Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Wednesday January 19 2011

If you want a good workout in the Ridgecrest desert for your endurance horses, you haul to Brady's. The trails are no-nonsense, as they go right up and into the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas.

If you do the short loop, your horse has a mile-long climb up to the water pipeline road (water for Los Angeles that comes from Owens Valley), which gets steeper toward the end. He gets a little breather before he has another mile-long hard climb up, before descending back to the valley. (If you do the long version, he has the mile climb, then a couple of miles of flat road,

then a 1 1/2 mile very steep climb up before descending a steep trail down to this second mile-long climb.) We did the short loop today.

The views of the Ridgecrest basin get broader as you climb, and the views of the Sierras grow even as you ascend towards them.

With their wooly coats, Kav and Spice and Raffiq were coated with sweat. As were we three girls. And that was just at a walk. Even when it was a mild 71*. If your horse is really really fit, as in Tevis-fit, he might trot some of these trails; but today, with the horses' winter coats, they didn't need to trot to get the full-on super workout.

When your horse's eyebrows are sweating, you know they are working hard. It should be 10* cooler for next weekend's Fire Mountain ride, and we'll shave some of their thick hair off.

If you can't appreciate what your endurance horses willingly do, you probably shouldn't be riding them. I could feel every muscle working beneath me as Kav dug his toes in the sand in his efforts to get to the top of these little mountains. I heard his huffing and puffing, and I rubbed his sweaty neck. And he was done with one hill, I pointed him toward the next, and up he went.

It was a good day's work on our amazing mounts.


  1. I love the smell of horse sweat! No need to envy my snow when you have places like that to ride.

  2. Ah, the thought of 71 degrees....just a dream. Sounds like a great ride for horse and rider. A workout like that tests stamina, strength, and spirit. Those horses you were riding have all in abundance.

  3. It sounds and looks like so much fun. I miss horses so much that a commercial about the movie Secretariat got me choked up (no chance I'll be watching it)! You keep me going toward that day that I might have the chance to be owned by a horse. Thanks!

  4. Such beautiful country to view and ride through. You and your horses are amazing. I'd love to do something like that someday, especially with those great temperatures.

  5. I so love your palces to mare would be in heaven, with the open terrains!
    You are so fortunate with your 71 degrees! But, you choose your area correctly- to be able to train for what you love!
    Your mounts are so wonderful and willing...great pairs you are!
    You so made me laugh with what you said about waking up 48! HAPPY B day!
    I am starting to look for the AARP mag in the mail

  6. What a great ride! Thanks also for the information about eyebrows. I never knew that.