Friday, July 10, 2020
My neighbor and friend, Susie, and I rode horseback in Bend’s Horse Butte Wilderness. We were intending to map a trail I’ve been attempting to define. This route would be circular and have two purposes. First, to take a rider through lovely areas while avoiding roadways much as possible, and ideally, loop back around to the trailhead. Second, allow for traveling from three-to-five miles depending on a rider’s available time. Susie and I tested the horsey-looking trails that would take us to the target destinations and minimize needs for horsebacking on roads.
Finally, we spent too long in our saddles and on dismounting suffered the consequences. Susie hadn’t ridden in many years and nonetheless looked very balanced in her saddle. She and Sunni got along well and over a variety of terrains. Always, we were very careful to keep Pimmy in mind and have her within our views.
That ride was long, but fun and productive. Today, I’m going to ride with another friend, Judy, and together we’ll re-test the loop. This time, we’ll check the ease of traveling over it and determine the amount of time needed to complete our ride. Meanwhile, Susie is creating a visual map of the loop from coordinates she captured in real time.
Yesterday, I handled only a single horse and that made my ride relatively hands-free. This allowed such flexibility that Susie and I could go off-trail to explore some of the area’s more complicated-looking terrains. Throughout all that we asked of our horses, both of them were wonderful. And happily, Pimmy tracked with us the entire way.
Dear Friends: It’s wonderful, the Horse Butte National Forest isn’t far from my barn. Diana