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

running a successful business and riding as often as possible.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Gone Horses

We took the horses down to winter pasture late October.  A smaller run, somewhere between 20 and 40 acres.  Much larger than their "summer digs",  but small compared to their usual winter runs.

That pretty much ended our fun in life for the season.

Yes, we flew to San Diego to visit some friends (and see the zoo).
Yes, we drove to Las Vegas to watch the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo with other friends.
Yes, we had our annual  "Lodge Baking Day Weekend".
Yes, we helped one of our sons move from Greeley to Loveland.
Yes, one of our granddaughters won Colorado State High School Floor in gymnastics (5A, the big schools).

But without the horses...


Friday, November 27, 2015

All That Glitters...

Thanksgiving is over.  And Black Friday has a different meaning for me.  I avoid the stores, so my angst comes from a different source.  Christmas decorations.  In particular, glitter.
Glitter.  It's the single most powerful weapon used in the War Against Christmas.

The stuff is loosely attached to nearly every Christmas decoration you can buy, and will fall off at the slightest breath of wind or touch.  Then it spreads throughout the room, spread by air currents or small demons, and placed in the carpeting, never to come out.  You can vacuum the carpet a dozen times, and that stuff will still blink at you from the recesses of the pile.  If you enjoy clean carpets, it will kill the joy in the season for you.

I can't help but think that most other religions don't have this problem, so maybe...

"Honey, Can we be Buddhists just for December?  We have that old mantle statue of Buddha with a clock in his belly, and the gold paint is hardly flaking off at all!"


"Dear, let's become Wiccans for a couple months.  We could leave the Halloween decorations up til winter solstice.  I like black cats!"

Or maybe

"Say now, let's go Hindu!  They have THOUSANDS of gods.  It will always be someones birthday.  We'll just leave the decorations up year round and never need to move them!"

Naw...I guess I'll just make a conscious effort to NOT BUY any decorations with glitter on them from now on.  But that's really going to limit the number of ornaments this year.

Glitter.  It's the devils dandruff.


Monday, October 19, 2015

Repairs Can Be...Difficult

Stuff breaks down here at the lodge.  I fix it.  I enjoy fixing stuff.  It didn't work, and now it does.  That makes me very happy.

This morning I replaced the dishwasher.  After about 15 years of service, it was time.  I pulled the old one out, put in its replacement and ran a couple loads through it.  It worked fine.  So I hauled the old one out to the garage/hay barn to store it until the next trip to the landfill.

As I was getting ready to open the door and put the leaky old dishwasher into the garage, I heard a sound next to me.  I glanced over my shoulder to see TWO HUGE FRICKING MOOSE coming around the corner about 2 feet from me.  Yeah, yeah.  I know.  They were "long yearlings", just babies really.  But they are still bigger than my horse (not that that takes much).

We all left the area in a HellOfAHurry.  I went back into the lodge and told Juanita about the TWO HUGE FRICKING MOOSE and we went up on the roof to take pictures.  They had already gotten over their fright and the "THREE" of them were eating our trees.
The mother was just out of camera sight, behind some trees.

Some of you may wonder why I tend to flee when I see a moose.  It's because they are the North American equivalent of a rhinoceros.  Poor vision and cranky.  I'd rather face a bear.  At least our little black bears.  I'm just glad we don't have grizz.

As for the dishwasher, it's still outside tonight.

Maybe next spring I'll put it away...


Thursday, October 15, 2015

A Good Week

B-  Nice ride today, Ranger.  You did very well, with no limping at all.

R-  I feel good Beel.

B-  We've gone out, what, four times this week?

R-  Many walks Beel.

B-  That's right.  More than two, is "many".

R-  Sometimes one is two many Beel.

B-  Yeah, yeah.  But you act like you're feeling good again.  We went out for three hours today, counting the picnic, and you were still trotting to get home.

R-  Home is good Beel.  Food is at home.  Water is at home. Standing in the shade is at home.  Not walking up the mountain is at home.

B-  Well, you haven't seemed to mind going out lately.  You don't run away (too much) when I show up with the halter.  That reminds me.  Why have you started walking away from me, rolling in the manure pile, and then coming back to me to get haltered before we go out?  It's really kind of annoying.

R-  Rolling feels good.

B-  But then I have to brush you, a  LOT, before I can saddle you.

R-  Brushing feels good.

B-  Well, just stop it.  Maybe I need to send you to a trainer like our daughter is doing with her horse.  It's learning lots of new things.  Like lowering her head to be haltered and walking nicely behind the person leading her.  You know.  Manners.

R-  Nope.  I do not need man-ers.  I am a horse.  I have good horsers.  That other mare must not know she is a horse.

B-  She knows she's a horse all right.  She's just a polite horse now.  She doesn't go out and roll in the dung when we walk up to catch her.

R-  That is sad.  Not a horse.

B-  SHE'S not sad.  She's happy that she knows what's expected of her.

B-  Maybe we should send you to a trainer.  For say, one lesson?

R-  Like I sayed earlier  Sometimes one is two many Beel.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015


B-  Howdy, Ranger!  You're looking pretty perky today.  Let's go around the neighborhood.

R-  Okay Beel.  First I must poop.             
R-  Good. 
R-  Now you can put my head rope on my head.

B-  Wow, buddy.  You are being very cooperative today.

B-  Let's go bareback this afternoon.  This is great!  You're walking very smoothly today.  No limping at all.

