Monday, December 28, 2009

....and today's forecast

go to this site to see our lovely weather after the blizzard

Oh and take a look at this slide show compliments of our cheap and much appreciated help, the lovely Chris Compton

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The weather outside is fright ful!

A cold winter blizzard for Christmas here at OAS. Actually i think a good part of the United States was cover in snow. The temperature was in single digits ( well below O in Celsius) and the wind was blowing at over 40miles per hour! Providing the horses get plenty of hay and have fresh water they do fine. See Mernie starting one of three daily deliveries to the 62 equines on the property. See Domingo here say "bloody hurry up will ya!" And Flambeau saying " this is not happening!"
For those of you in Australia i hear it is going to be over 100 F in Adelaide on Thursday. Somewhere between the two places would be just right! We were planning on a Christmas dinner with our good friends Rod and Beth but we couldn't get there due to white out visibility and drifts of snow. They live....ACROSS THE ROAD!!!!! Happy New Year. Ronnie! ((Scroll down for an account of 2009)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

New Years Roodroppings

(Click on images to make larger)

It's been a great year among the 60 horses, one mule and one mini donkey. I don't think I've ever been happier or in such good health. What ever I'm doing I'd better keep it up. Mernie is also doing just dandy. I think it has something to do with all the earth moving equipment we have here now. The little boy in him keeps youth alive. For me i think its horses, endurance riding, a little dressage and the yoga classes we have been having right here at the house under the gentle guidance of our good friend Jeanette Flaig. Good energy abounds. Also our best buddies Rod and Beth live across the road and i get to spend a few days a month with their precious little bundle of joy, Cole James Kelly. Oh and there's another little Keller on the way!
Mernie's Mom was here for the beginning of the Summer. Her memory is slipping but she still gets around well and has a delightful array of stories to share with everyone she meets. The altitude bothers her a bit however!
It was nice to have Chester, Mernie's youngest, visit again this Summer. He is becoming quite the ranch hand and is growing like a bean sprout.Oh and he can sure play a mean guitar!
Whoa ......A..C...D...C!!!
The Endurance season was a full one. I rode over 1000 miles of mainly 50 mile rides. Thanks to my super crew and much appreciated cheap help Chris Compton I lived through it. Chris has been a real help to us here on the ranch this year too. Help like hers is as scarce as rocking horse poop I'd say!
On a sad note, our lovely veterinarian, Kelly Palm lost her battle to Cancer this year and we all miss her terribly. We also lost one of our old Arabs Embassy, also to cancer. He survived with it to 26. A good innings for a horse. Kelly was only 38. Cut down in her prime.There were over 1000 people at her service!At least we know that where ever Embassy is he will be getting excellent veterinary care!
We now have Dr Ruthie Sorensen taking care of our horses. And thanks to a wonderful equine first aid course she ran here some of us are now certified in Equine First Aid. Ginny's little donkey Tristan broke his leg and we have had a few cases of pigeon fever here so we need all the knowledge we can get. Tristan is well on the way to recovery and cuter than ever in his dinosaur print cast!
In July Steve Cormey and I launched our children's book/DVD/CD The Brothers Foot in Grand County Colorado. Mernie and I turned this into a mini Vacation and I re visited my past a little. The book is getting rave reviews from all those little sprogs. Check it out at
Speaking of Vacations Mernie actually took one. He went bird hunting with Rod and bird dog Ginger. He was like a little boy going off to camp with his best buddy, which is actually what he was doing. He had a great time and we have a lots of birds in the freezer keeping the goat, sheep and Llama company!
As for 2010, bring on more of the same please. For resolutions I'm going to try to live by the words of a song sung (don't know whether she wrote it) by Jana Stanfield called STOP LOOK AND LISTEN..........

I'm gonna stop reading other people's minds
I'm gonna look at the good that surrounds me
I'm gonna listen to my heart when it tells me what to do
I'm gonna notice every time a little dream comes true
I'll do all the livin' I've been missing

May you all have a happy, peaceful and safe 2010.
Cheers from Ronnie. Stay tuned to my blog!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Not your average Dressage Teacher!

