Lito…part 1

This is Lito’s story. From the very beginning. Which, really, is a lot of Cheetah‘s story.

It has always been a life long dream of mine to breed a mare of mine and then raise and train the foal. I never knew when it was to be, I just knew that it was going to be. I am one of those ‘mare people.’ I will always have at least one. I have been blessed with some great ones. While in college, I found THE MARE. We clicked almost right away. I knew I would have this horse for life and I would one day breed her. My secret planning commenced just a couple short months after she was officially ‘mine.’

I did not tell my family for I thought they would think me crazy. I did however tell my close horse friends, naturally. The dream would have to wait till after I graduated and, ideally, I had a stable job. You know, to be responsible. I also had been chunking any and all money that I could into savings. Next came the fun part. Choosing a stallion. This surprisingly, did not take too terribly long and all came about in a wonderful way. I knew I wanted PRE (Pura Raza Espanola/Pure Spanish Horse/Andalusian) and narrowed it down to two reputable and well known ranches within the Iberian horse community here in Texas that have more than one successful stallion, both in the show ring and the breeding shed.

One definitely stood out from the other in that I thought I recognized the owners. I dug a little deeper and came to find out that my grandmother (the one where I get most of my horse gene from) bought her last horse from them! I met them when my grandparents bought the horse, but I can not remember what year that was. That is another story for another day. Anyway, when my grandmother was no longer able to ride anymore due to her health, they bought that horse back from her at the same price she paid. They are lovely people and treated my grandmother with such kindness and respect. Couple that with the quality of their two top stallions at the time and their outstanding reputation, I knew my choice. It was really at this point, when the decision was so easy, that I knew breeding Cheetah was the right thing to do.

Are you tired of waiting to hear about the stallion I chose? OK. I chose Rancho del Lago‘s Magico VIII. This hunky 1997, bay stallion has quite the resume. He was successful in the show ring. Check. He has w truly wonderful temperament. Check. He has an established foal crop. Check. His get are of good temperament/mind, trainable, brave, and successful in the show ring. CHECK. I also met him those several years ago with my grandmother. These lovely photos of Magico are from Rancho del Lago’s website.

Fast forward to after graduation and half way into my year ‘off.’ I call it my ‘lost year,’ but that is yet another story for another day. Now was the time, I thought to myself. I had seriously saved every possible penny. I had already decided I was going back to school to get my graduate degree. I had time to tend to what it would take to get Cheetah bred, have the foal born, and handle/gentle/train him before I had to become a real adult. This was when I broke the news to my parents. They thought I was crazy and I do not think they believed me. Never a good thing. This was very much happening.

It took two tries and a twin reduction to get her bred, but pregnant she was (and, yes, I have ultrasound pics)! I will save that story for another day or else we will be here all night. It was fun to watch her transformation, both physically and emotionally. She was a great mom even before the foal was born. Just look at the happy pregnant mare face at 11 mos, 9 mos, and 6 mos.

At 10 mos., I took her to a lady that foals out mares for people. I give you permission to marvel over that life! Given that Cheetah and I were both maidens (ha!), I wanted her to be somewhere where she got constant supervision from someone experienced in case of an emergency. Here she is in all her glory, getting very close.

After this visit, I went to the store and bought a bag of carrots, several bottles of champagne, fresh squeezed orange juice, put them all in the fridge, baked a special coffee cake, and stuck it in the freezer. I could practically feel she was going to foal any day and I wanted to be prepared to celebrate.

Stay tuned for part 2!




The Herd.

*This post has been edited to keep up with the times.*

I introduce you, officially, to each of my quadruped loves that teach me more about myself, keep me close to God, and remind me what IT is all about.

Merle, or Merley Bob, or Merle Merle, or Mr. Dirty Toes:
My wing pup. He was born in June of 2019 and was destined to be mine. He filled the hole in my heart. Currently he is spending his time playing and learning and barking. We have many adventures to come.


Docs InnocentDrifter, or Cheetah, or Cheetah Beetah, or Beets:
This is my girl. She entered my life in the year 2008 an I have not been the same since. She is a 2004 model, dun Appendix Quarter Horse mare standing at approximately 15.1 – 15.2 hh. She has been with me through several years of rides, degrees, an amazing colt, and other memories spanning the state of Texas. She is my gal pal. My go to. My heart horse. I do not know where I would be without her.


