Friday, December 30, 2011

War Horse Trainer

Thought many of you would enjoy the meeting the trainer behind the horses of "War Horse". His name is Bill Lawrence of Ellensburg, Washington. Enjoy!

Monday, December 26, 2011

War Horse, the movie

A good friend and I ventured out yesterday afternoon for a matinee showing of "War Horse". I couldn't wait any longer, I was ready to see the movie even if it cut into my Christmas festivities. I read the book, so I knew the storyline and knew what to expect. Armed with Kleenex, popcorn, and a soda, I went in hoping I wouldn't be disappointed.It didn't take long, and I was in my pockets pulling out that Kleenex. I don't want to give any plot elements away, but anyone who has sold a horse they didn't want sold is going to cry when the horse is handed over to the British Cavalry. The beginning of the film is very "Disney"...touching, family, community, sweeping landscapes, and simple living. But as soon as the horse "Joey" leaves for France, the movie takes a different tone. It is visually stunning. Some of the shots were truly breath taking, if you can peak over your jacket you have pulled over your eyes. I wasn't that bad, but I did find myself holding my breath and gripping very tightly to my popcorn. Some scenes are going to be hard. Imagine men on horseback with swords taking on a gatling guns. It is not going to be pretty. The wonderful directing choice made by Spielberg, is that he chose to show zero blood or red. The horror of the battle sinks in without seeing any gore, just a battlefield full of horses and men.The horses in the film, beautiful. An amazing group of equine, that just made the cinematography even more stunning. Again, not giving anything away, "Joey" is like the "Forrest Gump" of the horse world. He seems to end up on these interesting adventures that eventually lead him back to where he needs to be. I really enjoyed the film, but it was emotionally exhausting. To me, that is what makes a good film. Anything that makes you feel that strongly, has done something right. I keep telling my horse friends they need to see it. To not see it, is to deny all those horses in wars throughout history their sacrifice.We left the theater checking our mascara when we got to the car, and couple big exhales, and the promise of Christmas dinner waiting for us made us feel a little better. This movie has impact, even on those who have never know love for the horse and that is invaluable. Go see it. Let me know what you think.

***Side note: There is a scene on the farm with a white "attack goose". Boy, did that bring back memories. We had one that looked just like that one. "Gandy"...he attacked everyone that showed up to the farm. He even managed to knock a few people down and was endlessly getting trampled by horses because he couldn't leave them alone. He lived about 16 was like going back in time when I saw that goose come out of nowhere, chasing the man. A little bonus on Christmas day.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Horses at the Mall

I headed to the mall up in Vancouver, Washington to get some last minute Christmas shopping done. As I pull into the lot, I see tons of horse trailers. What is up? Looks like a makeshift horse show is about to take place. Then I notice they are the Clark County Sheriffs Posse. They are patrolling the parking lots on horse back, making sure people don't break into cars. How great is that?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Showers and Nursery

My stablemate friends are like family to me. Over the years, we have have all been through the ups and downs of horse ownership. Laughing, crying, progressing, sharing adventures, and crossing off things on our bucket lists...we have done it all. So it was so nice when the barn girls got together and threw a little baby shower this past weekend for the new little cowgirl that is on the way.I received the most special gifts from everyone and it was a fun night of making "cake pops" and having dinner. My mom happened to be in town from Minnesota, so she was able to be there too, which made it all the more special.I am almost done with the nursery with the help of my mom. I don't know if there are enough horses in it yet:-). I managed to find a little nursery set with a horse that looks like Maddy. I just love it. So 7 more weeks and little Arlie Fisher will be here. Counting down.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Horse 360 App

I just bought this app for $1.99. It could come in handy. Check it out.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Ground Driving

I have struggled with ground driving. I've tried it a few times and ended up with a horse that wanted to side pass all over the arena. She is "trying", but as her teacher, I fell short. I struggled with how I could help convey what I was asking. What was I doing wrong? Thanks goodness for Michael Sparling.
Michael is a Parelli clinician I met a couple years ago and have had quite a few lessons with him. He is an excellent teacher. I think he is the real deal, a wonderful "reader of the horse." Regardless of how you feel about Parelli methods, Michael goes beyond Parelli and is just an amazing student and teacher of the horse. A big "ah" moment was thinking of the horses nose as crossing the diagonal...when she did that to the inside..I left her alone. The side passing slowly went away.
I always walk away from the barn imagining I can't love this horse any more. Then she does new things that make me so proud of her and she finds ways to become even more special to me.
Can you tell I am 30 weeks pregnant in these photos? In ten weeks I will have a baby girl. One I hope loves horses as much as I do....looking forward to pony shopping.

