Sunday, August 31, 2014

Just Kit Sunday #61

Kit Kat loves making new friends.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Good Fences #23

I love the idea of a walk through gate.

This is on Mt. Rogers to keep the wild ponies out of some areas. 

I wish we could do this on our farm but I know it wouldn't work for the goats.  Well, nothing munch works for them anyway.
For more Good Fences click HERE.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Trail Cam #1

I have a new feature here at the 4 R's, the Trail Cam.  J got a trail cam for Christmas and V finally got it set up for him earlier this month.  He just went and brought it in.  He got two pretty good pictures.  
 This nice 6 point buck,
and this pretty doe and fawn in the background.  You never know what all is going on out there.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Iron Mountain Jubilee Recap In 25 Pictures or Less

J actually started the ride Friday by chasing Jessica across the ridge and maybe cussing at her. 
 As you saw from the picture Friday we bathed her then turned her loose in the lot while we finished getting things together.  In true Jessica fashion, she rolled again so she needed another bath before we loaded her on the trailer.
 When she finally got all four feet on the scale she weighed in at 1005 pounds.
 She vetted in perfect with all A's.
 I was trying to show how her number color coordinated with her halter but she took the opportunity to try to rub her braids out.
 After an uneventful night J was up and ready to go with the 30 milers.
 And they'er off!  There were 30 that started.
 Including this mule that finished about 30 minutes before J and Jessica.
 It may not look it but Jessica was ready to go.  J said he spent the first half of the ride holding her back.
 I mean while, drove to the halfway point to be ready to help when they got in.  Do you see a theme to Jessica's behavior?
 We got her unsaddled, sponged and pulsed down in six minutes.
 And she passed the vet check with flying colors again.
 Then it was 50 minutes of waiting.  I took care of Jessica while J kicked back and took it easy.  (and got a rock out of his boot)
 Jessica ate grass in between checking out her competition.  The halfway hold was located at the property that was auctioned off last month.  See Land Auction.
 Then saddled up and at the timer waiting to be released.
 I asked J if he heard me in his head during the ride.  He said he did and that I was saying, "now would be a good time to trot."
 I was certainly thinking that as he ambled slowly away from the hold.  In fact I almost yelled it at him.
 He must have heard me in his head because he finally started trotting.
 He got back in one piece.
 It took 14 minutes to pulse down and they called out "14th".  Not a bad finish.  Then all A's except a B+ on gut sounds.
 After stomping up onto the scales she weighed out at 945, a 60 pound weight loss.  She went right to eating and drinking as soon as we got back to the trailer.  She probably added back 20 pounds before we loaded her up to head home.
 And she did her usually scrubbing when we turner her out.
Now she can be a wild pony for a few days.  Not that she has ever been much of a tame one.  I think J had a great time and was glad he did it solo after all.  But boy, I need a horse for this.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Friday, August 22, 2014

On Our Way

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.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Good Fences #22

This greeted us on a fence post when we turned the horses out Tuesday after a trail ride. 
How does this even happen?
For more Good Fences clickHERE.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Practice Run

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.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Mt. Rogers, The Right Way

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.

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