March 30, 2013. There is a chance of rain and Brian says it should start about 2:00. Okay, that is very doable! I left the house, and was almost to the conservation area when I realized I did not grab my rain slicker or change my boots. I still had my big mud boots on. Oops! I head back to get my stuff. I guess I was just so excited to be going out riding! Ha ha!
Got my slicker tied on my saddle....not very pretty but it works.
This time we headed the direction opposite the short loop. It has been a while since I started this direction and I don't want Tripp to get in a habit because I am so predictable.
Across the road and headed to the trail in the woods. I am happy to see things turning green!
There is not as much water as there was last weekend, but it is still enough to practice our water crossings and mud crossings.
There are a lot of trees and branches down this direction too. Winter was hard on everyone and everything. The forest is amazing tho...it will heal and begin some new growth soon.
Then it happened....about 10 - 15 minutes into the ride it started to rain. It was light so I rode a while hoping it would stop. By the way...it was not 2:00! It was more like 11:30 am. Oops! After a few minutes I decided to put the rain slicker on. This is the first time I have had to use it, so it was going to be interesting how Tripp handled it...
...after a little bit of flapping it around and rubbing it on him, he was fine. On went the slicker, I found a log and got back on, and away we went. It started to rain harder....and we rode in rain for a good 2 hrs 45 minutes! Woo hoo! Oh, I had not worn my contacts in a long time...well over a year! For some reason I decided to put them on since I knew I was not going to have to read small print. They are for distance. I sure am glad I went that route because rain was dripping off the rim of my helmet and down my face. Glasses would have been a hassle to keep cleared. Worse than trying to keep the camera lens cleared.
We got to the lake and the rocks were bothering Tripp. Usually I get off here and walk him down to the water, but this time I rode him between the rows of big rocks. He was cautious, but awesome!
I have a snow picture of this cedar tree. It smells so good in the rain...nothing like the smell of fresh cedar.
Tripp had been doing so good, so I gave him a snack break.
He threw one on the back of his head to save for later. :-)
This self portrait was a challenge! I was trying to keep the camera lens dry while trying to get a picture. I finally just went this this one.
Here is another one. If it looks like I am having more fun than Tripp, well, I probably was! HA HA! Actually he did great in all this. We ended up doing 8.1 miles!
I set the timer...and I just couldn't keep the thing dry long enough to get a clear one. That is okay...it makes me laugh thinking about how many I took trying to get one that would work...and Tripp just wanted to be DONE!
This was the longest rain I have ever ridden in, and since I was prepared I had fun!
Now let's move on to Sunday, March 24, 2013! Exactly one week after that big snow we had. The sun is shining, I don't need a big coat, and I decided to bareback pad it. My saddle had been rained on twice and snowed on once, and I had not oiled it yet. It was in the house and I didn't want to carry the heavy sucker out....plus I wanted to get it oiled before I took it out again.
I doubled up the bareback pad with my coolback pad that I used to use with my Wintec saddle. The plan was to ride 4 - 5 miles around the short loop. Well, plans are meant to be changed.... ;-)
I am ready to go! Right before I threw my helmet on and got mounted up another trailer came pulling in. They had 4 horses in the trailer, and 2 adults and 2 little kids in the truck. They got parked just as I was getting on and heading out.
Me and my handsome fellow...
Tripp and I started towards the short loop and he was just moseying along.....
Then he started yawning.....like he has already worked or something...
Then he licked his lips and let the lower lip hang a while...he was a very relaxed dude!
The farther we got the more he pepped up. I could not stop smiling...and sometimes I just laughed out loud! It was beautiful out, and I love riding without the constriction of that big saddle and all that warm winter clothing. I AM FREE!!!!
TRIPP: "Okay Girl, enough giggling. Get back in position so I can concentrate on the trail. Thank you!"
TRIPP: "That is much better...just stay focused between my ears..."
TRIPP: "I am sick of creeks, and why do you keep making me go through the leafy filled mud? I already showed you I can do it. Isn't that enough? Hmpf! Didn't think so!"
TRIPP: "Okay, I will sniff her boot to see if she means it.....sniff snort sniff....yep, she means for me to go through the mud again. It is amazing what you can tell by the smell of a boot."
TRIPP: "DOH! WHAT THE @#$#$%@#$%@#$%@%@#%!!!!????"
GIRL: "Tripp, please watch your language...this is a family blog."
TRIPP: "FAMILY THIS!!!! (Hoof in air gesture...) WHERE IS MY LOG??? Remember the big one that fell across the trail that I always joke about going under, and you always laugh? IT IS GONE!!!!"
TRIPP: "Girl, I am sorry for losing it...it is just that I loved that log. Not only was it fun to joke with you so I could hear you laugh, it was fun having to go through the woods to get around it. I will miss that big tree."
