Wednesday, May 30, 2012

It's almost official!!

Well the ACTHA ride season ends tomorrow and my mare Hobo's Dream Girl will officially be a top 10 competitive horse!! She ended the ride season with a bang and brought home two ribbons for her last two events. Her points will place her 6th in the State of NM and in the top 100 nation wide. I'm so excited for her and really, really happy because it's only her first year EVER in competition!

Below are some photos taken at different ACTHA events and fun rides. This first one taken by Lisa From Laughing Orca Ranch is of Dream and I and my friend Donna and her horse just before the water and slicker obstacle at the Estancia ACTHA ride.

 Another photo from Lisa as we are doing the water/slicker obstacle.

Lisa also sent this one from one of our fun rides at San Acacia on the day before one of the ACTHA events. I so love the fun rides there because we got A LOT of water crossing training as you can see.

Another one of my friends took this photo of us at one of the San Acacia ACTHA events where we had to trot through the tunnel of Salt Cedar in the background and then circle and comeback out.

and the National and state standings from the ACTHA website.

My National Ranking

Rank Pleasure Points

61 Anna Larson
Hobo`s Dream Girl

Rank Rider Horse Breed Points Number of Rides
1 Carol Wells Grady AQH 65 13
2 LuAnne Santiago Unexpected Tippy AQH 59 14
3 Lou Ann Jordan Chance APH 52 15
4 Karen Ruiz Rio Spanish Mustang 35 11
5 Nancy Freshour "Aspen", aka McFadden`s Summer Beauty Rocky Mountain Horse 30 5
6 Anna Larson Hobo`s Dream Girl Appaloosa 28 16
7 Laura Styron Fancy AQH 21 7
8 Laurie Boultinghouse HRA Grace Arabian Horse 19 6
8 Cindy Kavan-Winfield Cinco Holsteiner Horse 19 6
10 Kay Adams Sage Mustang 18 9
11 Wava OBrien JOR Picasso Peruvian Paso 15 13    

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Busy couple of weeks

Since my friend got hurt, I've been taking care of her horses as well as my own, plus I've got another friends horse here for the trainer to work with. So at the moment there are 8 horses here plus all the other critters. I also have three hens setting on eggs along with one duck and a goose. The goose hatched out at least one gosling on Saturday or Sunday while I was at the ACTHA ride. 
Dream and I went on the ACTHA ride in Estancia and we placed 5th on the Sunday ride.  We have three more rides before the ride season ends and we will be off to San Acacia this weekend for one of those rides. As soon as I get them I'll post photos of the ACTHA ride and the gosling if I can get a close up of it without getting goosed by momma and daddy goose.

My garden is starting out well and I'm going to have to start planting the rest of the garden really soon. The Pear trees are blooming and look like they actually might survive to produce some pears.  the apple and cherry trees haven't bloomed yet and I'm hoping that the spring will be kind and no freeze them or the pears this year.   I've already harvested enough Asparagus for the first good meal of the spring. Kale and spinach are also going well. The Sun chokes are starting to grow next to the rhubarb and garlic starts. It's already looking like a good garden year.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Updates on Sprouting

Well I had planned to make this update a bit sooner, but things got crazy with my friend getting hurt.  First off I haven't been able to get a hold of whole wheat or whole barley to try sprouting those. I tried my two year old home grown Indian corn and whole oats.  The Indian corn did well and sprouted nicely, The oats did a big fat NOTHING.  Then I tried whole corn from the feed store. The whole corn DID sprout, but not anywhere near as well as the Indian Corn.  It also fermented and molded much faster and truly stunk. 

The feed store owner told me today that she can't get any whole barley at all, but the whole wheat will be in at the end of the week. I'm going to try the whole wheat and see how it compares to the corn and oats.
So the sprouting experiments are on temporary hold until I can get new seeds to sprout.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Horse Injuries

I got a phone call early this morning from one of my friends. One of our mutual friends is currently in the hospital in the ICU because of a horse related injury.  My friend was in her horse corral cleaning and brushing her horses. One of her horses decided he wanted to pick a fight with one of the horses and my friend got caught in the middle. One of the horses knocked her down and one or more of them stepped on her head. So now my friend has a fractured skull and had bleeding in her brain and had to have surgery to stop the bleeding.  Currently her prognosis is good and they removed her from the critical list this afternoon. Her motor functions are good, but her speech is not as good. She's been dropping words, not completing full sentences and struggling to find the right words. 

