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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Update on Miss Dee

Well I know I had to start riding Dee but I been putting it off and its so much easier to grab a horse I know what it like.  So last week I started tearing down my roundpen since I have never really used it very much and am gonna turn it into an outdoor arena.  I really been not wanting to do this cause I was afraid if I had an outdoor I would never get an indoor which is really what I want and almost need if I am gonna be competitive.  I tried to deny it for a long time but our weather is just not cooperative to riding outside most of the year.
(the new saddle pad, looks alright I guess)

Anyways that was taking longer than I planned cause it was either 35*C or raining everyday so finally on Tuesday I called up my neighbor and asked if I could come over and ride in her arena.  She said yes of course :)  It was a little wet but they got less rain out of the storm than we did so I figured I'd try it while I had the motivation.  I loaded up Jess, Razz and Dee and off we went.  Its only about 5 miles away by road and so it didn't take long.  I wasn't gonna take Jess but I figured I might as well and besides I wanted Dee to sit with the saddle on a bit before I rode her.
(nice big arena to ride in)

So I saddled Jess in my new pad and cutting saddle and Dee in my ranch saddle.  It seems to fit her quite well which is nice.  I left Dee and Razz at the trailer and rode Jess. I used my map my run and forgot to turn it on till I was halfway through my ride on Jess but we had a good ride in the crested wheat patch beside the arena as the arena was a little soggy but not slippery.
(always a dog around there...this is Bear)

(I think she looks good in my saddle)

(as does Razz, but I knew that)

Then I went back and unsaddled Jess and put my saddle on Razz.  I used a different pad as I kinda wanna keep that new one for Jess. It seemed to work well, but it needs a little more use as its quite fluffy and hard to get the cinch tight yet but other than that and it being super heavy I like it.  I took both Dee and Razz to the arena and tied up Razz and she was happy to eat grass while I worked with Dee.  I wasn't sure how Dee would be by herself so better safe than sorry.  And it was a good choice.
(I even got a pic off her, weird cause she holds her head up so much higher than I'm used to,
 and yes I rode with her halter on just in case)

I walked her around the arena and shes not spooky so it was no big deal then since I know shes not fond of fly spray I brought that with me and I sprayed her.  Not bad tried to run around a bit and runs into my shoulder when I hold her rope close to her halter but she settled down in about 5 minutes.  She should be free from bugs for a while now haha.  But it didn't seem to upset her so I tightened the cinch put on her bridle and got on.  I wasn't even nervous which kinda surprised me a little.  She stood nice so I could get on and then I got all organized and asked her to move her head around.  Little bit hard mouthed she eventually gave her head so I asked her to move her hips over...that was a chore.  I don't really think she was being bad I honestly think she had no idea what I was asking her.  I did get her to move but it wasn't pretty.  She is pretty dead sided as well.  I wore my spurs (accidentally, I meant to take them off) and she still didn't really wanna move.  I could pull on her and kick on her and she just stood there like "oh you want me to do something????"  No bad behavior just no real interest in doing anything.
(mm grass)

(Jess' sweat patterns, they already started to dry but looks pretty even)

So before I got in a wreck or mad I decided I would grab Razz and pony her around since shes so good at it and maybe it would help us go somewhere.  Not my normal choice for a first ride on a new horse but I didn't know what else to do.  So I grabbed Razz and away we went.  Razz was good likes to go kinda fast but Dee just strided out, we went out into the crested wheat area and rode around it a few times and every time we walked I used my legs on her like it was my idea not Razz's lol.  We even left the arena area and walked across the yard past tractors and chains and rubber mats and back to the trailer and it was no big deal.  Even when Jess called out neither of them cared and so I call it a success and quit there.  I went home after that and let them all graze in the yard for a bit as a treat.  I would rather that then feed them grain this time of year they don't need it, and the grass can always be mowed.
(and the next day I got her a new halter and had to try it out, I like it)

I think that will be my plan from now on with her I will ride her out ponying Razz and work on her giving and moving off my leg but it should be easier if I am not just picking on her all the time.  I don't know if shes ever been rode by herself for many years and so I don't want to start that and fight with her.  Once I get the arena done I will ride her some in there as well with the others nearby and work our way up to riding alone.  I am in a clinic on the 9th with Greg Michelson just basic horsemanship and I am taking her...and maybe Razz in case she gets to hard to work.  And then on the 12-15th another local clinic from a neighbor girl who moved to Turner Valley and runs a stable there.  She comes back every year and does a clinic and it sounds like lots of fun.  I think I might take her there as well, maybe with Razz as well and just use them both for half day each.  Be good experience for them both.

