Friday, June 14, 2019


Compromise in relationships can be hard, especially when it means watching your horses butt for three miles down the trail.

three-mile views

But let's back up a bit, because we did do 13 miles before that compromise came about! We headed out of Auburn early, no one else in the staging area and the trails morning-cool. We've had a weird spring and got lots of rain in May, when we usually get almost none! So the trails are green (and still sometimes muddy) and water is flowing everywhere.

we're being followed

We encountered very few people until No Hands bridge. There are usually a few tourists or casual hikers about. Nope. This time an entire school field trip of 30 kids, I'd say about 8-9 years old, were crossing the bridge! To screeching cries of "horsie!" we walked slowly on the opposite side of the tiny horde, who, to their credit, actually listened to their minders and stayed to one side. Major really didn't care, and normally I'd let kids pet him, but that many on the small bridge was just asking for trouble!

little yellow flowers dot the grasses
awesome trail markings!

We continued up the hill over to Cool (best town name ever). We wandered about, this time NOT getting lost like usual, but only because there was a ride and tie scheduled the next day and they had the trail exceptionally well marked! I followed part of the course past ponds filled with croaking bullfrogs and singing birds and thought about how lucky we are to have this access.

blackbird pond

bullfrog pond (covered in cottonwood snow)

Then we started for home, and I once again remembered that Major thinks we are riding the WRONG way. Even though we came from that direction, on that exact same trail! He is an awful slug, and if I get off and walk I am then dragging him to his death. So…we compromised…my horse led home, me tailing down the canyon. We were passed by a couple runners, but Major just kept marching along. I have a tailing rope but was lazy and used my reins…next time the rope! While my reins are 10 feet long my tailing rope is longer, and being a little farther behind so I can see my own feet and not face plant is a better plan! I only almost fell once…Major's tail/butt saved me from face-skidding down the trail.

Back down at the bottom on the canyon I was surprised to see the last of the kids from before walking back across the bridge. The last three (including a girl with horses on her shirt!) got to pet sweaty Major. That is probably the thing they'll most remember about the trip, though they were supposed be learning about gold rush history or nature or something!

nope…Robie Point trail

We had a bit farther to go, and I did drag Major down the Robie Point trail (he also hates that one but it is short and I had to get off and pee anyway) and back to the trailer and trough…where he finally dank after almost 20 miles, arghh. The staging area is looking a bit disheveled because no one has mowed it, but Major thinks it is great for rolling in after getting hosed off!

I'll smash the grass if they won't mow it!

I think we BOTH had a good ride. I believe that compromises and agreements with your horse can only help the relationship. I've got to trust him not to walk us off a cliff, and he knows I'll let him eat mulberry leaves when we get home. Win-win.

the giraffe enjoys mulberry leaves

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