Archive of ‘Boot City’ category

Because we REALLY needed another dog!

Boot City and I love dogs. We REALLY love dogs. This past summer I was able to talk Boot City into fostering dogs for the Fort Worth Animal Shelter. The way it works is you identify a dog that you’re interested in fostering, confirm it is eligible for fostering (some dogs have major health issues that need more funds to treat and are only eligible to be adopted or rescued) then pick up the dog and take it home. The Fort Worth shelter works with a few are PetSmart locations to find dogs new homes. Fosters can drop off their foster dog for the day to stay at a PetSmart and potentially find a new family. Meanwhile the dog gets to live in a home with people and possibly other pets making it a more adoptable animal than if it were living in the highly stressful shelter environment.

Our first foster dog was Quila. Or, as we like to call her, Quildabeast. She had an upper respiratory infection, was pretty chubby and an older dog so could be high on the list for euthanasia should the shelter get too full, which it often does.

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Quila was an amazing foster dog. She was loving, got along with all the other animals, figured out the doggy door easily, was generally perfect. She got adopted on her second trip to PetSmart. We were sad to see her go, but so excited for her to get a family! Then, just a week later, we were notified by the Shelter’s foster coordinator that Quila had been returned to the shelter. We were so disappointed for her! The family that adopted her said that they were moving and couldn’t keep her. Who adopts a dog a week before they move and then returns it to the shelter because they can’t keep it?! Boot City had fallen a lot in love with Quila, so she was our very first Foster Fail. Foster Failing means you adopt the dog you were fostering. 🙂

This event led Boot City and I to have a conversation about our dog collection and Christmas. How many dogs is too many? Should we rearrange where they live during the day? What do you want for Christmas? What does Christmas have to do with our dogs? This is what Christmas has to do with our dogs; I have a family friend who has long had Whippets. I have always loved her Whippets and have always wanted to have one of my own. Boot City has become close with this family friend and learned that they were breeding their Whippet and would have puppies available in November or December. Boot City was getting me a puppy for Christmas! I haven’t had a puppy since I was in high school! By adopting Quila our collection had risen to 8 dogs, so we needed to discuss and confirm the future of our pack size.

We agreed to continue fostering until we got the puppy, but no more adopting. We had two near misses for another Foster Fail, but both dogs got adopted to wonderful homes. On September 7 our puppy was born. He was the runt of 10 puppies. They were all given adorable British names. We had the option to change his name, but it fits him perfectly so we opted to keep it.

Meet Dickens! This is his 5 week old photo.

Meet Dickens! This is his 5 week old photo.

He came home for good on November 4. He is the cutest, sweetest, most fun puppy ever! He’s been pretty easy as far as puppies go. Potty training is going well. He gets along with the other dogs, other than trying incessantly to play with Bunny who has zero interest in playing. We are in love! Look forward to lots of future pictures of him as he grows up!

 

Boot City gets his Weld on

Most husbands are somewhat handy at wood working. Mine is decidedly not very handy at wood working; his speciality is working with metal. Therefore many structures that would be made of wood at a wood worker’s home are made of metal at our home. This makes for some VERY heavy duty bridle racks and saddle racks that you could hang a sofa from. Most recently Boot City stepped up to make a stall run for the “bed-ridden” Coco Chanel during her 6 week layup.

We had planned to have stall runs on all four stalls on the “new” barn from the get-go, but time and funding are not always readily available so nothing happened until there was an express NEED for a stall run. We did a great deal of internet research about design; how far apart should the pipes be, how far off the ground should the lowest rung measure, how heavy duty do the pipes need to be and all kinds of safety and convenience research.

Human nature is to repeat what we know worked in the past. My parents had runs off the stalls on their barn in Montana so that was the basis for our design. We altered it slightly by putting fewer pipes and having the bottom rung further off the ground to prevent trapping legs. We beefed up the size of the frame pipes and opted for 1 1/2″ sucker rod for the bottom 3 rows. This is the finished product plus horse.

Coco outside in her run on the first night it was open for business.

Coco outside in her run on the first night it was open for business.

Boot City is all about building things to be very sturdy. This time around he put posts in the ground at least every 8 feet and in the case of invasive tree roots he put them even closer so as to not have to harm the roots.The closer the poles in the ground are to one another the sturdier they are because there is less room between bracing for the horizontal pipes.

Poles in the ground. I promise that all of them are nearly perfectly straight. Boot City doesn't mess around.

