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

running a successful business and riding as often as possible.



Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Bloody Murder

Wow!

That was one of those once in a lifetime moments.

It had just stopped snowing for a minute, so I ran outside to take some trash out.  (No, that was not the once in a lifetime part, smart @$$).

As I was walking back into the lodge, I heard a crow screaming LOUDLY!  I looked across the street just in time to see what I thought was 2 crows mating, locked in an amorous embrace, drop from the sky and hit the ground about 30 feet from me.  As the crow continued screaming, I caught a flash of lighter colored feathers and realized one of the crows was a hawk.

Then I heard some more crows cawing. and 10 or 20 crows flew down out of the sky and began attacking the hawk, while screaming themselves.

I ran to the door and yelled for Juanita to come FAST, without taking my eyes off of the ongoing rescue operation.

By the time Juanita got to the door there were over 100 crows screaming bloody murder and darting out of the sky taking turns attacking the hawk.  The hawk seemed to decide dinner was off and fled the scene.   All of the crows swarmed him in pursuit, still screaming bloody murder (Except for dinner, who got up, limped around for 30 seconds or so, and then flew off in the other direction.)

The raucous cacophony of crow calling gradually faded as the black cloud of birds pursued their intended quarry with a single minded purpose, off into the distance. 

I stood, heart pounding, and realized 2 things about myself.

1)  I will stop and turn my car around to keep from running over one of these birds lest his whole family decides to take me out.

and

2)  I really have no idea how crows mate.

Bill


Monday, April 16, 2018

Teacher




This is Ranger.  The horse.

On some times we the horses of my herd go to other places to live.  For this cold time we went to the place where my foot cutter keeps his horses.  There were many other horses.

*Bill-   Our farrier has 10 or 12 other horses he was wintering on his pasture.*

Beel.  I am telling this.  Do not talk.

I had to teach the new horses how to be. 
They must not eat next to me.  They must not look at me mean.  They must go away when I look at them mean.  All of the important things that horses should know.  I am a good teacher.

I am such a good teacher that Beel sometimes takes me to stay with his stump daubers horses.

*Bill-   That's my "step daughters' horses".*

Beel  it would be better if you were quiet.  His stop doggers horses need teaching.  One of them still looks at me mean.  I just leave because I think he may be crazy.  The two mares are smarter and nice to me a lot of the time.

*Bill-  My "Step daughters' horses need teaching".*

Beel stop talking.  I am also in charge for teaching Beels stoop downer and her hugs band how and when to feed the horses.

*Bill-  My "step daughter and her husband".*

Beel. Could you just not.

*Bill-  Sorry.*

On some times the food comes nicely and that is good.  Sometimes the food does not come and that is bad.  I will tell the peoples when they are doing it wrong.

On one time the food ran out.  That was bad.  So the huds band brought hay in the stinky truck.  That was good.  But he parked the truck right next to the fence and did not bring it in to the food place inside the fence.  That was bad. 

He telled me "I do not have time to put the food in blah blah blah."

I looked at the hay on the stinky truck.  I looked at the food place in our yard.

He telled me "I need help unloading blah blah blah"

I looked at the hay on the stinky truck.  I looked at the food place in our yard.

He sayed "We will do it later blah blah blah."

I looked at the hay on the stinky truck.  I looked at the food place in our yard.

He sayed "Just reach across the fence and eat it out of the back of the truck blah blah blah"

THEN HE WENTED AWAY.

Peoples can be VERY HARD to train.

So then I had to train all of the other horses to eat from the truck.  But only when I was done eating.  Because there was only one side to eat from.  And I eat first.

It is very lucky I am such a good teacher.  It is very helpful to Beel and his steep dotter.

*Bill-  Close enough professor.*





Monday, April 9, 2018

Late Breakfast

B-  Hey there Ranger!  How's my old horse doing today?

R-  Not good today Beel.

B-  Sorry to hear that.  What's wrong?

R-  We the horses have runned out of food.  Only dirt food.  No feeder food.  I have been telling the peoples here about it.  They do not care.  They want us to all die.

