Saturday, December 12, 2009
I wore a lot of those shirts out. But then I saw a quilt made from T shirts and thought, "Wow! What a cool idea!" I had to think about the shirts I'd use, which ones I'd cut up, which ones were too ragged, and then lay them out and decide what shirt I wanted next to each other. Wow! These weren't easy decisions.
I researched on different ways to make a quilt. I passed on the "patterns" because I thought, who needs a pattern, it's just a bunch of squares! Are you laughing now?
I'd get the stuff out on a cold winter day, play with it, toss it in the box and forget about it till another cold winter day. I cut some squares, sewed some strips of squares together, tossed it back in the box. Last winter I didn't do much with it, had too much work to do on this house. This winter I decided to get it out and work on it because it wasn't sewing itself.
I wanted a few more squares than what I had sewn up. So I went on the hunt. I found several good items that didn't quite fit but I wanted them anyway. The Owyhee scarf, the Horse Ridge blanket, and ROC. Hence - one row is a bit wider than the others. My logic, it's a quilt, things aren't supposed to match.
All these items hold many years of history, cherished memories and lots of good times with friends and family. Sometimes all three of us rode the rides together; other times just Andi and I. We had lots of fun and always came home with something new to add to our endurance treasure chest.
The Headwaters of The Rogue was a great ride, I have pictures of Sunny and I in the Rogue River from 1979. I'm not sure what year this shirt is from but I rode that ride many times on Sunny, Speedy and Zapped.
Pacific Crest - Andi and I rode it in the rain, it was a dark grey day and the photographer on the trail was using a flash. Of course I didn't know this until he clicked and Zap dashed out through the trees in a nano-second. My picture was blank cuz my horse had left! Andi's picture was just fine!
Purina Race Of Champions, I was number 32 in 1986 and rode Speedy that year with Al and Chollima. I'd started it twice before but this was my first year to finish. This ride was in Colorado and it was tough!
Some of the shirts are from my travels. Pacific North shirt was from Canada when I was Assistant Chef d'Quip, it rained and snowed and was a cold bugger but nice day for the ride!
The Cavalo Arabe came from my trip to Brazil when I traveled there in 1995 to do a seminar on endurance. What fun and I got to ride some nice horses there too!
The 1997 FEI North American Championship shirt is one I was commissioned to design. Unfortunately when the printers got the artwork, they left "my mark" off the logo, but at least I got credited for it in the program.
The Old Selam shirt is from 1999 maybe and I rode Zapped that year, but I also rode this ride in 1979 on Sunny when it started at the Old Penitentiary in Boise and the trail went right up the Boise Front.
Paulina Peak was a beautiful ride, a tough 100 and I rode it several times. My favorite year wasn't where I placed, it was seeing the full moon dancing on the water of Paulina Creek. I think we finished at 3 AM about the time the moon was going down amid the Fir trees.
Now the quilt still isn't finished. But it's getting close! The top has the batting and it all has to go with the backing. The back became a stumbling block that I pondered for a couple years, yes it had to be something special not just any piece of fabric. I decided on the cooler blanket from the Horse Ridge 100 in 1986. I raced in riding Speedy and never heard the end of that little match!
From top to bottom, front to back, this quilt tells all about my "endurance life". I think it will be a wonderful legacy for the grandaughters someday!
Sunday, November 29, 2009
When Thunder was born I instantly knew he was "my" horse. A unique connection existed. I could feel this one was special. On his web page I placed the old Arab proverb of: "If one tells you that he has seen a horse fly in the air, ask what color it was. If he says Chestnut, believe him." Thunder absolutely resembles that remark. I call him my flying carpet.
The red horse is noble, demands attention either by being a pain in your bum or just by his regal stature that catches everyone's eye. I remember Merri Melde saying about Thunder, "Oh he's beautiful." I quickly whispered back, "Oh please don't tell him that, his ego is already far too big!" I think he heard me because minutes later I was in the dirt - but that's another story.
