Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Team 60 - Montana Spots **

My name is Peggy Ann Strupp; I live in the tiny town of Crane, MT (pop: about 50) in northeastern MT near the ND border. I enjoyed drill team before I moved here, but now I'm mostly a trail rider. I've been riding since I was 4; & except for a few years during our early marriage, I've owned a horse since I was 11 (I'm now 57). I still ride in the first saddle I ever owned.  

In Feb. of '13, I was riding Shadowfax on the truck path around our hay field. It was a lovely morning with 6" of new snow. Shadow was hugging the fence line; I asked him to step back onto the path.  The new snow was hiding solid ice on the path, and when Shadow stepped right, all four legs swooshed out from under him as though they had been roped. He went down so fast & hard I didn't have time to react. My right side hit hard, with my right leg smashed under his weight. He scrambled back up; I stayed down. He was OK; me: not so much. Actually, I was pretty lucky. The only thing broken was a small bone in my ankle which required surgery, screws, & 7 weeks of no weight-bearing. 11 months later, I'm mostly healed, and getting around & riding just fine.  I am more cautious now, though, of winter riding.  

My team is made up of 15 year old "Shadowfax", a dark bay grade gelding; and 16 year old "Pate", a red leopard Appaloosa; accompanied by my two Dalmatians, Rad & Luan. I train the dogs to follow the horses so that we can compete in Dalmatian Road Trials (a test/field trial of the Dalmatian ability to "coach", or follow the horses).  And yes, I bought the Leopard App to match the dogs.  He's my 3rd leopard App, and he has chronic sesmoiditis, so he's mostly just my parade horse & grandkid horse. In parades, I usually ride sidesaddle on Pate with the Dals on either side.  Inspired by a video I saw on YouTube, I made an eagle costume for Shadowfax & rode him in the high school homecoming parade.  I also made wings for Pate for the Christmas Light parade (Santa uses reindeer; why can't Mrs. Claus use a Pegasus?) In my day job, I teach Spanish to HS & MS students.  

I enjoyed being in the Distance Derby for the last 2 years. Looking forward to another good year!

2012 / 600.96 miles / 21st Place
2013 / 264.12 miles / 53rd Place


  1. 1/11/14: 2.93 miles searching for the missing horse of a friend. We didn't find the horse or any sign of her. But it was a nice ride.

  2. 1/18: 2.02
    YTD: 4.95
    So icy. Even the hay field had melted down & iced over again. Stayed on the flat. Not much riding under these conditions!

  3. 1/25: 6.72
    YTD: 11.67
    Although lots of the snow is gone; not on my place. It's almost impossible to get the horse out (on foot) safely. The hay field looks like standing water, but it is over ice. We carefully picked our way around the hay field to the canal road; the mud was still slippery in spots there, but we had a great ride. Temps almost to 50!

  4. 2/15: 8.27
    YTD: 19.94
    New snow is covering the ice again, but I found some good places to ride, once I can get off my property. 30 degrees is really warm for us! Last week was sub-zero all week! Windy, though. Shadow was full of it whenever he thought we should be heading home instead of away, but I schooled him a bit & we had a good ride.

  5. 2/18: 3.27
    YTD: 23.21 Rode Pate, the App with sesmoiditis. Took all 4 dogs, even the birdy Pointer (I usually don't take her for fear of losing her - have to watch her all the time). It was a nice ride. Can't ride this weekend because I have to drive 8 hours (rt) for jury duty in Billings! Go figure.

  6. 3/8: 8.62
    3/9: 2.63
    YTD: 34.46 Yippee Skippee temps in the 50's & 60's! The last 3 weeks have been sub-zero, but now we have WARM! Let's hope it stays. There is still a lot of ice under an " or 2 of water, or mud, so the going is slow,but at least I'm "going"!

  7. 3/14: 5.17
    YTD: 39.63 Yay for Daylight Savings Time! Tonight is supposed to bring snow & cold, so I decided to ride now! Interesting ride to the Yellowstone River; the ice jams overflowed the banks & RV sized ice chunks now litter the road & fields. It will be at least a month before I can ride the loop.

  8. 3/15: 4.67
    3/17: 3.83
    YTD: 48.13 New snow on Sat, so I didn't get out of the "back yard". Sunday was warm again, so it all melted. Mon. I made it back out the the Yellowstone River with my camera to see the flooded ice jams. Just amazing RV-sized chunks of ice deposited far onto land (hundreds of ft inland). Currently the ice blocks the road in, and it will take it at least a month to melt-then mud. No riding the river for a while!

  9. 3/25: 4.61
    3/28: 6.25
    YTD: 58.99 Snow yesterday, 61 degrees today! Rode out to the Yellowstone; ice chunks still block the road in.

