Ain't nuthin like ridin' a fine horse in a new country - Augustus McCrae – Lonesome Dove

Friday, July 24, 2015

TrailBLAZER Surprise!

Beautiful Issue~
Fellow Washington Trail Riders Distance Derby Competitor & friend Lisa, sent me a short note through Facebook a couple weeks ago, asking if I knew that there was an article on the Centennial Trail in TrailBLAZER magazine?  I had not heard of it, so she offered to send me a copy.
The magazine arrived in today's mail - I leafed through, already having decided to subscribe, since it's been on my interest list for a couple years now.  Almost to the end, page 77 - here we were!  I really appreciate the nomination & receiving the award. Thank You!

Really fun to see us in print & know that our trail has received some notice nationally!  It's really an amazing trail, with an amazing history & how very lucky we are to have it right in our backyard!  If you haven't ridden it - take the time to put it on your list & enjoy at least a part of the 30-mile length.  There's something for everyone & it's a great place to keep our horses in the public eye.

It's becoming a rare thing for children these days to even see a horse close up & personal, so whatever I can do to help that happen & hook the upcoming generations on the wonderful wide world of horses - I will do!  :-)  The trail offers the opportunity to meet & talk with other users, to show the public that horse owners can be considerate & share our multi-use trails with everyone. 

When the Rain Comes~

First Rain~
Finally, Finally, Finally - RAIN!  It's been a long time coming...  The smell, the Sound, the moist air, the relief from the stress of that length of hot, dry days...
Front Yard~
The gold evergreen on the far left, was totally dry inside by the time I saw it droop...  I've been watering it for weeks now to try to save it.  Watering everything that miles of hose will reach.
The Barn~
There's no way to keep everything watered.  Years of planting - scared that we'd start losing the trees.   We've been giving Farah the run of the place, to keep her impact minimal.  Actually happy to only have the one horse now.
Lower pasture too - parched...
It was getting difficult to look around - never having seen our part of the state looking like this~
The Cottage~
Ben's been keeping things mowed short & that's about all we could do.  The three of us have been doing all the yard work we could, but the watering was the highest priority.  Linda reported this morning about 9:30, that she was getting rain.  Since she's about 20-miles north of us - by 10 - it was raining here!
Arizona Glow
I just had to go out & listen, watch & enjoy the show!  Rain!
Back porch~
The dogs were still snuggled into their beds, but they came out to join me :-)
Mini Red Geraniums~
Managing to keep one variety of plant alive over years & years is challenging...   Eight strong healthy plants to enjoy this season.  To keep our acreage, the woods & the plants that exist on it - healthy & thriving over time - takes commitment. 
Smoke Tree~
   Wishing for continuing rain showers for us all!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Spada Lake Trail outside Granite Falls~

Pat on KH Destry& Donnie ponying KH Cam & Riding KH Rao
First, I was so darn mad - forgot my camera!  So I had to use my phone...  Pat had mentioned a couple weeks ago, that she'd found another trail a few miles out of Granite Falls.  Since close to home is always nice we made a plan to go.  Today - our schedules merged - Donnie joined us - we drove to a gravel lot just off the road, parked & started in.  Pat brought her young mare Cam to pony along - her first time away from home.
The river~
When we started it was very warm & sunny - but before long - the trail narrowed, went into the trees & stayed close to the river.  It was a gradual climb all the way - nothing steep - just gradual.
Yes, we were climbing - We think this is Pilchuck Creek
There are a couple bad spots, one short steep climb up around some boulders.  Another section shortly after where half the width of the already narrow trail had crumbled down the hillside.  Not for the faint of heart.  Farah just checked it out & trucked right on by, as did the other three horses.
On the bridge over a tributary~
There were small tributaries feeding into the river in several places.  Most would have been small water falls in a normal year - but it was still really nice to see water still flowing!  All the bridges were concrete & sound to cross.  A couple deep holes, a trail not to be taken for granted.
Large Bridge
 This is where we turned back, at just under 5-miles.  Farah loved it!  She was on best behavior, it had been a while since we'd found somewhere new.  Now I'm anxious to do some more exploring up here.  It's basically an in/out for now - but I can see a point-to-point in the future - all the way to Spada Lake!
Pat on Cam with Destry
Pat, decided to take her saddle off Destry & put it on Cam for the rest of the ride back!  Only the mare's second or third time under saddle, first time on the trail & she did just Great!  Of course a good trainer can always make it look easy & Pat hasn't lost her nack!  :-)
End of the Ride~
Cam came back totally relaxed & looked happy to be out & about.  Great way to end the ride. 
Our Route & Spada Lake
Someone told Pat that it's about 30-miles south to Monroe, Spada Lake looks closer, I'm thinking maybe 15 or 20-miles.  Definitely a place I want to go back to & explore some more - with a good map!
P.S.  My new saddle came today!  I'll be opening the box Soon!  

