Wednesday, March 26, 2014

March Weather and the Road to NASTR Triple Crown

On Monday it was 80°F (27°C)... now we're having tornado warnings:

(Hint, we're smack under the orange yolk)

My rain gauge picked up 1/2" of rain yesterday and it hardly rained. This evening's activities should augment it impressively.

* * *

Because we were too floppy to ride over the weekend (weekends need to be three days long - one to sleep, one to do non-horse activities, and one to ride), I opted to take a mini-vacation and sidle off on Monday afternoon and join pft at the Auburn Overlook to ride as far as we could in the daylight available.

We managed a respectable 19 miles in four hours - including the side-event of pft amusing himself playing weave poles with the parking notices at the Confluence, followed by dodging a park pickup and an ambulance on the river road for a downed mountain biker at the lower quarry (broken leg + slid along on their face, by the looks of things), followed by scuttling away before the evac helicopter landed. We thought the horses would probably be OK, but didn't really want to find out.

Horses as long and large as Fergus do not wind around weave poles.
I tried it with lil' Roop, and he didn't fit neither. Needs work. 

So now we should be ready for NV Derby 50 (at Washoe Valley this year) in a couple of week's time - the first ride of the NASTR Triple Crown. Hopefully both pones will be fit and well, and qualify themselves for the other two legs - NASTR 75 and Virginia City 100. Not that pft wants to ride VC, but I'm working on talking him into the 75 miler. Fergus could use the work to be ready for August (you know...) and it would double my chances of having a horse with four legs come VC-time in September.

Roo has started two 100s - Patriot (2008) and Tevis (2009). He finished Patriot and was pretty whupped at the end. But then we also rode a big chunk of it on our own in the dark after we lost our riding buddy and he wasn't a happy camper about that (too many large rocks looming by the side of the trail), so maybe that contributed to his tard-ness. At Tevis, he was pulled at Chicken Hawk (65 miles) when his rear end tightened up. I suspect he had something going on back there, since vet Larry Goss said he was moving a little funkily at vet-in, but we attributed it to his newly-glued boots. There was probably operator error to blame too - do not let the not-very-fast pone go very fast in the first 10 miles, no matter how much fun it may be. Live and learn.

If Roop and I finish all three rides, I get the jacket.
If I have to switch over to Fergus, then pft gets the jacket for contributing to the exercise.

Assuming, of course, we manage to finish all three. So far, I'm 2 for 3 on that in year's past.

Roop is the grubbiest of horses right now, and has neglected to shed out his winter coat properly,
unlike Fergus and Uno who are smoothy and clean-looking

'Twas a lovely afternoon/evening, and the frogs were frogging and owls hooting by the time we got back up to the Overlook. Fergus is practising for riding it in the dark in August. He does good work. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


On Monday, Roo, Fergus and Uno got out of their paddock. Patrick had taken the snap off the gate to use elsewhere, not realising that Fergus has been channelling Provo's gate-opening abilities and therefore also knows how to get that gate open.

Escapee horses aren't exactly a big deal at our house, so all Patrick did was round them up into the orchard and shut that gate in order to deal with them later.

Not a problem.

Until I started thinking about all that lovely green grass in the orchard and what it might be doing to them, so I txted him to ask him not to leave them in there too long.

So Patrick went to retrieve them. He sent Fergus back where he belonged, and Roo followed willingly, leaving Uno alone in the orchard. Pft went back to get Uno and as he was leading him through the gate, Uno, already anxious from being left behind, got his foot caught in the hose - and being Uno - freaked at the thing grabbing him by the ankle and bolted, running straight through some cross-ties (conveniently fastened to a piece of breakaway baling string), and ripping the hose along with him which in turn promptly snapped the hose-bib (the one with the three faucets on it = all the horse waterers) off down in the ground and causing a 30 ft-high geyser of water to shoot into the sky.

Patrick said a bad word. He even txted me that word.

Being that we're on a well, the only way to stop the water from shooting 30 ft into the tree is to turn the well pump off, which means no water to the house.

And then instead of following Rule #1 of plumbing (check your watch to see what time the hardware store closes*), Patrick unwisely didn't.

(* this will almost always be 3 minutes before the event occurred)

Predictably, the five tins of plumbing cement we owned were completely dried up so there would be no plumbing activity occurring that evening.

And no shower for me the next morning.


Happy to report that our resident plumber (Patrick) fixed the problem the following day and we can now wash our hands, flush toilets, and the horses and chickens can drink again.

Yay for people who can fix things!