Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Team 55 - Parys **

What a blast the Distance Derby has been!  This will be my third year to compete and I’m looking forward to more great times on the trail and reading about the adventures of fellow Derby riders.  I was lucky to meet or exceed several riding and competition goals in 2013, and I can’t wait to see what this year has in store.  I will continue to compete in CTR, help with the NHTC Trail Challenge, work on improving my partnership with my horse, and enjoy many excellent days on the trail with friends. 
My main horse will again be my 15yo white Foxtrotter, Mika.  He has surpassed all my expectations and amazes me with his great attitude, willingness and ability.  He is a hoot to ride and I am blessed to have such a good partner.  We should up our mileage again in 2014 as I plan to compete him in more Open CTR’s so will increase our competitive as well as conditioning miles.  Wiley, my 16yo Paint, and Lucy, my 9yo Half Arab, will also get some saddle time.

2012 / 684.20 miles / 18th Place
2013 / 803.66 miles / 24th Place


  1. Finally had time and good weather for a ride after getting home from the Region 6 CTR convention in KS.

    6.34 miles
    4.4 mph moving avg
    11.4 mph max

  2. 1/24/14
    Amazing ride through the Garden of the Gods in Colorado. My mount was an appy mare named Cheyenne and she was a gem. Incredible views and special memories shared with some of my best horse friends.

    4.58 miles
    (10.92 miles YTD)

  3. A bit chilly and windy as the sun went down, but better take any bearable riding weather when I can! Mika was pretty full of himself starting out tonight so didn't take much asking to cover some ground. LOL

    2.92 miles (13.84 YTD)
    6.3 mph moving avg
    11.3 mph max

  4. Mika and I had to skip right over Frigid February. But Spring is in the air and we have a lot of miles to catch up on. Not much time to ride tonight after work but it's a start!

    1.50 miles (15.34 YTD)

  5. Still a lot of snow and ice on interior trails at Two Rivers, but the main ones were in good shape. Lots of fishermen, walkers and even several tent campers as everyone is anxious to put this terrible winter behind them. Only two other horse riders in the park, but maybe others are holding out for warmer temps tomorrow!

    5.28 miles (20.62 YTD)
    3.9 mph moving avg
    8.3 mph max

  6. Enjoyed a warm ride mostly out of the wind along the MoPac trail Elmwood to Wabash. I can mark one new trail off my list this year. :)

    8.37 miles (28.99 YTD)
    4.1 mph moving avg
    9.4 mph max

  7. What a beautiful 73* day! Nice ride through the fields, soaking up the sun and warmth. Mika was wishing he had shed a bit more hair though.

    5.24 miles (34.23 YTD)
    4.8 mph moving avg
    12.0 mph max

  8. Warmed up in the arena and played over some obstacles, then saw the new neighbors saddled up. We rode through the area together and had a nice ride getting to know each other. Excited to have active adult riders across the rode!

    3.96 miles (38.19 YTD)
    3.4 mph moving avg
    11.0 mph max

  9. Nice night to explore trail options at Branched Oak.

    7.36 miles (45.55 YTD)
    4.6 moving avg
    13.8 mph max

  10. Perfect day riding at Mary's. Practiced CTR obstacles in her awesome arena, then rode a good but relaxed pace over her land and surrounding areas. Days like this are good for the soul, especially since it's snowing again now...

    8.12 miles (53.67 YTD)
    4.0 moving avg
    11.0 mph max

  11. Didn't ride as much as I planned but had a nice visit with the new neighbors again, then an old friend stopped by to visit, so more standing around than moving but some days, that's okay. :)

    3.62 miles (57.29 YTD)
    3.8 moving avg
    12.0 mph max

  12. 8.11 miles (65.40 YTD)
    4.3 moving avg
    11.3 mph max

    Robin said we would ride if it hit 32* by noon. It reached 32.1* so we bucked up and rode the MoPac again, Elmwood to Wabash, in the cold wind. We both wore plenty of layers and enjoyed a hot drink afterwards, so it wasn't too bad at all. :)

  13. 15.17 miles (80.57 YTD)
    4.0 moving avg
    12.0 mph max

    Met Robin at Oak Creek for some longer miles. It's another popular trail I hadn't ridden before, so can mark one more off the list. Got a bit chilled on the way back as the wind picked up, but warmed up at the bar afterwards. :)

  14. 2.26 miles (82.83 YTD)
    5.8 moving avg
    12.5 mph max

    Short ride in the arena and pasture. Worked on canter departures and circles.

  15. 12.59 miles (95.42 YTD)
    4.5 moving avg
    12.2 mph max

    Beautiful day at Branched Oak with Robin. Cantered a bit more and tried out her heart rate monitor. I need to get one of those!

  16. 5.81 miles (101.23 YTD)

    Rode in NECTRA clinic with friends and worked on improving body position. As with every clinic, I learned a few key things that will make me a better rider with a more responsive horse.

