Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Sneezy Cersei

I took a video of Cersei playing with the ball and I thought I'd share it with yall. We're up on Peavine and it's really windy, so you might want to turn the volume down. It's an HD video, so if you click through to the Vimeo page you can watch it in HD.

Sneezy dog from Funder on Vimeo.

<3 that dog :)

Miscellaneous gear stuff

  • The Toklat Woolback is awesome and I'm so glad I got it.
  • My knees didn't hurt, but I moved my stirrups up a notch AND I took a lot of Advil. I'm not sure what to credit there.
  • I never did attach a tube clip for the Camelbak. I ended up using double-sided velcro to make a loop off a D-ring and it worked just fine.
  • I tried riding in the rope halter for the second loop, but Dixie hates that even worse than she hates having a sweaty headstall on her ears - I didn't even make it out of the arena before I got off and put the headstall back on.
  • The Renegades stayed on. The footing wasn't challenging to boots, so I can't brag about how amazing they are, but I'm still very happy with them so far. I need to work on the right rear.
  • I remembered to braid a dog tag in Dixie's mane, and it stayed on just fine.
  • How the hell do people attach glowsticks? I suspect they're just duct taping them to the breast collar. I tied one on a pommel bag ring.
  • Speaking of pommel bags, Henry's is the best possible bag. Room for a liter of water, velcro pockets for ride cards, BIG zippers that even sleep-deprived Funders can work - it's totally awesome.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Ride Story, finally

Earlier that day, I brushed my beautiful white pony and braided her mane. Then I got real frisky and spot-washed the manure stains and scrubbed her tail. It came out almost white :) I suppose I could've washed her completely, but I have gotten really sensitive to wasting water in the desert, so I didn't. Then I bought a bale of alfalfa for a ride treat and headed home to charge my phone and hang out with my husband. I kinda feel guilty when I run off to a ride and basically leave him alone all weekend.

I rode to the ride, so I dropped off a bunch of stuff at the arena before I went to get Dixie. As it turns out I didn't drop off the right stuff, but that's the story of my life. ;) Then I drove over to where Dixie stays at, got her saddled, and rode over to the ride.

Ridecamp was at the Lemmon Valley arena, with plenty of room. There were at least 40 entries - I was 319 and I think I was at the end of the LD list. Dixie vetted in just fine with all A's. Aarene, she trotted out really really well! She's finally figured out the ready-let's go! trot out thing!

I tied her to ~C's trailer and let her eat hay. She is such a peculiar and contrary beast - she didn't want the perfectly nice alfalfa, she wanted her normal boring everyday hay. I barely remembered to boot her up before the 50s left at 7 pm, but I did.

Dixie freaked out when the 50s left, but it was only a minor freakout. I played Words with Friends til about 7:50, then managed to get on board and we headed out to the start. Apparently I pushed the start button on the garmin an hour earlier when I'd saddled her up, and I didn't notice til a couple miles out, so my GPS start isn't anywhere near the starting line. Anyway, here's the Garmin info for the ride.

We started out last due to standing still to mount issues, but I let her stretch out and trot really fast to catch up to the last horses. She wasn't nearly as out of control as at Rides of March, thank god! She spooked pretty hard at the dolomite trail markings at first, but she got used to them in a couple of miles.

The long bit headed north is pretty familiar territory, and she did really well - rateable and forward and full of energy. When the sun started to sink and we headed east, we encountered difficulties. Dixie just could not believe that I was riding her away from home in the dark. I kept her moving at a good pace until we hit the rocky part of the hills. The sun was totally down, and the moon was trying to rise behind the eastern hills, so it was amazingly dark. Plus it's the rockier part of the trail, PLUS when the moon did rise we were riding right toward it and it wasn't really helping.

Eventually, two people passed us and I let them "pull" us along. Dixie decided the only thing worse than being stuck pointed away from home with her evil bitch of a human was to be totally alone with her evil bitch of a human, so she tucked in with the others and headed up the hills.