I swear Thunder is the reincarnation of my big beloved red horse, Sunny. That horse was the most mischevious animal that ever walked the earth. No gate was safe unless it was chained and padlocked. When tied to the trailer he would undo two lead ropes and be gone. If a buddy was at the trailer he would untie him too, after all it's more fun to escape with a pal. Sunny would buck evey morning upon entering the racetrack with his fourth "pony" of the morning. One morning a friend asked to borrow Sunny as his pony horse was done for the day, I said sure. He came back and said "Man this bugger can buck!" I calmly counted one, two, three, "Yup that was his fourth one for the day, he always bucks on that one!" He didn't buck on the others, just the fourth one.
Another red horse, Domino, was an amazing athlete, also opinionated and mischevious. He and Andi had a brother/sister relationship. He'd see a mud puddle while trotting down the trail and aim for it, slamming a hoof down in the middle of it and spattering her with mud. She'd reach up and tweak his ear. I actually saw the two of them stick their tongues out at each other!
The redhead is a challenge but in the long run they are amazing horses. Thunder will never be truly trained or broke, and don't even think of him as a mode of transportation. Over the years I have learnt that Thunder is not my horse. It's more like I am his human. It is my duty to be his slave and he rewards me with a treat, a magical ride upon his back. And together we get to see many places and travel as one.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
But the bottom line was, as that gorgeous hawk just sat there on the branch with the azure sky behind him, I had no camera. And he wasn't taking flight either. He was just watching us travel down the sand gully. I thought of Andi's new "power" camera with the 15X optical zoom. WOOHOO! I could've zoomed in on that hawk's beady little eyes. But - no camera.
I also saw four fat dark colored mule deer. No horns in the bunch as they lingered and lwatched us ride by.
Then there was the lone coyote after the mouse. You knew no one had been hunting him because he also paid little attention to us. The ones around home are long gone if you get within a quarter mile of them! But this old boy just glanced at us, and went back to his mouse. Cocking his head to one side, pawing the grass a little. He was working on a mid day snack. And me, who loves to take pictures, had no camera!
I only had the camera in my little pea brain and I hope it holds on to those images for a very long time.
But nevertheless we did ride. Thunder the wonder horse discovered a nice herd of deer as they bounced out of the cottonwoods along the little creek. They were sheltered from the wind there. There were several does, fawns and one big buck. We seldom see deer in there so he had to get all excited and racey. He snorted and blew, his eyes bugged out, his tail was high and he was just a bugger! But I still enjoyed the deer. They must have spooked up a coyote because we saw him running in the opposite direction and crossing our path up ahead.
So on up the hill we went only to have a lone motorcycle come racing over the hilltop above us. He did see us and he was gone in a flash! A man on a mission evidently. The trail wasn't dusty at all thanks to the rain overnight. The wind swirled around us and the horses and they felt as though they were walking on eggs. Why do they always do that on blustery days? We just meandered through the sagebrush, up and down hills, having a good time. Occasionally we managed to get out of the wind.
But wait, here comes the biker again from the distance. He went straight up a hill and then back down again, and took off up the draw, and was gone. Man he was fast! I had wanted to go up that draw but thought better of it in case he came racing back down. It's a busy day when I see anybody out there. I am usually all by my little lonesome.
The view from the top of the hill was gorgeous as we came back down towards the pickup. The wind had blown out all the clouds. The air was clean. I could see forever! The Snake River wound around the squares of green and brown farmland. A driftboat of fishermen hoping to catch something for dinner caught my eye. The trees were a gorgeous red and yellow, some still hanging on to that last bit of green. A view that is pretty tough to beat and it all made for one great day!
Sunday, October 18, 2009
The link is http://www.geocities.com/zmufaurwa if you are inclined to one last look.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Day 1 saw 50 starters take out of ride camp on the beginning of a great adventure. We rode the Wild Horse Butte, a 50 mile loop which left camp at Bates Creek, crossed Hwy 78, went out across the birds of Prey area, around Wild Horse Butte to the Snake River. Gorgeous. The horses drank deeply from the river and then we traveled along the river and up the hills, leaving it far behind, through washes and gully's where we met up with an unhappy rattler. I didn't stop to make friends. We were on the Oregon Trail for several miles which is pretty awesome. Then back to camp.
