Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Lawn Mowers

Even 'fat-boys' need a bite of green grass now and then...
We are gaining on the weight issue though. Slowly and surely.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Cross Another Project Off The List

I finally got this done...

The girlies are definitely ready to go outside...
A zero mortality rate. Not bad for not having raised chickens for 20 years. ;-) The only issue we ran into was Blue's middle toes. That's her in the middle. See her middle toe, all bend off to the side?...
What the heck causes that?

Most of them have been named. Of course! There's Blue, Andy(those would be the Blue Andalusians), Roady and Red(the Rhode Island Reds), Freckles, Cheep(Unknown layer breeds), Peep, Silver and Buff(Americanas). Not terribly original are we? LOL

Didn't take 'em long to figure out how to use the walk-way... And of course, Meg has a 'pet'...that would be her little Peep...
Oiy Vey...She's a chicken whisperer...

Ain't No Rest For The Wicked...

"There ain't no rest for the wicked. Money don't grow on trees. I got bills to pay. I got mouths to feed. There ain't nothing in this world for free. I know I can't slow down. I can't hold back. You know I wished I could. There ain't no rest for the wicked. Until we close our eyes for good."

Words from one of my favorite songs by Cage The Elephant.

If ya haven't heard it, you should...It's On YouTube. Love that song. It's so apprapo for most of us.

Things are busy, busy around here, but I'm finally getting into a routine.

We all know how much our horses love having a 'routine'.

NINE head! I must have been smoking crack when I brought 4 more horses out here to take care of.

Naaawwww...It's working. And I only have a few more weeks and I'll be hauling Shooter, Beretta and Strawberry back to SD for the summer.

In the meantime, Miss Beretta has graduated to the pasture...

It's doing her good. Poor little girl needed some exercise. I've never kept a baby 'up' as long as I have Beretta and I now realize why people say babies go though 'a stage'. I'm so used to our babies growing up with lots of room to roam, the we have never really experienced 'that stage' with them. With 6-8 hours a day of turnout though, her little pot belly is coming off and she is learning how to travel in a straight line...

Surprisingly the best baby sitter I have is her big brother, Shooter...
Out of my adult horses the only two I thought might work as babysitters were Frosty...mostly because he was too fat to run much and I thought if Beretta took off in a mad dash, he would be a steady influence. However, he took a big dive at Shooter the other day and almost put him into the fence. His fat-butt is back in a pen. NO ONE gets away with doing that to one of my babies. Megan's little Strawberry horse is kind enough to put with the babies, but he is just as likely to take off in a mad dash as one of the kiddos. The thought of him leading the charge around the pasture at break-neck speed?...Yea, not a good thought. I don't know how that horse has not killed himself all these years as stupid as he acts sometimes.

So, I just spent a couple of days hand-walking Beretta around the pasture and letting her graze. Then I took her out, turned her loose and hand-walked Shooter and let him graze with her. Finally I turned them together and stayed out there with them. When the inevitable...'I'm free, I'm free' mad-dashes insued, I was there to be the steadying influence. Now these two get along famously and are loving their turn-out time.

It's been really good for Beretta. She has needed to start building some strength up and this way, she will be in good shape and used to being out when I haul her home for the summer. I am looking forward to getting these babies out of my hair.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

I'm Feeling It Now

Sore muscles...all over my body.

I'm sure my wild ride on Saturday caused most of them.

But, there was the bronc ride I got afterward too.

I took my buckskin horse to the barrel racing. No sense having a 4-horse trailer if you aren't going to fill all the slots-LOL.

Frosty has needed to start getting out and about again. He rides off great by himself or with Meg on another horse, but that isn't anything like what a horse experiences at public events.

Riding around the parking lot, he was fine. After all, he did run the gauntlet regularly back in SD.

He was not prepared for the warm-up arena.

But I was prepared for him...

And he didn't let me down.

Meg rode beside me and that helped Frosty somewhat. Horses passing him and loping every which way around him was freaking him out. A LOT!!!

He held it together pretty darn well, until a lady came loping straight for him.

He must have had flashbacks to that cow last summer-LMAO.

He dove left. He dove right...

And then he just bogged his head and let 'er rip. Full blown bronc ride.