Poles in the ground. I promise that all of them are nearly perfectly straight. Boot City doesn’t mess around.

The whole project took about three weeks from start to finish. I really and truly thought it could be done in a couple days, but that was unrealistic wishful thinking. The concrete had to set for the poles in the ground to be sturdy enough to weld on and the measuring and levelling is extremely tedious work. Boot City finished the fencing late on a Wednesday night and Coco will be forever grateful.  The plan is to complete her neighbor’s stall run in the coming months, but emphasis is now on putting in a property gate, updating fencing by the house and finished the “nursery” AKA the paddock fencing for Coco and her new foal come March.

Late night welding

Late night welding

A “River” Runs Through It

Boot City and I live on top of a hill. A very large and rocky hill. Our friends like to tell us how delightful they find our driveway. Truly delightful. The primary reason that our driveway is so very delightful is due to laws of gravity: what goes up, must come down. This is true not only for our driveway, but for other parts of our property as well. All farmers and ranchers are constantly battling erosion of some sort. We aren’t actual farmers or ranchers, but we do have an ongoing battle with erosion. When the rain comes down, it has to go somewhere and so down the hill it goes. Generally after a hard rain most any loose dirt and rocks from our driveway have found their way to the highway by our house. I’m confident the county road crew loves us the most.

For the past nine years we have lived on our happy 10 acres we have been working towards improving the land and increasing the amount of grass that grows. Improving the soil is all about adding organic matter and nitrogen. The combined efforts of the chickens pooping, the goats pooping and the horses pooping have done wonders to increase the amount of organic matter. We try to compost as much as we can, but sometimes that sh$% just has to get spread around. Boot City has also gotten to justify his schmancy new 65 horsepower John Deere all in the name of grass and soil improvement. This allows him to dig up the soil, plant seeds and fertilise when necessary. And this spring has shown the fruits of our (mostly his) labor better than any other.

So much so that after an especially hard rain this past weekend there was a great deal of evidence that we really need to work on creating our very own mini-creek for the water to go down after such hard rains. As it is now, the water running down the hill just takes all the organic matter we’ve worked so hard to accumulate with it!

The top of the hill on the back of the property. You can see how fast the water moved down the hill and created it's very own path through all the beautiful grass. We have the beginnings of some rocks set down to prevent all the dirt from eroding with the water.

The top of the hill on the back of the property. You can see how fast the water moved down the hill and created it’s very own path through all the beautiful grass. We have the beginnings of some rocks set down to prevent all the dirt from eroding with the water.

Further down the hill there isn't any grass growing in this part of the water flow for a couple reasons. The first is that there are a lot of trees so very little sunlight gets in and the second being that every hard rain just washes away any grass that has started to grow.

Further down the hill there isn’t any grass growing in this part of the water flow for a couple reasons. The first is that there are a lot of trees so very little sunlight gets in and the second being that every hard rain just washes away any grass that has started to grow.

Towards the bottom of the back hill the grass had gotten to be about 12″ – 14″ tall. When I walked the property the morning after the rain I was somewhat surprised to find how it had been completely flattened by the water runoff. This was a prime opportunity for us to identify the low spots and plan for adding rocks and other solid barriers to slow down the water and to prevent the topsoil from being eroded.

Flat grass! Boot City has already moved some dirt to change the layout of the hill and alter the pathway of the water. Now, to add more big rocks.

Flat grass! Boot City has already moved some dirt to change the layout of the hill and alter the pathway of the water. Now, to add more big rocks.

In the back, right before and at the largest back pasture (about 5 acres) the grass is thick, tall and lush. It’s that perfect spring green that makes anyone associated with agriculture and animal husbandry smile and take a deep breath. Along the path of the water runoff it had gotten completely flattened and looked like a big green walkway. Again, indicative of where to plant more large rocks!

You can see the water path towards the back of the pasture.

You can see the water path towards the back of the pasture.

Last, but not least, this is where the water collects and runs to lower ground on the neighbor’s property. Last year, in the fall, there was a similar large storm and the water runoff collected so much debris that by the time it got to this spot it took down the fence!

The endpoint of the "River"

The endpoint of the “River”

Now we mow, mow and mow some more (and by we I mean Boot City mows) and collect rocks from other parts of the property to add to the future “creek”. Maybe by fall we will have a genuine little waterfall to share!

