Monday, October 31, 2011

Riding with Kellie and Barry

Kellie and I rode at Tyrrell with Barry and Sue.  Sue rode 1/2 way with us on Dulcie.  We went through the woods and down the bayou.  Biscuit cantered a little going down and he did a good job.  We crossed the bridge and went down the embankment.  LOL  Elan likes to go down fast so Barry showed her how Sarge goes slow.  She took Elan up there and yep...he runs down it.  I took Biscuit up and came down slow - he is such a good boy.  She tried again on a less steep part and he did pretty good.  She went to mount up after cleaning his hooves and she tripped over his back feet!!! 

I thought she had pitched over the top of Elan and she was on the ground!!!  LOL  She was laughing like crazy and Barry said "yep...riding with two ballarina's today".  We just cracked up laughing.

We went back down the other side of the bayou.  What fun!!!   Up to the road and had to go through the ditch to get back into the park.  We trotted around the woods and Barry pealed off to take Sarge out.  Kellie and went around again.  Had a blast and went right at 8 miles so I now have 399 miles!!! 



Barry left in his truck and Kellie and I washed Biscuit and Elan and visited with Helen and Luraine.  It was a terrific ride with the fasted speed around 12 mph.  I didn't have "tracks" on so it didn't make a trail on the Garmin. 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Training ride at Ebenezer

Biscuit the Navigator of Ebenezer Park


EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking in Texas


Tuesday I went out to the ranch and loaded up the trailer with Lee Ann.  Saddles, bridles, pads, grooming tools, etc.  I was so excited Monday night I could hardly sleep!  Tuesday afternoon I went shopping and bought a fanny pack...omg I should NEVER wear a fanny pack but that is another story, and while I was at Academy I bought a new water bottle and carrier to attach to my saddle, some toilet paper from Coleman in little tiny rolls, sunglass holders that gaaaa DO NOT fit my sunglasses...and a first aid kit.  Then I trotted over to Tractor Supply to return my Justin Gypsy boots.  OMG my right boot's toe are came loose from the sole and I just bought them on January 21 of this year.  They should have lasted for YEARS.  I only wear them about 2 times a week and it isn't like I have abused them.  TS just said get another pair.  I bought a pair of Ariat riding/hiking shoes like The Lee Ann's wear.  I also got a new pair of socks, some pink Anti-Monkey Butt Powder (yes that is the name of it!) and three little LED flashlights.  One for me and one each for The LeAnns and I gave each one of them a roll of my toitie paper!!!  LOL  we have it "covered" now!

I got up early Wednesday, ran to Market Basket for new batteries for my Garmin to make sure they didn't die on the trail and got out to the barn.  Jaimie took me down to catch Biscuit and then I went and got Legato.  I fed both of them on the wash rack and unloaded my stuff out of the RAV and put the haybags I filled in front of the tack room on the ground - which Lee Ann later ran over and we thought that was hilarious.  She got there and we loaded up the horses and our food, water, drinks and headed for Ebenezer.  She went up to 255 off of 69....we got all the way to the dam and it was closed for repairs.  OMG we had to turn around and go into Jasper but not to 190 and take a right.  We came out by the curve on Hwy 63 and then up the lake.  We parked at #13 and unloaded the horses.  We ate lunch while the horses munched hay.



We finally tacked up with heart monitors and water bottles galore.  Ok...now comes the fanny packs with the two water bottles of frozen water that weigh a ton.  I told her I was going to be like "Maggie" on Run Away Bride when she falls over backwards when her fiance puts the backpack on her.   Ok...it weighs a ton so I ditch one bottle of water and some Fiber One Bars, the zinc oxide (which smells really bad!!!)  so I would be "lighter".  Ok...I finally mount up...girth is too loose...I dismount and retighten and remount.  Off we go...to the center of the "meet up" area and both horses stop.  Biscuit is like "ok...where are the other horses that are ALWAY RIGHT HERE!!!"  Lee Ann gets off of Legato and leads her into the woods at the front trail.  Biscuit is leading and we went a way down and the fanny pack is a PITA!!  It is moving, it is on the cantle which isn't too bad, it is heavy, it is unbalancing me.  When we got to the Beaver Pond I finally had to ditch it.  It is now a cantle pack.  We went behind the Beaver Pond and around it to a road.  The trail was very narrow and come in at a sharp angle to the road.   We made a sharp left and went down the road and finally crossed it at a tree with a ton of blue and striped ribbons.


We entered an area that had different topography than the other side of Ebenezer!  It looked more like Kisatchie.  We came to the area that had rocks and bridge pilings that The Lee Anns had crossed before.  













We crossed a little creek and let the horses drink...Legato slurps like a pro...there isn't a kid with a Slurpee that makes more noise than she does!  We made a few stops - once when my new water bottle flew off!!! 

We trotted quite a ways with me checking Biscuit's heart monitor.  The highest it got was around 135 and he IMMEDIATELY pulsed down on slowing/stopping.  I was so proud of my boy!  Legato did the same.  We checked out mileage several times and we kept going following tags and at one point, someone had tagged the ride with duct tape...there are a zillion uses for Duct Tape and I think this one was pretty good!  Duct Tape hangs in there!!  We were watching where we were going and hoping to find a circular trail back to the park but we instead, checked our Garmin's and were standing at a cross roads with trails going in all directions.  We tagged back to a way point and went southeast.  It was pretty cool finding our way using the compass and waypoints.  It was fun.  We headed back and got to the waypoint where the trail came in at a sharp angle and I told Lee Ann I was going to see if Biscuit would know where to turn and sure enough - he turned!  He has an amazing sense of direction which makes me feel better - if I ever get lost  I will let Biscuit has his head!!  We went towards the Beaver Pond and when we were behind it Biscuit went straight for it instead of following the trail.  He stopped himself about 20 feet in and looked around and turned himself around!  LOL  how funny is that?

We got off at the Beaver Pond to rest - my hips were starting to hurt some.  We got back on and started back.  We crossed Letney Road and then to the gravel road and went down about 15 feet and we decided to take the scenic route.  Biscuit wasn't happy about it - "The trailer is THAT way!!!"  LOL  we went into the woods and he was ok as we were going on the same heading.  Some deer bounded across the trail way up ahead and Biscuit had his eyes on them.

