Friday, December 31, 2010

Resolution Ride - Day 2

BBBRRRRR was it ever cold last night... even with the heater on hi (vs. lo from last night) and as tired as I was, it was almost too cold to sleep... if it weren't for my 2 lil heaters (Sherman and Rocket) I'd have never made it through the night!

Today was Katie's day... and by a quirk of fate, not one person we knew was doing the 25-miler today! They were either taking a break or doing the 50-miler... so we were on our own! Since Katie needs a butt to follow for inspiration, I made sure I was up early and ready at the start to go out right off with the group... started out with a couple of gals on Arabs who seemed real nice, but early on there was a steep hill that Rusty, the ride manager, had suggested we might want to get off and walk down, and with my knees, I fell behind. Got to the bottom to find they had already mounted and moved on... but there were a few people right behind me so headed back out with them.

My companions for most of the day - Linda from Colorado, her sister Carol and husband Bob from California

In exchange for pictures of them, as none of them had a camera with, I did get the folks to take a couple of Katie and me in front of a bush of red flowers...

Thanks to Linda for playing photographer for me :)

Awesome canyon walls

Lovely footing here too!

Supposed to be sunny and clear today but it wasn't...

And cold enough this is how my boys spent the day!

Anyway Katie doesn't gait well without a good example and riding with 3 Arabs most of the day meant a lot of pacing (lateral trot) and boy can I feel it tonight! Katie is much sweeter but Glory is definiately a smoother ride... We did top-10 again and this time we were 10th out of 12... go Katie!

Of course the AERC motto, which we have adopted, is... To Finish Is To Win! and we really do feel that way... but it is kinda fun to be able to say we Top Tenned!

Brenda was just arriving as we got back so it should be a lot warmer sleeping tonight now that I will have a "roommate"!

Just had to share this too... meet Rosie, who LOVES her butt scratched!

Sabrina's husband Joe brought pizza and drinks out for our dinner and I had brought along a package of sparklers for our New Year's Eve celebration... which we had at about 7:30! With another early morning tomorrow, we were in bed shortly after 8!!

I'll leave you with the sunset on Four Peaks

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Resolution Ride - Day 1

Didn't get near enough sleep - huddled in the trailer in my nice warm bed with my nice warm puppies, I felt so guilty listening to it rain and rain and rain on my poor cold wet girls outside - but since there wasn't a darn thing I could do about it, I just kept trying to sleep. Up early and FINALLY it had stopped raining... dressed in multiple layers and got my horse tacked up and off we went to ride - Shirley on Gypsy, Sabrina on Patch, and me on Glory.

It was overcast and breezy and very, very cold but the forecast said no rain so we tried to be optimistic... AND THE WEATHER HELD!

Just a few pics...

Shirley and Gypsy

Sabrina and Patch

A cold and blustery day but a REALLY nice trail...

We were having an awesome ride... over halfway through the second loop I got a funny feeling and started looking at the sky... I called out to the girls that I thought the forecast might be wrong, it was sure looking like it was going to rain again... AND IT STARTED SNOWING! Yes, SNOWING! In Rio Verde, Arizona!!! So ok technically the forecast was correct... it didn't RAIN. We were loving it, laughing and riding with our mouths open to catch snowflakes on our tongues... sounds crazy to those of you who live in snow but this NEVER happens to us so we enjoyed the heck out of it!

Not too many pictures as this showed it better:

Click here

We finished in the snow, vetted in and headed to camp to get the horses taken care of... and it just kept snowing!

More Cup-O-Noodles and Rummikub and it had quit by the time of the ride meeting and almost melted away already... we found out that we all placed in the top 10!!! Well ok there were a total of 10 riders but we got 2nd (Sabrina), 3rd (Shirley) and 6th (me) so we done good!!!

*Glory actually came into camp first of our group of 3, but she is still pretty excitable and getting used to this endurance thing, so she takes longer to pulse down... hence the 6th, 2 other riders came in after our group but pulsed down to get their finish times before she did...

So far so good... Day 1, SUCCESS! 1 down, 2 to go...

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Resolution Ride 2010 - Setting Up

No pictures for this post as it started raining right after we got there...

I headed out the gate right on time to meet up with Shirley and Sabrina... all was well rolling down Patton Road. I slowed to turn left at Crozier and as I tried to accelerate north (yes tried!) - well, the itty bitty truck was acting funny. Sluggish and not wanting to go, the gas pedal felt weird, I had to push awful hard... could barely get the RPMs to 2000. I peered down into the darkness at my feet but couldn't see anything... But all gauges looked ok and in the rearview mirror I could see that nothing was leaking out of the truck onto the road, so I pushed with all my might and kept on trucking... I was afraid if I called Randy he would say come home and then I'd be late! I kept a very close watch on the gauges and the rearview and boy was my leg getting tired from trying to keep going, but if I pushed with all my might I could eventually get it up to speed and I had left myself extra time so even though I was a few minutes later than I thought, I still had time to stop at the Albertson's on Carefree Highway and pick up the apples and carrots I had forgotten to get for the horses. Also picked up some Cup-O-Noodles which turned out to be a REALLY good thing...

But I am getting ahead of myself. I got out of the truck in the Albertson's parking lot and, standing in the door, could see the floor much better - lo and behold, UNDER MY GAS PEDAL WAS AN ORANGE! Last weekend my friend Melanie insisted I go home with 2 bags of citrus from her trees, they rolled all over going home so I had a devil of a time getting them all back in the bags to take in the house. Apparently I missed one (eyes rolling).

