Monday, August 31, 2009

Barn Pics

The ponies are blowing up like ticks. Even Moon is getting a belly on him...
COOL!!

Frosty is getting his pre-winter coat dapples...
Kinda hard to see in this pic I guess. But his neck and shoulders turn almost black and get huge dapples before he gets his winter coat.

Queen looks like she is due to foal soon(she is NOT bred-LOL)....
But she isn't about to share a bit of her grain with her roomies.

I was going to ride tonight but the BO was busy cleaning and setting up another dry lot....
I figured I could wait one more day before getting back into the swing of things.

He got the arena pretty well cleaned up though...



Prior to this guy buying the place, this was a nice show barn...
The little dude out front startles me every time I walk around the corner to turn the water on. LOL!

They don't use many of the stalls for horses. Several are filled with hay, some are filled with "stuff"...


This little beauty is a new addition since I kept horses here last fall....
Now wouldn't that be a fun little bugger to fix up and toodle around in?

I survived the first day at the office in pretty good shape. Nothing like walking into doing payroll the first day. We managed. For those of you who wondered...NO, those two women who thought they were all that last fall no longer work for us. Imagine THAT?! Getting rid of them didn't really have anything to do with the way they treated me...but it certainly brought their shortcomings to My Honey's attention. The Operational Manager that Chris hired at the beginning of this year is the one who got rid of them. One wasn't doing her job and the other was padding her timecard...and her husband's bonus'. No wonder they didn't want me around the office. I am replacing the OM-he got a job offer he couldn't turn down...and My Honey told him to go for it. Those are hard to come by in these tough economic times. He's still a good friend, so if we get really stuck trying to figure something out...Chris doesn't hesitate to call him up and ask. Gotta love that!:-)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Settling In

We have all pretty much gotten settled in.

The dogs have dug their nests under the new porch.

Chris and I have been cleaning house. I've been painting rooms.

And the ponies seem pretty content in their new surroundings...
Moon and Frosty have about an acre of irrigated pasture and Queenie is currently sharing her similar pen with a couple of feeder steers.

The barn owner is such a nice guy. He is working on cleaning the weeds out of the round pen and arena for me. He only has a couple of other outside horses and they are actually retired horses, so the owners don't ride. The BO only uses his horses during hunting season and helping move cattle off the mountains, so he doesn't use the facilities either.

I get the whole place to myself. He said I was more than welcome to set up any patterns I wanted to in the arena-barrels, poles, trail, etc. and no one else will bother my stuff. How nice is that?

Besides the big turnouts, there is a very fancy barn, that is not used. So, the ponies each have their very own fancy, shmancy stall if the weather gets really nasty or I want to keep them up for any reason.

Our "soon-to-be" roping buddy stopped over yesterday to show us his new mare. He has his roping arena set up and cattle there already. He said we were welcome to come over and use the arena anytime.

A person can stay pretty busy going to different shows, gymkahnas and barrel racings around here this time of year. There is a weekly rodeo just a couple of miles down the road. I don't know if Moon will be ready to start back to running barrels before those end this year, but we might be able to hit the last one or so.

Starting tomorrow, I'll be helping out in the office. I'm kind of wondering if my brain is ready to handle having to function in an office setting again. Hopefully it won't take too long to get back into the swing of things.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Big Blue And Stupid Government Ideas

I'm locked and loaded...and plumb wore out. I have pretty much crammed my entire fall chores into a couple of weeks. What's not done is just going to have to wait.

Today was pretty much spent running around trying to get the last of the horses feet trimmed. My hands are sore, sore, sore. This time of year, trying to trim the feet of the horses who have been running in the pasture is pretty much like trying to chip away at cement.

The last horse that needed trimmed was studly. To save herself a trip, mom asked if I would take Andrea's favorite blue horse down to the ranch, so my brother has a saddle horse.

So I popped the big blue horse in her trailer and headed the back road to the ranch.

What's wrong with this picture?...


Does this help?...


For as far as you can see in any direction, this is all there is...


And the government in it's infinite wisdom thinks we need street signs? No wonder our country is broke. This has to be one of the stupidest things I think I have ever seen. Damn! We can do just fine without these types of civilization encroachments. If you don't know where you are out here...either stop and ask(people are pretty friendly) or just keep driving until you end up somewhere...I know for a fact that any way you turn on this road, you'll eventually end up at a bar. That should be good enough!

