Thursday, September 29, 2005

Good Morning world!

Well this morning was absolutely beautiful with a taste of autumn in the air. The sun was warm on my back and the dew sparkled ... I know I did not capture the intense feelings I had when I looked at this view...but it sure did remind me that I was happy to be alive.

Cameras and riding. They sure are livesavers.

And the beat goes on

And the beat goes on...last night when I opened the mailbox I got an appt card from Gunderson Lutheran Clinic...
The appt card was with a doctor in Hemotology/Oncology. Blood and Cancer.

Ever feel the blood drain right out of your body and get so cold inside?

Chilled to the bone.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

pink fungus

pink fungus
Originally uploaded by Xena~.

These are really wierd looking, when I first saw them I thought they looked butts.

Going to do it again!

Coming into the vet check
Originally uploaded by Xena~.

Next week I'm going to put on my racing clothes, pack up the mule and his tack and go again for another Endurance/Limited Distance Ride.

It will be much chillier, but I am really hooked on this kind of riding. It is at a trot most of the time and really takes concentration.

I love it.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


Badger before his race
Originally uploaded by Xena~.

His number is 53...I was thrilled just to pass the first vet check the nite before the race.

What I learned:

Ok I learned this. Good shoes: a must.
Good fitting saddle [for both rider and horse]: a must
Positive attitude: YES!

Secrets for the rider:
I wore bicycling shorts under my riding tights ...along with my custom carved hard seat, no arse soreness.
I wore a zip jacket so when I got warmed up I could unzip while riding. Sweatshirts are a pain as they are hard to pull over the helmet.
Well ventilated helmet.
Half chaps.
Good riding boots [mine were Durango laceups]
Wide stirrups with cush in them!
Comfy Bra [fer women]
Cell phone--priceless for getting directions when you get mislead onto the wrong trail.
Water, lots of it, at least two bottles on the saddle.
Excedrine migraine -- damn near kills any pain [I know b/c it helped with my booby!!!]
A good energy snack for you.

Fresh hay and water at the vet checks. A touch of sloppy mixed beet pulp will make them suck down water. Sponge to cool them. Some give electrolytes. Loosen girth if you don't have to pull tack. [This is the only time I have ever yanked my nice beautiful saddle and tossed it carelessly into the dirt!]

Be kind and curtious to others b/c they may help you out. And don't be afraid to pull yourself and your horse.

Will I do it again, you betcha. But my training will not include endless hours of trotting, but things Badger likes to do...trail riding at a walk, climbing hills, taking photos...this way he thinks 'racing' is fun and not a chore.

25 miles is no sissy ride. It was freaking awesome to race down the trail in the morning mist flying after Arabs.

It is all about pacing and conditioning. But conditioning of the rider is super important also [as certain muscles are telling me today].

We did the LD. En route we got off course perhaps with the help of some bow hunters who had moved ribbons. [yes that really happened and was confirmed by the ride manager].
Badger vetted out strong at the halfway mark after 5 minutes of rest [17 miles distance we figure].

We had a mandatory hold of 40 minutes longer and then had 2 1/2 hrs to go 12.5 + or - miles back. My partner was not ready at 6:30 am so we'd already lost 15 minutes in the start of the LD. [hahah-sob!]
Our dis-course had taxed our mounts about 5 extra miles and so when we started back Sheba the Arab was ready to give up and my friend Glennie was ready just to call in and 'time out'.

I said, no way Josie! I pushed and pushed and pushed them...Badger led at an easy trot, we walked all up hills and downhills and trotted anything flat or moderatley flat. It became a very [for me] technical race.

I loped Badger most of the last two miles in, Sheba would start and stop but kept up.

You should probably walk your animal in the last mile but we didn't have time...and your finish time is when the vet checks your animal's metabolics and does an exam. Normally you would walk your horse around for about 10 minutes giving him/her water and sponging them.

We had to rip off the saddles and straight to the time for any pampering. The pulse was supposed to be below 60 BPM.

Badger pulsed in at 48 BPM and vetted all A's and A-'s for his vet check!!!!

We were dubbed the 'wrong way' riders and bets in camp were that we wouldn't finish within the alotted time.


Friday, September 16, 2005

Outta Here

Well I'm outta here pretty soon. Going to go on my first Endurance ride of 25 miles. When you consider that I have run 1/2 marthons, this isn't that long. But a human can run 26 miles in the same amount of time that we are to trot our horses [mule]. An excellent Marathoner can beat a horse fairly easily...isn't that interesting?

We have 5 hrs minus a 40 minute hold to do our mileage in. My riding partner's horse is sort of a wimp, and I am going to try and keep her going. I know my mule can do it....

Count down...

The eyes...

mules eyes
Originally uploaded by Xena~.

There is something that just fascinates me about an animal's eyes...they are so deep and so beautiful. If you peer close they seem to draw you in and tell you a story...
OK I am wierd.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


road to work
Originally uploaded by Xena~.

Looking around as I drive to work, I forget what sort of beautiful landscape I live I stop and take a different way and to my looks different in the fall morning light.
I'm looking to figure out how to work smarter and maybe work from home...

Monday, September 12, 2005

Around the Bend

Trail ride
Originally uploaded by Xena~.

The creak of the saddle leather, the soft hoof beats on the dirt and gravel...a snort from my mule...and the songs of birds...

There just isn't anything compared to riding down a new trail and discovering new things...

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


Ok I know it now, I am obsessed with this Distance [Endurance, Competitive Distance, Limited Distance] riding thing.
I find myself making Badger a concoction of a cup of beet pulp with a sprinkle of sweet feed...I holler at the gate and he comes trotting out of the woods and eats his treat while I tell him how we are going to be International Competitors one day....
We are going to be world famous...

I've started dreaming about it, I spend waking momments gazing at nothing, thinking about IT. I find myself totally lost in thought while I am SUPPOSED to be typing boring medical notes.

I am mentally and physically preparing my buttocks for cruel and unusual punishment.
I am getting up early in the morning to hike and jog...despite the fear of wild roaming bands of wild dogs and gypsies that could carry me off...

I'm practicing taking heart rate on anything living...hubby, mule, the dog won't stand for it...

Funny, dog and hubby don't want to do the rectal thermometer thingy either...

I'm starting to think that funky riding tights and helmets along with half chaps are perfectly suitable wear for any occasion...

Someone help me quick!!!


The trail less traveled by...

The Trail
Originally uploaded by Xena~.

I often go into the woods to find some sanity and solitude. Rarely do I go without a camera or an accompanying animal such as my mule or dog...or both.

I linger in the woodlands not wishing to go back to 'the world' as sometimes it is too ugly to bear. I love the outdoors, I love peace and solitude.

Some days, I am my best own company!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The Gate

The Gate
Originally uploaded by Xena~.

The gate. I came across this yesterday and had to chuckle. This gate has hung in this very same many for 12 years. I've never seen it any other way. What did it keep in? What did it keep out?

I looked at it with new eyes and leaned to the side over my mule and framed the picture.

I sure do like this view.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Long Day

end of the day
Originally uploaded by Xena~.

Yesterday I rode Badger my mule like the wind, fast but paced as if we were in a competition.
Did I think of one thing outside of what I was doing? No. It was a cleansing of the soul, a warming of the heart.

It is what life is a bout!

Friday, September 02, 2005

me, my dog, my mule

Thirsty dog
Originally uploaded by Xena~.

I took off with Badger and Morris we rode through the timber. A mule, a dog, a woman [packing a pistol of course]...and mother nature. Birds flitted about, grasshoppers leapt, monarch butterflies flew from one wildflower to another.

It was warm and sunny, a gorgeous first day of September. Something to cherish with me, my dog,and mule.