Archives for May 2017

Tuesday, May 30, 2017 – Ride with Birthday Girl Callie

Woke up to a beautiful morning, fed the horses, and while I was waiting for them to finish their breakfast, played fetch with Lola as is our habit. After getting some amused looks from our neighbors across the road (Lola can be very entertaining to watch), I crossed the road for a chat and met, Max and Tracy and Callie, who's celebrating her 17th birthday today. We had a nice chat, and Callie took over throwing the ball to Lola for a while, until dirty looks from Apollo reminded me I had to take off his feed bag before he could eat his hay, so what are you standing over there for, Mom? As it turned out, Hubby didn't quite feel up to riding today, so I offered to take Callie along, since I didn't want to ride alone. She had never been on a horse in her life, though she had been planning on taking the ranch ride later this week, so it took a little extra instruction. After she helped me get the horses ready, we went through some basics, but I wasn't too worried, Clio is pretty much bomb-proof, at least usually. Of course, as we were walking past some corrals toward the trailhead, one of the horses kind of jumped towards us, and Clio stepped into a trot, then a bit sideways, not much, but just enough for a newby who forgot to hold onto the saddle horn as she had been instructed to lose her balance, and she did a slow motion fall onto the dirt and gravel road. She brushed herself off and immediately was ready to get back on, with just a scrape on her arm to show for it (more will come out later, I'm sure! 🙂 ). But she was actually glad it happened so early, it was the lesson she needed to learn how important balance is! We headed down the trail, around a field, then across the road to the REAL trails, which turned out to be a lot more challenging than I thought they would be, especially for a novice like Callie, but she had learned her lesson, and listened well to what I told her about going up and down hills, so we headed into the woods with confidence. The trails here are not very well marked, especially at the intersections, we got lost many times throughout the ride. I had made a GPS trail to follow, but there was one intersection (at least it looked like an intersection on the map) that we could never find, so we missed the trail we wanted several times. Our mistake actually turned out to be fortuitous, as it actually brought us past Loretta Lynn's actual residence, a beautiful, bucolic setting with a very modest house (for a star like Loretta!), guest house, barn, cows in the pasture, a really nice spot. Again, we couldn't find a trail marker, until we turned around and finally saw a sign across the road indicating a one-way horse trail. We headed down that, which followed along the river in the right direction, and finally came out at the end of the field where we had started. It was a great ride, beautiful country, though the trails were quite rocky (and naturally, one of Apollo's boot fell off and had to be re-installed), and even Clio's boot turned sideways at one point and needed to be fixed. There were some pretty good grades, which made it interesting, and Callie certainly learned a lot about balance today! No more falls, though, as she remembered to hang onto the horn! We were gone more about two hours, going just over 5 miles, just right for a determined novice, though I suggested she take some aspirin as a precaution tonight, as she was going to be sore! By now the hip where she landed hurt more than the arm scrape, as I suspected it would, but nevertheless, she was a trooper and was glad it happened as it did. She helped me rinse the horses down, and came over later to help me feed them as well, so I think she might be hooked! Hubby, bless his heart, had a cold beer waiting for me in our lounge chairs when I finished, and we sat and chatted with Cali for a while, until it was time for dinner when we all went our separate ways. She came back again, though, when it was time to feed the horses, and helped me with that as well. It's so refreshing to meet a millennial who is grateful and appreciative, and not afraid of work! Nice job, Mother Tracy!

Monday, May 29, 2017 – Travel Day to Loretta Lynn Ranch, Hurricane Mills, TN

After several weeks at home completing doctor's appointments, picking up furniture and alfalfa and doing other odds and ends, we were back on the road today, heading for the Loretta Lynn Ranch in Hurricane Mills. This place is an attraction all by itself! Camping, tubing, kayaking, riding, a little Western town to visit, restaurant, concert venue, gift shop, you name it, this is a country paradise! The trip, thankfully, was uneventful, and we were eternally grateful, as Hubby has only just started to feel better. It's been a long recovery for him, but with the help of a new special shot from his nephrologist, he should continue to improve in coming weeks, fingers crossed! Anyway, we made it safe and sound, got set up in a large clearing in Area 2 where the Legacy Rendezvous 2017 is being held, got the horses high-lined between a couple of trees across the road, and settled in for the evening. I had a brief conversations with one of our neighbors, a man who railed about the brand new RV he had, but was falling apart (he was going to take it back to Oklahoma, it was that bad!) Sat outside and enjoyed a cold beer, met Randy the Wrangler who was running an upcoming trail ride, and generally soaked in the atmosphere. Eventually it was time for dinner for all, and then we settled down for the evening.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 – Travel Home

Sorry to say we never got another ride in at Owl Creek, much as I would have like to, but Hubby started to develop a serious breathing problem on Monday last week and it never improved, so we slowly packed up last night and headed home today. Didn’t even stop to shop as we usually would, he just wasn’t up to it, but we still had plenty of groceries to get us through the next few days, and we have a doctor’s appointment on Friday, so we can shop then, and hopefully find out what’s going on with him. An uneventful drive home, thank goodness, and the house was even in pretty good shape when we got here, no evidence of the meeces taking over like they usually do, guess our pest control guy is doing the job well. Got home around noon, so took a slow afternoon to bring in what we needed. Glad to be home, but still not sure if we’re going to hit the road again this summer (which we would like to do) or stay home and get some work done here. If Hubby’s health improves, though, I definitely think it will be a summer on the road!

