Saturday, November 27, 2010

Black Friday Trail Ride






I was deeply saddened to learn that my good friend Katrina died this week. My friend Debbie decided the best remedy for a heavy heart was a trail ride. On Black Friday, instead of heading to the mall, we went to Mansfield Hollow State Park for a two hour trail ride. And we had fun. Thank you Debbie!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Turkey Trot




Connecticut Morgan Horse Association had their Trail Ride and Turkey Trot at Bluff Point in Groton yesterday. Since I was helping with it, I wasn't going to take a horse. But my friend Debbie was driving all the way down from Massachusetts to ride with me.

I decided to throw perfectionism and super-organized trail ride thoughts to the wind and loaded the horse on the trailer instead.

I am really glad I did.

John was actually pretty awful for the first mile of the ride (well, I should qualify my definition of awful - he was dancing around between a park walk and a western jog). He had to sit on the trailer for about forty five minutes while I helped with registration and other things. Sitting and not being the center of attention never thrill John.

Debbie (riding Mini) and I headed out on the trail and John was spooking and dancing at everything. A leaf blew, there was a large rock on the side of the trail and his least favorite - lots of joggers. It was a windy day and we were on the shore, so you can imagine the "distractions". Mini, on her first trail ride in quite some time, followed John's lead. Luckily Debbie and I are used to this, so we rode it out. We trotted for a bit and they both settled in and were fine for the rest of the ride.

The last time I rode at Bluff Point was in the summer of 2009 and there were lots of people out on the bluff, so we did not take the horses out there. Horses are "discouraged" from going in or near the water, but it doesn't say you can't, so Debbie and I took them out on the Bluff anyway. This was John's first experience with waves and they were crashing into the shore. The wind was whipping around, the sand was soft and there was a carpet of shells to walk over before you got to the water. John got as far as standing at the edge of the water and watching the waves crash to shore. As the last bit of the wave came near him, he quickly backed away from the water. I didn't want him to get away with not going in the water, so I took him over to a small pool of water, protected from the waves by a lot of rocks and he stood in that.

The rest of the ride was great fun, with beautiful scenery. Debbie and I had a great time, riding along, making fun of each other and catching up on all sorts of things that have happened in the month since we last rode together.

Debbie took a few pictures with her cell phone and I have attached them here. I was taking pictures with a throw away camera since I forgot batteries for the digital camera, so it will be a few days before I get my act together and get them up here!

I think a fall trail ride at Bluff Point will be a new tradition for Connecticut Morgan Horse Association!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Gadgets

Okay, I have to admit that I am one of the least safety conscious equestrians that I know.

Although I wear a helmet, I usually ride alone and rarely tell anyone when or where I am riding. Sure, I am riding at the farm, but in which fields and trails, no one knows. To be fair, sometimes I don't know which way I want to go until I get there.

I prefer to leave my cell phone on my tack trunk in the barn when I go out riding.

I have also left my cell phone in my sweatshirt pocket and lost it on more than one trail ride, riding back later to find it.

Last week, I finally invested in one of those cell phone holders that riders wear on their arms or legs. They are not expensive (I paid $7 for mine), I just had not gotten around to it.

I used it for the first time last Friday, wearing it on my left arm. Honestly, the only thing I could think of the whole time I was riding was that someone had put the blood pressure cuff at the doctor's office too high on my arm.

Hopefully, I get used to the feeling of wearing it!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Indian Summer

Did you get outside last weekend and enjoy some of the Indian summer weather? It was absolutely beautiful in New England and I went for a long walk around the farm on John.

As I rode through the fields, holding my reins on the buckle, I reminicsed about all of the rides that led up to this point. Truly, it was a relaxed and really enjoyable trail ride where I could enjoy the scenery and think about other things.

I could not have "checked out" on a trail ride around the farm with John last year. Or earlier this year. But with a lot of hard work and communication between us, he has become the trail horse (at least at home!) that I have always wanted to ride. Sure, he still tries to change the route sometimes - including this ride - and I can't always walk around the farm without really riding, but sometimes it is nice to enjoy the efforts of all of the previous rides. Every stride counts.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Turkey Trot This Saturday!

The Connecticut Morgan Horse Association Trail Ride and Turkey Trot is this Saturday, November 20th at Bluff Point State Park in Groton.

Registration is $20 for members and $30 for non-members. Youth are $10. Directions to Bluff Point are at the bottom of this post. The extended forecast says it will be partly cloudy with a high of 51 degrees - so grab a jacket and come join us!

Some fun prizes have been donated by our generous sponsors! Ekonk Hill Turkey Farm and Red Fence Farm are both sending gift cards for turkeys! Indian Hollow Stables sent an English Saddle carrying case and Dana's Doodles sent two necklaces, an anklet and a canvas tote. The Traveling Tack Room sent a Breyer trail horse set and we have several beanies (hats) from Kerrits Equestrian also on their way. Thanks to all of our sponsors for donating these items - maybe you will win one!

The registration money from the Trail Ride and Turkey Trot will be used to set
up a Sport Horse Training Scholarship Fund for Connecticut Morgan Horse Association members - more details will be available about the scholarship soon.

If you have any questions, please let me know. I hope to see you on Saturday!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day

On Veteran's Day, I am thankful for all of the soldiers who have given up so much for all of us to enjoy our freedoms.

I read an interesting article today on thehorse.com about remembering the fallen horses. So many horses have also gone to battle and lost their lives.

Here is the link for the article:
http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=17231


The last two weeks have been challenging and I am thankful for my horses. They greet me every day with a whinny. The bright, expectant looks on their faces (maybe they are more excited about seeing the apple in my hand) always brings a smile to my face.