Trail Report: 240E Kritchie Mountain with Poe 3/11/18

March 11, 2018

I took Mr Poe out Little Dry River Rd and up the Vepco fire road 240 today. We parked at the first side fire road on the right, 240e Kretchie/Kritchie Mountain (I see it spelled differently on signs and maps). Poe is currently barefoot and I know this short ride to be soft and not rocky for his sensitive naked feet.

I am sure a lot of you would consider Poe a decent little trail pony, and years ago I would have agreed with you. I used to consider all my ponies great for trails. But now that I have had the privilege of riding Simon now for years on trails I realize what crap all of my past ponies have been on trail. What I mean by this is I can jump on Simon and go spend the day all alone galavanting around in National Forest, where I am I very unlikely to see another person, out of cell range, climbing up and down mountains, navigating questionable footing, and feel reasonably safe. If Simon does spook, he generally slows down of stops, or tends to get a tense and alert. He is extremely cautious and has a high level of personal self preservation. There is always the chance of getting hurt but I feel like I am stacking the odds as much in my favor as I can when I take my bulldozer-pony-Simon out.

Poe is lovely in a group, and not so bad on his own. He is rather surefooted, and not spooky. But he is not Simon. He is also shorter on attention span, and even in a group, after about two hours he starts to jig instead of walk. And I do not consider jigging an acceptable trail riding gate.

So, that said, Poe is not a bad trail pony, he is just not my ideal trail ride. And as you read above, I tend to be a bit picky about what I ride when I go solo on a trail.

Lately I haven’t been trying to get Poe legged back up for the games season. I let him get more out of condition this past winter than in the past so it’s a bit more work than past years. He is pretty easy to leg up though. And he is also easy to keep in condition once there. So really not a hard task.

Poe and I both hate conditioning work. We have been hacking around the farm. Up and down the hill, around the field. Up and down the hill, around the field. Boring. We hate it. So we moved to the riding field and I set up a weird course of cones to signal gate changes and turns with a big tractor tire to walk through. Just something to help occupy our minds on days of decent footing. Ok so this is helping but it’s still boring. So when I rode this trail the other day on Simon and realized it was not rocky I decided to bring Poe out.

it’s a decent day. Sunny but chilly. We are expecting a possible snow storm tonight. But it’s been decent for about a month so it’s somewhat green too. We headed out. Poe was rather pleasant but a bit skeptical. He was tense, and did a funny move when he noticed a piece of bark directly under him. He leaped directly up like a cat, landing right back where he started with a snort like “well that was silly”. And went back to marching along like nothing happened. I laughed and was thankful it was up and not to the side. He also froze sharply into the ride, looking off into the woods intently and we watched a whole flock of turkeys. I tried to get a video but you couldn’t see them in it with the trees. It was pretty neat though.

(This is just a little video of us after we started the ride back)

he relaxed after the turkeys and enjoyed himself. It was a short ride, we did a lot of walking and some trotting. I mostly let him select his pace. It would have been nice to go a bit longer and farther if the trail had allowed but it did not. And Poe was quite content with what we did do. So we finished up and headed home.

He was quite pleased with himself and seemed to be rather happy to be the chosen pony of the day. I’ll have to come up with a couple more rides with footing appropriate for him. It’s a good mental work out and mental break for him. And sure beats ring work.

Trail Report:Turner Run/Gauley Ridge to Slate Lick and back 3/10/18

March 10, 2018

Today Carol Ann and I went for a ride. We did a lot of walking and talking and it was a dang good time.

we parked up at Turner Run and headed on past the closed gate, about three miles in and made a left onto the ride top trail. It’s the one that pops out at the parking space facing slightly back. It was amazingly clear after that crazy wind storm last week. I expected a lot more downed trees and was pleasantly surprised at the lack of destruction. The trail winds down and around for a good ways. There are some old red, blue and yellow marks painted on trees that are often hard to see. And sometimes a faded out marker tag. But in nearly all spots the trail can be seen pretty clearly.

There are two places there the trail makes a hard right turn. The first time the trail also continues ahead so it’s easy to miss. But the tree there is heavily marked with arrows and the trees to the right are also heavily marked. The second time the large tee on your left has two large arrows on it and the trees to the right are sparse and hard to find. From this point on the marks are a bit harder to find and some of the trail is a bit blown over but with a moment of looking you won’t get lost.

The trail eventually dumps out at Slate Lick. Carol Ann spotted a raccoon down by the creek at this point. Pretty neat. We let the ponies get a drink and then worked out way up to the lake where we saw some geese. We took a few snap shots then headed back up the fire break trail.

