Monday, July 27, 2009
He ran little more than 1/2 speed, which kind of messes with him. Moon is just one of those all or nothing kind of horses. He doesn't look real pretty inbetween.
So no money for us, again. But still a decent run. His time was a 17.81. Which was in the middle of the pack overall for all three days of the rodeo. A little toward the bottom for tonight's barrel racers.
However, I don't really feel like we are getting outrun. He can still run with the pack at 1/2 speed? Gotta love that!
I won't enter anymore rodeos until his foot is completely healed up. But I am hoping that it won't take more than another week to 10 days before I can start riding him again. I guess time and continued doctoring will tell.
But as you can see, we have a little work to do coming out of 1st. Not sure if it is me or if he is just not reaching up and setting his hind leg well enough to push him on around so he comes out straight. I thought it was because I was looking down at his shoulder again, but after reviewing the video in slo-mo, I was looking up. He is just bowing that shoulder out. That causes him to lose time between first and second and he just doesn't have enough time to set for second. Which then causes him to want to shoulder in and puts him out of position going around the barrel.
Holy Moly-I love having video to watch to see what exactly is going on. It makes training these horses and correcting my own problem areas sooooo much easier.
K-I gotta say...3rd barrel was rockin' though. He went into it, around it and out of there darn near perfectly. He went into 1st really well, it's just that bow coming out. And he came out of 2nd really well, it's just that bow causing him a bit of trouble getting to it in good position. We'll get that little issue fixed easily enough though, once he is healed up.
Whew-the rodeo high is wearing off...I'm off to bed!
Friday, July 24, 2009
This year, Megan has really switched gears in the events she likes the most. In the past Showmanship and Horsemanship have always been favored events. Strawberry usually does very well in them. He's kind of an eye-catching, cute little horse and he certainly has presence in the show ring. Everything he has accomplished and everything he is capable of doing is because of the time and dedication Megan has invested into him.
But since she has also acquired the big blue roan horse, Rip as a speed event horse, her desire to just look pretty in the ring has wained. Don't get me wrong, the time invested in Showmanship and Horsemanship is tremendous and doing well in those events is an art. But we are all about exploring as many events as possible and Megan's interests have veered into events she finds more interesting at the moment.
I don't know which face was harder to resist...
This guy was walking around with two Aussie puppies...showing them off. He had the whole litter there for sale. Megan wanted this one. I really wanted the guy to take his puppies and go away. I'm not a huge dog fan. Love the two I got. But have no interest in any more. But even I was getting melted by the soft, cuddly ball of fluff.
The roanie ponies settled into their stalls nicely. Strawberry is used to such things. As far as I know, this is the first time Rip has ever experienced living in an actual stall... Once you have been around Rip for awhile, you get used to his size. But putting him in a 10x12 stall makes you realize all over again just how stinking big he is. But he handled it pretty well and didn't even stock up very much. Strawberry on the other had, stocks up every year and Megan has to spend about 30 minutes walking him every morning and has even had to resort to running cold water over his hind legs to get them back down to normal size. Very strange for a horse who is on grass hay and just a few bites of oats. But it has been good experience for Megan how to learn how to take care of such things and she is very dilligent.
The first morning of the show was absolutely beautiful and the temperatures were lovely and cool. So unusual for that time of year in east river SD. Usually it is hot and humid from the time the sun comes up and then just get's hotter throughout the day. The weather really made our trip most enjoyable this year. Especially since we camp onsite.
Megan warming Strawberry up for Western Showmanship...
Meg didn't have much time to be really excited about getting a purple in reining, she had to get Strawberry saddled and warmed up for trail. Actually, I saddled, she took a breather and grabbed a snack. Then she went over to walk the pattern with the judge. As I watched her head out on Strawberry, I wasn't too confident she was going to get him warmed up in time. Strawberry was acting like he was on crack. Wow! Head up, tail up and screaming for his buddy. But Megan has been riding Strawberry for so long now, she knows what it take to get his brain right and she got the job done. They had a nice little trail run. A few bobbles here and there, but I thought a blue for sure....