I went over to my friends house today and picked up her horses to care for them while she's in the hospital. So I'll be extra busy with more horses here. 
I'm planning on putting together a benefit trail ride to help my friend as she can't work for a while. The ride will happen within the next two months and will be at the Continental Divide trails that so many people were interested in riding at. I don't plan on it being an ACTHA type competition. I'm just asking for donations and maybe set up a raffle of some items If I get items donated. 

 So for all my New Mexico friends, please put the word out about the ride and keep an eye out for the ride details to come.  For any of my more distant friends, If you feel like making a donation either an item for a raffle or money to help with expenses I'll be working on setting up a fund for donations. 

One reminder, Take care when working around your horses.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Ride Photos

My friend Lisa sent me some of the ride photos I talked about earlier in my "Wonderful Weekend" post. The first photo shows Dream running through the water. At first she didn't want to go into the river and then all of a sudden she took a mighty leap and tried to gallop through the water then she settled down as you can see in this progression of photos. It's a really neat progression on the photos.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Uses for all that horse poop

Friday the local news had an article about a Poop powered vehicle that the Denver Zoo is currently "parading" around the country.  The vehicle is called Tuk-Tuk and here are several articles about it.

That same day I got my most recent Mother Earth News Magazine and there is a big article about a guy who is running several of his farm trucks on "Wood Gas". 

It is quite interesting that these two different articles popped up about the same time when Rising gas prices are making people feel the "pain at the pump".  Well I started doing some research and wondered if I could find a way to use my horses manure in a system like this.  So I did more research and found this article about a guy who was making horse manure bricks and using them in his wood stove. After burning them, he then used the poop ashes in his garden as a fertilizer.

So it appears that you can make poop bricks and burn them. It does seem like a labor intensive project, but since I have a wood burning stove, anything short of buying already cut and split wood is also labor intensive. I have 5 equine that I'm shoveling in grass hay in one end and they are processing and dumping out pounds of it at the other end. If I'm going to have to pay those ever increasing costs to feed these horses, I might as well try and get something back out if them. I looked at several options. The first was making pellets like the Denver zoo does, but a pellet machine costs a lot of money and I don't have a pellet burning stove.

This poop brick idea is a much better solution for my wood burning stove, but the problem is that the article had directions for a single brick mold.  So I went on the hunt again for a plan or pre-made mold that would make more than one brick at a time.  I finally found this Four log paper brick maker. 

The interesting thing is you can use either paper or poop to make the bricks. and If you have access to both then you can mix them. So I'm considering attempting to make some horse poop bricks this year and see how it all turns out. Once I see how well it does in the home fireplace, I just might consider converting my really old, bad gas mileage truck into a poop burner similar to the Denver Zoo's poop powered vehicle.  That would be an interesting experiment.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Sprouting experiment

A little while back, I posted about how I wanted to start sprouting seeds to feed my chickens and eventually my horses as well.  Once I got back from my last ACTHA ride, I started  my experiments. I started by buying several seed starting trays with clear domes like these shown below.

I had some left over Indian Corn that I had grown 2 years ago. I had been grinding it up to add to the Chickens diet, but with the amount I had left over It was the right amount to try 4 days of sprouting experiments with.  I also got a bag of whole oats to try and grow oat grass. So I thought I'd mix the oats and the corn.  Well that's not working so well. The 2 year old Indian corn is sprouting within 24-48 hours but none of the oats over the last 4 days have sprouted. If I continue this, the Corn will have to be separate from the oats.  Additionally next week I'll be able to pick up some whole wheat and some whole barley to try.  More on the experiment when I actually feed it to the chickens.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

ACTHA Newspaper Article

My mom sent me this newspaper article about one of the ACTHA rides I went on back in February. It was neat and had a great photo to it so I scanned it in to show it off.  If you want to read more about that ride, you can check out my past post here

Monday, March 19, 2012

Back From Another ACTHA Ride

Dream and I went on another ACTHA ride this weekend. It was actually two different days of competition.  On the first day we didn't place in the top 6, but we placed third on the second day.  On the first day we started out with the first obstacle being a stop and pause for a count of 5 before moving on. Then we had a down an embankment obstacle. This photo is us near the bottom of the embankment as we are headed to the flags at the end of the obstacle.

