May adventures with COTBH

Oh my, rain, rain, rain this month, too… The first half of may we had a few good rides!  Gearhart estuary and beach below. Check out our handsome new friend Cass!


Cover girl Nala!


Into the fog!IMG_20170503_153045685 (1)

Our favorite fluffy clouds!!


Body score shot.


Especially loved the river beach along the Columbia river at Fort Stevens State Park!

IMG_20170507_135220637IMG_20170507_135352696IMG_20170507_141827648IMG_20170507_142155135IMG_20170507_142423896IMG_20170507_145752162IMG_20170508_134507487IMG_20170508_135218701IMG_20170508_135301139May 2017 by andi

5/13/17 on the way to Del Rey Beach…


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COTBH: April 2017


April fool’s day. Went for a ride. The elk blocked our path from the barn to the beach, so we had to go around on the road to a different beach path. Nala did well on the roads, but the beach was full of people and windy, so we did a few laps, a quick gallop, and came back to the barn. Here is Nala pre-ride doing carrot stretches.



We took yesterday off. Today we did the Del Rey beach estuary loop with Andi and Reya.



Beach ride mid-day with Reya and Andi. It was overcast but warm, I even hosed Nala off after. She is shedding like mad!


Andi got a few pics of us… 4/4/17

booty 4 4 17hi 4 4 174 4 17 logs4 4 17


Rain kept us off our rides for a week.. but we got out today with Andi and Reya.



Our last ride with Reya. She has a new home!


We trailered to Bayocean spit in Tillamok, OR.  Gorgeous Spring day and great views! 4 15 17

You can jump in a dressage saddle… haha… maybe not with hunter form, but still…Cool 4 15 17IMG_20170415_140818922IMG_20170415_141101025

The water on the Bay side was so blue and lots of fishermen were out in small boats! IMG_20170415_141317395IMG_20170415_141528679IMG_20170415_142446894_HDRIMG_20170415_143619779IMG_20170415_143727848IMG_20170415_144727329IMG_20170415_145027668_HDRIMG_20170415_145121430_HDR (1)IMG_20170415_145131370

At the south end it was so quiet, just, the sea, birds and hoof beats! The best!IMG_20170415_152352455_HDRIMG_20170415_153626650IMG_20170415_153647907_HDR

A body score shot…



A quick solo beach/trail ride on a gorgeous sunny day. Nala was a bit nervous alone (you can tell since she wants to trot or stop and look around, rather than walk out). Went down to the beach and did arena size circles and bending work. We got a few flying lead changes accomplished, no galloping just canter circles.



I realize she is still a full body ride and I am not sure how to make her aids more subtle, but maybe it is from coming off winter, where we just went straight for so long. I free lunged her before the ride and realize I should take the side reins back for a tune up.

Or maybe I will try the Kimberwick too, since she is pulling the giraffe neck. Andi suggested a running martingale, which would be great for the giraffe neck, but if she starts bucking it is the opposite of what I want.  I will look into the stretcher tie down reins the french racing stable used, looks like a good idea for her.

I have also been working on her tying and tacking up. I tied her up above (by the horse fields) and groomed and she was fine. I took her to the saddle area and tied and she was ok, but then the other horses left and she got antsy. And she tried to sit down/pull back, but she was tied short with the parelli halter and she had to give up.  I am not sure if she will learn by being tied firm that she can’t or shouldn’t pull back. But I think it gave her a headache.

She is really quite good when she steps on a rope attached to her halter, she stops and calmly figures it out, so she should get the tying thing, I hope. She was just able to pull free for so long, and now she thinks she can pull loose from the blocker tie rings and get away.

I also gave her a bath and she pulled once in the bath area, but I think she got water in her nose or ear or something? So two pull backs in one day. But anyway she did not break her lead rope snap or fall or get away, so I hope it will improve. She did not pull back when tied up above with her pals. I need to do more ground work.

She immediately rolled when back in her field. I think to get the shampoo smell off! haha. This was the first time she has had shampoo since last summer (just mane and tail because it was so dirty!).


Just a ride around the farm. It was so nice and sunny out today!



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The Start of Spring: Second Half of March 2017

3/18/17 Just a ride on our local beach. Andi took pics. I did not.

