The adventures of Gilly the rescue horse and his side kick and partner in crime, Pokey the donkey.


Being with a horse is a journey that never ends. What they have to teach us is amazing; but we must quiet our mind to hear them. ~ jca


Thursday, March 18, 2010

St. Patrick's Day ride

I got to go for a good long ride on St. Patrick's Day! YIPPEE!!! This is an old abandoned barn a ways down the road from home. A swampy area at the bottom of the photo and there were lot's of peepers out there peeping their little hearts out! Ahhh, spring is here!

Now turning the camera to the front Gilly's ears pointing ahead and Gonzo and Lucy ahead on the road. We had just passed a house where there were three dogs barking and slinking around, making Gilly nervous. He was nervous because just before we came to this house there was one of the dreaded Blue Herron's standing in the creek! Danged birds I didn't think it was time for them to be back in the creeks fishing. Thank goodness the bird was just standing there and took a few steps but didn't fly. Well, Gilly didn't miss it and it startled him so now he was on high alert.

Farther down the road Lucy just couldn't resist a dip in the creek. It was close to the road so easy to get to for a quick dip!

This is the neighbor's house who comes up and helps us with hay. Really nice guy, don't find too many people who will come out and help in the hay fields anymore. So we are most thankful!

Gilly had stopped to watch Lucy in the creek. Gonzo walked into it but didn't lay down like Lucy did. Lucy loves to get in the water and really get soaked! Still a little too chilly for swimming for me! Gonzo must have gotten water in his ear the way he was shaking his head or maybe Lucy splashed him....silly dogs!

Farther down the road stands a lone cedar tree. Years and years ago there was a farm house here but it burned down, probably back in the 40's. The sandstone foundation used to be there but last year the old farm was timbered so it was all destroyed, sad. There was also a pink rambling rose growing there, of course it's now gone too.

Gonzo checking out the ditch and Lucy in the shade of the tree. After a way we came to another old farm. The house and huge barn are now gone, vandals and fire destroyed this place. I never saw it but heard it was a beautiful farm in it's day. Whoever owns it now has put a trailer there now and uses it for a place to stay while deer hunting. Our destination was the bridge just past here.

We are getting closer! I am getting tireder! LOL yes, we had been riding for a long time. But the bridge is in sight!

Below is a closer shot of the bridge but I didn't get anymore pictures. I rode Gilly up to the bridge and he said "Whoa, not me! I ain't gonna across that!!!!!" He was pretty determined that he was NOT going to step foot on there. I got off because I felt that if I pressed him into going on he might really spook and I didn't want to get into a wreck. I got off and lead him across. He still was pretty unsure about it, stepped really high over the seams in the concrete and kept looking at the sides, he could see the water down below and was concerned about it. He was hanging pretty close to me for support.
We made it across and walked around the road sign then back across the bridge. He was still pretty concerned about it. I assured him he did very well, he seemed relieved to be off of it.
I lead him back to where the trailer was, there were several large sandstones so I had something to climb up on to get back in the saddle.
I'll tell you what, I was hoping that the return trip home would go fast.....I was TIRED!!!

FINALLY we made it back home! We rode 5 and a half miles and it took 2 hours and 15 minutes. All we did was walk and Gilly was poking along most of the way, I kept having to squeeze him with my legs and encourage him to MOVE on! He is a pretty lazy guy and you have to work to get him moving. He may do better if he has some one, like Lacy going with us. I think he was pretty tired too, we have never gone that far before. Look at those eyes! LOL

Now this picture tells it all. "I am beat, I need a nap!"
I untacked him, he was hardly sweating....fed him and Pokey. Oh, yes Pokey was waiting at the end of the field, looking mad! "Why you two been gone so LONG??? I have waited here for hours! snort!!"

Gilly stayed in the barn for an hour or more then he as back out in the field running and bucking and playing with Pokey! Quick recovery! I wasn't so lucky.....I was beat! It was a great ride though and will have to do it again.
How did Gilly's feet take all the riding on the rocks on the road....perfect! Not one single chip out of those beautiful bare feet! (Thank you Mike for the wonderful trim and getting his feet into such good shape!)

Kacy, I took my GPS....not because I thought I would get lost..LOL...I was trying to figure out how fast we were traveling (s-l-o-w) and also trying to see how far we traveled. I couldn't figure it out so after I put Gil away I got in the car and drove the road to get the mileage. It was a much more restful ride! LOL

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Sydney at Bitless Horse is having a giveaway on her blog. Oh, it's a beautiful horse hair charm with a key that says "Dreams" you must go see because I can't describe just how beautiful it is! You have three things to do to be entered in the contest, it's easy.

