Monday, November 30, 2009

Manic Mondays

You would think by now that I would figure out that I just am not going to get out of the office early on Mondays. Sigh! Guess I better start beating it into my head that it just isn't going to happen.

Wonderful news today though. My Honey just signed a lease on a office/shop/yard. That means we will get to move everything into one place. That is going to make keeping track of everyone and everything sooooo much easier.

I am trying to make myself obsolete in the know...just the obligatory stop by, check up on things and then head off to the horses for the rest of the day? So's not working out so well.

I don't dislike working in the office though. It has been interesting and challenging. I feel like I am getting my brain back. I have a great team to work with now. It's not just me in there shuffling paper around. I have an Admin and a full-time safety guy to assist.

But I swear...I am going to get riding time in this week. And that halter on Beretta. And start Shooter's Showmanship training....

Saturday, November 28, 2009

It Worked

I finally got the chance to put my idea of using Shooter to break the touching barrier with Beretta. It worked. Within minutes.

Shooter was only too happy to stick his nose on his little sister and snuffle her all over. At first Beretta was pretty jumpy about it, but once she realized it was another horse, she instantly turned and started chomping her gums like a good submissive baby. After that it didn't take much to use Shooter to push her into a corner...

And get my hot little hands on her...

With Shooter there she let me go so far as to brush her all over with the curry comb and wrap my arms around her neck and hug her. Ohhh...she is so soft. And do you see how thick her hair is? She is like a little puff ball.

While I was working with little Beretta, Megan and My Honey's daughter got out the riding horses and made a few laps around the arena. Meg explaining how to jump on...

And attempting the jump...
It only took a couple of tries and she had it down. I knew MH's girl was interested in horses and knows how to ride...she has ridden with Meg before. But I did not realize just how interested she has become. I invited her to come spend next summer with us and go showing and rodeoing with Meg and I. Sounds like she wants too. My poor Honey! I told him he will never have to worry where his money goes again....Bwhahahaha!!!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving To All Of My Wonderful Blogger Friends

As I sit here waiting for my Pecan Pie to finish...the house is already filled with the wonderful smells of the pending feast to come tomorrow...and I realize I have so much to be thankful for in my life.
I have never gone hungry...not truly. I have never been without family...even if we don't always see eye to eye. I have been blessed with a wonderful husband, the best kid a mom could ever hope for and spent my life surrounded by beautiful horses. There just isn't any way life could be filled with more blessings than that.

And thanks to the wonderful wide world of the web...I have made many new friends over the last year and a half of blogging. People I would likely never have gotten to know otherwise. Thank all of you who take the time to come to come and read regularly. From my family to yours....Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

And Just Like That...

She's off and running.

Megan that is.

Already out on a date.

Did you guys know that there are still teenage boys that come in the house to meet the parents...remove their hats...and call you ma'am and sir?


And very cool.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Catching Up

So...a little catching up is in order.
Yes, Megan finally moved out to Colorado! Yayyyy!!

It was just too much for my mom to have to run her back and forth to town. Megan wouldn't get her driving permit and My Honey and I finally said...ENOUGH! You need to be living with us until you graduate!

Meg has settled in with her usual ease and is pretty darn happy with the availability of some of the classes in this HS. She can take Equine Science, Equine Management and a variety of Animal Science classes. Some even count as college courses. Suddenly school doesn't seem half bad to her...did I mention that there very nearly as many kids in this high school than there is in the whole county of SD that we lived in? Yea! The high school has just under 1400 kids in just the 10-12 grades.

Did that bother Meg? Not after she saw all the cowboys! I kid you not. This area, for it's size still has a lot of ag orientation and these kids are pretty proud to wear their boots and hats. Meg is loving it. I know this may be hard to believe but although our small town in SD is nothing more than a ranching community...we have very few kids that act or dress like they are "rancher" types.

Speaking of kids that created too much work for my mom to handle...this ugly beast made the trip...

Shooter and Strawberry are buddy-buddy in the turnout...

And Yes, Shooter is just as tall as Strawberry...14.3HH. Ridiculous for a 17 month old colt!

Speaking of ridiculous...
Good lord! The BO was feeding Moon and Frosty like I was riding them hard these last few weeks and Frosty has ballooned up like a toad. Moon looks fantastic. He's not in the pics, because I don't trust that mean-ass around Shooter. So while Shooter is out galavanting around with the other two retards, Moon gets put in a stall.

