Saturday, August 31, 2013

New Vautler

We did some more horse vaulting at our last 4-H meeting.  I challenged the other adult at the meeting to try it.  She is about my age and an excellent rider but has never done any vaulting before.  Of course she said she would do it if I would.  Well, that wasn't much of challenge because I love to vault, I'm just not quite as flexible as I use to be.
Anyway, she about made it on with her first try.  I think she would have made it had it not been for the saddle pad wadding up.
Her biggest problem was that she wanted to control the horse's speed and kept trying to que him herself which is a big no no in vaulting.
I think we really showed the kids up on this one.   They have a lot more practicing to do to catch us old women.  And once again Hank proved himself a superstar with his quiet patience with everything.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Too Many Peaches

Our little peach tree had a few small peaches last year. 
 J said they were really good and sweet.
 This year the tree is loaded.
 I didn't pay attention to how loaded it really was until it was too late.
The largest main branch has split.  I'm not sure what the tree will look like after we have to saw that one off.  It's still a very young tree so maybe it will be ok.  J has mentioned wanting E to make some peach preserves.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Just Relaxing

Well, not really.  More like catching up.   But at least the goats look comfortable.  
 Frosty and Big Boy enjoy sitting the the window at the barn.
And Sissy found herself a nice spot in the leftover tire rim from the tire trough.
Bumble is getting around better, still limping some but keeping up well.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Virginia Highlands Endurance Challenge 2013

I won't keep you in suspense, WE DID IT!  Thumper finished his first Limited Distance Endurance ride and Jessica finished her 6th.  Thumper is now the 3rd horse I've trained and conditioned for this ride and finished.
 We hauled in on Friday afternoon, after it had finished raining, again.  I think we are the only ones that tie our horses to the trailer.  Everyone else uses portable corrals of one kind or another.
 Jessica weighed in at 1060.
 Thumper was a whopping 1115.  He is getting his number AL painted on his hip after he passed the vet check in.
 After a most uneventful night, we were up and ready for an 8 AM ride start time.  Notice the contrast between Jessica getting ready and the Arabians getting ready.
 This is Thumper getting ready.
 J and I are also the only ones to ride in western saddles and blue jeans.  The saddles are synthetic and only weigh 18 pounds.  I had the only Da Brim helmet brim too.  There was a woman selling tack that took my picture in it because she sells them too.  Cantle bag with spare shoe, duct tape, twine and water bottle, check.  Fanny pack with camera, horse cookies and granola bar, check.  Sponge, Check.  Looks like we are ready to go.
 We took off at just the right time, just behind the fast horses that were really racing but right before everyone else.  That left us pretty much by ourselves for the first 2-3 miles.  We were in and out of this creek for about a mile.
 Occasionally, we would catch up and pass a pair or someone would pass us.  At first Thumper was pretty jumpy about the horses coming up behind but he soon got use to it.
 The weather couldn't have been better.  The humidity finally dropped and the temperature was comfortable in the 70's.  The horses never lost any go, even in the steep climbs.   In fact, we did much more holding back than we did having to push on.
 The view was beautiful coming into the vet check.
 This is the picture I bought from the professional photographer.  I think Thumper really looks pretty.
 It was great for E to meet us at the vet check.  It is so nice to have someone hold your horse so you can get a bite to eat.  The hold is for 1 hour but that hour really flies by.
 The trail back is just the reverse 15 miles up and 15 miles back.
 This is probably one of the worst parts of the trail, very narrow and steep with 180 degree switch backs.
 We passed the final vet check with mostly all A's (B+ for gut sounds and B+ for overall impression). Do we look 75 pounds lighter?
Jessica got all A's.  Does that look like an A for overall impression?  I think J was trying to get her at a bad angle, he succeeded.  Jessica dropped 55 pounds.  They both drank well and ate at every opportunity.
Final placing......Jessica and J 20th   Thumper and K 21st out of 40 starting.  We had a ride time of  5 hour 33 min. pulsing down and finishing with 45 minutes to spare.  (Jessica's first ride that I did with her 4 years ago, we only had 4 minutes to spare.)  We might have been the highest placing non arabian horses there.
I've been having Thmper advertised for sale but since he had done so well I am having second thoughts.  But in the last 24 hours I've had 2 people call very interested in him.  More tough decisions to make.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Just Kit Sunday #20

Kit hanging out on the LTD before V left for college.  He didn't need to go because he is already the smartest cat in the world.  
Stay tuned for the ride update tomorrow.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Friday's Fences #93

