Two weeks ago, I went on a trail ride with some friends. We went to a Place called Gardner Canyon. Gardner Canyon is a geological formation that preserved fossils date back to the Jurassic period.
We had gotten a late start and finally hit the trail at 1:15 PM. The trail was rated moderate and it is an 11 mile loop. During the first half of the trail, I kept having issues with Zoey. She was being fussy with the other horses and wouldn’t stop prancing and going sideways on the small trail.
We stopped at a small brick building (see pic below). The place had water and even some fresh hay that was left there. The other ladies decided to get off and take a break. Out of the five of us, I was the youngest rider. Two of the ladies were 70 & 71 years old. I was the one always getting down off of Zoey to help them when they had problems.
We stayed for over an hour and I told everyone that we need to get moving due to we will run out of daylight while trying to get to our trucks. When we left, I took the lead. I put Zoey in the lead and on a looser rein, she settled right down and didn’t give me any problems after that. Zoey loves being the lead horse!
We were still on the trail as it was getting dark. My cell phone had no reception. Sharon had reception but only had 12% battery life. She called her husband to have him send her the Google map. I was using my phone as a flashlight to see the trail. All I could see was immediately in front of me. It was solid dark and the temperature was going down fast. None of my friends had brought Jackets. I had a real light weight hoodie on over my t-shirt. Evidently, I was the only one with something besides a t-shirt. I also had thrown in a flannel shirt in to my saddlebag. I gave it to the 71 year old. All of us were freezing ad just wandering in the dark. Somehow we had missed a turn and had gotten lost.
Sharon was able to get a 911 call-in so they could get a fix on her phone. At this time I told everyone that we needed to stop and make a fire. Fortunately we stopped where there was an old fire ring. Sharon started the fire (she smokes) while everyone else was went looking for firewood. I took charge of the horses and got them unsaddled and secured to a tree. I put the saddles next to the fire and folded the blankets in half (wet side inside) so they could sit on them. I found out that cow patties do burn well and even a little hotter than firewood. There were more cow patties then dry wood.
It was 1 AM when the Sonoita Fire Department finally found use. They told us we were only about 1/2 a mile from our trucks. Two of the Fireman had horse experience so they decided to ride out and pony the other 3 horses. We all got to ride in a very warm small fire truck.
Can’t wait to ride that trail again… The second picture is of a super big sycamore tree and the third is the foot door to the brick building….