Sunday, December 30, 2012

We drank a toast to now

I love Chaunson! He is one of the best horses I have ever known. I have a friend who tells me that I say that about every horse, so I don't know if you can trust me. It is true that I haven't met a horse I didn't love, but Chaunson is a truly special boy. Here he is, above, chewing a carrot he just secured from a little neighbor boy!

Yesterday it poured all morning and I was worried the morning ride might not happen. I forgot I was in paradise where it rains and then the sun comes out anyway. Barb tacked up her sweet Titan and Kristen was riding Koda and I hopped on my amazing boy and we hit the streets.

Earlier in the car on the way to the barn, I had missed a turn and discovered a new way to the park. There were equestrian signs on those streets so I talked the gang into going that way on our ride. Kristen is in the market for a new house so we made it a "real estate" ride and she took photos of houses that were for sale. It ended up being a "Halloween ride" with our horses trick-or-treating door to door because anyone who saw us rushed out with carrots and treats for the horses! 

This man and his children shared carrots with Koda and Chaunson and Titan. The horses loved going out for a ride and getting treated up. The funniest thing about this family was that the man was holding an infared camera. I asked him what he was doing and he explained that he was looking at the heat on our horses! He gave it to me and said, "Here - you can use it - but be careful, don't drop it - I am going in to get my sons and carrots!" Great - oh, no - I don't even take pictures when I am on Chaunson since I don't have a saddle and need to pay attention and here I was holding this nutty device! I looked at the horses and their colors and temperatures - it was very cool, but I quickly handed it to Kristen.

The next neighborhood had another family who came out and gave Koda some peppermints. Chaunson and Titan had found their favorite nuts on the ground in the family's front yard so they were munching away happily. 

Here Barb and adorable Titan are entering another neighborhood and Koda's head is in the photo too. You can see a small sign to the right under the No Parking sign. It has a tiny horse and explains that horses are permitted on the streets and sidewalks in that area. Love it!

Amazing Chaunson - as sweet as he is pretty!

The Three Chestnut Musketeers 

The sun came out on part of our ride and it got hot and breezy. Koda was pretty sweaty so Kristen hosed him off and we all went over to the churchyard for some happy post-ride grazing. Koda thought it might be a nice place for a roll - Kristen was cracking up laughing!

When we returned, Barb found the black and white kitty snuggled in a hay bag! What a sweetie pie. And, in other barn news, Ducky found himself a girlfriend. I don't have a photo yet, mainly because she is an ugly one. Poor Ducky, he fell in love with a bossy, bitty woman who resembles a Turkey Vulture, but must have some sort of duck in her lineage because our sweet boy is smitten and tolerates all her abuse. When I get enough courage to photograph her ugliness - looks and behavior - I will share it. It is sad to see, but I suppose we can't choose the perfect mate for others!

Speaking of perfect - here is Noodlebug donning her Christmas eve sombrero that Maizie made out of a Butterfinger Bell foil wrapper!

And here the lovely one is again, completely tuckered out from all the Christmas morning gift giving festivities!

One more week in paradise and then back home to Pennsylvania. Mom just sent me this photo which doesn't look too bad...a bit chilly!

Oh, how I will treasure the memories of our trip this year!


  1. You look like you're having so much fun. Too bad you only have a week more in Paradise. It snowed here yesterday and your sunny days look pretty good.

    Chaunson is as sweet as he is pretty, what a special boy.

    Happy New Year to everyone!

  2. I wonder if you know how brave of a rider you are. I love reading your happy, happy posts! :) Enjoy the sun and you'll be happy to play in the snow at your return!

  3. Wheeeee! What fun you are having in Florida! You are seriously having the best time. Bareback riding in a neighborhood where people come running with carrots and cameras? Now that sounds like my kind of place. I also love the fowl love story--a bit hilarious! And dear Noodlebug! I just want to snatch him up. Isn't he funny lounging in that cjair??? Looks like you are having an excellent Floridian adventure. Of course, Florida is always good for adventure and fun in the sun....or the rain. I hope you come back to a winter wonderland of joy and promise!!!!

  4. It looks like you're having a blast in FL, not missing out on the winter weather up here. I have to admit, I even love riding in the winter, providing I've got the right duds for the day! Yesterday was a Carhartt coverall day, today long underwear and Kerrits fleecy britches. Tomorrow, back to the Carhartts! Have fun in the sun, and Happy New Year.

  5. Juliette, Oh, what fun you are having, and Chaunson such a special horse! I can't imagine riding and having people come up with treats- I really think you are in horsey heaven! Hope you have a good trip back home and I know your sweet horses miss you!

  6. Juliette, I just read your chapter "Putting the Cart before the Horse" and it is wonderful!!
    I loved it, it is full of wisdom and wonderful good sense, and a practical, inspiring section on dealing with fear and rebuilding trust. I thank you so much for writing it.

    I loved a great deal of what you have said, but I want to point out just two sections. I totally agree with you about how important it is to take riding lessons on school horses for years and years before getting one's own horse. I took riding lessons faithfully every weekend (because I work Monday through Friday) for five years before even thinking of getting my own horse. And when I did, I bought my own school horse, because my smart instructor had taught me how important it is to not get too much horse, and I knew that for me, at my skill level, a former school horse would be perfect. And my horse Buckshot, is perfect for me, so I have been glad many, many times that I bought a school horse, or at least a very experienced, older horse. I continued to take lessons, and still do.

    I also enjoyed your section on fear and rebuilding trust after a fall or traumatic event. You have written it in such a practical, kind, no-pressure way, it is a wonderful guide. I agree with you, that the more one learns about horses, our knowledge of what can go wrong, makes our fear huge, sometimes immobilizing. Your guidance to regain trust is wonderful.

    There are more topics in the chapter that are well written and very, very good to hear. Thank you for such an excellent chapter!!

  7. All the horses you ride are the best horses ever Juliette... because you're riding them of course. (but I checked, and you did say pretty much the same thing about Max last year. ;D)

    Enjoy the rest of your super sweet vacation and that handsome redhead. Thanks for sharing, and very best wishes for a happy, healthy New Year! (((♥♥♥)))

    (ps the tiny sombrero is so awesome)

  8. Thanks everyone for the sweet and kind comments! You are all such great horse people and I value the support and insight!

    Isn't that funny, C,F,S, that I said the same thing about Max last year?!? Oh, I am a predictable one in the realm of horses! They are all so perfect!

    Jan, thank you for the wisdom and encouragement. YOU were my inspiration for much of that section and others in my little book. You and Buckshot prove to me that joy and happy rides are possible if you take your time and don't put the cart before the horse! Thank you!!!! Your blog and adventures with Buckshot helped me have faith in a rarely used system. But you used it and it worked like sweet equine magic!!! xoxo


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