Sunday, November 30, 2014


Saturday it was 71 degrees and sunny. The baby girl got a ride on ponikins and I rode in the arena. Today, the high was supposed to be 52 (about a 20 degree swing) and sunny until after dark. There was a storm that was predicted to move in about 6 pm, with the possibility of snow. K and I had planned to try the Draw and even though the day might not be as warm as Saturday, there was supposed to be a lot less wind, which is always a bonus.

When J and I were getting ready, I told her I was opting for the bibs, because I wanted to see how they worked with the saddle. The little voice in the back of my head suggested liners, but I opted not to put them on, since I was really afraid I would overheat in just the bibs.  When J asked me what I would do if I started sweating and I told her I could zip up the pants and expose some lower leg to the air, if I needed to. I didn't put on the new base layer (Costco) under my thermal shirt, because I was really afraid of overheating, although I did want to try the base layer (it's new).  The voice in my head recommended my insulated North Face boots instead of my barn boots, but again, too much. As we walked out of the house (I was already sweating) I thought about grabbing my Sherpa-Lined Carhartt jacket and throwing it in the truck, but then recognized that I had my windproof rain jacket, a North Face hat and gloves if it got cool. The weather was supposed to be similar to when we went to Chatfield last weekend. I did that ride in short sleeves. I wasn't worried and left the coat hanging on the backside of the door.

(Note to self: listen to the voices in your head.)

When we got to the barn, the temp in the truck said 52. We loaded the gear and I loaded Ashke. We went to load Eddy and Eddy was a little bit of an ass to K. He pushes her around (big, heavy head and stocky Hafflinger attitude, IMO) and ended up pulling the lead rope out of her hand and running off with the lead rope trailing behind him. Ashke, who was still loaded in the trailer, almost lost his shit, especially since one of the TBs in the stud pen was bucking, jumping and rearing in excitement. I got Ashke calmed down, while K caught Eddy, then I went out to help K. I took the lead rope and wrapped it around Eddy's nose, turned him and walked him to the trailer. When he pulled back this time, the rope tightened and applied pressure to his nose. I did pressure and release to get him to move forward and after testing me one time, Eddy walked on the trailer.

We headed out. The sun was shining, it was beautiful and the wind was just barely blowing.

As we crested the ridge overlooking the parking lot, we saw the wall cloud. It was dark grey and looked like the kind of smoke created by wildfire. From ground to sky, dark grey cloud.

It was grey and much colder when we got out of the truck. I jokingly told J we should just turn and head back, but she told me we had come this far we weren't going home yet. I put on the raincoat (I was shivering already), my hat and gloves.

The Flatirons were gone.
There were cows in the area where the trail goes.
We were all cold but willing to do the shorter upper loop on the Mesa.

Those black spots just below the skyline are cows. 
In the same area as we were going to ride.
Ashke was very snorty and Eddy was spooky.

Got to love Haffie hair.

J on Coyote.
That kind of hanging grey behind J was cloud.

W, K's hubs, on his first horse-bike ride.
Thankfully, we had an extra fleece hat in the truck or he would have been very unhappy.

K wanted her fleece lined jeans, though.
Haffie being Haffie.
I mean, the hair!

This was Eddy's third off property trail ride. He did really well, with only one major spook. K handled it well and Eddy stopped quickly, rather than bolting, which I thought he was going to do. I think as we continue to put miles on trail, he will get more and more steady.

The camera didn't pick it up, but the clouds were floating across the road and through the trees.
This was the point in the ride where I suggested we keep going and do the 9 mile loop.
J was much more level headed about the ride and how cold her feet were already.
(I am an idiot. I would have died.)

This is the edge of the Mesa looking down into the valley toward Eldorado Springs. Usually you can see the bottom of the valley and the trails leading to Eldorado.

The trail forward leads down the draw and we turned to the left.

As we rode through the trees, K and Eddy trotted around them, practicing their neck reining.

Coming out of the trees for the long downhill, which was tempered by the cold wind and cows.

K couldn't feel her legs at this point.

There be cows in dem trees.

Ashke saw the cow. His head came up and his ears went forward. When we got close enough, the cow started to move away and Ashke figured out it could be a game of chase. We "chased" three cows and all three times he locked onto the cow and moved it where I told him to. He liked it a lot.

Eddy tried to crawl out of his skin.

Trailer and truck in the parking lot. 
By the time we got there, my toes and fingers were numb with cold, and I was shivering very deep. 

We pulled tack and threw blankets on the horses. Thank goodness I had them in the trailer, including a fleece cooler Eddy could wear. Ashke seemed to breathe a sigh of relief when I slipped it on him. Ashke walked right on the trailer. Eddy took two tries and then he was loaded as well. The humans jumped into the truck and were not at all surprised to see the temp gauge saying 19 degrees. With the wind chill, it was probably 15.

That was a 33 degree drop in temp in 10 minutes. 

I have been cold for the rest of the day. Good trail ride, though.


  1. Eeep! If I had been on that trail ride, someone would have found me in the spring, as a block of ice. Glad everyone survived!

    1. Me too. Really glad we didn't try to do the entire trail. We could have lost toes and fingers that way. At least there was no snow and visibility was decent. And we would not have left you and Sir Fabio Paddington Bear out on trail without us.

  2. brrrr. I get too hot tacking up too, and have the same problem, especially if the wind picks up. But that temperature drop is crazy. I swear by the little toe warmers you put in your boots, they save my feet when it's "chilly' here (not like your cold!)

    1. J usually overpacks every thing. It was unlike her to not have done so this time. We have already agreed that we need to put hand and foot warmers in our packs for this season.

  3. Eep. You're a tough cookie, for sure!

    And it is absolutely crazy to me how different your landscape is without that stunning Rocky Mtn backdrop!!