Monday, May 28, 2012

April Trail Ride at Knob Noster State Park

The day after this trail ride I got the call.  I was headed out of town for three weeks!  I did get a bunch of pictures posted on Facebook, but I still wanted to blog them but had to wait. 

I had hollered at some friends who came here to ride at the wildlife area and wanted to know if they wanted to ride at Knob Noster State Park, which is about 10 miles from them.  They pretty much grew up riding out there and I had heard the stories...I wanted to go!  And they were game!  Woo hoo!

I let Tripp mosey around the yard while I was getting myself together.  Little did he know that he was on his way to becoming a REAL trail horse!  Ha!

The park is close to Whitemans Airforce Base and was closed for a while...some old artillery stuff was found out there.  It is open again with a new parking lot (trying to figure out who planned this seems backwards for parking trailers).  The trails were not refurbished - which has made many equestrians happy.  It is a rustic place to ride and people like it like that.

Tripp is ready to go.  We are going to be riding with Chris and her mustang Jewel, and Phil and his mustang Jim.

Phil and Jim are ready to go.  See the big scar on his hip?  (Jim's....not Phil's...hee hee)  He had an accident when he was on his way back to Chris and Phil.  Chris and Phil got a call saying they were going to put him down.  Chris said to fix him up and bring him home....they would fix it.  And they did!  This big boy is a sweetheart and has many miles under his belt.  

Thank goodness for mounting rocks!  I was so happy to see them strategically placed at different trail entrances.  :-)  

Away we go...into the woods.  The majority of the trails are like this.  Single file, lots of brush with fallen trees all over.  It was a great place to ride and the weather was great!  I imagine mid summer brings the hummingbird sized mosquitoes!

There were a couple of switchbacks....Chris and Phil are above me.  I bet they were ready for me to put my camera down and RIDE!  Hee hee! 

Nature at its finest....deadfall which means homes for critters.

This hill goes down into a creekbed and is much steeper than the picture looks.  Chris and Phil are reminiscing....Jewel hates mud and on a ride she was trying to go around the muddy area.  She slipped and rolled down into the gully and was stuck on her back in a crevasse.  They said that mare did not move at all ..... thankfully the mare has a great mind and the humans figured out what to do.  It took quite a while to get to a vehicle to get rope etc.....I had heard the story before but seeing the area gave me a sick knot.  The rider was okay too - he bailed once he knew they were going down.

Jewel leaving the scene of the accident.  She doesn't think she wants to do that again...she still doesn't like mud and understands why Mom makes her go thru it every chance she gets.

Moseying down the was so pretty and we saw a few deer and a lot of different types of birds.

There are many big old dead trees in these woods. 

There are a lot of fallen logs across the trails, and some were fairly tall.  We joked about Tripp getting high centered over them.  He actually did great!  I was so proud of him!  There were a couple that were tall and he hopped over them nice and light.

There are a few steep hills to go up and down.  This one was pretty rocky on the way up. 

Me having fun!  :-)

The trail came out to a road....we rode up it and there were little yellow butterflies all over the place!  I wish I could have got them in film because they were beautiful!

One of the only places on the trail to ride side by side.  Here is Chris and Jewel.  Tripp is not used to riding side by side, so this was good for him.

Then it was time to go down the big hill.....Tripp took the lead.  He isn't used to that either.  

The trail comes to a campground that is no longer open.  I really hope someone comes in to brush hog the would be a waste to let the pens rot.

Pens at the campground area.  It is all grown up.  I would love to come stake out a couple of my horses for a couple of days.  That would mow it down nice, eh?  :-)
Chris said this place used to be packed on the weekends.  I don't doubt is a pretty place and very horse friendly.

At the edge of the corrals the trail goes back into the woods.  The grass is real tall and this is where Tripp and I started having a battle.  He wanted to eat, and I didn't want him to.  We battled earlier but it was easier for me to get the upper hand with shorter grass.  By this time the grass was tall and he knew my arms were tired.  Plus there was no way for me to work his little butt! 

