Category Archives: Mama Tess



Today, I wanted to offer my thanks to all of you and to all of the fuzzy faces that live here.  So, I went outside and took these photos (sorry to all of you who are buried in snow right now…) to share with you and to THANK YOU for caring about all the horses!


I’m thankful for Remi. She is always very confronting and forward in what she needs. For this previously wild BLM mare to walk right up to my face and ask for what she wants – means so much to me. I am very, very thankful for this girl – especially because she is so powerful. I am not thankful, however, for her ability to make a cacophony of sound when she wants to eat… but, I guess that just shows how well she can train me. ;)


Beautiful, shy Sam. This very wild mare (she is still very wild…) is a breath of sunshine to me. Although she sees no needs to be cuddly or to be touched at all, she is quite respectful, obedient and totally true to her wild roots. This mare is tough and fierce, but a real softy inside.


The dynamic duo of Slick and Norma Jean. I am so thankful to both of these munchkins. Slick is a HUGE horse stuck in a tiny body. He is a romantic and an avid explorer trapped inside a Shetland body. I adore him… and so does Norma Jean.  NJ is the most sweet, most demure and most gentle soul here. She is a gift. They both are…


Perfectly mannered BG (Beautiful Girl). I am thankful that this girl is such a good girl. She is my next riding horse and I think her cool, calm and collected persona will be perfect for me. This girl deserves some special attention because she never demands it.  She is also a smartypants.  You see, this evening at dinner time, she went into a totally different pasture so that she could eat alone – so no one could eat off of her pile.


Funny, wonderful Finn! Finn is my present riding horse and BG’s full, older, brother. They are nothing alike. Finn is a force of humor with a bold personality – except when he’s scared. He isn’t really very confident and that is quite endearing on a horse with such bravado. The Big Man often needs comforting. But, when Finn is relaxed, he is the total, lovable clown with an incredible gait and canter!


Big, Bold, Beautiful Bodhi! I am thankful that Bodhi is home. We love him!  He is like the big, pushy, lovable lunk that is a marshMELLOW inside.

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Brilliant Gwen (Tess’ first foal). This girl can pick any lock and open any door. She is a horsey quick thinker!  She actually comes to the front door when she needs something…. I am thankful for her wit and for her ability to carry me for many years with her perfect trot and rocking-horse canter.  She was and is my partner.  (I’m not happy that she puts her nose marks on the door…)


Amazing Rojo the King. Rojo was wild just a few years ago, and he is still mostly wild. I adopted him just before I was diagnosed.  He was supposed to be my riding horse but that had to be postponed for a few years while I healed.   But, for now, he is helping me understand the wild horse herd. I am so thankful that he is willing to live here and be my friend, even though he is not being ridden as promised. Thank you, Rojo, for giving up your freedom. How awful that must have been…


The most kind soul here. Dodger the Shetland. No one can decide how old he is but I’ve had him for 19 years and I think he was a teenager when I got him from the feedlot. Dodger is the King of his pasture and will run like a demon when he is let out. Many years ago, the once standoffish pony had a very bad bout of colic. I brought him into the barn and babied him all night and for the next several days. After that, he has always looked at me with gratitude and soft eyes. It is as if he is saying, “I’ve got your back, Human!”. He is very special and I am so thankful for finding him at the meat auction.


Mr. Wrigley (Tess’ 6th foal) is my challenge and I am thankful for that. This boy is so talented and amazingly athletic… but he is also all fire with snap/crackle/pop seething out of him. He is brilliant, sensitive and awesome – the most difficult for me to train. He needs patience to give him confidence so all of his ability can shine. I am not a patient person, so he teaches me – daily – and I am thankful.


Ahhh, the Queen. Mama Tess. I am so thankful that she is still here, teaching us all about her force of nature and her  will to heal from a mostly impossible illness. Every single day she teaches me. I am incredibly thankful that I am her helper on this extremely trying and amazing journey.  I doubt this illness could ever get the best of this very powerful mare.

THANK ALL OF YOU for reading and helping grow this blog so that we have strength in numbers to help all of the horses.  THANK YOU.

