Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Casino puts his foot in it

See the hole in this feed bin. There was a mule stuck in it this morning!
Mernie returned from feeding the horses and told me to go fetch a halter, a bucket of grain, some tin snips and a camera! They're for Casino the mule he said. I thought Casino must have jumped the fence 'again' and we'd have to go get him but when I glanced over there I saw him eating contentedly.He looks OK to me i said. You'll see said Mernie, and don't forget to bring your camera!
Click on images to enlarge thm.
The mule impaled his foot right through the little plastic feeder and had probably been wearing it all night.He didn't hurt himself and seem to view the whole ordeal as an inconvenience more than anything else.
Mern made the hole bigger with the tin snips and eventually got his hoof out while I kept him busy with the bucket of grain. There's never a dull moment here on the ranch!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

winter starts.....tomorrow!!!

Hey 'ang on! If winter starts tomorrow why have we been dressing like this for several weeks? I tell ya, you sure want to make sure you've 'been' before you get into all these clothes!!

Fashion statement!
An extra 15-20lbs of clothing. Here's what I'm wearing.
:one pair of mens bonds underwear (much tougher and warmerthan womens and you can easily see which way they go on because of the neat little cell phone pocket in front)
:Sports bra.
:cotton tank top
:merino wool under top
:second thin wool top
:sweat shirt with hood
:down filled vest
:wind breaker with hood
:silk balaklava
:wool balaklava
:ski googles
:thick panthose (sometimes)
:merino wool long underwear
:denim jeans
:carthart bib overalls
:smart wool socks
:heavy lacross snow boots
:woollen glove liners
:disposable hand warmers......AND ITS NOT WINTER YET!

Flambeau......one very heavy and effective winter coat!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

party 08

Ok, here are some pics from this years OAS Christmas party.They're not too bad when you consider one of the photographers was Weiwen (see picture above, that's her own foot) and the other one was me!( See Brad semi decapitated) It was a great party!
The Band. They were called the Ozark Mountain Boys and are now calling themselves The Zarks. From left, Daryl, Stevo, Kelly, Guest harmonica player Scott and Brian.They're a lot of fun and have become a fixture at our once a year big Xmas bash. Pity the mic wasn't down just a little lower so you could see more of the beautiful Kelly.
We had a good turn out considering this.

Weiwen, drinking champagne punch. Weiwen doesn't drink!
Belly dancing Brad. Go Brad. Top pic with Chrissy and without most of his head. What did I tell you about the photographers!

Uri's owner Danya with boyfriend Mike quietly watching the silliness.
Mein host Mernie.Singing? Sneezing? Someone just gave him a wedgy. You decide.
Cole with his Dad Rod. Chip off the ole block!

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Here is the bike I'm selling. Its in good nick and comes with a bag to bag to put things in which goes on the back. There are some small tools also. The numbers on the tires say 700 x 38C ???. Click to see close ups. Call me if interested 399 9435 Ronnie

Happy Holidays

Ronnie and Mernie at On A String Ranch.

Another bloody Xmas letter!
Another year gone by
Year by year time just keeps rollin
Until the day we die
Some one’s born
Someone’s gone
There’s cause to laugh and cry
But now its time to sing and dance
And tell those blues goodbye!