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3/19/17 My first time riding at Nehalem Bay State Park. We rode from the park throught the dunes to Manzanita and Back. It was just gorgeous! And the horses did so well. Nala even tied fine, stood to be tacked and ate grass at the end of the ride. No spooking either, but she did want to gallop (so we had a few stretches of speed).

Andi’s pics as we started south through the dunes.

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We headed for the Jetty at the end of the beach. IMG_20170319_124211047

There were seals in the water, but my pics of them were not clear.IMG_20170319_125146633

Then we headed North to Manzantia beach, view of Neahankie Mountain.IMG_20170319_131125771

The houses in Manzanita.IMG_20170319_134527096_HDR

Andi stopped for a photo op with some babies, the calm Frisian won. I kept my TB away from the babies! IMG_20170319_134612904_HDR

Looking back south at how far we came. IMG_20170319_140330631_HDR

Cutting back through the dunes to the bay side.IMG_20170319_144239498_HDR

Nehalem bay view.IMG_20170319_145711037_HDR

Nehalem bay view, too.IMG_20170319_145735908_HDR

Before the ride. She is only tied by her cavason, and she was fine. I don’t know why she is so antsy when tied at home?



Went to the Red Barn Arena last night, no great pics. Nala did really well, lazy even. Slow and collected canter, and a working trot and even dropped her head. She was a bit irritated since we left at dinner time and she planted her feet at the trailer ramp. Took a few approaches but she got on… I was taking video of Reya, so I tied Nala after a warm up ride, and she was fine in the arena with us.


I have her on Smart Gut and Smart Digest this month and I decided to worm her with the three rotations just in case. Today was Safeguard (Fenbendazole), she did spit a bit out, but I gave her the full dose. Next time in May will be Ivermectin, then Pyrantel in July. following this type of plan.


Took today off due to the wormer and the weather, but plan to ride Fort Stevens with a couple others tomorrow!


Ride at Fort Stevens with the Mares. We trailered over at 2:30pm. Nala hesitated, but got in the trailer on the second approach. She tied just fine to be groomed and tacked up.  We rode with Reya and a bay arab mare Lily. We tried the dune trail for a few blocks, but it was flooded.


So we went down the beach to the Peter Iredale, and then north to the Jetty.IMG_20170325_161230692_HDR (1)IMG_20170325_161244724_HDR (1)

The tide was out so we had lots of beach! I took Nala over a few logs and she did well. We even cantered a few logs and jumped.IMG_20170325_170537386


It was in the 50’s today, so, I just stopped and took of her blanket, then went back at dinner to re-blanket her. I fed a few carrots. She had a cut on her left rear and I was at first worried but when I hosed it off it was not that big. Looks like she scraped it on wire somewhere?

I am considering training her to use the collar system, for trails and overnight. I need to order her a collar.

The rain and wind arrived again, so we might do an arena ride this week or just wait until the weekend.

Nala also has a weird crack on her front toe. I filed it back and it seems to be growing out. Pic of 3/19/17 after a beach ride, which sand blasted her feet clean!



YEAY!!! The SUN! It finally felt like spring today, daffodils, short sleeves, horse bath and sun! We had a great beach ride (other than the two block chase by a doberman, which we out ran ;-)… and Nala had a rinse off to get rid of the shedding hair and salt… but, I think I am getting freckles… 😉


We actually did circles on the beach, trot and canter and a flying lead change each way! The one the the left was a bit of a cross canter but she switched one her own after two strides! I wanted to end on that note so walked around a bit until the doberman appeared running at us, and I choose to run off, since it was dragging a 10 foot lead, I did not want tangled in our feet!  And it chased us about two blocks before giving up… thank goodness we have a big flat place to run!

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March 2017 Chronicles of the Brown Horse


So it has been two years with Nala! She came home with me March 1, 2015. She will be 13 this year in May. We went out on a nice beach ride with our horsey pal Reya and I realized we have come along way in two years.


Reya is a bit new to the beach and the changes in sand color, wave foam and unusual logs still give her a bit of a fright. Nala was like that the first few months on the beach, but now her main goal is forward progress and she ignores the beach challenges to keep moving!


