Monday, September 27, 2010

Splash and Missy Eating Together

Our two new fillies are so different in personality.  Splash is very shy and won’t come near me very often even though she is now over 2 months old.  Missy is about 4 months old and is the first to greet me when I go to feed them.  She loves to be touched and she follows me around, almost to the point of being a pest!

2011 Point Arena Pintos Calendar

The 2011 Pinto Calendars have arrived.  The calendar has all new photos which include the 2 new fillies born this year.  It was a rainy and foggy year, so it was challenging choosing dramatic images.  I am excited the way the calendar turned out and hope you will enjoy it as well.  Profits from the calendar sales go towards the pintos care. The calendar sells for $17.95 at the Four Eyed Frog book store in Gualala,CA or you can order them from me directly by emailing me at  Orders cost $21.00 which includes shipping.

                                                       back - 12 months of new photos

Saturday, September 4, 2010


I have not posted for several months as it has been a busy time for the pintos and for my Photographic Art business. I have sent the first draft of The Point Arena Pintos 2011 calendar to the printers and will have them for sale in a couple of weeks. I will post the calendar once it is for sale.

I have posted 5 new posts which may seem confusing as you read them due to the fact that blogging is suppose to be in chronological order which means the more recent events are at the top. As you scroll down and read all the posts for September 4th you will get the whole story, especially regarding Suki.

Thanks for reading this blog and be sure to let your friends know about us!


Originally only two horses would eat out of a bowl. Now all do except for Polka Dot and Splash. Polka Dot has always been shy and I have to throw the food down on the ground for her. Splash like her Mom is shy and even though she is now 2 months old she has only come near me a few times….two times I was able to feed her some shavings from the alfalfa squares.
Splash hangs outside the gate of the corral while the other pintos eat inside.
At Kathe’s suggestion I have been slowly changing their diet…now they get a mix of Timothy grass pellets and a few squares mixed with water and flax seed. Eating at the bench is at times chaotic and so tonight I went around the pen and put out piles of food for them on the ground. Of course the herd instinct kicked in and several horses had to eat at the same spot but little by little they each had a place and ate - of course Thunder went around and finished all the piles! The hope with this feeding method is to soon have a way to give Thunder and Lady only supplements added to their feed for arthritis but who knows if that will work out!


The past 2 days I have gone over next door and to my relief Little One and Suki have been together. They stand side by side while I feed them. Since last March I have been going over there regularly to feed Little One and he follows me into the corral where he takes the food from my hands. The first day I fed them outside the corral as I wasn’t sure if Suki would go in as the entrance is very narrow.

Yesterday, I decided to see if Suki would go into the corral for food and he eagerly followed me in. Then I put a chair in the corral and spent an hour with both of them while reading my book and observing them. They are very sweet together and now they have each other. Little One who will not allow me to touch him, kept coming over and checking me out. Suki was more interested in grazing. It was a very peaceful hour the three of us had in the sun and I will remember it fondly.


I learned many things the week-end of Suki’s training. But the most important lesson is that this is a wild herd and therefor unpredictable especially with Thunder in the mix. While Suki was in the round pen being trained the herd was often near by watching, grazing and curious. They were not in the least bit interested in going over to the property next door…they also acted as if they were waiting for Suki to rejoin them.

About an hour after Suki was finished for now with his training, I let him out of the round pen. The herd was at this point in the meadow below and Suki ran off looking for them. That night the herd came up for dinner and Suki was not with them. He did not come up with them the next morning for breakfast, so I went looking for him and found him off by himself at the far end of the property below a hill, near the road with a view of the ocean. He had been kicked out by Thunder. Needless to say I have been very upset by this development and kept hoping that he would be able to rejoin the herd. I left the gate open to the property next door (as the herd had been going back and forth between the 2 properties) so the herd could find him or he could go find them. I went down to see Suki frequently and to touch him and as the days progressed he did become more restless when touched. After a week he was no longer by the ocean.

A friend and I went looking for him at the property next door and my friend found him at the back end of the property near where Little One (kicked out of the herd by Thunder last March) has been living.


