Sunday, June 24, 2012

Found Joy

Me 3 and mother holding Bunny TB grade mare- who taught the whole fam to ride!

While visiting my mother yesterday, she handed me a huge folder of photos....
I couldn't believe my eyes when I found this one.It was that photo I already have of me sitting on my sister's first saddle! But this one is NOT torn away, it shows my gleeful mother holding Bunny, my sister's first horse. I LOVE this photo!!!

That mare taught so many boys and girls how to ride! 3 of us girls in the Brown family. She was a school horse at the Lake Oswego Hunt Club after we learned, till she retired in her 20's and lived to be 30.

My fondest memory of how well she taught was the time a jumping specialist came to clinic the Pony Clubbers. I was about 11 or 12. They set up 3 in a row jumps, and we jumped them firstly regular.
 I am not sure of the correct term  for the set up of jumps, but there seemed to be one bounce in between them. It really was pop-pop-pop -over them, to the end.

Then we jumped them stirrup less. THEN- we jumped them with our arms out to the side! It truly was like flying on Bunny mare...she would jump anything you set in front of her..and high too!

I found so many other great photos from the 30's and 40' and 50's 60's and 70's of my mother riding various horses and some of my mother and sister riding too. I'll save those for a later time...'Cause I really just wanted to share this gem to my heart. 

I asked mom about the bridle seemed strange with the brown band w Western ear cut out too. She had gotten that brow band from someone that made it. A Boondoggle.

Thanks for taking a trip down memory lane with me!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Recalibrate the mind

Into the woods we went, the horses were calm and the breeze was flowing across our faces~

my sister's 5th ride to health on a new knee

I had to hold my mare back from "self loading herself" into the trailer, as my sister tethered her mare, Pantz, into the top stall.
Horses and humans were ready for this day-scape away time.

On the road, we timed the drive to our favorite riding spot...only 28 minutes from stables driveway, to wooded bliss! 
These trails are vast and the last 2 times I have come to ride them, NO-ONE was around, save some mountain biker dudes that were having such a great time, just like us!

The Horses heard them coming, as we were unmounted and resting in the shade.
They're taking the Hobbits to Isengard!

Little did we know, as we looked over photos we took that day sitting at dinner later,  that this above shot would CRACK US UP to tears!!!
 My sister and our mares were captivated by the mountain bikers brakes, making an unusual noise in the woods.
 I showed her the shot, she exclaimed, " They're taking the Hobbits to Isengard!" OH!!!
 It may have been the beer and wine we were having, or the hilarious memory of THIS YOU TUBE. Whatever it was...the day and the dinner time laughs, were JUST what any doctor would have ordered for the both of us, for health and happiness.

You see, my sister had txt'd me the day before; she was forlorn with some circumstances of life. She asked the question of me, " will you have some time to ride in the next 3 days?"

HA! Does a fish swim?
After my sis drove up from the coast, we went out to see Pantz  the first eve she was in town. We lunged her with the  TTouch Balance wrap and massaged her before and after with "Sore-No-More".

We also went out to my sister's NEXT boarding facility to confirm where she will be moving Pantz soon, before her current place is sold. It's a place we both have boarded before, from one of the -NICEST people on planet earth- I have ever met! This BO took my sis in years ago, when her  Private boarding facility in Newport, Oregon sold and she couldn't find a facility. She made a place at her facility for Pantz- last minute.... putting pea gravel in the paddock of an unused stall.  Since I was boarding there already, it involved me doing the stalls and my sis, when she was in town. It was work, but it was a nice place and somewhere for Pantz. So that is another breath of relief coming to us. We went and looked over what area again she'll be in and got a bale of her next hay. It is far richer than the current Grass and Timothy she normally eats, so a 20 day window of acclimation time should be good.

We surely will miss this outdoor arena with pea gravel /sand footing!

After a nice little ride in the arena with Pantz, we looked forward to the next day of trails, and the two mares seeing each other again!

We arrived to our destination and were already hungry, having gotten a later start, with no rushing, so we all had a little bite. I had made us all lunch.

Again, no one around at this fabulous place...we had it to ourselves!
 We traipsed around the trails that were new to us...most of them are!

My sissy caught us coming up the trail behind nice to have some photos of the mare and me.
La de da...we stroll along the trails happily!

Lovely day in the woods with a breezy coolness to them. Revived again we all were. 

Watching the only one around disappear into the woods~

Perfectly named, "Fern Creek Trail", took us delightfully down to our road homeward

Once we made it to the top of the original hill from the parking lot, we both dismounted and walked back together with the mares.

Home again, after dropping Pantz off firstly, my mare enjoyed her Black Beauty company for a late afternoon graze. She watched as I bid her Adieu from the truck~

Happy Summertimes are finally here!!!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Breezy bliss

clear cut trail/replanted view

June's arrival has been very pleasant with a heavenly- warm- breeze flowing most days. It made the sultry and heavy air of rain on the way- on a sunshine day, easier to take. I'm not one for muggy, sticky air. Oregon does not usually have that, but sometimes it does come to us too. You just have to think... "this is cleansing somehow" as you sweat and are miserable.

The mare and me have been laying low and just taking little jaunts about the local country side, going across the street to forestry lands. I have rediscovered the immense beauty of it, that I first saw 4 years ago, when I solo trailer-ed to a managed forest gate. I took a chance by parking, and just rode what I found.

It's really beautiful!
I am amazed by stumps of the "trees of yore" along this set of trails.

5 ft across stump

 They have got to have been hundreds of years old, before they were cut. You know the ones, with foot holds for the standing planks, sawed right into the large 5-6 foot across trunks. Sad...but true. It makes me ponder what this forest would have looked like before.
The  picture does not do the massive size justice...there are many larger than this one too.

I have been seeing so many other horsemen out and about in these woods. It is a destination for many. Just yesterday, I saw  3 horse trailers and wondered how many horse riders I would come across. We seem to know that they are there , LONG before they are aware of us...maybe it's because we are solo, and are not a jabbering away! We always hear them talking in the woods.
 I made sure to yield off to the side, as we came across the first duo women riders. I "you who'd"-  as they approached, they thanked me and went on their  way.....not far behind them was another set of women riders. As they passed ,they gave pause to notice my mare and comment on how cute she was ( I agreed!) . One of them asked if I rode Dressage.  They were Western riders with rather large saddles and bits. I am sure the lack of equipment on my mare, bareback saddle and snaffle, helmet, made them ponder us. I answered, 
" yes, but I ride "Trailsage" out here, at present." They thought that funny.
 I do try to keep a dressage focus by asking my mare to do many elements of it, out on the trails.

Below is a very long, fairly straight trail, that is good for many a "Trailsage" practice; the free walk perfection, the hand gallop , lateral moves,
 and just a few days ago,we worked on flying changes.

When we reach the top of this trail, because of the sloppy nature of the wooded trails with all our rains, I must ride the road a bit. The many trails in this area are shaded and very soupy- muddy still.

With the Trailsage I have been practicing with the mare all these months(years really), I have paid special attention to her long, low frame. The mare is connected to me by holding my hands.When I ask for collection, I make sure she is not braced, but relaxed. I know I have the right frame by her snorting. She'll blow out as in acknowledgement. It's quite cute.
Her Trapezius and Rhomboid muscles are fabulous!
 My Equine body worker impressed me years ago to develop the correct muscles, you have to do the correct work. We were looking a a lovely "school master" mare at the time...and wowsa, her neck was impressive! Wa mare has those muscles, and has for some time. A nice difference from the yew neck of traveling inverted, and above the bit.

Returning to the soft footing of a clear cut trail , she relaxes again. I am waiting for her replacement "RENEGADE" hoof boot for her hinds . Then we may travel the roads and rockier places of riding . For now, it's keep to the softer places so as not to bruise her. And after her latest trim and removal of bars, she is tender a bit. I am so happy Shannon  at, "It's Quarters for me", posted about that last month. I had been noticing her bars folding into her sole. When I mentioned it to my bare foot trimmers, they surprisingly thought nothing of it. I found someone to address it  recently, as her hooves are so HARD...I was unable to manage the knife to do it- without hurting myself!

Back to the soft trail...

Up we go...soft clear cut trail winds around stumps and new trees

The bit of sunny weather we had for these rides I took, made the Yellow of the Scotch Broom blaze bright.....

...and the honey bees were certainly a buzzing! Every time we would pass the bushes the mare tensed up somewhat, with the "buzzing humm" nearby.
We came to the top of this  newer clear cut trail to find...BUZZZZZING galore! 

Honey Bee hives!
I actually had to duck this day, as we traveled away from the loudly buzzing and busy hives. The bees were traveling above our road about eye level, and I could see them coming!

home stretch roads
While we are vanquished from the nicer trails below our stable, due to logging and other such...these roads are what we have, with some  wooded trails in between. Of course, unless we trailer away. But most days, we are staying close to home.

The breezes blow through our hair as we settle into a nice 5 mile loop. It takes us an hour, we are leisurely in our times, no rush! Content are we , the mare and me~

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