Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Two DD 2013 Riders Meet one from Alaska and one in California!

It's not very often I get a drop-in visitor, and I've never had one drop in from Alaska before!  But Jenny Wren and her 17 year-old daughter did just that today, when I heard through the grapevine that they would be driving practically past my house!
It was fun, and weird, to have strangers come, but they were very easy to talk to and of course horse women NEVER run out of conversation.  We had a late lunch, then went out for a barn tour and to see the horses, which of course is always the best part.  We compared quality, availability, and types of hay, and compared riding opportunities and horse events and so on.  As cool as Alaska is (and I'm not talking about snow), it is a really inconvenient place to live in comparison to most of the "lower 48".  She talked about how she hauls more in the winter, because she needs to haul to indoor arenas to ride---- but only if the temps are above 10 degrees, that's her cutoff.  In the summer she has area to ride out from her house, so doesn't need to haul to trails.  She is active in CTR.  We compared prices, of feed and boarding, in particular, and as you can imagine hers are higher.  She was marveling at someone's ad for pasture board for $180/month (in your area).
She really liked Bravo, probably because he is kind of a looker these days.  He has a pretty arched neck and is sooooo shiney.  He's maybe overly-friendly sometimes, so he was reminded to mind his manners and keep his mouth to himself, thankyou.  (Mary, I haven't measured him lately to see if he has grown.)
They were here maybe an hour and a half, then had to continue on to their tasks. 
It was a fun visit!  Thanks to Distance Derby (and Tammy) I got to meet a new horsey friend from Alaska.

Monday, April 22, 2013

April 21st Leaderboard Update

OVER Four Hundred Miles, yup we have 3 teams with over 400 miles already!  Team 85 was the first team to get over 400 miles back on April 8th and now a BIG Congrats to Team 14 - Messick for leading the way this week with 430.88 miles.  Team 14 and Team 22 reached their over 400 miles this past weekend at the TallyHo Endurance Ride in Kansas.  Have a great week everyone :-)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Team 81 is a Judge!

Team 81 - Murphy and the Spots is a judge for Dog Trials and I asked her what she does when she judges and here is her story of her last judging.  This is soooo cool :-)

Getting Ready to Judge 

RD Competitor

Hock Exercise

Sit / Stay

I made it to St. Louis to judge the Dalmatian Club of America's (DCA) Specialty Road Trial ! Friday was horse familiarization and judge's briefing and Saturday was the Road Trial competition. This Road Trial competition took place at Purina Farms in Gray Summitt, MO http://www.purinafarms.com/#article-grid , a truly beautiful venue for this type of event. The Dalmatian Club of America offers this competition once a year in conjunction with it's Conformation, Agility, Obedience, and Rally classes and at 2 or 3 other sites across America.

A Road Trial as defined by the DCA rules states: " A Dalmatian Road Trial is a performance event designed to evaluate the Dalmatian’s ability to "coach”, or follow the horses. Exhibitors compete as handlers on horseback or in a horse-drawn cart or carriage, with their dog(s) off leash. The Dalmatian Standard of the American Kennel Club states that the Dalmatian “should be capable of great endurance, combined with a fair amount of speed”, qualities essential to his successful use as a horse/rider and horse/coach escort. The purpose of a Road Trial is to demonstrate the use of purebred Dalmatians as a companion of man in the role that they have been bred to perform.

There are three levels of Road Trial Competition. The “Coaching Certificate” test evaluates the Dalmatian’s ability to coach. The “Road Dog” class evaluates coaching ability and moderate endurance (completing a 12 1/2 mile course in less than 3 hours)and the “Road Dog Excellent” class evaluates coaching ability and extended endurance (completing a 25 mile course in less than 6 hours). Road Trials demonstrate the Dalmatians’ ability to behave in public places, such as riding trails, in the presence of other dogs, in a manner that will reflect positively on the sport and on purebred dogs. I had 13 entries (7 dogs in the RD class and 6 in the CC class, no RDX entries) and all the entries qualified in the RD class and 4 of the 6 qualified in the CC class."

We did have two problem. As I rode the 4 mile loop I found that the route winded through the middle of the shutzhund competition! So my team and I spent several hours reworking the course. Then another hour planning out the "obedience" area. Unfortunately, the field was a smorgasbord board of animal poop. There was sheep, goat, cattle, ducks (and their blood), pigeons (and their blood), horse, dog - from border collies, deer, geese and rat (from a "go to ground" competition) droppings! It was definitely a challenge for the Dalmatians as they experienced a smell sensory overload! The horses were a bit jittery too as parts of this field had large blue tarps flapping in the wind. But we all had a great time!

The weather was as picture perfect as one could hope for, with partly cloudy sky's, a slight wind, temperatures in the low sixties and no humidity. The horses at the event were either brought in and owned by the competitors, or rented from a local wrangler. This wrangler gave us Tennessee Walkers which he used for hunting with his pointers and setters, so the horses had no problems completing the 12 1/2 miles, were used to dogs under foot, and often carried inexperienced riders. One competitor brought her Friesian mare (reportedly worth over $50,000!), another brought her Morgan and the third gal her Pinto Quarter Horse. The carting entry was a draft/warmblood with the best temperament I have ever seen. Nothing frazzled this big guy including one Dals' close encounter with it's nose!

I met some really fantastic people, admired some excellent working Dalmatians and beautiful horses, and rode great a Morgan gelding who happened to be the same color as my horse Murphy. It was just a fun weekend and I really look forward to my next Road Trial!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Leaderboard Update April 17th

After some gentle suggestions from some of our Team members, I revisited my spreadsheet and yes, I made some opps.  So I have updated the leaderboard as of today at 3:00pm.  Thanks for the corrections and if I make mistakes again (and I am sure I will) please don't hesitate to let me know.  :-)

Monday, April 15, 2013

April 15th Leaderboard Update

It is the middle of April and as a group we have ridden over 10,000 miles!  We also have one Team with over 400 miles!  Congrats to Team 85 Leather and Lace!  The weather may or may not be getting better depending on the day, hour, minute or second....but it is what it is.....

Oh, I also have decided to change my leaderboard update day from Sunday to Monday again about 10:00pm.  Now that the weather may or may not be getting better and I (opps we) have more chances to ride and or camp on weekends, I think giving everyone a chance to post ALL their weekend miles for the weekly update would be better.  So check every Monday after 10:00pm for the updated leaderboard for the previous Monday thru Sunday posted miles.  Have a great week everyone :-)

Monday, April 8, 2013

FLASH! A News "First" from Team 120 - Long Distance Rider

March 28, 2013......

Today was the Day! I'd ridden Farah on certain sections, then we rode our bikes on the sections through the towns where horses are not supposed to go - then - this morning we started at the start of the Centennial Trail in Snohomish,WA & rode north. Through Lake Stevens, Arlington & to the Skagit County line! First equestrian to do the entire distance point-to-point!

Lots of horses use the trail, but the far north end has recently been completed & Arlington made it clear that horses were not expected in "town" - but we surprised them :-) Without that section available - horse people have to trailer around town & pick up the trail on the far side. The city representative was very gracious about our accomplishment & said that they do 
want people to "enjoy" the trail :-)

To read the whole story, stop over to Connie's blog :-)


Wow Connie, this sounded like a great adventure!  

Sunday, April 7, 2013

April 7th Leaderboard Update

Here is the first full week of April riding as of 10:30pm tonight.  All rides posted after 10:30 pm tonight will be collected and posted on next weeks Leaderboard.  A whole lot of people stepped up and rode this week, can't understand why with the temps. in the 60's & 70's in most places :-).  We are a few hoof beats from 10,000 miles as a group already and 8 riders are over 300 miles! And a few within spitten distance of 400!   Congrats to everyone who is out there gittin-er-dun and ridin!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Nope NOT April Fool's Day just March Madness

Today is April fools day, but since this leaderboard ended yesterday the last day of the 3rd month of 2013 we'll go with.....this is the end of March Madness.  Lots of riding this month.  Had some riders who just logged their first miles this past week and quite a few with over 300 miles already!!!  OK all you Mad March Marauders who attacked March with mastery...on to April :-)

OK so I am as mad as a March hare today HEHEHEHEHEHEHE!!!!