Sunday, October 2, 2016

East-West

The last time we rode the East-West was June 1, 2015. When we were trying to decide where to ride, it seemed appropriate to try it at least one time this year. We decided to meet up about 9:30 and haul south to Spring Gulch. It's a bit under an hour, but that seems to be our normal travel time to get to a trail head, regardless of where we go. Spring Gulch was hosting some type of fund raiser by sending lots of horses galloping around the property jumping fences. We parked where we were directed, then ate some lunch sitting in our camper.

After lunch we got the horse's saddled. I had the saddle fitted again last Thursday since Megan was at the barn working on other saddles. She said I must carry more weight on my left seatbone, since the left panel was squished down more than the other side. I was hoping that the adjustment would fix the slight bridging issue that Dr D saw, plus I've been seeing some ruffled hair, so it was time. Saddled up, we headed out.

 Ashke was awesome on every terrain. So very pleased with the shoes.


 This is the beginning of the singletrack that heads into the backcountry.


 The best way to describe the majority of the trail is up and down roller coaster type of trail.

K and I took turns leading the way. In the above picture, you can see the trail on the far side of the valley going up the hill. K and Eddy trotted up that part of the trail while Ashke and I followed them at a very collected canter. It was amazing. 

It's wobbly so if you get motion sick, beware. J took it holding her phone in her hand.
It does give you an idea of how the trail rides.

 My goal was to ride through the oak forest.

We did that, at six miles, then turned and headed back. We either needed to turn around at that point, or we needed to go until we reached Red Tail Park at 10 miles to get the horses water. The horses are getting shaggy and were both sweating freely.





There was a point on our ride back, when we were in the lead and cantering up hill. There was a switchback turn, very tight, where the trail doubles back on itself. It was probably a six foot half loop, that Ashke took at a canter. I felt him shorten his stride, rock back onto his haunches and pirouetted his way around that corner. AT THE CANTER. It was amazing and I was laughing out loud in delight.

By we got back to the trailer, Ashke was brown. He had been sweating freely and hasn't been washed in a long time, so he was a freaking mud ball. We got back to the barn and I took him to the wash stall. It took a bit to scrub the dried mud from his coat. It was matted into mud pads every where there was a pad, girth or wrap. He also had mud and sweaty foam on his face. After I got his body rinsed off, I turned the water way down to rinse off his face.  This happened.


He turned the water off with his teeth at least six times, Such a funny guy.

Two things of note: I need to clip him - probably a trace clip like I did last November, and we are riding Indian Creek again next weekend.

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