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

running a successful business and riding as often as possible.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Turnout Video

The video of the turnout is up at GunDiva's place, Tales from the Trail.

Please forgive the choppiness of the video - first time using YouTube's video editor (yikes!).

Saturday, November 20, 2010

They're Gone

Yesterday was turnout time - horses went down the road to a winter pasture on Hwy 72.  Now that the tears have quit flowing long enough to type - tears of laughter, not sorrow....  We had five horses to transport and a three horse trailer, so we decided to take Eli, Estes, and Washoe first, then return for Jesse and Ranger.  All the horses were as excited as we were; getting only three out of the pen turned out to be quite a challenge...'cause the other two did NOT want left behind (it's their trailer, you know!)  I explained that we would be back and they were slightly mollified, although when we returned one was standing point-guard at each end of the corral, heads up in alert position, listening for the trailer.  As we pulled in we could hear them start to whinny and true to form, they were waiting at the gate to get haltered.  Loading?  Took about 30 seconds!

I only have a few still shots because I was trying to work GunDiva's Flip camera and Bill had his on video also, but you will get the idea.....
As they were getting unloaded, Washoe immediately took off through the trees, even though he had no clue where he was going - they have never been on this pasture before.
This is a new area to the horses; the rancher who leases it to Ida just wanted the pasture eaten down a bit before next year, so our guys get to spend the next month there, then we will transport them back to the main ranch in mid-December.

As we pulled up with the second load, we couldn't see the first three.  We stopped, started to unload and turned around to find we were being watched.  It was like they had just materialized; they've been watching Harry Potter...(invisibility cloak).

Isn't this a great shot of Eli?
How's this for a backdrop?  That's the Indian Peaks, almost always covered in snow.
From L to R:  Eli, Estes, Jesse, Ranger, Washoe
If I managed to get the Flip's videos uploaded OK, you should be able to see some fun videos from one of GunDiva's blogs....or maybe Bill can get his posted.  My pics are after the horses settled down!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I Really Don't TRY To Kill Cops...

 Sometimes it just works out that way.

One of the Blogs that we regularly follow is written by a police officer in an unnamed western city.  We invited Momma Fargo and her daughter Bug (aka "The Squirrel") to spend a couple days with us and maybe do some horseback riding before we turn our horses loose for the winter.  Not really that complicated a plan.  Our daughter GunDiva, and another friend, T!ink (two more bloggers) showed up so we all went out for a wintery ride in the Rockies. We ran out of horses, so Juanita stayed home to keep the home fires burning.

We had gone nearly 100 yards, when Washoe (The Wonder Idiot) decided the small stream that he drinks out of EVERY DAY was some sort of threat to his welfare.  He LEAPT over that foot wide trickle of water.
                                   ( My camera was in my pocket)

  Sadly, Momma Fargo was riding him bareback, and didn't know about his fear of that 5 foot long section of stream (training incident when he was a colt) and was unprepared for lift-off.  World class six point landing.  Four hooves and two butt cheeks hit the ground at about the same moment.  Momma dusted the snow off her... ummm... pride and climbed back up and we all went for a comparatively uneventful ride.

Back to front- Me (other side of camera), Momma Fargo (with snow on back and rear), Bug, T!nk and GunDiva in lead.

Later when we got home, a neighbor that was moving to Florida, brought us a t-shirt, quickly modeled by Momma Fargo.

All in all, it was a great, quiet couple of days and it was wonderful to meet other bloggers (and the Bug!).


Monday, November 15, 2010

Clean vs. Dirty

I lay in bed this morning thinking how fun it would be to get out in the sun, gather all the  horses and tie them to the hitching post next door, and brush them all down really well so they looked pretty for company.  Might even take a gander at their feet, since I noticed a couple of feet on some of them looking just a tad long.  No riding means no natural hoof grooming.  OK, so I looked out the window and we had a layer of new snow on the ground, 25 degrees. Drat. Not the sunny sky I had in my dream world.  Went to feed and realized how hard they had all worked to accumulate just the right amount of mud to act as an extra protective layer against the cold.  As I ran my hands over each of them, it was apparent the mud was caked just so - on top of all that woolly coat they have all grown. 
 This is an example of a fairly professional job by Washoe, the cleaner one of my crew. 
(Picture taken last Feb, while they were free on the winter graze.)
The undercoats on each were soft and fluffy, no signs of skin issues, and since in two days time they will be running free, the feet will take care of themselves.  So much for dreams.....I still have five horses who are all now the same shade of mud.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Newest Equine Clan Member

Got a call from Ida today, inquiring about the weather, saying she wanted to pick up Meeker and daughter from the field by us.  I invited ourselves along, so we piled in the van and met her at one of their leased pastures about 15 minutes from us.  Sunny out, but bitingly cold.  This was our first close up of the youngest member, Estes' newest grand-daughter, born last Jun-ish.  What a looker-and me with NO camera.  I can't believe I left the picture-taking box at home!

We couldn't see the horses when we pulled up, but Ida called and lo-and-behold, four of the seven came pell-mell out of the woods a long distance away:  Peanut, Brownie, Meeker & filly.  Makes your heart flutter when you see them racing in the wilds...and boy, could that little one run.  Five months old and almost as tall as her mother (Friesian dad).  Soon she would display more talents....  Ida put a halter on Meeker and let her and daughter out of the field, leading them to the waiting trailer.  Meeker loads right up; kid says, "Not on your life.  I'll stay here with the uncles." 

After a half dozen attempts at persuasion by unloading and reloading mom, Ida decides to let it go for a bit and go look for the others.  We were a tad concerned by then that the last three hadn't made an appearance.  Ida pulls out a saddle, gets Meeker saddled up and is ready to mount when the two geldings in the field turned and hollered toward the trees.  Sure enough, here come the stragglers:  one Friesian filly, Dutch, and the other Friesian filly.  But something isn't right. The last filly is on the wrong side of a fence and can't get through.  She finally followed the fence line down to the road we were parked on and Ida called her over to a gate and let her out on the road with us (a small dirt backcountry road).  What gorgeous horses these two fillies have grown into; coats like black velvet, long flowing manes and the prettiest legs and feet you will ever see on young horses (eat your heart out, Mrs. Mom). And then, they just run right up to you and dance around for petting!  These are also Estes' grand-daughters, from last year.

As we watch the progress of the last three, suddenly the newest filly trots over to the barbed wire fence, glances at it and hops over it like a deer!  Right back into the field with the oncoming horses.  She wasn't about to miss the fun.  Just hops right over.  My heart stopped when I realized she was going to jump, thinking about that wire.  She didn't even come close to it.  When Ida came out from behind the truck with Meeker, she looked at the field in surprise and asked how the filly got back in.  We just looked at her in shock and said, "Jumped!"  In true Ida form, she just chuckled and said we would get them all and move all of them across the road to new pasture.  We added a couple more halters, to Peanut and one of the black fillies, opened the gate and walked them down the lane to a holding pen in the new field.

When we left Ida, she said she would just back the trailer up to the little loading pen and get Meeker and kid that way.  First she wanted to check the pasture fence before releasing them from the holding pen.  As we headed home she was mounting up; she wouldn't let us help (hamper?) the fence repair business; we didn't have horses with us.

By the way, this youngster is still un-named.  Maybe you all could make some suggestions.  She looks a lot like her mom, except no markings at all; just a pretty bay with those long Friesian legs and a little more refined looking head.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

November Recipe: Baked Oatmeal

Back by popular demand:

Allenspark Lodge  Baked Oatmeal

3 c. apple juice (or water) - boiling

2 c. old fashioned oatmeal
½ c. raisins
½ c. chopped, peeled apples
Pour boiling liquid over mixture.
Let stand for 20 min.

