Tuesday, January 21, 2014

another cool adventure

Under impossibly blue skies on a glorious three-day weekend, we took a January trip to Auburn for a fun ride to Cool. It should be cold and damp, with average temperatures of 55. Instead it is dry as a bone and 70 degrees. Officially in a drought with no end in sight, we desperately need rain. But might as well make lemonade out of the lemon weather and ride while we can!

Major hopped right in the trailer, and not just because his hay bag had a flake of crack alfalfa hay. In Auburn he surveyed the scene and then found his hay net to be the most interesting. I love a horse that is happy to eat wherever I tie him! When his buddy Friday arrived a few minutes later, Major nickered to his long lost love, momentarily distracted, but dove right back into the net.

one last bite of the good ground stuff (even if the reins are falling on my head)

The boys (and us girls too!) we happy to hit the trail. And we headed out, encountering very few riders, but quite a few runners in the morning. Major behaved impeccably, just having a good time and we were so happy going along I didn't even stop for many photos (you've seen it all before: the view, river, trail, etc.).

obligatory view, a hiker took our photo coming across, we're famous!
the shortcut trail, by the trail sign actually .2 longer than the standard trail (?)

The way down to the river takes a bit of time, we walk down the steep parts, trot the flats, then down again. The Cool side is different, one long gradual uphill, Major loves it. We can trot almost the whole thing. At the top we considered just stopping and turning around, but the horses were sweaty. We rode to the staging area, thinking maybe they'd like a drink from the nice trough.

Of course not. Major enjoyed a snorkeling adventure, and Friday took one gratuitous sip. Horses. We humans did take a break for peanut butter sandwiches at the convenient picnic table. Remember the tales of Egyptians keeping their prized horses in their tents? Do you know how annoying that would be? Both horses tried to prove it to us, and of course their annoying antics were rewarded with bites of sandwich. Bad owners.

hidden on the right, C is valiantly defending her sandwich from the sweaty horde

Heading back the horses kicked it up a gear, but not once did I have to pull or fight Major, (only at home and endurance rides do I seem to need to do that, arghh.) We also worked on being a horse ambassador. We walked by children with shining eyes, seeing the pretty horses, and Major is so good at stopping and being pet. I was that kid, I would have been overjoyed if someone had let me pet their horse. We even stopped for a photo with a birthday girl. I know all that takes time, but really, why not? As C noted, better to bring happiness to someone rather than them cursing the poop we leave behind!

river and bridge from above

We cantered the final stretch to the staging area, where after 16 miles the finicky horses finally drank from the trough. Major was more interested in eating the little bit of grass, but did manage to find a nice spot to roll after he was all nice and clean.

now all is right with the world: coated in dirt

Clean then dirty horses, happy and dirty people, a picture with a horse making some little girl happy: now that's a cool ride.


  1. That's how this obsession begins, you know.

    And I think our Arabians are unhappy at not being included in our tents! PB&J are trail favorites! More so for Cali than Ashke, however. He licks the jelly off and tosses the peanut butter.

    1. I HOPE I'm enabling a whole group of horse-obsessed kids. Those poor parents...

      Yes, Major totally wants to live in a tent and be hand-fed peanut-butter sandwiches all day. That is hilarious that Ashke deconstructs the sandwich! Major would eat his leftovers.

  2. Replies
    1. I know, me too! And I love to trot/canter across it, but usually it is covered in people. C mentioned I could trot and scatter people like bowling pins...I was very tempted!

  3. Petting horses was one of the greatest joys of my childhood, and I try to pay it forward whenever I can. :)

    1. And Dixie looks like a pretty princess pony, so that's perfect! When Major is out with Friday, he's a bit dull looking, but Friday doesn't tolerate the hordes of children quite as well.