Monday, December 27, 2010

The Horse Did Not Make It

I just checked my cell phone voice mail -- I have had my cell turned off all weekend. There was a message from Dolly. She went out to check on the horse at 6 a.m., and he had passed on.

I am just sick over this. That poor did NOT have to be this way....

Horse Rescue, of Sorts

Today (well, yesterday technically, since I am writing this after midnight) was an unbelievable day.

We woke to our answering machine. It was our friend and fellow equestrian, Dolly, in a panic "I am taking care of D and K's horses while they are out of town. I got here this morning to feed them, and one of them is down. I can't get him up! He won't eat, and he is laying in the snow and shaking!"

We immediately got up, called her back, went out and threw down some hay for our horses and goats. I threw some Banamine, a syringe and some mineral oil in a bag, grabbed the two thick blankets we use for our horses, and we took off.

When we got there, Patty (another neighbor and friend) was there. The poor horse was laying out in the pasture, and he was just shaking. Dolly and Patty had put blankets on him, but he was very, very cold. I immediately put a dose of Banamine in his mouth, and noticed his gums and tongue were a grey-ish color -- not good.

The horse has a history of founder. So was it founder, or was it colic, or something else??? A call was placed to the horse's owner who said they would be home the next day, do not call the Vet!!

After a few minutes, John started trying to get him up. The Banamine had kicked in, so with some pulling and pushing, we got him up. We finally got him into his stall, and started working on him. Another friend and fellow equestrian, Dee, showed up. Patty's husband Greg also came over. Dolly's husband Tom came as soon as he got off work. We had a team of people on this horse. He had absolutely no body heat of his own. We were all rubbing him and brushing him, giving him syring after syring of mineral oil. We found a torpedo heater that we brought to the stall, we found a tarp to close off the stall. we had blankets on him. We listened to his gut and heard some slight gurgling sounds, but not a lot of activity there.

Once we got him warmed up, we started walking him. He did release a little gas, and he did poop a little (not much -- not enough to make us feel better about the situation). We brought out a heated bucket, and he drank a little.

Dolly and Tom wanted to be able to keep a close eye on him, so we took him and his buddy down to their place. They have a very nice indoor faciltiy, with a round pen. We put the two horses in there, and took turns walking the sick one, continued to give him syringe afte syringe of mineral oil. He did keep drinking water, but never really dumped a good load -- just a little bit at a time.

The last update we got late tonight was that he did make a dump, but does not yet seem normal. I am very worried abut this horse. I am afraid he will not make it....I am really scared for this horse. I cannot sleep.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Divna Had A Bad Week

About 2 weeks ago I broke a mirror. Now I am not really superstitious, but being in real estate these days makes you a little shakey. You start to get nervous about everything.

About two or three days after I broke the mirror, I got a call at work from John...I could tell by his voice something was wrong.....

"Something is wrong with Divna," he says. "She did not eat this morning, and she just laid down, flat out."

I have to back up a bit at this point. We usually leave our barn open -- goats and horses go in and out as they see fit. But in the winter when the temperatures get below 15 degrees F, we put the goats and horse in and close up the barn doors. We put Divna (horse) with Marco (goat) and Zora (horse)with Misho (goat).

Winter arrived early here in Northwest Indiana, and we have been closing the animals up in the barn since early in December. One night last week, we must have forgotten to close one of the stall doors completely -- the stall door that leads into the tack area where we also store the food for the animals. John went out the next morning to find Divna and Marco feasting on the cracked corn we give the chickens.

After a call to the vet, and remembering the cracked corn incident, it was of course determined to be colic. Thank heavens for our friend, neighbor and fellow equestrian, Terri. She is also a Vet Technician and had some Banamine. After a dose of that and some mineral oil, she thankfully got past it.

