Thursday, December 6, 2012

Team 4 - MacKeogh*

Just me and the spotted Arabian now. Well, and about half a hundred wonderful horses that people allow me to guest upon, here and there. Last year, Dec 31, Royal and I were still loping circles in the pasture. I was afraid to take him out on the road, afraid to see what I would run into with him out there in the big bad world. Jan 1, I think we made like 2 whole miles in there. 

This is not going to cut it, I said to self, and the Derby was on! We are now everywhere we can get to and building the partnership of a lifetime! Made some good new friends last year and strengthened bonds with old ones! Let 2013 ring!


2012 / 836.02 Miles / 13th Place


  1. 3.95. Fabulous ride thru snowy evening trails. Stood at Look Out Mountain, seeing the twinkling party lights of the city sprawled out beneath us. Smidge over an hour, 3.8 avg speed.

    Royal. My bestie ever

  2. 4.45 mi


    Another blissful frosty ride through the snow. My horse is so happy and steady, out there. I hope the world gets to see someday the horse I love so much.

    How do we see the Leader Board?? How do I link my blog to this Derby?? inquiring minds :-))

    8.4 year total so far!

  3. Good job Terri. One day I have to drive over and ride with you :-) I'll be putting up some fashion of a leader board tomorrow :-)

    1. Wonderful, thanks Diane! Unfortunately the ranch does not allow outside horses. I am thinking hard about trying to put together an event during the off season . . . maybe allow 10 -15 riders max, we would pay the ranch to let us come in . . . make it a three hour deal or so to ensure people got enough miles to make it worth the trip . . . wonder if there would be interest?

      Otherwise, it is my goal to get Royal and I equine mobile this year and then we will be EVERYWHERE! :-)

    2. You know I'd bring a horse out there! :-)

  4. 6.07 mi

    Mostly on Royal, out in the woods. Took some cool photos and videos!! Will be blogging here in a mo'. Best ride yet!!

    Short jaunt bareback on a hack horse, ponying another to a stalk field. The ride was fun. The walk back up the hill in the deep snow about did me in! A rider I am, a walker, not so much!! Was wonderful out there. I am truly blessed to be allowed to ride such beautiful trails!!

    14.11 mi broke into double digits. All right! :-)

    1. shoot you are ahead of me! You guys are going to force me to ride in the dark!

    2. Riding in the dark is fun when you don't have traffic to contend with! The leader board is terrifying, dang, people are getting excited about this!!

  5. Tues Jan 8
    5.53 mi, Royal, at the ranch in the snow and dark! Too much fun!

    Weds Jan 9
    7.56 Royal, ditto above. We are learning we can handle ourselves not only on ups and downs, but even when the snow is melting and the footing is not as solid. My horse and I are building confidence in one another along with a big reachy long trot that is just to die for!

    year total: 27.2

  6. Ditto on the night riding! And have you clocked Royal at the "big reachy long trot"? My Shadow has an amazing extended trot, too, & it's SO MUCH FUN! I've clocked him @ about 10 mph - next time I'll look more closely & you clock Royal!

  7. I have clocked Royal at that trot! When I did, he was at 9. something, but we have done better than that! I LOVE it when he gets loose, really reaches, and I can flow with him! That's an amazing feeling! :-) I will do it again when the footing dries up and see what we get!

  8. 4.26 mi today. Royal out at the ranch. Was a little greasy on the hills and we did sit down on the side of one, sliding in the leaf covered goo when he was more interested in his buddy down below than he was where he was putting his feet. I wouldn't let him just lunge to his feet, made him sit there til he gathered up, calmly rose and down we went back to the trail.

    It was not our best day, he was high as a kite for a lot of it but it gave me opportunities to try different things to get his brain back without the stress and pressure of other riders around to worry about. He came home better than he left, small changes lead to big ones.

    New total: 31.46 (man, it's tough balancing job, family and the desire to RIDE!)

  9. 1.67 of the hardest fought for scariest miles I may have ridden in my life! Got way out on the back 80 at the ranch and found ourselves on solid ice going up a steep hill! It is a very bad feeling, seeing your dog, four feet ahead, suddenly lose his footing and go all the way down!

    By the time I had absorbed what was happening, Royal and I were on that ice and he was scrabbling with all his might to keep his feet. I kicked my feet free of the stirrups, tried to stay out of his way and gently softly oh so softly suggested we head diagonally across to the low bank on the other side.

    We made it and then came the adventure follwing the heavily treed ridge. I am so grateful for every game we played where I would ride between two trees, ask him to stop, settle, sometimes back out, sometimes put a foot somewhere else. Today, in this rather sticky situation, Royal was 100%. He listened to me, never lost his head and though we hit more scary slides, we stayed upright and got home safe. Took us almost an hour to get those miles!!

    Total to date: 33.13

    I am going to ride this week but if it even feels the littlest slidey, it will be indoor arena time and next Saturday is Kip's next clinic. There will be miles, just not recordable ones! Oh well, there will be time for that later!

  10. Wow, Terri! So glad you and Royal did so good and stayed safe! See you next Sat. at the Kip Clinic :-)

  11. Thanks Diane! About 5 minutes out I was thinking it was not my very best plan. I am glad it worked out too, and the best part is the strengthening of the faith this horse and I have in each other.

    SO excited about next Saturday! REALLY enjoyed riding with Kip, figured I would, but getting to ride with so many friends is a delightful bonus!

  12. so glad you are ok. The ice has been terrible! Now the slippery mud is just as bad.

    1. we hit both last night. I am sticking to arena when I ride tomorrow night. It just is not worth the risk, trying to climb around hills in the dark in footing like that.

  13. Tues, Feb 11.

    3.67 mi

    Mud, ice, barn sour horse, scared crabby rider. Definitely not one of our best go rounds. Hitting the ice last time out really scared me, and when we hit bad footing, up on the hill, that old fear beast woke from it's slumber. I have not felt that gut wrenching, mouth tastes of metal kind of fear in a very long time. It was not really called for and I kept telling myself to ride the ride I was on and not the one in my head.

    Any wonder Royal was a basket case? Not for me. We will do better next time because I will be better next time.

    36.8 new total. Felt like a LOT of effort for that little bit of miles!!

  14. 5.87 miles today Saturday Feb 23

    Royal. The ranch. In the snow :-) We were only out a little over an hour, avg moving speed 5.2. Footing was MUCH better though we still found some dicey spots where the ice lay hidden under the snow. One trip into the back 80 was enough for us today! Took my dog with me and would have got more miles but he started getting a little sore footed so we came in.

    Had a wonderful time out. Sun reflecting back off the snow warm against my legs. My horse was relieved his sane mommy came to play today, and was soft all the way through, start to finish. Deer exploded out of the woods on both sides, was worth stopping and picking up both our heads, but not a step sideways. Super satisfied.

    Last year I was in the Derby to gather up as many miles as I possibly could. I still like the idea, but I am in search of as many QUALITY miles as I can get . . .

    New total: 42.67

  15. Sounds like you got great miles today Terri :-) Awesome!

  16. 3.04 mi Fri Mar 8.

    Royal, in the arena. We started out attempting the trails in the light rain. How mud can be deep, sticky, squishy and slidey all at the same time I do not know. 20 feet up the hill, we are like uh no, we are not doing this tonight and to the arena we went. Outdoor, for the gps, plus after the work week I have had, no more walls for awhile!

    I never get bored in the arena. There is always so much to do, games to play, skills to hone. I did some passenger riding, one rein stop never too far away and only had to utilize it once, early on. My horse's neck got long, relaxed and level. That was a huge leap of faith for me to trust that I could ride whatever my horse dealt up and it was a huge leap of faith on his part that other than one "hey I think I'll pick up speed just because I can and bolt" moment and two tiny spooks, he just toddled around like an old cow pony.

    Took up contact, worked on perfecting our circles walk and trot and added drifting the hind. This stuff is hard. I don't want to feel any part of his body either pushing into the circle or drifting out of it. Straightness on the arc . . .

    Did more stuff than you guys want to read about, I am sure. That is what blogs are for ;-). One cool thing . . . doing trot-whoa from the seat-into reverse, I felt the beginning of the sliding stop as Royal learned to get his butt nicely under him and ready for the backwards transition. Pretty sweet night.

    45.71 on the very slow but sure train :-)

  17. You and Royal are making music :-) Awesome.

  18. 1.11 mi Thurs Mar 28

    Champ, NHS rescue horse. His first time out of doors, we opened the gate from the round pen into the pasture, a task he has never been asked to through a gate he didn't know was there. Would not have scored huge points in an event but we got it done, pretty nicely all things considered. Very successful short ride out. Our companion horse (also very green) spooked hard a couple of times and Champ never batted an eye or an ear. He is going to make someone a VERY fine horse!

    3.75 mi yesterday on Royal.

    Still dang muddy in spots at the ranch. All the north facing areas were deep and slidey. Turns out, there are quite a few of those! We are learning how to negotiate those places and went down some hills we would never have dared before. Very hard miles though, he and I were both ready to be done. Took us an hour and a half to get those!

    Been riding quite a bit more than my total reflects but indoors where nary a gps can reach . . . but no mud either!

    50.57 new total.

  19. 4.34 Sat Mar 30

    Champ. First time down the road. Went like he has done it all his life. Cows, traffic, flags whipping in the breeze, none of it phased him whatsoever. We walked, trotted and cantered beside Miller, another NHS rescue horse ridden by my friend, Colleen.