Well, maybe they put them up so the cows know where they are....
Bwahahahah...I crack myself up. I know...I'm a dork!

Blue doesn't get overly excited about anything. He just perks his ears and looks things over...


I think he simply sighed a big sigh of relieve when he realized he has a corral to himself...
For as big as he is, Blue is a sissy. EVERYTHING picks on him. For some reason, he has never, ever melded with the herd. Very strange considering he was born on the place along with everything else. He is an outcast. So, I think he is going to like his new digs. His own corral space and the fenced off area around the place to graze in. And he will get the attention he craves from my brother. Brother already called...twice! The first time he called to say Blue was doing fine and that he though Blue liked him. The second time he called to say that Blue LOVED him. Oh good god! Two simpering, sissies meet-LMAO.

And remember how I said I think Beretta is getting the same glistening body color as her daddy? How's this for shiny?...
Pistol just glitters. Now that's what I consider a pretty bay...but then I guess I am a little prejudiced.;-)

Well, I'm down the road. I'm excited to go. But today was a bit sad. I will certainly miss my wide open prairie and all the horses. Good thing I can come home anytime I want! It might not be Megan who gets to missing me, but me who gets to missing HOME.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Beretta

These will be the last pictures of Miss Beretta for a while...
I love this face. She just has so much expression.

Do you see what I see?(You can really see it if you click on the picture)...
Her legs are turning black. I guess she is going to be a bay after all.

She has the same golden lights in her body coat that her sire has...
Her daddy just glistens in the sun. So I'll be tickled pink if she turns the same color as him.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Now This Is More Like It

So ends the drama of the crappy hay...LMAO. The ponies survived. Whew!

My hay guy was a little sheepish when I went to pick out bales this morning. He really is a nice guy. Neither of us mentioned the delivery last week. Awww hell, everyone has to cut loose once in a while right?

I got the first load unloaded in my yard...


The second load is loaded and ready to haul to the ranch...


Oh yea, soooo much nicer...


Vs the leftovers from last night and this mornings feedings...


I tell ya though, I had to look over and dig through TWO stacks of round bales just to find 6 good bales. The hay situation is looking a little bleak this year. It just wasn't a productive growing year. The weeds got a head start on the grass and alfalfa and then the alfalfa was ready before the grass, in the mixed fields. By the the time the grass caught up, the alfalfa was rank, the weeds were big and rank and then the rains set in and the grasshoppers attacked. It was just a darn tough year to get good hay put up.

We usually get two semiloads delivered every year for the horses. Fifty-six big round bales. There isn't any left in the field I like to get hay out of that I would want. It's a native grass, a bit of crested wheat and a bit of alfalfa mix.

Mom and I will have to get in gear tomorrow and go look at the rest of the fields to see if he has any better stuff.

Ahhh well, such is life around these parts. There are so few good years anymore, sometimes you wonder how everyone manages to keep going. Somehow they do. We'll scavange through and find enough good hay to keep everyone fat and happy through the winter. Things have been a lot worse than this and somehow it all works out.

On a brighter note, the hay situation was very good on the Western Slope of Colorado. Everything around Grand Junction is irrigated so that is pretty darn consistant. The native grasses that are hayed up in the mountains was absolutely beautiful and extremely abundant this year. That is what I plan on as being the primary feed for my horses. Where I am boarding them, I've already made arrangements with the BO for them to only be fed brome hay out of his supply and I'll supplement it with meadow hay. Luckily, this is a guy who actually understood when I told him the irrigated alfalfa that most people feed would burn my horses up. Their systems simply are not used to that rich of feed. Nor do I especially like to feed my horses pure alfalfa. It might be pretty and it might smell wonderful, but I've just never had good luck with it. I presume because my horses were all raised on much cooler feed.

Other than a couple of more, must-do projects, I'm ready to go. Oddly enough, my mom seems very excited. She has been asking me when I think I will be able to get to my first barrel racing out there. Hmmm! Well, that kind of depends on Moon's foot. Which by the way is looking much better. We had a couple of cool days that subdued the flies, so I took the wrap off to let his wound get some air. It really shrunk up and looks really good. It's hot again and the flies are back in force, so I wrapped it back up yesterday afternoon. But anyway, back to competition, I do believe if I can get a couple of weeks of riding on Moon, we will be ready to go again by the end of September.

