Sunday, August 14, 2011

night ride

"Wait for moonlight to dance with the hills."
-song: Calabasas, band: Hey Marseilles

In the growing dark I put on Major's tack. He was a bit uncertain to being saddled at 8:30pm. The sun had set but there was still a glow on the horizon, the moon was just peeking over the treetops and it was still 85 degrees.

"Where are we going so late?"

Other friends had gone for a moonlight ride on Thursday, when I couldn't join them. So I planned for Saturday. A few friends couldn't go, and Ziggy's mom didn't want to deal with him tonight (after Friday, don't really blame her!) so I headed out on my own.

Heading down the road Major was hesitant, we'd never gone out at night before. I found a convenient rock and mounted up. Major strided out purposefully, on a mission. We entered the forest, and it was dark. Really dark! I have pretty good night vision, but the moonlight wasn't penetrating the tree canopy. Major seemed to have no problem, and seemed sure of himself, so we walked along. I tried to stay on the larger trails, but needed to cut over to get across an area. Dinosaur rock trail (near bread rock) was hard to see but Major knew the way.

One moon photo was all I got
In other places we followed our moon shadow, the trail lit ahead. A fallen branch looked like a snake to me, but I never had one step of hesitation from Major. I heard a few larger things in the bushes (deer), but mostly the night chorus of crickets and frogs. In one area a squeaky bat flew overhead, and sounds of rustling in the brush as we disturbed resting birds. The moon was framed by oaks as we headed home, a meadow that in daylight is filled with tiny yellow flowers instead glowed silver in moonlight.

I could not be any more proud of my horse. Never did I imagine trusting him to navigate in darkness, to carry me safely home, to be so brave. I never once had to check his speed, to question the trail, to remind him of anything. He walked along, a good reaching stride, a nice loose rein. He seemed to enjoy a new experience. At home he got some apples and a big kiss of appreciation from me.

I love my horse.

"The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep."
-Robert Frost

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