That's mine and Steady's butt :) The two photos are from pretty much the only two calm parts of the trail.
In attempts to make this a quick post I will sum up. 6 miles, mud, mud and more mud. Mud up to the horses knees over and over again. Steep hills both up and down. Grab mane and hold on for dear life steep. Logs in the way, narrow trails, sticks and branches and roots all over the ground in the trail way, low branches and by branches some were big friggen branches. By narrow I mean some spots there is enough space for you, your horse and your legs and about an inch on each side. Windy, muddy down hills. One of which I watched Moonlight slip and his entire hind quarters hit the ground. He popped back up and my daughter the rock star she is didn't even bobble. It was madness!!! My favorite conversation of the ride: Elaina: "Mom you keep saying everything is fun." Me: "Honey when I say fun I really mean scary." E: "you mean fun and scary?" Me: "yeah if we make it through then it is fun!"
And we did make it through. Quite successfully I might add! I told Steady a couple times, "see you are a trail horse not a race horse". Not sure he bought that one bit. But as with anything I ask of the big guy he was so game. He jumped logs and water(oops, but it was very amusing, he was pretty much saying, hell no am going through that deep ass mud!), cantered up hills and the thing I am the most impressed with is that this is the first time for him to ever be on a group ride like that and he really got the hang of it. Was happy hanging in the middle of the pack, though would have been way happier out front as usual. Best of all he really figured out how to regulate his pace according to those in front of him. I was worried that would be a problem considering that every horse out with us couldn't have been much over 15 hh and had a considerably slower pace at ever gait but he figured it out and it felt cool being on his back as he did.
Me avoiding one of the many branches from hitting my head. And that's cutie pie Moonlight and Elaina in front of us.
Moonlight again proved he is worth his weight in gold. Truckin' my daughter safely through another crazy adventure with not one problem. That horse can be a bull on the ground and everytime I get fed up with his manners he proves his worth under saddle. I love that horse so much I could squeeze him till he popped!
Only bad part is that Steady did come home with a couple scrapes. One on his RF that is very small but one on his LH that scraped a quarter sized hunk of fur off. It is superficial and should heal fine but I feel awful because it was my bad judgement that caused it. I chose to jump a log that I didn't see the mud in front of and when he landed his hind leg scraped down the big log :( poor guy, dumb me. But the rest was all around awesome!!!