Manolito ALI, or Lito, Lito Man, or Lito Plito:
My dashing 2013, dun colt out of Cheetah. The realization of a life long dream. He is my boy and knows my every thought. He was sired by a hunk of a bay PRE stallion. He was close to 16 hh at just 2 yo and has not appeared to stop getting taller. This is Lito shown at 1 week old and 6.5 yrs. He is starting to fill out into his big frame. Here is to growing!

Ike, or Ike the Southern Gentleman, or Ikey, or Ikester:
My family’s retired Tennessee Walker gelding. I believe he is a 2000 or 2001 model. One of the sweetest guys on earth. He is about 16 – 16.1 hh. He has been diagnosed with DSLD and we are just enjoying our time with him, taking it moment by moment.


Chance, or Second Chance, or Give Me A Chance, or Chancey:
My family’s token short horse! Ha! I have never taped him, but if he is over 14.2 hh, I would be surprised. If you look at him from a certain angle, you might think he is wider than he is tall. The best guess is he is a 2003 model. He has one of the softest, prettiest sorrel coats out there that shines like a copper penny in the sun.


Petunia, or Tuners:
Last, but certainly NOT least. Old horse companion extraordinaire with a personality plus! I love this donkey! She was around 14 yo when we got her and she always has the last word. That picture is from the day I met her and brought her home!


Introduce me to your four legged friends!

Back in the game

Happy Monday morning!

Y’all. This weekend was pretty great.

I will try and keep it short and sweet on the word front. We know how I can be a bit…long winded. Yes, I surprise myself. Another fun thing about blogging. Anyway, I got in tree rides this weekend. These days that is pretty good!

So, first. I rode the mare horse. That is what my dad affectionately calls her, ha! Cheetah. Cheetah Beetah. The Beets. She goes by many names. On Saturday she was my angel girl. She was being so sweet and was surprisingly focused and relaxed for just coming back into working regularly. This might mean she will be not so great for the next ride, but I am not going to focus on that. I am choosing to focus on the good and allow the good to come through on our next ride. AHA moment. I round penned her briefly to get her warmed


up before I even mounted. She seems to appreciate that most of the time. In the beginning, I thought she might have had a broom stick up her bum as she was doing her best old west bronc impersonation. It was not a very good likeness, but for me it was quite comical. Once I mounted up it felt almost like I had been riding her every day…except that she is pretty out of shape which is to be expected. She was relaxed and forward off my leg and seat, very between my legs, thinking not reacting. On the aids, if you will. I kept it pretty basic so we could stay well seated within her brain. If I start to ask her too many questions before she is ready, we move straight into the reactionary running side of her that has no bottom to the tank. She was the perfect Appendix Quarter Horse, the best of her full 50/50%. Man, it felt great! We did some big relaxed circles with some yielding in both trot and lope/canter and then called it a day to go for a cool down walk/hack up to the front gate and back. I wanted to continue going, but I decided it would be best to finish on a positive note…another AHA moment. We have all the time in the world for longer rides when she is back in shape and going consistently.

Pre-ride photos…It was one of those crazy foggy days where the fog does not clear for hours.

Cool down walk and post-ride photos…

She has model poses.

Then I rode Second Chance, Chance/Give Me A Chance, Chance. I am not sure which descriptor name I like more. His name is Chance and we took a chance on him. He has worked out very well for us! He has his quirks, like they all do, but once he realized we were team players, he blossomed. I need to show you his ‘before’ pictures. Anyway, he was pretty darn good too. He is a very lazy horse and I am not sure who worked harder, me or him. If he could get paid for stopping and resting in the shade, he would be a rich…err…horse. Just the thing we want for beginners! We had a good arena work and then went down to check the cows. He is your typical ranch style, grade QH. Built like a tank with an unknown history. The poor guy already has half a winter coat (makes me worry that winter is going to be bad!) and needed a good hosing off after our ride. Good thing it is warm enough for that.

