Oklahoma

4/24/14 Oklahoma where the wind blows fairly down the plain (or something like that)…This is my 17th state! BTW all elementary school kids here learn this song with hand and body motions to go with it, I got a really cute demo from one.

It was so great to see Rachel, she is an awesome young woman and I am filled with wonder when I hold her. I got back to the trailer and in bed by midnight, very late by my standards. In the morning I tried to get going early but was really sleep deprived. As I was half in the truck the wind slammed the door shut on my left leg, just above the knee that had acl surgery some years ago. I cried. I said God help me! And I swear the pain went away. Its a bit sore but not bruised at all and I am walking just fine. It felt like it was broken when it happened.

The 5+ hour haul here was almost all on interstate (after I got thru Fort Worth’s city streets again and almost wiped out an idiot trying to pass me on the right when I was turning right and swinging wide to avoid the stupid turn island, he had the audacity to honk at ME! As we hit the next light side by side he smiled and waved in apology). Interstates are pretty boring to me now, I used to feel more secure on them. And it was really windy. I think the door slammed on my leg to say Heads up Kathy, its really windy, drive slower. The speed limit was 65 & 70. I never went over 60 except on the downhills. I’ve learned if you keep a lighter touch on the steering wheel the truck doesn’t jerk around as much in the wind (and in general). Kind of like riding Dreamy: stay just behind the motion. It keeps me from overcorrecting (back to driving the rig).The mares seemed very happy to be away from the strange creatures they slept next to last night, lol. They are in the electric corral just between my rig and the lake edge. It so pretty! And Tommy is thrilled to be able to run free some again, I had to keep a very tight hold of him at the stockyards obviously, and he was going stir crazy I think. But he is really so good in the truck now when we are hauling, he sleeps in the back seat and doesn’t get excited until I stop. He is sleeping by my feet while I type again.

A camper back at the last camp told me a nightmare story of an accident she and her husband had years ago, one horse had a leg severed when the trailer came loose after they had been hit and went off the road. It flipped over. I am having trouble getting her words out of my mind. I wish I hadn’t ever even heard them. When it happened when I was driving today I started thanking God for all the things I am thankful for and her words go away. I had to do it many times today. But it works. I have a lot of things to be thankful for, its a long list believe it or not. I start with thank you for my breath…

I’m settled in at Lake Carl Blackwell in OK. It is owned and run by Oklahoma State University. The trail system is huge, the lake is pretty big too and the sites are really well done and they are set up in little pockets around the lake. Its a real jewel. There are no corrals so I can use a picket line or my electric corral so I set up both. There is a big endurance ride this weekend but most of those campers are at a different camp but there are 2 other trailers in this one now and I see several reservation tags around so they’ll be here tomorrow I guess. But I am exhausted and going to bed now.

4/26/14
Yesterday I joined the competitive trail ride group at the other equestrian area for their clinic and lunch. It was very informative, I really knew little about the sport. The clinic went over all the things they are judged on like what the vet checks for and why, what the obstacles are like and how they are judged, how your tack must fit and what is acceptable and why, and how to safely camp with your horses either tied to the trailer or a picket line. They explained the different classes and how to pace yourself to stay in the correct time. The rides are at least 18 miles a day for 2 days I think, mostly done at a trot at the beginning level. So its too much for me. We walked around to a bunch of trailers and the judge showed us what she looks for. Lunch was good too. It was fun.

It got very hot and I shed my normal camping clothes. I must of looked rediculous but I felt better. I walked the mares to a field, hobbled them and enjoyed the peace. I got a lot of good photos of them and the view of the lake in the distance. Wildflower learned how to run with the hobbles on. I tried switching the two horse’s hobbles and she figured that out too. Posts on Facebook are telling me to use a 3 legged hobble. But I never hobble them and just go away, I am always nearby and she doesn’t fun to get away, just to make it to greener grass faster so I’m not ready to try that yet. I messaged Marci who started her for suggestions but haven’t heard back yet. I’m not really worried about it tho.

