First Trail Ride of the Year

Yesterday, there was a complete change of plans for my day, but in a good way. I was all set to take the dogs for a walk, go look at mountain bikes, take a bike ride if said bike happened to follow me home, and then go ride Luke in the afternoon.

Fitting some house cleaning in there somewhere would have been good too as it’s been a long while and the floors and sinks have attained a suitable level of grunge to deserve the awarding label of “disgusting”.

However, when a friend calls with an offer to go trail riding, well, certainly all bets are off. Any trail lovin’ woman will have to say yes and immediately start pulling together her trail saddle, saddle pack, water bottle, snacks, and bug spray, and dash out to the barn.

This is especially true when cloudiness and rain have been predicted for most of the weekend yet, for some heavenly reason, the sun is shining, humidity is down, and there’s a sweet, cooling breeze. In other words, conditions are trail ride perfect.

Two other women from the barn I’m at were going, and we were meeting up with two more women. I was worried the trails would be crowded with it being a holiday weekend, but many trail riders must have taken advantage of the slight drop in gas prices and gone horse camping out of town.

There were no hissy fits between horses and it was a quiet peaceful ride in what appears to be the emerald forest. Everything is so green!

The breeze and low humidity helped with the bug factor so that even though we were riding through woods and along the Crow River, we were not being bothered by mosquitos or gnats.

I like the park we were at, Crow Hassan, because of the variety of what you get to ride through. There’s a bit of a rock factor but not enough to need shoes.

The only adrenaline rush episode of the ride was when we were approaching a curve and I thought I heard a motor and was wondering if we were close to a road when two police cruisers came around the corner with lights flashing. We were asked if we’d heard anyone screaming for help. We hadn’t heard a thing, but said we’d keep our eyes and ears open and call 911 if we ran across any signs of trouble. We saw the police once after that but I don’t think they ever did find anything.

The valuable lesson I learned on this ride is you should not decide to open a can of beer after a long stretch of trotting. But I also discovered from this that Luke is beer safe and will not even shy when shot with foam. Don’t worry, it was a one beer split between two of us kind of ride.

It was a short two hour trail outing but that was good for the first time out and a spur of the moment decision.

One of the best things about trail riding with a group is the stories you get to hear about their horse riding adventures and about their lives in general. I’ve yet to meet a horsewoman who has not led an interesting life.

Well, for that matter, I’ve never met a woman who doesn’t have a line up of tales of adventures, mishaps, and life lessons. I bet the horses have some too, if only they could talk…

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  1. Great pics! Yesterday did turn out to be much nicer than predicted. Glad you got to be spontaneous. You look so happy. I’m glad you have horse gal pals. That is so cool. 🙂

  2. What a lovely ride!! And a gorgeous day! Love those trails, they remind me of ours. I can’t wait to hit the trails, but looks like it will be awhile before we can.

  3. What a fun ride! Funny about the foaming beer. Looks like a great park to ride and what a great way to start the day!

  4. Sue – It’s good to have friends for old and new ventures. Picking up my bike today… =D

    Paint Girl – I imagine you are still a bit under water. There was one spot where ponds on both side of trail had risen and there was a streamlike flow in between. Luke balked but did go through without any hysterics.

    Samantha – It was truly fantastic!

    Cowgirlwannabe – It’s much appreciated when someone offers to take photos with my camera. Otherwise I only have photos of Luke’s ears.

    Jill – Such an impromptu fun day and what a good boy Luke is turning into to not freak at his owner’s silliness.

  5. LOVE LOVE this post! What a richly blessed, interesting, fun, adventurous and happy life you lead, my friend.
    How lucky you are to have good friends who think of you when they make plans to go out riding, too. Those trails look beautiful…yes…so green!
    And I think it’s so awesome that everyone wore helmets to ride and look gorgeous in them to boot! You all should be in an ad for helmets and riding horses safely. Seriously! 🙂

    So happy for ya!


  6. ps…Oh! And don’t you just want to follow Steve Finnel’s bloog?

    Reminds me of a time about 18 years ago while out hiking with a girlfriend and a skinny, scraggly hiker kid walked up to us while we were enjoying a snack, and asked us, “Do ya wanna see me naked?”



  7. Lisa – Thank you! Things are getting better and good friends have been a big part of that. We were joking about how we all wore helmets now – we didn’t use to. Older and wiser. Plus they are so much lighter and comfortable than they used to be.

    And no, I did not drink Steve’s koolaid. Your analogy is a good one! =D

  8. I will always remember that – never open a beer after trotting on a horse 🙂

    It looked gloriously green, and I’m glad that you had such a wonderful time.

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