Friday, December 30, 2011

Doing the math - Biscuit and I logged 522.1 Miles!

OK....I did the math for our rides.  All but one was recorded on my GPS and the one I didn't have a GPS for was a ride I had made many times so the mileage was easy to come up with.  I actually rode biscuit 522.1 miles on the trails for the year 2011.  Amazing.  I made the goal actually when we were riding at Brazos Bend.   I met my first goal of 400 miles and surpassed it by 122 miles.  I actually couldn't ride for nearly 4 weeks.  I did one short 1 mile ride at the 3rd week - it is when I had knee surgery.  Imagine the miles I could have racked up!!!

I made 74 trail rides this year..the shortest being .8 miles and the longest 13.6.  It does show on this log a 15 mile ride but that was actually two rides in one day combined.  The average for the months was 43.5 miles.  I rode more miles in the last half of the year but that was because I went on 4 overnight trips during the last half of the year.
I did ride Biscuit in the arena quiet a bit when I first got him and have continued to do some riding there but not much.  I am much for comfortable out on the trails. 

I am looking forward to more riding in the year 2012.  I do have a camping trip for training planned with Lee Ann up at Ebenezer the third week of January.  The first weekend of February is our 25 mile limited distance ride.  I also have an overnight trip to Ebenezer planned in February and March.  April is up in the air as to where we will go to ride.  For Memorial Day I do want to go riding somewhere - hopefully in Mississippi.  I am setting a goal of 600 miles for 2012.  I won't have a surgery leave to deal with and there are trips planned and I plan on RIDING.  

It was so much fun to keep the log, make the trails on the Garmin and track everything.  I will continue to do...all of my nerdiness is just bubbling to the surface!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

I made my 500 mile goal with Biscuit!!!!

Barry and I went for a Christmas Eve ride at Tyrrell Park.  We loaded up the horses, Biscuit was a little reluctant to get in the trailer but he did anyway.  We hauled out, parked on the grass to the far right so we wouldn't get stuck again and and saddled up.  I forgot my steps and so I went over to the picnic table to mount up.  I can mount from the ground - I did yesterday out on the bayou when we cleaned their hooves, but it is just easier from a mount.  We went into the woods and I told Barry to go slow as it could be slippery.  We went through the woods and out onto the bayou.  It was overcast and 45 degrees but I wasn't cold.  I had some serious layers on....Cuddl Duds, a short sleeve teeshirt, my L.L. Bean fleece plaid shirt and a red lined wind breaker and my purple gloves.  We went down the bayou and Sarge was wanting to go up on the marsh levee.  Biscuit stops dead in his tracks and refuses to go forward.  I am turning him in circles and he would go a few steps and that was it.  Backing up like a Chevy which I find annoying.  Barry said to make him go...ok...easier said than done.  I am still a whimpy rider!

Otter on Willow Bayou
I was turning him around and saw back towards the woods was an otter playing up on the top of the levee!!!  He was about 150 yards away but we could see him plain as day.  Barry wanted to go up to him to see him better but as soon as we got closer he headed for the water. 

