Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Onward to Oklahoma!

Left East Fork Stables Monday morning, to head to our next ride in Oklahoma. It did not make any sense to drive back home, then come right back up to the ride. Again, I did not have any firm plan on where to stop for the night. I decided to just see how I was feeling, and how the horses were doing. I made a stop near the Natchez Trace State Park in TN, and unloaded the horses, walked them a bit, and gave them each a mash to eat. The loaded up, to head back down the road. I had been told about another State Park, but really did not know just where it was. As late afternoon came on, I saw the sign for Village Creek State Park. It was about 14 miles off of the highway, but decided I had driven long enough today, and this looked like a good spot. Found the Equestrian Campground, and it had open air stalls for the horses, and nice spots for camping. The down side was that I crossed the grass to head for a shower and felt itching on my legs. CHIGGERS! Mean little buggers, but got them off me with some bug spray. The horses were settled in, and went to bed. Some time in the night, it started to rain, and pour, and thunder, and lightning. I was glad the horses were under cover, and the dog secure inside the horse trailer. I hit the road early, heading on to Oklahoma. Arrived mid afternoon, and put the horses in a couple corrals, then headed back to town, just 5 miles away, to grocery shop, do a load of laundry, and find the feed store for some more hay. Flag is not a big horse, but can sure eat a lot! Got done in town, and then settled on a campsite. Put up some high lines for the boys, so they could move some. The corrals were pretty yucky from recent rains, so not the best option for them. The laundry was not completely dry, so I had to hang it around inside the camper.

Sure could not hang it outside with the weather. Around midnight, it started to rain. Not hard, just a steady rain. It was not cold, so I did not bother to go put on their rain sheets. By morning, it had not stopped, and the horses were now in mud. And then it rained more. All day Wednesday it rained. I moved mud, raked, scraped, and dug. Tried to keep the water flowing away from the horses, and not puddling. Before sun up on Thursday, it stopped raining. I moved the trailer, changed where the boys were tied, and got them out of the mud, and on to drier ground. You can see where they had been tied, and how muddy it was in the foreground.

About 15 or so others showed up Thursday for the ride, so it was nice to have company after being all alone in camp for a couple days. Hank was convinced this was not a ride, and was shoving me with his nose on Wednesday, which is his saying he wants something. I really think he was ready to load up, and head down the road. After other horses arrived, he seemed to change, and was not being pushy. Maybe he does know that this IS indeed a ride!

I got up on the roof of the trailer to drop down Hanks other bale of Timothy hay. I had bought some nice water proof bale bags, bade out of heavy duty waterproof fabric. Well, they still managed to leak, and his hay is wet on one side. Of course it would be the Timothy, which is so expensive. I still have Timothy pellets, and some nice Bermuda hay, along with the Prairie grass hay I got in town, so they sure won’t go hungry.

By Friday afternoon, the camp was alive with riders for the NATRC ride, and some folks who came up to camp and pleasure ride for the weekend. Got Hank checked in, and my saddle bags checked for all the needed items, tack ready to go, and his breakfast for Saturday pre-made, so I could stumble out of the trailer before sun up, and hang up his bucket of mash, and go back in the camper to finish waking up. When he hears me move in the morning of a ride, he will usually whinny to tell me I better be getting him is breakfast soon! The weather was still unsure, but the chance of rain for the weekend had gone down.

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