Thursday, April 30, 2015

Good Fences #58

Foggy morning on the ranch. 

For more Good Fences click HERE.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Triplets, The New Twins

We use to have twins with the goats more often than anything else.  It seems like this year triplets have taken over. 
 In 2013 we had 7 sets of triplets.
 In 2014 we had 11 sets.
 So far this year with around 8 more left to kid, we have had 15 sets of triplets.  And that is not taking into account the 2 sets of quadruplets.
 Some nannies are great about keeping up with 3 but others just cull one out and won't let it nurse any.  Sometimes one gets weaker than the others and doesn't keep up.
 Plus, being goats, they really only have the equipment for 2.
So this is what has been happening to the rejects, off to the dog pen in the barn.  I am  up to 8 bottle goats now.  And let me tell you, feeding time can be a little bit crazy.  Plus, we have one nanny that is somewhat off recently so I'm sure I'll be feeding hers this afternoon.  Anyone want a baby goat?

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Emily Jane Hilscher Memorial Horse Show 2015

In order to qualify for our State 4-H Horse Show, E needed to show in a district qualifying show.  There is one in June but we decided to go ahead and get it over with and show at one on Saturday.  It was put on by a group at Virginia Tech as a fundraiser for the Emily Jane Hilscher Scholarship fund.  Emily Jane was tragically killed during the shootings at Tech a few years ago.  
The weather was terrible, rain and in the 40's, not your ideal horse show weather.   Brother was pretty keyed up to start with but after 45 minutes of trotting and cantering he was ready to go.
 I went ahead and showed him in a couple of classes before E rode him.  He was awesome and won the Adult Western walk/jog class.
 Then we came back in and won the Adult Western walk/jog/lope class.  There were 4 classes in the division but since I only showed in 2 we were Reserve Champion for which I won a $20 gift card to an online tack store.
 E was qualifying 3 horses and only had to ride each one in one class.  She showed Brother in an equitation class with a pattern and had some trouble steering him and placed 5th.   The above picture was taken during happier times when E was still smiling before the down pouring of rain.
 Her first class with Pep was Adult Western Go As You Please which she handily won.
 But then the rain started and Pep was not happy.  We did however learn how to get her to tuck her nose in.  She really does not like rain pelting on her face.
 E showed in Ranch Walk/Trot, Ranch Walk/Trot/Canter and Ranch Reining.  The horse behind her won the walk/trot class.  I think the judge really liked its extension.
 It was the biggest class of the day with 13 entries.  E was 4th in it and 3rd in W/T/C.  When the Ranch Reining was about to start they announced that they were going to change the pattern from the AQHA Ranch Pleasure Pattern 1 to a real reining pattern.  Let me just say you cannot do that at a show as the class is starting.  Everyone had signed up at the beginning and the pattern was posted.  The first horse was getting ready to walk in the ring and you now want to change the pattern?  Well, I could not stand idly by on this one and had to go straighten them out while everyone else was running to scratch out of the class.  Reason prevailed and the class went on with the original pattern.  One of the riders thanked me for making a stand.  Pep's pattern wasn't perfect, a little head tossing when asked to extend the lope but that was about all.  She placed 2nd behind someone that forgot to back.  The rules state that a horse that performs all of the elements places above one that doesn't.  Since I knew the judge I asked her after the show why she placed E down.  Apparently, she didn't notice that the other rider completely forgot to back up.  Oh well.  It wasn't as bad as last week where she placed behind the horse that turned the wrong way and didn't change leads.  At least she is moving up in the placings.
 This was Pep while she wasn't being ridden, head pressing at the trailer.
 By the time trail class rolled around (the last class of the day) we were regretting not taking Hank in Showmanship (the first class).  E was soaked through, frozen and miserable.
Hank, who had been tried to the trailer all day and not ridden in who knows how long except to be vaulted on last week, was in no way prepared for his class.  But E made it in and out of the ring with him which was all that mattered.  Oh, and the hunters, they got to show in the indoor Virginia Tech Alfred Stuart Arena.
All this so we have a free weekend in June.  I think we might be just a little bit crazy.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

More Flood Pictures

There is still a lot of fence repairs are cleanup to do since the flooding earlier this week. 
 You can see the debris in the fence way out in the middle of the field and how high the water got were the grass if flattened.
 The water washed in all kinds of stuff.
 Including the Noah's Ark log.
 We are really hoping that E has a graduation bonfire and brings over lots of friends to pick all this stuff up.
 This was a disturbing sight.   She died trying to calve and washed in from who only knows where.  Anyone know who has CHY on their ear tags?
 And remember the water gaps.  They are all now non existent.
 Trash, trash and more trash.
And this was where those little calve crossed last week.   Guess we'll just add this to our list of things to do.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Good Fences #57 After the Flood

