|All suited up for a summertime ride (though yesterday still felt like spring, & early spring at that!)|
Our route was nothing fancy - the same loop we've done a few times already this year, although the last time we did it there was still snow on the ground! You never know what you'll encounter, however, and this day that included a bulldozer in full dirt-moving mode. Rhio barely batted an eyelash at the thunderous, stinky bulldozer and, although I had him walk until we were past it (we were moving much faster than it was), there was really no need to do so. Crossing the busy road, we made our way through the closed gravel pit (I had an alternate route all planned, as I'd expected the pit to be open & working on a Friday) and Rhio was able to pick out our cut-through trail, which I was completely unable to locate through the new foliage - he knew where we were going, and I just let him go. We did surprise a few deer, does with fawns would be my guess as the trail we pop out onto is very infrequently used and the area is pretty secluded, shady, and seems like a perfect fawn nursery to me.
|The bright green of spring has finally arrived here in northern MN.|
We had to pause for traffic before crossing back to "our side" of the busy road, and there was a guy on a bike waiting to come our way. He was extremely polite and waited to see that we were mostly across the road before crossing himself - again bikes are not an issue for Rhio, but it was really nice of him to be so considerate (and it seems somewhat horse-savvy). At this point, we were faced with the long trot down 2 miles of straight-as-an-arrow shoulder with a somewhat busy road. This is the spot where Rhio was acting up on our previous rides of "the loop" this spring, wanting to race home and not listen. Today, he was perfect - giving me a huge but perfectly steady trot, not faltering once even with big trucks, trucks pulling boats, and multiple cars whizzing by.
We continued the rest of the way home along our familiar quiet gravel roads, and came on home with an overall average speed of 5.6 mph, distance 10.8 miles, and ride time 1:56. It was a great solo ride, despite the bugs (mosquitoes the size of 747s, plus deer flies & horse flies ALREADY!) and the incessant clicking of the loose buckles on his front boots (I had to use Red's Epics instead of Rhio's Renegades as the Renegades are in need of a little repair - see future post!). Rhio got a much-needed thorough hosing when we got home, his first of the year, and he *was* shiny & clean when I put him back in the pasture (you all know how long that lasted!).
|Look! Wash your horse's legs and what do you find? White stockings!|
|And if you look closely you'll see he has a blaze hiding in there somewhere, too. It's actually in the shape of a ?.|
|The boys having some free grazing while I chatted with my barn buddies|
|Clean boots, ready for our next adventure!|