Sunday, August 12, 2012

Momma Says...

Sorry, kinda left you guys hanging there for a few days...

I hate August...it's a transition month, like February, ya know? I just want it to get over already, so we can settle into some gorgeous fall weather. I have also been supremely busy trying to locate enough hay to get me through the winter. I gotta tell you guys...it's damned scary this year. Hay is already $200-250 /ton and people just aren't wanting to part with it...because they know it's going to go even higher. The guy I usually buy hay from has NONE! Not a single bale off of his fields, as they shut the water off in May and got no rain until recently. He said if he gets ANY hay, it's mine...but who knows if or how much that will amount to. Certainly not enough to get me through the winter. I do have one semi-load coming from Wyoming, but will need at least another 1/2 a semi load. That equates to about 100 of the 800lb square bales. I'm buying as much as I can get people to part with because who the heck knows what next year is going to be like and if I end up with too much, I know I can always sell the extra.

So where was I?

Oh yea...I called my mom about my panic attack at Salida...

Mom says...'Well, if you thought he was going too fast...He was probably going too fast.'

Funny, sometimes my mom opens her mouth and Ed Wright falls out. Either that or Ed Wright is parroting my mom...

Whatever it is...momma and EW seem to be the only two people on the face of the planet that understand that sometimes Moon just runs too darned fast.

I was trying to draw up this fancy, funky little diagram to show where Moon usually peaks in his run and why that sometimes causes a problem...but it wasn't making much sense. Let's just say that *I* have figured it out and it's back to the EW school of thought...'if he's running too fast, slow him down.'

Actually the timing couldn't be better...EW is going to be here for a clinic next weekend. I was planning on taking Frosty, but will take Moon instead. Frosty has gotten pushed to the back burner this last month and he is...well...he is a tish round again. Not to mention, I just have not been able to get much speed out of him. I still think it's there...he just doesn't know how to r.u.n.!

Time for a new game plan for Frosty...

I have some numbers for people with roping cattle. I will be getting with them and scheduling some tracking time, in the next few days. I think Frosty needs to learn how to run a little before worrying too much more about the barrel racing thing. If he learns to track and chase a cow, he's going to have to run a little harder to keep up to the cow...and chasing something usually makes sense to a horse. Running faster to get to the next barrel, where they just have to slow down to make a turn, doesn't always make sense to them. So first Frosty will learn how to r.u.n...and then we will go back to the barrel racing thing.

Bugs and Moon are going to get some cattle time too. Anything I can do with Moon to take his mind off of barrels is a benefit. For Bugs...I am hoping to see how he progresses with the starting him on cattle and being roped off of and then I am going to have a calf roper give him a spin and see what he thinks. I have no doubt Bugs could and would learn to run barrels, but I still think he would be better serviced as a calf, heel, break-away or even steer wrestling horse. I have been hauling the tubby one with me to a few places and people seem to like him.

Myself...right now, I am hating him. The dink almost killed me yesterday...and I am NOT joking. His little 'pull-back' routine went from annoying to dangerous when he pulled back and the lead rope did not snap. He wasn't even tied. I had just looped the lead rope over the top rail of the corral while I washed the mud off of him and Spooks before heading to a barrel race and when he pulled back, the lead rope crossed over itself and snapped tight.

Guess where I just happened to be standing?

Yep...in the worst possible place...between the fence and a horse having a massive idiot attack. It looked pretty bad for me for a minute or so. Spooks was on one side, darned near ready to pull back himself because of the commotion and a 1300lb, pissed off, freaking out psycho on the other.

I went over the fence quicker than you could shake a stick...however, I'm not quite as agile as I used to be and ended up landing on my head and shoulder on the other side of the fence, when the toe of my boot got hung under the top rail. I didn't really care...just as long as I wasn't between the horse and the fence. That big lug would have squished me flat if he had jumped forward.

Alls well that ends well...The lead rope did not snap this time, Bugs regained his composure, I dusted the dirt and manure off and the fat, red toad and I had a come-to-jesus meeting. From now on, he WILL be tied...with 2 lead ropes and a 3rd attached to a blocker tie. Bugs' little gig is up. I just kinda thought he was a weirdo and 'accidentally' snapping lead ropes when he startled at stupid stuff. He's big and heavy enough, that it doesn't take much. Yesterday, I realized that he is doing that crap on purpose and I will absolutely NOT stand for it.

I do have to chuckle though...Moon went through a similar phase quite a few years ago. I had to do the same thing with him as Bugs is going to get...a very stout nylon halter, extra lead ropes and me...hiding nearby with a buggy whip. It's amazing how quickly they decide that pulling back is a really bad thing when *I* am the one going psycho on their butts with a buggy whip. (evil giggle)...

