Monday, October 15, 2012

Rail trailin' with cyclists

Its our life for the next few months! One, its not as muddy as the woods will become as winter wet sinks in; two, we have fun friends to bike with, three, hunters won't get us out here. Hunting is big big big around these parts (yes, I just said "these parts"). Our schools get the entire week of Thanksgiving off for hunting. West Virginia loves venison!

Despite having a god-awful 3-day headache, I managed to subdue it for a few hours Sunday to get in a ride.

It was a really fun time and our first official jaunt with the Woolback pad. Loved it! I think Q approved, too. She was a bit preoccupied by our cyclist extraordinaire partner, especially when he'd stand up and boogie away. She'd give me an ear flick to say, What is this strange creature DOING?! You don't expect me to do that, too, do you? No, Q, just keep trotting. The funniest point, by far, was when we reach the turn around mile marker and our cyclist took off at high speed, oblivious of the fact that it was time to go home. Q flicker he ears at him, at me, and back at him and then, as we reached the mile marker, skidded to a halt with nary a request from my end. To hell with that nonsense. Its time to go HOME. I laughed at her and gave a turn-around cue to speedy.

I didn't have my Endomondo app running for this ride as I wasn't really concerned with our speed and I knew what the distance was, but I wish I'd had it running for one little part where I turned Q loose and unfurled her sails to see how fast she could boogie. I'm not even sure she maxed out, but DAMN was it fast! Nate said he was probably going ~25 mph or so and we blew past him like he was standing still. Go Q!

More surprising to me? The rate at which that little horse slowed to a halt. I think with a little bit of training I could have her marking some 11's in the dirt!

--Oh, and briefly, very briefly: I got to visit a meat processor post-ride and see cows killed/processed. As a meat eater I jumped at the opportunity to see how my local meat is prepared. I have to say I was very, very impressed with how humanely the process was carried out. The animals walked in without any signs of stress. I think the worst part about slaughter is the stress I've heard cows and other animals having to experience, this place really does it right though. The one cow from our farm (where Q and Griffin stay) started to exhibit nervous behaviors so they didn't force him to enter the facility but instead put him down where he stood so he didn't have to stress. I was very impressed. No tasers, no prodding. Big thumbs up to our local guys.

: : : : :

Griffin is doing well. I've decided I'm going to train him in liberty work a lot this winter. Four of us ladies will have our horses in the same place this winter. We're planning on teaching our horses and ourselves bridleless riding per Stacy Westfall, soft feel and numerous other subtle techniques per Buck Brannaman that we learned from watching his clinic (stellar, by the way!), liberty training per whatever I decide to buy, and then maybe some Aussie stuff from Guy McLean or that other gentleman whose name is escaping me currently. Big plans!

Everyone feeds horses apples like this, right?

Griffin was very gentle for the record ;-)

: : : : :

In non-horse news, I have a new kitten. My dad rescued him, and he has become mine by some odd turn of events it seems... Little guy refuses to leave my room despite the door being open. I've decided I'm going to make an attempt to teach him to use the toilet. What is funnier/cooler than a cat that uses the john? Additionally, it is becoming very evident that I am not allowed to own animals that don't have a blaze and predominantly white legs...all four of my animals do. I'm a fan.