Finally. I know, this post is pretty much two weeks overdue. But, I'm trying. So, hold on to your hats, this is going to be a long one.
After days and nights of rain, our planned ride day dawned bright, beautiful and clear. Cowboy H and I got out to our ranch fairly early and brought our ponies in from pasture, gave them each a bucket of grain, tacked up and waited. The girls waited patiently too. It was a sight we'll never see again. Lastly, Cowboy H put the finishing touches on his outfit.
By now, those of you who follow Jesses Desert Rose should know that EVERY ride is an excuse to get dressed to the nines, with matching tack as well. Well, a handful of years ago, the DR bought this pink striped shirt for Cowboy H. Every time we ride with DR, Cowboy H tries to remember to wear this shirt.
However, this time around, we added the tie. Yes, its pink and yes, its paisley. I don't know about anyone else, but I love a man in pink. Mmmmmm...
Soon, we heard the diesel truck rumbling down the drive. Once parked, there was much commotion as the handsome Crow was unloaded and fawned over, mimosas were handed out, magazines were presented and horses settled. Before too long, the mimosas were gone and we were in our saddles.
We rode out from our ranch, into the cow pastures and up the hill I broke my arm on. Just before dropping down into the state park, we stopped for the first photo op.
Wow, we were a colorful group! Also, I would like to mention that this photo is SOOC. I swear! I still can't believe how vibrant the colors are!
We rode into the state park on a trail that Cowboy H, the ranch girls, and I had made ourselves. It was a muddy, mucky, sloshy mess. The entire time, our ponies were ankle deep in mud or over-saturated soil. The ground sunk about four inches with every step. We crossed water about five times, none of them easy ones. Honestly, we should not have gone out that day, the ground was so bad, but that wasn't discovered until about 30 minutes into the ride. The first 40 minutes really were not that fun.
We finally made it to the actual state park trails and had to make our first pit stop. And yes, the DR was caught on her own two feet again.
Poor Cowboy H got stuck holding three horses!
Of course, we also took this opportunity to top off our glasses. Thanks Bossman!
And, we were off again.
The day was so beautiful we had to stop to take lots of photos.
Or, just take in the view.
We continued up a long hill, and were able to divert our attentions from the ground since the footing was a lot better. Much story-telling ensued.
Once we got to the top, we filled up our glasses, err I mean, let our horses blow a bit.
The ponies also got their fair share of trail treats. It was a lot of work just to keep their heads above their knees!
Eventually we worked our way down into the main area of the camp, the same place we started out when we gathered cows last time. We got stopped by a park ranger, because well, those dang cows were out again, and she wanted to make sure we knew where those dang cows were (apparently she was tracking them). Uh, cows? Lady, we're just here to ride. Then we were informed that the state park was actually closed to the public, but since we were "here for the cows" she'd let us slide. Aww, thanks. So, we pretended to look for cows. (None were spotted.)
Before long, we were at our lunch spot! The state park has a horse camping ground complete with pipe stalls, porta-potties and picnic tables.
And lunch was served!
Side Note: The Bossman supplies everyone with NEW wine glasses for lunch, because serving wine in the same glasses your champagne was in is just not acceptable.
We definitely took our time during lunch, telling more stories and finishing off two bottles of wine between the five of us. We also decided to head back home through the front entrance of the park and along the city streets. We really didn't want to slop through all the mud we had come in through.
Riding through the streets was not ideal, but also pretty uneventful with our group. If nothing else, it was a good experience for all the horses.
From there we were back at the ranch. All in all we were out on trail for about six hours, including the one hour lunch break. It was a really great ride, minus all the mud. Maybe in a couple months time, we can do it again?!?!
Anyone else want to join??