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I was also thinking about how fun that sounded. Even to see it would have been a happy thing!
 
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It would have been fun. Or, reality may be that Bones and Hero had breakdowns over the donkeys, then fed off of each other and it would have been more interesting to watch and less fun to participate. Lol
 
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Discussion Starter · #964 ·
The donkeys were bringing up the rear, and I doubt your horses would have been at the rear! :rofl: So not much visual exposure, and two free horses between them and the donkeys getting rapidly left behind. Mind you, Hero and Bones might have gotten a little turbo-charged if they'd caught a glimpse of them at the back... but that doesn't matter, the sand track makes for safe galloping... :rofl:

:racing: :racing: :racing:
 

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Discussion Starter · #965 ·
I returned to my horizontal office (AKA bed) after doing early morning chores, with a nice bowl of chocolate and strawberry porridge for breakfast. That, by the way, for those of you starting autumn, is a really lovely, nutritious and easy breakfast:

CHOCOLATE STRAWBERRY PORRIDGE

Put plain porridge oats and milk in a breakfast bowl and microwave until cooked. Add a generous handful of quartered or sliced strawberries, stir through, and return to the microwave for a minute or two, until the strawberries are cooked to your liking. Add as much pure cocoa as you want, and a spoonful of honey. Stir and enjoy. For extra luxury, add a little cream.


My bowl of breakfast wasn't enough this morning, so I ate all the leftover cauliflower in cheese sauce from last night as well. We had a big day yesterday, and today will be reasonably big too once I get up. I've got a tray of spring onions to plant, some watering to do, some mowing and weed control, an article forming in my head on further donkey adventures for Grass Roots, some editing for my writer friend / adopted sister's supercalifragilistic book-in-the-making (hello you clever boots! :wave: :love:), more donkey hooves to trim, the annual business tax return to start, some cleanup to do, physio exercises, and if I'm lucky a little ride and, if there's energy left in the tank, a cross-country fitness walk when Brett gets home this afternoon.

Then it's date night - we're finally going to finish the Bloodflowers concert - actually going to re-watch that section from the beginning, as it's been a while since the night Brett got too comatose for us to finish watching and had to be wheelbarrowed off to bed! :rofl: Ever notice how much closer and more treasured your relationship with your bed becomes after age 40? Last night we managed an episode of Miss Sherlock (Japanese, subtitled, superb fun, and I loooooove the good manners and friendly formality of Japanese culture) before we crawled into bed at 8.30pm for some reading. Soon though, we had to turn off the lights, and we tangled up to sleep. Now that's such a luxury: Sleep is already wonderful enough, but how much better is it when you can huddle up with your favourite human being, all warm and snuggly like a litter of kittens? :love:

The dog doesn't appreciate the poetry - she's sighing loudly beside the bed because I'm being so monumentally boring, from her perspective. Get up, monkey! :rofl: And I will, once I've committed the rest of yesterday to virtual paper.


WHATEVER HAPPENED TO RIDING PANTS?

After yesterday's adventurous morning ride, chores and lunch, we went to town for the afternoon. First stop: Albany Horse World for copra, crushed oats, pony maintenance cubes and new riding pants! It's been nearly a decade since I bought new ones, but I had to sadly retire my favourite pair two rides ago...blue-and-black subtle check pattern, 95% cotton, 5% elastane so ultra comfortable against the skin, legs actually long enough to cover ankles, which is a real issue for me... but alas, they were sagging around their now-sad, elasticised waist and had three holes that were unpatchable due to the age of the fabric. When I discovered a new hole at the crotch, I decided they really had to retire... as did my underwear actually, since it had a small matching hole, and this was a little bit embarrassing except I was the only person to see it... I went, Whaaaaaaat?????? I should not be seeing this! as I sat on the bench taking off my boots. Riding does put stress on fabric in unusual places...

Anyway, I can't believe what has happened to riding pants in the decade since I last bought some. Nearly all of them are either sticky-bums or studded with bling - and some of them are both. Who wants to shred their saddle or nether region with bling? And I don't like sticky bum pants because I hate seams like that. Give me seam-free and just the knee section with extra fabric and oomph.

I found a pair of elasticised-waist, long-enough-legs in cream on the specials rack for $20, one size too big, but that was only around the waist and I can put a dart in that easily enough for the price (or eat lots of ice-cream this summer! :)). The material wasn't my favourite - too much synthetic fibre - but for good measure, I got a replacement pair in my favourite fabric as well. The only problem is the colours - instead of plain colours, or nice subtle patterns, the fabric I wanted only came in two-tone this year - curse the fashions!