We went down stepping over logs and a little creek.   The trail went to the left and Biscuit went straight.  I said " Buddy - the trail goes that way" and he shook his head and said "the trailer is that way"   LOL  We took Biscuit's word for it and kept going.  LOL  Both trails would have got us back but the one to the left would have taken longer.  The trail we went on was rough but we make it and had a great time.  Biscuit was leading the way when we got to the park area and Biscuit cut his own trail to get to the park!  LOL he is such a funny little guy. 

We got to the park and took their tack off and talked to Loretta the park lady.  We fed the horses in the pens after giving them a bath and scraping them off.  We met some ladies from the Fort Worth area and then took showers.  We sat down and ate some dinner -  a Lunchable!!!

I had a blast riding up there - the scenery was gorgeous.  The ride was 13 miles and was simply a blast.  Biscuit is in pretty darn good shape - way better than when we went to McKinney Roughs!!!  We stopped at Lee Ann's pasture in Lumberton to feed Mike and Andy, her Halflingers - OMG they are darling!!  Way too cute for words!

We dropped our horses off and decided to clean the trailer on Thursday, which we did.  We discussed strategies for running endurance and I can't wait to go again!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Short ride at the Ranch

I went out to the ranch and pulled up The Biscuit.  The Lee Ann's were there as was Allison and Julia.  I rasped Biscuit's front hooves today and will do the back tomorrow.  I tacked him up - heart monitor and all and we were all in the arena.  Allison was on Jabaree.  The Lee Anns and I were riding in a small circle like pony's at the fair while Allison was riding a bigger circle on the outside.  Julia was lounging Shalom on the other side. 

We went out into the big arena while Allison was walking Jabaree and we let him sniff The Biscuit.  The Biscuit is pretty darn calm and a happy camper so he makes a pretty good baby sitter.  We finally went down the ranch road slowly so that Jabaree was comfortable.  We went just beyond the ends of the pastures and Allison thought that was far enough for the first time out with a young, green horse. 

We walked back slowly.  We are going to give that a try again and again til Jabaree is a happy camper going out.  He is such a pretty boy!!! 

Biscuit did a good job walking straight.  He is catching on!!

A Year with The Biscuit

Yesterday I had Biscuit at the ranch for exactly one year. This is a picture exactly one year ago today.

and this is Biscuit yesterday out at Tyrrell Park.  He was wet but still looked pretty terrific.



He has changed quiet a bit over the year.  He has gained quiet a bit of weight and muscle.  He has PLENTY of get up and go.  He used to be like a wind up toy in the arena - kinda skittish and hard headed and wanting to move quickly.  He would be moving before I got in the saddle and now he will stand still while I mount.  He doesn't seem wound up in the arena any more.  He is calm. 

He didn't know how to hold a jog and he now can jog like a pro Western Pleasure horse.  He is right now learning to go straight - Allison has done a fantastic job helping with that!!!  He used to toss his head up when I would ask for him to slow down...now he rarely does that. 

He used to want to keep his nose up the rear of the horse in front of him.   I have been working all year on backing him off and he is getting it - he doesn't run up the butts of the horses now!

When I first got him he wouldn't let me pick up his feet.  What a fight that was!  Now he will let me pick up his feet and will offer them to me.  He will let me rasp and nip his feet and he is a good boy about it. 

He was extremely skittish when I got him when I would go to put his saddle pad on or if something touched him from behind.   He was head shy.  He still can be a little skittish but he is so much more trusting and I know that he does trust me.  He tries to please and works very hard to do what is asked of him.  He will still "shut down" if he feels overwhelmed. 

I had said that I would keep him for one year and then decide if I wanted to sell him and get another horse.  I think The Biscuit is a keeper.  He is pretty darn terrific - he is sweet natured and loving.  He is strong and willing to learn.  He is not skittish on the trail or spooky - even when hogs are running out from under his hooves or another horses is spooking near him. 

He still needs work on his cantering, going straight, side passing and the big one will be going first when asked no matter what.  He will sometimes now go first but he will still back up in a flash if he wants to.  These are things we are going to work on for our second year.  I think our first year was a MAJOR success!!!  The Biscuit has a home for a long time at Plum Nearly Ranch!


Riding at Tyrrell with Kellie

Kellie and I ride through the Haunted Forest


EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking in Texas I met Kellie out at Tyrrell Park at 10:30 AM on Sunday. We tacked up, sprayed Deep Woods Off on and took off into the woods. Elan was a little concerned about the caution tape up for Halloween! We went through the woods and out onto the bayou. The cracks in the ground trip the horses - ugh. We got down to the bridge and Kellie wanted to try the Yellow Brick Road Bridge. We turned the horses to the gate area and Biscuit STOPPED. LOL I tried to get him to go forward and he started backing up til he was RIGHT BESIDE Elan. I think Biscuit thought he was a Chevrolet! We got them to go through the gate and were walking towards the Yellow Brick Road. We were almost there and all of a sudden, Elan spooked hard and spun around. Kellie kept her seat like she was stuck on it (thank God!!) and she got him under control after he turned around several times! Biscuit didn't spook at all when Elan spun around. Thank GOD!!!!! He is such a good boy! We went over the bridge and down to the land bridge. We went down the new path cut in front of the land bridge as Kellie had never been down it. We went down to where I sunk into the mud! We turned around and went around and down towards the back. Biscuit was going pretty slow and not wanting to keep up and kept looking into the woods. When we rounded the bend onto the straight away he finally picked up the pace. We went all the way to the back and we did some trotting. Biscuit's pulse went up and he would pulse down immediately. We trotted through the back and out the other side. We ran into a group of people, Big Randy and his friend, a lady named Gina, and 3 other men. The lady Gina used to ride Nugget when Alice owned him...she rode him in endurance races. She said she would be glad to ride with me and show me the ropes of endurance. I told her I was taking it slow as I am a sissy. Kellie and I walked back til we got to the woods and we trotted almost all the way back. Woot!!! It was so much fun. We visited with Tracie and Kenny for a little while and then headed out. It was such a fun ride!!! I can't wait to go again. We rode for 8.1 miles and with the 3.9 from yesterday I now have a total of 378 miles for the year.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Trail of Horrors - made that way by Mosquitos

Horrors and Mosquito Trap


EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking in Texas I hauled out to the barn this morning.  Biscuit saw the trailer and walked to the other side of the pasture...ugh...my knee has been hurting and trying to pop out of socket - not a good time to have to walk out in the pasture.  I walked out there and he walked around in a big arc and then let me catch him.  I gave him a few treats and hugged up Sarge too. 

