Friday, July 29, 2011

friday ride

yellow-flowered meadow
Hot. Already at 7:30am. And Major wasn't very happy since breakfast had just been delivered. But I took him to the saddling area, put a bucket of hay in front of him, and he was fine. Tacked up and double-checked my boot fit. Major had a trim yesterday, and we have to always keep his toes nice and short, he tends to grow hoof that way. Boots seemed good, so we hit the trail.

Headed for the green gate, right past it a kamikaze deer jumped in the bushes right in front of us! It was too fast for Major to even react as it bounded down the trail, then veered left, the right, then into the field, looking back at us like we were chasing it. Just going the same direction deer! Thank goodness we ride horses and not deer, they are too damn quick! Those turns and spooks would be crazy!

3 oak knoll

Continuing on we headed for the lake. We were near the trail and I was hot. I'm sure Major was hot. No goal for today, not meeting or riding with anyone...screw it, we're staying in the forest. Major thought turning back meant we were going home, and got some extra spring in his step. But we just took random turns, found a little meadow dotted with yellow flowers, a neat oak peak with three oaks and a view, and some cool big feathers. Those I made Major wear, like a dork, I think it comes from my childhood desire to be an "indian princess." I know it is not PC, but I thought an indian princess was the best, it was a constant dress-up costume, with braided hair and indian symbols on my face (of Mom's lipstick!). I think I wore that as a Halloween costume for about four years. I think it would be great fun to dress up the horse too, so I kept those feathers!

silly horse wearing feathers

Staying in the forest does make me hate two things: poison oak and star thistle. Both are everywhere: in the shade the poison oak, in sunny patches the star thistle. The poison oak can be bush or vine, as tall as a rider on horseback, dangling from trees, just nasty. At least it is native and supposed to be there. The star thistle was introduced I think as cattle feed, but very little eats it, it stabs the horses as they walk along, leaving little needles in their legs. Bad stuff, and while I try to avoid it, in some places the trail is just too narrow. I apologize to Major as he winces along: ow, ow, ow!

We didn't stay out long, and came back in time to say good luck to friends heading off to an endurance ride at Lake Almanor. My friend is nervous on her green horse (as I would be!) and kept suggesting she should take Major instead, Mr. Calm. I think he would be a mess with all the other horses and general craziness, he's just calm at home because he's used to it!

weeding the arena

Back home Major helped weed the arena (he loves the purslane plant that grows beneath the jumps) and finally got to eat the rest of breakfast. At 9:30am, and getting hotter.

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