Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Today's ride. All this right down the road from my sister and I never knew it. Well, I kinda knew it. I knew the dirt roads were there but I didn't know there was a bunch of nice grassy CRP we could ride in.(I thought Tonka's mane looked neat in the wind)

We did 10+ miles and that's pretty great, especially because my sister is on a new cancer drug that's making her feel awful and because the first 3 miles the horses were jumping out of their skin. Gotta love goofy horses on a cold windy day. I guess.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I'm getting ready for the John Wayne ride! I think I now have everything I need for the trip, except for one important thing that hasn't come in the mail yet. One of my Easyboot cables broke when my sister tried out my Easyboots not long ago. I ordered the replacement cable almost a full 2 weeks before I needed it, but I made the mistake of ordering from a cheap store that I hadn't heard of before. I've emailed them twice trying to find my order status and tried to look it up on their site - all to no avail. The site is HorseloverZ dot com. I can't recommend them. Valley Vet, on the other hand, had my gaiter and electrolyte order here on Monday, and I'd just placed it on Friday. I did pay for Priority Mail, but I wasn't expecting it that fast. Awesome.

I spent the day grocery shopping and picking up things like bug repellent, dog food for while I'm gone, a strangles booster for Dove, etc, etc. I spent the evening mixing Tonka's feed for the trip (a lot of feed!), getting some of his stuff together, and making alterations to my EasyBoots. I put two new gaiters on, cut out the heel straps, and cut the comfort pads to fit, but didn't slide them in yet. I'm going to try to clean up the boots first.

Back to the feed... Holy cow I hope I didn't go overboard. I won't get into amounts (I forgot the weights) but I mixed beet pulp, TACO (Timothy, Alfalfa, Corn, and Oat pellets), alfalfa pellets, Satin Finish, Equerry's vitamins, Probios, brewer's yeast, and extra vitamin e. At the time I feed him this (soaked) I'll add soybean oil and electrolytes. He'll also have grass hay and I'll put packer pellets in my saddle bags for lunch. I plan on checking his weight (and mine) before and after the ride. Then if I do this again I'll know what to change. Oh, and don't worry, we've been gradually working up to full feed for a couple weeks now. Well, he has. I've been trying to cut back on my feed. :)

Here are some pics from our ride yesterday. I took a bunch of video and was going to do another little virtual trail ride for you, but that's going to have to wait. Too much editing.

This part was the most fun, climbing up and up in the brush:
The view behind:
Almost to the top:

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Tonka had the day off today, and I took pictures. My camera kept finding its way back to Bella. Partially because I know I'm going to have to start advertising her for sale. :(

Now for "Before & So Far" (because when is it ever "after?")

So Far:
She looks so much better already!

She has a very cute face. Wish that hair would shed off though.

Back to my beautiful Bella

And her silly Son. :)

Don't forget - both Bella and Dove are available to a new home.

Friday, May 21, 2010

A 53 second trail ride for you to enjoy:

I was hoping you could hear the birds singing, it was really peaceful. But I don't think that came through.

I rode with just my sister today and we had a blast. Well, not just my sister. We had a pack of dogs with us.

We went down to the creek in another spot and boy how I wish I'd had my camera out because the funniest thing happened. We were passing a bunch of dead wood when all the sudden a huge turkey flew out from practically right underneath Cowboy. Its wing brushed Amy's leg. I was so shocked, neither of the horses spooked! They both just stood there and watched it fly away. But then when we went back by that spot they were sure looking for more turkeys!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I took some pretty terrible pictures of our ride today. We had a lot of fun even though the weather was bad. We had wind and cold and some little hail (grauple?) but didn't get wet and eventually my toes thawed out. :) Seriously, it was a wonderful ride. I'd never ridden in this area before and it was really, really nice.

Here's my riding buddy. She's doing the John Wayne trail with me. Without her I wouldn't be going. I'm glad we met and started riding together, it's been great. Lovely picture, eh?

This one wasn't quite so bad. Nice view from way up there.
We rode about 14 miles today and Tonka didn't even break a sweat. Of course it was cold out, but I'm thinking he's getting pretty darn fit. I think I am too, although I'm still squishy around the middle. (I lost 6 pounds last week though!) I wasn't tired at all after our ride. A good ride tends to lift my spirits quite a bit!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Me boyo
We were ready for rain or cool weather and of course the sun shined rather hot. But it probably would have stormed if I'd left my slicker at home. The forecast and the sky looked pretty iffy.

We didn't ride very long today, I think about 3 1/2 hours, and I hope my riding partner wasn't too dissappointed in the length of our ride. I was tired and Tonka was tired too.

