Our first trailer ride off the property was to the Dragoon Mountains. It was only a 25-minute drive. We used the stock trailer here at Lazy Horse Ranch. Our guide was Ann, the owner of the place. Three of our dogs joined Ann, Alan, and me on this adventure.
Prior to this trip, we had ridden a couple of times behind the property. While there are multiple options right off the property, there is a 5.6-mile loop that we consistently ride. Often, I walk this loop. The dogs don’t care… they get to run around either way.
We weren’t terribly sure about whether or not we found this terrain to be to our liking. However, after riding in the Dragoons, we realized there was much more to Arizona than a flat, sandy desert with mesquite!
Our 3-hour ride covered 7.7 miles. Our elevation gain was 814 feet. There were three ponds in the vicinity of where we rode, but they were in sorry shape. We had lunch near one of them. The water was sludgy and nasty… which, of course, didn’t stop the dogs. They literally emerged from the “water” with black legs.
The weather was 64 degrees with some clouds. Clouds are a rarity here. The terrain was typical desert fare (lots of mesquites and every bush had a thorn on it!) but also included some trees and mountainous topography.
Our second ride at this location
About a month after our first ride, we headed to the Dragoons again. This time we covered a hair less than 7 miles, and avoided the nasty ponds! The temperature on this day was 72 degrees.
There are several gates that need to be opened and closed on this trail. When there is decent water available, cattle are grazing the property. We didn’t see any cattle, because we didn’t see any decent water!
My awesome gelding, Kadeen, did an amazing job on the gates. There is only one that isn’t amenable to opening on horseback. Unfortunately, it is so close to a nasty sticker bush, the horse can’t maneuver enough to safely shut the gate. I was very, very proud of him.
Cockleburs and Goat’s Heads
The dogs accompanied us on this second ride as well. They have a wonderful time, chasing every jackrabbit that crosses their path. However, they come back with cockleburs stuck all over them. Leah is a smooth-coat Border collie, and she rarely has a problem with cockleburs. Finn is a very hairy Aussie/BC mix, and he has a BIG problem with them. He’s pretty competent at pulling them out himself. Kara is a medium coat Border collie. She came back from a ride the other day with about a dozen cockleburs in her tail alone!
As I previously mentioned, the plants around here have two things in common… the need for minimal water, and some kind of nasty thorny or spiny thing all over it! There is a particularly nasty thorn known as a Goat’s Head.
Our first week here, we really struggled with them. They stick to your shoes and easily track into the RV. They wreak havoc on dogs’ paws. We actually had to make a special run to Walmart to get some cheap slippers to wear in the RV! Stepping on those things while barefoot is a really bad idea!
Our hostess, Ann, assured us the dogs learn how to deal with them. They do. Ours have already learned to pull them out with their teeth. Occasionally, one requires Mom’s intervention, and a forlorn looking pup will hop over to me on three legs.
We have done several other amazing rides that I will cover in future blogs. We are thoroughly enjoying Arizona!