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I don't think I've posted here all year!

Figured I should at least put some pictures from our South Dakota trip up. We went at the end of August and rode about 50 miles. First day we did about 8 miles from camp (Elk Haven Horse Camp was fabulous). The second day we rode out to Mt Rushmore and back which was amazing. It was about 25 miles round trip from camp for us with a decent amount of climbing. There's a cool place to tie your horses and you can walk over to the visitors center and get some ice cream. We packed lunches and at them at the picnic tables near the horse ties. We gave the horses a day off after that and then rode up to Black Elk Peak on our last day. That ride was around 15 miles of pure climbing with lots of technical trails. DH didn't feel well that day so he missed out but it was a fantastic ride. I hope we can go back next year because there was tons of other trails I wanted to try.

Been doing lots of riding at home as well and most of our usual endurance season. Chico's arthritis medicine (Adequan) has been working great and we've switched him to monthly shots. He's finished 5 LD's and 2 novices which I have been thrilled about. I rode Comet on day two of his first back to back LD last weekend which was very fun. I'm hoping to ride him more next year to give Josh a chance to work with some of the other horses.

Finally came up with my best guess at my mileage so far this year: 506.69
 

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Raven and I went to explore the 80 we were given permission to ride. Found a few nice 2 track trails. It was a very enjoyable ride and Raven was a very very good girl. She even made it past the cows twice- once on the way out and once on the way back.
10.53 miles. 3hrs,11min.
 

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Still playing a bit of catch up, but I have gotten some saddle time between potatoes. The whole story is in my journal.

Phin:
Cloud Plant Sky Ecoregion Leg

Plant Plant community Ecoregion People in nature Sky


George:
Horse Sky Cloud Plant People in nature

Cloud Horse Sky Plant Plant community


Amish:
Water Plant Water resources Plant community Working animal


2021 mileage
8/30phin1.01 miles82 ft climb3.1 mph90F1199.56 total miles
8/31george3.14 miles249 ft climb3.7 mph92F1202.70 total miles
9/2george12.38 miles1726 ft climb4.6 mph73F1215.08 total miles
9/3amish8.38 miles1270 ft climb4.2 mph71F1223.46 total miles
9/3phin1.02 miles72 ft climb3.0 mph72F1224.48 total miles
9/4george6.15 miles830 ft climb4.3 mph74F1230.63 total miles
 

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Hunting season is ramping up so we are definitely all orange all the time 😉
Horse Plant Working animal Horse tack Halter

Our best riding of the year is here-cool temps, sunny days, crazy blue skies, and leaves falling. I love the fall!! We did 9 miles this morning. A little bit of everything: snowmobile trails, roads, and hay fields.
Horse Plant Working animal Horse tack Bridle


Plant Working animal Tree Sky Fawn

We had a really bad hay season because early/mid summer were so wet, but some people are trying to get a final cut in right now with some success. This field usually only gives one cut, which was done a couple of weeks ago, so we can ride through it now. Pretty views!

Sky Plant Ecoregion Vertebrate Working animal

Total 2021 miles: 371.2
 

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Great pics all! And sounds like good rides!

Went camping this weekend to a place pretty close so no long drive. It was warm but not bad in the woods. The one woman that had her first camp out on the last awful one came back to this one yay. At least now she knows that it can be a blast. She said let’s just say that was a trial run and don’t count it! I’ll take it.

She said these were the most difficult trails she’d ever been on, she was dressage for most of her life… she asked me on 1 to 10 with 10 being the most difficult what would I rank these at…. I said about 6 maybe 7…. she said what would be harder…. I said add water to the situation… where we were able to step down slowly if those trails were wet that goes out the window…. the horse would be sliding…. had nice meals and tons of fun! A little pic heavy!

There was a point where the military was doing hovers over the campground?? Seemed a little odd… and a snake climbing a tree! One of my friends turned around to say something she said look at that snake! Yikes And my first use of the booma rein!

Cloud Sky Atmosphere Cumulus Aircraft



Olaf chilling at camp, there were 6 of us with 4 rigs.
Plant Wheel Tire Vehicle Motor vehicle

Plant Natural landscape Wood Terrestrial plant Twig

Rainbow Sky Cloud Ecoregion Plant
Water octopus Ducks, geese and swans Waterfowl Cephalopod
 

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We are also now dressing in orange. I even make the dog wear her orange coat when she goes out. Hunting is a major pastime here in the UP and right now it is "small game season" and bear season. I'm not used to all this hunting (in Ohio we rode mostly in the Cleveland Metro Parks! no hunting there, lol) and it makes me a bit nervous. I've been sticking to the dirt roads quite a bit, but this week is Michigan Trails Week Challenge. (yes, another challenge-gets me off my computer and into the saddle) so the idea is to ride trails on public lands. I plan to take the trailer out to a few new places.

Yesterday was an absolutely beautiful morning for Tucker and I to ride. We are just starting to see a bit of fall color. I planned to do some more exploring but the adventure I had in mind involved some riding on a "real" paved road and I chickened out. I decided I'm not quite ready to solo on pavement with traffic Plant Horse Sky Ecoregion Leaf Horse Plant Plant community Tree Green Horse Plant Ecoregion Tree Working animal just yet. We still managed to get 8.78 miles - 2 hours, 38minutes. Tucker was a very good boy.
 

