Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Herd Work

This is the time of year we have to get the spring calving cow/calf pairs up to work.  
 Since it is summer vacation, we have some built in helpers.  V rode up on the 4-wheeler and I rode Hank.  This farm is a little over 2 miles up the gravel road from our house so it makes for a nice horse back ride.
 J was in charge and gave us all directions.  Getting the cattle in the pens was a breeze.
 We then sorted the cows and calves.
 Don't they look pitiful without their moms.   It's a pretty uniform bunch though.
 V was a real pro at the headgate.  This one is older and hangs up sometimes but she soon got it figured out.
 We vaccinated the cows and ear tagged,castrated,implanted and vaccinated the calves.
 E was practicing her pharmacy skills by mixing the vaccine and drawing up the right amount.
 J's ear tagging system has changed over the years.  He use to tag the calves with the mom's number preceded by the last digit of the year.  The problem came when he would keep heifers. Then sometimes we would have several calves with the same number (mom, daughters, granddaughters all with the same number having calves).  It also meant he had to catch the calves at birth to tag them.  He has since gotten tired, smart and waits to tag them when we work them.  But this means he doesn't always know the mom's number so now it is just random.
Everything went well and Hank patiently waited for the return trip home.  Now we have to do the 80 here and the house on Friday.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Cripple Creek Days Parade

Our saddle club was invited to ride in a local Memorial Day parade today. 
 It is a very small community and the parade route was a small loop.  I was able to see part of it through the trees as we were riding in the back (where parades always put the horses.)
 J rode Jessica.
 I think the front of the parade quit and we passed them.
 Two different fire departments were represented.
 The tractor club had an excellent turnout.
 We rode with two other members of our club.  I rode Hank as you can see by his ear.
 The festivities continued with food and music after the parade.  But J and I just kept going and went on a 2 1/2 hour trail ride instead.
This was where we went trail riding. 
 The parade route did have a few distractions.    This dog jumped out barking ferociously.  Jessica didn't care much for it.

 I would be interested to see what their idea of "clean" is.
Then there was this group watching the parade.
I didn't take his picture but I was very impressed by an military officer in full uniform watching the parade.
Thank you to our military.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Just entered this  Win a Horse Show Makeover contest.  Send us a picture and tell us about your show fashion dilemma in 500 words or less.  I think I could have a good chance. 
Just look at me.  Hank deserves so much better.  Even though I've only owned him two short years, Hank and I have done everything together.  Hank really excels in the hunter show ring  and I would like to at least compliment his talent and not detract from it by wearing such a pitiful out of date outfit.  When I dug this jacket out of the closed for a show last week my husband said, "1975 called and wants their polyester back."  The jacket was used when I bought it back in 1980.  I don't think the color of the breeches was even in style when I bought them new the same year.  I tried on the entire outfit to make sure it would fit the night before the show.  Everything that is except for the shirt.  I never gave it a second thought that my 18 year old daughter's show shirt would not fit.  Needless to say, the separate Velcro collar is hiding the top buttons that wouldn't close.  I'm not overweight but I do have large calves for my size so I thought half chaps with paddock boots would be a good substitute for show boots.  It took me two years to find a pair that I could get zipped. And I didn't even think about gloves until I was in the lineup and saw the other riders wearing them.  And lastly, what about the glare off of that helmet?  Need I  say more?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Goat friends

 J was tired of chasing Jessica to catch her the other day so he put her in the barn lot with the billy goat for a few days.  (someone asked about the fence, it's7 strand high tensile with 3 strands electric, and yes the billy goat is staying put).
When we got back from the horse show Saturday this is what I found. 
I couldn't believe she was letting the billy goat nibble on her neck.  She usually hates to be touched or even brushed.  I guess he just knew the right spot.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Riding debut