R-  It is a very good day Beel.

B-  Say, we have some guests in the back yard that I bet would like to meet you.  Let's cut through the lodge and...

R-  No.

B-  Aww, come on buddy.  We've gone through the lodge before and you were fine.  Why not this time?

R-  On the before time you were walking in front of me.  Now you are sitting on my back.

B-  What difference could that possibly make?

R-  When you are in front of me the monsters will get you because you are slow and not strong.  I can get away.  If you are sitting on me I will be slow.  It is all about monsters Beel.

B-  There ain't no monsters, Ranger.  Ah well,  It's not worth the battle.  We'll just go around the back through the side yard...


B-  GAH!!  Whew.  No Ranger.  They are crates.  Wooden boxes.  You know that when you jump away from stuff like that you have to go up to it and touch it with your nose.  Let's do it.

R-  Okay Beel.   *touch*     But the krate monsters were not there in the before times.

B-  Nope, they're new.  Now let's go talk with the guests.

B-  Very good, Ranger.  You were a perfect example of a good mustang.  Now, let's go around...


B-  You moron!  That is the same set of crates that were there 10 minutes ago.  Touch 'em.

R-   *touch*

B-  Allrighty.  Now let's go around the... Oops some new guests just pulled up in the parking lot out front and are looking for the folks sitting out back.  Let's just walk with them back to meet the folks we were just talking with...



R-  *touch*

B-  Okay, introductions are made, let's go out front and around the block.  Wait...Ranger...where...what are you doing...

R-  *touch*   You make me touch the krate monsters every time we go by so I just did.

B-  I only make you touch it because you jump and snort and...  never mind.  Let's go for a walk.

R-  Okay Beel.  It is a very good day.

B-  You're right buddy.  I couldn't agree more.  Let's ride!

Monday, September 14, 2015


It was about 16 years ago.  A semi load of hay had driven across our leach field and someone reported it to Boulder County.  Damn.  We have to replace our septic system.  Water table VERY high.  Must bring in many truckloads of sand to bring the ground level up. Remove all of the old dirt (hazardous waste, now).  Major undertaking.  Lodge only open on weekends during the construction.  Guy working the back hoe during the work... "Say, are you Bill, the guy that owns the lodge?  I just found a badly leaking city water pipe that runs under your leach field, and seems to have caused all of your high-water table problems."

I had just met Dan.

Since that time, Dan has become a major fixture in Allenspark. 

Dan had sold his family dairy farm, and was hit by HUGE bills from the IRS for his capital gains.  He started working for a local company to help pay off those bills.   Then he started his own excavation company shortly after our septic system was put in, and never really took a day off since.

Dan had a big 'ol German Shepard that would sit on the deck of his backhoe.  The pup would just sit there and duck whenever the bucket would pass over his head.  No big deal.  The dog would ride on the back of Dan's motorcycle whenever he went through town, sitting on his custom built platform on the back of the bike. I laughed every time I saw them, leaning into the turns.  That dog finally got too old to make the trips with Dan, and none of his later dogs seemed to have that skill.

Most of the folks here in Allenspark know Dan.  He was likely to come by in the winter and push the snow out of your driveway.  "I'll bill you later", he'd say.  And later would never come.  If you needed help, you could just ask him and he would do what ever he could to help.

I talked to Dan two or three days ago about a project we need done.  "No problem" he said.  "Pay me whenever you can."  That  was going to save us a HUGE amount of time and money and red tape in getting it done.  So great to have Dan in town.

Years ago, when Juanita and I didn't have a place to keep our mustangs, (Ranger and Shadow), he let us keep them on his property for a winter until we found another place to keep them.

When Juanita had to put Shadow down a year later, Dan was there to help move the body and get it to a resting place.

When our daughter had to put her horse Estes down, Dan was right there to load the horse's body (with compassion and great care) onto our truck's flatbed to get it to its' final destination.

During the flood of '13, he was driving around with his equipment rescuing people and horses and putting in long hours repairing roads and driveways.

Dan was everywhere.
 This morning, we found out Dan died.  Last night.   Motorcycle accident. Going for pizza.  Riding alone.  No witnesses.  He didn't come home in time, so his wife went looking for him and found him.

I just can not tell you how much it hurts.  Me.  Juanita.  Our children.  His family. The whole community.

Rest in peace, Dan.  I hope you knew how much you were loved.


Thursday, September 10, 2015

Dinnertime Excitement

Yesterday we took the horses out for a picnic ride.  Ranger did quite well the whole way (whew).

As we were coming back and crossed the road by the horses' corral, we noticed that the choke cherries were fully ripe, and discussed coming back and picking some to make jam.  We marveled that nothing had eaten them yet...

Feeding last night was going along normally.  The horses had their feed; the hay bag was out.  It was quiet and I was enjoying listening to contented chomping sounds.  Then I noticed another sound; the llamas were clacking.  They quack kind of like ducks when something excites them.  I started walking over toward their pen at the opposite side of our corral, thinking they had spotted coyotes on the trail across the road.  That was holding their attention.  Standing there staring at the trail a motion caught my eye - much closer than the trail.  A bear was stripping the choke cherries off our bushes maybe 20 yards from the llama pen!

Washoe had quit eating and followed me over to the fence.  I pointed at the bear to show him and he was so excited he was running up and down the fence trying to get closer.  I think he thought it was a big dog that did not belong and had plans to run it off.  (He's my dog chaser.)

