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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Clinic, Winter and My Birthday

Last weekend, I went to a one day clinic on Saturday, it was by a local reining trainer that I had heard of but never really met.  He is not that far away and he holds clinics fairly regularily throughout the summer and so we thought it would be fun to go.  I was thinking I would take Kali cause she is my least broke horse and she has some reining training, so even though it was a basic horsemanship clinic it would be nice to have somewhat similar training.  But when I went out in the morning it was dark and cold and Razz come first up, if I had rode her at all this summer I woulda taken her, but I did not have enough time to ride her down for the clinic in one day.  So then I went to get Kali and she was on the far side of the slough, so I thought maybe Bailey but she was all tense and acting really weird and so Jessie it was.  I kinda wanted to take her anyway cause she is the most in shape and I didnt know how much he would make us do.  So off we went to pick up Char and Terra and we got there and he said it was such a nice day that wwe would use the outdoor arena.  its bigger and brighter and it was so nice I spent most of the day in my long sleeve t-shirt, pretty nice for the end of October.

We started out by telling who we were and our horses and what we wanted to work on, well a lot of them rode with him for a while so he knew them and thier horses and so it was just us 3 who really had to explain, he said he knows Doug, likes him and has even bought horses off him, so that was kinda nice, kinda helpful when he knows what we are doing and what stage we were at.  We started working on collection at a standstill then a walk and trot then eventually at a lope (for some of us) Jessie has not done collection in a while but as soon as I asked she just gives, she is just so easy she just does whatever you ask.  I had a hard time getting it with one hand and so he helped me by saying to scoop the reins and lift farther forward rather than just back.  It seemed to work and we got a lot with very little pressure at all speeds.

The after lunch (of lasagna!) we worked on stops and rollbacks, mine and Chars horses were the most broke there and so we even got to do synchronized rollbacks, that was kinda fun.  We are not used to loping out of a rollback but our horses did it :)  He was saying they don't do a full rollback in a pattern cause its easier to get the right lead if they don't and he also said its not a penalty to pick up the wrong lead as long as you can change back before going around a corner.  I didn't realize that.  Interesting.  Anyways after all that I asked about lead changes cause I could not get Jess to do one without her slowing down to a trot then picking up the other lead.  She will not counter canter either (which is fine with me)  and so he walked me through it and still nothing, so he asked to get on her and I didn't really want him to but since I wanted to make sure it wasn't me (Bailey and Razz and even Kali will do a flying lead change no trouble so I couldn't figure it out)  and he got on her and was surprised how sensitive she is, lol.  Made em laugh cause he always says to put my leg in her and I never really did but then he could see why, no need!  Anyways he said she doesn't move her hip, and I said she does but you have to put your leg farther back, and then it all made sense, we always make her move her shoulder for cutting so she automatically does that first which causes her to change in front but not in back and so I decided I am OK with that, I don't need to mess her up for cutting just for lead changes, she always takes the correct lead so we quit worrying about it.  Whew its not me, lol.  I wouldn't have been surprised if it was, I have never taught a horse to do a flying lead change, they just usually do it but I guess I musta been teaching them without realizing it.

We just decided to go one day and I am glad cause Saturday night Sunday morning it was sure a weather change, it rained then snowed and more snow.  Wasn't very cold, just around freezing but sure not t-shirt weather.

 It was East Coulee breakfast so we went to that and visited with a whole bunch of people around there we don't see very often.  Then home and since it was my birthday I did a whole lot of nothing :)  Until I decided I needed a cake so I made myself one.  I picked my favorite box cake, spice, and mmm was it good.  We didn't have icing but that's OK I liked it anyways.  I never made my favorite meal cause that's too much work (ribs and spaghetti), Neil was gonna take me to Red Lobster but we didn't wanna drive in Calgary on the first snowy day of the year so we had smokies and intense dill Doritos ( I love those!) and cake.  We will go to Calgary another day and have lobster, my mouth is watering just talking about it.