Thursday, November 10, 2011 more ways than one

Hitched horsehair...always wanted to learn how to do that. I crossed it off my bucket list when I went to a 3 day intensive workshop up in Kettle Falls, Washington with famous horsehair artist, Shoni Maulding. I had an amazing time, learned a lot, and starting my first browband after many successful key fobs. Speaking of hitched, I got engaged in July on a trip to Joseph, Oregon surrounded by lots of friends and horses. My boyfriend was panicking about how to do it and after many nixed plans, on our final day as we were packing, I decided to walk down and look at the herd of mares and foals down the road one last time. I told him and headed out. A few minutes later, I heard him following behind me and caught up. We walked down and looked at the foals running with their moms...I picked out a couple I wanted to take home and all of a sudden he was down on one knee. He said "I knew I could never find you happier than when you are looking at baby horses." He was right. So lots more news to report on. Just need to get my feet wet blogging has been too long:-).

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Better Bucket

I saw this in the June issue of Equus. What a fabulous idea. I just ordered two. You can find the company that makes them on here, but I ordered them from Chick Saddlery.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Trailer Trip

The rain, the snow, the mud can't slow the girls of Painted Forest Stables down. We decided to load up and check out some new trails. I was nervous. This new trailer is a straight load, 17 feet long, and much heavier than my previous Trails West. Not to mention...I haven't worked Maddy in and out of the trailer, so I wasn't sure what she would think. Skye and Maddy loaded right in. When we got to the location, she was sweating pretty good, so the ride must have been a little nerve racking for her. They unloaded nicely, great to have a ramp. We hit the Port Blakely trails. We were only out for about an hour and half. Skye is still working up to full work from a leg injury and we didn't want to push it. We headed back home. The hard part was still ahead of me. I knew I couldn't fully relax until I had that trailer backed into its little spot. With the help of the girls, they got me in there. I need practice on backing...tend to over think it and go the wrong way with the steering wheel. The cool thing about this new trailer....a huge, huge, huge dressing room. I could put a cot in there if I wanted. I am slowly getting it organized, have some decals ordered and soon a blanket rack installed. We have officially kicked off our road tripping riding season.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Horses Shot and Killed

Investigators seek public's help in finding who killed three wild horses

PRINEVILLE -- Three wild horses were found shot and killed in central Oregon east of Prineville, and investigators are asking the public for help finding who did it.

KTVZ-TV in Bend reports that one of the horses was pregnant and accompanied by a year-old foal, which was found unhurt.

Crook County sheriff's Deputy Brian Bottoms made the discovery around 2 p.m. Monday while on patrol in the Ochoco National Forest about 18 miles east of Prineville.

Bottoms found the dead horse along a spur road off Forest Road 150 near the Ochoco Ranger Station. An investigation turned up two more dead horses. Two stallions were shot and killed in addition to the mare.

Deputies have gathered some evidence from the scene but are asking for anybody with information to call (541) 447-6398.

"Winning" Winners!

Congratulations are in order for five lucky winners of the Absorbine Give-away. Thanks to everyone for playing. The correct answer, which everyone got right was "Smoken Now", or as he is otherwise known "Pokey." Also, Maddy has a Hart Ranch freeze brand of a heart on her left shoulder. I picked five names out of a bowl...even shot some video to show it was fair. Drumroll please....Kacy from AllHorseStuff, Ranae Rose, Grey Horse, Allison, and Mikael of Rising Rainbow all get a free bottle of Natural Hoof Spray to try out. Please send me the address where you would like Absorbine to send the product and I will pass it along. Please send info to my email address,

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Free know you want it!

It is contest time! Absorbine has offered free Hooflex Natural Spray to the lucky five winners of this contest. I realize there may be more than 5 with the right answer...but if that is the case...I will put names in a hat and draw.

So...Here goes! You might have to do a little digging.

Name Maddy's sire. I have posted about him in the past. I have done videos of him. And he is listed on the ranch site where I purchased Maddy. He is the super hero looking horse pictured below.

Maybe for some bonus points...What is Maddy's freeze brand?:-)

Winning this spray is worth it. I have been applying it to the hoof recovering from the abscess to keep it from drying and cracking. Wonderful stuff and you can spray it upside down:-).

