Friday, November 30, 2012

Fly Away

Many years ago Al & I bought a gorgeous little Arabian mare named MA Lady Beauzika. She was a plain blood bay, ridden a couple times, and she stood maybe 14.2. We decided to breed her to Cole and Charlotte Stills stallion, My Arabi Kabir. Rabi had the greatest disposition and people were always surprised to find out that he was a stallion because he was so well mannered. The result was a cute little bay filly born June 29, 1987 that we named Fancy Flyer. The first Arabian that we ever bred.
In 1993 Al rode her on 5 rides, and she did one more ride in 1994 for a total of 310 AERC miles.
Andi was wanting a Pinto so we bought a breeding at a stallion auction and bred her to a tall dark bay and white 3/4 Arabian pinto. In May of 1998, the same day as the Prineville endurance ride, Flyer foaled a filly, Midknight Star. The knight-shaped "star" was the only white we got, far from a pinto! It was fitting that she arrived on Prineville ride day - sort of an honor to Cole Still who has put this ride on for so many years! Andi still has Star and rides her some.
Flyer was a reliable trail horse and later she was a good family horse for Kenz and Riley. Sadly we had to say goodbye to Flyer Nov 1, 2012. I was there when she was born and there for her last breath. Go run again Flyer! Fly away!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Training Diamond

When I got Diamond last April she was 90% unhandled. After a couple short sessions she gentled right down. I think she liked the attention of the round pen, brushing and being played with. It wasn't long before I had a saddle on her and was taking the "big dog" for a walk down the road and having her follow me everywhere. The summer got busy and all she had to do was eat, sleep and be lazy. But this fall after ride season was over it was back to doing some round pen work.
She displayed a few moves which showed a bit of attutude!
However once she figured out that resulted in more circles and work she was quickly begging to stop.
The first day when Chris got on her I didn't get any pictures as I was too busy holding on to Diamond's lead rope just to keep it all safe and quiet. But the second day, she was on her own. Turning, stopping, listening and all the while calm and relaxed. Diamond's third saddle lesson was "I'm bored." So we loaded up and went out to the BLM where she got her very first adventure with Hollie.
This was Diamond's second trailer ride and from the time we unloaded and Chris mounted up she was relaxed and happy. She just followed Hollie down the trail and would trot to catch up now and then. At first she didn't like the sagebrush hitting her legs but that didn't last long. By the time we got back to the trailer she was walking in front and still being cool and calm. Wow! For her fourth ride we trailered out to "ride camp" off Lytle as you head to Vale,OR. I was trying to keep her off the big steep Adrian hill for now, give her more obstacles and things to think about.
We started out on a pretty brushy trail with some gradual uphill. She zigged and zagged and quickly wanted to eat grass. If she gets to be an endurance horse at least she will eat. HAHA!
We came up on a big double water tank. Now most Arabians have to snort and get all big eyed over their first few water tanks out on the plains. But not Diamond. She went right up to it and looked at it, blew a little but not really a snort. Then after standing there we just walked away. After more brush and grass to eat we came up on a big black water tank built from a tire.
The big black water tank was so scary she drank from it, after breaking the ice. :) Then it was on down the trail again.
Her biggest thing for the whole 3 mile ride was she got a little flustered going down a small bank but she did it. And when I consider the last two rides is all the hill experience she has it doesn't surprise me. But even then she goes back to happy and calm really fast. She seems to like it. I think I am going to have a horse I can ride anywhere. ♥

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving Tradition

If I saddle up and I'm gone all day long its a Thanksgiving tradition! This started many years ago and the thoughts took me back to the early 80's when we had our end of season endurance ride on Thanksgiving weekend. Good times and many fond memories.
1984 at Fort Rock,OR the second day of the ride and we cantered the 100, finished in the daylight. What a way to spend the weekend, eat, ride, eat, ride some more, followed by eating more. Hey at least we rode it off! This craziness was thanks to George and Penny Behee who provided all of us an end of year points chaser. In the early days the ride was held near Canyonville, OR and Fort Rock, OR., then after Behee's moved to Millican the ride went there also. And we had a big barn with a loft and wood stove. :)I think that's when the name changed to the Horse Heaven ride. Even though the days of an endurance ride on Thanksgiving have been gone, I still feel the need to saddle up and ride on Thanksgiving, remembering. trails, family and friends including those who have left us over the many years.
Thanksgiving 2010 we had snow but if i can get the truck in and out of places I'll still go :) Some years it is snowy and other years the weather has been great. The last two years has been pretty mild.
Thanksgiving 2011 Blue and I looking over the Snake River, we had a bit of fog but it was a good day to ride!
Thanksgiving 2012 I actually found a friend who had time to go riding with me. This always makes it more fun. and we traversed Hallelujah canyon as a great way to celebrate Thanksgiving. Hope everyone else had a great day too!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Ghoulish Finale

