"And, when you want something, the entire Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." -The Alchemist, by Paulo Coehlo

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Friday Photos (taken on a Thursday & posted on a Tuesday!)

Last Thursday, Charles came out to the barn with me and we went for a hike in the park across the street. I wanted to show him the park I keep telling him about. Of course he brought the camera. I meant to post these on Friday, but got too busy doing other things.

Exiting through the main gates

Up the long, long driveway.

Arriving at the end of the driveway and already looking to make sure no bikers or ginormous trucks are going to be flying by.
The safe shortcut into the park.
Park maintenance has left this fence down so we can access the park through here without having to ride on the street to get to the park's main entrance.

Meadow trailhead.

When we got too far ahead, we would turn around and trot or canter back to meet Charles.

Nice long-strided trot here!

They call this a Dutch angle in film.
Charles (who has a film degree as well as his Biology AND his Nursing degrees...) did it on purpose.
The larger of the two trailheads into the woods.
Lately we've been using the second, smaller, more difficult route into the forest.

"Why? Why do I have to hold still?"
Silly mare.
That's more like it. :)
And cantering back. Check out her ears!
(Charles was crouching by the trail with the camera and she was like, "WTF??!" lol)
"Uhh I'm still not too sure about you."
A little bit of off-roading to go around some branches that were hanging too low over the trail.
The hidden pond after which this trail is named.
Cantering up a hill.

Love this one. Which is why it's the new banner photo. :)
All 4 feet off the ground.
She tried to get quick and I half-halted her, which is why she's making a face.

I LOVE the way she looks here, but wtf with my face?

Charles really wanted me to canter past him.
I like how my heels sank to China and my eyes stayed up and looking ahead.
It wasn't a big spook; she just took a stride sideways that Charles managed to capture with the camera. Lol
We were both laughing at her.

Charles found this rock formation in the middle of nowhere.

Lily says, "Phooey, I wanted to canter more."

Freight train trotz!!

Dressagey trail pony.

Streeetch and pats!

The trail by the river that I've photographed. Here's the full view for y'all.

I found a way into the water that we hadn't explored before.
Check out Lily's expression.

This was a completely new part of the river for us.
She went 

Completely relaxed, just chillin' in the water.

Almost hock/knee deep in the water!

Pouting about having to stand still again.

Look, rocks! Lily, let's go climb them.

Halfway up, I had second thoughts because I couldn't see where she was putting her feet due to the amount of leaves on the ground. Lily had been game, but I didn't want her twisting a fetlock on the rocks either.

Back off the rocks we go.

^Look!! She's flicking her toes up! See

LOOOVE this photo Charles took of the driveway!

Part of the driveway that leads behind the mare field. Circe is the chestnut, the bay at the round bail is Jezebel, and that's little Kara the gray Icelandic filly looking at the camera.

We did 4.37 miles in 1 hour and 19 minutes; a shorter-length ride for Lily and me, but a decent hike for Charles. Average pace was 3.3 mph. So it might look like we did a ton of trotting and cantering, but we did a lot of walking inbetween (and some stopping and waiting, which was good practice for Ms. Impatience) so we could actually interact with Charles. He really liked the park and the river. I may have a horse lined up for him to borrow so he can ride out with me in the future. We'll see!


  1. Of course you had to match the blues your horse wears with your own clothing...


    You might top "the master" who we know by another name *coughcoughcough*

    1. Lol! I deliberately buy saddle pads in colors that I know I wear a lot...so yup: totally not coincidence that my sweater matches her bridle!

  2. What awesome photos!! And what a great looking ride. I love the woods and the creek looks like a lot of fun. 3.3 miles per hour is pretty good average for the terrain and Charles.

    Question for you . . . do you always ride in a vest? I've looked at them, but wasn't sure if it would work for me. (Porn Star chest).

    And, I agree with Liz . . . clothing matches her bridle, offset by the noseband and matching Rennies.

    1. When I realized how much trail riding I was now going to be doing, I decided to invest in the vest (haha...pun not intended but oh well ;) ) because I've heard so many horror stories. I knew I'd be calmer riding outside of the arena with the protection of the vest. Calmer rider = calmer mare. Win win. So yes, I wear it all the time whenever I'm outside of the sandy arena. I don't always wear it in the arena, but if she's having an "up" day or it's windy/nasty weather, I'll wear it there too.

      If you want to go that route, I suggest going to a tack shop that carries English riding apparel and trying on eventing vests so you know how they feel. Sizing is widely different from one brand to the next. The vest I have is the Lami-Cell Adult Body Protector from Valley Vet:


      It's $107 for the vest, and it's both ASTM certified and Beta 2000 Level 3 certified protection, which is the highest level of protection you can find. Most vests of this safety level are over $200, so it's a great deal.

      Chicks Saddlery also carries it, and they have the size chart for it:
      I couldn't find this vest at any store, so I winged it and just ordered it, figuring I'd just send it back if it didn't work. Luckily, it did!

      This type of vest takes getting used to initially. It is very stiff when you first get it on and it feels like you're wearing a corset. Then it warms up with you and is actually not bad. It keeps you toasty with this cold weather. It will be interesting in the summer...Liz says that the women that wear this type of vest at endurance rides just wear a sports bra underneath...haha...Kathy from the barn wears one of this type of vest too, and she puts ice packs down the front of the vest to keep cool in the summer.

      You'll see a lot of people out there with this style of vest:
      Perks: it is flexible, molds to your body right off the bat, and has lots of sizing options (tall vs not tall)
      Cons: it is not certified to any level of protection, but is still better than nothing at all.

      So if you can, I'd see about trying vests on at a tack shop. Of course the other drawback is that they might not have a huge size assortment at the store; I ran into that problem when I went to Dover to check out their vests in person. If you decide to buy online, the size charts and reviews can be helpful, and some people like Smartpak offer free return shipping if the vest doesn't fit.

  3. That spook picture was pretty funny, silly Charles and Lily

    1. He laughed when he realized he'd caught it on camera! Haha...

  4. Good lord, those photos are amazing!

  5. I think the matching is adorable.

    And I'm so jealous that your hubby will go out and photograph and wander the woods with you. Great photos!

    1. Thank you! It helps that he happens to both like playing with the camera and hiking. Haha...

  6. I want to go trail riding with you...

  7. Great pictures! And I am also jealous that your husband goes out and takes pictures. Good pictures at that!

    Love the matching too!

  8. Love all the pictures and the bright colors!!

  9. I found your blog through "A Horse & A Half's blog." ....and have been reading the past few days. I enjoyed many of your posts :-). Lily is beautiful!
    I had a chuckle at your photos of the "looks" Lily was doing at the photographer. My boy, Grif, does the EXACT same expression when the hose gets drug past him down the isle(while he is in cross ties). He knows it won't hurt him, but he has to give it "The eye" just in case.
    I also went to Vet Tech school as well (MATC Madison), but did not stay in the profession. I miss it sometimes :-( I work as a State Certified Lab Analyst in the Dairy Industry now ~ which pays a little better (for a single horse owner with only one income).
    Looking forward to reading more of your posts! :-)

    1. Welcome and thank you! :D I love "meeting" new readers!
      And yes, that "eye" look is classic. It always makes me laugh. Horses can be so silly sometimes. The best is when you're actually expecting them to startle/be nervous about something and then they're absolutely fine with it (like tractors. Lily doesn't give a hoot about tractors doing their thing in her vicinity.)
      How awesome that you started out as a tech! It's always good to have other career options for later on; it's a rewarding job, but the pay could be better and it is hard on the body.
      I'm glad you're enjoying the blog! :)