Good luck everyone. The contest closes one week from today, on Wednesday the 16th. If you are selected as a winner, I will contact you and get your address where you want your prize delivered.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Hiding til Summer

Love this picture Kacy sent me of Maddy hiding in the trees. It has been dumping snow the last couple days in Beavercreek, Oregon. My last visit to the barn was Sunday. I'll head out tomorrow and see how it goes.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Road to the Horse

It was wonderful to be able to experience the "Road the the Horse" from your own living room. This year they offered a webcast for $29.99. The first day we had a few freezes and audio problems, but they worked them out and the last two days went smoothly. What an amazing opportunity to watch 3 successful trainers, with three distinct methods, with three very different horses. It was fantastic.

Some things that happened along the way. Pat was bucked off on day two. He said "he had green lights the whole time, then it switched to yellow then red really quickly." He wasn't hurt and continued on. For a time, Pat went into teaching mode which riled both the audience there and those watching on the webcast. Many felt he was being disrespectful to the other clinicians. He came out for his finale speaking from the heart and seeming a bit more humble. He did an amazing job on his horse "Partner" and he announced that he would be taking this horse home with him after the show. Pat welcomed people in attendance to follow their journey.

I wasn't sure who was working harder, Clinton or his horse. They both were wringing wet and panting. There was definite tension between Pat and Clinton. At one point Pat offered free passes to his Colt Starting classes to attendees of RTTH, Clinton said "if it good, you don't offer it for free." Later they argued over a rule in the finale that got pretty heated before Tootie Bland calmed them down. I think Clinton struggled with his horse. He just never seemed to get him soft and was fighting his bit hard throughout his finale. Clinton took off his bridle at the end and galloped full speed around the was a bit exhilarating to watch, but the horse almost jumped out of the arena twice. The crowd went wild for it. It was clear, the majority of people in the arena were rooting for him.

Chris Cox was rock solid the whole weekend. He had a really difficult horse (reminded me of my own!) She was sensitive and escalated quickly if confused. Today on the way into the arena, the horse panicked, and nearly ran over a crowd of people. You could tell Chris was upset by the way the wranglers were bringing horses into round pen, so he had them change tactics and do it as a herd thing. In his finale, Chris shined. He was soft with his hands and did an amazing job with her. He deserved to win, no question.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

This Looks Good!

Buck,a film about Buck Brannaman, an official 2011 Sundance Film Festival selection. Looks like it is basically a documentary about his life. The trailer give you goose bumps. I love the clip from the trailer, "a horse is a mirror of yourself, and sometimes you don't like what you see in that reflection." It then shows him hugging a frustrated owner. That line always hits me. I remember feeling like such a failure right after buying Maddy. I thought I knew horses, but I had no idea. I left the barn in tears so many times the first couple months. Looking back, I know she felt the same. I pulled her away from the warm desert, asked her to be confined to a stall overnight, and asked her to do things she had never seen or done in her 4 years. Maddy and I were and are a reflection of ourselves, in her I was seeing my own failures, in her I see my own successes. I have heard of Buck, but don't know too much about him. After watching the trailer, he looks like somebody I should know. I am looking forward to seeing this film.

Monday, February 21, 2011


Have you guys seen these? I went to a horse expo up in Washington over the weekend and stopped at the Porta-Grazer booth.
This is a genius idea. It basically is a simple barrel you put hay in then you add a a restrictor pan that has holes for the horse to eat. Why is that cool? It simulates natural grazing. As hay is pulled through the holes, sand and dirt fall to the bottom of the barrel and hay never comes in contact with bedding or manure. The horse stomach is designed to receive a constant supply of forage in a slow, continuous manner. This is perfect for that. If you want to soak your it is easy.

A couple more things to think about with this simple "barrel". You can take it with when you travel, your horse will be ready to ride at any time, and you eliminate boredom if your horse doesn't get turnout everyday. I just think this is such a brilliant idea, I had to pass it on. My barn owner bought one and she is testing it out. She plans to buy 6 more in Albany at the NW Horse Expo. She thinks she will save money in hay waste, it will keep barn cleaner, and she can fill it a little fuller if she has too work late and horses will have stuff to munch on all day long.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

New Absorbine Products

I got a really nice surprise in the mail from Absorbine. I was contacted through my blog to see if I wanted to try some of their new products. Yes! So they sent 3 things, the new Hooflex Natural Spray, the Hooflex Natural Dressing, and Flex+Max pellets. The one that I am really excited to try is the Natural Spray. It is a new way to apply hoof dressing, now in spray form. What I like about spray is the ingredients; tea tree, arnica, comfrey, and avocado oil. All things to promote healthy hoof growth and maintain moisture balance. I looked on SmartPak and it sells for $9.95...not too bad.

