Saturday, June 29, 2013

4R's Family Vacation, Day 1

 We rented a full sized car to travel in thinking M would be joining us in Denver, but due to unforeseen circumstances he had to back out.  Looking at the state of the car so far, it may have been a good thing. I'm not sure where we would have put him or his stuff.
Stopped at Wendy's for lunch and Cracker Barrel for dinner and made it 650 miles to St. Louis.  Our Chevy Captiva drives very smooth.  No one has gotten sore or stiff yet.
We unloaded and checked into a hotel that we booked on the road using V's phone.  It sounded and looked good on the little screen but the room they gave us was totally unacceptable.  It had a sleep sofa that was stained and broken to the point you would roll out on the floor.  When I complained they moved us to a double room that had already undergone some remodeling.  I wondered if they had a nice room why on earth would they try to make someone stay in the horrible one.  Hope to see the Arch tomorrow.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Friday's Fences #87

When E was taking flower pictures for me, she saw this angry bird.
It was angry at Kit and trying to attack him.
For more Friday's Fences click HERE.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

What's Blooming

Endless Summer Hydrangea is aptly named.  It truly blooms like this all summer.
The butterfly bushes are starting to bloom,
as is the phlox.
I love the sweep of daylilies  that I have along the driveway.
And E caught the first black-eyed-Susan blooming.  Thanks E, for taking some great pictures for me.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

How to Make Twine Reins

Years ago, when my grandparents were feeding square baled hay, my grandfather would always collect the strings then use them to start fires in the shop wood stove.  My grandmother thought this was wasteful and wanted to use the twine for something useful.  My sister C set out to see what she could make with it.  One of the most useful things for me that she came up with were reins.  
 Start with 3 pieces of twine, folded over so you will be braiding with six strands.  The ends need to be staggered, more on that later.
 A simple 3 strand braid to make a loop,
 then start braiding with the six strands together.  It basicly is just weaving, take the top strand and just weave over/under.  The loop will be used to run the end through to connect it to the bit.
 When one of the pieces starts to get short (and this is why you stagger, so you are only adding pieces one at a time) another piece of twine needs to be added to increase the length.  I first fray the edges,
 then mush them together,
 then twist them tight.  I try to have enough overlay to complete a full braid.  The more overlap, the stronger the completed rein will be.
 On this set I sewed the end to a snap to make a set of looped reins.
 If I'm making split reins, I sew the end and leave some to fray.
Here's a set of split reins, about 7 1/2 feet long, 
and here are the looped reins, about 10 feet long.   A set will last several years and they never need cleaning, and they are FREE.
They really are not that rough, maybe a little to start with but the more they are used the smoother they get.  What have you made out of twine?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Show Time, Again

It seems like all we have been doing lately is going to horse shows.  Saturday was the 4-H District qualifying show for State.  V has decided not to show this, her last year, so we just had E with 3 horses.  She plans on showing Pep at State but that was her plan last year and as you remember she ended up showing Hank at the last minute because Pep got a hoof abscess 3 days before the show.   This year she will have Otoelene and Hank as backups for Pep. 
 Showmanship with Pep went well and E got first place.
 Next came Senior Western Pleasure where they got 2nd.
 Then switching the saddle over to Otoelene and going in Go-As-You-Please.
 It was a big class and they got 6th out of 15.  (I was sort of thinking 2nd or 3rd but Otoelene did brake when they  asked for the pleasure gait in order to scratch her face on her leg and of course the judge was watching)  We also go an official measurement on her, 14.3 1/4, which was about 2 inches taller than I thought she was.
 The saddle got switched back to Pep for Horsemanship where E had to do a pattern, trot-stop-360 to right-lope right lead-stop-side pass to right-lope left lead-stop-back-trot to rail all in a straight line.  She pulled off 1st in that class too.
 Next was trail which didn't go so well.  I've never seen Pep's eyes do big at the obstacles.  She still managed 5th.  
Then it was time for Hank.  E said he did not deserve his Wonder Horse status this time.  She wanted to show him western  so she wouldn't have to change clothes.  She only had to take him in one class to qualify him so she was just running him through the trail class.  I've only ridden Hank in a snaffle for the 3 years we've had him but for western he needed a curb bit.  I'm pretty sure he had been ridden in a tom thumb but he sure hated it at the show.  I changed him to Pep's mylar bit but that didn't help much either.  E managed to get him through the class but it wasn't pretty.  He went from 6th out of 70+ in trail at the state show last year to not even placing in this much simpler class.  Amazing what practice and the right bit can do, or the reverse, just hop on with the wrong bit.
No horse shows on the calender for at least the next two weeks.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Reining Clinic

