Life on an Arabian breeding farm in Capitan, NM.

Friday, April 29, 2011

It’s done, well almost…

Yesterday morning when I awoke my body was not pleased. It’s hard to know if it was because of what I did the day before, or if it was just normal aches, and pains. Still and all I had to finish what I started. It was a beautiful day, warm, and still with just the right amount of a breeze.  Such a lovely day to go riding, which sadly was not going to happen. All I had left to do was put up the panels half way across the arena after all, so that shouldn’t be too bad, right?

Wrong again Sherlock. Of course if I started right away when I first got up I would get more done. First comes coffee that nothing interferes with. Then Rudy calls, and we talk for at least an hour. I go feed, another hour, hour and a half. The morning is rapidly slipping by.  Depending on my pain level I may or may not get started with my day right away. Yesterday I had to wait a little until I stopped hurting a bit.

There are two gate panels. The gate is bolted onto a panel so basically I have double the weight to carry. I had already planned on using the gator to pull the panel, and the gate to it’s new location. That was the easy part. Standing it up while I attached the panel to the other panel was the hard part especially since the gate stands higher than the panel. I leaned the gate, and panel against the gator, and eventually got the two panels attached. I also had to start pulling out the T-posts, and brace them against the arena panels. Getting them out was fairly easy. Pour a little water on them, wiggle them around a bit, and pour more water, etc. until I can finally pull them out. Putting them back in the ground is a little more difficult. Again I had to use water while driving the T-post in. Now the T-post driver only weighs about 17 lbs, but trust me after raising it a few times, and dropping it on the post, you begin to feel the pain. Actually it isn’t the pain that kills me, I just get short winded, and for some reason I like breathing.

One gate down, one more to go. I got the second gate in, and pounded the bolts straight. With the years they got a little tweaked, and also loosened. I have yet to tighten the bolts. That I think is a job for Rudy. He doesn’t know his own strength, and always tightens things way beyond what I could ever do, or undo for that matter.

I had half a dozen T-posts to pull out, and use to brace the panels. I also had to contour the panels so as not to have a square corner. These panels have been there for a long time. Most of them I had to dig out before I could pull them out. The first few after the gates were no problem, then I had to continue to pull out more panels as the new dimensions made me about a third of a panel short. In actuality all the panels need to be pulled out and re-positioned. The T-posts they put in to brace the panels were not put in where one panel connects to another, and the whole shebang is leaning. Instead of the leaning tower of Pisa, we have the leaning arena of Capitan. In order to re-align, and attach the panels I had to pull out even more panels, and their T-posts. Finally I got the last panel attached., and looked down the line. I really need to redo most of the arena, but that will have to wait for another day, or week or maybe a month. It’s a very large arena even shortened as it is now.

I gathered all my tools, too tired to use the metal stripes I bought to attach the panels to the shuffling barn, so little noses wouldn’t push them all around. It looks good, and it’s safe. What I really like is the way it opens up the back to the road coming from the main road. We now have plenty of room to bring the trailer into the arena, or park it outside. It opens up parking for others as well. When the rains start I can tack down the siding that has warped, and pulled away from the studs of the shuffling barn. I ended up with one extra panel, but of course it doesn’t match any of the other panels here there, and everywhere. I wanted to put in another gate to the shuffling barn but couldn’t see how I could manage it. That leaves only one way to enter the barn area, which is through the arena. Not perfect, but under the circumstances the best I could do. I went to the house hoping to get an hour or so rest before I had to feed. Unfortunately to my extreme dismay I discovered it was ten till five. I feed at five, so much for getting in a little rest before I fed.

Today the winds came back so I didn’t finish tacking down the panels to the side of the barn, or put a latch on the other side where the gate is so I can latch the gate open. At 5:00 the news said that Ft Stanton recorded 67 mph winds, and the winds have gotten stronger since then. After watching the royal wedding this morning, taking care of some business matters, and going into town for prescriptions, I came home, and died. I guess my body thinks I put it through too much the last few days. It’s ok though because now I have a place to put the girls (whenever they get here), so they can chill before I introduce them to the other pasture mares. I have a clean barn after winter’s deluge of winter winds, and I have a way to pasture breed this summer. In addition Rudy can now pull the trailer into the arena so I can trailer train the youngsters. Not a bad weeks work.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Wind, wind, and more wind…

The weather has been totally crazy. While the Midwest drowns, we get nary a drop. You’d think they could build a pipeline from the Mississippi west relieving their swollen rivers, and filling ours, but I guess that would be too easy. We are tinder dry here with nary a drop of rain after a very dry winter. The winds are fierce drying out what little moisture is left in the vegetation. Normally by now the wild grasses are sporting new green shoots beneath the dry brown grasses, but even the weeds, which seem to survive the harshest of conditions are having a time of it. Still, and all I have managed to get some work done.