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
My oldest brother was telling us that the catfishing on the river had been really good, so we decided to set up a little camp on the river and try our luck. We used to do this all the time when we were kids. It was kind of my dad's thing. And of course we all loved it. We just got out of the habit of doing it.
Since the catfish usually bite the best right at dusk, we jumped in the mule and decided to try our luck at some of the little stock dams around our ranch.
The first dam we went to was one my other brother said was good fishing. We were expecting to catch large mouth bass, which is the local favorite when people stock their little dams. I caught a few fish. Kinda small little guys though, so I threw them all back. Pretty quick Chris reels one in, a nice sized fish and as soon as he lands him, he exclaims...These are Perch!
Needless to say, I felt pretty dumb for throwing all of mine back, because they were perfect pan-size for Perch. A master fisherman, I am NOT-LOL!
We headed up to another little stock pond, which everyone told us had been dry a couple years before, so we really weren't expecting to stop there to fish. But lo and behold, we saw some activity, so decided to try our luck.
What do you think?...
We actually threw about 1/2 of what we caught back. We had more than enough to clean for one night and they were all the same size. That dam is over-full, so will need to be fished out some.
It was pretty fun though. Every cast you reeled one in. Whenever anyone hooks a fish, we call out...Fish On! But that little dam kinda wore the thrill off of that saying-LOL.
It had gotten pretty late by the time Chris finished cleaning all those fish, but we went catfishing anyway. We just dropped a bunch of tree branches over the edge of the riverbank and started us a bonfire so we could see.
Sadly, this is the only size we caught...
I suspect that the last time the river came up, the big cats headed back toward the Missouri for the winter. Darn!
We called it a night, went to the camp and pigged out on a stew I had put on the coals earlier. The plan was to get up at the butt-crack of dawn and try the catfishing again.
Yeaaa....that didn't happen. We were wore smooth out from the day before.
So after breakfast, we headed back out to the "Perch" dam to try our luck again. Apparently those Perch really liked my red spinner and I caught 4 nice ones. Chris caught ONE.
We stopped at the over-full dam again, just for giggles, but threw all of them back in.
That's about the big and the small if it right there...
Chris caught himself a nice 3 pound large mouth and my poor brother caught his newborn brother-LMAO!
I caught a nice 2-3/4 pounder...
Ughhh-I wasn't holding him right, so you can't really see how big he was. And that pic is a little embarrassing. What you can't see is that I am soaked from the knees down. My bass buried himself in the moss and I waded in to dig him out. I really had no idea he was that size, but I was using my favorite red spinner..."the perch getter"... and I didn't want to lose it. And that water was c.o.l.d!!
I apparently am out of the "camping/fishing mode" because I didn't take extra clothes, nor a....uuh-hmmmmm...brassiere. Whoops!
Brother DID end up catching a few nicer sized bass....
This little Blue Gill jumped right out of the water after my "lucky" red spinner...
He got a reprieve and was tossed back. After we all got done laughing our asses off over that.
Brother caught himself a really nice and healthy bullhead...
With a spinner no less. That very rarely happens. Like Perch, Bullheads are usually caught with worms. Nope, I didn't share my red spinner, the fish were just biting that darn good.
The fishing was definitely interesting.
When we finally got back to camp, this herd of wild horses came to visit...
I kid! It's just the "over-flow" herd. Isn't Donk just the cutest darn thing? Bless her heart. She came over, ate some bread, insisted I stroke her ears and then I had to shoosh her away. She thought she might like to check out the inside of the tent too. Bad Donk!
We cleaned another stringer of fish, fried up some fillets and then went back to the river to try the cats again...
The catfishing was lousy, but the view was beautiful.
Unfortunately, that big, "pretty" thunderhead made it's way all the way around us and then swooped in, causing Chris to have to hold the tent up for a little while...
Not much rain out of the deal though. Which, for once is a good thing in SD because we HAD to get out of there the next morning to head elsewhere.
