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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thursday March 31, 2011

Its been a busy week, I can't believe it's Thursday already.  On Monday we headed down to Brooks to celebrate Neil's Dads 75th birthday.  It was a fun afternoon and evening.  Tuesday I went riding, rode both Kali and Razz.  Jardi was helping me with Kali. I feel like I don't even know how to ride my own horse, its awful.  Oh well I get another week to ride her before Jardi will get on again.

I got a new saddle, (more about that later) and so I rode in it Sunday and Tuesday and yesterday we worked the flag!  I so love it.  Also I was cleaning out my basement to lay the laminate flooring and moving junk around out of my way, I found two pair of chaps.  One is brown and I may wear them till I decide what I really want.  The other is a sandy color and if they fit Charlene she may use them.   I don't know where they came from, but kinda handy I found them.

I also found a pair of flourescent pink boots.  I put them on Razz and boy are they ever bright!  I am hoping the more I use them, the more dirt they will get on them so they don't stick out so much.

These pics are amazing, not because of the frost on the trees, although that is pretty cool too.  But because of the blue sky behind them, first time in forever we have seen the sky :)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Goals For Horses This Year

I was reading Shirleys blog a while ago and she had made a list of all the different things she wanted to get accomplished with her horses this year.  I do this every year, so I thought I would share it here as well.  It will be quite a long list as I have 10 horses to go through.  Last week I had 11, but the people who came to see Gypsy decided to buy her, and it sounds like it will be a perfect fit.  They are coming on Wednesday  to pick her up.
Well first off my Bailey girl.  This year I want to ride more cows with her, maybe rope something, work on getting her softer in the bridle, and maybe move her up to a curb bit.  I think she's ready for it, I'm not sure I am ready to give up control.  I also want to get her to open gates calmly.  She gets pretty worried when that gate is coming at her, and she likes ignoring my left leg, so that will take some work.

Then onto Belle.  I was planning on breeding her to Jardi's stallion Tangle this summer, but am not so sure now.  I would like a foal from them, but not sure if now is the best time for it.  Of course that would mean another 3 years before I ride it, so maybe that would be a good plan.

Then Dinero.  I want to get him more broke, maybe go to a paint horse show later in the summer/fall.  I also want to ride him through our cows and see how he takes that.  I am pretty sure he would make a good rope horse, but I am not a roper so we will have to see.  Or a kids horse, but of course that will be in a few years when he is more broke.  I was planning on taking him to the APHA World show next November and maybe selling him down there, but now that I have been cutting, it seems all I want to do is cut and I don't think he will make a cutter.

Disco.  She is gonna foal here end of May sometime and all I want to do with her is ride her in the fall.  See how she is, supposedly was ready to show cutting.  Means I may have 3 cutting horses!  That would be fun.  And would be nice to have something to learn of off.

Fly.  He is gonna go to his new home this spring, but before then I would like him to be halter broke and know how to load.  If we ever get nice weather that might happen.

George.  Not technically my horse, but Neil's.  I probly won't do much with him and he will get used for moving cows and stuff.

Jamaica.  He is staying here for a while I think.  I really like him but may list him for sale along with Jazz.  If he doesn't sell I am okay with that too. He will learn to lead, pick up his feet for a trimming and load in the trailer and get castrated.  Then turned out for summer and maybe work more with him in the fall.

Jazz.  She may get listed for sale as well,  she is not my favorite foal even though I am sure since I like Razz so much I would like her as well.  I think I am biased though I try not to be.  She is a registered paint, but looks like a quarter horse.  I always figure if you are gonna have a color breed they should be colored.  She needs to learn to lead, pick up feet for a trimming, and load in a trailer.

Kali.  She will get more training in by Jardi for a few more months, as soon as it gets warm out I will take her for trail rides about twice a week.  I may give her a month or two off in July/August and the go back in training with the intention of showing her in ranch cutting in the winter series.

And Razz.  Not last in favorites, just alphabetically.  I plan on getting her quicker responses from the leg and more cow work.  I want to show her in some shows this summer, not sure if we are ready for cutting yet although I had been told the Central Alberta Cutting Assosiation is a great place to start and there would only be about 4 in the classes.  Charlene wants to go to some gymkanas and so I may take Razz to those as well.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sunday Stills The Color Blue

This week I am finally back to participating in the Sunday Stills Challenge.  It is all about the color blue with no archives and no sky.  The sky here all this week has been an ucky grey/white color so thats not a big deal for me.  I came up with all pony things again this week, of course.  First off is Razz in her dark blue blanket.  She is standing in a snow bank here.

Then I went to put on my boots and remembered they were blue as well, lot lighter than my pony though.

