When using the hiking trails at the Douglas Springs trail head at the end of Speedway, it isn't unusual to share the trails with horse riders from the nearby Tanque Verde Ranch. Seeing the Percheron breed as a riding horse is unusual. About a month ago, I saw two Percherons in the string of horses.
These were the large and stocky horse that I remember from my Wisconsin farming childhood days.
A couple of days ago I noted Percherons in the string once again. These were not the same ones from the previous sightings. They were also a somewhat lighter version than those first two. I suppose they could actually have been the result of a mating with a quarter horse and a Percheron resulting in a less stocky horse.
I commented to the wrangler that I found it unusual to see Percherons as saddle horses. He didn't deny these smaller versions were Percherons, but he did say that there were two more back at the stable.
Then I wonder why the Percherons are in the string of riding horses. It could be that today's average rider is a heavier than ten years ago.
Two days ago when I was hiking, it must have been a mule day. I met three sets of two mules as I hiked. (Couldn't get a photo of any of them.)
Each time I meet horses or mules on the trail, I step off the trail to just look and admire. A few have brands. They range in colors and size and temperament. Some are more pampered than others. The short hair of some indicates that they spend their winter life wearing a blanket.
The downside of hiking the trails with the equine set requires careful stepping as I hike.