Friday, May 5, 2017 – Rainy Day

Rain came in overnight again, and filled all my buckets once more, and the temperatures dropped dramatically. I had changed the fence around the horses’ area again yesterday, I’m trying to do a little pasture management, but with all this rain, the grass around us is starting to get a little sad looking. It’s made a bit worse by the racing around and leaping and jumping Apollo has been doing the last couple of mornings, I think he’s just trying to keep warm during the cold mornings we’ve been having! Even through they’ve had rain sheets on, it’s been still a bit chilly with a cold breeze. Anyway, it was the kind of day where you just want to stay inside and keep warm (we even had the furnace on a good part of the day!), so that’s what we did. In the late afternoon, we had visitors, Meredith and Steve, who live nearby, and read on my Facebook page that we were here at Owl Creek, and Meredith insisted Steve come out with her to meet us, and because she wanted to buy a copy of our book. We had a lovely visit! He’s a nearly retired rocket scientist, so he and Hubby had a nice chat as well. It’s great to hear from fans, and to make new friends along the way in our travels, and I really appreciated the effort they made to come and visit! After feeding the horses and changing them into their winter blankets, we settled down for another quiet evening, though we had a number of other campers come in. We even had a couple families that were here last week, and the kids came over to ask if Lola could come out and play! Of course we said yes, and off they went with tennis ball and chucker, which kept her busy until dinnertime. It started to clear up in the evening, so tomorrow looks like it’s going to be a lovely day!

Thursday, May 4, 2017 – Shopping Day

Well, not surprisingly, Hubby overdid it a little yesterday, and the pain in his shoulder was back, so he took the day to relax while I drove into nearby Moulton to pick up groceries and gas for our extended stay here. The original plan had been to leave yesterday, but with cold rainy weather at home, we decided to stay here a few more days, as it is generally going to be 8-10 degrees warmer down here, and less rain over the weekend. That’s what we love most about this life of freedom, to just be able to change plans at any given moment! It took me most of the afternoon, then on the way back I was delayed on a forest road by emergency vehicles, someone’s truck caught fire and they had to come out and put it out. They were almost finished when I reached them, so I only had to wait a few minutes before being allowed to carry on. Got back to camp, and we settled down for the rest of the day, with Hubby improving as the day went on.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017 – Another Ride Day from Owl Creek Horse Camp

Hubby woke up late, but feeling better this morning, and decided he was up for a ride, so after breakfast we saddled up the horses and headed back out on the orange trail, this time going in the counterclockwise direction in order to learn where we missed the trail last time when we took the wrong trail out of the picnic area by the bridge. The weather was perfect, the trail (except for the occasional patch of unnecessary gravel) was in good shape, though there was one large tree that had recently come down that we had to circumvent. This is really a beautiful area, single track trails that weave around in the forest, with some moderate grades, lots of small creeks, just a really pretty area. There is one section where there had been a fire that wasn't too pretty, and where they also seemed to have put more gravel down, so that was the only unenjoyable part of the trip, but fortunately that was short-lived. Unfortunately, one of my Cavallo boots kept coming off, and eventually the strap holder completely broke off the boot, making it only hanging on by the velcro ont the body of the boot, and that started slipping off, so I eventually just had to take the boots off. I hate to say it, but I've always been a fan of Cavallo's, but not so much lately. I don't know if they've stretched, or if the fit just isn't right anymore for some reason, but I've the boots have been falling off pretty regularly lately, and I'm getting a bit tired of it. Will have to look at my other options. I had originally bought Size 2 in the new Cavallo Treks for Apollo (because my previous regular Cavallos, the one with the double straps, were 2s), but they were too small and I had to return them for a 3. The 3's seemed to be a bit big, but unfortunately, last I looked, they didn't make half sizes, so it was the best fit I could manage at the time. When I get a chance, I'm going to trip Apollo's feet really well and try to fit on Hubby's 2's just to see if it's possible, otherwise I'm going to have to look for an alternate brand. Anyway, today we packed a lunch and reached the picnic area in due course, and stopped for lunch by the picnic area next to the bridge, enjoying a nice relaxing 15 minute break. Hubby was starting to feel a little bit pained in his shoulder, but he was determined to carry on, so that's what we did. It was another great ride, though, we really enjoyed it, even though Hubby really had to brave the pain by the time we arrived back in camp. It started to cloud up as the day went on, with rain in the forecast again, so we were so happy we were able to get a ride in before that happens! Another fabulous day on the trail!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017 – The Best Laid Plans…

Well, Hubby was not feeling any better this morning, so he stayed in bed most of the day, while I spent the day working on a number of things on my computer, including the outline for the clinic on horse camping I’ll be facilitating next month. So a slow and uneventful day!

Monday, May 1, 2017 – Laundry Day

Well, the plan today was to go riding, but it was quite windy and cool, and Hubby woke up not feeling very well this morning (always happens whenever we go into a crowd like the one on Saturday!), so we decided to hold off until he felt better, so that means it became laundry day! With all the dry air after yesterday’s rain, and the wind, I knew it would take no time at all to dry clothes, so I spent the day washing and hanging out laundry. I also moved the horses’ fence around to a new area, since with all the rain it was starting to look a little sad. There’s lots of weeds around that they don’t seem to like much, and not a lot of grass in between, even though it looks really green, but they’re managing to do a little mowing and lots of fertilizing, of course! Hubby spent the day relaxing, so hopefully he’ll feel better tomorrow, weather-wise it’s suppose to be a beautiful day!