Then after riding I took off my touque and gloves(these are not my riding gloves, but outside chore gloves )  and they both are blue as well.

Then while feeding Razz, I looked at the new bag of cookies I got for her and the bag is blue too!  I never got licorice before, ussually pepermint, but they sure seemed to like them.

For more pics, go to Sunday Stills.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Clinic Leftovers

I had a few more pics from the clinic I had to share.  This first one is actually on the way to Jardis on Friday and its my neighbors moving thier cow herd from Dalum to Finnegan.  It takes them about four days and it was all nice weather except Sunday was a little snowy, but by then the cows knew where they were going and so just headed home.

Then a pic of Guy showing us how to do something.  He is an amazing clinician/trainer, he sees us doing things we dont even know we do.  He was telling one guy to sit with his shoulders back and I said I was suprised he never told me that, and the guy sitting by me said there were other worse problems to fix before he even thought of fixing that.  I was kinda offended until he said the same thing happened to him, he waited till other stuff was fixed then worked on him, lol.

Then Loren, he worked hard the whole clinic on this little black horse turning the cow back to us at whatever speed he thought we needed.  He gave much advice as well, he sounds like a very knowledgable trainer.  Kinda fun to hear them throw ideas off each other.

The this pretty mare.  She is out of Dual Pep as well, so that was kinda cool for me. And she has no hair, well no winter hair, cause they just bought her at the futurity sale in Dec.  I forget how nice a slicked out horse looks at this time of year.

Speaking of hair, Razz is starting to shed and its really weird, only her white hair has shedded so far.  Not sure if this is just weird or if white hair sheds quicker on all horses.  Noone else has enough white on thier horses to notice a difference.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Snowy Days

This week has had some horrible weather!  When I got home on Sunday there was probly 8 inches of snow.  Now we are up to at least a foot if not 15 inches. Its ridiculous!!

Then the wind had to blow as well.  Like we needed more to add to all that snow.  It sure makes chores alot harder when you have to walk through all those snow drifts.

We have started calving, so far we have had four calves, but unfortunatly 2 didnt make it.  Not sure if it was just too cold and wet, but we think the one was stepped on, and the other took a long time to be born, so that may have had something to do with it.  We put out a lot more straw and cut out all the heifers from the calves and hopefully we will have better luck.  Its so hard when the snow has drifted all the gates closed though.

The roads have been plwoed, but there is so much wind they are blowing in again.

The prarie looks so big now cause the sky is the same color as the snowy ground.  I sure hope we get sunshine soon!

I am sick of winter even though im not sure brown grass right now would be prettier, but soon it would turn green I would think.  Last year at this time our dugouts were thawed and I had horses in the north pasture.  Right now that pasture has so much snow over the texas gates that I cant imagine putting horses there.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cutting Clinic with Guy Heintz and Loren Christianson

This past weekend I spent in Airdrie at a cutting clinic. I was pretty worried going in that we were not good enough to be taking the clinic.  Well it turned out we were not mounted on the same quality of horses as they all were, but I think it was an amazing clinic and I got all kinds of advice that I can use.

Both days we spent working cows from the herd and getting tips on how we can improve our cut.  I need to ride with less hands and more leg.  He says he would not like to come back as my horse cause I just pester her all the time instead of asking and really meaning it then backing off.  I hate when people do that and I didn't think I did, untill he told me at the time I was and wow I quit and amazing how much better Razz was.

I also was told I needed a new saddle, which I knew because I am using a wade ranch saddle which is amazingly comfortable, but not appropriate for cutting.  He figured it would solve most of my stopping problems cause it puts me in a better position to stop.

I need to also work on more rollbacks, without so much hands,  I tend to force her around and it makes it look horrible.  I tried and makes a big difference.  He told me to think of it as a sidepass around her tail.  Kind of a interesting way to but it, but made it easier to work on.

I also need to do more counterbending.  I know she is not very good at them, but that is very important in cutting.  We use it after turning with the cow, to press away from the cow we are cutting back to the herd but still facing the cow we are cutting.

I also do need to work on mirroring the cow more,  I tend to make a full turn, even when the cow only turns to face me.  I guess I was thinking of working the flag we always need to be straight with the flag,  but the flag can't turn only half way around.

There was a lot of stuff to work on, but by the end Razz was turning with the cow and starting to stop with them as well.  It was pretty cool.  We need to work more on cattle and we are thinking of taking a few lessons from Doug Reinhardt who is in Irricanna or from Guy Heintz who is in High River. Both take haul in lessons and I think we would improve greatly with more lessons on cattle.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Blogger Ride

Well last week I was over visiting Linda from One Old Cowgirl, and we got talking about having a blogger ride this summer.  We decided if the first week of June works for everyone it will work for us.  We were thinking if we can organize a day we will all come to my house when we brand, and then another day we can go down to Lindas and move cows or just ride. 

May is pretty busy and we were trying to remember and I think the first two weeks of June are usually pretty bug free.  After that it gets pretty bad, so I think that will work.

If anyone else has ideas, let us know.  We are thinking a weekend, but I don't want to say a day yet, cause Neil hasn't picked a branding date and probly wont for another month or more.
Both these pics are from June last year, out branding, and then moving cows at Lindas, I was riding her yellow horse Wilbur.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Questions and Answers

Over the last few post I have gotten some questions I keep meaning to answer but keep forgetting or have so much more to blog about, so I thought I would dedicate today's to answers.  Well see how it goes.

First off the arena we been riding in over at the neighbors place.  It is 80 by 200 feet.  It has lights, but we have never used them because there is Plexiglas panels on both sides and also the center of the roof.  What a difference all that natural light makes.  I think I heard it cost about $150, 000. for just the building, it is not insulated or heated, and the barn part was extra.  Not bad really.  Might even be doable at some point.  I wish it was closer to my house, but its up in Dalum, by where I board my horses.  The arena I regularly ride in is about 50 by 80, so its quite a bit smaller, but still plenty large enough to get some riding over winter in.

I was also asked about moving the shoulders, Razz has a hard time to think when her nose goes, her shoulder must follow. It makes it hard to get a decent rollback or spin if they don't do that. One thing Greg was saying was that its easier if they are already prepared for it, so in a roll back he had us take a step back until they were soft and when the inside back leg took a step back that is when to ask them so they are not having to step over that back leg to turn around. I never thought about where the feet were before but it really made a difference.

She also does not want to finish the turn before she leaves, so I had been stopping her at the end of the turn or doing a full turn but it wasn't really working well, so Greg had me take my inside rein and ask her to turn her nose the direction we want to turn, while my outside rein stays still, or if necessary moves straight back to my hip to keep her from going ahead before the turn was through.  If she was sluggish, I have to give her a good kick a couple times and then she moved the shoulder over.  Amazing how much I could control where she was at any time, kinda neat.

 It's hard to make my hands do different things at the same time though.  I used to move my outside rein the same as my inside rein which didn't work cause then I was crossing her neck which isn't good either.  So much to remember. 

I went riding yesterday and she was pretty good at rollbacks and softening, although I am gonna have to hold the softening for another second or so cause she collects then instantly puts her nose out, so hard to know when to release.  I was pretty afraid to lope, but I sucked it up and she was so good, no speediness or bracing, I think all this is transferring over to the lope, I'm so glad cause shes fun to lope (or she was before) and I don't want there to be something I don't like to do with her.  Especially if we are gonna do some reining shows this summer, I need to lope and stop, lol, that's like 3/4 of the pattern.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Cowhorse Clinic

This past weekend, we spent over at a cowhorse clinic with Greg Coffin.  He shows lots of snaffle bitter, does roping, ranchriding, cowhorse, cutting, and lots of colt starting.  He has tons of ideas for solving problems to get your horse where you want it to be.

We started Saturday with some basic loping circles, getting our horses soft and stopping.  Razz was having problems racing when we loped, so we went back to the trot and got her softening really nice!  I had been working on it, but my timing was off, so that really helped a lot to have someone talk me through it.

We worked on rollbacks and turnarounds too, I need to do more work on that, but after getting her shoulder to move over better its getting there.

We moved to the flag and Razz was drifting a little but I always was able to get her back to the flag and we did some of her best turns yet.

Then onto buffalos, it was awesome, she was not afraid of the buffalo at all, we had worked them one other time and she was a little wary, but this time I had to hold my cow side leg on her or we were way to close to them.  It was so fun!

On Sunday we went back and did a little bit of loping and stopping work then right on to the flag.  Razz was really bad, I couldn't get her near the flag, she just kept leaving, so Greg asked if he could get on her and he made her work the flag. They got really close.  Then I got on and he told me exactly what I have to do to get her near the flag.  It worked!  So much nicer when he knew what she was doing, so he could tell me exactly what to do to correct it.

Then the buffalos, Razz was awesome again, she even kept the buffalo pushed against the wall when they tried to leave and turn.  So much more fun when I know how to totally control her shoulders.  Razz actually was watching the buffalo as well, when they turned and left, she was right with them, she didn't stop with them, but I think that will come.

