Sunday, September 27, 2009

At Least It's Out Of The Way

I don't even know what to say about today's barrel run.

It was crap!

It was fast!

But it was crap!

I don't really know what I was expecting of Moon today. It's been 3 months since we last ran barrels. The last two runs we had were under less than ideal circumbstances and both times he bowed his shoulder badly coming out of 1st-which put him in a less than ideal position going into second.

I fixed the bow today. I wore spurs. Problem was, he set up on 1st a bit on my(something he has never done before), so I inadvertently spurred him, making him lunge the rest of the way around the barrel. He came in pretty hard and we bumped the barrel. But he didn't bow that shoulder out.

I absolutely could not get him into position for second though. He was adament he was going to dive around that barrel. We didn't tip it. But he was so close that my left leg was rubbing the barrel ALL THE WAY AROUND IT. I just kept telling myself-don't kick, don't move that leg. If I would have so much as wiggled my toe that barrel would have gone down.

He got out of it in good shape though, but didn't have a smooth turn around 3rd either. Kind of ran to it, started to dive, but I had his number then and had him lifted up pretty good, so he sort of just rolled back on himself and came out. We bumped that one too.

He ran a 17.506, which was good enough for the 5th fastest time out of 25 horses. He was right in there with the 2nd through 4th place horses. Their times were between 17.2 and 17.4.

The first place horse came from nowhere and blew the doors off everyone else. She came very, very close to the arena record. She ran a 16.4. It was a beautiful run.

Like I said though, I don't really know what I was expecting of Moon. I was pretty sure he would bow coming out of 1st-so was expecting and prepared for that. Setting up before turning 1st kind of threw me off and I really feel like I rode poorly after that. I kinda felt like a rag doll up there. I'm out of practice too-LOL.

After the barrel race, I saddled Moon back up and went in to do a little slow work to see if I could figure out why he was so out of position. All it took was loping him up the each of the barrels and letting him turn them was all I needed to figure it out. He's flipping out his hind leads and trying to dive around the barrel rather than pushing from his hind leg. It's a problem I've had with him before. With the way Moon is built, it's natural for him to want to do that. Fixing it again won't be anything more than suppling him up and spending time loping some small circles. He just needs to get his condition back. The first place he loses muscle is in his hip and he is sorely out of shape.

I sure met a bunch of super nice ladies today though. Nicest bunch of barrel racers I think I have ever met. Good competitors too. No gunsels in this bunch. They were all good riders on good horses. Yikes!

Actually, it's good to go to barrel races where the competition is a bit stiffer. A lot of these girls run Association and WPRA. If Moon made a crappy run and still ran at the top of the pack, that gives me hope we can compete with a faster crowd. At least I have that "first run" out of the way, didn't completely embarrass myself and know what I need to work on for next weekend.

Sorry no video this time. I was going to ask the gal I was visiting with, but she ran right before me so didn't bother. Next time! I sure like having video to watch too.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

It All Makes Sense Now

All makes sense now!

I was talking to the BO yesterday. The first day that I have saddled Queen and she has not had an all out blow up and buck fest. Humpy...Yes! All out lose her mind bucking bronc...NO!

I had asked him if, when he finishes rebuilding some of the dry lots, we could put Queen in one of them. She has just ballooned up since being here and I think some of that has a bit to do with her nasty mindset.

Bless his heart...the BO kind of kicked the dirt a little bit with the toe of his boot and told me that she aught to stop ballooning now. They butchered the feeder steer and cow last weekend.

Come to find out, the BO was graining those feeders and guess who was helping herself to all of their rations?

I know that when he asked if he could put Queen in that lot with them, that I had warned him that she would run his feeders off of their feed...ME thinking he was simply haying them...HIM not mentioning that he was graining them morning and night!

So all of that grain, on top of 24/7 grazing on tender, green grass, on top of the flake of hay he fed her morning and night, on top of the bit of grain with supplements that I was feeding every evening and voila....The mare was coming out of her skin.

Poor Queen! Here I was contemplating putting her sorry butt to sleep and she really couldn't help herself. She is not a horse that can handle much grain to begin with. I only feed her about a 1/4 can of oats, just enough so she has a few bites to get the supplements into her.

While I wasn't exaggerating about her past or her present attitude, the way she was acting just wasn't jiving. She was a bucker. She was always a bit humpy when you first saddled her(back when I was riding her) and she does not have the greatest mind...but I rode this mare a lot. She worked on a ranch, she worked in a sale barn, she went to horse shows and she went to playdays. A horse with that much riding and experience doesn't resort to all out "rodeo bronc" for no reason.

Hopefully now, with all the grain coming out of her system, she will get her brain back and we can get down to the business of riding.

The one thing I am thankful for...she did not founder. Poor old girl!

I'm also getting back to the business of barrel racing! Yayyy! Moon's foot is finally healed, the swelling around his bulb is gone and he feels strong. I'm headed to a barrel racing at Cedaredge on Sunday.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

How It's Going With The Crew I Have...

We still have buck...
This is getting a bit old! It's true, I haven't been as consistent as I should be, but come on, this mare was rode quite a lot. She is rather being a pig about coming around.

If you wondered about my opinion of the Tardy Too bred horses from the sale post...this mare is the reason I don't them. I will most likely never own another horse with Tardy Too anywhere on their papers.

I just keep pushing forward though...

I've progressed to ponying her around. Petting her head and neck, flapping the stirrups, slapping the saddle and petting her butt.

She always calms down. Never really relaxes though...

Always, always looking for a way out and stays as far away as possible. She has 3 weeks yet to come around. I'll have her rode in the next few days. Irregardless of whether I think she may buck with me or not. One thing about Queen, she never willingly progresses to the next point. You just have to do it and get through it as best as possible. When it's all over and done though, she licks her lips a lot, takes a deep breath and lets it out in a big sigh. Now, if she would just do that when I'm working with her!

You know, this is one thing if I could have a do-over, that I would never have done twice. This bloodline all started with one of my step-mom's mares, the 1978 World Champion Aged Halter mare, Senorita Tardy(Tardy Too bred). My dad bred her to a favorite local stallion, Paprika Pine. The Pappy/Tardy Too cross has got to be one of the worst nicks EVER. It's as rank as the Impressive/Tardy Too cross. I ended up with the resulting filly(Tardy) and in my youth and ignorance was smitten with her beauty and the fact she was out of a fancy show mare.
Crap-I was too young to have any and she certainly wasn't bred to have any. Thinking, I could have a fresh start with a foal, I bred Tardy to my brother's black stud, King. Any brains Queen has, came from him. She has always been rank, even as a baby. She cornered the market on flipping out.
I'll allow, some of her attitude in her youth did have to do with her getting bit in the neck as a baby and the resulting damage. After that was fixed she did become a decent saddle horse. But I contributed too much to what had happened to her to take a really good look at the overall "brains" on her. My mom tried to tell me that this mare was just naturally NOT good minded, but I was determined to prove she could produce better than she was.
I have...somewhat. All of Queen's foals were nicer to handle than she is. But there is still that bit of "something" lacking in them. At least the "buck" is pretty much gone.
I've learned a few things over the years through these horses though;
You can breed down pretty quickly, but it takes generations to breed UP.
You might be able to breed up, but your better off starting with UP to begin with.
Some bloodlines die out for reason!
and the most important thing of all...
When more than one person is telling you the same might aught to pay attention.
The thing is, she will come around. Now, I am just wondering what to do with her. It's abundantly clear she is not going to work for My Honey. I refuse to take her home and dump her in the pasture again. I guess, either I ride her or I take her home and put her to sleep.
Could you see me trying to market this mare, not even considering how bad the market is out here...
Sixteen year old mare, bucks like crazy. If you can ride that and get her lined out, she's okay just really, really spooky. Likely to blow up or blow sideways at any given time. Must be careful catching her, sometimes she freaks when you put the leadrope over her neck. Not a big problem though as she randomly freaks after she is caught too. Be careful tying her-she will pull back, but if you give her a good swift kick in the butt, she is sure to lunge forward and try to go over whatever she is tied too, that is if she hasn't already pulled it down. Loads good-don't stand in front of her after you open the trailer door. Forget about worming her with a tube unless you like hoof prints on your head, which you likely will have anyway after trying to trim her feet. Clippers? Your kidding right? Watch the rear feet too-she an cow kick really well. Have raised foals out of her-decided no way in hell did I want any more like them so refuse to breed her again. Would make excellent kids horse or broodmare, call XXX-XXX-XXXX. Price negotiable. Not free though, cause somebody somewhere on her papers must have done something in their life that was recorded.
Okay, so she is not that bad. Only about 1/2 of that stuff true about her. But it's pretty funny right?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Ones That Would Have Come Home With Me

Out of all the horses that I saw sell the other day...there were a mere 6 that I would have brought home. I really am that picky. But that's the fun of going to a sale and seeing what is out there.

Believe me, I don't think we raise the best or greatest horses in the world. We raise what suits us and what we get along with. Too keep from becoming barn blind or failing to improve each generation have to look around.

So here is my list of favorites from #6 to #1.

#6-A 6y/o yellow gelding. They said he had been rode, but mostly packed on. He was "too much horse" for the hunters...AKA...he most likely bucked. He looked like he would be inclined to do so. He was tall and racy looking. Pretty elegant for a grade horse, so probably had some decent breeding behind him. I'm betting what he really needed was some "let down" time and simply restarted. In a couple of years, I think he could have been a barrel horse prospect for sure. He brought $185.

