Saturday, September 1, 2012


At dusk you can still see shapes and the trail glows a bit before you. We headed out, Major and I joined by Ziggy and B. Major was the leader, and headed out with no hesitation. Into the forest the huge moon hung just over the trees, and an owl swooped across the meadow.

The forest was dark, and getting darker. The moonlight doesn't penetrate the canopy, but Major didn't care. I'm sure he could see, but we were worried about hitting tree branches, as the trails aren't nicely groomed paths, but instead winding single-track. Just walking along, but the biggest, swingy walk I can ever ask of him! He was enjoying the adventure. Ziggy was a bit more nervous, and stayed close behind.

Major was a bit unnerved by a fallen tree branch, broken and glowing white in the dark. During the day he wouldn't have even noticed. But we got by with just a brief pause and serious eyeballing. Then we headed down the to lake.

On a slight downhill Ziggy was worrying about Major up ahead and wasn't paying attention, and tripped and went to his knees. More inattention and nervousness than darkness. And the worst downhill was to come. The access to the lake is rocky and full of driftwood, but I'd done it only days before and know the trail. I pointed Major where I wanted him to go, and goat-like he walked down the rocks. Ziggy followed, not so sure, but made it safely.

The beach was windy, and looked like another planet in the dark. Major actually stopped for a bite of grass, and we walked on. He hesitated a few times when he saw deer bounding away, but was steady. We came around a corner and the wind died down, the lake reflecting the moon, amazing.

Where the trail was open we tried some trotting, and Major and Ziggy were more than game to go. More game than we wanted to be in the dark! A bit of silly jigging and pulling before walking. Major would have trotted along like usual, but we held the horses back, just wanting a nice ride, with limited silliness.

Up ahead a small black thing ran along the path. with white thing, a skunk! We kept our distance as it ran down the trail, probably thinking we were chasing it. Finally it got enough ahead I couldn't see it, maybe hiding in rocks, but we just sedately walked, not wanting to scare it!

Our shadows looked brave and beautiful, horses and riders silhouetted on rock, the wind blowing mane. It was too dark for pictures, but I have the image of that in my mind.

We finished the lake trail far too soon, and headed back. We came up the switchbacks, and let the horses trot. I just kept my head down and let Major find the trail, it was too dark for me to see anything. He powered along, no hesitation, and any thought of me guiding him stopped when he took the correct trails when I thought we should turn. My direction was a bit off, but not his! Ziggy had enough forest, so we came back through the quiet neighborhood. We had orange glow necklaces and Major had a green glowstick, but we were very dark on bay horses and dark tack. One car came by, but slowed when his headlights caught us on the side of the road. Otherwise a quiet walk back.

I could do this every night. Completely trusted my horse, and he was awesome. Already planning for next month...

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