  17. 7.4 miles (108.63 YTD)
    3.8 moving avg
    7.6 mph max

    Beautiful night for the opening ride of the PRR at Two Rivers. I'm so impressed with the trail work done last weekend and can't wait to enjoy the extra miles that have been opened up. It was so good to see everyone after the long winter!

  18. 4.33 miles (112.96 YTD)
    4.6 moving avg
    12.7 mph max

    Great night riding with Mary through her fields. Paused a moment to enjoy the pretty sunset at the end.

  19. 4.41 miles (117.37 YTD)
    4.8 moving avg
    13.3 mph max

    Wonderful solo ride and camping trip at Two Rivers. Mika's first night on the Hi-Tie and Charlie dog's first camping trip. What a relaxing time with my two best guys.

  20. 11.56 miles (128.93 YTD)
    5.3 moving avg
    12.7 mph max

    Faster ride at Wilderness Park on a warm and humid day. Mika and Dan are still sporting pretty good winter coats, so were quite sweaty and panting. I gave Mika a clip when we got home so he will hopefully cool easier in OK, just two weeks away!

  21. 2.72 miles (131.65 YTD)
    5.2 moving avg
    11.3 mph max

    Quick arena ride between work and a meeting. Mika is picking up the correct lead every time on the straight and from a walk, so maybe he's been practicing on his own. LOL

  22. 8.24 miles (139.89 YTD)
    5.1 moving avg
    10.3 mph max

    Nice early morning ride on the Mo-Pac with Robin. Bunnies and squirrels must be more aggressive at that time, or so our brave steeds think. LOL

  23. 5.28 miles (145.17 YTD)
    3.8 moving avg
    8.0 mph max

    After our Plan A at Wilderness was rained out, we headed to Robin's to try our weather luck there. Enjoyed a nice ride along her property boundary and then explored around Hedgefield Lake. Not quite the pace and mileage we had planned for today, but still a good salvage for a ride and I can check one more new place off my list.

  24. 3.82 miles (148.99 YTD)
    6.0 moving avg
    12.8 mph max

    Good ride in the arena, through the pasture and playing over obstacles as we close in on the first CTR of the season.

  25. 4/25/14

    4.59 miles (153.58 miles)

    Previewing the blue loop at Lake Carl Blackwell for this weekend's CTR.

  26. .98 warm up + 29.2 miles CTR (183.76 YTD)
    5.2 moving avg
    11.1 mph max

    Good first day of riding Open despite the heat. Fun trotting and loping through the trees and fields but had to take it real slow into the P&Rs. Rode a lot of great trail I didn't get to see in November.

  27. 21.5 miles (205.26 YTD)
    5.1 moving avg
    10.9 mph max

    Delayed start to the CTR due to major storms moving through. Trails were a little slick and deeper in areas. Mika struggled with his P&Rs and was pulled at the 2-mile marker for a slight inversion. It's our first pull in 46 rides but Open is a whole new ball game. Still had lots of fun on great trails. Lake Carl Blackwell is an awesome place to ride.

  28. Congrats on getting over 200 miles!! So sorry to read about Mika;s pull. I am sure the lousy weather was the kicker :-( Glad you had a good ride though.

  29. 5/1/14
    1.21 miles
    5.5 mph moving avg
    10.8 max
    Quick ride after days of rain and cold to check Mika's soundness and attitude. He was quite full of himself with the chilly weather.

    2.20 miles
    3.7 mph
    5.8 max
    Short ride at Perry Lake to loosen horses up and see where their brains are.

    .78 miles warm up
    30.6 miles CTR
    5.0 mph moving avg
    12.4 max
    First day of Nickers N' Neighs CTR. I almost switched to CP class after last week's pull and the hot weather forecast, but received a good pep talk and entered Open as originally planned. Robin and I rode very conservative, being careful not to overheat or tire the horses. Mika did well on everything, including his P&R's. We stayed on mid time, well behind the other Open riders.

    .98 miles warm up
    24.8 miles CTR
    5.0 moving avg
    12.1 max
    We again stayed at a moderate pace and took plenty of time to water and graze the horses through the hot day. P&R's were tougher as temps climbed to 90* but only lost 1 pulse point while others fared worse. Such a relief to not have the terrible panting issue from last week! We again had a good day on well-marked trails. Such fun to have many DD riders there to share the sport. I was beyond pleased and excited when I won Horsemanship, Mika won Horse and then received Open Sweepstakes, after all the doubt we could even finish after last week!

    (265.83 miles YTD)

  30. 5/10/14
    10.57 miles (276.40 YTD)
    4.0 moving avg
    14.0 mph max

    Leisurely ride at Branched Oak getting more familiar with the trails. I always learn them better when I ride solo and try to figure my own way around. Beautiful day to be out.

  31. 5/14/14
    9.96 miles (286.36 YTD)
    3.7 moving avg
    13.1 mph max

    Despite the rain threat, we headed to Branched Oak to scout out new trail options. So glad we did, as the night was beautiful! Rode until the moon was up and found some great miles to add.

