|A little uncertainty before the ride!
One day late in June, Virginia was very excited because an email loop friend came to visit with her
husband and son. The group has been corresponding for about 5 years and most of the ladies had never met in person! I was
saddled up to give young Jeff a ride and I walked very carefully and gently so as not to frighten him. Here is a picture
of Jeff and me that his Mom sent to the loop after they arrived home...
|I have just found out that I am returning to Pennsylvania
in about a month. Well, it was a nice visit, although I will have to speak to Virginia about doing this in the heat of the
Well, it looks like my little "talk" worked! It is January, 2002, and
here I am back at the Rockin' "D". We had a safe and somewhat quicker trip this time because there were not so many horses
to drop off or pick up on the way. This time the trip took only four and a half days.
For all my trips back and forth, Virginia used the company called Horsein' Around, Inc. All their drivers took very good care of us, and even stopped to brush me off before we arrived at the Rockin' "D".
Mary and Virginia were so happy with the way they looked after us, they have recommended them to several people. Virginia
has a testimonial to their excellent hauling on their website (way down the list in July of 2005)!
"Hi, Guys! I'm back - it's great to see you!"
"Hey, Barb and Mary! I brought peppermints with me! I love peppermints; may I have some
now? Puh-le-e-e-ese? I will share them with you and the others - please, may I have some?"
(Editor's note: Mary gave Taffy a couple of her peppermints when she arrived.)
Virginia came to visit us for two weeks in February. Was I ever surprised
to see her! We enjoyed some rides, and we taught Kaladdinn that crossing the bridges over the canal is nothing to sweat about,
and of course, being the level-headed guy that he is, he took the bridges in stride. We are so proud of him!
Well, it is August and guess what?
Virginia and her family have arrived back in Arizona!
I was so happy to see her, I could hardly believe my eyes when they arrived, even though Mary and Barb both told me she was
coming!We've done a bit of riding since their arrival, but Virginia
and Don have been busy unpacking after the moving van brought all their stuff! They have returned to the home they built and
had rented out for a year or so, and they are glad to be back.I
am so pleased to be partnered with her again, every time we ride I try to show her that I haven't forgotten what we learned
during our lessons with Kristin at Coventry Equestrian Center. By the way, Kristin has a website now: www.coventryequestriancenter.com, so go and check it out. Virginia says there are some links to interesting dressage sites on Coventry's site.
|Virginia's daughter, Sarah, took this picture...
|... Christmas, 2002
Virginia and Don have sold their house! They knew
they would be selling by the end of next year, so they decided to list it now and it sold in just two weeks!! They were amazed,
but the really amazing thing is that as we were riding by the house across the street from where I live, they were offered
it as a rental until it sold! Right across the street - I can watch her come out her door, and I can tell when she is coming
over to see me (well, maybe she is coming to visit Mary, but she always stops to see me first.) Then we might go for a ride,
Virginia came to visit! (In July...?). Yes, because Mary had hurt
her back and Virginia came to help her. When I heard her call my name, I had been snoozing and I thought I was dreaming! She
called me again and then a third time and then I KNEW I wasn't dreaming. I whirled around in my pen and whinnied to her...
then I gave her a "horse hug". It was so good to see her again! I didn't want to let her out of my sight!
|Taffy and Kandi, July 2004
Virginia has always wanted a picture of Kandi and me together,
ever since Kandi grew up and she could see how much alike we look! It took 35 attempts before they finally were satisfied
with this one!
I am on the left of the picture.
This is Kameron having a ride. Kameron is Mary's grand-daughter,
the third generation
I am teaching how to ride.
Here is Alyson having a ride, Kameron's sister.
Maddy is not too sure whether she likes being up this high!
Virginia came for another visit in November, although a very short
one. I was so surprised to see her at breakfast time the next day, she says I looked like I was a whole foot taller with my
neck and ears stretched so high in surprise!
We had a couple of short rides while she was here, and she says she
will stay longer the next time!
|Farriers appreciate a well-behaved horse!
|Ho - hummm..another set of shoes....
There comes a time in a gal's life when it is time to get new shoes....
well, I guess it comes very regularly if you are looked after properly as we are. However, although it is rather boring, it
is something we have to put up with, and our farrier is a good one. Thank you!
Here, I am saying good-bye again, but not forever, just before Virginia
left to fly home on Saturday morning, November 19/05.
|ZA Star Zapphire (Taffy) May 2006
|Bold's Karmel Kandi (Kandi) May 2006
Mary took these pictures of me and Kandi in May 2006. She sent them to Virginia, who added them
my site. Not bad looking for someone in her mid-teens, with a grown-up daughter, do
you think? A lady never tells her actual age!
Virginia came for another visit - this time to arrange for their
remaining belongings to be shipped to Canada. She says they finally decided where to ship them! Another friend from Canada
came at the same time, so they and Mary had a short reunion and went to the Scottsdale show together.
|Riding in the Riparian Preserve
|Marsha checking the bird book ...
We went riding a few times with Marsha and Kandi. Marsha is an avid bird watcher, and Kandi has learned
to saunter along as Marsha checks the book for the birds that she sees. There were orioles, a cardinal, herons, cranes and
an abundance of other water birds enjoying the ponds in the preserve.
There are many hummingbirds that nest in the mesquite trees in the preserve. Marsha and Virginia thought they
saw many more than they did until they noticed that one kept flitting from tree to tree and they realized they
had been counting the same bird more than once! There is one perching on the high branch of this tree, but I'm not sure if
you can see it or not... the branch looks like it has a lump on it.
