Monday, June 29, 2009

Flying low

Flew into Seattle on Friday morning, and drove to Port Townsend. What a pretty place! Everything is GREEN! And coming from dry brown California it was soothing to the eyes to see it so. Stayed at the Inn where "An Officer and a Gentlemen" was filmed. Weird, funky little place, right on the Sound, but comfortable. In the morning, I went to the Farmers Market and these yummy looking veggies were on display. I wish our Farmers Markets looked as good as this one, everything was made fresh- bread, goat cheese, goat soap, veggies, furniture, pottery- it was like the Fair on one city block! 

Thursday, June 25, 2009

We are at it again

I know- I know- We just moved into our new stable, but Lil Mama and I have a great opportunity to move into a friends barn and we are going to take it. 

NO, it's no Deniserita's place ( I WISH!) the commute would KILL me! (2.5 hours), but my friend Linda!

 She also shows with us and is a great friend. I care for her ranch when she is away for any length of time. Her stalls are big and airy and have paddocks attached. She has an all weather sand arena, a wash rack and she keeps her trail course up all year. AND its cheaper! The place where we are now, is great- don't get me wrong- I really like it there- but the stalls have no runs, and they are HOT! I mean like a convection oven type hot. My poor guy stands in his stall and just sweats- and the weather hasn't hardly even topped 80 yet! Can you imagine how hot he'll be when it's 105 outside( as it sometimes gets)? That is actually the biggest motivator to move the boys- those hot hot stalls. 
Sooooooooo... on the first of August we'll be changing digs again. 
Thanks Linda!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Happy Birthday and Happy Anniversary

Has it already been a year? Hard to believe- the time goes so fast! I never believed that old saying about time flying until now! Sheesh! I must be getting old! Sigh**
The Littlest Cowboy turned One year old yesterday. We had a little dinner at my home for him, and he sure liked the cake I made. But then, who doesn't?
And today is my Sweet Lil Mama's Third year Anniversary- Good Luck Sweetie! You know they don't all come out of the box like Daddy Jesus (ahem)!

Monday, June 22, 2009

He looks kinda like he's cooking somethin' up dosen't he?
Well, This was taken at Deniseritas place ( formerly Justride). He did so well there, I was so happy! And I brought him home, and let him settle a day because on the way home I stopped at the vet and had his spring shots given ( the colic delayed his getting them when the rest of the horses did.) So today I went out and saddled up the little booger! I thought to myself- he was good at the Ranch he'll be good here too.
I was using a different bit at the Ranch too, I found a bit in the horse trailer, one I used on my old mare. It is a long shank snaffle, and it has a little bit of "WHOA" to it. He was an angel at the Ranch using it, so I slapped that puppy on him today.

He was an ANGEL! He didn't spook, or whirl or fight! He kept his shoulders up straight, didn't lift his head, and when I asked for whoa, I got it - toot suite! Wow! Now I remember why I liked that bit to begin with! Or was it the bit at all? Was it five days of solid work at the Ranch? Was it Lil Mama's riding marathon a week ago? Did he finally just say ' oh hell, I give up!"? We even walked nice and quiet past the very scary bathrooms and the end buildings, with out getting upset even once!
What ever it was, no matter what caused it- I was very happy by the end of my ride this evening!
I just wanted to share that with ya!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

All's well that ends well...

Justride and the Stud Spud returned from their fabulous trip horse camping in the California Redwoods. They had a spectacular time! But she confessed that it was good to be home- even with all the unusual stuff that happened at the Ranch while they were away. Yesterday when I woke up, Stud Spud had fixed the coffee, and as I poured a cup Justride says " Here does this look familiar?" I turn around and ...EEK the dead rodent! It looked like a gopher- she found it where the Stalking Siamese had finally tired of it- under the dining room table! Well, I'm sure glad she did find it- a gopher that big shouldn't be left rampant in the house.
Desi continues to be good as we rode in her arena for the last time before I loaded him up to bring him home. We had a long drive, made a little longer by the fact that we had to drive home through FIRE!- Yes fire along side the freeway for about a half a mile. Smoke billowed for even further than that- and if you've ever driven on highway 80 between Sacramento and San Francisco, you know what a nightmare it is- even sans smoke. Add a little fire to the mix and - BAM you got yourself a major traffic jam. sigh* It took a little longer to get home this time.
But my daughter and Hubby did a fantastic job of taking care of all my household chores- so as least I didn't have to rush around to do them when I got home.
But I do miss the peace and quiet of the Marysville Outback- and there I didn't have a snoring dog to keep me awake all night!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

It's always something!

So no dead calves yesterday or today! Whew! All horses present and accounted for! Check!
Cats- Dogs good! So far -so good!
But first thing this morning the Stalking Siamese ran up the stairs, fur all puffed out with someTHING screaming and squeeking in its jaws. She bolted past me into the dining room with the thing and disappeared! Shoot! I chased her into the room and there she sat, calm as mud- no 'thing' in her mouth. I looked high and low, but nothing. Okay, I thought, I guess it was one of her loud squeeking toys. Ho hum...
Uh Oh... I see Stalking Kitty under the corner china hutch. On hands and knees I get down to look.
Nuthin'. Hmm.
Kitty is telling me loudly in her very Siamese voice- SUMTHIN'.
I pull china hutch away from the wall, and in the corner, mashed as flat as it can get- HUGE rodent! Might be a gopher- might be a mouse... I just can't tell- but it's shreiking loudly! Stalking Kitty goes nuts, pounces on the rodent and starts chasing it around the room! YIKES! I'm not afraid of rodents, but I sure as shootin' don't want it running up my bare leg and into my bloomers! I jump for a chair! Kitty corners rodent and I run for the other room. Is it gone yet? I hope so. I'll have to go check in a few minutes... with my boots on and a broom this time.
Never a dull moment!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Who knew??

The calf debacle took three of us to resolve yesterday. I called Justrides neighbors and one of them came out with a truck. We had to attatch the bucket to the John Deere, so another neighbor came over and did that for me, then he agreed to drive it down to the pond so we could tarp the calf and roll it into the bucket. The mama cows were very much distressed as we all worked, and the bull was giving us the ol stink eye- but we were careful to stay on the other side of the tractor from him. Lucy- the prettiest cow in the herd -decided to distract him, and boys being boys- well let's just say it helped! He didn't look at us at all while Lucy was being so seductive!

After the calf was gone, I pulled Desi out of the stall to tack him up. The smell of death still lingered a bit and he was snortin' and jumpin'. I thought "Swell!" but once I lunged him a bit, I was able to ride him around the beautiful arean with no problems! I mean it! No fighting, rearing braciness or head shaking. Just a focused pretty little trail horse show pony! Go figgure! Who knew? I started to kinda like him again! And he is cute... so I guess I'll have to keep him and just keep working on all the other BAD stuff at my new barn home. sigh**

It's a beautiful day here in the Marysville Outback, after I work on my book a bit I think I'll ride again!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Hot Diggity!

I am blogging from the rolling grasslands of historic Marysville California. My friend Justride and her Spud Stud have gone off cowboy camping and I am ranch sitting for them. Woo Hoo! Twenty acres of grass,trees, a swimming pool and hot tub, a covered arena to DIE for and HDTV inside the new Trainers suite that they have been working on all winter. It is really more like a High End Hotel rather than a working ranch!
I turn the horses out, bring them in, give a few some exercise and feed everything twice a day. Other than that I am free to ride my own pony_ the Awful Desi_ or swim or tub or watch tv or shop- well the possibilities seem endless!
One bad thing did happen though. This morning when I got up to feed I could hear the cows bawling. So I did a head count of the horses- all there- and then started loooking around the ranch. In the furthest corner of the property, in the pond, I found a dead calf. He must have gotten stuck in the mud and couldn't get out! Justride left me phone numbers for just such an occasion, and so I called the top one. Her good neighbor and friend will come out later to dispose of the body. Thank goodness! I am not sure how I would have drug that calf out of there my veryown self! He's big!
Hopefully that will be the only casualty before Justride and the Spud Stud get home on Thursday.
Stay tuned...

Friday, June 12, 2009


We all gathered up to go to the Western Horse Expo in Sacramento California this morning. A bunch of us from my local Horsemen's Club caravanned up and headed off early. I always love this event. Not only do you have lots of shopping, there are clinics, and sales, and artwork and drinking and food! Whoo! What more could a girl ask for? 
My favorite clinician was there- Tim Kimura. Tim 'the Trail man' Kimura that is- he designs trail courses for the AQHA and the Palomino World and APHA World shows. The man knows 'board' as he calls them. 
He had three young girls and really broke horses to go over the poles at a trot and a lope. As he did he explained what to look at, where you want your horse to place his feet, what he looks for as a judge, and what he hopes to accomplish with his courses. Man my head was swimming with all the information he was giving out- all in 45 minutes. He told us it is about approach,departure,cadence over poles and follow through. He explained that the space between the poles- what he calls the ladder- is where you want to look AS you go over the poles- not ahead as I had been taught. He explained that to keep your horse going over the boards and not dropping a hind foot, you need to look -at the trot, two ladders ahead, at the lope three ladders ahead and at the walk one ladder ahead. To sit UP and as you go over the pole to 'rock back' on your pockets to slow your horse down, all of this is opposite to what I have been doing. I know it is all subjective, but heck- I'm gonna try it.( If I can ever get Desi back into the frame of mind where he can work!) 
Speaking of which- Lil Mama got on and just rode him into the ground yesterday- it was a lovely sight! (Is that wrong? - NAH!) 
I always said I couldn't afford to send my horse to a trainer- so I just built my own! You rock Lil Mama!~

PS: This is the fifth straight year in a row that I've gone to the WSHE and brought someone who bought a new saddle. I'm goin' for a personal best now! 

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Region 7 AQHA show

   We went up to Reno for the Region 7 AQHA show this weekend. On the way we stopped at Cabela's new store at the border. I had never been in a Cabela's store- only shopped from catalog- and it was amazing. There are all theses stuffed animals in diorama's and hanging from the ceiling and the walls. This is only a fraction of what is there. Grandpa took Jr. all over the store, pointing to the fish and the animals. He loved it! 

We stayed at the Peppermill this year. Usually when we go we stay at the El Dorado, but the Peppermill had really nice rooms. Here is a picture of Lil Mama feeding the Littlest Cowboy his breakfast. 

I intended to take pictures at the Region 7 show as well, but it was such a big disappointment that I didn't even drag out the camera. 
I know times are tough and AQHA is doing all it can to make these shows good. The awards are wonderful- three beautiful saddles as well as class prizes of saddle blankets and stuff. But the amount of people showing was grim, to say the least. We saw all the same folks we show against here in California. The promised Vendors Ally was just three vendors and the AQHA booth. I didn't see anyone giving clinics, or free rides on an AQHA ( like they advertise). I hope that the participants at least felt they got their moneys worth. I suppose if I hauled all the way up the mountain (3 hours) to show in the one class I would have qualified for, I might have been encouraged by the lack of competition, but I wouldn't have even gotten half a point if I had won the darn class. Although I did get some new thoughts for my practice trail courses, and new stuff to try. I can only hope that the economy will turn around and the show will be better next year-even though it will be too far for me to go- Hurricane, Utah- to just show in one class.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Glacier update

So last week I went up the hill to the corral where Glacier was being socialized. She heard my voice and nickered, coming quickly to the fence to see me. Her coat was almost completely shed out, the nappy old hair still clumping in tufts along her flank, but the new shiny black and white hair gleaming in the sun. She has gained at least 50 pounds and was calm and eager to see me. Of course I didn't have my camera with me, so I decided today I'd go back and take a picture to share with you. 
This is what I found! An empty pasture, with her pretty lavender halter hung on the fence. She had achieved the pasture horse status at last! 63 acres of rolling grasslands and other retired horse buddies to share it with. What more could a girl want?  
So no picture of her today, but if she comes down to the barn anytime soon, I'll try to snap few to share!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Just one of the other things I'm doing

Just to shift the focus away from Desi for a minute- this is how I am paying for him and Glacier these days- I'm a garden slave! This is actually the home of the lady where I am boarding Glacier. She needed this garden revamped. These are the after photos actually. I didn't take any before pics ( I know- what a boob!) All the dirt areas were waist high in weeds when I started. You could hardly see the flagstone paths. The Patio in the back was covered by the oak tree and a rampant vine of some kind, which is now nicely trimmed back. ( although I need to climb a ladder and take off the huge limb hanging on the roof!)
You can still see some of the yellow weeds in the background in the first picture, but I am doing that area tomorrow. 
I enjoy the work, but boy! My legs are wiped out from stooping and pulling! And Lil Mamma wonders why I'm so tired at night- she forgets that I'm OLD! 
Tomorrow I'll try to have a Glacier update!