One of the first things riders mention when they talk about Limantour Beach is the steep downhill part of the drive out there. They are not exaggerating, and no matter which trail you ride, you will have to go down that hill. On the way home, you have to pull back up that grade. It is not a road for half-hearted hauling vehicles.
The only warning I would add to that is that the Muddy Hollow trail involves crossing at least one bridge. Getting to the beach means crossing another, much bigger one. Both appear to be in very good condition. At the beach parking area there are bathrooms but we did not encounter water for horses. This is probably just as well with the diseases out there these days. It is best to always carry water for your horses.
(Photo Gallery) I neglected to post these photos when I took them last November. These guys are not brothers, but they could be. They share a similar feisty approach to play as well as being the same color. Ever since Ned arrived, I have marveled at his likeness to my old gelding, and here he is with my old horse’s brother, Gus. From the way the geldings accepted Ned, I think I am not the only one to see his similarity to the old boss horse. Continue reading
(Photo Gallery) The old ladies got their hair done and had a frolic. The bay mare was putting on such a show that I wished I had my camera. She kept it up until I ran and got my camera, and even as I came running back, I could see she was still strutting around with her tail in the air. As soon as I arrived and aimed the camera, however, she stopped and only gave me a very modest performance to shoot.
(Photo Gallery) Our kind neighbors asked us to do some work on their field, mowing work. Here are some pictures of the mares surveying the project.
(Photo Gallery) We took a youngster to the beach for his first ride off the ranch. He did very well. Continue reading
(Photo Gallery) These photos are from two separate April rides at Point Reyes, departing from the Bear Valley parking area. Continue reading
(Photo Gallery) To improve on my previous body-clipping job, I did not have to change very much: be patient with your horse, use new or recently sharpened blades, use good clipper oil, keep your clipper blades cool, work on a clean, dry horse, allow enough time but move quickly. That is pretty much all you need to do to get a decent clip. Add a little more care and some practice and your second clipping job will usually look better than your first. Continue reading
(Photo Gallery) Point Reyes National Park has a lot of horse-friendly trails, though some are better ridden on weekdays, and some are even closed to horses on weekends. That is just as well, as the trails are frequented by mountain bikes and hikers on weekends. On weekdays, though, it is very quiet. I have been out there three times this winter and encountered only a few hikers and no bikes.
There are a few places to enter the park. On this late January day, my friend and I used the Bear Valley parking lot. The road to Bear Valley is a bit windy but not terribly steep and the parking area is very easy to get in and out of. It is far enough from the road to feel quite secure for your tied horses. There is a public water trough and a public bathroom by the parking area. The trail names and distances are well marked, but you might need a map or a guide to know which trail to follow. Some of the trails are wide fire roads, some are single-track.
(Photo Gallery) Apparently fog does not go well with my camera’s high-speed setting. A number of these photos made me wish for better resolution, and Photoshop’s Auto-Levels color/contrast adjustment makes many rather gloomy-looking. But I’m no professional, so I’m hoping Photoshop knows better than I do. Here are some shots from a very foggy morning in Petaluma. Continue reading