Complete with bawling.

Think that won't get everyone within earshot's attention?

Oh yea! Everyone stopped and stared.

Thanks Frosty.

If he would have so much as ducked left or right when he blew up, I'm pretty sure I would have been off. Thankfully, he just bucked straight ahead.

Megan said I looked good.


I got his head pulled up and rode him out of it. We made another couple laps around the arena. Everyone gave me plenty of space-LOL.

And then we got the heck out of there.

Rode around outside a bit and called it a day.

My fun meter was pegged. I was ready to go home. So we loaded horses as fast as we could and headed for home.

I'm too old for this crap!!!

You would think that I would have been smart enough to take it easy today, but I didn't. There's too much to do these days. Hopefully I can move tomorrow.;)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

I Recant...

My previous endorsement of Leather CPR!

Not entirely, because it does make your leather buttery soft.

However...It also makes the leather as slippery as frozen snot.

As I found out today. In the most unfortunate way...Coming out of first barrel at Mac speed...

It was the start of a beautiful run. Moon was spot on coming in the gate and really running for 1st. When he set and turned it, I remember thinking..."This is gonna be awesome".

The next stride, I was thinking, "Oh Shit, Oh Shit, Oh Shit!!!!!!!".

About 3/4ths of the way around the barrel, I realized I was slipping in the saddle and when Moon powered out of that first barrel, it felt like I was sitting on a sheet of ice and he left me hanging out the back of the saddle. By the next stride, I had blown my left stirrup and was off balance, hanging off the to right of the saddle.

Poor Moon, I was hanging on with everything I had, to the horn, on the reins, and gripping as tight as I could with my legs. I was trying to slow him down, but squeezing like I was with my legs told him to GO!!!!!

I about fell off coming out of second, still struggling to get back into the saddle, lost my other stirrup and when we rounded 3rd, all I could do was clutch onto the saddle with both hands until we got lined out and could get him shut down.

Moon didn't actually hit the 3rd barrel, I did while trying not to fall off.

I can honestly say, I was darn neared scared by the time we got to that 2nd barrel. I couldn't get back in the saddle and couldn't get Moon to slow down. That had to have been the most horrible, out of control run I have ever experienced.

I can't blame Moon for not slowing down. It's not like I was actually able to ask him to stop in any way he would have recognized. I was just hanging on for dear life.

Now, you may ask how come I didn't notice how slippery the saddle was before I ran?

Well...I was going to use the new Hereford saddle, but when I rode it during warm-up I did notice that one felt slippery. So I switched back to my old standby the roping saddle. I trotted, I loped, I stopped and turned him around and it didn't feel slippery at all.

But when Moon is running...that horse is a freaking powerhouse and what didn't feel like anything at 'normal' speeds, turned into a slippery slope when he opened up.

So there's your warning...if you use Leather CPR on the fenders of your saddle, make sure to sand them a bit and apply something a little more 'sticky' afterwards if you are going to be doing anything other than casual riding.

Looks like Meg and I will be unloading all of the saddles again and doing just that.

Poor Moon, he was so freaking spot on today. I feel really bad that it got messed up. He still tried like hell. Hard to do when you have a 135 lbs. flopping and sliding around on your back and hauling on your mouth. I'm just glad I didn't end up in the dirt. That really would have been embarrassing-LOL.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Local Open Show

Last Sunday Meg and I headed off to one of the local Open Horse Shows to have a look-see. What a nice show. Nice people, nice horses and it was pretty darn well-run. I guess they have been having these shows long enough that everything runs like clockwork.

The morning consists of Halter, Showmanship and all of the English classes. We got there in time to watch some of the English. I was in love with this big warm-blood...
He didn't place very well against the QH HUS types...but I just loved how he moved. Big floaty trot and canter. I'm sure he was just a greenie and his owner was just getting him out and about.

My camera batteries died right about then, so I didn't get any pictures of the WP classes. But it was a nice mix of horses. I didn't see any of the yank-yank everyone says is so common in the warm-up pen. None!!

There was an older lady, probably in her 60's who pretty much cleaned house. We got to visiting with her and I thought she was just awesome! She used to raise race horses and just got into showing a couple of years ago. How freaking cool is that?

