Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Winding Down

There's no doubt about it - summer is winding down.  I had to wear sweat pants and a hoodie to do the barn chores this morning.  The pasture grasses have gone to seed.  Some say "like watching grass grow" to mean something really boring, but I like watching grass grow!

Look how green our grass is!  That never happens this late in the season.  It's been such a relief not to have to actively worry about fire danger this summer.  It's been a grand summer.  We've had very little wind, and I've been able to ride most days.  I hope to get about another month of riding in before the weather turns.  

This year, I really want to keep riding over the winter, so I am looking into a half lease at a facility with an indoor arena.  Tomorrow I will be trying an older mare with a lot of good years left in her - just like me!  Her college student owner leaves Thursday for the semester.  I hope this is a happy match for me, the horse, and the owner.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

A Day off the Ranch

Suzanne and I arranged to meet on the outskirts of Denver for lunch and a visit.  Worrying about the traffic and not wanting to be late, I left plenty early.  As it turned out, I had time for an adventure before we were to meet in Morrison, so I visited Red Rocks Park.

I hiked the trails

and climbed the steps to the amphitheater,
quite pleased that I huffed and puffed just a little.
That is, until I saw all the people running sprints in the stands!

That was humbling.

Red Rocks is a fabulous place to see a concert.
 The next photo is not mine, but I wanted you to see the big picture.

Can you see downtown Denver on the left side of the horizon?

 Queen City of the Plains
(my photo)

You're probably thinking "no horses?  Who's blog is this?"
Well, of course there's horses!
Suzanne drove me up into the foothills to visit Phamous.

 Phamous is Suzanne's 23 year old Arabian.
She's had him since he was 2.  He thinks he still is 2.

Phamous has a great view from his stall and run.

The workers are young at his barn.

Next, it was back to Morrison for a patio lunch of many hours.
What a lovely day.
I love summer.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I Knew He Was Trouble...

The first time I saw him, I knew he was trouble.
He was sitting on Paj's hay bin.

I asked him what the heck he was doing,
and he fluttered out the door.

I didn't think about him again until last night.  When we fed the horses at 7, there he was, wings outstretched, floating in Paj's water bucket.  Oh no.  I fished him out, and he was shivering.  I set him in the sun, but he continued shivering, limp, with his head lolling to the side.  I dried him off and made him a nest of a little basket lined with towels.  I set it on the heat pad we put out for Mickey on those cold days when he's helping us with barn chores.  When I tucked the horses in at 9, he had stopped shivering, and looked much more alert.

Walking down to the barn to feed this morning,
we worried.
What would we find?


 Empty nest!

But where was Trouble?

In the rafters!

By 9 am, he was back in the family nest.


enjoying a hearty breakfast.

At lunchtime, all the babies were out of the barn.
Flight practice had commenced.
We will be checking all buckets and bins throughout the day,
looking for Trouble. 

Sunday, August 10, 2014


Summer of 1969
boardwalk photo booth
 Ocean City, Maryland

 Summer of 2014
Elizabeth, Colorado

Happy Anniversary to us!!!

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Stuff of (Dressage) Fairy Tales: Part 2

Earlier this summer I wrote about Jan's horse Lakota and his meteoric rise in the dressage world (click here).   Well, the fairy tale continues.  Lakota scored a 71 at the end of July in Prix St George, so Team Lakota decided to move him up to Intermediare last weekend.

In case you're not familiar with dressage tests, the levels build upon each other.  Moving from Prix St George to Intermediare adds half-pass zigzags and change of lead every 2 strides, etc.

So let's look at 14 seconds of a 5 minute test.  Here's movement #22.
The letters (FXH) tell you where to do the movement.  The next column tells you what to do.  The last column tells you what the judge is looking for in scoring the movement.

Here's what it looks like -

Lakota's Intermediare debut could not have gone better.  On Friday he scored a 68.8, and on Saturday 67.89.  He won both of his classes.  But hey, you can read all about it 



and lots of other places!  Yep, he's famous. 

Needless to say,

 Jan is a very happy owner.
Good boy, Lakota.

Friday, August 1, 2014

It's Raining...Caterpillars!

Our freakishly wet weather has brought us an invasion of caterpillars.  Redheaded pine sawflies, to be exact.

They're trimming our Ponderosa Pines

Our infestation is just a small nuisance infestation,
nothing like this -