Sunday, August 30, 2009

Cantering. Finally. Lily wound update.

(Warning, some gore in this one - picture of Lily's boo-boo below)

Courage and lack thereof:
You know, I've been a pretty major chicken lately. But today I made progress. I cantered in the round pen.

It's the first time I've cantered on Cibolo since we got him, and I have to say, it was like a ten ton load of tension was gone. I didn't do much because I was pressed for time. But two rounds of cantering after none? I don't think my feet touched the ground.

I get irritated at my hesitance to canter. I think I should be doing all this stuff immediately. There should be no delay. I'm a grown up, after all. I'm pretty fearless in most things. This is a different horse and I know what I'm doing.

But I haven't been able to get enough saddle time and felt like I had no seat at all. I had no confidence in my cues.

Today Cibolo was in a great space. He went through his gaits perfectly in our round pen session, no nonsense. I didn't even use a bit and he was so responsive that I was backing him with no effort.

So I'm pretty relieved to be through this hurdle. Maybe not all the way through, but at least on the way.



Lily: Warning, gore ahead.

Lily's cut looks worse. I hydrated it, used peroxide, put some wound cream and swat (I gave her a bath too).

I just don't think it's getting better. Any suggestions? What's your favorite wound cream/salve for something like this?





Sierra hasn't been out to work with her and it shows. She misses her, and just doesn't a good connection with me. She's like - "oh. it's just YOU." LOL

On the up side, her mane looks longer. That's the only thing about Lily that's not beautiful, she has a sort of straggly mane (I've seen a lot of QH with straggly manes, I wonder if it tends to be more common in that breed). But I think it's getting longer!



I've been using this (which smells like bacon and sulfur).



Her mane looks longer to me. But maybe it's just my imagination. It's not like I had the forethought to measure it.



Even her little forelock. Isn't it bushier?





Home:

Speaking of growing things, in celebration of the second day in a row of less than 100 degrees, I potted some plants.



Pray for their survival. I've got a bad rep with plants.


And finally, rest. I got a set of these at the grocery store on 50% off. And today, I blogged from one. :)

Hope you had a great Sunday.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Falling in the Round Pen

Well, it wasn't the evening I'd hoped for. Not by a long shot.

I was looking forward to riding. We had a good bit of rain last night, it was cooler, and I had time to ride. A rare concurrance of events.

Here's the new saddle.




I'm testing a system to keep it from sliding, using a sticky thin layer like the material on the bottom of the tacky too pads. I'd have to cut the excess, as you can see.

Anyway we went to the round pen. Sara was there, a young girl (15 maybe?) with her Alpha Arab, Regalo. Regalo is a Beauty/Beast. A gorgeous bay, he has a rep of being a pill. He's not worked with enough, and he pins his ears at feeding, chews on lower ranked horses, and has the ground manners of a bouncer at a strip club.

The BO called Sara and let her know that he needs more work.

Maybe that's why she was out there.

So she and Regalo go in the round pen first. Regalo was nuts, bucking, snorting, coming to the middle when he wasn't called. Cibolo watched this with interest. I started to wonder if he was going to get the wrong idea from Regalo's bad example. I already had a sense that I didn't have the same connection with Cibolo as I'd had yesterday, so was planning to work a bit in the round pen when she was done. She did a good job, Regalo latched on and while he seems more in charge, she seems to maintain control relatively well. Still it wasn't the most disciplined round penning session, even with my more relaxed view of things.

I don't think what happened next was Regalo's bad example, but who knows. He is the alpha in the herd across the fence from Cibolo. Also, there seemed to be some people on the property next door talking and rustling about. It may have been why Regalo was going nuts, running like crazy. And Cibolo was there with the encore.

He was a jumpy as Canyon used to be, he tossed a few bucks right at the start, and seemed upset. I brought my energy down, tried to find a rhythm, to no avail. Then it happened. He would periodically break into a run and I had been focusing on turning him gently as I could to gather back his attention. But at one point he dug in for a run and slipped, falling in the sand, kicking his legs into the round pen, which is when he got this:




He got up and trotted off, seeming to be a little surprised by his fall. Still jumpy, but almost like he'd learned that the freak out was not a good idea. Then he gave over leadership to me. I got him changing directions and gaits with no problem. But he was still jittery and nervous. Not a good day.

I don't push a horse on a bad day. I know other people disagree, because horses have to work, period. Still, I've read enough from trainers to get that when your horse is off, he's off. At the end, just end on the best note possible. I think of it as pushing through a grumpy day with the kids. There's no point in trying to get them to be creative or appreciative when they are cranky. Cranky is too high a hurdle, it's best to get through and realize the next day will be better. Let the clock reset to zero, no hard feelings - tomorrow.

So I rode just a little in the round pen, simple things, low energy, then out around the barn, hosed him down and put an antibacterial salve on this cut and a smaller one on the other rear leg. I didn't wrap it, because I don't know how, but I'll be out there in the morning to see how he's doing.

Any doctoring advice? Do I need to wrap it -- and if so, what do I pick up something at the feed store? It looks bad, but from doctoring kids, I'm pretty sure it's just skinned. A heck of a pole burn.


I wish I knew what that round pen behavior was about. Theories?


--------------


Here's Lily's wound yesterday.




Here it is today. I think it's better. There's no swelling anymore. It looks awful though.



I'm ready for a little break from the woundings - aren't you?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Lily wound, jumping in the trailer and finally, rain.





I knew we should declare it Saturday.

Lily has some sort of ... thing on her back. Stephanie, who loves horses and works in our office, had come over with Sierra. As she was petting Lily she noticed a swelling and a scab in the center of her back, just behind the wither. About the size of a matchbook.

The swelling was down below it and when she pushed on it a bit of pus came out.

We peeled back the scab, ran a cold water hose on it and the swelling went down.

Did I take pictures so I could get a blogger diagnosis? No. I'll take some in the morning when I go check on her and run the water on it.

I don't know if it's a bite, it looks a little more like a scrape, but a pretty nasty one. It's in the area where horses tend to groom one another, so I don't know if it could be that.

I'm hoping its not Cibolo. Otherwise we are going to have a problem...


Cibolo is now leaping into the trailer. He's like a parelli video.



And he'll hang out...




And back out calmly.





And it rained. Not much, but windshield wiper worthy. A nice break in what has been an oppressive summer...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I'll take a pass

First of all, we need to get this week DONE - between Mickey's accident, Sonny's injuries and Milkman's terrible news, I think it would be best for all concerned if we declared it Saturday and be done with it.

Everybody, lock the horses in the barn and wear your helmets and hang on to what you can, there is some tough mojo out.


----


Tonight I stopped over to visit Cibolo and Lily by myself. The heat here is still oppressive - it was 102 at 6:30 - that's when I made it to the barn. I knew I wouldn't do much with Cibolo, I just wanted to spend time with him. Yesterday I was there so late that all I did was ground work and a little walking before night fell. I mucked around with my new saddle, figuring out how to cinch it up and realizing that I'll probably need a different pad and a breast collar. But that's a different post (okay, I forgot to take pictures of it. It's an Aussie saddle.).



So I got out the bareback pad and the reins and we walked over to the round pen. I wanted to make sure i was listening - sometimes I go through excercises when they aren't really needed. Cibolo was well latched on, listening well, so I didn't want to make him do circles. I read this great article (thanks Kate!) that made me realize that I can change some elements of my round pen technique. I can also decide when it's necessary.

And when it's not.


Instead I did a few ground manuevers to make sure he was listening, then climbed on.

With Canyon it was months and months before I'd ever get on him without a good 15 minutes of round penning. I think if I was going to canter on Cibolo I might have felt that I needed to do more. But it's 102. I had no desire to put either one of us through that. So instead I worked on how soft I could whoa and back up.



Cibolo is begining to respond to just a seat and breathing cue. We still have work to do, but it's going very well. So well I decided to try the one thing I could never do on Canyon (except for one or two occassions).

Side pass.



I'd worked on the ground with Cibolo about a week ago and after a few tries he was side passing. But because I never did get Canyon to do it well, I wasn't very confident that I even knew the cue.

So, I decided that we were doing so well, it was worth a shot. Stop forward momentum. Open up the side door. Cue at the girth. Slight weight shift.

A little confused but after a few steps there was one step that was a side pass! We stopped and I gushed praise. We tried the other side. A little confused again, but then one step over.

More gushing. Two more tries, a little less confusing, a little clearer of a step.

Then it happened. Four beautiful steps to the right. Cross, step. Cross, step. Cross, step. Cross step. Like floating.

I gave him a good amount of praise and jumped off. I was about to bust. He looked quite please with himself. I untacked and we went off for a grassy grazing reward.

I have a horse that can side pass - and, I know how to make a horse side pass!

But the most exciting part - I'm doing this very softly, all my asks are very soft and he's responding well, while still continuing to respect my space and my leadership.


Oh yeah. AND he self loaded after only two little circles and the second time he BACKED OUT.

I swear, it's like I was channeling Monty Roberts or something.

Of course, even though it was planned that I'd be home late, when I came home the house was in chaos (grumpy kids and grumpy hubby - how fun!). It's never good when Mommy gets home after 7 pm.

But it was so worth it... :)



Monday, August 24, 2009

How do I love thee? Teacher, you have no idea.


In honor of the first day of school, a reprint of a favorite of mine... x post from Crib Notes

(Horsey aside - this is Miles Dean, a 57 year old (at the time) school teacher who rode from NYC to California in 2007. You can read the cool story here.)


School has started!


On behalf of every mother who has spent all Summer covering her children with sun screen, washed every single towels in the house practically every day and wept every night after observing what happens to the house when children are home all day, I just want to say to every teacher out there:


I love you.


No, seriously. I love you. It's not like. "Like" is for baby sitters and substitutes. This is all out get-the-heart-shaped-boxes-of-chocolates LOVE.


Why do I love thee? With apologies to Ms. Elizabeth Barrett Browning, let me count the ways:


I love you for teaching my children how to add when I can't get them to put two socks in the laundry basket. Which is why their socks won't match in a week. Just a heads up.


I love you for teaching my children how to write their names when I spend the last few months believing they didn't even know their names – unless I used all three of them. (You know: "Sierra Paloma Prosapio! Come over here and put this shirt in that laundry basket." "Mireya Brisa Prosapio! Is this your toy embedded in my foot?")


I love you for showing me that my children are capable of sitting AND eating at the same time. Would you take a photo for me? I'd just like to see what it looks like.


I love you for somehow keeping my children relatively clean without having to resort to a garden hose.


I love you for taking my children for HOURS so when they come home I have had time to miss them and cherish them. And get to yoga class.


I love you for helping them when they are confused, smiling at them when they do well, and fighting the desire to banish them when they begin to drive you crazy.


I love you for teaching my children that lines are part of life, so the next time we are at the movies my child won't cut in front of 30 other people yelling "me first!"


I love you for facing crazy parents (of which I will be one) because when our children come home upset and we immediately ask for a teacher conference to find out how to keep our child from crying—ever.


And most of all, I love you for choosing to teach children, even though we don't pay you enough – not nearly enough and when I am Queen, teachers will be paid their weight in gold. Weekly.


So, to Mrs. Jarica, Mrs. Buxkemper, and all the teachers out there, when Friday rolls around on this first hectic week of school, I want you to feel it.


Feel the love.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Picture Palooza


A girl and her red horse in red sand.




Latched on.