I worked on the LA painting but I’m not really happy with it. So I scraped my palette, it had gotten very messy and I need it fresh to fix it, maybe later today when it gets hot again. It’s 7:30, everyone is fed but me, mucked and walked Tommy by the lake. I want to ride before the heat comes and its lovely right now. It seems the evenings get windy here. There is a couple that heads out around then and comes back in the dark, at least that’s what they’ve done the last 2 nights. There are 9 trailers in my area now but I haven’t really met but one so far. She knew me from Facebook, it was funny. There’s another FB friend here too but I haven’t met her yet.

I figured out how to make toast on the stove. I put it in the bacon pan once the bacon is done. It soaks up the fat and toasts, don’t even need to butter it then, its delicious!

As I’m eating breakfast, I see 8 riders leaving camp, guess I missed riding with them, oh well. We do better alone and since I have a good map and well marked trails here I won’t get lost.

I had an amazingly beautiful ride, ponied WF and Tommy came along. We took the blue trail which was not flat at all and we were in trees most of the time. It was cool to start but was getting pretty warm towards the end. Glad we got an early start. We are all exhausted now especially because of the heat. My thermostat said 90 so I broke down and turned on the ac. I really tried to nap but couldn’t fall asleep. The heat just wipes me out these days. We were back at camp by 11:30, I think we did about 9 miles. Dreamy was awesome as usual and WF is getting the idea of how to behave ponying on a single track trail. We encountered 3 sets of riders out there, but none of the competitive trail riders. Tommy may have gotten kicked by WF back there in the beginning, Dreamy gave WF 2 feet at that point too, he tends to crowd their legs. After what ever happened he stayed waaaaay back. I kept thinking I had lost him. He responds well to my super loud yellow whistle tho. Back in the trailer now, which is rocking and rolling with the wind, I checked the weather. Ugh…tornado watches and thunderstorms tonight. Not sure what I can do about it and worrying does nothing. I’m not sure if I should let the horses loose if I hear the tornado siren go off. I posted the question on FB horse camping group. It will all be over by late morning so I hope to get a ride in tomorrow.

I went over to the group of 5 trailers and introduced myself. They are a fun loving group, constantly cracking jokes about each other. They are all from OK and are not too concerned about the storm warnings. They have been at campgrounds when the siren goes off and the ranger tells them to leave for the storm cellar. They are all tracking it on their phones and will come get me if we have to go. All their horses are on picket lines. They invited me to have dinner with them, they did a pot luck including steak. It was delicious. I asked what kind of beef it was and she said it was her cow, she had named him husband #1, cut off his horns and something else then cooked him for supper. They are constantly cutting up. There are 3 little girls with them too and one of the husbands showed up tonight. I feel much better knowing they are experienced with this sort of thing and will look after me. I decided to take my mares off the picket line and put them back in their corral. I’ve painted my cell number on them with acryllic paint too.

4/27/14
My OK neighbors calmed my apprehension about the storm that was predicted to be “the worst tornado potential of season yet” for Oklahoma City per accuweather.com. I turned on the christian rock station after getting back into my trailer, took a hot shower and slept pretty well. It was very windy but not raining. When I woke at 1am to lightening flashes it was still not raining. When I woke at 5 it was just fine. I got up and decided to ride early and fed the mares a little early. Good thing because as I was eating breakfast, all hell broke loose outside. I had posted stuff on facebook asking for advice and had gotten a lot of kind helpful responses. A woman in Kansas was tracking it and told me it was 15 minutes from me and when it would end. And she was right. I could barely see the horses from my window, the sun wasn’t really up yet or the clouds were too dark I’m not sure which. It began to hail, thunder, lightening and the trailer was rocking. But it was a very fast moving storm and was basically over in 1/2 hour. No tornado, what a relief its over now. The horses weren’t freaked out really but were shivering when I came out to rescue them from the slop they were standing in. I put them on the picket line, gave them dry hay and got working on moving the portable corral to a dry grass area. All the campers here have left now, except 2 day riders that came (and the other site where the competitive ride is is full but I don’t see them except on the trails), the sun is out and its 80 degrees. But the constant blowing WIND, is really getting on my nerves. I could never live here with this wind. Doors have to always be secured or they slam on you and whatever is in their path. My hat doesn’t stay on when I ride and my hair is constantly in my eyes.

