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

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Great Day for a Ride!

View to the Northwest
After the layer of marine cloud cover burned off, we enjoyed a gorgeous day!   I'm finally done with my week of  restriction, after eye surgery last Tue.   When the email came in from Charlotte saying that she planned to ride late afternoon,  I started trying to figure out a way to go!  I'd planned a bath for Khari, who - being a gray - will find any mud she can & roll in it daily!  She was also scheduled for shoes mid-afternoon.  Art had left a message saying that he might be early, so I called & asked "how early"?   He came in time to get shoes replaced & I had her in the trailer a few minutes after!  In spite of the wet conditions this year, her feet looked good. I was happy to get the pads off from Renegade.
Charlotte & Aliento
We were warned in the parking area that the trails were muddy, actually it's surprising to us both that the tree farm has let the trails open, considering how wet it's been.  It was slippery, but we took it easy on the trails & shared with several bicyclists.  The tiny black biting fly's were thick, so it took some spray!  I didn't have the setting correct on my GPS today, so no Google image. 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Visiting those "Northern" Grand-kids!

Ben "catching air"!
Headed up to the mountains yesterday for an overdue visit to see Ben & Skyla!  Of course, their mother too :-)  Ben's been practicing his jumps & really getting in some Big ones!  He also had a Big Crash, which got my adrenalin going!  His handle grip came off on the right - just as he was landing - so he lost control of the front tire.  Way too much excitement for me...  Especially when his chin hit hard on the paving!  He jumped up & said;  "I'm OK!" before we could get to him - so that helped, but geez!
Ben teaching Skyla to box :-)
 Ben is also Skyla's personal Trainer!  He is in charge of her "tummy time" & of course boxing lessons!  Skyla thinks he's just the Best Big Brother Ever!  :-)  Of course, by the end of a busy day - when a little baby thinks she doesn't need Any naps...  something strange happens...

Sleeping Beauty
Sleep catches up with you!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Highlights of an English Cottage Garden~

Petra's Home
Even in this year of strange weather, yesterday was a perfect summer day.  Planet Earth's last gift to a woman who treasured treading lightly over hill & dale.   A person who nurtured not only the earth, but the people who shared it with her.  To enjoy again the beauty of her gardens was bittersweet.  Bitter with the knowledge that  she is lost to us, but sweet with the thoughts of all the happy times we were able to share as her friends.

Leaving us for another Great Adventure is all too like her ~
Godspeed Petra~

Friday, July 15, 2011

Farah's Second Ride on the Trail~

Farah & Connie
Our second trail ride!  This time, we left from Joyce's, then headed up to the power lines, out onto the logging roads, up a big climb to about 1,500 ft. - then finishing with trail that would loop us back around.  The sun came out as we were climbing & with it - the humidity went through the roof!  Farah hardly took a deep breath! 
Today's route
We DO have some work to do when it comes to ditches though!  We took a trail back where there were a series of whoop-De-dos - as we call them - soil berms put in to keep the dirt bikes from using the trail.  Even in July - water was flowing at the bottom of each.  Farah started down, then took the bit in her teeth & made this HUGE leap to the other side - with my back getting snapped in the process, I'd given her too much rein!  Joyce put her Anne into the next ditch ahead of us - giving Farah no choice except to step down & step out - which she did.  We'd used this same technique when I was starting Khari.  Big Thank You to Joyce!

A long ride - for a newbie mare - at twelve miles.  When we arrived back home, Farah was dry & looked ready for more!  Even with our continuing education on trail obstacles - Joyce commented that Farah seemed to be having a good time :-)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

"Look Through Any Window Yeah..."

 What do you see?
Smiling faces all around ~

 Rushing through the busy town ~

Where do they go
Moving on their way
Walkin' down the highways and the byways
Where do they go
Moving on their way
People with their shy ways, and their sly ways

Oh, You can see the little children all around

Oh, You can see the little ladies in their gowns, when you

Look through any window, yeah

Any time of day
See the drivers on the roads
Button down their heavy loads

Where do they go

Moving on their way
A driving down the highways, and the byways
Where do they go
Moving on their way
Drivers with their shy ways, and their sly ways

Oh, You can see the little children all around

Oh, You can see the little ladies in their gowns, when you

Look through any window, yeah

What do you see
Smiling faces all around
Rushing through the busy town

Where do they go

Moving on their way
Moving on their way
Moving on their way

Monday, July 11, 2011

Sunshine & Shadows~

Our Route
Friday afternoon, I received the sad news of the loss of my dear friend Petra...  Her six-month  struggle with Leukemia ended peacefully...  Having know & loved her for almost 30-years, it is hard to even grasp that I will no longer hear her cherry, crisp English accent... or see her smiling face. Always the adventuress, I know that she is now on a final Great Adventure...

I called my friend Charlotte & lucky for me, she had time to ride on Sat. I really wanted some time in the saddle, surrounded by nature. So, on Sat. morning I loaded Khari & we headed north to Big Lake. Met up with Charlotte, transferred Khari to her trailer & drove on to Whidbey Island & the Heart Lake area. The first time either of us had been riding there since Diane moved to CA.  

Armed with maps of the area we "explored". Doing one "loop", coming back to have lunch & going out again in the afternoon! It was almost like "spring" except that the trails were dry. We spotted;   Indian Paint Brush, Twinflower, Foamflower, Honeysuckle & a yet to be identified blue flower!

Charlotte was kind enough to listen to a few of my many stories of Petra's life, the trails were soft under the horses hooves, breeze in the trees & we rode so far that the only sounds to be heard were the songs of the birds.

We returned to the parking area just in time to witness a fly-over of five Navy jets! The horses made friends with children who wanted to "pet" them :-) It was a really good day... helping me to relieve a bit of my deep grief.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Off to Mexico! :-)

What fun it is to see your horse under saddle!  We usually spend so much time on the top, that it's seldom we have the opportunity to enjoy the view from the ground!  When waking to a drizzly, gray day - I was happy to have a reason to pull out the trailer & head for the farm.  I had an appointment for Farah to get the once over from our friend Dean Essex, DVM.  Having his professional horseman's eye look her over is something that I value.   Getting the low-down as to what the weaknesses & strengths of a horse may be, is a real advantage - both for their future training & work.  What can reasonably be expected & what to guard against or hope to improve.
Polito on Farah
Polito, the farm manager at GFTF - was happy to ride Farah - at Dean's request.   (He has been trying to talk me out of Khari for some time now, saying that she would be Very happy in Mexico having babies!  :-)  Not!  Once Farah was saddled, away they went, moving out at a nice pace.
Back from the ride~
As they came back down the drive along the river, Farah was still moving in a relaxed manner, tail carried soft & swaying from side to side.  Dean has a term for this, the first word starts with an "H" & the last is "Swagger" :-)  Dean asked Polito his opinion of the mare?  Polito replied that he would just ride her on down to Mexico!  My amigo, owner of the saddle said;  "Just ship the saddle back when you get there!"
Farah doesn't think so :-)
What are friends for?  :-)  These two have my number:-)  Maybe I should get the mare branded?  Farah, as I'm finding out, just plain loves going & doing!  She's up for whatever we put her to & that's something that I really like.   I can just see her in the parades with one of our cute Granddaughters riding!