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

running a successful business and riding as often as possible.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Just'a Ride

   Juanita and I finished getting the lodge ready for guests early in the day.  And the sun was out.  And there was minimal wind.  And we had a couple hours before check in.


   We grabbed the boys and threw bareback pads on them to keep our jeans clean.  And off we went.

   This time, we weren't looking for trail damage, just riding for the joy of it.  And the horses seemed to be enjoying it, too.  We saw a group of hikers way off in the distance, walking their llamas.  That was the only people we saw.  But after coming over a small rise in the trail, we surprised a herd (flock?) of a dozen or so big horn sheep by the trail.  Actually, they didn't seem surprised at all, we were the startled ones.

They were content to just watch us sort of out of the corner of their eyes and keep eating.
Herd of Rocky Mountain Big Horn Sheep
I think the horses were more interested in the sheep than the sheep were in us.

It was an odd and peaceful couple minutes, with just a little sound from the breeze.

We finally rode off, and finished our ride.

By God, I love it up here.


Monday, November 11, 2013

It's Not As Good As It Sounds.

Today we had our lodge's hay-day.

Not to be confused with a heyday.

   Our hay supplier, a wonderful 70+ year old farmer, brought up six tons of hay at 4:30 am this morning from his farm in Nebraska.  After a short nap and a cup of coffee, he was ready to start unloading hay.

   This year, we bought 6 tons from him, because we only have 3 horses to feed, and a lead on some winter pasture we should be able to turn them loose on for 4 months or so.  Shouldn't need quite so much food so we didn't ask for the usual 7 1/2 tons.  And that's a darn good thing.  Because in years past, we've always managed to get two or three of our kids/in-laws/young friends up here to help unload and stack the stuff.

   Not this year.  This year all of our kids are employed (full time).  All of their spouses are employed (full time).  And the young friends, employed full time.


   One would think we would be delighted that all of ours are gainfully and fully employed.  And usually we are VERY grateful.

   Unless, of course, we have tons of hay to take off a truck and have to do it on a weekday, 'cause we're busy on weekends with guests.  Then, a little unemployment seems like a good thing.

  Juanita, the 70+ year old hay farmer, and I worked at unloading the hay from the trailer and stacking it, in front of a VERY attentive audience.  Three starving horses, who spent their time muh-muh-muhing at us until Juanita raked up some of the loose stuff for them to snack on.  They still kept an eye on us, but it's hard to nicker with your mouth full.

They approved of this years crop.

  After an hour and a half, we broke for breakfast.  During breakfast we came up with a list of the world's problems and a set of perfect solutions for them.  Then we went back to work. and finished unloading and stacking the hay.  Sadly, all of the solutions to the world's problems were forgotten by the time we finished.

That happens sometimes.

  The weather was nice, so we have put off tarping the stuff that is not in a shed until tomorrow.  Hopefully there won't be as much wind as there was today.  Big tarps are...awkward in the wind.

  After the hay was unloaded, and the hay-guy drove away, I got to thinking.

Today is Veteran's Day.  Every one of those kids was probably off work.

Double damn.


(Happy Veterans Day, and my thanks to all who served.)


Friday, November 8, 2013

Deejo Has a Birthday!

Well, my little daredevil's birthday is today.  OK, so he's not so little any more; dare I say he is a thirty-something?  With a wife - and a couple of kids.  But he IS still my daredevil.  I am sure he has lost count of the times I threatened to lock him in a closet and not let him out until his next birthday - often on the afternoon of his birthday!  I think he was 13 then.

At that age he was a competitive gymnast - but he couldn't jump off a kitchen stool without getting his feet tangled in it, landing on his face ... and ending up in the ER.  The gymnastic competitions didn't always go so smoothly either.  He managed to survive some pretty fantastic spills...and earned some high ribbons.

Then there was the time he took a jump on his dirt bike at the impromptu dirt hills at a park being constructed behind our house.  We insisted the boys never go alone to those hills, just in case someone got hurt, they had to go together.  So one day, Bill and I had just gotten home from work when little brother comes screeching up the driveway hollering, "He's dead.  He's dead!"  Not what you want to hear at the end of your day.  Turns out Deejo had landed wrong on a front wheel, come down face first and managed to knock himself out, but fortunately they had listened and the messenger found his way home.  Another trip to the ER.

At one of his own birthday parties, he was showing off more bicycle skills.  You guessed it.  He caught the  jump a little wrong and catapulted himself into the front of the neighbor's car (okay, it was parked).  By this time, the family was used to his 'stunts', and just said, "He'll live."  No ER this time.

Let's see, we had an exacto knife through a finger one time.  When this one particular friend of his was visiting, you KNEW there was going to be excitement.  Ask me why I ever allowed this friend within the confines of our home.  There were scraped up bellies from climbing trees that were off limits, and I can guarantee there are a lot of things I have no knowledge of - yet.

It didn't end when he went to the Marines.  I'm pretty sure his DI could tell you some hair raisers!  Imagine my fear when he came in one day and said he had a  job working steel:  you know, climbing all over steel rafters hundreds of feet in the air - in the winter, when they are icy!  Good thing they wear harnesses, 'cause I'm pretty sure he tried his out.

Now he has added motors to his bikes and dirt races.  (And he tells me my horses are too dangerous!?)  When it comes right down to it, I am amazed he has gotten this OLD, and he was soooo cute when he was little!  Deejo, we all love you, even though you caused me my share of heart stoppages.


Monday, November 4, 2013

Got the Time?

It's been several days now, and he is STILL not happy.

Ranger the horse is not pleased by the games we people play with his feeding times.  Okay, he doesn't much mind the spring time change where he gets fed an hour early, but this fall crap is for the birds.

Jesse and Washoe are comparatively ambivalent about feeding times.  They are just very interested when it happens.  But Ranger gets p!$$ed off.  And he tells EVERYONE IN THE AREA about it.

As  a mustang, he was responsible for finding his own food.  All of the time.  And if the food supply got low, it was time to move on and find some more.  Now.  Right now.  Otherwise, one starves.  It's the way it works in the wild.  Even now, if we plan on adding an extra horse into his herd, we need to remember to over feed them all for a couple days beforehand, or he will try to chase the interloper out because there is BARELY ENOUGH FOOD FOR THE ONES HERE NOW.

As a wrangler told us several years ago, Ranger has now gone over the the dark side.  He pretty much excepts all of the junk that goes with being a domestic, but for that, he requires regular feedings.  Like clockwork.  No exceptions.  IT"S IN THE CONTRACT.

So, for the last couple days since we went off daylight savings time, he's been screaming bloody murder for an hour before the food shows up.

Not happy at all.

Sophie the lodge dog is none to thrilled, either.