Sunday, January 31, 2010

I DID IT!!!!!

"Whatever you focus on expands. If you focus on your fears, they expand and grow. If you focus on joy and gratitude, they expand and grow." quote from Solve Horseback Riding Fears

Well, an exciting week all around. Too much going on so I fell off the 'visit my baby boy daily wagon' as most nights it was dark before I got home and out here dark is DARK! BUT, I made up for it this weekend.

Yesterday, I played with Mocha just a bit giving him extra loving and attention and his first YOGA for horses session. I saw this video on youtube about using YOGA to loosen up your horse and decided that whether or not the YOGA actually helps the horse move better the act of getting your horse to do the moves is a good tool for bonding with your horse. SO, to that end, I helped Mocha stretch his front legs and shoulders.

Today, I found myself making excuses to stay in the house - even to the point of doing house chores which I do ONLY because they have to get done - and finally remembered my new Mantra - posted as the first line of this BLOG - and focused not on my fear but on that first step. I got myself out of the house, up to the barn and got Mocha in hand. Then I penned Elsa - his current pasture buddy - in a corral. Mocha and I went to a small arena pen that is under a lean too and out of the wind where I fed him, brushed him and generally just got into the mood with him. Then out we went to the barn yard. I got my trusty bucket and stood on it over Mocha, then jumped up and shimmied onto his back, then threw a leg over him, then slid back to the ground. Took a deep breath. And stepped up onto the bucket, jumped over his back , threw a leg over and sat up. I had to have a VERY MILD refresher that 'just because mom is sitting up does not mean we walk off'. Then I asked him to walk and we took a few steps. I stopped him. Petted and praised him (and myself) Took another deep breath and walked Mocha off again. We wandered the barn yard for about a quarter of an hour with no mishaps and great success!!! YIPPPPEEEEE I DID IT!!! 17 months off and I got back on - no one to take pictures because I just wanted to do it myself and then when the others arrived it got too crazy to repeat and get pictures - soon though! OH and all of this was bareback with halter and light lines!!!

Then Stacy arrived with her folks who were visiting from Penn and her two children. Her son is Autistic and Stacy is looking at a horse for herself but who will be good with the kids also. I think she has settled on "Spike" whom she has renamed Elsa and for whom she bought a halter with a heart shaped ID tag that says Elsa and has Stacy's phone numbers on it!

So, Stacy went and haltered Elsa and brought her out to meet the crew. Elsa did great, so great that Yael, Stacy's daughter, got to be the first person to ever sit on Elsa's back. Elsa is a filly who has had our kindergarten foundation and is doing us proud with her further training done by her even more green "new mom". Once Yael got off then Stacy's son, Yelan, got his turn. Big grins by all! And to all a GOOD JOB!!!

Twice Out on Crutches

Well, I did it. I went out and did ground training on crutches. Sally was such a good girl and after she got over the strange wooden things she was fine. She was not scared of them, just very curious. It felt so good to be out there with her and my other curlies. I am glad I joined this contest. Thanks Denise for all your hard work.

first time in a while riding

i went riding for the first time in over eight months. i have not had much training in riding. i manly clean the stalls. but hope to get more time to ride. i rode kwis for a hour and had a lot of fun. lesly walked her out to the field and the let her go. i started out a little nervous when she started to buck a little bit. i learned to keep my hands low down by the Saddle and her neck. and also where to put my legs and to keep my body straight. once Ive been riding for a while i got more conferable and i think she did to. i got her to canter and trout for a while. when we where done i rode her back to the barn and got the saddle and bit off and walked her back to the patchier.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Freezin on Hockey Day in Canada

