|Hot Sun to cool shade!|
After last Friday's jaunt to Indian Caves, Waubonsie seemed close. I'd called to see if the trails were open, not sure if they would be after the weekend rain. No one was there when we pulled in. The trails were perfect, dry without dust, but the day was very warm.
Very Warm for me is probably 80's - the humidity wasn't heavy at all. With most of the ride in the woods, I was thankful for the shade. I decided to let Farah set the pace. She was walking along at 4 mph. before we came to the first of the hills.
We slid on the down hill & galloped up! Farah remembered the steep hills & attacked them full on. I'm thankful that there are these few places with enough hills that she can enjoy. The climbs are almost effortless for her now. Ms. Farah who up until this time has had total distain for any type of berry - today tried to bite off a clump of green ones!
We followed Roxi's directions & recognized the turns from her training loops. After driving so far - I always feel like we need to get in what miles we can to justify the trip.
|Tree cut out of the trail~|
Finally, the log that had been blocking this trail was cut away! Volunteers aren't allowed out on the trails with power equipment. We're trying to schedule a chainsaw safety class for our BCH group. A requirement to use the equipment in the park.
|Too hazy for the view~|
We finished the first set of two loops in 1-1/2 hours. Pretty slow, stopping to graze & take photos, but pleasant. The Jack-in-the-Pulpit below is the largest I've seen to date! It had to be over a foot tall! There were many along certain sections of the trail. I didn't see any ferns yet though.
Back in camp, Farah drank a full bucket of water & I finished off the few nuts I'd brought. I filled my water bottle, took another electrolyte & away we went again. Being out on our own, we finally got the feel of the trails, were warmed up & moving out. We spooked a doe with a brand new fawn. The doe took off into the woods, but the fawn ran as fast as he could up the trail! All spindly legs :-)
|The way out~|
The second 5-mile set of loops we cut the time in half. We had fun! It's still amazing to me that we did 1,700+ in elevation gain in that ten-miles! If someone had to design a ten-mile endurance training track - this would be it. No water crossings though :-)
|A good roll!|
I'd brought shampoo & everything I needed to give Farah a decent bath - her first in forever... I got soaked & it felt so good :-) Next in our usual routine - grazing time. After that - the roll - 1,100 lbs. of muscle mare - who flipped herself back & forth three times!
|Right side up!|
I actually felt really decent after our ride. Farah is getting now, what I'd wanted her to have for the past few years, the opportunity to condition with other fast horses. The miles & miles on our own gave her an amazing base, but I've always liked to toss in some speed work & competition too. Having a riding partner is such a help if you want to build an athlete. It's great for the rider too!