3 July 2012

Girls Day at the Spa

Justin Bieber of the horse world

Ava and I went for a beautiful ride this weekend. We hopped on Coyote bareback, double, and meandered about the yard. We paused to watch the guys, her little brother Cade included, switching semis around to different trailers getting ready for wheat harvest. We let Coyote, who is not spoiled at all, stop to graze. Why do horses like to eat the flowers off Canadian Thistle? It does seem like it would be prickly.

Coyote grazing on thistle

When we finished riding Ava decided we needed to make the horses pretty. First it was only Jerry. Since she is a girl and all. We braided her forelock then we braided her mane. That was so much fun, she decided Nevil would like to be able to see. So we brought him in and braided his forelock, not his mane cause he’s a boy, and decided a bridle path might be good too.

Poor Coyote, turned out already, didn’t leave soon enough. So he got to come back to receive the works. That’s what he gets for sticking around to mock his now beautiful and manicured pasture mates.

I took pictures of Ava with her hair all braided to match the horses as she helped groom them, but my phone ate them. Stupid phone.

Before getting pretty
2 July 2012

Car Wash

A big job

Last weekend was hot horribly, miserably hot. Perfect weather to wash the…..


No simple washing of cars for us. Perhaps this weekend we will get down to those mundane matters.

Back view

The horribly dry weather has lead to an early and poor wheat harvest. We saw the first harvesters going on June 26 and probably won’t be far behind. Time to get ready. Every body knows a clean combine works so much more efficiently or at least cuts down on fire hazard.

On another note, I was in high school before I knew that warsh was not spelled with an R.

29 June 2012

Daisy Dog

The Daisy Dog found me last summer. Her wet cold nose pushed into my hand as I walked along. After jumping out of my skin I looked down to see a skinny little dog looking up at me. She wiggled and squirmed and begged to be petted.

“Why hello there” I said “are you for me?”

She said yes. It was very clear I swear I could hear her. So I took the Yellow dog with a pink nose home with me.

Daisy is still skinny and still little. She doesn’t believe in eating as there is too much to do in life. She doesn’t walk, she bounds, often visible in short burst as she clears the tops of three foot weeds chasing pheasants. She loves every one and every thing. Her joy is expressed clearly as she leaps up to greet any newcomer with happy licks and a furiously wagging tail. Not to say that she is ill mannered. She comes instantly when called and is a surprisingly good cow dog.Β  Mostly because she comes when called, a trait I have found to be rare in cow dogs. She easily goes all day behind the cows not pushing to hard or biting at heels.

Or she did until she discovered the joy of four wheelers. She loves four wheelers with an undying love. With that much energy why run when you could ride? Now she runs desperately to the nearest four wheeler and begs to be let on. She’s not picky she’ll ride with any one. She balances precariously on the back, tongue blowing in the wind.

When people ask me what kind of dog my little Daisy is, I smile and tell them “Why she’s a yellow dogΒ  of course!”

28 June 2012

Attack of the Gophers

They have been after us for a while now. Creeping ever closer. No one ever sees them but we know they are there. They attack in the darkness of night or in the broad light of day, stealthily so as not to draw attention. So far no real damage has been done but I’m sure they are just biding their time.

When walking through the garden one peaceful evening we came upon a labyrinth of gopher tunnels. Not the one or two fresh mounds that have been popping up regularly but a maze of freshly dug tunnels. Starting (finishing?) by the green house he dug straight down a row of newly sprouted corn. Fortunately he missed it by inches. His path was clearly visible above the ground. The tracks lead south forking and branching in a mad flurry until he ran out of energy at the edge of the tilled ground.

The battle has begun.


27 June 2012

Earth Wind and Fire

Skip and Smoke.

Nothing is more fun then shopping for horses. I love to browse the internet looking for that perfect deal. Moms old gelding’s health has been getting steadily worse to the point that he is mostly un-rideable. She made the mistake of mentioning that she would like a replacement. Skip of course is not going any where. He will stay a pasture pet well loved and well fed, but a horse that could be ridden would be nice.

I was on a mission. Goggle is my friend. So is Craigslist for that matter. What would be fun? Morgan is preferred but not necessary. Gaited is also at the top of the list. Maybe something older, who want’s to mess with a youngster especially now that my brothers little boy is starting to ride. A good fast walk is a must.

I found some nice ones, that were too much money, not sound or just not the right one. And some that sounded just right. The whole rescue thing is pretty intimidating though.

