Friday, February 8, 2013

Riding in a winter wonderland

Shortly after my Trillium lease ended, I bought a Groupon for a two hour trail ride for four people at Chatfield Stables in Littleton, Colorado.  I had visions of a happy family outing, but instead, I got a scheduling nightmare.  Weeks passed, then months, and the Groupon remained unredeemed.  With the expiration date looming, I decided enough was enough.  One way or another, with or without my family, I was going on that ride.

And yesterday I did exactly that!
As it tuned out, James was the only other Buxton in attendance.  
He rode a cute, fat, chestnut pony named Butch.
Carol came, too.  She was assigned to a nice looking mare called Skipper. 
My mount was a big bay Thoroughbred named Brownie. 
Our guide told us that Skipper and Brownie are best friends.  That seemed fitting, since Carol and I are best friends, too!
We headed out.  
The trail took us past a frozen lake, 
through the Platte River,
and into the woods.
This part of the ride was breathtakingly beautiful--a true winter wonderland.
I grew up in a part of Southern California where it never, ever snows.  Naturally I dreamed of frosty, winter rides.
When I was eighteen, I moved to Colorado.  A year later, I met my friend Trisha and realized my dream of riding in the snow.  Unfortunately, reality fell short of the fantasy.  I quickly learned that snowy rides were slippery rides.  The ground was invariably icy and slick, muddy and slick or so snowy the horses' hooves filled with snowballs.  Plus, it was cold.
Amazingly, Thursday's ride was plagued by none of those issues.  
The weather was chilly but not unbearably so, and the footing was the perfect--not icy, not muddy, not slick.  
The horses were well behaved and the company was stellar. 
After so many years, I finally experienced the perfect winter ride! 
It almost makes me want to buy another Groupon...


  1. I'm glad you were there when no one was out with remote control airplanes.. Marianne has some less than nice things to say about those guys!

  2. BTW, not all RC flyers are assholes...

    (Sorry, buy I have a mini hanger of 'em in my garage)

    And it looks like you had a perfectly LOVELY day Jennifer!

  3. Gorgeous! That almost makes me miss Wyoming. Almost... ;)

    Glad it turned out so well for you!

  4. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful day!

  5. Your photos are beautiful - what a gorgeous day!

  6. Wow, does that ever look like fun! What a perfect day for a ride. BTW, if your horse really is a TB they've done a great job putting weight on him - that's a sturdy boy there.

    Teresa, I have relatives who are RC flyers and also not a-holes. :-) I'm sorry that a few bad apples ruined someone's else's riding trip.

  7. Having always lived in New England I have ridden in the snow in the past and can't say I ever enjoyed it. The worst time was while it was snowing. It was freezing and icy and just not fun. Glad your winter riding experience was much better.

  8. Lovely! Wish it was like that where I live.

  9. That's some truly beautiful scenery it almost - almost - makes me want to move to somewhere cold. Then I remember that I'm cold in a 70 degree room, shiver, and decide that I'll visit snow.

    Also, I'm such a klutz I'd end up a repeat offender on America's Funniest Home Videos.

  10. The Denver area is so beautiful. I visited it a year ago and loved it. Wish I could move from MA.

  11. The scenery is gorgeous! Sounds like you had the ride of your life. :)

  12. My first snow ride was last december and I must say that the only problem I've encountered on my grand total of four snow rides, was some patches of mud where snow was melting. Oh, and freezing toes, haha! I really dislike winter but riding in a winter wonderland already made up for the cold this year!

    I'm glad you also got your long-awaited trouble-free snow ride :)

  13. Yes, i love going riding at chatfield!!

  14. Looks fun! I'd love to ride in the winter!