Thursday, October 18, 2012

How Do You Keep Blogging?

This is such a bizarre situation.

I have finally realized what happened to me and my blog. The blog, which in many ways, I value so much.

They finally got to me.

The haters.
The trolls.
The crazy stalker.
The whiners and bullies.

In spite of the fact the majority of the people I meet on this blog are interesting, curious, love horses-- whether they have them or not-- and writing, and are willing to put up with my long winded opinions and way too long training posts. I am aware and flattered  most of  you come for the stories and are polite enough to read the rest of my ramblings, but there are a few who have stomped all over my desire to write in this form. Even when they consider themselves "fans," they'll still stick their spur in my sides at the weirdest times.

It's showed up in me with my bizarre unwillingness to finish the story about Tally.

Part of it would come from two specific comments. I can only give you approximations, I don't remember the exact words and I have no interest in looking them up..

One said: Blogs, on average, last approx. 4 years before petering out. So why don't you finish telling us about Tally and get out?
This wasn't friendly advice BTW, it was kinda nasty and demanding.
The second referred to a piece I wrote about a conversation between my daughter and I. It was about the power of horses to heal and make the weak stronger.
The comment went kind of like this: Great sharing of a moment with your daughter and her rehab, now could you get on with writing about Tally?

Gotta tell you, my heels dug in so hard it buried my rowels.

It took me a while to sort this out, but I finally realized what was going on.

I would have a training moment and think, I need to blog this, then I'd think, I really need to write a Tally post, then my mind would skitter off to, Wonder what I should make for dinner? That would be the end of my blogging moment.

I have stories I want to write about some of the new and interesting horse people I've met lately, thoughts I've had about old time training methods vs. new, safety around our horses, where we go as riders as we age and become debilitated and how to balance our horse life with our family when it becomes overwhelming at home.

But Tally stops me every time.

Then there is a vague uneasiness, maybe we should call it jumping at shadows, that has affected my willingness to share much. See, some of these shadows carry BB Guns, the little pellets only sting, but hell, if you're willing to pop me in the eye with a BB, then when will it be OK to move up to a shotgun?

It began with an uncomfortable situation that turned into an unsettling obsession, and now is classified, legally and by definition, as cyber-stalking. Nice huh?

I've been dealing with that one for going on four years, it should be like an old friend by now, and is easy enough to ignore, but of course it adds into my blog block.

I think the biggest mistake I've made with this forum was trying to write for FHOTD. SnarkyRider is doing an incredible job of keeping it going and my hat is off to her.

Personally, I found that place scary, sad and annoying, all rolled into one nasty little wad of mouse fur, hacked up by a rabid, one-eyed, stray barn cat. You know the one I mean, it's a big old Tom, he showed up in your hay barn. He's starved, you feel bad for him and think you should feed him, look at his ribs! Except, when you see him, he hisses at you. It's clear if he weighed just 100 pounds more he's happily eat you... and pus keeps leaking out of that empty eye socket. You can't help but hope he'll just move along.

I learned a lot over there. I learned about social prejudice, bigotry, ignorance covered up with hostility, trolls, spelling, and sentence structure. Not one damn thing about horses, but mucho much about some of the people who are involved in them. I learned I just can't start my day researching horse tragedies, bad writing, starving animals and making fun of other riders.

It also made me very aware of the freedom offered by the anonymity of cyberspace. Those nasty, rotten, garbage- induced-diarrhea-of-an-old-cattle-dog type people, who want to hurt others. What a dangerous place this can be.

Did I write that last sentence correctly? How about my spelling? Did you get my point? Good enough then.

I came back to the Chronicles shaken.

Then I read about a 15-year-old girl who killed herself, because of unearned, non-stop harassment, mainly on FB, which hounded her through changes of both schools and the towns she lived in. This poor kid killed herself because she felt the Internet caused hell would never stop finding her and ruining her life.

Trust me, I'm nothing like that girl, my experience has mainly been positive, and most of the people who share my little piece of the blog-o-sphere are great. Plus, I'm a grown-up and understand that some people suck. It's just that I also understand how she felt. I really wish I had never seen this side of people, that I had stayed in my naive little bubble of horsey fairies and flowers and didn't know this bile existed.

On my own side of things, I've also decided I'm much too secretive about much of my life. It's not that big of a thing, yet somehow, a threat of "exposing the truth" made me realize it seemed more interesting than it is. So I've decided to cough it up and lay that particular thorn in my side to rest.

Plus, it will give me more to write about.

You see, when I started my blog, I wanted only to be seen as  horse trainer. To be judged on my successes and failures as a horseman and only that. So I kept the extras out of it.

But I've come to realize, through writing, lots of therapy and more experience with this bumpy road, that many of the things I keep secret make up a huge part of my training philosophy and who I am as a horse person.

Plus, developing a kick ass friendship with Becky Bean (Blog of Becky) hasn't hurt. Hell, if the story is funny enough,she'll tell you what her favorite brand of tampon is and why, and she's still doing fine. So what makes me so special? Not a damn thing, that's what. My secrets kept screwing up my time line too, and you guys are too sharp not to have figured it out eventually.

So here goes folks, take me or leave me.

My beginnings with horses are pretty much an open book, if you read the Mort stories.

When I was in my late twenties, I got to play with the Big C. Yep, cancer. A nasty Fibrosarcoma appeared in my right palm and many, many surgeries and treatments later, my right hand and arm were amputated, just below the elbow.

I spent ten years playing with that one, add a very bad husband, my wonderful daughter and little to no horse interaction and you've got most of my thirties.

After getting rid of both the poisonous arm and husband, I started giving riding lessons at a small barn in Green Mountain Falls, CO.

The first horse I rode in almost ten years (sorry Bob) was Pepsi, a 16+hh (for reals), 3-year-old mustang filly. This was typical of me, I became a horse trainer at the same time I learned to ride with a prosthetic. I prefer to keep things exciting.

A few years later, I met the Big K at a clinic. I was on Sonita, trying not to die, and became hooked on reined cowhorse.

K became my instructor, my mentor and my friend. I ended up working for and with him and we had some great times, good times and horrible times. We always worked hard. We split, but now we've both grown and changed, have healed the breach and are good friends again.

K's name is Tim Unzicker.  He's become an outstanding horseman over the years and has always been a solid winner in the show pen.. Check him out at

Look carefully, we're closing in on the 2013 Mugwump/Big K Clinic and Ranch Party, to be held at his ranch. This clinic will be for the Mugwump Chronicle readers, unless you hate me, then please stay home. I'll have details posted soon.

I retired from training because I was fried. This you know. Part of the frying that turned me so crispy golden was learning I have Parkinson's Disease.

I quit training and became a writer for the Fountain Valley and El Paso County News.

Then my illness became worse and I had to cut back my hours. I applied for disability, got it and continued on. The, last year, my husband had a stroke.

Since that time, I quit the paper, except for a weekly food column (yeah, I cook too), and have become my husbands primary caretaker. Hence the spotty writing.

I think that's it. Oh wait, I also suffer from periodic, but nasty, bouts of depression. To which I say, "Well Duh."

So there you have it. Here I am.

OK, maybe not. This is really me.

Here's me and Madonna.
I don't wear a prosthetic anymore. Tim kinda, sorta, dared me to get rid of it. You know, get rid of the barrier of the mechanical arm and really ride. Always one to take a dare, I went for it.
Odin has been started from scratch with me one-handed. See what I mean? So much to write about!
When I ride, all of my PD symptoms disappear. Some call it a miracle, I call it muscle memory, doesn't matter which it is, I am so happy I am still in there swinging.

Hey Becky! There's my hat!

So tell me, how do I keep blogging? I think this may be the first step.
Screw those trolls, we have stuff to talk about.


  1. Your honesty brings me to near tears, a situation I find uncomfortable only because I'm sitting in a professional chair in an intense scientist office, moments from ever having to decide "will we blow the plant up or not".

    Be strong. Screw the leeches, and the bullies, and the fugly-haters. If you get bullied, blog about it, and let US, the collective of your readershop, handle them.

    May your writing continue as long as you have stories to share. We're all here, and we're still reading, cheering you on quietly from the sidelines, wishing we could ride bravely enough to write those same stories.

  2. Please don't blow us up.
    I've still got some riding to do.

  3. Oh wait, you said plant, not planet. Go ahead.

  4. Thank you for your bravery! I love this blog, although I've never commented yet. Yes, your Tally stories are fantastic, but I read for many more reasons than just her. Keep givin 'er!

  5. Holy cow, can I say I admire you even much more now? Not that I've commented before, but you've caused me to today.

    I agree with Jennifer. Your longtime commenters can deal with the trolls far more effectively than just you alone.

    Keep blogging if you can. Maybe it can become a sort of catharsis for you.

  6. People can be so evil. I hesitate to write anything right now. My son died on September 13th of a drug overdose. There was an article in a newspaper of the same city he died in about another boy who also died of an overdose a couple of weeks after my son. (there have been 3 more since then)

    I commented on that article because people were saying "it's all the parent's fault" (in the comments). They were saying addiction is not a disease -- it's the that the parents didn't raise the kids right

    Having a son who was so sick with his addiction, I absolutely know this to not be true. So I said as much. A lovely man immediately told me that I killed my son and I should just own that and live with it.

    I'm in no condition to even read those words let alone try and stand up for myself. I just deleted my comment and cried some more.

    I completely understand your reactions to the mean spritied selfish comments people sometimes make. I truly do not understand those people.

    I love all your posts. Your training posts are extraordinary. I share them with my best sisterfriend and we try lots of the ideas on our own ponies. We both would love to ride with you just to learn even one little thing.

    Your honesty in this post is huge. Thank you for it.

    I will always continue to read what you write here. And if I could swing it I would be at that clinic w/ you and Tim so freakin fast. ah well.....

  7. Besides, I'm so envious of people who can blog. I've tried, I can't.

  8. It is my full intention not to blow up the production plant, or the planet. :)

    You may now return to your regularly scheduled riding, perhaps already in progress.

  9. I love all your posts but was especially touched by the one about your daughter. :) I'm a mom to two daughters and have given up many things so I could give them horses, you made me understand why.

  10. I hope to have half as much grit as you. I think you are the true definition of "cowgirl tuff"!

  11. I check my blog list every day to see if you've posted something new and it makes my day when you have, no matter what it is. I love your stories, your commentaries and most of all, the matter of fact, BTDT voice you have in your writing.

    I have learned a lot of things from you and your stories that I wish I had known when I was younger, trying to bring along a mare that was often a train wreck.

    While I sincerely hope you continue writing, for yourself and for us, we will all understand if you don't or can't. But, as others have said, we can handle the trolls and we're not going anywhere.

  12. You forgot to mention the time you were a 4-H leader. We were just a small group of completely inexperienced young girls, but I always looked up to you for your horse knowledge. I still remember how I felt when, in the arena on 31st street, you taught us how to change leads at a canter. I thought that was the most amazing thing! You were the only person who ever actually taught me how to ride and I thank you for that. I haven't been on a horse in many years myself, but my 11-year-old daughter has the bug now and I know it will be a good thing for her. Thank you, Jan.


  13. How to deal with the trolls? A big honkin' ban-hammer. You don't have to put up with garbage in your comment section that you wouldn't put up with guests in your living room.

    If you feel really nice or a comment is borderline they get a public warning in the comment section.

    If you're feeling kinda nice they get one or two episodes of only deleting the offending post.

    Or, for any reason that you feel appropriate, you can outright block posting from them right away, the choice is yours. Yes, this is capricious. No, I don't think you're the kind of person that would use the banhammer for polite disagreement/discussion/questions.

    Depending on how you set things up, you can force comments from anonymous or first-time posters to have to be approved before being posted.

    This is not a public forum, the only person with a right to say anything here is you.

    As several people have said, you have friends here who would be happy to take on the trolls - maybe somebody would be willing to take on some of the moderation duties for you if seeing the trollishness as part of the moderation is getting painful.

  14. Hi Candy!
    You guys will be written about one of these days in the Mort stories,we had an awful lot of fun.

  15. Mugs, I have always loved to read your writing, stories and not. I am so happy that my blog isnt big because I am ever sacred of people on the internet! Thats why I dont post on forums anymore, wayyyy too much hate.

    I am truly amazed to hear your story, but after following for so many years I am happy to know your story. I feel that I block a lot of things on my own small blog because, well, its easier then trying to teach a bunch of random people everything that makes me, me. Just stick with the fun stuff - horses!

    Well, enough rambling, Im happy you are writing as much as you can and I look forward to this new "chapter"!

  16. Holy crap. I admired you before. I worship you now.

  17. Awesome post...and so are you. :)

  18. I am one of the fans you picked up from FHOTD, and I truly enjoy your work. Had you not taken on that other blog, I probably never would have found yours. Yours is one I check on a daily basis to see if you've posted, and get very excited when I see a new post.

    I'm sorry you've had to deal with such trolls. No person deserves that. I thoroughly enjoy reading what you post, even if I don't comment that much (this might be my second comment?) Don't let those jerks get you down! And keep on posting because I'll certainly keep on reading!

  19. This has to be one of the bravest posts I've ever read.
    I'd only recently started following your blog when you posted the story about the car ride with your daughter. It struck a chord with me, as I've gone from a very close relationship with my youngest daughter to a very fragile, prickly relationship with a similar tattoed, pierced and nose-ringed stranger. I couldn't believe the "Great sharing of a moment with your daughter and her rehab" comment and thought maybe it was someone you were close to just taking the mickey??
    I guess not.
    Anyway having found you oh so recently, I missed you when you stopped blogging. Don't let the trolls & the cyber-bullies get you down, don't give them air-time, I introduced moderation on my blog just to get rid of people trying to sell me Russian cigarettes, but thank god it will also stop a**holes like that leaving comments 'cos they know they won't get posted.
    And yeah, like Jennifer said, blog about the bullying, make a joke about the sad lonely gits who are doing the bullying (surely that won't be hard) and wait for the supportive comments to flow in from your ordinary, normal, HUMANE readers.
    Feck the begrudgers (it's ok to use that F word, even my mother uses it ;))

  20. Thanks for sharing. It doesn't matter what you write about or how you write it, as long as you are still blogging i'll still be reading.

  21. I've never commented, but I'm a loyal reader, and L O V E your stories.

    I choked up as I read this post, and felt compelled to leave a note. Sharing your life with a bunch of strangers can't be easy, and I applaud your honesty and guts.

    Go get em'. Forget the idiots and assholes who've got nothing better to do then pick on you, your writing, or your personal experiences.

    Thanks for sharing. Kudos! You're a STRONG lady. (And geeze, I can imagine starting a cold with one hand. It's hard enough for me with 2!! That'll give me something to think about. Yikes)

  22. You're incredible. I rarely comment as well, but am a loyal reader and love your writing style. I learn something new from you every time I read and usually get a good chuckle from what you've written as well. Thanks for stickin' round. =)

  23. Mugs, bless your heart.
    I love reading your posts, and could care less what you choose to write about, or when you finish what story. You generously let others peek into your thoughts and kindly share your experience, and hopefully you get a little positive energy out of it. I can sure understand Fugly getting to you (You nailed it with the barn-cat analogy.) But it's YOUR blog, so ban anybody you want, delete any comment you want - hell, turn off the comments. But I hope you keep writing. There are plenty of us that appreciate you for who you are. We're just more quiet than the haters.

  24. Oh you're back , am sooo glad have missed you while you've been away ! Have clicked on to mugwump daily but with nothing there my face fell & my bottom lip stuck out like a helicopter landing stage.Can't imagine why anyone would take the trouble to read your blog if they don't like it,putting unpleasant comments is pathetic & they do very much need to find something else to play with.Most of us will have something go wrong in their life & no one at all needs idiots picking at us,imagine that it is soul destroying. Am glad you've come out of your depression,it's awful to have but can well see that the things you've experienced would make you depressed.Be glad you've cut "both of the cancers out of your life" ie bad husband & the big c.LOL. Am so made up that you've come back could jump about ( well not really as fat old woman jumping about upstairs would crack the ceiling )

  25. So, one of these days I think everyone in the blogosphere should have a "Nerd Off". We can go through our old pictures of ourselves and see who was the geekiest/nerdiest.

    If I'm not the clear winner, I am going to be in the top three.

    I was a know-it-all who wore brilliant, teal pleather hi-tops, and I discovered that if you bought bigger glasses, you never had to worry about seeing the rims. Why hadn't everyone figured this out? I especially liked paying the extra money for the tinted lenses that turned into sunglasses when you went outside. It was cutting-edge technology.... and left the normal lenses tinted permanently yellow.

    Also, brushing hair was for sissy girly-girls.

    I developed my policy of being absurdly open and joking about myself as a survival tactic.

    The bullies can't make fun of your glasses if you make fun of them first - it takes the wind out of their sails.

    Eventually, somewhere along the way, my survival tactic became a lot of fun.

    That said, if you discover a way to keep the trolls words from hurting, even when you know how off base they are, let me know. I could benefit from that.

    Mugs, If I had a cool hat, I'd take it off right now and display my sweaty hat-head, in honor of this post. You rock.

  26. Yay! Welcome back. I don't usually comment but I read every post and have missed your blog like crazy.

    This is an excellent way to "start again," and I am absolutely thrilled you're back, I admire you even more than I did before!

    Keep on keeping on!

  27. Now THAT, my dear, is keeping it real.

    You are an amazing writer and trainer. I love reading your posts. Of all the blogs that have come and gone in the last few years. Yours is the one I miss the most when I don't see you post for a while.

  28. "So tell me, how do I keep blogging?"

    By doing exactly what you just did!

  29. Fabulous blog entry and blog. I too found you through the fugly blog. I look for new posts daily and am excited when I find one. Yeah I'd like to hear the end of the Tally story, but you'll get to it. And if not, no big deal.

    If you can't ignore the trolls and jerks, do what the one post said and ban 'em. It's your blog. You don't have to be democratic!

    Just don't stop if you can't help it. We'd all miss you way too much.


  30. wow... I agree with everything that everyone else has posted.

    I'm also a sporadic commenter, but have been reading your blog for a loooonnnnggg time. I usually don't read the comments people make, so I haven't seen what the trolls have been posting, but to quote a line from one of my favorite anti-bullying movies out there, Angus, (yes, I'm a dork!) SCREW EM!!!

