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Babysitting the canine grandkids

Friday, October 14th, 2011

ROSEBURG, OR – My son Brian and his wife Jenn have three beautiful “kids” – Bella, Millie and Sebastian.

When they left for a week’s vacation, they asked me to babysit.

Now you might think a 63-year-old man – make that grandpa – would have his hands full with three youngsters. All by himself.

But with these three, as long as they have their treats and daily walks they’re just fine.

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I’m back in the saddle again

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

YUCAIPA, CA – “Thanks for the great ride Jake,” I said to the paint gelding as I patted his neck and climbed out of the saddle.

I signed up for riding lessons recently and Jake’s been my tutor – so to speak. He’s a terrific horse when it comes to green horns, or for those like me who haven’t straddled a horse for over 40 years.

My instructor, Amy Arnette of Courses4Horses, has been putting Jake and I through the paces. Well, actually Jake knows the paces. It’s me Amy’s contending with. We’ve learned how to trot, cantor, lunge, change leads, and post together. It’s been great fun, but a lot to learn.

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Happy Birthday, Haylee!

Friday, June 11th, 2010

Haylee, 12, today, and her mom, Michelle, had their first riding lessons yesterday. Is their own horse coming soon? Maybe. Gotta keep up with those riding lessons first, though.

YUCAIPA, CA – My granddaughter Haylee celebrates her 12th birthday today, so “Happy Birthday Sweetheart!” But don’t look in grandpa’s backyard for a horse or pony wrapped in birthday ribbon. But maybe soon… Love grandpa Bob and grandma Nan.

By the way, if you’re searching for a trainer, I would recommend Amy Arnette “Courses 4 Horses” in Yucaipa. She has the patience, teaching experience, and a sense of humor that made the girl’s first lesson very enjoyable – for me too.

Haylee, enjoy your birthday song.Sheriff John’s Birthday Song

The little roan filly’s looking for a good home

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

Wild Mustang photos taken at the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Adoption at San Bernardino Rodeo Grounds and at Noble Creek Park in Beaumont.
Photos By BOB OTTO

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YUCAIPA, CA – The little roan filly with the small splotch of white on her forehead turned and looked my way. She perked up her ears and posed like a glamorous model on a photo shoot. She held her stance while my shutter clicked away with my six-inch zoom lens focused on her beautiful symmetrical head.

Our dalliance lasted for about a minute before she broke the mood and wandered back to several yearlings like herself.

The roan filly carrying the tag number “3107” was one of 20 horses the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) had available for adoption at the San Bernardino Rodeo Grounds, Saturday.

And I was one of about 15 people yearning to take one home.

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Featured, “Horse of The Week”

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

Photos By BOB OTTO

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PERRIS, CA – The Giddings Horse Rescue Ranch has several breeds of horses available for adoption, including three Polish Arabian former show horses. The three mares are trained and disciplined in dressage, western pleasure, and have impeccable flat work.

Fancy, a bay 7-year-old; Sasha, 9, and Channel, 10, are available for adoption now, with an adoption fee of $2,000 each.

“My (professional) rider rode them yesterday and they are perfect in every way,” said Leigh-Ann Giddings, owner and manager of the ranch. My rider said they are so light with the bit and smooth as glass to ride. Their heads are perfect, they are very sound, and they have great ground manners.”

These beautiful Polish Arabians won’t last long, so if you are interested in adopting one or more, Call Leigh-Ann Giddings at (951) 295-8114 for more details.

To visit the Giddings Horse Rescue Ranch, click on the link:

Giddings Horse Rescue Ranch

Democrats and Republicans need some snuggle time

Friday, January 15th, 2010

Why can’t the Democrats and Republicans snuggle up to each other and get along like this?

Dog, please let me sleep

Friday, January 15th, 2010

YUCAIPA, CA – I love my dog, I truly do. She’s smart, pretty well mannered, and a great walking partner.

But she has one trait that is trying my patience. She’s an insomniac. Anywhere from one to three in the wee hours when I’m blissfully snoring away, Tassie will be pacing in the living room, or she’ll come thumping her tail against my bed.

Telling me, hey I can’t sleep, how about you? How bout getting your sleepy butt out of bed and let me outside?

Tassie’s sleepless nights don’t come all the time, maybe two or three nights a week. And once she’s dragged me out of bed, guess what? I’m sleepless too.

She woke me again last night. I heard her pacing in the living room. Maybe her sixth sense warned her to stay out of the bedroom; that I was in no mood to be awakened. Or maybe she thought the vacuum cleaner was in the bedroom. She tucks her tail and runs whenever it’s in use.

Anyway, with a groan, I threw off the covers, stumbled into the living room to let her outdoors.

She just stood their grinning at me, her tail wagging, and her brown eyes smiling.

“Come on, let’s go,” I mumbled as she trotted to the door.

I’m sure some of you are tugging on the leash to give me doggie advice. But I’m smarter than you think. I empty her water bowl long before bedtime, and I let her outside just before crawling under the covers to encourage her to do her business.

If I were a sound sleeper, I wouldn’t mind her waking me long before the sun’s up. But once I’m awake, I stay awake. And that means on days like today, I’m tired and sleepy. And a bit cranky.

I’m sure I’ve fooled some of you with my Sean Connery, Paul Newman, or Clint Eastwood-like good looks (in their younger days, of course), but I am getting up in years, so my tired, old body needs all the sleep it can get.

But Tassie? Once I let her back indoors, she curls up on her bed and is fast asleep in no time.

Hmmm, I wonder if Motel Six has a vacancy tonight.

Sunshine and horses

Sunday, December 27th, 2009


YUCAIPA, CA – Here in southern California, we ‘re running out of water, we’re over crowded, and we’re up to our you-know-what in debt. But on a day like today I turned my face to the sun and put all those troubles behind me.

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See Photos of Yucaipa Horse Show

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

Photos By BOB OTTO / Photographer & Writer

YUCAIPA, CA – The Morgan Horse Club of Southern California hosted a open horse show, Saturday, at the Yucaipa Equestrian Center located on California Street. Riders and horses from throughout San Bernardino and Riverside counties competed in the event in 42 categories.

See the talented riders and their horses in action by visiting the photo gallery:

Continue To Open Horse Show Gallery

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Open Horse Show popular at Yucaipa Equestrian Center

Sunday, November 15th, 2009

Photos and Story BY BOB OTTO

YUCAIPA, CA – Twenty long years had passed since Tracy Beck had seriously ridden and competed in horse shows. But she showed no rust from her time away from the show arena, as she and her partner, Stormy, claimed back-to-back blue ribbons Saturday at the Yucaipa Equestrian Center.

The Morgan Horse Show Club of Southern California hosted an Open Horse Show at the popular equestrian center, which drew competitors from throughout southern California.

And Tracy and her 11-year-old daughter, Madison, were two of the riders who performed well in the event. And mom and daughter shared Stormy, whose birth name is, “JJ SK’s Spring Storm” in several of the 42 events.

Tracy and Madison’s delighted smiles and the strokes and hugs they lovingly bestowed on Stormy – owned by James and Sandra Flanagan of Shamrock Morgan’s in Ramona – showed their pride in the 10-year-old beautifully mannered Morgan.

“His canter was perfect, he was gorgeous,” Tracy said after winning blue ribbons in the English Pleasure age 16/Over, and English Country Pleasure events. “He was consistent and steady, and he walked well.”

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