The weather was a nice 75 degrees and the breeze was minimal. It was a perfect day to be out on the trail. Due to Hondo still shedding his winter coat, even after I used clippers to help him along, it took me over 30 minutes to get him groomed for the ride!
As I entered the wash, the trees had yellow blooms all over them. As we passed I could hear the buzzing of the bees. One thing you don’t want to do is brush against these trees or you will disturb all the bees. I could see bunches of them as I passed sitting on the blooms. I like the blooms, but I’m not a big fan of bees.
Today I decided to ride towards Veterans Trail and take the vertical cliffs trail. This trail is very steep and considered difficult. The first part of the trail is over a small hill. It looks small in the picture above, but there are spots when climbing that you have to really help with your horses balance. If you are not an experience trail rider and your horse hasn’t been trained for rough terrain, this is definitely not a trail for you.
That is just one of the things that make Hondo a great choice to go on the Arizona Trail. He is very graceful in rough terrain and he knows how to pick the best way to go when given a choice. I give Hondo his head a lot on trails that are rough and is full of obstacles. He is extremely careful and can pick his way through rough patches and I can trust his judgement.
Actually out on the trail I always let Hondo ride with loose reins. He will ride with just a little nudge of my knee for guidance. Hondo is trained for being ground tied and to date he has never stranded me.
One time I fell off Hondo really bad when going up a steep incline a few years back. When I came too, Hondo was just a few yards away munching on some grass. Somehow I climbed back on him and pointed him home. He did not rush and just took his time. We were about 5 miles from home. When I got home, my husband knew right away that something had happened. He took me in the house and asked my son to take care of Hondo. I suffered a concussion and some serious scraps and bruises.
My son came in the house carrying my bridle and he showed us that the chin strap was broken and the side was barely secured. I didn’t know it, but I had no control of Hondo when we were coming home that day. If he had decided to take off and I had pulled on the reins, the bridle would have just fallen off.
That is the kind of horse I have and that is why I know we can make it out on the AZT!
Well until next time… keep riding!