    People who bully or torment others are blights on the butt of society. They will get their comeuppance, whether in the form of a virus that wipes out their entire hard drive, or 3 flat tires, they'll get it.

    Hope you keep writing, you are very much adored here! :)


  31. You're right up there with one of my favorite blogs ever! You're candid, honest, and so refreshing! I appreciate your blogging style, and in this particular post, your openness! I'm sorry that there are shitty people out there who make it difficult, but am glad that you're giving them the cyber finger anyway! :) Cheers to you, you're amazing!!

  32. omgosh... I just read my first line, & it doesn't read the way I meant it!! I mean your post, WOW, and that I also agree with everyone else's comments!!!

    (it sounds like I'm amazed that I agree with everyone else's comments..thats not they way I intended it!)

    Jamie :/

  33. I love you more than ever. I have tears in my eyes, I don't know if it's from your post or from chopping onions for andouille, shrimp and crab soup (since you also cook).

    Becky is a wonderful inspiration of how to greet the world with complete honesty and lack of ego. You are allowed to be different, I don't think you were ever dishonest, you just didn't share everything. I respected your privacy, and always will.

    I have to admit that several times during your absence, I wanted to email and ask for you to finish Talley, but I knew it would be rude. That's one of the things I love about this blog, is the way you tell your stories.

    Please consider moderating your comments, and blocking really obnoxious people. I read another blog that's written by a gay man, he gets some weird and beyond nasty comments, and he's developed his own rules. You don't follow his rules, you're gone, he says he doesn't read the comments, he just deletes. No second chances. His comments are also moderated. We're mostly grown up here, we can accept that. The bottom line is, I want you to keep writing this blog, but I don't want you to be hurt by any of it. I hope to meet you at that clinic.

  34. I think I need a hug....yep - I'm one of those hugger people. I have followed your posts from the beginning (I think) and have enjoyed every single one. I missed your stories, both about your day to day trainings, your daughter and your memories of horses and days gone by. I didn't want you to think I was a stalker, so I left you alone...(mostly). Welcome back Janet!

    PS - my friends would probably like it better if I had some life, for better or worse is an open book. Helps me sleep at night.

  35. One more thing.... I'm glad that you look like a beautiful,regular person....I kept envisioning you as the girl in the first picture. :-)

  36. I am a blog lerker...I check your blog each and everyday to see if something new has been posted. I also have had a writers block on my blog, due to my fixing a lot a chaotic in an ex-boss's life, due to him hiring someone that stole and did things in his office that are beyond comprehension! I so wanted to blog about it, because for them to get away with it is just not right! So I put it behind me, and given enough rope she will eventually hang herself, and KARMA does happen to come around sometimes.

    Anyway, I totally enjoy your blog, and have followed you for quite sometime. I worried when you took over Fugly because I know from reading your writings, that you are a very kind and sensitive person, and I was afraid fugly would tear into that. I enjoy reading Snarkey over there and glad you are back on your home turf.

    People are so very rude, and seems that with the internet, it is so much easier for people to rudley comment. Would they all do it face to face? I doubt it. The pen is mightier than she sword, and this is where the internet can be a bad thing. But for people like you, and the wonderful stories you write, the internet is a good thing.

    Take Redhorse's advice, and moderate comments, and just DELETE THE BAD APPLES! (easier to delete them on the internet, than to punch them in the gut in real life)! :)

    THANK YOU for being YOU! A very special person with lots of talent, and willing to share that!

  37. What an amazing post, congrats on being brave and coming into the open. Love your stories and your training info has always been helpful, loved the post about cathedral bits.
    Don't let the haters get you down, I blog for fun and could quickly stop if I was getting nothing but haters. Awesome post.

  38. I've read your blog for ages but I don't think I've ever commented until now.

    I've always found you a wonderfully inspirational person just on the basis of your strong opinions and willingness to learn and change yourself but reading this really moved me, I hope you keep writing, because I will keep reading. The world needs more people with your spirit and bravery.

  39. I've read your blog for ages but I don't think I've ever commented until now.

    I've always found you a wonderfully inspirational person just on the basis of your strong opinions and willingness to learn and change yourself but reading this really moved me, I hope you keep writing, because I will keep reading. The world needs more people with your spirit and bravery.

  40. Wow, can we get hugs all around for this one?

    Mugs, whatever you want to write about I'll read it, and I'll appreciate every word.

  41. Wowza, Mugs. You are such a wonderfully talented person: story-teller, writer, horse trainer, mom... I am deeply humbled, and have tears in my eyes, that you have allowed us into your personal life, and your personal challenges. You are even more amazing than I already believed!

    I don't know if it helps or not, or if it's true or not, but the tone of those troll messages seems decidedly immature and teenager-ish. We all know teenagers say things that are mean, hateful and/or rude sometimes and we (as parents) just have to let it go and move on. They will grow up someday. I agree that you should just delete those comments, although I understand that the delete button doesn't clear the words out of your head. I tend to stew on stuff like that forever too, and give those negative voices too much power.

    Anyway, I feel that your stories are a gift to us. Who are we to decide whether that gift is good enough? Or finished enough? We (your faithful, supportive readers) just accept your gift graciously.

    I enjoy your gifts to us immensely. I look forward to more gifts of stories (whatever there form or subject) from you.

    Hugs for Mugs!

  42. Please, whatever you do, don't let a few people spewing their anonymous hate take away your opportunity to share your story with us. We value you and your perspective, on horses, kids, life, whatever. I hope you see us as a group of friends you can drop in and chat with, anytime night or day.

  43. God Bless you, Janet, I love you! Like many others, I check your site daily; thrilled when you've posted something - disappointed when you haven't. I enjoy your writing immensely (even the cliffhangers!) and value your horse experience, and how clearly you explain your techniques. You make it sound so easy! Pls don't let a few bad apples spoil it for the rest of us (yes, I'm being selfish). You have a gift and they are just bullies. Giving in to them gives them power. Ignore them and they'll eventually go away. The best revenge is to have a good life ... thanks for sharing your life with us.


  44. Wow - you've blown my mind (again). Thanks so much for your courage and honesty.

    I've been reading religiously since finding you through FHOTD. I rarely comment, though thoughts are always provoked.

    I'm suffering from a little blog block too.

    Not from mean cyber haters. (only had one of those, who mocked me and celebrated what a terrible rider I am... yay - I posted video). I'm still trying to process some in-person hating that came from a close family member. It takes effort not to get preoccupied.

    As others have said, comment moderation helps a little with the online bullies. At least you can limit the attention their spew receives...

    Please keep writing!

  45. Mugs, I havnt always agreed with all of your posts. But in this world we can have our own opinions yes!! And we shouldnt be lambasted by trolls because of it!!!

    I started blogging, for myself, and continue to do it for myself.
    I have "met" many wonderful people online, and a few of those in person! Its fun to get nice comments. But it is for me.

    Start there girl, dont do it for anyone else.

    This is a very moving post. I very rarely post about my issues.
    I havnt been found by trolls LOL

  46. I've never commented before, but I have been reading for years. I love your blog, both the stories of horses past and present and for your training posts. I love how you write, and the humor in. Today's post truly moved me, the raw honesty and the bravery it took to be so open. I hope you'll keep writing, ignore the naysayers and trolls, your fans love you and your writing.

  47. Wow! You are so strong and brave. You are an amazing story teller and I thank you for all of the stories you have shared. They are mesmerizing.

  48. "Blogging while female" can be a scary thing. I have always loved your honesty and your writing and your willingness to be who you are on the pages of your blog.

    As many have said, this is an amazing and incredible story and I have even more respect for you and your bravery now.

    I know how hard it is to put aside some of the haters. They're evil and they get inside our heads and they manage to hit those soft places where our doubts live. And even though our head says "screw 'em" somehow our hearts can't quite leave them behind.

    Thank you for your blogging. Thank you for sharing your stories and yourself with us. This is one of my favorite blogs.

    You go, Girl!

  49. I'm generally not a commenter, but I just wanted to add that I read your stories and comments for the knowledge...not that I always agree with everything you say, but I still learn things, and take away what I can. I LOVE your stories (you should turn them into a book!) and I'm always excited when you post! It's actually really nice to finally meet the real you! This was a really full, well-rounded post.

  50. This blog is fantastic, always has been (sporadic posts, longwinded training posts, etc. included!!)
    This new info about you just makes you human like the rest of us. Thank you for sharing, this post and all your other experiences over the years...pleaseeee don't stop now!!!

  51. Oh, and I know comments can be fun, but if you are scared of them, you could just get rid of commenting options! But at the very least you could definitely moderate them in some way. It is YOUR blog afterall. And people can make comments without thinking much at all...just get rid of them before you spend too much time wasted on thinking about them!

  52. Thank you for continuing to blog! You have a truly amazing story. I have a good friend in Billings and have been wanting to visit. Clearly I will just "happen" to visit her when you have your clinic/party!!

  53. I must say that I have missed you and your stories.

    I think you have things to say, and that is probably why you blog. They are your stories, you have a wonderful way with words and most of us appreciate them.

    Eventually I hope you will finish telling us about Tally, but knowing you there will be at least two or three more cliffhangers to drive us nutty. There will be a time when you will be ready. You won't have to force it when that time comes.

  54. Mugs, I think you're on the path to Becky-ness. She just lets it all hang out, as you have done in this post.

    One of the best things you can do to the trolls is to realize how much they don't matter, and indeed, to think of how pathetic they are. While they are impotently tapping at their keyboards, you have lived a life of amazing accomplishment and adventure. You have things that they don't have, such as decency and intelligence. Of course, you can always mock them, or allow them to be mocked by your loyal readers :)

    As for finishing your stories, well... as much as I'd like to know what happened, they are yours to tell as you wish. You are an admirable woman, and I feel privileged to be permitted a glimpse of your amazing life.

  55. You are amazing.
    You are not alone.
    I see you as you are and hope you continue on with your stories and life tales.

    I think we all have had our trials and tribulations of some sort.

    Keep on, keeping on...


  56. I've been reading this blog for a long time, but (I think) this is my first comment. Mugs, don't let the bastards get you down. You're an amazing writer and horsewoman. Your patience and love for these fantastic animals shows through in every post. I thought the post about your daughter was lovely. She's very lucky to have a mother like you.

  57. Oh wow, I have tears in my eyes which is really unusual for me. Thank you so much for your bravery and honesty. I have read your blog for a long time, but like others I rarely comment. You are a truly beautiful person inside and out, and you represent the kind of person I want to be one day. I have loved reading what you have to say for your coverage of the grey areas. That’s a little vague, but it’s hard to explain what I mean.

    I guess I appreciate that you have the things you are passionate about, but you are also open to the idea that there is never really one answer to a lot of training and life questions. After only reading Fugly for so long I started to think that everything I did with my horses was wrong because someone at some point said so. I mean I ride some of them with bits and they don’t all have shoes and chiropractic visits, and oh I own a nice stallion and breed him to two really nice accomplished mares… Over there I don’t dare ever say something like that just in case they get the pitch forks out, because gosh darn it none of them competed at the Olympics why would I breed them?

    The things you write always sit with me and get me thinking about me and my life, no matter what they are about. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us, you are an inspiration and very loved by your readership. I will stick around no matter what you write. YOU GO GIRL!!! :) 

  58. Wow. So much I could say in response to your open-ness. Thank you. You're amazing. Blessings and hugs to you. Can I come be your disciple?

    You have gone through enough crap for ten people, and still you keep your sense of humor, write stories to share with us ungrateful wretches, train your horses, raise a fabulous daughter, figure things out so a horse-dummy like your truly can understand.

    Mugs, THANK YOU for coming back. As Jennifer said in the first post, let your friends here deal with the trolls. And if you need to change this to a closed, sign-in type board, then so be it. I'll go through an FBI background check to continue reading your blog.

    Whether it's about horses, cooking, the color of the sunset, or how to choose toilet paper, you have a style to your writing that is rare in this world. I feel grateful that you share it and we get to read it. Thank you.

  59. Screw the trolls indeed. I actually found Becky through you, way back when (three years ago?) and I've been forever grateful, because she's amazing.

    I've hung around for all your writing, because I like how you write and love your stories.

    Also, four years then blogs die? No wonder I feel like a grumpy old woman.

    You're pretty amazing. Thank you for writing your stories.

  60. Wow. You are awesomer than I thought, and I thought you were pretty darned awesome.

  61. Long time reader, occasional commenter. I have been blogging since 2005 - before I knew what blogging was... so don't let fear of longevity scare you off. Agree with some of the other comments; that some of the trolls and those who spew hate are teenagers - perhaps even pre-teen. I get that from the way they type, lack of good grammar and punctuation skills. Don't go looking at mine either, but at least I know the comma exists. :)

    I find your stories and posts very readable, informative and fun. And like others before me, look forward to them. I rarely read other's comments as I feel they are to you, not me. Fugly turned me off reading comments to learn more because most were nonsense.

    As a blogger, I appreciate comments. I am not in the same league as you traffic wise, so its probably relative. I get excited when I get more than one or two and then one is a spammer. But I still write and blog because its what I like to do. If I went private, I would still do the same thing and make just my sister read it. :)

    Maybe you should go to moderated comments and have an "editor" moderate them for you. That person can give you a watered down or comedic version of what was said. Now THAT would be fun!

    Anyway, hang in there. I love your column for what it is - I don't need to know any more or any less. Just keep on doing what you are doing. And I won't mention that I am waiting for the next installment of .... Tally! LOL!

  62. All I can say is "Wow, simply wow!" You are amazing. I have been reading your blogs for few years and LOVED them. I even used some of your training tips on my horse, which made a BIG difference. And I so enjoyed your stories. Please keep them coming. As far as the trolls and the "low lifes" out there, let us commenters deal with them. God bless you!- Karen from Rochester, NY

  63. Nice to finally meet you.

  64. Hey dude! (or dudette?) Any one who can do what you do with one arm no less is kick ass in my book.

    Keep at it, and screw the fugly horse trolls and their ilk. They belong at the bottom of the manure pile.

  65. You are incredible. I was practically in tears as I was reading this. I just wanted to say that I've been reading this blog from the start, and my admiration for you has only ever increased. Please continue as you are. You have brought joy, inspiration, reflection, and knowledge into my life with your writing, and I will be forever grateful for that.

    - Melissa

  66. Mugs,

    I was so blown away that you had lost an arm to cancer, and had come through so much otherwise, and none of it leaked into any of the stories on your blog. When you revealed so many personal things, I was just shocked that i had never known them, because as a long-time reader, I felt like I should just know, somehow. Your training tips have helped me with my mare, and your stories about Mort and Tally and Sonita got me through some rough times of my own, just having something to look forward to.
    I have been tempted to beg for more Tally stories as well, and now I am so pleased I didn't.
    I truly think it is heartbreaking about that poor young girl (I went to the highschool she was in when I was younger, and that school was a much better place then), and how so much of what happened was based on coersion and then bullying and aggression piled on top of the strangeness of how women (girls) attack each other. I might email you an article written by a local schoolteacher talking about some of her thoughts on it, if you don't mind? I just think you might like her perspective on it.
    Also, as regards your trolls, I know how incredibly hard it is not to let them get to you, especially since what they say festers under the skin, when you are trying to sleep, when you are cooking, when you are looking at your man and having a conversation and it just ruins everything.
    I am not sure if I can add links here, but this article was so incredible about how a cyber-stalker bully basically ruined this man's life for a number of years.

    Really, I hope so very much that you start writing again. Blocking comments and changing email addresses constantly would be fine by all of us. I really have missed your posts. <3

  67. Thank you...

    I needed that. I really did.

  68. Eta to my first comment...

    I'm going on 34 and keep thinking my life is shit and I should just hide under a rock and to hell with the dreams I had when I was younger...

    You gave me some perspective. Thank you.

  69. Mugs, I've got to say wow. I love your blog, always have - seriously! I've learnt so many tricks from your training posts that helped me ride the first young horse I've ever had. I've quoted you so many times on my own horse blog because you have really, really helped me like no other horse blogger has!

    I don't want to come across all fan-girly and creepy, but I just wanted to let you know that I will never get sick of your training posts, stories or any other little thing you wish to share.

    Plus, I think you are super brave for telling the trolls to get stuffed, and I hope you'll stick around for a long time yet. : )


  70. You... are... f*cking... awesome.

    If I had a million years left to live I could not approximate one tenth of your awesomeness.

    That is all. :)

    Oh, maybe not: PS: Write a book instead of the blog. Make people pay to read you. Write the ending of the Tally story into the book so those jerks who seem to feel entitled to *demand* someone write something for them (Wut?!) will be forced to put their hand in their pocket to read it!!!

  71. I've been a reader for over a year, but have never commented before. Please keep writing whatever you feel like writing! It's YOUR blog and to heck with the trolls. I, for one, love the horse stories the most but have enjoyed reading everything you've posted no matter what the content.

  72. Okay, I'm crying after reading your post and some of the numerous comments. I've never posted here before, but I read religiously. I wait in eager anticipation to see what you'll write about next; will it be a training post that I can glean a bit of knowledge from? Will it be a post about Mort and the psycho-crazy stuff you did with him as a kid? Will it be about Sonita, and your struggles with her? Will it be about the Big K...who is that mystery guy? I never know when you'll post, and I never know what it'll be about, and that's why I love the blog.

    Don't let the haters and morons get you down. They're out there. If they think you suck at this, then why don't they put their money where their mouth is, and try to write a blog themselves? You are a very busy person, so you write what you can, when you can.

    The haters also have the ability to QUIT READING the blog. No one is holding a gun to their heads', telling them they have to read it or else! If they don't like how you do it, then they need to move on.

    That being said, I encourage you to continue writing...what you want to talk about, when you want to talk about it. Your story telling abilities are incredible, and I look forward to opening your page (which is saved in my "favorites") and reading about whatever is awaiting my eager little brain.

  73. I've been reading your blog from the beginning, and I've only posted once before, but I just wanted to say you are such an inspiration to me. Please don't let a couple of loosers on the internet keep you from sharing your stories with us!

