Monday, November 30, 2009

start of 2010 ride season & sick kitties

This coming weekend is the first NATRC ride of the 2010 season. The annual Christmas ride is always nice, with extra festivities of a Christmas style potluck, gift exchange etc. The ride will be down near Ft. Hood, at Parrie Haynes State park. The weather is looking to be chilly, but I *think* no rain during the weekend. But, this week, our weather is pretty questionable, so I decided to get the rig packed today, while it was sunny and nice out. I have prety much everything except the food that goes in to the fridge already packed and ready to go. Hay loaded, water tanks full, Hanks blankets packed. Warm sleeping bag in the camper. I'm almost feeling lost that I am already ready to go! Tomorrow a cold front hits, and Tuesday night, we might have rain, temps down towards freezing, with a chance of wintery mix. Wind chills down in the 20's. Burrrrr. But then it will get better through the week.

One of the cats that live on our screened in porch started sneezing and is congested. Went to the vet with her Friday morning, and got antibiotics. She is sort of wild, so I have her in a pet cage to be able to treat her. Then, one of her sisters started in, so they are together to treat. And Bullwinkle, one of our indoor only cats, who never gets close to the outdoor cats has it, so he is also geting medicated. And then tonight, the mother of the sisters started too. *sigh* So, I am treating 4 cats, and expect more to get sick before this is over. Hubby will be home for the weekend, and is Oh-so-thrilled at the thought of medicating cats. He is not as good at doing so with out blood or finger loss as I am. I think I need to talk to the vet about pills instead of the pink liquid. I originally thought that would be easier, but my clothes look like they have been splattered by pepto, and the cats spit out too much of it.

Meanwhile, Coder the kitten is growing and is just the purrrrrfect little guy. He is very entertaining, fetches his toys and brings them back to me to toss again. Mardi the puppy is figuring out life on the farm., Thelma has been showing her around, teaching her about the horses. She still has not got the cats figured out. She want so to play with them, but is not mean. They of course, are wary of her, but not scared. I think she will end up being a caretaker of them like Thelma is, but has to get past the excited puppy stage.

OK, next post will be about the ride!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Sunshine, riding and a buffet!

Ahhh, Thanksgiving in No. Texas. Where the weather can be about anything. Today was one of those days we kept saying "What month is this?" It was mid 60's, clear, no wind, and just beautiful. We decided to do something new and different to celebrate the holiday. In the past, we have cooked, but with just the two of us, it was not making much sense. We have done buffets, we have gone riding, but this year, we got to combine the two.

Just 40 miles from us is a Greenbelt trail that runs along one of the local lakes. It is run by the state, and they have nice parking areas, even campgrounds with corrals. We have ridden here before. The trail is an "out and back", with the far end of it at Lantana Lodge. Come to find out, they offered Thanksgiving Buffet! So, yesterday I made reservations for the early brunch.

Gathered Hank and Flag this morning, loaded up, and headed on over. What a pretty, pretty day. We had a relaxed ride with the trail to ourselves. Well, with the exception of the two feral pigs that trotted past in the woods, and the 4 to 6 white tail deer that were scattering. Some of the trees have already lost all their leaves, while others were still changing color and dropping.

We stopped at the entrance to the lodge for Hank to pose for a photo with the buffalo. Hank liked this buffalo because he did not smell, OR move!

We got to the lodge with plenty of time to tie the horses near the stable, take off our helmets and half chaps so we did not look like total goobers, and head on in.

They seated us at a nice table near the window, where we had a view of Lake Ray Roberts.

Of course, typical to Thanksgiving meals, we probably ate to much, and then headed back down the trail towards the trailer. We were still the only ones on the trail. we did see a couple folks enjoying the holiday doing their favorite sport of fishing. I bet they were out there saying "What month is this? Look at this beautiful weather!"

Who knows, this might be a new Thanksgiving tradition. As long as the weather is nice next year.

