Trail Report: Yankeetown/Marshall Run 235

March 19, 2018

Yesterday was gorgeous so Carol Ann and I slipped out for a quick spin at Yankeetown. Yankeetown is the name of the road. There is a circle at the end, paved, that can be parked around the edge of. I usually reserve this one for when the fire roads are a little rough in the winter but that didn’t really happen this year.

The fire road entrance is 235 Marshall Run and is just a few yards up the road from the parking. Cars and trucks can drive onto this fire road and park farther down it but it’s not as hospitable for horse trailers and the added bit of the ride is nice addition.

I completely forgot to run my tracker but the loop is about 12 miles I think. Maybe a little less. Quite a. I’ve ride, open easy fire road in, behind a gate, over some creeks, some closed fire roads, some forest trails. Some climb up and some descent down. A nice variety of footing.

The trail was nice and clear, it’s a very well maintained loop, thank you trail workers. I rode in a t-shirt. We got in some good trotting and it was just lovely.

I didn’t remember to take photos other than one after I got Simon off the trailer and before I climbed on.

The games season is about to blow up and trail riding is about to get harder to fit in.

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!

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