G’day, and what of 2008.
January the 11th marked the first year of no alcohol for this little black duck. Probably my greatest achievement. Who would have thunk!! I guess this shows that anything is possible!
February 10th I spent $3000+ on arthroscopic surgery for my endurance horse Flambeau., (Flamboyant Beau). I had a sort of fundraiser that really helped. Thanks to all those who contributed, Flambeau is doing great coming in 6th at the Kenlyn Challege 50 mile ride this October and top tenning all but the first ride where naturally we took it easy.
On the 10th June our best and dearest friends Beth and Rod had a bouncing baby boy, Cole James Keller. He has added a little ray of sunshine to our extended family here and I’m already trying to figure out which horse would be best for him to ride.
In June Mernie’s Family visited.Chester, Corky, Marston, Maeline, Cindy, Finley and Mernie’s Mum Sue. They range in age from 2 to 83. It was so nice having them here. They just hung out have a great time always adding cheer to the household. Mernie’s youngest son Chester stayed the on and really help us out on our busy horse ranch which now houses around 60 horses. Actually 57 horses, 2 mules and a miniature donkey.
July saw me going back to Adelaide for a week to visit my ailing Dad. I am soooooooo thankful I did this as he died only a few weeks later. No money can buy the look on his face and the way he perked up, as weak as he was, when I entered his hospital room. He is at peace now and hopefully backing winners and drinking beer with Mum and his mates in greener pastures.
In June I also ran a small class on Children’s book illustration at the University of Wyoming. I met some lovely people and it has inspired me to really work at getting my work published. Around this time Cormey emailed with a ‘hare brain’ idea for a children’s book based on the Foot Foot song. If you don’t know the song you will soon as we are getting a book published through Authorhouse and Corm is working on a CD and DVD. You’ll just have to follow my blog to find out more. http://roodroppings.blogspot.com
Sometime in August or maybe September we purchased a new horse (As if we need another one) a young Tennessee walking horse called Ice. Walking horses are really smooth and comfortable to ride. He decided to buy her when he was told he could ride her at a fast pace and still drink a beer without spilling a drop. LOL.

Throughout the summer I competed in several endurance rides sometimes riding Flambeau and at other times Dorothy Sue Phillips horses. Dorothy Sue is an exceptionally accomplished endurance rider with about 15,000 miles under her belt. I think I did about 250 miles and hope to do much more than that next year. Wow I’ve got a long way to catch up with Dorothy Sue.
Mernie has worked harder than ever (I think) this summer completing a wonderful mud room( that I wonder how we ever did without ) and re siding the entire house! He had some cheap help along the way of which he was really thankful but most of the credit goes to him. Check out his blog http://wyofool.blogspot.com for pics and more details.
Rod and Mernie have been partners in crime brewing beer in our kitchen. I don’t know too much about it but they make it look like very serious stuff. I call it their ‘secret mens business.’ At the end of October Rod says that they made the best stout ever. They’d been at it for one year in November.
In October our good friends, who already have two horses here brought in two adorable little fillies 4 and 5 month old. This was around the same time Tristan the mini donkey came to stay with us. On A String has a lot of cute going on these days.
In December Mernie’s very good friend Frank died after a long battle with Cancer. Mernie went to Kansas for the funeral. Fitting the trip into his busy schedule was very much appreciated by Frank’s loved ones.

Our birthdays came and went
Peaceful, Sane and sober
Turned 62 and 52
In November and October

Have a delightful, glorious, safe, fun filled Holiday Season.
Keep on keeping on, and “don’t fret the small stuff”
Love from Ronnie and Mernie.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


It's winter again!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I've got 'em!

Here are the original Foot, Foot Bunnies.They're in safe hands. See Steve Cormey's blog (right and scroll down) to find out more.
Hey Cormey if I'd thought of it earlier I could have got them to you for Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

New Look Brothers Foot

Big guns.
Here are some new look illustrations for the Brother's Foot. Stay Tuned.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Ronnie's green thumb experience

And who said I didn't have a green thumb!I grew this potato didn't I ? I did! I did! But the truth is I didn't know I was growing it. Isn't that just how some of the best things in life turn out.You try and you try and just when you are about to give up something just happens.
Mernie discovered this giant spud while moving my compost pile to position the scaffolding for the final part of the siding he's been working on all Summer. My idea of composting is to chuck the scraps out the back door and throw a little horse manure on top occasionally. Of that we have plenty! I guess there must have been some old spudos in there somewhere and as a testomony to 'survival of the fittest' an extremely health fellow manifested himself. So there you have it. We haven't tried it yet and who knows, maybe it'll just sit on the counter and grow appendages like its parents and I'll just toss it out and start the whole serendipity thing all over again.

