A weekend at the Cole Ranch

On top of moving and trying to get settled into our new home, we decided that we would spend a weekend at the Cole Ranch in Pueblo Colorado. We were participating in a Working cattle clinic. What is a working cattle clinic? Well let me tell you, it was a weekend of riding and learning about all things cow. From branding, ear tags, and shots on calves to learning how to sort and work cattle in an arena and in the pasture. It is not as easy as it may look.  Cowboy and I borrowed a couple horses for the weekend because our horses are just not ready for this type of activity.

We arrived Friday evening so that we could get started early Saturday morning. What a view it was. The Cole Ranch is a beautiful Ranch in some beautiful God Country.

Saturday morning we met our horses for the weekend, Cupid and Moon. We got saddled up and started to ride. We started off by ridding in the arena so we could get comfortable with our borrowed horses. Then we got the opportunity to move cattle around the arena, learning how they respond, etc.  After a while we got to work on roping,  Cowboy got to ride Mr Coles’ young horse for the roping part! Cowboy did a great job.

After a while we learned about dragging a calf to the fire, and we got to put it into action. We branded, vaccinated, ear tagged and castrated the calves. It was such an amazing experience.  Cowboy and I were both very eager to get involved with everything! Can you believe I got to “band” a calf? In case you don’t know, banding is placing a tiny rubber band over the testicles of a bull calf, in order to castrate.

Oh yeah and I also got to pregnancy check a cow! Yes that means everything that you think it means. I was shoulder deep in the rear end of a cow!

Cowboy and I have done a few clinics and I will tell you that the group of people that were at the Cole Ranch were top notch. We felt so welcome and encouraged by the everyone there.

Sunday Morning, we were blessed to receive a beautiful message from a preacher, he talked about gloves, and how a glove is just a glove until someone puts it on and fills it with a living hand. Until we as people are filled with the living breathing God we are simply a shell much like the glove that is empty.  The preacher was much better at giving the message and my synopsis does not do justice to the sermon but it was really a good morning.

We worked the cattle in the pasture for a while sorting out 2 or 3 cows and bringing them to the pens. It was a challenge because asking the cows to move away from their herd was such a challenge!

We drove the cattle across a few pastures to take them to their new pasture for the summer. It was a great ride!

Cowboy and I had such an amazing weekend and we have made some really great friends! Looking forward to riding at the Cole Ranch again soon.

Be sure to check them out on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ColeRanch1/

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A sad day at Dog Trail Ranch

​The lessons of life are very evident when you have animals. Lessons about life and death sometimes seem to be more often for those with animals then those who do not have them. I have a few friends who have not had animals, no dogs no cats, and they have never experienced death, until a loved one passes and often times they are so unfamiliar with the concept that it is much harder to deal with.

Cowboys dad allowed Cowboy and I to have his faithful gelding Mr. Honey. He was the greatest horse! Honey had such personality, we had had him about a month and he was really becoming a member of the herd our little filly was glued to his side they were buddies.
During the move we had a few late nights and we did not get over to check horses until around 1130pm. When we got there we noticed that all of the horses were up in the barn except Mr. Honey, so we went looking for him. When we finally found him we immediately knew that something was very very wrong. He was cold, and shaking, he wanted to lay down and roll. A frantic call to the vet and about 30 minutes later he was there. I really had high hopes that Honey would be ok. After some tests it was determined thay Honey would mot make it amd we had to make that awful call of putting him down. Junior was with us and he said some very sweet goodbyes and hugged the big gold horse told him he loved him. Cowboy and I said our goodbyes as did Cowboys dad. The vet was amazing and took very good care of Honey in his final moments. Soon he was not hurting anymore. Our hearts broken.

Thank you Mr. Honey for hours of laughter and love. Your job is done now enjoy the grassy fields in heaven!