Monday, November 23, 2009

little road trip

Hubby was home for a few days, so we decided to go camp some place and ride some trails he had not seen before. After checking weather forecast for different areas, we decided that Lake Carl Blackwell, near Stillwater OK had some decent weather. The campground has electric spots, and I know the trails, along with them being marked.

So, stuck the camper back on the truck, loaded a bale of hay, the horses, and now TWO dogs in the back seat and headed north. Arrived mid day, quickly set up camp, then headed out for a 10 mile ride before it got dark. I had mentioned this area has a LOT of deer, and I have always seen some when I have ridden there, even when in a group. Well, they did not fail me, and we were on the trail only about 5 min. before three busted out of the woods in front of us. Later, we had a Doe stop as she saw us, and hubby was only about 30' from her as I snapped a photo.

We finished up the loop, got back to camp, made dinner, and gave Mardi (the puppy) her first lesson in being tied in camp. She did very well, did not fuss and fight the rope like some pups do, and seemed to look towards Thelma for guidance. It is amazing to see how cheerful Thelma is, and so willing to roll, tumble and play with Mardi.

The next morning we headed out to do about 18-20 miles. I have to laugh at Hank, as he remembers trails he has been on before really well. And going through the woods where the trail would twist and turn, I would give him the reins, and he never missed a turn. If I ever got lost on trail, I would sure trust him to find his way back to the trailer.

One spot of the trail passes a house that has some Llamas that live there. Often they get irritated by the horses, and will charge the fence. So, when we arrived, we stopped to check them out, as one had a youngster at her side. She came to the fence in a hurry, but our two don't really care about Llamas, and just stood there. Again, I managed a picture of more "wildlife" along the trail.

We had a great ride along the lake, and even set up the camera on the timer to get a pic of BOTH of us riding.

Hubby and Flag both had a great time. Hopefully we will be able to do this more often this coming year when he has time off at home.

We then packed up, got the dogs situated in the back seat, and headed home.

When Mardi is full grown, I hope they will both fit back there!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

no more belly button ring

I took Hank down to the vet today to have that final staple from his surgery a year ago removed. I had found it about 4 or 5 months after the surgery, but he was doing so well at the rides, I checked with the vet, and he said it could stay in for the time being. So, with the season over, it was time to have it removed. I had made jokes about hanging beads or a bell off of it. We could see most of It, and it had dropped to make a small loop, right near his "belly button".

So the vet gets the staple remover, and kneels down, and positions himself under Hank. I told him to watch those hind legs, as Hank was quick, even though he had a twitch on. (did not want to tranq him for something so simple) I no sooner said watch him, and that hind leg flew up, forward, and thankfully only his his arm. Whew! I covered his eye, so he could not take better aim, and he managed to get it out on the next try. So I have the staple in a little pill box.

The weather has turned cold at night finally, and we should have our first frost tonight. Hubby is off for a week, so we hope to get some riding in on the horses. Our first ride of the season is a few weeks away.

Hank has mostly been hanging out in the pasture, eating, and not doing to much. He does not really need much work to be ready for the upcoming ride. He generally holds his condition very well.

No photos this time. I know, I'm a slacker. ;-)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Cooder and Mardi pix

A few more photos of Cooder the kitten and Mardi the puppy!

Mardi and Thelma.

She thinks Thelma is pretty cool.

Oooo, a toy!

Ready to attack!

Easy to entertain with a toy hanging from a string

I know I am cute. Is this the look? Take the picture.

Woody making sure the new guy learns quick who is in charge.

See my extra toes? Kind of like thumbs!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

puppy and kitten addition

Thelma is getting older. She turned 9 this year, and is starting to slow down a bit. She is a big dog, who has topped out at 80 pounds. The breed standard for Catahoula dogs is not that big for a female, but she is stout. He job on our little farm is to protect. And her main protection is of the cats when they are outside during the day, from coyotes. She does this VERY well, and adores the cats, and they adore her. But, she will not be with us forever, so we knew it was time to start another puppy to learn the ropes. We decided to seek another Catahoula female puppy. When we got Thelma, she was just 5 weeks old.