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I have been riding but not as much as I would like. Not because we are so busy mowing. NW IL is in a drought. No significant rain in weeks. Just life. I started a new job in April when my company was purchased by another. To say the transition has been hard would be an understatement. The new company officially hired me on and I am transitioning to my new role. That has been a major adjustment and the 10-11 hour days have wore me down. I went on my first overnight camping trip in many years. My husband and daughter told me not to go. Miss Tillie is not great about eating away from home. She is a picky eater on her best day and more picky at the trailer. She will stand at the trailer all day with a hay bag full to the brim of the best alfalfa hay and pick at it. I talked to my vet and got some banamine to take in case she colic'd but by horse surprised me and my friends. She ate like a champ and stood on the high line like she does it all of the time! I was so pleasantly surprised. We rode a little over 7 miles the first day and had most of the trails to ourselves (it was a Friday) there were some hiccups on the high line after we had gone to bed. My friends mare was just kicking the you know what out of the gelding tied in the middle. I think she was just tired of another horse being so close to her all of the time. We tied her to the trailer and Tillie and Cooper got left on the tie line and did great the rest of the night. I heard a bob cat at about 3:45 and got up to check the horses and Tillie was laying down and resting. I would have lost a bet on that one! She was just great! We got up the next day ate breakfast and tore down a little of camp and then went for a ride. We rode about 12 miles. It was hot and humid and honestly at the end of the ride I was ready to go home. Met an aggressive dog on the trail with handlers that were just not sure what to do when their dog lunged and snapped at the horses. We kept asking them to just get off of the side of the trail so we could pass and they didn't want to because they were wearing shorts and it was weedy and brushy off the trail. Their dog is lunging at us and you can hear his teeth snap together. they finally pulled the dog off the trail and we scooted by. Got back to camp and got everything else packet up and headed home - After 2 days of riding and a 2/12 hour trailer ride home (we trailer pooled) friends horse did not want to back off of the trailer. She backs off all of the time so we weren't sure if she was just really tired and did not trust her legs or what the issue was. After half hour we collapsed the back tack area and turned her around to get off. This weekend was another weekend in the low 90-s - horrible. Its hot and humid but it never rains. We are supposed to be a high of 80 but Mother Nature is trying to bake us. I rode with another friend yesterday and had a great time. It smelled like fall but there will be no color this year because of the drought
 

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I liked your post @carshon, but wish the weather was cooperating more. Also wish we could send some of our rain elsewhere- forecast says it will start raining here Wednesday and not really let up until the weekend. It's been like that most of the summer.

I can empathize on the job situation too- I feel lucky to have landed in a new role I think I'm going to like, but the transition is intense!
 

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@lb27312 we met some people at the top of Black Elk Peak that were at Broken Arrow. That sounds like a nice place too! PS Love my Booma Rein!

@carshon love when they surprise you in a good way!

We just rode the 6 mile loop on Saturday with Dixie and Chico. We had a really good time, we were trying to ride Dixie with Stitch and it wasn't going well but her and Chico get along great. Chico even led the whole ride which is rare for him these days. Planned to go out Sunday but realized we were probably going to have our dog put down today (she has lymphoma and isn't doing well) so we spent the day with her instead.
 

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@weeedlady , can you tell more about Michigan Trails Week Challenge? Are you riding a different horse for each challenge? Do you get a T shirt for the Michigan one? Or just a congratulatory e-mail? How is it different from the Tevis? Where are you on the Tevis? Still enjoying it? I am!
 

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@QueenofFrance08 so sorry about your dog.

@knightrider I don't know a whole lot about the Michigan Trails Challenge. Most important was that it is free. It uses the same platform to report miles as the virtual Tevis. The idea is simply to make use of all of our many public lands here in Michigan. ATV, ORV, walk, ride, bike. State Forests and Park, Federal lands, County, Township, any public land. No promise of a Tshirt but it did say you can win fun prizes!!!

Raven and I are still doing the Tevis thing also. Today is grocery day so I planned on just a quick jaunt to the end of the road and back this morning. BUT we were both having too much fun. Our ride turned in to almost 3 hours of exploring in the state forest. 8.69 Miles for both the Tevis and the Michigan Trails Challenge :)
 

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Getting in a lot of saddle time beautiful weather cool an sunny. Yesterday's ride was only 8 miles did more walking so my horse didn't get so sweaty. Ice doesn't walk slow, he walks as fast as he can without actually breaking into a trot.

Tuesday we did 20 miles lots of long trotting and cantering. Monday was a day off stormed all day torrential rain windy and lots of lighting. So horses were in barn from 3:30 am when first storm came through.

Got 4 inch's of rain swamps that had very little water have lots more now. Huge puddles on trail some knee deep on horses. Haven't had that all summer been dry an dusty. Fire danger is on low first time all year. Been on high or extreme all summer.

Best riding weather now high 60s low 70s. After that rain it did seem to bring out more flies, so having to fly spray horses.

Now for pictures from last two days of riding. Last two pictures are from yesterday s ride only took two pics .
Plant Sky Plant community Horse Cloud
Plant Plant community Water Natural landscape Twig
Plant Sky Horse Tree Working animal
Plant Horse Leaf Working animal Road surface
Horse Working animal Wood Grass Road surface
 
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