Monday, December 30, 2013

Looking At 2014

I took this rainbow photo the afternoon after we put down the Arab mare from colic. I always think rainbows are symbolic, don't you?

I have a lot of goals for 2014. Many are family goals such as raising my baby boy and oh- planning a wedding! Yikes! I know the venue and a possible photographer- my horse trainer actually does photography. What better person to photograph the wedding of a ranch girl than someone who gets ranches and horses?

I love the above plaid Ralph Lauren dress as a model for a flower girl/junior bridesmaid's dress. I was actually picturing a navy plaid to go with fall colors (wedding is in October.)

My horse goals are probably the biggest! Since I can not ride this winter due to slippery mud, snow, and ice, and I am trying to get back into shape after having a baby, I am thinking of taking some lessons this winter. This is much more appealing to me then joining a gym, although more expensive. Four years ago I took saddleseat lessons and it was the best workout ever! I was sow in places I didn't know existed.

There is no place to ride saddle seat where I live now. There are a few Hunter/jumper and dressage barns. I took h/j lessons in my 20's and loved it. I would actually like to learn some dressage to use with Luna. I want her to go in either saddle. In fact, we got a Christmas card from a local friend who said she was able to go on a fox hunt this year and the first thing I thought was- where do I sign up! I want to do that! I did some research and there are some hunt clubs in our state. It might not make my to-do list this year, but it's at least on my horsey bucket list!

I also want to get My Boy back into shape. I will mostly be continuing Luna's training next spring and summer. I will not part with my spotted pill so I am hoping to find someone to ride him for me.

What are your horse goals for 2014?

Have a safe and fabulous New Year everyone!

Ranch Girl

Monday, December 23, 2013

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas!

Hard to believe that Christmas is almost here! Where does time go? Had a spell of frigid temps but yesterday it was 47! Everything thawed and is super mushy. I dislike it when that happens! But we did get Ranch Boy Junior out for a walk. We were gettin' some cabin fever staying inside while the temps hovered around 10 degress!


Let's "catch up" a bit!

Luna finished up her 30 days of training just as the weather turned for the winter, so she is home now and "processing" all of her good experiences. Here is her last ride with my trainer the day we picked her up. I got to ride too, but opted to stay in the round pen rather than this field, which was slightly sloped and a little wet. The round pen was half frozen so it wasn't much better, I only got to trot a little but I got a good feel for where she's at and I was impressed. 

 She even learned to shimmy up to and allow her rider to open gates!

One of her last rides was a haul-out 3 hour trail ride! We'll do another 30 days next spring with the trainer, then I hope I can continue her education on my own.

 Our tree~ cut from the Ranch property, of course!

  I'm hoping for a white Christmas, just like a little kid! It's not looking like it's going to snow, though. In fact, right now it is down pouring rain. The ground is so water-logged there is nowhere for the water to go, it's just getting muddier.

Here is the little one opening some really fun Christmas presents at Grammy's. Right now he can't quite ride the Radio-Flyer Scooter so he just has to stare at the box children and dream of the day that he can.

We lost a horse at the Ranch this morning. It was very sad, she was a sweet 22 year old gray Arab cross mare that took many, many children and adults on rides over the last few years.  It appeared to be a bad case of colic but the vet suspected stomach tumors that contributed. Its amazing how you go into the mode of caring for an ill horse, despite wind, mud, and rain, hunger, last minute Christmas presents, etc. Everything just takes a back burner. Getting her comfortable and trying to keep her pain free and on her feet while waiting an hour and 20 minutes for a was a hard wait, as any of you that have been through it know. Not what you want to have to do around the holidays but I am glad she is pain-free and galloping through horsey heaven.

I hope you all have a fabulous holiday. I intend to do more blogging in the new year! I want to chronicle the life of Ranch Boy Jr. as he follows in his daddy's Romeos.  Most people are moving to Facebook these days, but I really miss blogging. I am hoping to get a new laptop and Internet at home which will really help. I tried writing this post from my phone and despite it's extremely SMART capabilities, it was still a challenge.

Warm and cozy wishes to you all!

Ranch Girl

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

I realized that most of my photos of Jr. Ranch Boy have been of him sleeping, so here is a cute one I took of him and Ranch Boy the other day. No, Jr. isn't walking yet, he isn't even crawling, but he has super strong legs and "trunk" strength so when you hold him up he can stand on his legs! He just turned 6 months old.

