There was a one day break in the weather, before more record-breaking rain (sigh). The parallel road trail shouldn't be too bad! (mistake #1) The first 200 yards was awful, sucking, slip-sliding mud. But then it got much better, except for the horrible, reaching poison-oak branches. Fun!
The Pioneer trail was lovely, glowing green. Major was in quite a mood (having already cantered up the hill in his pasture to meet me at the gate, blowing and snorting) and was hot to move out. Um, no, still to wet, though well drained. OK, maybe just a little bit. (mistake #2) Slow trot became trying to bolt off, careening around corners till I got him to slow down. OK, no more of that!
The lake trail shouldn't be too bad. And it was NOT a mistake. Lovely flowers, butterflies fluttering at our feet, a slight breeze, it was perfect. Some big, deep puddles for Major to charge into and snorkel, fun!
|large trail puddle, perfect for snorkeling|
|we found some lupine!|
|see, there's trail on the other side!|
And here is Mistake #3: not turning around. We pushed though, because I didn't want to deal with my hot, chargey horse if we turned around. And Major is game to push through just about any obstacle. Brave horse + stupid rider = dicey situation. Because the lake got deeper, and higher ground was just a boggy mess. But better than swimming! Maybe.
|should have stopped here|
Because there was some dry ground, and then swamp, and then rocks IN the bog, and then lake. The short section was seemingly stretching out longer and longer. And not safe. I knew that partway through, but was going back a better option? I didn't think so, as there was more bad trail behind us than in front of us.
|leaving the lake, but not the mud, behind|
But we finally got to higher ground on the upper trail. And Major promptly tried to bolt off. Not happening, no more mistakes today! We took the rock trail, but slowly, over granite slabs and through more reaching poison oak, both of us dodging the larger branches, and just wanting some good, firm, easy ground!
|This is my too-much-mud face|
We didn't find much firm ground, or common ground, that ride. I remind myself that I am at fault for my horse's behavior (or misbehavior) at all time. And I was humbly reminded not to push through concerns or use sketchy or unsafe trails.
Me and Major, making
|and I almost starved!|