In an effort to have our last outing not be the defining trip of the summer, we took the mustangs to Silver Falls State Park today. Sage and Chinook loaded right up as is typical of when they are at home, and we headed down the road. Patrick came along and took all the pictures below, and we picked up our friend Elizabeth on the way. Silver Falls is a short trailer ride away, and the main horse trail head is quite spacious. It's also usually not super busy if you get there early enough. Which we did...sort of. Sometimes it's just hard to get going on a Saturday morning!
When we got there, there were just a few trailers and other horses around, but Sage and Chinook were quite enamored.
I honestly thought before we left that I would be thrilled if we just got to the trail head and walked around a bit. But both of the mustangs were being really good, so we headed out up the trail into the trees. Chinook was in the lead because it kept him from dragging Elizabeth all over the place to keep up with Sage.
I don't think that Sage had ever seen so many trees or been in such an enclosed space in her life, but she barely batted an eyelash at anything. Even walking across the bridge over the creek! Chinook went first, and he took a big first step onto the wooden planks. Then Sage followed and did exactly the same thing with the same foot. It was pretty cute.
We didn't go very far, but this was the kind of scenery we were in. Very different for a mustang used to sagebrush! Chinook was a great little leader. In fact, it seemed like he kind of got bored of the trail after a little while, because he started playing with the lead rope and trying to bite Elizabeth playfully.
Patrick took some great pictures of us headed back over the bridge.
And then playing in the creek...which Sage loved.
Turns out she loves water!
And then Elizabeth nearly got pulled over because Chinook wanted to play in the creek, too.
Here we are all just about to get really tangled up.
And of course, this is a good demonstration of the types of trails we were on: Up at Silver Falls, it's typically muddy all year, even in the middle of August.
When we got back to the trail head, Sage was acting like she was going to be a good girl and not repeat her last trailering issues.
And Chinook was being pretty calm, too. But of course, there were quite a few more people about as the morning disappeared. And there were some people behind us trotting and cantering their horses with no care for what any of the other people at the trail head were doing.
So our first attempt to get in the trailer involved an extreme temper tantrum that Patrick caught on camera!
She managed to drag me about 30 feet, but there was no way I was going to let her go.
I did finally get her turned around, and after allowing her to calm down and moving the trailer so the distractions were minimized, she did walk calmly into the trailer. Taking no chances, we closed the door behind her and loaded Chinook second. He was a rock star.
In the process, of course some people at the trail head decided to chat with us. They were well intentioned, although I dislike the general consensus that mustangs are crazy. I told someone that this was the worst Sage had ever behaved in the time I've had her, and she seemed shocked...as though I was crazy to ever get a mustang. Oh well. I mean, horse people are just going to want to judge and have their biases. It was still a fun day, and the horses were quite good. We went from 3 hours to get into the trailer on the way back to 30 minutes and a lot less stress. They also got to see tons of trees, new horses, tents, campfires, dogs, creeks, bridges, cars, and people. So it was quite a success overall. :)