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~


  1. I know what you mean about the folded over (embedded) bars and hard feet, it's almost impossible to trim. My hoof care provider said to soak the foot in apple cider vinegar/water mix (use a medicine boot or plastic bags or whatever you can) and hand walk for 20 min. Do this a couple or more times and then try trimming. Works good.

    1. That is a great idea Shirley, with the ACV! Anti bacterial too! Thanks!

  2. I will have to go search for that embedded folded over bars and hard feet post. Very interesting. Lovely, lovely places you have to ride. Trailsage is an awesome term :)

  3. You have such beautiful country and trails to ride through. Sounds like you and Wa mare are having a great start to summer. Trailsage is a great way to keep you both interested and having fun.

    1. Thanks Arlene,
      yea the "Trailsage" does keep the mare and me focused and true. I do so love where I get to ride!!

  4. Oh, Kacy! So good to see your photos and hear your stories about you and the sweet mare. She is adorable - no wonder those riders thought so! Your trails are just the best ever. I love the history of the trees you two enjoy in those forests. How lucky you are to live in that part of the country. I hope to one day get my boys in that kind of wonderful shape. I have three 2 horses too many for much consistent work so for now, just walking, but maybe someday!!!!

    1. Hi Sweet Jules, You beat me to commenting! I am catching up with you and have truly enjoyed your latest writings!

      I adore our area. I pray outloud while riding, all my innermost praises to be able to enjoy all that I do. What a blessing!!
      Well, Wa does stay in shape and the 'Gamma" oil I give her does help with the muscles too.
      I am not constantly training...we always have free and easy times, while out on any ride with her being who she is.
      I usually pick (she helps me to)one thing to perfect in a day of "Trailsagge" and focus.
      You and your boys Love and live a great routine!

  5. Thanks for taking us along on your June ride!

  6. Trailsage! Yes, I do that too! Leg yield, shoulder in and transitions, they're all great to do on the trail. I have to or my horse gets bored and naughty ;)

    KK don't forget that you can send me pictures of Wa mare's feet if you want. She might be a little sore because her soles were thin under the bars.

    1. Shannon, probably so...though, I think its because we were going to shoe her with Easy the trim was more than normal. Then, she would have none of it

  7. Lovely to read you again KC and such lovely pics as always. This idea of taking bars off is something new to me and I've recently been talking to a trimming friend who believes in taking the bars back. My two boys hardy have much in the way of bars but I've seen that 'folded over' thing too on other horses.

    1. Hi Trudi!! I know that I too need to come over and say hi as well... just such an antiquated computer...takes far too long sometimes!That's why my posts are slim too...takes a l*o*n*g time to get it up!

      The bars research I have done is interesting...I could tell that my mare was tracking up much better on hard pavement and the stable aisle after...but the rocks of our rides are still painful.
      Good job being proactive!

  8. Trailsage is the best of both worlds of you ask me KK. Thanks for taking us along through the gorgeous woods of the PNW - your posts are always such a breath of fresh air!

    I planted some fifteen year old oak trees once. Their root balls weighed 1700 lbs (had to use heavy equipment) with a diameter of six inches.

  9. Wonderful ride & nice photos too! I'm not very happy with my pack camera, my trail pics tend to be blurry. Trailsage, ha - good one! I've never heard/seen of the folded bars either.

    1. Well, I had not heard of them being such a problem either till I -blog)...and what happens if they are left to their own growth.

      I have gotten very lazy and have been using my HTC "Droid phone" for my camera of late, instead of my Cannon powershot digital.They certainly are not as clear but are alright.

  10. Those lovely trails through the woods look so inviting! I love the term trailsage! I agree, it's a great way to work in flatwork exercises without the boring confines of a ring. Happy trails!

  11. Hi Kacy!

    I thought of you as we drove through Portland on our way to California for vacation:) while we were down here I got a call from the tack store, someone made an offer on my saddle finally! I am closer to a saddle hopefully.
    we are really enjoying the better weather down here, trying to find a way to leave the rain for good and have better days for riding :)

    1. Sasha!
      Hope you have tons of Sun and Fun in the Calif areas! We got tons of rains right before the wkend last week....and the trails were "Just starting" to dry around the edges! Oregon and Washington just are so RICK /GREEN because of the Eh hem.Rains!

      YEA!! Offer on the saddle! I need to sell my ANSUR...looking at "Laser Equestrian" saddles when I do. I like the Thinline tech and also the neat changable (that does not change the rails)gullets on them!
      But till I have the $$$ I am looking into "Thorowgood" Hybrid saddle with wider gullet and is changeable too. Nice wool flocking. She has a great Site that helped me take the tracings correctly for templates- now I can take those anywhere and see for myself with saddles.
      Anyway- she has some nice deals for the Thorowgoods...and is willing to allow us to ride them and make sure. Her name is DAWN at

  12. Wow, GREAT pictures of your ride! What different landscape you have all the way across the country - it's so beautiful, though!

  13. So neat to hear from you Jill,
    I know our terrains are diversely different, for sure!I am very sure my mare would LOVE yours, more than she does ours!

  14. Such a fabulous trail; I'm all nice and relaxed after my vicarious ride. *laugh* That scotch broom is just gorgeous!


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