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 24, 2016

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thankful It Went Away

A glorious Thanksgiving morning - and feeding time for the horses.  OK, we have a fresh layer of snow - only an inch or so - the sun is shining and the wind ... is howling!

J:  Hey, guys.  Breakfast.  Where are you?  Why are you hovering behind the shed?

Jesse:  Listen! (another gust of wind and a crackling sound)

J:  Come on guys, it's just the wind blowing something.

They start walking toward their bowls and the crackling comes again on the wind and they are WILD HORSES.  Gotta run, run, run!  The wind settles for a minute and they come when called.  I try to coax Ranger to his bowl.  Nothing doing.

Ranger:  Make the monster go away, Waneeta.

J:  What monster?

Suddenly I catch sight of a dark shape being sucked around like a black ghost; under the cabin's deck; around the back yard; into the trees, back to the deck.  I watch for a minute and realize the wind has sucked the cover off the BBQ grill on the deck and it becomes a huge black balloon being foisted around mightily by the wind gusts.  I can't help but laugh.  I crawl out of the pen and chase down the 'monster', but it was such fun watching the horses be 'wild', that I rolled it up into a large ball and crawled right back into the pen, crackling it all the way.

J:  Come on guys.  It's just a piece of plastic.

All three horses in unison:  It's a monster.  You called it a 'gooots'.

J:  Ghost.  A ghost, not goats.  Come touch this.

Washoe:  I'll come but I am NOT touching that.

Jesse:  Wow.  It is just plastic.  Let's play!

Ranger:  Don't come near me with that thing.  Well, .... ,maybe.

It turned into such a game it was hard for me to go back inside to work on the dinner rolls.

Happy and peaceful Thanksgiving.  Remember why we have this holiday and enjoy!
Bionic Cowgirl

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Leaving Their Mark on the World

We went for a wonderful late fall ride yesterday.  Juanita was on Washoe and I was on Ranger ponying Jesse.  The ride was wonderful.  The temperatures  have been well above normal this fall and yesterday was no exception.

We wore orange as one or another of the hunting seasons is still in swing, and I ride an elk colored horse.

The road in front of the lodge has been under construction/repair/remanufacture for the last three+ months.  New culverts, new drainage ditches, new bridges. 

And as of yesterday, new pavement. 

We took our horses out for a hour and a half, and when we got home, the second half of our road had been done.

The "steam roller" had already pressed the pavement a couple of times, so maybe the pavement was well packed.  Maybe.  

So Juanita and I thought "Let's do it!" and we crossed the road on our horses to get home.

 Ummm, horse tracks.

 In the pavement.

We felt really bad.  Really.

And we giggled like a couple 6 year olds.

They ran the roller over that stretch a couple more times and the tracks mostly disappeared.



Saturday, October 15, 2016

October Ride

B-  Hey Ranger!  You wanna go for a ride?

R-  No Beel.  You make me tired.

B-  Okay, how 'bout you carry the granddaughter instead of me, and I'll ride Washoe.

R-  That would be good Beel.  She is not fat.

B-  Great! Then we...wait.  Are you saying I'm fat?

R-  Like a moose.

B-  You are just getting old.

R-  And you are mean like a moose too.  I heared one of the peoples call one of the moose monsters  Beel-winkel on this morning.

B-  "Bullwinkle".  And careful, that would make you the squirrel.

B-   So, this would be a good time to try the new device on Washoe.  He has a REAL eating disorder,  JCS syndrome.   Just. Can't. Stop.  So he gets a "NibbleNot" on his halter.

R-  You sayed it looked like some lawn-jer-hay on his face.  I do not know what that is.

B-  Lingerie.  It looks like he stuck his head in a laundry basket and came out with a nose thong.

R-  He looks strange.

B-  Let's see if it works.  

B-  Nothing to eat here

B-  Nope, can't get a bite!

B-  Still nope.

B-  Ha! Nothing!

B-  So sad.

B-  Why bother.

R-  I know the rule about no eating when I am doing work.
B-  Wait a minute!  What's that?

R-  She sayed I could.

B-  She just didn't say no fast enough and you forgot what you were doing.  Squirrel.

R-  Moose.