Cibolo and I in discussion of the merits of the trailer.




You put one hoof in, you put one hoof out, you put one hoof in and shake your head about.



Please notice my new position - outside the trailer! Yes, I'm now successfully driving Cibolo in. Thanks to everyone for all the advice - I've used it all to get this far.

And we're staying in if there's pressure on the butt.

Next, butt bar.



Okay, so we're turning to come out. Yeah. okay. We'll work on that.




In the round pen, trying out the new saddle.



Here he comes.




And again...


Betwixt and between...



Shh. Don't tell Lily she's in the trailer. (once again, I'm outside! Woo hoo! and the backing out is practically normal.)



Sierra's confidence with horses has bounced back thanks to Lily. Can you tell?




Hay is not just for horses.



Cibilo rolled after his bath and it looked a lot like this.


Two trail rides, one morning feeding and a great time. How was your Friday/Saturday?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Lily update, round penning and charming.


It's been so crazy at work, this will be pretty short. (I said that, but... well, look at this. It's long!)

Lily seems to be doing better after her injection. We worked both her and Cibolo in the round pen on Monday, then again on Wednesday and she had very little discomfort. Very promising.

Monday's round penning brought out a few bucks in both Lily and Cibolo, and I was worried when with Cibolo's in particular. I guess I'm a little paranoid about bucking, because I know a horse that hasn't been worked will buck in a round pen. Neither was saddled up and it was the first real work they'd done in a week.

By the end of the session Cibolo had finished his bucking (Lily only gave one, Cibolo had more like five) and was cruising around in a semi controlled fashion. I had trouble keeping him in a canter, but after a few rounds we got there.

Wednesday the farrier came out and we got shiny new natural balance shoes on both Lily (who keeps kicking off her rear shoes) and Cibolo.

Cibolo really charmed the farrier. His demeanor and level head came across instantly and by the time the farrier finished one shoe he said "I'd work on 15 horses like this one in a week. What a great horse."

Even though I can take absolutely no credit for it, I was ridiculously proud.

Lily has been more of a puzzle for the farrier, largely because she does have pain issues. He's very patient with her, patient but firm when she acts up. But every time she does pull away, he notes that it's not misbehavior. "She's trying to tell me something." He fusses over the hoof doing something I can't see, and then she responds better.

I learned something at that moment. I had jumped to the conclusion that she was giving attitude. He said it wasn't that at all, that there was an issue he needed to puzzle out.

I need to remember that. Both with Lily and probably, with life.

That said, holding horses for 3 hours is really... rough. I think I was more sore than I have ever been riding. I don't know how you farriers do it!!

We also cleared the air about the whole farrier/vet circle I got in. (I'd called my old farrier during the last encounter with the previous vet) He was fine with it, he just wanted to stay in the loop. I told him my vet said he was ding a terrific job and all I wanted was Lily to feel better.

Then after he was done shoeing Lily she stood funny, one front foot out a bit. But it was inconsistent. He offered to pull off the shoe, but recommended we leave it on for a couple days. It could be that she's feeling better in the other hoof and is shifting weight. It's just hard to tell. Fortunately it seemed to clear up the next day.

-------------

Trailer loading is going okay, I guess. They both will load and stand until I back them out (takes a few tries). But I'm not really making progress, since I'm alone or just with my 11 year old. I need another adult to help me get to the place where I'm putting the butt bar on and hauling down the road. I know it hasn't been long, but I'm a little discouraged because I want to go down to the lake to ride with both and I can't even imagine getting them in the trailer at this point on my own...


---


Our second round penning session went better - was totally buck free.

Question for all you veterans - what do you do when your horse bucks (not under saddle, just under round pen ground work)? Is it harmless? Is it disrespect (sometimes they are 'aimed in your general direction' kind of things) and therefore require a reaction?

