Thursday, August 20, 2015

Addison Oaks County Park Ride

Today, by stark contrast to my ride on Tuesday, was absolutely glorious!  The deer flies were minimal, I saw about 10 and we didn't have a swarm following us whereever we went.  The trails were groomed to perfection, nothing was below face height and the paths, even the more 'wild' ones were wide enough for at least 2 horses side by side.

Additionally, despite the park having multi-use trails, mountain bikes never shared an equestrian trail. They crossed paths multiple times, but no sharing. I can't tell you how safe and happy that made me feel.

Anyway, today I almost didn't go. I woke up and everything looked wet outside. Then I checked the weather, and while the forecast listed cloudy and cool (mid 60s F), rain wasn't even being considered until the afternoon.

So Gwyn got loaded up and we repeated the routine, dropping Kaylee off, practicing grocery shopping, then drove over to the park. It was a little bit further away from gymnastics, but only about a 20 minute drive (max).

The parking lot was completely empty! I was super excited. Of course they also have camping here so there could be campers using the trails, but this was 9 am on a weekday, unlikely, lol

Gwyn was concerned about our location. Golf carts of park staff were going by regularly. When I went to put on her bridle she 'took off' toward a bunch of facility staff in a VERY up walk. It felt like she was evaluating for spooking, but never actually spooked. I eventually got her bridle on in the middle of that parking lot and took her back, very embarrassed.

The park has this gorgeous facility for rental for weddings and other events. It's well taken care off.

Everything is nicely marked too! You know if your trail is a horse or bike trail.

I got a water bottle holder and tried it out today. More on that later. I did keep my park map, camera, phone and a small pair of clippers in case I came across face level branches that needed trimming.

The trail started out with a low grade climb. It was PERFECT to make Gwyn walk up. She was huffing by the end. We need to do this more!

Once we got past the scary pavement, she settled into a very forward working walk, loose rein, happy ears.

Occasional hay field. At the time my thought was, I wonder if I can ride in that for some cantering?

What I think these pictures don't accurately capture is how -pretty- it was this morning. Everything was still wet from the rain, but it wasn't humid. The wood was dark, nearly black, while the green was super vibrant. It was magical.

Half wet, half dry

Pond just off the path

Then we got to this field. And the path went ALL THE WAY AROUND IT!  WOOOO!  We totally cantered.

At one point the field dipped down and came back up. We cantered down and I guess Gwyn felt really good because I felt her hind end come up a bit. Nothing unsettling, I laughed at her, but she had to get a wiggle out!

Heading back to the trailer. I'll mention here that she was great on the trail, and has been great on all the trails. But crossing black pavement was almost too much for the Goober Pony. It was the ONE spot we had a discussion about going forward. She did go, but it took a bit....

I can see the trailer! And my mounting block boulder, lol

When I got off and looked at my gear I was horrified to realize that I was literally 3 threads away from losing my phone, camera and super nice Fiskars trimmers. WTH TOUGH-1?!?!?!?!?!   Not really living up to your name. Now I need to figure out a different way to attach it for my ride saturday if I want to use it. Grrrr. The company WILL hear about this because that's ridiculous. One use and it falls apart? 

See? Held on by THREADS ALONE

Loaded up while I went to pee since we had a lot of time before we needed to leave. But better that than to be late.

My bumper stickers for the trailer. I need more.

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