Allie had asked me if I wanted to come riding with her and a friend Lisa and her daughter Annabel. We drove from Allie's house in my car to the parking lot, of the Double D Ranch, where the trail was to begin. My horse was called Travis and I was pleasantly surprised by how friendly and happy all of the horses seemed to be. All looked well fed, and interested in each other and what was going on. Phil, the owner was a horse whisperer type - sparkling blue eyes and wild white hair under a cowboy hat. I'm always a little nervous when it comes to riding but these horses were great. They were all well used to carrying non rider passengers and were very steady and happy to ride together as a team.
I had been told that Travis could be a little lazy and he certainly was at the start of the ride. Our MO was to walk at a snails pace until the horse in front was around 50 ft away, I'd ask him to trot, after a few nudges, grudgingly he'd oblige and we'd catch up with everyone. Actually as we got further into the ride, I think he got to like having me on his back a little more and we had some quite animated catch ups. On one of more energetic spurts i asked him to canter - but HELL NO was Travis' reply. Then we hit a nasty spot were there must have been a bees nest. A few of the horses got stung and bucked. Travis must have gotten stung and he started to kick his fellow equines. Unfortunately non of the victim's riders were able to get their horses past us quickly enough. I did try to force Travis' butt away from the other horses, but as there was another horse in front of us we were a little boxed in and there was nowhere for me to send him out of harms way. Ultimately, Travis and I were demoted to the rear.
Things calmed down until we nearly took out two small boys on bikes. Then the group who'd cantered ahead rode up behind us which made Travis jump out of his skin. I have a feeling he might have hurt himself when he kicked one of the other horses, because he was definitely spooked by anything getting behind him on the ride after that. The lady who lead the ride I think was named Nancy. I really enjoyed the experience and would like to go out with them again in the fall. I think it will do me the world of good to get comfortable cantering/ galloping with this group.
We passed some really cool waterfalls and homes , all of which made me think that if I could not live by the ocean , forest land with trails and bubbling streams would be an acceptable second best. Having braved a very scary yellow butterfly, Travis heaved a sigh of relief when we finally made it back to the parking lot. My legs were so weak I could barely swing them out of the saddle. I feel tomorrow will be painful. Allie did really well - cantered and did a nice rising trot.