Monday, June 29, 2015

Surprise Decision

E has been tormenting over which horse to enter for the State 4-H Show in September.  She narrowed it down to Brother or Pep and had to choose by this week. 
 Brother, since he is just 4 would go in the Jr. Horse Classes.   He has been to several shows but never one this big and never in a large indoor arena.  So he is definitely an unknown.
 Pep on the other hand is a been there done that kind of horse.  She was reserve champion once and champion twice in her division when E was a Jr. but has never been able to recapture that success as a Sr. rider.   Plus, it is always questionable with her touchy, abscess prone hooves whether or not she will be sound.
 After much deliberation E choose Brother.  That means lots more practicing and hunting up more shows to go to. (YAY!)
 Pep was always a shoe in for the trail class.  Now Brother will be practicing the gate on a daily basis.
E was so close last year to placing in showmanship with Pep.  Maybe Brother will get her there this final year.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Cattle Working Clinic

For our club's Horse Fest, one of the activities was a cattle working clinic.  I had signed up thinking it would be good for Otoelene and me to get some outside instruction and maybe I could get interested in this sorting thing.   But due to the weather (calling for more rain) it was moved from our show grounds to the farm where the trainer works an hour away. 
 These were some pretty nice digs.  This was all of the house that you could see from the driveway.  I had looked it up on goggle earth and told E that it looked like something from the Sims.  She said it was to architectural for anything she had made.
 How would you like to have that outdoor arena?
 There was also an electronic gate with a call box to have to get through.
 Anyway, back to the clinic.  I have never been to a cattle working one and had no idea what to expect.  There were 12 riders for an originally scheduled 2 1/2 hour time slot.  We started off working a flag.  This is a feed sack on a pulley system that the horse is suppose to track back and forth like a steer, stopping and rolling back to keep up with it.  Neither Otoelene or I have ever worked a flag before plus Otolene hates plastic.
 Consequently, we didn't start off working very close to it.
 But by the end she had moved in better.  The instructor said some horses take a long time and some not so much before you get to a good stopping point with them.  He said Otoelene didn't take long.  Which translated to we got about 2 minutes while it felt like everyone else got 10 or more.  Granted, a couple of riders needed help with which rein and leg to use while turning the horse.
 Three hours later he brought in some calves to work on.  I thought we would do more sorting but instead it turned out to be more like cutting.
 Otoelene had no problem going in to get one.  This is where she is so calm and quite.  He called her "and old soul"  because he thought the calves picked up on her calmness and naturally wanted to follow her out.
 The keeping the calf from going back to the herd was a little harder.  We definitely need to work on our stopping a lot more.   As it turned out we were there for over 5 hours and I did the flag once and the cattle twice.   He also recommended a twisted snaffle, German martingale and spurs.  Since I am not competing at this for me and Otoelene I don't think any of that will be necessary.   I was pleased with how Otoelene did and I think I'll just practice out in the field with our cattle.  Don't guess I'll take up sorting just yet.  And thanks to J for driving me and being so patient with such a long day.

Saturday, June 27, 2015


 We have a chronic hole in our driveway that acts as a rain gauge of sorts.  I don't know how many loads of rocks we've dumped in it only to see it return time after time.
 But we always know when it has rained while we were away if there is water in the hole.
Well, the grave road we live on washes  too and fills the drainage gully with gravel.  Now with my new cart I can go help clean out the drain way to the culvert.  

 I did have some one watching, but I think they approved.
I had enough from one trip to fill in my hole. 
 Then there was this problem.  Not to bad if you pull up to the mailbox.  But you can get your feet wet if you have to get out.
 I had enough left over to fill in half of it anyway.  That was enough road maintenance for one day.
I'm glad I had been watering my garden because now it is really taking off with the real rain.  The only problem is that our 2nd annual Horse Fest has gotten rained out for the 2nd year.  No ranch rodeo tonight and tomorrows show is in question.  But I'll have an update next time on my cattle working clinic.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Good Fences #66 or OH NO, NOT AGAIN

Do you see anything missing from the corral?  Here's a hint.
 We came home Sunday evening to find an escapee.
 E's trampoline had made a break for it and was in the hollow with the heifers.
 You can see how far it made it before we were able to catch it and foil it's escape plans.
It was just a good thing V's boyfriend Mike was here to help carry it back up the hill.   I really thought that putting it on the east side of the barn, surrounding it by a corral and tying it to the hitching post would have been enough.  But nooo, some kind of crazy wind we have around here.  It's not too much worse for the wear, a little repair work and E will be back and jumping on it in no time.  Maybe a logging chain instead of a nylon strap to tie it up as well.