We headed back for the back and crossed the bridge.  We got off and cleaned hooves.  We crossed over the little land bridge and went around towards the back.  We got around the turn and were about 1/3 of the way to the back and I felt it start to sprinkle just a little bit.  We kept going and it started sprinkling more.  Not raining but certainly sprinkling enough that my windbreaker was totally wet and the horses got total wet.  We went through back by the bayou and it looked really pretty - even in winter the bayou is pretty.  We came out at the other side, taking the narrow trail to the left and got wet from the trees.  We walked down to the bayou and then turned back.  We hadn't been trotting as I didn't want Barry bouncing around because of his recent eye surgery.  Sarge was busting a gut to go and Biscuit had been having one of his kick him down the trails days like at the beach last week.  But as soon as he knew we were heading back he was ready to go.  We were trotting fast and Sarge was loping.  That stretch is nice and smooth with very few cracks.  Biscuit covered ground pretty fast but he didn't like getting too far ahead of Sarge.  He will lead other horses well now but not Sarge.  Sarge is in charge and Biscuit doesn't try to lead him!!  We trotted quiet a ways and then walked.  It was sprinkling and my hair was wet but neither Barry or I were cold.  I love that kind of weather so I was happy as a clam.  Barry is not too much on riding in the rain and Sarge thought it sucked.  Biscuit didn't care.  We crossed the bridge and we trotted going back up the bayou.  I was watching out for cracks.  I finally got a little tired standing up and we slowed.  We went to the left in the woods because it is a shorter ride.  Sarge slipped a little in the mud so we were going at a fast walk but nothing too quick as I didn't want a bowed tendon or any other issue.  Barry had asked why I was standing at his fast trot and I said you can sore their backs sitting a fast trot.  I had a blast riding in the rain.  It felt wonderful.  I got to the trailer and pulled his tack off quickly and put it in the trailer.  We loaded the horses up and pulled out the poop.  We headed back to the barn and the truck temp said 45 degrees.

Jaimie had already fed the horses and had gone - it was around 3:30 so I went into the barn and got their Safe Choice to give them.  We unloaded them and cleaned poop again.  Better to clean right then than later.  We left the tack in and headed home to a warm bath.

I uploaded my Garmin track and it was 7.8 miles so I made 501.2 miles on Biscuit for the year.  Biscuit actually has probably 16 miles more than I do as Robin and Kenny have both rode him on trail rides at Ebenezer when I had cakes to do.  He has turned into a great trail horse. We are still working on issues - making him stay on the rein and keeping collected, jogging at a very slow pace, cantering instead of galloping - and he is doing a great job.  He isn't perfect but he is willing, sweet natured and just a pleasure to be around.  He got several little treats from me after the ride and some alfalfa in the trailer.  What more could horses want?

Friday, December 23, 2011

Short Christmas Ride with Kellie

EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking in Texas

Elan and Biscuit in the Brenderup. 
Cattail Marsh on a winter's day

We got stuck in the mud
Kellie and I rode out at Tyrrell Park yesterday.  I picked her up and it was an adventure getting Elan in the Brenderup.  We made it though and had a good time.  It was a short ride, but fun.  We came out of the woods onto the road and I was going to go back into the woods to work with Biscuit's reluctance to go away from horses.  There were two men in the woods - a black man and a white man.  I left the woods.  I didn't want to run into is the unsavory types of people that frequent the park.  Several prominent men have be arrested for unsavory behavior (that is as delicately as I can put it on this blog!) in the park.  Never saw them on the trails though.  Ugh.  Kellie asked whether we should call the police but I didn't see them doing anything that was wrong.  I just wasn't going down the trail with them in the woods by myself.

We untacked the horses - we rode 3.6 miles.  We tried loading the horses and Elan wasn't wanting to load up.  We ended up putting him on the left hand side.  Biscuit on the right.  Got in the Rav, turned the key and NOTHING.  No juice.  OMG.  The battery was put in Tueday brand new!  I tried again.  Nothing.  Pulled the key out and opened the door.  The alarm/horn went off...Kellie was calling Barry on my phone.  I got the alarm/horn to shut up and put the key in again and the lights flickered.  I did it again and it fired up.  I started to pull out and my RAV was just spinning.  Gaaaaaa!!!!!!  I backed it up and then tried to go forward.  I didn't go forward!  Back again, tried to go forward.  No go.  I finally just backed it up to get out.  We turned left at the barn to go back to Kellie's.  I was going to turn on LeBelle Road and it went BumpBumpBumpBump like it did when Biscuit turned sideways in the trailer.  OMG I didn't want to scare Biscuit or Elan.  I stopped and checked the tires to make sure it wasn't a blow out or something like that.  I flipped on the flashers and we went slow all the way to Kellie's house.  When we turned left is when we got the bumps...just like last time. 

