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

running a successful business and riding as often as possible.

Friday, May 30, 2014

They Are All Bad

R-  Hay Beel

R-  Haaayy Beeeellll

B-  Humph  moan  groan  What was that?  It sounded like Ranger was hollering, but it's 3 hours till first feeding.  He's never that far off.  I better go look.

R-  Haaay Beeeell

B-  I can see Ranger standing by his feed bowl.  Can't see the other two, though.  Well, as long as I'm up I guess I'll let the dog out.


B-  Washoe, Jesse, stand right there and I'll get this halter on one of you..

TrotTrotTrotTrotTrotTrot  Stop  EatEatEatEatEat.

B-  Knock that off you two.  You need to go home.  Ranger is having a FIT. Okay, now Juanita is here so we can...

TrotTrotTrotTrotTrotTrot  Stop  EatEatEatEatEat.

B-  Stop that!  Hold still so we ...

TrotTrotTrotTrotTrotTrot  Stop  EatEatEatEatEat.

B-  You jerks.  I've almost...

TrotTrotTrotTrotTrotTrot  Stop  EatEatEatEatEat.

B-  QUIT THAT CRAP.  You've gone around the block and are back home now, and Juanita has opened the gate.  Aaaand of course Jesse just walked in the pen like that was the plan.

R-  That Mare and The Kid are back Beel.

B-  I know Ranger.  Thanks for letting us know they left.

R-  They broke the fence so they could eat the green grass.  The neighbor horses did that yesterday. It is against the rules to leave without people.

B-  I know Ranger.  And we know you are big on rules.  Thanks for staying in the corral.

R-  I am surrounded by dee-lin-kwents.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

I Am Not Happy

This is Ranger.  The horse.

I am not happy about the neighbor herd.

In this morning I was standing in the sun waiting for first food time.  Standing in the sun is my favoritest  thing.

The neighbor herd left their yard.  You are not supposed to go through your fence if there are no people telling you to.  It is the rule.  But they pushed over some of the fence in their yard and walked out.  They left their yard and started eating the grass by my yard.  They should not eat MY grass.  If they eats MY grass it is gone and I can not eat grass.  And eating grass is my favoritest thing.  So I watched them mean.

Beel ran out of the people barn and up to the neighbor herd.  I think he thinked they were going to run away.  They did not run.  The neighbor herd just stood and ate MY grass.  I watched them mean.  Beel just watched them.  Waneeta came and watched them too.  Maybe they do not know how to watch mean.  The neighbor herd pretended they were not there and ate MY grass.  After a long long long time Beel and Waneeta got big and watched them mean so the neighbor herd wented home.  The neighbor herd stooded on the hard dirt yard for a little time.  There was no grass so they runned away again.  Beel gotted into the sock-her-mom-tack-see and drived to farther than the herd to stop them from running away more.  But they had already stopped to eat some grass.  MY grass again.  By the people barn.

Waneeta finally catched one of the mares in the herd and they all followed her back to the neighbor herd yard and wented home.

Now it is almost first food time and that is good.

First food my favoritest thing.

Ranger.  The horse.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Caught in the Act

A couple of days ago, I got pressed into service by the Livery.  It got busier this holiday weekend than expected, and they have less horses than expected due to our late snow on Mother's day.  I had asked if I could 'join' one of their rides, just to get out on the trails.  Next thing I knew, I was leading the ride.  Seems they were short a horse for the next ride out, and since I had my own horse, I could lead the ride and everyone would get to go - so I led out a family of five and we had a great time - the only ride, in fact, that did not get rained/hailed on that day.  Ha!  I received a nice tip and came home happy.

Today, the guy wranglers were scheduled to do trail maintenance.  I saw them packing up a pack horse this morning and heading out.  The girl wrangler stayed behind to take what few rides they expected.  That was nice, but again, more rides showed up than planned; now this is great news for the Livery.

The weather was so wonderful today and our guests all had plans, so Bill and I decided to grab a couple horses and go help with the trail maintenance.  As we were walking to the corral we passed a couple guys looking disappointed.  When asked if we could help they commented on wanting to take a ride but ....
Just then Compass spotted us and  - well, you can guess the rest.  We got pressed into action.

Now, I like taking out rides; Bill - not so much.  He likes to ride with friends, etc. but is kind of 'done' with the wrangling thing, so I wasn't sure how this was going to go.
Compass getting the first guy up on the biggest horse she has, Blue.
A few directions and we are good to go.  Notice the difference in the size of Blue - a full blood Percheron -  and Ranger!  Ranger led out as he sets the best pace for beginner riders.  One of the riders had a burro to ride as a small child; the other was on his second ride ever.
The first thing we saw along the way were three deer close to the trail, which got their cameras out and clicking - and totally got their minds off the apprehension of being on such huge beasts.  As we start down the first hill, we asked where they were from:  Ft. Lauderdale, FL.  Oops.  Now Bill is telling them that the distance we traveled up from the Livery was a greater elevation gain than going from sea level to the top of the highest 'mountain' in Florida.  Good start, Bill.  They just laughed and said, "Yeah, that would be the trash dump."
As we came around the meadow, I heard Bill telling them about our 'Colorado Crocodiles'; the croaking frogs we have at this time of year.  They sounded great to listen to.

