Trail Report ~ 1/24/15 ~ Marshall Run 235

January 28, 2015

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I rode the pink highlight to the best of my drawing ability.  This is marked on map 729 for the National Forest. 

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*Add 1.3miles and 20minutes to the calculations

The weather was a little inclement Friday night into Saturday morning, but the roads were clear, the grass was mostly just dusted.  So I decided to go for a new trail t adventure.  I picked a local area that had paved road parking available and headed up Marshall Run 235.  This fire road wraps quite a ways back into the forest and splits in two directions at a closed gate.  Its a rough drive up with very few areas for passing.  Not the most comfortable drive with a horse trailer.  But there is turn around, although a little tight, and parking at this split.  This is not something I am sure I will consider driving my trailer on a nice day, so I decided to try Clover Lick Run 731, which is much shorter and ends at a three way split.

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Part way up Clover Lick is a trail that crosses the creek and heads off into the forest.  I believe this is a trail I rode with a friend some six or so years ago that loops around and back to itself.  I decided to stick to Clover Lick and headed up to the three way split.  Straight ahead works its way out of the forest and to private property.  The left branch does the same.

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The branch to the right starts as a pretty clear trail, marking very diligently in orange marker tape and spray paint.  Eventually the trail became heavily leaf littered, but the orange markers made it easy to follow.  This was also true as I climbed higher along the ridge and into a frosted wonderland.  All of the trees, branches, brush and leaves were coated in a layer of pristine ice.  On occasion a light breeze would pass by, allowing some small ice bits to *tink tink* to the ground.  Simon’s hooves crunched along, and I sat looking around in wonder.  It is the one time I really wished I had a real camera along for the ride instead of just my little pocket point and shoot.  It did not even come close to catching the magic wonder of the forest.

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Sadly the orange markers disappeared.  I was nearly to Clover Lick Knob, but with the leaf litter and ice coating, I did not feel comfortable pushing on with no markers.  I did find one orange piece of tape on a branch on the ground.  It would have created a switch back, and there was a big of an over grown trail it led to, but it trickled out shortly.

I was getting a bit chilly after walking along the ridge top for so long, and decided it was time to head back.  Annoyingly my iPhone turned off, presumably from the cold, on my ride back.  My calculation adds about 1.3miles and 20 minutes to the ride after what the app recorded.

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Games Practice 1/25/15

January 26, 2015

This practice was awesome!  My riding was well on, and we got through a lot of races and teammate Matt, joined us!  It was a triple winner!

Our usual group, Val, Zoe, Becca and myself all showed up.  We were also joined by Matt, who was a good sport and rode Simon.  We were also joined by three pony club riders.  There was  little pony swapping while equipment was being set and changed which I think the girls enjoyed.

We blasted through speed weavers, 3 mug, mug shuffle, bottle, litter, flag fliers, two flag, balloon, joust, ring, sword, ball and cone, agility aces and pony express.  I was personally happy with my bottle.  I got my flying pick on the way home confidently and squarely.  This put an extra big smile on my face.  My litter was also on, and my turns in all the races felt great.  Oh and my two flag was beautiful.  Go me!

The last practice Poe was a bit strong, and was not checking like I have trained him to, nor was he giving me his excellent woes like I have learned to love.  I decided I would try throwing a bit back into his mouth and see if I could *remind* him of how important his breaks are.  The only bit he seemed to work well in previously was a rubber D snaffle which is what I put in his mouth.  He went and he stopped, but there was no enthusiasm about it.  After about a half hour I put his hackamore back on, the little S hackamore to be specific.  I could feel him kick it into go gear.  He was digging into his turns and jamming into his handoffs with no prompting from me.  He was checking and stopping like a pro, and he put his game face on.  Poe is one pony that loves his job.

Matt, being the good sport he is rode Simon.  He was actually a good fit on Simon, and he got to practice his skills and enjoy some fun with us.  Matt rode excellently, showing good form and strong skills.  I would expect no less from him.  Zoe and Petal were looking good too.  Petal seemed especially on and into the job.  Their 3 mug looked outstanding.  Val and Sprite are always awesome.  Val’s ability to compensate and adjust to changing shape is amazing.  Last of our usual crew is Becca and Jiggy.  This was their third practice and it was clear that something clicked for them.  Their improvement is showing.  This week we played balloon and joust, both of which I thought would be games Becca would really enjoy.  I think I was correct!

Until next practice!

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The following photos were taken by Matt Brown

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Eating Barrel Hay

January 23, 2015

The boys chow info from the hay barrels.

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Hills and Fences

January 22, 2015

It is time to start getting Poe back in condition for the upcoming games season and I decided Monday was time to get started.  I started in the riding field but the footing was so slick I felt uncomfortable.  Easy decision, we moved out and into the open.  We walked and trotted up and down some hills enjoying the views.

Then we rode around the fence lines making sure everything was in proper order.

(Yep another boring winter post)

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Trail Report – 1/18/15 – Turner Run

January 21, 2015

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One day was not enough, so I got up early and headed back out on Sunday.  I decided to make this day into an exploring day.

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I started out on the first left hand turn that is right at the entrance to National Forest.  It is marked 423B Turner Run and wraps down, crossing some creeks.  It is also well marked on the map, although the very clear road disappears completely when it is marked as continuing twice in different directions.

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I spent a good hour down in this area exploring and then headed back up the road to an unmarked side trail midway between the perimeter of National Forest and the closed gate. This fun trail eventually wrapped back down to the bottom of 423B.

Next I tried an unmarked trail that popped out behind a parking area.  it wound around, and had several side trails that lead off of it.  One ended at the edge of National Forest, at well maintained private trail.  I turned around and hopped onto the next trail branch.  It followed what I figure is an old overgrown logging road.  It eventually climbed up quite a ways.  At the top it became too leafy to follow, so I called it and headed back down.

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I managed to explore all of the area before the closed fire gate and now I am ready to head into a new area to explore!

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Simon says “give me cookies now!”

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