  74. Mugs,
    I'm a cowhorse competitor too, and a home trainer of my own horses, that is my common ground with you.

    I don't follow any blogs but yours, and I check it religiously... I have loved all the stories, and have learned some from your training stories and the occasional tips. I don't always make it through all the comments.
    Sometimes I want to comment, but I didn't have a Google account, and half the time couldn't get my comments to post.
    This time, though, I do want to say that I am pretty impressed. I'm impressed with your ability to look inward, identify the problem, find a solution, and implement it.
    Kudos to you for opening up about your issues, and letting us know you better...

    About the haters, rudesters and trolls, can't you block their IP addresses?

    Thank you!

  75. Heck yah, welcome back Mugs. And thanks for the glimpse into your personal life. I agree, screw the others, there are PLENTY of us that look forward to hearing what you have to say!

  76. Didn't have a chance to read this 'til after work...
    Wow! Just WOW!
    And what everyone else said.^^^
    And with a little fear of sounding like one of the trolls, I just want to add that I don't want you to let all this adoration go to your head, now, dear... We love you just the way you are. ;-D

  77. I have been reading your blog for years. Your breadth of knowledge and experience is palpable. You are a fantastic resource and I have often wondered how the rest of us are so lucky to receive your insights and stories for free. This is what makes blogging and cyberspace a real treasure.

    I am a very visual person. I want to tell you that I have studied your current header photo many times and wondered why it consistently caught my eye. I eagerly await learning about your training journey one-handed and how riding temporarily cures PD. I have heard some amazing things about horses, but that is outstanding, beyond outstanding.

    Val (and my QH, Harley)

  78. I really wish you had a LOVE button on here. People are cruel. It's interesting that you posted about bullying. October is Bully Prevention month.

    Like so many others, I have missed you. Life is too short to worry about what the haters think. Thank you so much for putting yourself and your feelings out there. I always look forward to your posts.

  79. So the real Mugwump has now stood up. We're with you. Let's go.

  80. I don't comment much on here, but just so you know, your blog is the first website I go to every time I get on my computer! Like some of the others I admired you tremendously and admire you even more now! I only wish I could do the things you do with horses. You have helped me so much with my own, and I thank you so much for sharing your life stories and training methods with us. Don't let all those other idiots get to you, they're just jealous cause you're so awesome! :D I will forever be a fan of your blog!

  81. This was sooooooo brave of you. I've commented very sparingly before but have read every since one of your posts and always look to your blog for insight on horse training.

  82. I'm not really sure what to say, yet I feel a need to say something!! I've admired you for quite some time. I admire you even more now. You just went (for me) from a two dimensional, to three person.
    I must admit I had no idea the trolls were so bad for you. Funny how "brave" the faceless people are...and I also find it sad that they have nothing better to do than harass someone for 4 years. What a sad existence they must lead...
    I your writing can continue anew!! (0:

  83. Oh Mugs, there you are! I was starting to wonder where you'd gone!

    It is so nice to finally know more about the lady behind the stories, and it was more awesome to have just learned what a great lady you are in real life. I am so grateful for your blog posts and have learned so much from them. I fancy myself a practical, honest horsewoman and find your posts to often be exactly the insight I'm looking for, backed by a voice I appreciate, agree with, and understand. You are thorough when teaching, I love all of your stories, and think that it is almost impossible to write a blog about horses without weaving some part of your life into your stories. I am excited to hear all about it!

    I have been reading your stories since practically day one. I have loved so many of your posts. Thank you for them. Obviously the comments above mine speak for the number of horse folk who respect your knowledge and experience, and so do I. Keep on keepin' on, Mugs! :)

  84. Thank you for inspiring me.

  85. Let there be no doubt:

    You kick A$$.
    F*&# the trolls.

    Keep doing what you do best - write. It's interesting, it's inspirational, it's educational.

    Thank you for what you do!

  86. You guys are the best. Ever.

    Lucky SC...Guess how I knew instantly you are a trainer. You recognized the process.

  87. FHOTD was for a reason - I am another reader that found you through FHOTD (and I found FHOTD through Horses have seen many of us through tough times - keep on riding (and writing!)

  88. By the way, you can't fool us all, that first photo is Becky. I recognize her riding style.

  89. People can be the nastiest when they can hide in the never-never land of the internet. No one will know who they are and make them accountable for their petty, jealous bitchery. I read the blogs I like, love, make me think, and any I do not.....I ignore. Simple as that. I do not have to agree with you, you may not agree with me but that is our choice. I do hope that the trolls do not make you end writing of your life and your experiences. Keep on keepin' on!!!!

  90. Please don't ever stop posting your blogs. I don't know what I'd do if I couldn't check in every morning. It's hard to be alone and all of you in this blog world have become my friends even though we'll never meet. You all keep me going. Too bad a few bad apples have to spoil things, I don't get why - what do they get out of it??

  91. Well you already know how I feel about you.

    If you want to write a blog post once a month I will be happy. Once a month, once a day, I'll take what I can get, I just value your words so much.

    Honest confession time? Ok. Reading this has made me all weepy. Yeah alright I cry over dog food commercials (those dogs are so sweet!) so maybe that's not a good measure of a writing accomplishment, but you are a triumph and I get very emotional about all of our struggles and successes!

    How do I keep blogging...? (Yep you just read it!) I don't as much as I used to but I can't quite stop. I never got to be a huge blog star and now I'm relieved. Popularity is a blessing-curse and I managed to stay far enough under the radar that I didn't attract the amount of attention that draws out the ugliness. There's always going to be ugliness; it's proportional. The Internet makes it easy for the cowards to speak up. We can tell ourselves they'd never have the guts to say it to our faces but it still hurts.

    This week one of my young riding students spent much of her lesson sitting on Phoenix's back talking about bullying and about the young girl who took her own life (the girl from BC). Its heartbreaking. I had to find a way to talk to her but still make an enjoyable lesson... I ended up telling her she's lucky to have loving parents she can talk to (I've known this family forever) and that she just needs to be her own self and be confident and be good to people. Sadly there will always be those who want to tear you down. I don't have the answers. If bullies were horses I'd put my ears back at them???

    You are operating on a level of fairness and honesty. You've always made it clear this is your opinion and everybody else needs to form their own. Stay true!!!

    The Mugwump Chronicles is one of my favourite places on the Internet. You write, I read, sounds like a deal?

    And thank you for sharing... Even though you didn't have to!

    Now I must figure out a way to pay for a trip out west!!!!

  92. Good for you. There is much more good out there than bad glad you are back!

  93. Wow. Just wow. I am completely inspired by your courage. I love stobbing by to read your stories and would miss it terribly if you left the blogging world. Thank you for sharing your world.
    - Kim

  94. *stopping, not stobbing. Grrr.


  95. Please don't stop posting!! I love all your stories and training posts! There have been several posts I've applied directly to raising my Arab colt. I got him as an unbroke stud colt (Fobby's lessons appeared at the perfect time!) and now he's a solid citizen at 7yo who I can do anything from foxhunt on to cutting cows. A lot of this is thanks to your training blogs!

    Who cares what the naysayers say! Keep writing!

  96. Someone may have already suggested this. Would you consider having someone that you trust moderate for you? That way you don't have to see any of the crappy-pushy comments ever. To be honest I always felt a little weird about the pushy comments too. No appreciation, just demanding more, yeah whatever.

    2013 Clinic! Woo Hoo!!! How cool is that? So cool! Yay!

  97. I will volunteer to be moderator, however I imagine there are others that would also do it who you may know better.

    You should NOT be hit in the mouth when you are cantering the best darned circle that you can.

    Perhaps the razorblade-monkey-hands people just don't get to ride any more.

  98. Mugwump, I've been a reader of yours since way before FHOTD. Your stories and philosophies have changed my interaction with horses for the better. I'm so glad you're going to keep writing. I admired you before, but this post just elevated you to the proverbial "put on a pedestal".

    Also, I stopped writing on my own blog due to a troll, fuck her, I'm writing again.

  99. I think it is now quite clear that you are loved by many :)

  100. Thank you so much for sharing your story. As I read through the comments, I noticed a common theme. Many of us faithful readers who so enjoy your words don't stop and comment. So it's hard for you to know how many of us are out there being impacted by this blog. So my challenge, to myself and all other readers, is to step up and comment more. Let's have our words of appreciation, positivity, and Horsaii outweigh the few bad apples!
    Many deep, heartfelt thanks to you Mugs.

  101. As I sit here trying to type a comment, I am having to chase my 81 yeard old mother with dementia, caused by many mini strokes, as she tries to feed the puppy (my cat) M&M's, tries to put out her smokes on my table tops or the rugs or candles (at least if she uses my fat scented candles as ash trays the house smells better) and keep her from smelling like a swamp, keep food in her, and keep her hydrated, I know some of the things you are going through.

    My duties as a daughter have cut my riding, and even just barn time, to almost nil. I have had to give up my first show, which I had prepared for all summer. So your blog, and your followers comments kinda keep me in the horsii world. I thank you for that.

    Ah GAWD, it is quiet so I have to go see what my mom is up to!

    Oh, and on a finally note; Fuck the Fucktards who probably couldn't saddle a horse, let alone ride one with any kind of skill.

