Thursday, January 2, 2014
www.equicamping.com. Here is where we will now be putting our blog posts, and have added a forum to discuss every horse camping topic you can imagine. In addition, with what we believe will be our most valuable asset, we've added a Map Exchange. We have collected hundreds of maps over the years, both print and GPS, and now we're making them available to you! In addition, we're going to ask our web visitors that if YOU have a print or online map, or a GPS-made trail map that you'd like to share, let us have it and we'll be sure to spread the word to the rest of the trailriding community! So join us at Equicamping.com, and meet up online with people of like minds all over the country! Thanks for being a blogspot reader, and we'll see you at Equicamping.com!
Saturday, December 28, 2013
Having had a busy week with family, and the horses just hanging around in the yard during mostly weather too cold to ride, we finally had a day nice enough to do a little exploring. One of my brother's next door neighbors was kind enough to drop by and leave a note on our truck inviting us to use their round pen and ride on their property, as well as to use their access to roads behind them, a very generous offer we took them up on today. My brother Jeff is here visiting from Florida, and he's been wanting to ride, so we saddled up and headed out to the neighbors. Not an exciting ride, we kept to walking and it was mostly just going around their cow pasture, but it got the horses to stretch their legs and satisfied my brother that he got a ride in. We ran into another neighbor with another 70 acres who invited us to ride on his property as well, so that expands our horizons a bit. Folks in Texas sure are friendly! Hopefully we'll have another chance to go before he leaves, weather permitting!
Sunday, December 22, 2013
With just another relatively short drive today, we let ourselves sleep to about our usual time, then packed up and headed out, with the usual stops at the dump, for fuel, and a grocery stop at H.E.B. And CVS before arriving just after 2:00. Didn't take long to get settled in, with the horses on their anchors, happily munching away on the large yard. The final brother from Florida arrived by 7:30, and we had dinner and spent the evening with the family.
Saturday, December 21, 2013
Friday, December 20, 2013
Had a much better and safer ride today, doing our best to ride as many trails as possible today, since bad weather is supposed to be coming in and we may not have another chance. Under partly cloudy skies and much lighter winds, we headed east, following the lakeshore trail most of the way. We missed a trail somewhere, so we didn't get quite as close to the lake shore as the map suggested, but that was fine, as all the terrain is pretty much the same out here, wide open with the just a few copses of trees. Hubby and I resumed a riding strategy that we used to do down in Florida, I would jog and he would trot past me about 15 feet before stopping, I'd keep jogging until I reached him, at which point Clio would start trotting ahead of us, until Hubby stopped her again. That way I can work the jitters out of Apollo and let Hubby do his own speed, he hates to hold Clio back. Apollo was much better today, he seemed to have gotten used to the smells, and with a lighter wind he was almost back to sanity. I went back to the snaffle rather than the hackamore today, just to be safer, and it helped. Once we got settled down using this strategy for a while, I eventually got brave enough to try some canter, and once when Apollo started to put his head down, I was quick to pull up and throw him off balance, and the settled back down to his canter. MUCH relieved that I was able to control him today! Took a nice long ride, and stopped at a little picnic area that had hitching rails and a picnic table where we ate our snack and rested a bit. Headed back to camp on the southeastern trail, so by the time we got back to camp, we had covered almost every trail except one, just as we had hoped. A much nicer and more relaxed day, great to have a ride with a more cooperative horse!
Thursday, December 19, 2013
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
After breakfast, we saddled up for a short exploratory ride. Hubby attempted to try out the modified bareback saddle that I bought some time ago, but we couldn't get it to work well with the cinch he had, so rather than mess with it, he went back to his regular saddle, with plans to check it out again when we get to my brother's for Christmas. We decided on the yellow trail, which basically was mostly a perimeter around a wide open field. There was a pretty blustery wind, and lots of wildlife smells around, so Apollo was up on his toes for almost the entire ride. Shortly into the ride, he shied dramatically, and I ended of falling out of the saddle, fortunately in slow motion, so I was able to protect myself from a hard fall, or from screwing up my already screwed up knee. No real damage, so I hopped back up again and we kept going. He remained on high alert, which made it a rather tense ride. We diverted onto the green trail, a very short trail of which we only took about half of it anyway, passed a couple of other riders, and then got back on the yellow trail. About the last half mile, Apollo finally seemed to settle down a bit, so I let Hubby take the lead, and we trotted nicely, then broke into a canter. All went well for about 8 or 10 strides, I thought everything would be fine, then suddenly Apollo put his head down and popped up for no apparent reason! Usually I can hang on, but perhaps because of my weak knee, I wasn't able to stay straight, and ended up falling uncharacteristically on the off-side. This one wasn't in slow motion, but somehow I managed to break my fall enough to not land too hard, thank goodness. I can't understand why he's doing this. I had taken off the heavy saddle bags, because Hubby thought maybe they might be slapping his rump too hard, so that wasn't it. I was using the bitless bridle, and had completely given him his head, so that wasn't it. I had put the extra pad under his saddle, so that wasn't it. Either it's something completely unrelated and I haven't figured it out yet, or he just plain thinks it fun or funny for some reason. Not sure how to resolve it now, it's getting unnerving that I can't seem to find out what the problem is. If I felt a little more secure, I'd just take him out and run him for as long as I could make him run, but unfortunately, since he won't leave mama Clio, we have to deal with that dynamic, which is hard because Clio walks slower than Apollo, but trots faster. Trotting is hard with my bad knee at the moment, though a jog would work, but Clio won't stay in a slow jog, and once she passes us, all bets on Apollo's behavior are off. Well, we'll just have to keep trying until we figure it out! I thought by now, at age (almost) 18, he'd start to settle down, but as a mama's boy, I guess he'll never truly grow up! Got back to camp in just over an hour, and settled down for the rest of the day.