Megan seems rather subdued. I think reality is setting in. She has been staying at grandma's the last couple of weeks. We thought it would give her a chance to get used to it before I take off. Things seem to be going well. Megan has spent time with Shooter-who was desperately missing his attention, riding her new prospect-Spooks and the little turd even snuck a ride in on Boon-the black mare we bought back last fall. Good for her! Ya know, maybe not being under momma's ever watchful eye for a little while will be a good thing for her. Lord knows I am a strict momma. And more than a little bit overprotective. It happens when your toddler is as accident prone as Megan was. My mom will take good care of Meg-of that I have no doubt.

We all sat down and had supper together the other night and began formulating a game plan for next years rodeoing/horse showing. I suppose I better leave that for another post though...this one is getting kinda long.;)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Drunken Hay Delivery

Things have been rather hectic. I just didn't realize how much stuff needed to be done before I leave.

Last weekend, I was running low on hay and mom...in her infinite wisdom(I just have to shake my head sometimes) decided that rather than take more bales from her place, that I should pick up 3 fresh bales from our hay guy.

Problem was that it poured rain the night before I was supposed to pick it up. The hay is still stacked in the fields. I completely understood that hay guy did not want me pulling out there with my trailer. So when he kindly offered to simply grab a bale with his tractor and run it into town for me, I thought he was being exceedingly accommodating.

I waited and waited...and waited! Two and a half hours later he shows up with this...
It's fresh. It's mostly grass.

It's also ditch hay!!!!

WTH???

Dude! You know that I would NEVER pick this out to feed to my horses.

It's big, thick, coarse DITCH grass!

And then I realized something. Hay guy was drunker than snot.

Holy Crap.

It was kinda funny!

Actually, it was really funny. He was being a riot.

Til he started telling me how damn fat my horses were!

Hey, no need to go there!

Ya can't argue with a drunk though. Nor explain anything to them. Like the fact that he was looking at Queen. Who looks bred with that big belly hanging down! Hello! I just brought her in from pasture. Of course she is fat.

BTW...I freaking LIKE fat horses. Not globby fat. Like my mom's. But fat is a beautiful color. Chubby horses are happy horses. FAT IS GOOD!

So anyway, the ponies are eating the hay. It takes twice as much to fill them up-because they are not going to eat those big coarse stems...DUHHHH!

And they are pooping about 3x's as much as normal. Lovely! What used to be a one wheelbarrow full per pen has turned into 2.

It still makes me giggle though. I don't know how the heck he got so drunk from the time I talked to him at 1pm until he showed up at 3:30pm? Cause he has a job in town and was just getting off of work when I talked to him the first time. He sounded completely normal. Man, he must have been chugging! LMAO.

In other news, my poor "pot" garden did not fair so well this year....
The grasshoppers annihilated it. The cooler weather has forced the hoppers to subside and now these poor scraggly plants are making a last desperate attempt to come back. I don't think the tomatoes will have time to set fruit though.

But the cucumbers are working hard...
Ooohhhh well. Maybe mom and Megan will be able to enjoy a little bit of fresh produce before frost gets them.

I'm a little worried about this winter. We have had the 5th coolest summer on record. Today feels like late October. It's downright chilly!

I still have tons of things to get done. Doesn't seem like I am making much headway, although I feel like I have been on the go for a month. Tomorrow it is coggins, brand inspections and healths on the ponies. The results of the coggins will be back on Tuesday and I'll be heading out Wednesday. I just hope I can get everything finished up before then. Otherwise, it will just have to wait until October.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What's That Difference Again?

Hmmm-I wonder if this will inspire people to levitate cattle to the same spiritual place they have horses?



Or does it kind of equalize them?

Oh well, at least we don't have to worry about breaking down the feeder calf. Ride her all you want, make her raise as many calves as possible and you still know where she is going to end up!

The Wound That Won't Heal

Something that started out as a gouge has turned into a huge pain in the butt.

I've doctored horses that have nearly cut their front foot off and never had this much trouble getting one to heal properly. But I think I know why!

