Monthly Archives: January 2012

Gone Fishing-Part 3

Bernard and I discussed strategy. I took the job of header, with Bernard, net in hand, as heeler. Taking our places on either side of the little pool, Bernard stood with the net poised while I entered the water to wrangle that trout toward him. Faster than a Ferrari, the trout dodged around my toes and was gone. I whirled around. “Where is he?” I yelled. “Do you see him?” (more…)

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Gone Fishing-Part 2

Thanks in large measure to the beavers, the Michigan River is a gold medal stream, flush with wily browns and cutbows.   Fishermen licked their lips and eyed us with envy when we mentioned we had six miles of the river meandering through our property.  “You do?” they asked, drawing that second word out for as long as it took to think up a plausible reason why we should let them fish our private waters. (more…)

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Gone Fishing-Part 1

I’m in love with water. Particularly water that babbles over beaver dams in the summer, ripples with the startled flight of a mallard in the fall, clinks with breaking ice in the winter and rages in muddy madness in the spring runoff. This is my Michigan River, shrouded with dense stands of yellow, red and ochre willows, looping through flooded expanses of marsh with more curves than a Chinese acrobat. (more…)

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Winter fun indoors with horses

Here’s something fun to do with your horse: free jumping! It’s inspiring and a great thing to do as a change of pace when winter forces you into the indoor arena all the time.

Basically, what you do is simple. Set up an alleyway leading up to a one-stride jump. Make the “in” jump just a small cross rail. The “out” jump is the one your horse will really be jumping over and that’s the one you …raise and, eventually turn into an oxer. Start small with that one, too, though, as this exercise should be nothing but fun for your horse.

The idea is to allow him to learn on his own how to use himself over a jump, without the weight and intentions of a rider interfering. And yes, just by our presence, we change a horse’s way of going. You never want to overface him, scare him, or take him by surprise with this. Here’s an excellent article for all the how-to’s of free jumping

If your horse takes to this, as mine does, he’ll canter around the arena and actively seek out the entrance alley like it’s the biggest treat in the world. Here’s a picture of my horse, Magic, in full winter coat, having no trouble at all over a pretty big jump…for a horse who’s not a jumper!

Magic jumping a 3-foot oxer!

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Indy-Anna Jonesin’

Take a look at this photograph: Doesn’t it remind you of one I sent out five months ago, at the start of our drive from Istanbul to Calcutta? Here’s the earlier photo to which I’m comparing, which is of the remarkable rock formations in Cappadocia, Turkey. The first photo is from just south of Santa Fe, at Tent Rocks National Monument. Amazing, no???? (more…)

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