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

running a successful business and riding as often as possible.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Daydream, Interupted

This is Ranger.  The horse.

On this day I standed in the sun and thinked about morning food.  It was good but it is gone.  So I thinked about night food.  Then all of the neighbor horses runned out of their yard and away.  Waneeta telled Beel to get in the many van and off their heads.  Or something.  All of everyone was very excited and running very fast.

Then the neighbor horses comed back to the yard.  Beel was in the sock-her-mom-tack-see following them like a old mare.  When the fence hole closed again everything was not excited so I could think about my night food again.

Waneeta gived me new food on a day before this day.  It was very good food.  It is special food only for me.  That Mare and The Kid do not get any.  Not even a taste.  This is good.

My new special food is from Spain I think.  Waneeta says I might have spainish barbs in my blood.  It does not hurt.  So my new food is called   SeƱior Ek Wine.  It is maked by Pure Reena.  It is very special and fancy.  It has good tastes.  And it is easy to chew.

I hope I get some more with night food.

Add-e-ohs   a-me-goes

Ranger.  The horse.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Juanita and I got to play with our daughter's mustang today.

She's a very sweet horse, but sometimes just doesn't get what we want.

She seems to be trying to prove at least her third of the old trainer's axiom, though.


Sunday, June 22, 2014

A Little Twisted Excitement

Yesterday afternoon we had a mini twister come through our part of 'town'.  Quick, fast, unbelievable!  I had been asked to help over at the Livery with a ride going out in the afternoon.  I looked out the office window as I was getting ready to head out the side door.  "Whoa!  Bill, look at our sign.  It just went horizontal!!!"
And so was everything else you could see:  pine needles, branches, dirt ....

Bill hollered, "the horses" and ran out the door and across to the Livery to help the people already on the horses.  Compass was in the yard getting them mounted up.  When I spoke to her a little later, she said she heard a loud wind and before she could hardly look up, she couldn't even open her eyes.  When she did get them open, all she saw was dirt whirling everywhere.  Her wrangler who was bringing a group in off the mountain trail said he looked up and saw a black column and thought, "we don't get tornadoes".

And that fast ... it was here and gone.  No time to think about anything.  As Bill was walking back to the Lodge, he looked up and there was one of our biggest trees on top of the roof!  The Lodge had protected the lower half, but the wind twisted the top off right at the roof line, and laid it down on the roof.  The Kid is on his way up with his bigger chainsaw, so it's going to be a 'chainsaw massacre' on the roof this afternoon.  Too bad that wood has to dry a good two years before we can burn it; it was a really healthy tree!  This 80 year old building sure is secure, though.  We didn't even feel a shudder when the tree hit.

The good news across the street:  the Livery horses just turned their butts into the wind and stood their ground; all guests were OK and the ones coming in on the ride were in total amazement at what they had seen.  Shortly afterward my mom called and said the TV news had reported a tornado had gone through Allenspark; they didn't know if it was heading toward Estes Park or Lyons so they put warnings out to both towns.  We still just call these 'micro-bursts'.

Bionic Cowgirl

Friday, June 20, 2014

Some Questions Are Better Not Asked

B-  Just look at that sky outside!  It's so clear and the sky is as blue as I've ever.... umm... Juanita, why do I see a horse's butt sticking out of the hay shed?

B-  HEY!  Jesse!  Washoe!  Ranger!  Get out the the hay!

R-  Okay Beel.  Nice sun today.

B-  How did you guys get... ?  Ahh, y'all crashed open a couple of the panels and forced your way in.  Well, you can just go back out into your corral the same way.  Out! Out! Out!

R-  Okay Beel.

B-  Look at this mess!  You've chewed holes in the tarp and spread hay all over the pen!

B-  GrumbleGrouseGrumble.

B-  So why in the world would you guys DO this?

R-  *Blink blink*

R-  Is that a trick question Beel?

Friday, June 13, 2014

Allenspark Lawn Services - For Hire

The grass here at Allenspark has gotten knee deep.  Something needed to be done and the 'neigh'-bors offered to help.  Actually, they have been offering their services for days.  Today we relented.  We popped up a new addition to the hot wire; they watched with interest.
Washoe and Jesse - grass up to their knees.
Finally, we let them get to work.
Ranger got a whole section to himself.
They do love their job!
Bionic Cowgirl

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

They Tried

Sophie the Lodge Dog is getting old.  She's on anti-seizure medications that make her kind of dopey, and affect her ability to "hold her water".  She needs to go out every four hours.  Or less.  So we let her out before we go to bed, and then get up and let her out in the wee hours of the morning. (Do you suppose that's why they call them that?)

