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Discussion Starter · #262 ·
@SueC, I like exploring pedigrees so looked up Albatross to see how far back you’d have to go to find Morgan. Looks like when you get to his 5th generation back (horses generally from the early part of the 1900s), some of them have a parent or grandparent that was a Morgan.
Do you see any common ancestors with any of your girls?

It used to fascinate me to see some of the common ancestors between my Arabian mare and some of the Trotters/Standardbreds we had, way way back in time. Arabians were bred into those for speed, together with native cart horses and Thoroughbreds - who themselves had a fair dash of Arabian. You should have seen Chip. He looked like an Anglo-Arabian and competed in a short endurance ride between racing engagements. He was neighing so much with enthusiasm at being with so many horses they couldn't hear his heart rate but passed him based on everything else. :LOL: I must dig up a photo.

How are you two doing? Have you got the lurgy off DH or managed to avoid it? Has lovely hubby recovered? I need to head over to your journal because I want to know what happened to your weekend plans.


I love the great pictures and story! What a fine day! You have so many interesting places to explore and finding great eats like tangelos just tops it off!
I'm glad you're enjoying the reports! It's great when there's a bunch of people living in different interesting parts of the world writing journals where you can see the scenery and hear about working on the land and living with animals, and a bit of philosophy and cooking and veggie growing etc, and you end up corresponding in a group like this - many of us also live out in the sticks so this is a big social outlet for me too and I've become really fond of people here. They are like your favourite characters in a book except they are real and you can talk to them! ;)

I'm enjoying digging back through your journal too, and the interactions on it. I am fortuitously up to the same season that we have now, half a year offset, and sympathising with the mud and rain and icy winds!
 

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Ready to go down the rabbit hole? 🙃

Five gens back for Albatross, you see a Standardbred stallion called Guy Axworthy used three times. He must have been quite a hot ticket! This is what his entry in All Breed Pedigree says about him:
Breeder: John H. Shults, Port Chester N.Y. ATR#37501 Sired 454 trotters, 48 pacers, 110 sires. Died 3 July 1933. Sold Nov 1907 $8100 then resold 23 Nov 1916 at Old Glory Sale for $20,000 (dispersal of the late Jacob Rupperts Sr Hudson River Stock Farm at Poughkeepsie. Bought by Harry S. Harkness. Spending most of his stallion career at Walnut Hall Farm, Kentucky, Guy Axworthy had two sons who were prominent in extending this sire line - Truax, the grandsire of Titan Hanover, who sired Hickory Smoke, and Guy McKinney, the first Hambletonian winner, who is the grandsire of Florican. Florican's sons and grandsons are keeping this line alive. In particular, Sierra Kosmos, Florican's greatgrandson sired super-mares No Nonsense Woman 3,1:54 ($1.26 million) and Fern.
Horse Liver Working animal Mane Terrestrial animal

Three gens back for Guy Axworthy, on his dam's side, you come to a Morgan mare called "Young Daisy," who was apparently a grey Morgan- quite rare now, there is basically only one modern line where you can find grey and it's not bred from much. Young Daisy goes back to a Morgan stallion called Black Hawk (1833), who most Morgans will have if you go far enough back- all three of mine do through sons of his called Ethan Allen 2 and Ethan Allen 3. Black Hawk was a champion trotter in his day and said to be the model for the horse weathervane that shows up extensively across America, especially in New England. His full skeleton is on display at the University of Vermont Morgan Horse Farm, which I visited about a year ago. Here's a little history lesson on his skeletal restoration if you're interested.
Extinction Rib Jaw Bone Building

So, if you look back to 1833, all of our horses are related via Black Hawk 😁

Everything here is about the same, lovely husband's Covid test was still positive yesterday but he is asymptomatic at this point. I'm still negative. I'm only going out to do shopping if needed, otherwise we're pretty much home bound. The weather is miserable- the air is thick and humid, bugs are swarming. The horses are barely moving but fortunately they are drinking well. The dog really only wants to go outside to do his business and otherwise is parked in front of the fan. I'm ready to fast forward a bit to better health and better weather!

You should have seen Chip. He looked like an Anglo-Arabian and competed in a short endurance ride between racing engagements. He was neighing so much with enthusiasm at being with so many horses they couldn't hear his heart rate but passed him based on everything else.
I loved this story. Whenever I'm volunteering with the vets at an endurance ride, it puts everyone in a great mood when a character of a horse comes up to be examined. It makes it so much more fun when it's clear the horse is thoroughly enjoying the ride as much as the rider is!
 