Then, on Saturday I was out in the barn for the morning feeding. While I was tethering the goats, I heard this very strange was sort of a cross between a fishing line being cast and a circular saw starting up. I just could not figure out what it was...then I heard hoofbeats -- lots of loud hoofbeats. I ran out into the pasture to see Divna running with the wire from the fence around her neck, and Zora frantically stepping nearby with it around her front legs!

I couldn't believe my eyes!i! I was a bit panicked....but then realized that I had to get control of this situation, FAST.....

As calmly as I could, I approached Divna speaking quietly and in what I hoped would be a comforting tone. I was able to lift the wire over her head -- with that accomplished, Zora was a bit easier to deal with. I was able to get her to back up as I slipped the wire under her hooves as she stepped up. The danger was not yet over, however. The wire was still laying all out in the pasture, and Divna was frantically running around still very freaked out. I was afraid she was going to run into the wire laying out there and get tangled up again. I was trying to gather up the loose wire before she ended up in it again. Very tense, very scary. But THANK GOD it all worked out. I was very shaken after it was all over.....

Needless to say we went to the Tractor Supply Store and bought some new fencing that day. We repaired the old wire as best we could, and put everyone in the barn until we could get rid of that problem fencing.

Our plans for Sunday was to install the new fencing. As it turns out, that was the day that we had our first real blizzard of the winter season...

Here is the offending wire.

That blizzard did not stop us. We got that fencing up. These pictures don't do the snowstorm justice -- it was really coming down.

Here are a couple of photos of the new fencing.

Poor Divna, she really did have a bad week!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Taking Advantage of the Relatives at Thanksgiving

I can't believe it has been a month since I have posted on my blog....actually, I have only read a couple of blogs in the last month. What happens to the time? Well, here I am, back from hiatus with a couple of stories.

We hosted Thanksgiving again this year. I guess it is becoming a tradition for us to have Thanksgiving now that John's mother is getting older and had her hip replacement. We had John's brother and his wife (Alex and Cindy) and her parents (Chuck and Lois) from Lafayette, and this year my brother and his wife (Terry and Leslie) and my nephew (Nigel) were here from Wisconsin. It was great to have everyone here....Terry, Leslie and Nigel were here from Wednesday to Saturday, and we just had non-stop fun with them. We had a small party on Friday after Thanksgiving, and it was just a really nice way to kick off the Holiday Season 2010. The above photo is all of us on Wednesday evening....that's me, Nigel, Leslie, and Terry's arms....

These are pictures from the get-together with friends on Friday evening.... These 2 nice looking young people from the right in this photo used to help us with hay when they were youngsters growing up in Otis.

But, I have a confession to make....we did sort of take advantage of the relatives. Here is a picture from Friday morning of me with my brother Terry....

You see, we had not yet gotten our supply of hay to get us thru the winter. The time just slipped by, and here it was November again and we did not have our hay loft filled. (The same thing happened to us a couple of years ago, and I swore I would nver let November arrive again without our hay loft being full.)

So, unknown to Terry, Leslie and Nigel, we arranged to have our hay delivery on Friday -- the day after Thanksgiving!! We thought, "well, we have people herre to help, so why not have it delivered when we have extrra folks around?" So that is what we did. Except, we did not tell them about it until after they arrived and had a couple of cocktails. Really sneaky and underhanded, I know. But you gotta do what you gotta do, right??

They were really good about it, and it turned out to be fun. Terry has some major back problems, and just had his 3rd surgery in September, so he was assigned the job of "water boy" -- literally...he brought us all water as we were working. Luckily the weather cooperated -- not too cold, and we actually enjoyed it. And John and I were so grateful to them for helping us with this HUGE task!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Some Firsts

I've been behind on the blogging lately -- both reading and writing, because I have been sick with bronchitis AGAIN! I get this bout 2 or 3 times a year sometimes 4) and this has been going on for about 20 years.....anyway, I am off track. This is "horse talk" not "complain about your health like an old woman talk."

For a long tme now, John and I have talked about having our riding friends over for a day of riding, then a cookout/party. We finally planned it for the last weekend of October this year, when the leaves on the Northwest Indiana trees were in full color, and hopefully the weather would be dry.

