Sunday, July 19, 2009


Since the last time I posted, my horse has recovered from her colic, we rode in a poker ride, we set fence, got hay, helped a friend load a horse for euthanasia.........all the minutiae of life.

The Challenge of the North CTR started Friday. Our group left on Thursday for the 7 hour 350 mile haul. On one hand I was disappointed that I wasn't going and on the other I was relieved because we just weren't ready. Next year CTR Alaska will be hosting the Bald Mountain Butt Buster here at home. That's what I really like to do - organize the trails for our CTR. There are over 50 miles of trails that need to be maintained. Some we ride every week because they are the ones closest to the house. An all day ride with lunch on the mountain gets us to the farthest away and most spectacular trails.

The Poker Ride went great! No accidents, no one got hurt, the food was excellent! There were about 55 riders including all the volunteers. The next one is planned for sometime in September at a yet to be determined location. There's another group of riders at Mile 107 of the Glenn Highway who would like us to help them put on a Poker Ride. As much as I love to ride our trails going some where new is always fun.

I rode Vooshka at the Poker Ride and for3 days before the ride flagging trail and riding support for cleaning a trail. You would never have known she had colicked the week before. We rode about 4 hours on Tuesday, 4 hours on Thursday, 8 hours on Friday and another 8 on Saturday. My horse does not like riding with new horses. My friend Christy and I rode mid-drag (because the ride was divided into two groups: one continued up the mountain and the others turned back at the five mile point). Our girls rode together ahead of us with another friend and that friend's mom rode with us. This new-to-Vooshka horse had her passage-ing on the trail from my chip stop to the end of the ride. Oh my goodness. Although her feet were going like crazy, she never felt like she was going to explode or run off. She did stick her nose in the air quite a bit so I know we need to work on that but she never went any faster than I allowed her to.

Hay this year is awesome! We had hot (for Alaska) sunny days and cool nights. A little rain would have helped but for the most part first cut is in the barn with no rain on it. This is such a blessing since last year what little hay was pulled from the field was horrible. I had to buy outside hay at $27/100 # bale to get me through until first cut. Second cut in September should be better since it will rain some in August.

We are preparing for the State Fair already. My daughter has a market lamb and several of my Suffolks as well as the Alpine buck will be shown. She does the baking contest, speech contest and livestock judging also.

That's about all I've been doing. There's no drama - just life. Let me see if I can find a picture for you.......

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

On Hold

I'm going to put this blog on hold for a while. Circumstances have pushed so that I am unable to ride my horse as much as I wanted to compete in the Fairbanks CTR.

My brother unexpectedly passed away June 15 from liver cancer. He was 53 and had been a paraplegic for 26 years. The cancer snuck up on him and from diagnosis to death was less than six weeks. He left me a terrible legal mess to clean up where he lived in Florida. Thank goodness for life long friends.

Since I have been from Alaska to Florida twice in the month of June, my animals have been cared for by knowledgeable neighbors. The goats were milked and the milk fed to an orphan calf. The sheep were great. The horses however were another story. They got out and went visiting. Voosh went through the electric fence. I ran out of hay and my husband bought outside timothy and local brome. The horses loved it. He also bought alfalfa to feed the sheep and goats.

I do not feed my animals on a rigid schedule. Usually they are fed between 10 and 12, both am and pm. They never stand at the gate and hollar for their feed. They are not pushy. They know that they will be fed. They eat local brome hay.

Vooshka colicked last night. She had been fine so Briar and I went for a short ride about 7:30 pm. About a mile and a half from the house, she laid down on me and exhibited all the classic signs of colic. I pulled her saddle off and put it on The Mare who had been ridden bareback. I walked Voosh a mile to my friend's house where she wanted to lay down and roll. We put some oil down her throat then I walked the last half mile home. Long, no drama story short - after two doses of banamine she finally pooped at 2 am and again at 3 am. My vet recommended not riding for a couple of days.

With the time spent in Florida and another few days off, there is just no way that I can get this horse in shape for a CTR. We would only be doing Competitive Pleasure but I just can't see hauling 7 hours each way for a long ride with a horse that isn't 100% ready. There's always next year.

I may post occasionally about our Poker Rides and some training but it may be few and far between. Maybe even I try Wordless Wednesdays and just post pictures.

But I'll be back..........