But that's another post.;-)
Friday, July 17, 2009
See the pretty yellow bandage Moon is sporting now?...
Yep, not two hours after I entered, Megan and I left the yard on horseback. We made it all the way to the arena, where I leaned over to unlatch the gate and open it from horseback and the next thing I know, Moon is flying backwards and his front foot is NOT...
He gets it yanked free and I see blood spurting. I jumped off, flipped the flap of skin hanging back up and apply pressure.
Am I freaking JINXED? Are the gods messing with me?
Thankfully, it is not as bad as the picture looks, but it was definitely a bleeder. Megan held Moon at the gate while I jumped on Frosty and long-trotted back to the house, hooked up the trailer and went back up to haul Moon home.
Megan and I have opened this gate a hundred times from our horses and I never EVER dreamed a horse could get hurt on it. It's just a metal panel gate on a big wheel.
After I got Moon's foot packed with wound powder and bandaged I went over and looked at it. The only damn thing I can figure is that when I pulled the gate toward me, rather than step away from it, Moon stepped back and his foot got hung on the bolt that holds the wheel on. It's located directly under the bottom rung of the panel.
I swear! Only Moon could do something like that.
So come Monday, I will take a look and see if that flap of skin re-attached and decide if he will be ready to run this next weekend.
At least this evening he is traveling sound on it.
On a lighter note...after that fiasco, Megan and I decided since the trailer was already hooked up to just load the other three and haul them up to the arena to finish riding.
She took a little video clip of Frosty...
Megan was rather disappointed, she was pretty excited to ride Frosty for the first time and then her ride got cut short. Oh well, she will have lots of opportunities to ride him yet.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Oh happy day, I found someplace to go with my black mare, Queenie...
Would you believe that my bad, biker boy is interested in learning how to team rope? No kidding! A friend of his just got back into team roping and My Honey told him he wanted to learn. His friend told him to start coming and practicing when he gets his arena finished. Miss Queenie will fit that bill nicely. I have roped on her before-done a lot of tracking cattle and heeled on her some. I will have to get her up as soon as possible and get her ready for My Honey. That makes me feel good. I hated to part with the mare, but couldn't see letting her just get old in the pasture.
And Megan is going to add this guy to her roster...
Spooks has always been Megan's "other" favorite horse and since I think Rip(the blue roan) isn't going to be quite fast enough to place in barrels, I told Megan she might as well start training on this one. That way, when she is ready to go faster than Rip can, she has another one ready to take his place.
I tell ya, sometimes I get a little disgusted with the number of horses standing around, but it sure is nice to just be able to go pick another one out a bunch you know everything about rather than have to try to go buy one.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
When I bred my black mare, Queenie to a friend of the family's stallion(Sun Frost/Doc's Decatholon/Depth Charge/Tuffernhel/Sugar Bars) years ago, I was hoping to "up" the speed limit on the resulting foal.
When my dear, sweet Frosty was a youngster, there was a glimmer of speed to him. I wasn't around him from the time he was weaned until I hauled him to Arizona as a 3y/o. I saw him exactly 3 times in those 3 years. Once as a gangly yearling. Once as an awkward 2y/o and then when I went to pick him up. He had turned into a big honking boy by then.
My mom and step-dad had told me many times how he could stretch out and outrun the other horses in the pasture. And that he just looked like he floated.
Needless to say, I was rather disappointed when I got him to Arizona and all he ever seemed to do was plunk around. Moving fast just wasn't in his vocabulary. Although he has always been an eyecatching, big, solid horse, nothing really jumped out at me to make me think he was special.
Okay, I'll be completely honest...I thought the horse was as dumb as a box of hair!
I didn't get around to starting him until he was four. But, I have to say, he was incredibly sweet and to this day has never bucked with me on him. Nothing ever really seems to bother him. He looks everything over very carefully and then proceeds on without so much as a second thought to whatever he was checking out. Sounds wonderful right?
