Sunday, July 26, 2015


Open ROM Standings 07/25/15

Regiestered Name:  Octopelle    Points:  31     CL TY SX PT
                                                                           Ho HU Ge So

Thursday, July 23, 2015

I'm in a constant state of being penniless, because of THAT.....

Nom, nom, nom... the little piglet's chowing down. 

We just purchased our hay reserves for the year.  Since we only have 5 acres of non-irrigated dry lot, we have to purchase AT LEAST 30 tons of hay per year just to make it into the next.  This year we've got 40 tons.  With a young growing horse and also performance horses, it is good to err on the side of having "too much" instead of not enough.  The feeders are filled to the brim daily.  There are 10 tons of alfalfa for the bitter cold temps in the middle of winter, 5 ton of high protein orchard grass hay, and 25 tons of "filler" type low protein blue grass for free choice.  Plus, I stock up on Omolene grain for the shed.

Whew, there's only a little bit of lint left in these pockets...  ha, ha!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Our big boer nanny Daffodil had her little goat kid today.  He's a gorgeous solid red buckling.  Both of the kids this year have inherited their Nubian sires ears, floppy loppers on both of them!

He doesn't have a name yet, but he's a cute little dapper red fellow!
Old mama Daffodil knows her job well.

Harriet and little Eboneezer.

Eboneezer is a cute little buggar!  He's really filled out in just a few days.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Some photos from the ride.  Almost all of them were taken by Jessica Wynne.

This was on the last loop of the Saturday 50 miler, I think that we were at mile 42 or 43 somewhere.  Notice how big the trees are?  The national forest was full of those large beauties. 
This was after the giant rainstorm on Saturday.  We were totally SOAKED and I was getting slightly chilly with just a t-shirt!  We were trying to hurry back to camp to get some dry clothes and a warm blanket.  The brim worked wonders on both days in the heavy rain.  
A picture that Craig snapped as we were headed out on our second loop of the Saturday 50 miler.  Notice how nice and sunny it was when starting out?  I wished that it would've stayed that way...
A good photo of us chugging along down the trail on the Sunday 25 miler.  It was nice and sunny in the morning and then turned to thunder and lightning in the afternoon!
At least I remembered to dress accordingly for the weather on the Sunday ride...

We top-tenned both days.

And a short video that Craig got of us as we were heading out on our second loop on Saturday.  What a glorious place for a ride!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Well that was good timing!  My alpine nanny goat Harriet waited until after we got back home from the ride to have her little kid.  She was noisey this morning during feeding time and I knew that something was up.  I put the lead rope on her and took her out of the goat pen so that she could have her run of the open barnyard away from the other goats.  She seemed to like the idea of having the whole place to herself, and quickly spit the little guy out in rapid fashion.  He's a nice big healthy black buckling.  I took this picture about 10 seconds after he hit the ground.

Bandit Springs

We were bandits at Bandit Springs last weekend!  Wahoo!

Craig and I decided to try out the ride this year.  We've never been to it before and we weren't sure what to expect.  My husband was a bit leery about the camp site for a big rig, and I've heard riders proclaim that this ride is difficult, (somewhat technical).  But neither one was the case.  The camp site was absolutely gorgeous and fairly spacious for large vehicles, and I didn't find the trail to be very difficult at all - the slight climbs up the two mountain sides were very nice and pleasant.  It was well worth the drive to Prineville to go to this ride.  The Ochoco national forest is absolutely drop dead gorgeous!!!!  There were some fabulous "postcard" views from the top of the mountains!  Definitely one of my new favorite rides.

Ox and I had a game plan.  We were going out on both days, so I wanted to be very conservative with our pace.  We entered the 50 miler on Saturday and started out down the trail at 6:00 a.m. sharp.  It was awesome trotting through the mountain meadows as the morning mist was beginning to rise up off the ground.  So beautiful.  And it was nice and sunny in the morning too!  The first loop was 20 miles long on the western mountain side.  I held Ox back for most of it, and he wasn't very happy with me doing that.  He kept shaking his head and wanting to go faster.  But I didn't budge.  Come hell or high water, we were sticking to our game plan.  We trotted on the more level parts of the trail and walked up two big steep hills to get up to the top of the mountain.  The view at the top was spectacular.  We came back down the mountain and rolled into the first vet check feeling fresh and ready to go out again.

The next loop was a 30 miler with another vet check in between.  We started out down the trail again, this time we were going across the road from camp in the opposite direction to the eastern side of the mountain range.  The weather was still sunny out, and we chugged along at a good pace while slowing down for the climbs.  We crossed several little streams, shooed some cows off of the trail, seen several mule deer, and also seen one of the so-called "wild mustangs" that are said to inhabit the mountain side.  At 14 miles we rolled into the second vet check.  While we were vetting through and eating lunch, a small storm cloud appeared over the mountain and spit a little bit of rain on us.  Ox and I huddled under a giant pine tree, and I was glad the cloud burst didn't last very long.  The sunny weather in the morning hadn't given any hint of turning bad, so I didn't even think to pack my rain coat when we were headed out of camp.  The rain soon passed, and it was nice and sunny again.  We started down the trail out of the second vet check for our last 16 miles back into camp.  We had two good climbs up to the top of the eastern mountain and the views at the summit were really spectacular!  We would come around a bend in the trail right into a high mountain meadow with groves of quaking aspens whistling in the breeze.  There were some really cute old log cabins dotting the landscape as well.  No joke - it was the stuff that postcards are made from!  I still had plenty of horse underneath me, so we just enjoyed the scenery and parts of the trail. 