  32. 5/17/14
    .31 warm up + 27.9 miles CTR

    .78 warm up + 23.6 miles CTR (338.95 YTD)

    It was a beautiful weekend for the Hill & Dale CTR in KS! Cool weather, sunshine and a gentle breeze made for a gorgeous ride. Robin and I stayed on task, keeping to mid-time and allowing plenty of time for grazing and water stops. With the cool temps, Mika sailed through all P&R's without pulling the saddle. He was awesome at most of the obstacles and happy to truck on down the trail. 2nd in Horse and 3rd in Horsemanship against two past President Cup winners.

  33. 5/23/14 .12 miles
    5/24/14 .79 miles
    5/25/14 .33 miles
    (340.19 YTD)

    Not really enough miles caught to bother with posting, except I want to have the weekend on record. I love going back through the DD notes for the past few years and remember what I was doing.

    Robin and I spent a fabulous weekend in Cheyenne, WY attending the Larry Whitesell Gaited Horse Clinic. We rode indoors so the GPS did not catch much, plus we worked on small maneuvers and watched others, so the miles were limited. I learned a lot and really appreciated his approach and many nuggets of wisdom. Some things are so easy when shown a better way to do them.

  34. 5/29/14
    2.12 miles (342.31 YTD)
    4.2 mph moving avg
    12.1 mph max

    Arena riding to work on things learned at the gaited horse clinic and practice for this weekend's lesson. Mika was pretty good with a lot of distractions. This will be a full week getting ready for the CTR clinic and B ride at Branched Oak Lake. I'm excited to have so many new people joining us!

  35. 5/31/14
    1.95 miles clinic
    7.65 miles Branched Oak
    (351.91 YTD)

    Wonderful clinic with Cheri, where I was reminded of many things I need to incorporate into my routine with Mika. It was exciting to see the changes in my friends' presentations and riding. Afterwards we met other friends at Branched Oak to explore a different WMA.

  36. 6/1/14
    16.27 miles (368.18 YTD)
    3.5 moving avg
    10.4 mph max

    Finishing the CTR route now that we have the WMA pinned down. Warm day of slow miles, ending just before a downpour. Unloaded at home as another storm rolled in with high wind.

  37. 6/5/14 15.44 miles - marking all but Wildlife Management Area
    6/6/14 16.9 miles - timing ride
    6/7/14 9.18 miles - find 2 mile marker, mentor during clinic
    6/8/14 8.8 miles - sweep WMA and other trails for ribbons and markers after the ride
    (418.5 YTD)

    What a great weekend putting on the Branching Out CTR & Clinic at Branched Oak! I am so blessed to have committed and enthusiastic people to share the work and our love of the sport. We had challenges (heavy rain Saturday morning, the park not allowing us to use a normal portion at the last minute, kids removing miles of markers we had to replace late Saturday night) but it was a successful ride and people seemed to have a great time and want to join us for more. :)

  38. You did such an awesome job this weekend Shari! Thanks for doing this! Congrats on getting over 400 miles :-)

  39. 16.71 miles (435.21 YTD)
    4.5 moving avg
    12.4 mph max

    Original plans to meet friends further away fell through with the threat of weather, so Mika and I went to Waubonsie for a conditioning ride in the hills. It was a wonderful solo ride and felt good to get back to one of our favorite close parks. We picked up the pace and mileage a bit despite the hills and heat since our plans may be a bit bigger this year with a 50-mile endurance ride on the radar. Mika's recoveries were good on both checks.

  40. 4.12 miles (439.33 YTD)
    3.1 mph

    Enjoyed a ride with Taylor on Sid, a rare occasion anymore to trail ride with my daughter! We went to Two Rivers and got several miles in despite the many downed trees and terrible bugs.

  41. 7.61 miles (446.94 YTD)
    4.3 moving avg
    14.9 mph max

    I didn't plan to ride in the heat, but a neighbor asked for help rounding up a loose calf out of the corn field.

  42. 6/21/14
    .48 miles on Lucy
    4.29 miles on Warrior
    (451.71 YTD)

    Our plans to camp at Turkey Creek were scrapped due to rain and hail, so I just drove the car up to Freeman, SD to see how Lucy is coming along in her training. Watched Mark work with and ride her for a while in the arena, and then I hopped on. We loaded 3 horses and hauled to the Lewis & Clark Rec Area in Yankton so I could see how she did on the trail and hills. Always fun to hit a new trail and Lucy looks like she'll make a great distance horse.

  43. I posted earlier but am not seeing it now, so reposting...
    .48 miles on Lucy
    4.29 miles on Warrior
    (451.71 YTD)

    After repeated storms scrapped our plans to spend the weekend at Turkey Creek, I took the car to Freeman, SD to see how Lucy is progressing. I watched Mark work with and ride her in the arena, and then I hopped on for a while, riding under his guidance. We then loaded her and two other horses to ride at Lewis & Clark Rec Area in Yankton, so I could watch her on the trails and hills. Always fun to ride a new trail and nice to see my girl might make a good distance horse.