The Natural Hoof Dressing also has great ingredients and contains no petroleum. Vegetable oils, comfrey, arnica, and tea and avocado oils...all good stuff. It is supposed to naturally enhance hoof color, keep moisture balance, and help with healthy hoof growth. This product is applied the "old fashioned way"...with a brush. But they claim it is fast and easy to apply, so I will check it out. Sells for about $15-$20 on most sites.

The Flex+Max is a pelleted supplement with glucosamine and flax seed. A recent study claims 100% of horses ate 100% of the it must be tasty. It sells for about $50 on different sites.

So some good treats! Nice to see a horse household name, Absorbine, altering recipes to make their products better and thinking about application techniques to stay ahead of the market. Cool that I get to try it all out. Thanks Absorbine!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Ansur CrossOver

I just finished a little promo video for the new "Ansur CrossOver." What I loved about this was out at Forward Stride, the therapeutic riding barn I volunteer at. We used one of our favorite therapy horses, Sindar the Fjord and Amanda Garrison, our volunteer coordinator. Notice the buffalo...yes buffalo! There is a guy behind the facility that has tons of buffalo and believe it or not, his name is "Bill." Buffalo Bill. Ha ha! As you know, I love this hybrid saddle concept. I was told after this shoot, to order up another saddle that I earned it. I am so excited, but don't know what to get this time around, the "CrossOver" or the "Enduro." Hmmmm.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Judges Announced

They just announced the judges for the 2011 Road to the Horse Legends in Murfreesboro, Tennessee February 25-27. I have two friends going. I am so jealous. I am ordering the webcast and watching from home:-(.

Bill Enk
• Director of Judges for the National Reined Cow Horse Association, judging credentials with the National Cutting Horse Association, the National Reining Association, and the American Quarter Horse Association

Cody Lambert
• Long family history with AQHA racehorses, Vice President of the PBR Board of Directors, PBR co-founder and a three time PBR World Finals qualifier, nine NFR qualifications, recipient of the PBR Ring of Honor award, event judge

Marian Buehler
• Board of Directors for the Texas Horse Park in Dallas, over 30 years experience studying natural training techniques and methods among several species, transitioned natural horsemanship techniques into the performance arena

Jack Brainard
• Director on the Board of the Equine Program at Texas A&M University Commerce, original director of the NRHA, a founder of the Stock Horse of Texas (SHOT), active judge and member of the AQHA

Dr. Robert Miller
• Equine veterinarian, world-renowned speaker and author on horse behavior and natural horsemanship, father of the revolutionary foal training technique known as "imprint training"

Bob Moorhouse
• General Manager of Pitchfork Land and Cattle Co. 1986 - 2007, leadership or advisory positions with the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, the AQHA, the Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show, the Working Ranch Cowboys Association and the Ranch Horse of America Association.

"Road to the Horse judges are selected from every facet of the equine industry. While some have experience with ranch, rodeo and performance horses, others have experience with dressage, show jumping and western pleasure. Combined they create the ultimate judging panel to determine who will win the title, prestige and honor of being named the 2011 Road to the Horse Legends Champion!"

Monday, February 7, 2011

English meets Western....The Ansur CrossOver

I love, love, love this concept of an English meets Western. I think this will be the next big thing in tack. I am so fortunate to work with a company that is progressive in designing tack that is good for the horse as well as offer something fresh for the rider.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Diamond in the Rough

You know when you own two horse trailers for one horse, you have crossed over into the realm of "crazy horse person." If you look at the above 4 trailers, two of those happen to be mine. Before you judge, give me a chance to explain. I am trying to sell my slant load. It is a wonderful little trailer, but I have been wanting a straight load for safety reasons. So this weekend, I thought my slant was sold. Long story short, it wasn't. In the meantime I find a straight load that seems like a good fit. I go to look at it and it sits up on this hill surrounded by trees, covered in green slimy moss. It is not pretty, structurally sound. I think a good detail on it will do wonders. The lady sells it to me cheap...she just wants it gone. So I spent today changing the trailer from green to white with every brush and scrubby I own. I know there is a really nice trailer under there somewhere and 3 hours and a hundred trips up and down the ladder, it emerged.

