In which Duana fledges and flies (and also trots and canters some)

Du texted me:
The bird has left the nest.
Repeat: The bird has left the nest.

First time hitching, loading, and hauling her own horse solo. 

Our Duana and Hana have come a very long way from that first ride back in 2011.  Lots of trail miles, lots of arena work, and lots of time have given this pair a bunch of confidence they didn't have before.

These days, they are a great team.

When the text arrived, Fiddle was ready.

Toss me the keys, I'll drive!

Sunshine on Easter morning at the trailhead: it will either be wall-to-wall, or we'll have the place to ourselves.

We weren't the only trail users, but pretty close.

We wanted to do some exploration.

Such a pretty day. Let's see if we can get lost....

With just two people and two horses, it's easier to go a bit off the usual course. Large groups have chaos inherent, there's no need to seek more. 

We practice our dressage lessons on the trail now

We followed our usual track for the first 11 miles.

Good footing

Mostly sunny skies

Up through the clear cut

This is a tiny bit of trail that connects two logging roads

We needed to find the route around the tiny bit of trail.

When I saw our friend Linda at the trailhead last week she described the alternate route.

Follow the main logging road all the way and turn right on 15th

(This is 3-4 miles further on the logging road than we usually go)

It included some REAL road, which Fiddle hates.

Duana was busy pretending we were on equi-tour of the Loire Valley

The road is not a busy one but we were passed by a Canadian tour bus (?!?!) clearly lost. We were miles from the freeway and the malls!

Turn right on 300th, and follow (not far) to the dead end.

At the dead end, we found a familiar gate, and we were back on home trails again!

We ride this trail every week!

When she knew we weren't lost, Fee picked up the pace again.

Hana can keep up with her large friend
most of the time, but I sometimes hear her
cussing when Fee jets ahead up a hill

On the way out to the monument, we ran into Linda and Count. Last year I was lucky to see them once a month, but we've run into them on the trails three times in the last week!

She was pleased that we followed her directions and didn't get lost

Up to the monument for a quick lunch break.

Rain clouds approaching

Eat like an endurance team so we can beat the rain
back to the trailhead!


Fiddle helps trim the edges around the monument

We made it almost all the way back before rain started falling.

20.22 miles in 4:17, including lunch and orientation delays. Not bad!

Hard to hurry through this good grass,
even on the way back to the trailer

And when we got back

Du loaded her own horse into her own trailer, and drove away.

So proud!


  1. Glad you found the alternate - only adds maybe 2-mi. Linda is in our Distance Derby & is coming up on 400-miles to date!

  2. Completely awesome. Love the ride pics, and being able to handle everything that goes with hauling on your own? HUGE. Congratulations, Duanna!


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