We arrived at the parking area and before saddling up for our first adventure, I took several moments to breathe in the smell of the southwest and enjoy with envy the small green leaves on the cottonwood trees. I told everyone I wanted to start out leading incase Remi was excited and wanted to move out fast. He did great being in the lead and was very confident about this new area. Diana was second and eventually took the lead since her horse, Milo, wanted to move faster than Remi.
The river was low but we could see the signs of high water and scattered driftwood from when a flash flood rushed down the river. There was a combination of volcanic and sandstone formations which made for a beautiful contrast from dark black and brown to red and beige. Unfortunately I didn't get pictures of this unusual area or 3 riders cantering their horses thru the Virgin River. However, I did enjoy watching the gals having fun galloping thru the water and sending spray everywhere. After all this fooling around and laughter, sadly, it was time to turn around and head back to the trailers. Inside, I wished we could keep exploring but the horses needed to eat and rest up for tomorrow. Because Remi did so well on this first ride, I told Aubrey she would be riding her boy the next two days. Her face lit up with excitement and pleasure at the thought of finally getting to ride her own horse in this gorgeous country.
Second day's ride was north of St. George in Snow Canyon. There is nothing like riding in the Southwest with beautiful impressive red rock cliffs towering over my head to make me feel insignificant and humbled by Mother Nature's creations . Remi and Aubrey were doing well today. Remi could lead or follow another horse and seemed pretty happy to do either. The sand was giving all the horses a workout and their heavy winter coats were making them sweat in the 70 degree temperature.
Some places we spread out and could use the brush to work on neck reining or just getting our horse to listen to us instead of staying with another horse. I was riding Diana's gelding, Levi, and a couple of times he was thinking of going one way and I was thinking the other way around a bush. We didn't end up in any bushes but came close. Levi had to do some fancy foot work to avoid crashing thru a bush. I realized this terrain could be used very effectively to get a horse keen and listening to his rider.
Diana with Milo Saundra with Symphony taking a walk
There were no pictures taken on the last day but we enjoyed going up some sandy washes and then "bushwhacking" cross country up and over a deep sandy ridge that took some extra steam out of a couple of horses. We continued riding towards where the trailers were parked before coming to a fence that stopped us. We followed the fence line until we came to a break in the wire and crossed to the other side. From there on it was free sailing to the trailers. We had a tense moment at the trailers when Saundra couldn't find her cell phone and thought she had lost it somewhere in the desert. Diana called her phone and they located it again in the lining of Saundra's saddlebag. With the drama over, we loaded up and headed home to Mapleton, Utah.
So how did Remi do with Aubrey?? Awesome on the Snow Canyon ride. Last day, he was wanting to be in the lead and not listening to Aubrey very well. The good news is Aubrey got to ride him again on the Mapleton Canyon trail soon after coming back from St. George and he was super for her.
For this time of the year, they were able to ride quite far up the Mapleton Canyon trail. I heard Remi lead and followed both going up and coming back down the trail and was listening to Aubrey. I've been on this trail and it is beautiful !! There is a variety of terrain with several narrow bridge crossings plus some creek crossings. I think Remi is on his way to making Aubrey and her family a good trail horse.
Photo credit: Diana Aldana