Saturday, April 23, 2011

This Is SPRING?!?

So I'm running about a week behind--on everything in my life!
The next month will be worse, as I have my very busy "Drug Prevention Month" going on at school in May; I'm going to an endurance ride (to volunteer, not ride) next weekend; and I've got my mountain trail clinic in the middle of the month! I'll try to keep things updated as best I can.

Last weekend, Maddie and I trailered with Pat to a KVTR ride towards the east end of the valley, near the Wild Horse Wind Farm. She loaded right into Pat's smaller trailer, even though she's only been in it once, about two years ago.
The group of ten riders did about a 7 mile loop up one draw, over a saddle in the hills, and then down the next draw, so we were able to stay out of the wind, mostly.
These HUGE machinery tires have been brought in (by the BLM?) to provide watering stations (for range cattle? or elk?), and they created quite a stir among the horses, especially as we drew up the rise to the first one and discovered it was full of wind-blown H2O.
Maddie really did well, only looking a little askance, and more at the behavior of the other horses than the tank itself.

She also crossed several little creeklets and two boggy spots on the trail, with hardly any hesitation! She thought about jumping one, and then chose on her own not to, just as I was about to check her back.
She did jig on me a bit, so I asked for a lot of two-track/side-pass and made her work, and that settled her down a lot on the way up the hill. Coming back down she got revved up again, and the extra work didn't seem to help--she just got more frustrated.
Putting her in behind Pat , ponying Chief from solid as a rock Rambler, helped her slow down some, as they created a bit of a roadblock. I was glad she does seem to have gotten over the nasty habit of walking right up on the horse in front of her--bad manners, indeed, and dangerous with some horses.
I actually had her leading the group for a bit, and she really likes this: she stops the wiggles and just strides right out! But then another gal's horse, who is also a jigger, came up alongside us, and suddenly the race was on! At this point I dropped back into the pack again.
As the terrain opened up, I did some full circles to get her listening, and this helped. We were close enough to the trailers that she wasn't too upset by the other horses getting so far away.
Using this nice big trailer as a windbreak, we had some lunch and conversation (and Evra's great cookies!). Something happened with a couple of the tied horses, but Maddie stayed calm throughout the hubbub. Then we loaded up and headed for home.

Sunday, I got three of my four brace posts set for the new section of driveway fence. However, I hit a lot of good-sized rocks (softball-to-soccerball), and ended up doing almost as much digging by hand with a shovel and pry-bar, as with the tractor's post-hole auger.
Unfortunately, I threw my back out in the process, so I've been taking it pretty easy, project-wise, all week.

I opted not to go out with the club today, because, along with all my fencing projects, I also found out I need to do some major rehab on my irrigation pump system! So it'll be a work-weekend, since I know I'll be playing horsey all day next Saturday.
If I make enough progress, I may ride a bit here around the place, to try teaching the girls to pony one another. (Pat and I both suspect Maddie will be the better leader, just because she's more forward than Kate.) That way, I could conceivably start doubling the value of my exercise sessions on the trail...


  1. You really are busy. Looks like a nice ride and those giant tires are a good idea for everyone to get a drink.

    Hope your back feels better and those holes get dug.
    Have a great time next week.

  2. Sounds like a ride with Smokey. We're still getting our act together on these long rides. We circle, we work on rating, we work on not riding the tail of the horse in front of us. Someday, someday, right?

    What a good idea those tires are! Now that's reuse!

  3. Sorry about your back. That's no good. We live in rock country here too. Post holes always have challenges. Then there's what to do with the darn rocks/boulders that get dug up.

    Those big tired for water looks pretty interesting. The horses all seem to have taken to them pretty well from the looks of that pic.