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Trailering Success!

We’ve had a crap load of rain the past week. Love LOVE LOVING it! Everything is so greeeeeeeeen – and not on fire :-)

The rain meant we had to trailer the horses to the indoor arena for the girls’ group riding lesson yesterday. 5 horses total for the two lessons . . . one 3-horse trailer and one 2-horse trailer.

Guess what that meant?

Yep! I “got” to haul Princess’s and Alex’s preciouses (is that a word???) to the indoor arena.

Took a couple tries to get Cowboy in the trailer, but once he figured out I meant business and it was not optional, he hopped right in and let me close the divider. Mojo hopped right in behind him cuz “OMG we’re going for a ride and my buddy is already in the trailer woo hoo!!!” He pawed and kicked the entire time he was in there . . . yay for kickboards in the trailer!

I’m happy to say that I successfully hauled 2 horses a whoppin’ 5 miles one way without incident . . . this included very soggy gravel, small 2-lane, highway, and dirt.

The big bonus came when it was time to load ‘em up after the lessons and take them back home . . . they got right in! I’m hoping that means that my driving skills on the way to the arena were acceptable to them and I didn’t scare them out of the trailer.

42 years old and had another first.

Love it when the kiddos continue to introduce new stuff to us :-)

Thanks, Mom and Dad

My parents taught me a lot growing up – the list is way too long to even start. One goofy skill I am crazy thankful for them teaching me is how to tow a trailer.

We camped at the lake all summer. If you didn’t know how to hook up a trailer and back a boat into the lake by the time you were 10, well, then you just didn’t get to play! They made me do it and they trusted me to do it.

Made it easy as an adult when I had to pull campers to the campground and back them into the storage spot when we got back.

And with this whole adventure into horse ownership, I am so thankful that I’m comfortable pulling a trailer so that now I only need to worry about pulling a trailer with a 1000 pound baby in it! But at least I’m not worried about the trailer part . . . just the precious cargo inside.

Today I went to a friend’s house, backed up to their 16 foot flatbed, got it all hooked up, towed it home, turned it around in the smallish area in front of our garage, and backed it into its temporary parking spot . . . all by my lonesome. Felt good to know I can do that on my own if I have to!

Of course, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit the tiny twinges of satisfaction I get when the silly boys are all dumbfounded when a girl can do all the trailering – “even the backing up part” – on her own ;-)

So all you parents out there with the means to do so – a lawn tractor or anything else you can hook even a smallish trailer up to – make your kids do it! Make them back it up into a shed, a garage, any smallish space. Heck, make them back the car all the way up the driveway just so they get used to backing up! You’d be surprised how often that skill comes into play :-)

Thanks, Mom and Dad!

Way Too Young

One of Dude’s friends (girlfriend of a friend) committed suicide yesterday.

How do you talk to a 14 year old about that? Especially when he doesn’t even know how he feels about it himself, except that he wants to cry but doesn’t think he should?

Mommyhood really sucks sometimes.

Oh how my heart goes out to that young lady’s family. Every parent’s worst nightmare. I can’t even imagine :-(

So very thankful that at least I get to have the conversation with my Dude and give him giant hugs.

Sold!

Thursday 4.16.15
Me: Hubby. I had a thought last night.
Hubby: Um, ya? ***nervous look on his face***
Me: What do you think about selling the camper?
Hubby: Seriously?
Me: Yup. We didn’t get to use it last year because we were gone all the time. We have no plans to use it this summer. The kiddos are older and won’t run around the campground anymore.
Hubby: True.
Me:  If we want to go hiking, we go on a day trip. If we want to go fishing, we go on a day trip. If we want to go camping, we have tent-mahal, the 4-person tent, and the 2-person tent. We can go camping.
Hubby: Huh.

Monday 4.20.15
Me: Well? What do you think about selling the camper (that we just pulled out of the shed to make room for horse stalls).
Hubby: I don’t see why  not. Let’s do it.

Later Monday 4.20.15
Me: Hubby, come look at this posting and see if it’s OK.
Hubby: Looks good to me.
Me: *click*

Tuesday 4.21.15
Emptied and cleaned camper.

Thursday 4.23.15
Sold!

That’s how we do things here :-) Today, we said goodbye to this gem that I loved:

01 Camper

On to a new chapter of horses and baseball!!!

And tent camping – woot!

The Eagle Has Landed

Dude has been enjoying Boy Scouts since 4th grade. He started as a WEBELOS and continued on from there. He LOVES outside, loves camping, loves making fire, loves building things, loves learning new stuff, and just all around loves the adventures.

