Here are the animals that will likely appear the most in my posts.
Shale Ridge Ranch Residents
Destiny is my purebred Arabian mare. She is a rich shade of blood bay and has a crooked white stripe running down her nose. Destiny is 10 years old and I got her when she was 5. She is very respectful, willing, gentle, and intelligent. She is a very sweet horse to work with. She is very sensitive and easy-going and is trained to go bridleless. She is trained using natural horsemanship methods. She can be spirited when she isn’t getting enough exercise, but most of the time she is relatively quiet and sometimes even more on the lazy side. With some training, she would make a nice trick-riding horse or a reining horse, as she enjoys doing transitions and sliding stops. For now, she is a pleasure riding and trail horse, and we don’t compete. She is very gentle and I have given my little cousins pony rides on her; however, as she is fairly spooky when it comes to unknown objects, she is not a beginner’s horse.
Molly is a sorrel Quarter Horse mare. She is about 15 years old. She is very laid-back, quiet, and pretty much bombproof; but she is also very gentle, willing, and definitely a people-loving horse. She’ll choose people over her horse friends anytime. She is very easy to ride and lunge, as she responds to voice commands and has really quick transitions between gaits (both to go faster and to slow down). She enjoys being worked and getting attention. She has been trained using the Parelli method and makes a very nice all-around mare. She can be trusted with almost anyone, but she sometimes gets jealous when other horses are getting attention and she isn’t. However, she is a very nice little mare and has a very sweet temperament. Molly is not mine, but she is being boarded at my barn for the winter.
Jaffa is a beautiful calico cat. She got her name from my brother, who says she is like a “jaffa cake” with her butterscotch, black, and white coloring. A jaffa cake is black and white and tastes like orange. He even brought us some to try! Jaffa was about a year old when we got her from the SPCA in March 2019. She was very thin and had some sort of sinus infection, but now she is healthy and happy, and slightly chubby! She is the sweetest cat I have ever met; she follows me all around the house, flops down and rolls over onto her back in random places in the middle of the floor for attention, and she enjoys lying on the back of my chair and wrapping herself around my neck. She kind of reminds me of Cinnamon because she acts just a little like him sometimes! She is so friendly and has never bitten or scratched anyone–in fact, she is so gentle, she doesn’t use her claws when she’s playing with us. She wasn’t particularly impressed when we got her an adopted sister, Sydney, but within a week they settled in nicely and are now the best of friends!
Sydney is our newest kitty, a sweet muted calico tabby cat. My brother nicknamed her “Speggie” so she also goes by that name sometimes. Sydney was about 8 months old when we adopted her from an animal shelter in April 2019. She is a very hyper cat, but is also very friendly and she absolutely loves people and attention. She usually lies on the couch with us when we watch TV or are sitting on the couch. When we first got her, she would grab onto an extended hand and keep biting it over and over like a snake; she loves to play with everything and anything and reacts very quickly! She has learned some manners though, since we started ignoring her when she bites and now she is very gentle when she plays with us. She was an indoor cat, but she is naturally curious and hard to catch when she wants to run out the door, so she goes outside sometimes now. She and Jaffa are best friends.
Lexi is a tri-colour Border Collie Australian Shepherd mix. She became the newest member of the family mid 2017 and is the sweetest, most loving dog I have ever met. She didn’t have the best past, and she is still a bit nervous around new people but is much better than she was when we first got her. She is very smart, energetic, and playful. We’re always looking for ways to keep her mind occupied! She really enjoys swimming and chasing sticks into the water. She’s pretty quiet and can calm down really well too, but it doesn’t take much to excite her again. She enjoys chasing the cats around the house. She just wants to play, but the cats aren’t quite as enthused about that idea as she is! She learns quickly. She’s learning to give up the toy so you can throw it rather than playing tug of war to try to get it from her. She has a nice high jump while she’s waiting for it to be thrown, and I’d love to try getting her to jump some obstacles. She also has an especially soft head, and she is always trying to lick us. We all love her to pieces and I’m glad I made the decision to add her to our little family!
Cinnamon is an orange tabby cat. He is about 7 years old and is brother to my other cat, Cuddles. He is very selective about his people; when strangers try to pet him, he turns into a hissing ball of teeth and claws (even if he was sniffing them in earnest interest seconds earlier), but I can do anything with him and he acts like the sweetest, most loveable cat in the world. He likes my family too, but he doesn’t tolerate quite as much from them as he will from me. He is fixed and was an indoor cat until he discovered the outside world one day and refused to come back inside. Now, he does go outside in the summer but still spends most of his time inside.
RIP 2019 <3
Cuddles is a female tortoiseshell/torbi. She is about 7 years old and sister to Cinnamon. She is fixed and was an indoor cat, but now she goes outside sometimes (like Cinnamon, she prefers the comfort of the house most of the time). Contrary to her name, she is not always cuddly. She tends to come over to us, seeking attention, and then walk away. Then she’ll come back…and then walk away again. She is not as selective about who she allows to touch her as Cinnamon is. She is quite fat, which makes her a bit uncoordinated at times. But when she gets scared, she puts up a good fight trying to run away! She is very good at becoming liquid and slipping through the arms of whoever’s trying to hold onto her. She is also very nervous around new dogs, and tends to growl very menacingly (and her tail gets very, very big and fluffy…). She is definitely more of a people cat than Cinnamon (although when my little cousins visit, she seems to somehow disappear). RIP 2016.
Skecher is a 6 year old dark grey tabby cat. He is fixed and an indoor cat. My aunt got him from my friend when Skecher was a kitten, and he lives at my grandmother’s house right next door to me. He is so named because my aunt caught him lying in one of her sneakers. Skecher is very playful and has a lot of energy. He loves people and is very tolerant of children. He is a very big cat. When I was in university, I would go to my grandmother’s basement for some peace and quiet to study; Skecher came to know when I was coming, and would always come visit me there. He would rub against my books and try to lie on them (he knew how to get attention!); and when that failed, he would go flop down on the mat on the floor and start rolling around attacking it and anything else in sight. When my friend Allison rented the basement apartment, he treated her the same way! xD RIP 2017
Bella is my aunt’s cat. She is pure black with just one small white mark on her chest. She is very small, petite, and feminine. The way her ears are set reminds me of “Simon’s Cat” (the popular cat from the YouTube videos)! She is very sweet and gentle. She loves attention, but doesn’t always want to be petted. When she was a kitten, she was found hiding under my little cousins’ house, and when we coaxed her out, we brought her home. My aunt took her in, had her fixed, and helped her get back in shape (she was very thin). She is now about 2 years old and definitely a “Halloween” type cat! She is very cute.
Simon is my grandmother’s black and white Border Collie/Bernese Mountain Dog cross. He is about 12 years old now; they got him when he was a puppy, and I’ve known him since the day they brought him home. He is very loyal, sweet, and kind. He loves attention and going on adventures, but he has bad arthritis now and can’t go very far without coming home limping badly. Even though he is so old, he is still very fluffy and healthy, and he still has those puppy dog eyes that make you give in and do whatever he wants you to do. He is a once-in-a-lifetime dog and I love him so much!
RIP April 2016 <3