Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Bring On The Storms!

The first big wind storm of the season arrived this last weekend.  I was outside when the winds hit.  It was odd.  We went from no breeze to instant heavy gusts.

My husband and I tried to ignore our flickering lights as we watched TV.  We could hear the wind roaring outside as it rushed into the poplars along the fence line.  We each had a flashlight next to us - expecting to lose power at any moment.

But we didn't lose power even though the gusts reached over 60 mph, ripping leaves off the trees.

My hanging basket, which I got in early April. continues to try to bloom.  What a brave little basket it's been!

Can't say the same about my potted geraniums.  They are finished.

J and I celebrated our 29th wedding anniversary this weekend by completing the installation of our new generator panel on Sunday.  It's finished, tested and ready for the next storm.

This is a BIG DEAL for us.  No more having to scramble in the dark with opened windows and power cords running through the house for one or two lights when we lose power.  We are now able to roll the generator out, start it up, plug it in and instantly have lights, TV, internet (and even our microwave) in minutes.

But best of all we will now have WATER!  That means no longer having to worry about filling the stock tanks and green buckets for the toilets before a storm.  We can now even run the washer if needed (even if we can't use the dryer).

We feel so liberated.  Bring on the storms!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Getting Ready

Look what greeted me when I opened the curtains this morning...

The first mountain snow of fall 2014.

A few days ago, when it was warm and dry, I put away the outdoor furniture.  Since then we've had heavy rains and a few wind storms. However, tonight and tomorrow we are under a "wind advisory".  Been through this before.

Don't mind the high winds but don't like the possible (probable) power outages.  We seem to always be the first in the area to lose power and the last to get it back.  It's bad enough to not have lights but no power at our place also means no water since we are on a well.

Last weekend we purchased a generator panel so that we can have some lights and water when we lose power.  Unfortunately, we haven't had time to install it.

With the wind storm coming and daylight savings time ending, it's time to get ready for winter.  That means feeding the horses out of the barn instead of via the summer loafing shed away from the barn and in the front of our outbuilding.

Yesterday I opened the gate between the summer and middle pastures.  We have views from all of our windows inside the house looking out to the pastures and barn.  I took this picture from the living room window.

Although the gate is open, Elvis and Galileo have lost interest in the summer pasture for the green grass in the middle pasture.  Since this grass is so rich, I'm letting them enjoy about four hours of pigging out each day before moving them into the dry paddock in the back of the barn where they can hang out in the huge double foaling stall to get out of the rain and munch on some (boring) hay.

Sigh...going to miss sunny days like this!  In the meantime it's time to get ready for winter.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Dental Day

I'm happy to report that Galileo is playing nicer these days now that (hot) grain isn't being offered.

In preparation for Galileo's Dental Day, we moved them up to the smaller paddock off the barn last night.

Elvis is always busy getting into something.  Here is he rolling the poles around.

This is a good example of what I often see in the large pasture - the two horses walking side by side.

Galileo is filling out nicely.  When the sun shines on him you can see dapples of red on his barrel while his black stockings contrast nicely.

J brought Galileo in from the front pasture last night.  This is going to be his riding horse and I was pleased to see how well Galileo behaved - putting his head down to be haltered and leading nicely. His ground manners are excellent and our Frainer (friend and trainer) who has put rides on him, reports him to be the same under saddle.  I think he's going to work out nicely for us.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Playing Nice

I was going to write a Post about the end of the summer/fall season and share some pics of the day early winter arrived but decided to share how things are going with Galileo.

"The boys" are usually not far apart.

They share the water trough.  But there is an issue at the feeder in the loafing shed.  Galileo doesn't play nice and won't allow Elvis near the hay.

When Galileo arrived there were no issues.  For the first four days the two horses stood next to each other munching hay which we always offer in addition to free grazing.  

On Saturday I decided to dole out some grain.  Call it a stupid gesture with Elvis already plump and Galileo filling in nicely.  I separated the buckets quite a distance to allow the horses to keep to their own food, which worked out fine.

It was after that when Galileo started chasing Elvis out of the loafer via barred teeth or turning his rear at him and trying to kick him should he get too close to the hay.  

