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

running a successful business and riding as often as possible.

Saturday, May 29, 2010


Our third ride of the season and we just HAD to go bareback - yes, HAD to - it's our favorite way to go!  (And yes, I am more than a little behind on my bloggin'; will try to catch up.)  It was a beautiful day and the horses were as happy as we were to get out of the pen.  So...just a couple pics to show you what it looks like up here without snow..................
Yes, I ride with a pad.  My horse produces soooo much heat, it's for protection.  She has a marvelous flat, comfortable back, but you can't sit it very long due to the heat coming off her!

A couple days later, my granddaughter, the Autobot, went riding with me.  She wanted to try my saddle, so it doesn't "quite" fit her.   After we got back she said, "Next time I think I'll go bareback."  A nice way of saying my saddle wasn't particularly comfortable for her. LOL


Sunday, May 23, 2010

May Recipe of the Month

Juanita hasn't posted one this month, so I'll give it a whirl.


 (No, we don't serve it, and I'm fairly sure we never will, but I have wondered how to cook it.)

1) Catch a snail.
(So far so good- they don't move too fast)

2) Feed it corn flakes for a week or two.
(It seems that the rotting organic matter they eat in the wild can be toxic when ingested by people)

3) Remove the snail from its shell.
(Umm... ouch?)

4) Clean and gut the snail.
(OK.  Now that's getting weird.  How in the holy mollusk do you gut a snail?)

5) Cook in garlic butter or chicken stock.
(I'm not sure how you know when it's done. I don't see how it could change color, and it's sure not big enough for a thermometer)

6) Pour it back into its shell and serve.

Enjoy, but don't bother saving any for me.  I don't eat bait at breakfast.


They say...

...that pets and their owners begin to resemble each other.

I don't know, what do you think?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Guess Who's Graduating?

Juanita, that's who!

Yup.  My mom is graduating with her Associate Degree in Business Management this evening.  She and Bill have long been running a successful business and she's just now getting her business degree.  She's not stopping with her Associate's; in fact, she's rolling seemlessly right into her Bachelor's program.

Congrats Mom!

Love you.

Monday, May 17, 2010


 What a difference a day makes.

Today was warm and sunny.  Finally.  About six inches of snow melted off our back deck by noon, so Juanita and I took the geldings for a ride.  It's as if I can breath again.

This was almost all under snow yesterday.  Just water today.

Still some patchy snow, and just a little of the deeper stuff, but not so much.

Spring is coming, soon all will be green.

There are signs...

Life is good.


Sunday, May 16, 2010

SUNSHINE!!!! Horses & Grandkids

That's right, we woke up to sunshine instead of snow this morning.  For those of you who have been enjoying Spring, I want you to know we have had snow on the ground for eight months now, as the neighbor so kindly pointed out a couple days ago.  Our horses were gone for six of those months, but the day we brought them home last week, we started getting snow in earnest again - at least 24" in the last six days.  They were pretty sure we had shipped them to Siberia.  Talk about deja vu'!  This is morning feeding the day after they came home.
 Wasn't there grass out there yesterday?
Take my word for it; October and May didn't look a lot different with 12" of snow on the corral fence.
This is just a few hours later, dinner time.  Jesse is too short to look over the top like Washoe.
 We slogged through the pen and caught horses for the grandkids.  It was a short ride, but it means an official start to the season.  Yeah!  We were going to get pictures of the grandkids "bucking out" the fresh, but since there was no bucking, I guess there were no pictures.  The camera got left behind on the porch step.  Hmmm.

 Doesn't this look like a happy camper?

Bill is trying a different saddle on Ranger this year, to help minimize some weight issues.  Not that Ranger has complained, but Bill's saddle is a heavy one.  Unfortunately, the spare just won't work.  Ranger took no time at all letting Bill know this was all wrong; too tight on the withers and too low on the loins...and Ranger shaking his head no, no, NO.  I love the way horses can get their opinion across.  I guess he likes the old, dependable, FITTED, heavy saddle.  So Bill played bareback a few minutes, and you should see the huge smile on his face!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Bar Exam(ination)

We brought our horses up to the lodge last Monday.  It has snowed A LOT since.  Every day.  We still haven't been able to saddle up and ride.  Weather and events are conspiring against us. So I've had to hang out at the bar.  It's easy for me to do, as it's in my house.

