Sunday, August 9, 2015

Field Trip - Willamette Mission State Park

Emi and Benny got to go on a field trip on Saturday to Willamette Mission State Park. It's a little less than an hour from where we live but I hadn't ever been their before. I had heard that it had pretty easy trails that were mostly dirt. We live right by the research forest for a University, so although we have access to a lot of "trails" they are pretty much gravel logging roads. The footing is usually pretty decent during the wet time of year but it's really hard right now. I have been wanting to explore some of the State Parks in our area but just haven't made it a priority with all of the stuff going on. My plan for this summer was to scope some new places out so I know what places I want to ride Emi next summer. 

Rather than just taking Benny, I loaned him to a friend whose horse is currently being rehabbed.  I told her I'd just go ahead and lead Emi on the trails so that we could all go with a horse. As it turned out, Tarra was out of town and allowed me to use Mystic as a pony horse. For those of you that are not familiar with Mystic, you can read about him on their blog. He is a rock star and was absolutely perfect for our adventure. The other horse that we went out with is a half arab (like Benny). We spent the entire ride at the back of the pack but it was totally fine. I chatted with Mystic and Emi, and took photos as we went.

Emi started off trying to drag us along but it wasn't long before she settled in. On the trail we came across Mission Lake. Although we didn't have to cross it we did use it as a schooling opportunity.   Both Scotty and Benny weren't interested in going in but I knew Mystic would go. He didn't really want to but after a short discussion he went in and Emi walked right in with him. This is by far the easiest time I have had of getting her in to water. 

No leaping on Saturday at Willamette Mission 
This was the first time she went in water, she took a flying leap and then scared herself. 
She also lept in while being ponied by Michelle and Lance at Perrydale Trails
This was the longest Emi has ever been ponied and she really figured it out. On the narrow trails she would drop right back to travel along behind and as soon as they would widen out she'd catch up to be along side. She was happy to trot here and there to catch up, and kept perfect pace with Mystic. I thought she might get crabby if she got tired but I think she enjoyed the adventure. She wasn't at all spooky or naughty either. Yah for a good baby girl!

The trail we were following ended up looping us back around to the same area of the lake that we initially schooled in, so we went back in for round 2. Mystic and Emi charged in and they were happy to play in the water. Benny got in too, although he wasn't as thrilled as the other horses.

It was a really enjoyable ride and so fun to be able to take Emi along. And let me tell was way more fun to ride than to walk (Thank you, Tarra!)  I'm really looking forward to taking Emi back next summer when I am riding her!

The NDF crew


  1. In all the times I've ridden there (it's less than five miles from my house if I take the ferry), I've never been to Mission Lake! Kate and I need to meet you there so you can show us the way!

  2. I'd love to meet up with you guys!

  3. Replies
    1. It really was! I can't wait until you can join us. :)

  4. Emi looks so grown up these days - esp standing next to Mystic!! what a fun day :D

    1. Yes! She is getting big (although she's only 14hh).

  5. So awesome!!! That looks like so much fun. I sooooo wish I'd had a riding horse when Chrome was growing up. I feel like we would have been so much further along quicker if I'd been able to pony him like I wanted to. Oh well. He's still figuring it out.. slowly haha.


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