  44. 6/30/14
    .22 miles on Lucy
    (451.93 YTD)

    Stopped in Freeman to see Lucy on the way home from our Black Hills vacation. She has improved a lot in the past week and I think I am learning as much as she is!

  45. 7/3/14
    2.12 miles
    Arena riding at home

    Spent the weekend at Turkey Creek and it was so good to get back there finally, after all the time spent there the last few years! It was very hot and humid, so we did short rides and then came back to hose off the horses. It was also Charlie's first big trip and he is an excellent camping dog. I put a heart rate monitor on Mika and it was interesting to watch the numbers climb on the hills and his good recovery. It will be a fun tool as we prepare for the big Fall season of endurance and CTR.

    4.97 miles at Turkey Creek with Gary & Mary. Rode our rain route since hills were slick after steady rain most of the night.

    3.87 miles with Summer & Mark. Hit a slick hill and Mika went down on one hip but was able to regain his footing with me still on. Mark was behind and thought it was quite remarkable and that Mika is a keeper if he can do that! Lucy did well on the hills, wearing a crupper after introducing it to her earlier in the week. She had busy feet for the first few miles then settled.

    3.27 miles with Summer & Mark & kids. Fun ride playing games and watching Bohden bond with his new pony. Lucy did well and was quiet with Mark.

    2.56 miles with Summer. I rode Lucy and she was fabulous on the hills and spooking up a deer. It was great to finally ride her myself on the trails. I'm getting used to four reins as Summer and Mark prefer to ride. It does add a new level of communication.

    8.97 miles with Brenda W. Nice easy ride over the new trails and obstacle course added since last year.

    (477.69 YTD)

  46. 7/9/14
    7.12 miles (484.81 YTD)
    3.6 mph moving avg
    5.9 mph max

    Mika and I joined the PRR at Two Rivers to visit with friends and check park conditions. With many downed trees, the group stayed in the open areas, circling once and then dropping off about half the group due to the light rain, then circling again. I wanted to go back out and see the trails for myself but stayed in camp visiting just long enough for one of the riders to notice her cell phone was missing. I went with her to the site of her unplanned dismount, the most likely location, and we found it without much trouble. Mika and I then checked a few trails but soon ran into the main route still blocked by a large downed tree with no obvious way around, so headed back to the trailer as it was getting dark.

  47. 6.91 miles (491.72 YTD)
    4.5 mph moving avg
    11.9 mph max

    Rode in our north pasture to work on some hills at home. Our neighbor Bill that we lost last year always ran cattle over it and we keep the gate locked due to unwise youth in the area, so I've never ridden Mika over there. The grass is quite long so it's hard to see holes and we took it slower. Hit the mile dirt emergency road out and back on the way home to add some distance. Also worked on hobble training for the first time. It was a good day!

  48. 7.15 miles (498.87 YTD)
    4.6 mph moving avg
    10.1 mph max

    Riding plans fell through due to the heat so I rode at home again. Went back to the north pasture to do a few loops with hills, then came home via Equestrian Ridge, a housing development that doesn't have a single horse. The night cooled nicely and it was a relaxing solo ride.

  49. 5.91 miles (504.78 YTD)
    3.4 mph moving avg
    5.9 mph max

    Awesome ride with the PRR at Skyline Ranches. Rode with many foxhunting friends I haven't seen in years. I always appreciate Mika being such a good horse in large groups (40-50 riders last night!) as I can circulate from middle to back to front or wherever different people are riding so I can visit. I think we rode next to a dozen different people with some quality time to catch up on things. Visiting around a campfire on such a beautiful night afterwards was a great way to end!

  50. Congrats on getting over 500 miles :-)

  51. 7/19/14 9.67 miles + 7.87 miles on Mika
    7/20/14 6.42 miles on Mika + 5.49 miles on Lucy
    (534.23 YTD)

    Great weekend riding and camping with friends at Turkey Creek. Worked on conditioning on the hills and pacing together on the flat while we get ready for our endurance ride. It was interesting to compare heart rates between Mika and Dan and see how similar they were most of the time. Once Summer & Mark got there with Lucy on Sunday, we put all my tack on her and did a little ground work. I hopped on and led our group of 7 for a while, then followed Summer. Lucy was a little anxious if she thought she was getting too far behind, but otherwise was a bold leader and had no issues drinking from the stream and crossing water for the first time. I brought my girl home after feeling so good riding her. :)

  52. 2.15 miles (536.38 YTD)

    Rode Lucy in the round pen and around the yard. She was a good girl for her first ride at home.

  53. 2.47 miles on Lucy
    1.99 miles on Mika
    (540.84 YTD)

    Only had time for quick rides in between jobs and a 4-H meeting, but got two done. :) Worked Lucy in the arena with Mika hobbled outside it for company. She was a good girl after some ground work got her mind off the rest of the herd she couldn't see anymore. Of course Mika was his usual rock star self.

