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6-17-09 004_edited-1-2
Through Sun and Hail


4-11-12, Center, CO - The two week training trip is slowly drawing to a close. Tonight, we’re located about 10 miles north of Monte Vista, and about 15 miles from La Garita,   Today’s travels had some highlights, but nothing like those of the past two days. 

It was a beautiful morning when I hitched up Doc and Bob to the pole.  The sun was shining, it was about 55 degrees and there was a gentle breeze from the south.  By the time we made it to Monte Vista, around noon, all that was to change.

So, to keep it positive, I’ll first show a set of photographs that show me hitching the lads up in the morning.

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All of my horse hitch very well. They know exactly where to go and how to get there. But, being horses, I still have to act like I’m driving them.

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Look how nicely they walk right into place.

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Then I have the odd goof-ball (aka Doc) who messes up the whole thing when I go to connect up the neck yoke.

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Here, I’m getting ready to connect the heel chains.  Some people move the horses with pressure on the lines.  I gently pull on the tug and use the commands, ‘step back’ or ‘step in’, which they know well.

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Hitching takes about three or four minutes.  All I have to do now is close the door and say one of the numerous commands for them to get under way, such as: “Hoss Make Track”. “Get up”, “Let’s go, or whatever else strikes my fancy.

Right now, as I’m writing this, a really strong squall in blowing through. The wagon is rocking so hard, it’s hard to hit the right keys.  I’m in a roadside camp, so I had Bob tied to the wagon and Doc and Bill in the electric corral. I just went outside to pull tie them to the wagon, as I was afraid I was going to lose the fence in the wind.  Also they have a little more protection in the lee of the wagon.

This is the second batch of nasty weather we’ve seen today.  Shortly after pulling in to Monte Vista, a squall blew through with some 1/4 inch hail. That wasn’t too bad, so we kept trucking down the road.  However, five minutes later another hailstorm sprung up - this one with 3/4 inch hail.  I quickly turned into the drive for a business, so I could put there butts to the wind. Horses are extremely tolerant of bad weather as long as they are facing away from it.  Fifteen minutes later, the 60 degree weather had almost completely melted the inch of hail stones.

The output from my solar panels doesn’t seem to be effected by the hail; however, I don’t have anything to climb up there and physically check them out.

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The best defense against bad weather is a broad butt.  - Don’t take this as an excuse to dish out an extra helping of a wonderful meal!

Right now, the worst of the windstorm seems to have passed and I here thunder in the distance, so I guess there is more to come. I just looked out the window, and Dave and his tent seemed to have survived the windstorm. Maybe that extra helping of steak and Stroganof noodles helped him!