Thursday, May 29, 2008

Fort Schellbourne

I am leaving on Saturday to go to Fort Schellbourne, NV for a 5 day, 250 mile endurance ride with Feather. This is quite possibly the coolest thing I have ever done with a horse before. I am so excited. I am making all of my preparations right now.... Can't wait. My goal is to do all 5 days, but just going there I'll be thrilled. I won't have cell phone or email for at least a week, so I apologise ahead of time if I don't get back to you quickly.

Fort Schellbourne

I am leaving on Saturday to go to Fort Schellbourne, NV for a 5 day, 250 mile endurance ride with Feather. This is quite possibly the coolest thing I have ever done with a horse before. I am so excited. I am making all of my preparations right now.... Can't wait. My goal is to do all 5 days, but just going there I'll be thrilled. I won't have cell phone or email for at least a week, so I apologise ahead of time if I don't get back to you quickly.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Wet Wild West

Princess and I had a successful ride outside of Nevada City this weekend. We rode 30 miles on Friday throughout the Tahoe National Forest. My friend Donna and her horse Venita joined us. The weather was mild, with a couple of drops of rain in the afternoon. Princess did so well, she ate and drank much better than at American River. She likes to go fast and has a very nice ground covering trot and likes to do little sprints of canter/gallop, especially uphill. She is a very strong 22 year old. I am so proud of her. We wanted to do all 3 days of Wild West, but a big rain storm came through in the middle of the night and was supposed to stay all weekend. In the morning, the place was wet, Princess was shivering, and the trails were slippery. We decided to go home and wait for another ride. We were only an hour from home, so that was an easy decision. I was impressed with how many people actually rode, including my friend Rachel Neppl. Rachel invided me and Feather to join her on the Bryce Canyon Ride later in the summer. I can't wait. And it turns out I may be going to Fort Shellbourne after all. I think I found a ride with a neighbor. We can share gas.

Extreme Mustang Makeover Update

I have my wild horse - she is about 10 months old, liver chestnut with a white blaze and 2 hind socks. She is a right brain extrovert. Very curious, but also cautious. I have had her for one week, and she is currently following me around the round pen, eating hay out of my hand, and I can rub her neck and her withers and face with a carrot stick. I have spent the night out with her a couple times, and she lays down right next to me at night. That is so special. I have named her Lucy Sky Diamond, and call her Lucy. She has a beautiful white diamond like marking on her face. She has gorgeous movement and looks like an athlete. She spent the majority of her life in the wild outside of Ely, NV and was gathered in December.

So I took Britt Porter with me to help me pick her up, and she was so excited, that she signed up for the Mustang Makeover too. Her baby is a bay with 4 white socks and a blue eye. She shows signs of either roaning or greying out. Her baby was born in captivity and has come along very quickly. They are haltering her and leading her already. Amazing!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Wild West

Princess and I are off to the Wild West ride the weekend at the Skillman Campground outside of Nevada City. We are planning to do 2 days, a 30 and a 35. I foamed on Easyboots all 4 hooves. Looks like a good foam job. Rain is expected, so I am taking rain gear. This is great news! Keep down the dust. The EDEFT fun ride is on Sunday, and Logan would like to go, so I am going to head home Saturday night to do the fun ride with him on Sunday at Dru Barner.

Friday, May 16, 2008

A Letter To My Clients...