Importance of Trailer training 

Cowboy and I have learned an extremely valuable lesson over the last couple of weeks. As most of every one knows we have a very senior mare that never leaves the property. She is simply a companion and friend. Well we never in a million years did we think we would struggle to load Amarillo in a trailer. We have hauled her a few times but we were not prepared to deal with a refusal from her at the trailer.  We spent many hours of frustrating time walking, begging, bribing with grain, pulling and struggling. Amarillo would refuses every time, she would go sideways back up, she was terrified! For us we were trying so hard to get the horses home before dark, but that required a three plus hour drive. We worked for three days and anyone that has horses know that if a horse refuses the trailer and gets away with it it gets worse and worse. Well we confirmed that theory. Amarillo was not loading she did not want to go to our new pasture. So after a few frantic phone calls I finally reached out to our amazing Vet Dd. Shane Baird, through my frustration he volunteered to come out and assist. He was a a very welcome sight! Dr. Baird worked hard to try to get her loaded but nothing was working. While cowboy and I are very much against the use of tranquilizers we allowed it because we were desperate to get Amarillo loaded. After about 45 minutes she finally walked into the trailer like it was no big deal and there she stayed.  Whew! What a day after a few minutes of trying to load the Filly we decided it would be best to simply get Rusty and Amarillo out to our new home and get them set up and come back for the mare and Filly. So today is that day!
Anyway the moral to the story is that you never know what is going to happen you never know when you will need to load your horse into a trailer. What if there was an emergency, a trip to the vet needed or something else. If you have trouble loading your horse, please reach out to a trainer and get that problem fixed now! Not when you are trying to go somewhere. 

Father’s Day

Father’s Day can be a complicated day, especially for those who have not had great a great father in their life. I am beyond blessed that the Lord brought an amazing man into my life when I was 13, he is my dad even though he is not by biological father, he was the one to pick me up when I fell, dried my tears when my heart was broken, played countless hours of basketball with me. Always showed up to every game, choir concert, supported me fully when I joined the military.  I won the step dad lottery with him! He is my dad! So Happy Father’s Day dad! To those who do not have an earthly father remember that you have the GREATEST father in the world. Your Heavenly Father. He loves you unconditionally and will never leave or forsake you. While I understand that it may never be the same as a dad who is there physically in the flesh. Our Heavenly Father is there, you just have to listen and seek. 

I hear a lot of people talk about having “daddy issues” I understand having issues until my dad came into my life, my biological father was not a part of my life I saw him 3 times in 20 years. When he passed away I wasn’t sure how I should feel. The thing is we have the ultimate father a father who will never let us down.  

Another thing that is sitting with me today, what about the guys who want to be father’s and can not due to infertility. A lot goes into support of women who are struggling with infertility, but what about the guys. They hurt, they pray they support their wife, through all of the ups and downs. Most of the time we forget them in the journey of infertility focused on caring for the wife. Not at all saying what the husband is going through is harder, because infertility sucks all together. So hold true men, I know it’s hard but you are loved and supported also by the Heavenly Father. 

My Father’s Day prayer,

Heavenly Father, daddy, 

Thank you so much for all of the hard working men in my life. Thank you so much for leading and guiding the men to be closer to you, to walk with you. Thank you for giving me an amazing husband, a man who loves our boys to the ends of the earth. Lord, I pray for those who do not know you. I pray they find you, I pray they seek your love and wisdom. Lord you have never failed me, never left me even when I have doubted you, questioned you, been angry at you. Your love is unconditional. Thank you God, for sending your son, your only son to die for me. Your love is unconditional you showed that when You sent Jesus to die for me. Please wrap your arms around the men facing battles of infertility, give them the wisdom to help support their wives through the battle. Lord lift up men who are fighting to see their children, life up all the dads and bless them. In your glorious name we pray.

Amen 

Moving! 

Moving is hard, change is hard. As a person who struggles with anxiety and PTSD it is extremely hard to handle all of the changes and challenges of moving. When that move is not just a move across town, it is across the state and has many moving parts, including remodeling, not to mention 5 horses, 2 dogs, and 3 barn cats. Along with a 19 year old and a 7 year old. Moving/closing of two business and moving of two complete families. It’s intense to say the least.  Slowly we are getting things put together and organized. We will be hauling horses hopefully tomorrow or Thursday to their new home. 

Horses are all doing well, we have lots of pictures to share on the Facebook page and we are finally starting to open for business with custom halters and custom saddle blanket covers! Also have my photography business  that is working and growing as well! Well I will be sure to be more active with the blog and Facebook! 
Lots of love! 

Kitchen Remodeling

Most people know that I am a big time DIY person. I love being able to do things myself, for a few reasons one is it allows me become part of the project and it also saves money. So with that being said, I started a Kitchen Remodel in the home we are getting ready to move into.

The plan has been to remodel the existing cabinets because they are solid cabinets just a bit outdated, and to refinish the counter tops, replace the sink, and install a dishwasher, new stove and microwave.

The cabinet doors and drawers have been riding around in the back of my truck for a couple of weeks because well I have NO TIME to work on them, but hopefully this weekend I will be able to break out the sander and get to work.

Lets talk counter tops. The counter tops that I am refinishing were white with some tan/beige specks through out not bad but not great either, there were some chips in the material and scratches as well. I happened across a product called Giani Counter Paint. Their claim was you could paint your counters to look just like marble counter tops. I figured what the heck $80 compared to the cost of actually replacing the counters. Well being a frugal shopper I decided to check my local craiglist and amazingly someone was selling an unopened box in the exact color I wanted for $50. AWESOME! so I purchased the kit and got going.

PREP: I used simple green as my cleaner on the counters and I scrubbed them down to ensure they were clean and then I used blue tape to mask off the back splash. Easiest prep ever!

Step 1 Apply black primer- At this point there is no going back. It was a bit intimidating at this point because now I was committed to this project and if I did not like it well I would have to live with it. After applying the primer you have to wait 8 hours to start the next step. I applied two coats of primer and waited overnight and most of the next day to start the next step.

Step 2-apply the color in my kit was 3 colors that would be layered on top of each other to create the marble look. I have to admit it takes some practice, basically  you are use sea sponge to sponge on the layers of colors, if you press to hard or have to much paint on your sponge you get a blotchy mess, if you do not have enough paint then you get uneven cover. After a while I got a system down and it started to come together. I really struggled getting in the corners and along the back splash I wish I would have had a better way of working on that part. I put on one layer of each color and decided it did not look quite right so I went back and did another layer of each color and finally I started to become very happy with the results. This is the part that was really fun because I could decide how much of one color I wanted to show through. This whole process probably took about 4 hours, with about a 30 minute break between layers 3 and 4.

Step 3-By far the hardest part! The box says to wait at least 4 hours before putting the top coat on the counters. I believe I waited close to 6 hours.  When rolling on the top coat I noticed that it was really hard to keep from getting roller lines and that was the battle I fought the entire time. The lighting was not the greatest in the house so it was a bit tough to see any light lines that were left. I put on two coats of top coat. Now for use the next part was easy because we are not living in the house yet, but you can not put anything on the counters for 14 days! The top coat has a 14 day total cure time. If you are thinking about using this product be sure to plan this into your process.

(You can read an official product review on our product review page)

I have not seen the counters since the top coat as been applied, but Cowboy has and he said they look great! I am hoping to see them this weekend!

 

The next project I worked on was the cabinet handles and outlet covers for the entire house. I bought some Krylon Spray paint (I can not remember the color) but I LOVE IT! We took all the cabinet handles and drawer pulls off the cabinets and drawers and scrubbed them down got off all the old paint and grease. I then laid them out in the yard on a piece of card board and put 2 layers of spray paint and layer of polyurethane coating and I love how they came out. I am so excited to finish the cabinet

 

The Right Home

I am sure that you have heard the saying “if you love them you have to let them go.” What a profound statement because for me if I love something I want to keep them safe and happy and watched over and all of the other millions of things that go along with loving something.  We have a few horses here at Dog Trail Ranch and of those horses is a the one and only Oskar.  Oskar was purchased for $300 about a year ago, we knew that he was green but he seemed to have a good mind on him when we saw him. Now to be honest Cowboy had a gut instinct that this was not the horse we needed, but my heart was sold on him and after a 5.5 hours drive that horse was coming home with me. So we agreed to purchase him, he loaded in the trailer just fine and rode home like a champ. We set him up in his own pen to keep him away from the other horses for a few days.  Over the next few days we started to realize we had a problem. He was frantic being locked up and we were afraid he would hurt himself so we let him out and he mingled with Amarillo and Rusty and instantly they were ok with each other. Oskar came to us about 200 pounds under weight and he was starving I have never seen a horse eat like he ate. He would eat 3qts of grain in a few bites. Well after a week he choked and the vet had to come out. After this incident it was almost impossible to catch him, he was/is a biter. Well after a few months once everything settled down with losing my mom and the wedding, we decided to try and take him to a few clinics and we could not even load him in the trailer. So we hired a trainer to come out and help us, and soon we were loading in the trailer, we continued to work with him with the help of some trainers and finally we accomplished a huge goal, a trail ride. We rode Oskar and Cricket on the trail and he was a powerhouse, oh he was fun on the trail. He did well. but after a few rides it got harder and harder to ride him because he was so buddy sour we could not do anything without him trying to buck. Then we discovered that Cricket was pregnant and our riding halted because one of our riding horses was pregnant and I did not trust to ride Oskar alone. After a few months of thinking and praying and talking to people about the situation we decided it would be best if we turned Oskar over to a better situation where he will receive the training and work he needs to be successful. Oskar is a horse that needs work, he needs constant work, he needs a job.