With the best of intentions, I had this fantasy that it would be nice to use the round pen as a place where the pintos could be seen by a vet or farrier if needed. However, that means they need to be use to wearing a halter. My plan was over time to get Suki, Sweetie, Little One, and the two new fillies comfortable with wearing a halter, being led around and being touched.

Kathe Smothers, ( a trainer who follows Buck Brannaman’s techniques was in the area for a week-end, so it was decided she would work with one of the horses. In the beginning we weren’t sure how we were going to get a horse separated from the herd and in the round pen alone….the gate was opened and Suki entered with another horse. It was either going to be Suki or Sweetie worked with that day. The other horse was let out and Suki was in for quite an experience.

I have been able to touch Suki ever since he was born a year ago and he is a good horse but although smart, he was also stubborn, arrogant and was on the way to becoming like his dad Thunder. I really don’t want him to be like his father …even though I adore Thunder and he is a beautiful proud horse he is also very mean to the other horses – often for no reason.

Kathe worked with Suki for 2 half days and at the end, I could rub him all over and he would stay perfectly still. Kathe taught me how to lift his front legs and he stayed calm and he is no longer arrogant.

Below are some of the photos I took of Suki with his trainer.


We are very fortunate to have a round pen for the horses.which came about unexpectedly. It was built by some friends, Eve Larson, Mike Denning and Allan Adams who did a great job with the construction and he used is own wood that he had milled.  It is 50’ in diameter and about 5 feet tall. It turns out we didn’t make it quite tall enough if we want to train horses in it…it should be 6-7 feet high. If we decide to do any more training there, we will need to raise it.  It is attached to the gate that leads into the fenced area for the horses.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Missy & Suki

Missy is 2 months old in this picture, as you can see she is growing fast.
Suki has also been her guardian all this time. I have even seen him pick her up by the neck with his teeth when she is lying down and then walk with her holding her still attached. Just like a mother cat! Cracks me up.

Lady & Sweetie

Lady is the oldest mare, she is over 30 and her son Sweetie is over 3 years old. Thunder is always picking on him so Lady and he are always together and often stay at a distance away from the rest of the herd except for feeding time. Although today for the first time in a long time Sweetie came up with the rest of the herd while Lady trailed behind. He even spent time with the other horses even Thunder for a little bit.
Sweetie has a special place in my heart as he was the first pinto to take a carrot /any food from my hand. He use to be a very calm horse but due to Thunder's harassment he has become quite skittish. I hope some day to have a round pen and maybe I will be able to work with him to calm him down and make him feel safe.
I have had the pintos over here for a week and have put in a trough for water for them. They have all been drinking out of it. They usually drink from springs here or at the property next door.

Little One Update

Little One is getting better every day. He is always happy when I go over to feed him and he follows me into the corral to eat his alfalfa squares and carrots. He is a small stallion compared to the other stallions in the herd and he is a really beautiful horse. I fall in love with him more and more every day. Since he is isolated and there is a corral where he is presently living, I plan to start working with him = touching him and getting a halter on him. It will take time as he is skittish but I look forward to it. I am reading books by the horse whisper Monty Roberts and watching some of his videos in hopes of learning how to work with him in a gentle manner.

One day much to my surprise, when I called him he came out of the woods and Thunder was with him! ( Thunder is the lead stallion who kicked him out of the herd). Thunder followed Little One into the corral and they ate standing side by side, as if they were best buddies. You just never know with these guys!

It's A Girl!

Polka Dot had her foal on July 5th. She is a lovely frisky black and white filly and we have named her Splash. She is a doll and very is the first time she really let me touch her and she was very interested in the alpha squares and took some shavings off my fingers. She has also nibbled at the bowl's rim.

From day one Suki has been Splash's protector ( as well as Miss Moonbeam's). She has very similar markings as Suki (they are brother and sister) but her markings remind us of a giraff!

My favorite picture
This photo and other Splash and pinto images are for sale as greeting cards at the Four Eyed Frog Bookstore in Gualala or you can order them from me at

Thursday, June 10, 2010


It has been a few months since I have posted. My plan is/was to post more frequently but it has been an exceptionally busy time on many fronts.

The exciting news is that we have a new filly and the sadder news is that Little One was kicked out of the herd. Fortunately he has been found and is now being tended to.
The pintos in general have taken awhile to adjust to spending time over here and prefer to be over at their old home. Fortunately they have a guardian angel in our new neighbor who lets them be over on his land. Periodically I close the gate between the 2 properties so that they can acclimate to being here. Before the birth of the new filly the wind and the pintos managed to push open the gate and they spent almost 2 weeks at their old home. They finally started coming back here for treats after the filly was stronger.
Often we went over to check on everyone and to take photos. I am working on the pinto calendar for 2011 and a pinto book - many images that were taken during this time will be in them.
The horses were here for breakfast today and after they ate they ALL took a nap!

The arrow is pointing at the small filly, . On her left is her Mama, above the filly is Polka Dot and on the left is Thunder. Far right is Suki and far left are Sweetie and Lady.

Be sure to see the two new posts below about the new filly and Little One.

New Filly - Miss Moonbeam!

As of May 6th we have a new filly! She was quite a surprise because her mother, Mama (who is also Little One's mother)didn't look very big. I had begun to suspect she might be pregnant, but she has seemed round for the past two years, so it was hard to tell. Another mare, Polka Dot is definitly pregnant and has looked large for many months.

We asked our wonderful neighbor who allows the pintos to roam on his land - their old home - to name her.
He came up with the name Moonbeam.  She was so small when she was born, she may have even been premature, that I kept thinking of her as miss dainty.  So I added Miss to her name and when we need to call her with a shorter name - it is Missy.
She is a dear and is now a month old and holds her own with the big horses very well...even wants to eat alfalfa  squares with them out of the bowl!  Instead I just give her a few shavings. She is a little shy with me and sometimes curious, so even though I can touch her she is not quite ready to be touched a lot.

This my favorite photograph of her with her Mom- Mama.

As you can see she has an unusual white mark on her forehead.

When she was just 24 hours old she was so cute  trying to eat the grass...her legs were too long and she couldn't quite reach it!

Suki was very curious about the new filly and he was always around her the first few days.  She is just a few hours old here and Suki made it hard to photograph her alone as he was always with her!  I often find Suki, Miss Moonbeam and Mama hanging out together.

Little One Missing and Found

Little One was kicked out of the herd around April 21st by Thunder during the time of the transition of the fence being built and the horses were acclimating between the 2 properties.  We were not sure where he was, but hoped he was hiding in the woods at his old home.  It took many searches and several weeks before he would even let us catch a glimpse of him.  He has been hiding out in the woods at the other end of the property far away from the rest of the herd.
Last week he finally came out of hiding and let us get near him.  Since then I have made several trips over there and when I call him, he comes out and will now eat carrots and alfalfa squares from our hands like he use to.  Thunder banged him up on both of his sides.  The owner of his old home is letting us fix up the old corral there so we can have a vet come and see him in there. He presently eats his treats inside the corral, which will make it easier for him to be comfortable there for vet visit.
The above  photo was taken of him a year ago during  happier times.

This photo was taken a few days ago when a friend was feeding him alpha squares.  He use to be a bit aggressive and demanding but now he is very submissive.  He is very lonely and I am looking into options for getting him back into the herd.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Suki and the New Fence - Thunder

Suki has been very curious about the fence. He is now 9 months old and is not quite as black as his father Thunder. He is more of a chocolate black. He is a real sweetheart and I can always pet him and hug him.

Suki was really enjoying scratching himself against the fence.

Since his dad is the lead stallion, Thunder has been the most cautious about me. However we have made great strides, he takes carrots from my hands - that took many months. For the past few days he now takes squares from my hands, which means he is actually touching my fingers! We have an interesting relationship. He is always the most excited to see me, the first one usually to run up and he will follow me very closely. He watches me touch Suki and I can see he would love to allow that to happen to him. Hopefully patience will win out and someday I will be able to hug him too!

