Wednesday, October 21, 2020

WW: Autumn

It's been a bit slow around here since our much-enjoyed three day weekend earler this month. Still fitting in some riding, but our weather has been all over the map. This week has been rainy and gross, so enjoy photos from when it was NOT rainy and gross. 

Had a nice hack out on Ruby. Still just on our partial trail, but apparently the neighbor's trails are coming along and about ready to connect to ours. We need to lock the goats out of the summer wood lot so we can ride on the other section of trail we have again! Between the two properties there's about 40 acres, so the more trails we clear the more options we have :)

I also really need to brushhog this front "lane", it definitely never got done this year lol. 

We had a farrier make up day last week -- our previous appointment was scheduled the day after I tested positive for covid, so obviously we cancelled it, and this was the earliest I could get back on his schedule. Their feet weren't as bad as I expected for being three weeks overdue, but still nice to have that taken care of! While my farrier worked, I poked around in Jack's mouth to see how his gums had healed up after his second surgery... looking good!

I let Jack nose around in the bucket of alfalfa scraps while Cinna got done. He thought that was cool, she was annoyed she didn't get any. Also, I need to get some hooks to hang implements on and organize my barn aisle, lol. It's gotten messy this fall!

Saturday I went to a tack auction with a friend. I was interested in bidding on some of these metal sculptures, but the seller wasn't getting the prices they wanted on the smaller ones, so they yanked most of the big ones before anyone could bid, which was frustrating. If you want to sell your stuff at retail, open a retail store. Half the fun of auctions is the occasional wild bargain!

We sat wayyyy up in the bleachers to avoid the people crowding around the auction ring. 

I did nab this awesome pitchfork. Do I already own a teal pitchfork? Sure do. More than one actually. But you can never have too many! lol

I also didn't get a picture but my friend bought a tub full of miscellaneous stuff, and there was one of THESE in the bottom. She doesn't trail ride, and didn't have any use for it, so she gave it to me. I can't wait to see what Ruby things about it, although that ship may have sailed for the year and it may not need to come out until 2021. 

DH bought me fancy rum so I hit up mixmaster Jen for some cocktail ideas. This dark 'n stormy was so good that we've enjoyed it a few times now!

I'm avoiding turning the furnace on so for the two days that it didn't get above 40 and was gross and rainy, we had fires. The dogs approved. 

I've been trying to cut back on the online shopping (and have been marginally successful) but this shirt and cup were too good to pass up -- DH and I binged Yellowstone and are now OBSESSED. 

Another day, more happy pups enjoying a fire. 

So this is roughly the background of my desk when I'm on video meetings (which we're doing more of, so I had to buy an actual webcam). My coworker commented that it looked like I was working from a jungle. She was not wrong. There are NINETEEN plants between those two windows alone. I might need to do a post about our burgeoning plant addiction -- we went from having like two plants when we moved into the house to now having close to 40 (I got curious so I went and counted just for the purposes of this post lol). 

I guess that about wraps up my (never actually) wordless Wednesday! 

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

I Definitely Started It

If you saw Amanda's post yesterday, you already know I've been accused of basically being a drug dealer that introduced her to unicorn bridle padding that led her down a rabbit hole of possibly customizing a noseband with black sparkles for a bridle for Presto. You know what I have to say to that?

Although I guess if you want to get technical, you could blame the FB algorithm for making my comment show up in her feed. Or if you realllllllly want to get technical, you can blame Megan, since she's the one who showed me the photo of the unicorn bridle and then I decided I had to have it so I found her an even BETTER rainbow bridle so I didn't feel guilty about buying the first one out from under her. Friends don't let friends tack ho alone, I'm just sayin'.

Anyway. I digress. So yeah, I got another bridle. I can already hear you now "but Leah, don't you have enough bridles?" First of all, is there such a thing as enough bridles? Second of all, yes probably but I didn't have any unicorn bridles, so your argument is invalid. I *did* have unicorn stirrups, a unicorn bit, and unicorn spurs though, so this was a natural progression. Except my bit was already on a bridle and I didn't want to swap it, so I needed *another* bit... you see where this is going, right?
Yeah. That's where it was going. 

Conveniently enough, everything shipped out SUPER fast and miraculously all showed up at the same time yesterday -- yes I said all, clearly there was more than just a bridle and a bit, you'll just have to be patient about the rest haha. So on my lunch break, I was able to put this together and snap a few impromptu photos. Cinna, as you can see, was less than impressed. 

So subtle. So pretty. 

The browband that came on it was... not my taste. Too yellow and pink for me. 

So I swapped it out for a Topline I had sitting in my bin just waiting for a bridle.

"I don't get fed enough cookies for this shit"


Of course, the minute I got off work I went out to ride (and also see if I could get photos of the bridle with my stirrups, naturally). Do you know how hard it is to get a good photo of a wiggly horse that shows stirrups, bit, and subtle noseband padding? So. Uh. Yeah. My photos aren't great. But I had a really good ride and Cinna's entire outfit was on point so that made me smile. 

Not on my boots yet.  But someday.

Anyway. So I guess that's the story of how I definitely am a bad influence on Amanda and contributing to her buying sparkly tack. Again, all I have to say to that is... 

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Trail Adventures: Little Lost Creek Conservation Area

Monday ended up being a good trail day too! DH ended up having to go into work Sunday night (let's not talk about I'm still annoyed) and he got home around 4 am -- so he grabbed a few hours of sleep while I did all the chores in the morning, and then in the afternoon we set off to check out a new trail -- Little Lost Creek CA. It was under an hour away, and based on the Mo Trailblazing page, it sounded doable. 

You never know until you try, right? The drive to get there wasn't too hard, although we followed my GPS and not the directions on MoTB. I'm not sure that was a great idea in retrospect, because I think the parking lot the MoTB site was trying to take us to led to some easier trail. At any rate, the parking lot was plenty big for trailers, but there were several tents set up at the trail head billowing in the strong wind, which led to some bug eyes from the horses as we walked past it (the yapping chihuahua and kind of weird campers didn't help). The trail was mostly old logging roads, so it was plenty wide... but there was way more gravel than I expected. And it wasn't the nice all-weather small gravel like at the Katy or at Ruudolf Bennitt, it was like road gravel. And the reason I don't ride my horses much on the gravel roads by my house is they get ouchy on the big gravel. We managed to skirt the edges for a while and keep the horses comfortable, but then the trail went down a pretty significant incline with a huge drop-off on the far side. By this point, DH was starting to grumble.

The fall colors were nice though!

Me thinking "hey this isn't so bad!"

It was a beautiful overlook if you could handle not thinking about the drop, haha. 

Trying to get a photo to show the incline didn't work too well. 

We got to the bottom finally, crossed a (dry) creekbed, and then made it to a wide grassy lane where we stopped to let the horses snack for a moment. Down in the valley the wind had stopped, the sun was shining, and it started feeling like the perfect fall day!

Few more nice fall colors. 

Down the dry creek bed

The other direction


Unfortunately that was pretty much the most enjoyable part of the trail... lol. We came to an even wider dry creek bed (presumably Little Lost Creek?), which I'm sure would be actually lovely to cross during a time we weren't in a borderline drought. I wanted to walk down around the bend where I could see some water, but DH was grumbling about the rocks again so we forged ahead. We came to some trail splits indicating one direction went to another parking lot, so we took the other one that we assumed led to a trail loop. It ended up taking us up some winding less than singletrack (I joked that it was 1/4 track) and up a steep, steep rocky grade. Ruby was pretty game, but DH felt like his weight was too much for Trigger about halfway up so he ended up getting off and hand walking him up the rest of the way. At the top, we had nice trail briefly again before we came upon... logging? There was large machinery and STACKS AND STACKS of logs. And it wasn't thoughtful logging, it was straight up strip logging. That was about the time I thought "huh maybe we wandered off conservation land, because I can't imagine them doing this?" GPS still showed we were in the CA for part of it, but then we definitely left the boundaries and had to backtrack -- I wasn't interested in wandering around on someone's private property!
Little Lost Creek I think?

I'm sure it's beautiful with water in it!

Ruby totally game to go explore up the creekbed if that's what I asked for. 

The beginnings of the singletrack

The colors were great at least!

I still feel like photos don't do the grade any justice, it was steep. 

Giant log dragger

You can kind of see the stacks of logs in the distance

Strip logged land. It looked rough. 

I mean, at least we had a nice road to walk on?

DH for scale, after we turned around to backtrack. 

Since what goes up must come down, we got to tackle the singletrack the other way -- DH hand walked part of it out of concern for Trigger (I do think he was being a bit melodramatic about it, the horses were fine), but I rode the whole thing. Ruby was very methodical about where she placed her feet so I let her have her head and stayed out of her way. The angle of the sun meant the fall leaves looked even more glorious this way -- sorry not sorry for the spam!

Hand walking their way down

Picking her way carefully. 

I mean we were definitely on the right trail. 

Ruby really wanted to jump this but I made her walk over it. 

We carefully continued to backtrack, stopping for a while in the grassy lane to let the horses graze for a while and rest before we prepared to head back up the steep ascent to get back to the trailer. 
mmmmm snackies

nom nom nom.
This is why I love trail riding in this sidepull, don't have to worry about cleaning grass off the bit later lol. 
I still wish any of the photos showed the scenic overlook well -- it was beautiful, if a little dizzying. 

That's where we parked -- apparently there was also a North Hwy B lot, and some lots over on EE. 

Ultimately, I think I would have felt a lot better about taking the horses on this trail if they were shod or if they had boots (which is on my to do list actually, and just got moved further up). I think the steep climbs and descents were probably a little more than I would want to ask Trigger to do on a regular basis -- particularly if it was at all warm (it was only about 65/70 Monday so they didn't work up much of a sweat). The pro of this trail though was no bikers or pedestrians (I guess you might occasionally run into a hiker, but aside from the weirdos at the trailhead, we didn't see another soul). However, I think I would definitely come back here if the horses had boots, and if I could cajole DH into riding Ruby while I rode Cinna -- they're both young and fit enough that the trail wouldn't be an issue for them if they had good footwear. So not writing this off our list for the future, just probably won't be back right away :) also might try parking at a different trailhead next time!

The horses getting ready to enjoy a well-deserved round bale back at the house!