sharing a favorite riding spot

We headed out for another group trail ride, this time at one of my favorite riding spots - Yellowstone Wildlife Refuge. We haven't been there in a couple years. Oh how I've missed the gorgeous, remote quiet serenity these trails offer!!

We hauled Koda & Nemo in our trailer, and loaded up another with four other horse's - our Cierra, Checkers (the reiner) Phoenix (the show horse) and one of our trainers younger horses, Stella. Half of the riders had never been to Yellowstone, which made it even more fun to share the refuge with them. We enjoyed pleasant high 70's with sunny weather, a lot nicer then our recent cool weather group ride.

heading out

Nemo, Checkers, Phoenix (L-R)

Yellowstone provides rolling hills, woods, and meadow/field type riding. The best time to ride it is during Fall colors, as is any trail in WI. The leaves and grasses were just starting to turn, but views were pretty regardless. Once again trails were quiet and we enjoyed the refuge to ourselves. After a climb up through the woods, we took a break in a clearing to enjoy the views and some group conversation.


Nemo, Checkers, Cierra, Stella and Phoenix (L-R)

Nemo taking a closer look at the field of dried sunflowers.
He unexpectedly plucked a head off and decided to taste them...silly boy!


Not too long after we headed out, Phoenix became very concerned with the dropping leaves, walnuts, bugs etc. Somewhere along the trail, musical horses happened. At the time I was leading along the winding paths, and it surprised me to find Brad on Cierra as he rode up to join us! It made me do a double take. Now our trainer was riding Phoenix, and her owner was on Nemo. 

At times we rode as a group, and others in pairs, or set's of three, the group stretched out along the long and winding grassy paths. All horses led, rode in the middle, and brought up the rear - as it should be. The highlight of riding at Yellowstone is always crossing the raised wooden bridge, at the bottom of a beautiful valley. It goes over a flowing stream, complete with creaking, some shifting, warped, see between boards, and steeper then usual, step off's. It's a fun one, and is bigger then it looks in photos.

Bridge Work

Cierra leads the way

We are so proud of our three horses!! It's clear that Cierra really loves trail riding. She rode off with no warm up and didn't have a problem leading the group with confidence, or anything else that was asked of her. Brad really enjoyed spending time on the trail with her. I wondered how Nemo would react without his favorite human, who was often out of sight. In true Nemo style, he took good care of his new rider.

Nemo's new friend, relaxing at the end of the ride

Koda was such a good boy as well. He was on forward march the entire ride, but listened well and did everything I asked. We sure lucked out and got three amazing horses...all keepers, with unique different personalities, that each hold a special place in our hearts. 


Grey Horse Matters said...

What a gorgeous place to ride! You're so lucky to have that close to you.

Sounds like it was a wonderful day made even better by terrific horses!

aurora said...

We are thankful it's only a couple hours one way for us, do-able for a day trip. It's the only kind they allow, there are no overnight/facilities. Glad you could join us vicariously!

C-ingspots said...

You can't see it, but there's a big old smile on my face right now!!! So happy that you and the group had such a wonderful ride, and your horses are ROCK STARS!!!! Of course, I'm not telling you anything you don't already know, right? :) Looks like a beautiful place to ride - I had no idea there was a place called Yellowstone in Wisconsin? Is that part of THE Yellowstone, or a different park with the same name? I've only been in the Wyoming part of THE Yellowstone, very different looking. FUN!!!

aurora said...

Thanks Lorie! Always good to hear from you. I've been wondering how your recent trip went, will see if you've posted. The national Yellowstone Park is not related (I've actually never been) there are slight variations in the naming. WI has Yellowstone Lake State Park and it's neighboring park, where horses are allowed, Yellowstone Wildlife Refuge. They all just get called Yellowstone. I get asked similar a lot & only wish I was at THE Yellowstone!!

Shirley said...

Very cool to see Cierra out on the trails! Lovely day for a lovely ride.

aurora said...

It was fun having Cierra on the trails with us, and watching how interested she is in everything.