I sprayed the hitch thingy with WD40 that Randy loaned me.  What a darling.  I put Biscuit on the left hand side of the trailer and Randy guided me to back up the trailer down their driveway.  I put some Furazone on Biscuit's boo boo's.  Poor Baby.  He was a good boy and I used my new Taylor Made tack today.  I liked it. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Biothane Tack for Christmas

I asked Barry for Taylored Biothane Tack for Christmas and he said I could order it for my present.  I called Amanda at Taylored Tack and discussed with her which bridle would be best.  For looks, I liked the Comanche but the Pawnee's bit would remove faster and easier and since Biscuit often has head/mouth issues I chose the Pawnee.  I ordered the closed rein and popper.  All with the Purple Maise overlay over Purple Biothane.

It came in Monday and I thought it was actually cake items I ordered from Jennifer.  I set the box aside and opened it a little later and I just squealed!  It was my tack!!!  I loved it.  I went out to the barn Tuesday and was going to try it on Biscuit but it had rained cats and dogs and their pasture had a lake in front of the gate with Sarge planted firmly in front so Biscuit wouldn't come up close.  I wasn't getting my boots wet and anyway, Biscuit was covered in mud.  Lee Ann P had received hers in so we were up on the wash rack trying Legato's hon her.  She looked fantastic in it.  Lee Ann adjusted some of the straps and fiddled with the bit strap and the cavasson.  I gave Legato some treats for being such a good girl while we played dress up. 

I went out there yesterday and pulled up Biscuit.  He wasn't as dirty as he was yesterday!  I pulled him up on the wash rack and brushed him off.  I put the halter bridle on him and it looked gorgeous.  I am not a fan of bridle with halter but I bought this for function not looks.  I may later buy just a bridle but I am thinking I have way too much tack!!!!  I took some pictures with my phone of Biscuit in his tack.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Brazos Bend Ride

Friday's Ride

Saturday's Ride

EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking near Pasadena, Texas

Sunday's Ride

Friday finally got here and I was at the barn at 7:00 AM in the freaking rain.  Lee Ann P and I had been watching the weather and decided to go no matter what.  I brought Biscuit up and got him fed.  The others arrived and we got the last things loaded up and then loaded the horses.  We took off for Brazos.  We had a good trip down but it was raining and overcast.  We arrived and registered at the park and then had to make our way to the equestrian park.  We went down a lumpy bumpy road that lasted forever!!!

When we got to the equestrian area, we had to set up camp.  We had 7 panels.  I bought 3, Lee Ann P bought 2 and the ranch had 2.  We were able to use the fence that was there and the entry gate.  It went up faster than I thought it would.  We unloaded the horses and Biscuit was a little nervous but he was ok. 

The new air mattress
We got the camp all set up - I slept in the back with an air mattress - and I had made soup in advance
 so we were set.  We hauled water in buckets from the water trough....omg that was hard and there has to be an easier way.  We saddled up and went for a ride.  All of the horses were a little jittery...Biscuit was but he settled down after going down the trail.  We sang Christmas songs - which may account for Biscuit settling down.  I am sure he thought if I would just shut up he'd behave!  We went down Sawmill Road Trail and it loops into a gravel road.  Biscuit wasn't too excited about the gravel and rocks.  He wanted to walk on the side that was very soft.  I believe they had laid a little water line and he sunk into it probably fetlock deep but he never got in a flap...he just kept going.
Saw Dust Road Trail

Huge Oak Tree makes a great back drop!

I wonder how old this tree is?

Water tank for a quick drink
The horses were a little nervous about this tank for a little bit.  They finally all drank out of it though.  This was near the river side trail and it was cooler over there and I was sorry I didn't have my gloves!!  It was a nice ride and we all had a good time.

