Monday, November 3, 2014

return to the scene

Some people may remember when Major and I and a friend were attacked by pterodactyls (actually: terrified by parasailers) at Cronan ranch. I hadn't been back there, though not for any bad reason, I just hadn't made the trek. But friend S wanted to ride there, and spoiler alert: no one was harmed during the course of this adventure!

big and little, how cute is that

Major has some small horse friends right now, though adorable arabian/connemara Barkley more than makes up for it with his gorgeous mane and tail, enough for at least two of Major's pitiful examples. They became fast friends in the trailer, and Major even (mostly) shared his crack haybag.

We headed out on lovey trails, the dust subdued by a day of rain, but green grass still hiding beneath dry stalks. Soon. After a nice loop we took the big hill connector trail to the main trails. (sidenote: Every instance on every sign of what should be "Connector Trail" is spelled "connecter." It drives me crazy. Not standard english usage! So I'll pretend it is named after some "Mr. Connecter" out there, who donated the trail. Rant over). 

"Connecter" connector trail...

valley floor
from the ridge trail, distant river

Everywhere has great views, the river flowing below, long views across the valley, well-signed (except for spelling) trails. Major and Barkley had a grand time trotting and cantering, we went up the ridge trail to see the whole ranch spread below us, with some snow on distant peaks (and no parasailers in sight). Then back down the long gradual slope (for what seems like forever) to the valley floor, and visiting the old movie set.

movie set

Major wonders if there are treats in there
The river borders one whole side of the ranch, though part of the trail is closed in summer due to the hordes of professional rafting companies that use this space as their lunch pullout spot. But this day we were alone along the river trail, and worked our way down to an easier access to the rocky shore. Most trees here are evergreen, so the few yellow highlights along the river are lovely.

fall colors

There was one scary moment when some other riders came through the brush and startled Barkley. He jumped farther into the river, but only a couple feet, then figured out it was riders and settled right down. Major was a bit bored about the whole thing, he didn't want to drink, and thought standing here was dumb. The footing is really unstable too, with large rocks as bad footing, so wandering about the water isn't as fun as in other places!

silly horse captured mid shake in sparkly water
impatient Major waits for us to just go...
rocky river trail

Back on the trail we wandered around a bit, and Major had one naughty fit when he was passed by Barkley and thought he was losing the race…sigh. So then Major had to tortured (follow behind), where he trotted with flattened ears and crabbiness for awhile, till he figured out that didn't get him anywhere. Happiness resumed.

great cantering hill, here comes Barkley!
Heading back there are some super fun long cantering hills. My usual home trails don't have anything like this, so it was a blast! Major didn't have to be told twice that he could run as fast as he wanted! It was a great day on happy horses, a perfect start to the coming dark season. I was glad to return to the scene, to confront the old demons and replace them with new, fun memories.


  1. Looks like an awesome ride. I love long cantering hills. And Ashke hates being second, too.

  2. Looks like a great ride! I love a good canter :)