I hauled up to the front and took him out of the trailer and up on the wash rack.  I moved my rig as I was going to go with The Lee-Ann's in Ms. Jean's trailer and Lee-Ann P's truck.  I brushed Biscuit and sprayed him with fly spray.  We took off to the park and the tack sale was going on.  We met Sue out near the woods. 

I tacked Biscuit up with the heart monitor and when I hooked it up it came on with a beat of around 34.  Woot!!!  That is terrific...finished tacking up.  Got on...saddle too loose and got off and tightened just a tiny bit more - with the new girth that was as tight as it could go.  I pulled his front legs, one at a time, so that the girth wouldn't bunch up and pinch him.  He is a tiny bit confused but he is learning. 

Biscuit thought this guy was pretty strange looking!
We started into the woods and the horses stopped and LOOKED at the big Halloween "monster" and they were like "did you see that ugly thing?"  The woods were decorated up for the Halloween Hay Rides Spirit Stable and The Cowboy Church is jointly.  

Gee, Sister, he looks like he has some serious issues to me!!!
Wow, Sister, that guy has a scary face....what is up with that?
As soon as we got into the woods we were swarmed by mosquitoes. OMG I have never seen so many of them.  They were swarming around Biscuit's face but not seeming to bite.  Lee Ann P said my back was covered with them but I wasn't being bit but occasionally.  At one time Biscuit's face was covered with them but they didn't seem to be biting him.  When I would sweep them away they were not leaving blood trails like were being left on Legato. 

I was monitoring Biscuit the entire time.  His heart rate was 50 when we started out - he was a little excited.  The mosquitoes seemed to crank the horses up some - Biscuit was at 75 but pulsed down to 65.  We got out of the woods and out onto the bayou it was better for me.  Lee Ann P was about to be toted away though.  We went down to the bridge and turned around.  Susan had stayed up at edge of the woods.  When we were walking back, Biscuit was at a heart rate of 65.  All of a sudden he noticed Susan and Dulce off in the distance and his head went up, ears up, and his heart rate jumped to 95.  He was on alert as we got closer and closer and then he realized it was a horse and he relaxed and the rate dropped immediately to 65. 

We trotted from the woods to the 2nd rideaway where the Halloween decorations started to get through the mosquitoes that were swarming.   Biscuit's heart rate went up to 105 or so but pulsed down immediately when we slowed to a walk.  It was dropping fast and Lee Ann P said that showed he was in good shape.  Woot!!!   We only went 3.9 miles today. 

Barry had came out to the tack sale and came over when we rode to the trailer.  I took Biscuit's tack off and gave him some treats.  We went over and looked at the tack sale.  A guy was selling some darling merle blue eyed border collie puppies and I would have loved to have brought one home!!!  So cute - I had to hug them up. 

We went back to the trailer and I ate my PB&J sandwich (yes, I ate a PB&J sandwich - me, who hates peanut butter!) and gave Biscuit a crust - he was uninterested in it - the peanut butter threw him off!  I gave more treats to him, Legato (she didn't want the crusts of the sandwich either!) and to Rogue. 

We hauled back to the barn and I brushed Biscuit and turned him out. 

Allison rides Biscuit at the canter

I didn't get to go to the barn when Allison rode Biscuit on Friday due to taking Barry to the doctor for his post surgery exam...he is doing great and can see so much better - cataracts are the pits. 

Allison called me and said she had a good ride with Biscuit - they cantered several times and she said she understood what I meant by him wanting to speed up!  He tried speeding up and she worked with him slowing down.  She is so good with him and he really liked Allison.  I know that it won't be long and he will be cantering slow and on cue!!! 

She is going to try to ride him twice next week but it may just be once as we are supposed to go riding on Wednesday and that is one of the days she can ride!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Ordered Easy Boots and Go the Distance Endurance handbook!

I called Easy Boot today when I was having trouble with the website...I thought it was me but the website was down.  I ordered Sarge a pair of Easy Boot Gloves with Silver straps as they were out of black.  They should be here next week.  I just need them before we go to McKinney Roughs. 

I also ordered an endurance book "Go the Distance".  There was some sort of snag up with Ebay but it is now on the way from New Hampshire.  Surely I will get it by Thursday.  I can't wait to learn from it.  I have been working on conditioning The Biscuit with LSD - Long Slow Distance - lots of walking, trotting, jogging - it builds strong bones, tendons and ligaments.  I now have the heart monitor and I will be monitoring his pulse down rate which is important. 

He will be ridden by Allison at 3:00 PM today...I am going to watch!

Pictures from my ride Wednesday

Vincent wetting his whistle - he is so funny!!

Allison and The Biscuit in a snaffle

Listen Up Biscuit!

Collecting up!

What a cutie!

My Pretty Pony with his buddy Allison

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Out to see The Biscuit and Sarge

Christy went out to the barn with me to check on the horses.  I walked Sarge and Biscuit up to the front on the wash rack.  I hydro'd Sarge's leg to clean it.  It had some sand in it.  I took Betadine wash and soaked it onto the cut.  I scrubbed his chest and girth area with it too.  My poor baby.  I kissed him up. 

I had bought new batteries for my heart monitor last night so I put them in the monitor.  I put gel on the pads and stuck them to Biscuit and woot!  My monitor worked!!  I was SO glad!  I can't wait to ride Saturday and check it out on the trail. 

I sprayed Show Sheen on their manes and tails and brushed them out.  Sarge has a gorgeous thick tail and it looked so pretty - I plopped it on my head and asked Christy how I'd look with dark hair as opposed to plopping Biscuit's flaxen tail on my head!  She said I looked better with Sarge's dark tail!  LOL  that is too funny!  I got their manes and tails cleared out and smooth. 

I took them back down to their pastures and turned them out. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Allison rides and so do I

I went to the barn this morning to ask Lee Ann what time she wanted to ride today.   I found her and Allison down at my paddock leading Sarge.  They had cleaned up his leg...I think the flap is dead.  Barry had the vet wrap a little tight.  I had told him to change it several times and he didn't.  Sarge will be just fine but I will always do their wound care from here on out!  I hugged him up - he is so sweet and loving.  I hugged up Biscuit too. 

