Thursday, April 22, 2010 – Ride Day at Last!

Finally we had a nice warm day, only a very slight cool breeze which we only noticed right at the top of the mountain. Last time we were here at White Cedar, last fall, we got lost. Though the map shows a number of easy loops, we missed a turn on Little Horse Trail going counterclockwise (the trails are very poorly marked once you get in the back country), and took a trail that went WAY off the reservation. We finally had to turn around, just to get back before dark. This time, we decided to take the same loop in the opposite direction, to see where it came out. Lo and behold, we got lost AGAIN! We rode for three and a half hours, never finding the other end of the loop. Instead, we finally reached a dead end at private property, which was just as well, because we were just about at the point of no return. So once again, we backtracked, making some judgments of where we must have gone wrong. One was a turn that looked more like a stream bed climbing up a ravine rather than a trail, but that had to be the turn we missed. Not realizing that was a turn, we thought the next turn to the right must be it, but that if we kept going we’d be taking the outer loop which curved back into the same trail. Whatever, we made it home around six, after having left at 11:30. About a mile before we got back to the campground, we saw a lost EZ boot on the trail, which we left because we figured someone might be coming back to look for it. When we got back to the campground, we discovered another trailer had come in while we were gone, so I rode over to see if they had lost an EZ boot, and yes, they had. I showed them on the map where it was. Oddly enough they had also found a tupperware container that I had been unable to find at lunch time, and thought I had forgotten to pack, but apparently it had slipped out of my saddle bags at some point. So lost and found was in full swing this evening! Despite the hour of anxiety about being lost, it was a very enjoyable ride. Something must’ve told me something would happen, because for the first time ever, I packed up some grain to give the horses if they got too hungry, and they sure did! They had a great time until about the last mile or two, when fatigue started to set in. Nevertheless, they did great, lots of trotting and cantering, not overly excitable despite the two week layoff, but just the right amount of controllable energy. They’ll have tomorrow to rest. Weather allowing, we’ll go out again on Saturday. We’re determined to find the entire Little Horse Loop! It was a beautiful ride, though, lots of hardwoods, babbling brooks and even a long stetch of magnolia tree tunnels! Kind of spooky, but not enough to upset OUR horses. They’ve seen it all by this point!

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