THANK YOU for reading and helping grow this blog so that we have strength in numbers – to help all of the horses. THANK YOU.


JEWELRY WITH A PURPOSE – For the horses!


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Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 7.34.57 PMWe gift wrap, can add personal message and drop ship! Just email me !

JEWELRY THAT BENEFITS THE BUCKET FUND HORSES!  Every donation counts!  Click image to see the new pieces!

JEWELRY THAT BENEFITS THE BUCKET FUND HORSES! Every sale counts! Click image to see the new pieces!



Isn’t this a great shot of one of our November Bucket Fund Burros?! She looks so healthy and they’ve integrated into their new Sanctuary very well. I will have an update tomorrow! Click image to read their story!

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I just had a fight with Mother Nature – and she won.

ORIGINALLY POSTED IN FEBRUARY, 2011… but tonight I wanted to post this because I feel the same way.  Tonight, I would have rewritten this story – exactly.

I don’t know about where you live, but our winter out here in California has been extremely wet and stormy.

I know I know, all of you with a mountain of snow and ice on your doorstep probably want to wallop me right now… but for us, as with you all, this season has been uniquely wintery.

What’s up with Mother Nature… is she mad or something?

Maybe she is sick of winter, too.  Maybe she is very sad and keeps snorfeling and blowing her nose.  Maybe she just needs a shoulder to cry on.  Actually, that shoulder was probably me today if you look at the condition of my coat…

Yeesh. Soaked.


I know it has been epic all over the country, so I will commiserate with you all.  Yup.  It is raining so hard and storming so violently, I really didn’t want to go out there and feed this morning.  I waited for “a break in the weather” to no avail.  I finally told myself that the poor horses had waited long enough and 7:30am is the end of my window.

So, I went out there.

To my surprise, we have a new pond!  Right in our front yard!  I wonder if it will have fish anytime soon?  I’m guessing we will have plague-type frogs this Spring.

Oh, and I think my neighbor’s illegal dam (they do this all over – dam up a stream so that they can make large ponds for their cattle or fire prevention) on the other side of our fence broke.  Yay!  I mean I’m not happy that his dam broke but I am happy that we have our seasonal creek again.  After all, when I bought this property, it was advertised with a “seasonal creek”.  And then, my ahem neighbor decided it was all his and he took it from me.

For the last 5 years, I have only had an all-year trench that looks like a dry fissure through the property.

Anyway, I explored this morning and took several photos of my new old creek!  It comes from a spring at the top of the hill and flows downstream and meets up with Sonja’s property where it flows into a huge lake.  It is nice to be all connected again.

I have my creek back! It comes from above…

And flows all the way down to the lake on my neighbor’s cattle ranch.


Do you have some horses that don’t go in when it rains and some that won’t come out when it rains?  Me, too.  I call them the Innys and Outties.

The innys like their Inns.  Bodhi and Remi are like that.  It is good that I have them together since they are like-minded.  I didn’t know that about them when I forced them to room together… but it seems to have worked out.  As soon as the weather comes, all you see of Remi and Bodhi are the humps of their hind ends as they delve deep into their shelter, never to suffer a drop of rain.

Here are Remi and Bodhi… basically dry except for the new rain that is hitting them as they eat

The bad part about the Innys is that I have to coax them out to eat.  You see, unfortunately, the people that built the shelter did a fine job, put they placed it in the wrong direction.  Consequently, it floods.  So, although Remi and Bodhi are dry, their feet aren’t.

There are feeders in there but they are mounted feeders so the hay falls right into the wet mud.  Remind me that I need to get one of those hay feeders that saves hay and is on the ground. I wrote about those a while ago but it wasn’t raining then…

I had to lure my drenched ponies into their shelter


The outtie horse stays out in the rain.  I have several here.  What is up with that?  I just don’t get it.  Slick and Dodger are the WORST.  Here they are, the littlest and hardest to maintain weight in the winter – yet they refuse to wimp-out and take shelter in the storms.  It is almost like the “little man” complex takes over and they need to show the world that they can take it.

