Monthly Archives: June 2009

Fun with Kigers

On Saturday my friend and I took out our Kigers to the arena.  My excuse was just to see how well Cali would do after not being ridden for a while — Meleah’s excuse was to see how her new gelding we brought home from Washington would do.

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Smoke did very well.  In the trailer he was pretty nervous but we let him ride loose and opened the back section of windows so he could look out.  Every now and then I’d see his gray muzzle sniff the wind and then poke back inside.  I do know that he was very glad to have landed at our house.  He went right to grazing the grass and taking a long drink.

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Maleah offered to take Annie for a ride, and notice no saddle?  Yep, he’s that calm.  This is exactly what Maleah wanted for her girls — she’s got 4 from 8 down to a year and a half.  Annie actually cried when I took her off his back and put “Toots” up there.  She didn’t want to share Smoke — and he isn’t even hers.

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I took Cali out and Cali comes from DianneC up in Washington, same place we picked up Smoke, a mare that now lives in Nevada named Belle, and my new saddle!   Looks like we’re attracted to all that Dianne has for sale!

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I rode Cali around the arena first for a while in my saddle — which fit her perfectly!  She did really well, was a bit stiff at first but then settled in pretty good.  I had untacked her in the shade trees when Hubby showed up and I offered for him to take a spin.  Bareback, halter and lead and they look like professionals.  Cali is about 15 hands, Hubby is 6′.

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They all cruised around the ring at a nice little pace — well, Cali lapped Smoke I think.  Maleah said she’s going to rename him “Mo,” as in “Mo-lasses.”  But that’s perfect for a kid’s horse!

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He took Meleah’s two oldest girls ages 8 and 5 around the ring by themselves (pictured above is her 3 year old.)  They were able to control him very well, stop, turn and he didn’t pick up an ounce of speed.  He knew he was supposed to be careful.

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I think I could talk Maleah in to joining us for our Play Days once a month and yes, Cali, I’ll take you too (why does Sunnie get to have all the fun?)

In the Wool — Washing

Since coming home from BSG this month, I’ve been really wanting to get into the wool side of things with my sheep.  How neat would it be to grow the sheep yourself, use the meat, the wool and the horns?  I just love the thought, though a lot of you already do that.

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Yesterday I set out to start from the beginning — wool washing.  I went to the barn and picked out a fleece.  The bag said “Wether” on it so I knew it was from this guy–

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I acquired him from a lady whose flock I bought back in November of ’08.  He came with 8 ewes and two rams (and came without a name.)  He was the only wether and the lady said she wethered him and kept him because he had the nicest fleece.  I believe that’s all relative, depending on whose opinion it is and what they’re using the fleece for!  So I decided to give his fleece a whirl.

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I’d call it dingy.  And this white is supposed to come out white?

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I brought out my tubs I bought at Costco on Wednesday and filled it with scalding hot water from my tap (we have an on-demand water heater.)  I then proceeded to put in some Wool Wash.

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I got the Wool Wash from the Eco Store USA a while back and they were hoping for some giveaways of which we’ve had a few (I hope everyone who won is enjoying their products!)  I do have a bottle of this Wool Wash left and will be hosting a giveaway for it soon…  The Wool Wash’s directions were for 1-2 tsp. and they are proud that this is super concentrated.  It also does not contain any nasty chemicals — no toxic petrochemicals, no phosphates, no optical whiteners, no bleach, no nitrates, no enzymes, no chlorine, no EDTA, no alkalis or fillers, no synthetic dyes or perfumes… That’s what it reads off their bottle.  Some of the ingredients are organic eucalyptus oil (smells wonderful!) anionic and non-ionic surfactants (from glucose and coconut oil), plant based alcohol and solvents, citric acid, water.

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In the tub fleece!  I started poking it down in to the water with a spatula.

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It was amazing how quickly the water turned brown.  I was still interested to see the white fleece actually turn white!

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We then put the lid on the tub and let it soak for an hour in the hot sun on the hot concrete.  I would go out every now and then to see if the water was hot still — it was.  I have the perfect scalding scenario right here out my french doors.  I also have helpers, Annie and her “Baa.”  Her Baa doesn’t take hot baths, he gets tossed in the washing machine every now and then — It keeps his whites white.

After the hour was up, I slowly drained out the hot dirty water (on to the lawn!) and pushed the fleece to one side.  I then re-filled the tub with hot water from the tap (not put directly on top of the fleece) and added a couple more teaspoons of the Wool Wash.  It soaked for yet another hour.  I drained it again, put in hot clear water (no soap) let it soak for 30 minutes and drained.  Voila! —

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My whites are white and my brights are bright.  I’ve now got a second batch going while the first (half of the fleece) is sitting out in the sun on my clean truck bench seat cover.

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I’m feeling the itch to get my dyes out once this is dry… 😉