Saturday, May 28, 2011

Warning...Lots Of Photos

My landscaping mode kicked in, so today I tore into redoing the 'flower' part of the island. I forgot to take a 'before' picture of the corner I worked on, but it pretty much looked like this...
Just bare dirt with a bunch of plants I haphazardly planted last year.

My first attempt...

It just didn't feel right. My plan was to continue the mulch across the whole space and rearrange my shade loving plants on the other side. But it ended up feeling like a lot of bare area with red mulch dumped on it.

I scrounged around the garden and pulled more of my 'salvage' plants from last year to fill in the space a little more...

That's better. BTW...All of the plants are 'salvage' plants from either this year or last year. I have saved boo-ku bucks buying all of my stuff of the 50% off rack at Lowes.

Now, I just need to finish the other half. It'll be off to the garden department tomorrow for more supplies. (Yayyyy...:)

After that, the horse pens got tore down and moved...
Now MH can come in with the bobcat and scrape. He's happy that the pens are farther from the house. The flies are a coming.

I ran over and picked up the big bay gelding from the trainer...
Due to the EHV-1 scare, several of Levi's clients opted to wait a couple of weeks before bringing horses to him. A financial hit for the kid. So, he took a 30-day ranch job with a friend of his that got bucked off a colt and broke his shoulder. Levi is going to help him finish calving, branding and moving pairs to the mountains. I wished Jet had been far enough along for Levi to take with him...but a little time off might do the horse some good. Levi says he is going better, but is not ready to hit open country yet.

While I was down taking a pick of the bay, I see Tippy checking something out in this post...

Ah-hah...and a very pissed off little momma bird...

Figured I better check it out and make sure the cats couldn't get to the babies...
There was only one and it was too far down in the post for the cat to get to (or to take a picture of).

Monkey see...Monkey do...

Except shortstuff couldn't quite see down into the post...

Gee...and we even managed to get 4 horses worked today too. Yay!

That's what our long weekend is consisting of. Hope everyone else is enjoying their long weekend and getting to do something they enjoy as well.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Bad Thing About Leaving Home...

Is that when you come home...there's a ton of work to do.

My Honey and I spent the last couple of days whipping out the yard work, burning the last of the weeds and cleaning up the odds and ends of stuff laying around. It's not completely done...but the majority of it is.

It's back to riding for me. Amazing how quickly the ponies lose their condition. Of course, several days on grass and they balloon up like you wouldn't believe.

These two were glad to change places with the other bunch...

Beretta is finally letting go of the last of her winter hair...

Not dapples...pieces of winter hair that haven't let go yet...
LOL...She looks like a patchwork quilt. She's all slick and shiny underneath and then those ridiculous chunks of hair sticking out.

She's doing pretty good though. Her knee is back to normal, all of the bite marks have haired over and she has only been a little off in that hind leg. It's more noticeable when she is tired. By the afternoon, she is ready to come back in and take a nice long nap. She is growing again and I think it bothers her more then.

Spooks won't admit it, but I think he likes her. He often stands watch over her when she is napping, like a mare with a foal. Thankfully he is not stupid about it. I can separate them without a fuss. It sure is nice having a nice elder for Beretta to hang out with though. I told my mom, if I am going to continue to bring babies out here for handling, the black horse would have to stay, so I had someone to show them how to be nice, responsible youngsters. Lord knows, none of my other jerk geldings fit that bill. Everything else that is here is mean to the core. ;-)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Shut Down

I want to thank all of the other bloggers who posted about the EHV-1 outbreak.

It didn't take much reading for me to come to the conclusion that I would not be going to the 2-day barrel race over in Eagle this coming weekend. The thought of taking my horse to a public venue, at an indoor arena and add in an overnight stay in a public barn....

Suddenly did not seem appealing....Or wise!

I don't have to worry about missing anything though...

Every equine venue in this area has been cancelled...

Rodeos, ropings, barrel racings, horse shows, gymkhanas, horse sales...


There is one confirmed case (probably deceased by now) and 2 with symptoms in quarantine awaiting tests results.

I called the trainer to make sure he was aware of the situation and the severity of it. He said he knew about it, but did not know about the confirmed case or other 2 horses. The barn he works out of is in lock-down, the barn he works at part-time told him to stay home and he is contacting the sale barn he works for to make sure they are prohibiting the sale of horses. I would suspect so because they already postponed the Catalog Horse Sale that was scheduled for this weekend.

I wonder how long this will go on for?

P.S. If you are or plan on moving horses please make sure you or your vet contacts the Dept of Ag. for new requirements. Colorado has implemented a permit # that must be obtained and used on the Health Certificate for horses coming into Colorado.

