Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Trail Ride with Friends

We had a trail ride with our friends Tom and Dolly over the weekend. They own a few acres near a lake not far from our house. Their neighbors, who are also friends of ours with horses, have acreage out there too. So between the two households there are some great riding trails. They can also get to the park with the horse trails from their house without having to trailer their horses. This is the same park we are now cut off from via our abandoned railroad line. They showed us how to get to the park from their place. It was a really nice ride. Everything is green and leafy, and the flowering trees smell so nice......

We also rode to the lake near their home. With all the rain and the water from all that snow that melted, the lake is really high now. There are small fishing cabins, now abandoned and unused, that are pretty flooded. I thought they looked very cool, so I took a picture.

Their horses are geldings, and as it turns out, Zora was in estrus (I don't think full-in -- most likey just beginning or just ending). When we got back to their place, she just kept flirting with those boy horses!!! They knew something was going on, but of course they didn't really understand completely! It was too funny watching them.

It was a really neat ride -- it is always fun to go to trails you have never been on before. It was not without incident though. None of our horses are really used to riding with others. Tom's horse kicked back at Zora at one point (she is a tailgater) and got John on the shin -- OUCH!! (Actually, it has not caused him very much pain.) And I think our girls with their "spirited" walks and the urge to lope made Tom's horse nervous -- his horse acted up a time or two, and he had to work to regain control. I felt real bad about that. Seems like Tennessee Walkers and Quarter Horses do not have the same trail-riding agenda. Divna had a mini-meltdown one time when one of their horses got between her and Zora. God forbid that she should not be within sneezing distance of Zora at any time in her entire life!! And God forbid another horse besides her will be within sneezing distance of Zora. At one point, John took Zora ahead to let her "stretch her legs" as he puts it (code for "run like a bat out of hell"), and Divna had a medium-meltdown. But I was able to keep her calm -- I think it is good for both of us to have those kind of experiences though. I hope Tom & Dolly feel it is good to have those kind of experiences, too -- I would love to ride their trails again!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

End of an Era

Check out this photo of John and Zora......what a pair! She just loves to rest her big head on him. I think the two of them were destined to be together.

We did manage to get a ride in on Sunday. We took one of our usual trails near where we live; the abandoned railroad line. There are 3 sections of this railroad line, and it goes for about 4-5 miles. On the first section, you have to get off the trail to go on the street a short distance to cross over the Indiana Toll Road (this was always a challenge at first -- fast, noisy traffic below the bridge!). The second and third sections are separated by a street. It is a county road, not too heavily traveled, so no big deal. The last section of the line takes us to the path that leads to the county park which is set up with horse trails.

On Sunday we got to the end of the third section, turned around to come back home, and were surprised by a big change on the trail. There was a large piece of equipment moving gigantic chunks of concrete across the railroad line!! Turns out some people bought the property (lots of acres!), and are going to build a home. They are blocking off the railroad line!! On this particular section there is no alternate route to get to the county park -- the only road nearby is a U.S. highway with a LOT of traffic, going very fast. So that route is not an option.

We are so bummed!!! We have lost a really good riding trail. We can still ride up to that section and turn around, but we will no longer be able to ride all the way to the park......this puts a MAJOR cramp in our riding style. I am afraid that slowly we are going to lose all the good riding spots near our home.

I keep trying to tell myself that once one door closes, another opens -- we can concentrate on developing some trails north of where we live where there are horse-friendly property owners. I guess things can't stay the same forever! It is still sort of sad....

Here is the whole gang eating peacefully together after our Sunday ride.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Lawn Care -- The Natural Way...

I have not blogged in a while -- my time has been really jammed up with taking continuing ed courses so I can renew my real estate broker's license, and working on stuff for our annual church festival. I have been doing some fundraising for the event, and trying to sell raffle tickets (anybody want a less than 1 in 200 chance of winning $5K or $2K or $1K or $500 for $100??). I have a lot of catching up to do in the blog world.

Haven't ridden in the past couple of weeks, either. Hope to remedy that this Sunday. Our saddle club is having a horse show on Saturday, and we are getting a visit from a former neighbor, then out to dinner with friends. On Sunday we are having an Open House at a former rental home we have been trying to sell, so perhaps after the OpenHouse we can get a ride in -- I sure hope so...I miss it so much!!
Last week we had a warm, windy day, and the grass was getting tall, so we decided to give the animals a treat. We turned the goats loose (we haven't planted our spring flowers yet, so we decided to live dangerously), haltered the girls, and let everyone have some fresh green stuff. They loved it! Of course, we treated ourselved to beer at the same time!!

Check out the eyes on the goats!! They look evil, don't they? Our cat, Sonja, didn't eat any grass -- she just kept us company! I have seen her eat the horses' sweet feed, though.....

Monday, May 4, 2009

Bizarro Ride

The "Bizarro World" is a place where everything happens in the opposite. For example, usually when we take a horseback ride, it goes something like this: Wrestle with the goats for at least 5 minutes to get them into a stall and out of our way so we can saddle the horses in peace; go out to halter The Girls, watch them evade getting haltered by running around like lunatics -- jumping, kicking, the whole display -- this takes at least another 5 minutes; finally get them in the tack area, get to the trail and Zora takes off like she is the favorite in the Kentucky Derby. So on Saturday I was prepared to capture it all to post on my blog here. I had the new camera (I broke our other one last weekend) set to "video" and was good to go.
First off, I went into the pasture, opened a stall door, and both goats just walked in!! Beyond shocking!!! Then, I got the halters and lead ropes, walked back out into the pasture, John showed up right behind me. Both horses were just standing there, patient as can be, and allowed me to walk right up to them -- I put the halter on Divna, and she did not even flinch. John decided not to bother haltering Zora...we walked back towards the barn, and Zora followed. She walked into the tack area and stood at the spot where she is normally saddled. Too strange!!!
We got them saddled, and then onto the trail, and this is the really wierd part, Zora actually walked.....she walked most of the time during this entire trail ride.
I think we were visited by some sort of alien force that altered our reality for a couple of hours Saturday afternoon.
And I thought I would have some pretty interesting video to post today............................

Friday, May 1, 2009

Children and Animals

Here are some pictures from last Saturday when our friends were over with their grandchildren. These little girls got such a kick out of feeding the horses and goats!! And of course, the horses and goats loved it, too!!!