  54. 2.33 miles on Lucy
    11.7 mph max
    5.1 mph moving avg

    3.29 miles on Mika
    11.1 mph max
    5.5 mph moving avg

    (546.46 YTD)

    Lucy was excellent on a windy day with a jump blowing over, corn along the rail rustling, and tarp flapping. She cantered a bit without being asked, but also settled into a nice relaxed jog fairly soon. I kept Mika hobbled in the grass just outside the arena which works well for company. Rode him in the arena, pasture, and a little ways down the road. He was more worried about the tall moving corn than she was. LOL

  55. 7/25/14 .46 miles on Lucy in round pen.
    7.8 mph max
    3.9 mph moving avg

    Crazy hot and humid but wanted to ride her before leaving for Indian Cave.

    7/26/14 10.32 miles on Mika at Indian Cave.
    11.5 mph max
    3.7 mph moving avg

    Rode outer loop with Mary and Robin. Hot and humid with no air movement.

    6.75 miles on evening ride with Mary, Robin and Helen.
    9.0 mph max
    3.4 mph moving avg

    Took shortcuts to get back before dark. Barely starting to cool.

    4.89 miles on a nice morning ride with Mary and Helen.
    9.4 mph max
    3.8 mph moving avg

    Rode to the bluff to catch the beauty of the river then made it back in time for a nice breakfast before our NECTRA work day.

    2.07 miles on Lucy in the round pen
    8.0 mph max
    4.2 mph moving avg

    Rode til dark and worked on softer direction changes and consistent speed.

    (570.95 YTD)

  56. 3.83 miles (574.78 YTD)
    11.2 mph max
    4.5 mph moving avg

    Rode Lucy in the arena with Taylor on Sid then Wiley so got 3 horses out tonight. We added more to the arena including a turkey decoy. While she was loose working on ground work before riding, she trotted across the arena straight up to it with complete curiosity. I love that bold attitude. :) When riding, she when over a new box with flowers and trotted over the tarp and jump with no hesitation. Her stop and side pass are improving. She is showing much promise but has many many miles to go.

  57. 2.35 miles on Lucy
    12.1 mph max
    5.1 mph moving avg

    She can really move out at the trot but is also settling into a jog better.

    4.29 miles on Mika
    13.7 mph max
    5.8 mph moving avg

    Lots of cantering tonight. Played on the obstacles, jumped the flower box but knocked the cross rail down repeatedly. He needs something more substantial to make it worth his effort.

    (581.42 YTD)

  58. 8/3/14
    2.62 miles on Lucy (584.04 YTD)
    10.6 mph max
    3.9 mph moving avg

    Finally back in the saddle after a very busy County Fair. Rode with Taylor on Wiley but didn't get as much time as we planned with three different families stopping by. Took Lucy over the bridge for the first time. She stepped on with no hesitation but it took some practice to keep all four feet on the entire way across.

  59. 8/4/14
    1.32 miles on Lucy
    10.9 mph max
    4.5 mph moving avg
    Worked over bridge a bit more and trotting figures.

    4.14 miles on Mika
    11.4 mph max
    4.7 mph moving avg
    Rode in the arena for a few minutes and he took the jump much better. Rode the loop through Equestrian Ridge encountering rude teenagers, frisky dairy calves and major gunfire. He was very good despite the distractions.

    (589.5 YTD)

  60. 8/7/14
    4.84 miles (594.34 YTD)
    12.8 mph max
    6.8 mph moving avg

    Took Mika to Two Rivers to pick up the pace. Had a nice trot and canter through the wide areas now that the trees have been cleared. Made the mistake of trying an interior trail and ran into terrible overgrowth and a blocked trail from another downed tree. Emerged coated in stick tights on horse, clothes and deep into my wool saddle pad and stirrup leather covers. Ugh. Spent more time trying to pick that off so I didn't carry the seeds home than I did riding, while also fighting off a hungry mob of mosquitoes. Great ride until clean up time!

  61. 8/8/14
    .89 miles on Lucy
    Quick ride in the round pen since I worked late and needed time to finish the pasture fence.

    11.49 miles on Mika at Branched Oak
    12.0 mph max
    4.4 mph moving avg

    Rode with Mary and Dwight in the morning. Explored the two Wildlife Management Areas and did a lot of loops to gain mileage. Slow going in areas with tall grass as footing was questionable, but moved out when able. Overcast skies, a breeze, and good company made for a nice ride!

    10.54 miles on Mika
    12.0 mph max
    5.0 mph moving avg

    Rode with Robin in the afternoon. Much warmer and more humid. Stuck to the usual trails though several were quite overgrown.

    11.73 miles on Mika
    12.4 mph max
    4.4 mph avg

    Morning ride through the Wildlife Management Areas with Robin. Same slow going in areas but trotted and loped more than we usually do elsewhere. It will be nice to escape this dang humidity in Wyoming!