No pics of the clinic, no one to take them and LaTonne asked if the blizzard would affect prices, I doubt it will right away, at some point we might see some change, but more recently was the news that Tyson wasn't buying anymore Canadian beef and so that will probly affect us more, but they only want finished cattle, so not sure if that will be immediate either, and since the rules are so weird (it only has to be fed for 3 months in the US to be considered US beef with COOL)  it may not matter at all, have to wait and see.  I feel glad to be sold our animals and we arent worrying about it yet.  Still watching to see what is happening but not worried yet.

Friday, October 25, 2013

All Weaned Up

A week ago Tuesday we went up to the community pasture to get our cows home for the winter.  I took Jess and it was ccccold.  Our first cold day of the year.  I was underdressed cause it was only -3 when we left here but was -10 up there.  Brrr.  Guess it really is colder up north, lol even though it was only half hour away from home.  I enjoy riding up there, even if we do have to get up before daylight.  It was a couple hours and went really well.  I stayed for the sorting even though I wasn't needed to work a gate.  They are building pipe corrals up there and so have all panels up there now.  Seem like the pens are a bit bigger and it worked well.  I mapped it on map my run too, here is the link.  Got a few pics of unloading cows at home, never got any up there I was too cold to take my gloves on until the sun warmed us up and it was too close to the corrals so had to work hard.

(Neil was gonna climb up the side and just as he grabbed the edge a cow peed out the ladder, lol he waited till she was done before climbing up)

Last Friday I headed down to get Jessie's shoes pulled and get her ready for winter.  Since I don't know what I am doing with her yet I am just turning her out for now.  Can always get her out later if I decide to.  Neil had said something about moving our cows to the small pasture north of our house cause then we just bring them to the corral from there.  I expected him to just use his Bob like he always moves his cows with but he said maybe we should ride!  So I just tacked up Jess when we got home and he got his horse and away we went.  I took the easy (ish) route of just follow the cows up top and kinda push the towards the gate and Neil headed down the creek to push up the ones that were down there.  I was lucky the cows were kinda lazy and just started moving away from me.  I just kept them from going south and keep moving.  They were really good and as long as they were moving I just left them.  Neil had a little more work than me, he had to go down a bunch of different hills and get a couple out each spot, once they were up top the hills they came over to the herd and I just encouraged them a little more to catch up.  It took a couple hours and was a really nice ride. No pics again, no reason just forgot camera, but I did map this ride too, link here

Then Sunday was the big day.  It was such a nice day, seemed wrong to wean when its nice out!  Usually its cold and sometimes snowy, but not this time.  I was cooking but I managed to make it outside and get a few pics, not sure I was any help they had it pretty well under control.  Its kinda a routine and our corrals are pretty easy to use with a couple people so went well as always, except the kinda wild cow we have.  I dunno where she cam from but she was up at the pasture and she run the pasture rider up the fence, she didn't like people too much.  I thought our only kinda wild cow had horns and an orange tag and this cow has neither.  She is better in a herd, but kinda highheaded still and so she is going away this fall.  To bad too cause shes a nice looking cow, but we don't need that kind of cow.  We sold all our calves this fall, first time ever for this place, but I think we are gonna keep no heifers and just buy young cows.  Will be a little different but should work better for us.
 (pretty full moon that morning)

 (all our cows in the corral)


 (peeking out)

 (trying to hide)

 (our beef heifer, she was so quiet too bad she was open, hmm no calves 
what are we gonna eat next year!?!?)

 (the steer calves)

 (the heifer calves, I couldnt see the screen, guess it was a little sunny!)

(and off they go, two trucks this year)

The sale on Monday went well, our steers sold higher than last year but the heifers a little less, overall not bad, had a bunch of 46 heifers (we only sold 80) so that was nice.  We were pleased and we actually got more than the internet sale they had this morning, so I guess sometimes the auction house is the place to go, they all know our calves and so I think that makes a difference.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Cowboying in The Hills

I called a friend and asked if they were gonna put on the ladies trail ride this year like they did last year and she didn't know cause it was getting late and who knows if it was gonna be too cold and everyone is starting to wean and her cousin was getting married.  But she said she was moving cows in a few days if I wanted to help.  So I said of course!  I like riding with other people and it gets boring by myself.

