Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Team 95 - Owen

My name is Kristine Brickey and I live in Michigan. This is my first year participating in the Distance Derby. My resolution is to ride…a LOT! I have had my 8 year old (as of May 4th) gelding since I pulled him from his momma. I take full blame for all that he does.

Amazing changes have happened since last April, when I attended a Peter Campbell clinic in Chelsea, Michigan. I am anxious to continue progressing with my horse partner, and know that joining the Distance Derby will give me one more motivator to continue riding!


  1. Trying again to post. Maybe it's mac issue?

    Jan. 1st
    Kensington 7 miles
    7 miles to date

    More details to come if this works!

  2. Whoo Hoo! It posted! So...I hope you'll still count these miles, as I've been trying since before the deadline, but either way...

    The ride on January 1st was AMAZING! Rode with Team Grace here in Michigan and though it was a bit chilly, it was sunny and the skies couldn't have had any more shades of blue overhead as we rode out of the deeply drifted staging area. Cross country skiers gave my gelding a pause, but he watched and moved on surely with Idunn as his safety net.

    On the way back, despite not having winter riding gear...boots were so slick I fell getting out of my rig, mittens without any grip at all...hindsight is 20/20 right?

    Up the snowy hill I let him charge. Feeling my mount's gleeful bucks approaching I tried to check him with my reins, watching my hands slide up the reins as if I hadn't bothered. His back feet were, according to my witness, about 8 feet up in the air! I was thrown over his right shoulder, but stubbornly held reins hoping to use my stirrups to rebalance...when I remembered the uselessness of slick bottomed boots...

    Ahhhh, the feel of soft snow as I plunked down no more than six inches off my horse, for the first time EVER to become an indentation in virgin snow :) Realizing I had no control of the situation, I released the reins, and laughing like crazy rolled over and waved my gelding over to me from his head down "what the heck just happened" position about twenty feet away.

    Found my lost camera in the snow where it had been dumped...and moved on to finish an amazing ride with a hawk sighting and lots of laughter.

    What a great way to start 2013!

  3. For a story that good, of course you can have your miles :-)
    (For the record, I know you have been trying to get them posted for over a week), so glad you are OK!

  4. Oh, also going to share your story :-)

  5. Saturday, January 19th
    Brighton State Recreation Area
    6.20 miles today, Total 13.20

    We were blessed with a balmy January day of about 40 degrees, and since my amazing hubby got his truck all fixed for hauling I was ready to haul and ride again after bidding adieu to my own big ole' Dodge that finally had enough after my first ride of this year. :(

    Met Heather, Team Grace #102, and after excited tacking and catching up, we set off on the trail. The loop we started on went past a local riding stable...which had apparently never removed the haunted house set up...which were there to eat my poor 1200 Paint gelding... so the first half hour or so was filled with what I refer to as his "parade walk" (you know, all prancing and high stepping...NOT good!) and one well executed 180 spin on hind legs only as the orange police tape blew in the very gusty wind...Ahhhh, the fun had begun!

    Within a mile, however, my willing partner calmed, listened, and we headed out into the pine forests with ridiculous smiles on our faces. There were other hardy riders, lots of people out walking loose dogs, and even a few runners...one of whom we didn't notice until he was about a foot away from Idunn!

    It was a beautiful, glorious ride with NO one having any sudden dismounts. Whew! The day was even better knowing that tomorrow's high is supposed to be somewhere around 18 degrees.

    Yep, if you've never been to Michigan it seems strange...but that's just how it is here from about October - May!

    Hope many of you are able to mount up and ride...the smile on my face simply will not dim!

    Team 95, Owen & Kristine :)

  6. I grew up in Upper Mighigan! I am assuming you are from lower? Just wanted to stop in and say welcome!

    1. Yes, south of Lansing. I'm spending some weeks in Empire this summer :)

  7. Saturday, January 26, 2013
    Sleepy Hollow State Park
    12.05 miles, MTD 25.22

    Here's a glimpse into a small portion of our ride...it was just me and my gelding on a bright, 24 degree Michigan winter morning...

    Pine Tree Perfection

    We rode into the covered pines, and the outside world disappeared. The fullness of the green branches cut out sound and sunlight. In front of us, the snow was virgin, pure, untouched by man or animals.
    I stopped my horse, savoring the peace and silence. Fat blobs of snow sat on the branches here, no wind to blow it away. Wanting to capture the moment I thought of the words I would use when I returned home.
    The path here was narrow, created by the dozen or so pines that seemingly grew up amidst the hardwoods. Random perhaps. I will never know, but the affect allowed this sanctuary.
    Every other section of the trail was dotted with tracks of animals that had raced along in the fluff of new snow, but here there was nothing to mar the path ahead of us. Did they avoid it purposely? Did the animals feel the sanctity here as well?
    Breathing deeply and smiling with the perfectness of the moment, I asked my gelding to move forward, determined to write about this spot later.
    As he took his first step, a breeze stirred high above the tops of the pines. Its coldness didn’t touch us, sheltered some twenty or thirty feet below, but the snow from above was blasted out of the reverie.
    Without warning the path before me was a blizzard of giant flakes. They twirled around us, creating a tornado of white, frenzied yet gentle at the same time.
    Laughing out loud with the pure joy of the moment, I nudged my horse forward into the blessing I felt we were being handed on this perfect winter day.
    The pictures I took do not capture the feeling we walked away with from the alcove. It was only five minutes, but seemed eternal, and has endowed me with a lifetime memory. A feeling I hope to revisit in other times of strife or worry or frustration.
    As Snickers’ rump cleared the final pine, I looked back over my shoulder. It was just a section of the path again. There was no evidence of the magic, just his hoof prints in the snow. However, he and I both know it was so much more on this blessed day.

    1. Oops...think I forgot to put Team 95-Owen on my Saturday, January 26, 2013
      Sleepy Hollow State Park
      12.05 miles, MTD 25.22 entry...sorry!

  8. Sunday, January 27th, 2013 Team 95-Owen
    Brighton Equestrian
    8.01 miles today; MilesToDate 33.23

    Great day to ride with two friends and their mares. Though there were some temper tantrums by Miss Mary the Morgan at the staging area, she calmed quickly after entering the trails and a few hills underfoot. Team Grace was awesome, as always, and was smiling big forgetting all about yesterday! My gelding had two incredibly calm and willing days of riding in a row! WHOO HOO! :) I love this horse! I love this tracking system! I cannot wait to see where this takes us in 2013. Thank you to whoever set this up for riders of the U.S.A.

  9. I enjoy reading about your rides. Keep it up!

  10. Saturday, February 2, 2013
    Sleepy Hollow State Park
    4.55 miles today; Miles to Date 37.78

    I had wanted to ride today, but when I went outside this morning the air was filled with icy crystals that were the dew of summer. Deciding to wait until later, and perhaps lure my husband to join me with our doggies, I made my shivery way back inside and spend the day cleaning and scrubbing and organizing my inside home.
    At around 2 p.m. this afternoon we crowded into the single bench seat with our 80 pound lab/pit and 50 pound sharpie cross. It was quite a ride to Sleepy Hollow, but we arrived safely and having groomed prior to our leaving I quickly tacked and mounted up.
    My hubby was wrapped up like an eskimo, while I was warm in my winter riding gear. "You look good, Hun," he said as he looked up at my smiling face. And it hit me. I look good when I'm in saddle because my whole body sighs with contentment, knowing I am in my sanctuary. My breaths get deeper. My seat settles in as if I'd never left. My soul opens up to greet new possibilities.
    We headed out to the east loop, having decided to ride only an hour on our first family day. My horse and I went east, hubby and the doggies went west. Our snow was untouched. No one else had stepped there on this beautiful winter day. What a shame for them. What a joy for me.

    I have become a winter rider...and am loving it for so many reasons.

    Team 95-Owen

  11. What a wonderful day you had with hubby & puppers too.

  12. Yes, it was a fabulous day yesterday, and today was just as fantastic!

    Sunday, February 3, 2013 Team Owen 95
    Kensington, Michigan
    Miles 6.30; MTD 44.08

    I was second guessing our decision to ride as I pulled onto the highway and into white snow and slick roads, but after only a few miles (seems like I live in a belt of snowy weather no matter what it's like elsewhere) it was clear sailing...so to speak. Team Grace 102 had quite a morning, but she can write about that on her posting later today.

    However, we met up, tacked up, had a visit by a nice ma and pa couple walking who HAD to come and pet 'the sweet baby'...yes, really...and onto the snowy trails we went. It was another gorgeous day in Michigan! Small snowflakes filled the skies as our horses crunched willingly down the paths. A pair of swans caught Owen's attention as we meandered along the river. Their snowy whiteness contrasted sharply with the darkness of the quickly moving current. Their orange beaks a blast of color on this February day.

    As always, lots of laughter and verbal breakdowns of situations with our horses. It's so good to have another like minded horse enthusiast to talk things out with, especially from the backs of our trusty steeds! LOL

    I don't know what it's like where the other hundred plus teams are riding, but I am loving the winter rides this year. I fear it is irreversible, and now I will forever be an all year rider. Yee Haw!

  13. Saturday, February 9, 2013 Team Owen 95
    Highlands State Park
    Miles 10.02; Miles to Date 54.10

    There were so many wonderful things about this ride with Team Grace today. First, we had been blessed with about eight inches of snow the day before, giving me a snow day from work and time to get all of my work accomplished and off my mind for the weekend. Second, Highlands was a new riding experience for me which always adds an element of surprise and fun, especially on my gelding whose brain is racing to figure out what will pop out at him next in a strange place. Third, and possibly most importantly, Team Grace and I had set this day as what we refer to as a "La, La, La Ride." This means just us, taking our time, no limits on where or how...just a day of relaxing, riding, conversation, and memories...and that is certainly turned out to be!

    Best Moments of the Day:
    *Watching for at least 8 minutes my five foot exactly tall friend getting up on her 15 hand horse...well, trying to get up on for 7.99 minutes and then .01 of getting on! Highlights? the tiny little stool sinking into the snow...not a huge help. Her mare's expression as she stood quietly the entire time...good thing we cannot hear our horses' thoughts folks! The yoga stretching that happened about four minutes into this event.
    *Meeting about a thousand hikers, cross-country skiers, sledders, little M&M kids Heather wanted to eat on the trail, the largest black dog/swear to heaven wolf I've ever seen, the two-toothed man who grinned as we passed and took our pictures with his very expensive camera (we are officially famous somewhere, but unrecognizable in hats, sunglasses, and layer after layer of clothing), and the "mini-border collie"...omg, it was a MUTT probably shit-zu and something small and black...my friend has NO idea of dog breeds! LOL
    *The family of deer that surprised us and never ran out of the holler as we stood and gazed at them...just stood, chewing, watching us.
    *My spooked of his shadows (VERY sunny day, too, ahhh, such fun) gelding trying to turn and run as the young buck leaped across our path, ran twenty feet or so into the trees to our left, but then stopped, and FOLLOWED us as our teams made tracks in the thick snowy path. This wild creature stayed parallel to us until blocked by a large downed tree and then just stood watching. Heather thinks it was my son's spirit, following us, well, and taunting my horse who he didn't really like all that much :)

    ...more on next post...too long I guess!

  14. The best memory of the day? Wow, I don't know if I could name it, though hearing Heather yell as she 'la, la, la'd herself with a low tree branch might be close...or the laughing/almost pee in the saddle moments when a skier commented her Fjord/quarter cross looked, "exactly like the one in 'Dances with Wolves'...omg...they're the same color, and that's IT! or me laughing at myself as I tried desperately to take a potty break which requires so much time/energy when wearing winter gear...or someone (not me) getting caught mid-potty break by the couple on skis, who then shushed right up her horse's behind while we were on the wooded two foot wide boardwalk over the frozen swamp (yes, it was covered with about three solid inches of snow, made creaky noises, and had NO room for error)...

    But, the best memory of this ride for me, was watching my friend, whose horse has been struggling with trailering since a rough incident earlier, stick it out, listen, not give up, use her big girl voice and stick like she meant it, and see her face when Idunn finally understood that 'mom means it' and walked into that trailer as calmly as could be...I knew she could do it, and now that doubt is gone from her mind, and it will get stronger every time from now on out.

    ...here's the rest...

    It's the memory of good trails, trusting horses, and the willingness to work and play on one of the most beautiful, snow covered, blues from Heaven skies, 30 something degrees day.

    Thank you Distance Derby for the chance to share all of this and the extra push to get out there even when most people were home on couches, shivering as they looked out their windows...it was a fabulous experience!

  15. Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013
    Team Owen 95
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    Miles 5.09; Miles to date, 59.19

    Great ride through a friend's 200+ acres...snowy woods, scary ducks (did you know they eat horses that don't spook?), breaking through icy power lines, and calm and willing the whole way :)

    Now, rushing to clean up and make it to my nephew's Confirmation! Whoo! Still, got in 5 miles before deadline!!!!!! LOL

  16. Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013
    Team Owen 95
    Sleepy Hollow State Park, Laingsburg, Michigan
    Miles 6.47; Miles to date, 65.66

    The sun came out this morning while I was at work, and I couldn't help but curse the after work required staff meeting; and then my principal cancelled it...and I was free to ride! I so needed this...since a big family event Sunday, my emotions have been roiling...lots of crying, sharp dips into the roller coaster of grief that still take me by surprise...so I loaded up my trusty Owen and off we went.

    The temp was around 40 degrees, the sun was shining, and I walked, trotted, and loped my horse trying to dislodge the crud in my heart. Finishing the south trail I picked up the west loop, deciding that I needed more time, judging the remaining light and sun against my need to ride.

    Part way through the west loop the tears came again, and I simply let them. My horse's head was relaxed, he seemed to know I needed him to take care of me. I talked to him about my Robbie. I talked out loud to Robbie, knowing we were alone but not really caring either way. The hawk appeared, too perfectly timed to be a coincidence, and I thanked my boy for his watchful eyes.

    I could have ridden for hours, but early Michigan February sunsets had me riding back to the trailer.

    Though the tears keep showing up, there is a calmness now inside of me thanks to my time in the saddle. Thank you, thank you, thank you to all the heavenly beings watching over me.

  17. So glad you got to ride today. Riding is such a wonderful way to relax and let the world melt away into the now.

  18. Sad that icy trails and a family emergency prevented more rides this week, but it did give me a chance to ponder life's moments and remember how many amazing, wonderful things we all have to be thankful for each day. Though I was hoping to get up into the seventies for miles, it will wait one day for safe trails and stable father-in-law.

    President's Day will begin with an early vet appointment for yearly health updates on my trusty gelding and end on the trails nearing the next milestone in my Distance Derby journey.

    Team Owen 95, Feb. 15th...no more miles today, miles to date 65.66

  19. Team Owen 95
    Monday, February 18th
    Brighton State Park
    Miles ridden today, 10.00; Miles to date 75.66

    After the big, yearly vet check...shots, sheath, cog gins & a couple other checks, teeth...whew, Owen and I headed out to Brighton. Tired of waiting for friends to show, we did a lap up and out of the staging area and checked out the snow covered campground (before we know it, we will BE camping there!) for a short ride.
    Once around the block and back to the staging area to find my friends just pulling in, and after a quick tack away we all went. The trails were snowy, icy in some spots, totally bare and covered in brown leaves in others. My horse was willing, followed my directions, and listened to my lead.
    Home, warm, and listening to it start to rain...going to be an interesting week here in Michigan! Hoping to be able to get into the 80's before next tally with Distance Derby!!!!!

  20. Team Owen 95
    Saturday, February 23; Sleepy Hollow State Park, Laingsburg, MI
    Miles ridden today, 4.52; Miles to date, 80.18

    WOO HOO! I'm in the 80's!!!!!
    Okay, now that I got that out of the way...I had been looking forward to riding with Heather all week, but the weather has been getting in the way of our well laid plans. We knew it wasn't safe to ride in any of our usual meeting places, so we're hoping to meet tomorrow at an indoor.
    Today, however, I figured it was better to try and have to bail out and just come home than to not try to ride at all. It's been a tough week, spent worrying about my father in law who underwent double bypass & aneurism repair surgery Friday. This morning he was feisty and happy, and my husband told me, "GO RIDE!" *get yer behind to sleepy hollow!* LOL
    When I left home it was a sunny winter day, but the closer we got to Laingsburg, the more snowy the sky became...gray winter blizzard, on its way.
    I mounted up and rode into giant flakes, taking great care to guide my amazing horse onto grassy areas covered by deep snow and avoiding the ice that was waiting beneath. There were a few little sliding steps but he never lost his head. I asked for slow, and he listened.
    WHen the wind picked up (always on the lake road straightaway!) and the snow was angling directly into our faces, my gelding stopped and turned his head.
    "I know the trailer is the other direction, but we're going THAT way," I said as the snowfall increased. I swear he rolled his eyes and shook his head at me before sighing and moving on down the road.
    I love riding in winter! I love riding my horse! but I will be glad when the ice is gone!!!!

  21. Team Owen 95
    Sunday, Feb. 24th, Chelsea, MI
    Miles ridden today...????? .52 logged on stupid dead battery garmin: Total 80.70

    Met the "Michigan Mafia" group to ride for a couple of hours out at Gail Jackson's amazing White O'Morn Farm...stupid Garmin battery died (only used it 1.5 hours yesterday!) so I have no idea how much I really rode, but...better than nada! Guess the lesson learned is ALWAYS recharge the Garmin after each ride, especially when it is so darn cold outside! LOL

    I did have a blast this morning, however fyi, scrolling through the 2012 Derby results and info. Had no idea this is only year two, and loved the background story and the pics from the awards ceremony. Very cool! I was telling all my folks about it this morning when we rode.

  22. Hey Diane, Just noticed that I am .03 off due to a math error from 1/19 - 1/27...not a big deal, but I am keeping track on my own 'horse calendar' and my numbers weren't matching. Figured I'd point it out since I noticed it. So, my total so far to date should be 80.73 and not 80.70 miles. Like I said, no biggie, but I am my own worst nightmare perfectionist LOL and had to let you know I made a mistake. Can't wait to see this week's results! It's warm here today in Michigan, but so much ice underneath the melting snow that it isn't safe to ride. BOO HISS!!!! I am completely addicted to winter riding! We have a possible snowstorm here in the next few days and I am crossing my fingers for a wintery ride :)

  23. Hey Kristine, bummer about your GPS...been-there-done-that :-)
    Redid your total score does equal 80.73 so we match :-) It really is fun to read 2012 DD and everyone's comments. Happy riding :-)

  24. First time since this started that I've not been able to log in some miles for the week. I don't like it! It's just too icy and unsafe to ride, and I can't risk it even though it's causing me great frustration and I can feel my level of 'yuck' rising. *sigh* Every minute I put in the saddle I feel my body relax and mellow and know I'll breathe easier for the next few days.

    This last year of riding has brought me more peace than I thought I would ever have again in my life after the trauma I survived. So, as I sit in my living room typing, I fight the feeling trying to overcome me with reading my posts, other postings of rides, and take deep breaths until the ice melts later this week (fingers crossed) and I can saddle up once again.

    My original goal for 2013 was to ride 250 miles...so far Jan & Feb I have logged 80.73 and know I will hit 100something in March.

    Thanks DD2013 for one more way to enjoy my horsey life!

    Kristine/Team Owen 95
    Miles to date: 80.73

  25. Team Owen 95
    Friday, March 8th
    Sleepy Hollow State Park
    Miles ridden today 14.58; Miles to date, 95.31 HOLY COW!!!! :)

    OMG! :) I am so excited that I finally got to ride today after a long icy stretch of unsafe trails. Whew...I gave in to my crash and burn, took a sick day, and rode for three hours and 35 minutes. My gelding was feeling the love today, too. As soon as his hooves met the trail I could feel his eagerness. He moved out with excitement and love and energy and we had a great time all day long.
    The shining sun warmed my face. His lean, athletic body gave off that amazing horse sweat smell that those of us in love with equines totally understand. At the bottom of one hill in particular, I gave him a nudge and off he went. The power beneath me brought me such a humbling feeling, as he moved with such grace and ease, but also listened to me with trust.
    I could have ridden all day long...I love, love, love my horse! Rain or shine, we will top 100 Sunday! :) HOLY COW!!! I am giddy!

  26. Sounds like you had a fantastic riding day today! I sure was an awesome day of riding. So nice to be able to move faster then a walk too with the ground drying up. Hope you get your over 100 on Sunday :-)

  27. Wooooooo!!!!!! Team Owen 95
    Sunday, March 10
    Brighton State Recreation Area
    Miles ridden today, 9.21; Miles to date...wait for it...104.52!!!!!!!! and the crowd goes wild!!!! Over ONE HUNDRED MILES GOAL REACHED!!!!!!!! BOOYAH!!!!!!!

    So, you might be able to tell that today's ride has brought me great elation. :) Yes, riding today with Heather and Amy on our awesome horses through mud, snow, some icy spots under the majestic white pines, down some slimy mud coated roads, past cars on the road, through the now unfrozen creek letting a bit of splashing ensue...what a fantastic beautiful wonderful way to break one hundred with my friends and on the best horse I have ever ridden in my entire life.

    I hope you have all had great rides this week, too.

    Happy trails everyone!!!!!!

  28. Saturday, March 16
    Sleepy Hollow State Park
    Miles ridden today, 5.24; Miles to date, 109.76

    Odd ride today...couldn't decide if I really wanted to ride or was just riding because I thought I should be...guess my gelding picked up on that emotion, as he was rather stop and go for awhile...long trotted us out of the funk, and dealt with odd squishy muddy snowy slushy footing and finished much earlier than I had planned. I would have missed the ride, but hoping tomorrow's day is more amiable.

  29. Team Owen 95
    Sunday,March 17
    Brighton Recreation Area
    Miles ridden today, 12.04; Miles to date, 121.80

    Oh what a glorious day! :) Just over twelve miles with my favorite riding partner and her amazing Idunn! :) We were definitely in "la la la" mode as we meandered our willing mounts through the hills and woods of Michigan. The sun was shining brightly and the wind was hidden in the pines. Snowflakes blew over us as we passed beneath, taking turns playing follow the leader. The best moment was the hawk, that swooped overhead so closely we could see the detailed lines of his tail as he alit in the branches above us. Goosebumps. Then it swooped into the next tree, and then the next, waiting as we watched and rode before it flew away into the bluest of skies. Just what I needed to begin another week of chaos...but my heart is floating in wonder and awe of this amazing day. 2013...BIG CHANGES!

  30. Team Owen 95
    Saturday, March 23
    Waterloo State Park
    Miles, 5.82; Miles to date, 127.62

    Rode with a wonderful horsewoman and friend today on trails that were challenging to say the least. There was too much slush/ice/snow/mud and many trails were blocked so badly with downed trees and underbrush that they were impassable. So, lots of backtracking and inability to reach the best of the trails. Oh well...good time spent with a good friend, lunched in the cab of my truck and caught up together, then almost made it home...when my truck decided to NOT have a throttle that releases. VERY SCARY, but figured it out and made it home safe and sound.

    Biting the bullet and finding a new (for me) truck early next week...I will miss riding with Team 102 tomorrow, but no way I'm driving without a safe vehicle.

    Look out DD though...because the following week? I'm on spring break...and the miles WILL be made up and piled on to my total!

    I am having SO MUCH FUN riding this year! :)

  31. Team Owen 95
    Easter Sunday, March 30
    Elba Equestrian Camping w/Team Grace :)
    Miles Friday and Saturday (rained out Sunday) 10.29; Miles to day, 137.91

    Heather and I made camp Friday and rode with two very energetic horses filled with Spring! I can't even imagine if we hadn't been riding all winter long how this weekend would have ended up, but we had a great time! We rode twice on Saturday and decided to leave it on a good note as rain throughout the night added to the mucky trails.

    Looking forward to Peter Campbell's Clinic next weekend...definitely have some things to work out while we're there!

    Planning on breaking 150 this week! Woop Woop!!!!!

  32. Oops! Guess it's March 31st! LOL Lack of sleep and camping fallout...good thing I put Easter!

    March Total was 57. 18 if I am able to add correctly...getting higher each month!

    Hello April is close! :)

  33. Team Owen 95
    Wednesday, April 3
    Sleepy Hollow
    Miles, 12.17; Miles to date, 150.08 WHOOOOO! :)

    So glad I decided to ride today after a rough couple of days. Elba had my horse all jiggety and I have the four day Peter Campbell Clinic in Chelsea, Michigan Friday - Monday. Snick's behavior left me a bit edgy, but today he was good as gold! Willing, quiet, and enjoying his canter left us both with happy faces after this ride.

    Not sure how many miles I'll log riding in the arenas four days, but anxious for the experience of friends, great horse people, and the expertise of the most knowledgeable horseman I have ever met.

  34. Team Owen 95
    Friday, April 5 - Monday, April 8
    Chelsea, Michigan Peter Campbell Clinic
    Foundation and Horsemanship 1 Classes
    Almost 30 hours in saddle but only 13 miles; Miles to day, 163.08

    Wow...exhausting, life changing, emotional all over the chart...and left me searching for my next opportunity to work again on this Willing Partnership with my horse. Though I had planned on logging many more miles last week on my spring break than I ended up filling, I wouldn't change one minute of my days.

  35. Team Owen 95
    Sunday, April 14
    Highlands State Park
    Miles 6.02; Miles to date, 169.10 SO CLOSE to the next group of ten! LOL

    Ahhhhh, what a beautiful, gorgeous, willing ride on my gelding. I always love the first ride after a Peter Campbell Clinic. Team Grace and I rode these same trails in deep snow this winter, so today was a vision of differences. On one hill, at least a dozen deer stood scattered as they were grazing, with a few laying in the grass only their heads and pointed ears visible to our eyes. A hawk came overhead, circling, quiet, soundlessly tying earth and sky together. I smiled as I acknowledged my son's presence and then Heather pointed out the second hawk that flew into the scene. Yes Robbie, I know you are always with me. :)

  36. Team Owen 95
    Saturday and Sunday, April 20 & 21st
    Brighton Spring Competitive Trail Ride...my firsts!
    Miles Saturday, 15.4, Sunday 25.50; Miles to date 210.00

    Wow, what a great experience this weekend turned out to be for my horse and me. Though I had signed up for two 15 miles rides, I ended up bumping today's to 25 as my horse wasn't even winded yesterday. He was awesome, and I am sore, thrilled, and completely over the moon about my new mile total to date. My goal for the whole year, before I knew about DD was 250...I am going to leave that number in the dust this summer. Thanks DD for the motivation to ride even more than I thought possible!

  37. Too awesome. You got over 200 miles in now that you did that CTR ride :-) What CTR did you do? Aren't they a blast :-) I hope to do my first of one of this year in May. Keep on riding :-)

  38. It was the Brighton Spring CTR. A friend of mine does these all summer, plus LD and endurance as well. I think I'd enjoy LD more, as my horse likes to move out at a pace faster than required in the finishing for the CTR so I am going to be looking into those, too. It was a great experience and added so many miles, which was great because this weekend I was unable to ride as we spent one day buying a new truck (WOO HOO!!! reliable horse transport from now on!) and then forced myself to work in the yard today trying to find my flower bed in all the grass that grew up into it this winter. Dumb! It rained anyway, so it was easier to not feel too bad. Heading up to Elk Hill this weekend to ride WITH THE ELK HERD! :) SO many camping trips planned this summer with my horse...plus, the big Wyoming ten day Hat Creek Ranch Clinic at Peter Campbell's ranch...whew...that one gives me goose bumps! I am loving my riding this year! Thanks DD!

