Monday, August 31, 2015

Iron Mt. Jubilee 2015

J and I got 2 more completions in the Iron Mt. Jubilee limited distance endurance ride on Saturday. 
 J rode his trusty mount Jessica and I took out Brother for his first endurance trip.
 Brother is just 4 years old so not old enough for the 50 mile (they need to be 5) so we did the 30 mile LD ride.  J has been wanting to try a 50.  He might just have to do it alone.  We weighed the horses Friday evening when we arrived.  Brother is 15.3 hands and weighed 1185 pounds.
 Jessica at 14.2 hands weighed 1075.
 They vetted in fine.  The vet said he didn't see many western pleasure horses attempting this and wished me luck.
 Jessica vetted in like a pro and there was much discussion on what breed she might be.  One girl thought she looked pretty much like a mustang.
 Then it was time to hang out until morning.
The horses were perfect overnight, no pawing, pulling back or whinnying.  They were also calm for grooming and saddling.  I, on the other hand, almost forgot to change from my slip on shoes to my boots.  With 10 minutes until the start I went to get on and saw my mistake.  I ran back to the trailer, grabbed my boots and hopped on.  
 Brother was still doing great, really only interested in trying to eat.  There isn't much fan fair before the ride, just some people trying to quietly walk their horses back and forth until the trail is open.  We left right after the fast crowd but that left several behind us that eventually had to pass.
 Brother never got out of control but he never really liked other horses cantering up behind him on the trail.  That spotted gaited horse was one of the only other non-arabians that we saw.
 Brother and Jessica cruised through the range lands too.  Several of the horses get very worked up out in the open like that and end up being lead.
 There was also a Ride and Tie going on in conjunction with the endurance ride.  It was pretty depressing to have 1 horse with 2 people going faster than us.   And that was another thing Brother didn't really care for, runners coming up behind him on the trail.
 We made in into the 1/2 way point right at 3 hours.
And what a welcome sight to see V standing there ready to help.  
 It was great for her to hold the horses and let them graze while we were able to sit down and eat lunch.  The hold is 50 minutes but you wouldn't believe how fast that time goes by.
 Then it was saddling up and heading back.
 We didn't go back through the range land but had to go a much more rocky trail.  Brother was starting to do a little more stumbling and if he hit a rock wrong would limp for a step or two.  I was getting worried we might have to pull out but every time we would get to a rock free section, he would trot out sound.  The 50 milers started catching up and passing us about 5 miles after the hold.  I was starting to worry that we wouldn't make it back on time but the last 6 miles was all downhill and smooth and Jessica kicked in her road trot and Brother had no intention of being left behind, so we were able to make up quite a bit of time.
 We crossed the finish line at 2;57 and both horses were pulsed down by the time we got them to the vet check at 3:03.  We had until 3:15 before we would have been disqualified on time.  They checked Jessica first which placed her above Brother.  We were 41st and 42nd.
 There were 46 that started and 42 that finished.  That meant I was the "turtle".  I figured that for every step an Arabian took, Brother was taking 3-4.  He was taking 1 and  1/2 to 2 for each of Jessica's steps.  So really, he was working a lot harder that everyone else.
Jessica weighed 1015 at the finish and Brother weighed in at 1135.  They both went right to eating and drinking.  
As for being the turtle, there was actually an award for that, a turtle figurine, turtle garden stake, a "To Finish is To Win" refrigerator magnet and the best part, someone had donated 2 raffle tickets each to the last 5 finisher.  She had recently lost her father and wanted to honor him with an award and decided the last place riders probably didn't have Arabians so she gave us the raffle tickets to an Arabian horse raffle.  Anyone interested in seeing the horse I'm going to win can click HERE.  Someone said, if you can't be top 10 go for the turtle. So it was a great ride with wonderful weather (overcast, somewhat low humidity and upper 70's) and I got a completion on my 4th horse that I've trained and conditioned for this ride (Jessica, Hank, Thumper and now Brother).

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Back At It

The art show Wrangler has been invited to is just next week. (At The Artful Lawyer)  I was hoping he would at least get mentioned in the program but I guess the human artists are more important. Anyway, in anticipation of demand for his artwork to increase Wrangler has started painting again.  
 It took him a few minutes to get back into the swing of things.  Then he finished up by swiping his nose across the right side of the paper.
It would really be cool if one of these ever sells.

Monday, August 24, 2015

New Tack Boxes

We have 3 new 4-Her's going to the State Horse Show next month so we needed 3 new tack boxes for them.  When V and E went for the first time the club leader made the tack boxes and gave them to us. 
 Guess I'm continuing the tradition.  Our local Saddle Club has a riding for charity class in all of it's shows.  Last fall our 4-H club was the charity.  I had enough money from that donation for the lumber and hardware for the boxes.
 I had been tormenting for some time about having to cut the plywood but discovered Lowes would make unlimited cuts at no charge, so off to Lowes it was.
Construction after that was pretty easy, just needing my circular saw, drill and dremel.  Plus, it was nice having the shop to work in.  Now it's up to the 4-Her's to pick them up and add some paint and a shelf if they want.

Friday, August 21, 2015

In Bloom At The 4R's

Late summer is a tough time for things to be blooming, but we've had a good season this year with plenty of rain. 
 The zinnias are taking center stage next to the garage door this year.  I've tried several things in this spot but I think I like these best so far.  (and they are pink which is always good)
 They also took over the spot in front of the wood stove too  The pencil hollies didn't do well so I had to pull them up this spring.  The zinnias here got off to a rough start with the Japanese beetles, but they finally pulled through.
 I can always count on the black-eyed-Susans to be pretty this time of year.
 And surprisingly, the crape myrtle have finally come into their own.  I had given up on them a few years ago and pulled up the 2 on the far end but that just seemed to stimulate them to try harder.  Even though I had pulled them up by the roots they still came back.  This is the prettiest they have ever been.
And lastly, this cute miniature rose.  This was a thank you gift from a client that I had to go in on emergency to euthanize their 18 year old cat.  They thanked my for my 'compassion and competence'.  Sort of a sad thing to be good at, but a nice gesture that I can remember when the next one complains about me.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Moving Out, Sort Of

This was E's last morning to enjoy in her chair. (yes, it is summer here despite the evidence to the contrary) 
 Today, J helped move her into her new dorm room at Tech.
 She had the car loaded.
 She'll be on the second floor of the honors dorm, 2 to a room, 2 rooms to a suite, 1 bathroom per suite.
 Her friend Jackson volunteered to help her move in.  That left J only having to make one trip carrying things from the car.  He said  they parked right at the door, easy peasy.
I guess we are on our way to being empty nesters.  But we do have V to look forward to next month.  She is having to work at a bank branch closer to home so she will be spending September here, YAY!  And E will still be coming home for holidays and summers.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Final Push

The Iron Mountain Jubilee ( endurance ride is coming up in just 2 short weeks.  I've been struggling over what horse to take if any.  J is riding Jessica again.  I really didn't want to sit out for a second year but Hank has just gotten too old and I dreaded doing that much trotting on him, he is sooo rough.  Pep with her slowness and tender feet was out of the question and Otoelene, having finally recovered from her year long struggle with white line disease is still being babied.  That left Wrangler and Brother to chose from.  Wrangler has been doing well but I'm still a little leery about going full tilt for 30 miles on him.  Since E was going to show Brother at the State show I was a little worried about something happening to him on the ride since the show is just 12 days later.
 Well, after the show at Ivanhoe (HERE) last month, E has decided to not take Brother to State.  This means writing a letter to the State office explaining why we want a substitution and a $50 check.  The only problem is that she wants to take Pep and I had had her shoes pulled after E had picked Brother and was on her way to college next week, and Pep is so iffy on those tender abscessed prone feet and now the farrier can't come until next week.  So until we get shoes and make sure Pep is ok it looks like Hank is hanging around in the background for potential back up at State.   Got all that.
 It just means that I get to take Brother on the endurance ride in 2 weeks.  J and I rode the 8 mile Horse Heaven loop in 1 hr 40 mins on Saturday.  There were a few obstacles, some down trees,
 this rattle snake someone got to before we did,
 and herds of these hateful horse flies.  Brother really hates those.
J has done a great job slowing Jessica down.and Brother has sped up some so they are making a good pair so far.  Anyone want to crew for us in a couple of weeks?

Friday, August 14, 2015

Naming Help Needed

V was able to dig up her old camera for me to use while I'm trying to decide what replacement I want.  Her's is a canon power shot 7.1 MP that takes (sucks all the energy very quickly from) 2 AA batteries.  Anyway, it works so I guess I'm back in business with the blog as long as my supply of AA batteries holds out. 
So this is the painting Wrangler is donating to the Silent Auction fundraiser for the State 4-H Horse Show next month.  (Thank you C for the donation of the great frame and mat) Now I need a catchy name for it, maybe something incorporating 4-H or horse activities.  Tell me what you've got!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Wrangler Can Paint in Print

Look who made this month's issue of The Quarter Horse Journal...
Yes, that's Wrangler in the lower right corner of the Snapshots page.  I had originally sent his picture to the America's Horse magazine for the Readers Write page since I don't get the Journal.  Imagine my sister's surprise when she got her Journal and opened it up to see Wrangler's picture there.  We might just make him famous yet.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

First Cruise

Well, after a bit of an absence I'm back.  V, E and me and two of my sisters took a cruise around the southern Caribbean for 8 days but as all good things it came to an end.  There were just a few problems with the trip, the first being J didn't go with us.  He didn't want to get on a boat and he was concerned about being able to get someone to look after the farm for that long.  
We had excellent accommodations with a state room that had a balcony.  It was very nice to be able to look out at the different ports as we arrived and departed.
The second problem occurred  after our first excursion.  I had picked to do a trail ride that ended with being able to ride out in the ocean.  That was amazing and I had lots of pictures of the ride plus our first day on the ship and the airplane trip through the clouds.  Anyway, someone who will remain nameless, but it wasn't me, V or my sisters, picked up all the stuff from our locker and even told me she had my camera.  When we got back to the ship, no camera.  A frantic trip to the customer service desk and the excursion desk yielded no help.  My camera was gone, left on the bus with no hope of recovery.  
I was able to take some pictures with my iPad and V and E pitched in with their cell phones but those first two days were lost.  E commented that I was acting handycapped without my camera when I kept asking her to take pictures of this and that.  Now I just have to get all the way home to figure out how to download her phone pictures to my computer.  
The weather was great,the food was wonderful and plentiful (sort of dreading getting home and stepping on the scale), the company was entertaining, and the cruise staff, top notch.  More later after I get out of the airport, back home, unpacked and recovered. 
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