Sun Pony Ranch

Diary of novice (clueless) ranch owners

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Trek Day 6, our final day riding

Saturday 3/9

Saturday - another early morning!  Low tide is best for riding because it's difficult and hard on the horses to ride in softer sand.  So you want to go at low tide and ride on the hard pack.  Low tide was at 6:30 am.  So, up by 6.  The horses had just stayed on the hotel lawn overnight - the owners had brought in construction fencing to keep them in over night. 

The next morning they were tied where ever a convenient tree was found.

Back to the beach for the short ride back to the restaurant where we had dinner the night before for a quick breakfast.

And then we headed north up the beach for a few hours with the morning sun at at our backs.  It made for great photos!

It was fun - the group spread out and did their own things.  Those that wished to canter could hang back and canter up to the leaders. 

Pony Roundup!
Liz immediately turned Blackie, one of the pack ponies free so that she wouldn't have to hang on to the both of them. (they weren't packing anything since most of our belongings went with the luggage to our final destination).  Blackie stayed right on Beauty's (Christine's horse) hip.  So aways down the beach Liz decided to turn Brandy loose too, thinking they would stick together with Beauty (the three were acquired together). 

However, the ponies had a different thing in mind.  They immediately paired up, and took off at a leisurely walk - back the way we had come.  When it was clear they weren't concerned in the least that the herd was moving on without them, Teri, Ariel, Kayleigh and Samina went back to collect them.  Brandy stayed on line the rest of the trip.

At our mid point we stop at Leo's for just an incredible traditional Costa Rican fish dinner.  While it was cooking, we took off the horse's tack and went to play in the surf.

Some of the horses really enjoyed being out in the water!

Sox couldn't get enough rolling in it!  Every time we looked out he was down on the ground.

Beauty also was having a fun time and kept Christine out there a long time.

Lincoln and Montanes?  Eh - they really couldn't have cared less.  Actually Lincoln really enjoyed rolling in the hot, dry sand at the top of the beach more than anything.

So we returned to shore to dry off

And goof around a bit.

Then brunch was served: whole fried Red Snappers with fries and cole slaw.  And you know, it didn't even matter to us that it was only 9 am in the morning! 

Liz had told us that many of her guests think that this stop is the best meal of the trip.  We agree.

After brunch we had another hour or so beach riding.

Lincoln was really the most fun on the entire trip on the beach - he frequently picked up a trot spontaneously, and would canter with the others.  Dave's horse, Montanes, is a GOer, and trotting was not good enough.  Thankfully he has a beautifully slow canter, so Dave probably got more cantering time down that beach than during the rest of his riding career.

It was really a shame when we arrived at our hotel.  We paused and Liz offered us the opportunity to dismount and head to our rooms, but we both opted to stick with the horses to untack and put them out to pasture one last time.

Gosh it is amazing that just a 100 meters off the beach it can be unbearably swelteringly hot!  We got the horses settled and headed to the hotel...  when disaster struck:  Dave realized that his fanny pack zipper was entirely open, and nearly the entire contents gone.  The contents that he needed with him all the time - including his wallet, phone and a few day's of medications:  OH CRAP.   He had no recollection of having opened that zippered compartment.  Liz said that with all the trotting and cantering sometimes they just bounce themselves open.  So I back tracked to the stable, but found nothing, and by now figured that it most likely had been open since we stopped to play in the waves, so I just went back to the hotel.  But Dave wasn't there - and no one knew where he was.

Someone suggested that maybe he'd gone to the beach to search for things?  I didn't think it was likely to find anything, but sure enough he was half mile down the beach or so.  As I walked I figured I ought to at least look around.  Remember that we were specifically riding during low tide, so the tide had been coming in all day and was about to  reaching about high tide level by now.  But I'll be darned if I didn't come across a piece of electronics that I didn't recognize as his phone until I was about to pick it up.  Wet and sandy, but tucked into it's Otterbox cover.

It took me quite a while to catch up with Dave, who by that time had found his wallet! Unbelievable! The meds were all in a plastic baggie which I'm sure floated rather well.  Fortunately it held only a few days worth, so we gave up looking for them.  That really was some piece of good fortune there.  Well that and perseverance - because it was Dave who went out to the beach to look - I had already written them off as gone.

At the restaurant that night the hostess looked at us like we had two heads when we asked for a cup of uncooked rice... but then she said - OH, you have something to dry out!  Extracting it from it's case we were happy to see that the case had protected it's ports from getting packed with sand.  We packed the phone in rice overnight, and the next day it was happy as a clam!

So we had the afternoon to shower and then lounge around the pool - a very welcome change of pace!  Dinner was just two hotels down the beach where we again got to monopolize a cute beach side gazebo.  The service here wasn't the greatest, but, well -- we were in no hurry!  We set up a laptop at one end of the table and watched several people's worth of slideshows by the time dinner arrived.

And thus our riding trek came to a close. We admit it was quite a bit more physically demanding than we had anticipated.  Never once did I regret skipping the ride on Tuesday, and rejoining for the last three days was also fantastic.  It's the last trek of their season - soon the horses will be going out to pasture for several months and Liz is headed to India where her family is residing.  Everyone else was getting set to catch an airport shuttle in the morning, but we had tacked on 3 more nights at this hotel.  So we went to bed thinking about where the next couple of days would take us.

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