Wow! It has been a long time since I have blogged, and after loading all these pictures I remember why. It takes forever, and it takes several times to get the pictures to load. I am sure there are updates out there and I just have not made the time to go look for them. But....here I am!
The ACTHA Ride for the Mustangs was held on September 10th of this year. The original date had to be changed to 'protect the innocent' when a small outbreak of a horsey disease hit the airways. Better safe than sorry I always say...and it did work out.
The Midwest Mustang and Burro Saddle Club hosted a ride in Kansas, and April, who has ridden and judged several of these rides was the main person who got the ball rolling on this. She is a modest person, but I am going to say it anyways...it is my blog (hee hee!)... if it was not for her, our ride would not have happened. She knew who to talk to, what to do, who to delegate things to, and she rounded up a few volunteers to camp out and work the day. Unfortunately some people who could make it for the first date could not make it for this date. Maybe another time...
The pictures start out in order, then are somewhat random. I will say we had a great time and Brian and I wished we had someone to watch the critters so we could camp out with the small group who stayed the 2nd night. We arrived on Friday and got camp set up. That evening it stormed like a big dog! Wow! Then later that night the moon poked thru the clouds and the stars started to sparkle. The next day was absolutely beautiful! Awesome clouds and sky, sun, perfect riding temps....couldn't have asked for better than that!
Here is one of the signs to direct everyone into Eisenhower State Park just south of Topeka, KS.
Some of us shared a couple of camp sites.
Here are our tents pre-storm...
Look how oblong my little blue tent is in the middle...that is during the storm. Brian and I were surprised it stayed pinned down.
Pretty sky pre-storm...
Our ride photographer decided to make good use of the storm time...
Jessi helping to put up their tent.
How do ya like our camping chairs? They are AWESOME!!!! Quite comfy too...you can lay across the seat and prop your feet up.
Brian in his big chair...
Bryan, April's husband, is checking out the comfort level of the big chair...it passed his inspection.
Randy, Kristi's husband had to get a taste of the big chair too. They all think they need one. :-)
Here is where we all hid out during the storm...April and Bryans trailer.
After the storms we built a camp fire...it turned out to be a beautiful night.
Here is where pictures start to get out of order, but that is okay. Bryan's mustang Zip peeking under the hitching rail.
Amy and her mustang Cinco getting ready to head to their obstacle that they are judging.
Here is the Assistant photographer. Her Dad was the Trail Boss for the ride, and they let Beth the photographer use one of their horses. Beth got some tie-dye material and made up bandanas for the volunteers AND the horses! :-)
This was a barn we saw on the way to our obstacle...we judged obstacle #2.
Beth the photographer on Hootie. Hootie is awesome! He is older, been there done that, but still has the spunk of a youngster.
Group of riders getting ready to head out...
Kristy and Randy were two of the founders of the Midwest Mustang and Burro Saddle Club. Here is their mustang Isabella, a.k.a. Izzy. She is a beautiful chocolate mustang with light mane, tail and forelock. This is one special mare to a lot of people. She almost made that trip over the Rainbow Bridge...they were to the point of making the decision we all dread making, and on the way home from KU to lay her to rest, Izzy had a change of plans! And here she is today...
Riders at rider meeting.
DEMAND THE BRAND!!!
Diana and her 2007 Extreme Mustang Makeover mustang, Nikko. Diana trained Nikko for the very first EMM! We were there as spectators...almost 80 mustangs showed up to that one and it was awesome!
You tell 'em baby!
Everyone getting ready for the ride...
This gal and her big mustang were safety/escort riders. This is one of the mustangs that is used for therapeutic riding. I wish I would have gotten more information on what all they do. What I do remember them saying is how much the horses love getting out on the trails for a change of pace.
Riders ready to go.
Bryan and Zip. Bryan gets the award for Best Support Husband of the year! He did some obstacle building and whatever April needed, he was there. Not only for this ride, but others too.
