Sunday, January 26, 2014

So much for plans...

I had fully intended to go down to the PNER convention both Fri. and Sat. this year.  I really enjoy the seminars and learn something every time. 

So Friday morning rolls around and it is really cold and really grey...  I have absolutely no motivation and I don't feel like being social.  Hmmm.  Sometimes I can force myself into things but this just wasn't one of them, apparently I have little will power. Sigh.

I spent the morning cleaning the house and trying to vacuum the dog hair off our black area rug (what was I thinking??? Black???? Ugh).  About 1pm the sun came out and it was awesome!  I went down and grabbed Cartman and was cleaning him up as Todd pulled in from work.  We decided to run over and get a bite of lunch and then I would go ride and T. could nap if he needed to.

I took C over to the arena and it was so nice and dry that I was able to ride from the indoor into the outdoor section.  This almost doubles the length of the arena and we were able to work on our simple lead changes and canter departs.

C worked up a good sweat and I felt so much better after riding.  When we got home I did some grooming and he is shedding!!!!!!  Yeah!!!!!

Unfortunately this means that Buddy (our GSD) is also shedding- as if he ever stops....hahaha.

So at this point I decide I will go down to convention in the morning, sit thru the PNER meeting and elections and stuff then shop and attend a few seminars. 

As I was letting Buddy out for his late nite potty break at 11pm I notice he's taking longer than usual.  It is already freezing outside and I'm in shorts and a fleece top. I got out on the porch and whistle, and call, repeat, repeat, repeat.  No dog.  

So I spent the next hour driving around looking for my dog.  It was super foggy, and at one point I actually got into the wrong "road" over by the river and had to put the truck in 4WD to get out.  I backed over a small tree and decided this was pointless.  No dog.

Todd got up about 3:30am and went looking.  He found Buddy down at the minute mart.  Again.  The cooks had just gotten there to start preparing breakfast foods I guess and Bud didn't want to miss out on that. 

So when I finally got up Sat. I was feeling tired, and draggy.  Plus a little pissed off at the dog. 

Last weekend we had gone up to Cabela's and purchased a wireless dog fence.  We spent Sat. morning checking the perimeter, putting up the little flags and training Buddy to the fence.   I must say he "got it" right away.  At first he was really sheepish and was pretty much glued to my leg, uncertain exactly where he could go, but one day later it is like magic.  I love it.  I pray it keeps working.  He is really wary of crossing the line so as long as we keep the battery on and nothing lures him past it- I think it is going to work!

He'll still have to kennel when we actually leave the house, but now I can let him out to run around the whole yard without worrying he's going to take off:)

My next house will definitely have a perimeter fence.

By the time I actually got down to the convention it was 2 or 3pm, so I didn't get to attend any seminars.  Todd went with me and we shopped the vendors and the used tack sale.  Purchasing one bottle of special flyspray that is supposed to work for sweet itch horses!  I'm crossing my fingers on this one, as I ended up having to roach Taj's mane last year he got the itch so bad:(

I sat in several saddles and am toying with the idea of getting a new one.  I'm still really concerned about the white hairs I found on C's back this year.  I do love my Specialized but getting it fitted is a bit of a pain in the ass.   I will have to take C up to Yelm again (almost 2 hour drive) to get it done and I need to do it soon. 

Todd really liked the Ansur saddles but I'm not sold on treeless.  The Reactor Panel saddles looked good and I love their 2 week trial policy but I need to look into the way the panels attach to the saddle a little more.  They seem to get really good reviews online. 

I despise saddle shopping so I will probably end up trying to get my current saddle fitted again before doing anything rash.  I find the Specialized to be really, really comfortable for me. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


I had scheduled today for a ride.  That will give me Thur. to ride again and then have one or two days free to attend the PNER convention in Portland. 

Unfortunately I didn't get off work until after 4pm.  By the time I got home and got the trailer hooked up and had retrieved Cartman from the field it was almost 5 o'clock.  I find it quite a bit harder to hook up the gooseneck than I did my bumper pull.  Hopefully it will get easier someday- but I'm totally paranoid about smashing my tail gate, or the front of the trailer.

