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

running a successful business and riding as often as possible.



Friday, April 29, 2011

First Booboo of the Year

I guess we are starting out early this year.  It's usually closer to the end of summer before things get fired up.  The culprit?
Looks nasty, huh?  Jesse thinks so, too, since Bill found it in her foot.  Fortunately, it only poked in about 1/4-1/3 of an inch.  I don't know if it started out bent, or she bent it stepping on it.  Her sole is so thick and strong, it could be either.  When I fed this morning, I found Jesse lying on the ground; no big deal, but when she was slow in getting up and coming to me for breakfast, I noticed a gimp.  It was so mucky, I couldn't find anything on her foot, but I didn't have anything with me to really dig with; no swelling or heat in the leg, but I still mentioned it to Bill, so he went over and dug around in her foot with his handy-dandy multipurpose tool.  Sure enough this explained why she wouldn't put any weight on that hind foot.  Bill pulled it out to discover it hadn't penetrated very deep-thankfully-and I soaked her foot, packed it with our old doc's favorite "sugar pac" (betadine and powdered sugar on a maxi-pad) and called the vet for a tetanus shot.

It surprised me when the vet said he would be "right up!".  For a shot?  Turns out he had a horse go bad after stepping on a nail this year; was at a vet hospital for a month, having chipped the coffin bone!   When he looked at her "tennis shoe" as I call it, he laughed and said, "Looks like one of old Doc Dull's sugar pacs."   He was much relieved to see that he couldn't even find the hole and Jesse let him poke around a good deal on her foot.  He gave all the horses their yearly shots and helped re-pack Jesse's foot, saying that was probably all we would need to do for a week, thanks to her thick, hard sole.  She trotted off back to the corral with barely a hint of lameness. 

We got off easy this time.  When she was three, she had three absesses and one nail wound because she likes to bounce up and down in deep mud to splash the other horses - and there is always something hidden in the mud!
Juanita

Monday, April 25, 2011

Jesse's Day Out

Just finished cleaning up the lodge for tonight's guests when Compass calls and says, "Let's ride."

"Don't  have time.  Gotta go to town and finish getting supplies."

"What's a half hour?  Get your b*tt out here!  I'll wait for you to saddle up."

Bill agrees, so OK.  Had much more snow last night and this morning, so I am wading through a NEW eight inches of snow to the corral, thinking about trying to saddle in the drift at our hitch rail.  Oh well, what's a little snow - we were getting sunshine for a few minutes.  Jesse bounces at my shoulder over to the hitch rail, bounces while Bill tosses her saddle, bounces to the mounting block.  Bill figures he better try her out first.  She bounces him along the parking lot, trying to be good; so delighted to be out.

I lead her to the blocks and she gets nice and quiet - she KNOWS - gotta be careful.  Boy, I love that horse.  I get mounted up (tapping her butt a bit, but she doesn't care) and we all head out, Bill bareback on Ranger, Compass on Eli, and good ole Jesse.  All the horses seemed tense for some reason; maybe just excitement.  Ranger jumped everytime snow fell out of the trees.  They all hesitated at various places along the way.  Jesse wanted to challenge all the funny snow covered shapes in the fields we passed.  Crazy guys.  It still all went very well and we had a great ride, then it started snowing ... AGAIN.

Some day, spring will come and stay for awhile.
Juanita

Sunday, April 24, 2011

And now for something completely different



I don't usually put videos on the blog (I had dial-up only for too many years), but here are several I needed to post.

video

     Juanita mounting Washoe 6.5 weeks after both hip replacements.


video 
Juanita dismounting.


video
The rabbit my 83 year old mother in law got us for Easter.

Words fail me.


Happy Easter!

Bill



Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I DID IT! Back in the Saddle Again

I had planned on riding on Monday, but weather moved in too soon.  Tuesday was therapy day and town day with my Mom.  I didn't expect much today - a storm expected.  But guess what?!  Mid-morning the sun came out bright, the road was dry and not much wind (as in less than 10 mph).  Catch the horses!  I grabbed Jesse's halter and Bill went for Ranger, got to the corral and had a quick change of plans.  It was obvious to me that Jesse had zero plans of going out today, but Washoe quickly got up off the ground and headed my way.  He wasn't too happy about Jesse's halter, but if it meant getting out of the corral, well....  He was such a good boy standing at the hitchrail, getting brushed (I even got horse kisses - not normal from him) and not moving for saddling.  Yes, I put a saddle on.  Thought it might be a good idea, not knowing how much support my legs might need.  Weight-bearing is still an issue, so I was really glad I was able to lift Washoe's 40 lb saddle onto his back, although yesterday I loaded 5 50lb bags of horse feed into my car alone.

