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

running a successful business and riding as often as possible.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Old Man

My horse is getting old.

The last few times I've been out on Ranger this summer, he has lagged behind even more than usual.  He has never been what you might call a "high energy" animal.  But now he's doing a little limping on his rear, not much, but noticeable.  Even when he was being ridden by a much smaller friend or our granddaughter, it seems to be a lot of work for him to walk up the mountain.  On one trip around the block, I ended up getting off of him and walking, as he was "forging" (front and back hoofs colliding at each step) at a trot, and sometimes at a walk.  We called the vet in to take a look at him.

It took a couple days to get the vet up here, and by then he was walking fine, just slow.  We figured he may have gotten into a scuffle with one of the greys and gotten kicked.

So while the vet was up, we had his teeth "floated". It had been 7 or 8 years since the sharp edges had been ground off. Occasionally he had been choking on long strands of hay and he was dribbling a little grain, so it was time.

Now, the old guy has always been a cheap drunk.  One shot, and he's out of it.  The vet gave him his shot, ground the points down and found a tooth that was aimed sideways into his cheek.  He ground off the edges of it, too and we discussed getting an equine dentist up here for its removal.

The vet left and Ranger stood, sort of, trying to get it together enough to walk the 15 feet back into his pen with the other horses.

B-  Hey Ranger.  You doing okay?

R-  Mrrmff Beel.

B-  You're sort of swaying there.  How in the world can you stay up with your back legs crossed, and stretched out THAT FAR behind you?

R-  Rmmffted Beel.

After an hour of so, he perked up and headed back with the other two horses, who had been standing by the fence and staring at the old guy with great interest and concern.  He spent the next 8 hours licking and feeling his teeth.

This afternoon, I went out to catch the horses and put them in our back yard to "mow".  As I came after Ranger with his halter, he decided he wanted NO PART of it this time.  There just might be a vet involved again.

Now, I have long been able to stop him by grabbing his tail and pulling.  He will stop, but... then what do you do?  He walks off if you let go of his tail, and he is short, but I still can't reach his head to halter him while holding his tail.  This time, however, I noticed as I pulled his tail to the right, he would turn to the left.  And if I pulled his tail to the left, he would go to the right.

So I walked along behind him, tugging one way and then the other until I head "steered" him into the runout shed and into a corner. He looked over his shoulder at me seeming somewhat surprised, and I haltered him.

He was okay with going to mow.  No vet involved.  He spent an hour at it with the others, and then went home, still moving slow.

He is still losing a little weight.  His ribs and his hip bones are showing a little more than usual.  His face has almost as much gray hair as mine.  And walking is more of a chore than it used to be.

I think I may have to retire him soon.

That kinda hurts.


Thursday, August 6, 2015

Bunch of Sheet

B-  Hey Ranger.  I've got something new for you to try.

R-  I do not like new Beel.

B-  Juanita thought the flies were "bugging" you.  Ha!  Get it buddy?  Bugging?

R-  I am trying to eat here Beel.

B-  No, come on.  We are going to put a fly sheet on you.

R-  I do not like this dress Beel.


R-  I will wear it but I do not like it.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

A Mini Vacation - Julie Goodnight - HorseMaster

We had scheduled two days off this month - very important for us this time of year - so we could get some stuff done, have a night without guests and NOT fix breakfast for a couple of mornings.  We set this up months ago.

Fast forward a couple of months to when the request came in from GunDiva to transport her horse to a TV shoot for the HorseMaster RFD series.  It turned out to be right over our two days off - which by the way, turned into ONE day off because we had inadvertently booked two rooms in for the second night.  Yipes!  It sounded like fun to us: transporting horses to a beautiful ranch in the southern mountains of Colorado could actually be relaxing - to us.  We love to travel with horses, although we would rather it had been our own horses.  But hey, horses are horses and GunDiva's horse is family, too.  We arranged for our other daughter, Nebalee, to 'Lodge sit' for us, meaning come up and hang out to wait for the guests to come in that had gotten booked and stay the night to answer the phone.  We promised we would be back before breakfast so she wouldn't have to do that too.  (This turned into a great deal of work for her, too, as the phone never quit ringing, and I had left her with all the beds to remake.)  She may never volunteer to help us out again.

