Friday, September 18, 2020

falcon crest redux

oh boy, where are we?

A couple weeks ago, on a day of supposedly "light green/yellow" air quality, I headed out with C and Friday to Falcon Crest staging area. Now, I knew it had been a few years since we visited (and blogged) this staging area on the other side of Folsom lake, but when I looked it had been February 2012! Where does the time go?!

long, very creaky bridge

low lake, no playing
 I remembered how the trails connected, but not much else. Parking was easy, and the trails were all pretty shady. Lots of oak trees, dry grass, yucky star thistle and buckeye trees. The lake is WAY down, and not safely accessible (sucking mud), so no cooling in the lake for Major and Friday.

car chassis, been there a LONG time!

feed me sandwich…

The horses did appreciate the break when we stopped to eat our snack. How can I ignore this face? PB&J sandwich is always shared.

nice trough for drinking and scooping!


lovely, old oak
It was not a long adventure, the smoke layer was lowering, and we didn't want to do too much as it was also getting hot (double fun, yeah!). There was a nice trough where I used my scoop and cooled Major off, I wanted to get in myself!

I think I'll put this on my list to go back to in Spring. And not take eight years to do it!

re-create photo fun!

Tuesday, September 15, 2020


 We've been living in an old ashtray for almost four weeks, but I'm learning to deal with it and actually pretty happy with that.

We have not had to evacuate (though all is packed and planned as it can be). Every morning the first thing I do is check the air quality app, and am sadly disappointed.

this hay is so much better (exactly the same)
mmm, hay bag is tasty

Major and the rest of the horses seem largely unaffected, though incredibly bored. I've been giving him a slow feed hay net with the string removed and locking carabiner on top. This is great fun to throw around the pasture, keeps him busy. He did tear down one shade curtain and removed the safety pipe around some poles though…

Trying SO HARD to be good, see that look though?!

As far as we go, just to the forest entrance

I've been taking him on a short daily walk, and he tries to be very good. I can handle about half an hour outside, and try to find him some hidden green grass, but I've come home walking a dragon/kite a few times now.

hazy Foresthill bridge

I tried a short hike underneath the Foresthill bridge on a "less than 150" day. Yeah, I need less than 100 to manage outside I discovered!

Even the Magic 8 ball can't help me

When this smoke clears we'll need to ease back into riding, as the horses have been breathing this bad air for weeks. Taking it easy will be a tough sell I think! (We did one short ride on a day when it was less than 100 air quality, but it was 95 degrees, so that helped lower the enthusiasm!)

our "new normal" sunrise

Until we can ride/hike/kayak/camp again at least there is work, and crafts, and football to occupy my time. The sun shall rise (though smoky), and I shall have to be patient. Not mine (or Major's!) strong suit, but we're certainly having to work on it! 

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

d.i.y.: stirrup leather covers

This project came from necessity: it was too dang hot to ride with my half chaps! I tried a ride without chaps, and even with my full sheepskin cover, the leathers would still dig in (maybe I just have sensitive shins?). I could have bought some $45 sheepskin covers, but 1. they're longer than I need, and 2. $45!

I already had all these materials, but I think this would cost you less than $5, even if you bought your favorite fleece pattern!

What you need for this incredibly complicated project:
  1. scissors
  2. pins
  3. glue (I used E6000, but hot glue would work, though probably less washable) and a stick to spread glue (if needed)
  4. ruler/cardboard
  5. piece of fleece (I used one approximately 24x24, and only used 24x20 of it). This made two 12 inch tubes. (If you need longer, just a bit more fabric would be needed. I've seen many stirrup covers are 18 inches long, so you'd need one yard for two covers.)
1. I had a metal ruler that measured 1.25 inches wide. Since my leathers are 1" wide, this was a good size to wrap. If you don't have a ruler, just cut a strip of cardboard from all those boxes of horse stuff you know you order.
2. I placed two pins, one on each end, NOT along the length. You need to be able to remove these later (and if you do the whole length they'll be stuck inside the tube, ouch, stabby!).
3. Place a line of glue along the edge, and roll ruler and fabric over to cover.

4. Neatly roll the ruler/fabric up in a tube. I rolled mine about 8 times, more if you want it fluffier.

5. When you get the thickness you want, cut that edge approximately straight, and run a line of glue along the edge.

6. Fold that final piece over, and let everything sit for awhile while you have a celebratory drink.
7. After the glue has dried, remove the ruler and the end pins.

8. I cut my 24" tube into two 12" pieces. (If you do longer ones just do this twice at 18", probably easier than one 36" long tube).

9. Put them on your leathers! Now I have wintec webbers, which are a single strap, but this would fit standard leathers too, maybe just a bit more shoving, fleece is a bit stretchy! Amaze at your matching ensemble (or just use black fleece, which would show less dirt!)

I have only used these twice, one was a longer ride (before the heat wave/smoke) and I give them a stamp of approval! The only downside: now the disgusting horse sweat is on my leg and not my half chaps, but I'm cooler! I'll probably make a second set to have while these get washed, but I'm pretty happy with this simple DIY. Is this something you need? Try it!