This baby made the trip too...
Beretta is still unsure about this whole "people" thing. She want to be sweet, buuutttttt...she just hasn't quite relaxed yet. We are making progress. I can sit by her feed pan while she eats, clean her stall and move her around without it bothering her. I want to keep moving things along, so I can get a halter on her and get her out to the round pen for some sun and regular exercise, but she is her mother's daughter...or I guess I should say, she is her grandmother's daughter. That mare produced "hotter" get than any of our other mares and rushing them has never been productive. I thought it would be easy to slip in the stall with Beretta at mom's and pin her against the wall and slide a halter on her....yea, not so much. She's a little bigger than I realized and she is so gosh-dang quick. She can lay some serious cutting horse moves I backed off.
I have a little plan to use Shooter to get Miss Beretta over her fear of being touched. Shooter was very kind to Beretta on the trip and she snuggled right up to him. So I am going to start taking Shooter in her stall and grooming him. Babies learn from watching and they really don't come much gentler than Shooter, so instead of Beretta's momma being the one to show her people are okie-dokie, I'm going to use her big brother.

Things are busy, busy around here...hopefully the routine falls into place quickly.

Friday, November 20, 2009

A Few Days Off

I have been remise about posting.

I'm back in Colorado. The horses are settled in. We are working on settling Megan in. So been kinda busy.

I'll be back soon.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

On Hauling Horses

Country Girl brought up a subject in the comments of the last post that I have started to hear a lot from people...they worry about hauling horses loose in a trailer. I'm not picking on you CG, just think it's an interesting subject to discuss.:)

In the interested of brevity, I'm not going to go back to the beginnings of horse trailers, just touch on the ones that I have personally hauled horses my lifetime. My very first horse trailer was a teeny-tiny little one horse...

I actually think this one is bigger and nicer than the one I had. Oh yea, and mine was a single axle. Actually getting horses into these things is the trick. It takes some training! I don't ever see myself going back to using one. But hey, 22 years ago I thought I was pretty cool heading out to college with my horse, my dog and my cat.

My step-mom came with one of these...

A living quarters two horse. Pretty fancy stuff back then. They are heavy as hell, but pull pretty nice.

I've never owned an inline, but one of the trainers I worked for had a two horse inline like this...

The "show" trailer was LQ, 4-horse straight load...think double two horse. It was also heavy as hell, but darn, those horses hauled in it nice.

All my life we have owned some sort of stock trailer and that is what we primarily haul our horses in...

My current "using" trailer was a simple stock trailer. My brother was the one who had the tack room built on it. That certainly made it more usuable for going to rodeos and horse shows.

What most people are familiar with these days for hauling horses is the slant load...

Most slants are made so that the horse faces the left side of the trailer. However, reverse loads are also available...

Now here is a bit of trivia...hauling horses long distances in slant loads is harder on them than hauling them in stock trailers, irregardless of whether they are tied or loose. If you have ever noticed, horses that are hauled loose in trailers have a tendency to stand either straight forward or straight backward. It's easier for them to balance that way. They also have the ability to spread their feet out or move them easily it they need to catch themselves. Being able to use their whole body to balance is much easier on their muscles and legs than being confined by partitions.

So why have slant loads become so popular? Well, for a couple of reasons...You can haul more horses in less space and they are much easier to load horses into than smaller trailers. Nearly any horse can be convinced to jump into a big cave. It takes real training to train horses to get into narrow caves. So slant loads became the upgrade of the stock trailer. A way to easily load horses and yet keep them seperate.

Now that I am the owner of a slant hauling tactics are going to have to change a bit when I haul horses in it. After hauling horses in a stock-type trailer for so long, I have gotten spoiled. In a stock-type trailer, I don't have to unload and hand walk horses every 300 miles. I could simply stop for about 30 minutes or so and give them a break from the road vibrations. In my stock trailer, I never ever had a horse get sore after a long haul. In the LQ we just bought, I am going to have to be more careful. The nice thing is, I can remove the partitions and haul them loose or tied backwards if I want.

Primarily, I do tie my horses in the trailer. I load, turn them around and tie them so they can stand backwards. They all seem to haul really well like that and there is just enough restraint with them being tied that they cannot get to moving around enough to cause the trailer to start swinging. This trip back to Colorado, I will have to haul loose, with Beretta not being trained to tie I don't have a choice. Strawberry will be a good influence on the babies though. He has logged thousands of miles in a trailer and is a good hauler.