    Pretty cool to be out riding roads I last visited when my kids were little and riding beside me. Great day.


  20. Fri Apr 5-
    3.76 mi on Royal. First time riding since I can't remember when that the ground did not slide out from under our feet. Hungry husband cut the ride short . . . Sure was pretty out!

    Sat Apr 6
    2.59 mi

    Royal at the ranch. Trying out his new to me cowboy saddle. I think I like it. Made the trade, anyway. Wish I'd had more time to ride. Brought home my also new to me trailer and can't wait to haul to . . . .just about anywhere!

    New Total:

    61.26 (itching to get some REAL miles under our belt!! So far behind where we were last year!

  21. Congrats on your new-to-you trailer Terri! So great to be mobile again I am sure :-)

  22. 2.74 miles 4/21/13

    At the ranch on Royal. Got to share the trails with Colleen who came to visit. Unfortunately we had her try a horse we hoped would work out for a hacker. Nope. Fit throwing barn sour brat. So . . . made it through the back 80 and just started on the hacker trails and we decided it was a better idea to take him back and try again another day. SO fun to share what I love so much. Royal was a champ til I started letting the other horse get ahead of us. Sigh. We have a lot of work to do there and little opportunity to do it. Oh well, will do what we can when we can.

    2.79 miles yesterday. Yep, a trend, only time for a quick ride out as the new crop of baby rachorses is starting to hit the ground and getting their halter lessons before they go to summer pasture. We almost didn't get out of the yard.

    Went to set my sunglasses down on the tack kit sitting on the tailgate. The wind picked up, tonneau cover rattled, a piece of electrical tape dangling from the plug under the truck shot around in striking snake like fashion and the spotted Arab lost his tiny mind. 15 minutes there, and we were off.

    One of these days we will get real miles again. Dunno when. This weekend we bring the hackers down, saddle, clean and repair tack. Next weekend is Peter Campbell down in Archie Mo. All good stuff.

    New total: 66.79

  23. Wow! Finally some miles again! I have ridden the least this year since probably 1993. Not as good!

    Opening day at Shady Lanes Ranch yesterday. Led guided trail rides, rode a couple young ones and test drove a new horse. Incredible tobiano Paint gelding that was just a dream to be on!

    Big Ben - 3.10
    Concho - .74
    Voltage - .77
    This is a three year old Palomino QH colt that we are bringing along. He's a sweetie! Not much groundwork or foundation (they get on and ride, out there), he sure did well for as little as he knows. I felt perfectly safe on him. Would love to take this guy under my wing and put some good time on him!
    Waterboy - .73
    these are short trips up and around the ridge above the barn, good for the younger ones that we don't really trust out of sight yet. We rode Waterboy quite a bit last year and this nice young horse rode off just as sweet as when we put him up! What a neat boy!
    Diamond - 3.15
    ugh!! worst ride of the day! Diamond is a QH/Perch cross who is normally a super nice guy! My husband rode him quite a bit the past couple of years, and loved him. Yesterday, he was barn sour, pulled on me with that 1000 lb head and neck . . . I could have left him in a hole on the back 80 super easy!
    Concho - 6.45
    The new Paint. Led out two rides back to back on this great sweet gelding. If I didn't already have a horse, I would want this one. Good looking, kind, steady and responsive. The "Ahhh" kind of horse.

    Royal is laid up from a trailer loading accident. He will be off probably another couple of weeks. We are taking this time to just hang out, not something I have ever really done with him, and it sure feels nice.

    14.94 for yesterday, I should have stayed on a few more minutes and got the 15! Feeling it today! Haven't ridden that much all year!

    New total:


  24. Glad you got to ride Terri! Sorry to hear about Royal, sure hope he heals completely and fast! I so want to make it out the Shady Lane sometime this year :-)

  25. 12.93 Sunday May 25

    Bling ! Of Team Purple, graciously carried me out on a wonderful ride with friends! Brenda T and her husband Alex joined Christine and I for a lovely romp around Coin, IA. Great riding, laughter, good times. Exactly what the doctor ordered!

    Prognosis for Royal looking very good! As soon as it dries out enough to ride, going to try him and see where that hock is at. Swelling almost down 100%. Whew!!

    New total . . . 94.66! Dang, gonna hit that 100 mile mark one of these days! Working both days at Shady Lanes Ranch outta get 'er done!

  26. 16.19 mi yesterday at the ranch,

    First ride up on my good black horse, Big Ben. Then I switched over to Little Miguel, a little cow pony type that I like a ton. He's been on the ranch awhile but he's green and pretty reactive so we don't use him very much. I ride him whenever I can, and turned out, I didn't have time to change horses again, once I was up, so he got a day of it.