#5-An 8y/o registered buttermilk buckskin mare. I missed the breeding on this mare. The caller was not very coherent about how he listed bloodlines. I found it very irritating. She was exceptionally keen-headed and pencil necked with a nice hip. She had a good front-end and decent muscle tie-in. She was pretty fat, so sometimes horses look a little choppier in their gaskin tie-in than they would if they were in better shape. She had just had a foal pulled off of her and was bred back. I have no idea to what-but the 4 horses this guy sold were pretty consistent, so I would bet the stud was at least as decent at the mares. She brought $400-with her papers and a certificate that her foal could be registered. Oh, she had been ridden for 30 days as a 2y/o, but not since. I always question the 30 days as a 2y/o thing. Six years later a horse isn't going to remember much about those 30 days. So basically I consider them unbroke!

#4-An 8y/o liver chestnut mare. Sold by the same breeder as the buckskin mare. She was the better of the two, but not by much. Again, keen headed and pencil necked with a good hip. This mare was San Peppy and Doc Bar bred. She had just recently had a foal pulled off as well and was bred back to the same stud as the buckskin. Most likely, more cutting blood. She sold for $250-with papers and certificate to register her next year's foal.

I was really happy to see this guy do this. There were a couple other breeders there, selling bred mares and they made a big production about "if the mare didn't bring such and such amount, they weren't giving up the papers to either the mare or certificates to register the foals". Jackasses!! So why did you breed the mare? The horse market sucked last fall. It sucked this spring. If you thought you might have to dump some of your mares at the local auction-why bother breeding them? Ugghhh!!!!

#3-A yearling breeding stock paint filly. My oh my-this little girl may have missed out on her body spot, but she did not miss out on the chrome. She was a deep cherry sorrel with a very flaxen mane and tail. She had a neat, broken blaze and FOUR high stockings. I liked how she was made and turned around in the pen. She just kind of rocked back and rolled over her hind leg. She had been well cared for-was halter broke, broke to lead and tie and had her feet trimmed. She was not registered, but all of the paperwork was in order to register her and came with her. She had Impressive blood on the top and was double bred Leo on the bottom. Interesting combination?? Anyway, the stallion was N/N and negative for lethal white. Obviously, this breeder gave a crap! But like so many found himself with too many. She brought $50!!!

Letting that one go was a crying shame!

#2-An 18y/o sorrel mare. The moment this mare was led in, I knew without a doubt she was Leo bred. She had that keen Leo head and neck, was a little long in the back(but not sagging) and that massive hind-leg. She was a grand-daughter of Tiger Leo. My all-time favorite Leo horse. I have ridden several Tiger Leo bred horses and they are so cowy and will last all day. I could just imagine a foal out of this old girl and our stallion. It probably would have made Shooter and Beretta look like junk.;-) This old girl had been a cutting horse in her day and her knees showed it. They were still straight, but covered in knots. I didn't care-I would have taken care of her for the rest of her days in exchange for one foal. She had the kindest look in her eye. She had not had a foal for a couple of years, but they said she was breeding sound. She was in good shape, flesh and her feet were done. Thankfully, the killer buyer was not the one bidding on her-or I swear I would have bought her. She went to a home for $300-with her papers.

Those old broodies are MY weakness. Most of them have such a kind and weary look in their eye. I just want to scoop them up and take care of them for the last few years of their lives. The ones that rode and performed and then produced babies good enough to ride and perform have EARNED a retirement.

Finally, my number one pick!!

A 4y/o sorrel filly. This filly was rode in. She had been started by a reining horse trainer(the son of these people, who were selling off the last of their horses) in TX and had not been ridden in the last 8 months. She had quite a handle on her. I think she could have spun a hole in the ground. She had drop-dead gorgeous conformation and not a scar or a mark on her. I was thinking she looked like she would make an awesome barrel horse prospect, when the seller announced that this filly's 1/2 sister, out of the same mare-which I think is more important-had been the National High School Champion barrel horse a few years ago. The auctioneer got the bid up to $600. The seller wanted $1,000 but said they would sell her for $800. I think they ended up taking her home.

I can't even imagine not wanting to give $800 for a filly like that. Her training alone had to cost 2 or 3Xs that. Not to mention the investment of raising her. I definitely hated not having a place to put her. I think she was very capable of going about any performance direction you wanted-reining, working cowhorse, barrels, poles, breakaway or heel horse.

I might have to go to the sale barn office and see if I can't get the names of the people who own her. Maybe if they haven't gotten her sold yet, I'll see if I can't work something out. Buying her isn't really the problem-it's just where to keep her at the moment...

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Local Horse Sale

I went to the local horse sale this weekend and I'll admit it was a difficult feat to get out of there horseless. I guarantee, if I was not paying board per head at the moment, I would have at least a couple new horses.

