Archive of ‘Boot City’ category

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

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