Normally, I lay pretty low during the firearm deer season (it's only two weeks out of the whole year after all!) and only ride in the arena or yard. This year, however, the weather has been so gorgeous in early November, that I just can't force myself to stay home. I still won't ride out on a weekend during deer season, but I figured midday on a Tuesday was pretty safe. Bedazzled in blaze orange and staying completely out of the woods & fields in favor of a road ride, I figured we were as safe as we could be! I worry a little more with Red, as he's close to the same color as the deer (albino deer are pretty rare so I feel slightly safer on Rhio, though it's probably a false sense of security considering hunters can't seem to tell the difference between a bipedal human in blaze orange and a deer sometimes!).
|One of these guys will be on my family's Thanksgiving table! And to be honest, I find the whole flock following me in the pasture, gobbling and strutting, to be a little creepy.|
Red was napping in the sun when I arrived, so after guiltily waking him up, we waded back through the flock of turkeys to the barn to tack up. My "spooky" Arab is so used to the turkeys that he completely ignores them, even as they "graze" right along with the horses - whether this would translate into calmness during a wild turkey encounter on trail has not yet been tested! We don't actually have wild turkeys this far north, but we do encounter grouse frequently - which make me jump when they "whir" up more than they startle Red.
Booted all around and with his blaze orange rump rug in place, we set off on our usual route down the road. We were passed by several of the boarders at the barn, and they all reported that we were very visible and didn't look anything like deer! We did have an encounter with a particularly rude motorist - which is actually fairly uncommon in our neighborhood. We were halted waiting to cross a paved road; I had one hand on the reins and one hand signaling Kelso to "Whoa!" A pickup truck flew past us, laying on his horn. Nice one, dude. Appreciate that. What point were you trying to make, exactly? Neither horse nor dog moved a muscle - what good boys!!!
|Lots of freshly cut ends of trees line the road from our wind storm several weeks ago; Red noticed every single one and gave each a WIDE berth in case they were carnivorous with a special fondness for horse.|
|The stream which frequently harbors exploding ducks (not today though!)|
Red and I apparently had differing expectations of what our afternoon's outing would entail. I thought a nice medium trot to work up a light sweat and get us in the zone was in order. Red thought we should zoom along as fast as we could go, skittering sideways at the slightest irregularity in the road surface or in the vegetation along the edge. Hmmm, maybe today would have been a good day to put that running martingale on!
Only having an hour, we did about 5 miles and returned to the barn in time to meet the farrier. Every nice day, and every ride, in November is a stolen one. Ahh - heaven is the wind that blows between my horse's ears! (to paraphrase an Arabian proverb)