Bill and Juanita, owners of Allenspark Lodge B&B, are living their dream...

running a successful business and riding as often as possible.



Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Fence

B-  Good mornin' Ranger!  How's the old horse doing today?

R-  I see you Beel.  I am good.

B-  Glad to hear it.  Sorry I haven't been by in the last day or so.  Family picnic at one of the kids' houses.I burned the burgers.  What have you been up to lately?

R-  On one of the days before today one of the next door horses knocked their fence over.  The neighbor horses all runned away and went to the scary road next to us.  Peoples I do not know stopped their little stinky rolling boxes and chased the neighbor horses back off of the scary road.

B-  Yeah, Ranger, I was here when that happened.  The folks came by the lodge and asked us where the people that ran the livery were.  I told them "They've been in my kitchen talking with my wife for the last 5 minutes."  I guess the ponies were just waiting for an unsupervised moment to make their break.

R-  I remember now.  You and Waneeta camed and helped the neighbor peoples chase them back in and set up the fence again.

B-  It was great that those people stopped their cars and helped get them off the highway.  Lives may have been saved.

R-  Then on the day before today I saw the neighbor lady put up a biting wire.

B-  Yeah, I heard her say she was going to put up a hot wire.

R-  I seed one of the bad horses start to walk up to the biting wire to smell it.  The other bad horse pushed him out of the way and touched it first .  He was not happy.  He was not happy all day.

B-  I don't think any of them have ever had experience with electric fences before.  They really smart when you touch them.

R-  He is smarter now.  Just not happy.


Saturday, May 16, 2015

Just a Ride - Much Needed

The outdoors were calling our names today.  After our guests left to go hiking, we headed to the horses.
This is a HAPPY face!  On one of my horses, my other one in tow, my honey on his horse, a sunny day, blue skies .....  I could go on and on.
Down our favorite trail, we spot several live deer and .... bones.
It is a dead thing Beel.
 
After inspecting the bones, it was determined that a deer had come to its demise, maybe by animal since it was picked absolutely clean except for some hair around a couple feet.  However, Bill did decide that someone had cut the antlers off with a saw.
My guys stood patiently by while Bill did his inspections.  We noticed a good deal of downed trees from the winter winds; most of them had been dead already and just couldn't take the wind, but what a beautiful place to ride.
I love this shot of Twin Sisters, with the blueness of the sky and the clouds building behind it.
We rode around the pond.  Washoe had a moment of goofiness when a couple of ducks took flight just as we were passing and managed to get Jesse's lead rope under his tail.  I do love my horses;  his moment of goofiness was a quick scoot to the side, then freezing in place so I could drop the rope from under his tail, while Jesse stood still until we were ready to go again.  Then off they both walked like nothing had happened.

We checked out many of the trails, deciding we should get back up there soon with shovels to prevent more runoff damage.  All in all it was a very pleasant two hours, and now - it's snowing!


Bionic Cowgirl

Friday, May 1, 2015

If There Ain't Pictures, It Didn't Happen

 There is a saying among bloggers, that if there are not pictures to prove it, it didn't happen.

Several days ago, I took Ranger out for a ride with one of the new wranglers from across the street and his horse.  We had a great, though short, ride, because of the snow drifts still blocking the trails.  I have no pictures to post.

 I forgot my camera.

The next day, Juanita and I took Juanita's mom to lunch for her birthday (nineteen, with lots of experience) along with a couple of our kids and some of our grand kids.  We went to a Fort Collins landmark called "Vern's".  I spent lunch being watched by what may be the greatest example of taxidermy I have ever seen.  I didn't get a picture.

I forgot my camera.

However, our oldest daughter took a picture of the cat for me with her phone.

I love her.


This lion stared at me the whole meal with this wide-eyed "WTF?" sneer on his puss.

Made me very happy.


The following day we went to help our eldest daughter and her husband play with their horses.  At one point I was playing "dead man" draped across the back of her mare.  The stink'n horse reached back and bit me high on the back of my thigh.  No pictures.

I forgot my camera.

(And no, I'm not taking a picture of the bite mark on my rear now that I'm home, even though I have my camera here.)

Later that day, we went to a wild life refuge north of Denver.  The Wild Animal Sanctuary is a BLAST.  It is chock full of lions and tigers and bears.  Oh my.  They are mostly animals that have been taken by law enforcement or turned in because they outgrew the apartment that people were keeping them in.  Odd that you wouldn't want to share your 800 square foot apartment with an 800 pound tiger...

I didn't get any pictures of the animals or the mile long elevated walkway.

I forgot my camera.

