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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Monday Blahs

So my next show is this weekend, the 4th and 5th.  All sounds good, lessons are going well, until now.
(temp was 25 C on Friday!, too bad it was back down to 3 C today)

We have to go to a funeral in Peace River on Thursday and so for the next 3 days I will be gone as it is a 10 hour trip up there.  I am kinda in a panic.  I went to a lesson today and I worked a cow and the first cow was really good then the next 2 not as good, so we went and worked the flag and that was better, he was trying to mix her up and in the meantime mixed me up, lol.  She was stopping short on one end and too far on the other so he was changing stopping distances to get her to even up and it was hard!  But we got it pretty well.  I sure would like to go to another lesson this week and he said I can come Friday if we get home early enough but I have my doubts :(

I got out the white trailer, it hasn't moved in a long time, but the stock trailer is still broken which annoys me but I had an appointment yesterday to take my white trailer in to get a wheel alignment.  And while it was there I got them to hang the door caddy.  That was perfect.  So I used it today and it worked well.  Still not sure its exactly what I want but I will probly end up using it this year and then will see.

I took a couple videos of Jessie drinking water out of the sloughs one day, don't know why she wanted the water so much, her pen had lots but oh well, she was standing in water and drinking it so whatever.

Also saw some antelope on the road one day as I was leaving, and so I stopped and took some pictures of them, they are so curious they just can't help but look at me so they always take good pics.

Friday, April 26, 2013

More Lessons and Whatnot

The last little while I haven't been blogging as much as usual.  No reason really.  I have about a million things to blog about and if I could just talk to my computer and have it type out the blog while I am doing something else (like driving  to lessons) it would be so much easier.  But since that is unlikely to happen here I am late again.

Tuesday I went for a lesson and we worked cows and it was really good.  I was a little worried cause I missed out on my second lesson last week and so it had been a week since I done anything cutting like and that was only the flag so I thought she would be super fresh, but seems like everything we did was right.  I am much quicker at correcting her and its catching on quicker to her as well if I can catch it every time she makes a mistake.  One time I thought she was going before the cow and so I stopped her from it but Doug said it was alright she was just stopping the cow.  So confusing!  But we just moved on and got more good stop and waits.   After the lesson I asked him if I should use her for other stuff and he said absolutely!   And if I get a chance, stop with a cow and turn and wait on them.  He says roping is really good for them, heeling only cause headers get ahead of the steers and don't want to start that.  So I dunno, maybe I should start some team roping?  I'm glad I asked, cause I figured it was OK, but I don't wanna mess her up.  I also asked about a trainer to start Jazz and he gave me a name so I may call him, I kinda know him, more heard of him than actually know him, but everything I hear about him sounds good so may give it a shot.

Then Wed Neil's Dad came out to repack all the rest of the bearings on the trailer and turns out the one I broke actually wrecked the hub and so it wore and the dust cap doesn't really fit on and so we are getting a new one, Neil is picking it up in town today and it should be on tonight. But in the meantime I had already booked a lesson for Thursday so had to take Neil's stock trailer and his truck.  What a pain, I hate not having my truck cause it has everything in it.
 (we went to the farrier last week and tried getting pics, 
but the ponies were not very cooperative :)

But I got to the lesson and Doug says we are gonna work the flag first then a single cow cause she can be kinda fresh on cows, so we went to the flag and it was so good!  I hardly corrected her at all, just a few times when we start we always ask for the stop and back up, but after that if my legs were on her at the right time we did well.  I am starting to learn how my legs can work in connection with the flag and now if I just translate that over to cows it will be good.
 (Jessie is shedding a little bit, she don't have much winter hair left :) )
(after our lesson, she deserves all the goodies :) )

I been riding out at home, but its a pain cause every time I leave with Jessie and leave Razz behind, Razz makes a tonne of noise the whole time, i gotta move them into a bigger pen so I can keep another horse in there so she is not alone.  I would keep Jessie by herself cause she is usually OK with that but everything is working so well I don't want to change anything and mess it up.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Summer Plans

The other day it was halfway warm out and I got busy cleaning out my tack room in preparation for use again.  Right now I am using my white trailer as a tack room cause there was so much snow in front of my tack room, it is melting but now there is a lot of water still sitting around.

I started to put all the stuff I probly won't use this summer in the rubber maids and hanging in the back, and the stuff I will use up front where I can get at it.  I for sure put away all my driving stuff and the foal stuff since there is none of that going on this year.