So I headed over there and their truck was missing some studs on the tire so they didn't wanna use it (and I don't blame them I wouldn't either) so we used mine.  I got them to drive over their cause I had never been there and it I was glad cause it was a confusing way and there was a really steep hill and they were in the middle of spreading gravel on and it was kinda deep but we made it all right and we were there.  When we got to the bottom of the hill I was thinking I had been there before, a couple years ago I moved cows for another guy down into that pasture. Small world, lol.

Anyways this is in the wintering hills and it was hills and more hills and in all the low spots were trees and bogs.  And steep hills.  Did I mention hills.  It was only half section but wow I was sure glad of that.  We started out and thought we saw a couple calves in the trees so S rode down and they weren't moving and he was on a young horse so he got M to go down and hold his horse while he walked through the trees and got them out of there, I think they thought they were hiding cause they didn't move till he got pretty close.  I never brought my camera but tried to get a few pics by cell phone.  Even though its hard to tell in pics how steep it is.

The we kinda parted ways to try and gather them to the far north west corner where the gate was.  I ended up going up a super steep hill following cows and the cows did not want to go down the hill just up.  I went up on the one hill and saw cows down in the trees so I went back down and in the trees and got them out and was pushing cows down the hill and across the bog when they brought more cows and we really had to push the cows across they did not want to cross.

We headed farther and another crossing but it was kinda dammed up and not too bad and then up a hill across a rare flat spot and out the gate.  Then it was a couple miles home pretty well straight and on flat ground.  They sure traveled good after we got out of the bush.  I learned a lot of appreciation for cowboys who work in brush and trees, I sure like my flat prairie after that (and so did Jessie)  She was awesome in the trees, walked though them like a champ even stepping over dead-fall up to her knees and wasn't worried about it at all, but sure did not like the boggy areas and neither do I do I don't blame her.  But I was glad she is not a jumper, she just calmly walked through it, a little fast sometimes but not crazy, I was so happy with her that day :)

I did map my run on it too and here is the link to it, I am sure having fun with that app.

Monday, October 21, 2013

A Week In Red Deer

Sept 29 to Oct 6 was the Canadian Supreme in Red Deer.  I had no intentions of going everyday but was there all week except Wednesday.  I really enjoyed it too and learned some stuff about cutting and about me too.  Every day started with cutting which of course is my favorite.  I got over 300 pictures that week and most turned out no too bad, some are blurry of course and some are just bad timing (hard for me to know when the cow is gonna move so I can get the right shot)

Lots of other stuff going on up there too, reining from Wednesday to Sunday over in the other barn, I watched a little but its like watching paint dry to me, a good run is amazing but the rest, bleh.

 (this horse looks hard to ride, big moves)

(hard stopping horse from a rider with no head, lol)

Also watched some cowhorse fence work, the herd work was done in the cutting pen and after that was all done, they took down the announcers stand and fence work time.  I think it would be really fun to run a cow down the fence, I probly woulda gotten into cowhorse if there wasn't reining involved (and not a real fan of two handed cutting)

I was up there for 3 days with Susan and then Shirley came over and we spent the weekend there.  We went to the horse sale, some pretty cool horses went through there...and no I did not buy any, lol.  Although after watching Elaine Speights horse win the 4 year old non pro cutting I wished I had her but no I doubt I would ever buy a performance horse at a sale.  I am not experienced enough to do that, I need to try the horse a few times before I even think about buying.
(our farrier at the barn and his fence run)

(Doug in the finals)

(Loren Christianson, I really like him too)

I have never stayed for the finals before, was pretty exciting, Doug was sitting first and second in the four year old class and I was on the edge of my seat until the last horse went and he won it by half a point.  I was sure disappointed but it was Les Timmons and you always gotta watch him he goes to win every time and he has a pretty nice horse and a good run.  But it made me think I couldn't handle having a horse that someone else was showing, so much stress and I never even seen the horse before that week, lol.

