Riding is, for most of us, a relaxing way to
stay sane with our hectic lives. Since many of us don't have the time to
do what we enjoy without MAKING it, we decided that the best way to ensure
that we made time was to create a tradition. We now have a tradition of
"Weekend Rides." Rather than sleeping in on Saturday or Sunday mornings, we
make it a point to get up early and head to the barn... our group size and
makeup changes each ride, but each of us tries to make as many of the
rides as we can.
Our "core" group of riders consists of
Stephanie Ford (myself), Gavin (my 5 year old son), Amy Hawkins
(boarder, friend and owner of
Gambler's Traveler WF), George (Amy's oldest son), Daniel (Amy's
youngest son), Debbie Gillespie (my dear friend), Jessie Clatterbuck (my
baby sister), and John Ford (my sweetheart). As often as possible we
talk and Jay Hawkins (Amy's
husband) into accompanying us.
Debbie on Flame
George and Traveler
Gavin on Faith
Amy and Daniel Hawkins on Faith
Brenda on Shadow.
Julie on Gambler.
Jay on Oreo
Amy & Traveler
Ford Shop Road July 2, 2010
Traveler officially began his trail training. While he has
spent the last few months being started under saddle, Trav hadn't
been on a real trail ride yet. Amy felt up to the challenge, so I
tacked up his big brother, Midas, and we set off.
Trav and Midas had been stabled together when they were young, and
apparently remembered each other Every time we'd stop, they'd lick
and groom each other. Trav decided that Midas was his safety
blanket. Each time something new would come up, Trav would watch
Midas, think about it, and if he was unsure, he'd reach out
and touch him gently. Almost like a child would touch it's parents
leg in an unfamiliar situation. Once he did that, he would relax.
Trav had never experienced cars before and yet, he went along down
the road like he had done it all of his life. Most people are
relatively respectful of horses on the road, but we did have a few
fly by and not pay any attention to us.
Along our way, we met a fellow trail riding enthusiast who offered
us the use of his trails. We thanked him and found a lovely path
that took us where we needed to go without riding the road the
entire time (it cut about 1/2 mile off, which was a nice break and
we enjoyed the shade!)
Finally, we reached the river at Ford Shop Road. Trav had never
encountered water of any sort - not even little creeks. Midas had
learned to swim at our Graves Mountain ride a month or so ago, so
when he saw the water, in he went. I thought that Trav would hold
back and watch, but as you can see from the photos, he dove right
in! Definitely a water horse, that one. He splashed around, stuck
he face in the water and had a blast following Midas up and down
Berry Hollow November 20, 2010
This weekend we opted to start out on the opposite side of Old
Rag. We parked our trailer by the White Oak Canyon entrance and
rode up to the Berry Hollow fire road. Gavin decided to bring
along a handful of Leggos, which meant that Jessie was constantly
dismounting to retrieve them until they were banished to zipped