Pony Express Online

Saddle Fitting Clinic—May 13

Saddler Larry Strecker gave a hands on seminar to demonstrate how to tell if a particular saddle is the right fit for your horse. The 20 plus participants all found the clinic helpful and informative.

The proceeds went to the Standardbred Performance Horse Association, which has just been started up. The purpose of the SPHA is to promote recreational uses of this versatile breed such as riding and pleasure driving.

Aprilfest Mileage Ride—May 7

After many years OCTRA tried to overcome the cold weather jinx on the first ride of the season by moving it from April to May, though they still called it Aprilfest (?). However, it didn't work. The temperature went down below freezing the night before—our friend Audrey Bowering from Sundridge was camping onsite in a tent with her husband George, brrr!—and the daytime high was a cloudy 12°C with a cold wind blowing.

OCTRA has lately introduced shorter rides of only 12 - 13 miles instead of the usual 25. Pat and Vic opted for the shorter format this time because they were feeling a bit out of shape, especially Vic, who emphatically DOESN'T DO winters. Pat was on her old warhorse Dandee and Vic on Roxy. Audrey accompanied us on her first OCTRA ride on her young Anglo-Arab/Clydesdale Champ. Our good friend Helen Mason was also there, but Helen was doing the 25 miler on her horse Mandy. Christy Dee and her daughter Alannah were there to pit crew for us and took a lot of work off our hands caring for the horses after the ride was over. Thanks very much.

Ride management set a faster pace than usual for the ride, but not as fast as Roxy would have liked to go. Our hard-driving Arab mare stayed out in front of our trio, and Pat often had to call on Vic to slow down for the sake of Champ who was not used to sustaining such a fast pace. Sometimes Pat would shout, "Please walk!" and Vic would yell back, "I AM WALKING. CAN'T YOU SEE???" But if the truth be known, it was much more like a sitting trot. Roxy does not like to walk on a competitive ride, and at the end Vic's arms were a bit sore from holding her in so much."

All our horses finished well. At the final vet check Dandee had a pulse rate of 40. You might think Roxy would be high with her Type A personality, but after it's all over she relaxes and her pulse rate plummets, this time to an incredibly low 36.

Pat points the way as we start off.

Aprilfest Ride 2006

Birthday—May 6

Vic became a senior citizen. He reports that he didn't notice any difference in his health, and he went on the Aprilfest ride the next day.

Coates Creek Ride and Tie—April 29

After going many years with only one Ride and Tie to their credit way back in 1993, Pat and Vic finally got into the sport in 2005, doing 2 that year and entered this first one of the 2006 season. In fact, Lonesome Acres fielded two teams.

Former stable girl and now aspiring vet student Lisa L. teamed up with Maggie A., who is her successor in the poop-scooping department. Their mount was our ever-reliable 19-year-old Arab Dandee. Pat and Vic were riding on Roxy the Rocket. As a junior Maggie had to stick close to Pat while she was riding and Lisa stayed with Vic.

The results were satisfying. We finished the six-mile run with a time of 1:34, Lisa and Maggie coming fifth and Pat and Vic sixth out of nine teams in the event. As usual, Pat and Vic were the oldest team in the event.

We should mention that we had a big pit crew to look after the two teams, former boarder Tania Hill and Christy Dee with her daughter Alannah.

Lisa warms up Dandee before the ride

Lisa and Dandee

Pat sets off on Roxy

Pat and Roxy

Vic goes out on the second loop after the vet check

Vic and Roxy

Maggie charges up the hill to the finish line


A New Foal—April 20

New boarder Sara Riley got a bargain she hadn't expected. Sara has been around our barn for a few years now, doing some work, taking riding lessons with her daughters Heather and Kristen and bringing along her little guy Shane to play with Cinnamon the Irish Setter, who just adores him. However, Sara was determined to get a horse of her own, and late this winter she purchased Chinook, a little Appaloosa mare. To everyone's surprise when the vet came on a routine visit, she asked casually, "So when's this mare due?" A quick inspection confirmed that she was right.

On the morning of April 20, before anyone got out to the barn naturally, Chinook gave birth to a lovely little pinto filly. Sara has subsequently named the baby Lonesome Wind, or Windy for short.

Windy on her first day


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