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

running a successful business and riding as often as possible.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Posted an ad on Craigslist today...

For sale. 2004 Ford F350 crew cab 6 l diesel. 147K miles. Receipts for $12,000 worth of repairs on the engine in the last 12 months. Running great right now, but I need to sell before it strands me on the side of the road again. I need to buy a truck that doesn't dump all of its engine oil into the cooling system or die as I am rolling down the mountains here in Colorado with a load of horses in the trailer behind me, leaving me with no power steering or brakes on a winding 7% downhill grade, several times a week for months on end, while the dealership changes random components in between butt-cheek clenching episodes. I need $32,000 for this truck, so I can pay off the re-finance with the bank for repairs, and still have some cash to buy a used Chevy or Dodge one ton. I would prefer an out of state buyer so when it takes a dump again, nobody will come by my home and threaten to hurt me for selling them such a turkey. I'll need cash in advance, and will bring it to your home on a flat-bed trailer. I will leave you the trailer rather than risk starting the truck to unload it. Sold as is. Have a nice day!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving week visit 2009

This is vacation week for some of our grandkids, due to Thanksgiving, so the younger ones spent the Sunday night with grandma and grandpa at the Lodge.  We needed to go to town Monday for weekly supplies; of course, that meant stopping by the horses.  It was sunny and quite breezy, so it was a very playful herd that raced down the hill to greet us when they recognized our car.  This time it was Jesse in the lead, Washoe close behind and Peanut dead last, with the other five stretched out in the middle.  They came to a dividing fence and screeched to a halt, until Peanut turned the corner and ran along the fence to the open gate.  Peanut seems to have the best “fence smarts” of the herd, always knowing where the gates are.

The race was on again as soon as the whole herd was through the gate.  What a sight this was for the grandkids, who had never been in the open field with us when the horses came a-greetin’.  They gathered ‘round the four of us, nosing our pockets and asking for goodies – which we had not brought this time.  Well, if we didn’t have treats, the least we could do was play.  Ida’s youngsters, Doc and Cannon, started chasing each other; bucking and kicking and leaping in the air.  Soon the others joined in, until they got too close to us and the kids, then the grays would place themselves between us and the frolicking others.  It was interesting to watch the protectiveness they displayed; getting touching-close to one of us, in a stance, then flicking an ear in warning at whoever came too close.

Ranger really displayed a fondness for our youngest grandson, staying close to him and prodding him gently with his nose – not Ranger-like behavior at all!  When we started walking back towards the car, each gray planted themselves beside a child and walked all the way back with us, the rest of the herd following.  Of all days to not have a camera, but Bill had a picture that was drawn by our middle granddaughter just with this in mind.

Notice Meeker Mt. and Long's Peak in the background.  Can you spot Ranger?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Just can't see 'em

   The wost thing about the winters up here is we take the horses down to pasture and we can't see them every day.  Speaking of horses and can't see...

A champion jockey is about to enter an important race on a new horse. The horse's trainer meets him before the race and says, ''All you have to remember with this horse is that every time you approach a jump, you have to shout, 'ALLLLEEE OOOP!' really loudly in the horse's ear. Providing you do that, you'll be fine.'' The jockey thinks the trainer is mad but promises to shout the command. The race begins and they approach the first hurdle. The jockey ignores the trainer's ridiculous advice and the horse crashes straight through the center of the jump. They carry on and approach the second hurdle. The jockey, somewhat embarrassed, whispers 'Aleeee ooop' in the horse's ear. The same thing happens--the horse crashes straight through the center of the jump. At the third hurdle, the jockey thinks, ''It's no good, I'll have to do it,'' and yells, ''ALLLEEE OOOP!'' really loudly. Sure enough, the horse sails over the jump with no problems. This continues for the rest of the race, but due to the earlier problems the horse only finishes third. The trainer is fuming and asks the jockey what went wrong. The jockey replies, ''Nothing is wrong with me--it's this bloody horse. What is he--deaf or something?'' The trainer replies, ''Deaf?? DEAF?? He's not deaf--he's BLIND!''

or how about...

An out-of-towner drove his car into a ditch in a desolated area. Luckily, a local farmer came to help with his big strong horse named Buddy. He hitched Buddy up to the car and yelled, "Pull, Nellie, pull." Buddy didn't move. Then the farmer hollered, "Pull, Buster, pull." Buddy didn't respond. Once more the farmer commanded, "Pull, Jennie, pull." Nothing. Then the farmer nonchalantly said, "Pull, Buddy, pull." And the horse easily dragged the car out of the ditch. The motorist was most appreciative and very curious. He asked the farmer why he called his horse by the wrong name three times. The farmer said, "Oh, Buddy is blind, and if he thought he was the only one pulling, he wouldn't even try!"

or maybe...

 A city slicker was driving through the country when he spotted a horse standing in a field. He was quite taken with the animal and so pulled over to ask the farmer if it was for sale. "Afraid not," said the farmer. "I'll give you a thousand bucks!" said the city fella. "I can't sell you that horse. He don't look too good," replied the farmer. "I know horses and he looks fine. I'll give you two thousand!" "Well, all right, if you want him so bad." The next day, the man returned the horse, screaming that he had been gypped. "You sold me a blind horse!" "Well," said the farmer, "I told you he didn't look too good."