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Wow! That is interesting ancestry! I did a far look back on Bones’s once. I did an excell sheet and went as far back as records were kept. It was fun and yet I felt a bit odd that I was much more interested in that than in any personal ancestry. Lol

I think it’s good Brett went for a walk today. My first bout of covid ended up with some pretty nasty pneumonia. I learned later that one is supposed to force themselves up with covid, or the pneumonia sets in the lungs. So, when my family got it later it was a good thing we were gathering cows and they simply had to get up and work, and none of them ended up with the bad pneumonia. I mean, it was obvious when my hands and feet started turning black.

This round I kept myself moving all but one day. That day my migraine was so bad I simply couldn’t without a lot of throwing up.
 

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Wow! That is interesting ancestry! I did a far look back on Bones’s once. I did an excell sheet and went as far back as records were kept. It was fun and yet I felt a bit odd that I was much more interested in that than in any personal ancestry. Lol

I think it’s good Brett went for a walk today. My first bout of covid ended up with some pretty nasty pneumonia. I learned later that one is supposed to force themselves up with covid, or the pneumonia sets in the lungs. So, when my family got it later it was a good thing we were gathering cows and they simply had to get up and work, and none of them ended up with the bad pneumonia. I mean, it was obvious when my hands and feet started turning black.

This round I kept myself moving all but one day. That day my migraine was so bad I simply couldn’t without a lot of throwing up.
Hands and feet turning black?? Serious?
 

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Yes @TrainedByMares! I was really sick. I had some dog amoxicillin I started and then crossed over to some smz’s and then back to the amoxicillin. I had called the clinic but they said they wouldn’t really do anything for me if I had covid. I could go to urgent care which is like 100 miles away. I decided to just treat myself as I saw fit. It took a bit to knock that pneumonia. The one thing I did learn from the clinic was that you weren’t supposed to lay around. I wished I was told that before that point. It seems like valuable information that should be put out there for everyone to understand!
 

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Discussion Starter · #268 · (Edited)
OMG, @Knave! o_O And migraine on top of everything...

If the pneumonia is viral (which the primary pneumonia in severe COVID is), then antibiotics won't help and may hinder because they knock out your good microflora across the board. If it's a secondary bacterial pneumonia, it will help and my life was saved by a dentist neighbour when I was three years old after my bacterial pneumonia had apparently been misdiagnosed in the hospital as appendicitis and they had recommended taking my appendix out. The neighbour gave me antibiotics. I was already hallucinating for hours and remember the fever hallucinations.

Masks help prevent secondary infections when you already have a virus, and help stop the spread of the virus. Also very useful if there's dust around which is a great source of secondary bacterial infections for compromised lungs. Because it's winter here, it's also good outdoors for making the air warmer and moister before you breathe in.

We've now got access to antivirals if we get COVID but they have to be taken early in an infection for best results.

The staying up and about is often good advice. Apart from when we had the worst flu of our lives just before the pandemic and were mostly in bed two weeks straight because so debilitated, we're up and down indoors on hibernation days, and outdoors if conditions permit. Brett was vacuuming before he was braving the cold outdoors! Because of my lung damage from that early pneumonia, for me personally it's always been a good thing to avoid exertion when actually or potentially coming down with something - breaking into a sweat or breathing cold air will always set me back, even when I already feel better - we've gone on hikes when I felt mostly better towards the end of an illness and that always without exception knocked me flat again for days, so I have to restrain myself and just potter until I'm properly recovered. With respiratory infections, that is - other things aren't in that category for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #269 · (Edited)
Totally understand why we're more interested in our horses' ancestry than our own. It's fascinating, and the stories...@egrogan, that was so super cool what you found out! :cool: Wow! Your Morgans and Julian/Sunsmart all related through Black Hawk! I've been digging with Chasseur after I read that. He's non-Albatross as far as I can remember, but that doesn't mean Black Hawk can't be in there somewhere way back. His immediate family isn't on the database, but I will go digging in the trotting database...also of course, there could be an unsung mare somewhere way back that I have no idea looking at the names is Morgan! I'll keep you posted.

That skeleton, funny how they displayed it - with the hindquarters collapsed down and the cannon bones not straight. Also no idea what was going on with the skull - where are the lower incisors? That whole section of jaw seems missing but hard to see on the photo. This is all super interesting and thanks for posting. Imagine Black Hawk dying at 23 and I've been so miffed Sunsmart didn't quite make it to 25 when Romeo made it to 34.5...

