Thursday, October 14, 2010

snakes on a trail

After arena work earlier this week went pretty well, I went down to the arena to play again. We started warming up...but as I passed the gate I just couldn’t stay inside any longer. All day trapped in an office, Major in the pasture, we both wanted out. We started down the road, and into the forest. It has been really hot this week, so the shade was welcome, though it is still so dusty. Right away we came across a rattlesnake path in the dust. I hadn’t seen many this summer, but it is so hot and dry I think they’re on the move. After some discussions with Major on the best way to go (not towards home already) we started up another trail...rattlesnake path there too.

I truly don’t mind the snakes. They keep to themselves and they don’t want to get smashed by hooves any more than I want to run over one. But as I needed to circle Major again, I was cautious about going into the weeds on the side of the trail. When Major would flinch at something (quail, deer) I would wonder if he heard a snake. We back tracked on a portion of the trail previously snake-free and I saw a snake path...that ended in the middle of the road with a snake still on it. A baby rattler, only a foot long or so.

I think that was enough for me. We had been heading in the direction of home anyway, and I didn’t want to be on snakey trails in the deepening twilight, so we headed home, a big nice walk. I didn’t go as far or as fast as I wanted (and Major really wanted), but it was still a nice evening out of the arena, in the golden light. Even with dusty trails and snakes, it is good to be on a horse.

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