Usually when a horse cuts his foot, it is a straight line cut-irregardless of how deep. In this case, Moon tore a flap of skin away. The gouge was exactly centered between the bulbs of his heels. However, the flap of skin that was peeled back actually came from the center of the gouge over the inside heel.


A pic of Moon(for Horse Crazed;)

Initially, the cut itself was not that bad. I doctored and wrapped it immediately and let it alone for the first couple of days. When I took the first bandage off, washed it and looked it over-it still didn't look too bad. I redoctored-bandaged it and Megan and I took off for the State Horse Show. I didn't think to ask my mom to doctor his foot while I was gone for 3 days-Well...because it didn't look like much.

When we got back, I noticed that the wrap had come loose, but was still there keeping the wound clean. Problem was, when I unwrapped it and cleaned it...there was proud flesh covering the entire wound. I applied a thin coat of Prouds Off and rebandaged. I had to do that twice before all of the proud flesh came off and we were back to pink, healthy skin again.

All this while Moon has been completely sound on it and there has been no heat or infection. I did put him on Lamphley's Vitamix twice a day for three days to protect against any infection-but he got so amped up on it, I reduced it to once a day again.

By then the wound was healing pretty well. I wasn't sure what was going to happen with that flap of skin. It did not reattach. I thought that I might have to take him to the vet and get it trimmed off so the wound could finish healing. But a few more days and it was obvious that flap was shrinking away, so I just kept cleaning it with cold water, pouring external rub on it, packing it with wound powder and rewrapping it.

I thought I had it licked. But lo and behold...as I was cleaning the old medicine off with my finger one night, Moon stomped at a fly and my finger ripped the wound WIDE open.

Oh my god! I was sick to my stomach. I absolutely could NOT believe that just happened.

Actually it was worse than when it initially happened because the flap of skin had torn back over the bulb.

So now, here we are a MONTH into it and it still looks like this...

That little red bulge at the bottom of the open wound is what is left of that flap of skin. The whitish looking line above that is where proud flesh keeps trying to grow in. The wound has shrunk some since I accidentally tore it open.

It has been a battle to keep the proud flesh from taking over. And I fear that although it looks sealed and just like an external wound now, that it is going to take even more time for the internal muscle to knit completely back together.

This is his left front foot...
You can clearly see the bulbs and the cleft between them. Yes, I know...he's overdue for a trim. By about 4 weeks.:o...LOL. The day I injured him, I was going to trim him.


This is the injured foot...
There is no cleft, so obviously there is a lot of healing yet to do. This is usually where a lot of people think a horse has been doctored enough and stop. I never stop doctoring until there is skin and hair over the entire wound. Especially with proud flesh fighting so hard to take ahold. Even that little bit of open wound can grow a nasty amount of proud flesh and leave a permanent disfigurement. Of course...there is going to be a scar. I am so pissed! Most of my brother's horses have scars on their legs from the jacked up pens and pastures he used to stick his stuff in. I have always been pretty particular about making sure that my horses are in junk free environments to avoid injury.
Now both of my geldings are sporting crappy scars on their feet....And Frosty has a split ear too boot. That one I never did figure out how it happened.:-P




Monday, August 17, 2009

Home Town Rodeo

This weekend was our hometown rodeo...it was rather bittersweet for me. I chose not to enter the last two rodeos on my list because Moon's wound has been exceedingly slow to heal. It's healing well-no worries there. Just slowly. But that's another post.

So I was regulated...AGAIN...this year to bleacher duty. So frustrating!

Here's a few obligatory rodeo photos;-)...



I can't complain too much though. If nothing else...I have the best posse there is to hang with at this rodeo...

On the far left, is a good friend and an excellent horseman, Butch. He's always in charge of bringing the beer. This year he forgot! Boy, did he catch a ration of hell for that. But as you can see, beer did get produced! Butch has raised horses, rodeoed and trained horses for the tracks all his life. The little bit of red to the left of him is his wife-a good horsewoman in her own right.

To Butch's right is my mom(blue plaid shirt).

