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

running a successful business and riding as often as possible.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Queen is Back

First, this post was started yesterday (Memorial Day), and I want to say thank you to all our service personnel who have fought and died to protect the rights and freedoms we so often take for granted.  We owe them, and the loved ones they left behind a lot.


Yesterday, we had a family gathering, stuffed ourselves to the gills (and beyond), and then picked up Queen Estes from her summer quarters.
She took a quick look around, then gave a holler - and it got quite noisy from there out, with the others calling back to her.

Bill put Estes in the pen and all heck broke loose.  Four horses racing and screaming obscenities at each other, until Jesse took a swipe at Bill with her hooves on the way by.
Then the race was really on and I couldn't quit laughing (not at my horse kicking out, but at Bill's reaction).  He threw Estes' halter at her, picked up anything loose on the ground to throw and was chasing Jesse around and around the pen.  He was so peeved that she would do that ... and I didn't really want to tell him that she was having a great time leading him on a merry chase.  Ranger kept charging in and snorting, playing wild boy, Estes stood off to the side and watched, and poor Washoe hid in the corner with me.  It was quite a chase, until Bill ran out of energy - or air - and stopped - and everyone calmed down.  Whew - I was exhausted just from watching!! 

They settled in quietly after that; I guess they thought the carnival was over.

Bill in here.  Right after I took the halter off Estes, Jesse took a kick at her and missed my face by inches.  I have on two occasions "seen red" when I was angry.  This was NOT one of those times, but I definitely was seeing...well, mauve.   I'm not sure it would have been possible, but if I had caught her I would have tried to wring her neck.  Just as well I ran out of gas...
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Fast forward to next day:

I was out doing morning feeding when the neighbor hollered over, "Wanna go for a short ride with us?"

"Would love to, but my guys haven't eaten yet.  Thanks."

Then I looked at the crew, took a closer look at Estes and thought "a slow one hour would be a great way to check her out," so I grabbed brushes, located her headstall, the funky-looking turquoise bareback pad, and headed back to the corral.

We headed out a few minutes later, trailing behind Compass, a family of three, and one of the regular summer leases, making us 6th in line.  Since these rides generally go much slower than our 'normal' riding speed, it was a super way to check out the little lady.  She stretched out nicely and obviously enjoyed sauntering around the meadow.  By the time we were on the way back, she had worked out all her arthritic kinks and was wanting to 'push' the poor new horse in front of us.  The livery has several 'new-to-them' horses this year, so we will probably do more of these conditioning rides, to get them up-to-par for the season.  It takes a lot to get horses used to this altitude and the tough trails, so they will be safe for 'anyone' to ride.  By this time, Queen Estes had made some new rider friends (she's so cute; she's so delicate looking - but feisty) who could describe her to a T.  It was a good start for the summer season.
Bionic Cowgirl

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Mooses? Meese?

The daughter of a friend of ours came up for a ride.  She graduated from high school this week.  She has a "thing" for Ranger, and wanted to take him out once more before she left the state to go to school.

She brought a friend with her (I'd say boyfriend, but Ranger may be listening).  Her friend went out on Washoe.

And I went out on Jesse.

It was a nice ride.  A beautiful sunny day, no wind.  VERY nice.

Toward the latter part of the ride, we were getting a little complacent.  Not a lot going on.

Then Jesse went on full alert.  I looked off to the right and saw a cow and calf moose pair!  We have seen tracks and droppings in the area for several years now, but this is the first time the horses have encountered moose up close.

We were within 30 or 40 yards of the pair.

We were about directly across from them when Jesse decided, no.

She decided OH HELL NO.

That horse can back up quicker than any other horse I have ever ridden.

She was NOT going to go past those things under ANY circumstance.  Even if it meant backtracking a mile to go around them.

And that's what we did.

I really need to get some sort of "hands free" camera.

Ranger didn't give a hoot, and Washoe was a little concerned but Jesse was really fidgety the whole way back, so I sang to try to calm the animals some.

Because of my superior singing ability, we made it home safely.

You read it on the internet, so it must be true.


Friday, May 24, 2013

Todays Ride in Pictures

It's okay Ranger, we're not going that far.

Still no leaves on the aspen trees.

That's the old, washed out trail.



Little mountain lake.

DUCK! OWE MY GAWD A DUCK!  OH NO! IT'S A  DUCK FLYING UP From oh.  It was just a duck.

Little mountain lake, no duck.
Small stream, no duck.

Clouds in sky, no duck.

A very pleasant, and mostly duck free ride this afternoon.


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Riding Weather

It's been over a week and a half since our last measurable snowfall. 
The temps have been getting up into the 70's.
I'm so happy I could cry.

Riding weather.

There is still a lot of snow in the elevations above 10,000 feet, but here at 8500 feet spring has finally arrived.

Grass starting to turn green.  No snow on ground. 

Life is good.

We took the horses out for an hour or two, and we were all feeling pretty good.  I was on Ranger and Juanita was riding Jesse and ponying Washoe.

We were loping along one stretch of winding trail and I pointed the camera behind me and took an off-hand shot.

Juanita and Jesse seem to be comfortable and in complete control of the situation.

Washoe, on the other hand...

 I'm not sure if he's just being a spaz, or it's just some sort of equine photo-bomb.

Happy Spring!


Thursday, May 16, 2013

We Got RAINED ON - or Trail Maintenance 101

The Ambassadors from the Estes Park Visitor's Center are doing tours this week of local lodgings, and we were scheduled for this morning; first on the list, so we made up a 'sampler' breakfast for them.  We spent some time discussing how we could get approximately 30 people in and out in the allotted 15 minute time we were allowed, while showing them our rooms and letting them sample food.  Set the stage:

A couple of cars pull in 10 minutes early, announcing they kept watch on our blog and could they please meet the horses.  Cool!  I walk over to the pen with them.  As we are discussing various blog posts, we see the bus load going down the main highway.  One of the ladies says, "There goes the bus!  They missed the turn off!"  We all snicker, thinking we have another 10 minutes before they get to the next turn off and wind their way back up the hill.  No bus.  Pretty soon another car arrives to announce the bus broke down at the other end of the business route.  Oh my, that's a 1.5 mile walk, so the cars already here headed down to pick up people.  Remember, no cell phone usage here, so someone had to get here to call for repairs.... and our dilemma was solved.  A second bus was sent out to pick up everyone and we had a most marvelous chat with about 36 wonderful purveyors of information about our lodge.

After everyone left, we changed into 'work' clothes, caught up the horses and headed out for some trail maintenance.
Ranger is much happier with Beel on his back, even though he had to have the iron bar in his mouth today, just to stay in practice.
He doesn't even mind supervising Bill at work, although I'm not sure he agrees with how the job is being done.  Check out the ears!  We were lucky; only one spot needed diverting; the rest of the trails that we traveled today were in great shape.  First rides of the season go out tomorrow.  Horses arrived last night.  Talk about good timing.
Jesse did her share by trimming bushes hanging out into the trail.  Those first leaf buds must be really tasty, because the horses won't touch theses bushes later in the season.  Since only one spot needed worked on on the one hour trail, we opted to do the two hour loop and check it; the weather was great!
Ranger must have 'auto-pilot'; I see a shovel in one hand and a camera in the other.  The reins are probably laying on Ranger's neck, where they seem to like to hang out, but he jogs along like a happy camper.
Run off is getting started really well and our streams have lots of water right now.  Both horses had fun wading in the currents.
This trail had lots - and lots - of this.  Moose poop.  A couple of times the horses stopped and watched the trees, listening, before they would continue on.  Maybe this year we will get to see the actual creatures!
We did run into a herd of four young deer; one didn't even bother getting up, they just watched us ride by.  As we rode out of the trees into the meadow we noticed it had gotten quite dark.  Jesse took one look at the sky and broke into a canter for home.  I trust that horse's weather gauge and we only got a little wet before we got home - but it was RAIN!!!!  Yeah.
Bionic Cowgirl

Such a Rebel

We were down in town getting groceries a couple days ago.  It's about a 45 minute drive to the store, and I had killed a cup of coffee or two on the way down the mountain, so a pit-stop was in order.

As I was finishing up, I noticed a sign on the wall.

"Employees Must Wash Hands"

I waited 10 minutes, and nobody showed up.  So I finally did it myself.

What ever happened to customer service?


Monday, May 13, 2013

Hey Ranger! It Hasn't Snowed...

B-  Hey Ranger!  It hasn't snowed for TWO WHOLE DAYS!  It's 72 degrees out!  The sun is shining!  Lets RIDE!

R-  Okay Beel.

B-  Washoe hasn't been out in a week or two, so Juanita wants to ride him.

R- Okay Beel.

B-  And Jesse hasn't been out as much as she needs so I will ride her.

R-  Okay Beel.

B-  And I got to thinking a couple days ago that you have a serious hole in your training.  I'm not sure you have been ponied before.  Maybe a time or two, but I really can't recall.  So I'll just pony you behind Jesse for this walk.

R-  Not okay Beel.

B-  Come on Ranger, it'll be easy for you.  You just walk behind Jesse while I hold the lead rope.

R-  It is wrong Beel.  You ride me.  Someone else rides me.  Not no one rides me.  That is not right.

B-  Let's go, Buddy. Follow me!

R-  You can not make me Beel.

R-  Do not like.
R-  Not having fun Beel.
R-  Face hurts Beel.
B-  Jesse's doing just fine Buddy.  You should just lighten up.
R-  Mummphff
B-  Okay okay okay...  Let's head home.
B-  I think I have blisters on my hands.

R-  I think I have blisters on my head.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Found It

The weather report this morning for up here called for snow.  After reading it, I was pretty sure I was going to have some sort of breakdown, or at least a world class whine session.  To avoid either, Juanita and I went "In Search Of Spring".

And we found it.

We drove down the mountain for 15 minutes to the Hall Ranch Open Space in Boulder County and went for a hike 3000 feet lower than the lodge.

Sun on the water.

Green grass.

Singing Birds and frogs.


You know.  Spring stuff.

Then the thunder and lightning started up the mountain from us, and we scurried back to the car.

We got back just in time.

Driving back up the mountain we passed this guy.

I felt bad for him, but I bet he felt worse.  He is committed to his chosen sport.

When we got home, we thought we might have enough time for a quick bareback ride around the neighborhood.
The pinging sound is the hail hitting the camera.  He should be committed because of his chosen sport.

I feel better now.