wrapping up summer

Take a couple days of vacation + Labor Day weekend = five much needed days off from work! We planned on trying some new trails further away from home before the holiday weekend started, but that plan changed with the weather. Yesterday we hit high 90's, only a few degree's off a record high. We decided riding a familiar place was a better idea, and knew most of the trails at White Mound are shaded. We had a steady breeze on the open trails, and the best part - no bugs! It's been a good summer for trail riding in WI. White Mound was a great choice, it was only our third time and we loved it all over again. It's definitely the quietest place we've ever trailered to, we've never run into anyone on the trail. I still can't believe we were the only ones in the entire park yesterday, we had to self register. The only person we saw all afternoon was a guy mowing the grass, after we were on the road back home.

We hadn't ridden the boys in a couple weeks, and it showed. Nothing terrible, just a sticky start. Koda was doing his backing thing, guess bad habit's die hard...I was getting frustrated. Seems I've lost my feel for catching it, but am working on getting it back. Nemo wasn't his usual golden self either, he wasn't as willing to be the trusting fearless leader he normally is.  We took it all in stride. With the scary outhouses, and the road bridge behind us, we headed into & out of the woods and settled into a nice long ride... 

out of the woods onto un-manicured trails, which we like

...instead of staring at a computer monitor all day at work, this was my view when we weren't in the woods maneuvering hills...

the view between my horse's ears

...my favorite part of the ride was crossing the creeks. The boys still need encouragement to get in, but it's getting easier. They sure had fun playing in the first creek!

Nemo playing in the water

Koda stood in the water forever, and played. I think he liked the feel of the cool stream on such a hot day. He tried drinking, or more likely just wet his lips.

 ...I suggested we try riding the creek, but Nemo & Brad decided that wasn't such a good idea shortly after starting out ...

testing out the water further

...we did some trotting in the open prairie, and soaked up the view...

White Mound prairie

...and tackled the many challenging hills. We were all tired after 3.5 hours, and happy to be back at the trailer. We gave the boys a grassy treat, and sponged them down before heading back home.

Today we thought it would be best to change it up, and hang around the farm & ride. It should have felt cooler, since we only got into the 80's, but I swear it was hotter.

Brad went to drag the arena, and I brought the trailer down. My first time driving it alone, hehee. Don't be so impressed tho, I had no horses in it and literally drove the trailer around a country corner. The only hard part was figuring out how to back it up, and park where we unload. Nemo never left the corner of the pasture after the trailer arrive, and all of a sudden he decided to try playing "dead"...near the road. A white horse just laying there not moving, surrounded by nothing...he turned every head on the highway...

Shhhh, Nemo is sleeping - he can't go riding

What a silly boy, suddenly deciding to stop, drop, and sleep with all the commotion going on. We left him for last, and took turns using the freshly dragged arena. Cierra got worked first. Koda & I were up next and did some loping, some side-passes, and trotted over a few poles before heading out to the pasture to walk around. I was really pleased that Koda did everything I asked. Brad & Nemo did some loping too. It's been a long time since we rode in an arena, and it felt good! 

I suggested we end with a short trail ride on the farm. We could do a quick loop, take the one existing snowmobile path that cuts through the strip of woods, and get back to the pasture on the field road. With the fields planted, riding is very limited on the farm. Much to our surprise, we discovered an assortment of paths had been created weaving through the length of the strip of woods. Exactly what we had talked about doing someday. My brother-in-law had cleared some paths for his girls to ride. Who knew? The two girls had even posted some cute "stop" signs on the tree's. No breath taking views, but the trees formed a cool canopy...

Brad & Nemo riding on the new path

...what a magical place for a couple young girls and their mounts to ride, and for adults - well, you can't beat riding right from the pasture and into the woods...

Curious Koda

...we had fun exploring the new paths! For some reason, Koda wanted to lead the majority of the time. He was really curious where the paths would lead. We actually ended up separated from Brad & Nemo a couple times, and rode alone - Koda didn't seem to care.

I'm looking forward to enjoying our remaining vacation days. It's suppose to cool off even more, we may even head out on the road to try that new location?! Regardless, I can't think of a better way of wrapping up summer then hanging out with my hubby & our horses!


Shirley said...

Idyllic! Hope you get some more good riding in this weekend. Love that shot of White Mound prairie.

Janice said...

Good for you..I agree no better way to spend time off. I love following along through other people's horses ears...makes for a great ride even when I can't go myself.

Grey Horse Matters said...

Looks like a wonderful way to spend a vacation. Hope the weather holds and you have more great rides!