Our 4-H club was fortunate enough to have a local reining trainer come out and give us pointers on reining maneuvers.
We had great weather for the clinic, just not a good turnout.  It continues to flabbergast me that I set up these activities and there is no charge to attend and no one comes.
E decided to save Pep's feet and took Otoelene instead.  She's not ready for reining yet but did get some good work on pivots and lead departures. 
I took Thumper for fun and to get him some exercise.  He had had some reining training before we got him.  He was doing well getting back into the swing of it. (I'm really not pulling back as hard as it looks in that picture).  J ended up working on fences and didn't ride with us.  Great day with a great instructor who was nice enough to volunteer his time. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Kit Cat Sunday #16

Kit Cat and cattle.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Friday's Fences #86

Here are a few fences from earlier this week when we weaned our fall calves. 
Through a fence, 
behind a fence, 
and in front of a fence. 
We are weaning the calves a little early this year.  Even though we have had plenty of rain so far, there just wasn't enough grass at that farm.  J had had the thistles sprayed last fall which also kills the clover.  Apparently, the clover made up more of the pasture than was taken into account.  It will come back but just not in time for this group of calves. 
For more Friday's Fences click HERE.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Warning! Horse Show Pictures Ahead

Our Saddle Club had it's summer show on Saturday.  It was a long a busy day.  Sort of tough trying to help with the show while showing in it too.  Luckily, E has become self sufficient with Pep and pretty much only asked for me to put her hair up in a bun.  
 Her first class was Youth Showmanship where she aced the pattern,
 and got 1st out of 6.  I was the ring master/ribbon girl for the halter classes and got to give her her blue ribbon.
 Next was Youth Western Pleasure.  Pep was back in form and won that class too.  I really like the pink saddle blanket instead of the black one she had been using.  It shows up nicely.
 E and Pep took advantage of the time between classes to catch a little shut-eye.  She ended up winning youth go-as-you-please also.

 We had a great personal cheering section, Papa R and Grandma S showed up to watch the girls show.
 V had to work until 4 but came straight to the show.  She got there 1 class before her's and I sent her straight to the trailer to get ready.  She literally showed up and got on and went in the ring with Hank.
 She got 2nd in Open Hunter Pleasure and 1st in English Go-As-You-Please.
 Not to be left out, I took Otoelene and showed her in Open Western Pleasure.She still doesn't care much for the disruptive entries but is learning to tolerate it better.
She does much better around the quite horses or off by herself.  We ended up 4/12 in Open Western Pleasure and 4th in Jr. Horse Go-As-You-Please.  E and I both showed in Open Western Go-As-You-Please but out of 16 horses neither of us placed. (Although I did ask the judge afterwards and he admitted that Otoelene was the better horse.  He might have said Pep was better if E had asked)
 I had been practicing ride-a-buck with Otoelene to try and repeat my win from last year on Thumper, but she has a roll of fat behind her shoulder that just pushes the dollar out from under my leg as soon as she canters.  So, I tried egg and spoon instead.  It had to be the flattest spoon and roundest egg ever and pretty tough on a 3 year old that doesn't quite neck rein yet.  But we were able to pull off 2nd out of 12 in that class.
And last but not least, I tried Hank in speed barrel.  Boy, does he love to run.  J said I needed to act my age.  I decided someone riding western pleasure shouldn't take off on a fast horse around a barrel again.  I managed to hang on and got a time of 10.4 seconds.  Not good enough to place out of 20 but respectable enough.  I stayed and helped in the concessions for the rest of the show while the rest took the horses home.  A very good day for a show with a great turnout.  I warned you about the pictures, hope you enjoyed the show.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

More Visitors

My nephew Matt brought his girlfriend Rochelle for a visit from Florida this weekend.  They spent the day Sunday with us doing some of the things on Rochelle's list of things to do.  Of course, visiting us means riding horses.  
 We decided Pep would suit Rochelle best for her first horseback ride.
 After some instructions and some practice walking she thought she was ready to trot.  The first effort met with, "I think that is too fast."  Remember Pep is E's western pleasure pony so she only goes so fast. (which is pretty slow)
 She finally got the hang of it and tried again.  I think she had fun.
 Matt gave vaulting on Hank a whorl.  I'm not sure Hank thought much of it judging from his expression.
 Matt was willing to try the Airplane move but refused the windmill, flag or scissors.
 I think he was ready for the dismount, "ta da!"
 V took a spin on Brother.  All of the extra activity was good for him.
Also on Rochelle's list was braiding a horse mane.  The picture doesn't do it justice, Otoelene's mane was beautiful.  She started working on Hank's tail but we ran out of time.  Also accomplished was playing Monopoly, eating s'mores, hiking (to get the horses), and seeing the goats.  We're ready for another round of visitors anytime.
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