Friday, April 26, 2013

A Friday Ride

This morning Desire and I headed south about 45 minutes to our friend J's house. I loaded my tack and Desire into J's trailer with her mare Sedona and we headed for Folsom Lake! It was a beautiful cool morning but was probably at least 85 by midday. Not hot but continually surprising for April! The trail head was fairly busy when we pulled in but we backed into a nice spot and saddled up to cruise the trails together for the first time in months.

Steed: ready
J kind-sorta knew where we were going, but the lake was higher than when she was last there so we sort or meandered and wandered and turned around a few times, eventually settling on a route out to Avery Pond and back that we had ridden together last year sometime.

So I think we go over here and..wait..well maybe..hmm, let's check around the corner.. ;-)
 Folsom Lake is just gorgeous this time of year! The Lupines are vibrant against all the bright green and deep blue. The trails were shady which is always ideal, and that route from Sterling Pointe trail head is pretty friendly footing overall.
 Through the Lupines..
 Happy :)

Winding along next to Folsom Lake
 Desire did really well today! With my tumultuous last few months I hadn't hardly ridden her, but she was looking fantastic cruising around pasture showing off when I was mowing the barn field yesterday. She her usual business-like but eager self, cruising down the trail with a peppy clop-clop in her 4 Renegades. After riding uphill after crossing a mucky spot we had one hind boot twist today, but that was it and pretty good considering they were a random 4 boots (her size but not adjusted), she hasn't been out in a while, and there were some tight spots on the trail for a fast moving, clumsy mare. There was lots of heavy stump, stone, and culvert eyeballing as usual, it really makes me laugh that she is still so persistently Snorty at 17 years old! She makes me roll my eyes a lot, but also smile a lot.

Something is coming to eat us, I just know it!
 Desire sure takes good care of herself. Of course I am still attentive to her and takes necessary measures but it's really a load off the mind when your horse naturally takes good care of itself in the important ways. Compared to Blaze she is such a breeze. Grabbing bites of grass, pooping, peeing, drinking out of mucky puddles--and going totally quiet and relaxed when we stopped for lunch and were done with the ride. The important stuff, when it counts! A great mare.

Relaxing at lunch
She drank greedily from this mud puddle
 After a tasty lunch packed by J we headed back for the trailers. There are some nice spots for trotting along the shady trails, it's definitely a close 2nd behind riding at Lake Oroville I think.
 So much bright yummy green!
Actually the amenities are a step above Oroville, since there are not only troughs but a HOSE at the trail head--now that is luxury! Mucky, sweaty Desire, after MUCH spraying and scrubbing off at the trail head:
 An hour later, back home in the barn yard after further scrubbing, and with incautious tiny mutts underfoot..
 Here is my mini Doxie pup Rip, now almost 7 months old! Such a goofy good hearted guy.
 My highbrow ice queen little Kodiak Doxie pup deigned to snuggle with me since I was gone all day :)
 Desire is happy to be home in her paddock with more FOOD on the way..
 When I turn on the hose, Kodiak dives under it, and then runs for the nearest dirt hole and goes muddin'

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A Balmy Lake Ride

Blaze and I finally made it out to the lake trails this morning for the first time in literally months! It was a glorious, exciting, nostalgic, familiar feeling to be cruising my rig out to these trails that I've spent hundreds of miles on with my horses in the last few years. Life is definitely GOOD when I'm getting to spend a gorgeous week day on the trails with a good friend and our steeds!

