Monday, June 21, 2010

1st Ever RMF Obstacle Course Day

Heather and Seven

On May 30th I decided to set up my Obstacles and invite some friends over for an Obstacle Course Day! I send out an email earlier that week but really did not know how many people might show up on such short notice. I picked up Kayla's horse Chief to spend the night. Kayla helped me get all the stuff set up too! We pulled everything out, from the pool toy Shark to the tarps and an umbrella. We got 13 people to come over! What fun everyone had. Some peoples horses took to it really quickly and a few people were even able to show off and do to obstacles at once. Like the Umbrella and the Shark Pull!

Ron and Jeb

Others took their time and introduced their horses to some very new things! I had pulled my horse trailer into the field and set out the awning. With drinks, food and a few fans running it became a nice cool spot for everyone to have a break. Heather, Ann and Lynn's daughter rode Sadie Mae. Heather and Ron also got a turn on Seven. I also got the Donkey's out and made a Donkey Chain. Ron and his mule Jeb played Pony Mule and led them around for a while! Lisa and Lawson brought over some Mini horses which for some became an obstacle by themselves to some horses! Later in the afternoon many of the riders took off for a short trail ride.
I hope to do this again in the fall, with a little more notice next time! Thanks Kayla for all you help!

Lisa and DeVa

Jane and Val

Kayla and Chief

Ron leading the Donkey Chain

Loose Lips

On May 18th my friend and farrier Kevin Zambone came to shoe and trim the Red Mule Herd. I have known Kevin for over 10 years and he is always a lot of fun to be around, plus he is a great farrier. My mules really like and are very relaxed around him too.
Kevin says that when some of his other client's horses start acting badly he tells the clients how good my mules are for him. He says this always annoys them a little!
On this visit I had my camera out to take photos of Chester's foot trimming. Kevin started goofing around with Seven and rocking his big head back and forth really fast to make his lips move around! So Funny! Those of you who know Seven, know that he would not be this relaxed around just anyone!

The Snake & The Fawn

On May 16th, Heather a Vet Student at NCSU CVM, came to ride with me. She has not been able to do much riding since she had been away from home so she jumped at the chance to help me keep my mules ridden. We rode for about an hour enjoying the spring day. We stopped in a field to let the mules graze a little bit when I noticed a Black Rat Snake making it's way though the grass. Heather moved Sadie up a little closer so she could see it too. As soon as the mules moved the grass near it, the snake took off. I find it funny but the mules seemed to have no fear or even reaction to the snake being there. A few minutes later we rode off at a quick walk down the side of the same area we saw the snake. About half way down the field Seven stopped right as I noticed something moving right under my right foot. I looked down as Seven looked back to see a very small fawn getting up from the tall grass. It had all the white spots down its back and was so delicate and cute looking. It kind of stumbled around a little and then woke up all the way and took off for the woods. Once it was gone I realized that Seven had nearly stepped in the Fawn but then when it moved, right under his feet. He did not jump or spook. I was so pleased with him for this that he got lots of praise and extra cookies when we got home!

A Break Down

On May 15th I was excited to meet Lisa and Lawson for a Hunter Pace with the Red Mountain Hounds. I got up early, groomed and tacked Sadie up as it as going to be another hot day. I loaded Sadie a few minutes early and headed out the front gate. I got on the phone to let Lisa know that I was on the way, when my truck just quit on me. I was able to coast down the hill on Moss Road and 1/2 way up the other side of the hill. I was STUCK! I got my horsemanship cones and put them out in the road to warn people. Just my luck I had just joined a new service offered to AQHA Members called EquiPass. It is kind of like a AAA for horse trailers. I got them on the phone and was very impressed with the service. They asked if I was in a safe place and if the trailer was loaded and if the mule was in a safe place. They also offered to call the police if I needed it. They called a tow truck which would be able to tow my truck and trailer if needed. In the mean time I was still so close to home I decided to just ride Sadie home. I put her bridle on in the trailer and tightened the girth. I let her unload and them pulled her around so she was next to the step down of the trailer. I was able to use that as a mounting block. Away we went! Sadie must have been one confused mule as we rode home and then I untacked her and let her go out into the pasture. I got back to the truck and trailer and it started! I was able to get the trailer back and unhooked just in time for the tow truck to come and do a great job taking my truck to the shop. I missed the Hunter Pace but was able to try out my new service! Turned out is was the battery ground cable. Apparently if you lose the ground on your battery your engine will shut off!

Physical Therapy with a SADDLE?

A few weeks after my back surgery I was cleared to start physical therapy. I went in for my first appointment with one goal on my mind. I need to be able to lift my heavy mule saddle up on to my mule's back! My physical therapy was twice a week and each time my therapist laughed at me as I was always asking for more to do. She said most people whine and don't want any more to do. She designed many of the exercises to help me reach my goal. Toward the end my sessions she asked me to bring in my saddle so she could really see what I had to do and how heavy it was. I brought it in and showed her how to pick it up and how heavy it is (About 45-50 pounds) She said that she thought I was stronger than she was at this point! She also said that she has realized that my whole life was a work out rather than my needing to go to a gym for a work out! I wish that was not truly the case!

1st Ride back with the Mule Club

May 1st and 2nd was the Carolina Mule Association Trail Ride at Uwharrie National Forest at 4B Farm. I hauled in late Friday night and Barry was so kind as to meet my in the dark and help me get Sadie's stall set up. Next was parking. There was one easy spot left and then the harder to get into spot that I was assigned. Much discussion was made about how late it was and how it would be easier to pull into the spot unused. But I was up for a challenge and had an audience, those left at the camp fire that night. Barry moved his truck, I had a good backing moment and was able to swing it in with ease!! The next morning we were ready to ride at 9AM. Larry came out and gave us the morning ride blessing. We took off through the woods. Sadie was her sturdy self and we rode down to the river. I learned that my back did not like going down hills too much. After a late morning break about six people headed back to camp. I really did not want to head back before lunch but after they left I left like maybe I should have gone with them. We rode up the huge hill to Hang Glider Hill and right before the group turned off to lunch (Up Another Hill) Tony and Brenda and a friend said they were going to turn off and head back. Tony was going to cook Chicken on a big grille for everyone that night so he needed a little extra time. I took my second chance and rode back with them. It was quite hot that weekend and I was glad to get back a little early, take a shower and relax a little before dinner and the board meeting. We ended the day at the camp fire again and Brenda brought some really Sm ore's to make! I had forgotten how good those are! Sunday a small group rode out for about two hours. I went with them and was glad both for my back and for the heat to get back in early and head home.

Saddle Up & Go!

Many Thanks to my friend Molly for coming to ride Seven for me. After nearly 4 1/2 months off I was not sure I wanted to be the first on the back on Seven. Molly rode Seven for me as my back was still pretty weak. We tacked him up Friday afternoon for a short arena ride. To my surprise and pleasure Seven framed up trotted and loped off like he had been ridden yesterday. The next day Molly and I took the mules out for a longer trail ride. We ran into a goose, who got very upset when we got too close to her nest. When I went back to get a photo she got even more upset and called for reinforcements, the male goose on the lake. So we hi-tailed it out of there. We rode for about three hours that day. I was very happy that my back, Seven and Sadie, did so well! The next day I trailered up for a ride with Lisa and Lawson at Double D Equestrian Center. Thanks to Sadie I had another enjoyable and safe ride!