To celebrate National Trails Day and our enthusiasm for the Live Oak Camp Trails, 38 riders gathered to take leisurely rides through the beautiful property.
A close look at Lake Cachuma in this photo will show the new islands rising from the water, the signs of severe drought. As are the white rings at the water's edge, showing how much the level has recently dropped. Summer evaporation has barely begun.
We did a rather short ride, one of our number felt her horse's feet were sore, so we took a route through the woodland area, then out onto the plateau, then turned back by way of a wooded valley.
Tobe Mule hadn't been out for 2 weeks, so we were just glad to have somewhere, anywhere, to be where we could see horizons.
The Santa Ynez River where last month the animals loved to stop for a cool drink... well, it is underground again. Gone until the next rain.
The only really exciting thing on this calm ride was seeing a little group of the bucking horse brood mares who live on the property. Here Tobe Mule and Mosca the Horse Fly are exhibiting intense curiosity about these equines who live a wild life.
It is always a thrill to see them.
When we went past they did the most unusual thing: they decided to follow us! We were happy with their escort to the end of the plateau, then the gal with the tenderfoot horse said she wanted to turn around.
So we obligingly reversed course. To me it is a very important rule of the MeetUp that we always "Ride to the Least Rider" and accommodate whatever they need to feel safe and secure on the trail.
The "mare's tails" cirrus uncinus clouds high above softened the view of the landscape already looking dry and sere.
We met up back at the parking lot with several dozen of the riders, many of whom came by invitation of the Santa Ynez Valley Riders. We all had had lunch together under our favorite oak. A Government representative spoke to the issue of the recreational master plan being developed for the entire county. We told him our opinions, and all expressed enthusiasm for developing the Camp for day rental equestrian use.
So this is the shortest blog ever, but a lovely day.
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