Did I mention that I feel like toddler learning how to use my legs all over again?  I am always amazed at the things I can now do, yet how much muscle mass still needs to be built back up to do the things I was used to, plus retraining and stretching the muscles that atrophied over the last 2-3 years.

I used the mounting block and was anything but graceful, but I did manage to get on by myself, and only slightly kicked poor Washoe in the butt.  Before surgery, I could not swing my leg over the back side.  I had to stand perpendicular to the horse, lift my leg over its back with my hand and then leverage myself over its back while I tried to twist into the correct direction, then lower myself down in a sort of sitting position.  I had to sit or ride in a doubled up position for 10-15 minutes before my hips could relax/stretch enough for my feet to get anywhere near a correct stirrup position.  Just being able to correctly - sort of - lift my leg over the butt and easily sit down is such a dream.  With a few days practice, I won't even be touching the butt; those muscles now 'learned' what to do, I just need the strength.

I couldn't stop grinning, Washoe watching cameraman, Bill.
We went on a short exploratory around a couple of blocks; didn't want to stretch things too much first time out.  Boy, could I feel those butt muscles that had been severed!  Washoe was a dream.  Mark Rashid did such a great job with him at last summer's clinic, on teaching him simple collection, he rides like Jesse now; very smooth walk.

I had a couple of promises to keep...and I did.  Bill got on Washoe first, to make sure he wasn't fresh.  No worries there even though it was his first time out this spring.  I had promised a friend that I would let Bill lead me  - on a lead rope - just for safety sake.  We did that (for about 4 steps)!  It was obvious this was the perfect time for the first ride, so Bill climbed on Ranger and off we went.  Ranger was the dufus who had to check out everything that had changed over the winter.  He practiced a lot of 'touch'.

Gotta practice more stretches to get the heels down, but I couldn't even do this before.
Well, I'm still on a high and there is snow in the air.  The storm has arrived....but I GOT MY RIDE!!!!
Juanita

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

"Trail Solutions" by Julie Goodnight

I just borrowed the video "Trail Solutions" by Julie Goodnight of HorseMaster.  As some of you know, Julie's ranch is here in southern Colorado and the GunDiva has had the privilege of not only taking her personal horse, Estes, to be on a HorseMaster episode, but has also gotten to work behind the scenes as a horse handler for Julie.  Julie is a marvelous, down-to-earth, knowledgable horse woman; she isn't just a trainer, she is a "horseman", and this DVD is way fun to watch.

OK, as a mom, I would like to say "my daughter's part in this video was the best", (Stand by Me) but in all reality, it was probably the most boring.  I have seen what Estes can do; she must have been behaving herself or had camera fright, because she was pretty darn calm compared to the other horses.  Julie helps a horse face its fear in the "Wave Runner" episode, giving great advice for getting any horse past any trail obstacle.  "Loaded Up" was an extra exciting story because of the horse that was used.  Most trailer loading doesn't get quite this bad, but it can, and you get to see a true professional handle a truly devious horse.

My personal interest was in "Rearing to Go", not because I have a barn sour horse, but I do have a particularly obstinate horse that I have let get by with too much over the last two years.  I had developed some fear of falling with my bad hips, and although Jesse is very protective of me and usually quite obliging, she has become a handful, and I don't want her to be a safety issue for other people, so I will be reverting back to her training bit and mecate, and trying out Julie's method of regaining control. 

Although "Shop Til You Drop" wasn't as interesting to me (because I can't talk those dollar amounts for horses), I really enjoyed the "behind the scenes" chat for this portion.  Julie goes into the differences between mares and geldings, giving good examples of where/when each has its strengths.  I had heard from other trainers that mares were not the best choice for locations where their riders change often; Julie explains why:  the bonding that mares crave.  I actually ran into this situation with Jesse; it became quite clear early on that she did not like having many different riders.  Two or three that she could get to know were OK, but don't ask her to carry someone different many days in a row or even several times in a couple of months.  As she got older, she got worse about this.  It became obvious she wanted to know her rider and what that rider wanted - always.  I guess I got lucky when I ended up with a mare; I happen to like having a horse I can bond with!  Don't get me wrong, I love my gelding, too, but there is certainly no great bond between us.

