Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Saturday I double dipped...

Saturday was a double dip kinda day....I took Tripp out that morning and took Wyoming out that evening.  If there were no other responsibilities around the place, can you guess what I would be doing almost every day?  :-)

TRIPP:  "Tell ya what, I will log my 13 miles right here at the grass...will keep the feet moving and we shall call it 'walking in place'...and you can go take your therapeutic walk thru the woods.  Nicker snort munch munch..."

TRIPP:  "Doh!  Wait a minute!  This is not walking in place....this is walking SOMEPLACE! Mumble mumble...was I not clear?  I thought I was clear....I think the Girl is a little 'off' if you know what I mean.  She doesn't listen to me any more.  I say "Let's eat grass" and she acts like she doesn't hear me!  I say "We don't need to canter, we will get there soon enough", and she acts like she doesn't hear me!  I say "Let's just not go and say we did" and she acts like she doesn't hear a word I said.  She either needs to sharpen her horse listening skills or I need to sharpen my human communication skills.  Hmpf!"

TRIPP:  "I apologize.  I was acting kinda snarky for a bit, wasn't I?  Life is good again...lets go trot thru the forest!"

TRIPP:  "Oh oh Girl, be careful when you take your 'break.'  Leaves of three let it be!"

This mossy stuff on the end of the dead log almost glowed...it was so pretty with the sun hitting it.

Whenever I drive out here I scope the field...look over Tripp's right ear...can you tell what it is?


Can you tell now?  I bet this old car can tell some stories.  I hope someone brings this classic back to life someday.  It sure is a beauty!  

I am seeing so many of these bright red birds out there!  A friend thought they might be some kind of Oriole but I think they are red finches even tho they seem a bit big for finches.  I think this one is the female...

And I think this is the illusive male.  His color is so deep and rich...one day I will get a better picture of him.  They are beautiful!

We rode down the road.  Tripp was faking me out and I almost cut the ride short.  All of a sudden he was full of energy and smiling at every tree we walked by....so I turned around to continue the ride.  We usually don't ride down the road but I got to wondering if it was longer or shorter doing this versus the trail.  (it was shorter by at least 1/2 mile)

I met a couple of my trail friends.  We always say we are going to meet up to ride but so far this is as close as we have got.  Passing ways....their dogs are awesome too!  Tripp loves dogs and he gives them smooches on the nose.

LuLu is a TWH and Hailey is a mule.  These two friends ride very weekend.  Very nice gals!

And away they go....

Oh my!  Another dog and two more riders!  They were two younger gals and one asked if I rode endurance because I have all the gear.  I was proud as punch that I already look the part!  Ha ha!  I told her "No, but I want to" and she said "I do too!  My friend does it!  Maybe we will see each other at a ride!"  And I bet we will....

Can you guess what I love about this shadow dancing picture?  The foot stepping into the shadow...

Now this thing got a reaction out of trip!  It was a wagon being pulled by a team of small horses.

Then this group of riders showed up just like Bandidos in the old days!  They came from nowhere!  Ha ha!  They were camping at the big campground.  We chatted a while...

...and Tripp watched with interest...some of them were blasting back and forth on their horses and Tripp was not so sure about that, but he handled himself nicely.  And this is why I did not want to bring Wyoming out in the morning.  I knew I would see riders and Wy would not have been able to mentally handle all this.

This little horse was gorgeous!

And away they go....the wagon and passengers were headed back to the campground...

...and the group of riders were headed the same direction I was.  I followed a couple of them to the lake turn off...

...then got ahead of them while they waited for the rest of their group.  I was glad for that.  They were loud...hooting and hollering....and I like quiet.

As Tripp and I started over the dam we saw the two resident geese.

They started trotting away from us honking the whole time, wings spanning out, then they took flight.  Tripp kept his eyes on them but handled it well.  Those geese are pretty noisy!  Ha ha!  I like critter noise.  :-)

I was almost back to the parking lot...my two future trail riding friends were coming up the hill as I was headed down. 

