Saturday, December 22, 2012
We went to the Redmond Watershed, where the great footing and tree coverage made up for a little bit of rain. I really bundled up, as I knew we wouldn't be going very fast.
Both Danny and Galen seemed very happy - lots of happy little snorts and snorfs, and I must say, both Monica and I did our share of big, happy sighs. We ended with big trail riding grins.
Our 'Solstice Ride' even had a little bit of sun (in between the raindrops!).
It was short, but sweet.
Monday, November 26, 2012
Out in the barn, it's been busy as well. We have two new horses here (only one of which will be staying), Dune and Tulah, both from Kelsey Kempfert in Wyoming. They are both Durkkhal offspring and Tulah will be staying here on a broodmare lease, while Dune is waiting for his international health papers to head up to Cindy Swenson's Bold Vantage farm in British Columbia.
And, if that isn't enough, Merdan (Paddy) left for Colorado Thanksgiving day. He's off to Jas Shearer-McMahon's Magic Valley Ranch to be her future stallion and endurance horse. Of course, there are a few years between now and then, as he's only 8 months old.
So, I've been moving horses around to see who gets along with who - Sparky is now out with Scooter and Reggie, being a 'big boy'. His dam, Astra, went home last week. Sparky was fine with this, although Astra was not very happy. I'm sure being away from him will make it easier on her.
I'm still recovering from my ankle surgery, although I've been in the saddle a few times. Mainly, I've been trying to catch up. I have noticed that my overall fitness sure has gone down, amazingly enough. So, the next few months will be catching up, getting fit again, getting Galen fit again and planning who to breed to whom this next year, which is always a very fun thing to do!
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Just recently, Shannon took him to the Eddie McMurdo Memorial show in Walla Walla, WA a few weekends back and has this to say
Earlier in the summer, he went to the Pink Ribbon Classic and here are a few photos:
And then there is Mazaly, a 5 year old Astrachan x Mirija (7/8 Teke 1/8 Hanoverian) mare, owned and ridden by Catrina Mettam of Centerville, WA. Mazaly has done 3 shows/events this year and has really blossomed. Catrina brought her up to the ATAA Conference this past weekend and she and Maisie (Mazaly) jumped our outside jump course with Monica and Magdan. I just got a new computer and still haven't found all my old files, but will upload some photos as soon as I do. Maisie is a full sister to Mahri and Andre, both of whom are still here at CGAT and ready for their forever homes.
Of course, I have to mention Danny (Magdan) who did 5 LD endurance rides with Monica this year and has also been jumping. Danny and Monica have been really doing well and we're thinking we'll do some shows over the winter.
Monica and Danny jumping September 2012
It will be great fun to see how everyone does next year. I'm planning on getting Mahri started this winter and getting Andre to the next level. Goshen will continue his training too, so I should have lots more big grins to report.
Friday, September 7, 2012
Last year's "medical adventure" put me on 'stall rest' for about 7 months (breast cancer surgery and radiation), so I started 2012's conditioning behind the curve. We did our conditioning, moving up from walking in the arena to trotting/cantering 3 or so hours on the trails. In past years, that has been enough to get me and Galen ready to go for our first LD of the season. Ahh....the glories of age!
We went to our first LD, Home on the Range, at the end of March. We went at a conservative pace, as we had Danny there for his first ride and I wasn't sure that I was really in top shape. This turned out to be not so good for me, as when we came into the first vet check and I got off, I thought I'd somehow broken my ankle. I suspect that is when I did the big tear they found during surgery. Now, a SMART person would have Rider Optioned right then, but I'm an endurance rider (or right now, an LD rider), so I took a bunch of advil, found someone to trot Galen through the vet (thank you Monica) and continued on. By the end of the ride, I wasn't a happy camper, but we finished and more advil and a bunch of beer made it bearable.
