Riding in the Rockies

July 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

It’s hard to imagine living in Colorado and not taking advantage of horseback riding. Everyone always mentions skiing & snowboarding when you tell them you live here but there’s something about horseback riding in the mountains that seems as old as the Rockies themselves.

I used to love to go riding as a kid, but living in cities it became cost prohibitive. Not to mention there really weren’t that many places to get out and ride. Now I live less than an hour away from some of the most scenic ground you could hope to cover. Today, my husband and I went to ride in Moraine Park in the Rocky Mountain National Park.
We opted for a 2 hour ride because my husband hasn’t been on a lot of horses. Normally I’m not a huge fan of the plodding along trail rides but when you’re looking at the scenery we were looking at you really don’t mind. Today, my horse was Rambo. The only attitude he seemed to have was about eating grass along the way. I may have obliged a couple of times since I was enjoying the scenery.

It was another beautiful, sunny Colorado day and the wildflowers were blooming everywhere. My husband picked up a field guide so we could have an idea of what we were seeing. Alpine lilies, Indian Paintbrush, Larkspur to name a few.
One of the things I love best about riding is how relaxing it is. After the first hour of getting used to being high up on a horse you fall into the rhythm of it. It’s peaceful to hear the clippity clop of hooves hitting the trail and the swish of the horses’ tails. The meditative sway starts to take hold and anything that may have been weighing on your mind seems far away.

I think my husband is even slowly coming around to being a horse person despite his grumbles and groans as he got down from his horse.
The thing we kept talking about on the way home is how amazing it is we can just take a short drive and go riding here. It’s practically in our backyard. It can be easy to overlook what’s around you and do the same things all the time.

This week it’s been great to get out and explore Colorado the way many first explored it, via horseback.

Colorado by horseback

July 20, 2011 § 1 Comment

Yesterday I took a 2 hours ride with two of my girlfriends and it was such a fun experience. The horses were great & obviously well cared for and the scenery was fantastic. Our guide, Chance, (pictured above) was so great and seemed to belong on a horse in the countryside. I didn’t see the brand of cigarettes he was smoking but I’m pretty sure they were Marlboros.
 Just about 45 minutes from Boulder towards Estes Park we took a trail ride from Allenspark Stables. For only $50 it was a great 2 hour ride. We rode through beautiful meadows of wildflowers and probably one of my favorite parts was riding through an aspen glen near a brook.
It couldn’t have been a more beautiful day to be out in the mountains. Blue skies, perfect temperature. It was good we went in the morning because we avoided the daily afternoon thunderstorms.
It was a great ride for beginners, or those like me who haven’t been on a horse in a long while.

Giddy up

July 18, 2011 § 1 Comment

Living in Colorado isn’t so bad. I’ve barely begun to scratch the surface of the hundreds of hiking trails around Boulder let alone in Rocky Mountain National Park. This week I’m going to get out and explore some of the park on horseback.

I grew up riding horses as a kid and even showed a little bit when I was young. When we moved to SC I only really rode when I went to horse camps over the Summer. Going to camp was like night and day from my days of riding around a ring. It’s like going from a swimming pool to swimming in the ocean. We’d get lost in the woods off trail, get caught in thunderstorms, have our horses take off after getting stung by bees, you name it. It was scary at times but also pretty great to spend your day riding around the mountains. My favorite part was the night we’d pack in with our horses and camp in our sleeping bags under the stars.

I think the rides I’m doing this week will be a lot more tame but I imagine the countryside will be pretty beautiful. It will be a great way to see more of the beautiful place I live in. I’m going to start with a 2-hour ride and then work up from there. I have a feeling I’m going to be pretty sore by the end of the week!

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