Hello all! (Especially KK and Esther, I REALLY am still around, thanks for caring to leave messages!!!) It's been a while, eh? No excuses from me, but here's a nice piece for you to enjoy. I sometimes put in volunteer hours working at a place called Triple H Equitherapy where they have horseback riding for the handicapped. They take physical and developmental folks and show them the joys and the actual therapy that can come from riding a horse. We get folks who have MS, guys back from the war with injuries, and kids/adults with Down Syndrome, etc.--you get the picture. Sooooo, every year for the past two years I have been helping with their yearly fundraiser which is a huge scavenger hunt on horseback. We set up three (this year four) trails and then have all kinds of "things" you need to find and bring back with the help of trail markers and a map. The trails range from easy to super difficult. Last year I helped set up and take down the trails (the longest is ~4 miles) with all of the super cool things you need to find. All of the areas and treasures you find have different themes and names. For example, "The Pirates Booty" requires you to get off of your horse and climb up a small cliff and bring back a gold coin. "Raindrop Canyon" is an umbrella full of jingle bells and you need to bring back a bell. (This can be a scary, hard one for some horses...) At "Frog Hollow" you need to bring back a plastic frog from a big rock that has been scooped out like a dish over time; but first you have to find the rock.... The set up and then going and retrieving everything when the event is over is a LOT of work, but much fun. My big "at home" volunteer work this year is to make all of the markers for the trails--about 300--plastic colored tape tied to clothespins for easy application to trees and bushes. The fundraiser isn't until June, but yesterday we actually went out to blaze a new trail; it will be the blue trail and the hardest of all to navigate. Whew! Branches, cliffs, etc. 2 hrs. later (we got through approx. 2 miles in 98 degree heat) we had a better idea where we wanted the trail and where to mark so the "guys" could come through and clear the branches and undergrowth, etc..all the stuff we somehow plowed through. No spider sightings so all was right in my world... In exchange for the work we do, we are free to ride the owner's absolutely gorgeous and varied acreage, and to use her round pen and arena with FAB footing. If you are interested in viewing what exactly this incredible place is all about please go to http://triplehequitherapy.org Be sure to go to the bottom and check out the videos, the first one about Mike (super neat guy) is quite interesting and the second one will show you what it's like when we volunteer to actually work with the disabled and what the special folks who come to the facility get out of it. Before I became an RN I worked with the developmentally disabled for 12 years, so this is dream volunteer work (if you can really call it work...) for me!
I added a pic of Jackson and I in the a bit of water we found, he has always been skittish around water so imagine my surprise when he plowed right in and started pawing away at it. It was SOOOO funny and cute. Also a pic of Jacks in the round pen--we are working on the perfect canter but that guy is SOOOO green still and VERY fast. He'll always be fast, I just need to get my confidence and more hrs. in the saddle; and yes, I am actually hitting the gym to work on my core and bring some muscles out of hibernation....(all for the sake of my riding of course!) LOL...Lots more work ahead. Then you get to see Jacks having a roll after all his work!