Friday, December 30, 2011

Lost In Time

Weellll....Sorry about that guys! Time just plumb got away from me after my last post. We had a very low key Christmas, but my MIL was here for the holiday. That was much enjoyed. Then I started hitting some of the after Christmas sales. L and Megan and I spent part of a day together, shopping and doing lunch. The weather has been beyond gorgeous as well, so have been riding too. Last night I was talking to my mom and she wished MH and I a Happy Anniversary....




Both MH and I forgot!

Besides being wrapped up in our own daily activities...We are starting new ventures that have kept our minds busy. I can't wait to tell you all about them. But have to keep the lid on just a bit longer.


Ding, Ding, Ding...Anonymous (Spotz, is that you? ;-) guessed who those colts were....Gunner in the first picture and Shooter in the second.

Sorry, you did not win a fabulous prize...but remind me when I spill the beans about what we are cooking up and if you want a prize I will have something to mail to you.

Megan and her BF went back to South Dakota for a couple of days before Christmas and that is where the new pictures of the horses came from. I have been needing to go back for like 6 months now....To get Shooter...but just haven't had things organized around here well enough to fit in a new horse. With the barn done now, hopefully the weather will hold up just a bit longer and I can get that done. Looks like the procrastination means it will be time to bring Gunner back as well, so Megan can get him started under saddle this coming year. She better not wait too long or she is going to end up with the same problem I have with the big bay...too tall to get on. LOL

Megan got some new photos of Miss Belle Starr as well. Belle Starr is the dark bay in the foreground...

The lighter bay filly behind her was sired by the same stallion and is out of a King/Leo bred mare. My brother named the filly....Prissy! (uugghhh, what a horrible name)

Belle will be the last of the crossing my Lady Bug's Moon mares onto our Oklahoma Star bred stallion. I don't think the nick is working. There is not enough bone on either Beretta or Belle to suit my taste, particularly since these are big-bodied girlies. Belle is 3 months younger than the filly with her and almost as tall and definitely as big-bodied. The legs don't match though. It's a major disappointment to me that the nick isn't working. I was really hoping that Beretta being so fine-boned was a fluke. I like everything else about her. Since Belle Starr is her 3/4ths sister...and the same thing popped's not a's a bad nick. So I guess if I want any more babies out of either of my LBM mares...I'll be looking for a different stallion.

Producing foals with a lack of bone is fairly startling. If anything...I would say that some of our horses are bit on the heavy-boned side. The stallion has excellent legs. Both of my mares have refined legs...but plenty of substance. So while I considered a lot of factors that may or may not work crossing the bloodlines...light-bones wasn't a foreseeable problem.

I don't plan on breeding either of my mares this coming year though (too damn busy!!), so I have plenty of time to research stallions for a 2013 breeding for one of them.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Guessing Game


I know there are a few of you, who have been long time readers....

Does anyone recognize either of these two ugly ducklings?...

A little hint...they share the same sire!

(giggles in anticipation)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of my lovely blogger friends. I hope the Holidays are treating everyone well.

It's a low-key Christmas around here....

Kinda figure Santa has given me everything I wanted....A new patio, new lighting in the kitchen...and a new barn. It's kinda hard to top that. ;-)

The weather has been holding up remarkably well. Outside of a couple of skiffs of snow....we have been dry and are holding steady with temperatures in the 40*'s most days. Doesn't do much to promote the 'Christmas Spirit', but sure makes doing chores and riding a lot more enjoyable. :-)

It's hard not to get a bit of the Holiday Spirit feeling when you enter the pavillon at the Bellagio though. It's one of my favorite places to visit during the NFR because every year is a different theme. I thought this year's was outstanding...
The penguins were singing carols, flapping their wings and moving their heads. The little guys in front were skating in circles. Pretty cute stuff.

The star of Bethlehem hung high above...
Known for it's water shows, this year the Bellagio brought some of it inside...
The water jets pulsated with the music (above) and formed perfect arches over the walkway (below)...
Like almost everyone else, I had to touch the water stream to see if it was 'real' or encased in a tube. LOL...It was real.

I think the Polar Bears were my favorite though...

All of the bears were made with carnations. It was almost like being at the Rose Bowl Parade and seeing the floats up close and personal.

Wishing all of you the very best holiday. Much Love!! BEC

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Almost Done

The guys are almost finished on the new loafing/tack shed...

By tomorrow, they will have the sliding door finished and the two dutch doors mounted and that pretty much wraps up the construction around here.

The electrician made it back and finished up the inside of the house. The insulation guy is coming tomorrow to blow insulation in the walls of the house. I need to have a welder come and change some gates around on the permanent corrals so both of the new stalls are assessable. And that's it.

