Monday, Aug. 12, 2019 – Ride Day with Hubby!

Had a great night sleep (Lola has been sleeping in the truck lately, which could explain that!), and didn't get up until almost 8:30. Got the horses fed and the yard cleaned up, then rousted Hubby out of bed before it got too late. A few minutes to dress and a glass of juice, and he was ready! I got the horses saddled, and we headed out on what I hoped would be a ride of suitable length for him. He's been getting stronger, but he's still a long way from where he needs to be, but he managed to get up on Apollo with hardly any help from me, and we set off northbound on the red trail. Our plan was to go out past the overlook about a mile and a half away, then cross down to the red/white inner trail and come back that way. From my GPS elevation profile, it seemed like it had the most gradual grades on it. We were doing great until we got to the red/white inner trail and found another "closed trail" ribbon. I had noticed there was what appeared to be an alternate route that other horses had obviously taken, so we backtracked to that and followed it only about 100 feet, when it ended up right back on the trail that had been closed! Well, we didn't know quite what to make of that, but we kept on, figuring that maybe since we had had so many dry days, and the trail was probably closed off because of mud, that by now it would be in better shape. It was, for the most part, only a few really muddy places, but far fewer than any other trail I've been on since we left Tennessee in June! By now, Hubby was feeling a bit achey, not in his back, which is where we thought the trouble would be, but in his groin area. Guess his muscles are out of shape since he hasn't been on a horse in a while, and Apollo is really round, even though he did lose some weight this year. He's still a big, wide horse! We were doing great, checking to make sure their boots were on after every puddle, then we turned up a trail and the horses started trotting, and when we went through the next puddle and I looked back to check, Apollo had lost one of his boots, dang it! I climbed down and tied up Flash, and started hunting, walking back a long way, but no sign of the boot. I'm thinking it might have slid off when we picked up speed, but I couldn't find it. I went back to earlier puddles which I'm sure I checked after we went through, still no boot. Unfortunately, there is some long grass along the edge of the trail here, but Hubby was really starting to ache, so I gave it up and we headed back to camp, which was only about a half mile away. I guess I know what I'm going to be doing tomorrow! I hope I can find it, I hate to lose a boot, and so far, I've only ever lost one that I didn't bother to go back for, in the Badlands of North Dakota. Usually I can find them pretty easily, but this one is a bit of a mystery, or else we lost it earlier, or it got flung a lot farther off the trail than usual. We'll know better tomorrow! Got back to camp just after 1:00, I let the horses wander in the grass after I unsaddled them while I moved the corral around. I didn't want them to overgraze the area behind the highline. That done, I got the horses settled in there and started to get Hubby on his machine. Just as I was getting ready to put him on, a park employee showed up to tell me that I couldn't put the fence where I had put it, as it was too close to the pavilion, and made a series of suggestions as to where I might put it, though I had to not put it in any other campsite, not put it near the pavilion, not put it where trailers come in, which left me with either all the way on the other side of the campground, or in a long thin line along the edge of the long grass, with no way for the horses to reach water or the highline where I had hay for them. Well, I guess it's either that or back where I started from, and just let them overgraze the same area all week. What would you do? Well, eventually I decided to just put the fence back where it was and then whenever I get the chance, just let the horses wander the area grazing wherever they want. My neighbors, Lisa and Jamie, insisted it wouldn't bother them in the least, though I'm sure against some rule or another, but at least that way they'll have a chance to eat some nice clover and fresh grass for a few hours a day, which will help to not wear out the grass where I have the corral. Fixed dinner and settled down for the rest of the evening, as usual!

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