Wednesday, October 6, 2010

a (hand) walk in the woods

Fall is here. The air is crisp and nights are cold, yesterday it threatened to rain. Major is feeling good, and wants to be out on the trails, but his leg cut has been swollen the last couple days (just some fluid retention), so I've been cold hosing and hand walking. All the swelling goes away with the hand-walking, and he is not tender or lame, but we can both take the time to enjoy the change of seasons.

We went on a walk through the forest, it was so quiet. Some mountain bikers passed us on the gravel road, Major was concerned about the sound of gravel on tires, but once he saw what it was he didn't care. We walked quietly out the trail, through dirt that has been pounded to fine dust after a summer of horses, and onto a side trail. Last fall this is where we did so much schooling. I considered all the things we'd worked on: not crowding me, staying behind on a small trail, not rushing ahead while walking next to me. And not once on this walk did I need to enforce a single one. Later in the fall I'd worked on just getting up the courage to get on the jigging idiot, making him walk slowly home. This walk I considered hopping on him bareback (if I'd had my helmet) as he walked quietly along, knowing what is expected.

The whole walk was just great. Coming home we have to walk the road a little bit, which spoiled a bit of the fairytale as a UPS truck came down the gravel road. We got to the side, just so the truck could pass, and had no problems. Later when the truck came back by Major had found a bit of grass, nothing was going to disturb that snack. The driver stopped and thanked me, while I thanked him for slowing. A bit of courtesy both ways.

I did take a picture of one of my favorite odd tree branches. The sun was so low and bright so it is hard to see, but the tree branch grew out, then bent back on itself and is growing into the trunk of the tree. Someday it will just be part of the main trunk, but for now there is a little window. I have seen the branch get bigger and window smaller over the last 10 years riding in the area. I hope I get to continue to see it, this forest is special.

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