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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Moving Cows with Good Friends

So the weekend before I went to get Chili I got asked to come down and help move cows.  Well heck yes :)  I always feel privileged when I am asked to help move cows.  Sometimes its easy and fun and other times its work and long days.  Either way its so worth it.  Another girl was going as well and she lives on the way and so I picked her up and we traveled together.  What a fun way to travel.  We knew each other but haven't visited in a while so it was good to catch up again.

We went the night before cause it was 4 hours away and we stayed up late visiting it was nice to have a girls night.  I brought Jessie and J brought her pally horse and after hanging out in the trailer on the ride they were best buds and hung out in the corral together had no trouble.  Of course Jessie was just happy to have grass and a friend, shes so easy.

Click on the pics to see them bigger, they look better :)

(good set of black cows)

(my view most of the day)

(and on the other side)

(Going into the valley)

(some pictures get a little wonky when riding, I wish Wilbur's tail was hanging to the side
 so it would look like we were on a real steep sidehill)

(I thank Linda for taking this I love it...and my toque lol)

In the morning a couple more friends come and we saddled up and were off.  We moved the trailer to where we were gonna quit so we didnt have to ride all the way home.  The cows were right outside the yard and we gathered them up and pushed them out.  The cows are pretty quiet and didnt really wanna leave but they were pretty good.  They get called the city cows cause they hang out near building and like the stock trailer lol.  It was a pretty ride, and not too hard, there was a nice cow trail down the hill and then we pushed them all the way to the dugout so they knew where the water was.  Seems like such a small amount of cows there compared to when I am usually riding with them.
(sitting in the back)

(neat rocks coming out of dirt hills)

(more cows in the bottom)

(cool cactus the J was shadow touching)

(taking my pic while I was visiting and not looking)

(pretty river?  only shows up when it rains)

(hard to see but the US border is over the valley, its all crop land on the other side, 
easier to see if enlarged)

Afterwards we took out the side by side and we drove on the trails to some of the cooler places down there.  Some places are just like home while others are quite different.  Lots of snakes down there and no gophers so no gopher holes that was nice.  And no brush that was weird.  And so very flat, I guess its not as flat here as I thought it was compared to there.  Really neat spot I sure enjoyed riding and touring and seeing old friends and new places.  Perfect trip, was kinda sad when it came to an end.  But I got home and the nephews were here and they missed me and were super excited when I got back so that made it a little better.
(and a pretty windy hilly road on the way home...J took this)

Monday, August 31, 2015

Good Bye Chili

Well I did it.  I sold Chili at the auction last week.  I'm not sure it was the right choice or what I should have done but after who knows what she had done with her I was not sure I wanted to spend the money to get her back to where she was when I sent her to the trainer.  I'm sure I don't have the skill so would end up costing me a whole lot if I could even find someone who would try it.

Before I sent her she was coming along, I could catch her by herself or with others, it took a couple minutes but not bad.  I could pick up her feet, back feet were a little iffy, and brushed out her mane and her body all over.  Not a lot but that's why I was sending her to a trainer, I didn't have time in June to train her.  And I've never completely started a horse so it made me nervous, specially with a horse that was kinda nervous already.

I talked to him lots, both over the phone and in emails.  We agreed that she would stay for 30 days I would go see her progress and then decide if that was good enough for me or get him to keep on riding her for the 60 days.  I have had lots of horses that have had 30 days (or less even if that's what it was supposed to be) and had no troubles so that's what I was expecting.  I was planning on using her as a ranch horse and so all I asked was if he would ride her outside a few times before I came so that's not a totally new thing for her.  If she stands to get on, moves off leg pressure and turns, and walk trots canters without trouble that's perfect.  Anything else is just a bonus.  Like Dinero he was so quiet he was working on side-passing and opening gates, started a turnaround all in the 30 days.  But I knew she wasn't gonna be like that I knew how she was and kinda expected a bit of attitude, partly cause she was 4 and she was a little nervous/fast.  She went there June 3rd.  He seemed nice, rode nice and had a nice place to train out of.

After 2 weeks, never heard anything and hate to bother them constantly but I asked how she was going.  He said she was right on track with the 2 year olds, coming along nicely, he said he would get some videos and pics next time his girlfriend come out. That made me happy, I figured she was smart enough to get stuff if presented right and seemed OK so far.

Another 3 weeks went by and still never heard anything so I asked him again how she was doing and if she was ready to come home.  He said she was going well then she got a case of girth itch and reacted badly to it so he gave her a couple weeks off and if I just wanna cover board for july he will get her back where she was before I can take her home.  So fine I sent the board money and all was well and he said he would keep her the extra month and get her going outside and such cause of the extra wait.  Sounded like a good deal to me.  Not that I was all that upset about that, lots of horses get it specially at training places,  Wish he woulda told me about it rather than having to ask though.

