Most folks have the mistaken impression that trail season starts the first nice day of spring, I've got two words for that ... yep, those are the words. I have no interest in fighting the bugs, the mud, and every cabin-fevered idjit who owns a pair of hiking boots for a bit of trail space. I'll snag a few miles in spring and summer, but Ohio isn't exactly comfortable during those months when you're sitting on a 1000 lb heat machine & biting insect attractor. Give me fall with its glorious cool days, low humidity and bugs dying by the tonne. From September 1st through the end of November, I put as many miles in as I can. Hell, I've been known to load up & ride in December and January - mosquitoes really hate snow.
So, after months of not riding, I went on 4 trail rides in the past week - roughly 10 miles each ride. They certainly weren't taxing rides, mostly walking & slow gaiting; I didn't want to abuse the boys after they languished in the pasture all summer. Both Freedom & Gambler were confused at the whole, 'get in the trailer' thing but got back into the groove once we struck out on trail. Our local trail systems are nice, there are several parks with an hour's drive to keep things interesting. The parks are fairly horse-tolerant on their multi-use trails; while they don't provide horse-only trails around here, riders are given right of way in most encounters and aren't completely barred from many parks. While I enjoy the hustle & bustle of riding on the more manicured trails, what with their strollers, bikes, and folks on roller blades, I prefer the single-file dirt paths through the woods - I'm going for a ride to avoid humanity, not to be surrounded by it.
So, Huzzah for the start of trail season! If you need me, you'll find me with Freedom on the furthest trail we can find.