So we headed out, planning on a good trotting ride. The trails are brown. Or if you're an optimist, they are golden. The only green is the evil poison oak and the evergreen oaks, who thrive in this dry environment. A few gray pines too.
|bobcat ahead, sliding into the brush|
Starting out on a nice, quick trotting ride. Headed up the hill and saw a shadow cross the trail. And the shadow paused and looked back. Stopping Major I tried to take a photo of the lovely bobcat as he quietly slipped into the bushes, disturbed by our presence. We kept going, quickly moving on, hoping we didn't disturb his hunting.
My plan was to move quickly, picking up the Pioneer Trail to Rattlesnake Bar. But I got distracted (squirrel!), and took a turn here and there, picked our way over rocks, paused for a view, cantered down the trail to the lake. Overlooking the lake, you can barely make out where our canal trail existed all winter. But small parts are still accessible.
|from the upper trail, underwater canal trail below|
|the water creeping up one of the still open trail sections|
Plans forgotten I took the tight, upper trail (the dreaded Rock Trail) and then the first lake access. The trail skirted the water, Major boldly waded right into the lake up to his belly before I stopped him. And then we just stood there, contemplating the view. When I finally cued Major to turn for home he lowered his head and splashed around. We stood another minute, was he going to drink? Cued again…more splashing. OK, fool me twice. I tried again…more splashing. Major thought he had my number, he would just keep playing in the lake. Every time I picked up a rein or gave him leg, he would begin to play. It was pretty hilarious. Guess Major would rather stand in the lake then head on down the trail.
|staring into the distance, goofing off|
But we headed back, Major decided he now really wanted to go home, at mach 10! I had my hands full asking for better behavior, stopping and backing, finally no silliness, just speed. But we quietly walked back across the staging area where I usually got off. Major paused. Nope, I kept riding, all the way back home, even made him trot the final stretch. Major was not amused. I was (insert evil Mr. Burns "excellent").
|golden, and full of burrs and foxtails too|
Back home the water monster attacked him. The same horse that not even half an hour before didn't want to leave the lake absolutely hates to get wet with the hose and dances around while getting his after ride bath. But stands quietly for carrot, and trots off twisty head to roll in the dirtiest part of his pasture.
"Best laid plans of mice and men oft go astray." And turn into great rides.