For Memorial Weekend I took my pony and my friend Molly and her pony, and we ran away to the mountains. No cell service, no internet, completely unplugged. It was such a wonderful weekend, even if it rained every day and all night!

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Molly and I were the first to arrive at the camp ground and immediately started setting up our camp. We decided to high line our ponies this year as the pen worked last year- but just barely. (And the pen didn’t really work very well for Zorro at the barefoot hoof trimming clinic two weeks ago…) I had practiced with Zorro at home all last week and he did very well. Molly had been tying Goldie (so she can practice patience) so she was also prepared for the high line. She actually settled very well tied to it. Much better than when she is hard tied.

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Many of the club members high lined their horses. A few did that last year and Molly and I liked the simplicity of it. It’s so much easier to pack a long line, some tree savers and a few ties than to pack panels and posts and wire to build the pen! It’s much faster to set up and to take down as well.

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If you look closely at the photo below you will spot the Fjords laying in the bushes….

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Zorro even laid down to sleep at night.

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We were all quite happy with the high line!

Molly and I were busy getting everything unloaded, unpacking the horse stuff, putting the bikes together, making the bed in the back of the Tahoe, when it started to rain a bit harder, so we shut the Tahoe doors to keep our bed dry, only to find we had locked the keys in it. SIGH. (**Note above that I said we ran away to the mountains where there wasn’t any CELL SERVICE!!!)

I have a bad cold that has settled deep in my lungs which makes me have to take my inhaler very often. My inhaler was also locked in the Tahoe. Molly walked around the camp and found a spot where she had one bar and was able to receive a text from her hubby. So she tried sending him one. He got it!!

She sent him a text asking him to call my Handsome Hubby to have him call Triple A. We had to wait on pins and needles for quite some time because it would take several minutes for the text messages to send and then even longer for them to come in, but my Hubby was able to call and get someone on their way to unlock my car. We heard that news just minutes before we were prepared to break a window because my asthma was getting so bad!! (It was close to 3 hours from the time I locked the keys in the Tahoe to when the guy showed up.)

When the guy showed up to unlock the Tahoe he looked exactly like a knight in shining armor to me. And he had the best attitude. He was so happy to have the chance to drive up to Monture and see the horses and ponies on his Friday, late afternoon, before Memorial weekend. I was so grateful for him and his good attitude!

After that drama, we hitched up and took the ponies for a short little drive around. I was checking to see how Zorro felt and we were practicing giving Goldie a nice quiet, calm drive.

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mollysentouragesmallA couple of the other members also hitched up and did a little test drive that evening…claudiaandcobaltsmall

Claudia holding Cobalt for Nicole. Here they were preparing to unhitch after they got back from their drive.

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We had a nice time helping set up camp once everyone else got there. Of course we had a wonderful dinner and some great campfire talk. Then we all went off to get a good night sleep before our big drive on Saturday morning…

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It was a beautiful evening!

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We woke up to some overcast skies and a bit of a light misting rain. We had breakfast and then prepared the horses, ponies and mule, for our drive!

Saturday we drove 14 miles. We left the camp at 10:00 and got back at 3:30. It misted on us, then it rained pretty good, then the sun came out. We got back to camp just before a really good drenching rain started. Once that started it didn’t stop all night long.

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Sometimes things happen on the trail and we have to stop while they get sorted. We stopped here because a horse that was tied to the back of a wagon got loose and they had to catch her. It was lightly raining here and the forest looked so beautiful. After I took the above photo I realized what I was looking at:

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The place where Unicorns live!! Can you see that misty meadow through the trees? I just know it was full of grazing unicorns. Zorro kept gazing that way, when he wasn’t watching them try to catch the loose horse, and I know he was thinking about his friends in that magical meadow.

When we had to stop again Molly and Ryker took the chance to have a potty break…

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This photo is titled “GO POTTY” because that’s what Molly was telling Ryker. And instead of going potty he was gleefully rolling around in the grass. I was laughing so hard!

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The lake we drove past!

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We stopped and had lunch…

Then we went and played at a creek crossing. Zorro was thristy but when Goldie and Molly crossed the creek it was up to Goldie’s belly and nearly ended up in Molly’s lap so Zorro and I turned around and crossed the bridge. LOL!!

It was so nice to get back to the campsite, eat a good dinner and sit around the camp fire visiting.

Then on Sunday we were undecided about how long we should drive. It was drizzling all morning off and on. The club decided to head out and just do a short drive…that turned into a 15 mile drive!

I did NOT intend to do that either Zorro or Goldie, but when you are out in the mountains it can be hard to know if it’s shorter to turn around where you are or to push on. At one point we were battling ankle deep mud that was sticky and getting caught on the tires so we did NOT want to back track that section of the road. The poor ponies!

They did it like trooper, alternating walking, trotting and cantering. The last 4 miles were the longest 4 miles of my LIFE. I was exhausted and wet and cold and worried about my pony. But he kept such a perky outlook. He walked when he needed to, both ponies would stop if they needed a break and then continue when they were ready.

Of course the rain stopped as we got back to camp and when we drove away from the campsite with the truck and trailer to head home, the sun came out. Isn’t that always how it works!?

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Olive and Lee Ann prepared to head on out Sunday morning!
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Nicole in the wagon and Kenji on his horse ponying his other mare.

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Going up, up, up!

We were slogging through the deepest, stickiest mud. Then we would have to cross large deep mud puddles. The Equine Fusion boots never twisted or loosened. They stayed put the entire time! We were both SO HAPPY with these boots. The Easy Boot Minis we had last year were a total joke on this same weekend drive. And we didn’t even have to deal with the deep mud. We just had to cross lots of water and deal with the sand. The velcro on the Equine Fusion boots still looks like new!!

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Zorro was booted on all four for the weekend.

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Wet, muddy and getting tired! We were about 4 miles from the campground here.

This bull was standing all alone up at the corner of his pasture watching us all drive by. He looked like he was watching a parade. LOL!

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As we approached the bull Zorro didn’t know quite what to do. He was between a rock and a hard place!

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When we got back to camp we were covered in mud. My harness has mud caked on in every nook and cranny. The bike was covered in mud, the boots were caked in mud but there wasn’t any mud IN them. I have A LOT of clean up to do today!

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The ponies were glad to be back at camp, to eat some dry hay and have a little break before we loaded them up and headed home!

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There were moments on that last drive that I was so miserable I couldn’t even put my feelings into words. LOL. But I wouldn’t have wanted to be any place else but in Monture with my pony and my friend Molly.

I also want to say that Molly should get the “Best Conditioned Horse” award at these things. Goldie is 32″ tall and super refined. This mare is teeny tiny. It’s a wonder that we can even make a bridle to fit her head! And she can easily out do every single horse at these events. She never gives up and never seems to run out of energy. She is in amazing shape and has such a can do attitude. I just love her…

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This face means “Mindy, give-me-every-single-hay-pellet-in-your-pocket-and-then-go-and-get-me-all-my-treats-out-of-the-trailer” look.

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Zorro and I went to Fraser School of Driving this weekend for our very first driving clinic. It was Zorro’s first clinic (aside from the beginner driving clinic he helped teach) and it was my first driving clinic.

We both had a blast!! It was so much fun, filled with fun loving people and lots of laughing. This is a very relaxed group of people with wonderful horses and ponies. Alex is wonderful to learn from as well!

It’s important to know what you are wanting to learn when you go to things like this. I have had a hard time getting Zorro to relax with the bit when there is contact. This was the perfect place to go for that, as Alex demands lots of contact all the time. When we drive with our other driving group it’s far more relaxed with a lot less connection. Alex drives more like I did when I was showing. So knowing what kind of driving you want to do is paramount when choosing who to learn from and who to drive with. I want to do all kinds of driving, so I will be going back to learn more from Alex!

Zorro was a rock star all weekend. He trailered over well, he settled into his stall perfectly (it was his first time ever being in a stall!), even going so far as to lay down and sleep last night and then when I went to harness him this morning he was laying down for his morning nap. He isn’t one to skip nap time just because he isn’t home. 😉

He hasn’t ever driven in an indoor arena. He hasn’t really driven with a group yet. He hasn’t even SEEN two teams of large, beautiful, black Friesian mares.

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He’s definitely never seen two large teams trot and gallop around an indoor arena while he stood in the middle and had them charge past us. And yet he handled it like a pro. I was so proud of him!

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The first day we practiced making nice round circles as we went around the barrels. That was what this clinic was about, being forward and smooth – not always fast – to complete the pattern. Zorro hasn’t done a lot of turning, as we trail drive, but he seemed to really enjoy it! We also trotted down the road to the neighbors to play with a bridge crossing for a little bit, then trotted back to the arena to keep practicing the barrels.

He did struggle a little bit with the contact, gaping his mouth, and swerving around a bit as he didn’t know what to do when I picked him up so much. Usually, I point him at what I’m looking at, then we go there. But there were too many changes of directions, happening too fast, for us to be able to do that without it being even harder on his mouth. That would have resulted in me snatching at the lines which is a big no-no and should never happen.

This morning we were put into teams by Alex and then we all went out to design a little marathon challenge. So there were two marathon “courses” ( barrels marked A – E) set up in the indoor arena, one at one end of the arena and one at the other end. Then Alex put a small cones course (cones marked 1 – 4) in the middle. We had to keep red on the right as we went through the “gates”.

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One of the courses. This one was designed by the other team.
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Looking down the arena at our course (right in front of us) then the cones then the other course.

Being the only small pony there, the course was very easy for us, compared to those with the big black teams and the marathon vehicles! LOL! Alex gave me pointers for making my times even faster, but there wasn’t a lot of technical stuff because of our size. I can basically turn my vehicle on a dime and no matter what (if I didn’t get lost out there) and our circles were lovely and round. So shaving time off our course was the goal today!

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Alex giving me some pointers after our run.

And my little Superman!!

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There were so many firsts for Zorro this weekend and he handled every single one of them like a pro. I’m so so proud of my baby!!

 

If you have been following my blog for very long you know I LOVE before & afters! Even when it comes to things like horse trailers 😉

I always have my hubby take me for a ride in my trailer every spring before I haul my ponies in it. Just to see if I need to tighten things up, what’s rattling? What’s loose? What do I need to have fixed?

So of course I did the same with my new miniature horse trailer! The video below will show you the before, the middle and the after of all my work to manage the banging and rattling and just plain noise that was happening. It’s already scary for the ponies to get into a trailer. If it’s loud and rattle-y that can sometimes make a hard to load pony an impossible to load pony.

**Disclaimer! Just because I do this with my trailers does not mean you have to. I don’t judge if your trailer is rattle-y. If your horses load like a dream and don’t mind the noise then great! No judgement here 🙂

Here are a few photos of what I did to help with the noise:

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I wrapped the handles with foam and then covered them with electrical tape. I wrapped any chain that might rattle with electrical tape.
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I painted the slots that the dividers hook into with Flex Seal, it’s a rubber type product. This was the second coat. Today I put the third coat on and it’s nice and thick and black. THIS really helped with the rattling!
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The chain across the door has a pool noodle on it 🙂
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Shims in the walls, shims in the door panel. I didn’t have to shim the ceiling because it’s got a good seal. But these areas were very loud when we went over bumps because the metal gets to vibrating. I added more shims after I did the video above as well!

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Mikey and Zorro were watching my every move the last few days as I worked on the trailer. Then when I take them out they want to go take a look. LOL! Today when I went in and got Zorro, Mikey was putting the halter in his mouth. He really wanted me to catch HIM! I love that. I have to wrestle the halter away from the ponies I don’t want to catch 😉

Right now I am very happy with how the trailer is hauling down our very bumpy road. It’s just so darned exciting!!