The last ride of our NW season was just before Halloween at the Teeter's in Oreana. We had a rather small group but it was a blast. It felt very much like a family get together as you got to ride, hangout and feast with your best horsey buddies!
Thunder and I at Halloweenies, thanks Steve Bradley for another great pic! The first day it was oh so cold!!!! 20 degrees and oh yes put yet another layer of clothes on! I hate cold but its always warmer once you are on the horse. Thunder didn't seem to mind at all. As usual I forgot the darn splint boots so had to go back and put them on and then we really had a late start. At least the big T behaves himself that way! It did warm right up once we were trotting along and I had a great time riding with Carol Brand. We did the 55 in 6:45 and placed 8th. That made us right in the middle which is pretty much what we do. Yeah more points and miles for Thunder Wunder pony! Thunder has had an awesome year of 905 miles!! So what to do for day 2. Thunder looked great and it is so hard to leave him in camp. But I started the ride season on Blue so it seemed like I should do the last one of the year with him also. Blue needed one more ride for his lifetime AERC 1000 miles. He spends all his time on the backburner, in Thunder's shadow, and seldom gets his own shining moment. So I decided to take Blue, and sponsor a Junior Tori Church. Now this was costume day and Tori shows up in the flowing flapping ghoulish outfit. My horse is big eyed and definitely disapproving and I am thinking this is not going to work. "You go out in front Tori and I'll just follow and see how Blue does." And everytime I'd try to have in front he'd get all spooky and scared so we just stayed behind all day!
Merri Melde took this of Tori and I at a water stop. See - it's a ghoul!! Thanks Merri!! Only 8 of us were brave enough to ride the 50 on day 2, and we all finished. What a great time, we were 7th and Blue got his 1000 AERC miles! Proud of my little grey guy!
Thus ended an excellant year of endurance rides! And now its Thanksgiving! And I sure am thankful!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Canyons, Caves and so much more

Just when you think Steph Teeter has had you on every trail in their neck of the Owyhees, she finds something new.
This year for the first day of the 5 day multi-day ride she was able to take us out some new trail above Browns Creek and out to the one of the areas oldest homesteads, the Spivey Ranch. The big 50 mile loop gave us our hour vet check/lunch in style as we all went up to the house for lunch and a tour. Then we followed Castle Creek out near the Crazy Woman mine and headed back to camp via the Jackass Trail then if you weren't attacked by the Jack you continued along a different stretch of Browns Creek. Great trail, lots of scenery but it was rocky and a bit slow.
The slow part may have been good because I hoped to ride Thunder all 5 days. We took almost 8 hours for day 1. We lucked out as Jack just watched as we opened the gate and went through, the two bachelors trotted off and we made it through their territory without any problem.
The second day was the Hart Creek trails, two 25 mile loops from camp.One loop takes us into the Birds of Prey Conservation area with lots of rolling hills and fun trails.
The Hart Creek loop takes us through a great old homestead site with pieces of old farm equipment and a very cool dugout, then up the long climb away from Hart Creek and up Knife Ridge where one can see forever. A great day for us as we finished 9th in just under 7 hours.
Day 3 we rode to the historic Joyce Ranch along Sinker creek. We went along the edge a dry reservoir that feeds water into the ranch all summer, then entered Sinker Canyon. The Canyon walls are adorned with Eagle's nests and there is lots to look at while we have trees branches to dodge and a beaver pond to splash through. A fun day in just a bit over 6 1/2 hours with Thunder still looking like a champ!
The 4th day took us across the highway, through Birds of Prey, down the sandy arroyo
and around Wild Horse Butte. The Snake River was gorgeous and quiet as we trotted along it's banks. Thunder got in another 9th place in a bit over 6 hours. Four days down and one to go.
The last day of a multi-day is always a nail biter because now is not the time to make mistakes. There had been several same-same rider teams drop out after day 4 and I had no idea exactly who was left, but I did know who I needed to beat. :) The route headed back out to Joyce Ranch via a different trail than day 3. Sometime I'd like to go down to the ranch and really look through the old buildings because they fascinate me.
We traveled through several miles of Sinker Creek canyon looking at awesome canyon walls and spires and letting the horses drink the crystal clear water. We had some touch and go moments as Thunder had some rocks in an easyboot that made him a bit off but once cleaned out he was OK. Whew! We finished the days ride in roughly 6 1/2 hours.
The week simply flew by and Thunder had completed his 3000 AERC miles and his third complete Owyhee Canyonlands multi-day. Thunder was the five day winner by nearly 3 hours and was awarded a beautiful bridle for being the Best Condition multi-day horse.
Multi-day rides are such a great time with all my friends and the Teeters do such a great job. I am always in awe of my red Thunder who loves to go and keeps trotting mile after mile!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Feeling Frisky in the Fall

When I opened the gate into the pasture today it was like teh starting gate had sprung open. The thundering herd was off and running!
Then Diamond took some twists, turns and bucks!
Thunder had the lead and Hollie cut the corner
One by one they settle in to eat grass. Diamond however still had a kink in her tail!
She had to make another circle or two before settling down.