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

running a successful business and riding as often as possible.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Cowboy Wisdom

I haven't been able to ride much in the last week or two, so I don't have much to say. In spite of that here are some thoughts; some mine, some from friends, and a lot shamelessly stolen from assorted emails.

A Cowboy's Guide to Life

Never squat with yer spurs on.

There are two theories to arguin' with a woman; neither one works.

Don't worry about bitin' off more than ya can chew, yer mouth is probably a whole lot bigger'n ya think.

If ya get to thinkin' yer a person of some influence, try orderin' somebody else's dog around.

If ya find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin'.

If ya shoot yourself in the foot, ya don't get to gripe about yer missin' toes.

If ya spend all your time with skunks, no one will mistake ya for a rose.

When ya go into a beer hall, look fer a woman with a tattoo. She's already proved she's capable of mak'in a decision she'll live to regret.

Never smack a man who's chewin' tobacco.

It don't take a genius to spot a goat in a flock of sheep.

Never ask a barber if he thinks ya need a haircut.

Never follow good whiskey with water, unless yer out of good whiskey.

Good judgment comes from experience; experience comes from bad judgment.

Always drink upstream from the herd.

Never drop your gun to hug a grizzly.

If yer ridin' ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it's still there.

When ya give a lesson in meanness to a critter or a person, don't be surprised if they learn their lesson.

When yer throwin' your weight around, be ready to have it thrown around by somebody else.

Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier 'n puttin' it back in.

Always take a good look at what yer about to eat. It 'aint so important to know what it is, but it's critical to know what it was.

The quickest way to double yer money is to fold it over and put it back in yer pocket.

Keep skunks and lawyers at a distance. They have their place in the world, but damn....

Don't corner something that ya know is meaner than you.

Don't judge folks by their relatives.

Remember, timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance.

Never miss a good chance to shut up.

Oops. Guess I blew the last one...


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Inaugural Flight on Horseback

It' s time to catch up on my blogs - before I forget the important facts! I have been catching up on my riding, and it's been great, thanks to the help of family and friends. Last summer, Bill and I couldn't do a lot of riding, for various reasons. We said, "Never again! We will hire enough help to allow riding time - and beg enough friends to ride with us." You see, we don't feel we can ride alone on our mountain (wild animals, etc.) because if something should happen and the horse comes back alone, the other one can't just take off from the Lodge and go looking. This year we hired our 2nd daughter as our office manager (again) and hired her daughter to help with breakfast and cleaning the rooms. Then we did, indeed, line up a group of friends who wanted to ride or learn to ride, and have been keeping them busy.

One of our more fun rides was on July 6th, when we finished cleaning early and decided to take "the office manager" with us for her daughter's inaugural ride alone on the mountain. Our grand-daughter, now 10 yr. old, has become quite an accomplished little horse lady, practicing exercises on the horses bareback, learning the correct cues, cleaning, tacking-up, etc. We had been making a point of staying on the town streets where we wouldn't have to worry so much about the odd animal popping out at us, or running into livery rides and such. She soooo wanted to go ride the mountain trails under her own power. We had ponied her and taken her double as a passenger, but it looked like the time to go it alone. (Also, Jesse had finally decided it was OK to listen to her cues; for 5 yrs. she had been packing her as "the child", being led.)

We gathered up all the horses: Bill on Ranger, me on Estes, Nelle on Washoe and our grand-daughter on Jesse. We had a marvelously uneventful ride; the most memorable part being the conversation. You see, the 10 year old spent the first hour of the ride "instructing" her mother on proper horsemanship etiquette. It made us giggle when Nelle finally said, "OK, I know how to ride! How come everyone thinks I've never been on a horse?" We had to remind her it had been a couple of years since she had been able to ride - between having a new baby, getting her Master's, and work. In the end, our grand-daughter was pretty proud of the job her mom did keeping our grass monster from eating. And the grand kid got to navigate some new territory on her own.

Monday, July 20, 2009

July Recipe: Apple Juice

Apple Juice-

Open bottle of apple juice, pour into serving bottle. Put on table.