We had over 2 inches of rain on Sunday.  There was severe flooding throughout the county and schools were closed on Monday.
J holding his head in his hands
Depression hit J hard as he went out to inspect the damage.   Remember his dream, to have a farm with all new fences.  HERE
Well, what use to be new and good has washed away.  This section had 7 posts pulled out of the ground and the fence broken.  
 The water got up so high that all the debris caught in the fence.  With the pressure of the water behind it, the fence just gave way.  100's of feet of our fences along the creek are ruined.
 Since E was out of school we put her to work.  We pulled all of the staples out of the fence posts so we could pull the wire back up.  J put in 3 temporary steel posts and we tied the wire up to them.
While we were doing this it rained and hailed another inch.
This section is not as good as it was but at least it might turn the cattle until we can get a permanent fix done.
For more Good Fences click HERE.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Beginning Horse Vaulting

I had 9 count 'em 9 4-Her's show up to our club meeting on Sunday.  This is all a pretty new group of kids and none of them have been to the previous vaulting meetings so we started  at the beginning with the basics.
 Everyone had to practice on my make shift vaulting horse before going to the real thing.  I had them start with just some compulsory moves first.  We did the basic seat, the windmill, flag and heal click - precursor to scissors.
 Everyone was game to try.  A couple of 4-Her's tried mounting at the trot but no one was successful for that so we just used a bucket to get on.
 After everyone went through a couple of times at the walk or stand still I started letting them try other things.
 Two girls wanted to try the windmill at the canter instead of the walk.  There is really no point trying anything on Hank at the trot because you would just get bounced off.
They both made it 3/4 of the way around before slipping off to the outside.  Hank was such a trooper putting up with everyone spinning at twirling around on top of him.  He was very patient walking and would stop if someone was losing their balance.  He really lived up to his name of Hank the Wonder Horse.  I think this group is looking forward to the next time we do this.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Picture Heavy Show Results

Our Saddle Club had its first show of the season Saturday.  We had a moderated turnout.  The weather was beautiful but with all the resent rain the ring was a bit of a mud hole. 
E complained it was too early for a show and Pep hadn't finished shedding out and looked like an Icelandic pony.   And because the ring was so muddy we had the halter classes outside the ring.  E did great in showmanship and won a blue ribbon.
Shay, a girl in our 4-H club wanted to try and show Brother.  She was only able to come practice on him twice while he was doing perfect in the barn.  So at the show when he wasn't doing perfect she wasn't prepared with how to handle him.  
Plus, some of the other horses misbehaving around him and the mud didn't help things much.  
 She made it through the classes but didn't place in anything except Jr. Horse GAYP where she won against one other horse.
 Pep was her usual steady eddy self despite E only riding her twice in the last 6 months.  I'm sure she would say that is an exaggeration but if it is not by much.  She was 3rd in Stock Horse GAYP and 2nd in Ranch Horse GAYP.
 I took Otoelene to  play with and took her in Riding for Charity GAYP.  No pay back in the class and all the entry fees went to St. Jude.  We placed 5th in that class.  
 But the class I was really wanting to do was Ranch Horse Pleasure which was a pattern class.  Even with the mud and bog area Otoelene was a dream.  She sped up and slowed down, changed leads and pivoted perfectly.  She was just a little slow to lope off from the stop but we still got 2nd.
 E had signed up for the pattern class but wanted to scratch because she was afraid Pep wouldn't go through the mud.
 I made her do it anyway and her only fault was that she broke for a few stride to a trot from the lope when she got bogged down in the deepest mud.
 But she had an excellent pattern and I had her 3rd but she ended up not placing.  Some how the judge thought someone that went off pattern and turned to the right instead of the left as the pattern called for and didn't change leads should place instead.
I guess I will here some complaining about that one for awhile.
 Trail class was last for us and Pep went through like a dream, only having a bobble at the side pass and just getting 1/2 way across the logs at the trot before she started walking.
 E was early in the lineup so had to wait for everyone else to go.
 Shay took Brother through the course and she did great with him.
I would have place her 5th and E 2nd or 3rd but the judge place E 5th and didn't place Shay.  Someone that didn't even attempt to trot at the poles and completely knocked over the hay bales was 4th.  A disgruntled contestant wanted to see the judge's card but he had already left and didn't leave his score sheets.  Sometimes you just have to be satisfied with how you did regardless of the ribbon you get.  (and then fuss about it when you get home)
E ended up breaking even on her entry fees and if you don't count the Charity class which I was giving up anyway I was only out $2.  Shay was responsible for her entry fees and because we stayed and worked the concession stand for the gymkhana classes our food was practically free.  So how often does that happen, an almost free day at a horse show.

Kid Count 56
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