We kept conditioning and I decided on a new strategy for our next rides - go faster to spend less time in the saddle! Galen has the years of conditioning, so he's all for this. So, I went out fast and Monica and Danny went at a reasonable pace. This strategy worked fairly well, as we got 11th at Mt. Adams (would have been around 8 or 9, but I couldn't get off to walk him in and it took a few minutes to pulse down), 3rd at Grizzly and 10th at Klickitat. All good right?
Well, Klickitat had a few routing issues and we ended up doing around 37 miles. I think 25 would have been ok, but that last 10 miles I had to have Galen walk most of it, as my leg was screaming. No doubt it was saying something like "You idiot, listen to me!'. In fact, I know it was. We came in and I was so sure I was way down in placings that I didn't even ask where I was, although we came in 10th. Galen was NOT happy about that boring walking in and let me know it. I had big blisters on my hands that night. Both of us were a bit disgruntled at the final vet check. Once again, I was a grade 3 or 4 lame and I had to ask someone (thank you John!) to trot Galen out. But, good drugs and more beer and I was soon feeling fine.
But, it finally did sink in that my leg wasn't getting better, so off to surgery I went. We had tried some injections (nope, didn't help much) and I had tons of tests, where nothing showed up. But, as my leg man said "We'll see what we find when we open you up". And they did find something - a big longitudinal tear on the tendon and a bunch of adhesions. All that was fixed and now it's just the boring aftermath - no weight bearing, physical theraphy and lots of time with my leg in the air. But, he tells me that if I do my physical theraphy, I should be back to 100% sooner or later. I'm really looking forward to that, because I plan that next year will see us moving back up to 50s and doing lots of rides (the original plan THIS year).
It did make me think though, as we get older, we can't skate by on the 'sort of' conditioning we used to. Or, maybe that is just me...I do tend to think that 6-8 hours of farm work a day along with conditioning SHOULD be enough to get everything working right. But, what works at 40 obviously doesn't work quite as well at 50. Sadder (and sorer), but wiser!
So, if there is a moral to be found here, what would it be? Don't expect what worked 10 years ago to work now? Take better care of yourself as you get older? Or maybe, don't be so dang stubborn and ignore obvious issues. I have plenty of time to think about it.
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Thursday, July 5, 2012
July 3rd was quite cold, so he got the 'hot wheels' blanket and a heat lamp, but today (July 5th) it looks as if summer has arrived. The sun woke everyone (including horses) up around 6 am and there isn't a cloud in the sky. I suspect that Addie and Sparky (his barn name in honor of the 4th of July) will get to go out into the pasture today. Paddy will be very happy that there is another little boy to play with (not quite yet, but soon).
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
We arrived on Friday afternoon after picking up our friend Susan and her little mare Capri. We found a spot way on the edge of camp, which turned out to be great- it was very quiet, except for the sheep across the road. We vetted in, got supper ready, and went to the ride meeting. Marilyn, the ride manager, did mention at the meeting that the distances weren't set in stone....
We had a late start the next morning, by design. Ride management had straggered the distances by several hours each so the out vet check wouldn't be so congested. I was just fine with that. It did seem strange though, waiting until 9:30 am to start (all three of us were doing the LD). We all had our ride strategies, with me waiting to see how my ankle felt to dictate my pace, Monica planning to enjoy the day and the scenery and coming in midpack or below and Susan just wanting to make sure her mare was ok. My friend Shannon was there with her half-Teke gelding Octopelle, and she started a bit before me. I really wanted that walk out on a long rein, so we went back to the camp a time or two. I've been going pretty fast to save my ankle and Galen thought that should be the gameplan that day also. But, we did end up walking out calmly and soon found a friend to ride with for a while. We went at a pretty controlled pace until about mile 7 or so and then I realized that I had to speed things up or I wouldn't finish with the way my ankle was feeling. Galen was ALL for that and we zoomed off. There were a few water crossings before the out vet check, but none were all that exciting. We got into the out vet check at around 12:15, vetted through and some lovely volunteers held Galen while I used the restroom and got a sandwich. Also, a wonderful young lady trotted him out for me, for at that point the vet mentioned that I was 'pretty lame'. I would say I was at least a grade 3 by then. Good thing they don't vet the riders.