This is Crazy Dude trying to be awake after a long weekend of Cub Scout sledding in the mountains. Always makes me giggle :-)

Eagle01

2010

 

Here is cute Dude at his becoming a WEBELOS II ceremony – 2010

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Here’s Dude at his bridging to Boy Scouts ceremony where he received his Arrow of Light – 2011

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And just last week, April of 2015, he was waiting in the hallway with Hubby for his Eagle Scout board of review to begin. Doesn’t look nervous at all (but he DOES look too old – stop it!)!

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45 minutes of chatting with the Boy Scout Council powers that be and VOILA! He earned his Eagle Scout rank!

Troop 194’s Newest Eagle Scout
2015 April 16 – 1845

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Couldn’t be prouder of him! He loves the kids in his troop and truly enjoys the activities, which made earning Eagle in 9th grade at age 14 more fun than work. He’s been on many adventures, including a 12-day backpacking trip at the Philmont Scout Ranch last spring. He’s finding his way as a leader in the troop, helping the younger scouts whenever he can. The troop has grown a lot in the past two years and the direction of the troop has changed. He was getting kind of bummed about it. Even though he had completed all the requirements to earn his Eagle Scout rank, he decided to take matters into his own hands and was elected Senior Patrol Leader this past February – he will continue in this role through August. He’s already made great strides in organizing the troop and enlisting other kids to help get the troop back to where THE BOYS want it to be. So proud of the young man he’s become and can’t wait to see what’s in store for him!

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*******I know this is Dude’s time to shine, but I couldn’t look through Scout pictures without running across one of my sweet little Princess . . . get ready for a cute attack!

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New Is Not Better!

It was beautiful this past weekend, so we spent quite a bit of time out at the barn with Cowboy. We towed his new trailer out there and were going to introduce him to it. He’s always been great at getting in the trailer and going for rides. You walk him up to it, get within a couple feet, throw the rope over his neck, and he walks in and stands there while you shut the door. Easy Peasy.

Apparently he was not at all impressed with his shiny new trailer! And the smart little pony also knew that WE weren’t sure what we were doing – he took full advantage of his knowledge ;-)

Princess got him haltered, walked him to the trailer, and figured he’d go right in. Nope. He stopped, sniffed the trailer, threw his nose up, and took off running, right back to the barn where he threw the lid off of the grain bin and had himself a little snack.

Princess got him, walked him right back to the trailer, and tried again. This time we stood in the way of his escape route. He put his front feet in the trailer, sniffed around, and bolted. We were not standing in the way of a 1000 pound horse! This time, he ran to the front yard and munched on some yummy new green grass :-)

The little turd was not interested in a shiny new trailer that smelled – not like horse!

Lather, rinse, repeat.

We finally decided to contaminate the trailer. We grabbed some of his stall shavings and poop and littered it in the trailer (seriously hard to purposely put poop in a trailer when you spend your time trying to keep it OUT!). We gave it a few minutes to get all smelled up, and Princess tried again. He got all four feet in. He didn’t stay long, but he did get in, and we did keep him from bolting when he got out!

He got lots of love and pats and a couple peppermint treats. We figured that was enough for the day.

We headed back out on Sunday to work on it some more. Amara was there and gave us a couple pointers. Always learning – it was amazing how a couple little things we were and weren’t doing made a huge difference! He finally realized he couldn’t push us around – literally and figuratively – and that was that. We once again have a pony that runs right in the trailer and stands there waiting for us to do our thing. To prove how grateful he was for his new trailer, he promptly pooped in it ;-) We left it in there to get some new smell in it . . . Princess gets to clean that out tomorrow!

Chalk one up for the Boedies!!!

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In other news, it was so nice out and the arena was finally clear of snow, so Princess saddled up Cowboy and they did some light jumping. A good ride in the pasture and he was nice and sweaty. Since it was sunny and 80, Princess thought he deserved a nice sponge bath, which he did love :-)

But what happens the minute you release a clean, damp pony from the hitching post?

He finds the dirtiest spot he can and rolls. And comes out looking like this :-)

Dirty Horse

He even got his face dirty! He was quite proud of himself and went about his day having a mid-day snack while we shook our heads and walked away. Gotta love our spunky pony and his awesome personality!

Spring In Colorado

Crazy weather – one of the many things I love about springtime in Colorado Springs :-)

Monday, Keira and I went to the barn for a couple hours to do some light jumping on Cowboy. Had to get him warmed up after 5 days of doing nothing but standing around eating!

Jump

 

 

And today, baseball was cancelled because we have a mini-blizzard happening.

Snow

 

Great excuse to hang out inside and watch movies this evening!

Happy spring break, everyone :-)

Weekend in Words

Friday
Da Girls: Picked Princess up from school and we booked it up to Denver (where we promptly un-booked it in crazy traffic – still hate Denver!). We headed straight to the National Western complex for the Friday night portion of the Horse Expo. Our friend, MS, was riding in the Mane Event evening show and we wanted to be there! It was lots of fun :-) We got to help get a couple of the horses ready – letting down awesome long beautiful tails, brushing, etc. After the show, we headed to a hotel – just the two of us. It’s not very often we get to spend time like this alone. It was nice and fun and relaxing.
Da Boys: As far as I can tell by the credit card bill and the new clothes bags, they stuck to their plan of going to the sporting goods store for baseball gear (darn boy keeps growing!) and meeting some fellow Scouts at REI to shop for the high adventure trip this summer. Those are the only “details” the talkative men in my life were willing to share.

Saturday
Da Girls: Up bright and early. Princess made me promise to get her up early enough so we could eat breakfast and make it to the Horse Expo by 8:45 so we could be in our seats at 9:00 for the class she wanted to attend – Techniques for Trainers. Yep – given the opportunity to sleep in as long as she wanted, she made me wake her up so we could go learn how to train kids on horses. Spent a few hours walking around the Expo looking for things to buy (we succeeded) and getting quotes on stalls for our barn (yikes!). We may or may not have been sucked in by a live infomercial starring Princess herself – and we may or may not have bought a straightening iron that CURLS your hair. Last year, Princess loved watching the Colt Starting in the main event arena, so this year that was the 2nd must-do thing at the Expo. Sat our behinds in bleacher seats for 2 hours watching trainers break colts ranging from 2.5 years to 4 years. It’s actually pretty interesting and fun to watch! We left mid-afternoon to catch up with the boys at Dude’s baseball games. He had a double-header in South Denver.
Da Boys: Best I can tell, they got up, went out for breakfast, went to Denver, bought more baseball stuff, and headed to the ball field.
All: We had a great time watching Dude’s team play. He’s loving the high school baseball. He’s struggling a bit at the plate . . . hasn’t gotten his groove back after getting his cast off, but he’ll get there. The weather couldn’t have been more beautiful, and the facility was amazing! Private Christian school has some MOOLAH! It was fun for them to get to play on awesome fields. The games started late and ran late, so we all bolted the minute they were over.
Hubby and Me: Raced inside, cleaned up a bit, put on something nicer than shorts and a t-shirt, and headed out to a fundraising benefit with silent auction. Enjoyed lots of wine samples, yummy appetizers, and fun with friends. We may have ended up winning quite a few of the items we bid on ;-) Next time we might want to bid together!

Sunday
All that fun on Friday and Saturday meant catching up on responsibilities on Sunday. The kiddos were tasked with cleaning their rooms – like their entire rooms. For two kids who swore they had nothing they didn’t need, we ended up with 3 large trash bags and one large tote of clothes (2 to donate, 2 to put into a consignment sale in a couple weeks), 2 trash bags of trash (yuck!), and 2 totes of “stuff” they’re ready to get rid of. All is well in the land of the scary teenager bedrooms downstairs. Princess and I also made it out to the barn for a couple glorious hours of loving on Cowboy – brushing, cleaning his stall, giving him a massage . . . life is good!

And where are the photos of the horse expo and baseball games and before/after of the cleaning spree?

In my  melon. We were having so much fun just enjoying time with the kids and together as a family this weekend that none of us pulled out a phone or camera for a photo. I love photos, but this was a nice fun, relaxing, weekend with family and friends :-)

Now we’re off to the races again this week – horses, baseball, work, scouts, volleyball – Let the games begin! Woot!

Quick Learner

So ya. 2+ hours to plow the yard and driveway on Sunday, not to mention the gravel I moved by accident, etc.

Monday? 45 minutes start to finish and it looks pretty darn good.

I DEFINITELY learn better by doing and making my own mistakes than having someone tell me how to do something.

Note To Self RE: Plowing the Driveway

Dear Self

I know this was your first time plowing with the tractor. And since Hubby was gone, you can forgive yourself a little bit for some of this, but c’mon, really? For next time, please remember the following:

  • The tractor drives much better without the parking brake on
  • If you can’t get the parking brake off, ask Dude instead of calling Hubby
  • The tractor will NOT go in reverse with the ballast box down
  • The tractor drives much better with the ballast box raised
  • You can raise and lower the blade while you’re moving, which actually saves time
  • The float on the blade actually works – trust it and use it
  • Duma will happily run along side, behind, and in front of the tractor the entire time, but this does not mean she will move out of the way if you’re about to run her over or hit her with the blade
  • Snow clears better if you turn the blade the right way and don’t plow snow into the just cleaned path
  • No matter how hard you try, you will NOT be able to get “John Deere Green” out of your head while actually driving a John Deere tractor

I hope these hints will prove useful next time you find yourself at home without Hubby during a snowstorm.

Sincerely,
Your Self