My plans this summer, showing Jessie, of course.  But around that I want to get Jazz started, either by me or by someone else ( I would prefer someone else but I am so picky about who handles my horses I am having a hard time finding someone).  I want to get a couple months on her and then probly turn her out and maybe ride her more in the winter.  And I want to get something done with Magic.  I am thinking I will keep her in with Bailey in the corral and hopefully get somewhere, I am not as worried about riding her as much as I am about getting her able to be haltered and leading and picking up her feet without a fight, after that we will see what I can do.  Oh speaking of her, I got a pic of her leg that was so horribly rubbed, it is almost better, 2 of the holes are healed and one is still on its way, its a little swollen, but she is putting weight on it normally so that is always good.

I also plan on riding Razz and maybe Bailey for cow work this summer, I haven't used Bailey much in the last couple years, but this year I would like to cause I have to sell some horses and she is probly on the list.  I would like to get down to 4 or 5 around here, that means selling 4 or 5.  I know for sure George and Jessie and Razz will stay, but after that I am not sure.  I should also ride Kali, but for early spring she will get turned out cause I can't keep everyone in and I don't want too many horses that it seems like work rather than fun.
(The wind blew the bulls empty mineral tub through the fence 
and Bailey was tipping it over, it was sure entertaining to watch, 
I love a curious horse, and she is one!)

Other than horses, I really want to finish my basement room I been putting off for a couple years, and the deck needs to get done, hopefully before we brand in early June.  And I want to get my garden in, and I think that will be enough to keep me busy.  Course I will probly find more stuff to do as summer goes along.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Flag Lesson and Mud

I hadn't rode since my lesson last Friday cause it had been so cold and snowy all weekend, but Monday night I called for a lesson anyways.  I was feeling a little bad for Jessie to just pull her out and go to a lesson without riding, but I know Razz chases her around a lot and when I ride I am just mostly exercising her anyways, not really working on anything (although a little on moving off one leg without going faster).  So yesterday I loaded up and away I went.  Was still pretty muddy and snowy here, but was hoping it was better over west.  Well sorta.  I got there and all tacked up and went to warm up in the indoor.  I was surprised when I asked Jessie to lope just by putting my outside leg on her and she didn't lope just moved over!  Wow that was a first, and even though I really wanted a lope I could not be upset because it was only one leg on her and she didn't try to speed up.  So we did another lap and I clucked next time I asked and she loped right away.  Was pretty happy with her.  Then we did a lesson on the flag.  It went really well, and now I can understand what it feels like when she is doing it right and when to correct her when she is doing it wrong.  I sometimes get confused on when to help her and when to wait on her, but now I think I kinda understand it.  I think I been thinking too hard, lol.

The horse pastures when I left that morning, top in the summer pasture 
and bottom is the north pasture, a lot of snow and a lot of water 
(no those are not the dugouts, just water on the ground)
I see a lot of readers don't really understand cutting, so I will try to explain it simply.  It really is simple, we just make it hard, lol.  We are trying to keep the cow away from the herd.  But all we really want to do it go straight across the pen and stop straight and wait for the cow to turn.  The horse can turn its head but not move its feet.  This is where we have trouble, she wants to turn and face the cow even when its not moving.  Then when the cow moves the horse turns all the way around (a rollback) and goes straight the other way and stops straight when the cow stops.  Really all there is to it, except for we should be head to head with the cow the whole time.  The horse can draw (backup a step) while waiting for the cow as well, but more often it is just a rock back on the hind end.  Pretty simple but not simple to do.
 (still waiting on her, I thought she was gonna calve when I came home 
cause she was all by herself, but she still hasn't)
 (we gotta get some animals out to pasture, over 80 head in the corrals 
and its getting crowded)
 (looking East of the yard)
 (looking west to the shop)
(and North to the house, still a lot of snow left over)

After I came home I took a couple pics of the mud and water around here, and as I was putting the trailer away I was quite surprised when I came home yesterday and there was actually ground showing.

 (my poor trailer has trouble again :(  The bearings went and so Neil took it all apart, 
luckily this is something not too expensive to fix and we can do it all by ourselves, 
once we go to town and get parts)

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Its Still Winter...or A Spring Storm

Well sure glad i picked Friday to go for a lesson, cause on Saturday when i got up it was pretty miserable out.  Thought it was only gonna snow a little then get warm and melt, not so much.  I was talking on the phone to my mom and saw the birds trying to find a dry spot :)

So not much happened yesterday, we got a bottle calf (what a pain) and so he got fed 3 times and heifers and cows checked and Neil fed the cows, they are all hanging out in the creek where its not so windy.  We had a new calf yesterday morning and it was running after its mom last night so I guess it will be alright.  No others so far....I hope they wait till tomorrow at least.