OAS Christmas Party 09

Yes there were a lot more people. In fact, at one stage there was standing room only! I guess we cleared the place out when we started the the belly dancing and general silliness. Great party! Thank you Steve Cormey for the get ya goin' music.
See here Jessica Ford, life of the party and dancing queen. Not your average 'dressage teacher'!!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009


As my ole Dad would say in his Aussie rhyming slang " Its bloody soldier bold outside"! See above Mernie's mare living up to her name, 'ICE' !!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Moab Canyon Endurance ride

So much for sunny Moab. Last year heat was the problem. This year the times were fast. horses love the cold. Not so much us humans. Yes Chris and i slept in the stock trailer. Brrrrrr!
It was Halloween. Chris took shots for me as i mascaraed as sleeping beauty back in the trailer.See here Bonnie Swiatek in Pepto bismol pink with Sheik John. His wife Beth was off belly dancing somewhere!
Chris the 'cheap and much appreciated help', was supposed to ride Kip on Friday but as he was lame she got to take a jaunt on this spunky little Morgan stallion instead. As happy as a pig in Poop!
(an aside)I guess MJ and i were the only ones brave enough to poke at the Cormous. We both agree it was fun while it lasted. Thanks MJ.Yes this is the Silver Bullet!
Now back to the Equines for a while.

Last Endurance Ride for the season.
We might have missed the storm in Laramie but it was bloody cold even in Moab. Note the layers of clothing.
The silver bullet flew for the first 25 miles. We took a wrong turn at one stage so it was more like 32 miles. Unfortunately he came up lame and we pulled him at the vet stop. He was going sooooo well but this is something in his right leg we have been seeing for a while and hopefully now we can get it fixed. Luckily the Dorothy Sue's pinto was there so i put the remaining 100 miles on him.I love riding with Dorothy sue and flyer and Kerry Greear was there too making for a really fabulous time. We truly were in 'John Wayne' country riding through red dirt, sand, towering fins and balancing rocks under a deep blue sky. Next year we plan on going early and doing some extra sight seeing around the area. R

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Great moments in the life of the emormous!

Here we go!! Please feel free to comment, snicker or just fall down laughing.
Keep 'em coming. Maybe my blog will become as popular as Corm's and I'll be able to disappear to 'somewhere with a beach!' R

The missing Cormous

Ok, Steve Cormey has disappeared! His blog posting has been neglected and we are all worried sick about him. However here is where he's spending his time while we are all fretting over his disappearance from our lives! He's not going to get away with it!! I'm calling for all of his 'acquaintances' to send some dirty rotten, totally unflattering shots of him to this blog for posting. Stay tuned. This could be fun!!
( send pics to jpeg not too large)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sangre Scenic, Westcliffe Co

Here's me mate, Timbo on Junior at the Sangre Scenic. I'm hiding behind the camera on his other T W H Trouble. We had a great ride completing the 35 on day two. Tim completed all three days on 'Junior the Wonder Walker' and I completed the other two days on 'Pinto Bean' Dandy Fella. 135 mls in all. Dorothy Sue completed 160 miles on the magnificent Montana Flyer. Flyer has over 6000 miles and DS some 15,000; so a piece of cake for them! It is truly a scenic ride but the camping fee has tipped it out of my budget for next year.
Oh and it was my b/day week end with a surprise cake and singing card plus a fun crowd to share it with.
Thanks Timbo!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Kenlyn, Fall 09

Here I am aboard the Silver Bullet, Kipling followed close behind by Joe, the Junior i was sponsoring. Joe's only 14 so legally he needs a sponsor but in reality he can ride the pants off of any of us! I love Linda Fisher's ride 'The Kenlyn Urban Challenge'. It is held twice per year in May and in September and i try to get to both events. Kip was in fine form and ploughed gallantly through all the monsters lurking in the city to win the 50 mile. Joe and i decided to tie for first and Joe's horse Scooter also earned the best condition award. That was one happy kid. Well deserved!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Rushcreek Reunion, Lisco, Nebraska

If i could only do one ride per season it would be this one! I've always loved it but the new base camp makes it even better. The trail was sooooooo well marked even i didn't get lost.I'd say they even got somewhat carried away with those ribbons!

This was the our 'cheap and much appreciated help', Chris Compton's first 25 mile and she had a fantastic time on her graffitied horse Kipling. She came in 9th so top tenned it! She beat me too. That's a wine glass symbol painted there under the numbers. It was her birthday week end so the festive motif was most appropriate! I wont say how old she turned but i will tell you her age is the meaning of Life the Universe and Everything!
Now there's a happy little boithday gal!
And here's me trying to wear 'The Silver Bullet' Kipling out on a 50 miler the day before. Fat Chance!! Came in Second!
Oh I'm Soooooo pleased with myself and that wacko silver bullet!!!
(Timbo in the background engrossed in his camera!)
Thank you Lyle, Teressa and Rush Creek Land and Livestock for a great time had by all.
Just ask Tim!!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Happy Jack Ride 09