Dear Clients,

I love taking care of horse’s hooves and seeing my clients have success with their barefoot horses in different venues. For years, I have stayed injury free and haven’t had any physical limitations to helping you with your horse’s hooves. However, I recently received a whiplash type injury that I have been very slow to recover from and with a full client load, I have been unable to set aside time to heal. I believe everything happens for a reason, and I think I have to cut back on my work load. I am really sorry, I love each of you dearly and I hate to do this, but I want to continue trimming for years, and I am afraid at my current workload, I will not be able to. Because of my injuries, I cannot trim more than six horses a day, no draft horses, and no miniature horses. I am sorry.
Ideally, I should cut back on the over all number of horses that I trim. I cannot decide who – I love you all - so I am letting you, the clients, decide. I am going to raise my prices starting June 1. The prices will be as follows:
Maintenance Trim (Under 6 weeks or longer with client trimming) - $70
Overdue Trim (7 week plus without client trimming) - $85
New horse initial trim - $100 – includes shoe removal and boot fitting
Thanks to the price of gas, I also need to charge a travel fee. The schedule is as follows:
Cool/Pilot Hill/Greenwood/Georgetown – No Charge!!
Cool Staging Area/ Cronin Ranch – No Charge!!
Coloma/Kelsey/Auburn Area - $10 per location
Placerville North of 50 - $15 per location
Placerville South of 50 - $25 per location
Loomis/Applegate - $25 per location\
These charges apply to horses in a specific location, so the more horses in one location, you can divide the travel charge up to lower the per horse charge. If I trim in a neighborhood where everyone is close, like Arrowbee or Luneman, then I will split the charge between neighbors. Also, feel free to trailer your horse to Cool or Cronin for me to trim there if you would like to avoid the trip charge and get a trail ride in as well.
I will be offering training clinics to help my clients learn how to trim in between my visits. Someone must trim every 3 to 4 weeks with a rasp – I can tell this the way a dentist can tell if you have flossed. That should empower to you learn more about your horse’s hooves while lowering the affect of my price increase on your budget. If you are interested in this, the pre-requisite reading is: Making Natural Hoof Care Work for You by Pete Ramey. Also, his DVD set is outstanding and can be purchased at . Totally worth the money if you are serious about maintaining your horse’s hooves. Please let me know if you are interested. For tools, purchase a new rasp with a rasp handle, a loop knife or hoof knife, gloves, and a hoof jack. You should not need nippers if you trim every 3 weeks or so.
The month of July will be a recuperating month for me, so please take this opportunity to practice trimming on your horse, or make other arrangements for hoof care. In July, I will not be trimming, but I will be riding the Pacific Crest Trail and the Tahoe Rim Trail. I am also in the Extreme Mustang Makeover and will be working with a wild horse. I am offering coaching sessions for horses and their owners and I am now taking in horses for starting and trail training.
I would love to be able to refer someone to you for trimming, but I cannot. You have quite a bit of knowledge yourself from listening to me trim, the reading you have done on your own, and the questions you ask, and I have faith that you will be able to care for your horses hooves in between my visits.
Warmest Regards,

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Extreme Mustang Makeover

I am in the Extreme Mustang Makeover - Yearlings for the Wild Horse and Burro Show in Reno in August. I am so excited. I pick up my yearling this weekend. He will be wild, so I get to gentle him and start him on ground work. In August, I will compete with him in a trail course in hand and then he will go up for adoption. This will be a fun project for me. I can't wait to see him. We are busy getting the round pen all set up for him. He will have to pivot and backup and go into the trail and walk over poles. That sounds like fun! I'll post photos when he arrives.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Nevada Point Trail - Sunday, 11th

Name: Nevada Point Trail
Footing: dirt, leaf covered, with rocks supporting trail
Hoof Protection: Boots suggested
Condition: narrow, overgrown, strong wall of rocks supporting edge of trail in most sections, switchbacks are gorgeous - some of the nicest I have seen, nothing death-defying, passable via hiking and horseback
Grade: steep canyon - 2000 f00t decent in 3 miles, continuous.
How to Access: In Volcanoville, Donaldson Staging Area to Rubicon Trail to Nevada Point Trail
Number of visitors: A handful every year

Notes: 2 Bridges at the boot - one over Pilot Creek and one over Rubicon. THe one over Rubicon is washed out from the Hell Hole Dam collapse in '92. The one over the mouth of Pilot Creek is easily passable via horse back. There is a good grazing spot and a place to get water for your horse in the Rubicon River by the second washed out bridge. Lots of granite and boulders at the boot. Very old historic mining trail that continues on the other side of the Rubicon River. It would be fantastic to get a good ford crossing in the river for the horses to get across. The ride from Donaldson to the bottom is only about 4.5 miles, but tough. Great Tevis training for canyon practice. I hand walked my horse down, then tailed up about 1/2 of the way, then rode the rest of the way.

Recommended for a horse in good condition with hoof protection used to canyon riding.


Roanoake Trail - Friday, the 9th

A very historic mining route - this took miners over to Foresthill via Ford's Bar at the American River. This trail connects to the Western States Trail -Cal 2 area - on the other side of the River.
Name: Roanoake Trail
Footing: dirt, leaf covered, with boulders
Hoof Protection: Barefoot okay
Condition: narrow, overgrown, not much rock work to support the trail, switchbacks (10 of them) need some attention, nothing death-defying, passable via hiking and horseback
Grade: steepest canyon I have ever been on - 2000 f00t decent in 1.75 miles
How to Access: From Dru Barner, Bottlehill Road by shooting galary or steel desk
Number of visitors: A handful every year
Notes: Gorgeous beach and grass for your horse once you get down to the bottom. Otter Creek's connection with the American River is right there. If you cross Otter Creek, you can get to the other side of Ford's Bar and let the horse's graze and roll in the sand. There is a crystal mine on the trail and I picked a a gorgeous piece of quartz. Great Tevis training for canyon practice. I hand walked my horse down, then tailed up about 1/3 of the way, then rode the rest of the way.

Recommended for a horse in great condition, very strong on canyons and is sure-footed.