One of my favorite parts of the trail!  The bridge!  There is a little concrete bridge to cross and Jim thought he had been over it enough times in his life....he didn't need to show now greenhorn how to cross it!  Phil is showing him the err of his ways.  Ha!
I really think Tripp would have crossed it first, but Phil had to show Jim that they were going to cross that thing, and now!  So we waited.....while I was eyeballing the BIG bridge ahead of us.  Wow, it was a beaut!

Tripp was not so sure about this.  It makes a lot of noise and looks weirder than anything he has crossed before.  I LOVED IT!!!  I love bridges, so that means Tripp has to love bridges too.  Look at his ears...he is really paying attention and on edge, but he is moving along for me.  (I will post the video in another blog post)

Then we tried going across ourselves and Tripp said he didn't think we needed to.  We made it safely across once and that was enough.  Chris and Phil walked back across and Tripp NOT being the buddy sour horse he is said he would wait right over here, thank you very much!

View on one side......

View in the middle......

View from the other side...

Tripp finally went and I got a self portrait with Chris following.  Woo hoo!

Phil was wonderful and took a few pictures for me.  He got the pictures from each side of the bridge too.  Thanks Phil!  Tripp says "Okay, we can go now!"

I am happy to say that Tripp finally decided it was okay to go first.  I was so happy!  :-)
I love him so much!

Hanging out in one of the clearings chatting...

Aren't they cute?

My other favorite thing was the real water crossings!  I have only been around small ones.  He was okay on this one - a little hesitation but he did it.  I think he would lay down if I slowed down long enough. 

Creek behind me....

After a butt sliding hill we dropped down into this creek.  Now this one was another story!  The gravel was real squishy and not like anything Tripp has walked on.  Getting close to the water made him decide he was going to go back the way we came - even if it meant hauling my big butt back up that steep hill to get to the trail!

Chris and Phil went on ahead thinking it would entice Tripp to go.  Remember?  He is NOT buddy he was just fine not going along for that ride across the water!  
Here is what happened......Chris came back and took my mecate rein - and she lead us across the water!  Ha ha!  Embarrassing?  A little...but it sure did help Tripp to be more brave!  Tripp didn't want to go at first...he was swinging his head back and forth, but he finally gave in and realized it was not all that bad.  I think in the long run he liked it and can't wait to do it and cross that bridge again!

Tripp has never been sandwiched between other horses.  In the past he has even taken a bite at others so I was keeping an eye on him. 

Tripp wants to know how Jim got closer without him noticing.

Hmmmm, while Jewel is here I might as well whisper some sweet nothings in her ear.  ;-)

And we did it!  Jewel, Tripp and Jim.  Tripp did real good and I could feel his nerves, but nothing that made me think he would react.  

The mushroom in a tree that looked like an out of control flying saucer before it crashed.  There are so many neat things in these woods.

And this my friends is THE END!

The day was so much fun and I really could not have planned it any better.  The weather was gorgeous for us this day then turned bad the next. 

This was Tripp's first ride on the kinds of ups and downs we encountered - reminded me of the stuff I used to ride when I was a kid.  Chris and Phil and their mustangs were great teachers and mentors for Tripp. 

My one and only complaint was Tripp thinking he could eat whenever he wanted.  It was the first time I can say I was truly mad at him.  He knew better, and by the end of the ride my arms were exhausted.  He knew there was no room for me to work his little butt and going single file made it impossible work around trees etc.
Here is how I know he knows exactly what he is doing.  We had this battle at the wildlife area close to home and when he would try to pull away, I would work him.  One of the times he rubbed his nose on his leg (he caught me on this one a couple times) he stopped rubbing, then slowly tilted his head sideways to peek up at me!  This is no joke!  He slowly started rubbing again and then brought his head up.  Of course I had to laugh....but that tells me he knew exactly what he was doing and he knew he had me.  So we are going back to school.  :-)  We have already is going to be a long road but we will get there.  He did great last night when we went out.

Thanks Chris and Phil for a great day, but my biggest thanks goes to Tripp.  I sure do love this guy and he was a doll!!!  I do think he had a fun time too.

Until later....Karen and Tripp who wants to cross more bridges because his girl wants to cross more bridges.

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