Lee Ann thought it was blowing too hard to ride - and it was.  OMG I think Legato would have been on top of my head.  Biscuit would have probably been ok but why take a chance in winds that are gusting at about 32 mph?  They were gusting even harder yesterday - I would say about 45 mph at times.  We chit chatted and I left to get heart monitor gel and a new girth.

I returned at 2:30 PM at the time when Allison would be riding The Biscuit.  She brought him up and Lee Ann and I put his new girth on.  Hoping it will work out!  We tried out the monitor and couldn't get it to work. 

A new person came in with Ms. Jean - I think her name was Smith - she seemed very nice and will move her horse here at the first of the month.  She is interested in trail riding and Ms. Jean told her that is what we were doing - Garmins and heart monitors included. 

Allison mounted up and rode in Red's first paddock.  It was protected best from the wind.  She worked with him on going STRAIGHT!  He had his snaffle on.  Allison kept after him making him collect up and listen to her.  She went round and round both ways. 

Lee Ann B and Barry arrived.  Barry went and got Sarge and checked him out.  Then he came to watch The Biscuit.  I called Roger at V-Max about the monitor and he suggested a new battery.  I then mounted Biscuit and went round and round.  He is harder to stop in a snaffle but I kept going.  He gets a little strong but I was able to keep him under control and at the speed I wanted.  He is looking terrific and his hair is soft and smooth as silk!

I took his tack off and Barry took both horses back to their paddock.  I left and forgot the heart monitor so I went back later and got it and went to Target to get batteries.  I came home and put the new battery in and woot!  Seems to be working.  I will check it on The Biscuit tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Using our Heart Monitors for the first time!

I went out to the barn and pulled up The Biscuit.  I rasped his heels but pretty much left the toes alone.  He was very good about it.   Lee Ann P and Lee Ann B were going to go trail riding and since Edgar and Jaimie were using the ranch truck to get new poles for Sarge and Biscuit's paddock we couldn't take Ms. Jean's trailer.  Lee Ann B was pulling her trailer and I was pulling mine.  I went home and got the trailer and changed my clothes and got some Cokes.

I hauled back out to the barn and Julia decided to go with us.  We loaded up and hauled to the park.   Lee Ann P and I attached our heart monitors and got heart beats.   We are MAJOR geeks.

We headed into the woods with Biscuit leading.  I got just into the right hand side of the trail when Lee Ann P got off because Legato was having a melt down and bucking.  Evidently there were bees/hornets/yellow jackets or something all around her and must have stung her and one stung Lee Ann B in the forehead...OOOOuch!!!!!  We walked most of the way around the park back to the start and then did a u turn and went back the other way so not to go past the bees again.  We went around to the road size of the trail and then down a ride away and back to the front with a stop at the picnic trail.   Shalom kept kicking up her butt at Biscuit - LOL  but we stayed back!!!!!

Lee Ann P and I kept checking the heart rates and after trotting Biscuit it said 212 which I knew was bunk.  Lee Ann B and Julia had to leave after 2 rounds and Lee Ann P and I checked the monitor and I called Roger at VMax.  He said one is not making good contact.  I think it is the one under the saddle.  We started off again and I think it is reading true was long as we are walking - His heart is around 45-50 or so walking and then up to around 65 after trotting.  He pulsed down almost exactly the same as Legato!!!  That was terrific to know.  I think  The Biscuit is in pretty darn good shape but he is going to be even better.

Lee Ann and I were in the back side of the woods trail and stopped for a moment and Biscuit did almost a 180.  Thank GOD I held my seat and he stopped.  He was on high alert when we started off again for about 35 years.  He heard something in the woods and he was keeping a look out for it!!  He was very forward and was a happy camper on the trail.

We took there tack off and gave them a rinse off.  I told Lee Ann that Wednesday when we ride again that we will bring their evening feed and let them eat on the way home so all we have to do is drop them off at their paddocks.

We loaded up and hauled back to the barn.  I took Sarge's vet wrap off and I think Barry had it on too tight.  I am sure he will be ok but no more helping with the horses for Barry.  We took the tack out and were headed home.

We rode 7.3 miles  and I now have 366 miles.
First Time Using Heart Monitors

EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking in Texas

Weekend at Ebenezer

Barry left early Friday morning with the horses to haul up to Ebenezer.  He was going riding at Boykin Springs with Kenny and Mr. Miguez.  He said he had a great time.  They sat around Friday night and played guitars, etc.  Poor Barry - I thought I had reserved the spot from Friday through Sunday but I hadn't.  He pulled in beside Kent and had had to more the horses a few times.  LOL  I kinda hung him out to dry!!!  Saturday morning I got a text from Kellie with this picture

Biscuit and Kenny
Kenny was riding The Biscuit!!!  They went for a ride and Kenny told Barry Biscuit wasn't "the same horse"!  LOL  no he isn't.  He is full of get up and go!!!  They all left for their ride while I was slaving away on a wedding cake.  Then I get a message from Kellie saying Reagan was too tenderfooted to go on the ride and they had had to turn around and Randy walked him back.  She asked if I could bring Biscuit's boots.  I told her they were in the Brenderup.  They got them out and tried them on Reagan and they fit!
Reagan in Biscuit's Boots!!

I got up to Ebenezer around 3:45 and saddled up the Biscuit and we all went for a ride.  We rode 6.3 miles going to the Beaver Pond.  I got off of Biscuit and landed hard and it made my knee HURT.  My knee has been hurting for two weeks since I had tried posting and was doing it wrong!!  Ugh.  I remounted, dropped my phone and had to get off AGAIN at the Pond.  The pond was LOW. 

Saturday Afternoon Beaver Pond Ride

EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking in Texas

Biscuit hit a canter when we left but it was controlled and easy.  He was full of energy and wanting to GO.  That night we all ate together a pot luck dinner.  It was so nice.

Sunday we rode on two trails I had never gone on.  Biscuit was full of energy and wanting to go.  The lake is way down but the water was so BLUE.  It was gorgeous.  We came up from the lake and got up to the top and went left all the way back down to the water.  Much steeper going down that side but oh so pretty!

