Sunday, January 31, 2010


Sunday January 31 2010

Blessed by the evening snow, kissed by the morning sun, the whole of Owyhee basks in the warmth.

Saturday, January 30, 2010


Saturday January 30 2010

Soft and silent, the snow moved down from the Owyhee mountains this afternoon.

Tiny ice balls at first, then tentative flakes fell, introducing the storm. Unequivocal big wet snowballs followed, dropping thick and heavy, quickly blanketing the ground and the horses in a crisp white.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Wild West

Friday January 29 2010

We'll look at more original Owyhee Wild West trails and stories, but this time, think the Wild West Bakery and Espresso in downtown Eagle.

Endurance rider Naomi Preston has reopened Eagle's first espresso cafe that she started in 1994 and operated until 2006. She now owns it again, and kindly created a room for my The Equestrian Vagabond photography! She refers to it as the EMMMA - the 'Eagle Metropolitan Museum of Merri's Art.'

We are happy to be participating in the First Friday Art in Eagle - a gallery walk in downtown Eagle on Friday February 5 from 4:30 - 8:30 PM, featuring my photography and barbed wire art (original rascally Owyhee barbed wire!), Naomi and Michelle (her manager)'s home baked goods and espresso, and wine tasting by local Woodriver Cellars.

The party doesn't end there: the next Friday, February 12, we're having a Horsemen and Women's Open House, from 6-9 PM. Wine tasting again by Woodriver Cellars, featuring "Gold Buckle Champion" ICHA wines.

If you have horses, ride horses, love horses, or want horses, stop by to see us and tell us a tall horse tale of your own, if you can get Naomi and me to shut up. If you don't love horses, stop by anyway, and we will try to persuade you that you should.

The address is:
83 East State Street
Eagle, Idaho

We hope to see you there!

Note: The Raven will be present at both special openings - I don't think he's signing autographs, but he will be available for photos!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Most Honored Guest

Tuesday January 26 2010

A most honored guest graced the rancho today.

From the kitchen table, I watched, for 20 minutes, a golden eagle sitting in a tree above the creek 50 yards away.

A couple of magpies were mildly concerned; first one, then another braved the danger and flew up and hopped onto a branch 18 inches away to squawk their protest. They didn't dive-bomb the eagle, and the eagle pretty much ignored them, preening and observing his surroundings from his post.

It's most likely one of the pair of goldens that has been hanging around the crick this winter, considering whether or not to nest here in the spring. (See New Kids on the Block.)

We've had all kinds of guests here in Owyhee, but such a majestic visitor as this is most welcome.


Tuesday January 26 2010

Mother Nature made an attempt to pacify my clamoring for snow. She left an inch and a half of wet snow on the crick last night.

It wasn't particularly impressive, since it's already started melting, but, it was a noble, admirable effort!

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Sunday January 24 2010

Lest you think it's all play and Equi-Pilates here, the Owyhee herd is serious about their snooze time, too.

A siesta in the morning or afternoon Owyhee sunshine is the best tonic for a hard-working herd.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Owyhee Hors d'oeuvres

Saturday January 23 2010

Hay is the main repast here, of course, but the horses like - and need - a variety to their meals besides hay, hay, and more hay.

You might think there's nothing out here in the desert, but they find things. The herd makes their rounds several times a day getting their buffet of greens (or browns, this time of year).

They snack on the dry cheat grass, and they nibble at the tumbleweeds - Russian thistle. I can't imagine how they chew on this nasty prickly stuff.

They eat the greasewood. It's mainly forage for jackrabbits and California quail (both numerous here) and pronghorn antelope (you'll see an occasional one). It's prickly enough to where you can't imagine a horse chewing on this, either, but they use their teeth to strip the branches, and they carefully chew it. The seeds and leaves are supposed to taste salty, but I can't taste anything but wood in these dead-looking winter branches.

Rice grass is a treat, and already the green grass and weeds are starting to sprout in this near spring-like weather. They have to work to get tiny bites of them, but work at it they do.

Salt blocks seem to be used more now than in the summer.

An occasional bite of alfalfa is a nice delicious treat; and if you have a carrot within fifty miles - forgetaboutem!

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Wight Stuff

Friday January 22 2010

That's what I'm talking about: snow, for real, here!

However, it's only minimal ground cover, and it's wet: instead of your footsteps rubber-squeaking in the snow, they squish and slop. The horses look like wet chickens.

It's quite slick: when Jose chases Mac, there's no stopping short. Jose locks his legs and skis forward a few feet like a pro skier, down to the SWISH sound that skis on wet snow make. But it's great for romping and rolling in.

Gray horses get nice and dirty in this mess.

And it feeds my obsession just enough to keep me going till the next snowfall in Owyhee.