B-  I kind of doubt that buddy.  Our daughter called us this morning and asked for some help unloading a big bale of hay in the corral this morning, so we came down to help.  And then we are going to work y'all.  Our 3 horses and the kids' 3 horses.

R-  I have no food.  I can not work.

B-  Just give us 10 minutes, and we'll have the truck in here and unload.

R-  Dying.

B-  Give me a break.  You guys didn't finish the feeder until about 3 hours ago.

R-  Dying.

***********************************************************

B-  There you go Ranger.  Over 1000 pounds of hay for you guys to eat.

R-  Good.  I will not die today.

B-  But first, let me catch you and brush your "spring shedding" off your fuzzy bod.  Juanita says you look like you belong on the steppes of Mongolia.

R-  I am too weak to run away Beel.  I will go with you.

Brush brush brush brush brush brush brush brush Jeeze Ranger you are a mess... brush brush brush brush brush brush brush brush brush This wad of hair off you is the size of a volleyball... brush brush brush brush brush brush brush...

B-  Okay buddy, let me jump on you bareback for a couple minutes to remind you of your job...

B-  Okay my fuzzy little friend, go eat and I'll catch and brush your herd mate, Alloy.

R-  Okay Beel.  I will eat now.

B-  All right  Alloy, I'll catch you and then let's...no, don't run off,  just stand there and I'll... I said don't run off.  Jerk.  Fine.  I'll just keep following you until you just stop running.  I have ALL DAY.

Walk walk walk walk walk walk walk walk walk walk......

walk walk walk walk walk walk walk walk walk walk...

B-  Hi Ranger.  Alloy is being bad.

R-  I am eating the food.

Walk walk walk walk walk walk walk walk walk walk......

walk walk walk walk walk walk walk walk walk walk...

B-  Hi again Ranger.  Alloy is still being bad, and now one of my daughters horses, Pearl, had decided to "help".  She chases him whenever he stops, since I am OBVIOUSLY chasing him as some sort of punishment.

R-  I am eating the food.

Walk walk walk walk walk walk walk walk walk walk......

walk walk walk walk walk walk walk walk walk walk...

B-  Finally!  Pearl got distracted and stopped "helping" and Alloy stood and let me halter him.  Now I can brush him...

R-  I will be eating the food.

B-  Well, about an hour of walking Alloy down just to brush him.  Probably 3 miles of walking and running around in circles.  I'm as tired as I've been in a month of Sundays. 

 R-  You should eat.  But not my food. There is not much.



Friday, February 2, 2018

#mymom

One week ago today, we lost Juanita's mom to pneumonia.  She was 89 years old and was a polio survivor.  A major contributing factor to her death was the terror that "scammers" were threatening her with.

She had polio as a child, and I think that played a major role in making her a strong and self reliant woman.   She went through life looking at what she wanted, and then working hard to make it happen.  She was always a little "close" with her decisions, not willing to share or discuss what she was doing, until she was sure how it was going to turn out.

That made her the perfect target for scamming.



So many of America's elderly are living alone, and doing well.  Except for being a little lonely.  When the phone rings, they will answer and have nice long conversations with the "new friends" that call them.  Every day.  Soon they have given out a great deal of information  to these new "friends".  Soon these friends will have convinced them that their children are not to be trusted, and are trying to get their parent's money.  And speaking of money, here is a fool proof investment/method/lottery that for just a few thousand dollars will get you a return of MANY THOUSANDS of dollars.

You just have to pay the taxes in advance/make the investment/what ever.  Just DON'T TELL ANYONE!

About the time the elderly person figures out that they are being scammed, the tone of the calls changes.  "If you tell anyone, we will kill you and your children and your grandchildren."  "We will burn your house down."  And they do know where she lives because she told them when they were friends.

My mother in law was so afraid while she was in the hospital, she gave up the fight rather than risk going home.  They were going to kill her family.  She gave up and died.

I have no words.

It is time for our government to step up and help us protect our elders.

I would rather have "Homeland Security"  make our parents safe, than protect me from potential roofers and gardeners.

