Saturday, May 16, 2015


Today was a planned ride with PJ and Margo. We talked about a lot of different ride scenarios that we could try and landed on Waterton Canyon. At least that was the plan. We met at the barn and got on the road by about 10. We pulled into Chatfield at about 10:30 and were greeted by this:

The reservoir is super high. There were permanent buildings under water. They can't launch any boats because the launch ramp is under water.

Remember this crossing that J filmed from the bridge?

Same spot on the bridge. No way were we going to attempt to cross that.

It was a gorgeous, warm day.

Margo and Ashke are a good fit for one another. Margo is well conditioned and they travel at similar speeds. Margo's running walk and Ashke's working trot are about the same speed.

It was just so beautiful.

Clouds were far, far away.

Power Rider

On the canal trail

Ashke and I were struggling with his gloves on his front feet. I don't think they were set on his feet correctly (although I could not get them set right) and the break over was off, so instead of rolling his toe correctly, he was stubbing his feet down. Plus, even in the gloves, he was occasionally tender. About half way through the ride, I pulled the gloves. He was better after that and we stayed away from any rocks.

His enthusiasm was minimal, though.

The canal was beautiful.

So very green.

Tree canopy in Spring

We were in water from Plum Creek. It was way over it's banks.

Ashke was not happy with the mud.

This was the meadow we stopped in for lunch the last time we were riding down here. We were sitting on the log on the far side of the flowing water.

K - see that log. That's where we sat to eat lunch.
There is now a creek running through it.

 Stopped for Lunch. There was no where to sit down.

 I made Ashke walk in the water. He was not amused.
It was a common theme today.

He was happy to leave the wet ground.

 Getting dark (it was one in the afternoon).

This trail leads to the parking lot next to the reservoir. We had to turn and cross the field to our left, with J carrying her bike, because there was no parking lot, only water.

This is the point where it started to hail. Pea sized hail. 
We were in rain jackets but not rain pants, except for PJ, who had a full length rain slicker.
We were moving as quickly as it was safe.

That line of trees is where we stopped and let the horses drink last ride. The water was a good hundred yards past where we were. We didn't stop. By this time it was raining pretty good.

When we got to the curve in the road, PJ and I headed for the fence and the track that would take us the most direct route back to the truck. We sent J on ahead. I told her we wouldn't do our after ride feed, since all the horses were really going to want to do is get out of the rain. We trotted, or in Margo's case gaited, our way back home. Trotting seemed the best use of energy while still allowing us the ability to gauge the ground conditions. There were a couple of times when Ashke slowed to a walk, with his head hanging low, ears sideways and eyes squinted shut against the storm. I must have told him what a good boy he was a million times on that part of the ride. Encouraging a horse to go against their better judgement and move forward into the storm, instead of turning tail and dropping their head to weather it out is difficult for all involved. Both ponies did good.

J had Ashke's rain coat ready and we stripped the saddle/bridle quickly, then covered him up. I swear that horse gave a heavy sigh of relief when I opened the trailer for him. He didn't even hesitate to get on. Five minutes later, we were on our way.

The water was almost over the road as we were leaving. 
There is a sidewalk under that water and there used to be a parking lot on the far side of the trees.

Five minutes down the road, it was clear and sunny again.


  1. The amount of water you guys have had is impressive. How long ago did the constant rain stop? 1 or 2 days? Made me feel like I was seeing photos of was the same story in the summer down there, except it's much more constant during the hottest months. The creepiest part was seeing flooded lakes and noticing that technically the water level of lakes and swamps was often times higher than the land nearby: that part of the state really is below sea level. I'm guessing it's been pouring in the mountains too and that has also contributed to the creek/river water levels being so high?

    Poor Ashke with the mud! Him and Lily really are cut from the same mold: she used to be the same way but she's had to learn to deal with it given how muddy winters here can be! I hope his feet feel better after the trim later this week. Are you in for more dry weather?

    1. It has pretty much rained every day in May. There have been times of heavier rain, like a couple inches an hour, and the snow we got on Mother's Day was heavy and wet, rather than the Champagne powder the Rockies is known for. We've had drier spells, with broken clouds and rain in the afternoon. All of the rivers and creeks in the area are completely full and over their banks in some areas. The South Platte (the river that feeds into Chatfield and then runs through Denver) is flooding to the North of us. The South Platte runs south to north, which seems backwards to me. We really need a week or so of clear weather to let the water levels drop in the rivers, but it doesn't seem to be in the cards. It's raining again.


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