Tag Archives: Horse

Rain in Broke Tree Corral

Rain in Broke Tree Corral, north Erath County, Texas, August 12, 2011.

Yesterday afternoon, after months of drought, rain came down sporadically in drops, then sheets of rain.

The first raindrops bounced on the aluminum roof of the barn and stables. Lightning flashed, thunder clapped, and Star the paint gelding and I flinched.  He bolted for about three gallops, then returned quickly to the shelter of the stable.  Within thirty minutes, five-tenths of an inch had fallen and a lightning strike on the oil piping fence about fifty-yards away knocked out electrical power.

I fed Star his grain and Horseshoer’s Secret — a potion for rebuilding hoof walls — and he munched haply through the noise of the thunderstorm, occasionally bringing his head out of the feed bin to see if I still sat in the alleyway waiting out the rain.  I talked to him, Good boy, fine fellow.

Broke Tree Corral is the first of two successive corrals about the barn and arena.  So named for an American Elm tree that broke in two, the tree has continued to thrive with bark and one-half of its internal veins intact for at least eight years now.  The grass in the corrals has become brittle and sparse.  The rain quickly formed small channels that flowed into the second corral, the Well House Corral, where bare ground could not stop the erosion-flow into the near fields of buffalo grass and mesquite sprouts.

Rain flows down the road towards the barn, north Erath County, Texas, August 12, 2011

Rain has fallen, the temperature has dropped and the Jack Rabbit has come out of his burrow to chomp on fresh sprouts and new, tender, blades of grass in the small dell between me and the Dooley place.  The drought has not been broken decisively, but this rainfall is a far away sound of better days and nights headed to Texas, a hunter’s footfall tracking a devil of fiery brutalities to slay and scatter to cool winds and shady juniper groves for those that live with the land.


Notes, corrections and additions:

Try as I might, misspelled words sometimes slip through.  I do not rely on “check spelling” frequently, but will look again at a word if it is underlined in red.  In this post this morning, I misspelled, “lightning,” twice!  I spelled it “lightening” and missed the correction.  In writing posts, I do not have a proofreader.  It is an imperfect world filled with imperfect compositions.


Filed under Rain, Star, Weather

What is this with horses and water?

Hoof prints in water from Barton Creek.


Star's hooves covered in mud so much you can't see his shoes. He's really a good boy.

Coming back for more…

Water, mud and a horse.

A good head shot…

Star after playing in water is curious about camera and all the excitement.

What is this with horses and water?  Or for that matter, kids and water?  They love playing in water.

I’ve not had rain in a few weeks and the corral is dry.  Star’s hooves needed moisturizing, so I turned on the water sprinkler this morning to partially flood the corral — about thirty minutes of watering.  Star saw the water coming out of the sprinkler and shoved his head, nose and mouth down into the steam of water, pawed at the ground and for forty-five minutes stood over the sprinkler getting his front quarters wet and soggy as well as his hooves.

I finally left him there, went back up to the house for another cup of coffee and to fetch the camera.  When I returned, he had gone back to his hay bin, but returned to the sprinkler when I asked him to pose.  He posed for a pretty-good head shot.

* * *

I am down to one horse, Star, and no cattle — for the moment.  I sold three horses in January and Lilly had to be put down that same month.  The far Pecan Tree Pasture is ready for a few head of cattle to graze and Star and I need to be around bovine for awhile.  Star has a natural cutting ability and takes his cue from me, even when I am on foot and not in the saddle.  If he sees I am trying to pen cattle, he will help me round-up the cattle and put them in the pen — more shepherd than equine I sometimes think.

A farrier of mine once said that he was the smartest horse in the remuda, but so smart he would try to outwit you.  Once he joined-up with you, however, you were buddies for life and you worked together.  Maybe next week, the sale in Abilene…

Early morning scan for fresh grass through corral panels.

Post-publication note: If you have not clicked on the first link of Sage to Meadow Photostream, the picture with the elk in the water, do so.  It is a young elk playing in the water and is enchanting to watch.  The Photostream is on the first sidebar — NOT the Vodpod photos of guitarists.


Filed under Star

Nuzzles and Campus

Horses on Bianditz mountain, in Navarre, Spain...

Horses on Bianditz mountain, in Navarre, Spain. Behind them Aiako mountains can be seen.

My summer has ended.  Although the season does not astronomically change until September 21st, my summer is over.  I will feed the horses in an hour or so, then drive the interstate highway to campus, officially beginning the Fall semester.

Our summer has been dark and bright, jagged and smooth.  Broomweed has been shredded, horses husbanded and a vacation to the high country taken.  Brenda painted our doors Taos blue and green, symbolizing a color that repels the ills of the cosmos.  But they also look beautiful.

Here is one of my favorite pictures that I will carry with me as I return to campus.

Shiners Fannin Peppy "Fanny" Nuzzling Jack


Filed under Flying Hat Ranch, Horses, Shiners Fannin Peppy (Fanny)