Well, for starters: GO SENS GO!!!! What a game this afternoon!! Kudos to Kovalev for getting the first goal against the Habs!!
It wasn't a massive work week for Linus and I this week. For one it was so friggin cold here that he only got turned out for a couple of hours every day. We have a new little lesson that we do every now though. Sir Linus gets pretty eager for his feed and when he is outside waiting for it he can even rear a little bit. So, now what I do is stop walking towards him every time he gets jittery. Only when he stands still do I start to walk towards him again. It has never taken me more than a few minutes to get the feed to him and each time he gets better and better. What sparked this new lesson was him giving me a harmless(through my gloves) nip when I dumped his feed in his pail. Nipped that one in the bud!!
My husband did some work with him this week too which I thought was fantastic. He is from an army family and the majority of his experience with animals has come with meeting me! (I'm a package deal; I come with a farm, lol) He is also severely allergic to horses, hence our purchase of a Curly...sans curls :) I was feeding the cows when a quick, hard blizzard came up and I asked him to bring Linus in for me while I put the last bale out for the cows. He was a tad nervous about it because the sudden change of weather wasn't making Linus very happy but to my surprise when I came back in the barn he was grooming Linus, who was by that point half asleep. YAY Stu!!
In an attempt to get Linus to focus more on me when we are out I am going to set up some obstacles for him to get around, like weaving around wide spread pails or walking over rails etc. Maybe tomorrow...if it is warmer, I have an annoyingly hard time keeping warm in this severe cold.
Aqua Zumba tomorrow morning!!

The Windchill Continues

I'm proud of the fact that so far Sage and I have managed to get out there every week at least once for a ride (until this week anyways). We had a thaw with temperatures up to 40+° F recently, and when everything froze back up the footing became a mess.

Our lesson last week focused on steering lightly again. My instructor said "offer softness to your horse; whatever feel you offer them is the feel they will offer you." Wise words.

After freezing in our lesson two weeks before that, Mom and I bundled up this time. Down coats were dug out of closets, snow pants were donned over winter riding breeches, wool socks were found. And we roasted!! Twenty minutes into the lesson I unzipped my coat and chucked off my gloves entirely because I was so warm. It was kind of funny to find ourselves at such an opposite extreme.

It was nice and sunny and the horses were incredibly sleepy and unwilling to move. We took them out for a little walk on the road thinking that with the road clear now we may have our lesson there. On our way back, as we led the horses across the field back to their pasture, they both looked at each other and then dropped and rolled. Apparently fresh deep snow is impossible to resist! Of course this happened 2 seconds after our riding instructor showed up and told us to hustle back to the barn for our lesson. 0__o

Sage and I got moving pretty good once he was under saddle and awake. My mom's Mustang mare Thea was just determined to be a slow-poke though so we kept having to steer around her. She's still a greenie and I think part of it was her adjusting to carrying a human through deep snow.

After our instructor left I took Sage out on the road for the first time since Mom moved here in October. We went down the road 100 ft or so and then came back to the intersection; as we turned around to start back down that stretch Mom called out that there was a UPS truck coming from the road on our right. Then I looked up ahead and saw a HUGE schoolbus coming towards us! (I swear they get bigger when you're on horseback.) Sage was *so* good! I guided him over to the side of the road and told him to stand as the schoolbus bore down on us. Of course they had to stop for the intersection and there we are standing off to the side with their airbrakes right by us. The UPS truck went around us and Sage squirmed a tiny bit but stayed put. Then the bus drove past us, and then a car flew by! This intersection has never been so busy in the entire time my parents have lived there so *of course* it had to be that busy during our first 5 minutes of riding!!!

Sage was so good for that that I got off and brought him back to the barn to give him apples. I was a little sad to ditch our original plan of riding a bit longer, but he'd already put in an hour in our riding lesson.

Then yesterday we didn't have a lesson, and that was good because there was a windchill warning in effect and even with neck gators on and pulled up to our eyeballs we both felt our cheeks go numb pretty fast.

Despite the atrocious temperatures the sun was shining and I just couldn't resist getting out there to do *something* with my boy. So we led them up the road in the other direction, up a steep hill, and conquered the scary scary mail box that for some reason had a ripped plastic bag tied to it. Thea, who is normally a bit spooky, tried to eat it, and Sage, who is normally unflappable, walked by just fine and then spooked once we were up the road a ways. I have noticed that the few times he's spooked, it's always been when something was behind him. So, I am thinking about how we can work on that. Also, Thea was getting worked up on the road so Mom and I switched horses as she finds it easier to work with Mr. Mellow Sage. It was interesting to watch Thea calm right down and Sage get upset. They really do pick up on 'their' person's energy so much!

