Monday, February 28, 2011

My Baby Turns Twenty!

Yup my youngest is turning twenty today... HAPPY BIRTHDAY HILARY!!!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Ah, That's Much Better...

Yes it did rain, but it was GOOD and rained at night... all done by this morning, so I slept in which was niiiiiice... fed the critters and myself, then did some chores until it was time to get Luna and go ride. I figured she would play catch-me-if-you-can like she usually does so I went out half an hour early to get her so I wouldn't be late meeting my friends. Of course then she let me catch her right up so being so early, I decided to go ahead and give her a little trim BEFORE the ride instead of after. She was good for that and I took off a quarter inch from her heels like Rusty told me, and evened up one hoof that was growing more on the outside than the inside, and I think I did a pretty darn good job! So I was proud of myself. Of course it took longer than I thought it would so I was just a little late getting to Lisa's house but they weren't quite ready yet anyway and I tack up fast so it was all good. Then Luna was a total brat throughout the whole ride {sigh} so when I came home, I went ahead and e-mailed the guy Randy met who was possibly interested in leasing her. My back is killing me and I just don't need this!!! However I am quite happy that I had a "normal" weekend of riding all three days!!!!! YAY ME!!!!!!

It could be, I suppose, that my back hurts because of all the dirt I shoveled today... I moved 3 loads this morning to low spots in the mini pens, and after I got home from riding Randy and I managed to get 3 trees planted. The tractor punches a good hole but I still have to dig the dirt out by hand because of course Randy can't... poor guy he hates it when I have to work so hard and he can't help. He was upset that he had to quit before we got all 5 trees in the ground, but the other two holes are prepped and ready so we will just finish tomorrow. And while the critters' dinner was soaking, I moved one more wheelbarrow load of dirt... so now I just want to go sit and relax!

Oh and you'll never guess where Randy found my camera {eyes rolling here}. It was on the computer desk, just back further than where I usually set it and under a piece of paper... SIGH!!!!! Oh well at least it's found! I will try to get some pictures of Luna's feet tomorrow before it gets dark and maybe the trees we planted... it's been too long since there were pictures on this blog! I might also be able to copy some of the pictures other people took on Saturday and add them to that post, I will try...

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Fun In Rainbow Valley

Today I took Katie down to Rainbow Valley to ride with friends. Checking Accuweather.com all week it has been back and forth on whether it was going to rain today, this morning it said cloudy all day and rain at night so I took the chance, and boy am I glad I did! It was nice ALL DAY!!!!! We were in the sand wash quite a bit and I didn't want Katie's boots filling up with sand so I left them off to start with, at first the road we took had some rocks and she would flinch sometimes, but once in the wash she was fine. We took the wash down to the Gila River and in the river bottom there were more rocks so more flinching but again, once off the rocks, no more limping or flinching, so she was only reacting to actually stepping on them and not hurting herself. When we left the sand to head up the mountain to the mica mine, I did put her boots on the front, and even so if she stepped directly on a rock she would still flinch... but she did great and at the end of the day, even her rears (that were never booted) were in great shape! Rusty is going to be so proud...

The group was invited to stay for dinner and a movie but I had to get home to feed, shower and change as I had a wedding reception to go to in Wickenburg, for Matt at Serenity Farms and his bride Patti. We had a nice time there, I've never been to Wickenburg Country Club, it was a nice place. While we were there it started to rain... and it didn't stop. But hey it was dark, I was done riding... and after 2 full days of riding, I was feeling MUCH better - no more cranky woman!!!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Bulldog Wash

Well I cannot find my camera... the case and the memory card are on the computer desk where the camera should be but it's not there... and I've checked everywhere else I can think of - no camera. BUMMER! I am sure it is here somewhere, I just hope it's not too long till I come across it. Otherwise I would have some awesome pictures to share from our ride today.