  39. Team Owen 95
    Elk Hill Trail Camp, Vanderbilt, MI
    Friday, May 3, Miles ridden 9.35
    Saturday, May 4 12.57 miles ridden
    Sunday, May 5 a.m. ride 3.28 miles; afternoon ride 13.61 miles
    Total miles ridden this trip, 38.81; Miles to date, 248.81

    Headed into northern Michigan for a few days of camping, hoping to spot elk as promised by the DNR. Team Grace met us Friday late afternoon, and she set up camp while I took an early evening ride through sandy trails spooking up many large white tailed deer, squirrels, some chipmunks, many birds...but not a single elk. Early to bed that night as exhaustion took over, but thankful for the new rig so my honey and I crawled into the newly installed camper and crashed out.
    Saturday my amazing gelding turned EIGHT YEARS OLD! I still remember the day I pulled his 99 pound body out of his momma and there I was riding through gorgeousness enjoying all of the hard work and willingness in his large, athletic form.
    This morning I was up early and riding before anyone else was even awake and moving. My horse was moving out, but blowing and snorting like he could smell/sense some things that I was unaware of in my humanness. We enjoyed our quick 45 minute solo ride, then back to camp for both of us to enjoy breakfast.
    Around 11 Heather and I headed out for our final ride of the weekend...very la la la we were as we found new watering holes, logging trails, rode on some 'season roads', took pictures of the elk viewing area (no elk), Inspiration Point, and found our way back to the most amazing watering spot, where the day before I was blessed with an eagle sighting...a gift from my son I truly believe.
    What a great way to relax and bond with hubby, horse, and hounds.

  40. Team Owen 95
    Sleepy Hollow State Park, Laingsburg, MI
    Monday, May 13, 2013
    Miles today 7.01; Miles to date 255.82

    Decided this afternoon to hit the trails asap after work, and was lucky enough to have caught my hubby home early enough so he and the dogs went with us on this sunny yet cool May afternoon. It was absolutely gorgeous, and the long grasses offered new sights as my gelding willingly picked up every gait as I asked for transitions. We were up close and personally swooped by the largest hawk I have ever seen (perhaps it was the ten foot proximity though), had deer loping across our path repeatedly, met some asparagus hunters, and had a fantastic ride for a quick 7 miles.
    Ahhhh, spring is here...and this Thursday I have four days of camping in Ionia to look forward to as I process the 3 year anniversary of my son's death. Riding is saving me with every single minute in saddle.

  41. Team Owen 95
    Ionia State Park, Ionia, MI
    Thursday, May 16th Miles 8.74
    Friday, May 17th Miles 9.24 Miles to date 273.80

    Well, was supposed to camp through Sunday, but swarming mosquitos seriously by the thousands made it impossible. Rode twice, but they were fairly miserable, being chased by the biters the entire time. My gelding was awesome, listened to every direction, but we were all glad to pack up early and come home today. Plus, my hubby contracted a bacterial infection in his eye along with an ulcer that luckily we got treated in time to prevent any permanent damage. Ahhhh, life...want to hear God laugh? Make a plan!

  42. Oh my...glad you got treatment for your hubby in time and hope he heals up really quickly. Glad you got to ride though. Grrr about the mosquitos!!! :-(

  43. Team Owen 95
    Sleepy Hollow State Park
    Sunday, May 19th
    Miles 10.66; Miles to date 284.46

    Beautiful ride filled with easy lead picks up and even though it was hot, lots of eager trotting by my amazing 8 year old paint. We came across some search and rescue simulators, and even with the parachute laid out across the path and four "bodies" waiting to be found (they sat up and yelled so they didn't scare him...which made no sense, but did make me laugh), the four separate troops of camouflaged teams complete with blowing whistles, giant antennas, and faked paramedic teams ALL as the search plane circled overhead, my horse truly never batted an eye. No spooking, just perked ears and a turn of his head as we trotted on past. Such an odd, and wonderful, way to spend the afternoon. It was all topped off when my honey met me back at camp and we had a picnic lunch in the shade as Snicks cooled down, had some hay and water, and we all just relaxed.

    Great ride! Great day! Great way to end a very rough four days of catastrophes...alleluia!

  44. Wow, what a day you had! Best of all, picnic with hubby :-)

  45. Team Owen 95
    Pontiac State Park
    Sunday, May 26 and Monday, May 27th
    Miles, 5.82, 9.23, 9.13 totaling 24.18; Miles to date, 308.64!

    A rather spur of the moment decision to join Team Grace and another friend at Pontiac Lake Campground...ahhhhh, quick afternoon ride Sunday after I spent a lazy day at home with the hubby. Today was a nice ride in the morning, followed by a lazy lunch, and then another ride in the afternoon before the rain started. :) Big smiles kids...perfect weekend AND I topped 300. WHOOOOO!

  46. WhoHoooo is right! Congrats on getting over 300 miles :-)

  47. Zero miles today because we were stupid and listened to what the weathermen predicted, but fine tuned some writing...thought you might enjoy it. :) Hoping to post some miles tomorrow for sure! Oh, and next weekend I head up to Empire, MI for TWO WHOLE WEEKS of camping with my horse! I should be able to get wifi, but wanted to let you know, if you don't hear from me, it's because northern MI doesn't get great service. So, I might have to post my miles for those weeks when I return home on June 24th instead of during my time there June 8-23rd.

    Elk Hill

    Saddled and needing to ride
    I move off into unknown trails
    Willing elk into our view

    Yellow papery leaves coat the sandy path, lining the yellow brick road, painting the woods in faded wallpaper colors, a carpet beneath hooves

    White tailed deer leap away not far ahead, large, bouncy, crossing our intended path ahead, and there is no startle, no fear in my mount, as he watches them bound away

    There is quiet and calm, yet life all around us
    Towering pines now
    Guardians of the forest

    Paths appear out of nowhere
    So easy to get lost I think
    And a part of me wonders
    What would happen if we just kept going
    And going
    Into the trees until there were no more paths covered by man’s prints
    Just the ash and pines, elk hiding in the natural camouflage

    As if he knows my thoughts, my horse begins to lope, running into an unknown future away from reality
    The road ahead startles us both
    We’ve gone much farther than intended, breathing deeply now, we turn back, slower

    Camper in view, my love waiting for me, anxious to hear of adventures in new surroundings
    It is where we belong
    And where we will return
    No matter how often the need to ride away lures us into known and unknown trails
    My beacon will be bright
    And steady
    To call me back.

  48. Team Owen 95
    Kensington MetroPark, Milford, MI
    Sunday, June 2, 2013
    Miles today 12.25; Miles to date 320.89

    What a wonderful, amazing, holy cow wouldn't have missed it for now all is right with the world ride today with Team Grace 102! Ahhhhh...'nuff said!

    Heading to Empire, Michigan on Saturday, so hoping to be able to get wifi there to post. Otherwise, I will there until June 23!!!! YES! Two SOLID weeks of me, my horse, and endless trails to peruse and log in miles and lots of smiles. :)

  49. Have a great vacation! Can't think of a better way to spend 2 weeks vacation :-)

  50. Team Owen 95
    Saturday, June 8, Arrival day!
    Miles today 15.32; Miles to date 336.21

    Sunday, June 9 Joining the MTRA Shore to Shore riders to put feet IN Lake Michigan!
    Miles this afternoon 17.14; Miles to date 353.35

    WOW! My horse is awesome! Rode into the town of Empire where lots of cars and trucks, kids playing in the beachside center at basketball/swings/screaming everywhere, wide painted white lines, and worst of all GRATE COVERS LOL Passed all of these without incident and then walked his body right into the calm waters of Lake Michigan like he'd done it a thousand times before. Played, took pics, and rode back to camp. :)

    Glad to be able to post my miles, and hoping to continue with the wifi connection while I'm here for my two weeks of riding and relaxing.

    WHOOO! What a great beginning to my summer vacation!

  51. Team Owen 95
    Empire, MI
    Sunday, June 9 evening ride
    Miles 5.53; Miles to date 358.88

    Just the two of us on a dusky ride
    Deer observing us from evening grazing
    As the sun dropped lower in the bluest of skies
    Lighting up clouds with rays of orange and yellow
    My smile widening
    His lope changing to confident gallop
    Gentle thuds on firm, softly packed sandy trails
    I let him go as much as he liked
    and we went on and on and on
    my smile matching his joyful strides
    We walked back into camp
    Peaceful and content
    Having tucked in the sunset
    Just the two of us

  52. Team Owen 95
    Empire, MI
    Monday, June 10
    Miles 15.49; Miles to date 374.37

    Started out in a light drizzle, but it didn't even matter as we meandered east and south, around inland lakes, atop high knolls, and through the woods. Ahhh, what a glorious way to spend a few hours.

  53. Team Owen 95
    Empire, MI
    Tuesday, June 11
    Miles 12.02; Miles to date 386.39

    Rode with a friend who came over from Traverse City :) Slow, steady, and lots of great times. Tomorrow, I break 400 for sure! :)

  54. Team Owen 95
    Still in Empire :)
    Wednesday, June 12
    Miles 22.23; Miles to date 408.62 :) In a new hundred!

    Solo ride today that led me south/east on the Michigan Shore to Shore Trail and then meandered back via some snowmobile trails. Met up with a dirt bike, which my horse handled with calm and grace, and then a DNR truck that kicked up dust but no reaction from my gelding.

    Showered and done with chores, settling in for a lazy evening of reading and writing. LIfe is grand!!

  55. Congratson getting over 400 miles! Too great that your shore to shore ride is going so well :-)

    1. Oh, I'm not riding shore to shore right now...just in Empire riding and riding and riding! We're camped at The Pouncey Ponderosa just about a mile and a half north of the Garey Lake shore to shore trail camp. It's a great place for folks to drop by and stay awhile with horses. Come on over! :)

  56. Team Owen 95
    Empire, MI
    Thursday, June 13
    Miles a.m. 9.65 p.m. 11.3; Miles to date 429.57

  57. Team Owen 95
    Friday, June 14
    miles a.m. 5.15, p.m. 15.71 total 20.86; Miles to date 450.43

    Tried a trail tonight I'd done the other day but in reverse...how can the woods look so different from the other side? Great ride and Team Grace was here when I got back to camp. Hubby, dogs, Heather and her team...and a foal trying to be born in the owner's barn soon. What a GREAT vacation!!!!!

  58. Team Owen 95
    Saturday, June 15 (Empire)
    Miles today 11.06; Miles to date 461.49

    Rainy, amazing ride with Heather :)

  59. Team Owen 95
    Sunday, June 16th Ride to Lake Michigan
    Miles today 18.4; Miles to date 479.89

    INTO the lake! Crazy great...exhausted but big smiles on this end.

  60. Team Owen 95
    Monday, June 17th
    Empire, MI solo ride
    Miles today 20.28; Miles to date 500.17

    I rode a trail I've tried twice, but today actually left some markers so others could find them from here, too. Then, we tried some two tracks and snaked through the woods, found some trails I've never even ridden past before, passed doe with tiny little fawns beside her, and came back to find my peace overrun with 19 4h girls...giving them tonight to realize they aren't the only ones here...then going all teacher on the group. :) Maybe I won't ever stop riding until they depart! LOL

  61. Congrats on getting over 500 miles! Sounds like a great day even with 4h girls in tow :-)

  62. Team Owen 95
    Tuesday, June 18 - Friday, June 21st
    Empire, MI
    Miles ridden: 0, 7.78, 12.64; Miles to date, 520.59

    6/18: My horse was a bit sore in his left shoulder...too much pen time after riding instead of being able to run around and roll on his home turf. So, I was able to ride my friend's walking horse at Alligator Trail. It's the only 'horse friendly' trails in the northern shore national park, so it was fantastically gorgeous! I'm not counting the six or so miles though, as I want all my miles to be on my own gelding. If anyone ever gets the chance to ride here though, TAKE IT! What a beautiful state Michigan is to ride.

    Wed, 6/19: Easy 7.78 miles that my gelding was eager and ready to attack. I kept him nice and easy though, since I know he's been a bit sore.

    Thur, 6/20: Rode with a friend 12.64 meandering through many different logging paths and two tracks, pine groves hiding a deer who kept right on eating as we passed, leafy oaks filled with squirrels and chipmunks, and ended with a horse splash party at Garey Lake.

    This will end up being my final ride here, as my horse is stiff today from the pen. So, letting him graze and walk in the bigger pen before heading home tomorrow morning. Hoping the owner's mare will foal tonight during the full moon solstice complete with predicted thunderstorms. She's ten days past due...and I would LOVE to witness this miracle as the cherry on the peak of a great vacation sundae!

  63. Team Owen 95
    Friday, June 21st Empire
    Miles ridden, 4.13; Miles to date 524.72

    Well, I was wrong. :) After a day spent in a bigger paddock, rolling and resting and stretching out his legs, then frolicking (it's the only way to describe his silly behavior) with new horses that arrived, my boy was ready to go on a lake expedition. The owner and her partner, along with a newly arrived couple and myself, took a nice easy ride over to Garey Lake. My hubby met us over there and took some video and pics of my awesome horse playing in the lake. The winds were crazy, blowing up all kinds of mini tornadoes and a bit of anxiety in my gelding for a few seconds, but we rode home at a nice extended walk and no problems. He'd better get used to the wind, as we're heading to Wyoming July 27th for a ten day clinic! *insert dancing and hysterical giggling here*
    It's Saturday morning, kind of overcast with a nice cool tinge in the air. My man is out fishing with a local, thanks to a connection with a good friend in Traverse City. I just spent some bonding time grooming the itches out of my horse (imagine, 1200 pounds of rocking back and forth Paint as I rubbed his belly). The dogs are all sacked out. Reading, writing, and some candy crush saga ahead. Life is grand!

  64. Team Owen 95
    Saturday, June 22nd, Empire
    Miles ridden, 4.98; Miles to date, 529.57

    Rode to Garey Lake and took my horse SWIMMING!!!!! The MOST amazing horse thing I've EVER experienced. :) WOW!

  65. Team Owen 95
    Sunday, June 30
    Brighton State Park, MI
    Miles ridden, 5.85; MIles to date, 435.42

    My horse was pretty schlumpy today on the trails, felt like he was full of lead. The rocks were bothering his feet, he was dull and not moving off my legs, and he kept swishing at the flies and mosquitos, too. I think he just needed to warm up his muscles and stretch out after the prior two weeks 200+ miles, because the last twenty minutes he was much better.

    I felt better when he perked up and seemed more like himself. Going to take him out again tomorrow on better footing for him and see how he does.

    1. OOPS! Just realized I typed in 435.42 instead of 535.42...hope you caught my stupid mistake before posting this week's standings...yes, I am as tired as my horse apparently! LOL

    2. wow...glad you can add better than I can this week...June's total is 535.55, like you posted, and I did not above...UGH...forgive me my math errors, vacation has rotted my brain! So...

      535.55 + 3.85 on July first + 539.40

      Correct? sheesh!