*I* still have a few things to do...haul in base to level the two stalls and build up around the outside edges of the barn....

And start moving everything into the new tack and feed room. There is work to be done on the inside of that yet, but it will all have to wait until next summer. We are calling it quits on the construction around here for awhile.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The NFR Shopping Experience

There's no doubt, the shopping at the NFR is beyond compare. This year, L and I made it to 3 of the major shopping spots...I think there are 2 or 3 that we didn't have time to get to. We didn't get to The Sands and the NRS store in the MGM Grand was closed by the time we got there. I'm sure there are more...

Shopping spot #1 was The Convention Center - Which is the original cowboy Christmas shopping spot and by far the largest (of the ones we went to). It's also the most expensive. Downright outrageous, if you ask me. We spent 4 hours at the CC before becoming overwhelmed by the glitz and glitter. We only saw about 1/2 of the booths, but I doubt we missed much because so many booths carry the exact same stuff...bling, bling and more bling. I know I have a serious case of OLS (Oh Look, Shiny)...but it was too much for even me. I was fairly bling blind by the time we got out of there....maybe it was sticker shock?

A word of advise...If you ever go to the CC...EAT before you go (we learned that last year)...and take a bottle of water or something to drink WITH you. A bottle of water (or soda) will cost you almost $3 in there. The food prices are outrageous, isn't that great tasting and finding a place to sit and eat is difficult.

Other than will see a lot of cool stuff and there are contestants placed all around who are there to sign autographs. Last year we went on the last day and I got killer deals on a lot of items. This year, we went earlier in the week and there were no deals to be had yet.

I did find these to-die for custom hats...and I need you guys to tell me which one you like better...The feather...
This one I like exactly like it is...the tan feather on the brown hat. It's a nod to my Native heritage and when I lived in North Dakota, my nickname was One Feather. LOL

Or the crossed-pistols...
I'm sure Mikey is squeeeing (LOL)...but the pink would narrow the accompanying wardrobe a bit to much, so if I pick this one, I would have the pistols done in shades of gray and silver on the black hat. Maybe not as flashy, but could be worn with a wider variety of colors.

It's a tough decision because I like both. The crossed pistols are kind of becoming my 'thing' because my up and coming generation of horses' names all start with Fast it's kind of fitting.

L insisted she loved this hat on me...
And I think it's cute...but it's not a contender, even on a different colored hat or with different colored threads.

As much as I would l.o.v.e. not to have to choose one or the other (between the feather or the pistols), these custom hats run a little over $600 apiece. Normally I would not even consider such an option, but I have such a hard time getting a hat to stick on my head when I am running barrels, even with them practically stapled to my head. I need ONE hat that Moon cannot rip off of my head when he kicks in the afterburners. Apparently I have an oddly shaped, peanut head because it's nearly impossible to find a factory hat that is small enough and stays tight after I have it broke in.

Shopping spot #2 was at The South Point Casino and Equestrian Center. This was a much smaller shopping spot. We got through it in just a couple of hours and we thoroughly perused each booth and visited with many of the vendors and artists. I picked up this blingy, black and yellow headstall for Frosty for a mere $80 (it was originally $120, was on sale for $100 and the vendor gave me another 40% off)...

Most of the vendors said they had, had a good week in sales so far, but I think that was because they were willing to deal. If you asked what they could do for you, they knocked some off of the marked prices without looking disgruntled or getting snippy.

Shopping spot #3 was the Mandalay Bay Casino. This was a good sized place to shop...yet not so huge you couldn't make your way through before becoming exhausted. Again...the vendors were willing to deal on prices a bit and many had 'specials' going on. I pretty much dropped my cabbage right off the bat on this alligator headstall and breastcollar set...

It was one of the nicest red and black sets that I saw the whole time...and since red and black is the colors for my husband's motorcycle club I figured I better get it. I am thinking Spooks will look awesome in this set...but it may look good on Shooter as well in years to come. Red is kind of tough. I don't usually do it on my horses...but yet, on the right color of can look really sharp. I didn't get a screaming deal on it, the set cost $300 with tax, but I saved about $50. I was trying to haggle the guy down a little bit more, but the newly crowned WPRA World Champion Breakaway Roper kept butting in trying to get the guy to show her a saddle. I thought about punching her in the mouth, she was just a twig of a thing..but she looked kinda dried up jerky tough. I opted to take the discount the guy was offering and keep my dignity and my fur jacket intact. ;-) LOL

Other than a few little Christmas items, that was it for my shopping this year. I pretty much refuse to give $75-100 for a pair of jeans or $40-60 for one of those blingy, slinky shirts (besides they are o.u.t. at the rodeos next year... I guess to many adult women couldn't figure out how to keep their damn boobs inside their clothes when wearing them, so the WPRA said, Everyone is back to collar and cuff shirts).