Sydney makes some of the most beautiful horsehair items I have ever seen. You can have something made from your horse's hair for a keepsake. I am going to send her some of Gilly's tail hair if I can get it to grow out. Pokey keeps trimming Gilly's tail; I'm gonna tape his mouth shut, bad donkey!!!

It's beautiful day here and as soon as I get some badly needed work done outside I think I will take Pokey for a walk. He has been so upset when I take Gilly out, cause he wants to go too, I think it's his turn go get out and about. I'm sure he will stick out his tongue at Gilly because Gilly will have to stay in while he goes for a walkabout! Ornery donkey!!! :-)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Gilly's gettin' a new rhythm bells necklace

After seeing Gilly's necklace in this picture after our ride the other day, some changes are in order. The necklace is 58 inches long but look how small it looks on Gilly's neck! He has a big neck and huge shoulders. After the ride on Thursday the medallion started coming loose, I took it off so it didn't fall off and get lost; also don't like the rusty jingle bells. They don't jingle as much as I would like and really I don't like the sound, I want some different bells.

I typed in "1 inch brass bells" and the first site I found had these little beauties. 1 inch brass round bells and then I saw these.......

Blue bells with moon and stars on them, pretty and Gilly LOVES this color of blue. It's his favorite color, anything in a royal blue he WANTS!!!! Especially beer cans with that color of blue! LOL Yea, he loves beer!

I also found on this site semi precious stones with words engraved on them called "Words to Live By". The ones I got are, "Courage", "Harmony" and "Love". Not sure how I am going to attach these to the his necklace but I will figure it out or maybe (they come in a little pouch) just attach them to my saddle. I have several beautiful pieces of silk velvet so I may make a little pouch myself for my saddle.

I have some ideas as to how to make the necklace better than before.
Can't wait till the new bells and stones come. Will post the new necklace when it's ready for viewing.

Friday, March 12, 2010

More rides!!

Rode Gilly again yesterday for over 2 hours. We went down the road and farther than we had gone before, probably about 4 and a half miles. Not far by others standards but far for us. There were some pretty scary things along the way, Lucy decided to scare out two cats at a place that looks like a place that would put Sanford and Son to shame! So much junk you can just barely see the front of the house. I didn't take any pictures on this ride, forgot the camera. Gilly did well.

Today we started out, I wasn't sure about going because we had some wind. Gilly seemed alright at first. I didn't get any pictures of when we first started out, things were a little hairy so I needed both hands.
We weren't very far from home when I caught sight of the neighbor moving a round bale of hay with his tractor. I could hear the tractor but couldn't see it. Gilly saw the round bale moving, then the cows in the neighbors field moving and trotting up a hill. From our vantage point it looked like the round bale was after the cows. (we were quite a way from all of this) To Gilly it might have looked like a predator after the cows. My mind went to a cougar, hay was about that color. Who knows what Gilly thought but he stopped dead in his tracks and let out a snort. Head up and legs locked! I kept trying to make him move, NO WAY!!! I could feel him tightening up and ready to bolt for home.
Soooo, I got off. We walked up the road and I was hoping to see the neighbor so Gilly would see it was a tractor and bale of hay. But he had gone up the road and around to come up behind the field where the cows were to drop off the bale. He then came back down the hill in his field, got another one and came back up the road; making a circle.

These first three pictures are taken after I got back in the saddle and started up the hill. The neighbor passed us on two of his trips with more round bales. Gilly wasn't concerned when he saw the tractor go by and tried to reach out and grab a mouth full of hay as it passed. Still he is looking for that thing that scared him in the first place. Then he saw another field with more cows, they are up in the trees, black specks. He was looking and making little snorts at tree stumps, rocks anything that looked like it might eat a horse!!

The photo above is at the top of our road, Gilly is watching the tractor and round bale disappear around the bend.

This is a picture of the sky that was looking like it could open up and rain at any moment. I decided to turn around and head back home. It took me an hour to ride a mile and a half! He had to stop look around and really check everything out. We have ridden up this road many, many times. Today the wind and the scary hay-backed critter that was after the cows made him really on high alert!

Now turning to head back home, hoping that the rain doesn't start before we make it to the house.

Starting back down the road; more cows to the left and a farmer pitching manure into a manure spreader. He is being very watchful of that too. As we steadily head down the road is dropping below the field where the cows are. Now they are above us and one of them starts bucking and running toward the fence. Gilly stopped to watch, he didn't seem too concerned, he likes cows. He had to stop and watch them though.

