V wanted to do something Sunday other that sit around, so we took our 6th hike to the top of Mount Rogers, the highest point in Virginia. First the fence pictures. Then you can skip the family pictures if you want.
The views from almost any direction on this 8 mile hike are stunning.
The biggest problem with hiking is that you have to watch where you are going and can't enjoy the endless vistas enough. Yet another reason to be trail riding instead.
V, E and J were all up for the challenge, along with V's boyfriend Mike.
J broke out his favorite trail food, sardines and crackers, for lunch. I, on the other hand, had a balanced meal of Cap'n Crunch and a cucumber.
Our lunch spot took a little climbing to get on and off.
We were lucky enough to see the "wild" ponies. They are always a favorite.
We didn't try to pet these however.
And we made it to the top.
There's Mike and V.
On the way up this section some boy scouts were coming down. One had his feet slip out from under him and he toppled backwards landing on his backpack. "It's a good thing I didn't land on a rock," he opined.
We took E and Brother to a show Saturday to practice for the State 4-H show coming up in September. Brother started out looking really nice in the warm up but then the show started and things went downhill from there.
E's first class was youth go as you please. I think there were 15 horses doing a little bit of everything. There was even a family standing next to me hollering out, "#38 your honor, there he is, whoop, whoop, whoop, WHOOOOOP." And this was every lap their son took, which was quite a few considering how fast he was going. Anyway, E was managing ok for the first bit.
Then all of this went past and Brother just couldn't hold it together.
Too fast, head too high and E couldn't do anything to slow him back down.
She didn't place in that class or the western pleasure go as you please which included several gaited horses flying past her. Then it got dark and the lights came on and Brother got even worse. Her next class was youth western pleasure which thankfully only had 2 other horses. She did manage 2nd even with having to lope. But then there was a 4 class break where she went and just trotted to try to calm him down. Still, nothing helped and when they took a break right before her class I sent her in the ring to lope him around. Unfortunately, he was just too wound up and was looking dangerous so I pulled E out and got on him myself. (I know, that makes a lot of sense. Take the young spry girl off and put the old stiff woman on. But I worry so what can I do?) Let me just say, he was a handful. I was trying to keep him in small circles so he wouldn't take off but the ring was filling up and the barrel racers were starting to warm up. Then Brother exploded! He took off bucking across the ring. I looked down and thought "I'm going down" but after seeing the ground and knowing how bad it would hurt I decided to try harder to stay on. It didn't help that someone started whooping and hollering at me "you go girl, get 'em WHOOP, WHOOP, WHOOOOOP!" I finally got him stopped and by some miracle stayed on and managed to get him to keep cantering until he calmed down.
I told E to switch me in for her for the last class and she said she already had. He still wasn't perfect in the Open Western Pleasure class but he sure did a lot better and was calm with a loose rein. The judge commented that he had really quieted down and what a nice mover he was. But with only one other horse in the class I didn't have to worry about anything passing which helped out. The other horse was a well seasoned pleasure horse so of course I got second but I still feel like it was a victory after that bucking session. Oh, and someone on the rail scored my bucking ride an 8/10.
E is starting to really regret her decision to take Brother to state now. Hopefully we can get things worked out before then.
a herd of horses that have been saddle-broken, from which ranch hands choose their mounts for the day.
This is part of our remuda. V and her boyfriend Mike came here for the weekend and went on a ride around the farm Sunday. I think this was Mike's second time on a horse. Still, he was game for a long ride.
Mike rode Hank, V was back on her 4-H mount Jessica, and J took Brother while I was on my favorite, Otoelene.
Somehow, my camera got switched to "fish eye" lens sometime during the ride. I really don't know what the point of this setting is other than to annoy me when I get back and see these wonky pictures.
I was wondering why I was having trouble getting Otoelene's ears in the picture.
When we got back to the barn V wanted me to take her picture with Mike. It was then that I knew something was wrong. Hank is really not shaped like that.
So I did manage to get a somewhat decent picture of them after correcting the camera setting.
Then later, V took one for me. The horses did great and I don't think Mike got sore at all. Now if I could just figure out how to get some tourist in here and charge for a farm tour we'd have something.
We are currently in the middle of a pinkeye outbreak in the cattle here at the house.
Pinkeye in cattle is different than in people and can cause a temporary blindness or even loss of the eye.
Otoelene, Emma and I went out the other day to check on the situation.
It is a contagious bacterial infection that first starts as tearing,
and progresses to corneal ulceration and keratitis.
When both eyes are affected the calf is essentially blind.
The bull was not immune to its effect,
and the cows aren't either. When just a few are affected we get them up and treat with antibiotics, eye ointment or steroid injections but unfortunately these were on the part of the grazing rotation without any working facilities and really too many to treat. Most of the time once it heals there is only a small scar on the eye.
But until then, kind of creepy, isn't it?
Now for the lighter side of pinkeye here is a very funny Corner Gas Episode HERE.
E had orientation for Virginia Tech Monday and Tuesday. J and I split the duty and he took her and I picked her up. Since both of us went to Tech and already sent V through, we didn't think both of us needed to be there for all of the sessions.
E will be majoring in biology and was accepted into the honors program which looks like more work but gets her in a better dorm.
All I can say about orientation is that I'm glad that I had a full charge on my iPad and a book downloaded to read.
But it was a nice day and I enjoyed hanging out with my daughter. Hope she enjoys college and gets everything out of the experience that she can.