Monday, September 26, 2016

A Misunderstanding

"Alright.  Which one of you guys tore the fence apart again . . . Jesse?"  The fence gets 'dismantled' a lot, right where the feeder hooks on to it.  Jesse is notorious for destroying the cross buck pieces when she gets bored from being in the pen; not getting to work.  She hasn't been worked much at all this year as we are trying to get her back and hip healed.  Apparently her back is too long to carry weight well, so carrying me around for long days for the last 12.5 years has taken its toll on her lower lumbar region and she has developed arthritis in her left hip, to the point of making her lame on that side.  It was very noticeable when we brought them up from winter pasture last spring and we have spent the summer with massage, anti-inflamatories, and supposed rest.  Well, now she feels better and nothing is safe.  One of our vets said I might be able to work her up to 2 - 3 hr. rides 'now-and-then', but no more of the tough six hour rides we like to get to our mountain lakes.

Alas, I digress.  All this to explain why I would blame my mare for further destruction. I put boards back as best I could in the dark and tied their slow feed hay net to the feeder.  Then I climbed inside the pen to tie the other end and the horses went crazy.  Even Ranger - the old man - demonstrated his famous all four feet in the air bucking style.  They jumped, kicked, bucked and ran around like fools; not their normal feeding frenzy at all.  They finally quit and came up to me to get fed, but were still quite hyper.  I put it down to being cool out and dark.

Fast forward to bedtime.  Bill goes out each night to check the cars (bears, you know) just before locking the front door for the night.  He came back in and asked if I had seen the moose when it walked across our parking lot.  What moose?  The one that left the huge tracks in the sand just behind the cars.  There were no moose tracks there when I had crossed to feed the horses a couple hours earlier, but the tracks he showed me were definitely moose.

Bill then suggested that maybe it was not my mare, but a moose who broke up the fence, trying to get at the horses' hay - and they were just telling me the story of all the excitement.  That makes a much better story, don't you think?

Bionic Cowgirl

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Attack of the Killer Carrots

B-  Hey Ranger!  Come on over!  TREAT!!!

R-  Hello Beel.

B-  Here you go buddy, have a carrot.

R-  Nope.

B-  Now Ranger, you love carrots.  Take this.

R-  Nope.  They bite.

B-  Carrots do not bite.  They are tasty vegetables.  Not prone to attacking horses.

R-  They bite you.

B-  Ranger, our guest told me what happened.  She said she was trying to give you a carrot and you were standing in the mud, leaning against the metal feeder.  And she bumped the hot-wire.  And you got a shock when you touched the carrot.  It WASN'T the carrot biting you!

R-  Bite.

B-  Juanita says you will take one from her sometimes, and then think better of it and back away and not take any more.

R-  I forget.  Then I remember.  Not safe.  They bite.

B-  Juanita says you will take them from her if she goes into the pen with you.

R-  They do not bite in here.

B-  Okay, I'll climb in and give you a couple.  Here you go.  You are one odd duck, buddy.

R-  Bite me.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Sleep-over

This is Ranger.  The horse.

Many sun-ups ago Beel and Waneeta wented and telled us the horses that we gotted a job to do.  We needed to teach some other horses how to walk outside.  This sounded strange to me.  Maybe the others were crazy like dogs and only ran outside.

B-  Now Ranger, it was only about 3 days ago, and we told you our daughter and her husband's horses had never been ridden in the mountains and we needed you guys to help them get over any fear out on the trails.  So we needed to introduce our herds to each other so we could ride together in the mountains later this fall.

Beel I am saying this story.   Not you.

B-  Sorry.  

Beel and Waneeta putted all us the horses in the rolling shed behind the stinky truck and  we wented to a different horse place.

I knowed some of the other horses.  We had eated and sleeped in the same place before.  But there was a new mare that was new.  She did try to kick me very hard.  So I wented away from her.  She did try again.  So I wented away again.  She did try again so I maked her stop.

B-  That was really amazing watching you, at about 30 years old, chase that  young mare around.  You were running backwards faster than I can run forward.  And kicking to boot!

Beel it would be better if you were quiet.

B-  Right.  My bad.

Then it was time to put That Mare in with the new herd.

B-  Yeah.  Jesse is the lead mare in our herd and she wasn't about to take any guff from


B-  Oops.

That Other Mare telled them all she was boss mare.  Again and again. A lot of times.  Then they sayed yes.

Then the kid wented in.  Most times The Kid is not smart and makes fights with everyhorse that is new.  This time he just breathed their air and walked away.  He did not fight them.  They did not fight him.  I think the new horses were tired of getting kicked on.

Then we the horses all eated and sleeped.  Then the dark came so we eated.  And sleeped.  Then the sun came back so we eated.  And sleeped.

One of the new horses scratched each other with That Mare.  I think he liked her.  He cried when we leaved at a later.

We getted back into the rolling shed and wented home.

