Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Phase Two - a Place to Ride

Oh happy day!  We are putting in a riding arena.  It was bittersweet to see the frontend loader rip up the pasture.
It was much easier to see the result

Crusher fines will be delivered Friday, and the sand will be delivered early next week.  The pasture is strictly off limits to the horses during construction, so the paddock is taking quite a beating. 

This pretty guy was on the barn door this morning

Monday, June 28, 2010

More Weekend Fun

Our friends Bob and Diana visited us and took their Clydesdale Boomer for a Sunday drive.

Boomer, Diana and Bob
Diana and Boomer

Our horses prefer grazing to working.  In this photo, Reggie is in a paddock of about 3 acres and Paj is on about 7 acres.  You'd never know it to look at them.  You'd never know that the fence is electric, but it is.  They know exactly how close they can get.

Reggie and Paj

The other big happening this weekend was the National Reined Cow Horse Association competition.  Our neighbor Chuck showed his horses Boss Man and Rooster.

Chuck riding Rooster (left) and Boss Man (below)
About all I know about this discipline is that the horse and rider cuts a cow out of the herd and tries to keep it from getting back to the herd.  There's a lot more to it than that.  Both of Chuck's horses did really well.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Barn Concert

Adwyn's barn concert is my favorite event of the summer.  The first concert celebrated the one year anniversary of his new barn.  This concert was the eighth annual concert.  It's a fun mix of musicians, horse people, and dogs.


The most fun part of the concert is the finale.  Adwyn passes out a surprise piece, and the musicians play it cold.  It sounds great!  How do they do that?

Adwyn has three horses.  Buddy is a pinto rescue.  Wulf is an Oldenburg, and a brother to David's horse Reggie.  Teton is a retired Grand Prix dressage horse.  He's 30 years old, but he looks about 15.  The horses were much too busy getting treats to pose for pictures for me, which gives me the perfect excuse to show this old clip of Teton teaching me passage.  He was very kind to me.  See how he quits when I lose my position and start bouncing on him?  Good boy!

Jan and John took care of our horses and Clifford so that David and I could go to the concert together.  Thank you so much, Jan and John.

I had a fight with Blogger this morning and had to recreate this post.  I accidently lost a comment.  Sorry.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Today's Finds

The prairie continues to change, with some flowers fading and others just starting to bloom.  Here's a few of today's finds -

Western Spiderwort
This flower is such an intense blue.  It's a morning bloomer, closing by noon. 

Blue Mist Penstemon

Scarlet Gaura

I've gone back a couple of posts and made some identification corrections, by the way.

And last, updates.  Day 2 of Elvis' clinic went great, and Callie is about 90% better.  Yes!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Clinic - Day 1

Day one of the Steffen Peters/Janet Foy clinic was a smashing success.  Elvis handled his first bath, first braiding, first public appearance and first clinic with great maturity.  He never even glanced at the rows of bleachers or folks sitting in lawn chairs.  He was a star.  Owner Jan, friend Diana (Boomer's owner) and I had front row seats.

Day one of the clinic focused on the correct basics for each level.  Janet Foy (FEI "I" judge) addressed each group from the judge's perspective, and then Steffen Peters (Olympic team bronze medalist and current World Cup gold medalist) helped each rider/horse improve.  He emphasized fairness, mutual respect between horse and rider, and setting a high standard.

There were professional videographers there, so I only took a small clip of  Elvis' ride.

photo by Jan

I don't like pictures of myself (ugh) but I couldn't resist this one.  See how the hair on the top of my head is climbing right up Elvis' mane?  Just like "Avatar"!

Day 2 of the clinic (today) is all about the test movements.  It's also Father's Day, so I wanted to stay home with the father of our horses, dog and cats.  David is the best father in the world.

Callie continues to improve.  Her appetite still isn't back to its normal state, but it's getting better and better.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Callie is Home!

I am so happy that Callie is home.  Her temperature came down to normal this morning, so they let me take her home.  She's eaten a little bit, and she's sleeping soundly.  I think she's going to be OK.  Her vets think she had a flu-like infection. 

This calls for some wildflowers to celebrate!  These are all growing in the paddock.
Lupine (Paj in background)

Louise had a photo of lupines a few posts ago.  I like the idea of lupines blooming so far away, and in such different growing conditions.

Ground Plum

Fendler's Sandwort

Tomorrow is a big day.  Jan's horse Elvis is making his first public appearance.  He's going to be one of the demo horses in the Steffen Peters/Janet Foy "Dressage Through the Levels" clinic.  That's a big first outing!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Callie had a Bad Day

My little Callie cat isn't feeling so good.  I woke up at 4:00 to find her vomiting.  She kept being sick, so I took her into our vet as soon as they opened.  They put her on anti-nausea medication and gave her fluids.  The result of her blood work is mixed.  Her numbers for her kidney and liver functions are fine, but her white blood cell count is low.  Her vet called this evening, and Callie seems to be feeling much better.  She should be coming home tomorrow.

Monday, June 14, 2010

It's Cold Again

It's cold again, folks.  It's rained for 3 days, and it's 39 degrees this morning.  Needless to say, the horses are all in their blankets.  Being as it's the middle of June, I had washed and stored those blankets!  Yesterday was an indoor kind of day.  Bob and Gossamer came and visited us and their horse Boomer.
Bob and Gossamer

Jan's horse Elvis had an indoor ride.  His canter is lookin' good.  He just turned 5. 

At this rate, we really will have two seasons, just like the old joke - Winter and 4th of July.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Agility and Wildflowers

My friend Lottie showed her dog Dusty in Agility today.

Dusty watched while
Lottie walked the course

At last it was their turn -
Good girl, Dusty!

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the pastures are covered with wildflowers.

Reggie likes grass more than flowers

I took Boomer for a ride.  We started across the gulch, but after we spooked the fledgling Great Horned Owls, we changed course and rode down to Chuck and Elisa's.  Inspired by Shannon's ride on Elvis, we practiced shoulder-in and leg-yield as we zigzagged down the road.  Anybody watching would have thought we were drunk.


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Barn Tour

First off, apologies to the people who left comments that aren't showing up.  I love comments, and I'm trying to get this fixed.

There's almost nothing I like better than seeing barns.  Today David and I visited Jan's horse Elvis at his new barn.

Elvis, Jan, Teddy

Indoor Arena

David instantly made friends with the barn cat, a big handsome boy.

Here's a clip of Shannon and Elvis doing a shoulder-in.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

More Prairie Flowers, More Elvis

The pastures are looking quite pretty with an abundance of prairie flowers.

Indian Paintbrush
Castilleja integra

Early Purple Milkvetch
Astragalus shortianus

Jan and I went to the Kathleen Raine clinic yesterday.  It was at a gorgeous facility, so impressive that Jan decided to move Elvis there so she can pursue her dressage goals more seriously.  I will post a barn tour later in the week, but meanwhile, here's a glimpse of the lovely outdoor arena.