Saturday, January 23, 2010

Just a Tiny Update

Not much to talk about right now, as it has been raining non-stop or showering if nothing else for a while now. We are just about at the Ark-building stage :) I did get a chance today to get Storm out. I decided I was going riding no matter what, and when I went to Trinidad to get him, the sun was out and sky starting to turn blue. So I hooked up the trailer and loaded Storm and headed for Arcata park, about 20 miles from Trinidad. It is a pain, but the footing is good (lots of gravel base on the old logging roads and even many of the single track trails) and under the big Redwoods, any rain is half as bad as in the open. Of course by the time I neared Arcata, the sky was turning dark and the rain came down...I was going to be meeting my friend Karin, who was bringing and riding my Morgan/QH mare Hoanna (she's a great "caretaker" horse that most anyone can ride) and with that motivation, the rain didn't deter me. When I got to the parking area, Karin came over to my truck and we sat inside and chatted until the worst of the rain stopped. We unloaded, did a quick brush down and tacked up the ponies. Storm was acting quite enamored with Hoanna (nickering a bunch and oogling her), so I had to get on his case more then I normally ever do. Usually he just ignores other horses, even mares, but I guess love was in the air... Maybe Hoanna was secretly flirting with him (no obvious signs of heat or paying any more attention to him, than she does any other horse she meets). It was actually good in a way, as I haven;t found cause to have to correct him and get his attention back on me from a mare, and it was good to see what he'd do when he was "bad" (relative for him of course, it was not that he was dropping or otherwise getting really excited..just "talking her up" and not paying attention to me is all). He was pretty good with stopping the nickering and getting focused back on me when I would correct him (using voice, and circling him/yielding hindquarters/making him work), and he pretty quickly caught on to just a voice correction alone. Good boy!
Once on the trail, we mostly walked (lots of good hills here, so the heart rate can get up without having to run around much, and Karin is more of a mosey rider, which is fine :)) and did some gaiting (trotting for her). He was gaiting REALLY WELL! I am still so excited about this...the ONLY difference is the bodywork he got before the ride. He has not offered to pace (unless really tired) and on this ride, he only step paced once going down a hill. Other than that, he was runwalking or doing a wonderfully fun rack. I want to get out to the beach with someone that wants a little more speed riding, and work more on his gaiting out there...I will redo our gaiting video then as well, and show how nicely he is moving now... Hope for good weather on Thursday, as my friend Vanessa's b-day is then and we want to go riding for it :) She can take some videos then as well...
So anyway, the weather was on and off showers for the 1 1/2 hrs we were out, but I only got somewhat wet...full chaps are a wonderful thing for keeping warm and pretty dry...though the winter holiday food and less riding made it...errrr....a tad hard to put them on ;) Course those ARE the same chaps I have owned since 8th grade or many ppl can wear 8th grade clothing when they are 31?? :)
Here is a "retro" picture from that time (thanks to the Facebook retro week I dug it out of my collections...). Those same chaps are much more faded, worn, and dirty, but still very compfy to ride in (well, except when I first got in them today, LOL...they stretched out a little after riding though...)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

ANother Ari Video

And here is another video. I was going to film her entire trim but the camera kept running out of juice. So I set it up and did a real quick trim on one foot. She's usually pretty good and I can just sit on a stool or my stand next to her, with her hoof in my lap. Today she was a tad antsy and I just did it the more traditional way....

Friday, January 15, 2010

Ari is getting BIG...

Well, went and trimmed Ari today and got brave enough to take a video and a few pics... the video shows me fussing with her. I am 5'4" and her withers are at my chin level. She is not even 2 yet! I need a magical grow-stop potion, as her current height is about as tall as I'd want. Oh well!
She is all fuzzy wuzzy right now too and has turned so dark this winter. It will be interesting to see what she will look like after the spring shedding.... She is totally her daddy's (Firestorm of course, for those of you that might be new readers) girl and is such a ham...had undone her leadrope, pulled it loose, and gotten under it while I set up the video. She loves playing with things and mouthing EVERYTHING, LOL...
(ps, trying this video embedding thing out, will have to see if it works!)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Death Valley Encounter, Part 2

"Eeehhhh.....What's up, Doc??"

