Monday, November 2, 2009

Gettysburg Trail Ride!

So it was a sort of last minute decision made Saturday night that we'd (some of us from Gentle Giants) would go trail ride up in Gettysburg on Sunday for a bit of a change of pace. The original plan was that we'd leave by 11am. We joked that meant we'd get out of there by noon. Due to a loading snafu and subsequent last minute change-of-equine, we left the rather later than that and ended up getting to the park, getting the horses groomed and tacked up, and got out on the trail at about 3PM. Theoretically this was plenty of time still for the approximately 2 hour trail ride loop we thought we'd be making before it got dark and we were supposed to leave.

The start of the trail was really nice. Lots of nice open paths and pretty scenery. Of course, there were also SEGWAYS [not that Kieran cared] and COWS [not that Kieran cared]. But then we got into the woods heading toward Little Round Top and suddenly there were many patches of deep mud (horses were sinking up to their knees and hocks). Now, Christine had called ahead of time to the park to ask about trail conditions and she'd been assured that despite recent rain, the trails were good. Obviously, somebody didn't think about this section of it.

Eventually we made it out and kept on trucking and really, despite that, it was a nice ride. There were even plenty of nice open spots for some trotting. If you're in the area/within driving distance, I'd totally recommend heading out there to ride the trails. Just make sure you get there earlier than we did! ;)

But as the ride went on, the sun got lower and lower and lower, the moon higher and higher, and everything around us darker and darker. And here we were, riding on an historic battlefield that in many ways is essentially a mass grave on the day after Halloween on the night of a full moon. We were so hardcore. No ghosts were seen, though Laura claims her cameraphone wouldn't take any pictures (my camera worked just fine right up until I filled up the memory card and it was getting too dark for pics anyway).

There was a point where we were riding along with a corn field on the right and woods to the left and Rocky spooks about something in the wood to the left. Kieran gets looky (though I think only because Rocky spooked) and later Kelly (guy riding the big dapple grey mare in the pics) said something about how in that section he thought he saw something off to the left but then when we looked a second time there was nothing there. So there's your possible ghost-sighting.

Then as we got near to the place were we'd parked, we had to pass once more by the cows and Rocky (who was leading) steadfastly refused to go first. Beacuse OMG cows-in-the-dark were going to eat him dontchaknow? So Kieran got to lead for a bit and you know he was just like, "dude, what's your PROBLEM?"

My pony had a lot of firsts today, really, first time seeing Segways, first time seeing cows, first time crossing a wooden bridge, first time riding through deep mud, first time riding on a haunted battlefield, first time riding at night....and hey, he passed with flying colors.

Really, except for the mud and the cold as the sun went down, it was quite the enjoyable ride. I only wish I'd brought a heavier jacket and I woulda been just dandy.

And there are, of course, pictures.

Plenty more may be seen here.

And video! Go here.

I'll probably just embed the vid when I get home but that'll have to do for now.


SprinklerBandit said...

TRail rides are fun! I'm pretty impressed that your boy wasn't bothered by cows. Segways (however that's spelled) don't seem scary, but cows now... that's intense.

Analise said...

Yeah, now I want to try him at team penning sometime. ;)

Segways are pretty scary because they're sort of machine-human hybrids that don't move naturally. The Segways were across a small open field from us (they were going along the road, the horse trail at that point was not so close to the road) and several of the other horses were quite suspicious of them. Bikes can be pretty scary too. :)