Alberta Weather and More

We are on the last week of the month of April already.  The weather for these past 3 weeks has been very interesting here in Alberta.  We haven’t seen the sunshine a whole lot,  the air has been cool and more snow has fallen.  I have yet to pack away the winter clothing and footwear as we keep on needing it.

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Tightening the Headstall

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Harnessing the Horse

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Team Meeting or Telling Stories

Yesterday, we hooked two outfits and went a few laps with them.  As they were all the old boys who are trained for the Chuckwagon, things went according to plan.  The wind was a bit chilly and fresh, but nothing we haven’t seen before.

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Putting on the Hames

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Doing up the Crosschecks

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Exercising the Ponies

As the horses are athletes, they need training up to the events that we attend.  It is so enjoyable to watch them as we take them from their pens, harness them, hook them to the wagon and trot away.  They know when its time to get going as they show it in their body language.   Sometimes prancing, or swaying or just getting a nervous twitch.  Just like humans, they each have their own way of preparing themselves for the activity.

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Toopy and Tigger

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Nugget and Tigger

When we head out to the barns, the cats and dogs love to come too.  Tigger is such a friendly cat.  His best bud is Nugget.  Toopy loves to chase and tease Tigger.  They all get lots of exercise too.

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Just as we were finishing up with the last hook of horses, the snow was beginning to fall.  We knew the forecast was calling for it, but didn’t think it would be as much as we woke up to on this early Sunday morning of April.

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Yes it was pretty bright out, and about 5 inches of the white stuff had fallen.  It always looks so pretty and clean out after a snowfall such as this.  But it’s not quite what we need at this time of the year.  When we look back to last years calendar,  we were desperately calling for rain, as it was so dry out.  The farmers in the area are going to be delayed quite a  bit, trying to get a crop into the ground.  There is so much moisture in the heavy wet snow.

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A Snowy Masterpiece

Well, just because it snows, doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun with it.  Grandson Coy and his papa went out to build some snowmen.  They did a pretty fine-looking job  I must say.

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The Biggest Leafs Fan Ever

Rick is the biggest Toronto Maple Leafs Hockey fan I know.  He has never,  over all the years that we’ve been together,  jumped off the bandwagon to cheer for another team.  I may have to get him a crying towel though, as tonight,  Rick’s team lost their game, taking them out of contention for the coveted Stanley Cup Trophy.  Maybe next year.

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Indoors at the Gym

With the heavy wet snow, comes very messy gravel roads.  I like to do my running out in the country, it just didn’t warrant it today.  So I cleared the snow off my buggy, and headed into town to the local Snap-fitness to have some me time in the gym and on the treadmill.  I believe its important to look after my health and me, so I can look after my family and be the best I can be for the life we lead.

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If I Could Only!

My days are busy, as we prepare for the upcoming Chuckwagon Season.  But never to busy to look after our second little grandchild, baby Ryker.  He keeps me young when he comes to visit while his mom takes time for errands.  It won’t be long before he’s running, then we can run together!!!

From Home on the Ranch

Sue with Rick and Crew too

P.S.  If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.

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Sue

 

 

 

Tour Auctions and Training

Howdy Chuckwagon Friends,

Spring has sprung around here on the Ranch.  The snow has pretty much disappeared.  It  continues to look like fall though, as we patiently await for the warm sun to shine, the land to dry and the brown grass to change to green.  I am already enjoying the returning birds, lovely singing in the wee hours of the morning and the calm of the evening.

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Geese in the pond

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The Calm of the Evening

Last week was the World Professional Chuckwagon Association Canvas auction.   It was held at the Grey Eagle Resort in Calgary with live streaming to the 8 venues on our circuit.  All the drivers are allocated to attend the evening at one of the cities.  Rick was in Rocky Mountain House and I zipped down to Calgary to help out Tammy and the crew with the auction down there.

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The Registration Gals

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Lucky “23”

Chuckwagon Driver Colt Cosgrave and sponsor were in Calgary, and they thought that the #23 bid card was the number to have.  I think Colt had a successful night.

Back at the Ranch and the work continues.  Our equine herd are just like human athletes.  They need to train for their upcoming competition.  We begin by having them trot alongside trucks with sidebars which we have welded to the vehicle.   We start out at a short distance and continue to go farther as days go on.  It’s a beautiful site to see these muscular animals trotting with their manes flowing in the wind.  They are so powerful.  They were born to run.

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Early Morning Sunrise

As the horses are in training, so am I.  I’m an early morning riser.  My me time begins at 5 am.  I hit the local gym 3 mornings a week.  I love the quietness as there are few of us there at that time.

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Open Air 5km training

I decided this spring I would enter myself in my first 5 Km run when we are in Grande Prairie during our first venue of the season.    It’s a goal I made for myself and I am looking forward to it.  So far, the training is going good.  Rick keeps saying I should be training along side the truck with the ponies.  Would that not be a site to see.

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Spring Waters

As a kid growing up, my favorite time of year on the farm was always spring time.  I loved when the water was melting.  I would lay awake at night and hear the water running.  It would make its way  across the farmer’s field from our house, through the tunnel, into the pond, down the hill and make its way to the creek down in the meadow.  Many times there would be so much run off, the water would rise over the road during the day, then recede at night.  We were told to stay away from the high waters or it could suck us in.  I Loved to throw sticks into the water on one side of the tunnel, only to wait for it to embark from  the other side.

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Out and About

I enjoyed taking my two grand-boys out to enjoy the spring weather the other day.  What child and his dog could stay away from the huge water puddle.  Time well spent for all of us.

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Some of the Boys

As I ran along the road, some of our horses were so curious to come visit.  They stood a while for me to take a photo.  The beautiful boy with the white blaze, is my horse Devereux.  He`s such a well put together horse whom I call Pretty Boy.  We have retired him from chuckwagon racing, and I now can use him for pleasure riding.  He helped us win the 2013 Grande Prairie Stompede.  That was his first year competing and he did us proud.   He`s a horse that we purchased from Kentucky a few years back.

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Ahhhhhhhhhhh LIFE IS GOOD

As I looked at my calendar today, I pretty much said “AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!“ as I realized there is only 7 weeks till the horn sounds at our first race meet.   That date is  not very far away.  There is so much to do, in such little time.  But……….at the end of the day, I always get it accomplished and away we go.

Till next time,

At Home on the Ranch

Sue with Rick too.

P.S.   The struggle you`re in today, is developing the strength you need for tomorrow.

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Sue