    Weather was perfect for riding, could wish I was playing instead of working. Leading those rides is stressful, I just want everyone to stay on top and have a good time. It works out, for the most part.

    New total . . . drum roll . . . 110.85! LOL, gotta quit comparing to last year. That was then, this is now, pro's and con's to both!

  27. awesome Terri, you got over 100 miles :-) Glad you had a good day at "work" :-)

  28. 3.35 Thursday June 12

    Royal :=)

    Did trailer loading prep as he is very freaked about even getting close to it now, or being asked to go into any kind of squeezy place. Trailer is fixed, and I am thinking, after he is over being phobic about it, I will sell it. I don't think I will ever be easy about the idea that he could panic in it again, even though I will work with him. I do believe any horse can learn to ride in any trailer. I have put bigger horses than mine into smaller trailers than this but it is just not worth the risk to me.

    I am driving my car and most of my gear is in my truck. I keep thinking about grabbing my bridle out of there but the thought usually occurs when I am on my way to the ranch, sans bridle. Last time I borrowed a snaffle bit bridle from Charlie.

    Last night the barn was all closed up and probably everyone was at Horseman's watching the races. So . . . what to do? Not ride? Unthinkable. Was so necessary on so many levels.

    After we did our pre trailer loading, and did ground work around the trailer, I had no problem looping the lead rope around and securing it for reins with my rope halter.

    Royal and I had some discussion about how that worked and he wasn't sure he liked it until he found out it meant we were riding out on a long loose rein. Then he loved it. Then I could get the soft feel and do just about everything I normally do. Shoulder in didn't really work as well, if I were more adept using the halter I imagine it would have though.

    Walk, trot, canter. No bad steps off a scarred but seems to be totally healed leg. No issues transitioning either up or down. Ranch is all dressed out in it's deep greens and summer golds. Darkish with some cloud cover, perfect temp for riding, was mystical.

    It was a totally "OMG I LOVE my horse" ride :-)

    New total 114.20.

  29. Saturday June 15

    Started out on BlackJack. Trails a little damp, we stayed on the "beginner loop" all day.

    2.85 mi

    Then took Daizy Mae out for a turn. Every so often, I climb on a hack horse, remind them they really do know how to be ridden and it was time for her. She is a cool looking Perch/Paint cross that was at my place in Sioux City for awhile. She has spent some time at Ponca doing lessons for the young hunt crowd and does have some nice manners when she is reminded she needs them . . .

    2.65 mi

    Then it was Bravo. This is a gorgeous black and white gelding that has carried every kid in the surrounding states that has come to us to ride. Last year he got a little sour with it all, got tired of people running up on him and clipping his heels. I can't say I blame him. A little adult riding and he is his own sweet self again. Perfect for me, I would ride him anywhere.

    2.73 mi.

    Muggy day but we got some riding in. I sure hope it picks up. The future of the hack line is under serious discussion as this operation has hemorrhaged money in the past two years, and this one the worst yet. If people don't start coming out to ride, there soon will not be a place for them to do so. Sad, really. Change is the way of all things, and for awhile, I will continue to ride there, til hayrack season . .. then winter? Don't know yet.

    New total: 122.43

  30. First decent weekend for miles in 2013!!

    Saturday at the ranch, led out 7 trail rides, on three different horses, but mostly my Little Miguel. If I were horse shopping it would be a tough pick between he and Big Ben . . .
    We even got to do a little loping with a young couple that had the time of their lives!

    Total for Saturday 18.36

    Sunday, took a little trip and joined up with Team Purple and her wonderful Saddlebred mares. Those mares have completely rearranged my thinking about the American Saddlebred. They are completely cool! We rode into Missouri, somewhere.

    We could have taken the really neat dirt road home but I said, hey let's keep going. (that will sound familiar to those of you who have also ridden along with me), and we dead ended at State Hwy UU, wherever the heck that is!

    During the ride, we kept a great pace, lots of trotting, loping and finally on one stretch, I couldn't stand it anymore. I leaned forward over Bling's neck and said "let's go!"

    You don't have to ask her twice, and I felt her joy as I kept clicking her up! I don't know how fast we went but it was speedy! Lost my hat (thanks Christine for rescuing it for me!) but not my taste! The third time we pulled that stunt, I hear the thunder of hooves behind me and Brooklyn and Christine made their bid for the lead!

    Bling and I were having none of it, and we held our ground but we had to work for it!

    Talk about a good time!! We figure we rode over 25 miles, being as we were at that pace, and out over 5 hours but SOMEBODY (me) bumped the gps (a couple of times) and shut it off. I am fired from trail guide (good thing Shady Lanes doesn't know about this!) and gps tech . . . again.

    It was one of the best rides ever!! Thanks so much, Team Purple, I will be your way again soon!!

    22.34 verifiable miles . . .

    New total: 163.13 :-)

  31. just killed a story book. Too tired to rewrite.

    Short form:

    7/2 3.96 mi on Royal
    7/4 3.04 on Little Miguel (Diane, sure was fun riding with you guys!)

    2.51 mi also Little Miguel


    Led four rides out, two on Little Miguel, one on the Pali colt and the last on Big Ben

    11.80 mi

    Finished up the day saddling my own horse for some decompression time and another whirl in the Specialized Trailmaster. Nice saddle, I will be liquidating a few to pay for this one and I believe it's worth it!


    188 new total (might even break 200 yet this year, man this is different from last year, and holy cow, I deleted a bunch of comments some how :-// )

  32. Great fun riding with you too Terri :-)

  33. Good weekend for riding!

    Fri - 1.33 mi. Royal. The ranch. Short ride, saddle fit issues.

    Sat - 12.09 Guided Trail rides at the ranch.
    Little Miguel twice, Tahoe, Blackjack. I don't know why the same loop that gauged 3.something last year is coming in under three miles this year. Odd indeed.

    Sunday - 7.71 mi. Bling, Pierce Creek Recreation area. Very much loved my first trip to PC! What a lovely little ride spot! Neat safe playground to practice on, fun trails! Team Purple debutted a young horse on her first ride away from home and it was a non event except that it was a blast to watch them both have so much fun! Well done, Christine and Sky! Pinky abandoned her boys and came and rode with as well. Was a great day in the neighborhood!

    New total:

    209.13 Wow, finally turned over the next century! Still riding!

  34. Congrats on getting over 200 miles :-)

  35. Saturday July 20th

    17.7 miles. Led 6 trail rides, busy day at the ranch. Big Ben twice, Bravo, and three times up the hill on three year old Tahoe who is becoming quite the trooper!

    2.47 mi last night on Royal. Went out in a bosal more for the fun of it than my thinking he is ready to become a hackamore horse. In the bridle horse tradition, a horse must be proficient in the snaffle before moving up to the bosal. From there, it is transition to full bridle. We have a ways to go.

    He offered me a fine sweet forward way of going and as much as I didn't want to disrupt that, we still worked on some thinking and patience building. I can feel a marked difference in him since the trailer wreck. He is quicker to become upset, less willing to settle and chargier.

    We did some hind quarter turns into an imaginary rail, brought the front through, both of us learning how subtle that hackamore can really be.

    When horses are insecure they often gain speed. There is a very different feel to that walk from the happy forward one I so enjoyed. We went off road into some heavy woods. I let Royal pick his speed, kept it to a walk by turning him whenever he would increase, pointed him over downed timber, through the closely set trees, and let him spend his energy there.

    He finally stopped of his own accord, head high, eye big, breathing hard, wet with sweat. I let him stand there til he settled. His breathing changed. I asked him to move forward, still a little fast and uncertain, we stayed in the trees.

    After he stopped the next time and settled, he rode out softly and we went on our way.

    Going down a long hill toward home, I would ask him for a gathered stop (soft feel) and back him up a few steps. Only until he got straight, five or six, not looking for 20. He was not entirely happy, fussed and protested. When it got right, we moved on.

    He was quiet going down the hill to the yard and we stopped and played at the pond. It is slick on the edges and I know falls off fairly quickly. Royal thought the frogs very terrible and I didn't allow him to spin away and leave though that was his best idea.

    When the front feet were in, and he drank, standing happily relaxed, we moved on.

    Did some figures in the yard, backed circles and figure 8's, some nice round 20 meters, bending, bending.

    It was all about think and settle, Royal. We need to get your brain back. Next week, when I have more time, I will hook up the trailer.

    New total: 229.30

  36. jul 24th 2.63 mi

    Royal. Did a trail trimming ride, have been promising the guests (and the ranch) I would clear the trails all summer long . . . wow, suddenly it's August . . . when did that happen?

    Wasn't our best ride, was not our worst. Back in the snaffle bit bridle where we belong. Made a decision to get serious about the trailer loading, not because I care so much whether or not he loads, I do but it's secondary. What I really care about is the panic we now have to deal with when things get stressful. Not as good.

    New total: 231.97

  37. Whew, almost forgot to post my miles for LAST Saturday!

    7.26 Led four rides, two beginner loops that are about 2 miles each and two "basics." Christine of Team Purple came to help out and ride for a few hours and it was just the best time! We are not kidding when we say you are welcome, any time!

    .75 the other night on Royal. Late start, deer flies drove us nuts. Called it an early quit.

    New total: 239.95

  38. Saturday, Aug 10

    14.14 mi

    Seven trail rides, rode that good Concho horse, Little Miguel, Tahoe, and Dakota, the big paint. Crazy busy day, big groups. Fun people, it was a pretty good time. Going back today as the Sunday wrangler had something come up. Gotta suck it up, get some coffee in me, take some ibu and rearrange my attitude . . .

