One of the reasons for taking lessons all summer was so we could develop the fitness needed to stay on a saddle for long periods of time and do more than a typical 1-hour trail ride. The longer rides are off the main trail and incorporate scenery that’s difficult to get to without a horse (or time-consuming on foot).
This ride was the last of the summer (for me) and to celebrate we wanted to do something special at Chaparral Ranch before heading back to Canada.
Our ride was also about looking for rattlesnakes and we hoped that if we got away from the populated areas, we’d see more in the way of snakes and interesting creatures. We did see deer (doe and fawn), vultures, hawks, turkeys, lizards, gophers, peacocks, and a handful of animal carcasses (skunk, bird, cow), but no rattlesnakes.
The end of the ride was a bit bittersweet. It was la Niña’s last ride with Shasta the Horse, with whom she became wonderful friends with over the course of the summer. To thank Shasta, we brought her a bag of organic carrots, which she got to sample with her breakfast and share with her friends.