Saddle Shopping |The Grand Finale

So, there we were. The right saddle and size had been identified and were unavailable. I did what any savvy saddle shopper would do and I got in touch with the dealer for the brand I wanted to buy (Antares). I told him of my predicament and he made me feel a million times better when he told me he could get a Spooner. We were back in business! He did explain that the off-the-rack saddles Antares makes fall to the back of the manufacturing line behind custom orders, but he could get one in my size. I was elated. This was all happening around Christmas and New Years and the French don’t work during the week before and a week after a holiday so he wouldn’t know until the second or third week of January when the saddle might be available. No worries. It had been a few months since the this whole quest had begun so what was a few more weeks? Plus, there was an Antares meeting at the corporate office in the U.S. in January so surely that would offer the best possible scenario to get production news.

It was while I was in NYC for a fun weekend celebrating my horsey bestie’s 30th birthday that I got the text with the good news. Spooners were in production and he expected them to start arriving “in a couple weeks”. Surely I would have my new saddle before February! There were a lot of exclamation points in my texts on this day because I was so excited! There was a light at the end of the tunnel!

A couple weeks went by with no news of Spooners. Then another week went by and some other, more normal sized, Spooners arrived and now there was no prediction of when or if my 18″ would make it into production. To sooth my disappointment I started perusing used saddle websites again. I found one really lovely 18″ used Antares on the CWD used saddle webpage. I even put a deposit on it and had them take it off the website. It was getting closer and closer to the weekend I was going to show in my first “A” rated USEF show and I really wanted to have my new saddle before then. The Antares rep was going to be at said horse show for all four weeks (I only showed one of the four weeks) and he had pretty much his entire saddle inventory with him. I consulted with my trainer and we agreed that it would just be best for me to ride some of the saddles he had to get a more solid idea of what I needed and then I could get more serious about finding the right used saddle without having to kiss a bunch more frogs and send them packing back to their owner when they don’t fit.

I arrived at the show all giddy and nervous about my first “A” show as much as about finding a saddle. My division was fairly early in the morning so I showed in my borrowed saddle. Once my first division was done I went to pick up a saddle to try. It was a brand new Antares. 18″ seat with a 3A flap meaning the flap is longer than normal and more forward. It felt good, but my trainer felt that the forward flap was more forward than I needed. She advised to go back and see if he had an 18″ with either a normal length forward flap or a long but not forward flap. I returned with another brand new 18″ Antares with a 3 (long) flap. Both saddles were significantly more $$$ than I had budgeted so I was working really hard to not fall in love. Saddle #2 was a bingo! Trainer liked it. I liked it. I think Sterling liked it. I even showed in the second division I competed in the second trial saddle. Then, I did what any sane woman with an obsession with riding horses would do. I called my husband. He had all the right answers. Of course I should buy saddle #2. If I don’t buy it I’ll have to try however many more saddles and spend hundreds of dollars shipping them back and forth. Clearly it made sense to buy the saddle that my trainer liked and felt was the right saddle for my horse and me. I’ve never won the lottery, but I can’t imagine it is much better than your husband giving the go ahead to buy a schmancy new saddle.

Here she is in all her glory:

My beautiful brand new Antares saddle. BEAUTIFUL!

My beautiful brand new Antares saddle. BEAUTIFUL!

What made this saddle “the one”? I mentioned in previous posts that my horse is on the skinny side. Thoroughbreds are notoriously narrow and often have super high withers making them difficult to fit. Thankfully Sterling isn’t on the narrower side, but he’s definitely narrower than a warmblood. He is also not super tall at just 16 hands. I have about a 30″ inseam so when I ride Sterling I ride with a shorter stirrup than I would if my horse had a bigger, rounder barrel. This shorter stirrup pushes my butt back in the saddle. I don’t have extra long femurs, if I had extra long femurs I would have needed the saddle with the long AND forward flap. As it was the long flap is best. The bottom of the flap should hit the rider’s leg in the middle of the calf and the rider’s knee should have room to spare at the front of the flap when the stirrups are the correct length.

Here are some pics to demonstrate this gobble-de-gook:

Saddle fit pictures are kind of humiliating and make one feel like they should stop typing and go do some sit-ups. Anyhow. The flap hits just at the fat part of my calf like it should.

Saddle fit pictures are kind of humiliating and make one feel like they should stop typing and go do some sit-ups. Anyhow. The flap hits just at the fat part of my calf like it should.

Some squats might help, too. There are a few inches in the back of my derriere to allow plenty of room to sit back before a "big" jump.

Some squats might help, too. There are a few inches in the back of my derriere to allow plenty of room to sit back before a “big” jump.