Unlike a lot of people these days, I LOVE horse sales, particularly loose horse sales. Every horse I have ever bought in my life came as "loose horses". All but one turned into exactly the kind of horse I thought they would.

I will say one thing about this sale, there were no skinny horses or obvious cripples. Hopefully a testament to both the nature of the horse people in this area and the sale barn refusing to sell horses in those conditions. I hope a bit of both.

Another thing I really noticed was an obvious top and an obvious bottom in the quality of the horses. What was lacking was the middle of the road type horses. There were a few big, plain geldings that ran through-horses that had been used in the mountains as saddle and pack horses for dudes and hunters. To be real honest, they were some of the very few that had any sort of type of muscling I like to see on a horse. But my god, most of their heads and necks were so ugly, unless they were winning the world at something, it would be hard to get anyone to look twice at them, if a person was inclined to purchase one and clean it up for resale. They all sold for between $85 and $250.

The lower end of quality was what the lower end always is...horses that are lacking in pretty much every way. A mass of mixed breed, no conformation, no muscle and no training. It always amazes me that people hold onto this stuff until they are like 6 or 8 years old. Ya know, not that many people are interested in breaking out mature stock like that! Come on people-either get it broke or get rid of it earlier so someone else might take an interest in putting the time in on it.

Ourselves, we have some older horses who are not broke, but we aren't dumb enough to haul them to a sale and think that anyone except the meat guy would be interested in them. They may never get broke, but that pretty much guarantees them a permanent home in our pasture.

I had the lovely fortune of having a couple and their friend sit next to me at the sale. I overheard quite a bit of their conversation and figured out they had horses coming through. At first I thought they were ride-ins, but no such luck for their horses. They had brought 3 head of 6-7y/o's, mixed breed, completely untrained horses to the sale. The wife was very happy that the same cowboy had bought all three. Their horses brought; $25, $85 and $125 a piece. Their friend asked me if I knew who the cowboy was. Oh yea, I had that guy's number very shortly after I got there. Without even thinking, I told them that was the killer buyer. The look on their faces would have been comical, if it wasn't so sad that they didn't have a freaking clue. The friend was like, "Uh-uh, they shut all of the kill plants down." Ummm-delbert, they are still shipping them to Canada and Mexico...duhhh! I thought the wife was going to start crying. A little bit of me felt bad for blurting that out, but most of me was thinking they deserved to know the cold, hard truth.

The friend didn't want to believe that is where the horses were going, so I nicely gave him a piece of my mind. I told him, "Look, the economy is in the toilet, people are broke. They have figured out they need to get rid of whatever crappy horses they have had parked in their backyards for several years now, that they have not done anything with. Since all of us horse people are in the same boat and horses are pretty damn cheap across the board, do you really think someone is going to waste their time and efforts on an ugly, mixed breed, completely unhandled mature horse that may or may not turn into something you think they are going to invest the same money into a registered or most likely registerable, better-quality, younger horse that they can start at an appropriate age and be pretty confident that in the end they are going to have a nice using horse?"

Christ people are stupid!!!

I have mixed feelings about equine slaughter. To be brutally honest, I don't care that people want to eat horsemeat. What I do care about is that in all of the decades that equine slaughter has been around, people have never gotten over the "OMG" factor of it. They spend all of their time fighting for or against the principle rather than fighting for making it as humane for the horse as possible. The ones stuck in the middle is the horses and they have suffered mightly. Anytime something is bastardized, it leaves the door wide open for abuse and suffering. While everyone has fought for and against the actual killing and eating of horses, every other aspect of how these horses were handled and treated from the time they were dumped has been neglected.

I think I'll leave that discussion for another post. It's one I know everyone has a usually strong opinion on.

Back to the low end of quality...

There was a grullo stallion that was led in. I was pretty sure this horse was in his twenties. He had a big crest, but it was just sort of stuck on the top of his neck. It was like all of the muscle had fallen away. He was in good flesh, so it looked even more weird. He was incredibly long and sway backed. And lacked any sort of muscle on his forearms or gaskins. To be blunt-he was a puke! Stallion or gelding, this horse didn't measure up. Now if he had been in his twenties-I might have been a bit more forgiving. But he was a mere 14y/o. If he had had any quality to begin with, he never would have looked like this at 14. The lovely thing was, the owner was selling him because she had kept his fillies as replacement mares and had purchased a new stallion to breed them too. Ugghhh! To top it off...he was a breeding stock paint. I'm guessing her breeding program was strictly about producing grullo paints. She ended up no saling him because the high bid on him was $100.

The last craptacular horse that made an impression on me wasn't actually crap. Out of all of the horses presented at this sale, this is a horse that made me scratch my head and wonder why he was dumped here?

