A good friend came over to pre-ride the trail for next weekend’s pleasure ride with my mounted search and rescue unit (MMESAR). Kerry got to my house 20 minutes early so she unloaded her Ara-loosa into the front paddock, then enjoyed a cup of coffee while I scarfed down the omelet and bacon that my husband had prepared. After she got the nickel tour of my house, we were off to the races about an hour later than planned, but there wasn’t really any hurry.
We loaded both horses onto Kerry’s trailer and headed to the trailhead. Parking was a tighter fit than I’m used to, so I held JB while Kerry backed the rig as far away from the gate as she could without putting it in the road. We also left my cell phone number on the dash in case emergency vehicles needed us further out of the way.
Note Zephyr’s Easyboot Gloves... the thick-toe version with the latest prototype gaiter, and power straps. I’m still not getting those front gaiters as tight as they should be, and I don’t know how to get them any tighter! I’ll keep working on it...
We first headed into the Wildlands to check out the two options for MMESAR to use for a camp site, then headed back off the property to scout the pleasure ride trail. (We’ll be using the Wildlands for our night ride, but the daytime rides will use local snowmobile trails.) Some of our scouting involved creating go-rounds.
I thought I knew where the trail went, but we got to a Y and I chose one way... we got out to a wider trail than I thought we should find and I got confused. We followed it for a while before I decided it must be wrong. I tried to turn on my GPS but the tree cover was so thick I couldn’t get a signal. We went back to the Y and turned the other way, but it got too overgrown so we went back AGAIN and took the other fork of the Y AGAIN and then turned the other way on the wide trail.
The Gloves performed great through several water crossings, rocky sections, and mud, though they did make a loud squelching noise after each water crossing. Not sure they’re supposed to do that... they may still be too tight in the heels.
Eventually we popped out in a gorgeous blueberry field... which wasn’t where I was trying to go, but at least my GPS started working once we were out of the woods. The scenery was so nice we just decided to keep going, despite Kerry’s fears that we were going to get shot at.
We just kept heading out and to the right, towards where my GPS said we would find Upper Long Pond Road. We did have to go around a couple of cable gates, one of which was guarded by a No Trespassing sign, but eventually we did come to a gate onto the road. It was a little tricky to get around the gate, but we made it.
Not even a quarter mile after we got out onto the road, we passed the entrance to the trail we were SUPPOSED to come out on, so I resolved to go back that way after continuing on for a while longer.
Because getting lost set us so far back on time, we didn’t make it all the way to the field with the abandoned stone house, but that was OK. At least I know how to get there now! When we turned around, we took the trail we should have come out on.
Not even 50 feet after we turned onto the trail, I looked down and saw hoof prints heading the other way. *sigh* Kerry was a good sport about it, she insisted she saw nothing at all.
When we got back to the trailer, I removed the boots and was sad to see that, indeed, the boots do seem to be rubbing his heels. I think I need to move him up a size while I’m trying to get his heels under control. Waiting for official confirmation of that from Garrett at EasyCare. They’re not rubbing on his pasterns though, just his heels, so that’s good.