Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Littering has never seemed so tempting

Since we didn't do much actual work on Sunday, I took Dixie out again on Monday. We trailered up to the Rides of March ridecamp near Red Rocks with Cersei. I was smart, though - I went early in the morning and I brought water for the pup!

Dixie stood like a rock for me to fly spray her and tack up. Just another amazing little Dixie transformation.

We meandered off pretty slowly - it wasn't hot but there wasn't a cloud in the sky and I didn't want the little yellow butterball to overheat. We climbed a new-to-us road (past a rattlesnake!) to a deadend at the top of a hill where Dixie was content to stand and look at stuff for a while. I hopped off and gave Cersei a drink from her Wal-mart knockoff camelbak liner I'd carried stuffed in the pommel bag. (She had to drink out of the bag because my makeshift travel bowl had a huge crack in it.) Then I tightened up my tack and we moved on to the next hill.

Cersei's camelbak liner has a screw top that's kind of hard to get screwed on right. I thought my leg was wet because the top wasn't screwed on good, so I briefly halted, re-screwed it on, and kept going, but my damn leg got wetter and wetter. Eventually I yanked the 2 liter bag out of the pommel bag only to realize that it was leaking from the bottom, where the drinking tube comes out - and the pommel bag was half full of water. Lovely. At least my left knee was cool, and Dixie's left side was cool. I flipped the stupid leaking bag over, so the tube attachment was on top, and we kept going to the next hill.

There, I gave Cersei the rest of the water from the bag, but she was still pretty hot. I had a broken bowl and a leaking water bag and a pommel bag half full of water, and I've never been so tempted to throw my trash off a cliff and call it good. We'd only gone a couple of miles but I knew I needed to take her back to the trailer to cool off, so we headed back. Dixie did not want to go back to the trailer but I hollered a lot and made her. We had to take care of the little dog.

Back at the trailer I fashioned a collar and lead out of a compression strap, a carabiner, and a lunge line. I know! I'm a terrible human, taking my dog out without her collar and tags. Lesson learned. Cers has spent enough time tied to the trailer (and she was hot enough!) to listen when I told her to stay there, and Dixie and I headed off without her.

I didn't want to go too far, just in case Cers got bored and slipped the "collar" and came looking for us, so we headed back toward the road and did some loops. The ride ended up being about 7 miles, which is right where I wanted to be. Dixie was still not very enthusiastic about going back to the trailer and back home, but I'd promised G I'd check in with him in two hours so we called it a day.

Cersei was much recovered when we came back. She's been one with the couch since Monday afternoon, but not in an overtired way - just a lazy dog who Did Something and is now good to sleep it off for a week. Dixie was just fine. Tight legs, even with a little bit of hills, a little bit of gaiting and cantering, and more miles than we've done post-injury. Wednesday (tomorrow) I'm going to meet an endurance friend and hopefully do 10-15 miles with her.

I am going to submit driving directions to Red Rocks on Mel's trail site. Right now it's just got Central Valley CA trails, but soon it'll have Northern Nevada trailheads too. I hope the rest of yall will consider submitting something too and maybe one day we can turn this into a really valuable resource for a lot of equestrians. I don't mean just my endurance friends, either - all of yall can take a couple mins to type up some directions to a favorite trailhead, write a short blurb about the footing and length, and send it in. Speaking as someone who knew no one IRL when I moved to Nevada, the Internet is an amazing resource with a lot of potential! I have met less than ten percent of my current Reno-area friends from "real life" networking - the other 90% are Internet contacts who turned out to be cool people IRL. Trailheads should be the same way!


  1. Looks like a nice place to ride! I will have to check out the trail site link- we are coming to Reno again for Hot Aug Nights and your pictures are getting me excited for the trip :) SUN, real SUN!!!!!!

  2. Great area! Lovely shots, when gear goes wrong, I`m tempted to chuck it too!

  3. I wish I knew places to trail ride to put up there... but you would be proud of me. Me and Odie RODE TRAILS. Like REAL trail riders.

    (we totally had to turn around because the biting flies were GROSS, but we TOTALLY DID IT.)

  4. When I moved to a new area and was trying to find places to condition my horse it was like all these trails were some big huge giant SECRET. After 5 years of SCOURING the internet and talking to everyone in my area, I found enough to condition on (mostly one hour trailering away), but I still missed some local ones. It seems like half the battle of being able to do endurance is knowing someone that knows the trails that will then TELL you about them. :)

    I have 5 or 6 more California trails I'm putting up, but if anyone has anything for me, e-mail me at bootsandsaddles4mel@gmail.com


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