We went out to Usery Pass and rode Bulldog Wash all the way to the Salt River. What beautiful country!!! On the way back we went over the mountain trail which was quite technical, and high enough we could see the Fountain Hills fountain when it went off... Glory did awesome even though we didn't really gait much, it was a good workout plowing through the sand wash and then the up-and-down trail over the mountain which was quite technical so another type of good workout. And once again I brought her boots but never had to put them on, gotta love that mare's feet!

Well I'll have to go ride out there again when I find my camera! Shucks darn...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Well Doesn't That Just Figure :(

Yesterday it was gorgeous all day. Today it was gorgeous all day. Tomorrow it is supposed to be gorgeous all day, and Thursday too... And they are calling for rain this coming weekend again. GGRRRRRRR!!!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Darn Rain!

Now don't get me wrong, I LOVE the rain, and being in Arizona I know we need it badly. But I am stuck in an office Monday through Thursday so that is plenty of opportunity for rain... or, heck I wouldn't care if it rained 7 NIGHTS a week... what I don't understand is WHY it has to rain on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday - THOSE ARE MY RIDING DAYS!!!!!!!!! So since it rained ALL DAY Saturday and ALL DAY Sunday I was stuck in the house cleaning up and putting things away. Well yes that needs done too but it's quite annoying to work for two whole days and then look around and it doesn't really look that much different. Of course since we were halfway done installing new flooring when Hilary moved out and we started rearranging the whole darned house... the whole process has made quite a mess!

Suffice it to say, I am quite the cranky woman!!!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Pederson Loop at Estrella

Today Laurie and DeAnn took off work to go ride and we met Sheila and Lynne down at Estrella Park. Lynn has a horse that likes to bolt after anyone who gets ahead of him and Sheila agreed to help her school him... it was OUR job to be the "testers" by taking off out ahead of him time after time. Which actually worked out great because we like to, and need to, move out with our horses so this ride was a great endurance practice. And because we didn't know the trails, when we got too far ahead we had to go back or stop and wait for Sheila to tell us which way to go... there are many intersecting trails out there and she lives close so knows them well. When we got to the Pederson Loop it started out pretty rocky and a lot of cholla but no weenies on this ride so we were fine. As we dropped over the mountain range to the back (south) side, the trail hooked up with a service road which went straight west as far as we could see... it was wide and sandy and PERFECT FOR LOPING... I think we did an extra two miles at least running back and forth waiting for Lynne and Sheila... what a fantastic trail, we were so happy!!!! And we are definitely planning to do THAT ONE again REAL SOON!

By the way I took Glory and although I brought them along just in case, I never even had to put her boots on, her feet are rock solid!!! WAAAHOOOOOOOOOOO I sure love that mare!!!!!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Antifreeze Ride

Our 3rd annual "antifreeze" ride got postponed from January because the rains over New Years had rendered the trail unsafe... we went today but the "antifreeze" wasn't really necessary, it was a gorgeous day! We rode at Granite Mountain north of Prescott. Our leader JoAnn and blue, blue skies... We found a couple little patches of snow, DeAnn's Arab gelding Onyx had never seen snow before! He thought it was going to eat him at first. When we found a second patch after our lunch stop, it was old hat to him... and Glory was thinking, hey, at least it's not falling from the sky... and it's NOT COLD!!!! I think she was remembering the Resolution Ride lol. A shot of the lake that we can see from the trail but aren't allowed to take the horses to... On the way back, towards the end, we got to REALLY have some fun {grin}
videoAnd once we were untacked we let the horses scratch the sweaty spots in the sandy wash...
video

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Taking Katie Bare...

Join me on Katie's journey from shod to barefoot... Step 1! We met up with Rusty, the barefoot trimmer and endurance rider that my endurance group uses. He has been doing Glory since October and she's already come a long way! The pictures will be out of order but easier to compare if I put them close together...