I generally think of a buck as deserving only of another circle until the bucks stop. I try not to have any kind of reaction at all other than urging them to keep moving forward. But I was curious what others do.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Trailers, trails and horse hugs

Don't you just love the sign? And see the arrow on his head? I tell everyone that's his shipping instructions. This end up.





Today's trailer session with Cibolo went fairly well. He's not an easy loader (he has a bit of an excuse, he's six and his former trailer was much larger), so I want to work on this every day. We don't finish our day unless he loads in the trailer.

Same with Lily.

I got a jump start on the process with our trainer. I was getting Cibolo in the trailer, but not keeping him there long enough to get the butt bar on. But with the trainer at his tail and me at his head, we got it done.

Then we tried to load Lily next to him.

Yeah. Well, let's just say it's a work in progress. We did get her in. I bet she was in for a full second. Maybe two. I think I'll be on horse time with that one.

The trainer will be gone for 10 days and I plan on doing a one at a time loading every day I'm out there this week. The plan is to go on a trail ride this weekend, but it depends on how I progress. I know I can, eventually, get one horse in. But two? I may have to make two trips! LOL

Frankly I'm wishing I had a big roomy stock trailer. Somehow those seem easier. But this is a very nice trailer and I just need to work through it.


I took Bo out for our first mini trail ride. He has no shoes yet - the farrier had an encounter with a cutting horse and had to take the day off - so I limited my ride to a very grassy area. He did great going out on our own. Curious, willing, owwing in a few rocky spots. I rode in Sierra's saddle.

We weren't out long - we had already worked in the arena first and I did a short canter. The round pen is moved now, so I plan on doing more work there for both me and Bo. I gain a lot of confidence in a round pen, I'm not sure why.

Speaking of the arena, I set up the camera for a few pictures. We were terribly back lit, I don't know what I was thinking. But a funny thing happened. As I was waiting for the camera to click, he turned his head into me.




I reached over and held him and we both enjoyed the moment. The photos aren't very good, but the experience was... something else.


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Crazy idea

You know, ever since I read about the Mark Rashid clinic on Jill's blog and on Kate's blog, I've been thinking.

He's having a clinic in Santa Fe. In October.

That's kinda close by.

And I have a trailer now.

And my dad lives there (close by).

And so does Lisa.

I don't know if I can afford to actually be in the clinic, but I can probably afford to audit.

And maybe ride with some friends...


Hmmm.

Oh yeah. And I'm selling the saddle, unfortunately. It fits Cibolo great, but something about how I sit... I guess I'm used to a deeper seat. So back on ebay and the search continues.

Friday, August 14, 2009

When I am queen...

This is a cross post from Crib Notes:



When I am queen of the universe (I’m sure my paperwork will arrive any day now), one of the first things I’m going to do is fix the school supply thing.

When I am queen, shopping for school supplies will no longer be the all day march through aisle after aisle, store after store, like a deranged scavenger hunt. There will be no more looking for two days for map pencils. Or blue, green, yellow, red AND purple folders. But not just plain folders in these specific colors – folders with brads AND pockets in these specific colors.

I have to tell you, in my day, school supplies were limited to the basics: writing implements of either ink or lead and a tablet. That’s it.

Now school supply lists are like some kids’ Christmas lists. Red pens? 150 Sanitary Wipes? Sharpies with fine points? We don’t even allow our kids play with Sharpies at home ever since they started to paint the dogs, fine point or not!

So, it goes without saying that I have a few ideas on how to improve the entire school supply system.

Yes, when I’m queen the following rules will be in place:

1. Map pencils will be called by their proper names – colored pencils (thanks to the teacher in aisle 12 who helped me avoid a total meltdown looking for map pencils, which I assumed were attached to some sort of road maps).

2. If all the store has with brads and pockets is yellow folders, then the class will just deal with having yellow folders. That’s what the half dozen sharpies are for, right? Just write RED at the top. Problem solved.

