March 2014 archive

Banana Thievery

When I started this blog I was really determined that I wasn’t going to use iCellular photos. The quality isn’t as good as a “real” camera and all that. But there are a lot of really funny things that happen at the farm that you can only catch on an iCellular. So you’re just going to have to endure some lesser quality photos periodically to enjoy the silliness.

Last Saturday while I was at the Closing Hunt (getting photos with my “real” camera) Boot City sent this photo to me:

Peaches, the banana thief.

Peaches, the banana thief.

This is our 11/12 year old foxhound, Peaches, eating a banana. Yes, our hounds like fruit. Evidently. Peaches doesn’t get around very well and we are pretty sure she had some help getting the banana off the counter. Most likely from the hound who ate about 8 apples off the middle of the dining room table a few weeks ago (Cupid).

Then, today, I get this photo from Boot City:

Annie, banana thief #2

Annie, banana thief #2

We have almost this exact same photo of Annie only instead of a banana she has a dead rat. I digress. At this point in the day there didn’t appear to be any bananas missing from the counter (I bought more bananas just last night after the hounds ate their fill last weekend). Our suspicions pointed to Annie having stashed a banana over the weekend during the initial banana thievery events, then going back for it sometime today. She is known to do that with eggs she steals from the chicken coop.

It appears we were wrong:

The evidence.

The evidence.

We are again placing blame on Cupid for this attempt at banana thievery. None of the other dogs are as agile at getting things off tall surfaces nor do any of the others seem to have the intestinal fortitude to do what it takes to get things off the counter quite like Cupid does. She has a lot of stick-to-itiveness when it comes to food. One might attribute her voluptuous figure on her commitment to eating food she’s not supposed to eat. Cat food. Apples. Anything small children are trying to eat. Goat feed. Cattle feed. Chicken feed. Alfalfa cubes.

Cupid

Thanks to the banana thieves no one will be having banana with their oatmeal tomorrow morning.

End of the Season

It’s always bittersweet to attend the last hunt of the season. I love the formality, but hate to see the season end. The first and last hunts are the most formal, at least they are with the hunt I’m a member. Horses are gussied up with baths and braids. There are usually more guests attending. The meal is a little fancier after the ride.

Thankfully the weather was warmer for closing than opening this season. I rushed home after work on Friday night to get Noelle bathed while the sun was still out.

Sudsy pony

Sudsy pony

I don’t think I’ve ever bathed Noelle before. It wasn’t her first bath, but I don’t think she loved it. She kept trying to get the hose in her mouth. I’m not sure if that was to play or just to get it away from me! Spring is shedding season so between her taking the hose away and all the hair flying around I was a filthy mess and she was squeaky clean.

All clean!

All clean!

I got up early the morning of the hunt to braid her mane. She was a patient girl and I just love how the horses look when they are all braided.

All dressed up

All dressed up

It rained a bit early on so we dressed our horses all up in sheets to keep our saddles dry before heading out.

Ready to go!

Ready to go!

We had a great turnout for Closing. Most of our regular members as well as a few guests. It was an exciting end as we really got to see the hounds work. The scent was rising fast, but the hounds were on it! I learn more every season about the hounds and how our hound master guides them. Hopefully next year I’ll get to ride up with the hound master a few times.

Release the hounds!

Release the hounds!

Noelle was great. This is the first hunt season I’ve ridden her so you never know how the horse will react to the commotion. No matter how old or seasoned the horse they can have a strong reaction to the hounds or the other horses on the hunt. I rode with the Hilltopping group who traditionally ride on the hilltops and watch the faster groups. In reality we ride pretty close behind the first field, depending on the terrain of the property. In this photo the first field is in front of us. The field masters wear the red coats and we ride behind the masters. There is much tradition in the hierarchy of where people ride. Collar colors denote status as do buttons with the hunt’s initials. I’m at the very back of the group. Not because of the hierarchy, but because Noelle is kind of slow.

Closing Hunt 2014

Closing Hunt 2014

In a few weeks the hound show season will start. So, until November, this is the last hunt post! Tally ho, y’all!

Hilltoppers

Hilltoppers

Celebrate with Coco Chanel

“Elegance is when the inside is as beautiful as the outside.” Coco Chanel

A very lovely creature celebrates her second birthday today!

Baby Coco

I forget how much horses change in the first few years of their lives.

Coco RPSI trot

Sometimes I still have to pinch myself that I’m so lucky to have Coco Chanel. She is the daughter of Mai Tai, an up and coming jumper at October Hill Farm by the late Coconut Grove. She exemplifies the best in both of her parents. I can’t wait to see what her future holds!

Anna Routh Photography

Anna Routh Photography

Next year at this time she’ll be getting her first rides and having a rendezvous with Cartier R at Rising Star Farms!

Coco 0314

Happy second birthday Coco Chanel!

Medieval Times FINALLY!

For the past five or six years I’ve attempted to get a group of friends together to attend Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament for my birthday. After at least five failed attempts at making it happen, 2014 was THE year. My Mom is in town visiting for a few days and I thought what better way to entertain an out of town guest than head to Medieval Times! A couple friends were going to join us, but who knew tickets sold out to Medieval Times these days?! We are blaming spring break.

The Knights

The tickets plainly stated that the doors open 75 minutes before the show and seats are first come first served. Since we had at least an hour drive I scheduled for us to depart at 5:30p sharp for the 7:45p show. Turns out it was a good idea mostly because the majority of the drive was through a torrential downpour. (I was previously unaware of the trend to turn on your hazard lights and drive 45 mph in the fast lane of the freeway when it rains, but that is for another post). We arrived at 6:45p and RAN through the rain to get the best seats available to those arriving 60 minutes early. When the tickets said “first come first served” for seats I had it in my head that we would get to run into a dining area and snag the best table. Turns out the door attendants give you a card with your table number and you get herded into a room to wait for an hour and buy tiaras and swords or have your photo taken with a falconer and buy the photo or pay to tour the torture chamber or any of the other ingenious ways they have for you to spend your money. It really was quite the production. I’d go back just to get a seat in the middle of the room and watch the people!