Last but certainly not least, I rode the Lito Man. He was pretty good. Not as amazing as he has been, but certainly not bad. I was a little all over the place, so it was mostly all me. It was is ninth ride I believe. We worked in the arena first. It lasted a little longer that I wanted it to, but I was looking for a good stopping place. He is very hard to get forward in the arena. Anyone else with young horses have this problem? I think I am going to get a friend to come out and ride another horse while I ride Lito and get a good forward pasture ride soon so he can see what it is all about. After the arena, we took a walk to the river and back. Here is his pre-ride shot. Can you see his 50% PRE blood? He deserves more text, but I said I would keep this short and I have not! He will get his own post soon.


What positives did y’all have this weekend that you are going to focus on?

Have a great Monday!


My supervisor…

Please allow me to introduce you to my supervisor…He answers to Lito, but his formal name is Manolito.


He thought I was doing the fence repair all wrong. He was sure to tell me that if he only had thumbs, he would show me the proper way to do the work. He watched my every move to ensure his paddock was fixed to his high standards. In the end, he approved of my work.

I just love this guy. The feeling appears to be mutual, I think. He seems to always want to hang out with me. I could not ask for more. I am so blessed to have him in my life and, of course, to have the awesome mare that gave him to me. Seriously, the two of them, I am without words. Funny thing for a blog, no??? I promise to give them both their own posts soon. I tried to take some pictures of them this weekend, but I am not happy with what I got. I did get to ride my girl and give Lito some work. Lito was great. Cheetah was pretty good. I kept getting in her way. She had a little bit of the season change snots, so we took it pretty easy. Honestly, I need more work than she does. Going from riding multiple horses a day to only once a week when I am lucky sure makes my body do stupid things when I ride. I often find myself saying, “uh, hello, what is your outside leg doing?!!?” Or, “uh, your hands, have you ever done this before?!” I need rider boot camp and for life to slow down. Does anyone else feel this way???

I also gave my family’s other gelding, give me a chance, Chance a work and got several chores crossed off the list. The list never seems to get smaller though. It is like a roll that keeps rolling while things just keep adding. That is the way I guess. It keeps us busy!

Yesterday, instead of doing an All The Fall Things session, my cousin (I suppose now that we have gotten here, we shall call her Cousin H), another cousin (Cousin T), and I went over to our grandparents house to cook them dinner and spend some quality time together. We made burgers, hash brown casserole, roasted veggies, and apple crisp a la mode with caramel sauce. It was a winner of a dinner, I tell you! Sorry folks, no photos. Wah waaa. I know, but I was being present. We have to be. Every day is a gift, especially with my grandparents, and tomorrow is not promised. AHA moment right there…maybe the most important one to date. We are soaking up as much of them as we can. This grandmother (and really my grandfather too, but mostly her) is where most of my horse gene comes from. It is one of our special bonds. I showed her all my new photos of Cheetah and Lito and could not help but love them. She especially loves the Lito man. Let us be honest though, who would not? To me he exudes love. I feel I named him well! More on that in his own post ;).

Alright, on that note, I must get going. Go get with your family, either by blood or not, and share a meal. Share the love. Be present with them. Enjoy it!

Go lead with love!

Love & horses

I have to share this lovely nugget of love and horses entitled “Parkinson’s Forced Her Out Of The Saddle, But 30 Years Later She Gets A Second Chance.” Your daily dose of love and positivity. This video made me cry…in my office. Good thing my office is small! If I am ever unable to go to the barn or ride on my own, I hope I have people around me that can make it happen for me. It is in our blood. Enjoy.

In other news, on this day three years ago, my Lito man was 6 months old! Just look at that handsome kid.  That is his Uncle Ike in the background. This memory is not good for my young horse fever…1381602_10153312481575527_2076906329_n

Go lead with love, dear readers, and go ride if you can.

All the Fall things.

Happy Monday Morning! I hope everyone had a great weekend! As promised, (here is your teaser)

I have for you all the fall things my cousin and I did yesterday (although I have to warn you, I was bad and forgot about taking photos), but first I just have to tell you about the rest of my weekend.