The other side. Isn't it pretty?!

The other side. Isn’t it pretty?!

Last, but certainly not least.

Last, but certainly not least.

I’ve had my new saddle for nearly two months and I still love it. The previous saddles I had ridden left dry spots on Sterling’s back and this one leaves one big uniform sweat spot on all parts where the saddle should be touching him. My leg feels more still. It’s just too bad that the new saddle doesn’t fix all my riding problems like counting strides for me out loud and zapping me when I lean too far forward before a jump. For now I’m just delighted to be done saddle shopping.

Do the Derby

Sterling and I have attended a couple regional circuit shows in the past few months with our friends Caitlin and Lexi. Caitlin regularly shows in the “A” shows with her seasoned show horse, Sundance. Lexi is an off the track thoroughbred (OTTB) who needs miles at shows. The regional circuits are great for that sort of thing. You get all the trappings of any horse show, but the overall ambience is more relaxed and the jumps are much smaller. In our case Sterling and I both need the miles!

At the first show we were Reserve Champions in our Division. Woo hoo! We weren’t able to show in our Division on the second day of the show because we wanted to get home at a reasonable hour on a school night. We were facing the same issue at the second show, but came up with a solution that turned out to be one of my best show experiences to date!

Sterling and I currently show in a 2’6″ division. We could probably go higher, but until I get better at my position and finding distances in lines, the smaller jumps are better for us. At the most recent show we attended there was being held a Mini Hunter Derby and the jumps were 2’6″ and it was the first class on Sunday morning. I mentioned the idea of entering the Derby to my trainer so we could show on Sunday, but not have to stay for our regular Division. This show was HUGE, too. There was no way my Division was going to show before 3p which would have had us getting home at around 9p. WAY too late for this old lady! Our trainer agreed that it was a good idea and off I went to enter the Derby.

I kind of knew what a Derby was when I entered. I knew the course would be slightly more complicated and I knew that the rides would be scored. What I didn’t know, or at least had forgotten, was that the top few would come back to do what is called a Handy round. The Handy round is intended to be a bit more complicated and requires more quick thinking and responsiveness from the horse. The course require things that wouldn’t normally be on a hunter course like trotting to jumps and hand galloping.

Because I was one of the last entries I had to ride first. One of my most favourite things about Sterling is that he (knock on wood) never spooks at jumps. It seems to never matter how much stuff they put on the fences he just jumps over them like a champ. This combined with his uncanny ability to save my behind when I ride him to a horrendous distance make him worth his weight in gold. My goal going into the pen was to get all my distances and actually count the strides. I accomplished my first goal and counted strides for about 70% of the time. I was beyond ecstatic! I’m sure I was lit up like a Christmas tree as I rode out of the arena.

For your viewing pleasure here is the video. Caitlin and I video each other’s rides at shows so we can go back and actually see what we did. It’s pretty awesome. So thanks to Caitlin for recording this momentous occasion! Click the link below to view.

GHHJA Mini Derby Nov 2014

It’s been a little while so I don’t remember what my score was exactly, but I think it was around 73. A perfect score is a 90. I was pretty happy with my score and my ride. Then I had to hang out for another 44 rides to find out of I would be coming back for the Handy round. Going into this it truly never occurred to me that I even had a shot to make it to the Handy round. Lo and behold I made it into the top 10! The cutoff score was 72. Whew!

Our Handy round was awesome. There were no lines so I didn’t have to worry to much about counting and Sterling handled really well. The only things that really needed improvement are the kinds of things that get better with miles. Our Handy round score was a 76 and when it was all said and done we got 6th place. 6th place out of 45 entries in our very first Hunter Derby! Look out 2015 because Sterling and I are hitting the horse show trail!

Clearing out the Parking Lot

Boot City has a LOT of cars. Our property strongly resembles a parking lot. In the interest of cleaning up and also getting some $$$$ we had a little car washing and photography session recently. Boot City is motivated to sell his 1972 Datsun Z car so I was happy to help get ready to get RID of the thing!

DIRTY Datsun

DIRTY Datsun

The car has been parked by our house for a few months and is COVERED in tree gunk. Sticky and gross!

Dirty dirty Datsun

Dirty dirty Datsun

We had to move it from the house to wash it, which gave Boot City an opportunity to put his big tractor to work. He LOVES his John Deere!