Wednesday I rode Jess and then left her to graze and grabbed Dee and worked her from the ground getting her to move her hindquarters over.  It had rained that morning then gotten hot and so I was dripping with sweat but could not stop till she got it.  It took a lot of work and lots of tapping with my whip but she did it consistently 4 times in a row on both sides.  Next is the shoulders and she runs into me a lot with them, not mean but I don't like it...just lack of respect.  But I can already tell after 2 days she looks to me to tell her what to do already and that's a good sign :)

Friday, July 25, 2014


After my lesson last Saturday I visited a bit and then headed home, I was home about 7 and fed the ponies cause it kinda looked like rain.  about 8 we had a huge storm cloud over our place and I grabbed my camera and took some pics, then Neil came in the yard with Bob so I got in and he drove me out a little farther down the road and I got some better pics.  We left about 10 minutes later cause we didn't want to be caught in it and we just got in the house and the rains came!  At first it looked like it was heading south and the all the sudden started heading straight east towards us.  Inch and a quarter in about half hour!  What a mess that left us.  Kinda sucked for our hay that was down, but we did need moisture, it just woulda been nice if it was about a month ago.

After that, Monday we got another 6/10ths and then Wed another 2/10th and today its raining again.  Well I guess our hay will be clean......good thing its just for cows not so much for calves who need the extra nutrients.  But at least this should grow our oats and the grass we planted, I'm thinking our cows will be eating more greenfeed than hay this year, which is alright for them.

And I do have an update on Dee coming up, just got behind posting and so am trying to catch up while keeping stuff in order.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Back At It

On Saturday I called for a lesson and it was good so away we went.  It had been so long that I wasnt sure how it would work out. I knew we were gonna do the flag cause its been forever and I wasnt really expecting much.  But much to my surprise Jessie was really good.  A little slow to stop on one end, but shes always that way going right and then tries to turn in, once I can get her to stop quick enough and stand straight she is so cool, she even had some draw when going left :)

Doug thought I fell of the face of the earth cause I hadn't been in so long so I told him Neil was sick and I got to do all the calving and then it was branding season.  He got hurt as well and was off for a couple months and still a little sore so I am glad I didn't go any earlier than this.  He actually competed in Calgary and got 3rd, I thought that was pretty good for coming back, but he said it was a good little horse, total show horse that's way better at a show than at home she loves it.

I also told him we had been moving cows and helping sort cows and he said that's good for her to do the same job in a different environment.  And I mentioned she pulled a few calves at branding and was so good and I asked if she had ever been roped off and he said definitely not and so that was good she really was a good as I thought she was.  He was quite surprised she was that good first few calves.  I like I can use my show horse for more than just showing I always thought it was good for them but now I know it is.

We went to Strathmore afterwards and stopped at K & K Livestock and I got a new saddle pad.  I knew I wanted one for a long time and I wanted to try the impact gel ones cause I heard how good they are and so that's what I got.  Jst plain black and beige and I will mostly try to keep it for showing but I wanna use it a few times first to make sure I and Jessie like it.

Then we stopped for lunch and bought KFC for supper (and lunch on Sunday) and then headed home.  Was a longer day than planned but it was good.  I never thought of it till I was back home but I shoulda brought my iPad so I coulda got my friend to video, she like it cause then she can watch and video at the same time.  Maybe next time I will do that.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Pony Update

I have been riding, mostly everyday and only Jessie.  I try to go for about a 4 mile ride in about 40 minutes.  I am good about the time, but the mileage I am usually a little short, somehow on my way home its shorter than the way out so I gotta go till I'm at least 2 1/2 miles from home and that might get me to 4 by home.
(they all eat together so thats good they get along now)

(I let Jess graze the yard after we ride as a treat)

I been using my map my run app to track where and how long we were gone.  I love it.  I try to make a different circle everyday, sometimes north, sometimes south and sometimes east.  I rarely go west cause I would have to ride beside where my other horses are in the pasture and I think Jess would do it fine she would just be drawn to them like a magnet and actually be harder work for me.
(The other two hooligans)

(Cant keep them away)

(hard to get pics when so close)

