Friday, October 28, 2011

What's Got Their Mane's Ruffled?

 It's hard to tell from the above photo but My Boy is blowing and snorting like a stallion. I LOVE that sound!

Yee haw! A funny action shot as they raced across the corral.  Yes, that is a chunk of flying mud coming at my camera lens!

Yep, they are worked up watching baby Howdy run and play in the arena with his mama. Howdy is 3 1/2 months old now! He's kinda a pipsqueak. If you remember, we don't know who his daddy is. {I hope it wasn't a mini.......

We have been watching Howdy's legs slowly darken. They are almost black after starting out a creamy tan. It's official~ he's a bay!


My roany pony, so pretty with fall colors! Lately she has been FULL OF IT and acting like the 4-year old she is!

I hope you all have a spooky and safe Halloween! 

xo/Ranch Girl

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Big Adventure

Remember I mentioned the big trail adventure?

Well, Ranch Boy, his mother, and I took a long trail ride to a river. It is about an hour and fifteen minutes in, and out (at least 3 hours roundtrip if you stop for photos, lunch, etc.)

We got to the river via a series of logging roads and trails, passing through other people's property and gates and under power lines. Ranch Boy's mom's ride, an Andalusian gelding (ex-dressage champion) had never been to the river. The horses were spooky starting out but quickly tired as there was a lot of climbing and the winter hair always warms them quickly.

We tied up to a fallen tree at the riverside and started eating our chicken sandwiches. Ranch Mom's horse starts fussing and pawing and generally impatient. My little Loretta mare was just resting nicely. She was puckered out!

{escape artist: the white Andalusian on left....}

Suddenly we look over and Ranch's Mom's gelding has come untied. Instead of heading over to visit with the other two horses, he wanders across the river rock and starts up the trail for home.

I ran and untied Loretta and started leading her after him thinking he might turn and stay. No such luck. Ranch Mom runs up after him but he's gone.

So, Ranch Mom walks out the hour or so back home. We think we spot his hoofprints in the logging road dirt but honestly it's hard to tell if they are his as many other horse tracks are there, both old and new. By the way, we spotted a lot of other tracks. Coyote, deer, wil turkey, wolf (? gulp) and hunter boot tracks.

We had no idea if this horse would make it home. The path home is not a straight shot, the logging road goes for thousands of acres and to various other homes. We call a neighbor to stop by the ranch to see if he'd shown up yet. No such luck.

Twenty minutes later, as we are about 15 minutes from home, we get a call from the neighbor that the gelding had made it back! Two people in a truck had found him crossing the road (which we have to do to get to our trails) and tied him to the hitch rail. His lead rope was shred and pieces of rope were stuck in his shoes.

We figured he'd make it back and it proves what an amazing sense of direction horses have. Here is a horse that has only lived on the property for about 3 months, has only been up on the those trails about two handfuls of times, and had never been as far out as the river ride!

All is well that ended well, whew!

Today I got out for a ride with my friend. We just stayed close to home but it was a crisp sunny ride. Loretta was being snorty at every shadow and rock she could think to jump out. Silly pony! My Boy was great for my friend. We came around a bend and she said, "There are deer up there." I took a look and they were NOT deer. They were huge~ two BIG bull elk! I have never seen them that close from horseback and let me tell you, at first glance I thought, moose.  Not knowing how Loretta would react I quickly dismounted. We let our horses see them and made a bunch of noise. The bulls looked at us curiously and did not rush off, they finally wandered up the hill. I realized that bull elk can probably charge if they feel provoked. These ones eventually wandered off but we turned around and made a loop back the direction we came from just so they didn't decide to cross our path. We passed several does on the way home, and they looked so little compared to those bulls! Their racks were gigantic.

{Good motto for fall trail riding!}

I love riding this time of year, minus the spookies! Hot summer weather sure makes for more mellow horses. But it is good to get them out and exposed to these things on the trail this time of year. You just never know what you might run into! Speaking of which, did you read this story? She was on David Letterman a few weeks ago telling the story of chasing down a bear on horseback to save a young boy on a trail ride. Amazing!

I hope you are all having safe riding adventures this fall!!

Don't forget to check out my Etsy shop (see sidebar) I am listing lots of new goodies every week!!

xo~ Ranch Girl

Thursday, October 20, 2011

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year~ Fall!

Fall is my favorite time of year!!

There is nothing like construction paper jack-o-lanterns to decorate the window of your house.......especially when they are made by a 5 year old!

{I love this gorgeous maple tree outside......despite the mess it makes out of the yard!}

I got this new bag for the fall at the Festival I was a vendor at. My friend Tiffany makes them, you can find them here at her Etsy site Whimsical Details.

I love this little vintage photo of birds that I found at a thrift shop for .99....I am fairly certain they are quail. I remember seeing quail as a child, but living in the city of course I never saw them. Now that I am living in the country again, I see little quail families crossing the roads everywhere!

I also got out on a great trail ride this week! A perfect fall day, sunny, loads of fall colors in the trees, and not windy. But it turned out to be quite an adventure! Or as Ranch Boy's mom often says, "Well- that was an adventure, not a disaster!"

I'll tell you about it in my next post!

