Our trip started with a drive and good tunes courtesy of Jasi's music playlist and bluetooth speaker. Even the dogs could sense some fun adventure was afoot.
Fort Robinson was an old cavalry base back in the old west days of "cowboys and indians," and this trip we had the horses staying in barn 105, one of the old cavalry barns! This barn was just across the field from our cabin.
Our cabin was the same one we had stayed in the last time we made a trip here, and the evenings were spent eating good food, playing games. Of course I had to go to sleep early, and each night I was joined by the dogs. Most nights they would fall asleep with me on the bed, then when Owen came to bed he would send them to the dog beds. They always gave him crusty looks, and Miles tried to explain that the border collies ALWAYS sleep with me on trips. Owen literally had to shove them both off the bed the first night. This woke me up so I used the restroom while I was awake. As soon as I was out of bed the dogs jumped up again to lie down in my spot. When I returned from the restroom I just quietly said, "off," and they hopped down politely. This left Owen rolling his eyes, but it all worked out in the end.
We had great weather, and spent much of our riding time working with Miss Pea in water crossings. I love the little creek that runs through the Fort, it has good footing, sandy bottoms where you can see all the way through, and fish swimming around the horses' legs.
Our first couple rides were spent in these crossings, and Raven was able to show off for Miss Pea and demonstrate how to get across. We went back and forth several times until Miss Pea decided that it was safe, then she began following Raven, and finally going through all on her own. Feisty McSassypants (Raven) actually decided that it wasn't fair for Miss Pea to go through first, and you can see her little temper tantrums in this video.
We saw a humongous group of turkeys on these water crossing rides. I swear, when I zoomed in on the photo and did my best to count heads, there were nearly forty of them! This led us to ask the google what do you call a large group of turkeys? We all wanted it to be "a gobble of turkeys", but turns out a large group of them is called "a rafter of turkeys". We eventually resigned ourselves to that bit of information when we watched them all fly up into the trees to roost for the night. We could picture them flying up into the rafters of a barn for the night, hence calling them a rafter of turkeys.
We also went on other rides near the buttes on the other side of the base.
This first ride by the buttes was Saturday, and we spent the ride singing along to Jasi's collection of Christmas music saved on her phone. Two and a half hours of holiday merriment, with a lot of words mixed up and added in such as "all I want for Christmas is a vacuum cleaner...." from Kim H.
We went on our last couple rides out on Crazy Horse Trail, so of course I posed for a photo with one of my very own Crazy Horses.
This trail led us parallel to the road for about three miles from the base, ending up at the lake.
There we played in the water, and eventually we just stripped the horses' tack, hopped on bareback, and went swimming! Owen, Rebecca, and Kim drove down and met us at the lake with dry clothes (we were so grateful!)
The water was pretty cold, but Raven dove right in! She reminds me so much of Honey, the last mare I owned 20 years ago, after whom I named the stable. She loved to swim, too, and when Raven got deep enough that she began paddling I immediately remembered how much fun Honey and I had swimming in both Massachusetts where I grew up and Washington State where we swam in the ocean.
Raven enjoyed herself so thoroughly that she was humming while we were deepest in the water. She splashed and dunked her face, and even tried to herd Miss Pea in deeper.
Miss Pea actually went in pretty far too, and enjoyed splashing around in the water with Jasi.
Rebecca took some video of us in the lake, which will be available as soon as we can get the iphone to cooperate....
Overall we had a great trip and enjoyed ourselves. The horses were tired by the end, which is another sign that it was a good time.