Monday, May 31, 2010

We Are Idiots -- Part I

John and I are idiots, and have no business being married to each other. Most couples balance each other out -- one is reckless, the other cautious; one is extroverted, the other introverted; one is impulsive, the other get the picture. John and I are both reckless and impulsive....bad combination.

We took The Girls out to the trails at the Dunes about 2 weeks ago. It was after the bout of bronchitis I had. As I said on a previous post I have my chronical order all mixed up here...

One good thing -- Divna had been having trouble in the trailer ever since our friend hauled cows in it. John had an idea. He thought it might help if when he was cleaning the pasture to put some of our horses' manuer in the trailer. This way, perhaps their "smell" would overcome the smell of the cows. So he did that a few days before we went riding.

I am happy to say it worked! We loaded The Girls, and Divna did not dance around the trailer like she has the last few times. So that was a victory. At least we did one thing right....

The trails at The Dunes are one way -- because we share the trails with hikers, equestrians are to keep to the right. We have ridden the trails backwards with our friends, Dee Dee and Karen a time or two in the past. We have never done the trails backwards on our own. You see, John and I get lost in every State Park in Indiana. We get the maps with the squiggly green lines, and after about 5 minutes of riding we have no idea where we are. We turn the map in every direction, look for guideposts, and inevitably have to ask another rider how to get back to the trail head.

So this day, I don't know what possessed us to ride the trail backwards without someone to help us, but we did. And sure enough, we got so mixed up we could not figure out where we were.

One good thing though -- we saw a couple of wild turkeys. They were so neat...very close to us so we could really see them. They were beautiful. I did not get a picture, unfortunately.

We had been out there for a while and were getting tired (The Girls were tired as well). and we came upon a street. Believing it was the street that runs perpendicular to the parking lot and is essentially a short cut, we decided to take it.

Turns out, that was not the same street. It lead to U.S. 20 -- a 4 lane, U.S. highway that is heavily travelled. Believing we were only a short distance to the parking lot, we both believed it was OK to ride along side U.S. 20 to the parking lot of the park.

Bad idea. Dumb, actually. Very, very stupid.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Breakthrough for Zora - Not for Divna

The weekend before my last bout of bronchitis, we did go to the Indiana Dunes to ride the trails. I have got my chronological order mixed up here on my posts -- this one should have been posted before the last one, but ..... whatever. Anyway, this happened before I got sick.

The last time we trailered The Girls, Divna was having mini freak-out sessions in the trailer. We have never had trailer problems, loading or un-loading problems with our Girls, so we deduced it was because a friend had used our horse trailer to haul some cows. Divna was probably smelling the cows and thought they were going to kill her. It had been suggested we take the trailer to a car wash to get rid of the smell, but of course we did not get to that task.

The last time we were at the Dunes, Zora had an issue with a mud pit at the end of one of the bridges there. It took John what seemed lke 10 minutes to get her to cross that mud pit and get off the bridge.

So we loaded them up, and sure enough, Divna was still smelling those cows. She started dancing around and pushing up against Zora, which just irritated Zora. Once we got moving she was better, but I still don't like the fact that she was jittery back there. I am afraid she is going to hurt herself.

At the Dunes, we could tell it was still pretty wet on the trails. We had been having some rain, and the Dunes area is naturally sort of wet ayway. So we got to "Zora's Bridge" and I am happy to report that after just a bit of coaxing, she conqured that fear and went across the Evil Mud Pit.

So Zora made progress with the bridge, but poor Divna is still having problems with the cows. John had an idea -- when we got home, he put some horse manuer from our pasture in the trailer. The idea being that her own pasture smell may overcome the cow smell. Hopefully that will work.

I still do not have decent photos for this post, because my pictures from the last couple of rides are "trapped" inside a non-working photoshop program.

But here is one of Divna after unloading from the Scary Cow Trailer....

She has on her fancy sparkly eye patch. Too bad it is such a lousy photo!!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Trail Ride Postponed

The first weekend after I started to get sick with the latest bout of bronchits, it was really beautiful outside. I wanted to ride in the worst way. It seems like it had been such a long time since we rode. But on both Saturday and Sunday, I tried and was just not up to it.

On Saturday I figured since I couldn't ride, I may as well vaccinate The Girls. I know I am late with the spring vaccines -- they should have been done about a month ago -- so I needed to get them taken care of.

As usual Zora was perfect -- stood there like a statue of a horse for all three shots. Divna, on the other hand, was a totally different story. She has always been a bit jumpy about the vaccines, and the wormer for that matter. After all her surgeries for her eye at Purdue she did get some better about it. Then after she lost the eye, I would approach her on her blind side and it was much easier to vaccinate her that way. For some reason this time it did not work. I was on her blind side, and she started jumping all over the place. I was sick and just not up to it, so I decided to save it for another day. Perhaps she was in estrus -- sometimes she will act up then if I try to vaccinate her.

