It looked like the whole family was going on a ride...grand parents, kids, and grand kids. It made me smile. They headed the direction of the lake; I was going the other direction.
Tripp seems to like the short loop for some reason, so we headed that way first. The plan was to do the short loop, head over to big parking lot/camping area by the shooting range, then ride the trails over the hill behind the parking lot, come back up, then ride around the lake. I was going to play the last part by ear...
Away we went...to the short loop first. We saw a lot of turkeys on this ride! Wow, they were everywhere!
Tripp loves coming up to this part of the trail because he knows we get to go off the trail and weave thru the trees. He truly seems to enjoy that.
He still looks at stumps and fallen trees like they are up to something. This big partially burned tree always makes him look twice.
Mmmmm, mystery manure!
Just up from here is where I personally counted 50 turkeys as they took flight! Oh my gosh, they were about 30 feet from us and they started to take flight about Tripp's flank area. Then it was like the wave at a baseball game....the turkeys kept coming and coming and coming....from the rear to the front of him! All that flapping and fwapping noise they made was loud and enough to make Tripp wonder what the heck was coming to get us. He really did do great considering how loud they were...he was all tight and it was like he was trying to decide to go or stay. If he hurried up to go, and I 'accidentally' rolled off his back side, that would mean he was safe and 'they' would feed off the Girl! Ha ha! Thankfully it did not come to that. :-)
Whew, we survived the herd of turkeys...life is good again. Not far from here we met an older woman on the trail. She was walking her dog, and we talked for a good 45 minutes if not longer. She said she rides too but her husband doesn't like her to ride alone. She invited me to ride with her sometime. She told me where she lived (it was close) so I plan on stopping by sometime to ride with her. She has gaited horses so Tripp and I might be left behind....either that or he will get the lead out and not let a girl get the best of him. Ha! I was so proud of Tripp. We stood there a long time and he was a gem! She mentioned how good he was and she was impressed...especially since he came to me wild in 2008. We talked a lot about horsenality...Tripp just has a really great horsenality, and that is what makes him so great. I just happen to be one of the ingredients. :-)
We are now on the trail that we explored only one time. This time I didn't have to walk him by the 'scary' stuff. I love this lane with the big trees. I would love to go hiking around here to see if I can find an old homestead. It was such a pretty day.
And here is that creek crossing with the gray brick road. :-) Last time I walked him across the first time, and he rode across on the way back. This time he did not even hesitate! I was a proud mustang Mom! He tip toed across the bricks and away we went.
Across the field and up the hill is one of the other parking lots. It goes by Hwy T. I was hoping someone would drive by so I could wave. :-) I took a picture of the 'Welcome to Rudolf Bennitt' sign instead. I know I know...wild and crazy me! On our way up to the parking lot we met a girl we saw last time we came this direction. Today she was on her foxtrotter and we never did catch her on the way back down.
Going back down the hill from the parking lot...where did that girl and her horse go?
Still no girl and her horse...hmmmmm....we are almost back to the brick creek crossing.
The entry point was a bit muddy, but Tripp didn't even slow down for it. I don't know if that is good or bad. He never did slip so I choose to believe he knew what he was doing.
One thing I don't like is he will not drink on the trail. He dips in his nose, licks his lips, but doesn't actually drink. When we get home he drinks a lot. That won't be a good thing if he decides he wants to do limited distance riding (25 - 35 miles).
TRIPP: "OH MY! THERE IS THAT GIRL AND HER HORSE! HEY YOU GUYS, WHERE DID YOU GO?"
TRIPP'S GIRL: "Tripp, you don't have to yell, she is coming to us. Tripp, don't be startled, but there are two guys walking down the hillside on your left."
TRIPP: "I saw them...they are not important to me. Who is that horse? ..... oh, it is a boy...never mind. Are my cheeks red from embarrassment?"
Me and the gal chatted a couple minutes, then she was on her way. Her little foxtrotter was covering some territory! No wonder we didn't catch up with them.
The shooting range was very active and I was hoping this time would be different. It was great! No horses running by on the trail (even tho that was lots of fun) so we could concentrate on the shooters and the noise. It was family day here too. Love it! They were firing .22's on the left, and they had something with a big BIG boom on the right. Tripp did great! Another proud mustang Mom moment. :-)
I wish we had time to take this loop again, but we didn't. I never did make it around the lake like I planned. Too much chatting and not enough riding. Ha ha! That is okay, we still had a 10 1/2 mile day and it was great.
Sunday's ride was the first one that I noticed Tripp is getting more fit. I read an entry on conditioning endurance horses, and they said to walk them the first 6 weeks. Up and down hills both...this strengthens their muscles and prepares them slowly. Since I have been riding Tripp a little bit, I did all my hill work at a walk and did some trotting on the flats...but not a lot of trotting. I finally got to the point of trotting so I would trot up the smaller hills, and he would get about half way up then run out of steam and start walking. Yesterday we went up a hill and just as I thought he was running out of steam I felt his hind end kick into gear, he dug into that hill, and his gave me the most powerful trot he has ever had! He stayed with it and we made it to the top of the hill and kept going across the flats on top! Oh my gosh, it felt AMAZING!!!!! I was so excited! Here is the site I got this from. This is what works for them and has worked for them for many years...endurance is their life. http://perseveranceendurancehorses.wordpress.com/2012/10/17/endurance-training/
What a beautiful day...my rump was a little bit sore but not as bad as I thought it would be. Tripp seemed to feel good when we were done too. I am wondering if doing shorter miles on Saturday and my long day on Sunday made a difference. Or he is just getting better...I don't know. Either way, I will keep an eye on him because I don't ever want him to resent going out to ride.
Until later...Karen and Tripp who has some powerful junk in the trunk to get him up those hills! ;-)