  66. Team Owen 95
    Monday, July 1st
    Sleepy Hollow State Park
    Miles ridden, 3.85; Miles to date, 539.27 OOPS...last entry should be FIVE35.42 DUH! lol

    My horse was better than yesterday, but still not back to normal energy level...any ideas beside rest and time?

  67. Current total, after math corrections due to this user error...539.40

    Thank you for your patience! LOL Team Owen 95

  68. Team Owen 95
    Saturday, July 13 Pontiac Lake State Park
    Miles ridden, 15.0; Miles to date 554.40

    Yeehaw my horse is back! :) Fiesty, fun ride on the day dubbed "The day Kristine was the nice one," by Team Grace and I. Too many laughs to describe, but zen again for all involved.

  69. Team Owen 95

    Just a heads up that I am traveling to Wyoming for about two weeks starting next week, July 25 until about August 9th or 10th. I have NO idea if I'll be able to log my miles from there, so I might need to add them all here once I return. Ten days of riding with Peter and Trina Campbell in totally new country for me and my gelding. I am SO EXCITED!!!!!! *and a bit freaked out, too LOL*

  70. What an awesome adventure and experience :-) I put you on hold til you get back!

  71. Team Owen 95
    Saturday, July 20; Kensington Metropark
    Miles ridden, 13.5; Miles to date, 567.90

    Great ride to try out the new shoes (he's NEVER had them before but needs them for WY and loves them), riding bareback for the first time, river riding complete with trotting which was super cool, too much laughing and singing and snorting with glee...Oh what a beautiful day!

  72. Home safe and sound from Wyoming! :) I wish I could explain the changes that I have been blessed with during the time riding in wide open spaces with one of the best horsemen in the world, his wife, and a couple dozen like minded people. WOW! Not as many miles as I had anticipated, but the most productive, most informative, and most applicable to all I will do from here on out. WHOOOO! BIG CHANGES!

    Team Owen 95; Wheatland, Wyoming; Hat Creek Ranch Clinic @ Peter and Trina Campbell's
    Monday, July 29 5.14
    Tuesday, July 30 9.28
    Wednesday, July 31 7.62
    Thursday, Aug. 1 10.97
    Friday, Aug. 2 6.69
    Saturday, Aug.3 7.97
    Sunday, Aug. 4 9.36
    Monday, Aug. 5 7.62
    Tuesday, Aug. 6 10.98
    Wed. Aug. 7 11.91

    Total Miles during this clinic: 87.54; Miles to date, 655.44

  73. Team Owen 95
    Brighton, Michigan
    Wednesday, August 14th
    Miles ridden, 7.90; Total miles 663.34

    Great, willing ride with a good friend who commented on the change in my gelding's eyes and expression. :) WHOOOOO!

  74. Team Owen 95
    Sleepy Hollow Park; Friday, August 16th
    Miles ridden, 11.10 miles; Total miles, 674.44

    BEST ride I have ever had on any horse! What a difference Wyoming has made for me and my gelding. Wow! :)

  75. Team Owen 95
    Lakeland Trail System; Stockbridge - Pinckney and then some
    Sunday, August 18th
    Miles ridden, 25.90; Total miles, 700.34

    WHOOOO! 700 marker!!!!!! :)
    Parked in Stockbridge at the staging area for the Lakeland Trails and rode smooth and easy all the way past Gregory and into Pinckney. Once I crossed into the Hell/Pinckney trails, I made our way to the river and let my horse drink and splash before heading back. The weather was in the 80's, the sky was blue, there were lots of hikers and bikers and dogs and new bridges and a turkey hen that almost startled a runner into the ditch as we rode by (pretty hilarious actually). What a great day! :)

  76. Sounds like a really fun ride! Congrats on getting to 700 miles :-)

  77. Team Owen 95
    Monday, Aug. 19th; Brighton State Recreation Park
    Miles ridden, 7.75; Total Miles, 708.09

    :) Beautiful day...beautiful ride...on our way to 800!

  78. Team Owen
    Friday, Aug. 23, Kensington Metropark w/my hubby :)
    Miles ridden, 10.56; Total miles, 718.65

    Finally got my farrier to show up last night after he "forgot" our appointment Tuesday morning, so today I got to ride! My hubby came along to fish the river while I rode on a gorgeous breezy, sunny Michigan day. Ahhhhh, nothing better for my heart and soul!

  79. Team Owen 95
    Labor Day Weekend Camping Trip! :)
    Friday, Aug. 30, 8.03
    Saturday, Aug. 31, 15.75 & 5.08
    Sunday, September 1, 12.03 miles Total for weekend, 40.89; Total Miles, 759.54

    What a great few days of camping with good friends! Amy and I rode Friday, despite the high humidity, while we waited for Team Grace to show up at camp. The grounds were packed with family groups, ponies, 4-H kids, and about every variety of rider possible.
    Saturday we all rode out together and enjoyed the cooler temps and zero humidity until Heather decided to head back on her own for a little solo ride and to relieve her doggy from his spot in the trailer. Amy and I added five miles of trails, seeking out the less used paths and bushwhacking our way through some woods, too. TONS of fun and laughing and loping!
    Today was a overcast with slight humidity but nothing like Friday's. The three of us had a great romp together with Heather going off to home alone again.
    Zero troubles driving home, and there's just nothing like a hot shower to wash away the camping.

    Closer to 800 than 700 now :) WHOOOO!

  80. You have me at 20.06 miles less than what I am at for this week. I know you did August, so maybe you didn't count the 12.03 miles from Sunday? But...wondering why such a big discrepancy as I have my total at 759.54, so minus 12.03 from September 1 ride would have me at 747.51.

    Is this right or am I doing some math wrong here? :) Thanks! K

  81. I have you at 759.54 miles now, so it was because of finishing up August. :-)

  82. Thanks. I figured it was August and that maybe you'd missed the 8 miles on Friday I listed. Your eyes must be bonkers doing this all the time! :) I am still having a blast with this by the way! Looking forward to getting my shirt, too. School started up again yesterday so my students will be asking me for mileage updates now, too. So funny.

  83. Team Owen 95
    Sunday, September 8, 2013
    Chelsea, Michigan Peter Campbell Foundation and Horsemanship One Clinic Sessions
    Saturday sessions miles ridden 3.98 and 6.85; Sunday miles ridden 6.43; Total 776.80

    Nothing better than positive comments on great changes seen in my horse! :)

  84. Team Owen 95
    Saturday, Sept. 14, Kensington w/Team Grace 16.0 miles, Total 792.80
    Sunday, Sept. 15th, Sleepy Hollow State Park solo 10.50 miles, TOTAL 803.30 miles!

    Saturday Heather and I rode together and made our way from Kensington to Proud Lake Recreation Area, a new trail for me. What a GREAT time we had! Gorgeous, sunny, cooler temps...ahhhhhh, just what I needed!

    When I woke up today it was rainy and gray...another great day to ride in my opinion. WHOO! My horse and I are doing so well together. He's listening, responding, and we are clearly a team now more than ever before in his eight years of life.