Ok, the rest of the tale...also long :)
Day 2...Terri took off again for a second day of riding and I tied Storm to some food and he was again very happy. Then I started cleaning camp, since today we'd have to move to the next camp after Terri got off the trail. Boy do those horses shit a LOT for three days..and it all had to be bagged and put in a dump trailer. Lots of work, uggg, and I had to remember (after one that was WAY too heavy) that you can't even fill the bag half full, if you want to chuck it over the side of the dump trailer, LOL.
After Oli left, I let Storm wander in the electric pen untied and he did fine. Goodie! Round 10am, I went over to help with pulsing and taking names for the lunch check, which was fun. You get to see everyone throughout the day and put names to faces you see all the time. After my "job", I took Storm for a walk and then finished packing camp. Just about when I was done, Terri finished, with Oli looking his usual good self. After giving Oli a 20 min or so rest, we tossed the boys into the trailer and made the hour drive to Ballarat, to the next camp. We got there after dark and most the other riders were already there, so we had to find a parking place pretty far in back. The upside was that the horses had nice soft sand to sleep and roll in, vs a gravel parking lot. Downside: our water containers were empty and we didn't have our roller cart with us either, so I shlepped a LOT of heavy buckets of water over the next day and a half. We set up camp in the dark in record time, went to the ride meeting, and hit the hay.
Day 3....This was going to be Storm's second ride day. Oliver again left at 7, and we LDs were set to leave at 8. Mary was also going to ride this day, so Storm would have his buddy on the trail again. The trail seemed easy on the map...go out like the 50's, but cut across the dry lake bed and skip the big hill the 50's have to climb around. Then to the radar tower, out across the Hwy and up the foothills to the VC near an old Onyx mine. Then down the foothills again, across the hwy again, and cut back over to the radar station to then retrace the morning trail back to camp.
Seemed simple enough, but it was further than it looked on the map, and there was a TON of rock...we had to walk a lot, esp all the way up the foothills and back down, which was almost a good 2 1/2+ hrs just there. That meant poor Storm really had to put the pedal to the metal when the footing was good. Not my original plan, which was to move out til he was tired, then walk, move out, walk, etc. Works really well to get you through most any ride. Oh well.
Oh, and he finally got over his little tizzy fits while being passed...the timing for the LDs was not great as all the 50's caught up with us on the lake bed heading out and then for the rest of the day we played hopscotch with them and the top tenners would go by at a good clip. So the first few gave Storm a good bout of race fever (another reason I like a NOT hot horse, because even the lazy ones perk up fast in a ride atmosphere, but are at least easier to control. A hot one will often go over the top with all that stimulus...) on the lake bed, but mellowed out after enough ppl passed us and it wasn't a novelty anymore and he figured out he was NOT in THAT race, LOL....
He did learn to gait up quite a storm in the Runwalk coming out of the was slightly downhill, and I handwalked the first 40 mins due to horrid rock. Then I hopped on when it got a "little" better, but still insisted that he walk, but he was allowed to walk as fast as he wanted. Karl Phaeler on his Walker mare Gypsy and Bobbie Lieberman on her Morgan mare Annakate, passed us after the VC and Storm was VERY enamored with "his" girls (we camped across from each other the first two days and he loves his girls...he also might have a date with Gypsy, as both Karl and Bobbie are very enamored with Storm :P) and was wanting to catch them, but they were going faster than I wanted. This did motivate him to speed up though, so he really caught on to the runwalk for the next 45 mins, til we finally hit the split where the 50's went one way and the LDs went back to the radar tower.
We had more excitement coming down out of the vet check, as the dry lake bed and that whole Panamaint valley is used by the Air (or Naval ?) base as a jet playground... it is way fun to watch these fighter planes go zipping around the mountain sides and then hit the deck on the lake bed. I think they also have fun buzzing the riders coming through the area too, LOL, and they would come fly right over our heads several times. The first time Storm scooted forward and his HR went up to 95+ from 65+, but after that he couldn't have cared less. It was neat, you could practically see inside the cockpit if they'd been flying slower! :) I always have fantasized having enough money to go for a ride in one of those planes...what fun!
