My Sister and My Horse, Act II

Novels for Horse-Lovers

The Tipped Z Ranch books feature fictional stories but real horsemanship.

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My lovely little sister came out for a visit last week, almost exactly a year after her first time visiting us in Iowa. Last time she was here, Steen and I were still working out the particulars of our relationship. Since her initial visit, Steen and I have learned a lot about each other, though honestly I have done at least as much learning as he has.

Meryl and I went to the barn a few times in the week she was here. The first time we rode indoors, and he was so good for her it nearly made my heart burst. Sure, he’s still got his quirks. Standing isn’t his strong point, and his trot is fast when he’s nervous, but he’s become so much softer all around, and although he was uncertain of Meryl at first, they were working well together within minutes.

Our last trip to the barn we had a dry, sunny day and we took Steen outside. This was our first serious outdoor ride of the season, and it went pretty well. Steen was definitely nervous and excited, and took off once or twice at a lope after I asked for a trot, but he settled back down without much difficulty. We didn’t ask a whole lot of him – mostly just let him get used to moving around outside again.

Me and Steen, walking.


Steen taking off a little when he was supposed to be trotting.


Meryl and Steen, walking.


Mini and Bruno keeping Meryl company after the ride.

So, it was pretty fun to show Meryl all the changes a year has brought about for Steen and me, and certainly our time at the barn this summer was much more relaxing. The best news of all was Steen broke a light sweat and when I took the saddle off the dry spots that were plaguing me last fall were not there. He is so much fuller in the shoulders, withers and haunches now, I am really hopeful he’s grown into his saddle.

Woh! Hey, look at you reading this entire post!

That's a bit of an accomplishment in our attention-deficient age. Kinda makes me wonder if you like to read things that are even longer than blog posts? Like ... books?

If so, you're definitely our kind of person. Which means you might enjoy a horse-centic read? Click here to read a free sample of, A Man Who Rides: a novel about horsemanship and love.

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It’s always nice when your horse behaves for someone else. He’s definitely looking much rounder than some of your earlier pics. Hopefully he proves an easier keeper in the future.


Yeah, I’ve been comparing photos and he definitely has a whole different, more filled out look to him now. I am hoping he had just been malnourished for a while and a whole year of better nutrition will help him keep his weight up when it gets cold again.