I am a failure as a blogger.  There just ain't 'nuthing happening.

Bill

Monday, April 20, 2015

Mini Vacation - Gymnastics Regionals Level 9 Competition

Our youngest daughter invited me to join her and her two daughters for a short trip this weekend. It was Autobot's regionals competition of level 9 gymnasts.  It sounded like a fun 3-generation trip.  Billl was going to drive me down to their house early Friday morning.
This is what it looked like that morning:  18 inches of new snow.  Bill and I spent an hour shoveling to locate the car; shoveling to feed the horses; shoveling for guests who were booked that night.  Good exercise, you say?

Us girls finally got on our way just to discover we were in the midst of a huge traffic jam outside of Denver.  Due to poor visibility - which had caused several bad accidents - the highway we needed was closed and traffic was being routed around in circles!  We weren't allowed to continue east, and after being sent back west, were told we could not get back to Denver.  Thanks to having traveled some of the back roads in that area to visit a friend who used to live there, I recognized one of the county roads.  We headed south, picked up a road going east and managed to skirt the whole mess, returning to I-70 about five miles later.  We continued on our way for a great drive.
This is where we landed in Wichita, KS.  Sure looks different!  It was a condo complex converted into 'hotel rooms' - a very nice place to spend the weekend.
Granddaughter Asset located a new friend, Jack (alias Flappy).  When we arrived he was inside the pool area standing very awkwardly.  Turns out he has a broken leg, which does not deter him in the least from his normal routine.  A lady Nebalie spoke to said she had worked there for 10 years and two ducks, Jack and Jill came every year.  They laid eggs at the river and took turns 'babysitting' them.  She didn't know how Jack had gotten injured, but hoped he would survive.  Asset did her part by toasting Jack a piece of bread every morning.

It was planned to spend the day at Cowtown Living Museum on Saturday, but when we got there it was pouring down rain, so we opted to wait until later.  Asset and I stayed at the hotel while Nebalie and Autobot went to the meet to watch a team mate compete.  Three members of Autobot's team qualified to attend this meet; quite an honor.
Asset and I walked around the neighborhood when the rain quit, puddle jumping and various things.  She started noticing the tiny, tiny flowers that were popping up and wanted to make her mom a bouquet.  She also found a nutshell to use as a vase.  This child is quite the problem-solver.
Finally made it to Cowtown, a living museum, meaning you literally walk into the life of the people living in that time.  This was civil war reenactment weekend, so soldier's tent cities were set up in several locations, with women tending cooking fires, men cleaning weapons, and kids playing various games of the time.
Two 'enemies' discussing the working of the cannon.
Several people were teasing this sheriff about his hard job.
Apparently it was this one's turn to patrol.  This was the complementary horse; an 18 yo who worked the museum a couple times a week.  His owner said he enjoyed it, especially the end of the day/dinner time when he got to graze on the grass at the edge of town.
You were able to walk into most of the buildings.  This one was the first house built in Wichita and reconstructed at the current location, then set up like it had been.  It was used as a bed-and-breakfast, with the guests staying in tiny rooms upstairs.  It's a lovely wood stove but glad I don't have to cook our breakfasts on it.
In the late 1800's the town had a pump in the middle of town for water.  Asset learned it took a special technique to actually get a trickle of water; she decided it was hard work.

Show time!  The cannon has been moved onto the battlefield and we get to see it in action - a noisy thing it was.
Here come the opposing soldiers.  They spend a good deal of time firing from behind a row of logs, but when it looked like they were making progress they started moving forward as a group, kneeling down to fire their weapons, then moving forward again.
Here's the cannon again as it is moved back toward the farm houses.  These guys had been firing from  behind a couple of large dirt burms and got routed out.  I didn't quite understand how it was safer firing from behind a large fallen tree than dirt mounds, but hey, it was a re-enactment, right?  My days of cowboys-and-Indians or war games came a little later in history, when better strategy had been developed.
Of course, you have to have the crowd cheering on the winning soldiers as they march through town.  I do have to say they play fair; the opposite side had won the morning battle.
Here's the real reason we were in Wichita - the Level 9 Regional Gymnastics Meet.  Girls from seven states all lined up (this is maybe 1/6 of them), and this is the last of three sessions.  Autobot is about midway, with the turquoise on her leo.  To qualify, they each had to accumulate a certain number of all-around points at their respective state competitions.
Here's our girl setting up for her spin on the beam.  It's the only shot I could get to turn out.  It was not one of her better meets, but she put forth a valiant effort against awesome competition.  To make it this far the first year of competing this level is pretty awesome in itself.  We are very proud of you, Autobot!!!