I heated up the soup in the hot pot but it took a while.  The generator kept kicking it off and I would have to turn it off and turn it back on.  We finally unplugged the halogen light and we were then "cookin' with gas".  The soup was good except I forgot the noodles.  What an idiot.  It was rough going building the fire because it was so freaking damp!

Singing around the campfire!!

Biscuit and Legato
Biscuit followed Legato around like a puppy - he was stuck to her like glue.  There were a few little squeals and dust ups with horses but nothing bad.

It was cold but we were just fine by the fire.  When we went to bed I kept slipping out of the sleeping bag and I was cold!!  LOL  I asked Lee Ann P to help me zip it up.  OMG I was laughing so hard that I almost had asthma!!  We kept hearing something running over the top of the trailer and Lee P said something was scratching the window up where the bed was....AAACCCKKK!!

We all woke up alive though.  We got up before the crack of dawn.  We tossed out more hay for the horses and just kicked back and enjoyed the fire we restarted.  Later I made us Egg McMuffins.

When we fed the horses we had a real dust up.  Lee Ann P had salted the food and I think Legato wanted to check out Biscuit's - I am sure to let him know whether it was edible or not.  He thought his food was just fine and got really upset - swung around, ears back, her ears were back and he fired off with both back feet and kicked the snot out of Legato.  Poor girl.  She was limping a little but seemed ok.

I put Biscuit's hoof boots on so that when we went down the gravel rode he would not be ouchie on his feet.  We went along at a walk and it was a gorgeous sunshiny day.  We came upon a couple with a stroller.  Biscuit was walking towards them and I reined him to the far right and when we came abreast of them he got really excited, butt moving around and side passing.  I think he didn't understand what the little creature was in the stroller.  He was fine when we got past it but he was a little worried about it for a minute!!  We went around to the 3 mile trail that dead ends.  It was the prettiest trail of the system. 

Saturday's ride

Saturday's Ride
The colors were pretty and we were under a canopy of trees quiet a bit of the time.  Some up and down and winding around trees.  We did some trotting and it was just a blast!  Biscuit took off just before we got to another trail and he was galloping but listened when I asked him to slow down.  He is a good boy.  I couldn't ask for better. 

We rode 12.9 miles Saturday.  We trotted coming back but then we slowed to a walk and walked all the way down the trail by the road.  Legato wasn't feeling her best after getting the snot kicked out of her.  She was giving Biscuit the evil eye all day.  She was not a happy camper with him.

We got back to the camp and Legato was sucking up her gut and then she lifted up her back left leg and was trying to bite under her stomach.  Lee Ann P gave her 10cc of Banamine.  We watched her to make sure she wouldn't colic as she wasn't eating.  She passed some stool that was so hard it bounced.  Yes-bounced.  She passed several more stools that were very hard but she was passing them.

We needed to go get more water so I emptied my ice chest and Lee Ann P and I rolled it over to the water trough (about 125 yards or so) and filled up the ice chest and rolled it back.  OMG way way way easier than hauling water in buckets.  We filled up the water buckets in the pen and that was so much easier on the back!!

We got the camp fire going again and Lee Ann P was prepared to do the Dutch Oven cooking.  She started with the briquets in the fire can and then put the peach cobbler together.    Then the chicken dish - we had a big laugh because she forgot the rice so we decided to have it over English muffins. 
Peach Cobbler

preparing the coals

Delicious chicken dinner
I can truly say we ate like royalty.  Great food and it was hot!!!!  After riding in the cold weather something hot to eat was nice.  Hot showers in the LQ weren't too bad either!!!

We heard coyote's howling all around us Saturday night and they didn't sound too far away.  It was kinda neat to hear in person and not on TV!!!  It wasn't as cold Saturday night as it had been Friday night.  A cat had appeared that we made friends with ... he was a very pretty tom cat. 