  10. 4/5: 8.33
    4/6: 3.15
    YTD: 70.47 Getting warmer! Have to get some miles in to train for the Dalmatian Nationals (field trial on horseback)!

  11. 4/8: 4.14
    4/10: 5.03
    YTD: 79.64 Still just trotting around the hay field. Both times, we saw a hawk, & the hawk seemed to "follow" us (in front). I'm sure it's the same hawk.

  12. 4/12: 8.19
    YTD: 87.83
    Finally had some good footing & was able to ride Seven Sisters. Still a lot of mud & ice chunks, but was able to ride around them.

  13. 4/19: 11.4
    YTD: 99.23 Almost to 100! Had Grand Jury duty, so that took too many days (I have to travel 4 hrs ea way). Next week our son is getting married in another state, so that will be more days without riding! But good days!

  14. 4/23: 1.39
    4/24: 12.7
    4/28: 5.2
    (already calculated in)

  15. 4/30: 5.2
    5/1: 5.67
    YTD: 129.39
    My last day of training before leaving for the Dalmatian Road Trial. Wish me luck!

    1. Hope you do/did well at the Dalmation Road Trial!!! Always love seeing your costumes! Marvel

  16. 5/6: 8.49 on a McCurdy Plantation Horse
    5/7: 26.7 on the McCurdy
    YTD: 164.58
    Dalmatian Road Trial @ Milo McIver State Park, near Portland, OR. 12.5 miles on Wed. with the 9 year old Dal & the 4 yr old, then continued another 12.5 with the 4 year old for a total of 25 (plus some extra). "Rad" got 1st place in the 12.5 mile class; "Luan" got 1st in the 25 mile class, and her score was highest overall for the High in Trial award. It was a good day!
    I rode a rental - an endurance mare (they asked local horsewomen to supply horses for us - we paid $200 per 12.5 miles). My horse was delightful - lots of energy & very smooth. I rode in the owner's treeless saddle - I'm hooked! Most comfortable 25 I've ever ridden!

  17. 5/10: 2.79
    5/12: 2.57
    5/17: 9.16
    YTD: 179.10 Things are finally greening up around here! Ticks are out, though!

  18. 6/10: 8.25
    6/11: 6.40
    6/12: 7.17
    6/13: 3.52 & 1.10
    6/14: 3.10 Parade!
    6/17: 6.45
    YTD: 228.79

  19. 6/21: 2.81
    6/24: 9.08
    6?25: 5.14
    YTD: 245.82

  20. 7/1: 7.98 miles.
    YTD: 253.8
    Today I dressed Pate in his Chicken costume for the parade. Still have some kinks to work out, but he rode around just fine, couldn't care less about the hood or the wings!

  21. 7/7: 7.23
    7/11: 3.93 @ Turkey Creek!
    7/12: 3.25 @ the Wayne Chicken Show Parade!
    YTD: 268.21

  22. 7/31: 2.0 with grandkids!
    8/2: 1.5 with grandkids. Bringing them up right!
    YTD: 271.71

  23. 8/5: 2.31
    8/8: 3.01
    8/9: 8.13
    8/11: 3.03
    YTD: 288.19 Having trouble posting.

  24. 8/26: 8.89
    9/1: 3.91 My grandkids - the ones who haven't especially liked horses - came to visit a few weeks ago & I let the 2 older ones (boy & girl) actually rein the horses, & it went very well! When they came back for Labor Day, the two girls really wanted to ride, and we rode twice, both times the older girl actually doing ALL of the reining & control of the horse. YAY!

  25. Peggy, Your rainbow photo was just Amazing!

  26. 9/3: 4.19
    9/4: 3.02
    9/5: 3.10
    9/6: 20.8
    YTD: 335.3
    Great ride with friends on the Maah Daah Hey Trail!

  27. 9/19: 2.13 miles to try out the wings on Shadow.
    9/21: 9.54 miles. About 2 miles of it with a practice flag on the new 10' pole. Then off to the forest to see the fall colors. Beautiful!
    YTD: 355.85

  28. 10/9: 8.81
    10/10: 3.12 Parade!
    10/11: 4.16
    10/13: 2.11
    10/16: 1.50
    YTD: 375.55
    Rode in the High School Homecoming parade! Shadow wore an eagle hood, a feather tail, & wings. We were a hit!

  29. 10/19: 7.53
    10/25: 5.11
    YTD: 388.19 Still enjoying the Indian Summer!

  30. 10/31: 7.55
    11/1: 4.11
    YTD: 399.85

  31. 12/2/14: 3.50
    12/4/14: 8.16
    12/6/14: 1.09
    12/7/14: 1.22
    YTD: 413.82