Tuesday, October 30, 2012

On the Road to DPS

We headed off on our annual migration to Dogpound South last Wednesday. The last couple of years we have stayed at the Horse and Hound a place just out of the Coutts, Alberta border crossing the night before we cross. We have to stop in Sweetgrass, Montana for a vet inspection of our equine friends and first thing in the morning is the best time to do that as they have a lot of liner loads of cattle there as the day goes by.

Thursday after the vet check we headed for McLeod, Montana and our friends, Mike and Janna’s place. They live up the beautiful boulder valley, an absolutely stunning location, populated by the rich and famous and many thousand deer, as well as some elk and a few antelope, and by a few I mean that only in relation to the number of deer as we must have seen a few hundred antelope during our visit.


Once again we enjoyed our visit with these fine folks and especially Janna’s fine country cooking.

Friday they took us for a drive over the West Boulder road to Livingston where we stopped at the Rib and Chop house for some more great food, after a stop at a local wine store where we picked up some balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Below is a picture of our hosts at one of our picturesque stops along the way.

1-Mike and Janna

Saturday morning as the dawn broke in the valley we slipped down their driveway and headed off on the balance of our journey. That journey took us through beautiful southern Montana and across the foggy flatlands of southern Idaho and then into the central basin of Utah and past the Great Salt Lake, and it’s neighbouring city of Salt Lake then after 11 hours on the road we stopped for the night in Fillmore, Utah. After the long day behind the wheel, once we got the horses fed and watered as well as bedded down in some stalls at the racetrack there, we hit the rack ourselves. Once again morning came early and we were off on our final leg of the journey. This led us through the high desert country of southern Utah and across the extreme northwest corner of Arizona then down the Virgin River gorge and into the desert north of Las Vegas. We passed this colourful establishment in Boulder City, Nevada


The temps were rising from our morning temperature of 26F to a high of 91F by the time we were well into Arizona and getting into the Valley of the Sun.

By four o’clock we were opening the gate at Dogpound South and then it was just a matter of getting our horses fed, watered and settled before we headed over to the Raceway for a bite to eat and a visit with some of our neighbours. Thanks for coming over to welcome us home, Bobbie and Skye.


A panoramic view of Dogpound South, Ray and his crew have done a great job of keeping it weed free.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Packing and Reloading

Over the last week or so we have been unloading and reloading the LQ to get ready for our departure. Up till Friday the weather has been pretty good here. Fall but still light jacket weather. I got a few more rides on the horses and the field work got all done so the farm is looking ready for winter.


Bob was working up the old hay field and brought a scraper in to re-channel an ephemeral creek that usually runs just in the springtime, and causes us to have difficulties getting the crop seeded, so hopefully this will control it a little for next year. Blue and I just rode and watched, our usual activity when the work is going on.

Saturday was a horse shoeing and trimming day and with the eight head we have around here it takes a good part of the day to get them all done. We only have shoes on the two that are heading south, Blue and Willow, but the rest needed a trim to keep them in good shape for the winter to come. That activity was done in snowstorm so we were glad to have our new (2006ish) barn to work in. After we got that completed the majority of them headed back down into the pasture along with Blue and Willow who are enjoying their last few days of wandering around on real grass till the spring.

Sunday morning Brenda headed up to Rocky Mountain House to pick up Ella and Alle and bring them home to spend a night with us before we leave, but they had a birthday party to attend before they could come and that party went so late that she stayed up there and came home first thing this morning. Guess I will have to rely on Lacey to send me pictures of the girls over the winter.

Back last Thursday I had our local vet out to do some blood tests and a health check on our horses so that they can cross the border going south, so that is done and I need to head into the city tomorrow morning and meet with the government vet to get his signature and stamps all in the right places. Once that is done it is haircut time and then I am officially ready to roll. Well except for taking off my long john’s and stuffing some clothes in the LQ or the Jeep.