Sunday morning we sat around the campfire and watched the sunrise.  We decided to pack up camp before we rode.  I took down my air mattress and we were all packing, cleaning and sorting.  Then we moved into putting the panels back on the trailer.  We tied up the horses and the panels weren't too hard to get back on the trailer.  We did learn a few things about it and next time it will be easier than this time. 

We then tacked up and took a little ride.  Down the pink trails that went to no where!!!  We enjoyed the ride and then came back, loaded up and hauled home.

We are already planning our ride in January in Ebenezer.  Woot!  Can't wait.  The reservation is made for January 21 and 22.  

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Working on Sarge's feet

I went out to the barn today and Lee Ann P and Allison were on the wash rack with some of the horses.  They had already put drops in Biscuit's eyes...what a great group of people that I hang around with!!!  They said that Sarge was all up in their Kool Aid wanting to be petted and loved on.

Crimson Dancer was on the wash rack and her feet look so different than this past February...this is what barefoot trimming can accomplish....
Crimson Dancer's left front hoof in February 2011
Crimson Dancer's feet December 14, 2011
 Wow.  What a difference.  Crimson has for months actually, been able to gallop around her pasture and was able to stand on the wash rack in total comfort.  In February she was standing on a cushion.  Lee Ann P has worked with her all year long to bring her back to normal looking hooves and comfort for the horse.  She has made a believer out of all of us at the barn. 

I went down to see Biscuit and Sarge.  Biscuit is looking just fine.  His chest has a slight puffiness but that is all.  His eye looks totally normal.

Sarge followed me up to the front and I put his halter on and led him up to the wash rack.  I got my trimming tools out and started on his feet.  He has such good feet...he walked over the rocks coming up the road with total ease. 

Some of his soles were flaking out and his bars were prominent.  I cleaned up the frogs and trimmed and rasped his hooves with a mustang roll.  He was a bit of a pill about it.  He isn't mean - just thinks he is in charge.  I was some kind of tired when I got through with his feet.  He would sometimes just refuse to pick up that foot.  LOL I won though - and he had his feet done and was hugged up a zillion times...with some alfalfa thrown in. 
Before I started front left hoof

Cleaned out flaking sole and trimmed bars and frog

Front hooves after trim

Front hooves

Back Hooves after trim
I brushed Sarge's tail out.  It was full of hard, stiff grass.  I cleared out his mane and tail with Show Sheen and sprayed his body with SS and brushed his coat.  He looked so pretty!!!  He is such a gorgeous boy!

I walked him down to the pasture later.  After that I put up the sleeping bags and bed linens I brought into the trailer.  We are getting so excited about going!

Lee Ann P was riding Mi Tigh in the arena and Julia was working with Shalom.  I left and came back later with Barry and we gave the horses some alfalfa. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Biscuit is better

I went out to the barn and pulled up Biscuit.  His eye is better.  There is still a very small amount of swelling on his upper eye lid.
Looking so much better!!!

Warm compress to his eye

Drops for his eye

Another view

I put him on the wash rack and went to get hot water.  I put hot compresses on his eye.  He was a little antsy about it but settled down and let me put the hot rag on his eye.  I put the drops in without too much flak...just little.  I figured out the shot needle and pulled up 10cc of bannamine and injected it into his left neck area.  Poor guy...a drop of blood came out.  I got the rag to wash it off. 

Lee Ann and I looked at his eye closely.  I dreamed last night it was getting cloudy. was PERFECT.  I noticed that he has a slight swelling in his right chest area.  I think he was aggravating Sarge and Sarge let him have it.  Biscuit probably whapped his head on something getting away from Sarge.  Sigh...when will he ever learn to leave Sarge alone?

Slight Swelling
Another picture
I later put more drops and Allison put the last batch in and put him in his paddock.  God Bless Allison.  She is a total sweetheart and I think I am going to adopt her!

