Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider

Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider
Click on Logo (Original artwork by Lanie Frick for Messick Quarter Horses. Not permitted to be copied)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Turkey Creek Trail Ride

August 27-29, 2010

Turkey Creek is just a wonderful place to ride. Lots of hills. Long, sloping up and down hills with great scenery and lots of trees! Well marked trails. Some go higher and further and is was great to have Brenda, the owner, as a guide.

There is always great food and friends to ride with. Gretchen, from Georgia, came back to Nebraska for her yearly visit. She left to work at a horse camp that specializes in handicap riders, as well as youth camps in the summer and riding lessons for adults and youth year round. Gretchen loves to cook in a Dutch oven over a campfire. We had 3 fantastic meals, and leftovers for 2 other meals. Creamed potatoes and ham casserole with homemade bread. Chicken and vegetable stir fry and cherry German chocolate cake. Egg and sausage casserole. Apple crisp. Just delicious.

Gretchen stayed with me the evening before. She had already shopped and we repacked her groceries into 2 coolers and my small trailer fridge. I had the trailer ready to go with hay, grain, extra drinking water for the trail rides, and my clothes. I could outfit a family for the weekend with all the clothes that I take, but hey, I have the room so I take extra.

Friday morning, after feeding the dogs and cats, we loaded the horses. Savannah went right in with little resistance. Maybe she was on good behavior because she had Dixie ready to load right behind her. Dixie loaded and the 2 horses were ready to go.

We had a 3 hour trip. We headed north towards Sioux City, taking a short rest room break as well as to fill up with gas. We drove northwest, driving through Newcastle, and arrived at the campground.

We were there before noon and we were the first to arrive. We unloaded horses and put them into pens. We decided to eat our sandwiches and relax a moment before picking a spot to park. We thought we would wait on Tammy to show up to decide where she wanted people. In the meantime, John and Brenda came and she showed us what area she wanted our group to be in. I backed the trailer into the spot closest to the new pavilion.

Isn’t it just wonderful?

Gretchen and I decided to take a short ride while we were waiting on Tammy. We were just leaving camp when she pulled in, but told us to go for a ride while she unloaded her horse and got her trailer parked. Gretchen only had about 2 hours to ride as she needed to be back to start the campfire and to begin preparation for the first meal. Gretchen and I rode the beginning of a lot of the trails. Not knowing how far each trail went, we turned off to stay close to camp. One of the trails was called Whitetail and we kicked out a deer. Another trail was perfectly named as Prairie Ridge, and we came out onto a field of shoulder high native prairie grass. I could imagine what the settlers felt when they saw a field like that. We had perfect weather Friday afternoon. Mid 80’s and a breeze to keep the flies off our horses.

We rode back to camp and Brenda and Tammy were getting ready to ride out for a short ride. Since Gretchen said it would take her a little while to get the fire going, and to start to prepare the first dish, she wanted us to ride again. We waited while Gretchen unsaddled Dixie. I told her to let the saddle sit by the trailer, and I would care for her tack and Dixie when I get back. We rode another 2 hours, I think, and had perfect views of the area around us.

Our group arrived after we got back, and throughout dinner time. The first evening, every one was tired of traveling and getting horses settled, and we were all in bed early. We wanted to eat at 8 the next morning and start our ride at 9, but that would mean that Gretchen would have to get up at 5:30 to start the fire. We pushed everything ahead another hour. Who wants to get up that early on the weekend? 6:30 was early, but when I went out at 7 to feed horses, almost everyone else was up. We ate, we rode, we ate, we rode. You can see how our weekend went!

We rode Saturday morning from 10 - 1. There were 2 other groups of riders, and Brenda led the trail ride, taking us places that we normally could not ride. We saw so many wonderful views of the hills and lower areas. Just breathtaking and very green this year! We have had a very wet summer and it showed in all the green around us. We rode out again at 4 and rode until 6, riding the hill tops.

Most of us were done riding so that we could help Gretchen prepare and chop up meat and veggies. We had that delicious German Chocolate Cherry cake for supper and no one was ready to move. We enjoyed our beverage of choice and I also brought out a bottle of Merlot to share. What a relaxing way to end the day, sitting back on soft chairs, chatting with friends, and sipping wine.

Sunday morning, I fried the leftover potatoes and some sausage links. Sandy cooked scramble eggs. We rode out again at 10 and rode to around 1 again. This time, we rode to the river. Beautiful. To the north was the South Dakota border.

I needed to head home, so I started breaking camp, unplugging the electric cord, putting the trailer living space in order, packing up horse buckets, and cleaning out pens again. I usually have my trailer picked up early the day that I leave, but with cooking breakfast, it took my free time to clean fry pans. I did have all the dishes put away before the ride started so that saved me some time, as well as having the 2 food coolers packed into the trailer. The little stuff takes so long, doesn’t it?

Savannah loaded just perfect, and Dixie hopped into the trailer before I even had Savannah tied off. Dixie is a good girl. I said my goodbyes, and thanked Brenda for the wonderful trail ride.

3 hours later, at 5pm, I pulled into home. Once again, temps had reached 91 at home and humidity was high. Hubby helped me to carry in coolers, dirty clothes, food out of the fridge, and misc items, like my laptop that I didn’t use. Oh well. I just didn’t get my early mornings to type like I usually do on trips. But I used the camera a lot!

And my friend Tammy from has me hooked on using a GPS. My new GPS is the wrist type, and now we can see our paths that we rode when we plug into the computer. How much fun is that?

As always, I was tired this morning, but had to get ready for a training horse to come in. I am really enjoying my trail riding time with Savannah. She only had a few goosey moments and jumps, but they are getting less frequent, and with less intensity. My first CTR is in a little more than 2 weeks, so I hope she is on her way to becoming conditioned for that.

Come ride a trail with me sometime! I can’t wait until the next ride!


Tammy said...

Are you riding the Brushy Creek CTR? We have a wedding that weekend, so I couldn't go. But then not sure I really want to do any this year. Seems to have been a weird year for me - hate to tempt fates any further...

Nice pics from TC.

Horses Are Our Lives said...

yes, I am doing the CTR at Stephens Forest Sept 18, then at Kanopolis in Oct. That's all I can make this year. Last year, I was able to do 6! I think CGW will be good for you! Maybe once the weather cools down, we can start Friday afternoon rides!

Sarah said...

that does look like a beautiful place to ride! and a beautiful day for it too!

Horses Are Our Lives said...

thanks, Sarah!

gretchen said...

love your blog! it was such a fun trip and i'm so glad you got to come this year! thanks for letting me ride your horse and bunk in your trailer! We will do it again!!!!!


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