The Seat of My Pants

“I did everything by the seat of my pants. That’s why I got hurt so much.”

Evel Knievel

I usually write these blog posts as they are due: live in time. However, my new life on the farm is interrupting that usual course of action. It is Saturday night, going on 9:00. I am headed out in the morning to go to our old house to do some packing. And I decided about an hour ago to take my daughter with me. It’s been hard on us to live so far away from family, so she’s coming to visit while I work.

So I had planned to sit down today and write a blog post a few days early since I’ll be gone when it is due.

But noooooo. My farm had other plans for me….

My “routine” is that I turn on the coffee maker, having set it up ready to go the night before, and take my three dogs outside. Then I grab a cup of coffee and head to feed the horses that live here. Here’s one of my favorite seats in the mornings.

Well, when I took the dogs out this morning, the sun was not yet up. I couldn’t see out into the yard.

They barked and barked and barked at something.

I got the dogs inside, wrapped up (it was in the 20’s) and headed out to see what the commotion was about.

Two horses were in my yard; they had escaped their pasture and were grazing in my frosty garden.

(Four horses, 2 mares and their 2 colts, lived on our farm when we purchased it. They belong to a neighbor who has become a friend. One of the little colts is now ours. The two escapees were our little colt and his mom. His mom is the one with the white on her face and a light colored mane. She is a Haflinger.)

What to do, what to do. The colts are totally untrained; they have been “mountain raised” so far. How in the world would we get those hores back in their pasture??? The mother is the boss mare of the herd. Scares the living daylights out of me. She’s pushy. I guess she is my boss too.

Well, this was easier done than said.

I opened the gate and put out some hay. They went right back in. How cool is that?

Did I mention that this was before my first cup of coffee?


I had to find out where they got out.

Their pasture is huge. Vastly huge. I set out with my husband to climb the mountain pasture to find the spot they got out. We found lots of things walking the line. Like a group of seven turkeys strutting their stuff (watch out, birds, Thanksgiving is right around the corner) . A pile of scat that we think belongs to one in of a pack of coyotes (they come into our pasture every night and howl beside the barn.) An old rusty crooked nail that had to be four inches long. Yet another spring, where earth’s water found a place in our pasture to sprout out of the ground and refresh and delight us. And finally, way up on top of the moutain, to a place I’d never walked before, we found the escape spot. There was pretty blonde mane hair on the barbed wire to prove it.

The spot was in a briar patch. Great. I slid under and climbed over and snatched my red hat back many times from the waving sticks of thorns. At one point, I was half way over a barbed wire fence (one leg on each side) and got my arm hooked on a ginormous thorn bush. I was doomed no matter what. It was either going to be the seat of my pants or my arm, or both if I was particularly unlucky. I decided my arm could take it easier. Arm sacrifice. You wouldn’t believe the spot on my arm where the large thorn went in. It looks horrible. My husband said that it must have hit a blood vessel. (However, I’ve noticed that I injure more easily as I age. Seems like I’m becoming more black and blue. Maybe it’s my age combined with moving to a farm?)

Okay, anyway. I got a new wire strung. Kinda,. I did the best I knew how. Which isn’t much. In fact… will be interesting to see if the horses escape tonight. Poor husband if they do, ’cause I’m leaving before sun up in the morning.

Speaking of horses. Here is the reason the rest of my day was so full.

I got a horse!

That’s the good news. I’ve been looking and looking and I found HIM, THE horse. Yes, this is not A horse, this is THE horse.

Here he is.


This was pretty cute. I don’t think he knew what to do with this thing.

Of course, neither do I!

It’s not mine, btw. Another neighbor’s.

But I need to learn how to drive it! One day, after I find that money tree in the yard, I’m buying me a tractor.

 And here he is, with our Christmas trees in the background.

And here he is with my husband.

Picture hog.

He turned his head all of a sudden.

Do you love him as much as I do? He is so sweet and kind and gentle. Perfect for us.

But life is not perfect for him at our farm. The other horses are giving him a hard time.

 Do you know what these marks are?


They are kicking my horse, THE horse! Sweetie Pie!