Most of the people I have talked to have stories like this about older folks in their families, to varying degrees.

It is time for a major campaign to end the silence and end the industry that has grown up around bilking our parents and grandparents out of their savings.  Mom lost over $80,000 and her sense of safety.  And then her life.

Ask your parents what is happening.  Check their caller ID logs.  If there are numbers you don't recognize, ask them who is calling.  Tell them what has happened to others.

Tell your story to others.

#mymom

I miss her.

Bill

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Winter Digs

About the middle of last month, we moved our horses down the mountain to winter pasture.

There are 9 or 10 other horses down there being boarded by our farrier's dad, Scott.  Scott was our farrier about 15 years ago, but his son took over our herd after a year or so and has worked with our horses since.


The herd that our guys have joined is a fairly diverse group, but all seem to be pretty friendly.  Except for one that Scott calls the "Muslim Terrorist".  Seems that this particular Arabian horse, with a crescent "star" on his forehead, had kicked Scott in the leg "so hard I couldn't cuss."  If you know this old cowboy, you'd know that must have been a heck of a kick.

Ranger might disagree with my assessment of the  "friendliness" of the herd.  Several of them spend their time trying to chase and bite Ranger.  Washoe spends a good deal of his time running interference for the old guy.  Ranger may, for the first time since I got him, NOT be the number one gelding in the herd. 

Alloy just seems to be spending his time just RUNNING.  He has a new buddy in the herd.  It is, of course, the terrorist.

Speaking of Alloy running, today is the 1 year anniversary of Alloys "Great Escape".

The herds seem to have melded to some degree, and they are only a half hour away, but we miss them.  Particularly on sunny days when we could be riding.

I think our guys are enjoying the time off, though.  Lazy bums.

Bill



Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The Forgotten




B-  Hey 'ya Ranger!  How's my old horse today?

R-  I am good Beel.

B-  I haven't had a chance to ask you how your stay with our daughters horses went when we went on vacation a couple weeks ago.

R-  It was good Beel.  

B-  Yeah.   We didn't think you would be able to handle the long drive and then a couple days of riding, so we took you down to the "sitters" for a while.

R-  It taked many days.

B-  Yup.  We took you down a day early to save us about 2 hours of extra driving with the other horses in the trailer.  It gave us an early start.

R-  I getted into the rolling shed at a place that was not the usual.

B-  Umm, about that.  I had hooked up the trailer, and checked the lights.  One of the turn-signal/brake lights wasn't working so I pulled the connector off and fixed it.

R-  I getted into the rolling shed at a place that was not the usual Beel.

B-  Yeah, so I drove the truck/trailer around to the front of the lodge and then Juanita and I loaded up all of the stuff we needed into the truck.  Coffee cups full of coffee, a cooler for groceries we were going to pick up after dropping you off, Juanita's laptop computer so she could take a certification test at our oldest daughters college.  That sort of thing.

R-  Beel I getted int...

B-  So we got into the truck and started heading down the highway, put on an audio book to listen to and then Juanita asked  "So, did Ranger load up okay?"

B-  "Uh, that would be a no."  So I stopped along side the highway, just up the hill from your corral, grabbed a halter and a dog leash (I didn't have a lead rope in the truck), had walked over to get you.

R-  It was not the usual.  The usual is you remember the horse when you take the horse somewhere.

B-  Juanita remembered before we needed to turn around...

R-  A dog rope.  You are not very much at all.

B-  I'm sorry Buddy.

R-  I agree.  A dog rope.







Saturday, November 4, 2017

Finally, A Break!

It's been another very, very busy several seasons for Bill and I, so we were quite wistful for a break.  Since this October was our 30th anniversary, we decided we deserved a weekend off and now that we have two horses that are "rideable", I chose Canyon Trails Ranch for a horse camping getaway.  If any of you get Horse & Rider magazine, you might have seen the article in the Sept. 2017 issue about the Canyons of the Ancients, located on BLM land adjoining Mesa Verde in CO.  Perfect.  We needed to stay within our own state until we get legal title for Alloy, our newest Mustang.  It was a 9 hour drive from us and the weather people said they were expecting better weather than here.
This was the sunrise here at the lodge the morning we pulled out.  What a beautiful omen.