It was also interesting to lead them out of their pasture through the gate by our driveway. We haven't done this before in the winter because the driveway has been to icy, but we tried it yesterday. There was a deep bank of snow and both horses sank down into it when we left. And then going back in to their pasture they both hesitated and didn't want to go. The interesting thing is that they were just fine last week in much deeper snow and I can only conclude the snow is less comfortable now that everything's melted and gotten crusty. They both went through with a parelli point-and-send though.

Anyways, some pictures. None of me riding because my camera dies in the cold. Mom was out at the intersection trying to take sunny pictures of us riding in the road, but her camera hadn't been charged. So, only pictures of Sage loose in the pasture...

Sage begging for dinner. He knows this is the grain room.

I took this picture out my car window as I was leaving the barn. I love how cozy the horses look in that light.

And a sunset picture, with a blurry Sage-head.

Friday, January 29, 2010

New Hope

Today is January 29.  That means that I only have 40 more days that I have to take the valcyte for my CFS.  After that I have a very good chance of a good recovery.  I do not know how to find the words to share my joy at this new spring time.   My curly mare, Lila, has been patient  with me.  I think that she is, like me, a very stubborn minded old lady.  But that is alright.  I wish all a happy spring time and "may the blessing always continue to all people."


Penny Johnson

Thursday, January 28, 2010

One of those days

It all seemed so simple when I set out to do a couple new pics of our filly *C-C Heartfires Spark. Catch the filly, halter her, lead her to our outdoor arena, let her play a bit and catch some fun, exciting pics. But..I was SO wrong. To accomplish this I first had to stall our stallion "Shadow's Hawk Spirit...aka...HeartBreaker. We would be walking through his pasture and I needed him out of the way. Obviously the look on my face said "say away from this person, DO NOT let her bribe you with your breakfast in a different location than usual", I tossed his hay in his open stall and waited. No horse, no noise...I peeked around the corner, he peeked around the other corner...silly boy! so...I got his halter and lead rope and put him in his stall.

Catching Spark today was another matter. She has been standing quietly to be caught,, she decided that play time was better than photo time...and with her counterpart our filly "Kallie" they lapped our indoor arena to get out the happiness. I caught Spark, and headed to the gate. Spark decided that the gate was a safe spot, so she planted herself there for awhile. After convincing her to move, finally we were on our way to our outdoor arena.

Spark trotted around and played a bit, chasing one of our cats, checking out everything in the area. I added an umbrella for play incentive..she saw it, stopped, sniffed it and sombered off. No part of this upset her in any manner.

A job that should have taken 1/2 hour, took a little over 3 hours! But...we made some training progress, with her and Kallie both, so it certainly was not wasted time at all.....

While we were still in the outdoor arena, I sat down to look at my photos. Spark, who has been pretty timid up until now...was standing a few feet away...she slowly approached, step by really was cute! she was being SO brave...and when I stood, I simply clipped the lead rope on, and we had a nice long mannerly walk back to the indoor arena. There are days that do not go as planned, but sometimes you get more reward than you thought was possible!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Saturday Shannon and I went to work in an indoor arena since Northern CA is currently under water!! I know we need it desperately, but all at once, jeeze, what a mess! Any way we were working on neck reining and some other things, but Ringo tends to get bored in the arena. He sometimes goes to sleep, lol

He DOES listen!!

