December 4th

Tuesday, December 4th, 2018

Paul and Junior’s bromance is no news to you if you’ve followed my blog.

But here’s an update for you: They’re still going strong.

We went back to clean stalls this afternoon, and I cleaned while Paul went out to say hi to June. I poked my head out of the barn at one point to this.

And then Henna and I walked out to say hi (and Henna brought her Jolly Ball out to play):


Then Junior wanted the attention back on him:


So then they snuggled again (Junior was loving on Paul so hard he fogged up his glasses ha!):


These two, I tell ya what.

October 6th

Saturday, October 6th, 2018

These two, I tell ya.

I walked out to photograph the horses, and Henna could not be left out, so here she came, racing around like a maniac.

Can you tell that the horses have become used to it?

It’s been great for desensitizing – even if she is able to sneak up on them, they startle a couple steps, but then settle right back down. And after that whole kicking incident with Henna and Bucky a few weeks ago, Henna’s learned her lesson about boundaries. It’s settled into a good balance.

I was able to get Henna to sit next to Junior and I almost got a (really cute) picture, but then Junior started licking Henna’s head, and she wasn’t about to sit still for that – haha!

If you know Australian Cattle Dogs, you know that they legitimately often have OCD-like tendencies. Routines are everything to them – if you don’t provide them with one, they create their own. Bandit had worn a single path down through my parent’s grass around their house, because that was the route she patrolled multiple times a night; the exact same route every night. Our farrier had cattle a few years ago when he had his heeler, and she did the same thing around the perimeter of their pasture. It’s like she walked around doing a head count. She also slept in the middle of the round bale feeder (as the cows happily munched around her) so she could keep a close eye on her herd.

I giggled when one of the ranch accounts I follow on Instagram showed their red heeler, Pearl, walking down the road – but only on the white line on the edge of the road, like she was walking a tightrope.

Henna’s most recent “routine” is greeting Paul and me when we pull up at the farm, but only long enough for one pet, and then she beelines it out around the barn into the paddocks and pasture to let the boys know we’ve arrived. She doesn’t even herd them back in, she just runs out, barks a couple times, then beelines it back to say hi to us a little more thoroughly. As she runs back in, the horses often amble in behind her.

And she only does that when we come. It’s like she knows we’re the “horse people.”

Inter-animal/people relationships are fascinating.

July 29th

Sunday, July 29th, 2018

Easy like Sunday morning.

We woke up this morning, packed our coffee and breakfast, and went down to the barn earlier than normal. Our motivation? To have breakfast with the boys.

We’ve been keeping the horses off the pasture the past couple of days because something is in peak bloom right now, and it doesn’t agree with Junior. Something he’s eating is suddenly causing profuse salivation; it’s nothing that harms him, but I’m sure it’s very uncomfortable. It happened around this time last summer, so we’ve just kept them off the pasture, hoping that a few days time will allow whatever plant is out there to peak and recede.

In the meantime, the boys have been bored. They’ve tolerated it well, but we wanted to bring them out into our outdoor and let them stretch their legs a bit and munch on the grass around the fence.

So out came our folding chairs, breakfast, and coffee while the boys enjoyed a change of pace.

It was so relaxing and wonderful. A quiet, cool Sunday morning with warm coffee and good company.

Once breakfast was done, we did a lovely morning ride, and it felt good to ride early. Normally we don’t get our act together until afternoon or evening, so this was a great jump start to our day.

July 28th

Saturday, July 28th, 2018

Paul and I both had great rides yesterday.

Buck did beautiful walk-lope transitions for me in both directions, and Junior and Paul worked on their long trotting. Both boys were relaxed and just as  happy about the great weather as we were.

Today we were hoping to squeeze in another ride, but we spent the day helping friends install flooring in their new townhome, so we got home too late.

But Paul and Junior got a good snuggle session in after we fed grain, and my heart was a puddle as I watched them.

These two love each other, there’s no doubt about that.

May 3rd

Thursday, May 3rd, 2018

I love this boy.

This may be my new favorite picture of him. He had just walked up to me after running a lap around the outdoor arena. His movements were full of joy, his eyes are soft and relaxed, he’s engaged and connected. I can see all of his sweet whiskers, and as per usual, his hair is a crazy, beautiful mess.

The first day out in the outdoor arena has always been one of my favorite days. The boys love the chance to play and run around in deep footing; there was lots of rearing, bucking, and gleeful head tossing happening.

They are just as excited about the arrival of spring as we are!

January 14th

Sunday, January 14th, 2018

Before I get into the image for the day, I just finished watching the Vikings game and SKOL!!! I didn’t realize I was screaming, but my throat is definitely now scratchy. 😂


Moving on, one of my business (and personal) goals this year is to try and plan  ahead for images instead of trying to do them last minute (usually at the mercy of the weather). So when I was at Menards last week, and saw Christmas decorations were on super clearance, I nabbed a whole bunch of garland. I knew what kind of image I wanted for next years Christmas card, now I just had to wait for snow!

So when the big, fat flakes started to fall this afternoon I ousted Paul from the couch to help me (even though he was still recouping from being sick – sorry honey!).

Now let me back up and clarify that I had NO IDEA if we could pull this off. I knew Junior would let us string him up with whatever we wanted, but Buck was a whole other story. This is the reason I bought garland and not an actual horse-sized wreath – then I could wrap it around his neck, and not have to slip it over his head.