  102. This comment has been removed by the author.

  103. Brought tears to my eyes. Long time reader here. I have never posted but had to acknowledge the bravery in your post.

    Thanks for being with us Mugs!

  104. You are an inspiration Janet. Please never stop writing. It doesn't matter if your posts are days, weeks or months apart, I keep coming back to check.

  105. It may be true that the trolls are louder than the rest of us some days, but I know I'm one of many who read your blog religiously (haha, as if I ever go to church...maybe that shouldn't be my adjective of choice for this...) and check obsessively for new posts. Please, please keep blogging and putting it out there. I have learned SO much from your blog AND from all the fine folks who are not trolls who choose to comment. Your blog is by far my favorite for community, honesty and damn fine writing.

  106. I don't know what to say that hasn't been said above. Thank you for writing, you are very much appreciated. Even if I never post, I'm here laughing and crying along with you.

  107. Wow mugs, you are an amazing role model. I'm another fugly blog convert, I haven't really looked at that blog since you left it. At about that time I found myself in the hospital, in early labor with my son(4weeks early). I was scared, laying there in the maternity ward, but I found comfort reading your blog. I read all of your posts on Morte and Tally, then started on the others (man was cupcake ever a heart breaker).... Your blog kept me busy, kept me from worrying as I lay there waiting, and waiting... My son was born small, but healthy, we stayed in the hospital until he reached 6pounds and I continued reading there and when I got home. I read your stories right through a nasty dose of postpartum depression. I did eventually admit I was struggling, and talking to my doctor and found out that she had suffered from it as well. I'm beginning to believe we've all been touched by depression at sometime or another.
    I have been trying to brain sponge as much horse sense out of your blog as I could since I found it :) I call myself greenie for a reason... I didn't have a horse growing up, missed out on 4h and have basically started from scratch as an adult with nothing more than a green broke horse... I have drawn from what I have learned here many times in the last year, thank you mugs...

    If I've ever pestered, please see it for what it is... A wide eyed, excited listener begging for more from an amazing story teller :).
    Greenie... Aka Stacy. ;)

  108. Janet, I just wanted to let you know how much you have inspired me. I have followed your blog from the start and eagerly await each post, regardless of how long the wait is between them. You have taught me SO much I can't even begin to explain, how to relax and work with my horse with confidence and clear signals, that it's ok to listen to your gut...even how to write. You posted 2 of my stories on Mouthy Monday's and I was just so thrilled. Your followers are some of the best I've seen. I hope you know how much we all appreciate you. I never post comments but I felt I just needed to let you know that you have helped me through some serious stuff and that I thank you for all you've done. Screw those close-minded trolls and bullies, you are a wonderful, fantastic person and I can't thank you enough!!

  109. I've been a lurker of this blog for around 3 years, read it from the start when I found it and carried on from there. I thoroughly enjoy it, love your stories, and find reading about your training ponderings incredibly interesting. Please continue to write!

  110. Holey Moley, you ride with one arm? I can't even ride with two half the time!
    Seriously though, that's pretty cool. Please don't stop blogging!
    Go Mugs!

  111. Also if people are going to be pushy about you finishing a story, maybe you should just wrap that ending with a few of your other stories up in a book and they could exchange some hard earned cash for your hard earned experience and hard won writing time. And so could we. There wouldn't need to be much by way of new content to make for an engrossing read and a great gift.

  112. I have said this over and over again...I have learned so much from you, and my horses thank you for it. Every time I get complemented on how I handle my horses (mostly by a ranger who sees *lots* of mishandling by trail riders/campers) I silently am grateful for the sharing you have done.

    And while I love to get more stories, I also appreciate the breaks to have time to absorb what you are saying.

    Have trust in yourself :)

    Jackie also gave me something else to be thankful for...I am grateful I don't have to use tampons anymore LOL!

  113. New Chex to Cash fillyOctober 19, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    I'll keep it brief: This is is inexpressibly inspiring and thank you for sharing. Makes me wanna go out and be better tomorrow than I was today. If you can do that for a few people, that's kind of a big deal.

  114. Oh Mugs! Thank you so much for sharing your story. As I lose mobility in more joints I sometimes wonder how I can keep riding. But to ride and train with the obstacles that you have had over the years is amazing and inspiring. Keep blogging, we missed you!

  115. Mugs, this is the bravest thing I've ever seen someone write.

    I've been reading and admiring your blog for ages, loving your stories (Tally and otherwise) and envying the authenticity and humor of your voice.

    You've inspired me as rider, sometime trainer, and a writer, and in this post you inspire me as a human, too. Please keep it up ... if for no other reason than it *really* annoys the haters. : )

  116. For some reason the horse blogs seem to attract more insane trolls than regular blogs. My blogs have always focused around our mini-farm - llamas, sheep, chickens, and I've gotten little attention and never had a rude comment, until I posted about horses. I don't know where the horse-trolls come from! I have seen more than one blogger run off after posting about horses. Most people would rather spend more time with their horses than reading horrible hurtful comments on their blog.

    Your story is amazing and inspiring, and makes me wonder why I don't get off my butt and do more. I enjoy reading your stories whenever you have time to share. I hope you continue to do that.

  117. Thanks, we all need perspective once in a while and I needed this today.

    Keep riding and writing, the bad guys will always be there but so will all of us who see you and your work as important and inspiring.

  118. About freakin' time you spilled it! The secrets you were keeping were driving me crazy. Thanks for taking the risk and sharing it all. Your blog makes so much more sense now. All the best to you, you have such a talent....

  119. You are awesome. I knew there was a reason I liked this site.

  120. That noise you hear is me applauding loudly. Quite frankly, I've always liked your writing voice and I will come over to read anything you choose to talk about. Tally, other horses you've trained, training philosophy, your relationship with your daughter, heck, I'd probably read your grocery list. You are quality, my dear Mugwump.

  121. Damn, it's good to hear you're still at it.

    It's good to know you're even stronger than I imagined.

    Evil is never overcome by fleeing from it.

    Thank you!

  122. Wow.

    Every once in awhile I read something that resonates with me and this is one of those times. I've read your blog for years now and always loved it.

    I am mid-thirties, physically a little broken and toting around a giant bag of PTSD. Sometimes I lapse into periods of self-pity and wallow around...

    And I read your words now and see that while you admit to depression occasionally (and understandably), and physical limitations, you've still gotten out there and lived your life.

    I admire you more than I can express and I would like you to know that you have deepy touched me and helped me examine some of my own issues. I can't thank you enough.

  123. Wow. The "side stories" that you did not want to share enhance your "Main story" more than you can know. I am old, out of shape, with a bad back (compression fracture from riding) and love my horses. I do not ride my horses now, no arena and a football field of inner fear. But wow. You have so much more you can teach us.
    I quit following Fugly when you left. The nastiness was not worth it. Today we can chose how much nastiness to put in our day, and I need to limit it.
    Humans are at their worst in an anonymous no penalties situation. I left our church in the late 1960s after an idealistic young pastor did an anonymous poll asking what the congregation (white, rural Southern) would do if a black family joined the church. A large percentage (70%) said they would leave. I believed this as evidence of hypocrisy (teenager) and quit attending.
    But here is the sequel. About three years later, a black family started attending the church. Bi racial actually. And no one left. NO ONE. People take the cheapest shots when there is no accountability for it. And one in 20 is a true sociopath.I think you recommended that book to us, I think I know why now.
    Keep doing what you do well and enjoy. There has to be a way to limit the nasties.

  124. If you write it - I'll read it. Except NOW, I'll know why there are lapses between posts. Don't care! Love you Mugs.

  125. If you write it - I'll read it. Except NOW, I'll know why there are lapses between posts. Don't care! Love you Mugs.

  126. Holy freaking crap. I figured there was something, but never would have guessed this. You are a hell of a writer, and a hell of a woman.

    I have read your blog for a long time now, and have never commented, but this has just been the spur in the ass I needed. Thank you so much for your honesty.

    Please keep writing, about whatever you wish, and ignore the jerks who make it hard. The rest of us love to hear your views, techniques, and just your ramblings.

    So, keep on keeping on Janet. Thank you for the insight into your world.


  127. I'm another Fugly reader that found you...Love your posts and this one is the best. You opened yourself up and put a face to a name.

    Keep on writing, we'll keep reading.

    Thanks for coming back!

  128. As with many of the previous comments, I am a long time reader but have never posted a comment. I couldn't NOT post one after this. It's very difficult to be completely honest & open to anyone, let alone to all of cyberspace. You rock, and are an inspiration to those of us who wish we could wrap our brains around horses like you do. Keep it up :) (at your own pace!)

  129. One of the reasons I love your blog is, you are REAL. You WRITE "real." You tell it like it is and for that you have (as witness the number of comments) a legion of fans.

    As for the trolls, screw 'em. Haters are jealous of those who just pull on their "big girl jeans" and go out and DO stuff, devil take the consequences.

    Depression? Those who write HAVE to feel, those who work with animals have to be able to SENSE what it going on "behind those big orbs" (or the little ones if you have dogs ;o) so naturally WE are sensitive to criticism and to the tiny mites who want to say or do stuff to bring us down.

    Screw THEM, too. (Oh. I said that already. Well, double down ;o)

    You're on my Blogger Dashboard, and I LOVE seeing your name on the list with a new post. You keep on keepin' on, Mugs! We love you for it.

