August 26-28 Authored by Liz Rowe What an absolutely incredible weekend of riding. Carol, myself, Wilf and Doreen arrived at John and Pat`s early Friday morning. We trailered over to Herman’s base camp and set off on the trails. The perfect blend of wider trails where we could ride beside each other and then single file in some parts. Small crystal clear streams to stop for the horses to drink, up & down hills and level riding. One trail had huge gnarly old Maple tree’s on one side and beautiful pines on the other side. Carol has named it Maple Lane!
On Saturday Jeff and Herman joined us and away we went on different trails. Again beautiful riding, we even got to play extreme cowboy a few times. Sunday we went out in the morning and came back to John and Pat’s for lunch. Wilf, Doreen and I left but being addicted to riding Carol and John headed out once again. Each night we had a bonfire and shared stories.
Thank you so much to John and Pat for inviting the club members to enjoy the trails. Liz
August 24 The Bluffs Authored by John Pyatt I joined three wonderful ladies (Carol, Liz and Pat) for a spontaneous ride at Saugeen Bluffs. What a great way to spend a relaxing day. For those of you who have been there you know the trails are lots of fun and the scenery is easy on the eyes. The weather was sunny and warm and there were no bugs. I mean really, what else could you ask for?
We started out around ten, rode for a couple of hours and then had a relaxing lunch beside the river. We meandered back to the campground to check out any changes that might have been made. There were a couple of extra corrals I believe and everything looked clean and neat. The ladies continued on but I had to head home to get some chores done. Hope to do it again soon.
August 12-15 Mansfield/Dufferin Forest Authored by Mary Lou Ruttan & Ride Host Don Ruttan Through trail conversation we learned they are celebrating 39 years. Congratulations to The Ruttans!!!!!!
Another small but mighty group successfully completed the Chesley Saddle Club Event that was held over the weekend. Great riding and great company was enjoyed. Moved in and set up camp on Thursday afternoon and Friday we enjoyed a very pleasant ride.
The weather on Saturday was not as good. We started out in the morning with very humid and dull conditions, but it was tolerable in the bush. That was not to last! As we started our lunch, with no warning, we were treated with a downpour like no other!! We were instantly drenched!! For close to two hours, we traveled through pools of water and relentless rain with water rushing like a river down trails to meet us. After the humidity and stifling hot weather the rain did bring a welcome cool relief. Yet, near the end of our ride, with boots and pockets filled with water, the pleasure had begun to wear off. We were glad to arrive at our trailers, pour the water out of our boots, peel off our wet clothes and have a warm shower. Our gear was certainly not about to dry out that afternoon or evening and there were some tense moments later Saturday because of severe weather warnings.
Sunday and Monday provided nice conditions and great riding again. Lots of stories were exchanged with good friends and all in all a good time was had at the Dufferin Forest ride despite some wet socks on Saturday!!! Mary Lou
July 1-3 2nd Wiarton Work Weekend: “Papa Clare’s Trail” The Making of a NEW Trail on the Peninsula Trails do not just appear….there is an art to creating them and on the peninsula even more patience because of all the rock and crevices. Chesley Saddle Club has 45 years of incredible experienced people that have the skill and dedication to create great safe rides for us. In 2008 Clare Dendstedt (trail committee) from Dorking and Jimmy Rhodes from Elmira were two guys with two young horses who decided to ride alone and tackle a trail that had been haunting them for years; wanting to see where it would lead and what was just around the next corner. Each year after Clare would inch away at making a bit more trail by himself. In 2015 he was driven to complete it and brought his entire family to Work Weekend base camp for the day. The family dropped Joel and his Papa to work on the trail while they went into town. While working Clare put his glasses on top of his hat contemplating a direction to pursue he walked off forgetting about his glasses and now the trail has a pair of his glasses that sees all the riders that pass over them…3 hours later the patiently waiting family in the car see them finally return from the forest. Cowboy Bob joined Clare on a 5 Day Ride taking 8 riders into unknown territory. It was later described as walking on rock ridges like mountain goats; luckily not a horse was hurt and all had an experience they will never forget. Now 2016, 8 years later on Work Weekend 2, Joel, Courtney & Papa Clare spent rainy day Friday trying to get the last piece figured out with yet another unsuccessful return. The club decided that Sat. we would all help get that last part of the loop finished. The completed trail is now aptly named “Papa Clare’s Trail”.
These companies are CSC 45th Anniversary Sponsors for 2016. Ionsons Saddlery, The Horse Habit, Herbs for Horses and Bluewater Feeds Ltd. Please acknowledge their contribution if you visit any of these establishments. Their funding is allowing the transportation of horses to the starting points each day for the Anniversary Ride this month from Chesley to Wiarton’s 5 Day.
