Fall evening in the forest

October 9, 2020

This evening I managed to get out to the forest for a little 6 mile jaunt with both ponies and Daisy.

The forest smelled great, leaves were colorful and starting to blanket the ground.

Trail Report/Training Neville – Old Mans Run

July 5, 2020

I was off Friday for Independence Day (July 3) and decided to shoot out early and take both ponies on a ride. This would be Neville’s first ponying trail ride so I picked a quiet location that had easy footing and no people.

Usually I tack up before heading to a near by location but I choose to tack at the location so Neville would have the experience of standing and waiting, which he did well.

Once tacked I climbed on Simon and grabbed Neville’s lead and off we went. He looked around a bit and did quite a bit of licking and chewing but was completely ok with everything and trusting.

The creek crossing was mostly dried out but we stopped for a drink and for daisy to cool off.

When we were passing the side trail that passes under the power lines We took the side trail and rode out under them. They are loud and sort of spooky. Neville didn’t care.

We got in some trotting but mostly walked. After the initial trot Neville got the hang of it and we moved out at a good working trot. I kept the trot sessions short but we did quite a few.

We ended up going further than I planned but Neville handled it well and seemed to enjoy the adventure. The bugs were getting worse by the time we got back to the trailer and all of us were ready to call it a day.

I am looking forward to getting Neville out on some more rides and build some muscle on him.

Trail Report: Blue Hole 06/26/2020

July 1, 2020

Last week Carol Ann and I went over and rode out with friend Gayle from private property. The trail looped back into familiar trails at Blue Hole making it a super neat connection.

We had a lot of slow going through wooded trails and got to do a lot of chatting. It was lovely.

We saw a turkey, some deer, and even spooked up a resting fawn. Lots of lovely nature.

The views were outstanding, and as always cannot very captured properly on film.

We popped out from private property into National Forest and onto a logging road trail I have frequented. The trail looped up and along some recently logged areas (as in a few years recent).

The company was excellent and the ride was lovely. I’m looking forward to doing it again. Or something similar.

Trail Report: Laurel Run left hand loop 6/14/2020

June 18, 2020

Last Sunday Carol Ann and I headed back over to Laurel Run and we tried a new loop.

Using the map in the image below (this is the map that is posted frequently throughout the trail network) we parked at the P on 691 toward center right in the image. From the parking we rode down and then left onto Laurel Run Rd (yellow) to the next P. From there we made a hard left onto North Mountain Trail (orange). We followed this to Stack Rock Trail (purple), to a left on Laurel Run Spur (blue) and then right back onto Laurel Run Rd.

Laurel run was gorgeous. The Laurel was in bloom and we both kept commenting how amazing it was.

North Mountain Trail was also gorgeous and boasted lots of amazing overlook views. But it did start out very bouldery. Not rocky, but boulders to navigate through. It was also covered in lush green grass so the boulders were somewhat hidden. This was a lot of work for the ponies to navigate. I spent this whole several mile section constantly yanking Simon’s head up, every, stride. I repeat, every stride.

Stack Rock Trail was a very well put in trail with cleared areas through bouldery areas, but it was a grade downhill, switching back and forth, and quite narrow in some places. We also ran into two downed trees that were quite a chore to navigate around (unmounted).

The whole ride ended up being a bit long for my taste. Much of it required a slow pace and work navigating boulders and narrow passes. My butt was a bit tired by the end. I attempted to lead Simon for a portion of the climb down but he was a bit of a challenge with all the things to eat and scratch on and the obnoxiousness was too much. Carol Ann got in a nice hike with her puppy dog style Puck marching along like a well mannered beast.

All in all a good day but probably not a return path we would be eager to take again.

Trail Report: Laurel Run

June 11, 2020

A few weeks ago Carol Ann and I hit up Laurel Run. It’s been a while since I have been there so I checked in with some STRHA friends for some info. Very handy and helpful.

We parked at the nice round parking loop, and headed out to the right, making another right over the creek and up the road. We both really enjoyed this part of the ride. It continues past a closed gate with a bit of an incline.

This area is well marked with maps posted frequently.

Eventually we turned and headed up a trail up and up. It was a humid day and Simon was feeling it. After some time it pops out onto the fire road, making a right onto it, and heads back down to the parking area. This part pretty much sucks.

It was a fun ride but I would like to try other directions. I really disliked all the road back. But luckily there is plenty to explore up there still.

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