get him, did go to get him, he disappeared. the harder she pressed trying to find him, the farthur he got. no one knows where he went, how he went, or if he even existed at all. she's in limbo and no one's talking. or...no one's making any sense, or, no one's being honest. this gallant and brave guy was old. but not to old to do his job, win mares, stare you in the eye or move and start over with one who loved him. he had a home with someone who heard his call and she was trying to answer. the more i heard about this the more it bothered me. i told my friend cate that i would go nuts wondering what happened to him so...i asked pableu. he hung his little head and didn't answer. i wrapped my arms around him and buried my face in his fur. he smelled like gingerbread...

 a noble braveheart, pableus dad and band leader

Monday, January 24, 2011

homecoming...

i stood in front of the corral we built for pableu while waiting for gary to deliver him and felt like crying. i couldn't help thinking about that fine little guy i saw earnestly trotting along with his band that brilliant august day amid the tall, green grass and flowers as wild and handsome as he was. those nagging feelings and memories never leave. so...again i made the decision to stay on the good side, the positive end of it all. otherwise our little guy was gonna feel it and not like it and have a hard time here. and so the story goes on...he came home and we were very happy to have him. he could settle in now, meet his uncles and have a great life as part of our family. our other horses were really curious and excited to see who was coming and i had spent some time wondering which horse was going to take to him, which one may not and so on and they really suprised me. they all treat him well, disciplining him when they think they should but all in all, they like him, and the one that i thought would be aloof at best, joaquin, loves him. from the moment we unloaded him joaquin was right there making sure he was okay and monitoring the other horses interactions with him. he's still diligent and protective of him and when pableu made it be known one day by busting through the tape to be with them in their corral that he was ready to be with the big boys, joaquin was ever ready to make sure he was ok. we built his corral right up next to theirs so he could visit and interact with them. after the first week, i introduced him to them one at time, by letting them each out of their corrals to visit and run around the property and get used to each other. one day he'd be out with smoke, another day with echo, like that until they all had a turn with him. now, we either let them out together or i put him in their corral with them until grain time in the late afternoon. he loves this and it makes a huge difference.  because he was sick and  a bit complacent it was easy to gentle him to touch, so everyday he gets scritches all over his body (sometimes even when he's laying down) and a good brushing later in the day. he's so soft and tender still and it thrills me to be able to be with one so young and sweet! i commemted to my friend karen who has had appys that he's so mello sometimes i wonder if he feels ok. she told me not to worry...that appys were like that and that it was part of the pleasure of having one. i've been in the house long enough. time to go outside and see what squirts doing...


from the start joaquin takes a very special interest in him
settling in and happy in his new digs

pableu comes home and  his uncles see him for the first time



oh yea and let's not forget...

if it hadn't been for cate and her super-loving attention to the horses they may not have made it. rosebud and pableu looked so frail and lost at times and she would be out there past midnite in the snow! just sitting up with them. on the good days pableu and rosebud would groom and play and try to make the best of their foreign home. it was sad taking him away from the last of his family, but i knew he'd see them again and play in the sun with his little sister. and to my little sister cate, love you girl, your awesome...

oh those scritches feel soooo good!


sleepy, sick little ones comfort each other

pause for a word...

i could have chosen to be really mad at someone for sending us home with sick horses but why would i want to do that? what purpose would it serve? i have strong opinions about the whole wild horse and burro wipe-out which is what i think it is, but it was my choice to take this horse and i was ready to accept all of the consequences no matter what. i never want my opioions to hurt anyone, make life more difficult or cause a drift between myself and someone who has opinions that differ than mine. i'd rather work from common ground and and go from there. the folks who work at the corrals whom i consider friends, don't want me to have a sick horse or want any of them to be sick either so why broadcast ugliness when it only makes more ugly? when you go about adopting a horse, after it has picked you, you have to be ready for all that that experiance is going to bring you, teach you, give you. and, just like the horse your partnering with, you have to be strong of heart and soul because it's probably going to be a journey that will rock your world  and teach you lessons that you thought you already learned and some that you will be humbly thankful for. are you ready?

grant walkie - a horse-friendly and gentle wrangler at the litchfield corrals

Sunday, January 23, 2011

strangles...