    3.16 miles on Lucy
    11.6 mph max
    5.5 mph moving avg

    Lots of trotting in the arena. She was a little more wound up but still listened well. Worked on transitions between gaits and speed changes within the same gait at each arena pole. Sidepass and bridge are coming along and she is getting better at working the gate. Rode her outside the arena past all the cars and equipment that worries some horses but as usual Lucy couldn't care less.

    (632.15 miles YTD)

  62. 7.71 miles (639.86 YTD)
    7.7 mph max
    3.5 mph moving avg

    Met a rider new to the area at Lake Cunningham to show her a local trail. Nice ride around the lake on a spectacular night.

  63. 8/14/14
    3.22 miles on Mika
    13.6 mph max
    6.7 mph moving avg

    3.03 miles on Lucy
    10.4 mph max
    5.0 mph moving avg

    (646.11 YTD)

  64. 8.20 miles (654.31 YTD)
    11.1 mph max
    6.0 mph moving avg

    Great ride with Robin trotting along the Mo-Pac from Elmwood to Wabash and back. Had the entire trail to ourselves. Grabbed a bite to eat, then had to change a fuse for her trailer running lights and jump start her truck. Good to know we can handle such things. :)

  65. 1.63 miles (655.94 YTD)

    Short ride on Lucy in the round pen and around the yard. Still pretty nervous when riding out of sight of the herd but did well with little ground work beforehand. She did sidepass nicely up to Craig so I could get fresh raspberries to eat. :)

  66. 12.71 miles (668.65 YTD)
    10.7 mph max
    4.6 mph moving avg

    Good ride with Robin at Waubonsie. Plenty hot and humid as it got closer to noon but horses did well and Mika's heart rate drops like a rock. Love that place to condition for a day ride.

  67. 2.06 miles (670.71 YTD)
    11.2 mph max
    5.0 mph moving avg

    Lucy settling to a slower trot and developing a "stand" cue.

  68. .28 miles (670.99 YTD)

    Very quick ride on Mika in the arena to check soundness and attitude before heading to WY in the morning. It took much longer to bathe his royal whiteness than to ride!

  69. Look at you go! In the top 10! Good luck at the Endurance Ride this weekend!

    1. Thanks! We've been riding a bit this year. :)

  70. 8/22/14
    4.70 miles
    Pre-ride at Medicine Bow National Forest in WY. Mika was more "up" than ever before but settled nicely.

    .51 miles
    warm up before 50-mile endurance ride

    49.94 miles
    Awesome, excellent, fabulous endurance ride! Gary, Mary and I successfully completed, but unfortunately Robin's horse threw a front shoe in the first 10 miles and she had to pull. The Medicine Bow/Vedauwoo area was breathtaking. We rode three loops, with a one-hour hold between each. Mika was a rock star, going down the trail with ears up and a good attitude the entire time. Trail was easy to follow, the head vet was the coolest ever, and I was super proud of Mika as his vet scores started great and then improved over the ride. What an amazing adventure with great friends and horses!

    726.14 YTD

  71. Congrats on getting over 700 miles! And congrats on completing your first endurance ride!!

  72. 15.14 miles (741.28 YTD)

    Rode Branched Oak with Tammy to trim trees, map route and decide obstacle locations for the Trail Challenge. Had fun playing on a water covered trail.

  73. 2.02 miles (743.30 YTD)

    Rode Lucy in the round pen since we are still too muddy everywhere else. She was frisky at first on the ground work, since it's been a while between my WY endurance ride, work, and rain. She remembered her manners pretty quick and we had a nice ride. Her gait transitions, stops and backs are very good now.

  74. 9/5/14
    6.99 miles
    Placing cards for I Spy Bingo game for NHTC Trail Challenge at Branched Oak.

    9.76 miles
    Riding during the Challenge to help fallen rider, check for bottle necks, and survey the ride and obstacles. This year Tammy and I split up several times and rode solo to take care of things better. It was a good experience for our horses! What a beautiful day to raise funds for our trails.

    8.49 miles
    Rode WMA with group, then checked water trail and pulled ribbons and cards.

    (768.54 YTD)

  75. 9/4/14
    .26 miles (768.8 YTD)

    I forgot to post this day. Not many miles but every little bit counts! Tested the ball push NHTC Trail Challenge obstacle and played with moving the ball around the yard.

  76. 1.06 miles on Mika
    Worked on obstacles. He was very good and patient.

    0.86 on Lucy
    She gets better all the time. Worked on quiet transitions and backing around things.

    (770.72 YTD)

  77. 9/13/14
    25.34 miles
    Brushy Creek CTR Day 1. We were a little worried about the weather when it was so frigid the night before and we woke up to frost, but it turned out to be perfect riding weather with sun and no wind. Due to the heavy rain the last couple of days, we had to ride the all weather trail, so 25 miles at 5.5mph on nonstop rock. We rode a consistent pace and made the time easily. The trail was wide enough to ride next to each other most of the time and the horses set a good pace and were happier side by side. The judges didn't see us very much but we did have a fun 360* back around a large rock.

