Monday, January 17, 2011

Sometimes I like winter.....

but not this year. We have plowed twice. Thank goodness for plow contracts that pay monthly. I received an awesome pair of snowshoes for Christmas and have used them twice. The ground is frozen solid and the ice makes it very slippery for the critters. Our water pipes froze - again - this morning and we still don't have water.

On the other hand - the lambs are due starting the beginning of February. The jugs are ready for them and the mommas have all their vaccinations. I need to deworm them this week. My knee is getting better but only about 75%. I'm off most of the pain meds except ibuprophen at night. The wind has stopped blowing but the high temps are below zero and the forecast is for cold temps until the weekend.

Other than that, not much is going on here. January is a slow, quiet month usually. February brings a rush with lambing. State Livestock competition is in March, State Horse is in April, and we hit the ground running in May. There are monthly Poker Rides planned for the summer as well as participation in the Colony Days Parade, Rally Days and Livestock Judging competition. Briar will have her lamb and a goat for market this year as well as working in the Events office at the Alaska State Fair. She has also been invited to travel with my riding buddies to the Fairbanks Alaska CTR - Challenge of the North - in July. The Kenai Peninsula Fair is in August, our fair starts the end of August through Labor Day and then we begin a two month crash course for competition at the Livestock Skill-A-Thon at the North American International Livestock Expo in Louisville the first two weeks of November. Whew! Makes me tired just thinking about all that! I haven't even added in all the work I have to do for my business!

So I am grateful that January is a slow, quiet month. I have a quilt to finish as well as one to start, several books to finish so I can send them to OS, and a couple of other projects to work on. Off now to unload hay and 1800 pounds of barley!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Still here.......

While all of you in the South are enjoying our "typical" Alaska weather, we are suffering thorough no snow and very cold temps. Last night at feeding time, it was 0.0*F. The digital thermometer can't decide if that is above or below zero and shows it both ways. Anchorage has had ice fog. It leaves beautiful hoarfrost on the trees but it's nasty on the roads. There have been several fatality car accidents due to the horrible driving conditions.

With that, Briar and I loaded the horses and trailered to the indoor on Sunday. We had an okay ride. My knee is still bothering me and I felt very unbalanced. There were 8 horses in this indoor and Voosh took exception to the way Ned (the horse) was loping circles. She got very "excited", crowhopping and snorting. My first instinct is to whoa her down and make her stand still. My riding buddies yelled at me to keep her moving forward and I did! She settled okay and we worked on the leg yielding assignment that we were given a couple of weeks ago. The assignment is to work a 20 meter circle at a trot with her nose tipped in and yielding off my inside leg. Then we are to spiral in and out using leg only. Mostly we can do that but our circles are not round.

Our group has exclusive use of the arena from 10:30 am until noon. I have left as late as 2 pm and no one else has been in the arena. Yesterday though at 12:02, in came a Friesian stallion, 2 mares with their handlers and a foal. The foal was haltered but had no person on the end of his leadrope. It came in and ran around helter skelter. One mare kicked at the stallion and the whole crew, people included, were just not very well mannered. We left at 12:05.

My knee is not as swollen. I can move easily but it sets up overnight and if I sit too long. I am planning on snowshoeing with Wild Horse Annie and her crew on Saturday. The sheep need to be dewormed and vaccinated with CD & T tomorrow. I also need to get hay and a ton of barley. There's lots of other stuff to be done before next month when the ewes start lambing.

Thanks for all the good thoughts.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

2011 WAS off to a good start.......

until the aliens that attacked OS came to Alaska and got me!

The temps here have been unseasonably warm: 40*F. That means that what snow we had melted, then froze as slick, nasty, treacherous ice. I haven't cleaned the horse pen because poop creates traction. I threw sand all over the pathways from the barns to the pens. I missed one spot behind the barn and that's where those aliens pulled my feet out from under me and I smacked the ice really hard with my right knee and shoulder. I laid there for 5 minutes trying not to pass out or throw up. It's been 10 years since I fell on the ice and 4 since I've come off my horse. I have been very lucky.

Once I got to my feet, I hobbled into the house and Briar brought ice for my knee. Soon it was so swollen that I couldn't bend it. Straighten yes, bear weight yes but bend? No way. Ibuprofen and ice helped.

This morning it is still extremely swollen but I am able to gimp around. It is exactly 5 weeks before my ewes start lambing so I have 10 ewes to inject with BoSe. Briar will help hold but I have to do the injections.

I was supposed to ride today, snowshoe on Saturday and ride again on Sunday. Guess I better just cowgirl up.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

3rdAnnual First Saturday Event

The 3rd Annual First Saturday was held on Saturday, January 1, 2011. Wild Horse Annie invited me to attend again this year. This year we had twice as many participants as 2010 and just as much fun. This event involves the mountain and

this bunch of women. I knew half of them and the other half worked with Annie at her telephone company job. Most of us had snowshoed, hiked, climbed, or skiied before. Annie and I are the only horse riders in this group though. I'm on the far left and Annie is the second from the right. She was our leader and trail breaker and I rode drag.

Part way up the mountain she turned to look back at us and burst out laughing. She says we reminded her of the pictures of the train of people going up the Chilkoot Pass during gold rush days.

Once again we timed it just right. As we reached the highest elevation (about 1100') the sun broke through the clouds and gave us what one girl said was "God clouds". I am so blessed to live in this area and have such awesome friends to share this with.

We walked about 2 miles in 4 hours and climbed about 800' in elevation. I received an awesome pair of snowshoes for Christmas. They are MSRs and really aggressive with serrated edges and sharp crampons. Our highest point was at a place we call Aspen. It's one of the P&R stops for the Bald Mountain Butt Buster.

PS - I stole all the pictures from Annie's FaceBook page.