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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Life is an Adventure

In the spirit of doing more of what I love, I went horse camping the first weekend of the month.  It was a short trip, only one night, but I very much enjoyed the time away.  I invited my cousin, C, who horse showed with me for years in 4H.  We don't see each other as much as we used to, but we always manage to pick up where we left off.

Campsite H1
We chose to go to Deer Creek State Park here in Ohio.  My father and our uncles go here once a year for their brother's golf trip and love it.  I chose this park because it's one of the few I've ever seen with the ability to reserve horse camping sites online, most are first come first serve.  We arrived around 8AM Saturday, and unloaded the horses.  The picket line was sturdy, but had no loops to which to tie the horses.  We used some cheap para-cord (dollar store variety, that would break if needed) and used prusik loops to secure our leads to.

First day ride, sunny and warm.
                                  C went to the camp office to check us in and obtain our parking passes.  I set up haynets and water for the horses.  Dewey settled in really well, never called out or danced, although it did take him a bit to get into his hay.  We decided a short ride, despite the heat would best help them relax.  It was in the mid 80's by the time we tacked up.  We only rode for about an hour, almost all in walk, and came back.  The trails were somewhat overgrown with long grass, up to my stirrups at points.  They were marked, but we had to look for them in some places.

Gross! 
Horses washed down, and the reality hit.  It was a scorcher.  97+ degrees.  Mind you, I was on almost zero sleep.  I had taken a half day the night before from work and only managed an hour nap before heading to the barn.  I had forgotten in my excitement of planning the trip, that when I had gone camping as a child, we had a boat and spent the afternoon on the lake. Three times, we escaped to the truck and the AC for about half an hour at a time.  The sun finally shifted enough to give us some shade, and we got the monstrous tent set up, airbeds inflated, lunch eaten, and all the loose wood that was strewn around our campsite into the fire pit.  The horses appreciated their second wash-down.   We retreated to the shade and read books, played games on the phone, and in C's case, tried some online dating. 

The afternoon finally transitioned to evening, and my parents brought out my niece and nephew to visit, and we happily roasted smore's, let them jump on the air mattresses and be led on the horses.  So many memories flooded back of my own childhood doing the same things with my aunt and her horses in the summers.  Then there was a spider by my hand, he was absolutely disgusting, and I was done being on the ground at that point.


Glowsticks on halters, easy to look out at night and
see the horse still (hopefully) standing there.
We slept surprisingly well despite the overnight heat, and woke at 0430 to get ready for a sunrise ride. This was the highlight of our trip.  It was cooler out, and a light mist covered the ground.  We started out and ended up riding for about 2 hours.  The sunrise was beautiful, and the deer were out for a morning snack.  The horses were perked up and seemed to enjoy the exercise in the more mild temperatures.  Pancakes were had for breakfast, and we packed it up and headed home since there seemed little point in being miserable in the heat all day for the small chance of maybe an hour's ride in the evening.

All in all, would we do it again?  Yes.
Moon still out when we set off.
 -  Deer creek has some nice trails, that are pretty flat.  The campsites are decent, with seemingly ample shade, although if I reserve again, it will be campsite three, it seemed to have the most shade near the tie lines.
 -  Just be aware, there isn't running water in the horseman's camp area.  There is, however, in the day use area, which is just across the street and down about a half mile.  We brought three buckets of water from home, and then an empty trash can/feed bin and a plastic bag for it.  We filled it up and used it from the truck bed.  Not too much of a pain for a short trip, but I don't think I'd make a trip longer than two nights, just due to lack of convenience there.
 -  There is a pit toilet in the horseman's camp.  Shower's are in the main campground.  Since it was just a night we did a field shower with a wet washrag.
 -  Note to self, I don't need three pairs of shoes.
First streaks of color in the sky
 -  The tent/airbeds worked well, but I think if I go out solo I'll hammock in the horse part of my trailer.

Overall, a fun enjoyable trip, that reminded me how much I missed summer camping trips as a kid.  I can't wait for fall to hopefully get out for another, cooler trip.
Sun finally peeking over the horizon





One of several does we saw.








Monday, April 2, 2018

An Introduction

Hi!  I'm Lindsey.  I figured now would be a good time to give a rundown of the cast, so to speak.

I'm a late twenties, non-college graduate.  I spent eight years in the military and left as a Sergeant, E5.  We did one deployment during that time, which I more often refer to as my unplanned study abroad.  I often call it a BS mission, but I understand we were where we were so that the grunts could be where they needed to be to get the job done.  It was still a year in a desert, and away from my family.  It was a huge growing up portion of my young adult life. 

I've been a horse person for as long as I can remember.  Some of my first memories are on the back of a horse.  I spent summers at my aunt's house in the country, with campfires, tents, and her two Tennesee Walking horses.  I Joined 4H as a cloverbud, and continued through my nineteenth birthday.  I showed everything from western pleasure to barrels, but my heart laid in the jumping arena.  Sam entered my life, as a gangly four year old gelding, who was sold because he 'wouldn't make it' at the breed shows.  He went from unwanted, to a very nice local 3' hunter.  He's since been rehomed, and is happily half feral in Montana.  I'll do a detailed post about him another time. 

I share the house with the Mister.   We met because our parents are sneaky and plotted together for years to get us to go out.  We spent three months running together 5 nights a week before we went on our first date, which was a fundraiser for an injured police officer at our hometown department. 

Fast forward eight years and here we are.  He's seven years on at our PD, and is now a K9 handler.  His partner is Bear, a three year old German Shepherd.  He's a dual purpose dog meaning he does both narcotics detection and tracking/criminal apprehension.  They've been a team for two years now. 

I'm a year on at my department and loving every minute of it. 

My current equine partner is a 10 year old Standardbred gelding, who raced as What RU Doin, called "Dewey".  He was adopted from an OTSB group in Ohio, Starting Gaits.  He's a great trail partner, and the same horse whether he is ridden once a week or once a month. 

We have two other dogs at home, Jax and Rowdy.  Jax is my eight year old GSD who was rescued after being thrown out of a moving vehicle as a 12 week old pup.  Rowdy is the Mister's dog, a seven year old Lab. 

We're excited about making our little farm a home.  

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Pilot

Here I plan on chronicling my adventures: those of a new farm owner, someone discovering a new diet, horse owner, dog lover, police officer and outdoor enthusiast. 

I own five acres in southwestern Ohio, live with three dogs, own a horse that isn't yet at home, and a live in boyfriend, who's been by my side for about eight years now.  We've made it through a deployment, his police academy and subsequent employment at a local agency, and then my own journey through the academy and eventual hiring at the same agency. 

We enjoy hiking, traveling, training dogs, and just hanging out. 

The horses are my personal hobby.  Tony accepts and encourages me in this endeavor, although he doesn't really enjoy it himself.

We recently bought our farm and are excited to transform it to our home.  A transformation it will be!  The house was hideous when we purchased it, and the land needs to be worked on as well as the pond managed.

I'm in the process of making myself a healthier, happier person.  For too long now I've been miserable and most probably, suffering depression.  I hope to use this as an outlet, and to share with anyone who cares to follow, my journey through this thing we call Life; as I try to take it all in stride.