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

running a successful business and riding as often as possible.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

But Look...

Yesterday, a little after noon, Juanita and I grabbed a couple of towels and jumped on our horses bareback  for an hour or two in the national forest near the lodge.

After riding for a half hour or so, Ranger started campaigning for a picnic.

Look!  Grass!
Ahead!  On the left!
Say now, that looks nice!
He wasn't misbehaving or anything, just looking.  HARD.

When we got back home, he let me know that the trip was a complete waste of sweat, but I got a "head hug" anyway.

Next time I'll make sure I have a granola bar or can of sardines in my pocket, so we can stop.

Nobody likes to eat alone.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Room for One

This is Ranger.  The horse.

Last early dark it was very rainy and cold.  So I was in the scary shed.  I do not like it.  But it does not rain in there.  The other horses were out in the rain.

Beel came out in his long, noisy coat.  He sayed "Ranger, if you won't let Estes wear her rain sheet, you have to learn to share the shed."  And took the other horses one at a time and put them in the scary shed.  So I left.  He made all three of them stand in the scary shed looking out of the open side.  Then he came and put the rope on me and took me to the scary shed.

I glowered at the other horses.  So they left and I had room to get in.

Beel sayed "Stop that.  There's lots of room for all of you."

He took the rope off of my neck.  Then he went to get each of the other horses again.

I left.

He caught each one and made them stand in the scary shed looking out the open side.  Then he put the rope on my neck and took me over the the scary shed and said "Let's try this again."

So I glowered at the other horses.  And they left so I had room to get in.

"You MORON!"  Beel yelled.  "They barely took up half of the shed!  You are the smallest horse!  YOU WILL FIT!"  And he went to get the other horses.

I left.

I am beginning to think Beel is a slow thinker.

The other horses were caught and put in the shed.  Again.

I stood outside the shed with Beel for a LONG TIME while the other horses looked at us.  Every time I tried to make more room in the shed Beel would bark at me.

It was still raining so Waneeta came over to see if Beel had fallen down.  I think.

Many times she brings food so we all ran over to see her, even in the rain.  She had no food.  So I went back into the scary shed.  The others were out in the rain.

Beel shaked his head like he had flies in his ear.  And went away with Waneeta.

I had lots of room.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Bright Trail

On GunDiva's real birthday, she opted not to come ride, but decided to ride a couple days later when she would actually have more time.  OK ... let's ride anyway ... so we decided on a trail we haven't been on for maybe two years.  We needed to check runoff damage, right?
We decided this trail might take a little preparedness to ride, so we outfitted up.  Notice:  saddles, chaps, bridles, slickers, first aid kits, food ... and the widest grin I have seen on Bill's face in a really long time!  This wasn't a sneak out for a few minutes or quick trip on the mountain.  This was a for-real ride and well worth the extra effort.  We even told the wranglers on the way through the livery, "If you don't see us come back tonight, don't bother to look for us.  We've just run away from home!"
This trail has a lot of steep maneuvering to it.  No pictures of the rough stuff 'cause it took some real concentration to ride.  We even commented that we were sure glad we were on barefoot horses; those steel shoes would have been a hazard in many places, as we did some hopping from rock ledge to rock ledge.
There was a lot of downed trees across the trail, of course, considering what our winds were last winter.
Washoe took to smelling the pine trees through a certain area, both going and coming back; just in that area - and it was usually the smaller trees right next to the trail.  I think he was picking up the scent of a passing bear, or something.  Even Ranger would take a sniff of the same trees.
We also had to handle a lot of downed trees from the forest service doing fire mitigation.
The tree graveyard.  Several miles in we got to the tail end of an area where they have been logging for the past couple of months.  Nothing but tree roots and bark.  Everything else got hauled off as logs or shredded into mulch.  It was a pretty sad sight.
We did get to greener pastures, though, thanks to Ranger's fantastic guidance system.  He knew exactly where we used to picnic, even though the tree graveyard threw off OUR sense of the trail system.
On the way home, Ranger gave us his opinion of the 'graveyard'!
Not wanting to quit the ride yet, we swung by the beaver ponds, and were delighted to see water again ... and look at that greenery!!!!  The last week of rain storms has brought life back to our mountain side.
Back to the blue skies .. and one muddy horse.  Well, Ranger was muddy, too, but it's really hard to see muddy water stains on a brown-ish horse!

What a boost to our psyche in the middle of the summer.  The outside of horses really is good for a person's insides.
Bionic Cowgirl

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Birthday

OK, I've tried to ignore it all day long - but I can't.  I'm just having a hard time believing I could possibly have a child of this age (no, I'm not telling because it's just not possible!)

