Thursday, June 25, 2015

Settled

Whewwww...

The old gray mare has an embryo growing!!

I wasn't too worried about whether she took or not after being AIed, I just sort of had a gut feeling that she would take. After all, it wasn't taking that was the problem. I just kept missing her ovulations.

I will still keep my fingers crossed for the next 30 days or so and will take her back for one more ultrasound just to confirm a viable foal is growing, but for now, I am just relieved that both mares are confirmed in foal and am happily contemplating the superior babies that will arrive next May.

I am hoping for a filly out of Sassy. I already have someone interested in purchasing the foal....provided it's a filly. They don't care about color....just bloodlines and sex. If it's a palomino...I guess that is just a bonus.

As for Miss's foal...

I don't really care whether it is a filly or a colt. Oh, I guess I do hope for a filly. This may be the only foal that Miss is able to give me and she is such a dear, sweet soul, I would love to have a filly to replace her.

A colt produced wouldn't be all that bad either. Of all of the mares I have here, I think Miss has the best potential to produce a stallion prospect. She is the better of the two Tiny Watch mares. Not that Scamper isn't almost identical to Miss in many ways, but there is just something a little extra special about Miss. She has an aura of elegance about her. She reminds me of a grand lady from the old south.

I ask myself if I really want to keep a stallion prospect and at this point I don't really foresee myself doing so. I guess, just once, I would like to raise a colt that when I looked at him I could say, 'Now THAT is a stallion prospect!' LOL.

Everything else around here has settled into a nice routine. The heat dictates I now become an early morning riser if I want to get everyone rode before the heat becomes unbearable. The only one I have yet to get worked into the routine is my 3y/o filly. However, that will happen in the next few days. She has become a real PITA out in the dry lot. She's bored and just looks for ways to cause hate and discontent. It's time she gets separated and goes to work.

Moon continues to enjoy his good health and I still marvel at how fresh and frisky he is. I've been anxious to get a run in on him, but the timing isn't going to work out until the end of this month. Which actually works pretty well for both him and Frosty.

Frosty got quite large around his mid-section again, but is not blubber fat, nor is he as soft as I feared. A week of daily riding has got him sweating again and that is usually be biggest thing I look for with him. As a rule, his IR tendencies rapidly diminish once he is able to start breaking a sweat easily.

The swelling is starting to come out of Shooter's leg more and more. I'm still only riding him lightly and employing an arsenal of therapies, but he's coming along. The biggest thing we are working on is building up his right hip again. He has become overbuilt in the left hip in response to carrying/protecting his injured left hind leg and it will just take time to build up his right hip again.

Jet has been doing well, but I see it is time to re-up the injections on his right stifle and hock. This time around, I am going to insist that the vet only do the right side. Technically, there is nothing wrong with Jet's left stifle and hock, so at this point, I fail to see why he needs injections all the way around. When he actually starts doing something besides just non-stressful riding, I don't have a problem with doing both sides. All along I was hoping that the hitch in Jet's right side would diminish with conditioning, but I don't think that is going to happen. His right hock is so poorly formed that he is never going to be 'sound' without the help of injections. It leaves me with a bit of a quandary about the investment of resources and time into an inherently unsound horse, but I figured after investing so much  time, effort and $$ into him to get him to this point, I'd let it play out the rest of this summer and see what happens.

Of course, Little John is just a rockstar. He is loping the barrel pattern a bit. He has the general idea, but like all horses at this point, he is a bit all over the place with his leads. Wanting to pop to the outside lead when leaving a turn is pretty common with green horses and it just takes a lot of stopping them, pushing their ribcage in again and asking them to pick up the correct lead again before continuing on to the next barrel to get them solid about keeping that ribcage in and maintaining the desired lead until it's actually time to change. At this point in a horse's training, I don't feel the need to start employing a bunch of drills or exercises to reinforce the idea. LJ doesn't even understand what he is supposed to be doing well enough to even contemplate the idea he is doing something wrong. A simple stop, move the ribcage over and pick up the desired lead is sufficient to start building the concept and muscle memory necessary for a properly finished turn.

Now that everyone is starting to get a little legged up again, it's time to start hitting the desert and getting some hill conditioning on them. My 3 greenies need miles and I can alleviate having to ride Moon or Frosty a whole bunch by ponying them along. Those two horses have logged hundreds of miles ponying other horses in the last few years, now the rolls will be reversed. :-).



Monday, June 15, 2015

Summer Showed Up

Yep...We went from high 60's, low 70's, cool and moist to....


In a single day!! The forecast all this week is high 90's. :-/.

I was going to take the horses to a jackpot barrel race on Friday evening and ran into some issues, so I missed that one. Figured I'd just hit the one on Sunday...

Yea....Not so much!

It was an afternoon race and the sudden change in temps gave me pause. #1-Moon's lungs may be 'healthy' again, but they won't stay that way under heat stress. #2-A 20 degree jump in temps from Friday to Sunday...The horse's just aren't used to those temps and I was worried about them overheating.

Overheating/Heat Stress has been a problem this year, for several people I know and so I have been paying attention to the temperature swings and adjusting my riding time accordingly.

I almost felt like I was over-reacting a little bit, but when a fb friend posted that her horse had passed out after the barrel race that day...I KNEW I wasn't just being wimpy.

Moon's lungs weren't up to that and Frosty is far to fat to making a 'run' in hot weather.

Sooo....Now, I am just settling in on working horses and waiting for my next opportunity to get some runs under the boy's belt.

Oddly enough, there are is nothing going on this coming weekend and the following weekend I will be out of town and missing several events. :-(. I sort of feel like I can't win for losing...But...