Well, I thought today was going to be completely a write off for making progress with Linus since he was ever so full of his little boy P&V. It actually ended exceptionally well..and he was calmer at the end than at the beginning!! OH, what a feeling! We have mostly been working on whoa and clucking to go. I wondered if it was sinking in...he proved to me that it was sinking in when in the barn I brushing his mane (he LOVES that) then started to run my hand down his leg. He started to step away so I said "Whoa". He froze and let me pick up his feet. Not for a lengthy time but definitely much longer than any previous session. Not only with one leg, but with all 4 legs!! More than once!!
I really will have to sit down some night and get some pictures on here of him. Owen (my 19 month old son) sat on his back the other day too. Linus didn't flinch. Of course was holding Owen just in case and never would have set him there if Linus weren't already standing stock still. In other Linus news, he has begun to stand still again while putting on his halter. Again, seems to be a product of learning what "whoa" means. I'm so thrilled to see this progress in him...drives away the "what did I get myself into" feeling.., but really, I love having him there. Its nice to walk into the barn and be greeted by an animal who is happy to see you for you being there rather than be happy because you will be feeding them! (cows)
He still looks longily over the gates at the calves playing. Unfortunately for Linus, the mothers are not ready to have him be that close to the calves until they are older. There will soon be some ready for weaning and he might get one of them for a companion. I'm sure he would enjoy that very much.
Hopefully I can write again soon!

New Years day my daughter Shannon and I went for a 26 mile ride at Annadale State Park. It was a great way to start the New Year. Ringo was great, he took all that we encountered with ease. We stopped for lunch at a little picnic area. In case you can't tell, Ringo is the one with the saddle on! I can't wait for the next ride....

This is Ringo and I at the beach when we first got back from WY. Ringo grew up in WY and just moved out to CA in July. I have a dairy in Northern California and Ringo is learning to be a cow horse along with lots of other things!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Lakota's Busy Day

Hello all,

Yesterday, Lakota and I had a very busy day. First, everyone was treated to that yummy Apple Flavor worming paste. Well, everyone thought it was OK except for Lakota. He refused to touch it until I gave him some grain to go with it. Then, he acted like it the greatest stuff since sliced bread or sweet grain.
Next, everyone had their hooves picked. All the rain has made for messy hooves and I want to stay on top things before anyone gets thrush. Lakota tried to tell me he could not stand on three feet. I explained that he should watch Golden Red and Salsa (Jenny) they can stand on two feet when they are jousting in the pasture. 

Around 2:00 pm a good friend called and said she was taking a "daycation" and we decided the best way to spend it was to ride our loved ones. So Lakota followed me to the trailer sniffing everything very carefully along the way. He decided the grain in the bin was the same as he had munched on earlier and after about ten minutes of chatting all of his 1300 pounds were in the trailer and he was rocking. We headed down the road and I was happy that I had changed out the chains to heartier duty ones a few weeks before.

When we arrived Lakota was amazed at the place. Well, anyone would friend has the biggest heart for BIG Dogs and she has a el grande Massif, a pit bull, a mixed pit, an English Massif and a teeny, tiny Doberman named Hank. Hank is my buddy and he always want to go for a ride with me. I babysit him a lot so he knows where I stop for treats. Soon as Lakota takes note of the BIG Dogs the neighbors seven Arabians come running over to great him. All of my Curlies snort when they first encounter something new and Lakota was snorting up a storm. Next, Cheetoe, a Curly pony my friend adopted for her granddaughter comes over and he and Lakota seem to have a lot to chat about. Next, the perfect "my little pony" white mini with a long flowing mane and two handsome bay Quarter Horses, Cash and Fly all exchange greetings with Lakota.

My friend and I were discussing the different ways we lunge our horses and I was trained to use a long lunge line and whip (an aid - or additional length to your arm - never to use as  - well, a whip ....just to wave). She showed me with Lakota how she does it in the round pen without a line or whip. They did great and I learned a lot especially about how well trained our handsome Lakota is. Also, I think both techniques have advantages and disadvantages...I would love to have you share your thoughts because I am always hoping to learn more about working with our Curlies.