Riding up the rocky pitch-dark hills was totally worth it. At the tops of a couple of ridges, you get really stunning views of Reno at night. And there was fog! I couldn't really believe it at first, but there really was fog oozing off the hills. Dixie spooked hard at a couple of innocuous bushes at first, then settled in nicely.

I rode the trail once before (in the daytime, in the opposite direction) with ~C, so I knew about how far we had to go. I think that helped me a lot mentally. Eventually, about the time the moon was high enough to see the rocks, we came out of the rocky hills and into the sandy canyons. I saw something very strange as we were coming out of the canyons back to the subdivision - somebody a couple hills over was shining a flashlight up into a hill. It wasn't the (awesome) ride staff, it was just Some Dude doing Something Weird at night.

We walked through the subdivision and pulsed straight in at 60, then I let her drink and eat hay for a while before we vetted in. She didn't drink til the third tank at mile 15 - I hope she figures out drinking soon. It makes me nervous :( But anyway, she got a B for gut sounds and everything else was A's.

The hour hold flew by as I staggered around in a total daze. It was 12:30 am and I was desperately tired, but we were so close to being done! I ended up drinking a bottle of electrolyte water and a cup of black coffee, then chowing down on some Advil and a fruit roll up. Midnight snack of champions, eh?

I pulled her boots for the second loop, because I knew it was short and sandy and she still goes a little weird in boots. There's something off with the fit on the right rear boot - it was full of sand again, and an O-ring had broken, and the toe velcro was half undone. But it was still on!

We rolled out at 1:30 with the same two people I'd been riding with before. Dixie felt like I hadn't ridden her at all, just as fresh and perky as you could hope for. Her heart broke when I made her keep going past the turn to go home, but she wasn't really that upset. The second loop runs right past the sand pit where the dirt bike guys ride, and we rode on a little ridge past some people hanging out around a campfire in the sand. I wonder if they knew we were there?

After the sand pit, back in the BLM land, I saw a huge shooting star right over the hills to the east. Of course I can't tell you what my wish was, but you can probably guess. :)

By the final vet check, Dixie was through with this trot out bullshit. She had a mouthful of hay and felt she'd done plenty of work and I kind of had to drag her up and down the line, so we got a B for impulsion. Everything else was A's - her gut sounds were back up - so I can't complain.

Then I tied Dixie up and watched her eat and ... fell asleep in a folding chair. Because I'd failed to bring anything for me to camp in. It was unbelievably cold, but I borrowed a horse blanket and draped that over my head and got a nap for a couple hours. A million shivering years later, the sun came up and Dixie was ready to go home. I saddled her back up and made her walk home - she wanted to trot home! But I couldn't handle any more trotting that day.

M says Dixie took a lot of naps on Sunday, but she's none the worse for the wear. Cool tight legs, totally sound, didn't run off too much weight, perky attitude. Yay horse!

This is plenty long, so I'll do a gear post and publish it in the morning.

Monday, June 28, 2010


So I stayed up late Friday, but the cats woke me up early Saturday morning. Then I went off and rode all night Saturday night and got a bit of sleep sitting in a folding chair watching my horse pig out. I staggered through Sunday somehow til 6 pm, when I crashed out. Today I meant to come home and write up the ride story properly, but my other love (Dr. Who) called to me and I had to watch the season finale. No spoilers for the American viewers! Anyway, the Doctor took up all of my awake time, I'm afraid. I need another good night's sleep. Here's some pictures, though!

Fat clean horse!

Ready to ride:

Vet check, 12:30 am
Vet check

Two days after the ride


We completed our second LD! Fantastic trail in the moonlight. Dixie was strong and full of go the whole time, except when we headed up into the hills *away from home ohno!* The other LD turtles had to "pull" us along for a while.

Ride time about 4:30, total time 5:30. HR at the final vet check was 48. She didn't drink til mile 15, but started drinking and eating nonstop after that.

The four people I was loosely riding with were nice. One BIG Champagne Gold TWH, a foxtrotter mule, and two Arabs. Dixie and the Arab mare hated each other at first sight. :(

A couple things went wrong on the human side, but the horse side went perfectly. More later.


Sent from my iPhone

Friday, June 25, 2010

Assembly is reverse of disassembly

Anybody who's ever repaired (or attempted to repair) a car knows and hates those words. Chilton's, you're a bunch of jerks. Whenever I take my tack apart to clean it, I always end up with a pile of parts and a sort of vague memory of how disassembly was accomplished. So far I've always gotten it back together, but it's never easy.

Today was saddle cleaning day, in preparation for the Thing I Shall Not Name Lest I Jinx It. I soaped and oiled my saddle, replaced some hay string ties with pretty blue nylon cord, reburned the holes in the nylon stirrup leathers, and washed the cordura fenders... and the nylon latigos. The fenders and latigos were white and stiff with dried-on sweat, yuck.

It's been well over a year since I rerigged the saddle to also use the back girth rings - I remember standing in that barn in Ohio, ineffectually trying to figure out how to tie the knot from the wrong side. (If you ride with an English girth, none of this makes any sense, but if you ride with a western cinch, you know what I'm talking about.) Anyway, I was dreading the reassembly of the cinch, but it was pretty painless!

I did have the sense to quit while I was ahead. I didn't unbuckle the end of the breastcollar - I have never gotten a Conway buckle back together on the first try.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Doctor WTF?!

I realize only like 3 of my readers watch Dr. Who, but oh my god what the fuck just happened in today's episode??

Also: to make this somewhat horse related, today I purchased a goat halter for Billy.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Gratuitous goat

I didn't end up competing at the 4H show on Saturday. It was a big show, and none of the Western classes started before noon, and I just didn't want to sit on the ground for 4 hours. I packed Dixie's saddlebags with hay and let her eat and hang out in the commotion until the brand inspector arrived, then got her inspected and headed back home.

Her goat, Billy, was very glad to see us. He spent the whole time we were gone lounging in the other horses' pen, but as soon as he saw us approaching he leapt up and ran over to Dixie's pen and started chowing down on her hay. He is a very funny fellow. They were pretty cute eating together, so I wanted to get a picture. As soon as I walked up with the camera, I got a bunch of these shots:

You sure it's not food?

I was patient and eventually he got bored and went back to the hay with Dixie.


I was thinking about going to volunteer at the NASTR ride, but my husband wanted to spend time with me. Awww :) We ended up going shopping and had a nice day together.

Yesterday I took Dixie on a big ride - 20 miles in just under 4:30. I booted up and tried stashing my water in the pommel bag - I think I like it, but it needs some modifications. Some friends called when I got out to her barn, so we met up with them for part of the ride. It slowed us down considerably, but it was fun for me and good for Dixie.

We headed out at a fast clip for the first 7 miles to meet up with my friends who were trailering in. It was my first time riding with them. They're normal trail riders, and the woman's a little timid, so we just walked. Walking is fun for a change but it sucks after an hour or so! But the conversation was good.

We headed up into the hills. I was looking for a trail over to Antelope Valley to take me back home by a different route, but the BLM fence is actually in good shape along that section. There was one dirt road, but it had a cattle guard. The scenery in the hills is fantastic right now - lots of wildflowers, lots of different species of grass. Some dirt bikers zipped by and Dixie was unfazed, yay!

After the others headed back down to their trailer, I tried to work my way south along the ridge to head home, but my trail didn't work out. We headed back down to the foothills and gradually back into the valley. Dixie acted like she could care less about the two other horses while we were riding with them, but once they peeled off away from us, she was somewhat distraught. She screamed a few times, spent too much time looking for them, and wanted to head back down to their trailer, instead of home. At one point she was looking off toward where they'd gone and stumbled hard, to her knees. Before I decided to leap off, she lurched back up and walked out fine. Kind of scary, but she did a slightly better job of paying attention to the trail after that. And as far as "don't leave me!" panic goes, hers wasn't bad at all.

Our only other encounter was some people out shooting cans. When they saw us coming, they stopped shooting, and I talked to them briefly. Dixie was fine with them once she realized they were people, and the (distant) shooting didn't upset her.


I think I like the new pad. It didn't get sweat logged like I feared it would, and it didn't rub. When I stripped her tack, her back was evenly sweaty and all the hair was laying correctly. The boots all stayed on, but the left rear had a lot of grass seeds and dirt in it. I think I didn't get it aligned right when I put it on - I'll have to pay closer attention.

Getting the water bag tube out of the pommel bag, drinking from it, and stuffing it back in securely was impossible at the trot and annoying at the walk. I think I'll sew a tube hook on the other side of the pommel bag and let the tube ride across the pommel and hang off the far side. My backpack has a compartment for a camelbak, and the right strap has a hook for the tube. I never use the backpack as a camelbak - I have a real camelbak bag for when I want to use it. The hook on the strap does an amazingly good job of snagging securely to spaghetti strap tops when you take the backpack off, so I'm looking forward to removing it. I am very tired of my backpack trying to disrobe me! If I mod something up, I'll take some pics to share.

I took pecans for a snack and they were great. Dixie liked her De-Lyte Bites. I took one serving to see how she'd like them, and she thought they were good. I brought an electrolyte goo thing for me, and I really needed it at about 15 miles when I got the "don't care if I die in the desert" blahs. Some goo perked me right up and got me home.

My poor knees were the weak link. I am toying with the idea of switching riding footwear again - I think padded hiking boots plus padded enduro stirrups is too much squishy. I love the stirrups so I might try some very thin soled tennis shoes.


So we should be good to do the LD at Moonshine on the 26th, right? It's just under 2 weeks out, and we just did our big training ride, so now I can just bomb around if I want and have fun again?

Shoe/stirrup recommendations? Or I guess more precisely, knee recommendations? Yesterday I would've paid a vet tech to inject me with Adequan behind the barn!

Any thoughts about one Renegade full of dirt when the rest were self-cleaning?

Friday, June 11, 2010

New Plan?

So there's a brand inspection tomorrow at the arena because there's a 4H open show as well! It's one of those Nevada Weirdnesses - in the south, horse shows are all at night. They don't even start til 7 pm. It's still intolerably hot, but at least it's not hot and sunny. I guess out here all the shows are in the morning, because it's pleasantly cool then?

Anyway, I think I will enter Miss Thing in some easy classes. We will get destroyed by snotty teenagers who have been showing their whole lives, I'm sure, but it'll be good for her to do something different. This may tell you something profound about my character: I don't have a tag for horse shows. ;)


Glad yall liked the last post. :) She is a sweet horse, just... opinionated.

Yesterday I wanted to bring Cersei, so I had to keep the ride short again. I went out midmorning, when it was still in the low 50s (OMG I can't believe it's in the 50s in June, this place rocks!) and did the 5 mile loop by the lake. The grass is still green, so we stopped pretty often and grazed on the way down to the lakeshore. I let Cersei splash around in the water while Dixie grazed until the clouds of mutant overgrown mosquitos found us. We turned to walk back up the short path to the levee and Dixie wanted to dash for home... and when I turned her right to keep going instead of left to head home, she tossed a buck at me!

I immediately yelled "Oh no you did NOT!" and kicked her in the ribs. This is not an approved method of handling a buck, I'm sure, but it worked. I knew she was just being pissy and mare-ish and resistant, not actually confused or hurting. The nice laid-back grazing ride was over and the "get your mind on the job" ride began.

I had her trot the entire way along the levee, except for twice when we stopped and I offered Cersei a chance to jump in the lake. She kept trying to balk down to a walk, so the first four times I just said trot and gave her some leg. The fifth time in about 100 yards she broke gait, I whacked her on the neck with the over and under. She was madder'n hell and started really slinging her head, but she trotted and quit trying to sandbag.

Actually, after the whack she was quite good. I usually let her canter the path beside the road on the way home, but not today. I kept her in a rack or a fast trot the whole way home, and she didn't even pull and ask to run.

A block from home she saw a mini horse and about came unglued. She froze, got huge underneath me, and started snorting. I slipped off and encouraged her to walk to the fence and get a whiff of the mini, then walked her on home. She's definitely seen minis before, but it's been several years.

You really can laze along quite a bit and still hit 5 mph average. I've spent a lot of time obsessing over 5 mph, which is about the slowest you can average and still finish an endurance ride. At first I thought it'd be easy, then I thought it was impossible, then it really was easy and all my times started creeping up in the 6-7 mph range. Now I'm more "whatever" about the short rides, and I'm still riding 5 miles in an hour.

Distressingly, Dixie can trot 9 mph now. She used to max out at 7 or so and then slip into a rack if we went faster. Now she racks and trots at the same speed. I really should take her to a good gaited clinic, but that's a three-part plan: 1) sell yellow trailer, 2) buy slant trailer, 3) magically load calm horse, attend clinic, learn something. I wish she'd rack more, but I'm very happy that she'll just switch between rack and trot on her own - the whole reason I don't discourage any gait is that I figure it must give different muscles a different workout.

Tomorrow there's a brand inspection clinic at the arena. I figure I'll ride over, let her dig holes to China / practice her patience til we get inspected, then head out on a long ride. I think I can find the Moonshine trail again. That's about 15 miles with a lots of hills, a few rocky sections, and some long straight roads to canter on the way home.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


The wind was blowing absurdly hard this afternoon, so I skipped riding to hang out with Dixie. She's in heat, and she's very sweet this time. She was mutally grooming with another mare when I got there! I don't think I've ever seen her groom another horse. She's way too bitchy and standoffish to consent to something that affectionate.

I fed Dixie and Billy an assortment of treats: cherries (Dixie approves, Billy disapproves), cheerios (both disapprove), pecans (both approve) and carrots (Dixie approves, Billy doesn't care). When I ran out, I hung out with the other humans for a while, then wandered over and hung out with Dixie. She snuffled carefully at my hand, then licked it for a while. I scratched around her ears a bit, which is something she'll sometimes tolerate. Then she twisted her head around so that I was scratching an eye. And she made the happy wiggly-lip face! I think I've owned her for two and a half years, and that is the first time she's made the happy grooming face for me. I don't know if it's just hormones or if she's decided it feels good to be scratched, but I'll take it.

Dixie really does have a lovely soft mouth. Her lips are very gentle when she takes treats, and she likes to lick my hands. She's still Dixie, though - she'd lick for a while, then she'd "bite" as my fingers with her lips, so I'd "bite" back with my fingers. I watched her carefully while she was doing this, and she was giving me a very calculating appraising gaze, like she wanted to make sure the line was where she thought it was.

I'm sure licking is on some list of Things You Shouldn't Let Your Horse Do, but I don't care. I know when her body language is telling me she's going to bite me. I've really emphasized to her that it's ok if she interacts with me, or with other things when I'm around. She was so wary when I got her - just waiting for me to do something that she didn't like, or whack her for no reason that she could understand. We both know the difference between a nuzzle and a head-toss, or a lick and a bite. I'm happy that she's relaxed enough to lick me or play with the lead rope.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A different kind of endurance event

So I'm back from Vegas, and I feel almost entirely human again!

Ok. I can't hack the humidity anymore. I just can't. It was blisteringly meltingly hot in Vegas and disgustingly humid and the air was so thick and smelled so gross. There was nothing more wonderful than getting out of the Reno airport and smelling the cool, clean, thin mountain air! Of course my friends are from the rainy lowlands so they thought Vegas was just hot and I looked like a total wuss... but ~C and Zach would understand, it was nasty and humid and hot!!! down there!

(It was in the low 100s, so I haven't gone totally soft on heat. Just humidity.)

Anyway. We drank a lot of beer - nobody ever got stupid-drunk, but we drank pretty much nonstop. Saw the Mandalay Bay aquarium, the Bodies exhibit, rode the roller coaster at NYNY, ate at some Thai place in the Aria and Bouchon at the Venetian, watched the NHL game, played poker one night, and walked til I thought I'd die. The heat was awful, plus I got an enormous blister. I'm sure I looked pretty wussy, but oh well.

Sunday, after I got back, I napped all day. Yesterday I got a quick ride in with my brand new Toklat Woolback pad. I got the contoured barrel pad with 1/2" wool, so it's a total of 1" thick - about as thick as my old pad. I ordered it (from Sierra Feed) the week before last, and it came in on Friday while I was out of town. Dixie is somewhat suspicious of it - it doesn't smell right, and it's not purple - but it doesn't seem to bother her. More miles will tell, but for now I really like it. I ordered it with velcro openings to hold foam pads if I need more padding, but for now I'm not padding it up.

Our mid-80s heat wave should break tomorrow and it's only predicted to be 71. God, I love this town. I know I should be hoping for hot weather so I can get my horse properly conditioned for it... but just for tomorrow, I'll be glad to ride in the cool.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

June conformation

I managed to take proper conformation shots for once! Look, her feet are square. Well. Pretty close to square. As square as they ever are. ;)

I love the look on her face - it's both quizzical and sleepy.

Billy did not approve of me taking Dixie.

Dixie did not seem to care.

Here's a picture of her back. It looks even to me? Her right rear foot is slightly forward of her left rear, and I think that's why her hips are uneven.

I did wash her gross tail after I took the pictures, but I forgot to take more pictures post-wash. Trust me, it was much whiter and fluffier.

* I'm going to Vegas with my BFFs for the weekend, so I've scheduled a couple of posts for while I'm gone. Have a lovely weekend, yall!*

Friday, June 4, 2010

Mountain-orial Day

For Memorial Day, Graham and I took Cersei to a pristine mountain lake, then headed on to Sacramento for some Chick-fil-a. There are a few drawbacks to Reno, and lack of CFA is one of them. :(

Here's the lake we went to:

View Larger Map

It's a hydro dam lake with fishing and camping access. Because we waited til Monday, the crowds had mostly left, and we had a pretty secluded time. Really, we just picked it off a map, but I can't imagine a better lake!

For reference, here's Nevada:

Then within a mile of crossing into California, there's trees!

And that June snow.

Cersei thought the lake was wonderful!

We set up near an intake waterfall.

The whole lake was like something you'd see on a postcard.

Cersei skinned the callous off of her left front pawpad, probably doing something like this. She's much better two days later and I anticipate her release to normal dog duty early next week.

The trees were enormous.

Anyway, we eventually left and headed down to Sacramento. It's the first time I've been back at sea level (well, 500' elevation) since we moved to Reno, and it was very strange. As we went down it got hotter (from 55 to 80) and thicker and ickier. I clearly remember thinking - and complaining! - that there's not enough air up here in the mountains, but I acclimated. Now I think there's too much air down there. Nobody needs that much oxygen. Ick!

The chicken was, as always, the most excellent fast-food chicken you'll ever eat. But we were really glad to head back up into the mountains and back home. As the air got cooler and the temperature dropped, I felt more and more at comfortable. And when we finally did make it through the last 5 miles of one-lane interstate traffic to pop back into Northern Nevada, it felt wonderful to be home again.

* I'm going to Vegas with my BFFs for the weekend, so I've scheduled a couple of posts for while I'm gone. Have a lovely weekend, yall!*

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Attack of the boot

Sunday I was way too sunburned to ride again. I did go out and braid Dixie's mane. I wanted to see how they'd last overnight. If I go to Cooley Ranch - or any ride, for that matter - I'd like to braid her mane the day before we leave, when she's still sleepy and laid back and ho-hum about everything. One day ridecamp will be ho-hum, but it's not gonna be this year.

She's mad at Sassy, the bay in the background. How dare that wicked mare stand so close to Her Highness!