Then it happened...  We had about 9 miles to go and as we were starting to make our way down off of the mountain, I heard the booming of thunder in the distance.  I looked up to see a large cumulation of giant black clouds rolling in and I said to the horse, "Okay, we gotta go."  I really didn't want to be stuck up on top of the mountain with a giant storm rolling in.  We trotted 4 miles down the mountain side and then the skies opened up with a torrential monsoon downpour.  It was a flash flood type of storm.  Ox kept his ears pinned flat back to keep the water from draining into them, and he kept attempting to stop and turn around in the middle of the trail to put his ass against the wind.  We kept walking on down the trail, no matter what the conditions were - we had to keep going.  I felt just as miserable as the horse did.  I only had a t-shirt on, and it looked like I had just emerged straight out of a pond.  Thank god I wore the brim, as it helped to keep my head dry and divert some of the water. 

We only had 5 miles to get back to camp, so we trudged along down the trail.  The trail itself was getting washed out really badly, and the mud was extremely slick and treacherous for the horse.  We absolutely HAD to walk the last few miles for safety reasons, because his feet would slip and we'd end up sliding all over the place.  We finally made it back into camp, and as we rolled across the finish line the weather let up and it became sunny again.  I blanketed Ox and promptly changed my sopping wet clothes.

On Sunday morning the weather looked great, and it was beautiful and sunny outside again.  We started out a little after 7:00 a.m. down the trail on the 25 miler.  The first loop on the eastern side of the mountain was 15 miles long.  Our conservative pace from the previous day was a great strategy and I still had a good amount of horse left underneath me.  Ox had no problem climbing up the mountain once again.  We clipped along at a nice slow trot and slowed down for the boggy muddy parts on the trail.  After the first vet check we set out on our last 10 miles on the western side of the mountain.  We did the 5 mile climb to the top of the mountain and then I heard it again - thunder!  My first thought was "Oh hell no...!!!"  Here we are on top of a mountain - yet again - and like some sort of strange dejavu... it's threatening to dump buckets on us once more!!!  I wasn't looking forward to another repeat performance of Saturday afternoon's weather.  There was only 5 miles to get down off of the mountain and back into camp, so I told Ox, "Let it rip buddy!"  He was thrilled to oblige me.  We came boiling down off the mountain at a fast 14 mile an hour trot, and I think that we probably broke some sort of land speed record flying across the lower mountain meadows.  We blew into camp just as the storm was bearing down.  I'm so glad that we made it back into camp, because this time around the storm brought lightning with it!  Scarey stuff.

Dr. Cassee gave us our final completion vet check in the middle of the pouring storm, and afterwards we quickly ran for the cover of the trailer.  I put the horse in the back to dry off, and I climbed in the front to change my dripping wet clothes again.  I think that my boots shrank 3 sizes from all the rain at this ride!  But it was fun.  And the horse did really great with the changing conditions.  Endurance is the name of the game.

So now I know that Ox can do 75 miles at a conservative pace without a problem.  And it was a good test for future adventures.  Despite the rain, Bandit Springs was a totally awesome ride!  =:)

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

A recently completed Keeling "Bint Nazeem" artist resin that I painted as a subtle dapple grey, fresh from the studio.  This is a hair-prep model that will get real hair applied to the mane and tail area by the owner when it is done.  Owned by Melissa Halvas.

An finished example of a hair-prep model by artist Faye Cohen.

Monday, July 6, 2015


Pergenbek = perfection!  A gorgeous masterpiece from Stavropol stud (Alexander Klimuk) in Russia.  For all of my model horse friends out there - this is what a good akhal teke stallion is meant to look like.  Paint him any shade, he would look great in any color!  If anyone wants to sculpt a teke, this a very good example of what breeders strive for.  Almost flawless!  Stunning body conformation, good angles, good croup, strong leg bone, great shape and size of feet, drop dead gorgeous elegant swan neck, powerful sloping shoulder, decent height, noble head, ect.  He's put together extremely well.  A good riding horse and excellent breeding stock.

Only a handful of stallions in the world are of this quality, and Klimuk has raised a couple of them.  It's extremely rare in the akhal teke breed to accomplish such a high degree of success!

The icing on the cake is that his movement is incredible too!  Great sporting quality.

The reason that I'm posting this is because sometimes being overly "exotic" isn't exactly the greatest thing.  I posted the photos above of Pergenbek for a reason.  As artists, it can be fun to seek out the most outrageous otherworldly horses on the planet to sculpt - but in reality the subjects themselves can be real nightmares.  I see many akhal teke sculptures that are a far cry from what I'd personally deem as "beautiful" and correct.  A good example is the stallion Ekemen.  There has already been a sculpture made of that particular horse in all of his hideous horrible disgusting glory.  I have a couple copies of the sculpt that I plan on re-doing in the future.  The stallion himself was a total trainwreck conformationally.  (I loathed him, he was such a fugly piece of junk!)  Sometimes just because something looks "exotic" and typey doesn't mean that it should be made into a sculpture.  With that said, I'm not knocking the artist at all - she did a very good job of capturing his features on her model.  She totally nailed him in her sculpt.

Mister gross - Ekemen.  Everything put together in the wrong way.  He was completely useless for any kind of work under saddle, and personally I have yet to see any of his offspring that I would care to own.  Compare Ekemen's conformation to the gorgeous stallion Pergenbek in the photos.  Artists, please pick your subjects carefully!  If in doubt, ask top breeders their thoughts beforehand, no matter what breed of horse you are choosing to sculpt.