A great ride although not without incident (as usual). Flambeau came twelfth on Saturday. Think the boy is getting a little tired. Kip came second in-spite of a tumble at the beginning on Sunday. Great horse. Mernie rode Ice her first 50 on Sunday. He pulled her at 15 as her feet we a little tender. It was nice to have Mern there. Jeanette completed her first 25 on Marty. He did really well.
Flambeau and I with Dorothy Sue on Montana Flyer. Always a great privilege to ride with DS!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Kelly Lorraine Palm

On Sunday, the world lost a competent, thoroughly dedicated Veterinarian and all around fantastic person. Her Memorial was held at the fair grounds yesterday and I'm sure it was better attended than the Albany County Fair. Kelly will be remain in our hearts and minds wearing the sparkling smile pictured above. She lost her courageous battle with cancer and the age of only 38. To say she will be sadly missed is an understatement.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Horse and Rider, Glenwood Springs

Dork by a stump!
Horse and rider in Glenwood Springs this week end was a gorgeous but pretty tough ride. I traveled with Bonnie, Gary and Mary ( the Onnies and the Arys) and had the usual laughs and adventures. They're terrific people to be around.
I was more than happy with a completion on the fifty. I did the 25 the next day and we came in overtime. We had a nice 'trail ride' and I got acquainted with Wendy Brookes a lovely competitive trail rider and learned lots about that sport along the way. She is a nurse. It's always good to have one of them around!
In true form, Flambeau and I took 'the scenic route' on the fifty, so he was dead tired and very hungry on Sunday.He was sucking up to the vets and trying to tell them what a nasty person i was for getting us lost and putting an extra 15 miles on him! LOL.
The ride was way under staffed but they did the best they could with what they had, were friendly and professional and pulled it off nicely in the end. There were lots of laughs! I hope Carol (the Manager) is able to get much more support so she can put it on again next year. Pics to come!
If i get time I'll tell you about the sheep and killer dogs and falling flat on my face on the mogul course! R LOL

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Passing of Embassy

Our 25 year old grey Arabian gelding Embassy was euthanized last night due to a bout of something yet to be determine by a Necropsy. His bouncy character and antics will be sadly missed here at OAS. I'm sure going to miss that goofy little guy.
Update... the Necropsy found him to have many Melanomas. All internal. He was otherwise in exceptional health for his age.We have a mare his age with external Melanomas and she still going strong.She's had them most of her life and is now on Cimetidine to hopefully shrink them some. Both are/were grey Arabians and this is very common.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Mojo sticks his head in it

Talk about having a 'bad hair day!' I put up a post a while back(Dec 2008) titled 'Casino puts his foot in it' and now i have a post 'Mojo sticks his head in it!' Or should it be called 'no fly's on me mate!' Anyway, i never know what i'm going to find when i enter the barn each morning. I guess i hung the sticky fly tapes a little too low!
Click on image to enlarge.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Ft Mead Re Mount, Sturgis SD

Kerry Greear and her super family and friends put on a fabulous ride in the Ft Meade Recreation area this week end. They are super organized have lot of smiling volunteers and are a hoot to boot!The kids are fantastic and constantly asking if they can help you in anyway. AND they have special magic. Some of them whispered something in my horses ear to make him drink!! Now that's a handy talent to have.
Bonnie Swiatek (BC on second day) and beautiful Marlina in background. Both are on horses called Sky Lark!! I travelled with Bonnie in her trailer and we had a great time.She's quite a gal.
Marlina is from Germany and has been staying with Dorothy Sue and ridin' her pants off. They completed the Big horn one hundred together a few week ago. We are really going to miss her when she leaves. Her presence is like a breath of fresh air.
Can I open my eyes now Mom? See below Sheri going in!
Would you go in there?
Ride Manager of Moab ride and all round lovely lady Sheri Griffith entering the 'dark hole!'
One of the best parts of these rides is getting to know people and having wonderful conversations about all things horsey. It was Sheri's birthday and i got to spend most of it with her in this piece of paradise. How old is she? My lips are sealed. As another new friend Eric put it, she's plenty 9!
Dorothy Sue's Dandy Fella.This horse really turns heads!
Both horses did really well in spite of heat being in the mid 90's. We spent a lot of time drenching them at the many water tanks along the way. Flambeau wanted me to carry him up the big mountain on the final loop but i compromised by leading him. Both Sheri and i did some coaxing with snacks of grass all the way up. It was a long way and i'm sorry i didn't snatch a pic of the breath taking view at the top.
A big hanks to Kerry and all her crew for a memorable experience. We love you all!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Kipling, Shamrock and Big Horn

Hello, I'm Kipling. Anyone in there? Got a carrot?
Here's Kip coming home from the Big Horn 55 in my painted trailer. Looks like Flambeau doesn't he? I refer to them as book ends!
Chris Compton's Kipling above at the Big Horn 55 mile and below at Shamrock. He did us proud at both rides. His first two ever! More commentary to come.
I'm Kipling and I'm the greatest!!!