Kellie and I came down the road at a fast trot on the way back to the camp.  Biscuit was very forward and really wanting to move out.  I think he was a little annoyed to be held back!  It was a good day.  We had lunch with Kellie, Randy, Kent and Esther.

New Trails I Rode!!!

EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking in Texas

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Allison and The Biscuit

Allison rode Biscuit today.   I missed the ride but she told me about it when I finally got there!  She cantered him in the ring.  She said he picked up the canter pretty darn quick and said he did well for the most part.  He did the tossing his head to evade her.  Biscuit seems to really like Allison but he had snuggled up to her before.  Allison has a wonderful way with horses...she is so calm and easy going and they just think she is the Bomb!

I went down and got Sarge to put in the arena as Barry is leaving early in the morning to ride at Boykin Springs.  Biscuit is going to stay at the Park.  I brought home all of the tack so Barry to put it in the trailer. 

I bought a new air mattress and two new Long Horn camping chairs.  I got out the pillows and sheets and packed some of the food.  I gave Barry the horses Coggins papers and they are in the truck.  I am looking forward to going but I won't get there until Saturday afternoon. 

Sarge Cut His Leg

I got the heart monitor in Tuesday while Lee-Ann P and I were riding at Tyrrell.  I went out to the barn Wednesday afternoon with it.  Allison had called me about working with Biscuit in the arena so she was in the arena with Biscuit when I got there.  She had made some progress with him bu said he kinda shuts down and is afraid of doing something wrong.  Poor guy - I don't know if I will ever get him to be brave again.  She said it was like he was "broke" and I think in some ways he is.  Randy said that after riding him a long time ago.  She worked on longeing him and she is supposed to ride him Thursday afternoon. 

Lee-Ann and I got my heart monitor and put the electrode gel on it attached it to Legato.  We got Roger from V-Max on the phone to assist and we picked up Legato's heart rate.  Woot!  Lee-Ann showed me how to attach everything and we got the components in the little sleeves and I am ready to try it out on Biscuit Saturday or Sunday - or even this afternoon when Allison rides him.  Probably not come to think of it.

Anywhooooo.....we discussed the monitors etc. and then took Biscuit back on the Gator along with Avery, Allison's horse.  I put Biscuit up and kissed up Sarge while on the phone with Barry.  Then we went down the ranch road feeding the horses.  We came back and Sarge had blood on his face...fresh blood as he had just been kissing me up.  OMG.

Lee-Ann gets a rag and wets it down in the next pasture and I put a halter on Sarge to check him out and Allison said "it is his foot not his face" and he had cut an L shaped flap on the inside of his front left leg.  We gave him his feed and Lee-Ann went back up to feed the rest of the horse and was coming back to get us to doctor him up.  We tried wiping the blood off but it was still pumping out blood as it was kinda a deep.  Not horrible for stitches but it needed attention. 
Cut on Sarge's front left leg

Bloody towel Biscuit was smelling and then spooked himself when I moved.  Blood really bothers them!

All fixed up!

Bless his heart, he was so good while we doctored him up.  I had Betadine solution but we used some of Lee Ann B's Betadine wash.  I will need to get some of that.  Allison had a flat bandage.  I had diapers for Red a long time ago but no flat bandages.  I had vet wrap still in the package but it was stuck to itself like glue so we used some of Lee Ann P's.  We ran water on it to clean it out and poor guy bleed quit a bit.  I scrubbed it inside and out of the wound and Sarge was so good.  By that time, Barry had arrived and was watching.  I scrubbed his face off too because his muzzle was full of blood and the flies would have drove him crazy.  We put the bandage on and wrapped it with vet wrap and duct tape.  I am going to get some Neosporine for him today.  I had had some out at the barn a few weeks ago when I cleaned my grooming bag and it was not there so I am not sure if it was in the farrier bag or what.  I washed off his back heel because blood was still there and then Barry walked him down with some alfalfa.  I picked Barry up at the pasture and Sarge was ok.  He did this in the few minutes we went down the ranch road.  I think he stuck his foot in the bucket because he did it when we were working with him.  I think he saw the Gator which at that time means FOOD and we drove off without feeding him.  He is always sticking his hoof on the top of the wire and I fuss at him for that.  Edgar said he often puts his hoof in his bucket when they go to feed him.  What a little pill!!  He will be ok as it wasn't that bad but I hate to see my boys hurt!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Riding new trails and the Brenderup is fine!

I picked up my Brenderup today and my Rav4 had a plug installed OUTSIDE by the hitch so I now can plug into the back and go.  Woot!!!  Gotta love that.   

My Brenderup is good to go.  Nothing was wrong with it...just has a stupid owner.    I had ordered some English Riding pants and I wore those.  LOL  they were way more comfy than jeans but jeez...I looked like the pits in them.  Oh well, comfort over looks for endurance training!  Lee-Ann said our goal for the Tevis Cup in 5 years.  That is pretty darn ambitious since I am the biggest sissy known to God and man.

I hauled out to the barn and told Lee-Ann P we would go in the Brenderup instead of Ms. Jean's trailer.  I hauled down to get Biscuit and bless his heart, he loaded up really without much hesitation.  He went in, backed out, and then went in the trailer to munch his hay.  Legato loaded up easily when Lee-Ann went first!  She was greeted with a bag of hay too.

We took off for the park.  When we unloaded a city employee came out of the water works and talked to us and OMG it was Ricky Venable that grew up in my neighborhood!  I have known him since we were probably in 1st grade.  His older brother was either Mike's age or Pam and Randy Rich's age and his younger brother was Lori's age.  He is the person that cut the back trail and the new trail!!!  Woot!!!  He said he'd be glad to cut us trails.  I am going to drop off a map of what I want or something like it and hopefully some of them can be done!  Wow wee...new trails!!

Biscuit was a little nervous on the ride - he was sweaty when I took him out of the trailer, but he was calm.  I gave him several treats for being such a good boy.  We tacked up and I stretched Biscuit's front legs out to make sure his girth doesn't gall him...he is a little unsure of what I am doing but bless his heart, he tries!  Several treats were passed out.