There is a single volunteer cone flower that popped up next to my Black Eyed Susans.  
 But wait.  What's that on the other side of the fence?
Yes, we, or should I say J, finally did it.  We bought a new car.  It's a 2014 Subaru Outback.  No extras, but it's NEW.  It's the first NEW car I've ever had.  J bought it and brought me the keys at work on Wednesday.  It only had 27 miles on the odometer.  I was scared to drive it home.  I noticed all of the cars that turned short in front of me and it started raining so hard I was afraid it would start to hail.
V has informed me that she can add a car for free to her parking pass at Tech.  What to do, what to do?  I have to live with E but it would be easier for V to get around town in a smaller vehicle.
For more fences click HERE.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Second Year

V left yesterday to start her second year at Virginia Tech.  This year instead of the dorm she will be living with her grandma.  She had such a bad dorm experience last year that I think she is really looking forward to staying at grandma's house.  
Classes don't start until Monday but she was wanting to get moved in and had some text books to exchange.
Before she left she cooked us a dinner.  She was practicing with her healthy recipe app and made us tater tot casserole.  It was delicious.
We tried to get V and E to hug but this is as close as they would get to each other.  Kit Kat was pretty cool about the whole thing.
With all of the horse riding to get ready for this weekend I wasn't able to go with her.  I'll go up next week to help her with her room.  She is staying in my old room so I think there is still some stuff in there I need to move out.
Bye V, we love you and miss you already.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Should Have Stuck With Egg and Spoon

The State 4-H Horse Show is less than a month away.  I've been trying to find a local show for E to take Pep to for a little more practice.  Since Otoelene is the back up horse she needed some practice too, especially in new places.  There just weren't any good shows around so we went to a small local show that they have every month.  It had been 6 years since we last attended one.  One of the rules is "No Firearms Allowed."  You may be in trouble if you have to post that as one of your rules.  But we needed the practice so we went. 
 It was an evening show, starting at 6 pm.  The temp was in the 60's and it was drizzling rain the whole evening.  The turtle neck I chose felt good.  One of the first riding classes was Mule Go As You Please.  The judge switched with someone else and rode in the class.  Then they had a mule race.  The judge's mule tripped and tumbled tail over ears which left the judge too injured to continue with the show.  I'm not sure who replaced him but it could have been the mule owner.  Let me also say that it was noted by several people that it was good to see us there as new faces.  Apparently, it's just the same group every month.  They earn points for year end club awards and I'm sure the replacement judge was a club member.
 Pep and E did their usual thing, a nice ranch type western pleasure (a little too extended for AQHA western pleasure).  There were plenty of obstacles with the umbrellas all around the ring.
Would you believe 4th in Youth Go As You Please with this line up.  In Open GAYP she got 5th out of 12.  The judge pulled out 3 for a work out where one broke for a 1/4 of the ring and still got  3rd.  The 4th place horse was shown in draw reins. (totally illegal show equipment)
Otoelene did pretty good but not her best.  She still doesn't like the secretary stands much.   But she was slow with her head down and picked up her leads well so I was pleased.
But we only managed 5 out of the 6 in this line up.   As I said, I should have stuck with Egg and Spoon.  Otoelene could have gotten the same experience and I wouldn't be so irritated.
Still, I was encouraged with Pep's attitude.  She didn't let the gaited horses running up her tail get to her.   And anytime I can take Otoelene somewhere new that's good too.
Well, the Endurance Ride is this Saturday and that's a whole different ball of wax.

Monday, August 19, 2013

New Job For Jessica

True to his word, J decided to round up the weaned fall calves on horse back.  But this time he chose Jessica instead of Hank so I got to ride him.  
 The calves were on the backside of the hill in front of the house with the horses.  They were being sent out to Nebraska today so we got them in the barn field yesterday.
 Jessica was pulling some of her old tricks and trying to act spooky when J caught her so to play it safe he used his endurance helmet.
But there were no worries.  As soon as she saw that he wasn't falling for her bully tactics she settled down and did great.  
 You can get a little idea of the steepness from this picture.  
Then up and over and down to the water tank.
"Uh oh," says Hank, "there are only 34, you said there should be 38."  So back out and around the field.  
 "There they are."  Hank found them under some hedge apple trees.
Jessica looks like an old pro with the cattle now.  J was very pleased.  Now they are on the truck headed for Circle 5 Feed yard.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Just Kit Sunday #19 (or Where in the World is Kit?)

Wow! A bonus Sunday Blog.  Two in one day.  What's up with that?  I guess there is just so much going on around here it takes more than one post to try to cover it all.  
 Do you see Kit here?
How about now?  It's a big territory out there for such a sweet little cat.
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