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Raven and I did some more exploring in the State Forest at the end of our road. We road 8.75 miles. There are trails and trails and more trails. It will take a long time for this area to get old. I can't believe I am lucky enough to be able to ride my horse just 2 short miles down the road and be in the middle of this:
 

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I started a new job recently, so have to be a bit of a weekend warrior for now. Oh well, the job pays for the ponies, so what can you do? Fortunately, the weekend weather has been very cooperative and it was beautiful for riding. You can just start to see some of the foliage popping out.

Saturday
Horse Plant Eye Sky Tree


Plant Ecoregion Light People in nature Leaf


Plant Sky Natural environment People in nature Working animal


Sky Natural landscape People in nature Branch Twig


Sunday
This morning we met up with our regular riding buddy and headed out to the snowmobile trails. No one seemed to be around this weekend so we didn't see anyone else on any kind of vehicle. Some parts of the trail really look like fall:
Horse Plant Tree Working animal Mammal

Plant Cloud Sky Tree Horse

We ended the ride going back through the "neighborhood" to get to our road and head home.
Sky Plant Horse Cloud Window

Cloud Sky Plant Mountain Green


11.5 miles this weekend, bringing the total 2021 mileage to 384.6
 

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Finished the Tevis Challenge. Currently, I rank 117, completing in 30 something hours. Doing the Tevis was very fun, and the others who participated and shared made it more fun for me.

Also, yesterday I took Windy out solo for an hour and a half. I rode on trails where I do not have permission to ride. I am fighting a cold, feeling kind of unsteady and not strong. I thought I could still manage rambunctious Windy, and I did. In fact, she wasn't rambunctious at all. She was quite grand. The last time I took her on that forbidden trail solo, she was lovely, so I thought I'd try it again, since I needed something non-challenging. Too bad I can only ride those trails extremely infrequently. They are so beautiful.

The actual people who own the land do not mind when they see me on the trails. It's the deer hunters who lease permission to hunt that complain and threaten. I never ride there during hunting season. My horse doesn't cause the deer to leave. I think deer hunters just have no clue about horses and riders. They think a horse and rider scare the deer. We don't scare the deer. Horses don't seem to bother deer. Oh well. At least I can sneak on there from time to time. Sure are lovely trails, and Windy thinks so too!
 

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@knightrider - Yay on finishing the Tevis! But sorry you’re under the weather….

I rode on Saturday, I rode Captain while a friend rode Chal. I’m going to eventually get Captain out by hisself but I think this helps as well with all the ponying. He was good, friends are surprised he’s so quiet. There were a lot of riders out on Saturday so he was a little “who do I follow” when a big group went by…. now I’m chillin at the beach… I’m truly blessed! Though I had to replace my truck batteries as they were dying but thankfully got me out on trails. Also Captain is much smaller than the other 2 I kept wondering where the rest of the neck was! lol

Sky Horse Tire Wheel Vertebrate
Plant Plant community Tree Wood People in nature
 

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Tucker and I celebrated the last day of the Michigan Trails Challenge with a 10 mile solo ride in the Hiawatha National Forest. Tucker has never been on this trail and yet he went forward bravely and happily. Nothing seemed to bother him yesterday, even the man with a canoe on top of his car - Tucker's never seen anything like that before! Might have helped that the man told us we were both pretty! lol. Plant Green Tree Natural landscape People in nature Plant Botany Terrestrial plant Wood Trunk Plant Ecoregion Tree Natural landscape Wood Cloud Sky Water Natural landscape Coastal and oceanic landforms
 

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I have a schedule for my housework, otherwise it never gets done. Today was bathroom cleaning day- but it did not get done. Who wants to scrub toilets on a sunny, 70 degree day in September?
Raven and I did 10.77 miles, exploring yet another new trail in the state forest land near us.
First pic is what I found after running back to the house to get my phone, lol. Silly girl.
 