    New total 254.35

  39. Sunday Aug 11,

    Five trail rides yesterday. These rides are guided trail rides, for those of you who don't know what I do part time. They are an hour long, and I have realized why my loop is not gauging as many miles! I led a faster pace last year, took more detours. This year, the groups are quite large, lots of children and some doubles. I have slowed the pace considerably, much to the disgust of several of the horses. Others are grateful, LOL!

    It was Tahoe, the palomino colt, and a sharp black gelding I call Little Blackie as he could have starred in True Grit, both looks and sweet spunky temperament!

    Got my new saddle bags, just like the ones Team Purple sports! Love them, can't wait to get them on my saddle and get Royal out for some REAL rides!
    12.54 miles

    New total: 266.89

  40. Aug 17 (just under the wire!)

    Seven trail rides, alternated between Concho (who is already sick of hack horse life and getting sour. Man, I need to find him a new home soon! He would sell pretty cheap right now if someone wants a dynamite trail horse who is not in the right job!), the pali colt, Tahoe, and a spin on Little Miguel. Was a great day for riding. I love practicing my horsemanship on those rides, and once in a great while, someone wants to know what I am doing and why :-).

    I give a spiel that is horsemanship (or "how to stay alive this hour on the trail) which is 90 seconds or less, essentially; stop; start; steer and stay in the middle. For most that's plenty.

    16.51 total for Saturday.

    Tues evening after a nice session with the TB babies, it's Royal, Axel and I on the trail. Deer flies were just ungodly. THICK swarms ignoring the drenching fly spray . . . still had a great ride, he is back to his fun, goofy but relatively steady self. Plucked a daisy from the side of the trail, more for fun than any intent.

    At first, annoyed, he swung his head a little, and then seemed to realize that bouncing flower kept the nasty stingees off his ears. We finished up pleasantly happy.

    2.30 miles on that one.

    New total: 285.70 (heading to the ranch in a minute . . . wonder if i will get stormed out of hitting 300 today . . .)

  41. OK, just a question. "Hack horse" means nose-to-tail stable rental horse/trail horse? And, what do you mean he's not in the right job? I agree with you, of course, that some horses are "in the wrong job", but I was wondering what you had in mind for this horse & why. (not that I can buy him, I'm just wanting to educate myself - learn from someone who knows more). We got our App "Pate" from someone who was leaving the show world. We didn't show him, but my daughter did enter him in an App show once in conjunction w/State Fair. Pate was recognized by several horse people @ the show, & more than one person said to us, "He seems happier with you." I've always wondered about that comment. I've never totally understood it (but I'm happy he's happy!)

  42. Sat.Aug 24 - 9.58, led the 11, 12, 1 & 3 pm rides. Pretty light traffic, what with the heat and school starting. No more than we expected. Rode Tahoe, the three year old and the Little Black horse. Concho, the Paint, I mentioned before, carried a couple of experienced riders and did super. We agree, though, a hack horse he is not, and the price is dropping by the day. I need to get an ad put together and find this nice boy another home!

    9.58 miles for yesterday.

    Today. Forecasted heat wave too extreme to make outside ride plans, so I headed over to the ranch early after Arron left on his road trip.

    The ride? It was the best of times, the worst of . . . well not all that, but I came off my horse today. In the three years I have been riding him, I have sat some hella antics and only a few times even come close to eating dirt. Today I had my share.

    We were having a fantastic ride. During the day, the gates to the back 80 are open, as that's were the hacker crew lives, after hours. Toured the perimeter, followed a deer trail through some extreme downs, and found one spot so overgrown I had to dismount (that one planned) and lead Royal through the cedars. At first when the branches grabbed and caught the pommel and stirrups, he spooked and charged through. We went back and forth until he realized it was no big deal. I used to do this with colts I started, send them through, over and under everything I could find.

    We found some water to play in and he got a good drink. The bottom was very soft and he jumped pretty good when he felt the mud sucking at his feet. It was the day to work things out and we hung out there until going in, walking through and exiting calm was the order.

    Found a weird thing. A stump with a short length of 4" pvc pipe leaning by it. I have no idea when that would be out there, but you would have thought it was going to shoot live cobras with their tails on fire straight at my boogered saddle horse. We practiced being broke enough to stay between my hands and legs, and I used the energy and the opportunity to put him on the outside rein which he avoids, by utilizing a strong inside leg. He got real pretty in his shape, both ways and the doohickey on the ground ceased to be an issue.