So we invited all of our riding friends, and as luck would have it, it was a beautiful day -- dry and warm for this time of year, but not too warm.

Though we only had 6 riders and 9 for the after-ride meal and party, it was a really fun day. Everyone pitched in with food, and it was all I suppose we could call this the 1st Annual Otis Trail Ride.

We hope to make this an annual event, and have even more riders.

The first Friday of November, we had our first snow!! This is our deck with the patio furniture still in place, and our Halloween pumpkin on one of the chairs!

I planted this tree when we first bought our property out here in Otis about 20 years ago. It was just a stick. It is so beautiful in the snow.

Our barn looks nice in the snow....

This is my attempt at being artistic with the camera. The yellow and green leaves looked so unbelievable with snow clinging to them. This photo does not do it justice.

Two days later the snow was all melted, and since then we have had really warm days for this time of year in Northwest Indiana. But this is a sign of things to come, and since I really enjoy winter riding, I look forward to it.

Hope you are enjoying Fall in your neck of the woods!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Videos and Photos - this time for real!

Tuesday, October 26 note: What a moron!! I started getting this post ready on Sunday while we were visiting a friend in Indy -- we had had a couple of beers and some rakija, and like I moron instead of just saving it as a draft, I posted it and I did not have the video's and photos uploaded... DUH!

My apologies to anyone who read this on Monday or today.......

We were in a campground without shower facilities. We knew ahead of time there would be no showers, so John came up with a solution.... This is our horsetrailer.....

Here are the Allegan County Riders!

John was operating the video camera, so we had to make a separate video for him...

The parks in Michigan require securing the horses with a high line. We never had to do one before, but thankfully Karen knew how....

High tech camper in a primitive campsite!!!!

The last bottle of Giacamo Mori Chianti! Thanks to Tom and Dolly for sharing!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Allegan County Michigan -- Silver Creek Campground

Our friend Dee Dee, who is the horsewoman extraordinaire, has been telling us for the longest time that we need to go up to Michigan to go riding. So we finally got our horses Coggins tested, and set off for a weekend of horse camping at Silver Creek Campground, Allegan County Michigan. She was not exaggerating. The riding at this place was amazing.

Here is an overview of our campsite.....

When we first rolled into the campground my thoughts were "Oh my...this is really rustic!" And it was. The campsites have no electric, there is a pump for getting water, and there are only pit toilets. So it is really roughing it, but it was worth it. (John devised a shower system for us which will be explained in a separate post.)

Here is a photo me at the water pump....

There are miles and miles and acres and acres of trails. The camp itself is not real big, but it is right next to some sort of state-owned preserve area with snowmobile trails, and fishing and hunting areas which was available to equestrians. The trails consisted of everything -- woods, meadows, wide sandy trails, narrow muddy trails, switchback trails with trees too close -- challenging and seemingly endless riding....

Here is Dee Dee (left) and Karen (right) on the trail. These pictures do not do the trails justice -- the colors and the beauty of the scenery are much more striking in person.....

We had visitors -- day riders on Friday Tom and Dolly, and then for the evening festivities and riding on Saturday was Vern ("He's All That") and wife Sara, who is expecting their first child!

The weather was really warm for this time of year (in the 80 degree range!) and the leaves were turning, so it was just beautiful. One trail takes you to a lake, and you can actually ride in the lake just a bit offshore and meet up with the trail instead of just riding thru the woods. We went to the "Water Trail" and let our horses get a drink. We rode the Water Trail for a bit, and it was really refreshing.

The above pictures were the last ones I took the whole weekend, because just after they were taken, Divna decided the lake was so refreshing she just had to lay down! That's right -- Divna laid down in the water, with me on her and the camera strapped to the saddle horn! Unfortunately we do not have a photo of that event, but I can tell you it was an experience! I was soaked up to my armpits, but finished the rest of the ride. Surprisingly, the camera survived

Dee Dee's birthday was Saturday, and we had a cake and gifts for her. She rode the Michigan Shore-to-Shore event this summer, which is no small accomplishment. We are grateful to her for introducing us to Allegan County, and we will definitely go back for more fantastic riding!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Potato Creek Camping-Mishaps Continue-Part II

John woke me in the middle of the night -- there was a full moon outside, and the dying campfire was still glowing. "I just saw a big black shadow go by. I think one of the horses is loose." I jumped up and out of the tent, and sure enough, there stood Divna. All I could think was, "Please don't run. I am not up to this!!" Luckily, she just stood there. I took the lead rope (soaking wet -- it must have fallen into the water bucket) and got her back to the hitching post and re-tied her. No big deal, no horse-running-full-speed-through-crowded-campground scenario -- so it was all OK.

Back to sleep.

Very early morning. Sun just barely coming up -- that real dim, grey light. I woke to a sound....strange sound...a crunching sound. Then I realized it was a horse eating grass. Immediately I knew it had to be Divna. Sure enough, once I was out of the tent again, there was Divna grazing. Zora was still tied to the hitching post and she was not happy. I could see on her face that she was upset that Divna was grazing and she wasn't!! So once again, I got lucky -- Divna did not try to get away. I just grabbed the lead rope and put her back in place, this time tying a better knot!

Back to sleep.

After an uneventful breakfast (I cooked over the campfire rather than the out of control roaring inferno of a Coleman stove), we decided it was time to deal with the low tire situation. Some other folks in the campground told us there was an air pump at the Camp Store, located near the family campground on the other side of the park. Potato Creek is a large park, and it is quite a ways to the other side. So I took off to go get air while John took care of things around camp. I got all the way over there on a low tire, and was told that the place to get tires aired up in at the Service Center, near the Horsemen's Campground! The park employee at the family campground called the Service Center and they said for me to drive around back -- they would be waiting for me.

So back I go to the Horsemen's Camp and the Service Center. The guy was real nice and filled the tire. As soon as he put the valve cap back on we started hearing a hissing sound. Sure enough, the valve stem was leaking. Not good. So I drove back to our campsite and gave John the good news/bad news. We noticed that if we held the valve stem to one side, it stopped hissing, so we started brainstorming ways to keep the stem in place. We came up with this......

It was John's idea, but with me being a former Dental Assistant, I think it is very appropriate. We tied the valve stem in place with dental floss -- mint flavor at that!! Got us all the way home with no more loss of air. Take that, McGuyver/McGruber!!!

We were able to take our final ride of the weekend without any worries about the tire.

We did not know, though, that we had to worry about the donkeys.
More and more we are seeing donkeys/mules (which is it??) on the trails. I think they are becoming pretty popular. There were some at Potato Creek that weekend, and we came upon them on the trail. The people riding them had children with them. One woman had a small child on the saddle with her -- there was another child on the donkey/mule alone, but another woman was ponying it.
John and Zora were in the lead, as usual, and the group moved over on the trail to let us by. Once Zora got past, and Divna was close to the group I could feel her getting nervous. I think she knew these were not horses. With Zora now out of sight, she got scared of being near these "creatures" by herself. I was talking to her and coaxing her to walk past them, but as we got close to them she did a half turn and kicked out. She did not make contact, but it scared me because there were children on these animals. I immediately turned her around and walked her back down the trail in the direction we came from.
I told the group that she was afraid, and that she might kick them, so I was going to keep her out of the way. I thought it might help if she could see Zora, so I started calling for John. All the time I am apologizing to the people in the group. They kept saying it was alright, it was not a problem, they were really cool about it. But I was not wanting to let Divna walk past them with those children in the saddles.
John and Zora appeared, and the people in the group said they would move off the trail, over into the meadow area. They did, and we went by them safely. All the time with me apologizing all over the place. They kept saying it was no problem, but I did really feel bad about it. I was just really nervous because of those young children.
The rest of the ride was beautiful, but uneventful. We got back to camp, ate lunch, packed up and went home. A good camping weekend all-in-all, in spite of the many mishaps.
Next weekend, camping in Michigan with The Girls and friends....