I looked at some Boulet boots, but no one had the pair I liked in my size. Checked out some saddles...wasn't really interested in anything without being able to try them on Moon. Not interested in new pads...I'll be going with Ed Wright's Ortho pad when I decided to buy another one. Looked at Iconoclass boots for the horses, but can get a better deal on them that was pretty much it.

Oh, I guess I can't forget my 'Vegas' shoes...

Marshall Rousso's in the Monte Carlo has the best fitting high heels I have ever least ones within my budget, so I am obligated to buy a pair every time we are there. This year I snapped up the zebra print ones, but they didn't go with the dress I wore on Friday night like I had hoped they would, so I had to buy the sparkly, black ones...Ooohhh Darn! (can't you just hear the disappointment in my voice? LOL...NOT!!!)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Viva Las Vegas!

It's that time of year again...

Our 'now' traditional, annual trip to Las Vegas for a couple of nights of National Finals Rodeo and several days of total fun and relaxation.

I think my husband NEEDS a few days!! Poor guy has had shit coming at him from all directions here lately.

This year we invited my barrel racing buddy, L and her husband to go along. It's been a few years since they have gone and I am excited to have a fellow enthusiast along.

I haven't had any luck posting on the blog from my iphone...I can read everyone's blogs and post to FB, but blogger just won't recognize me when I try to log in from the phone. So I will talk to all of you in a few days. Stay warm everyone...seems like it is cold everywhere right now.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

NFR Favorites

Every year the NFR gets a little more exciting to me. Having a Pro-Barrel Racer right next door gives me a lot closer look into the world than I have ever had before and I am getting a first hand look at what these girl's lives are like. It has taken a long time to start to get to know my neighbor because she is gone most of the time. But I followed her progress this year and was so excited for her when she made it all the way up to the #16 spot in the standings by mid-summer....


Unfortunately by the time the final tally was done, she had fallen back to the #19 spot and that is where she ended up for the year. She's been home for a while now and I have gotten to know her well enough to know that she is a super sweet person and a lot of fun to visit with. It's been a little frustrating for me because she has invited me to go ride with her (she lives next door) and here I was struggling to get my horses back to the point where I think her experience and expertise would really help. I do pay attention when she is riding and have gleaned some valuable info.

She has been traveling partners with and is the one who set up the Sue Smith clinic last winter that I attended. Of course, after meeting Sue and getting a first hand look at what a great horsewoman she is, she became another favorite and I root for her...
My brother knew Sue from years ago and told me she was a heckava hand, which is why I decided to go to her clinic.

Britney Fleck is another traveling partner of my neighbor...
Of course, I just love the story about Fleck's black horse...just a horse she picked up for extra credit for a colt training class she was taking in college. Obviously the girl has an eye for a good horse. And then there is the fact that she is the first North Dakota barrel racer to ever qualify for the NFR. I didn't realize that. There are some pretty good ND barrel racers, so that kind of surprised me.

Both Sue and Britney have had tough luck the first 2 go's this year. Knocked barrels both nights. Sue would have won the 2nd round if that barrel hadn't gone down.

No one gets to the NFR if they aren't the best, so I hope these two get the kinks worked out and win some money.

I have a deep respect for Sherry Cervi...
Stringray doesn't look like any of the other barrel horses, but she can obviously scat...since she holds the arena record at the Thomas and Mack. When Cervi first started making the NFR, a lot of people (me included) thought it had a lot to do with the fact she had the monetary means to purchase horses that could get her there. But she has proven to be a top hand and an exceptional horsewoman. If I could be like any of the barrel racers that are winning...she is the one I would chose to be. Money can't buy the ability this woman has proven to have and I LOVE the fact that she is running and winning on horses that her family has raised.

Of course, I have to root for my home state cowgirl, Lisa Lockhart...
I am just in love with Louie (An Okie With Cash). What a neat horse. Lisa is another cowgirl who is a top hand. I have never gotten to meet Lisa in person, but the rest of my family is good friends with the Lockhart family (and I know some of them). I don't know anything about Lisa's family, but I know she married into a family that raised many good horses over the decades and have always been top rodeo hands. Lisa worked damn hard to get where she is and deserves every bit of recognition she gets. She made every horse she runs and I love how quiet and smoothly she rides.