The real reason for going was to watch the reining horses. Meg is pretty darn excited to get back to showing in the Reining classes. I don't blame her. She had Rip going so nicely last year. We know she has a couple of areas that she needs help with-her stops and her spins, so I was hoping to see if we could scope out the reiners and see if there were any trainers there, that we liked to maybe get her some lessons.

Meg was drooling over this little Hollywood Dun It mare...

She was definitely a cutie and could she ever stop and spin...
The lady riding her? I thought for sure was a Dressage Queen with a hobby. This woman was goofier than a $3 bill. Because we took some pictures of her horse, she seemed to think she needed to talk to us...while she was showing her horse. Huh? Very strange. Come to find out she is supposedly a Reining Horse Trainer. I liked her mare, but yeaaa....not someone I would want to take lessons from.

Then we watched this guy...
I just loved how he handled his horse. He rode so quiet, warmed up the way I thought was appropriate and this big yellow horse just looked so happy and relaxed. Meg and I were commenting on what a nice job this guy did and I asked the gal sitting next to us if she knew who he was. LMAO...She was his girlfriend. It just so happens this guy is the manager of a Reining/Working Cowhorse/Versatility Ranch horse facility that is nearby. SCORE!!!
As soon as Meg is out of school next month, we will be scheduling some lessons for her and her horse...could be momma will get to learn a thing or two as well.;-)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

When The Wind Blows...

Apparently around here...It really blows...

I guess my little barn now has a breezeway?

No kidding, the storm that blew threw here this early evening blew the back of the barn off. See it laying back there? And that dark blue is the storm...headed north.

Holy Moly!!!!

It was kind of gusty all afternoon, so I decided I would be much happier saddles. Meg got home from school and came over to help...
All winter I have been looking for and bidding on barrel saddles that have an extra wide gullet. Believe me, it has been frustrating. Moon requires full QH bars with an 8" gullet. Wanna know how many newer saddles are made that way?


The new FQH size means a maximum of a 7" gullet.

So I have been looking for older saddles. Geez-at least 20 years ago, they realized that real horses have curves. But I guess there are a lot of people like me who are looking for these wider saddles, cause I kept getting outbid at the last minute. Well, there was one I was dealing on...but I got a little disgusted at the thought of paying nearly $1,400 for a used saddle.

I know...I'm a cheap-skate.

I finally found an older, off-brand saddle that I figured would work. It has everything I was looking for-15" seat, FQH bars and an 8" gullet.... I'm not a huge fan of round skirts and I need to get a back cinch for it, but it fits Moon and it fits me. It'll work. If for nothing else, it is light and will make a great saddle to use when saddling colts. I'm getting old guys...I just cannot toss those big saddles up there the way I used too.

As luck would have it, just the other day I was perusing the saddles at a tack store in town and got to visiting with one of the salespeople. I told him I was really looking for used saddles and he kindly pointed me to the back of the store. Waaayyyyy in the back was a whole bunch of used saddles and I happened to notice one in particular. I thought it was a Sharon Camarillo at first glance, but couldn't find the maker name on it.

The leather was extremely dry and hard, but didn't have any cracks or look damaged. I thought about it for a few days and couldn't resist going back to make an offer. One can NEVER have too many well-made, good-looking saddles. I came home with this... It's an older Hereford by Tex Tan, has beautiful sunflower tooling, REAL silver trim, has a 15" seat, FQH bars and an 8" gullet. It fits Moon like a glove and is ooohhhh so comfortable to sit in. I cannot wait to ride it. It's made like a true all-around. I know I can run barrels in it and it has just enough silver on it for Megan and I to use it as a show/reining saddle.

Now about that stiff and dry leather? I remembered Mrs Mom saying that she really liked the new product, Leather CPR and also Nuzzling Muzzles saying that she had used it and really liked it as well.

Believe me, I never would have tried the stuff without their recommendations because that stuff is e.x.p.e.n.s.i.v.e! OMG!!!

I LOVE THIS STUFF!!!! It took 3 applications and the saddle looks brand new and is getting sooooo soft. It is just awesome. I also love how it just soaks right in and doesn't feel sticky after it dries. I got on and off several of the saddles after cleaning them and the cleaner/conditioner never left a mark on my pants.

