When I tool the below picture, it reminded me so much of another picture I took. The one you see above in the header. The one above is Ginger, taken in South Dakota in 2008. The one below is Fancy. If I could see them side by side, I would see that there is no resemblance. But on film (or digital or whatever it is now) and sometimes just glancing out in the pasture, I occasionally have to do a double take thinking I am seeing Ginger.
Have I mentioned how cool it is to have a furnace in the horse trailer? I don't know how I have gotten by without one for so long? It was warmer yesterday than previous days so I set the thermostat for 65. It turned on sometime in the night and was toasty warm when we got up. Interestingly enough, the hoses to the horse water were frozen. I am glad we blanketed the horses. Such a drastic change in temperature from the hot and humid weather we have had at home.
Today we packed our lunches and set off down the same trail as yesterday but planned to ride it to the end, have lunch and a nice break and then come back. It worked out mostly as planned. We never got lost but did backtrack once because we weren't real sure of the outcome. Better safe than sorry.
It was a little warmer today but still lovely, lovely weather. Windy has been leading and started off at a good clip. We would rotate her out and put one of the others in front to slow the ride down a bit to accommodate Trey, who is an incredible 23-year-old quarter horse. You wouldn't know it to look at him. We had a lot of hills to climb and we wanted him to enjoy it, too.
The views were incredible and I have to say that I think this has been some of the prettiest trail I have ever ridden. It is incredibly diverse. You meander down tree lined wide trails, cross creeks, cross rivers, go through pines, meadows, sage brush, switchbacks... you name it.
It also offers its fair share of challenges. There are some big climbs and some steep drop offs. I was following Jules on Zeta and saw Zeta place her hoof on a rock that gave out and went tumbling down below. Zeta of course caught herself and Jules was probably not aware of it and I didn't tell her. Some of the trails were very technical and if I stopped to think about it too much, it would be a bit scary.
There was one trail that was a hairpin turn and then pretty much straight down. Windy was the last horse at this particular moment and she started to rush a bit more than I wanted and was not at a safe distance behind Zeta. I tried to pull her back and she did one of her bit grabbing head shakes. Whew! It may or may not have been the incident in the video above, but you get the idea.
I thought a lot about my friend, Kathy, who I understood rode this trail before and was very scared. I also thought of Robyn who has been on every Wyoming trip with us and whose horse came up lame before the trip. Next time I am going to insist she take Butter!
We are sharing the camp with some locals who have told us about the trails. They have given us some ideas of where to ride tomorrow, our last day, and I'm looking forward to it.
As a side note, Pip has gone on every ride with us since we have been here. She is the best trail dog - never staying far, always coming when called and checking back with us when she goes too far ahead. We did almost 17 miles today. I wonder how many she did? She is laying next to me right now - snoring. I can't say I blame her. Sleep tight, little Sister.