TRIPP:  "Thbpthttbpthttbpthtttbptttppptttppptttt!!!!!"

GIRL:  "Tripp, you should be showing off your taco tongue...not making spit noises at everyone!"

Later in the day I took Wyoming out for a ride.  My goal was to NOT meet any other riders. Ha ha!  You will notice there are only four pictures...that is because the others were not good, and there were not very many of them anyways.  He was not his relaxed self on this ride.   He started out with interest...then I felt him go on edge and stay that way.  I wanted to ride the same route I rode Tripp, except go the trail instead of the road so I could measure the distance. 

We made time for a self portrait.  During this ride I got off Wy twice.  The first time was when I heard the earlier trail riders hooting and hollering, then a couple of their horses whinnied.  Once they did that Wy lost all sense of the Girl on his back.  They whinnied a few more times and he was a basket case, so I decided to play it safe, get off, get his attention, walk a while, and take a self portrait.  :-)  It is this kind of stuff we need to work on, but the only way to work on it is to have it happen...if that makes sense.  I am trying to figure out an organized way of creating this kind of stress.  I try very hard to act like nothing is wrong and to go with the flow, but sometimes the flow is overwhelming to me (and him too).  Time and patience....lots of it. 

Our long legged shadow...

WYOMING:  "Rubber curry first please, then the stiffer brush, then the soft one....and please don't forget the face."

We rode 13.6 miles.  It goes by so quickly on him.  The second time I got off him was at the lake dam.  Those two geese were back on the lake bank and when they started honking and trotting the other direction I knew we just might have a problem.  When the geese started to span their wings to take flight, I KNEW we were going to have a problem so I got off real quick.  Once those geese took flight, so did Wy!  Ha ha!  I was very happy to have my feet on the ground by choice! :-)  We walked across the dam and he kept his eye and ear on those geese floating on the water the whole time.  I got back on in the woods and away we went...

All in all it was a good ride.  I just wish it could have been better for Wy.  I was trying to figure out the difference of Friday night and this day.  I am wondering if the energy out there was different.  There were a lot of horses that crossed the trails over the weekend and I know he could smell and hear them.  Part of the ride was spent with him in bloodhound mode.  He had his nose to the ground sniffing...did he smell Tripp?  I don't know...but I wish I did!  I bet his thoughts of the day would fascinate me!

Until later...Karen and Tripp who doesn't want to do any more double digit mileage rides.  :-)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Friday after work ride...

What better way to end a Friday?  On the back of a horse!  Wyoming was the lucky pick of the day!  I don't know who is more lucky...him for being picked, or me for having him as a choice to pick from.  :-)

You know how everything happens for a reason?  Okay, I don't really believe that unless I choose to at the moment.  Ha!  And this is one of those moments.  I posted Sunday's ride with friends first, and Wy was very nervous and we had a couple episodes that freaked me out too.  I have been racking my brain trying to figure out a way to help him be okay on the inside.  Trying to figure out a way to help him through his insecurities of being alone that appear the second another horse makes his or her presence known, whether they are close or far...doesn't matter. 

As I was going through the pictures from Friday, I saw a totally different horse.  I could feel our ride again...I could feel our connection...I could feel the relationship we had that night...I could feel HIM.  Not to say he didn't have a couple snort moments, because he did, but he snorted, jumped a little bit and moved on after investigating.  His eyes would soften within seconds...he was okay on the inside.  I believe the horse that I shared Friday evening with is the horse he wants to be.  Calm, relaxed, confident...he wants to be okay on the inside.  I need to work very hard to help that horse stick around when the other moments happen.  I know we can do this together!

Now, on to our ride...Wy is looking all dapper and ready to go!

We didn't get very far down the trail when I saw this!  It stood out...well...just like this!  :-)
This was so beautiful and the timing was perfect......

....because I needed a quick break.  Wyoming got to munch grass while I took my break.  :-)

After our break time the inevitable happened...this beautiful feather wanted to share our ride...I mean really, who or what wouldn't want to? 

