Fall Colors Between Rhio's Ears

Fall Colors Between Rhio's Ears

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Nanook of the North Goes Riding

You can't tell under my Nanook of the North jacket - but I am wearing my helmet! 
Heat wave!  The mercury hit 15 balmy degrees today with full sunshine and no wind, so of course after the farrier's visit, I hopped on for a quick ride.  We just walked through the woods in the deep snow, but I was so thrilled to be riding after all this intense cold we've been having.  Rhio definitely enjoyed getting out as well.

Rhio did balk at one thing today - crossing an area that is normally wet muck in the summer  to head up a trail that we don't ride except during the winter due to its wetness.  Of course the crossing is well frozen now, and I've been snowshoeing across it when I'm out with the dogs, so there is an obvious trail as well.  But Rhio absolutely refused to cross.  So, I dismounted and lead him across (he followed willingly enough - it will be interesting to take him back to that spot and ask him to cross it again and see what he does).  The only problem with this plan - what can I stand on to get back on??  I found a down tree that was about mid-thigh height on me, and was able to clear the snow off enough to climb up on it.  Rhio, however, would have to "parallel park" to get lined up next to it between a growing tree and the bushy top of the down tree.  He didn't quite get what I wanted him to do, but sort of came into the tree at an angle enough that I was able to flop on my belly across the bareback pad, then shimmy around to a seated position as he backed out of the spot and we were successfully headed back down the trail.  Sometimes I am glad that I ride alone!  Here I am telling the story, but I'm sure it would have been amusing & embarrassing if witnessed by someone other that Rhio & Kelso.

As we headed back to the barn at sunset, I noticed how riding in the flat white expanse of snow felt a lot like riding across a river - I got a little dizzy if I focused on the ground.  The ride was just long enough for my nose & toes to register a definite tingling by the time we returned, but also just long enough to soothe my need to ride for a little while longer.

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