I had a wonderful time with this DVD; it was entertaining and educating.
Juanita

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Enough

Well, last night's snow stopped at fifteen inches.



What 'cha doing back there, Jesse?




                                                       Oh.

Bill

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Still Winter

I looked out the window about 5 minutes ago.




I checked on the horses.

                  Ranger was not pleased.



                    He walked off.

Estes walked up to me and asked-

                            Do you SEE this crud?


Then she left.


The other horses wouldn't even talk to me.

I don't dare tell them that one day in mid May last year, we got 16 inches of snow.

Bill

Monday, April 11, 2011

Perspective

 Our lodge is  on the edge of civilization.  Within a couple hundred yards of millions of acres of public forest.  Living on the edge like this we find the lines can blur between "ours" and "theirs" as far as the wildlife goes.  "Ours" is inside the lodge,  "theirs" is EVERYTHING ELSE.

Usually the trespassers are pretty small.  Chipmunks, golden mantled ground squirrels,  chickerees and the like.  Sophie the Lodge Dog gets surprisingly fierce when they make it into her home, and will tear up the joint trying to destroy the intruder.  On one occasion as I was putting the place back together, I asked her "What's with the fuss, dog?  It's just a cute, little chipmunk!"  Sophie looked at me earnestly and replied-

"Damn rat."



Well, I guess that depends on your point of view.  

Late last week I was using a shop-vac on the wood floors getting ready for the weekend's group, when I bumped the log wall.  Out of a crack in a log jumped a tiny spider, maybe a quarter of an inch across.  He faced me in a fierce pose, spider rampant.

                                  His point of view.

I paused in my cleaning and considered the little guy. I believe all animals on our world have a purpose and a destiny.


This guys purpose might have been a simple as ridding his little part of the world of dust mites and other small critters.  Or it may have been to show me what true bravery looks like, defiantly facing the enemy against overwhelming odds.

                                  My point of view.

His destiny was a little easier to foresee.  He was destined to get squooshed and sucked up in a shop-vac.

Damn bug.

Bill

Friday, April 8, 2011

Hay-L's Bales

We had decided to try large hay bales this spring; I thought of it as being nice to Bill, so he wouldn't have to feed the crew twice a day while I was on the mend.  We were delighted to find that our normal hay person had actually baled up some decent 1500# bales, right from the field where our guys were grazing at the end of their board time.  She kept three of them for us and hauled the rest off to the sale barns.

Come hay day, we take our flatbed truck and GunDiva meets us with RCC's flatbed trailer, so we can pick up all three bales at once.  This part of the planning went great, especially since Ida used their backhoe to load them all up.  OK, one small glitch.  Bill had wanted two bales on the trailer, end to end, thinking we could park the trailer in the corral, tarp one bale and he could build a sort of feeder thing around the trailer to protect the bales from being destroyed by our crew of five.  The bales were too long to fit on the trailer that way; they had to be put on side by side, with just a little hang over.  Figured we could come up with something when we got home.  We were just glad to get it all done in one trip.

GunDiva got her load in the corral in good shape, unhooked her truck and headed home.   Bill and I tarped the bales in the wind, trying not to get blown away whenever the wind grabbed the tarp from us.  We left the one bale on the truck and tarped it there, just as the snow started to fly.  We had a week until the horses were to come home, so no problem to wait out the storm.

The bales before the horses got to it!
Fast forward to the next Thursday, day before horse pickup.  Oops.  There is that 1500# of hay on the back of the truck...you know, the one with the hitch for the gooseneck trailer?  So we headed out to the corral with the truck and Bill had already figured out how to get it off the truck and it sounded really simple.  (We don't own a bobcat or anything of the sort and you can't just lift or shove that size bale!)  We do have a nice tree in the corral, in a good location with a flat spot close by, so the idea was to back the truck up to the tree, lay out some pallets to keep the hay off the ground, hook a line up from the hay to the tree and drive out from under the hay.  Now, remember the snow storm?  Yeah.  Had to back over the flattened out manure pile from last year, now covered with six inches of melting snow.  Very slippery.  Fortunately, with a lot of luck and prayers, 4 wheel drive and major slipping, the truck did finally end up backed up to the tree, in a good position.  Just barely enough room under the truck to slide the pallets (in the mud).  Hooked up the tow rope and Bill drove forward.  OK, so he had to go slowly...no traction, so instead of the truck slipping smoothly out from under the bale,  the bale ended up sliding slowly down to the ground and tipping end over end.  We had to laugh...it was slow motion!  We moved the pallets to the side of the bale, Bill moved the truck around so we could hook up the tow rope to the bale and it did nicely tip right onto the pallets, actually in a nicer, flatter spot than we had picked out.  Got it tarped and felt pretty proud of ourselves.
Not one to do anything part way, Jesse is certainly showing no fear.  I really wouldn't be surprised to find her almost completely inside that tarp one of these days, just to get the good stuff at the bottom.