Nala is very alert to her surroundings but also fairly brave. We met two ladies walking their dogs on the beach in separate meetings at Gearhart and they commented on how lovely it was to see Nala and how far she has come in her beach riding! Haha. So we have become the famous Galloping Girls of Gearhart! One lady (a horse owner herself) remarked how calm Nala was compared to our previous sightings and another commented how lovely she looks galloping. We went the beach way to the estuary so we did not do a full gallop, just a bit of a canter towards Seaside.


We are still using the new Myler snaffle (with hooks) and she did fairly well. I swapped out the bridle (headstall) and used my Eventa reins!


The mishaps were on the ride were mine. I got a new sheepskin fleece saddle pad and it is only fleece under the saddle and a regular square pad the rest of the way. I tightened my girth as I usually do to the 5th hole and rode off. Once on the beach we trotted and cantered to Del Rey to meet Reya and I found my pads were gone once I got there!! I lost them a block back and had to go retrieve them. I usually use a full fleece pad and I did not account for the closer contact! haha. Lucky my saddle stayed on with a loose girth! It was just hanging there!

So I had to re-saddle her on the beach and it was an event since she did not want to stand for me. This is what I need to work on. Getting her to stand and focus, for an animal that only wants to move it’s feet.

I did get her re-saddled and attached the keepers on the pad, remounted and rode off. But having to saddle a horse that is circling you is frustrating!  So still room for improvement on the ground, but our riding bond is pretty good and she calmly walked out on the beach and through the trails of the Gearhart dunes, we even did a short tour through the streets.

On the way out from the barn the heard of elk was blocking our path in Pine Hearst and we had quite a time getting around them. Nala wanted to stop and stare at them and I wanted to move past quickly. But we made our way down to the beach and had our two year anniversary ride! If I had this ride when I first got her I would have been so pleased, but she would have cost 5X more… so the time and training has been worth it!

She is shedding out now, and still looks a bit thin to me, but I expect her to fill out more with the warmer weather. I still miss my old horse Foxy, but he has been gone over two years now and Nala is probably a braver ride on the beach at this point (especially solo),  and 4″ shorter, so I can get on still as an old lady, Haha!

She also still needs work to be tied and left alone or tied when she is antsy. She has learned to pull loose of the blocked tie rings, so at this point I just have to tie her and let her pull.


So we have had rain the past few days, which we normally ride in ok, but this has a bit of high wind as well. Nala has her rain coat on!


And we are looking back at the cool pics from our Cannon Beach ride in January.

First two are of Nala and Me, third one is Reya and Andi! This is from a wildlife photographer we ran across as a happy accident, Nala was pretty wound up at the end of the ride and just wanted to head south!  He will sell high quality prints of these images if you have any interest check out his facebook page!




So, today, Andi and I thought we could brave the storm and ride in a weather break… haha ….the hail got us for a bit… but then our ride went fine! 😉 Nala is a good sport! Reya thinks we are nuts!



We had a bit of sun!!!! So I went out for a solo ride. We just hit the beach, did some circle work and jumped a few logs.IMG_20170310_150300151_HDR.jpgIMG_20170310_144943272IMG_20170310_145035549IMG_20170310_150246305


Also trimmed the front feet and took a few Body Score shots.



Went on a beach ride with Andi and we got caught by another pro!

1-Canter on the Coast

And Andi got me! 3 12 17 first edit2

And a great video!

My pics. We are so blessed to be able to ride on the beach! And have a day of nice weather!



After a week of rain we finally got in another ride. Out with the girls.

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I switched back to the double jointed eggbutt with copper roller… I think she is more used to it, I am trying to keep her from bracing against the bit… I may try a Waterford to see how she does… But not today (3/19) since we are heading to Nehalem Bay State Park for the first time to ride the trails.


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COTBH: February 2017

So I am feeling like I am a bit too big for my horse this month. She has lost weight and is racing fit/thin and shorter than my old guy.  Anyway, below is my old horse Foxy at 16.2 hands…I feel like this was a great fit. Of course this is in our hunter saddle so a shorter leg position.

Kelly_n_Foxy 015 croped

Then Nala last year in her summer fit weight standing at 15.2 or 15.3. Leg looks good dressage length.


