Saturday, August 22, 2015


By Gayle Carline
Author, Horse Owner, Enthusiastic Embracer of All Things New

Okay, that last title is not only not a real thing, it's only partially true. I like new things. New Ariats, a cute new outfit, new gadgets. I had to order a new watch yesterday (my watches tend to fall completely apart and I do mean completely after about a year of sun, heat, horse hair, dirt, sunscreen, sweat, etc) and I'm super excited to see that Amazon box on my front porch.

The sides broke and it stopped working. 

Changes, however, to my lifestyle? Not much of a fan, even when I'm the one who makes the change. Still, at my age, I know that nothing stays the same, you learn to roll with the punches, make lemonade out of lemons, and ask for serenity to accept what's out of your control. 

Of course, wine and chocolate help.

Sorry, I ate the chocolate.

The big change I'm dancing around here is that my trainer is moving to a new facility. It was a long-thought-out, carefully considered decision. She discussed it with all of her clients to get their opinions and their buy-ins. Our current facility has been slowly becoming less horse-centric and more dog-centric, and the new place is only two doors down from us.

Our new tack room - so cute!

I don't blame the owner--dogs are a more lucrative business in southern California. It will be a win-win situation for everyone. The owner can develop the remaining horse stalls and arenas into dog training and kennels, and my trainer can be at a full-on equestrian facility with more opportunities to grow her business.


We've been at the ranch for 12-13 years. Snoopy was born there. Before the owner got involved with dog training, she was my horse trainer. It's still a quiet and relaxing place to hang out while my horse is out playing, or standing in the sun, drying after a bath. In a way, it's like leaving home.

Snoopy's new barn. Frostie will be in a pipe stall behind it.

And while the new place is lovely and has a lot of perks, I know the grass isn't greener. We now have to share resources with other trainers on the property. Compromising will be done. Adjustments (as well as mistakes) will be made. 

I've made the decision to take each phase as it happens. We are currently moving our stuff, bit by bit (no pun intended) to the new facility. This is the "OMG, this place is wonderful and we're going love it here!" phase. We need this phase to keep the stars in our eyes while our muscles ache from all the schlepping.

Once we move in, the "Hmm, this place has too much/too little of x,y,z" phase takes over. It's like piercing your favorite balloon and watching the air seep out. I will accept this and move through it with a glad heart. And wine and chocolate.

How do you handle changes in your life? 

Of course, I had to include the song. It's stuck in my head. Now it's stuck in yours. You're welcome.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Apologies, Magic and Life

                                                by Laura Crum

            I’m sorry for the recent lack of posts. My life has been very busy lately and I haven’t had the time for writing. This is actually a good thing, and I’m grateful to be engaged with some new projects. But such a busy period doesn’t lend itself to creating blog posts.
            I don’t have a decent post in me at the moment, so I thought I’d share a few photos to illustrate the magic that I still find in my life.
            Sitting by the pond is always magical. Summer is the season of water lilies and dragonflies.

            My boy is growing up (shown running away from the camera—does not like having his picture taken).

            Seeing spotted fawns in our garden and watching them grow up is magical, too.

            And the begonias are in bloom again out at the Jefferson Ranch. I have been coming here in the summer/fall for many years. Not to mention I have been gazing at the amazing spectacle of the begonia fields since I was a little girl. Once upon a time they grew at our family ranch, and for well over twenty years now they have been grown here. I was grateful to be out here last weekend and see it all again. No matter how many times I’ve seen it before, it’s always magical. 

My husband Andy grew the eucalyptus trees that form the windbreaks from seed he collected out at the old family ranch. When these trees were trimmed, we burned the wood to heat our home. It always seemed like a very satisfying life cycle.

And finally, my son and I went to see the stage version of Mary Poppins a couple of weeks ago. Our family always loved that movie and watched it so many times we knew most of the lines by heart. The live version opened with my favorite quote from the whole deal. Bert the chimney sweep stands alone on the stage in a mysterious shadowy light. He says:

            “Wind’s in the east, mist coming in,
              Like something is brewing, about to begin.
              Can’t put my finger on what lies in store,
              But I feel that what’s happening has all happened before.”