I went and watch Luna's training session yesterday. She is loping now! Not overly eager about it yet, thought. She can hardly hold the lope one lap around the round pen and needs encouragement to get going, but she is progressing and isn't balky about trying. She is much more relaxed in her gaits, she is finally starting to figure out how to manage carrying that saddle and rider at a balance when moving. My trainer might bit her today. She said that she usually still uses the rope halter reins if she needs to do much reining at first, so she isn't pulling on their mouth. I love that! I'm all about creating a soft horse.

This is the first Mustang my trainer has trained and I think she really enjoys working with her, she is constantly impressed and happy with how smart she is! Since I have never really ridden Luna, I am excited to eventually become part of the sessions and learn how to ride her, too!

Hope you are all having a great week!

Ranch Girl

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Life Is Good

Wow, I thought I'd posted since May? I guess not! Who knows what happens with me from day to day as I still struggle getting a full-nights sleep, hee hee! That is the joy of motherhood! And truly, it is a joy. I couldn't be happier! Our little one is 5 months old now! He even sat on a horse with his sister for a short time last Sunday and I am hoping to get him on My Boy for a photo session soon, too!

In other news, fall is here! Where did summer go? Colorful falling leaves, crisp sunny weather, chilly foggy mornings.....I love it! I am going to take My Boy out for a ride here soon! He is feeling a bit sad and neglected because Miss Luna is gone. Yep she's gone. Just a short distance away though....she went to "big girl school"! I am finally getting some training on her. I realllyyy wanted to get this going myself this summer but with a baby it just didn't happen, other than some refresher groundwork. So far, just three sessions in, she is doing fabulous and giving 'stangs a good name! My trainer really likes her! Says she's super smart. Showing some athleticism. Maybe she'll work some cows someday!?

Luna during a round pen session with our trainer.

I do miss blogging and hope to be back in the blogosphere more this winter when things slow down at the ranch. I was working part time but those hours have upped a bit, so juggling a baby, work, family, and horses is taking a lot of energy. But I couldn't be more blessed. I love my life. I hope all of you are doing well and I do hope you'll keep stopping by to see the going-ons!

Ranch Girl

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

He's Here!

Our little cowpoke is here!

Harper Michael

Born April 21, 2013

10:01 p.m.

8 lbs. 2 oz.

Love. Love. Love!

As you can imagine, my world is forever changed.

I am super busy figuring this newborn thing the posts will be few and far between for the next month or so.

Ranch Girl

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

No Baby Yet & Views From Our Kitchen Window

No baby yet! Around two weeks to go.....give or take a week or two!

After some gorgeous spring weather.....last week we had some April showers around here! Every morning when I wake up I look outside and see what the weather is doing and what my horses are doing. It is a secure feeling for me to see them both safely in their pasture.

On a particularly miserable cold and rainy morning (in fact, there was snow in the higher hill elevations just above us) I saw both my ponies snug inside their turnout shed. It is nice to know they DO use this from time to time, instead of standing in the rain tails to the wind like they typically do!

{One of my spring maternity leave goals~ to paint the turn out shed! I should have done it last summer!}

Here is the shot I saw out of our kitchen a few days two ponies taking an early morning nap- rump to rump! Luna loves her naps and will lay flat out quite often. My Boy tends to be more "on guard" and rarely lies flat out, he'll typically just rest his head on his chin and close his eyes, as you see below.

Can you see how much Luna is roaning out? Right now she's really white/gray with red spots, almost Appy-like! This photo was taking during the week of spring-like weather, as you can tell by how dry the ground is!

Do most of you feed your horses on the ground? I do, it seems the most natural to "grazing." I usually  make at least 3 piles of their flakes so they can wander around as they eat. I get a kick out of watching them move to each pile checking and see if one happens to be better than the other. What I hate about wet weather is it feels like such a waste to throw the hay on the ground as so much becomes muddy or trampled. Have you ever heard of a slow-grazer grazing box feeder? I saw the man who makes them at an equine event and thought it was a brilliant concept. Maybe some day I will invest in one or have Ranch Boy make me something like it. For two horses, it seems very doable and would also help them eat slower through-out the day which is also more natural. Somehow though, I feel like my crafty Mustang would find a way to get the screen out of there. Or, if she couldn't do that, she'd bang her hooves and legs on the box like she does on the water trough because she's trying to play in it (or just hungry or bored.)

