Tuesday, June 15, 2021

MDW: Indian Camp Creek

Apparently all my finger crossing worked, because when I got up Sunday morning and checked the rainout line, Indian Camp Creek was open! We made plans over waffles for breakfast, and then those plans were slightly delayed because DH decided (despite being told it could wait) that he wanted to install my trailer camera RIGHT THEN. So we ended up getting a later start than I wanted, but it worked out fine :) DH decided to join us, since the weather was unseasonably lovely again. Also I think it makes him twitch when I take the truck and trailer out alone because he has an overactive imagination and always thinks something bad will happen to me if he's not there, haha. Probably not helped in this instance by him being concerned about T riding Cinna and she devilishly messing with him when we got back Saturday -- he asked how things went and she deadpanned and told him she only fell off 5 times. HIS FACE oh my god, lol. 

Had to wake Ruby up from her nap to get her on the trailer. 

We played musical saddles - one of the billets had snapped off my dressage saddle the day before (oops!), so I put T up on Cinna in my western saddle, and I rode in my alta escuela saddle. I also FINALLY got a chance to try out the riding fly sheet I picked up last fall! I didn't have D-rings in the right place for the rump piece, and ended up pulling it off halfway through, but the neck piece worked well!


My happy place with my horses and friends and hubby!

Thankfully since it was cooler, far less people in the creeks to try to get the horses by.

This is where our day got interesting. 

If you follow me on social media, you probably already saw this episode, but this was definitely the most excitement we've ever had out trail riding. Crossing the road into a section where the trail ran through a big open field, a bicyclist stopped us to tell us there was a rider down and hurt on the trail in front of us, and that he was waiting to flag the ambulance down to send them up to get him, because the rider couldn't walk. About that time we could hear sirens, and we decided the best thing to do would probably be get PAST the riders and further onto the trail so we weren't in anyone's way -- trained medical professionals were almost there, so we figured nobody needed us..... right? Except then my husband, ever the hero, decided we should stop and offer to hold the horses for the wife while they loaded the husband up in the ambulance, so T dismounted and held Trigger and Cinna at a safe distance, while I stayed on Ruby (I wasn't sure I could get back on from the ground with her height/the Spanish saddle!). On the plus side.... the horses got quite the free desensitization session. Although apparently EMS also sent a helicopter, because they weren't sure the ambulance could reach the rider -- thankfully it could and they called off the chopper. I can only imagine what my horses would have thought of a helicopter landing in front of them!

DH holding their horses off to the right. 

Ruby, super interested in all the commotion. 

They sent a firetruck, an aid car, an ambulance, the battalion chief's SUV, and something else that I didn't get a good look at (up on the road). 

Cinna was also super interested in what was going on. 

Eventually they got the guy loaded up and on his way. Luckily his daughter and granddaughter were hiking nearby, so the wife called them to come take the horses back to the parking lot so she could go directly to the hospital. The daughter and granddaughter had a little bit of horse experience, but the horse that tossed the guy was a bit of a handful, so we offered to give them a lead back to the trailhead. It went okay for a while, but then we crossed the road and they decided that would be a more direct route to the trailhead -- which was fine, except I wasn't going to ride my horses along that road because I know how people drive in the park. So we wished them good luck and kept following the trail (side note, even with stopping to play in the creek for a while, we still arrived back at the trail head only a few minutes after they did, so I'm not sure it was much faster to take the road, but whatever, not my circus not my monkeys). We were prepared to offer to help them load, but they managed, and got back on the road. I hope everything turned out okay, but in all the commotion I didn't think to try to get contact info to follow up (also I guess it wasn't really any of our business but I am curious!). 

Hanging out in the creek letting the horses cool off before we took them home. 

Ruby didn't want to leave. 

I warned T about Cinna's propensity to roll in the creek so she kept her moving enough to not get soaked, lol. 

Aren't they precious? <3

Not bad time considering we had to wait like 40 minutes for the ambulance incident. 

We got back a little later than I planned since we spent quite a while waiting for the ambulance, but luckily it was a long weekend so we didn't have to worry about getting up early Monday :) we invited my mom over and had a nice little Memorial Day BBQ that evening. T had to leave early the next morning to drive home, but hopefully now that she lives in reasonable driving distance we can do this more often! And hopefully maybe I can haul Ruby up to see her and Karma and take them out on adventures up where she lives! :)

Monday, June 14, 2021

MDW: Rudolf Bennitt Conservation Area

OK I am the actual worst, since I've had the photos sitting in a draft post for weeks and just needed to WRITE about them, but I've been so exhausted from work and just general life things that the amount of #effor it takes to come put words in here was just too much. Sorry not sorry, lol. Anyway, Memorial Day weekend was AMAZING, because T came to visit me! Friday was a bit of a manic day, we had to find a car for DH because the insurance company wanted the rental back (don't even get me started on what a shitshow this has been, we are STILL fighting with the other insurance company about paying medical bills), so we were up and at 'em early to try to find something before T was due in from her drive. Let me tell you, it's not a picnic car shopping with a very specific list of needs and not huge budget in this market. Used cars are up like 30-50%+ from this time last year, which makes me even madder about the idiot who totaled DH's car, ugh. We mostly succeeded -- I finished signing paperwork and left DH at the dealership and T only beat me to the house by like... 5 minutes, lol. Naturally she was in the barn taking selfies with the ponies before I got there, haha. Friday night we just yakked and cuddled noodles and drank margaritas - yum!

Cici was a MASSIVE fan of T and would like her to stay here 24/7 plz. I concur Cici, I concur. 

Saturday morning DH made us a big breakfast before we set off on our adventure!

It was still a little too wet to ride at Indian Camp Creek (I checked the rainout line as soon as I woke up, boooo), but I figured we could head up to Rudolf Bennitt Conservation Area. I paged through some of my older posts about it to refresh my memories of the parking lots, but I decided to follow the instructions on the Missouri Trailblazinbg page instead of my GPS (mistake, but I didn't know that at the time lol). We got the tack and horses loaded in short order and hit the road! 

Unfortunately, when we got there, it was a parking lot I'd never been to full of some.... ermmmm.... real sketch locals camping for the holiday weekend. We stuck out like sore thumbs on my Spanish mares, with me in a western saddle and breeches and T in full dressage tack, lol. I think they were mostly confused by our helmets? Then we couldn't find the trailhead, despite asking every person in the parking lot (turns out it was like 20 feet into the woods behind one of the trailers and we were basically on top of it when we asked the people in that trailer if they knew where it was and they played dumb, thanks assholes). So we ended up striking off down the gravel road, because we'd passed a trail crossing. Thankfully we didn't pass much traffic and were able to finally get on the trail!
Road riding. 

Cinna was pretty amped to be out!

Finally on the trail

Having fun!

We ran into several groups (actually the same two groups twice, ha), and it was about an equal split of super intoxicated people, and people who had 0 control of their horses (or mules).... so. Definitely an adventure. But I pulled up a trail map and we didn't have much trouble following a big loop, and the weather was blessedly LOVELY and the bugs were minimal, so the horses were happy as clams. 

We even got to ride past the lake, which is my favorite :)

Baby horse even led for a bit!

Tired and ready to go home post-ride. 

I backed the rig into a parking space and was pretty proud of myself, lol. 

Our ride. 

T got the full experience of backwoods Missouri redneck trails and riders (including a super hammered lady almost falling into the portapotty and 2 young kids coming to retrieve her/carry her back to her campsite at like TWO IN THE AFTERNOON), but apparently we didn't scare her away, because she was ready to go out again the next day!

Friday, June 4, 2021

Peace of Mind: Trailer Camera

For my birthday this year, DH actually knocked it out of the park with the gift, and my involvement was minimal - miraculous! A few weeks ago we were sitting on the front porch enjoying coffee when he handed me his phone and asked if I thought this would work for a trailer camera. I've mentioned wanting them a few times, and I had a few systems on my Amazon wish list (usually put there after yet another friend got one installed and raved about it lol), but most of the ones I had on my list were wireless, and he preferred one that was hardwired in. I paged through the reviews (including one from someone using it as a horse trailer camera), said I thought it sounded good, and that I was totally fine with this system if I didn't have to help install it (I'm sure you can imagine how that went lol). 

So he went ahead and ordered it, and it arrived the Friday of MDW. We had both taken off work that day to car shop (trying to replace his commuter car that was totaled in the accident a few weeks back and MAN THE USED CAR MARKET IS NUTS), and I planned to use the truck and trailer both days that weekend, so I sort of assumed it would be a little while until it got installed (which was fine, my birthday isn't until next week). But to my surprise, Sunday morning he got up and went outside and starting installing it while I was making breakfast -- he did most of the work solo, and towards the end there were a few parts that were easier with two hands, so I went out and helped a bit -- plus he needed me to okay the camera placement in the trailer :)
He was really obsessive about running the wires through the dash so you couldn't see them, but weirdly unconcerned about actually screwing the monitor in, haha. 

As with any project my husband does, about halfway through he got annoyed, and there was plenty of cursing under his breath and the occasional tossed tool, but by the end he had it working perfectly! The monitor in the truck comes on when you start the truck (but can be turned off), defaults to the trailer camera (when it's hooked up), and when you put the truck in reverse it switches to the camera on the back bumper (which I'll get lots of use out of when the trailer is unhooked, since LONGBOI IS LONG and backing it is pretty intimidating lol). The instructions that came with the camera were.... not great, and they referred you to a YouTube video that didn't actually exist, so some of it was trial and error. I emailed the company and they did send me an updated link, but by that point DH had already figured it out. But I guess if anyone else buys this exact same system, let me know if you need the link! lol
On the maiden voyage on Sunday! About 30 seconds after I took this picture, Cinna tried to put her head over the divider to mess with Trigger, so the camera immediately alerted me to the fact that I needed to shorten her trailer tie lol. 

Camera in the trailer.

That plug to the trailer camera, so now I have to plug in the lights and the trailer.

Camera on the bumper.

Making good use of the backup cam to put LONGBOI in the garage 😂

This is one of those things I've been meaning to do for AGES so I'm really glad it's all set up! It's so nice to be able to glance over and see the horses just chillaxing during the drive. 

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Too Tired Tuesday

I need a weekend to recover from my weekend 😴 Sneak peeks from an amazing MDW! 

Also exhausted after their long weekend 😆

Hopefully I have the energy to get caught up soon!