Saturday, May 10, 2008

New Clients

I am currently only taking new clients that are in the Cool, Pilot Hill, Greenwood, and Georgetown areas.... trying to eventually only work on the Georgetown Divide. Save fuel.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

July Off

I am taking the month of July off to recover physically, travel, and ride my horse on the Tahoe Rim Trail. I am not going to the Parelli Center after all, but I am going to visit other trainers. I hope to come back with lots of new information and start training horses and coaching more. Carolyn Resnick and a few others are on my list to visit. I will make sure that all my customers have rasps, and that they know how to touch up the hooves while I am MIA... Pete Ramey's book is very helpful for this - Making Natural Hoof Care Work for You.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Barefoot Horse Wins 100

I got this in an email discussion group today:

A barefoot horse owned by Tom & Rita Swift and ridden by Lisa Williams won the Biltmore 100, with no boots. The 3rd and 4th finishers (Jeremy & Heather Reynolds) wore Renegade boots.

This is great news!!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Rubicon to Ralston Footbridge

There is a little know swinging suspension bridge that used to take miners and livestock over the Rubicon River between Volcanoville and the Ralston Ridge.... it is a suspension bridge that looks like it was updated in 1949 roughly. It is on a topo map, if you look really hard at the bottom of Rubicon Trail, there is a footbridge noted without any specific name. So Stuart, Gary, Logan and I set out on a journey to get to it via horseback. In theory, if we can get the horses across the bridge, it opens up the Ralston Ridge to us and a lot more trails. We could get over to the American River on the other side of the ridge and probably end up on the Western States Trail near Deadwood.

So Sunday we started out about noon. Weather looks fine, no need for any extra protection - or so we thought! The 2200' drop in elevation was pretty graduation. We meandered our way down, looking at the wild flowers in bloom, waterfalls, old mines, eating green grass (horses) and fiddleheads (people- thanks to Logan). Quiet, green, enjoyable. Good road with rocks, like one car width logging roads, but rocky. We passed the Nevada Point trail which we will probably try out next week which takes you down to the Rubicon in a different location to an old washed out bridge. With about 900' left in our decent, we got to Buckeye Flat trail that takes you the rest of the way down to the existing swinging bridge. The wide road was washed out and this was our only way down. It was a very narrow, switchback single track trail about 18" wide in some spots, and I don't think horses have been on that in many, many years. Gary and Stuart went down on reconnaissance to look for down trees and branches. They found a bunch, good thing they went first without the horses. Then I led us down the narrow, narrow trail. About 5 minutes later, a huge crash of thunder hit - I am scared to death of THUNDER!! But I just had to focus forward and get us off of the side of the mountain. Which I did, and then it started pouring... and continued to thunder and lightening. We still weren't at the footbridge yet. Still had about 500' left to decend. We got back on to a wider, but still single track trail, and followed it along until we decided to tie up the horses and go down on foot. Good thing we did because the trail was severly washed out in 2 places, and there was a strap of mountain climbing rope to help you over the area. I scooted down on my bottom for most of the journey. Turns out, there is a better trail down there that Gary explored on the way up, and looks good for horses, so we'll go that way next time. Keep in mind it is still raining, a nice, soaking rain. The bridge was gorgeous! Very safe for horses to cross, if they don't mind the feel of it swinging underneath their hooves. As I was crossing it, the skies were still thundering and I just kept thinking - I hope my mom doesn't know I am doing this!!

We tailed up out of the canyon, up the narrow fall off trail, and back onto the logging at which point we took off at a gallop and raced up. Buck and Gary won, followed closely by Annie and Logan, and Stuart and Miller. Feather and I stayed back aways, I think she knew my back way sore yesterday and she was taking care of me.... that, and with all the rain, it was humid, and she may have been overheated a bit.

As far as hoof protection - Feather was barefoot, Annie in front Renegades, Miller in Bares all 4, and Buck in steel. Everyone did fine, but there was a fair amount of rock to be aware of.

We staged out of Donaldson, and we got to admire the work of the trail clearing party the weekend before on the Volcanoville Tie Trail.

To see more photos of our journey,

Poison Oak Relief

I get poison oak really bad - it is all over the trails and I am very sensitive to it. I have tried a lot of things - accupuncture, chinese herbs, technu, calamine, etc. I seem to have stumbled upon something that works. Daily, I take Oil of Oregeno, 2 Burdock pills, and 2 Vitamin C pills. Then if I have an itchy spot, I put Witch Hazel with Aloe on it. Although I perpetually am exposed to the oils, this combination has really helped my immune system fight off a reaction. I also like Ivy Itch ReLeaf. But it is expensive and I really think the Witch Hazel does just as good of a job with it.

For what it's worth.....

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Another Use for Pam

So Princess is very sensitive in her armpits, when I ride her, I use Body Glide or Chamios Butter. Before our ride yesterday, I noticed all of my products were in the trailer, and I saw my spray bottle of Pam next to my hoof boots... So I tried it. I sprayed Pam all over her girth area and arm pits. No rubs, not even one line. Fantastic! This is much cheaper and easier to apply and lasts longer on the horse than Body Glide anyway. And she smells like butter....