Friday, April 21, 2017


Want to go on a ride? Where Major and I both made poor choices (though I can only blame myself for both of us.) Sure, it'll be fun (yeah, I said that too before I started).

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!
Then the trail ended, swallowed by the lake. But there was trail peaking out the other side. Let's keep going! (not QUITE a mistake yet…wait for it.) A little bit more of good trail out of the water, and the water crept higher, and higher.

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 poor life choices mistakes since 2009.

and I almost starved!


  1. And you've had some great adventures since 2009!

  2. re: mistake 3, had you ridden there before, when the lake was lower? so you had an idea about the footing? i would have just given up and jumped off and led my home-drawn horse at that point (baasha was terrible if we came to a block early in the ride and had to turn around, like a kid getting out of class early, woo!).

    were those logs moving?

    i remember once the snow kept getting deeper and deeper as i rode, and for some reason i had the idea, if i keep going up, it will get better. ha, stupid!

    you are brave! and major is gorgeous.

    1. Oh, I've ridden there hundreds of times. Even through water, but not that deep. The logs are floating. It was dumb. Much like your example, thinking it might get better (but truly knowing the trail, that it would not!). Brave? Maybe. Stupid? For sure! Lucky we didn't get hurt? Definitely.

  3. Well, you certainly got gorgeous photos in the process! And it sounds like you guys are no worse for the wear.

    1. Thanks, No photos of the bad part, too busy worrying! Luckily none the worse, learned a good lesson nonetheless.

  4. Life is an adventure...and if it doesn't seem to be an adventure...make it one. Maybe you have goals that you haven't been able to reach, don't be so hard on yourself and Major. You have a great relationship with him and you get out in that beautiful wild world around the lake! you are making better progress than I am...and I'm just getting older and it keeps getting harder...enjoy every moment whether it is a mistake or not! you made it back and we are glad! : )