Good grief, I have not posted in awhile so I thought I would give an update on Jasper. He’s been in training for about 5 months now. We’ve had some ups and downs but things are definitely on track now and he is doing well.  I’ve started lightly riding him myself and he has been great. He is filling out nicely and is in much better shape than when we started. He turned 4 last week. I cannot believe it, time has flown. He certainly has turned into one stunning looking horse and a sweet one to boot. Everyone at the ranch just loves him, it’s really quite comical. Oh, but can he be stubborn. Anyone of you Parelli-ites with a left brained introvert horse knows what I mean! But his spirit is what I love about him, too. Here are some recent shots with his trainer riding him.





Actually, we’ve been back for awhile, but like everything I am behind on updating. Aiken, South Carolina was really nice. This is the Willcox hotel, where we stayed. It was really beautiful and the rooms were so cute, complete with a 4 poster bed!

The Willcox

The Willcox

Wow, we could not believe the properties we could get for the price! Our realtor was top notch! When we arrived at the Willcox, there was a welcome packet waiting for us and an intinerary of our next couple days of viewing homes. Our first day, we viewed NINE properties! We narrowed it down to 3 that we liked. My personal favorite was this one: Check out this pasture – ahh!



Oh yeah, the house and barn were nice, too – lol
 The Barn

The Barn

 Oh wow, compared to California, these places made my head hurt! And this place is going for a song because it is bank owned. Okay, it needs some work, but – those pastures – ahhhhh!

Actually moving would be tough when we actually thought about it. This canuck has gotten a little used to the California lifestyle. Can you blame me? I live in one of the most beautiful places on earth. Which, of course, is why it is so fabulously expensive! So we are still continuing the search, but Aiken was sure an eye opener. One day, I WILL be looking out my bedroom window and waving to Jasper!

Happy New Year to all my blogging horsey buddies!!!

I’m looking forward to what this year has in store. Yes, the economy is tanking, but I still have a smile on my face (and I’ve stopped reading the newspaper!) My husband and I have been thinking about a change for awhile now. I love California but it is getting ridiculously expensive to live here. And since we both run our own businesses from home, with no kidlets, we can transplant fairly easily. So next week we are heading on a short trip to Aiken, South Carolina to check out real estate. If you haven’t heard of Aiken (no relation to Clay), it is MAJOR horse country. 
Some interesting things about Aiken:

  • It’s located between Augusta, Georgia and Columbia, SC
  • It is home to polo events, steeplechasing, fox hunting and every other discipline you can think of!
  • Hitchcock Woods is just outside of downtown, it is the largest urban forest in the United States. This nearly 2,100-acre longleaf pine forest has 65 miles of marked trails available to hikers, runners, equestrians, and carriage drivers. And has 130 jumps throughout the trails.

Owning a home with some acreage and a barn and pastures would be a dream come true. Looking out my window and seeing Jasper frolicking in a pasture would truly be wonderful. And he would of course have to have some friends…

If anyone knows lives in the area or has some insights, I would love to hear them!

Me riding Jasper

Right by the front so he will see everyone walking by…

Just got back from EA in Pomona, Ca and it was really great. I wish I had more time to see more clinicians. I will be blogging about what I saw and learned shortly!

I have not written in quite some time. The reason being that we have been through so much.

Firstly, Jasper did arrive safe and sound….and scared out of his wits. The hauler did not make frequent stops as he was supposed to and only came by himself. Poor Jasper didn’t know what was going on. Then the place where I was to board him turned out to be run by someone who labelled Jasper as untrained and dangerous as soon as he got off of the trailer.

I was devastated…and worried about Jaspers care.

The long version of this story involves me running around a pasture with a cross dressing hauler(not kidding) – the short version is we moved him out of there quickly and

Jasper in the willows with his butt to me, a view
I was becoming very accustomed to.

to a much nicer place further north. A bit more of a drive but worth the peace of mind knowing he was going to get great care. The owner has a number of rescues and trains with natural horsemanship. The one disadvantage was he would not have a large pasture to roam around in but he did have a nice large paddock.

Now I was left with a very sad horse who had not had as much training as I was led to believe and had come to equate a halter and myself with something scary. I could barely touch him without him running away. My lifelong dream of owning a horse was starting to look like a complete disaster. Over the next several weeks, I spent almost every day coming to the ranch and just sitting in the paddock reading a book, minding my own business. The goal was to let him know that I wasn’t there to do anything to him and to let him come up to me. Curiosity would eventually win out and he would approach and give me a good sniff, then walk off again. During this time, I got my hands on any video and books on natural horsemanship I could find to educate myself as much as I could. I am so used to being the best at everything I do – programming, sewing….but this horse had me flummoxed. I would go home feeling so dejected because no matter how much I tried to be non-threatening he was still very much afraid of me.

At the point I was feeling utterly despondent about the situation, I saw a glimmer of hope.

I went to the ranch with my regular pail of beet pulp as an afternoon treat for Jasper. As I got out of my car Jasper put his head over the fenceline and let out a large whinny. Could he be happy to see me? That day, Jasper actually came up to me and we played in the water trough together. He loves to splash the water so I would lean down and do the same, which he seemed to like. As I left that day as my car wheeled out of the driveway and past Jaspers paddock, he saw me and walked down to the end to watch me leave. Right then and there, I knew there was some hope and maybe we could make it down this long road together….

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