Well, they are brothers ya know? Moon and Bugs...Yep...I see some very similar characteristics between these two and it's all in the eye. They can be totally relaxed and then you see eyes glint and then narrow and you know they are fixing to do something naughty.

Oh, oh, ohhhhh...I cannot forget to tell this...

There are some mexican race horse guys that are boarding at one of the arenas L and I practice at. I got to talking to them the other day about their horses...Ohhhh my...do they have some NICE race horses...and they take exceptional care of them....Anyway...

I was asking them if I might be able to get their pony rider to pony me on my big bay horse. They said, 'Sure bring him over, we'll help.' I am most excited. This is exactly what the big bay horse needs and *I* didn't want to try it until I had someone who was an experienced pony rider helping me. I don't think the big bay is going to give me a lick of trouble, as long as we get and keep him moving. He's uncomfortable moving out by himself and thanks to Levi, he absolutely HATES the round pen. I do not want to dredge those memories up for the horse, so instead of trying to make him conform to how most horses get started...we are going to conform to what makes the big guy the most comfortable and that is...moving out, with another horse to give him confidence. I think this is going to work fabulously and am dying for Monday to roll around so I can get started.

Thanks to Bugs' freak-out episode...I was late getting to the barrel race I was heading to and wouldn't you know, I drew the gunner position on Spooks. The poor horse was barely warmed up and not quite in the right frame of mind yet when he had to run. It was not our most stellar performance. Picked up a few points...which ties Spooks for reserve in the 4D for this association. Unfortunately, the same gal that I am running neck and neck with in the other association, is kicking my butt in points in this association. I doubt I can catch her, especially since she picked up a whole bunch more points to my few at this race.

I did not run Moon. We have had a lot of smoke in the valley again and his breathing was on the heavy side. I figured Moon deserved a weekend off. We have 4 big weekends left in the season. I want him well-rested, his mind right and me riding him right again...Hopefully we can finish the year with a bang instead of a whimper. ;-)

8 comments:

redhorse said...

Here in Michigan hay is doing well, but it's still scary. The price has quadrupled because people from the drought areas are buying it as fast as they can get it. I saw one field being baled this week, and as it was being baled it was being stacked on a semi trailer and would be shipped out west as soon as the baling was complete. I hope our second cutting comes out alright, because we won't be able to buy any this year.

Laura said...

Hay will be a big deal in a lot of places this year. There is buzz starting here about the prices going up already. Most farmers only got a first cut before our drought hit. We are getting rain now, but it might be too late for a 2nd cut...

Good that your Mom gave you some good advice! I hope you can get the horses out working some cows for a change of scenery! Sounds fun...

Funder said...

Ugh, I hate a puller! I'm sure you can fix him though. Good luck finding hay! :(

kestrel said...

Oy, pulling is serious. Jerkface! Glad you're okay, that is one of the scariest scenarios I can think of.

Shirley said...

I like your game plan for Frosty, there's something about working cattle that's just good for a horse.
The mental pic of you hiding out with the buggy whip and then going gangster on a pulling back horse brought a chuckle. Bet it works though!
Still haven't got a hold of my hay guy about the cost of sending a truckload to Colorado. At $80 for a 1400 pound bale we are paying about $115 a ton, so I bet it's affordable to send a load down- and it's really nice grass hay, alfalfa mix is available too. I'll try to get you the info.

Crystal said...

I cant imagine what it is like to not get hay but it sure would be a worry. We have lots and lots here this year from so much rain, but still really havent seen any for sale (of course I havent looked cause we grow our own)

A different job always seems to be good for a horse, I have found arena horses that are getting sour all the sudden like the arena after chasing cows all day for a few days in a row :)

fernvalley01 said...

Mom sounds like a wise woman. Hay is going to be so plentiful here, lots of folk have had a great first cut and second is going to be a bumper crop as well(we wont have any to spare but have you considered some of the hay our of BC or Alberta?

Cut-N-Jump said...

Our hay guy told me a few weeks ago, a lot of the growers in the area lost a lot of hay last time around because of a big storm we had. Cow hay is going to be plentiful- horse hay not so much. We generally switch to pellets during the winter. Less storage space, less waste, more consistent all the way around. Not a bad option to consider...

My mare Tess used to pull back. Only she waited until you were setting a hoof down, finishing wrapping a leg- you know, doing something UNDER her as she went off. Scary shit that is! More than a few Come to Jesus meetings with strong leads and halters that didn't break. What finally worked for her was a strong lecture liberally laced with expletives about how she was too big, too old and acting like that was unladylike. Funny how they may not perfectly understand the words, but they get the idea loud and clear.