This morning after I let the dog back in at 3:am, as I crawled into bed, I just barely heard something.  I couldn't quite identify it, but it sounded familiar. I looked out the window to see if I could spot what was making the sound.

I saw a sight I had never seen before.

A half dozen horses had escaped from the livery across the street, and were TIP-TOEING DOWN THE ROAD.  This is no mean feat when you are wearing steel shoes, but they were managing it.  I will normally wake from a dead sleep when I here a  horse walking on the pavement, but these clowns were very quietly just shuffling along, trying to keep from waking anybody that would catch them and make them go home.

Early in the ensuing round-up (which soon involved an additional half dozen horses breaking out and having to be turned back to their corral), Juanita stopped to check on our horses to see why they hadn't raised an alarm, as is their want when the neighbor horses get out.  Our horses were still asleep, and when she woke them up they were sort of bewildered as to why we were out at that time of night.

After we got all of the escapees back in their pen, we headed home.  As we went in the lodge,  I abruptly realized that the horses weren't trying to sneak past me.  They were sneaking past our horses.

Nobody likes a snitch.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Yard at Work

It's been a wet spring, and the yard out back is VERY overgrown.

I do not like mowing.

So, we strung a hot-wire...

And brought in a crew to do the mowing for us.  They are slow, but they work cheap.

The only downside?

You can't rake up the clippings...


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Our Day With Skeeter

As most of you know by now, GunDiva is sort of laid up with a foot injury.  Crutches and wild horses don't go together really well so Bill and I volunteered to 'horse sit'.  OK, so it was really more of a fun day out with the kid's horse!

Skeeter gave us a hello nicker when we arrived and was plenty happy to get out of her 'room'.  She stood nicely to get her halter on and walked quietly out of the gate.  GunDiva had asked Bill to do a little quicker work with her; maybe see if she would trot on the lead line.
At first Skeeter wasn't too sure what was wanted of her - then she got a little too exuberant and discovered that Grandpa Bill could do the 'mean look' and say "No".  She actually took it quite well.

After several trips around the pen with good behavior, she got turned loose for so quiet time.
Time to go back to work....
Let's try some normal walk lead work, some turns, stops, stand, etc.
Watching this, it was becoming quite obvious this horse needed some 'play time'.  She was easy enough to catch, that it seemed OK to let her get a little wound up - and it didn't take much encouragement.  Both of my mustangs loved to play when they were young; shoot, they still do.  At 12 and 13 yo. they had a bucking play time this morning after breakfast.  I love to watch their moves.
I spent some time cleaning Skeeter's home pen and had given Bill's camera back to him.  I looked up just as a game of peek-a-boo was getting into good progress.  GunDiva posted that video on Facebook.  My camera has too high of resolution to upload from our own WiFi, but I got several really good videos and just had to laugh at the antics.  When Bill got Skeeter's attention and ran away from her, you could see the lightbulb come on and the games were on!  The trailer became the hiding place.  Skeeter would peek around to find Bill; he would jump out with arms flying and she would high kick and take off at a run - then turn back and come looking again.
She always understood when the 'play' was over and it was time to come back.  All of us tend to come to a stand still with the halter at our side and wiggle our fingers at our horse when we want them to come to us.  Skeeter has picked this up very quickly; it's a good signal that 'play' is over.

I got a chance to work with her a little; she was much more sedate with me and I didn't do any play.  It was getting too hot and she was beginning to tire.
I have a smaller bubble than Bill and tend to let the horse stay at my shoulder.  She did extremely well, stopping right beside me and waiting patiently.  I couldn't get her to move faster, but I think part of it was her getting tired.  She did think it was fun to play with the back of my hat one time.
We put her up and gave her a new treat for being so good:  black oil sunflower seeds.
She spent a minute blowing on them, scattering them around her bowl before she decided they might be edible.  What a sweet, sweet horse she is - and a lot of fun!  GunDiva got a winner.
Bionic Cowgirl

GunDiva in: Here's one of my favorite videos from yesterday.  You can actually see Beel playing with Skeeter.


