Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Camping AND Riding - What a Weekend

Enjoying the beautiful day with our hounds

This past weekend I was able to enjoy two of my favorite pastimes:  Camping and riding my horse.


We'd had a camping trip planned for months - staying in the Capitola area, camping at New Brighton State Beach with some friends.  We left home about noon on Friday and managed to miss most of the San Jose/Santa Cruz commute traffic somehow.  I'm still not sure exactly how, since we were in San Jose at 3pm.  But other than some traffic on the Mission Blvd connector to 880, shortly after we got on Highway 17, and the couple miles we were on Highway 1, we really had no traffic issues.  Nice!

We set up camp and walked around enjoying the view and the sunset over the Pacific.  We went into Capitola for dinner - ate at a very good sushi restaurant - Geisha - and the Albacore from Monterey Bay was out of this world.  I mean truly amazing.

Saturday we shopped in Capitola and got the best seats in the house at a pub called the Britannia Arms to watch the Giants World Series Game 3.  We were with great friends and surrounded by a hundred of the best Giants fans!  What an experience!

Here's the camping portion of the trip in pictures:

Annie KNOWS there are squirrels here somewhere.

Angus patiently waiting to go for a walk

Annie and Angus each looking for squirrels

Looking towards Moss Landing at Sunset

Saturday morning sunshine - the dogs are still looking for squirrels

Annie figured out where they live!

Angus isn't sure about this ocean thing - he wants dry sand under his paws

 On the other hand, Annie is POSITIVE she doesn't like this ocean thing - she's out of the water before it gets her!

 Triumphantly looking at the waves leaving her alone

 On the bridge overlooking Capitola

And we can't forget the pumpkin!  It was the weekend before Halloween!

Monday, October 22, 2012

I Loped Backwards!

Well, not truly backwards, as in reverse.  Blu was moving forward.

But the way I rode the lope was different.  Not sure I could ever explain it, but I'll try.  When I'd gotten Blu into the lope I was sitting solid, and kind of rolling my hips front to back with his movement.  What I think of as the typical flow of movement with a horse at the lope.  But then I was told to lope backwards.  I don't think I had any idea what I was supposed to do, but I rode for a few strides and something in my brain clicked and Blu slowed down.  I THINK I started rolling my hips back to front, but I'm truly not sure.  However it worked, it got us loping slowly. And smoothly.

And it gave cause for a few great big grins!

Best of all, I got to direct some of my grins to Ken because he was there to watch.  He did the day trip with me.

The weather was fabulous, too.  Mid 60s and sunny.  Now that it's getting cooler Blu is getting fuzzy.  He looks so cute!  No pictures this time.  But hopefully I'll get some photos during my next visit.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

What a Fun Weekend

To camp, or see my horse?  

Why not both?

Those were the questions, and that's how it worked out.  We haven't been camping all year, which in a normal year would be unheard of.  But now that I'm so involved in my horse it's become more of the 'norm.'  And since we both had such a good time I'm thinking that we'll need to build a few more camping trips into our schedule.  

The camper has been turned into more of a horse show-mobile than a camping-mobile in recent years, so this Friday was a bit of a refresher in getting back into camping mode.  We did pretty well.  Luckily we were just going for an overnight, so even if we'd forgotten something crucial, it wouldn't put us out for long.  And the only thing I can think of that we left at home that had any impact (small as it was) was butter.  Yep, butter.  That's it.  Meant we couldn't have toast.  I mean, I guess we could have had toast, but it would have been super dry.  Blech!

Where did we go, you're wondering.  A quick jaunt to Collins Lake, including using the new Lincoln Bypass on Highway 65, and we were in our campsite, right on the water.  Well, maybe not RIGHT on the water...since the lake is quite low this time of year.  But if the water were at its peak we would have been right on the water!  :-)

We had camp set up in minutes, fishing gear ready for the morning, and for dinner I tried a recipe that a friend told me about on Thursday - super simple, and turned out to be pretty darn yummy.  Mexican Chicken Casserole (for lack of a better name) - I'd cooked (boiled) and shredded some chicken breasts Thursday night, and the rest of the ingredients were brought along in their store bought form: bagged, canned, jarred or boxed.  A bag of shredded cheese.  A can of Cream of Chicken soup.  A jar of Salsa.  A box of corn taco shells (which I then had fun crushing).  That's it.  I mixed it all in a disposable aluminum pan, covered it with foil and baked it for 30 minutes at 325.  Served it in the remaining (un-crushed) taco shells.  Easy as that.  I probably should have had some greenery with it - a salad or something.  But I was going for the totally lazy  simple meal.

We played a few games of Pass the Pigs - which I think we split fairly evenly - and had an early night.  In the morning Ken was up early, out in his float tube, fishing.  I felt a bit bad when he came back to camp at one point saying he'd had a fish on for a second but the line snapped, because I'd tied that fly on.  But who knows, it could have been one of the giant fish they have in the lake, and the line was 5x, so it might not have held.  At least that's what I'm telling myself so I don't worry too much about the knot I tied failing.  Ah well.

I enjoyed my morning sitting in the sun with the dogs. 


They had their dog beds.  Heaven forbid Angus lay in the DIRT.  Not a chance.  He's not a big fan of dirt.


Annie, on the other hand, loves nothing more than a dust bath.  

I played with my phone and the different types of photos it can take.  I'm not happy with my Razr's camera - the photos are hard to take in focus.  And they're very dark.  But it was what I had with me.  Hopefully I'll get plenty of practice taking phone photos and will learn the tricks of this phone.  I've heard nothing but good things about the Razr's camera, so I'll just have to see.
Can you spot Ken in this photo?

It does have some cool features - this one is called 'solarize'

These are actually two different photos - but Annie stayed in almost the same pose because she was watching a ground squirrel in the next campsite.  Not much comes between her and keeping an eye on rodents!

Because we were only camping for one night we had to be out of our site by noon.  We pulled out at 11:50am.  Just about perfect timing.  Gave us plenty of daylight back at home, including time to go pick out a pumpkin!  

I've been getting a craving for home made pumpkin seeds.  And who doesn't like to carve a good Jack-o-Lantern?!

We'd bought some pumpkin teeth recently so I needed to come up with some design that would show them off appropriately.  

Here's what I came up with.

All that, and I still had one more day of my weekend to go!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Arabian Region III Championship Show Photos

Oh my goodness!  Is it horrible to be really happy with photos of myself?!?  Does it go against some code of ethics or honor or something?

I'm so critical of photos of myself, yet even when I enlarge them and examine them closely, I actually STILL love them.

In Center Ring

July 2012

What a handsome boy, my Blu is!

I'll probably read this post a year from now and laugh at myself, but right now, I'm just loving these photos!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Cal Bears Game

Saturday was completely horse-less.

We went to Berkeley to visit with some friends and watch Cal Bears Football.

We had a great time hanging out at their house watching the Blue Angels fly by and the Hangar 1 Blimp float overhead.

We went to Freehouse in Berkeley at the corner of Bancroft and College for dinner.  I'd recommend their Tuna Melt.  The beef burger was good, too.  And their pretzel was hot and fresh and yummy.  All-around good.

And the building itself was beautiful, slate roof, beautiful windows, nice architecture.  We ate on the patio, amazed at the wonderful weather.

We walked to the newly rebuilt Memorial Stadium at Cal, along with thousands of other Cal fans, and some UCLA fans, including one UCLA fan we watched taken away in a paddy wagon (a Chevy Astro!) - with the cop saying, and I quote: "Dude, you're not making this any better.  Just shut up!"

Trying to get a photo in front of the Bear statue was tough - lots of people walking in front of us.

Sunset was awe inspiring.  My phone's camera leaves a bit to be desired, but it does manage great panoramic photos.

Standing inside the stadium looking over the bay, almost didn't want to go inside to our seats because the view was so amazing.

Eventually we made it to our seats and watched The Bears go down the field and score.  A few times.  One of the UCLA players had a familiar name.  Jerry Rice, Jr. I smiled every time I heard his name, even though he played for UCLA, because his father will always be a favorite of mine.

We look miserable don't we.....

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

No Horse Show This Weekend

How weird to not be at the DAHA Fall Horse Show this past weekend.   I'd made the decision a while ago, when planning out the 2012 show schedule, that the DAHA show would be optional, dependent on how many other shows I participated in.  Basically, I had reached my self-imposed limits on shows with the Regional Championship show in July, so I opted not to show at DAHA.  Do I regret it?  Kinda.  I have SO much fun at horse shows I was second-guessing myself even up to the weekend before the show - but I knew I couldn't take the last minute days off work, not to mention the cost of post-entering a show, and myriad other things that just didn't make it possible.

Alas, other than the occasional schooling show over the winter, it'll be a horse show-less (is that a word?) winter.

However, it won't be a HORSE-less winter!  I'm looking forward to another visit to Blu this weekend, and have had a few others over the last month or so.

Our lessons have been going really well.  Blu is learning about a new style of bit - the Western Curb - that he'll be required to show in starting next year.  Once he turns six he will not be allowed to show in the Bosel or Snaffle, which is all he's known, to this point.

Here's Blu the first time he had a Curb bit in his mouth.  I think he looks like he's wondering what the heck it's all about!

I'm not yet riding him in the Curb - it's all about Todd teaching Blu what's what first.  THEN it'll be my turn to be taught what's what!  Since I've never really ridden with a single hand before, I'll be learning from scratch.  I mean, I have done a tiny bit of riding single handed - that first show at Watsonville on Danny a few years ago - and when I was riding Arista she was in a Curb.  But I'm not really counting those half-dozen or so rides.

And speaking of Curb Bits.  I'm saving up for the expense of a show bit, and show reins.  Ugh.  Lucky for me my parents gave me a birthday present last year that I've been saving expressly for this expense (Thanks again Mom and Dad!).  And I'll be going to Cowboy Christmas in Vegas again this December, so I'm hoping to have an opportunity to shop a large selection there - where I can touch and feel the items (rather than Internet shopping - where pictures just don't allow you to feel the balance of a bit).  I think I posted this picture before, but this bit is an example of what I'll be looking for:

Alas, the shopping will have to wait - the lessons need to come first.

Speaking of lessons - I was just looking for photos from my most recent lesson, but I can't find them.  I'm thinking I might have deleted them by accident!  Yikes!

Guess I'll need to take more this weekend!  (gee, darn)