Thursday, July 19, 2018

Fixed Up


Amazing what a little vinyl and spray paint will do. And in regards to recovering the seat: it looked a lot easier on YouTube.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Another New Cat

You might think I'm crazy, and you might be right. Maybe it's middle age. What do they call that, Midlife Crisis?  Nah. It was just a great deal at the right time. I've been wanting something like this for years. Quiet. Slow. Easy. Big Tires.

It's an old Honda FatCat TR200.



I've never really ridden a motorcycle before other than with my dad when I was probably 7 years old. So I had a vague memory of how to shift, but that's it. I must admit the first time I hopped on I thought I'd rather ride something with a mind that wouldn't do stupid crap when I froze up. :) I've never really been any kind of bike rider

But I'm getting the hang of it and I love it! I have a couple (or more) cosmetic things to fix up, but it runs beautifully. I'm going to spray paint the front rack and replace the seat vinyl today. Fun stuff.

It might be a while before I take it out on the logging roads, and I may never want to take it on a difficult trail. It's a heavy beast. I'm hoping it will help me discover some new places to ride my horse though. I'm excited!



Saturday, July 14, 2018

Short Ride, Tired Horse

I cut out the grainy grain (Omolene) and increased the Active Senior and now I have a tired old man again. We did just 3 easy miles early this morning before it got hot and he was slow. He did suggest on the downhill on the way back that maybe I'd like to walk. I'd like to get someone behind me who knows what they're looking at to tell me if it looks like he's sore in his hocks.

I'm back to wondering if I'm too heavy, if this is too much, if he's too old and should be allowed to just pack kids around. I feel bad.

On the upside, I made a new riding buddy. Her property is right on the edge of a bunch of public land, some of which I've ridden on quite a bit, and some I haven't. I was a bit nervous when she told me how green her horse was (1 ride every 9 months or so) but he was a good boy. It helps a lot to have a horse like Sawyer along.

Monday, July 09, 2018

Old Sampson, New Aslan

Sawyer and I have done some shorter rides and a couple of 11 mile climbs with his new diet, and it seems to be doing the trick. A bit too well, sometimes. He got way overly excited about a moose one day, I think because he couldn't tell what it was through the heavy trees.

We trotted a couple miles straight up, only slowing or stopping when I insisted. That was at the beginning of the ride and he was still going well the rest of it.
The forest service has it mapped as 11 miles up and back, my GPS said 12, but I'll go with the 11.

I like the history of this old trail. I don't know if there are other sections still surviving. I hope so. It makes me sad that so many of the old trails aren't continuous anymore.

We have to walk along the highway a ways to get to the trailhead. There isn't enough parking for horse trailers there. The horses do great even with log trucks speeding by. The truckers are pretty courteous, giving room and even slowing down sometimes. Everyone else seems to be in such a huge hurry.

Here's pretty juniper standing on her leadrope.

On Tuesday some kind person found this dying snotty emaciated dehydrated filthy cat in a trailer park and brought him in to our clinic. She didn't know what to do, because she couldn't afford to take care of him. I said I'd take him.

My boss was pretty sure he was going to die, but I thought he probably just needed some help. He tested negative for leukemia so I went ahead with treatment.

Here is Aslan just a couple days later:

We took him camping and he had a blast






I'm pretty sure at this point that the dogs won't kill him. But I'm still watching carefully. If I have to I will find him a safer home. But I sure do like the little guy!

I'm not sure if I'll be riding much over the next month or two. I'm going to try to spend most of my free time with my sister. But that's OK, the horses don't mind.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Just Sawyer

 I don't think he looks terrible. He's shiny.
 He has a pretty nice butt.
 His back could definitely be stronger.
 I wouldn't mind seeing more enthusiasm about riding.

 Check out the smorgasbord! This is his pasture.
 Not bad, eh? I think I need more horses to eat it down.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Worry, Solution?

I've been really worried that I'm overworking my old man horse. He gets so tired compared to Scout. Usually on the second day out, and we don't go for short rides.  I hate to admit even considered selling him to my farrier for his 4 year old daughter. The idea of parting with him is really hard, he's such a love. He came to me so stoic and has become so sweet. But I hate thinking I'm making my horse miserable.


He's not lame at all, and there are no health problems. His weight is good. He's just not a spring chicken, and he pushes hard and fast on the trail until he's tired. 

So I think what I'm going to do is get off in the middle of the ride and make him take a snack break. Also, I'm going to switch him from Purina Senior to a hotter feed. I've got my eye on Omolene 500. My local feed store doesn't have a lot of options, but that looks like a good one. 

