It was already getting hot at 9:30am but there was a nice breeze down by the river and surprisingly there was nobody down there! Score!
We managed to get 9.22 miles in, but about 3 of them were in deep sand... so I'm counting those double :) Cartman got really sweaty and even had lather under his breastcollar.
We also got some time in the water, as there were not throngs of people there yet....
It was a great day to ride.
I should back up...
Last weekend Michelle and I planned to do a short ride on Friday night up at our favorite trails. Unfortunately (but not unexpectedly) the Timber Companies closed their land that day. It has been so dry here that we've been expecting it. So we had to settle for a ride at the path. We rode about 6.5 miles and I practiced making Cartman go behind Cinnamon some. This is a nice safe place to work on things like that.
Sunday we had decided to do a long ride as it is two weeks prior to the Bandit Springs Endurance Ride that we plan to attend on July 11. We picked Fort Stevens due to the hot weather we've been having and set out at 8am.
I almost wore a tank top as it has been in the 90's here for day. Thankfully I put a t-shirt on over top and had a sweat jacket in the horse trailer as we got RAINED ON heading west to the beach! I was almost to Cathlamet when I realized I had taken to long route...
Ooops, so we got to go across the Astoria bridge, which they are working on. So, we got to sit on the Astoria bridge, which was down to one lane. The wait was brief though and we were finally to Ft. Stevens at almost 10:30am.
Next I missed the turn that lead straight to the horse trailer parking and we got to do a scenic drive thru of the rest of the park... Goodness, so much for getting and early start on the day. It was, however, still a bit grey and breezy...
We were on trail by 11:15 and headed out for the long walk through the sand dunes. I was hoping to get C a teensy bit tired before we braved the wide open beach area and Cinnamon has never been there so we thought we'd start off with some trail.
Luckily Michelle had also brought a sweat jacket so we were pretty comfortable temperature wise, and it was not raining.
Some of the trails were extremely overgrown, one I think was called Sleepy Hollow Trail and I was seriously wishing for a set of brush cutters on that one. I had limbs, leaves and Scotch Broom seeds all over me and Cartman, in the saddle, in his mane, etc. by the time we got off that trail.
We did get some great stretches of long trot though and Cartman was totally into it!
We hit the turn around area and the mesquitos were out in full force. C was swishin' his tail and I even found a few on me (misquitos- how do you spell that????- they usually hate me).
We headed back on the loop trail and at one point came upon a very tall log across the trail. Cinnamon has not quite figured out the tall log thing and Michelle stepped off to get her over the log. I pulled Cartman up and waited for them on the narrow trail.
Michelle decided to adjust her saddle and as we waited Cartman was getting very agitated. I think it was the bugs because he was swishing his tail and being a brat. Cinnamon got over the log but before Michelle could remount Cartman started backing up into her.
He was totally ignoring me and wanting to back up where there was no room. Michelle was behind us and was forced to let go of Cinn's reins or get backed up over! Eek, it was not a fun moment.
Cartman finally stopped (we're only talking a few feet here- but there was very little room on this trail) and Michelle was able to get around us and grab Cinnamon- who had stepped on and then into her reins! Thankfully she didn't take off down the trail.
Now Mr Pissy Pants was in back. He was not happy. I felt like I was riding a stick of dynamite for the next quarter mile but he held it together. When we came out of the woods to a clearing I recognized an old dirt road heading back to the south that I had galloped one time with Glenn, Flo, Shannon, and Alex.
I said hey I think someone needs to do a long lope! We took off down the road and Cartman was jogging about 10-12 miles an hour. The footing is nice, the gravel is old and there is a grass strip in the middle that is a bit softer.
Cinnamon, being a normal Thoroughbred, decided that it would be more efficient to pick up a canter. Cartman, born a Thoroughbred- but wanting to be a Standardbred- continued on at the trot. I could have asked him for lope and he would but his true preferred gait is obviously the trot.
Cinn finally passed us after about a mile. We were having fun and she was starting to stretch it out a little bit.
Then I saw it.... the dreaded steel shoe with green pad. This could only have come from one place.
I yelled at Michelle to pull up and sure enough, Cinnamon was missing her front right shoe.
It was thankfully a clean pull, she didn't even bobble and was quite content to carry on loping down the trail. But we knew our ride was over for the day.
I turned around and jogged back North towards the center of camp to see if I could find a good spot to come in with the horse trailer and pick up Michelle and Cinnamon. As luck would have it we were only 1/2 mile from the main road that goes out to the horse trailer parking area.
I headed back into the woods to catch up to the trail that leads back through the dunes and Michelle waited on the corner where we could get the horse trailer in.
It was about 2.5 miles back to the trailer. We jogged where possible and finally made it to the trailer after about 45 minutes. I let Cartman eat beet pulp while I untacked him. He refused water (big surprise) but did want to pee before getting in the trailer. I love this horse.
We pulled in and picked Michelle and Cinnamon up and headed immediately (well not quite immediately- we did let Cinn have some beet pulp) to the Fred Meyer's Starbucks :) then home. All in all, we didn't get to ride the actual beach but it was a fun outing and we managed an 11 mile training ride.
I have settled on doing an LD at Bandit so we should be in good shape for that anyway!
Now, I'm off to do the Firecracker 5K.... it may be slow one today :)