The Amazing Shortcake


The Pointing Ranger rides again:

I’ve been surprised by Ross’s interest in the horses. Who knew?

Morgan, absorbing guidance on how to transition Zip from English to Western reining.

And kissing on Zip:

Her dad gave her some tips, which hopefully will help her become more comfortable riding Zip. She just isn’t “taking” to English reining. But Zip is more flexible and seems to be taking to Western.

And then we went riding. We rode out through the goat yard, back to the creek, up the trail to the upper pasture, back down around the studio and the house, then out to the access road and around to the upper trail.

Inside fencing, in the goat yard, sheep field, upper pasture, oh yeah, that’s been my comfort zone.

Here, no biggie.

Out here? BIGGIE.

Hey, do you remember this photo?

We’re up in those hills.

Wide four-wheeler trails switch back up the ridge above the upper pastures.

The trails switch back on three “shelves” and they keep going over the ridge, but then they’re off my property. Not sayin’ I haven’t gone there. Heh. (Depicted, a rough demonstration of the trails as they switch back and forth on my side of the ridge.)

The trails are fantastic, and just go on and on over the ridge. I discovered them thoroughly way back when I was looking for Coco. Anyway. Plenty to ride just on my own farm, but I’ve been hesitant, though longing to take Shortcake out there. I’ve had her out there a time or two before, but felt so scared, I turned around quickly. This time, I didn’t feel that fear–and I knew I wouldn’t before I got out there. I felt the unaccustomed confidence all the way back in the pasture.

I’ve been riding Shortcake quite a bit, and there is a change in her, too. She doesn’t push me as much–she doesn’t try to go faster than I want her to go. She has accepted that I am boring.

She hasn’t been running from me as much when I go to “catch” her. In fact, today, I rounded up a couple people to help me get her in the barn and she stood nervously looking at us for a few minutes then she ran–to the alleyway and held her hooves up for the handcuffs. WHAT IS THAT ABOUT?! WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH SHORTCAKE? I always notice that she’s “better” when she spends more time around me, such as a week like this when I have her at the barn. I make a point of mostly ignoring her while paying a lot of attention to the other animals (mostly without treats, by the way), and just try to leave her curious and wishing I’d pay attention to her. (Ha.)

Out riding her, she is just so easy, easy, easy. Suddenly yesterday, I realized–I really could ride her anywhere. She’s SO obedient, even to my naive guidance. And I think she halfway likes me, or at least she’s given in to me, and if I will just give in to her, we could have a real good time.

And so we did!


  1. Jane L says:

    Don’t forget that no matter how good she is on the range, any horse can be (and will be at some point) spooked by something and you’ll fall off. This is no big deal 99.9% of the time, however, you should always wear a riding hat!

  2. Jen says:

    Maybe Shortcake has decided to just let you have your way….you know, like mamma says: ‘There’s so much more to know & do if you would just listen to me & let me lead!’ :o)

    I’m so happy for you!

  3. willsahna says:

    A great horse like that is hard to find. Enjoy her. She is probably a once in a lifetime thing. I’ve had several horses I really loved and loved riding, but only one that was supremely easy and trustworthy. You do have to still remember that they are animals and they will have days that they might not feel well, or just get spooked. You can never forget that or you will end up hurt. But it is so awesome to have a horse like shortcake!

  4. JerseyMom says:

    Our Gabe is like this. You can ride him today and then again in February and expect him to be pretty much the same. If you fall off, your fault or his ;)he will stand next to you and even lick your face if he thinks it’s his fault. Not to say that he can’t be difficult…he certainly can, but overall he’s a love. Congrats on Shortcake. She’s an awesome horse for you and yours.

  5. lesliedgray says:

    Good for you! You and Shortcake are on your way to having a lovely relationship!. I am happiest when riding the trails. I know you soon will be too!

  6. Rys says:

    Sounds like you are indeed blessed with that “once in a lifetime” horse. Even so please get yourself a couple of good riding helmets. Even a simple stumble can cause you to become unseated.

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