Sunday, August 2, 2015

8/2 Adventure to a trail!!

This weekend I was itching to get out and go trail riding. I had thought we were going to have plans with family but they never solidified, so I had ended up missing out on riding with someone else from the Distance Derby. Instead, I went alone!

I tried to convince Eric to come and hike while I rode so I could have some safety cushion as I had no idea what Gwyn would do. But it was high 80s and he didn't want to hike. Instead, I went solo! I got the truck and trailer hooked up, loaded with my stuff and got changed. Then it was just a matter of rounding up Gwyn and loading her, which happened pretty quickly, considering where she's been with trailer loading. The donkeys looked confused, and maybe a bit worried as they watched from the barn.
But we headed down the road to the Addison Township Watershed Preserve, a mere 10 minutes away on the same road I live on (so convenient!)  There were people hanging out at their trucks in the parking lot and they watched rather curiously as I turned the truck and trailer around and got out to unload. Their dog came over to say high and decided against it when he saw Gwyn.  The parking lot is HUGE gravel, not ideal or preferred for me, but I'm in no position to be picky or make demands. I groomed and tacked up. Gwyn got a little concerned when the people left to go walk the trails but settled back down. I stationed her on the far side of the trailer from the road, and the occasional traffic noise wasn't an issue.

She was great and I found a picnic table to use as a mounting block. She stood politely and when I pointed her at the trails her ears pricked forward and BOY OH BOY I had a happy mare from that point on. The only time her ears weren't pricked forward was when she was shaking the flies off. I need to finish her fly bonnet so she has some ear protection. Or modify the one she's wearing to have some ears. The flies were nasty and I popped some full of blood. Ick. I tried to smush as many as I could, but it was obvious she was bothered. Next time, Goober, I learn, I promise!

She never hesitated on the trail today. She offered the trot and canter in places. She did not spook. We just motored down the trails and explored. I did mini loops and did cover most of the trails twice because of the network of them. There aren't that many, or at least total length is not that great, but we got over 3 miles and I would have enjoyed going for longer if the bugs weren't terribad.
I had previously brought Kaylee here on a hike and I made sure to take all the paths so I was familiar. I started on the north loop that I had skipped on foot due to incoming storms. It offered a nice view of a marsh and had decently groomed trail.

We found the beaver dam and then I encountered the people from the parking lot. They were having a joint subcommittee at a bench with a nice view of Slating Lake. I got a mini contact high from riding by.

Beautiful forest by the lake. 

We rode up to the edge of Slating Lake but I didn't trust the water and footing to try and get in with Gwyn.
The view you get up on a 16h horse is better than on foot!

Selfie! I actually didn't get bit by any bugs. I did put on fly spray and not even the crazy pyrethrin, just the natural oils kind.

A man made fishing lake. You can camp by this spot if you get a permit from the fire department.

Camp spot.

Back in the forest

And here's the comparison between bike mode on the fitbit and endomondo. A .06 mile difference. That's pretty good! I'm going to continue to double track it, but I'm feeling better about using the fitbit now. Now all they need is a horseback riding exercise option so I can keep my bike rides separate from horse riding. 


  1. What a fun ride! Lucky you have trails so close by too!

  2. Btw I've nominated you for a Liebster award, it's like a blog hop of sorts- hope you can participate!