Today is the first day I didn’t take a single picture, in part because I had so much fun, and in part because I was so exhausted at the end of it! I skipped the group ride for a personal lesson in trotting and loping. What a pain in the @$$… really! It took me about an hour and a half to get the hang of “posting” which means I spent about an hour and a half getting bounced around in the saddle. Other than refusing to give me a steady trot for while my horse wasn’t cranky once. I think he was actually enjoying tossing me around all morning.
When I finally got the hang of posting, my wrangler Austin asked if I wanted to try loping. I was nervous to do anything like trotting but at a faster pace and I told him so, but he assured me that loping was a lot smoother and easier to ride. Why weren’t we loping the whole time?!?! Loping is so much easier and so much fun! I couldn’t help but giggle while loping because I love it so much. Of course, at the end of two hours I was wincing more than smiling because my backside was so sore! This afternoon was going to get some hot tub treatment for sure!
After the ride and hot tub, I spent the rest of the afternoon with the maps out trying to figure out the route for the drive back east. I know I made the drive out without a hitch, but the drive back seems so overwhelming; maybe just because I don’t want to go back anymore! The only definitive decisions I made are that (1) Assateague and Chinocteague islands are being dropping from the trip so that I can stay on the Blue Ridge Trail all they way from the Great Smoky Mountains to the Shenandoah National Forest, and (2) my next major stop will be in El Paso, Texas to visit one of my cousins. Other than that, I still gotta figure out how to get across Texas in just a few days while maximizing time the family that seems to be spread across every corner of the state!