Archive for Riding


Posted in Ramblings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 4, 2008 by Raven

I grew up riding horses…without a helmet.

Back in the old days, it was a large western hat to help keep the sun out of my eyes. As I grew older, that hat gave way to old baseball caps, they were great…cuz I could tuck my pony tail into the hole in the back of the cap.

Then…my horse Wizard started being hard to handle and we had a few spills. I got scared and got my first riding helmet. It was a Troxel. That was maybe eight years ago.

Nowadays …I do NOT ride my Icelandic Horse Huginn, without my riding helmet! In fact I even wear my riding helmet during my mini Dixie’s driving lessons.

My old Troxel saved my head, during a horse spill. I ended up with a hairline fracture on my forehead and a huge concussion. Headache and puking for a few days….but I was alive.

I have three riding helmets; two Troxels (black one and purple one) and one Tipperary.

Sure…helmets are hot, itchy, big and your hair looks like crap when you take the helmet off, but WHO CARES!

Sure…there is no guarantee that wearing a riding helmet will save your head, brain, or your life for that matter.


It seems that every few months I read or hear about a horse accident with a rider ending up with head injuries, that could have been prevented by wearing a riding helmet.

Helmets are a farily cheap way to insure that your noggin is somewhat protected. Wouldn’t you agree that $50.00 – $100.00 is cheap?

Troxel has a excellent tool on their website to help you figure out which one of their helmets is best for your needs.

Check out the Troxel Helmet Advisor to see which helmet is best for you.  They even have a “cowboy hat” looking helmet!

Just in case you are still thinking that helmets are not for you. Then wear one for those you love.

Below is an email that hit my inbox this morning. I gotto tell you, it left me in tears. My heart goes out to the family and friends of the woman that died over the weekend.

Read it and make you own decision on if a helmet is “right for you“.

Posted with permission and rider’s name was removed upon request. Replaced with XXXX

Dear RAA Riders, fellow club members and friends,

I am writing this letter to each of you tonight after having witnessed a horrible accident this past weekend. It happened in New York – a weekend “get away” with family reunion and wedding we were attending, but the best thing was we were meeting with friends I’ve made over the years back where I was raised as a kid. I couldn’t wait. We all met at Mendon Ponds, a beautiful park I’m sure, to ride together. We never got to ride. A series of calamities happened that will forever change our lives and snuffed the life of one of our riders. She never got to go home to her son.

One of the horses had a bad time in one of the trailers, so a couple of the other horses were spooked. One of the riders, XXXX  got on her horse to try to settle it down and ride it down a bit before we rode off. She was not wearing a helmet. Another horse, the same one who had problems in the trailer, bucked his rider off and in doing so the saddle slipped, sending the horse flying around the parked vehicles, close to a road and eventually, as the saddle was still hanging under its belly, the horse took off for parts unknown (later he was caught and has some lacerations, but otherwise survived).  XXXX did not. Somehow, her head was smashed against a low limb on a tree, the next thing we knew, she was lying on the ground. What we thought was her breathing was actually her blood pumping out of her body as her brain was no longer functioning to tell the rest of the body to shut down. We didn’t know all that and of course did everything we could, thinking she was still alive. Part of her brain were on the front of her along with a lot of blood.

Why am I sending you this message? Because those of us who were her friends, who were there are still in mourning with this tragedy. Could it have been avoided – we don’t know. But what we do know is that a helmet would at least have protected her head and multiple head injury was listed as the cause of death. So, the next time you think that wearing a helmet is not cool or for sissies – try to stop being so selfish about your beauty and think about what an accident like this does to everyone else around you. Thank God she died, as there wasn’t much brain left on her left side. Does this sound gruesome? I hope so, because as I’m writing this, I’m crying so hard I can’t read what I’m writing. Please, wear a helmet when you ride. The image of XXXX lying on the ground with bits of her brain splattered around in a pool of blood is am image that will be with me for years. Please, put on your helmets – think of those who will find you, those you leave behind, your friends and relatives. They care – and maybe you are doing what you want to do, but there are those of us left who need to try to go on with our lives who will forever be left with a bloody, gruesome scene that will never go away.


PS….also please use a breastcollar on your horse!  Folks, there are all safety items that serve a very useful purpose!!

Bright Blessings and Reiki sent to all involved in this horrible accident.  {{{HUGS}}}


Mille Lacs Kathio State Park

Posted in Horse Trips with tags , , , , , , , , on October 21, 2008 by Raven

Mille Lacs Kathio State Park is located in north western Minnesota. About a three hour drive from my place, I got up to the park about noon on Thursday.

Mille Lacs Kathio is 10,500 acres of natural beauty! The Rum River dips in and out of this park, magnificent Lake Mille Lacs is across the road. You will find four other lakes within the park; Ogechie, Shakopee, Tamarak and Black Brass. This park has 22 miles of beautiful horse trails.

The trails are dirt and grass with rocks here and there. Great for a barefootin’ horse!

Friday night my hubby came up for a few days, what a nice treat! Dan really does not like to camp, so I appreciate it when he joins me for a day or two. Saturday morning Dan biked around the state park. Later that day, Steve joined Dan for a drive around Lake Mille Lacs, I think it’s almost 90 miles all the way around the lake. Lake Mille Lacs is HUGE…207 square miles… 132,500 acres!

I rode Huginn for about an hour on Thursday (with a lady I met up there), but then had to return to camp, as he was off. Poor ponykins. <;o[ It was a very slight “off”. He loves to paws and being a slightly off did not prevent him from pawing a huge hole to China. HA!

Dixie as always, was a sweet girl and a good camper. On Thursday, I ponied her with Huginn. Dixie loves to trail ride!

On Friday, I rode my friend Dawn’s beautiful TWH gelding, Tucker. Tucker is my old walking horse, who I sold a few years ago. I had a wonderful ride on Tucker, he is such a awesome horse. I forgot how tall he is compared to short Huginn. Tucker is 16.2 and Huginn is 13.2. HAHA! Here’s an old photo of Tucker.

Saturday morning Tara (massage therapist) worked on Huginn’s shoulder and wow…he was sound again!! TARA…..THANKS A BUNCH!!!!! You’re the sweetest. >;p]

I rode Huginn that day. Boy…I could tell he was feeling better, he gave me some “bucks & farts” up a few rolling hills. HA! I was so happy to have Huginn under saddle again. I’m not sure what caused him to be a bit stiff the day before. I’ll have to keep an eye on that. Tara was so sweet to take time out of her day to work on Huginn. it was also cool chatting “barefootin” with Tara and her girl pals.

On Saturday, we hiked to the park’s fire tower. I wanted to climb this tower for two reasons;test my legs/lungs and to help conquer one of my fears. A fear of falling. The steel fire tower is 100 feet tall, about 133 or so wooden steps to climb. It’s not for the fainthearted. I have a great fear of falling, but I was determined to climb to the top.

Thanks for the moral support from my hubby Dan, and my good friend Pat, I climbed the tower to the top!

Boy, I had butterflies….queasy tummy all the way up & down. And to make the climb harder, it was very WINDY!! And even worse at the top of tower. And cold! It was so worth the climb, the panoramic view (from what I remember) was spectacular. You can see all the way to the other side of Lake Mille Lacs, 22 miles away. The trees were a beautiful patchwork of golds, bright sunny yellows, honey amber, velvet browns, and orange. I was so glad that I have been running/working out …my legs did not fail me as I climbed. This made me very happy! Last year I would have been just dead from the exertion. All the way up…folks have left graffiti messages on the steps …I read a few, but I just didn’t have the nerve to look down to read more of them. It’s a must do on the next trip there.

Saturday nite our group headed to the local casino for the yummy buffet. On the way out…while waiting for those who needed to use the potty, I dropped a $1.00 into the slot machine and won 22 cents! HA! What a gambler I am..huh? NOT. After dinner, we returned to camp for the campfire.

It was a great weekend spent with wonderful freinds. For more photos, please visit my Picasa photo web site.

What are your favorite things about Fall?

Go play in the leaves!