December 31, 2013

Year End Review....2013

In January I took a lesson with Laurie when I was still getting used to riding Dani.  I felt much more confident after the lesson learning how to yield Dani's hindquarters under saddle.  The rest of the month I rode some but did the beginnings of Clinton Anderson type groundwork.  Dani showed a lot of attitude but eventually learned it didn't do her any good and she's become a pro now!

My long time Ariat paddock boots died finally died so I was in the market to find a new pair.  I started looking at the boots and found that the Pinnacle tall boot was nearly the same price as regular paddock boots so I tried to determine my size.  Dani was working on realizing that the mounting block wasn't scary and I trained her to stand nicely at the block for mounting.

Dani met a couple of my friends, including their young son who absolutely loved her.  No pony rides though since I don't have a small child's helmet in my equipment storage.  Steve came to visit Dani a lot and enjoyed playing with her in the indoor arena....he still hasn't really ridden her yet though!

In march I finally go the right size Dublin Pinnacle boot and have enjoyed them so much!  Very comfortable boot with a casual look.

My friend Jessica came down to meet Dani and we borrowed a friends horse so we could walk around the arena together.  It was fun riding like when we were kids growing up.  Loved playing with Breyer horses as kids but it's fun to play with the full size model as adults! 

I took some fun St. Patrick's Day and some bunny ears pictures for a Julie Goodnight contest and one a DVD of my choice.  Dani was so tolerant and such a good girl!

I joined the Kit Carson Riding Club to meet some horsie people.  The group is awesome so I was excited about the future activities to get involved with.  I started looking for new places to board at and found one to move to at the end of the month.  I was mixed about leaving Whispering Winds since it was such a nice facility but I had reasons for moving...mainly the distance and secondly it was a little too busy of a barn for with lots of kids running around in the arena doing their jumps and making it hard for this still apprehensive riding trying to walk circles.  I started looking for hay as well....totally another major aspect of owning horses!

Our favorite appaloosa friend Rock died from several bouts of colic.  He was only 9 and had a lease rider that was so in love with him.  We were heart broken, Steve loved Rock and even though we weren't going to get a second horse anytime soon the connect Rock had with Steve was so cute!

I purchased 30 bales of nice Timothy and Steve and I got to use our truck for hauling purposes...weee!!  We moved to a ranch just down the road from KCRC.  Uschi and I didn't have luck with Dani getting in her trailer but a gal, K, from KCRC rescued us with her trailer and worked Dani hard outside the trailer.  At a later date I had a training session with K on loading Dani into the trailer so I have an idea what to work on once I finally have a trailer. 

After less than a week at the new facility I moved Dani to KCRC.  I'd been warned about many things regarding the owners of the ranch and decided it would be safest for all to move to the barn at KCRC.  At the time GG was still there with her horse who was for sale, so was K and David of course had his mare Ducky and an older mare there are well.  We settled in well and got all the supplies we needed for taking care of my girl.  She began eating like a mad horse so it was obvious she wasn't comfortable at the other place either!

Around the time of the move I found a great Circle Y saddle on craigslist and tried it out on Dani.  It fit well and was comfy for both Steve and I do ride.  I did take it to a tack store to get the stirrups adjusted and to add some more D rings and such that were missing on it.  It was a great deal so I was pleased.


My brother and his family came out for a week to visit with family in Colorado.  I got to show Scott my baby....Dani and his son Bryson was able to meet his first horse!  It was a fun visit to include a nice picnic with extended family in the Black Forest Regional Park.

On the 21st, the Black Forest Fire started and horses were moved to KCRC among other locations.  Because of my work with Emergency Management I decided to voluntarily evacuate my horse since I wouldn't have the time to do so with my work and because she was a difficult loader and because I didn't have a trailer available to me when ever I would need it.  I had to make a quick decision that would help me do my job and not worry about Dani in the process.  Laurie was able to accept Dani during that time, she also had Rio and Orchid, Uschi's horses.  Uschi's house was fine but the fire burnt a huge patch of forest just behind her house.  It's amazing to drive through the forest and see the damage.  It's unreal that last year I was responding to the Waldo Canyon Fire around this same time period.   


My best friend Marie came to visit for a week in July.  We were in a parade as pooper scoopers for the 4th of July!  Weeeee!!!  We chilled at the pool and just did other fun things.  I even got her up on Dani for a little pony ride.

I continued to work on improvements to horse care like adding a water filter to the trough.  I was also battling algae so found a natural preventative that helped keep the algae amounts down.  It's still a battle!  I was contacted by a gal that owned Dani's full sister, Maddie.  I learned a bit more about the horses pasts and was glad to here how well her sister was doing.  They look so much alike!

In August came the rains.  Everyday it rained and there was a river running through KCRC.  Part of the arena was washed out and I probably lost a lot of sand from Dani's run.  I had to respond for work several times for flooding around the county.  Up north of Denver it was really bad.  This has just been a year for natural disasters in Colorado! 

When I could I worked Dani on a few obstacles like the cowboy curtain.  I tied back the noodles and walked her through.  Slowly I let down more and more noodles until she didn't have any issues walking through.  Now I can ride her through them...just at the walk since even I don't want to get slapped in the face with the metal washers that hold the noodles onto the rope.  Dani learns fast so it's been fun teaching her to accept the noodles and negotiate other obstacles.

September continued with more rain and many busy days at work.  Steve and did manage to get 100 bales for the winter though.  We bought them from a hay charity and have been pretty happy with the hay purchase though I'll be looking for a consistent supplier this year and perhaps certified weed free hay.

My silly Aussie mix Loki, got trampled by Sugar when he ran into her pen and I didn't notice at first.  Luckily he wasn't injured but for a minute or so I was afraid some nerve or spinal damage had been done.  Poor baby!

I worked on more trotting and getting over the fear of speed.  We succeeded and have done many rides with lots of trotting about! Because of the rain and lack of putting on hoof oil as regularly as I should Dani had a hoof chip that freaked me out.  It actually wasn't a big deal but has made me more aware and now I round the hooves regular to prevent chipping in between trims.

My slow feeder has failed, the plastic lattice kept breaking so I've ended up buying a nibblenet.  It doesn't fit as much hay in it as I need so still have been working on making the trough into a slow feeder using a nibblenet sheet.  It's still a work in progress but at least it does slow her down and reduce the wasted hay.

I started to see Stubs around a bit more, running here and there.  I continued to feed her dry food but never got too close to her.  She seemed curious so I always talked sweetly to her when I saw her.

KCRC had a vaccine and floating clinic so it made it very easy to get Dani's fall work done.  The club also had a clean up day with a cow run.  Other club activities included being a pooper scooper for the Veterans day parade but this time I got tot drive an ATV.  That was pretty cool!  Someday I'll ride in a parade but not just yet....

November meant a time change so the days got darker sooner.  I got a night light set up with one of those indoor work lights.  It did the job so I could do groundwork with Dani during the week.  Then we hit some cold spells and I didn't want to do groundwork.  Wuss I know!  Stubs started showing up and hanging out with me and my girl.  I got some wet food to start feeding her when I saw her and it became a consistent thing.  I started planning on how to trap her and get her spayed.  Local Trap Neuter Release groups never got back with me so I was sort of on my own.


In early December I borrowed a trap from a friend and brought Stubs home.  Steve and I already accepted the fact that she probably would be staying in our house if Armani my other cat was okay with it.  He was.  We got her fixed and all her shots.  She's been settling in very well and though we can't pick her up and hold her yet we can love on her, hug her and scratch her itchy spots.  She's made a great transition from feral cat to spoiled house cat in such a short time.

We've had some really frigid cold spells but Dani didn't mind.  The past two weeks I've been off from work which is nice to just chill and do nothing.  We've had a great Christmas too.

Hopefully the New Year will continue to have great blessings for us and our little critter filled home.  I really want to get Dani a pony friend but that mainly depends on my hubby and his work schedule.  None the less we are doing well and enjoying KCRC.

This next year I want to get a trailer, trailer train Dani so she is a perfect little loader and then I want to hit the trails with my horsie friends!  I just need to give confidence to Dani and have confidence in myself that we can overcome our fears....her's are of the trailer experience and mine the fast speeds.  I think we have gotten to a good level of trust in one another and will continue to develop that bond.  I love my girl!

Wishing everyone a great New Year!  Remember it's the Year of the Horse!!!  Make it a good one!!

December 26, 2013

Dust and Coughs

I haven't felt completely up to par in order to ride.  My coughing isn't deep but it's a pain and on horseback I don't feel it would be too fun breaking into a coughing fit while trying to ride.  Just the amount of time working with her so far have given me headaches from the coughing.  Ugh. I'll suck it up soon though since I miss just putzing around the arena.

Dani is dusty...shocker I know!  I decided to spend a nice grooming session with her.  The day was cool but the sun was warm.  Someone was falling asleep as I groomed and reached all her itchy parts with the brushes.  I definitely think she can tell when I'm grooming for a purpose or if I'm grooming to just groom.  If it's for a purpose, like riding, she gets antzy.  If it's just to groom, Dani seems to lay back and enjoy it I think.

The issue I always have with grooming is the fine dust that sticks to the hair and brushes relentlessly.  I can work and work but it never fully goes away.  I'm really thinking of tasking a shop vac for this purpose.  Show barns spend hundreds of dollars for a horse vac but I think a regular vac will work the same, I can just alter the head to make it like a brush.

Anyhow, there's something therapeutic about grooming a horse.  Sure, Dani is less dusty for a bit and her mane and tail are silky and lack bits of hay for a short time but it's more than that.  I think it's the love and bonding with her, enjoying a lazy afternoon.  I'm enjoying having some days off work to just laze about!

December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!!

What a nice Christmas my hubby and I had!  Just the two of us chilling at home watching movies, drinking Mimosas, and then making a delicious dinner.  We went to love on Dani and posed her with a silly bow real quick. 

I haven't gotten around to Christmas pictures this year, we'll just skip them and do New Years I think.  A ton of the gifts I received were essentially gifts for her.  I'll post those soon.  No pony friend for Dani this Christmas.... :-(

I got my hubby a Carhartt jacket.  He's happy his regular fleece won't be covered in hay bits now!  Doesn't he look handsome?  I'm a little biased though.....

Hope everyone had a Mare-ee Christmas!!!!  Enjoy the time with your loved ones, two legged and four!!

December 23, 2013

Water Heaters

In my particular trough the water heater is screwed into the filter.  Most other troughs use the plug to insert their water heaters.  It works nicely as well.  David's trough is this way.  

The other day I was headed up to shoe Dani away from David's hay once again and noticed either smoke or steam coming from his trough.  I noticed as I approached that the heater was just above the water and creating that steam.  Yikes!  I quickly added water and texted David.  He was on his way.  I'm sure that thing got pretty hot and would have been unkind to little horse muzzles.  Just something to be aware of, don't let the tank level get too low even if you are about to drain and clean the tank soon.

December 22, 2013

Random Musings 'bout the Pony

 It’s hard when you are sick and the weather is nicer.  You want to play with your pony but the couple times you try you end up in coughing fits.  Ugh!  I haven’t ridden in a while and I know if I do ride I need to take it slow because a coughing fit in the saddle will not be fun.  I’m doing much better with my cough, it’s much more shallow but with the colder air I could easily make it worse again if I exert too much outside in the cold.

Dani is very cute.  I released her into the arena one day to roll and play.  She was full of bucks, snorts and farts!  LOL.  She was rolling then almost in one movement jumped and bucked a couple times and cantered off snorting and farting.  Oh if only I’d had my video on at the time.  It cracked me up! 

Lately when I’ve been releasing her in the “grazing” area she’s made a beeline for Daves hay bales.  He’s been buying a mostly alfalfa mix big bale….one of those almost 1,000 lb things from the local Prairie Springs Farm down the road.  That’s a nice facility with an indoor arena, expensive for what you get with no pasture turn out but nice full care right in town. 

