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Tuesday, 20 December 2016
Sunday, 27 November 2016
Heart 2 Heart Endurance
For the past few years the Owyhee Endurance rides have seen a growing invasion of kids on mules. They aren't just regular old mules, they are race bred mules... and the kids aren't just regular kids, they are special needs children who have found a passion and outlet in riding thanks to Trinity Jackson and Heart 2 Heart Ranch. They show up in droves, and they really ride! Trinity usually sponsors the group, but others have stepped in as well. We've always given discounts to Juniors at the Owyhee rides, but this year we're letting Juniors ride free! And others are contributing to the 'Juniors Ride Free' fund, including our favorite ride veterinarian who donated part of his fee to the 'mule kids'. The kids and mules always liven up ride camp and the vetting area! At the recent Halloween ride they came dressed as Dalmations (not quite 101, but still a good showing!)
In 2008 Trinity received a grant from Zion Bank - the Smart Women Grant Award for 'Small Business Startup and Expansion'. That was the beginning of Heart 2 Heart Ranch.From the H2H Ranch website: Trinity Jackson is a former special education teacher with heart. Owner of the newly created Heart-2-Heart Ranch in Parma, Idaho, Jackson teaches disabled children to ride mules. Unlike many programs that teach kids how to ride an animal around an arena, Jackson hopes her program will give disabled children confidence by letting them compete at mule rodeos and shows. "We want to teach them from the very beginning to the end, so that at some point they can be a little more independent and maybe own their own animal someday," Jackson says. "This will teach them responsibility and bring them self-confidence and self-esteem." A mother of three, Jackson used grant funds to purchase additional acreage for the ranch near her home and to buy an arena so the kids can receive training year-round. "We are trying to make it very affordable, like signing your child up to play T-ball," Jackson says. "We want whole families to be able to participate." The program will serve children across the spectrum of disabilities and in the future will include curriculum for nondisabled siblings as well. I love it that we can share our sport and our rides with so many different people, and kids. (and mules!) Steph
Wednesday, 16 November 2016
Rapa Nui - looking back
The story and all the photos are on Endurance.Net at http://www.endurance.net/international/Chile/2010EasterIsland/index.html
This photo is of the wrangler (native Rapa Nui riding in flip-flops ) that helped us select our horses for the race.
Horses are everywhere on Easter Island - very few cars, so people ride horses, and they basically have open range on the Island. Everybody knows whose horses belong to whom and they just graze them wherever it is possible. (for example beside this moai)
It was fun going back and reading the travel notes. While I was down there I had just seen the film documentary "180 Degrees South" - a road/boat trip down the pacific coast to Patagonia. The sound track by Ugly Casanova always reminds me of this time.
Sunday, 25 September 2016
Mom and Dad
Friday, 26 August 2016
Dear Diary: Summer is flying by. August 26
http://www.endurance.net/international/2006WalvisBay/ - The Namibia trip. I look back at some of the adventures I've had thanks to the horses, and the sport of endurance riding. Hard to believe sometimes! An excerpt from the South African 'Saldanha Ride' story- The course wound around the bay - a lovely cove with rocky outcrops, sand shallows at low tide, Southern Right Whales spouting and rolling in the water, dolphins, gulls, cormorands, other shore birds that looked just a little different to me. We crossed several flat or rolling sections of flower covered land - big granite outcrops, smooth gray and white stones thrust in every direction, piled on top of each other. and the flowers were incredible. The whole ride takes place in a Nature Conservation area. Preserving the flora - the special coastal plants and wildflowers, the kudu (large african game animal), the tortoises, the whales, - plus a variety of other mammals. Very wild and natural habitat.
Tuesday, 23 August 2016
Tuesday, 16 August 2016
Dear Diary: Summer is Flying By. August 16
Monday, 25 July 2016
Wednesday, 20 July 2016
Sunday, 19 June 2016
Dear Diary. Let it be Spring. June 19
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Thursday, 28 April 2016
Dear Diary: Let it be Spring. April 8
I've been watering the pasture and gardens since March - it's been dry and windy this spring and I needed to start the water early. The kildeer love it when I set the sprinkler in the pasture. Their cheerful peep peeps are a sure sign of spring.