This is another one of those pictures that is blurry all the way around and the feather just pops.  Not so much when the picture is small, but when it is bigger it made me dizzy.  I prefer to think it has powers of Mother Earth that is making my world spin right now...(or it is knowing that Brian is going to tell me how illegal it is for me to have a turkey feather)

And I will tell Brian "See?  No hands!  It is flying along on our ride..."  

OOPS!  Hands!  Well, I caught it in mid air so Wy can sniff it, then I let it fly over his head and neck again.  It was just too beautiful to not take on our ride for a while...nature at it's best.

The sun kissing the tree tops...

I have loved ferns since I was a little kid!   The hillsides to the creek beds are just full of them...they are so pretty. 

How do you like our artistic self portrait?  :-)   I wonder what we are both thinking about right now...it could be about anything!   For instance, I might be thinking "DENY! DENY! DENY!" about that turkey feather and Wy is thinking "What turkey feather?"  HA!  Good boy!

Helloooooooo.........it is us having fun!

We ended up at the 'Concrete Slab Parking Lot'.....there are a few camp sights at this location.

And this is why it is called the Concrete Slab Parking Lot.  It has a big chunk of concrete that I have seen a couple people park on.  I don't know if you have to reserve this thing or if it is like every other camp sight out here...first come first serve.  Either way, we needed to explore....

WYOMING:  "How is this look?  Am I giving it enough "Oh - I - am - so - scared.  I - don't - know - if - I - can  make - it" kind of look?  Or is it too much?"

WYOMING:  "Are we done showing off yet?"

WYOMING:  "Do you hear what I hear????  Do you see what I see????"  (I bet you are singing it in your head now, aren't ya?  Nicker snort!)

I carry my stuff in the truck.  I don't have a storage area in the trailer so the truck is very lived in when it comes to my horse stuff.  I almost showed the picture of the inside of the back seat...then I decided to use the one where Wy is hiding it...he was embarrassed it was such a mess!  Ha ha!  He is only a little embarrassed about the stuffed frog on my dash...but he gets it.  The Girl is weird and he has accepted that.  :-)

I loved looking through these pictures after posting Sunday's.  It was good for me, which means it will be good for Wy too.  He is such a neat horse!  I am very proud of him, even during the tough times. 

Brian reminded me of something...Wy went from being a confident young horse with us and his first adopter (he came back here because Wy was still green, and they realized they were not ready for that...we still keep in touch and she still loves Wy so much!) to going to try a second home then being pushed around by a big group of horses to being hungry and thin then circled back to us again without the confidence he once had...  I know that confident young horse is still in there...just like I was when I was scared after being thrown off Boom a few times. That brave girl was still in me...I just had to work hard and find her again.  Thanks to the help of a very good friend of mine, I started to work through it and learned how to handle it better.  It is my turn to pay it forward to Wy...I am going to help him be brave again, help him learn to deal with the stresses that are bothering him at times.

Rides like we had this evening are confidence builders for him...and me.  :-)

Until later....Karen and Tripp who thinks I am spending a little bit too much time with this Wy guy!  ;-) 

Trail Ride with Friends Today...

My blog rides are going to be out of order...but that is okay.  Nobody will remember by the time they move on to the next one, including me.  :-)

I had a plan today...to get a short ride in so I can hit the 200 mile mark for the year in the Distance Derby 2013!  I was less than a mile away...woo hoo!  I had already promised Tripp I wouldn't take him because he worked very hard the past few days.  Just ask him...he will tell ya!  Ha ha!  I was going to take Wy out this evening so our chances of meeting other horses was minimal.

I got a text from a friend...she and her daughter were headed to the conservation area and they wanted to know if I would join them.  YES!  I warned them I was going to be riding Wyoming and things might be a little tense, but I can quit early and head back if I needed to, and they can enjoy their ride.

I got there a bit earlier than them because I wanted time to knock the mud off Wy, let him graze, and let him settle down a bit.   We pulled in and there were 4 trailers...most with horses attached.  Wy was very interested!

