Sun Pony Ranch

Diary of novice (clueless) ranch owners

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Happy New Year!

We had a very nice Christmas and New Year's holiday this year. Due to fortuitous timing, my project completed one phase Dec 20th, and won't pick up again until January sometime, so it was an excellent opportunity to totally forget about work.

Seeing as how we don't actually have much business yet, we decided to take advantage of the freedom and went to California to spend Christmas week with Dave's family. It was wonderful to get away and see everyone - well nearly everyone, Eric and Maria we'd love to have you come visit us in Colorado!

We took several opportunities to walk along the spectacular Monterey coastline, and even popped into the Monterey Bay Acquarium to see their latest 'guest' exhibit - an 8 month old Great White shark that had been caught by a fishing boat. I didn't know this, but aparently Great Whites are still quite an unknown species. Before this one, the longest any have been kept in captivity was 16 days. We saw her on her 101st day. When recovered from her injuries - which she looked to be well on the way to doing - she will be set free.

No flash was allowed on the shark,but I thought this pic turned out cool

Da Beach Crew

I was feeling a little guilty over leaving Ginger with caring for the ranch, 4 horses and 3 dogs, until I realized that she would probably enjoy the chance to have the place to herself for awhile. Of course she handled everything supurbly - including the storm that brought wind chill temps of negative 20! We came home to this story of horse antics:

Jordan is a doofus with his grain. Always has been - he tosses whatever bucket you put it in around so much that most of the time he ends up eating his grain off of the ground. Only once did I try to give it to him in a bucket attached to the post by an eye-bolt and snap, because he quickly yanked the eye-bolt out of the post with his head-tossing! So we turned to using a tire - in the center of which a regular feed pan fits quite snugly. While this for the most part prevents him from flipping the pan over (still, he has managed to do just that a few times even with the tire) it does not prevent him from using his lip to swish the grain all over - including up and over the rim. Oh well, what's an owner to do?

In anycase, this arrangement works quite well, except that the feed pan we use isn't designed to be sunk into the hole of a tire. There are pans that are designed for this - and they have a wide, horizontal lip that prevents grain from getting caught up between the pan's lip and the tire. So, Jordan then spends a good amount of time trying to lick the grain out that he's spilled under there. Back when he was at the boarding stable, and every feeding time was personally supervised, we used to always pull the pan out of the tire to give him easier access. Since we're now supervising 4 horses at every feeding time, he no longer gets that luxury. Never fear - after about a week of this he figured out how to do it himself with his teeth. We always know when he's finished his portion, because he yanks up on the pan and tosses it to the side. Given that the pan fits in the tire pretty tightly, sometimes this requires a considerable yank. Well, one morning during Christmas, Jordan aparently yanked - but got some rather unexpected results. The entire tire jumped up, landed on it's rim, and proceeded to roll OUT of the feeding area. Ginger said Jordan looked mightily surprised but then duitifully followed it along until he could catch it and knock it over.

New Year's we followed with the 'new' Swenson tradition of having Fondue. (Actually, this tradition has been going for nearly a decade, perhaps it's time to drop the 'new'.) Anyways we went all out with cheese, meat and chocolate fondue - it was a good thing we had until Midnight to finish with all the eating!



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