Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine's Day

My Valentine's Day had two parts:


 Friday night I pulled into the barn at 4:20. I was on Ashke by 4:45. We rode across the street at Van Bibber Park. It was mid-60s when we rode out and I was in a short sleeve shirt with a fairly thin vest.

The light was incredible.

Ashke was very good, even with the chill night air and the deepening shadows.

We went to the Apex Field House and rode the edges of the soccer fields, then rode back. By the time we were half way home it was coming on full dark and the t-shirt and vest were not enough. I was so cold.

We were still a mile and a half away from the barn when I took this pic.

When we got back to the barn, I stripped tack and put Ashke away. I was so cold I threw Ashke's blanket on him. This came back to bite me in the ass when I got home, showered, got warm and realized the low was going to be 40 and it was still in the mid-50's. We had to drive back out and take the blanket off. Ashke was pretty sweaty on his shoulders when I got there. I think he was pretty happy to have the blanket off.

Waterton Canyon

Saturday dawned early. I asked T if he would do a ride with us on Saturday as my Valentine's gift. (It was also a gift from J, since she got to deal with him the most). We wanted to do the same ride as last weekend, because we thought it would be easy enough for T to do and enjoy. We got out to the barn about 20 minutes late, hooked up the trailer and loaded Ashke on the first try. (He was awesome). When we pulled into TMR, Eddy went nuts in the turn-out pen he was hanging out in. He was galloping, bucking and squeeling in excitement. We got K's tack loaded and then Eddy walked on the trailer, first try.

At the parking lot at Chatfield, we discovered that Eddy was a bit wound up. He was being a bit up and we had one really bad spook, which included rearing and knocking K onto her butt (she's pretty darn tough woman, that one). Once they were both tacked up, K spent a few minutes lunging Eddy, who was perfect with her, but the lunging allowed K the time to focus, relax and center herself. We got on and both of them were very good.

Crossing the South Platte

I think Ashke is still figuring out the exercise boots. I like that at the end of the ride, his tendons are tight and his legs cool. Of course, it doesn't hurt that we are in the water four times on this ride. 

Proof the T-beast was with us

He had a lot of fun throwing stuff into the water (mostly sticks and small trees).

It was supposed to be in the 60's, but I'm not sure it got that warm. There was a high wave cloud hanging over the area all day.

If you were impressed by J's videoing skill before, this video will blow you away.

T didn't actively hate the ride.

Although this was the look on his face most of the day.

The rocks are amazing in this canyon.

And on top of the rocks . . . . do you see them?

The boy did good and kept his complaints to a minimum.

We wandering into the river. The boys splashed but didn't drink. EVER.
Peed a lot though (4 times altogether)


We stopped for lunch at the same place as last time. K tied Eddy up but I just looped the lead rope over the pommel of the saddle and let him graze. You can do this when you are traveling overnights: alternate tying one horse up and turn the other one loose to graze. The loose horse will not leave his companion. 

Such a great canyon and so incredibly beautiful!

We went up another mile and a half. We were about two miles from the top of the canyon.

K had a great ride today and Eddy was stellar.

I was having a good time, too.

There was a sluice way that slowed down and backed up the water, allowing ice to form.
T spent a lot of time throwing the biggest rocks he could find onto the ice, trying to bust through.
It was the high point of the ride for him.

 K and I headed a little farther up the canyon.
Found this little gem.

And this one.

Next time maybe we will get to the top of the canyon.

T was happier on the way home. Because it was downhill, he started to tuck his right leg up behind him, making it look like he was pedaling with one leg only. It was pretty amazing to watch the reactions of the people watching him. 

 He is too cool.

We reached the single track trail along the South Platte river and followed the river bank. T and J rode in front of us and K and I cantered as often as was safe. Ashke got really good at dodging around the trees, cantering up and down slight inclines, and predicting where the path was going to go. It was so much fun that I was laughing out loud in pure joy. 

Overall, the people we ran into were very nice and courteous. Eddy got spooked on the way back and the woman riding up behind us on her bike apologized and asked what she should do differently next time. A lot of people reacted to the horses as if they had never seen horses on trail before and we received a lot of compliments for both of the boys. It was a great ride and a fun day.

It was also Eddy's longest ride to date.


  1. J wins at videoing! That is an AWESOME video, and taken backwards while cycling...WOW! Mad skillz.

    The staccato beat of Eddy's and Ashke's hooves cantering together is exactly how Lily's and Q's hooves sounded when we were cantering down the dirt roads of Fort Valley. It's my new favorite sound.

    What a gorgeous, gorgeous trail. Thank you for sharing the photos with us! It's awesome that you got to ride further into the canyon this time. I think this one is my new favorite of the trails you've written about. Good boys for not spooking at the big horns this time around! I'm glad you got to spend V-Day with the whole family, Ashke, Kate and Eddy! What a great day. :D

    1. The video did turn out pretty darn cool.

      Both boys looked pretty darn good cantering. I don't know why I worry so much, but I do.

      We have it on our bucket list to ride to the dam at the top before the end of this year. I really want to do it once it's spring and green and bright and there are little baby sheeps to take pictures of.

  2. I'm left marvelling once again at the beautiful country you have to ride in! And that video totally reminds me of the opening of The Virginian! Lol

    1. I had to go look up the Virginian and then I laughed. Had to show J the clip. I don't think she ever watched that show.

  3. What a beautiful ride! Love the picture of the lake and rocks!

    1. That was amazing. Hope to get another when the sun is out and the reflection is really bright. I'll have to bring my SLR with me next time. And teach Ashke to stand still while the camera focuses.

  4. Love that canyon trail, just gorgeous! I need to find an accommodating mountain biker to video me and Major chasing him, J gets lots of credit for the fun video. And Mountain goats! How cool (if they're not scaring your horse!)

    1. Actually, they are Big Horn Sheep. Mountain goats are white and shaggy.

      And yes you do need your own videographer.

  5. Karen, the unbelievably stunning. Also, T makes me giggle, mostly because his expressions are very familiar to me as I remember them well myself hehe