So Monday finally got here, we got everyone out of the Lodge on time (11:00 a.m.) and set about getting as much done as we could before leaving.  Had hoped to pull out at 11:00 ourselves;  Bill had taken the dog to the kennel in Estes Park, I stripped all the beds in the lodge, sorted laundry, gotten all the dishes done and the kitchen cleaned up, and we set about getting our stuff in the truck.  We did manage to finally get underway at 12:10.

We needed to head north 1 1/2 hours to GunDiva's to pick up her horse and our horse trailer, which had been left there when Bill dropped off Ranger.  Bill hooked up the trailer while I haltered Skeeter, and she loaded like a champ.  We then needed to pick up another horse in Longmont that was also hopping a ride to the shoot.  We even found our way there without any problems, met the two people who were going to follow us, loaded that horse and we were on our way.  Our only problem was that it was now 3:45 p.m. and traffic was picking up quickly; we were between two busy cities - Boulder and Denver - and had to decide just how to get on the road we wanted.  Thanks to the help of the girls following us, and their texting me directions as we went, we managed to get onto C470 ... but what a traffic jam!  Once we got onto Hwy 285, it was much better, but now 6:00 p.m.  After going over Kenosha Pass in horrible rain, and stopping for dinner at a cute little bar in Fairplay, we pulled into Julie Goodnight's place near Salida at 8:30 p.m.  Suffice it to say, we were all a tad tired, but happy.  The horses had traveled well.

Skeeter unloaded and was amazed to find five other horses in pens right there!  She behaved like a jewel in her new pen - while the two neighbor horses got all rowdy and nasty.  I don't think she ever figured out what the big deal was with them.  This was the first trip - other than being delivered to GunDiva's in a stock trailer - that she had ever taken, and she was handling it like a champ: no hollering, no fussing, no fighting.

Julie was gracious enough to let us park our rig overnight near their 'bunkhouse', so we could sleep in the trailer.  It was heaven:  we were sound asleep before 10:00 p.m. - and when we woke at 5:30 and realized we didn't have to get up, it was even better.  We finally crawled out about 6:00 to a gorgeous sight of fog rainbows.  The fog had settled in the valley at the base of mountains and two rainbows peaked their heads out.  What a start to the day!  We settled ourselves into a couple of chairs on the patio of the bunkhouse to wait for other living beings, watch the day start, and wait for GunDiva.
GunDiva in her job as crew.

Suddenly there were many people around: all the crew and cast members for the day.  Horses being brushed and shuffled from one spot to another.  It's busy times getting a TV show - or in this case, many shows - taped.  The weather cooperated for the most part and we spent our day watching the goings-on and lounging with Skeeter, who was taking it all in.  Whenever an episode finished up, a cheer would go up with lots of clapping of hands.  I swear that horse thought it was all for her.  She paid attention to every little detail.

We used the time to best advantage by hanging out at the hitchrail, otherwise known as the patience post.  Skeeter doesn't have one at home and has never had to stand tied to anything for any length of time.  One time we tried tying her to her horse trailer but discovered the tie bar was not nearly strong enough; just one pull bent it.  Not good.  She did stand tied to our truck for about an hour with a saddle on one time, but that's just not the same as having to patiently stay put for long periods of time (an important tool for every horse).
Notice the brush - labeled "horse brush"

When it was getting close to time for Skeeter's turn, GunDiva had gone off to get her 'show clothes' on and I brushed Skeeter 'til she shone.  Bill helped get the dreads out of her tail while I did her mane; I was even able to spray fly spray on her legs (even though GunDiva said she hated fly spray).  She was quiet and calm the whole time we worked on her, resting her chin on my shoulder as we watched the final prep for her.  Julie had talked to GunDiva about how they would do the shoot:  show some of the ground work that they normally did, introduce her to a bit for the first time, hop on her back bareback, and maybe even saddle her up for a quick shot.  Now remember, we had done all of that at home - except the bit part - and it seemed a dream to get it all on tape.
Being a good horse.

Waiting to enter the round pen - good horse.

It was decided to use Julie's newly refurbished round pen - just in case.
Watching the camera crew.
The clapper board comes in - and things start getting exciting.