Ok Ok... I'll quit.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Day of Treats

We had a group of croppers in for the weekend, which meant we had collected some "leftovers" for the horses.  We save the apple peelings and leftover homemade bread crusts for them.  They get laid on the griddle until about spoiling your pets.  Who else would make dried fruit treats for their horses?  While the horses are away at winter pasture we just save them up until we go for a visit, then have a treat day.  Now we have to make sure we have enough for eight horses, though, instead of just three.  (Can't leave anyone out!)

Ranger nicely waiting.
 Cannon, back left, and Brownie finally get something...and Peanut waiting for more.

We toss treats on the ground, to keep from getting too crowded.  This is Cannon, Estes' grandson.  Notice the distinctive crescent on the forehead.  With Meeker as a mom and a Percheron for a dad, this guy is rock-solid, and drop-dead gorgeous.

Sorry, guys, all gone.  Jesse drops her head, looking for more on the ground.  Ranger believes he will get one more by saying, "pretty please."  Doc and Dutch got treats, too, but avoided the camera.

Friday, November 13, 2009

November 2009 Recipe: Pecan Pie Mini-Muffins

Pecan Pie Mini-Muffins                  400 degrees  15 minutes

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs
2/3 cup melted butter/margarine (Country Crock OK)
1 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Mix all ingredients with a wooden spoon.
Pour into mini muffin tins (makes 3 dozen) that have been sprayed with non-stick spray.
Top with 1/2 pecan piece and bake.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Checking on the Horses

We took the horses to some of Hall Ranch's leased pasture last week (Wed.)  Thur. I flew to Phoenix to visit our oldest son for his birthday.  On the way, we swung by the horses to see if they had integrated well with the rest of the herd - six others.  It was particularly refreshing to have them - all of them - come racing down the hill to us when we called them.  Well, OK, two of Ida's were a tad stand-offish and didn't come all the way, but our three were plenty happy to come say hi.

Today, when I arrived back in CO, Bill picked me up at the airport and we naturally had to stop by and check the horses on our way home.  We noticed a couple of oddities:  the grays were separated and we could only find two groups of three.  Three horses missing.  The first group was Jesse, Peanut and Cannon standing at the fenceline with the neighbor's two horses.  They came a running when called, got burrs pulled out of their manes and went for water.  We walked up the hill to find the other group of three:  Ranger, Washoe and Doc.  No more horses.  Again, they came a running when called and then followed us back towards the first three.  Wow, what burrs!  Jesse's mane and Cannon's tale were huge knots.  Sooo, Jesse is lording it over all those males.

We decided that Ida must have needed the other three horses-Brownie, Paint, and Dutch-to help her gather her lost heifers.  She was missing three cows and their mini horse, Tigger.  She called Bill later to tell him she had found the cows and gotten them gathered, but (boo hoo) no Tigger.  We all think he has probably become mountain lion chow.  Some neighbors of their property had shown them some pictures of a very large cat in that area.  I think that was the reason for Ida moving the stock in the first place.  We are all really sorry, but he was just the right size to trigger the chase response in a lion, and he could really run - but not faster than a large cat.

At first we marveled that she would use those particular horses for looking for cattle, then realized she has cut herself a little short on rideable horses.  She sold her favorite, Estes, to our daughter a couple years ago, then the next two well-trained cow horses, Meeker and Audobon, have babies at their side.  Doc and Cannon are not saddle trained yet and she says Peanut is too lazy/slow.  Sissy isn't ready for that rugged mountainside yet and Andromeda is barely two.  OK, Ida, you just might have to borrow a gray now and then.  I would love to have her use one of my horses for cow work, even though I know they don't have the caliber of training her horses do.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Last Ride 2009

Well, it's time - time to take the horses to winter pasture - and a last ride.  Hall Ranch Open Space was the chosen location again and the weather was beautiful.  I snagged Thomas to ride Washoe, Bill on Ranger and I on Jesse.  Bill and I chose to end the summer bareback.

As we rode along, the horses noticed something in the brush.  Closer inspection revealed a small herd of deer, feeding on the brush. The horses also spotted lots of hikers and bicycle riders on other trails; it was a great day for being out.  Quite uneventful, thanks to well-trained horses.

Next, the ride to the pasture, 

remembering old friends in neighboring fields,

and.....FREE at last!  Have a great winter, partners of ours!  


Monday, November 2, 2009

Last Ride of the Season for Grandkids

Yesterday was great weather-wise - compared to the two previous snow days!  It was sunny and almost warm, at about 43 degrees.  The youngest set of grandkids came up and we gathered the horses for a short ride around town.  It was too mucky to head up into the forest, but we could do town.  Unfortunately, we could only do a short ride, as there was too much ice still on parts of the road.  The horses were exuberant about being out of the corral and graciously went around several corners multiple times.  It was short, but fun.

While we were out we met one of the neighbors and her dog, Yoda.  Ranger got a special kiss from Yoda.

The real reason we had the horses out was for end of season worming.  We really wanted to get the last dose of wormer in them before turning them loose for the winter, and we always like to keep them a day or two after that to make sure there won't be any colic instances.  We've never had any problems, but with horses, it pays to be extra careful.  They all did great "taking their medication"  so to speak.

Nursery Rhymes

Where does it say that Humpty Dumpty is an egg?  And what kind of moron would send a horse to fix ANYTHING?

Just end up with egg on yer face.