Saturday, November 08, 2008


Meet Tristan, our latest addition to the ranch. He came a couple of weeks ago from Colorado with his buddy, a beautiful Morgan mare called Bay. As you can see he's rather...small. That's a tractor tire in front of him and he's not lying down! Needless to say he has the run of the entire ranch as he can walk under all the fences.Yep we have them all here from Belgiums to miniature donkeys. Gotta love it!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Kenlyn Challenge 50 mile ER

G'day, Flambeau and I successfully completed the 50 mile course and came in 8th. So we top tenned again and Beau de doe is well and truly back on track. I rode with Dorothy Sue and Sue Lyke who both did very well also. Linda put on a great ride as usual. We had pizza for the awards dinner with left over pizza delivered to the trailer later by Linda herself! That's service. See here I finally have a picture taken by TWS photos.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Kerry Greear on Hawk, Pioneer Cabin, MT 2008

Kerry Greear on Silverhawk
Pioneer Cabin, Helena, MT 2008
Kerry wanted to do the 75 mile, a tough ride, to get her 2000 points on her lovely moorab (Morgan Arabian).Not wanting her to have to endure it alone I said, what the heck, I'll come along. I could tell it was a ride noone seemed to take seriously from the moment we signed up. We were the only two doing it and the others sort of looked at us as if we were a little loony. It was a difficult ride marked diligently but confusing none the less. The 'IN' 'OUT' 'IN' 'OUT signs made us crazy! Especially Dorothy Sue who was doing the 50 on Montana Flyer and went miles out of her way in the attemped to figure it all out.
Well I thought, so what we'll just take it easy. After all we had 18 hours to complete it.WRONG! Theoretically we had 18 hours. In reality, after subtracting hold times, we had about 10! I forgot about the sun. Minor detail! This wasn't the type of trail to be negotiated in the dark. As it turns out I was pulled for lameness at the 65mile hold at around six oclock. Just 10 miles to go .Oh well. Kerry trooped on alone and came in at 8.20 pm in the dark. The 25 and 50 mile riders appeared oblivious of her entry but she had a small but wildly excited cheering committee ( lead by her sister Colleen our 5 star super crew girl) to greet her. In spite of being pulled I was really pleased with my ride on Montana Skylark, Dorothy-Sue's super little Arabian mare. I felt extremely priveleged to ride with a competent well seasoned competitor like Kerry which to me was worth tons more than the official points. A fantastic time was had by all. Hopefullly we'll come in together next year.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Rushcreek Reunion 08 Nebraska

Flambeau's back! Did two 25 milers back to back and completed in 6th place both days.Rush Creek hosts a great ride set in the rolling hills of Lisco, Nebraska. I love this ride! The people are super friendly and helpful and the trails are extremely well marked. As they say, "Stevie Wonder could find his way!
"Here I am with 'me mate' Sue Basham on Nick. The horses buddied up well together and set a nice pace while we had a relaxed ride 'chin waggin' all the way. It was hot but I was finished by 10am each day. Sue did two days of 50's so she can tell you more about how hot it really was. The wind was a blessing. Next year we will be doing the 50's together and I'm going to try to get more of my endurance mates to come along and support this ride.
The footing is way on the soft side so putting 50 miles on a conditioned barefoot horse is ....no worries!
It's Sassy Sue and Ronnie Roo!
Photos by Karl Creations Paschal and Deb Karl.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The second day at Happy Jack I rode Flambeau on his first 25 mile since his operation in February. Don't know where we placed but it doesn't matter. My objective was, as it should be, to get a completion on a sound horse. He did very well with all A's on his vet card. Yay!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Happy Jack Ride 2008

(Rode this one for Dad)
Dandy Fella and yours truly. We look like we really mean business don't we! Took 8th out of 26. NTB!
Dorothy Sue greating ready for a great day. See her here in the process of brushing her teeth.
How's this for a great shot by Gary Eugen. Michael on Mystral (the blonde) and Amy on Ginger (the super mule) not having any fun at all! Click to enlarge.
Pictures by Jarvis Images