So, I have separated him into a pasture across the driveway. Today, I brought over the nicest mare and her colt to visit with him. Things went better introducing just two of the present herd to him. There was no kicking.

After I get back in town, I’ll try the big boss mare again with him. I’ll supervise more closely now that I know she’s a kicker.

We built him a stall the best that we could, so he’s safe at night from the rest of the herd. I’m just hoping everyone in my horse family will show some more southern hospitality to the newcomer.

Do we know how to take care of a horse? We are learning. Do we know how to ride a horse? We are learning. Do we know how to build a stall? We are learning. Do we know how to fix a fence? We are learning. Do we know how to round up horses? We are learning. Do we know how to muck out a stall? Pretty much like a giant kitty litter box, if you ask me, so I’ve got that one covered.

Yep I’m flying by the seat of my pants. I’m actually no stranger to that; it’s just that my pants are just dirtier than they used to be. So am I for that matter. Funny, I used to take shower every day, but probably didn’t really need to. It was a luxury. Now I take a shower every day AND NEED IT…SERIOUSLY NEED IT. It is a necessity.

I’m headed out to the “barn” to check on things. Don’t forget to help me name our new horse!

And Happy Thanksgiving, Dear Friends! I am thankful for each and every one of you!

Talk to me.

Until next time, Friends, savor the flavor of life!

Lots of love, The City Farmgirl, Rebekah

ps please forgive any type-o’s…no spell check on this program….

  1. Cathy R says:

    Name him ANGEL! Or KNIGHT! He’s beautiful!!!
    Keep on flying by the seat of your pants and enjoy the heck out of the flight! Happy Thanksgiving and Happy horse owner!
    Blessings from Idaho, Cathy

  2. Diane Van Horn says:

    I think you said it…Sweetie Pie! He is beautiful! Sounds like you are learning many skills, so proud of you.

  3. Michelle says:

    I would call him Dreamcatcher! Your dream was to have a farm and this beautiful horse! You have been able to "catch" all your dreams and make them come true! So very happy for you and your family! So much to be thankful for this year!

  4. Nancy Couden says:

    Maybe, Horseshoe. Just for another idea. Poor baby–those must hurt.

  5. Bonnie says:

    I love your story, Rebekah!
    You are becoming so educated on country living, and there’s nothing like it! 🙂
    I have to agree with Diane…Sweetie Pie seems like a perfect name for THE horse!
    Blessings to you and your family this Thanksgiving….you all have so much to be thankful for! (don’t we ALL?!?!?)
    Hugs from Oregon,

  6. Adrienne says:

    I agree with the knight idea but I suggest Lancelot (Lance for short) for your beautiful horse.

  7. Pamela says:

    Dreamcatcher is beautiful, but maybe something more personable. The sweetest cat in the world who lives with me is named after cute old Dr. McCoy from Star Trek…. McCoy called Coy for short. I Think you have to talk to the animal and try out some different names and he will help you know when it’s right. I just love your posts and your adventure. Good luck with all!

  8. Shery says:

    Oh Rebekah, He has wonderful eyes. You can go down the ‘essentials’ list in the horse buying manual, but when you look long and hard at the heart & soul of a horse … what you need to know about their character is in their eyes. Well, at least the affirmation is. The eyes really are a mirror of the soul. Your new steed has soft, kind eyes.

    So happy for you. I don’t have a name idea for you. Sometimes you have to get to know them first and they kinda help you figure it out…what fits, what doesn’t. I take it you don’t like the name he wore in his former life. A new one will come to you. I’ve renamed horses sometimes … and others I left alone.

    From one horse lover to another, you really have a special addition to add to your Thanksgiving list — so happy for you. And, won’t he look smashing in a family Christmas photo?!…wearing a wreath or a bow.

  9. Nancy Itson says:

    I loved your story. You are a great writer and I felt like I was right there with you o yur fence adventure. You have a beautiful horse. And while I live in the city, I love to read about the farm life. My husband grew up on a farm, so farm stories are the best. As for a name for your horse, I am suggesting "Hi-yo, Silver!" after the Lone Ranger’s horse. May make him (the horse) feel important with a name like that!

  10. meredith says:

    Rebekah- He is LOVELY! I agree with Shery- as you take the time to get to know him, his name will come to you. The above suggestions are great, but what if you name him "KING" and he turns out to have the personality of, say, a "Howard"??? 🙂
    I had a fence run-in this morning too- was filling the horses water tank and got too close to the electric wire on top of the fence- POP!- there goes my arm! OW! The cattle sure respect that fence and I know why! Enjoy your new boy, and by the way, if the hay ever stops working to retrieve a wayward horse, a bucket of feed will work!

  11. Martha says:

    I think you already named him Sweetie Pie. Or Sweet. Or Pie.

    Sweetie is a name that would sound good when you’re calling him in from the back pasture. Sweeeee – ty. Come Sweeeeeee – ty.

  12. Heidi says:

    I would name him "Casper" from that cute show about the ghost, your daughter would like that. I also like Ghost but then that might be "scary".

  13. Deborah Bessom says:

    I thought Nancey’s idea of a family Christmas photo was a good one. Unless you have a few extra wrinkles or grey hairs to hide, you might want to pose in front of him so he doesn’t photo bomb your faces. The picture of your husband is hilarious!
    Btw, I’m liking the name Sweetie Pie too. Sure looks like it fits him.
    Happy Thanksgiving,

  14. loreta says:

    What was his name before you got him? you might not want to change it because he already knows that one. Love your blog.

  15. Mary says:

    I love to read your farm news. It’s exciting to read of someone else enjoying the everyday things of farm life. Have always enjoyed it, altho didn’t grow up with horses or cows, just cats and dogs.
    The name is Sweetie Pie seems a good one, but so does Lancelot. Just go through names when you are around him, and see what seems to fit. You’lll get it!
    Happy Thanksgiving.Thanks for sharing!

  16. Linda Petersen says:

    Hi~~~Yikes! I had no idea that horses could do such agressive things to each other! Those marks look nasty. I think his official name should be "Sweet Baby James" with "JimmyJo" as his everyday name. God Bless you & your
    family & Happy Thanksgiving!!

    XO, Linda

  17. Sherry says:

    I’m thinking Cloud because of his color and shading, and he looks so dreamy. He is absolutely beautiful.

  18. Marcie says:

    How about James Taylor as a name for your horse?

    Rebekah, please remember tetnus shots for everyone, especially when you’re straddling barbed wire fences. I did that once back in TX at a place we managed and when the wire went through my jeans into places it should not have, I looked at my husband with a strange look in my eyes and said, "tetnus shot". We both went to the doctor that day.

  19. Victoria says:

    Love your blog! I too am a lover and owner of horses, six to be exact, well two of them are Mimi’s and moste of them are rescues. There is an adjustment period and your new horse will find a best buddy to pasture with on his own. There was a wild house named Cloud on the PBS station as a series a few years ago. He was a beautiful white horse!

    If you ever need any equine help, just email me and I will lend a helping hoof!


  20. Katie B says:

    Ohhhh, yes, Cloud is a great name. If he becomes more assertive over time, you can preface it with "Thunder".. Or "Moon", or "Winter". You can add a lot to Cloud to mirror his personality. My little niece in SoCal always asks us, "did you get me a white pony?". We moved from hectic Southern California to tranquil Tennessee almost a year ago.. I have to disappoint her each time since we don’t have the acreage for a horse. But he is gorgeous! Many happy years together! One request, can you blog more often? 🙂

  21. Judy Kennedy says:

    I have loved horses since I was five years old. Not having room to own my own horse I have instead taken some riding lessons over the years and whenever my husband and I travel, we try to incorporate a horse ride into the itinerary and see a place in a more personal way. I have now ridden horses in through vineyards in Tuscany, Italy, around the beautiful lakes and castles at the Killarney National Park in Ireland, along the beach and in the ocean in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, and through the pampas grasslands in Argentina gaucho style. I also love ancient Egyptian art so I always thought that Ramses would be a proud name for a horse, but you must fit the name to the horse not the other way around. So after learning a bit of your personality through reading your wonderful blog, and looking at the photos of your new steed I have decided that White Christmas would the perfect name for your horse, Chris for short. I love living vicariously through your experiences as you live your dream on a farm, thank you for sharing.

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