Giving thanks

28 11 2008
Another beautiful morning

Another beautiful morning

As I write this post, it really is still Thanksgiving, even though I know the blog will say otherwise. Not that I can’t give thanks for the horses, and my time with them, any day of the year, but I just wanted to make that point. All these photos are from last Sunday. As you’ll see, it was a gorgeous day. Also as I write this post, it’s snowing. The basin is getting rain or snow or some combination. The horses are likely wet, but hopefully they’re as ready for this next season as they look. They – we – really need the moisture.

In the photo above, that’s Hollywood and Baylee near the road and the water catchment. Steeldust’s family and all the bachelors but Chrome, Kreacher and Hook also were there.

Big band

Big band

The horses were all very relaxed and calm Sunday morning about an hour after sunrise.

Steeldust, Alpha and Storm

Steeldust, Alpha and Storm

I included this photo as the start of a little visual journey. Soon after I took this photo, Storm laid down for a nap.

Sleepy boys

Sleepy boys

There’s Pinon standing over Storm, with Sundance snoozing behind them.

Daddy on guard

Daddy on guard

Slightly different angle. That’s Ember behind Steeldust.

So that’s nice, you’re thinking, but this isn’t much of a story. Maybe not, but all stories need a beginning. See, I took these photos from just down from the fenced-in water catchment. The light wasn’t the best from this angle, but it was the best angle to catch little Storm-chaser at his nap (and who can resist?). My back was to the northeast, where that hill drops off to the big “flat” below.

So I’m taking pix from a crouched position, and the horses are calm, and Storm is looking at me but not bothered enough to disturb his semi-nap. But then all of a sudden, all the horses looked up at me. What did I do? I hadn’t moved?

Hoofbeats. Behind me. Trotting.

Boo!

Boo!

I look back, and there’s Grey/Traveler trotting after Jif, who is trotting up over the edge of the hill and right past me! He’s trotting in this photo – can you see his eye looking at me? I think he was as surprised to see me as I was to see him!

Traveler and Jif

Traveler and Jif

He finally got her to stop there, where they’re looking at Steeldust’s band (who were all possibly just as surprised as the rest of us), who were looking back at them. I figured the rest of the band was coming up the trail, but they never showed up.

Sassy Jif

Sassy Jif

Moments later … “I’m going, already.”

Not too worried

Not too worried

He followed after her, pretty calm, as you can see here, but this is where the story (visually) got good.

The chase is on

The chase is on

Jif was being sassy and lolly-gagging along, so Grey/Traveler decided to push a little harder.

Cant catch me

Cant catch me

Now he’s starting to get a little mad.

Keep moving

Keep moving

I really thought the band was just out of sight below the edge of the hill.

Over the edge

Over the edge

They dropped over the edge, and I walked over slowly, expecting to see the other horses.

All calm on the eastern front

All calm on the eastern front

But they weren’t. I walked back to the Jeep and drove on down the hill and across the “flat,” where this photo was taken from the Jeep. Left to right: Jif, Houdini, Iya and Twister (Iya is just barely visible), and Two Boots. Grey/Traveler is just out of the picture at right. They were way away! (Relatively.) Why did Jif go running off like that? She’s kind of independent, but does she do that often? Another hmm. The end.

Not really, of course. I had spotted the new girls up on a hill around from the dry-pond trail, so that’s where I headed next.

Da girls

Da girls

They were out enjoying the sunshine, as calm and relaxed as Steeldust’s and Grey’s bands (minus the Jif incident).

Pretty little girl

Pretty little girl

Isn’t she cute?

Black mare

Black mare

Don’t let this angle fool you; she’s really a girl with (small) spots.

Cute n curious

Cute n curious

I walked across the hill below them to get them in better light, then sat down to hang out with them for a little while and see what they’d do. This little girl just walked on over, the better to see me. Black mare and apricot mare stayed back. Feeding their pal to the lion? Just waiting to see what the lion would do? Some friends, eh? Ha.

Let me just check out this saltbush ...

Let me just check out this saltbush ...

I love her curiosity. When she realized I a) wasn’t a lion and b) wasn’t going to eat her, she just went to grazing. She did that for several minutes then walked back to her pals to give them the scoop.

OK?

OK?

OK.

Showing her spots

Showing her spots

Watchful girl.

Little apricot

Little apricot

Calm enough to graze. I like it when that happens.

It was a really nice, quiet visit with these girls. I’m really quite fond of them!

I never expected to see Seven and his mares again Sunday, but I decided to go have a look anyway, just in case. Would you believe they were in the same exact place – a little closer to Flat Top – as where I found them Saturday? It’s where I last saw them in early October … and I’ve looked there every time I’ve been out there since – and never seen them until this weekend!

Seven

Seven

Handsome boy.

Molly and Roja

Molly and Roja

I didn’t stay with them long, and I didn’t take many photos. They were fine with me standing at a distance. I checked off the ridge but didn’t see any other horses.

Breakaway boys

Breakaway boys

Almost forgot this pic of the three boys who wandered away from the big band: Chrome at left, Hook and Kreacher. This was taken from the road, almost to the base of Round Top, looking eastish. Kind of a cool backdrop, eh?

I looked for Steeldust’s band on my way back out but wasn’t seeing them. From the north, I had seen them walking along the ridge toward the pond near the entrance, so I thought I might see them in that area. Sometimes, they’re where you’re least expecting them.

Steely Dan and fam

Steely Dan and fam

They were against the hill right inside the main entrance. They barely looked up from their grazing …

Aspen

Aspen

Except this guy. He was looking so handsome in the sunlight, I couldn’t resist taking his picture.

Ember and Luna

Ember and Luna

And this little girl. I keep thinking of all this year’s yearlings, how they looked last year when they were the age of this year’s babies. They grow so quickly. Ah … I’m so sentimental.

But wait! The story’s not yet over. Guess who I saw right from the county road on my way home?

Painted ponies

Painted ponies

I took pictures of them right from the fenceline off the road. Here, from front to back: Kiowa, Chipeta, Corazon, Reya and Spook.

Ty

Ty

Ty was back with the band. I guess he found family life more appealing than life as a single guy.

Muddy Mesa

Muddy Mesa

Big muddy boy. Copper was the farthest from the band and never came very close. The king is (driven away); long live the king? Corazon was right with the band … which isn’t unusual EXCEPT that Copper was so far away. So is Corazon the new head of family?

And that’s the Sunday story. Heartfelt thanks to my ponies, as always.


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3 responses

28 11 2008
Hutch

Hi TJ

Happy Day after Thanksgiving.

I really like your photos. When can I buy your DVD?

Keep up the good work.

KDHutch

29 11 2008
TJ

Happy belated Thanksgiving!
No DVD from me, but look for a calendar down the chimney (or through the USPS)!
Hope you had a great feast!
TJ

9 12 2008
CheyAnne Sexton

horses, horses, ponies, ponies
what my heart would give for my very own

I so wanted a horse of my own

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