Sunday, August 30, 2009

More Winners!

At the sheep show on Friday we showed several Suffolk sheep. We won lots of blue ribbons - mostly because we had the only Suffolks entered! However, the judge doesn't have to give you first place just because you are the only one in the ring.

Anne and Nancy were entered in the 2 to under 12 month class. I'm not sure which one was first because they were pen judged. I didn't feel like rodeoing them in the ring. Then we showed 7 and 30 in the 12 month to under 24 month class. 7 was first and 30 was second. John and Rider completed our entry. They were in the market, produce of dam and get of sire classes. Rider beat John in market but they placed 1st in the other classes. Each first earned a premium of $20 and second was $15. I actually made enough to cover my fair admission and parking pass!

I placed second in sheep showmanship mostly because of the fitting.

Tomorrow I am taking the morning off from the Fair so I can do my other job. Then we'll be back at the Fair for the petting zoo. Tuesday the 4-H lambs will be taken to the scales to be weighed then moved from the big pen to their own small pens. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday the kids have many competitions and classes. Then on Saturday is the auction.

I love this time of year but it is very hectic. I haven't done anything with the horses except throw them hay and fill the water trough. Maybe some pictures when I can get them downloaded.

Friday, August 28, 2009

A Winner!

I have one stinky registered Alpine goat buck named Mr. Ritter (registered name is Heavenly Peace Hewa Hewa Ali'l). Today was the American Dairy Goat Association (ADGA) show at the Fair. The girl I bought him from encouraged me to show him so off we went - no bath (bucks stink no matter what) no grooming (bucks don't care and they stink) but I did wash the blood off his face from the scurs I ripped off his head. I have never shown a goat but I've watched while my daughter learned to show goats in 4-H. She's won Grand Champion Goat Showmanship twice.

So any way, we went in the ring for our class and won. Then we went back in the ring for Grand Champion (all the first place bucks). HE WON! That earned the first of three legs to get his permanent championship. We had a good time and, although I won't continue in a big way with the goats, I will finish his championship.

The sheep show tomorrow and I need to get back to the fairgrounds to groom them.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wordless Wednesday.........almost

Today is check in day for the Open Livestock shows at the Alaska State Fair. I'm taking 4 ewes, 2 wethers, and the stinky buck. The buck has to go for vet check and then come home as bucks are not allowed to stay at the fair. This is my first time ever to show sheep. It will be a real learning experience. I have really nice sheep but they are not "show" groomed and they haven't been trained to show. This is gonna be fun....................

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Went riding......

Two of my 4-H Quiz Bowl/Horse Judging members had a rotten time at the District 4-H Horse Show yesterday afternoon. So they loaded up and came to my house and we went riding. They rode bareback but I'm not quite ready to ride Voosh bareback.

We crossed the river looking for a trail called Olga Loop. I can find either end of the loop as it comes off the main trail but making the connection can be difficult. The trail hasn't been ridden much this year so the devil's club and ferns have taken over. We just turned around and came back the way we went in. Next time I'll take the other beginning and maybe we can find our way through.

The girls weren't ready to head back so we rode our main east west trail called LeEllen. This trail is the most travelled of our trails. We've ridden both Poker Rides both directions on it and it's the connector trail from one group of houses to the other. You would not believe the wild raspberries! I had to stop several times to fill my mouth and all the berries I could hold in my hands. At the end of LeEllen we could go back on the road, retrace the trail back to the river, or continue on. Do I need to tell you that the girls voted to continue on?

As we approached our Gittlein Trail (named for the owners) the air was filled with the sound of big gun shots. The horses never flinched even though the sound was getting louder the closer we got to the shooting range. We never saw anyone but figured the guys were sighting in their hunting rifles. Moose, caribou and bison season starts soon. After walking through the woods on the Gittlein Trail we were faced with another choice: left, right, or go home? The girls chose left which took us on the Janice Trail back to the beginning of the Gittlein Trail and back to LeEllen and back to the river. They said they get enough road riding from their house and wanted to really trail ride.

At the river we opted to go up Dead Horse Hill and complete the circle back to the house. We rode for 4 hours and covered quite a bit of ground. I took pictures on my cell phone thinking that they could be downloaded with the old Motorola program that works with my daughter's phone. Wrong. Maybe we'll get it figured out so you can enjoy more pictures.

It feels really good to get back to riding on a semi-regular basis. Fair starts the 27th and my critters will need to be checked in on the 26th. We'll spend the week before getting everyone ready since sheep take so long to dry. Hopefully I'll get some more rides in before Fair.

Friday, August 7, 2009


This is The Mare. She's a Beligan/QH cross of an indeterminate age who is the best husband horse I have found. At some point she was well trained and will collect, sidepass, turn on the forehand and haunches. But only if you know what you are doing. Otherwise she will amble along the trail, going where you point her with no fuss. She has even carried the little yappy terrier dogs across the river. She has been used as a "packer" horse on a dude string here in Alaska and nothing much bothers her. She is fun to ride. When we canter I feel like I should be wearing armor and carrying a jousting pole!

I came across this picture while I was cleaing crap off the computer. This is my front yard. It's an 80 acre hay field and those are the Talkeetna Mountains. That's the moon rising about 4 pm several winters ago. See the snow fencing in the front? We used to put up 12 rows of 20' long fencing in the field. The driveway runs right along that field and the wind whips out of the mountains, picks up the snow and dumps it on the driveway. The first winter I lived here there was a 21' tall snow drift at the end of my driveway. In January of 09 we had 70 mile an hour winds and we spent 6 hours with 2 plow trucks and 2 skid steers trying to keep the driveway open.
These bald eagles are lurking behind the fire station in Eagle River waiting for the garbage to be thrown in the dumpster. I used to think eagles were these great, magnificent, mystical creatures until I saw them dumpster diving. It's still pretty cool to see them but give me a murder of ravens any day.

This is the view to the east from the Alaska State Fairgrounds. When the mountains turn pink from the reflection of the sunset it's called alpenglow. It's prettier and more dramatic when there is snow on the mountains but I though this was a cool picture.

Lots of stuff going on here but not much time to sit at the computer. I have a post started about my favorite saddle and will try to get that finished this week. State Fair opens in about three weeks and I have sheep and goats entered in the Open shows and my daughter has a market lamb in the 4-H shows. In addition our 4-H club does the big petting zoo so we will both be working every day of the fair. My biggest gripe is that school starts before the Fair. It's a hardship on the kids and parents. That's one reason my daughter is home schooled.

I'm going riding........