Endurance develops strength of character in us~ Romans 5:4 NLT

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Waubonsie State Park!

I was looking forward to my first ride in Iowa!  Our days have been so full - working on the remodel of our new place, that we were both happy to have an excuse for a day off.  After picking up Farah, it was about a 30-min. drive south, to the park.
Sunshine day~
What a beautiful place it is! 
Waubonsie State Park
The Equestrian Area is separate from the people side & is pretty much a horseman's paradise.  Today was the Spooktacular Poker Ride, hosted by the Pony Express Riders of Iowa.  This group, coming up on their fifty-year anniversary - donates the proceeds of their rides to a variety of charities.  Well organized, it reminded me very much of a BCH ride.
Juanita, Gina & Connie
After becoming friends on Facebook - Juanita & I finally had the opportunity to ride together.  Gina joined us. The members of the Club were all friendly & the ride was very well organized.  We enjoyed meeting such a great group of people.
In the woods~
Even if the woodland forest of deciduous trees was just past it's prime, the colors were so strong & striking!  Such a change from the Evergreen Forest of the Pacific Northwest.
I was a stranger in a strange land!  I must have asked 100 questions!  :-)  It's going to be so much fun to learn about all the trees & plants that are new to me!  I was so surprised & happy to see some that were familiar - like the Maidenhair Fern below!
Maidenhair Fern~
The Paw Paw Trees were really the most interesting so far.  Their striking yellow leaves, even though most had fallen, were easy to pick out.
Paw Paw Trees, with the larger leaves~
 I'm told that they taste like a combination of a banana & pear!   You need to be quick when the fruit ripens, to beat the wildlife to the sweet treat!  I can't wait!
Juanita & Connie
The day was just slightly overcast & the weather warm, but not hot, for late October.  I was surprised at the good sweat the horses worked up. This has been the longest I've not ridden Farah in years!
Farah enjoying the views~
She was still Farah - wanting to lead & her usual ornery self the first few miles, but more mellow that she has ever been.  One spook - at what I think was the only piece of cut log in the forest was almost a joke :-)  These are not easy trails - the hills are much shorter & steeper than what we're used to.  The footing though, is incredible.  Mostly a packed dirt surface with no rock.  No shoes needed here.
What we'd call a wetland in WA!
There was a beautiful pond area & small  creek running.
Rest Area!
Three different Rest Area's, complete with hitching posts & picnic tables were great!  Something I'd not ever seen in Western WA.
Coming back to camp~
This large grassy camp boasts corrals, hitching posts & plenty of parking!  Everyone parked wherever they wished.  Clean & green - it was obvious that even with heavy use, everyone loves & cares for this great park.
Asian Beetles
Farah & I did get an education regarding what I thought were ladybugs, before they started biting!  Even a heavy spray with repellent did little to keep them off!  Thankfully, there was a hose, so after washing the sweat off & giving Farah a fresh spray - they subsided.
Post ride~
 It was such fun to kick back & enjoy the late afternoon sunshine.  The Pony Express Riders had a super dinner with chili, cream of potato soup, rolls, deserts - yummy!  I spent some one-on-one time with my mare, while Butch went up with friends for the prize drawing.  We won a $50. gift certificate to Bronco Billy's tack store in Council Bluffs!

It took just about a week to finish off the hay from home, cutting it 50/50 with the hay here, which is high in alfalfa.  We've cut Farah's supplement in half - since she isn't being ridden as often.  Her weight has stayed about the same & her appetite hasn't diminished!  When I tacked her up & gradually tightened the cinch, I did not get her usual dirty look.  She seemed to have no problem with cinching - a departure that makes me wonder if the alfalfa has helped her digestion?

We headed back toward home just as the sun was setting to the west.  I'm enjoying the wide-open spaces & territorial views so much!  We're both enjoying the new friends we've met & every single person is so friendly & welcoming!  So much to write about & so little time!  :-)

GREAT ride!

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