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Monday, 25 April 2016
Dear Diary: Let it be spring. April 4
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Tuesday, 5 April 2016
Dear Diary: Let it be Spring. April 2
* not really... Follow on Endurance.net
Tuesday, 29 March 2016
Dear Diary: Let it be Spring. March 28
Well - it was an amazing ride - Results - the UAE website hasn't posted the results yet, and I don't have anything official with me right now, but from what I remember: UAE riders placed 1,2,3 - Terry Wood from Australia placed 4th. Best Condition was a rider from Spain on a leased horse (Sheik Mohammed's stable). Sheik Mohammed finished 7th - and he rode a very impressive ride - 60th into the first vet gate, and just kept moving up steadily all day. A smart ride and a good example of pacing and careful riding. US riders - Jennifer Nice placed 18th on her horse Al Baraq (now owned by UAE), Karen DiCamillo and SR Sharee placed 24th, Jan Worthington placed 30th on a UAE horse. 33 finishers total, 86 started. Valerie Kanavy and Bear Cat were eliminated at 73 miles (7 miles left to go), Rita Swift got very sick from heat stroke and had to quit at 60 miles, Darolyn Butler's horse, Chaser found some buried rebar and injured his pastern during the first loop, eliminated at the first vet gate. I pulled Khruschev at 40 miles. He stumbled and came out of it lame - he had a crack in his heel where a sole abcess had worked up through the foot and he probably banged it when he stumbled. Beecher's thermal-radiographic unit detected heat (inflammation) in his heel after the ride. Disappointing to not finish (only his second pull in almost 3000 miles) but we had a blast while we were out there!!
Steph & Kruschev before the start It was a VERY energetic start - the horses were all incredibly eager. Even Khruschev was doing some serious bucking for the first few miles. A couple horses went on for a while without their riders ..... We settled into a mid-pack pace for most of the first loop. It's so flat there that we could see the front runners moving out on the horizon - dust from the horses and the zillions of 4WD rigs driving along beside them. It was incredible - at least one rig for each rider, driving ahead, hopping out and offering bullets of cold bottled water for the rider to pour over the horse. Every 3 kilometers or so the drivers would have water for the horses and riders. I rode with Jennifer Nice for the first loop - our horses went well together, kept up an 18 km/hr pace (about 10-11 mph) for the first 22 mile loop. Jennifer is now working in UAE and riding for one of the stables, so she had the stable drive and crew for her and generously shared their services with me. (John and Destry stayed in at the camp instead of driving out with me). The crew guys were great - water and electrolytes, and hollering out speed and distance at intervals. Most of the trail was pretty flat, easy going, but there was a lot of deep sand as well. The crew rigs were supposed to stay off of the horse trail, so they paralleled the riders - usually off in the deeper sand. I stopped counting the number of 4WD rigs stuck in the sand after the first 10 miles. Very entertaining - and I think the drivers were as interested in racing each other as they were in crewing for their riders! We pulsed down pretty quickly after the first loop - and even at a 10mph pace we were already 25 minutes behind the front runners! Incredible speed on these fast/flat desert courses. It is certainly different from the sport that most of us do in the USA. This is a race... not a ride. We spent some extra time at the vet check letting Khruschev eat more - his gut sounds were diminished - and doing some emergency shoe fixes (Jaye Perry was there for the Kanavy crew, but helped everybody out as well). Khruschev was really cranked for this ride, as were all of the horses. He was in pretty good form, though a little chubby for a fast,hot ride. He vetted in with a 28 pulse! and never even went over a 110 pulse during the entire time we were on the trail - but ... it's pretty tough to take a horse that trains in the mountains and ask them to maintain a constant, fast, pace in relatively flat terrain. Muscle and limb fatigue is a problem. Plus the horses from the northern hemisphere had at most 3 weeks to acclimate to the heat. This is probably a bigger issue than the terrain for most of the horses. We went back out on the second loop in good shape - his gut sounds were strong, and he was feeling great. We rode alone for the first couple miles and then caught up with a UAE rider - one of the Dubai Police riders. Had a nice time riding with him, and he shared his crew with me - water, electrolytes, etc - whatever we needed. Great fun - I've invited him to come ride in Idaho - but I think he was a little taken aback with the idea of mountains and minimal crewing! About 3 miles from the vetgate, Khruschev stumbled and came up lame - we were at a crew point so I was able to ask to have a horse 'ambulence' come and get us and drive us back to the village. We went directly into the treatment tent - very very nice facility - state of the art - competent veterinarians, friendly, helpful. The vet gave Khruschev a thorough examination, couldn't find any soreness in his limb, thought it might be the foot - released us and I took K back to the barn. Very efficient, professional care. John, Destry and I spent the rest of the day helping crew for the others. Valerie and Karen were doing well, horses looking good. Rita was pretty sick, but determined to stick it out if she could. Jennifer and Jan were both riding as US riders, but they were in the UAE section for crew, so we didn't see them except on the trail. There horses were kept in separate areas because of quarantine requirements. It was quite a day - Karen and Sharee did a great job, Sharee is an amazing little mare (850 lbs max) - their ride time was 7:33 (I think). The winning time was 6:11 - on an 78 mile course. Fast.... The completion rate was a little over 40%. It got very hot - 35 degrees centigrade - and the sun was pretty fierce. The UAE horses - that live and train here - were impressive. That's about it for now - I leave in 15 minutes - back out to the stable, load the horses in the van, ship them to Abu Dhabi (2 hr drive) - then we'll load them on the plane and depart at 7am. 6-10 hour layover in Luxembourg, then off to LA. About 20 hours flying time.... long day/night head of us. More later - Steph Teeter
Sunday, 27 March 2016
Thursday, 24 March 2016
Dear Diary: Let it be Spring. March 24
Sunny - the Shagya/Arabian cross - she is John’s horse - she’s very special, very sensitive, requires a lot of patience (because she’s so ‘special’) but John gets along with her quite well - he even calls her Sweety sometimes
Phinnaeas - Connie’s horse - black, bold, tough - grandson of the Black Stallion
Dudley - the last of my Russian Orlov Trotters (my Orlov/Arabian mare and a Belesemo Arabians stallion) - one of the smartest,handsomest horses I’ve raised - but his bouts with laminitis and tendency toward metabolic disorder (which also leads to laminitis) resulted in a stalled career as an endurance horse. He’s making a come back though, years of attention to his feet, weight control measures and regular exercise with Merri have brought him around.
