It happened so fast.
I heard the clattering hooves on the hill behind me and nudged Taz off the single-track trail.
One of the skills I was perfecting this time out was swiftly getting out of the way of other horses and riders. There was a reason for that.
Back to the beginning
The ride started at the Mt. Adams horse camp on Saturday, May 15th. I had a plan - discussed with my friends Cathy and Wendy, whose horse I was riding - to go as slow as we reasonably could and still finish within the six-hour time allowed for a 25 mile limited distance ride.
I thought this might be within Taz's grasp, based on his last few conditioning rides. I could have tagged along with a group of others doing the 25-miler, but I wanted to ride alone so I could adjust his gaits to the terrain rather than to another horse. I couldn't count on finding a ride partner as well matched as Louise Baker and Tika, who I hooked up with at the Home on the Range ride in March.
I also knew we might be pushing near Taz's limits, and riding alone would give me a better read on his real energy levels. He's not one of those self-sufficient, lead-mare type horses - it's hard for him to let go of a trail companion, even if they are going faster than him.
You know how it is if you have ever done this on the highway. Having another horse "pull" you along might be useful occasionally, but sometimes it sends you into a speed trap.