Directly above my mom is none other than one of the best and most knowledgeable horseman I've ever had the pleasure to run across, Stanton. This is the horse trader we got Strawberry from. Stanton has always been tickled pink over the things Megan has accomplished with Strawberry. So much so, that he went a bought another strawberry roan with a bald face and 4 stocking legs as a gift for her. We have been unable to accept the horse because we are overloaded as it is. No hard feeling from Stanton though. He'll just hang onto him until we can. Wonder how old that horse is getting to be now?

The guy in the straw hat and the big grin is Stanton's brother in law, Jack, with his new girlfriend. Whose name unfortunately escapes me at the moment. But I really enjoyed visiting with her. Jack is an absolute riot. Well, actually the whole pack it! Jack is usually who we go practice rope with and I caught hell for not getting over there even once this summer.

I guess if I had to be sidelined though, this is the rodeo to have that happen. The most amazing thing about this bunch of guys is that anyone and EVERYONE rodeoing knows them and likes them. They have lived their lives around horses, rodeos, shows, the tracks and sale barns all across this country. They don't just know people of their own generation, they know multiple generations...for nearly every competitor. Everyone stops by to shake their hands and visit a bit.

Saturday, June Holeman stopped by to visit and Sunday, Jill Moody's dad came to sit and watch the rodeo with us... Jill wasn't running here, but her sister was. I kinda feel like I got to meet a celebrity!

The theme for the parade this year was, "South Dakota Heroes". Well, this bunch is most definitely my heroes!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Back In Black

I did some horse moving today...three went from mom's to the north pasture. Trouble makers! Mom wanted them out of the corral.

Three went down to the ranch. The three fat, sorrel sisters.

Two geldings came up. Spooks and Smoke. Megan is going to take over Spooks-her next future barrel, reining, maybe poles gelding. Smoke will eventually come to Colorado with me. He's Moon's 1/2 brother. I believe just as fast and made a lot better in the hind leg.

As if that was not enough to get everyone stirred up, I loaded Strawberry and hauled him to the ranch for some TO and gathered up my black mare and brought her to town...
This is Queenie.

She is Frosty's momma...
Other than the color, they could be twins. Frosty is going to Colorado. And Moon of course. That will make up the initial trio going with me.

Queen settled in very quickly...
She got a good brushing tonight and will get a bath and her feet trimmed this weekend. Actually, her feet look pretty darn good. That is one of the things I always liked about this mare. GOOD FEET! She did a good job of passing that trait on as all three of her foals had/have good, thick, healthy feet.

Eight years I have let this mare sit idle in the pasture. That was never my intention. Time just gets away from a person. She is 16y/o now. But sure don't look it. Frosty was the 3rd and last foal I got from her. I was getting overloaded with young horses to ride and I don't raise to sell...babies anyway. I've never really considered selling anything I've raised until they are at least 6y/os. I get a chance to see what I'm raising that way. Her time of leisure is over though. The great part is My Honey gets a horse that has a mature mind, but not a used up body.

Anyway, everyone was very easy to catch and haul right up to Queenie's turn. It's been a year or so...maybe two, since she was actually caught, so I tried the grain and sneak the leadrope over her neck trick in the pasture. Got the leadrope over before she realized it. Just didn't get the tail caught quick enough. She left and decided she had had enough grain. Plan A failed.

I figured the horses would follow the trailer, with Strawberry still in it, up to the corrals, but I guess since it wasn't one of their own herdmates in there, they decided it wasn't that interesting. Plan B failed.

I decided to heck with it. Have saddle horse...will chase! So I popped Strawberry out, bridled him(an absolute must if you are moving horses) and headed out to bring the herd in. Plan C...success.

Everyone is moved around for now. When I come back for Megan's birthday in October, I'll move Chunk and Beretta to town. Megan said she would take care of gentling Beretta for me this winter. Shooter will stay at mom's for another year. Most likely two. I'll make sure to plan on coming home for a few weeks next fall and start him under saddle. Then he'll just sit again until he is a 3y/o.

When I head back to CO after Megan's b-day, I'll be taking Smoke with me for sure and possibly VooDoo-the 16.2H 4y/o that still needs broke. If we haven't found some land to buy, I'll have to be careful how many horses I have to pay board on though. Even the relatively inexpensive place I have lined up-$150/horse...adds up pretty darn quick.

If I could though...there would be quite a list that would be going with me...with all the activities I have found...I could keep an arsenal of horses and have plenty of places to take them for practicing, showing and competing.