Day 2 was Castle Creek and we crossed so many creeks and canyons that I am really not sure which was which. The canyons and rock formations were gorgeous. The wind however was wicked and was about to blow us off our horses on the ridgetops. I loved the old wagon sitting alongside the dirt road not far from a ranch. This day and all days were 50 mile loops pf trail with all out vet checks. It was fantastic and beautiful, sandstone ledges, a vast land of many colors. However a few miles from the finish my ankle was snapping and popping and didn't want to support me so we were slow. But we finished. It felt better after I walked around for a bit so I was optimistic for day 3.
Day 3 my ankle felt good, I wrapped it with vet wrap and duct tape "just in case" but trotted out of camp on the Alder Creek 55 feeling good about the day. Linda took the day off her mare and rode Blue. I love watching that horse move, he is so pretty! We rode South across Hart Creek to Browns Creek for a vet check and somewhere in between that blasted ankle started to ache. In the vet check a friend gave me an ankle brace, we wrapped over top of that. Got the high topped riding shoe on and wrapped over that. It felt pretty solid. Out of Browns Creek and off towards Toy Mtn for one very rocky and hilly loop that would take us through canyons, creeks, by old homesteads and back to the vet check at Browns Creek. It was slow going, first due to rocks and then due to my ankle and pain radiating up the leg. Just great! After the vet check it was trot for a mile and walk for half to rest the bad leg. I was leaning off to the side and that wasn't good for my horse. Dropped the stirrups a notch and rode with me knees trying not to use stirrups at all. That's fine for a few laps around a show ring but not realistic for 16 miles of cross country. But we made it in with an hour and a half to spare. But I decided no more rides I'd just help at the vet checks.
Day 4 was Sinker Creek Canyon, considered rocky but not for miles on end like day 3. There are raptor nests in the canyon walls and it is super scenic trail and everyone was doing great as I pulsed horses down in the vet check. Each day did also offer a Limited Distance ride but theswe just aren't an option for me although these averaged about 17 entries each day. Turns out that my ankle isn't really the problem, but a symptom. The real problem is to put it simply, tendonitis, but that will probably take longer to heal than a sprained ankle. I think I should have stuck with the ankle but no choices there!
Day 5 there were still 6 same horse rider teams heading out on the trail. Blue and Thunder were unhappy campers and I ventured over to Tom's camp to see if he needed a horse to ride. I walked back with his saddle and Blue was on his way! An insulted Thunder was having a fit, "Hey remember me? I'm Top Dog! You can't leave me in camp!" I spent the day as the vet check timer, which was kinda fun but I'd rather ride. The next best thing was seeing my horse on the trail with a good friend! Sigh.... A total of 31 started the 50 and 29 completed. The trail was changed a bit from the first days trail and everyone had a wonderful ride despite a bit of cold wind and rain late in the day. The Awards Presentation found us all hovered around the patio heaters behind the house.
This was an amazing ride with the Teeter's doing a great job on the trails and opening up their home and ranch to all of us. What hospitality! And the dinners catered by Blue Canoe were scrumptuous!!! One of the great things was not one horse had to be treated all week! Not one ambulance call for an injured rider! Six teams completed 5 days for 255 miles and there two horse rider teams for the LD five day (all women what happened to the guys?!) and Steph was sure that was a record. The BIG loops of trail were outrageous! It was truly a memorable week of great trails, adventure and friendships! And will I try again next year! Of course I will.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Then I remove a trailer divider and put a couple 12 foot panels in there so I can make a corral for the horse that has to stay in camp on any chosen day. Repack the hay that was in there. Put more hay bales in the pickup and wonder, "Do I need two more?" These two hoovers eat a lot!
The vet check bag is a smaller version of the trailer. Empty it out and repack it. Then it's nearly too heavy to lift! Need one with wheels.
All this in between trying to ride nearly every night and that means having the trailer usable at all times. Tires are aired up and good. Truck fluids and tires are good. The boys are recently shod.
Put a temp cross fence on the pasture so Zap & Hollie can take care of themselves for a few days. The list never ends. Don't forget to give the garden that last shot of water either. One of those cantelopes needs to ripen before I go because I wanted to take it with me.
The sun is coming up so I guess I had better continue my preparations. Going over to Linda's later to help her pack panels and hay in her trailer. This is more work that the ride probably but looking forward to a week of riding! and not wanting to think about the unpacking and laundry when I get back. :-)
Monday, August 31, 2009
Sunday, July 19, 2009
The weather has been HOT but the riding goes on. You just try to start earlier and take more drinks with you. That drinking thing is really important - even tho I drank a LOT yesterday, I was still dry from the heat. An endurance rider can't hide from the heat because when you are on an endurance ride and it gets hot, you have to be prepared. Besides I always figure it'll make me stronger in the long run and MAYBE I'll sweat off a pound if I'm lucky.
Today Blue and I did the 12 mile loop and he is just getting better and better all the time. He is going to be a fun horse to ride. Blue is very sensitive, still a bit fussy about wanting his rider centered and not messing around with stuff when you are trotting along. When he starts wiggling those ears back and forth you better take a deep seat and stop playing with what you were playing with.
I was quite impressed with him last week in the storm though because when he started to play and act up, all I did was say HEY and touch the reins and he stopped! Most horses would have kept playing around and dancing for a few minutes but he listens pretty well. He reminds me a lot of old Zap, he's better behaved but he moves effortlessly like Zap and he cools down well like Zap. In a year or so maybe I can take him on a 100 miler and we'll see. :-)
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Now it was Thunder's turn to stay tied at the tree while we trailered down Succor Creek Rd and did our favorite loop down there. Blue and Ellie had never been ridden out together before and they eying each other and a bit leery of going side by side at first. This area took a big hit with the flash floods with wide swaths of damage. Some of the landscape was totally rearranged and we need to make a few new trails. Blue handled the washouts well and didn't spook at the piles of dirt, sagebrush and rocks like Thunder does. Linda's mare handled fine too and Blue kept looking at his new friend wondering to himself, she's red like Thunder but she doesn't chase me.
It sure was nice to get both horses ridden in one day. Feels like i did an endurance ride after riding two hroses in one day! I find it tough to have the time to keep both young horses going. It takes a lot of work, discipline and dedication. But Blue is going to be a really nice horse. I forgot my camera though, that was a bad thing because I always see something and wish that I'd had it. Today we are having some storms go through so may not get in a ride this afternoon afterall.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
It was the coolest old dug out, flat rocks laid in there horizontally to build a smooth solid wall. The poles over the top were supports for a sod roof. The dugout was near the banks of Hart Creek, and upstream was an awesome cave with a sign mostly covered with brush. I had to see what it said. It read "Oreana Savana". Not sure exactly what that meant. This was just one of the many sights at the Almosta Bennett Hills ride at Oreana.
The Bennett Hills ride was planned for the Gooding area. To make a long story short, it got rained out and John & Steph Teeter stepped in, offering trails and camp and much more just 5 days before the ride date. WOW!
I rode Thunder day 1 on the loop that left Oreana and climbed up to Toy Mtn. Sego lilies decorated the landscape along with a few left over Indian Paintbrush, Lupine, and Arrowleaf. It was a 50 mile loop - HOORAY!!! - with an out vet check and it was a wonderful reminder of the old days of endurance when you really had to ride coyote smart. I rode with my friend Linda and we had a blast! The horses had lots of creek crossings with good water. A bite of grass here and there. Even though it was the mid 80's the last few miles Thunder had to throw in some power spooks to be sure that I was still there and maybe I'd let him go faster? Not! We finished 8 and 9, snapping pictures of cool rock formations and scenic vistas along the way.
Sunday was day 2, I was going to ride spooky Thunder another day. Linda opted out on her mare but rode Blue on his second 50. He had spent all day Saturday having a fit in the corral in camp wondering why we had left him there. So he was a happy camper trotting down the trail Sunday after we got the first spook out of the way. We had a 25 mile loop that zigged and zagged over to Hart Creek and over little hills, rocks, sagebrush, through the creeks, past the homestead, and back to camp. After a vet check and an hour hold we were to repeat the loop in reverse. Only our hour hold was more like a hour and a half. it went something like this: Merri asks me, "Hey Karen aren't you guys going back out?" I answered "yup at 11:19." She said, "well you're late, it's 11:31!" Oh well, the extra time for the horses to eat and drink wasn't a waste as it was heating up and they'd need the energy. It heated right up to 95. And I am sure the water in my bottles was 120+! But we finished and the horses were in great shape and hungry but then Thunder is always hungry. We were top 10 and "turtle" all at the same time too.
