Yeah. He hates turnout.
|What's it going to do, bite us?|
Here's the beginning of the trail. Yes, we are badasses, going right around the 'No Trespassing' sign. (Noted: I think it's for motor vehicles. Horses are allowed.)
We are approaching the 'Angry Birds Tree', the big green thing ahead. It's also the only tree on the trail. Many young, green, or otherwise nervous horses are afraid of it. Cuna is not.
|This looks way more fun.|
We climb up the hill to the saddle where the trail branches off. Since we have walked this far, Cuna is already bored. If we turn right (pictured), we can go up our favorite long gallop stretch. And not walk. Despite Cuna's enthusiasm for the idea, we continue to the trotting loop. At a walk.
|Ok, boring, but we get to trot the uphill.|
We wind through the hills and finally start heading down towards the valley. Usually, there are panoramic views of the city spread out below us and all the way to the next mountain range over.
Today, there is smoke. Lots of smoke.
We also usually come across plenty of hikers, bikers, and walkers at this stretch, but pretty much no one is outside in this air. Just us and the lizards.
|Not sure why this is complicated|
There are certain parts of the trail that I never worry about because I have Cuna (aka 'the most awesome horse in the world') but that my barnmates prefer not to attempt without me. This is one of them. There is a sharp drop off on the left and straight ahead and we have to go on a single track trail around a barb wire fence that is barely standing up. Don't spook is all I have to say about it.
Cuna knows the drill. In fact, it is his mission to prove that a ridiculously long 17 hand horse can make that turn without ever bending his body.
|We are not seriously walking all the way up?!|
We finally reach the bottom of the trail and turn to go up. This is normally where we let the horses trot and use the hill to build muscle and stamina.
Because it is a "slow hack" day, I make Cuna walk. He is less than amused. Not only am I making him go slow, I am screwing with his routine. NOT OK.
Routines are very important.
|Always walk on the wrong side.|
The trail goes up from here. Up, up, and up some more.
Into the smoke.
I practice staying in balance up off Cuna's back (ENGAGE CORE. MORE CORE.) while he picks the trail up the mountain.
We do run across a solitary walker. Cuna gives him a single giant bambi eyes look and we move along.
And we're at the top. Cuna looks super cute here, but he's actually really annoyed with me for stopping him yet again to take pictures.
The pictures don't really show it, but his winter coat is just starting to come in. He's at the only fuzzy stage in which I think horses are cute. Hair is just a tiny bit long and so soft and fluffy, but not so thick yet that it's hard to dry them off. :) <3