I decided it was time to put the new girth on my saddle while waiting to put in more drops.  I took the old girth off...oh my goodness - it stinks.  Biscuit can be a smelly boy!!!  I took the guards off this time ONE AT A TIME!!  I put them back on carefully.  It fits but I think a 30" one might have been better but I am happy with it. 
I brought out the air mattress and fan and put them in the trailer.  Lee Ann and I discussed weather and we are hoping for no rain.  Overcast we can do...rain will bite!  Her hubby made the braces for the panels to go on the trailer. 

4 panels attached to the side of the trailer
Braces that Doug P. made and Edgar and Jaime put on!!!  Wow!

Portable Corral on the side of the Featherlite
 We filled up the water tank and loaded tack.  I cleaned my bit off and attached my new AMTS reins that I got in about 6 weeks ago!  I put my saddle, bridle, pad and pommel bags in the back compartment.  I also put my rasp, nippers and a bottle of fly spray in the door compartment.  I emptied both the grooming and farrier bag to take just what is needed.  I put in hoof boots, brush, little heart curry comb and mane brush.  I took the fuchsia colored closed reins just in case something happens to my reins.  Lee Ann and I both took our "long" ropes.  I took some Ickthamol and Silvadene in case of galls.  I always have a hoof pick in the water bottle carrier.  Heart monitor and Garmin are in the bag. 

We are both so excited and I know Lee Ann B and Esther are too.  We filled up the water container in the trailer so we have water!!  We have an Astroturf mat to put down in the back of the trailer where Esther and I will be.  That will work for me...I was coughing in the front of the trailer the other day.  I will be better off in the back. 

Still got to put my food in, clothes and bed linen.  We are leaving around 7:30 or so from the barn.  We will stop in Winnie to pick up Esther and Hershey and then off to Brazos Bend Park.  We will have to set up camp when we get there - wash out the trailer and let it dry.  Set up the corral panels for the horses to stay in.  I am hoping we can get in a ride around 2:00.  That will give us a few hours to ride.

Biscuit has a black eye!

I went out to the barn and paid my board.  Everyone was visiting with Mr. Gus and Ms. Jean.  They are so funny!!  The Lee Anns and I went and checked out the trailer for our trip, moved some stuff out, made the bed...well, I tucked in the corner of the sheets.  My Coggins for The Biscuit is in the trailer.  We are all hoping for good weather.

I went down to get Biscuit and Lee Ann B and I were going to ride around the back.  When I got to his paddock and he walked up, I saw that his eye was draining and swollen.  Poor guy.  I took him up front and Allison and Lee Ann P looked at it.  Lee Ann had some drops for it but I decided to take him to the vet because I need my own drops and I wanted to make sure he hadn't cut his cornea.  I called Dr. Schneider's office and they said to bring him in.  I had to go home and get my trailer and come back and load him up. 

I hauled him to Doc's and we put him in the stock and Doc looked at his eye.  He said it was swollen and had some inflammation.  He put the dye in Biscuit's eye to check to see if it had an abrasion on his cornea.  Thank God there was no abrasion.  He gave him a shot of Bannamine and put drops in his eyes.  He said to put a hot compress on it when I put the drops in it.  By the time I had got to Doc's it had improved from when I first saw it. 

He got the meds for me and it was $114.  I led him to the trailer and he gave me some flak getting in but he finally did.  I hauled Biscuit back to the barn and he ate on the way.  I put a warm compress on his eye and he was good about it.  I think it felt good so he didn't fight me over it.  I put him back in his paddock.  I will be back tomorrow to put drops in.

Biscuit's black eye

Swollen and draining

Checking for abrasions
In the stock

I don't want to be in the stock...I'll close my eyes.

I am still in the stocks...ugh

My eye is fat

It is fat and draining...this was taken at Plum Nearly

Biscuit Black Eye

Gee, that horse is the same color as me...and has purple on too...but I am cuter!!

After the compress

Wet from the compress

another view

It is still swollen

Back in my paddock!!  Sarge is blowing raspberries!