Thursday, June 2, 2011

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch.. (Buzzard Gulch.. Sue's place) May 2-6

The week before my first Region 1 NATRC competition: Mt. Diablo

Monday:   Sue thought it would be a good idea for me to go and look at the parking options at the Mt. Diablo ride site, so we took her car and drove over..  Wow, lot's of turning, twisty 2 lane road  and that's just getting to the turnoff.  Then after that the road gets pretty much one lane and is steep with hairpin turns.  (I'm thinking.. oh my.. my trailer and truck are waay too big for this).

We get to one turn off to go to the parking area, there's no way I can make this corner as you have to turn left sharply and I don't have anyway to turn wide, so we go past that one and  up and up we go, now there is a narrow turn to the left, you can either go between a rock and a tree  or the tree and a building.  The way it looks is.. I'm not going to make that turn either.  We look at the parking options and if I can get through those turns it will be difficult to make the turn into the parking area.  So we go to plan B.  Midway down the hill, at the beginning of the property is a flat area with horse pens.  The only problem is there is a huge wet area (a seep, like a slow leaking spring) that makes maneuvering into and out of this area difficult, not impossible, but difficult.  It also means that we have to drive up the hill for all of the meals and meetings and I'll have to ride Buddy up the hill to check him in for the begining of the ride.  Oh, well.. this will do. So with that done we go back to Sue's and hang out.

Wednesday:  Another evening to ride with Lazaro, this time he gets there a bit later in the evening and when we ride into the stables the aisle way is dark.  I think ot uh.. monsters.. but Buddy just follows Paris.. his new  girl friend, right into the dark barn.  Lazaro does his thing, I ride Buddy around and practice backing around poles and side passing.. I'm not going to admit to doing those things well, let's just say I DID practice!   Buddy is still watching the goats and sheep, but not as afraid as before
As we were leaving I was following Lazaro out of the barn. He stopped at the entrance and get some feed for another horse.  I'm sitting on Buddy and it's pretty dark.. There's feed bags rustling and a stallion starts trying to "sweet talk" Buddy.  Buddy just stands there.. he normally wants to eat and I figured he'd be pawing, but nope, it was no big deal.  So off we go to ride back to Sue's. By this time it's getting twilight, I figure it will be dark by the time we get back.  As we are nearly back to Sue's, Lazaro gets a call from his son who he had left at the boarding barn with the truck, the plan was the son would drive the truck to Sue's, but guess who had the keys? Lazaro was going to have someone come and get them, but I hadn't ridden enough so I said, let's take the keys back.  We do and it gets darker.. I'm happy, I get to practice riding in the dark.  Buddy could have cared less.  Luckily no cars came down the road, I kind of wished for a blinking light or some kind of light or something, but it was OK.
One more new thing to mark off the list.. Night riding..

Thursday:  Sue's Vet comes to do dental work on several of her horses.   I get to help get horses and hold them.. my kinda work.. Also the Vet was really good on showing me what he was looking at if a horse had a tooth issue.. Cool!
 I ask the Vet if he wouldn't mind checking Buddy's manure's for occult blood to see if the Succeed is working.  Buddy had been on the Succeed for a bit over 2 weeks, not a full month, but I wanted to go ahead and see if there was any improvement.
 He was able to check and there it was, a faint trace of albumin and hemoglobin.   I didn't see the test strip when Dr. Quintana'sassociate conducted the test,, but I do remember that  she said it was faint, but definitely positive  So no change. So Sue's Vet and I discussed the situation and treatment options. He suggested using a months' worth of GastroGard (or the generic version) and seeing what happens. I agree and I get a prescription to be sent off to a mail order place.  The ride is on Saturday, but I figure if I take it slow and it isn't too hot I should be ok.  Plus he's on the Succeed which should be helping already.  It would be only 1 day of riding instead of two like in New Mexico.

The rest of the day was spent getting  ready to go to the ride: getting everything organized, shopping for groceries, and getting the truck and trailer hooked up, as on Friday we go to Mt. Diablo. Sue and her friend Dorothy are Open Safety riders so Buddy will have a friend to go with him.   He still hates being on the trail by himself.

Friday:  I get to drive the big trailer into the Mt. DiabloDUHH.. Something new to learn.

So we get parked and get settled in.. and I'll tell the rest of the story in another BLOG!

If you haven't already.. feed the fish!

How many years has it been? Visiting Lisa my first BFF

Through the magic of Facebook, I had reconnected with a childhood friend.  Lisa (Flowers) Rogers was my best childhood friend from 5th grade until we graduated high school in 1973.  We lived on the same street and spent hours together on a daily basis.. Of course we were perfect children and teenagers and didn't get into any trouble at all.

 We last saw each other at a 10 year High School Reunion, and pretty much have been out of contact until recently

I had heard from her one time by phone, but nothing until we reconnected  on Facebook last year.  Sometimes, I'm not too good on reaching out.

I had thought of trying to see her when I was in Texas, but the locations and timing didn't work out.  Lisa had read on Facebook where I was going to be living in the Brentwood area and she mentioned  to me she would be visiting her son in Livermore.  So we made plans to get together for a visit.
 I had Sunday open, we decided to get together at the Wine Festival in Livermore. Livermore is about 30-45 minutes away over a bunch of hills (small mountain range?).

  We had a great time, I was able to meet her a grown  son, his girlfriend and Lisa's new husband Eddie.. Who I liked immediately.  We went around the streets chatting, catching up, and tasting wine.  What's not to like?
 It was special that there was still a connection between us, even after all of the years that had passed.
We figured it has to be about 38 years since we really  interacted with each other ( I went to College and pretty much didn't come back home) and 28 years since we had actually laid eyes on each other.

This was a special moment in my life, not horse related, but too special not to blog about.  This trip is all about the adventures and the special, unexpected moments

Did anyone notice there is a new fish?  If so.. what color is the new one?  Just checking..

Trip to Jane's in Auburn April 29-30

I wanted to go and visit Jane Switzer who has graciously invited me to stay at her place on and off during my stay in California.  My purpose was to visit with she and her family and to see if there was room for the trailer  to get in, get turned around and to find enough room to park.   Not to worry, a bit close on the drive in, but plenty of room.  Nice pens for Buddy too.  I took Charlie so he could meet  the family dogs.  The initial meeting of dogs went well.

Jane and her parents live on the same property so, it's easy to visit with everyone.  Her Mother cooked a wonderful meal.  It was fun to reconnect with Jane, her husband and her parents.  I hadn't seen them all since 2005 when some of us Region 6 NATRC folks, <Jackie Hathorn, Bill Hinkebein, and Liz Kendall>  came out to "do the Tevis".

On Saturday, I went with Jane to run errands, stopped at a really cute place in Newcastle that is a deli and produce stand, had a yummy sandwich for breakfast. Then we went to one of her friend's Floral shop where I found a FLYING PIG.  I collect flying pigs, so I HAD to buy it.. Now I have a flying pig for the trailer.   (Pigs can and do fly, so anything is possible)

Got back to Jane's place, we  sat and chatted for awhile, then it was time to go back to  Sue's place as I had plans for the next day to meet an old Grade School friend at a Wine Festival in a nearby town.  Had a good drive back.  It's not bad to drive  here as long as you drive on the weekends and after 9:30 am and before 3 pm.  I'm just sayin'