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

running a successful business and riding as often as possible.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Caught in the Act!

I have GOT to get a hidden video camera in the corral.  Too many good shots are being wasted.

It was sunny, windy and a balmy 70 degrees today, so we headed for the corral with manure fork and tractor.  While Bill was riding circles on his new (very old) tractor, I was hitting the lowlands and slopes with the fork.  I just happened to turn around in time to see Jesse climbing through the buck fence in the middle of the creek; the only part of that horse inside the corral was her back hocks.  She was just ducking her big fanny under the upper rail and munching on long grass on the other side, not noticing me sneaking up behind her, when I popped her on the butt and told her to get her little fanny back inside that fence.  When she started to continue forward I told her, "Don't you dare!  You back up right now!"  She gave me that 'I can't' look and I stared her down.  She finally - very slowly - backed back through the fence as much as possible, then twisted her body into a U-shape and crawled back into the corral, even managing to do it without getting her feet tangled in all the downed wood in the stream.  However once inside, she glowered at me then stomped that big hoof of hers in the water and - you guessed it - splashed me a good one!  I was hit with muddy water from the neck down; the front of my jeans were soaked.  I told the neighbor wranglers that I only looked like I lost the battle; the horse was still inside the corral.  I love my crazy horse.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Flaky Weather

It's been snowing off and on all day.

It's finally gotten cold enough to start sticking.

I'm numb.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Attack Horse

Washoe is not particularly fond of dogs; he has learned to be well-behaved when with humans or being ridden - everything else is fair game.  This morning as I went out to feed, the neighbor's dog came bounding over to greet us.  The neighbor and I have been working with this puppyish dog to "stay out of the corral", and she tries hard, usually going along the fence line to the corner and then charging over to see me.  Today, however, dog was totally on the opposite side of the corral and just came bounding through the corral.  Washoe was standing looking at me.  Without thinking - and focusing really hard on the dog racing toward us through the corral - I said, "Washoe, get the dog!" 

Wow!.  I gotta say, I was really impressed with the cutting horse 180 spin he did, launching himself at the dog at a full run.  I bet his butt wasn't three feet off the ground, he crouched so low, then just launched before the turn was done, coming to bear on the dog at a full run.  Estes, GunDiva's horse, was close by and joined in the fun.  Estes is an old hand at the cow chasing thing, so they looked like a matched pair chasing that dog.  You should have seen that dog high-tail it out of the corral!  I think it might be a day or two before said dog gets in our corral again.  Where is that hidden video camera when you want it?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Another Fledgling to Take Flight

The Ashinator graduated from high school today.  How did that sweet, little granddaughter of mine get that old?  She has spent some summers working for us at the Lodge; really fun times and a great way to learn a lot about the kind of person your grandkid is.  This one has developed a feel for photography and is finding her own special style in her pictures, but I could have told you through her work ethics at the lodge, her kindness to the guests and that lovable smile that caught everyone's attention, that she was a definite keeper and we're proud to have her in the family.

Congratulations hon.  Keep forging that path in the world.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Barn Shower

Some of you are really gonna laugh at this, horses have never seen the inside of a barn - or a turnout shed - or any sort of horsey shelter.  I should be more specific.  I have walked them into and around all sorts of structures - for training purposes.  I can even walk them into the Lodge and know they will behave, but to "put them in the barn" due to foul weather?  Never.  They are Mustangs and lived out in the wide open spaces.  They get a little antsy about being shut in.

Yesterday we got pelted with another snow storm.  (GunDiva, you had better intensify those prayers for sunny weather to Mother Nature, because right now it looks like the reverse.)  The forecast was for mid-40's and showers.  I incorrectly assumed RAIN showers.  After some drizzle it turned to snow ... and stayed that way.  My mother told me we were under a winter watch and probably 5" of snow.  OK.  Later the neighbor said they were warning people to stay out of RMNP because 12" was expected (avalanche issues in the spring) by 6:00 pm Thur.  Yeah.  It hasn't stopped yet, although it has gone from huge, very wet flakes to tiny, dry flakes, and I am sure we have passed the 12" mark, even though we only have about 8" on the ground right now.

I am digressing....back to the barn story....

I go out to feed and the crew is wet...grouchy.   I decide middle of the day to give them more hay to help with heat...they don't want it.   Ranger is standing out in the open and every few minutes, lets out a big sigh..I'm sure they are feeling the same about the snow.

