In which I haven't forgotten to ride my horse in the (rare) sunshine

Group ride today!

Physically, Fiddle is acceptably fit. Her training is progressing nicely on trails and in the arena. I can point her at any trail, over any obstacle, and I can trust her to navigate safely through all kinds of terrain.

But her manners in a group still need work, so out we went today.
Dory remembers when Fiddle was a gawky, angry toddler. It's nice to have someone alone who can say, "no really, this horse is greatly improved." Fee still pins her ears at other horses, especially Shine
but she no longer tries to bite them, and she doesn't even try to kick. Well, not very often.
Patty is getting her "baby" horse Shine, plus her other "baby" horse Fly (ridden by Kendall today) ready for the 2011 XP Ride: 2000 miles along the old Pony Express trail. Both horses will be 9 years old in the spring, but Patty starts her horses slowly and with great care. The XP ride will consist of 8 weeks of 5 day (50 mile) rides, starting in Joseph Missouri and tentatively ending in Virginia City, Nevada--a wonderful challenge on some of the coolest historic trail in the United States.

If anybody ever wants to know, XP is my dream ride. As much as I yearn to do the Tevis, if they made me choose between doing Tevis and riding for 8 weeks on the Pony Express trails, I wouldn't blink before choosing the XP. Now, if only I could convince my employer to give me an 8 week sabbatical....

Sigh. Some day, I'll do it. I don't know when, or how. But some day I will do it.
Meantime, the sun is shining (a little) and the sky isn't dripping, which makes it a perfect day to head out on the local trails. We took the steep training trail that Dory calls the Hill of Death and I call the Ice Cream Cone of Doom. It's a mile and a half of steady uphill logging road.
Fiddle and Spot took turns "motivating" each other to keep the pace brisk. When she's by herself, Fee does not enjoy this hill, but with another horse alongside, the competition makes it more fun for her.

Can I just say that this:

is not okay. Okay? For $20, the county landfill will dispose of the vacuum cleaner, the carpet cleaner, the gigantic box fan and whatever else. Grrr.

Sensible Horse says: trash is distasteful, not scary. We all walked past calmly, even the "babies."

Speaking of not-scary things:
A white tarp on the ground is not scary if it's lurking at the top of a steep 1.5 mile hill. All four horses walked on it without turning an ear.

Then, back down the hill
through the woods
past the (not scary) logging equipment
into the sunshine.
Life is good. Even during NaNoWriMo. It's really, really, good.


  1. It does look good indeed.

  2. That XP ride sounds amazing! I wish it were a bit closer... and that either of my boys stood a chance of doing it successfully!

  3. I haven't done a multiday OR a 100, so I can't say which I'd rather do.

    The only good thing about redneck trash in the woods is that it's a great despooking tool. There's only so many killer washing machines and mattresses you can come across before they're just not scary anymore!

    Beautiful pictures!

  4. That white tarp is REALLY scary!! Good job your horses didn't care. Very beautiful scenery!!

  5. XP sounds awesome. If only I could get the time off! Some day...

    Gorgeous scenery out there :)

  6. Ahhhh...8 weeks of doing nothing at all besides riding your favorite horse on the trail. Pure bliss!

    I hope you get to do it!


  7. I've seen part of the Pony Express trail in NV. It's one of the few things I would totally do in a heartbeat (working toward it of course!) I hope you get that time off soon. :)


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