Thursday, July 29, 2010
Wasn't it just yesterday when I posted?
We have had some cooler temps around here, the monsoons moved in. I LOVE clouds!! Big, shady clouds.
I will not even complain about the humidity that comes with the monsoons. It just feels wonderful to be back into the high 80's-low 90's.
CdnCowgirl asked what a swamp cooler was? It is this...
A metal box attached to your roof (or in a window) that has a fan and a water line attached. In arid places such as the extreme western Colorado (and any desert place), these work darn near as good as an air conditioner. The water is pumped into filters that line the insides of the metal box and the fan blows the water cooled air into the house. They do not work so well when you get a bit of humidity in the air though.
As requested, more pics of big Sandy...
Hes a brute of a horse. Shows every single inch of his 'Bert'...
breeding. Both foundation sires, although they lacked 'pretty' produced tremendous using horses. If I had not run barrels on this horse's 1/2 sister (same dam), I'm not sure I would believe he had the capacity for speed. His hulking physic and slow moving nature is deceptive. I heard a great story about my brother and a friend of his pitting this horse against a Freckles Playboy bred horse in a little good natured cutting competition. Sandy showed that finished cutting horse a good what for in the cutting and then went on to show them how roping a bull and dragging him into the trailer was supposed to go. The bull didn't stand a chance.
All well and good, but that doesn't necessarily translate into barrel horse potential, until we sent Sandy to a friend of ours who rides for big ranches in the sandhills of NE. The man glowed when he told us he was never, not once, outrun by a yearling in the pasture. Now that shows speed. Yearling bovine are quite fleet of foot when they throw that tail over their back and head for the hills. Not only could they not outrun the horse, they could not out duck and dive him either. Yea, he'll make a barrel horse. A very deceptive one at that-LOL.
Oh, and lookie here...
My Blue Andalusian (who is actually black) has started laying eggs.
Aren't they cute compared to a regular 'large' egg?...
They'll get bigger. Pullet eggs are always small.
The two remaining hens are only 5 months old, so I was really surprised she started spitting out eggs. The other hen is supposed to lay green eggs.
We never did find a single live chicken after the great break-in debacle. We were a very sad crew around here for a very long time after that. But we will try again next year. We might be minus one dog before that happens, but maybe he learned his lesson.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Rip's knee is coming down (it was a soft tissue injury), but it will take months for it to completely heal and he is feeling frustrated at being confined.
I will be bringing this little mare out to Colorado with me...
This little girl is way to nice to let set another year or so. She is our 8y/o grand-daughter of Boon Bar. I'm not sure exactly what direction I will go with her. She is pretty much unlimited in the performance department. She could Cut, do Working Cowhorse, be a barrel or a pole horse or would make an outstanding little break-a-way and/or heel horse. She's broke, but like so many of my other's just needs riding.
Sandy is far more broke and finished, so it makes sense to hold off bringing him at the moment. He isn't going to get left behind though.
I can only ride so many though. I currently have 4 riders, Boon will make 5. I WILL have both the sorrel horse, Bugs and the leggy bay horse, Jet going this year as well. That makes 7 head.
Oh yea, and then there is this guy...
Yep, sometime in the near future, Shooter needs to move into the ranks of riding horse as well. Time does fly doesn't it?
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
From this, the day he was born last October...
To how he looks today...
He reminds me of someone, in a lot of ways...but particularly the 'long as a bus' phase he is in right now...This was Shooter at about the same age...
(Way back when...LOL)
He has quite the stifle on him...
Saturday, July 17, 2010
The vet/chiro did a quick eval on Turk's traveling ability and noticed something immediately that I have never noticed and most likely would never have noticed. The horse's injured heel is actually what is called a 'sheared heel' and each bulb moves independently. I have heard of the term before, but had never seen a horse with it and certainly have never grabbed Turk's heels and pulled on them like the vet did. It was amazing the amount of movement that was in his damaged heel.
We discussed the options and neither the Dr or I felt that a chiropractic adjustment would do much good at this point in the venture. I decided to go ahead with the shoeing, as I really believed the horse absolutely needed some relief and support for BOTH if his front feet. The farrier looked at the horse and determined just as quickly as Mrs Mom did that Turk's uninjured foot (and leg) was in jeopardy due to the stress it has suffered supporting the horse all of this time.
Before the shoeing...
After the shoeing...
Pretty dramatic difference huh?
I think eventually Turk will stand square and equally on both front feet. It's probably a habit for him to stand with that left front out there a bit and he'll need time for his muscles and balance to even out.
Here's the pic I posted a while back after I had trimmed Turk...
