Hauled Dressy and King over to the Ganaraska Forest today. I have to pre-ride (safety check) the trails for Spring Ride. So today we did the 17 mile loop. Here’s the GPS track (though it’s not exact… there are a couple of minor changes to be made):
Chrystal was riding Bob’s horse, Allieena. Bob rode Kitty. And I rode Dressy. The trail is really nice. It was raining, and even wet, the footing is good and not particularly slippery. Dressy is barefoot, and other than a couple of short hills that had some sharp gravel, she was very comfortable.
We did have one very spectacular incident on a downhill. Dressy was in front, trotting. Chrystal was just behind on Allieena. I heard a bit of a shriek from Chrystal and pulled up fast and looked around to see Allieena going ass over teakettle in a complete forward somersault. Chrystal rolled fast to get out of the way, so luckily the mare didn’t flip over on top of her. We found a hole that they had stepped into. It looked like it had caved in when she’d stepped on it. I certainly never saw it when we went over it, and I was looking down at the footing along there because we were on a downhill. So we think Allieena actually broke through. Chrystal put a big stick into it to mark it and Bob is going back to fix it. Allieena and Chrystal both seemed to be okay afterwards.
There were a lot of trees down. Quite a few had been cleaned up already. Rob and Rod were out on the ATV with a chainsaw clearing the rest. But we got ahead of them on the horses, and got to a spot where we had to go under quite a large downed tree. There was a big broken branch sticking out. I tried to go under with Dressy and push the branch away. But it was stronger than I expected, and my reins caught in it which brought Dressy to a complete halt. But then I realized that we couldn’t back up either because the branch had snapped down behind my pommel pinning my right leg between branch and saddle. The mare literally couldn’t move an inch (she didn’t panic… such a superstar!). I finally managed to get the reins unhooked. But still couldn’t back up because of the branch wedged behind the pommel. So I had to go forward. The branch wasn’t bending, and it snagged my breeches and nearly torqued me right out of the saddle. Dressy staggered, but managed to stay upright and I stayed on. It also ripped a huge hole in my breeches from just over my right hip bone all the way around across my rear end. Bob, bless him, pointed out that I was quite exposed. Which I’d already figured out. Chrystal said it was good that I’d chosen to wear black underwear since it sort of went with the breeches. I pointed out that I was grateful to be wearing underwear of any colour at all. Then I pulled out my rain poncho and tied it around my waist and draped it down over my butt. Ended up with quite a charley horse in my right calf too. Not sure why exactly… but it hurt for a good five miles. There were some ATV riders who came along behind us with a chainsaw just then, and they proceeded to clear the tree away. So that hazard is gone already.
It’s going to be a fun trail. Probably quite fast. But there are a lot of hills, mostly gradual and long with good footing.