By the time we got to the radar tower, I had 52 minutes to get back to camp...and I knew we had a good ways to go yet...crap! I think the ride was a tad over 25miles and with the rock, it made the going slow. We ended up gaiting lots and not getting to walk much, so by the time we got to the lake bed again, he was getting pretty tired...but still doing well :) I was watching my HRM like a hawk to make sure he wasn't stressed too much.
We had NO time to get across the lake and since he was tired and we were going fairly fast, he started pacing a lot again. Not his fault, as he doesn't have the gaiting muscles yet to stay set in his gait much. I hadn't planned on him having to gait so much/fast! We were really booking it for real now...Mary's horse was doing a flying endurance trot and Storm alternated between cantering and pacing and step pacing. Beings that we had to make cutoff, I just gritted my teeth and let him pick whatever would keep his heart rate relatively low and still be fast enough to make it. He was being SUCH a good boy and really giving it a go for me, as I could tell he was starting to tire. We did this pretty much all the way across the finish line, and made it in by the hair of our chinny chin chin. I hopped off and loosened the girth and he went from the 135-145 he was going across the lake with, to the low 80's, then started to drop to the mid 70's...he hovered between 60-65 for a little while (this is all without sponging or anything as water was fairly scarce and we were not allowed to use any extra besides drinking) and then came down to under 60. WHEW! We MADE it, just in time!!!! Whoo Hoo! What an awesome boy!
And again, this is all with maybe 40 rides on him, NONE over 15 miles, most around 5-10 miles. So I can not WAIT to see what he does when he is in real shape :) I absolutely adore this horse :) So after we vetted though, he ate for a good hour but then sacked out for the next few hours. He really was pooped (but not overstressed or anything) and looked tired for those two hours, but then he perked right up again and looked ready to go for another round.
Lucky for him, I was going to spare him that and he got to rest the next day, while Oliver went out for one last day. That night we also had a big, beautiful full moon rising over the Panamaint range behind camp, that took everyone's breath away. The next morning I got to once again clean and pack up camp and then move it back over the mountains to Trona and the golf course (ok, don't laugh, there IS a golf course out there...course it is all sand and no grass in sight, but what the heck..:P), where we would all celebrate New Year's. First time for me driving the "big rig" (not big for most ppl, but compared to my little truck and Brenderup, it was!), and that was a bit fun and exciting (esp the windy steep, narrow road over the Slate Range....).
I set up camp in Trona and it turned out we were parked right near Mary's setup and our friend April, who had her stallion with as well. Both boys behaved themselves well though :) Terri ended up pulling at lunch, as Oli had some rubbing issues going on with his boot gaiters and scratches (the problem with the desert and a horse with 3 white legs. The Alkaline sand just irritates the skin and makes everything rub and even without anything to rub, causes scratches. It is such a PITA! No white legged horses for me if I can help it :) ). That was kinda a bummer, as Oli would have passed his 5,000 mile mark that day, had he finished. Oh well, stuff happens, and that is his only pull in....well, ever I think? Wait,he did have one other pull a few years ago from a stone bruise...that is it though, so pretty good record :)
That evening htere was a great steak dinner (these things were HUGE! took up 1/2 the plate and way thick!) that was super yummy and then the awards. We had a bunch of ppl stay up til about 10, to "party" in the New Year. That was fun, as always, though only about 5 or so of us die hards made it to midnight, LOL..4 days of riding just killed everyone else :(
So there you have it, Storm's Death Valley Encounter. He is going to be a kick butt endurance horse once I get him in shape :) and I am going to have WAY too much fun with this! His next ride will not be til at least May, so we will work on conditioning and gait til then with no stress to have to "finish" a ride. He'll be much better then :)
(PS: on a side note, though the rest of me was SOOOOO much more compfy than on a trotter, I discovered it is going to take a little while for my lower back to get used to the totally new motions that gaiting throws at it, esp for distance work. I was pretty sore after day two, LOL..but I think that is like any new muscle movement, just something your body has to condition for! Course some of it prob was the pacing, which will go away with conditioning his gait...)
Storm at the vet check on day two....he's the horse with the red blanket on....

