Finishing up the last minute details before we leave for the Iron Mt. Jubilee.
I think J is really worried about going solo this year. He wants me to take my riding clothes in case he's too sick to ride in the morning. 30 miles in under 6 hours is the goal. "To finish is to win."
And an update on yesterday's Good Fence post, it was a dead salamander.
We hauled Brother and Jessica to the location of the start of the endurance ride yesterday for a practice run.
The show grounds are pretty deserted looking but there was already one trailer over in the woods. She apparently came Monday and is riding Friday.
Brother is getting to be and old hand at all of this. I am continually amazed that he does so well for a 3 year old.
We were once again on the Virginia Highlands trail but this time about 50 miles from last weekend.
We just rode the first 6 miles up and back so 12 total. Where we turned around the trail is lined with Posted Keep Out signs and there was a man walking around in the woods on a cell phone, carrying a big stick with a gun in the waist band of his pants. He claims the trail is on his property and he is threatening to block the trail for the ride. One year there was a large stuffed toy horse hanging by its neck in a tree. We listened to him rant for about 20 minutes before we finally got away. We met the other rider on the way back and warned her about the crazy man and said he had a gun. She said she had one too. I told J that wasn't something I usually think about taking on a trail ride. Anyway, the horses did fine. Really wish Brother was old enough.
All he thinks about is eating when he gets done.
Jessica, on the other hand, tries to scrub away any vestige of human touch after every ride.
If you recall, we had a recent trip to Mt. Rogers where we hiked. This time J and I went with the Saddle Club, camped and rode. It's a much nicer way to travel.
Saturday we rode from the You Are Here sign to the scales then the Wilson Creek loop. Sunday was the other side of the mountain that I had never ridden before. (sort of the yellow dots in the upper left of the map)
I think we ended up with about 15 trailers at the camp. Some came Friday, some on Saturday, and one showed up Sunday morning.
Jessica was all decked out and ready to go. J doesn't like how her mane won't stay on one side so I did it up in some braids for him.
My start on Saturday was a little slow. J had caught and loaded the horses while I was getting the people stuff together. The trail riders were leaving out at 10 AM so we started brushing and saddling up as soon as we got there. But this was what I found when I went to clean out Brother's feet. And these were just reset on Friday the week before. Well, after much discussion, I decided to just stay in camp for the day.
Brother got a good grooming and I had just settled down with a good book when a rider came back in from the trail. His horse had thrown a shoe. The rider was in his late 60's with a bad back but could shoe and there was another gentleman in camp with additional health problems but that carried some farrier equipment with him. So, between the 2 of them they managed to get the thrown shoe back on and my shoe pulled, straightened and back on.
So we left to try to catch up with the rest of the group.
We were lucky and ran into them about 3 hours later where they had picked clockwise around the loop and we were going counter clockwise. I think it was a good thing for Brother though to just go out with one calm horse for a few hours before getting with the bigger group.
The blueberries were ripe and there were plenty of berry pickers out and about.
And as always, the views were magnificent. I was disappointed that I didn't get to see the "wild" ponies this time. Apparently, some of them have little mule babies!
(imagine cute pony picture with tiny mule foal with big ears inserted here)
I rode for about 5 hours where as the rest rode about 7 1/2.
Back at camp Brother and Jessica hung out at the trailer while we enjoyed hot dogs and hamburgers at a pot luck supper.
Sunday morning some of us were ready earlier that others (that may have stayed up partying a little too late) so we went in 2 different groups.
Brother, being a growing boy, took every opportunity to eat.
We followed the orange diamonds, markers for the Virginia Highland trail. That is the same trail as Horse Heaven near our house. I guess if we had wanted to we could have just ridden home.
We had 2 great days of riding with beautiful weather and Brother had his first overnight ride and did wonderful. Jessica is geared up and should be ready to do 30 miles this coming Saturday. J, I'm not so sure about.
It never ceases to amaze me that with all of the technology currently available, people choose to put up crazy bad pictures to advertise their horses. I could maybe see this 20 years ago when we were still taking film pictures, had to send them off to develop and had to actually pay money for them. But now, I guess since pictures are essentially free, nobody takes the time to get a good one. But they are free, so why not take a hundred until you get a good one. I don't understand! The following are the 3 pictures someone put on Craig's List to sell their horse.
This is never a good angle but at least you can sort of see the horse and it's color.
Where as this "devil eye" picture I guess is just demonstrating what a family horse it is.
But this one is by far my favorite. However, I'm not sure a Taliban horse is going to be that popular right now.