After a bit, my friends sister-in-law came over riding her handsome sorrel Quarter Horse, Beau-Dean, bare back. Both of my friends are long time horse ladies and barrel racers so they could ride with their eyes closed. After a few minutes walking and trotting my sweet man, Lakota sits down, yes, just sits down. Now, in all the years I have ridden horses I have never had one to sit down with me but after all we did yesterday Lakota was just ready to call it a day. He did not roll and I stepped off without an incident. I did get back in the saddle just to make sure we all agreed when it was time to call it day. 

Best wishes to all and may your rides be filled with Curls and good friends.


Monday, January 25, 2010

Little bits and pieces

Wow. When I read all the adventures it makes me kinda embarrassed to blog my bits and pieces but it also encourages me that I will get back in the saddle. As my boy is in a relatively small pasture (10 acres) I have made a commitment to see him for a bit every evening when I get back from work in town. So far I have made good on this and always seem to find something to work on. Mocha is in with Spike, a filly who has not had the tincture of time Mocha has and has demonstrated a desire to not be haltered unless she is in a round pen. Thus much of my time is spent cooing to my good boy and re-educating this curly girl about the benefits of being haltered. A couple of times she has flared away from me and Mocha left but gave back to me after only a short walk. I realized that in my greener training days - when I first started Mocha - I neglected the being friends and just "being" with him. I always caught him and worked him and thus he has not been too enthused about being with me. After just one short week, I have noticed a difference as he hears my voice and comes over to see me - or to check my pockets for treats. this does my heart good as I love nothing better than spending time with him. If I canmake it work I am going to insert apicture that shows my boy's personality:

This last weekend I led him the mile from the barn to a neighbors pasture to graze while on a stake and a 50 foot rope. Another neighbor stopped to in her vehicle to visit and Mocha was a patient boy and even stuck his head in the window for scratches! He is soooo cute! ( and nope, I am NOT prejudiced). When he and Spike - who went down the road behind a four-wheeler - were done eating, I led the two of them back to the barn. This was fun as Spike walks fast and Mocha walks slow. Because I like the slower mode I worked on getting Spike to listen to me and pace herself with me. She had a couple of hard-headed curly moments of "NO, you walk faster" but it only took a bit of firmness to convince her to listen to me and follow my cues.

Once we got to the barn I turned her loose into the pasture and kept Mocha in hand. I took my bucket and stood on it next to his back but found myself not quite comfortable with hopping aboard. I suppose I could just cave and saddle him up but dog-gone it I am going to beat this! Thanks for listening and your support and keep up the good riding!
And just so you can feel sorry for my baby-boy another picture of what I do to torture him. As a baby in the mountains of WY he froze the tips of his ears so now he has the cutest rounded, slightly short ears and I help him keep them warm by letting him wear my gloves. Besides he is so cute doing his reindeer impersonation!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Stella's Latest Adventure I

Yesterday my mom, my sister, and I went out for another ride in our pasture! The horses where worn out within 10 minutes of riding. It was such a warm and sunny day, the horses' coats were making them really hot! My mom (Laura), riding Wyoming, figured this one out.

My sister, Josalynn, riding Lady, didn't get any RAC points. So, she ponied Franky, Lady's baby from 2 years ago. He is currently under going training so is getter used to having people above him.
We rode down inside a ditch, crossed a stream, and even I got brave enough to jump my feminine Stella.

At the end of our ride, Josalynn, Mom and I, took turns walking the horses through our tractor tire. I have been working on Stella to get all four of her feet in the tire at once. We finaly got that accomplished yesterday!

Stella had some friends bugging her, so she decided to bring the pictures to a hault.

Later, after the horses were untacked, Mom and I were playing with Stellas belly, brushing, and stroking her soft, fine, hair. The last time we went in the woods, Stella didn't try to run over the saplings like she usually does. We weren't at all conserned until I went to rub her belly, like she loves, and she jerked back on the rope, and flenched away from my hand. Mom tried also. The same reaction. We started pushing, lightly, on the sides of her belly. We felt something roll around inside her. Getting curious, we moved to different positions around on her belly. The baby, hopefully, was getting very active, and Stella, (the soon to be mom), was confused, and upset. So we stopped torturing my girl, and gave her some Red L, and grain for a Good Night snack.