We did a little off-trail riding through the brush and I think Tonka really enjoyed it. At one point I'd decided to turn around and go back because the brush was getting so thick but he insisted he knew where he was going and he plowed down a rather large bush to prove the way was easier on the other side. He doesn't often defy me but if he thinks I'm making the wrong choice about where to go he makes it plain. He did that once before but I insisted we were turning around. Turns out we were within about 10 feet of the trail we were trying to get back to. He's really maturing and I like that he is so darn smart about picking a trail.

We've been riding in a halter our last 3 rides and I think he really likes that. But after his attitude today though I think I'll go back to a bit for a while. I was worried that I'd bothered his mouth the other day with my sister needing to stop a lot with no notice while we had the distraction of a pony horse, and he was really fussing with the snaffle so I gave him a break. Break's over now though I think. He was great in the halter other than snatching for grass and that one time ignoring me and plowing over the big bush. I just don't want him thinking he can ignore me.

As you can see in the photo we did a test run in the front size 3 Easyboots today and as I thought I remembered we had no trouble with traction or anything else. They fit perfect. I do think I need to cut the heel straps out. I don't need them anyway with the gaiter there to hold the boot on. I can't put his rear boots on until I get a replacement cable for the one that broke the other day.

Huck went with us today and it proved he still has some stuff to learn. This area was more open and he didn't have to stay on the trail, so he didn't. He spooked the horses a couple times but they need to learn I suppose. He'll get it figured out, he's darn smart.
Couple more pics my sister just sent me

Now I'm off to ride again.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Horse Camping

The geldings, happy

Boy with his first pocket knife. :)

The girls, also happy but with no grass.
Soxy can't do this again... She just can't breathe.

Cowboy on the "high"line. My sister is short. She had to climb up on something later to raise the highline.

My camera died, the rest are from John's phone.
Thank goodness for cell phones!

Getting ready. Some of us were on bikes & 4wheeler.

I can't explain this stupid look on my face. I wonder if I always have a stupid look on my face. I always seem to in pictures.

Up, Up and UP

Getting off the trail to let ATVs pass

She's smiling! And it got caught on camera! Miracle of miracles!

That's my boy on the back of the 4wheeler & my nephew on the bike.

View from the top.

Llama Tonka and pretty Gypsy.

Huck likes apples.
(It was his first trail ride and camping trip and he was so good.)

Amy and Cowboy heading down the trail. Bear Dog leading the way.

Friday, May 14, 2010

I decided what to do regarding Easyboots or shoes. I just can't trust a farrier with my boy's feet. Which is probably stupid, but I just can't. So I'll do Easyboots. I thought I needed 3's and 4's but it turns out I only need 2's and 3's. I have a pair of 2's and my sister has a pair of 3's she'll sell me. So now I need to sell my 4's. So if anyone knows anyone with a horse that has big feet in need of boots, my pair of Easyboot Epics (slightly used) is for sale for $100. The pair would cost $150+ new. I can't believe how much the price of Easyboots has gone up in the last few years. But it does make sense, since they last way longer than steel shoes. It would have cost me $125 for shoes and pads on all four and that would have only lasted 6-8 weeks (unless you'll settle for grown out hooves, which I won't). Plus I was so worried about the concussion on the steel shoes with his legs that already have splints.

So... Back to my trip. We get to do a parade! The Rosalia Battle Days parade is on the last day of our ride, June 5th (come see us!). I am so excited. So I get to conquer two things on my horsey to-do list. I am a little disappointed that we can't say we're doing the whole John Wayne ride but half is good for now. I can't be gone from the family for 2 weeks.

Rambling now... June 8th is my birthday and I've decided that this is going to be the best year ever because 3 is my favorite number and I'm going to be 33. Silly, I know. So I'm starting it off with a bang! I wouldn't be able to do this ride without some early birthday money, so it's all fitting. I am so excited! Did I say that already?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Life is going about a million miles an hour lately. In a good way. But it doesn't leave much time to blog or edit pictures to post, so I'm just going to hurry up and get it done. Been riding a lot.

Why are we riding so much (besides that it's super fun)? We're getting conditioned to ride the John Wayne Trail! Yee-haw! I am so excited. We're just going to do the second week of the ride, for a total of 117.5 miles. I might die. I might quit. But I might just do it and have a blast!

Small conundrum. I can shoe and pad my horse, or I can use easyboots. Either way I'll have to spend a lot of money. Shoeing would be easier, but will the steel shoes that he's never worn before cause him trouble? The concussion... The pads might alleviate some of that... Or I can do the Easyboots but if they don't work out (rubbing, interfering, twisting, etc) I'll have to quit the ride. Ugh... What would you do? I think I've decided to shoe, if the farrier will even agree to do it since he's not taking on new clients. I used to be his client but that was years ago. I don't know which other farriers are trustworthy.

This is the other thing keeping me busy:

Any Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy fans out there? She got to pick her number. Am I raising a nerd? Nope - she's the answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything.