Friday, September 30, 2016

choose your own adventure

The days are getting too short. Time is speeding faster and faster, so I'm fitting in all the rides and adventures I can. What will you join me on? Choose from Ten Buzzard Ride, Canteriffic Sand Pits, Vet Visit, or Early Exploring.

What? you don't choose the vet visit?

Vet Visit Luckily, it was uneventful. I wanted the doc to give me the all clear on Major's large splint. Poked and prodded, trotted out completely sound, (all after a 10 mile ride the day before, which I did as a diagnostic). I also had the vet weigh Major on the big scale, as I think he's a bit...chunky, right now.

probably should stop the snacks

ok, maybe we're not this bad…yet

1070 pounds. Vet thought he was fine at Major's height of 15.3, just a little bit fat, nothing more exercise can't fix. So with the all clear, we're ready for increased adventures!

Major thinks there is something suspicious up the hill

Yes, Major can read! This ranch adjacent to the vet has flying pigs!

Ten Buzzard Ride Evening rides are squeezed between getting off work and the encroaching dark. Often I take no photos, and just enjoy horse and forest time. But finding the high point in the forest and seeing the lake view with eight circling turkey vultures (and two sitting on the rock), it stopped us in our tracks. (I had read earlier that more than 20,000 turkey vultures pass through California on their migration from Washington state south to Mexico every September. Here was a small group. How cool. Another random fact: A group of flying turkey vultures is called a a kettle!)

Canteriffic Sand Pits Working on our listening skills (OK, Major's listening skills) we worked on trot, walk, whoa, back, trot, mixing it up for a mile out to the lake. By the time we got there he was actually listening (yes, I should work on this more). Trotting through the sand he asked to canter, and picked up a lovely canter on single track through shallow sand. He even jumped a tiny log on trail while cantering (this horse does not jump, he's pretty dumb that way, me too.). Then we hit the sand pits! And we walked, even Major knowing speed is too hard and not safe through the deep sand.

sand shadow

lake getting lower!

sand pits

a shady break

Early Exploring The local park is not that special, but we hadn't been in awhile and needed a change of scenery. But it gets inundated with bikes and clueless hikers by 10am. So let's get it done early! Almost empty trails, golden early light and Major was having fun exploring (in spite of suspicious dead sticks). Traded trail back and forth with a nice group of mountain bikers, stopped and splashed in the green creek, and almost got ran into by another idiot cyclist coming around a blind corner at speed. Luckily, we were not the reason that four emergency vehicles passed us on the fire road, and that two fire trucks were in the parking lot when we got back!

early morning light and shadow

along the quiet creek

dead sticks are weirdly stacked

have a seat?

head-eating slime

I love how every adventure, even over the same trails, always has something different to discover. As every day gets shorter, Major and I speed up a bit, anxious to fit it all in before the dark and cold catch us.


  1. Lots of different adventures is my style too. I like to experience it all.

  2. It's great that you can check the weight at your vet. Not possible here, the vet always comes and is not prepared for a visit, although it is a clinic. Regarding the short days: Now I arrive in total darkness in the morning and we start running at dawn, but soon I will run with the head lamp again. I like the pictures of the turkeys, we don't have such big birds, it's amazing!

    1. That is odd about your vet. We can save money by going to the cinic, then there is no visit fee.

      The flying turkeys are actually turkey vultures, a type of raptor that eats dead stuff only. Actual turkeys are pretty flightless, though they can flutter up and scare the horses every fall! I love both giant birds, they're amazing.