Varian Arabians


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The Big Flat


The Big Flat... it didn't sound that enticing to me when I heard the name, but since the trails up high in the Blue Mountains east of us were still pretty littered with downfall, and since I completely trust my new friend Anita, who knows everything about riding in and around Walla Walla, and since flat was probably just fine with Ar...

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Plan B


Walla Walla has an historical old Fairgrounds that's been standing proudly since 1866. I've used their arenas a number of times to ride Arizona and Roy but today, as I pulled in, there was a long line of enormous trailers all checking in and setting up for a big AQHA show. Time to switch to plan B. I turned the trailer around and drove out to Benni...

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So Much to Learn


​One thing that delighted me about Sheila was her never ending quest for knowledge. Constantly and consistently curious about all things, even the one thing she was most known for, horses. I'd watch her in that big arena, completely focused on Jubilation or whichever horse she was on, making the perfect circle, keeping the perfect frame, placing ea...

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Making Memories


Walking through the green spring grass, Murietta and I silently shared our memories of Sheila. The day was warm and still. I reached down and petted his neck and he dropped his head and blew out a big sigh. We were like two old friends reminiscing over coffee about a loved one they'd lost and about the travels we'd had with her, to Texas, Montana, ...

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Back in the Saddle Again

BiddleDay1 It's a Big World Out There

​After being in the land of ice and snow for a number of months, seeing the hills of California blanketed with bright green are a real feast for our eyes. We arrived at Varian Arabians on Easter Sunday. It was late in the day when I went out and found the horses. Roy was out in a big pasture munching away, but when he saw me, his ears perked up and...

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A Merry Christmas


Christmas 2017. Arizona Mac V (Major Mac V x Ames Perfection) Rene led Arizona down from his pen and into the barn, clipping him into the cross ties. He brushed him all over as we chatted away in Spanish. I watched closely as Jaime placed the saddle pad and saddle on his back. Arizona pawed and fidgeted around, shaking his head, acting very coltish...

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Dance Class


When I was in my twenties, living in Las Vegas, my "thing" was dance. I know what you're thinking, something along the lines of very scanty clothing and big feathers on my head, but no, it was more like Ballet and Jazz, and it was what kept me sort of sane in a crazy place and time. Often, in class, at the start of a new routine, I would feel like ...

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Sweet Pea


In the past few years, when we have headed out for what I call a "Dave Thompson Adventure Ride", it usually goes like this: We start out saying that it'll just be a short ride, something really easy for the young horse I'm riding. Then somehow we find ourselves lost in the wilderness, sometimes with scratches and scrapes across my face and hands an...

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God I Love Summer


Summer has arrived. I switched out my t-shirt for a long sleeved cotton shirt, to protect my arms from the sun. Carol picked us up a little after noon and we drove out to the Greenhorn gulch trail head. This was a new trailer for Prestigious. It's a nice big stock trailer, but there are no dividers in it and there was a new horse in there. I put Ro...

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Down South


This horse is so smart. I have ridden almost every day, sometimes little shorty rides and sometimes bigger challenging rides.  This is about one ride, about a week ago. David and I loaded up the horses and drove down and picked up Martina and her "V" horse, El Tejon. We went out to a canyon that I'd never been to before. We rode out through a ...

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Dip Creek


It was sort of late in the afternoon, and the horses were still up at Carol's, where they stayed while we were away on business. We got there at about 5:30 at the end of a warm day. Prestigious was very aware of the hot wire as we opened the gate and led them out. We saddled up and I led him around to the other pastures, where Badger, Carol's horse...

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One Step at a Time


It was late, close to evening when we decided to ride. At the snow bank, instead of going around it this time, David said "Stay here, let me see if this is okay." He and Roy stepped in and went right up the middle, stepping on the snow, not sinking in to badly. The melting snow has become so compacted that it's pretty solid. Prestigious hesitated, ...

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I just love this photo. I take a lot of photos, but often, when I'm riding, I'll get these rainbows and colors. This didn't happen until last year, after loosing Sheila. There are plenty of technical reasons why this thing happens, but lots of people that say it is a spirit. I don't know for sure, but it sure makes me feel super happy to think she'...

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A Perfect Sunday Afternoon


The sun is out and it's actually warmed up to above sixty degrees. We'd been working in the garden all weekend. Sunday morning three guys came to build a little garden wall by our bedroom window. Boy it feels good to get a lot done. While we were working around the garden, I left the horses tied to the trailer, just learning about patience and...

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Winter's Over.... right?


​Winter is officially OVER. With Roy, Prestigious V, and little hitchhiker named Zip's Amerigold in the trailer, I drove out Varian Arabians driveway at about 10:00 AM on a Thursday morning. The drive up highway 101, 46, 41, 5 and then 80 to Grass Valley, east of Sacramento, is always crowded, no matter what day of the week it is or what the time o...

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Day Dreaming

Day Dreaming

​I swear, I feel I must be dreaming. Up in Idaho there is still bits of snow hanging on here and there in my garden, but here we are in California and it is most definitely springtime. We drove in to Windmill Flats, circled the truck and unloaded the horses. Normally I back the horses out of the trailer, but today there were a plethora of good size...

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Getting to Know Prestigious V

Getting to Know Prestigious V

​Prestigious V. Audacious PS x Pretty Pauline V. I'd ridden him once for about five minutes in the arena, and he seemed very nice. Bright. Flashy. Innocent. He had been out of the arena, but not much and not far. He and Roy settled into their little pens at the V6 Ranch horse camp with a pile of alfalfa. Boy it was good to be back. There is no plac...

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A Christmas Present

A Christmas Present

It was a long time before I saw Commotion again. A year and a half. So much had happened. He'd gone off with a sweet woman that spent her summers in Wyoming and winters in Southern California. Together they rode many happy miles together. Somehow though, he was back at Varian Arabians and back up on the sale page. It was right before Christmas. "He...

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Biddle Ranch

Biddle Ranch

"Are you sure you feel like going? We could just go to breakfast maybe." I could hear by the smallness of her voice that she wasn't feeling very strong. "No, I need to get out there." I smiled. "Okay, I'll be there at 9:30 to pick you up." I have to admit, I was eager to show her how well Commotion would do after his summer experiences but more tha...

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The Long Road

The Long Road

After an oil change and a check up on the trailer brakes and lights, it was time to go. As I loaded my things into the trailer, a mental movie played in my head about the summer and what Commotion V taught me and what I was able to give to him. There were a number of rides that we took that I did not write a story about. One day we focused simply o...

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