That deep cleft is where the movement is in the bulbs. Mrs Mom was right on target when she said to drop that inside heel more. I did have the heels level, but to accomplish what needs to be accomplished, those heels and that heel in particular needed to come down.
Like this... This was after the farrier trimmed Turk's foot. See where my thumb is? That is how much the inside heel and bulb need to drop down to be even with the other heel.
To accomplish that, the farrier put on a bar shoe...
And left the injured heel and that quarter 'float' ...
That means, he took the inside heel and quarter down so that they were not tight against the shoe. He wanted that space in there so that the injured heel would have the room to drop down to meet the shoe and as we keep re-shoeing (on a 6 week schedule), the farrier believes that the injured heel will spread back to were it needs to be and Turk's foot can finally get solid and heal so that it won't move and cause him pain.
The farrier called all of this around Turk's crack, scar tissue...
And did away with it... Can you all see up by the hairline on the inside heel (right side of hoof) the bulge in the hoof wall? That was Turk's foot working at spreading out from just my trimming his feet. I may not have been able to accomplish everything this farrier is going to be able to, but at least I had his feet coming in the right direction.
Originally, the farrier was going to put a bar shoe in Turk's uninjured left front as well, but due to the massive spread going on, he had to put a regular shoe on... Again, Mrs Mom hit the nail on the head with what was going on with this foot. If you look at the heels on this foot you can see the difference in Turk's heels. His outside heel (on the right side of the picture) was migrating forward and spreading away from his frog. That is the side of his hoof that there was getting to be more hoof to than the inside.
Although, I was making a bit of progress on that as well... If you notice on the inside of his hoof, about an inch down from the hairline, there is a bulge there where Turk's hoof was starting to come back to it's proper thickness. Obviously, the farrier took a lot of hoof wall flare off of Turk's hoof wall and that dramatically improved this hoof's appearance. Since the shoe is centered correctly, Turk is now putting pressure centrally on that hoof and the walls will continue to grow down in a more correct manner.
After the shoeing was done, we took the horse out and it was nothing short of a miraculous change. You could just see the horse visibly letting down and relaxing. We worked him in the round pen for a bit and it was like watching a different horse move. With each passing circle, he became more relaxed and actually started using his back. Something I have not seen this horse do before.
For good measure, I had the chiro acupuncture his shoulders and back to help release all of that built up tension and ease his muscles...
About 20 minutes into it, he began to stretch his neck out and yawn. I mean really, really yawn. He did not go to sleep like Moon did, but he did cock a hind leg and lick his lips a lot as well. When the Dr pulled the pins, she had me feel his shoulders and his back. The difference in temperature was absolutely amazing. The horse was just radiating heat off of his back. He as almost too hot to touch.
The final prognosis is that the farrier believes he can have the horse 100% sound in 3-4 shoeings. He said even if that injured heel did not move completely into position and solidify, that the improvement would be significant enough that I would have a pain free and sound enough horse to do whatever I wanted to do with him. The Dr. 'pinged' the horse's fetlocks and coronary bands and found them to have very good circulation, even the injured heel and she does not believe that there is any significant or permanent muscle or joint damage to any part of his body. Getting him back into balance and properly conditioned is up to me now and I cannot wait to take the new and improved Turk for a spin. There is no doubt in my mind this horse would make an awesome barrel horse, now I know he can...We are going for that!
Hahahaha-Moon and Turk do not like each other...and now they are going to be traveling buddies. Oh goodie for me (sarcasm intended)!!
Friday, July 16, 2010
It got H.O.T. here! Not Phoenix, AZ hot...but over a 100 everyday this week.
My 'sleeping in' til 7-7:30am came to an abrupt halt and I had to start getting up at the butt-crack of dawn if I wanted to get anything done. And I had tons and TONS of stuff to get done.
The big and the little of it around my place...
No, that's not an optical illusion...the bay horse really is that much bigger than anything else around here...and Mighty Mouse really is that little.
The black horse, Spooks was supposed to get his teeth done on Tuesday, but the dentist did not show up. G.R.E.A.T!!! The horse is looooonnngggg overdue for a float. I thought he had ruptured an abcess out the side of his jaw. It got huge and was draining (that is a particularly difficult place to cold soak with a hose-ugghh). So needless to say, I was pretty ticked off this highly recommended dentist was a no show, no call. He did call...that night and explained he had to take his sister in for chemo. Okay, legitimate excuse...but isn't that the reason we all carry cell phones?