The only thing better than the trail is grass and there's grass on the trail so what are we waiting for. Let's GO!!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Strawberry Fields Forever/Easy Boot Gloves

Howard Kent and his terrific volunteers and vets put on a fabulous ride in the picturesque mountains near Heber City, Utah every year. I would have to say it's quite a difficult course but well worth the effort. The scenery is hard to beat! This year it rained heavily making it particularly hard going. As usual Flambeau and I encountered those challenges that always teach us invaluable lessons. As usual I met old and new friends to share special moments with and create the many stories I bring home with me. And as usual many strange things happened! Here is just one.

My Opportune Meeting with
'Mr. Easyboot' Right on the Trail at just the Right Time!!

I'm obviously passionate about Endurance Riding. Apart from meeting my husband Mernie, it's the best thing that's happened to my equine orientated existence. However, I'm happy to say that I'm even more passionate about keeping my horses barefoot and healthy right from the ground up. I trim my own horses and use Easy Boots to help protect their hooves; those precious structures that faithfully carry both of us everywhere we want to go. Flambeau is a hot- headed, easily wound up racing machine. We refer tosome of his gymnastic maneuvers as "the Flambeau Flip!" I'll have to admit I too can get pretty competitive and loopy at times. So I've had a love hate relationship with hoof boots and their tendency to be launched into orbit by my plunging and lunging Flamboyant Arab. Thankfully, trial and error has led me to the Easy Boot Glove. Flambeau is a great test pilot for hoof boots or anything else us humans try to attach to him. He can throw a boot so far off the trail you'll need an aircraft or maybe a sniffer dog to retrieve it! He takes off so fast he leaves a hole in the ground. Strawberry Fields Forever Endurance Ride in Utah this year was the real test. Mud, slush, rocks, rocks and mud, slushy, rocky water crossings, straight up, straight down, bogs left right and in between. Did they stay on? Almost! His back left popped off right when he was really wound up and racing with the hot shots. Bummer! I stopped to get off and fix it and, with riders going passed him, you can imagine just what a rodeo that was! Flambeau was spinning around with me chasing this near back hoof in a futile effort to remove the boot when a voice call out,
" Need help?"
"Yes", I replied, "this bloody boot has come off!"
Can you believe it, it was Garrett Ford, Mr Easyboot himself,
He kindly and expertly put the boot back on and advised me i needed a size smaller.He then ensured me he'd fix that problem back in camp; which he did. Off I rode through the muck .
I ended up riding one hundred miles with ones on the front and 0s on the rear through the most horrendous mud you can ever image and they DID NOT BUDGE! I was starting to think Flambeau was simply a horse impossible to keep booted. I now know that's not true.
Garrett showed me he how it requires technique rather than strength to apply the boot and how important it is to have a really snug fit in such adverse conditions.
I love the Easyboot Glove. They're light, durable, easy to apply and remove and they look great! Thank you Garrett for coming to my rescue and providing me with a product I can depend on through hell and high water!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wyoming Pioneer 2009

Flambeau won both his rides in Basin Wyoming this week end. See him here showing off for the cameraman Ross Tolman (son of Jeanette the ride manager). I rode all three days (125 miles). Friday saw me aboard Dorothy Sue's handsome pinto, Dandy Fella coming 3rd in the 50. Flambeau did a 50 and a 25 miler. It rained and the last 8 or so miles of the 25 had us wallowing in (bentonite ) mud. Really snotty stuff. The horse were sliding around like drunken sailors!
I travelled with Bonnie Swiatek, Gary Brown and his lovely wife Mary. Gary and Bonnie rode all three days and snagged all the best condition awards. Yay!
I adore the Tolman rides! They are super friendly, well organised and a ton of fun!
Flambeau liked the grass!!!