Bionic Cowgirl - playing grandma this weekend.






Sunday, April 19, 2015

Not Those Ticks

R-  Hello Beel.  Waneeta is not feeding me again on this day.

B-  Yeah Ranger, she's in Kansas at a gymnastics meet watching one of our granddaughters compete.

R-  I do not know jim-nast-ticks.  But I know can-sass.  Food grows out of the ground there.

B-  That is does, Ranger.

R-  Your face is not the same Beel.  Again.

B-  Yes Ranger, I shaved off my new beard.  Too much itching going on.

R-  You should stand next to a herd member.  Sometimes they will bite you where it itches.  

B-  Sounds like fun buddy, but, ummm, no.  I'll just keep shaving.

R-  Did you have jim-nast-ticks that made you itch?

B-  No, it was a spider.  Long story.

R-  I do not like any bugs.

B-  I know what you mean, Ranger.  That is one of the good things about the springtime two foot snow we got this week.  Fewer bugs.

R-  When Waneeta comes back from can-sass you should check her for jim-nast-ticks.

B-  You betcha.

R-  And if she stands next to you remember to bite her.




Sunday, April 5, 2015

Hay Net Update

It's been 12 days now since I installed the hay net and wow, what a difference.  They now consume about 1/3 less hay than 'before net'.  Our bales weigh between 40 and 50 lbs mostly, so for three thousand-pound animals (average of the three) they should consume 45 - 60 lbs of forage a day (one bale), depending on their work schedule, which right now is very slight, although they are out 24/7 on a dry lot of about 1/2 acre, so they move around quite a bit.  I used to have to feed 1 1/2 bales a day to keep them even slightly happy.  Now one bale in the net usually still has a little less than a flake in it after 24 hours, and they seem more than satisfied.  It also looks like they are beginning to drop a little weight, which is a good thing as they came home too tubby.  Besides, the more weight Jesse puts on, the crabbier she gets.  She is way happier slimmer (aren't we all?).

The biggest drawback for me so far has been handling the net when it is wet and below zero.  The cinch and rope are still easy to handle but you freeze your fingers.  Bill found me some very slim waterproof mechanix gloves to try, but it hasn't snowed again yet.

Give haychix.com a look see.  They come in all sizes.  I am already considering a couple travel ones for the trailer because I don't like all the wasted hay on the floor at the end of a long day of travel, plus when we get to our campsite, we can just toss the pre-loaded one in their corral and know it will get them through the night.

This will probably be the last update, unless something truly devastating happens this summer, but I can't imagine what right now.

Bionic Cowgirl

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Baby's First Ride

We have some friends who are moving away - job reasons - so we had a quick get-together planned for today.  Her parents had flown into town for a few days because ... well, there is a new baby in the family.  Since the parents are also friends of ours, they came up the mountain for a visit and brought little Reese, the 2 1/2 week old little girl.  After having lunch together I was informed that Reese needed her first ride!

Now E. knows my horses really well.  In fact, she had spent several years starting young horses and she had helped train Washoe, my gelding, so when she said Reese needed a ride, I can't say I was too surprised.  The day was beautiful; sunny and bright, just a bit breezy, and in the low 50's.  Still a little snow on the ground from our new foot just two days ago, but mostly melted.

I took a halter to the corral and called Jesse; told her she was getting brushed because she had to give a baby a ride.  She knows 'brush' and she knows 'baby'.  Boy, did the ears come up and she stood at rock solid attention to get groomed - and we were ready for a photo op.
'That's baby?  I was thinking bigger."
Better take a sniff here and check this out.
Reese just snuggled right in and fell fast asleep.  Bet she doesn't remember her first horse ride.  Wish you could see the other side.  Her little fist had latched onto a piece of mane and right after this picture she sort of stretched out and really crashed.  Must have been the warm sun and all that warm furry back.
"What do you mean, put my ears up?  There's something on my back so I can't move and Grandma's hair is tickling my nose!"

What a good day.
Bionic Cowgirl

Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Wonder Net

Just a quick update on the slow feed net I purchased for the horses:  I LOVE IT - and so do the horses!