I refuse to use the vet that did Frosty this spring. I was not impressed with his work and he was very expensive. But after this guy did not show up, I was forced to make an appointment with the husband of my vet/chiro, who I have an appointment with today. He is also VERY expensive, but I know he is extremely good, so I'm just going to have to bite the bullet and pay for his services. I did finally realize that 'the abscess' was not from a bad tooth, but rather that he had been scratching his face on one of the steel posts and gave himself a nice little puncture. I swear, horses are the biggest pains in the butt. Yes, I have put caps on the posts along that side of the fence now. May have to resort to bubble wrap for some of these guys...Well that or a bullet. Some days I am not sure which option would be better. ;-)
Megan's blue roan, Rip...
Has a big knee...
Well, technically it is not his knee, but rather above his knee. I don't know if he hurt that tendon or ruptured something in there. I have been alternating between cold hosing and sweating it. It's not coming down. So he will also have to see the vet. He's not lame and there is no heat or soreness, but it looks awful and I hope like hell that lump is not permanent.
Rip and the sorrel horse (who has become suddenly and violently headshy) will have an appointment with another vet (who is my next door neighbor) next week. Probably looking at X-rays for Rip. So much for my long streak of avoiding veterinarian bills. Uggghhhh!!!
I busted my butt and got this built for Gunner... I still have to add a couple of pieces of siding and I have absolutely no idea why I built it so high, but it's a chunk of shade and thanks to proper positioning, gives the other pen some shade as well. Once I get the last bit of siding on, I can hang misters on it and cool both pens. Spoiled freaking horses!
When it got too hot outside, I worked inside. Not that it is much cooler in the house as the swamp cooler is not on, but I got the master bath painted...
Got the extra-bedroom walls 'stucco' finished....
Got this shed finished...
Well, except that it needs re-shingled, but that is going to have to wait until this fall. I've had to do enough stripping and shingling in the heat in my life. This can wait until I don't fear heat-stroke.
I've started working on this area...
Getting rid of this bio-diesel stuff is one of the last big projects on my list. About 1/2 of this stuff is barrels filled with iron pipe and fittings though, so my goal is to get all of the scrap iron I have gathered up onto the utility trailer and get it hauled to recycling. That will make a big dent in what still has to go.
And I really, really want to get this fixed...
The wind did a number on my little barn huh? My plan was to tear the rest of the roof off and replace the whole thing, but then I got to looking at it. I need to get a contractor out for an estimate because the may be able to replace the ripped out trusses and put new tin on for less than a complete make-over. I really want to be able to use my little barn.
Okay, so that's my excuses for not getting any riding done this week. I'm pretty excited that today Turk is scheduled with the Chiro and Farrier. We have assembled a team for him-LOL. Keep your fingers crossed that they will be able to fix him up.
Oh, and Moon's back is healing well. I don't know if I will bother trying to get to a barrel racing this weekend because I have not rode (and that has not worked out well in the past), but he is at least healed up enough that I can start riding him again and getting ready for next weekend.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
It was H.O.T yesterday!! So I decided to take a gallon of paint back to Lowe's for exchange. Oddly enough, the color they mixed was not the same color I had gotten the first time. Although, they have a no return policy on tinted paint, they were really good about it and promptly remixed my paint.
Meanwhile, I decided to peruse the garden department. I have so many plans for flower beds at the new place...and one big bed at the house we are still living in that needs to be finished.
I freaked!! Pretty much everything was 75% off.
The garden departments had terrible sales this year due to the cool spring and the high winds. People just didn't bother with as much. According to one of the sales ladies, originally Lowe's was going to just have them throw all of the extra plants away because it messes up their orders for next year (as next year's purchases are based off of this year's sales) and they ended up with a lot of extra plants this year. But after consulting with the local managers, they decided to just offer everything at a massively discounted price. This spring was pretty much a fluk for this area.
Anyway...I went waaayyyyy crazy buying a ton of perennials.
Here's the first flowerbed at the new house...
I swore I took a picture of the finished bed, but I guess I didn't.
Needless to say, I will be going back tomorrow and loading up on a ton more plants. Mostly perennials as those are usually the most expensive and I was picking up 2-1/2 quart pots for $1.50-$2.
I figured that since I did not get much of a garden planted this year and have a huge area, that I could buy as many plants as I thought I might need...and all different kinds and just plant them in the garden until I got my future beds ready and then transplant them as I go.
(**I'm going to be getting those barrel patterning pics and videos in the next couple of days. The equine dentist is coming this morning, I have to get to the post office and get a couple of care packages out and it is supposed to be hot for the next few days. Unless I get horses worked in the morning, I'm pretty much S.O.L. It isn't so much a problem for me, but my kiddo has a real problem getting up these days...teenagers! ;)
Monday, July 12, 2010
I might have thought that it was something she had come up with to combat a problem with a specific horse, except she had 3 horses that she worked, all the same way.