Monday, May 04, 2009

The Kenlyn Urban Challenge, 2009

Hey, I'd love to get some comments just so i know people are reading my blog.And don't forget to click on images to enlarge them. R
Super Crewer Chris Compton took these photos. Here I am just changing the oil and doing regular maintenance after a long ride. Everything seems to be in good order. The blanky was a big hit and serves to conceal nicely what I'm really doing!!
Looking and moving out nicely at the end of 50 miles plus probably more than that the night before! Scroll down for more details about the latter!! Don't forget to comment and click on images to make them larger.
Quietly standing the evening before the ride minding his own business.

This year's Kenlyn Urban challenge Endurance Ride in Aurora Colorado was fantastic as usual but certainly not uneventful. Well not the evening before anyway. I arrived Friday about 2.30 pm with plenty of time to set up and relax. Bonnie Swiatek arrived around the same time and we hung out together before each returning to our trailers to endure the damp cold night. I finally got warm by pretending to tread water in my sleeping bag and nodded off around 10pm about the same time I heard a CRASH! I leaped up and looked out not fast enough to see what had happened.Through the darkness i thought i saw some horses racing off and know i saw........NO FLAMBEAU and a torn down electric pen. There was to be no sleep tonight! I grabbed a halter and some grain and trekked off meeting a few others and Tennessee Mahoney, the other marauding horses' owner. We headed off down the road and found her electric coral strewn along the road by the golf course. Bad sign! That horse was probably frenzied. No horses insight but more bad signs. A heavy cable fence had been practically ripped out of the ground and knocked over with horse hair all over the place. Grey horse hair!!! Someone said there was blood but it was dark and i was hoping that information was erroneous.
Ken Fisher came along on his four wheeler ( Linda was convinced this was all a horrible dream so thought it best to stay in bed and send Ken instead .Good thinking on Linda's part.) I hopped on the four wheeler then Sophie, a Kenlyn trainer hopped on and we searched the area along with Dave in his vehicle and I think a lady called Karen was kindly helping too. Remember it's dark and everyone is dressed for the cold so excuse me if i get the names and faces mixed up.
So we all wandered around walking, wheeling, whistling and wailing in the darkness. Within two hours we found one of Tenny's horses and Flambeau amazingly in one piece. I was expecting to pick up all the pieces and take him home in plastic bags. Tenny's horse was lame with road rash and her one other horse Magnum was still at large.The police were informed and apparently alerts and road blocks set up. By this time four of us had saddled up horses and were riding in the darkness. It was passed midnight. The weird think is, they had split up. Flambeau was spotted racing up and down a fence line whooping it up in true Falmbeau style while the other horse was found somewhere else. Goodness knows where the third horse was! We rode for hours with no sign of him. At around 2.30am we called it quits. (Oh and somewhere in there the lovely big horse Gus, I was riding got caught in barbed wire but was sensible enough to let me untangle him diverting another potential wreck. Lovely well behaved horse in spite of the fact he could knock your fillings out with his trot. ) I went and collected my wayward Arab and tied him to the trailer where he happily, and noisily ate for the small remaining hours before daylight. It was around 3am by this time and I dosed off thinking there's no way we are going on the 50 tomorrow.
Then as i tried hard to sleep though the bumping of Flambeau's big nose on the trailer as he savaged his hay I thought, ya know that bugger is doing that 50 miles and if he tells me he's tired i don't want ta hear it!!
The vet passed him and we went, had a fantastic ride, came in 2nd in my division and 4th over all. The best news is Tennessee's horse was found during the ride and although lame I don't think it was seriously injured. I need to find out more.
As for what started it, it's still a mystery. One person thought they saw two horse plough through, or at least come very close to ploughing through, Flambeau's coral and the rambunctious Arab went whoopee!
Someone else said they saw a grey horse plough through Tennessee's horses' coral and they all went whoopee!! Anyway, they ran amok and any one who has horses knows to expect the unexpected at any minute.Poor Tennessee, she's really had her fair share of incidents lately and I'm wishing for a big change in her luck for the better here on. (I emailed T and her horses are fine and she's off to the next ride. She actually considers herself 'lucky' under the circumstances and would like her luck to stay where it is. Good way of looking at it)
As Mernie has always said horses, from the time they are born they are bent on committing suicide. We just have to make sure they don't take us with them!

All this aside. Thanks to those people who helped us find our horses and thanks to Linda, Denise, her family, the vets and all those volunteers for putting on a great ride as always. See y'all in September.

More pics and editing to come.
Leg injury. Only took the hair off.
Shoulders . Not much more than scratches.And he has a few more little nicks and bumps.NO BLOOD!