I thought for sure when this horse was led in that he was a stallion. He was a monstrous mountain of muscle. Groomed and clipped within an inch of his life, he pranced on the end of his silver show halter. But he was a gelding...and one that had been a gelding throughout his entire show career.

That career had actually garnered him the accolades of being the 2005 Congress Champion Halter Gelding. They kept saying something about a World Championship too. But it was a bit confusing, so I'm not 100% sure if this is the same horse or not...

The Coolest Te

I cannot get the picture I have of him to post here. I found it by searching google for 2005 Congress Champions and the picture and description are in PDF form. It looks like the same horse to me.

Yeah! What the heck was this horse doing at this sale?

You had to read between the lines on that one. The owner would not guarantee him sound. He said he was sound, but no guarantee. That's not hard to figure out though...1480lbs of muscle...parked on O sized feet! Gotcha! The other thing that was not mentioned was his HYPP status. Not a single word about HYPP.

There we go! The "catch". I highly suspect that this horse was HYPP positive and/or symtomatic. The auctioneer tried to "sell" the horse by saying that he didn't think it would take much to turn the horse into a saddle horse. The owner immediately shook his head and said, "I wouldn't recommend that". I think he may have been referring to both the likelyhood this horse would be a rank bucker and the unmentioned HYPP status. Considering this horse's bloodlines-he's a grandson of Tardy Too on the bottom and lots of Impressive on top, I'd be very inclined to agree with the owner that this horse would enjoy bucking very much. The reason I say that is because both the Tardy Too and the Impressive horses are known to be a bit tough. Impressive out-crossed on riding stock usually make very good saddle horses. But his blood definitely needs to be crossed on "riding" blood. I've yet to be around a Tardy Too bred horse that wasn't inclined to buck-crossed on riding blood or not. Crossed on "halter" blood-they are usually some rank-minded POS's.

No matter how much we despise the current halter horses, there is no doubt that they are fairly impressive(LOL-no pun intended) when you actually see one in real life. It's hard not to be awed by all that bulging muscle covered by sleek, shiny hair, prancing lightly on the end of a lead.

The price to take that top of the line halter horse home?

A mere One Thousand Dollars!

One of the top sellers of the day for sure. But a mere pittance of what that horse was worth at one time. Not to mention the tens of thousands of dollars invested into him during his show career.

As for the horses, I would have considered bringing home? I'll have to fill you in tomorrow or this won't be a post, it'll be a novel-LOL.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Bug And Her Pit Of Death

This is one of My Honey's cats...Ugly Bug...

She was born under our bathroom sink, at our house in Arizona. The last of a litter of seven. The runt of the litter, I doubt she would have survived without Megan making sure she got to nurse at least 3X's a day. She was quite likely the ugliest kittens I have ever seen. And she never did get real big. Maybe about 3-4lbs. Two if you shaved all of her hair off.

At the time, My Honey was living in his camper trailer, here in Colorado, while trying to find a house to buy. He was very lonely but there was no way one of the dogs would do real well living in a camper trailer with no yard. So I pointed at Bug and told him to take her.

I guess you could say they have bonded in the last 4 years...
Bug is a daddy's girl to the core, but she is a traiterous little wretch. If My Honey won't give her the attention she demands, she will climb on me and begin rubbing, purring and kneading me. The whole while she is staring at My Honey. It's an obvious ploy to make him jealous. When that doesn't work, she abandons me in a huff and goes off to pout...or to find something white to lay on. That's her thing-she loves to lay and roll on anything white. She always looks very proud of herself once she has managed to cover it in her long, black hair. Nasty little thing!

For the first few years of Bug's life, she was strictly an indoor kitty. But over time Bug became more and more comfortable stepping outside and eventually My Honey put in kitty doors so the cats could come and go as they pleased.

Now Bug came from a family of very good hunters. For years now, the doorways and walkways have been littered with offerings from our various crew. Who are all related. Bug and Tippy(our other CO cat) are littermates. Another of their littermates was the mother to Megan and I's two cats in SD.

But since Bug was a little older before she learned to hunt real, living animals, she has a tendency to play with them a bit too long and they often escape. With the installation of the cat doors, she has figured out how to stop this from happening...
Yep, she brings them in and uses the bathtub to keep her prey corraled so that she can play with it as long as she likes before slaughtering it. Cats are are cruel killers! Yes, those are little body parts around the drain. Ugghhh! I leave that clean-up for My Honey.;-)

One Sunday afternoon, My Honey was laying on his bed taking a little afternoon siesta. All of the sudden he was awakened by the high pitched screaming of a small animal. He knew instantly that Bug had brought her latest catch to her pit of death and was torturing it. He jumped up and ran into the bathroom, thinking he needed to put yet another poor creature out of it's misery. Instead, he was greeted to the sight of Bug squared off with a squirrel. The squirrel was every inch as big as Bug. And very pissed off!