  130. Mugs, I've been following and enjoying your blog since day one. You are truly amazing and an inspiration. It has been a privilege reading and enjoying your stories over the years. Wishing you the best :)

  131. Dear Janet,


    Take extra loving care of yourself while you give all that loving care to your husband.

    (Selfish request-- would love for you to share a favorite recipe or two.....)

  132. I'm another who followed you from
    FHOTD, I love your storytelling.

    I lost my heart horse over 3 yrs ago and figured I'd never get another one, but your stories made me want to get back in the saddle, and then you posted the video with your "BraCam". I could feel the horse beneath me and I'm now leasing a wonderful old mare.

    Glad you too are "Back on the keyboard"!

  133. And that is how you kick a Troll in the TEETH! Janet you are Brilliant!!

    I found you on FHOTD and left about the same time you did. Life is too short to endure Trolls, spelling/grammar Nazi's, and mean people because they suck. There isn't a whole lot you can do about the ones that are bat shi&^ crazy.

    My life with horses doesn't look like anyone else's life with horses and I am OK with that. I have spent years and years learning from horses and I don't plan on stopping any time soon.

    I love your writing style and as far as I am concerned you can write about anything, any time, and I will read it. Horses, dogs, husband, Kidlet, recipes, groccery list, whatever... I am all in.

    I am all for posting and enforcing the Rule of Be Nice or Be Gone!! You don't have time to be dealing with BSC Trolls! Maybe you should leave them to your Posse...seems like more then a few people have your back.

  134. You are someone I value having in my life, even if its across this bridge of pixels.

    Because you are real. Honest. Talented Writer(capitalized on purpose).

    I don't care if you write about Talley, Ruidoso, toast, tampons, or tea kettles. I'm just glad to read what you write.

    I'm from El Paso, am flying into town soon. Drop me a line and let me know if I can buy you lunch.

  135. I only knew of FHOTD, strangely enough raved about by another forum which I desperately tried to enjoy, but consistenly felt the odd one out. I felt despondent, maybe there was something wrong with me? ... a flaw in my sense of humour?, maybe I was overly-sensitive? - I found myself being attacked for my view point, and soon I became the victim of that internet pack of wolves. A couple of posters even felt the need to go back in my forum history, re-post photos I had initially placed up in a proud moment I had of my children, and they slaughtered my kids as well, saying horrid things like "shame, those kids of hers suffer the same gene pool she does" ... HA HA HA HA HA. I was shattered.

    Then I stumbled across Mugwump, and what a breath of fresh air you were to my online confidence. I came to realise that online forums can also be a collective of people with a heart as well. I had finally found a wonderful site which entertained me to no-end with horsey stories which I could relate to and laugh along with. I still don't post much (I think this is my 2nd in a year) ... it will take time to feel confident enough to participate in discussion again, but I do so much enjoy reading all the is written here. I walk away after a good read, feeling like I've learned something, shared something and my spirit is feeling light and bright.

    I just want to say thank-you for your blog-spot. I don't have a solution to the trolls, etc. but do hope you find it in you to keep your blog going and those stories rolling in. You are the rose amongst a lot of online thorns out there :)

  136. I doubt I am the only reader who, when reading your training posts, find myself lifting a hand, moving a leg, or shifting weight in my seat to emulate what you are describing. You "get it" and for that we applaud you! You have heart and grit and everything else that makes for an inspiration. Embrace the positive, stare down the negative and realize what a profound influence you are.

    I hope there will be auditing allowed at the clinic! :)

  137. I am a long time reader but first time commenter... Your strength of character and purpose always shines through! Perhaps that is what they think they can crush. No way! Thank you for all your inspiring posts. You have helped me more than you could know with my riding fears, mainly through your long training posts. Thank you very, very much. Laura

  138. Thanks Mug, for sharing and trusting us. I remember being worried when you decided to write for Fugly, and I do hope you feel the lessons learned from that experience outweigh the disadvantages, which seem to numerous to count.

    In my old horse's blog, I enjoy the mostly anonymity of the internet, mainly because if I ever get around to writing more, there are people who I don't want to reveal, out of respect and... you understand. There's something about telling the former leader of a national organization and Olympic rider that his judgment isn't good enough that you like to keep anonymous.

    Yet why do we write? Because it is therapeutic. Because it helps us, and it helps others. It gives others hope, or warning, or just reminders to believe in themselves, to think for themselves.

    Love ya!!!

  139. I admired you before this post. I admire you even more now, not just because of what you've been through in your life but because you've kept on keeping on--and you dared to share it with the world. Kudos, many many kudos to you.

  140. I stopped (silently reading, never commenting on) Fugly when you left. Okay... well, sometimes I check in to see if they're still so hateful to one another in the comments (they are).

    Now I silently read here. I don't know how Blogger logs page views, but the visitor from SW Pennsylvania that checks your blog several times daily? That's me.

    I get so excited when I see you've updated. It's like getting a present - a gift of words.

    I was absolutely charmed by the wisdom and strength of your online persona before you wrote this post... now, I don't even know the word for the emotion I'm feeling. It's vast.

    Keep writing. In your own time, at your own pace, but do keep writing. I've missed your voice.

    - Sarah

  141. I found your blog through FUGLY too. Read a few posts, then went back to the beginning and read them all in chronological order. I don't own a horse, I'm not a rider, but even the most technical training topics were interesting enough for me to sit there working it out in my head exactly what you were describing.

    You are an excellent writer.

    How to keep blogging? Walk up to Tally, give her a scratch, then a smack on the rump, and send her off as you walk towards the stories that are calling to you now. If she comes up behind you sometime, and gives you a nudge on the shoulder, then maybe you'll finish her story. Or not.

    Just keep writing.

  142. Thanks, Mugs, for your honesty in this post. I am glad for me that you took the FHOTD gig because that's where I first read your writing. When you left, I followed you here. Although I'm not a horse person, some of your training work really calls to me because it gives me a slightly different perspective for my efforts at training my stockdog who has far more stock instinct than I do.

    thank you for sharing more of yourself. You are a great example of courage here.

  143. I flat out love your blog. Sometimes I save posts up for when I'm having a particularly bad day and read them to cheer up. I don't read comments often, I tend to think of it as eavesdropping for some reason so I had no idea that you were being bashed. I'm truly sorry that you've had to cope with the backside of the internet.
    I don't comment often either, partially because I read posts from a blog reader and partially because I don't often have anything worthwhile to say. I'll try to rectify that in the future, but I don't expect I'll become a chatty cathy as it's not my way. I've been here almost from the beginning, and I'll be here as long as you care to continue.

  144. I think 150 someodd posts sum up your appeal :)

    I started reading you because you can speak horseaii and your insights on training have helped me more than you know. I enjoyed the stories and yes want to know the "rest of the story" just as much as anyone .. but the fact that you did not have a timeline.. didn't leave us hanging on purpose.. just made it more real.

    I think anyone who read you from the get go wondered about the missing chunks.. but there is no rule that you have to share everything.. but there is an unwritten rule that if you want to, there are going to be dozens of folks who can relate.

    I felt your frustration with the trolls even before FOHTD.. you just gotta learn to look over their heads, cause what they thrive on is causing someone else even a teensy bit of distress.. there are people like that in real life too.. sometimes they are even harder to ignore :)

    You rock Mugs.. I hope to keep reading you for years! Thank you!

  145. I think 150 someodd posts sum up your appeal :)

    I started reading you because you can speak horseaii and your insights on training have helped me more than you know. I enjoyed the stories and yes want to know the "rest of the story" just as much as anyone .. but the fact that you did not have a timeline.. didn't leave us hanging on purpose.. just made it more real.

    I think anyone who read you from the get go wondered about the missing chunks.. but there is no rule that you have to share everything.. but there is an unwritten rule that if you want to, there are going to be dozens of folks who can relate.

    I felt your frustration with the trolls even before FOHTD.. you just gotta learn to look over their heads, cause what they thrive on is causing someone else even a teensy bit of distress.. there are people like that in real life too.. sometimes they are even harder to ignore :)

    You rock Mugs.. I hope to keep reading you for years! Thank you!

  146. Bravo!!!!!!!!!
    I had the utmost respect for you as a horsewoman/trainer from the start, your intentions carry through in your words. All that pointless drama from the Fugly world was just that--pointless. Keepin bein you and doin what you do!!

  147. Okay, I have to admit that this sentence "
    I have stories I want to write about some of the new and interesting horse people I've met lately, thoughts I've had about old time training methods vs. new, safety around our horses, where we go as riders as we age and become debilitated and how to balance our horse life with our family when it becomes overwhelming at home." just makes me go squeee! in a happy way.
    More ideas from Mugs! I like the way you make me think about things.

    And as for finishing Tally's story-well, Cupcake's story got (sadly)finished in due time, Mort's not done yet, and there may(?) be more Fobby tales. Not to mention any others that might show up. I just like stories and your's rock.

    So thanks and blog about what you want 'cause we'll like it!


  149. Whatever you write, I will read. Thanks for providing more background... I will worry less if you vanish for a while.

