Showing posts from March, 2019

In which Spring has sprung and it's about dang time: riding and garden stuff

"I was hoping you'd be heading out from here today!"  called Linda when she met me on the trail Friday afternoon.

Linda lives near the trailhead, and she's retired now so she rides a lot more often than I do.

 But we don't get to ride together nearly as often as I'd like.

Linda has been riding these trails for donkey's years, and she knows lots of stories about the folks around here, which I love.

Sunday was a totally different ride.

Lucia and Jennifer and I have been trying to arrange a trailhead meetup since last September! 

They are both pursuing endurance-esque goals this year, and wanted some pointers.  I'm all about helping greenbeans get started, and these two have taken good early steps.  Yay!

All together, I think the Dragon and I covered 14 or 15 miles over the weekend.  Not a lot of miles, but they were pleasant, and not freezing cold, and she was grateful to see somebody besides me and her goats!

Back home, it's time to wake up the farm.

In which our winter is (mostly) gone, and early spring is (mostly) here!

The iceberg created by Jim's tractor during the February Sn*wmageddon is mostly melted away now.

Seriously, there are still patches of sn*w and ice around.  Even people who enjoy winter were looking a little grim last week.

Then, suddenly:  the earliest signs of Spring are appearing!

Domestic crocuses are showing up around town. 
A few chickadees were zinging around the orchard. 
No swamp tulips yet, but soon maybe? 

Because, yesterday on the trail, I heard this:

For people who are not native Swamplanders, the title of the clip (above) may be puzzling.  The frog part is obvious...

...but what about the beer?

All Swamplanders worth their webbed fingers and toes know the connection between frogs and beer,

just as well as they know how to "do the Puyallup."

And now, my dear non-natives, you know it too.

(Sorry about the song that is now stuck in your head.  Drink a beer, maybe it will go away?)

In which I talk (again) about what you can train for (and what you can't)

I'm back on the laptop today, because I want to post a video, and YouTube refuses to share videos with Blogger.
There was a know-it-all on social media this morning (big surprise, right?) pontificating (as one does?) in response to this picture:

"...blah blah blah if you meet a motorcycle or a mountain bike YOU HAVE TO TRAIN YOUR HORSE IN ADVANCE, YOU ARE RESPONSIBLEnot their fault if your horses isn't trained, blah blah blah."

Of course I believe in training horses to cope with new, weird stuff.  
But it's no good to pretend that teaching your young horse to accept your spouse on a bicycle in the driveway is gonna help when you encounter an entire flight of mountain bikes zooming silently down a hill towards you...meh.  Real life doesn't work that way.  Horses don't work that way.

I've talked about this before, most notably in regards to helicopters.
There are tons of things on the trail that I don't have available for practice at home.  Today, we …

In which my tablet is used to build this post (more prep for the Cross-State)

Darlene made the excellent point that I don't talk much about what a nice horse the Dragon has become. 
I really need to do that.

It's really true: in the 12+ years we've been together, the Dragon had changed from being an (extremely) angry toddler

to being a steady mount in the arena

and most importantly, completely amazing on the trail.

What changed?

The first thing we did was enforce rules and boundaries.

This mare likes rules and boundaries--sometimes, she tests them, just to make sure they are still there, because she finds them comforting.

So, training and lots of it.  Not just dressage and trails, either.  Tricks were important to help her learn to watch me for cues and value my praise (erm, and the cookies in my pockets.  Bridging praise is important!)

Eventually we hit a plateau: very little behavioral improvement. That, plus her perpetual heat cycles, led us to choose an ovariectomy for her.

The result of the spay procedure was more than I dared hope: her chronic …

In which I try another phone-based post (this time with a blogger app)

Today I'm trying out a phone blogger app by a developer called "Ercan Ducan".

Darlene met me at the Victoria trail for a ride. Neither of us expected THIS MUCH SN*W!

Another thing we didn't anticipate: the "horse trailer rig" parking lot was full of CARS. Grrr.  

I considered leaving a nice wet pile of manure near the driver door of each intruder but settled for a polite note on each windshield AND inside the porta-potty.

Darlene and I talked a lot about the X-State ride, as she's planning to go too! I told her what I learned from the BCH folks in Pt Townsend.  We were both happy that apparently there are "mounting rocks" near most of the gates!

There are so many details of the trip to settle, and seek, we leave in just-over two months. I guess that Darlene and I will just have to ride together more and more! (Sounds like fun to me!)

In which I attempt to level up my blogger skills: posting by phone

Once again, we woke to sn*w on the ground, and more still falling.

I have places to go today!  But the nasty stuff did (mostly) melt, and I made my escape.

I missed the first boat and parked in the "standby" line for the 2:45 sailing. With more than an hour to wait, there was plenty of time to explore.

The blue sky is so welcome.

Adjacent the ferry terminal: a state historical park.

Once ashore, I got distracted by a directional sign...

The Pt Townsend library is pretty, and decently useable, which is high praise for a 100-year old concrete building in the Swamp.

Here's the reason (excuse) for my journey: an Endurance 101 presentation for the Buckhorn Range chapter of the Backcountry Horse men people. Theresa is their Prez, and my host--and the former director of the Pt Townsend library!