Yesterday, my friend Melissa and I road in a new place: a facility owned by the Blue Ridge Horseman’s Association. We were told that the trails were tougher than South Mountain and we found out, that was an understatement. Some of the trails were outright brutal and many were extremely technical. We headed out around 11 AM and earlier on in our ride, the trails were well marked, but somehow, we ended up on trails that were not so well marked. We ended up getting horribly lost. It started to get dark and we both got very worried. Melissa wanted to go faster, but I told her that I was extremely fatigued and if Sudi spooked or stumbled, I’d probably fall off, which wouldn’t have been a good thing. As it was, the trails were really too rough to go faster than a walk or slow trot.
We made it out of there at 6 PM! We road for seven hours straight! I don’t know how many miles we did, but being in the saddle for seven hours was an all-time record for me. I wasn’t in the saddle the whole time, we walked the horses a good bit, but we really didn’t stop and rest at all.
I have to give Sudi a lot of credit. He handled these difficult trails really, really well. I had his boots on for the beginning of the ride, but one of them came off so I took them both off, which was probably a good thing because I think his footing was better without the boots. There was mud in places up to the horses’ knees so it was best to have taken the boots off before loosing them in the thick mud. Riding in such difficult conditions taught me to trust Sudi a lot more than I did before heading out.
Gosh, if we had been stuck out there, we would have been up a creek without a paddle. All I ate for breakfast was a little bit of cereal. A few hours into the ride, I started to feel faint. Luckily I had two energy bars in my pack which I shared with Melissa. She had some horse treats in her pack which we gave the horses and of course, we periodically let them stop and graze. We both had short-sleeved shirts on and no jackets, no way to make a fire. We didn’t take them with us, but neither of our cell phones had reception in the area.
We’ll go back again, but not for a while. We both need to recover.
I’d really love to stay home today!!!
Until later …