I finally went back up the hill to get Bill, hoping the bear would still be there when we got back.  We watched it until it was almost too dark to see it.  After Bill came over, Ranger stood near the feeder and snorted; Jesse wouldn't even raise her head out of the food.  Gotta love living in the mountains.
The llamas spent almost all of their time running back and forth at the fence line closest to the bear.   Quacking.

Bionic Cowgirl

Sunday, September 6, 2015

A Great Day to be Outdoors

It's been a while since I have felt I had the time to blog; lots of blog worthy stuff but just no time to put it in the computer (maybe this winter).  Right now I have some great memories.

Today I grabbed one of our granddaughters to head out for a ride.  Autobot has been 'working' at the Livery next door on weekends this summer as a junior wrangler, so she has gotten to ride, but not with grandma.  Well, this weekend the kids got to stay longer to help out and being a Monday holiday thing, they were here on a Sunday (Livery closed on Sundays this year), so I took advantage of the situation to grab her for a ride.

We didn't waste any time on saddling; just grabbed the grays and headed up the mountain.
This is what it looked like on the mountain on August 9 when I rode with our neighbor.  We had a lot of rain this summer and you could hardly see the trails for all the trees and tall grasses.  Compass and I did get up higher and locate the Rocky Mt. Sheep herd that frequents this area.
I was hoping to get some good shots of the aspens starting to turn gold.  What we found were several that had their leaves blown off while still green.  We did have a freeze on the 19th of Aug., but I didn't think it was hard enough to cause that.
This is what it looks like so far on Sept. 6; just tinges of yellow.
This is Autobot informing Washoe that he CAN walk through grass without eating it!  She is becoming quite the horsewoman.  It was a lovely day in the forest.

Bionic Cowgirl

Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Old Man

My horse is getting old.

The last few times I've been out on Ranger this summer, he has lagged behind even more than usual.  He has never been what you might call a "high energy" animal.  But now he's doing a little limping on his rear, not much, but noticeable.  Even when he was being ridden by a much smaller friend or our granddaughter, it seems to be a lot of work for him to walk up the mountain.  On one trip around the block, I ended up getting off of him and walking, as he was "forging" (front and back hoofs colliding at each step) at a trot, and sometimes at a walk.  We called the vet in to take a look at him.

It took a couple days to get the vet up here, and by then he was walking fine, just slow.  We figured he may have gotten into a scuffle with one of the greys and gotten kicked.

So while the vet was up, we had his teeth "floated". It had been 7 or 8 years since the sharp edges had been ground off. Occasionally he had been choking on long strands of hay and he was dribbling a little grain, so it was time.

Now, the old guy has always been a cheap drunk.  One shot, and he's out of it.  The vet gave him his shot, ground the points down and found a tooth that was aimed sideways into his cheek.  He ground off the edges of it, too and we discussed getting an equine dentist up here for its removal.

The vet left and Ranger stood, sort of, trying to get it together enough to walk the 15 feet back into his pen with the other horses.

B-  Hey Ranger.  You doing okay?

R-  Mrrmff Beel.

B-  You're sort of swaying there.  How in the world can you stay up with your back legs crossed, and stretched out THAT FAR behind you?

R-  Rmmffted Beel.

After an hour or so, he perked up and headed back with the other two horses, who had been standing by the fence and staring at the old guy with great interest and concern.  He spent the next 8 hours licking and feeling his teeth.

This afternoon, I went out to catch the horses and put them in our back yard to "mow".  As I came after Ranger with his halter, he decided he wanted NO PART of it this time.  There just might be a vet involved again.

I have long been able to stop him by grabbing his tail and pulling.  He will stop, but... then what do you do?  He walks off if you let go of his tail, and he is short coupled, but I still can't reach his head to halter him while holding his tail.  This time, however, I noticed as I pulled his tail to the right, he would turn to the left.  And if I pulled his tail to the left, he would go to the right.

So I walked along behind him, tugging one way and then the other until I head "steered" him into the runout shed and into a corner. He looked over his shoulder at me seeming somewhat surprised, and I haltered him.

He was okay with going to mow.  No vet involved.  He spent an hour at it with the others, and then went home, still moving slow.

He is still losing a little weight.  His ribs and his hip bones are showing a little more than usual.  His face has almost as much gray hair as mine.  And walking is more of a chore than it used to be.

I think I may have to retire him soon.

That kinda hurts.


Thursday, August 6, 2015

Bunch of Sheet

B-  Hey Ranger.  I've got something new for you to try.

R-  I do not like new Beel.

B-  Juanita thought the flies were "bugging" you.  Ha!  Get it buddy?  Bugging?

R-  I am trying to eat here Beel.

B-  No, come on.  We are going to put a fly sheet on you.

R-  I do not like this dress Beel.


R-  I will wear it but I do not like it.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

A Mini Vacation - Julie Goodnight - HorseMaster

We had scheduled two days off this month - very important for us this time of year - so we could get some stuff done, have a night without guests and NOT fix breakfast for a couple of mornings.  We set this up months ago.

Fast forward a couple of months to when the request came in from GunDiva to transport her horse to a TV shoot for the HorseMaster RFD series.  It turned out to be right over our two days off - which by the way, turned into ONE day off because we had inadvertently booked two rooms in for the second night.  Yipes!  It sounded like fun to us: transporting horses to a beautiful ranch in the southern mountains of Colorado could actually be relaxing - to us.  We love to travel with horses, although we would rather it had been our own horses.  But hey, horses are horses and GunDiva's horse is family, too.  We arranged for our other daughter, Nebalee, to 'Lodge sit' for us, meaning come up and hang out to wait for the guests to come in that had gotten booked and stay the night to answer the phone.  We promised we would be back before breakfast so she wouldn't have to do that too.  (This turned into a great deal of work for her, too, as the phone never quit ringing, and I had left her with all the beds to remake.)  She may never volunteer to help us out again.

So Monday finally got here, we got everyone out of the Lodge on time (11:00 a.m.) and set about getting as much done as we could before leaving.  Had hoped to pull out at 11:00 ourselves;  Bill had taken the dog to the kennel in Estes Park, I stripped all the beds in the lodge, sorted laundry, gotten all the dishes done and the kitchen cleaned up, and we set about getting our stuff in the truck.  We did manage to finally get underway at 12:10.

We needed to head north 1 1/2 hours to GunDiva's to pick up her horse and our horse trailer, which had been left there when Bill dropped off Ranger.  Bill hooked up the trailer while I haltered Skeeter, and she loaded like a champ.  We then needed to pick up another horse in Longmont that was also hopping a ride to the shoot.  We even found our way there without any problems, met the two people who were going to follow us, loaded that horse and we were on our way.  Our only problem was that it was now 3:45 p.m. and traffic was picking up quickly; we were between two busy cities - Boulder and Denver - and had to decide just how to get on the road we wanted.  Thanks to the help of the girls following us, and their texting me directions as we went, we managed to get onto C470 ... but what a traffic jam!  Once we got onto Hwy 285, it was much better, but now 6:00 p.m.  After going over Kenosha Pass in horrible rain, and stopping for dinner at a cute little bar in Fairplay, we pulled into Julie Goodnight's place near Salida at 8:30 p.m.  Suffice it to say, we were all a tad tired, but happy.  The horses had traveled well.

Skeeter unloaded and was amazed to find five other horses in pens right there!  She behaved like a jewel in her new pen - while the two neighbor horses got all rowdy and nasty.  I don't think she ever figured out what the big deal was with them.  This was the first trip - other than being delivered to GunDiva's in a stock trailer - that she had ever taken, and she was handling it like a champ: no hollering, no fussing, no fighting.

Julie was gracious enough to let us park our rig overnight near their 'bunkhouse', so we could sleep in the trailer.  It was heaven:  we were sound asleep before 10:00 p.m. - and when we woke at 5:30 and realized we didn't have to get up, it was even better.  We finally crawled out about 6:00 to a gorgeous sight of fog rainbows.  The fog had settled in the valley at the base of mountains and two rainbows peaked their heads out.  What a start to the day!  We settled ourselves into a couple of chairs on the patio of the bunkhouse to wait for other living beings, watch the day start, and wait for GunDiva.
GunDiva in her job as crew.

Suddenly there were many people around: all the crew and cast members for the day.  Horses being brushed and shuffled from one spot to another.  It's busy times getting a TV show - or in this case, many shows - taped.  The weather cooperated for the most part and we spent our day watching the goings-on and lounging with Skeeter, who was taking it all in.  Whenever an episode finished up, a cheer would go up with lots of clapping of hands.  I swear that horse thought it was all for her.  She paid attention to every little detail.

We used the time to best advantage by hanging out at the hitchrail, otherwise known as the patience post.  Skeeter doesn't have one at home and has never had to stand tied to anything for any length of time.  One time we tried tying her to her horse trailer but discovered the tie bar was not nearly strong enough; just one pull bent it.  Not good.  She did stand tied to our truck for about an hour with a saddle on one time, but that's just not the same as having to patiently stay put for long periods of time (an important tool for every horse).
Notice the brush - labeled "horse brush"

When it was getting close to time for Skeeter's turn, GunDiva had gone off to get her 'show clothes' on and I brushed Skeeter 'til she shone.  Bill helped get the dreads out of her tail while I did her mane; I was even able to spray fly spray on her legs (even though GunDiva said she hated fly spray).  She was quiet and calm the whole time we worked on her, resting her chin on my shoulder as we watched the final prep for her.  Julie had talked to GunDiva about how they would do the shoot:  show some of the ground work that they normally did, introduce her to a bit for the first time, hop on her back bareback, and maybe even saddle her up for a quick shot.  Now remember, we had done all of that at home - except the bit part - and it seemed a dream to get it all on tape.
Being a good horse.

Waiting to enter the round pen - good horse.

It was decided to use Julie's newly refurbished round pen - just in case.
Watching the camera crew.
The clapper board comes in - and things start getting exciting.

Imagine everyone's surprise when GunDiva led her quiet, sedate horse in - and she went ballistic!  She couldn't stand still, didn't listen to direction, was just basically obnoxious.  When GunDiva leaned across her back, you would have thought she had never felt weight there before.  It was pretty quickly decided that Julie would take over.  In came the flag and the master.  We had a pretty exciting 20 minutes or so...and the cameras never quit rolling.  One of Julie's most common comments is not being able to actually get pictures of a horse being, well a horse that had problems.  Not so that day!!!  Skeeter did a great show of what a wild Mustang can do when it doesn't find any comfort in what's happening - but she was beautiful; all the majestic motion you see in the movies, happening right before our eyes.  Skeeter did finally calm down and 'get her brains back' as GunDiva put it.  She turned into her normal sweet self for the bit part, letting Dale Myler slip the headstall over her head and placing the bit in her mouth for the first time, then teaching how to use the reins at the withers to teach the horse to 'give to the bit'.  We weren't allowed to take pictures during the actual shoot because the big cameras pick up the shutter clicks.  You will have to wait for the episodes.