I seem to have too much time on my hands when I'm not riding...

I made a fly rod a few years back. (Yes, that's duct tape)

A friend (Bucky) gave us this sign several years ago...

Shortly after, I made a sign of my own with our "Mission Statement" on it.

My mother-in-law gave me this one to hang over the bar when we first bought the lodge.
I'm not sure how I feel about this one...

And of course, what would you have behind a bar at a Bed and Breakfast?

Look carefully...

Come on summer.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Ranger Gives Bill The Run Around

Bill may give me grief about taking pictures for my multiple blogs.  And just for the record, I don't have ten or twenty blogs.  Just four-ish and I sometimes come over here and highjack their blog.

So, back to Bill griping about me taking pictures for blog purposes...he's just as bad.  He took some video of Ranger being a turd on pick up day and carelessly gave me a copy.  Like I'm not going to post it?  Of course I'm going to post it!  The video's not great, it's from Bill's digital camera and not a video camera, but I love to see Ranger move. --GunDiva

PS - I have no idea what the ticking is on the video. It's annoying, so I'd play it without the volume, you're not missing anything other than the blowing wind and annoying ticking.

PPS - I'm really sorry I was laughing too hard to get a picture of Bill on his butt in the mud.  I got in trouble from Mom for not getting a one!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Home Again, Jiggity Jog/Trot/Jog/Trot

Juanita and I brought our horses back up to Allenspark today.  We went down the mountain to the ranch they were staying at, and haltered them and brought them home.


  So, Juanita and the GunDiva haltered their horses in... oh...  20 seconds.  I spent about 45 minutes walking down my 20 year old mustang, Ranger.

  He would stay just out of reach, trotting back and forth and back and forth... little turd.  He goofed around long enough that Washoe broke his lead rope out of boredom (I think) and joined Ranger in his journey, at least until he got tired.  Ranger just never did.  Turd.

Finally got all four of them loaded into the trailer and home we went.

  Estes (GunDiva's horse) unloaded like an old pro.
  Washoe said "ME NEXT NOW!" and broke his lead rope (number two), and then stomped on my foot on his way out of the trailer. A passer-by got a good look at me being flung around by the dork horse, whilst hanging on to his halter and trying to give him the "stink-eye".
  Jessie backed out of the trailer like a champ.
  Ranger backed into the center pole in the back of the trailer not once, but twice trying to unload.  At least he didn't step on me.
  Mares two, geldings zero.

  Everybody made it into the pen while we replaced some poles that had broken over the winter, and tightened up the electric wire that runs around it.

  At one point I was trying to move a log/stump that had fallen during the winter.  I was standing in mud, and noticed that after I picked up the dead tree, I started sinking.  Very~Slowly~Sinking.  And leaning backwards.  Very~Slowing~Leaning~Backwards.  I found myself toppling over backwards in slow motion, and realizing I was going to be trapped under the log I was lifting, did what any sane man would do.  I shrieked at my step-daughter to "Put the camera away!  PUT THE CAMERA AWAY!!"   GunDiva has, like, ten or twenty blogs she writes for, and I didn't need to be immortalized in that particular position.  Fortunately, she was laughing too hard to take any pics.

Any-who, they are home now, it's snowing again, and I have every intention of taking my horse out for a ride tomorrow.  Turd.


Friday, May 7, 2010


Lots of fun-no pictures. Yes, I had the camera (in my pocket) but couldn't/wouldn't let go of a horse to get it for pictures.  Sorry.  I had a lot of fun, although I'm not sure my friend will ever forgive me.  I met her at the ranch driveway near the corral, in hopes of getting the horses down to the corral before the skies REALLY opened up.  It had been snowing at the Lodge when I left, but at this elevation it was only rain.  The plan was to get up the mountain, collect them and get back quickly, knowing we would have to cross the river in the process.

Good luck was that the horses were down by the river, so we didn't have to traverse the mountainside at all!  I pulled into the driveway next to my friend's car, grabbed her and we drove back to where the horses were, maybe 1/2 mile.  We snagged 3 halters and snatched up Washoe and Jesse in short order, then played Pied Piper to the first gate, one of those barbed-wired wonders that has the end pole slipped into wire loops at top and bottom.  I had decided by this time that we needed to halter one of the ranch horses to make sure they all stayed with us, so I slipped a halter on Dutch (the sweetheart of all horses), opened the gate onto the quarry property and slipped all the horses through.  Oops-missing one.  Ranger. 

Round One:  Ranger's favorite trail to go UP the mountain is right next to that gate, so up he went.  I tied poor Dutch to a bush, handed both my grays to my friend, snagged a treat and headed after him.  A short way up he had noticed that no horses had followed him; only me, his nemesis.  After a bit of coaxing he took his treat and followed me back down to the gate, huffed at the gate and charged through, managing to not get caught in the barb wire that he insisted on trampling.  Round One:  won.

Round Two:  the gate.  I know the secret to re-fastening those gates.  Ever try doing it with a horse in hand?  Plus, that is one tuff little bugger of a gate; it takes two people at the best of times.  So I had my friend come help.  Told her to just drop Washoe's lead rope and put a foot on it.  I did the same with Jesse and we put ALL out effort on the gate...and finally managed to barely get it hooked again.  Bad news is, we lost both horses.  Ranger and Doc had chosen that moment to be playful and charge the nicely standing horses; we had inadvertently lifted the weight off our feet on the ropes, and the grays were gone with the rest, except poor Dutch still tied to the bush and too much of a gentleman to pull free.  Round Two:  partial win (gate latched) but set us up for Round Three.

Round Three:  recapture the two with the lead ropes and lead them the correct way through the quarry without them taking to the high country again.  Problem is the playful Ranger and Doc just couldn't seem to quit racing around and charging everything:  stray equipment, mud holes, other horses, even puddles.  We just kept walking in the right direction and talking to them as we went and finally Jesse came strolling over to see what I was muttering about.  Snagged her lead rope which meant she would keep the others coming in line.  I really love having a dominant mare who can send out signals to other horses.  Soon they were all in line again and Washoe came by, wanting his lead rope held, too.  Round Three:  won.

We walk the rest of the way across the quarry and head down the road to the trail leading to the river.  So there's this really nice big, grassy meadow between us and the river.  The loose horses can't understand why we are staying on the road.  Ranger races into the middle of this huge grassy area, lays down and starts rolling, back and forth like a big dog.  For some reason, this delights Doc who has to show off his bucking and jumping skill, and Peanut gets involved, racing back and forth between all of us.  They looked like a bunch of kids who had never seen a playground before.  Thankfully, the ones on leads kept their manners and stayed with us.  I would have loved pictures, but I was not about to turn loose of either horse and expect them to stand still!

Round Four:  the river.  Once the rowdies settled down a little we headed for the river.  Now remember, this is spring, which equals runoff.  The river at this point is usually quite wide, but not very deep and we were both expecting to get wet feet.  With a gray on either side of me, we stand there staring at the water, realizing just how fast it was going, and OK, maybe more than boot deep (like knee deep).  The free horses decided to quit waiting on us, charged across nonchalantly, and stood on the other side watching us, obviously wondering what we were waiting on.  I told my friend to let me cross first so she would know the path.  I took a deep breath, and both grays and I stepped into the water at the same time.  By the fourth step the water was mid-thigh on me and I just hung onto both horses, who bravely pulled me to the other bank.  They literally kept me from being swept off my feet.  Whew!  I turned to tell my friend to stay on the path and hang onto Dutch, she had already headed into the water, upriver from us.  Too late, she realized her mistake in trying to walk on underwater rocks - very slick and with the turbulence, she didn't stand a chance and down she went.  She ended up chest deep and fortunately Dutch kept her head from going under.  She hung on and Dutch, who is small and a light-weight himself, struggled to keep his footing and pulled her most of the way, but she was heading for more rocks.  I turned loose of the grays and yelled for her to turn loose of Dutch before she hit her head.  She landed on her knees and I headed back into the water to help her get out.  She now has this wonderful goose-egg bump on her shin from landing on the rock she slid off of, and a slightly twisted knee, but it could have been so much worse.  Of course, by the time we are standing on the other bank, we are laughing uncontrollably at what we must have looked like.  Talk about a Keystone Cops episode!  Round Four: won.