Wonderful up until the point when I really started to believe that he had absolutely NO speed to him whatsoever. How disappointing. My carefully crafted breeding program...and I end up with a total dud.
So my dear, sweet Frosty, big, pretty boy that he is...has been on the back burner for the last few years. He's 7 now and I finally decided this spring, I HAD to get something done with him. He is way to nice to just let go to waste...even if he is as slow as a turtle.
Surely he would make a cute Western Pleasure horse...right? Reining? Maybe a rope horse? S.o.m.t.h.i.n.g!
So anyway, I have been putting as many rides on Frosty as I can. We are working on circles and bending/flexing, moving off of leg, leads and traveling straight lines...all the stuff that any horse needs to learn.
Have I mentioned how sweet this horse is?
Oh yea, several times. Really, he is probably one of the kindest horses I have ever raised. I don't usually "do" kind and sweet. I like 'em with attitude and issues.
As I have been riding him, I have started to figure out a few things about him though. He is not as dumb as I thought he was. If he was dumb, he would not have retained the things he has from the 10 or so rides I put on him last year, the 10 or so rides I put on him the year before and the 10 or so rides he had from the year before. I've actually ridden horses who have tons more time spent on them and aren't as docile and willing as Frosty. So I was wrong about him being one step above retarded.
And today, it dawned on me that I was wrong about him not having any speed as well.
I have been working on getting him to move out. Irregardless of what direction I decided to go with him, he had to learn to get some extension. Getting him to lope is just as much a workout for me as it is for him. But he is getting there. He is figuring out how to trot o.u.t and how to pick up a lope, in the correct lead. I have been pushing him to stretch that lope out.
This morning, I "helped" him lope off with a kiss and a firm swat on his butt with the end of my rein.
Bubba can leave when he wants too!
He dug in and for a second I think he actually thought about humping up, but he took off like a shot. I let him go. Really, this is a lazy horse. I knew he wasn't gonna run very fast for very far. Sure enough, about the length of the arena and he slowed down. We loped around for a little bit that direction. Stopped and walked until he caught his air.
Oh yea, one other thing I haven't mentioned...this horse can S.T.O.P!! He loves "the stop".
We trotted a few circles and went the other way, I kissed and before I could even swat his butt, he was out of there like a shot again.
COOL! I think he has way more going for him than I gave him credit for.
Besides being sweet-LOL!
Sunday, July 12, 2009
It was starting to register on my sleepy brain that the deep rumbling sound I was hearing was thunder.
My eyes popped open.
What the hell??
I pulled the covers back up and started to let sleep take over.
The ringing phone brought me out of another deep slumber and I dived out of bed to answer it.
It was My Honey. My back-up alarm clock.
While talking to him and starting my mandatory pot of coffee, I stood there and stared out the kitchen window. My mind was still struggling to wrap itself around the fact that it was actually raining. The deep rumblings of thunder still sounding off. The whole sky was gray.
Getting off the phone, I fired up the computer and clicked on the weather radar stored in my favorites. A massive yellow and red blob covered my entire region.
Yeee-aaaa....So much for 20% chance of thundershowers!
My heart sank. I knew what this meant.
I was going to be running barrels in mud tonight!
It rained the better part of the morning. The huge storm slowly making it's way east. The very direction of the rodeo I was entered in.
But finally 3 o'clock rolled around and I loaded my horse, mom and I jumped in the truck and we were on our way. It was obvious that the storm had rolled through the entire region. Water was standing in the dips in the road and the road ditches. The farther east we went, the wetter it got.
In a couple of hours we pulled into the fairgrounds and I didn't even hesitate putting the pickup into 4-wheel drive. There was mud and standing water everywhere.
I unloaded Moon, who was apparently soooo hungry, in spite of having already been fed hay that morning and grain right before we left, that he tried to start eating before he was even out of the trailer and basically slid/fell the rest of the way out.
Nice! Great way to make an entrance horse. Mom looked at me like I was a retard who had never unloaded a horse before. I pointed my finger at Moon and pulled the trigger. I have never been around a horse who is more determined to eat at every opportunity in my life. It's really rude actually.
