Sunday, October 30, 2011

Fall Season

Lots of things have been happening around our place this fall! I'm sorry I haven't blogged about it. I've been so busy living it!

Serts' leg is definitely better. I feel good about our decision to skip Big South Fork. He probably would have been ok, but I figure that erring on the side of caution is best in these situations. I certainly would have beat myself up if he hadn't been ok.

Snap has been getting more of an education. I'm getting to know him in so many different situations. We are going slowly on the training. I am not riding him yet, but Daniel and I have put a saddle on him, complete with crupper and breast collar. He didn't seem to care about the saddle until I asked him to move around the round pen alone and the stirrups began to bang his sides. It took about 40 minutes before Snap settled down.

Daniel and I have been to 3 rides since my last blog post. Big South Fork, Yellowhammer and KY Stampede.

BSF was rainy and muddy. It was also the first ride with our new trailer! Oh, yes, I don't think I blogged about that!! We bought (free and clear; no debt for us!) a 1998 Sundowner 4H slant load trailer, partial LQ with 3 ft short wall. Door to the LQ is on the driver's side and a pass-through door to the horse area. We put high ties on the trailer and took all 3 horses to BSF.

It was Snap's first camping experience. He did really well. Ate and drank for 3 days straight. On the last day, I took him to weigh him on the horse scales. He did try to kick at me in frustration when I wouldn't let him return to his buddies at the trailer, but I got after him quick about that. The actual scales weren't much of an issue at all! He weighed about 825 after tanking up for 3 days.

At BSF, I rode Tanna in the 50 mile ride on Thursday. It was a pleasant ride until the last loop. We managed to find a pocket where we rode alone. Tanna is a much better horse alone most of the time. Riding by ourselves made for a pleasant 2 loops. The trails really weren't all that muddy considering all the rain that had been dumped on the area in the prior days. The last loop was long and difficult and a missed turn made for a frustrating experience for me. I had thought I would ride the 50 on Friday as well, but after that tough last loop, the frustrations of missing a turn and seeing the proposed trail for Friday, I decided to call it a win and stopped while we were ahead with our Thursday finish.

The trailer was such a blessing in such wet conditions! We entered and exited the trailer at the back. Daniel had a table and a kitchen area set up in the horse area, as well as a cowboy shower and porta potty. When we went into the actual LQ area, we left our shoes in the horse compartment. With our old slide in camper, we'd be in mud in no time as there was no good way to keep it clean.

A few weeks later, we went to Yellowhammer. Our customary week long trip to Alabama. Again, we took all 3 horses.

This year, the trail boss, Sarah Engsberg was on crutches due to an accident in the summer and couldn't do her normal dawn to dusk riding of the trails, so I took on a little of that responsibility, along with several other riders. Since I was planning to ride the 75 on Thursday and the 25 on Friday, Tamra Schoech kindly allowed me to ride her horse, Rushcreek SUV, affectionately called Sport. I love those Rushcreek horses! I got to ride Sport a total of 40 miles in 3 days. Such a joy. We had some discussions at bridges, but it was his choice to test my resolve. I'm happy to report my resolve outlasted his!

I always enjoy going to Yellowhammer to hang out with all our friends. This year we worked hard, too, but in the end it got done and riders went on trail.

One day during the week, I think it was Tuesday, Snap got his leg caught in his lead rope while on the high line. He was scratching his ear and got hung up. Fortunately, I was right there and was able to cut him down fast. He still had a decent rope burn, but I didn't think it was too bad. He was tied with a cotton rope, not nylon, so at least there was that. Hopefully he has learned his lesson!

The 75 was a success. Tanna and I went out with the other 9 riders. We stayed together for a good ways before horses started splitting up to ride in 1s, 2s, or 3s. The first loop was 18 miles, but there wasn't a real vet check between the 1st and 2nd loops. That was weird for me. The 2nd loop was 16 miles. I decided to stop in camp for about 15 minutes between the loops, even though it counted on my time. The day progressed quite well, but I had to ride alone for the most part after the 1st loop as Tanna was being too much of a pain when I tried to ride with Mary Kathryn Clark and Megan Savory-Davis. He needed to settle down and not waste his energy on silly antics. We finished around 9 PM for a completion!

On Friday, I rode Serts in the 25 mile ride. I was blessed to ride the entire ride with Joe Schoech. We had such a good time playing after working so hard all week. The horses got along well and we were done in no time at all. Four hours for that ride. Not blazing fast, but nothing to sneeze at on those trails. Serts is blessed with awesome heart rates and he was down to criteria at the mid-check and the finish before I had time to pull his tack. He was such a blast to ride. You'd never guess he's 22 years old!

Sabbath, we were ready to head home when we walked around camp and were told the sad news that Stephanie Waddington, a fellow Tennessean rider, had an accident on trail. We hung around until we found the sad outcome of her death. We grieved with our friends for a bit and then headed sadly home. It was a sad day for all, especially since the ride was honoring Tommy Crain that evening. Another dear endurance family member waiting for the resurrection.

Two weeks later, we headed to the KY Stampede ride. We had never been to this ride and this year it was in a new location in elk country, Knott County, KY. This time we only took Snap and Tanna. This gave Snap a good look at what life will normally be like at a ride. He will have to watch while Tanna leaves on the loops and he stays put without the benefit of Serts for company. Snap did really well on that. He was still there at the end of the day, so that's a success! He also didn't try to scratch his ear while on the high tie. :-)

Tanna did finish the 50 mile ride on Sunday, but I was not really pleased with him. He ran out of steam on the last loop particularly because he didn't eat well at all the entire time we were there. We arrived on Friday and he didn't eat well then, much less on ride day. I am going to have to go back to really monitoring his intake and making sure he is eating. He had been doing better after his illness last year, but this fall, his eating has gotten progressively less, so time to go back to micro-managing.

SO! Now you're caught up! Sorry for the long post! I really should have been posting all along, but like I said, I've been busy living it. :)

Now the real question you're probably asking...when will Rinnah do her first ride?? Well, if all goes well, that is planned for Friday, November 4, at Skymont! Yay! I am very excited!


Anonymous said...

Great to see you are doing so many rides.here in fla it has just been rain, rain and more rain. Tommorrow i will start body- clipping my arab in anticipation of some dryer weather. It's wonderful that you are accomplishing so much with your horses!

Anonymous said...

Where are you April? I hope all is well with you and your ponies.