Even though we kept a quick steady forward pace for our three hour trail ride, our fastest speeds were just trotting and cantering. My mare was pretty sure that wouldn’t help our 2013 Cheltenham Festival odds unless we had unleashed our Thoroughbred race horse speeds. (Not gonna happen.)
But as a reward for her earnest effort, I offered to her some very satisfying rolls in the deep sand located near the horse trailer parking area. (Which you can see down behind the sand dune we were all on in the photo below)
At first Apache couldn’t choose the perfect spot, because she already had the perfect spot picked out in her mind….obviously related to the number of times she tried to roll during the last half of our trail ride, and always at the deep sand base of a dune. As we were riding downhill, I always had to be on alert when we reached the bottom of the dune, because she would slow down, get weak-kneed, try to paw and lower her head. So, I had to keep her moving forward, so she could move past any temptations.
So we wandered around the edge of the horse trailer parking area, while she tested out potential rolling spots.
And we walked into the center of the parking area, where we had just watched my friend Latana’s mule enjoy a good roll.
But Apache decided it wasn’t good enough.
But when we climbed up a dune and she tested out the lower section and realized it was just like those soft, deep areas at the base of all those dunes we had ridden through, and I hadn’t allowed her to roll. She was very pleased.
And the rolling began!
Ahhhhhhh! Feels so good!
Rolling upside-down on a sand dune!
Apache says she really had an awesome day at White Sands National Monument!
Note: To answer your questions,
*Nuz Muz and Desert Hen asked “Were any other kinds of transportation allowed out there, like dirt bike riders, quad riders and dunebuggies?”
~No motorized transportation is permitted on the sand dunes at White Sands National Monument. Only transportation allowed are your own feet and horseback. And they do have occasional special events where they invite bicycle riders to come ride, like the Full Moon Bike Ride. Otherwise, the dunes are pristine, quiet, relaxing, and peaceful. A perfect place to hike or ride your horse.
*NuzMuz wondered “I'll bet you got to see a lot more on horseback than anyone on foot. I struggle just to get through the sand in my arena on foot, so I don't like to go far”
~Actually, only the top few inches of the gypsum dunes are made of loose sand. Rainwater falling on the dunes dissolves some of the gypsum and cements the sand grains together, creating a crude form of plaster of Paris. This makes the white sand dunes very easy to walk on. And it also makes it safer for horses to walk, trot and canter on, too. Their legs are less susceptible to leg and soft tissue injuries. I was surprised at how shallow and firm the sand was beneath the 3-4" of top layer.
Lots of people hike in the sand dunes very easily.
*Clairz stated, “Your photos are great, and I know it isn't easy to get good pictures with all that glare.”
~Well thank you very much. I will share that to take photos on the dunes on a bright, sunny day, I used the Snow Setting for my Canon Powershot camera.
*And a friend without a Blogger/Google Account wrote and said she really liked my helmet cover and asked me where I got it.
~I can’t say enough good things about my helmet cover. I love how well it fits my helmet. And for riding in the sun, it is perfect for keeping the rays off your face, ears and neck. The lady, Lantana, who custom-makes them in many different colors and designs, to fit all helmets, and she wears them herself. And I whole-heartedly recommend her hide a helmet covers. (And she didn’t pay me to say that!)
Here’s the link to her website: Hide a Helmet