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

Friday, February 27, 2015


What you doin' Justin?
We managed to go six-weeks on a set of shoes!  Of course the ground is softer with all the rain & we haven't covered as many miles - so far this year - as we had the last couple.  It's pretty hard not to be getting excited by now!  With Patty's invitation to accompany her to  Joshua Tree National Park -
I've been setting out all the stuff that I think I'll need to take!

Last week we did paperwork, Health Certificate, Coggins & Brand Inspection.  This week, I'm starting to get things together for the trip!  The cinch rings have worn away some of Farah's winter coat - they have a flat, brass ring - with mohair strings, that I've used for many years.  I do think it's her winter coat that causes the problem.  I'd been using the Cashel Ring Masters, but over time the neoprene roughens up & almost feels like sandpaper.  Did some more searching & found the Sheepskin Fleece by JMS.  They arrived yesterday - seem to fit pretty well & hopefully will solve the problem.

I've been borrowing Linda's saddle for almost a year now!  Garry McClintock was hit by a fully loaded motor-home - while sitting in his truck at an intersection.  Thankfully - he's recovering from his injuries & back working in his shop.  Last time I spoke to him, our saddle was next up!   At one point on our trip - we'll only be about 150-miles from his shop - so I may call & see just how close to completion the saddle is!  :-)

Monday, February 23, 2015

Glorious Day to Ride~

At the Morgan Horse Club
We spent the weekend working at home - & what a beautiful weekend it was!  So darn beautiful - that we stopped mid-afternoon - pulled out the chairs & sat in the sun drinking root beer!  But - today, Joyce & I planned to ride & Joyce wanted to do some exploring on the west side of the tree farm.
Whitehorse & just the top of Three Fingers (with the zoom)
Joyce took us over to an area that we hadn't been on for probably close to a year - when we'd had Lynn with us.  Both of us were surprised to find rock going down everywhere & a new logging road going in here too...
No zoom - where we were~
If you can't tell already - Butch bought me a new camera for the saddle, the little Canon SX600HS that's been getting good reviews.  When I tried it out in the store I liked the stability of the zoom.  Both the Nikon's I'd been using were older cameras.  The technology both of the camera & the high speed cards have improved a lot.
Target & Joyce are both busy :-)
We trotted, we galloped - we even trotted & galloped side-by-side!  Anyone who's been out with me knows that Farah finds this difficult!  :-)  Today we were so proud of both horses!  Galloping along on a loose rein doesn't happen often when you're riding two pretty darn fit & competitive horses!
View of Victoria~
We were out for almost three-hours & it was chilly enough that we had our coats on for most of the ride.  The grass is growing though & we did stop to let the horses graze & soak up the sun!   As Joyce said so well;  "Once an Endurance Rider - always an Endurance Rider - at least at heart!"

Friday, February 20, 2015

Whitehorse Trail Update

Bridge 703~
At last nights meeting, we had both very good & some news of another delay.  First the good news!  The second & third bridge - east, toward Darrington & past Tin Bridge have both been decked!  The non-slip grating will be installed at a later date.  This makes the hearts of the many, who have worked long & hard toward the opening of this trail - so happy!
Looking so good!
This section of the trail is NOT open yet!  There is still the large hole to the east of Cloverdale, where ballast rock was removed/stolen years ago, that will need to be re-filled & other work to do first.  It's certainly a huge start down the trail of many more bridges on the 27-mile length!
Bridge 703
With the anniversary of the slide coming up soon, all of us are saddened by memories of the day that  forever changed the lives of the survivors & communities affected...  Already there are problems with people coming up, trying to park & walk around the area that is considered hallowed ground by so many.
December 2014
The engineers involved on the project want to wait a full year - to let the soils in the area move, settle, shift & do what they are going to do, before finishing the section of the trail that goes through the slide area.  Feelings have already been hurt by governmental agencies - that while trying to do the right thing - sometimes don't. Herald Article~

The plan is to do all the work to the trail both directions from the slide - so that everything will be completed by the late summer of 2016 - when this area too, is supposed to be finished.  So far, there are no plans yet - to pave the trail - but the operative word is yet!

