|View From our Campsite|
No backpacks allowed so they gave us saddle bags for our windbreakers and water and we wore our cameras around our necks. We mounted the horses and they adjusted the stirrups. They explained the basics of moving the horse right and left and making it stop. Good to know! We have only been on a couple of trail rides and we were excited about this one through the mountains and valleys.
Off we went with Tatiana, our Guide, in the lead and Dee Dee at the rear. We started to climb narrow, rocky trails up in to the mountains. Angel was a bit of a wanderer and kept wanting to go off the trail to nibble on the grass. That made me a little nervous when it came to the steep drops off to the right, but, after a bit, I got used to her roamings and how to make her obey and stay on the trail.
We were amazed at how sure footed these animals were. Tim was on a Percheron which is a large horse. Angel was a bit smaller as was the assistant's. Some of the dirt/rock paths were not wider than 18 inches and they all stayed on them without a problem. The trails in these pictures were on pretty flat ground and wider. On the steeper, rockier, narrow paths I was holding on and not taking pictures! Going down hill was a challenge to stay in the saddle. Tim was more adept at riding than I was and had no problem. I, however, felt every step the horse took in my old arthritic hips and knees, not to mention by derriere.
Up and up we went and the views were spectacular of Deer Mountain and Beaver Ridge to the east and Flat Top Mountain and Hallets Peak to the west. Tatiana lead us very slowly through the forest, the valleys and the mountain trail and made sure we were doing okay along the way.
In the forest we saw elk but no black bear that they saw here a few days ago. We were just as happy not to have encountered any bear.
|Angel Starting to Wander|
As we wound our way back down the trail, we were able to see our Campground-not our RV but tents and other RVs in the park.
Getting off the animal was another story. Tim did fine and didn't need the "block" to climb down onto, but I was sure I would not be able to get off without it. My hips were stiff and painful and I was dreading even moving my leg. They had trouble getting Angel to stand next to it, but, when she was still, I began to swing my leg over the saddle and had a wicked pain in my hip, I had to stop and try it again. Gritting my teeth, I dismounted and vowed never to climb aboard a horse again!
Both Tim and I were walking a little funny for the rest of the day! I think we'll leave the walking to us next time.
|Long Horned Sheep at Sheeps Lake|