We took off into the woods and I asked Biscuit for a jog and I had to really get after him to jog.  He was either tired or sore from yesterday and Sunday.  We went out on Willow Bayou and across the big bridge.  There was a rideaway cut straight back from the land bridge and Lee Ann and I went down it til it dipped down into a low area that looked like it was possibly dry...neither of the horses seemed to want to go!!  I told Lee-Ann perhaps I should try it first.  Ok...I started sinking and sank right into the top of my boots.  OMG it was hard to pull my feet out!!!  The mud was just sucking them down.  I finally got out of the mud and back on solid ground and my boots were coated with thick black sludgy mud and stank to high heaven.  I walked around trying to get most of it off...well, at least, some of it off before I remounted.

The right hand side of the trail was right at the edge of the trail that goes beside the canal and curves around in "u" shape before going to the bayou.  It was a slough though that was boggy so I don't know if we will be able to access the trail that way.  We went back to the "u" and went around.  We went down the trail and it was paralleling the new cut ride away and then a access was cut between the two.  We crossed over and went down to the bayou with horses that were somewhat reluctant. 

Biscuit didn't want to lead - and he was stomping ants off his legs.  We got down to the back and they were acting a little silly not wanting to go and Biscuit was stomping ants and I got off to make sure they were gone.  They finally went to the end of the trail but it was with a lot of turning and stomping.  We went back up the trail where we could hear the power lines singing.  The other trail was RIGHT there so we actually cut through the trees in a dry spot and onto the other trail and headed to the back.  Biscuit got in ants again and was stomping, kicking and turning and in general having a little cow.  I got off and made sure they were off his legs - they must have had big biting jaws!!  Biscuit was still not too happy to have to be going which is unusual...he likes to go.  Once we got in the back he was ok...to him he was heading back!  We jogged down the back and when we got almost to the other side I saw a flash of black and it was pigs crossing the trail and crashing through the woods.

We got to the other side and started trotting to put distance between us and the pigs we could hear crashing around in there so we were trotting fast down the trail - my fastest time was 10.4 mph.  We trotted in the woods too. 

We rinsed the horses off after taking off their tack and I gave out some treats.  Biscuit was good on the way back and that is the first time I have rode him that he wasn't very forward from the get go.  We hauled them home and fed them, turned them out and cleaned the trailer.  Woot.  Ready to go again!  Total miles was 9.2  for the day.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Allison rides The Biscuit and so do I

I asked Allison if she would ride the Biscuit for me and get him to canter slow from the get go.  She said she would take on the task - thank God!!  I tacked up The Biscuit and Lee Ann B. loaned me her headstall to go with my snaffle bit.  Allison got on Biscuit in the area and worked with him.  He doesn't know how to go straight!  She worked with him and suggested we work on aides before going to the canter.  She worked with him some more and then tried to get him to canter in the arena.  LOL NOT GOING TO DO IT  was Biscuit's motto for the day.  She got him FINALLY to canter about 5 strides.  He can trot like a wild man though!!!

I got on Biscuit and rode him in the arena with the snaffle.  OMG got more control with his other bit than this one but we worked on going straight and my posting.  LOL  I almost lost my seat once going around a corner.  I worked on posting with my legs out of the stirrup and that is when I almost lost it!! 

I had wanted to ride in the back with Lee-Ann P but had a consult at 5:30 so I put Biscuit back into this paddock. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Taking the Brenderup for a checkup

I called Jay with the Brenderup service and described my issues.  He said he thought it needed to be lubricated and told me all of the places where I would do that.  He was very nice.  He said any place that dealt with brakes would be able to work on the trailer.  He asked how often I trailered with it and I told him about once or twice a week depending on if I went with someone else or not.  He said I was an unusual Brenderup owner - that most didn't haul that much!  LOL  I told him I didn't buy it as a yard ornament!!!  He emailed me a PDF file on the trailer wheels. 

I called Lee-Ann P and asked her where they took the trailer to be repaired and she said by our house - it was Duvall's so I called and then hauled the trailer over there.  I told him what happened and gave him the PDF file and left the trailer.  He called later and said they lubricated it and he had spoke to Jay, too.  So, it was really a matter of I am too stupid to be a Brenderup owner!  DUH!!!  I am going to make sure that it is serviced once or twice a year from now on.  I left the B'up there over night as I am taking the Rav to have the plug installed on the outside instead of the inside which will be more convenient for me. 

I am going to put the horses in the Brenderup and haul down Hebert Road to make sure everything is working and Biscuit is ok!!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Brenderup has an issue and Biscuit has a meltdown

Barry and I went out to the barn to go riding today.  It started sprinkling when we got there.  We hauled down to the pasture and got out and the horses stood there a minute and then took off running like "ok..the icecream truck is here - it is not good for us so let's haul hinney" and off they took.  Barry caught Sarge pretty easy but Biscuit charged around and around channeling his Arabian side!  I caught him and loaded up but we decided not to ride as the weather looked bad.  We just didn't want the horses to think they could run from us when we had the trailer and not have to load up. 

Barry decided to haul around to Port Acres and back just for a little spin.  The trailer did the same little jerky movement going down West Port Arthur Road that it did the other day...I told Barry about it acting a little weird going around corners.  We went down Jade Street and turned on 63rd and it was making a jerky jerky jerky movement and Barry said it felt like the horses were moving.  We went around 2 more turns and stopped so we could check the horses and Biscuit was all upset and bleeding from his front right fetlock and his back right hocks.  I took the ramp down and looked at it and his leg was bleeding enough it was pooling blood on the mats.  I nearly had a cow.  I got wipees and wiped his leg and calmed him down.  He was sweating and upset but calmed down.  

Biscuit looks terrible in Red

Close up of his hock
 We closed the ramp and backed the truck up and were going to haul home slowly.  We had to turn left and we were going at a crawl and the trailer started jerking horribly and we pulled to a stop but the trailer was still rocking and rolling.  That is when I knew one or both of the horses was having a fit.  I hopped quickly out of the truck and ran to the grooms door and threw it open and it was Biscuit going banana's.  He was leaning all the way on the divider and all four of his hooves were over by the wall and he was in panic mode and struggling.  He was covered in sweat.  I was hollering whoa whoa whoa settle down easy boy as I was pulling the door open.  I reached in and grabbed the breakaway strap and told him to settle down and God love him, he immediately quit struggling and righted himself.  He was so upset but didn't struggle anymore or jerk away from me.  He let me comfort him.  Sarge was just fine and looking like he didn't know what all the fuss was about.  He is always so level headed. 