June 17-19 1st Wiarton Work Weekend Authored by Marg Drexler & Frances Vegh- It all started at trail #12 our first obstacle. The dreaded red chain and a no trespassing symbol. Who knew Clare and his horse were color blind we went around the gate. After that things were going peachy…until the sand box. Joel and his horse decided it was a nice day to roll around in the sand. It really didn’t take us too long to catch the horse. Marg & Fran singing in chorus, “Back in the saddle again.”
Oh, Oh, a water hole. Suddenly we heard the melodic yells of splish splash Clare was trying to take a bath. That spot is now renamed Clare’s old swimin hole. Marg & Fran in chorus, “Back in the saddle again.”
We were moseying along and found some interesting old side trails that need a lot of work…..note to Joel leave the skinny trails to skinny horses. It really didn’t take that long to catch his horse; again. Marg & Fran in chorus, “Back in the saddle again.”
Marg and Clare swear we were never lost, just misplaced the trail. Finally we found old ribbons, added new ones and lo and behold, we have a trail. Marg & Fran in chorus, “Back in the saddle again.”
We headed out to the main county road and finally Carol could see exactly where the trail comes in off the road. Saw that Chad (land owner) was home so Carol thought she would let him know that her group of anniversary riders were coming thru. Lucky her she got off and knocked on the door, she quickly retreated to her horse but was humming wait for it, “Gonna find my baby, gonna hold him tight, gonna get me some afternoon delight” and looking a little flushed. Door opens a crack and Chad’s head comes out, he was quick to give his permission for us to carry on. Marg & Fran in chorus, “Back in the saddle again.”
We returned back to camp along a well marked trail with no further events to report!! Marg & Fran
Happy Birthday Ron & Joan!
Sydney Bay on the Peninsula: This is just one of the great lookouts we have on the CSC Rides. Thanks to our 45th Anniversary Sponsors- Bluewater Feed Ltd, Herbs For Horses, Ionson’s Saddlery and The Horse Habit. If you visit any of the establishments make sure you say thanks on behalf of the CSC.
June 10-12 Helmut’s Ride in Vivian Forest Authored by John & June Cicero- Another successful CSC ride! After some unscheduled trailer-backing training, we arrived at Helmut’s beautifully treed property. We spent an enjoyable evening by the fire, rekindling old friendships and meeting new people. Our quiet, sleep-filled night was disrupted by lightening, thunder and rain, but we woke to mostly blue skies and warm temperatures.
After breakfast, we set off through the bright green forest to meet some local day riders at the North Tract parking lot where we split into 2 groups. Lana and I chose to ride with Crystal, a local with extensive knowledge and experience in the Vivian Forest. The other 11 rode along with Helmut. Crystal has and was willing to share her considerable knowledge of forest history, tradition (she actually decorates a tree in the forest every Christmas), as well as past, current and future trail and forest plans. Crystal guided us on a wonderfully relaxing 2½ hour ride through beautiful, dynamic forested trails, taking the time to tell us all she knew about what we were experiencing and seeing. We crossed paths with several riders enjoying the day and the trails. We rejoined our main group for lunch, parted ways with the local riders, and then continued on the fabulous forest trails, stopping at a pond before finally heading home.
Saturday evening’s potluck was well supplied, attended and enjoyed. And after a pleasantly exhausting day of riding, the majority of the 10 riders retired by 9pm.
Sunday morning brought winds and cooler temperatures-excellent riding weather after the humidity of the previous day. We were once again joined by local riders and set out on new trails that were again beautiful and varied. Today we were met by more hikers and dog walkers, everyone happily enjoying the day and the trails. And after a request for a new leader, Lucy and I took the lead. Thankfully we were skillfully guided through the trails by Helmut, just a few mounts behind-don’t quite know how he remembers the trails so well, especially from 10-20 feet back. Camp began to break up in early afternoon and we departed, leaving some behind to relax before setting out.Many thanks to Helmut for another great weekend of riding! J&J
Saugeen Bluffs Conservation Horse Camp June 4th Grand OpeningThis spring our club was contacted and we offered a monetary donation and also our expertise to help them with their trail system. We started working on the trails in April, very chilly time to be camping! We worked for two weekends and have gone back a number of times to continue the work. It’s been amazing watching the trail system come together and talking to the people who have come to enjoy a horse park.
To see photo’s and news commentaries you can go to saugeenshoreshub.ca and The Sun Times newspaper. The grand opening was June 4th with approximately 11 kms of trails open. The club will continue opening more trails and of course enjoy beautiful riding and comradery with fellow members. See you on the trails.
