We found a Monarch hard at work this morning on a gayfeather along the blue trail beside CR 2560 close to the Dry Valley Gates on the orange trail. There is a great place to park with a walk through gate beside the road if you want to get a pic of you own.
Riders from Region 4 of the North American Trail Ride Conference were out in force last weekend enjoying the cooler temperatures while having to deal with slippery trails. We caught up with a group of the competitors 9.5 miles from TADRA on the orange trail who had paused at a pulse-and-respiration stop, checking the physical condition of the horses. Every aspect of horsemanship necessary for a trail ride is judged, before, during and after the ride. We watched a test involving traversing a gully in the pine trees, each rider being evaluated on their horsemanship according to their skill level through the obstacle. After the last rider was evaluated the whole operation, judges, veterinarians and volunteers, moved on to the next judging location. What we saw was only one of the many tasks on which the riders and horses were judged during the ride, but obviously still managing to have fun as they rode. The NATRC web page has great information concerning their group and details on competitive trail riding. Check out Optical Harmonics for more photos; Jim has photographs of competitions, LBJ Grasslands, people and horses. Click on first pic below to see a slideshow of my shots.
The horses were a little spooky from gunshots near TADRA, but when we came across William on the trail, they did not act surprised. He was out getting some exercise, walking from Black Creek Lake to Cottonwood Lake. We gave him a map to help him stay on the right trail. The walk is long enough without detours from wrong turns.
Jay lost interest in the conversation fairly quick.
Jay cools down at TADRA.
Suzy’s taking care of her horse while I’m walking around taking pics.
Neighbors Donna and Patty came riding through while we were talking to another neighbor, Joel, who I did not get a pic of this time. Activity in the park was picking as we were pulling out.
A Praying Mantis was keeping an eye on us while we did a little rearranging and cleaning in the garage after our ride. I would not like to be small enough to be this gal’s lunch. Click on photo for horror film size.