Next morning we load up and go after horses.  It is so great to have them home and we hope they enjoy all their great hay..one bale at a time.  Yeah, right!!!!  When Bill went out later to check, my grays had already taken the straps off the pretty single bale and chewed holes in the tarp, for their very own feed bags. 


Jesse on the left, Washoe on the right
Hey, we are trying to be neat, here!
The rest, not to be outdone, had worked over the open bale on the trailer, spilling a great deal on the ground.  We had expected this, but not quite so soon.  So the two of us go out with hay forks, tidy up the trailer hay, retarp the single bale, and fill the feeder with excess hay from the ground, in hopes that they will use the feeder instead of the nicely tarped bales.

Well, several days have gone by now and many iterations of hay and tarp fixing have taken place.  GunDiva has helped when she is here; the neighbor helps when she sees us out there (one horse is hers), and I am getting LOTS of therapy on uneven ground in the wind (did I mention that I am still supposed to only walk on smooth, flat surfaces?).  GunDiva did comment that she thought the whole idea of the big bales was to make feeding much easier for this spring.  Well, feeding is easier.  Cleanup has taken on a whole new perspective.  We are getting it figured out and I am thoroughly enjoying the time with the horses.  Today, while waiting on guests to arrive, I went over for hay duty.  Jesse, my guardian, kept everyone away from me as she stood guard at the hay mound in the center of the corral, now on the ground and surrounded on three sides by metal panels...except about 1/4 of the hay is no longer inside the panels.  Enter:  hay fork.  My afternoon exercise.

The horses moved one bale completely off the trailer, so we moved the trailer away from that bale, tarped the trailer ..again... and thought they might leave it alone. 

That back corner in the lower left:  Eli sticks his nose in there, then very neatly cleans up the trailer when he is done.  He's currently napping, with a full tummy.

Estes - OK, three happy horses.
Nope, neighbor horse has claimed that hay.  Estes, GunDiva's horse, has claimed the single tarped bale, Washoe gets the feeder, and Jesse and Ranger seem to get the pile in the panels...or mostly anyway. 

Ranger posing by his stack, still fairly neat after yesterday's cleaning.
There is always something new to learn with horses, but they seem to be quite happy and it is costing us about half what small bales do.  We'll have to think this over.

Anybody want to buy some nice, new tarps complete with assorted large ventilation holes? (Bill)


Juanita

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Nuthin To Say, Really

Our oldest grandson (19 years old) came by yesterday to introduce us to his fiancee.  She is a really nice young woman.  But I think there may be something very wrong with her if she wants to join THIS family.  Our neighbors German Shepard had just crossed the street and actually knocked on the front door to ask if our dog Sophie could come out and play.  It made talking a little difficult, having a couple big dogs tearing around with ropes, balls and big sticks.

Our oldest granddaughter came up with them (she's 18 now).  She was baking cookies in the kitchen and when I walked in she told me "Grandpa" (actually when she says it, it sounds like Ger-AM-paw.  Probably has something to do with how much I tease her).   "Grandpa, this will probably set the woman's rights movement back 50 years, but when I'm cooking in the kitchen, I feel more like a woman."

Oh my.  Our daughter, GunDiva, has birthed and raised June Cleaver.

Later that evening when they had all left, I went into the kitchen to get Juanita and I a bowl of ice cream.   All we had left was "cookies and cream".  I'm not too thrilled with the stuff, so I looked for a way to disguise it.  I found some pecans and sauteed them in an iron skillet with some honey and poured the caramelized honey/nut mix over the ice cream.  I thought it was quite good.

That may be one of those "Mars/Venus" differences between the sexes.  Many women seem to enjoy the nurturing side of preparing food and feeding people.  Me, I cook so I get food the way I like it.  I just don't like lousy food.