Moon had a pretty good run at that competition and we were setting in 1st place for quite a while. That is until that girl came in and spanked my time. Not once, but on 2 of those horses she had been working.
I thought her runs were beautiful. Both horses worked exactly the same and had the most beautiful fluid turns. The girl rode like a banshee, but those horses worked absolutely perfect.
That patterning technique has stuck in my head since then and my dear mother, whose basement is filled with stacks of books and magazines dating back to the early 60's dug around and found an old article on a very similar patterning technique.
After many discussions with mom about my problems with Moon, she got to thinking...
#1-We know that he was dropping his shoulder and diving around 2nd and 3rd barrel.
#2-Part of the problem was that he had started flipping out his hip in anticipation of the turn and the other part was that he was not really rating deep enough.
Where a horse begins to rate his turn really depends on that particular horse's ability to rate. Some horses need to begin to rate farther back and some don't even look like they are rating at all. Moon is a horse that can and needs to rate deep into the turn to have enough momentum to carry himself on around the barrel.
But for any horse to turn the barrel, fluidly and without losing momentum...
They need to be pushing off of and rotating around the barrel from their hip. It is important for their hip to clear the barrel. Regardless of where a horse has to begin his rate, their hip needs to be coming past the barrel with each stride in their turn.
Now, if you think about that, you probably are thinking the same thing I thought when mom told me I needed to be pushing Moon's hip past the barrel...
That that would put your horse way far away from the barrel and would lose you time...A lot of time.
But then I started thinking about that patterning technique I had seen that girl doing and started doing the same technique with Moon...And it all came together.
To be continued...
Friday, July 9, 2010
One of the horses got a good taste of Moon's back.
Unfortunately I only found this when I gave Moon a bath before we were headed to a barrel racing. I did not notice it when I caught horses up in the morning...
Probably because Moon and everyone else was covered in mud. The boys do like their mud baths-LOL. I leave the mud on unless I am going to ride because it helps against the nats. I have been lucky as I do not have a lot of flies, the mosquitoes are minimal(considering the irrigation), but the nats? OMG, they are terrible. I have been keeping Swat around every one's ears, under their eyes, on their sheaths and chests.
No way was I going to be able to run barrels on him last night and maybe not even this weekend. He had some swelling around the teeth scrapes and was very sensitive. I hosed him off for quite a while and covered his wounds with Crest toothpaste.
Did ya all know that one?
Crest, original formula toothpaste is a great scrape antiseptic and dressing. When it dries it forms a nice crusty cover, keeps the scrape clean, bugs off and helps the hair to grow back in quicker.
Anyway, I think Turk was the responsible party...
(LOL-Look how tiny my barrel saddle looks on him)
I thought Moon and Turk had come to an understanding, but apparently not. Guess I will not be turning those two together again.
I was disappointed not to get to run. I think I have my barrel horse back. The last few rides, Moon has been quite nice. We are back to being able to lope the pattern...bareback and with a halter. Moon is over his herky-jerky, charging into and around the barrels.
It's unfortunate that the bite marks are the entire length of his back as I will not even be able to jump on him bareback and tootle around.
Oh well, it's not like I don't have others that need some time. Frosty can always use being 'camped on' and after watching Turk in the pasture for a few days and then the way he acts when I am leading or handling him and...
I think he actually needs to be rode some. Whenever I am leading or moving Turk around, he limps and walks soooooo slowly. Like it's a huge and painful effort to even put one foot in front of the other. When he is in the pasture however, he manages to move just fine. Barely a bobble.
So I saddled him up, got on and let him walk. Oh my heavens. He limped and hobbled along. But I decided I wasn't buying it. He had just loped the entire length of the pasture without a single break in stride. What the heck right?
Instead of just letting him hobble along, I picked him up into a working walk and started working on some slight bending and flexing. Just enough to encourage him to reach up under himself with his inside hind leg and to stretch his shoulders. Lo and behold...other than the occasional bobble, he started moving pretty decently.
I do believe that his bobbles are because he still has too much heel on his injured foot and it breaks over too quickly. We will continue to work on that. Mrs Mom has been a tremendous help.
Turk has just moved off of the injured/reserve list. He is not going to be able to handle hard riding until we get those feet more in line, but he will certainly benefit from bending/flexing, working on suppleness and getting him to use his back properly again. He's as stiff as a board. I can also feel him pushing into my left leg regardless of the direction we are traveling. I don't think he finds it very comfortable traveling with a straight body. Fifteen to 30 minutes a day of a working walk, a little trotting and working on suppleness will hopefully make a big difference.
