Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fall Soay Ram Photos

Our Soay herdsire Grande Ronde Arne, in fall 2010. I just turned him in with the ewes and he is starting to grow his breeding mane out. It will eventually reach down to his knees, like it did last year. Love those thick long manes!
Arne's a good looking fellow with his full curl and deep ruddish mouflon colors. =:)

Arne's son - Mayfields Jumpin Jehosephat. Jumpin Joe will have some great horns when he gets older. Even wider set than his father! He'll make a really awesome herdsire for someone's starter flock.

Jumpin Joe is going to be a handsome guy! I can't wait to see how he looks when he's fully matured. I think that he'll make a spectacular ram.

Mayfields Routan, another son of Arne. Rootie is a dark mahogany mouflon Soay ram with wide horns as well. This guy would be another one that would make a great herdsire for a flock. He's a pretty dark color too...

Rootie and his buddy Mayfields Loompah. You can see how much wider Rootie's horns are compared to Loompah's. They are the same age from our lamb crop this year.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Oregon 100 2010

On Friday we finished packing up the trailer and headed out for the Oregon 100 desert ride near Brothers, OR. We rolled into camp at around 7:00 p.m. and settled in for the night. As usual, I could only get about an hours worth of sleep. (I always lay awake thinking about what could go wrong the next day.) But, things went spectacularly at this ride! I love the desert, and this ride didn't disappoint. The scenery here is like being back in the old west, riding the range like a cowboy - free as a bird. My kind of heaven!

For the first time, my young fellow did a 50 miler. Being just five years old, I knew I was pushing it with Ox. But, we went slowly..... and I do mean VERY slowly..... and he did great. This was a really good ride for his first time 50. Not technically difficult with lots of flat land and sandy footing. In fact - we left the hoof boots back in the truck. There was no need for them to get used. Ox did the whole ride barefoot, and he wasn't alone. There were other people at the ride who were hoofin' it free as the breeze as well. What a fabulous place for a barefoot horse!

Unfortunately with sand, there also comes some perils as well. Some folks were having lameness issues from trying to go too fast in the deep sandy stuff. Lots of lameness pulls at the checks. Ox and I were 30 miles into the second loop when he started getting a bit stiff in the hind end. I could feel him slump a little bit every two or three miles at the trot, so we slowed down to a walk and kept that pace for the rest of the ride. It was the slowest I've ever traveled at an endurance ride, but we were going to finish it in good shape. Come hell or high water, we were going to finish! And this is why.....

Earlier in the year one of the vets, (not sure which one it was) pulled us at Prineville. And nobody said a peep about it. I would've appreciated being clued in by someone who thought we were "off" somewhere. But there wasn't the slightest indication that anything was wrong. As far as I could tell, we were doing good - Ox felt great, and I was happy with how the ride went. But, there must've been something going on that I didn't see. Because when the results came in two months later, (yes, unbelievabley it took the management two months to get their paperwork in....) I seen that we had been pulled. Argh!!!!

So, at this ride I definitely wanted to finish in good shape, and asked every vet if we were fit to continue or if something looked wrong. All of them said we were good to go, so I'm considering us to have a completion at this one.

Nice soft sandy tracks. Loved it!!!!!
Vet check on the second loop.

Ox beugarded the hay pile at the check. People would come over and get a flake or two and take it to their horses by the crew bags and chairs. I had been sitting in the saddle for a long time, so I stood for 45 minutes and let him eat wherever he wanted to. He seems to enjoy it when he's in charge of the hay pile...

R.G. "Dick" Root and the amazing Rocky. I love Dick's big horse, and cheer for him every time I see him at a ride. Dick is a veterinarian and knows how to get the most out of his great big fellow. Rocky is huge, and Dick is around my height and generally has to use a stock tank or a step stool just to get on the big boy. But once they get going - look out! Rocky hums along at a big thundering roll. It's hard to believe that this huge drafty fellow is a major competitor against arabs. Go Rocky go!

On the third loop, the trail took us through these cool old cattle corrals. There was a stock tank on the far side of it, and Ox and I stopped to admire the pens. It looked like they had been there for several years and had seen lots of cattle use. Very cool.

There was also this lone bull out on the range. I swear that the cowboy in me came out in full force when I seen this guy grazing out there alone. It was just a perfect moment. I could've stayed out there admiring him and the sagebrush scenery forever.

All done! =:) We finished at dusk. What a great ride. I was thrilled with how Ox did, and I hope that we can accomplish another couple of 50 milers next year. This ride gave me great hope for the future.

Westward Ho Parade 2010

This year was the big 100th anniversary of the Pendleton Round-Up, and Craig and I decided to ride through the Westward Ho parade. My Mom opted to not to take a chance on it with Dollar, and I can't blame her a bit for that. This is a huge parade that works best with very gentle and very broke horses. You never know what can happen here....

The Westward Ho is one of the oldest and biggest non-motorized parades in the nation. I like this parade a lot better than the previous Dress-Up parade because cars, 4-wheelers, and motorcycles are not allowed. You can ride a horse, ride in a buggy or a wagon, or walk - just like the old days. The crowd seems to like this parade much better as well, and there is a huge turnout of spectators that line the streets of Pendleton to watch it.

We had a long wait for the parade to start, roughly an hour and a half of standing in line. You can see in the picture above, entrants were backed up for 1/2 a mile waiting to go through. It was a huge parade this year - since it was the centennial - and Craig and I were entry number 161. There were folks behind us in line too, so I'm guessing there were over 200 entries that participated.
Craig was all smiles and ready to go! He has the brokest horse that we own, (Dee) who has been though this parade a zillion times, and I was riding Nettie who has been through the Dress Up parade once. Both horses did exceptionally well. Unfortunately there was a wagon lined up behind us that had some issues halfway through the parade and almost became a wreck. But we were able to get out of the way without a problem. Sometimes these parades get a bit western - (and not in a good way), and it's best to be astride calm headed horses.

A photo that my mom took of us. Thanks mom! The Eastern Oregonian also took a picture of us going through downtown side by side. I rode Nettie sidesaddle again with the bosal. She did wonderfully.

Craig and Dee. He had a lot of fun and looked sharp. After the parade went through downtown, there was a serpentine of the entrants that went into the Round-Up arena for a big picture of everybody. We opted to not do this, because we had to get home and pack for an endurance ride coming up. But, if we had more time we would've been in the big group parde photo. It was a fun time and we got to see a lot of familiar faces. =:)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

WEG - Let The Games Begin!

It's fairly exciting to have the World Equestrian Games on our own home turf in the United States. The endurance ride is sure to be thrilling! I cannot afford to go and watch, but I'm betting my nickels between the American team and the United Arab Emirates to win. It wouldn't surprise me a bit if the royal family blows the competition away....these people don't fool around! While most folks in our country long trot their horses over 100 mile stretches, the UAE competitors do it at a lope - in 100+ degree temperatures! They've got some damned tough horses to contend with.

(Turn the speakers down if you're not into native music...)



I was perusing Monica's blog this morning, and she has some neat entries about WEG.



Can't wait to watch NBC!