Sunday, June 19, 2011

rock trail

I only wanted to see if Barking Dog hill trail was open yet. When that is available I can make a nice loop, which I prefer to out-and-back. And it's open, and has had some trimming done, much appreciated! Major thought it looked different and a bit worried, but when no monsters came out, we moved along.

I was going to turn left at the bottom of the hill, but went, "Hmmm, rock trail, haven't done that for awhile, how bad could it be?" Really, I need to learn to listen to myself a bit more. I was just thinking after the ride on Friday that a short technical trail would be good. Now all the trails are pretty technical around here, not a fire road or much open space to be seen. The trail had more open spots than I remember, though they do drop off right into the lake. Major thought trotting should be fine: just a straight trail, right? That drop-off was pretty close though! It was intermitently shady, I was thinking this wasn't so bad.

the trail goes behind the big rock, very cool

Then the staircases came. Up and down rock staircases, some reinforced with wood, others just a scramble up rocks and more rocks. Then down rocks and more rocks. All out in the exposed sun, with poison oak limbs grabbing at me. I revised my opinion. The worst part of the trail is only two miles, but now I remember why we all avoid this part. Just not fun!

can't see the dropoffs here
I did take a slight shortcut home, and left the trail about a half mile before the normal forest access. It was still a bit wet on the beginning of the cutoff, but after that it is good footing, and I let Major move out, cantering up the hill until we get to the decapitating tree. It is just high enough for the horse and tack, but not the person, to fit underneath. I slow down way before it, in case Major gets any ideas, and go around to the left. The tree fell this winter, and it isn't going anywhere, luckily it is towards the end of the nice canter hill.

A quick ride of only an hour, but hard on the horse, with all that tough footing and the warmth of the day. That is the kind-of trail that makes you realize you've got a good trail-savvy horse!

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