Another wonderful, almost solitary, ride.  The parking lot beside the Livery was empty when we arrived on Saturday morning about 930a.  Quite a contrast to the previous Saturday’s packed lot.  It was also empty when we got back at 530p.  There were two horses and their people at the Scales on the way back, but other than that no people at all did we see.  The longhorns, pretty thick around the Scales, were too busy enjoying the sunshine and the grass to take much notice of us.  Was a very quiet and uneventful day, so relaxing.  Many thanks to my God for such a blessing.

We rode out on the road, took the shortcut trail up to the road again.  Then up to the Scales on the VHHT.  Interesting, there was a WORK AREA AHEAD sign (the big orange road-sign kind of sign) at the gate.  That’s a new one for me.  We left the Scales on the First Peak trail.  There was distant fog hanging from the sky, but it was clear and beautiful for miles it seemed.  The colors were fabulous.  It was very comfortable, not hot and not cold.  Ha! Here’s another WORK AREA sign.  First Peak trail takes us around and up and down past the Jackie Street trail and to the Overlook trail.  We rode out to the Overlook area, tied up, hiked down to the actual Overlook cliff, and feasted on the picturesque panorama.  I’m pretty sure we could see Roanoke, but it didn’t look very busy.  We took yet another unmarked trail coming out from the Overlook area down to Jackie Street trail.  Rode Jackie Street back up to First Peak.  Then returned to the Scales on the First Peak trail, same as we came.  We paused for some pics at the Scales, trekked back down the VHHT to the road, and followed the road the rest of the way down to the trailer.  Time out 7 hours.

Clem wanted to note that her human is really getting the hang of the gates.  All that practice is finally paying off.  Blackjack was very good for his first trail ride here.  Percheron, aka Elephant Equine .  He’s the tortoise type – slow and steady.  Fortunately, he has such a huge stride he keeps up pretty well.  He gets a little fussy if he thinks he getting separated.  Super comfy to ride.  We really had to work on the grazing.  It was apparent he’s not normally been allowed to graze with a bit.  I usually eat about 3 times on a 7 hour ride, so I’m very happy to have my horse get as many snacks along the way as he can.  Of course that’s as long as he doesn’t try to take advantage.  He does seem to like it when Debra picks the grass for him and hand feeds him!  By the time we got back he had it figured out, but he certainly didn’t rush into it.  I repeat, slow and steady.

Definitely a great day and a great ride.  Check out the pics here.  Notice the difference in the pics at the Scales on the way out and then on the way back.  Should be a time stamp to see the difference.  The clouds were moving in and looking a little threatening on the way back.  However, no Madonnas bothered us, not even a drizzle.