Feel free to use any pictures you would like from my blog, but I would like recognition please!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Foaling Contest

Okay its that time of year again...foaling!!!

I only have one mare to foal out this year, which I am glad for.  Disco.  She is 15 and this will be her 5th foal (I think).

Two years ago she had a bay roan colt and last year a brown filly.  She is bay and the stud this year and previous two foals is a bay roan.

I need a guess on color, sex and date.  The prize will be a horsey stapler!  Its so cute and it works good. ( I have one myself)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Prairie Fire

On Saturday morning I was just getting ready to head over to Jardi's to start Jamaica on his first walk outside the stall and then we were gonna load up and head to Airdrie to work cows.  Before I could get ready, Neil comes in and asks if I will give him a ride to his bike cause he run out of gas and walked home.  So no problem, we head out and as we get there we look over towards the highway and there is smoke, so we look a little closer and can see its on the other side of the highway but not too far.  We phone who we think the land belongs to and head over there.  Of course we don't have any fire fighting gear and I am in rubber boots.  But we found some old clothes of Neils in his truck and there were lots of sloughs around so that was nice.

We first seen the fire on the neighbors road and since I only had my phone with me I got a  couple shots of it on the way there.  It was bad cause there was so much leftover grass from last year and its really weird to see flames from a grass fire.

It turns out the fire trucks couldn't get to the fire cause the ground was too soft.  We had to put it all out by hand.  But about 30 people showed up and we finally got it out about 1:30. We were the first ones there and luckily the second people there was a neighbor who works for Conoco and she shut down the pumpjack cause the fire was already burning into the lease.  It was a little close.

We rushed home and I changed drove to Jardi's, hooked up the trailer and loaded the horses.  Thanks goodness Char waited for me and brought lunch too!  We got to the arena about 4 and rode our ponies and Razz was awesome on the cows, she did everything right ( I made a few mistakes though).  Then I rode Dinero there and he was such a perfect little guy, we walked trotted and loped and he was even good when the guy came in the arena with the backhoe and loaded up the panels.

Jardi and Susan had left before we did so they had worked thier horses on the cows and Jardi rode Kali and she was pretty sweet!  I can't wait till I get to ride her on cows.  She is a little afraid of them coming at her, but I'm sure she will get over that soon.

We finally got home, unloaded, unhooked, the horses all fed and put away and I headed home.  Never got home till about 9:30 and I had a bath and went to bed.  I was exhausted!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sunday Stills--Flowers

This week our Sunday Stills is flowers.

There is not much here for flowers, yet.  But Saturnday morning neil came in witht he first crocus of the year.  Lucky for me it was just in time.

If not, I was gonna show these, my veggies that have just hardly started growing  maybe just the cucumbers and they are pretty little, way too little for flowers yet.

And this tray as well, not much here either, just the lettuce has started.

For more go to Sunday Stills.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Summer Plans

I have had a number of plans I wanted to get done this summer.  First off was my yard.  I have planned many many projects for my yard, not sure how many will get done this summer, but eventually I want them all done.

Kinda hard to see in the photo unless you make it way bigger, but I have a list of 9 items to get done.
1) Change the brick cement block patio to a raised wooden one
2) Put in fireplace with brick around it
3) Pound posts and put up rail fencing--the posts are in already
4) Paint north wall of greenhouse and make a new roof and east wall
5) Arbour gate by the garden
6) Plant trees, I have planned on ordering 40-50  hoping half live
7) Change the lilac hedge into an evergreen hedge, probly white pine
8) Make pathways out of flat rocks level with the grass
9) Paint Garden shed and rebuild doors and inside shelves

Then the Garden Plan  I only have 5 plans for it, but they may take longer than the yard.

1) Remove old cold frame
2) Dig out strawberries, edge and replant in raised bed
3) Mow around garden plot and build bench to put in there
4) Plant more trees--some from the yard plan
5) Lay paving stones as a pathway to garden plot.

These are my great plans for the summer in between the time I am not riding my ponies and doing all the other things that need to be done on the ranch, like checking cows, haying, mowing, gardening, housework, and making jams.  Should be a busy summer if it ever gets here!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Catching Up

I have to appologize to all my blogger friends cause I feel like I haven't been posting regularuly.  There is no good reason for it, I just haven't had a lot of time.  Besides my camera being left in Ponoka cause Vic couldn't remember what safe place he put it in, and my computer only working for about 15 minutes before it shuts off, and taking time to ride, I just am not motivated to post.

But hopefully that will all change.  I have been reading everyone elses blogs I just haven't been commenting very often.  I am planning on getting back into a routine again here soon, I am hoping anyways.

Well on Saturday we headed up to pick up a gelding for Charlene, he came home with us his name is Cutting Dude and it is very approriate cause he is a cutter :)  Hes pretty sweet.  He got a hock injury last fall and is almost better, there is still some swelling and its got a small scab, but he was never sore on it and so she is conditioning him by riding about 15-20 minutes a day fro this week and a little more next week and so on.  She won't be cutting as soon as with the others she tried, but she has liked him for about a year and so she is okay with that.  Now we just got to talk him into selling me Karcy (who I don't need, but I sure liked her)

On Sunday I moved my horses, Belle, Dinero, George and Bailey to the pasture North of the house.  Last spring I moved a few there so the mares could foal in peace.  This year I left Disco in with the foals and they are sure not gonna bother her.  On Monday I decided to take Dinero over to Jardis to ride for a bit again and so I loaded him up from the pasture and thought maybe Jamaica should come over and get a halter on and some handling cuase he really need his feet done.  So I got Neil to help me get him out and he loaded really good, he was harder to seperate from his buddies than load.

So we put him in a stall and I scratched him a few times yesterday and today I am hoping to get his halter on.  He wasnt even worried standing in the stall in the barn, even when all the other horses were put outside he was okay.  I think he will come around quickly and then maybe I will bring another foal over.

I also rode Razz and I am so amazed at her rollbacks how much improved they are, I remember hating to practice them cause they were so awful, and now I enjoy doing them cause she actually does them right.  Whata  difference!

Theses pics are all from my phone, the colts with Disco, Jazz, and two of Neils funny cards.  I am not very patient when it comes to pics with the camera, but it seems to take okay ones.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Neils Birthday

Today is Neil's birthday, so we had his Mom and Dad and his sister and neice and nephew come up for the afternoon.  We had fried chicken and potato salad and cherry chip cake.  We used to always have a BBQ outside on his birthday, but it is way too cold out this year so we changed plans.

Yesterday I went riding and Razz was really good again, I sure am liking we are getting more consistant.  I can get her to slow trot after about two steps now and we are still working on the lope, I think that will still take more time cause she doesn't get it yet.  I never realized how little mane that it looks like she has in her picture, but she has a super thick mane and tail, so much so one guy at the clinic we went to said I she has more hair than he had horse.  It was funny.

I have gotten a couple inquiries on Jazz and so we will see where that goes.  I am not suprised about her cause she is a sweetheart and so cute.  I think I would really like her as a riding horse, but right now and all last year I liked Jamaica better.  No logical reason for that and he doesn't really think the same, but thats how it is.

If all goes right, we are heading up to Ponoka in the morning to pick up a horse for Charlene.  She is gonna ride him for a couple weeks and then probly buy him.  Its a different one then we looked at last week, she has had her eye on him since last fall and so we shall see how that tuens out.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Working on Razz

Well after trimming Razz's feet on Sunday, on Monday I went and we rode pretty hard, and the poor girl was sweaty from head to tail, the only dry spot on her was on her forehead.  We were working on speed control within a gait.  She has mostly figured it out at a trot, but when I ask her to collect, she does then immediatly pulls her head away, so I been holding it and she puts her head up and sideways before back down, she is getting better, it's just not the first thought to put it down. 

At the lope, she hasn't gotten the idea yet, we need more work on it!  After loping, to go back to the trot is really hard for her cause she always wants to go fast again, so making her trot slow is really a challenge for her, but she can do it.   At the lope, her slow lope is awful and rough, if she would quit pulling on me I think it would be a lot nicer, it is almost a relief when she breaks into a trot cause its not so rough.

I took Tuesday off cause our accountant come and that was painful and super slow, but its finally done.  Today we had a lesson on the flag.  I put Razz in a twisted wire snaffle with a martingale.  I was using a regular snaffle, but she was leaning pretty good on me, so I am gonna use the twisted wire for a while then switch back later.  The martingale will hopefully stop her head from going up when I ask her to slow down.