I know not everyone hauls horses as far or as often as I do, anything under 150 miles isn't going to bother a horse irregardless of what type of trailer they are in...unless you drive like a jerk and are throwing them all over...which I'm pretty darn sure no one does with their's.

As for a horse getting injured being hauled loose. I'm not sure how they would, unless the driver is bouncing them off the walls. I've heard people comment about fearing rocks could fly into a stock trailer and injure a horse...ummmm...after hauling hundreds of horses, thousands of miles, on the highway and up and down gravel roads...that has never happened. Now...for you people who let their horses hang their heads out the window while you are going down the you really think that those flimsy fly masks are going to protect a horse from a flying rock? That is way more dangerous for the horse.

If you ever get a chance, jump in a horse trailer and have someone drive you around. It sure gives a person a better perspective on what the horse is feeling.

I'm not a slant-load hater. They sure are nice when you need to keep horses seperate, but for the most part, I will always prefer hauling horses without the benefit of partitions. It is just so much easier on them over long distances.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Weaning Beretta

In spite of the fact that it took a couple of extra days to actually get the job done, Beretta's weaning went very smoothly. It never, ever pays to get in a hurry when it comes to babies.

Chunk can be convinced to do pretty much anything if feed is involved...

This poor mare! She is just too darn pretty to be allowed to stay in this ridiculously fat condition. She can be a very nice mare to handle, but horses have a tendency to be belligerant and stupid when they are obese. However, in this case, her gluttonous nature actually came in handy.

Beretta was trying to be very accomodating through the whole process...
Keeping things quiet and as stress free as possible is so important with these little guys. Ramming them around can show up for a long time down the road.

It ended up going just like this...

I simply walked up behind the door, untied it and slowly eased it closed.

We headed to mom's, where these two were unloaded into the barn and allowed to settle for about an hour. Beretta was moved into a stall. I caught Chunk, wormed her, pulled mane hair for her DNA testing, hopped her back on the trailer and away we went. At that point, I was moving too quickly to take the time for pictures.

We are so fortunate to have the means to remove the mare and foal from each other's vicinity. Both get a little anxious as long as they can hear each other, but as soon as they are out of earshot from one another, it really is amazing how quickly they settle down.

I dropped Chunk in the pasture with the rest of the horses... Caught Megan's Strawberry and headed back to town. Ring around the rosie with ponies-Sheez!

Beretta looks very good, but weaning her came none too soon. She has a bit of lumpy joint going on...
Oh yay-yet more pictures of a horse that needs their feet trimmed! Well, little miss is going to have to wait until her training catches up before that gets done.

Most foals will go through a period of lumpy joints and usually come out of it without supplements. We prefer to supplement with Lampley's A-Z and Basic Mineral. That was not possible with feeding Beretta and Chunk together because Chunk is not a "sharer" of feed, even with her own foal. She allowed Beretta in there just enough so she learned how to eat grain, not enough that she ever got a meal. The first order of business will be to get Miss Beretta on her own ration with the supplements she needs.

So far, Beretta seems very sweet. We will have to see how accomodating she is about being haltered tomorrow.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Endless Catching Up

It's no surprise that everything needs their feet trimmed around here. So for the next couple of days, it's going to be working on getting everyone trimmed up. Thankfully the weather is supposed to be beautiful so it won't be miserable doing that.

There is someone interested in renting our town house, so we will be here a couple days longer than anticipated packing and moving our stuff to the ranch house. I wasn't expecting to have to do that, but it's probably a good thing to just get it out of the way now. Decent people to rent to are hard to come by around here and I think these people would take very good care of the place.

Yesterday, Meg and I were going to wean Beretta, but we spent an hour working with Chunk...trying to get the fat-ass in the trailer. It was a no go! Even the usual trick of creating an alley and loose loading her didn't work. It wasn't hard to figure out she would have rather went over the panels than in the trailer. There is more than one way to load a horse though-LOL. So I unhooked the trailer and fed them in it last night. Beretta had no problem hopping in and out to eat her supper. I'm not sure if Chunk ever loaded or not as Meg and I had other things to go do. She will though. They all do eventually. A few times in and out of their own accord and they figure it out. I know Paige employs this trick as well.:)

As bad luck would have it...the bottom of the water tank in the horse pasture at the ranch gave out yesterday, so Megan and I headed out to the ranch to help my brother move horses into another pasture until that can be repaired. Brother already had the moving handled so Meg and I loved on the two barn ponies for a bit. Andrea's favorite, Big Blue...
...Is doing fantastic down at the place. He thinks he has died and gone to heaven-his own barn space, no other horses around to pick on him and daily human contact.
Blue has lost all of his globby fat and looks good. My brother keeps bragging on what a nice horse Blue is to ride...duuhhhh! Megan and I spent a fair amount of time riding the big guy and as a pasture horse...Blue is hard to beat.