Dinner time...really soggy horses...shivering....miserable.   I have become a big I decide to put them inside...just long enough to dry off so they can stop shivering.
I knew they were cold when I tied them inside the neighbor's ancient barn and no one complained.  I scraped most of the water off waterfalls per horse...gave them a flake of hay each and stood back to watch.
 This barn is part of what is rumored to be one of the oldest, continuously run liveries in the state of CO.

One of the wranglers was keeping me company, trying to talk me into just turning them loose inside the barn for the night.  I tried to explain it wouldn't be safe for the barn because they would soon be getting rowdy.  Sure enough, before he could say more the two grays started nipping and  playing.  Time to go back out.

I was amazed.  Once I scraped the water, it only took them about half an hour to get pretty dry and feeling really good.  In fact, Jesse noticed she could slide the top gate rail open because it had gotten icy, so she hopped out to go play.  Fortunately for me, she discovered a fresh patch of grass under a big tree and just HAD to eat it.  I went home feeling much happier that the crew was no longer miserable.

Morning after:  my glutes are killing me..wading around in 6" of snow over 12" of muck catching horses (OK - just Ranger!) last night...what a workout!

It does make for great pictures.  Believer it or not, there is a white horse in this picture.
Where's Waldo Washoe?

Ranger playing peek-a-boo.

Last snow - P L E AS E  !!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011



I took this shot a couple minutes ago.
Okay, it's not very much.

But it's just too much.


It's been snowing fairly hard all day, but it's 36 degrees, so it melts almost as fast as it hits.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Case of the Slippery Towel

Our new 'thing' this year seems to be towel riding.  Bill discovered it early on because he hates putting gear - or his pitooty - on a wet horse, so one snowy day he grabbed a towel to dry off Ranger.  Not being able to get the horse very dry, he just left the towel on Ranger's back and hopped on.  After several sessions of this, Bill made mention that that 'skinny little towel' he had been using didn't stay in place very well; it took a lot of adjustments while riding.  Yesterday, Bill opted for a thicker, larger towel.  You be the judge of the towel debacle....
A properly placed towel:  smooth, square and even on horse's back. 
I use it in an attempt to keep the seat of my jeans clean.

Do you notice a difference here already?

Trotting along the edge of the swampy area, Ranger has noticed.
Check the ears....

Coming around the corner, and oops...a little slide to the left!
Just happened to catch this one on camera!

You need to enlarge this picture (just click on it) and check out the towel location. 
 It's hanging to his heel on the left and just above the knee joint on the right.

By the time we headed home, that poor towel didn't know where it belonged.
Bill gets lots of practice squirming around to adjust the towel - and Ranger just ignores him.
You guys should try this some time; it's really great balance practice.
Just make sure your horse doesn't mind flopping things.


Saturday, May 14, 2011

And Just What is This?!

Unhappy horses.  We are down to our last bales of hay that we had stored up for this year...meaning we have now fed out all the alfalfa, then the alfalfa/grass mix, and are now feeding straight grass hay.

Tonight's feeding didn't go quite as planned - per the horses.  It's snowing again this evening, therefore alfalfa should be on the menu.  No such luck guys.  Sorry.  I cut the bale, flaked it out along the feeder wall like I normally do; carry some to the spare feeder tire and realize I have four horses following me all over.  "What IS this stuff?"  "Go eat your hay, guys."  They blankly look at me, go back to the main feeder and carefully flip each flake over with their noses, then look at me like I am a criminal.  "Do you not notice something wrong here?  There is not a single leaf of alfalfa in this hay!"  I apologize profusely, explaining that the alfalfa/grass is all gone.  Really, really sorry but can't do anything about it.  I can't feed what we don't have.

Ranger had the gall to mutter at me as I was leaving!!!  He has never done that before.  Jesse and Washoe are hanging their heads over the fence giving me the biggest puppy-dog eyes a horse could produce...and Queen Estes?  She is eating; she understands hard times and is grateful there is food.

I told Bill I would feel a lot more sorry for them if they were shivery cold - or I could find a rib on one of them somewhere.  Yes, it is wet out there and ice crystals are forming on the wire fencing, but when I felt under their manes, they were toasty warm, so they were left to complain among themselves.  Oh, and did I mention that they did get their normal ration of warm beet pulp mash and their favorite amino supplement.  How bad can it be?

Maybe the sun will shine tomorrow.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Plumb thy Neighbor

We have a neighbor across the street from us that has asked us to help him get his house ready to rent. 
We had one of the coldest stretches this winter we've seen since we moved here 14 years ago.
Our neighbors spend each winter in Florida.
We are in the mountains of Colorado.
Their house was empty.
The heat was off.

I hate plumbing.

Pictures of burst pipes as soon as Blogger lets me.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Goodbye Summer - Hello Winter

We had two and a half really nice days; you know, temps in the low 60's, SUNNY, only light breeze.  Yeah, woke up this morning to ....  S.N.O.W.  A friend called mid-morning to tell me that she heard a warning that between Estes Park, CO and Idaho Springs, CO the expectation was for 14 inches of snow.  Guess where we live?  We left the lodge at noon with six inches on the ground and still coming down.  Figured it was a good day to get the "town" stuff done.  Why would I be surprised?  Last year, on May 10th, we had 15 inches of snow.

When we got home about seven hours later we found:  same six inches of snow, lots of water running and still snowing.  Can't say how much we got but at least it's melting.  Should definitely help the run-off in the rivers (being sarcastic here), which is just starting and already worrying people about flood stages this year.
May 11, 2011  7:00 am  3-4 inches of new snow, with more to come.

Gonna sign off and go cry in my blankets because it's STILL snowing and no, we didn't get to ride on those two really nice days - because it's spring cleaning time and sometimes work comes before play!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Barebackin'-- > Snowbashin'

I had decided that this weekend would be a good time to practice just swinging my leg over the horses' backs until I could do it with a little more finesse.  Washoe was the clear candidate as he is the taller of the two; if I could swing clear of him, Jesse would be no problem.  The weather could not have been better - in the high 50's and sunny.  Well, you know how it goes....since we are mounted up, let's go for a ride...a bareback ride...on the mountain....Y E S!

Jesse's foot was still a little sore, so she didn't complain - too much - about me taking off on Washoe.  I was feeling very comfortable just riding on a towel so we decided to do one of the steeper trails over to the neighbor's ranch.  We found deep snow banks.  Washoe, who has become quite comfortable in snow, plowed right through.  When we ended up in chest deep snow, he started rubbing his face in it, like a dog does when it finds something on the ground really interesting.  I think he felt slighted when I insisted we move on.
 This wasn't the deep snow; Bill was too busy dodging branches to get a picture of that snowbank.
On the north slope, the trail was pretty covered.
We had to do some scouting around some of the deeper stuff.  I had to duck branches while Washoe watched out for stuff under the snow.

Meeker Mountain, all snow covered.
It got really breezy on our way home, as you can tell from Ranger's 'bad hair' day!

We were only out about 45 minutes, but it was sure wonderful.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Lazy May Day

Jesse sends her heartfelt thanks to all of you well-wishers.  She says her hoof feels much better, thank you.  She can stand levelly again (with all her weight on it), walk with the slightest of limp - only when she plants that foot as the wheel foot in a turn - and showed off with some hops and skips around the corral today, because it was actually SUNNY!!!!

Bill says the hoof print finally wore off his boot today - mostly.  Yesterday we had a spa day for all the horses; just brushing out winter hair and cleaning the feet really well.  Jesse and I walked to the post office and she was the perfect guest, tied to the railing in the parking lot.  When we got back it was still so nice and sunny out that I actually took my Nook (eBook) and sat outside to read with the horses while they napped at the hitch rail.  We've started getting back in tune for work days; practicing standing nicely for no reason except the human said so.  They all promptly went to sleep.  I don't know why I thought differently.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Nursemaid to a Half Ton

Well, Jesse stepped on a nail earlier this week.  We got the nail pulled out and the vet called to get all of the horses tetanus boosters.

Now for the fun stuff.  Long term care.

"Ummm, Yuck?"

"I think I'm gunna spit"


"Now what?"

"Where we going?"

"What we doing?"

"What you got?"

"Now Jesse, this is going to hurt me more than it hurts you"
"You got THAT right!"


"See Jesse, that wasn't so bad"
"The #e[[ you say!"
"I thought you were my friend"

Then repeat for the next couple of days,but only the shots, though.
Don't step on any more nails, horse.  It hurts my ribs.


Photos by GunDiva