Round Five: We had turned loose of the horses and they were again racing across the next large grassy meadow - headed for another trail that would take them back to the high country.  We groaned at the thought that this was all for naught.  I started running across the field yelling at Jesse to go to the corral.  Dumb, right?  Thinking you can yell directions to a horse?  By the time I had run across the field to where I could see which way they were going, I stood dumbfounded as I watched my horse turn them from the upper pasture back towards us, right past the corral - a really long way from us.  I told my friend to stay at one path and I started on another, in case they came racing back to us.  When I got further, I realized that Dutch had actually gone into the corral, and the others were milling around outside, deciding what to do.  Dutch is one of their older ranch horses and has been picked up many times from that corral, so he probably went in looking for hay.  Jesse spotted me and started coming to me, so I hollered for her to stay at the corral.  She actually turned back and herded the rest back and kept them next to the corral fence until we got closer.  My friend said she couldn't believe what she saw.  When we got about 100 ft. away, Jesse came prancing up to me - no lead rope, by this time - knowing she had done the perfect job.  I hugged her and praised her, then we walked over, shooed everyone into the corral and closed the gate.  Round Five:  a HUGE win.

My friend and I stood in amazement that the job had been done in less than an hour, then realized that cold river water and mountain breezes can chill you pretty fast.  We headed to her car, drove to my car and headed for the Lodge.  Hot tub time, then ice packs (for the goose-egg bump and knee) and a nap, dinner and a good chair by the fire!  Stuffed the boots with newspaper to dry and reflected on 'cowgirl days'.  What an afternoon.

Later, to finish off the night, my hubby comes waltzing in about 10:30 pm from his Santa Fe trip, where he had been helping a buddy guide 7 days' worth of rides.  He had decided he would head home right after the last ride (a 7 hr. drive).  Great finish to a great day.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Lower Pastures

Just a quick note to say a friend and I are headed out on the mountain today to bring the horses down to a lower pasture, getting ready to bring them HOME!!!!  The thought is to move GunDiva's horse in with our 3 for a few days, to let them get reintroduced where there is LOTS of green grass and space to move around.  Bill's horse is such a turd about HIS corral and food.  He was a range stallion too many years.  I'm hoping that by bringing in the extra horse where there is nothing to protect will keep him from being ornery to her.  Estes has to go on "fat pasture" during the winter to keep enough weight on her.  Our Mustangs are "easy keepers", so they get sent to the higher mountain ranges, which separates them for the winter season. 

I saw the horses on my way home from town last night, so I stopped by for a hugging session.  I think they are ready to come home; they are down by the river and road a lot lately.  As I drove around the bend, I saw all 6 horses grazing, but angling back up the hill.  When I pulled over at the bridge, I could only still see Washoe, who was notoriously taking "one more bite".  At the sound of the car door, his head popped up and he trotted to me instantly when I called.  I ran my hand down one side of his neck, but when I reached for the other, he whirled and took off at a run, with that Arab tail flagging in the air!  My first thought?  "Shoot, he's going to chase the rest up the trail."  I walked around the corner of the bend thinking to see them headed off.  Instead, my Jesse mare is headed toward me, picking up speed as she comes.  (What a powerhouse she looks like this year!)  I can see Washoe running from horse to horse like he's telling them, "Look, someone came to see us."  He's such a kid, and I'm sorry for doubting you, Washoe.  Each, in turn came over to me and get their inspection.  Ran my hand along their sides; checked their feet; told them all how great they look.  Ranger snorted at my vest when he discovered my cell phone in my pocket instead of his special treat!  No treats today, guys.  Just lovin'.