Yea...after it worked that kind of magic on that Hereford saddle, I just had to treat my other saddles to some high class TLC...they all got a through cleaning with the Leather CPR.

I'm going to have to see if I can get it cheaper online than in at the local Murdocks. It cost me $22.00 for a bottle there. But considering it completely cleaned every square inch of leather I could rub it into on 6 saddles and 2 breast collars and most of the saddles got more than one coat...I'd say it really did go a long way.

I got the Ranch house cleaned up the other day...
I was really impressed a how well these carpets vacuumed up. There is no damage and no major stains in them. A good shampoo and they will all look as good as new.

I'm making a lot of progress on the outside as well(pics of that tomorrow).

LOL...if the wind keeps blowing like it did tonight, I won't have to worry about picking up any more garbage. The people down the road might though...;-)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Little Guns

Does anyone remember this poor, decrepit little thing from last October?...

Little no longer "little" Guns...

Mom sprinkled her fairy dust and 6 month old Gunner is darn near as big as Beretta, who is 5 months older than him. His wonky little legs are straight and strong.

I actually find it quite funny that he points his right front foot out EXACTLY the same way Shooter did and Beretta did. Particularly when they are eating. The leg bones themselves are put together correctly, it just seems to be a genetic 'stance' these foals have.

Gunner is a longer bodied colt like Shooter and has the keenest little head on him. He's as exceptionally reasonable as both Shooter and Beretta have been, so daddy is definitely stamping his kids with his exceptional disposition. I love that.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

I''ve Been Jonesing For This...

Ooohhhh...Today was a good day....

We were just out of the money-6th out of 32 barrel racers. The winning time was 18.508(there was a tie so 1st and 2nd split the money. Our time was 18.672 so it wasn't like we were outrun, we just missed out on the money.

I don't even care that we didn't bring home a check. Moon ran a fantastic pattern. One tiny bobble at first that was my bad. Since Moon has not run since last October and has not seen a barrel pattern since then either, I sort of set him a bit hard as I was unsure of what he was going to do. I should have trusted my horse, he obviously knows his job.

The rest of it felt beautiful though and Moon was in perfect position going into, turning and coming out of 2nd and 3rd barrels. He never stopped was A.W.E.S.O.M.E!!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Not Exactly Eye Candy...

Unless you are a horse crazy teenager who has been missing a particular big, ugly blue roan horse(LOL-;).

It took all of about 2 seconds for her to get him out of his stall, brushed off and get hopped on...

It was like these two had never missed a beat...

One of the others to come home with me is the tall, gawky 5y/o we 'lovingly' refer to as the giraffe...
Jet(aka-VooDoo) has finally matured enough physically to be started under saddle. I suppose I should have gotten around to it last year, but lack of facilities really was a hinderance. Don't let that head fool you, the rest of him is quite lovely...
The move has been the hardest on him. He has not been off of the ranch since my brother brought him home from a sale as a weanling. He does not like being seperated from his buddies(even though they are right there) and is not really comfortable being confined. But he is eating and drinking just fine, so he will just have to work through things.

Then there is Bugs(aka-Smoke)...
A 10y/o restart. Actually I restarted him a couple of years ago, but....well...time sure does fly doesn't it?-LOL. Bugs is Moon's 1/2 brother(same sire) and I know this horse can fly. He'll definitely going to make a barrel horse. Hopefully sometime before he is old enough to vote-LMAO.

Finally, there is Rip's 3/4th brother, Spooks...
Spooks is Meg's new project horse. Since Rip is pretty solid, she can work on finessing him and spend real training time getting Spooks finished.
Spooks, in true horse fashion, managed to damage himself just a couple of days before having to rejoin the work force...
This lovely little round bulge runs across his face and just below both eyes. Sure doesn't do much for his looks. At first mom thought that he had gotten kicked in the face...we all know how stupid horses in the spring can be-bucking and kicking. But, it looks more like he ran into the corral fence as the swelling looks exactly like a pipe rail. Hopefully, it doesn't take too long for that to go down, I know Meg is anxious to get to work on him.

I'm Back And I Feel Like I Was Run Over By A Mack Truck

That had to have been the fastest 6 days in history!

I am wore smooth out

...And I wore my mom smooth out too.

It was the maiden voyage of The Rodeo Rig...

My Honey deserves a pat on the back and a big 'atta boy' for putting together such a wonderful hauling unit for me. What an incredible ride, for me and the horses. It just floats down the road.

Boy oh boy did it get tested on the drive back to Colorado yesterday though.

I got the joy of driving in a 40-50 mile an hour head wind for 200 miles and then I turned west and got the same wind on my side for another 70 miles.

I finally had to pull off in Big Springs, Nebraska at the truck stop for an hour. I was tired of driving in that wind and phone calls from both mom and MH confirmed a rather nasty storm around the Sterling, CO area.

The ponies and I sat it out nestled in the 'big rig' line. It poured buckets of rain, but luckily the hail has subsided before getting to where we were. When the rain let up, I hit the road again and got to enjoy at least a few miles without having to fight wind, but before long it was back and coming from the other side. Would have been nice if I could have got to enjoy any of the trip with a tail-wind that would have helped my fuel mileage. Only getting 6-1/2 to 7 miles to the gallon just SUCKED.

Normally, the mountains between Denver and Dotsero is my least favorite part of the 700 miles between my homes, but I was ever so glad to finally get into them last night. The wind finally subsided.

I have pulled horses over the mountain passes obviously, but 7% grades with a 40ft trailer loaded to the gills with stuff and 4 head of horses had me wondering. I do not like to go down the mountain nearly as fast as I like to go up it-LOL. But the pick-up handled it fine. That new fangled manual transmission is THE BOMB!!!!!

MH and I have gotten quite a chuckle out of my middle brother's insistence that I would 'just hate' pulling that trailer.

Considering that the whole rig is 58 feet from bumper to bumper, I may have had a few doubts myself about having to wheel it around. Other than coming within a couple of inches of taking out a stop sign at the first exit I got off to fuel up at, I didn't have any problems-LOL. I just had to figure out just how far I had to get over and go out into the other lane to make those turns. No problem-LMAO.

All in all I still made the trip in 14-1/2 hours. It's normally a 12 hour trip when I've hauled horses and 11 hours without livestock. There was that one time when it took Megan and I 16 hours when we came over the passes in a blizzard though. I hope I never 'beat' that-LOL.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Settled In

The Youngsters are settled into their new pens...

They are good sized so they have room to move around, stretch out and roll.

Shooter is pretty happy to be alone with all the hay he can eat 24/7...
He took off growing again and is going through a phenominal amount of hay trying to keep his frame filled up. I think he was getting tired of the big boys pushing him from pile to pile of hay at the other place. No matter how far the BO spread the hay out, Moon liked to keep everyone on the move. Not good for growing kids, so Shooter will stay in and get to hang with little sister...
I do believe Beretta is very happy to have direct, but safe contact with another horse. She spends most of her time snugged up to the fence between her and Shooter. She is fixing to take off growing again too. Seems she has grown a couple of inches in the hip already. That's not an optical illusion, she is really butt-high right now and she is standing up-hill. The little woolly-mammoth is finally started to shed too.

She is really starting to change. I see so many similarities between her and Shooter. Daddy has definitely left his stamp. They have always had the same mouth and eye, but now I am seeing a lot of similarity in their hip and how they tie in and nearly identical stances. They have identical tails and tail sets. It's really cute.

I'm off to SD for several days and won't have internet, so I hope everyone has a safe and happy week. I should have lots of pictures when I get back. I can't wait to see how Little Guns has grown.

'See' ya'll when I get home.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Friday Funny

I got stuck behind this, this afternoon...

He was doing like 25 miles an hour on a 55 mile an hour road. There was a line of cars behind me and I kept having to swerve over to keep the jack-ass behind me from trying to pass ME, in a no passing zone. I finally slammed on my brakes and the jerk backed off.

When I turned onto the side road going to my house, I had to get a side view for ya...


This guy was nuts...stupid...or both! His load wasn't even tied down. :O

Colorado...ya'll are just as goofy as the dorks on the Reservation. LOL