The heat wave continued on through Sunday, but throughout the day, the temperature slowly dropped. It was hot, but only in the 80's, hot enough for us to dismount and walk a bit down Cheney Woods Rd. Rolex and Harley plodded along, happy to have me out front to scare away any "monsters" and let them maintain their snail's pace. Lots of carrots always work to lure the horses forward and reward them for their hard work!
Our plan was to find the trail that would lead us out to Hill Road so we could ride a loop through the Wells Tatnic hills. Since we could only go so far with a truck, we would have to find the other end via horse. John and I had looked at the map and figured if we took another right at the point we named Green Road triangle, we should come out somewhere in the vicinity of Hill Road.
Well of course Harley picked up on this being the turn for home. It's amazing how they always know! Suddenly his walk picked up and he forged ahead, stepping out, confident he was heading back to his buddies at the barn. But first we needed a break. The trail climbed, up out of swampy low lands and over a hill called The Saddleback. In a valley, between The Saddleback and Tatnic Hill, nestled a cute little camp. I called for a break and photo session. Here's the lovley place we found.
I could do without electricity and indoor plumbing if I owned a little retreat like this! Even the horses were curious and took a good look around. To the right, some flowers bloomed and a couple of patio chairs sat near a little stone campfire area. All it needed was a shed for the horses and a little paddock!
Even though he was anxious to get home, Harley stood still while I mounted from a nice rock. He always amazes me with this trait, even when he's being silly. The trail descended steeply over large rock faces in the eroded old road bed, through open woods with few face-slapping branches. Sure enough, we emerged on the maintained end of Hill Road. John and I had a laugh about the sign that read "Road Not Maintained In Winter". John said, "Doesn't look like they do much about it in spring either." We'd found our loop ride! Our next option was to ride back up to Cheney Woods Road and take the cut-off home, or head down Tufts Road to 3 Maples Farm where we cut through Great Works Land Trust land and pick up the Nature Trail. We were unsure of how far it was down Tufts Rd., so rather than subject ourselves to a long road ride (turns out it was only about 1/10th of a mile to 3 Maples), we took the route we knew would get us home.
The horses kept up a good strong walk, Harley even jogging half the time, proving they had plenty of energy after two hot hours on the trail. They hungrily gobbled down more carrots and had a nice bath at home. When we turned them loose, Rolex and Harley cantered down into the field to share their exploits with Ruffy and Vance. Yup, Thoroughbreds just keep on running!