Friday, August 31, 2012

Fridays Fences #48 Sissy's Escape

I had a request for more Kit Cat pics so I was trying to please my reader when,
 someone else wanted in the action.
 Sissy is still going where ever she pleases.
 She is still pretty good about staying around the barn so far but J is hinting at the fact that she may end up on the trailer when we sell the kids in the fall.
It looks like Kit was frozen in place.
How's that for of or through a fence.
For more Fridays Fences click HERE.

p.s. My blog didn't make the finals for the contest our aunt entered us in so no worries about having to vote.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tell Me It Isn't So

It can't be time for this already. 
 It is still only August.
 The leaves aren't suppose to change until fall.
 The calendar says it is still summer.
Tell me it isn't so.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Virginia Highlands Endurance Challenge, Part 2

As promised, here is the conclusion to our ride Saturday.  After Hank's shoe was replaced we had a little time to eat a snack and drink some water while the horses grazed.  Jessica got all A's on the vet check but Hank got an A- for gut sounds and I was a little worried that he didn't have as much time to eat because of the shoeing.  
But he cooled out well and was ready to head back up and over the mountain. 
 This is J's first professional picture of him in action on an endurance ride with Jessica.  I think this was the fittest she has ever been.  J has put in a lot of hours riding her this summer.
 Mine with Hank looks identical to last year's except my eyes are closed.
 Because it was so hectic without a crew we were another minute late heading back out so that little group in the distance got ahead of us.  It really is amazing how every minute really counts.  In the ride meeting they said, "Never tarry and never hurry."   So true, both can get you in trouble.
 The endurance riders call this a technical ride.  If technical means 80% of the trail is covered in rocks, there are long, steep inclines and descents, killer bees and hornets, hair raising narrow switch backs, mud, bogs, sand, cattle, tree roots and gullies, and a 2500 foot change in elevation, then I guess this was technical.  One rider was bucked off in the range land and had to be taken to the hospital with a broken vertebra and concussion.  There was also a section along the forest service road where someone hung a stuffed horse in a tree and blocked the trail with a 4 wheeler.  Apparently, he doesn't like horse riders and has caused trouble before taking down trail markers.
 Jessica stayed in front for most of the ride.  At times she would slow down a bit and Hank would take over the lead.  Hank is a very courageous and big hearted horse and always does everything I ask.  He is so amazing but has the biggest, roughest trot in the world.  I see all of these Arabian riders going around with those sheep skin padded saddles and think, how can you trot that fast and sit down.  I even have to stand up for Hank's walk because it can be rough too.
 Two Arabians passed us in the last mile but they stopped to sponge off.  I jerked off the saddle and checked Hank's pulse which was already down to 60 and checked in.  We were 21st and J and Jessica were 22nd.  Our total ride time not counting the hold was 5 hours 45 minutes.  This was 4 minutes faster than my time last year where we were 9th.  I guess the competition was steeper this year.
 The horses were very anxious to graze after the ordeal.
 Jessica had lost 48 pounds and Hank had lost 65.
We wanted to get home before dark so we left before the awards, they were still waiting on 2 riders to finish the 50 mile ride.  I'll have to wait until they post the results to see how many finished.  There was only one other local rider and her horse was pulled because a lameness.  She had done the ride for 5 years now and has not received a completion.
The other horses were very excited to get their pasture buddies back and I was happy to sleep in my soft bed.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Virginia Highlands Endurance Challenge, Part 1

We just returned from our latest outing, a 30 mile limited distance endurance ride held just down the road from us.  This was my 4th time doing this ride and J's 2nd. 
 We went Friday afternoon for the pre ride vet check and camped out in the horse trailer.
 There was a set of horse scales there so we did a pre ride weight check.  Jessica weighed in at 1040 and Hank tipped the scales at 1150, 15 pounds heavier than last year.  A lot of the Arabians looked to be in the 8-900 pound range.
 Then it was on to the number writer,
 and pre vet check.  Hank and Jessica both passed with all A's.
 We went on a short ride to get them loosened up then got them settled for the night.  Very few of the endurance riders tie to the trailer.  Most have little corrals they set up.  We haven't gotten that fancy yet.
 In fact, we still ride in jeans.  I haven't been able to convince J to wear stretchy pants yet.  Before the ride started, Jessica took one of her stubborn bucking fits so J had to lunge her for about 10 minutes and she acted fine after that.   But, this put us about 1 minute past the start so we really didn't see much in front except for this group of about 6 and they went on and we didn't see them again until the first water stop 6 mile in.
The ride to the half way point was pretty uneventful until the 4 miles through the open range land when...HANK LOST A SHOE!  This has been my worst nightmare.  I even had my farrier out on Friday morning to check the shoes because that one was a little loose.  He pulled and replaced 2 nails and thought that would keep it tight enough for the ride, oh well.   Luckily, there was only about 2 more miles, mostly pasture.  When we got to a rocky area I stopped and put on a new Hoof Wrap pad I had just gotten from Tractor Supply.  It went on quick and actually worked pretty well and got up into the half way vet check without limping.   We made the first 15 miles in 2 hours, 45 minutes which was 4 minutes ahead of my time last year even with the shoe issue.  There was a mandatory 50 minute hold and miracles of miracles, a farrier was there and was able to put a new shoe on Hank.
We had no crew to help us this year (V at college and E stayed home) so things were more hectic for us at the hold.  Also, this is why the picture taking is more limited.
Stay tuned for tomorrow's conclusion.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Fridays Fences #47

