I'm happy to say that I've got some actual trail photos to include in this post!
But first! I've been handling Apache, grooming, trimming his feet, just hanging out in his pasture since arrival but finally, after his much needed dental and an all clear from the chiropractor, Apache joined the work force! I started with a liberty round pen session and then I climbed all around on the fence and waved my legs and jumped up and down and just generally acted a fool. Apache is green broke but I'd rather start from scratch than trip over revealed holes. Fortunately I also have filly assistants. *amused eyeroll*
Apache stretching out
willing but fairly convinced of my insanity
The 11th was my birthday so on the Sunday before my husband and I got up early and took new guy Spark to the fishing hole/trail intersection and went our respective ways. Which meant we got a couple of photos :)
handsome Spark kitted out in the Specialized Trailmaster and Renegades
taller than I'm used to!
hiking back down the dam
Birthday Noms!! mmm Crepes
my husband made me a German chocolate cake <3
Because the winds of fate are not kind even when people deserve it, a good friend doesn't have a reliable horse to ride at the moment, so I hauled Spark and Blaze to the lake for a fun little group ride. It was a good different test for Spark and I's new summer relationship and fun to see Blaze enjoyed by yet another dear person.
Blaze and D :-)
Spark leading the group
Good boy Spark relaxed even though Blaze was at the other trailer
We lead, followed, leap frogged, waited, and rode through the local long scary tunnel, all of which Spark handled nicely. It's very nice to be on trail despite how everything has shaken out. Grateful to friends and glad to pay it forward where I can!
It's been a rough couple of weeks. Life was busy, more stuff than I care to mention going on, but worst, extended family suffered a devastating lost end of last week. I was in heavy compartmentalization mode on Friday, picking up sale gelding Shiner and heading for Cache Creek ride camp to check in on boot clients.
like jewels in the sun!
boot service and delivery via Blazer steed
Shiner was a good boy, handled mostly by my husband that day
Cache Creek is one of the most challenging rides around for strap on hoof boots, with the bog, water crossings, and hills, hills, hills. Sure enough all brands were challenged but I wasn't there to see it.
Sunday I returned to CC ride camp with Scrappy. The next step in his journey is a year entirely off work and thanks to an old friend, he'll be spending it on 17 scenic acres with Desire's full brother and another dear Arab.
Said friend brought D's bro and her handsome, Westergard bred 10 yr old bay gelding, Spark, and we rode a loop out of ride camp while my husband napped with Scrappy at the trailers.
Then Scrappy loaded up with D's brother and Spark loaded up in my trailer and came home with my for 6 months or so of riding, future TBD. He's a solid 15 hands at least and a really nice ride, I look forward to saddle time and maybe endurance rides this season after all!! Thanks C.
Spark joins the bay crew
Apache & Spark were briefly roommates..
..but Apache has a Blaze ego, so he went back to his own quarters
Turns out Shiner and Spark are super buds!
(Spark left, Shiner right)
Shiner also had a shampoo & hoof spa
Meanwhile, our big old shephard mix, JJ, took a sudden turn for the worse. The old fellow had bad hips and finally his kidneys started to go. He went to sleep peacefully with us surrounding him, and the pack sat vigil as we buried him under the oak tree out back.
It's always hard to say goodbye to an old friend but it truly is not a dark thing. May we all live full, enjoyable lives and die at a proper age surrounded by those we love.
And because animals heal us and make us laugh as much as they challenge our hearts, I got home from work yesterday to find a casual Rory filly, chilling *outside* the pasture she occupies with 3 other horses and the mini, who were still very much inside.