I tied his reins to that bush, then stuck food in front of him while I went and got my own food. He was good and could care less about anything else happening. These VC pics by Karen Chaton

Moonrise over the Panamaint range...this is right around dusk, it is not really this light out, but with the bright moon and a slow exposure, it looks awesome! It was still pretty light though for the time it was...

Our camp in was nice and quiet this day and he just got to hang out and relax after his hard day working yesterday. He is such an easy horse to camp with, I LOVE it!

mmmmmm...more food!..these collapsible trash cans are great...keeps most the hay off the sand.

Looking good! Can't really tell he rode two 25's! Good boy :)

This is at our overnight stay in Tehachapi on the way home. Storm and Oli really became good buds that week and Oli actually "plays" with Storm....he'll run up to him, nip him and rear and jump around...I'll have to get a video of that one of these days :)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Storm's Death Valley Encounter Adventures

Storm and I in camp the day or so before the by Bobbie Lieberman

Ok, now that I am somewhat combobulated after coming back from DVE, I can post our adventure...:) Overall in summary, he did an awesome job for his first ride and I think he'll make a great endurance horse! This may get long...hang in there or just skip along if you get bored :) I think I will split it into two posts anyway....
Since deciding Storm was going to do a ride sometime soon, I have been looking for one to take him to. It had to be an LD, as it will be a while to get him in shape for 50's, with our rainy winter weather. I decided on the Death Valley Encounter over New Year's for several reasons. It was an XP/SSR (managed by Dave Nicholson) ride so I knew it would be low stress and a great intro for him without a bunch of horses galloping off in a tizzy, riders worrying about "winning", etc. Management is fairly loose too, so they don't harass /you with a gazillion vet checks, spotters, etc. You just get a trail to follow and some mellow ppl to ride with... for me, a perfect setting for a horse's first ride :)
We would also have a longish 2 day drive to get there, so it would be a good chance to see how he'd travel (a BIG key that I think a lot of ppl forget about in endurance, though perhaps not everyone is as nutty as Terri and I...we often hear ppl saying they won't travel more than 9 hrs to a ride....that's a close ride for us...most rides are 8+hrs away and the good ones are often 2-3 DAYS away, LOL). Storm did really well traveling, but still is a bit impatient in the trailer (paws the wall if he is not wanting to stand, wants to get out, needs more food, we had to work a bunch on that...) and needs to learn to drink in the trailer (drinks great if we pull him out, but not as well if standing in the trailer). As with all our horses, we are lucky with him too, it appears. No problems with unloading in rest stops, truck stops, etc. No matter how noisy, busy, or traffic-y, he was calm, ate, drank, hopped in and out of the trailer, etc. GOOD BOY! Hurdle number one passed :) I find that if a horse can't travel well, then it is a big stresser for an endurance horse. They become dehydrated, stressed out, possibly colicy/ulcery, set. So a horse that will haul a lot of miles with few issues is a BIG plus in an endurance horse, esp in an area like ours, where we have a long ways to go to get to anywhere...
The first night we stayed just south of San Jose at a friend's, where there were LOTS of other horses. We set up Oli, Storm, and Brian (our friend Laney's new horse, who came from Canada with Terri's new horse and we were dropping off for Laney to reduce shipping costs for her) in some pipe corrals, and Storm only said "hi" once and proceeded to settle in for the night nice and quiet-like. GOOD! It is always interesting to see what a stud will do in new environments. Will he settle down? Pace all night? Scream all night? Etc.... again, for an endurance horse, he HAS to be able to settle down...and NO ONE wants to be kept awake all night in ridecamp by a stud talking to all the mares all night (trust me, been there, done that, wanted to kill the owners, LOL). And how would one go about training a horse NOT to "talk"? Better to have a quiet one to begin with :) After a good night's sleep, the next morning we met Laney in Gilroy to hand off Brian to her. From there, we were going to stop in Tehachapi that evening, but when we got close it was only around 4ish and camp was only another 2-3 hrs away, so on we went to camp, near Johannesburg, Ca.
We arrived in camp after dark and a long day's drive, and just tied Oli and Storm to the trailer overnight instead of trying to set up camp in the dark. We were the first ones in camp (this was the night before, the 2 days before the ride. So we were REALLY early, LOL. Next day we figured out how we wanted to be parked and organized camp. Oli and the other horses do great in an electric fence and during the day Storm was able to hang out in it as well as he seemed not to challenge it (he knows what it is from home). But just for safety I tied Storm to the trailer at night, or if no one was around to watch him, since he still is a stud and you just never know. Didn't want him going on any unauthorized "dates", lol :)
That day some of the first people started pulling in and we ended up kinda in the middle of one section of camp, so he'd be right in the middle of a bunch of other horses and that would be a good test as well (many ppl with studs will park way out on the fringes of camp, to reduce "stimulus" to him). He camped great though! No screaming (just whinnied now and then while all the new rigs would pull in, wondering who all these new horses were, LOL), no fussing, nothing. Just hung out in camp looking fairly bored, and was a good boy....Hurdle number two passed!