And then there is "big poppa"...
I don't know if the thoughts I have had will come to fruition, but if we get our horse property in Colorado and get things set up like I want them...I want to take this horse out there and finish him. I've never been crazy about dealing with stallions in a competitive setting, but this horse is one of those that it makes your heart hurt that he isn't out there for the whole world to see how talented he is. He is broke...or I guess I should say...he was broke. Started and easily ridden by a 72y/o man...he then went to the people we bought him from and they did a fine job of pissing him off. Hard to believe the big love-bug that he is now came to us as an extremely pissed off and hateful horse. He would just as soon kick your head off as look at you. The first time my brother saddled him, he bucked so hard my brother feared there would be nothing left of his saddle by the time he managed to get it off. It took a year of just handling him and doing groundwork exercises to make him realize he didn't have to walk around in a perpetual state of hate. It's been all good since then and I see no reason why a person couldn't restart him and finish him out. It may be a pipe dream, but I know the horse can mortally fly and it's kind of fun to think about running barrels on him.

Like I don't have enough other horses to worry about riding right? LOL Oh well, the way I look at is...if they don't make you dream a little bit...they are obviously missing something.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

He's A Changed Colt

Little Guns looks like a normal foal now...
(Cowgirl's feet are disgraceful at the moment, but I'll be fixing that this afternoon)

He has the sweetest little face...
And all of his winter hair-LOL.

I think he is going to turn dark bay like Shooter. Hopefully he gets the "glitter" factor from his daddy that Shooter and Beretta have.

No doubt about it! He's got his momma's booty going on already...
That's not to shabby a hind-end on a three week old foal that came out in the deplorable condition this little guy did. Already has his momma's inner and outer gaskin muscle. Awesome!

Cowgirl has a pretty head and if she wasn't so blubbery fat...a beautiful neck so we should be good there...
Of course daddy already put keen little heads on Shooter and Beretta, so I'm thinking he is going to be pretty consistent there.

Little Guns is a curious little dude...
He gave me a good once over with his nose while I was crouched down trying to get pictures.

His front legs are least until he gets tired and then he still splays out a bit. His hind fetlocks have come up a lot. I'm going to trim his little tooties up this afternoon and I think that will fix a lot. He is very long in his toes for such a young guy. We'll get that taken off and I think that will relieve a lot of the stress on his tendons and make it easier for him to stand up correctly.

Looking at the amount of bone this foal has won't be long before his name is going to have to be changed from Little Guns to Big Guns. If my brother doesn't like him...I'll take him. I'm in love!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Oh NO, It's The Big Four...Oooooohhh

That's right...Me and my two gray hairs are now officially 40!

It's amazing how young 40 feels when you actually get here!!!!!

Nothing particularly special planned for the day. We started the celebrations a little early last night. Not sure if I can handle two nights of endless margaritas in a row-LOL. But ya never know...

Tomorrow, I'm on my way back to SD. There will be lots to get done back there in just a few days. But everything is ready on this end.

I got flowers!! What a guy!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

New Tricks For Old Dogs

If you ask the red has gotten mighty tuff on him and Ute since moving to Colorado. They are no longer house dogs. Which has been absolute agony for The Red Dog. Yes, his name is The Red Dog. We tried naming him many different things and we always reverted back to calling him The Red Dog and one day it dawned on us THAT was his name.

Anyway, it was never my intention to have these two as house dogs. When we lived in AZ, they were outdoor dogs. When we lived at the ranch, they were outdoor dogs. It was only when we moved into the town house that I had to start keeping them in because I did not have a yard fence and my little black dog became enamored of the neighbor's purebred border collie that was in heat...that she left outside. Ugghhh!!

