Near Bryce Canyon, Utah
For several days trucks towing horse trailers passed by camp stirring up clouds of dust. Fortunately the breeze blew all the dirt away from us. Then Sunday morning the riders started coming by. Beans did not like that one bit. She ran off down into her hidey-hole safe from these four-legged monsters. Later in the day while out riding my iron horse I stopped to view yesterday's sign and had an opportunity to talk with a few riders as they watered their horses. I learned it was a fifty mile horse endurance race. They had started at 7am and it was nearing three o'clock when I had taken this photo. All the riders (not just these in the photo) said they were hot and tired. I even came across two ladies walking their horses. I asked why. "Our legs are tired. We need to do something different." I asked how the horses hold up for fifty miles. "It's the same as for people. You train them for it." I'll ride my iron horse Gracie fifty miles before I'd ride a horse ten or even five. My butt gets tired on the bike. I cannot imagine being in a saddle for that long and that far (yeah, I'd be walking too). It looked anything but comfortable as they rode the marked trail by camp that morning. It gave me a deep respect for the horse riders of the old west including the Indians with no saddle. Don't ask about why the guy on the left was dressed as he was. Everyone else had appropriate clothing and head gear. The other guy in the ball cap was the only one I saw without a helmet of some sort. Which got me to thinking on my ride back about how nice it is to wear a full brim hat for sun protection, much like the cowboys do. So why hasn't someone invented a protective helmet for horse riding that is full brimmed? I did see one old guy wearing what looked like a cowboy hat pulled down over his helmet. Maybe he had cut the center out of a cowboy hat. That's what I'd do.