Before the flag, I rode her quite a bit so she would be used to the new bit, and it never bothered her much, but she sure responded quicker.  We moved to the flag and she was so good!  She still sometimes goes past the flag, but her turns were excellent and she was waiting on me when we backed up.  I like riding her on the flag now, way better than we first started.  I never realized how much until today.  Another girl came down to practice the flag with us and her horse had never worked the flag.  She was pretty good, but it just reminded me how much better our horses are after 4 months on the flag.  I think Razz likes the flag too cause it is a pretty short ride and she gets lots of breaks in between work. 

I braided Razz's mane on Monday after riding cause I was hoping she would have less sweat if she didn't have that heavy mane to keep it super warm under there.  I didn't test if it worked today cause she never sweat very much but I'm sure she will tomorrow or Friday.  Guess she really is turning into a high maintenece pony.  Glad she's the only one or it would take all day just to  unblanket and braid and brush them all.

I also listed Dinero on Kijiji, and on Northern Horse, as well as Jamaica, and Jazz.  Im still up in the air about selling the babies, but we shall see.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Weekend Plans Go Awry

On Friday we headed up to Olds for the Northern Bloodstock sale.  It was really good, so many nice well bred horses there and many people we knew also.  This was the first sale I have ever been to where a broodmare was high seller, $14000.  There was a couple nice broke horses there and lots of young stock and a few I certanly could have come home with, but I didn't.  Charlene debated on a couple, but never bought either.

I stayed over at Charlenes that night cause Saturday morning we were planning on heading out to my house with our ponies and ride with the cows and maybe get some halters on my colts and maybe do some scrapboking.  It was gonna be a fun relaxing weekend.  But as we got to the barn and had our horses loaded, Jardi drives up and asks if we want to go to Vic's cause he has some horses for reasonable for Charlene.  So we loaded up a horse for Jardi and headed up to Ponoka.

There were two horses there to try out, a mare and a gelding.  She tried the mare and really liked her but shes 18 so not sure about that.  But she is in really good shape, not overused but used regularily and Vic figures she could easily cut for another 6 years.  She had a vet look at her and they said she has no soundness issues and is sounder than most younger horses.  So that was good, but might as well try the gelding as well.  She REALLY liked him, he worked really good for her and it was gonna be a done deal so she phoned the owner and left a message.  During all this, I was being herd help, which I am not very good at, but I am learning.  It was good for Razz too, sitting still by the cows and then just moving when we needed to.

We worked our own horses afterwards, Jardi wanted us to circle all the cows with one on the ouside and keep it outside the herd.  It was kinda fun, but really fast, we had to lope almost the whole time to keep up, but Razz was awesome!  Except when I lost a stirrup then I was lost, so we stopped and restarted.  Oh and she tried to run me into the in gate, so we worked on that a bit, but she needs more help to slow down and not rush through the gate.  Afterwards our horses were sweaty, so we bathed them (I only hosed Razz and shampooed her tail, cause shes never had a bath before and I thought it might be a bit much all at once)  then we put coolers on them then visit for a bit then headed home. 

We got home at midnight and  the horses were dry and so we put thier blankets on and turned them out to eat and helped Jardi with her chores then I stayed at Charlenes overnight again.  On Sunday morning I realized I forgot my camera up at Vic's, so we called him and he said the owner of the gelding called him and told him he is blind in the sunlight and has to wear a mask outside. Well all the summer cuttings are outside, so thats kinda useless.  She never has called Charlene and so now she is really thinking on the mare.

We spent the day at the barn visiting and grooming the ponies, we were gonna go for a ride, but since our horses had clean legs, we thought we would shave them and trim up thier chins.  Razz looks so much prettier now, without all that long hair.  I really was tempted to clip her whole body, but I resisted.  She will shed off soon enough I guess.  It was a fun day, but we will have to make different plans for another weekend for Charlene to come out to my house.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A New Saddle

Since I have been cutting, I knew I needed a new saddle.  I have been looking around and asked a bunch of people what they use.  Jardi and Charlene and Susan use Vic Bennets.  I have tried them and they are okay, but I like Jardi's older one but not her new one, Susan has the same as Jardis new one, and Charlene's is a little different.  I don't mind them but wanted to see what else there was.

I have heard from numerous people a Teskey saddle isn't good.  I haven't heard anything good about them fitting a horse, so I am staying away from them.  There are also Billy Cooks, and I don't think they are too bad, but I didn't really like them. Also RooHides,  they are really popular, but I think they sit quite wide and since they are sooo soft I have heard trainers say they just don't hold up to people who want to ride every day.  Although that is what Guy Heintz was using.

