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

running a successful business and riding as often as possible.



Sunday, July 3, 2022

Funday

 

Not my best afternoon. My daughter's facebook post on our noontime "ride"...

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We'd planned to have a nice little ride this afternoon. But ... things got a little exciting and now there isn't a hitch rail.

It was just a cascade of bad things - I asked Bill to help me tent Skeets' saddle pad, so he left Al tied with his saddle on his back, but not cinched on. Skeets let me fix her pad, but scooted sideways when I went to reach under for her cinch. Al thought that was scary and jumped, which caused his saddle to fall, which caused him to start bucking.
He stopped bucking and when Bill reached for him, he started up again, then Skeeter thought bad things were happening and pulled back, which made *her* saddle fall off, which made everything worse, so she pulled back harder and Washoe got to go for a ride when the whole rail broke off and the two of them skittered across the street. They stopped nicely and let us go untie them.
Al got put away, and Skeeter got re-saddled. For the very first time since her first saddling she bucked and bucked. Weird, but then I realized bad things had just happened while I was trying to saddle her.
Bucking didn't work - Grandma's dealt with pissy mares before - so once she settled down, she got to walk around the block while Grandma and Washoe rode. Her brain was firmly back in her head by the time we got back, so I mounted up and we rode around the parking lot before calling it a day.
When we got back, Bill saddled Alloy and made him go for a ride.
Now that that silliness is out of their system, the parade tomorrow should be a breeze.
Everyone is okay (humans and horses), but leaving the horses tied is going to be interesting for a while.


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After riding Al around the block, I was sitting with an ice pack on my leg from a kick (or something during the explosion), when I was asked by a neighbor if I could "put down" her injured pet duck (broken leg, bad prognosis from several vets).

Her whole flock of chickens and ducks watched the execution, and RAN AWAY from me when I left the yard, I don't think they will ever trust me again.

So coming back into the lodge, limping, with a bloody machete in my hand, I was greeted by a young woman that had pulled up asking for directions to a nearby camp ground. She pretended not to notice that I looked like a mass murderer of some sort. Blood splatters and all.

O.M.G.

I'm having a beer.

Bill 





Thursday, May 26, 2022

A Long Winter

  This was supposed to have been published in May of LAST year, but I just found it as a draft...




 Last week I was driving down Hwy 7 in Estes Park and almost hit a hawk.  It flew from the side and turned to fly directly in front of me about 3 feet above the ground right in front of my bumper.  It refused to drop the rabbit that was weighing it down, and finally veered off.  I was so glad I did not kill a federally protected raptor.  It would have been even worse, because I was driving a mail truck.


Yeah, I've been delivering mail over the winter to  help pay the utility bills at the lodge.  Last Monday was my last day doing it, and now I'm back to working the lodge full time.


It had been a long, and pretty lonely winter up here due to the Covid pandemic.  Maintaining "Social distancing"  and wearing a mask in my home was getting kind of old.  So Juanita and I, having been fully vaccinated, made a corporate decision to not require guests to wear masks here in the lodge if they can provide proof of vaccination.


Last weekend we had our first full lodge mask free retreat in over 14 months.  EVERYONE was vaccinated.  It was wonderful being able to smile when telling a dumb joke and be sure people knew I was joking, and not just being an idiot.


Eating breakfast at the same table with our guests had been sorely missed.  Passing around bowls of  food rather than individual plates of food causes less waste, and is a lot more flexible.  I like "family style". 


It was like coming home.  We loved it.

Monday, March 28, 2022

Bad Cop, Good Cop

 

Saturday, March 19th, 5:00 p.m.

Phone rings.  “Hi Scott.  How are you?”  “Juanita, I just wanted to call and let you know I moved the horses from the north section to the south.”  “OK, thanks.”  “I really called to tell you … that brown horse of yours ….” 

Oh, oh.  What has Alloy done now?  Apparently, after getting caught, loaded, and moved, Al had decided he couldn’t get out of the trailer fast enough, so he went charging out backwards, breaking the hay string that had been used on his halter to lead him and load him.  (We tend to use whatever is handy to move our horses around, be it a dog leash, hay string, belt, whatever – as they are generally very good about it.)  There was no way anyone was going to get near him again.  So we got the call that we now had a horse loose in a very large pasture with a halter on; an absolute no-no in all our books.


 We headed the 18 miles down off the mountain to see if we could be of help.  Fortunately, the time was just right for us to use our own canyon to make the trip.  Our canyon is under construction to fix flood damages from 8 years ago and you can only drive it certain times of the day.  We got to the pasture, found the horses and discovered we also were not going to get near them; even my boy who comes at a trot when I call said, “not now, there’s grass!”
                                        Washoe is the white horse, Alloy is hidden behind him.