Imagine everyone's surprise when GunDiva led her quiet, sedate horse in - and she went ballistic!  She couldn't stand still, didn't listen to direction, was just basically obnoxious.  When GunDiva leaned across her back, you would have thought she had never felt weight there before.  It was pretty quickly decided that Julie would take over.  In came the flag and the master.  We had a pretty exciting 20 minutes or so...and the cameras never quit rolling.  One of Julie's most common comments is not being able to actually get pictures of a horse being, well a horse that had problems.  Not so that day!!!  Skeeter did a great show of what a wild Mustang can do when it doesn't find any comfort in what's happening - but she was beautiful; all the majestic motion you see in the movies, happening right before our eyes.  Skeeter did finally calm down and 'get her brains back' as GunDiva put it.  She turned into her normal sweet self for the bit part, letting Dale Myler slip the headstall over her head and placing the bit in her mouth for the first time, then teaching how to use the reins at the withers to teach the horse to 'give to the bit'.  We weren't allowed to take pictures during the actual shoot because the big cameras pick up the shutter clicks.  You will have to wait for the episodes.

We are all still laughing at Bill (and Julie) getting drug around the corral by a horse not wanting haltered, or Skeeter trying to chase the dog away from the gate, or any number of other stunts she pulled in a short period of time.  We can hardly wait for the episodes to appear on RFD-TV; the footage was fantastic!
It all ended on a good note, with a hug from Julie and a calm horse!

Skeeter walked quietly back to her pen and spent the rest of the afternoon eating her hay.  We watched the last of the filming for the day, a horse getting adjusted by a chiropractor, and decided to head for home.  Skeeter did give us a bit of attitude about loading in the trailer; she was just DONE.  It's amazing what a granola bar will do, though.  As soon as GunDiva walked off, I showed Skeeter the bar and on the trailer she went.  Pam loaded her horse up and we started down the road.  We stopped and ate at a cute little bar in Buena Vista and felt quite content.

That contentment ended rather abruptly, though, when Bill commented on the brakes acting 'mushy' on one of the long downhills.  He decided we had better stop at the next station on the way to check it out.  Oops - no brakes!  Fortunately the trailer brakes held and we got stopped safely.  Turns out we had a blown brake cyclinder on the truck and all the brake fluid had leaked out.  Bill was able to do a temporary fix and we were back on the road.  We pulled into GunDiva's place at 12:30 a.m.  Skeeter was pretty excited to get out of that trailer, but she still unloaded like a lady.  Ranger hopped on the trailer about as fast as Skeeter exited.  He was ready to go home.  We pulled into the Lodge at 2:30 a.m. to the hollering of all three of our horses greeting each other.

We had traveled over 600 miles towing horses.

And at 5:30 a.m. we were cooking breakfast for our guests.  Back to business as usual.  Our 24 hours went fast and we had a great time!
Bionic Cowgirl

Friday, July 17, 2015

Baby Sitter

This is Ranger.  The horse.

On the day before this day Beel telled me "Hey Buddy, we're going on a road trip.  Trailer tires, and then you go stay with our daughter and son in law's horses for a couple days.  You'll be baby sitting Copper while we take the mare to film an episode of  Horse Master."

I do not understand.

I went alone into the rolling shed behind the stinky truck.  The Mare and That Kid did not go with me.  That was not the usual.

We stopped at a people filled place that made scary noises like the ga-rage near my home place.  I do not like the sounds.  Beel says the sounds are air-renches and im-pact hamurs.  I do not like them.

The man tooked the black rounds off of the rolling shed.  I was not too scared.  I watched and eated hay.
The man putted the black rounds back on the shed and we wented away.

I do not understand.

Then we wented to The Girls house that had The Other Mare.  There was also another horse now.
 I showed them around their yard in case they had not noticed what was there.
I finded hay for them.
Then I telled the new guy that it was my hay because I finded it for them.  It was mine.  He could have some when I was done.  Or he could have some if I could not see him eat.
He was pretty good behaving.  I am sure I will have to tell him again later.  Horses can be not very smart.

Sometimes they do not understand.

Ranger.  The horse.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Testy Moany Al

This is Ranger.  The horse.

  Beel telled me that I was a testy moany Al for the food dirt.  I do not know what that means.  He sayed I should tell you how I feel now and how I feeled back then.

  When I gotted back from the cold-time-they-do-not-bother-us-place and wented to the hot-time-mountain-living place my legs hurted.

  A lot.
  All of the time.

  When I walked up the hill for morning food I would go very slow and I had to stop a lot. "That Mare" and "The Kid" would push me away from the food place and I was hungry.  And when Beel would take me for walks sitting on me I would go very slow because he gotted very fat over the cold time.  He even started to use a smaller back chair but he was still too fat.