Oh my gosh, I am so excited. We have a place to practice roping. There is a hunter/jumper facility just a couple miles from the house. A reining/cutting facility near that. Barrel racings all over...most go until the end of November. Actually there is only three months, Dec., Jan. and Feb. that I noticed the activities slacking off. This is gonna be great!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Change Of Scenery

Okay, I cannot keep a secret any longer...I'm packing!

I'm so excited and very sad at the same time.

The BrownEyed Cowgirlsssss is going to become the BrownEyed Cowgirl. Singular!

The time has come that it is absolutely necessary for me to move to Colorado and help My Honey. I have been planning to anyway, but have been pushing back the time due to obligations I felt I had here.

After much discussion and thought, fights and persuasion...Megan has decided that she wants to stay here and go to school.

I really can't blame the kid. She likes it here. This little town is slow-moving, easy-going and she fits right in with everyone else.

Have no worries. She will be living with my mom. I figured she might be just a tad young to leave on her own.;-)

I don't know how long it will last. Grandma is way more easy going in some aspects, not so easy going in others. And not nearly as likely to load up and head off on an adventure.

This is tough. The last few days I have felt rather torn in two. It's been Megan and I for a long time now. We usually have a blast together. Don't know what I'm going to do without my little mini me. My riding partner. My jamming sista. The pain in my butt sometimes. Chris is disappointed that she is not coming with me too.

Obviously, if she decides that the new arrangement is not working, all she has to do is call and I will come get her in a heartbeat. We tried to explain that the school she would attend out in Colorado is a very good school. She does have friends there already too. But so far it is a no go. She is adament that she wants to stay.

So next week sometime...I still have to get Coggins, brand inspections and health certs on my horses...me, my boys(the dogs) and 3 horses will be loading up and heading over the mountains.

I will be leaving the wide open prairie, no particular schedule and the luxury of having my horses in the backyard... and heading to-My Honey's daily company, a job in our business office and horses boarded up the road.

I have lots of things to look forward too. Gee-a regular paycheck? Wow-been a while since I have had one of those. Lots and lots of horse events...pretty much all winter long, and the joy and comfort of seeing My Honey every day. Remind me of this last one in a couple of months okay? It's been many, many years since I have lived with another adult day in and day out.

The only thing that will be missing is the other BrownEyed Cowgirl. Ya know, it just isn't going to be as much fun going and doing horse stuff without her. I hope it doesn't take her too long to get to missing her momma and I get the phone call asking me to come get her.

The Last Of It...

On Wednesday, My Honey and I got the heck out of the campground. We headed into the Hills for a day of riding. My Honey grew up in the Black Hills, so knows all of these roads like the back of his hand. After grabbing showers(yayyyy!!) and lunch at his mom's place, we headed up the Needle's Highway.

We stopped at Sylvan Lake...

You will have to click on the picture and see if you can see the rock climber who is standing on the tip of that pile of rocks-LOL.

And then we continued on, winding our way into the Hills...

And through the tunnels...
We stopped at the top and lo and behold...more people from British Columbia...
Man, You people up there are really friendly!! LOVE YA!!!

This is why the natives named the hills, Paha Sapa...The Black Hills...

Don't know why, but I loved this picture...
More tunnels on the way down...
We stopped at the Coolidge Visitor Center in the Custer State Park...

What I was really wanting to get pictures of was some dumb ass out there trying to get their picture taken with the buffalo in the park. There are signs every 1/2 mile that state "Buffalo Are Dangerous. Do NOT Approach". Every year, there is some yahoo who gets gored/killed by a buffalo they decide they want to have their picture taken with or pet. H.e.l.l.oooooo...it's breeding season! Not terribly safe any other time of year, but particularly dangerous this time of year.

Encroaching storm clouds prevented us from finishing the entire ride we had planned, but we had a blast anyway...
It was back to momma's house, a hot supper and sleeping in an actual bed. All that fresh air will wear a person out-LOL.

We were particularly lucky this year. We had opted out of paying $120/person for tickets to Aerosmith that night. It poured rain again...and Steven Tyler fell off the stage and had to be air lifted to the hospital. We heard they only played SIX songs. Yeesh!

Now it's over, nothing left but the mess and I am already excited for next year.