Notice Bill is turned completely around in his seat, explaining the Sleeping Indian.  This is definitely a guy who maybe has missed being a trail guide - at least a little bit.  Jesse and I just rode drag.

As we are returning to the Livery, he tells them, "You have now conquered part of the Rocky Mountains sitting on a animal whose tongue weighs more than his brain."  I'm sure Ranger was rolling his eyeballs by that time.  He did earn us a great tip.  The lodging season is starting out a tad slow, but the riding season is off to a super start - at least for us!
Bionic Cowgirl

Friday, May 23, 2014

We went out to start work on some of the flood damaged trails today

B-  We went out to start work on some of the flood damaged trails today.

R-  I went out for a picknick Beel.

B-  Juanita and I each tied a shovel to the side of our saddles, and rode out.

B-  We found a stretch of trail that had washed out in the flood.  It ran about 75 yards.

R-  I picknicked.  So did That Mare.

B-  Juanita and I dug the walls of the ditches down, and added some larger rocks to the mix so it won't wash out again right away.

B-  After an hour and a half of digging, we rode up and down that bit of trail a few times to pack it down.

R-  I am a very good pack horse.  I smash the dirt.

R-  When we leaved the picknick place where Beel and Waneeta digged in the dirt like dogs I saw them.  

R-  It was not a MooseMonster so I was not scared.
  R-  The deer thing was not scared too.  We went right near it.

R-  The deer thing only watched us.  I was not scared.

R-  There was another deer thing that was scared of me and it ran away.  I was not scared.

B-  By the time we got back home, the horses were hungry again, and required another picnic.

R-  I was not scared Beel.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Skeeter - First Taste of Freedom

Today we met GunDiva for one of Skeeter's lessons:  her first time in the big pen.  Beel got to halter her this time.  GunDiva wants Skeeter to understand that it is important that many different people be able to halter on her - in case of emergencies.  But of course, none of this fazes this mare.  She just fidgets a little while Bill fumbles with tying a halter - not something we do often as we use the flat web kind.  He managed to tie her mane in it and get the lead rope tangled around a front hoof.  No big deal.

Time to head outside for a short leading lesson where there is more room.  "Hey, where did the fence go?  Look at all that space?  Freedom!!!"

Well, maybe not.  "What happened?  How can I still be connected to her?   Darn!"
"What do you mean, stop it?"

"Okay, we can walk.  At least there's room to move."
Life is actually pretty good if you stay at arm's length of your lady friend.  After a few turns around the larger corral, but still staying close, it was time to head back into the smaller pen.

"Wait!  I just got out.  I don't want back in there!"
"Did somebody say Food?"
After going in, she got to go out again.  A few more times and it was a non-issue.  She is definitely a quick study.
Besides finding more food had miraculously appeared, there were toys to play with - a plastic jug filled with water - not as easily destroyed as a nice feedbag....
... and a frisbee ... or maybe it's an earring.  Doesn't look like the headstall with the one ear piece is going to be much of a problem.
Let's take some measurements; we have the weight tape right here.
"How tall am I, Mom?"  14.3 hands;  I would have guessed taller.
It wasn't any more difficult getting the tape around her middle; cinching should not be a problem.  She's right at 900 lbs - but there is sure to be some growing in the next couple of years.

Then, if you've been really good, the kid will brush you.  Maybe this life is going to be good.
Check out more training times at Tales from the Trail.
Bionic Cowgirl

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Website - Spring Riding - Skeeter - Moose - Trail Maintenance

I know that I have been absent more than a bit for the last few weeks - but I have gotten a LOT accomplished!

The big announcement is that we have our NEW website active and live on the internet!!!.  Look for us at  We had to establish a new domain name so we just added bnb to the end of our old site.  Long story short:  our webmaster of 13 years took ill and sort of faded out of existence. (He has since been located, but is fighting for his life against cancer and cannot handle the business right now.)  In the meantime, we were notified by the hosting company that our domain name had expired and they were less than helpful in getting the situation taken care of.  It would have taken a minimum of 80 days to get the situation under control, and feeling that we could not go the entire summer without a website, we started from scratch - purchasing a new domain name, registering with a host, and developing our own website.  So, please take a look and let me know if you see anything that you think could be improved or 'fixed'.  We are still adding options, but it is up and running!

Now that I can break away from the evil computer - that I swore to never be a slave to again when we moved up here - the weather has also finally cooperated and we have done a few short rides - and not along the road between snow drifts, although those were fun, too.
Look!  A lack of snow.  OK, I cheated.  This was taken the day before the last 30" of snow we got nine days ago.  But still, no winter coat and a ball cap.  Now that's wishful thinking for spring.

Then our daughter's newly adopted BLM mustang was delivered.  Meet Miss Skeeter Bang.
She is a four year old mare from the Canon City training facility; technically "unhandled".  She was on the wait list to go into their training program, but she chose our daughter instead.  Look at that blaze.  I believe it's been called a profile of a unicorn - and I totally agree.  Don't ask GunDiva what she calls it; she has taught tooooo many med/sex ed classes.
 GunDiva was hoping she was a dark bay, but I think she is a true black - and a gorgeous one at that.
She was so unconcerned about all the goings on and people around her, that she had her official 'ribbon cutting' that same day.

Two days ago, we took the boys and headed up the mountain to check the trails.  Most of the snow was gone already.

No green showing on the aspens yet, but the water is starting to flow.  We were going out bareback so we opted to just mentally mark the spots that needed the first of the trail work.  Things like this where debris just needed moving.
The upper trails looked pretty good...
 ...even with Ranger's cute ears.
We spotted 10 deer in four different groups.  They all looked pretty young.
Washoe and I had to have a few discussions about how he was not going to spend all of our ride-time with his head in the grass!
Not all of the trails looked quite that good.  We didn't have pictures turn out of the washed out areas, but planned on improving them.

Our youngest granddaughter, Asset, will be 'stepping up' to first grade next year, so her school is having a stepping-up-celebration this Thursday.  Her family all came up yesterday to bake tie-dye cupcakes for the fun times.  We made Bill a mini-loaf cake with the leftover batter - but this is what the cupcakes looked like.

Afterward, we all went hiking.  The kids chose the Allenspark Trailhead.

We hadn't gone very far when the trail looked like this.  I guess we won't be riding on this one for a few days yet.  Then last night, Compass called to say she had two moose wandering among her wrangler cabins.  We hurried over....
Mama and young one; probably the same one spotted late last summer as a new born.

We had set aside today to do some major riding and trail maintenance.  This meant saddles and everybody got to go.  We had only been out about 45 minutes when we had our first excitement:  more moose.  A couple crossed the trail ahead of us and headed up a small meadow to the next hilltop.  At first it looked like our mom-kid pair, but as we watched them it became obvious the 'kid' wasn't such a kid.  They both looked like young males just starting to get their racks.  Then the horses got a whiff of them and the cameras got put away, so sorry, now pics.  We opted to go the opposite direction and started up an old, unused trail that looked promising.  Almost at the top of the hill, I spotted barbed wire crossing the trail and down among the trees, so we 'parked the horses' and removed that.  They are quite patient at this stuff.
I would love to try a ride-and-tie, but I am afraid either of these two alone would uproot whatever tree they were at - but they do know trail maintenance.  After we came off that hill, we rewarded them with a picnic.
We soon started our way back by way of the trail that needed most of the water work.
Bill took care of that in short order and we spent the rest of the way picking up trash that the wind had blown in.  It's a good thing that I decided to do this blog tonight.  When I wanted pictures, we couldn't find Bill's camera.  It soon became apparent it had been dropped on the way home.  We headed out hiking - on foot, no less - and luckily found it right where we thought it had dropped out of his pocket, not too far away.  He had been wrestling with a fairly large piece of cardboard stuck under a stump.  It never would have been seen again.
Bionic Cowgirl

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Snow & Moose

So after a couple of days of a May snow storm, we got more than three feet of new snow; about 18" on the ground now because it is melting and going away almost as fast as it came down.  The sun is sparkling and the sky BLUE!  I went out to feed, calling to the grays who are sun-bathing in the middle of their corral.  They come running up and then I get this:

"Hey, guys.  What do you see?"  I stare for awhile and don't see anything but snow falling from the trees.  Jesse figures there's nothing to hurt them and looks at me for food.  I go in the hay shed, cut the strings on a bale of hay, and look over my shoulder.
"Washoe, what is so interesting?"  
I put their hay in the feeder and they ignore me, so I stand and watch with them.  Soon there is a movement and out walks a very young moose.
I hurry home for a camera and Bill comes back with me.  I cropped this picture hoping it would really look like a moose.
Don't you just love it when your horses share information with you?  What a great start to the day.
Bionic Cowgirl

Monday, May 12, 2014

Horse #7888

It looks as though my parents are never going to get around to posting about Skeeter's homecoming, so I'm going to throw up a few pictures and they can fill in the blanks later (hint, hint, Mom and Bill).

Ranger enjoying his new home, as an only horse.

Wait.  What is that?

A horse trailer.

With a horse in it.

The horse got out!


After the trailer went away...
                            Ever get the feeling you are not alone?

Meeting L.E.
Getting acquainted.

Oh, hi!  I know you.

                        Cutting the tag off.

              The required selfie.

This is not a good thing.  I do not want to share.

Well, she is kind of cute...

When we left, Ranger headed around the corner to stand next to Skeeter and keep her company.

She's been busy meeting people and we haven't done much training other than table manners.  Let me tell you, I'm awfully glad she learned her table manners quickly because today could have been a feeding catastrophe with all of the snow and slimy mud.