dream comes true

When I saw my daughters wedding wish board included a photo of a couple riding on a carriage, I knew exactly who to call - Wes Licht from Rockin L Acres. I have such fond memories of my driving lesson years ago, he was a great teacher. Altho Wes had an annual horse show that same day, he still managed to get his horses, carriage and all that tack ready and to the church. Horses have been in my daughters life off and on for many years, including ownership. I was so happy to be able to have horses included on her special day!

Just Married

Beautiful driving pair of Morgans.
The horse I drove, Lena, is on the right.

Having fun

Wes drove the newlyweds to the village park for photos, and gave other rides. Hubby and I took a ride too! It was so fun!! I couldn't believe it when we came upon a Belgian pulling a wagon type carriage for another wedding, in our small town park. Can't wait to see the professional photographers photos!

One wedding wish board + two years of planning = dream comes true.

Sunday Stills ~ Black and White or Sepia


View other Sunday Stills photos


Sunday Stills ~ Yellow

Various shades of yellow, and feel, taken while we were on vacation at a ranch this week.




See other shades of yellow captured for Sunday Stills.


spur of the moment

We just came back today from our first overnight trip with Koda & Nemo, at Spur of the Moment Ranch!  Altho I wasn't really ready for the challenge, I had the trip booked & planned long before I had hit the sand, and was determined to make it a memorable trip. After all, it was my birthday gift to my hubby.  It turns out we had a good trip, loved the ranch and area in general!

Arrival day was really hot, high 90's. We were warned horses in the past had become ill, when taken right out on the trail after a long hot trip. We were in no hurry with our young boys anyways, and just wanted them to settle in.

spur ranch 2
Nemo & Koda settling in
I had to chuckle upon arrival I saw huge rocks everywhere, including an arms length away from the paddocks. Much to Koda's dismay, there was no avoiding those horse eating grey mounds. Altho he still looks wonky at them, he has learned they don't move - at least they didn't that day!

horse lots
The chairs came down, but that rock didn't move - whew!
We had put the boys together to start, it wasn't busy so we ended up separating them into neighboring paddocks.  Nemo was claiming both hay bags, no matter how far apart they were. Some things don't change. We were impressed with the horse accommodations, complete with watering station & hose right next to the paddocks, wheel barrel etc.

spur ranch 3
Nemo, surveying the scene

spur ranch
Koda, wondering what he is in for
Our full housekeeping cabin was equally impressive, spotless and comfy. The boys were very close, it was sooo nice to be with them 24/7. We enjoyed a campfire both nights, that didn't faze our nearby horses.

ash cabin
Our cabin
After Koda & Nemo settled in, we went out for a good burger at a local eatery called Mulligan's.

The following day it had cooled off to a gorgeous high 60's and sunny. We headed out on the trail, but not before warming up with a half hour of Koda snorting at everything that didn't move - but might. Sooo many new sights and smells! There were two other groups of three horses & their people in the lower cabins. We ran across one group while at the ranch, and the other on the multi-use trail. It was nice chatting with them. The ranch itself has some equine, including a few mini-donkeys which intrigued Koda & Nemo. They could see the short grey funny things with long ears from their paddocks, across the ranch. We all heard the occasional hee-haw, that brought perked ears and smiles. We want one of our own someday, when we have the space.

One of the not so silent things at the ranch were the wandering fowl. They really get loud, thankfully only during the day. After finding about 20 ticks on the boys, they were a welcome sight.

new guinea fowl
New Guinea fowl, eat their weight in ticks
We headed out on the multi-use trail, you have to take it to get to the gorgeous off beaten paths. Every ATV we encountered slowed way down when they saw us, most crawled by super slow, and all greeted us. The boys didn't care about the ATV's, and did very well each and every time. We didn't see that many, but were glad to get off "the main" trail regardless - it was less then ideal for our barefoot horses. We will get boots for the boys next time.

Multi access ATV Trail, 30 miles either direction
Throughout the ride, Koda would suddenly back/turn around. I tried to catch it and keep forward movement. Dealing with it proved hard with many drop off's etc. 

Once off the main trail, you didn't run into a soul. We were surrounded by greenery as far as the eye could see. At one point we came across unavoidable sinking muddy sand. Koda was funny, looking down and wondering about the soft ground that swallowed his feet. We forged through it, and just as fast as it came upon us, it ended. We had a nice morning ride, and headed back to camp for lunch and to give the boys a break.

Early afternoon we headed out the other direction, and eventually found beautiful deep sandy trails with varied terrain.

Entering the pines, with Nemo in the lead for a change
I didn't get many pictures, Koda was increasingly naughty challenging. I tried really hard to keep him moving forward. It became more frequent, he would stop/turn and started refusing to turn right (even on the way back) no matter what I did. Nice. My frustration grew. It wasn't my idea of fun and I dismounted for a while. Needless to say we had ridden far enough, and headed back to camp. 

We washed up and headed out for an amazing birthday meal at Maiden Lake Supper Club, Walleye that melts in your mouth ~ mmmm!! A night to remember! We met nice people, and actually closed the place down. Nothing crazy. It was 10-ish, they just close early unless they are busy.

I wanted to ride again the next day, with hopes of ending the trail on a more positive note - but we woke up to cold, wet, and sprinkling weather. Nothing you can't ride in, however we opted to pack up and head for home instead. It's all good, at least I stayed in the saddle. After some discussion, our trainer used "teenage year" analogy, and assures me this too shall pass. I believe her, and instead will focus on the good memories from the trip. It was overall an awesome first overnight experience. The ranch owners were super hosts. We definitely plan to go back. Among other things, there is an ice cream shop with a hitching post that has my name on it. Not to mention 661,000 unexplored acre's!!

Riding the back trails in the Nicolet National Forest


working through it

It's been a process trying to get back to where I was before Koda dumped me. Nothing is the same.

The first ride after that day, I saw Koda and unexpectedly found myself full of feelings I didn't know I had. I was disappointed with everyone concerned, especially me. I tried a second new saddle, and didn't like it much. We got through the lesson, and I spent the next week sorting out my feelings. 

After Koda's massages were done (I am still waiting for mine) and he was no longer sore, they took him on numerous trail rides, worked hills, and even took saddle number one back for a riding session. I feel very fortunate to have two caring people who took my fall personally, and are trying to help us get back on track. Our trainer is working hard to make sure there is no residual effect on Koda, and helping me deal with my squashed confidence and his ramped up young attitude.

After a couple weeks, my soreness went away. We decided I should try Brad's saddle. I rode in it, liked it, and had a good ride. We even loped off with ease, and Trainer Patty was delighted - and a little surprised. For now, Brad is riding in Patty's saddle and I will continue riding in his favorite saddle - which is very nice of him to share.

I thought Koda & I had turned a corner, but tonight's ride made it clear that we are still working through it. We planned a trail ride right from our trainers farm, down the driveway we went - and that's where the problems started. So embarrassing, right away the little sh** would not listen to me. He was doing his backing out of whatever he doesn't want to do, in this case delayed supper and go on a trail ride. This is going to be a looong process...

It was a hot day in WI for early June, high 90's. We finally got to the hills where they work the horses. Trainer Patty wanted to show me that Koda was fine with the hills, which gave me a photo opp - albeit into the sun. I really didn't want to ride the hills, but she helped me with the smaller of the three. Guess what? I didn't get bucked off this time.  All I can say is the hills were ALOT steeper in person then the pictures show, and had varied footing.

Koda working the smaller hill
Patty & Koda half way up the smaller hill

Nemo working hills
Brad & Nemo maneuvering the second largest hill.

Koda working the hills
Patty & Koda getting ready to go down the steepest hill.
It made Koda look like he was standing on his head at one point.

Koda working the hills 2
Patty & Koda working their way down


everybody loves cierra

Ali & Cierra

Cierra gets a hug from Ali

I'm a yearling now!

Cierra always makes us smile

Brad loves his girl

Cierra a couple weeks ago, was still working on loosing that winter baby fuzz

What a difference a couple weeks make, Cierra's summer coat (taken yesterday).

Sunday Stills ~ Potluck

This weeks challenge was free choice, no archives. I've submitted some shots taken in my yard. It was super bright, sunny and hot. I didn't make it out early in the morning to shoot, and had to pay close attention to where the sun was. It was blasting the color right out of everything, making this more challenging then I thought.


Purple Iris

Maverick's Heart
Maverick was our German Shepard mix, that we adopted from a shelter when he was 6 months old. He was a gentle giant, and my gardening buddy...

Hens & Chicks