Sunday, February 19, 2012

Educating Yalla! Down time

Today, I saw Yalla! laying down in the dirt, enjoying the warm sun and I went out to see her, hoping that she wouldn't get up.

She didn't.

She let me walk right up to her.

She was in a three quarter position as I squatted down at her chest. I had a few crazy fleeting thoughts of just climbing onto her back right then. lol. She's never even had a rider before! Instead, I pushed down on her head and neck and made her lay down all the way back. She struggled a little and then relaxed.

I talked to her and stroked her head and neck. Then I rubbed her shoulder, chest, and around her face, mouth, and ears. She lipped a little and I could see her relax. We stayed like that about ten to fifteen minutes and she only tried to get up twice during that time. A few times she tilted her nose up into the air, very strangely, like she does when she's running.

I was thrilled that I was able to get her laying flat out for me. I've been wanting to lay her down. I still intend to at another time, from the standing position. I've got her kneeling down on one leg now so all I need to do is push her over and lay her down. It sounds easy but she's got several hundred pounds on me and she has a very forceful personality. I've been thinking that laying her down will help me in training her. Has anybody used "laying down" as part of their training process? I would love to be able to teach her to "settle" and climb on her back routinely, once she's been trained to be ridden.

I was hoping that she'd go to sleep but I guess having her eyes half-closed will have to do. I let her get up and she took off running and kicked out with her hind legs, as she hightailed it around to the other side of the fence. She stopped and stood, looking at me, with the fence between us, as if to say, what was that all about?

She licked and chewed a little and then casually strolled back around the fence towards me. She stopped, took a few steps, and stopped again. Eventually, she was at my side. I gave her a head hug and then turned away from her and took a couple of steps away, looking back over my shoulder at her. Slowly, she took the few steps to stand next to me. She is one of the friendliest horses I've ever owned. Every morning, when I walk Skyy, she'll come down to the front arena gate, far away from the rest of the herd, to see us. I don't even give her treats. She just wants to be near. Sometimes, Annie will join us for a short while before turning and galloping back. Just to clarify, Scout and Nadia are in the barn runs, so they cannot come over, even if they wanted to. Yalla! never turns away; it is I, who walks away from her. Then, she'll run back down the arena to join the others.

When I am working outside, it is Yalla! who will stand and watch. Randomly, she will call out to me if she sees me or anyone else nearby. She has stood with me in the dark of night, at the furthest point from the barn, as coyotes howl just outside the fence.

And yet, she is a very dominant horse. She herds the other horses around and thinks nothing of kicking out at them as she has at me on occasion. I am extremely cautious around her and I've warned my kids to be wary of her. Everybody gets bullied by her, even Sandy the dog, and her own mother, Annie. That is why I was so thrilled to keep her laying down until I let her get up. However, that little cocky kick as she ran off bothers me. Does this mean that she didn't feel dominated by me during the lay down?

Sunday Stills (2/19/12 Textures)

This week's Sunday Stills photo challenge is to capture textures.

 In this first photo, there is cold, wet snow on soft, smooth, prickly pine needles.

Here's more cold, wet snow on smooth glass.

Sophie Rose has deep, soft fleece that you just want to sink your hands into.

This plant has a slippery, rubbery texture.

This vulture has the gnarliest head, doesn't he? I imagine it would feel sort of like a rubber chicken. But that collar of white down looks so soft!

I wonder if a sea lion's body feels warm or cold? This picture shows cold, hard rocks and glassy, smooth water too.

I love this photo with the round, splash ripple and the sporadic sun reflections in the water. The little seal's spread flippers do the rest. Oh, and there's more textures, in the bottom right corner, there is a bit of netting.

There's sawdust on Rozie the elehant's back. I imagine her coat is smooth and bristly with fine stiff hairs.

 In closing, this photo has it all: smooth, round wood poles, rough stucco, warm, hairy giraffe, and prickly cactus

For more Sunday Stills, please visit here

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Bowie test

David Bowie was featured on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine recently, the February 2, 2012 issue.

I found a Bowie quiz on the Rolling Stone website. I only got 15 out of the 16 questions correct, shameful, I know, but my score is still Hunky Dory.

How'd you do?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Scottsdale preview

Here's a preview of the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show beginning on February 17 2012.

In case you have to go directly to YouTube, here's the link.

My mother and I will be going next weekend so that we can get in free on Friday night and watch the Finals on Saturday. Just like we did a couple of years ago, we will go to the races on Saturday. Hopefully, this year there will be no horse accidents. Follow the previous links and go through all the related posts (there are seven in all.)

I'm so excited!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

It was quite white

I made the trek out to the barn this morning to feed the horses and alpacas and was surprised to see that the inside of my barn is almost as snow packed as it is outside.The horses were soaked, especially Annie, as she is already beginning to shed her winter coat and chills quickly. Fortunately, the sun was shining and already warming them up.

Nadia and Scout are looking for breakfast. See the hole my beaver horse, Nadia chewed just below her eye? Bad Horse!

I turned Skyy loose for a romp in the snow this morning. She loves running through the snow, the deeper, the better. She likes to jump right into the biggest drifts she can find.

This deep snow was along the fence by the barn. 
It's too bad I cut her in half but I like the shadow of her head.

She sure does like the deep snow!

 It was a crazy commute today. I think every semi truck in New Mexico was on the freeway heading east this morning. I passed miles of standing traffic going in the opposite direction from me because, fortunately, I go west and north in the AM and south and east in the PM. With the snow packed roads sanded red, I could have believed I was on a dirt road instead of the freeway, bumping along on the uneven terrain for the 20 miles into town before the snow and ice finally disappeared onto smooth wet roads. 

Here's a photo of the Sandia Mountains, taken on my way to work this morning, long after I left the snowy canyon road behind.

I did have a panicky moment soon after I left my house when I came up to a truck parallel across the two lane highway pulling out a ditched car on the steep hill leading down to a stop sign. As I applied my brakes, I skidded some and worried that I might be joining the car in the ditch. Since there were no other cars on the road, I backed up the hill to a side road and drove through 8 inches of snow, taking the long way around to the access road. I considered just turning around and going home but I knew that the roads would get better soon enough, if I could only get to the freeway. That's the good thing about the snows we are getting now. The snow melts really quickly instead of freezing like it does in January and December.

It was quite white- song: Remembering Marie A. artist: David Bowie, album: Baal

Always some change in the weather

Not only are we having snows every other day, we are getting fog too! We are having very strange weather patterns that I can't remember ever having before. For the last several nights, I drove from the city through the canyon, and into fog, as I reached the higher elevations of the foothills and plains, east of the city. It makes for very tough driving conditions when it's foggy, and snowing too, at night. And, the other morning, as I drove along the base of the mountain, around the outskirts of town, with clear skies all around, I came down into the fog which was heavy in the valley, along the Rio Grande river. Here are some photos of my drive in on that strange foggy morning. Across the middle of the photo, is the heavy fog bank. It kind of looks like a lake from this angle. That's the lowlands, the Rio Grande valley.

And I got to drive through this the rest of my way to work, on the freeway, not very fun.

Last night, the mountains were spectacular, with thunderheads building up above them.

The sky was gorgeous, partly cloudy with snow white and ominous black intermixed with blue. My photos don't do it justice.

I just love that dark "ribbon" cloud to the left.

This cloud formation looks like a ghost or something, doesn't it? The silver cylinder is a tanker truck, in case anyone is wondering.

Look at the storm I had to drive into!

New Mexico weather varies all through the state. So much so that there are over forty different weather zones. Often, you can cross an invisible line into snow or rain from sunshine. Last night, we had wind and snow and the drifts are piled high in places. 

This is looking out my front door. The snow is deep! If you look further, do you notice the ripples in the snow, caused by the winds?

And this is my bedroom window. Nature is crazy, huh?

Always some change in the weather - song: Stay, artist: David Bowie, album: Stationtostation

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sunday Stills (2-12-12 Hearts)

This week's Sunday Stills Challenge is to photograph hearts. I had to cheat a little and include a "heart to heart" interchange I saw at the zoo last week. Sorry for the terrible photos; the glass had a terrible glare and was very dirty.

Here's a more traditional heart. This is a ceramic cookie cutter I hang on my wall as a decoration. Pretty, isn't it?

For more Sunday Stills, please visit here.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sunday Stills (02-05-12 liquids)

Today's photo challenge was to take pictures of liquids and no archives. I went to the zoo and here are my offerings:
The ducks were in a frenzy because of the food being thrown to them. Can you count them all??

Water truly distorts images as seen here.

Seals and sea lions are fun to watch. This one was cruising the surface causing a double image.

I loved this little guy. He kept popping his head up out of the water.

As if to say, "Please, come play with me."

 Snoozing giants should not be disturbed.

"Leave me alone, little one."

"But, won't you come in? The water is lovely."

"No, thanks, I need my beauty sleep."

"How about you? Won't you join me?"

For more Sunday Stills, please visit this website.