Sunday morning started with chocolate chip pancakes and tea while the ponies had their hay. Then we tacked up and headed out on a loop up to Eagle and Pig lakes, which was a section of the park we hadn't been to before. We took Hotel Trail all the way out and after the first bit it was just one giant climb up the hills.
Before we got to the hills, we had to pass a fenced in section of land being grazed y goats and sheep. That was a little bit scary to the mustang, but nothing compared to the giant Pyrenees that came barreling out of the brush towards us barking like the massive guard dog he was to keep us away from his flock. Thankfully, he was behind the same fence as the goats and decided to stay there. And neither Eugene nor Nilla lost their minds, though they were definitely concerned. I got no pictures of this since I was keeping both hands on the reins to stay alive.
The hills weren't horribly steep, but they were endless. The picture above might make you think the end is right there, but as soon as you crest it, there's more hill beyond. The views were absolutely amazing though.
Eagle Lake was a pretty little lake surrounding by thousands of tiny little frogs. It was really crazy; they were everywhere like a plague. I'm fairly sure we killed a few of them as it was practically a hopping blanket of frogs across the trail and surrounding land so we couldn't really avoid them.
|Hills forever, but oh the views|
Pig Lake was a short dog leg down from Eagle lake. It was smaller, but set nicely into the hills with pretty oak trees bordering.
Leaving the lakes, we starting a series of steep climbs and descents. I had to get off for some of the downhills because they were so steep. Some of the uphills were so steep that I ended up breaking my saddle. Yeah, really. This was my first weekend using my new breastplate and the hills actually caused the saddle to slip back so hard against the breastplate that it pulled the D ring out of the saddle and ripped out some of the stitching that holds the saddle together. It was okay to finish the ride, but now I'm scrambling to get a new saddle.
The trail was great though. Once we cross the road and climbed to the highest point, we had a view down over the valley we had ridden through earlier and where the campground was. And past the hills, we could even see the San Francisco Bay.
The ride ended up being a little short of 10 miles. We definitely weren't making endurance mph, but it was a nice conditioning ride.
After the ride we hosed down the ponies again and then ate lunch while they rolled and grazed in the pasture. Eugene was once again really adorable with the water. This time he was trying to put the whole hose into his mouth:
After lunch, we packed up, loaded the ponies, and headed back to civilization. After this weekend, I'm really looking forward to our upcoming horse camping trips. I am not, however, looking forward to saddle shopping.
Labels: Eugene the Mustang, Horse Camping, Mule Riding, Nilla, Trail Riding