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The passing of Stanley

Stan the Man, our loving Dad died peacefully on Friday night at the ripe old age of 87. He will be remembered for what he did best; making people laugh. He loved icecream and hated garlic.He loved beer and hated work. He loved West end Draught and hated Coopers. He was an avid punter and what he didn't know about the Australian racing horse industry wasn't worth knowing. He was generous warm and caring and always treated his girls as if they were perfect angels (even when we were little devils!) He maintained his sharp wit right to the end. Even when he lost a tremendous amount of weight and was rapidly fading away, he told Julie he "always wanted to be a Jockey!"
Well he's now made it down the home straight and has crossed the finish line for last time. I just hope Mum wont give him a hard time for taking so long. He still had and few more yarns to spin and people to cheer up. And the yarns about him will go on and on.

Here is a Banjo Paterson poem I recited once at Mum's grave with Dad listening. I think it's apt right now.

Over the Range

By Andrew Barton 'Banjo' Paterson

Little bush maiden, wondering-eyed,
Playing alone in the creek-bed dry,
In the small green flat on every side
Walled in by the Moonbi ranges high;
Tell us the tale of your lonely life,
'Mid the great grey forests that know no change.
'I never have left my home,' she said,
'I have never been over the Moonbi Range.

'Father and mother are both long dead,
And I live with granny in yon wee place.'
'Where are your father and mother?' we said.
She puzzled awhile with thoughtful face,
Then a light came into the shy brown eye,
And she smiled, for she thought the question strange
On a thing so certain -- 'When people die
They go to the country over the range.'

'And what is this country like, my lass?'
'There are blossoming trees and pretty flowers,
And shining creeks where the golden grass
Is fresh and sweet from the summer showers.
They never need work, nor want, nor weep;
No troubles can come their hearts to estrange.
Some summer night I shall fall asleep,
And wake in the country over the range.'

Child, you are wise in your simple trust,
For the wisest man knows no more than you
Ashes to ashes, and dust to dust:
Our views by a range are bounded too;
But we know that God hath this gift in store,
That when we come to the final change,
We shall meet with our loved ones gone before
To the beautiful country over the range.

Above is my contribution to the funeral eulogy but I think my sister summed it up much better with her comment.....
" He was a silly ole bugger and I'm going to miss him."

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

big horn 100

Dave, Dorothy-Sue and Tim; Endurance riders at the Big horn 100 2008.
Dandy Fella and yours truly on our way to completing the 55mile of the Big Horn 100. Lovely horse.Belongs to Dorothy Sue Phillips from Montana.
Fellow Aussie and super endurance rider Cris Jones holding up a copy of the Aussie OUTBACK magazine. We came in together 4th and 6th! Apparently there was an invisible rider between us who came in 5th!
Annie, one of the terrific crew members taking care of Danny Fella while i went looking for the loo. It was coming up the road on the bacK of a trailer and I wanted to be first there when it arrived!
Bob Atherton crew member extraordinaire and manager of the Happy Jack ride here in Laramie.

I completed the 55 mile ride of the Big Horn 100 in Beautiful Shell Wyoming. This horse is Danny Fella own by a wonderful endurance rider Dorothy Sue Phillips who rode Montana Flyer in the big 100. She is such an inspiration and a lovely lady t' boot!See her pictured here between two of her endurance buddies Dave and Tim.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Strawberry Fields Forver Ride in Utah.

Strawberry Fields Forever near Heber City in Utah.Our first endurance ride for the season and a disappointment as Michael's horse's horses both came up lame. Not to worry, we had a great time in a gorgeous place.See below Imix and i at the rear of Bruce and Chris with whom I had a fantastic first leg before Imix was pulled. Chris (red shirt) is an Aussie living in San Fran and originally from Cairns, Queensland. Sure hope I hit the trails with these guys again.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008