Virginia and her husband came to Arizona during the summer (eh?)
to visit the Grand Canyon, Mary and Paul, and me too (of course), V's friend Megan took us out to the San Tans to go riding.
Here are some pictures...
This picture shows me waiting at the trail head with Virginia, and I was watching another
rig pull into the parking lot. We are waiting for Megan to come back with Kaladdinn and her daughter and her horse.
The rising sun (at 6:00 a.m.) was golden and makes my coat look gold!
This is a view from the trail shortly after we started out. It was
a little while after this that Megan shouted back, "Stop, no don't stop". It turns out we were passing a rattlesnake! By the time we had passed him, Virginia looked down and saw him behind us.
I had never seen or heard one before, so I didn't know enough to be worried. V said it was lucky he was still cool and moving
slowly! She is wishing now (she says) that she had gone back for a picture of it, just to prove we passed him!
A "photo op" along the trail. We were about an hour by this time,
and totally we rode just over 6 miles. It was a nice ride, in spite of Mr. Rattlesnake - he only added some excitement! It
was good to be out in the open, and not just riding along the canal.
We had just ridden down this hill - the path goes off to the right
of the picture - and Virginia turned around to take this picture. You can see that the paths are well marked, so it is hard
to get lost.
Virginia had turned around to take a picture of the trail behind
us, then she turned around frontwards and took the picture of the trail ahead of us. When I saw her lift her camera up, I
stopped so she could take the picture, and when I heard the click of the camera I knew it was time to move on. I learned this
back in Pennsylvania, and remembered!
A weird cactus. Pieces of these will "jump" off and stick into your
clothes or your horse's coat. Megan carries a small pair of pliers on a ride to get rid of any unwanted cactus "hitch-hikers".
More desert landscape at the base of the San Tan Mountains.
Virginia came for a visit in February so she could go to the Scottsdale
Arabian Horse Show with Mary. She also wanted to visit me, she said. We went out for a couple of rides, but she wasn't here
nearly long enough. It seems that she just arrived and she left again!
Virginia told us that her friend in Canada teaches a combined grades
3 & 4 class, and they have sent Flat Stanley all over the world. She brought him with her to visit, again, this February
since he didn't have a chance to go riding last summer when he visited.
However, before we ride, the chores have to be done. Maddie
is helping Stan help us muck out the stalls. Being so young, she doesn't do much, but she does like to "help".
What's this? Sitting down on the job?
Virginia says that she couldn't really see what was this picture
would be because of the light reflecting on the LDS screen on her camera. When she saw this picture later, she was surprised
and thinks it is quite a cute picture of Maddie!
I took Maddie and Stanley for a ride, once the chores were finished.
Virignia and Mary did most of them, but all the stalls were cleaned out before the kids had a ride. Note Maddie is wearing
a helmet. She has a child-sized saddle, but V. didn't know that when she tacked me up with my regular saddle, so we made do
for this short ride. You can see Flat Stanley stuck on Maddie's T-shirt!
My, how these girls are growing up! This young lady with me, Kameron,
is the same person who I am taking for a ride in the pictues in the section Spring 2005. What a change in only 4 years!
Mary took a picture of me (I"m on the left) and Virginia's new horse,
Tristan Z, shortly before he left to go north to Alberta. I told him all about the snow they have up there, but I don't know
if he believed me. I'm sure by now he has discovered it for himself! Tristan is only about 14 months in this picture, so he
will be a nice sized horse for Virginia. I miss her, but I'd rather stay where it is warm!
|Upper canal path where Sarah was walking.
Virginia and her husband, Don, and their daughter, Sarah, visited
for a few days in August. Marsha riding Emma, and VA and I went for a ride about 8:00 a.m. one morning. Sarah walked
along with us. We were riding on the "bottom" trail along by the canal, and Sarah was walking on the paved part higher up.
She looked lonely up there, so I took VA up the bank and we walked along beside her! Sarah took these pictures as we walked
Marsha on Emma, VA and I are on the lower path, as you can see in
the uppper picture.
This picture shows you how pleased I am to be taking Virginia on
a ride again!
Sarah took a few pictures of the birds at the Riparian Preserve.
I'm not sure what this one is called, but if you look closely, you can see it sitting on a tree branch!
VA took this picture of the thermometer over my back after our ride
on Thursday. We only walked, so we didn't get very heated, and we were given a shower after the ride. We wouldn't have
started out on a ride at this time, at this temperature... it was only about 9:30 a.m.!
Virginia is hoping to come back for a visit next February during the Scottsdale Arabian Show! I hope
Rena, aged 32, and Taffy (in front), now 25 - the two senior ladies on the place.
We're riding in the Riparian Preserve. I always enjoy a ride when Virginia
San Tan Ride
is one of those times that I allowed someone else to ride me while Virginia was visiting. I really prefer it if
she partners with me, but Mary was nervous about riding her own young horse out on the trail. She wanted to see how she behaved,
first, before she rode her. So, from left to right are Virginia and EmmiLee, Marsha and Emma, and Mary and
This is Mary and me. We have just come off the Stargazer Trail, and are headed
back to the trail head. It was a good ride, and EmmiLee was as good as gold. I was very proud of the way she took everything
in stride! She behaved so well, that Mary rode her when we went to the river!
Rio Salado Ride
On this ride, Virginia rode me, because after the San Tan Ride, Mary
felt confident enough of EmmiLee's behaviour that she was comfortable riding her. There is another picture of Virginia and
me with my head in it, but my neck position is so awful, I wouldn't let Virginia use it!
didn't want to go into the water, but with my encouragement, she decided to jump in, which she literally did! Virginia is
giving me a treat for my help, and EmmiLee had one, too, for going into the water. This made our day!