Showing posts from September, 2016

In which there's a party and ten big fat turkeys will be delicious

Although most Americans celebrate Thanksgiving as a kind of harvest feast, I've learned that many people prefer not to think about the process of harvesting all the stuff that lands on the table in late November.

If you are among those who prefer to think of turkeys as a food that starts and finishes at the corner deli or in the freezer compartment at Costco or is best shown wrapped in waxed paper, fear not.

Whenever any of us at the harvest party felt like they didn't want to see or hear the goings on, we would sing.

So here is a song.  Click on the song, sing along, and quit reading this post.

Come back here in a few days, and I'll have more pictures of ponies and stuff.

It's okay: you won't hurt my feelings.

If you are interested in the process, perhaps considering raising your own meat, and want to see the not-terribly-ookie pictures and narrative, follow after the jump.

This is before the jump.

In which I ride my mare, and think about bikes, and ride my good mare more

Since that nice ride with Jason the other day, I've been thinking more about bicycles.

I've been gathering information from mountain bikers about horse/bike interactions, about what they like and what they don't like, and talking about what they can do to help us, and the other way 'round.
Of course, with me, this will eventually lead to some kind of article.  I'd love to do a two-part article of "what bikers wish equestrians knew" and "what equestrians wish bikers knew" but I need to keep thinking.

With that in mind, I did what I always do:

Since I'm thinking about bikes as I ride my horse, I try to see the trails as bike riders see them.

Many of the trails I rode today are deeply eroded.  The combination of soft dirt and sandy soil plus trails that are too steep results in deep gullys when the rain falls and runs down the center of the trail.  
Watch for steep banks on both sides of the trail in the video (below):

Bicycles don't mind swooping …

In which Jason rides along with us and helps our horses learn new skills

Duana's husband Jason is a hardcore mountain biker currently recovering from shoulder surgery.
He wanted to come along on our Sunday Trot, and we were happy to have him.

Well, the riders were happy to have him along.  The horses, especially Fiddle, were deeply dubious and slightly knotheaded about having a bicycle in the group.  
We started with Jason behind the horses by six or seven lengths, but that was too "predatory," according to the Dragon.  
Okay, then.

We know that the horses aren't afraid of bikes on the trail, and we know that they aren't afraid of Jason (Fee saw J in the parking lot and immediately picked up a front foot as a "trick" so he would feed her a cookie).

So, we moved the pieces around, and put Jason in front.

With the bicycle in front, we can approach at our own speed.


the bicycle became part of the herd.  
 We played the "Pass-me/Pass-you" game.  Jason zoomed down hills, and we zoomed up them.

And best of all, dur…

In which un-marking a trail goes quicker than building (or riding) it!

I have written many times about the effort that goes into building and preparing a trail for an endurance ride.  There are links HERE (2010)HERE (2013)  and  HERE (2015).
But so far, I haven't written about the process of taking a ride apart after the event.  So, here ya go.

The citizens in Spokane are very protective of the excellent trail system at Riverside State Park.  I don't blame them--it's a beautiful park.

HOWEVER, when people take it upon themselves to TAKE DOWN THE RIBBONS THE DAY BEFORE A RIDE they cross the line from "helpful citizens" to "deliberate saboteurs."

And seriously, it's not needed.

Fifteen minutes after the last riders cleared the northernmost loops at the Mt Spokane/Riverside ride last weekend, Santa Jim and I began taking the markers down.

The signs we post at trailheads and major trail intersections say that all ribbons, lime marks, manure and water tanks will be removed by two days after the event...but that's an …