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 21, 2014

Loose Again!

It's that time of year again - when we turn the horses out to pasture for the winter.  They weren't as fortunate this year to get to stay at our altitude on the many acres of mountain terrain they so love.  However, they are on a nice grassy pasture, keeping a couple fellow buddies company.

We had quite a welcoming committee....
These are Ida's new passion:  we are not allowed to call them miniature cows; they are officially 'low-line' Angus.  They really are not that much smaller than their normal counterparts, but it is easy to confuse them with yearlings, although they are not.

We were surrounded!  Notice the ice on top of the trailer; that's why we moved the horses a little earlier this year.  We have already had -23* and 80 mph gusts...and winter is still a month away.  No way was I going riding.  The only days it was possible, Bill was working on frozen pipes in the lodge (water tends to gush from breaks as soon as they thaw).
Meet Audobon.  She was the love of Washoe's life when he was younger.  The first time we turned Washoe out to winter pasture, he was just two; I had only owned him a few months.  Audobon, who is about a year younger - and now stands a good hand taller - was in a neighboring pen when we first took the horses off the trailer that year.  He was beside himself trying to get to her; we had to chase him away from her several times before he would finally go off with Ranger and Jesse.  They have since been pastured together during the winter season and she was pretty glad to see him in the trailer, racing around the trailer several times before finally coming to this pose.

After a bit of excitement trying to get all the horses into a roped off corner of the pasture - to keep them away from the cows - we watched the interaction of the first get-together.  Jesse has always been the herd mare, but Audobon is quite a bit bigger than her now and I was curious to see the current status.

video

It's interesting to see the nuances that we miss watching horses.  In the movie, you actually miss the important parts because they happen so fast.  Bill shot these stills in sequence, and you can see just how subtle their language is.
See how the two 'herds' are separated?

Jesse has started  making her move...see how she has started moving herself away from our other two?
Now she is totally hidden by Audobon, who has turned slightly away from her.
Jesse is continuing to circle her, continuing the turn.
Now you see Jesse coming out from the back with her head in a very slight 'snaking' position.
This is the important shot; notice Jesse's left ear.  It's pointed toward Audobon, essentially asking her to go that direction.
And we have the turn, with Audobon obliging.
Moving in toward the others.
Herd mare has been established....
...and they are all grazing together as one herd.  Peaceful and no theatrics.  Boy, do they love the grass!

I already miss them terribly, but I love seeing them get to be 'free' for awhile.
Bionic Cowgirl



3 comments:

  1. Yay for winter pasture. It sucks, but it's good for them. Gotta keep those mustang brains happy.

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  2. Still wet and balmy here. The clover is growing like spring. Our cousin in Washington grows low line Angus and does well marketing to the Seattle folks. I loved the herd photos, very nice description of horses body language. Try to stay warm and keep those pipes from freezing.

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  3. Ok. Two questions...why do people want small cows=less meat, right? I have seen the minis...even smaller than those...they are cute. These just look like midget cows. LOL. Love to watch horses in the pasture. First introductions are always a little hair raising if you get a hot damned woman in the mix. Wait, I was talking about horses, right?

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