We are all still laughing at Bill (and Julie) getting drug around the corral by a horse not wanting haltered, or Skeeter trying to chase the dog away from the gate, or any number of other stunts she pulled in a short period of time.  We can hardly wait for the episodes to appear on RFD-TV; the footage was fantastic!
It all ended on a good note, with a hug from Julie and a calm horse!

Skeeter walked quietly back to her pen and spent the rest of the afternoon eating her hay.  We watched the last of the filming for the day, a horse getting adjusted by a chiropractor, and decided to head for home.  Skeeter did give us a bit of attitude about loading in the trailer; she was just DONE.  It's amazing what a granola bar will do, though.  As soon as GunDiva walked off, I showed Skeeter the bar and on the trailer she went.  Pam loaded her horse up and we started down the road.  We stopped and ate at a cute little bar in Buena Vista and felt quite content.

That contentment ended rather abruptly, though, when Bill commented on the brakes acting 'mushy' on one of the long downhills.  He decided we had better stop at the next station on the way to check it out.  Oops - no brakes!  Fortunately the trailer brakes held and we got stopped safely.  Turns out we had a blown brake cyclinder on the truck and all the brake fluid had leaked out.  Bill was able to do a temporary fix and we were back on the road.  We pulled into GunDiva's place at 12:30 a.m.  Skeeter was pretty excited to get out of that trailer, but she still unloaded like a lady.  Ranger hopped on the trailer about as fast as Skeeter exited.  He was ready to go home.  We pulled into the Lodge at 2:30 a.m. to the hollering of all three of our horses greeting each other.

We had traveled over 600 miles towing horses.

And at 5:30 a.m. we were cooking breakfast for our guests.  Back to business as usual.  Our 24 hours went fast and we had a great time!
Bionic Cowgirl

Friday, July 17, 2015

Baby Sitter

This is Ranger.  The horse.

On the day before this day Beel telled me "Hey Buddy, we're going on a road trip.  Trailer tires, and then you go stay with our daughter and son in law's horses for a couple days.  You'll be baby sitting Copper while we take the mare to film an episode of  Horse Master."

I do not understand.

I went alone into the rolling shed behind the stinky truck.  The Mare and That Kid did not go with me.  That was not the usual.

We stopped at a people filled place that made scary noises like the ga-rage near my home place.  I do not like the sounds.  Beel says the sounds are air-renches and im-pact hamurs.  I do not like them.

The man tooked the black rounds off of the rolling shed.  I was not too scared.  I watched and eated hay.
The man putted the black rounds back on the shed and we wented away.

I do not understand.

Then we wented to The Girls house that had The Other Mare.  There was also another horse now.
 I showed them around their yard in case they had not noticed what was there.
I finded hay for them.
Then I telled the new guy that it was my hay because I finded it for them.  It was mine.  He could have some when I was done.  Or he could have some if I could not see him eat.
He was pretty good behaving.  I am sure I will have to tell him again later.  Horses can be not very smart.

Sometimes they do not understand.

Ranger.  The horse.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Testy Moany Al

This is Ranger.  The horse.

  Beel telled me that I was a testy moany Al for the food dirt.  I do not know what that means.  He sayed I should tell you how I feel now and how I feeled back then.

  When I gotted back from the cold-time-they-do-not-bother-us-place and wented to the hot-time-mountain-living place my legs hurted.

  A lot.
  All of the time.

  When I walked up the hill for morning food I would go very slow and I had to stop a lot. "That Mare" and "The Kid" would push me away from the food place and I was hungry.  And when Beel would take me for walks sitting on me I would go very slow because he gotted very fat over the cold time.  He even started to use a smaller back chair but he was still too fat.

  Then Waneeta started putting dirt food in with my bowl food.  On the first time I smelled it.  But I ate it because...bowl food.  It did not make me sick.  So now I eated it all of the time.

  My feel bad does not hurt any more.  Beel is not fat any more.  "That Kid" goes away when I say so now.  "That Mare" is still a mare though.

  Beel telled me to say that it is not food dirt.  It is "Natural Stride for Horses" and Waneeta buyed it from "Cavallo Horse and Rider".

  Waneeta sayed she is not going to give me food dirt any more if I do not quit kicking and biting "That Kid".

I think she do not know how badly he needs to be kicked and bitten.

Ranger the Horse

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Spring has Sprung

B-  So, Ranger.  What do you know about this?

R-  Go away now Beel.

B-  No, really, horse.  What do you know about this "electric fence gate spring coil" that is stretched to 10 times it's maximum length, the hook/handle is broken off and it was found lying  20 yards from the gate it was supposed to be hooked up to?

R-  That is a very dangerous snake-monster.  It bites.  You are holding it.  Go away now.

B-  This spring was installed less than a month ago.  It replaced the last one that got all stretched out of shape.  Which had replaced the one before THAT that got ruined.  I could never figure out who was destroying these things, until this time, I found a wad of brown and black tail hairs tangled up in it.

R-  It will bite you Beel.  And it will follow you and keep on biting you when you run away Beel.  Go away now.

B-  Both of your pasture mates are white horses.  Only you have brown and black hair.

