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Tag Archives: trail

Trail riding in Ohio at Mohican State Park…bareback!

May in Ohio is a beautiful time to trail ride and one of my favorite places to go is Mohican State Park. Spring flowers and ferns are still sneaking up and because the leaves are not fully out yet it is possible to see further than you can in full summer. This day it was almost 85 degrees out but under the cover of the trees we stayed nice and cool.

One of my favorite parts of this ride are the multiple water crossings. The horses love to drink and play in the water before we head back up and down the many hills. This trip was also special because a good friend joined us and took her mare out for her first trail ride. I do have to admit that my pants were very wet and not very clean by the time I got done…and my inner legs were a bit sore…but I plan on doing it again as soon as possible!

 
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Posted by on May 11, 2015 in Life, Video

 

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Old habits vs new habits: in horses and in people

Most of us are at least somewhat aware of our own habits. You probably recognize that you have a routine when getting ready for bed each night or the way you fold your cloths. We become especially aware of those habits if someone interrupts or changes them. Where did you learn that habit? How strong is the habit? What would it take to change it?

Successful peopleIn the last six months I have done more trail riding than I did in the last ten years. It was an interesting revelation in my old habits vs my new ones. I would have guessed that the rider I have become in the last 25 years would be the rider that hit the trail…but no. The rider I was as a teen when I logged most of my trail riding hours quickly showed up. Habits that had been lying dormant for many years quickly surfaced. My knees hurt after only an hour or so in the saddle. How could this be? I regularly ride for many hours a day in an arena. Same horse. Same saddle.

Different rider.

The rider I was years ago was more of a passenger on trail rides, not an active rider. As soon as I was aware that my old habit had shown up I was able to switch and become a more active rider again but the point remains; unless changed in those setting the old habits are still there.

It was a fun adventure every time I went out on a trail. The old habits meeting the new habits in my body while my mind observed it all.

I was recently working a horse that I believe already has some ‘habits’ that she has learned. Early on in her training she was allowed to be excitable, fresh and emotional during the first part of each work session. She would eventually come around but I now suspect that this has become a habit with her. The biggest clue is that the first ten minutes of a workout she is ready to come unglued. Almost anything can set her off; a bag, a pole, or simply lunging. She expects to be crazy. Day after day as I work her I see a horse that really isn’t scared of the bag or the pole…but expects to be emotionally out of control for the first 10 minutes.

I didn’t start her but if I could go back I would have changed the pattern early on. This horse is carrying on the ‘pattern’ even though she isn’t really excited. Interesting food for thought.

Can you think of an area where you have habits that you do, only because you learned them early on…even though they don’t benefit you now?

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2015 in Life, Thought provoking, Video

 

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Do you still ride your horse in the snow?

Snow doesn’t have to be the end of your ability to ride. If you know the footing under the snow and ice isn’t and issue then it can be fun to ride.

I grew up in Maine and I remember riding when the snow was belly deep on my pony. My mom would often break the trail with her horse first. Our favorite place to ride was in a big field where we knew the footing. The snow was untouched and we would make paths and play games.

This is a video of a recent ride that we took in the snow. We were in New Mexico and the footing under the snow was sandy. We also had a guide that knew the trails well.

 
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Posted by on February 8, 2015 in Video

 

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Horseback riding in Flagstaff, Arizona

My husband has always told me that Flagstaff, Arizona was beautiful and now that I’ve seen it, I agree. We didn’t expect to be able to visit Flagstaff during this trip because it’s February and we are trying to avoid snow. The great thing about Arizona is that we were able to be in the desert where it was almost 80 degrees and watch the weather up in Flagstaff. When we saw it was going to be mild, 60’s during the day & 30’s at night, we decided to spend four days at MCS Stables. Rod and Bonnie were great and Bonnie even took us for a guided trail ride. Check out this video of our ride and watch how many natural obstacles Newt got to practice on…and how he responded to meeting his first elk.

 

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2015 in Video

 

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Horseback riding among the giant saguaro cactus in Arizona

As we travel around the southwest this winter we have been staying at different places where we can both keep our horses and hook up our motor home. This time we stopped at the ‘Lost Cowboy Ranch’ in Scottsdale, Arizona. The owners, Brian and Susan Bowers, were great hosts and gave us great advice about where to ride. We were even able to work our schedules out so that we could go on some rides together.

In this video we loaded up and drove to the McDowell Mountain Regional Park and then rode the horses all the way home. We could have ridden off the property to the park and back…it just would have made for a longer ride. The park trails were very well marked, not only with their names but even with the road numbers. As we headed home we followed signs for 158th Street and when we left the park we road to 160th, which is where Lost Cowboy Ranch is.

The landscape was unique and I loved riding among the giant saguaro cactus. The desert is much more interesting than I had imagined it to be. The variety of plants, birds, rabbits and other things that live there is fascinating and at this time of year (January) the weather can’t be beat.

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2015 in Life, Video

 

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Looking for great trail riding and horses to rent…where would you recommend?

“Keep your adventures coming. I enjoy watching the videos of places you have been. I would like to go horseback riding SOMEWHERE??? I have not decided which state would be the best place. I would not bring my horses, I would have to use theirs. Do you have or does anyone have any ideas where my husband and I could stay and ride for a few days?”-Martina B.

Looking for great trail riding and horses to rent...where would you recommend?I actually haven’t done this! We are traveling with our own horses so we haven’t needed to look for horse rentals. We are going to need to look for advice from everyone who reads this either here or on Facebook. If you have ever traveled and rented horses, please leave a comment written as a review of your total experience.

Were the horses well trained? Was the equipment safe? Did you go with a guide or self-guided? What were the trails like: beautiful, challenging, boring? Were they as advertised? What state and what time of year? Would you recommend it to a friend? How much did it cost? How many days did you ride? Did you rent a cabin and stay? How was the housing?  Give as much info as you are comfortable with.

Also feel free to post names of the companies that you loved, links to their sites, photos or links to videos!

I did a quick Google search and I found a website called Horse Rentals.com. I’m not in love with the lay out of the site and I suspect that a robot may be populating the pages BUT many of the links do work.

If you have ever rented horses for trail riding please tell us about it!

 

 

 
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Posted by on January 14, 2015 in Video

 

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Chisholm Trail Heritage Center

Part of our reason for wandering around the country is that we are trying to figure out where we want to live. We have been staying in Oklahoma near Chickasha for the last few weeks and today we visited the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center. I enjoy spending several weeks in one area because it gives me a more complete view of the area than just spending a day or two.

Every area we have visited has had its own unique culture…and of course we always find horses everywhere we go. All of this travel was supposed to make this decision easier but I’m afraid its making it harder.

 
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Posted by on December 27, 2014 in Life, Video

 

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