I finally got the water line in the pasture fixed. I couldn’t screw out the broken piece inside the corner coupling. The only choice left was to try to dig down deeper, and cut the corner off. This would move the pipe farther away from the shuffling barn making it more difficult to build a brace that would keep the horses from being able to break the pipe again. I lucked out, and once I dug out the corner coupling it moved. Could it be? Yes the coupling was loose, and I was able to simply twist it off the waterline. I attached the metal threaded coupling to the new corner, and as best I could, applied primer, and glue to the corner coupling. I am assuming that there will be no leaks. I didn’t feel like making yet another trip to the water main to check. I used a metal threaded coupling instead of a pvc coupling hoping this would better withstand prodding from you know who. I attached the pipe back on the line, and buried everything. After letting it set for a while I attached the hose to fill the tank, and water the loose dirt around the pipe. It seems to be fine. unfortunately I don’t have any good wood to make my guard. All I have is old wood that splinters whenever I put in a nail. The pipe is fixed, and I no longer have to haul water to the pasture, so for now that’s good enough for me.

My other project is to rearrange the arena so I can utilize the shuffling barn next to it. I have 4 – 6 horses coming sometime soon, and I want to put them in the arena for a while before I throw them in the pasture with the other mares. They are coming from Az. A friend has too many horses on her property so as long as she pays for their feed I told her she could leave them here. One (Star) is ours, and hopefully Lightning will go back with her for training, and maybe showing. I want to work a deal where she will train our youngsters in exchange for board. We may keep Aulina’s baby Cupid it just depends. Her sire is a Ben Rabba grandson I think (half-sibling to Aulrab). The lines are far enough removed so that she could be bred to either Ibn or Jeri. I think one of the reasons that Angel didn’t cross well with Ibn is that the lines are too close, and Storm didn’t get the best of both. She has tried to give me Cupid before. For some reason, I don’t think she really likes her. She had issues with Buzz (her sire), and maybe some of those feelings are tied to Cupid. I don’t know, I just want to get everyone here, and go from there.

Meanwhile I have to have someplace to put them all thus the arena project has become a priority. It will shorten the arena a little, but it’s so huge that we will hardly notice. First I had to clean the area out. We had all kinds of gates, and old panels leaning against the side of the shuffling barn. Those I pulled out, and piled on top of the roof of the other shuffling barn. The previous owner used to keep calves there or an occasional horse. When we cleaned the place up all the junk went there. We eventually got all the wood, tires, and other garbage out, but the metal is still there.  There are left over pipes that they used to make some of the corals, heavy iron pipes. That was a real chore to move. What I couldn’t drag I hauled with the gator. You can move almost anything with some good rope, and the gator. There were two good gates that I could use so I left them out, and easily available.

Next I had to move the panels to enclose the shuffling barn. The panels themselves are light enough, it was getting them apart that was the fun. I had several ideas in my head about how I wanted to arrange everything, finally deciding on the best solution that would cut the least amount off the arena.  While rummaging through Rudy’s stuff I found this wonderful metal stripping that I used to attach the gate to the barn. I had to use wire to attach the other side of the gate to the panels. I like that tape. You nail it on, and the panels are secure. I got some more for the other side of the barn where the panels will be flush. It’s cool stuff.

It was getting late, but I had at least another hour so I began going across the arena. The span is too long so the previous owner used T posts to help stabilize the panels. After all these years the panels are leaning over, but I was able to pull out one of the T posts without too much trouble. Now it was about 4:30 and I still had to go to the store. I also had to pull out more T posts, and then there are the two big gates to maneuver (with the help of the gator once more). Wisely I chose to quit at that point. Tomorrow is still supposed to be nice if a bit chilly. I was pretty puttered out anyway. After tomorrow all bets are off, as the wind is supposed to be back Friday, and Saturday.

