Over this past weekend, I went on my first real trail ride. Well, it was mostly on the road, but it was still a long ride with a bunch of other people on horse back! I drove three and a half hours southeast of here to Versailles, MO. My Mom's cousin, Jay Yoder, lives there and I had been invited down for a visit. I arrived just before lunch on Friday. After having a glass of Susie's delicious mint tea, Jay and I went straight out to ride and rode for about an hour and a half on his property. He has a great trail system that meanders all over his beautiful 170 acre farm.
The next morning was the American Cancer Society's Ride For Life. All proceeds from the ride and other events relating to the ride went to benefit cancer research. Since my mom died three years ago from cancer, this cause is one I am very happy to contribute to. Especially if my contribution is from the back of a horse!
Here is the group preparing to take off on the ride. I am the one right about in the middle, in a ball cap, riding a brown gelding. Right next to me in a white shirt and sitting on a Palomino mare is my cousin, Jay.
The first half of the ride lasted about three hours. Then we stopped to water our horses in the creek and have some lunch. Jay and I decided three hours on a very hot day was enough for us and our horses, so we went home after that.
There was a BBQ that evening for all ride participants. After dinner there was a drawing for a saddle and also an auction. First, the names of all the riders went into a hat and they drew out one name. That person would win a brand new, hand made, leather head stall. I was the lucky winner of that prize! I wasn't even expecting that one! I had bought $20 dollars worth of raffle tickets for the saddle, so after the drawing for it (which I did NOT win), they continued to draw names for other prizes that had been donated. I ended up winning a pouch that clips on your belt when riding so you can carry all your important things, a brand new haltar and lead rope, a leather cell phone pouch, some gift certificates, and a tee shirt. I'd say, even though I didn't win the saddle, I still walked away with well over $20 worth of stuff! Here I am showing off my new head stall and haltar set. The haltar set is for a pony, but it fits my donkey and it is green (my favorite color). That is Jay behind me being a wise guy!
After all the drawings, there was an auction where people had donated lots of nice stuff for the cause. I ended up getting a very nice, new saddle pad for $25. I also met the lady who owned a local saddle shop just outside of town. In chatting with her, I learned she had an Australian stock saddle (which I have been looking for) and it was at a price I could afford, so I also came home with a saddle for Skipper. Here she is showing it off.
My cousin Steve (Jay's son) was kind enough to act as my personal photographer. He also took this video of me riding around on my horse. Well, the horse (Deuce) is actually Steve's horse. Since Steve was not riding, he was free for me to ride. He is a very nice Missouri Foxtrotter and he did great for me. I can't wait to go again next year.