We all have our priorities, and I was there to see the horses. As Boot City so eloquently said, “I’m glad we could drive an hour through a downpour so you could come here and look at horses. This isn’t something we can do at home.” Dinner was fine. The people watching exceptional. But the horses were clearly the best part. Horse people are always skeptical of things like these. Are the horses any good? Are the riders any good? Do they just do the basics and nothing really challenging? I was pleasantly surprised by both the horsemanship and the horses. I didn’t get any pics, but there were a number of Spanish horses in the show (I’m assuming Andalusians, but they never said) that did some dressage movements in hand and under saddle. This was when I was taking pictures with the lens cap on my camera. Oops.

I did, however, get some photos of the Blue Knight.

The Blue Knight

Our table was in the Blue section so we were instructed by our table server to cheer for the Blue Knight. Lucky for us, the Blue Knight was victorious. The part of the show with the Tournament was probably my least favorite, but it was amusing. And I had removed my lens cap so got some OK photos with my schancy new camera.

MT Jousters

All in all it was a fun time. Sadly we didn’t get any group photos (sorry Aunt Soni), but I hope you enjoy the Blue Knight. He sure did think he was hot stuff!

The Knights' Sages

Lamont

Lamont

A few weeks ago we acquired an orphan billy goat. We keep a small herd of Boer Goats. Currently we have a few females and one wether (non-breeding male) and have been planning to get another billy goat to breed the females this year. Our goats (thankfully) do not fulfill the goat stereotype and jump on cars, eat paint and generally terrorize the property. Boot City has a LOT of cars around so it is a blessing that our goats aren’t destructive (Sterling the horse takes the cake there, but that is another post).

A friend of ours has some female Boers who are in the midst of kidding. Sadly, the first doe to kid died a few days later from a freak infection. It was a very uncommon and not communicable disease that took her life about a week after kidding twin boys. The boys were bottle fed for a few days before our friend decided the kids needed to move to homes with more time resources to care for them. We’ve bottle fed a few goats in the past few years and I bottle fed sheep and calves when I was a kid so we volunteered to take one of the boys. The other went to another friend so we are able to keep tabs on the brothers.

This is a photo of them the day they went to their new homes. The “red” head is Bullet and the black head was “Bingo”. I’ll explain his name change in a minute.
Bullet and Lamont

They were born in late January and, even in Texas, the weather can make it MUCH harder to care for baby animals. We brought “Bingo” home on a Saturday afternoon in February when the temps were climbing into the 60s and by Sunday night it was back to freezing and ice. So, he moved to the house to be near a heater and come to think he’s a fox hound. We kept him in our breezeway with a heater for about a week until temps climbed back up to the 50s and 60s and he could be back with his goat friends. Animals kept with humans when they are babies are a LOT harder to deal with as adults than those reared by their own kind so we wanted him to be with the other goats as much as possible.

The more time we’ve spent with the little guy the less his name seemed to fit him. Boot City has a thing for horrible 70’s and 80’s TV shows and Sanford and Son is his absolute favorite. He’s been working at home a lot lately thus watching an inordinate amount of Sanford and Son…..one thing led to another and our baby goat has become “Lamont”. The “Son” of Sanford and Son. Our Lamont was a little slow on the uptick to really get the hang of the bottle after moving to our house (evidently he did fine before the move, but oftentimes big changes can hinder baby animals). This was how how earned his name. Fred Sanford always called his son a “dummy”.

Lamont and Cupid

No worries, he eats JUST FINE now! He’s also taken to grazing on grass in his pen and eating pelleted goat feed and alfalfa. The earlier orphaned goats eat like adults, the more likely they are to develop normally. He still loves his bottle, he gets two a day, but he’s growing rapidly! So, that is the story of our orphaned goat. Check back for updates as Lamont grows to become a magnificent Billy goat and the father of lots of kids

Here goes!

Well, here goes! I’ve had it in my mind that I want to start a blog for some time. Definitely for a few months, maybe even years. I’ve written in a journal since I could first write and a blog struck me as a way to have a journal with photos I could share with others. Facebook has kind of scratched that itch, but not completely. From my life in Montana to my life in Texas I have 800+ Facebook friends and I’m sure many of them are not keen on my constant barrage of photos of goats and dogs and horses. My blog can be a space where you choose to come read about the goings on of the Ranchette.

And, while I think I have a plan for how this whole blogging thing will go, I’m perfectly OK with it going a direction other than where I plan. I hope that our experiences can be a resource for others to draw from. Whether it is kidding goats, pairing boots with dresses, ripping serged seams, our favorite eats and drinks in DFW or cleaning tack. If one of those statements lost you, I promise you’ll learn something new from reading this blog! If you have questions, please ask. If there is something you want to learn more about, suggest post topics. I’m really excited for the feedback I hope to get from my family and friends who read this blog. Please share, I’d love for you to spread the web love and tell your friends and family about this blog.

And, last but not least, what is Big Sky/Boot City?! I first met my husband a few months after moving to Texas from Montana. He had some friends who were keen on bestowing clever nicknames to their friends. Mine is probably pretty obvious since I hail from the Big Sky state. Boot City is my husband. His full name (which I promised him I wouldn’t spread all over the inter webs) rhymes with a western store by the name of Cavender’s Boot City. So, there you have it. We are Big Sky and Boot City!

Raspino Wedding