The choice was: Blue and tangerine, black and purple, blue and red. I had to toss up between the latter two - I mean, who wears tangerine, although it is a plus for road safety. Brett said, "Get the one with red in!" and that's how I went, wishing that the combination had been black and red, instead of blue and red, but you can't always get what you want etc.

Once these are washed, I can try them out. Meanwhile, I've got a comfortable but falling apart charcoal pair which used to be black once and whose legs are too short; and a cream pair I used in my last competition many moons ago, and for beach riding at the time too.


THE THOUSAND STEPS AT SAND PATCH

Next stop: Sand Patch, for the Wind Farm walk and the 1000 Steps. On the short drive out to the coast, Brett and I wound up the dog: Walkies, Jess! Walkies with splish! (this is dog-speak for a swimming opportunity) Waaaaalkies, yay! Said dog had her ears up perkily, a laugh on her face and was waving her tail in the rear-vision mirror while watching the road from her safe perch in the compartment behind the rear seats.



8.5 weeks post multiple metatarsal fractures, I still use crutches on fast-paced fitness walks, in the manner of a cross-country skier, and just take a little weight off my healing foot in the final stage of the rolling phase. The amount of weight taken off is reducing at every walk, but I'm not ditching the crutches for this kind of walking until I can speed-walk limp free. I can now walk downhill and do stairs without limping on such walks, and can walk fairly normally at slower speeds.

We've been doing 5km cross-country walks at home from 6 weeks in; and we're now transitioning back to our favourite coastal trails - mountains on the menu again a little later, but meanwhile we are aiming at the 16km undulating Kalgan River walk in the next two weeks - probably still crutch-assisted (like the walking pole thing a lot of hikers do). Then perhaps Mount Martin Botanical walk, a similar distance, rougher footing and steeper inclines. Then, if I get my wish, the Little Grove to Sand Patch section on the Bibbulmun trail and back via back roads and the Harbour, which is a loop in excess of 20km, and Brett always complains about his feet after that one! (I think new boots would fix it!)

Anyway, to start on more serious hill training, we paid a visit to the famous 1000 Steps at Sand Patch. After doing the Wind Farm loop - tame footing, concrete walking paths and boardwalks - we visited these old friends. They look like this, and this is already from some of the way down (and these aren't our photos, they are "official" photos):






Brett was lovely and carried my crutches - the place was swarming with tourists, so we couldn't leave them at the top - and I've got no use for crutches on a staircase. The down part was easy; the back up again gives you a nice workout. Interval training for us at this stage: We stopped after every three to four flights to get our breaths back... but when we do climb, we climb fast...

This is a lovely "official" snap or Sand Patch at sunset, from the beach at the bottom:




AND FINALLY, A RANT ABOUT SUPERMARKETS!

We had to do some grocery shopping before heading home, and went to Woolworths at Dog Rock, which used to be fine for getting dry shelf staples like porridge oats, wholemeal pasta, Laucke's Golden Wholemeal bread pre-mix (which I mix with my stoneground wholemeal flours from Eden Valley farm), dried legumes (although I also buy these, and Eden Valley flour, and cinnamon, in bulk from a bulk food outlet), dairy foods, some top-up meat between Reeves on Campbell's superior, locally produced, locally owned offerings, and F&V we don't grow yet or don't have fresh from the garden at the time - Woolworths offer Abnormal Apples, Perplexed Pears, Curious Capsicums etc etc in bulk nets and we completely support buying non-"standard" shape/colour/size F&V, because that's how they grow, they're not made in a factory y'know, fellow Australian shoppers!!!

A couple of months ago, the evil overseers of Woolworths re-organised the store, mixing up all the items out of normal, rational order so that you had to spend a lot of time looking for them instead of related items being in the same aisle. They do this on purpose to make you look at more stuff you don't need, hoping to increase impulse buying of such high-profit, low-nutrient value rubbish. Statistically it works for them. People like us though run around with lists and professional tunnel-vision for the exclusion of items not on the list, cursing about the illogical order of things, waste of time and amount of non-foods on offer, and reinforcing other similar people with lists by dint of smiles, various battle cries, loud complaints about the illogical order and the evil intent of the supermarket overlords, and demonstrations of spiritual kinship.

The other evil things they have done is to cut out a lot of locally produced lines, and to stop offering the larger size packets of staple foods. So we can't buy West Australian butter at Woolworths anymore, but hey, Irish butter anyone? So we buy the West Australian, farmers' cooperative butter at alternative outlets, ditto the rosehip tea, the larger-size cream from WA companies, the Golden Wholemeal premix, and a whole growing list of other items being steadily deleted in favour of higher-profit options.

We've really been gagging at the meat section at Woolworths lately, and buying less and less there. Less bulk products, less WA products, small local producers' lines taken off the shelf. Yesterday, we found they had deleted a line of vacuum-packed bulk beef offered by a small local company, and we had a very productive fit about it. We looked at each other and said, "That's it, from now on we're boycotting the meat department at Woolworths completely, let's check out our other stuff and go to Reeves for a bulk pack of meat!"

So that's what we did. Instead of spending $60 with them to last us a fortnight, we spent $120 on a 9kg quality bulk pack at Reeves that will last us over a month, containing T-bone steaks, rump steaks, mince, beef sausages, lamb chops, a rolled beef roast and a leg of lamb, all locally produced, top quality and handled by an independent local business. We've always been happy with the meat we've bought from Reeves, but this kind of bulk buying actually makes that affordable for us, averaging at $13.33/kg. Even the shin beef at Woolworths is now $16/kg, sausages and mince $10/kg, T-bone is $30+, and it's all fattier and less tasty than from Reeves, and always has water coming out of it when you try to pan-fry. Icky.

Should have done this a long time ago, but we don't normally buy that much meat so we didn't really think about it until the supermarket forced the issue for us. Anyway, from now on this is how we're buying our meat, and eventually we will do a home kill and eat our own beef (main issue is that two people take a heck of a long time to get through 200kg of meat, but there's ways around that...).

Ditto chicken, by the way - we're completely done with industrial chicken, and next time we're in town on a Saturday, we'll buy from the heirloom meat chicken guy at farmers' market as we try to do - change of tactic though: We'll take an esky, buy a dozen frozen decent chickens, and stow them into our chest freezer at home. Several birds with one stone: No multinationals involved, good farm animal welfare, local eating, far better quality, and when you buy bulk it's affordable.

And by the way, those T-bones were super delicious last night, with sides of brown rice with mushroom sauce, peas, and cauliflower in cheese sauce. For dessert we heated up some of our home-grown, home-bottled Japanese Satsuma Plums - wonderful flavour, no added sugar or anything else - simply halved, steamed plums made at home and giving us bottled summer all winter long...

:cowboy: Have a super Friday, everyone! :)


PS: Hello @Milestev ! :wave: Book and art nuts and related discussions always welcome here! DH and I live in a library! ;-) You'll find the start of my journal far more boring than since page 33, when I decided to turn it into a general free-for-all online journal with occasional horse references! :rofl: Is that a Friesian and is it yours? Very spectacular!
 

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It would have been fun. Or, reality may be that Bones and Hero had breakdowns over the donkeys, then fed off of each other and it would have been more interesting to watch and less fun to participate. Lol
Ha ha for sure. Still fun unless someone falls off! Even then sometimes...

Never heard of Miss Sherlock, we will have to try that one.
Sand Patch looks beautiful! How did we miss that on our WA trip?
We were interested to see there was still Woolworths, since at least in our part of the US they are an old time store that my parents talk about going in when they were young, but they disappeared from these parts long ago.

My pants also wear out completely in the crotch and inner thighs from riding. I also get holes on the legs because I snag them lightly with the rasp, then those little snags gradually wear into bigger holes. My sister thought I was making a fashion statement the other day, and I said, "Nope, these holes come naturally."
 

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Discussion Starter · #967 ·
I had to mend my once-black pair a few years back when I got battery acid on them lugging a car battery around. That's back in the day when we used a 12V caravan pump to fill up the horse troughs in the top paddocks from the dam in the common. Only took a couple of hours! :rofl: And we always had to lug the car battery from the fence unit to the dam to do it, 200m in the wheelbarrow. Those were desperate times, as we didn't have a Golden Goose and were building. We still don't have a Golden Goose, but we do have a proper fire pump now! :)

Have you seen the Japanese film Departures? So excellent...

@Knave , @gottatrot - if you can ever snaggle a TARDIS, you can bring your horses for some nice riding and a great afternoon tea! :) Sigh. Where are those TARDIS thingies?
 