  Then Waneeta started putting dirt food in with my bowl food.  On the first time I smelled it.  But I ate it because...bowl food.  It did not make me sick.  So now I eated it all of the time.

  My feel bad does not hurt any more.  Beel is not fat any more.  "That Kid" goes away when I say so now.  "That Mare" is still a mare though.

  Beel telled me to say that it is not food dirt.  It is "Natural Stride for Horses" and Waneeta buyed it from "Cavallo Horse and Rider".

  Waneeta sayed she is not going to give me food dirt any more if I do not quit kicking and biting "That Kid".

I think she do not know how badly he needs to be kicked and bitten.

Ranger the Horse

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Spring has Sprung

B-  So, Ranger.  What do you know about this?

R-  Go away now Beel.

B-  No, really, horse.  What do you know about this "electric fence gate spring coil" that is stretched to 10 times it's maximum length, the hook/handle is broken off and it was found lying  20 yards from the gate it was supposed to be hooked up to?

R-  That is a very dangerous snake-monster.  It bites.  You are holding it.  Go away now.

B-  This spring was installed less than a month ago.  It replaced the last one that got all stretched out of shape.  Which had replaced the one before THAT that got ruined.  I could never figure out who was destroying these things, until this time, I found a wad of brown and black tail hairs tangled up in it.

R-  It will bite you Beel.  And it will follow you and keep on biting you when you run away Beel.  Go away now.

B-  Both of your pasture mates are white horses.  Only you have brown and black hair.

R-  If you just stand near it it will attack you Beel.

B-  Maybe you should swish you tail just a little further away from the gate from now on?

R-  Maybe you should go away Beel.  It is mean.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

It's All About the Grass

B-  Howdy Ranger.  How's my old horse?

R-  Hello Beel.  I am good.  I would be better if I got some grass like the neighbor horses got.

B-  Yeah, it was another round up, Buddy.  All 40 of them got out and took off.  At least until the grass and weeds that bloomed this spring distracted them from their escape. It was pretty easy to convince them to go home and re-hook the panel they pushed open.

R-  I heared you call them bad ducks.  They are horses Beel.  Not ducks.

B-  Yeah Bud, but the tourist season is in full swing.  Ducks is about all I could think of to shout at them that was... okay.  Speaking of bud, grass, weed and tourists, lately we've had dozens of people show up at the lodge looking for the "Bud  Depot" marijuana dispensary.  I finally asked one of them why they thought we were dope dealers.  He said "I have an app on my phone that sent me here."  "Really?" I asked.  "And what makes you think that the app is any less f---ed up than the guy got while he was researching it?"  We just don't sell grass or weed here.

R-  Why would the peoples want to buy grasses?  They grow out of the ground.  You just eat them.

B-  Can't tell you Buddy.  They do seem kind of confused, though.  Maybe I could sell them a zip-lock full of dandelions.  "Here's your weed.  That will be $50."

R-  I like dandelions.  They taste good.  I would still like some grass like the neighbor horses got.

B-  Here you go my friend.  No charge.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

A Day at the Dentist

Well, both of my horses were due for a good dental checkup.  In fact, at last Fall's vet check, doc had made a note that my mare would need some work done this year.  Talk about an understatement!  She has been out-of-sorts for most of this spring; very touchy about her back, giving me grief over any downhill work.  I soon decided it was probably a tooth problem so I made arrangements with the Livery to have the equine dentist/chiropractor (he does both) check her out when he was up here.

So today was the day.  I had made appointments for both of mine, hoping my gelding's teeth wouldn't prove problematic.  He had to have some major work done as a young horse (4 yo) - a lot of filing and a tooth pulled - but has been good since. He's now 13 and has just had the light floats our vet does, about every two years.  Turns out, his teeth were in 'great shape' and the dentist suggested a two year plan.  He does, however, have a cracked wolf tooth (the one he still has), but said as long as it doesn't cause him any problems with a bit, we should just leave it.  He reaches for the bit when I offer it, so I guess it's not an issue and we were doing OK.

Not too surprising that Jesse's teeth didn't fair as well.  She had several hooks and a couple that were keeping her jaw from sliding forward, which meant she had trouble bending at the poll - which is exactly why she was hollowing out, throwing her head up and crow-hopping when I would ask her to go down hills.  We have some pretty steep hills here and this was quite telling, since she is usually great about being a 'mountain goat'.  Other than that, he said she had great teeth and should be good to go.  He did notice though, that she happens to have wolf teeth under the skin.  He asked if I rode in a bit, which I do, but my guys have never shown bit marks on their teeth, so he said if I was ever to go to a harsher bit (why would I do that?) or work dressage, that I would need to have those removed as that pressure could cause enough pain for her to go over backwards on me.  It's quite an extensive surgery and he suggested we not bother for the way I rode.

He uses a light sedation, and the best part was that he was able to adjust her hips while she was more relaxed (he could barely touch her before), so when she came out from under the meds, she had her normal walk back.  It was sooooo nice to see... and actually the really best part was how well behaved both horses were for him.  It always makes me happy when my horses don't give their 'helpers' any trouble.

It was a good day, and maybe tomorrow I can hop on my girl and see if she feels better!
Bionic Cowgirl

Friday, June 5, 2015

Fancy Foot Work

B-  Hey, Ranger!  Let's go for a walk.  You had your feet trimmed a couple days ago and the next day you gimped around a little.  Let's see if you're better now.

R-  Okay Beel.

B-  Juanita is going to walk Reba the lodge dog along with us.  We'll see if the dog is any better at ignoring the BIG SCARY horse.

R-  Ree-bah is a very strange little dog.  Why is it on a rope Beel?

B-  We need to keep her from running off if you scare her.

R-  Why am I on a rope Beel?  I am not scared of the little dog.

B-  I am just going to lead you for a while.  I want to keep the weight off your feet til we see if they are okay.

B- Alrighty, Buddy.  We've gone about a half mile, and you haven't tripped or limped once.  I'll just climb on bare-back and finish up this walk by riding.

R-  All right Beel.


B-  Ranger, dag-nab it, It's just a...


B-  Fine, let's step off the road here and let the truck go on...

R-  JUMP. 

B-  Wait-  I'm on you bareback and...


BNow just hold on...



B-  Whew.  Fine, you jerk.  We're off the road and the truck with the big pipe on it is passing by.

R-  You do not have to worry about Ree-bah being afraid Beel.  She was very brave when the monster went by.

Sunday, May 31, 2015


B-  Hey Ranger!  What's up?

R-  Trees and birds Beel.

B-  No no.  That's just a greeting like "What's happening?" or "How's tricks?"

R-  I am eating and I do not do tricks.

B-  Boy, that's a fact.  Say, speaking of tricks, yesterday the oldest daughter, her husband and I went to see the finals in the "Extreme Mustang Makeover" contest.  A couple dozen trainers took one unhandled mustang each and spent 3 months training them.  Yesterday was the finals and the best trainer/mustang was chosen.  Those horses could do some amazing stuff! Liberty work, riders cracking whips off them, crossing scary obstacles like tarps and stuff, side passing, roping cattle.  Stuff I couldn't teach you in another 10 years.

R-  Did the train peoples feed the horses?

B-  Yeah, of course!

R-  Did all the peoples leave the horses alone when they ate?

B-  Well, sure.

R-  That would be nice.

B-  Huh.  You saying you would do tricks if I left you alone?

R-  No Beel.  I am saying I am eating.  Leave me alone.

B-  I'll tell you what.  If you will "side pass" for me, I'll let you eat.

R-  What is a "slide-past"?

B-  Side pass. It is when you walk sideways so your side is going first.

R-  That sounds like it might make me hurt.  I think you would have to be crazy like a dog to walk like that.  Walk forward.  Back up.  Turn.  That will make you go anywhere.

B-  Yeah, but if you side on up to a gate, I can open the gate without getting off of you.

R-  You want me to do tricks because you are lazy like a cat.  Climb off.  Open the gate.  We walk through.  Close the gate.  Climb on.  No sliding past.

B-  I guess it's some sort of mustang thing.  The horse that sold for the most at the end of "EMM" was the one that was not going to do ANY of the tricks she had been taught for the "free style" portion of the contest.  It was kind of funny to watch, but that mare had her own agenda for that part of the show, and the trainer could only shake her head in disbelief.  The horse was just done with doing tricks.

R-  She was probably hungry Beel.

B-  Speaking of hungry, we had some "Mule Churned Ice Cream"  It was actually quite good.  Maybe you could get a job with them.  They don't have to side pass.


R-  I hope the mules made you do tricks before they gived you the eye-scream.