"And, when you want something, the entire Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." -The Alchemist, by Paulo Coehlo

Sunday, December 29, 2013

No Rifles

After the parade yesterday, I removed Lily's fancy polo wraps, Kathy took off her cloak, and we went for a long trail ride in the park across the street.

Loving these saddle bags. I was finally able to bring a granola bar with me on a ride, which I munched on while riding.
First time eating while moving on a horse! :)
It was hilarious because Kathy left the reindeer ears and bows on Queenie and of course, it being a Saturday with temps in the 50's, there were hikers all over the park to watch us go by. Between Queenie's and Lily's jingle bells and rhythm beads, we sounded like two reindeer escaped from Santa's sleigh. We got a lot of smiles and laughs on the trail!

Queenie was still sporting this look on the trail. She looked adorable!
Every single bow stayed in place!
Endomondo crapped out on me yet again as we were only a mile from home. I am careful to NOT leave it open on the phone screen while riding, but it will still randomly pause. This is something that it has been doing more and more frequently, and it did it again yesterday, so I have no idea of our mileage or pace for the ride. I am officially done with this app. I have uploaded Map My Run and will be using that one from now on.

Last photo I was able to take with my phone.
Uggghhh Smartphones! You are so wonderful but why must you die so easily?!
We took one of the newer trails that we had discovered during our most recent rides in this park, and ended up discovering yet another trail that took us through the widest and deepest river crossing yet. It was gorgeous.

Photo taken by Kathy. Totally captured the moment.
Going in, the mud on the near shore was pretty deep, but Lily did not hesitate at all to go right into it. I encouraged her to stop and drink, and we made our way across the river one step at a time, Lily putting her head down to drink/lip at the water/play each time I made her pause.

The opposite bank was also quite muddy but Lily didn't care. She went right through like a total boss and we followed this new trail, eager to see where it would take us.

We ended up in someone's lawn. It was a huge, huge lawn and the trail wound around it, following the tree line, but we were still in plain sight of the house. The best part was that the house had a Confederate flag flying on a post above the house, a trailer home next to the house, and several clunker cars strewn about in varying stages of decomposition.

We rushed past, following the trail up a very steep hill. Both mares chose to gallop up this portion, going around a fallen tree that would have been a 3' jump if we'd decided to go over it. The trail completely disappeared after that tree. I let Lily try to find the way, as she is so good at finding the trail when I can't see it, but we realized we were truly bushwacking up the top of a ridge. I turned Lily around, meandering through the trees trying to find any sort of trail back down the other side of the hill, but none was to be found. We could see the river running through the valley on the other side of our ridge, but neither Kathy nor I recognized where we were. No matter what, we were on the wrong side of the river, so we decided to just head back.

As we reached the Confederate lawn (remember I'm Hispanic, a certifiable brown person), and joked about the residents aiming rifles at us, we discovered another trail and I let Lily follow it. It took us right back towards the river...but at a spot where the bank was actually a 5' cliff. No way we were going to attempt to cross it there. We had to turn around yet again. Ugghh...

Back we went through the Confederate lawn. It was the only way back to the main trail.

At this point, Kathy and I were giggling uncontrollably like two little kids. We figured the people in the house must think we were spying on them. The little house in the middle of the woods was the perfect scenario for all sorts of illegal activities...

We almost trotted back to the river crossing and rushed through the water to the other side. Mind you, there were hoofprints all over the trail that led past the lawn, so we were not the first ones to head this way. We'll have to find out later from Jane and Natalie if they know where the correct trail is.

We followed the trail to an empty field, then found the way back by following the path up a very steep hill. Both mares galloped up, and Kathy and I exclaimed that we must look like something out of a Montana cowboy scene with the light of the setting sun shining upon us through the trees.

In our heads we figured we looked like Bob, our barn's resident natural horsemanship trainer (he is a certified John Lyons trainer):

My favorite of Bob's photos. It really was taken in Montana. Whisper, the Arabian he is riding in this photo, now boards at our barn and belongs to Bob. Go to Bob's website here
Except Queenie was wearing her reindeer ears and Lily had jingle bells all over the place. :)

We followed the trail down the other side of the hill and retraced our steps.

The rest of the ride was nicely uneventful, and we made it back to the barn safe and sound without any one running after us with rifles...


  1. LOL at the Confederate house! Glad you didn't get shot down! ;)

  2. Saiph, that sounded like a great ride! I would have loved to see you guys riding down the trail riding horses with antlers and bells ringing! How fun!

    1. I'm sure we were quite the sight! ;)

  3. I'm not sure I would have tried crossing their lawn three times . . . they might have been a shoot first, ask questions later sort.

    You might try Runmeter. It's free and I have been using it to track rides for about a year now. I like it better than Map My Ride. (I ran both simultaneously and like the results with Runmeter better.) The display is customizable and you can track what you want.

    1. Runmeter has been downloaded! I will try it out for our next ride!

      I would have gladly avoided the lawn, but the only way back to the main trail was right through it. Thankfully they didn't seem to notice two jingling horses going through...there were many hoofsteps going through the mud on the trail prior to our own, so I guess they are used to it?

    2. Maybe that's the only trail access, or maybe they just don't care. However, it's been my experience with "hunters" or "good-ole-boys" that private land is sacrosanct. Glad you are all ok. Maybe they were put off by the bells. :)

    3. Hahaha! All I know is we're never taking that route again!

  4. You mean you didn't want to jump the bank like a Calvary horse and rider??!

    1. Too small. If it had been 20 feet we would have been all over dat. ;)

  5. Ha, I love Queenie's costume!

    I bailed on Endomondo after similar troubles. Have been using EveryTrail -- it's served me well so far.

    1. Queenie was the cutest! Had not heard of EveryTrail, but I'll download that one too - now I have several apps to choose from! Thanks for the tip!