R-  If you just stand near it it will attack you Beel.

B-  Maybe you should swish you tail just a little further away from the gate from now on?

R-  Maybe you should go away Beel.  It is mean.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

It's All About the Grass

B-  Howdy Ranger.  How's my old horse?

R-  Hello Beel.  I am good.  I would be better if I got some grass like the neighbor horses got.

B-  Yeah, it was another round up, Buddy.  All 40 of them got out and took off.  At least until the grass and weeds that bloomed this spring distracted them from their escape. It was pretty easy to convince them to go home and re-hook the panel they pushed open.

R-  I heared you call them bad ducks.  They are horses Beel.  Not ducks.

B-  Yeah Bud, but the tourist season is in full swing.  Ducks is about all I could think of to shout at them that was... okay.  Speaking of bud, grass, weed and tourists, lately we've had dozens of people show up at the lodge looking for the "Bud  Depot" marijuana dispensary.  I finally asked one of them why they thought we were dope dealers.  He said "I have an app on my phone that sent me here."  "Really?" I asked.  "And what makes you think that the app is any less f---ed up than the guy got while he was researching it?"  We just don't sell grass or weed here.

R-  Why would the peoples want to buy grasses?  They grow out of the ground.  You just eat them.

B-  Can't tell you Buddy.  They do seem kind of confused, though.  Maybe I could sell them a zip-lock full of dandelions.  "Here's your weed.  That will be $50."

R-  I like dandelions.  They taste good.  I would still like some grass like the neighbor horses got.

B-  Here you go my friend.  No charge.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

A Day at the Dentist

Well, both of my horses were due for a good dental checkup.  In fact, at last Fall's vet check, doc had made a note that my mare would need some work done this year.  Talk about an understatement!  She has been out-of-sorts for most of this spring; very touchy about her back, giving me grief over any downhill work.  I soon decided it was probably a tooth problem so I made arrangements with the Livery to have the equine dentist/chiropractor (he does both) check her out when he was up here.

So today was the day.  I had made appointments for both of mine, hoping my gelding's teeth wouldn't prove problematic.  He had to have some major work done as a young horse (4 yo) - a lot of filing and a tooth pulled - but has been good since. He's now 13 and has just had the light floats our vet does, about every two years.  Turns out, his teeth were in 'great shape' and the dentist suggested a two year plan.  He does, however, have a cracked wolf tooth (the one he still has), but said as long as it doesn't cause him any problems with a bit, we should just leave it.  He reaches for the bit when I offer it, so I guess it's not an issue and we were doing OK.

Not too surprising that Jesse's teeth didn't fair as well.  She had several hooks and a couple that were keeping her jaw from sliding forward, which meant she had trouble bending at the poll - which is exactly why she was hollowing out, throwing her head up and crow-hopping when I would ask her to go down hills.  We have some pretty steep hills here and this was quite telling, since she is usually great about being a 'mountain goat'.  Other than that, he said she had great teeth and should be good to go.  He did notice though, that she happens to have wolf teeth under the skin.  He asked if I rode in a bit, which I do, but my guys have never shown bit marks on their teeth, so he said if I was ever to go to a harsher bit (why would I do that?) or work dressage, that I would need to have those removed as that pressure could cause enough pain for her to go over backwards on me.  It's quite an extensive surgery and he suggested we not bother for the way I rode.

He uses a light sedation, and the best part was that he was able to adjust her hips while she was more relaxed (he could barely touch her before), so when she came out from under the meds, she had her normal walk back.  It was sooooo nice to see... and actually the really best part was how well behaved both horses were for him.  It always makes me happy when my horses don't give their 'helpers' any trouble.

It was a good day, and maybe tomorrow I can hop on my girl and see if she feels better!
Bionic Cowgirl

Friday, June 5, 2015

Fancy Foot Work

B-  Hey, Ranger!  Let's go for a walk.  You had your feet trimmed a couple days ago and the next day you gimped around a little.  Let's see if you're better now.

R-  Okay Beel.

B-  Juanita is going to walk Reba the lodge dog along with us.  We'll see if the dog is any better at ignoring the BIG SCARY horse.

R-  Ree-bah is a very strange little dog.  Why is it on a rope Beel?

B-  We need to keep her from running off if you scare her.

R-  Why am I on a rope Beel?  I am not scared of the little dog.

B-  I am just going to lead you for a while.  I want to keep the weight off your feet til we see if they are okay.

B- Alrighty, Buddy.  We've gone about a half mile, and you haven't tripped or limped once.  I'll just climb on bare-back and finish up this walk by riding.

R-  All right Beel.


B-  Ranger, dag-nab it, It's just a...


B-  Fine, let's step off the road here and let the truck go on...

R-  JUMP. 

B-  Wait-  I'm on you bareback and...


BNow just hold on...



B-  Whew.  Fine, you jerk.  We're off the road and the truck with the big pipe on it is passing by.

R-  You do not have to worry about Ree-bah being afraid Beel.  She was very brave when the monster went by.

Sunday, May 31, 2015


B-  Hey Ranger!  What's up?

R-  Trees and birds Beel.

B-  No no.  That's just a greeting like "What's happening?" or "How's tricks?"

R-  I am eating and I do not do tricks.

