Monday, November 29, 2021

Opt Outside! A Black Friday Trail Adventure

I'm trying to get a little better about tentatively planning trail rides a few days in advance, so I can meet up with friends :) last Wednesday the weather forecast for Black Friday looked promising, so I tossed up an open invitation to meet up on Facebook. Had some interest, so when Friday dawned and looked even better than expected, I was thrilled! I checked in with a few folks, and ended up making plans with a local friend (who made a few appearances on the blog in the past when she came out to give me lessons). DH had other plans, so it was easy to offer her the ride on literally any of mine, and naturally she picked Ruby ;) that was perfect, because I knew I needed to get Cinna out, and I knew my friend wouldn't be phased by any baby brain moments we had, while providing Ruby as a steadying influence. I threw a variety of tack in the trailer, grabbed a few water bottles, and then when she showed up around noon we tossed the horses on the trailer and hit the road! I had originally planned to go to Three Creeks because it's more local for my friends in that area, so we stuck to the plan even though no one else was meeting us. The drive passed quickly, as we gabbed and gabbed about all things horses! (Man it's times like that I miss boarding because I LIVE for conversations like that!)

We tacked up quickly (both in western saddles for the true Missouri experience, lol), and hit the trails! There had been a little rain earlier in the week, so there were a few slick and muddy spots, but we were in no hurry and just let the horses navigate them carefully. Cinna realllllly wanted to lead but she also wanted to slam on the brakes anytime she saw anything mildly concerning (aka very frequently), so we ended up riding the majority of the trail side by side, which worked out well - doubly well for ease of conversation, as we kept gabbing the whole way 不 seriously my voice was tired Saturday, lol. 

We stopped to let the horses play in the creeks, since they both love it. Ruby loves to just hang out, Cinna want to splash around - I tried to keep the splashing to a minimum because even though it was lovely November weather (sunny and 50), I did NOT want to go swimming! Haha

They actually touched noses and shared some cookies without any squealing, and aside from Ruby occasionally pinning her ears at Cinna, there was no mare drama lol. 

One of my goals for this ride was to go check out the cave! I have seen SO MANY photos of it, but somehow managed to miss it on all my previous rides, haha (#talent). Lucky my friend was amenable to this plan, and not only did we find it, but we took the horses right up to the mouth of it - cinna was ENTRANCED. She's so funny about the things that do/don't scare her. She was totally fine when Ruby was up with her, but when I asked her to stand while my friend backtracked a bit to get a good photo of us, she got antsy for a minute. She did settle again, and that was really the extent of her sassiness on the entire ride - that, and a desire to be plastered on Ruby's butt any time we rode single file lol. 

"Hai yes am good girl, plz to insert snax?"

Ruby being her normal amazing self. 

The cave!

The weather was just so unbelievable!

Watching our 6 不

We ended up riding for a little under 3 hours, and covered almost 8.5 miles (according to equilab). We definitely spent a lot of time just stopped hanging out (in the creek, at the cave, and then when we were trying to pass a group of people in the woods doing god knows what (when we started to walk up there was a guy carrying a huge log that he then THREW into the creek, which the horses were not amused by). My Garmin thought I climbed 42 flights of stairs, if that gives you any indication of some of the elevation we (the horses lol) covered. The girls were still perky with pep in their step when we returned to the trailer, even if they were a smidge sweaty (Cinna more so than Ruby, since Ruby is at least partially clipped). They loaded back up like champs and dug into their hay for the ride home - my friend was super helpful getting them turned back out until dinner and getting the trailer cleaned up (leaving it hooked since I had a lesson the following morning). Hopefully we'll get to do it again soon! She has a super busy schedule, but doesn't mind me periodically bugging her even when she can't go, which is perfect, haha. And it was particularly nice to get both the girls out! When push comes to shove I normally pick Ruby for trail rides, because she LOVES the trails and is just so easy to ride out there, but Cinna is the one who needs the miles more. So this was the best of both worlds :) and I got to have great conversation the whole time! Much as I love DH he doesn't want to talk the entire ride dissecting riding theory and talking about trainers and dressage and horse things 不 all in all, a blissful way to opt outside on a gorgeous fall day! 

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

WW: Life is Short... the boots. Buy more boots. Start a boot collection. Order teal laces for the boots!

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

WW: Impulse Clip Job

 Blogger inserted these backwards again 丹‍♀️丹‍♀️丹‍♀️丹‍♀️

I mean... Not the worst job? 不

Aiming for a semblance of straight lines 

Committed now, no turning back 不

"I guess if there are cookies involved, fine"

"What are you doing crazy human?"

Monday, November 15, 2021

Trail Adventures: Three Creeks Conservation Area

In the week prior to Veterans Day, I had been eagerly watching the weather. Between the show, lessons, and other weekend obligations, we haven't been out on the trails nearly as much this fall as I like! I was hoping that having a mid-week state holiday would give us a chance to get out on the trails when they weren't too crowded, but the forecast looked relatively dismal. Finally, the day before, I checked the forecast one last time and they had finally taken most of the rain out of the forecast, and it looked like it might be decent! DH had some stuff he wanted to accomplish around the property first, so we got up and got to work first thing in the morning so we could take the afternoon off guilt-free! While he chopped firewood with the neighbor, I did a billion loads of laundry, drained the hot tub, scrubbed the shit out of it, refilled it, and took care of the rest of the farm chores. All of those things ate up most of the morning, so by the time we got the trailer hooked up and with how dark it gets so early now, we wanted to stay close to home. We headed up to Three Creeks Conservation Area, about 50 minutes away (close is so relative for us lol). 

I think we missed the best autumn colors, but it was still a nice day, with temps hovering around 60 degrees and periods of gorgeous sunshine. It was a bit windy, but parts of the trail were down in a valley, which made it feel much warmer!

Does it get any better than this? It does not. 

J/K it did get better briefly, since DH was driving I remembered to bring along an adult beverage. Except it made my hands really cold, because I didn't bring a coozie lol. 

Up and down some pretty rocky sections. Trigger appreciated his boots!

Ruby made very good use of her "snackamore", and got to munch plenty of grass while we waited for Trigger to catch up with us. 

Playing in a creek crossing. 

I so love her perpetually happy trail ears. She really loves being out. 


We rode from one trailhead parking lot to another and back, nothing strenuous. I feel like every time we come here we end up parking in a different lot, but we're starting to get a little more familiar with the trails, and I think next time I know which way to turn to make a loop!

Friday, November 12, 2021

Riding Photo Dump

I am woefully behind on recapping the rides lately, but it's probably gonna stay that way, lol. My Equisense randomly quit connecting to the app the week of the show (I first noticed it the Thursday when I tried to turn it on for my lesson but didn't have time to troubleshoot it), so I haven't been able to track any ride notes since then. I have been in communication with the company and they assure me they're fixing the bug and it'll work again soon, but in the meantime, I'm fairly annoyed. I had no idea how much I relied on that to keep myself relatively on track in terms of how long the rides were and spending on equal amount of time on both reins, and then making notes about the ride! I'm back to using Equilab to track the length of time anyway, but it's an absolute joke at everything else after having the Equisense. At any rate, aside from a brief break for weather (and sanity!) after the show, the weather has been decent and I have been riding pretty much every night. I'm alternating both horses again and working to get Cinna a little fitter. She had some time off after her choke, and then when push came to shove when I started lessons again, I almost always picked Ruby because I was so worried about making progress between lessons, but now that I feel pretty comfortable on that front, I'm adding Cinna back into the rotation more. 

Had some shadowboxes sitting around for a Taj MahTeal project I never got around to doing, so I threw together something for my office. I don't have a TON of horse stuff there, but that's my ribbon from Sunday in the better class and I'm pretty proud of it <3

Started using my lights the week before the time change, thinking how horrible the light was after work. JOKES ON ME ITS WORSE NOW. 

Back when you could actually see me and the horse in the mirror lol. It was a rainbow glitter and spikes sort of day!

Lowkey love these paisley breeches, they're so subtle from far away and so fun up close!

A boots and bands sort of night. 

Also lowkey obsessed with these booooooots. Sort of realizing my collection of tall boots is ridiculous as well, I have these deniros, my Petries, my old show boots (tuffriders maybe?), two pairs of mountain horse boots, plus two pairs with broken zippers in my closet (ariats and... some other random off brand. dublins maybe?). I have a problem.... lol. 

She worked pretty well in the new frankenbridle (I adjusted the noseband more after this I think, it's been so long I can't remember). 

Not much point in riding in cute matchy outfits anymore since you can't SEE THEM ANYWAY. I hate winter. Sob. 

Also managed to frankenbridle Ruby into it, since I was curious what she'd think about the nathe. She went super well in it this evening, and well enough the next time I rode her, but she got a little divey in the trot, so I think I'll go back to her usual bridle for our rides at home and maybe bring this to the barn next time I have a lesson and see what trainer thinks. 

Put Cinna back in Otto earlier this week. 

Now that Cinna is back in work we are struggling through some issues - she seems to have REALLY regressed in the contact and just in general willingness to accept any sort of direction, and I'm trying to figure out if it's fitness related (in which case hopefully it resolves with time) or if it's some sort of tack/discomfort-related... on that note, I am gradually swapping out pieces one at a time to see if rides get any better. There doesn't seem to be much rhyme or reason, sometimes she'll start off fine and devolve into an angry, tense, Iberian sewing machine, sometimes she starts off that way but then gets very loose and swingy and fun by the end of the ride? Those are the things that make me think its fitness related and that we'll just eventually work through it, but I'm still tinkering with the tack set up gradually to see. I think at least once over this winter I'd like to take her up to trainers instead of Ruby, see what she thinks. I have told her many unflattering things about Cinna and how poorly we work together so it should be a fun adventure, lol. I shouldn't be so down on her but gosh compared to Ruby it's just night and day, and since I'm the one who raised them both, I can really only chalk it up to genetics and personality. 

Apparently the only photo I took of Ruby on Wednesday's ride, lol. 

Cleaned my poor old abused fauxbarrys up for a family photoshoot this weekend. 

Not bad for 4.5 year old cheap ass boots that I have abused the piss out of it, lol. 

Yesterday being a holiday, and the weather being randomly very nice (after it being forecasted to be garbage most of the prior week) meant we got a lot of things done around the farm, and BONUS, trail ride!