Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Environment VS Genetics

Sometimes you just have to wonder about some horses mental capacity and what their genetics has to do with it. I've got two horses here that arrived at almost the same time, were exposed to identical training, in the same environment. One is still in 'basic" training and the other has been ready for advanced training for more than a year. Topper and Ladybug were both purchased as weanlings and both arrived about the same time when they were both between 7-9 months old. Both of them had been halter broke, trained to lead and load in a trailer, trained to stand tied and to pick up their feed for cleaning and farrier work. So they had basically the same amount of training when they each arrived. They got an equal amount of training after they arrived because they I worked them the same. Yet I've had to hire a professional trainer to work additional with Topper while Ladybug has just breezed through every task I've ever put in front of her. 

Topper still needs more work before she's ready for advanced training. She seems to take longer to learn new things and she seems to get frustrated more easily. Ladybug on the other hand has rarely acted frustrated and never seems to forget anything. At  point I'd even been able to leave her in the pasture for almost a full year with out being ridden and brought her right out fresh from a layoff and picked right up where we left off a year previous. That year I let "The Bug" rest, I still had to work Topper. 

Topper is a beautiful horse, totally gorgeous in my opinion and she has a much stronger championship blood line that makes her more marketable to people interested in showing or breeding for show. Ladybug's pedigree is not so strong and most people don't think she's the "pretty" one. But those brains she has overpowers any pedigree going. In my opinion, Topper's not the mare I'd really look at breeding unless I found a stallion that was EXACTLY like Ladybug in attitude. Ladybug on the other hand, I want continually to raise horses like her. Horses who learn quickly, perform to the best of their ability at all times and who really are a pleasure to ride and work with. 

I know that this is not the result of environmental factors since the environmental factors were basically the same for the vast majority of their training. It has to be the result of their genetics.

Would you rather have a pretty horse that is difficult to train, or a not so pretty horse that is a dream to train or something in between. I know that we can't all have pretty horses that are easy to train so there has to be a happy medium.  

Monday, March 29, 2010

I Love My Bug!

Yesterday after working in the garden for quite a while, the sun and the calm day was calling me for a ride. Saturday I worked Topper and the Baby Girl, but today was a relax day so it was time to call on "The Bug".

She's always ready for a good ride any time. She's been the easiest to train all the time and she's never let me down.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Spring Garden check up

I went out today to check and see what was happening in the garden plot. The garden had been under almost 2 ft of snow for most of the winter and I'd left behind some cloves of garlic and quite a few parsnips that I didn't have time to harvest. Well I saw that the parsnips were starting to grow tops again so now was the perfect time to harvest them when I could see where they were all hiding.  This is what I got from the garden.

Yep that's a LOT of parsnips for two people, but we started out right tonight by cutting up the smallest ones and roasted them up tonight for dinner. Here is the link for a really good recipe for Roasted Parsnips.  Some will last quite a while in the fridge, but I'll probably have to freeze some also. On top of all that, I actually left some in the garden. Some were quite small and those were left to grow large enough to be worth eating. There was one more really large one that I left for the purpose of setting seeds. parsnips won't set seeds until the second year, so if you want to harvest and save them, you have to leave a few in the ground for a second growing year.

I also found that the garlic cloves had started growing. I separated out the cloves into individual bulbs and transplanted them in rows. I'll have quite a bit of garlic to harvest this fall if most of them produce. I also dug up and hoed and weeded and raked and cleaned out the rest of the garden and decided it was time to plant some of the early vegetables that can handle the cooler weather. So in went some beets, carrots, spinach and kale. Tomorrow I'm going to finish off planting cabbage, and Swiss chard. 

I'm really excited to see the garden grow this year. Who else has a garden?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Anyone care to answer this one?

Does anyone know why funding an ARMY is necessary in the Health care bill? Additionally The Public Health Services act had formerly already established a Corps, but this amendment not only changes their mission, but also increases funding for recruitment and training.  It's bad enough that we are being FORCED to buy health care based on the sole fact that we are alive and living in the USA, and it's worse that it will be enforced by the IRS with an additional 1500 or so new Agents needed to keep track of everyone who doesn't get their own health care. And it's bad that if you fail to get health insurance you could be put in jail. ( shoot that might be the best option of all refuse to get health care and go to jail. Because in jail you get 3 squares a day and you get your health care for free.)  But why exactly do we need the Health care Army also?

