Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas everyone!  Our world is covered by glitter-snow.  It is very beautiful.


Monday, December 21, 2009

Barn Projects

We've had a week of beautiful weather with temperatures in the 50s.  It was great to be able to ride again.

Paj and Zan

David and I both started barn improvement projects.  David's project is to add more insulation to the barn.  The roof is insulated, the tack room is insulated, but the northwest barn wall is not.

Step 1:  Add studs to the wall

My project is smaller.  I want better footing in the wash stall, so I'm adding drain mats.  I'm about halfway done.

Wash Stall

The mats snap together with only a few swear words.  The wash stall is a bit narrower than 12', so I've had to cut an edge off the end mats.  And I've cut out a notch for the post.  It looks pretty darn good.

We also wormed everybody this week.

Dave and Zan

Monday, December 14, 2009

More Parade Photos

Bob sent us a Facebook link with more parade photos.  I've pasted a couple below.

Left to right, it's Diana, Gossamer, Bob, Dave and Boomer

If you're like me and can't get enough parade photos, here's a link with a slideshow -
There's some cute minis and a pretty Friesian.  Heck, all horses are pretty.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Fine Weekend

What a nice weekend we had.  The weather changed from frigid to fabulous.

Friday I toured a local dressage barn with our friends Jan and John.  The barn manager, Deb, lives within sight of Moondance!  I also got to spend some time primping Boomer for the Christmas Parade.  I love primping.

Saturday was a day filled with friends and horses.  Does it get any better?  I don't think so.  David and I traded off horse duties.  David went to the parade with Boomer, Bob, Diana and Gossamer.  Boomer was a star, as always.

Diana, Gossamer, Bob and Boomer

The View from the Surrey

Saturday evening Suzanne and I went to an event billed as "A Horse Lover's Holiday".  It was an upscale presentation of some really nice dressage horses for sale, and a few hunter/jumpers.  They had a great turnout for the event.  There was free wine and food.   We bumped into friends from decades ago, as well as my new neighbor Deb.  The evening concluded with a Grand Prix Pas de Deux ridden to holiday music.  What fun.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Wow, it's cold.  It was -13 degrees at feeding this morning.  That's not the wind chill, that's the actual temperature, and yes, that's minus 13, not dash 13.  Yikes!  The horses are all doing fine.  It's much warmer in the barn, but still we worry.  The average high this time of year is 45.  Wouldn't that be nice!

How do we cope with the cold?  I use the Bag Lady technique; lots and lots of layers.  My body stays pretty comfortable, but my hands and feet get cold.  I  pre-heat my gloves and socks by the fireplace, and I keep my boots on a boot warmer/dryer. 

The horses' winter coats range from extremely dense to barely there.  Zan is a wooly bear.  He is comfortable in a medium/heavy blanket at -13 degrees.  Reggie and Boomer have average coats.  In extreme cold, we double-blanket them with a blanket covered by a medium sheet.  Delicate Paj has almost no coat.  He wears a wool blanket liner, a blanket, and a breathable Gore-Tex sheet.  Geez.

Paj and Reggie
triple and double-blanketed

We are very careful about how long we let them out on these cold days, trying to balance the need to move against the danger of getting too cold.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Herd at Moondance - Part 2

It's cold out there, so it's a good day to be indoors and finally get back to introducing the herd.


David's horse Reggie is the second biggest guy at Moondance.  He's a 17 hand, 17 year old Oldenberg.  We bought Reggie at 22 months of age after David lost his beloved Skipjack.

David and Skipjack competing at Prelim,
undaunted by the cast on David's arm
photo by Regina

David showed a very young Reggie in a Sport Horse halter class to give him exposure to the show environment.  We knew he was an attractive horse with great gaits, but he has a big scar on his left hind, and we figured judges would hold that against him in the "beauty contest" classes.  Reggie surprised us by not only winning his class, but by being Grand Champion of all age groups.

Reggie and Dave

When he was a little older, we started Reggie under saddle.

Reggie, Dave & me
   photo by my Mom

David showed Reggie in dressage and won many awards. 

David and Reggie

But Reggie pretty much hated showing, and he wasn't shy about sharing his feelings. By the time he was showing Second Level, it was clear that it wasn't something he was going to grow out of. Eventually, we decided that we'd rather have a happy pasture horse than a miserable show horse.

Reggie running laps at Moondance

Reggie - happy at last
photo by Laurie

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Two Bucks

We had visitors this beautiful warm morning.  I took these photos from the bedroom window.