For more Good Fences click HERE.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

In Bloom at the 4Rs

I haven't shared my flowers for awhile.   So here's a short tour. 
 The ever blooming hydrangea never fails to impress.  It blooms in purple
 and pink.
 Looks like something is liking the taste of my purple cone flowers.  But they are still pretty.
 And who can resist pink phlox.
 Purple drumsticks and
 purple blazing star are in bloom now.
 Even my weeds are blooming purple.  I've been spot spraying thistles 3-4 days a week all over the farm and here is one right in my flower bed.
 Just to prove not everything is purple and pink in my yard, I have some orange here with the daylilies.  It was a little too early in the morning for them to be opened pretty.  
And the white Easter lilies are just stunning.

Monday, June 22, 2015

St. Jude Ride

Our local saddle club sponsored a fundraiser ride for St. Jude Saturday.  About 35 rider participated and it was a beautiful day.  However, when we arrived I was greeted by my friend whose horse had gone down in the trailer as she had pulled into the parking area.  
 She had already gotten help to get her up and out of the trailer but wanted me to take a look at a cut she had sustained.  Luckily it was only through the skin.  I thought that if I could get a couple of quick stitches in it would heal better.  Inny (the horse)  however, had a different plan.  She only wanted one suture.  There was no way, without sedation, that I was getting more in.
 So, after hosing it out, packing it with antibiotic ointment and bandaging it, we were off for a 3 hour ride.  I am going to have to rethink and replenish my emergency kit.  Didn't have everything that would have made it better.
 I managed to misplace my camera prior to the ride so these were taken from Inny's owner's FB page.  I later found my camera in the driveway where I had ducked under our electric fence.  It had rained 1.3 inches but it was still ok.  That was the great part, IT RAINED at home but not where we were on the trail ride.  That is almost unheard of.
I rode Brother and J rode Jessica.  Inny was very attracted to Jessica as was Brother so in this section where Inny was between Brother and Jessica I was having a bit of a struggle.  When we finished I think Brother could have done the whole thing again double time.  It's looking more and more like he might be my choice for the endurance ride in August.  We were then greeted back at camp with hot dogs and hamburgers and fellowship.  What a wonderful way to spend the day and all for a good cause.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Just Kit Sunday #89

We said goodbye last night.
 Kit Kat gave the final inspection.  I hope it passed.  It's hard to tell with Kit sometimes.
My nephew is now the proud owner of my grandfather's 1989 Ford LTD Crown Victoria.  All three great grand children have now had the pleasure of driving around in it.  V and E were forced to but I think M wants to.  This is how he chose to pose when I asked him to stand next to it.  I hope it serves him well.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Bye, Bye Billy

We hated to have to do it but it was time to say goodbye to Billy.
 Since the nannies were finished kidding, we didn't want them bred back until November and it is impossible to keep a billy goat separate from the nannies for that long.  We tried that before and ended up with some born in February during a blizzard because it is impossible to keep a billy goat separate for that long.
 J just put out some salt and ta-da....
 We put a halter on him and J lead him to the trailer.
And it was off to the goat sale.  Looks like we will be in the market for a billy goat come November.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Small Show For Brother

I didn't have anything better to do Saturday afternoon so J took me and Brother to a small show about 30 minutes from the house. 
You can see how Brother felt about the situation.  There were only 3 classes for us and one ended up being a pattern class of sorts. 
We started with Go As You Please Western in which he did awesome.  (finally got him clean enough to use our new trophy saddle pad we won last year)  But we only made it 1/2 way around the ring both directions and I'm not even sure the judge ever looked at us.  
But I guess he saw us in the line up and we got 2nd out of 6.  We then went in Open Western Pleasure where we almost made it all the way around using all three gates before reversing.  He did good here too getting 1st out of 3.  But something in the back corner spooked him and he remembered to be scared of it in the last class. 
I don't think I usually look like this when I ride,  but this is where he spooked and I was trying to get him to lope and stay on the rail.  The whole thing was a total disaster.  The pattern was all on the rail, jog, walk, lope, extended lope, stop, reverse and repeat.  When we got to the extended lope he extended but in the vertical direction.  He took off bucking down the entire length of the arena.
My hat blew off and when we came back around he made a beeline for it on the ground only to spook at it and take off bucking again.  (should have been wearing my helmet and I wouldn't have to worry about losing it)  I only got him stopped by about running him into the fence.  One of the spectators said I was the only one  in the class not holding onto the saddle horn. 
The other two horses in the class were just as terrible and we were called back for rail work.  Brother sort of settled down and was respectable and we managed to win the class.  The judge said he thought we wanted to do rail work and I said I thought since we were all so bad he just needed to break the tie.  The only thing to do after a performance like that is to laugh about it.  We won back $26 of the $30 entry fees so it was a fun, cheap evening.
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