I even gave her a Bam-Bam topknot. She was skeptical.

I took the topknot out and left the poor thing to her own devices.

On Monday, my husband and I took Cersei up to a beautiful lake in the Sierras - I'll post pics from that tomorrow. Tuesday I went back and the braids were still in! They looked "slept in" and wouldn't have passed at any show, but the hair was contained and off of her neck. Woohoo!

Then I took Dixie and we did some deliberate conditioning work. We did trot sets up a not-too-steep and not-too-long section of hill. I let her pace downhill, and once she actually hit a fantastic running walk. After we finished the last set and were headed back towards home, a boot attacked! It sprang off her foot and rolled in front of us, clearly coming out of another dimension to attack her. Dixie startled, bucked!!, and tried to bolt off. I hollered and pulled her up, then hopped off and led her back to the boot. She let me strap it back on and stood at a rock for me to remount, but she was hot and spooky on the way home. Poor girl.

I kept meaning to deliberately cause a boot failure in a controlled situation, but I hadn't gotten around to it. I still need to strap one loosely around her pastern and lunge her - I bet that causes another buck!

* I'm going to Vegas with my BFFs for the weekend, so I've scheduled a couple of posts for while I'm gone. Have a lovely weekend, yall!*

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Suburban explorer

Hope everybody had a lovely Memorial Day weekend!

Saturday I had a Gillian's Island ride - what was supposed to be a short cruise ended up being twice as long. It was a beautiful sunny day, and I thought I'd take Cersei and go for a quick 5 mile ride down by the lake. I got Dixie to slog through the mud by the lakeshore for a bit, and her boots got totally covered in muck. They stayed on, but we bailed up to the levee pretty quickly - there's a lot of mosquitos by that lake. And I'm not saying that in the "I moved to Nevada and now I'm a wuss about mosquitos" way, I mean that in the "I'm from Memphis and damn, dude, there's a lot of mosquitos there!" way. Those mosquitos are slow moving critters, so if you stay at a trot you'll outrun them most of the time.

We did the usual quarter of the lakeshore, then crossed LV Rd and came back up a hardpacked 4 wheeler path that parallels the road. The footing was pretty terrible but Dixie managed to rack most of the way up to Nectar. There was a lady pulled off the road there, clearly waiting for us, so we rode on up to see who she was. Turns out it was D, a friend of a friend (friend of several unconnected friends, actually), and she realized that I must be me because I was all tacked up in mismatched endurance gear racking on a big spotty horse. There just aren't very many people who fit that description around here ;)

We talked for a bit, and she was like "oh you should come to my house and get the animals a drink of water; it's two blocks up the street; just follow me." I agreed! I'd even been by her house once, with ~C, and I vaguely knew what it looked like. So she drove off and we followed, and then she turned but I didn't quite see where she turned, and I spent the next 45 minutes wandering up and down the streets of the subdivision. It's not even a very big subdivision, so I'm pretty disgusted that I lost her like that. Sigh.

  • My horse is awesome. She was cool as a cucumber about the dogs, kids, other horses, loud peacock, and general aimless wandering.

  • My horse is kind of a tard and spooked hugely, twice, at cracks in the road. Cracks that looked to my untrained eye exactly like every other crack, but clearly contained a portal to hell or something. Full stop, arch neck, WHUFFFF noise, evil eye.
  • I'm kind of a tard and got really sunburned.
  • I never found D's house. All the houses started to really look the same after a while. I thought I had her phone number, but I have it somewhere in email, not saved to my phone. I even called ~C to ask her where D lived, but C was off in the boonies of Nevada and didn't answer.
Eventually, the dog and I got really hot so we gave up and headed back to Dixie's subdivision. Once I got on her street, I got kind of confused again - there were tons of trucks parked on the street! And trailers. And some dude riding an Andalusian stud down the street. And ... cows? Turns out the neighbors a block down were having some kind of backyard cow event - roping or cutting or something. It was surreal.