    It was forewarning though, which I did not heed. About 20 minutes later, we are climbing up a steep interior path, and I am totally checked out. If you ever rode my horse, the first thing I would caution would be to stay loose but don't ever fall asleep. Deep in a daydream of some kind, I am not ready when he suddenly tucks his butt and takes a hard jump. I am up and over in the saddle already, for the climb and avoiding some heavy branches. As he sucks back and over, I am pretty sure everything Charlie (my boss at the ranch) hates took place.

    I think I grabbed him with my spurs and as he jumped from the jab, my new cantle bags, not completely secured, leaped in the air and whacked him on the ass. Yeah, that did not work out. My horse does not buck hard, at all, and if I were in any thing like a proper position, it is never a problem to pull him up.

    As it was, I found myself up and over that big horse and pommel, astride his neck. Damn. There is no good way back from here. Royal is none too pleased I am there, either and is still jumping around. In a split second decision, I cut loose and bailed. Landed on my shoulder instead of the good roll I was going for.

    It's okay. Sore, swollen, but full range of motion. I will live. My good horse, skitzy loopnut that he is, stood like a rock, waiting for me to get my act together and get back on board where I belong. We rode another 45 minutes or so, me being pretty stern about him staying where HE belongs, and then, tired, both getting cranky, and an obnoxious stiffness setting in my high left side, figured best to call it a day.

    Haven't had the Eating Dirt award for awhile, guess it was just my turn!

    6.68 mi of almost perfect, lol!

    New total: 301.96. Yay for the new decade!

  43. Oooh, so sorry you parted ways! I agree w/the "there is no good way back from here" position! Last time I found myself on the horse's neck, I had to bail, too! Hope your shoulder heals quickly!

  44. Thanks Peggy Ann! It's healing okay :-) Got to ride yesterday for the first time since the wreck, released more tension from the muscles around the shoulder and quite happy how it's going. Thanks for the good words!

  45. Hey, notice my miles not updated from last post :-) Those were important miles, LOL, and hard won!

    Yesterday, Saturday the 14th at the ranch.

    Led a ton of rides, mostly on the pali colt who is my new project. Not well made but he is so good minded we don't care. Then one on BlackJack, and a couple on Bravo, who used to be the best kid's horse on the planet but as often happens with those, has soured a little and needs some reminders. Found out he actually has had very decent education in his past life, breaks sweetly at the poll and moves nicely off a leg!

    Led 10, 12, 1pm, 2,4 & 5 o clock rides. Most what we call "on the level" with many beginners and some doubles, some both! They are thinking hard about phasing out the option of putting 5 - 10 year old children double behind an adult and I hope they do. Just dangerous, in my unasked for opinion.

    Was quite the day, saw coyotes on two different rides, and the last ride of the day, another wrangler ran into a nest of bees! In EXACTLY the same place Royal dumped me! Hmmmm! No one was injured in the excitement, thank goodness! Eyes were real big on both horses, guests and the wrangler!

    Miles come up to 14.58 making new total:


  46. Got you all updated now! Congrats on getting over 300 miles :-) Glad you are healing up!

  47. Long day at the ranch yesterday. In the saddle from 10 a.m. til 5:30, pretty much no breaks. Our new wrangler is already MIA, so lots of guests and no help. Was still a pretty darned good day.

    4 rides out on the palomino colt (no name really, we are probably going to end up calling him simply "Pal) who is really developing into a super nice horse. Two and a half rides out on my beloved Miguel who is sound again after carrying a big knee for several weeks. Had me worried that one.

    Since we are so short handed, I went in for a few hours this afternoon. All on Miguel, as my colt is already graduating to other riders. Wasn't the worst, though I am feeling my war wounds pretty good.

    Speaking of war wounds, you will not see any Royal miles for awhile. He is laid up from the worse yet trailer wreck. I am just done with asking him to accept a two horse trailer. I strongly believe he should, never know when you need to haul out and that might be the only option but I am fairly certain our luck is going run completely out if we don't give this a rest. He is out of commission for several weeks, and then I have a lot of ground to gain, building back his confidence and finding out just how deep that panic reaction is going to go.

    Miles from Saturday: 13.72
    Miles from Sunday: 6.69

    New Total: 336.95. A certain amount of fun has gone out of the game. I am struggling to get my attitude in check. My horse is alive and will heal. My life is good. I am just sad for where we are, right now.

  48. So sorry you are having so much trouble with Royal and trailers :-( That is such a tough place to be. Hope you and he can work this out.

  49. 4.08 mi last Weds! whew, just under the wire! Rode with Pinky and her Boys! Been too long :-)

    15.52 trail rides last Saturday. Battery died so no idea mileage on parking cars for the hayrack rides. Oh well. 13 hour day at the ranch, most of it in the saddle . . .

    Thanks for the good words, Diane. Royal and I will be fine. I am buying him a bigger trailer, and then going way back to basics on his training (and mine.) We will come forward together, stronger and better than ever!

