Our trail to happiness !

Our trail to happiness !

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Summer 2014 & Our first LD ! (and Ava lee's first trail ride)

We have had a great summer of  riding Kizz & I, We conditioned some, but mainly we worked on some problems we have started to have since Spring. We rode in the dark the first time ever too! Rode with Kaaren and Robyn in the dark back to Kaaren's and Kizz stayed there the night, and I rode him home the next day.
Kizz at Kaaren's on sunday before we rode back home

 Kizz is getting extra racy and just running along with the other horses (Who are in WAYY better shape!) and not listening to me at all!! So when my dear friend Robyn meets me on trails, we do lots of WORK! When he follows along blindly running, I turn him and make him go towards home! We survive and he starts to learn he has to go at OUR pace not everyone elses!

one of our first spring rides out with others, and Kizz is very bad with the race brain ! we ride with Kaaren, her son & Robyn up the short cut road to Caverhill. 

Robyn & Bambi on left, Kaaren & Odin on right

I leave Bambi and Robyn on trail every time, going along with her and then turn and go towards home. The last time we do this even at a CANTER down the rail way! I'm so proud of my guy!!

We rode in our first Thunderstorm!

Mine & Kizz's first LD  !  The Kiss My Axe Ride!

Our First LD!!!

Lucky enough it's home on our trails! How fun is that?!? I am helping the lady with the ride and am designated as "prize lady" to pick out prizes for the ride. I have a great time with it! I get a logo made for the ride by a graphic designer and even have it digitized so I can have it embroidered on items! Had it embroidered on two hats! So cute! Had a water bottle with the logo on it, a bunch of buckets, I made a bracelet, and saddle fobs and lots more! 

one of the first buckets I did!

saddle fobs for the ride

My hubby has his first taste of crewing! I was so happy with how well he helped out! And my daughter got to watch the whole thing from the truck seat !

My Son Alex helped , he scribed for the vet , it was nice to have him here for it! Ava lee helped too :) what fun!!

Ava lee in front of Kizz's pen

Alex & Avalee tired after all their hard work!

I'm lucky enough that Robyn is entering the ride also, so we will have our buddy to ride with!

Wednesday before the ride , Kizz and I go mark trails that didn't get done! he's a pro now! haha

Friday we have to go finish marking more trails (a good chunk of the 50 mile ride we are also having)  that didn't get done by the lady taking care of trails. But we hurry on the four wheeler and get back in time to move horses down to the ride site by 4. (Vetting is at 5!) but It's only a few minutes from home.

I Fence the horses in and get them settled. Robyn arrives not long after and we go for vetting and of course I realize he will have his temperature taken! He's never had it done before so I'm a bit nervous. Of course Kizz is A1 and makes me so proud! He even stands quietly for pulse :-)

Get horses settled again for bed , give them supper and head home for the night !

Saturday morning comes and I get up at 5:30, turn on the beans in the slow cooker for the meal.  Get my son up who is volunteer for the LD & END :-)

We ride out with my friend Robyn and her mare Bambi. We were both pretty nervous and of course freezing cold. It was below 0 at 7am heading out in the almost dark!

Bambi & Kizz were quite hyper at the start,  Bambi a wee bit out of control , so kizz fed off that and was super hyper. He even did some little bucking a few times on me. But I kept him in behind Bambi and not racing by, so that is good. Then when we got to the fields before crossing the pave, she worked on getting Bambi to walk and circled a few times. It helped a lot and we did better. We crossed the pave and went in to the little first trail , where we walked the whole thing. Taking us about 20-30 minutes. I'm sure we got way behind the others in the ride here.

But it being so wet there, we had to walk a whole long section of the trail

Then on the long dirt 'Clone road' with good footing we asked for a trot but by the end of the clone we were cantering/galloping up every hill. Ughhh.

That toned racehorse Bambi down a bit haha, so we stayed up in front and led the way at a more quiet pace. We walked a long ways to cool them down. (We walked the entire woods to the first crewing spot, loosing another 20-30 min but at least our horses were cooling out safely and also they were learning it's not all about racing! )

When we got to the first pit crew stop my hubby was waiting with held breath wondering where the heck we were! Lol  (we are about an hour behind everyone else !)

coming in to the first crew stop 

It is here that hubby realizes we are not going to be in the front runners of this ride ! Haha! While I try to explain where he should find my 2 lost boots back on trail, I'm also trying to explain to him that I'd much rather have my horse walk the entire thing and pass vetting than to get pulled because we galloped the whole thing or slipped on mud/wet grass with hyper horses !

We mount back up and Hubby follows us in the truck down the 2.5 klms of pave we ride.  He even scares a dog off the road that was about to chase us!  Thanks Chris!! We get to the next trail , a lovely long stretch of old Railway (now a walking trail) and we trot most of it (I have no boots on, and Robyn's mare is only wearing fronts) so we take it easy on any rocky parts.

Next check point (Millville park) comes and goes, we continue to trot a lot of it. We cross the pave and continue along the RR , we trot a lot of it trying to make up some time!

