We headed out and JB took the lead. For the next 3 miles or so, the real climb began. He wanted to rush a bit on the uphills but since it would be a long climb I had to check him back and make him take his time. At about a 1.5 miles of steady , slow but steep climbing, I jumped off and led JB for a while to give him a break. As good as he has been going, I did want to over do it with him.
We finally arrived at the top, and JB was definitely tired. I am not sure what the elevation was exactly but high comes to mind. We popped out onto an old logging road. I loosened JB's girth , let him graze, and offered him a drink out of my water bottle. He wasn't too interested but was definitely hungry. While taking our rest, some hikers came along with a blind dog. We visited with them about the area and even got some information about some other trails in the area. After about 15 minutes the horses seemed to be recovered and we headed back down. We both led our horses down the steepest parts.
The decent we made in the first 1/2 mile of the trail was now a steep climb out as the last hurrah before our day was over. I wasn't certain JB would have enough gas in the tank to climb out of there but to my surprise, he scampered up that hill like a champ. He had definitely figured out how to push himself off his hind end in climbing.
It seems JB is really coming along and proving himself not only as good endurance prospect but a tough little mountain horse as well! It's been a long road for us and I couldn't be prouder of this little horse. He just keeps getting better each time we go out on a ride. I only wish it was the beginning of the season instead of the end!****By the way, we never did see any moose or wolf, thankfully.