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Couple Of Adjustments

I have just a couple more purchases on my list to perfect Moon's barrel racing accouterments (that doesn't look right, but spellcheck says it is ??). I had been debating whether to buy this pad or not...
It's the Reinsman Sharon Camarillo Sure Fit Orthopedic Pad (what a mouthful). Earlier this spring I had ordered a Tod Slone pad for Moon, and although I love the pad and it fits everything else, it just doesn't fit Moon. I overed on Megan's Colorado Saddlery Pad and that seems to work better than any other pad I have. But, I'll be bringing Megan's horse out here soon and she is going to need her pad back. Besides, it wasn't a perfect fit on Moon, just better. I am still getting a bit of slide when Moon runs. I actually think that with the above pad, I will be able to use my Sharon Camarillo saddle on Moon. The saddle does fit him across the shoulders, it just wants to slide back into the hollow behind his withers. It's just the way he is made. Having him fit has helped some, but that spot is just never going to change much on him.

The nice thing about this pad is those black pockets are actually open. I can change the thickness of the foam inserts to match what Moon actually needs vs. the other pads that just have a built in thickness in that spot. So if he changes for the better or worse, I can adjust the padding. The pocket is also on the top, so there is no lump or pressure under the pad. The padding holds the saddle up. That aught to keep Moon moving free through the shoulders when he runs.

The other little adjustment will be moving him from a twisted snaffle to a Jr. Cowhorse bit...
I like this one with the smooth mouth and copper roller. It's similar to the curb bit that I use on Moon for other events and he seems to like that mouthpiece. Moon doesn't have what I would call a soft mouth. He's really pushy with his nose. Always has been, always will be. When I first started running him, I ran him with a gag bit. That kind of helped him to break over at the pole, but since he runs as straight as a board, he just started giving me a little face and dropping his shoulders out from under. That's when I went back to the twisted snaffle. He has run fairly well in that, but is getting to strong.

Moon is changing. He's stronger and fitter than I have ever had him before. He also knows his job in the arena. He's far from being one of those 'crazy, stupid' barrel horses, but he's no deadhead. The last two times I have run him, he was starting to run through the snaffle before I was ready to let him go. That does not work. I can't have him taking off before I have him in position. I'm hoping the bit of curb action will not only keep him from running through my hands, but will help him rate straighter.

Moon is not one of those super bendy, supple horses. We work on suppleness daily, because if I didn't he would be like riding a 2x4. However, when we are running, I have realized that by using one hand with either the gag action or direct pull actually throws Moon's body out of position. Mostly at 2nd....our nemesis barrel. I realize that I have a long way to go to consistently help Moon get that barrel right but hopefully the change will help both of us.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

It's Just That Time Of Year

You know how we think that once riding time comes around, we will have soooo much to talk about?

Yea...Once you start doing and get settled into a routine....there isn't much exciting to talk about and it sure isn't glamorous. LOL

The weather has sucked here the last few days. The heat blew in and blew right back out. It's been cool and rainy every since. I laid off the ponies a bit. Just making sure that Moon is rode. I sure don't want him to lose his condition.

The horses have gone absolutely bonkers about getting turned out in the evenings. Green grass!

Since it's been cool the last few days, I have been able to do that. Once the heat rolls back in...their pasture time is going to have to be cut way back. Just those 2 hot days we had and bam...big bellies. Moon and Frosty even got a bit colicy one evening. I had left them on the pasture during the day and the sugar must have really been high in the grass. It was easily remedied with a couple of spoons of White Lightening...but still.

Other than that...and the water drama that happened over the weekend...there has been nothing going on to talk about.

Water drama?

Oh...what a mess. This weekend, I unwrapped the swamp cooler and turned the water line to it on. About 30 minutes later, Megan bursts through the door and says there is water running out of the ceiling.

Oh was a gusher.

See, the swamp coolers around here are mounted on your roof and the water line from the main to them usually run through your ceiling attic. Last fall, I turned the water off and undid the line and let the water drain out. I guess I did not get it all. The line burst and when I turned the line on it sprayed water in the attic.

I have a bunch of ceiling to fix again. F*$%ing swamp coolers! Why can't people in this area just use air conditioning like the rest of the free world?

Needless to say, MH was NOT thrilled to hear that news when I called and told him what happened. I got a lot of 'tude.

Karma is painful though. Tonight MH got home while it was still light out and since I was still outside weeding (the rain does make that go a lot faster and easier), he started to mow the lawn. Ran into the water spigot and busted that. Water spraying everywhere and lo and behold...there is not a single shut-off valve to the water main on this house. Had to fight with the shut-off at the road but come to find was just the outer spigot that broke. For no apparent reason, MH reached down and turned the nozzle and the water shut off. Lucky!!!