As fun as it is to look does any one ever really need another horse?

26 June 2012


We picked up our niece Ava last night and went to see Brave. I have been greatly anticipating it. The previews looked great, the horses, her hair, the accents.

It was…Β  just like the preview. I wish they would give a little less away.

Loved it though. The horses were very fat but well done. The moral of the story was excellent. Bad guys and even good guys were very scary for a six year old. I’m not sure Ava saw most of the movie. She watched with her jacket over her head.


Taking Ava home we stopped at the fountain and watched it for a bit. The lights were on and the night had cooled down enough not to be so miserably hot. Family’s were scatted across the lawn watching the dancing water. Alliance really has a beautiful park.

25 June 2012


The ladybugs are here! Finally! We have been waiting for them rather impatiently. They came in a box in the mail today special order.

The aphids have been devouring the pepper plants in the greenhouse. Ladybugs eat aphids. We avoid spraying any more chemical than we have to, so instead send off for boxes of ladybugs!

22 June 2012

Gaited Cow-horses

I was looking for a new horse and trying to decide if I wanted to go with the old Morgan cow-horse blood lines or the gaited Morgan lines which

Arapaho Jerry

trace even farther back. To the beginning you could say. I had been told that I could have one or the other but not both. Every one knows gaited horses can’t work cows. I studied and did my research noticing over and over that the same names were popping up. I realized that many of the great Morgan cow horses were gaited, duh. It makes sense, with lots of ground to cover and no pick-ups or four wheelers the guys would have wanted a smooth ground covering gait. So I looked and called around until I was referred to the Arapaho Ranch. I have never seen them advertised and no web sight but word must get around they sell lots of horses.

So we went and looked and I came home with Arapaho Jerry. She doesn’t show a lot of gait on the ground but once I had her riding out on the trails she would gait down hill. Then when I asked for a trotting leg yield and gradually we learned a cue and occasionally became more often. Depending on her mood she is capable of almost any gait I believe. Once when upset about her buddy being gone she broke into an incredibly speedy saddle rack and we zipped past all the guys on Quarter horses we had been moving cows with. They looked at us funny.

She proved quiet cowy to. I loved showing her at ranch horse competitions. We were the only non Quarter horse and gaited as well. I love being the underdog. She loved to work cattle. When she really gets into cutting she will squeal and ring her head. Maybe not the best form but she is having fun. Calving this spring she ran away (tried to) with Nocturne because a cow was leaving and dang it she knew she was supposed to bring it back. We switched horses after that and I let her have her head a little. She hadn’t lost a thing from her show days. She nearly dumped me turning a cow on the fence. By the last year I showed her we won four out of five classes one second and a judges choice award for best ladies horse at the show. All against very nice Quarter horses.

My point being that the gait seemed to help her work cows. She would pace along side them ready to spin on a dime. I never once felt that it hindered us. I guess you can have the best of both worlds.

21 June 2012

First Horses

Ava and the real Neversummer

My little niece Ava was telling my all about her pony, Pony Boy as he is so creatively dubbed, and how he throws her every time she rides him. This made me think about how I bet parents wish they could edit what their children say, and about the importance of a child’s first horse.

Since I have been pregnant my favorite pastime has been looking for a kids pony/horse. This is a very important purchase after all, you are trusting your child’s life to the animal of choice. It shouldn’t just be any old pony someone drops off in you’re pasture. My mom says she was told the perfect child’s horse is lame and has heaves. It won’t want to run away and if it does it won’t go very far.

I was blessed with the perfect horse to start on. My mom’s aged gelding who had been her first horse many years before. He was short just over fourteen hands and so sweet and quiet that all I ever wanted was to ride mom’s new horse. He was a big flashy green broke Morgan with flaring nostrils and hot tippy ears. She let me ride him occasionally. She swears I didn’t fall off every time but until the day he died he remembered me and would try to run off.

I have enjoyed immensely perusing Craigslist in my search. I know every one makes fun of the quality of horses listed there but I have found some that sound perfect. This twenty year old horse or that half dead pony sound perfect and I get all excited then I realize that she isn’t born yet and I’ll still have to wait three four years before she can sit a horse on her own. I can only hope that some of these prospects will even be alive by then. Maybe I should wait a little while. Until then she will be riding in front of me on trusty old Coyote.

Even if I don’t find the perfect horse I am in luck. My mom has a well behaved gelding who is lame and just happens to have heaves.