Monday, December 28, 2009

Thanks Santa!

Santa was very good to me. I got Pears! And Carrots. And a huge Peppermint stick that I didn't even know was edible. Everyone else got stuff too. There were Uncle Jimmy's Hanging Balls for each of us. And my girlfriend Copy got all pink brushes, and her little tyke Ace got a grown up set of grooming tools too. Now I don't have to share mine and get girl and teenager cooties. Then I got something Brita called "Scratch-the walls" or something.

And I got a funky new sweater. It was inevitable. But I sort of like it. It isn't something I would have picked out for myself, but it's pretty comfy, and it might come in handy if I get stuck out in the cold rain and get shivery.

I love my Uncle Jimmy ball. I didn't even know I had an Uncle Jimmy, but I sure thank him for the gift.

It's hard to get ahold of though....

Then I helped Brita install my "Scratch-the-walls" or Scratchnalls or whatever they are. At first I thought they were some sort of chewy toy. But before too long I accidentally found a good use for them. They are great for scratching my neck! Now they are all full of white hair.

So all of us had a pretty good Christmas. I know Copy and Ace got carrots too, and we shared our pears with Hairy.
Did anyone else get any goodies from Santa?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Visions of Sugar Plums

Dear Santa~

I have been a very good boy this year. But, I don’t really need any toys. Because, let’s face it, I’m a horse, so food is my main concern. I don’t need any new boots or gear. I don’t need any funky new clothes. What I’d really like is more food. Brita was telling me about Christmas, and I think those sugared plums sound really good. And if I can’t have those, then some plain old pears would be great. I’m so sad that pear season is over. Maybe they are growing somewhere else and you can find me some. Other than that, carrots would be good. Or some peppermint candy. I know it isn’t good for my teeth, but there ought to be plenty of it around this time of year, and I’d be happy to help clean it up. So in that order, fruit, veggies, candy. That would be great.


William Pendleton Grey Esq.

P.S. Please bring Pinky some Christmas spirit and make him stop giving me the stink-eye. I thought we were getting along great, and he would let me hang out with the boys, but then last week the fence between us got destroyed. It wasn’t my fault at all. He started it. And it wasn't me who bit his nose. He did that to himself. Said he wanted to look like Rudolph. You can give him vitamins and stuff in his stocking, because he doesn’t deserve any fruit.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Crafts

Since it has been snowy and cold we've been staying inside a bit more, and to keep us busy, Mom helped us make Christmas wreaths for our stall doors. We think it makes the barn look very festive!

We each got to chose our own bow.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Cards

Today is the busiest day of the year at the Post Office. And, since I couldn't get there anyway, I thought I would send my Christmas Card this way instead....

To all my loyal followers and new found friends,
Have Yourselves
a Merry Little Christmas

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Humans and Winter

I have decided that humans are very poorly adapted to winter. If they were expected to live in the wild, they would freeze almost immediately. No wonder they don't enjoy coming to the barn in winter. I wouldn't want to if I had to change my clothes and shoes everytime either. And their ears don't grow chickie fluff, and their noses and chins are bare. What are they thinking? I can understand getting some gear out, I never leave the barn without stopping to put on some equipment. But, a whole layer of coats? Shouldn't that be a more permanent thing? The first thing Brita does when she comes to the barn is plug in her red lamp in her Stuff Room to make it warm and cozy. Then she plugs in another cord to make the hot water. Next she rummages around for her gloves. Sometimes she puts on another layer. What a sissy!

I love snow. Snow is a cause for celebration. It's almost as much fun a my mud puddle. I can make snow angels...

....and throw snow balls from my hooves...

If I slam on the brakes, it makes a very pleasing spray. And Brita doesn't get upset when I lay in it. Snow is the best!

Hmmmm... now where was that puddle.....

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Frosty Mornings

The weather has gotten quite cold now. All the mud in the back paddock is frozen and rough, with hoof shaped holes full of ice. After enjoying my hot sugar beets for breakfast, and a quick pile of hay over the fence with the cows, Ugly Betty and Ethel Merman, Brita and I went for a stroll.