This morning I went out to see how our horses were doing after last nights 6 hour 50 mph+ wind storm.  Juanita's two grays wandered up to the fence to ask me "What's up?"  but Ranger came up to the fence kind of bug-eyed and on full alert.  "What's wrong 'ol buddy?" I asked.  He told me there was "A BIG MONSTER DOWN BY THE WATER HOLE!"  I checked.  Our 20' by 30' brown tarp had blown off the big hay bale on the trailer and had wrapped itself around the buck fence by the stream.  I gathered it up and stuffed it under the trailer while Ranger carefully watched me from his hiding place behind ALL of the other horses.

He was still a little bug-eyed, and probably still thirsty, when I left.  It's hard to drink if you're looking over your shoulder.

Bill

Monday, April 4, 2011

All Trimmed Up

Well, as GunDiva mentioned over at Tales From the Trails, today way pedicure day for our crew.  Time for a nice barefoot trim.  They did indeed come home with some pretty long feet; they were all still balanced nicely (living on a mountain does that) but just L O N G...everywhere.  Anton commented on never having seen Jesse's heels that long, 'cause she likes them really short, and will file them herself on rocks to keep them that way.  We have found the Mustangs take really good care of their own feet, so we have them checked once a year, and they only need a trim every 2nd or 3rd year.  Yep, you heard that right.

We started with Estes, GunDiva's horse, who was a jewel.  She stood like a champ and was trimmed before I could get the camera out.
This is Estes' club foot.  Still gotta work on clearing up the thrush, but she was a happy camper when she could walk level again; no gimpiness at all; rock solid.

Estes' left front foot.  Tell us what all you see Mrs. Mom.  She had a lot of foot growth to take off.  Maybe you can check her again at HCR.

Estes' left hind; he didn't clean much of the sole off this one; again, she was really long.

Estes' right hind, the prettiest of the bunch.

Estes used to have to be drugged to be worked on.  When we took her barefoot six years ago, she became very well behaved.  We decided she just didn't like having the shoes nailed on; telling us something?  She does get a bit tender footed if used for long rides consistently, but she is never ridden that way now, so why put her through it.
On to Jesse, who tried really hard to stand still long enough, but she wanted to see everything Anton did.  Jesse is 10 years old and she has had 3 1/2 trims.  Mrs. Mom tried to do her last summer, but she was too pissy at that time, so only got a couple part way done.  Once she realized what was going on, she was pretty quiet, but her feet are so darn hard, she really dulled up his rasp.  Knowing Ranger's feet were even harder, I went to the lodge and got our new rasp.  Anton was very grateful and wanted to steal the rasp.  Anton says she still has perfect feet...as do most Mustangs in this area.

Getting started on a back hoof.

Look at that hoof wall that is appearing.  He took an even amount off all the way around the hoof, so even though he said her heels were long, she was long all over.

Look at her show off her foot with the two finger hold.  What a show-off.

I have to hand it to Anton for his patience today.  Earlier this week when we scheduled this time, the weather report was for mid-50's and sunny.  Today we actually had 20*,  30 mph wind with 40+mph gusts and snow blowing off and on.  We borrowed the neighbor's hay shed to get a little relief from the wind, however, that meant the metal roofing was banging over our heads and our guys don't like being inside at any time, so they behaved remarkably well under the circumstances.
While Jesse was getting done, GunDiva decided she needed to go for a short ride, so she got a few minutes on her horse.  Bill rode Ranger all over the place while waiting for the farrier, and me....I have to wait another two weeks.  I need to find someone to throw on my two ponies before then or they are going to nuts.

Now for the challenge horse.  Ranger has had some bad experiences with "farriers".  He is 21, was put in a chute and turned on its side for his first trim at age 10.  Not a happy camper, so he didn't have a good view of foot care.  Anton has been great with him and still has to be extremely careful and move really slowly.  Ranger only lets a very few people handle his feet.  The first trimming, six years ago, only got the front two, then the next one, two years later, was a total success.  Today was mostly successful.  The front two came out really nice, but Ranger's patience with the wind made the back feet a hurry up job, plus he was so long, Anton wants to come back in a couple months, rather than make him sore.

Ranger's feet are so hard, poor Anton was grunting every time trying to get the nippers to cut.  Ranger tried really hard to be good, but he did not like the sound of the nippers cutting through - it was pretty loud!