And this month Nala looking a bit thin and my heel pretty low  in dressage length…16602900_10212230341264508_9168861411126894377_n

Anyway, Not much I can do, we are feeding her all she will eat…I may try to add cool calories as well… but I did not notice much effect last time I tried it. I decided to double; her BOSS for a month from 2 cups to 4.

We have had a few gorgeous rides this month but the weather of course is not too cooperative.



2/11/17 Body Score pic


We also did a few rides with Kelsie on my old lesson horse Cooper. Unfortunately after our first beach ride he had an episode of tying up, which I had not experienced before, the vet gave him some steroids to help.



Adventures with Nala: Nala ran over to say hi, grab a carrot from me, then trotted off… haha… but we went on a nice beach ride anyway! 😉

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2/18/17 OET Beach Ride at Fort Stevens, Dune Trail



More pics:

On our ride, I discovered Nala has a small sore in the corner of her right lip. I will try to go bitless for a week and see if it heals up, I may also try a myler snaffle instead of my roller egg but. 😉

I think I can ride bitless around the barn, but probably won’t have great breaks on the beach! Here is a shot from last year, I had to add padding to the horse size bridle so it would be small enough for her!

13th e1

I was also gifted a western style rope nose sidepull, I added a neoprene pad to the rope nose and I may try that as well around the barn/fields. Kind of like riding in a stiff rope halter.

Also, The barn is feeding 3# of senior Am and 1# pm, along with my supplement bag of 6 cups alfalfa pellets, 3 cups rice bran, 2 cups BOSS and NW supp.

Nala is still thin. She doesn’t eat all three flakes of hay at night. So I plan to increase Boss to 4 cups and see if that helps.


I just rinsed her off and left her blanket off for the day. Checking BS. I also trimmed her fronts too short (trying to prevent a crack from growing) in the toe on the 9th, but she is moving fine two weeks later.



A local beach ride. The sky is gorgeous! Thank you to Andi, riding Reya, for the pics!



Select pics from our beach ride in Longbeach, WA


The tide pools:


The Beach:


The girls:



Just checking body score and grooming. Today I gave Nala Foxy’s old halter.

Nala 2 26 17 d.jpgnala-2-26-17-bnala-2-26-17-c


The last ride of February!


I tried a myler comfort snaffle (with hooks) a friend gave me and Nala really seemed to respond to it. It was sharper than the eggbut with roller … it is a bit thinner, with more even pressure.


We went on a beach ride solo and did very well! We walked out, trotted, cantered and went over logs. We went up and back near our beach access a few times then headed home. The tide was in and we did not gallop. I was trying to see how responsive she was in this bit. I think it works great, but I had thin reins on it and I prefer the eventa thicker no slip reins, so I will try those the next ride so I can get a better feel. 😉img_20170228_132053729

Looking forward to riding in march!

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COTBH January 2017


Our first ride of the year. The ground has been frozen so Nala had the week off. She was a bit stiff from the cold and hard ground.

We trailered to Fort Stevens to ride some different trails with Andi and Reya. Thank you Andi!



Nala was anxious at our barn tacking up. She got in the trailer within a minute, and once we arrived at Fort Stevens she was pretty calm, but alert.


Our ride went well. Nala wanted to go down to the beach right away. We tried one trail that was flooded and frozen, so we went south down the beach to Delaura Beach lane and rode the dune trails there… Nala led and was very brave.


We cantered and trotted our way back up the beach, then did a nice cool down walk out. Andi lent us a cooler for the ride home, and Nala was almost dry when we unloaded her! She did not pull hard to gallop like she does at home. She steered well. She moved out sound, even thought she was a bit stiff at home (maybe from the frozen and uneven ground in her field). I am so glad we went on this ride, so I can see how well she does in a different place.


At the end of our ride we explored the famous ship wreck.img_20170106_140756778


Her weight looks good. She is wearing a medium blanket due to the cold weather at night (low 30s, high 20’s). Dana, our barn owner said, she thought Nala stopped eating her morning grain when she is in heat so she can go flirt with the boys next door?! But she eats it at night. I will add more alfalfa pellets to her next round of grain.

We hope to have more adventures next week!