I am taking it in for some restoration on the oxidized hitch and just an overall safety check. Everything looks straight and solid, but I like to be sure. The inside is sooo cool...can't wait to show it to you. It is a straight load with a passage way to the dressing room. It was very well designed, made by Trailers, USA in Florida.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A solution...

I have been in a "horse funk" the last two months. I returned from vacation the beginning of December to find Maddy with a lifted shoe and a big bite on her butt. The farrier came out, put her shoe back on and the next day went for a little ride and came back with a lame horse. My first thought was abscess, so I soaked for a couple days, then seconded guessed myself and called the vet. After flex tests and thermography, narrowed it to sore inner legs. I thought maybe the lifted the shoe was a product of slipping and splaying. Micro-current, ice, and anti-inflammatories later, she seemed on the mend. After a few rides in the arena, we did a short ride a week ago. The next day, dead lame. This time the other back leg. I am stumped. I start to think the lameness is a symptom of sore back or hip. So have bodyworker scheduled to come out this morning. Planning for the worst, imagining x-rays and months off, and my whole tax refund up in smoke.

Well, I get to the barn this morning....a huge blowout. It was a hoof abscess! I am relieved. The bodyworker saw and felt nothing wrong with back or hips, no heat in the legs. What a stressful two months. I just want to relay my experience so others don't over think it, sometimes it is the easy answer. Posted below is the gross looking abscess. It is large, over two inches, smells terrible. Has anyone had abscess issues where the lameness goes from one leg to the other? Maybe one will blow out the other side? Any thoughts or suggestions from fellow horse friends would be helpful.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Farewell Ms. Freebie

Freebie was an old Appaloosa mare you could put anyone on. She was one of the sweetest horses I've ever come to know. I could trust her to take care of her rider, so when people came to visit, I took them to meet Freebie. She showed my mom, my step dad, my boyfriend, and a few friends the beautiful trails in Oregon. Her owner used her to pack into the mountains for hunting. She was the "old reliable" but she was also a good pal. She would often spend summers out at our barn and in the Fall, she would go back home and do her packing duty. Her owner went out to the pasture and found her dead the other morning. We are all sad. She was such a kind mare and will be missed. Freebie is pictured with Maddy this Fall out by the ponds getting a little snack and below, pictured with my stepdad Cliff. The picture says it all, Freebie brought smiles to everyone.

Monday, January 17, 2011

In love

I first saw this saddle a week ago. I went to pick up my new Ansur saddle and Carole Weidner pulled me aside and said "You gotta see this one before you leave." I walked over and my jaw dropped.....I think I heard "Dreamweaver".....and I stuttered "I love it." I think it is the coolest saddle I have ever seen. Basically it is an English/Endurance hybrid called the Endeavor, that you can change fenders and change stirrups to fit your disapline. Well, Ansur Saddlery had a little bit of fun with this one and took it a bit further and tooled it. It is glorious. Today I went and shot some video of it before it heads out the door to its new owner. What a brilliant idea.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

True Grit

I finally got a chance to see the remake of "True Grit" starring Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon (and various equine stars). I loved it. I think the script was brilliant and all the actors shined. It was fantastic....except


"Why did "Blackie" have to die?"
Blackie is Mattie's ten dollar trusty black pony. Blackie's first time under saddle, he happy canters around in a circle a few times and then they canter off in the pursuit of justice and "Rooster Cogburn" played by Jeff Bridges. Blackie fearlessly jumps into the river to get Mattie across. The river rages, the girl hangs onto the bridle, yet Blackie prevails. The little pony glimmers as he comes out of the water, gives a tired exhale and basks in his achievement.

Blackie is the perfect partner; willing and noble. Then Mattie has to go get bit by a rattlesnake. The little horse carries Rooster and Mattie at break neck speed across the frozen landscape in search of a doctor. A flurry of hooves and passing miles, as Blackie becomes glossy with sweat. Then we see Blackie stumble, he goes down exhausted. Rooster draws his gun....Blackie is put out of his misery. Blackie dies so that Mattie may live. The last selfless act of this heroic mustang pony was to save his partner. For me, the title of this movie is aptly named for "Blackie," an equine with true grit.

Blackie is played by a 6 year old quarter horse named "Cimarron". Oscar performace Cimarron!! Nicely done. Read more about the equine stars of True Grit here.