leafy foreground left
leafy foreground right

My boy’s new shadow…

Chino Larry Miniature Horses Appaloosa Paint Pinto
Chino & Larry

Went out to visit Chino today, and I just had to share this pic.

That’s Chino, the “bigger” horse to the left (the dark paint in the background is called “Jigsaw”), and Larry is the six month old (ish) Appaloosa mini at the front…

Chino is a tri-coloured paint – he’s bay, white, and grey… but, well, he’s probably going to end up “white” with a dark tail and hocks… it seems to be the way he’s going.

Larry (he’s shown here halfway to losing his winter coat, heh heh) is a nice spotty Appaloosa type, with a nice dark grey face… an awful lot like Chino.

If Larry matures to a similar size to Chino, I think they’ll look great in harness together 🙂

No, Larry isn’t mine… but, well, we’ll see if he comes up for sale some time.

And… just for fun, this is what Larry looked like the day I met him (about 2 months old and just up to my knee!!). Cute, huh? Yeah, I think so…

Appaloosa miniature horse
Larry (2months)

Today, I tied Chino up for a bit to get him used to the idea (to date, I’ve only tied him to do his feet then freed him, but he needs to learn a bit more patience before we head out with a cart, once he’s trained). After a bit of standing around, followed by a good grooming, we put his long-reining gear on and practiced walking around so that he can get used to the idea of a bit and responding to the reins. Considering how little work I’ve managed to do with him over the years, he did fabulously. I’m so very proud.

Six years old… yesterday

Someone's been rolling...
Someone’s been rolling…

I admit, I was in two minds about posting my latest pics of my baby, but, well… there he is in his natural state (o:

He hasn’t been all tarted up for photos. I went out to visit him in the weekend (just under an hour drive, now). I just took the chance to give him a brush down and look at his feet and re-acquaint myself with him. It’s been two months since he moved away. Where I had been keeping him (10mins drive away) wasn’t an option any more, and we still don’t own a property to keep him.

Was wonderful seeing him again. He’s such a lovely boy. Whenever I catch up with him I flap ropes and halters and whatever all around him, and he never reacts. He’s a really calm little man, and I’m so proud of him for that. (That being said, he’s got a little bit to learn when it comes to standing patiently while I work with him…)

So, yesterday (23rd Oct, NZ Time) he turned six. Well past time I started teaching him a few tricks. With a toddler to raise now, too, I haven’t done as much with Chino as I would have liked, but he’s now fully mature and ready to get on with things, so I’m pleased he now lives with people with experience in training minis for carting. So, this summer…. (o:  Good times ahead.

Some time when I go up and the weather is good – and set to be good for some time – we will give him a bath and see what his colours really look like. If you’ve seen my previous posts of him, you will have seen that, as a foal, he was strikingly bay/pinto… actually, more tri-coloured (he’s grey through the chest, bay at the rear). Even through his early years he kept these colours, and if I blanketed him over winter, he would be bold, too… Hard to know if he is roaning out or just dirty, now (o: So, bath time soon. There will be photos!

Really looking forward to having fun with my wee man (and my other one – the toddler – can come too).

Nothing much more to report. I shall keep you posted on progress, though!

Read more…Six years old… yesterday

Details to inspire (& pretty horses)

Those who have followed me for some time will know that I based Jonas’ horse, Chino, on my very own mini horse… Chino.

Looking gorgeous! I just adore this photo.
Looking gorgeous! I just adore this photo.

That’s him in his full-colour glory.

Now I want to introduce you to my inspiration for Llew’s Amico. I don’t know his real name. If I’d had a place to keep two horses, I would have done a little research into acquiring him, too.

Beeautiful!
Beeautiful!

What this photo doesn’t show is the tiny spot of chestnut on his shoulder. That sold him to me, I gotta say (if I’d had a home for him).

Of course, the fictional Chino is much taller and has a military background, & Amico has a history of carrying highwaymen. But having such a strong image in mind has helped me give both horses their own personalities in the books, even though they are clearly minor characters.

Both horses raised their heads as the pair approached the fence. Chino nickered, snorted and took a tentative step towards them before Amico rounded him up, threatening to nip his legs, and led him in a chase away from the couple.

Jonas and Llew grinned at each other to see the bold hack leading the warhorse in play.

Personally, I struggle to say my human characters look just like real people (horses are easier in that regard), but I think this is a great example of how character research can help us with our writing.

What about you guys? Do you keep photos of what your characters look like in your writing files?  Only human? Or animals, too?

Horsey Fun & I Suck At Stuff

Do you know how many times I hovered over the WordPress drop down menu and clicked on the link to go to my home page, rather than going one step further to click on the link to create a new post? Five or six. I didn’t think it was important enough to start counting… maybe even seven. Enough times, anyway, to put my head in my hands. Yes, yes I did…

Read more…Horsey Fun & I Suck At Stuff

5 Common Writing Hazards

Hey fellow writers, check this out 5 Common Writing Hazards.  Handy stuff.

And now to go completely off topic… thought I’d take the time to share my experience of Boxing Day morning.

I own a miniature horse who, unfortunately, has to live elsewhere. I try to get there as often as possible, it’s just a touch tricky with a small non-walking child. Anyhoo, I do insist on keeping up with basic foot care (for everything else, he does live on a property where the property-owners also live, so he survives okay). So, yesterday that was my task – hoof-filing.

Topaz, the other mini I look after for part of my paddock rent, was the easiest to find, so I did his feet & a good grooming first.  He’s older & pretty well behaved, so all was well. To get to Chino (my mini) I had a choice…  I could go back to the closed gate I had come through, followed by another  closed gate.   Or, I could cross the paddock I was in and loop up through the open gate between the paddocks.  All I had to do was cross a wet patch where water from two or three springs flow down the paddock.  I wear boots when I work with the horses, so all good. Open gate won.

& the result?

Spring 1 Deb 0

I headed across the paddock, assessed the wet patch to find the driest-looking part and put my foot down… & down.  Luckily my jeans bunched over the top of my boots, keeping my foot dry, cos I was in it up to a little below my knee. My left foot didn’t go quite as deep, but its boot, too, was well stuck.

First step:  throw all my gear onto some dryish ground.

Step two: Pull left boot free, as it was the closest to somewhat firm ground.  This required gripping the top of the boot with my fingers, since there was no way it was coming with my foot of its own accord.

Step three: With left hand offering some balance on the soft, soaking ground, & right hand under water & pulling boot, I managed to, eventually, pull my foot  (boot still attached!) free & clamber onto dryer ground.

Phew!

I even managed to keep my temper in check.  I was pretty peeved through the whole process (esp as the property-owner watched the whole process. But there wasn’t anything he could do to help, anyway –  I think it was just embarrassment temper).  My jean leg was soaked through with mud, but so be it. Nothing a washing machine can’t take care of.  But, I did still have four hooves to file, & a disagreeable horse on the other end of them, albeit small.  Ah, such is life.  A couple of scraped knuckles later, (I forgot my gloves the rasp is SHARP)  & a bruise on my thigh from Chino getting away on me once, I returned to motherhood – the land of dirty nappies & food everywhere.  Joy.

Well, if nothing else, I hope this gives someone a chuckle.

OK, you lot, go learn writing stuff…