That day I took Storm for a quick stroll away from camp, and woah boy! We had a whole nother horse! Normally he is kinda a lazy, unmotivated horse when taken out alone. He likes to be with other horses instead. But he'd been eating alfa and grass alfa on the trip (much less mess than the rye grass we also brought and wait till camp to open) and with being cooped in the trailer or tied to it, he was a bit of a handful, LOL. Especially cause he did NOT want to leave all those other horses in camp :) So we had several good arguments about what I wanted to do vs what he wanted to do, but we made it down the trail and back ok. We just had to have a few discussions about who was driving and what direction we were going in, at what speed :P That was good though, as normally he doesn't try and challenge me, so this way I know what he does when he gets in a huff (mainly tries to turn around and go back to camp, or just plant his feet and balk at going forward).
Several more ppl arrived, including fellow gaited pals Carl Phaler and Bobbie Lieberman. They brought Gypsy, a nice, black TWH mare (that can be ridden in a neck rope!) and Annakate, a really nice Morgan mare. They parked right across from us, and Storm really seemed to like ogling Gypsy. Good thing too, as by the end of the day, Carl decided he liked Storm so much, Storm now has a "date" with Gypsy this spring. He is such an awesome boy, I think he'll just sell himself! Then we had one more day before the ride. Terri and I like getting there early so the horses have at least a full day of rest before a ride, especially when we drive so far.
The next day (evening before the ride) Terri and I hand walked the horses a while down the trail and then I rode back to camp. I had only a halter on him and I was bareback, but since he had Oli with him this time he was pretty good. Lots of ppl were watching as I was riding this "wild stallion" in a halter and bareback. What fun! I got to do a lot of promotion for this wonderful breed, as ppl kept wanting to know what he was. I think that boy will end up a good ambassador for the KMSH, with his great looks and wonderful disposition :) He also got a clip on his neck and chest, as it was in the upper 50's to low 60's, which in the desert and with a full winter coat is fairly warm. He had never been clipped as far as I know, and he was really wary at first, but once he figured out the clippers were not going to eat him (and these were big, loud, body clippers too), he stood perfectly for his clip job. :)
Next morning was ride day! I was planning on riding days 1 and 3 and rest him days 2 and 4. He is not in great shape yet, but most horses can do an easy, slow 25 if managed correctly. If he was done after one day, that would have been fine too, and the plan was to ride however he needed. If we went overtime, that was ok, long as he went the miles and saw what it was all about, and he got the riding/camping experience. I hooked him up with a heart rate monitor so I could keep close track of how he was doing. First day 50 is a figure 8 looping that ends up in camp and has out vet checks. The 50's go through the VC twice and the LD's once and head home. The LD's only do the first loop, with the VC being about halfway. We leave camp, head up over a hilly area to the town of Johannesburg, ride across Hwy395 and skirt the outer edges of town past the old cemetery, and then up another good sized hill around an old mine, down to the town of Randsburg, and then down to the flats, where in a few miles we hit the lunch VC and then head back home, paralleling the train tracks, going back under 395, and then through sand washes back to camp.
Terri and Oli started at 7, I didn't have to start til 8. So I got Storm all ready and let him hang out for an hour (wanted him tacked up and ready, in case he pitched a fit when Oli left and I didn't want to tack and boot up a dancing horse). He was actually really fine with Oli leaving. He is SUCH a foody, I just hung some alfa and some mush in front of his nose when Oli left and it was a total non issue. Whoo hoo! All our other horses are so bonded to each other, they pitch a total fit when left behind. This is great! A total and unexpected bonus :) He was like this all week too...a slight nicker when Oli leaves, then dives in the food and could care less, hanging out quietly the rest of the day. In fact, the HRM read 34...guess he was REAL excited :P
Just before 8, I started hand walking him and met up with Mary, a friend from my area, who it turns out was riding her horse's first LD too. She wanted to know if I was going to take it easy or not and if she could ride with me. So we hooked up together and it seemed a good match. She had a nice, Anglo-Arab gelding that was a real sweetie, and Storm and he became fast friends within the first few miles. We tried to get out of camp last, so we wouldn't have to deal with horses passing us just yet, but that didn't happen. So of course we had some..errrr...interesting times when the 4 ppl behind us came trotting by, as well as one lost soul who went the wrong way and had to get back on track again :). Storm was not too happy with being passed at a trot and he actually had a minor blowup at one pair of horses and we had to do some circling (course it was within the first 2 miles, so he was full of energy yet) to get his mind, and feet, back on the ground. No biggie though, most horses new to endurance have little meltdowns while getting passed at speed, til they get used to it. After everyone had finally passed, we moved down the trail fine and Storm settled right in behind Mary's horse. Since he liked being in front, and Storm liked being behind, it worked great!
