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.

 

A Snowy Miracle

The hours of waiting and waiting for our little foal to be born. Cricket surprised us all and gave birth during a the snow storm a few nights ago. Cowboy had been out Monday evening cleaning stalls and spent about an hour and a half hanging out with the horses while cleaning. Cricket was showing NO signs of impending labor. When Cowboy came out on Tuesday April 4. Cricket was standing in her stall with a beautiful filly.

 

 

This little filly has been named Kawohni which is Cherokee for Flower moon. She is named in honor of my mom who passed away just under 1 year ago (April 15) My mom had always told me that when I started to miss her look at the moon and and know that she is missing me and looking at the moon too.

She is also named after a white mustang whose name was Moonshine, Moonshine was beautiful mustang, tame but wild. Strong and brave he was the mount of a trainer friend of ours. Moonshine, recently passed away very unexpectedly. Moonshine challenged his partner to the fullest but together they were an amazing team.

We are so excited to be on this journey Kawohni brings us so much joy!

 

Be sure to check out our facebook page Dog Trail Ranch for more updates!

SURPRISE!

Ya’ll remember Cricket the painted mare. Well this is a story about her.

We adopted Cricket from the Denver Dumb Friends League Harmony Equine Center. We spent months checking out the different horses they had we never could seem to find the right one. So we went out on a Saturday and just happen to come across a couple of horses that appeared to be the right fit so we made an appointment to meet with Brent. (Pretty awesome dude if you ask us) He is the head trainer there, we sat down and talked about what we were looking for in a horse and the horses we were interested in. Brent was super honest with us and let us know that the original horses we wanted to see he felt would not be a good fit. BUUUUUTTTT he had a little paint mare that he felt would be a good option. So off we went to see her, She is a little smaller than we felt we wanted for cowboy but she had potential. Brent haltered her and we got to take her for a little ride in the arena. She was great and cowboy had fallen for this pretty little paint mare.

So we got the paperwork done, and later that week they come out and did a site inspections and we picked her up about a week later. She was so laid back, she is pretty fantastic. All of this happened in September 2016.

Fast Forward to January 2017 we were out playing with the horses because it has been unusually warm this winter in Colorado and we noticed that good ole cricket was getting VERY fat. Now we do tend to spoil our horses a bit and give them extra feed. See my old mare Amarillo gets a special mash of food which has soaked alfalfa cubes, soaked beet pulp, and senior feed so its very fattening. We always gave a little bit to the other horses so we assumed that she was just getting fat. Fast forward about 30 minutes and as I was watching this beautiful paint mare her stomach moved and I’m talking moving because she shifted her weight or took a deep breath I am talking little gremlin inside moving. I watched her for a little while, while in my head thinking i’m going to tell cowboy and he is going to think I have fallen off the crazy edge. So I investigated a little more walked over to miss Crickett but my hand on her belly and “BAM” the movement I thought I was seeing, YEP you guessed it I felt it on my hand. Now my suspicions are solid so I yelled at cowboy and city slicker to come over I wanted them to see what I was seeing. City slicker put his hand on Crickets flank and BAM. Now our minds are made up that she is pregnant! So I sent an email to our vet, he was already scheduled to come out two weeks later for Spring vaccinations and dentals so we added a pregnancy check to the list. Over the next two weeks we took videos of her belly moving and sent it to our good friends Matt and Kristen with MK Horsemanship and asked them if they saw what we saw! They would not confirm or deny our requests.

The vet visit-

Did we mention it is winter in Colorado it was downright cold the morning the vet came out! We were all frozen but we needed to know the truth was Cricket indeed pregnant, and how far was she. Cricket was not a fan of her belly being messed with and she for sure did not want the vets hand and arm up her bum, so the vet, Dr. B gave her a sedative and she relaxed enough that he could examine her. Now he is shoulder deep in our horses bum, and he is feeling around. Cowboy and I are watching his facial expressions he is saying no, i dont think she is, than all of a sudden he got this big ol smile on face and said YUP she is pregnant there is the hip bones. So he made his best guess that she was about 8 months but understanding that he could really not feel much of the baby. Cowboy and I and both boys are super excited about this little foal. This vet visit was on Feb.3. Fast Forward exactly 1 month to March 3. Vet comes out again to check on her progress, come to find out this mare is very very pregnant and is due anytime in the next 2-3 weeks!

Which meant we had a ton of work to do to get ready for this little baby! Over the weekend we built her official foaling pen, got the straw laid down, and also built a pen for Amarillo so that Cricket would have a buddy. Cricket is miserable pregnant has a hard time lifting her back feet up to walk she drags them and she officially waddles. Her udder is filling up and her rump muscles are starting to relax. Be sure to like our Facebook page for daily updates!  https://www.facebook.com/dogtrailranch

Once the baby is here we will be going Facebook live! to introduce our little surprise!

 

This first Pictures is the day we brought our girl home.

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This was a few weeks later mid October

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Cricket Grazing in December we noticed she was getting a little fat did not worry about it because its winter she needs the fat!

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This was the weekend that we found out about baby and had it confirmed by the vet Feb 3.

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This is in her foaling pen on March 4

foal pen

This was in February some times.

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March 5, 2017

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