On Thursday, a friend and I took back roads out to the park and headed up a particularly hilly section of trail. Total mileage, counting the road: probably about eight miles. Back at the barn, we turned the two horses out and they went cantering around the arena with enthusiasm.. not tired at all. Well then.
I resigned myself to wandering in circles on Saturday. Almost a mile of walking circles around the barn bareback in a halter, threw a saddle on to work in the round pen, decided we needed a bit for that so went back to add that too. But hey - I've got all the tack on, we can go trot in the back woods! So we trotted along in repetitive loops and lines for a brisk mile and a half.
A brief but satisfying ride when I looked at our speed. Last winter, we struggled to get to a 5mph pace on those trails (though granted, we had to walk over/through a fallen tree). This year? 6.7mph. Good mare.
Since there were no photos in the last blog of how awful the river crossing looks this time of year, we headed down that way to get some for you folks. Oddly enough, I couldn't quite see the river from the top of the trail. I could have sworn that was my viewpoint earlier in the week, but new trail, maybe I was wrong, fine, head down the hill a bit... and huh, there's the trail at the bottom of the hill that gets covered when the dam goes up. They took the dam back down. They took the dam back down!
One excited (if thoroughly baffled) phone call later, and five verbal notifications that we're not doomed again yet, the Haffies headed out into the park for a few miles. Woohoo!