twist my arm

I was happy to comply with my hubby's Father's Day wish, to load Koda & Nemo up and go for a trail ride. Who would argue with that? Not me, he didn't even have to twist my arm! Brad picked Donald's Park to ride. I've only ridden it once about 10 years ago, and he has never been. We hadn't saddled the boys all week, but they both did really well - and it warms my heart.

Donald's Park is a popular local county equestrian park, with some of the most well-marked trails I've ever seen. With the exception of a couple hills, it's pretty gentle wide winding trails that allow for driving and faster gaits if desired. We heard through our equine-vine that neighboring land was secured, expanding the park and trails. I was excited to see how the trails had changed.

It was a warm summer day, in the 80's. We waited for the dew to dry, gave the boys a chance to eat and settle, before heading out late morning. I wasn't sure what to expect, it was after all Father's Day weekend. We arrived and found several trailers, but no one around.

Our first obstacle was the imposing trail head entrance, a giant over sized wooden walk through. Must have been made for one tall horse! There is only one way in/out to the trail paths, if you make it past the entrance - you are good to go.

We occasionally traded up leading, but for the most part Koda thinks it's easier to let his brother be the lead guard. We rode in and out of the woods, onto open terrain...

At times pokey & I were way behind Nemo & Brad

...it was beautiful and so peaceful, allowing us to soak up the scenery as well as work on a few things other trails just aren't suited for. We trotted in a couple areas with long stretches of flat grassy terrain and gentle open viewing curves, between a running creek and woods. I was glad we weren't moving any faster, when a deer burst out from the tall creek grass, crossing our path, to the safety of the woods...

...we were surrounded by incredibly lush greenery, amazing considering we haven't had any rain...Koda & I turned and walked back to take a photo of a patch of wildflowers we had just passed...

Wildflowers worth stopping for
 ...I knew it would create an opportunity to ride alone for a bit. Koda didn't think anything of it, until he realized Brad & Nemo had picked up a trot and were waaaay ahead and out of sight. That got Koda's walk on, and ears perked. I was glad he trusted that we would eventually catch up. He was listening good, so we trotted a fairly long way until we caught up to them. We found them waiting at the base of a hill...

...we rode among varied wildflowers, with flutterby's carelessly floating around....

Fields of coneflowers

...and came across a side path, with a bridge, that leads to the people part of the park. Brad wanted to head down the hill, and try it - and to that I said "go ahead, we'll wait here". I am perfectly happy enjoying an easy ride. Nemo kept looking over his shoulder, wondering why we weren't coming and Koda didn't have to face the scarey bridge. And then, Koda chose to join them - so I let him. We stopped in the same spot, no surprise there...

Brad & Nemo, thinking about the bridge
...I didn't even question Koda. Instead I chose to dismount, and ask him to follow me over. He did willingly. Now the bridge wasn't so scary. Nemo & Brad followed me over too. Koda & I crossed back in hand, mounted and rode over it a couple times. They sure have come a long way, what good boys!

Taking a well-deserved break

We timed our ride just right, passing a couple riding groups on our way out. It was really getting warm in the heat of the afternoon. Of course Koda & Nemo weren't interested in drinking back at the trailer, but it was the first thing they did when we got home. Together.

Koda and Nemo

It was such a wonderful ride, in more ways then one. I feel so blessed to share this journey with the ones that I love, and so I leave you with a quote from Donald's Park:

“There Is Strength In The Hills And Peace In The Valleys .” ~ Delma Donald Woodburn


Anonymous said...

Sounds just plain wonderful - you're lucky to have a husband who is a horse person!

Jeni said...

What wonderful treat! You're babies are growing up.

Shirley said...

I agree with Kate- you are lucky that your husband goes on rides with you. Sounds like a lovely ride.

fernvalley01 said...

So nice that you got to go, and I agree with the others that you get to ride with your hubby! how cool is that

allhorsestuff said...

So wonderfully enchanting!
Nice place to ride wirh some good trust-enticing-safe obstacles!

And yes, how delightful Brad enjoys this all too. I'm envious.
But, I.think our Vaca this year will be horse camping....a fire will ALWAYS be burning and meals good , with my man around!