I am officially on vacation until spring. I have all my shoes off (on purpose), and I have gotten a bit out of shape. I was full of vinegar, but Brita said she didn't have time to wait for me to dry if I got sweaty, so I behaved. I only tried to gallop once to race a big truck up the hill, but she talked me out of it. I saw a big flock of pigeons down by the dairy barn. At first, it just looked like the frosty field was moving, but then I saw it was birds. I would have liked to go galloping through them, but the fields are too muddy now.

It was nice getting out in the neighborhood to check on everything. We will have fewer and fewer of those opportunities now with winter on it's way. It's snowing a bit now, and it looks very peaceful drifting lazily through the outside light. The ground is just coated as if you sprinkled powder sugar on everything. It's a good thing I grew all this chickie fluff around my ears. They are quite toasty.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My White Face....

... which appeared, from a distance, to be the only clean part of me, upon closer inspection...

Was not.

And thus, I missed going for a ride due to general sogginess. And Brita said something about being tired of cleaning my halters. Then she gave me a nice, soft, conditioned one, a cookie and sent me back out in the drizz. No matter, I was enjoying the slop. I love being an outdoor horse.

Monday, November 23, 2009

My Showbill

Brita's birthday was last week, and we got her something special... to encourage her to teach me more tricks, and to celebrate the ones I've already learned. I think it's lots of fun! Even Uncle Dad got in on the act with a poem to accompany the gift...

Ladies and Gentlemen,
May I have your attention please!
You're about to see a trained horse act one seldom sees
A spectacular display of equine intelligence and ability
There are a select few horses with this amount of agility
And the trainer so to be commended for an unusual skill
Not many horses can be trained to do what this one will
He'll fetch a ladies glove if she'll let it drop to the floor
Then hand it back to her (you can hear the crowd roar)
Then Brita makes her horse do his bow his special way
Again there is applause for Brita and William P. Grey
I can't wait to see what tricks are on the agenda for the long cold winter months. And special thanks to artist David Miller who added the lettering and portraits of me to the stock Cowgirl print. David isn't a horse person, but he read my blog and did wonderfully capturing my personality!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Out Back

I barely got to spend any time at all in the big pasture this summer before it was taken over by cows. But this week we have a whole new arrangement! Uncle Dad used some of the corral panels to make a path from the barn to the small pasture out back behind the indoor arena.

It's a whole lot bigger than the small areas around the barn that we've had access to all summer. Now I can get out there all by myself, and if bugs eat me or I start to worry that I'm missing something in the barn, I can get all the way back to the barn aisle. That way I don't have to run and stomp and holler if I get left out. I can "run-in". And just because it's called a "run-in" that's exactly what I do. I run in, and I run out. Then I run back in. It's great!
Today I was having so much fun out there in the sunshine that when Brita came I didn't bother to come to the barn to see her.
I mean who needs to go for rides when there is grass and sunshine free on demand? So, she took another horse out for her ride. I saw them go up the driveway, and I looked up from my grass and felt jealous for just a minute. They were gone a really long time... like ten whole minutes or more. Then I realised I had missed the ride and all the good stuff that goes with it. So I came storming into the barn to wait for her to come back.
How could she go without me?

Can I have my cookies anyway?

I'll have to be more careful from now on and not get so carried away with my new freedom that I miss out on all the usual fun stuff.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Wild Life

Remember these cows from the summertime? Well, I saw them again....

This past week has been absolutely beautiful. Warm weather, clear skies, the mud has dried. I have been going galloping again in my big field. Oh it makes me feel so good to stretch my legs! I've been feeling quite mischievous, and getting a chance to run just makes me so much more relaxed. The only down side is that I have my winter coat, and I get really warm. Brita says no sense clipping any of it off since we will be needing it later and we won't be running in the winter. It just takes longer to get cleaned up, and I have to wear my blanket for part of the day until I'm really dry and comfy again. Since the weather has been so warm, being damp around the edges hasn't bothered me much.

