Had a wonderful ride today with my therapist, Dr. Condi.
We rode at Washington Lacy Park and surrounds. We covered 10.55 miles. That was because it was dry enough to ride along the powerline which is alongside the park.. When it is wet season it is normally too wet to ride much of the power line. In fact the entire south side of the park can be very damp and muddy. But right now it is dry and rideable. We rode most of the park trails and we rode the powerline south as far as the swampy area along side route 54 .
But we did find an easy way to create a loop adjoining the power line to the new path we found when walking earlier in the week. In fact the loop exists….but mother nature has pretty well blocked it with some down pine trees. I can probably open the trail in an hour or so if I can figure a way to get my chain saw and fuel and supplies back to the area needing work. the short section needing work is marked by a green dot on the map below. some of the trees are about a foot in diameter so without a chain saw it would take a while to make the cuts needed.
then we made our way back to the parking lot and happened upon a couple of ladies fixing to ride. We chatted briefly and then Dr. Condi and I embarked upon riding the north side of the park. We soon found ourselves on the power line again and rode it all the way out to Taylorsville road. The power company or the gas company or the hunt club had bush hogged some paths on the far north side and we rode those as well….never saw a soul until almost back to the park when we saw the ladies again. Dr. Condi and I then rode the loops in the north side of the park and then back to the parking lot. The ladies were back in the parking lot when we got there. Other than them we only encountered one hiker with a dog and Condi spotted him long before I did.
Got to brag on my little horse. She was an absolute joy to ride all day. Dr. Condi is not a young horse. But she did not have a lot of miles on her before coming to us. She had spent some time as a brood mare and I have seen one of her daughters as a grown horse and if I were wealthy she would be living at Pipe Dream Farm and would have come here with her mother. Condi also spent considerable time as a pasture ornament. the lady who had her for three or four years before me, took sick shortly after buying Condi and never rode her much. She sold Condi back to Jim Blanks and my friend Stewart coerced me into buying her . I told her today that she was some of the best money I ever spent. She is high on my list of all time favorite horses…..and I have had opportunities in my life to ride some really good ones.
Dr. Condi is by no means a deadhead….in fact when she first came here she could be a handful. But she is kind and gentle and really smart and now that we are riding again she is getting better with every ride. Today she was learning how to behave when I was clipping branches along the trail…I had never done that before with Condi and after the first one fell on her neck she learned to accept it as part of the job. We are working on side passing to get closer to the brush while clipping. A clumsy old man can only lean and reach so far.
today was our second ride with the center fire rigging. I am starting to like it….after ten miles no sign of any galling or irritation on the horse. one thing I have already noticed is that the saddle definitely stays on the horse better. I noticed it the last time we rode that when I dismounted the saddle did not slip at all. While I am not as big as I used to be….i still tip the scales above 220. All that weight in the left stirrup usually makes a saddle slip a little. today when I dismounted twice, I intentionally let my weight hang on the saddle for a bit and it did not slip
Below is a map image from the gps of todays ride. On the north side of the powerline there are a couple of pretty steep hills. but they do not show up on the aerial maps. In one place today Dr. Condi had to step up a five or six foot bank. she saw that the trail went over it and I think I heard her say “hang on old man….I got this…”