We had taken Ranger to visit 'the cousins' (GunDiva's horses) the night before.  The drive was uneventful, horses traveled well and sunny. We pulled into Cortez a few minutes before 5:00 p.m., phoned the ranch for specific directions, and 25 minutes later saw the 'face' of the ranch.
We were led to the campsite (of which there were only 4 for horses) and were delighted to learn we would be the only ones there for the weekend.  It also had an electrical hookup, a water hydrant per campsite close to the 15' x 15' pipe corral, and a short walk to a bathroom with a shower and flushing toilet.  Such luxuries.
Just hangin' with the horses.  What a way to end the day.
On Friday, we just kicked about the campsites, enjoying the main campground with the tent sites, an eating area and complete with a chuckwagon kitchen.


Complete with chairs to hang out with a good book or enjoy the colors still in abundance.
Alloy had the hives - again - when we left home, so we weren't sure if he would tolerate being ridden.  However, he was good when Bill saddled him up for a short walk around the campsite.
This was a male hogan that was in the camp.  Reba explored it like it might be a dog house.  These small ones were often used as sweat lodges; less space to get hot.
This was the 'outhouse'.  Doesn't look like much from the outside, but was very warm and clean inside, with a real hot water shower and a flushing toilet.

Whatch' doin'?
Washoe and Alloy behaved like perfect gentlemen, sharing their pen.  We put them in separate pens for a short time so they could have more space, but they hollered back and forth until we put them back together.  We spent a considerable amount of time sitting next to their pen reading, and saw a lot of this.

Saturday we decided to take a trail to the closest Anasazi ruin that was on a trail that left right from the campsite.  However it was on permitted BLM property, so not wanting to get the owners in trouble by riding the horses there, we opted to hike.  Reba dog thought this a good idea because than she could go (she does not like being with the horses, so it is either her or horses with us).  She did a LOT of free running on this trip.  For a house dog, her feet held up really well, but she did get pretty tired on the hike; I would guess about 4 miles.
The trail ran along stone walls and cliffsides, and past small log buildings like hogans, eventually getting to some of the smaller ruins.

Coming back down we got a good view of the back of the ranch itself, where their horses grazed in pastures.
... and a view of our own campsite.
Later in the afternoon, we again saddled up the horses and rode all the little twisty trails throughout the site and part of the way down the road to the other trail heads, just to see how Alloy would handle the hives in the heat - it was sunny and 69 degrees.  He did great.  The horses found the trail we had hiked in the morning and were rearing to go.  It made our decision to take them onto the main site the next morning.

Sunday dawned sunny and warm with a very slight breeze; perfect to hit the trail.  After a lazy breakfast we headed out with the horses.  It was about a 1/2 mile ride down a county dirt road, then a bit down a paved road to get to the Canyon of the Ancients Monument.
There were two loop trails and one that traversed across the entire area, which we decided would be too long for this first trip, so we started off on one of the shorter loops.
Lots of different kinds of cactus encroaching on the trails.  Washoe is an old hand at this, but we didn't know how Alloy would do.  Should not have worried; he just followed Washoe's lead.
We had a lesson in map reading 101 and saw lots of great views.
One of the best views I had though, was of this very happy rider and his very good horse.
We did not complete the loop, only doing about 2 hours in the heat, but we did see some ruins from across a canyon.
We had such a great relaxing time just getting to hang, with no time synch, lots of napping, reading, and just being. Considering Alloy probably still does not have 50 hours worth of actual ride time, we are very pleased with his temperament and behavior.  Wet saddle blankets are the best way to get a well trained trail horse, and he is well on his way.

Bionic Cowgirl

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Stick It.

Yesterday was looking like a pretty good day for my grand daughter and me to take the younger horses out for a ride.  It was cool (30-32 degrees) and the wind was blowing (10-15 mph), but still a good day.