Now we are coming to a tree that broke off and laying in a heap over the edge of the road. He looked at it like it was going to jump out of there and eat him alive. We did some good side passes here!!! But this time he hardly at it, lefty was afraid of it and righty wasn't! LOL Horses are funny.

Had to scratch an itch here. See this time I didn't forget his bells! I think they helped keep him a little calmer than if they weren't on him. Yesterday he would start to walk or trot faster to hear them. I do need to find some better bells though, I want to hear a little more jingle.

Heading to a bridge and getting closer to home, at least we are past the muttly dogs that come out at the bottom of the hill barking and making all kinds of noise. Gilly doesn't pay much attention to any of them. Lucy didn't come with me today, I don't trust the dogs, three of them might gang up on her.

Gilly always checks out the bridge because last year while on a ride a Blue Heron flew out from under the bridge! That caused a stiff legged jump and snort!!!

Home isn't far away now! Gilly can hear the neighbors dogs barking. And oh, listen it's the donkey calling! Mad about being left at home.

Neighbors house and ours farther back. Pokey will be in sight shortly. I'm not sure if he just stands at the end of the field or just happens to be there when we come into sight.

Crossing the last bridge, now we can see home; more dogs to pass. One came out, one of the big dogs and was smelling around Gilly's legs. He stopped and stood, then tried to reach down to smell the dog or bit it, not sure. He was watching it, he kicked on of the dogs into the creek last year when he felt it didn't need to be back there. He sent the dog flying with one well placed hoof. That particular dog stays away.

There he is the Pokey! He let out a loud bray and started trotting along as we headed for the barn. Then he took off bucking and kicking to let me know that he was NOT happy with me. He wanted his turn out. (maybe tomorrow Poke)

Gilly doesn't look too alert now. "Just get this stuff off my back, will ya?" I love my Abetta synthetic saddle, comfortable for both of us. He also has on his bitless noseband attached to his dressage bridle.
Closer look at the bitless. He was a good boy and just stood there while I took some pictures of him. He's no dummy, he knows the food is close by and won't go anywhere; he will walk right over to the building where I keep his tack to be unsaddled.
We road for two house but only went 3 miles from home. I wonder how many miles we went backward and sideways! When he would try his back up tricks, I would make him go sideways then turn him in the direction I wanted to go. He finally gave up going backward after he had to travel sideways, that was harder work.
All in all though it was good to ride and he did well for being a bit spooky.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Long time.......

Gee, it has been a long, long time since I rode! Well, maybe not that long! Last time I rode was the day before Thanksgiving, over three months. The weather was really nice today, up in the 60's, sun shining brightly.......felt like spring.

I did laundry, cleaned house this morning while the weather warmed up, by 1:30 I was finished with the domestic chores and out the door. Gonzo was not a happy camper because he had to stay in the house with Petey, Buster and Laverne. Usually Gonzo gets to go but there are some mangy looking dogs at a house at the bottom of the hill that I sometimes go past. Didn't think that was a good idea for him to go, he was brokenhearted and cried and cried to go.

Sorry Gonz, only Lucy gets to go. I called Gilly and he came running, nickering all the way to the gate, he was happy to get to go somewhere. First thing I did was get Gilly out, brush the dirt off, put my new shims in the air pad, saddled up in the western saddle. Put on the new breast band and the dressage bridle with the bitless noseband. The one thing I did forget, were Gilly's necklace with his bells!!! Guess I need to take it to the tack closet then I will remember! Duh!!

Sorry no pictures, I just wanted to ride!!!

Ok, so I decided since I had no place to do any ground work that wasn't knee deep in mud! We walked down the road to see if Kim was home; she wasn't but we walked on down to see Lacy. When I say walked, I walked too, figured that Gilly would work off some energy, he walked sideways, backward and back and forth across the road.....ground work without the round pen.
Lacy was in a marish mood and was squealing and striking the fence. Gilly was feeling very friendly, licking and chewing on her neck but she didn't seem like she cared. (this is funny) Gilly stood and looked at her for a few minutes and turned and started back up the road toward home! Thought I heard him mumble under his breath, "That's the last time I'll play kissy face with you!"

When we got back to the barn I got the step stool out and climbed up in the saddle! Wow, I just wanted to sit there for a few minutes, soaking it all I really sitting in the saddle again???? YES I AM! We started out up the road and Gilly seemed like he was happy to be out on the road, he was looking from side to side as if to say, "hey, it's been a long time since I saw these sights!" As we walked along I pushed him from one side of the road to the other with my legs, we worked on some flexing, turning in a complete circle with only my legs, boy, that's hard for me I want to help him with the reins but I didn't. He remembers how to do it. I just did some little things, we were mainly just out to have a nice ride and we did.