I never gave E's results for the show on Saturday.  Looks like Fridays Fences will have to do double duty. 
 Pep did fine.  The footing in the ring was good, no gravel.  Pep hasn't had shoes on for two years now and has been doing well but we are always concerned about another abscess.  This is the same show grounds that had the flags on the fence last time.  Someone was walking around with flags but they were taking them off the fence for some reason.
 Pep did mess up in trail, wouldn't open the gate.  I told E she will need to practice it everyday she rides so that won't happen at State.
E was 2nd in showmanship , didn't place in trail or Go As You Please then she won 1st in youth western pleasure.  We were very pleased with how Pep and E performed  even if the judge didn't appreciate it as much as we did.
For more Fridays Fences click HERE.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Moving Out

Virginia Tech, here we come.  V moved out today and into a dorm on campus.  Classes start Monday.  Don't know what she'll do exactly until then.  I'm sure it will be something constructive. 
 She had the Rav packed to the hilt.
 She managed to get this pile of stuff that has been sitting in the living room for weeks
 all into here.
 Then she realized she forgot the microwave.  With a little rearranging J was able to fit that in too.  I had to work today so I missed the dorm room.  J said they had to make 6 trips to get everything.  Her roommate comes tomorrow.
Kit tried to pack himself but couldn't fit.  E's already making plans to knock a hole in the wall into V's room to make her room bigger. (not going to happen)
I miss you already V.  Love you.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

4-H Arena Day

We had a 4-H meeting at the arena on Sunday. (Yes, horse show Saturday, arena Sunday.  I think J may be getting tired of hauling us around)
 We had 4 kids and only one was mine this time. (V didn't go)
 E and Katelyn are both taking their horses to the State Show next month.  One on the classes is trail which has a required gate.  So, there was lots of practicing with the gate.
 E will also have a Working Western class that is a very simple version of a reining pattern.  She did some practicing with that.
 We brought Hank for Jordyn to ride.
Her feet don't even reach past the saddle pad but Hank did everything she asked.  She didn't canter at first because she said it was easier on  Spot  (the paint we gave her a couple of years ago)  but I told her once she got use to it Hank would be easy too.  Sure enough, she was cantering laps around the ring.  She finally got off after 2 hours and everyone else having already left the ring.  We might get her to ride in a beginner class at a show next month.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Thumper's First Show

We went to a horse show on Saturday with Pep and Thumper.  I had advertised Thumper for sale earlier this year and started riding him lots to get him ready for any potential buyers.  Several older women called or looked but wanted something more broke.  I kept telling them he's broke but just needs to be ridden, so I'm now doing the riding. 
 And just like I've said, he's a good horse.
 He was calm all day, looked sideways at a thing or two but no blow ups.
 I rode him in the ring a lot but only entered one  Adult Go As You Please Class.  He did very well, a little faster than I would like for western pleasure, more of a ranch horse speed but still very comfortable.  And this was only the second time he's had a curb bit.  The first time was the day before.  I always just ride in a snaffle.
There were gaited, hunter and western all together and the other horses passing a various gaits didn't bother him either. We ended up 5th out of 8.  I guess not too bad for his first time.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

First Day

E's first day of 10th grade was Thursday.
 This is the first year she has not shared her first day with V.
 What to wear on the first day is always important.
I think she's ready.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Fridays Fences #46 and Shipping Cattle

Two posts for the price of one!
 OK, here's the fence.  I liked how the dew was dripping off of the gate with the barn lot fence in the background.
 J had me up and out at the crack of dawn to get the cattle in the lot.
 As usual, they were easier to tow than drive so J just pulled one of the feed troughs into the lot.  I think they look a little suspicious.
 But the draw of the feed overcame any apprehension and most of them came on in.  With a little help from the backside, I drove the other in too.
 There is always one hold out but in this case it was ok.  It was an AI bred Hereford heifer we where keeping anyway.
Oh, a bonus fence.  We shipped out a load of 70 head with an average weight of  #702, heavier than usual for us which is nice for a change.  They are now on their way to a feedlot in Nebraska.
For more Friday Fences click HERE.
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