3. School supplies are limited to the school supply aisle only. Tissue paper and cleaning supplies are to be moved into the school supply aisle for four weeks leading up to school.

4. More items will be available in pink. With glitter where possible.

5. All major stores are to get their school supply list early and stock what’s ON THE LIST ONLY. If anyone needs 64 crayons, drop me a line.

6. Better yet, stores will be required to prepackage all the basics materials in a ready made box you can just pick up at the back of the store. Then all parents’ have to contend with is a pencil box and insulated lunch sack, in pink, covered in glitter.

Ah, it will be so good to be queen.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

@$#% Trailer loading and unloading

Today was the day Lily went to the vet. I was a little nervous, of course, given her unloading issue, but I decided to think positive. Besides I'm very worried about her limping.

Sierra went with me and we got busy packing a few supplies. Grabbed cookies, alfalfa, brushes...

Then we had to figure out why we were getting shocked by the trailer (turns out it was touching the electric fence!). Hmm. I wonder if it's been doing that the whole time...

So once we solved that mystery, I put grain in her bucket, Lily got right in, I latched the butt bar and off we went!

Then at the vet she got right out, nice and calm.

Fixed, I thought to myself.

Yeah. Right. Proving once again that I am a moron.

Okay, a little harsh. But STILL.

Dr. Blevins, after doing another block (on the back of her leg instead of the front, just behind the coffin joint) and she went completely sound he recommended we try treating her with an injection designed to increase the lubricant around the coffin joint area mixed with a steroid.

He was quite thorough in his explanation, I'm just terrible at conveying it.

The next three days is stall rest and then in about 10 days we should know if it is working. If not, then we have to get more x-rays and such. Here she is getting her shot for the nerve block.



I came back at the end of the day to pick up Lily.

And Lily declined to load. For 45 minutes. Finally we had to whack her on the butt to get her to load, stay loaded and get the butt bar in place.

I've never had trouble loading her before, it was just the unloading. But here it was. She'd go in, then she'd back out. She'd go in and refuse to move over for the butt bar. She'd get her front feet in and just stand there. We tried light line lunging (the horse is supposed to be on stall rest. lunging seemed like not a good idea - at least not too much). Running her backwards. Pushing her out of the trailer before she decided to leave to show her who was in charge. Finally just whacks on the butt worked. But I think it set up what happened next.

Then, when we got back home I opened her window to give her some alfalfa, thinking it would give her something to focus on so she wouldn't bolt out. It seemed to help when we unloaded at the vet.

I went to open the butt bar and she pushed against it. I told her no and tapped her lightly with my hand to get her to move forward. Then I released the butt bar and encouraged her to come back.

She went forward. She stuck her head out the window. She kept her head out as if that was the exit.

I couldn't believe it. My bolter was suddenly flumoxed by where the exit was.

I went to the front of the trailer realizing that she was really actually freaked out even though she wasn't stomping or anything. It was like she couldn't think, was frozen, confused.

There she was, her head out the window, pushing against it as if she could get out through that tiny rectangle. As gentle as possible, but in a firm tone I said back. Nothing. I rubbed her face, tried to calm her down. Suddenly she pulled her head in, slamming it against the window and backed out - not in a full panic as she does, but quick.

She shook her head repeatedly as she stood just outside the trailer, moving her jaw in a weird sideways motion.

And I thought I just killed my horse. I killed the sweetest horse on the planet just because I opened the darn window...

She shook her head over and over, moved her jaw over and over. I moved her to the stall and she took a couple dizzy steps. She was definitely not happy with me as I put balm on her forehead. I felt terrible, knowing if I knew a little more I might have been able to prevent it.

Talk about one step forward and about 1/2 a mile back.

I'll be by in the morning to check on her. I told our trainer what happened and she assured me she'd survive this and that I didn't do anything wrong. I'm sure I could have done something better. But we agree on one thing.

We've got a whole lot of hauling to do.