B-  Boy, that's a fact.  Say, speaking of tricks, yesterday the oldest daughter, her husband and I went to see the finals in the "Extreme Mustang Makeover" contest.  A couple dozen trainers took one unhandled mustang each and spent 3 months training them.  Yesterday was the finals and the best trainer/mustang was chosen.  Those horses could do some amazing stuff! Liberty work, riders cracking whips off them, crossing scary obstacles like tarps and stuff, side passing, roping cattle.  Stuff I couldn't teach you in another 10 years.

R-  Did the train peoples feed the horses?

B-  Yeah, of course!

R-  Did all the peoples leave the horses alone when they ate?

B-  Well, sure.

R-  That would be nice.

B-  Huh.  You saying you would do tricks if I left you alone?

R-  No Beel.  I am saying I am eating.  Leave me alone.

B-  I'll tell you what.  If you will "side pass" for me, I'll let you eat.

R-  What is a "slide-past"?

B-  Side pass. It is when you walk sideways so your side is going first.

R-  That sounds like it might make me hurt.  I think you would have to be crazy like a dog to walk like that.  Walk forward.  Back up.  Turn.  That will make you go anywhere.

B-  Yeah, but if you side on up to a gate, I can open the gate without getting off of you.

R-  You want me to do tricks because you are lazy like a cat.  Climb off.  Open the gate.  We walk through.  Close the gate.  Climb on.  No sliding past.

B-  I guess it's some sort of mustang thing.  The horse that sold for the most at the end of "EMM" was the one that was not going to do ANY of the tricks she had been taught for the "free style" portion of the contest.  It was kind of funny to watch, but that mare had her own agenda for that part of the show, and the trainer could only shake her head in disbelief.  The horse was just done with doing tricks.

R-  She was probably hungry Beel.

B-  Speaking of hungry, we had some "Mule Churned Ice Cream"  It was actually quite good.  Maybe you could get a job with them.  They don't have to side pass.

R-  I hope the mules made you do tricks before they gived you the eye-scream.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


B-  Good mornin' Ranger!  How's the old horse doing today?

R-  I see you Beel.  I am good.

B-  Glad to hear it.  Sorry I haven't been by in the last day or so.  Family picnic at one of the kids' houses.I burned the burgers.  What have you been up to lately?

R-  On one of the days before today one of the next door horses knocked their fence over.  The neighbor horses all runned away and went to the scary road next to us.  Peoples I do not know stopped their little stinky rolling boxes and chased the neighbor horses back off of the scary road.

B-  Yeah, Ranger, I was here when that happened.  The folks came by the lodge and asked us where the people that ran the livery were.  I told them "They've been in my kitchen talking with my wife for the last 5 minutes."  I guess the ponies were just waiting for an unsupervised moment to make their break.

R-  I remember now.  You and Waneeta camed and helped the neighbor peoples chase them back in and set up the fence again.

B-  It was great that those people stopped their cars and helped get them off the highway.  Lives may have been saved.

R-  Then on the day before today I saw the neighbor lady put up a biting wire.

B-  Yeah, I heard her say she was going to put up a hot wire.

R-  I seed one of the bad horses start to walk up to the biting wire to smell it.  The other bad horse pushed him out of the way and touched it first .  He was not happy.  He was not happy all day.

B-  I don't think any of them have ever had experience with electric fences before.  They really smart when you touch them.

R-  He is smarter now.  Just not happy.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Just a Ride - Much Needed

The outdoors were calling our names today.  After our guests left to go hiking, we headed to the horses.
This is a HAPPY face!  On one of my horses, my other one in tow, my honey on his horse, a sunny day, blue skies .....  I could go on and on.
Down our favorite trail, we spot several live deer and .... bones.
It is a dead thing Beel.
After inspecting the bones, it was determined that a deer had come to its demise, maybe by animal since it was picked absolutely clean except for some hair around a couple feet.  However, Bill did decide that someone had cut the antlers off with a saw.
My guys stood patiently by while Bill did his inspections.  We noticed a good deal of downed trees from the winter winds; most of them had been dead already and just couldn't take the wind, but what a beautiful place to ride.
I love this shot of Twin Sisters, with the blueness of the sky and the clouds building behind it.
We rode around the pond.  Washoe had a moment of goofiness when a couple of ducks took flight just as we were passing and managed to get Jesse's lead rope under his tail.  I do love my horses;  his moment of goofiness was a quick scoot to the side, then freezing in place so I could drop the rope from under his tail, while Jesse stood still until we were ready to go again.  Then off they both walked like nothing had happened.

We checked out many of the trails, deciding we should get back up there soon with shovels to prevent more runoff damage.  All in all it was a very pleasant two hours, and now - it's snowing!

Bionic Cowgirl

Friday, May 1, 2015

If There Ain't Pictures, It Didn't Happen

 There is a saying among bloggers, that if there are not pictures to prove it, it didn't happen.

Several days ago, I took Ranger out for a ride with one of the new wranglers from across the street and his horse.  We had a great, though short, ride, because of the snow drifts still blocking the trails.  I have no pictures to post.

 I forgot my camera.

The next day, Juanita and I took Juanita's mom to lunch for her birthday (nineteen, with lots of experience) along with a couple of our kids and some of our grand kids.  We went to a Fort Collins landmark called "Vern's".  I spent lunch being watched by what may be the greatest example of taxidermy I have ever seen.  I didn't get a picture.

I forgot my camera.

However, our oldest daughter took a picture of the cat for me with her phone.

I love her.

This lion stared at me the whole meal with this wide-eyed "WTF?" sneer on his puss.

Made me very happy.

