Sunday, October 30, 2011

Arabian Nationals

Virginia 4-H had 2 teams go to Arabian Nationals.  E was on the B team with only 3 members.  The A team was High overall, reasons, halter and performance.  One of the members was high in everything also and won the saddle.(I still have mine from 20+ years ago).  E was 19th overall and in the top 25 in most categories and her team was 3rd in halter. Congratulations to The Virginia State 4-H Horse Judging Team!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Finish Line

I was tired of carrying my camera in the fanny pack so I left it after lunch.  The 17 mile 2nd loop was very similar ground as the first loop.
 We crossed the finish line and the horses pulsed down at 4:02.  The ride started at 9 am. (6 hours of ride time, 50 min. hold and 10 min. vet check)  We placed 38th and 39th.  Our times were tied but J somehow got the higher placing.  48 horses started and 46 finished.  I think we were the fastest of the non Arabian group.  And the horses got all A's on there final vet checks.  I was able to do 35 miles here in the same time as 30 miles during the Virginia Highland Challenge in August.
 We were lazy the first night and just tied the horses to the trailer.  ALWAYS A MISTAKE when you are sleeping or trying to sleep in the trailer.  So the second night I went ahead and made a picket line.  I think Jessica was a little tuckered out.
   J even had a soft moment and gave her a horse treat.  The ride home was uneventful.
The horses were definitely glad to be back on familiar ground.
 first Jessica
 then Hank.

 I think J is looking for another ride.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Awesome Ride

We made it back all in one piece from the Sand Hills of South Carolina, so of course I am counting it as another success!  I was a little off on the ride distance, it was actually a 35 mile ride not 30.  This is apparently very important in the endurance world because it adds 1:15 min. to the allowable completion time which then gave us 8 1/2 hours to complete the 35 mile.(this included the 50 min hold and 2 vet checks)  There was a little scare for J at the pre ride vet check when they said Jessica was off on her left front.  This was something she has never had an issue with and I didn't think she was off,  she always just nods her head when she trots.  They left it up to us whether to ride or not so since I was use to how she moved I thought it would be ok. 
 The weather was beautiful, temp probably in the 40's for the morning then getting up high 60's low 70's by the afternoon.
 No, J was not going the wrong way.  We had to check in with the timer 15 min. prior to the start, then watch  all of the high strung Arabians with their nervous energy.
 Hank, on the other hand was his usual calm, cool and collected self.  And thank you Aimee for letting me use your real endurance saddle, it worked great. (But I did lose that springing feel to the padded stirrups after about 2 hours.)
 We let most of the craziness go first and started about 30 seconds later.  With the pace they set the lead horses are pretty much gone in 30 seconds.  This was my view for most of the race - Jessica and J in front through the pine trees,
 Jessica and J in front on the sandy road,
 Jessica and J in front through the hard wood forest.  As you can see the trails were great, not a rock in sight, gradual slopes, most areas wide enough to ride side by side or pass easily.  There was lots of deep sand which we are not use to but the horses seemed to handle it well.  Jessica was raring to go and J was holding her back most of the first 18 mile loop.
 There was one optional water crossing about 1 1/2 miles from the vet check along the end of a small pond.  Jessica decided this would be a great time to cool off she she laid down right in the middle of it.  J was very unhappy about having wet feet for the rest of the ride but he said he could feel her instantly get cooler.
We came into the vet check in 2 hours 57 min. and they pulse down right away.  There was no issue with Jessica's soundness and both horses got all A's from the vet.   Because it was still slightly cool and we didn't want any cramping we kept blankets over their rumps.  They were both good at drinking and eating and J and I had time to eat a little lunch.
Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion...

Friday, October 21, 2011

Sand Hills Stampede

We are off the the Sand Hills Stampeded Endurance ride (30 mile) in SC  with Jessica and Hank.  We have no idea what to expect.  I think we have lost our minds.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


The colors are beautiful this year. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Better Than Pony Rides

We had a big family cookout on Saturday.  After some excellent food, the children (and those young at heart) headed out to ride the horses. 
 These 2 were wonderful helpers getting Hank cleaned up and ready to saddle.
 Kate couldn't wait to ride so she sat on Hank while he was still tied up.
 Pep was better suited to lead around so E spent a lot of time walking in circles with her.
 Reagan also caught the riding bug and both girls were good about taking turns.
 V didn't get many pictures of Dillon on Hank,  He pretty much just got on and took off.
 He did get off to let his grandmother ride,
 and his great aunt.  I said it looked like she was having lots of fun but she said 'No, that was pain."
 The guys, not to be shown up by their mother's had to take their turns.
 I think Hank sagged down just a bit when Andy got on.
All in all, I think everyone had a fun and memorable day.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Sale Day

Today was sale day for the goats. 
 J did a one man round up (the lunge whip does help).
 Then he had to catch each one that we were keeping,
 and put it in a different section of the barn.
 J's dad provided some timely assistance.  He's not trying to remain anonymous, he just can't breathe the dust from the barn.
 I think this was a particularly nice group of goats.  The dogs did a good job keeping them alive and we ended up with 48 to sell.  We kept all of the old nannies (33) and 8 of the kids which included Bunny.
They ended up averaging 65 pounds.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

New Kitten?

We have all been missing Oreo and his larger than life personality.  I've been on the lookout for a new cat.  Look what showed up at the clinic yesterday. 
 A very un-photogenic kitten.  He had a bad case of fleas and diarrhea from coccidia so he'll have to stay in the hospital until that is all cleared up.
 E came with me to check him out this evening.
 J came too.
None of us could get him to take a good picture.  His cuteness will just have to be witnessed in person.  Now the name search is on.

Friday, October 7, 2011


There hasn't been any bee activity for a long time.  Awhile back I decided to take the lid off the hive and - no bees- not even any honey.  Looks like when they swarmed twice that weakened the hive and it either lost the queen or the last group left later.
 J will be taking the hive back to the man that gave it to us.  Maybe he'll fix it up and we can try again.
But I do have some beautiful volunteer geraniums.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Bumper Crop

Have I mentioned the pear crop this year?
 I don't know if it is possible, but I think there are even more than last year.
 Once again, the limbs are sagging under the weight of all the pears.
 Of course you know what this means for J,
more pear sauce!  Maybe I'll be able to make enough where he won't have to be so stingy with it at holidays.  This little blender thing is wonderful, much easier than the potato masher I used last year.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


J was really disappointed that Jessica was lame this summer and unable to go on the Virginia Highlands Challenge endurance ride with me and Hank.  We looked for another ride to go on and found one in South Carolina.  We have been riding lately with that goal in mind.  
Today we road on some nearby trails, about 12 1/2 miles in 2 1/2 hours. We thought this was pretty good until I read on someone else's blog about the North American record holder of 100 miles in 6:58.  I just keep saying "to finish is to win."  Surely we can do 30 mile in 6 hours on flat sand.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Pot of Gold

Had a beautiful scene from the house this morning. 
The rainbow appears to end at a group of cows.  J said it probably means the Hereford will have a million dollar calf.
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