|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! :)
|Queenie was still sporting this look on the trail. She looked adorable!|
Every single bow stayed in place!
|Last photo I was able to take with my phone.|
Uggghhh Smartphones! You are so wonderful but why must you die so easily?!
|Photo taken by Kathy. Totally captured the moment.|
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.|
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...