Today when we went to the field, we startled four deer. They had been hiding in the weeds, and they jumped up and ran.

Deer don't scare me. Whenever I see them, they are always running away. They seem more scared of me than I am of them. But, while I watched them, they jumped the pasture fence and went running off to the left. I followed their progress because it is so interesting to see their fluffy white butts bobbing away in the distance. Then I realised that far away, over there, was that herd of cows. All of them! And they were looking at me. I guess they've been over there in the pasture all along but I've never really noticed them before.

Brita put me right to work and said there would be no fun galloping today. Only cantering and circles and stuff so I didn't lose my marbles and get carried away. I behaved rather well under the circumstances. After all, the cows were far away. But every time she let me stand and look at them, I would snort and flag my tail and try to look big and dangerous so they wouldn't come after me.

Cows must either be really dumb, or hard of hearing. Even when I snort four or five times in a row and make a big fuss, they still don't run away. I was still snorting half way home. But from there I really couldn't see them. I looked, but they were just tiny black specks like ants. It seemed silly to snort at ants. But I tried it a couple of times anyway, just for good measure. I don't want those dumb buggers following me home and knowing where I live. I've got enough cows to deal with as it is.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Since today is a snowy, rainy, mushy, muddy day, I have been inside leafing through my favorite Christmas catalogs dreaming of sleigh rides and cozy blankets... And I saw this beautiful poster print in Back In The Saddle catalog.

Somehow I think the Bavarian Alps do not have a mud season prior to winter. What do you think? Look at that sparkling mane and tail! Not a yellow hair on him!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Uh Oh... New Neighbors...

Look what arrived next door to my pipe corral this morning.

When I laid down to roll in the mud, they all jumped to attention and lined up staring at me with their little Mime Faces. It was creepy. There are pretty close to a herd of them. I am very very nervous... I tried snorting to scare them away, but they just stand there looking at me.

Apparently they arrived in the horse trailer. Since it was hooked up, Brita said I should practice standing in it. No problem! It's a cinch.

I got on and off a bunch of times, and looked in every corner. I think I smell Mime Cow here.

Monday, November 2, 2009


I had an awful nightmare last night. I dreamt I was at an auction. At first I thought it was a horse show because there were lots of other horses there, and everyone was getting groomed and ready just like we were going to show. But when I got to the ring, I was the only horse there and everyone was staring at me and whispering to each other, and the announcer talked really fast. I tried my best, but it made me dizzy. Somehow I knew I had to try my very very best or things would go badly. In fact, I felt as though my very life depended on it.

Before I knew it I was back in my stall, and my people and the horses I came with were gone and I was all alone in the world. A man came I that I didn't know. He didn't talk to me or pat me or anything. He silently led me out of my stall and to a trailer. I followed him because I didn't know what else to do. I looked for someone I knew, but they were all strangers.

At first I was afraid to get on the trailer because I didn't know anyone and everything was strange. But they pulled on my rope and spoke gruffly, and I was afraid not to do what they said. I got on the trailer with other horses and we rode all night in the dark.

When we stopped, I didn't know where I was. Everything smelled different and there were strange people and strange horses, and they didn't know my name. They gave me food, but it wasn't the same as the food I was used to, and there wasn't quite enough. I didn't know what came next or what the new people expected of me.... I wasn't sure I was in a safe place....

When I woke up this morning, at first I didn't know where I was. Everything began to swim back into focus. I was still here at home in my own stall, and Mom was opening the door to give me my breakfast. She said she was glad to see me and said nice things about me. Briefly, I remembered when I first came here and everything was strange at first. I came from that auction far away when I was quite young. I remember trotting back and forth and doing my best. I picked my knees up as high as I could and put my ears up.

