We thought you might like this recap of a trail ride at Boulder Valley Ranch!
We hope you enjoy it, and thanks fro sharing! Linda P
Submitted by Teresa
As I recall the highlight of the day, a number of images keep recurring in my “minds eye”. My attempts to explain the “incident” to others got me thinkin’ about exactly how it all went down. So, here’s a few thought on what I experienced from my perspective. Of course this could be, and is most certainly, a very different experience from your perspective.
…The chance to finally ride with my friend Chuck emerged. The upcoming departure of Tina loomed on the horizon. “We have to get at least one ride in with Chuck before you leave town”. “YES” What’s the Colorado weather look like, lets find out when, where, what. Yey, “Lets do it. On our way.”
What a lovely start to a ride. We were all ready for a horse outing. Hugs, kisses, hello’s, how are ya’s, blah, blah, blah. Then, off we go to do the Boulder Valley Loop. Horses are fresh, riders are happy, Life is Good.
Obstacle 1: Water crossing. Okay, so its a somewhat steep bank down/up with water in the middle. Beau, our fearless leader with his most confident rider proceeds to cross over. With two feet in and two to go, Tina says…”we have a problem here” as Beau sinks up to/past his knees in mud sucking conditions. But alas, trusty Beau asses the situation, gives it a heave, then up and forward and scales the bank to the topside. One horse down, two to go.
Chuck, having experienced this crossing before, calmly dismounts his steady steed, Sunny and confidently sets him up with a lead line to cross over independently. Chuck joins Sunny on the far side via the pedestrian/hiker bridge. This is a sturdy makeshift board walk to get over the canal, especially when the canal is open. The canal was actively running with spring mountain run-off water to the tune of a few feet deep in some places. Specifically, it was a few feet deep in this water cross location.
So, two horses over with one to go. That would be — Ulla the Icelandic!
Of course, Icelandic horses are much shorter than other horses. Sunny is rather tall and handsome, Beau is a bit shorter of stature and a bundle of energy. Ulla is the shortest amongst the three. However, she is not to be mistaken for a pony, as that is considered offensive amongst her kind. She is in the range of 13.3 hands in reality but sometime she’s larger than life. She is, most importantly, a trooper on the trail at this point in her trail horse career.
So, Ulla’s turn comes up, the last to cross over. She approaches the “water obstacle” with a healthy dose of skepticism. She gives it her testing eye and opts out of an easy crossing due to the soggy bottom conditions. Okay, that’s fine. We go into ‘People Think’ mode and quickly decide on an independent Ulla crossing with a little bit of guidance and assistance via an extended lead rope option. Good idea, lets do it talk ensues and we’re all on-board with the theory.
Action occurs. Teresa leads the horse to water, throws the extended lead line over to Chuck. Ulla is encouraged to take the leap. She declines. Chuck ups the ante’ by wrapping the lead line round the big oak tree to get a little leverage. He’s facing the tree with his back side to the creek positioned to get the horse across. He gives the line a tug. Ulla hesitates, then makes a sudden mental shift, goes for it and takes the leap. This immediately releases the tension on the lead line in a “seemingly nano second.” SUCCESS! There goes Ulla up n over. Oops…there goes Chuck… out of the corner of my left eye, flying into the creek at full speed! His landing splash was spectacular! So much so… that he was shocked into the “drink”, completely submerged under water! Wow, that cold spring run off must be pretty chilly! Guess so cause Chuck instantly emerged upright with a roar. Thankfully, a roar of laughter and a great leap forward and out. Tina and I couldn’t help ourselves, struck with a sudden urge to LOL. Of course, we shouted out “Are you O.K !?!” When Chuck responded with a yes we all just kept on laughing and laughing and laughing. I came to my senses, ran across the bridge and fished out Chucks hat with a stray branch and handed it over with my condolences and continued laughter.
We kept trying to get a hold of ourselves, which we finally did, enough to try and figure out what to do next. The weather was pretty pleasant and we all had spring fever. Chuck, the consummate river rafter and ultimate horseman, states “I have a fleece lined wind jacket” packed away in his saddlebags. Image that, a professional river rafter and saddle shop guy has his personal provisions in order neatly settled into his saddle packs. He starts peeling away the wet outer layers on top and fishes out the dry gear. Us girls let him know that its perfectly okay with us if he needs to strip down to bare bones and just leave his leather chinks on, but he opts out and chooses to keep his muddied-up jeans on. Oh well, we don’t have our iphones handy anyway. Would’ve made a good equestrian singles profile picture.
Needless to say, we all take off on down the trail from there. Onward, forward motion. Its a good spring day to ride. We head for the loop around, We all decide, even under the circumstances of Chucks wet and mud caked jeans and drying chinks to take the long loop, follow the valley and return along the Highway 36 corridor. It was a good idea to do some foxtrotting, cantering, and moving on down the trail. We rode through the wind which seemed to dry out Chucks chinks. We arrived back at Chucks homestead just as the wind picked up another notch and cooled things down. As we headed up the final stretch….the motto “Arrive Alive” pops into my thoughts with one more country block to go.
What a day on trail! Spring has Sprung!
Teresa – LOL