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I was able to get out to ride every day this weekend, and we did around 15 miles. The weather on Friday was the most cooperative, with stunning blue skies. Unfortunately it's not shaping up to be a great foliage year because of the wet summer, but I'm loving the cooler temps and disappearance of the flies!
Plant Horse Eye Leaf Working animal

Saturday we saw a lot of wildlife on our ride- a bobcat ran across the trail right in front of us, and a curious beaver splashed around the pond watching my horse graze for a few minutes.
Sky Plant Cloud Horse Tree

Sunday we did a longer (9 mile) ride with our friend and stayed on a nice loop through the woods. Unfortunately we got caught in a downpour for awhile, but we were able to tuck into some trees to avoid getting soaked all the way through, and the rain eventually lightened up.
Plant Ecoregion Hat Working animal Horse


Horse Plant Tree Working animal Road surface

It's been a banner year for apples, and the horses sniff them out like truffle hounds. This one seemed to be particularly tart though! 🤣
Dog Dog breed Working animal Carnivore Tree

Total 2021 miles: 398.3
 

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Love that tart apple pic @egrogan so cute.

Raven and I trailered with a friend to a not too far away trail to finish our Virtual Tevis Challenge yesterday. Yay! We are having a very colorful fall-peak color is supposed to be later this week I think. Some of the views just take your breath away. My phone camera does not do it justice. 11.76 miles yesterday.
 

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Have a day off from potatoes, so playing some catch up! The whole story is in my journal.

I have been getting Phin out for his bareback rehab walks twice weekly. He is doing so well I stopped using the hack and am just riding in his rope halter!
Horse Cloud Sky Plant Horse tack

Cloud Hand Plant Sky Leg

Tire Wheel Sky Cloud Plant


George has gotten some saddle time, too:
Plant Plant community Green Tree Natural landscape

Sky Cloud Plant Plant community Mountain

Cloud Plant Sky Horse People in nature


And I got Amish out once:
Plant Horse People in nature Tree Natural environment


2021 mileage
9/6phin1.08 miles52 ft climb3.0 mph82F1231.71 total miles
9/7george2.04 miles217 ft climb3.8 mph93F1233.75 total miles
9/8george6.63 miles879 ft climb5.3 mph94F1240.38 total miles
9/9amish4.73 miles607 ft climb4.6 mph83F1245.11 total miles
9/10phin1.01 miles82 ft climb3.0 mph66F1246.12 total miles
9/10george3.06 miles269 ft climb4.1 mph78F1249.18 total miles
9/14phin1.03 miles59 ft climb2.9 mph99F1250.21 total miles
 

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A bit more catch up. The whole story is in my journal.

Phin:
Plant Horse Tree Green Working animal

Sky Plant People in nature Natural landscape Sunlight


George:
Wheel Tire Sky Cloud Vehicle

Cloud Sky Plant Horse Ecoregion


Amish:
Plant Plant community Dog Ecoregion People in nature


2021 mileage
9/17phin1.00 miles59 ft climb2.9 mph75F1251.21 total miles
9/17george5.82 miles 699 ft climb5.3 mph79F1257.03 total miles
9/17amish9.54 miles1375 ft climb3.9 mph81F1266.57 total miles
9/18george7.43 miles925 ft climb4.2 mph73F1274.00 total miles
9/19phin1.01 miles52 ft climb3.1 mph70F1275.01 total miles
 

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Very fun exciting ride on Chorro yesterday. My neighbor and I were just riding along quietly, like we usually do, when we heard the guys working the hunting dogs. Since it is very kind of them to allow us to ride on their land, we try to stay out of the way. We started doing a slow corto and running walk to move along away from them.

Chorro knows very well what those haunting calls and whistles mean. He thought it was FIELD TRIAL TIME! Instead of getting away from them, they were gaining on us. I let Chorro out a couple of notches, and he ratcheted up to a largo. And then he just took off flying in the smoothest, most thrilling largo you can imagine. We were sailing like we were on water skis. My neighbor's spotted saddle horse was keeping up with us too, and she normally gets rough when she gets fast. But not this time. Chorro never is rough--fast, slow, or in the middle, he has a GAIT. We tore through those woods, gaiting a mile a minute. It was so fun. I'm usually pretty laid back on trail rides, just like to chill, but that was really a thrill.
 
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