Then it was over and I went back to the stall. Mom and Brita came to my stall and introduced themselves and petted me and admired me. The tall lady who was in charge told them I was still a little nervous around people. They brought brushes and a warm blanket and food. They put boots on my legs and took me to a room where I could run around and play, and they laughed when I snorted and petted me and told me I did well. They came back often the next couple of days, then they took me to a trailer. I remember that the ride was very long. I was afraid, but when it would stop, someone would always open the door and pat me. This is my first picture at my new home. I had just gotten off the trailer. I was happy to be in the place Mom and Brita said was "home".

I didn't have many close friends back then so I didn't really miss anyone. I tried to go along and do as I was told because they were nice to me. Things ended up very well for me. I'm happy in my home, and I barely remember the places I lived when I was growing up. I hope the nearly 500 Saddlebreds who were sold at the big Tattersalls Fall sale this past weekend do OK. Some sold for only a couple of hundred dollars, less than the cost of a nice bridle or a new set of shoes. I know it is scary to go to a new place and sometimes the work might be hard, but do your best and don't kick or show your teeth. Hopefully you find a safe home and your new people will be kind and look after you like mine do.

Monday, October 26, 2009

I did it again! NaNa-NaNa-Na!

This time I did it really well. I was in my paddock waiting for Brita to come, and when she got here, she didn't come right out to see me. Instead she went and got that other horse, and let him eat grass. I wanted to go for a ride, or eat grass or something other than be ignored. So I started to squeal and kick the fence.

That didn't work, so I rolled on both sides. She continued to ignore me. The problem was, the sand I rolled in was pretty dry and I only turned an icky shade of tan. There were no chunks or wet spots or anything. So, I ran down to my favorite mud puddle. First I splashed in it really hard. I had muddy water spraying for 30 feet. I got it all over my face...

and soaked my clean tail...

Then I laid down right in the middle of it. I didn't roll, I just flattened right out.

After that I came running back down to see if I had gotten her attention, and Mom was taking pictures of that other horse.

So, I rolled again. And again.

That got their attention. They put him back in the barn and came and got me. I thought we would do something nice then, but instead, Brita got the hose. Mom sprayed me off with cold water, and washed my tail with purple smelly stuff.

The only good point was that after getting my cold shower, I got to graze in the warm sun until I dried. Brita says it wasn't a proper bath and I still have lots of stains and grit in my coat, but I look a whole lot better than I did. That grass was sooooo good!


I wish my people would listen to me and do what I want. We could have skipped the whole rolling in the mud and cold hose business if she had just come and got me first thing instead of making me wait. I hate waiting.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A lovely Autumn ride... from the rider's perspective

I have taken W.P. Grey's computer away for the day.... new keyboard...I'm afraid he will get mud on it.
Yesterday the awful cold, wet, snowy weather we have been suffering since last Thursday finally broke. Today was the second beautiful day in a row. I was unable to get to the barn yesterday, so I was really looking forward to a ride today. I even snuck out of the office 15 minutes early. Who wouldn't? It is 65 degrees, clear blue sky, sun shining through the golden autumn leaves... perfect.
I ride on my lunch "hour", which means time is of essence. It generally stretches to a lunch "hour and a half", but in that amount of time, I can change and drive to the barn (8 minutes), dust off Grey, tack up (10 minutes) and ride for at least half an hour (1 mile in any direction, and back). Then, basic grooming and wipe tack (another half hour), check his water bucket and hay bag (4 minutes), rush back to the office to clean up, change and get back to my desk.

Mom tries to make sure he gets turned out to "bounce" in the morning on the days I am expected. This is really appreciated, because although I consider him to be well trained and highly cooperative, he still has his moments and "bounce time" is very important, especially if he hasn't been ridden in a week.
As I drove towards the barn I saw Grey out in the pipe corral in the hayfield. He looked pretty grungy and I remembered Mom said yesterday he had coated himself pretty well. I met Mom on the porch and she said she had just turned him out a bit ago, but he was very fussy about going out into the mud.