First, here are the removed shoes, front and rear. People have been telling me lately that Katie's hooves are so narrow BECAUSE of the shoes but I know that'snot true - when we got her she had just turned four, had not been shod long, and her feet were narrow and oval then... her heels are somewhat contracted which IS the shoes, but her narrow feet are just Katie's feet... and this causes me concern because most boots are round so fitting her will be hard.




On to the hooves themselves: First picture is before we even start, front feet


A comparison shot taken mid-trim - the left front is done, the right front is not. And that's HER left and right, so opposite when you are looking at the photo...


A closer look at the right front BEFORE


and AFTER


Since Sherman didn't get a birthday ride yesterday I brought him along, and of course all attention was on Rusty...


This will be the most interesting hoof to watch - the left rear. Katie got herself caught in the fence years ago, although several of the other horses had done it before hers was really bad. She must have done it early in the day, and we were gone all day at work, the kids at school and unfortunately visitation day so they didn't come home... anyway I walked out back and she was down, ALL FOUR legs caught in the fence, and she had been there struggling to get up long enough that she had worn a depression into the dirt, AND worn the hair and skin off her hip and shoulder and cheekbone! In fact to this day she still has a small scar on her hip where the hair won't grow back... thank God it was late October and NOT AUGUST or we'd have lost her, being without water all day long! As it was, when I got the neighbors to come help (had called Randy and he was still way too far away to wait for him) and we got her out of the fence and up on her feet, she was staggering like a drunk. Scared the living daylights out of me several times that night, Katie did - first seeing her down, then how badly she was caught, and the staggering... but we carefully got her drinking a little at a time, gave her some bran mash, and later her dinner, and except for her wounds she was fine. The worst of the wounds was that she had almost sliced off the outside heel bulb on her left rear, and it took a good four months of treatment to heal. It still looks nasty but she has been fine ever since. However it caused Rusty to NOT trim the frog on this hoof, because the hoof wall had broken off on that side - with the shoes she had an even sole, but with them removed, IF he had trimmed the frog she would have been lop-sided. It's hard to see in the pictures and I don't know how to edit them to draw on them and then print those - I'll try to learn soon though. Anyway you if you know where to look you CAN see the injury site on the outside heel of her left rear...


...and the missing chunk of hoof wall.


Just as I suspected, I have 6 pairs of boots now and not one of them fits Katie! Sabrina was kind enough to dig in her "bucket of boots" {and yes I am well on my way to having the same} once again... 2 of my 6 pairs are hand-me-downs from Sabrina already! Anyway Rusty had given her an Easyboot Glove size 0 at the Resolution Ride, and it's too small for any of her horses - and too big for Feathers the wonder pony. Although she could use it to trade for another size, she contributed to the cause... AND she loaned me an old-style "regular" Easyboot, also size 0, until I can get a matching Glove... so we were safely booted for our trial trail ride even though my fashion-conscious mother would cringe - THEY DON'T MATCH!!! And although I would have if I'd had enough boots in the right size, we did NOT boot her back...

And Katie did AWESOME, she never hesitated, took right off wanting to go, and was several horse lengths ahead of Savannah and Patch {grin}

There were a couple of little flinches when she stepped right ON a rock but not nearly as many as I expected... especially considering how Glory tiptoes on rocks after a trim! I also noticed that it seemed easier and smoother for Katie to gait already, which gives me hope that her pacing will abate once her tootsies get in REALLY good shape...

All in all, YAY I am excited, things are looking great so far!

Friday, February 11, 2011

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SHERMAN!!!

Sherman with his mama Hannah right after he was born - if you look close you can see he is still wet!


One of the other dogs got curious - Hannah says, BACK OFF!



We watched him grow...











Meeting his daddy Zacchaeus


Grandma kisses :*


Learning to walk


Playing with Darci


No more pictures Grandma!!


First time outside...
Happy, happy, happy 3rd birthday Sherman!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Well That Wasn't So Bad...