We stopped in front of a man's house and he came out and said he could hear the trailer before we turned on his street the first time.  I think Biscuit was kicking then.  Biscuit was soaking wet with sweat and his chest was quivering he was so upset. 

I grabbed my phone and called Kellie and asked her if Randy could come get us with the 3 horse slant.  I was upset myself and my voice was shaking.  She said he'd come get us and gave him the phone and I gave him directions on how to get there.

I kept giving Biscuit and Sarge handfuls of grass to keep them calm.  I was petting Biscuit and talking softly to him.  He was calming down and his stopped trembling.  Randy arrived and when he hauled by the trailer was rattling and Biscuit started kicking again and I got him to settle down quickly. 

We opened the ramp and we were careful unloading Biscuit and Randy said to make sure I wasn't behind him!  He came out slow and steady like he always does and I walked him over to the grass and let him graze.  He was covered in sweat and Barry unloaded Sarge and walked him over to the grass too.  Sarge was still unconcerned.
Biscuit is full of sweat but calm now

Randy's Truck and Trailer with Sarge and Barry and a wet Biscuit 
 We opened Randy's trailer and Biscuit hesitated for just a second and then loaded up.  I didn't get in his way though just in case he got upset.  No problem and he was in the trailer with the divider in place.  Sarge loaded up and we tied them in from the outside. 

Randy and Barry looked at the tires and the shocks and decided it was probably the breaks grabbing and not releasing as they should.  I don't know as I am mechanically un-inclined!.  Randy suggested maybe P & P could work on it and I said there was a place in Tomball that works on Brenderups.  


Randy checking out the Brenderup for Roadworthness
 I was riding back with Randy so I could watch the trailer and Barry took off first so we could watch him go to the left and it didn't do anything!  All the way back to Plum Nearly it pretty much hauled perfectly except going left on Hebert it looked like it bumped a little.  Barry said it didn't really do squat.  Hummmm....I have to get it repaired so we can go to Jasper I said and Randy said we could use the 3 horse slant to go.  Might have to take him up on that.  Kellie and I talked later and she said the same - that we were welcome to borrow it.  Thank God for darling cousins - they are the BEST!

Biscuit cleaned up
 We pulled into the barn and I unloaded the horses by the wash rack and took Biscuit over and tied him up.  I got the hose out and washed his legs off.  They were caked with blood and looked worse than it really was thank God.  He was calm as a cucumber by then.  It was scratched going down with two chucks out of the hock area.  He lifted his leg up when I was washing it poor baby.  He also had two little cuts on his front fetlock that cleaned up.  I got him some alfalfa and was giving him handfuls of it.  I rinsed him off good because he was full of sweat.  I doctored his wounds with SWAT. 

I got the shovel and broom and cleaned out Randy's trailer because Biscuit pooped in it.  I thanked him profusely and promised Biscottie!    I got the boy's dinner in pails and we walked them down to their paddock.  Biscuit was happy munching his Safe Choice when we left. 
Biscuit glad to be home and eating his dinner
Sarge calm as he can be - he has a level head in a pinch!
 We walked back up to the barn and I snapped this picture of the blood all over the trailer.  Those bolts cut Red's legs up too.  I have got to do something about it and I am thinking some sort of little bumper pad will work.  I don't ever want to see blood in this trailer again.  Barry and Randy said "bad design" and I agree on that. 

Bloody Brenderup Side

Bloody wipees that I threw away at the Ranch. 
I got home and sent an email to Kay at Lucas and Liebe.  She said it sounded like the back bolts coming loose and she was horrified at what I told her.  I am going to call the folks in Midland that took over the parts sells and see what they have to say and I am going to call the place in Tomball tomorrow so I may be hauling it over there tomorrow. 

What a day - we went for a little ride and ended up cut up, beat up and traumatized.  I was telling Randy how Biscuit calmed down instantly when I spoke to him and he said "he trusts you" and that is a good feeling that this horse does trust me totally when I know he has had rough treatment in the past.  I think the Biscuit has found a forever home with me.....He is a total sweetheart.  I took Betty out to see them yesterday and she thought my boys were beautiful..and they are.  Worth every penny I spend on them...they are better than any therapy anyone could have! 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Sarge's Sheath and looking at Heart Monitors

By the next day some of the swelling had gone down and it was still warm to the touch.  Today it is still swollen and a little swollen in the front of it but not nearly as big as yesterday.  And it was very cool to the touch so no heat which is a good thing. 

When I went out yesterday, Allison was riding Shalom for Julia.  She is a funny little mare and was not a happy camper that she had to mind Allison.  Her front right hoof pounded the ground with each stride - that was to let us know she was an unhappy camper.  She was listening to Allison though so she was getting over it. 

Lee-Ann P and I discussed heart monitors and I said I'd ask some of the endurance people on the forums.  Lee-Ann suggested the Pulse monitors for me and she wanted something to hook up to her Garmin.  So I asked one of the endurance girls on a forum and she suggest V-Max.

I told Lee-Ann about the V-Max cables today and she bought them for her Garmin.   I called and tried to get this V-max monitor.  I couldn't get anyone on the phone but there is always tomorrow. 

Lee-Ann and I are going to try to ride Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of most weeks in Tyrrell Park and Thursday at the ranch to get ready for the LD ride. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Cleaning Sheaths, Floating Teeth and other fun things

I hauled out to the barn today and loaded up the boys to take a trip to the vet.  I had to wait 30 minutes while Doc worked with other horses and then it was our turn.  He pulled the Coggins and gave the rabies shots.  We put Sarge in the stock and he gave him a tranquilizer.  Biscuit was in the round pen.



Sarge got his teeth floated and then Doc took him out of the stock and was going to clean his sheath.  He got a bucket, plain old wads of cotton and Excaliber sheath cleaner.  Sarge had dropped and Doc showed me how to roll the end back to check for a bean and OMG Sarge had a bean the size of Portugal in there.  Poor guy.  Doc seems to think that is why he is swollen.  It wasn't as big this morning nor as hot so the hydro-ing helped. 

Sheath bean the size of Portugal
Doc scrubbed his sheath really well and Sarge tolerated it fairly well.  When he was through he was tied in the round pen and it was Biscuit's turn.  Biscuit didn't stand still like he did last year - he was moving constantly trying to evade the Doc.  Doc said his teeth are in a wave or set wavy?  I will have to ask exactly what that is next time.  Dock got him out after the teeth were floated and started cleaning him.  Little beans but nothing like Sarge had.  His pouch area was dirtier than Sarge's though.  Biscuit was none to happy with this either and was struggling around. 