Except that when it's cool, the horses start "feeling their oats" and get kind of bouncy.  And when the wind is blowing, the horses get kind of twitchy.  And then there was a bulldozer cutting a new driveway up the mountain side just a hundred yards or so from the horses corral, that was clanking and grinding and roaring, and the horses were concerned about that, too.

Okay, it was a day it would be stupid to take a green horse out on.  But stupid won't stop ME from doing something I want to do.

After catching Washoe and Alloy, Ranger ran up to me and asked to be caught, too.  Ranger is a lazy turd and NEVER asks to go.  But he seemed to want OUT of the pen.  He pushed his head into me as I tightened Alloys halter.  He REALLY wanted to go. I laughed at him, and we still made him stay, so he went down the hill to the stream and sulked.


The grand kid and I got the horses ready to ride.  Washoe got a bareback pad and reins hooked to his halter.  Alloy got a full saddle and bit.  After saddling, but while he was still tied to the truck, Alloy started a "standing" bucking fit.  Just stood there and bucked in place.  It scared Washoe enough that he broke his lead rope, looked rather pleased with himself, and started walking back to the corral to hang out with Ranger.  He got caught and Alloy settled down, so we climbed on to go for a ride.

The good news is I landed on my feet.  Great 2 point landing and I STUCK it.

I mounted in the dirt parking lot in front of the lodge. Alloy took a couple steps with me on his back one way, then we turned and took a couple steps the other way.  Then he got to the middle of the paved road out front and BLEW UP.  I may have made 2 jumps with him, and then I broke free and sailed off the side and landed on my feet.

ON. MY.  FEET.



Alloy kept on bucking beside me and I hung on to the reins.  No way I was going to let him loose and get away with that.  No way.  So I clamped my grip down on those leather ropes and HELD ON!  He kept right on bucking and gritting his teeth as he slung his head back and forth...

I feel I must interrupt this narrative to remind my dear readers that even as a small horse, this animal weighs more than five times what I weigh.

He spun me around at the end of the reins and when I finally let go I cartwheeled @$$ hole over tea cup while he continued kicking and stomping every thing in the area.



I was still in the area.

He ran down the hill bucking and stepping on his reins, and finally stopped down the hill.  As I limped down the hill to finally catch him in front of the neighbors house I thought...

  "That's okay.  I LANDED ON MY FEET!"


Washoe, the grand daughter and Juanita watched.  I think they had popcorn.

We then went for a very short ride around the parking lot, and I got off and hobbled with him around the block.

As I turned Alloy loose in the corral after the "ride", Ranger looked over at me and said...

"I telled  you that you should take me."

Yup buddy.  Of the two of us, you're the smart one.

Bill

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Sad

B-  Hey buddy!  How's it going?

R-  Hello Beel.  It is good.  I have food.

B-  Yeah, you've had your head stuck in that feeder non-stop lately.  You're getting kinda pot-bellied.

R-  I am just doing my job.

B-   Your job kinda changed this summer, didn't it.  I tend to ride Alloy a lot more than I ride you, now.

R-  I have to keep track of the herd now that That Mare is gone.  I must eat much.  And yell when the others leave so they know where to go home at.

B-  That was very sad, wasn't it.  She foundered and was in pain.  The vet and the farrier thought she would never get better, and she'd always be in pain.  So last July, we had to put her down.

R-  She got dead.

B-  When we put down your herd-mate Shadow seventeen years ago, You looked for him for years afterward.  This time I took you over to look at Jesse.

R-  She got dead.

B-  And you never looked for her afterwards.

R-  It would not help.  When they get dead they do not eat any more.  Or be with the herd.  Or yell so I can find my way home.

B-  I didn't show her to Washoe.  He looked for her for days.  I didn't even think about showing her to him. He seems to have stopped looking now, though.  And Alloy, the new horse, never really seemed to notice.  I thought that was odd because she was his first "friend" in the herd.

R-  That Mare always liked dogs and young animals.  Al-thing is both.

B-  Alloy.  And I think he would disagree with your assessment of his heritage.   And you were pretty partial to Jesse when she moved in with us, and she was only 5 months old.

