Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Horse Club Campout

Our saddle club had its annual camp out last weekend. Everyone in the club comes to the grounds and brings their horses and some food. We have a campfire, and people can ride in the large show arena and in the smaller practice arena. It really is a good time. We spend most of the summer doing all the work so other people can show and compete with their horses, so this is our time to use the arenas. We had a great campfire, lots of good food, and plenty of laughs. John brought his famous Serbian rakija for everyone to sample (keeps the chill off on an autumn night). I took some photos, but they are just dreadful....I will have mercy on all of you and not both to post them here. (The photo above is our saddles hanging on the fence at The Dunes after our Sunday ride.)

We rode The Girls in the arena, and it was pretty neat. It is fun to ride the arena, because you know it is a groomed, safe surface with no holes, rocks, etc. I also like to ride Divna around the barrels and pretend I am in competition.

On Sunday we went out and rode in the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore again. I just love those trails -- they always look different so it is not like riding the same trail over and over. The vegetation in the Dunes changes so much with the seasons, and the recent tornado in that area "adjusted" some of the trees, and as a result, some of the trails. No falls this time, which was fantastic -- everyone stayed upright! It was a nice, normal ride with a mix of walking and loping. There were a lot of riders out on Sunday because it was such a beautiful day. We are going to have to use these trails while we can -- the park service closes them to equestrians in the winter so the cross-country skiers can have their fun. No problem, because we are fortunate enough to have trails nearby......

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Last Horse Show of 2009.....

Yesterday we had our last show of the 2009 season for the Midwestern Saddle Club. It was a perfect day, and John and I had been looking forward to helping out at the show and seeing everyone for the last time this season. On Thursday, I came down with a wicked case of bronchitis, and have been pretty sick.
So there has been no riding, and no working at the horse show for me. But we did go to the show for a couple of hours.....I probably shouldn't have, but we really wanted to be a part of it. So here are some photos from the day...

One of our young contestants getting ready to barrel race.

Another racing contestant.....

And another......

The club holds raffles at each event to help riase funds. We always buy some tickets, and we bought these neat hooded sweatshirts...Here I am checking our tickets. We didn't win. Even though I was sick, and we were only there for a short time, it was enjoyable. I think it did me some good to get out a little bit, and it is always good to be around horses!!!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

John Hates My Hat

Yes, my husband hates my hat. He says it is a disgrace. He feels it should be clean, perfectly formed, and represent me as a "together" person. Well, here is a photo of my hat.

As you can see, it is dirty, crumpled, and generally in shabby condition. And I love me, my hat says "the person who wears this hat has really ridden a horse." It says that I have tackled about everything the trail can throw at me, and made it through (sometimes barely). It says, "The woman under this hat is a horseperson!"

On a different note.....this time of year apples are plentiful. We have a lot of them -- a really good friend of ours has quite a few apple trees in his yard, and he gives us lots of apples. Our animals love this time of year, because we put apples into every feeding. Recently, John and I noticed that Zora "saves" her apple pieces to eat last. Divna will just eat -- if an apple piece comes into her path, she eats it. Zora will actually move the grain aside, eat the grain, and save the apple pieces. She then eats them last. I have watched her do this several times, and today I got a photo of it.

She moved her head aside just long enough for me to get this picture.

And by the way, we had a really nice ride today....a good weekend overall......

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day Weekend Trail Rides

We have had the best rides over this Labor Day Weekend. On Saturday our friends DeeDee and Karen came to our place, and we rode our trails. I did not get any pictures, so I have none to post and I really regret that. We rode our abandoned railroad line, and got a pleasant surprise. Out of curiosity, we rode to the section where the people had purchased the adjacent property. I have written about this in the past, because these people claimed they now own the abandoned rail line on that section, and were closing it off. They did not want anyone riding horses, bicycles, or 4-wheelers there anymore. They were putting huge concrete blocks across the path. We were devastated, and have not been back there since. Well, on Saturday we rode down to that section out of curiosity to see what they had done. To our amazement, the trail was wide open -- completely clear!! Something happened down there......they have done the exact opposite of what they said they were going to do. Rather than close it off, it is opened up more that it was before! So now we can ride all the way to the county park like we used to. We are so happy about that! After the railroad line we came back up to our house and rode in the nearby on the new trails. It was a perfect temperature outside, and the trails were great. When we got back to our house we put their horses in our stalls and left our horses out in the pasture. We fed all of them, then cooked our dinner on the grill and just had a great time. I made Turkish coffee for everyone, and we just talked and laughed for a couple of hours. It was a great day....

Sunday was going to church and visiting friends afterwards, so no riding....

Monday, with the day off and it being a georgous day, we went riding again. The girls had a big day on Monday. I gave them their second round of vaccines for the year, and then John took Zora to the neighbors outdoor arena to work in the round pen for a while. Long story, which I will share another time, but the neighbors have this nice outdoor arena and we bought the round pen panels. The round pen is really good for Zora -- it does help calm her down and learn to maintain a speed. So after her "lesson" we took a nice long trailride at a walk for a change (they were tired from the other day!!). When we got back we gave them a much needed bath -- or is "shower" a better description?? Divna gets a little riled up when the water goes over her head and face. Zora handles it all pretty well. They are now very clean and soft. All in all a good ending to the summer of 2009!!

(Zora on the right -- Divna on the left)

Starting to Look Like Fall

I was washing the dishes one day last week. I looked out the window above the sink, and this is what I saw. Fall is going to be here soon!!

Friday, September 4, 2009

New Reins

I got some new reins the other day....some real cheapo's from the Big R store that just opened in Michigan City. The reins I have been using for the past 9 years that we have owned horses were actually English reins. I just cannot use the Western-style split reins. They never feel right to me -- they are too long, and they are always too slack.....I just cannot control them. I also have a fear of dropping one while riding and having a real situation on my hands (or out of my hands, as the case would be!).

So here is a photo of the new reins on their "maiden voyage." They are actually roping reins, they are cheap (like I said before -- $20!!), and they do not match the rest of my tack, and I really like them!!!
It's a holdiay weekend, and we plan to do a lot of riding. We got the trails near out house shaped up, and some friends are going to come out with their horses and join us tomorrow. Should be a lot of fun. The weather is going to be perfect, and we have food to throw on the grill after the ride!