I had a great dinner with a dear friend of mine on Friday. I have not seen her in about five years. She was in town looking at a possible second horse to buy. She did not end up buying the horse (sad for her), but we had the BEST time catching up on all the things! It was so lovely. After dinner I drove out to the farm to spend the weekend with family and horsing around. Saturday morning, I went for a walk ride with my mother. I ride and she walks. It is our thing. We had AMAZING burgers for lunch. Instead of a nap (which I really wanted) my nephew and I went for a drive around the property and down the road. That boy is so sweet. We had a grand time with the fall air in our hair. I got a blister from mucking, raking, and cleaning the barn. Cheetah and I had a nice lazy dink around the arena. After feeding the evening feeding, my mom, sister, and niece came out to the barn to have some horse time for my niece. She LOVED it and got and gave many kisses with the horses and Petunia the donkey.

Sunday morning was my Lito time. That horse. Man. He is just amazing. It was his 8th or 9th ride and he has not been ridden in about a month. First ride with a bit. He was great. Never offered anything bad and seems to really enjoy riding. He was little confused at the ‘new’ communication form as to be expected (he as been wearing the bit for a while and we have worked with it on the ground), but he was his usual steady eddy, lazy self. We took it easy because of the bit introduction and the fact that he as not been ridden in a while. He makes me want another youngster. Not that I need one. By the way, my news feeds have been full of nice Spanish fillies for sale. It is just not nice to me. Then my nephew had his turn to ‘ride’ on Chance. He rides, I lead. We had a grand time. How profound, I know, but it just was. Between family, horses, Texas countryside, and weather, it is hard not to have a full heart and be happy.

OK, on to all the Fall things with my cousin yesterday evening. I made a roasted butternut squash flatbread pizza for dinner. In addition to the squash, it had pesto, bacon, goat ebd0047a16213671db5f7b90cce21ea4cheese, balsamic red onions, arugula, and sage. It was so good! Sorry I do not have a picture. We were too excited for photos. We then made this Magic Pumpkin Cake for dessert. It was naughty and pretty good. I am usually more of a made from scratch kind of gal, but it is nice to do easy things sometimes that just require dumping and stirring. I think it will be better today after sitting in the fridge over night. I also would use a white cake mix instead of a yellow cake. Then we painted some pumpkins for table centerpieces. I was pretty conservative with my painting. I just thought their natural beauty should be able to shine and I also did not want to get wrapped up in something really detailed and intricate…which is what I usually do. I used some metallic paint and glitter that my cousin brought. I mixed them in a bowl with some unpainted pumpkins. My favorite is the little orange one with the metallic accents in the creases and on the stem. Very simple, but complimenting and pretty. What are your favorite fall things? My cousin and I always do baking and or crafts the minute the weather cools.

Brandon Rhyder is still as on point for me today as he was on Friday. This song written by Jon Randall was basically my weekend (sorry, this is not the best recording). I sure hope you have read this far and can enjoy this song. He gets me. I may have been born and still live in the big city, but being in the country has made me into who I truly am. I am so grateful to my parents for that.

Thanks to 98.1 KVET out of Austin for the vid.

Go out and kill it this week!

Evening Feeding

To me, evening feeding time with the horses is the most peaceful of times. Do you ever just sit and listen to them eat? It does not matter if it is feed, hay, or grass. It is so relaxing. All feels right to listen. It is the same with cows grazing in the evening, right at dusk.

I do not ever remember not feeling this way. When we first got the farm, I would ride down just before dusk bareback on my palomino mare, Fresca, and just sit there on her back listening to the cows graze. Then I would come back to the barn, tuck her back in her stall, toss feed to the horses, and just sit on a bucket listening. An old soul at 10 or so years old, I dare say.

All the noises just combine to music in my ears. The sound of chewing, lips moving, breathing, snorting, shuffling hooves, swishing tails, the evening bugs, the wind in the trees. Combine that with the golden glow of dusk on the dust and I can not help but feel God’s presence and be grateful. When I was homesick away at college, I would sit in the barn in the evening to listen to the horses eat and I would feel comforted. Even now, back in town for the work week, I remember a moment from this weekend and I am humbled and overwhelmed with love.