Please consider writing letters to;

Russ Bosanko, Division Manager
Park Capital and Operations
Snohomish County Parks & Recreation
6705 Puget Park Drive, Snohomish WA  98296
425-388-6602/ FAX: 425-388-6645 

Include your name, address, where you live in relation to the trail, how you plan to use it, horseback, bike, walking, etc.  Why you would like it the surface to remain unpaved - as it currently is.  Please be sure to give a big Thank You for the work that's been done!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

To Pilchuck Veterinary~

Open Wide~
Oh dear!  It was that time again!  Farah knew where she was the minute we pulled in, remembered the routine - to the scale - weight in.  What!  1075 lbs!  Glad those six + flakes of hay per day are doing something for her! The remarks were - "Solid muscle!"  "She's FIT!"  :-)  Music to my ears :-)  Next?  To talk Dr. Holohan out of one of the animal crackers she was eating, then spit it out!  It wasn't a real cookie!
A very good report!
 It's been just under a year since Farah's last float.  We'd had her in every few months the last couple years, to correct problems that she'd had from before we bought her.   How sweet to hear that the pocket that had taken so much work - has stayed gone!  It was interesting to see where Farah holds the bit - she's made her own place for the bit to sit.

We also did another brand inspection for our upcoming trip.  It's maddening to have paid for a very nice brand & not have it show.  Dr. Essex has told me that the branding iron wasn't hot enough.  Now it would be a major ordeal to have it re-done & to have it look decent.  I never like tossing good money after bad - so doubt I'll ever bother to have it re-done.  If you look really hard - the outline can still be seen...

Finally, Farah stayed for a while in the mare barn, while our youngest daughter & three of my favorite Grand-kids picked me up for Jentry's birthday lunch!  When we returned, Skyla & Josie wanted to feed Farah carrots & of course that was the best part of Farah's day :-)

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Clean Color~

After her bath!
Today, was one of those changeable days that usually belong to spring.  Instead - again, I look at the calendar & it says February.  I went out & raked leaves, cut back tree branches & enjoyed just being outside.  Then I decided to give Farah a bath - with winter coats shedding, warm baths seem to hasten the process & at the same time, give that new coat growing in a clean start.  We give her Flax year around, for the omega's & the shiny coat.
The color of the oak leaves I've yet to pick up~
Since she's our one & only - she gets pampered & she knows it :-)  She does love her baths, kicking back & relaxing while & scrub away.  I've kept a light weight rain sheet on her most of the winter & she's done fine with it.  Mostly just to keep her clean enough to reduce grooming time when I saddle up.
Enjoying the front lawn~
Soon, we'll be starting our fifth season together - how those years have flown by!  Every time I ride this mare, I think about how lucky I was to find her.  I'm thankful that I have the years behind me of horse ownership, learning what it takes to keep a healthy, happy horse & putting that knowledge to work.  The hope is to keep her going down the trail for as long as I want to go down a trail.  As the decades pass, I find my self a bit more reflective as I grow older.  Pat & I were talking about the great horses that we've both known & having one now - at this time in my life is a great gift.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

What Can You Say?

Lynn, Pat & Sharon
About such a Beautiful day?  When we're riding in 60 degree weather in February - it's almost surreal!  When I talked to Pat the other day - she was ready for a ride & Sharon was too!  Then - Lynn called & she was willing to drive up & accompany us!  The parking lot was close to full when we pulled in late morning.
Crossing Tin Bridge
Since Pat & Sharon hadn't been out for a while, we took it easy -   but the horses were feeling fresh & we ended up trotting more than we thought we would!  Over in the green valley - we stopped for lunch & the horses loved grazing on all that wonderful green grass!
Sharon & Pat
The four horses did really well, Farah as usual unhappy unless she was in the lead & of course those of you who know Sophie, know that she certainly prefers to lead the minute she thinks that we're heading back :-)
Lynn & Sophie
When back - means crossing the bridge, I had my hands full :-)  I decided to put Farah in the back & she finally settled just a bit.  On the power lines, she decided to stop to graze & watched the others leave us.  That was fine, until they went out of sight & she decided that a good buck might convince me that we needed to travel at mock 10.  About the time I was thinking of a dismount, Pat came back for us & all was well :-)