At least I am back to riding. Hopefully, by the time this month is over, LJ will be ready to do some exhibitioning. :-)

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Deadly Serious

It's still non-stop busy-ness around here, but I finally feel like I am caught up...Or at least I did.

Miss, the gray mare has been bred and is ready to come home. I'll spend the next couple of weeks with my fingers crossed that she took. There shouldn't be a reason she didn't....But considering how my luck has been going with the mare situation....Let's just say, I'll be praying like crazy that both mares, Miss and Sassy are settled in foal...And STAY THAT WAY!!

I gave up on trying to figure out if/when I can get Frenchie home to SD to get bred. She will just have to stay open this year. It's still uncharacteristically wet there. Actually, I think I came to terms with it before I actually decided to just let it go, because one day, I just said, 'F$%# It! No baby for you right now'.

Frenchie looks so fabulous right now, I'm actually contemplating cleaning her up and showing her in Halter.

Wouldn't hurt my feelings to put a few wins under her belt, maybe even an AQHA point or two on her. I may even start her under saddle and see if I can accomplish anything with her in the next year.  She's only 12 this year. She has lots of time for more babies (knock on wood!!) and I am just weary of thinking about breeding season. LOL.

I finally got my dry lot pen divided and Ms. B and Mr. Ruger are getting some daily turn-out time...

Eventually, this will be their full-time pen, but while Ruger's front legs have straightened up, he still gets a bit shaky in the knees after a couple of hours...so I put them back in their smaller pen, where Ruger is comfortable laying down and resting. It suddenly became summer around here and my spoiled little man dearly loves to go lay in the shade of his stall during the heat of the day.

See all that green behind them? That's my pasture!! Yeaaaa buddy!! It's greening up nicely. Of course, the majority of the growth on it is the oats, but the grass is coming in thickly too.

Buuuuttt....I am back to fighting prairie dogs. Uggghhhhh!! They are moving in faster than I can irrigate them out. I was just at a loss of what to do to keep them out of my field, when I happened to see an ad, at the feedstore, for someone who has a gas machine. I am incredibly over budget on this pasture projected....not to mention my own personal time invested. TWO MONTHS of EXTREMELY LIMITED HORSE TIME!! Makes BEC a VERY, UNHAPPY COWGIRL!!!

I talked to the gal who does the gassing, got a quote. Talked to MH, who, while not entirely thrilled at the prospect of spending yet MORE $$, did agree that we need to do something...And got on the calendar for some serious prairie dog elimination.

This is 'Puff'...

Puff is a gas-powered machine, whose carbon monoxide emissions are captured, run through a compressor, and out the hoses coming off of the back of the machine. The hose is then stuck into a prairie dog hole...

Dirt is then shoveled around to seal up the hole and Puff does his 'magic'. The hose is left in about 7 minutes for a normal sized hole, 10 minutes for a larger hole and for the gigantic holes...We didn't mess around...We shoved all three hoses in them and left them in for 10 minutes. Each hose releases about 4,500ppm of CO (carbon monoxide). It only takes 35ppm to kill a person.

Can we say...DEAD DOGS!!!

I was really hoping we could accomplish a perimeter sweep in one day, because this is not an inexpensive endeavor, but even with both of us working, ALL DAY LONG, we only made it through about 1/2 of the holes I wanted to gas. So another full day of gassing dogs is in store.

The goal is to get a good kill around the perimeter of my pasture and then talk to my other 2 neighbors, who are also having prairie dog problems (from the same town) and see if they want to pitch in and have this lady come back for another 2 or 3 full days to hit the main town hard. I think we could set this dog town back on it's heels for at least a year if we followed this plan.

The sticky point is...The dog town is actually on land owned by 'absentee owners'. Personally, I have ZERO problems trespassing on those people's land and killing off 'their' prairie dog town, but I'm not sure that my neighbors want to invest into something that will ultimately benefit the absentee owners. Obviously, we all know the actual owners of the property aren't going to invest in ridding their property of the prairie dogs, or they would have already done something about it. I just despise people who refuse to be good neighbors. I live in a wonderful neighborhood. Everybody gets along, works together and helps each other out...And then we have these freaking jerks, who refuse to maintain their property. If, by chance they ever do build a house out there and move here....They are not going to get a very warm reception. Although, I rather do hope they do exactly that...and fairly soon...because then THEIR prairie dog problem will really become THEIR problem...Not MINE!! (evil grin)

Needless to say...Right about the time I got the geldings cleaned up...manes and tails washed and feet trimmed...and started to get everyone worked into a riding schedule...I got busy with this prairie dog business. Luckily, it was only for a couple of days and after that is taken care of...It's back to working horses. :-).

While I was building my last dry lot pen, MH was good enough to work my arena up again...

Of course, every time we work the ground...I have to take the skidsteer out and pick a bucket of rocks. Prairie dogs and rocks!! I sure have an over abundance of those two things. LOL. but at least now, I'm mostly picking little rocks up, not boulders.

I did find a good use for quite a few of those rocks. FLOWER BEDS!! I finished the one under the cottonwood...
 I have since, added more flowers to it. Mostly annuals until the perennials fill in. :-). I'm getting smarter about these things. ;-)
Still need to add gravel to the backside here, but we will eventually be ordering another truckload of road gravel and I'll just shovel some up here.

Then I finally got another bed finished....

I have one more large landscaping project to do...And then I am calling it a thing on the landscaping this year. It was fun...and now I'm over it. I'll have my hands full keeping everything I did do watered up once it gets hot. Sprinkler and watering systems will be next years big ticket endeavor. ;-). That darned pasture/irrigation/prairie dog eradication project has tapped the budget and then some. But I am so, so, very thankful to have it done. I don't know how I got so lucky, but this has been the perfect year to do it. It's been much cooler than normal with a lot more moisture and that helped me out tremendously. :-)