Arizona Gets Back In The Saddle

Sunday marked a momentous occasion for myself but mostly for Arizona, as she made an amazing return to the working world after an extensive eight-month long break. Because of seasonal illnesses, the flooding, a bad case of thrush, family obligations, and in general – life – Arizona had not been ridden since January. This weekend I was presented with the opportunity to ride with my barn owner and friend, Alberto, and quickly became excited knowing this was to be our comeback!

After such a long break I was worried of course for my own safety and anxious to see how she would handle herself. She has never been a BAD horse, no obstructive habits, no crazy bolting episodes, but she does spook sometimes. Some rides there are no scares and some rides there may be 1-2. When I first bought her last year she hadn’t been seriously ridden in about four years. Once in a while someone would hop on or even take her out but nothing serious or consistent. That first ride on her the steering was a bit rough and she didn’t enjoy being worked at all. She also had a huge spook right out of the gate. We kept at it and she got better and better.

This past weekend was flawless! We rode for about an hour 1/2 in the fields on a route we haven’t even gone through before. There were no surprises however we did ride with one of her barn mates that is fresh out of 30 days of training. Even she was wonderful. The unused fields were serene with a decent breeze. It was still pretty hot for 8:30 in the morning but at least there were no mosquitoes!

I’m beyond proud of my girl. I think she may have even enjoyed herself this time, being happy to get out and explore a new place with her horsey pal Luna. (Beautiful buckskin mare pictured below, ridden by Alberto.) Either way she sure takes care of me and I couldn’t love her more ❤

Arizona The QH Mare On A RideArizona The QH Mare On A Ride Arizona The QH Mare On A Ride

Introducing: Merlin The Miniature Gelding

Please put your hands and hooves together for the newest member of our family – Color Me Dust Coal. He is a registered American Miniature Horse yearling with the gentlest disposition. Merlin, as we’ve affectionately named him, came to us Easter weekend from a lovely miniature horse show-breeder in Beeville, Texas. My kids and I drove the hour up to meet him on Friday and by Saturday he was at home in the barn with his new stablemates.

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Since then we have done a few introductory exercises for him and Arizona but in the end I’m not sure she is up for having a little brother. She’s become the barn alpha and while Merlin is nowhere near challenging I think she just plain dislikes him. I’ve found her to act possessive, almost like a dog or even a human would, over my attention. If I dare (I say ‘dare’ humorously of course) to scratch another horse out of her stall window she finds herself over by the window too, standing just so she may casually obstruct my reach. Zoni is a funny one with a mind all her own, she knows what she does and does not like and she will tell you. You have only to listen. She may or may not ever come around to sharing her space and time with him but regardless I heart them both.

My immeasurably amazing and beautiful daughter Summer has finally found herself a perfect position at the barn since his arrival. She enjoys working with Merlin, helping him to better learn to lead, tie, and stand still. He’s so good natured and sweet that I can tell he will not be difficult to train and in doing so I’ll more easily and safely get to teach Summer how to do a lot too. She has gotten accustomed to feeding him and cleaning out his stall, as well as other things. Since Merlin has been home he’s already picked up on a couple key things himself, such as the fact that we love to groom and pet around here! We get in his stall and love all over him as frequently as possible and he’s adjusted to all the attention considerably. In fact I believe he looks forward to it now.

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It’s been a great couple weeks now and I still only have good things to say. At one point my friend Sabrina and I gave him a bath and that didn’t go as well as I would have thought but it was the perfect launch pad for further training with him. It was valuable insight about him and his reaction level and ultimately how he should be handled.

And I don’t think I’ve mentioned just how incredibly, heart-stoppingly, adorable he is! He is the type of mini you put tiny shoes on and take him with you everywhere; into department stores and to the dentist. Just kidding, but not about the cuteness part!

Merlin the American Miniature Horse

Merlin the American Miniature Horse

Hi, mom! What are you doing?

More on the little man later as it’s time to fire up the story side of my brain and work on my newest novella series. Until then, here’s one last picture!

Mother Daughter Horse Trainers