Monday, August 25, 2014

Horse Camping at Wild River State Park

It has been quite a while since I've been horse camping.  My horse Andri has spent the last two years recovering from a serious suspensory ligament injury.  For a long while, I didn't think I could ever ride him again.  Starting this last January, we have very slowly been rehabbing him and he has finally gotten well enough that some trail riding was in order.

I hooked up the horse trailer to the back of the RV.  The horse trailer is sixteen feet long, so that plus the length of the RV makes me 49 feet long going down the highway.  Move over you big semi truckers - the new girl is in town.   One of the trailer tires was flatter than a pancake, when we pulled it off the trailer, there was a huge gash in the side of the tire.  One of the fellow boarders at the barn - Pete - changed the tire for me - what a saint.  I'll have to find a nice bottle of red wine for him.

Loaded the horses - besides Andri, we are going up to Wild River with my friend Jackie and her horse Leo(pronounced Lay-oh), another Icelandic gelding.  It was a short hour and a half drive.  Stopped at the park dump station so we could fill up with water in our fresh water tanks and then travelled over to the Equestrian Campground where we unloaded the horses, hooked up to the electricity and set up camp.  We had a few hours before our friends Eve and Dave joined us, so we practiced lounging around camp with appetizers, beer and wine.  Made a dinner with a curried chicken, onion and tomato stew. 

Saturday we eased into the day.  We had more friends coming to join us on a ride so there were seven of us hitting the trails.  The south trail at Wild River is a wonderful mix of prairie and woods.  At some points we were riding along the St. Croix River.  The paths were wide and very well groomed.  There is nothing better than cruising down a trail in a herd of Icelandic horses (and one TWH).  There is such a sense of freedom, just sheer joy, being on the back of your horse.  We were flying. 

Back to camp for lunch and naps.  We had Jackie's wife Jan joining us for a potluck dinner and then we had a campfire where several adjoining campers joined us.  Lots of wine, lots of talk.  You could not ask for a better evening weather wise, it was cool enough that the campfire ambiance was the perfect ending to the day.

Sunday, it was just Jackie, Eve, Dave and me who hit the trail.  We decided to do the same trail we did on Saturday but instead of doing the trail in a counter clockwise direction, we went clockwise.  Just changing the direction of the ride made it seem like it was totally different scenery. 

Lunch, load up the horses and head back to the barn.  It was really starting to get hot now - my RV thermometer said it was 93 degrees.  I hate it when it gets that hot - the poor horses stand back in that tin can trailer, it gets to be very oven-like in there.  When we pulled them out of the trailer, they were dripping sweat.  They were very happy to be home. 

All in all, this weekend we put fourteen miles on the horses.  Andri did phenomenal when you consider where  he started from this year.  He even got in a good gallop - who would have thought that he could come back so well.  I am thrilled.

So sorry - there are no pictures from this weekend - I was too busy either riding or sitting in the lawn chair.