Gilly just had his feet trimmed yesterday so I was wanting to see how he did on the large stone that had been put on the road over the winter. Used to be he would take one look at the sharp quarter sized stones and want no part of it; today he walked over it like it wasn't even there. His feet are very hard and strong now, after the ride there wasn't a chip or crack anywhere! He has GREAT feet!

We rode to the bottom of the hill and the mangy dogs came out barking and heading for Lucy so turned and headed back toward home. We did some trotting too, fun! Back at the farm we went back the hollow to see what had happened to things over the winter, looked the same but with more mud! Made a few more loops around some of the out buildings before unsaddling. Gilly was a very good boy so he got a few horse peppermint treats after I got his halter back on.

Pokey was at the gate waiting and having one of his little ass-fits for being left behind. I gave him a few peppermints and he calmed down. Next time it's his turn to get out and go for a walk!

Great to be out and riding again....anyone else get to ride today???

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Oh, boy, what a good find!

I was looking on eBay yesterday at saddles, saddle pads not really anything in particular and found a dressage saddle like I have; Thornhill Vienna II. I checked the seller and found that she carried a lot of really good English tack, gloves, riding breeches and a lot more. I also found some shims for my Parelli English Theraflex Self-Inflating Pad. A great price for these so I ordered them. She also has these pads for dressage saddles! I already have the English pad and it seems fine for my saddle so I probably won't be getting another one....well, not right now anyway! My pad looks like this below.

I have to say that these self inflating pads are worth every penny and they are expensive but Gilly is a horse that is a hard one to fit. I tried 5 saddles before I found the round skirted Abeta western saddle. I had a gorgeous Circle Y saddle that I loved but didn't even get to ride it. When I tried it on Gil the back of the saddle was up on top of his rump! He is very short backed and has big shoulders. You can see from the picture, taken a few years ago, how his back is. (got a little hay belly going there too Gil!) Those big shoulders want to push the saddle back but with the saddle pad and the shims in the right place the saddle stays put.

Here is Gilly 3 years ago with his dressage saddle on. This was the first time I had it on his back. The pad has a valve on each side to adjust the amount of air in it. I don't know how or why it work, it just does and I love it!

This is the dressage pad, longer on the sides than the English. Kelly at Netfilly has these pads; link below picture. You can check it out and read more about these pads. I know another woman, Sheri, who trains and shows dressage who also swears by them, matter of fact she is the one who told me about them. Sheri has three and is thinking of getting one of the dressage pads. (cause I called her today and told her I found these)

I just wanted to share this find with all of you English riders who follow my blog; sorry western gals, I don't think there is any western stuff. But there are some neat riding gloves, called Bionic gloves. I don't know anything about them but they sound like your hands would love them!

I know, I know someone is going to give me flack about using a saddle pad to make the saddle fit, but it works for me. When I take Gilly's saddle and pad off, his back is wet everywhere, no dry spots. Both of my saddles have wide trees and the Abeta saddle was recommended to me by a woman who trains Tennessee Walkers, she said these worked well for the horse to be able to move his shoulders well.

So any comments about this pad. Does anyone else have one? If you do tell me what you think of it; do you love it like I do?

Oh, by the way......the SNOW is melting, melting, melting!!! Yippee, it was actually almost 40 degrees today! How exciting....yes, I am a little giddy over this, I am hoping that this means spring is just around the corner!!!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Smooch or a bite?

I labeled this picture "Donkey bite" but it looks like little ornery Pokey is giving his big buddy Gilly a BIG smooch! Aren't they cute? LOL
He really was biting Gilly's jaw, just after I snapped the picture Gilly turned around and gave his what for!

Nothing much to post about today. Snow is still here, melting somewhat, dirty and ugly looking now. No sunshine, dreary winter type weather. Weather forecast is still calling for snow flurries....seems like winter is dragging on forever!

I am making vegetable soup for supper, that will brighten things up....yum....a hot bowl of vegetable soup on a dreary day! Made with my canned beef, tomatoes, potatoes and onions.... Sounds good, huh?

Guess I'd better get back to hooking too!

Jane and the Boys

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Winner is........

I want thank everyone who signed up for the drawing of my little hooked rug; the comments were wonderful! I drew a name and the winner is:

gtyyup-Life at the Rough String Ranch!!!!!!

Email me your mailing address and I will get your hooked rug in the mail!

I wish everyone could have won but I only had one, but I was thinking that the next giveaway I have I will do a hooked dog rug. So be on the lookout for it....sometime!



Related Posts with Thumbnails