We decided to just come back the next day and ‘walk them down’.  Sunday dawned bright and sunny.    This time Washoe walked right up to me and let me brush all the mud off, a good deal of winter hair, and detangle the dreadlocks from his mane; all without a halter.  We spent the morning walking the pasture behind a stubborn bay horse with a more stubborn black mare, who seems to have become the lead mare and wanted nothing to do with Alloy getting caught.  Washoe went back to the other horses and started grazing and the two errant horses decided to circle them.  You would have thought they were inside a 30 ft. round pen, instead of on 30 acres of pasture.  


 Fortunately, the mare is not the endurance horse Alloy is, and finally tired and joined the others grazing.  That made the circling game not so fun any longer and Alloy finally joined them after a few more circles. Bill did almost all the ‘lunging’ while I stayed on the outside incase one of them decided to leave the circle.  Finally, Bill walked back to the car for some water and more snacks.  In the interim Al decided to just hang with the others so I walked into the group and started rubbing faces.  Guess who wanted his face rubbed, too?  After a couple of attempts, he stood still when I offered him an oat granola bar in exchange for his halter.  He was very still while I unbuckled it, then almost forgot his oat bar.  He sooo wants to still be a wild horse! 

The whole process really only took three and a half hours.  Bill said Alloy considered him the ‘bad cop’ and me the ‘good cop’.  What a great way to spend a gorgeous day – with the horses.

Bionic Cowgirl

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Just Moosed Me

My heart is still pounding.

Earlier this afternoon I had told one of our guests that moose are more dangerous than bears or mountain lions, and 4 or 5 people have been injured in moose attacks this year.  The victims had been walking their dogs, and the moose (mooses?) had taken offence.

This evening I was crawling backwards out of the chicken coop after checking to make sure they were in for the night, and had my little pocket flashlight in hand.  I closed and latched the coop door and was still on my hands and knees when I heard something behind me.  I turned and lit up a moose kneecap about 15 inches from my face on the other side of a chicken wire fence.  I made some sort of growling/shrieking sound and the moose ran off, followed by another moose a pace or two behind it.


I know moose are big, but when you are on your hands and knees right beside two of them, it gives you a whole 'nother perspective.




Since they both left, I guess chickens don't offend them as much as a dog would have.

(And surprisingly, I didn't even crush the egg I was holding in my hand...)

Bill

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Horse Time

Soooooo .... we have actually done some really fun stuff this summer with the horses, the last of which was an obstacles clinic with our favorite Mustang trainer, Jessica Dabkowski at Two Spruce Farm

The owner, Jody Marken is also very knowledgeable and was a huge help teaching me to slow down and learn how to move your horse 'one step at a time'. It's a lot harder than it sounds.  It's much easier to ask your horse to move in any given direction and have them move three, four or more steps, than it is to have them just move one foot, one step.  Try it.

Here Washoe and I finally did the gate correctly, by doing it in one step segments.
 

Bill sat this one out due to a migraine, then ended up being the photographer, getting some pretty great shots.  GunDiva daughter, Miss LE, and I all had a great time challenging ourselves.  As Jessica and Jody kept telling us, it wasn't about the obstacle, it was about the communication between you and your horse.  

Since my horse is pretty great with true trail obstacles, once he understood these were just funky items to play with, we first practiced 'sending' our horses through on their own, then having them stop in the middle of one, or even trying to have them do something on 'just a thought'.   Later I rode Washoe through this particular obstacle, and asked him to stop in the middle.  He did .. then reached down and pulled the yellow noodle off with his teeth and spit it on the ground.  Challenging our communication with them on a large scale - in both directions.

 

 

Another fun one.  Washoe couldn't decide if he was supposed to step between the tires - or on them.  After this he totally ignored them and just walked all over them, stepping wherever, and even just standing on them.

 

 

 

 

Turned out GunDiva and I wore the same shirt that day, making us 'twinsies' according to her.  The horses standing together remind me of the Beatles' song Ebony & Ivory. Dating myself big time here.

 

Right now, plans are to haul our horses over to Estes Park at the end of September to a Mustang challenge there, happening after one of the TIP auctions.  So we brought our daughter's horse up here until then, so we could practice together on some maneuvers, such as side-passing over a log, backing through poles, and opening gates.  Today, I decided to ride her horse just for fun; Washoe's nose was definitely out of joint, until I put Skeeter away and climbed on him.  Both horses did very well, although they are worlds apart in their training. 

 

Bill and Alloy had a great day today, too, making it about 17 rides or so this summer with NO BUCKING!!!  They seem to have had a great breakthrough in the communication department, mostly Al deciding he could discuss things with Bill without yelling (bucking).

