Sunday, December 26, 2010 – Boxing Day Ride

Woke up to sunny skies, calm winds and somewhat warmer temperatures, though we slept rather late and didn’t get on the trail until almost 1:00. Putting their boots on was so much easier after the fabulous trim Mr. Peavey put on them! We headed north to take the 9-mile Blue Trail in the clockwise direction. Once we discovered the blazing method (some arrows, a lot more blue ribbons, some flags and the occasion blue spot on a stone), the trail was very easy to follow. We had heard so many bad things about how rough the trails were we were concerned for a while, but the earlier part of the trail was almost entirely sand or dirt, with only a few rocky areas. It did get a little rockier in some places, but it didn’t seem to bother the horses too much, and there was no stone bruising on either their front or back feet. It was a lovely ride. We bundled up in our parkas and gloves, so we were ready for the weather, and the longer the sun stayed out the nicer it became, especially with very little wind. There were lots of opportunities to trot and canter, a number of “water crossings”, though most were nearly dry at this time of year, only a little bit of climbing and none of it was very steep grade, so overall it was a wonder 3+ hour ride. Stopped at the assistant ranger’s house to see if my second package had come in, and met Candice at last. We had talked on the phone and emailed, but this was our first face-to-face. She and some family were just saddling up to go riding as well, and she was working with a 3-year old on how to stand still while mounting :-). We had a nice chat before carrying on with the blue trail, and about an hour later, we met up with them going in the opposite direction. We chatted again for a few minutes before moving on. As usual, the horses were brilliant, willing, happy to be out of the corral and all-around enormously cooperative. I sensed my gelding was having a particularly good time today, as he was able to brush his face against all kinds of soft cedar trees as we passed, something he’s become rather fond of. We all enjoyed ourselves immensely, glad we had waited for a nicer day. Got back, got everyone bedded down for the night, and relaxed the rest of the evening.

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