TRIPP: "Ho hummmmm.....the big tree is gone...."
TRIPP: "Okay, I am over it! Let's move on! Oh wait, someone is coming...I can hear them. We have not seen anybody out here for a couple of months!"
TRIPP: "I would like to introduce two of my new friends and their humans. They are Tennessee Walking horses, but to me it looked like they were doing more than walking! Wow, they are fast, and they have this amazing head bob thing...I will have to try that sometime."
This is the couple that was pulling out of the parking lot Saturday when I pulled in. We laughed because he told his wife "That girl is going to get wet!" She invited me to go riding with her sometime on her other TWH. How fun! I will take her up on it. I have not ridden a true gaited horse in years.
The man asked if I always ride without a bit. Yep, sure do. I tell him my story about why I do what I do. He was impressed, and I was proud. That is usually one of the top two things people mention. Riding in a rope halter, and the fact that he is a mustang. :-)
The first couple was not gone for two minutes before we saw another rider coming. We chatted for a while too, and he made me laugh! He said he usually rides with his wife but they had company. It was a house full of women! Ha ha! So he took off riding. He is selling this 4 yr old paint horse. Like many people, he needs to downsize. He is putting some miles on him to help him be successful in his new home. He said he loves this big guy but he has a 2 yr old to start, and he has his mare. Then he laughed and said he never thought he would own a mare, but his mare is his partner. It was neat!
Then he mentioned the rope halter. I told him my story too. He told me about this horse having a run-a-way moment when the guy was riding in a side pull, and he couldn't get that head turned around. He never did figure out what the horse spooked at. He thinks he would have been able to stop if he had a bit. My thinking is if Tripp is scared enough to not listen to me at all, I won't have the strength to get his head turned whether he is wearing a bit or not. I can only hope that I keep my wits about me and he eventually gets his wits about him. Anyways, I was again very proud! :-)
We both headed our own directions when Tripp went on alert again. I saw some trail riders coming through the trees on the top of the hill. How exciting! I have never met three groups before!
They started coming down the hill...and they kept coming...and kept coming....there were 15 of them! Four of them were the people I saw pulling in the parking lot as I was leaving. Judging by where we met on the trail, they must have been waiting on their friends a while.
I think it is this little paint that is 1/2 mustang, and the guy has a 20 yr old mustang at home that he adopted when the horse was 3 yrs old. :-)
One of the guys asked if I wanted to sell Tripp because he is "dead broke!" I laughed and said he was not dead broke, he was just being very good right now. He said "No, I am telling you, he is dead broke! How much do you want for him?" I told him Tripp is a lifer and is not for sale. Then his wife speaks up and says "You are riding out here without a bridle, without a saddle....yeah, he is dead broke." I was proud....VERY PROUD! Then after a while it really hit me! I still say Tripp is not dead broke, but I trust him enough to ride him with a rope halter and bareback pad through the woods not knowing what and who we are going to meet. Just insert a huge smiley emoticon here because I am still grinning!
We watched the group leave, then turned and headed up the hill where the group came from. Beaming smile and all! :-D
There were some people loading up a jon boat in the back of their pickup, and Tripp had to watch the whole thing. I would love to know how he is interpreting this in his brain. When they were done, he relaxed and was ready to move on. He is so curious....and it fascinates me.
TRIPP: "Hmmmmm, less mud in this one. OH! LOOK! It is us in shadow form!!"
TRIPP: "I recognize this field, and I do believe it is more green than yesterday! All the rain we got yesterday did it some good. I wonder if the Girl is going to let me eat grass after she brushes me down....a mustang can only hope! Nicker snort!"
TRIPP: "Whoa! No, I don't literally mean 'Whoa!'...I mean where the heck did all those trucks, trailers and other vehicles come from? Can there be that many humans as smart as my Girl? I do have to admit it was a beautiful day for a ride!"
TRIPP: "The Girl did take me across the road so I could eat some grass. She said I worked very hard and we were out here a long time. It would not have taken so long, but the two leggeds were making noises out of their faces...and it took forever! OH! Here comes the large group!"
TRIPP: "Hey, that is the man and lady that liked me and wanted me to join their family! They know good stuff when they see it! Snort nicker snort!"
These are the two little kids in the group...aren't they adorable on their tall horse and mule friends?
TRIPP: "Oh shoot! I lost count...."
Look! I am trying to make Rock-n-Roll bangs so Tripp is proud to have me as his date!
What a great day....earlier I said my goal was 4-5 miles since I was on the bareback pad. Tripp felt good and I felt good, so we kept going. We ended up doing 11.6 miles! It was so much fun and hard to believe it is exactly one week after the snow. It really felt good to be able to dress less and be comfortable. Spring is springing....woo hoo hoooooo!!!!
Until later...Karen and Tripp who says he is wanted by all! ;-)