Authored by John Pyatt After my May 14 weekend ride was cut short by rotten weather I rescheduled it for the May 28 weekend. Clearly the weather gods are after me as I had to cancel that one due to the possibility of severe thunderstorms. However, because Saturday looked to be good for the most part I held an impromptu ride. Four of us decided to give it a shot and it was a glorious day for a ride.
We covered about thirteen miles through bush, fields and a tiny bit of road. The mosquitoes were thick in a few spots but the healthy breeze kept them mostly at bay. I suspect that for the next couple of weeks the skitters will be a bit of a pain. Hopefully the deer flies won’t be to bad.
After about 4 1/2 hours of riding we ended the day with a very pleasant cold beverage. Thanks Carol, Don and Merlene for coming along.
MAY 28-29 LUCKNOW JOHN’s RE-RIDECANCELLED Changed to Spontaneous Ride-John would like the CSC members know that his ride has become a Spontaneous Ride due to the changing weather pattern over the weekend. A 9am departure time Sat & Sun but advised to call before you drive over. John Pyatt 519-955-1286
MAY 20-22 Vivian Forest Ride Authored by Marilu Murphy & Brenda Douglas-Jump in the truck, horses are loaded, we are looking forward to a fun filled weekend with fellow horse people. Four hours should have been sufficient but it took us another hour making it five hours before we finally drove up Helmut’s short driveway and onto his property. Ron was standing and talking to Helmut ahead of us. They quickly cut their conversation short to assist in parking Brenda’s rig in a perfect spot to allow us to set up a portable corral for Misty and Sage. Two horses that loaded well, travelled five hours like troopers are tired and beyond feeling the freedom of the soft dirt beneath their hooves and more hay in there bellies. They unload perfectly and rest happy within the confines of their corral. Their owners, are finally sitting back enjoying a cold beverage, caching their breath.
The socializing has begun. We gather at Brad and Ruth’s rig to chat and catch up with last year’s news, beverages in hand while munching on tidbits and snacks. This is the life! A green tree canopy envelops us with an oak leaf carpet below our feet.
After our bellies were full, a long but enjoyable day came to an end while we relaxed at the campfire sharing more stories.
Saturday morning at ten am sharp, the group of twelve led by our host and trail master Helmut stepped out along the road that cuts through the property. The soft trail winds down a fairly steep hill behind his home and leads down to a large pond where the horses can grab a quick drink before heading out. The shallow depths at the edge of the pond was not good enough for Misty and a few others as they had to creep out into the deeper waters to take their drink.
The trails start in the Vivian Forest just beyond the pond. A gentle incline takes us up into tree lined soft sand trails that meander through the forest. We ride along edges of highways, behind private homes and property, across the Forest’s parking lot and through another small body of water. Three more horses catch up with our group, having missed the ten am start. Fifteen horses in all follow Helmut and his Tennessee Walker, Smokey at a reasonably good clip, taking breaks as needed for slower horses to catch up. Trilliums and other spring flowers lining the trails are at their peak, the canopy a bright yellow green that is seen only at this time of year. The softly packed sandy trails are not difficult or challenging with steep hills but are more relaxing and rolling. Areas that are harder surfaced are still not going to bother a good healthy bare foot. Some of the trails are single file while others widen out. We meet horseback riders that do not belong to our group, and walkers with their dogs. Everyone is kind and respectful. The weather is warm up here not far from Newmarket, a real treat for our “volatile late spring” in this more north eastern area.
After four and a half hours, I look forward to getting back. My knees are starting to ache a bit, as this is my longest ride this year so far. I was satisfied; Misty the Morgan was more relaxed as was Sage, Brenda’s five-year-old Quarter Horse mare. A finish at the pond was enjoyed, as they stood buried up to the top of their elbows in the cool water splashing and dipping their noses.
Back at camp, we were able to use Helmut’s spray hose to rinse off sweaty areas under the saddle. Horses are happy to go back into their portable stalls to munch on hay and rest while we gathered together to enjoy a cold beverage at one another’s rigs.
A potluck supper sitting properly at patio tables up on Helmut’s large deck over looking his pool later on in the day followed by a campfire was just the best experience to end a wonderful day.
On Sunday, after a breakfast of muffins from Timmy’s provided by Sandy and coffee that was made by our host, we were on our way again. Ten am sharp, heading in a more northerly direction, twelve horses left to enjoy the trails once more in the Vivian Forest. Another five hour ride of sweet bliss through the beautiful trails once more. We end our ride at the pond for another dip and drink while walkers and other guests of the Vivian Forest take the opportunity of a Kodak moment snapping photos of riders and their horses playing in the pond.
Riders congregate at Brenda’s rig after their horses are comfortable in the portable stalls and on high lines. We discuss previous rides; next year’s rides and say our goodbyes to those who are leaving to make a long trek home.