    25.21 miles
    Brushy Creek CTR Day 2. A little warmer on Sunday but still beautiful. The trails dried enough to open so we had several changes to the map and directions. We rode most of the ride with two endurance riders to help them with the route, and it was interesting to hear about their rides and experience. We had a few more obstacles including a judged mount before timing out, riding down into a ditch to a ribbon and then backing out, and sidepassing an L in-hand. P&R's were perfect both days, with Mika easily pulsing down, no panting in the cool weather, and no need to pull the saddle. He did end with edema at the girth for the first time ever and slight fill in a front leg, but it was a tough ride with a lot of concussion. Many horses were showing lameness but Mika trotted out sound and won his division with me placing second.

    (821.27 YTD)

  78. 9/17/14
    .31 miles
    Trying out Mika's racing tack to make sure I had everything and he was good with the blinkers.

    7.0 miles
    First ride of Cowgirl Weekend at Pomona Lake

    14.17 miles
    Longest ride of CGW, eating lunch along the way.

    7.97 miles
    Morning ride

    .94 miles
    Swimming in the lake! One of the highlights of the weekend.

    .78 miles
    Riding our race horses and playing games.

    4.78 miles
    Sunrise ride

    Words can't express what a fun, magical, crazy time this weekend is. Spending four days with great horsewomen exploring new trails and enjoying life to the fullest.

    (857.22 YTD)

  79. 1.49 miles (858.71 YTD)

    Short ride to check soundness and attitude plus practice a few obstacles. Worked much more on longeing as that is definitely the bane of our existence trying to get one consistent gait both directions. We are improving at home, though I'm sure it will be different on front of a judge!

  80. 9/27/14
    33.14 miles
    First day of Indian Cave CTR. Mika was anxious to begin and then panting in the 82* weather and hills. We were held at the 2nd P&R and came in slowly over time. I shaved his neck and belly hoping that would help him the next day.

    6.60 miles
    Mika's respirations were high again, even though it was an early P&R and still cool. Rather than go through another hold and have an even worse time at the second P&R, I opted to pull him from the ride. Heat and hills are not something he can handle with his panting issue.

    7.59 miles
    Pulled ribbons to help Chuck

    6.41 miles
    Pulled remaining ribbons

    (912.45 YTD)

  81. Congrats on getting over 900 miles :-) So sorry about your pull on Sunday :-(

  82. 7.81 miles (920.26 miles)

    Beautiful ride for the PRR Finale at Skyline Ranches. Had a great time visiting with so many. Mika was his usual good self except for one moment when he threw a big buck out of the blue, throwing me! Totally out of character and strange.

  83. Your photo this month is a winner! Beautiful

    1. Thanks! I love yours too and how the trees frame it. We'll see if we chose right this time. ;)

  84. 10/6/14
    3.25 miles (923.51 YTD)

    Rode Mika harder with 2 miles of loping to see how he is doing with his panting. Though the vet exam and bloodwork didn't show anything, I still wanted to make sure he could hold up to exertion and recover properly. Though I couldn't fit in many miles, he seems fine so it much have been the combination of heat, humidity, hills, winter coat, and a recent increase in feed. Crossing my fingers for this weekend's CTR!

  85. 10/9/14
    2.33 miles
    Quick ride to check soundness and attitude before the competition.

    29.24 miles
    Sand Hills CTR Day One - Extremely well marked trail made for an enjoyable ride. Friday night was terribly cold, wet and windy, but Saturday was beautiful! Cool enough for the horses and warm enough for humans, Fall colors starting to show, good footing after the rain. Mika started off anxious but soon settled for the rest of the ride.

    1.24 miles warm up and trot out
    27.34 miles CTR

    Much windier and colder with a quick rain shower, but still a great ride. We made time easily and walked more than expected. It was nice to finish a ride without getting pulled and sometimes that in itself becomes a goal! Mika did even better though and won the ride with a full class from 3 regions. I placed 2nd in Horsemanship with my first perfect 100 from Priscilla. The white boy did well against very stiff competition.

    (983.66 YTD)

  86. 2.19 miles (985.85 YTD)

    Finally back on Lucy while Mika is resting. She was very quiet and willing with minimal ground work needed. Wish it didn't get dark so early!

  87. 1.08 miles (986.93 YTD)

    Got home a bit later than planned, fields were busy with harvest, and I almost decided to skip riding Lucy. But if she's going to be as solid as my last two, I can't worry about how she'll act and just trust her to behave. She was a good girl as they harvested the field beside us and moved trucks up and down the fence line.