I rode Wildflower today and headed down the orange trail. I cut it short after we slid down the wet clay hill. We spent some time doing circles and giving to the bit in a grassy field. She eventually gave up on getting back to Dreamy and remembered what she had been taught back in CA by Charni. It was an aha moment! Finally, I have my horse back. I have been struggling with this for months. It was the trot circles, making them smaller then bigger then straight and keeping the collection. She was even good when Tommy who was following us the whole time would get too close to her.

I spent the rest of today prepping to leave tomorrow morning. I don’t want to take the chance of any more slipping in the wet clay so Dreamy gets today off. She doesn’t need any schooling and she looks fit as a fiddle.

I’ll need to find new hay once I get to Kansas. Its Sunday and I won’t find any here today. Oh just found out camp has prairie grass (another transition, ugh) and a FB friend who is going to meet up with me is going to bring me 8 bales from her ranch. One less thing to worry about. The camp set up a vet to come out and do my health papers which expire on the 30th. I’ll also need another vial of Adequan for Dreamy in about a month so I need to figure out where to have that sent to. My CA friends wouldn’t believe their eyes if they saw how good Dreamy looks and moves now. The last person I told about her crooked leg said they couldn’t see it. I still see it but it is so much better.

All in all I had a great time in Oklahoma. I am proud at how I handled the weather alert, I had zero anxiety in the pit of my stomach, in fact I haven’t felt that awful feeling in some time now, its so wonderful! All the process of setting up camp and tearing it down has become routine and much easier. I don’t worry about it any more, I just do it. Things and life is so much easier without the worry and anxiety. Thank God for relieving me of these negative emotions. Not that I don’t worry about my kids or my dad or my mom, but that’s different. I used to use up so much energy worrying about small stuff. After I moved out of the house I would wake up and be literally paralyzed with worry. That was every day, it was exhausting. I am so grateful its gone. SHLEP is working. I can’t wait to see what my life has in store for me now.

The mares have let their hay sit all day, eating only the grass in their corral. Its down to the nub now and they just stand and look over at the green grass they can’t get to. So I hand grazed them. We have the whole camp area to ourselves and I thought of just letting them go free but I’m afraid to. When we packed, we let them loose for the night and they came home for their morning feed. But we kept one tied in case they didn’t and someone had to go find them. I have to have a green pasture for them when I settle down after this. I think that means at least 10 acres for 2 horses. I am going to live in super rural America…finally! Its so unnatural that they have to eat dried hay and can’t roam and run free. I hate it. They are meant to graze all day long. Its so obvious.

BTW, I HATE TICKS, I AM SO SICK OF PICKING THEM OFF ME. And their bite really hurts! I think I also have poison ivy on my hip. OK, all done bitching. I am so thankful for everything else from my breath to my animals to my health to my children to my new found sanity…I could go on all night. Amen. It just occurred to me I may not have posted about my life changing event, getting baptized last month, I’ll have to read thru them.

Tommy

Tommy

hobbled grazing

hobbled grazing

afraid to swim

afraid to swim

geese are interesting

geese are interesting

taking a break on the trail

taking a break on the trail

storm prep painting my number on the mares

storm prep painting my number on the mares

IMG_6693

picket line awaiting the storm

picket line awaiting the storm

IMG_6700

1/2 hour storm

1/2 hour storm

aftermath

aftermath

IMG_6712

moved the corral to dry ground

moved the corral to dry ground

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