It was so beautiful today... blue sky and all, so I wanted to ride outside.  I pulled into the parking lot and was in the saddle at 5:12.  I decided I would ride for at least 30 minutes, no matter how dark it got.  We walked for 10 minutes in the sand.  Then picked up a trot for about 6 minutes, then a lope for about 4 minutes.

Since the sand is pretty deep I try not to overdo it in the stuff.  10 minutes was enough to get him huffing and puffing and his heart rate up.  I gave him about 15 minutes cool down and was back to the trailer at 5:42.  It was almost completely dark!

Despite getting quite "curly" from sweat C was dry, blanketed, and back in the field at 6:30. 

So, although I "cheated" a little, (since I didn't even break a sweat) Cartman got a short yet intense workout and we are hopefully one step closer to that first endurance ride of the year:)

Monday, January 13, 2014

3rd Ride in 4 Days!!!

When I went out to feed this morning the sun was shining.  I'm on one of "days off" from work, so there was only one thing I could do...
New tack set from American Trail Gear :)

Not something we get to see often in Western Wa. in the winter.

C. made a beeline for this little runoff stream halfway through our ride- he was thirsty.

What's better than Unicorns and Rainbows?????
 Cartman and Rainbows!!!!

I'm lucky to have this deep sand area to ride in when he's barefoot.  This is all dredge spoils from Mt. St. Helens 1980- and it covers over 400 acres and is probably 40-50 feet tall in some sections.

The town of Castle Rock is directly across the river from here- you can kind of see some through the trees.  The green treed lump on the right side of the photo is the Castle Rock.

another water break

Taj and Girlie were anxiously waiting for C to come home.

I love that C isn't really prone to being herd bound.  He has important grazing to do, no time for visiting with his friends!
Edited to add:

So after our ride in the arena last night I set up a similar scenario to the ride at Halloween (where his left ankle swelled up again after a night in the stall).  I've been wondering if that incident was an isolated one, or something that I might have to deal with on a continual basis. 

Since his original injury was Oct. 4th- and he was ridden several times between the 15th and the 31st with no swelling, but had been turned out after each ride- I didn't really know if it was related to the injury? or over-exertion?  or being stalled. 

I think I made the right decision to just give him the two months off- because this morning there was absolutely no swelling anywhere after a hard ride and a night in the barn! 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Motivational Difficulties

This cold wet windy weather is causing me some major motivational problems in the riding department.

I find myself perusing the internet and feeling SO envious of those in places like Arizona and California, sigh. 

I've taken Cartman out for a few rides, once last Sunday we walked the five mile trail (no horseshoes= no jogging in gravel for this tenderfooted TB).  Then Friday I hauled down to the arena and we worked for about an hour on arena stuff.

**** This blog post was interrupted by another arena ride****

Ha, ha as I was typing out this post Michelle called and talked me into riding!

It has been raining buckets here so when I pulled Cartman up to the barn his lightweight 100g blanked must have weighed 20lbs.  Luckily he was still dry and slick underneath but there was no grooming his legs or neck- they were soaked.

I worked Cartman a little harder tonight and he looked like a Bashkir Curly when we finished up,  he really has quite the coat this year.

A few of the boarders came in to ride while we were there, they had some lovely muscly Quarter Horses that looked like they were in summer coats, not a long hair anywhere!  I had to chuckle when they explained their horses were really spoiled.... even wearing blankets with hoods???

I'm pretty sure C would never forgive me if I tried to put a hood on him, snicker, snicker.  I guess being "spoiled" is a relative thing!  He seems happiest running out in the pasture and would even prefer to do it au naturelle :) 

So, really no excitement going on here... just checking out the sanctioned rides and trying to plan my schedule for the 2014 endurance season. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Take That, 2013!

Cartman, Girlie, and Taj show 2013 to the door.

Last ride of the year
I took Cartman to the arena after 2 MONTHS off.  He was great, like we'd never missed a day!  And best of all no swelling in the ankle the next morning:)


Buddy and I head out for our last 5 mile walk/run of the year.

After dinner festivities.

Todd wearing his horse head, and my hat.

We cooked chilli and had lots of snacks.  Mom is visiting from Ark. and she made a yummy Pumkin Cake.

Good friends joined us for New Year's Eve.

My friend Amber made me this awesome picture.  I hereby dub this my motto for 2014!!!!!