It's not all barrel racers I'm rooting for this year. Blake Knowles is back at the NFR and steer wrestling off of a horse that is near and dear to my heart...Shesa Fabulous...
Shesa Fabulous is a product of Brian Fulton's breeding program, from way back in the beginning, when he was partnered with Billy Meyers. Sired by Frenchman's Fabulous, the mare is the first foal out of the only daughter of my most beloved dun mare, Diala Dandy Dolly.

Yuppers, Shesa Fabulous is Moon's 'niece'. Every time I watch this mare back in the box...I see her mother (Shesa Dandy Command) and granddam (Diala Dandy Dolly). My beloved old Woofer and her daughter, Shesa Dandy Command have/had a very distinct (and recognizable to me) alertness and carriage about their head and neck...and Shesa Fabulous is a chip off of the old block. Dandy (Shesa Dandy Command) has proved to be one of Brian Fulton's top producing mares and is still listed in Brian's sale catalogs as his 'favorite cowhorse'. I am so very happy that the mare went to someone who was able to prove her value. It's an important lesson to the naysayers of 'backyard breeders''s not that we aren't producing horses that have all the ability of the professionally bred horses, it's just getting them into the hands of the right people. Name recognition is the only advantage the pros have over the rest of us. So it's darned exciting to see the fruits of our love and labor prove what we already knew in our heart.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Feeling A Bit Crabby

I don't know if it is because the weather changed or if I am just sore and tired from working horses...

But I have been feeling rather crabby lately.

The electrician has never come back to finish my lighting.

The insulation guy finally showed up yesterday...but only because I got bitchy with my contractor. After being put off since last week...and waiting around the day the insulator was supposed to show up and never did. I got pissed and told my contractor I would not have let them tear down my ceiling and start that project if I had known that his sub-contractors were not going to be here to finish the damn job.

I was also irked that my contractor...despite me telling him NOT to...decided to apply sealer to the new patio...the day before Thanksgiving. It stunk to high heaven in the house and actually made me sick to my stomach. I had told him that *I* would apply the sealer myself after Thanksgiving to avoid that happening...and to save on hours paid out.

The hubby and I have talked quite a bit and I know that I am just tired of having people around all the time. After all, these guys have been working on projects for almost 4 months. It's getting expensive and I think the guys are just getting used to that regular paycheck. MH is getting tired or writing those checks.

Right now, the guys are working on a shelter that attaches to the permanent corrals and I told them that would be the last project for a until next spring or summer. I swear I saw panic in their eyes. I don't know if they thought this was the land of never-ending projects and endless money or what, but we have exceeded what we intended on spending and both the hubs and I are done. He wants to stop paying out and I want my lonely existence back.

I feel bad for feeling irritated with the guys. They have done such a wonderful job on everything they have accomplished for us. They are great guys and we actually count them as I am kind of trying to avoid them because I do not want my irrational irritation to spill over. We have more things we want done...eventually...and I don't want to use anyone but these guys. So I'm just venting a bit online as a release.

I will say this...I spent a lot of time backing them off of over-building my 'loafing shed'...and they still insisted on building the damn thing as if I was keeping buffalo...or elephants. Holy Hell...Two x Twelve stringers? Six x six posts? Chriminy! I WILL be able to keep buffalo or elephants in this thing. I put the serious ki-bosh on their elaborate framing and lining of the inside though. I about crapped when I saw what they were designing.

NO, NO, NO!!!

I showed them how pole barns are lined to make them equine safe and they tried to tell me that was not acceptable. I blew up a little bit!

I may not know the exact way to build a barn, but I damn sure know what is acceptable...and ECONOMICAL...when it comes to making them horse safe. I flat out told them if they did not follow the plan the way I wanted it...I wasn't paying for the work or the materials.

I HATE having to get bitchy!

One thing I always liked about these guys is that they worked at a slow, steady pace. No ramming and jamming or short-cuts. Everything they have done is high-quality work and built to last. It's a rare and endearing quality to find in people these days. This last week I have noticed a much slower pace and an almost determined will to 'help' me with small, odd projects I am perfectly able to do on my own.

Thanks guys...but No Thanks...please just get my shelter built. I don't need help strapping my hay tarp down..or bringing firewood to the house or loading or unloading materials I have for some small projects.

In my heart, I know that they are just really good guys and just being helpful and gentlemanly. That's the kind of guys they are. Seriously!

I just want my shelter built and be able to putter around at my own pace again...alone! The excitement of getting the projects I envisioned built is over and I want my hermit status back. If I did not so desperately need the shelter for the horses, I would have put that project off, but it was a necessity and unfortunate that it ended up being the last project. Totally MY BAD for not being able to decide exactly what I wanted to do.

Thanks for letting me vent a little! I feel better now.

P.S. I would like to have my lighting finished and the rest of the insulation blown in the walls though.