Sunday, June 18, 2017

A Month of Sundays

I only wish!  Then I would be riding EVERY day!
Nevel and I have had so many stops and starts
But Lady Luck came in the form of a text from K inviting us to saunter along
with her the following day.-I Almost said "no". Im sooo...I dunno?  Shy?
Don't want to impose on anyone with my slowness these days!

But...I said "YES" and was glad that I did.  Major and K waited patiently while Nevel tired me out trying to mount him.  K told me to make him move around me and I felt balanced enough on the mounting block to do so.  Down the road we went heading for the trail.  Mostly Major was in the lead
but at some point early on we decided to let Nevel lead since he is usually quite forward on the trail when we are alone.

Here we go.  I was trialing my new "mountain bike Camelback pack."  The pack has a 3 Liter bladder that is more horizontal then vertical.  Thus the weight is lower on the back and provides better stability/balance when riding mountain bikes...or in this case a mountain pony.  It was rubbing my neck fro the first half of the ride :(

Nevel decided to poke and be frightened to move forward in the lead.  He stopped at the scary rocks and refused to move (other than backwards or swirling around on the narrow trail) K told me to not let him get away with it and if he turned once he can turn again since there was no way for her and Major to pass us.  At this point I was very happy to have a crop handy and had to utilize it, but still he would not continue up the trail through the Giant rocks and stood stock still.

At this point some hikers came along and timidly squeezed past us due to K's encouragement.  As soon as they passed us Nevel immediately started following them with no urging from me.  Once we came to a passing zone we let Major and K take the lead again, and they took off at a nice trot.

It was good to be moving again at a more steady pace although I did have to ask them to "walk PLEASE" through what I call a "funnel" in the trail where the sides are high and the trail narrow with my stirrups brushing on the sidewalls of the trail.
  I barely avoided having my right knee taken out on yet another giant rock.  But after that the trail is mostly pretty good with only a few more "funnels."

Major showed Nevel how to blow bubbles/snorkel in the lake, but Nevel was more interested in getting back on the trail out of the scary onward we went.  All the way to Avery's pond where I dismounted and we led the horses to the river for a drink.  Once again Nevel wasn't interested in drinking, so K shared a sponge with me and I sponged him down a bit.I felt kind of weak at this point and it was warming up.  I had plenty of water but had not brought my Gatorade so I threw some water on myself too.
I also managed to tighten up the rigging on my Camelback and with less water and tighter straps the ride home was much more comfortable with no neck rubbing.
Then back towards home we went, attempting to have Nevel lead again, but he was so inconsistent and it was constant work for me to keep him going. At one point he became very alert, but kept moving, K was able to see a nice big healthy coyote cross behind us...I missed out seeing the coyote and was in no position to take any photos.  At one point we were trotting happily along and K said something was hanging/dragging along from us.  I looked down and it was my CAMERA!  Wow!  Im glad I had it attached and it was happily bouncing along!  It is a small old camera and has a neoprene cover on it STILL WORKS!  WOW!  However, I did not get many pictures this day...albeit some blurry ones and one of Major POOPING just as I took the pic!  THANKS MAJOR!

K thankfully snapped some photos and sent them to me.  When we reached the road home I told K that I had to get off and walk.  I was so hot and Nevel was making me hotter.  I felt sick/nauseated and was starting to chill in 98 degree heat.  Not a good sign!
Nevel was still pulling and trying to eat grass!
I managed to make it to the lane, but kept having to stop and rest every few feet!  AGHA!
Along the lane K spied a HUGE turtle.  I fumbled for my camera but then knew I was too sick to mess with pictures and needed to get to my Gatorade so the pics below were taken on another day when I saw "Mr Big" again.
Mr Big has moss growing on his home!
Hellloooooo?   Anyone home?
Im happy to say that I made it back to my car and drank my whole bottle of Gatorade and soon felt much better.  I had also consumed all 3 L of my water so now doubt needed the electrolytes badly.
That was followed by giving Nevel a shower and some snacks.
It was a good experience and a lesson learned to make sure I have my electrolytes with me ALWAYS.
Much THANKS to K and Major and hope they will take us out again sometime...or maybe Persee and I soon.
In the meantime I continue to try and fit in some 5 mile rides or Arena riding to start building up my endurance.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

High Hopes

Beautiful weather!

I had HIGH HOPES to take NEvel on another 10 mile ride today!
But Alas...look closely...can you see it?
Bottom right corner here...
Outline of a SHOE!
Yes, Nevel ripped his Left Fore off in the water tank!  aha!  I just had it put back on LAST WEEK!
Not even glue held it on!  What next!
So Nevel gets supplements and food and grass and snacks!  grrrrrrrr!
Maybe a new shoe on Monday...

Ok Persee...what about you?  Up for an arena workout?
We had a nice lunging and riding session in the arena, minimal spooking, but one pretty good sized one at the corner.
Then we went out for a walk down the lane and to the Big Wood to see how Persee would do.
We meandered past the stables and past the spooky big drain next to the road then crossed and walked on over to the creek that was teaming with life...Tadpoles and various colored dragonflies...I missed getting a pic of the bright red one.

Persee found grass...that is all that mattered to him.