So add a water main shutoff on the house to the to-do list, besides the need to get the swamp cooler repaired and a new spigot. Ugghhh! I'm not even going to think about the damn ceiling right now.

At this point, I hate to even touch anything. You know how it is when the bad ju-ju starts!!

Saturday, May 7, 2011


Moon says...'I did my thing...Can we go home now?'...
I'm thinking my plain dun horse has blossomed this year and is looking rather hunky. Moon never gets compliments from people before they see him run...Today, he got lots of them before the playday even started. Can we get a Hell Ya for the glory of rice bran?

I decided I was ready to open Moon up a little bit today. Unfortunately I am not used to him having so much power and he almost got away from me going to first. I had to haul on him a bit to get him rated down. Also, Megan did not put the roping rein on the bridle and I had long split reins-Yikes! I was struggling to get them gathered up. 1st barrel was only about one stride after the timer and about the time we hit the starting line, I had an 'oh crap' moment. We was going a tad fast. I have been trying to keep Moon rated down going to first because I want to work on that 'floating out' problem he sometimes has. I just read an article by Sharon Camarillo the other day about using your hands better in the turns and I had two things on my mind for this run...maintain 2-hand contact on the reins and pushing Moon through his 2nd and 3rd turns.

What do you think...

I actually thought this was one of our better runs in quite some time. I will take this and improve from here.

Megan didn't catch Spooks' barrel run on video. Bless her heart, she was walking Moon out for me. I had to jump from one horse to the other. It wasn't much of a 'run'. Spooks is still learning. He did take a few seconds off from the last time...went from a 25 second run to a 21 second run. I'll take that and be happy as well. She did video his pole 'run'...

Considering this was only the second time Spooks has even seen the poles (Yea, I've been really bad about not practicing anything but the barrels with the horses), I thought he did pretty darned nice. I guess I will have to start practicing. He might actually get good at them. He's such a fun horse to ride. Just does whatever I ask. He's a bit ducky and dodgy in straight lines, but once he figures it out, he's going to be awesome. He was reserve high point horse today. That's not too bad....two playdays in his life and has been the reserve high point horse both times. If he never makes a super-fast barrel horse, at least he will be fun to have around to do other things with.

Megan did go with me today and she rode Turk (the paint horse). We'll forgo showing any of those videos-LOL. Megan has not put any time in on Turk and it really reflected. I will say was good experience for him and maybe Megan will be more interested in investing some time before the next one. ;-)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Sometimes What You Find In The Trash...

...Is priceless. I went to dump the trash on my computer and found these.

Meg must have taken these pics with the computer one day during 'squirrel play time'...

Helloooooo....Anybody in there????

OMG...It's ridiculous how easily entertained we are!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Finally...Something To Talk About

Did ya miss me? LOL

I hate to say, but there just has been nothing worth talking about lately. The normal routine has hit and it's about like watching paint dry.

This afternoon I headed over to the trainer's to see how the big bay horse was doing. He's been there for a month now and Levi finally has him riding. It hasn't been as easy of a go as what we thought it would be. Jet is far from rank or anything...he just has a hard time overcoming his natural bred-into-him instinct to run. He's been awfully goosy and grabs his butt a lot...but hasn't ever bucked.

Levi has given me cautious updates, but nothing really glowing. After watching him ride Jet today, I think he is just careful not to exaggerate. I think the horse has come a long, long way and is doing quite well.

Levi can saddle him straight off...

Does a bit of round pen work to get Jet moving out and then focused...

Steps on, does a bit of flexing, gets Jet's feet moving and then rides off...

Jet walks out well, trots and is loping both directions. His is still pretty stiff on his right side and Levi and I had a pretty good discussion about that today. I watched every step the horse took and can see no traveling reason why he is struggling so much that direction. He moves his shoulders and hips and strides up underneath of himself evenly. After watching Levi work on some fairly intricate maneuvers-bending, moving hips in and out and working on the fundamentals of the turn-around, I think it's nothing more than Jet's brain has not connected to that hip yet. He seems to find it confusing when he is expected to set that foot and balance on it. I watched him time after time, reach up under himself and when Levi would ask him to set that foot to start a turn around, Jet, instead of doing that, would pull that foot back and try to rotate off of the left foot. There is no physical reason for it...more like a lack of coordination.

It may seem mildly absurd to worry about something as simple as that, but it's those kinds of little things that can make learning difficult and cause problems down the road. I would just as soon Levi spend the time helping the horse get the steps correct right off the bat, than have to go back and fix it. One day, Jet's brain will connect to that hip and it will be like it was never a problem.

Levi may have felt that things were moving a bit slow to get to this point, but I am plumb happy. There will be no holes in this horse when I get him back and that is what's important to me.