B-  All  three of the horses in our daughters and her husbands herd were missing some patches of hair, or had dents from being kicked.  Not bad mind you, but every one of them.  There wasn't a mark on our herd.  I think you guys are better fighters.  Or just mean.  Herd merging should be much less exciting  next time.  The hierarchy has been set.  Trail rides are eminent!

You were very wrong Beel.  The other horses walked just fine outside.  They only runned when chasing was happening.

The chicken birds there did not walk to good though.

Ranger.  The horse.



Thursday, August 11, 2016

Slightly Off Day

Yesterday, we had sort of a 'day off', meaning we could break away from the Lodge and attempt to get some town chores done and maybe have a bit of fun.  Yes, we had guests, but they were all staying through and were fine with us being gone for a bit.

I had my yearly physical a couple days ago and was told that our doctor's office no longer draws blood for testing (insurance won't pay), so I got to go to a "certified phlebotomist" for the draw.  We also needed to get brake pads for the van and pick up more milk.  You know, just getting small stuff done.

Our oldest daughter (GunDiva) had suggested we ride their horses as an option for the day.  That actually sounded fun - even if it meant a long drive - so off we went to her place.  The horses happily greeted us at the fence, bringing with them a tumble weed they apparently like to play with; it had been quite a while since we had been there so they got a lot of loving and a good brushing.
After brushing them out, it seemed like too much work to saddle up, so we opted to ride bareback, and oh well, let's just use their halters.  While I was brushing Copper, Bill had hopped up on Skeeter.
The extra horse is Pearl, who turned into quite a pest because she wanted attention too.  I spent about 15 minutes just leading Copper around with Pearl following us so Bill could work with Skeeter 'unattached'.

We discussed Pearl and decided it was great training to just ride around in the corral with her being a pest so the horses could get used to paying attention to their rider and ignoring a loose horse, so I headed to the fence to get on Copper.
Neither horse thought using the fence as a mounting block was a big deal.  It took me a bit to get Copper to move.  Just sitting up straight on my horses means to move out.  I know neither of these horses like much leg, so I carefully nudged with my calves and he tightened up into a ball.  OK. Let's see.  How about a kiss.  Yep, that worked - we had forward motion.  It's been a really long time since I have been on this green of a horse, so it was a lot of trial and error, but Copper was patient with me.  My last 'green' horse has been extensively ridden for the last 10 years now.

This steering thing in a rope halter was very new to him but he picked it up quickly; much better after I remembered to keep my hands low and wide apart so the signals were clear.  We had a pretty good time trying to avoid the pest and not run into Skeeter and Bill, but it gave him a reason as to why I would want him to turn a certain way.  Our only near mishap was when Pearl kept jabbing him in the flank with her nose;  Bill came to our rescue by riding Skeeter in between us and Pearl.  Copper had given thought to a crow hop when he realized it wasn't me tapping him.
Apparently Copper always has his ears back like this when he is being ridden.  He's not mad or upset; just paying very close attention.  He is such a sensitive horse!  When Jesse has her ears like that it means she is upset with whatever Bill is doing with Ranger.
Bill got much more forward motion with Skeeter, but he has had more 'ride time' on her.   This was my first time on Copper and I was very tentative, which made him more so, too.

 All in all, we had great fun and everything went well, ending on a happy note.
Thanks, GunDiva, for sharing your horses, and Jay, too.
Bionic Cowgirl

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

What can I say? That's Beel for you!

A week ago or so, Nebalee, Asset and I went up to the Lodge to have a HellHat making party. As we were assembling our HellHats, Beel was playing with the discards. I knew he had to have something up his sleeve.

Can't you just see the wheels turning?
It took us about an hour to complete our project and when we were done, Asset and I both had HellHats that perfectly fit our personalities.

I happily posted about our project on Facebook as we went along, not thinking a thing about it. When I got home, I looked at the comments and found this:

Beel's "Hel-mutt" made from the crown of the hat and my discarded helmet visor.
(If you want the story behind the HellHats and the process, click over to Tales from the Trail.)

Monday, August 8, 2016

Circus Mare


I (GunDiva) hate, hate, *hate* circus tricks. I think they're dumb and not anything that a horse would do on their own.

Hate them.

I know a lot of people think it's fun or cute to teach their horse to sit on command, but I don't so I have no intention of teaching any circus tricks to Skeeter.

One morning, Jay and I unloaded a new 3X4 bale. Skeeter must have had an itchy butt, because she backed right up to the bale and started scratching herself on it. Next thing I know, she was sitting on the bale. Full-on SITTING! Both hind legs off the ground, butt on the bale, front legs supporting her.

