Friday, June 12, 2009

Mounted Scavenger Hunt!

As some of you may know, I volunteer at an Equitherapy Facility as a sidewalker and a horse handler. Lately we have been working hard to set up the annual fundraiser, a mounted scavenger hunt! I kind of fell into this position last year when my BO Linda asked me if I wanted to go help set up trails for the scavenger hunt! Of course, this year after enjoying it SO much last year, we spent most of our days off from work on horseback blazing trails, hanging up the trail markers, clearing out branches, and then a few days before the hunt setting up the "events" which you will see a few of on my picture tour below. The three trails consisted of easy, intermediate, and expert; all of them with 10 events each. To obtain your prize at the end you had to follow the map, find your "10 treasures" and bring back the required items from all 10 events. The orange trail, which was the hardest, proved to be quite a challenge for many of the riders. Of course, we made the "events" much harder to find, and the trail was even more challenging. Lots of rocky terrain, switchbacks, challenging water, and difficult cliff-like hills with rock. I will show you some of the events, not necessarily in any trail order; from setting up the day before on an ATV, (thank God for that ATV or we NEVER would have got it done!!) to the day of the event, to a little bit of the dismantling of the trails which we started on Monday, the event being last Saturday. Hope you enjoy the pics as much as I enjoyed the experience...


Linda, Kate and Matt on the ATV

The back of that cart got really bumpy at times, I have major bruises as proof!

Pinto Pony--bring back one pinto bean.

Hobo Hollow. This one was my creation. Bring back one hobo stick.

Hanging in the tree at horse height on the easy pink trail.

I made 80 of these! AGH! And if you don't think it looks like a hobo bag, I don't wanna hear about it!!! :)

This is where Lorri's horse Kite spooked at a rustling bag, turned, started bucking, and....

she crashed into this tree at speed, breaking her nose and lying backwards (with her body and head to Kite's tail) to this....

HILL. Matt (pictured) was there and says she narrowly missed these rocks when she finally fell off.
The hill from the bottom. Quite steep, pics never do that justice! She was unconscious when Matt got to her. EMS was called and you can see the pic in my previous post. She broke three spinous processess and broke her nose among other things. She is doing better so thank you for all of your prayers!!!

The Old Kiln. Bring back one match from the basket. Everything on the pink trail you need to be able to get from your horse as it is the easiest one. We did run into some riders on the day of the hunt out on the yellow intermediate/difficult trail, (four of them riding English) who could not get off of their horses and remount on the trail. They dropped something and my newbie rider son jumped off and got it for them. I'm sorry, if you can't get off of your horse and remount, you shouldn't be out on a difficult trail!!! It made me ashamed to be an English rider, we get enough knocks being in the land of Western riders, so we need to look competent....but of course, they were dressed to the nines and had the best tack and horses. Figures.

The BBQ tree. Bring back one briquet.

Fruit Stand. Bring back one grape. This is the little grove where I fell flat on my butt kicking a HUGE branch down from a tree so it wouldn't fall on a rider. I was kicking it because it had a scorpion on it the day before. So kicking was good. Branch came down, so did I. Darn tree roots! Thankfully, well out of the way of said HUGE branch. But not of the way of the chiggers! UGH! We were all covered with bites and are still itchy fully a week later. CHIGGERS ARE THE WORST!!!!!

Paint by Letters. Bring back one paint brush.

She sells. Bring back one seashell from the hanging bag. The big colored ones are decoration.

The whole effect of She Sells.

Teed Off. Bring back one golf tee. We put a little bit of green astroturf on that log pile the day of the hunt. This one was fun to set up!

Kate gunning the ATV up a steep hill. That thing is SO fun to drive!

Caurosel horse. Bring back one bell out of the black umbrella. Jackson didn't bat an eye at this one, although apparantly lots of people have trouble with it. When we rode through while the hunt was going on we had to reload the umbrella by picking up most of the bells from the ground!

Rust in Pieces. Bring back one tombstone. (Popsicle stick painted rust colored with RIP on it).

Rusting abandoned farm equipment. Resting in, well, pieces!

