Yesterday I met a new friend at the lake to ride. I met her at the Cache Creek Ridge ride, though we didn’t officially meet. She was crewing for the gal I rode the last 6 miles with and I connected with them on good ole Facebook. Come to find out she lives right here in the area so we hooked up for a ride. I had no idea how long we would ride since usually when I join others its a much slower and shorter ride than I would do, and her horse is green. The weather was so beautiful (sunny, 75) that we just kept on jamming and rode pretty much the whole length of the trails, except one short loop on the parking lot end we deemed too short to bother with. It ended up being a 20 mile trail ride in 5 hours riding time. We stopped for 10 minutes grazing and recovery at the top of the big hill but otherwise were pretty much trucking. Her horse did well especially for a greenie, as we encountered horses, dogs, hikers, bridges, stream crossings, deer in the bushes, and an air compressor turning on behind us that neither horse enjoyed. Blaze was his usual steady self and gave his usual heavy eye balling to every rock we passed. He grazed at the top of the hill; he didn’t drink at the stream crossing (surprise..not) at about 12 miles but the less scenic stream we crossed only a mile or two from the trailer he found quite appealing and took a healthy drink. He peed about a mile from the trailer, which is funny because he never pees while I’m mounted so he must have really had to go after tanking up at the stream, he couldn’t even wait to get back to the trailer! I had brought my upright Igloo cooler of water (though no ice and drinks in it, I didn’t realize we would ride so long!) and to my surprise and delight Blaze drank heartily TWICE out of his blue bucket. Maybe he really is getting the hang of this self preservation thing. I suppose he doesn’t drink on our usual training rides because he just doesn’t need to. Riding hard yesterday with some heat (compared to the cold rain we’ve been having) he chose to drink quite a bit before we got home, so good on him. It was a really fun ride and great practice for Hat Creek which is the weekend after this one. Can’t wait!