Fishtrap Lake is about 30 miles west of Spokane, and every year the Inland Empire Back Country Horsemen put on a Poker Ride. Today was my second time doing it. It's made up of 2 loops, on the first loop (which is 3-4 hours long) you get off your horse at stations and "play" games to earn cards towards your poker hand. The second loop is optional, and we did it- it's another 2 hours or so but you get to go by (in!) a lake and by a waterfall. The second loop is less rocky and there are some really nice places to trot and canter. Whoever has the best (and worst) hands at the end wins. There are hundreds of people on this ride, but I think I may be in the running for worst hand.
I rode my horse Alexandre, and Anke (another staff member at the ranch) rode her favorite horse Hershey. We brought the 2 boys from the ranch who have ridden the most this year. 3 of the horses we brought are huge- 16.2h and over... and then we brought the snotty pony Junior. We called ourselves "Team Lowrider".
Technically everything went pretty well. At lunch one of the boys let his horse step on and break a rein that was a pretty easy fix. Hershey's saddle kept slipping sideways when Anke got on and he got away from her once, bucking across the parking lot as her lunch flew out of the saddlebags. Everyone stayed on.
One of the boys did OK. The other absolutely loved every minute of it and said it was the best day of his life. We are all sunburned, tired, and sore sore sore. My numb knees are just starting to get the feeling back in them. I love the ride but it is a bit stressful for me as I'm ultimately responsible for everyone, plus all the other horses/riders that we come within a short distance of. The boys can stay on but are still very much beginners, and a few lessons in trail etiquette were learned today.
End of the trail.