Saturday, Mar. 1, 2014 – Another Ride at Pedernales Falls

With all the crazy weather (four ice storms in three weeks), and the acquisition of a new client who happened to be located in Austin, the only riding the horses have been doing lately has been a couple of short trips around the neighbor's pasture with friends of my brothers (non-riders) who came over for get-togethers. It might have been a little exercise for the horses, but it wasn't exactly challenging. At last we had a day where the weather was fine (party cloudy, temps near 80), so we headed out to Pedernales just to finish off the south loop that we had attempted last month and couldn't do because of timing problems. We got a late start because I wanted to trim the horses' feet before we put them in the trailer. There had been some fog and dew overnight, so their feet were nice and soft, so trimming was pretty easy, but time consuming nonetheless. We didn't get to the park until after 1:00, then we had to readjust Hubby's stirrups, as they had been changed to accommodate guest riders, and eventually left the parking area about 1:40. We headed due west to the perimeter fence, so that we could get the most boring part of the ride done first. A very long, mostly straight fence line, though the footing was mostly dirt and sand with just a few areas of rough rocks. The southern part of the fence started out with typical barbed wire, but then changed to a very tall, probably 10' fence with one strand of electrification at the top, which made us pretty curious as to what kind of critters the fence was meant to keep in or out. Eventually we reached the bottom of the park, turning east, crossing the road and following the utility poles before starting the turn northward. We stopped at the "horse camp", which was essentially a small field with a big cistern off to one side, and 5 or 6 metal corrals, all but one in use, though no one was about. We watered the horses at the trough, but it had a lot of algae floating on it, and I had to do some searching to find how to get water into it. Turns out there's a spigot underground that when turned on, allows water to fountain into the trough. There was a regular hose-type spigot, but that didn't work for some reason. In any event, we had been riding two hours just to get there, so we rested the horses, had some lunch and munchies before heading out again. Going north on the east side of the south loop was definitely more interesting, with lots of twists and turns and ups and down, but the footing was mostly rough rock along the way. Most of the trail was in the woods, so it made for a slightly cooler ride, and the sun we started with was being clouded over, so the temps stayed perfect. It was a very nice ride, but seemed longer because of the rough terrain and because we're a bit out of practice, having not ridden for over three weeks! Got back just before 6:00, we washed the horses at the wash rack before loading them up, leaving the park as the sun was setting, around 6:30. One quick stop at the H.E.B. for groceries and gas before getting back to the ranch, where we quickly fed and bedded down the horses. A few days ago, we had bought some more posts and extended their pasture to more than an acre, so now they have lots of room to run. No telling how long we're going to be here, now that we have a local client, though we're still hoping to avoid the summer heat by heading north in a few weeks, and to complete our final contiguous state (Nevada) some time in the next few months!

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