Showing posts from August, 2015

In which we're packing for a (non-horse) road trip, so here's a video

A few months ago, Santa Jim asked (very sweetly) if we might go camping  without the horse this summer.

As focused as I am on riding this season (while I still can*), I cannot say "no" to that good man**

So, we're packing the rig*** to go down to a non-smokey part of the state for a camping weekend with the two younger dogs**** and without the Dragon*****

Here's some video I took on the trail today.  Please note that I hold onto the camera with both hands while shooting video (yes, I know, I need a GoPro!******) so the Dragon is making all the choices as we trot up this trail.

Enjoy.  I'll meet y'all back here next week.

*   My organic hip has not fallen apart yet.  I got an injection 2 weeks ago that is helping...some...

**  Could you say "no" to Santa?  Me neither.

***  The truck is never completely unpacked during ride season.  We take out our laundry and the food in the cooler.  Everything else lives in the truck until November.

****   Luna will…

In which smoke gets in our eyes...and tack, and clothing, and hair...and our lungs

I haven't talked much about this season's wildfires, because they really aren't very close to us.
The nearest of the fires is about 60 miles away, in the Newhalem area.  But the smoke is here.

It's hot here, still, partly because the smoke traps the heat. 80 degrees in August isn't unheard of, but it's really unusual to have so much heat for so long.  Everything is very, very dry.

The air quality isn't horrific, but Fee and I were not inclined to go zooming around with all this particulate floating at head height.  So, we explored.

When we're training with the Suspects, we tend to stay on the main track.  The footing is good, and we all know where we're going.

 With everything so dry, however, erosion of delicate trail tread isn't really an issue.  So Fiddle and I wandered around, checking out alternate routes to our usual destinations and taking lots of pictures.

I did make a point of going up to the Monument.  I wanted to see how hazed-over t…

In which it's a Goldilocks day for riding: not too hot, not too cold

I haven't written much about training rides lately

mostly because I haven't done a lot of "training rides" this summer.

Fiddle and I have completed 330 miles in competition so far this year, and also logged quite a few trail-building miles.  At this point in her career, the Dragon has the trail skills she needs to gracefully handle all kinds of terrain, and she doesn't need to build fitness. 

At age 13, with nearly 1000 miles of competition and at least triple that plonking around local trails, what my mare needs a lot of this summer is rest.
Real rest,  meaning no hill work, no speed work, no agility work.
All summer, our between-ride excursions have generally been casual jaunts with a friend or two, covering 7-10 miles in a couple of hours.  No hurry, no scurry.  

She's only been out twice since our 50-mile completion at Bare Bones on August 1st, and both of those rides were short and casual.  
She had a chiropractic exam and adjustment yesterday, and Dr Feh…

In which the garden does what the garden always does here in August

Stand back, y'all.

It's time for the annual Garden Explosion!
Our weird little hybrid squashes continue to look like something out of a 1970's Sprite commercial.

The plums aren't quite ripe yet.

I picked about a dozen over-achieving plums today, but the majority will start getting ready over the weekend.

Elsewhere on the farm, there are beans.

 Our orchard apples are booming.  These apples aren't very tasty for anything but applesauce, but the horses, goats, and poultry happily stuff themselves with windfalls at every opportunity.

Chicken Twelve has resigned herself to captivity, finally (in years past she has scorned fences and gates, and preferred to wander unhindered around the property),

so it's possible that we will actually be able to harvest grapes this year.

And then, there are the Pumpkins.

This has been an extraordinary year for pumpkins.  Long hot days.  Regular water (thanks to a timer on the garden sprinklers), and cool-but-not-cold nights.  This wi…

In which Rosemary Green Bean is our Guest Author for today's blog post

Aarene's note: Rosemary and Griffin have come a long way since Fee and I met up with them for a ride back in 2013. Recently, they attended their second distance event at the Bare Bones ride in Olympia WA, and I asked Rosemary to write an account of their adventures.  Here's her report.

We finally got to enjoy a second endurance ride! 
Our first ride was our adventurous ride at Mt. Adams last year. 

Griffin and I parted company after about 5 miles and he gaily ran back to the vet check leaving me to do a 4 mile walk of shame. Meanwhile, my daring daughter caught my horse and rode him back out into the wilderness to find me. Reunited, we rode on, missed the way three times, and eventually finished the 30 mile LD with a few minutes to spare.
I fully intended to ride again last year... but life just kept on getting in the way... work, weddings, funerals, ear surgery for Griffin, a trip home to England for me... and before we knew it, the end of the season had come with no …

In which we complete another ride by the Grace of God (Inshallah!)

This post is a bit overdue, but stuff keeps coming up.  Good stuff!  But stuff.  And...well, anyway, here's the ride report from Bare Bones.

We started in the dark.
Patty is on the Disabled List for another week after getting her arm and shoulder yanked around by a fractious horse at Renegade, so she stood by the start line with her camera ready.  Fiddle and I trot by at about :26   you can see the camera following the red light fixed to the back of my helmet.

Temps for the day were forecast for the high 90's, and we wanted to get out and cover some miles before it got too hot to move.

(During the ride we ended up talking about...all kinds of crazy stuff that isn't even horse related--much--and the phrase Inshallah came up.  It's an Arabic thing that people append reverently to all kinds of sentences, meaning, "if it's God's Will"  and culturally translating to "Lor' willin' an' de crick don' rise."  You can see that Inshalla…