I'll let you know how it goes.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Potlatch Canyon Trail

I love riding a new trail. This one is well-kept, easy, and beautiful. I'm sure it gets used a lot more than most of the trails I ride, but we only saw one family hiking. No motorized vehicles allowed, so no ruts!

Sawyer is so good, but he's definitely my horse now. He wanted to follow me to the toilet.

The first mile is paved. Interestingly, Sawyer preferred to stay on the pavement rather than get off to the side. I'm sure without shoes on the story would have been different.

Happy Trails!

Where did the guys go?

Gnarly burl.


Figuring out their GPS. They're getting ready for a trip to Mt. Rainier. Can't be getting lost in a white-out! Although it does make for a funny picture. :)

The Potlatch River

It's hard to see in the picture, but this was kind of a neat tree corridor along the side of the river.


There were some gorgeous meadows I would have spent more time in, but the guys were tired and we were almost back.

My sister gave me these awesome extra long romal reins for my extra long horse. Now I can drop my reins and not lose them. I love them! And riding without reins is so great for my balance and back. I'm not riding lopsided holding the reins in one hand. Of course it's not exactly safe and I wouldn't do this with most horses.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Random Photos

The dogs think family get-togethers are all about them. Winston tries to get in everyone's lap and Huckleberry does a lot of excited screaming and hollering and trying to hold hands until you give him something else to hold on to. Blue came home with Katia for this one but we had to lock him in a bedroom. A fight was imminent.

Sawyer and I tried out my sister's 5 star pad to see if it would help with the saddle slipping back. My sister said it was super grippy. It didn't help with that, but it did help with side to side slippage on rotund Scout. I don't think I'll spend the money to get one though.

Evening on the Palouse. Riding on the road isn't super fun but the view isn't too bad.

My sister's little Jose. He's a good little guy. He sits with my sister all the time. I'm so glad she has him. He's a very good dog, not at all a piranha unless you try to rub her shoulders. Then he has a tiny wrath that's pretty funny.

I almost had a new family member. This little guy on the right, below. We got 10 kittens from the Humane Society to spay and neuter and this one just got my attention from across the room and kept it. Love at first sight, you know. I packed him around for quite a while. They called him Johnny Jump Up. :) It turned out he was the ONLY cat in the group that was already adopted. Poo.
It did get me thinking about another cat though. Our 2 boys moved away to live at the neighbor's and Angel is going to be 14 this year. That's pretty old for a barn cat. Sometime in the next couple years we might need a cat or two. Or maybe a terrier? John really dislikes cats. Hmm.

Saturday, June 09, 2018

Vacation Part 2, and Human Kindness Saves the Day


On our second day at Heyburn we chose to ride some trails that were more level. Sawyer gets tired. Heck, I get tired of going straight up and down.

We had several creek crossings. Scout sure does love water.

At one point our trail on the other side of the creek was blocked by a downed tree. It looked like maybe there was a trail if we crossed under the bridge. It was a big leap of faith for Sawyer.
He had to wait for his eyes to adjust to the shadow under the bridge, and when they did, he thought the boulders under there were monsters!
He made it through for me though, boots deep on a tall horse! What a guy.
Scout plowed through like a cruise ship when it was his turn.

It turns out there was no trail. I had to make one and I bumped into some stinging nettle on just one finger in the process. I should have rinsed it off right away but it didn't seem that bad. That night it was blistered and the next day it itched like crazy up past my wrist.

We had a day of rest the next day, and good thing too because I spent the entire day in bed with a migraine. None of my drugs really helped. Botox is a wonder treatment but it doesn't stave them off completely.

On Thursday we rode out on an easy trail. A short ride so we could get back and fish with my sister.



Scout would have kept going forever once we got back to his favorite meadow. :)

Fishing gave me another headache - too much heat and light on the water, but we all caught our limits. My sister caught two huge ones!

Today, alas... Today has not gone as planned but it is actually going quite well even with the catastrophic failure of the truck, with the horses in the trailer, in the middle of nowhere with no cell service.

The drain plug (there's probably a real name for it) for the oil popped out of the truck on our way to ride. Happily, it happened right where a very nice man was putting in a new fence post for his corral for his range cattle. Turns out he grows hay on my road, but he also owns this beautiful big piece of property way out here. He saved our bacon. Gave us a corral for the horses, John a ride back to town, and I'm sitting next to a sweetly babbling creek in the glorious shade typing this note for future insertion into my blog.
Could a disaster be much better? Now we just need the truck to start back up and function fine.

I could even go for a nice ride while I wait. There's a trail to Bald Mountain from here, the nice man said.

Now it's the next day, and this blog entry is getting super duper long, I know. The truck did start right up, and we did have a nice ride.