Washington Island 2014

A couple of weeks ago, Sofie and I headed to Washington Island for our annual weekend getaway with Bella and Charm. To sum it up, it was amazing. We had 3 nights and the most of 4 days to relax and explore.
Here are some of the highlights…

• We hiked Rock Island the first day and walked/jogged the 5 mile trail, of course exploring the shore or whatever else caught our eyes along the way.

• What made this trip extra special was that some friends who frequent the island were there with their horses. Because of this, we were able to explore off the road and really see the land.

• We rode about 24 miles total on the road, in the water, through fields, meadows and along the shore. We also happened on trails through the woods with ferns and even hidden sand dunes in the middle of the island.

• We went to the annual Death’s Door BBQ Competition. We rode the horses there and tied them to trees while we sampled some delicious food. Then, we rode over to Main Street and got a couple of beers horseback.

• We picked about 6 pounds of wild blackberries. After eating our fill, I was able to bring home enough to make blackberry jam to enjoy in the months to come.

• When it comes to bugs, there are only butterflies and dragonflies on the Island, or so it seemed.

• The most frequently asked question of the weekend was, “Do year hear that?” To which the other would respond “I hear nothing.”

• We ate a lot of good food and drank some good drinks.

• We enjoyed our traditional Black Velvet at the Fiddler’s Green.

• The horses behaved like old pros. They were patient, went through anything and everything we asked them to and did not tire (except for some ouchy feet on the hard road). Charm in particular was totally in her element. She was happy and forward.

• I ended up selling my saddle on the Island. I’ve had it for sale since February and now it’s gone! Who could have guessed that would have happened?

• One night we laid out a blanket around midnight and looked at the stars all while enjoying some gourmet popcorn.

• The weather was perfect. Low 70s, mostly overcast but not dreary. Ideal when you’re riding all day!

• We had this ridiculous giant white truck for the weekend. The thing was so loud people would make comments about it to us … oops. We named it “Great White” for the weekend. Totally redneck.

• We had no schedule!

• And lastly, we became experts on Snoants and Cincolizards. I will tell you all about them sometime…

Till next year!

Here are some of the pictures that sum it all up…

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The Alaskan Trail Ride

It was so hot, upper 70s low 80s and sunny! I wore my vest because I wanted pockets.. but I suffered for it! The ride went really good, the route that was laid out was very scenic and diverse. Charm did pretty well.. for half of the ride I could tell she was a little antsy and seemed herd bound, and at one point had a separation attack and started crow hopping around underneath me. I tried to keep her busy, but decided to get off and let her run around me and did some falling leaf too. I was quite fusterated that this point, but was glad that I had gotten off. I got back on her and continued (although, I felt like just going home) and we stopped at the half way point for lunch. This is the point where she changed.. it’s like the switch was flipped on and she finally felt confident and solid under me. We even hung back and she didn’t try to rush either. Maybe it just took that long.. I don’t know or maybe she was tired, lol. Well, anyway, I hope that next time is better, I want to keep this up so we can consistently ride out without a worry.

Here are some pictures from the ride!

Here we are at the start of the ride.. It was beautiful!

Sofie and Randy found an apple tree.. the apples were very sweet and the horses really enjoyed them!

Going down another wooded path.

Sofie and Michael

Even Ay-Rabs can do it!! This is Toni and Kidd on their first trail ride together.. Kidd had a hard time at first, but by the half way point he was walking calmly on a loose rein. Toni was very pleased!

We ended up cutting our ride a little short because rain was coming.. good thing too.. I had just pulled into the barn and got everything out of the trailer and it started pouring! We just missed it.. I am glad we were still not out on the trail. I ended up being a great time!

She’s Back.. or Maybe I’m Back?!

After work I headed out to the barn.. it was just gorgeous outside! We have been really blessed with beautiful weather. Sofie and I had planned to trailer Charm over to her house and go for a little ride before the big ride on Saturday. After the eventful day last Saturday I was a little hesitant.. First though, I decided it would be helpful to lead Charmer up along the road and see what she thought of the big trucks today.. and if there were any thresholds, we would work through them. I had her on the 22′ – if I needed drift. Well the trucks were still going by and she didn’t care less about them! She didn’t even flinch. So I loaded up the trailer with the tack and Charmer jumped in and we headed over to Sofie’s house.

It was so cute.. when I unloaded Charm at Sofie’s, Michael and Bella came galloping over to see Charm and they rubbed noses. Charm and Bella always got along great and Michael was ahead of her in the herd, so Charm doesn’t push him around at all. As Sofie was saddling Michael, she turned her back to him for a second and he decided to take a stroll down the middle of the road!! We were a little concerned, but then he headed for the outside of the pasture and went around the back. Sofie was trying to calmly follow him, even though she was nervous! Bella, that stinker, was strutting around the pasture like a loony.. anyway eventually Michael started to eat and Sofie could finally grab the lead rope. Michael is a VERY sensitive horse, so if she were to run after him to grab the rope, chances are he would have bolted to who knows where!

I saddled up Charm and then asked her for some tasks. At first she was a little snorty, but after a few minutes, she was VERY connected to me and listening to every suggestion. I was pleased, she had never been to Sofie’s before! After about 15 minutes of play, she looked ridable, so hopped up and we rode with Sofie and Michael in the yard at first and then headed down the road. They did really good, we didn’t go that far, but both were calm. Only at one point a big pickup truck drove by and Michael jumped around a little. Other than that we had a great ride.

So I am really looking forward to the ride tomorrow. The leaves are changing and are beautiful right now, I will try to take some pictures if I can. I just love being outside!