Sunday, January 20, 2013

Saturday - Wonderful ride with some firsts...

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The temps are supposed to be in the 50's today!  Woo hoo!  We got some errands run this morning so it was after 1:00 before I got out to ride.  I was saddling up and two riders ponying a 3 yr old went by...I ended up crossing paths with them on the other side of the park...

One observation for the day.  Tripp never whinnied at any horse he saw, and there was only one horse that whinnied at him the whole day and that was a horse that was tied to a trailer on the other side of the park.  The rest of the day all the horses looked at each other and went on their merry way. 

 I always try to give Brian my route just in case something happens.  This day I did take the route he expected me to take, but I took a small detour not knowing where it looped around.  I just couldn't help myself!

Usually I take a left farther down the road, but this time I followed it straight ahead, and it loops around and comes back...then I picked up the trail I said I was going to take.  :-)


I have been this way once, but I didn't take the road.  I took the trail down and rode by the field for a ways then turned back.  That was in 2008, the first year I had Tripp.  That trail and the road loop around...and if I remember right, it is a little over 3 miles from the parking lot and back.  When I am on a tighter time schedule I will ride it so I know for sure.   This is the field at the bottom of the loop.  I did not see any critters out there.

TRIPP:  "Girl!  A tree has fallen in our path.  I think we can make it under!"
GIRL:  "Tripp, you might make it under but I would get scooped right off.  We will go around."

TRIPP:  "But Girl, I will show you...let's get closer....(Oh oh, I am afraid the girl is right but I will not show defeat just yet)..."

TRIPP:  "GIRL!  See?  I told you it was too low for us to get under, so I think it is best we go around.  Yes, that is what I said, I am sure of it...whinny snort!"

This is a Witness Marker on the tree.  It is put there by the conservation department.  I had never seen one of these before so went to The Google.  :-)   Here is one thing I found and I thought it was very cool!  "Witness tree" is a term used to refer to the trees used by surveyors as markers as Americans moved west through this part of the country in the mid 1800s. Some of them still stand."
Everything else I found other than the tree being in the witness protection program (ha ha!) was that it really is a marker tree for surveyors.  It is a specific point that surveyors use for measurements.  There are a lot of neat stories out there about these, and not all markers look the same state by state.

TRIPP:  "Come on Girl, make like you don't see the marker tree.  We don't want anyone to know where it is since it is in the protection program."

 TRIPP:  "Hey Girl, are you taking a picture of my rump?  How embarrassing!" 

TRIPP:  "Darn, there is that pointy light colored thing again.  It freaked me out going by it the first time...I just don't know about this....Hey Girl, maybe we should go back?  I am just looking out for you, my favorite Girl in the whole wide world...smooch!"

GIRL:  "Quit being a Drama is a sand pile.  Let's go.  And smooch back at ya!"

TRIPP:  "OH!  SNORT SNORT WHINY HEE HEE....Yep, you are right.  It is just a sand pile.  Last time I only saw it out of the corner of my eye and I thought it was the abominable  snowman.  Whew!"

And this is how Drama #1 began....a couple times up the trail Tripp had to scratch his nose on his foot.  I thought it was him being sneaky and wanting to sneak a bite of leaves...but I gave him a chance.  He did great.  No food snatching.  We made it around loop #1 and the trail veered off to the right.  He thought we needed to go back to the truck, and I had different plans.  I got him turned down the trail with a little bit of chatting a long the way, he reached down to scratch his nose again .... are you ready for this?  HE LAYED DOWN WITH ME!  NO JOKE!!!!  It is the first time he has ever done this and needless to say I was shocked.  You know how they kinda prepare themselves with a couple tippy toe movements before they go down?  Not this guy!  He was rubbing his nose on his leg then WHOOMP!  He was laying down.  

So what did I do?  I got off his right side with a little bit of colorful language, got him up which only took 1 second, then I kicked him in the rump (anybody that knows me knows I am not going to kick him hard...I am just going thru the motions) to let him think I meant business.  Two things went thru my mind at the same time.  1. Was he sore or was something on the saddle pinching him? and 2. He is mad because we did not go back to the truck and call it a day.  Up to that point he had been moving great.  I checked my tack fit and everything seemed fine.  I was going to get back on and see what happened....if he felt 'off', we would go back, and if he was a brat, we would continue.  He was a brat, he thought he needed to scratch his nose again, and I let him know he didn't.  There was twice I felt like he wanted to try it again but I moved him in circles to keep him from getting comfy enough to do it again.  The rest of the ride was laying down drama.

Another thing to add....I am glad I did not having on my insulated caving/hiking boots because I would not have been able to kick my foot out of the stirrup as quick as I did.  This convinced me that insulated riding boots are not something I can put off if I plan on riding thru the winter.

Tripp scratching his nose on his leg....

This picture doesn't do it justice....the sun was shining thru the trees and the Cottonwood trees were white in the they were glowing.  What a beautiful sight!

Tripp relaxed and was covering some more laying down drama.