Poor Elvis.  He's a lover, not a fighter and yes, Galileo is the dominant horse.  Elvis was perplexed about all of this behavior and stood outside the loafer looking forlornly at me whenever I was outside.

It was apparent that Elvis wasn't getting any hay so I started carrying a flake out into the field for him.  Initially Galileo chased Elvis from that flake and also the loafer.  Elvis would wait until Galileo went back into the loafing shed and then sneak back to his pile of hay.

A few days later our beautiful summer/fall season came to a close and the wind and rains moved in.  I went out to check on the boys and was relieved to find that Galileo had backed off on his aggression and allowed Elvis in the loafer (as long as Elvis is facing outside with his back to the feeder).  

So far the rains have come after Elvis has had a chance to eat the hay I leave out for him.  However, it's only a short time now before I'm putting a flake of hay out in pouring down rain and I don't want to start having to feed my horses out in the rain.

I'm hoping things are settling down and I can keep to my plan of wintering the boys in the loafing sheds in peace.  Our loafing sheds are all huge with rubber mats.  We've always used them to winter our horses in the past.  It's my hopes Galileo will realize there's no threat of going hungry, relax and allow Elvis back to sharing the feeder as he initially did.  

If not I guess I'll have to use our stalls this winter - something I don't want to do as I think it's better to keep them outside not to mention that means cleaning stalls daily and spending $ for lots of shavings.

Hoping this is a short-term issue.  Last night I observed them sharing Elvis's hay in the field.  Maybe Galileo will play nice once again.

Sunday, October 12, 2014


To be given an awesome horse is a once in a lifetime event and something I'm still humbled by.  But to have it happen twice?

Meet Galileo, an 8-year old Thoroughbred Gelding.

He comes to our home compliments of Lisa, my Cowgirl Pal and my Frainer (my friend and trainer).

A friend of Lisa's raised Galileo and used him for Dressage, trails and competitive trail events.  When the friend had a baby she lost interest in Galileo as well as his care.  Lisa had known and liked this horse since he was a baby and stepped in to relieve her friend and save Galileo.

At a recent Cowgirl Pal potluck I stood in line with Lisa and when I shared that Elvis was lonely and J was looking for a riding horse, she offered Galileo to us on the spot saying she knew he would have a good home and be loved.

We went home to "think" about it.  A text message from my Frainer a few days later after putting a few rides on Galileo said that this would be a perfect horse for J.  Calm, well trained, good manners and just a sweet guy.

Have you ever seen joy in your horse's eyes?  Well I did that morning I introduced Elvis to Galileo. This picture was taken within minutes of their meeting.

No drama, no squeals.  It was like they'd known each other for years.


Thursday, October 2, 2014


It's been a month since we suddenly lost Bob.

It's still an adjustment for both Elvis and this family.

I've watched and worried over Elvis like a mother hen.  Is he happy?

Elvis can't see any other horses from our place.  Our neighbors have a horse but it's behind their place.  A few weeks ago Elvis caught a brief glimpse of it and went into a full tizzy, flying around the pasture until he was exhausted and soaking wet.  I stood watching helplessly, worried about the large rocks that pop up from the ground due to living at the feet of a dormant volcano.

Once Elvis ran out of steam I haltered him up and led him to the barn where I hosed him down, paying extra attention to his legs.  No harm done but...that behavior answered my questions - and I don't like the answer.

I worry about the upcoming winter.  Elvis comes from a show barn environment and has always had warm blankets and a cozy stall surrounded by equine neighbors to protect him from winter's harm.

This was to be his first winter at home, with savvy Bob to show him the ropes and keep him company. How is Elvis going to handle being here alone when the winds are roaring at 60 mph and the rain is sideways - or when the temps hit single digits?

Board Elvis?  Don't want to do that.  It would result in having zero horses at home.  It's hard enough to look out the window and see one horse.  I can't imagine looking out and seeing none.

Have someone board here?  Don't want the hassles of additional insurance or lack of privacy.

Get a cow/goat?  Not for us.

So what option is left?

As we enter into a new chapter of our lives without children at home, Hubby and I have discussed another horse for him to ride.  Not a rescue horse or another yard ornament (and we've surely hosted many) but a steady, anybody can get on, low-key Gelding.