Aug 26, 2012



turkey creek 3


I just came home from a lovely mid-week ride at Turkey Creek Ranch near Newcastle, Nebraska.  A couple hour drive north of me, Turkey Creek is nestled on the Nebraska side of the South Dakota/Nebraska border.  I've tried to visit at least once a season, never tiring of the outstanding views of the tri-state region and the mighty Missouri River.


turkey creek 4


I traveled up by myself and met my friends Kathy and Trudy, who had arrived a day earlier.  Dare I say how much easier it is traveling solo with just one horse?  I stopped at the HyVee deli before I left and picked up some healthy food choices for myself (Gasp!  Healthy food & camping?  Who’d of thunk?), grabbed a bale of hay for Windy (well, two bales -- just in case I convinced myself I needed another day at Turkey Creek),  a change of clothes, and my boots.  With Pandora on the iPhone (until I lost connection in the boondocks), it was an easy drive. 


turkey creek 2


I have been reading the book But It Wasn't The Horse's Fault written by famed endurance rider, Julie Suhr.  In the chapter, My Flighty Fanny, she talks of falling off horses from the time she started riding until it wasn't fun anymore.  She then mentioned making a conscious decision not to ride a horse beyond a trot; that her galloping days were over.  And she didn't.  That is until the right horse came along.  Which reminded me of myself while at Turkey Creek.


When I got Windy back in 2005, I made the decision that she was "the one".  We bred her mama, she was foaled on our place... besides having a brain fart and accidently selling her, it all ended well when she came back to me.  And as I mentioned in the post about My Dream Horse, I was going to do right by her by having her trained and really learning to ride.  She is the first horse that I have owned that I can ride off the property alone without fear or anxiety or trouble.  I can haul her anywhere and pretty much ride her anyplace.  Our only angst comes from wagons, buggies and mules.  And now pivot irrigation, it would seem.  But all manageable. 


turkey creek 5


I have ridden Windy alone on a nearby trail but very seldom haul out to ride solo; usually I meet up with friends.  So when Trudy and Kathy planned to leave after our morning ride on Friday, I wasn't concerned about staying a little longer and having that last ride; just Windy and me, one hundred miles from home.   


As I saddled up after lunch, a group of women arrived from Minnesota with the owner of Turkey Creek, Brenda, following to check them in.  I've known Brenda for years and after she finished the paperwork for the new campers, I told her I planned to ride and asked if she wanted to join me. She said she would head back home to get her horse and would meet me in the woods.  That gave me a little time to head over to one of the trails behind camp, do a big loop and then ride over to meet Brenda. 


Turkey Creek 1


I put my helmet on and positioned Windy next to a small stump to mount.  With the camp now busy with other horses and women, I was so hoping Windy would stand quietly for mounting, walk out nicely and not make a fool out of me.  She was picture perfect as I swung a leg over, waiting for me to ask her to move toward the trail.  She glanced at the other horses briefly and headed where I pointed her.  I have to tell you, I felt pretty darn cool on my pretty mare.  I bet those girls were Impressed.  Even more so when I glanced down and noticed my reins were criss-crossed underneath her head.  I quickly leaned down and tried to make a quick fix without being noticed, only to criss-cross them another time. Oh for goodness sake!  One more try and thankfully I got them untangled without having to dismount.  What an amateur!


turkey creek 6


With our tack all sorted out, we continued to ride away from camp and cross the bridge.  I moved her into a nice trot and before long we were loping along the trails of Turkey Creek, just my mare and me.  Julie Suhr, in her book, said after galloping her horse Bravo for the first time, "I was Rocky at the top of the steps in Philadelphia.  I was Neil Armstrong landing on the moon taking that 'one giant step'."  And then, including a quote from Doreen Harlow, she wrote:  "My arms wrapped around Bravo's thin neck and I thanked him for making me 'bigger, stronger, prettier, faster, braver' ."   Yes, Julie.  I can so relate.  Bravo!



  1. Beautiful blog! I love this!

    1. Thanks! When it comes from the heart, the words come easy.

  2. Wonderful! I think that last picture of you and Windy is frame-worthy! Hey, you should send it in to Seasoned Riders Magazine online, they are always looking for pics of riders over 40(?) with their horses. You don't have to subscribe to send a pic.

  3. Yeay for you & Windy! Not sure how you got the solo pics, either a handy helper or a delayed timer, either way - they are sure to be treasured. You've got more guts then I do. Not there yet, but one day...

    1. No magic there with the pics. They were taken by my friends on the earlier ride (before they left). I just used them for this post. It is so seldom there are pictures of me as my husband holds my iphone or camera like it is some foreign object he has never seen before. So it is fun to ride with girlfriends who enjoy snapping pictures as much as I do.

  4. That is so awesome!! I am hoping that someday I can ride out solo on my Mustang, Chance!! I would love to be able to gallop through a field, just me and her with the wind blowing through my hair! It's been way too long since I have been able to do that!
    And another absolutely gorgeous place to ride! You are so lucky!!

  5. Bravo! You and Windy have a great connection. It's so wonderful to be able to ride solo without anxiety. I'm sure it feels like there is nothing you can't do together. Wishing you many more rides before winter.


I am so glad you stopped by and look forward to hearing from you! Do come again.