The rest of the trip all was normal with the truck. I'm SO GLAD that I didn't call Randy {sigh}.

Arrived at base camp just a few minutes behind Shirley and Sabrina and as we began to set up camp it began to sprinkle... and it just kept getting worse and worse and worse. We got the horses all set up and blanketed and into Sabrina's camper we went, wet and cold. Rummikub and Cup-O-Noodles got us through the afternoon, we did manage to get checked in, vetted in and attend the ride meeting and just kept drying off and getting warmed up in between. Shirley's minestrone soup was an awesome dinner... and we went to bed fairly early.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Luna Loped!

You might remember back in July of 2009 when Luna bucked me off and stepped on my hand... it was my fault, I'd never asked her to lope except when she was tired after a long trail ride, and this time she was fresh out of the trailer after a 3-hour drive PLUS hadn't been ridden in over a week. So she went WAHOO and I went flying...

Anyway... I didn't ride her for quite a while after that, and then when I did ride her I just walked... took me a while to even ask for a trot again. She spent the summer with Lindsey and when she came home I was determined to work with her at least weekly and rebuild my confidence in her. She really IS a good girl, just young and silly...

We've been doing great, I've been riding her pretty much every Friday with small groups and I have made a lot of progress. Oh and it's good for her too lol... however the one time I asked her for a lope on a Friday ride, she proceeded to crowhop and I ended up on the saddle horn and her neck... thought I was going to hit the ground again but I got her stopped and managed not to... scared me pretty good again though. So I told her, NO LOPING if she can't behave herself...

Well today I rode her out with Hilary and Destiny, she was a toad in the pasture and I had to chase her down to catch her, so she got some lunging work before being saddled and I let her know in no uncertain terms that I wasn't putting up with that! She settled down pretty good and once we were out on the trail for a little while, I decided I was going to ask for a lope and see what happened... I know, stupid in light of my 3-day endurance ride in just 3 days... I couldn't afford to get hurt! But I was ready for crowhopping and ready to shut her down quick... AND SHE LOPED! She loped NICE and EASY and SHE BEHAVED HERSELF!!!

Yay me :)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas Ride... and Cassie!

What a fantastic way to spend Christmas morning... since all our kids are gone, and Randy sleeps quite late anyway, I went riding with friends...

Can't fit a Santa hat over my helmet so Katie had to wear it ;)

Even Sherman had a Christmas bow!

Melanie's horse Gandalf borrowed her Santa hat for a picture
Can't you just see how much Katie LOVES her hat?

I made into town to the in-laws, albeit late, and was eating my heated-up leftovers when I got a call from a friend... she was on her way to my house with a donkey! She has e-mailed me a couple of weeks before, her husband's mother married a guy about a year or so ago, he had among other critters a 4-year-old standard donkey he had raised as a bottle baby, well he died! Mom didn't know what do to with the critters, so my friend asked if I would take the donkey if need be... I hadn't heard anything since so I was a little surprised but I had time to finish Christmas and get home before they arrived... meet Cassie!

She is the sweetest thing but rather depressed, I think she misses her papa something fierce... so I am going to try and get her adopted out real quick to a new forever family... that is, after my endurance ride this week!

Friday, December 17, 2010


For those of you who aren't familiar with our area, there is a place in the Hassayampa north of Wickenburg called Box Canyon... in talking with my dad in the past, I mentioned riding there, and he had heard of it but never been, so he asked if I might someday take him there. On Thanksgiving he called me and mentioned spending time in Wickenburg mid-December, and reminded me that I had promised to show him "the Box".

Today was that day...

The fall colors were gorgeous

Dad... in the Box!

Katie knows she is on the way back to the trailer, really walking out... in fact Dad even loped on her for a short distance a couple of times! Not bad for a 70-year-old who hasn't been on a horse but one other time in countless years...

We had breakfast at Cowboy Cafe before, and lunch at Anita's after... all in all a great day!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Cave Creek/Carefree Lighted Christmas Parade

We needed to be in our staging area BEFORE 4:30 so I aimed early and actually accomplished this! In fact we were there by 4!!!

Sister hug!

Getting ready

Some pics without flash while waiting...

Laurie with Spot, and behind them, Jennifer with Ellie Mae
Mikey with Peter Pan (wow did that flash pick up the red or what?) and Mercy with Ozzie

Our poop scooping crew, Dan and David
Isn't David's hat appropriate???
My sweet lil girl Sarah Beth was being such a pistol, the inexperienced gal that was supposed to walk her got lucky that my horse friends Keith and Kat showed up to wrangle her!
Our little snow princess and her mount Foxy
My lil precious Emily Ann (this is our bottle baby!)
What a ham...

Milly Jo refused to walk the whole first half of the parade... so this poor dad had to PUSH!

Santa was pulled, but not by 8 tiny reindeer...
It's my granddonkey MADELINE!
Yup still pushing {sigh} - actually shortly after this, she got irritated enough to give a mighty kick, which dad luckily dodged! And she walked the rest of the parade nice as you please!!!

You wouldn't believe who got the MOST applause...

Isn't she the cutest thing?

Betty Lou and Mathilda

Emily Ann again

A grandma picture with my Madeline...

A different perspective here: