The First Ride of the 2018 Carlos Cardenas Memorial 20 Mile Ride Series

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News from the South Florida Trail Riders!

This SFTR 20 mile ride launches the second year of the Carlos Cardenas Memorial Ride series. The group started with 14 riders. Augie began by reminding us why we are riding 20 miles on a warm day- yes we know it’s because we’re crazy horsemen who love to rideeven when it’s hot-we’re all a little wacky like that, and Carlos Cardenas was no exception-he’d ride rain or shine. However we are also riding trails that take some mileage to get to- and we want to use those trailheads and trails- because if we don’t use it we loose it, the county will take it away.

Yes the grass was very tall and wet at the 136 street trailhead, and Augie assured me that Now that the county has seen us use the trailhead they will come and mow the grass.

Several riders who wanted to complete only 10 miles towards their Redland 100 also participated and took a different turn at 5 miles, heading back to the trailhead.

We traversed the everglades restoration projects pathways allowing the horses many opportunities to drink the fresh cool water. Most of them just played. Our numbers were dwindling, some riders had detoured to go to a local rodeo in the neighborhood, and others horses had tired and they detoured to a destination unknown to me.

About halfway into the ride Luis, Augie, Bill and Rafael kept talking about a river crossing from the past year that not all the horses would cross. I figured it was a shallow stream of some sort and that some horses just detest getting their feet wet. I was wrong. It was a river of grass, it was beautiful, and clear, and flowing.

Our two brave lead horses entered and pushed forward, then one ducked behind the other and all the horses crossed single file. I was happy to be on a tall horse-the water went only up to the middle of my saddle, and no matter how high I lifted my feet behind me those boots were getting submerged. The riders on the short horses have a different story- those horses were swimming -those riders were WET! It was a Blast! Everyone was hootin and hollerin and giving high fives.

And let me tell you those cell phone cases are great-many of our phones got wet-but they all survived. The guys told me I’m now a member of the boys club, which I think is the elite group of river crossing experts- but Sylvia and Hannah did it last year so it’s definitely inclusive of the girls too. What a lucky girl I am to have a horse that would do the crossing for me and with me.

So we’re back to riding along a canal bank and Augie stops and rides his horse into someones back yard, I’m puzzled….turns out it was Martha and Rick’s home and ranch. And Sylvia and Eddie were waiting for us there with their horses. The swimming pool was inviting but I knew if I got in I would never want to get out. We dismounted, drained the water from our boots, and enjoyed some refreshments thank you to Martha and Rick. And Sylvia officially inducted me into the boys club! What an honor!

Back on the trail we head towards Sonia’s horse friendly eatery. Once again enjoying many refreshments and friendships together.

Now thats a nice ride. So many laughs and stories to share.

So come and join us on the next ride…you never know what we’ll find…


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