Monday, May 21, 2012

brown's ravine

A new trail. A few months ago I went on the upper portion of this trail, and today decided to start on the southern end. Major's buddy Friday and C picked us up, and we drove to Brown's Ravine. The staging area was OK, but not great. The ranger specifically said no swimming the horses, maybe because the beach is public (though dogs were swimming!). A water trough was appreciated, but parking was a bit strange. But we saddled up and headed out, seeing the marina as we were leaving, which we didn't really think twice about.

That lake looks good for swimming!

The trail was rocky, but mostly shady. In the beginning we met up with a few mountain bikers (some of the trail is multi-use, but I think they were on the horse part) but we powered on. And so did the boats, and jet-skis. They were close to the trail, and quite loud, not the nature-experience we were hoping for.

sun-dappled trail
a lake of boats and already dry fields

The trail meandered along the lake shore, though high up. We went down the the water once, encountering some people pulled up on shore with a defensive dog. Major got to visit with a kid in a boat, not the usual activity, but he was his usual ho-hum self about that. The trail went very close to some fancy houses, with barking dogs and swimming pools (we were sorely tempted) and also needed some trimming work! Lots of dodging of branches, trot along, dodge a tree, walk down a rocky slope, trot 50 feet, steep rocky downhill, trot up the other side, dodge some hanging poison oak, slow for more rocks. One of those kinds of rides.

crazy huge houses on the hill ahead
new york creek bridge, a little rickety

By the time we got to New York Creek bridge we were hot and tired and ready for a lunch break. Major didn't like being behind Friday, who was walking very, very slowly being careful. On the other side we found a stopping place, and tried to refresh and relax. It is hard to do when your horse is trying to climb into your space. Can I have sandwich? What about some orange? Maybe a cookie? I'd push him back, and he'd creep up again. Brat.

looking for home, annoying me at lunch

We headed back, and it seemed to get hotter and hotter. We were DONE riding, and still 1.5 miles to go. The horses stood slurping water from a shallow creek, and we did the final stretch for home. How do some rides seem so incredibly long? This one did, and we decided this is a trail best for cooler spring weather, and fewer boats! The horses got nice cool buckets of water poured on and sponged off, and a delicious mash. The humans wanted to jump in the lake, but just splashed themselves with some water from the trough.

yummy, mashy snack
Only a half-hour drive home, and Major walked into the pasture, took about three steps, and rolled like crazy. Home is good.

nothing like home dirt to roll in

still life, with saddle
the GPS track
A few rants about the ride:
Hikers wearing headphones: You're in a nature area. On a trail with other users. Pay attention, at least with one ear, to your surroundings.

So annoyed with hoof boots: The minute his feet are wet we lose them. Once, twice, three times, four. The last straw was about a mile from the trailer. I left them off, though Major was a bit ouchy on the really hard ground with pokey gravel rocks.I was quite crabby about the situation. Re-evaluating...

On another note: We got home before the eclipse, which I was excited about, so I did get to watch that. I made my little pinhole paper thing, which was neat, but the shadows were the best, all showing the partial circles and fuzzy as the light grew dimmer. My Mom sent me a cute photo of her dog in the special eclipse glasses (which she had saved from an eclipse trip the whole family took to Mexico 20 years ago!). And I watched the eclipse and read my latest sci-fi book (which has an awesome eclipse-like cover). A good, full day. Horses and friends and space stuff and sci-fi and dogs in glasses, all my favorites in one day.

Shamus is chillin' with his eclipse glasses
Love the Culture novels


  1. I completely agree with you on the whole "people wearing headphones" thing out on trails. Not only do I not understand it -- you're supposedly out to enjoy nature, so enjoy it and listen to the music at the gym on the treadmill -- but it makes it really hazardous, because it's really difficult to communicate with them.

    What size boots does Major wear? If he's a 1 or above, it could be he might need a different size (smaller) captivator. If the captivator is a little big, or the heel bulbs aren't fully aligning within the "pockets" of the captivator, that could be contributing to retention issues. Also feel free to email me ( with pictures of his hooves, both with and without the boots, and I can take a look at them, as well as pass them on to Kirt for his feedback.

    1. Major wears a 0 cutback, Mel from Boots and Saddles fit them for me. All adjusted, they seem fine when dry, When they get wet, his feet slip out, then you readjust and the velcro is muddy/sloppy and doesn't stick as well. I know he doesn't have the textbook feet (he has contracted heels we're always working on), but I'll try to get some photos.

    2. Photos would be awesome...I know Kirt has really good success with solving retention issues just based on photos and a description of the problem...we'll work with you to see if we can get this solved.

  2. Ugh I feel you on the boot frustration, only I'm sick of the Easyboot Gloves and considering Renegades!

    Dog-in-Glasses=awesome! I love a good sci fi novel, too :)

    1. ha! I guess no boot is really better. Maybe all us "booters" should just get together and have a big trade! My friend didn't lose a single easyboot on the ride, but I know you've had issues. Collective arrgghhh!

  3. Talk about a gorgeous ride! The GPS track looks really cool too.

    1. I think it's all perspective, we were hot and tired, we'd forgotten the view and just wanted to swim in the lake!

  4. TOTES jealous that you're getting to read the Culture books for the first time! They own.

    Beautiful ride. Shamus owns. Boo, hiss at boots.

    1. Love the Culture books. A few (Player of Games!) I've already read more than once. I'm cheap, I wait till I find them at the used book store, hard to do!