Thursday, December 29, 2011

Swiftly Flow the Days





Swiftly flow the days

Time has galloped past me.  I am looking forward to catching up on blogs in the next few days. 

Don't be fooled by the snow on the ground - we are enjoying warm weather with glorious sunrises and sunsets.  These photos are straight out of the camera.  The colors were even more spectacular in life.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Scenes from a Snowstorm

the view

drift from the barn roof


We are in the middle of this week's second snowstorm.
The first storm was quite pretty. 

This one?  Not so much.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Parade

It was a beautiful day for a parade.  The sun was shining, the sky was blue, and the wind passed us by.  The parade was hosted by the Colorado Driving Society, and made possible by great volunteers like Cyndi at Living a Dream.  There was even a volunteer passing out homemade cookies in the staging area.  That's my kind of parade.

The horses were decorated from head to tail.

The theme was Teddy Bears, and they were everywhere.

One of my favorite entries was this
impeccable Gypsy Cob.

We all waited patiently for our turn.
Bob waited.

Gossy waited.
Diana and I waited out of view.

David and Boomer waited.

And before we knew it, it was our turn!
                                                photo by Cyndi

Wow, what a nice crowd!

And who's that waving goodbye?
Why, it's Cyndi!
Visit her blog for more fun photos.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Scenes from Elvis' New Digs

Outdoor Arena

Highland Scottish Cattle

I've never seen the black version before.  Isn't he pretty?  I'm trying to make friends, but so far he's pretty skittish.

Jan and Elvis
(check out the kitty in the upper left corner)

I like this little clip - it's only 3 breaths long.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Elvis Has Left the Building

On the first of November, Jan and John moved Elvis to a fancy-schmancy dreassage barn so that we could ride him in an indoor arena over the winter.  It was a lovely barn, but it turned out to be a bit too fancy-schmancy.  We didn't know it when we moved in, and it wasn't in the boarding contract, but all boarders are required to either have their horses in training ($$$$$) with one of the trainers there, or take 2 lessons a week ($$$$) with one of the trainers.  Neither Jan or I wanted that for ourselves or Elvis, so we moved Elvis on the first of December.

The new barn is working out great for us.  It's not as modern as the fancy barn, but the people are nice, the care is good, and the indoor is immense.

That little dot at the far end is Jan and Elvis

The outdoor arena has a beautiful view of the front range, and I'm just itching to ride in soon as it warms up 40 degrees or so.  There are about 20 horses, and it's a quiet barn.  Yesterday I had the indoor all to myself, and today it was just Jan and me.

Jan and Elvis

Another nice thing about this barn is that if we need the barn manager, Deb, we know where she lives - right next to Moondance Ranch!

Our view of Deb's ranch

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Back in Business

I have a camera!  On my last post, I forgot to add a key camera requirement - it had to be available locally.  That means WalMart - the only store with cameras for tens of miles.  So off I went with my list of possibles, and they had exactly one of them.  I am the proud owner of a Canon PowerShot elph 300 HS, just like Kate at The Adventures of Lucy.  If my photos come out half as good as hers, I'll be a happy camper. 

As soon as we cleaned the barn this morning, out came the new camera.

I'm loving how good the colors are.

David demos multi-tasking.

Of course I had to take a picture of each of the horses, and since we were minus 6 degrees the other night, I thought I'd review blankets.

Reggie models the Shires Stormcheeta Combo Turnout Blanket.  In the good column, it's a tough warm blanket with good coverage for horses with a Thoroughbred build.  In the bad column, it tends to slip sideways, which is my pet peeve in horse blankets, and a deal breaker.  Also, it's not cut deep enough for fat Baroque type horses.   Reggie inherited this blanket from Paj because although they both wear size 86 blankets, this one didn't cover Paj's belly.  Enough said.

Paj is wearing the Pessoa Tundra Turnout blanket with an Amigo XL (extra long) turnout sheet and neck cover over top.  I love both of these blankets.  Amigo is the low end series of Rambo blankets.  The closures aren't as modern as Rambo's, and they only come in Army green (the xls, that is), but at less than half the cost of Rambos for the same quality, they are a great buy.  I have both the blanket and neck cover in two weights - heavy and unlined - and by combining them with the rest of Paj's wardrobe, we can cope with nearly any weather.  Paj doesn't grow much coat and he's on the fragile side, so I coddle.

Ben is our wooly mammoth.  This cold spell has been the first time it's been cold enough to put him in his new blanket.  Boomer and Ben both have RaDon blankets.  The website says that every item is custom tailored.  That's a good thing, because not too many tack stores carry size 96 blankets.  They even have their names on them.

It was hard to take this photo because Ben is friendly.

Very, very friendly.

Tomorrow I'll figure out how to tweak my photos.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Camera Advice Wanted

My little camera is well and truly gone.  It was in my coat pocket when I left the house for Mickey's last class of "Tunnels and Jumps".  We visited every tree on the way into class, and when we got in the building, it was no longer in my pocket.  After class, sweet Cyndi from Living a Dream tried to help me find it in the dark with light from her cell phone.  No luck, and it snowed that night.  David and I have been back twice, and it is gone.  I doubt it would have survived the cold and snow anyway.  So I'm in the market for a new camera.  Any advice? 

The new camera has to be little enough to fit in a pocket, and tough enough to survive barn life.  It can't be too expensive because I've sent one through the washer, and lost one. 

Things I liked about my old camera -
     it had a slide cover for the lens, which is nice when you're cleaning stalls all day
     the software was very user friendly
     it took nice videos

Things I didn't like -
     picture quality wasn't great
     the zoom was too weeny
     the macro didn't focus very well
If anyone has a little camera they like, I'd love to hear about it.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Holiday Season

We're galloping toward Christmas, and I'm still in a Thanksgiving state of mind.  I'm thankful for our friends Jan and John, and Diana and Bob, who've made ranch life easier and more fun.  Here's just a few things they have done for us -

John lent David his tractor so we could mow our pastures.

Jan and John let us store hay in their barn so we could buy
more than our hay shed could hold when hay was on sale.

Diana and Bob lent us their cargo trailer so we could store
yet more hay in case there's a shortage this year.
We even have hay in a warehouse.
(next year's ranch improvement project?  More hay storage!)

Bob and Diana trust us with Boomer and Ben.
I'm thankful for our friends.

And now it's time to start thinking about Christmas.
1st on the agenda?
Get ready for the Christmas parade!
I hear sleigh bells!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Lovely Russian Ladies

Diana and Bob brought out their Borzoi, Hannah and Gossamer, for a visit.  At first, the dogs were a bit cautious.  Mickey made sure he was between his human and the lovely Russian ladies. 

Mickey, me, Gossamer and Hannah
                                                      photo by Diana

Gossamer is the perfect name.

Bob and Diana co-own yet another lovely Russian lady, Finessa.  She is 1 of 5 Borzoi invited to compete at the Westminster Dog Show, and she is the #1 female Borzoi in the nation.  I always watch Westminster on tv, so I am very excited about the show, and hope to see her on tv. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Remarkable Healing

Yep, that's what the doctor said.  David's hand has shown remarkable healing.  He got the drain out today, and the stitches come out in a week.  He can do light barn work, but nothing requiring a grip so the stitches don't come out.  I have missed my best friend/barn manager's cheery presence and help.  It seems like it takes 3 times as long to do the ranch work by myself.  He threatened to get a sick leave note from the doctor for me, but nothing doing!  Back to work, big guy. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

When Hay Sheds Attack

David was moving hay, minding his own business, when the hay shed viciously attacked him.  A screw grabbed his hand and ripped it open.

Sure, the hand looks all tidy here, but it was a pretty bad rip.  David has stitches and a drain.  The doctor said that if his wife (that would be me) hadn't made him go to the clinic, he'd be looking at surgery next week.  The screw has been exterminated.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

We Have a Winner!

Flartus guessed it.  It's a tool to measure for Ben's collar.

Just like humans, horses can be the same weight and height, but different sizes.  Boomer and Ben are both 18.2 hands and 2,000+ pounds, but Boomer's collar is too small for Ben. 

The fit of a driving horse's collar is just as important as the fit of a riding horse's saddle.  The collar distributes the load of the vehicle around the horse's neck and shoulders (loosely stolen from Wikipedia).

Clue #2

Jim and Sophie are on the right track.  It's horse-y, but it has nothing to do with Liesl's recent post, thank goodness!

Care to Make a Guess?

What do you think this is?

Clue #1:  it's 36" long.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Bringing in the Clydes

We are enjoying fabulous weather.  Here's a look at David bringing in the Clydes.  That's Boomer in the lead, followed by Ben. 

Ben has rolled and needs brushing, and the pastures need picking.  There's always plenty to do!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Elvis, Ride 2

First off, David found my camera!  Yay!

It was a very horsey day.  Most days are.  Jan cleaned her barn, David and I cleaned our barn, and then we were off to Elvis' barn.  I got on the big guy first, and he was quite strong.  It might take a little time for him to adjust to his new life after having Jan's big acreage to play in all day.  Poor guy.  So after my ride, Jan got on, and she did great!  She was able to get him nice and collected in short order.

I am thrilled for Jan.  She's been on Elvis a few times since her serious health problems, but this was her first real ride in a very long time.  She looks like she never took a day off.  

Saturday, November 5, 2011

I Haven't Posted Because -

I can't find my camera!  I'm sure it's in a pocket somewhere, having a good giggle at me. 

So here's a quick update.  We survived the blizzard just fine, and now it's in the low 50s.  Snow + 50s = mud.  We had planned on moving Elvis back to the fancy dressage barn on November 1 for the winter, but Jan had snow drifts as high as her fences, so we moved him yesterday.  He settled in fine, and I had the first ride today.  He was a very good boy.  Jan and I plan on sharing him this winter.  I am really looking forward to it.

Mickey was supposed to have his first class of "Tunnels and Jumps" Tuesday, but it was postponed due to the blizzard.  It is only a three week class, just to see if that's something he enjoys.  He loved basic obedience, so I'm guessing it will be a hit.  Now the first class is this Tuesday.  I hope I find my camera by then!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


It's really not that bad.  The boys are safe in their stalls, listening to jazz on the radio and munching hay.  We are feeding them throughout the day for warmth and entertainment.  The sun will come out tomorrow.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

It's Here!

The hand-painted saddle pad that Kate at The Adventures of Lucy gave away in her haiku contest came today!  I felt like a little kid waiting for Santa.  Look how well the design sits with my dressage saddle.  Well done, Kate.  Thank you ever so much.

Our footing is frozen and/or muddy, so I had no business riding today, but I just couldn't resist hopping on Paj for a little walk.  David snapped these photos for me.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

First Snow Storm

Hey guys, I think it snowed.
That must be why I'm wearing your brand new blanket, Paj.

What???  Take that off right now!

Hold it down, you guys.  I'm trying to sleep.
Oh geeez.  Look at the snow, Ben...Ben?

nom nom nom 
Leave me alone, I'm eating.
nom nom nom 
Besides, it snowed.