Earth Dancer Spanish Mustangs

Me, my horses, my life

Snowy Thankful Thursday December 30, 2010

Yesterday the herd experienced another first (well not for Paisano, but for the rest of us).  A major snow storm blew in early morning yesterday and raged all day long.  Wind, snow, ice and some of the coldest temperatures we’ve had in a while.  I got home from work to find all three ponies wet, miserable and shivering cold.  I had one blanket for Paisano, but nothing for the girls.  So off to the husband I went, asking him if he would brave the storm, start up the Dodge and go find some blankets.  Luckily, we don’t live very far from Cal Ranch and IFA stores.  My first concern was finding some small enough for the girls and second, getting them on as they’ve never had blankets on before.  We bought the smallest ones we could find, which were 70” in length, and headed home.  Then the real fun began 🙂

By this time it was dark and even colder, no change in the weather, still blowing and snowing.  The ponies were on edge and not wanting to be caught.  We (Cody and I) ended up coaxing them into the small penned area in front of the hay shed to get them haltered and blanketed.  Miss was the first to take the bait.  I gave her a big pile of hay to kind of distract her and Cody held the lead rope while I started to get the blanket on her.  My game plan was to fold it up to the size of a saddle blanket, as they are familiar with those, and slowing unfold it and fasten it on.  She was pretty nervous but kept her cool, standing fairly still while I worked it on.  After the blanket was all the way on, I didn’t have any problems getting all the buckles and straps fastened.  We let her sit there for a minute and relax before turning her loose.  After she relaxed and starting eating some hay, I took off her halter and let her loose.  Not the smartest decision.  She took off running like a bat outta hell.  I immediately started kicking myself for not walking her around on the lead so she got used to the feel and sound of the blanket on her.  Not to mention Mr. and Mrs. Paisano being even more nervous and really freaking out now.

It finally took Cody going out and coaxing them with alfalfa cubes to get them to calm down and come back to the hay shed.  I tried, but they were pretty wise about that and didn’t give me the time of day.  Anyway, so in Rosie went and we went through the same routine.  She was a little more fidgety than Miss, but she did fine.  This time, I took Rosie out and led her around which made a huge difference for her.  Missy followed us, checking out Rosie’s blanket and by now she was comfortable with hers.  I think she warmed up and really liked the warmth the blanket was giving her.  I let Rosie loose and they ran around for a minute, but didn’t freak out like Miss did.  The blankets were big on them.  The length was ok, the neck was big, but the belly straps and rear leg straps tightened up enough they weren’t in danger of getting a leg caught up.  Missy’s little running fit proved they would be ok in them.

Paisano was next, and there were no issues there, he is such a good boy and knows when to step up and even take care of me sometimes. 🙂  The weather was still just as nasty as it was when we started.  Cody went inside to warm up, I stayed outside and spent a few minutes watching them calm down and go back to eating.  After I started to relax a little more, I could feel how cold my legs were, feeling confident that everyone was taken care of, I went inside to warm up.  The overall experience was a cold, but good one. 

Seeing how well the girls handled everything, in the conditions they were in, made me really proud that I have such great horses.  Knowing that I have support from them when I need it is indescribably reassuring and very happy that I’ve done enough with them that they could handle the situation. 

This morning blankets and ponies were all intact, warm, almost completely dry and much happier 🙂


Thankful Thursday November 18, 2010

This Thursday (actually the last couple weeks) has been full of ideas, inspiration and an under current of bursting new opportunities toward my new venture in life. 

I recently made a slew of rope halters for my dear friends up in Oregon.  They were received so well that I’ve decided to take the chance and start making them to sell.  I’ve been needing to get my creative energy out and I’ve found the perfect avenue.  I’m diving into the wonderful world of leather and rope horse tack.  I’m starting out with custom rope halter, leads and reins with the intentions of moving into all leather tack as my skill grows.

I am very excited about my new-found breath of fresh creative air.  The blog is going to get a new look and name.  Earth Dancer is going to have to retire and Doll House Ranch is taking over!  I am also creating the website for Doll House Tack so be on the look out!  I still love my Earth Dancer name, but I’m thinking it would be a perfect name for my next horse…… 🙂


Thankful Friday October 15, 2010

Today I’m tired and still reeling from the awesome night I had last night, which is the reason for this Thankful Friday.  I had the great priviledge to see Social Distortion in concert last night 🙂  I listened to them religiously throughout junior high and high school.  I can’t say that I relate to the lyrics but their sound is so up my alley, a little rock, a little punk, and a little country makes a beautiful blend.  Frank Turner along with Lucero started the night out.  I reallly, really, really like Frank Turner.  He is a great singer/songwriter, has an awesome folksy punk sound, and he makes stellar sing-a-long songs which I love!

Thank you to Social Distortion for great music and memories 🙂


Daddy-daughter time October 7, 2010

With autumn setting in, I have used up all my vacation time from work and I’m starting to get ready for the winter.  Cody and I went on our honeymoon to Oregon the end of August.  We stayed at the Tired Dog Ranch for a few days then headed west to Florence where we travelled the coast north to Lincoln City.  Our favorite stop was Newport, we spent a couple lovely afternoons on the beach eating salt water taffy and flying our kites we bought.  I really love Oregon and wish I could have a second home there….. Ah well, someday maybe.