  88. 1.61 miles on Mika

    Worked on transitions

    2.31 miles on Lucy

    Still a lot of action in the fields but she good. Also worked on transitions and standing still over a log without anticipating a sidepass. Made our 5 mile goal this week as she had once again fallen to the back burner with Mika so busy.

    (990.85 YTD)

  89. 7.52 miles + 4.13 miles (1002.5 YTD)

    Nice ride with the NECTRA group at Branched Oak. I was so close to 1000 miles that Mika and I went back out for few more. What a beautiful day!

  90. Congrats on getting over 1000 miles :-)

  91. .54 miles (1003.04 YTD)

    I had to saddle Mika to make sure his new clip job was clear of the tack, so we practiced a few obstacles while he was dressed. Weather this weekend is predicted to be sunny and upper 70's. Praying we get through the CTR without a panting issue. When he finishes a ride, he is golden with three wins and two seconds, but we've also had two pulls due to high respirations in heat and humidity. His winter coat is coming in pretty good and we've never ridden this location, so will be a guess for P&R locations.

  92. 10/24/14
    4.97 miles
    Explored the Cedar Creek trails at the Mark Twain National Forest just long enough to stretch their legs and check their minds.

    .74 miles warmup + 25.0 miles CTR
    Beautiful ride through the Autumn colors. Great variety of trails with many water crossings. Lost time through a very rocky area and then going slow into the last P&R due to the heat, so had an exhilarating ride over the last two miles to make it in on time.

    1.02 warm up + 22.6 miles CTR
    Another great day over scenic trails. Mika was a rock star both days, easily completing the obstacles and no loss of metabolic points. We both received perfect 100's and first in Horse and Horsemanship along with Sweepstakes! He also passed his 1000 CTR miles with this ride. What a fabulous weekend in so many ways. :)

    (1057.33 YTD)

  93. Wow, what a fantastic weekend you and Mika had!!! Congrats to everything, you getting over 1000 derby miles, Mika getting his 1000 CTR miles and your sweepstakes! How awesome for you!!!

  94. 10/31/14
    5.26 miles
    Rode with Mary and Tate to check out the trails at Lake Carl Blackwell in OK. Practiced a few obstacles and enjoyed a leisurely ride before the weekend's CTR.

    1.24 warm up
    30.0 miles CTR
    Mentored Marla through her first Open ride on her own horse. Mika was a bit out of sorts and antsy while we were in a bigger group but settled once Marla and I hung back to find our own window.

    1.16 miles warm up
    21.01 miles CTR
    Rode with Marla and Patti for a fun time! Mika was much more himself once out on the trail despite the strong wind. My trail partners were kind enough to let us lead the entire time and set the pace, knowing we had a National Championship on the line. Mika's respirations ranged from 1 to 3 so no problem with panting at this final ride of the season. He needed 5 points to win a National Championship, so had to place at least 6th. It was an unforgettable moment when his name was called for that placing and my friends were there to cheer and celebrate. Good job on a great first Open season, Whitey!!

    (1116.0 YTD)

  95. 11/22/14
    1.76 miles (1117.76 YTD)

    Finally back on Lucy after a month of travel and frigid cold. Though my original plan was to ride with friends, she was too full of herself and I spent more time working with her at home than anticipated. Though we didn't trailer out, we worked on loading into the small 2-horse so we are ready next time!

  96. 11/28/14
    Quick rides after work
    Mika 1.21 miles
    Lucy .64

    Mika 8.0 miles
    Nice ride with Robin and David at Mopac

    Lucy .93 miles
    Only had a short window to ride after getting home with Mika and leaving for work. She's been a good girl.

    (1128.54 miles YTD)

  97. .69 miles (1129.23 YTD)

    Rode Lucy in the last few minutes of daylight. Even if I don't have the time to get in miles, I hope to at least be consistent in working with her this winter. A little bit is better than none. :)

  98. 1.01 miles (1130.24 YTD)

    I'm starting to get desperate to ride on these nice days, so saddled and rode Lucy in the dark. She was pretty good until the coyotes started to move in and then we had one spook and small bucking episode, but she settled again. It was probably a good thing so I know I can handle her okay and get her mind again enough to relax and carry on.

  99. 12/13/14
    Mika at Waubonsie
    8.13 miles
    Nice solo ride on a warm but gloomy day. I'm thankful for what I can get in mid-December! Would have ridden longer but had to get ready for a party. :)

    4.17 miles
    Rode Lucy in the arena at home. She was pretty worried and distracted by a lot of noise just out of sight at the neighbor's, so we worked until she settled. I've noticed the last two times when she was more difficult that she was in heat, so will see if it's a coincidence or something I'll have to learn to manage.

    (1142.54 YTD)

  100. 12/20/14
    0.97 miles (1143.51 YTD)

    Rode Lucy for a short bit. Slick footing so we took it slow and mainly worked on maneuvers for obstacles.

  101. 1.12 miles (1144.63 YTD)

    Nice short ride on Lucy. Cold but sunny with little wind, so felt quite warm compared to the gloomy days,