Yesterday Briar and I went riding on the mountain and took Jocelyn with us. We had a very uneventful ride other than the porcupine and the fireworks. I know better than to jinx myself when I tell Jocelyn that the biggest fears I have a a bolting horse and one that spins out from under me. No sooner did those words come out of my mouth when the neighborhood kids blasted off their left over fireworks. All three horses – even my most placid Mare – teleported 10 feet sideways. Hailey tried to bolt but Briar had her under control quickly.

Jocelyn’s horse Star gets here in less than a month. After a couple of weeks of arena work we will be hitting the trails. Yay for new riding buddies!!

 

on Tuesday so I won’t forget tomorrow!!

For the past week we have been getting ready for a big fundraiser poker ride. Getting ready usually includes deciding what route, where the chip stations are, flagging and timing. This time we also had to bushwhack a couple of new trails due to an issue with river crossings.

My gray horse has developed some confidence issues when we ride with Briar and Hailey. Voosh feeds off negative energy and if another horse in our group gets weird, it just escalates for Voosh. If The Mare or one of Voosh’s other security blankets is around it’s not as bad. Hailey is an arena horse and doesn’t have much trail experience. So when she gets froggy, so does Voosh.

The other thing that has developed is some buddy sour issues. When it was just The Mare and Voosh, I could take either one away from the other and they were fine with it. The horse left behind would call and fret but the one leaving would just…….leave. Now though I cannot take Voosh out by herself.

So Wednesday evening Briar and I rode Hailey and the Mare to flag part of the trail. Voosh was being stupid so I left her tied to the post of knowledge inside her pen. The post of knowledge was a dead birch tree cut off at about 12 feet. There was nothing she could get herself hurt on and the cheap carabiner I used instead of a snap had already proved that it would bend under enough pressure.

This is what I found when I came back.

She pulled the tree out of the ground.

From reconstructing what happened, it looks like she set back on the lead rope, pulled the tree over, set back again, and it came out of the ground. She must have hit the panel fence dividing the pen because it was pushed over. I think she hit the energized electric fence also. Then she drug the tree around until it got tangled up in another tree.

We were lucky. No owies anywhere.

Unless there’s a particular catchy title for my posts, I’m gonna just put the date. Sometimes the title was the most difficult part of the post!

 

Fifty T-posts pounded in, 200 insulators installed, a quarter mile of white electric tape and a quarter mile of wire strung, water tank hauled and filled……..

 

Ponies in heaven!

There will be 10 lambs at the fair this year – six Suffolks and four Dorpers.  Big jump from 08 when there was two or three. All the Suffolks in this picture are my breeding. Briar’s lamb hasn’t been sheared yet so he looks really round in this picture. All but 2 of the lambs made weight for the Fair – 90 pounds, The big lamb on the left, being held by Peter Baglien, weighed in at 110 pounds.  With 77 days before Fair it will be a matter of not over finishing him. Harold is right on track to hit 140 pounds at the Fair.

We’ve been doing a little bit of riding. Seems like something always interferes with my plans. Like today. It’s beautiful and I had plans to ride the mountain with Briar and some other friends. One thing dominoed the other and now it looks like we won’t be riding at all. I sure wish that I was more comfortable riding by myself. I’d sure get a lot more saddle time.

I have been trying to get the fences up so I could move the flock of older ewes and their lambs into a really nice pasture. Seems as though life was conspiring against me as I just couldn’t seem to get it done. Sunday afternoon my friend Julia (of Wild Horse Annie fame) called to ask if my sheep could spend the summer at her dad’s place in the mountains. He has a pen that was supposed to house some horses this summer but their young riders decided to keep them closer to home. Julia’s dad was going to buy some sheep or goats to mow the pasture when Julia convinced him that my sheep would do the job just fine.

So Briar and I loaded the ewes into the horse trailer and pulled them up the mountain. The pasture is fenced with 4′ woven wire fencing and is really well constructed. I backed the trailer into the pen, opened the gate, and away they went!

Julia’s dad has three dogs that stay in the yard all the time. They are very good watch dogs and keep the bears out of the yard. After the month old lambs get weaned in July, the rest of the girls will head up to the mountain also.