At almost home we hop off , loosen girths and walk in.

We get in to the hold (home base) about 45 min after everyone else!(Most riders are tacking up to head back out after their pulsing down and 40 min holds!) my son Alexander who is doing timing comes over and gets our papers and writes down our time :-)

  I immediately untack & check Kizz's pulse and he is down to 50 so I go to vetting. Robyn and Bambi follow us over. We get our passes and start our 40 min hold ! Kizz is very quiet and stands nicely for vetting. This is amazing compared to last year! (Although his buddy Bambi is near us so I'm sure that helps !)

First loop, accomplished! Yahoo!

I get a banana ate while we fix boots , get boots back on (this time remember to tape my back countries Velcro shut!) tack up and head out again

Both horses are super quiet and laid back going out! We trot a lot of the trail along to the scale road. I trot ahead and Bambi keeps pace behind us. We make it to the big hard packed Mill road and Robyn hops off and walks. We walk about 1/4 the mill road , then decide to trot the next half and then walk the last 1/4 as we know we have a long long hill to climb after that. When we get to the hill kizz and I canter ahead and canter all the hill. Bambi follows along behind pretty good.

We meet hubby at the top and sponge the horses off a bit. Have a drink. Then head back down the hill. We walk most of it down talking and chatting until we get to the Railway again and realize we probably are getting low on time to get back within out allotted 7.5 hours for the 30 miles! Lol. So we trot and canter most of the whole RR back. Taking turns one in front and even ride side by side some.

At the end of the trail Kizz is happy to go along so we canter the last few miles , he doesn't seem tired at all.

We stop again at the trail to come in, loosen girths and hand walk in. Kizz is warm so hubby dumps water on him as untack (wow hubby totally has the hang of this!! )

A few minutes later Robyn has head over to get pulse done. So we head over too. We get the horses pulsed  and then vetted. They both pass lovely !  Kizz with all A's on the whole thing. :-)

We finished! We passed it! We came in last. Haha!! But we did manage to avoid that pesky Turtle award (as we pulsed down before Bambi , I later found out)

So proud of my boy! Standing so perfectly for vetting, mounting and he eats/drinks well on trail. Listened very good to me. I'm very proud and happy. He deserves time off so we decide not to do the JP the next day (as well,  I'm sick so I'm not feeling up to it either!) very happy for my friend Robyn, she and Bambi did great! Not only was it their first LD , it was their first ACTRA ride period!! They did sooo much better than I did at my first ride! I hope she'll attend - few ACTRA rides with me next year!

Bambi on the left, Kizz on the right :)

We trailer home since it's only a few minute ride. He gets out of the trailer and canters up the hill to Coby. He doesn't seem too tired out ;-)

I go back to the ride in time to eat and give out the prizes I donated to the ride. Beautiful shirts, buckets w/logo, cooling neckerchiefs I made, hats with the ride logo embroidered on,  and lots of other goodies. I'm proud and happy everyone loves them!

All in all it's a wonderful first LD. :-) I can't wait for more now!! I am hoping to do a 50 next year.. it will be Kizz & my 3rd year conditioning and he will be 8 years old.. so I think we are ready!

Some pictures from Spring - our LD Sept 13/14

Kizz & I spring ride with group 

first conditioning ride after our accident 
June 2014

my daughter and I have our first little ride together in the mini paddock 
June 2014

Kizz & I at the stream on Loop 1 for the first time Aug 9/14
(with Kaaren & Odin)

Robyn and I on trail 

picture Robyn took of us in the fields by Tim's having a munch 

me leading on the Clone road with Robyn & Kaaren

Robyn & I crossing the bridge on Loop 2, for the first time 
Sept 7 /14  we did 17 miles 

Fall 2014

After the LD we take some time to just trail ride and cool down ..

we only do one more conditioning ride , it's a beautiful fall day , and my youngest has started school , so I go during the day.. it's a gorgeous day ! We go down to the RR and stop at the little shelter where there is a picnic table, have a break and a snack , then head home. It's a perfect ride!

Kizz and I on the RR , it is the best ride of the year 
Oct 2 2014

Taking a break in the shelter :)

very happy girl!

Kizz has a hard time slowing down, so we do lots of walking rides..  We even take my daughter out on her very FIRST trail ride!!! My friend Amanda brings her sweet mare Bronwyn over to go with us (to make ME feel better about it all ! haha)

Amanda & Bronwyn, Kizz & I, and Ava lee & Coby

Sept 28/14

she insisted on crossing the Rock Wall first both ways :)

Ava lee & I !! her first Trail ride with us all on horses,
our second ride out , just the two of us! 
Oct 3 /14

She even got out on some Rides with her pony Dream!! first ones not being ponied!

Oct 13, first ride not being ponied on Dream

They do great!!

Cinna along on one of my fall rides with Kizz

Dream loves to paw in the puddles! Ava lee loves it!

Ava lee and Dream on our last ride out of 2014~

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