We went out of our hold expecting a 6 to 8 mile ride back to camp (the first loop was supposed to be 17-19 miles, so I figured 25-17 = 8). We headed out with me thinking longing of the drugs I hadn't remembered to take that morning. We were pretty much by ourselves at this point - we got passed by some 50s, but I don't think I saw any other 25s. So, I figured I was middle of the pack or lower. We came back to the largest water crossing and now it looked a bit more daunting than it had earlier in the day. Quite a few horses had been through it and had made both banks steeper and slippery and I later heard that the irrigation water was turned up. What had been an exciting but fine crossing was perhaps a bit more than that now. But, Galen hopped right in and beat against the current to make it to the one spot to get up the bank. He lunged up the bank and I think that his hoofboots must have slipped, for when we reached the top (thank goodness), he fell and I rolled off. It was a very easy fall as he was so near the ground at the time. We both popped up and he walked off, down the trail. I followed him, whistling and laughing, as he'd turn around every 20 or 30 feet and look at me, letting me know that he knew I was there and that I was pretty dang slow. We went on like that for about a half mile, with him continually stopping and looking at me. He followed the trail and never got out of sight, but I did wonder if I'd be doing the whole rest of the loop on foot. We came up to a turn in the trail and he went off the wrong way. He stopped about 20 feet in; maybe he didn't recognize the ribbon colors anymore or maybe he got fed up with my slowness, but he turned around and came back and got me. I swear I could hear him thinking quite loudly "she is SO slow". So, I headed back to the correct trail and was laughing for a good half mile. We then met a gentleman on a quad who was coming to look at the water crossing. I told him our experience and we continued on. I was expecting a 6 to 8 mile loop, so when the time came that I figured we'd be back and camp and it was nowhere near, I checked the ribbons and continued. I did meet up with some 50s (who passed me) who said they had heard the loop was closer to 13 miles. That was good to know, as now I wasn't worried that I'd somehow got off trail. Unfortunately, my ankle was not being very helpful and we ended up walking quite a bit of this loop, much to Galen's disgust. We got back to camp around 3:30 and vetted through, with John Parkey being kind enough to trot Galen out. I didn't ask what place we'd come in, as I figured with all the walking I had to be way down in the pack. I took Galen back to camp, took care of him and then went back to the vet check to wait for Susan, Monica and Shannon.
Susan came in first and she'd had a good day on Capri, so she vetted through. Monica's husband Bill had shown up by then and Shannon's husband Craig was there too. We hung out and waited for Monica and Shannon. People trickled in and we cheered them all, but by 6:30 we were rather wondering where our two were. We'd heard they cleared the out vet check and finally some 50s came in and told us that they were right behind them. They got in and we found that Shannon had had some hoof boot troubles, so ended up with Octopelle being barefoot for most of the second loop. Monica stayed with them, as she figured she'd need help getting Danny through the water crossings. It all worked out in the end with both horses passing their vet check with flying colors. We got everyone bedded down after rehashing our ride stories. We did hear (although not officially) that the LD ride was 37 miles, not 25, so we sure got our money's worth!
We went to the awards meeting and I was surprised to find that I had top-tenned! Marilyn had some really neat awards for top-ten - nifty glass chalices with lids that screwed on (don't want to spill ANY of that ride camp libation) and little tags that said "Klickitat". I love mine and had to use it right away.
The next morning Susan and Capri went out again and Monica and I stayed in camp and relaxed. I now now why people like multiday rides. It was so nice to socialize and chat while waiting for Susan. We had quite a few people ask us about our horses and Tekes in general and Monica said that as she rode into camp she heard 'That is Danny', from a few people. (Danny has been the star of her blog, Seattle PI Horsebytes) I almost felt like I could have ridden again, but until I get my ankle fixed, I'm not going to try that. Susan came in after a lovely ride, she got Capri all squared away, we went to the awards meeting and then we had a party. Usually, we leave Sunday morning after riding Saturday and we're so tired Saturday night that all we want to do is go to bed. Well, having the whole day to recover made Monica and I into party animals. Susan has the energy of 2 people, so she didn't need that extra day, but we ended up meeting some new friends and reconnecting with some old ones. It was great! We got up early Monday (it had been raining during the night and was still raining in the morning) so we packed up and headed out. What a great weekend!
Monday, May 21, 2012
Monday, May 14, 2012
Mt. Adams is absolutely lovely and I can hardly wait. All this week we're stocking the camper and trailer, mounting our corral hangers on the trailer (so we don't have to 'macrame' them on) and then we'll head out Friday morning.
Monica and I got in a good ride at the Watershed last week - her phone fritzed out, so we don't know exactly how far we went, but we were going at a pretty good clip for most of it. Galen got into his lovely, long trot that I just sort of almost sit and kept it up. I could hear "Good boys" from behind me, as Danny got into his lovely trail trot too. We both had big 'trail riding' grins when we were done. Neither horse did much sweating at all, although there was a bit of a breeze that probably helped with that. The horses are ready...we'll see about me.
After Mt. Adams, we'll go to Klickitat and then possibly Renegade, if Addy foals at the right time. She is due on July 2nd, so could pop anytime from the middle of June on. We'll just have to wait and see.
I've been working some of the young horses. Mahri is carrying a saddle and has worn a bridle twice now. No big deal. Monica has sat on Goshen and taken a few steps. No big deal. Andre is coming along, getting stronger and fitter every day. I'm trying to get a little time in with Khan, Ari and Slari too, although they tend to be gotten to last. I even lunged Salam a little today. He really enjoys the work and fussing.
Well, my lunch break is done, so I'm heading out to the barn to enjoy this gorgeous weather.
Monday, April 23, 2012
We pulled into camp around 3:30 or 4 or so (we left around 7 am), found our brand new portable Hold Your Horses corrals and set up camp. We're starting to look very upscale with those corrals! We got all settled in, took our evening ride and had supper (lovely steak dinner, thanks to Wendy) Somehow, we missed the ride meeting, but the trail was very well marked, so it wasn't a problem.
After a fitful night's sleep, we got up, saw Wendy off on her first 50 of the year and then Monica and I saddled up and got ready for our 32 mile LD. We had a slightly different strategy this time, as I figured that less time in the saddle for me would be easier on my ankles. So, Galen and I headed out reasonably near the front of the pack and Monica held back. We (Galen and I) went out on a loose rein and after about a half mile of walking, he asked to trot and I said 'Sure'. So, we got into his gorgeous, long trail trot and passed and passed people. We were zooming along with no one in front until a very nice lady and her mare caught up to us. Liz and Twiggy were great ride partners - we rode the rest of the ride together. Both horses were well matched and Twiggy pulled us up hills (not Galen's favorite thing) and we slowed her down going down hill (Galen loves downhills...go figure) Liz and I chatted through most of the ride, which made time fly by. She was local, so gave me the guided tour of the mountain ranges. My camera was full, which is a shame, as the scenery was stunning. The country was green and little wild flowers were all over. It was a lovely, lovely ride!
We came into the first vet check and a very nice volunteer trotted Galen out for me. My ankle was ok, but I staggered a bit getting off and was spotted, so they asked if I needed help. What nice people! I didn't get their names, but I really appreciated the help. We went back to camp for our hold and Galen and Twiggy spent a lot of that time calling back and forth. They had become fast friends on the trail.
We went out for our second loop (the first was 22 miles, the second 10) with Liz and Twiggy and this one flew by. I'll have to look at the vet cards to see how fast we were going, but we were not lollygagging at all! Our total ride time was 4 hours and 48 minutes, so we did a bit over 6 mph average. I think we went a bit faster the first loop, but I'll have to find my card to make sure. We came in around 1:30, pulsed through and were told we were either 4th and 5th or 5th and 6th (I don't remember if Liz was before or after me and I was 5th). So, I decided to stand for BC, as it's great experience. Also, as I'm bigger than a lot of those tiny, skinny riders, I do have a shot at it (rider weight is calculated in the score). We ended up coming in 3rd out of 5 in the BC. We got all 9s (out of 10) on our scores, except his Recovery score wasn't that great. I'll have to work on that - I'm sure there are techniques (besides just plain conditioning) to help with that. He was tired, but not terribly.