OS has posted on her blog and on facebook her concerns about gators living in the ponds close to her house. That got me to thinking about several adventures I had while living in Florida. Thought I would share……

When I was in high school, I had a small buckskin pony gelding named Buckshot. I couldn’t keep him at home so he was boarded with a friend at her place close to Fox Lake Park. Fox Lake was our destination of choice when trail riding. There were miles of powerline easements to ride as well as a path all the way around the lake. It was a popular spot for the locals to hang out fishing, bbqing, frisbee tossing, and other outdoor activities.

It is a given that there are alligators in any body of water in Florida. Even if you can’t see one, you always assume that there is at least one. Fox Lake was no exception. We had seen tracks with the distinctive tail swipe many times on our rides around the lake. We never worried since we were on horses and looked really large to the gator.

One evening we rode from the barn to the park. It was right at dusk. Although the park didn’t ever really close, dusk was a time after all the families left and before all the kids showed up. Several older people were enjoying the last bit of daylight walking on the sandy area by the boat launch. There were two “little old ladies” walking one small terrier type dog and anxiously calling for another dog. We rode over to see if we could help.

These ladies were very distraught. One of them was holding the terrier dog and the other was holding half of a long leather leash. (Do you see where this is going?) Seems as though a very very big gator came out of the lake and snatched the missing dog right in front of the ladies.

We finally got the park ranger to sit with them until someone could come out to get them.

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When I was at the University of Florida, one of my jobs was to feed the water buffalo. Water buffalo eat water hyacinths which must be gathered daily from the ditches and canals around the University. It was a two person job. One person took a bag of marshmallows to a clear area several hundred feet from the harvest area. That person threw the marshmallows two at a time into the water effectively keeping the gators occupied while the other person raked out the hyacinths and put them in the truck. I fed the gators. I figured that if I could actually SEE them I was ahead of the game

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Homeowner in Miami who lived on a waterway loved to feed the gators off his dock. Every day he would walk to the end of the dock and throw treats into the water. One day his grandson came to visit and, before his grandpa could stop him, ran down the yard, out on the dock and jumped into the water.

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So glad I live in Alaska now where the only things I have to worry about are grizzly and black bears, moose, porcupines, wolves and coyotes.

Today we hosted a Poker Ride here on our trails. We had a good turnout, about 20 riders, and the rain held off until we were finished with the ride. Now all that’s left to do is un-flag the route. Any excuse to ride though.

I must say this ride was pretty good. No drama during the ride and no wrecks. That’s not to say that there was not drama before the ride but it all worked out. We had to change the route several times. Once because the river is just too high to cross right now and once because there was a dog that was just a little too aggressive protecting his house. We can’t blame him, that’s the nature of the dog.

I didn’t ride during the event as I manned two of the chip stations and managed ride camp. We’ll ride tomorrow or Monday though.

Summer has arrived with a vengeance here in my part of the world. It seems as though overnight the trees are leafed out and the temps have soared into the mid 70s. The river was low on Saturday but over my stirrups last night.

Business has taken off also. The phone doesn’t stop ringing so we have plenty of customers to see about landscaping but my foreman who has been with us for two years decided at the last minute to leave our employment. Anyway, that leaves a big hole in our work force and means that I have become a driver again. We have been moving equipment at midnight or later. That makes for a very long day.

Last night though Briar and I rode with Stefanie to check mileage for the Poker Ride we are hosting on June 4. We had a really good ride – about 7 miles in 2 and a bit hours. We went really slow, not much above a walk, so that we would have a time for even the pokiest rider. Usually we run these rides at 10 miles or so and at least four hours. However, it is the first poker ride of the year and not all the horses are conditioned enough to go for much longer.

I’m just posting a bit to get used to Word Press since Blogger kicked me off my own blog. Regularly scheduled blogging will commence soon! I’ll have to figure out a way for all my followers to find me again. Maybe OS will help.

Looks like Blogger ate my entire blog. Oregon Sunshine suggested that I head over to WordPress so here I am. I hope everyone who was following my adventures here in Alaska on the other blog will find their way here.

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