P.S. Dolly sent me the GPS map that Tom made on his Droid when we were trail riding. It is really cool -- you can see the whole route we took. I cannot figure out how to get it uploaded here. I am going to work on it and see if I can post it.....

Friday, October 1, 2010

Potato Creek Camping Part I - Everything worked out OK

I got out of work early last Friday so we could go camping with the horses. Our reservations were made on September 3, so we were glad the weather was cooperating. Upon arrival at the gate to Potato Creek State Park they asked the question they always ask, one to which we believed we knew the right answer: "Are you bringing in firewood?" Of course we told them "yes," because we were. Next question (also one they always ask), "From which county?"

Indiana is at war with the Emerald Ash Borer. In an effort to keep it from spreading and destroying our beautiful woods, there are residents of certain counties that are prohibited from bringing in firewood. LaPorte county does not have an Emerald Ash Borer problem (or so we thought). So our answer was "LaPorte."

Then we heard something we never heard before "LaPorte county has been quarantined. You will have to unload your firewood here." Shocker!!! Turns out that LaPorte county went on the list of Emerald Ash Borer counties on September 4 -- one day after we made our camping reservations. After much whining on our part, the DNR person told us that they would have some "safe" firewood brought to our campsite. So that turned out OK after all. Whew!! A late September weekend in a tent in Northern Indiana is no place to be without firewood. We proceeded to our campsite.

Once there, after everything was unloaded, I noticed the low tire -- back tire on tbe right side of the trailer. We figured we would deal with it the next day. Drive into town, go to a gas station and fill it up. No big deal. We set up camp.

First we took a quick ride around the area, just to get acclimated. It is always so neat to see all the horse, the different rigs and camping styles of everyone in the park -- just really enjoyable.

We came back and started in on dinner after a couple of libations. We had bought a new camp stove, but it was still in the box, so we were cooking over the campfire. At one point, things got frantic -- the fire was a bit high, the steaks needed to be turned, the smoke was blowing in, our faces. In an attempt to help, I moved the foil-covered cooking grate, but made a wrong move -- the food flipped around. Two steaks at the edge of the fire, one ended up wrapped in the foil and on the ground. But after retrieving the two from the fire and washing them off, we put them all back on the grate and everything was OK. We had a great dinner and settled in for the night.

Next morning we were ready to make a wonderful breakfast on our new Coleman stove. First thing I saw when I got out of the tent was that we still had a low tire on the trailer, but now the one in front of it was completely flat! Then we discovered we forgot the coffee pot!!!

We needed to eat first, so the tire we have to wait. We had the coffee and filters but no pot!! We had to make what my mother used to call "jailhouse coffee." I have also heard others refer to it as "cowboy coffee" which in this case is more appropriate. By putting water and grounds into a pot and cooking to a boil, we had coffee after all. So it worked out OK.

John started changing the tire on the trailer, and with the new Coleman stove set up, I started to make breakfast. It was windy, which made it difficult to light the stove. It was sunny, making it difficult to see the height of the flame. When I turned the control down, the flame would go out. This happened several times, and I was going thru matches like crazy because of the wind. I decided to just make the best of it and cook on the sky high flame. It was a challenge, and though slightly burned, breakfast was edible. So it worked out OK. John got the tire changed in spite of not having the proper jack.....

Our friends Tom and Dolly came out with their horses, and the four of us had a great trail ride.
The trails are really pretty, and thanks to Dolly we did not get lost. Tom had a cool phone witha GPS gizmo that actually mapped out our course. Our horses behaved, and even walked with the quarter horses. We were all so calm and slow, that I actually fell asleep on the ride! I woke to Tom yelling at me to be careful, as I was about to strangle myself on a low hanging grapvine.

Back at camp we had a great lunch and a lot of fun just talking and laughing. It was a great trail ride. John and I took another ride later that afternoon and also ran into some people we know from riding at the Dunes and our saddle club.

It was a little colder than it was forecasted to be, but we really did have nice trail rides and a lot of fun with our friends. So it worked out to be a great Saturday!

Part II -- Sunday's adventures......

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Challenging Horse Camping Weekend

With our reservations made at Potato Creek State Park earlier this month, and a favorable weather forecast for the weekend (sunny and temperatures in the 60 degree range), we set off to go camping with The Girls. Here is a summary of what we had to deal with:


  • Our Firewood was confiscated upon our arrival at the park
  • When we arrived at our campsite and got out of the truck, I noticed one of our horse trailer tires was really low on air
  • The pork steaks we cooked for dinner ended up in the camp fire


  • Woke up to find we had a flat tire on the horse trailer -- not the tire that was low, but a different tire
  • We forgot the coffee pot
  • It was really windy, and temperatures in the 50's
  • We bought a Coleman stove for this trip -- could not figure out how to adjust the flame, so it was an absolute inferno that burned everything we tried to cook!
  • I fell asleep on the trail ride
  • Batteries went out on both flashlights
  • Divna got loose in the middle of the night


  • Divna got loose in the very early morning
  • There were some mules on the trail, and Divna freaked out
  • Repaired the low tire McGuyver/McGruber style
Details and photos to follow........

Monday, September 20, 2010

Revisiting Old Trails

On Saturday, John and I tackled our semi-annual task of clearing the abandoned railroad line. We usually go down this trail each spring and fall to remove any fallen trees, and cut back encroaching growth. We haven't ridden the railroad line much this summer, so we knew it was in need of grooming.

In one spot on the trail there has always been a washout area. The trail had been re-routed around the washout -- last year, the washout got even bigger, so we had to cut another trail around it. We were not prepared for what we saw this time. The washout area is now HUGE! It seems to be following the trail, and expanding. At this particular spot, the trail has a pretty steep dropoff on both sides. Due to the size of the washout, the new path around it had to go down the dropoff. We had to pick a path that we could handle with our chainsaw (not a real big one) because we had to cut down trees. So now the trail goes down at a steep angle and then up again. I was curious to see how "The Girls" would handle it. We planned to ride it on Sunday. It was not an easy job doing all that clearing and re-routing the trail around the washout. It was dark as we walked back to the truck.

On Sunday we headed out to try out our newly cleared trail. When we got near our neighbors house (Terri), the horses started heading up her driveway. They decided to do this on their own -- it was really strange. So we thought, "what the heck. let's go visit her horses before we go to the railroad line." Imagine our surprise when we got to her barn, and there she was, saddling up! She said two other of our friends (Tom and Dolly) were trailering their horses to her house to go riding. So, we decidded to join them, and are SO glad we did. We had the best ride.

Here is the group -- I am usually not in front like this!!

We did not go down the railroad line. Instead, we went to a nearby farm which is owned by some really great people. They have a beautiful place, and their property has crops, and a pond/small lake, and trails. They do not have horses, but they let us ride their trails. In fact, they even clear trails for us to ride. They are really nice people. John and I had not ridden their farm in a long time -- maybe two years or so.

It was such a pretty ride, and an interesting one. Thankfully I had my camera. There is a spot on the trail where it climbs a pretty high hill overlooking a ravine with a creek flowing through it. It was such a beautiful sight (unfortunately I did not get a picture -- I was concentrating on what I was doing at the time!!).

We also rode around our other neighbors beautiful horse property. I got some pictures of some of their horses.

It was such a neat ride -- good friends, good weather, and beautiful early fall scenery. Our horses actually walked with our friends' quarter horses, so we were able to talk and enjoy each other's company. Even Divna behaved and didn't kick any of the other horses! All this fantastic behavior was even more amazing considering Terri's horse, Reba, was in estrus!

A ride like that is just good therapy, and helps make one aware of their many blessings.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

New Look

Decided it was time for a new look. Played around with a few of the templates, and chose this one. Not sure if I am going to stick with it. None of the templates had horse themes ...I wish I was better at this sort of thing. If I were, I would design my own. Oh well, we can't all be creative!!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tack Cleaning With Goat Audience

Just about all month it has been just too hot to ride, so what do you do??? We decided it was time to do some tack cleaning.

So with Serbian folk music blasting, a couple of beers and some rakija, we started on our project. Our tack really needed cleaning -- but to me it is a badge of honor to have tack that is dusty and has remnants of mud. It proves you actually ride your horses!

I believe our animals speak Serbian -- they know when they hear the Serbian music that there is a good chance they will get some treats. Sure enough, we were not in the barn very long before each goat showed up...

Misho arrived first, checking us out from Divna's stall.... hoping for a Vanilla Wafer.....

Then, Marco's face appears in Zora's stall, also hoping for a Vanilla Wafer.... Of course we gave them some.

Eventually the horses figured out what was going on, that treats were being handed out, so they decided they should be in on it, too....

Next thing you know, all of us are in the barn. It was a really neat way to spend a hot, humid summer evening...

I even put some "bling" on John's saddle. His old turquiose ring from the 60's has now become a "saddle ornament."
And a beautiful sunset to finish off the day.....................

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Another Artist

Just a quick post to let everyone see some really cool artwork given to us by friends. This is a sort of layered photo print -- I am sure that is not the official name, but it is what I call it. Our good friends David and Roxane gave this to us. (John did a blog post about David on his blog, titled "Revenge")

The artist is David's nephew (or is it cousin??), and he loves photographing horses. This picture is really unique -- it looks like he layered some interesting landscape photos with one of a horse.

I tried to take a picture of it, and got a bit of reflection from the room lighting. May have been better if I had photographed it during the daytime (natural light), but this is when I had time to do it. I think you can still see it clearly enough.
If not, he has a website (a really cool one, actually) where you can view his work. Here is the link:
Hutch Media Design
Check it out -- I think you will like it!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Trails of Sand and Mud with Deerflies

Since our weekends are going to be taken up with festivals and camping with our "non-horse" friends, we thought we had better get a ride in. It was last Saturday, and the temperature was a bit cooler, with the hot weather expected to return soon, so we put off all the Saturday chores and headed out to the Indiana Dunes.

I have referred to the Dunes as the State Park and the National Lakeshore in my is a bit confusing. We do have an Indiana Dunes State Park and the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. I am pretty sure the riding trails are part of the National Lakeshore. You would think I would know by now....not that it is terribly important, but I should be accurate.

Anyway, we did make it out there for a ride. Talked with some nice people who were saddling up at the same time as us, and hit the trails. We have had a lot of rain lately, so there was a bit of mud. But I am proud to report that Zora only hesitated for a minute or so at the bridge which has the giant mudpit at the end of it. In the past we have been on that bridge for 10 minutes trying to get her to cross. This time, she was much more brave. Good for her!

The deerflies were just horrible. I spent most of my time looking at the back of Divna's head and ears and leaning over to squish deerflies. I even left some of the dead ones in her mane hoping that other deerflies would see them and not want to risk the same fate.

It didn't work. The Indiana Dunes deerflies must be of the same mentality as the WWII Kamikazi pilots, or our modern day Suicide Bombers. In spite of seeing carcases of their comrades, they would land on Divna and try to bite anyway. I killed as many of them as I could.

Since I didn't take my camera, and I hate to post without pictures. Here are a couple that I took back in June.

Here is my Divna drinking me she is so beautiful!

Here is John and I -- I was holding the camera and trying to get us both in the picture. John's face looks enormous here....

This was taken after a ride, so you have excuse our grubby appearance.

Talk to everyone soon, in the meantime, Keep Riding!!

P.S. John has a new post at . Check it out - his writing is pretty entertaining!