Monday, June 2, 2014

Story of a Sad Pad

Yesterday Bill and I took a break from spring cleanup chores and caught the 'boys' to head out for a ride.  I had spent some time with Jesse earlier in the day - we are working on some ground work to correct a few holes I had left in her training - so I thought leaving her behind would not be such a big deal.  Besides, I had used her for my last ride, so ... off we went.

Good horse, good pad.
Today's story is really about my bareback pad, so pay close attention to its location on Washoe's back.
About 20 minutes into the ride we spot the Clarabelle mine.  All that is left of this 1890's gold mine is this bit of a log structure on top of a dirt pile.

After passing the mine, we cross a beautiful grassy area, and ....
... as soon as I turn my head to say something to Bill, Washoe's head comes up, his back hollows out and I KNOW what is coming.  I have taken my attention off him and he just can't ignore all that luscious grass!
Bad horse!!!
He can go from a lovely trot to THIS in under a fraction of a second!  Do I know he is going to do this?  Yes.  Can I stop him?  No.  He is mucho fast; I am not.  If I tighten my rein hold, I get pulled right off over his neck. The human has learned how to stay on top of the horse; the horse has learned that if he grabs fast enough he can get a mouthful before I get him stopped.  He's worse this time of year because that spring grass is soooo good - and it had been a long time since breakfast.
So ... horse gets head yanked around on one rein (usually the right rein as I generally ride with both reins in my left hand) and trots off like nothing happened.  Hmmmm.
Remains of 1930's cabin.
After about three bouts (at least) of this, we come to 'the roof'.  Rumor has it that this was a cabin built in 1933; the same year as our lodge.  Sure glad the lodge looks in better condition!  We had to make a short stop here for a tack adjustment.  Apparently my pad cinch had come undone on the off side and was dangling down by my leg.  I probably snagged the buckle with my calf trying not to fall off the horse.  Bill was gracious enough to climb down and rebuckle it for me.  Of course, Ranger took advantage of the close grass at that time.
Mt. Meeker framed by Ranger's ears.
The views were so great and the weather perfect;  I just couldn't keep my attention on naughty horse.  This time last week Mt. Meeker was completely white with lots of snow.   There are a lot of concerns about flooding this year from all the snow melt.  You can see water in the trail to the left of Ranger's ear.  All the local lakes are over-filled and so are the ones in the valleys below us.
Speaking of lakes, this is our local one.  It currently extends about twice as far back as usual.  We do enjoy seeing it look like this!
We have now traveled around the lake, to discover this trail under water - which NEVER gets this far.  We took a different trail to avoid doing damage and ended up on a bit of a challenge trail - one that had not had much work done on it yet after last year's big flood.  After much grabbing onto the mane and dodging of trees on a very steep downhill trail, we managed to get back to a tamer area.  You notice no pictures taken on this portion!  Bill made the comment, "It wasn't that long ago we couldn't ride something like that in a saddle.  Now we are doing it bareback!"  OK, so now I feel much better about staying aboard, because he had obviously been feeling a little gut-tightening too.
My camera ran out of battery power after just five pictures (my battery is so good it lasts a long time, so I forget to check if it needs charging often enough) so Bill took this picture for me of my favorite springtime flowers up here:  the wild iris.  This means it is truly SPRING, on the first day of June.
OK, we are headed back home.  Check out my saddle pad; shifted more than just a little to the left.  After some deliberation, I decided that all my twisting down to the right, then sitting back up causes it to shift just a little each time, so on rides like this one it gets shifted a LOT.  Also, I carry a first aid kit in the back pocket of the pad, on the left side.  So maybe by relocating that to the opposite pocket, its weight won't help the shifting effect.  I've been meaning to add a breast collar to this pad, like Bill has on Ranger's, but there are no connectors which means I need to sew some D-rings on.  Time to quit procrastinating and just do it.
See, he can be a good horse when I pay attention - but look at that scenery!
The horses know I usually have treats in my pocket, which they get at the end of a ride - even the horse left behind.  Notice Jesse in the background.  Ever felt snubbed by your horse?  She is intentionally ignoring me right now.  As soon as we entered the corral she walked off and turned her back to us, standing by the fence.
Even the boys noticed, looking at Bill as I walk toward 'That Mare'.

Finally, after I hold the treat out in my hand, she looks over her shoulder at me with a 'maybe' on her face.  Sheesh, she hasn't been that irritated at me in a long, long time.  I do love that mare.

Enjoy a ride today - or at least hug your horse.

Bionic Cowgirl