Ride Report 1 20 2021 Dixie


PDF RIDING LOG 1 20 2021

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It has been quite windy here the last few days….but yesterday afternoon in spite of the wind would have been a good day to ride and several people reported rides on facebook..

I decided that if today was no worse weather wise than yesterday that I would ride today.  When I got up i turned on the local weather and the wind was the big topic.  I knocked around the house for a while and then ventured out side.  The wind was pretty strong but the sun was out and things were warming up.  

I have this week taken to feeding Dixie twice a day….she gets a pretty good slug of feed and lately she has not been eating it all and Esther waits beside her until Dixie walks away from he pan and then Esther dives in and squeals at  all the others while she cleans up Dixies Feed…..Esther does not need any extra feed…Dixie does….it is comical to watch them….Esther will not try to crowd in on Dixie….but when I turn out Condi and Pete and the goats, Ester bluffs them all with squeals and moans and bluff kicks….

Condi just looks at her and I wish I could explain her expression….she is the queen of all around here but she lets little Esther bluff her …..bear in mind that Esther is a mini donk and maybe 9 or 10 hands high and maybe 500 lbs and Condi is 15.1 and probably 1100 lbs.

Anyhow to avoid trouble I have taken to splitting Dixies feed into halves and she is the only one who gets a morning feeding now…so when I put Dixie in the stall to feed her I was overcome with the idea of riding her today.

I have to put her in to keep the goats from stealing her feed…none of them are afraid of her and in fact the five goats are her entourage….picture below of them napping together…..the smallest goat, the aptly named Corona walks under Dixie without notice or fanfare.  She would not walk under either of the horses as that would be a mistake….The goats left to right are Audie, Iris, Nelly, Calvin and Corona

Anyhow after she finished her breakfast Dixie and i loaded up and headed to Washington Lacy Park….Dixie does not mind riding in the trailer…..Condi loads good….Dixie will tell me to get the heck out of the way…I have hauled her twice this week….Once to the vet to update her Coggins and then again today…she steps right in and upon unloading carefully backs out….

When we got to the park the wind was still blowing but not too badly….I was hopeful that once we got in the woods it would be less and it was..

Apparently Dixie has not done much solo riding….when we got tacked up and stepped away from the trailer she looked around to see who she was travelling with.  Finding no one else she looked at me quizically….photo of heer surveying the parking lot.

And a glamour shot before we set out.

She was a perfect lady at the mounting block and stepped out smartly after I was aboard.   She continued to scan looking for other equines and before long let out a mule bray hoping to get a response…She must have brayed and prayed for company nearly a dozen times while we were riding….but other than being lonely she was a perfect lady.  She did step out pretty smartly….I thought at first that she was moving at a pace that would keep up with Condi….I was close….the last time I rode Condi her average pace was 6.1 mph.   Todays pace for Dixie was 5.9 mph.

I should add here that when I first started riding Condi, just her and I, she Similarly was looking for equine company….She would nicker frequently so i think riding solo is just something they have to learn…  Condi no longer is concerned about just her and I being out.  I expect Dixie will adapt quickly as well.  I don’t Think Stewart rode her very much alone and I dont think the folks he got Dixie from rode much as singles….they had four mules and rode together most of the time.

Washington Lacy is a nice little park but it does not have a lot of trails.  Condi and I usually do two trips around them to get in five miles or so…

Today Dixie and I went off trail….probably not supposed to but on the south side of Jamestown Rd we hit the power line….I just wanted to se how far we could go before hitting an obstacle… we rode a good ways and then came to a big wet place but we saw what I will call a hunters road going up a hill into the woods and we followed it.  Actually found another hunters road but we did not go down it…we back tracked down the power line and then did the trails in the park…totaled out just a tad over 5 miles….very nice ride….only saw two other people walking their dogs…

GPS track below.

PPRC 1 16 2021 Five Forks


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The day dawned foggy and dark and dank….but it was not raining.   

The Poor People Monthly ride was today at Five Forks Battlefield…I had said I was going if it was not too wet and I could get hooked to the trailer and get out of here….

But gosh it was foggy as the sun came up….At first I could not find the horses or the cows…but when I whistled a horse nickered so I knew they were there….and one of the cows bawled back at me as well….

Some folks say I am crazy to feed my cows grain….I give them a handout every evening when I feed the horses….benefit is they come to me every time I call them….I don’t give them but a couple of cup fulls per head but it is an easy way to count noses and make sure everyone is upright and healthy in the dark….

It also keeps them quiet and easy to get along with….even this falls calves born around labor day have caught on to the routine and are usually waiting for me in their stall for their evening handout…..  they have a little creep area where the cows can not push them aside and steal their grain. 

Condi knew it was not time for feeding and she stood outside for a while but when she saw Pete eating his handout her greed overcame her caution…she came in for her handout and realized that someone was going to have to go to work and it was most likely her….I shut the stall gate and went to hook up the trailer….The trailer was in an unusual place because the last time we used it it was too wet to put back in the regular parking place….and I had to back around a tree to get to it and it took me a couple of tries to get lined up….and it was foggy…..

Finally got hooked and stopped at the barn for Condi….Always a lady, she stepped right up into the trailer and we departed….but it soon became a Journey….the first half hour was so foggy that I almost missed a stop sign at a T intersection so speed was cut in half…when I finally got to the interstate there was enough traffic that the fog was dispersed from the roadway a bit…and traffic was still light enough to proceed sanely.  But the trip was long and tedious…

Gps said it was a 51 mile trip but it took me over an hour and a half to get there….I had not been to five forks in several years and had absolutely no memory of the trails.  It had been several weeks since we had been out and I really needed to have a good therapy session with Doctor Condi

The fog had abated by the time we arrived and when I unloaded her I realized that Condi had apparently slept in a mud bog….she was covered in mud….I knocked the top layer off and tacked her up because we were running late…

The group was small….8 horses and riders and we set out when I finally got mounted….Condi of course wanted to be in front, which was a problem because neither she or I knew the trails so at every intersection we had to wait for instruction on which way to go….but the group was seemingly patient with me…At one point I stopped and took a couple of photos of the group….one is below.

It was then that I realized that I was riding with seven ladies.

Condi and I had a very nice ride….she was her usual excellent trail horse self….The trails at some points were vehicle wide….at other points they were winding and narrow through the trees.  But they were all enjoyable….At one point we came to a pretty long wide stretch and Condi wanted to step out so I let her go….She hit a pretty good gaited lick and four of the ladies were right along behind her.  The other three ladies decided to continue a moderate stroll….but they were not far behind us.

I remembered to take my gps but when I went to turn it on the batteries were dead and the spare batteries were in the camera case which was at home on my desk….One of the ladies had a fit bit and told me that it had logged 5.09 miles…..I would have guessed six miles.  As we got back to the parking area it began to mist a little….I decided that I had tempted fate enough for one day and it was  a little after one and we had to make the sojourn back home and tend the rest of the stock.  I think some of the folks were going back out to do the other side which I don’t think I have ever ridden….So now I have to go back at least one more time….

When we got home Condi asked me if it was worth driving 102 miles over a nearly four hour period to ride five miles through the woods….I told her that when it was no longer worth it she might be out of a job….but so far it has been the highlight of the month of january.  Time spent with Dr. Condi always ushers me back into a semblance of sanity…I have been privileged to have some good horses in my lifetime…different kinds of horses for different jobs….but Condi gives me a lot of joy in my golden years….Comfortable, smart, gentle yet spirited, dependable, sure footed and takes good care of me on the trails….I enjoy our time together tremendously.

PDF LOG BLOG 1 4 2021


Dreary Dank and Drizzly for the last 48 hours here….checked the gauges this morning and there was 6/10 of an inch in one and 5/10 of an inch in the other….so we averaged at 5.5/10 of an inch. On top of what we had two days ago and all the rainy days prior to that…..looking for alligators to take up residence before too long….Beavers have moved into Jacks pond below my house…have not seen them but they are working on the trees.

The ground is absolutely rotten…water standing everywhere…mud everywhere.

Nothing of great import accomplished in the last two days….

A lot of piddling little things that will have to be repeated soon.

