Friday, August 21, 2009

A New Rider for Cali

Well, I've been reluctant to post anything, because although my camera came back from Europe safe and sound, along with the newlyweds, the charger for the battery remained in Ireland. Amy's family is sending it back, but I haven't been able to take any new photos. A blog is boring without photos! I don't want folks to think we aren't continuing to have new lessons and challenges, so I decided to write.
Today I rode Calico in the arena for awhile; we are working on maintaining a nice steady trot. Dave, my almost 16 year old son and Philip the 2 year old came along. Philip led little Artie around the arena. The owners were so impress with the way the two had bonded, they said they would order a mini saddle right away. That means I need to get Philip a proper helmet. Anyway, after I rode I had Dave get up on Calico. This is only the second time anyone besides me has ridden her, except with me leading from the ground. Oh my sister, Jenny, was on her once, but today, Dave rode her all around doing circles and serpentines. They did great together. Now Dave hasn't really been on a horse since he was about 11 years old. He went over to a friend's house and rode their large pony. The bridle broke and the horse trotted under a
makeshift fence and Dave was knocked off. His foot got stuck in the stirrup and he was dragged over rocks until the pony finally stepped on him and he came off. Thank God he was wearing a helmet. Poor Dave was skinned up pretty bad. He wasn't too keen on horses after that and still talks about the incident with bitterness to this day. Today he was able to have a very good experience with Cali, and it was good for her to have to be expose to a different rider. I want to be able to have a horse that anyone in the family can ride, and Calico is doing great. Good job Dave.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Cali's Hooves

Here's Cali's hooves three weeks post trim. She just needs a little filing today. She's scheduled for another trim in two weeks. These are just the fronts. While I was posting this, her new breast-collar arrived. I can't wait to go try it out on her. It's really lovely.

The Tevis Cup

For those of you who don't know, this weekend, August 1st, was the 54th Tevis Cup Ride. 100 miles in One Day, from Truckee to Auburn California. Most people I know have never heard of it, but for a growing group of riders this is the greatest test of horse and horsemanship to ever exisit. In preparation for this year's event I read Marnye Langer's book, "The Tevis Cup-To Finish is To Win". I cried all the way through the book, as I reflected on those familiar checkpoints and all the emotions that riders and crew experience as they face this ultimate challenge. I was unable to attend this year because my niece was getting married that day. I had those horses and riders, vets and volunteers in my thoughts all day. As we went home from an evening of dancing and celebrating, I couldn't help but look up at the moon and try to imagine the riders who had been on the trail since 5 am. Now, just after midnight, they were on the last 25 mile leg of their journey under the same moonlight. I tuned in to the webcast and checked out the riders progress and photos throughout the weekend. I saw the familiar face of my old friend Erasmo Sauceda. It was his wife, Carol, that got me riding again as an adult and introduced me to the world of endurance and the Tevis in particular. I'm hooked. I have a great deal of admiration for anyone who would take the time to condition and prepare for that ride. It's not something to take lightly. I have heard of people entering the ride on a whim; they are usually pulled in the first 25 miles. My only personal experience with the Tevis, so far, is camping overnight to watch the start, and crewing one year for my friend Carol. She was pulled that year just before Foresthill, around 68 miles into the ride. I lived in that area for thirteen years, and rode my horses in similar terrain, but only for twenty-five miles at the most. I hope to volunteer for future rides and even ride parts of the trail with Calico someday. Once the Tevis is in your blood, it's hard to shake it.

Philip and Artie

The barn owners bought a miniature black stallion named Arthur or Artie. The moment Philip saw him, he said,"dat's my hoss". They are already becoming good friends. Artie is just one year old, but his hooves are horribly over-grown and he has the most ridiculous underbite, but he's as cute as a button. In case I didn't mention it before, the name Philip is Greek for,"one who loves horses".