Polka Dot

Suki's mom looks pregnant again. Any guesses about how far along she might be? Horses gestate for 11 months. Suki was born the end of last July.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Feeding Time!

For the past three days the horses have calmed down enough that they decided it was time for them to go through the gate from next door and come up to get food. I feed them at the bench so they are waiting for me to show up. They have been here 2 times before since the fence was built but they weren't too happy about being fenced in here. Today they have been around all day.

There are alfalfa squares soaking in water in the bowl. Suki and Lady, the older mare, both can eat out of the bowl. It wasn't until today that Sweetie and Little One became interested in the bowl, which I am excited about since I eventually want to feed them some grain which they will have to eat out of a container.

Our wonderful neighbor

We received an unexpected and delightfu suprise. We are very fortunate and grateful that the new owners of the land next door loves the pintos! This is the land that the pintos have lived on all of their lives. The owners could not take responsibility for them as they live in Southern Californa and will only be up here occasionally. He is fixing his fence (same wonderful crew who built ours) so the horses can still roam on his land from time to time. This is a great news for the locals who love seeing these horses from the highway and consider them the local celebreties!
We have put in a gate between the 2 properties so they can go back and forth at times. Here you can get a better view of the field fence.
Here you can see the horses grazing at our neighbors. It has been tricky to get them over here because  there has been so much acitivity the past weeks with the building of fences on both properties. They have needed a period of adjustment to all the changes. The above post will show images of the pintos finally coming back up to our place for food.

New Fence is Finished!

The new fence is all done! . It looks great and the wonderful men who built it even worked in the pouring rain. This image is the area where we feed the horses.

This is part of the fence that runs on the south side of the property. This fence is a field fence as it goes between the 2 properties and we wanted to make sure it was strong enough for the horses in case they decide to go back over to the other side.

This is another area of the fence for the horses- the old fence posts in the front have been here for a long time and fence nothing but I love the vintage look of the old posts. You can see the south side of the fence near the phone poles. The tensil wire and twisted wire (non barb wire) can hardly be seen between the posts.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Fence Is Being Built!

Now that is a lot of cement!  Here are just some of the supplies.

Here the posts are being layed out.  The sticks are markers for where the posts are going.

The posts are being put into the ground;
So we are well under way. 

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Pinto Images for Sale at Local Art Show

For those of you who live in the Point Arena Area, there is a Flower Power celebration in town this week-end. The local no name gallery, which is between the Redwood Credit Union and the purple house (has a flower power sign on front of the building) will have a show of local artists and I will be there selling pinto photographs,  pinto cards, and the last of the pinto 2010 calendars. The hours are Friday 5:00-7:00pm; Saturday and Sunday 12:00-4:00pm. Hope to see you there!

The Fence and Update on the Pintos

I am now the proud owner, actually I don't like that word, the new guardian of the 7 wild pintos!  My neighbor where the horses lived, had to sell his land and  his only choices for the pintos was to find them a new home right away or they would have had to go to auction.
Since the horses basically adopted me about a year ago (see older posts below), there was no way I was going to let them go to auction or leave this area. They have become the local celebrities of  Point Arena and I am touched by how many people care about these lovely animals.
As you can see from the above photo, the fence line is down between the two properties and we don't have any fencing on our property, so we need to build a fence to keep them safe from wandering around the neighborhood or getting onto the highway. I will be posting pictures of the fence as it is being built.
Presently, I never know when the horses will come over from the other side of the fence.  Sometimes every day and sometimes not for several days. While we were in the middle of the paper work transferring the horses to me, they showed up!  It is as if they knew!
Several local people have offered financial help and have given suggestions, for which the pintos and I are very grateful.  It is a large project and if there is anyone else who wishes to make a donation please email me at . Any amount is appreciated and because we are not a foundation, your donations will not be tax decutible.  You can also purchase pinto cards at my website the profits from these cards goes towards the pintos care.