Have a great rest of the week!!

Ranch Girl

Sunday, March 31, 2013

A Little Help From My Mom

My surprise visitor was...... my momma! You might remember her blog Copper Pony's Cowgirl......she quit blogging a few years ago.

She had a pretty little copper gelding named Dusty that she had to re-home.

I love this photo. Dusty was such a handsome boy!  And my mom looks so pretty here, too!

 I can only imagine that having to re-home your first horse must be so hard, even when you know it's the right thing to do for the horse. Dusty had a dropped hip and some soreness issues that caused him to have behavioral issues on the trail from time to time. He really needed to be retired as a pasture pony and couldn't do the trail riding that my mom likes to do. He is happy living as a pasture pony on a farm now. We was such a character and we all still think about him and miss him a lot. My mom also went through some other big changes in her life the past 3 years, but that is her story to tell.

However, mom has a new horse that she has started working with. Guess what? He has spots! And he's a BIG boy at 16 hands. His name is Forest. He's had professional training but needs a refresher. My mom says he has a lot of personality and she is enjoying getting to know him. I can't wait to meet him this summer when she brings him to the ranch!

My mom only stayed with me one night but she was a tremendous help! She really knows how to buckle down and get stuff done when you need her to. Ranch Boy remodeled my out-dated bathroom into a bathroom/walk-in closet. Basically, he took out the big tub (which I didn't use anyway as we have another one- it was just storage and filled with STUFF. Like suitcases, a show saddle pad, clothes, a chandelier, and My Boy's winter horse blanket....) Once emptied of the tub, that space became the closet. I got new flooring (goodbye carpeted bathroom) new paint on the walls, a new sink, new's almost done and it's SO nice! While this has been happening my clothes and toiletries have been spread out across multiple rooms in the house. A bit of a challenge for a prego gal!

The other grand thing about this is that the baby's closet is now full of HIS things- not my clothes! Yes, I am a bit of a clothes hoarder. But hey, I lived in the city and had a job for eleven years where I had to dress up a little. Even though my ranch attire is mostly jeans, boots, and tees, it's still hard to let go of some of those other items. I have been nesting and cleaning and purging out a lot since baby has been on the way, however. If you really saw how many bags have left our house to be donated, you'd be proud of me.

I will get some photos of the projects in the next week and try to get them posted.

I hope you all had a fabulous Easter Sunday!!

Ranch Girl

Monday, March 25, 2013

Shaggamuffins and Spring Green

A few days ago we had almost 5 inches of snow. It was crazy!! I had put away the trough heater and had to dig it back out and hook it up again because I could hardly break the ice with a metal stake the other morning.

Today, however, it was very spring like! Even though I am 4 weeks from my due date, I couldn't resist haltering up Luna (in the pasture) and grooming some of that winter hair off of her! She loves to be brushed and just stands there on the lead line, sometimes poking around in the groom tote. She is like My Boy that way- she's very patient and a "stander." I am so spoiled, I do not have horses that fuss around much while being groomed or tied.  (Luna does fuss a bit for the farrier as I mentioned in my last post, but that is another issue.)

Afterward grooming, I decided to let the ponies out to nibble on the beginnings of spring green in My Boy's old pasture.

{Even though there was hardly anything to nibble, I think my horses made some other ponies very jealous!}

That pasture needs to be harrowed, then I hope to grow it up and use it as a grazing pasture for them for a couple hours a day.

I think horses look awful this time of year! The transition to spring is almost worse than their winter coats. I looked back at photos of my horses last summer and thought wow, they are so pretty! They clean up nice- whew, you kinda forget that after looking at the fuzzballs all winter!

Luna is going through her roan chameleon stage....she changes every day. She'll finally really lighten up by the beginning of summer. Next time I groom her I need to take a tape measure out and see how tall she is! Now that the weather is getting better, I am excited to think about my horses again. However, with a new baby on the way, I going to be realistic about how much time I will spend until I am well under way being a mama. At least I am lucky enough to have my Ranch Boy around (he's a work at home family business kind of guy!) to be my babysitter so I can get some pony time!