Note for rest of post below - the Australian database pedigrees aren't hyperlinking properly - still trying to fix this - meanwhile - the French mare's name was Dame du Buisson and can be entered directly in the name search as "DAME DU BUISSON FRA" in the uncooperative website which keeps reverting back to the search page...


Dame du Buisson in 1982

OK, @egrogan - here's the page to get to the pedigree of the French mare I was jumping in that photo, who was chestnut but the Australian database incorrectly recorded as bay (and unraced) when she was imported, plus all her European progeny's breeder name is misrecorded (the breeder name for all her European foals was Lichtinger) and they don't have their race records either. This is a straight French Trotter, not a Standardbred - though some Standardbred was bred into the lines, and it is in those lines we are going to find Morgan. In the French lines there will be European cart and carriage horses, TBs and Arabians. Lots of the pedigree names hyperlink to take you back further and it would be so interesting if you recognised some of those names way back as Morgan!

OK - rabbit hole. I just went to a French database and searched for Dame du Buisson's parents for more information. Lei Volo was her dam and born in 1955 - meaning she had Dame du Buisson at age 24! She was European bred except for the paternal grandmother who was Viola Sunshine (1922) - here's that pedigree on Allbreeds:


Also way back on Lei Volo's maternal side was an American mare called Winnie de Forest (1918)...


Dame du Buisson's father was Nonant le Pin (1957), and he is on Allbreeds:


Nonant le Pin was mostly European lines except his paternal great-grandfather, The Great McKinney (1922):


I love all the old names back pre the 1950s especially... :love:


Dame du Buisson is Chasseur's grandmother and Sunsmart's great-grandmother (Sunsmart is out of Chasseur's full sister).
 

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Discussion Starter · #270 ·
@bornabadfish hasn't been around in a bit but here's something fun - Robert Smith, Simon Gallup and Jason Cooper getting together with Paul McCartney's son James to do a Beatles cover. Beatles songs are so like Wiggles songs, especially the McCartney tunes - and Brett and I call Mr Smith the Dark Wiggle because of his propensities on that side of the bell curve. It does make me smile how the singer is getting into this, and really channelling The Beatles. :D


In other news, it's still raining and yesterday was so cold it was snowing on Bluff Knoll. You can't go anywhere outside without making squelching sounds and the cattle have made a quagmire around their hay bales and I can't do anything about it other than roll the next one far away when they finish what they have. The horses have been in rugs for days. Brett was due to go back to work yesterday but can't because he is still coughing. He works at a medical practice and they are very strict that no staff member can come in while still symptomatic with any kind of respiratory infection - and that is on top of all staff wearing masks, having all their flu and SARS shots, and being meticulous with hygiene at all times. They have had zero staff-to-staff transmission all this time, and the staff cover each other when anyone is symptomatic. 😎 He has to go to town today for a PCR test for work - it's either going to show what exactly he has, or that whatever it was is no longer shedding.

I escaped it and hope @egrogan did too. We met Brett's old (now retired) practice manager walking the dog yesterday and swapped stories of avoiding household transmission with a combination of immunisation, N-95s and hygiene. Household transmission is the hardest to avoid but quite a few staff and families have done exactly that, which is excellent. 🌻🌺🌼
 

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Discussion Starter · #271 ·
Kaz Cooke is one of my favourite Australian authors - if any of you have pre-teen or teenage girls in your lives, Real Gorgeous is such a must-have classic and fun antidote to the so-called beauty industry and to the tripe about beauty in many girls' and women's magazines...




Kaz has a new book out!



You’re Doing it Wrong is an outrageous tour through the centuries of bonkers and bad advice handed down and foisted upon women, told as only Kaz Cooke can – with humour and rage, intelligence and wit.

Come with Kaz on a laugh-out-loud frolic through centuries of terrible advice, from 14th-century clergy to the Kardashians (wear a dress made of arsenic, do some day-drinking, have sex with a billionaire biker, worry about your vagina wrinkles). It’s also a roar against injustice, a rallying cry for sisterhood and a way to free ourselves from ludicrous expectations and imposed perfectionism.
Kaz’s own 30-year history of interest and experience in advice – from her newspaper etiquette column to best-selling books, including Up the Duff and the Girl Stuff series – and years of archives and research have culminated in a full-colour, exuberant shout of a book with hundreds of wacky and sobering historical photos of objects and instructions.
You’re Doing It Wrong examines what we’re told to do (change shape, shoosh, do all the housework), and what we’re not supposed to do (frown, have pockets, lead a country). It covers sex & romance, paid work, fashion & beauty, health advice, housework, and a motherlode of mad parenting instructions – from witchcraft to beauty pageants, with a side of aviatrixes. Put the kettle on and settle in.
from -

