Saturday, June 22, 2013

In which we've all headed for the hills. Back soon. Please leave a message. Beeeeep!

It's that time of year again.

Renegade Rendezvous trail 2011.  Photo by Madeline Smart
We'll be in camp through the end of the month, and will have very limited access to stuff like wifi...and running water....


it's good.

That's why.

Friday, June 21, 2013

In which our nest is rarely empty for long : we have a new lil' chick

"This is the first year in more than a decade that we aren't bringing a kid to camp!"

Yes, the Dragon is helping me teach a few basic skills to a beginner.
Say with me now:  "Ohhhh.  Ahhh.  Ohhhhh."

My mom heard me lamenting at a recent graduation party.  For many years we've taken kids to camp with us to build trails before the Renegade Rendezvous ride.  First it was Maddy and Jill, and later Sirie, and then Will and Lisa.

Fiddle made sure that the kid learned this very important skill:  "FOOoooooOOOD!"

But now all those chicks are grown and flown...where could we find another kid to take to camp with us?

My mom pointed to my youngest niece:

Cassidy is 14 years old - the perfect age!

"Why don't you take that one?" she asked.

Dory demonstrates a skill, and then lets a student practice
on a patient school horse like G-man

Cassidy's mom squeaked a bit at the suggestion that Jim and I would take her youngest child into the untracked wilderness with a bunch of wild equines and possibly wild equestrians

Walking, turning, walking again

...but this morning they all showed up on the doorstep, ready to gain skills that will be useful in camp.
Trepidation? Mama and Granny in the background

Within a short time, Dory got Cassidy comfortable with some basic horse-girl skills.  Not just grooming,

Cleaning up a white horse.  Ha!  Glad I don't have to do it!

but also endurance-specific skills like taking a horse for a trot-out

Good form in the trot out!

and taking a pulse.

Assisted pulse-taking

Cass caught on quickly.  Then,

Pulsing solo

it was time to ride!

Carrying the saddle is the first major test of strength

 Saddle up...

hop aboard...
first on a longe line, and then solo

...and GO!

I'm sure that Becky still fondly remembers this exercise.

When we got home, we packed up the SS Illegible.  Tomorrow, we leave for camp!

The floofs want to be sure we pack plenty of floof-food.

But tonight

Puzzle the cat endorses this book:  Endurance 101, of course!

...there still time to learn a little more.

See y'all at the Renegade Rendezvous!!!!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

In which our youngest chick is fledged and flown away (for a little while)

It doesn't seem so long ago that Lisa joined us at Haiku Farm.

Day #2 at Haiku Farm, August 2010.

Since coming here, she's learned to work

Painting the new barn, winter 2011.

and ride

First riding lesson.
 and play

Picking punkins, 2011.

and work some more.

Building trails with the family, 2012.

And now

The kitty does not approve of cat-packing

she's off for a 2-month visit back to Korea to visit family and friends.

Travel safely, little bird.  We miss you already.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

In which we go riding and it's good. So what else is new? (not a thing!)

Blue skies above, so we assembled the Usual Suspects 
earlier-than-usual this morning.

The Very Bright Colors are the clue: endurance horses here!

We have horses in all levels of maturity and fitness in the gang right now, so we divided into logical groups and headed out. 

Oh!  What a beautiful morning!

We split up and rejoined groups a couple of times during the ride.  Dean mostly rode solo on Horus, who is getting prepped for the National Championship ride this fall, so he took the longer, faster trails.  

We weren't the only ones out enjoying the day--
note the hikers at 10 o'clock!

Ariana's shoes are at the end of their usefulness, and Flower 

Our little Flower is growing up fast!

has been under saddle for less than 4 months, so they took the semi-short route.  

There must be a song somewhere about a pretty red horse and a pretty little daisy.
Anyone wanna try to sing?

Hana is ready for a bigger challenge, so (with flowers jauntily woven into her mane) she and Duana partnered up with Fiddle and me for the middle part of our ride.

We did a nice, long, loop of a trail--about 15.5 miles in all.  Lots of hills, but also

Fee's favorite trails are twisty-winding trails through the woods

lots of trails.

And at the end of the trail (right before we rejoin the group back at the trailers)



It's good.  

You know I'm right about this.