Today is GunDiva's birthday, and as my first child, she certainly taught me a lot - I think more than I taught her.  You see, I was an 'only child', and I was happily raising an 'only child' - until child number two came along - and child number one informed me that we should promptly take child number two back!  Well, that is a little hard to do once you've claimed them and brought them home from the hospital, so we all had to learn to get along.  Well, those two are pretty close now and seem to have worked things out, as they were mixing margaritas together earlier tonight.  She's even managed to work closely with the two boys who followed, ... so for a formerly 'only child' ... we all love you, GunDiva.  Now get your hiney up here so we can go ride!!!!
Love you,

Friday, July 13, 2012

People Food

This is Ranger.  The horse.

A lot of summers ago, when I had only been caught for a couple of winters, I did not know how good the people food was.  I only knew about grass and weeds and stuff.  I would not eat any other things.

One time Beel and Waneeta cut up "carrots" into small bites and put them on my hay.  I and my friend Shadow tooked all of them off of the hay and spit them onto the ground and walked on them.

One time Beel and Waneeta poured "grain" on our flakes of hay on the ground.  I pawed all of it off of my hay, and then I pushed Shadow out of the way and pawed all of it off of HIS flake, too.  "They are trying to poison us." I telled Shadow.

One time Beel cut some "apple" skins real thin, like grass.  He put the "apple" with real grass and handed it to me.  I very carefully worked all of the "apple" out of my mouth and spit it on the ground.

One of the people neighbors had something they called a "grand-daughter" that was staying with them for the summer.  She was very short, and only came up to my knee.  She must have been borned just that day, because she could barely walk.

They called her like a national park.  I think it was "Yellowstone".  Her sisters are "Zion", "Arches" and "Capitol Reef", or something.

She came by every day with a little bag of carrots, to feed the "wild horse", whoever that was.  But she always tried to give them to me.  I would not eat them, but I would smell them.

One day I tried one.

Good.  Good.  Good.   GOOD!

My top lip covered my nose so I could taste it even better.

Good, good, good!

I only ate a few, cause you can get a belly-ache if you eat too much strange food.  The next day I ate more, because I had not had a belly-ache.  I still would not eat people food from Beel for a long time.  He is not very cute.

LOTS of summers have gone by now, and Yellowstone came back before the last dark to give me "carrots".  Beel tooked me out of the corral and let Yellowstone ride on my back.  She is more like a people yearling now, even though it has been MANY summers.  There must be something wrong with her.  She should be old now.

She sayed she was happy and liked the ride.

I was happy, too.

She brung more "carrots".

Ranger.  The horse.

Monday, July 9, 2012

All Wet

When our kids were teens, and had gone "out", Juanita and I would wait up for them.  It was for their own good.  When I am awakened after several hours of sleep, I'm pretty much up for the day, and that leaves me extra cranky and hard to deal with by the following evening.  Rather like a four year old that has missed his nap.

About 2:30 this morning, I heard hoofbeats on the pavement heading down the road.

"$#!T.  Okay, you call Compass and tell her her horses are out again, and I'll get some halters."

By 3:00 a.m., the 30 or so wayward neighbors were back in their pen, and I was staring at the ceiling.

By 4:00 a.m., I gave up.

So let's talk about the weather, as long as I'm up.

This has been a very dry year here in Colorado.  The snowpack was about a third of normal, and we may have had 2 inches of moisture all year up to July.  Fires were making headlines nationwide, as most of them were within spitting distance of large cities here along the "front range" of the Rocky Mountains.

Nothing like a backdrop of smoke and flames behind your skyline to really ramp up the popular media.

Then came July.  Fireworks Bans.  No outside fires.  No outdoor BBQs.  One thousand dollar fines for smoking outdoors.  Dry, dry, dry.

The first couple days of July we got two, 1/4 inch rains.  Halleluiah and hot dog!  Maybe the end is in sight!

On the 5th of July, here in Allenspark we got 1 and 1/2 inches of rain.
On the 6th of July, here in Allenspark we got 2 and 3/4 inches of rain.
On the 7th of July, here in Allenspark we got 1 inch of rain.
On the 8th of July, here in Allenspark we got 1 inch of rain.

Our normal for all of July is about 2 and 1/4 inches of rain.

Our parking lot has washed away to bedrock in spots.

The horses are spending more time in their shed than at their feeder.

The trails in the national forest need some serious "shovel time" to mitigate the washouts.

The rivers are running black with mud and soot from the previously burned areas.

The fires are out, which is WONDERFUL, but really, a full summer's worth of rain in four days?