Anyways, Dani can’t resist and I have to run up the hill, grab his practice rope that he leaves on a cow decoy and shoe her away.  She’ll eat the bits and pieces that have fallen when David has moved his hay in sections into his shed….I’m okay with that but when she starts digging through the tarp and trying to eat the bale I’m not okay with it.  I don’t want her eating his hay!  What a pest Dani can be!

David told me the day he brought the two bales there he had to fight off Don’s horses.  They are two mustangs that this guy doesn’t do anything with and has had the sheriff out a few times because of lack of feeding.  I think Don is missing a few screws in his head and really shouldn’t have horses but at least he seems to have been feeding more regularly.  The club alerted his family of the situation, brother, sister etc. and they have been assisting.  The older gelding isn’t looking so ribby anymore.  Anyhow Don had his boys out to graze and they were eating Davids hay.  David arrived with another bale and tried to shoe the horses away as he worked and took one bale apart to get into his shed.  Apparently Don just sat and watched rather than get his horses out of Davids hair.  How rude!  David said he doesn’t mind if Dani takes a nibble but I do.  She doesn’t need alfalfa or anymore food!  The mare acts like she’s starving sometimes!

Anyways, at least with my cough I can still love on my pony.  Her hooves are looking good, I’ve applied more oil to them and hopefully can get more done in the next week.  She has a pedicure next Saturday.  With the cold and mud I’ve been trying to keep an eye on her frogs for thrush.  I want to work on some of the gaps in her heal….I’ll do a post about just this soon.  No Thrush is a powder and on their website they tell you how to pack the frog and begin getting those gaps filled in.  Below is our usual hoof care area, it's on concrete so that I can apply the oil without getting dirt on her hooves right away.  Hopefully that means it absorbs into her feet for a few minutes.  My lighted hoof pick comes in handy with this shadowy light being what I have to work with.

Anyways, there hasn’t been much exciting training or riding because of the cold and me being sick.  I have the next two weeks off and the weather appears nicer so I will hopefully get some work done with my girl.  Perhaps I can even get my SLR out with me, my hubby too and get some Holiday pictures taken....been a slacker and haven't even gotten Christmas cards out yet this year!  Winter solstice was yesterday so you know what that means….the days will steadily get longer!  Yippeee!!!  Happy Holidays everyone!

December 19, 2013


Oh how miserable I've been!  I've been sick, coughing up a lung since Friday.  We missed the KCRC Christmas Party and a dinner we planned to have with my parents.  I was out of work for three days too.   So miserable.

My hubby luckily avoided getting sick, he started feeling achy and coughy but sweated it out in a hotel he was staying in for work.  At least I had him most of the weekend and Monday so he took care of me and Dani.  Now I'm feeling better.

Obviously I didn't get the fun stuff done this weekend I had wanted to.  I miss my pony!!

December 13, 2013

Horseshoe Wreath

Starting to feel Christmasy!!!  Bought the horseshoe wreath and then added the decorations.  Love it!  Lots of cute ideas online.  Now my front and back doors have a wreath!

December 11, 2013

The Snow Melt-eth

Ponies love the snow!  Dani likes to roll, and roll in snow.  I don't think it matters what she rolls in, as long as it's soft.  My girl loves to dig through the snow for bits of grass.  She also loves to find scraps of hay bits left near other boarders pen.  As long as she is not eating their hay I don't chase her off; though one day she was eating David's hay and I had a heck of a time getting her away.  I made sure the tarp was good and secure.  What a pest!  She gets her whiskers all covered in flakes from digging in the snow, it's so cute.  I can only seem to get a picture with her head up if I have her haltered.  Otherwise....dig, dig, dig in that snow.

Things are starting to warm up now!  It was 35 today!  I went to the barn early in the morning to de-robe my girl and let her roll in the arena.  Horses much prefer being naked to wearing a blanket.  At least Dani has a nice comfy blanket so when she has to wear one it's tolerable (thank you hubby!)

Humans tend not to like the cold either.  I'm cold natured; I'd rather have cooler temperatures but below 30 degrees even I think it's a bit chilly. This subzero stuff was pretty miserable.

The next few days should be warmer still and here's hoping that the arena melts and it's ride worthy weather on Saturday!  I will want to do some groundwork first before we do under saddle work.  The last time I rode was short and sweet but feels like ages ago!  We trotted and had fun and worked on opening a gate from the saddle (coordination I lack and then throwing a pony in the mix makes it even more challenging)  We did alright though but lets just say I would have let out the entire herd of cattle!

Then my silly little mare and I went through the noodles....first time under saddle!  Sweet!  No issues!  I see some people barrel through those things at the trot or canter but the ones at KCRC have hard metal washers holding them on, that would hurt!  I think a good ol' walk is fine unless there is another curtain made of all soft material to work with.  I'm very happy that she didn't have an issue "going alone".

So what are the big plans for this coming balmy weather??  Well, a good thorough grooming/scratching of Dani and file work on her hooves.  I'll round the hooves, trim some of the frog flaps I've noticed and apply some hoof oil.  Then of course riding, some groundwork and major pen cleaning.  I want to get as many small bits of manure I may have missed with everything turning frozen solid the past week; jackhammer should be on my Christmas Horse Needs Wishlist.  Then I want to check the water tank.  It's pretty good, just topped it off.  I did a good clean before the winter weather hit so I may just need to do a bit of straining and siphoning.  Exciting huh?  I'd rather be at the barn doing work than cleaning my house!  

Hope you all are staying warm.  I know that cold front was moving across the U.S. to the east bout that!  You'll survive!!

December 10, 2013

"Good" Advice?

I'm sorry this is turning into a cat blog almost!  I just need to rant a little.  I listened to a Vet Tech and she discussed something she calls forced love where even if the cat is not liking petting holding etc. you just keep doing it until they relax.

In a way I think it made sense.  Kind of like releasing pressure with horses.  Well I tried it.  Here's what happened.

Ouch.  Stubs freaked out with me trying to hold her and I got scratched up!  Not her fault.  Totally mine.  I need to go back to baby steps.  Let her come to me, slowly scratch more areas.  Up until now I can really rub her her back and butt, scratch her neck and ears a bit.  I've slowly run my hands down her legs and even brushed her belly while scratching her sides.  It just takes time!

This Vet Tech made it seem like I was being a wimp and that it would take too much time way...perhaps she's just impatient.  I have time!  I have patience....what the hell was I thinking listening to her when I know what's working for my cat and me???  I should have known.  Armani even scuttled away when she tried to pet him and just this weekend he was lap hopping at a party we had.  I let my animals be who they are and do things at their comfort level.

Sometimes you just need to ignore "good" advice and go with your gut.  Hope Stubs will come out from under the bed and love me again!

December 09, 2013

Stubs Update

Somebody is getting more and more comfortable in our house.  Stubs has only been in the guest room but has met the dogs and cat through a baby gate.  Everything has gone smoothly with that but I think we'll need a little more time before we expand her range.

I've slowly been able to pet her more and more.  It started with just a finger lightly stroking her side as she ate. Now I can scratch her ear a lot and her little bottom.  Purrs galore!!!

She still is very much instinctual.  She likes to attack my feet under the blanket.  I've since been burying myself in thicker blankets to avoid the claws and am working on redirecting her to appropriate play things.

Each evening I watch DVD's or read in the room and just let her explore.  I'll play with her too and do little bits of petting.  She's coming along quickly.  With subzero temperatures I'm really happy we captured her a little earlier than we'd planned.  We just had to get her somewhere warm!!

Hopefully her affection will transfer to Steve and she won't have to continue work with him to get comfortable.  He'll be back Friday for the weekend but is then out traveling again for work.  She has seemed to like him and especially if I'm there with her perhaps that will help too.

Stubs is learning fast that getting between a human and their computer means the human has to pay attention to her!  Steve will love that!  He always has Armani between him and the keyboard.  Let's just cross our fingers he won't have two cats there now....Stubs can come bug me instead!

What a cute kitty!  I'm excited to see how quickly she's becoming adjusted.  She's been at the barn since May 2012!!!  She's about 1 year and 7 months old.  Her litter mates are long gone or else who knows, we'd have taken in another!  LOL.  My poor husband!