Thursday, January 30, 2014

Dang it

Woke up to some bad news yesterday... it looks like our little dud bull Norman wasn't such a dud after all, there was a dead calf froze to the ground in the pen :(

We'd had no calves from him the spring before and never noticed any "activity" between him and the girls.  Last summer we sold him to a lady with a small petting zoo, which was a perfect fit for him.  Then we bought a really nice purebred Dexter bull.  SO if everything went according to plan we were expecting calves around May.  Perfect for us!  We're not set up for winter/cold weather calving.

I'm really hoping that it was just the one cow that took.  For now I'm checking cows as often as possible and holding my breath.  Momma & Dad B are coming out on Saturday to take a look and see if they can tell if the other three are any further along.  Right now I'm not seeing any noticeable signs (but remember these are my first cows and first calves!)

Trying to look for silver linings here... Hera was sitting in the pen "guarding" the calf and led me to it when I didn't go to the pen myself.  It also seems that she ate the placenta, I couldn't find it anywhere.  From what I've read this is good LGD behaviour to help keep from attracting predators.  Momma must have calved easily, she's not in any noticeably rough shape or distressed. (keep in mind these are heifers so it's their first calves) 

So I'm just going to keep hoping that little dud only got the one cow knocked up!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Two in a row!

Two days in a row of horse fun that is! :D

I gave myself the stupidest, most brutal schedule possible this week at work... I had Monday off (which I normally do, it's Pie's ONLY day off) then I did night audit training Tuesday & Wednesday (11pm - 7am) had Thursday off and then day shifts (7am - 3:30pm) Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  ALL so that I could have Saturday evening free to go penning lol

Well it turned out that there was a bonus, Friday night there was a barrel racing jackpot scheduled that I had forgotten about!  So after a few trials and tribulations (stuck truck, low tires, air not turned on at gas station, etc) my boarder KD & I went barrel racing.

Voodoo hasn't seen barrels in months, and he hasn't been ridden a lot so I was just planning on taking a slow cruise through the pattern and getting a couple qualifying jackpots on our card (all you have to do is enter and "run" the pattern at whatever speed you want, you don't actually have to place you're just required to enter a minimum number of jackpots to qualify for Finals)  I was more interested in seeing how he'd act, Voodoo had gotten a bit silly at the gate toward the end of the year.  Obviously, being winter, this jackpot was indoors... so he'd already be "in" the arena.  He would however have to get into the alleyway and run toward the barrels.
Our first run he was juuuust turning into the alley and noticed the pattern set up and gave the tiniest pause and then he was all the way in and loping toward first.  Unfortunately I goofed... on second I didn't ask for that little bit more of a stride and let him turn too soon.
That darn turn has been my nemesis!  But I think I've gotten it figured out, thanks in part to Browneyed Cowgirl for that!  I started barrels riding Cessa, who was much longer bodied and less "bendy" than Voodoo.  As a result when I asked her to turn she'd glide into her turn and around.  When I ask Voodoo for the turn in the same spot he snaps around right.there and turns on top of the barrel.  I'm going to take BEC's advice and ride to MY spot on the barrel not HIS (ride to where my knee is at the barrel)

Saturday I hauled to penning with my neighbour Nell (who also happens to be a good friend and an equine body worker)  We've missed quite a few pennings this last little while either due to being cancelled because of cold, the Christmas break or lack of means to get there, and Voodoo has been missing it!  He's such a funny guy, our Dexters are in the pen on the other side of his and he'll go up to the fence, push his chest against it and stare at them then look up at me and back to the cows, it's like he's begging to chase them lol
This Saturday was pick night, which means you can choose your team mates.  Our little club is a "just for fun" club so teams are usually drawn.  Nell & I opted to team up and said to just put anyone that needs a partner as our 3rd, which turned into a funny story... the lady we ended up with (Carol?) turns out to be a neighbour of ours.  That makes at least 5 "new" neighbours I've found at penning lol
We may not have a very successful night as in actually getting our cattle penned but I was pretty darn happy with how Voodoo worked.  We actually got quite a few compliments - I appreciate a compliment on my riding/horsemanship (especially as I'm not that confident in my own abilities) but a compliment on my horse means even more to me :)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Blue or S.A.D?

I'll be honest with y'all... it's been rough the last month or so. 
This winter we've had a ridiculous amount of extreme cold - manymanymany days & nights of "feels like" temps ranging from -40 to -50 C (for my US peeps that is -40 to -58F). 
The cold is bad enough, but when it's that cold the horses and cattle burn through way more hay than normal, and I didn't really have a lot to spare.  Which is why I was waiting on some backup cattle hay to be delivered.
Then, because of how cold it was,the backup hay wasn't able to be delivered AND our tractor wasn't starting so I had to dip into my horse hay to feed cows.
All this cold meant anything outdoors was pretty much vetoed, even just hanging out getting some quality time with the horses wasn't really happening.
That's just the critter stuff, it seemed like no matter where I looked there wasn't much to be happy about.
Normally that's a bit of a downer but I've just been feeling SO down.  A friend suggested maybe I was suffering from S.A.D. (link here if you're not sure what that is) however it's never been an issue before so I didn't really think that was it.  However when I've said in the past that horses (specifically Cessa) have saved my life I'm not joking... I went through a pretty bad spell with depression shortly after high school and she is what got me through. 
I've had some down moments throughout the years but nothing that bad in a long time until now.  And once again the critters in my life have been what pulled me through.  I still don't feel 100% but things are swinging back around and sometimes you just have to choose to be happy and look for the good (and work at it)**

**this is in NO way meant to discount those that are suffering from depression severe enough to need meds, in fact I probably should have been on meds just after high school**

Monday, January 20, 2014


Is this thing on? Is anyone still there? 

I've totally neglected my poor little blog, and I've been missing it! 

With how much I stare at a computer at work, and then Facebook to catch up with friends & family, the blog suffered.
But good ole Facebook just isn't the same as blogging, different audience so to speak. Plus most "posts" are just quick little updates, and if they weren't... well most people don't bother reading long (and, to be honest, often rambling) updates.

Bottom line, I'm going to attempt to post more regularly here on the blog... if anyone is still there that is.

Wordless Wednesday ~ new trailer!