On Sunday I managed to get out to the barn and groom Divna, and that was all I had energy for. So John decided it was a good time to clean up the tack.

So we built a small bonfire, I sat on a lawnchair and watched John clean the saddles and bridles. I had on my riding boots, and he even cleaned the boots for me while I was wearing them! What a guy!! I am not real good at keeping my boots polished....

I took some pictures, but had a complication with my photo software. I am not real good at figuring out the "whole digital camera download to a program upload to other places" routine. It is a long story (and a boring one), so I will spare you the details. What it boils down to is that I uploaded the digital photos to a photoshop software program that evidently is no longer valid or supported. So now my photos are "trapped" in this program. I tried to take a photo of the photos on the computer screen. Here you can barely make out John cleaning the saddles.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


I have been unable to post or participate in the blog world for about the last 2 weeks. Have been suffering from bronchitis again, and to top it off, have been having to work overtime at my job. I have some stories to share about Divna and the trailer, Zora and the mud, Divna and the vaccines, and some other stuff.

We are going riding this afternoon (in about 5 minutes), so I am sure I will have something else to relate.

I'll be reading every one else's blogs soon and catching up. I could also use a couple of new blogs to read, since some of the ones I have been following and enjoying over the last year have sadly dropped out. Any suggestions??

Talk to all of y'all soon!!!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Trailer Incident

I had a "trailer incident" with Divna the other day. Really surprising because both of our horses have always loaded and unloaded with no problem. Perhaps this was because of the cows...

A friend of ours decided to get a couple of cows to raise for food (I could never do that -- I would end up naming the cows and not wanting to butcher them. Our chickens are getting older and the egg production is not what it used to be -- people tell us to make soup out of them, but I just can't do it. I would be a vegetarian if I had to kill my own meat). They were young animals, about 500 pounds each, so he borrowed our horse trailer to transport them to his house.

On Sunday we decided to take The Girls down to Bluhm County Park to ride the trails, and we have to trailer them there now because someone bought the last section of abandoned railroad line and blocked it off so we can no longer ride there (sob!!). We got them both in the trailer, John went in the house to set the alarm and I was in the barn grabbing some last minute item I forgot to pack. I heard a lot of ruckus outside and ran out there, and The Girls were bouncing around in the back of the trailer. They have never done that before....I went up and started talking to them and got them calmed down, but it was really strange. I couldn't really tell what was going on, but it was almost like Divna was crowding Zora, and Zora was trying to keep her away.

We went to the park and just had a really nice ride. There were these beautiful flowers in bloom all over the place -- they were big white flowers growing off of this broad leafed 3-leaved plant that grows very close to the ground. (My friend Dee told me what they were called, but I can't remember what she said -- "Tremblis" or something like that ???) I usually take my camera on trail rides, but did not have it that day -- I was kicking myself for that. The pictures would have been beautiful (the picture above of me and Divna by the trailer is one from a couple of summers ago at Potato Creek State Park -- I just wanted a picture for the post, so I cheated!).

When we would ride the abandoned railroad line all the way to Bluhm County Park we would not go on all of the trails. The ride down there is about 5 miles, so we would always just ride the periphery trails and then head back. We have only ridden the main trails all thru the park a couple of times, and that has been years ago. It is not a park for winter riding -- the trails are just mainly switchbacks. In the winter when the leaves are all gone you can see the trail snaking around and it just doesn't seem to make much sense (it could make you "horse sick" like someone I know from the blogs -- Desert Rose, perhaps???). But when it is leafy, it is a neat ride partly because of the switchbacks and partly because it is pretty hilly for Northwest Indiana. But it was just a really challenging and enjoyable ride. We all loved it.

Then when we went to load The Girls to go home, I made the classic mistake of being too casual about everything. I am so used to Divna loading with no problem, that I walked in, tied the lead rope and turned around to leave the trailer. When I did, I saw that she only had her front feet in the trailer -- her back legs and back end were still outside. So I pushed on her rear end to get her to step in. She was having none of it. She started to pull back. I realized I needed to release that rope, but she had pulled it so tight that I could not get it undone, even though it was a quick release knot. So John jumped in and pulled it loose.

Divna was nerved up, so I walked her a bit around the parking lot to calm her down. It took some coaxing to get her to load. It sort of scared me -- I was afraid she would break her own neck struggling against that lead rope.

John is wondering if they could smell the cows and that is what was causing them to act up this time. I hope I don't have a problem with loading her in the future.