Friday, December 15, 2017

Horse Show!

It seems like sooooo long since we did a horse show! This time it was a dressage show - first time Vince has been to one.  We arrived on Friday afternoon and by the time we left on Friday night, it was 17 degrees.  Brrrr.  But Vince had a great warm up ride and settled in to the unfamiliar stall just fine.

We were pleasantly surprised to find that the temperature INCREASED over night and it was a balmy 25 degrees when we got back to the barn in the morning.  First test went great!  2nd place!


The lighting in indoor arenas is notoriously bad and this one is no exception but the sun was coming in from the high windows behind me giving a spotlight effect!  Second test also went well - 1st Place!  I didn't get a picture of the 3rd test because but it was another 2nd place finish.


We went outside to snap this picture with the blue ribbon while the sky was still blue to match!  Madison and I were laughing, she got her first blue ribbon EVER, as in something like 12 years ago, at this same barn and we have pictures of her on her horse along this same fence line.




Later on just before loading onto the trailer, they posed for one last pic with their RESERVE CHAMPION ribbon!  This was just a schooling show but a great experience for our big OTTB.









Sunday, December 10, 2017

Family Photos

For the past two years I've been seeing photos by this photographer when she has done a friend's family photos and wanted to hire her. And this fall it worked!  I managed to wrangle both kids and got them out to the farm some could include the horses.

Austin looked so handsome!  I like the pictures from this photo shoot so much better than the ones we did for his senior pictures.


Trying to include a horse in a family picture is no easy feat but this one turned out great!


Love this!


And this one was just so perfect!


Of course, Madison the Model, always looks lovely and this day was no exception.  She is tall enough that she makes her horse Vince look small - this guy is huge!


Thursday, December 7, 2017

A Great View

I'm not sure why certain "views" just strike such a cord with me...below are three that do it to me every time.

A great sunrise.  This is at street level but over the Detroit river as usual.  I'm glad I took the shot when I did. By the time I got upstairs in the building, it wasn't nearly as pretty.



This view from the front of the barn.  It's beautiful in every season and even lit up with my headlights at the twilight sky to the west.  It was well past sunset but the sky was still holding on to just a bit of light.


Of course, any view beyond my horse's ears is awesome! This was in late November and we had a beautiful warm Friday after Thanksgiving.  We just took a little ride around the farm since it's hunting season and I'm a bit nervous riding out when I can hear guns going off!


Monday, December 4, 2017

Fall Hiking


This was actually from a hike more than a month ago at the beginning of fall but since I have been so horribly lax in doing blog posts...

I started out on a dirt road that wraps around Kensington MetroPark...it was such a pretty fall day!



Later I ended up back in the park. I stopped by the river for a little bit and watch some people in kayaks paddle by and a few horses also crossed the bridge behind me.  I can't wait until I can ride Mata Hari on the Kensington trails!


Later yet I was passing over another section of the river as the clouds started to roll in making it look so different from the pic above! I think I was out for over 4 hours just meandering around enjoying the last of the fall weather.  And I'm glad I did - it has been such a rainy fall!



Friday, December 1, 2017

More on Yogurt


I think I've already posted pictures of my yogurt made in the Instant Pot.  I'm even more in love with it using a new recipe/process.  I use about 2/3 gallon of skim milk and about a cup of Nido dry milk powder.  Nido is made by Nestle and sold in Mexico but you can order it on Amazon.  It's full fat dry milk which is MUCH different than the typical nonfat condense milk we buy in the USA.

Using this method, I don't have to drain it so it retains more protein (whey) which also means less work.  From this I get about 10-12 cups of thick yogurt!




Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Selfies


Kids are so much better at selfies than us old folks.  Austin and his friend Jim - these two are a riot together.  Love them.

Yeah, and then me trying to look all professional sitting in my new cubicle at work with the view of downtown Detroit...  Love the new job and the view!




Sunday, September 10, 2017

Okay, just one more!


The Icelandic horses were just so awesome!!!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Nature at it's best

I am so incredibly lucky to live close to two huge parks with miles and miles of trails.  Labor Day weekend I headed out after a big dinner to walk it off with a sunset hike at Kensington.  I found my zen.

The trail head.


A bridge over troubled waters? There was peace on the other side!

Loved the way this tree arched over the path to create a tunnel.

It was very sunny to the west and very cloudy to the east so the sun played some cool tricks with the lighting.

This little cardinal was cheeping like crazy making it easy to find him.

One of MANY Sandhill cranes that I encountered on my route. They were quite the noisy bunch.

Breathtaking vistas!

Another of my big buddies.  This one was fighting with another and almost ran me over!

The black dot in the middle is a hot air balloon.  One of several that were out there.

Little family of swans.

No idea what kind of bird this is but he sat very still in this spot for a long time.  I cam back to this spot about an hour after I took this picture and he was still there.

Same bird later on.

Wild mustard is blooming like mad right now.  Some of the trees are starting to change too.

This old farm implement is in the middle of the woods.  No idea why - the sign near it is gone.  Just struck me kind of funny.

One of the sandhill cranes that was in my way and really in no big hurry to move out of it, either!

Sun hitting the trees in the distance.

Lonely little duck swimming by while I was waiting for the sunset and relaxing.

I saw a family staring down over the side of the bridge for a while so I took a look. Some HUGE fish down there!


And it was worth the wait.  Fabulous.

And in the process I got myself a good 5 miles of walking in for the day on top of the riding I did with Mata Hari earlier.  Happy day!


Friday, September 8, 2017

Iceland! Last one.

The last day of the Golden Circle Riding Adventure in Iceland is really something special.  We trailered the horses out to the Atlantic ocean to the black volcanic sand beach. There we mounted up to ride the beach, the marshlands, and then through the pastures of horses back to the farm.

The highlight of the beach ride is getting to gallop along the sand. The horses love it and want to race each other and the wind. You feel like you are flying.  Its totally exhilarating!

Our Wild Women group - AKA Wild Bunch of Bitches!


While we often rode nose to tail on the trails, getting out to the beach was a different story!  We asked about those concrete things on the right and apparently they were put there to help stop erosion.




Apparently its very rare to be able to see the glaciers from this beach but we obviously had pristine weather conditions.  It was still early and cool when we arrived but by the end of the day I was riding in a long sleeve t-shirt and was quite hot. I think this is one of my favorite pictures from the trip.


Taken by our Polish guide, Paula.  She was everywhere this day!



She included herself in this shot!



Sara with her two extra horses in tow.  Interestingly, the Icelandic horses love to ride the beaches but they do NOT like the waves.  They will walk through still water all day (and we did!) and rivers aren't a problem but salty waves...nope.



Paula being silly on the beach! I'm sure she got wet!


Heading into the marshes. We walked for miles through water!


Sometimes it was more water than grass. But also so pretty.



Another of Paula's pictures since I'm in it also taking a picture just up ahead with our Michigan pal brining up the rear with me.




Lunch break!



An old cemetery where we stopped for the horses to graze.






Almost back to the farm.  We rode through pastures of hundreds of horses.  Some came up to visit, others just ignored us.  The farm has 400 horses at any one time with about 100 of them used for trail rides.  The others are too young or too old.  They don't start using them for guests until they are about 10 years old.  Most of them live to about 40 years old.


Jill took this picture of her favorite horse.  He has specks of blue and gold in his eyes - very unusual.

I think Jill took this video but that's me in the purple coat.


So long Wild Women!  It was fabulous beyond my wildest imagination!