The fields are dry now...yet brightly colored flowers still peek through

Persee found plenty to eat here too.
Is that smoke signals I see?  I believe Nevel is calling me home!"

Week stuff

The boys and I had some good short rides in the Arena this week.

It will take me some time to get used to wobbly Persee...Nevel is so solid and wide compared to Persee and my knees scream when I ride Nevel.  Not so with Persee though!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Home again Home again

I was hoping to get air in my trailer tires...but the pump didn't work...oh well...
After riding Nevel to Avery's Pond I hitched up the trailer and went to get my young boy
Perseeus.  He's been at a trainers place.
I could vent here...
but guess I won't
Bottom line is that Persee is back home.
We will have to work more on the trail and trailer training.... : /

To Avery's Pond and Back

Today was the day...
I was going to do it!

I got to the farm early
And was pretty quick about getting Nevel under saddle...
Well, at least quicker than usual!

We started at a brisk walk to Horseshoe Bar Road and on to the trail.
I don't like riding on the road, so had to deal with Nevel's lack of standing still.
But he wasn't too bad and we took off for the pond.

We  immediately made a wrong turn by going down the trail on the right that dead ended at the lake
Nevel had'nt want to go that way anyway and I should have listened to him!
We turned back and took the trail more to the left, which then circled around a ravine type area and then paralleled the lake.

I really wish I had pictures of part of the trail.  To me it is challenging because I am out of shape.
Consider it rock climbing in some parts for the horse...and bridges to cross.
Never does ok with bridges...but not this one.  There was a muck puddle right before it and he decided to slam on the brakes and start backing up.  I had to dismount, walk him across and remount up the trail.
We came across at least 5 muck puddles on the trail and each one I had to dismount to get him through.
We also didn't listen very well to Major earlier in the week and took a left turn and climbed a mountain...ok, not a mountain, but a steep hill for Nevel to pack my fat butt up.  We made it and I hopped off and walked Nevel back down after I realized we were in a NEIGHHHHborhood of what looked like Multi Million dollar homes to me!

Shortly before the staging area, I was hand walking Nevel across the park road and up a steep part of the trail that is gouged out and has high sides.  I hate these areas!  Nevel doesn't seem to mind them, but I was walking on the high side with him in the gully when I slipped on the gravel and went crashing down...Nevel startled and rushed forward and jumped up onto the embankment with me now In the gully on my knees...he rushed around a tree and had to halt at the end of the rein.

I did not have the presence of mind to snap a picture of him peering around the tree at me wondering why I was on the ground.  I was also happy he didn't take off since I was now almost 5 miles from home!

Finally we reached Rattlesnake bar staging area...(without seeing ANY rattlesnakes). and traversed onward to Avery's Pond.  I hand walked Nevel for most of the mile from the parking area to the pond since there seemed to be a plethora of young families and small children and strollers on single track trail!  Prior to the pond there is a lovely clear watering hole with gurgling and flowing water.  Nevel was interested but didn't feel safe enough nor thirsty enough to drink here.

Just ahead is a people bridge.  No horses allowed, so we ventured to the south side of the pond and shared mandarin oranges.  Nevel will eat anything I think...except goat cheese!

The pond is quite scenic.  Muffled sounds of children playing had Nevel perk his ears.
I mounted back up after passing the watering hole and Nevel took off at a trot.  We left most of the people behind in the dust and and only had to slow for one plodding family group of teenagers and parents.
From there we trotted and cantered all the way to the end of the trail...Nevel leaping over creeks, charging through the muck puddles and also charging back down the rock climb we had done on the way out.
When were just about a mile from home he started hollering for his pasture friends.
I hopped off when we came to the road and hand walked him home.
Tired, dusty and happy...11 miles.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

No Pictures

I get bored reading blogs without pictures
Here I am with only pictures in my mind.

Nevel and I had several nice week night evenings
Riding in the arena to practice listening a bit better.
I utilized either the Duett or the Sommer.

My latest short ride had my knees screaming for two days
...stirrups too short.

Today I anticipated a lively jaunt into the big wood
And out to the meadow to check trail conditions.
(With longer stirrups)

I put the Summer on and attempted to mount at the block
The Nevs misbehaved with minimal sidestepping.
So we practiced until he stood still

Foot in stirrup
Saddle slid sideways
Tighten girth
Saddle slid sideways
....agha...3 tries and it's OUT!

Get the Tucker plantation-my favorite minus it's heavier weight.
Mount up and head lively up the trail.
Get to the creek
Giant tree blocking the trail
Turn...go to small trail on the right
Nevel refuses to cross TINY stream of water.

Nevel JUMPs over said tiny stream
Nevel grabs gigantic mouthfuls of grass

Up the trail
Lovely smooth 9.4 mph trot
Dodge low branches
Skirt fallen tree
Another fallen tree

Turn around
Head for home
Jump tiny creek

Head for home
Nevel is tripping constantly
Feels like riding in a box of rattle rocks.
Trip some more
Missing. Left Fore!


and suddenly it was June
Sodden winter
Turned dust to muck
The Golden boy
Wades through rivers like a champ
Streams of water
Welling from the ground
We thought would never stop

And suddenly it is June
Poofs of dust
With each trodden hoof
Grass waning brown

And Nevel is afraid
To cross a tiny stream!