I’ve been wanting to utilize the two barns for some time only Rudy has always poo-pooed my idea. He’s not here right at the moment so I just did it. Besides, this way we can do pasture breeding, and who knows what else. With the gate we still have use of the arena as an arena. Not that we’ve used it of late, but as we grow (more than I want) we need to utilize all the facilities we have. I still want to do something with the other barn, and I would love to get rid of all the metal, but that will have to be for another time. The other barn needs more work including putting on a new roof, and siding. I’ll have to get help for that, it’s a bit more than I can handle. Hopefully I will finish everything tomorrow, in plenty of time before the new horses arrive. We’ll see what happens.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Interesting ride...

Well the first thing I realized when I fed in the morning  (what was it, last week) was that the new feed I got was not good for Arabians, at least not our Arabians. It had corn in it and while I was hesitant, I tried it anyway. It’s now feed for the chickens who absolutely love it. That’s why Ibn was so stupid the last time I rode. Marina was high as a kite, but not stupid, I hadn’t given her any of the new feed. Keenan found my pedometer on the trail so I had it again only to loose it, and find it. Marina is getting in too good of shape and her energy level has increased, woe is me. It was an interesting ride, half way through she finally settled down, somewhat. Both Marina, and Ibn are really looking good. I’m going to have to start working Ibn in the round pen on his off days. He has way too much energy, and of course Marina always has too much energy, and maybe I will try working her in the round pen a bit as well.

So what have I done this past week? Of course there is all the accounting stuff, and I’ve been on the phone a lot with my upcoming job. I did manage to clean house one day (it really needed it). The rest of the time I spent on yes, water pipes. You see Lightning plays with anything, and everything. She cracked the pipe in the pasture during the winter. I was hoping it would last, but of course once the ground unfroze all it took was a little wiggle, and poof, all was lost.

This is the third time this has had to be repaired. Rudy in all his wisdom buried the pipe three feet down so it wouldn’t freeze. Fine lot of good that did, the freeze pipe froze. Whenever I empty the water from my water tank into the pasture tank, I work on digging down to the bottom. Oh I forgot, I also had to repair the water tank again thanks to Lightning. I was bringing in water backing up to the pasture tank, and she just couldn’t wait. She pushed it off the gator. Not only did the extension break off, but also because it was full, the impact pushed the spicket inward so instead of going straight out, it went up at a 45-degree angle. I rummaged through my various pipe fittings, and found a way to make it work, again.

I finally got down to the end (or in this case the beginning of the pvc), lying on my stomach with my head in the hole. For those of you who have never lived in the southwest, digging a hole here is not an easy chore. The ground is caleche (even word doesn’t know how to spell that one!). It’s clay. When it’s wet, you can get the shovel in, you just can’t pull the clay out. When it’s dry it’s hard as cement. Once I got past the first layer, the ground was damp not wet. This is good. It’s hard to dig, but you can at least scoop it out. Of course, doing this upside down with your head in the hole makes it a bit difficult, but doable.

I got the broken piece out of the freeze pipe, but getting it out of the pvc is another story. I spent hours trying all different tools. I finally tried the easy out I bought when the spicket broke on the tank this winter. It almost worked. The only problem was the easy out was just a hair too long for the corner coupling, and kept slipping, so much for that idea. I still have to get back to it, but I’m going to have to dig down deeper, cut the pvc at the end of the coupling, put in an extension, then a corner coupling that is half threaded so I can screw on a threaded extension to attach to the pipe. Totally confused? When it’s done I’ll take a pic.

Today it was just too beautiful to stay in, or work on the pipe so I took Ibn out, as it was his turn. He was way too hyped since he hadn’t been out for a few days. He wasn’t stupid just way too full of energy. On top of that our neighbor is fencing in his property, closing off part of my trail. It’s either him or perhaps he subdivided his property, and sold off a portion. Either way it cuts into my 10 miles. I tied the pedometer so that if it fell off I wouldn’t loose it. Eventually I do learn.

Now what does spring have that winter doesn’t have? Birds, lots of birds, and in our case Mourning Doves are predominant. They are everywhere that is, under every bush that affords the kind of cover they like. Every time we disturbed a covey, a flurry of whirring went up in the air, and Ibn jumped. The last covey was an exceptionally large one. Ibn not only jumped, he also struck out. He had no clue what was about to attack him, but he wasn’t about to not put up a fight. In all the years we’ve had him I’ve never seen him strike out. I’m sure it would have made a great photo, but of course I can’t take a picture of us on the trail.