Here we are headed on down the trail after that embankment obstacle.
After the embankment obstacle, we headed out to the back around the bushes obstacle. We were supposed to back a figure 8 around two bushes. However I think they misjudged the time it would take to navigate the obstacle. Only two individuals in my division were able to navigate that obstacle within the time limit they set. Dream and I also timed out and got a zero score for it.  We then headed out to the trot weave obstacle. Dream did pretty well on it but she almost missed one of the cones.  Then we came to the bridge obstacle. Dream did well on that one as she's used to a similar bridge here at the house. Finally the ride is nearly over and our last obstacle is called the Snake Pit. It was a box of logs filled with sticks and swimming noodles.  As you can see in the photo below, Dream walked right on across.
 Finally back at the horse trailer at the end of the ride. It was a nice day and lots of fun.  If you are wondering about the outfit, well it was St. Patrick's day and I had to dress like a Leprechaun.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Wonderful weekend

Well I'm back from my rides. I had a wonderful weekend. Saturday we all got together and had a "fun ride" which turned into a really great training opportunity for Dream. The first big thing we had to do was cross the river. That was quite interesting. Dream will go across water, but this water was deeper than we normally have in my area and much wider. The river was about 50-75 ft wide I'm guessing and had quite a strong current. Dream at first didn't want to go in, but finally took a major LEAP!! She then tried to gallop across the river, but after a couple strides she realized that it was to much work. So she settled down into a walk.  The rest of the ride was just a bunch of hill work and wonderful views until the last water crossing at the end to get back to camp. Dream did great on the second water crossing going home. I didn't get any photos I completely forgot my camera I'm hoping some of my friends send me a few photos of the rides.

(And just after I posted this, my friend Cindy R. sent me this photo of Dream and I just before we headed out for the competition. )

 Sunday was the competition and we had to go back across the water crossing as the very first obstacle. Dream did much better then since she'd already seen it the day before. I've already forgotten what order they all came in, but all the obstacles were pretty neat and all natural.  We were judged on going downhill, Backing up a slight incline, going through a natural tunnel, going into a "cave" and standing still, and stepping or jumping off a drop down.  The tunnel was really neat because it was literally "carved" out of a thicket of trees.  They cut the tunnel so that you could see the other side, but you were completely covered sides and top by tree limbs. The "cave" wasn't a full cave but more like a small box canyon. It was fairly narrow and a dead end. There wasn't a roof to the cave but Dream didn't want to go in. That was the only obstacle she didn't complete on this ride.  The step down was about a 2 ft drop off basically a mini cliff. It would be similar to a horse walking out of the horse trailer or maybe just slightly taller.   And finally the way back to camp presented us with the last river crossing headed back home. I think Dream got a lot of good water crossing training between the last two ACTHA rides and my fun ride. Dream and I have crossed the Rio Grande 6 times in the past month.  We will be headed out to one more ACTHA ride next weekend and then we have 4 weeks of being home before the next ACTHA ride in April. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Check out the new pages

While I'm off for the weekend on one of my ACTHA rides, I thought I'd mention that I've posted new pages. One page for each of the horses. Just check out the tabs at the top of the page and when I get back, I'll update some of the photos and information on my horses. Have a good weekend.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Growing sprouts to feed the critters.

I've been doing some research on feeding the horses and the poultry (especially the ducks and geese) sprouted grains. The websites are calling it "fodder" but it is really just different grains sprouted into grasses. You can use barley, wheat, oats, and many other grains or a combination of some or all of them. I'm starting my experiment on a small scale to make some sprouted grasses for the ducks and geese. I've purchased some sprouting trays. As soon as those come in I'm going to start growing some fodder for the poultry and I'll report back on how that's going.  If you want to read more about growing your own "sprouts" for your critters, you might be interested in some of the following web links.

There is even this neat youtube video from a poultry farmer working with a system for his chickens.  The system he's using is one that I'm thinking about purchasing if my cheapo experimental system works out for me. 