Once back at the trailers, we all stood around soaking up the sunshine, Farah about went to sleep! 
Now, the problem is - if this weather changes & goes back to our normal - rain until the fourth of July - there will be a lot of unhappy horsemen!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Quiet Ride~

On our way~
This is February?  It is - but it's more like a better than average March!  Last Thursday - I took Farah to Dr. Essex for her vaccinations.  Friday she was really under the weather.  In the past, I've ridden her the day after & watched as she put on a layer of foamy sweat.  This year, I had no time to ride - so she had a few days off.  Today, I was happy to see that the gold girl was back to her normal ornery self!  It takes longer to saddle now that the hair is coming off - in sheets under the shedding blade.
It was in the 30's this a.m. - but by mid-afternoon, chores were done, so I saddled up & headed out on our trails.  It seemed like a very long time since we'd been up there.  It was So quiet, even the frogs weren't croaking.  I didn't plan to be out long, it was so warm I just wore a t-shirt & hoodie.
On the power lines~
As we came out on the power lines, there were two deer watching us.  I'd forgotten the camera, so using my phone - I couldn't zoom in on them.   It was so warm & nice in the sun, I dismounted & let Farah graze on the fresh green grass - sprouting everywhere!
At the wetland~
I'm still getting used to no longer riding for miles :-)  Not that riding isn't always fun - but we'd been pushing pretty hard the past couple years.  Now - I don't watch the GPS & let the miles fall where they will.  It was probably at least 50 degrees when we left, the hoodie came off & ended up around my waist - but when that sun started sinking to the horizon, the temperature fell with it!

Coming home, the sky was turning turquoise & pink, an amazing end to another beautiful day~

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Blue, Gray, February Day~

Cutting through~
I can't believe that I hadn't ridden since the 30th!  Rain & a busy schedule contributed to Farah getting time off that she didn't want or need :-)  Then - Linda's neighbor brought home ten Jersey cows!  This made for some exciting time on the two farms!  Farah was in the trailer when the little herd of young heifers came over to the fence next to where the trailer was parked.  Farah instantly kicked the side of the trailer - scattering the herd!
Whitehorse & Three Fingers
We started out on foot, neither of us felt like getting pitched off!  We did - in the interest of keeping trails open - check out the start of one that Linda knew would probably need work - but is part of a plan to open a lower section & therefore make another loop.  Instead of riding it, we hiked it & took turns cutting our way through the downed trees.  At least until we ran out of arm strength & found a large dead-fall that will require the chain saw.
Last week, Linda & Scott got up with the chain saw & cut open several trails that had been blocked by fallen trees.  This particular one - on the way to the Monument is often used.  Of course Count had to do a double-check, just to be sure it was safe!  :-)
Title of this post :-)
We'd hoped to at least see some sun & finally - when we stopped for lunch on top - things did warm a few degrees~
Looking NW toward Antacortes
 Shortly after I took this picture & as we left, the clouds thickened.  No one else out on this day - I did keep Farah behind when Count would trot out.  She pitched a fit & found herself circled more than once.  Finally - toward the end of the ride, she mellowed.  Again - she was showing signs of her cycle - which I now know is rough this time of year.
Just after 3 p.m.
 Our ride started in the blue/grays & ended in the same.  A beautiful day for February - so mild & we did see the skunk cabbage starting to emerge from the swampy areas - of which there are many!

My best surprise though - was to come in our gate & find my husband home!  Finally - Finally - he is Out of the Ballard project & on to the next in Bellevue!