Then this morning was more snow and although there is wind, less than yesterday and it isn't very cold out, just below freezing so hope everything comes out OK and we don't get any sick ones.  Was pretty miserable for us humans outside too, pretty hard to stay dry for more than a minute in the deep wet snow.  The ponies are not very happy, although I think they got the best spot in the yard for this kind of storm.  Even though the ground is wet they are in a low spot and with the tall fence there is very little wind in there and it actually felt decent in there (which is probly why the ground is not frozen I guess)

Sure hope it goes away, they say the snow should quit this afternoon and I hope so and the sun comes out.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Riding and Disappointment with a Plan

After I brought my ponies home last Sunday I was just itching to ride at home outside (there only is outside at home, lol so kinda silly to mention that)  but there was so much snow and mud and I was so tired from the weekend, so the ponies got Monday off.  It was so cold Neil had to plow a trail to the round pen so I could get there with the ponies and there was no water their so I had to take them to water in the corral.  it was like back in the old days, cause the waterer where the bulls were wasn't working either so they got chased to water everyday as well, and our heifers were in 2 different bunches and they all had to have water and we were all using the same waterer.
(boss horse always drinks first)

I cleaned out my truck from the show and the stuff at the barn,
 it kinda took over the house for a while)

Tuesday I was on my way to take Jess to water and I thought I should brush her too and since everything was just right there I saddled her up and took a ride.  It was only about 20 minutes, around the yard and then we trotted up and the road, the road was the only dry spot I could find.  And funny thing is I rode in my jogging pants cause I had no intention of riding but it was actually comfy and I might do it again :)
(just glanced out the window and saw the cat with a mouse in front of my tack shed)

Then Wed I made a water trough for the girls cause the water was running and I figured I could probly keep an unheated trough in there and it would melt, even if it was a little frosty at night.  I never had time to ride after I got home from town (and the chiro) so I just worked them in the round pen.  I dunno if they needed it but makes me feel better if they can move around and stretch their legs out some.
(have to fill the tub in my truck at the hydrant then drive to the pen 
and drain water into the water tub for them, 
will be so much easier when I can string a hose out)

Thursday I figured I would go for a ride and maybe try to ride out where the cows are I figured there should be some dry spots out there.  But since I was kinda lazy I just rode Jessie and ponied Razz.  Been since last summer since I did that and so I had made no plans on how long I would go.  We headed out and it was really good, Jessie was pretty happy to get out and was walking out really nice, which was good cause everytime she slowed down Razz tried to eat grass.  We went out quite a ways, there is  still a lot of water sitting out there and a little snow, but not as much as in the yard.  On the way back Razz saw the other horses and they nickered but never come over but Razz was having a freak out and so I shortened her rope an was ready to get off if I needed.  She was swinging her butt back and forth and just in a tizzy she couldn't get over there.  Jessie was awesome, she just kept on a trucking home and after we were out of sight Razz was fine.  It was like ponying a baby not a 7 year old!  So after we got back to the yard I tied up Razz and unsaddled and let Jess eat grass and she got to be a model for the pics of the blanket I won in a door prize at K & K livestock on Sat.  I thought I would send them a pic and my thanks again.  Its a pretty nice blanket, Jess may get to wear it next winter.
 (Razz stays up nice and close, I hate when they drag behind when ponying)

 (Love the view between the horses ears, she just saw there were cows out there, lol)

 (Jessie modeling the new blanket)

(Best treat after a ride.  Ever.)
Then Fri I went to another lesson and it did not go well.  I worked cows and was having trouble again getting her to stay straight with the cow so we really worked on that and I kinda think I now know when I have to correct her.  I asked about going to the show and he suggested not too, go to the Central show on May 4/5 and maybe go in 2 classes and correct her in the first class if I need and see if she is better in the second one.  Since the classes are about half price of the Alberta shows it will be about the same price so that will be OK.    I got looking up classes and they have a 2000 limit class and a 500 limit class so those are probly what I will enter.  He figures I will have to work cows more than once a week, so I guess I will start going twice a week for a while and see if that helps.  He also suggested that sometimes I will go for lessons and he will ride her and make her correct every turn.  And he will call me when they go practice at Thorlacksons (which is only about 20 min from his place) and we will practice going straight across like in a show setting.  So there is a plan in mind its just not what I had really planned.
 (Our main road, the water is sure running and creeping on to the road on our side)

(Bare ground was showing yesterday, the snow is disappearing, until today had to start again)

