Saturday, October 10, 2015

Join Us for a Fall Ride

It was a beautiful Fall day here, about 55*, sunny, no bugs....It sure would be nice if we got more of these.  Riding Buddy and I took the opportunity to do one of my favorite rides. 

For a lot of reasons, this is the first time we got onto these trails this year.  They can be a bit hard to get to because you have to be able to get up and down a 1.5 mile long, very steep hill that has really brutal footing. 

It's a tough hill for the horses and is not helped by the fact that the beavers have dammed a stream across the bottom of it, which is why I can no longer drive down the hill to the trail head.  Tanner and I used to hike down here a lot, but Connor and I haven't made it down here yet.  The road (if it can still be called that) is too rough.  You have to ride or hike quite a ways to get to one of my favorite little streams.

Thanks to the latest rather ambitious, scary and somewhat experimental hoof work I've been doing for Hawkeye, he was finally able to make the big hill with no problem for the first time in years. I've really got to write about that for everybody interested in hooves.
There are a lot of rough areas on this trail, but you don't get to see any of those since riding and taking pictures in those spots don't go together.   There are some nice gentle stretches though as well.

This used to be a main road back when horses and carriages still ruled the highway.  This was part of a large old resort and farm.  All that is left now is the pretty lane, a weed choked pond and a bit of old stone foundation.  It is all owned be the state now.

There was a pine plantation at the top of the lane, but it all got logged off this summer.  They must have burned the stumps for some reason as well as they all showed signs of charring.  I'm not sure why they did that.  As wet as it was when these were cut, it had to be on purpose.  Maybe some kind of infestation.  Looks awful brutal at the moment, but I think they'll probably plant hardwoods in here and it will come back.  New York State has many flaws, but they do a fairly decent job of managing the forest land.  Much better than the private sector, which tends toward rape-and-pillage logging techniques that leave the woods maimed for generations, if they ever recover.

The last time we were on this truck-trail was right after a major storm and there were dozens of trees down on it.  We had to do some creative detouring to get around them.  Today, these were the only trees that hadn't been cleared off.

 A quick bite of Beech leaves to keep the strength up.

Down the hill and back across the creek over the scary bridge.....

 ...and back up the big hill, which looks deceptively innocent in photos.

It's good to see this big guy tackling the tough hills again.  This time last year, he was unwillingly retired and we thought his riding days were over.  A nice Fall ride was a good reward for all the hard work that has gone into getting him back on the trails.


  1. oh that is beautiful. just beautiful. thanks for sharing.

  2. A welcome interlude in your busy days and nights. Maybe Conner gets to go next time?

  3. Wonderful, I agree, don't take photos while trying to negotiate tough nasty hills, it just does not work!
    What a gorgeous place to ride.

  4. This is a wonderful post Kris, just like the walk through the woods. Taking Hawkeye out for a ride down Jones Rd. was really the test for his feet which he seemed to pass with flying colors! We are both very grateful to you for all the hard work you've put into those hooves. When do you want to head out again?

  5. What a gorgeous ride and so glad you did it and took us along!