I snapped some photos Saturday evening as the horses were finishing their feed because the light was so magical playing of Lito’s golden, dun coat. He was so calm and relaxed after his fun filled Saturday at my friend’s house.

It reminds me of a little while ago when I went for a walk with Lito down to the river at dusk. It was about a year ago. I had to stop by the pond to marvel at his glowing coat. I snapped a few photos during our walk to remember the moment. I was overcome with gratitude for this horse, and his dam, this Godly farm, and for this life I am blessed to live. At times, I get so wrapped up in the deep and get bogged down by everyday life things that do not really matter. All the little things that add up to a weight that not only makes me feel immobile, but it blinds me at the same time. It is like my life is passing me by. I feel stagnant. I temporarily lose sight of what is important (I think some call this a transition time. Woof. I will let you know when I figure that out). However, this weight is not a weight that we have to bear. God, through this place, these horses, and my dog give me regular AHA moments of what IS important. They slow me down. Rejuvenate me. Open my mind, body, and spirit. I try to pray more. I am reminded to get in His word. I listen and hear more. I am returned to a place of thanks and giving. The little things start to go away and I can see the path. Keep my eye on the prize. I am working on keeping in that place all the time, no matter where I am or what is going on. It will make me a better person and horseman…err lady. It is sometimes hard. It is sometimes easy. That is the life we are blessed to live and it is beautiful! There is beauty in all things, even the hard stuff. Enjoy and embrace the process.


Listen and lead with love, dear readers.

Zyto Compass


OK, has anyone had their horse scanned, or anything for that matter, with a Zyto Compass??? It measures the baseline galvanic skin responses or something like that…I think. It is like a lie detector test, but not.

On Saturday, I went to ride a new friend’s house to ride and get ready for our week long trail ride in October. I took Ike (because that is who I will be riding) and my Lito man. I brought Lito along for the fun mainly so he could see a new place and practice his ‘chill at the trailer alone’ skills. He passed with flying colors by the way. I mean, this horse, is so good. He hauls like a pro. He makes me so happy. Sorry, sorry, I digress, back to my story.

I also wanted to bring him because this new friend of mine is very knowledgeable on the use essential oils in all living things, especially horses. Every summer, Lito gets hives from what I guessed would be the bugs. I wanted my friend to look at him, see what she thought, and maybe recommend something that could help him. Any chance I can avoid the ingestion of unnatural things or cutting on a body, I am all for it. My sister also uses the essential oils on her family, so I am mildly familiar and I like the concept.

Naturally, the minute I unloaded him, she fell madly in love….. What?! OK…maybe it did not go exactly like that in reality, but it sure felt that way. She did like him and tell me how cute he is because, let’s face it, that is fact. Anyway, she offered to do a Zyto Compass reading (after she explained the concept to me and said it might just be all vudu) on him for free to just see what essential oils it recommended for him. I tried not to jump up and down with excitement as I said as calmly as possible, “oh, really? that would be great.” You see, I just love to learn new things and I was just flat out curious what it would say, regardless. So, I held the  hand cradle with my right hand and touched him with my left hand while my friend held Lito’s lead rope without touching him. As painless as that.

Interestingly enough, he had 36 bio-markers out! Or something like that. I had a mini internal freak out then asked, “WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?!?!!!?” as I looked at Lito in horror. She chuckled at me and said lets go look. We looked up the oils it recommended and most of them were related to stress and anxiety. The rest were for anti-inflammatory (skin maybe) and some bone things (still growing). Very interesting. He really did not seem stressed at all. I mean he was in a mildly stressful situation being an hours haul from home at a new farm (a very peaceful farm with good feeling energy), but he was not displaying any outward stress indicators. So, he is either a pro at concealing and internalizing his stress and anxiety, it was a faulty reading, or it is just vudu. Who knows? Not me. None of the oils recommended were for bugs or parasites, so who knows with the hives either. Oh well, she suggested applying some lavender on him for his skin and adding a mixture of garlic powder and vinegar to his feed for the bugs. Maybe we will do a scan at home next time. Still very interesting.

Has anyone tried any of these things on themselves or their animals?