I have a special visitor coming tomorrow! I will fill you in at the end of the week. I hope to get a few more posts off before Junior Ranch Boy is born!  Wish me luck (in both of those tasks......)

Ranch Girl

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Trimming Day

My horses had their time with the farrier yesterday afternoon. I'd already had to reschedule once due to rain. Even though it was snowing in the morning when I fed, it stopped soon after, quickly melted, the sun came out, the wind picked up, and the ground was dry- including my ponies and their hooves!

Luna actually wasn't that bad for the farrier, considering I've done hardly any work with leg and hoof handling this winter (excuse: snow-ice-pregnancy.) Ranch Boy helped hold her since I didn't want to fuss with her when she hops around on 3 legs or tries pulling her leg from the farrier (both of which she did her fair share of.) She wasn't any worse that she's been for any other appointment. She'll get better- she's only just 3 and started out wild!

{Luna is losing a ton of hair and starting to turn into a "roany pony" again!}

However, the farrier said she was actually better than a 2 year old off the feedlot that he did last week. That one bit him, kicked him twice, and actually just threw herself on the ground. He only got her fronts done. Luna doesn't do anything intentionally mean, she just gets anxious and tired of standing on 3 legs and sees what she can get away with. My farrier is very patient with her and really tries to give her her leg for rests when she is being good, and hangs on for dear life when she pulls so that she doesn't learn she can get away with it!

She has great hooves, however. She was overdue for a trim but her hooves had held their shape. The farrier said she has a nice thick hoof wall. While My Boy hadn't quite shed his frog and had a slight case of the beginnings of mild thrush, Luna's hooves looked great all around.

{My Boy thinks farrier visits are exhausting! He was a perfect boy, as always!}

It feels nice to have this done! Now I don't have to worry about it until after Jr. Ranch Boy is born and I'm recovered from that. Next time I'll have shoes put on My Boy so we can get ready for spring riding. I'm going to try to keep Luna barefoot.

Until next time......

Ranch Girl

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Productive Day

My Ranch Boy was most helpful today! He loaded and unloaded 29 bales of hay for me (about a ton and a half.) We were able to find it from someone who had a little leftover. This time of year people either have made it through winter and have extra to get them to the first spring cutting, or are running out and trying to find it! I was able to get this orchard grass for $170 a ton. That beat getting timothy in town for $17 a BALE! Now I should have enough to get me beyond the birth of Ranch Boy Jr. so that is a relief.

The other morning it was kind of nice outside. I'd looked out the window and noticed Luna taking a break from her morning hay. I decided to go halter her, check her out, and groom her. I admit I haven't done this in months. Between being pregnant and dealing with poor footing conditions (snow and ice) everything has finally melted off and was starting to dry, before a little wet snow Wednesday morning.

Awful I-Phone self-portrait of me!

Luna was so good for me, I was very proud of my yearling. She even let me spray detangler in her mane and use scissors to snip off some of her long wild pony fetlock feathers. I led her around the pasture (just putting the leadrope over the nose of the halter for some extra "umph" should she get silly) and we practiced backing, turning on the forehand, and yielding the hindquarters. I will do this again a few more times before the farrier comes out next week because I know she'll be a bit of a challenge for him. I can't wait to get her going again this summer after Ranch Boy Jr. is born!

Here is my silly pony a few hours later after I tossed her ball in for her- and, after she'd ROLLED her newly groomed self around in a bunch of mud and horse poo! Stinker! (Notice cleaned and trimmed fetlocks. Not as good as with clippers, but as good as this preggo gal could squat down and do!)

We have a lot of deer around the place and noticed these three hanging out near the meadow and I snapped their photo before they ran up the hill. I think they were enjoying a nibble on the green grass that is beginning to sprout. It is so great to see finally see some green!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Ranch Girl

Sunday, March 3, 2013

So Many Changes Around the Corner!

It's been so long since I posted! I have been SO busy! I will post a bunch of photos which will hopefully catch you up on the going-ons!

We've had a crazy spring of weather! Rain, snow, wet, mud, wind......this particular morning my ponies couldn't finish their breakfast, they were too obsessed with watching a small herd of elk in a nearby pasture.


A particularly cold, wet, snowy morning. This is the eager "thank goodness she's coming to feed us!" look.

I had some visitors in town last aunts Desert Rose and A Cowgirl's Grace. They, along with my mother, helped me paint and work on the baby's nursery! My aunt commented here that Luna is as big as My Boy!

