Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Oregon Trail XCountry

I just had to spend my last day of "stay home vacation", out in the country. I figured this would be my clean up day, from coming back from horse since I had already done the clean up thing, a few days ago ..I would take the mare for a walk and I would clear trails while she ate I went to see how she was in the field....hum, where was she?

The  past 5 days, she has run to the gate seeing me and hearing me call to her.
Not this day.

She was enjoying a laydown time of munching and rolling, I had ridden her the past 5 days in a row, even if it was just in the soft arena for 15-20 minutes over Cavallettis and around cones. So I decided to let her be in the grasses again this day, without the ride.

I walked on down the trail with my clippers, tree loppers  and gloves, intending on something special for a certain area.
I was captivated by the wild iris by the path. Some near, some far..but everywhere they are!

And, just near our fenceline...a "POOPIN' STOPIN' I call's the evidence of a horse that has to stop while doing his thing. It is annoying to me to be riding and have that happen.

Down the trail from our stable I went..

..and voices I heard, horses I saw through the trees at the bottom~

Here they came, up the trail towards our stable from a neighboring stable.
 I have seen these two before! The Appy stole a bite of grass on the trail, before it's rider could pull it up!

This was a big dude, on a big dude's horse! I noticed the "Rhythm Beads" of both horses...
AND..check out this dudes mustache!!
He has beads in it too!(oou)

There they go, up the trail towards our stable

I also Noticed the braid on the Dudes horses tail!

One of their horses" did it"  the way that does not interrupt a nice trail ride...NOT STOPPING to poo!
This is called a "Poopin' Walkin' " And horses can do it- contrary to some beliefs!

I loved seeing all the new growth on the evergreens!

So, I got to work on a trail the recent loggers made was full of slash branches and rocks and as I was clearing, I thought...hummm, this is the perfect trail for some cross country jumps!

 I always enjoy a good natural log or downed tree jump along the trail when I ride.  I  have also set them up in all the woods I have ridden consistently over the years. The mare truly LOVES to jump..she gets rather excited and focused.  In the past, we took weekly jump lessons at a local stable. The fact that the arena was outdoors made it nice too...she likes the outdoor setting as much as I do!

Last week, during our first week of "lock down" due to the EHV-1 outbreak..I had some nice times around home, to spend with the mare.  It was truly a volatile weather week..but somehow, the mare and me  managed to get out all of the days and ride, without getting totally soaked.  I also  was communicating with the owner of Cavallo hoof boots over my recent findings through THEROGRAPHY. She and I got to talk for an hour over her Co. and the boots. What a nice lady she was!! Carole, the founder of Cavallo, was upset that my mare had actually sustained injury from her boots and was all about giving me a refund. AWESOME! So we talked and talked and I found out the Co. IS MAKING a lower profile boot soon. That proves to me there is a need, plus the fact that EASYBOOT has ratings for how many miles you may put on a Hoof boot for it to be safe for the animals legs, when the boot is so tall like that.
Anywho.....I totally digressed!

As I did ride last week near home..I choose all the softest trails for trotting and even some jumping.
The first day I jumped the mare, she was so excited that she thought to keep cantering ,without permission up the trail..So I had to employ the "Racehorse stop"...firmly placing my left hand on her mane with contact to her mouth and then raising my right hand up, in short bursts of contact while sitting back, till she slowed.
I  also said, "Whoa, easy Wa", several times. The  voice seemed to help, I have not added that before, just the body weight first and rein tactics after. The second and third day we jumped the same log, she was really awesome! She cantered almost in place in excitement, as we slowed after the jump. It was much more controlled and she was listening to me well.

I am happy that I did all this work in the woods..I think it brought on another occuarnce....

As I worked along...I could hear my phone chiming in messages left for me.
I kept on going....tossing and clearing and moving things....making sure one could jump, or walk over the obstacles.

These are "boundary markers"on the sides,  where the trail is rough and too uneven to travel.

There is a large buried stone I made a flat pile of branches, for the horses to step or hop over.

WHEW..I had no idea that I worked for nearly 3 hours!!! It felt good and I can hardly wait to show the mare!!
 It will be very funny to see her reaction to the changes while- we WALK the course- the next time out.

You can see my vest hanging in the tree there on the right....I finally collected it down and got to the messages that were left me before...........AND OH,OH,OH!...............

....Got a call from the Owner of ANSUR Saddlery~


Here is the TOTALLY FUNNY*** thing that occurred to me.
Many of my readers have children (that's not the funny thing) and some maybe not, like me. BUT- the fact remains the same...we all know someone that has been so ready to POP in childbirth, but somehow had that extra, instinctual- energy to CLEAN HOUSE right before they go into labor!! It cracks me up, it is like clockwork..they clean house, then they have their baby! It has happened to so many of my friends.
 I heard in my head***
"IF YOU BUILD IT- THEY WILL CALL"...said in the wispy eery, breathy voice from "FIELD OF DREAMS"!

THAT'S IT...all I had to do all along, was get that craving to build jumps and it brought on the saddle!


  1. I could stop by your blog just for the photography. You have a beautiful eye.

    I love the man and his decorated horse, but what are rhythm beads?

    Yay for your ANSUR!

  2. I'm jumping up and down inside with happiness that you'll be getting your saddle soon! Excellent! You two will have so much fun on your new XC course.

    The dude with the beads is my new hero. Seeing a man riding is novel enough these days, seeing a man riding with beads and braids all over is something even more special.

    So how did it all end up with the boot debacle? Did she give you a refund? Is the mare going to heal up okay?

  3. I'm so excited for you to get your saddle. Two more days, yeah! I got your comment and I will look into that saddle pad you recommended.

    You did a great job on the trails and you and Wa should have a great time jumping. Especially, in your new saddle.

  4. Thank you for following my blog! And the jewelry link includes a neat horse head pin. ;)

  5. these photos are so lovely & what a fun and productive day you had :)

  6. Another fun and lovely visit to Wa mare and Kacy's blog :)

    So excited that you have "cleaned house" on the trail just in time for your saddle to arrive. Can't wait to hear about your first ride. I too would like to know how Cavallo resolved your boot issue...

    Does Wa mare eat grass while she's lying down? I know Val would be a fan of combining those activities ;)

  7. Sooo excited for you and the new saddle! I wish I could trailer right to you and ride along side!

    I wonder if I can get my husband to do braids and beads? LOVE the dude though so cool

  8. I love convincing young horses that they CAN walk and poop at the same time! What's interesting is that Kate actually maintains a [halting] forward motion when she PEES! I think she hold it 'til she can no longer hold it, then just goes and goes.

    YEAH! for the saddle. I remember when you ordered it. 8-) You've been SO patient. Happy times ahead for you and lovely Wa mare!

  9. Jeni
    YYYEEEEA!!!Me to ride with ya!He was special, that dude!

    Gotta keep things light, I do what I can. YUP...I got some cute video-I'll put it on Wa's blog- of her munching away and laying there..but it was tougher than she thought, as the grass was very tall and she had to crank her neck around, as she layed there, to get the nice tops!

    Chole! Hi girl! YOU of all folks, to say my weeny pics are nice! You are too generous!

    I have to investigate that site more! Thanks you too..for the following plug!

    Yes! I will have a delightful time JUMPING in my New All Purpose "KONKLUSION" saddle...I pray it is all I want (need) it to be!

    Shannon~ he was pretty different, but very cool indeedy..His smile at me was great!

    THE BOOTS= YES Carole from Cavallo in Canada DID GIVE me a FULL REFUND and was a delight to chat with!

  10. woo hoo!! New saddles are so much fun!

  11. we have the same philosophy about poop on the trail - it is just more polite to hikers to keep the horse moving because it breaks down much faster.

    i hope your jumps last a long time for your and others' enjoyment! i could never do that kind of work here because the trails are all maintained by the forest rangers and personalizing them (with jumps or bras!) doesn't fly.

    i always wanted some rhythm beads but i just don't think they look as good with a breastcollar too. also i think they might impede my tendency to tresspass...

  12. The beaded necklaces for the horses are wonderful. I've never seen them here, but perhaps they are more of a Western riding thing and our Dutch 'cowboys' and 'cowgirls' do know about them. Do they have a purpose or are they just for decoration?

    Our Willem usually poops twice when hubs rides him in the arena. And since we want to keep the sand clean, we make a point of removing the poo. So I'm all for Poopin'Stopin'. Much easier to clean up. Naloma never poops during our rides. If you watch show jumping competitions, you'll notice that nearly all grey horses poop before they start their round. It can't be a coincidence. It must be the colour of the horse ;-)

  13. Lytha
    Crack me up..yea, the tresspassing thing would be hindered somewhat, by the jingle jangle bells! The "Brittish Cardio tracker" dude I ride with has a booming voice, and that too impedes stealth!(makes folks think there are more than me though!)
    The beads would get in my way too..I use all manner of around the neck leathers too. I think they have a single hangin beaded/belled "strand" that attaches to the mane. may look into that!

    Well, these particulare lands are not managed or looked after at all. I am not sure how long we'll have them to ride in..but there are no motorised folk to contend with...just us riders.

    I think the purpose of the beads is in the name...for the "RHYTHEM" of them while the horse moves, it become a soothing thing and can make a nice pace match for them...sometime when I wish Wa to get a rhythem, I count out loud... "ONE-TWO" real breathy and light and she settles quicker into that exact rhythem.
    --HAHA The color of the horse eh! Crack me up..i'll ask my sissy about that one-she had two greys - One percheron/TB and another grey TB

  14. Wow the photos of your mare are great, she is a very sweet horse, I am sure she was happy to have the day off with all that nice grass.Good to hear that you will finally have your saddle, riding bareback can be fun, but riding with a saddle is a lot more fun, and a lot more comfy. Nice job on the track, it looks like it would be a nice ride.

  15. Unlike Sheba my ridgeback who has to stop in full speed everytime she needs to poop, many of our horses will even poop in full speed! Actually, Arwen is the master of that, because she hates to stop. I've been on the horse behind her when that happens and let me tell you, it's not fun! But it does kill the myth of them not being able to poop while in action...


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