After staring at the showdown for a second, My Honey gathered his wits and grabbed Bug by the scruff of the neck. He ran down the hall with her, kicking and screaming at him, and threw her out the north door. Turning around, he grabbed the oven mitts off of the counter and ran back down the hall. With oven mitts donned, he finally got hold of the squirrel and took off sprinting down the hall with the squirrel, kicking and screaming at him as well. The squirrel, he threw out the south door. Just as he got the door shut, he saw Bug hauling ass back down the hall.

He followed her to the bathroom, where she had leaped back into the bathtub and stopped to look around in confusion. My Honey said if ever an expression could talk, Bug's was talking then. She was definitely wondering what the heck had happened to her squirrel. She sniffed all around, climbed all over the edge of the tub sniffing and then hit the floor, still sniffing. She was looking for a trail. Not able to find one, it must have finally hit her that My Honey was responsible for removing her catch of the day. Boy, was she ticked off then. Giving My Honey the dirtiest looks, she went stomping down the hallway and out the cat door. It was days before she forgave him for taking her squirrel.

Of course, she did forgive him...after she got even. In retaliation, she brought him a live mouse, in the middle of the night, and dropped it in bed with him. She must have been quite satisfied with the subsequent screaming and throwing of covers and pillows that occured when My Honey was awakened by that mouse crawling around in bed with him. After everything settled down again, she promptly climbed on his chest, laid down and began to purr and knead, all the while staring at him with huge hearts coming out of her eyes. Her way of reminding My Honey, she is not a woman to be trifled with.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

My Honey's Little Friends

My Honey has a fondness for these little guys, so has put up feeders all around the house....

It's amazing how loud their wings are when they buzz your head-LOL. We've been told different colors attract different types(colors) of hummers, so I'm betting that as we get the the flower beds put in next spring, there will be multiple types of feeders installed around the yard.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Trying To Get Back On Track

This last week really messed up my riding schedule. Now my motivation is a tad on the weak side.

But today I had every intension of riding at least Moon.

But it rained most of the day. I didn't mind though. It was very dry and dusty and a good soaker was definitely welcome.

Sooo...I'll try to get back to riding again, tomorrow.

While I was out of commission, the BO did a great job of cleaning all the weeds out of the round pen for me...
Something tells me Queenie isn't going to appreciate getting back to work. I was rather disappointed with her attitude the first few days of working with her. I'm going to continue to keep working with her until the middle of October, but if she hasn't come around by then, I'm hauling her back to SD and bringing something else out here for My Honey to ride.

All the boys were concerned about was their dinner...
There is still a thumbnail sized scab on Moon's wound, but I finally feel like he is really healed. I absolutely have to get back to work on conditioning him. There are barrel racings to go to and I am jonesing to get a few more runs in this year. It's going to be like starting all over again...for both me and Moon.

Frosty is in dire need of miles too...
It's time to move him out of his babyish plunking along stage. It's time to work on collecting him up and asking him to start working on moving like a big boy. From there, we will just have to see what he develops into.

Hopefully, today's rain is a precurser to cooler fall weather. One thing for sure, the days have definitely gotten shorter.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Loss Of One Of My Favorite Actors

I was very saddened this evening to get on the internet and discover that Patrick Swayze had passed away.

Besides the fact that he was one of the major heartthrobs of my high school era...He was also into horses. Good looking, he could dance aaannndd he had horses? He was definitely many a girl's dreamboat. Funny how we all managed to conveniently forget he was the same woman...all of that time.;)

But in spite of that, through all the years...he just normal. He always struck me as a guy that would fit in wherever he happened to be. You just can't say that about too many of today's Hollywood "set".

Rest in Peace Mr. Patrick Swayze and Condolences to your family!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Where The West Meets The Southwest

One of the most fascinating things about the Grand Junction area is the multiple types of geography. Every direction is completely different. Look to the east and you have the mountains. To the north the mountains give way to massive shale banks-called the Bookcliffs. The Bookcliffs give way to the desert to the west. And to the south is my favorite...the red rock formations that are completely indicative of the southwest.

Last May, My Honey and I took a little motorcycle ride through the closest park, called "The Monument" that is literally just across the road from our house. For some reason I am extremely drawn to these types of formations. I find them endlessly fascinating.

There is so much to see in this area that I suspect I'll be busy exploring for a long time. There are a lot of riding trails around. However, I believe I will have to get my horses shod if I want to ride in them much. Not so much because they are tender-footed, but because the gravelly, rocky ground will wear their feet to nothing.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Blue Mesa Lake

I can't believe how fast the last few days have gone by.

We were extremely busy this Labor Day weekend. I spent 5 hours with the horses on Saturday. Things are not going as well as I would like on the horse front-but more on that in another post.

