Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Music To His Ears

Monday March 21 2016

Dudley has some thrilling news to share.

After 2-plus HARD years of Tough Love Forever Diet + Exercise, Steph has proclaimed that Dudley can EAT MORE FOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

He was fat, his feet were bad, and he ate. A LOT. He got FAT. That's when the dieting and exercise started. Eventually Dudley's feet started getting better, and even though he still had a Salad Butt Bowl (i.e. FAT on his tail dock) and a (beautiful) cresty neck, The Dude finished 4 endurance rides in 2014. But he still had to stay on his Tough Love Forever Diet + Exercise schedule. He worked sooooo hard!

The next year Dudley's Salad Butt Bowl shrunk to a Teacup, and his neck crest got smaller, and though Dudley liked to call it all muscle, it was still extra FAT. He still finished 6 endurance rides in 2015, including one where the vet called him "between fleshy and fat." (What did he know!)

Regina kept The Dude on the Tough Love Forever Diet all winter while I was gone, and when I got back in February and Dudley started back exercising again, his Butt Teacup was gone, his neck crest was almost gone (makes his mane longer and prettier!), and by golly, Steph said she thought Dudley didn't need to lose any more weight because he looked pretty much like a NORMAL HORSE! In fact Steph thought Dudley could starting eating more!

Those are the three best words ever, music to Dudley's ears: EAT MORE FOOD!!!! 

So, watch for The Dude on the trail this season, and watch him EAT MORE FOOD!

And check out this Postcard From Owyhee featuring The Dude!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Don't Eat My Cats

Wednesday March 9 2016

Great horned owls will roost up both cricks here, and occasionally I hear them at night. They don't normally hang out around the ranch during the day, what with all the horse/people/dog activities. But in the morning when I went out to feed Dudley, there, right on the crick by the driveway and not much more than horse head-height in a cottonwood tree, was a big beautiful great horned owl.

With spring leaves yet to sprout, it was easy to spot the big lump of an owl sitting in the branches.

He wasn't worried about me at all; I could get pretty close. 

*I* was worried, about the cats that roam the ranch. All 4 of them would make nice juicy morsels for the owl, or the family he's probably about to raise (his female is likely on a nest up one of the cricks). Twice, we lost 3 of 4 kittens. It was surely either owls or coyotes that got them. I can still cry over Sinatra, who was The Best Kitten Ever.

The owl in fact stuck around till nightfall. All cats were accounted for next day, but they would be such easy pickings. They don't seem to be aware of danger that can come from the sky.

I love owls, and I love having the owls around, but Don't Eat My Cats!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Woe Is Me

March 5 2015

Gloom, despair, and agony on me
Deep dark depression, excessive misery
If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all
Gloom, despair, and agony on me

Oh, just look at that pathetic face up top, buried in my jacket.

One amazing endurance season in the books with 4 completions at age 14, after coming back from obesity and some really bad feet. Followed by another even more amazing endurance season with 6 completions at age 15. Followed by the winter off.

Dudley thought he had retired a champion, never having to face the rigors and sacrifices (i.e., dieting and exercise) of getting into condition to do 50 mile rides, ever again.

Dudley's fantastic efforts earned him a jacket last season from our local riding club, SWITnDR!!

But alas, I got back from a winter down south, and put The Dude back to work.

Ooooooooooh, that howling and moaning is not the coyotes singing in the hills at the moon. It is moaning and groaning Dudley, with the gloom and agony of getting back to work. 

Encouraging him to get started on the trail in the mornings is like moving through molasses. In January. Back East.

Oooooooooooh, he really knows how to work the long sad face.

(But seriously, he's pretty darn proud of himself after he's completed a good workout. The Dude is still fit, ripped, and NOT FAT anymore!)

chin resting on hitching rail, sooooooooooo tired!