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That would be so fun! I don’t know how we could get Bones and Hero on the plane though... hmmm... Not only would it be fun to ride, but eating the food you make looks spectacular as well! My husband might have to brave a plane trip to drag me home after that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #969 ·
The advantages of the TARDIS:



  • You travel for free
  • It's bigger on the inside, so horses no problem
  • It can get you to your destination quicker than any plane, and then two weeks (or whatever time) later you can go back to the exact time and place you came from, incurring no loss of time in your "real" life, but having bonus space-and-time adventures on top of it

...the coolest bus in the universe...



Hello, @waresbear ! :wave: Are you keeping your students good and busy? :)
 

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Ok, now that sounds awesome! I never looked up the word. Here was my pretend definition going on when I read: other countries have paid vacations. These vacations must be called tardis... lol
 

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Sue, before I forget I love that door with the horseshoes in your kitchen love love love love love! Glad to hear your lameness is on the road to solid recovery.

I had one student yesterday, who begged me to take her off the lunge line because her legs were killing her. Okay so I make her do some No Hands no stirrups and post exercises. I told her she only had to do it for 10 strides, best she could do is 6. At the end of her lesson I said okay now you get your revenge. I hopped on Scotty no lunge line, No Hands, no stirrups and I posted, then I did two point and kept him going on the rail in the arena until she told me to stop. I had to give her a ride home because her mom couldn't make it, she thanked me when she got out of the car and she said by next spring she wants to ride like me! Yeah I cried.
 

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Discussion Starter · #972 ·
Oh, that's excellent, @waresbear ! :hug: :happydance:

And you meanie you! :rofl:

In Germany, when I learnt to ride, they liked to throw people in at the deep end, and you weren't allowed to complain culturally, you just had to do it or fall off! :) I was 9, first lesson, group lesson, "There's your horse!" - a nearly 17hh Warmblood called Viola. I wouldn't have been 5ft yet. "Now get on!" And the stirrup was adjusted to my kiddie legs, all the way up there! How do I do this? Which foot do I put in? How do I get my foot up there without doing the vertical splits?

I got on, then we walked, and the horse was head-tossing, so I lost the reins and the horse trotted with me trying to reach the reins and I promptly fell off within less than 5 minutes of riding. :rofl:

"Right, get back on! And don't fall off again!"

:rofl:

The very first time we began trotting - second group lesson, after doing the posting movements at the walk - once we had the posting sorted, they took our stirrups away for the last 10 minutes and told us to find a way to stay on. And that we needed to do this because we were beginners! :)

It was a kid lesson so we actually stayed on. Children seem to be more athletic and less fearful in these situations.

I know there's some better methods - like this one, which I think is excellent for adult beginners:

https://www.horseforum.com/horse-riding/alternative-german-rider-1922-2016-3-a-793527/

...but what they did with us also worked! :rofl:

When and where did you learn to ride, @waresbear , and will you tell us some memories?

PS: Do you know how many people told us about that door, "You've got your horseshoes the wrong way around?" :rofl:
 

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Oh I have good stories and pictures and the whole nine yards, I'm so glad you asked without rolling your eyes. I am just about to tune up my lesson horse, so when I'm in the house and all comfy I will answer you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #974 · (Edited)
Everyone is extra welcome to post memories of learning to ride! If you haven't seen @Knave as a kid on horseback, she won the photo competition with this cute shot, which I've just stolen from the August competition page which is so difficult to get to - hope that's OK, @Knave ! But this is soooo cute! Do you even remember your first horse ride?

______________________________________________________________________

This mare was called Nuisance. She was my grandfather’s, and she had been a favorite of his. A mustang stud had gotten in with her mother if I remember the story correctly, and she was the result. I’m not 100% sure about that though. I heard she was a very handy mare in her day.

In any case, she was retired by the time I rode her. I didn’t appreciate her then like I do looking back. She was there to teach me to rope calves at brandings, like in this picture, and took me through many miles of work. She was everyone’s dream kid horse.
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PS: Super, @waresbear , looking forward to it! I think we all love these kinds of stories here! :cool:

...and you have photos! :loveshower::loveshower::loveshower:

Enjoy your lesson/tune-up! :cowboy:
 

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I do not remember learning to ride @SueC. I do remember the first horse I called my own though. She wasn’t really mine, which was a sad fact I learned the hard way when she was gone one day.