Getting him right is not just about his feet. It's about his whole body. We'll just keep working on it and hopefully have something in the end.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Unfortunately, I realized that I was never going to accomplish everything I wanted to around the yard in just one year. LOL-Big visions...not enough time.
Besides, the sooner I get the house done, the sooner we can move in and the easier it will be to keep working on the seemingly endless list of projects I want to do. ;-)
Two of the bedrooms still had popcorn ceilings. Well, since the rest of the house has a stucco look finish on the walls and ceilings, I decided to scrape the popcorn off the ceilings and finish these rooms out to look like the rest of the house...
It's a nasty, dirty job...
When I started to prime over this little bit of border in the master bath, I found out the little figures were actually decals so they had to be scraped off...
I did get the base coat on the master bedroom walls....
I finished trimming it out after this picture.
My Honey prefers cool to neutral color tones, so it took a bit of work to find colors that I could live with and that I knew he would like. The bedroom is kind of My Honey's oasis, so I have always tried to make sure that it is someplace he finds comfortable. But I cannot resist the temptation to do some fancy paintwork to really bring out the lovely texture on the walls...so this is just the beginning step.
I like this light neutral khaki base color and picked out a couple of other complemenary colors to do some tone on tone work. I kind of panicked when I opened one of the colors to mix it with glaze and it looked like baby poop. However, luckily it looks pretty good on the walls. I'm still trying to figure out which technique I like best, but will make sure to post finished pics.
About all I have to do is get everything painted, the kitchen floor refinished and new shades ordered and installed. The only other things that need done is the plumber has to do a few things and the electricians have to come back and do a few more things...and we will be ready to move in. Hopefully by the end of this month???
My Honey's only request...that everything be DONE before hand. While I do not mind living in a remodel zone...it drives him nuts.
Friday, July 2, 2010
They are enjoying the fruits of my hard work on the irrigation...
Seems a shame to have worked this hard to get the whole pasture to irrigate and we'll simply end up tearing it up next spring and replanting. But I sure have learned a lot about irrigating-LOL.
Come Monday, this guy will go back to work...
Who me? Naw, I much prefer the life of pasture ornament.
We have a barrel racing next Thursday. Moon has been doing much better on his pattern, so hopefully we can sneek a smooth run in and be back on track.
Frosty has been doing well...
No more major blow-ups. Whew! I don't think I could take being pile-drived by this big guy on a regular basis. I know his belly still looks big in this picture and we do have more work to do to get that pulled up, but my goodness he is looking and moving soooo much better. He's also starting to lope the barrel pattern. I do believe there is a barrel horse to be made here. He's sure enough bred for it. I'm just kind of leary of asking him to really run because I'm a bit afraid that he may turn the barrel and break in half coming out of it. Once we get past that, I think he is going to really nice. :)
I'm quite astounded at how this horse is shaping up...
Jet...aka-Legs...aka..That Thoroughbred Colt...is really turning into a mouthwatering prospect...
Jet really isn't a TB. He's registered QH...not even Appendix. But boy howdy, does he show every inch of his TB running blood or what? I need to stick him, but I'm pretty confident he is at least 16.2HH. He towers over Rip(Megan's blue roan) and I sticked Rip at 15.3HH. Anyway, he's much, MUCH taller than I really like my horses to be. However, he is getting to be so darn well-balanced and nicely put together that I will forgive him his exaggerated height.
Anyway, I still haven't gotten him started under saddle, but being busy with so many other projects, I have kind of held off until I can keep going with him when I do start working with him...other than the normal daily catching, grooming, etc. He sure is proving to be a nice, willing horse to work with. He's not flighty or spooky about anything really. He much prefers to stop and stare at anything new until he figures it out, then it's almost like he shrugs his shoulders, says "Oh, okay" and moves on. I am looking forward to getting him riding though...can't you just see this guy kicking butt in a HUS class?
Me too. Next year! That's our plans. And I may start him lightly over fences as well. He'll be a 6y/o, so plenty mature for that. He'll also start barrel horse training. I don't know if he can turn, but I know he can run.
I hope everyone has a safe and fun holiday weekend. We don't have much planned...except working around the places and getting in a motorcycle ride. My Honey actually has the weekend off! Whooo-Hoooo!!!! Poor guy has worked 21 days straight.
Happy 4th everyone and God Bless all of the men and women who have fought and died for our Independence!!!!!!