So I was at the ACHA clinic and a bunch had these Sean Ryon saddles, so when I got home I looked them up and see they are only sold in Texas but they look really nice, but I was pretty sure I wouldnt be able to get one cause I didn't want to order and have one come and not like it.

Then Saturday March 26, Charlene and I headed up to Irvine's Tack and Trailer to buy jeans and look at boots.  I got a set of four Professionals Choice Elite boots for $99!!! They were on clearance cause the package has changed.  Anyway they mostly had Teskey and I didn't want one, so we headed to K & K Livestock in Strathmore where we do most of our tack shopping. 

We were looking around, they had lots of Roo Hides and no Vic cutters, but we go around the other side and much to my suprise there was a Sean Ryon!  I was amazed!  I sat in it and I coulda stayed there all day, so comfortable.  I talked to Karen and said I want to bring my horse there and try it on her and she said I could take it home and ride in it a couple times and then I would know for sure if I like it!!  I was so on that, so I did but we never had time on Saturday to ride, but we did put it on Razz and it seemed to fit her really well.  We put it on Kali and it looked a little big especially in the loins, but she should fill out a little and I will see later if it will fit her.  So far it seems to fit her, I have rode her in it quite a bit and it seems fine.

While there I also bought a lighter blanket for Kali cause her other one was rubbing and I don't think she needed another winter blanket cause its supposed to be spring.  On our way home we stopped at Lammles and they had jeans on sale so I ended up with two pairs and a bottle of MTG and a dress shirt all for  $115!! 

I went back on Sunday and after cleaning stalls for Jardi, I saddled up Razz in the new saddle and rode her!  I love it!  Oh man it was so comfortable and I coulda rode in it forever.  I so love it, so I phoned Karen and told her and she called the consigner and see what kind of price she can get for me.  She got me a good deal except he wanted the Nettles stirrups back so she gave me a comprable wooden pair, but I had an engraved aluminum pair I put on and they are super comfortable.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Winter melting

There is still lots of snow here at my house.  This is looking south at the horse pasture.

This is looking west at the summer pasture.  It is just starting to bare off on the tops of the hills.

Then over to where I been riding, its amazing how much less snow there is over there.

So much less we been riding outside on the lease roads and they are pretty dry.  I even took Kali out yesterday and she was a champ.  A little spook when the Canada geese in front of us took of, but it didn't last long.

This is a "creek" that runs in the spring flowing down the coulee to the river.

It is crazy how it overflows the banks and just never stops running.

The creek at our house just started trickling yesterday and this has been running for at least a week, so its no wonder there is less snow over there.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Baby Calves

We have about 22 baby calves so far this year, a little more than 10 percent of the total.  They are so cute when they are little (then they grow up to be cows).

This one was just wandering around with its mother following it.

Some are sleeping.

Some are licking thier mommies instead of thier mommy licking them.

And some are itchy.

All in all pretty cute little calves.  Although I would prefer a few more white faces in there.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Water Trough

Ever since we moved the heifers up into the corral so they can calve, we had to move my colts to a bigger pen.  This is okay with them, but there is no automatic waterer in there.  There is a water trough with a hydrant beside it, so its not too bad especially in the summer, but now the water freezes every night.

So we only fill it a little bit every day and it freezes a little bit so we just put more water on top of the ice.  This actually works benificial because there is a hole in the bottom of the trough that is now filled with ice so it doesn't leak any more.

But it means every day I have to go out there and fill it just enough to give them enough water to drink but not too much it will be full before the weather warms up enough to thaw it.  It is pretty quick and I am usually only out there just enough time to turn it on and go get oats for them then when I get back to it I can turn it off.

I think it's kinda cool how the water goes under the ice and bubbles.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sunday Stills--Your Camera and Gear

This week all we had to do was take a picture of our camera and all our picture taking stuff.

I love my camera although I'm sure it can take better pictures than I take.

I got this tripod for my birthday a few years ago and I have only used it a few times cause I ussually forget I have it.

This is my first camera (yup it was film) and sometimes I miss the film cause now when I get pictures printed I already know what I am gonna get, with film it was always a suprise to remember what you had taken.

And my phone, which I don't use often for pictures, but had to today to take the pic of my camera.  Suprisingly it does take good pictures.

And I found this old digital camera of our neighbors and had to include it.  Just cause it used a 3.5" floppy disk in it. But it only held about 10 pictures.

For More go to Sunday Stills.