August 15, 2013

La Rivier Horse Park

"O! For a horse with wings!"

- Shakespeare

Gem has blessed me with one of the best gifts a horse can give: the sense of freedom and flight. It happened on a whim on a beautiful fall day and it is a memory I cherish. It made all the work, all the tears, and all the frustration worth it.

With the trail closure date quickly descending upon us, the hubs and I loaded up the horses one gorgeous day in late September 2012 and headed 3.5 hrs southeast to La Rivier Horse Park. The weather was perfect: sunny with a cool breeze. Most of the bugs had died off, or migrated or did whatever bugs do in the fall. We were all in good spirits and ready to go.

I look back now and this day still makes me smile especially after the entry from yesterday. Gemmie was....portly. The summer had been terribly hot and work had been terribly busy. I had focused more on running and just relaxing with Gem and it showed in her pot belly appearance. We had planned on taking it easy and headed off into the woods.

The trail began with single track weaving through the trees (our favorite) and then began an uphill climb that lasted quite some time. They handled it well and we were rewarded with a beautiful meadow with a double wide grassy lane at the top.

As we trotted along, Gem began to ask for more. Pete was already bored with the slower pace and the footing was perfect, so we took off. We galloped off across the meadow racing behind Pete (who is much faster than Gem) with the fall wind blowing in our faces and it was heaven. None of us wanted to stop. Eventually we neared the woods again and pulled up. Neither horse was breathing that hard. We snapped some nice pictures and then headed into the woods on the backside of the hill.

I told you she was portly



Crazy Gemmie mane


We wandered in the woods for a long time and finally decided to turn back around. We didn't know where the trail went or for how far and we loved where we had been so why not do it again?

Gem out in front

When we got back to the meadow I urged Gem into a nice canter. Pete was ahead of us and the hubs held him back to a trot so we could pass. He gave us the most surprised stare followed by the nastiest glare I had ever seen. How on earth could Gem be passing him?! It was too funny! I kept her to a nice canter and off we went in the lead for a long ways. It felt amazing. I'm so used to staring at Pete's butt, but this time all I saw was grass and sky and I felt great. She spooked only once at a trail head sign, but I was prepared and we just kept moving. Thinking back on our beginnings together, I never would have imagined we could do that. It was a magical day.


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