The horses are getting more used to deer.

Reggie, Paj and Zan stare at Buck #1

more stares for Buck #2

Boomer was in the pasture, so he watched them stroll down the driveway.                                        

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

March of the Hay Barn

The location of the hay barn (down a slope and next to the house) was less than ideal. That's because it was a lawn mower shed in a previous life. We decided to move it closer to the barn. David emptied it and reinforced the structure. Then we wrapped a strap around it, hooked it to the truck, and hauled it up the hill.

And it worked!  Here's the hay barn in its new location -

Some day it will march around to the back of the barn.  And some day it might grow up to be a big hay barn.  But for now, we are quite pleased with ourselves.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Visit from Gossamer

The lovely Gossamer visited today, along with her human, Bob.  Clifford was thrilled to make her acquaintance.  She whispered sweet nothings in his ear -

Clifford, Bob and Gossamer

David and Bob cleaned tack while Clifford and Gossamer enjoyed a romp in the backyard.  Clifford would like this lovely lady to visit often.

Dave and Bob


Well, we had our first vet call.  Paj came out of his stall lame on Tuesday morning.  My initial thought was an abscess, because he has a long history of them.  His farrier happened to stopped by, tested his hooves, and it wasn't an abscess.  By evening, he had swelling along his tendon, and I thought maybe he had torn his tendon.

Paj's swollen leg

Dr. Gary and Ray came to the rescue, and it didn't take Dr. Gary any time to find what I had missed.  Paj had a wound near the bulb of his heel, and the swelling was infection making its way up his leg.  Dr. Gary bandaged his hoof, gave him antibiotics, and put him on 5 days of SMZs.  We are on day 3.  I've changed his bandage, and his wound is looking very good. 

Where the problem really is

Here's the kicker - we have to keep it dry, and we're expecting snow.  A whole lot of snow.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

Selena on porch rail

Halloween is a time to honor the goblins that haunt Moondance Ranch.   Goblins are elusive, and it's hard to photograph them.


A hawk perches on the Ponderosa Pine outside our bedroom window.  He seems to have a co-op with the Great Horned Owl.  The hawk takes off at twilight, and the owl takes his place.  The owl wakes me with his soft woo-woo-woo-woo-woo.  He is too elusive to photograph.  So far.

A hawk takes flight.  Can you see him in the lower right?

The horses had a lovely Halloween.  So did we.

Boomer gets an apple from Chris, Clifford (sitting) and Rebecca.

Zan and Diana share a laugh and a peppermint.

Friday, October 30, 2009

After the Blizzard

Ok, we had a blizzard. On Day 1, we did limited pasture turnout, then run-only turnout. Day 2 was worse. We started with run turnout, then went to stall confinement with the top half of the run doors open, but we finally had to lock them completely in.

This morning we looked out the bedroom window at the snow -

The View from the Bedroom

Then we looked out the living room window at the snow. We can usually see Pikes Peak, but not this morning.

The View from the Living Room

Then we went to the barn. The horses couldn't wait to get out.

Paj plows a snow drift

Here Paj demonstrates how blankets get ripped -

Paj (left) and Reggie

Boomer (left) and Zan

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Snow Prep

All of my photographs are looking a little blurry. It might have something to do with dropping David's camera in the snow when I took the "Footprints in the Snow" pictures. If the photo quality doesn't improve, David will be getting exactly the same thing for Christmas this year as last year - a new camera.

Yesterday was sunny and cool.

Pikes Peak

The horses were happy to get out in the pastures.

. Reggie - Leave me alone! I'm not going back in, ever!

Zan - It's so bright out here!

Today is much warmer, but we are expecting a snow storm tonight. We spent the day getting ready for the storm.
.Hooking up the snowplow felt a little strange in 55 degree weather.


We stocked up on bedding

We filled the hay barn
And most important, we got the horses exercised.

David and Boomer

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Footprints in the Snow

We've had another snow here at Moondance, just enough to be picturesque.

Zan shakes the snow off after a good roll.

Paj and Boomer

Here's some footprints in the snow -

Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel


Jack Rabbit


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Cold Snap

We came through the cold snap in fine form. Our coldest day had a low of 16 degrees, and a high of 25. It was cold, but it was pretty. The Ponderosas were snow-flocked,

and the aspens were covered with ice.

.The barn stayed above freezing,

and the horses were anxious to get back out to pasture. Here Zan and Paj transform from restless to content as they go from runs to pasture -