Sunday, November 25, 2007

Horsemanship

About a month ago, we took a horsemanship that was taught by our uncle, Don Harrington, that was offered through CWC, similar to the Jerky and Sausage class we took. Not only was our uncle teaching the class, but he was nice enough to let us borrow two of his family's horses for the class. His wife, Tina, was also there to provide some individual lessons, when we were too confused and naive to understand what was going on. One of their sons, Ryan, was there helping to break a colt and their other son, Joel, was there watching and taking pictures.


Heather listening to Don with her horse, Joe.


Me staring at my own horse, Biscuit.


Heather up on her horse and listening to Don before we started actually riding.


Me trotting around the arena on my horse.

We quite enjoyed our two days of learning basic horsemanship. Unfortunately, during the first day of the course, we discovered that I was quite allergic to horses, likely a combination of the dirt, hair, and dander on the horses. The first day was probably the worst since I helped clean and brush my horse before the course started and ended up getting a number of things in my eyes. When I was talking to my mom earlier, she had expressed concerns about me being on horses because my eyes are such that the muscles connected to my eyeballs are stretched and weak and a blow to my head, either from falling off a horse, slipping on the ice, or playing in contact sports, could severely injure me, possibly even blind me. Anyway, my allergic reaction was such that my face swelled up and I got quite a nasty looking rash around my eyes. It looked like I had been in a fight, but I joked with my relatives and Heather that there was now no way for my eyes to pop out with my face so swollen! The next day I made sure to dope myself up with Claritin and some allergy eye drops before going to class and Tina was kind of enough to brush my horse for me. I still felt my allergies kicking up, but they were definitely more under control.

During Thanksgiving, our other Aunt and Uncle (Pat and Pete) on Grandma Elsie's side were up from Elko, Nevada, and are raising mules for their soon-to-be retirement enjoyment. Pete was telling Heather that, if I'm allergic to horses, I still may not be allergic to mules. So maybe we will just get mules for our fields instead of horses. Then we can ride our mules to corral goats. We're already discussing brands. We're thinking W P combined (Watson Pozun) might be nice. :-) Now we just need to see if the brand is already registered in Wyoming.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving in Wyoming

Thanksgiving this year provided some extra excitement beyond the usual gluttonous enjoyment of turkey, stuffing and more. James and I woke up to look out the window and wonder "What is Sky standing on to make him look so large?" Simultaneously we both realized that it was not Sky outside the window but a cow. Thus the chase began.

Apparently our fencing perimeter is not as secure as needed and we had cows in the yard and cows in both the fields. Sky worked really hard to chase the cows back to the other fields.



While Sky is not the best cowdog, he did manage to get the cows out of the field toward Riverton. Unfortunately, we ended up with one lone cow in the other field. James and Sky worked diligently to get the cow out. Unfortunately, before we could get the gate open, the cow went through the gate, carrying it with him. i'd have pictures, but at this point the sub-zero temperatures were having a very negative effect on the camera. So, until we get the fences fixed, we think we have settled with having cows in the fields but not in the yard or near the house. Sky is still practicing his cowdog skills, but couldn't be happier. James and I will be "riding the fence" real soon.


Monday, November 12, 2007

Sky's Temporary Playmate


Sky had a friend, Tucker, drop by this afternoon. I heard a dog bark this AM and stepped out to see a golden ball of fuzz fly across the garden into the field, chasing the cats. I went back outside later to shred documents the Western way, and Sky noticed a stranger across the field. Luckily we had the gate closed where he cornered his new friend.



Surprisingly, Sky and Tucker got along fairly well (all things considered since Sky is slightly neurotic!). Unfortunately, when I approached the dog to check his collar and put him on a leash he snarled and growled at me. I've lived on enough reservations to know to leave a snarling dog alone. Unfortunately, Tucker's grandmother stopped in later to see if I had seen him, as his mother had been in an accident about a mile up the road. Tucker was apparently on his way to be neutered and was moving around in the car. When his mother reached to control him, she lost control of her car. She was airlifted to Casper, but was terribly worried about Tucker so her mother stopped by looking for him. We are too. Our prayers are with Tucker's mom and we keep hoping Tucker will stop in for a visit tomorrow so we know he is safe and sound and can assure his mom the same. After being in a car accident, I might have been snarly too. Bummer.

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