Trail Ride – State Arboretum of Virginia

On Saturday I took a trip with my neighbor to the State Arboretum of Virginia in Boyce, Virginia. It was about an hour’s drive from my house, and since I followed my neighbor’s trailer there, I’m not even sure I could find it again. I was just zoned out, passively following the trailer, not noticing the scenery. I did notice that we did not take the main entrance in, as horse trailer parking is around the back of the property, and it took a couple of back roads to get into it. Yup, I will never be able to find this place again.

Parking was in an enclosed paddock, so if your horse is an escape artist it has one more barrier between it and freedom. But it also means you better be able to maneuver your trailer because once a few trailers have parked, it becomes a tight fit.

I had decided to bring Vintage because I didn’t feel like having to deal with green horse antics today. I just wanted to relax. And Vintage delivered the entire way. Except for the one time she spooked (stood frozen) at a rock. What a weirdo. To her credit, it was a big rock, borderline boulder, but still. The deer leaping away 10 feet from her doesn’t do it, a rock does it.

The trail went through fields, forest, and then what seemed to be an overgrown mess of shrubby weeds that was a fight to go through. Vintage was at just the right height for her to fit perfectly under the branches, and I got whacked with every single leaf. And because I was so busy fighting through the branches, I forgot to steer Vintage out of the branches, thus leading to a never ending circle of being hit by branches.

A clear spot between the over growth. Ahead, the tunnel of darkness.

The nature part of the trail was a bit limited, and a significant amount went through the lawns by the buildings.

Passing all these stone walls, I could pretend I was lord of the manor, out for a stroll on my estate.
A private residence on the property. Or more specifically, the gatehouse of the private residence.
Back in the woods.
The pond, which seemed very very low.

Riding the whole trail system at a walk took about an hour. It was nice, but for the travel time it took to get here, I think I’d rather go to a different trail.

But, on the positive side, it was a good trail for my unshod horse. There were only a few spots I had to cross over the gravel road, the rest of the time there was an option for riding in the grass or dirt.

Back in the parking paddock, we untacked and there was even a hose. I had one moment of stupidity when I put her halter on, and assuming that the halter was already attached to the lead rope I marched purposely to the hose. Once I reached the hose, I turned and saw I had no horse, I was just dragging the lead rope on the ground. Vintage was exactly where I had left her, munching on the grass. It was a good thing she didn’t get the munchies for freedom and decide to leave.

Vintage: “I’d be happy just eating grass, thanks.”

Sadly, the sun was took bright for me and triggered a migraine, so I was very ready to go home at that point. After a torturous drive, I got home, put Vintage out in the field and collapsed in bed to hide my face. Berry and Pony were still stalled, so Vintage got several hours of private turnout.

Ahh, this is the life.
“Ahh, out in my private turnout, no annoying children to bother me.”

When I finally did turn them out, they expressed their displeasure at being locked up, but luckily Pony forgave me quickly. Berry trotted off flapping her tail around, letting out some snorts. She was bitter for a while.

With the exception of the migraine, it was a good day!

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