A few of the cowpoke touches in the nursery I thought you might enjoy seeing....

 Daddy's cowboy hat.

Handmade chalkboards by Ranch Boy....

Gotta have a Woody doll....a John Deere, and chrocheted cowboy boots!

I hope your March is off to a great start! I am only working part time now starting this week, so hopefully I will have more time to post.

Ranch Girl

Monday, January 28, 2013

Thought I would share the latest bump photo! Just under 3 months to go..... I need to get an appointment for my horses to get their hooves trimmed in February, that way I should be good until after baby is born and any recover that comes a long with that! Ranch Boy is going to have to take over feeding duties from me.

I will do it as long as I can. I got a great pair of "Yak Traks" to put on my boots so there has been no slipping or falling this year! I actually enjoy the twice daily routine of feeding- it gets me out and moving twice a day, as I don't have a very physical job. I love getting a sense of how my horses are doing, checking in on the weather, monitoring their feed, and saying hello to them.

Speaking of feeding, this is what I see out of the kitchen window in the morning around 7:30 when I get up for work. My Boy is so smart, he notices any sign of movement or a light on.  He just stares at me with this cute expression, anticipating I'll coming out soon to feed. It's nice to see my whole pasture and my horses out my back door! There is one blind spot corner where Luna likes to hang out alongside the ranch horse pasture. This, of course, is also near the area where she's escaped so sometimes when I don't see her right away I panic at first she's gotten into the pasture next door. However, if My Boy isn't in distress then I know she's just tucked in that corner. When she has made it to the other side, he won't cross the downed wire and then he cries and trots around for her. The fence has been good and hot lately so I've had no Luna escape episodes!

We haven't much more in the way of snow accumulation, but have had some frigid and foggy mornings. Look at Luna one morning last week- she looks like a roan again! Totally frosty-tipped fur!

I hope you have a great last week of January. Hard to believe February is almost here! Spring is around the corner......maybe?

This week I am thinking of my friend Amanda, Bush Babe, over there in Queensland as they are dealing with some awful flooding in those parts. Stay safe BB!!

Ranch Girl

Monday, January 14, 2013

3 Degrees

There hasn't been too much excitement here so far in 2013. I've just been working and enjoying my pregnancy. We haven't had snow in a week and a's been mostly really cold, dry temps. When we left to visit a local cafe for breakfast Sunday morning it was only 3 degrees!

Luna is so playful, poor My Boy has to tolerate her attempts at playing. She'll nip his sides then rear up at him. Once in a while he'll play with her a bit, but he usually just ignores her advances.

"I just want to be an Appy too!" After a roll in the snow, Luna jumps up all covered with the white stuff!

Luna gets so crazy on some of the cold mornings at feeding time. I would like to try to get a video of it sometime. While My Boy just stands at the fence and waits for me to wheel over breakfast, Luna will trot or RUN around like a banshee. I don't particularly like this as one of their frequented pasture areas is getting a well compacted and now a little icy.

There have been a lot of mornings with frozen icicle whispers! I need to trim up My Boy's one weekend.

Built like a tank!

I've been making Luna stand nicely at the fence while I pour their morning grain into their tubs. Luna gets hers first, because she won't wait and would start eating his. My Boy will now stand off to the side a bit and wait for his. Luna paces along the fence (right in front of My Boy, sometimes about taking his head off as she goes by!) Or as I'm pouring the grain she tries to get her head over the fence and bobs and fusses and is generally very impatient. I put up my hand and say "Whoa" and as soon as she stands calmly (even for just a few seconds, to start) I will push her tub under the fence. In the past I just tried to get them the grain fast to avoid any scuffles between them but then I realized these little things we do can create bad habits and there is no reason she can learn to be rewarded for waiting calmly for a few seconds!

My handsome boy!

More than anything, my girl just needs to be worked. Maybe next winter I will be able to board her for the winter. I actually could have done it for a few months this winter, but being pregnant.....realized it wasn't the smartest option because I'd rather spend the money when I can actually ride her! I'm not worried, she's just barely 3 and next summer will be a continuation of her education.

I had fun taking photos of my horses in the snow! It makes such a lovely backdrop for their colors and adds a lot of light in the photos.

I hope your 2013 is off to a great start!

Ranch Girl