Sunday, November 20, 2011

McKinney Roughs and The Happy Horse Hotel

McKinney Rough Saturday Ride

EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking near Round Rock, Texas

McKinney Rough Friday Ride

EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking near Austin, Texas Barry and I hauled to McKinney Roughs Thursday.  We met Kellie, Randy and Kent in Winnie and hauled out.  We made it to the Happy Horse Hotel in 4 hours.  We unloaded the horses and unpacked.   We then went into Bastrop to eat at that same cafe we ate at this spring.  I had a hamburger and it was pretty good.  

We did ride around the back of the HHH on the little trails.  Biscuit was being a pill...shook his head like he used to do and came up off the ground about 6".  I was not in any danger of coming off but it is really bad manners.  I rode for about 20 to 25 minutes and it was about 3/4 of a mile.   I did discover that I brought 2 different boots - one my new Ariats and one old hiking shoe.  Gaa!!!  what an idiot.  We all packed into Kent's truck and went to Tractor Supply for me to buy new Justin Gypsy boots.  I didn't care about the mix matched boots but the reason the "old" hiking boots look brand new is they HURT my instep!!  So I bought the same boots I had had before.

That evening we all got together in our cottage and ate dessert for dinner.  What could be better than that?  It was very cool that night and the outdoor shower was a bit of a cold rush but at least I was clean and the water was warm!!!

Friday morning we got up and had a leisurely breakfast and then loaded up to go to McKinney Roughs.  We parked at the Pope Bend Road Trailhead.  Biscuit was a little fresh and came off the ground about 6" again.  What a pill.  He was a "Russian" horse on Friday - my old band teacher used to yell at us that we were rushin' more Russian than if we lived in Moscow.  That was Biscuit on Saturday - a Russian horse!!!  We went to the left so we could go down to the huge old Pecan tree.  We were going down a trail and some people were coming up it with a horse they said was "extremely dominant" so we had to turn around and go back to the main trail as there was no where to get off the trail.

Our cute little cottage at The Happy Horse Hotel

Barry, Randy and Kent under the huge Pecan tree

Barry and Denise under the huge 200 year old tree

Barry and Kent coming down beside the river

Looking out on the park

Barry and Sarge at McKinney Roughs

Barry and Sarge on the Colorado River

Barry, Randy, Kellie and Denise on the trails

Biscuit and Denise on the Colorado River

We continued on and Biscuit was wanting to go but settled down quiet a bit.  It is hard going at McKinney Roughs.  Lots of ups and downs and rocks everywhere.  The river was way down low from where it had been in April.  We walked way out to the middle of what was water!!!

We rode almost 7 miles and got back to the trailers and headed back to the Happy Horse Hotel.  I heated up the gumbo I had brought and made a pot of rice.  Everyone came over to our little cottage and we listened to Christmas music and Barry said he expected to step outside and see a Christmas wonderland going on - the cottage evokes that which is a hoot. 

The weather was still a little cool but the outdoor shower was not as cold as the night before!!  Next time I go I will get one of those big toweling robes and just wrap up in that instead of trying to dry off and get dressed outside!!

Saturday morning was leisurely which was nice.  We tacked the horses up at The Happy Horse Hotel and hauled to the Hwy 71 trail head and started from there.  We did the Yaupon Trail which has some pretty steep trails.

Biscuit's heart rate did great.  Most of the time walking up and down steep hills his heart rate was staying in the 70's.  If we did a little jogging up the hills it would hit 125 or so and then immediately pulse down.  Once when we went by a water bucket he stopped...looked at it and walked over and drank from it.  None of the other horses were interested.  Good Biscuit - he knows how to take care of himself.

I did notice he was huffing/puffing quiet a bit - even Kent commented on it but that is more the noise Biscuit makes when he is annoyed or stressed.  I think he really wanted to go faster.  He is in wonderful shape - Randy even commented on Friday that Biscuit's butt looked wonderful.  I know that when I first rode Biscuit he did that and more of the time I ride him he doesn't...just when he is annoyed!!

We stopped at the Pope Road Trail Head and let the horses drink.  Sarge never wants to drink but Barry put the hose in his mouth because he didn't want to drink from the bucket.  Biscuit drank but not a huge amount but he'd already had a good drink earlier.  I told Barry I want Sarge to drink so he didn't tie up.  He was sweating like a trooper.   The horses seemed slightly tired but the short rest and drink really perked them up and they were rearing to go!  Biscuit kept wanting to bite Reagan's butt - he pastured with Reagan for a long time and he feels quiet comfy biting at Sarge, Reagan and Cutter.  He wanted to go and was hurrying Reagan along.  I had to get onto him several times.

We went down a steep incline and Reagan got about 30 feet ahead and I let Biscuit "go" and did he ever go on the going down/coming up.  My Garmin registered 24 mph in about 4 to 5 strides.  He nearly ran up Reagan's butt and I hollered at him "are you crazy?  what is the matter with you!!" and on top of that his boot came off of his foot - can't remember now if it was left or right!!!  I stopped and put it back on and mounted up.  I wasn't scared though - not at all.  Biscuit just wanted to go!!  He is mostly just terrific!!

We went up the Observation Point and looked out all around.  That is so pretty!  We went back down and to the river.  We kept seeing cow patties and Randy, Barry and Kent said they saw a couple of cows from the Observation Point.  When we got almost to the river where you can go out onto the rocks we saw the little bull.  He was white and looked like a very young bull...probably born early this year or maybe a yearling.

The horses kind of startled a tiny bit when they saw him but he was uninterested in them and they just walked on by.  We went down to the river again and Barry had Sarge in the river up to his boots.  Sarge seemed to have enjoyed it but it had to have been cold!!!

We continued on with our ride and it was gorgeous.  The horses hooves seemed to be doing just fine.  I could see where a piece of Biscuit's frog was tattered and had a chunk that was kinda holey but I left it alone.  It is cushion and I didn't want to mess with it.  The rocks and sand were doing a great job of rolling their hooves!!!

We got back to the trail head and took off their tack.  They were pretty darn sweaty - it was humid there like at home, oddly enough!  We took them over to the wash rack and gave them water and hosed them off.  Biscuit was a muddy mess from sweat and dirt.  I tied him to the trailer with his hay bag and we ate lunch under the trees.  What a great day - wonderful trails, good companionship, beautiful views.  What could be better?

We got back to the Happy Horse around 3 PM and I took a bath and washed the dirt out of my hair!  UGH.  It was stiff!  Later we had spaghetti that Kellie made that was delicious and Kent is the official beans and rice guy from now on.  OMG they were delicious.

Sunday morning we got up and visited and then packed up.  Hollis and Beau came by and we settled up with them and loaded the horses and hauled home.  It was a terrific little vacation that I needed. Barry enjoyed his stay and liked the little cottages and especially the out door shower!  We are hoping to go again soon.  Maybe in March or April.  Can't wait!

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