(Man, I wish Juanita would start posting these things, I'm running out of recipes)


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Vacation Rides (July 10, 2009)

For the past 10 summers, there has been a special bond between our horses and the grandkids of our neighbor business, Pine Grove Cabins. The oldest, Sierra, was the first to convince Ranger that treats were OK. We had been trying everything we could think of to show him that apples, carrots, grain, anything, was a “treat”. It took the patience and adoration of a tow-headed two-yr-old girl to win him over. She toddled down the road every day for two weeks (with grandma in tow) and a handful of tiny baby carrots. Patiently she would stand at the wooden buck fence with her little arm held out and a carrot in her fingers (not flat on the palm). We didn’t worry about her because at that time Ranger would not go near anyone, much less take a treat from their hand. Then one morning, we get a call from a wrangler next door, “Get over here quick…your horse!” Now what?! We race across the road. Ranger had slowly sneaked forward and very carefully, without even touching her fingers, lifted the tiny piece of carrot from her. The look on both their faces was priceless. That was the beginning of the relationship.

Now, 10 years later (plus the addition of 3 siblings), part of our summer ritual is “riding lessons” when they come to visit their grandparents. Sierra was the first to ride Jesse bareback. Sierra (then 5) was out walking with her grandmother one day when I was working Jesse (2 yr old) loose in the livery yard. Jesse saw Sierra coming up the road and broke away from me, racing down to Sierra. She walked up to Sierra, nuzzled her and slowly followed her back. Without thinking, I picked up Sierra and set her on Jesse’s back. What a twosome they have been since.
Well, this last week was visitation week for the kids. The oldest three are all ardent horse lovers and have managed to beg mom and dad into summer horse camps with the YMCA back home. They have learned a lot for such little folk and mom is always with them with gentle reminders.

We tacked up the two grays and I let each girl try riding alone in our parking area. They had indeed learned their cues, and although their tiny legs barely reached over the sides of my horses, they had “intent” and the horses knew it. I was extremely surprised that Jesse, especially, would listen to their cues. She is so accustomed to following me when carrying a child, she wouldn’t leave my side. This day, she must have sensed the difference. The girls did so well, we walked down the road to their cabins and they got to spend the next hour “racing” all over the meadows and driveways. I can’t say how proud I was of my horses that day! They went wherever the girls directed them, mostly in different directions. What a sight to see Jesse in her running-walk moving across a flower strewn meadow with Sierra laughing on her back, blond hair streaming out behind her. Then she breaks into a lope. I don’t know whether to panic or not. We aren’t in an arena or enclosed area; this is wide open spaces and Jesse could just decide to take off for home when they get to the far end of the field, but she listened to Sierra and made a nice cutting turn and came right back. They made several runs, one horse and rider pair in the field, the other in the driveways, then traded horses.

Washoe, my other gray, is the grass monster, but the girls were intent on not letting him eat. After I showed them how to keep his head out of the grass, they guided him all over the driveways, and even managed a trot or two. Each horse stood patiently while one girl would climb off one side and another would climb on from the other – no help, please! The third would watch and wait until her turn. The girls and horses both did a super job that day – the relationship has expanded. It was a great afternoon experience and I couldn’t have been prouder of my horses!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A Good Day, A Great Ride

Bill asked me (Tel) to post on Friday's ride, so here goes...

Yesterday after my Dean's call, I picked up Ash and her boy d'jour, Colton, to head up the hill. Ash and Colton stayed at the Lodge with Mom, while Bill and I saddled up for our weekly ride. On Mom and Bill's last picnic ride, they came across a freshly killed young doe, so Bill and I headed out to the kill site to see what we could see.

When we got to the kill site, the doe had been drug off by a large-ish animal and "hidden" in a small stand of trees thirty or forty feet from where they had found it a few days ago. Obviously something had been gnawing on it and trying to camouflage it by covering it with pine needles.
After checking out the dead doe (yep, she's still dead and half eaten, now), we headed over to the Beaver Ponds and it was beautiful. With all of the rain we've had the wildflowers are going crazy and the mountain meadows are just lousy with them.

Feeling adventurous, I put on my big girl panties and suggested we do the Goat Trail. The Goat Trail is not for novice riders as it's essentially straight up the mountain and there is a section of trail that is quite a scramble up and over a rock. If the horse mis-steps or slips on the scramble, it's not pretty for the horse or rider and a hell of a long way down into Rock Creek. The last time I did the Goat Trail was three or so years ago and I was on Estes' daughter, Meeker, who was shod. The problem with shoes is that they don't allow the horse's frog to act as a natural suction cup and it's a lot harder for the horse to get a grip on the rock to climb. After doing the Goat Trail on Meeker, I swore I would never do it again on a horse with shoes. Well, Miss Estee, is as barefoot as the day she was born and has been up at the Lodge since April, so her hooves have hardened and her feet are as healthy as they've ever been, so why the hell not? I promised Estee treats when we got back to the Lodge if she got me up and over the Goat Trail without killing both of us.

This is what the Goat Trail looks like from about 3/4 of the way to the top. While it doesn't look that intimidating in the picture, it certaintly induces the pucker factor when at the bottom looking up. Estee climbed it like a champ and I felt kind of like a wuss when we got to the top in one piece, but then I looked over my shoulder at the hill we'd just climbed and got over feeling like a wuss. Feeling embolden and invincible I suggested we head back home over Pinky's Wash. Thank God I have a strong horse with a willing heart, because she worked her ass off for me yesterday. Any one of the trails we took would have been a hard ride, but putting the three (Beaver Ponds, Goat Trail, Pinky's Wash) together in one ride was probably not so nice to the horses, but they seemed to enjoy it as much as we did.

PS- I don't "treat" Ranger when he has a bit in his mouth, but I thought late in the ride he deserved something, so while I was sitting on his back, I tried to hand him a bite of the granola bar Tel gave me. It clanked into the bit a couple of times, so I gave up trying and kicked him to move out, thinking I would wait until we got home. NOTHING DOING! He occasionally balks, but I can usually get him moving with another kick or two, but not this time. He turned and looked at me while I was kicking him fiercely and said "NO WAY... YOU PROMISED!" I relented and let him lip the treat until he got it worked around the bit, and home we went without further incident. Never gotten a reproachful glare like that from a horse before.


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Not such a relaxing picnic

Juanita and I had a couple hours before any guests were expected. PICNIC! We took Ranger and Jesse out, saddled up and rode off. There were 3 horse trailers parked at the trail-head, in addition to the usual "Y" camp of 15 or so kids riding up as we went out, so we took a side trail. We went out to a spot we had camped at before, but saw a dead deer where we wanted to tie up the horses. We gave the young doe a wide birth, but ran into some downed barbwire from an old fence. I skirted OK with Ranger, but Jesse caught wind of "something" and threw a minor fit and ended up backing through the downed wire. No problem, she seems to be very aware of where she is putting her feet. We tied up the horses and I walked over to the dead deer. Very recent kill... broken neck? Not very bloated. Dead less than 24 hours. I walked back to the horses, ate my bagel and chips, looking around the whole time seeing mountain lions in every tree. Didn't take a nap out there today...


Monday, July 6, 2009

4th of July Parade

The annual 4th of July Parade was, again, a blast. This year, our friend Dawn joined us on Washoe. All of the horses did very well with the chaos of the parade. Jesse pitched a bit of a fit at about the half-way mark, but Mom was able to bring her back under control until the end of the parade. However, at the end of the parade, when the Meeker Park crew was loading up their horses, Jesse LOST it. Mom's pretty sure that the MP trailer sounded a whole lot like a wagon, which Jesse HATES and is terrified of. Could be, who knows? We do know that once the horses were loaded up and the truck/trailer passed us, Jesse calmed right down. Maybe Mom's right.


Sunday, July 5, 2009


Same Sh*t, Different Day

Even the bear scat got to ride in the 4th of July Parade.