    New total: 373.49

  50. 13 hour day last Saturday at the ranch. I never remember on Friday to turn My Tracks on (but tonight I did) so haven't gathered in of the Friday night car parking miles. Oh well. Back to Saturday. Most of that was in the saddle. Led or followed every trail ride, spent some quality time on that good Pali colt. Sure wish I could find a spot for him. He's just a decent kind of guy.

    19.8 miles when the battery died, which was long before we were done. Figure around three thousand people arrived at the ranch between the hours of 6, 7, 8 & 9. We parked them all.

    Tonight was very light, maybe 25 racks, so not a lot of moving around activity.

    1.93 miles BUT they were on Royal. One of my car parking mounts has a respiratory infection, another was sore footed and the little black horse I have been using was sore too. Scratching our heads and looking around, I thought, hmm, he is pretty well healed . . . I wasn't going to use him to park this year AND I have not been on him at all since my wreck, due to his.

    Ya know, we got through it. I found his comfort levels, had to ask him to step out of them a few times and neither of us died from it. We are back in business.

    New total: 395.22. Hoping to hit 500 by year's end. Far cry from last year, but lots learned and every mile on a horse is a good one.

  51. 15.20 miles yesterday.

    Not as many riders at the ranch, a fitting end for a long, hard season. Rode the Pali colt and Miguel . .. rumor is the hack horses get on a trailer bound for a sale next week. Nothing I can do and I am not leading trail rides next year, so no room for me to encourage them to stay open and continue. I bless my equine friends and wish them well . . .

    Last rides of the afternoon I led out on a spunky 8 year old Quarter Horse gelding we call Little Miguel. Never in the world does he have the tolerant nature to make a guest horse. He is compact, quick, reactive and when I met him four years ago, would not look a human being in the eye.

    He does now. I hope his future is bright. If I could afford to board two, he'd be the other. Hope someone else sees the class and style in this sharp little red head. Was a bittersweet day.

    New total: 410.42. 500 here we come.

  52. Congrats on getting over 400 miles :-)
    Sorry to read about the ranch and their horses, praying they all find great homes!

  53. Thanks on the congrats :-). I too, pray for the ranch horses. I have worked hard with some that were difficult when I got there, and they have better chances at a future now than they did. Miguel is sold and gone to his new home. My boss said the buyer asked him where in the world did he find horses broke like that. My boss told him "we make them." Made me feel pretty good.

    Rode my faithful Big Ben yesterday to lead the rides. He was a temperamental four year old when we met. Almost impossible to catch, sullen, unpredictable, I rode him three years (on the days I worked) and this year he has fully graduated to reliable guest horse. Was fun to ride that steady guy on such a beautiful day. He, at least, is not on the block anymore unless someone comes up with quite a bit of money. If they pay that much, they should value and care for him, so all is well there.

    Lighter day yesterday: Led four rides, one "on the level" (shorter ride staying off the steeper trails when we have smaller children on board double).

    Total for the day: 9.25 mi

    New total: 419.67

    Trail riding season at the ranch is officially over. I am looking forward to dedicating the winter to Royal and seeing what we can accomplish.

  54. 7.51 miles yesterday on the Black Friday Ride rather than Shop ride! Rode my faithful Soxie (Pinky's but we share :-) ) and he was high as a kite most of the ride. Guess that's what happens with a young horse on his fourth ride of the year! Just life happening instead of riding, all over the place. It is a good thing he is very unpracticed in the art of fit throwing and I was able to successfully keep us on the right side of trouble.

    Soxie found out that when he jigged, I lost all ability to ride, and would bounce out of time on his spine, allow him to bang himself in the mouth with his bit . . . coincidentally, at the first sign of a walking step, my hands and seat softened amazingly! Pretty soon, he was disgusted with all that, and mostly chose to walk along. We had some arguments about who got to stay on top, and I was told in no uncertain terms would he yield to leg or hand. That did not work out for Soxie and his mind was changed. Good ride for both of us and SO MUCH FUN to get out and ride with friends!!

    Looking forward to more of that in 2014!!

    New total: 427.18

  55. 3.52 Saturday, on trail with Royal. Our first time out there since my wreck before Labor Day. Not our best, to say the least. I am learning if I want the best for myself and my horse, I have to quit shortcutting our process.

    2.52 Sunday. Much better! Details in blog to follow :-)

    New total: 433.22

  56. Too late to count as I should have noted them yesterday to stay within the week, but closed out 2013 with a very fun ride with horse pals last Saturday at Two Rivers State Park.

    Rode a borrowed horse who was just a wonderful ride, and could not have asked for a better bookend to the 2013 ride season.

    8 miles

    Bringing my total to 441.22 for year's end. Not what I thought it was going to be, at all, but exactly what it needed to be.


Sorry to have to add the word verification. The spammers are hitting this site hard!