She was raised with the cats, and Peanut made sure to show her some love, and in turn, she loved them back.

So, we found one through a woman who does some pet rescue, and went and looked at her today. Already 9 weeks old, and very full of herself. But, she seemed to be what we were after, so we said we would love to take her home. As we were doing paperwork, I went in the "cat room", to see the one kity she had up for adoption. She said she had him for a while, and no one came to look at him yet. Well, he worked me good. He did ALL the cute things that kittens can do, rolling on his back, playing with a toy, peeking out around the corner in his cage. Before I knew it, she said she would "throw him in on the deal" if we wanted him. My goodness, we already have 11 cats. 9 outside, 2 inside. But the kitten was sharp, kept with the cute stuff, and before we could say "we already have too many cats", he was in a carrier, and headed home with us along with the new puppy. He has extra toes on his front feet, is a yellow tabby, and has the loudest purr ever. He will be a house cat too.

So, we have not settled on names, but here is the new puppy:

and here is the new kitten:

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Hank is a traffic stopper

Well, he can stop the truck anyway. We have created a bad habit, by often giving them treats (peppermints) from the truck. Makes it easy to check them over when they are towards the front of the pasture and we are heading down the driveway. Just stop, and call them over. But Hank will walk in front of the truck to stop it.

Then, he will come around to the drivers window, and wait. When you roll the window down, he thinks he needs to help FIND that peppermint. Toby helps.

Oh, and I forgot to add in the previous post. 15,000 miles ends up to be about 300 HOURS for Hank to be on the road in the trailer. It usually works out on log hauls, that with fuel, food etc. stops, that it takes me 2 hours for every 100 miles. If the destination is 300 miles away, I give it 6 hours to get there. 400 miles? 8 hours...

Hanks trailer miles

I had some folks ask me how many miles we DROVE this year:

Christmas at The Six O Cleburne TX 100 miles one way

Girl Scout Scamper Cat spring TX 300 miles one way
March 7-8, 2009

Oklahoma Land Run - LCB Stillwater, OK 250 miles one way
March 21-22,2009

Deep in the heart of TX Killeen TX 210 miles one way
April 4-5,2009

Arkansas Traveler Dover Ark 450 miles one way
April 18-19,2009

AFA-Colorado Springs CO 830 miles one way
May 23-24,2009

Ride to the Rescue Perry Lake, KS 500 miles one way
June 6-7,2009

Purgatory – Durango CO 850 miles one way
July 10-11,2009

Cedar Creek New Bloomfield, MO 620 miles one way
July 18,19,2009

Bear Basin Westcliffe CO 650 miles one way

Ride The Edge Allardt,TN 850 there,then 700 to Robber Route
Sept 9-10,2009

Robbers Route,Willburton, OK 220 home
Sept 19-20,2009

Chokecherry Farmington NM 800 miles one way
Sept 26-27,2009

Region 4 Benefit – Decatur 12.5 miles one way

Indian Cave Shubert NE 600 miles one way

Horsemasters Big Sandy TX 185 miles one way
Oct.24-25 2009

14485 miles (round trip) mapped. I am not sure how to add up the miles back and forth to ride the trails to condition, trips to the vet, and then those extra miles on the road stopping for food, fuel, truck repairs. ;-) The truck has 25,000 miles put on it since December 2008, right before the first ride of the season. So I would guess Hank has put in between 15,000 and 20,000 miles in the horse trailer this year. You can see from the ride dates how close some were to each other. I am still amazed how I was able to keep his weight up pretty good through the year, as I feel the trailering is harder on them that the actual events. And I did a quick add up of Flags miles, just to keep Hank company, and hang out at the rides, and he put in about 10,000 miles this year.

This has given me a whole new prespective to what is a "close" ride. And the only ride that I had someone else along, was when hubby went to the Arkansas ride with me, and helped drive home. He joked, and told me to add up the miles the dog went in the truck, but that does not count. She just sleeps 99% of the time anyway.