Cleaning Up and Cleaning Out

Good morning, friends!

It might be the start of the season, or the end of the season, or perhaps you give a good cleaning both times of the year!  We should also keep work and trail dirt and dust cleaned off on a regular basis.  The Wash is great for that!

I found that a couple pieces of tack I purchased used came with mold spores.  They appear as white or green stuff on your tack.  This western saddle I had at the barn in my tack closet locker, and it grew a bunch of mold in the moist climate while there.


IMG_0310This product works great in getting rid of mold spores, with the help of sunshine and it’s ultraviolet rays that act as a disinfectant!

IMG_0306I remove excess surface dust and dirt first.  If you have mold, use a damp rag or paper towels getting off as much as you can, then throw away, so you are not spreading the mold to other items.  Then I use the Wash, spraying it on, using a leather cleaning sponge if you have it, something similar if not.  It will give a little lather, as you work it into the tooling and the leather.

I’ll let it sit in the sun for a bit, soaking up the heat and killing those mold spores!  Barney is helping to supervise and keeping me company!

IMG_0270The wash is easy to spray into all the nooks and crannies of your saddle.  Make sure you give it a direct hit with the sunshine.   There is no buildup, just wipe off.  You can use the Wash daily if needed.

Follow with the Restorer/Conditioner product.  Besides being good for the leather, this product inhibits mold and mildew.  Here is a link to a good article on caring for your leather, also your saddle pads and blankets!

http://www.leathertherapy.com/pages/Inhibiting-Mold-and-Mildew.html

IMG_0309I bucket wash my rope reins and lead ropes.  I drape them over the balcony and let them dry in the sun also!

Hope this helps!  I love these products!  Quick and easy to use!

Terri

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Fan Lake, Ride High or Low!

Beautiful Fall colors, Fan Lake area.

Friends, Good Morning!

Being sociable saddling up
Being sociable saddling up

This day we hauled up North a ways to Fan Lake.  I believe some folks call this Rustler’s Gulch.  It’s become more popular just in a short amount of time, word spreads!

Fall ride with Handsome Guy
Fall ride with Handsome Guy

We started out on a single track through woods with lots of logs to step over, eventually coming out in the clear, and then meandering through some wetland, the trail being on solid footing.  From this point we decided to access the two track road, giving us opportunities to trot out, eventually climbing up, an old barn on the left hand side, around the road gate, and back to the trailer.

Beautiful day!
Beautiful day!

We spent a couple of hours riding low, the opportunity to ride up to Fan Lake and give your horse some water crossing practice will be for next time!

How are you doing on your trail practice?

Terri

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Blog From The Barn

The Deer Park Plateau from the barn, on Whiskey
The Deer Park Plateau from the barn, on Whiskey

Good morning, Friends! 

One day at the barn for lesson, we warmed up a bit in the arena and then headed out.  Mid-afternoon, no traffic yet on the country road, we headed over, crossing to the South, and up a dirt road, where farms and gentlemen farmers had places, large and small!  It’s always nice to see how your horse handles the chance encounter of a dog greeting, or traffic, in a quiet environment.

A little hill and dale. . .
A little hill and dale. .

We jumped off the road and down an incline, stepping over logs, and just ambling along.  I like to know if the horse will watch where he is going, how he negotiates down hill, and Whiskey was happy to just go along and take everything in stride!  He was happy to walk along for a couple hour ride!

a little amble from the barn
a little amble from the barn

On the way back, we encountered a little traffic on the short piece of paved road back to the barn, Whiskey handled all that with calmness, just how we like!  All of this is a set up for getting to know your horse in a variety of settings!

Stay tuned!

Terri

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Private Invites to Ride

post-ride bliss!
post-ride bliss!

We had opportunity to ride out today with a friend.  We rode from her place, fun and interesting!  Handsome was right there this morning, ready to catch me up, and loaded up.  This is always a great opportunity to ride unique areas that you may not have access to otherwise!  Take advantage, but return the favor if you can!

We did a little warm-up through the pasture looking for discarded fly masks.  We found both, crossing a little pasture creek along the way.  Handsome has no issues with riding out on the trails, but it was our first time out in a while!  He was enthusiastic!  So down the road to our trail ride, two-tracks through a canopy of trees making for a nice, cool ride on an early hot summer day!

We crossed two bridges twice, (the ride was an out and back), offered to have him wade in the creek, but he declined today, he does cross water, but we didn’t have to do everything today. . . . .there was some pretty good up and down hill work, some good pulls, and on the way back, my friend’s horses following us on the fence line.

’til the next trail ride. . . . .

Terri!

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A Secret Riding Place!

From here, we pull to the overview, on Whiskey
From here, we pull to the overview, on Whiskey

We all have one of these, right?  When I was interested in purchasing Whiskey, my instructor took me to this spot, a great area to try all three gaits, however, the condition was that I had to keep it a secret!  I had one such place in Ellensburg, up towards the Wenas, where the wild daffodils bloomed during early Spring and Summer!

"Secret" trail up the draw to the ridge overlook with Charley-horse
“Secret” trail up the draw to the ridge overlook with Charley-horse
to the first lookout point with Delilah, TWH mare deluxe!
to the first lookout point with Delilah, TWH mare deluxe!
at the top of the last pull, entire Kittitas Valley view!
at the top of the last pull, entire Kittitas Valley view!

Here is my secret draw that leads to this amazing overview of the Kittitas Valley!  Where is your Secret Riding place?  I’ve taken one or two people on this route, so it may be more well known now. . . . .

Girls just want to have fun!
Girls just want to have fun!

This area has at least one view of Loon Lake from above, and is a closed and gated road with nice footing.  It starts out up a gravel road, turns into a shaded single track, then dumps out on the main dirt road.  It’s fairly level, giving a good opportunity to trot and canter Whiskey!  He is very good, doesn’t get high with up and down transitions, moderated when I asked!  My instructor was ahead at one point, with her mare loping along on a loose rein, as she turned around and took pictures of me, laughing so hard at the whole thing!

Tightening the cinch after sliding off, lol!
Tightening the cinch after sliding off, lol!

I came to a mud puddle with that reflection of the sky, Whiskey side stepped a little, and I slid off, haha! I had a slick seat saddle that I had no grip!  I’ve since switched out saddles, but that is another subject for another day!

Scenic overlook
Scenic overlook

We were able to reach the viewpoint at the top!  then maintained a nice working trot on the way back.  What a ride!  I admit I scared myself, it had been so long since I had done any speed work like that out!  I was grateful for such a cooperative guy in Whiskey that I purchased him!  And slowed things down a bit, but nice to know that we can do that! Another day!

Post me a picture of your secret spot!  I’d love to imagine where it is!

Terri

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Riding at Riverside State Park

the view from Chica!
the view from Chica!

Spokane area has a lot of State Parks that accommodate horseback riding!  The most “famous” is likely Riverside State Park, with an equestrian center.  This central area has a large arena, a round pen, an obstacle course, day use parking area, restrooms, and a camping area, most are drive-thru’s, and I believe they have plug-ins for the living quarter trailers!  It’s really nice!  There are events held here, some of which have been de-spook clinics, horsemanship clinics, and demonstration days with various Backcountry Horseman Chapters.

Riverside with a friend, on board Chica
Riverside with a friend, on board Chica

There are trails from the central area, and also two other designated horse trailheads.  There are supposedly one hundred miles of horse trails, ranging from easy to some steep areas.  It is rocky, so I would shoe or boot accordingly.

Whiskey at Riverside
Whiskey at Riverside

So far, I’ve ridden from the Equestrian Center, along the river, and the bottom area.  I’ve also ridden from the trailhead off of Seven Mile Drive, where you can ride between that road as it ascends the ridge, and Hwy 291, lots of space there, single track, meandering in the pole line area and such . . . .

me on Whiskey, my instructor on Handsome Guy
me on Whiskey, my instructor on Handsome Guy

When I first moved here, there was a Backcountry Horsemen gathering and event, open to everyone, with a spaghetti lunch and lots of different demonstrations.  It’s a popular place for happenings, so I would check the website calendar if that is an issue for your weekend riding!

You can see the river from here, on Chica
You can see the river from here, on Chica
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My postcard pic of me and Chica!

They also hold an annual endurance ride in the Spring!

I’d love to hear what you’ve been doing at Riverside!

Terri

 

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Out and About with Natural Horsemanship

I really liked this mare, early season at Missile Site with Chica!
I really liked this mare, early season at Missile Site with Chica!

Spokane area has a variety of areas to ride, allowing you to match your horse’s condition and experience with location.  I missed the first season I moved here, July of 2014, so started with flatland riding, everyone being a little out of shape, that being more of an understatement!

Summer ride with Chica at Missile Site
Summer ride with Chica at Missile Site

When getting your “groove back”, understanding and patient friends, and a trainer for “eyes on the ground” and who can make it fun, is essential!

Whiskey at Missile Site
Whiskey at Missile Site

I started off in the arena for some basic tune-up and gaining confidence for being on my horses again!  I will make the general statement that I think all of us find a lack of confidence every so often!  Set the process up for a favorable outcome!

Nice trotting and loping possibilities, Missile Site
Nice trotting and loping possibilities, Missile Site

My instructor also goes out on trail rides with her clients.