Then almost a month later I get a message saying he has put lots of work into my horse and shes not really coming along.  He says she knows quite a bit but was dangerous.  She works great for a certain amount of time and then she is done and will try to kick or shut down when hes on the ground.  when he rides her he says she has a bit of buck.  He thought might be ulcers or equine epilepsy or something.  He says feels bad that shes not where he wants but hes put a lot of time into her and cant afford more of his time on her.  and suggests I come pick her up.  So I agree and ask if Monday works and he can show me what hes done with her.  He says that works, says he feels bad and hates sending horses home like that.

So Monday comes around and I ask him what time works and he never gets bsck to me so I just go and am waiting on an answer, I stop in Drum for lunch and some shopping and then keep going.  I finally ask him again when works and he says he is in a meeting and might be better for me to pick her up.  I say my Mom lives in Olds and I can visit her for a couple hours if that works.  he says ya that would be perfect and he will call when hes back.  So I go have coffee with my Mom and then she has to leave at 7 so I head out, get fuel and stop for supper then figure I better just go cause its getting dark.  So I get to the place and call him again and no answer so I go get her.  Took me 45 minutes to catch and load her.  She was all skittish and jumpy and being super nervous.  I blame part of it on the dark but she was in with 5 other horses (which I didn't know expected her to be by herself) and 3 of them were super quiet and just kept hanging around me, but not her.  She finally quit running and I got her and she is a mess.  her feet are terrible long, her mane is all tangles and she is skinny.  Not what I expect from a horse that was handled daily.

So I head home, he calls me at 10 and says hes on his way, I say shes in my trailer already and I'm on the way home and something about it woulda been nice to know that Monday didn't actually work I coulda come any day.  Never got an answer back and chances are I wont ever go there or recommend him to anyone.  I don't think hes a bad trainer, I just think he had too much on his plate and didnt spend near as much time as she needed.  Hes at a new barn and the barn owner said he has his kid all day with him and he just recently got there and hasn't seen him much.  So I don't know what going on in his personal life but it wasn't any good for my horse and probly the others there as well.

Friday, August 21, 2015


So I got an email from the guy who has Chili and it doesnt sound good.  She was good for the first couple weeks and then she got a cinch gall and he tried riding her and she didn't like that so he gave her time off and I paid board for her and he said he wanted her back where she was.  Well that was a month ago and he has asked me to come get her.  Hes put in more time than I paid for and it really seems to bother him.  He's thinking it might be ulcers but even so he's not sure he'd spend the money/time on her. 

I don't know what to do.  Do I cut my losses or hope some ulcer medication works and she gets over it? He said she's good 3 days and then has a bad day.  Ugh I had so much hope for her even though I think I would like Trio better cause she's calmer but still not what I was hoping for.

Guess I will go and see her and decide then.  Pretty sad about it.

But in better news I get to go help move cows this weekend :)

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Stars Ride in Trochu

Last Sunday, the 9th I went on the Stars Ride.  I had always wanted to ride up there at the ranch but they quit doing trail rides a couple years ago and so was kinda sad and then heard they had been hosting this ride for 26 years and are still gonna do it so I decided I should go.  I had 2 planned but missed out on the Battle River one (stupid reasons) but I raised money for this one so I went.  It was only an hour and a half from home so I just drove up there in the morning.

I got up pretty early and fed the ponies and then loaded up about 7:30 so I could be there around 9.  Worked really well except I thought there would be a lot more people I knew there since not that far from home.  But not a single person I recognized there.  Oh well no worries, I asked a couple next to me if I could ride with them and they said sure.  Well the ride was a leave when you wanted to anytime between 10 and noon.  So that was kinda nice.

We left about 10:30 and rode with a couple other people leaving at the same time.  The one lady had been there all week setting up trail so It was neat talking to her.  The trail was well marked, pretty hard to go wrong.  It was a poker rally as well so there was 5 stops.  The first was up a pretty steep hill and then there was a shorter and longer route and we took the longer route every time.  There was 3 times you could go shorter if you wanted.

Razz was upset about something that day, I have no idea what but by the first poker tent she was soaked from head to tail.  I kept her slow and she wasn't really agitated just kept trying to go faster, which she hasn't done in a long time and rather surprised me.  I thought something was wrong.  I even unsaddled her and checked everything and couldn't find a single thing wrong.  And when we stopped I made her stand and that wasn't a big deal she had no trouble doing that.  Really don't know, unless she was trying to catch up to everyone in front of us. So after a while I just rode by myself and let her walk as fast as she wanted as long as we stayed on the trail and she just walked.  It worked better but she was still in a real hurry.

The whole ride was still very pretty just not as relaxing as I woulda liked but I still enjoyed it.  I visited with lots of different people and learned some cool stuff.  I hear there is another ride on Sept 13 at the Daine's Ranch for cancer but I am running in a 10K race that day so that's not gonna work this year.  Maybe I will make one fundraiser ride a year my goal.  I never stayed for supper since I was done at 2 and supper was at 4-6.  I did put my name in for a few silent auction items but I never got any.  I never got any good hand at poker either, but I never do.  Its a good cause so its OK.

At the end since they are ight at the river lots of people brought their horses to the river to cool them off and have a drink.  I went down there to have a look, I wish we had a nice entry into the river like that.