Cindy Branham and her Supreme Extreme Mustang for 2010, Tucker. She said he was tough in the beginning because he didn't want to trust anyone, but you sure wouldn't know it now. He had his nose over everyone's shoulders at the picnic tables and the kids were loving all over him. He is quite a doll. And here is another little fact about Tucker...he was a 3 striker, which means he made it thru 3 adoptions without being adopted, so he has the hip brand and was headed for long term holding. Cindy and Tucker were also on America's Favorite Trail Horse. They made the cut of 100 out of thousands!
April's Bryan made a couple of saddle racks for prizes.
Diana brought her buddy along. This is a Boiviere.
Dona, the other founder of the Midwest Mustang and Burro Saddle Club just couldn't keep her hands off John Wayne! That is what her husband gets for going to a class reunion instead. :-)
Dona did say good-bye to John a little bit later so she could meet up with her husband. :-)
Ed and Ranger...Ranger also has a US brand on his shoulder. Ed McCarty is a horse dentist and did a demonstration on floating teeth. He does not power float...he does a manual float and has a way with horses. It was one of the most interesting horse dentist presentations I have seen.
Beth had t-shirts made up for herself and her helper, Cheyenne. Darn it, I know that her name isn't spelled like that, but I don't know how it is supposed to be spelled. Cheyanne? Hmmmm....she was a fun kid. Her Dad is the trail boss and their horse is Hootie, the gray that Beth is riding.
Here is our rescue nurse on her young Arab who has never been out to anything like this before. They are riding in a treeless saddle and bitless. Yay! They did great as a team, but she also helped out when there was an accident before Obstacle 1. A fellow got bucked off his horse and got knocked out. He was life flighted out and did show up later to get his horses. Had a few stitches in his ear, we were thankful to be able to throw a few jokes his direction, and his daughter who was riding with him is a trooper. She told someone that his ear was just 'hanging there'. Eww!!! Thanks to everyone who helped out Jay, his daughter and their horses! By the way, his horse has been there done that, so it goes to show that anything can happen at any time to anybody.
Look closely and you can see the helicopter coming over the hill. That is the view from our Obstacle 2.
It was such a pretty day! This was the view up the hill from our Obstacle...yes, we had to walk up that!
While Beth was at our obstacle waiting for riders, she was checking out her camera. Check out Hootie's rhythm beads. Jessi and I made those for Beth. :-) By the way, Beth just had a birthday and she now has a mustang of her very own! She is still Godmother to all other horses out there. Whew!
View from the mirror...riders behind us.
The horses were very curious about the boat that was pulling an inner tube.
This is Jazz, who has many different matching outfits! Jazz's Mom has her own business: http://shezablinginfool.com/ Jazz and Erika were on America's Favorite Trail Horse! They made the cut of 100 out of thousands! Woo hoo! I know of at least 3 of our riders who made the cut.
Lacey, one of the club members and volunteers. Her mustang buddy is Beau, but he couldn't be here this time. Those of us who showed up without horses were going crazy! But in a good way. :-)
Mary Lou and Nevada. Mary Lou used to be Nevada's person, then she let April adopt her. April and Nevada have made a great team and Mary Lou is grateful that Nevada went to such a wonderful home.
Mary, another one of our club members, put on a rope halter tying demo, and it was awesome! She showed us a couple of books that were totally worthless and complicated, then she showed us a book that was wonderful and easy to follow! I ended up with one of her red halters and it looks fantabulous on Tripp. I did get video of most of her demo...I will have to get it worked up and post it. The girl was a talkin' and a tyin'!
Brian and I were judging Obstacle #2, and this was at our obstacle. In the past we have been told to clean up and bring back as much as we can, etc. Always leave it looking better than when you got there. Right? Well, we thought someone from our club made the '2' because they are a very creative talented group. I told Brian if the post comes out easy, it is probably the clubs....so we brought it with us. Nope! It was MILE MARKER 2 on that particular loop! YIKES! It belongs to the park!!! So we took it back to the park office and asked for a post pounder so we can put it back...they said they would take care of it, which was very nice of them. :-) I don't know that we will ever live this one down.
