I'm sharing with you a story of one of my last rides while pregnant before getting off the horses. I have 2 very dear friends, Dawn and Olivia (mother and daughter) who I had convinced to join me at Wickham Park to explore their trail system.
Olivia started riding with me some 8 years or so ago and she now owns a sister to my own Ruby. Dawn inherited Rascal, Olivia’s first horse, when she bought Jade. Rascal is the perfect kid/husband/mom horse and we never have qualms about taking him anywhere.
Wickham Park used to be a very busy park in the equine community, but several years ago they tore down the boarding barns to build new ones and they never replaced the boarders. While the arenas are used regularly, the trails rarely are. I’ve said it before, but if Florida trails aren’t maintained, they take back over.
Poor Dawn. She had to ride through some seriously overgrown Palmetto bushes. I found several trails that were legitimate trails and not even scary (scary is climbing down the steep hills in Hohenwald, TN), yet Dawn thought I was crazy. Olivia though, at 19, is a great sport and she often led the way. Good thing too, because as good of a horse as Ruby is, she is NOT brave on the trails. She goes with the old adage that the man in front gets eaten first.
When we reached the wide open 2 tracks, then Dawn informed me we had found the trails. Funny girl.
The great thing about Wickham Park is that it’s a true park, right in the middle of town. So there are all kinds of park activities like disc golf, soccer, baseball, picnics, playgrounds, hikers and bikers and more. Just a few feet away from all of this you see Gopher Turtles and Armadillos. The vegetation is varied and you can easily get turned around in this small 600 acre plot of land. (Just ask all of the riders from my last competitive trail ride that was held there … oops)
I so enjoy riding with friends and exploring new places. I can also appreciate a horse like Ruby who will pack me around when I’m carrying extra weight and she will take care of me, yet she still has enough personality to keep it fun.