 

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Discussion Starter · #272 ·
FIRST EXTENSIVE TROTTING SESSION

We worked up to it with cue revision on the lead and short gentle sitting trots in our mostly-walking rides so far - but today was the day to let the cat out of the bag and have a proper trotting session, as I would have done a while back if I had access to a harness jog track where taking an ex-harness racer to trot under saddle for the first time is the most hassle-free and safe place to do it - because the most they will go if you miscommunicate or the horse bolts is a mile and a half and then they warm themselves down automatically.

I've never had a horse bolt on me on a track re-training it to saddle, but I have had a horse run away with me in harness on a racetrack when I was trying to do a pacework session as a teenager. I'd done this before for horses just coming up, but this was a horse in full work and this was my introduction that harness racing horses are cued differently to riding horses - for them, dropping the reins means stop and making contact with the reins means run! So this mare was in pacework speed (= about 80-90 seconds for the half-mile) when I wanted her to slow down a little, which meant rider me half-halted her and then increased resistance - and the mare leaned fully into the bit and took off sprinting (= about 60 seconds for the half-mile)!

That was a wild ride. I was thankfully wearing sunglasses but I'd never driven a horse that fast before and my face was getting painfully pelted with gravel to the point I couldn't think straight. I had enough presence of mind to keep supporting the horse to run the straights and bends as normal so we wouldn't have an accident (this would happen if a panicking person used to riding tried to one-rein stop for example, you never never do this on a harness track). Meanwhile I just sat there getting my face pelted and trying not to tip out of the cart from the enormous centrifugal forces on me around the bends while the mare did an 800-metre sprint and then warmed herself down. The horse's owner laughed. She was a good mare and I honestly don't know how people drive races without face shields.

Re-training a harness racing horse to ride is a little different to training one from scratch - and I've done both. The re-training is a much faster thing because the horses already have so many established cues and a work ethic. But you also have to get them used to what you're going to be doing differently - e.g. riding instead of driving, doing lots of walking, learning rein-back, establishing seat and leg aids, cueing differently through the bit than when in harness, not running everywhere at a million miles an hour, turning tight circles instead of turning like a supertanker, doing lots of up-down transitions, learning to do slower paces and tempi not just what is part of race training, and riding trails, jumping logs, mounted games, basic dressage.

And while I've saddle trained half a dozen ex-harness horses, some just for bare basics, several to competition level riding, I've always done this with access to their previous harness training facilities for the first stage, so I could ride in environments already familiar to them doing things that they already knew how to do, for starters. And, on an oval track it doesn't matter if your horse runs away with you if something goes drastically wrong. Worst comes to worst, you would just do three laps at race speeds before the horse warms itself down.

So this is the first time I've done the first fast and extensive trots with an ex-harness racer on a trail instead of on a jog track. It's a familiar trail and we've done lots of preliminaries - this is how we went!

The sun shone brightly for the first time in days. Everything is still muddy. The horses were already worked up because they had been chased by a bee. I managed to calm Julian down enough to tack him up, then we tiptoed our way around the quagmire near the Common gate as best we could, sloshing over inundated grass until we got around the back of the house to the higher-altitude bushland. There I tightened his girth and got on him. We had Jess and Brett along because both wanted to. (Jess kept up, Brett didn't. ;))

We started by walking as usual, then I cued Julian to transition up. I had a thin branch to help cue him (having forgotten my riding crop) because this time I didn't want him to slow down again after a dozen steps, as per past riding practice. So he knew this was business and did the usual thing an ex-harness horse does when you ask for a proper up-transition - he got into a pacework speed pace! This was fine by me, I take what they offer and work with them from there when we first establish trotting. So I don't mind if they pace at first because we can distinguish between trot and pace later. If I stop the horse immediately and ask him to trot, he may get confused and may get the idea that I didn't want him to go to a faster gait, and that way lie unnecessary misunderstandings.

So I rode what he offered, which was a steady pacework-speed pace, and did it posting - first time I've posted on him. He didn't get bothered by that at all, which is great. I kept softly in contact with him through the bit, and about 200 metres later, half-halted him to slow him down, and then transitioned him back to a walk. Well done! Lots of praise and a rub over the shoulders, which he likes. Then we turned around and walked back to find Brett.

Julian is a hot horse who gets excited by speed. This is why we've done a lot of relaxed walking in our initial riding so far. We have established that we can do relaxed walks and this is a normal part of the programme when riding. It's a building block we will now be able to keep coming back to.

When we reached Brett, I turned him back around the other way. For a moment he got ready to run again straight away. This is part of the harness training autopilot - once the horse is doing pacework, you might change direction in training. You come back to a walk to do this, but the moment the horse is facing straight again, his job is to go off at pacework speed straight away. He was clearly wondering if that was the expectation. I half halted him and talked to him and seat aided him for walking, but for about ten seconds he was super toey and felt like he was going to lift off vertically into the stratosphere, and he kicked out behind. I got Brett to pass us and just walk in front of him - to be the herd equivalent of a calm, experienced horse showing him what happens next. He's used to walking behind Brett from our first mounted sessions and immediately relaxed again when he understood we were just going to walk calmly as we have lots of times before.

A minute or so later, I asked him for another trot, and this time, got an actual trot, not a pace - excellent! On soft sand horses do prefer trotting to pacing anyway, he was just undoing harness autopilots there at first. It was again a pacework speed trot - around 25km/h - not a jog and this would be quite a surprising speed to people who don't work with harness horses (or endurance breeds who can really trot), but it's what a harness racing horse considers a comfortable intermediate speed.

Again I let him trot at his offered speed with soft rein contact, which means I had my first extended trotting stretch on Julian, and can report that he has a lovely soft trotting gait to ride. :love:

Just like Sunsmart did, and his great-grandmother did, and my Arabian mare did - and as horses with nice sloping shoulders and good athleticism generally do. The choppiest horses I've trotted were riding breeds with straight shoulders. There was one mare called Ceijka at our riding school when I was a child, who was the loveliest, friendliest thing on the ground and a kind, responsive horse to ride, but OMG her trot o_O! On the trails we tried to skip the trot and go straight to canter with her.

A good trotter will be floaty and feel like you're levitating. It's a really effortless feeling for horse and rider and one reason I got hooked on harness horses - which first happened when I was riding Sunsmart's great-grandmother. That was such a brilliant experience. :love:

So hooray! We had such a lovely long floaty trot today, levitating down half the sand track before gradually slowing down, and returning to a calm relaxed walk. Well - that was textbook already on the second try. :love: We walked back until we found Brett again, turned around, and had a third trot nearly to the end of the track. Slowed down again, circled in the little clearing by the south gate, rode back to find Brett, and then we all just walked the rest of the way - it's always good to keep new things relatively short and to end on a good note with something new. Halfway up the ridge, I hopped off the horse and praised him lavishly for his excellent work. We all walked and talked. Julian was blowing a bit, and just slightly starting to sweat, from the trotting! They don't do things by halves, these horses - and we will gradually work on getting slower tempi, but do it all in a relaxed way, until we have the full repertoire. It won't take long and the main thing is to do this calm and relaxed and without upsetting the horse - I'm super happy with today and really looking forward to our next rides!

Halfway along the top track I got back on the horse. Brett commented that he's textbook now on mounts and dismounts - we might have taken a while to do Julian's early saddle training and stretched it out a bit, but you know what they say - don't hurry with horses, it will take longer! We could have done more and progressed faster, but circumstances were what they were, and the upshot is that I now have a horse who's relaxed and happy when ridden, learns quickly, is cooperative and curious, and as of today has all the basics established that I want to see established before I am happy to trail ride a horse (we have no other options just now with all this inundation) without necessarily having anyone else home in case something goes wrong. I'm confident that we're now good to go and everything else will just be time and practice as usual.

I can't remember which ride this is and am no longer counting. Ten, perhaps? A dozen at most? And mostly with a week of space in-between. Once the weather permits it, I'll now be able to ride him whenever there is a spare moment - as nobody else needs to be home from now on. I don't plan on overdoing it - I want him happy. 4-5 rides a week is about my maximum anyway.

When I took saddle and bridle off him behind the house, we had a very good ear-rubbing session and then he rubbed his face gently up and down my sleeves for a good minute or two while I told him what a wonderful horse he is. We both had smiles from ear to ear. As usual, he followed me in at liberty and I made him a feed bucket to enjoy. He's now back out with Buzzy grazing in the sunshine and I'm very happy that I now once again have a horse with whom I will be able to go riding on my own without having to worry about how green he is. I'm sure I'm going to have the odd spook along the way but we're now past the blowing-up zone of re-education. He hasn't blown up and is unlikely to.