Going thru hay like Sherman went thru Georgia….have ordered some more.  considering how to scale down livestock.  No decisions…just considering…

Both the cows and the equines have some sacrifice areas….the cows can get up on the hill where it is a little drier…the horses can go to the wood lot in the front and there are a few dry spots there…most paddocks are closed to keep the animals from destroying the grass and the cover crops they will have in the spring.

Everyone looks good except Dixie….having trouble putting weight on her…all the others are pretty fat…the soupy ground is causing Pete some soreness and softness in his feet. I have nowhere drier to put him….

The cows are doing okay and the three calves are growing very well….I am feeding them about 3 lbs of grain per head per day and they look pretty good.  They are beginning to know the routine and have stopped fleeing when I am around….this evening they were standing right at the feed tub with me when I put the feed in….Still very pleased with this years heifer calf….she is growing right with the bulls and is right pretty….If we ever dry out a little I will try  to take some pictures….right now everything is muddy.  The steer is doing very well and I need to try and find a processing appointment for him…but most processors are all booked up.

PDF LOG BLOG 1 2 2021


PDF LOG BLOG 1 2 2021

First Saturday of the new year….felt like a Monday because everything was pretty much closed yesterday for new years day.  

It rained last night…..weather terrorist missed again….they said light showers….I could hear it beating on the roof over the sound of the television….it had pretty much stopped at 11 when I took Apache out for his evening relief.  I had two gauges out and this morning one read 6.5 tenths and the other maybe six feet away had 8 tenths…average 7.25 tenths.

Made the weekly foray into Ashland this morning…..usual stuff…Breakfast at Waffle House…then to the feed store and then to Walmart for perishables…..stopped by tractor supply and ordered a wheel for my driveway gate…..getting tired of carrying it every day….had to order one that would go inside the gate as I don’t have clearance from the post to put an in stock end wheel.  Found this one after searching on line and went to tractor supply to see if they had one…..of course they didn’t so I am still buying something that I hope will fit my application….That is what I get for hanging the gate too perfectly 25 years ago….

Then back home and unload the groceries and then unload the feed……by then it was 1:30.  The weather was very pleasant and it would have been a lovely day to ride but with all the rain the ground was miserably sloppy and too wet to go on public trails.

I had trash to go to the transfer station so We loaded up and Apache assumed his position in the copilot seat and off we went….We decided to go to the one in Doswell and also try our hand at getting a GPS of the trails we went on last week at North Anna Battlefield Park.  We went to the park first……The parking lot was full….I had to wait for someone to leave to get a parking spot….I did not think to count cars but this parking lot is not nearly as big as the one at Poor Farm Park.  But the trails as Poor Farm park would have been sopping wet today.  We decided to give the crowed park a go anyway….

The original intent was to GPS the trails we walked the other day…..but there were so many people….people with kids….people with dogs,,,,people with kids and dogs and people with people….we soon got rerouted….

Went to a point on the gray Trail that we did not hit the previous trip….it was a point at the apex of the confederate lines that overlooked the River and would have commanded the field of battle.  The earthworks  (still plainly visible)at the top of the hill were elevated probably 100 to 150 feet above the river and it was a sharp drop off… impossible to attack.  Today I had the GPS but no phone or camera so I did not get the spectacular photograph…..below is the route we walked today…..just 2.04 miles but it was good exercise and Apache was tired when we got back to the van…..

I mentioned dogs….we saw the usual assortment…… for the most part…..

There was one family who had one that impressed me….I asked what kind of dog that was and the man on the other end of the rope said something that did not register with me, so I still don’t know what kind of animal it was…..I would say in size it was as big or bigger than the man….I would describe it as a cross between a wolf and a small bear.   The thing was huge…..black and brown and had eyes that just looked right through me….Apache wanted to make its acquaintance but that thing could have devoured Apache in about two bites….and probably me in a couple of more bites…….fortunately it did not appear to be aggressive…..

From there we went by the transfer station to drop off our trash and ran into our old
Friend Court Warfield.  Court was the one who had red angus on Jacks place next to us for several years after Jack died.  We had a nice short visit…Court tickled me when he said Who would have thought that a Trip to the trash station would turn into a social event.”

From there we made our way home and did the evening chores and supper.