So much for me not teaching her circus tricks - apparently, she's going to teach herself.

Stupid mare.

I know, I know. Pics or it didn't happen. Beel illustrated for me.
 (There are useful tricks out there that I don't mind. Mom teaching Jesse to fetch has been amazing. Drop something while riding? "Jesse, pick it up." Perfect.)

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Sit. Stay.

This is Ranger.  The horse.

In the hot time of the year Beel and Waneeta do not take us horses for many walks.  I think they do not visit with us much because there are many people visiting them in the people barn.  That is good.  Because it is hot.

On a day some days ago Beel wented to me and sayed "Hey Buddy!  We're taking some time off and going camping!"  He was very excited.  I thinked maybe cam-ping is a scary thing.

Beel and Waneeta putted head ropes on us the horses and putted us in the rolling shed behind the stinky truck.  There was hay in the rolling shed.  That was good. The Kid had hay.  That Mare had had.  And I had hay.

We wented past the cons-truck-shun workers that were making big holes by the road and moving pipe monsters.  Beel and Waneeta talked to them and then we wented away.  In the rolling shed.  With my hay.

We drived for many times.  Then we gotted to the cam-ping place.  Beel and Waneeta put up the little fence with the biting wire and let us not be in the rolling shed anymore.

It was not good.

There was not enough grass for me.  And That Mare and The Kid were eating it.  Definitely not good.

But then Waneeta   gived me hay in the tangled rope and that was good.  She also gived hay to the other horses.  Then Beel and Waneeta gived me water.  That was good.

Then Beel and Waneeta sitted down.  Only.  They just sitted there.  They did no thing.  When the sun wented away they getted into the rolling shed for some time.  Then Beel used words of power and then he sayed "Forgot to feed the horses."  He getted out of the rolling shed and putted a brick of hay in with me.  That was good.  Then Beel wented into the rolling shed again and I think he sleeped.

The Kid and That Mare and me fighted with the hay brick for many times.   It wented everywhere on the ground when we broke it.  Very good.  We banged on the rolling shed all night so Beel and Waneeta would know where we were and not worry.  All night.

When the sun was here again Beel and Waneeta getted out of the rolling shed and sitted there.  They drinked some cough-fee.  But mostly they just sitted there.

When the sun was hot they tooked us for a walk.  We the horses walked.  Beel and Waneeta just sitted on us. I only getted a little tired.

Then we eated grass.  That was good.  Beel just sitted there.

At the not so hot time Beel and Waneeta went away. Beel sayed "We're walking to have dinner at the restaurant a half mile away with a couple friends.  Be good!"   At almost dark they getted back.  Then they sitted.  Then they wented to bed.

When the sun gotted back Beel and Waneeta woked up.  Then they sitted.  They drinked cough-fee.  Then they sitted.

Finally they getted up and putted the biting fence away and putted us the horses back into the rolling shed and we wented home.  I had hay.  That was good.

When we getted home I sawed that the holes were gone but the pipe monsters were crouching under the dirt. I will need to look at those more later.

 My peoples talked to the cons-truck-shun workers.  "Looks good!  Those culverts should last a hundred years." And "Yup, we had a very relaxing trip."

I feel very bad for Beel and Waneeta.  They could not have had a good time on this cam-ping trip.

They never eated any hay.

Ranger.  The horse.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Local Entertainment

Granddaughter Autobot and I decided to go for a quick, short ride this afternoon.  A few weeks ago I had purchased a "slick and easy" grooming stone for the horses to help get dried grit off them.  Autobot used it on the grays while I finished some stuff in the office, then we hooked their reins to the sides of their halters, threw on the sheepskins that we use to ride bareback and headed out for the 1 1/2 mile loop through what we call town, trying to beat an incoming rain cloud.  Just a few yards down the road, Washoe spotted the big cement pipes that had been delivered this morning to the field across the road.  Head went up, butt scooted under as he shot forward and - I came off.  That stone really did slick up his back and the sheepskin underside is shiny from lots of use.  I felt it start to slide and grabbed for mane, which I had very nicely used detangler on and could not hang on to.  It slid right through my hand like it was greased.  Autobot was behind me on Jesse, both hanging out while grandma picked herself up off the ground.  At least I had a sheepskin to land on.

I walked Washoe over to the pipes, had him touch them to see they were not monsters, took him back to the mounting block and we started over.  Very pleasant ride until we got to the last half mile.  We came down the hill, around the corner and up went the giraffe head again.  Llamas!  Now, these grays are used to llamas, but he quickly noticed there was no fence between us and the seven llamas grazing the big corner pasture.  Feet frozen to the ground, undecided what to do.  Then Jesse walks by, nudging him with her nose (wimp) like it was an every day event, so on we went.

