Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Odds 'n Ends

Not a whole lot of new happenings to report around here...I'm down to the last week and half of school before a three-week break between spring and summer session, so that's kept me busy. Short rides last weekend, as the ponies were a bit sore from trimming. *growl* I rasp Mimi for six weeks and she's perfect, my farrier comes and trims her, and she's sore. Wonder what it would take for me to get good enough at rasping to not have to bring the farrier out.

Vet was out today for spring shots, and to get Beamer's teeth done. For once in my life, I escaped with the lowest vet bill of the whole barn. *happy dance* Mimi, miraculously, only needed 4-Way and West Nile shots. So they'll probably get another weekend of taking it easy coming up, since I want to give their bodies time to get the shot toxins out of their systems before working too hard in the heat.

Shoring up details for the summer...looks like I'll be going out to help crew for friend Lucy at Tevis...I'm to be Roo's Official Boot Person, since apparently I've got the most experience using Renegades. Time to make the list of things I need to stock up on from Tevis vendors. Need: new Zilco halter, collapsible water bucket, and riding tights. Want: Lots of frivolous things that I can't afford. Just keep telling myself that I have to be able to pack all this stuff in my suitcase to take home. I did tell Dad I'd find him one of the nice scrubby sponges and bring that home for him.

Aside from that, the non-horsey part of summer includes at least one San Diego trip (my journey in escapism and regaining my sanity after weeks of schooling) in which I accomplish little, save for a lot of beach time, come back red as a lobster, fade to a suntan for about three days, then go back to ghost-white. Of course, that last part can also apply to crewing at Tevis when I inevitably forget my sunscreen.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Snakes on a Trail

Sunday was our first big snake sighting of the year. We had just finished a lovely ride, and were about 200 yards from the trailhead when Mimi stops suddenly. Naturally, I had chosen this time to ride on a loose (read: practically none) rein, lightly held in between a couple fingers as I faffed around with my watch and figured out our ride time and average speed.

As soon as she clammed on the brakes, I glanced down to see the tail end of a snake slowly slithering away, about six inches from Mimi's front hoof. First thoughts were very colorful, until I realized the tail didn't have rattles...*whew* Took another look and saw the rest of the snake attached to said tail -- an almost five-foot long king snake, slowly curling up under a scrubby bush before slithering into a hole.

Mimi was more curious than anything -- I think her reaction was something akin to, "Mom, the stick is moving." She's definitely snake trained, although if that had been a rattler, she would have stopped way further back, since the scent or sound of a rattler causes a violent and abrupt stop out of her, and lots of urgent, worried looks and snorts in the direction of the scaled offender.

Of course, my head was in the clouds to to notice that large of a snake laying partway across the trail. I blame it on the fact that it got very warm, our first really warm training ride of the year, and we had ridden pretty fast in order to beat the beat and create our own breeze. We did slightly over 10 miles, in just over two hours, with time for a potty break and some handwalking. On top of that, we did a longer, slightly slower ride on Saturday, which was also warm, so by Sunday late morning, my brain was insisting that it had enough of the heat and was sufficiently cooked. Desert rat wimps 'r us.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Goodbye, Spring

We had a great ride yesterday...our first warm training ride of the season. The temps were flirting with 90* by yesterday afternoon, so I'm glad we rode early. We beat a lot of the traffic, and as such, only had to contend with one large group of hikers (Beamer had fun chasing them down the trail and making them scatter off to the sides...reminded him of Man Against Horse) and a mountain biker.

We did the standard big loop again. What's nice is, the more we ride that loop, the more of it we're able to trot. Both ponies were exceptionally good yesterday, especially for not being ridden for a week. I've been petsitting at a friend's place this week, which has left me little to no time during the week to go ride.

Now it's off to go do a repeat of yesterday...this time with even warmer temps, oh goody.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Keeping Busy

The "conflicted cactus" out in the San looks how I feel right about now!

Whew. I feel like my life's been a little bit of crazy for the past week and a half. My mother's been out of town, so I've been taking care of everything she normally does, as well as my usual routine, and still managing to sneak out and ride. On top of everything, spring allergies make me want to curl up and sleep every time I get a spare second to sit down.

I've still been getting some good rides in...the ponies got a good workout last weekend, especially Sunday -- 15 miles in 3 hours, which is *blazing* speed for us during training. :) And that includes a potty/tack adjustment break. The previous day, Saturday, was a bit slower, and I brought my camera out, so I used to time to get caught up on some picture-taking.

And we rode again yesterday, with wind gusting up to 40mph. Yes, we really are crazy. But the ponies did so well, I was very proud of them.
In other news...Karen Chaton started a group on Facebook for Renegade users and people interested in Renegades...she and I are both administrators for it. Check it out here if you're interested! I'm also on Facebook, listed under one of the group admins, so feel free to friend me!