Sunday, August 26, 2012

After The Fire

Things have settled down with the wildfires. Normalcy has returned to the ranch and our evacuated horse guests got to return to their stable, but I have not forgotten to think about those that are still struggling with losing their homes or livestock.

On the way back from a trip to town last week I took a route that drove me through much of the fire zone. It is amazing how fickle fires can be. Skipping houses and buildings on the same property, or burning the land completely around a house yet leaving the house intact.

On to horsin' around time~ I did get a ride in on my roany pony!!

Ranch Boy kept her on the 14 ft. line for me as I did the starts, stops, and steering. It was the first time I've ridden her, other than just sitting in the saddle or sitting on her bareback. Oh and she does have a tail, it's just blowing behind her in the wind!

I am hoping to have a chance to ride her again this week, and teach her to pony from My Boy.

I call her Luna my little cowpie. She has the worst poos to clean up ever, they are huge! And if she is stalled, she tromps all through it making a mess. I brought My Boy and her to the ranch for a weekend of work and I put her in a panel pen with a muck bucket for water. This is what she did to it:

She's lucky she didn't hurt herself! I tied it to the panels because I've had her knock over one before. She loves water and putting her foot in the bucket if she can. To top it off, someone's dog was running and barking at her as she pawed the bucket which made matters worse. Then, I tried using a metal garbage can as her water trough but she banged that and the seam started leaking. Finally, after some visiting horses left, I moved her to a larger pen with a regular horse tank. She has a tank in her pasture she doesn't mess with, I think it was a combination of the shorter water source and being restless in a small space that she just couldn't resist fussing with it.

My Boy has been getting attention, too! Ranch Boy's daughter is pretty determined to make him "hers."  She wants to feed him and scoop poo in his pasture.

 She had her first riding lesson on him the other night and did really well! I think he likes her quite a bit! I kept her on the line but made her do the turning, back him, cues, etc. The worst thing My Boy would do with a kid on his back is stand there and refuse to go, or go in a circle. That horse would never run off with a child. He wouldn't waste the energy!

I had a great trail ride on My Boy on Saturday, too! He was perfect, especially for not being out in several weeks. I love that about him.

It is ironic Ranch Girl Jr. is riding my pony, because recently I've been riding "hers!" We took a ride up into the woods a week ago, and took a picnic.

This little one is carrying a bit too much weight, so I rode her as she needed a workout. Pepper is an ex-4-H pony, a sturdy Mustang/Paso Fino cross. She's like a mountain goat, surefooted and not spooky. She just does her job. She's packed Ranch Girl Jr. around the arena at a lope and has always taken good care of her. Even though at just about 14 hands she has the stride of a pony, I still really enjoyed riding her.

It is hard to believe summer is coming to a rapid close. I hope that we have a lovely fall season and I can get in a lot of pony time! This is the first summer I have had to work in 11 years- summer time is usually teacher time off for me. I am really miss being around the ranch and getting to ride!

Ranch Girl

Sunday, August 19, 2012


Sorry I haven't posted in a long time....things have been hectic around here with a large wildfire burning in Central Washington.

Wildfire on the ridge, Luna and Riley in their pastures.

Wildfire moving through the valley, probably 10 miles east of us.

Smoke in the sun.

Luckily, from day one, we have not had any danger of the fire heading this way. Part of it looked closer than it is, we have been watching smoke and trees light up like roman candles on the ridge for a week. I kept a turnout halter on my horses just in case the fire changed directions and we had to act fast.

A local stable did evacuate and they brought around ten of their 40 horses to the ranch and they are still here. Sadly, many livestock throughout the region have not been so lucky in the fire.  One of our temporary residents is a horse I know. Guess who?

Yep, none other than Miss Loretta! Her new owner seems really great from what I have heard, but I haven't had a chance to talk to her and see how Lo is doing.

The wildfire has brought some stressful and emotional days, mixed with a little adrenaline at times. I have never been a part of a natural disaster such as this. Between the fire, work, and hot temps, I haven't done any riding. I am hoping to get home from work tomorrow and give Luna a workout and even hop on her if she is in the right frame of mind.

Keep all those that have lots their homes or livestock from the wildfire in your thoughts and prayers!!

Ranch Girl

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Sniffles

Hello friends! I have been a busy bee. I had planned to climb aboard Luna last weekend. However, the day I intended to (Sunday) she was not in the right frame of mind.

I am not in a rush to ride her as she is only just over two. We had a great lounge workout on Saturday. On Sunday, it was later in the day (closer to feeding time), it was windy, and she was just a little more spooky. I am sure it would have been fine to saddle her up but I just didn't feel comfortable with it. Besides, Ranch Boy was occupied with another project and I want someone to be in the corral with me when I get ride her.

I did bridle her on Saturday, though! Doesn't she look pretty? I am not sure I love the horsehair futurity browband though, it kind of covers her white star! I need to get her a different snaffle bit. This is just a normal snaffle, I was thinking of starting her with a rubber or thicker metal one to be softer on the mouth. Paint Girl could wrap a bit for me with her special wrapping stuff too....maybe I'll haul the bit to our next family event and have her do that for me. Then again, does the wrapping or rubber just make a bit more likely to be "played with" in their mouths?

Several of the ranch horses have awful colds. I did not know this last week when my mom and I rode, as I put Luna in a pen next to the ranch horse corral while we rode and then noticed horses coughing. So unfortunately my horses have been exposed, but so far I haven't noticed them showing any symptoms. I won't be taking them to the ranch until next week or until this runs it's course, so no big workouts for my ponies! Enjoy your summer vaca, My Boy & Luna!!

Luna checking out the basket on Ranch Boy's daughter's bike....she was pretty convinced there might be an apple in there for her!!

Have a great weekend, everyone!!

Ranch Girl