Her name was Darcell. As a kid I associated her name with batteries. Lol. She was a half crippled ten-year-old bay mare who belonged to my uncle. I remember her fondly. Often I had the poor fat lady all lathered up at work. I remember once loping across an alkali flat to turn some cattle when my stirrup just fell off of my saddle. My dad stopped everything to figure out how to “mickey mouse” my saddle back together.

It was her I rode for my favorite first memories. Learning what phrases meant and learning to run the side of a bunch of cows. I remember riding her being teased by my aunt and brother about how fat she was while they sang 100 bottles of beer on the wall pushing cows.

I also remember I had a favorite game. She would put her head down and let me bridle her. I would climb a fence to get onto her back and then I would lope around a pivot. The dog would come along and he was my wolf. I would fall off half way every time. Then I would lead a mile back to the closest fence I could climb and do it all again.

I remember when I first unsaddled her. I got all of the cinches undone and had no idea how the saddle would come off. She shook and it fell. I was so proud. I was bragging all about how I could unsaddle a horse to anyone who stood still. One day I got in so much trouble when my father saw me stand back and watch as she shook off my saddle. Lol

There were other horse I rode around those times. Nuisance and a horse called Buck (I have a great story about him) were two of my main work mounts.

I still have a little trophy I won on Darcell too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #976 ·
Just love this story! :love: :love: :love:

Just not the bit about how Darcell was removed from you. Dare I ask where she went?

I see you get your acrobat skills early in your part of the world! :rofl:

I love how your dog was your wolf. I adored wolves too as a kid, and Native Americans actually. I read avidly about both, and the Native Americans taught me so much about the earth, and respect for the earth and for living creatures, and that's become a part of who I am, and I am so grateful to them for that. I remember making feather headdresses with strips of cardboard and found feathers, and carving a spear with my hunting knife, and wearing nothing but moccasins, and learning to walk silently in them for "hunting"! I had a dog, a standard poodle nearly half a metre tall who was clipped like a normal dog not a show puff, and he was a great companion for me in all this pretending to be Native American and walking all over the countryside and the Italian mountains with him.

Have you got photos of your dog when you were little? I have some somewhere, I promise to dig mine out. @waresbear has an Australian cattle dog presently who's very handsome, I'm sure she'll show us some more photos! :)

Here's the one of the dog and me that's already online, for now:

______________________________________________________________________

And now I'd like to remember an animal we had to leave behind when we moved to Australia in 1982:



This was the family dog - my first ever dog. I don't think I was aware yet that the dog couldn't come with us - because he would have had to spend 6-12 months in quarantine in the UK before being accepted into Australia, and we didn't like to think of him being inexplicably cooped up with complete strangers. So, my grandmother adopted him, and he probably extended her life by years, both as a personal trainer and because she lived alone after being widowed. He was a great dog though, and I really missed him.
 

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I was an Indian too. Lol. The first one to ride actually. ;) When Pete came along it really became an even better story. Lol

I do know where she went for a while at least. She was sold by my uncle to a person from my town. She had a colt, which she came back to my house to foal. His name was Bart (which I hated, but the Simsons were cool at the time). He is huge and Roman nosed and uber talented. My uncle took him and later sold him to my aunt, and now my little cousins are learning to ride on him.
 

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I love the picture of you and your dog. You just have the cutest smile. :) I am sorry you had to leave him behind. I am sure that was so hard. Mine was my best friend and sole playmate. I will have to find a picture of him after work tomorrow.
 

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My family had horses since I was born, but not to ride, they had Standardbred broodmares, and then later on an Arab broodmare, just to foal out and sell the foals. My earliest thoughts were always about horses and riding. My parents would occasionally take in a riding horse if they could flip it and make some money. But if I can recall as The Story Goes, they bought a Shetland pony at an auction, and my older brother fell in love with him, so he stayed around for about 3 years before being sold. I remember that pony so well, I would sit on the fence and wait till he came near and I would jump on his back, I was about 3 or 4 years old. His name was Taffy. My brother would double me up to the corner store to buy penny candy. I got to sit on Taffy by myself, while he went in the store. One day Taffy decided he was going to go home while I was sitting on him outside the store. He tore off at a full gallop all the way home, with me on his back and a death grip on his full name, almost five blocks I hung on to that pony, bareback! That was pretty much the beginning of things to come..... I vaguely remember this picture being taken, it was one of the times that I was waiting on the fence for him to come close. I remember sitting on that pony with his wet fur and my shorts, but whatever, I'm on the pony! Horse Mammal Sky Mane Shetland pony
 
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