I tied the rude-head to the trailer. God, I may drive a brand new pickup, courtesty of My Honey, but my plain-jane, has a little rust here and there horse trailer is totally embarrasing compared to the mega-living quarter, 4-5 and 6 horse trailers that surround us. Good thing my horse is fast, right?
Mom and I headed over to look at the arena.
Not much to say...we just look at each other, purse our lips and raise our eyebrows.
A good 3/4ths of the arena has standing water in it.
This...is a little out of Moon and I's league. I haven't run in mud in y.e.a.r.s! Moon don't have any experience with it either. At least not any that is relavant when it comes to making a competitive barrel run at a rodeo performance.
Oh, this is just ducky...pardon the pun.
I paid my entry fees. Geez...when you add in all the little $2 and $3 charges they tack on for this and that...they just about doubled. I pretty much figured I would be kissing that money good-bye anyway. Any chance I thought I might have had at placing went out the window the minute I saw that arena.
I don't remember much of watching the rodeo. I was really trying to put a game plan for my run together. Luckily, there were 10 barrel racers ahead of me, so I could watch what they did and see if I could figure something out on the fly.
There was a lot of sand around 1st barrel. I figured I could put the pedal to the metal and get around that one in good form. Moon has run in deep, wet sand before. He was cool with it then. 2nd barrel was another matter. It was standing in water. It was hard to tell what would be the best way to tackle it. I was leaning toward safetying up. But once you cleared 2nd, you was back in deep sand again and I thought I would be able to open Moon back up, slide around 3rd and hammer it home. The left side of the arena was deep sand, so I would have a good place to stop.
A person should always have a game plan.
However, that does not always mean that game plan will work.
The announcer called my name...OMG...he pronounced my name properly...Cool!
The gate man opened the gate.
I headed Moon down the alley and let him find first barrel before asking him to take off.
He started to take off and then hit...deep, sloppy mud.
And suddenly I was riding Tinkerbell.
Moon sucked back on the speed and was desperately trying to figure out how to keep from splashing water and mud on himself. He decided the best way was to lunge through it and pick his feet up as high as he could.
He got to first barrel and I could feel him set for it, but he was scrambling trying to figure out how to get around it. Geez-he was practically climbing on top of the barrel.
Of course, by this point, my concentration is completely blown and I am looking straight down his shoulder at the mud too. I'm thinking, "Holy cow, it really is deep".
We zig, zagged back and forth between 1st and 2nd. Moon isn't sure which way to go. I'm looking down his shoulder and he is looking at all the people in the grandstand. I look up just in time to literally yank him over so he turns the barrel on the correct side. He's trying to climb on top of the barrel again and practically stops coming out of it. Neither of us is looking where we are supposed to be going, so Moon bows waaaayyyy out and around.
By this time, I am starting to get really pissed off. I mean come-on!
I get my eyes focused on the 3rd barrel, Moon straightens out and heads for it. We slid around it in pretty good shape and head for home. But it doesn't feel like we are going anywhere. It took so long to get to the other end, that I literally had time to think about how bad that run was.
And boy, it was baaaadddd. We leaped through the mud in 19.51 seconds. About 1 to 1-1/2 seconds slower than the majority of the others...and a full 3 seconds slower than the winning run of the performance, which was a 16.44. An astonishing fast time for that track.
We exited the arena, my head was hanging a little, but Moon's was up and he was looking around like, "Wow...what the hell was that all about?" He wasn't even blowing.
I walked him out of the mud and dismounted, loosening his cinch and started walking him. Habit! He didn't really need it, since he hadn't exactly set the arena on fire. I made one lap around some rigs and went to unsaddle him. I took off his bridle and while I was trying to get his halter on him, he is trying to choke himself by insisting on trying to graze with his breastcollar still on. What a freaking dork!
And that my friends was Moon and I's glorious entrance into association level rodeoing. One thing about it, we have no where to go but up. :-)
Damn, I hope all that mud comes out of my brand new Cruel Girl shirt!