It was a great weekend and those that missed it really missed some good trail and that nice 50 mile loop! Classic endurance stuff there. I love it!!!!
Sunday, June 14, 2009
I took Thunder along to keep Grey Boy happy in the trailer and also to do some riding. How can you visit a place in the Black Hills of NE Wyoming and not ride?? Especially when the place is a working cattle ranch. This might make up for those fleeting pictures of all the interesting things that I drove by. I would have loved to have had more time for a trip like this, so many historic and wondrous things to see: Battle of Little Big Horn, Devils Tower, views of the Tetons and several other mountain ranges, and my favorite - old homesteads.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Linda and I rode up Indian Creek Road with Owyhee Reservoir behind us. The Reservoir is 25 miles long through the Owyhee Range and attracts many boaters, fisherman and campers. It's a 5 mile pull to the cattle guard up near the top of the hill. The horses were busy eating grass and we were eyeing the gorgeous wildflowers ranging from a neon Blue to pink to bright yellow. We saw a nice little doe and as we climbed higher and could look down into the Cherry and Birch Creek confluence, there was a bull. Yup, Linda had spotted one earlier and then when they came back empty thought maybe she'd just seen a big rock. But this was no rock, definitely a bull. Now out in the open, uphill from the creek and the brush, laughing at us. The trailers and all were gone so we continued on our way, enjoying the ride, the view and watching for more snakes.
As it began to get dark the moon rose up and between it and mother nature's fireworks, lightening down south towards Three Fingers, we had a decent amount of light. Not enough to stay on the faint brushy trail along Alkali Creek that would take us over near Blackjack Butte though. We weren't lost, we just weren't where we needed to be. We knew where to go, but we couldn't get there from where we were. From the hilltop we could see all the city lights from miles away, from Ontario down to Homedale and across to Boise and bogus Basin. What a sight. But our landmarks that we see in the daylight, the Snake River, the canal, roads and the bridge, were all hidden in darkness. So we worked our way back towards the powerlines, knowing those would take us down to Succor Creek Road. It was warm and beautiful and the moonlight. We'd trot where the footing was good but that wasn't a lot. Pretty rocky country out there. As we got closer to the powerlines we sent Joe a text message that read "powerline p u". It took about a mile till we got a strong enough signal for it to send but he knew what we meant. And he picked us up where the powerlines meet up with Succor Creek Rd. He even got there just a few minutes after we did. It was 11:45 PM. My goal is to be home by midnight - missed it by just a bit this time. But what a fabulous ride we had!! Hey we're ready to ride in the dark on that 100 miler now!!
Friday, May 29, 2009
Hey look it here - my buddy Linda Ballard and I are the "cover girls" of the AERC June Endurance News!! She is riding her mare and I have my red Thunder pony. WOOHOO!! Merri Melde took this at Owyhee Tough Sucker. What Fun. Perhaps I should go show this to Thunder, he may like to see a pic of him and his girlfriend Arie.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
Truth is - Oreana endurance rides declare the new ride season open, and also close it in the fall. You know spring is here when you can go to Teeter's place on Bates Creek and saddle up and enjoy the sagebrush, sand washes, creeks and friends.
I have concentrated on slowing Thunder down, I joked about turning him into a "plodder". When Linda and I rode out of camp, nearly last, as we checked out and they asked us how you doing this morning, "I told them just plodding along." Thunder was calm, on a loose rein, relaxed. I kept telling Linda, "Wow if he can do this all day I'll be thrilled." Sometimes I wondered if it was really my Thunder. I think he's growing up. We rode across the flats above Pickett Creek thencircled back around to cross Bates Creek. Thunder loped a bit on the shoulder of the road, relaxed and easy, just having himself a very good time. Then we turned west again, passing a few riders here and there, and looked at those beautiful snow capped mountains to the west. Then it was down the Pickett Canyon trail and across Bates Creek with a mile and a half in. Thunder was thinking he was done, so he spooked and played through the wildflowers.
His pulse was down to 60 immediately, we vetted through and got 30 minutes to eat and change what needed changed, add what needed to be added, replenish water and all that before returning to go out. This time it was a 25 mile loop. Yeah we get to go somewhere. This loop went through the Brand's place and up the hill, swept out across Hart Creek via sand washes, and then turned to bring us back over more hills. We had lots of water and our horses drank every time! Then down Pickett Creek trail and into camp again, still shying at all those fun things.
Again the pulse dropped right away and we thought we were around 20th. This time we got to hang out in camp for 40 minutes. The final ten mile loop took us out to the Hart Creek rim and we could look down at where we had been earlier in the day. As well as the interesting sandstone formations in the landscape. It was a beautiful view. We could see riders off in the distance but we basically had it all to ourselves as we left the rim to go down the canyon trail one final time. The horses got a good drink in the creek and as we trotted out Thunder found a pair of alligators (logs) and shied twice from left to right in a heartbeat. Yeah, he was tired. LOL!
We trotted in and plodded across the finish line and the timer says "Do you want to tie?" Linda and I said we don't care. Well you can, to which we replied, doesn't matter. Then the guy says, well you are Top 10. We loked at each other and left and said NO WAY, we were sure he must have missed a few finishers. But nope we had plodded our way to 8th and 9th!! That was a shock. We didn't go fast, we walked when we needed or wanted, trotted and tried to keep it down to a dull roar and loped occasionally. Our finish time was 6:05. We had a great ride, the top 10 was just a surprising and welcome bonus!
Linda's mare and Thunder looked good, they vetted well and we didn't bother to show for Best Condition. The time factor was too big so we just got our completion and was pleased with that.
Sure hope my horse stays in this relaxed enjoyable pace mode, maybe I'll plod through a few more rides!
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Yesterday the pasture got plowed and seeded. So now I get to do the farmer thing: appreciate the rain, pray the wind doesn't blow all the dirt and seed away, and hope for a nice pasture for the horses. The garden spot got dug up and with some raking out is ready to go. I can plant cool weather veggies now. Th daffodils I planted last winter in front of the house are blooming now adding some color to the yard that I just seeded. Spring brings all things anew as they say.
A week ago, March 21, the South Central Idaho riders put on an endurance and trail clinic and I was one of the speakers. It had been a long time since I spoke at any clinics or seminars so I know I forgot a few things. But I was pleased that those that came enjoyed it and had a good time. My biggest piece of advice was "Know your horse" and every little detail about him. My next tip was to Return to the Basics, get a stethoscope and learn to really take care of your horse on the trail and at home. Do more trail riding vs condiioning rides, exploring and going places with your horse, it really brings the two of you together outside the competition world. We had MC Isaac as our model and he patiently agreed to letting one and all take his pulse, listen to his gut sounds, examine his legs and modeled some easyboots. He didn't admit to it but I'm sure Isaac enjoyed all the attention.
Yesterday when us gals rode there was new grass everywhere and the Yellow Bells are beginning to bloom. The brown hillsides are getting some color and new beauty. A month old calf that had wandered from mom followed us for about a mile convinced one of the horses was mom. Poor little guy. Mom had probably stashed him somewhere and he failed to stay put as told. But the range cows are resilient and we know they'll match up again. We had a bit of rain but it was warm so none of us cared. We think we'll be in shape enough for Steph's April Tough Sucker ride. It'll be slow but we'll be fine. The ground is drying out so in the next couple weeks we'll have to head out to Devils Gate and Three Fingers.
However today it's back to the same old stuff. Cold and hard winds. Wind chill is about 15 this morning. BRRRR! Have a great spring!
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Oh where was my good camera? Forgotten. But I at least had my trusty camera phone. Technology on horseback. You can ride along, send a text, take a picture or call someone if you have a signal.
We were all loaded down with warm clothes and well prepared. We had less snow this winter up there. Last year we were crossing big snow fields. There was a bit of ice though. Blue splayed out in front and just went down on his nose but got back upright without going down all the way. We laughed that he looked like Bambi on ice! He didn't like Ranger behind him after that either, maybe he thought Ranger pushed him. :-)
It was a good day to get out. A nice easy drive, only took three hours which has to be a record. I told Joe we are either getting good at it or the cows are! Fourteen of them did know the way which helps a lot.
Yup once the cows go out that means spring is right around the corner. HOORAY!