When I went to get him, THIS is what I found...

I really don't think the photo properly conveys what a swamp monster he was. He made it worse by crowding me and tasting me as if he thought I didn't mind getting mud, dust and grass slobber on my clean polo.

From the time I got my first pony (35 years ago next month) I have clung to the romantic side of horse back riding. I take pride in my horse and my equipment. I do not go riding in old jeans and dirty tee shirts. I believe that a proper grooming takes an hour and does not include shampoo. Stalls should be cleaned thoroughly and deeply bedded. Blankets should be plaid wool and changed regularly. When I think about riding, I picture myself perfectly turned out, cantering along a bridle path on a fine horse with well oiled leather and shiny buckles. And my busy Career Girl schedule does not allow time to deal with THIS....

I weighed my options. I could put him back in his stall and pretend he doesn't belong to me... spend my time with weanling Ace (who was clean). Devote my hour to a proper text book grooming. Get the hose. Scrape off the worst, and enjoy the day. I opted to scrape off the worst.

With a towel and a shedding blade I removed most of the chunks, went over the saddle area and girth with a stiff brush and decided to skip both picking out his hooves ...

and soiling a clean pair of splint boots. I had a dusty saddle pad from last week in the laundry pile, so we used that. I tried again with the towel to de-muck his head before putting on the clean bridle, and off we went.

It really was a beautiful day for a ride. We saw a blue bird, and chipmunks skittered busily through the yellow leaves storing acorns for the winter. We were even besieged by Lady Bugs. I barely noticed the horse beneath me was still encrusted in mud.

When we returned, most of the mud had dried enough to brush out. His furry elbows remained wet and there was a chunk of something hanging from his throat latch. But the steaming towel trick did go a long ways towards removing the worst of the stains. There is still a beige murkiness to the left side of his head and elbow. I put a clean halter on him, double bagged the soggy one and put it in my bridle bag with the bridle and lathered girth to take home for cleaning.

Mom did her part to restore some civilization to the day by having a snack ready when we got back. She brought out fresh apple cider in a decanter on ice along with a plate of cookies, and she and I had a little party at the picnic table under the maple tree in it's golden autumn splendor while a mostly clean Grey horse munched happily at his hay bag. My romantic notions are still intact.


Thursday, October 15, 2009


Today was farrier day at the barn and I got new shoes put on. But it doesn't look like I'll get much use out of them. My hopes for an unseasonably warm autumn have been completely dashed. It snowed all afternoon. Snowed. We did have a nice ride in the autumn leaves yesterday though. It was cool out, about 41 degrees.

There has been a lot of wildlife in the cornfield across the road. Yesterday there were turkey that chucked to us when we rode past in the woods. And earlier this week there was a large flock of Canadian geese. And two snow geese... Maybe they brought the snow.

On a side note, I would like to welcome a new friend, Roxie, to my followers list. She has her own blog too. I guess I have a cyber girlfriend. This is like computer dating for horses. I miss my friend Carson though. Looks like someone has taken his internet privileges away after all, 'cause we haven't heard from him in awhile. Gosh, maybe he's snowed in or something?

Monday, October 5, 2009

Get me outta here!

Remember that cute little baby colt I was so enamoured with this spring? Well, he has grown up into a big noisy teenager and he is living right across the hall from me. This weekend they took the poor little brat away from his Mom and he is still whimpering and whining about it. He kept me up all night.

This morning when it was my turn to go out, I wanted to get out of earshot for some peace and quiet. (Editor's note: Mom said W.P.'s face said quite plainly "get me as far away from this as possible!") So I got to spend a pleasant morning out in the "corral" where I have a beautiful view of the surrounding neighborhood.

Then in the afternoon Brita came for a ride. With all this hubub surrounding the colt, my rides have been a bit neglected, and I couldn't wait to get out and stretch my legs. The kid seems to be running out of steam, and when I came back later, it was relatively quiet in the barn. I sure hope I can get some sleep tonight.