Last Saturday, Pangea and I were set to go on our first ever roading adventure with the local hunt. She swam on Friday, and I spent some time that afternoon trying to organize and clean my stuff - after all, this was going to be our first time out in public doing something where we needed to look respectable! Unfortunately for us, the weather did not cooperate, and the hunt called off the Saturday road in anticipation of high temperatures (110-115F). I didn't complain, seeing as I had to cut my Friday prep time very short due to being followed home by this!!
I swear we got chased home by a tornado. Swear it.
On Saturday, with no obvious place that I had to be anymore, I decided that I was going to make good use of the cool early morning weather (and by cool, I mean it was still in the mid 80's at 7am) and trailered Pangea out to Benbrook Lake for some early morning conditioning. Thank you to all my cats and dogs who made this possible... my furry little alarm clocks became very alarmed when I wasn't up by 6:45am, and all started jumping on me and/or crying hysterically in an effort to make sure I wasn't dead and/or going to forget about their breakfast. Every time I rolled over and groaned, any inch of me that wasn't covered by blankets was either licked maniacally or pounced on by ferocious kitten claws. I think this is a good sign that you have had too few days off lately.
At the head of the trail, we crossed paths with a total stranger, a 70 year-old man named John on a Missouri Foxtrotter. We both happened to be heading the same way with the same idea in mind - ride before the death heat sets in - so we marched off together. John complained repeatedly about never having anyone to ride with because all of his friends at the boarding stable take too long to get their horses ready, so I think he was happy to have a friend!
John's boarding stable is right down the road from the state park where we were riding, so he knew all the ins and outs of the trails in the area. We even took a few little sidepaths that led us off into lands unknown, making weird little discoveries like this dead cur dog behind someone's house:
I thought it was a coyote at first, but closer inspection of the skull says no. It was literally right on the other side of someone's tightly fenced property and huge manicured lawn - an intruder who was shot perhaps? No idea, but it seems a very unusual place to just drop dead of your own accord. My guess is that it died elsewhere and was dragged here, for one reason or another.
We also, erm... snuck down to the water's edge. Pretty sure we were not supposed to be there, but we did it anyway!
My intrepid guide dismounted first and gingerly checked the beach footing before we proceeded out there. Apparently he's had some quicksand issues before... or something.
We spent some time relaxing in the shade afterwards before we parted ways and I headed back to the trailer. I tested out the gears before we were through - w/t/c all felt great - and then called it a day. It was a balmy 100 degrees by 10:30am.
The longer I have this mare, the more of her father I see in her. I had a request awhile back to do a comparison between the two of them, and I will definitely have to make good on that soon!