Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Winter...not so dreary from the back of a horse...

I am finally feeling better and decided to ride this weekend.  I still have a cough that sneaks up on me at times, but other than that and low energy, I am good to go!  Woo hoo!

I am signed up for the 2013 Distance Derby.  It is FREE to sign up and all you have to do is have an equine that you can ride or drive, and have a GPS.  You keep track of your miles by GPS and turn them in within 7 days of your ride.  It is a contest to see who rides the most miles during the year.   This year I got the e-mail that they were signing people up; I am Team 67 and my team name is Mustang Dreams.  It is cool because if you ride 5 different horses, it doesn't matter.  It is all the same mileage.  The thing is, you have to use the miles that your GPS shows.  Why do I say this?  Because this ride was a good one.  I decided to take the longer route instead of the 7 mile route I usually take.  I got back to the parking lot and checked my miles.  It said 4.98 miles!  ACK!  I knew that was not right so I checked my GPS track.  I use My Tracks on my phone.  Here is what I saw:

A pretty big chunk of my ride did not record.  ARGH!  When I e-mailed it to myself it rounded it up to 5 miles, so I got to count 5 miles on my route.  I don't know why it did this, but I will keep a closer watch on it.  This should be a fun year.  My goal for myself in the Distance Derby is to put myself on the front burner more instead of the back burner, and get out to RIDE RIDE RIDE!  It will also help me remember to take my phone and turn the GPS on.  :-)

It was a nice cold windy wintery day...perfect for a ride!  The only thing that got cold this day was the top of my legs and my feet.  Other than that, I was good to go.

Tripp and I getting ready to ride...I am more excited about this than he is.  :-)

Tripp kept looking the direction behind him...he could hear something that I could not hear or see.  I saw a horse and mule saddled up at a farm down the road and figured it might be them.  Yep, it was.

TRIPP:  "I knew it!  Told ya!"

Someone put this grill at the edge of the parking lot...Tripp knew it is not normal for it to be there, so we took a walk over to check it out.  
TRIPP:  "Yep, smells like they were cooking chicken."

Tripp and I are ready to go.  Usually my helmet bothers my forehead - I am not a hat wearer because they bug me.  I put my headband on and squished the helmet down over that and it was pretty comfy!  I will need to find a summer headband for the inside of my helmet.

One of the signs on the trail.  The Missouri Dept. of Conservation took the time and money to make nice riding trails for us, and it cuts down on erosion, etc. when we stay on the trails.  I do miss the old trails that were out here...single track deer paths is what most of them looked like.  Anyways, I take the signs seriously.  Yes it is fun to blaze a new trail, but there are so many states that have lost trails due to rude riders.  This one is so close and beautiful, I would hate to see it close to horses.  There are a few areas where you can see trail traffic cut through but all in all, I think most people stick to the trail.

Brown leaves....lots and lots of brown leaves...but they are beautiful from the back of a horse!

Self portrait while riding...

A lot of the trails were covered by leaves...it was so pretty!  You could still see the path if you looked ahead...

This is a fishing lake they built a few years ago.  This whole area was closed to horses when they were working on it.  Here is the view from the trail. the dam we cross is way on the other side and we get to mosey along the trails a little while to get there...

And there is the lake!  We could hear some dogs...hounds of some sort.  They had Tripp concerned, which is not normal for him.  Usually dogs barking don't bother him.

 Getting ready to cross the dam...

At the waters edge for a drink...but his attention is still on the barking dogs.  There is also one more thing that has him concerned.  The big gate barriers are usually closed with a gap big enough to ride through.  This time one was completely open, and he knew something was different.  This was the only area he was a little snorty with me.

TRIPP:  "Are you serious?  Let's just go, okay?  This place is haunted."


Tripp is an equal opportunity snacker.  Dead leaves - no problem.  It is something we have been working on.  I don't want him not to ever eat because of the kind of riding I plan on doing.  I just don't want him diving in for a meal before I say it is okay.  I needed to take a couple of pictures so I parked him at the tree. 

Tripp eating sticks while I answer the call of nature...he was not happy I did not pick a better place...like a place with dead leaves to eat.  :-)

TRIPP:  "I am probably going to perforate a bowel..."
(A little dramatic, don't ya think?)

Yay!  A creek to cross...

ACK!  There is a fungus amungus!  :-)  This is the prettiest fungi I saw on this ride.  It is one of many kinds of shelf fungi.  I looked it up.  

Here is a trail marker tree.  There are lots of stories out there about trees like this.  When I first learned about them, I thought it was for the American Indians to find water.  Then I learned that they are to mark all kinds of things like graves, camp sites, trails.  Just about anything.  There are at least 2 big trees like this that I have seen out there.

My friend Beth gave me these gloves at the Harry Whitney clinic.  I got about half way thru my ride when my hands got cold.  These gloves are very warm!

TRIPP:  "It is a mirage...it has to be....I have not seen green stuff in so long..."

TRIPP:  "Num num num...doesn't taste like a mirage!  Yummy!"

Isn't he cute as a button?  I sure do love this guy!

More pretty clouds.  
TRIPP:  "You always say clouds are pretty, lets turn back around and go home."

It was a great ride day!  It was long overdue therapy that I needed.

Until later...Karen and Tripp who is feeling pretty cocky that he did so well on the long route.

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