Twice a week I've been going out to the Double L Ranch to ride and work with the horses, fulfilling my childhood obsession at last.  I was nutty about horses.   Passionately and soppily obsessed with them.  I had dreams of riding along trails in the woods, with a friend, galloping wildly with my hair streaming free-- you get the idea. I'm not galloping yet, but I cantered for the first time yesterday!  It was bliss.  (Jarring, thudding bliss because I'm still bouncing in the saddle, but bliss nonetheless.)

And five mares have been "great with foal," and two of them were about a month overdue.  I didn't think they could get any rounder...but finally the births have begun!

Meet Lucky Moon!  A new filly born this Sunday under a sliver of a waning moon.  She's a thoroughbred destined for the racetrack (if all goes well).  Lucky Moon isn't her offiicial name, of course.  But I like naming things, and she won't have a "real" name for months, or years.

I trailed after her mother all over the pasture, hoping that she'd let me close enough to touch the baby. 

II finally caught Mama, put a halter on her, and got to pet Lucky.  It's hard to pet a jumpy filly and take a picture at the same time!  She's very soft, and all knobby legs. 

The miracle of birth has a raw side to it.  As I came up to the pasture I smelled something like rotten peanut butter, and then saw what I thought was a dead squid lying in the grass (yeah, a dead squid in the middle of the woods?!).  I yelped.  Loudly.

Fortunately, Preston (the ranch owner) was there to reassure me that what I had taken for a dead squid was the afterbirth.  He buried it.


I added this to my list of reasons I don't think I was meant to be a veterinarian.  (Another childhood dream gone.  Alas.)

Meet James and Lupin!  They're yearling foals I've been training.  In this picture Lupin is posing very sweetly for the camera, while James kept jumping out of sight, just because.  Typical of him.  The two are best friends and have been together since birth.  Lupin is timid, but patient and affectionate.  James is brash, not afraid of anything (he'd like me to believe!) and stubborn. 

So I named them after Moony and Prongs.  Suits them. 

Check back next week for more photos of newborns!