For the past week, lovely husband and I took a roadtrip across New Mexico and Arizona. Neither of us had really been to that part of the country for any significant time, so we left plenty of time open for exploring and stopping at things that seemed interesting, interspersed with a few planned stays and activities.
To borrow from the trail riding thread...
I really wanted to be able to experience the desert on horseback. My husband hadn't been on a horse in close to 15 years, so I sought out a touristy spot that promised to have horses suitable for beginners. Being New Englanders, we were worried about the heat, but our two-hour ride left at 9am so we hoped for the best and lathered up in sunscreen beforehand to avoid frying ourselves. I was so pleased that when we arrived, it was clear the horses were happy and fit (I suppose you never really know with the tourist trail places; you can only tell so much from websites and online reviews). When they brought the first horse out, it was a little QH gelding that I can't imagine was more than 14 hands- and handed him to my 6' tall husband! Last time he rode with me, he was put on a 17+ hand Irish Draught gelding
But this little gelding- creatively named "Bay"- took up plenty of leg and they were very comfortable and balanced together.
I was put on a similar bay QH gelding, who had a mysterious "split" in his left ear...and subsequently, was named...wait for it..."Split."
Our horses were able to be ďriddenĒ rather than following nose-to-tail like robots, so that made it a good ride. Our guide was friendly, but mostly left us to enjoy the scenery without a lot of small talk, which was much appreciated.
There was water in the saddle bag and a nice breeze, making it very pleasant. Our ride was primarily walking with some short stretches of trotting; with all the beautiful photo opps and scenery to take in, covering the 4 miles at a nice walk was perfect. Trails took us up and downhill, through deep, sandy dry streambeds, and over flat grassy sections. It was a really special ride, and I was so glad he went with me!
That wouldn't be the last time we saw horses though- they were dotting the landscape throughout our drive.
My favorite photos from our day at the Grand Canyon?? Possibly these two beauties who were just lounging around along the route to the park.
To be continued...