I nearly threw it in altogether when Sunsmart died. Thank you especially to @knightrider and @Knave and Queen for providing inspiration and direct encouragement to keep going when that was not an easy thing for me to do. :love: And also to everyone else here who wished us well.
 

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Yay!!!! This ride sounded amazing! Isn’t it a hard to describe emotion, maybe excitement with a little pride and a lot of relief, when you get through that first day that you up the speed?
 

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I am so delighted to read this. Thank you for the compliment. I was thinking of you when I was encouraging you to ride Julian. I was thinking about how much fun you would miss out on if you didn't. It lifts my spirits to know it worked out so well.

Leave it to me to be the one person who got badly hurt while riding on a racetrack. The horse I was riding was a known bolter, and when he bolted out of control, he stepped in a hole and flipped. The inner edge of the racetrack was never groomed, and I guess he was taking a shortcut. I have no memory of it, but people told me what they saw.
 

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I’ve never had a wreck on a track. The only riding I’ve done on one is a place we used to show at a lot. They tend to run both arenas for events during some shows, so the place left to warm up is the track. I may have had a little runaway, but I pulled her into circles, and it was common for her to do that.

I guess I will see it again soon enough. The big girl has gotten a job in town that is more of a career type of job. She’s excited. They are working hard to bend some rules for her to get to start now and go full time after graduation. It’s a great opportunity. So, she wants to stay and she asked yesterday if there was an avenue to show. I told her yep, if she’ll drive truck and trailer, Queen and I will jump in and will run a full season! Lots of the shows are there, so I will see the track again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #276 ·
Great news about big girl and my best wishes to her, @Knave! 🖤

I was going to ask you how your different horses' trots feel to ride. I imagine Queen would be quite forward and elastic, and Cash sort of elky, you know, long legs, a bit of inertia from being huge...fill me in! Zeus I imagine has the highest beat...

And you are right about that feeling. It's funny how we're both feeling those things and even you feel relief, and you practically live on horseback! :)

@knightrider, oh no! 😵 You've had such hair-raising incidents and I'm glad you are still alive. I fell at speed once, with the horse, like you. My father had done up a wire gate without telling me about it, on the one stretch on the farm I could gallop horses flat tack on a long sandy track, and we hit it at speed. I still don't know how horse and I walked away uninjured (though blinking rather rapidly). I was a teenager and much more elastic.
 

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Cash feels pretty smooth believe it or not, but Queen can move any speed and feel like glass. She is by far the smoothest mover I have ever ridden. Even Cash by far beats any of the quarter horses I’ve ridden for smoothness.
 

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Discussion Starter · #279 ·
Thank you, @gottatrot. :) What's happening with Aria at the moment? I seem to have missed why you're not working with her just now. Is she OK? Or do you have really stormy weather or something - like we have today?

@Knave, do you think the smoothness is because both of them are from mustang stock plus selected by you for conformation, temperament etc? QHs were specifically bred for short sprints, cow work etc and probably aren't as all-round as mustangs or as amenable to activities requiring continuous exertion rather than bursts and rests?

@TrainedByMares, we've not heard from you a while - hope everyone is well at your place.

Today is stormy, otherwise I'd have been up for more trotting. On the good news side, Brett is so much better, and stopped coughing two days ago. He went back to work yesterday. His PCR came up negative for everything they tested for, including SARS, influenza, RSV and a few others - so we don't know what it was because he probably stopped shedding by the time he had the test. He has his appetite back too - he was off his food for two weeks - so we had celebratory gozleme with orange/fennel/radish salad on Thursday night - those are Turkish spinach/feta pockets - there's abundant spinach in the garden just now (and also a rabbit I need to turn into a roast grrrr but I don't have a gun and we can't find the burrow).



Very easy to make - just do a wholemeal pizza dough in the breadmaker, with a little olive oil in - then roll out rounds and fill with steamed spinach/silverbeet, crumbled feta, and lots of freshly ground pepper (four-colour pepper is so good I've never gone back to just one colour). Cook in a hot frypan in a good splash of olive oil. It's ready super quickly and tastes amazing.

This is fennel and orange salad:

...but it's even prettier and tastier with radishes cut into it. Dressing is just lemon juice and olive oil, although the Moroccans like to put pomegranate seeds all over it as well.
 
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