Sunday, August 29 2010
On Sunday the 22 of Aug I went to Yosemite and stayed overnight to hike Half Dome with my parents and sisters and some friends. We hiked on Monday and then drove home that night. Jeremy had too many horses to shoe so we sadly went without him. He has done the hike a few times already so it wasn't too horrible for him, although I am sure he would have loved to have gone.
We got back on Monday night around 11:45 pm and then I packed up my bag and got everything ready for my 10 am flight for Tuesday morning. When our tickets to fly were booked, we booked them round trip from the time trial in Illinois to CA and back. Originally I was going to go with Jeremy to Deborah Reich's house and then to home. Unfortunately her dogs got mange from the local fox and I had my ticket changed to go directly home as Merlin was traveling with us. Because of this, on our return trip Jeremy and I were on two separate flights at different times on different airlines from two different airports.
Tim drove Jeremy to San Francisco for a 7 am departure and my Mom drove me to San Jose for a 10 am departure. We meet up in Chicago and drove to Jan and Grace's house. It is about 2 and 1/2 hours from their house. We landed on the 24th and I have yet to see my baggage... it is the 29th today! Delta.
Our horses were great when we arrived with the exception of a sunburn on Smitty's nose. Poor guy, it was bright red and cracked. It looks a lot better now. Their weight was both good though and they were in good spirits.
Jeremy put shoes on their front feet and we took them out for a spin. They are in a great mood. It also cooled off a great deal since our last trip. It was dry and cool for the first few days. It is now hot and humid again, but at least it is cooler than before.
Jeremy and I now have seen the expression "make hay while the sun shines". Grace has been cutting hay and raking and baling all week. We helped unload about 6 wagons of hay (about 100 bales per wagon) and loaded them up the elevator into the barn. An elevator actually looks more like an escalator. It is a ramp/conveyor belt that has hook/pegs that grab the hay you set on it and it takes the hay up into the barn loft area were a second elevator takes it lengthwise back into the barn. You adjust where you want to hay to fall from the elevator and then you need people to take the falling hay and stack it. It is a very hot job and you get covered in hay, which them sticks to your sweaty body. We were sweaty but it could have been WAY hotter. We were lucky with the weather really. Another nice thing is that the bales are 2 string bales, unlike our 3 string bales I can actually lift one of these.
Joe and Michelle made their pond available to us to use and we have been swimming Smitty and Sam everyday. Smitty has been swimming a lot in his life, Sam has never done it until now. Sam watched Smitty in disbelief as he disappeared into the water. He even neighed to him several times. When it was Sam's turn he went in pretty easily and he was fine. If he had given us trouble we would have skipped it as we don't want to risk hurting him. Good thing he didn't know or he may have made a fuss to get out of the work!
Joe and Michelle have a lot of really nice horses too. They also raise and sell their horses. I don't know the web address but it is something like sporthorseconcepts.com? You can find them if you Google it I am sure.
On Thursday night we went to the town of New Diggins for Taco Thursday. You get two tacos for $1.50. A great deal. It is like a biker bar (actually there were two bikes parked in the road and you had to physically steer around them to not hit them) but they do not serve hard liquor. We had fun eating and hanging out. Ashley, who is a friend of Jan and Grace came with us as we had all just finished stacking hay. This place also makes an outrageous assortment of home made desserts. We had fun with that too.
Today Joe took us out on a fun ride through the community that he helps manage. It is a country club/ estate neighborhood. It has golf, tennis, boating, fishing and an equestrian center. It was pretty out on the trails. We went 14 miles in the heat.
There is a horse here named Kingley that I thought was cute. I was talking to Jan about him on our first trip out here. She had told me that his heart rates were REALLY low. Jeremy rode him and found out that they were. He had galloped up a climb on one of those extreme heat days and before he could get off the horse at the barn the heart rate monitor read 46. We were entertaining the idea of buying him. Then we thought that we had enough horses so I told a few people about him that I thought would like him.
Jerry Gellespie (SP? Sorry) was here to look at a horse for himself and I mentioned Kingley for Cheryl. He looked at the horse as I rode him alongside the one he was trying. After the ride Jerry took his potential horse's HR and it was 60. Just for fun I told him to take Kingley's. He listened and then stopped and shook his head and then took it again and then paused, thought about it and said, "God".
I was now wondering what he had heard. I asked him what it was and he said 28. Right then Jeremy was standing behind Kingley where I could see him and he was mouthing to me that we needed to buy this horse.
I called Skip and it was decided to buy Kingley Bay. No relation to Bey Shah. He is about 15.1, 9 years old, bay with a blaze and four socks. Very cute, he actually reminds me a lot of my first fast endurance horse, Tyler.
Jeremy and I went out for a ride on Kingley and Loki. I rode Kingley and Jeremy rode Loki who was Jan's other horse for the WEG this year. We were out on a dirt road riding when all of the sudden around the bend came a huge semi truck with a long flat bed came roaring around the bend. It had an over size load sign on the front of it. It was big and really loud. The truck was going about 50 MPH. There was no way for the driver to stop. We had no where to go. The shoulder was too tight for comfort but it was all that we had. Jeremy quickly put Loki into the bushes and I could see Loki getting really tight and stressed. It looked like he was going to lose it. I had enough room to fit between him and the truck so I decided to ask Kingley to keep trotting to avoid both horses from bouncing off each other and ending up under this truck. Kingley was amazing. He trotted by and didn't miss a beat. I could have touched the truck! As the back end of the truck flew by it bounced and he didn't even flinch!
All you out there ought to look into Jan and Grace's horses if you are in the market. There are a lot of choices and they are started right. This will be our second one from them and the first one (Sam) isn't too shabby:)
Last night we were having culture shock so we decided to head to town and see "people". Our first stop was Culvers. Culvers is an ice cream and burger joint that my Mom and sister Hannah had just been talking about during our Half Dome hike. We don't have them in CA, so we had to try it out. I had an Oreo ice cream sandwich while Jeremy had a mango smoothie.
We went to the movies and saw "Grown ups" with Adam Sandler. It was fun. During the preview there was an ad for Live UFC fighting later that same night at the theater (live in Boston, live stream to the theater). Jeremy is way into watching that. He was a wrestler and enjoys the watching the tactics and holds.
After the movie we went to Red Robbin and had burgers. Then went to a sporting goods store to get a one piece swimsuit as it is required for where the USA team will be swimming and I do not own one.
After killing enough time we went back to the theater for the UFC fight. It was 9 pm when it started and ended around 11:45. I watched a few fights and then flipped up the arm rests lay down and fell asleep and had Jeremy wake me up for the Randy Couture fight. After the main event we headed back to Jan and Graces. We got home around 1 am.
Tonight we go over to Michelle and Joe's for dinner. It should be really fun as we always have fun hanging out and talking with them.
So far so good. We head down for Kentucky on the 31st and arrive on the 1st. We will take Kingley down to KY with us and board him so we don't have to back track to pick him up.
I will keep you posted.
Oh, I almost forgot. Strut went to a three day ride in Oregon with Scott Sansom and did days 1 and 3. He won both! Great job.