Friday, September 17, 2010

In which we go riding, it doesn't rain, and we see something shiny

Well, the rain slowed down a little bit.... "Good enough!" says me. And off we went.

I haven't been to this trailhead in a couple of years, and Fiddle has never been here.
She likes to explore new trails.


I guess that's a good thing, considering she's supposed to be an endurance horse.

Isn't this just the prettiest place? (Fee says the clover groundcover is tasty, too!)


The trails were muddy, but Fiddle kept her feet just fine. What a good mare!


I did cuss a little at this stretch of trail. It's steep, braided, and horrible--clearly, there were no TrailMasters around when this got punched through! Ah, well. Good practice for Fiddle, I suppose.

And what have we here?

P-I-L-C-H-U-C-K spelled out in blocks of glass.

The sign is there because the stretch of trail we explored today is immediately adjacent to the Pilchuck Glass School.
Dale Chihuly started teaching summer glass workshops in 1971. Chihuly, accompanied by two other teachers and 16 students, built glass furnaces and began blowing glass just sixteen days after arriving at the Hauberg’s tree farm.
The first summer session was a huge success, and the Haubergs agreed to provide the location and financial support for a second summer workshop, and then a third. A few years later, realizing that Pilchuck glass workshops had become a summer mainstay rather than an occasional happening, the Haubergs established the school as a non-profit, solidifying the framework for today’s Pilchuck Glass School.

And hey: if you're interested in seeing the Glass School up close, they have an annual tour event coming up in October. You can tour the grounds, meet the artists, and participate in some "hands-on activities" for the low-low-low price of $1,900 per person.

I checked it three times. That's really the cost. Egad.
Maybe I'll just visit the public Chihuly art installations, instead.

(the window above is on display in Union Station, in Tacoma WA, the chandelier below is in the Tulalip Casino just a few miles from Haiku Farm).

It's pretty stuff. If you come visit us here in the Swamplands, we can go see it together!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

In which we play poker with the Fish, get rained on, and win not one thing

Having enjoyed our trail ride earlier in the week, we met up with the Fish today for the poker ride that we saw advertised on the porta-potty door.

(NOTE: I don't usually make dates based on bathroom-door data, but trailhead portapotties can be downright educational!)
Unlike our happy ride on Thursday, this time the weather did NOT cooperate, and buckets of rain dumped down on us.

"A training opportunity!" sez me, and off we went. Fiddle hasn't done much work in the rain. Would she hate it? Would she like it?

Would she even notice?

No, apparently not. Another standardbred non-issue. Dang, that's easy.

We also worked on Fiddle's "ugly ears" today. When I first got her, she thought that it was okay to lunge and bite and kick nearby horses. After 3 years of steady work, she knows that these things are naughty. She mostly doesn't do that stuff anymore, but she still wants to do it. Her ears, which are huge, can be very ugly. How to fix the ears--and the attitude?

Cookies!

If Fiddle has nice ears and stands nicely next to Shade, Patty gives Fiddle a cookie sometimes. Sometimes, it's just a pat. Hmmmm. Fee had to think about that.

Pinned ears = no cookie.
Nice ears = cookie.

Fiddle likes to pin her ears, but she also likes cookies. Hmmmmm.

I won't call her bad ears "fixed" yet, but we took steps today. Next time I ride with the Fish, I'm gonna stuff everybody's pockets full of cookies and we'll practice some more!

At points along the trail, volunteers let us choose numbered poker chips from a bag. High numbers win prizes. Low numbers also win prizes.

Look at all the prizes on that table! Dory had high hand last year and won money.This year she had the low hand and won money.

Patty and Sirie and I had middle numbers. No prizes for us! But still, it was a good day.

We sat in the shelter by the fire after the ride and got warmed up.

Fiddle got her purple jammies and a haybag full of snacks.
Still raining. Must be time to go home!
Life is good.