Friday, August 2, 2013


After many rides of such control, Major and I needed a break from walking, following and rock climbing.

So we fled. Into the forest. Whatever pace he wanted to choose was fine. We trotted when I thought we'd walk, cantered over almost everything else. But when I asked just to walk, he was pretty willing. I think he knew the difference between trudging along for 26 miles (like on the Tevis sweep) and carefully negotiable scary terrain (like at Loney Meadow) and playing in the forest.

At one point though he did choose a bad spot to canter, I knew we were coming up on some exposed slick rock. I actually waited to see what Major would choose to do, knowing I had time to stop if needed. We came around the corner, he saw the rocks, slowed to a walk, picked his way over them, them back to a canter! I guess all those months of making him walk those sections of trail really did pay off!

Our flight stirred up others too. A flock of turkey vultures lifted off their sunning rocks as we came to the top of Dottie's Hill.

vultures and a very low water lake

I saw the tail end of a snake disappear into some rocks. And did not stay to investigate.

Lizards are the silliest. Sometimes they skitter into the bushes, hiding from pounding hooves. Other times they run straight down the trail in a seriously dangerous version of "chicken."

I can hear them bullying the littlest one, "What, too afraid to run from the horse?! What, not fast enough? Chicken!" It must be like the running of the bulls for them.

It does seem like they always make it though! Ground squirrels also play this game. I'm always thinking "go, go, go little guy!" as they are almost trampled. What stories they must tell later, how they survived the great, brown beast with glowing orange hooves (Major wearing his boots of course!)

Today a tiny deer caught me at my own game. We were walking along on a loose rein, I was trying to figure out what was itching my side (tick phobia!) paying no attention. Major spun and planted, I somehow stayed on, and the tiny deer probably laughed at us from the side of the trail. He did just watch us walk by. Major unconcerned now that he saw what it was.

And the deer had a friend stationed a bit farther on, but we saw him first. Actually the deer looked a bit bewildered, maybe hoping we were Mom? I think this time of year the babies are weaned and finding their own way in the world. The little deer just ghosted into the shrubs, but I did see him watching as we walked by.

tiny deer pondering the great beast

It was just a quick ride, but sometimes those are best for the spirit. I love rides where I know we BOTH had a great time. I just passed the four year anniversary of buying Major. I feel lucky to have found him. I hope he feels the same. Though he would still say that more carrots are required.

1 comment: