Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Here Be Dragons

Early cartographers would inscribe, "Here be Dragons" on their maps to designate uncharted territory that might be fraught with danger.  They might also draw pictures of serpents or other potential dangers for mariners. If I were to draw a map of the area in which I live, I might inscribe "Here Be Dragons" for the area just south of our home. For this is unfamiliar territory for me.

I can see a horseback riding trail just across the street from my house. It tantalizes me. It runs parallel to the road, then turns south and goes up a hill. I've never gone up there to see where the trail goes. Why, you might ask, is it still unexplored? Well, I'm not the sort who likes to ride on a trail by myself, especially a trail I've never been on before. I worry about safety, and I haven't found anyone to ride with in the area. Therefore, I continue to drive by the trail on my trips to town, and look longingly up the hill, wondering where it goes and what I'd find on the other side of the hill. 

I met a remarkable young lady who was very interested in riding - and loved Haflingers - and just happened to have Monday afternoons free - and wanted to ride a Haflinger - who has enough experience to stay on a Haffie when he decides to "Stop, drop and think about leaving"  and... did I tell you that she loves Haflingers? 

K came by on Monday and we saddled up. We rode 'over the mountain' to see what we could see. We rode my trail and explored the unexplored. We found the dragons on the other side!

You can sing along with me: 

The Haffies went over the mountain, 
The Haffies went over the mountain, 
The Haffies went over the mo-un-tain....
To see what they could see. 
And all that they could see, 
And all that they could see was:  
  • the front range of the Colorado mountains, 
  • goats, 
  • horse farms, 
  • deer, 
  • houses, 
  • scary plastic bags stuck on fences, 
  • horses, 
  • cars, 
  • tree stumps 
  • and all manner of scary potential horse-eating dragons!
But, despite the dragons, the day was perfect. It was partly sunny with temperatures in the 50's. The horses were, if not on their best behavior, at least manageable. K rode Doc. I rode Pippin and we meandered through the trails. The trails consist of easements between properties that are about 20 feet wide. We traveled 3.9 miles, had a great ride, and can't wait to get out again!

This is the map of our ride. I used Pedometer Maps to trace our trail. This is a fabulous tool to map hikes, bike rides or horseback trails that you take. I was intrigued by the elevation change that is calculated as you map your route (although I'm not convinced it is all that accurate!) My map is a bit confusing since we doubled back or retraced some of our ride, but the orange pin is where we started and ended and the blue pins are the mile markers. 

K and I returned home with huge smiles on our faces. It was, indeed, a good ride. It was wonderful to see what was over the hill. I think the horses had a great time, too. Lots of fresh air and exercise for all. The horses even worked up a little sweat, wearing their winter woolies and all, so I think the best part of the ride for them was having their saddles removed and being turned out. What do you think?


  1. Double good- you've got a riding buddy, and both your horses get exercise!

  2. That is great! Glad you got a riding buddy and to go on that trail! Sounds beautiful, being able to see the mountains and everything else.

    Doc and Pippin are too cute rolling :)

  3. Great you found someone to ride with. It's such fun to explore, I think. And now you made me want to go horseback riding again.

  4. Oh yea, the rolling is always the best part of any ride! especially if they can find a good mud hole.
    glad you got on that trail, next time it will be even easier!
    - The Equestrian Vagabond

  5. Awesome !!!! I'm still lauging at the "Stop, drop and leave" statement. I know a horse like that too...

  6. Sounds like a wonderful ride together! And now the mystery is revealed! Don't you love it!!!!??


  7. How wonderful a new riding buddy AND trails right across the road to boot. I hope K can come out often. Love the rolling video.

  8. I love it when I get to go check out a new trail...i'm not as daring as I was in my younger days but I do still like to see what is on the other side of that hill. good for you glad you found someone to ride with too.

  9. Its always nice to go riding or walking or sightseeing with a friend! Have ever so much fun!


  10. Roly Poly Ponies! lol! Too cute!
    Good for you going on a little adventure and exploring some new trails :)


  11. Trail rides are the best! Especially exploratory ones! =)

  12. Happy trails to you!

    Did you know that I was a cartographer? Yep, that's what I did for a living.

  13. I love it -- here be dragons. And doesn't every horse believe that!


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