My Blazey boy, eagerly looking for an equine buddy at the trailhead 
 We met up with N and Willow and had a pretty darn relaxed 12 mile cruise that took a full 4 hours. After highs some 30 degrees lower not even weeks ago, today it had to be at least 80-85 degrees, with a hot, sometimes gusting wind that seemed to be coming from many directions at once. Not entirely comfortable weather and certainly not in April! Still, the trails are gorgeous, the sky was blue, and the horses were safeish, sound, and *mostly* moving forward.
N and I caught up over the miles and we had a few nice trots on the shady horse camp trails. Willow's occasional uncertainty and Blaze's lackadaisical--read FarmPlugNearDeath--walk made for a maddening couple of miles after the turnaround that had N and I wondering aloud if we'd get back to the trailers before dark. I think Desire and Willow are a much better combination for trail rides; Desire's bold forward march keeps Willow confident and things moving along pretty efficiently, generally. I hope to have time to ride Desire tomorrow, speaking of, and might be getting out to a new riding spot with a friend on Friday! 

It was great to be back on the lake trails with my Blazey boy, who ate, drank (at the very last water), pooped, and even peed out on the trail, though I'm pretty sure he was trying his best to hold his pee til back at the trailer. About a half mile out he all of a sudden dove into the grass and took a pretty epic pee. He had plenty of chances to do it before then as we stopped on the grass a few times and were generally meandering on a loose rein, but he has that annoying habit of holding it if he can.
I brought a baggie of carrot bites for him to reward his peeing and drinking, and keep his gut sounds going. 12 miles isn't a long ride but he doesn't ever take quite as good care of himself as Desire and I need to get and keep myself in the habit of being aware of that and compensating for it. I figured the sudden hot temps and trailering out after a haitus earned him some snacks, anyway ;-) I do enjoy my Blaze, he's just my goofy fat little guy, so good natured even in the hot winds after time off.
It's great to be back on the trails and I can't wait to get to my first endurance ride of the year. We're tentatively planning on Cache Creek which is on my birthday weekend in early May again this year. It's only a few weeks out though and I'm still waffling..we'll see!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

That's Life!

I certainly can't contain in this one blog post all of the revelations of truth, hurt, love, loss, confusion, and extreme highs and lows that have comprised my life in the last few months. As you may know from following the blog, my husband and I separated at the beginning of this year and I moved my horses and dogs and self in with some friends. It was a rough couple of months and my husband and I barely kept in touch at first, and then more so as the weeks went on. We met and walked our dogs and talked about everything: the good, the bad, and the ugly. It felt like being able to breathe again to put it all out there and both admit our mistakes and agree that neither of us could give up on it all so easily.

So, here we are, mid April, working on things, glad and grateful to be together but very aware of what has happened between us and determined to work on it. The horses and dogs and I are back home and life seems to be getting back on track. It's not all easy sunshine and rainbows but it's real life and I am happy to be back here with my chosen partner. Our separation was confusing and painful but necessary I believe, and I am proud of myself for taking those steps, and also for opening my heart and mind enough to just lay it all out and communicate, which believe it or not, is rather hard for me in real life when not typing lengthy blog posts!

As I said the horses are home, I trimmed up Sheza--who turns 2 on Sunday--Blaze, and Desire the other day and need to have a go at Joey's hooves too. I really need to order some new rasps, too! I'm looking into barefoot trimming schools/clinics to attend to further my knowledge there; I'm enjoying the hard work but really have a lot to learn I know. I still need to bring home a bunch of my horse junk from the other place I was staying but I am looking at being back on track for some riding finally! A blown truck tire while hauling my (thankfully empty) horse trailer last week prompted me to *finally* get new tires all the way around on the truck, a spendy task but a necessary one.

Life just isn't simple or near as color-by-number as I'd sometimes like but I'm living it and doing things to the best of my ability. I so appreciate the love and support from friends and family throughout everything and look forward to posting some fun new horse adventures on here again very soon!

Here's some catch-up photos :-)

Ran my first 5K at the Lake Oroville trails last week, it was fun and over so quickly compared to an endurance ride!

Caught some dinner at the lake..
 Joey boy back home enjoying all the grass:
 When in Doubt, dig shit up!
 Rip and Kodiak got neutered/spayed last week and did some heavy loafing to recover..
 Blaze and (giant) filly Sheza out enjoying the grass back home