At least, not for me - all I had to do was listen to the complaining and make sympathetic noises {grin}. The new spring is on the trailer and a test drive to Randy's dad's place also ended up with the light problem finally being fixed YAY!

Sorry honey, I know how hard this all is for you... and I really do appreciate you taking care of it!!! Lord knows I couldn't begin to do it myself...

Monday, February 7, 2011

Getting There...

Randy got the broken spring off the trailer and got a replacement... poor guy, it's quite the chore with only one good arm! I told him not to worry, he has until Thursday ;)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Just My Luck...

Today was supposed to be a LOVELY ride out at Courthouse Rock... Well, I got up at 5, picked Laurie and her Katie up at 6:30, picked DeAnn and Ginger up just after 7... We were on the 303 just past Northern when suddenly there was grey smoke pouring out from the right side of the trailer - THAT'S NOT RIGHT!!!!! Pulled over right quick and jumped out to find this:

Well CRAP. Called our ride host K and told him something was wrong and not to wait for us. Called Randy and got him on the way. Took some doing but DeAnn and I talked Laurie into getting hold of Melwood, who was still behind us, she stopped and we transferred Laurie and Katie and all their stuff into Melwood's rig so she wouldn't miss the ride. DeAnn said she wouldn't leave me and we thought Mary had already passed us while we were picking DeAnn up, BUT just as we loaded Katie, Mary pulled in behind Melwood... so it REALLY took some doing but I convinced DeAnn to ask and Mary said sure, so we loaded Ginger and DeAnn and all their stuff into Mary's rig and WHEW I feel better that neither of the girls had to miss the ride because of my breakdown...

Shortly after that Randy pulled up, thankfully it's a broken SPRING not the axle, so he set to work fixing it so we could get the trailer home - got the rear tire up on the trailer buddy jack, removed the front tire, got some wood blocks set and got the axle strapped:


...and with him in the Jeep behind me with flashers on, we got off the 303, took Glendale over to Cotton, limped north to Bell, then headed west so we could take the back way home - bumpy dirt road for part of 219th but at least we weren't on the 303 and the 60... we made it safely home on 3 trailer tires just after 10:00 a.m. So I texted the 4 girls hoping someone's phone would get it so they wouldn't worry. They promised to take lots of pictures and have extra fun for me!!

If I could have just xeroxed myself, there was room in Mary's trailer for my horse darn it... but I figured I better not even ask Randy if I could go ride and leave him to deal with the rig {eyes rolling here} and I was right, he said that would have been pushing it past the limit {sigh}. At least I don't have to worry about fixing it, that will be his problem!

But doesn't if just figure, I finally get a truck that can haul the trailer without breaking down... and the darn trailer breaks!!!

So I guess I will go out back and try to get caught up on my poop-scooping :(

Friday, February 4, 2011

When Grammy Comes To Visit...

...she always brings treats! Therefore, she always gets MOBBED!







This is why the sound of plastic bag makes the hearts around Painted Promise Ranch go pitter patter...

Even the dogs know...

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Bbbbrrrrrrr!!!

As my dad said to me on the phone... "If this weather keeps up, I'm going to have to move to Arizona!!"

it is unbelievably cold... my arm is tired from busting inch-thick ice off of 14 water buckets... EVERY MORNING...

I've been checking the critters and although their fur is cold, their bodies underneath are not, so I haven't blanketed... except for...

Yup the tiny girl gets a blanket every night even though she does feel warm. She's not too sure about this "modeling" during the day though... we had a little talk, went something like this: "Excuse me, Grandma, but I don't think I need this on during the afternoon!!!" (Notice the "teenage" look in her eyes!)

My response was... "When it's cold enough that you NEED the blanket, it's too DARK to take pictures, so you will just have to be patient for a few minutes and indulge Grandma!!!"

At which point she gave in and went to get a snack... yup another nursing picture - sorry but after 4 months of a bottle baby, this sight thrills me to no end {grin}