I'm glad I did the LD - my fitness level is still nowhere near where it was a year ago. But, it's getting better and I think as the season progresses, my fitness will go up.
Monica and Danny came in later, 15 minutes overtime. She was fine with that, as Danny did great the whole ride, was praised by other riders for his 'metronome trot' and joined and left groups like a trooper. Monica was very careful with him, as this is his first season and his base fitness is still getting there. He looked great at the finish and while they didn't get a completion, they got all A's on his vet card and the vet told her that she had done a great job with him. So, it was a great experience for both of them.
Wendy came in about an hour later, tired but grinning. I trotted Allie out for her and then we went back to the camper. We got all the horses cleaned up, fed, wrapped and blanketed and then went to the awards ceremony. After that, a yummy dinner, a glass of wine and well deserved sleep.
Our drive home went much quicker, as the weather was dry and sunny the entire way. We strapped our new corrals to the sides of the trailer, which worked out just great, and made it home around 2:30 or so.
I'm sore today, but not all that bad. Walking is no problem, just going down stairs! My daughter told me I should stretch...seems like I did plenty of that on Saturday, but maybe I'll try a little gentle stretching today.
Now we have to unload everything and start getting ready for the next ride, which will be Mt. Adams.
I do have some photos, just need to figure out how to download them, so I'll put them up when I get that done.
Monday, April 2, 2012
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
It was a textbook delivery (the best kind), and as the baby was coming out, I could see it was buckskin. Maybe this time I'd get my buckskin filly! Then, the foal was all the way out and I could tell she was a he. Lovely little buckskin ...colt. He has two hind stockings and one little triangle on the front leg. Lots of get up and go, very friendly.
I have a dog blanket on him, as it's quite windy and chilly and he doesn't have much body fat. He's wearing my son's dog's blanket, which has flames shooting down the sides. I was calling him "Speed Racer" today, as he zoomed around the arena with mom.
I think we have a name for him. My friend Cindy found the word "Merdan", which means courageous. It works as I wanted a M name in honor of his sire, Metman. It seems to fit him too. He marches right up and says hello. Of course, that is much too formal for a barn name. We've been calling him Paddy, as he was born on St. Patrick's day.
There are some photos on Monica's blog and on Facebook under the Cascade Gold page. Monica's blog is http://blog.seattlepi.com/horsebytes/
Sooner or later I'll get a decent camera, but not today.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
I have the foaling stall all set up with nice, deep straw, shavings and a heat lamp. I have my foaling kit ready. I've been checking her every 2 hours for the last week now, although happily, I can see her from my bedroom window so I don't have to go outside every two hours all night long. But, interrupted sleep does take it's toll. Just ask my family.
So, very soon, we'll have another little one running around. Of course, I'm hoping for my buckskin filly, but we'll take whatever comes!
Sunday, February 19, 2012
I did forget that he's never seen clippers before - I don't worry about nose or ear whiskers and one of the great things about endurance is that no one expects you to have a 'show-ready' horse, polished and clipped. So, we spent some time just getting used to those noisy things. He was very good, all in all, although I wish I had a photo of how far back he was leaning, without moving his feet. I just went slowly, kept telling him what a good boy he was, gave him treats when he relaxed, and we got that neck shaved a bit without much trouble. So, tomorrow we'll see if that helps with the cooling, as we're hauling out to the Redmond Watershed, for a nice, long ride, as long as the weather cooperates.
Monica commented that it 'took pounds off him'. Hmmm, maybe that is an option for humans also..
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Aya (Aishet) is due to foal within the next few weeks, so we'll have a new baby to play with also.
They are all keeping us busy, but that is ok - it's a lot of fun.