Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Stori ~ just checking in....

So once again, the frantic Alaskan summer has over ran my blogging. I figure I would do a little multi-tasking and jot down some updates while I eat a quick (read pathetic and easy) supper.

My mare Heidi is coming along quite nicely this summer. Although not completely dog broke, she still gives the occasional buck, she is catching on to her lessons beautifully. At the beginning of the year, I had grandiose plans of shooting off of her in competition by now, reality took over and I'm able to be happy with what we have so far. This past weekend, my son Colt rode her in his first gymkhana. He rode in the lead line class of course, but that was also perfect for her. She's at her best when she has me on the ground leading her way. She did have a little episode of excitement in the second game of clover leaf barrels. She gave a small buck which did end up causing Colt to fall off. It was her first competition and his first buck off. Although it scared him a little bit, he was a little cowboy and climbed right back on (after a juice box of course). This picture caught her buck in action.
A couple weeks ago we had the opportunity to visit an old -and still running- gold mine up in Livengood Alaska. We have a friend who used to mine up there with her then husband who has since passed away. There was
very old buildings that were falling down that she allowed us to dig around in. One of the buildings was an old blacksmith shop that had collapsed and filled with treasures for Marc. It was a really neat trip up there. My dad also came along with Marc and I as well as the kids. Such stories surround places like that.

Twice a week we have been going to mounted shooting practice. It's a great experience for Heidi and my oldest daughter Paige has started riding and competing again. Since she is just 11, she rides in the wrangler division which does not allow her to use guns. She runs the course on her horse for time and pattern accuracy only. A friend of ours has offered Paige the use of their retired shooting horse, Baron. Baron and Paige are a great match. He's 25 years old and such an old hand at most all things. Apart from being afraid of cows (only in Alaska would a horse have the chance of being afraid of the scary unknown cow!) he is an amazing babysitter. He's been helping Paige gain time in the saddle and her confidence back. I have rode a friend's horse, Ace, in the competitions that last couple times and am having a blast at it! The only horse I had the chance to ever shoot off of was my appy Jake, and he fought me the whole way. It sure is a lot funner to shoot off a horse that isn't trying to kill you along the way. I have been riding Heidi at the practices.

We have had an absolute beautiful summer so far. Very dry and extremely hot! Last summer we were plagued by heavy rains all summer and a couple years prior, heavy smoke from large wild fires. Although Alaska has several big fires going on now, we have only had a couple days of smoke bad enough to keep us inside. With temperatures in the mid to upper 80's, the heat has been pretty extreme for us. I don't know if I could handle the real heat in the lower 48 anymore.

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