Section 203 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 204) is amended to read as follows:
(1) IN GENERAL.–here shall be in the Service a commissioned Regular Corps and a Ready Reserve Corps for service in time of national emergency.
(2) REQUIREMENT.–All commissioned officers shall be citizens of the United States and shall be appointed without regard to the civil-service laws and compensated without regard to the Classification Act 2 of 1923, as amended.
(3) APPOINTMENT.–Commissioned officers of the Ready Reserve Corps shall be appointed by the President and commissioned officers of the Regular Corps shall be appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate.
(4) ACTIVE DUTY.–Commissioned officers of the Ready Reserve Corps shall at all times be subject to call to active duty by the Surgeon General, including active duty for the purpose of training.
(5) WARRANT OFFICERS.–Warrant officers may be appointed to the Service for the purpose of providing support to the health and delivery systems maintained by the Service and any warrant officer appointed to the Service shall be considered for purposes of this Act and title 37, United States Code, to be a commissioned officer within the Commissioned Corps of the Service.
(b) ASSIMILATING RESERVE CORP OFFICERS INTO THE REGULAR CORPS.—Effective on the date of enactment of the Affordable Health Choices Act, all individuals classified as officers in the Reserve Corps under this section (as such section existed on the day before the date of enactment of such Act) and serving on active duty shall be deemed to be commissioned officers of the Regular Corps
(1) PURPOSE.–The purpose of the Ready Reserve Corps is to fulfill the need to have additional Commissioned Corps personnel available on short notice (similar to the uniformed service’s reserve program) to assist regular Commissioned Corps personnel to meet both routine public health and emergency response missions.
(2) USES.–The Ready Reserve Corps shall–
(A) participate in routine training to meet the general and specific needs of the Commissioned Corps;
(B) be available and ready for involuntary calls to active duty during national emergencies and public health crises, similar to the uniformed service reserve personnel;
(C) be available for backfilling critical positions left vacant during deployment of active duty Commissioned Corps members, as well as for deployment to respond to public health emergencies, both foreign and domestic; and
(D) be available for service assignment in isolated, hardship, and medically underserved communities (as defined in section 399SS) to improve access to health services.
(d) FUNDING.—For the purpose of carrying out the duties and responsibilities of the Commissioned Corps under this section, there are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to the Office of the Surgeon General for each of fiscal years 2010 through 2014. Funds appropriated under this subsection shall be used for recruitment and training of Commissioned Corps Officers.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The New Mexico Tortilla Tax

Last month I posted about our lame brain legislature pushing a tax on most food items.  The Tortilla Tax as it was labeled was passed by that same lame brain legislature. But when those representatives went back home, the got bombarded with complaints from their constituents. So some of them went back to talk to the Governor and asked him to veto the tax. Due to some statute, the Governor was able to line item veto the food tax. We have an increase in the sales tax and an increase in tobacco taxes, but at least they aren't taxing our food anymore.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


I haven't been doing much woodworking lately but I've done several pieces in the past.

This prairie dog was done for a friend. First I  burned the design and then colored it in with oil pencil. These are awesome for color control on wood projects.
Oil Pencils, 36 Color Set 

These three are still here at the house. The carousel box in the back is my favorite. It was completely burned and took a long time to make. Then I used the oil pencil for the colors. The small horse head box in the foreground was done by carving the head in first and then wood burning the sides and details. The horse head plaque was done all in carving and then painted to the same colors as my old gelding Hobo. 

I learned some of my skills and got some of my talent from my dad who did the following items.

 He also did things like full duck decoys, lathe turned vases and candle sticks and wooden toys. I'm sure he got his talent from his ancestry because I have this wonderful small wooden box dates as best I can tell around 1849.  I'm not sure if it was made in Norway and brought here to the USA or if it was made here after my ancesters moved from Norway, but the writing what little is left is in Norwegian and I can't read it. 

I hope to get back to doing some more wood crafting in the near future.I just haven't decided what to make yet.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Booger Butt and Baby Girl

Baby Girl (AKA Hobo's Dream Girl) is having fun playing in the arena. And then we added Booger Butt to the mix and he got the place happening! Baby Girl is ready to start her saddle training this year. Booger Butt is my home bred baby and he turns two this year.His registered name Bright Snow Eagle is still pending with ApHC because I've been slow in sending in the registration papers. He needs a good bath, but it's still to cold for that yet with snow still present under the trees and on the north side of buildings.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Jazzy Dog

One year ago in April, this sickly looking, starved and previously injured dog showed up at my house. Her leg had been broken and re-healed without being set causing her to not be able to bend her back leg. She was so hungry she ate a bunch of the green grass around my yard and then promptly threw it all back up.  We let Jazzy hang around and got her fixed and got her vaccinations. As she filled out and got stronger, it was obviously that she could get around very well even with her frozen back leg.  Here is is after just one week here eating good food. 

And almost a year later, she's out running around while we lead Roany.
So when you hear me talk about the Jazzy Dog, this is her, the rescued stray  that may be a Boxer, Pit Bull, Lab cross? That is what she looks like to me. She has the deep chest and wasp waist of a Boxer and she uses her front paws a lot like a Boxer. She loves to retrieve like a lab and she has the head of a pit bull. Anyway she's sweet and smart and amazingly was well trained sometime in her past. It's not a regular occurance in these parts to find a starved and abused stray that was well house trained.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Odd Couple

I turned Topper and Roany out in the arena for a run while cleaning their pens. They had fun. I didn't have as much fun cleaning pens though. Roany is a very messy pony. She poops EVERYWHERE and I mean it. That whole pen was dirty from one end to the other. Topper on the other hand is the neat freak horse. She poops as close to the same spot as possible all the time. When we had her down at the other stable, the lady had a compost pile going in the corner of her large pen. We kept Topper in that pen for the last two weeks she was there. Not one single time did we have to clean the pen.  There was not one single pile out of place, it was ALL deposited on that compost pile directly by Topper.   Topper's cut is still healing, but is much better. She's got her full coverage combo sport boots on to help protect her from re injuring herself.
I really wish I had these ones in Green here, but we got blah brown. instead. Maybe I'll get a set in green for the Baby Girl,  she'll really look good in green, ( PS If you haven't figured it out yet, I'm a total green freak.)
Perfomers 1st Choice Combo Combination Boots, Hunter Green, Large

