A ride for the horses that is. It was my original plan to go into the mountains today and combine the ride to the Second Hideout with a ride to the windmill. We did a conditioning ride earlier in the week and Bueno and Buggs did 12 miles in about 2.5 hours. We were impressed, and it appeared that the horses were having a good time too.
But when we started on the long uphill trot into the Forest, it seemed that the handbrake was on. I wonder if the horses had a conversation after the last ride. Something along the line of: "Wow, that was a long way. And did you notice that we hardly had the opportunity to nibble here and there? They were so concerned about time and distance. I think we should slow down a bit, and tell them we want to graze once in awhile."
In the flats, where we have been doing these conditioning rides, the vegetation is pretty much monoculture, or rather duoculture: lovegrass and mesquite, with some poppies thrown in. But in the desert variety abounds this spring. It looks like all the bare spots are getting filled in, and paths get overgrown. There are plants I have never seen here before, like this beautiful penstemon.
It is important to me that the horses enjoy their time out with us, and we are not on a schedule, so today's ride turned into a grazing free for all. There are so many different varieties of grass and the horses were like kids in a candy store: oh look at that, got to have that, and several of those. Bueno could not cram it in fast enough.
We still did some trotting and loping where the terrain allowed, and we all had a great time. Here is Dan, from wrangler to endurance rider. Looking good!