The plan is pull out of here sometime mid-day on Wednesday and overnight at Coutts/Sweetgrass so we can cross the border and get the vet stuff done there early Thursday morning. Then we are heading south of Big Timber to make sure that Janna has healed up from the bruising she took on the healthcare topic a week or so ago on her blog.

Monday, October 15, 2012

What’s up at Dogpound North

Well it has been a pretty good fall here at Dogpound North. OK we’ve had a few skiffs of snow but nothing that sticks around. And in between those little blasts of winter we have had great warm days. I have taken advantage of that warm weather to try and get our horses legged up a little for their winter in Arizona. What with the trip to London and Gay Paree’ as well as a week out on Vancouver Island, all topped off by Brenda’s knee surgery the horses have had a pretty cushy summer. Today I was finally able to take the latigo extender off my saddle and the ponies are looking ready to hit the sand soon.

A few miles in the sand of Vekol Wash will bring them up to snuff pretty quickly I am thinking.

Other than some riding we are getting all our visiting done before we head south next week. We had the whole family out for Thanksgiving dinner last weekend. Remember us Canadian snowbirds actually get to celebrate Thanksgiving twice, once here at home and once down with our southern neighbours and friends. Only fitting that we give thanks twice cause it is a pretty nice lifestyle (att. Chiklet). When I said the whole family was here I meant for supper, but a couple of them met on the road into our place so we missed out on the big group picture. To date I have got a bunch of those kind of photo’s but there is always somebody missing so we tried a different tangent this year.

Nobody was allowed off the farm till we got some photos of them. I think they turned out pretty good too.

Since that big event we have just been tinkering around getting ready to roll south. Today once I got back from my swim I emptied the storage on the horse trailer and sorted through it, Managed to get rid of a few things but as usual I managed to find a few more things to take their place and I am sure by the time we leave I will have refilled it to capacity.

The last few days their have been spirited discussions in the comment sections of Janna, Rod, and Rick’s blogs and I actually learned a lot from the exchanges and it drove me to do some more research so that I had a better grasp on some of it. So ‘they’ say any day you learn something new is not wasted so I didn’t waste my weekend.

But learning aside I think I enjoyed my time with Blue and Mack and Meg out in the hay field just as well. Sure clears your mind anyway.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Early Warning System

We woke up this morning to a full alert on our Early Warning System.


Old Man Winter is just around the corner here on the Northern Ranges but the motorhome is winterized and I ran out to Lac des Arcs and got my SIL’s rig done this morning so now we just have to enjoy the good things about fall around these parts. Although the fall foliage is a little past its prime it sure does bring some colour to the winter scenes that will gradually take over the landscape.


A trip out to the mountains is always a treat but as the snow comes over the mountaintops it is even prettier.

But nice as the mountains are it is always nice to get back to Dogpound North.


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Fall is Here

We have been busy doing not much of anything here at Dogpound North, although last week we brought the motorhome out of it’s shed and got it all ready to head off to the Wild Deuce Guiding and Outfitting’s annual Working Mountain Horse Competition and Sale. We aren’t in dire straits as yet but Brenda’s good horse Willow is 17 so we are always on the lookout for a younger replacement. There were lots of great horses there but the prices were a little high for our tastes. The horses we were looking at ranged from 8-17,000 dollars and although I was glad the trainers got well compensated for their countless hours of work we weren’t ready to part with that amount just yet.


Below is a picture of one of our local neighbours enjoying the sunrise as I was coming home from swimming one day last week.


Monday it was time to winterize the motorhome and slip it back into its winter home. Other than that I have just been putzing around the farm getting things ready for winter and gathering stuff to head south in a few weeks. As well as trying to get a few rides on the fat horses we will be taking to Dogpound South.


The shot below is one of the two pigs that were roasted this weekend at the Wild Deuce Sale by one of their sponsors, pretty good eating all around and sure shot my diet to bits.

And you thought your day was BAD!