RIP. Trevor Tiller. Gone TILL he learns how to close the gate.

RIP. Sam Shredder. He was all torn up over life.

RIP. Debbie Disc. Plowed under too soon.

School Spirit. Bring back one letter from the bucket.

Fractured Fred. Bring back one pack of....

Citrical--Calcium!!!! This was my son Miles' favorite event. He donated the use of Fred to the cause and was SO excited to go out on the trail the day of the hunt so he could see it personally. Fred is now hanging in my son's room with the Fractured Fred sign, holding a pack of Citrical in his hand. Have I mentioned my son's obsession with Halloween? GRIN....

Toad Wall. Bring back one toad.

Mountains of Ararat. Bring back one animal. The mountains didn't get put out til the day of the hunt.

Tiger's Lair. Bring back one tiger's eye from the hanging basket. (Not pictured). We had a lot of fun getting the tiger to stay in the tree. We tied his tail to something from the back side.

And YES, we did get stuck. But just once. This pic is before he was well and truly stuck...We three tough ladies cowgirled up and moved the trailer (all 800lbs. of it!) into the water and we took the wet route for a bit! Matt offered to get out if one of us wanted to steer the ATV out of its mess, but we opted out of that one!

Alien space discs...

Matt throwing the "UFO's" (garbage can lids!) string over a tree branch.

Kate gets one too....

Bring back one strange looking green alien to show that you've been here.

The sign speaks for itself!

Linda pointing out the red-headed fairy, I don't think we red heads look all that good in yellow! HA!

Lover's Leap. Bring back one gold ring. Make sure you look over the edge first.....
Crime scene view from the edge of Lover's Leap. YES, I must confess, this was my idea, but Linda ran with it and made it happen. Ahhh. Praise be to warped senses of humor!!
Miles at School Pride event on the day of the Scavenger Hunt.

Miles at Fractured Fred, checking it out in person. He was thrilled to see "Fred" whom he claims has, "been in the family" since we lived in D.C. (7 years ago), being so useful!

Most of the Triple H Equitherapy horses got baths and fancy braids in order to present a "Parade of Horses" in which we present the different breeds and where they originated, characteristics, etc. that are in active use at Triple H. From Belgians to Oldenburgs to QH, TB, and even a little POA, there is quite the variety and size!


Parade of Horses. Me in the blue with the TB. His name is Laz and he is a high strung pain! Makes me so glad Jackson is an AngloArab; he is SO calm in comparison! Wish I had a close up of Laz's ribbons tho', they were super cool!

Helping a client mount. She got an award in front of the whole crowd in celebration of being at Triple H for 10 years as a rider!!!

Monday morning trail clean-up. Jackson's mane was the perfect place to store the trail markers that needed to come down! Do you like this new fad we're starting? He was unimpressed.

Back from taking down part of one trail.

He is really getting much better at his riding! It's so nice to be able to take him out on the trail!


  1. That looks like a lot of fun, but I don't think either of my Boyz is self-possessed enough to do that whole thing. One thing or another would have caused a meltdown.

  2. Oh my...what tons of fun and too much for me to sneak it in before work ..weill come on back tonight and read IT ALL!
    I thought of you the other day as my husband said something about moving to Texas!

  3. That looks like so much fun.

  4. I love the organizations logo!! Just love it, so neat and different! What a fun event to be part of!! You guys really came up with some great ideas. So creative! Looks like a BLAST!! And for such a wonderful cause...

  5. through it al just now..great times!
    I had to laugh with the photo marked "Me in Blue w/ the Throughbred" All were in blue and but I know a Thoroughbred when I see one!

    Okay...if you go to the post at my place with the water ripple picture...CLICK on the "water effect" words and it'll take you to the siite and you may sign up- for free- to do your own photo's!

  6. Mindy,
    Thanks for stopping by my blog--I hope to have a post about storytelling (including a story, if I can get the sound-editing software to cooperate with me!) later this week!

