Archive for February 2013

The New Pens . . .   Leave a comment

. . . are all filled up.  And the new customers are busy nesting.  They’ve even brought in sod to make a nice little lawn under a big old cottonwood.  Its shade will be really nice when it leafs out and the weather turns warm.

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Why, they’ve even got a pet raccoon!

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Some other new customers showed up in a very unusual vehicle.  I’m consumed with envy . . .

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. . . because my New Beetle is plain old blue.  And dusty.  I want a froggy!

Rancho Rio, the stable across the river, is having a play day on March 16.  The events sound really interesting.  They include Billy the Kid Says (wonder if that’s like Simon Says), the Curly Bill Coolaid Trail Competition, the Belle Starr Ribbon Race, the Jesse James Mail Run, the Outlaw Costume Contest, and the Younger Gang Trail Cart Competition.  That last really sounds interesting.  I guess they mean horse and pony carts; for a moment I visualized golf carts puttering down the trail.

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Posted February 28, 2013 by stablewoman in Around the Ranch

I Love Pansies   1 comment

Oh, how I do love pansies.

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Every color in the rainbow, and some that aren’t even there.  Like sunset pinks . . .

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And iridescent near-blacks.

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Of course . . .

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There’s a lot to be said for cyclamens, too.

It’s spring in Bakersfield!

Posted February 27, 2013 by stablewoman in Uncategorized

We’ve Got a Cherry-Picker!   2 comments

Or a bucket truck, if you like.  David bought it at an auction Saturday.

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We’ve been needing one for a long time.  Maybe you can’t think of a lot of uses for one at a boarding stable, unless you’re boarding giraffes, but we can.  For example, when we’re working on top of the haystack, to top it or cover it.  We’ve been lifting the crew with a World War II truck bed and the hay squeeze, but this’ll be much easier.  Then there’s tree trimming.  We’ve got that much-loved old mulberry that PG&E refuses to top any more, and will take out unless we can do it.  That tree can shade four or five parked cars at a time, in the heat of summer.  We don’t want to lose it.

In the background, you can see some of the other pieces of equipment we use around here.  I can see the backhoe, a couple of 8 or 9N Fords, the dump trailer, and just a little bit of the hay squeeze.  All of them are helpful, if not necessary, to efficiently care for this many horses.

But I wonder — what will they buy next?

 

Posted February 26, 2013 by stablewoman in Uncategorized

Trashing the River   1 comment

Here’s a shot of the river a couple of days ago, after the rain.  It looks pretty good, considering the winter-bare trees.

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But if you look a little closer, you realize that all of those innocent white flecks are . . .

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. . . garbage.  Mostly styrofoam cups.  When the river comes up, then falls rapidly, the accumulated trash is deposited along the banks.  A lot of it is stuff that was thrown off the bridge.  It lodges in the undergrowth until it’s washed downriver.  A really good flow takes it right out of our neighborhood, but this time it just spread it out a little.  It’s discouraging.

When the water goes down, though, maybe I can get a couple of buddies together and do some pickup!

Posted February 25, 2013 by stablewoman in Kern River

One-Trick Pony   Leave a comment

No entry yesterday, because Billy’s old friend Clarence was visiting, and we spent a lot of time just talking.  Clarence left his two horses here; he and Nancy are off on a cruise to . . . let’s see; there was New Zealand, Australia, and I think he said New Caledonia.  I hope they have a luckier cruise than some of those we’ve been reading about.  Most people do have a wonderful time.

I was planning to bathe Kody and wash his tail today, but it just stayed too cool.  I’ll try to get him tomorrow.  Meanwhile, I’m still working on getting Bella to go on, around, over, and through everything we can find.  I thought she looked pretty cute with her front feet on a eucalyptus stump, surveying her domain.  I didn’t want to let go of the lead completely, but I think she would have stayed there anyway.  She seemed to be thinking, “So this is what it’s like to be tall,” and was in no hurry to get off.  She doesn’t realize that even four inches taller, she’s still a pretty short horse.

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She would, I’m sure, learn tricks very easily.  For now, though, front-feet-on-a-stump is enough.  I was going to say something like maybe this is how Trigger got his start, but I’m afraid not too many people know who Trigger is any more.  The famous movie horses nowadays are actors, not famous under their own names.  Gee, I can remember Trigger, Champion, Rex, Fury, Tarzan (a horse, not an ape-man), Koko, Pardner, Silver . . . I’d better stop now.  I think I’m showing my age!

Posted February 25, 2013 by stablewoman in Bella, Horses

Dog in a Hole   1 comment

I was coming home from shopping today, and as I drove in a dog’s head seemed to rise out of the earth right by the road.  So when I got the groceries unloaded, I went back to look, and this is what I found.

 

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It was Gena — not Xena, but her look-alike buddy Gena — asleep in the hole she had dug while chasing a ground squirrel.  She was totally invisible until you were right on top of her.

She gave me the Look that means, “Am I in trouble?  I’m just an innocent little doggie.”

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“It’s the squirrel’s fault if the fence falls down!  I just made the hole a little bigger, trying to stop the nasty creature!”

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Well, I don’t think the fence is going to fall down, Gena; but maybe you’d better choose another napping spot.  Don’t push your luck!

Posted February 23, 2013 by stablewoman in Dogs, Pets

Ripping   Leave a comment

The storm a couple of days ago ended up giving us better than half an inch of rain.  That’s great — except it left a lot of the pens and arenas with their very own little lakes.  That’s when son David gets on the John Deere and starts ripping — one of the unglamorous but necessary jobs around a stable.

This picture shows him starting to rip the arena by the house.  The only trouble is that I didn’t notice I accidentally had the camera on the “soft” setting, so this picture (and a few other recent ones) looks a little peculiar.

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You can see, though, the glazed appearance of the ground before ripping, and the dark ripped area.  There are still some puddles in the background, but they’ll drain a lot faster now.

In the next picture, he’s nearly done.  You can see the difference a camera setting can make!

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The arena’s pretty rough after its makeover.  In a couple of days, though, it’ll dry out, and David can come in and smooth it out.

There’s a lot more to running a stable than just feeding the horses and patting them on the nose!

Posted February 21, 2013 by stablewoman in Around the Ranch