MAY 28 Lucknow John’s Spontaneous Ride
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-RIDE CANCELLED 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.