Cars that don't run get towed

Cars that don’t run get towed

Boot City put me in charge with the outside cleaning and he would clean the motor. Probably a good idea since I’m pretty sure I would mess something up on the car if I were to be put in charge of spraying a jet of water at the motor. I was moving the hose around and getting my bucket of soapy water ready when I heard lots of screaming and shouting behind me. Sadly I wasn’t quick enough to get my camera out in time to capture Boot City running and screaming away from the car as a hive of wasps came furiously out from under the hood where they had evidently been happily living until their untimely disturbance.

The not so friendly hive of wasps living in the Datsun

The not so friendly hive of wasps living in the Datsun

I happily got my jet sprayer and removed the nest from the car. We had been seeing the red wasps around for a while, but had never really taken the time to find their nest. Hopefully now they will be gone for good. But in reality they will probably move into the car parked next to where the Datsun had been living. Sundae the kitten participated in the wasp removal by eating the remains of their nest. Gross, but good kitty!

Evidently wasp nests are a tasty treat for kittens

Evidently wasp nests are a tasty treat for kittens

After the wasp incident we got to work with the washing. Thankfully the guck came off quite easily and didn’t require a tremendous amount of elbow grease. It actually looks pretty good when clean, if I do say so myself!

Almost completely clean

Almost completely clean

Once the outside was cleaned and ready Boot City got some rags to clean the inside for photos. He’s posted LOTS of cars on Ebay so is really good at prepping and photographing the cars. Guzzi enjoys helping and advising car cleaning.

Guzzi the automotive advisor

Guzzi the automotive advisor

Now Boot City is working hard on his Ebay post. Keep your fingers crossed that some Datsun aficionado falls madly in love with our 1972 Z car and that it finds a new home quickly.

Real Life

This past weekend has been one that covers all phases of life. I’ve been planning the trip to Florida for a few months. I have a group of girlfriends with whom I regularly go on little trips with. Usually we go to the far south of Texas to South Padre Island, but lately a lot of our trips have revolved around weddings and babies. We actually all became close friends after attending the many events prior to one of the girl’s wedding in 2008.

In the past three years there have been three weddings and five babies born in our little group! It has been a lovely time sharing these life milestones with such a great group of friends. This was our first destination wedding and it was in northwest Florida near Destin. The happy couple had gone on a long trip with his father and step-mother last year so when they got engaged a beach wedding seem perfect. The couple days before the wedding were soakers so the bride was understandably very stressed about the weather the day of the wedding. It POURED during the rehearsal dinner, too.

As luck would have it the weather the day of was absolutely perfect. Overcast all day with a breeze then the sun came out for a few hours just in time to shine on the wedding ceremony. My pics aren’t the very best, but you can see how lovely it was.

House party headed to the ceremony site.

House party headed to the ceremony site.

The lovely ladies of the House Party.

The lovely ladies of the House Party.

An absolutely breathtakingly beautiful ceremony.

An absolutely breathtakingly beautiful ceremony.

I enjoyed every minute of my short trip to Florida and I can finally understand why so many folks head there for beach vacations.

My travels after the wedding were quite a lot less joyful as Boot City and I drove 500 miles south of Fort Worth after I returned from Florida to attend the memorial service for his Dad. Boot City’s Dad passed away on Memorial Day last week. He had suffered from cancer for over a year so it wasn’t unexpected and was actually very peaceful. He had chosen to not treat the cancer so knew that his time was short and didn’t have the horrible pain and suffering that chemo and radiation inevitably cause.

The thing about funerals, especially those for people who were ill or elderly and it isn’t so sad and tragic, is that they are always a great time to see friends and family members that you wouldn’t otherwise see. I always appreciate that about funerals. In this case we saw many members of Boot City’s family who I have only met once or twice. Many folks had great stories to share about Raymond so it was fun to hear those tales. If I heard it once I heard it 100 times that Boot City is the spitting image of his Dad.

Boot City with his brother and cousins

Boot City with his brother and cousins

We spent about 18 hours in the car driving to and from the memorial so we talked a lot about Raymond and the memories Boot City has of his childhood with his Dad. Lots of crazy trips to Mexico, driving and flying around south Texas and Mexico and Raymond’s propensity to mumble, mostly in Spanish. Our summers will forever be bookmarked by the passing of our Dads. My Dad passed away Labor Day weekend of 2006 and now Boot City’s passed away on Memorial Day. I think it is a great way to begin and end the summer to remember our Dads and the many happy memories we have of them. I, for one, always feel lucky that I have/had such a great relationship with both my parents and that I have/had time time with them that I was blessed to have.

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.

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

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