Drama #2

TRIPP:  "Look Girl!  Gypsies!!!!  You are not going to let them steal me are you?  I heard they steal babies and I am your baby and I promise to never ever ever lay down with you again on this very day (I can't promise beyond today because I live in the moment...).  Please promise me Girl!"

GIRL:  "Tripp, Gypsies don't steal babies.  And even if they did, those are not Gypsies."

TRIPP:  "Holy smokes!  Where did they come from?  They are walking towards the Gypsies!"

GIRL:  "Tripp, while you were worrying about the Gypsies, this group of riders came from the other direction."

What we have here is a covered wagon being pulled by a team of small mules.  They cruise up and down these roads quite a bit.  They even drive them on the asphalt roads.  I was taking Tripp to the vet one day and came around a corner and there they were with two other mules tied behind the wagon.  I was going too fast (35 to 40 mph around a turn) to slow down without slamming Tripp to the front of the trailer so I passed them.  Thankfully nobody was coming....I was freaked out, their mules were freaked out, and the guys were mad.  They can be mad...thankfully it all turned out okay, but there are people that drive a lot faster than I was on those roads, and there are a lot of blind turns and hills.  I just hope and pray that nothing happens to them because they are a joy to watch.

Anyways, the other three riders were going the opposite direction from me, but I wanted Tripp to experience the wagon and the sounds of the harness.  He really did great up to this point...he was curious and watched while I tried to take pictures. 

We got a bit closer as the wagon started to circle in the parking lot.  Tripp was still curious and not at all jumpy about it.

Then the paint horses freaked out...Tripp thought there was reason to freak out too.  Now I don't know for a fact that the guys were trying to be jerks, but they were laughing as one yelled out "What is the matter?  Haven't your horses ever seen a wagon before?"  The gals told him they had not and asked them if they would stop so they could approach with their horses.  I thought that was the perfect time to follow suit while the wagon was stopped.  The horses got closer then....

.....the guy turned the wagons towards the horses!!!!  They were they might not have understood that they were asked to stand still, but it sure sounded like they understood to me.  Then to turn in like this towards all of can imagine what every single one of us gals was saying!  At this point even the black horse to the right said "No thanks!" and he had been doing great.  Finally one lady yelled "STOP!"  and the driver laughed again and said "Oh, you want me to stop?  I didn't know you wanted me to stop."  About this time I decided it was not worth me and Tripp getting hurt.  He was nervous with the other horses backing and spinning so close to him so quickly, but he was still doing good.  I told the gals I was headed down the trail and to be careful.  They invited me to go with them but I stuck to my original route.  If I see them again, maybe then.

We headed down the trail and turned to watch some more.  What a shame that something that could have been a great learning experience for their horses was turned into something very scary to them...all because of some yay-hoo who thought he was being funny.  

While the wagon escapade was going on, there was a lot of shooting going on at the range.  I was excited because it was almost consistent shooting of smaller guns and bigger guns both.  Last time there was too much time in between shots and Tripp did not have time to get used to it.  Well, he was now on edge after the wagon deal, and now he is flinching at every shot.  All he wanted to do was trot and me trying to get him calmed back down was not working.  I made it to the shooting range and Tripp was not calming down at all.  I went a little farther down the trail and decided to get off and walk him a while.  You might catch me doing something stupid, but not because of pride.  I am never too proud to get off and walk.  We made it past there and I got back on and decided to take the long way around...we had another little chat because he knew the shortest way to the trailer was not the way I picked, but I won and he did not try to lay down.  He also relaxed....and that was my main goal.  Once he relaxed he was happy to keep going. 

When we got to the lake there were a couple of families with big bicycles and a baby carriage.  We stopped and talked a while, and the little kids petted on Tripp.  He was such a trooper with everyone.  I got to tell them that Tripp is a mustang and he used to live in the wild, and one of the ladies has a sister who adopted a mustang that is doing well.  While we were talking, I saw a group of people walking across the lake dam and up the trail.

When Tripp and I headed out, I didn't want to trot too much because I did not want to come around a corner and have Tripp surprised to see them.  So we took our time until we caught up to them.

The group made good time!  This is the last big hill down into the creek area before I head up to the parking lot.  When we made it down to them the people lined up and Tripp acted like they were his fans lining up for him to pass....blowing kisses as he went.  Ha ha!  These people were with the other people and out enjoying the weather.

What a beautiful day and a great ride in spite of the little weird things.  I did have my GPS on and it lost signal twice.  I ended up recording 9.9 miles.  Yep, it is like it is laughing at me!  I even tried to shut it off and turn it back on so I could ride a little farther to hit the 10 mile mark, but I couldn't get connection.  Oh is all good.

Everyone was talking about how the day was beautiful for riding, and they were all doing it before it got cold.  Sunday the high is 35 or close to it.  I was already planning on being back out here.

I met several riders on the trails and not one time did Tripp think he had to follow their horses.  I like that...

Until later...Karen and Tripp who is glad the GPS didn't come back on because he thinks he went far enough...

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