We finally got to a horse show this spring.  It was a local show with a judge I don't care much for but I was really wanting to show Otoelene in a walk/trot class.  
 We started out with Open Western Halter.  Otoelene was the first one in the ring and stood perfectly.  She was calm and quite the entire time.  She didn't place out of ten horses but I didn't really expect her to.  She just turned 2 April 30th.
 E showed in Youth Showmanship.  They did a simple pattern but then the Judge didn't even walk over to  do an inspection. He just stood 20 feet away and nodded then placed the class.   One more thing to show he doesn't have a clue. E then showed in Youth Western Pleasure which was a disaster.  Pep stubbed up and wouldn't lope well either way.  She is barefoot and there was 4 inches of course gravel in the ring.  E didn't take her back for anymore rail classes.
 I took Otoelene in Open Go As You Please.  She did wonderful.  She was quite and consistent.  She never spooked at anything.  The other horses were of no concern.
 I still have a lot of work to do on her head set but I was ecstatic about her attitude.  This was the first time we had hauled her any where to ride.  I walked her all over the show grounds with no problems, she even walked over the bridge they had out for trail class.
 There were 2 hunter classes for Hank.  He was his usual Steady Eddie self.  In the line up the judge had to ask if hunters were use to picking up the canter from the walk or did that mess us up.  I should have said "So you don't know how to judge hunters either?"  But I didn't, I just said yes we can canter from a walk, it's not a problem.  3rd out of 4 in both classes.  Oh well, we earned our money back anyway.
 E finally redeemed herself with Pep in the trail class.  Opened and closed the rope gate,
 trotted over poles (well, fasted walked over them because they were spaced too far apart for her),
 stood for the rain slicker on both sides,
 no problem with the bridge,
 and through the L back.  There was a big round of applause when she finished.
 And the blue ribbon goes to....
And we can't forget J.  He was an excellent driver and groom for the day.  The paybacks were good and we were only out $5 in entry fees for the day.  Very successful outing for Otoelene's first ride.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


She made it!  Or should I say, "We made it!"  There was never any doubt she would.
 V has her high school diploma and was 4th in her class.
 There were 87 graduates in this year's class.  I think they started the year with 100.   The weather was nice enough to have the ceremony outside on the football field so there was no restrictions on how many could attend.
 V was recognized for her scholarship from the Bristol Jr. Steer Show, and she received the Anchor and Hope Scholarship for $4000 which is also renewable for 3 more years.  YAY!!!
 The graduates did all throw their hats but all very tame.  Our family was yelling so loud when V got her diploma I missed the picture.
 But we got a nice family shot under J's sign at the stadium for having his football number retired.  #50 All State Line Backer.  He could have gone pro if he was a foot taller and 100 pounds heavier.
V got lots of cards and money.  But the biggest smile came with Uncle M's gift.  I think she will enjoy her iPad.  We had a great time with all of the family that was able to come.
Job well done, we're proud of you V.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Repairs and Maintenance

Farming is not always fun and exciting.  Sometimes there are little projects that someone needs to do. 
 99% of the time that someone is J.
 Today it was nailing down some loose tin on a corn crib roof.  By the look of the shed I'm not sure a few nails in the roof will help it much.  It's not even a building we use for anything.  Maybe it will help to keep a cow from getting injured by flying tin during the next wind storm.
J is doing a little construction for me too.  This is a soon to be hitching post outside the new barn.  It will be convenient to tie to when we bathe and clip the horses.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

More Graduations

Farming as taken a backseat temporarily.  There is a lot of family stuff going on.   My nephew Eric graduated from Virginia Tech with Honors this weekend. 
 He finished his degree in Turf Grass Management in just 3 years.  This in part was due to the college credits he earned when he went to Governor's School in High School.  We are hoping V will benefit like this.
 This was the view from our seats.  I thought the picture looks like "Where's Waldo?"
 For some reason it's a blank with me about getting my undergraduate diploma.  I remember going to Lane Stadium for the graduation address but then it's just a blank.  Kathy, if you remember let me know.
And the proud family.  J still can't believe he's brother has such tall sons.  He wants to know why our girls are so "shrimpy."   Congratulations Eric on a job well done.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Fridays Fences

Looks like the link to Fridays Fences has changed but I already had these pictures in mind for of a fence or through a fence.   E got to play in another tennis match this week.  She is 7th seed on the team and they only play 6 unless the other team has 7.  Three of the girls will graduate this year so E will defiantly move up as a sophomore next year. 
 E and her teammate won their doubles match.
 And E easily won the singles.  Her coach wants her to challenge the 6th seed because she lost her match and they play the same team next week.  Her coach thinks E has a better chance at beating the other girl than her teammate does.  I've been pleasantly surprised at how much E is enjoying tennis. This is the first year she has ever played.
The high school awards were last night.

E's awards:  Outstanding Achievement in World History, Outstanding Student in Geometry and Highest Average in French II (I had to drop french 2 in high school because I was doing so poorly and found out you didn't need a foreign language to major in Animal Science at VA Tech.).

V's awards:  Top 10% Class 2012 (she's #4), Governor's Certificate of Recognition for successful completion of the rigorous requirements for Early College Scholars Program, Attendance for Governor's School for Math and Technology, NOCTI Competency Assessment in the field of Business Info Processing.
Governor's School Awards and graduation are next week.
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