Anyway enjoy the photos. And the challenge is to find the Jabba the Hut Rock Face in the photos!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

What to make with Leftover Cabbage

After St. Patrick's Day people often have either some left over potatoes or some left over cabbage.
I found a really good recipe that I just made last night. It was good enough for Keith to go back for seconds and it nearly totally got polished off for dinner. 
It's called Cabbage Colcannon
1 Lb new Potatoes halved ( I only had a couple russet potatoes and one sweet potato) so I did a little substituting. I diced mine up 
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil. ( I used olive oil)
1 small onion thinly sliced
1/2 head green cabbage thinly sliced
Salt and pepper to taste 
3 tablespoons salted Irish Butter divided 

1. boil potatos 20 minutes our until tender then drain well

2. heat oil in large skillet and add the onion and cook 8 minutes or until slightly browned, Add the sliced cabbage and cook 5 minutes or until softened. 

3 Add the potatoes to the skillet and cook until heated through. Slightly mash the potatoes and season with the salt and pepper. Add the butter to each portion just before serving. I substituted here and added one single tablespoon of hearth healthy spread to the full mixture before serving.

I really like this recipe and it will be great to make with the fresh cabbages I plan on growing in the garden this year.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Heart of the Appaloosa

The Heart Of The Appaloosa

The title of this post is also the title of a song that I bought on I tunes last night. I first heard the song attached to someones website several years ago and finally bought it. 
Here are the song's lyrics,  try not to cry when you read it, but if you buy the song, you probably will cry when you hear it.  If you want to get the song, it can be found at both I-tunes and Amazon.com

From the land of shooting waters to the peaks of the Coeur d'Alene
Thimbleberries in the forest, elk grazing on the plain
The People of the Coyote made their camp along the streams
Of the green Wallowa Valley when fences had no name.

And they bred a strain of horses, the treasure of the tribe
Who could toe-dance on a ridge or gallop up a mountainside
Who could haul the hunter's burden, turn a buffalo stampede
The horse that wore the spotted coat was born with matchless speed.

Thunder Rolling in the Mountains
Lead the People across the Great Divide
There's blood on the snow in the hills of Idaho
But the heart of the Appaloosa never died.

In the winter came the crowned ones near frozen in the cold
Bringing firearms and spyglasses and a book that saves the soul
The people gave them welcome, nursed them till their strenght returned
And studied the talking paper, its mysteries to learn.

In the shadow of the mission sprang up farms and squatter towns
The plain was lined with fences, the plow blade split the ground
In the shallows of the Clearwater gold glittered in the pan
And the word would come from Washington:  remove the Indian.


The chief spoke to the People in his anger and his pain
"I am no more Chief Joseph.  Rolling Thunder is my name.
They condemn us to a wasteland of barren soil and stone
We shall fight them if we must, but we will find another home."

They fled into the Bitterroot, an army at their heels
They fought at White Bird Canyon, they fought at Misery Hill
Till the colonel saw his strategy and sent the order down
To kill the Appaloosa wherever it be found.


Twelve hundred miles retreating, three times over the Divide
The horse their only safety, their only ally
Three thousand Appaloosas perishod with the tribe
The people and the horses dying side by side.

Thunder Rolling in the Mountains said, "my heart is sick and sad.
Our children now are freezing.  The old chiefs are dead.
The hunger take our spirit.  Our wounds are deep and sore.
From where the sun now stands I shal fight no more."


They were sent to Oklahoma, malaria ran rife
But more died of broken hearts far from the land that gave them life
And the man once called Joseph at death was heard to say
"We have given up our horses.  They have gone away."

But sometimes without warning from a dull domestic herd
A spotted horse of spirit wondrous will emerge
Strong it is and fearless and nimble on a hill
Listening for thunder, the Appaloosa's living still.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Christopher's New Saddle

My sister went into the saddle shop to get her saddle fixed in the spots where it was coming un sewn. It was going to cost quite a bit of money, so she figured she would be able to just buy Christopher a new saddle with that amount of money and she was right. The saddle guy had a new cordura kids saddle right there at the shop. He still needs his little dude stirrups for a while until his legs grow long enough to reach in the new saddle.
Lil' Dude Stirrups by Weaver 

So he had to come try his new saddle and stirrups out on the Roany pony. 

Jazzy dog wore herself out walking and running around alongside and Roany pony really didn't care.

After the ride Christopher petted Roany and thanked her for the ride then he helped pick up the eggs and checked out the ducks and turkeys.

And If you look closely you see that everyone is honoring the Irish with the "Wearin O' the Green" even Roany pony! The Irish love their horses, so what better way to spend St. Patrick's Day afternoon then on a horse?

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!