I'd still have to buy some of my hay for the horses, but the chickens and other poultry could live exclusively on the fodder as they don't require long stem dry matter to aid in digestion. It appears that the fodder systems have been in use in other parts of the world for a while now. Australia and the middle east each have documented use of this type of feed system for 2 to 3 years now. The benefits of the system is that you can provide fresh feed to your animals all year round. the downside is you need a place that is warm enough to grow the fodder all year round. I'm currently working on getting a green house so hopefully I'll be able to make this whole thing work.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Spring is coming!

So I went out to the garden on Sunday and checked out what needed to be done before spring creeps up on me. I found this.

These are my parsnips that are starting to re-sprout. That means I needed to dig up the parsnips because I don't want them growing and reseeding this year.  So I got busy and dug and dug and ended up with this.

That is a box with 20 LBS of parsnips. So I'm now busy cleaning and scrubbing and preparing to freeze a LOT of parsnips.  We already had our first meal last night with wonderful maple roasted parsnips. I've also got a nice parsnip bread recipe that I want to try.

In addition to checking out the garden, I decided to try a few milk jug mini green house starts. I want to see how they work out so I only set out 4 at the moment.  

Sunday's weather was wonderful, but I was still to sick to feel like riding. I ended up lunging Dream for a little while just to get her back into shape for the coming ride season. 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Bye Bye Facebook

Well while everyone else is busy being hooked up to Facebook I decided to completely deactivate my account. I hate the new Facebook timeline profile and instead of just complaining like most people, I did something about it. I refuse to keep a profile on Facebook as long as that timeline profile is in effect. If more people who complain would actually do something about it then Facebook would get the message. Or I could just be sitting out here in lala land while every one else connects on Facebook. My opinion is that I'm always the independent sort so I'll be independent out here alone if that's what it takes.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Random Stuff

Well I've been home sick for the past three days so when I've actually felt like being up and moving around I've been sitting quietly on the couch working on some crochet projects. I'm making a couple of blankets one for human use in my horse trailer and one for pet use on a dog bed if Catastropy the cat doesn't steal it first. 
This blanket is the one I'm going to put in my horse trailer when it's finished. 
And this is going to be the dog blanket

Here is Buddy and Jazzy kissing up trying to show how good buddies they can be. 

now here they are patiently waiting for a treat.
And the Castastrophy watching with disgust as the dogs kiss up to get special treats. 
Now I'm off to the store to try and find a different cold medication that will help clear up my stuffy head and hopefully I'll feel better tomorrow.

Monday, February 20, 2012

ACTHA ride

Well Keith and I and our horses Dream and Ladybug all just got back from our ACTHA ride this weekend. This is the second ride that Dream and I have been to this month, but Keith and Bug haven't been on the trails since about November. The first ride was in Socorro last Sunday and the second was in T or C this President's day weekend. 

The ride camp this weekend was at the Caballo State Park and was hands down the BEST camp site EVER. I mean who wouldn't want easy access to water faucets, Electric hookups for the vast majority of the participants, flush toilets AND access to showers! I know it sounds silly, but it's pretty much luxury camping. I'm so happy I got to use my horse trailer heater/AC for the very first time in the year I've owned the trailer. I'm also really happy my heater works so well.  I got a generator as a Christmas present so the next ride I go on I'll be able to use it also to run my heater.  

Here we are at the river crossing

And then again at the crossing the bridge obstacle.

What a GREAT weekend!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Doggie Chews

Jazzy and Buddy got a new bag of treats recently called CET ChewsThe chews are marketed for use in times when you can't brush your dog's teeth. Since both Jazzy and Buddy were rescued strays, they don't like getting their teeth brushed so we needed to try something different.  We got a big bag of the CET Chews for them to test out. We haven't had the chews long enough to test out their complete benefits yet, but Jazzy and Buddy certainly look forward to their new daily treat. 

The treats are coated with a couple enzymes that are supposed to help break up the plaque on your dog's teeth. The texture of the chew is rough enough to help brush or push the plaque off the teeth.  I got the size for large dogs (26 lbs up to 50 lbs) and they are just right for Jazzy and Buddy. The chews are large enough to last for a while but not so large that Jazzy and Buddy can't finish chewing them up.

These chews are similar to plain rawhide, but seems to be easier to chew. Buddy doesn't normally like plain rawhide chews, but he munches down on these CET Chews. The chews are the right size for a good daily treat and both the dogs really like them.  I think they will be a good addition to Jazzy and Buddy's list of favorite dog treats. 

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Appaloosa Horse and it's registry problems

Seriously for those of you who don't have Appaloosas, you might not want to bother reading this. I love my Appaloosas but honestly I'm totally sick of the main registry for Appaloosas. Over the past few years I'm sure some of you have seen my posts about different issues that have come up. 
Things like giving a registration status to a foal who's sire was a registered paint in Violation of the Breeding rule "No paint or pinto breeding" and the issue of allowing a person suspended from two other associations for abuse become an ApHC member and ride in the the World show. Those may seem like some pretty major issues but both were just swept under the rug. Now they have one more seriously major issue that also violates their own bylaws. Last fall, The ApHC held an election for the Board of Directors. The election process was completely ILLEGAL yet complaints from membership were also ignored.
Some of the complaints include the following:
1. First of all the election was held 100% electronically in violation of the rules in the hand book that state each member must be MAILED a ballot.  We were supposed to vote in the bylaw change with this vote, but as written, the bylaw still said a paper ballot must be mailed.

2. The election was supposed to be conducted and results compiled by a third party. The ApHC contends that the software program used to calculates the votes counts as a third party. All the Data and results were pulled out by members of the ApHC staff instead of being handed over from a third party company.
3. Individuals were supposed to be notified by e-mail and regular mail on how to vote. Problem is that some people didn't even get that information until AFTER the vote was closed. 
4. The rules for the vote stated that the voting would end at midnight on October 20th. They also stated 12AM. Problem is they didn't specify WHICH midnight/ 12 AM. So what happened is that the ApHC closed the vote at 00:00 am on the morning of October 20th while a large number of people were trying to vote because they thought it was supposed to be midnight 24:00 at the end of the day on the 20th. The ApHC refused to disclose which "midnight" they were referring to and they used ambiguous language that confused many of their own members.
Is midnight the end of a day or the beginning of a day?
When someone refers to “midnight tonight” or “midnight last night” the reference of time is obvious. However, if a date/time is referred to as “at midnight on Friday, October 20th” the intention could be either midnight the beginning of the day or midnight at the end of the day.
To avoid ambiguity, specification of an event as occurring on a particular day at 11:59 p.m. or 12:01 a.m. is a good idea, especially legal documents such as contracts and insurance policies. Another option would be to use 24-hour clock, using the designation of 0000 to refer to midnight at the beginning of a given day (or date) and 2400 to designate the end of a given day (or date).

One interesting thing to note is that the ApHC had more than 15,000 total members at the time of the vote. The total votes cast were less than 1000 in number. The most sickening thing of all is that some of the members actually think that the vote is legal and that anyone who didn't vote was at fault. Individuals couldn't vote because they didn't get the information through no fault of their own. Individuals couldn't vote because the ApHC didn't appropriate disclose what time the vote was supposed to close.

I decided to not renew my membership with the ApHC over this because I cannot support a club who is so unethical that they can't follow their own bylaws.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Catching up

Finally it was nice enough to saddle up a horse and go for a ride. The ground is still a bit slick and we still have snow and ice in some places. We had to take the ride slow because of the conditions, but Dream did good. We rode 4 miles and practiced a bunch of obstacles including a walk over the tarp and the bridge, the pin wheel, open gates and we even literally went and picked up the mail.  We are getting ready for more ACTHA rides this year. There are two planned for February, two planned in March, two planned in April and a single day ride in June so far. Dream is currently the only Appaloosa in the state that is in the top 10 horses and I hope to keep her in the top 10 for the ride year. 

Topper is fighting off hoof abcesses in both front feet. She's been in the 'sick' pen for almost a month now. She's getting better slowly and soon she'll be back in the main pasture with the rest of them. 

Ladybug and Booger Butt are doing fine. I'm thinking of taking BB on some of the up coming ACTHA rides to get him used to being tied to the horse trailer and get him around other horses. I've also decided that maybe I'll be selling Booger Butt. He's such a cute guy, but if I'm going to be breeding Appaloosas, I can't keep all of them. I want to breed Topper this year for a foal in 2013. I can't keep all of them and Booger is doing well in his training. He's ready for someone to take him to a higher level of training.