  150. deedee sonnyduo@yahoo.comOctober 22, 2012 at 12:32 PM

    haha mugs. You continue to be such a gift. I think so highly of your writing and observations I recommend your blog to Asian professional friends who are wanting to improve their writing and use of the English language. They love your blog.

    As an aging and debilitating individual, any thing on horses as we age will be appreciated.
    As for our girl Tally, I thought she went off with that newbie and lived happily ever after teaching him what you taught her, Love you!

  151. I LOVE your blogs, and the anonymity of your stories made it even more fun for me... a mystery if you will.. i couldn't wait for more Tally stories, but LOVED the story of you and your daughter... i sent it to my mother (a non-horse woman) and said... "mom, this is a must read.. its us!" she agreed totally. And to read your story just now, you have over come so much adversity with what nature has dealt you.. but you perservere.... GO GIRL... YOU'RE AN INSPIRATION!!! And i suggest you do what my dad always told me about the bullies at school (i was bullied all through lower and highschool)...."Fuck Em Megg, fuck em.." and it took some time, but i learned to do it, and i'm better for it. plus i'm better off than all of them now anyways :) Karma ALWAYS comes for them :)

  152. just stepping up as one of your fans to let you know i really appreciate your blog. also found you from fugly, so i'm glad you tried them out for a while. you really do make a difference, how many people can say that? best of luck with your troubles and i'll quietly wait for the stories you have time to post.

  153. Mugs,
    You are an amazing woman! I started reading your Mort stories.I forget who told me about your blog, hell, I probably didn't really know what a blog was back then. You are one of the few who truly are and truly get what being "horsai" and all that goes with it. It's not always sunshine and unicorns! There are many very nasty people in this world who for some reason have a need to be negative, nasty, putrid, and jealous of those of us who have the "horsai" gift and abilities. Same goes for "dogai" people. Sadly those poor excuses for human beings are usually the ones committing the atrocities against the animals we love and feel so devoted to.They also do the same to their own children, family members and others who come in contact with them and are beyond help. Don't worry about them or waste one more moment of your life on sub humans like that.
    You have many gifts and talents and have continued to see the good in your life despite some serious setbacks.I'm not deeply religous or spiritual but I do believe very strongly in "What goes around comes around" and that in the end "good always triumphs over evil." Please keep sharing with us and telling your stories. Keep facing life as you do with honesty, acceptance and greatfullness for the lessons you have learned and the stories you still have to share and tell others. "WOW, this got long!" I'll close by saying I am humbled that you train, ride and compete w/ a prostectic or 1 armed. I get a great image of you in my head in regards to the old reference to "a one legged man in an ass kicking contest",I have no doubts that you could dispatch trolls, varmints, or any other ner do wells with no worries. I remain as always a fan and better off for checking in to see things from your perspective.

  154. You're beautiful. And whole. Because whole doesn't refer to our bodies alone, it refers to us. Our spirits and how they fill (or don't) our entire being.

    I'm just so damn glad to finally have a little bit of the truth about what's been going on and what you're really doing.

    And I can't wait to hear the rest of the Tally and Mort stories. I'll never train my horse, I'll just ride him the way he is and sigh (but without blaming him :) ), but I LOVES a good horse story, so I always look forward to those.

    If you're having trouble getting it out, don't make it a story as such, just start writing what happened. Hell, make a bulleted list of chronological events. Then you'll look at it and not be able to stand not fleshing it out :)

    Looking forward to it...

  155. You have helped me quite a bit. I struggle with fear issues that have severely affected my riding. I went from jumping 3 ft plus on a regular basis to being afraid of 2 ft.

    After reading your blog, I decided I needed to be more Horsaii and found a horse to lease. I even made it back up to 3 ft! I found that if I can make myself get over the jump the first time, it isn't so bad the second, third, fourth, etc.

    I had to sell my horse, then give up my lease, and now quit altogether due to financial roadblocks, but I'm not done for good.

    You are stronger than the trolls and the haters, they're just jealous of your awesomeness!

    Thank you,

  156. Hi Mugs, I'm leaving this comment as an "Anon" until I can set up the proper identity, but just wanted to say I LOVE YOUR BLOG! Your blog has been such a learning experience for me, helping me understand my own wonderful trainer and what she is trying to teach me and teach my horses. So for that, I have to say THANK YOU!!! Thank you for sharing your knowledge, your experiences and your life. When you don't write I miss you like an old friend, but understand everyone has their own things to attend to. Thank you again for everything and hope to hear more from you whenever that might be. :) Angie in AZ

  157. I've been a long time reader and have loved your posts, your story-telling style and your no-nonsense training advice for years. But I gotta say, this post has left me gobsmacked. I am in awe. :)

    The Fugly a$$wipes who hounded you are truly below contempt, you are an amazing woman. I thought that even before knowing the kinds of lemons life has thrown at you. Your strength is inspiring. Thank you - for everything. :)

  158. Late to the party, but wanted to add my support. I found you from Fugly way back when you used to comment on the posts. I read all your back posts and have been following religiously since, commenting occasionally. I'm with the "you write it, I'll read it" crowd. I love puzzling out your training posts, and the stories are fantastic. I was honored when you posted my story as one of your Monthy Monday's. Hugs all around, indeed!


    Seriously, a young lady I love like a daughter just received my buckskin AQHA reining mare as a wedding gift. Since she is now 600 miles away, I told her to read your blog for advice since I can't be there. My darling girl (the human, not the mare) has a tendency to not yet be able to discern the difference between when to discipline, when to cave in, when to teach. My darling mare will try her heart out under saddle, but has a ton of "alpha"... I referred her to the Tally, Cupcake, & Sonita stories to start with as all are examples of patience, discernment, and meeting the horse's need on the level they occur.

    Hang in there, Mugs. And on any given day, I'm more than happy to bitch slap a troll into another dimension. At your service :~)

  160. There are 169 comments before this one which I will read...but want to write my comment without outside influence.

    I've always thought the world of you ever since I found your blog. I'm now even more amazed at your strengths.

    I took the summer off from blogging, and it felt good. FB is easier, but addicting...and your life can pass by you before you realize it!!!

    But, FB is where I saw the first photos of your arm...which raised a hundred questions in my mind. I'm glad you explained it all...yes, all...without too much detail as to leave us just knowing enough to squelch the curiosity.

    What I want to say most is "THIS IS YOUR BLOG"...and to hell with the rest of the nasty people who can't appreciate the efforts of another person. My guess is that the demanding jerks are people who don't write a's not easy to live your life and balance blogging with the other social media.

    I have no tolerance for that type of behavior and would have blocked them...and I don't allow anonymous comments either on my blog. But that's just me.

    You do what you can and want to do. Do what makes you feel good. I'm here to stand with you.

    Since we can't seem to make Pendleton work...guess I'll have to come to the Big K/Mugwump party. But, I'm bringin' Colt!!

    In friendship,


  161. Karen, Pendleton is going to work one of these days!

    In the better bring Colt!

  162. Sorry I'm late to the party, but I wanted to add my bid of support, because every little bit adds up to a mountain of goodness. Candy Mountain! Sugary goodness, Charlie!
    Becky and her incessent dreaming about/plans to attend/whimpering over your upcoming clinic is how I found you, and I've been hooked ever since. Anything you choose to put out here for us to read is gold, and you are my inspiration for finding my way back into horses, anyway anyhow. So thank you, and I hope I can steal away with Becky to see you in 2013!

  163. I rarely read comments on any blog because I find the nature of many of the comments to be upsetting. I applaud your decision to allow us to understand more of your story, in spite of these people.
    THank you for your stories from a reader who has been following you for a long time.

  164. Wow. I have loved your blog for over 2 years now. I'm truly inspired! Kudos to you for putting yourself out there, you are very brave and I respect you even more as a fellow human and horse trainer.

  165. Wow. I have loved your blog for over 2 years now. I'm truly inspired! Kudos to you for putting yourself out there, you are very brave and I respect you even more as a fellow human and horse trainer.

  166. People like you inspire the people like me so much.

    I am a little no one in NC who is struggling from "could have been" syndrome... and "once was." Seeing people handle much bigger challenges with grace and incite is a pleasure!!

  167. Oh man.. I honestly got a tear in my eye. You are wonderful, beautiful and brave. I love this blog, and I hope you can continue with it for many moons yet. *SNIFF!* I WUV U MUGS!

  168. I started following your blog not long after you started it. I forget where I found it but I have always enjoyed your stories and your training suggestions.

    I've read many books on how to ride and had many coaches try to explain how to feel something. There have been several times since reading your blog that my horse does something and I have an "ah ha!" moment and a quick flash back to something you wrote about. There is something in the way that you write that just makes sense to me in a way that someone actually being there and watching me hasn't been able to do.

    I thank you. I thank you for your bravery in expressing yourself and the various issues that you deal with on a day-to-day basis. I thank you for what you do for the horses and for sharing your experience and point of view.

  169. I am really late to this as I had stopped checking your blog during your hiatus.
    Your everyday courage is inspiring.
    I am glad you are back to writing. I missed your stories, training questions, and everything.

  170. I am really late to this as I have not been checking your blog during your hiatus. Got out of the habit & remembered only today.
    Your everyday courage is an inspiration.
    I am glad you are back. I missed your writings.