Sunday, April 10, 2011

McKinney Roughs

McKinney Roughs Ride 1

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McKinney Roughs Ride 2

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McKinney Roughs Ride 3

EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking in Texas

My trip has come and gone already.  It was so much fun!!!  I got up at 5:00 AM - ready to meet the day.  I had already packed my clothes and some of the food.  I washed and styled my hair so I wouldn't look like a Cretin.  I left the house around 6:05.  I got to the barn around 6:13.  Biscuit was already in the arena where I had put him late Thursday evening.  I fed him and then brushed him down.

LeAnn P said she was so excited she hadn't been able to sleep.  I could understand that!   I loaded up my saddle, my grooming bags, my luggage, food and drinks and my folding chair.  Kellie finally arrived with Elan.  She loaned me a hay bag as I had bought a hay net and we decided that wasn't in Biscuit's best interest and I had left my hay bags in the Brenderup.  Duh!!!We finally loaded up the horses, first in was Legato, then Rogue, Elan (because Kellie said he likes to turn around to get out and couldn't in the back stall) and then Biscuit.  Elan at first refused - LeAnn P got behind him finally with a buggy whip and he decided it was in his best interest to get in.  Biscuit hesitated for a second and then got in like the good boy he is.

We girls loaded up and off we went!!!!  We left right at 7:32 AM so we were pretty much on schedule.  We waltzed across Texas at a good clip - we missed all of the cranky traffic in Houston!  We stopped over near Sealy or something like that for a restroom break.  I took this picture of the Biscuit peering out of the trailer.  LOL  he had a hay bag full of hay and that is all he cares about.

We continued on til we got to Bastrop at 11:30 or so...we made really good time and good gas mileage too!  We were in a Ford F250 hauling a Featherlight 4 horse Weekender Package LQ trailer and got 13.3 mpg!!  That was just amazing.  I think we were hauling at right at 4,000 lbs of horse.  I think Legato probably weighs around 900 lbs, Rogue probably at least 900 or maybe a little more, Elan probably 1000 and Biscuit I would say weighs around 1100 lbs.

We arrived at the Happy Horse Hotel and unloaded the horses.  Biscuit left a pile that was amazing in its enormity.  How can one horse poop that much?  We were greeted by Hollis and it was such a pleasure to finally meet her - I have talked to her several times on the phone and emailed with her.  How cute the Happy Horse Hotel is!!!  Cute little cottages that were darling on the inside - really appealed to my folk art senses!

I cleaned the trailer of poop and put Biscuit in a round pen.  We rested and ate chicken salad sandwiches that I brought.  We chilled out, put our stuff away and then got ready for a ride!!!  We loaded the horses up and headed for the Pope Bend Trail Head around 2:30 PM or so.  We tacked up and I put the hoof boots on Biscuit.  He gave me a little trash but did as I asked.  I was able to mount up in my Alleghany Trail Saddle like a champ.  It is SO good to be able to mount without assistance.  Well, Lee Anne B. stayed in front of Biscuit just to make sure he didn't move - I didn't want to bust my butt on the rocks!

Denise & Biscuit and Kellie & Elan

LeAnn & Legato in her new Sharon Saare Endurance Saddle

Lee Anne & Rogue
We headed out and got about 25 yards down the Yaopon Trail and turned around and went down a different trail.  The trails were kind of steep in some places - what fun!!  Gorgeous trees and beautiful views.  My saddle was a little loose - ooops....I got of and tightened it...and got back on!  Woot!   I was trotting once and dropped my camera!  LOL  I got off and retrieved it - and got back on!  Woot  Woot  Woot!!!!  That is such a thrill for this trail rider to get on and get off at will.  We visited the big pecan tree that is amazing in size.  It was just incredible.  We went on down the trail and were glad we had Easy Boot Gloves on the was rocky in places.

Colorado River

LeAnn and Legato by the river

Beautiful view of the river
Through Biscuit's Ears 
Legato tripped and pulled her Easy Boot Glove OFF of her foot...I thought she was going down, LeAnn did a quick dismount, stumbled into some trees and then righted herself.  Bless her heart there was a steep drop off there!  She put Legato's hoof boot back on, mounted up and away we went...trotting and enjoying the Colorado River.  We got to a point where we could actually get in the water.  Biscuit started pawing and I pulled him up...he wasn't dropping in the water with me! 

We went on and down another trail and eventually back to the Pope Bend Trail Head.  We rode for 4.6 miles in 2 hours so it was really a very leisurely ride.   We got back to the Happy Horse Hotel and took our baths in the open air showers (it is terrific as long as it is warm!  Can't say it would be good in the winter though!!) and went to downtown Bastrop and had a great hamburger and listened to a lady with a beautiful voice singing Patsy Cline songs.  I had a blast...great company and wonderful food.  What could be better?

We went back to the HHH and later turned in.  The bed was very comfortable and I slept ok.