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Back to Bracken & Saddle Trial~

Linda & Count in Harvey Creek~
I talked Linda into trailing over to Bracken Road for a ride today.  Several trucks & trailers were already there, it was early too.  Everyone had the same idea we did, to take advantage of a cooler day!
On my way up Burn Rd., there were actually about 100 sprinkles of wet stuff that hit my windshield!  I was wishing that they would continue - but no - it was even clearer in Arlington...  I'm having a tough time of it, watching our yard & plants drying up here at home...  To see the large trees starting to show signs of stress - I think we're all wondering when it will end & praying we don't end up like CA.  When you think back, we really had no rain last fall, not much rain during the winter - we were happy to have all that fine riding weather, after all.  We went into Spring already dry & now I think the word parched about sums it up.
The north fork of the Stillaquamish~
There's still flow in the river, but nothing like in a more normal year & last year was drier than usual for us, plenty of sunshine days.
 Last year on the 19th~
Linda enjoyed her first visit to the Whitehorse Trail!  Count started over Tin Bridge just fine, but was busy watching the swirling water below :-)  The yellow jacket sign is up - but we didn't see them today - I hope they've moved on!  We had our lunch at Cloverdale & the horses enjoyed the grazing.
Linda & Count
When we turned toward Arlington, Count hit his turbo walk!  It ended when we turned back, but he sure seemed to enjoy seeing new views :-)  Even though cool - it did warm up when the sun broke through & the humidity went up.  I was stiff & got off to walk part of the way back.
Heraldic, No fenders yet~
Arriving home, I received an email from Chloe at Reactor Panel, my trial saddle has shipped.  I'm hoping that this saddle will be the one, if they work - you keep them.  Taking a saddle on trial - costs too - shipping etc., but still better than the year long wait I had last time, for a saddle that I would have never bought had I seen it first!  Both Linda & Diane have ridden years now in RP saddles - so that helped me decide.  It will be a change - but again - if it works, I'm ready!

A few days & we'll be using Skype for the fit session & Ms. Farah & I will be trying it out! 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Horse Hunting~

Farah getting shoes~
 Justin had to cancel our shoeing appointment last Fri.  I had no nail heads left & didn't want to pull a shoe, so he rescheduled for Sunday.  Yes - it was Cookin' hot!  Butch sat up one of his big fans to keep Justin cool & the bugs off Farah.  She loved it!  Was so funny watching her - she almost went to sleep!  Justin told me that I'm very lucky that Farah has such great feet - that can hold up to the constant shoeing that all the miles have required over the past couple years.  I know he's going to be lobbying hard for me to let her go without this Winter...  I dread the thought of having to do boots again, so we'll see.
Yes - there's still water!
I knew there would be a lot of riders out early looking for the lost horse, so since I prefer riding in the afternoon anyway - decided to go up later & act as the drag rider :-)  They're the ones that usually find stuff anyway!  People were worried that the horse wouldn't have access to water - but there's still plenty in the wetlands - so if he's smart - he'll find it.
From an overcast morning - things heated up quickly~
Since the parking lot was full & I couldn't go on out to the road without doing major backing - which I do not do...  I parked along the back edge.  I was riding out as Charlotte was riding back in - so she took my keys & parked my rig in a empty spot she found upon her return.  Thanks Charlotte!  There were riders all over the mountain.  I'd stop every so often to listen & we'd usually hear other riders on other trails.  Two groups of hikers stopped to talk & they too were looking for the horse.
Hazy view from the top~
We had our lunch up at the Monument.  No one else around at that time.  Heading down, we ran into another hiker who was taking trails & looking everywhere too.  She lives on the perimeter of the farm & mentioned that she had listened last night to see if her horse called out - but no - all was quiet.
Going to the deep dark woods~
The woods are SO Dry!  The driest I've ever seen them, with the lower branches dropping so low that I had to bend down over Farah's neck in places...
The way back~
We covered just over 11-miles, not a sign of the horse anywhere.  When we got back to the trailers, there were only two left & we saw the owners coming in.  A lady in a car said she'd seen a brown horse going fast - way on up the road.  Katie took off at a gallop that direction.  It was the way I'd just come in - so really didn't think he was there...  Hope so though - for their sake.  Horrible feeling to lose an animal - I just went through it with Rascal & can't imagine the anguish of looking for a saddled horse.  Hope he's found soon~

Update~  Linda texted last evening & Penny posted ~
 The lost horse on Victoria was found by Jennifer and Joe Ridgley at 9:30pm on the road overlooking lake Mcmurray. Seems to be fine. No cuts or marks. Saddle still on. They caught him and led him to their place just outside tree farm. Owner is coming in morning to pick up. Happy ending!!