Whiskey at Missile Site
Whiskey at Missile Site

Missile Site in the Deer Park area is a popular all season area.  The area is a blend of double track and single track, all with nice footing.  There are enough trees to make it feel shaded even during the heat of summer.  I had nice rides there with Chica and Whiskey, once with my instructor and a number of friends.

Where do you start out riding early season?  Whatever you do,

Just Ride!

Terri

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New Trails and New Friends!

WP_20150503_004Dear Friends, somehow work interfered with my keeping you up to date!  I’m starting back where I left off, and will catch you up!

Chica at Riverside State Park
Chica at Riverside State Park

Moving definitely challenges your horsemanship!  Getting to know people, their way of going with their horses, and finding the places to ride, and if those are appropriate to you and your horse’s skill level, it’s a sorting!

Whiskey, my American Saddlebred
Whiskey, my American Saddlebred

It’s also a time to assess what direction your horsemanship is going, perhaps a time to be open minded to the possibilities in the new area!  I had researched the area before moving here, and found plenty of possibilities to consider and keep busy!

Handsome Guy
Handsome Guy

I continued to take lessons, ground play, saddle fitting, and trail riding.

I took some group lessons, always a good way to see how your partner does with others around.

Handsome Guy
Handsome Guy

Fall brought some fabulous color in the area!  Along the way, Handsome Guy learned how to back out of his trailer with a pull of the tail.  He always self loaded.  I get a little claustrophobic in trailers, so I prefer to have my horses do that for me!  Also, what with time constraints and schedule challenges, I like to have as much help from my horses as possible!

Whiskey unloading himself
Whiskey unloading himself

Whiskey also progressed to loading right up, hauling loose or tied, and backing out with a slight tail pull.

I think Chica inspired them all, and helped teach them both, she was so good at it, and always game to go!

Wishing you all as great a partners as I have!  Catch me up!

Happy Trails!

Terri

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Persistence pays off, with a surprise ending!

one arena session. . ..
one arena session. . ..

After a few sessions at the arena with Handsome Guy, we had opportunity to ride out today with friend.  We rode from her place, fun and interesting!  Handsome was right there this morning, ready to catch me up, and loaded up.

Normally, I would go to a place I know for his first ride out for the season, and you know I missed last year, and have been getting everyone tuned up with ground work, arena time, and riding out.  It’s been a year or so since I’ve ridden Handsome!

two arena session. . . .
two arena session. . . .

Rode at the arena a couple of days ago, Handsome was making it clear that he was quite bored with my lack of “stepping up”, giving me some wrinkled lip and rolling his eyeballs, so to speak!  He is very subtle about it, and I promised him I would be stepping up my game for his sake!

So, we hauled out to a friend’s house.  We did a little warm up in the arena.  Handsome wanted to be resistant to bitting up, backing up with my efforts, but I outpersisted him, all of this  in the most polite way, let me emphasize!  I asked him to stand still for mounting up from the block, after a few circles he was cooperative, and stood still after mounting.  Always a good thing to emphasize!

take your bow. . . .
take your bow. . . .

We did a little warm-up through the pasture looking for discarded fly masks.  We found both, crossing a little pasture creek along with way.  Handsome has no issues with riding out on the trails, but it was our first time out, and in a while!  He was enthusiastic!  So down the road to our trail ride, two-tracks through a canopy of trees making for a nice, cool ride on an early hot summer day!

We crossed two bridges twice, (the ride was an out and back), offered to have him wade in the creek, but he declined today, he does cross water, but we didn’t have to do everything today. . . . .there was some pretty good up and down hill work, some good pulls, and on the way back, my friend’s horses following us on the fence line.

post-ride bliss!
post-ride bliss!

He was resistant to loading, backing out after loading three times,but I out-persisted him,  staying put on the fourth, allowing the divider to be placed.  I took the time for water and sandwich before heading back.

So. . . .I figured that if he had energy to be resistant, that he could unload himself, backing himself out.  That he could have an assigned task for the end of the ride.  So. . . . .I got the mounting block and put it in the extra stall so I could see over the divider, and with my Parelli Carrot Stick, created a visual barrier to turning around when I needed it, and applying steady pressure on the chest and saying “baaaaack”.

He had to think about it a bit, with Whiskey in the pasture outside telling him to get his rear in gear!, two steps back, thinking about it, then head down and backed all the way out!  Wow!! Lots of complements to Handsome, with a little encouragement from Whiskey!  Congratulatory carrots offered all around, with Handsome wanting to refuse!  Ha, ha, so Whiskey took them, and then Handsome did.  What a hoot!  Don’t you love reverse psychology?  Gotcha, Handsome Guy!

’til the next trail ride. . . . .

Terri!

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