Friday, February 19, 2010

Trailridin' at Sister Creek Ranch Boerne, Texas

On Wednesday the weather FINALLY cooperated enough for us to take a 40 minute trek out to Sister Creek Ranch in Boerne, Texas. Located on 700 acres chock full of trails, an arena, a covered round pen, XC jumps, and a barn to DIE for, it didn't take me long to fall in love, and feel the intense yearning to own my own ranch (stable) one day. Linda's friend Kathy from Massachusetts whom she met out on the trail last year was along for the ride, and she rode Linda's horse Red, while Linda rode her new three year old Traveler, and of course I rode Jackson. Linda and I did switch mounts halfway through as I had never ridden her new horse, and have been interested to see what he feels like. Being a three year old, the first thing I noticed is that he has no sides to put your lower leg against!  WEIRD! :) I just rode him with a very loose rein and worked on basic aids to start getting him used to the feel of them. He was awesome! He has a sweet trot and is very calm and willing and not spooky at all. Since he is still small and growing, please don't laugh at the pic of us! My 5'9 frame  made me look huge; and I weigh 148, not super thin,but i look like I weigh 200 lbs. plus! ;) None of our horses had ever been to this ranch, and Traveler had never even been off of Linda's property! They all took it in stride. We meandered around for a couple of hours, and since Linda forgot the map (doh!) we never really knew exactly where we were. We had a CB though, and easily found our way home without having to radio for directions. (Next time Mindy gets the map, hee hee...). If you want to check out their beautiful facility go to
They have two guest houses, a really awesome saloon with full kitchen, RV hookups, pens for your horses, etc. They are not very commercialized, mostly because they want it that way. They don't rent out horses, offer guides, or do any of the dude ranch type stuff, you must bring your own horse and then you can camp in a tent, RV or rent a guest house (pictured below to the left, next to the SALOON!) They have a great weekend coming up in the summer (July) for woman and their horses called "Too Hot To Trot". Sounds like a fun event I will check out. May be too hot to trot, but making friends is always fun! Morning and evening rides are predominant here in Texas in those hot summer months! I can't wait for blasted winter to be over with! Jackson has no shoes and has been exposed to CRAZY amounts of mud for the past two months. The rock we encountered on this ride was NOTHING compared to what we normally do (when we have no MUD months) and at the end of the ride he actually got ouchy! I was a bit freaked out because in the three years I have had him, he has NEVER been ouchy in ANY terrain we have ridden. Linda's horses, (who have shoes in the front!) acted as if they were about to die at the beginning of the ride when we were on the road! But I will keep an eye out and talk to the farrier. He is not lame and is walking as if nothing happened. In fact as soon as we stepped off the road, he stepped out normally. Fairly sure the mud just had to let itself be known in one more ways than it already has. WINTER BEGONE!! Bring on the heat! ;)
Thank God for this day, it was like a dose of Zoloft, lifting my winter funk hugely. I must admit it. I love jumping. I love dressage. But without my trail rides I wouldn't be able to function. Could I love riding the trails more than jumping? It doesn't matter, but I may have to say "Yes..." Luckily, I can do many things on Mr. Versatile so I won't ever have to choose anyway, and I'm never going to be the barn snob who won't take her horse on a trail ride because he's such a valuable competition horse and could get hurt! Trailrides. Yep. My version of Zoloft anyday.....

Saloon to reader's right, guesthouses to left..

Main office

Linda...wish I owned this butt fitting bench! So comfortable!

Linda on Jackson with Kathy on Red ahead of her

Kathy (left) on Red, Linda (right) on Traveler

Steppin' out
Kathy and Linda

Linda on Jackson

Linda on Jackson...Love his face in this one. Isn't it cool to see someone else on your horse sometimes?

Me on Traveler. Come on Traveler. GROW!

View from a ridgetop

Me on Jackson, Kathy up ahead--heading home.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Horse's View of the World...

A Horse's View of the World

Do you ever wonder what your horse is actually thinking? How often have you ever wondered if you are on the same page or even talking the same language? Take a look at some of the definitions from the horse's dictionary and compare them to yours.

Arena: Place where humans can take the fun out of forward motion.

Bit: Means by which a rider's every motion is transmitted to the sensitive tissues of the mouth.

Bucking: counter-irritant.

Crossties: Gymnastic apparatus.

Dressage: Process by which some riders can eventually be taught to respect the bit.

Fence: Barrier that protects good grazing.

Grain: Sole virtue of domestication.

Hitching rail: Means by which to test one's strength.

Horse trailer: Mobile cave bear den.

Hotwalker: The lesser of two evils.

Jump: An opportunity for self-expression.

Latch: Type of puzzle.

Longeing: Procedure for keeping a prospective rider at bay.

Owner: Human assigned responsibility for one's feeding.

Rider: Owner overstepping its bounds.

Farrier: Disposable surrogate owner; useful for acting out aggression without compromising food supply.

Trainer: Owner with mob connections.

Veterinarian: Flightless albino vulture


Only Horse People…

- believe in an 11th commandment: inside leg to outside rein...

- know that all topical medications come in either indelible blue or neon yellow.

- think nothing of eating a sandwich while mucking out a stall.

- know why a thermometer has a yard of yarn attached to the end of it.

- are banned from Laundromats.

- fail to associate whips, chains and leather with sexual deviancy.

- can magically lower their voices five octaves to bellow at a pawing horse.

- will end relationships over their hobby.

- cluck to their cars to help them up hills.

- insure their horses for more than their cars.

- know (and care) more about their horse's nutrition than their own.

- have no problem speaking of semen, abscesses and colic surgery at the dinner table.

- have a smaller wardrobe than their horse..

- engage in a hobby that is more work than their day job.

- know that a good ride is better than Zoloft any day.

Haven't posted in awhile....nothing much going on. Just getting through the doldrums of winter, praying for spring to hit early this year, and for the rain to stay away! I always get a bit down and home bound-ish this time of year, but it is nowhere nearly as bad as it used to be up North. I think I suffer from S.A.D. (seasonal affective disorder), so if I had to exist up there again, I am convinced I would need light therapy. For REAL. Had one awesome dressage lesson in which Allison told me that my form no longer needs the work (hell-a!)--she is now ready to turn Jackson and I into superstars! OK... That was her wording NOT mine! But lo and behold, it was a breakthrough lesson and Jackson rounded himself up, had impulsion from the hind end, and got his head out of the sky, looking for all intents and purposes like a REAL dressage horse! It was an arm pumping lesson, all of our work was shown to me right there in his headset. It needs to dry up and it is time to start working on the superstar part!! AKA: MINDY WANTS TO JUMP!!!! (AND SO DOES THE J-MAN! He whispered it in my ear! :)