Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Last weekend I stopped by the PNER convention.  Usually I take off work Friday and hang out all day going to the seminars all weekend.  This year I ended up having to work Friday, at the last minute, and by Saturday was too tired to get up early and make it to the 8am session.

I knew that I wanted to pick up a copy of Endurance 101 and also one of the new skinny Skye Halters, so I forced myself to head to Portland about 11am.  The weather was beautiful so I enjoyed the drive, but couldn't help but think that I should be out riding!!!

I ran into friend's Glen and Flo and  Shannon and Alex and visited with them briefly before making my purchases and heading over to the Equine Bodyworks seminar.  The seminar was interesting and I picked up a business card;  its always helpful to have the number of a good saddle fitter! 

I started getting a headache towards the end of the seminar and decided to head home early.

I immediately dove into the Endurance 101 book, by equine blogger and endurance diva- Aarene Storms. 

Here is a link to her blog:

Here is where you go to get your own copy of the book:

I'd already started reading the book on my Kindle, but find that I really prefer to have a hard copy of non-fiction books. 

The book is great, not only full of  information for anyone interested in endurance but also good for those interested in any type of distance riding, or even trail riding.  The author's writing style is easy to read and she gives enough accounts of personal ride experiences to make it almost like you're having a conversation, as opposed to a boring text book style read.

My favorite "tip" involves teaching a horse not to run your knee into trees.  I've ridden for years and have enough arena training to know not to try to turn a horse that is bowing out around corners by pulling on the inside rein.  So I was a little humbled to read Aarene's tip for keeping a horse from scraping your knees.  "Turn his head towards the tree."  Ha! So simple!  So counter-intuitive!  So similar to what you would do to a horse that is bowing out through corners in the arena- why did I not realize this???

Another thing I really enjoyed in this book, (the actual hard copy book) was the pictures and illustrations.  The quality of the photos are excellent and for me they really make the book flow and made me want to see what comes next!

All in all a great purchase, I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in distance riding.  I've already used some of the sidebar lists (such as, "What to take to the vet check")  to start making my list of things I need to purchase or replace before ride season starts up.  Also, I have decided to experiment with Electrolytes this year for Cartman- in hopes of completing a 50 this summer.

I'm anxious to try out the Endurance Skinny halter on Cartman.  I've been trying to decide what to do about a bridle for him as I don't want to totally trash my leather race bridle.  Dazzby's halter bridle "kinda" fits him, but not perfectly.  I think the headstall portion of the bridle will work over the skinny halter.

Now, time to start deciding which rides I want to shoot for this year.  The fliers for the Oregon Outback rides look really interesting, they have showers!!!!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Bits and Pieces.... of Random Stuff

Since its winter, it gets dark early, and most importantly.. my horse is not wearing shoes I have only bits and pieces of random things to blog about.

I didn't even bother to try a post last weekend.  You can thank me for not blogging about the excitement that was vacuuming and cleaning a car and two trucks.  Strangely, I was particularly pleased to have done it and was a little "giddy" for the rest of the weekend.

I did get a short one hour ride in on C on Saturday and then again on Thursday after work:)  It was heavenly, the rain had finally stopped and the skies were beginning to clear just as the sun was setting, at 5pm!  Yeah!

This weekend I slept until 9:30 (wth????)   I'd decided to do a little low-carb three day "event" this weekend. 
I started Friday, with the day's meal being baked Steelhead. 
I woke up Saturday completely not hungry.  We finally rolled down to Four Corner Store for lunch about noon.  Yummm, chicken.  Supper was bacon.  Double yummmm.

Todd and I took our first real bike ride on Saturday.  We had a very unplanned and spontaneous purchase on New Year's Day.  Two mountain bikes.  Between work, lack of daylight, and rain we hadn't been on them for more than 15 minutes since we picked them up.

So, I suggested a short ride across the highway and over the bridge to Castle Rock and ride the easy, flat, three mile groomed bike path.

Todd wanted to ride to Andy's house.  OK.  I'm pretty amenable as long as I'm going somewhere.  
About the time we hit the rail road tracks across town we were beginning to question this choice.  Its funny how you don't think much about grade changes, until your powering up them with your own thighs.  Ha. 
I finally had to jump off and walk as I was pretty sure my heart was going to explode any minute!  We did finally make it to Andy's house and rested up while we visited with them.

The ride home was a lot better (more downhill).  We got home in time for me to do chores and Todd to put a chicken in the smoker.

Sunday, today, I got all the horses fed and then pulled all the meat off of that chicken.  My new favorite thing to make is soup, so I put the chicken bones in a stew pot and started it simmering.

I loaded Cartman up at one o'clock and picked up Michelle and Tucker.  It was COLD. 34degrees.  Luckily I'd chosen my polarfleece tights and winter tall boots.  We rode for almost two hours, although it was at a walk. 

Rats.  I'm after the horse in the middle.

He spotted me, and is trying to play dead.

Curiosity wins out.  I might be giving the others treats.

Certified Girl

Last chance for body shot.

What?  No treats!

Brother Taj and Girlie
Taj wants attention.

Tucker learned his distance riding lessons well last summer.  Here he breaks ice to drink from the ditch.

Notice grass hanging out in every photo.  He has his priorities!

Our little pond is frozen over.

I've been getting in 1-2 rides a week all winter this year, hoping that it will keep Cartman a little bit fit.  I was a little dismayed to read on ridecamp that (at least one person thinks) that horses don't get fit by walking down the trail, only by trotting.

Hmmm.  I think it can't hurt to do all the walking.  It's probably the only time C is on packed hard ground (his pasture is soggy and soft).  So, I would hope that it is keeping some of that bone modeling that we worked on last summer on the logging roads.

The other place we ride is deep sand.  Walking in that IS a lot of work- as I discovered when I lost my phone on Christmas Eve. 

I'm pretty confident that C will get his "air" back pretty quick when we get to moving out on the trail again.  That is the easiest part of regaining condition for most TBs.

When I got home I did chores.  Surprise!  And then came inside to complete my Chicken Soup.

vegetables added

Silverthorn chicken.

Rambling now..... I think I'll go get some of that soup:)