Cody in Yachats

The honeymoon used up most of my vacation time, but I set aside two days to travel back to Oregon for a public demonstration put on by Leslie Desmond.  She is an extraordinary trainer and I use her training philosophies with my horses.  She emphasizes using a feel and release approach instead of pressure and release.  It’s hard to describe in words the difference between the two.  One really has to see her in action to fully understand it in my opinion.  She co-authored the book True Horsemanship Through Feel with horseman Bill Dorrance, which I am using to guide me through training the girls.  I highly recommend it to anyone who loves horses, even if they aren’t training them.

In between vacations and moving forward into the winter, I’ve been able to get a couple much needed little projects done.  My dad and I spent one weekend putting in a new porch and over hang on the hay shed after the pony’s last break-in.  We actually had a lot of fun re-building it. 🙂  We also made me a stand for filling my hay nets which makes feeding time much faster and less messy for me.  This weekend’s project is going to be putting chicken wire mesh all around the panels and siding of the hay shed so the ponies can’t stick their necks in-between the panel bars or pull off the wood siding when they get bored.   I’ve been trying to make a habit of completing little projects like this every weekend.  Even though they are small projects, it all adds up and a person could really get a lot done this way. 🙂  Plus it makes good daddy-daughter time, which, I’m very thankful for 🙂 

Hay shed porch before

Another before

Spiff laying out the deck foundation

Hay shed after

The finished product


Girls Night Out September 23, 2010

I had the most wonderful time last night with my mom and sister.  We went to got see the broadway production of The Lion King in Salt Lake City.  We started the evening off with a lovely dinner and went to the show.  The colors, music and singing were breathtaking and I can’t even begin to describe the beautiful costumes and the awesome engineering that went into this production.  We were even lucky enough to get second row seats, so we really saw all the amazing details and colors.  It truly was a show of a life time.  If you ever get the chance to see it, I would highly recommend you do! 🙂

This morning when I went out to feed, I found a little surprise.  My dear husband forgot to close the panel to the had shed all the way last night when he fed the ponies for me and I found Paisano on the porch (standing on what was left of the porch) and the girls right next to him hanging out.  I wish I could have got my phone out in time to take a picture, but the instant they noticed I was there, they bugged out pretty quick.  I don’t tolerate them getting in and bothering me while I feed so they knew to get out, lol.  I’m actually thankful they destroyed the porch 🙂  It’s been in need for repair all summer so now I really have to fix it.  They actually did me a favor 😉  On top of fixing the porch I am going to be doing some more “horse proofing” and building a stand for filling my hay nets.  I can’t wait for the weekend!


Thankful Thursday September 16, 2010

Filed under: Paisano,Thankful Thursday — Amanda @ 11:37 am
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I am thankful for how quiet and content Paisano eats his dinner 🙂

What ya thinkin' about bubba?


Catch up August 17, 2010

This summer has been full of house and horse work.  I have taken a little different approach to my horse training.  I am focusing most of my attention on Rosie for now.  She is the one who needs the most consistent work, I guess you could say she needs the extra time repeating things over and over.  She is a nervous sort of horse that tends to worry, so the repetitiveness works for her.  I’m taken this approach for about 3 months now and have noticed a huge difference in her.  Of course repetitiveness and consistency is good for all training but I believe that some horses need it more than others. 

Rosie is learning the importance of keeping a slack line between her and I, or a float in the rope which would be the lead rope.  Hopefully, this concept is carried through to the reins when we start riding.  Our little jobs we do together of an evening are coming along very smoothly.  She has learned to anticipate what my moves are and what/where I expect her to be doing so we aren’t bumping and clashing with each other.  Even my trimmer has noticed a difference in her 🙂  

One thing I love about my horses is the difference in personalities.  In the time I’ve spent with Rosie, I have maybe really worked with Lil’ Miss a hand full of times and even though she doesn’t know all my little cues and nuances, she is more level headed and calm about things by nature.  She officially got saddled last weekend for the first time,  I say officially because I actually cinched it up and took her for a walk in it.  The saddle is a little western Simco I bought from a friend, Simrat, who happens to be the same person Paisano came from.  I also bought another saddle from her, a Wintec AP 2000 that works for Paisano and actually fits Rosie quite well too 😉  Here is Miss lookin’ good in her saddle 🙂 

Miss in her Simco

The yard and house are coming along.  The yard has especially had a marked improvement.  We were able to get all the sprinklers working and the grass is slowly turning green again.  We have also got rid of sooo much junk and miscellaneous stuff that it actually is looking like a yard instead of a junk yard, ha ha ha. 

Cody’s parent came to visit us last weekend.  We went to 2 movies and had a really nice relaxing fun weekend.  They are going on a fishing trip to Alaska and I can’t wait to get some fresh fish back (hopefully they are successful 🙂 🙂 🙂 )  

Cody and I are getting ready for our honeymoon coming up soon, yay!  We are headed to the TDR and then on to the coast of Oregon.  We are taking camping gear and plan on kind of winging it.  I’m soooo excited, we are both ready for a nice relaxing vacation 😉