Unbelievable how fast they took to it.  I still put small amounts of loose hay in the feeder, but as soon as I throw the loaded net in, they all start picking from it - and leave the loose stuff alone.  Yep; even Ranger.  There has always been small amounts left in the net after 24 hours.  I dump the handful out and they wait patiently for me to refill the net.  The operative word in that last sentence was 'patiently'.  They were never patient before, barely holding it together, trying not to paw or stomp at feeding times.  That was actually the first thing I noticed the day after I started using the net; I couldn't believe how much better behaved the horses were.  I think it is so much more like true grazing - picking out a few stems at a time - that they are more satisfied.  No more scarfing food  and then getting bored and picking at the fences and stuff.  They are still consuming the same quantity of hay throughout the day, but none is getting wasted.  Therein lies the savings.  Many times I've gone out to check and found them just 'hanging out', and hay still in the haynet.  Later when I take their 'bowl food' to them, the net will be emptier, but still have some.

So far, so good.  Now to see how long it lasts.  Even if it only does one season, it is worth it to watch the change in their demeanor.
Bionic Cowgirl

Post Scribble-

This was an unsolicited review of this product.  They gave us nothing.  If we hadn't liked the product, we wouldn't have told you about it at all, because it's embarrassing to get taken...
Bill
Purchased from-
Hay Chix
www.haychix.com
(715)483-1770

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Slow Feeder, Day 2

B-  RANGER!  WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?

R-  Is this a trick question Beel?

B-  You have reached through the fence, torn open the tarp and are pulling the hay out of the barn!

R-  I am eating.

B-  Ranger, there is still hay in your feeder.  WHY AREN'T YOU EATING THAT HAY?

R-  Beel the hay in the food place is tangled up in ropes.  It is hard to eat.

B-  It is a slow feeder net.  It's supposed to slow down your eating, so you can "graze" all day.

R-  Too hard.  I will just eat here.  I will stop when I am not hungry.

B-  Nope.  You will stop now.  Juanita has re-stacked the hay you knocked down and pulled the tarp back in place.

R-  I will go eat at the food place now

B-  Good for you.

R-  And then you will leave.

B-  Don't  you dare.  Jerk.

R-  *munch munch*



Tuesday, March 24, 2015

This Year's Food Experiment - The Slow Feed Hay Net

Hay - and getting enough of it - is a major concern for any horse owner.  We have three horses: Jesse, an easy-keeper; Washoe, a flow-thru (those that can eat everything and never seem to gain weight); and Ranger, a 'normal' I-will-quit-when-I-am-full horse.  How to best feed these guys together and have them all at optimal weights?  Last year I had thought I would need a grazing mask for Jesse, who could easily become insulin resistant.  Thanks to good weather conditions last summer and enough ride time (read exercise), I did not have to.  But the issue still resided in the back of my mind, so when I saw a new ad in a horse magazine from a company called Hay Chix, I decided to give it a try.  They sell different types of hay nets to fit your normal sized bales of hay - everything from flakes to large round bales - for a reasonable price.  After much thought, I ordered the size for 2-string bales up to 70 lbs.
Within a week, my new 'feeder' arrived in the mail.  This is going to fit a whole bale?  I ordered the heavy duty version, since Jesse is known for demolishing just about anything with her teeth.  It has 1 3/4 in. webbing; about one half the size of normal hay nets.
This is one of the things that tends to happen - even when there is always hay in the feeder.  This year it was Ranger's turn to officiate the opening of the hay stack!
Good, simple directions come with it.  Start by standing the bale on end and opening the mouth of the net.
Drop the net down over the hay bale.
Tip the bale over ...
... slide the boggle down the ropes and tie with a double knot.
Transport the hay to the feeding location by either using the strings on the bale, or passing the tie rope to the opposite end of the bale and using it as a handle.  I chose to just carry by the strings since that what I usually do anyway.  My greys were instantly interested.
To get it into the feeder, I decided the easiest way was by getting into the feeder and pulling it in.  Washoe ignored me; Jesse was irritated that I was IN the feeder.  Once the hay is in place you can either put the tie strings inside the netting or use them to tie off to something so it can't be drug around.  Considering Jesse's proclivity to do just that, I tied it to the fence rail.
Ranger was NOT impressed; this is him snorting his disapproval!  Then he backed away with an I'm-not-going-there attitude.
For the first few days or so you are supposed to cover with lots of loose hay, until they learn that there will always be hay without getting frustrated at the slow feed idea.  If you notice Washoe's mouthful of hay you will see why there is such a mess.  It would be nice to not have such waste.

Jesse seems quite pleased and preferred to eat from the bale while the others ate the loose stuff - and she is the one who needs this the most.  Yay!!!
This morning the net was still almost full - and there was plenty of loose hay left.  The horses did not seem upset at all.  Tonight there was still plenty of loose hay and the net was a little less than half full.  The horses seem quite happy so I guess they are making the transition pretty fast.  Notice the new snow on the ground.  Winter is not over yet up here.
Bionic Cowgirl