The other thing that was interesting on our ride was quite a discovery. As I said Ibn was high, and I might as well have been riding Marina. I had to hold him back as we went trotting down the trail. At one point where the road was nice, and flat, he was really pushing out trying to go into a very fast trot when all of a sudden he went into another gait, a racking gait. Now I know his sire (if I remember correctly) was 5 gaited, but Ibn has never shown any signs of having a 5th gait. The only reason I even recognized it was once at a practice show in CA, a woman had a Paso she let me ride. It was the weirdest thing, we were trotting along, and suddenly he was still trotting but I wasn’t moving up, and down. It was so cool. I’d never ridden a gaited horse before, and it was unlike anything I’d ever experienced. Not that it does me any good to know that Ibn could be gaited since I have no clue how to train him to go into that gait on command. I’m not even sure what inspired him to do it in the first place. He’s never done it before, and probably never will again. Still it’s cool to know it’s in him.

I’m going to try to ride as much as I can until I get to go back to work. I have to try to figure out how to keep both Marina, and Ibn in shape, and start working the youngsters again, while working full time. It will be a challenge, but having our finances in control again will leave me less stressed, and hopefully with more energy to get everything done. We’ll see how that works.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Dingy stallion...

Today was an absolutely beautiful day, so of course I took advantage, and went riding. It was Ibn’s turn, and I decided to take a little different route. We went along our property line down the backside to try to get to Laughing Horse with out going down our road. It was pretty rough, but Ibn really does well when we go cross-country. Once on Laughing horse, we followed the road. I’ve never been all the way down Laughing Horse, and I wanted to see where it would go.

Ibn did really well until he spotted the first horse. All of a sudden he was all stallion, stopped cold, and wouldn’t move until he announced to everyone who he was. Got him going till the next horse, and so on until there were no more horses. By this time I knew it was going to be one of those days. Ibn has always been very gentlemanly, and at shows totally ignored the other horses be they mares, stallions or geldings. Actually we were pretty proud of him for that, emphasis on “were”. I guess he’s been away from that scene for so long that he’s forgotten what it’s like. I can just imagine what he’s going to do when we get to Ft Stanton, and there are hundreds of horses.  Yeah I think I will let Rudy ride Ibn, and I’ll ride Marina. He can deal with all the testosterone.

Next on the trail we came across a Llama and some goats. I thought Ibn was going to jump through his skin. It took at least 10 minutes for us to get past the goats. I wasn’t going to let him get away with it, and he knew that, but he also knew that they were sure to attack even though there was a fence between him, and the goats, and they paid him never no mind. Of course it may have been the llama that he didn’t know how deal with. He’s never seen a llama. We had a Mouflan ram for a while, so goats shouldn’t have been that much different. Who knows, we finally got past the goats, and I thought that was going to be the end of it. Silly me.

By this time I guess Ibn was so jazzed up that everything was now suspect. Even the ravens that follow us everywhere spooked him when he saw their shadows. Give me a break, ravens? We have a mated pair that has claimed our house as the center of their territory. The dogs chase them constantly. How they think they are going to catch them is beyond me, since the dogs can’t fly. Frankly I think the ravens fly over the dogs on purpose just to tease them. Even the wild animals around us have to be different. Anyway, ravens are no big deal normally since they are constantly around.

After the ravens it was the deer that spooked him. Like I said it was one of those days. Ibn jumped at everything, and at nothing. Now I’m going to have to take him down that road, and others that have horses just to get him to behave himself again. Definitely one of the disadvantages of living on the ranch is the absence of normal every day activities. While I may love it, it’s not necessarily the best thing for the horses, not if we intend to sell them, which we do.

Oh well, we finally made it home, and it was nice enough to give Ibn a real bath, soap and all. Ibn was not pleased. In California he got spoiled because we had hot & cold water. While we want to eventually put in a hot water heater at the barn, it’s going to be a while before that happens. There are way more important things than hot water for my spoiled little boy that takes precedence. Ibn kept squirming this way, and that. Then insult upon insult, I had the audacity to wash his face. I think that was the point where he started to plot his revenge. I got him all washed off good, rinsed off, squeeged, conditioned (mane & tail), and combed. He was looking good, and fairly dry when I took him back to his stall. He had left over breakfast, so he had munchies for after his workout, and I expected that he would go eat first thing. Wrong! Uncharacteristically Ibn went straight to Storm, and went down to roll. I yelled at him to no avail. What in blazes was he thinking? I didn’t give him a good bath just so he could get all dirty again. He’s usually pretty good, being a priss, and all. Normally he can’t stand getting dirty, which is why it was so unexpected. Dingy stallion, it was the perfect ending to a perfectly silly ride.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Spring has sprung – stinky, stinky, stinky…

In every place there are certain signs that winter is loosing it’s grip, and spring has finally arrived. Here in the high desert of New Mexico, we have our signs as well. The sun rises earlier, and the days are longer. It’s wonderful, you have time to do those things there are never enough daylight hours for, but that’s not the true sign of spring.

The bare trees have a new spring green color to the tips of their branches. A color like none other, it’s a fresh spring green, light, and bright, and full of promise, but that’s not the real sign of spring. The barn is suddenly full of commotion, as birds now fill the rafters with amorous chirps, and spring-cleaning. They bustle here, and there picking up bits of hay, and fur, which the horses gladly provide. There are arguments as each fights for the best spots, perhaps building new nests or refurbishing old ones, but that doesn’t mean that spring is here to stay.

Everywhere you go there are fragile blades of green bravely finding their way through last summer’s dried grasses. Weeds of course are the first to brave the longer warmer days. You primp, and trim, fertilize, and seed yet it is the weeds you don’t want that find their way against all odds popping up everywhere. We have this one creeper with beautiful bright purple flowers.  A whole field can be carpeted with them. There is also the one with silver gray leaves, and lovely pink lavender blossoms, known as the Loco weed. I have found them through out the area. I think they look so pretty just to entice creatures to graze on them only to get hooked on them. I carry Round-up in the gator so I can spray them when I see them. Still and all they are only precursors of spring.

Some cultivated flowers push through in winter’s last gasp. The local fauna don’t touch the weeds of course, but flowers seem to taste mighty good, as the tips of their leaves are nicely squared off instead of pointed as nature intended. You don’t see them during the day, but at night when you turn the outside lights on you will see them scurrying across into the shadows, little white cotton tails bouncing up and down.  They are not the only ones busy. The winter beat down the sandy dirt mounds with no vegetation in a perfect two-foot or larger circle. This needs to be tidied up, and the ants whose home it is, start their housekeeping. They must build up their mound again, which can be as large as a foot tall, but this still doesn’t mean that spring is just around the corner.

Then there are the hummingbirds. Most come in summer, but there is one couple that comes early, usually around March when the nights are still cold. We never know when they will come, they are sometimes early, and sometimes late. This year they are late. No spring here yet.

Cows are dropping their calves, and deer their fauns. You can see tiny deer droppings amongst the larger droppings, and you know a faun has visited. If you are around in the early morning you might see a group of three or four doe’s with a baby or two. The deer are very plentiful, in town they are actually pests as they have become so accustomed to people they wonder across streets with no never mind. Actually some of them have learned to watch the traffic. The problem comes when a slow poke tries to make it across to join her fellows, and cars have started to go down the road again.  Fauns following their moms are also causalities if they’re not quick enough.  Babies abound everywhere, and the snakes are out in the afternoon gathering as much warmth as the sun can offer, but they come before spring is full, and winter may still show his face.

The horses of course give their own signs. At first it’s only a little fur that comes off on your hands, then it’s clumps, and even if you brush them every day it’s not enough. The dogs too are shedding. That’s when you appreciate shorthaired dogs. They of course let you know when spring is here. Just before you start to slip off to sleep at night they decide to sound off. Then comes the wafting perfume that seeps in through the doors, and windows no matter how tightly they are closed. Come morning the outside dogs greet you all excited because they did such a good job the night before. They have proof as they are coated in the nauseating perfume. You walk around, and sure enough you find the creature they protected you from. Stinky, stinky, stinky, it’s the first skunk of the season. Now you know spring is here to stay.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Back again...

Well between tax preparations, terrible weather that kept me in lots of pain, and running here, there, and everywhere, I just haven’t had time to post anything. A couple more days, and the taxes will go to the tax accountant. Yeah! I will be glad to get that monkey off my back.

Sere had a very mild case of Pigeon Fever, and is just about healed from that. She and the other girls finally broke the water pipe in the pasture, but that will take a while to fix. Rudy in all his wisdom buried it more than three feet deep. Now I have to dig all that up before I can even reach the break. This is the second time they have broken this pipe. They just love playing with it no matter how I try to cover it up. I think I’ve figured out a way to attach it to the shuffling shed wall so they can’t move it. Meanwhile I am hauling water to fill their tank. What a pain they are.