So sleek...and pretty....and FAT!  They need to go to work.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Last Horse Visit

We didn't have time to pick up the horses when we got back from our trip and when I checked the weather patterns it was obvious we were in for more snow.  We missed them so badly we decided to make time for one more hike.

We know it is officially spring run-off where the horses are; it's the only time this waterfall exists.  This is the mouth of the gulch we have to hike through to get to the back pastures.
Do you see any horses in any of those pastures?  We didn't either!
After 3.5 hours of hiking and continuing to see -- nothing, we decided to go on into town and check again on our way home.  On our way back up the mountain later, Bill spots a white tail flipping in the air on the closest mesa (that would be Washoe); he only sees a tail.  Yeah, right!  OK, maybe there is something, but a DOW truck is parked in our space.  Hmmm?  Must be checking the river for depth.  We go back to the Open Space and eat our chicken at one of the picnic spots, then go look again.  This time we can park and hope the horses are still close.  So we call out and....

Can you see us?
If you enlarge this and look really closely, you will see the blaze on the faces of the 2 bays and the back of a gray.  No, they are not lying down; the brush is this tall.  They have spotted us and are on their way to us.
 Wait!  We're coming!
Ranger is bringing up the rear, as usual.  Gotta make sure nobody gets lost.
Of course, they all gather 'round for their bread treats and tick check.  Amazing!  All those pesky ticks have disappeared!  We had put tick drops on ours, so expected it to be better, but gone?  I closely checked all 6 horses and found the remainders of 3 ticks, total.  Wow.  Great news.  They all looked great.  The light-weights had even put on some pounds.  Their feet are in super condition, thanks to the rough ground they are on.
Jesse's tick check.  She is 9 now and I have never seen her this sleek!
This is Dutch.  I think he is about 24 now.  Bill calls him hammerhead because of the shape of the blaze.
This is Doc; he should be 4 now, and filling out nicely-if we could just add about 6" to his legs.  
I have a hard time with his blue eyes, too, but he is becoming a real love-bug.
After seeing how sleek they all looked, I was really glad we decided to leave them another couple of weeks.  We have continued to have snow, high winds and low temps up here, and we are only 18 miles away, but 2000 ft higher.  Go figure. 

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Well, Bill is off in Santa Fe helping Bucky take out some rides - when it isn't snowing!  I hoped to get caught up on blogging while he was away.  Found some of our vacation pictures and thought I would share the beauty of the desert.
Everything was in bloom!
...the cholla,
a mix of cactus,
and LOOK OUT for these...jumping cholla.
We were camping at our favorite place close to Deejo's, in the White Tanks Regional Park, just outside Surprise, AZ.  A couple years ago we camped there with the horses and these things attacked us!  Fortunately, Deejo had warned us to not touch them with bare hands; use a needlenose pliars (Bill's Leatherman worked quite nicely) to remove the little spiney beasts that hook themselves into everything they touch.  This time we made sure to not get within their grasp.
Oops...caught somebody sleeping.  Well, it had been an exhausting morning, by the time we had packed up and moved.  Seems as if we had camped in the wrong spot the night before.  We didn't have the horses with us so we couldn't camp in the horse area; we needed to be in family camping.  Gotta say-it was much quieter in the horse area (nobody there), no kids screaming.  However, the family site did have really nice showers with lots of hot water!  See the pretty new tent.  It actually only takes less than 5 minutes to set up or tear down; it's kind of an octopus looking contraption with all the legs attached.  What a great idea.  A pop-up 8-man tent, but it holds a queen size air mattress and a couple of chairs plus room for dog to spread out.  It's not the horse trailer, but a good substitute when the trailer has to be left behind.  More later.....