So for awhile there, they had to become house dogs. Ute(the black one) could care less. As long as he has his doggie bed he really prefers to be outside anyway. RD became completely enamoured of the "house dog" lifestyle. So much for his ruff-tuff ranch dog persona!

They both have brand new doggie beds that are tucked into brand new dog-loos...that are parked right outside the door on the new deck. So they aren't exactly suffering! Ute loves his dog-loo. It has a clear plastic door on it to keep the drafts out and he lays in there and peers out. Red Dog still prefers his "bean", which is Megan's old bean bag, most of the time, but will go in his dog-loo when it rains or gets really chilly in the pre-dawn hours. But every evening he has to make his point that it is pure agony for him to be outside while the rest of the fam is inside. He will stand in front of the sliding glass door watching every move we make until someone happens to glance in his direction and then he will proceed to drop his ears like he has just been beat and then he starts shivering. It is the most pathetic think I think I have ever seen.

My Honey and I being the heartless beasts we are, cannot help but torture RD just a little bit. Just to make sure one of us will always ask him, "Are you cold?" and the pathetic loser will almost fall over in his attempts to shiver hard enough to make you feel sorry for him. It's soo sad...NOT!

To be honest, both dogs look better and feel much better being outside dogs. Ute always has preferred it and RD has enough hair for two dogs his size, so isn't going to suffer either. I am darn happy not to constantly be sweeping/vacuuming dog hair up. But if the weather/temps get drastic, we can simply let them in the garage at night.

Besides the living arrangement change, the boys were a bit confused on momma's new work thing. It took a few weeks to convince RD that he could not go with me every single time I got in the truck. But they are getting it and now, usually don't even bother getting up in the mornings when I leave for work. Lazy butt-heads! LOL

But when I get home, they are always eager for their play session which without fail goes like this...
Momma's got the toy..."Throw the toy momma, throw the toy!!!"
And then the race is on to see who can get there first. "It's mine!", "No, it's mine"...
Always a combined effort to bring the toy back to mom....
"Awww...Crap, you broke it." "No, you broke it"...
And yet another $6 toy bites the dust...
So far the only thing I have found that these two cannot destroy is a piece of rope. But I or MH inevitably pick up another softy toy for them to tear up. Both dogs love to find the squeaky in them. Ute likes to find it and then will gently mouth it over and over. RD's sole intention is to find it and rip it out. Whatta couple of knucke-heads!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

How Boring Are We?

I have been perusing the blogs and boy oh boy does it make me miss my girl! We used to have so much fun on Halloween. I miss carving pumpkings, decorating everything with "webs" and working on the costume. When Meg was little I always made her costumes. As she got bigger, she picked out a vampire goddess costume out one year and wore the darned thing for the next 2 years after that. Gee! That took a lot of the fun out of it for me. I actually really liked making those costumes.

Some of you will remember that last Halloween I was out here with My Honey and we got dressed up and went to a super fun party ourselves. That was followed by the lovely phone call I got the next morning from my mom telling me that Miss Megan had been busted by the cops having a party at our house. Wow! Buzz-kill!

This year, Miss Megan received quite a bit of ribbing from friends and family alike about whether she was going to have another Halloween party. That evoked a resounding "Heck NO" from my girl. Poor kid.

This year, she was off coon-hunting with some friends of hers. I guess she has outgrown trick or treating. Darn it! I always looked forward to going through that big bag of candy with her and taking my cut. You know...for chauffering her around.;-)

My Honey and I were about as boring as boring could be ourselves. We opted to skip the costume party we were invited too on Friday night because we were going to head to Moab for the 2nd barrel racing scheduled...we didn't go. I know! What on earth was wrong with me that I would opt out of going to a barrel racing?

As enthused as I am about getting runs on Moon this winter, I just didn't have any time to ride this week and I'm not crazy about putting runs on him if he is completely out of shape. Too much chance of him hurting himself that way. And the last freaking think we need is even more time off for injury. Besides that, MH was just a touch under the weather this week and it hit me on Saturday. I spent the day holding down the couch. It was nothing serious and today I feel fine...just Sunday Lazy!

Both MH and I have a big and busy week coming up, so I guess things always work out for the best...I don't even feel bad about missing the barrel race, other than we were going to get to use the LQ trailer for the first time. Luckily there are more this winter. And now I am going to go back to holding down the couch and watching mind-less tv. Sure wished I had a big bag of Halloween candy to dig through!