Yesterday, I left the house very early in the morning and drove up the coast of Maine. I did not go to see the iconic harbor scenery.



Nor did I go to see the burnished red blueberry fields.

blueberry field


But, I did get to see that vista on the back of this boy.



His name is Tonka, and come December, he’ll be my horse. Tonka will live at a friendly, well-kept barn two miles from my house. So, there won’t be a HorseCam, but you’ll be hearing a lot about him.

For now, (especially for you horse people out there who I know want the details immediately) here is a sketch of my horse: He was born and raised in Texas (Steve also spent his childhood in Texas, so now I have two Texas men.) A kind and gentle woman bought him as a four-year old, and she has trained him and loved him for the last four years. He’ll be 8 years old in February. Tonka is 14.3 hh, and a true black and white paint. Tonka has good feet and goes barefoot. He has sturdy, large-boned, legs with short cannons. He’s compact and correct. Tonka has perfect barn manners, plays well with others in the pasture, and is an easy keeper (meaning he can maintain his weight on good hay, no grain.) He has three comfortable gaits in the ring and is steady and quiet on the trail both in company and alone. I’m sure that Tonka has his quirks and foibles that I’ll discover over time, but with his solid upbringing, I know he’s sane and trusting. I’m smitten.

I think that Tonka will like me. His owner no longer has the time for him, and he’s the sort of horse that thrives on attention. But I think that he’ll miss cantering through those blueberry fields.

Tonka in blueberry field


  1. So happy for you Terry! You look so content, your smile says it all! Happy Trails!!

  2. Very happy for you! He’s beautiful. When you have a passion for horses it never goes away. So glad you can feed your passion once again! I too own an easy keeper. I believe he would get fat on air!!!

  3. Your very own! I’m sooo happy for you! He’ll be boarded at the barn where your “loaner” horse lives? Sorry, can’t remember his name!

    • I’m currently riding two horses there, one a Hafflinger pony, and the other a Dun gelding. So, I must be crazy to get a horse of my own!

  4. How handsome he is. Are you sure you can’t keep him on Little Pond. You do have that field you grow the pumpkins in. I would love to see a horse cam! You and Steve might want to be thinking of a larger home. Your outgrowing your present home with animals. How about a small farm? You two should have had a farm. Your great with animals. Love the Maine pics too. So pretty. Happy riding and may all your dreams come true.

    • PS- I have only seen good men come out of Texas. (Including my favorite President) :o)

  5. I think you have wanted this for a long time. It seems horse people are a very devoted lot. Much happiness to you both.

  6. WOOOWWW!!!!!
    Congratulation!!!! Felicitation!!!!! You are very lucky Terry!!!
    The horse is wonderfull-you look like an amazone-a Lady of Djinghis Khan!!
    I like Tonka-he is beautiful.
    Good riding.

  7. 14.3. Perfect height for us riders…of a certain age. Myself included! His description sounds perfect. Can’t wait to hear more about him.

  8. That is one gorgeous horse ! Lucky You. I just watched two of the hens go after the rabbit. Does this happen often? Does the rabbit have any defense? I just recently discovered your site and usually visit 2-3 times a day. I like all the animals but favor the rabbit, hence my concern. And the cameras are delivering in such a herky jerky manner that it is disconcerting to see the critters just disappear off the screen or blip from one side to the other, kinda like crazy hocus pocus. So sorry that I am sounding fussy, I really like what you are doing with the cams and the information you provide for people wanting to have chickens and animals and not to mention the making of pies.

    • Phoebe is the second rabbit that I’ve had living with the hens. (Go back to the archives to read about Candy, the late, great Empress of the barnyard.) Phoebe is more mild-mannered than Candy, but she is not abused by the hens. The yard is large, she has her den under the nesting boxes, and so she can easily move away from the chickens if she wants to. She’s never cornered. At most, the hens get a beakful of rabbit fur, so no harm. Phoebe very much wants to be with the chickens. She used to have a hutch of her own, but chose to never go in it, but live in the coop instead.

  9. Oh isn’t he just so handsome! You two will have such fun together. Glad that the two of you have crossed paths, I’m sure you will both be the better for it.

  10. Congratulations Terry! Can’t wait to read about all your adventures together.

    I will be getting my horse in a few weeks. It’s been a ten-year for him to retire from harness racing and I am so excited.

    Happy trails, Jen

  11. He’s so pretty!!! What a face, and those perfect socks! Congratulations, Terry!

  12. Hi Terry, Off Subject. My barr rock is laying eggs with black specks in them. Just one or two specks in the white part of the egg, not the yolk. We can’t figure out what it is. She gets about 6 raisins every night before bed. The specks looks like they could be the tiny seeds in a raisin. We’re hoping it’s not some kind of parasite. Any thoughts on this would be helpful. None of the other girls have eggs with specks in them. None of the other girls gets raisins every night either.

    • The raisins should be going down the intestinal tract, not the reproductive tract where the whites are made. But, it’s possible for outside material to get into the repro tract either through the opening at the infandibulum, or through lacerations. I have no idea what you are seeing. As a test, why not stop the raisins – and why is that hen getting special treatment??? :)
      BTW, I accept off-topic queries through email, so do email me in a few days after you’ve stopped the raisins and let me know if there’s been a change.

      • My guess is that they are what are called “meat spots,” a bit of blood and tissue (yes, gross!) that show up in the albumin. One of my red hens does this and it is the reason I now save my best little blue eggs for gifts, and we use the red hens’ eggs ourselves. The big egg producers have a computerized bright light system that sorts these eggs out of the production line. They are perfectly safe to eat, however, so are saved for secondary uses like pet food and baking products. My first experience with a meat spot was when biting into a hard-boiled egg, and there it was, sticking out like a little buckwheat seed.

        • Thank you both for your comments. Carol you comment makes me feel better. Terry, my barr rock is my favorite hen, but that’s not why she gets special treatment. The silly girl trained me. I’ll explain in an email. Thanks again ladies.

          • I’ve only seen meat spots on yolks. It happens when there’s a tiny hemorrhage as the yolk releases from the ovary. They usually have a distinctive red tinge and are larger than poppy seeds. I’ve never seen them in the whites, but I haven’t seen everything :)

  13. What a handsome guy! Wishing lots of years, petting that velvet nose, listening to the soft whinnies, and yes the smell of hay & well you know.

  14. Not sure who looks happier: you or the horse :) Congrats & enjoy!

  15. Congrats! He’s beautiful and I can’t wait to see and hear more about him.

  16. So excited for you! Tonka is handsome. Don’t mess with Texas! My husband is from Texas too. <3

  17. The Adventures of Tonka and Terry. Can’t wait! The smile says it all…yours too, Terry. : ) So happy for you!

  18. “To ride a horse is to ride the sky.” Blue skies to you and Tonka!

  19. i’d love to know how the hen trained jen to feed her raisins – let us know if she’s alright with it. i know of a hen – like your siouxie – who trained her people to allow her to lay her eggs in a frying pan!
    this was a response – arousing day – your horse makes me happy just to look at him and i know how happy you will be having him.

  20. Terry, you and the horse are truly blessed spirits. Forty years ago on the farm/ranch I lived on, I had an Appaloosa, a dun colored with matching spots on a white blanket. He was papered with the name Tonka Wonkon (spelling is aproximate). Tonka means “great” and the last is usually the noun, such as spirit or buffalo or …….
    Anyhow, it was supposed to have been the name of the only horse found on LIttle Big Horn in Montana after Custer’s Last Stand. He lived up to his name.
    Passing through Wyoming and the Dakotas and Montana, to see herds of the painted ponies is breathtaking. Glad you can sit one in an otherwise “quiet” Bostonian suburb, a bit of fleeting America.
    You might also enjoy seeing some of Beverly Dolittle’s paintings. Anyway, without writing a book, you and others know that many photographers capture the reflections in a horse’s eye, but until you have looked past that reflection into his soul, you don’t bond. When you hence see the reflection of your soul from his eye’s, you have made a solemn journey into the heaven’s.

  21. Congratulations!! Tonka is about to have the most wonderful life with you…no blueberry fields, no problem!!

  22. What a beautiful guy and such a glossy coat. I know you two will be very happy together.

    I would also like an update on how Jen’s hen trained her to give raisins, if it’s possible.

  23. He’s absolutely gorgeous! Paints are my favorite! Can’t wait to hear more and see more of him, congratulations. :)