    My initial 2013 goal was to make 250 miles...and now my goal is 1000...and we are getting closer by the week! :)

  85. Team Owen 95
    Monday, September 16, 2013
    Fields around my house!
    Miles ridden, 4.01; Total Miles to date, 807.31

    WHOOOO! 4 miles on my horse in the fields AROUND MY HOUSE! What???? I could NOT have done this (safely, willingly, relaxed with ears forward, all without having to pray for my life!) a year ago. WHOOOOOOO! BIg Changes Peter Campbell! I am once again reminded of WHY I am, and was so instantly, hooked on the principles he shows us regarding life and horses. WHOOO!

  86. Team Owen 95
    Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013
    Windy, cloudy last day of summer
    Miles ridden, 2.11; Total miles to date, 809.42

    The best laid plans...get trashed when the mood is all wrong. Just couldn't get myself together today, missing my son, usually riding helps, but today my mood made my horse jumpy and I just did what I could do. We rode in the fields instead of heading out for the big 30 miler I was planning on...but I got myself settled, my gelding settled, and ended with smiles for a short, yet good for us both ride.

  87. Team Owen 95
    Sunday, Sept. 22
    Pontiac Lake State Recreation Area
    Miles Ridden, 17.97; Total miles to date, 827.39

    Surprisingly gorgeous an hour east of home where it was gray and windy and blah. SO glad I rode out to meet Team Grace :) My gelding and I rode solo for a couple hours and then after lunching with Heather we rode together for another 8 miles of pines, steep hills, rolling sandy paths, a hiking trail of beauty filled with laughter and good friendship. WHOOO!

  88. Team Owen 95
    Monday, Sept. 23rd
    Sleepy Hollow State Rec Area
    Miles Ridden, 13,31; Total miles to date, 840.70

    Oh what a BEAUTIFUL afternoon of riding! Working on continued conditioning, we made the first hour in ten minute miles, completing the 6 miles in just under an hour. Then, I let him walk out, and we finished the next 4 miles in that hour. With the '840' in my head, we headed out to repeat part of the south loop and came back into from the west. GORGEOUS and calm and sunlit...ahhhh!

  89. Team Owen 95
    Wednesday, Sept. 25th
    Lakeland Trail, Stockbridge, MI
    Miles ridden, 10.45; Total miles ridden, 851.15

    Another beautiful fall afternoon spent in the saddle :)

  90. Team Owen 95
    Saturday, Sept. 28th
    Sleepy Hollow State Rec. Area
    Miles ridden, 8.00; Total miles to date, 859.15

  91. Team Owen 95
    Saturday, Oct. 5
    Elba Equestrian Complex, Lapeer, MI
    Miles ridden, 8.16; Total miles to date, 867.31

  92. Team Owen 95
    Ionia State Recreation Area camping weekend w/hubby & dogs
    Friday, Oct.11 miles ridden 6.40
    Saturday, Oct. 12 miles ridden 31.18 (decided to do my own LD...whew!)
    Sunday, Oct. 13 miles ridden 6.56
    weekend total 44.14; Total miles to date, 911.45

    GORGEOUS sunny fall weekend spent riding through rainfalls of autumn leaves with flocks of geese honking overhead...going to be hard to beat this one for awhile. :)

  93. Congrats on getting over 900 miles!! You are right! It was a beautiful weekend to ride :-)

  94. Team Owen 95
    Ionia State Rec Area, camping AGAIN :)
    Friday, Oct. 18 Rode 5.25 miles (dark and stormy but cleared up)
    Saturday, Oct. 19 Rode 10.38 miles GORGEOUS CLOUDS!
    Sunday, Oct. 20th Rode 3.31 miles
    weekend total, 18.94 miles; Total miles to date, 930.39

    Closer to 1,000 every day :)

  95. Team Owen 95
    Stockbridge, MI Lakeland Trail
    Saturday, November 2
    Miles ridden, 6.08; Total miles to date, 936.47
    Really needed to ride, so despite the poor weather away my gelding and I went. It started to drizzle as I tacked, rain while I rode, and then poured. It was still a gorgeous, autumn afternoon and I came home smiling and loving life. Sunshine predicted for tomorrow :)

  96. Team Owen 95
    Sleepy Hollow State Park
    Sunday, Nov. 3rd
    Miles ridden, 15.08; Total miles to date, 951.55
    Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous :) Wish I could post pictures…awesome day!

  97. Team Owen 95
    Waterloo Equestrian Trails
    Saturday, Nov. 9th
    Miles Ridden, 15.26; Total miles to date, 966.81

    Well, I was hoping to finish my goal of 1000, but between my work schedule, the loss of daylight because of the time change, and a horrible cold that has settled in my head and chest, I am glad to have ridden at all. UGH!

    However, the 15.26 garmin proven miles I rode yesterday were AWESOME! The hills were steep, especially "Murder Mountain" and "Lizard Tree Lane" which was hilarious. When I asked my friend why it was named that, she laughed and said she guaranteed I would love it. As we rode, there were trees that had been…embellished..shall we say with figurines of lizards, super heroes, googly eyes and such. She was right. Ioved it!

    We were blessed with a sighting of a HUGE buck, standing atop a massive hill almost as if waiting for us to appear. My gelding stopped immediately, one foot poised as he was stepping over a trunk, as my friends and I watched the buck watching us. Gorgeous!

    It was sunny and 50 with high winds, but the forests we rode through protected us most of the way. I was supposed to ride a corn maze today with a number of friends, but my raw throat, stuffy head, and throbbing hot/cold flashes have me home on the couch.

    I realized yesterday, however, that all of my miles are true, that it doesn't really matter when I reach 1,000 because I know they have all been ridden (Plus some that I couldn't count because of garmin malfunction LOL), and that my horse and I have become a true team.

    Hoping I feel well enough to ride soon, as I miss being on my horse more often. Working full time cuts into my available hours, but also feeds my 'hobby' of riding. So, just over 33 miles remaining when my original goal for 2013 was 250. Whoooo! What a difference a year can make, huh? :)

  98. Team Owen 95
    Kensington Metropark :) NO HUNTING ALLOWED!
    Saturday, Nov. 16th
    Miles Ridden today, 33.65; Total miles to date…1000.46

    WHOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! I broke a THOUSAND!!!!! :)

    I went out to the park an hour and a half earlier than my riding partners today so I could ride the west loop before they arrived. I KNEW i was riding to a thousand come hell or high water! :) My horse was awesome, moving out at a long trot while we were solo and with the other horses. I rode 20 with my friends Amy and Beth, and then did the small loop to bring me up to my goal. Snicks was still going strong, as all the conditioning this year has him in prime shape. What a great day!

    Whew! Happy, happy, JOY JOY!!!!!

  99. Too awesome on getting over 1000 miles :-)

    1. Thanks! It was pretty awesome, especially since my original 2013 goal was to hit 250. :) I love my horse!

  100. Team Owen 95
    Kensington Metropark…last day of rifle season :)
    Saturday, November 30th
    Miles ridden, 12.06; Total miles to date, 1012.52

    First day in awhile that it wasn't so so so so cold…sunny, in the mid 30's, and what a gorgeous ride we had…ahhhh, great way to finish up November!

  101. TeamOwen 95
    Pinckney, MI trails
    Sunday, December 1st…one 30 left :(
    Miles ridden today, 8.75; Total miles to date, 1021.27


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