R-  The mother mare was very old and tired.  I needed to help.

B-  Jesse's mom was more than willing to let you take over the raising of that filly.

R-  I teached her many rules.  She did not pee on the food.  She maked all new horses follow the rules.

B-  She would step right up and take over any herd we introduced her to.

R-  Bossy.

B-  She was at that.  We all miss her. 

R-  She maked a good mare.

B-  Yeah, she was a very good lead mare for the herd.


She is missed.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Alloy Oop!

I have not posted in a while.  My bad.  It's been a busy summer and Juanita and I have been running non-stop.

When we picked Alloy the mustang up in January, it was too cold and snowy to work with him.
When February rolled around it was too cold and snowy to work with him.
March was too cold and snowy to work with him.
April was just too snowy.
May we had a snowstorm with three feet of snow.
June we got busy at the lodge with guests.
July, more guests.

August hit and I realized it is about to start snowing again, and guests or not, I better get with the program.

During the preceding seven months, I would do some work with Alloy, but none consistently.  Alloy reverted to his old ways.  Again, my bad.

When Alloy was first taken in by his first trainer, Jessica, he had a bucking problem.  The problem was he was GOOD at bucking.  Jessica sent him to trainer #2.  Al seemed to get over his problem and was sent back to Jessica.  Jessica worked extensively with Al, and he showed the makings of a great trail horse.

On to owner number two.  For whatever reasons, Alloy started bucking again.  Was sent to the next trainer.  Still bucking.

I picked him up.  He got extensive time off, but when worked this summer, he still bucked on occasion.  Often enough I was... worried.  My previous mustang, Ranger, dumped me, oh, I don't know... probably twenty times.  No damn fun.  And I am about eighteen years older now, and not interested in doing that any more.


Fortunately, Al didn't buck while I was on him.  He was bucking just after saddling, or right after I dismounted.  And boy can that fodder-mucker BUCK!  One time he ran into the road bucking so hard the stirrups clapped together above his back and one of them broke.


One of the things we noticed about Al, was he seemed to get bitten by bugs a lot.  He would have large welts.  So we would spray him with fly spray.  Still welts.  More spray, even more welts.  Finally Juanita said "That looks more like hives than bug bites!"

Poop.  I think the guy is allergic to the spray we use.  We quit using it, and the "bites" went away.

I wonder if the hives were the original bucking trigger, at least here in Colorado.  Assuming the hives were the trigger and we stopped them, now we just need to lose the "habit".  Bucking is not good, Alloy.  Just say no.

So I did.

Every time that jerk would start bucking I would run up to his face, latch onto the lead rope or reins, and scream "NO!  NO!  NO!" like some sort of lunatic at him.  He would get kind of bug-eyed and freeze, as I was obviously unstable and a danger to all.  Then I would rub his neck and tell him what a good boy he was.  I've been doing this of the last 3 weeks or so now, and the episodes are getting more rare, and not as violent or prolonged.

And I have been able to mount and ride him with a certain amount of confidence. Probably 6 or 8 rides at this point.  Increasing in time from just a couple minutes in the corral, until today when we went for a real, honest to goodness trail ride.  We spent an hour and a half in the forest.

Today I saddled Al up, and he threw a minor bucking fit while he was tied to the hitch rail.  I waded in and grabbed his halter and yelled "NO!NO!NO!" at him and he stopped bucking.  And went into a full angry sulk.  Like a 12 year old boy who got in trouble.  Tight lipped, squinty eyed, pinched nostril pout.  No eye contact and staring off in the distance even when I told him he was a good boy for ending his fit.


It was really kind of funny.

In a couple minutes he got over it.  His eyes got soft again and he focused on me. We mounted up and spent an hour and a half on the trails on the nearby national forest with Juanita and Washoe.

































I wore red to make my body easier to find.

Alloy was a very good horse today, And little by little we are building up trust in one another and are enjoying each others company.

Some day I can lose the "chicken hat".  But not yet.

Bawk-awk-cluck-bawk.

Bill