Hello to all from Central Virginia!!!
Too much time has passed since our last update, and for that I apologize. So much has happened since then, it will be hard to keep this from becoming a manifesto.
For starters, our family and all critters relocated from So Cal to Central Virginia in April 2002. We bought a wonderful horse property in a rural farm community. We have 20 acres of cleared land, 10 of which are fenced and planted grazing pasture for our horses.
Challenger is now officially retired, and is living the life that he could not have even dreamed. He is the leader of the herd, they have open access to come and go as they please from paddock to pasture and back again. He is still the most magnificent creature I have ever met. He is so proud, sometimes prissy, sometimes pissy, but always kind. He keeps his girls in line, and has taught trained them to be 'housebroken'. When they're piled up inside their run-in, he will not allow them to soil the area. That is far too crude for his tastes, and they are quickly reprimanded if they even lift their tail inside!!!
Challenger still has the most beautiful rocking horse canter, his tail is up and his mane is flying. Maybe he is remembering his days in the ring? I can sit for hours watching them as they graze. I love the sight of them running in from the pasture to greet me, but have to admit that I am not above bribery and the treats are freely given here.
Challenger, Sophie and LeChuza were so funny when we first arrived and began to introduce them to the pasture. These horses were stall kept for their whole lives, and didn't really know what to make of all the open space. They would walk around a bit, then look at me as if to say "OK, this is nice. What do we do next?"
We also have 3 new herd members who are special needs horses. Skipper (TMF Skippa Star Date), Jasmine, and Spirit are all blind. They have branched off into a separate mini herd, tho all 6 do get along with minimal fuss. They are truly our special ones, and I am amazed at their trust and instincts. They are great teachers of respect and love, and have amazing intuition and tolerance when my young sons are in petting distance.