Jardi rode Kali (and Katie and Tangle) and Kali was awesome, especially on the buffalos!  I think even Jardi was impressed with her.  She was really watching and turning with them and stopping, I can't wait till I get to do all that fun stuff with her!

Friday, March 11, 2011

More on Kali

Well I been doing some research on Kali and her bloodlines.  Its kinda hard to find some stuff out and others just jump out at you.  First off her mom is Senorita Chic Olena.  A daughter of Smart Chic Olena out of a Colonel Freckles daughter.  Pretty good bloodlines there, but I knew that when I got her. 

The mare is also a bay, looks a little darker than Kali and is only 6!  she already has NRHA and NRCHA earnings, as well as her ROM in AQHA Reining.  She lives in Ocala, Florida and is for sale for $20,000.

She also has a video of her working in the arena.

Kinda cool what I can find out on the internet.  I never did find just a picture of her standing still, but still looking.

Her Sire however is a little more famous, Dual Pep.  NCHA $302,053 LTE $313,192 1998 world champ cutting NCHA Open Classic Champion 2007 Equi-Stat #3 Leading Sire 2002 Equi-Stat #6 Leading Cutting Sire #3 All-Time Leading Cutting Sire Siring the earners of over $22,100,000.Stud Fee $15,000.00 + Chute Fee.  Kinda crazy!  I sure can't imagine paying that!

He is the #4 leading sire of NCHA events since 2008, offsrping earnings of over 19 million, with an everage earner of $31, 529. 

INCENTIVES: Dual Pep's offspring are paid up in the Super Stallions Incentive Fund (SSIF) and he is subscribed to the NCHA Super Stakes, Super Stakes Classic, Bonanza, and PCCHA incentives.
Kinda fun to learn about pedigrees.  Im still looking, but one day I hope to add to his offspring earnings :)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

New Truck

We had been thinking for a while now that either we have to get rid of my truck or keep it till it dies forever. 

 It's a 2006 model and it had 204, 000 kms on it.  While it had no serious problems, it had no warranty or anything left on it and its just a matter of time before something big goes wrong.  So I had a service appointment in Drum on Tuesday and Neil was gonna drop off his quad at a friends shop, we thought we would just look at new trucks. 

We didnt want a super fancy model cause we dont use most of that stuff anyways, so pretty plain.  No sunroof, no sliding back window, dont need the navigation system, and all that.  We seen two of the model we liked on the lot, either a really dark brown or white. I was okay with brown, but knida boring and Neil didn't want white, and they had a pretty green in a different model, so we asked the salesman if he can find a green one in the model we were loking at.  We wanted a SLT, but next thing we knew he was driving a green truck around the corner and stops.  He found a ST model, a little plainer but we decided it would do. It was on the boulevard not in the lot so we couldn't see it. 

We went inside and did the financing and insurance and everything.  We walked in at 1 and drove out at 5 with a new truck!  We never expected to get the truck in the same day, we were only gonna look. 

So far its pretty nice, a lot smoother than my old truck, but not sure if thats because its new or just better suspension.  It doesnt have a temperature in it (that I have found yet) and I definitly miss that.  I also prefer the console rather than the center seat this one has, and no fold down floor in the back seat, but I think I can live with that, not a big deal.  Pretty fun to get a new truck when it wasnt expected!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Extra Horses

Monday I again went to the doctor.  I am healthy, he says.  I said I still cough and feel tired, and he says that the cough can last up to two more weeks and I will feel more rested by then as well, but stay away from sick people as I am very suseptible to getting reinfected.  So good news I guess.

Anyways on the way to the doctor I seen the mysterious footprints in the yard,

 then I seen a telltale sign that horses had been running through our yard. 

Well after reading Loves Ranchlife and More where their horses escaped, I was pretty worried about our ponies.  Although I did think it was weird that they would leave cause the babies are in the corral and there was tons of hay and oat bales in the yard and I couldn't see how they would get through at least 2 fences.

But after talking to the hubby and seeing my own horses, I knew we had the neighbors horses wandering in the yard.  They were pretty easy to tell apart, 9 horses, a pony and a mule.  And two of the horses were paint and one an appy, so we should have been able to recognize whos they were.

We called two different neighbors and they werent there, Neil went to visit two others and they weren't thiers, so we were confused, no other close neighbors have horses. 

So yesterday we were in town all day and we had a thought about 6 miles up the road from us last summer one neighbor had a bunch of horses like this, so we phoned and sure enough they are his.  Not sure how they got all that way through all kinds of fences, cause the tracks to our house came from the south, but who knows, just glad they got here instead of on the highway or something.

They came this morning with a stock trailer and it took two loads, but they all got home again.