At least it wasn't raining this morning while we were chasing horses.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Biggest Little Parade in Colorado

This is it!  Time for the 4th of July Parade!  The prep is almost as much fun as actually riding.  First you get washed up, then you get your hair done.
This is a horse that doesn't like her mane braided - napping while getting a 'weave'.  She DOES love to get prettied up for the 4th each year; it's like she knows how important it is.
It took the two girls about an hour to do the two horses; good thing there were two girls for two horses.
Estes - hair done - five rows and a lot of patience.
Jesse - who has a humongously thick mane - got seven rows.
Next you get your makeup done - what a gem of a starburst for the right hip (a few small flowers for the other side).  Officially be-dazzled!

GunDiva's fashionista at work on Jesse's design.  Don't you just love the tail bows?
Ready and waiting; all hearts and stars....
... and flowers and swirls.  Estes just gets a pad 'cause it doesn't rub the sore spots from that Ranger horse.
Ranger peeking through the jail rails; watching the parade.
We had A classic car ...
... those pesky llamas from down the street... (is that one hosting a rider?)
... brought a big city band in (Estes Park Village Band) ...
... a trailer load of singers ... (Jess and I got a real closeup of these on the way home from the parade.  They decided to pass the contingency of horses, so we all stood still and stared at them on the way by.  They finally waved at us.)
... our horse buddies from across the street at the livery .... oooooh, we have an Indian maiden, a couple cowboys, a young rustler, a packer and a revolutionary flag carrier....
... of course, GunDiva on Estes and me on Jesse, struttin' our stuff (should have had pictures of them on the way home; they were wound up and dancing up a storm!) ....
... you have to have a good support vehicle (the GunDiva's dressed up Soul - see the gun decals under the mirror?) ...
... what's a parade without fire trucks?   new -
... and old ...
... if you didn't have a horse or car, you hitched a ride on one of many local tractors .... (this is one of our local horse trainers driving, complete with chaps and cowboy hat - and a huge grin you can't see)
... we start them young up here ....
... and end up tired and sweaty from dancing the mile and a half home.

Hope you all enjoyed the parade - and had a great 4th of July!!!
Bionic Cowgirl

I Must Have Been Bad

This is Ranger.  The horse.

I am in jail this morning.

Yesterday, the mares got their tails washed for the "4th of July Parade", what ever that is.  When they got back to the corral, their tails smelled funny.  Jesse, (That Mare) said I could not smell her tail.  I understood her pretty completely, so I tried to smell Estes' (The Other Mare's) tail.  She kicked me.  HARD.  And when I tried to smell her tail again, she kicked me AGAIN.

That will not do.

So I chased her biting her back and rear for a while.  She ran away FAST so I had to chase her up and down the hill.

"Ranger, stop that"

I chased her up...

"Ranger, pay attention to me.  Stop that now!"

I chased her down...

"Ranger, you moron, quit it!"

I chased her all around.  Both of the white ones ran around acting crazy, too.


Oh my.  Suddenly Beel appeared out of NOWHERE and was VERY BIG.


He was swinging a dead snake over his head and talking loud and hard, like a barking dog.  I stopped chasing the other mare and ran and hid behind a tree next to the white horses.  Those horses BOTH ran away when Beel stomped up.  I tried to hide behind the tree, but Beel got to me anyway and threw the dead snake over my neck.  Oh... it was just a lead rope.

Beel took me to the guest horse pen and made me work and do things and pay attention to him.  I hate that, but I was kinda scared, so I was VERY good.  Then Beel sayed "I'll be right back". and he leaved.  He came back with smelly stuff on his hands.

"This is the hair conditioner that you can't seem to get enough of, you moron." Beel sayed.

Then he put stinky stuff on my tail, on my shoulders and on MY NOSE.

Now I have spended all dark by myself in jail in the guest pen smelling funny.

It is kinda nice not having any of those other horses bugging me though.

And I can see the parade from here.

Ranger.  The horse.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Bah Humbird

I was talking with a guest yesterday, and he mentioned how he had NEVER before seen a humming bird just sit to drink out of a feeder.

We see it all of the time up here.
Pictures were taken yesterday. (See, no smoke)

I suspect it has something to do with the altitude (8500 feet at the lodge).

I think they just get tired of hovering.

If you listen carefully, you will hear the "hummmm" turn into a "whew"

Shortly after I took the pictures, I saw a "hairy woodpecker" trying to pull the little plastic flowers off of the feeder.  He was being buzzed by a hummingbird, but the woodpecker ignored it.  I opened the deck door and told the woodpecker "You are outta luck, Bud.  I glued the flowers onto that feeder."

He flew off saying "paug! paug! paug!"

I think I was being cussed out in woodpeckish.