I was not good at taking photos on this ride. We were too busy chatting it up and having a good time to think of such things like documenting the ride. (But my gosh look how big Simons head is in that photo of him!)

Just as we got back to the parking area, Carol Ann’s mare smashed her knee on the fire gate. I think it’s going to be nice and purple by morning, it was a rough smashing. To be clear, the mare smashed Carol Ann’s knee, or her own pony knee. Naughty pony.

I hope Carol Ann still had a good time. And I hope she can walk tomorrow. It’s one of the best, although slowest rides I have been on in a while. And with competition season coming us, trail riding is going to become less frequent soon.

Product Review: HandsOn Grooming Gloves

February 6, 2018

A friend gifted me a pair of HandsOn grooming gloves this weekend that she picked up at the Pennsylvania Horse World Expo. I immediately gave them a try on my dog Daisy, who enjoyed the massaging effect, and I enjoyed the shedding out it did. But I was very excited to get a chance to try them out on my ponies when I got back home.

Today I gave them a go on Poe, who is just barely starting to shed ever so lightly. My husband just happened to be walking by right as I pulled Poe’s blanket off, giving me the perfect opportunity to snag him as a video operator!

I had used the right hand glove on Daisy at the expo, the left hand glove was fresh and unused. I have to say, the gloves pull the hair right off effortlessly. The little bumps pull the hair off the pony, but also let go of the hair so it doesn’t stay stuck to the glove.

I also tried them on Simon, who has not started to shed at all, and it did not pull hair, since non was shedding. But he did have a little dirt on his legs that the gloves pulled off very easily. I really liked how easy this was. The little leg grooves that some dirt was fitted into were so easy to clean by just running my hand over them. And his face. Simon always wants his face rubbed. He loves his face rubbed with the HandsOn gloves.

I was skeptical, and thought of these as sort of a gimmick. But I am impressed with these gloves. It’s sort of neat to just run your hands over the dirty and or hair areas and get them clean and pull off the hair, just with your hands. Both ponies and Daisy all seemed to really enjoy the massaging effect as well, which was just accomplished by petting.

I am excited to try them for bathing, which is one of the advertised uses. It’s a bit early in the season to bath the ponies but Daisy is a little in need of a bath…

A quick shot of the gloves after use on both ponies.

Thank you friend for the gift! You know who you are. They are much cooler than I expected. I can’t wait for full blown shedding to start.

PA Horse World Expo 2018

March 5, 2018

This past weekend was the Horse World Expo in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. I spent two days up there.

Saturday I left home in the dark with both ponies, met Lindsey along the way, and arrived a little after 9am. We checked in and then We helped Fred and Caroline get the equipment to the arena.

Soon the rest of our MGAA crew showed up and we all got racked up and ready to showcase our sport in the large stadium arena. Ironically the arena with more seating is a smaller riding space. We were staged and ready with excellent ring crew, an outstanding announcer, and a top rated referee.

I didn’t get any photos of poe! How horrible of me!

There was a driving demo in before us, and when it was our turn to go in, we entered, going right, and the driving exited behind us from the left. Poe and I led our group, followed by Lindsey and Simon. Poe was brave going in, with the stands across from us being rather empty, but once we were in and turned the corner and he saw the full stands behind us, his big pony pants were gone. He sucked in on himself, began jumping out lines (which Carl got down in record time, really, he was like super-liner). I held on, pushed Poe along, chuckled to myself that it would be hilarious to fall off before we even got started, and rode on. He settled in after the rest of our crew caught up and passed him. Relaxing and becoming more brave as we got started and a race or two under way, his head got into work mode and he forgot to be afraid.

Mean while Simon was busy showing off, nose flares, bouncing along, like some type of fancy show cob, full of energy and fire, tail flagged. Lindsey looks great up there on him, mane flying in front of her.

We broke into out four mixed teams and the show got on. I rode with Brett, Jaycee, Caroline and Ben. We did a great job jumping to it and getting our job done. It was a great time riding with new people, and no pressure. There was no scoring or placing to worry about, we were just demoing our sport. It was a good opportunity to remind myself “don’t over check for your put” which I did, ” don’t over check for your put” which I did, “lean for your pick” which I didn’t, and so on.

The demo went on for about an hour, mean while the bleachers co to yes to fill out, one side was picked, the other not so much. At the end we greeted people and introduced or ponies, handing out pamphlets on MGAA. It was very successful. And a very fun time.

Saturday night we headed back to Lindsey’s, put up ponies, grabbed a good dinner and hit the sack early. Then back to the expo early Sunday to spend the day working the booth, talking about games all day! What could be better?

MGAA board member and Over25 rider, Fred, organizes the whole thing and worked nearly the whole event. Amazing dedication. And amazing turnout!

Daisy loved being in the booth and was a big attraction herself. I took her for one walk around the expo and then out for a quick bathroom break. Look at how well she walked in the parking lot!

Trail Report: 423 Gauley Ridge – slate lick fire break trail 02/27/18

February 27, 2018

Today I spent a lot of time exploring. Simon was also not focused at all and a little bit annoying. I think I refer to him as a donkey in the video a couple times. But it was another unseasonably nice day, sunny, and I felt like exploring.

I parked at the top of Turner Run in the circle. I was happy to see all the butchered hog parts were gone! But at one of the pull overs before the circle there was tons of new trash. Shame. So I parked, hopped on, and off Simon and I went on up the fire road, 423 Gauley Ridge behind the closed gate.

From the parking lot there is a trail just to the right of the fire road, over a berm. Carol Ann and I rode it back about a month ago and it was rather over grown in spots and had a few rough downed logs. I do note it in the video. And I. The photo below I note the other end of it. It is marked on forest service maps as well. It has a fallen FS gate, and you know I love those. But this was not a trail for today. So on we went.

I did stop at the first camping circle on the right. It’s a decent little circle with a nice Little Rock pile fire pit. Behind it is an old trail head. I thought this was a connecting old trail head I explored in the past. So I explored it again. Nope it was note. I show this in the video. It is an old trail/logging road of sorts and it’s not bad at all until a point. But that’s all it is. Short and blah.

So back to the main fire road and on we go.

A camp area to the right. Dave’s turnpike. The marker is knocked down but still there. It has a road that wraps down a ways then dead ends. Nothing exciting. A canoe area on the right, just off the road. A side fire road with gate closed to the left. Then a camp circle to the left and the. Up a hill.

There is a small pull over to the left at the top of the hill, it sort of faces the other way. It has a trail off the back. This runs along above the fire road off shoot and then wraps down to Slate Lick.

Just past this is the “fire break” trail. That’s what I am calling it. I am not sure it was actually meant to be a fire break but it appeared right around the time there was a fire back there and the fire was on the right hand side but not the left hand side of the trail which was put in using equipment. It is super easy to miss going up the road, much easier to see going back down.

It’s rocky and becomes steep. Relatively straight, it heads down. You can see evidence of the old fire to the right, and also a decent view at one point. It was a bit steep for me to be snapping photos or taking video at that point. Simon was sure he didn’t need to keep going and also needed encouragement to pay attention.

At the bottom bare slightly right, and then down a hill to the creek bed. Here the trail goes in two directions. I get very excited in the video because you can see plenty of marking tape up in both directions. The first time I was down here the fire break did not exist yet and I followed the original trail to the right along the creek up to the fire road. That was coming up from slate lick.

Today I wanted to get to slate lick so across the creek and to the left, onto the very clear trail, which also is marked clearly with marker tape.

Back and forth a few times across the creek and along the side of it. At one point you have the option to stay straight (the creek is to your right here) and take an old logging road up above the creek or bare right and cross the creek and continue along that way. These basically run parallel, one on either side of the creek.

I rode the logging path years ago and it was over grown but it looked much clearer now. That said, I took the creek side trail.

Eventually the trail runs out at the back corner of slate lick lake. There is a well marked tree on the left side of the creek that marks a trail to go up the hill. It pops out to the side of the lake. Ta-da!

I would take this path back UP from the lake vs down to the lake. But since I couldn’t remember exactly where this trail came out I had to ride it down to find its end. Next time here I want to ride the other trail (which I passed on the fire road just before reaching the “fire break trail”) and will take that down and then this back up.

I rode up and around to take in the view. Woooooo.

*in the photo below the trail to go back up to Gauley Ridge is just to the left right about there that first small ever green is.

Then turned around to head back. Going back into the woods to head back to the creek there is a split in the trail (immediately entering the woods). Go left and it’s the steep down to the creek we took to get up from behind the lake. Or bare straight/right and follow the marking tape and trail through leaf litter which dumps us at a much nicer creek crossing back to the creek side trail. I assume there was a way to continue straight and onto the logging trail that I did not see.

So on we go.

I went back up the way I went down, the fire break trail. But I wish I had stayed on the creek trail. When I got back to the fire road I did go left and looked for where it comes out but did. It find it. I was getting tired and Simon was really not interested in going on so we called it and started for home.

I spent lots of time zig zagging around and enjoying myself. And admittedly, we did not make good time at all today. Lots of ambling and strolling along. It was a good day.

check out the three part video blog if you like. I ramble on a lot but you can see the trail at different points. I try to focus on all the turns.


Video 1 of 3

Video 2 of 3

Video 3 of 3

%d bloggers like this: