Coyote Lake Again

We went back to Coyote Lake again this Sunday, but went to the southern parking lot this time. This allowed us to access the southern trails while only riding about 8 miles. It looks like doing the whole park would be over 15 miles. Which is something that I need a better saddle for. Or we need to at least plan a picnic lunch and break half way through.

This parking lot is a bit harder to reach. You have to take a windy hilly road up to the park. It's not impassable, it just requires going slow and easy. And for one really freaking lucky dog, it's a good thing we were going slow. As we were going past a small ranch, a golden retriever tried to chase some birds across the street and basically jumped in front of our truck. Again, we were already going below the speed limit, and I had seen the dog in gully beside the road before it dove into the road so we were able to come to screeching halt and luckily not get hit by the truck behind us, not jack-knife the trailer, and not hit the stupid-ass dog. We came within an inch though. We were both shocked that we didn't hit it.

Just because you live in the "country" doesn't mean your dog should be unfenced or unleashed if you live near enough to a road for the dog to get hit. Leash your dogs, people.

On to the ride. This time we knew we were going to the park so we actually had proper tack and supplies with us. The breeching was very appreciated too as the whole trip was rolling hills. Nilla has always really struggled going down hills and I've never blamed her since I can see and feel her saddle slipping up over her shoulder. We still had a bit of slip, but nothing like usual and I now have the opposite problem. Nilla now thinks she can try to run down hills. Luckily, we had nearly endless hills to practice the whole walking only thing on.

MapMyRide of our ride - elevation line along the bottom

We rode up on Mendoza trail first and quickly encountered cows. Not distant cows like last time, but cows that were right next to the trail. Shasta basically shut down so I led through with Nilla who did not care about the cows, but wasn't entirely sure that something wasn't scary given that Shasta was freaking out. I didn't get any pictures of these cows as they were so close I was worried Shasta was going to bolt or spook and scare Nilla into going with her.

I did get some pictures of later cows. This cow is not very close to the trail, but Shasta still thought it was too close.

Scary cow
We then took the Gaviota Trail around to the Rancho San Ysidro Trail reached the junction where we turned around last time. Today we also turned around again at this same point, though we were going the opposite direction as last week. We took the Coyote Ridge Trail back towards the trailer.

Today we passed a lot of cows - many of them right by the path. My husband was trying to get Shasta to lead by some of the cows to let her get over it, but I got annoyed and passed by to lead because Shasta was farting out of fear. After the first few, I was like screw training her, I'm leading. Horses are such lovely creatures, right?
Nilla's interest in posing and not eating the grass is zero

Pretty hills in the background

When we got back almost to the parking lot there was a trail to a pond that wasn't on the map. It didn't say no horses so we walked down to the pond. There were some nice benches at the pond so we hopped off and let the poor starving equines eat grass for a bit.

Nilla mule palomino
At the pond
Now, if you scroll back and look at the pictures in order, you will notice a slow, but dramatic change in sky color. Clouds had rolled in as we were heading back to the trailer, but there was no call for rain. While we were at the pond, the skies got even angrier, so we hopped back on and started heading back to the trailer (to and from the pond was maybe a 1/2 mile total, so not a long ride).

Not so happy skies

This trail borders a road and at this point Nilla basically lost her mind. We were trying to get some pictures standing by the pond and Nilla decided that she could only turn left and go backwards. Not forwards, not stand still, not turn right, just circle left and back up furiously. There were some horses across the street (including a really cute yearling clydesdale) but I have no idea why their existence would cause a loss of ability to turn right so I think Nilla was just having a meltdown about not being allowed to eat grass.

mule trail riding english saddle breeching palomino
She absolutely refused to face towards the camera
You know what's difficult to do when you can only go backwards and left? Operate gates. So I got off to drag Nilla through a gate. There wasn't a great spot to get back on afterwards so I decided to just walk the last bit back. And that's when it started raining. Any my husband was like, "I'm gonna trot back." Any my "wait, you can't just leave me" was in the wind because he was gone. So I got to walk back in the rain by myself. It was about 0.1 miles and just sprinkling, so it really wasn't that bad, but still.

Shasta at Roop Pond
As we were getting ready to go at the trailer, it actually started to really rain. So we finished pulling tack and quickly put the beasts on the trailer, locked up, and headed off. Thankfully, both of them loaded immediately and easily. They're really getting the hang of trailering. Today made that skill even more valuable.

We hit the road and got back to the barn without hitting any dogs. It was only raining down by the park so it was nice and dry and sunny for almost our entire drive. The horses got to roll and then got their grain. We got to go home and get dinner. It was a long, but great day.

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