Black dirt road

Got up the next morning and fed Biscuit.  We had decided to ride from the Hwy 71 trailhead today and eat lunch out there and ride again.  We got out there first and pulled under where some trees were.  We tacked up and headed out.  We rode all over the place...some where we had rode yesterday...some where we had not been before.  Very pretty trails and you certainly could see the 4 ecosystems they say is in McKinney Roughs.  Some places were very rocky, some were just sandy, some dirt.  Lots of poison ivy though!!!  We trotted in some places and Elan and Biscuit would trot but not canter.  LOL  I think they are unsure with the boots on!  We went down the Bobcat trail and wow...we were up high with a trail that dropped off fairly steeply.

Our second ride was 7.9 miles and we headed back to the trailer for lunch.  We took the horses to the water and let them drink their fill.  I tied Biscuit under the trees that came all the way to the ground so he was totally in the shade.  The wind was really whipping around so while the sun was out it wasn't too hot.  My face was gritty though from blowing sand.  We ate our lunches and drank Diet Cokes!   Lee Anne took Kellie and Elan back to HHH so she didn't make the second ride with us.  I was feeling pretty stiff..arthritis in my hips and my knees are cranky - so are my feet with my plantar fisciitis.  It makes my heels stiff.  LOL  I am a mess!

We talked to some other ladies there about trails and we decided to ride the Yaupon Trail.  We saddled up and I awkwardly mounted up but I still mounted up!  It took some urging to get the horses to go!  Biscuit is not a leader yet.  He will occasionally lead but he is more of a follower!  We took off own the Whitetail Trail to the Bobcat Ridge Trail to the Yaupon Trail.  The Yaupon was full of rocks in some places, lots of twists and turns, ups and downs.   We were trotting up some of those hills and Rogue was cantering some.  His butt is hilarious going up hill!!  Legato was going like a pro...Biscuit was getting tired and she was just gettin' going!!!   We rode all the way to the Pope Bend Trail Head and by then my backside, hips, and knees were semi-crying!!!  LOL  We let the horses drink at PBTH and I rinsed Biscuit off.  He was hot!  We rested there for 15 minutes.  I couldn't mount from the ground by then.  I was too stiff. 

Denise & Biscuit with the Colorado River in the background

LeAnn and Legato at Lookout at Meditation Point

Lee Anne and Rogue with the Colorado River in the back ground
We went down Road Runner and did some trotting and Biscuit actually took the lead.  Wow...he does every now and then.  We went up the Overlook at Meditation Point.  I was in the lead and went around a corner.  Biscuit was trotting and he suddenly (isn't that how it always is?) spooked and scooted up and took off.  I immediately pulled him under control and he was fine.  Still don't know what startled him though.  We got to the top of Meditation Point and it was worth the trip.  It was gorgeous and what a view!!!  I had to use the mounting block - I was stiff as could be.

We took off and were trotting fast down the trail and another group came around the bend at a canter.  LOL  we all stopped!!  We took off at trots again...I urged Biscuit to canter but he never went into a canter - he was going 11 mph though.  My hat flew off!!!  LOL I had to stop and get it.  I had to find a little rise to get back on...I am stiff as could be but I made wasn't pretty - but I made it.

Off we went again and we stopped for water later.  We went off again...trotting and going at a good clip.  We got to a split and they were ahead of me and they went to the left leaning trail....Biscuit went to the right!!!  He was getting tired and I looked and there was the marker for the Whitetail Trail which is where we needed to go...we were going to go up the Bobcat Ridge trail like earlier!  LOL  I yelled at the girls and said "y'all are going the wrong way!!!  Biscuit says the trailer is this way!!!"

Biscuit was tired by then.  I told the girls he was tired and we'd just walk.  Bless their hearts they walked.  Biscuit kept plodding along and we finally made it back!  I took him to rinse him off and let him drink.  While they rinsed their horses off I let him graze there.  He seemed to be hungry!

We made sure everything was picked up - I was stiff by then and moving slow!!!  We loaded the horses up and went back to the HHH.  I fed Biscuit and gave him hay.   LOL later he was laying down with his legs tucked under him and then later laid out flat on the ground!!!   I finally took a shower and we went to eat out at Nancy's Steak House.  The food was good and so was the company.

The next day we cleaned up, packed up, loaded up, paid up and said goodbye to the Happy Horse Hotel.  I really enjoyed meeting Beau and Hollis...they were very nice people and we did learn about the park and the history of it from them.  We all bought a Happy Horse Hotel shirt that was designed by Hollis.  I can't wait to wear mine.

We hauled home and unloaded everything. end up with so much when you are hauling horses.  I shoveled poo out of the trailer and we left the shaving in there.  I told them I'd be back tomorrow to help clean the truck and trailer.  We went to see the new little filly that was foaled on Saturday afternoon.  She is a bright sorrel!!!

I went out to the barn today and helped The LeAnne's clean the truck and trailer.  It was so sweet of Ms. Jean to allow us to use the truck and trailer!!  I took Biscuit and Sarge some alfalfa.

As for the cost:  $53 in gas, $89.50 for the Happy Horse Hotel for me and Biscuit plus the two days at the park, plus a HHH teeshirt, $3.50 ice, meals $32.  (doesn't include food I brought though!) so it was $178.  Time with my peeps trailriding - PRICELESS.

I am looking forward to our next trip....of course, we are all going to Ebenezer this coming weekend!!!

Happy Trails!!!

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