In which I go to a ride, meet bloggers and ride the futon (not far)

The Milwaukee Road Rail Trail ride was held this weekend...although I'd swear it was a blogger's convention instead!

 (Left) Monica from Horsebytes, (center) me from Haiku Farm, and (right) Laurie from EvenSong Paints
 plus, (above) Karen and Dazzby from Wren Loop!
 Fiddle's standardbred cousin Whiskey (above) did just fine on the 25-mile ride.  At the mid-point, Ryan told me that she was "going too fast, and not drinking water"...less than a minute later, I saw the mare standing by the water tank, making the water level drop visibly!   So, that's good.

Our training buddies did less well at this ride.  Dory's mega-horse Spot (DJB Nottalotta Spots) blew an abcess literally as they were walking into the first vetcheck.  Blood, then pus, and the horse was 3-legged lame for the vet.  An hour later, the abcess had drained and the horse was totally comfortable again...but too late to save that particular competition day.  Ah, well.
 Sirie rode Ariana (above) in the LD, and got pulled lame at the finish line--major bummer.  Looks like the mare stumbled and scraped herself with her own shoeing nails.  Sheesh.  No way to train to avoid that!

Our friend Susan Favro was in camp with her Healthy As a Horse mobile tack shop.  Of course, I had to do a little shopping, and so did Laurie...I managed to escape with only the items I had budgeted (a water-bottle holder and a boot bag).

Then we went over to meet Laurie's pretty girls.

 We originally planned for me to ride Maddie, who has a bit of "hustle".  Maddie, however, had other plans for the day.
 Maddie decided that there was no way on this planet that she would let me mount up.  I am a stranger.  And that was not allowed! She did allow her own mum to mount up, but Laurie told me that Maddie will be doing a lot more mounting/dismounting practice this week!
 So, I got to ride Kate, whom I mentally nicknamed "the futon."  Kate is short.  Kate is cushy.  Kate is calm.  Riding Kate is about as thrilling as riding the futon in my living room.

And you know what?  I get enough "thrilling" rides from Fiddle.  Riding the cushy calm futon is just fine!
 Kate and I let Maddie lead (except when the trail got "scary", like there was a huge cement jersey barrier that might have been carniverous according to Maddie, so Steady Futon Kate got to lead past that).
 Laurie snagged my camera to get a picture of me on the Great Cushy One.  Isn't she pretty?
 Back in camp, Monica shows off the skill that she and Laurie practiced honing during the ride:  pulsing horses.  They were both very modest about their skill level at the start of the day, but by late afternoon, they were both stepping forward with confidence to take pulses.  Hooray!
 My little friend Nikki rode her adorable gelding 50 miles for the first time...
 ...and got pulled (lame) at the finish line.  Bummer!  Boogie will be getting more chiro treatments and more conditioning before he heads out for competition again.  He's such a nice little horse, I hope she can get him patched together again.
After the finish line:  Sirie consols herself with homemade rhubarb pie, and Patty celebrates a successful 50-miler with homemade rhubarb pie, and I enjoyed a teeny slice of rhubarb pie because I got to spend a nice day with nice people and nice horses. 

Isn't it nice when a single dessert can multi-task like that?

It's good, you know.


  1. You beat me to posting, but only because I wanted a picture of YOU!
    I LOVE your description of the "Great Cushy One!" Thanks for the ride!

  2. What a fun day :) Yay for Ryan, especially - drinking is especially close to my heart!

  3. Looks like a good time was had by almost all! At least we didn't have to drive to find sunshine! It greeted us outside our doors, here in Western, WA - for two Wonderful days!

  4. Jealous on so many levels.

  5. I am all about cushy, totally boring, non-scary rides. I'll take one every darn day. I've come to the realization that my horseback riding attitude is the same as my skiing attitude. I do not like to be scared. I'll hairpin down a long lazy hill all day. I have no need to be scaring the crap out of myself on black diamond trails. And I don't want to be on the edge with a horse either. I'm too old and life's too short.

  6. I love "The Futon," (LOL) That is exactly the kind of horse I'd like to have for my first endurance ride (someday).

    My boy Grif can be a little "funny" with strangers on him too. Since I have been his only rider most of his life, he gets a bit worried when someone else gets on. He usually wants to follow me and when the new rider doesn't let him do it -- he can sometimes throw these little mini tantrums. I've found that if he is allowed to follow me around for a few minutes with the "new" rider -- then he is usually o.k. with being asked to do something by a stranger (as long as he can still see me).

    It doesn't really bother me. I like that my boy is bonded to me and I don't routinely let others ride him -- so it works out.

    It's interesting tho- when I here of other horses that are similar about their people :)

  7. @C&G--Thank you for putting a positive spin on Maddie's behavior. I just thought she was being a poop! So now I can say it was all about how bonded she is to me. ;-D
    It's not just anyone I would put on her--I truly trusted Aarene to be her second rider. Both girls are still pretty green, but Maddie's a bit of a DQ. Kate, anyone one can potato around on (I even pony my grandkids around, and my hubby!)

  8. Lovely! So wonderful you all got to meet. It looks like a great day, and yes I'm now officially in love with the futon. She's a beautiful girl.

    Looks like super great ride that is totally deserving of some rhubarb pie!

  9. I've never had rhubarb pie, but sounds like it works wonders.
    Interesting how Maddie refused to let you on her back. I wonder if Fiddle would do the same to strangers, too?
    SFK looks like a nice relaxing ride. hehe!


  10. It's an interesting question, Lisa, about Fiddle. She's had plenty of other riders--Jim, of course, and also Maddie and Jill and Ryan and Jacqui. Dory got on her once during a lesson and Fee got SO MAD! But strangers

    This is a mare who tolerates vet poking just fine as long as I'm holding the leadrope (ready to deliver Certain Death if she doesn't behave her bad self) but she would be very difficult to steal. She has a very short list of people whom she thinks should be allowed to hold her leadrope.



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