Saturday, January 31, 2015

Trail riding in someone else's neighborhood

I was invited to go for a trail ride by one of my boarders, CW.  It was going to be an easy ride so I took The mighty Killian.   We loaded up and drove in towards town and stopped at another ladies house to saddle up.  From there we rode to yet another woman's house so that she could join us.

I admit to being pretty impressed with these ladies as the were all older than I, by a spread of 10-20 years.  I'm over 50, so that means one is over 70.  Yet there they were saddling up and heading out.  I hope that I am still riding when I am 70.

We followed a road down a block and then crossed the street and went over a desert gate.  Killian had never seen one, but being who he is, he watched the first horse go and then followed suit.  The first time he watched carefully but after that, it was old hat to him.  Love my horse!

As we rode through the desert heading east, I started to see some familiar landmarks.  It didn't take but a minute to realize that I was riding in Nuzzling Muzzle's Desert.  And Nuz, if you are reading this, had I known that was where we were riding, I would have called and invited you to ride along.

All the horses were a little wound up...except mine, of course.  Killian, as always, was a solid rock.  I was kind of wanting to just trot out, which I figured would be good for the horses who were wanting to go, and good for my horse who is out of shape.  As it turns out, the ladies were preferring to keep their horses at a walk. Luckily for me, they were all gaited horses, and Killian had to trot to keep up with them anyway. So it all worked out.

We saw some beautiful scenery, the desert is so green right now, and getting greener by the minute. Then we dropped down into a wash and used the sand to give our ponies a good work out.  We stopped at "The Owl Tree" for a photo shoot, (aptly named for the owl who resides there) and sure enough there he was.  He looked at us like we were crazy but he never moved.

Here are a few pictures of the ride.

Handsome old guy

Being the Caboose

The group

In the wash

All the green

Holes in the wall of the wash

Deep Wash

He even worked up a little sweat. 

When I pulled his saddle off I wasn't happy with the sweat marks.

I don't recall ever having dry marks before with this saddle.  However I am using a different pad which is thicker, and he has lost quite a bit of weight (which he needed to lose) in the last couple of months.  So I believe I will go back to the old pad once to see what happens and then make adjustments accordingly.  I Like this saddle on him. It is the only one I have that fits over his gargantuan shoulders.   Of course I realize that part of the problem is his aging top line as well.

I was supposed to go sorting that same night, but no sooner did the alarm go off to get ready and it started to sprinkle. Within a half an hour it was pouring, and continued to do so for the rest of the night, all day the next day, and today it is still over cast and all my horses are standing in 5 inches of mud.  Well except Sassy, her pen has one high spot that stays dry.  I really want to bring a few dump truck loads of sand into my pens to raise the level and allow more drainage, but sand isn't cheap, so I don't know if it will happen.

Now it is time to head to the saddle shop and get some work done.


  1. Ok I'll admit I'm halfway being a smartass here... but really, sand isn't cheap in the desert?! Couldn't you just go scoop some with your tractor bucket? ;)

    1. Well, in some parts of the desert you can, in fact a friend of mine lives in such a rural area he was able to "widen" his road, and pull all the excess dirt into his yard to make a nice drive way that didn't turn to a mud pit. But where I live, not gonna happen. I wish though.....oh how I wish.

  2. What Lisa said. But I imagine every bit of land is owned so you can't just go high grade some.
    Nice place to trail ride.

  3. Hmmm, now I want to know where "The Owl Tree" is. The desert definitely is getting greener by the minute. It sounds like an exaggeration, but it's true. You can almost see the grass growing.

    1. So Nuz, once you enter into the patch of desert east of the school, you head due south for a ways and then look for the trail that drops down into the wide wash. Just ride in the sand of the wash for about a quarter of mile, maybe even less. It will get really steep on both sides but then the right hand side gets flatter. There is a big Palo Verde tree on the left. Of course there are many palo verde trees, but you might recognize the patch of green in my photo on the right and the tree is directly across the wash on the left. The gals said there is a family of owls that are almost always present in the tree. This day there was only one, but they say there are more. It is a nice ride, and a great work out for the horses. Sometimes it gets a little bit narrow, but never so bad that you can't just lean to one side and avoid the shrubs. There are some spots that are a little bit rocky, but nothing too serious.