We drove about an hour and a half northwest to get to Winchester, VA to visit the Rocking S Ranch.
Bill owns the Rocking S Ranch and was our trail guide (and he took most of these pictures).
He was very friendly and made us feel welcome.
He adjusted each saddle and helped each of us onto our horses.
Our horses names: Keith - Ranger, Angela - Apache,
Carson - Leroy, Tucker - Timber, Savannah - Brooks
Once we rode to the beginning of the trail, we stopped for an equipment check. Bill was telling horse jokes the whole time. (What's a horse with no legs? Ground beef. What's a horse with two legs? Lean beef)
The trail was really rocky in places, and there were a few semi-steep grades we had to go up and down. The horses have gone many times on this trail, so we trusted them to make their way. Bill would instruct us to lean back or forward; back when going down, forward when going up.
This was a fun part - going over the stream. The horses wanted to stop and drink, but Bill told us not to let them! He mentioned something about horses getting colic. We also had to try to keep our horses from taking bites of foliage along the trail.
Savannah is trying to pull her horse's head away from the water.
Coming up a steep grade.
There were lots of open sunshine areas on the first half of the trail, followed by shady wooded trails the last half, for which I was very grateful!
I had to constantly remind myself to hold the reigns correctly, not too tightly in some situations, and loose in others. I'm sure the horses knew what they were doing, despite our efforts to control them.
we're crossing a low bridge over a stream
up one more trail close to the ranch. Bill pointed out some hills you could see through the trees, it was where we had just traveled. Seemed like a long way to go!
on our way back to the ranch
And we're finished! It was a great ride and a great experience. We rode over gravel, cement, asphalt, dirt, rocks, uphill, downhill, through streams, mud and tall grasses. We ducked under fallen trees and pushed branches out of our way. We can definitely say we know a lot more about horses and riding them on trails after this ride.
Bill told us we should go to the White Hall Grocery, so we went afterwards for some cold drinks - it was so hot outside (91 degrees all afternoon).