WYOMING:  "Oh look, a few of my closest friends!"

WYOMING:  "Oh look, a few more of my closest friends!"

The mud is starting to dry up, which means it is starting to wear off and I can see Wyoming's legs!  Yep, still brown to black to white.  Some people have been hosing their horses off...not me.  It is thick stuff and would take a soaker hose to get the job done.  I don't think Wy would like waiting that long.  He has a mud trench to walk thru to get from point A to point B so it would be back on in no time at all...we will just wait for it to wear off. 

WYOMING:  "Oh look, there go a couple more of my closest friends.  They are also my parking lot neighbors for the day."

WYOMING:  "Oh look!  Another one of my closest friends is here!  Hey Boone, over here Bro!"

Boone, the dark colored horse is like a mini Cyde.  He is amazing I and fell in love with him the first time I met him.  Ruth, his human, has been jumping him.  Ruth is adjusting the girth on Joe.  Joe is a big layed back paint horse...neat dude!  Patty is a shorty...isn't that the way it works?  The shorty people have the tallest horses?  :-)

And we are off...not far from here is when Wyoming got scared from something (don't know what) and he bolted right past Patty and Ruth!  It is safe to say I had a freak out moment; I was mentally fighting with myself to stay on or bail off; the one rein stop was in my mind but so was all the other junk that is also called insecurities.  Wy stopped and turned to face the girls.  Holy smokes!   At this point my biggest fear is him doing that and taking off thru the woods....oh, and falling off.  Ha!  Anyways, I don't want to get taken out by a branch.  Ruth asked if my girth was good just in case it happens again...I hopped off to check...all is good...got back on and away we went.

Checking out the lake...

Patty and Joe coming up the hill to the mud crossing...

Patty and Joe past the mud crossing...

Ruth and Boone took the lead and were heading up the hill...

We followed the road part of the way back.  Footing was better for Joe.  I love when all the rocks are kicked out to the side and ya can ride on the road a while...

Ruth loving on Boone...

After the ride we took care of our 'kids'.  We did 7.4 miles today and it was beautiful out!  A lot of other people thought so too. 


My Distance Derby 2013 miles are now 206.5 as of today.  I am so thankful for the person/s that started this, and the volunteers who keep track of everything.  If it was not for the Derby, and me tapping into the competitive side of me that I knew was there but was missing a while, I would not have ridden in January or February...and maybe March.  :-) 

Today's ride was good for Wyoming and me both.  Problems:  Wyoming is very worried about what is going on behind him.  He is constantly looking out of his left eye behind him...then his right.  He goes back and forth and I know his mind isn't okay right now.  If something would scare he him would jump or charge forward a couple steps.  He was on edge the whole ride and didn't try to sneak a sprig of grass or a branch or try sniffing mystery manure until we were almost done with our ride.  I was actually happy when he tried!  I knew he had one small moment of peace.

Problems:  Me...dang, when a person is dealing with fear and lack of confidence, and they start to work thru them and things are better, that is good.  But when things start happening and the bad stuff inside my head starts chipping away at the good - that is bad.  Every time Wy would jump at something I found myself going 'fetal.'  That totally throws me off balance and it will get me tossed off if I don't get it back under control.  The ideal situation would be for Wy and I to work it out and to never have a spook or have a mini bolting moment ever EVER again!  Ha ha!  But that isn't realistic...even the best most seasoned horses have their moment.

I need to find a way to get into Wy's brain and help him to be okay.  I need to do the same for myself.  I mean really, how is a crazy lady that is nervous supposed to help an insecure horse?  :-)  One step at a time I guess....we will work thru it.  I need to prove to him that I am his rock.   

In spite of that it as a great ride today.  I am so glad they called me to ride.  They are very fun to ride with!

Until later...Karen and Tripp who is impressed that I kept my promise because he is pretty amazing and it is hard to pass up something that good...  nicker snort!