Friday, May 7, 2010
First Ride in May
Well, so far the weather has been great for riding. My New Year's resolution was to get out and ride more often. I have already accomplished that. The amount of riding I got in was pretty pathetic last year and it was an easy personal goal to beat.
I still have very limited time off so I have to make the most of it. It is still a little on the cool side here in Northeastern Wisconsin. This week we had lots of rain and tornados not far from where I like to ride. Time to start checking off boxes on my mini-challenge log.
We headed down to the Machickanee State Forest. The parking area that I like to park in (the one with the bathroom) had a few trailers already in it and the rest of the lot was all puddle. We headed over to a much larger new parking area. The local saddle club, The Outback Riders, sponsors these trails and does a super job keeping the trails kept up and clean. I just unloaded the horses when a group of five mature ladies were just heading out. It turns out that a couple of them are practically neighbors. They are all older than me and look fantastic, I hope I look that good when I put a few more years behind me. I think I will give one of the ladies a call next week to see if we can all get together for some riding. Anyway, I was doing lots of talking and my friend Amanda was already tacked up before I even got the saddle pad on Honey.
Honey started out pretty pokey which was okay with Freckles the other non-curly horse. Freckles is "mature" too upwards of 30 something. She is in good shape and the temps were perfect for riding...not to hot...not too cold, just comfortable. Bugs aren't bad yet either. The there are lots of sticks on the trail but none that I would consider big enough to be a log. The storms that went through the area earlier in the week have the trails moist enough not to be kicking up lots of dust...very nice. We have some nice wooden bridges to cross on these trails too.
Honey has crossed water in the past but she didn't get any trailriding last year. She needed to re-introduced. Some areas in this forest are practically under water the whole way, which I found out last week on my other non-curly mare. Probably about a mile of water. We'll stick to the drier trails today. Honey avoided the smaller puddles at first, she had the side-passing down pat for sure. Finally, there was a puddle she couldn't avoid and had to cross. At least she didn't jump it like it was the Grand Canyon and the rest of the puddles after that were a piece of cake. We did check out some other logging trails to see where they went but decided to back track to the regular trail because it was getting late. We'll save the exploring for another day. We covered a lot of miles in 3 1/2 hours. I don't think that Honey was done riding, she was still pretty spunky by the end of our ride.
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