Making progress.  Can you imagine cutting that hoof wall?

Hey, there is some sole in there!

Washoe didn't get any pictures of his feet.  They were in pretty good condition and only took a few minutes to get done.  (Besides, MY hands were cold and my camera battery quit. Sorry, Washoe.)  He stood great and made Anton laugh about having an easy horse to finish up with.  He had to be pretty whooped by this time.  He spent two hours on the guys and left laughing.  Gotta love that kind of farrier.  Thank you, Anton.
Juanita

Saturday, April 2, 2011

First Foot Cleaning

We just spent a wonderful few minutes out in the sunshine, brushing pounds of hair off the horses, cleaning hooves and just enjoying the company.  It's in the 60s out there, so even with our 30 mph wind, it's terrific to be able to be outside and collect all the smooches and hugs; just hanging out with the guys.  I think they are enjoying being home.  Jesse's head was down low, both eyes closed and back leg cocked while I was brushing her.  Talk about the spa-head!  While I was cleaning Jesse's feet, Washoe was resting his head on my back; if he was a cat he would have been purring.  Bill called to me; when I looked over, Ranger was all stretched out letting Bill get to all the itchy places.

Eli thought this a great time to be at his favorite place at the large hay bale.  He finally quit eating long enough for me to pick out his feet.  He's great with his front feet, but he lets the full weight of the back foot hang in your hand...and it's a heavy foot! (...or maybe I'm still a weakling)  Estes stood nicely, and although her feet are really long, they seem to be in good shape.  I wanted to get a good look at all of them as our regular farrier is coming Monday for their yearly look-over and shaping.  Mrs. Mom, I was muttering at Jesse about her not being that good for you when you were here.  I should have taken some pictures for you, but we were so excited we forgot the camera.  Oh well, horses!

My turn to go purr,
Juanita

Friday, April 1, 2011

Pictures Tell It All

Hey, look what just pulled up.  Are we going home????  Jesse & Washoe never miss a trailer.

We arrived a little earlier than planned, since it can take a little 'persuasion' to catch Ranger some times and GunDiva had a schedule to keep.  Bill decided to start on the Ranger task...

Ranger's thoughts on the subject!

The two year olds - Dakota & Digger - think it is safer to stand on the hill and watch.

The 'bad dog' - Andromeda - loves to be the irritant.  Would you look at those ears, er, lack of?  They are laid so flat on her head you can't even see them!

Eli, with Estes behind him, decided to watch from the hill also.

Washoe picked a corner to watch from....

Nope!  Not ready yet.

By this time, we decided to load the grays in our trailer, before dufus Ranger could get everybody riled up.  Plus, sometimes it helps to just ignore Ranger.  Hey, where did all the attention go?
Mr. Easy-to-catch Washoe practically puts the halter on himself.

It's nice when they want to go with you.

Jesse, made her normal once around the corral and stopped on the poop pile and waited, because you know you are supposed to do that before you leave the corral.  Notice Ranger watching in the background.  Where is everybody going?

Eli, still watching from his mound....

and now waiting at the gate for Bill.

Just got all the grays in the trailer, shut the door and GunDiva pulls in.

Round Two.  Starting over.

Holding the gate.

In the mean time, GunDiva had walked up to Estes at the far end of the corral and calmly walked her out of this gate.  However, the rest of the herd wanted to go also.  Try holding back 6000# of horse - good thing they are well behaved and at a quick word they all quit shoving on it - or I might have needed another new set of hips!
OK, let's go home.  After about three more rounds of the corral, even Ranger was ready to go.  He didn't even break a sweat!

What the....?  You want me where?

OK, I can do this.

Pretty in purple.  Estes says, "Finally...."

Loading up....
All told, it took us 23 minutes to catch and load up our crew of five.  It just seemed a little longer.

A short stop at the base of the canyon to make sure all is well...and RCC's truck is a bit of a stretch for GunDiva, but she makes it look easy (what with all her working out lately).
Back to the land of the snow.  That's our mountains, home to the crew.

Pulling into the livery...almost home!

We're home.  Anyone for snow angels/pegasus wings?
This is the last bit of snow at the top of the corral, thanks to the last few days of wind.  I just came back from checking on them, and helping Bill tarp another of the big bales, and I got the most wonderful huge hug from my Jesse!  Of course, Washoe and Eli had to get in on it, too, but Estes only wanted a little pet.

Juanita