I hauled the boys back to the barn $277 poorer but with healthier, hopefully happier horses. 

Lee-Ann and I discussed endurance running when I got back to the barn.  We are looking forward to riding in a LD ride at the IAH airport in February.  Can't wait.





Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Riding with The LeAnns

I got Biscuit ready and put my tack in the 3 horse slant and we loaded up and took off to Tyrrell Park.  We started in the woods and I asked Biscuit for a jog and I had to ask for it 3 times.  I think Biscuit was of the opinion we had rode yesterday and that was good enough!!  I let him know that wasn't going to work.  We started a jog and jogged around the west side of the woods and out onto Willow Bayou.  We jogged all the way to the colichie road.  We walked from there to the bridge and over it to the land bridge and went over to the other side.  We started jogging again and jogged down to the bayou.  From there we walked the back bayou and it was so pretty.  Coming back up the trails I jogged ahead with Biscuit as an exercise on getting him to go out first and away from the "herd".  I jogged almost to the turn to the front to go to the bridge!  We walked over the bridge and down to the coliche road.  We went down the overgrown road and to Cattail Marsh entrance.  We went through the little gate and across the parking lot.  LOL  Biscuit wanted to go across the road and straight back to the trailer!  I turned him into the woods and back onto the trails.

I can truly say that I think Biscuit could find his way back to camp if he needed to.  He seems to have a great sense of direction.  My little yellow horse is pretty smart!!!

I rinsed Biscuit off when we got back to the trailer.  He was excellent today.  We traveled 7.7 miles today.


Zipping along Tyrrell Park


EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking near Beaumont, Texas

Monday, October 3, 2011

Trimming Feet and Swollen Sheath

I called Dr. Schneiter's office first thing this morning and made an appointment for Thursday to clean their sheaths, float teeth, get Rabies shots and get Biscuit's Coggin's pulled.  Then I went to the barn t and pulled up The Biscuit to do his hooves. I took pictures of his feet before and after. He was good about having them done. Lyne came out to take more pictures of Legato and Biscuit helped perk up her ears - I think it was more the alfalfa though. She wanted some of that!!! Lyne asked if the pictures were what I wanted and I said I wished I had got some of the horses together so she said she'd take some of them together.

Sarge's Sheath is swollen and hot to the touch


Lee-Ann and I went down to the pasture to get Sargent. We drove the Gater right up to him on the other side of the pasture by the water. OMG I could see that his sheath was SWOLLEN.  We got him up to the front and I brushed him and took him into the arena for Lyne to take picture of them.  Sarge didn't feel very good and wasn't running around like he did the other day.  Biscuit was charging around - channeling his distant Arabian ancestors. 

I put Sarge back on the washrack and Ms. Jean went up into his sheath to see if there was anything there and she found nothing.  I washed it with cool water to cut down on the inflammation.  I put him in the arena and called Barry and said when he got off of work to come out and run water on his sheath. 

I think he has a bean in his sheath.  I couldn't see any bites or kick marks or trauma.  I called Dr. Schneiter and changed the appointment to tomorrow morning.  I think I am a day late and a dollar short on this one. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

10 Mile ride around Tyrrell Park

Around the perimeter of Tyrrell Park


EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking near Beaumont, Texas I went out to the barn this morning to go riding with Kellie, Lee Ann B and James.  Lee Ann was there when I go to the barn and I headed down to get Biscuit.  I decided to sweep out the trailer first and at some point they turned and ran with Sarge looking pissed off chasing Biscuit.  They finally returned and I had the halter almost on Biscuit and I pushed Sarge away and it was on like Donkey Kong.  He was off and running and thinking he was an Arabian: tail flagging, snorting, blowing and running around me at a gallop.  I think he was longeing me instead of the other way around.  I finally caught Sarge and tied him to the trailer.  It took me almost 30 minutes to catch Biscuit because he was running running running.  

I loaded him up and turned Sarge back into the pasture.  I pulled up to the arena and after Biscuit ate I longed him.  Round and round at a trot both ways and some cantering.  Lee Ann said she thought Rogue was behaving strangely and she didn't want to chance taking him in the trailer and having him go down in it.
Biscuit the Arabian

I hated that she didn't go with me!  I tried to load Biscuit and he gave me trash again.  I got the longe whip and used it like Ray had tucked under the arm and I was able to get him in the trailer.  I don't know what this trash is about loading up all of a sudden.  That will not work!!

I hauled to Tyrrell and went through the main gate.  LOL  I got down to the stable and that gate was closed so I had to pull through the grass...good thing I have a RAV4!!!

I tacked up as quick as I could because James and Kellie were waiting.  I was about 15 minutes late due to Biscuit being an Arabian today!  We took off through the woods, out on the bayou and crossed over the bridge.  We went straight ahead and all the way to the back.  Kellie and I got to see the new trails and they weren't bad!!!  Pretty wide but I think it will be ok.  We went all the way back around to the land bridge.  Biscuit kept tripping so I got off to check his feet.  I mounted but it wasn't pretty!!!

Yellow Brick Road Bridge
Kellie said she wanted to try to cross the Yellow Brick Road Bridge and she was thinking POSITIVE!!  We crossed the big bridge and went through the gates and walked up to the bridge and Elan stopped and turned away.  I got off of Biscuit and led him across after some resistance and OMG Elan followed!!!  Hollywood followed too!  We remounted after cheering for Elan and went all around the levee's.  We ran into a bazillion mosquitos but they weren't biting.  How odd.  We went through the little Cattail marsh gate and around back into the woods.  We went down the walking trail and onto the main trail.  We went to the new trail and showed James and then jogged back to the stables.

We did a 10.3 mile ride today and it was unbelievably beautiful today and the weather was PERFECT.  Not hot or humid.



Yay Elan - you are so brave!!

Back behind the holding ponds - Hildebrandt Bayou
Kellie and I had lunch on the picnic tables and Kenny came over and talked with us.  We loaded up and left around 2 or so.  I dropped Biscuit off at his paddock and washed out the trailer.  I pulled it home and put in the yard and it was nice to have the blocks to stop it in the perfect place!  Woot!!!