Stormy - Merri’s elderly ex-racehorse Thoroughbred.
Casanova - he’s quite content to have Stormy as his mascot.
Jose Viola - one of the more special horses I’ve had - he’s just plain fun to ride. He injured his back when he was 10, and now he’s quite sway-backed, but still happily goes down the trail. He’s sponsored many juniors and everybody that rides him comes back grinning.
Smokey - she’ll be seven this year, we seem to be understanding each other well these days, and she’s worming her way into my heart. For all of her quirkiness, she is one of the best rides. Still many years to build on this human-horse relationship.
These two aren’t home yet, but will be soon -
Derby - another horse I raised - out of a Shagya Arabian mare that I bred to a Thoroughbred (son of a Kentucky Derby winner so they say). She’s currently in training at Ted’s, I’m looking forward to getting her back next month. She’s a big bay beauty, born on a Super Moon.
Willie - the Standardbred off-the-track rescue - he’s a tall gawky thing, and I don’t know what sort of horse he will be yet. I’ll get him back from Ted’s next month too - his son Terrence is training him to be a saddle horse (rather than a sulky racer) for me.
and we can’t forget these two - they’re currently with a friend in Boise-
Krushchev - the Orlov Trotter wonder horse - the most amazing horse ever. He’ll be 26 this year - I’ve had him since he was four. Thousands of miles of fantastic rides and races - including the 2000 World Championship in France, and the 2001 Dubai Cup in United Arab Emirates. This horse opened up the world to me. He’s still amazing at 26, still bringing smiles to kids and adults both.
Batman - the big beautiful black horse that was to be my next career horse, to replace Jaziret. Persistent subtle hind-end lameness finally led me to find a home for him as a trail horse last year. That was sad, he was a fun bold horse to ride - he had moments of being a super-hero, but that’s kinda fun too.
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Tuesday, 22 March 2016
Dear Diary: Let it be Spring. March 22
Credit: NASA Earth Observatory/NOAA NGDC Follow on Endurance.Net
Monday, 21 March 2016
Dear Diary: Let it be Spring. March 20
Tuesday, 15 March 2016
Dear Diary: Let it be Spring. March 15
Monday, 14 March 2016
Dear Diary: Let it be Spring. March 13
(photo by Steve Bradley - Connie and Phinnaes) Our friend wanted Connie to get a read on the horse and figure out what he needed in terms of training to make him a good citizen again. Connie had put the first rides on him several years ago, so she knew him. It was a windy stormy day, but I don't think that matters to Connie. She started in the round pen and then took him to the arena (wind kicking up dust, trees blowing, things flapping). Circles and circles and circles, he had some buck in him. "I just let him buck, he got tired of it eventually". She wanted to ride him again the next day, and it was even crazier windy and gusty. Not a second of hesitation. "He was much better, I knew he would be. There's nothing wrong with this horse, he just needs a strong leader." Connie is a good friend, and a lot of fun, and I hope she knows how much we all appreciate her!
Sunday, 13 March 2016
Dear Diary: Let it be Spring. March 12
Thursday, 10 March 2016
Wednesday, 9 March 2016
Dear Diary: Let it be Spring. March 8
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Sunday, 6 March 2016
Dear Diary: Let it be Spring. March 6
So, this was a 'tone it down ride'. A long walk (Merri/Dudley and Carol/Jose too) with lots of circles and riding through brush and downfall and forward and back and 'get over it' and use your brain stuff. Good for both of us, and it still surprises me how quickly she'll come around when I just take the time to Ride her instead of just being a passenger. Maybe someday she'll be one of those horses you can just get on and go, the same horse every day... but for now every ride begins with the first encounter, the first eye contact, and my first response to who she is on that day. Spring Diary