We mostly trot as soon as we leave the hay corral.  We trot for at least half mile then I let her walk.  Most times shes kinda lazy at a walk and just moseys along and kinda angles towards the fence no matter where it goes, but at a trot I can keep her attention better and have no problem going in a straight line towards where I want.  But I want to get there at a walk too so we do walk and when she tries to angle off, I make a big deal of moving her back sideways like a sidepass while walking (I am having a brainfart as to what its called right now) rather than just pick up on her and direct her straight with my reins I use my legs and its coming but super slowly.
(Dee feet still need a little work)

(But Razz's are almost perfect :) )

We do lope some but not a lot as I been trying to still get her to stop good and the ground is just not meant for stopping like that on the prairie.  I do ask her from the trot and she is good at doing it every time so that's what we do.  
(Even the pasture horses want in, mostly to get away from bugs I think)

I haven't gotten to riding Dee and Razz regular yet although my nephews are coming out next week and probly wanna ride Jessie so I guess I will have to if we are gonna actually go somewhere, so that is my goal this week.  

I am also entered in a few clinics in August that I wanna take Dee to so I should do something before then as well.  One is Aug 9th, same guy we went to last fall when I took Jess.  And another is a neighbor girl who moved to Turner Valley and runs a barn out there, I have never been to one of her clinics before but it sounds like lots of fun and its the 12-15th so right after the other one, I'm pretty excited to go.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Moving Cows

We have a piece of land up towards Stettler that is just grass and we didn't use it last year because we had so much grass at home but usually we have cows up there.  This year it got a little late but we finally got 47 pairs up there.  We hired a big truck and Neil took his stock trailer and I took the old one and away we went.  
(he looks like going in the ditch but there really is an approach there)

Its not a big piece, but its all tame grass and they get a lot more rain than we get so it holds a lot of cows.  The trucker was coming about noon so about 10 we went out and got them in, Neil had sorted them out a week ago.  And we separated cows and calves and bulls too.  We ended up with 47 cows, 46 calves and 2 bulls.  We could not see another calf anywhere bauling and so we hauled them up and figured wed look up there as we mothered them up to find the one who doesn't have a calf and take her back home.  We never heard anything in the field the last few days bauling so I don't know what happened there.
(odd pic of the calves in Neils trailer)

(My truck and trailer in lots of grass)

We got loaded and up there about 4 and let them out, left them in the corral for half our or so and no noise whatsoever so we looked through them, we saw what might have been a dry cow but hard to tell for me in a corral.  So we let them out and went home, stopped in Stettler at Smitty's for supper even though we were not entirely clean but we were hungry.
(Neil witching for water while waiting for cows)

We had to leave the bulls behind, not enough room, kinda sucked but Neil went up with them early the next morning which turned out goo cause he could check on them cows and there still wasn't an unhappy cow up there. So he left them and looked at home and nothing crying here either, so I guess all is well.
(the cows love the trees to rub off bugs)

(happy cows and calves in long grass)

We took all cows with heifer calves up there and the plan is to just take them to the Stettler Auction Market in October on the way home, rather than haul them home and then a few days later haul them to town.  We are hoping it will only take one trip home that way.

Friday, July 18, 2014

My Calgary Stampede Day

I headed to the Stampede on Sunday.  I was going to the Reba concert that night so we decided not to go super early cause we knew it was gonna be late.  We got there about noon and boy was it HOT!!  We took pics of us in the frame, we went through the new Agrium building it was kinda cool.

We walked through the building with all the selling stuff, didn't buy anything and then through the art building, always some really nice stuff and some slightly weird stuff.  Then we walked by the Bell Adrenaline ranch and last year it was on water this year BMX but we had time so we grabbed a drink and went to watch it.

Got a few videos of it, it was really pretty impressive even if I have no desire to usually watch that kind of stuff it was still a good show.

Its amazing how much time there is to do stuff down there if we don't go on rides or to the rodeo.  I woulda loved to do the rodeo but seeing as it was showdown Sunday I'm sure it was sold out and if not I couldn't afford tickets to it anyways.  Then the best part of the night, the reason we went on the last day....REBA!!!

She was sooo good, not sure if she has any new songs, but she did a kinda neat concert as a progression of her career, from her first song, her first video, her first movie, her TV show, her Broadway show, it was pretty cool.  She never sang all her songs but lots of them she did.  Got some video of part songs too.

And after that it was still daytime, haha unexpected but we had a couple more things we wanted to do...

And then home for the night and not enough sleep.