Sunday we went fishing at Blue Mesa Lake. As with pretty much everywhere in Colorado the scenery is fantastic...

The fishing on the other hand....well...not so much!!

We were primarily fishing for Kokini Salmon. These salmon live in large schools and to find them, the guide pretty much just drove around the lake...which is about 20 miles long...looking for the schools with a fish finder. It's a bit late in the season as the salmon have pretty much stopped feeding and are getting ready to head up the Gunnison River to spawn.

When you find a school of salmon, you simply stop over the top of them and drop your line in the water to the appropriate depth and "jig". Basically, you are simply trying to irritate the salmon enough that that they will strike your lure. I suspect it would be more fun if we had actually caught a fish. But we didn't. Not ONE single fish. Blahhhhh!

The funniest part is when the other boats see you stop and drop your lines...EVERYONE gathers around...
Combat fishing!! LMAO!!

We spent the whole day on the lake. It was a little less than enthusing...
I made a huge...HUGE mistake. I took a little siesta and sunburnt the living crap out of my face. I mean BAD! Yep-I had sunscreen on, but I took the wrong chapstick. The biggest problem is that my mouth is very sensitive to the sun anyway and not having my HEPI-30 chapstick didn't give me the protection I've come to rely on. I'm prone to coldsores and fever blisters. Right now, my mouth is about 3 times it's normal size. Not even my presciption could head these blisters off.

It has really messed up my riding schedule...oh yea and my work schedule...this week. I refuse to leave the house. I can't handle the hint of sunlight on my face and the fever blisters make my whole head hurt, besides being sick to my stomach. I'm just desperately hoping that the swelling goes down by Friday night. My Honey bought a table at the NRA banquet and we had so much fun last year that I really, really want to go. But if my mouth hasn't come down by then, you can bet, I won't be going.

Nor will I be able to handle going to a barrel racing this weekend unless these blisters subside.:(


Friday, September 4, 2009

She Hasn't Changed A Bit

Awww-My big, fat, black mare hasn't changed a bit.

She can still blow up like she did when she was 4.

I've gotten some horse time in the last couple of evenings. I'm riding Moon bareback and let him plod around while I pony Frosty. Then I ride Frosty.

Last night I decided to saddle Queen. She has been very, very good on the ground. She's always been a rather spooky old bat about that. I just ignore her snorting and blowing and go on about my business. It's always worked the best that way when it comes to her.

I got her out, cleaned her up and we went into the arena and did a bit of lunging and some showmanship maneuvers. She likes those. For some reason they always make her drop her head and start licking her lips. That's her comfort zone I guess.

I sacked her out a bit and trotted her around me, letting the saddle pad fall off a few times. Another little trick that for some reason always seems to relax her. She is an odd mare.

Saddling was no big deal. I just plopped my old cutting saddle up there and we walked around a bit without cinching it up. No problems there, so I cinched her up.


This mare has to be one of the finest skinned, most sensitive horses I have ever had the misfortune to own.

We walked a couple of steps. I tightened her another notch. Walked a few more steps. Tighten again. It's weird how things just kept coming back to me about her. I saddled her once, a couple years ago and she didn't do anything except trot around the round pen, but other than that...she hasn't been saddled or ridden in 8 years. But all of her weird little idiosyncrasies came right back to me last night.

The second time I tightened the cinch...I saw it coming! So I quickly pulled another notch in the cinch, no way was I going to let her blow up with my saddle loose enough so it might slip under her belly. She is as round as a barrel, so I was a little worried about it slipping anyway.


I just stood there holding the lead rope and let her do her thing. That is an advantage of her being so light I guess. She never hits the end of a leadrope. No matter how hard she may spook or blow up and buck, if you have something on her head, she will immediately give to pressure.

So there she was...bucking for all her fat worth and bawling like a bronc on the end of the leadrope.

Now normally, holding onto a horse that is putting on a rodeo show isn't something I recommend. I prefer they get as far away from me as possible. But I know this old mare's tactics like the back of my hand. She is all bawl! She can buck, there is no doubt about that. But she does not run over you, nor does she kick out. She simply balls up, bucks like crazy and makes a lot of noise. Pretty soon her brain kicks in again, she'll pull her head up and stare at you with big, wide eyes and you swear she is wondering what the hell that was all about. There is not a mean bone in her body.

We stood there staring at each other for a couple of minutes. I was really trying not to laugh while I waited for her to compose herself. That would have been the end of it I'm sure. What I wouldn't have given to have Megan or Chris there to video it for you guys.

But, when I went to step off to get her moving again, I tripped over The Red Dog, who I didn't even realize was sitting next to me and as I floundered around trying not to fall down, it obviously scared Queen and the rodeo was on again. Not having my balance, I threw the leadrope away so I didn't end up under her feet and away she went. Bucking and bawling around the arena.