Getting Ready for Donna's Trail Ride

Happy New Year, everyone! I am a little late joining into the fun but better late than never. I am so glad to see so many new faces and I so enjoy catching up on the news over morning coffee!

For those of you who don't know me, I'm Lynn of Homefire Curlies. I have owned Curlies for 10 years now, err, correction, I have been employed by Curlies for 10 years now (but I'm not holding my breath on the Bosses offering any kind of recognition for that milestone - oh no, it will be business as usual of feeding, slogging manure, watering, grooming and training.) They are, however, kind enough to give me enough hours "off" each day from the barnyard commitments so that I can work a full time job to keep the hay, vet and farrier bills paid.

So with all of my off farm commitments riding time is scarce. When it is available I don't look forward to that time alone. I will admit I have been a very content recluse for several years however in the last few months this has changed significantly. Unfortunately this means I will choose activities where I have company instead of working with my horses where I am invariably alone. Thanks to Donna, proud Momma of Linus and fellow RAC participant, I have found a new goal and renewed determination to at least invest some time in one horse, in particular.

Donna "spoke for" Linus when he was still quite young. Just as we encourage all of our buyers, she, Stu and Owen visited on a regular basis as Linus grew. As Linus grew so did a tremendous friendship between all of us. That right there is what I would describe as being the true magic of Curlies - the friendships their humans form with one another.

During our last visit prior to Linus' departure Donna expressed an interest in having a trail ride with me. She really has no idea what a big deal that is! Since Owen, Donna's son, has already test ridden *Lucy, Linus' dam, it is only fitting that I finish *Lucy's training so that Donna can ride her. So I got started today! So not to bore everyone with the sorted details of today's adventure (I'll save that for my personal blog!) Here's the view for today.

New Hampshire Ride

New Hampshire Ride

Hi Everyone,

Miss D and I made it out again this weekend.  (Yesterday was much nicer than it was today.)  We're expecting a nasty wintery mix this evening - and then rain!  I'm not looking forward to the mess that will likely create.  

Thanks for the support and advice about Miss D's (Deams) pregnancy.  I do have the book mentioned along with many others.  I really do appreciate any and all advice you have to share.

More about my situation:

I have a new barn (still somewhat under construction).  I currently have  about 2+ acres of semi-cleared space fenced in with electric tape. 

 In mid-March/early April  we, in New Hampshire, experience "mud season".  My vet seemed quite concerned about the area I have and the potential problem of mud.  He  does not want me using electric tape ... So... suggested that I get a round pen - or something like that  for the paddock  space.  (Felt it could be moved if necessary.)

My questions:
How concerned should I be about mud ?

Should I bring my horse to a friend's barn - where the conditions may be a little better to have her foal?  

If so, how long would you suggest that she stay there?  (Would need to trailer - etc.)

Is there something reasonable and inexpensive (like sand or something) that I could/should use to prep the paddock area  - to help control the mud) *Money will be getting tight - especially if I need to purchase a round pen.  

My stall is newly constructed (by my husband) - The walls extend all the way to the ground with no gaps for little hooves to get caught.  Are there other considerations for the stall I should be aware of?  

Do you suggest a heat lamp?

I am a teacher, and plan to take the day off when Deams has her baby - will that be sufficient - or will I need to take more time (to be here all day long) for the first few days (or more)?  

I know I will need to have her flank and udder washed down, and tail wrapped.  Is there a typical routine one takes (considering the time of year) in hopes or having mom ready for the baby?  I don't want to keep prepping her every day for 3+  weeks if not necessary.    

I will have a foaling kit on hand, foal size halter and blanket, towels, telephone numbers (vet), and straw bedding .  
Farnam -  Horse VSI Foaling Kit

Do you suggest getting a foal predicting kit?  How does this work?  Are they accurate?  

What else?  Any and all advice and information will be greatly appreciated.  

FYI:  Deams has had one successful pregnancy and (from what I understand) was a good mother.