Thursday, July 9, 2009
He has had a cough for years now. Just a light hack when you first start loping him that stops when he is good and warmed up. I suspect he picked it up while he was working at the feedlot 5 years ago.
Because of this light hack, he stays on pasture 24/7 and I am extremely particular about his hay. I've even gone so far to hand pick the very best parts out of the bale for him and I spread it out on the grass.
Tuesday night it was really bad and he was just long trotting...on grass. I didn't even take him into the arena because it was dry and I didn't want him inhaling dust. But he was hacking and wheezing anyway.
I started him on a double dose of MSM that night and have fed him a double dose twice a day the last two days. It usually takes about 3 days for it to kick in and 5 to really work.
I'm just praying it's under control by Saturday. He seemed better when I rode him tonight, but all we did was walk a lot and a little controlled trotting. But at least he seemed to be breathing better.
Mostly I hate the thought of running him if he can't get his air. But it's also rather embarrassing to be trying to warm up a horse who sounds like he is going to cough up a lung.
In case the MSM doesn't work to get and keep this cough under control...has anyone ever used any of the cough remedies on the market? What has worked for you...or what hasn't(no sense spending money on something that doesn't work)?
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Dirty bugger was coiled up in my water hoses and when I pulled them out to water my plants he got pissed off...right now.
We have been being awful careful this year. Two people have already been bitten. Both happened right outside their houses and at dusk. Guess where I was and what time it was?
Damn. You can bet my brain is dialed right back in. Sheez-we get bullsnakes and garter snakes around the house all the time, but haven't had a rattler since I was a kid. Doesn't mean I don't usually keep my eye open for them, just haven't EVER had one right at the house like that.
Tomorrow will be a full scale attack on cleaning up the last of the junk piled around, re-mowing and weedeating everything and hauling it all away. The hoses are going to be hung from a tree limb from now on too.
Gahhhh...I still have the heebie-jeebies!!
So onto to other stuff...
I always hate leaving Colorado...My Honey and the beautiful scenery...and Starbucks are hard to have to leave behind.
But the ponies were pretty happy to see me. Even Moon missed me...I think-LOL.
The land we looked at was a "no go". The 12 acres did have an open-faced barn on it with a bunch of old panels as corrals, a falling down arena-that was at least worked up and a large wooden round pen. But the land itself left something to be desired. It was sort of in a slew and not irrigatable.
The pictures from the previous post are from our ride...280 miles...up around Douglas Pass to Rangely to Meeker and then back down to Rifle and back to Junction. We ran into everything but snow. Started out in tank-tops, had to put on long-sleeves and finally leather up...and then we baked in the leather from DeBeque Canyon back to the house. Gotta love the high country.:-)
I headed home mostly because I'm entered in a rodeo this weekend. Guess we will get to see if Moon can place amongst the bigger boys. I needed to get at least a few days of just lots of walking and some trotting on him before Saturday. I was really hoping for a running position in the slack(the overflow from the rodeo performances), but noooooo I had to draw up in Saturday's Performance.
I'm kinda nervous about this already. Now I have to deal with the added anxiety of trying to put a run together in front of a grandstand full of people. G.R.E.A.T!
I'm going to take my mom with me. Either she will be good at helping get me mentally prepared or she will piss me off enough that I will get my game face on.
And now I have finished slugging down my Smirnoff Ice to calm my heebie-jeebies and I am off to bed. I'm sorry I haven't been around visiting much. This summer just seems so hectic and I am so behind on so many projects. If it stays hot, hot, hot....I'll be back to visiting, at least in the heat of the day.;-)
Sunday, July 5, 2009
I am here...
I hope everyone had a glorious, fun and safe Holiday weekend!
I don't want too...but I will have to head home soon.
Back to the ponies and the rodeos. The only reason I can make myself go back.:)
Keep your fingers crossed. We are looking at land today...one parcel has an arena and barn on it. Gotta have a place for the ponies before we can make the move.