She made a full lap, giving it all she had...but then she was out of breath. There is something to be said for fat, out of shape horses after all-LOL.

After that, it was all over and we lunged a bit more and walked around. I flopped the stirrups around and banged on the saddle seat, but she was done. Her brain was back and she took everything else in stride.

So tonight we will repeat the saddling, I'll pony her for a bit and this weekend I'll be back in the saddle on the old girl. For all of her antics on the ground, the mare has never, ever bucked with me in the saddle. But just for safety and confidence measures for both of us, I'll be moving to the round pen and I'll have My Honey on Moon in the round pen with me when I get on for the first time. He can pony us around a few laps to help keep things settled. That aught to be an experience for him.;-)

I hope everyone has a wonderful Labor Day weekend. I'm going to go watch a Dressage Show for a bit on Saturday, spend some quality time with my own ponies and then on Sunday we are heading someplace(??) for a fishing trip. Monday, I made Chris swear to help me get the garage cleaned out, so I can finish painting it and we can get that all in order. Sheez-I wasn't nearly this busy in SD!

And I promise I will get better about getting pictures. That's one of those things I could always count on Miss Megan doing for me.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Posting From Work

LOL-This is great!

Except I can't download any pictures right now. The dumb wireless "thingie" manages to block all of the connector "thingies" and I don't really want to save my pictures to the office computer. The whole disconnect, save pics to hard drive, reconnect, load pics on blogger, then delete pics just seems like more trouble than it's worth.

I'll have to get a different style of wireless connector or load pics onto blogger at home.

The office is sllllooooowwwww right now. Which is actually good. That means all of the crews are out working on jobs. Whoot-whoot!!

We aren't sure if this means the oil field business is picking up or it is is just going to be busy for the next few months as the big companies try to finish out certain projects before the end of the year.

Really, we could do without another boom. But steady would be good.

My selfish inner self is hoping it picks up and stays steady.

The crash at the beginning of this year cost me my LQ 4-horse trailer.

Believe me, I know how petty that sounds when I say it out loud.

We have survived(so far and barely), where so many have not. For the most part, through no fault of their own. I've been in survival mode several times in my adult life....this is nothing new. My Honey has been through several booms and busts in his 25 year career in the oilfield. He knows how it works.

Perhaps this will explain a little as to why I suddenly had to make the choice to move out here. It seems that moving somewhere where I am needed has become a habit. I moved from SD to AZ because my 1/2 sister was having marriage trouble and needed some family. I moved from AZ to SD because my brother was in trouble and mom needed help. And now I have moved from SD to CO because My Honey needs help.

Up until this last move, Megan has enjoyed the moves. She definitely inherited my love of sights, scenery and friends. Our little town in SD has always been home. It's always been there and will continue to be there. It never changes much and the ranches change even less. So exploring this beautiful country we live in has been just adventure. She just reached an age where moving didn't appeal to her at the moment. High School is serious business.;) While we all snicker a bit at the theatrics that revolve around HS, I'm sure we all still remember quite clearly all the good things and all the bad things. It's just one of those points in our lives that always sticks with us. I feel very fortunate that my mom was available...and willing to step in so that Megan did have the opportunity to stay someplace she feels comfortable and can enjoy her HS years.

I still feel a bit guilty about this separation though. It's different spending time with the horses or shopping without my sidekick and partner in crime of so many years. I walk past her bedroom at the house and it's empty. It's strange not having to think about school schedules or plan around them or extra-curricular activities. But I guess that is something I would have had to face in the next 3 years anyway.

The good thing is I have noticed a difference in My Honey. I think his blood pressure has dropped dramatically in the last week. He seems more relaxed and is sleeping much better. Once we get the garage cleaned up, we're going to get a treadmill and/or bicycle out there so we can work on getting his weight down again. It wouldn't hurt me to work on my cardio either. Add in some free-weights and hopefully we'll come out of the winter in better shape than we went into it.

All I got for riding time last night was jumping on Moon bareback with his halter and walking him around a bit. It's been hot here-in the 90's and the valley is filled with smoke from all the surrounding fires(southern CO, UT and CA). There is a couple of different barrel races in the area on the 12th of this month. I think(hope) Moon will be ready for action again by then. He feels strong, is sound and his wound is very nearly healed. I got the proud flesh licked and it has stopped trying to come back. I've had to keep his foot wrapped again because of the flies. I think it would finish healing much faster if I could leave it open. But I tried that and the flies bothered it so badly-even with medicine on it, that he kept cracking the scab open. So, I'll just keep it wrapped until we get a couple of cooler days and the flies are less likely to be bothersome. I know one thing...I'm ready to get back to running barrels! I think even Moon is bored with this inactivity.