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I feel as though I should introduce my animal crew. The newest member of the family is Java, a German Shepherd, Golden Retriever mix. I got her from Pleading Paws Pet Rescue (PPPR) last September. She was about four months old then. PPPR picked her up from a dog pound that was going to put Java down if the rescue group didn’t take her. Thank goodness they rescued Java in time! She helped to put a smile back on my face after my dear Willow dog died. 

I am so thankful for organizations like PPPR and all the people out there that foster and adopt rescued animals. They do such great work. 

Then there’s Shy, a barn cat that came with the place my husband and I bought. I named her Shy because it took many months before I could get near her. The front paw she’s holding up in the photo has buckshot in the elbow joint that’s probably been there since she was fairly young. The bone healed and fused in an awkward bent position, but she still can move pretty fast. The leg seems to hurt at times, especially in the winter. Which is why she winters inside the house now.

Lastly, there’s Luke and Murphy. Luke’s in the forward right of the photo. I bought him as a 3-year-old. He had rain rot and was skin and bones. But he’s nine now and doing fine. He’s supposed to be a Tennessee Walker but I think he has more quarter horse in him than anything.

Murphy (in the left rear) is a Missouri Fox Trotter who I believe successfully bullied his previous owner into never riding him. Murphy tries to intimidate people but if you don’t let him, he can be a nice horse to ride. Very smooth.

So that’s the crew. I’ll be telling you more about them as we go along.

I’ve been dancing around this horse trailer driving thing for years. But I swear, this is going to be the year that I become an expert at hitching, backing, and all around maneuvering this monster.

I actually have driven a two-horse, straight load by myself before. It took numerous repetitions of backing-up to the hitch, getting out of the truck, looking, pulling forward, backing up, looking, forward, backing up, looking – you get the idea. 

But I’ve never been able to back up the trailer once it’s hitched. Instead, I always make sure I pull into a space that I can pull out of forward — no backing. But that does limit where you dare to venture.

And now, I have a three-horse, slant load trailer that is a lot bigger, in my opinion, than a two-horse. I had this crazy idea that I would join this trail riding organization and load up my horse and maybe a friend’s horse (I’m still working on finding a friend), plus some hay and supplies and go on these weekend horse camping trips or even a week long trip to someplace like the Black Hills.

Okay. So I’m downsizing my trail riding goals to being able to hitch and drive the trailer to a park about seven miles from my home, which has about three miles of trails, and going trail riding by myself. I’m hoping to meet someone there that will be my trail buddy.

So if I can learn how to hitch the trailer, back it up, I just have the final hurdle to jump — our driveway — which is narrow and doesn’t have much room at the mouth to swing onto the street, or vice versa, to swing back into the driveway. If I don’t do it right, the trailer wheels will go off of the hardtop and I’m in danger of tipping the trailer into the creek. No problem…

There’s a lot of meltage going on
And it’s not a good thing
Cuz a freeze is a cominnn tonight.

I could be a songwriter. Or not…

I about broke my neck trying to walk to the barn in the dark this morning. There’s some snow, some grass, a lot of ice, and puddles resting on top of all of it. Tonight it’s supposed to drop down to 25 degrees and stay in the 20s for at least a week.

I worry about the horses slip slidin away. So I put down a hay and dirt mixture by the water tank to help them out some. Unfortunately, I can’t cover the whole paddock.

And you know why we’re having this early thaw when just a couple weeks ago we had all this lovely, fluffy snow? It’s because I bought snowshoes a couple weeks ago. Java and I had a blast the two times we did manage to get out and snowshoe. Well, I snowshoed. Java just ran around.




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