As if that was not enough, a little further along the road we heard this weird rattling and rumbling coming up behind us.  Looked back and saw two trollie cars
loaded with people for a special event at the local 5-star restaurant.  Wow!  Rode into a driveway and watched them go by as the horses grazed on the knee high grass there.  What next?  We rode past the trollies as the people unloaded and headed up the final hill for home.  At least neither horse was bothered by the odd looking contraptions.

Of course, this being Friday, the local 'Friday afternoon club' was in top form as we topped the hill; a lot of people outside the local wood working shop enjoying a cool one or two.  By this time the horses were in parade mode with cars lined up on both sides of the road and people hollering and waving at them; nothing was going to bother them.

We got home, put them away and went into the lodge.  When I asked Bill if our hikers had gotten to the pizzaria for dinner, he said, "Yep, and they got to see someone fall off a horse."  I'm not sure if they recognized that person as one of their hosts, but glad I could offer some entertainment.
Bionic Cowgirl

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Never Woulda Guessed

Yesterday Juanita and I got to do the "go to town for supplies" run together.  That is very unusual for this time of year, and was a welcome break from the day to day stuff of running the lodge.

We went to Ft. Collins to visit her mom, who took us out to lunch at "Vern's", just north of town.  A restaurant/cafe/truck stop that has been around for many, many years.  Always good food.

When we walked in, I saw on the specials board that they were serving a "CFS Burger with Bacon and Cajun Mayo".

Okay, I thought.  Bacon and Cajun.  What could possibly go wrong.

As it turns out CFS  is country fried steak.  They battered a hamburger, deep fried it until it was extra crispy,  smothered it in crushed crispy bacon bits, and slathered it with a Cajun spiced mayonnaise.  Served with french fries.


That may have been the best burger I have ever had!!!

 I rarely go into the kitchen uninvited.  (It's against health code rules and such).  But I couldn't help myself.  I thanked the cooks, and told them that was the best burger EVAH!

Sitting here this morning, I can still feel my arteries clogging and my cholesterol level must be approaching 1000.  

But it was so worth it.


Thursday, June 23, 2016


B-  WOW!  Juanita, we got all of the electronics unplugged just in time!  That lightning bolt hit the power pole RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET!  Power went out to the lodge for 10 seconds, but came back up.  I'm going to check on the horses.

B-  Ranger!  Jesse!  Washoe!  It's me walking around here with the flashlight.  Where are you guys?

B-  Hey!  All three of you charged up the hill from the stream.  Down there is a good place to hide from the lightning.  How are y'all doing tonight?  Did you see the lightning that hit right next to you?

B-  Jeeze, Washoe. You are shaking like a leaf.  And you, Jesse.  I'm not sure I've ever seen your eyes so big.  And you, Ranger...

R-  BEEL!  IT... THEY... AND THEN...  BOOM!!!

B-  Hang on Ranger, it's okay.  Just take a breath...


B-  Go back to bed, buddy.  Down the hill is a fine place to wait out the storm.


B-  Goodnight Ranger.  See you in the morning.


Saturday, June 4, 2016

Feats of Bravery

B-  How's my horse today?

R-  I feel good Beel.

B-  So Ranger, I see Anton the farrier made it by today and gave you an equine pedicure this morning.  How do your feet feel now?

R-  I feel good Beel.  You do not listen so good.  Ant-on is an ear-a-tating people.

B-  I'm sure you were very annoyed with him, but I just thought your feet might feel better now.  They had gotten pretty long on that soft winter pasture we had you guys on.

R-  I like the cold time place.  It has foods growing out of the ground.

B- I'm sure you do like it.  But you get fat and long of hoof there.

R-  Fat is good Beel.  It makes you safe.

B-  I'm not sure it made you feel safe the other day when the two moose showed up, while you were eating out in front of the lodge.

R-  Moose monsters are very bad and scary.

B-  Is that why you hid behind me when the two of them started crossing the road to visit with you?

R-  I have heared you tell other peoples to stand behind something so the moose monsters can not see them.

B-  Trust me, you can still be seen when you are hiding behind me.  Jerk.  I think they just thought you were a moose, too.  Til they got close enough to see you were actually just a chicken.  Bwaaak buckbuckbuck...

R-  I am a horse Beel.

B-  Buckbuck bwaaak...

R-  And you are an ear-a-tater.