Monday, September 29, 2014

State of the Ranch Address and an Oops

We are making great progress in getting the barn spruced up before Old Man Winter moves in.  We've finished treating the wood, and the runs are sparkling.  They've been sanded, primed and painted.

No teeth marks in the paint, boys.

Paj, are you listening to me?

With Mickey's supervision,

David finished leveling the stalls today.

There's only one big job left -
The runs need more gravel.

And now for the oops.  I misspoked (miswrote?).  Last post I said that the regional championship show  was the last show of the year.  No no no.  Lakota and Shannon have been invited to compete at Kentucky Horse Park Nov 6-9 for the National Championships.  Go team Lakota!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Championships - End of the Show Year

Colorado Horse Park hosted both the Rocky Mountain Dressage Society (RMDS) championships and the United States Dressage Federation (USDF) Region 5 championships this week.  USDF Region 5 is composed of Arizona, Colorado, Eastern Montana, New Mexico, West Texas, Utah and Wyoming.  Championships is a big four day show with 3 arenas.

I love this show.  I love the beautiful horses, the happy memories from my show days, and most of all I love seeing friends from today and long ago.   

On Thursday Lakota and Shannon competed in the PSG RMDS championships.

RMDS PSG Reserve Champion!

Friday they had the RMDS I-1 championships.

 RMDS I-1 Reserve Champion!

Saturday Lakota had a day off,
then Sunday they had the USDF I-1 championships.

USDF I-1 Reserve Champion!

Good boy, Lakota.
Congratulations, Jan.

Shannon rode another "horse of color".

FWF Comanche Fire

This big boy is a Clydesdale and Paint cross.
He competed at 3rd and 4th Level.
He already has a nice passage, which he showed off in the awards ceremony!

Oops, this is getting long (hey, it was a long weekend!),
but I want to introduce you to my old friend Maureen
and her new horse Ty (Antigua).

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Sweet Little Nest

David and I are still hard at work on the barn.  We are about 3/4 of the way through our project.  We're completely done with Boomer and Ben's former stalls.  We power washed everything, stained the wood in the stalls, and sanded and repainted the runs.  We moved Reggie and Paj to the finished stalls, and now we're about halfway done with their stalls and runs.

In the midst of all this cleanup, I removed a sweet little nest from a ledge in the barn.  We actually had two nests in the barn, but the one on the trusses is occupied.  It's where the barn swallows are raising their third set of babies this year.  I don't know whether it's the same pair or not, but regardless, it's baby bunch number three.  Of course we are being careful not to disturb them.

The other nest has been vacant since late spring.

The fuzzy material is alpaca fiber from the neighbor's alpacas.
The thread-like fibers are horse hairs from Clydesdale feathers.

The builder of this cozy little nest was a Say's Phoebe.

Wikipedia will tell you that it's a "drab, chunky" bird.
Well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
To me, it's a pretty little thing,
a fierce flycatcher, and most welcome.

Wikipedia will also tell you that its habitat is
"dry, desolate and arid landscapes". 

Friday, September 12, 2014


We have a dusting of snow and it's 28F/-2C.

Cold flowers.

 Cold shrubs, cold husband, cold dog.
Cold photographer.

Warm Reggie.

 Warm Paj.

Don't feel too sorry for us,
tomorrow brings...


Sunday, September 7, 2014

A Hole in the Ground

Just when you think you surely must be in the middle of nowhere

the ground opens up to reveal 
a little gem of a park.

 Painted Mines Interpretive Park preserves
land that has been inhabited for 9,000 years.

Native Americans used the colorful clay for pottery and paint.

Homesteaders used it for bricks.

 Erosion created a fine array of hoodoos and spires.

It's quite an interesting hole in the ground,
and it's only an hour away from Moondance.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Photographer Fail

David, Mickey and I went to Colorado Horse Park to watch a few rounds of jumping.  I discovered the obvious; it's hard to capture that perfect moment in a jump.  Most of my photos were taken too early.

and when I tried to compensate,

I was too late.

When I finally caught the perfect moment,

I cut off the rider's head!

 This is the moment I was after.
Too bad about the head!

I did capture a couple of problem moments.
That was never my intention.

I failed jump photography!
I'm sticking to horses on the flat.

There, that's better.