The NWSS is combination carnival, fair, rodeo and mall. The best time to go is on a day when most people are working, otherwise the crowds overwhelm.
A pink pig grill FTW!!!
We looked at horse trailers, a lot of rhinestone decorated various clothing items in mostly pink, jewelry, boots, toys, and home decor items made of horse shoes and hand grenades. We ate BBQ at our go-to BBQ place and then ended up at the Australian Outback shop where I tried on a couple of dusters.
So, let me explain my fascination with Aussie dusters. I was deeply influenced by The Man From Snowy River and a couple of years later, by Return to Snowy River. When J agreed to me getting a horse, the very first thing I bought was a Aussie hat (and the second thing I bought was a helmet, so go figure). Those two movies were the primary reason I purchased the Master Campdraft saddle (which started my devolution into saddle woes big time) and I have had a dream of riding my horse in an Aussie saddle, with my hat and my duster. Except the duster I currently own is 18 years old, waist length and can no longer contain my over abundance of chesty goodness I am
cursed blessed with. I have the hat, I have a great looking saddle and now I wanted a duster.
I looked awesome in it. All long and dark and sexy like. Except the sleeves were a bit long, but it fit in the chest. Of course, they aren't lined and can be cold as hell in bad weather, but the sexy was the selling point here. J said no. She had a point. We are trying to get out of debt and me buying something just for vanity sake was not a smart choice. J said to do what I wanted, but I could tell she was pissed at hell at me for asking (you can tell these things when you have been together the length of time we have) and I opted to be an adult and walk away. (I was not-so-secretly disappointed, but had to give J the point.) That was our last booth in the mall area, so we wandered around to the horse trailers and then headed home.
After dropping T at the house, we headed to Murdocks. They were offering 20% off one clothing item or 10% off any other items when you showed your NWSS ticket. We got four bales of shavings, a bag of TC Senior and then we started shopping the Carhartt selection. J called me over (I was evaluating the cost of upgrading my bibs to Carhartt) and said there was a nice selection of Carhartt jackets on the clearance rack. That's when I found it: a Sandstone Rancher in black in my size. This is the Carhartt jacket of my dreams.
According to Carhartt:
Our sandstone rancher coat is built to withstand the hard work of ranching and other rugged professions. Constructed of 12-ounce, 100% cotton sandstone duck with Carhartt-strong triple-stitched main seams, it's cut a little longer to ranch coat standards and nylon-quilt lined with midweight insulation for warmth. The full-length center front duel zipper features inner and outer storm flaps and a snap closure to seal out the wind with. Up front, there are two chest pockets as well as two large lower-front pockets that combine top-entry utility and side-entry hand-warmer comfort. The left-chest pocket not only holds a cell phone or media player, but also features a media port to let you string a headphone wire. For added secure storage, the coat also features two interior pockets. To enable riding, the coat is split at the side seams with snap closures. A drawstring waist and inner-sleeve rib-knit storm cuffs also work to seal out the wind and cold.
This jacket normally retails for $140.00, but because of the end of winter clearance and the NWSS ticket discount, I was able to score it for just about $60. And this time J didn't argue. Cuz Carhartt. And because it has it's own level of sexy. We ran out to feed Ashke, leave the shavings in the trailer and then headed home. It had been a very long day.
And it looks awesome with the hat. I am all about this coat and so happy I didn't get the Duster.
Saturday morning we dropped T off at the ski bus at 7 and took the pups to the dog park to let them run in the cold and wind. They love the dog park and ran like mad until their paws hurt. Skittle will come to me and flip her nose when she is ready to go home, so home we went. Once there, I packed PB&J sandwiches for lunch and we got mash and the bike ready to go. We were back out to the barn by 10 to meet the farrier. (I'll talk about the farrier visit and hoof issues in my next post). Then we pulled the trailer out and got loaded. We were supposed to ride the East-West Trail with L and K. L had hot water heater issues and was going to be really late, so we opted to trailer out to where she keeps Amaar and ride out from there. She boards right across the street from Barr Lake, which is one of the trails on our list.
All three horses were very up. L round penned Amaar and then K round penned Eddy before we set out. I walked Ashke around the round pens and let him snort at whatever caught his attention. We mounted up and headed out. Ashke and I opened and closed the gate (Ashke tried to use his teeth like he did the last time we did a gate at Dowdy Draw) and then we headed out.
Access to Barr lake required riding down a county road (which didn't have a lot of traffic, but what traffic there is is flying down the road),
crossing a corn field (no real path for J),
L handwalked Amaar (very green) down the road and then when she went to remount, Amaar threw a bit of a fit, ending up spinning his butt into L and knocking her down. I thought for sure he would head for the barn, but he ran a big circle around us and then stopped to graze. L was able to walk right up to him and get on.
Eddy was a rock star on the side of the road, although he was a bit up (wind, I think) and K felt more comfortable once Ashke was between them and the road. When we reached the cornfield, K realized she hadn't tightened her girth, so she got off to do so and was on the ground when Amaar lost his shit, which cause Eddy to lose his shit. K was able to keep Eddy from pulling away from her (that could have been really bad) and that was their only issue all day. (Ok, K might argue that Eddy wasn't listening very well on trail, but I think that he did awesome considering the temp and the wind.)
meandering through knee high grass (again no real path for J), and traversing a muddy trail, and
then finally reaching the State Park.
Directly behind the first line of trees is a bridge. It is narrow and arches over a moat (for lack of a better word - it circles the lake) with low rails and black, no slip mats for footing. All three horses marched over it (Ashke in the lead) with J bringing up the rear. The path that circles the lake is flat with excellent footing. I think it would be a great ride, but next time I want to haul into the parking lot.
I want to wait for spring, when there are leaves on the trees, to come back and ride the whole thing.
We saw an immature bald eagle, about a gazillion Canada geese, a great horned owl and a couple of Redtail hawks. It was windy (20 mph winds) and a little chill, but overall the ride was good. We stopped for lunch (Ashke smelled my PBJ and came over to eat whatever he could take out of my hand) and then headed back. It was about 40 minutes out to the barn and we had been riding a little over an hour and a half. We needed to be back to get T, which we didn't manage before unhooking the horse trailer. Our ride back was uneventful and L was able to ride Amaar on the side of the road without him reacting. We loaded up and headed out.
Ride time is not correct, not sure why, but we rode closer to three hours. And our average speed was more like 3.5 mph.