The Grant Memorial by Henry Merwin Shrady

The Wall Street Journal’s weekend edition had an article by Michael F. Bishop about the Grant Memorial at the U.S. Capitol, bemoaning its neglect and regretting how most visitors only pause near the bronze statues of a caisson unit and a cavalry charge to take pictures of the (admittedly imposing) West front of the Capitol.

I read the article and realized: “Oh, THAT’S what those statues with all the horses were about.”

From my June trip to Washington:

His legs are tucked high enough to please George Morris.

So you see, Mr. Bishop, not everyone who stands there is just photographing the Capitol dome from yet another angle. If anything the side groupings are infinitely more interesting than General Grant on Cincinnati at the center.

I will shortly be making prints of these, and other photos (from D.C. and elsewhere, horse-related and not) available as prints on my etsy store, Steampunk Sweethearts. Once the prints are available for purchase, for every sale, $5 (one bale of hay) will be donated to Sunkissed Acres to benefit the new arrivals and the resident herd. And, if someone buys one of the ‘high-ticket’ jewelry items in the main store, I will also make a donation to Sunkissed based on the value of the item. Let’s get those horses fed!

And I am posting from McDonald’s today, enjoying a coffee after a very cold walk-and-a-teeny-trot in the snow (with a McCellan not unlike those on the statues pictured!) Lucky looks increasingly yak-like, and was generally cooperative on the roughly six inches of lake-effect snow on the ground. (Much nicer than at my house, where Tucker the Corgi is swimming in two feet of the stuff! She thinks it’s fun, at any rate. My knotted-up back, from digging out the drive, would disagree profoundly. Puff just likes eating the snow like ice cream.) Lucky was very steady, and surprisingly cooperative despite my leaving the crop in the barn. Most impressively, and I have no idea how he figured this out as it’s certainly not something we practice a lot or even at all recently, he turned in the box of poles without stepping over, and when I asked him to stop in front of a pole and try a sidepass along it, much to my surprise, he did! To the left, it was a fairly pure one, even, and with the snow I could see lovely clean steps.

I suppose I should step up my search for an antique western saddle, meant to fit a high-withered horse. He has more talent for trail and barrels than he’s ever shown for jumping!

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Some Equine Pictures

Since it’s the holidays when everyone is stuffing themselves on cookies and peppermints, instead of any updates, here is some equine art:

Sir Richard Sutton and the Quorn Hounds

With a scent breast-high

Derby Day poster

Wall of Win!

Lucky's Allowance Win

Benny's ONLY Win!

Hot Dice

Hunting print of some sort

End of the Season–Do Your Holiday Shopping Now!

No, not my Etsy store (however, if you would like to buy something, the button is on the right! Click early click often! Lucky eats a lot of peppermints and of course there are the dogs to consider and the cats.) Nor is it time to shop for food. Some of us are still sleeping off the turkey and stuffing coma (the dogs, cats and I were at the parents’ for Thanksgiving, so Lucky got a weekend off.) No, the time to shop for your own Finger Lakes Finest is now!

Yes, there was a confirmed case of EHV1 at Finger Lakes. Please read here for further information. Right now, only one barn is under quarantine, and other barns are shipping horses. Of course, quarantine is always a good idea when bringing in a new horse anyway, so take precautions, but don’t let this stop you from considering a Finest for underneath your Christmas tree! (Well, assuming it’s a really big tree. Outdoors.)

Take March West, for example. Wouldn’t he look nice with a big red bow on? And since we’re all looking for a bargain this time of year, you don’t get any cheaper than free!

And there are plenty more who are now reduced in price, ready to move as the season ends. Lucky is ready for the Christmas season to start, and the snow that comes with it–he’s got a very fuzzy face now. Plus, once the ground is covered in that weird white stuff that looks like sand but is very cold, I can’t do much besides walk and a little careful trotting. Lucky is all in favor of that! Plus, horse Christmas cookies to fill the stockings on the stall doors! Cookies are always a good thing.

The Horses of DC

Sir John Dill, Arlington National Cemetery

Washington Circle

Pegasi are horses. Sort of.

Prezwalski's Horse at the National Zoo.

I am being nice, I took a lot more of these.

Smithsonian Carousel on the Mall

Yeah I rode it. So would you.

I rode the middle one. I rarely get to ride paints.

Phillip Kearney statue at Arlington.

Check out that bridle.

I like this one.

Hi there.

Check those ears!

He never says much for some reason.

Pretty.

I'm different!

Fun as it is . . .

. . . to horse around . . .

. . . our day job . . .

. . . is pretty important.

Thanks to Spec. Staples, USA, who showed me around Fort Myer’s Old Guard Caisson stables. The Large Ham (equine version) is Peter, the pretty girl is Minnie, sadly I do not remember the black Perch’s name, and the funeral I saw was for an Air Force Major General. For anyone who wants to visit, the stables are open noon to four for public visitors.

Photo Post

Thanks to Amtrak’s Metropolitan Lounge wi-fi, enjoy a gratuitous picture post. I am consoling myself that, even though my friend Laurie is enjoying the lovely day at Churchill Downs and my brother is enjoying the lovely day at Belmont Park, and I am enjoying overcast cold and boring Chicago, at least I have free wi-fi.

Look at that classic profile.

Look how nicely he pricks his ears for photos!

We've got a nice trot going!

Lucky says: You first!

No nice trot over this one....

This one, too?

All right, if you insist....

I look exactly like the thoroughbreds C.W. Anderson drew, don't I?


Aren't we done yet?

Finally got that monkey off my back!

And now, gratuitous kitten pictures:

That's Nanook on the left and Nova on the right.

Onward, noble steed!

Nova is the photogenic brother.

And Lucky and I wish good luck to Final Call as he heads to his new home.

Getting ready for a week away!

Lucky is getting a break from me for a week! I’m off to DC, and that means while I may do a couple aside posts (like that one I mentioned explaining why Let It Ride is my favorite horse movie) there won’t be any Lucky updates. Puff, Tucker and the kitty crew have my parents and Molly to keep them company. Lucky has the herd, including three new members. The new boarders finally arrived last night, about an hour after I left. There are three new horses, two paint mares and a palomino gelding, who are getting settled in one pasture. One of the mares, the piebald, came over to say hello while we were cooling out, and Lucky seemed quite intrigued.

We do have six jump standards now, with holes up to 3’3″, not that I anticipate getting over THAT any time soon! After today’s ride (picking up the canter proceeds apace, the trot is better, both days would have been much nicer if we both weren’t ready to keel over from the heat and the ABSOLUTELY AWFUL humidity) taking crossrails at the trot is a victory. We didn’t achieve that, but I accepted a walk/hop over the two xs with a big forward trot after the second on our third try as good enough. Stylish it was not, but it was forward and he didn’t take a rail down.

His feet are looking lovely, by the by. The farrier came this week, and was pleased with the amount of growth all round. He will be back in three weeks to tweak the right front that had the quarter grab and said in the meantime to keep doing what we’re doing.

And yes, since I am hoping the hotel has wireless/high speed (and I am fairly sure it does, there will hopefully be a Monday update with some lovely photos–yes, including Nova and Nanook, the new barn residents. I was hoping to leave you with a teaser, but my connection isn’t cooperating, so you’ll just have to wait for Monday to see the stunningly gorgeous gelding and the complete adorableness of kittens. Lucky will have to wait for more work until the following Monday, when hopefully he’ll also have some new duds to show off, too.

An aside: Lucky and I would like to congratulate his fellow Finest (who had a much longer, harder road to her new life) Ducky’s Ho Oh on the arrival of her own little Goose.