Beautiful Winter Ride

Today we crossed the road and went on a couple of snowmobile trails, since my neighbor kindly invited me to ride through his yard to avoid the ice. The weather was primo, and my Curly was well-behaved, yet again!I started off by leading him to make sure the footing was good and that he was going to be on his best behavior, because the neighbor kids were sliding down the very same hill we were were riding on.

Some of the trailed were groomed.
Many of the trails were not, but a snowmobile or two had passed this way.
On a few of the trails, we were just following deer tracks.

AhD was very good natured about everything. On my "Running Hill," the trails were groomed, so I took a video! I am winning no awards for cinematography, that's for sure, but hopefully I will do better next time. I have no sound for my video, and since I can't see a dang thing through the teensy lens that does not light up, I just held the camera up over his neck to pointed it forward. Might make you a little dizzy...

Wild! Hey, how do you like his curly mane? I gave myself and AhD the same beauty treatment today. We both got a trim to cut off the scraggly ends and some jajoba oil added to our curls. Thanks, Denise, for letting us know about the oil! It makes AhD's mane soft and healthy.

My awesome neighbors were snowblowing off their pond for skating. My Didder looked, but then paid it no mind. What a good boy!

We rode all the way down to the sandpit, which is much more beautiful when it is covered with snow. It was hard work slogging through the deep snow, and Mister was getting tired, so we headed home. Both horses got a good workout, and Ian and I sure had a wonderful ride. I am very please with how my Didder has been behaving this year, with seven out of eight rides very postive. And I even had fun on the un-positive one. :) I am following very good advice that I have received on this blog of riding in the "now," controlling speed, no leaf snatching, getting AhD in tune to me before hopping on, and TONS of other EXCELLENT tips. Love this blog! Oh, and I sang "Blue Skies" to AhD today as we rode along. He must be my best critic, because I think he actually enjoyed it! :) Happy Trails!

Blue Skies, Shining at Me :)

You'll soon see in the photo's that Saturday was one of our most beautiful days yet .. clear, crisp -- not warm enough for melting. We decided to trot down to the snowmobile trails and follow those - and the snow cover was firm and perfect, wide as a highway for some fast travelin' :) The horses were happy and we actually found new trail for the coming summer expeditions and formulated a new loop for the next ride out.

If I could attach music to my blog entry .. you'd be hearing nothing but Blue Skies.. :)

Blue days... All of them gone.. Nothing but blue skies ~From now on .. now as I trot along .. Willie Nelson is the man crooning the tune - but you can choose your own ..

You know I am partial to the high altitude mountain views :)

Trot along the ridge here.. down through the woods ..

The woods were full of sun and shadows.

The snowmobile club has changed the route- so we had some surprises and came out NOT where we thought we would. Here's our first clue through the trees.

One of the best features about the snowmobiles trails is ~ if we keep going, we can trot to Canada !! However, we always have to remember-- we still have to save time to get home again. Today was one of those days where we don't want to get out of the saddle.

We met quite a few snowmobilers out for a sunny run.. we are not supposed to have horses on their trail but they were all polite and happy to see us anyway.

saw a few snow shoers. Usually all we see of these quiet forest walkers is their prints.

Alas.. time to head home - we get down onto the back roads to trot home.

Plenty of sunrays.. but cold enough for no melting.. slow going now.

Teasel and Keri love to stay close. We don't allow for this often.. but we can trot and canter like this ! They are so silly.

While on the snowmobile trails, we were warmed by the sunrays and canters -- once we got down on the back roads- we soon lost the sun.. and with the slow cautious walking, we became quite chilled. Next time we follow this route we are going to do it in reverse... the cold slow part first -- and end up with the fast and furious.

Perhaps all you RAC'ers are already bored with my canter video's but I had to add another -- because it was so much fun.. At one point you'll hear me politely mention to my mount she is too close to the tree...

This probably is our most fun ride of 2010 so far :) As usual I have many more photo's on my farm blog.

Enjoy ~

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