Friday, April 12, 2013

Thorlackson Fundraiser show April 6/7

So I finally got the videos loaded, it really wasn't that bad, I just set them to upload when I was going away and doing something else for a while and come back and they were ready.  Before the show, Friday I had a lesson and I worked he flag first and it was OK, I was finally getting her to move off my leg and wait for me rather than just turn in, I think that will be an ongoing process with us.  Then I walked her around a bit and let her catch her breath then we went outside to work cows.  I got the first cow out and he was telling me all sorts of stuff, I had heard before but for some reason my brain was not comprehending.  So he says he will get on her. So that worked well, she tried the same stuff for him and he got her better and gave her to me and said, lets try that.  Didn't leave me with a lot of confidence, but what else is there to do?  So I headed back to the barn and Jessie got to stay inside cause of the mud, so I cleaned her up real nice and put her away for the night.  Went home and tried to get ready for the show, but all I could think about was being not ready....

So Saturday morning I got up bright and early at 4:30 (they said only 55 cuts all day so don't be late).  Well I overestimated the amount of time it took to drive there and was there at 7.  Oh well, sat in my truck for a while cause no one was around and then about 8 another trailer showed up and it was the girl I met a Doug's last week.  So we saddled up and visited and had coffee and took the ponies inside and got kinda organized and then got on and started riding about 9 when the show actually started.  It was a little early so we took a break and then got back on again and our class started about noon.  I was fist in and so in I went.  The first cow out of the herd I made a mistake on stopping too soon before I was in the middle of the cow and as soon as I did it I knew it was gonna be bad and sure enough it was, good thing Dustin was there to stop it for me.  After that was better, my second cut was really nice and that cow was perfect for me.  The third cow was OK, but I was losing control as the buzzer went.  I was pretty impressed with how it went and got a 69 for a score and ended up second place.  Woulda won money too, if it wasn't a fundraiser show and we were asked to donate all winnings from the Sat show back.  But that's OK, Sunday was a new day and a regular show.

But no good luck on Sunday.  I got up at 6:30, much more reasonable time to get up, and it was snowing!
 I got there about 9 and got Jessie ready and brought her inside.  I got to watch for a bit and got on around 10 and we went around noon again.  I was second in and I dunno if I didn't get her tired enough or what, but she wasn't the same as the day before.  I was having a better time getting a cow out of the herd, but after that she would not stop and kept turning in towards the cow.  Was so frustrating   And the last cow she walked right up to the top of the pen with it, even if I had my leg in her, she wasn't listening.  I was not happy and it showed with a score of 64, which put me in 4th place.

 I guess I am in the right class though cause I am in the middle of the pack, I was always worried what class to go in cause I am new to this but seems like I am OK here for a while.  At least till I earn $2000 dollars as its a $2000 limited rider class.  I think I can stay in all year but if I get more I will have to move up next year.  So far I am at $165 for the one show I been too, lol got a ways to go yet.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Life on the ranch

Well I am having issues uploading my videos to youtube, it keeps saying it will take 115 minutes to upload a 2 and a half minute video from the show, and I have no patience for that, so I will keep trying and in the meantime post everything else that has been going on around here.

We are calving, actually have been for a while, we have 56 calves on the ground so far, still a lot more to go, but we are getting there.  We lost a few as is always the case (very sad and frustrating though).  But here is a bunch of them.

We had nice weather for a week or so and it really started melting around here which was nice, but it created mud.  And then we got cold again and snowed again so now its just miserable, but today is warm and it is trying to melt again.

And on Sunday afternoon I brought the ponies home from the barn I was boarding at.  Sure had a lot of stuff there and it is not the best here for the ponies cause I can not string out a hose for water for them so they are getting led to the water everyday which is a pain for me.  And not a lot of places I can ride out right now cause there is so much deep snow that its hard to make it on the prairie so I am stuck with the roads.  Which would be fine but a mile down our road is a texas gate so it is not very far till we have to turn around.

I need to go to the farrier this week and get Razz trimmed and Jessie front shoes, and I want to go for another lesson and go to the chiro.  I am undecided if I should go to the ACHA show in 2 weeks (April 20/21) or the unapproved show the weekend after (May 4/5).  I would like to wait the 3 weeks but I would rather the approved show if going for year end awards or something.  Both are in the same place about a 3 1/2 -4 hour drive from here so I would stay overnight, which would be kinda nice cause no travelling but more expensive.  I don't think I can do both cause I will be way to exhausted I think.  They don't have the class list of the May show up yet, but the April show I would show late Sat and early Sun so that would be perfect, then I can get over and leave while its still daytime.

I will still try and upload the videos so I can say how the whole show goes.