Saturday, December 10, 2016

Unnatural trail, part one

Almost every time I post pictures like this...
or this...
or even this...
someone is sure to ask a question like this.
I live in Aurora, which is  a suburb of Denver but also a city in its own right. In fact, with a population of approximately three hundred and fifty thousand people, Aurora is the third biggest city in Colorado.
Kenlyn Stables is also located in Aurora, but it backs up to a long, narrow strip of open space land.
Our rides are a mix of urban, suburban and rural. For every eagle sighting and mountain vista there's an equal number of trashcans, 
and graffiti!
It's a short city ride from the barn to the trail. One side of the street is golf course. 
The other has an RV and boat storage lot, as well as a couple homes.
Laundry day is our favorite.
Trash day is not!
The horses mostly don't mind the golf course.
However, sometimes the porta potty is a problem. None of the horses like the smell, but it's a bad day for everyone when a human randomly exits as we're passing by.
It's an even worse day when the porta potty is being serviced.
You're such a brave girl, Sprite!
The area just past the golf course feels remote and is home to most of the wildlife we see. It's also part of the flyover area for nearby Buckley Air Force base.
It's not unusual to have entire squadrons of jets...
and helicopters flying low over our heads. Amazingly, the horses don't mind this at all. They get used to it quickly, living at Kenlyn.
These trails are closed to motorized vehicles, except, of course, those belonging to the city of Aurora. These are a common site.
Last year, the city rebuilt a large section of trail. During that time, it was nearly impossible to go on a ride without encountering at least one bulldozer. This made for some pretty interesting moments. I don't miss those days at all!
This was one of those "interesting" moments. Poor Santana. It's the only time I've ever seen him lose his cool.
Stay tuned for part two, where I will share more of my favorite and not-so-favorite "unnatural" trail obstacles!

Friday, December 9, 2016

Road trip!

Carol's daughter, and my former "horse daughter," Cara, has spent the last three months working as an intern at Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
Cara couldn't take her dogs with her, so they've been living with Carol since the end of September. 
This has been a lot of fun for Carol...
and for me and my girls, as well.
Sadly, all good things must come to an end. Cara's internship is nearly over, and it's time for Riley and Tank to go home to Portage, Indiana. This weekend, Carol and I will deliver them to Des Moines, Iowa, where they'll be handed off to Cara's fiance, Trevor. We leave this afternoon.
This will be my second road trip with Carol
I don't expect it to be as horsey as the first one, but you never know. Anything can happen when Carol and I travel together. 
This is going to be so much fun!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Well padded

I have been making traditional scale English saddles for almost fifteen years, but in all that time, I've yet to produce a single fitted pad that I really, truly liked.
Earlier this year, Rachel Fail wrote a pair of saddle pad tutorials, both of which were featured on this blog. I was particularly interested in the fitted pad instructions because they seemed easy enough for even a non-sewer like me to follow. 
Yesterday, I decided to test that theory.
The first attempt was not so successful. 
It looks okay in pictures, but in person, it's extremely asymmetrical and doesn't even sort of lie flat.  
So I tried again... and again. 
In this case, the third time was the charm. This is still not as symmetrical as I'd like... 
and I really don't love the messy underside... 
 but it fits well and looks great under the saddle. Hurray!
There's room for improvement, of course, but I feel like I'm finally on the way to making saddle pads worthy of my saddles. Thanks for the help, Rachel. Maybe when I've made seven hundred and ninety seven more of these, they will look as good as yours!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

In the bag

I don't particularly enjoy wrapping Christmas gifts, especially teeny-tiny, odd shaped ones. Since that describes most of the gifts I'm giving my hobby friends this year, I decided to try something different. I googled "dollhouse  Christmas bag printables." and used one of the templates  to make a 1:9 scale gift bag.
I thought that was cute, so I made another one.
Then I made some boxes. 
After that, things got a little out of hand. 
This was a lot more work than wrapping presents, but it was also a lot more fun.
I hope my MH gift exchange victim likes opening teeny-tiny gift bags...
She's got a lot of them heading her way!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The color purple

Earlier this year, I made a purple gaming bridle to match a pair of reins that Anne Field donated to the Jennifer Show. I was very taken with the color and resolved to use it again.
Today, I did.
I hope my victim in the MH Gift Exchange likes purple because this one's heading her way!

Monday, December 5, 2016


One of my barn buddies is moving into a tiny house. She picked it up this weekend and brought it to the barn, before moving it, and her horse, to their new home in the mountains.
My kids and I are fans of the show, Tiny House Hunters, so James and I were excited about touring a real tiny house.
At just one hundred sixty square feet, this house really is tiny. 
However, the big windows and clever floor make it feel almost spacious inside. 
The kitchen boasts a nice, deep sink, three burner gas stove and... 
a full size refrigerator. 
The bathroom is also full size, with a normal flush toilet, bath tub and lots of counter space.
Best of all, Xavier will be moving with her.
She'll be able to look out her window and see him any time she wants to.
I am very happy for Theresa.
I'm also a tiny bit jealous. If my life had gone a different way, I could see myself moving to the mountains with my horse and my tiny house.

There's just one problem with that vision: What would I do with these...
and these... 
and especially these? 
As much as I like thinking about tiny house living, I am a collector at heart. I need a house with a little more room, or perhaps I need two tiny houses--one for me and one for all the Purdys.