pableu went to cate and gary's because our place for him wasn't quite ready and they were all sick with strangles. we didn't know anything about it and i was desperate to find out all i could. looked online, talked to vets, talked to other folks whose horses had had it but none of the stuff they said about how to treat it was the same or sounded good. neither of us wanted to give them drugs so cate gave them fortifying things: vitamins, herbs and whatever made sense and felt right. it was scarry. when someone that you love is really sick you feel compelled to try anything to get them better because that's what people tell ya to do, but what i was getting was that for these little guys, that would do more more harm than good. their systems didn't need anymore shocks. they had already been thru the trauma of capture, separation, weaning, and a bad diet. the hay and water they were getting alone was a huge improvement over the alfalfa (dumb, dumb, dumb) they had been getting once a day! once home they ate and drank like they were starving. they all presented with different symptoms and we learned a lot about strangles and what it does. pableu got a huge abcess under his neck that burst open in a matter of days all over his grain dish one morning and he was fine after that. a week and a half later and to our delight, he came home.
the abcess bursts and drains while he is eating

a sick and sore boy

the calling...

all of my horses picked me. it wasn't any different with pableu. from the first moment we spotted him, he started creeping into my mind. there was something 'special' about him the same way there was something individually 'special' about our other four mustangs. so, when cate and gary went back to twin peaks a few times right after we had all gone together and would come back with news of pableu's band, he would go to the back of my mind behind all of the other million things i was dealing with at the time and begin to make his way forward. when this happens you can feel them calling you. you see them, dream them, think you can feel and smell them and it gets more intense as time goes by. cate had this happen with a grulla mare and her filly from the same band and when we found out that they had all been captured in the gather a few weeks later, she went to the wild horse corrals at litchfield and saw them there. she gave me a picture of pableu and his mama and it broke my heart. after seeing him so fancy-free, so happy, living the way all horses should and then seeing him at the corrals was awful. i knew he wouldn't have trouble finding a home because of his colors but this bothered me even more thinking that some jack-ass would get him only because of that. so...it started. knowing full well that we couldn't afford another horse, his callings became louder and louder so i went with it and let it happen. in choosing not to fight it (knew better than that!) a dear freind offered to sponsor him. so the day before thanksgiving, on a biting-cold day, we drove to litchfield and picked up pableu, sage, the mare that wanted cate, and rosebud her filly. they told us at the corrals that some of the babies were sick but that ours looked okay so off we went. both cate and gary and i just wanted to get the hell out of there. if they were sick their chances of getting better and having a good life would be better with us and we knew it deep down. our ride home was slow but exciting and i felt like i was able to really breathe again. little rosebud...what a fighter. she turned out to be so sick! and as time passed, they all were. but with lots and lots of love, good medicine and doctoring from cate, they all got better, and i learned again, to trust what i know.

pableu and his mama 'crazyquilt' at the litchfield corrals

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

bittersweetness...

i knew this trip would be hard and that it may be the last time we saw any horses in this area. the blm was saying that they had to be removed because there were too many. we found that this was not true and some days we were hard pressed to find or  even see any horses. the terrain was thriving, there was lots of water, and any devestation that we did see, had been done by sheep and grazing units. YUK!!! wildflowers were everywhere, and all i kept thinking was how heavenly a place it was for our wild four-leggeds, (the sweet) and how heartbreaking it would be when they were all gone (the bitter).

it began with a camping trip to twin peaks...

the band at spanish springs
we knew the wild ones we not going to be there much longer. so a week before the blm's gather started in twin peaks, we went on a camping trip to ramhorn springs inside the twin peaks HMA. it was elvon and i, with our good friends cate and gary scott. the weather was great and after we got settled in, we drove out about a mile down the road to a place called spanish springs and there we saw our first band. they were healthy, shiny, and magnificent. and there in the midst of this beautiful family, was a tiny, blanket-butted, little appaloosa colt, looking cute as could be. the whole time we were there we saw them many times and got to see him with his mama and papa living the way all horses should in a strikingly healthy habitat.


pableu and his band heading across the mules ear to get a drink...his mama is the colorful appy next to him