You guys, he took it like a CHAMP. Not once did he even get nervous about it. I was so incredibly proud of him.

They came in from the pasture full of snow, so initially my plan was to just photograph them on a black background full of snow – but then the snow was falling so thick that flakes showed up against the backdrop!

And then they wanted to eat each other’s garland, which if you didn’t know that, it makes it look like they’re cuddling. 😉

This whole project was magical!

January 12th

Friday, January 12th, 2018

Sweet, snowy muzzles on another below zero day.


For these guys, the cold weather is very tolerable when the sun shines. As seen here by Bucky taking a nap out in the pasture:


For people who do not have horses, the question of why some horses wear blankets and others don’t in the winter is a common one. In fact, it’s actually a very debated topic even in the horse world.

Many people are hard “for” or “against,” but I am of the mind that each horse is unique and therefore their needs are different. So at our house, our philosophy is to listen to our horses.

We are very fortunate in that our horses can come and go from their stalls out into the paddocks and then to the pasture as they please. They can choose if they want to be inside or outside. It’s great for them, as they stay at their optimum comfort level in a variety of weather conditions, and also great for us because we don’t have to second guess whether having them either in or out is the right choice.

So we watch where they are – if they’re in the barn, and seem uncomfortable then we know we need to help them out. But if it’s snowing and they’re happily standing out in the middle of the pasture when they could be inside, we let them be.

We rarely put blankets in our boys as they seem happier without them, but with the weather being consistently below zero the past couple of weeks, we’ve been closely monitoring their body conditions and temperatures. We have had to substantially increase their caloric intake by providing them more hay, but they’ve done great. Standing outside out of the wind and in the sun has been their favorite place to be.

December 22nd

Friday, December 22nd, 2017


Single digit countdown until the new year. Which means many things to many people, but for me it means that my 365 is nearly complete!

I’d be lying to you if I said that I never doubted that I’d make it. And I suppose it’s still to early to really say that because it’s not December 31st yet, but I’ll be a little presumptuous and daring 😉

Daring like a certain 13 week old pup who doesn’t realize that she’s only ten ponds compared to Junior’s 1,000+.

I let this little scene play out today, and it ended positively so we can all give thanks for that. Luckily, Junior is extremely patient with any animal who isn’t me (haha), so he slowly approached her and gently stood his ground while she spun in circles, jumped, yipped, completed minor acrobatics, and stretched her little herding muscles. As you can see, he was not at all intimidated, haha! She also kept her teeth to herself and obeyed my instructions to stay “Out” (of the paddock) which was a great thing to see.

She also MASTERED her “Wait” today when I fed the boys. Proud mama right here! To even get her to focus for more than 5 seconds is a victory in itself, so for her to “Sit” and “Wait” at the edge of the open stall door while I went in and fed horses was a HUGE accomplishment.

We gain a little ground each day, and it’s fun to watch her grasp and learn new things. Junior provided her an excellent opportunity to excel today, and that makes all the difference.

Just like with kids I suppose (for all you mamas out there 🙂)

December 21st

Thursday, December 21st, 2017

It is the season of gratefulness, and I’m loving it.

I’ve always loved horses; it’s like they’ve been infused into my DNA. Many little girls love horses, I get that, but I was lucky enough to have brave parents who not only entertained my love for them, who didn’t just say “we’ll board one for you,” but who embraced my love as theirs. They built a barn, put up fencing, went to first time horse owners classes, asked for help from other horse owners, and eventually brought two horses home. Two grew to four, and at one point, four grew to six.

We kept almost all of those horses until old age took them, and as you all know, we’re now we’re back down to only two.

Two goons that have a way of reminding me that joyfully is simply the best way to live.

You want a pick-me-up? Come down to the barn – Junior would love to give you a kiss…or playfully steal your hat…or just snuggle (he is a really good snuggler!).


Buck would love to stand for a good grooming session and big hugs…or he’d happily do some liberty to show you how smart he is. But really, I opened the gate today from the indoor and he walked right through the barn to his stall. First time since last winter and he got it the first time.

Their love is so unconditional; just like any dog, they greet me each time I come down to the barn, and they haven’t held it against me that the puppy has taken up time that used to be theirs.

They just loved the fact that for a half an hour, I did nothing but stand quietly with them. With no agenda but to love on them and simply spend time. To be ok with “productive” meaning kissing soft noses and burying my nose in long winter coats while breathing deep.

Today, I was thankful for not only the present moments I spent today, but for the journey that got me here.

For passion and for brave parents. ❤️

November 27th

Monday, November 27th, 2017

Paul is the king of quiet moments.

He can slow down, appreciate his surroundings, enjoy life moment by moment. I’ve learned a lot from him about the importance of living in the present.

So naturally, when I walked around the shop to this this morning, I couldn’t help but smile.


Just two boys hanging out, appreciating each other. Communing in silence.

Junior would reach out and nuzzle Paul, Paul would stroke his face, they’d go back to standing quietly.

Savoring a mutual love for one another.

*Cue the heart squeeze.*

November 8th

Wednesday, November 8th, 2017

I really don’t have much to say for this one.

Except that I have so much love for these two. So much.

And they make my heart squeeze when they do things like this. Subtle little hints of the sweet friendship they share. Harmony is such a precious thing on a farm, and I love when I’m able to capture these little moments.

Then throw Paul in the mix, and my heart does a little squeeze and then somersaults.

Oh my boys.