Ranch Girl

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Autumn Riding

Finally, a day of sunshine! I got out my ponies and my friend joined me for a ride. We've been trying to trail ride together at least one day a week. She doesn't have a horse, so she rides My Boy. He's been PERFECT for her! I'm so excited to have someone to ride him and that he has been so good. I think he's better for her than he is for me!

{I didn't get any photos of the horseback ride~ I was more worried about my little mare not running off the cliff in fear of deer! However, I have taken some autumn shots recently and thought they'd be pretty to share in this post}

It is interesting how the horses are SO different this time of year. Loretta was especially snorty and spooky while tacking up, so I took her to the arena and longed her sillies out before we left. Funny thing, she loped around in perfect slow circles, didn't throw in a buck or gallop at all! She usually does on the longe line. Maybe she didn't this time because this time she was saddled?

On the way up the steep hill to start our ride we spotted a young buck and doe. Loretta was nervous about them. They crossed our path and went up the hillside. I had My Boy go first, he is pretty calm with deer, I have encountered them a lot while on him. I am not so sure about Loretta, she seemed almost nervous enough to turn around on me. She also looks and shies sideways around every puddle we came upon. I finally had My Boy walk by them first and she followed him by them just fine. Sometimes it helps to have that calm, been-there-done that horse help the babies encounter the trail monsters!!

When we got to the top of the hill the deer had finished climbing ahead of us and were heading to our right, so we took a trail to the left. Then I turned around and saw that Lizzie, my little dog, had followed us up the hill. This is a no-no! She is too young and adventuresome and I don't want her wandering off after a deer or wild turkey and get lost, or worse case scenario, eaten by a coyote. Because I didn't want to have to worry about her, we did a short ride then headed back. Lizzie kept running off to chase chipmunks in the woods and I'd have to whistle and call for her to stay close. Luckily the horses are use to that little white dog being under their feet and they cared less she was with us.

The weather looks to be good next week and I hope to get more rides in! Both of my horses hooves were wet and their frogs are peeling something awful. Loretta's were worse, I need to keep an eye on them they were peeling back towards the bulb. The farrier will be out in a few weeks to pull shoes and trim for the winter.

I hope you enjoyed your weekend!! Next time, I will share some autumn goodness with you!!

xo, Ranch Girl

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Being a Vendor

Boy, I have a lot to learn about being a vendor at a Festival, but I am very excited to say that I LOVED the experience!

Getting up at the crack of dawn....not so much.

Unloading and unpacking merchandise.....not so much.

Displaying merchandise ~LOVE~ this part of it!

I packed a lunch and snacks to eat but hardly ate (not good.)

Would I do it again? In a heartbeat!

I am excited to do more of this off and on when it works with my schedule. Here are some photos that show my booth. I got so many nice compliments on how well my jewelry was displayed~ being the first time I have ever done this myself, I was glowing from the compliments!

Green nugget necklace I am wearing was made by me, the gold tassle one is a vintage find.

 Found this cabinet in the barn at the ranch~ perfect chippy yellow color! Made a great jewelry and knick-knack display!

Pillow made from a burlap bag and a cool winged heart with bling (from a pair of kid's jeans found at the Goodwill!) 

Ranch Boy and I found this old window pane in the barn. It already had screws on each side, I had the idea of fashioning an old leather rein as the hanging strap. I added nails across the top to hang necklaces on. 

My table runners are drop cloths from Lowe's Home Improvement store. The red striped one I made into a drop-cloth style runner using fabric paint.

The little strawberry plates found a new home! 

This old gardner's caddy was a find at a flea market last summer for $10, I knew it'd be perfect for displaying my leather cuffs.

Remember the potted herbs? I turned an old table leg and a rusted lampshade frame into a jewelry display by sticking it in the pot!

I have posted a few more items on my Etsy shop, and will be loading a lot more after this coming weekend!

We've had quite a bit of rain here so I have had little horse time. Luckily while I was vendoring last weekend, Loretta's previous owner was able to ride her both days so my little mare got some exercise.

I hope you are all welcoming a little autumn in your life this week!

xo~ Ranch Girl

Thursday, October 6, 2011

To Grandmother's House I Went

What I love about going to my Nana's house~

  • her homemade potato soup
  • playing cribbage with my grandpa
  • using Nana's laptop for a marathon browsing session~ her Internet  is much faster then mine!
  • the candy jar (more specifically~ the Recess Peanut Butter Cups)
  • her fridge in the carport (more specifically~ the soda pop)
  • the Yorkies (more specifically~ Sassie and Sadie)
  • spending time with my family

I had a great time helping Tara set up for the Country Chicks harvest show. Here is a sneak peak of her booth (sorry for the sketchy photo quality in this post I forgot my camera and had to use my Blackberry!)

And lordy~ look at all the pumpkins I bought!

Just kidding.

But I did find some fun cowboy signs among the vendors!

I didn't come home with one because I just didn't need one. Want and need~ two things I have to work on.

The only thing I don't like about going to Nana's house is that I had to leave Ranch Boy and my ponies and my doggies for a few days.......I couldn't wait to get home and give them all hugs and kisses! I don't know how Paint Girl does it and leaves for horse shows for a month!

p.s.  I am going to be a vendor at a harvest festival in the coming week and I am super busy working on projects. I can't wait to show you how it is all coming together, but here is Lizzy checking out one of my display pieces!

xo~ Ranch Girl