Top with brown sugar (~½ cup)
Sprinkle with cinnamon & slivered almonds

Bake @ 350 degrees for 30 min

Bill says doing this to to oatmeal turns it into food, rather than gruel.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Santa Fe - Here we come!

Finally, our first fall 'away-from-home' ride.  It means the busy season is winding down for us...and we can spend time on our horses in somewhat good weather.  You see, sometime in Oct. we close down during the week and go to weekends only for business.  So what do we do for our first 'closed' week?  Pack up the horses and head out of town, this time to Santa Fe. A friend is currently living there and offered up her place for bedding down; it happens to be only a short distance from the Santa Fe Rodeo Grounds, so we reserved space there for our three horses.
Bill graciously sketched their abode (as we forgot to use the camera).

We let the horses rest the first night, after eight hours in the trailer (child's play to our crew, who will do 15).  They marched off the trailer like pros and started kicking up their heels in the nice, roomy corral.  The next morning we loaded up and headed for the Santa Fe ski area.  Our friend had been waiting for us to bring our horses for this particular ride, as they are already accustomed to the altitude (around 9000').  We caught the tail end of their colors season; the yellows were so bright as to be blinding.  The weather was fantastic with the rains holding off until after we were back at the house.

This one's for BECCs, who love aspen shots.
As we got nearer the top on a fire road - oops, the ski trails sort of disappear with the snow - we did locate small patches of snow.

On the second day, we trailered to Diablo Canyon and rode through the cliffs, in a sandy arroyo that ended at the Rio Grande River.

Our friend threw a stick in the water for the dogs to chase, and Sophie dog got her first experience with deeper water.  They went bounding after the stick, only Sophie sort of 'disappeared' a short ways out.  She came to the surface sputtering, dog-paddled to shore and refused to go more than knuckle deep after that!

The horses did well - they had never been near that type of deep water before.  Ranger was happy to watch, but seemed unconcerned.

Washoe, bless  his soul, waded right in on first request and wandered along the edge without concern either.  Jesse, the wart-hog, didn't want to stay at the side.  She headed straight out into deeper water and was all set to roll when I caught her before my saddle got wet.

We rested for a while, then climbed back aboard and headed lazily back in the sun.  Sophie was pretty pooped by then, so she spent a lot of time trying to stay in Washoe's shade.
 Even though we were in an arroyo, the ride was not boring.  We were between some really high cliffs and had lots of scrub to ride through.

As we were getting near our trailer, rock climbers had started up the cliff face.  Jesse heard their voices and was getting quite frustrated at not being able to locate them.  It took a bit to convince her to look up to see them; she definitely did NOT approve of humans on rock walls!

From there we hopped back in the trailer and headed for home, with two very tired dogs.
 Amazing riding in 70-something weather and then getting home to 39 degrees and snow on the ground.  It was a great break.

Only His Hairdresser Knows, Fer Sure

This time of year, the lodge is only open on weekends, so Juanita and I have time to do things together.  We go for rides on our horses, go to town to go shopping, go to our dentist and doctor appointments, etc.  A couple days ago we went to the laundry mat to wash a bunch of comforters.  Next door to the laundry was one of those chain-hair-cutting places, though not the chain I usually go to.  My usual hair-cutting place has a computer network that tells the stylist how I like my hair. This is important, as I lack the communication skills necessary to let the stylist know how I should look when they are done with my head.

"How do you normally brush you hair?" she asked. 
"I just brush it straight back."  I replied. 
"Umm... I don't think there is enough left to do that with now." was her response. "Would you like to buy some gel?"

This morning I looked into the mirror and said "My head looks like an unwatered, dead Chia Pet."   Brown and gray stubble growing out of a clay head. Nice.  Fortunately, it only adds to my image as a man of mystery.
"Why do you suppose he did THAT to his head?"


Monday, November 1, 2010