We have been off this week due to cold weather. Here is today’s snow pic!

snow day 1 11 17 nala.jpg


A nice beach ride to the Gearhart Estuary! Nala and I rode out from our barn to the Del Rey beach access to meet up with Andi and the Frisian Reya! Nala was a bit feisty tacking up, but once I was mounted she did great. We went out at a trot to the beach, and met up with our buddies. Nala lead most of the way. She was watching her back for bicyclists, kids and dogs but she moved out well. We had a great gallop! And hopefully we got some nice pictures from Andi and her husband!

These are my phone shots!


1/13/17 Beach ride: Nala waiting for the others to tack up!


Riding the dunes toward Gearhart. (South)




Riding the beach on the way home. (North)


1/14/16 Such Gorgeous shots of our day at Cannon Beach, thanks to our friend Andi for the trailer ride and companionship on Reya the Freisan!


Also got caught by a pro…


And Andi… from 1/12/17



Maybe the last ride of the month. Bad weather is coming and we’ll have a week off.


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COTBH December 2016


We have had rain, rain, rain and some windy weather. So our riding is limited.

Here Nala runs up for treats and to say hello.nala-12-2-16-a

Here she gives me the look for “where are all my carrots? ” … sorry Nala you ate them! nala-12-2-16-b

We had a nice ride last week 12/15/16 with Becka and Halla. We went north, and the ride before we went to Gearhart Estuary on 12/12/16.

But, we have been off most of the month due to daylight hours and weather.

BS shot from 12/11/16 below… we have her blanketed now. I need to get a pic. I think her weight is stabilizing.

We are feeding 5 pounds Purina Senior, 4 cups alfalfa pellets, 3 cups rice bran, two cups BOSS, and one scoop NW supp, and unlimited hay/pasture. Grain is broken into Am and Pm feedings. The barn decided to place her hay in a net so it is easier to move around for the other horses to come and go in the field.



After the ride:



Nala says, “take your pics quick, before the other horses laugh at me!”


12/24/16 AND 12/25/16

Two days of beach riding with Andi and the Fresian Mare Rey.


Nala was fairly amped up on day one, but mellow on day two and pretty brave. We rode out from our barn down to the Del Rey access to meet up and Nala went back to the parking lot (to see their trailer) on day two leading the way and walking in puddles!


Andi took some great shots of us at the Gearhart Estuary.




Rode around… Nala was not happy tacking up, she is learning to tie, but she rode just fine, walk trot through the trees and fields! IMG_20161226_131010098.jpg the barn…




We took yesterday off for Nala to rest up.



Rode a short beach ride today. We tried to just walk and did a few trot stretches. Then we did a canter circle and figure eights at the trot to collect a bit more.





Headed to the fairgrounds arena tonight, Nala’s first time. I am interested to see how she does trailering at dinner time and riding in the covered arena with lights.

Nala was great. She hopped in the trailer. I tacked her up in the indoor area. Walked on foot once around the arena so she could see everything (farm machinery, the stands, the grounds, lights etc).  She was great. She did not spook at all.

I rode her walk, trot, canter, halt, and back, and some leg yields. We reversed, did figure eights. Cantered a few times around the perimeter, changed directions.

She was light in the bridle and listened well. We rode with three horses in the arena and she did fine. Once we were done and cooling down more horses came and she called to them  once.

I cooled her out and untacked and she loaded right up to go home. She even backed out of the trailer well, it is extra wide and tall so that helped (it was a straight load sundowner) and it had a rear ramp not a step down!

I was very impressed with her. I said if she acted this way when I first went to try her out I would have paid 3-4X more for her ! I do think she may be a bit tired from all the riding this week. She moved out well but had a bump on her left rear inner leg (cannon bone area). I am not sure if it is a strain or not. She is moving sound but maybe not as big a stride as she likes normally… or maybe the arena inspires a smaller stride than the beach. I wanted to collect her up more but I did not want to over work her. We did a nice collected canter and a working trot.

I am proud of how she did! And So glad I decided to go to the fair with our new friends!


We are scheduled for a beach ride today at 2pm, probably the last ride of the year!

Our ride went well. We rode out with Halla and Becka and met up with Renee and her Arab gelding! We rode to Del Rey first then cantered back to Sunset beach to meet up with Renee, so our girls got a bit sweaty!




Happy New Year. Nala is getting a break today to rest up!

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