Thursday, June 30, 2011

Stall Cleaning (The Poop on Poop)

We keep the stall-to-run doors open unless it's really cold or really windy.  It's better for the horses, and better for the barn crew (that would be me and David).  When we walk into the barn in the morning, this is what Paj's stall looks like -
It's completely clean, and his poo piles are neatly at the end of his run.  Easy cleaning!  Reggie is next.  His stall isn't quite so tidy.  He poos inside and outside.  We call him The Shark because he never quits moving.  He walks through his piles, scattering little pieces everywhere.  Slow cleaning.  On the plus side, he has a urinal in his run, so his stall is always dry.  His urinal is a favorite pee spot which we keep filled with pea (pee?) gravel.  Works great.  Boomer is somewhere between Paj and Reggie on the cleaning scale.  He's really only messy because he's such a big guy.  Ben is the most unique.  He's pretty good about going outside, and he's straight as an arrow.  This is what we see in the morning -


Manure Cart Review

We have 3 manure carts.  I'd never buy this style again -
It has a backward tilt, which is a pain, and the kickstand is even worse.  The kickstand catches on everything.  You can easily dump a bucket of manure when you don't mean to.  Ugh!  The tires have failed too.  I pretty much hate it.

This is a good cart.  You can reconfigure it to move hay or bagged shavings.  The big wheels make it easier to pull through snow and nicest to use for pasture cleaning.  I like this cart a lot.  The only thing I don't like about it is that it's wider than my favorite cart.  It's not unwieldy, it's just that I'm going in and out of stalls before the morning coffee's kicked in, and I will occasionally hit the side of the doorway.  It's like driving your little car and then switching to the station wagon.

This is my favorite cart.  It's handy.  It's at least 10 years old and held together by wire and cotter pins.  My only complaint is that it's absolutely no good in the snow.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Elvis Gets a Job

Yipee!  Friend Jan can resume her riding in August.  That means vacation is over for her beautiful horse Elvis.  Jan has been lunging him a bit, and today I got on him.  First Jan gave him a quick lunge, then she gave us both a quick lunge, and then she turned us loose.  Elvis had not been ridden since the middle of March, and I had never ridden him, so the day's objective was just to have a soft and relaxed little ride.  Yay!  What a good boy.  He was relaxed and rhythmic, and completely tuned in to his rider.  Jan and I are happy campers.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Home, Home on the Range

Yep, I know this is a terrible photo, but I'm just so excited I had to share.  Be grateful I'm sparing you the shaky video, which is even worse.  We've had antelope all around us, but this is the first one I've seen on our property.  It's a nice big buck.  I will be singing "Home, home on the range..." for days.  Poor David.  

Friday, June 24, 2011

Physical Therapy vs Painting

I have had a boost of mobility in my stiff fingers.  I've dutifully done my finger exercises, squeezing the orange playdough till the cows came home.  Months later, no improvement.  I figured I had what I was going to have.  When warm weather came, I started my summer chores of weeding and painting, and lo and behold, I'm getting more mobility.   The thumb, index finger and middle finger are pretty much normal!

It's been almost a year since I had my accident.  People ask me "Are you afraid of riding?"  Heck no, I'm afraid of painting! I had started a painting project right before the accident.  I patched holes and painted one wall.  Here we are, almost a year later, and my house still looks like it has measles.  I'm not proud of that.  I'm going to fix those walls soon.  I started the outdoor paint projects, fearing the paintbrush would slip out of my hand inside and land on the hardwood floors.  I'm painting the runs, and I haven't dropped the brush one time.  That's huge.

Some of the runs are more challenging to paint than others.  Here's Perfect Paj's run -
See any teeth marks?  I don't think so!  Now let's look at somebody else's run.  I'm not naming names, but he's 18.2 hands tall, and his name is not Boomer.
Ben Chewbacca followed me along, chewing paint off almost as fast as I put it on.  Until I found this -
We've had a few chew spots in new paint, but I'm winning.  I'm painting the chew spots with RustOleum primer, and then I'll paint over them all with RustOleum paint.  My next project is the little hay shed.  I want to paint it to match the barn.

After the hay barn, maybe I'll finally be ready to tackle the house.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Stormy Weather = High Horses

I knew we were in for a storm
when I saw this cloud billowing toward the Clydes -
It poured all night and rained all day.
The pastures were too wet for turnout today,
but the footing in the lunge pen was perfect.

I'm like Kacy at All Horse Stuff:
I tell the horses what's coming next, and what I expect.
As Paj and I walked to the lunge pen,
I told him
"Have fun.  Keep your shoes on.  And don't hurt yourself."

Mission Accomplished!
Paj blew off steam, the shoes are still on, and nobody got hurt.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Boomer Makes New Friends

Boomer and Ben have had two sets of visitors this week.  Yesterday our friends Bob and Diana brought their friend Jessica and her children Kellie and Danny to the ranch to meet Bob's Boomer.  Boomer is the kindest horse, and he's great with kids.  Of course we put them right to work harnessing Boomer.

That's Kellie with the tugs, Jessica with the lines and Danny with the bridle.

Kellie attached the tugs while David watched.

Danny headed Boomer,
and Kellie did a fine job driving with Bob and Danny.

Earlier in the week, our new friend Kay stopped by with her Borzoi.  Diana and Bob have two lovely Borzois, and Kay was in town for a show.  Her dog is the #2 Borzoi in the country.  Big Ben was a little too big for a first dog-horse friendship,

and Boomer safely in his stall was a better fit.

Kay is a great owner.  You hear stories of show dogs living their lives in crates, and it was so nice to see such a beautiful girl enjoying life like a dog should, and being a loved family member.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Happy Birthday Reggie

David's Reggie is 19 years old today.  He's still in great shape.

The gray around his temples reveals his senior status,
but he has not slowed down a bit.
He's fierce, fiery and funny.
He likes to lick our hands
and he's a mechanical genius.
Doors and gates must be latched, bolted and chained
or 'someone' will open them for himself.

Reggie has been part of our family since he was 22 months old.
We have many fancy show photos, but
this photo is my favorite -
He was 3 years old, and we were starting him under saddle.
My mother captured this special moment.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

More Blogger Woes

Arg!  I can post, but commenting is erratic.  On some blogs, it's no problem.  On others, I can comment as Anonymous but not as my signed-in self.  On others, I can't comment at all.  So far, the ones I can't comment on are Simply Horse Crazy, R Lil Bit of Cash, My Brother Andrew and Dream Valley Ranch.  Any suggestions?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I'm Back! (thank you Sophie)

I'm back!  Hip-hip-hooray!  I got so-o-o-o frustrated with my endless sign-in loop that after 1,000,000 attempts at signing in, I just plain gave up.  I tried everything.  I deleted my cookies, my cache, my browsing history.  Nothing worked.  But I had a gentle nudge from Sophie today, and tried yet again, and I'm back!  Thanks for nudges from my brothers Joe and Tom and friend Jan, but Sophie had the magic touch.  I'll do a real post soon; I'm just so glad I can post again I wanted to say Hi.

Don't watch this shaky video, just listen to the Meadowlark in the tree by our front door.  He's the ranch greeter.  This is how I feel -