    Your scavenger hunt looks like an amazing great time, and I had to laugh at your account of the branch with the scorpion, because we don't have scorpions here (they'd drown)...but we still get in trouble with branches occasionally. *g*

    Hey, my folks are talking about a road trip to San Antonio next year; maybe some time I could pick your brain about what time of year, etc. would be good?

  7. You really set up a great scavenger hunt, it looks like so much fun. I wish we had something around here like that.

  8. That is a major scavenger hunt! Tons of good stuff! Someday I want to find the time to volunteer at a Equine Therapy cool that you do that.

  9. This was an incredibly awesome post! What a fun event, too. Looks like everyo9ne had lots of fun and noone was injured. Whew! And I'm glad to read that your friend is healing up and doing better now, too.

    You guys were so clever with all the trail treasure ideas. I love them all, especially Mile's ideas...and Fracture Fred (oww!) hehe!

    I would have used rings instead of bells for the carousel horse, though. Isn't that what you're supposed to grab "The Gold Ring" when riding the carousel? :)

    Jackson looked quite handsome sporting his green ribbons. hehe!
    And the parade of horses was great, too. There are some huge horses at the barn. Wow!
    I wish we had a licenced equitherapy facilty near me. I'd maybe take a few lessons to move me past my fear when I'm able to ride again.
    I really liked the logo on that t-shirt for your facility, too. Very clever!


  10. Leah--Well, that's what's so great about our hunt. We have a trail you would have managed just fine. It is a great opportunity to expose your horse to new things, if you don't do the whole trail, no worries, next year. The tack sale was great too--I got a bridle of soft leather (brand new) made in England for $20, a brand new neoprene English girth for $10 and an almost new breastcollar for my Aussie saddle for $5! Sometimes it's great to be in a place where almost no one rides English!!!!

    Kac--Ummmm. Yep. You got me there! Grin. Let me rephrase. I was in the LIGHT blue shirt! Thanks for the ripple effect info...

    JW.BW--I LOVE the logo too...I'm trying to get them to make stickers for our cars. I love my t-shirt and am proud when I wear it. But mine has the logo on the breast and the back says "Hooves, Hearts and Heroes." Hooves for the horses, hearts for the volunteers, and heroes for the riders of course.

    Aarene-Can't wait for the storytelling post! I will e-mail you with info. soon, I will get the down low on the good places for jazz first.

    GreyHorse--We are so lucky! Not a ton of English shows and such here, but in other respects I am having a ball. Not ready to show yet anyway!!!!

    Jules--Well, that post wasn't even close to all of the events, just the one's I got pics of! It was MAJOR and very rewarding, as is my work with our riders. You should do it, most days it doesn't even feel like volunteering, just something that fills me up! :)

    Lisa--Thanks for your nice comments! We used bells b/c they are scarier and harder for a horse to let you go up to and pick up out of an umbrella. Also, we needed the rings for LOVERS LEAP!!! HEE HEE. Honestly, you may not qualify for an equitherapy place--unless you have a dr's dx of PTSD or something. You need a patient and kind instructor (or good friend) to re-start you out on a sound horse and build your confidence back up. After I broke my shoulder, I had so many fear issues I would be literally become sick to my stomach before getting on some days. I would also avoid the barn where I was boarding him till I felt so guilty I would drive out. I was able to move him to my friend Linda's and thanks to very patient and kind friends who have worked through fear issues in their own pasts (and I suspect Lorri may have a few when she rides Kite again) I was lucky enough to be able to work through alot of it. I am not the rider I was a year ago, progress is made every time I ride, so don't lose hope...start looking for a WISE instructor. Then by the time you get the riding OK you may have found the right person. Thanks for your prayers and well wishes for Lorri, very much appreciated!


  11. Oh, I can't believe I missed it. Of course canyon would have come apart completely. LOL

    Please let me know if I can help (or at least stir up some media...

    I hope Lorri is doing better - and let's get that ride scheduled for an early morning in July!

  12. Awesome pictures and what about the skull is that original.


Please leave your comments here! I am always happy to hear from all of you in the form of advice, encouragement or questions!
~Slainte' Mhath!