 (two pics of Vic Almond, we used to go to his place in Ponoka)

 (two pics of Ken from the tack store we go to)

(not a great pic quality wise, but I love the horses mane in the air and how low she got)

I sure was exhausted at the end of the week, not sure how the competitors were but they musta been tired too, but I still wanna make it there one day.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Ponies, Winter Plans, Renovations and Ramblings

So this summer I kinda had a goal to sell some ponies and to get to more cutting shows, well things change.  Although I did sell Jazz and Magic, still have a couple more to go.  I am now down to 6 and really think about 4 is where I should be for being able to use them all.  I really only need 2 maybe 3 to ride, I would think 2 unless one gets hurt or something then I need a third I would hate to not be able to ride cause I have no ponies.  So I am thinking sell Bailey and Kali, although that leaves me with Jessie and Razz and Belle and Disco, which doesn't seem quite right cause I hardly ride Disco although I could even though she's old and hardly (if ever) been rode outside.  And then Jessie, its not working out like I planned, not sure what to do with her, she is a super nice horse, was never my favorite, but that don't mean anything but we just can't seem to get it together.  I still gotta decide about her, if I put her in more training or maybe sell her and get a horse I can go win on.  I have 2 neighbors who are interested in Bailey, the one I am sure she will love her if I can every get her over here to try her.  and the other wants a back up ranch horse but wants her able to one hand...hence the bit change.  I think both would do good with her and at least she would get used more than she is here.

I'm trying to decide if I should just turn out Jessie for the winter or board her and keep taking lessons and going to winter shows....of course this depends on me keeping her or not.  I would like to board for a while cause I want to get a bit on Bailey but I want to do it when I have a chance to ride her lots of days in a row with it, so I think if I board I can ride pretty well every day and get her used to it, I doubt it will be an  issue but she does get a little pushy with the snaffle and I wanna get her soft again in it before moving up to something else.  I also wanna get a 2 rein on Razz and since she has had the whole summer off I need to do something with her.  But the ground in the arena I been boarding at isn't that great and so its a hard choice.  I kinda wanna just leave ponies turned out all winter but I am afraid I will go crazy if I don't do something all winter.

I also wanna do some renovations to our house (if I can get my hubby on board) but I also want someone to come look at what I am planning and tell me if its doable or I am just crazy.  It seems to work in my mind but sometimes its not practical, lol.  I really want to move the bathroom in the spare bedroom and also put the washer and dryer in there, then can expand our kitchen to where the bathroom was and expand the bedroom to where the laundry room was.  That will mean we won't have a spare room anymore, but we could either put a room in the basement (there is lots of space down there) or build  separate building like a mini cabin with a bedroom and bathroom in it.  I guess if I do that it would keep me occupied most of winter and I shouldn't be bored,  I will certainly need some help with some of it cause I am not a plumber, have done a bunch of stuff but certainly not gonna be building cupboards either.  And a couple walls will need to come down and I wanna make sure they are not important.  I am also thinking we have a half wall by one kitchen counter and thinking making it  into a breakfast bar would be cool.  So many ideas going around in my mind, I should draw some up and see if it will work how I envision it.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Summer Roundup

I have been a bad blogger this summer, so much going on and I tried to post lots but seemed as though it never happened as much as I wanted.  So here is a quick roundup of all I did this summer.

(We had the junk haulers here and they hauled away our old combine 
and a whole bunch of other steel stuff we had just cluttering 
up our bull pasture.)

(I had a bunch of flowers grown, lilies are my favorites)

(I did lots of riding, mostly on Jessie and Bailey but a few rides on Kali as well, cause
  I really wanted to sell some horses (another post altogether) 
Rode a few times at night even under the harvest moon)

(Did a bunch of touring around, both with family and Neil and by myself, the little church in Drum and the vine covered dino and the new one on the scooter, this guy made me laugh he looked at him from all directions)

(Jessie was at the trainer for a while and then we went to a show and it was much better, I did not feel defeated at the end of the show at least.)

All In All it was a pretty cool summer and even though everything I wanted to get done did not get done, I am happy with all I did.  But am so not ready for winter to come, I am already cold and don't wanna be this way for another 6 months.  This week I am up at the Supreme in Red Deer most of the week, got some pics from Monday and Tuesday but will save them for a whole post.  Pretty excited to meet up with Shirley and Sherry there too.