Saturday, November 26 2011
Today we attended our first ride of the season, although we weren't riding. Ceci and Jason rode and we were there supporting. It was a local 2 day ride, today being day 1. There were 32 starters on the 50 and 29 finishers. It was the Gallop on The Greenway ride. Jason came in 3rd and Ceci (who was doing the last FEI qualifying ride on the horse she was on, so she needed to take longer than 5 hours) came in 6th. It was nice weather and looked like everyone was having a good time.
Out West our young horse Envol did day 1 of the Desert Gold ride with our friend Lori Oleson. They did well and completed easily.
On day 2 of Desert Gold our good friend and client, Carol Kraft Edwards tied for 1st on her horse Elvis! Super cool! Congratulations to Carol & Elvis, with many more to come for them!
Tonight Jeremy and I got a flavor of hometown Dunnellon. We went to check out a local hang out restaurant that we had spotted last week. In driving down there we took a detour when we saw a street fair going on. It was a Christmas theme street fare with an ice hill for kids to sled on, Carriage rides, Christmas Caroling, crafts and funnel cakes. Pretty cool little gig, proud to be a Dunnelleon.
We made it to the destination after that. It is a place called the Blue Gator. A very cool out door tiki bar style restaurant/ bar. There is live music every Friday- Sunday. Jeremy and I sat right down listened to the music and watched a local football game that was on the flat screen behind the musician. We ate alligator tail, nuggets (like chicken nuggets only better) and sweet potato fries. It was super fun. The restaurant is below the main road thru town and on the edge of the river. The owners of the place also give airboat tours and singing river tours. I liked the place.
Well, I am off to bed as I will be crewing for some new friends that we have met since moving here. If you haven't seen, I have added a video tour of the Florida place in the video section of this site.
Monday, November 14 2011
We made it to Florida! Hurray! We left California on Thursday the 3rd at noon and made it to our property on Sunday the 6th at 6pm. We brought 4 horses with us, Kutt, Tiran, Fuego and Marvel. Stirgess will be joining us around the 22nd.
There is so much to do and it is hard to decide where to begin. We have been unpacking, buying furniture, buying ranch equipment, setting up basic things like garbage, mail, propane and internet.
Most importantly we have scouted (after A LOT of scouting) a trail to get from our house to the park. We made a path through a cross country section and flagged it so we can keep going the same route. The park is so massive it is awesome. The park is the Goethe National Forest. I don't know how many miles of trail there are but it is a lot.
We have met our neighbors and have been out riding with them. We also have been out finding the best places to buy things and where not to shop. There are plenty of places to get horse supplies and feed. Almost too many places if you don't know what you're looking for. The locals have helped us with what places to avoid and which are good. Today we found the best one yet, it is a place that sells a lot to the race track population so the variety is great and the prices are right.
Our horses have been happy on our ten acres of grass and pine trees. We also have some cactus in our pasture. Luckily we haven't encountered any crazy things like alligators or boa constrictors. The worst thing we have had to deal with was a wasp nest beneath our house. The last of the tough ones are showing up in our house near death. They should be gone within a few more days.
We have been having to shower in our living quarters. That should change on Wed when the propane gets here. Oh the joys of moving into a new place. At least we have the trailer.
The footing here is the best. Our horses are all entirely barefoot with no hoof protection. The sandy footing makes being barefoot fun.
Yesterday we went on a 9 mile gallop with some friends and then had a picnic afterward chatting the afternoon away. It was fun.
The scenery is beautiful here. In the park there are lots of giant Oaks covered with Spanish moss. When the sun shines through it, it is incredible. Florida has a surprising amount of trees and forest. There are palm type varieties as well as pine and oak. Yesterday I wished I had my camera. On our ride there was a truck following us with a man sitting on top of the cab holding a gun. Yes, a gun. We aren't in CA anymore and it's huntin' season here. We did see a dead pig on the roof of another truck.
Today it was 80 degrees out. Oh darn. It feels like we aren't getting enough done as there is so much to do. Maybe tomorrow we will get further:)
Our first race here will be on the 26th. Hope all is well with you.