Sunday, May 31, 2020


Major practically threw himself into the trailer, we were going somewhere, oh boy!

We've been on the same home trails for three months, and while there is almost infinite variety, I guess we were both ready for a change. So when the equestrian staging area opened we were there two days later. I expected a crowd.

early bird gets any parking they want!

Maybe I'm just an early bird? But at 9am I was the only trailer there. Social distancing not a problem, everything I needed in my own truck and trailer, and I tacked up and headed out. Where to go? I decided on old faithful, down from Auburn, up to Cool, and return. Not too much for our first longer ride with elevation in awhile.

Major surveying our trail choices

Major wanted to trot the minute his feet hit the trail, but we warmed up and walked down the first hill, saw a couple runners, but the trail was quiet. It was so great to be out, we were both so happy!

and trot!

Major chose to trot almost everywhere he could, I slowed him a bit as it is almost a 16 mile trip! Down we went, past the empty waterfall, and under No Hands bridge there were a few people already swimming, be careful! (The river looks smooth, but is dangerous, swift and cold).

ears say "why are we stopping on the troll bridge?!"

too cold and early for swimming

We headed up to Cool where the wider trails begged for a canter, but I also like the staging area that has a good trough (ignored by Major) and I can refill my water bottles (appreciated by me!). Now usually when we leave here Major lags a bit, like he expects the trailer to be here (never has been). But today he charged out a bit too willingly, some halt-halts needed!

love these Cool trails

canter time!

Back down the canyon, I often tail Major on this trail, as we usually walk it and just go slow. But Mr. Pants-on-Fire thought otherwise, and actually did a (mostly) slow controlled trot down the less steep areas, only walking when needed. Who is this horse?

no cars parked all over, nice while it lasted!

At the bottom of the canyon it was strange to see the parking along the sides of the highway empty, as those lots hadn't been opened yet. But it was nice not to wade through hordes of people on the bridge (seriously, there are so many other, I think better hiking trails, but people like this easy river access).

just a few people ahead (one hiking in a bikini!)

Major turned on the after burners and wanted to canter all the straight railroad-bed stretches. I let him (within reason) but warned him he was going to tire at Robie Point. And he did, halfway up the last steep Robie Point stretch, he brought himself down to a walk. He caught his breath as I got off and walked him down the hill, but was back in fine form for the final two miles. (Yes, I let my horse think for himself, when he isn't making stupid choices. Even if I know he will be a little tired, it is a better balance for us as a team to trust like that sometimes.)

so classy Major, looking good!

Back at the trailer Major got hosed off, and he looked great, and was all clean and shiny, until I let him roll in the weeds. Then he was covered in grass, and looked a mess, but happy. I think I was the same (not covered in grass, but a dirty mess and happy!)

I'm going to stay off that trail on busy weekends (now that the lower parking is open), and mostly go to the places I know that are quieter with easier distancing. But it was sure great to get out, and it was fun to see that Major agreed.


  1. I could never picture myself happy in California ....until your blog. Except for the bugs, you made a place in my heart for the "many states in one state". You do it so well, the tourism office should pay you.

    Again, I love your bridle, your hot sweaty horse looks so much more comfortable without his ears jammed between two straps, one of which is not necessary.

    1. Thanks, spring here is especially great. In spring we have mosquitoes, but other than that, no bugs here (just hot!!, you would melt!)

      Major LOVES his no browband bridle. And still wants to have his sweaty head rubbed after a ride!