PS: the saddle fits Bo! I was too traumatized to ride, but I did put it on him and take a quick turn in the arena...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Bringing him home

The plan was to take pictures of the entire thing.

The drive. Here's a shot of the road.



You might want to look at it again, because that was the only picture I got of picking him up.

The only one. Well, I accidentally took a picture of the truck floor mats, but I'm sparing you that...

We left later than I hoped, a typical occurrence around here. Kids needed to be packed up and I was so over the top excited that I couldn't think straight. I was forgetting everything and constantly running back and forth.

As it turned out it was just me and Adam for the trip - the kids bailed to be in A/C and spongebob with Grammy. This wasn't a bad thing, we miss traveling together. Adam and I met rock climbing and sometimes our favorite part of climbing was the drive to get there.

This was a good thing since it's a 3 hour drive to pick up the horse.

When we got there, there he was, tied to a hitching post. Audrey met us there and was riding her horses in the arena - June Bug, her quarter horse, and ponying a beautiful young bay Irish draft (who's name escapes me).

I was a little nervous. Would he be the same? And, perhaps stupidly, would he still like me?

He was exactly as he was before. He followed me around with his eyes, at one point leaning against the hitching post trying to get a little closer. Even Adam was surprised. "He's just like Canyon was with you!"

My pocket pony. Just what I hoped for.

We loaded him in the trailer, which took a few tries since he's used to a larger trailer, grabbed some lunch and headed home. At one point we opened the window because he seemed awfully cramped, but he literally stuck his head out as far as it would go and I was sure he was going to get it chopped off.

He is, apparently, part giraffe. We literally had to push his head back in.

Then, at home when we released the but bar he calmly turned around in the trailer to come out. LOL. Guess it wasn't so small after all.


He greeted everyone with a high pitch whinny and we settled him in.

By the time I came back the next morning everyone was going on and on about him. He was curious, respectful, handsome, sweet, sweet, sweet.

This is the horse that was a little stand offish? Here, he's a rock star.

And what is his name? I know you're wondering.

It took me three days (which is why I didn't post anything for so long. All my computer time was spent looking up names) to come up with it. Part of the challenge was after spending a morning with him on Sunday, I'd decided that he wasn't hispanic. Don't ask me why, I have no idea. Maybe because his papers show that he's from the Dakotas, maybe because he has such a classic quarter horse look, maybe because he seemed to not respond to CariƱo, Lumbre, and half a dozen other contenders.

This was troubling since his name for years was Lobo. (I just spoke with Pam, his previous owner, and she said she never liked Lobo for a name either! Isn't that funny?)

So I started to jot some names down. I enlisted the help of my office mates. We came up with these.

Yes, I know. I should have gone into medicine.

So I looked on line for HOURS. Famous horses. Stars in the sky. Movie mounts. Famous cowboys. Places. Attitudes. Rescue horses (those people at rescues are so clever!).

I even hit up my sister for help since she helped name Canyon.

She came up with d'Artagnan which I loved, because d'Artagnan was such a sweet guy in the 3 musketeers. But it tends to sound like Canyon and it's darn long.

I had sorta settled on Caspian, which sounded great, but wasn't quite right.

Then we hit on it.

He really looked like a Bo (as in Beau) to me, but that was too simple.





Then I realized I had a name. A name I liked before I picked Canyon - the Canyon runner up name that actually fit him perfectly.



Cibolo.



Cibolo, after Cibolo Creek, after a place I used to go to hear live music, after a town where the last of the ranches outside San Antonio linger outside the rim of malls, Cibolo which has a spanish ring with a nice western feel (cibolo means buffalo, actually). It has Lobo in it, which is fortunate given his freeze brand:


But Cibolo has the sound of running hooves in it for me.



And I can call him Bo.




So, there we go. With Cibolo.


I think he likes it.



(I love a horse that licks and chews. Makes me think I'm doing something right.)