Oskar is going into a intensive training program with an awesome trainer. I am sad because this horse means a lot to me, but I love him so much that he needs better then we can give him here at Dog Trail Ranch, maybe someday or paths will cross again, but for now I need to be his voice, and I am not his human.

Oskar’s Injury (Graphic Images included)

What an eventful few weeks we have had at Dog Trail Ranch. To think we were starting to settle down after Crickets filly was born. Nope! Not a chance. Tuesday during a routine lunch time horse check, Amarillo, Rusty, Kawohni, Cricket all good then Oskar revealed a large chunk laceration to his chest/shoulder area. My heart about stopped when Cowboy sent me the picture message. Oskar is hurt and hurt badly. A quick call to our AWESOME vets office and the vet was notified and soon she would be on her way to fix him up. What we have determined was that Oskar and Rusty were play fighting like they normal do and they happened to be a little too close to the fence and he came down on a T post.

 

 

The pictures I am about to post are graphic if you have a week stomach please stop reading now…. (Oskar will recover just fine)


 

 

 

 

Equine 911

Do you know what to do in an emergency? It sounds like such a simple question. Why, yes I know what to do in an emergency. But do you really? Now I am not talking human emergencies. Although it is generally a good idea to have an idea of what to do when things go wrong in the human element. Cowboy and I were tested this week when a routine check of the horses revealed that one of them had gotten into some trouble. After everything was said and done I realized, I know what to do for a human but how do I help my animals when they get hurt. Are we equipped? Do we have a proper first aid kit? Well I will admit we were not prepared and basically after my husband called me about the injury I froze up not knowing exactly what to do. Could we have made due with what we had, sure we could. It would have been better to be prepared.

Equine First Aid kit is on my list of things to prepare before we make our move. Once we move our vet of choice is 3 hours away and the local vets could be just as far.

What will be in this first aid kit you ask, Here is a list

  • Bandages- Your local pharmacy/walmart has rolls of cotton gauze get a few rolls in each size
  • Vet Wrap-
  • Blunt-Tipped Scissors
  • Buckets- Make sure that you have at least one bucket that is not used for anything except first aid. This will allow you to be able to have clean water to clean wounds.
  • Flashlight-
  • Hemostat-also known as tweezers
  • Hoof Pick
  • Ice Packs- Pick up some disposable packs (pick up at Costco- there were 20 in the big box that I got)
  • Gloves- ALWAYS have sterile gloves in your kit!
  • Thermometer
  • Wire Cutters
  • Wound Antiseptic
  • Wound Cleaner
  • Electrolytes
  • Eye Cleanser
  • Hoof Boot
  • Extra Halter and rope
  • Towels
  • PaperTowels
  • Soap
  • Hand Sanitizer

Also in your kit have the numbers to your vet and farrier written down. Especially important because the one time you forget your cell at home your horse could get hurt and you need to borrow a neighbors phone to call for help. (See below for Horse Info Card)

FIRST AND FORMOST STAY CALM!

Some of the first things you need to look for and recognize.

Is the horse standing or is he/she down

How long has the horse been down?

Can you find the pulse?

Is the horse breathing? Is he breathing too fast or slow.

Is the horse actively bleeding. If yes stop the bleeding. Apply direct pressure.

Is the horse showing signs of shock?

What else do you notice about your horse?

Obviously you will need to look at each situation differently, and determine what you need to do. Check with your local horse communties and find out if there are any local equine first aid courses. Take one and learn the information, you never know what is going to happen.

I print our horse informaiton cards onto Index cards and keep them in the tack room, and keep a copy in out trailer. You never know when you will need them!

BASIC HORSE INFORMATION CARD

Horses Name______________________________________

Breed___________________ AGE_________________ Color_____________

Veterinarian’s Name________________________________ Phone Number _________________

Farrier’s Name _____________________________________ Phone Number ________________

Last Vaccinations Date: ________________

Additional Information ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

I will let you all know in the next post about Oskar’s injury and his recovery.