We have decided that we will leave on Sunday rather than stay the holiday Monday. Heading out later on and the day before, we will avoid the busy traffic on the 401.
Tired but satisfied, we load our horses and easily leave our camp site, saying goodbye to our friends only to meet up again at another ride.
Vivian Forest and the kindness of our gracious host Helmut gave us a wonderful experience. Thank you Helmut, we appreciate all that you do for our horses and us. Marilu Murphy and Brenda Douglas.
MAY 20-23 Dufferin/Mansfield Ride Authored by Jan Moulton-I would like to say what an amazing weekend we had at the Dufferin Forest ride with the Chesley Saddle Club on the May 24th weekend. What a great bunch of people to ride with….however…we had a couple of hiccups getting there. After a week of preparation in getting ready for our vacation with our horses…Leslie & I headed out and needless to say… the midway point my diesel truck blew a head gasket. ..after hours of sitting in a “gracious” Amish barn yard waiting for the tow truck to take my truck back to our diesel mechanic in Burgessville, we had a grateful rescue from the ever gracious Cathy Dibble who brought us a truck to haul our trailer home. Finally getting home at midnight, we decided we were not going to miss this Mansfield virgin trip and proceeded to get up at 5:30 a.m. Saturday morning with the intentions to make it to Dufferin for our 10:00 a.m. ride. Well….needless to say….we pulled into the campsite with a very warm welcome from all our friends at CSC…and managed to get our horses off the trailer and tacked up ready to ride by……..Oh Yes…10:00 and off we went!!
Our good friend Jeff Dibble offered us some fried chicken on our lunch break and it brought us back to life. ..after not eating for 32 hrs…my horse didn’t recover so well after the Sat. ride and thanks to Carol Blake who rescued my horse with some electrolytes. ..we survived!!. All of our friends at the CSC were so generous as to share their horse’s water with us; our water still on my truck which was towed for repair.
Well. .we are still travelling and camping with Mr Jeff Dibble’s truck and are touring the Saugeen Bluff trails that our CSC members have worked on at the Saugeen Conservation Horse Camp. I and my best travelling companion and friend Leslie Ball are truly blessed and thankful for all the help and overwhelming support of our CSC members who truly care about their fellow riders and care for our horses. I’d like to say a big “THANK YOU” to all of you. Ride on and be safe!! Jan Moulton
MAY 28-29 LUCKNOW JOHN’s RE-RIDEThe Lucknow Ride of May 14 was cancelled due to the inclement weather so we will give it another shot on the May 28 weekend. Refer to the May 14 ride for driving instructions and give John a call if you are interested in coming to this ride. John Pyatt 519-955-1286
MAY 14 Lucknow John’s Ride
John & Pat were the hosts for the 1st scheduled CSC Ride held in Lucknow, ON. They have a beautiful rolling hill property that kitty-corners the South Kinloss Tract and CSC members are getting the opportunity to ride it once again. I believe this forest was once a CSC ride hosted by the Cowan Family years ago. We are fortunate to now have members that live on the edge of this forest and are willing to host us in to ride it again.
Friday we were running around in T-shirts enjoying the warmth and sun while getting nipped by the pesky little black fly. John helped us get our rigs set and high lines attached to the remaining trees in his orchard. He shared with us that they were hit by a tornado last August; the Sunday night of the Wiarton’s 5 Day …………as devastating as that must have been for them it is still a beautiful orchard, when it is DRY, a little different this morning, WET.
You build it and they will come; a fire beckoned us Friday night to leave our trailers and congregate around it to share stories and reconnect after a long winter. There is nothing like being out camping with my horse again. So good to share laughs, dinner and drinks with like-minded people.
There is something to be said about the sound of warm raindrops all night as you sleep in your trailer but when spring temperatures drop, winds get stronger and horses start shivering it is time for riders to be responsible in getting horses warmed up and eating.
At 9:30am CSC meeting was called and John & Pat graciously opened their house to all of us. After the meeting coffee & Birthday cake was served to celebrate Pat, John & Jeff’s special days.
The club decided to call the ride and get horses home. John got his tractor out to pull a few rigs back on to the road to head home. Sincere appreciation to our hosts Pat & John for a memorable CSC Ride.
Don’t forget to click Contest and play. I will post your horse’s eye(s).
New game started April 1/16.
TWO SPOTS for the CSC Anniversary Ride 2016 have just opened up. There is always the chance of a lame horse or someone taking ill; so there is a cancellation list. If you would like to add your name please let me know. Thanks to all who have confirmed to be on the CSC 45th Anniversary Ride 2016.
If you are someone that would like to be involved but do not want to ride we need Transportation Rig Drivers. If this might interest you please contact me for a Driver Package. firstname.lastname@example.org