The following day we went to help our eldest daughter and her husband play with their horses.  At one point I was playing "dead man" draped across the back of her mare.  The stink'n horse reached back and bit me high on the back of my thigh.  No pictures.

I forgot my camera.

(And no, I'm not taking a picture of the bite mark on my rear now that I'm home, even though I have my camera here.)

Later that day, we went to a wild life refuge north of Denver.  The Wild Animal Sanctuary is a BLAST.  It is chock full of lions and tigers and bears.  Oh my.  They are mostly animals that have been taken by law enforcement or turned in because they outgrew the apartment that people were keeping them in.  Odd that you wouldn't want to share your 800 square foot apartment with an 800 pound tiger...

I didn't get any pictures of the animals or the mile long elevated walkway.

I forgot my camera.

I am a failure as a blogger.  There just ain't 'nuthing happening.


Monday, April 20, 2015

Mini Vacation - Gymnastics Regionals Level 9 Competition

Our youngest daughter invited me to join her and her two daughters for a short trip this weekend. It was Autobot's regionals competition of level 9 gymnasts.  It sounded like a fun 3-generation trip.  Billl was going to drive me down to their house early Friday morning.
This is what it looked like that morning:  18 inches of new snow.  Bill and I spent an hour shoveling to locate the car; shoveling to feed the horses; shoveling for guests who were booked that night.  Good exercise, you say?

Us girls finally got on our way just to discover we were in the midst of a huge traffic jam outside of Denver.  Due to poor visibility - which had caused several bad accidents - the highway we needed was closed and traffic was being routed around in circles!  We weren't allowed to continue east, and after being sent back west, were told we could not get back to Denver.  Thanks to having traveled some of the back roads in that area to visit a friend who used to live there, I recognized one of the county roads.  We headed south, picked up a road going east and managed to skirt the whole mess, returning to I-70 about five miles later.  We continued on our way for a great drive.
This is where we landed in Wichita, KS.  Sure looks different!  It was a condo complex converted into 'hotel rooms' - a very nice place to spend the weekend.
Granddaughter Asset located a new friend, Jack (alias Flappy).  When we arrived he was inside the pool area standing very awkwardly.  Turns out he has a broken leg, which does not deter him in the least from his normal routine.  A lady Nebalie spoke to said she had worked there for 10 years and two ducks, Jack and Jill came every year.  They laid eggs at the river and took turns 'babysitting' them.  She didn't know how Jack had gotten injured, but hoped he would survive.  Asset did her part by toasting Jack a piece of bread every morning.

It was planned to spend the day at Cowtown Living Museum on Saturday, but when we got there it was pouring down rain, so we opted to wait until later.  Asset and I stayed at the hotel while Nebalie and Autobot went to the meet to watch a team mate compete.  Three members of Autobot's team qualified to attend this meet; quite an honor.
Asset and I walked around the neighborhood when the rain quit, puddle jumping and various things.  She started noticing the tiny, tiny flowers that were popping up and wanted to make her mom a bouquet.  She also found a nutshell to use as a vase.  This child is quite the problem-solver.
Finally made it to Cowtown, a living museum, meaning you literally walk into the life of the people living in that time.  This was civil war reenactment weekend, so soldier's tent cities were set up in several locations, with women tending cooking fires, men cleaning weapons, and kids playing various games of the time.
Two 'enemies' discussing the working of the cannon.
Several people were teasing this sheriff about his hard job.
Apparently it was this one's turn to patrol.  This was the complementary horse; an 18 yo who worked the museum a couple times a week.  His owner said he enjoyed it, especially the end of the day/dinner time when he got to graze on the grass at the edge of town.
You were able to walk into most of the buildings.  This one was the first house built in Wichita and reconstructed at the current location, then set up like it had been.  It was used as a bed-and-breakfast, with the guests staying in tiny rooms upstairs.  It's a lovely wood stove but glad I don't have to cook our breakfasts on it.
In the late 1800's the town had a pump in the middle of town for water.  Asset learned it took a special technique to actually get a trickle of water; she decided it was hard work.

Show time!  The cannon has been moved onto the battlefield and we get to see it in action - a noisy thing it was.
Here come the opposing soldiers.  They spend a good deal of time firing from behind a row of logs, but when it looked like they were making progress they started moving forward as a group, kneeling down to fire their weapons, then moving forward again.
Here's the cannon again as it is moved back toward the farm houses.  These guys had been firing from  behind a couple of large dirt burms and got routed out.  I didn't quite understand how it was safer firing from behind a large fallen tree than dirt mounds, but hey, it was a re-enactment, right?  My days of cowboys-and-Indians or war games came a little later in history, when better strategy had been developed.
Of course, you have to have the crowd cheering on the winning soldiers as they march through town.  I do have to say they play fair; the opposite side had won the morning battle.
Here's the real reason we were in Wichita - the Level 9 Regional Gymnastics Meet.  Girls from seven states all lined up (this is maybe 1/6 of them), and this is the last of three sessions.  Autobot is about midway, with the turquoise on her leo.  To qualify, they each had to accumulate a certain number of all-around points at their respective state competitions.
Here's our girl setting up for her spin on the beam.  It's the only shot I could get to turn out.  It was not one of her better meets, but she put forth a valiant effort against awesome competition.  To make it this far the first year of competing this level is pretty awesome in itself.  We are very proud of you, Autobot!!!

Bionic Cowgirl - playing grandma this weekend.