We went our merry way to Johannesburg, where we had a great time getting the horses through town. The big "scare" for both horses, was this huge billboard we had to ride under. It was next to the hwy, and there was a big green hwy sign next to it. The horses had to go between the hwy sign and under the billboard, but cause of the hwy sign they could not see the traffic. So it must have seemed to the horses, that the billboard was "making all that noise" (several semis and lots of cars were passing us, "behind" the sign) and they did NOT want to go under it, LOL. Storm finally was the bravest and scooted under the billboard followed by his buddy. After that, both horses were a tad hyped and we had a fun time skirting town, with barking dogs, rundown and trashy properties with weird spooky objects all over the place. Storm is usually pretty mellow, but even he was startling (can't really say spooking as he wasn't reacting that strongly) at stuff. Finally made it up to the cemetery and then around the mountain and down to Randsburg. Randsburg is this neat old town, basically one street and a bunch of older buildings from the old mining days. It is just this shy of being a ghost town and just has such a unique flavor. I LOVE riding through it, and we ride right down the middle of main street. Mary and I got some GREAT pics from the ride photographer there (will post when they are up on her site). After Randsburg and getting on the flats, we boogied into the VC. I got off about 1/2 mile out and walked Storm in. By the time we got there and he drank (which btw he did great all day..really takes care of himself well), he was down to 55 and we were in. He dug into the food and ate 3! bowls of mush and a bunch of hay...what a foody! None of our other horses eat like that, LOL...he'll have plenty of fuel on rides I think... After our hour hold, we vetted through (he did fine, but REALLY needs to work on the trot out...does fine at the pre-vet, but at the VC and finish when he thinks he is "done", he totally won't go and I have to drag him. So from now on, after every time I ride him, he has to do trot outs, LOL) ok, and took off for home.
Since we had to parallel the railroad grade for some miles (like it was RIGHT next to the jeep road we were on), Mary and I agreed we'd hop off the horses and get off in the bushes if a train came, as neither horse had ever seen one. Sure enough, after about 20 mins, we saw lights in the distance.... a big, long freight train. As it got closer, we got off and moved about 50ft into the bushes and handwalked on. Storm did really good! He was a bit unsure about it, but not overly excited. Luckily these are all big, slow freight movers out here, so they don't go whizzing by. After a few minutes (this thing was LOOONNNNGGGGGGGGG and it prob took 7 or 8 minutes to pass us) he calmed enough that I decided to move back onto the jeep road with him and really push it. He was fine, except when the wheels would squeal on the rails now and then. He'd jump at that and run a circle around me. But by the time the train finally got to the end, he was just plodding along like nothing was happening. What a good boy and a great training exercise! Mary and I hopped back on and took off for the highway crossing. We stopped at some water troughs and had a bunch of dirt bikes pass us, which after the train were no biggie at all. Then to the crossing, which was actually a low underpass (maybe 10ft high at most?) tunnel. Again, Storm went through fine, once convinced that that dark hole was indeed tall enough for him to fit through, LOL...
After the crossing we had a bunch of desert sand washes that wound between the hills to ride through on the way back to camp. He was finally getting a good bit tired and in the deep sand really slowed down. Mary's horse knew we were headed home and was going a tad faster (he was in much better condition than Storm) and so he would get ahead while Storm would walk, then we'd catch back up when HE would walk, then he'd trot off again. Kinda leap frogged most the way to camp that way. Bout 3 miles from camp, the front running 50's caught us again and Storm and Mary's horse went back into minor meltdown mode evertime one passed us, especially on one that cantered by. But by the 6th or 7th rider, he finally gave up and decided just plodding along while they flew by was just fine by him. What a good boy :) By this time we had about 1/2 hr to go and knew camp was "somewhere near", but not sure where exactly. So we were going along at a decent clip, when all of a sudden we saw the finish line up ahead. Oops...there went the idea of walking in, LOL.... I hopped off, loosened the girth, and walked in the last 100yrds. He came down within a minute or so ok, and since there were only 8 of us, we were asked if we wanted to weigh in for BC. What the heck I figure, why not. Good practice if nothing else, LOL.
Had 1/2 hr to go vet in and the trailer was on the way to the vet, so I stopped there, pulled tack, and wandered to the vet. Didn't know til after, that I had an hour if I was going to BC (LDs often are done when they come in at the finish with their completion, vs waiting an hour or whatever like 50's do), so didn't really give him any time to relax. But it was all for fun and practice anyway, not that I was serious about showing for a BC. He actually seemed to do well......until we got to the trot (gait) out...oh BOY was that pathetic. He would NOT GO! I was dragging him and everyone was clucking and waving arms and I barely got him out of a walk, LOL...very embarrassing, but very funny too! Good thing I wasn't serious...then he got stuck on the pink ribbon that was supposed to section off the VC area and dragged it around and broke it. Gawds I wish we'd have had video of the whole thing, as it was the worse BC showing ever, LOL :) Ah well.
After that, I put him up, wrapped his legs, and gave him lots of goodies. He did such a great job and I was extremely pleased with his performance. :):) He looked great and like he had plenty of horse left in him, so I figured I would let him rest the next day and start day 3 with him. Third hurdle passed, he finished the ride in a-ok condition. Whoo hoo! Later that day Terri and Oli came in and both ponies were happy to see each other. Another good night was spent in camp, with not a peep out of Storm.
More later......
Storm after the first ride day, all wrapped and w/binkie
(anyone know where I can find a teal/turquise fleece binkie?)

Plenty of light left in those eyes...I think he can go another day :)


What? I'm HUNGRY, OK?!?!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Christmas with Storm

I have lots of posting to catch up on. Had a great Christmas and then New Year's near Death Valley, Ca at a 4 day endurance ride. Storm did his first 2 LD's and is now a "real" endurance (or LD at least since some say ONLY 50+ miles are "endurance", LOL) horse. But that will be for some other posts. First, here is what I did before Christmas, so I could send out some new, unique cards this year. My friend Vanessa and I went down to Trinidad Beach and we decked out Storm in a wreathe I made and some holiday decorations. He was none too pleased about it ("Dang wreathe is POKEY and I look STUPID in all this girly-girl getup. I am NOT a pony to be played dressup with!") but put up with it ok, LOL. I got all girlified with an actual skirt and nicer top, and off we went for a photo shoot. Below are some of the results :)

The Kiss....who needs frogs when you can have a stallion?

This is our "Ireland lookalike" shot...can't you just see it? Some rugged Irish coast with a
redheaded girl leading her horse.... :)

Back at Terri's in the woods...can you tell he is just done with it all??
"Oh, the they want HATS too! This is SO not studly....sighhhhhhh...."

But he sure is a cute little feller when he wants to be! :)

And this was Storm's final word on the whole thing..... "BLECH!!!!"....he is such a goof, LOL :)