Monday, April 24, 2017 – Ride Day from Mattox Hunt Camp, Talladega NF

Now that we're fully rested, it's time to go for a ride! Saddled up and were out by noon, figuring on doing the entire 10 mile loop, unless we ran into some trouble in which case we could shorten it to about a 5 mile loop. According to the map, several miles would be on forest road, which we assumed would be the dirt/gravel road like the one that went by the camp, but once we got onto the trail part, we would lose the gravel. Well, it didn't quite work out that way. Some of it became dirt and grass, but much of the "trail" as described in the map was still forest road with dirt and gravel, more than we usually like to travel on. Maybe three miles of the 10 mile loop wasn't on a dirt/gravel road, that's all. But the weather was perfect, the horses were perfect, and the day was a great one for a ride! Hubby thought Clio was limping a tiny bit at first, but once she was warmed up, she seemed fine. Probably just a little arthritis kicking in after standing around for so many days. Somewhere along the line, I lost a metal water bottle, so I'm planning on taking short ride tomorrow to see if I can find it, and maybe take Billy along, since he didn't come today. We felt it was too far for the old guy. Lola had a great time, though! Of course, even after ten miles, her first action when we got back to camp was to find her ball and start putting it in the fetch machine! Indefatigable, that girl! We had a number of nice canters and trots, and there were many ascents and descents that were a wonderful change from the flatness of Florida, and the ride seemed to go quickly with all the variety of landscape. We even surprised a couple of wild turkeys along the way, so obviously the hunters missed a few! Arrived back at camp just before 4:00, put everyone away, broke out the beer and relaxed until dinner time. A very nice day!

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