Having them not use their shelter makes me crazy.  I go out there and I find two completely soaked, raggamuffin Sheltands and I suggest to them, “Why don’t you use your shelter?”  They look at me and tell me for the 100th time, “You messed it up by adding the wall.”  (I added the wall so it wouldn’t flood like Bodhi’s and Remi’s.)

Me:  But I had to add the wall or the shelter would have been no good in the winter!

Ponies:  “Well, you ruined it.”

Me:  Awww, C’mon and try it.

Ponies:  “Make us.”

Me:  Alright, I will!  (squeezing through the fence rails and marching into their shelter with hay and grain)

Ponies:  “She’s crazy!”

Me:  There.  Your food is in the shelter.  Take that!

Ponies:  “Fine.  Whatever.  We’ll just push it all out to where we want it after you leave.”

Now, I really shouldn’t worry about them, especially after I’ve written about all the wild island ponies who suffer way worse conditions and do absolutely fine.  I know they have coats like yaks.  Slick sort-of smells like a yak even…  But, it still bothers me.

Sam, the wild horse, is an outtie as well.  She came from Nevada where rain is a wishful thought so maybe she still thinks rain is cool.  Dunno.

This is the offending halfwall that they hate…. I’m taking the photo underneath it


I find that storms often create temporary alliances between normally unfriendly horses.

For example, Norma (the donkey) doesn’t really like Mama Tess because Tess terrorizes Norma.  It is really not nice but kinda entertaining.  Norma’s stall door is right next to the gate to “outside” and Tess will reach her neck over the rails and fake-bite at Norma as she runs into her stall.

It is a game to Tess but not to Norma.  I see Norma time her entrance to the stall for when Tess isn’t looking.  Poor girl.

Anyway, I noticed that this morning, after a huge storm, Norma is flanking the rails so she can be next to saged and solid Tess.  Tess is fine with it.  And, I noticed that Norma spent the entire night in her stall which is quite unusual.  I think she hunkered down next to Tess.  Kinda sweet.

We’ll see how long it lasts…

Here is Norma, taking solice next to ‘been there done that’ Tess.


First of all, as I write this, I want to tell you that the rain has turned to snow.

Many of you have fed in a huge storm.  Not fun.  The feed flies everywhere, the hay gets soaked, your best boots want to stick and stay in the mud (have you ever pulled out of your boot and stepped in muck with just your stocking feet? – yup.  fun. )  and your coat becomes authentic camouflage.

The best part about feeding in a storm is how I look afterwards.  My hair appears to have spent several minutes in the spin cycle.  My coat has grown hay seeds all over it and will never be the same again.  In fact, since my coat is drenched, it may actually sprout a seed or two by morning.  And, those of you who have to wear long coats and tall boots to feed in bad weather will definitely understand when I mention the totally wet part between the end of your coat and the beginning of your boots… nice.

The totally wet spot between the end of your coat and the top of your boots…

My boots have become a mud and wind victim.  The mud is up to my shins and the wind has blown seeds inside (nice when the seeds dig into the interior padding, eh?) and also created a mud/seed decoupage covering.


So maybe we all need to give a nod to Old Mother Nature and perhaps calm her down a bit.  I mean, how often do we salute her or praise her or embrace her effusively?  Maybe she is just lonely and she’s sobbing all over us neglectful subjects…

Mother Nature turned the rain to snow… this is the skylight in my office. No sky, no light.


JEWELRY WITH A PURPOSE – For the horses!


Click here for webpage, click here for Facebook!

Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 7.34.57 PMWe gift wrap, can add personal message and drop ship! Just email me !

JEWELRY THAT BENEFITS THE BUCKET FUND HORSES! Every donation counts! Click image to see the new pieces!

JEWELRY THAT BENEFITS THE BUCKET FUND HORSES! Every sale counts! Click image to see the new pieces!

LOVELY NIGHT SKY bracelet/necklace for the horses! Only $25!
This is a highly adjustible bracelet with sweet midnight blue Czech glass beads, silver chain and two Sterling handmade heart charms and lobster clasp closure. 16″

To purchase this Night Sky brac/neck for $25, click here!

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HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!