After the storms the moon came out...I could see the moon and the brightest prettiest stars from our tent flap. Seeing as I was up most of the night (literally) I was lucky to have such a beautiful view.
Diana take care of Nikko after the ride.
Beth taking pictures at the last Obstacle 6. I didn't get many pictures of this one because she needed someone to hold Hootie, who was anxious to be done.
Here are our two youngest riders...and aren't they just adorable?! They were studying their hand-out at the riders meeting. How fun to be involved with something like this at their age..and on such cute ponies! Look close at the black one...he has his bangs in an 'up-do'. Ha ha! Love them!
And they are off!
Rod the trail boss and his friend, Shannon.
Self portrait at the top of the hill...our obstacle was at the bottom at the tree line. Right along this part of the hill is where I lost my glasses! Never did find them...
There are couple of yurts at the park to rent. Here is one in the background with a gorgeous sunset. We tried and tried to get a picture with Jessi's eyes opened...but it just didn't work.
Yurt and sunset...it was so pretty after the storms.
Here is an OTTB and this gal is riding a treeless saddle and a bitless bridle. Yay!
Tucker is socializing.
Beth in action!
Cindy did a demo with Tucker.
Here is another mascot.
This group is headed to Obstacle 1. We could not go watch because we had to head out to ours.
This group of friends do many ACTHA rides together.
The horses look like they are conspiring...
Another purdy horse.
Riders coming back from the ride.
What I would give to know what they are checking out...
Nevada wondering what I am doing down there...
One of the few pictures I got of Obstacle 6.
Yep, pix are out of order. This is the group getting ready to head out.
This ride could not happen without hard working volunteers.
After the ACTHA ride was over, it was time to relax. But just because the ACTHA ride was over didn't mean the fun was over! To add a twist another small obstacle was set up for the top point mustang and the top point domestic horse. The mustang is on the top and domestic is below. I heard so many great stories, but I am thinking that the domestic was a rescue, and let me tell you what, they are a wonderful team! CC and Shelby the mustang are too...that little horse really works for him. This was a fun thing to finish off the day. In each picture the rider is carrying a baby stuffed horse in front of them. The domestic ended up getting the prize, but they are both winners in my book.
Nevada is watching the final twist with the mustang and the domestic. She isn't bragging or anything...but she says she can do all that! :-)
It really was a fun time! Here is a funny on me....before the first group went out, there was a lot of energy and excitement from everyone, riders and non-riders both. I am getting all excited, all hyped up for the start, Dona and Mary Lou are getting everyone ready to start....it is time to go go go....I am ready...full of energy, waiting for the great departure....and there it was! FIRST GROUP OUT! At a walk! Yes, a walk. Okay, some people might be reading this thinking "Yeah, well, that is what it is supposed to be." But from someone who has been to an endurance ride and feels the energy before the start of the ride then feels it even more when everyone takes off...this was very different. Ha ha! Now I knew that this is more layed back, but for some reason my mind was someplace else. Brian just laughed at me...he could tell I was getting myself all psyched out...and the look on my face when they all walked away was priceless.
So, if you have not ridden one of these rides, I really do recommend it. Yes, there are some serious competitors who are very good, but that doesn't matter. You don't have to be good, you just have to try and have fun, and being able to introduce new things to your horse does nothing but make you both better. It is also a fun way to meet people with the same interests without that feeling of being in a 'pack'. And honestly, even the best of them have days where their horse says "No thank you, not today" so instead of scoring high, they got an A+ for the fun factor.
Most people treat their horses with respect but like any group of riders there is always at least one (two in this case) who took their frustration out on their horse and yanked on their mouths. Hard! It is disappointing to see this happen at any event (okay, it pissed me off!), and I just hope they are able to stand back and look at the wonderful horse that they are LUCKY enough to have in their life, and either put more training into themselves and their horse both, or just learn to go with the flow and enjoy the ride...
That is it for now...it has only taken me all week to get this done. :-)
Until later, Karen and Tripp who says the real reason he didn't go to Kansas was because he didn't think they were ready to see him looking so good being black and wearing his gold! MIZ-ZOU! ;-)