 

The lodge is running as well as can be expected with all the virus confusion and variants, so we are happily enjoying any spare time we can get with the horses.



Until next ride,

Bionic Cowgirl


Friday, June 18, 2021

Spring Pollen

 Juanita and I have been riding 2 or 3 times a week for the last month.   Her horse Washoe has been behaving himself (for the most part.  Just occasional snacking on the trail.) And Alloy hasn't dumped me on the ground so far. 

Ten rides now.  

I really hope I didn't just jinx it...

This spring has had it's normal pollen season that seems to be just about over.  Riding down the trails, if you bump a tree limb the yellow cloud poofs down around you.   It kind of cool looking.  But the pollen does settle down all over everything.


One of our guests came in and told me about some prints on the back of her car.  The pollen was acting like fingerprint powder and showed everyplace the car had been touched.  



For reasons I do not fully understand, I decided to "roll" my face across the back window.  The next morning, THIS showed up.



I find it to be equal parts cool and terrifying.... 


Bill

Friday, November 13, 2020

Continuing to Stay Safe

 

In keeping with our practice of staying socially responsible we have temporarily shut down the Lodge for the remainder of November, 2020, to help quell any new uptick in COVID-19 cases for our guests.  This is only temporary; we have major plans to reopen with some exciting new winter packages that we think will help get people through the harshness of our cold winter weather with a bit of fun and quiet peace – and do our share to help stop this pandemic.  We will, of course, reassess the situation for December, but let us all do our part to get our nation healthy and keep our people safe.

As a good example, Estes Park has announced they will still hold the Catch the Glow parade’s Festival of Lights – but safely.   You will be able to drive through the town’s events complex (rodeo grounds) and “watch” the parade displayed from the safety of your car.  Use this link  https://www.estesparkeventscomplex.com/catch-the-glow-parade.html?fbclid=IwAR2b6uUyr4USPKcQ-nrXOX99kt9e71VGxeGesAfuEQXobkl2lGE0-U-Uz-U for the formal announcement. 

On the plus side of things like the pandemic, it so easy to 'social distance' while riding.  We had many, many good rides with friends and neighbors.  A new neighbor for the summer.


A new found friend and neighbor.

We actually were able to enjoy so many things this summer that are not our norm.  We met many of the neighbors on long walks; those who are normally here and those who moved here from their town locations, now able to 'work from home' up here.

We had time to teach our youngest grandchild the basics of riding.


Time to visit with friends from out of town.

Time to lay flagstone at our daughter's new house.

Expanding our chicken herd flock.

Time to visit grandkids at local campsites - who fed Alloy his first grapes.

Time for hiking with family in RMNP.


Growing my first garden in 23 years - even if the veggies were on the small side.


The best of all - the bond that Bill built with his horse Alloy!

All in-between serving guests at the Lodge.  Looking back - it was a mighty busy summer.

Watch our Facebook page for the newest specials – coming soon!

Many, many thanks to all our guests for all they did to help keep us and future guests safe this past season.

Bionic Cowgirl

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

New Cat

One month ago, we lost our old cat, Kitten Caboodle.She went peacefully during her afternoon nap.

Our other cat, Pounce de Lion, misses her.  A LOT. 

When you have 2 cats, it's like only having one cat, because they spend most of their time bugging each other.  If you only have 1 cat, it's like having 10 cats, because it really thinks it needs a lot of attention.  Poor Reba the lodge dog spent every night getting rubbed against, head butted and generally annoyed by the lonely remaining cat.

So we started looking for another cat.  Preferably a feral kitten.  Preferably a female.  Preferably a "grayish" short hair.

One of our daughter's friend's daughter's husband's grandmother's kittens was just such an animal.  In Nebraska.  Eastern Nebraska.  We met them halfway, in Ogallala Nebraska.  Yes, we drove 4 hours each way for a free cat.

Meet Demi (Demi is short for Pandemicat)


The drive back from Nebraska


Hanging out in the lodge's spare quarters.


.



She is really cute, and very sweet, But she has a sneeze, so she is in quarantine.

Welcome to 2020 Pandemicat.

Bill

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Speechless

Our vet called today and asked if he could come by and give Alloy his shots.  (He was in the neighborhood.)

He apologized for not getting back to us sooner to set up an appointment saying that he has been swamped  with work since the pandemic went into full swing.

He figured people have a lot more time on their hands to worry about their animals, and he told us about several of his calls.  The one that really stuck out in my mind was a call he got because someone's goat had laryngitis.



Really?



This old goat doesn't know what to say, either.



Bill

(Alloy stood nicely for his shot, by the way)