I did manage to get a few days of riding in. I have one more day of good weather before the winds start up again. After that I won’t be able to ride till next week. I managed to loose two cell phones while riding. A neighbor’s son found one while hiking, and today I found the other. Thank you St. Anthony. I really didn’t want to buy another.

Ibn is really starting to build up some stamina. Today when I rode him he trotted almost all the way without my having to prod him. I also switched saddles on him, and his trot is much easier to sit. I finally decided that the reason his trot is so rough is that he is most comfortable at a driving trot. His sire was a driving champion, and it seems that he has inherited that trait. I on the other hand am far more comfortable with a nice slow trot. He also seemed to enjoy his ride more today. I just have to keep him interested.

I heard from a friend today who just had a little paint colt out of a paint pony mare and a moderate Sabino stallion. He is small even for an Arabian, which will give her a nice half-Arabian pony. She should bring out a few of her mares for me to keep for a while. She was an eventer in her youth, and her daughter is following suit. She also has a daughter of Marina’s I just might keep. Aulina was bred (accidentally) to a young stallion she had for a while. The colt was from a Ben Rabba sire line (Aulrab’s half-brother), so Cupid still has our bloodlines. We could breed her to Ibn or Jeri w/o her being too close in relationship. I don’t mind line breeding so long as the lines have a little bit of space in-between. We had the colt here for a while, and he was a sweet boy. He was also taller than Ibn so even coming from Marina’s daughter she will add height to our lines. First I need to sell some colts. I have three geldings to sell before I add to our herd.

On top of everything, everyone is shedding out. I have some serious grooming to do. Then I want to start working the youngsters in the round pen before I let them loose in the arena. Once they are all shed out I will get the video camera out. They also need to start to learn some herd etiquette. Marina is the best one to teach them how to behave around mares. It will be interesting since I will have no one to help me. Lance is right next to Marina so that will be no problem, and I think I will let Little Big Man run with Lizzie who is stalled next to him. She’s a nice big TB so there won’t be any worries about him getting her pregnant if she happens to be in season. Try as he might he’s just not tall enough. Ser-Haat can run with Lance, and Marina, as well as with Ibn. Storm well, he’s between the stallions, but still has to learn about mares. Maybe I’ll let him run with LBM and Lizzie. Decisions, decisions, decisions, I just have to make sure that if there are any altercations I can handle them myself.

I also have to get the arena set up so I can use it for pasture breeding. I just found out about setting up a breeding chute, but it will be a while before I can investigate that to see if I want to try to build one. I can do a lot of things, but I definitely have my limitations. I want to breed Marina, Lizzie, Jazzy, Sadie, and Espree. That would give me five babies next year, and I’m not sure I can handle all that by myself. Besides which, I really need to sell the three geldings. Sadie and Lizzie are getting too old, so I need to get them bred this year. Lizzie I can pasture breed, but Sadie will be AI with frozen semen. That one alone will cost a fortune. Jazzie, Espree, and Marina are all young enough that I can still wait. If I could afford it I would breed all my mares, and be happy as a camper. The only problem with that is after they are weaned, you have to feed them all, and that is expensive. I still have till the end of May, and June to decide. If anyone out there wants a weanling next year, speak up, and then I can have my babies, and not worry about feeding them until after they are weaned. Yes that would be a good thing.

One last update, we have a fire burning about 30 miles south of us in Ruidoso Downs. The miracle is even though the racetrack is right there, the fire has not dropped that far down. About 20,000 acres have burned, and as far as I know only one horse was lost. Five homes burned, as well as numerous barns, and other structures, but that is the extent of the property damage so far. God willing they will get a great deal more under control before the winds start up again. New Mexico is tinderbox dry, and anything can start a major fire. It’s the one thing we worry about out here. I can’t trailer the horses, and the youngsters aren’t trailer trained anyway.  I’m sure I could get help if need be, we’re just going to hope that we will be spared another year.

Every summer we worry until the Monsoons start, and thus far we have been spared that heartache. A couple of years ago the winds downed power lines in Capitan, and part of Brewer’s ranch land burned. Thankfully it was far enough away from the town so no one was in danger, still it was too close for comfort. We could see it burning from our house. The good news was that once the monsoons started the grasses came up with renewed vigor. Fire is both a danger and a blessing. It cleans out all the underbrush, and allows the grasses to flourish. Just so it does it far away from us I’m am happy.